30 March, 2009

My thesis has been written and sent!!!

Late last night I put the finishing touches on a very rough draft. That up there is sort of what it was looking like to me at 2:20am. Early this morning I was playing with sticking parts of .pdf files together to make them equal something of a manageable emailing size. And around 10am today... whoosh.

That's what you see when you scroll allllll the way down the .pdf in Preview. That's right-- 169 pages and a dang good looking picture section.

Now to get the Talent Show up and running (today is our full run-through, tomorrow is the show!) and three classes prepped for their Grandparents' Day performance this Friday (which is also Ken's and my 5 year anniversary!). Gotta plan something there, too...

And then Spring Break!

29 March, 2009

The best laid plans


1. Make a quilt out of all the old show shirts and camp shirts that I've been saving for over a decade.
2. Buy a sewing machine and a serger.
3. Start a project that involves using up all my sock yarn leftovers.
4. Knit a stranded sweater that involves a steek.
5. Go through my inherited tin of buttons and make magnets out of the singles.
6. Get my esthetician's license (this one's a maybe).
7. Get a small house with a dog and a porch and a sunroom and trails in the woods out back. (This one's far, far off in the future).
**8. Strip, sand, and refinish my dresser that my grandpa made
**9. take pictures of old pictures and post them on Facebook
**10. finally post my glass beads on Etsy

Enough of this dreaming.

22 March, 2009

It's a Gwynn Valley sort of evening

sunset at the gatehouse
Evening is finally coming later these days and for the first time since fall, the smell of mown grass is in the air. Tonight as I was walking out of the grocery store with a simple, light, springtime dinner in my canvas bag, I got a strong sensation, a very familiar one: iit's time to be back at camp.

Because I started living at Gwynn Valley every summer since the summer after my 19th year, it's no wonder that warm evenings take me instantly back there in my mind. I automatically inhale deeply every time I get even the slightest whiff of milkweed, and come twilight there's absolutely no place I'd rather be.

So now I'm back in my apartment, listening to SDT's recording of Debbie playing "Sheep May Safely Graze" (the ultimate wander-back-to-your-cabins-in-the-gathering-dusk song) and wishing I were there.

I wish you were there, too! Yes, you!

Photo by NatShots Photography, all rights reserved. Thanks, Nat!

21 March, 2009


My new favorite knitted music video: Walkie Talkie Man by Steriogram

Knitted cities! Knitted gigantic body parts! Death by unravelling!

18 March, 2009

"Short fat seedlings are healthy seedlings"

Just something I read on someone else's blog today. Um, it's way too late for me to still be up and in front of the laptop. But chapters must be written. I just finished up my chapter on clay and the ways I reckon it might be taught, and the whys and hows of all that. It's like 75% earthen clay stuff, 20% polymer clay stuff, and 5% stuff about using homemade clays. My thesis is a project, really, and has to include the standard thesis-type chapters (introduction, research methods, results of said research, literature review, and conclusion). In addition to those 5 bad boys, I am including the project part (it's a book, I want to publish it after graduating) which means more chapters; essentially, one on each craft I've had experience teaching. I gots a clay chapter, a weaving & basketry chapter (so grouped because of their similar emphasis on the "under-over" principle), a wax & dye chapter, a needle arts chapter, an, um... oh no, I'm forgetting.

A glossary, kid-friendly. A bibliography (that comes on all standard model theses). A little pre-page that has notes on the manuscript (why I say crafts, craft, handwork, practical arts, and manual arts all interchangeably). And an "other crafts" chapter which, honestly, I'll probably scrap since time is ticking by.

Just wanted to check in... see you all blearily sometime after March 30th.

Oh yeah! I made this:
It didn't take long, I swear. Anything to appease the Silky Wool gods (god, I love that yarn). This was woven (of course) on my new Rigid Heddle loom (yayyyy) over the course of 3 evenings. Piece o'cake. Warm & squishy. Comfort in the dark. Raveled here.

12 March, 2009

A little secret

This is for the recent offspring of a friend... but I want it to be a surprise. So here's a closeup.

I'll just say that I've been meaning to try this pattern for a long time now, and it's proven to be worth the wait. Fast, easy, absolutely adorable... and sort of a great use for leftover sock yarn (see previous post). Details soon!

08 March, 2009

Oh yes, and I knit a small scarf

Almost on accident. I just picked up two spare balls that had been hanging around for some time (one each of Noro Cash Iroha and Silk Garden) and cast on, oh, who knows, fifty-something stitches. I put it next to the bed and every once in awhile I knit a few rows, striping every two of course, and slipping the first stitches knitwise of course, and then when I was almost out of yarn I realized, "hey, this thing is going to be really short" so I put in my 1st ever keyhole.

mini noro scarf, FO

It works! This ball of Silk Garden was seriously wacky. Someone at the Noro factory decided to tie on a completely new color at the end, so I had this deep blue fading nicely (as it does) into purple and all of a sudden, there's a knot, and then TEAL! So I stopped at the knot, cast off, and used the teal for a loopy i-cord border, a la the Pinwheel Jacket (I told you I'd do it, Holly).

Quick and easy and hopefully useful. Just (k1, p1) til you run out of yarn. I could see another one of these in my future...


I'm making another Phiaro scarf, this time for keeps. When I made Keto's version (pictured above), I followed the pattern exactly, and it wasn't until I dropped all those stitches down that I realized I should have employed the same tricks that are out there for Clapotis.

So this time, I'm purling what will be the dropped panels of stitches, and twisting (knitting through the back loop) the stitches that border each of the dropped panels. Word on the street is that a twisted stitch next to a dropped-on-purpose stitch makes for a much stronger, tidier border. I'm sure that techknitting has explained this much better than I can, and with pretty images, too.

Also, I'm not going to drop all those stitches down until after I've dyed the whole thing. I think I've become someone who doesn't like off-white because it just looks like dirty, yellowing white. So this creamy colored blob I'm working on here will be garment-dyed this summer at camp, probably a vermillion, because I don't trust the reds not to wash out and turn pink on the silk. And pink would be a horrible disappointment. But lemon... that's just fine.

02 March, 2009

These carefree days are over

Last night I promised, out loud and in front of witnesses, that if the Universe saw fit to bestow on us a snow day, then I would spend said day writing my thesis. Sure enough, the big U came through with not only no work, but no gym, and no fiance (he walked to school in this, can you believe it?).

So I'm off, as in offline, as soon as I post this. Turning off the wireless, settling down with some diet brand name cola and a pad of paper and lots of miscellaneous Word documents, just waiting for their turns to be picked over, scrubbed up, and turned into Chapters (of which there will be 8, not including extras like the introduction, conclusion, bibliography, glossary, and so on). Fun times lie ahead!

Way back in the day when I was a Pro crastinator (that would be yesterday, yes), I was knitting on these socks for the February installment of the Sock Down Challenge of 2009:

Toe-up Feather & Fan Rainbow socks
(click to see 'em on Flickr)

But now I have cast them aside, not even to be glanced at. At least not until tonight when I'll certainly be dizzy from all the screen time and in need of some restorative fibers. They're so almost done, but not quite, so this is not an FO post. I will just say that with these socks I tried out a mysterious new way of making a heel flap, plus got to use up some wee little Noro bits left over from 2007. Rock.

Here I go...

I'm on Flickr a lot.

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