Learn all the things

Image

 

I’m finally getting settled into the rhythm of the semester. It’s a lot of work, but I kind of like it. I do well with a little extra bit of stimulus and while I wish it were a class or two less, I still get a bit of a thrill from doing well in my classes. (Not that I’d know. Darn you, college and your small number of tests!) There’s just that bit of Hermione in me that gets way too excited about reading all the books and learning all the things.

Image

 

While there isn’t a problem with a passion for learning, sometimes I worry that I get a little too Hermione-ish and become that one student. You know the one. The one where everyone rolls their eye because they’ve got their hand up again. There’s a large possibility that I am actually that student. I can’t help it. It’s the Hermione in me.

Theses are also the times that I wonder why Hermione didn’t use the time turner for sleep. Because that’s totally what I would be doing with it.

Image

I also worry that sometimes I push too hard. I have a bad habit of putting too much pressure on myself. It can be good in a minor sense because it motivates me, but it can also become an issue. Sometimes there are days when my body goes, “you know your limit? It was back there.” and I feel all of that pressure at once. Like this morning. You know it’s gonna be a good day when the barf bucket gets to ride in the car with you.  (8:00 am classes at a school an hour away can sometimes disagree with me.) 

Image

 

I think that for me, one of the biggest things I am learning this semester(year) is how to gauge my abilities. While everything feels so immediate right now, sometimes I have to take a step back and remember that finishing that book or giving that presentation is not worth a full blown anxiety attack. (Don’t get me wrong, all of my work gets done. Sometimes I just have to walk away from trying to perfect an assignment too much.) I’ve been really trying this semester to maintain a sense of peace during the semester and trust that I am in the right place and therefore won’t be able to screw things up that easily.

Image

 

Do you ever struggle with placing too much pressure on yourself? Did you find a solution that worked for you? I’d love to hear about it.

On Strangers and the Purchasing of Yarn

For reasons of unknown origins, I have been having some random intermittent health problems. These health problems, while not debilitating, can be particularly frustrating at times, and in general, fall into the “ain’t nobody got time for that” category of life. To add to the “ain’t nobody got time for that” issue, I’ve been needing to go to the doctor a lot more than usual. As such, this brings me to Plano, and within 5 minutes of the Woolie Ewe.

Normally, I don’t find myself in that part of town, but now I can’t help stopping by when I pass it. Ya’ll know how hard it is for a knitter to pass a yarn store, like a real yarn store. Then you know how I feel. Plus it gives me something pleasant to look forward to after an unpleasant experience (blood work. bah! [Though actually not that bad. The lady was good.]).

When I go to the Woolie Ewe, or any yarn shop really, I usually go as a window shopper, because I’m a college student and not rolling in the dough. This was the case in my most recent visit (much sighing and wistful fingering of yarn was involved). After leaving the Woolie Ewe, I hopped over to Tuesday Morning, which is like the weird but slightly more respectable cousin of Big Lots, because they often have yarn there. While at Tuesday Morning (who strategically located the yarn prominently near the interest. Do they know their target audience or what?), I ran into another knitter.

Did I know this lady? No. But she was a knitter, there’s like a secret bond or something.

We poked around in the yarn section together for a bit and chatted. I confessed that I probably shouldn’t be buying anything, as I had just ordered some yarn online but hadn’t received it. She admitted that she probably shouldn’t be buying yarn either. Its another one of those secret knitter bonds. After sighing and deciding that despite not needing more yarn, I really shouldn’t buy more yarn, the lady kindly suggested, “Hey, maybe the yarn you ordered will be there when you get home.” And you know what?

She was so right!

Image

Tosh DK in Saffron

How to focus on your studies

Image

Quandary in A Thing for String DK: Heart of Darkness. Click picture for pattern link!

The school year has started, so of course I feel like doing nothing else but the mountains of assigned reading before me. Well, actually, some of them aren’t that bad. Some of them I get too into, and totally nerd out about them in class.

Yeah. I’m that kid.

I have actually noticed, though, that knitting helps me keep my focus while doing my reading. Having just that little something to keep my hands and mind busy keeps me on task. Now you’re thinking, shouldn’t your reading keep your mind busy? Technically, yes. But you know that part of your mind? That part that gets disctracted? That part that says, “I’ll just open that file I need to–ooh pinterest!” That’s the part of my brain that knitting keeps busy.

Side Note: Pinterest, man. It’s becoming a problem. It’s like I can’t get off of Pinterest. I even have it on my phone. It’s everywhere. But hey, I have a knitting board so it’s all good.

But back to the point, I find that when I pair knitting with reading or studying, it can make it easier for me to motivate myself to do the task. (This may or may not be because I cannot scroll down Pinterest and knit at the same time.) Adding knitting to the mix can make assigned reading downright enjoyable.

Do any of you experience the focusing effect of knitting? How do you use knitting to motivate you?

P.S. In case you’re wondering, this is the pattern I’m current;y working on:

Campus Jacket by Amy Christoffers

You know, because I’m going back to campus and such. Also because it looks like the coziest thing since flannel. I’ll take some progress pictures for you soon!

Model Knitter

Hello….

Is anyone still there?

I apologize for my absence. It seems that the end of the semester only brought a little relief to my crazy schedule. Since then, I’ve gotten a minor promotion, taken on a second job, had a birthday, and am currently taking a summer chemistry course. Unfortunately, my knitting has fallen to the wayside a little bit, and I have had nothing new to show you.

Don’t worry. I’m working on it.

Even though I haven’t been knitting, I’ve been involved with someone who has been doing an awful lot of knitting. Like, it awes me the amount of knitting she gets done.

Meet Wooly Wonka, a yarn dyer, designer and knitter extraordinaire.

Now meet her new model.

Image credit to Woolywonkafiber.com/blog/

That’s right, ya’ll. I’m a model now.

*cue excited shrieking*

Wooly Wonka/Bunnyspinner(RavID)/Anne is coming out with an 8 piece collection for fall all inspired by legendary tales of epic and fantastical proportions. This shall is the first available pattern, the Rappaccini’s Garden Shawl. The rest of the collection will be out in September and I’m super excited to see how the whole collection turns out in print.

The collection will consist of two sweater patterns, two shawls, a cowl and two pairs of socks, and let me tell you…they’re all gorgeous (not to mention very toasty on a Texas Summer day in June). I’m sure I’ll keep you updated on the release of the rest of the patterns, but until then, go check out Anne’s website!

T-Shirt DIY

I have a confession to make. I think I am addicted to Pinterest. I think Pinterest may be my new Tumblr. This may only slightly by due to the fact that tumblr makes my computer lag like nothing else (it’s getting elderly, my computer). Or perhaps I enjoy that aspect of Pinterest that says ” I made this, and so can you!” While I don’t yet feel compelled to make my own laundry detergent or decorate my entire house with wine bottle corks, I have been inspired to try a few non-knitting craft projects.So here is one of my very own Pinterest diy’s.

The Pin: T-Shirt to Draped Vest

The Original Site

My Version:

vesttutorial7

The tutorial is fairly easy. All you need is a big men’s t-shirt and some scissors. I used an extra large (If it had been large my dad would have adopted it.)green shirt that I got for a dollar at Salvation Army. It had a pocket on the front, but I ripped it off.

The steps are simple.

Lay out shirt.

May 2013 173

Remove cat from shirt. (I swear it took approximately 3 seconds after laying the shirt down before the cat was on it. Always has to be the center of attention, geez…)

vesttutorial2

Snip the sleeves off..

vesttutorial3

And now the collar…You might want to start small with this and increase it later. Essentially this is going to be the hole where your arms go, but it will stretch out a bit with time, so don’t cut it too loose.

vesttutorial4

This is how it will look opened up.

vesttutorial5

Last step: Trim and wear!

vesttutorial6

vesttutorial9

vesttutorial7

vesttutorial8

The camera whoring is optional, but really at this point, why not? This vest is super easy to make and easy to wear. Plus is get to look super accomplished when I said that I made it.

Now excuse me, I think I have some more projects I need to pin on Pinterest.

Stripes! Colors! and Scarves, oh my!

I am SO CLOSE to being done with finals, which is a relief, because I’m also really tired. My brain needs a break. Hopefully I can fit that break into the two weeks before summer classes begin, because this June I get to take Chemistry for Liberal Arts Majors. Whoohooo!

With all the finals stress, I did manage to complete one knitting project to show you. So meet my most recent FO, the classic Noro scarf :Image

As you can see, while I have had the time to finish it, I haven’t had the time to take proper pictures of it. So you get the awkward-arm-selfies (Look at it! It’s so wonky…).

While I refer to this scarf as the Noro scarf, that’s really more of an homage to the pattern that I think every knitter has used. It’s not made of Noro. Noro and I have met several times in yarn stores, and I’ll admit the colors are enticing, but every time I actually touch Noro I am severely disappointed. If I can spin softer yarn than that there is a problem. Plus, it’s got little pieces of like grass and hay in it. Sorry, you’re going to have to be cheaper for me to put up with that. So this scarf is made out of Noro’s softer cheaper cousin, Lion Brand Amazing Yarn.

I had actually used Lion Brand Amazing to make Wingspan, which was great fun. I loved watching the color changes with that pattern, but when I put it on, It was so not me. Nor was it any member of my family (We like neutrals. We like muted colors. Olive drab: good. Bright pink: Bad.). So I did the next logical thing. I threw it on the FO pile for about a year to mellow before ripping it out to make the Noro scarf. I am much happier with it this way.

Image

This is the face I make when patrons look at me too long in the library.

I’ve also made the Noro scarf before, in my early knitting years with Mini Mochi Yarn (which was beautiful). However, in those days, I liked my scarves really long and super skinny. Now I like a little more substance. So this scarf is really wide. I think about 40 stitches (I don’t remember how many I cast on.). It’s also really long, because I just kinda shoved it into my backpack and worked on it at school and didn’t realize how bit it was getting. It’s like Tom Baker’s Doctor status. (Even though I’ve never actually seen his Who stuff, apologies to all hardcore Whovians.)

 

As for the stripes, I paired 4 different colorways, because they were what I happened to have at the time/ they were on clearance when I went to Michael’s. I paired the Wildflowers colorway with Glacier Bay, and the Aurora colorway with Ruby. I don’t know that I would pair Aurora and Ruby again, they were very similar in some spots and I had to cut some sections out so the stripes didn’t match.

I’m really pleased with how this scarf turned out. I have a feeling that it will be a favorite come Winter. However, these days it’s getting to about 80 degrees in the afternoon. Boo. But once it gets chilly again, I’m going to wear the heck out of this scarf!

Photography and Public Transit

I have survived the week! Due to circumstances like ALL THE LIVING PRESIDENTS being on campus this week, I have been forced to partake in public transportation. I got to ride the train to school. And when I say “got to” I mean “had to” because I was not allowed to park anywhere remotely near campus. *gripe gripe..* Complaining aside, I kind of enjoyed taking the train. I didn’t have to worry about other cars on the road because I wasn’t on the road..technically. So that was nice. And I could knit. Except not when the train is going backwards. That means major motion sickness (hey, you learn something new every day). Still, it wasn’t a scary stressful experience like I was expecting.

My knitting progress has been moving at a snails pace lately. I don’t have much to show you, so I won’t. What I will show you are some of the beautiful flowers on campus. The ones by the chapel were particularly pretty. I was really happy with how the pictures of them came out too. I think I’m getting better at manipulating my camera.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Handmade With Love

Image

Why hello.

It’s been a while.

It’s been two weeks and I think I’ve finally conquered this cold. So not fun.  The semester is also hurtling to a close. This is going to be an interesting week, as I’ve got a lot of work to finish and my powers of concentration are just about shot. This is also, funnily enough, why I am sitting here blogging instead of doing the reading that I have to do. I am a case.

I just wanted to share these adorable tags I got in the mail. I came home from school all sniffly and sick one day and found a package for me. But here’s the thing; it was from one on my mom’s best friends. So I was confused. I opened the package and inside were these little tags for my knits. They say “handmade with love” on them.

ImageAren’t they just the cutest things?

Agree with me. They’re the cutest things.

It turns out, she had made these for me a long time ago, and meant to give them to me when she came to Texas to visit my mom, (She lives in California.) but she forgot to bring them. So she just now sent them to me. I think they’re adorable. Course, I can’t use them until I actually knit something for someone, but my uncle’s birthday is coming and up and I just found out that my old youth pastor and his wife (the two people beside my parents who probably had the biggest impact on my faith) are pregnant! For the first time! Can you say, baby knits?? Ah! I’m so excited. I already know I want to make a little bear sweater and every baby needs an Elijah and hallelujah both those things are gender neutral so I don’t even have to worry about that! So it looks like this selfish knitter will have plenty of uses for these “handmade with love” tags.

(The tags are also handmade..with love…Craftception!)

 

She liiiives!

Hey guys.

I’m back.

From outer space! ♫ ♪

Just kidding.

But, I really am back. Sorry for disappearing for a week there. Right after Fiber Fest I came down with the nastiest cold. Like I had all the seven dwarves of sickness. Sneezy, Sniffly, Stuffy, Achey, Drippy, Sleepy and maybe even a little bit Queasy (also Sore-Throat-ey. But that doesn’t make a good dwarf name.) It took a toll of my energy levels in the big way, and was just generally unpleasant. I’m still not entirely over it, but I’m getting better.

Image

How can you tell I’m sick? Mugs! Tea mugs everywhere!

Obviously, I’m not planning on keeping to my regular blogging goal of 20 days this month. Between getting sick and the enormous amount of homework that I have to do, I think It’s just better if I cut myself some slack this month. I have so many assignments due at the end of the month that it’s terrifying. It’s like that kind of stress where there’s so much to do that you get overwhelmed and decide to take a nap instead of working on it. Then you wake up consume with guilt. Except I don’t nap…. sooooo Tumblr instead!

I think my goals for April are going to mostly consist of:

1. Not dying. and 

2. Not breaking down and crying in public.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted, but bear with me if my posts have the air of a slightly crazed woman until the end of the semester (which is only like 3 weeks away!! AAAH!)

Fiber Fest

I hope ya’ll are ready for some yarn porn, ’cause it was Fiber Fest today!

Image

And oh was there fiber. I wish I had longer to look around the vendor hall, but between church and getting dinner in the crock pot (and getting directions mixed up), we only had about 2 hours to look around. 

The convention hall was a lot smaller than I expected. I think I’m used to Market Hall, where they hold the Dallas Quilt Show, because this convention center was tiny in comparison. Still, it had more yarn than I’d seen in one place, so that was lovely.

I had been saving up my money all last month so I could really splurge today. Boy, did I splurge! Well, at least by my standards. Would you like to see what I got?

Of course you would.

Here we go!

Image

 

My first purchase was some Sweet Georgia Yarn from the Madtosh booth (which smelled distinctly of vinegar.). I’d never met and Sweet Georgia in the flesh, but have always been curious about it, so I snapped this skein up pretty quickly. The actual color is nothing like the picture. I am convinced that the true color will never show in a photo. It’s just too much for the camera. The yarn is this impossibly vivid, saturated, bright Caribbean blue. It’s absolutely fabulous. I was trying to buy more bright yarn and this fit the bill perfectly!

Image

My next yarn was this bright pink stuff. I’ve been looking for a color like this for at least a month.It is Aspen Sock by Western Sky Knits in the color dianthe. My mom was like, “are you sure that’s the color you want?” Yes. That’s the color I want. It’s very fun. It’ll match the tulips at the Arboretum next Spring.

Image

Next was this beautiful worsted (excuse me, DK. I can never tell the difference.) by A Thing for String in the colorway Heart of Darkness. Yeah…you know I’m going to change that name. It is way to pretty to be connected with that dismal book. I was torn between this one and a purple one of the same yarn, so I asked my mom. She said they both looked good with my skin, but that the purple one was more “me”. So she told me to get this color! That’s my mommy! Challenging me with my yarn purchases.

Image

I did branch away from yarn a little bit and bought some silk hankies. I’ve never worked with them before and I’m curious about them. I’ve always loved the vibrant color of silk, and I think I’m going to work with these straight from the hankie (hanky?) rather than spinning it, just to see what the texture is like. I loved the color, too. I had a hard time picking one color so I went with blue…like the TARDIS.

Image

We’re winding down on my purchases now. Whew! Can you feel the spending? I totally can. These needles are the new square kind and I bought them because:

1. I needed size 6’s

2. The salesgirl was nice. 

and

3. I wanted to try something new.

I haven’t knit with them yet, but I’ll give a full review later!

Image

All right! Last item. I bought some “vegan lip balm” from one of the booths because I can always use more lip balm. Always. Plus is was affordable and they had a honey flavor. Honey lip balms are my favorite. I don’t know why but they just do something for me.  I’ve been using it tonight and so far it seems like a good lip balm. We’ll see how it holds up the rest of the week. 

So there you have it! All my major splurging from today. I’m trying to not feel guilty about spending so much. Now I’m really eager to finish the project on my needles so i can start on some with my new yarns and needles! Looks like I’ll be spending some times on Ravelry trying to find the perfect pattern for each…