Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sorority Girl

Yesterday I logged into school and checked my emails (and grades).  I just finished my final papers and turned them in on Tuesday, and even though my professors have until Sunday before they have to grade my papers, I have one who consistently grades faster than that.  So, I had a grade in my Abnormal Psych class and I scored a perfect 'A' on my final project, a comprehensive case study of schizophrenia, complete with title page, an abstract, 18 pages of reports on research and conclusions based on the case study, and many many references... all written and submitted in APA format (whew!).  I was really happy with my grade, and I got a 99.3% for the class.  Not bad at all considering the fact that I should not have taken a class of this magnitude until next year.  I'm still waiting on the Educational Development grade but I feel good about it.

So, along with my fantastic grade news, I received an invitation to join Alpha Beta Kappa with honors!  I'm gonna be a sorority girl, lol.  When I was young, I always wanted to join a sorority, but I never made it to a four-year school and I never got the chance (plus I wasn't too keen on the whole 'pledge' aspect of the idea).  Now another dream of mine is going to be realized.  This organization is actually co-ed so it's not technically a sorority but for lack of a better term, that's the one I'm going with.  It's actually a Greek organization for Kaplan University psychology honor's students so it's geared towards my degree plan and it offers networking opportunities and access to internships that no one else is offered, so it'll be a big help to me as I get farther along in my degree. 

In knitting news, I'm working on some mitten patterns for the shop and I'm knitting some of the samples right now.  The stranded sample I was hoping to knit with Berroco Pure Merino isn't working out so well.  My row gauge is way off of what the label lists it at, and unfortunately I worked out the chart according to the suggested row gauge...I should have known better.  I never hit row gauge.  But on the bright side, I love this yarn and I can use it for one of the other patterns I've worked up.  I'll just have to save this pattern for a true worsted yarn instead of trying to knit an aran weight at a worsted gauge.  I'll hopefully have some photos of the child sized samples, and have an adult sized sample finished soon.

In spinning news, I'm loving my Jenkins' Turkish spindle!  I watched a quick little video on Youtube (bless whoever came up with that) and I worked out the bugs mostly.  I'm winding on better, and I figured out the half-hitch that I had forgotten about.  I'm also getting more consistent with the amount of twist in my singles with this spindle.  I've already made three tiny little balls of 2-ply yarn and I really like the look of it.  I want to spin my way through some of my roving and ply it, and then knit it into something small to see how it comes out.  This is going to take a while, given how much knitting I'm doing, school, Dante's appointments, Alex's appointments, and work.  I might have to do most of my spinning at work when it's slower.  We'll see how things progress, and how difficult my classes will be next term.  I'm not excited about my upcoming schedule...I have Statistics and Research Methods.  Should be fun.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No more chipped teeth

Alex is a happy boy.  We went early this morning to Our Lady of Fatima Hospital (in North Providence) and he got his two front teeth capped.  They had to put him out to do it, and it was really tough to watch him go under the anesthesia.  I stayed with him until he went under, and then the nurse helped me back to the waiting room, where I worried and prayed and cried, and knit the entire front piece of a doll-sized sweater for the Great-nephew.  When he was finally done (four hours later!) they brought me into the room to stay with him until he woke up, and then to hold him until he became alert.  He got two pop-sickles and some ice chips, and then we watched Pinocchio until he was ready to go home.  I stopped at IHOP on the way home to get him some pancakes and juice, and then we went home where I promptly fell asleep on the couch for a few hours before I had to get up again and take Dante to the counselor's office.  Aaron has decreed that my bed-time tonight is 10:30pm, so I guess I won't be staying up very late tonight, lol. 

I have my final projects due next Tuesday and I started working on them, but as usual the child development project is slow-going.  I'm sure it will be fine in the usually is, but all I want to do right now is knit preemie clothes and watch t.v.  I've organized my stash a bit, and filled a second 3-drawer, stackable clear organizer in the process.  I still have yarn that needs to be organized and put away (so I probably need another drawer set), and my basked on the top of the book shelf is now chock full of Pallet (I had no idea how much I had!), and I can now see that I really need to knit the yarn that I have because I don't have room for anymore in here.  So, given this reality check, I'm going to try to knit from my stash and make some room.  I won't be buying any more yarn unless it's for a specific project that I've been commissioned to knit, or it's for a shop sample.  Any personal knitting has to come from my stash for a little while until I can make some room.  Let's see how long this last for :)

PS- the photos are of my last shop sample, the knitted stocking by Elizabeth Zimmerman from the Opinionated Knitter in Baby Alpaka.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rhode Island Sheep and Wool Festival

Today I went with my buddy from work to the Coggshell Farm Sheep and Wool Festival near Colt State Park.  I bought a family membership to the Coggshell Museum which has a Harvest Festival, a pumpkin patch, maple sugaring in March, and a few other really neat things that they do each year.  They dress up in period Colonial costumes and do things exactly as they did way back when.  It was really neat and I think Alex will get a kick out of it, plus it's only about 10 minutes down the road from work so it's pretty close by. 

My, oh my, did I ever score on some really great yarn and roving, and even some patterns and a beautiful shawl pin.  I hit the Knitaholic's tent pretty hard and I bought some lace weight hand dyed yarn from Play at life fiber arts, one is 1500 yds of reclaimed 100% merino lace weight in Pink Kitten and the other is 635 yds of a beautiful pink/peach/yellow/coral lace weight reclaimed yarn.  Both were on clearance and I got them for a steal at $5 each!  I got the best shawl pin ever with pretty red enamel beads on a brass swirly pin, and I also got a set of tiny shell buttons for my great-nephew's sweater, and two bags (4 oz each) of roving with some of the grease still in it.  I bought a copy of the Feather Duster shawl and the Ishbel Scarf (finally, lol).  It was the gorgeous gold skein of Ball and Skein Super Sock 416 that I found to knit it from.  A local alpaca farm sold me the most beautiful 172 yd skein of grayish-brown worsted weight undyed natural alpaca.  And from Bartlettyarns, Inc (from Maine), I bought two skeins of worsted Romney yarn in oatmeal and perfect buttery yellow and 16oz. of white Romney wool top.  I got fantastic deals on everything!  I have more yarn than I have time to knit it, and I need a new stash storage bin :)  Life is good.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Project procrastination- aka- I should be working on my paper right now

I finished the first hand warmer for the Skacel open pattern audition, and emailed my photos this morning.  I'm really excited about this one and I hope that it works out because I'd love to have a published pattern, and some extra cash in my pocket!  I cast on the second one last night, and I'll be knitting that one using the magic loop, because although it was nice to use the Kollage square double pointed needles, I just prefer to use circulars.

Dante has his appointment with the psychiatrist today to be re-evaluated.  We spoke with his clinician last week and have formed a plan to have him off his medication as soon as possible.  They will be teaching him some coping skills and tips to help him manage his attention and impulsiveness without the medication.  They will also be keeping an eye on the school to be sure that they are adhering to Dante's IEP, as every time we turn around, I find out that they aren't doing something that they are supposed to do, like have him seated in the front row.

I also found out about an hour ago that Dante's track meet was moved up to today so after his appointment I have to drop him off at the meet at Mt. Hope.  I've got his uniform in the laundry now, and I had to go through several bags of old laundry that were stuffed in my closet in garbage bags that we forgot all about.  My allergies are not happy right now, but I did find my missing mates to two pairs of socks, including the pair that my buddy Rain knit for me, and my Baudelaire socks that I knit years ago.  Sadly, they fell victim to some moths and have some holes.  The Baudelaire can be repaired, but the other pair has holes all over the foot and let so I have to rip them and make another pair.  So sad.

I have a paper to revise, and laundry to fold from last week.  Then I have to start working on my class work for next week because I'm quickly headed towards finals.  I have a brand new-to-me nephew who Aaron got to meet yesterday, and he has a little boy who is a preemie.  He doesn't have anything that fits so I'm going to stop into the shop and pick up some organic cotton, and knit something from the Sirdar book designed for little babies just for my new little family member.  Lots of stuff to do, not nearly enough time to do it in.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Knitted Flowers

Yesterday I wrote about the Knitted Flowers book by Nicky Epstein.  Today I knit these little beauties up in a heartbeat.  They're just so fast and so cute that It's hard not to knit my way through the book in no time flat, not to mention that my favorite project of all time from Interweave Magazine (a back issue from a million years ago), the felted flower tote is in this book.  The red one is on a safety pin and stuck to my sweater.  I finished this little baby up in church today (I know, knitting in church).  The red yarn is left over Tonos Worsted from the red kimono style sweater I knit for the shop.  The leaves are Cascade 220 Heathers in olive.  The other two are left over Berroco Touche from my dish cloths.  I may have made the pink rose a bit larger than it was supposed to be.  That's what I get for not checking on the recommended needle size, lol.  The white one is a cabbage rose and I had a hard time twisting it into the perfect shape, so this is the best I could get it.
As you see here, I uploaded the promised shot of my hand sewn zipper.  Maybe I'll get a shot of me wearing it for you :)  Now, I have to go finish knitting the stocking sample so that I can get working on Alex's robots.  He's very excited about them.
How stinkin' cute are they!?  And they match his bed n' everything :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zippers and Robots (zippered robots??)...

I'm super excited to announce that today I put in my first ever zipper!  I sewed in a zipper to my trusty-everyday-red sweater, and it came out beautiful.  I got a 22" coat zipper from wal-mart, and some matching thread, and went into work today with pins and stuff, and it took most of the afternoon, but when it was done it was WORTH IT!  My sweater is finally fully functional and warm in the wind and it fits well but I could never really tell because I couldn't close the darn thing up.  (Per usual, photos will come later after X-box live.)

I received my latest order from Knit-picks.  The robot kit arrived and it's super cute.  Alex was very excited!  I also ordered the Knitter Flowers book by Nikki Epstein and some beautiful yellow and gold hanks of sock yarn (because I was only 25 bucks away from free shipping!).  Ditto here on the photos.  So what really happened was I was searching for the robot kit and I decided to look for this particular book because Heather (from church) was wearing the prettiest rose pin and I really wanted one too (because I'm not too proud to steal fashion from my friends).  So I decided to buy the entire book just for this one flower, and to reach free shipping.  I may have also bought the Knitwear Design Workshop book by Shirley Paden two or three days later because Interweave sent me an email that the $40 book was now 40% off, and I went to buy it for $24.95 which is a darn good price, only they tried to turn around and charge me $11.95 for shipping (what!!??) so I decided not to buy it, but then Knit-picks sent me an email the next day so I may have went looking for the book just to see if they had a similar price (which they did) and then I may have decided to put it in my cart and check out to see how much they would charge me for shipping, and they might have only wanted $3 for I guess I bought it.  Anyway, it'll be here in a few days and it'll sit on a shelf for a few weeks until after my classes are over and then I'll read through it for some great advise on design and proper fit.  I think I'm going to be a designer one day (if I can ever get some great ideas on my own, lol).