Thrifty Saturday

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Last night, due to a some free time (yay weekend) and a few episodes of Face Off (any other Face Off watchers out there?) I got the back of Aidez done.

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Which my cat promptly sat upon and would only be moved on pain of squirt bottle.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but this hasn’t been going very smoothly. I’ve been making a lot more mistakes than usual, and I don’t know if that’s because I’m being sloppy or if I’m just having trouble understanding the pattern. A bit of both, I think.  Not that the pattern is bad necessarily. It just refers to things in ways that I am not used to. Like Back Cross for instance. That stumped me for a while. So I googled. It’s a Cable Two Back (or is it front). Nothing crazy. But why couldn’t you just say that? I’ve been having a lot of word choice issues like that. The pattern isn’t hard once you get the stitch pattern going, it’s just a little tough to get started. Especially if you’re rushing like me. (Come on! I’ve got a goal to make!).

I’ve started on the Left Front now. And of course ripped back like two times. I’ll get the hang of this soon, I swear.

In other news, I went thrifting today.Image

I tried one new store and then good old faithful Salvation Army. I had better luck at the first store (Family Thrift Store. Original name, right?) today. I got a dress and a sweater. I got the dress because it fits me really well, but I’m thinking I might add some lace to the bottom to add more length (modest is hottest) or just wear it with tights. It’s not indecently short, but a little more than I’m comfortable with. Like, Dad would let me wear it out of the house, but he’d make a face first.

It was only $5, so I can afford to add a little more to make it more me.

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The other thing I got was a sweater for $2. I’ve been trying to build up a more professional side to my wardrobe for when I go to observe in schools (and hopefully for when I become a teacher).  What I really need is dress pants, but they seem to be eluding me. But this is a nice, neutral, flattering sweater that I could wear with a skirt to go observe in the classroom. I’m hoping it will make me look older and more mature, because I’m not too far from those high schoolers myself!

That’s all I got, but I’d consider it to be a good thrifting day. I spent less than $10 and got pretty new (to me) things. Now I just have to do laundry so I can actually wear them…. *sigh*

My laundry basket overfloweth…

 

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Medieval Art Time!

Today we’re going to take a little break from the knitting talk, because I have to share this with you. It is just too cool. Today, my Medieval Art History class got to go to the rare books library at my school and look at super old books! It’s a humbling sort of reality check to look at a book and think, “this is older than the country in which I live.”

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We started out by looking at a scroll of the book of Esther(which you can’t really see. It’s at the top of the picture.). The scroll was made out of calfskin, which I was aware of as a practice, but never really thought about it until I saw it in person. It’s a lot thinner than I thought it would be. Then we moved on to the codex, that giant book. I can safely say that was the biggest book I had ever seen. and I work in a library! It also had calfskin pages, but they were bound together and sewn into the book. The curator/art historian gave us a mini book binding lesson, which was actually really interesting. It explained a lot. For instance, why fancy books always have little horizontal ridges going down their spines. The ridges are actually ties that bind the covers together, and the pages are sewn to those ties. Then the whole thing is covered in leather. The book below is a good example, even if the picture is a little blurry (sorry! I was rushing. I was already late for work.)

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My favorite part of the lesson was the page with the historiated initial.

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It was just a single page, (The seller had sold the book piecemeal, which is a tragedy.) but it had a great example of that massive, illustrated initial that we’ve all become familiar with. This one was also a great example of the use of gold leaf. The best part is the close up.

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In the middle of the letter there is a little picture (which is why is is called a historiated initial, because the illustration is actually a part of the text.). This one represents the Ascension of Christ while Mary and (I think) John (Don’t quote me on it.) look on. The level of detail is just amazing.  The little history major inside of me gets all excited to think that some person sat down and put so much effort into that little picture, and that now we still look at it hundreds of years later. I really enjoyed being able to look at some of these thing in the flesh (sometimes literally in the cow flesh) instead of just seeing pictures in my textbooks. It made it so much more personal and interesting. I just reminds me how lucky I am to be able to go to a school and look at these things with other people who appreciate history. 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your day was filled with chocolate. and hopefully love and stuff. But mostly chocolate! I actually had fun for once this Valentine’s Day. Yes, I am still single. No, that did not make me bitter about Valentine’s Day. I made my own fun by sneaking around and being a little Valentine fairy. I left chocolate for all my coworkers and snuck by my aunt and uncle’s house late (laaaaaate) last night to put valentine’s and chocolate in their mailbox. I printed out a bunch of Lord of the Rings valentine’s from Tumblr, and they just made me laugh. Course, they only work with the right crowd…

I also got frozen yogurt. That makes any day a whole lot better. I love frozen yogurt…

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I’m also making a fair amount of progress on Aidez, though not as much as I’d like. I’m beginning to calculate the days until the end of the month so see if I can finish it in time to meet my goal. I’m going to try for it, but school comes first, and if I have to set it aside to concentrate on classes, I will. The back is the biggest piece, though, so I’m hoping the rest will go quickly.

This afternoon I had a bit of a panic while knitting on it. I went to go count my stitches, and came out with a LOT more than I expected. Like more than I should have cast on in the first place. So I counted again. Same number. Repeat. I was getting seriously freaked out. Then I remembered.

Yarn overs. I had a bunch of yarn overs that I was going to be dropping for the left and right cross stitch cables. I had been counting the yarn overs and stitches, when I shouldn’t. Problem solved. I need more sleep.

And that seems like a good place to sign off. Good Night! Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Old FO Tuesday! In Which I am Passionate about Harry Potter.

It’s that time again! It’s Tuesday, my sometimes favorite day of the week. (Bible study is on Tuesday. I like Bible study. But then Tuesday is so far away from the weekend. So it’s only my favorite sometimes.)  Today I get to reveal to you a yet unforeseen level of nerdiness. However, it’s a level of nerdiness you probably expected.

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Meet my Ravenclaw scarf! Look, I even posed in the library(loudest. shutter clicks. EVER!)  to legitimize my Ravenclaw status. Why does my Ravenclaw status need to be legitimized, you ask?

Because Pottermore is made of lies.

Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin. I am not a Slytherin.  I may have Slytherin qualities. I get stuff done. I also happen to like the color green. But snakes? Noooo thank you. and dungeons? It’s just not me. Nope. I’ve decided. That test was totally wack anyways. I set up an account for my dad and he took the test and his questions were sooo much better. His were all deep and interesting with five responses to choose from. I got “Do you prefer the sun, or the moon?” The heck does that tell you about me? (I am possibly too passionate about this.)

Anyways, guess where my dad got sorted? Ravenclaw. Ugh!

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Back to the knitting details. The pattern is House Scarves, for the first and second year scarves. I went with the movie colors over the book colors because the scarves were based off the movie costumes and because I couldn’t find any bronze yarn I liked. I used Caron Simply Soft (It’s like I can’t get away from this stuff!) and size 6 needles. I actually used double pointed needles for this. Never again. They hurt, and the’re awkward to use. Circular needles all the way.

This thing too me ages to finish. I blame the uncomfortable needles, and the fact that after a while, it gets pretty boring. It’s not difficult to knit though. It’s amazingly warm and toasty because it’s a tube not a flat piece. I’m very fond if it, and my family members are jealous. My older brother asked me the other day if I’d make him a Hufflepuff scarf. Maybe when he finishes the series…

P.S. It is not a Dallas Cowboys scarf!

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Challenges

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No, that is not poop.

Nor is it a giant Twix bar. I wish.

That is a rock wall.

and I have conquered it.

Okay maybe not conquered it. But I climbed it! See that green spot all the way up on the left? Next to the metal thing? I was there. I made it in my first try too. I was Very Surprised. 

I climbed the rock wall for an assignment in my Personal Wellness class. We were supposed to do something that challenged us. I chose the rock wall because:

1. I haven’t worked out in a good long while. So it would be physically challenging.

2. I am afraid of heights. So it would be emotionally challenging.

Double whammy. (Do people still say that?)

The rock wall workers were really nice and encouraging. I had only been planning on getting level with the second floor of the building. I figured that was high enough. But once I got there, the girl belaying me yelled up at me “You can do it! You’re so close!” and It didn’t seem nearly as far as it had looked from the ground. So I kept going. I didn’t really feel too freaked out, but I guess I must have been because my legs were shaking something awful. That also might have been the reason my belayer kept shouting encouragements. I slipped a little bit once, and that was scary. I may have involuntarily squeaked. Still, I made it to the top! I made it down alive too. Then I wasn’t scared any more. Just really, really, thirsty. I swear my throat has never been so dry. 

I was really proud that I was able to make it to the top. I’m usually the person who freaks out and starts crying 10 feet up the rock wall, so this was a big accomplishment. I’m really glad I did it. I’m also sore as heck, so maybe I need to go climb more often…

 

Hectic Weekend

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This picture has nothing to do with the rest of the post.

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re doing well.

My day just kind of ran away from me today. First there was the extremely violent, strobe light thunderstorm at 3:00 am. I swear, the weather in Texas is seriously trying to kill me. Then there was church, and that was enjoyable. After that I was planning on really sitting down and getting some serious homework done. That worked, for a few hours. Then there was a BOGO (buy one, get one free) at Starbucks, which of course had to be taken advantage of (Did I just end a sentence with a preposition? My mother will be so disappointed…). After that, my parents and I had to get ready for a volunteer dinner thing. It was 1950’s themed, and we were expected to dress up. Dressing in a fifties style for me isn’t that difficult, but trying to concoct plausible outfits for my parents (Mostly my mom. Dad was so not into it.) took a little experimenting.

The dinner was really fun. Everyone looked really cute all dressed up. I was a finalist in a hula hoop contest (I didn’t win. I blame the hoop. It was one of those flimsy light ones where you can’t get a good spin.). Other hilarity occurred involving my pastor dressed as Elvis. We ate. Pictures were taken (I’ll try to get some. I forgot my camera >.<). Then back home to do more homework; Because that is my life.

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I tried the last tea today, too. This one was The Earl’s Garden. It was a lot fruitier than I expected, and a lot less Earl Grey. I could especially taste the black currant. I didn’t have as much time to enjoy it as the other teas, since my morning was so rushed, but I drank it enough to know that it is dang good.

In other news, I have finally started on Aidez, and already made all manner of mistakes. That’ll teach me to read the pattern carefully. The pattern is actually a bit tricky starting out, but once you get the hang of it, it falls into a nice rhythm. I’ll keep you posted.

Sorry for the hectic post today. It’s been a crazy busy weekend. Hopefully I’ll get back on track tomorrow.

Dad’s Overdue Christmas Present

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They’re finished! They’re done! *Does a happy dance*

I have finally finished and woven in every tiny little end on my dad’s fingerless gloves. So many tiny little ends…

But they’re done! and he likes them. I was smart this time, and made him try them on as I go, So I can make sure that the fingers were wide and long enough. He requested extra long fingers on this pair. They almost swallow up my hands when I try them on, but he likes them this way.

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The pattern is Cigar by Kerri Cadd. I made them all fingerless, rather than just the first two fingers. I have made this pattern one time before, and again I was very pleased at how it turned out. The increases for the thumb gusset are done in a different way, and it looks really cool going down the side of the hand. 

The last time I had made these gloves they were also for my Dad. That was probably a year ago. I made them out of 100% wool. He promptly felted them. He works for a nursery (for plants, not for babies) and so he’s always working with his hands. So he got the gloves wet while watering, and then just felted them with the friction of working. To his credit, he continued to wear them, up until about yesterday. They still technically fit, but when you compare them with the new ones, the size difference is comical. The new ones are made out of acrylic. I don’t think Dad can handle special care yarns yet…

I was concerned when I was making these that Dad wasn’t going to get a chance to wear them. The weather has been very warm lately, and I was starting to think that winter was done. Then today the temperature dropped, and it’s supposed to be cold all next week. So now he can actually use his new gloves. Good call, weather. Good call.

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P.S. I tried the Love Tea #7 this morning. It was tasty. The strawberry pieces really make it something special. Or perhaps it’s my weakness for strawberry teas…