20 December, 2007

I won a CD spindle!

Yay! I won a CD spindle from Interweave Spin-Off magazine. This was in my inbox this morning:

Dear Jessica,

Congratulations—you’re a winner of one of the free CD spindles from Spin-Off magazine!

Please respond with your mailing address as soon as you can.

Best wishes,


Sweet. Thanks, Interweave.

19 December, 2007

Is it New Years yet?

In honor of good old fashioned escapism, I'd like to spend a few minutes here just straight up daydreaming about projects to come. That's right: I mean after all the Xmas knitting is done, wrapped, and put under the tree. What upcoming projects/fantasies are floating through my mind? Let's take a look.

1. Fiesta mittens, inspired by Rainbow Chip frosting! Hooray!
2008 Project-to-be: Rainbow chip Fiesta mittens
When I was little my favorite birthday cake was a Rainbow Chip cake with Rainbow Chip frosting. When I saw these mittens at the Knitting Sisters, I instantly wanted to make them so my hands could basically look like my favorite cake (not the best idea if starving, but I think I'll be able to resist chewing on them). I've spent the last month trolling stitch pattern books, trying to figure out how Lucy Neatby did those little slip stitched gulls on the back of the hand. But alas, I cannot. Guess I'll have to pony up the 6 bucks or so to buy the pattern. But hey, I've got the yarn (pictured above), I've got the needles... it's time to make these already. I'm so excited.

2. Noro Kureyon Sock yarn fingerless gauntlets (long gloves).
2008 Project-to-be: Kureyon Sock yarn gauntlets
There's the gloves knit up in a striping sock yarn, but I want to use the new amazingly beautiful sock yarn from Noro. This way I can showcase the colors in a way that will be appropriate for this hand wash only yarn. I don't think I'm ready to hand wash my socks. I'd rather spend my time knitting them, and let the washing machine do the rest.

3. Skinny scarf from Knitty Gritty, a TV show on the DIY network.
2008 Project-to-be: Skinny scarf with kitchen cotton. Why not?
Stupidly easy, yet intimidating in its "Cast on 400 stitches" beginnings. But then, I might make it shorter. I just like the idea of having a rainbow scarf, plus getting to burn through some of the Peaches & Creme cotton I have in my stash (bought to make rainbow washcloths... before I realized how many ends I would have to weave in), plus I like the woven texture and think it's something my wee knitters in Afterschool could pull off. So in the name of experimentation, I shall make it.

4. Replacement belted cardigan
Starsky imagining
My favorite sweater (actually a belted cardigan) went missing one day in a thrift store. We searched and searched, but unfortunately I think it got lifted from my cart while I wasn't paying attention to it. I remember some scruffy looking dudes giving me all kinds of weird looks as they headed out the doors, and then I realized my cardigan was gone... with my wallet still in the pocket. I hate to assume, but after searching, it seemed that the cardi was no longer in the store... and I think that they took it. I would have gladly given them the wallet (although that was sad, as it was a little leather thing that Kenny's Dad picked up in Italy and gave me for Xmas in 2005) in exchange for the sweater. I coveted that thing from the moment I saw it on my sophomore year roommate. At the end of the year she gave it to me (I wore it more than she did, and she is very kind) and it almost never left my sight from that day until the day in the thrift store. So. I have a plan in mind to remake that garment. I will find yarn that comes as close to it's swirl of fall colors as possible. I will use the Starsky pattern from Knitty, pictured above in white, as the basic recipe, but retool it to be more like the actual missing piece. Starsky is the closest thing I can find. I will love and love and love that sweater. That's the plan. The yarn above is the closest I've found so far to the original colorway.

There are so many more projects in my queue, and so much yarn in my stash... but three will suffice for now. It's time for me to go outside and play with the little ones. Maybe after lunch I'll put together some more. Here's to the New Year!

18 December, 2007

Things I said on the playground this morning

1. "Scott, you need to ask permission before you lick or kiss someone."

2. "Riley, you need to stand up before you kick the ball!"

3. "Matthew, it's not nice to roar at somebody."

4. "No no no no! STOP that right now!" [in response to two boys dragging a third by his hair]

Ah, preschool.

16 December, 2007

So much done in one weekend!

Man, sometimes the Busygods are just on your side.

Mom's present is nearly done blocking. L&P's are wrapped and ready to mail. K's present just needs to be finished off, C's are almost done blocking, the other K's present blocked up BEAUTIFULLY and I can barely bring myself to wrap them up (sooo comfy!). It's such an antsy feeling, this plotting and planning, not being able to upload all the pretty pictures I've been taking along the way. Le sigh... also, it's a little nerve wracking not knowing if anything is going to fit perfectly or really even be worn. Knitters have oft discussed the gifting of handknits to non-knitters. I'm mentally biting my nails as we speak (but luckily that is the one bad habit I've managed to escape in real life).

Speaking of escaping bad habits... I'm actually leaving my face alone while the medicine does its job. My new dermatologist, though in a perpetual hurry, does seem to know a little bit about effective medications for adult acne, and I guess I can officially say that things are clearing up. Really dry and flaky, but clearing nonetheless.

Schoolwork: my paper is at 10 pages. It needs to be 15. I will push out the rest tomorrow. About 95% of my end-of-term materials are ready to be printed off an mailed. Just waiting on my advisor (nail bite, nail bite). Hmm, what else... a good day in boyfriend/girlfriend-land. Lovely Sunday things. Chicken soup in the crock pot. Watched an episode or two of Firefly. Windy and cold but sunny-- it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

[And only 4 days of afterschool this week; huzzah!]

15 December, 2007

An attempt to blog about Xmas knitting without any spoilers

Hey, is anyone reading my blog anymore? Just checking. I'm feeling feedback-needy so please, give me a holler and tell me that you're out there.

I got all organized this week with the help of the mini whiteboard on our fridge (I mean if you're going to stand there so much, might as well write something down while you're at it) and made a list of all my FO's, WIP's, and NYCO's (not yet cast ons) so that I could get a good grip on where I am with all this gifting. Without naming any names (or posting any pics-- boo!), here's what I have at this minute:

K's present: finished, ends sewn in, blocking as we speak
The other K's present: about 4" in, maybe 6" left to go
Yet another K's present: still to be purchased (but will not be knit, since there are no good Beatles or Jurassic Park patterns out there... yet)
Mom's present: finished, needs ends sewn in and a good blocking
Dad's present: 4/5 done. Will not be washed or blocked, since it's never been dragged out of the house and is therefore kid-germ free.
C's present: finished, needs ends sewn in and needs to be blocked
The other C's present: in progress. Needs to be a size smaller. Will do when I have a few free hours.
J's present: not yet begun. What does he need??
The other J's present: little more than halfway done.
A's present: will be store bought, as he's had to suffer through too many handknits already.
P's present: done, blocking as we speak, freaking beautiful if not too sheep-smelling.
L's present: Done, needs ends woven in.
M&Y's presents: done, needs ends woven in.


Finished Objects:

In progress:

Not yet begun:

To be storebought:

Not bad, right? Not all these present are due by the 25th, so I have a little leeway... but I still have some seriously fast knitting to do.

**In school news:
Ohmygod, everything will be finished by Monday. Or at the very latest, Tuesday morning. Then I will be 1/3 done with grad school. Just keep writing papers, just keep writing papers...

08 December, 2007

Oh, just thoughts.

I'm reading a great book right now and like only great books can, it has transported me to a place of deeper examination of my life. I just had a nice little nap/dream/thought thinking time and one thing I thought was, I'm proud of myself for the spiritual work that I've done so far in my life. It's nothing to write up in a magazine or anything, but I've examined a lot of feelings and desires and I've given great thought to practice, attachment, rules, religion, love, Love, purpose, and consciousness. I've thought a lot about regret, and about expectation, and about presentness. And I'm really glad. The lady who my parents took me to as an infant so that she could tell them about my soul and my life said that she thought I would be some sort of healer, or guide, or something, but she said it in a way that makes me think she knew I would just like thinking about emotional and spiritual healing. In my own life and in the lives of those I know. As in, not a profession, but a deep and abiding readiness to listen to anyone who also wants to examine these things. I'd like to say that as a teacher I sort of have made it my profession, but honestly, I do a lot more disciplining than I do listening and/or guiding. Every day I come home feeling sorry about that. I am going to try harder to make time for listening to these kids and asking them good questions about their thoughts and their feelings.

Why is it that I feel guilty when I write about me? On one hand, it's indicative of a person who doesn't stop to consider others or actively search out the greater human experience. I could be writing about what other people are going through. On the other hand, what I've been given is me. What we've been given is ourselves. It is through ourselves that we learn what our place in the universe is, what we're supposed to do with all this stuff, how we relate to it all and them all. If an unexamined life isn't worth living, then we should feel more than o.k. about examining our lives. I guess I feel somewhere in between those two hands. Totally comfortable with examining my thoughts, but not exactly guilt-free about writing about them.

One thing I thought about during my dream nap was: how do we reconcile the knowledge that all things are fleeting? I look across the living room at this person that I love, knowing that the nature of loving him means I will lose him, some day, and that it's silly to worry about when or how, because attachment yada yada. Does that make love less important? Or even more important? Consequently, when I'm in the middle of a bout of unhappiness, and feeling lonely (I'm going to conjure up a certain time period here, let's say Fall of 2003, or 1995 in its entirety) it's just as important to remember that this is fleeting, too, that it's all just for now, whether it's good or bad that we're talking about. Oh, wait, I think I've blogged this before. [checking...] here it is.

07 December, 2007

Overheard from little mouths

The children at our school take turns being the teacher's assistant when it's time to pick up and drop off their lunch cart. This week it is N.'s turn, a pudgy seven year old girl, who makes her wishes very clear to anyone within earshot.

Overheard so far this week:

[teacher is fiddling with cart, N is looking at pile of books on table]
N: Um, excuse me but whose books are these?
[teacher continues to fiddle]
N: 'Cause I like this one.
[teacher pushes lunch cart towards door]
N: [follows begrudgingly] Hmph.

[teacher is pushing cart into lunch room, N spies plate of cookies left over from Parent Coffee this morning]
N: Miss M, what kind of cookies are these?
Miss M: [looks briefly, with pointed disinterest] I don't know, looks like oatmeal raisin.
N: Oh, I LOVE oatmeal raisin!
[teacher walks away]
N: Hmph.

06 December, 2007

Before I Die List

Things I'd still like to do someday:

-Speak another language fluently, or as close as possible.

-Own my own business, or co-own with other artists: "(name of city) Women's Craft Collective," big old warehouse/barn type space, different studios inside for diff. crafts, lease out studio space, have "living room" type space in the middle with couches and a woodstove for hanging out & relaxing. In front is little shop where people can buy the stuff they see being made (collective is open to school groups & other small tours). Big emphasis on education & sharing. Profitable but only just enough.

-Be in great enough shape to lead Pilates/aerobics classes. Or run 1/2 marathon, or something monumental.

-Live overseas again.

-Be a mom to a kid that genuinely likes me. (All Moms feel free to laugh at this one.)

-Design and manage a crafts program at a summer camp or boarding school.

-Work and live at a boarding school or small college.

-Get back into modern dance.

-Have amazing, homey, primarily wooden sunny plant-filled house, tall and angular (as opposed to ranch style), possibly on side of mountain. Definitely filled with homemade items.

(more later, I am due to play buddy tag with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders outside).

02 December, 2007

German Knitting Contest

Hmm. To me, this is just weird enough to be fascinating. Plus holy cow, that's some fast knitting.

01 December, 2007

Ho hum, humdrum, shake your bum, dum de dum

Tappety tappety tap. The papers are in progress. The clay class I want to take at the Rec center doesn't start until December 12th, but the paper I was going to write on it (and therefore use it as my 5th and last class for this semester's grad school work) is due on December 17th, so it looks like I'll need a new plan. Luckily, I can still take the clay class and use it for the 1st class of the Spring semester (oh yarny hands, can you still finagle clay? We will soon find out). So: I need to look at my courses that I can designed for Spring and decide which one I will suddenly be starting on ASAP (or: ASAIFTP, or As Soon As I Finish This Paper, where "this" means the one I am supposed to be writing at this very moment.)

So far I've got 6 pages out of 15. Not bad, not bad. Time for more. The kitchen is cold, but we have hot pizza. Huzzah!

I'm on Flickr a lot.

Jessica K.. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr