Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cafe Cowl and Halloween

Besides finishing the fall hat, I got a little bit more knitting done on the trip!

I brought the Cafe Du Monde cowl with me for car knitting, because it's big needles, two skeins of fingering-weight yarn, and fairly easy repeats that allow me to chat with friends and even watch what's going on around me at the same time.

It got me through about 10 hours on the drive down to the Gorge, and I nearly finished the first ball of yarn before I had to take over the later shift of driving.  On the drive back, after finishing Scott's hat, two hours in traffic let me start on the second skein of the beautiful Three Irish Girls yarn.

Driving time has allowed me to continue to chug away on it.  It's strictly now "car knitting", since it's pretty much the only portable project I have, and with two months before Christmas, I have plenty of time (and long drives) ahead of me to finish this.  I used my tea mug in the above picture to show how big it is already, and that's a good 2/3 of the second skein left to go...
Not even worried. :)
In other news, Halloween celebrations are full-blown in my household!

Scott and I went to the Glensheen Spooktacular again this year with warm pumpkin lattes in hand, and were duly impressed by the amazing display put on!
Our own pumpkin-carving fun happened last weekend.

We put on the original "Ghostbusters" movie in the background for ambiance, and got to carving!

Scott's really good at not seeming terribly excited to start the entire pumpkin-carving process, but then goes for an elaborate design that usually trumps my little pumpkin.

I really like mine this year!  I finally grabbed one of those cheesy little pumpkin-carving knives from Target, and was exceedingly happy I did. It was a huge step up from using our large kitchen knives and butter knives, like we used last year... :)
We also discovered this year that our kitty Albert is a huge, HUGE fan of pumpkin!

Once he started eating little bits of pumpkin we dropped on the floor, he proceeded to lick our pumpkins whenever we took more than a minute break.  He enjoyed the little scraps after we cut a section of pumpkin out, and after we finished carving, he cleaned the little bits around the cuts.  I was almost worried he was going to attempt to eat my tree!
I'm excited to hand out candy tomorrow night and watch at least one scary movie in between grading.

Happy happy Halloween!! :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

FO: Fall Hat

My boyfriend Scott is in the excellent habit of wearing any and all goods that I knit for him.  I made him a hat eons ago, but really haven't made any for over a year, so with a lot of time in the car heading down to the Red River Gorge last week, I figured it was time to knit him one of a few for this year's chilly seasons.
I was originally going to give him 2 hats for Christmas, but this one was knit in fall colors, so I knew he had to have his Fall Hat as soon as possible!

Pattern: Jared Flood's (aka Brooklyn Tweed) Turn a Square hat (I believe this is the... 4th?  5th one I've made?)
Yarn: Cascade 220 for the beautiful deep crimson, and the awesome Noro Kureyon in colorway 263 for the variagated yarn striping band.
Needle: Size 7 bamboo, of course!
Time Frame: October 13-20, with pretty much the entire body of the hat knit on the 20th while blasting through Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Modifications: The pattern calls for the hat to be knit 5 inches from the brim before starting the decrease, and I believe I knit a little over 5 1/2 inches, since Scott's head is rather large.  I also didn't use a smaller needle size for the brim as the pattern calls for; I stuck with size 7 needles the entire time.

Worst Part: Um.... nothing!
Best Part: Finishing the hat somewhere in Wisconsin, and having all my fellow lady climber friends want to try it on and requesting their own versions!  If we do indeed take a spring break trip down to the gorge, knitting a Turn a Square for each of them may be a prerequisite for going on the trip.  I feel like that would be a good surprise for all of them; plus, it will be a good stash-buster.  I have a lot of medium-sized balls of Cascade 220 that need finishing...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

In Which I Make the Cats Hate Me

Last night I finally cast off on the head of the Milo Armadillo project.  This is the first stuffed animal I've knit where the pattern calls for the knitter to knit the piece flat, then seam it, stuff it, and attach each piece to the whole body as it's completed.
After knitting a whole bunch of stuffed animals not in this way, I find this particular method to be really time consuming and unappealing.  This, of course, made me not want to even finish the head, which is why it took so long.  Don't worry- I plan on knitting the rest of the armadillo in the round and pick up the stitches right off the body, for easy, efficient, stuff-as-you-go type of knitting.  Unfortunately, I had to finish the stupid head first.
When I cast off last night, I realized that the odd amoeba of a knit looked like a rather awkwardly-shaped hat.  One too small for my own head.
So what did I do?
I hunted down some kittens to show off my knitting!
I caught Maeby first, and had to enlist Scott's help to pin her down before we could get the Armadillo head/hat on her head.  She hated it.

When it was on, she bared her teeth and thrashed around and made a rather large fuss to let us know how much she absolutely and utterly abhorred wearing it, as well as how much she hated us for making her do it.
I rather like the picture I got of her in it.
I think it captures her quite nicely.
Albert was caught after Maeby got free, and I think he was too scared that something was on his head right away for him to do anything before I snapped a picture.

I think he looks like an old, wizened fortune teller. :)
Needless to say, Scott and were enjoying this whole debacle much more than the cats, and Maeby has been giving me a wide berth today whenever I'm near her.  I'm happy to be done with the head (despite the fact that I still have to seam it and stuff it tonight), and can start focusing on my crazy upcoming week.

(a picture from my walk along 4th street on Friday)
I leave for Kentucky immediately following my class on Wednesday, which means I have a lot of work to get done (not to mention packing, organizing, and choreographing) before I can relax on the car ride down.  One of my big concerns- what knitting do I bring for the large amount of car time?!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sick Leave: Done

The last time I wrote was after a particularly hectic week at work, mostly concerning a ton of grading, student projects and presentations turned in at the same time, and choreographing frantically for dance all at the same time.  Needless to say, it all turned out fine, but I was mildly frazzled in the process.
Honestly, it was mostly bad planning on my part.
Well, a hint of procrastination may have added to that.
Connected to the grading.
Right as I was getting my feet under me again this weekend, I came down with the flu.  Not the gross stomach flu, just the super dizzy hot-cold need-to-snooze a lot variety.  It probably could have been much worse, so I'm happy it was as tame as it was.  I was zonked through most of the weekend and up through yesterday.
The only good thing about being sick was my ability to chug through boring knitting.  Hence, 3 of the 4 Ninja Turtle golf club covers are done, and the fourth is on the needles.  Here's to mindless knitting when my brain can't handle anything more than knit 2 purl 2!
This morning was the first morning I finally woke up feeling good.  Instead of tea, I made a giant pot of coffee, and my first sip was amazing.  Class went exceedingly well, and I got more done at work this morning than Saturday through Tuesday combined.  
The trend continued after I left school.  I hit up the bank, the grocery store, Target, and even stopped at Michael's to grab some Halloween do-it-yourself stuff before scooting home to throw in laundry, clean the house, do the two loads of dishes in the sink (which amazingly don't get done much when I'm down and out... hmmm...), and take some pics of the gorgeous indian summer going on outside.
Oh, and of the yarn I'm going to use for one of Scott's Christmas hats!  
Can you tell I have fall on the brain right now?
I've actually started on the other hat already, but I'm not terribly far on that one since I can only pull it out when he's not around.  I wasn't functional enough to be sneaky while I was sick, so I may have to knit that a different time...
More exciting news- one week from today, I'm leaving for the Red River Gorge in Kentucky for a girls' climbing weekend!  I'm so excited!!!  I've only been climbing in the Gorge once forever ago, so this is going to be a fantastic return.  Fall is one of the best times to go, and I'm going with a supremely awesome group of ladies this time around.  It's going to be wicked sweet!
In that vein of thinking, I'll be doing a couple of posts on here of certain dance moves and dance training that I do which would be beneficial to climbers.  Heads up for when they appear- they're not easy!
Off to be even more productive this evening.  It feels so good to be better and back at it. :)

Friday, October 4, 2013


This week was rough.

Sometimes the best cures for having a crazy, overwhelming week can be a little bit of a kitten snorgle...
and a night of climbing with my girlfriends.
I'll do a real update tomorrow.  Forgive me for taking the week off- it's been a bit of a long one.