Virus 1 - Stacie 0

Been down so low, I might never get up again!

Well, not quite. But right in the midst of proctoring finals, grading essays and exams, writing comments and turning all this stuff in, I come down with . . . dun dun duh . . . the virus from hell. I woke up thinking something had gone down the wrong pipe (raw, sore, needing lots of clearing) and as the day progressed, I found that, no, it wasn't that, unless you count viruses. Where would I come in contact with those? pray tell.

I might be Monk-like in certain ways (that's coming up) but one of them is not germophobia. It probably should be, as my students touch my stapler, my whiteboard markers, my printer, my pens (they're not supposed to, but they do), my door knob, blah blah blah. And then inevitably, I touch the same items at the wrong time, like right now when a bunch of kids are snuffling, sneezing, coughing, as usual, since it is January. Their gift to me, well, a hellaciously sore throat, stuffy nose, clogged larynx and nasty cough (which really hurts the throat), fever, you get the idea. I sound like an advertisement for Nyquil.

So yesterday, I begged for mercy and was let out of my last finals commitment, drove straight home and got into my jammies. Fortunately, oh so fortunately, my mumsley had JUST sent me a b-day present (I'm a prime number this year, and it's not the size of the number but the darned primeness of it that really bugs me. Give me an age divisible by more than one and itself, please. Now that's Monk-like!) . THANK YOU, MOM! This quilt has become my constant companion. It's my very own for snuggling up in a chair or taking a nap on the bed. It is exactly what I need right now. I, and the cat du heure. Did I mention it's backed with polarfleece? No wonder the cats love me/it.

Knitting? Not so much. I have put it all away in the room I avoid right now, so that I can stay focused on the mountain I must climb before next Tuesday. Blogging is my only solace, oh, that and Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, loaned to me by my friend Pat. Recommended to me by everyone. So I am either sleeping, or grading, or reading when I can't really think straight enough to grade (like at 4 a.m. last night).

BUT when I get time again, I have three new acquisitions. Two skeins of Malabrigo worsted (a hunter green and a dark purple) for scarf gifties, and a skein of Woolwitch's gorgeous periwinkle-to-lilac colored wool. Don't yet know what I'll do with that loveliness.

And here was the progress on the M-D Baby Kimono for another teacher's impending baby boy, as of last week. The color is so pale, but it is lovely and sheen-ful in real life. Guess I'd better get cracking on this one as the shower is next Friday!

Then there is the twin rib scarf I'm working on in the O-Wool from a fall purchase.

One more fo-toe. I got myself a b-day present (I am known for this little tendency) , this lovely, fun, cheerful zippered pouch for my purse, from Lusitania of Madreed, Spain (via Etsy). Check it out!

And check out Lusitania's other offerings. She is way cool. I am determined to learn to needle felt this year.

Time for some more meds, a glass of water, and sleep.

Finishing Touches

Did the last details for Mom's checkbook cover, to go with her felted purse. I had thought I'd use elastic to make corner holders for the checkbook, but then I really wanted it to feel more secure and solid. Used the same fabric as for the purse lining, interfacing to stiffen it a bit, and some blanket stitching around the edges. A loop and button to keep it closed. Pretty spiffy! Time to wrap it and send it to Mumsley!

And here's a pic of Little Stacy. Ain't I cute?

New Projects

Still have those WIPs still hanging fire, but I'm getting ready to start one and have gotten partway into another. First, I got the Noro Silk Garden to make a striped scarf such as that I have seen on Brooklyn Tweed's blog (I know, I know, he didn't invent it . . . but he's got the pattern and the gorgeous photo documentation). I cannot wait to own this scarf!

Can you just see that bright blue or green striping nicely with the gray, purple, and tamer blues?

Then, I started another Mason-Dixon baby kimono as part of the gift for someone at school who is expecting. I'm using KnitPicks Shine Worsted in Seaspray. Very subtle blue/gray/green color, almost calling for some brown trim, but I think I will keep myself under control.

This is Percy, my heifer of a kitty. He's modeling the back of the kimono with arms about 1/3 done now. I hope to get a better photo in good daylight to show you the lovely light Shine yarn.

Lined the Felted Purse (and then some)

Yesterday, I got time to make the lining for Mom's purse and "install" it. It went so well and was NOT hard, thanks to Helloknitty's tutorial. Thanks HK! Please don't notice my uneven stitching or the differently angled corners (those were DH's suggestion, clever way to avoid creating a corner where things can get lost in a purse).

I modified it a bit by using a double layer of fabric with interfacing sandwiched between, to give it a bit of stiffness, and except that sewing it was a tad harder with the layers, I'm glad I did that. The purse is nicely shaped now.

While laughing or cowering, I knitted up a checkbook cover last night while DH and I watched a gift to DH from my DS and her family, BBC's Shakespeare Retold--Macbeth (ooooooh, sooo bloody!) set in 2006 in the kitchen of a 3-star London restaurant, whose famous chef, Duncan, is enjoying his fame while helping his protege, John Macbeth, to become the next great chef--great moment, when the underlings in the kitchen chide one of the newbies and tell him, "Don't say his name! Call him the Scottish chef!") and then another--The Taming of the Shrew (soooo good, but what terrible messages messages about/for women, then and now!). The rectangle knitted up easily and quickly with such good DVD "fare." (Get it, fare? yuk yuk)

Felted the checkbook cover this a.m. along with a few other unrelated goodies, and it is blocked and drying now.
DFC#1 Cleo tried to curl up next to it (I had set up the blocking board on the sofa), so I had to move the board to the end of the dining table. Was planning to sew a holder at the bottom inside the back, but DD2 suggests that I just sew elastic across the inner corners to hold the checkbook in, which sounds sensible (and easier) to me! DH pointed out, with a smirky smile, that if DM is ever caught in a storm, her checkbook will stay nice and warm, and then I smacked him butt-side. OK, not really, but I shoulda. ;^)

Just noticed the interesting pooling of the colors--I like it! See how I ended with an inch of black, for the front? It'll make it easier to see which end is up when she gets it out.

Frogged the scarf I was making out of Lush (no easy feat, sticky and inclined to "knot") because I can't manage a four row pattern. Der! But Yarn Harlot's easy pattern will make an equally lovely scarf and I'll probably get better at managing to stay on top of more lengthy patterns soon.

Happy knitting all!

"I did it!" she said, modestly

No real photos but you can trust me. I did two things recently that I thought were too hard.

On Mom's purse, I used Kitchener stitch! It was just to join the strap to the live stitches on the other side, but I followed the instructions, slowly, and then tightened up the whole thing--AND IT WORKED! Things that seem beyond me gradually become possible.

And last month, when I saw that I had accidentally made a mistake in some knitting, I was able to get to the error, fix it with a thin sharp knitting needle (worked better than a crochet hook for some reason), and it didn't look any different from the rest of the work! I think I already blogged about that but I am just so darned proud of myself!

I wish I were better at keeping my calendar straight. 8^( I was excited to find out that Stitches West is happening during my week off in February, and quickly signed up to take an intro crochet class and a needle felting session. Paid online, the whole enchilada. Then returned to school to realize (slowly . . . I am slow at these things) that the vacation days are the week before that. DRAT! So now . . . I guess I have to either ask for a personal day that Friday of Stitches and rearrange the Thursday class to something else on Friday, or move both to sessions available on Sat/Sun (harder, less available). Big sigh. However, I don't despair. I know I will get to Stitches and will have a ball (a skein? ten skeins? uh-oh!).

Back to knitting now--finishing a scarf in Lush for my friend and masseuse (it is good to have a masseuse friend!!!) as a late Christmas gift. She and I got most of our daughters together over the holidays, as they had not met, and they all hit it off. They have so much in common in their interests, and I hope the other daughters can get folded in and they will all become friends.

Pictures at 11. ;^)