Thursday, January 25, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

This morning I woke up and there was snow everywhere. Just a light dusting, not enough to have a snow day, nor enough to play in but just enough to make it awfully pretty outside. When I got off the bus with Avery this morning I couldn't resist taking a few shots.

This is the Valentine-Valerian House:
It sits right up the block from our old apartment, right outside of Williamsbridge Oval Park, which used to be a reservoir. It's also the home of the Bronx County Museum:

Don't you just love the way trees look covered in snow?

There's knitting too. Here is clapotis so far:

Of course the only reason to do clapotis is for the fun of dropping the stitches, here is a close up of the two I've done so far:

This is a fairly sticky yarn so I have to pull the stitches down myself but that's fine with me. I'm really loving this color. I took it to knitting group on Tuesday and there was much fawning over it. I remarked to Maribel that it's a shame I have it planned for someone else since it's really a fantastic color for her. She pouted the rest of the evening;)

Yes, Thursday! One more day until an actual weekend off, whoo hoo...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Well last week was a little bit of hell, there was an incident at Ian's school that I won't go into but it made the teachers want to act on getting his case re-opened for Special Ed. We have all agreed that he should repeat kindergarten and that he should do so in a Special Ed setting. For whatever reason the class he is in is doing nothing for him and in fact he is regressing quite a bit within the classroom. Thankfully there is no evidence of it outside of school. In the meantime we're trying to get the school to agree to letting him only attend for a half day. His problems seem to be mostly severe anxiety but couple that with his speech issues and it's a recipe for disaster. I just don't want this year to leave any scars on him so I'm hoping half days will make it easier for him to get through. Once the assessments are all done and CSE agrees to the teacher's recommendations we will have to decide if we should put him in an entirely new school. Thankfully the special ed teacher will be cycling back to kindergarten in September so he can stay if want him to but right now I'm feeling a bit betrayed by the school so I'm not sure staying is the best thing. We'll see.

This whole thing made me such a freakin' ball of anxiety. I was seriously contemplating going to see my dr. for some kind of medication. I was up at 3AM every night and I couldn't stop ruminating on the whole thing. It did ease up over the weekend although this is Ian's first day back at school (the incident stemmed from him becoming ill at school) so the pit in my stomach has made a return. It is the most difficult thing being responsible for someone else's life and what will become of it. The husband brought up some interesting things about why I handle this kind of thing so badly or I guess cope with it so badly. My life as a child was filled with chaos. There was no order to it and so as an adult I crave order above all else. When you have kids that is not to be especially one with special needs. So when crises arrive I kind of flip out internally. Thankfully I can navigate them fairly well so others don't notice much but inside I'm torn to shreds. I'm not sure that there's anything to be done about it, it's just the way it is.

In the meantime I knit...

...Ian loves his hat:
...although you can see by his eyes he's had quite a rough week too...

Here it is from the side:
I'm pleased with it overall but I really need to figure out a better way to do ear flaps,I'm not crazy about the way they came out. If I had my way I would take them off and make the brim longer instead. The hat is not mine however and it's recipient loves the earflaps just the way they are:D

In the midst of drama I crave comfort knitting so I went stash diving and came up with some Morehouse Merino I had bought for a Clapotis 2 years ago. I cast on yesterday and here's where I am this morning:

This was supposed to be a Christmas present for Rinaldo's boss the year I bought it, but that was the winter my mother died so I swore off all holiday knitting that year. Now it will be a "just because" present.

I also decided it was time for a change of hair:

The picture sucks, since the 3-5 lbs I put back on seem to all be in my face and I am paler than I could ever get when I used to use make-up for just that purpose, but I'm liking the hair.

Here's to wishing for a better week...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

One crazy weekend...

I feel like I was on the run most of the weekend. Saturday was spent shuttling the boys to their classes. It's just a tad more difficult when your driver/husband is at work. It's not so much that I have a problem with public transportation, I don't, it's just that the boys' classes are in the same place 4 hours apart. Which means that with travel time you barely have any time in one place. At 8:30 we were off to gymnastics for Ian until 10, them back home until 12:30 when we went to lunch before Avery's dance class at 2. Back home by 4 and nearly collapsed. Did I mention we missed the bus in the morning? The bus near my house runs very infrequently on weekends and it's the best bus to take to get to the community center where the classes are held. So instead of standing in the drizzle we decided (Ian really) that we should walk, I haven't played with google pedometer yet but I'm pretty sure it was a mile so I can count that as my workout for Saturday.

I also managed to finish the Red Scarf Project scarf:

I'm very pleased with the way it came out. Now I just need to make sure I get it shipped out in time.

While watching me work on the scarf Ian asked who is was for. It told him it was a present for someone. He then asked me about the red hat I've been promising him, to match his mittens. Guess what I'm working on now:

I'm sort of using an amalgam of different patterns to make this. I think it may be a bit big but I'm not sure. Certainly when I put it on him it seems fine. I want to put earflaps on it as well. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday involved working, working, working. We had to stay past closing to get everything onto the shelved in time for this morning's onslaught. At least I mostly got to veg out yesterday.

I wanted to let you know that I've started a new blog. Two really but only one is ready for public viewing. I decided since I am trying to get through my book collection I should keep track of my progress. This lead to Bronx Girl's Book Shelf. I am posting a personal review for each book I finish. We'll see how long I can keep that up;)

Happy Tuesday all...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday - 'nuff said

The endless week is over. It seemed like it went on forever to me but I think that's because I only had Sunday off. I feel like it was one long week with just a day off in the middle of it. I have tomorrow off but I have to come in Sunday. Thankfully the university is shut down on Monday so that should allow me to be well rested when classes begin on Tuesday.

I did manage to finish Ian's socks by Wednesday night:

I made them a half an inch longer than I measured his foot to be, oddly enough they fit exactly. In case you wonder if I exaggerate when I say Ian really loves handknit socks allow me to show you my child asleep in his bed last night:

Yup, he wore them all day, showed them off to all his teachers, friends and his grandmother and then wore them to bed and don't for a second think that I was able to get them off his feet for school today. I'll wash his red ones tonight. I suspect they will be the only worthy replacement. Rinaldo and my mother in law keep telling me that I am going to have to keep making him socks so he'll have a pair for everyday!

Certain bloggers
made me feel guilty about all the charity knitting I had planned to do but haven't done so I cast on a scarf for the Red Scarf project. Just a quicky with LB Chenille Thick and Quick that Maribel had given me for last year's Red Scarf donation (I used a different yarn last year).

Enjoy the long weekend...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A little belated Christmas sharing

I didn't have much to talk about today. Ian's second sock is nearly done. Work is still crazy but Tisha's back so it suddenly seems much easier, but I realized that I never bragged shared what I got for Christmas. I mean obviously the wheel was the chart topper for the holiday but there were other goodies that I was thrilled to receive as well so now you have to hear about them.

It was a very musically inclined year, nearly everyone here at work got me CDs, with the House Season One DVD set and the originally Buffy movie tossed in for variety:

It's great to have friends and family who understand my eclectic tastes!

Of course on closer inspection one of these things is not like the others. When I was watching Magni on Rock Star : Supernova I got a very bad case of the hots for him. Luckily I know people who know people. My cousin not only got me his band A Moti Sol's album but look at it very closely:

...dude it's signed!!! By the whole freakin' band!!! It's a really good album too. I really have to learn Icelandic since my cousin and her wife are totally brainwashing me into loving so much of their music (you should all check out Emiliana Torrini by the way and a lot of her stuff is in English). By the way, there is a certain blogger who shall remain nameless who is extremely jealous over this, heh heh.

The husband decided to feed the blog as much as he was feeding my fiber addiction with my wheel:

All the pictures since Christmas have been taken on this little beauty (barring phone shots of course).

The one thing I asked for I didn't get although I wasn't exactly missing it;) So I decided to buy it for myself and it finally arrived yesterday:

Yup, I got my Knit Picks needles set.

This amazingly isn't even everything, it's just the stuff that was easily accessible for pictures last night!

Looks like it's going to be a great year...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Crappy Photo Monday

Well poor Ian didn't have a pair of new socks this morning but I did manage to finish one:

I love this colorway, it's really cute and very Ian. I lost valuable knitting time between Saturday and Sunday as I fell asleep on the couch Saturday night a little after 8 then dragged myself upstairs and slept until a little after 9 the next day. Tired much? Work lasted longer on Satuday than I expected it to but we got a lot done and it looks like Tisha's son is doing much better so she should be back in a day or so. I can survive until then.

The boys started new classes on Saturday. Ian is taking gymnastics, which he thinks is a blast and Avery, at his request, is taking Ballroom Dancing. Avery thinks that knowing how to dance Ballroom is a great way to get girls. From what I hear about the class on Saturday he's probably right as there were something like 8 girls and 2 boys. I'd rather not dwell too much on the fact that my 11 year old is already thinking about how to attract the opposite sex. His godmother will be thrilled to know that the first few classes are focusing on Salsa, so he can tap into his heritage for that. There are certainly plenty of women in the family who would love to practice with him;)

I've decided to take part in Runagogo!

I can't start for a couple more weeks, since I don't take lunch during rush, this means no gym but as I usually do 4-5 miles on the bike or ellyptical I think I can make it by April 1st anyway. Weight Watchers @ Work starts again this week so I need to get my head in the game anyway. I've put on about 5 pounds since October but I haven't been good about dirinking my water nor have I been good about avoiding soda so I'm pretty sure those pounds will drop off fairly easily.

Back to work...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Work is Hell

Every rush is hard although quite honestly they get easier in many ways each year since we all get better at what we do. Spring is in some ways more difficult than Fall since we basically have 6 weeks to prepare for it. I manage the text department and do all the textbook buying, I have a floor manager and an office manager who work for me. We lost our floor manager last Fall to better job and I have yet to find his replacement.

Tisha who I have mentioned numerous times on the blog, is my office manager, as well as friend. Her son is suffering from a very severe eye infection. Severe to the point that he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance yesterday and will probably be there all weekend. Naturally I told her not to come back to work until he is healthy.

This means Nancy is massively overwhelmed! It's actually not as bad as it could be but man I am beat down when I get home at night. The other night I actually took work home and spent two hours at the laptop entering faculty requests while watching Crossing Jordan reruns. By 4:30 yesterday I looked at the requests on my desk and hit a wall. I simply could not enter another one. Today I ran the report I need to process in order to get the books ordered from the publishers. It is 700 pages. I have hit another wall. Oh well I'll be here tomorrow, it will all get done one way or another.

I have been knitting. Rinaldo asked that my first project of the year be new socks for Ian, as he wears the red ones as much as we will let him. So that's what I'm working on:

I showed Ian last night and he asked me if he could wear them today! I told him I wasn't quite that fast but maybe on Monday...

...oh damn another deadline...

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What I did on my Christmas Vacation

I wish I could say I did a lot of spinning but I didn't. For the first few days after Christmas I spent at least an hour or two on the wheel but then I realized I was once again running out of time on the teacher's gifts so all my spare time went to them.

Well not all my spare time;)

On Wednesday I made the trek up to Katonah to hang out with Gina. We spent almost the entire visit talking. So much so that in fact that I missed my 4:26 train by a good half hour! Hell we barely even touched on knitting. I had a fantastic time. She did however take me to a yarn store, Katonah Yarn. I was a good girl, although I did buy yarn I looked at some books that I had at home and looked for projects that I had wanted to make then I bought yarn for them specifically.

For the placket sweater in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, that I've been wanting to make Ian:

This yarn is so soft I am absolutely dying to cast on to start the sweater. It's just heavenly.

For Avery I've always wanted to try the brioche scarf in Weekend Knitting:

Avery loves orange and it looks great on him, I think the brown will offset it nicely.

Gina was a doll and gave me some roving she got when she attempted to learn to spin. She had about the same success with the drop spindle that I did;)

As this is already a Gina-centric post I will let you know that I am doing another kind of stash project. My book stash. I have tons of books. Books I've bought, books I've been given and books that I get as freebies here at work, yet I seem to always buy one when I am looking for something to read. So in the spirit of Knit Your Stash and in solidarity with Gina, may I present:

OFF THE SHELF (January 1, 2007-June 27, 2007)

1. All books must be from my personal stash.
2. I may not borrow fiction from the public library. Health reference books are permitted.
3. I may use a store credit or gift cards to purchase books only if the card is due to expire.
4. I may not purchase new knitting books (pattern books are exempt) until April 1, 2007. At that time, I may only use credits or gift cards for the purchase.
5. I may break these rules only if I encounter (not actively seek out) hardbound copies of favorite paperbacks, rare books or first edition books.
6. I may purchase books as a gift for others.

I changed a few things, such as the audio books , since I don't have an audible account. I also changed the ending date to my birthday just like I did for Knit Your Stash. What kind of birthday would it be if I couldn't buy myself some books and some yarn;)

2007 looks to be a de-stashing kind of year.

I also wanted to mention that I have the comments on moderated mode for the moment. I've been getting hit with a lot of spam and Haloscan doesn't have any kind of verification program. As soon as it dies off again I'll take off the moderation. The point is if you don't see your comment appear immediately don't worry, it will show up as soon as I approve it.

Happy Wednesday...

Monday, January 01, 2007

2006 - Year End Wrap Up

I managed to complete 30 projects this year which is an improvement over last year's 25. Last year did include two baby blankets though and this year was far more smaller projects overall but still it's a nice little bump. I looked at last year's knitting resolutions and I did actually manage them both. I did knit some lace and I am slightly less chart-phobic. As for knitting resolutions for this year I can't say that I have any that I can think of. I guess knitting from stash alone would be the only one.

Here is my completed list for 2006:

Lady Hat
Fingerless Gloves [3 pairs]
Jaywalker Socks
Chunky Cabled Bag
Branching Out
Girl Rag Doll
Red Socks for Ian
Felted Lopi Bag
Baby Bolero
Cowl Neck Sweater for Dulaan
Red Hot Socks that Rock
Target Wave Mittens
Magic Stripes Socks [2 pair]
Odessas w/o Beads [4]
Christmas Stockings [3]
Lady Hat [3]
Moebius Scarf

If When I finish the last teacher's odessa today I will be adding it to the 2006 list, also Gyrid is blocking so if I should get it seamed today (STOP LAUGHING!) and finished by tonight I will also count it toward 2006. I decided that January 1st could be a neutral day to do some 2006 finishing. I ripped out Charlotte (sorry Katy) not because I've given up but because I'd like to start the year with a clean slate. I ordered the Knit Picks options set for myself and I'd like to use that for Charlotte. So I will begin yet again.

Since I'm doing the Knit From Stash knit along I decided to reorganize my knitting basket to only contain actual projects that I will be working on in the next few months:

I've decided my goal is to knit from stash for the next six months, until my birthday in June. I've got plenty of cool projects to work on, including plenty of socks, so I should be fine. I've updated my Waiting in the Wings list to reflect what's currently in my basket.

As for those last teacher gifts, the moebius came out beautifully:

I'd almost like to keep it for myself. After soaking and blocking it's nice and soft.

I also completed the third lady hat:

I decided against a fourth one since I can do Odessa in less than a day.

I may do teacher gifts for the end of the year but that's it for the holiday knitting, I swear, I am done, never again. I guess that's another resolution. I'll continue to make gifts because mostly my recipients are extremely appreciative but I'll just give them as I go along for no special reason whatsoever, or maybe birthdays.

I have much to tell about Christmas vacation but I'll save that for the next post.

I should also mentioned that I've signed on as co-list mom with Risa of the Knitting Blogs webring. So if any of you are interested in being ring checkers please let me know. You would get a certain range of blogs to page through on a regular basis to make sure their ringcode is still working. Leave a comment if you're interested and I will explain in more detail.

Happy New Year!!!