Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quick Report

Just wanted to report on the bag's first few days in use. It holds an amazing amount of stuff for it's outward size appearance. It hasn't fallen apart (which is always a plus!), and more people (me included) like the lining more than the exterior fabric. Hurray for stripey goodness.

If I don't plan on walking to campus, this is a great bag for carrying my mini-laptop. The straps are wide enough so that they don't dig into my shoulder, and short enough that the bag easily stays on my shoulder.

I'm already excited to make another one in a more "me" fabric. And I'll have show and tell at my next sewing meeting, which is really exciting.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oh Geeze

I didn't quite realize how long it'd really been since I last posted.

On the knitting front, I don't have a lot that I can really report right now. My super top secret project is going along nicely, though I have gotten tired of knitting on just it. But, it will be done by the end of the month, and then I can get back to working on my Hot Pink and Vintage, at least until the Ravelympics start up.

I do have something to share, don't despair. This weekend I dusted off (literally) my sewing machine and supplies and made a wonderful new bag.

It's not flat, like it's picture, it has a nice wide bottom so that it is nice and roomy. It will make an excellent mid-size project bag. It's also fully lined (which is a nice feature, and gives the bag more body). I used a cute striped fabric so that the inside is as cheery as the outside.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and the excellent job I did making it. I was so pleased, in fact, that after I got everything put away and the bits of thread and fabric vacuumed off the floor, I had a piece of pie to celebrate.

Lemon Meringue, my favorite. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Ok, time now for getting ready for bed and then watching Emma on PBS Masterpiece Classic.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Through some feat of scheduling magic, I managed to land a whopping 8 hours at work this week. That's about 2 weeks worth of grocery money if I'm frugal (which I've learned to be). Woo-hoo!!

In other news, I've been knitting and organizing. The first week of term has been slow, which is good because it turns out there was a million and a half little things I needed to get done. One of those things was organizing my articles for my thesis research. I've now got 3 binders housing articles, two 2 inch binders and one 1 inch. One of the two inch binders (containing most of my research and sources on Free Choice Learning) is full. The one inch binder holds the various chapters of just one book that I've had for various classes (I have almost the entire book at this point. This year's new cohort has to buy the whole book). The third binder has all of my gender related articles. All are arranged first by topic, and then alphabetically. Right now these binders are being moved from ottoman to chair to bed to floor as my needs change for space. I have a feeling that some desk reorganization is in order.

On the knitting front, I've finally got back to knitting on Hot Pink and Vintage. I've worked the first set of armhole decreases on the right side, and am now continuing up the armhole. Turns out I don't have to shorten the sweater by taking a pattern repeat (or at least half of one) out because my row gauge is significantly shorter than what is called for in the pattern. I've done the math to figure out how many inches I needed to knit to when the pattern said "knit until piece measures 12 inches." I still will need to do more math to resize the sleeve caps, but that's a ways off.

I finished my Prairie Boots on Tuesday. They have completely redefined how I think of warm feet. I leave them on the bed at night so I can put them on first thing in the morning, and I've seriously started questioning my need to go outside so much, as this requires the removal the boots.

I used remnant yarn for these boots, donated by Lydia and Amy. I also knit a second set of the soles and stitched them on to the boots after they were completed in order to make them extra warm and squishy. The cold of my laminate covered concrete floors hasn't yet managed to penetrate the double wooly soles. To top them off, I used bright buttons that claim to be made of 80% recycled cotton.

And now, without any further ado, I give you Prairie Boots!!

Turns out, it can be difficult to photograph ones own feet. I ended up using the timer and positioning my feet while looking at the tiny view screen (mine swivels and flips, which does make it easier). Not the greatest, but shows off the boots. And my socks, which are not part of the boots. When I come home I take off my shoes but leave on my socks and just shove my slippers on over them. It's a bonus wool layer.

I have another project on my needles right now, but it's super top secret so I can't say anything more about it until February.

In knitting related news, I've been watching the Knitting Gems DVD series by Lucy Neatby (I've got them from the library). I LOVE THEM. Last night while watching volume 1 I learned how to knit from the left needle to the right needle so that I can do garter stitch WITHOUT TURNING MY WORK. It's brilliant!! I've been practicing, and it's really easy. I can't do it without looking yet like I can tradition left to right knitting, but I've only been doing it for under 24 hours.

And last, I've managed to completely misplace my ball winder. I have a vague recollection of lending it to someone, or at least of someone asking to borrow it, but I can't remember who or if I actually gave it to them. All I know is it isn't when I keep it, and I don't really have a lot of space to lose things. I ended up winding 437 yards of fingering weight by hand, and then another 220 for the Super Top Secret Project that I can't tell you anything about until February. I will leave you with a picture of the wound fingering weight so you don't feel too neglected. It's Cascade Heritage Painted Sock in Wild Roses, and it was part of my Christmas present from my bestest best friend in the whole wide world.

That's all for now. Talk to you all later on another Day in the Life.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Start of Something New

It's January 4th (as most of you are probably aware) and the first day of winter term (which some of you might not be aware of). I've been at work for nearly an hour now, and have an hour of work left to go. I go lucky when I logged on to check for hours up for grabs this morning, and despite the fact that I got out of bed at 9:50, I took the 10:30 shift. That meant no shower, and not much in the way of breakfast. A glass of orange juice, a couple handfuls of saltine crackers, and 1/3 of a 100 calorie pack of sweetened dried cranberries. However, I do need to cram as many hours in as I can before the 15th so that February won't be so financially...creative.

I have spent a good part of this morning at work reading Gender Identity in Consumer Research and doing more research as something in the article tickled a neuron or two. This article, and the new ones I've procured, are pertinent to my thesis, in specific to the thesis proposal that I need to get whacked out and approved hopefully by the end of February (at the very, very latest). I need to email my advisor for a meeting to discuss my partial proposal that was a paper for a different class (funny how these things can work), contact the graduate school office for a list of graduate student advocates so I can start the arduous process of securing one for my committee, find the final member of my academic committee, figure out why the class I'm registered for isn't available to me through the online network, and set up a workable excessive schedule so that my muscles don't completely deteriorate from all the reading and writing while sitting.

Finding balance in my life as always been tricky for me, yet it is unavoidably necessary for my mental and physical well being. I know that my knitting time took a hit when I got out of bed this morning. In fact, I knew it last night as I raced to finish my Prairie Boots. The knitting is done, and I have all the buttons and the extra soles all ready to be sewn on so they are actually finished. They are quite lovely, if I do say so, and I do plan on getting pictures up just as soon as I can. At some point I plan on getting back to my Hot Pink and Vintage cardigan. The post-it note I had marking my place on the chart has vanished, so it will involve some close inspection to figure out where exactly I am (though I do have a vague idea). My knitting will slow down again, and I'll have to figure out a good, small traveling project for bus rides. Maybe I'll give sock knitting another go...

Some of the shiny has worn off of the start of term, as the years progress. Maybe it's the knowledge of what's to come, or maybe I just needed a better breakfast than saltines and cranberries. What I do know is that Gender Identity in Consumer Behavior Research is waiting, and it's just the tip of the iceburg.

Oh hey, my online class just showed up, too. That's one thing off the list.