Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What a great weekend

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend. We had a busy time filled with family and FOOD! I'm ready not to eat again. We did Thanksgiving at a cousin's house, and then our "Christmas" on Saturday with my family. We had our exchange and dinner at my sister's which was really nice. She and her family moved at the end of August, and really have a lovely spacious home.
I gave my homemade gifts. The beaded scarf went to my mom. She loved it! I highly recommend this scarf for the "WOW" factor. It is easy to make, and it really looks very impressive. (Of the 3 things, it really was the easiest project.)
My oldest sister (who is younger than me by 3 and a half years) got this scarf. It is a combination of silk (the pink) and merino, and I think she really liked it. I loved the way this felt when I put it on. The silk is really warm and really soft. Both yarns are from artyarns.Finally I gave my little sister her own pair of Fetching. When I made them this time, I added rows before and after the final cable. I think they came out nicely, and I hope that she likes them. I think she was confused by them because she wasn't familiar, but I bet she will enjoy them once she uses them. I would recommend never using black for cable work. You really can't appreciate the cables. I actually think little sis was a little disappointed, and I probably would have done better with a scarf. My husband pointed out that knitters really appreciate these because they are different, but non-knitters aren't looking for different. I will keep that in mind. Luckily I can redeem myself soon because her birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks.

Hope all is well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Modified drop shoulder

This was the first (and only) sweater that I made for my husband. I made it in 2006. After being married for 8 and a 1/2 years, I figured it was safe to make him something. It is made out of Noro silk garden and it is from Ann Budd's Handy Sweater Patterns for Knitters. It may seem superstitious to some that it took me so long to make something for my DH, but I had been burned by the "Boyfriend Sweater" before.
In early '92 I made this sweater for my boyfriend at the time.

I made the sweater in about 6 weeks. I was unemployed at the time, and spent 4-5 hours a day knitting this sweater. I liked it because the pattern changed often enough to keep me engaged, but not so much that it was impossible. (Actually it is all knit and purls.) I think, however, this is the danger of making a sweater for your lover - they never seem to appreciate it as much as you need them to appreciate it. I had spent over 100 hours on the sweater, and I needed to be thanked or perhaps loved that much. The boyfriend could never live up to what I needed, so I broke up with him soon after I gave it to him. I am actually glad that I made the sweater for the boyfriend, because other wise I might have married him - and that would not have been good! Trust me, life always works out for the best.
The sweater for my husband was different. First of all, I made the sweater because I wanted to. Not that I didn't want to make a sweater for my husband, but I really was more interested in trying out a pattern from Ann Budd's book. I also hadn't made anything with Noro Silk Garden, and I thought the color way was very cool. I also was in my last trimester of pregnancy, and needed a sweater to give me a purpose. I did not, however, make the sweater for my husband so that he would love me more. I actually think this is the biggest difference. I was very happy to give it to DH, and he has only worn it occasionally. In fact, it is really too warm for him to wear often, and this is o.k. with me. This sweater has had no effect on our marriage. I enjoy seeing DH wear the sweater, but only because I like the way that it turned out, and it is nice to sit across from him and admire my handiwork.
So I leave you with these words of wisdom from a woman 3 months shy of 40........When making a gift for someone else, make it selfishly. Meaning, you should want to have the experience of crafting, more than you want to see their reaction.

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has lots to be thankful for. I know that I do.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grading, Grading, Grading!!!

It's been a while, and I apologize. I've been under a pile of papers. Grades are due tomorrow, and every year I vow to keep up with the enormous amount of paperwork that I amass, and every year I am racing to the finish line. No one goes into teaching because they love grading, but some have a really good system of keeping up with it. I am not one of those people. (If you are, and have any helpful time management tricks for me, please let me know. I really could use all the help I could get.) So I finally finished most everything that I needed to do this afternoon. I still need to put comments on the report cards. My students seem to fall into 3 categories. The first is the brilliant ones. They probably could do everything with just the book. I am there for entertainment purposes. Every year I have about 10 - 15 of these. These are the kids who challenge my mind. Then I have the majority, who are doing fine. If they study they get A's, if they don't they get B's and C's. I was one of these kids - and finally is the bottom of the barrel group. They either don't get it, or don't care. They keep me challenged as a teacher and I enjoy these kids a lot. I love helping them, and seeing their grades rise. Over the years I have realized that there are some who I'm not going to reach, and though that is tough, I don't take it personally any more.
Needless to say there isn't much to report on the knitting front. I have decided to buy many more Christmas gifts then I originally thought. I was getting frustrated not having the time to knit for myself. So I finished a few gifts, and all of the rest of my family will get lovely things from the store. I think all will be happy. (This whole statement is purposely vague, because I believe I have a friendly lurker who should not have any information!)
If any one knows Mike Lowell, tell him he should come back to Boston!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Halloween is an EVIL holiday!

Remember this?

Well I turned it into this:

Yep, it is the ultra soft, cashmere/silk blend and I love it. I still have about a half a ball left and I want to make it into a headband, I think.
So, yes, I do believe that Halloween is EVIL. Not because of all of the ghosts and goblins, but because of all of the candy that is hanging around. For some reason we had very few trick or treaters this year (last year 4 bags wasn't enough - this year, we didn't finish the first bag!!) So needless to say we have an absolute ton of candy hanging around here, and people at work have felt the same way, and brought their candy into work. It is pure EVIL. I have been riding a sugar roller coaster for about a week now, and I should know better because of my risk for diabetes. Oh well, I'll be better tomorrow. Right?


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Christmas Gift #2

I finished the scarf for my mother. I'm very excited about it. The beads make it look very complicated and fancy, and really it was very easy to do. I also used 2 different yarns together - a metalic and a mohair. I am pleased with the way that it turned out, and I think that my mother will like it too. It is different, and a little funky, and Mom is into that. I deserve no praise for completing a Christmas gift this early. My family does our Christmas exchange at Thanksgiving (When you are Jewish, Santa can come at any time) so I'm right on time. I'm hoping to complete a few more hats and scarves for Christmas. I've never made gifts for people, but I'm thinking that it is a good idea. In my family it is overwhelming how much we all get, and this way my presents will be meaningful, and I think people will appreciate them. In a way I feel like I'm saving money, because I already had the yarn - but I'm not! I am having a nice time doing small achievable projects, too!
Life around here is getting back to normal after winning the World Series. I am excited for that (I had to go to a therapist after the last World Series win so that I could learn how to go to bed at a decent hour - I had totally lost that skill!!) I have been very busy with school. I can't believe that the first term is almost over - the year is FLYING by. I am sure I will get into the swing of things in April, when they are almost finished. Isn't that always the way!