"I hate waiting."

As you might guess, I'm a bit impatient. I had hoped that picking up a pair of knitting needles would help me learn about the virtue of patience... but it seems I just want my projects to go along as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

with friends like these....

I'm sure all of you think you have great friends. I feel very bad having to do this, but um, you lose. I am absolutely, positively, eleventy billion percent sure that I have the BESTEST of friends.

Over the last three weeks, I've been fairly non-existent. School, sleep. Those were just about the only two domains of my life. This week, I had to prepare an hour long power point presentation on conduct disorder (otherwise known as very difficult teenager disorder), a 10 page paper on the same topic, and a two hour long power point presentation on cognitive behavioral therapy. Wheee! What fun, right? I've had quite a few sleepless nights and many long days.

On top of all that, one of my furbabies has been pretending to be anorexic lately. He's lost a lot of weight and is too skinny... so when I have a moment to breathe, we've been schlepping to the vet. Did you know they have vet specialists? It'd be kinda funny to watch me chasing after him with bowls of food (wet and dry) if I wasn't so worried about him.

I've never been so happy for a Wednesday in my life as I was this week (I'm on 'break' now... which means a week of no classes during which I can catch up with all the schoolwork and stuff I've neglected.)

What did I see when I got home from my long day? (I'm at school from 9am til 7pm Monday through Wednesdays).

Sheep mail!!
Stacey, Tiffany and Carmen, and Michelle sent me a care package!!! I love getting sheep mail, b/c Stacey always takes the time to make the box very distinctive and cute. The cute sheep (so that I know it's from sheep in the city)

Then the cute little icons of them... I especially like how she felt she needed to put their names under them... like I couldn't figure out who was who? :) -- oh! you know what I just noticed (shame shame). I just noticed that Michelle doesn't have her glasses on... b/c she got her eyes fixed!

What was inside? Two lovely skeins of some new yarn at the shop, which is very soft and in BEAUTIFUL colors. They knew I had lost my so called scarf during my last trip to NYC, and got me this yarn as replacement!!

Aren't these CUTE?? I don't use straights that often, but I do on occasion. And I don't have US10s... so, these'll work in a pinch! I'm not really sure I want my cats to love my knitting... but the needles sure are adorable.

the rest of the package included my favorite Lexie Barnes pattern (little Miss Perfect) zipper bag, another pair of needles (US11s), a couple bags of my favorite Easter candy (the Cadbury mini eggs), and a bunch of homemade M&M cookies (thanks Carmen!!!)

Umm... maybe the cookies are not pictured because there are far fewer cookies now than when I unpacked. And maybe someone didn't want photographic evidence of how quickly someone might've scarfed down some cookies. Maybe.

A second box at my door was chock full of books (I can imagine no better vacation than to snuggle in my bed for a week, with a pile of books) from another friend. I can't wait to dig into the books and knit up a new 'my so called scarf'!!

And, when it rains, it pours, b/c my friend from NYC is coming up this weekend for a visit! We're gonna shop and eat and hang out and gab and shop and gab some more.

Happiness truly is.... great friends. No one could want for better friends than the ones I've got (b/c I'm also expecting a care package from the mom of the LRHM... containing Thin Mints). The only thing I could really wish for is that they lived closer!

Ok. Will update on some KNITTING content tomorrow. Front and back of Kolsva!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Postponing the posts

I have a lot of posts composed in my head, but not the time, energy, or commitment to bring them to life right now. I do want to share a couple things with you...

A new blog that I found... and if your sense of humor tends to run towards this type, then you'll probably enjoy it. Anyone who knows me in real life (and likes me) should find it funny too...

Overheard in New York is a blog that posts some random funny stuff. I almost peed my pants when I read the "favorite quotes" section (see link/button on left side of blog).

In an awwwwwwwwwwwwww moment, my LRHM (little red headed monster) sent me a card today. (well, he sent it last week, but I got it today). Inside, he had written his name (well, half of it, and then asked his mom to finish) and drawn his first self portait. I like that he chose the color red to represent himself. I guess he independently asked to write me a card when a friend of his mom's asked to take him to OUR restaurant (sweet tomatoes). I think the LRHM felt guilty that he went and enjoyed it without me. See? Being the auntie really has many upsides, very few downsides.

Ok. I'll be back in a week or so. I have HUMONGO projects due in the next week for school, so I'm gonna go bury my head in the snow.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

House Elves...

I spent most of my weekend at a retreat... where a group of 10 of us re-drafted and re-worked the 'constitution' of a student organizational body. Sounds fun, eh? Joining the student organization has given me a good way to get to know some of the ins and outs of grad student life here at my university. The organization and school paid for us to go to this retreat center tucked away in the burbs of Boston.
It's nice to hear that most of you don't think I'm crazy. But here's another log to throw on the fire. Though this was a draining and grueling process, I kind of enjoyed a reason to NOT have to be making up excuses as to why I wasn't doing homework. I was productive, it was school related, but not for class. It was refreshing.

Anyway, I've never gone to a place like this... we arrived in time for dinner on Friday night. Where we were served duck and CRAB. CRAB! Mmmmm. And the dessert table. Let's not mention that someone had carrot cake AND raspberry choc. torte. The bunch of us settled into our cabins, then reconvened in our conference room. The conference room includes a snack room. Which was magically stocked with chips, pretzels, chocolate, sodas, juices, coffee and tea.

When we adjourned for the night, some of us spent time getting to know each other. So many of these grad students have lived such interesting lives! I was mostly talking with the 'well traveled' bunch, and listening to their favorite places they'd gone (like Rome. Beijing. Nanjing. Turkey. Budapest. countries that I didn't even know existed). While they talked, I was knitting. On Kolsva. The funniest thing? These people... all in school for a master's or PhD... gasp and say "wow! what are you making?" "are you KNITTING?" "wow!" "wow! I could never knit!"

C'mon folks. Some of them can make an atomic bomb, but they think they can't knit? I was greatly amused.

Ok. time for bed. The week starts all over again tomorrow. I hate that.

ps. no pics b/c the batteries are dead. oops.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Reasons I'm Crazy # ... crap. I lost count.

Lately, I feel as if I'm walking around with an extra large jar of butterflies in my stomach. Why? Some of it is because I still feel as if I am in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place. Nothing seems settled. I don't know for sure where I'll live next year (though I have a lead), I don't really know exactly where I'll be doing for my training next year (I take far fewer classes, and do a clinical experience next year), and the thought of having 6 final projects at the end of this semester?? All of that craziness adds up to me feeling like a nutjob. Not just peanutty nutty. A nutjob nuttiness level that can only be obtained by a large assortment of nuts.

Even the listmaking doesn't help. I love a good list. I used to take my love of lists a bit too far. I had a list of things to do for school, a list of things to do for work, and a list of things to do for life. At one point, I think I had a list of my lists (um, you are all now seeing why I am crazy). But, I stopped making lists of lists and now just have one mambo jambo list. The list doesn't ever go away. Ever. It just kind of grows and my GOAL is to limit its rate of growth. For the last few weeks, I've been avoiding my list, because it overwhelms me. Classes, class assignments, school related assignments (for which I don't get credit or grades, but is required), research assignments, .... augh.

The straw that's breaking my back is the interview process. I didn't know I had to continue interviewing AFTER I got into a doctoral program! Wasn't THAT process grueling enough? Oh no. Now, I have to find training sites that will give me clinical hours (contact hours with clients who want psychotherapy), send out applications (including transcripts, cover letters, recommendation letters, and resume), and wait for interview invitations. THEN, you have to INTERVIEW. THEN, you have to wait for an offer. But what if the first offer isn't the offer you want?

I feel like this post could qualify for the "day in the life of" contest that Elisa is having, but I can't very well whip out a camera and ask my maybe future supervisor if I can take a picture to blog about my life during an interview.

Next post: I promise, pics of Noro Kolsva. I have the front finished and am reworking the back (I ripped it out and am reknitting so that the shaping actually follows MY shaping... sort of).

Note to future Kolsva knitters: if you want to make it longer, knit plain for 6-8 inches before starting the decreases. I started after 4.5 inches, and am having to knit plain for about4 inches before I start the armhole shaping. I still think the waist shaping is too low for me, but I'm not ripping it again. I'll edit this comment after I finish and try it on.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Limited Resources: Please help.

You'd think I could figure this out by myself, but I can't. I'm stuck. I recently cast on for the Noro Kolsva (aka Cowl), and after getting a few tips from Jeni and Michelle, I knew that I wanted to make the sweater a bit longer than what the pattern suggests. I happily cast on with my Kochoron (color #10...mostly grey with bits of lime and denim color thrown in... I love it!) and knit up the back. (it's knit bottom up)

As I cast on for the front, it hits me. Snap. I didn't really consider how and where I added extra length when I knit up the back! I followed the shaping directions, then added a couple inches to the garment by knitting longer. (Basically, you decrease a bit over the first 20 rows, knit plain for a few inches, then increase again over 20 rows. Then knit plain until garment reaches armholes).

I wish I knew how to add in some graphics. As I started knitting the front of the sweater though, I thought... hmmm. Maybe I should have knit plain for longer at the bottom, THEN done the shaping. Does that make sense? What do you all think? Should I knit the front the way I THINK it should be knit and redo the back? or should I just keep going?

Please help this poor student who has no brain cells left over to rub together to figure out her knitting.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Triple X

I've got a lot to say about knitting today! I found the secret trick is to not post in forever about any knitting, then it seems like I've been productive when I finally have some stuff. I've even got the official stamp of approval

In order of finishing:

1) the wimple: I used this pattern which was the most appealing IMMEDIATELY accessible pattern I could find. I wanted to try the flared lace smoke ring that has been talked about, but the pattern can't be downloaded. Bummer. If I was interested enough, I'd shop around for a different bind off to make it stretchier, but it fits over my head, and the cast on side is VERY stretchy. I wanted to use the alpaca for the wimple b/c I wanted something warm, but not bulky surrounding my head. As some people know, I've got a big ol head. Nobody ever believes me until I put a hat on for them, but please trust. I'm Asian. I'm only 5'3. I have a BIG head.

Pattern: Wavy Feathers Wimple
Needles: US6 circs, INOX
Yarn: Lonesome Stone 100% alpaca, River Runs To It, fingering weight, about 300 yds?
Time: 1/26/07-2/2/07 (I finished in one weekend, but the weaving in of ends...)

2) The clapotis: same yarn as the wimple. I fell in love with this color at the shop. even though it's only fingering weight, it's 100% alpaca, so here's my winter weight clapotis.

Pattern: the ubiquitous clapotis by knitty.com and Kate Gilbert
Yarn: lonesome stone 100%alpaca (see above)
Needles: US3s, addi turbos
Time: forever and ever. (11/17/06-2/2/07)
Pattern changes: I added 2 increase sections and countless straight sections. Obviously, i had to do more decrease sections as well.

3)The Robin Hood Jacket!! Yay!! I'm SO excited about this one b/c it is freakin' adorable as all get out.

Pattern: Robin Hood Jacket in Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knits for Tots
Yarn: DB merino chunky (about 13-14 balls) Yarn originally for me, but chunky on chunky is not flattering. I love the color and it'll look smashing on LRHM (little red headed monster).
Size: Biggest one written... (4 yo?)
Time: Forever and ever. I have no idea when I cast on. It's a super quick knit though. I knit most of it in October and November 2006.
Needles: US10.5 and US11s, addi turbos.
(note: never ever use DB yarn again. All those freakin ends!)

It's VERY satisfying to have all of these done. I have one more NEED TO FINISH ASAP knit, but that became less urgent when the Bookish Baby decided to arrive the day before the baby shower. If you didn't already know, go welcome the Bookish Baby to the Bookish Family!!