Sunday, February 24, 2008

Awww, Shucks!

Thanks, so much, everyone, for the kind comments about my Tilted Duster. I really, really like it, and I'm sure with the crazy weather we get through the end of winter and into spring, that I will get plenty of use out of it! It's so nice and snuggly, it can always be my "jacket" on chilly days. In fact, I'm planning on it!

I have been undecided about what to knit on since finishing Tilted. I have a zillion things on the needles, and I've been playing around with knitting on one or the other, but never got that "do this" feeling from any of them.

I NEED to finish up the bag I'm making for my Hogwarts pal, since I just have to do the holes for the straps and finish all the yarn (hoping I have enough). I also want to get the socks I'm knitting on two circulars off the needles, and the next set cast on so that I can be finished with two (!) pair already! The jury is still out on whether or not this is the greatest idea ever invented for sock knitting or not. Next time, I am definitely doing the SAME yarn for one complete pair when I'm finished. I kinda feel like I coulda done this knitting one at a time, if I have to cast on AGAIN to get a completed pair of either! Oh well, live, knit and learn, right?

Okay, back to the knitting infidelity (which is the only forgiveable kind, but I digress). . . I picked up the Clapotis that I'm knitting for my son's teacher today, and actually did get that "do this" feeling, so I'm going to stick to that for now. Once I finish the bag. And knit on my socks here and there. . . . uh oh! Seems like I'm back to the drawing board, huh?

In other news: I went to a workshop yesterday. One about integrating arts into the curriculum. It was fabulous. I learned a lot, got to do some hands-on stuff, networked (which I suck at), and got a bit excited about some ways to try to get my wiggly, bored class excited about learning! I will let you know how it goes, but for now, looky how creative I am!

Here's a tree of life, Klimt style:

And, because I'm an overachiever (and we had time), here's another. I think I like this one best, although I really had fun with all the symbols in the first one! I was trying to be very textile focused. There's a basket, mat, and hand symbols in the first. In this second one, I used the symbols for a typical Native American life - horse herd tracks, thunderbird and tracks, and the tribesmen. Fun. Too bad we don't study Native Americans in 1st grade, although I'm thinking I could use it as an extension activity during Native American History month (which I think we've already had this school year).

Since I also got a bunch of teaching materials at the workshop yesterday (they gave everyone the Language, Math, and Science teacher's guides from Crayola Works, who align all their activities/lessons with the national standards for both art AND the subject they coincide with. Yum-O, so I'm having a working weekend here. I'd better run!


Friday, February 22, 2008

I Love Snow Days

Courtesy of the weather, I got a free day off today. Well, not really free. Since this county doesn't have ANY snow days built into the calendar, this means we will get out on June 7th instead of June 6th, but I got to lay around all day with the kid, and only had to spend 3 days this week pulling my hair out over my class! We played with his Webkins.

If you're a parent and you haven't tried this yet, you gotta do it! The kid gets a stuffed animal and access to a very interactive website. The Boy has been practicing his reading (a bit), and learning the value of earning and saving $$ to be able to do the things you wanna do. And me? I've been sneaking on late at night to play games, I mean earn him some extra points/money!! Yeah, that's it! Try it, you'll like it!

I was planning to wear my Tilted Duster to work today, so I put it on just to have The Boy take a picture of me, and left it on. It's great. I love it. Here's the cheesy self-portrait in The Boys room (his is neater than mine right now).

I also got some yummy surprises in the mail. Like I said, I LOVE snow days!

First, the very first installment of the 4 Seasons Sock club from Crazy4Dyeing's Ellie. The yarn is 100% Bluefaced Leicester, and it's so squooshy I don't know if I want to use it as a pillow or knit with it. I'm guessing that, by the way the colors lie, it will make bands of color, similar to my Sooper Seekrit socks made with the Potters Covers sock club yarn "Sorcerer's Stone." Yummo!

This month's shipment came with all that yummy yarn, plus a pattern designed by Ellie herself, and a handmade sock bag. I really like the retro fabric she used, and the one inside the bag is just as yummy!
And speaking of Potters Covers, the next (and I HOPE not last) shipment came today as well. I love the post-lady!!! Here's the awesomeness that is Dharmafey's yarn-dyeing brain:

Isn't she fabulous? I grabbed the book (The Half-Blood Prince) that I just happen to be (re)reading right now, and tried to think of the colors that she might use. I was thinking maybe black and gray. Well, as usual, she sees ALL the colors in the artwork, and came up with this fabulous mix. I love it, and do believe it will be the next pair of socks I knit. Heh, since I'm in A Year In Socks, it should go well with a March/shamrock theme, yes???

Well, I'm missing Disney Channel sitcoms. I'd better run!


Thursday, February 21, 2008


I am finally finished my Tilted Duster:

It really grew after washing and blocking, which was just as I expected and hoped! It got a LOT longer and just enough bigger around that it fits comfortably across my chest, with that "almost closed" look to the skirt.

This knit was a pleasure - I liked how the ribbing and increases worked together to make the triangle at the hips. Good for curvy types like me. I also learned a great deal about seaming and setting in sleeves. The seaming for the sleeves I can handle, but I hope that I don't have to set in a sleeve again anytime in the near future. I wimped out and begged my auntie to do it for me. I had had enough by the time I finished seaming up the sleeves. Which, by the way, I did perfectly!

Also, since I changed the neckline, I couldn't use a button (I tried a big, funky, 70's looking leather button, but it completely weirded out on me when I tried to button it). I used a clasp instead, which was the one The boy voted for initially. What good taste he has!

I can't wait to wear it, and as long as the snow/ice we are getting tonight/tomorrow doesn't prevent my plans, I am wearing it to work tomorrow with jeans. It is Friday, after all!

I did do a pre-blocking photo session with it, but MAN I look really W-I-D-E in the photos, so I'll have to wait for a better photographer. My mother sucks at that, apparently! Maybe this weekend The Boy can take some. Is it sad that my 6 (!) year old takes better pictures than my mother?

I have lots more in the works as far as knitting goes right now. See my Ravelry page to check up. I'm Heather219 there. One day, I gotta figure out how to put progress bars here on my sidebar. And subscribe to bloglines. One day. Right now, I'm off to give in to some sales!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Second Round

Quidditch ~ Round Two
Please post these answers to your blogs before the Snitch is released. Once the Snitch is found the questions will be removed and the game ends.

1. With whom does Ginny go to the Yule Ball?
a. Neville

2. When Harry arrives at the Burrow and Mrs. Weasley makes them all dinner the night before they leave for the Quidditch World Cup, what does her wand turn into?
b. rubber chicken

3. Since some of the sixth-year girls didn't have any quills on them, what did they think Krum might sign their hats in?
c. lipstick

4. How old does the Quick Quotes Quill say that Rita Skeeter is?
a. 43

5. What color cloak is wormtail wearing in the Riddle house?
b. Black

6. What color is "Mad Eye" Moody's magical eye?
d. Blue

7. What color are the robes that Rita Skeeter was wearing when Harry meets her at the Weighing of the Wands ceremony?
b. Magenta

8. What does Sirius Black tell Harry, Ron and Hermione to call him when speaking around anyone else?
b. Snuffles

9. Which team beat Wales, disqualifying them from competing for the Quidditch World Cup?
c. Uganda

10. What does Madame Maxime say is the only thing her steeds will drink?
c. single-malt whiskey

I will try to post the links to pictures before 4!!!


Monday, February 18, 2008

I Got You, Babe

6 years ago today, we were introduced. Since that time, you have constantly amazed me, frequently inspired me, seriously baffled me, and made me smile, cry, and laugh. Sometimes, all at the same time!! You make me want to be the best person I can be, to make you proud.

You are my son, and I love you. I think you are the best boy on the planet. I think I am very lucky to have you for my son. I think you are the best thing EVER to happen to my life.

This past year you have exceeded my expectations for you. You have learned and grown so very much that you're like a whole new person! You played on your first sports team. You learned to swim. You really worked on your reading, and now know how to read - very well. You count like a champion. You are doing so well in school that Ms. Atim, Daddy and I are all amazed at the wonderful turnaround you have made. We are so glad you finally "got it" and are able to focus and do well.

I wonder what this new year will bring for you. I hope it is safe and happy, and that you get to accomplish many new things that excite, inspire and motivate you to continue to be the best you that you can!

So, my son, please. Enjoy those presents, but understand that you are a gift to me each and every day, and I will always cherish you above any other person alive!

Your Mommy

P.S. No, Mommy's not at all upset that you chose to go to yoga class instead of out to dinner with her for your birthday. Not at all. . . .


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Interweave Thoughts

I finally got the Spring, 2008 issue of Interweave Knits. I quickly fell in love with many patterns, LOVED the articles in store (I always drool over the pictures first, then go back and read the articles while riding metro, waiting in DR's offices, etc).

So, I thought I'd share my thoughts with anyone who cares:

1) Since I have the task of finishing my Tilted Duster at hand (in fact, my dear auntie is in the other room taking pity on me by sewing in the arms - at least I seamed up the sleeves is all I'm sayin'!), I actually did stop to read the Veronik Avery article on finishing. It was informative, but I thought a bit open-ended. I guess that's like all of knitting. There is no 100% correct way, but many different, situational correct ways to do things!

2) Flutter Sleeve cardigan is very interesting, but the pattern maybe a bit fiddly. Looks like it might be a nice one to use my Silky Tweed for. . .

3) Auburn Camp Shirt. This is definitely going into my queue! I'm having a hard time with the fact that it's knit in such a fine yarn, but I definitely do like the drape it gives. . . . hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

4) I like both the Frock Cami and the Banded Peasant Blouse, but don't think either would be a good match with my figure/frame.

5) Slyph Cardigan is very, very cute, and most likely will be knit by me. It's going into my queue as well, and is another possibility for the Silky Tweed. I would have to do some adjusting for making that ruffle fall in the correct place, and not right across my gut, which is my biggest problem area.

??Maybe I just need a reason to use the Silky Tweed?? I might have to give in and oblige this need, particularly after I saw Lolly knitting with some this afternoon at the Namaste Knitters meetup at Inspired Yoga. More on that later, I'm off to finish that Tilted Duster so I can cast on for All Aboard. Again, I'll explain later!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sorry, sis, but you gotta be a teacher at Marlton Elementary to understand why the heck I can do this so quickly. I may have to issue a challenge to the rest of the staff to see who can do it the fastest.

Every morning, the school sings a patriotic song and does the "school chant" together to build community and patriotism. There's this song (written by Ray Charles, if you can believe it) called "Fifty Nifty United States" the states are sung, in alphabetical order TWICE in the song, and, well, we all know it. The stinkin' song gets stuck in your head! It's in there now. I bet it stays all weekend.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Virtually Wordless

Okay, my sister really wants to see this, and I owe some gratuitous pictures and LOTS of thanks to my Be My Valentine swap partner, "Cockeyed." She really put together a phenomenal package - I loved absolutely everything. I have been an extremely lucky swap partner, but LOST is on, I'm in the midst of the instep of a sock, and I don't feel much like putting forth the effort today - it was, after all, Valentine's Day with 19 6-year olds.


So, here's a virtually wordless post. I'll explain later. Please don't drool over your keyboards too much!

Okay, these last two aren't from my pal, they're all me!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

There's Been Progress!

Try as I might to be a good mommy this weekend, The Boy wants to be a lump and alternate between sitting in front of the tv, playing with his toys, or going outside. In the plight of a divorced mother who is always on her own in public with her very, very, very busy soon-to-be 6 year old son, I caved and let him be a lump. We were going to go to the Baltimore Museum of Art for their African American History Family Day. No dice. So, instead, I have had time to get ready for my VP to observe a Math lesson tomorrow afternoon, and knit up a storm. In fact, I stopped because I was getting that tingling sensation in my fingers that means I've been knitting too long!

I took the opportunity to take some progress pictures. Maybe I'll even have time to put them on Flickr in order to update Ravelry properly. I keep going in and moving the "progress" bar, but no updated pictures is kinda boring. I love when I look up patterns and I can see other people's progress as they've been knitting as well. In the meantime, looky:

I've gotten about halfway through the collar on my Tilted Duster. I am changing the neck just a bit by having only one button in the center, just at the bust, and making the collar a bit more substantial by picking up all the way around - about 152-4 stitches instead of the 130 they suggested for the one that comes up on the neck. In the yarn I chose, I knew it would drive me crazy to feel that directly on my skin, particularly my neck!! So we shall see. Hopefully I haven't been knitting in vain, but I would gladly reknit the neckline in order to make this sweater wearable - it's turned out so well so far, I think!

I've also been knitting on my two-at-a-time February/Project Spectrum socks. One is pink, the other red, both have black. I love them equally. I was thinking I wouldn't like the pink as much, since I'm not really a "pink" sort of girl, but the pink is barely noticeable and the yarn is super-soft. This of course, endears it to me to the point where I can overlook the bit of pink as I knit. As for the red, the yarn is smoother and firmer, is showing the stitches more clearly, and, well, I LOVE the colors. Red is my absolute fav, and I'm drawn to it over and over, so these socks are definitely going to be mine! Here they both are, up to the heel flap, which I'm in the middle of knitting now:

Also, on and off, I'm working on the Coco Bag for my Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap pal. She's a Gryffindor, like me. I hope she likes it! I plan to try to felt my only other bag at the same time as this one, so I'm really anxious to get this done, but other things get in the way!

There's also been work on what used to be known as Sooper Seekrit, but got sidetracked. Good thing it will be cold where my sister is for quite some time still!

There's more knitterly stuff going on in my head right now, but I'll save that for later and go keep up with Ravelry like a good knitter.


Monday, February 04, 2008


I just received my swap package from my Hot Cocoa Swap pal - Nancy, and ohmygoodness did she put together one fine package! I'm guaranteed to be blah-free all Winter now for sure!

The photo of the package still wrapped up came out very wonky, so here's the goodies unwrapped:

OK, stop drooling, and why are you such a funny shade of green all of a sudden? Besides a whole bag of goodies for The Boy (!), she included the cutest self-designed blah-buster buddy evah!, yummy yummy sock yarn from The Loopy Ewe (which, thanks to the "Perchance to Knit" saying on the tag, I now remember is where I got the pink-and-black yarn I just cast on yesterday!) in "Fresh Herbs," spa goodies from Neutrogena and hand-made Stacy's Soaps (in Patchouli - yum!), a new bath sponge, a gorgeous mug (plus one that's doubling as a cocoa-scented candle at the moment), TWO DIFFERENT kinds (and lots of it) of hot-cocoa, stitch markers, a sock pattern, a little pack of Soak, a sock knitting journal from The Loopy Ewe, and, and, and a circular needle organizer!!!!!!!!!!!

I am the luckiest! I love it all!

Nancy - you really, really did a great job. I love absolutely everything, especially Rock-Star Rasta-man (he's been given an additional name). He's already been singing, and we're having a great time settling in together. I love 'im!

See? Thank you so, so much, Nancy!


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Uh Oh! Not Again!

Since, [achem!] there seems to be a problem with sock yarn multiplying like rabbits in this house:

It's a good thing I tend to cast on waaaaaayyyyy too many things at one time. In this case, two socks at once on circular needles. I'm tackling both my next February socks right now, on these needles. I'm very excited!


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Projects and Project Spectrum

Okay, so I’m copping out on a “busy” weekend being anything other than cleaning, knitting, and teacher-planning. Not feeling that great (trying to get over a cold that zapped me midweek), so I’m ducking out of previous plans and sticking around to get some things done.

First off was dinner.
Tonight we had the Birthday Remembrance Meal for my Grammy. She and my grandfather (everyone called him “Da”) would both have celebrated their birthdays this weekend (him today, Grammy tomorrow). She would have been 99 years old. Amazing. And she truly was. Anyone who has seen this blog for a while knows my Grammy was very important to me, and she passed away this past July. This is the first time we’ve not been able to “celebrate” her birthday, and we refuse, so we’re having birthday dinner anyway! There’s also plenty of knitting going on here, which is just her style, so we’re really remembering her this weekend. We had all things she would have loved. Scallops, asparagus, and baked potato. Yum-o!

While cleaning off my desk this afternoon, I came across my notes page for Project Spectrum. I printed out Lolly’s plan for the year, and added some notes for projects that would fit the bill. Without further ado, here’s my plan, for February at least!

I’m gonna go for it and knit on something from each color choice this month. Hopefully, I’ll even actually finish them all! This month, the colors are orange, red, or pink.

For the orange, I currently have two projects that will work. 1) Tilted Duster. My tilted duster is being knit out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, in “Amber Heather” it’s a gorgeous, burnt orange and I love it. I am almost finished, but it’s taking longer and longer to knit across a row as I add stitches to the wings (at least that’s what I’m calling them) and decrease fewer stitches at the fronts! But it is an easy knit, and I anticipate I’ll be finished soon. Only the collar left after the skirt is finally done. I also have 2) Sooper Seekrit 2007 on the needles. I cast on for the second sock this afternoon, to give myself a break from the bigger needles, and got about halfway up the foot. These have purple and brown in them, too, but the orange is there, so I’m counting these as PS work. Oh, and the lucky recipient has been told that they are for her, so Jennifer, dear sister, please be patient. Mom beat me in this race, and she’ll be keeping you warm sooner than I will, apparently!

Red: I have a bag already in progress for one of my swaps that I’m going to use for the red project. It’s a Gryffindor project bag, with very little yellow involved, and lots of scarlet, so it DEFINITELY fits the bill. I also hope to cast on for socks for myself in the “Newspaper” color-way from Spritely Goods.

Pink: Pink is not usually my thing. I just don’t “do” pink. I do, however, LOVE the yarn that I got during a Secret Pal exchange – the yarn was dyed by a participant, and I can’t remember exactly who right now, but the black and gray in the mix just made it so very appealing to me! Since I’m equally excited about both this yarn and my Newspaper yarn, I may have to put them both in a bag and just grab. If I knit fast enough, though, I may be able to get them both in! Wish me luck! Here's the socks I plan to work on this month:

I already have thoughts running through my head about next month because I just found out that I will have a little 2nd cousin to knit for, and will do so in greens, perfect for one of next month’s colors! Not that I need an extra reason to knit, but I really like the way Project Spectrum is laid out this time. It seems to really “go” with what I need/want to knit!


Friday, February 01, 2008

Quidditch - Round One

Quidditch - Round One

(My answers hilighted in red)

1. What was Harry dreaming about the first time he woke up with his scar on fire?

a. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill Dumbledore
b. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill him
c. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill Sirius
d. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill Cornelius Fudge

2. What is the problem with leprechaun gold?

a. It vanishes after a few hours
b. It vanishes after a few weeks
c. It's only good in Ireland
d. It enchants you and makes you forget everything else

3. Why did Mad-Eye Moody turn Malfoy into a ferret?

a. Malfoy had said something rude about Mad-Eye
b. He was teaching him 'constant vigilance'
c. Malfoy attached Harry when Harry's back was turned
d. He hated Malfoy's father

4. Sirius warns Harry to be careful around Karkaroff because he had been a Death Eater. Which one of the professors at Hogwarts, who also used to be a Death Eater, is frequently bothered by Karkaroff? (Answer is One Word, Last Name Only) Snape

5. Voldemort could have used the blood from any foe to make the potion that revived him work, but he held out for Harry's blood. Why?

a. To show that Dumbledore could not protect Harry
b. To prove that Harry could not apparate
c. The special protection Harry received from his mother would also pass to Voldemort
d. Simply because he hated Harry that much

6. How old would Frank have been on his next birthday?

a. 76
b. 73
c. 70
d. 77
Who the hell’s Frank?

7. Amos Diggory works for?

a. The Department of Mysteries
b. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
c. The Goblin Liaison Office
d. The Committee of Experimental Charms

8. Who shared a carriage with the three friends on the way from the train to Hogwarts? Answer: (One Word) NEVILLE

9. What date in October did the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrive?

a. 30th
b. 31st
c. 1st
d. 2nd

10. What color were Percy's dress robes at the Yule Ball?

a. Navy Blue
b. Maroon
c. Emerald Green
d. Claret

Picture Scavenger Hunt:

Mr. Ollivander :

Mad-Eye Moody:


World Cup Tournament:

Dark Mark:

Okay - some of these are totally guesses. I must not be as big a HP dork as I thought I was! I have NO idea if that's good or bad? Still finding pictures I like, and I'll post more links for them soon! I'm off to see what I can get into for the weekend - I'll probably post again on Sunday eve!