Sunday, February 25, 2007

What I have I been up to

School and work are still keeping me very busy. There is little time to knit, but I manage to sneak in a few rows here and there. The new job is going great. I have a big girl desk now. The students are great. The sixth graders are super cute. I have spent many years at the high school, so little bitty students who are eager to please is a bit of a shock to my system.

There isn't much knitting to report. I have been monogamous to a sweater that needs sleeves. It is a little embarrassing to admit, but this sweater has needed sleeves for a whole year (I told you all I don't like knitting sleeves). So, this past Monday, I told myself that I wasn't going to knit anything else (no socks, no shawls, not even a hat for Dulaan) until I finished those damn sleeves and seemed the sweater together! I am happy to report that I have a whole sleeve and a half!

Would you believe the plan was to wear the sweater LAST St. Patrick's Day?! I know what you are thinking, "she really does hate to knit sleeves!" I put sleeves and scarves in the same category, functional but boring.

I should be done with the sweater in the next day or two. I still haven't thought much about the neckline yet. I made a goofy mistake in my math, so it has a VERY wide neckline. I am thinking of doing something in a roll. The wide neck doesn't bother me too much. I look much better in a wider neck. Oh, keep your fingers cross the the yarn holds out. I am on my LAST ball of pine color (which is biz are combination of black, navy, and hunter green) Wool-ease folks. If I run out, the neck will be in solid black!

Happy knitting!

Monday, February 19, 2007

We don't need no stitinkin' pattern!

I am going to let you all in on a little secret; I don't really follow patterns. I am not sure why. I just don't. I see the pattern in the book, and I think "Boy, that zippered hoodie would look great on DD." I buy the yarn to make said zippered hoodie, but the hoodie gets lost in translation. I started making a hoodie, but my DD is wearing a cardi (and I have three un-used balls of the yarn that would have made the hoodie and pockets).

I had a wonderful (and unfortunately discontinued) color of Wool-ease chunky. I had a wonderful cardi pattern all picked out. I was supposed to knit 5 pieces and seem them together. I was feeling lazy when I started that sweater, so I just knit it in one piece. No one can really tell the difference between the sweater in the photo and the one I made. Mine just doesn't have side seems.

For me, socks, hats, mittens and so on are more about proper construction. When one knows HOW these items are made, no pattern is necessary. When I make socks, it takes me longer to decide on the yarn than the pattern. Often, the pattern just springs to life as I knit. I don't really think about what kind of heel I want until I get to the heel.

The question of standard sizes, and modifying patterns to fit has been in my inbox a lot in the past few days. I thought I would share some guidelines that I posted to a group.
Here are some of my general pointers for knitting without a pattern. To make stuff that fits, get over the idea of "standard sizes." Standard sizes are not even standard from one manufacture to another. To make a sweater, the only thing a knitter needs to know the measurements of who will be wearing the sweater and gauge.
Once the gauge and measurements are known, it is very simple make your own sweaters without a pattern.

Ease is important to consider too. Ease means will the sweater be a tight fit or a loose fit? In general 2 - 4 inches of ease need to be added to the measurements to figure out how many to cast on. If a really loose fitting garment is needed, add 6 inches to the measurements. Actual body measurements and stretching yarn are for a snug/tight-fitting garment.

The notion of "standard sizes" is only useful when a robot is making clothes. When making the clothes, throw sizes out the window and make garments that fit the person who will wear it.

There are several books that will help the newbie to patternless knitting. Elizabeth Zimmermen, Knitting Without Tears (be warned, she does rather like math). Ann Bud The Knitters Handy Guide to Knitting Patterns and The Knitters Handy Guide to Sweater Patterns are must haves (these books do the math)! I would also suggest that everyone have at least one of those 6,000,003 knitting stitch pattern books (I like this one, but I have several). These books help with designing sweaters with textured stitches, cables, Fair Isle and more. Lastly, Ann Bud also has a Handy Yarn Requirements Guide that will fit in the well-stocked knitting bag or purse.

Happy knitting!

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Classroom

Well, I have worked my tail off, and the storage room looks like a classroom now. I still have loads of stuff to do, but I am actually pretty pleased of my sunny little room tucked away at the top of the school.

Please, take note of the cardboard boxes stacked high on the orange cupboard. Those boxes were HEAVY! If you will now draw your attention to the black bookshelf, do you know that you can't move a bookshelf with books on it by yourself?

Notice the sunny corner with a happy desk sitting there. Isn't it sweet? Would you believe, gentle reader, that is MY desk? No, I am serious! I have been working at that desk all week. I will get another, more appropriate desk next week. I thought I should preserve this memory. My first real teacher desk. *sigh*

I was encouraged to make the space "my own" when I was assigned the room. While I have Harry Potter posters on the wall, a plant, and family photos, I totally love my Purdue pencil cup with my totally AWESOME *rulers* of woman's Literature ruler that Jen gave me for Thingiemas.

Well, folks, there you have it, my first classroom!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yet another snow day!

Not the best picture of the snow, but I didn't want to go outside to get anything better. I didn't even open the storm door!

I am sick to death of snow days. I don't get paid, and I can not *officially* start my new job! I can't hang my Harry Potter posters on the wall. Tomorrow there should be school, and I will take pictures of *my* classroom to share with you all.

It is rare, but Sly can be romantic sometimes. Blood red long steamed roses sure do make a girls heart melt. At least he remembered Valentines Day.

Pattern: Bradgelina from Crazy Aunt Purl
Yarn: Wool-ease Thick n Quick
Needles: size 11 16 inch circ.

This is a great hat. I made it for Dulaan, but now that I have re-read the page, it seems that they prefer 100% wool. I may just take this down to the homeless shelter I drive by when going to class. I will be making another out of some totally yummy bulky alpaca I have. It is a great hat.

Pattern: Basic roll brim hat variation from Knitting for Peace
Yarn: Wool-ease chunky
Needles: size 9

I may have to give this to the homeless shelter as well. It is a nice hat, but not 100% wool.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Not the post I wanted to make

I was hoping to post pictures of the storage room that is now my classroom, but there was a snow day today. Looks like another snow day tomorrow. I will post pictures, but for now, a MEME that has been going around.

Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following...They MUST be real places, names, things...NOTHING made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Lesa

1. Athlete: Larry Bird (what do you want? I am from Indiana!)
2. 4 letter word: Love
3. Street name: Lake Shore Dr.
4. Color: Lavender
5. Gifts/presents: Linens
6. Vehicles: Lexus
7. Tropical Locations: Los Llanos, Puerto Rico
8. College Majors: Literature
9. Dairy Products: Limburger
10. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Lousy Tee Shirts
11. Boy Name: Louie
12. Girl Name: Linda
13. Movie Titles: Love Story (love means never having to say your sorry)
14. Alcohol: Lager
15. Occupations: Lecturer (I really had that title once)
16. Flowers: Lily's of the Valley
17. Celebrities: Lindsey Lohan (YUCK!)
18. Magazines: Life
19. US Cities: Lexington Kentucky
20. Pro Sports Team: Liverpool F.C. (I had to look for that one)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Just a bunch of stuff I want to talk about

Not even sure what to say about this. I am all for being frugal and knitting for charity, but the is a place where one has to stop and ask "Why?"

I also want to point all my reader's to Bill Richardson. Obama and Hillary are getting lots of coverage. So, it is grassroots time. Don't let the media tell you who to vote for in '08!

Lastly, I GOT A BETTER JOB!!!! I am no longer an overworked and underpaid substitute teacher. I am now an overworked and underpaid remediation instructor! I will be working at Boston Middle School. I will be helping students who are have not passed the ISTEP (Indiana's state wide standardized test).

I have been knitting, but there really isn't much to show right now.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside!

Brrrr! It is 0 degrees here. That is right, your freezer (where you keep ice) is warmer than my back yard. Your refrigerator would be a welcome vacation spot for me right now. The only thing to do when it is this cold is sit at home and knit (I should be studying for a test on Tuesday, but I am not).

Before I go any further with this post, I should mention that my DD Michelle turned 20 yesterday. Yes, I am actually owning up to the fact that my daughter is 20. I had her when I was 10 you see. I will also mention that her BF Randy also had a birthday yesterday. He is 22.

I don't have many completed projects at the moment. I guess I'll just share WIP photos.

Pattern: Razor's Edge Stitch n Bitch Nation
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky
Needles: size 17 29 inch Addis

Love this pattern, but WATCH OUT! Check out the corrections before starting the shawl. The book is wrongity WRONG. It is very pretty, easy, and fast to knit.

Pattern: You all know I don't use sock patterns. One is a short row heal, the other is eye of the partridge heel
Yarn: Regia bamboo and Lorna's Laces
Needles: size 2 and 1 circs

Just some socks that I carry around in my Piddleloop bag to work on when I need to keep my hands busy.

Pattern: a Q hook ripple afghan
Yarn: all the lovely purple acrylic I buy for less than a dollar a skein
Needles: HA, Q hook!

Yeah, I can crochet too. I don't do much anymore. I guess I am too busy knitting. However, my stash is full to the brim of acrylic yarns I buy on clearance sales dirt cheap. I can't resist purple yarn for less than a buck. Seems to me, the best use for all that yarn is a crocheted afghan, so I started this one yesterday. Like the size 17 Addies, Q hook afghans work up very quickly.

I am off to try and keep warm. GO BEARS!

Happy Knitting

Too funny!

Logical Exploration and Sabotage Android

Get Your Cyborg Name

There will be knitting pics in a couple of hours. I have to go take a few.