Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Frosty Month of January

It's been a crazy month as Spring Semester takes off!
I can officially say that I'm pretty sure I've bitten off more than I can chew this semester.  Things have gotten insane between dance rehearsals 4 nights a week for up to 5 hours, to 12 credits of teaching at my local college, to being a board member of a local non-profit, to helping plan and execute a local ice climbing festival, to being the adviser for a local student honor chapter, to trying to fit a boyfriend, climbing, cross-country skiing, and even just time with friends or the occasional evening knitting and movie.  My planner is color-coded and filled out to within an inch of every available space, and every night I feel like I forgot to do something as I fall asleep.
And I'm only 3 weeks in to the semester...

(Albert looking how I feel most of the time...)
Luckily, I have a very deep supply of coffee, my love for my dancers and their awesomeness, and a strong support system in parents, friends, and boyfriend for encouragement.  I'm also making sure that I keep my weekends fairly open to keep up with grading, projects, cleaning and chores, and allowing myself to have some relaxing (knitting) time.
I've also had some wrenches thrown in to the craziness this past month.  For example, a couple of weeks ago, I got into a small car accident!

My car slid gently off of an icy road going only 20 mph, but a bunch of trees that stopped the slide in the ditch dented in my passenger door and smashed the window.  It was far too expensive to repair quickly, and since it's my parents' car in the first place, I'm going to have my college's auto department fix it when body work comes up in their syllabus.
This meant that I- for the first time ever- bought a new car!

It's a 2015 Subaru Outback, which is exactly what I've always wanted for a trip vehicle.  Climbing road trips just got that much more awesome!  After driving old and dying vehicles my whole life, having a new car feels like an insane luxury.  AC?  Amazing!  Heated Seats?  WHAT?!

Pretty nice. :)
I have managed to throw in a little friend time among the crazy!
My friend Heather stopped in from overseas.  She moved from Denmark to London recently, which of course means I need to plan a trip to one of the few European countries I haven't been!  I met her and my other old high school friend Sarah to meet Sarah's new little boy Carson.

Isn't he cute?
Just this last weekend I went shopping for bridesmaids dresses with my brother's fiance, and it was a rockin' good time with all 7 of the bridesmaids there!  We had breakfast, laughed at ugly dresses, drank coffee, and got our dresses ordered for the July wedding.

I also helped set climbing routes for the first time at a local climbing competition!  My boyfriend is a route setter, and when we got to a gym that I was supposed to try out the routes for the competition, we found out that there were no routes to climb.  So I got a crash-course in putting up routes, and it was tough but a lot of fun!

(Another local hard climber, Sean, stopped in too to set some routes.  He helped me finish one of my last routes before BF and I signed out for the night)
I haven't been able to get in a ton of knitting lately, but I have finished one big project that I'll blog about later this week, as well as start on a pair of handwarmers for myself for chilly days at the climbing gym!  The Pomatomus gloves are a pattern that I've made twice for friends already, and I'm finally making myself a pair.  These are my travel knitting, as the rest of my projects don't really lend themselves to being tucked in a bag...
In the meantime, I'm trying to focus on little things that can help keep me stress-free and are a little bit of self-care since my schedule is so insane right now.  Little things like eating healthy, making vegetarian crock-pot dishes that I can eat at school all week, or trying to maintain schedule of getting to bed by 11 and up at 7 to get things done right away in the morning.  Starting my day with 5-10 minutes of yoga while my coffee brews, and being thankful for all of the awesome things happening in my life.
It's busy, but I'm definitely enjoying it. :)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

FO: Snowflake Paws

The New Year has been rung in and I'm really excited to make 2016 fun, exciting, productive, and adventurous!  
Before I get into exactly what that entails as far as my 2016 plans are concerned, I need to finish off the year with a FO that I (finally!) gave to the recipient for a Christmas present.  My roommate has been slyly hinting at getting a pair of mittens in the several years that we've been friends, and now that we're actually living together, it was time that I make her a pair of Snowflake Paws!
Pattern: Kate Davies' Snawpaws (link to Ravelry page)
Yarn: Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift in Granite and Gentian
Needles: DPN's size 1 in bamboo
Timeframe: I accidentally forgot to put in Ravelry when I started, but I know it was super late, so I'm tentatively saying December 1-28th, 2015.  We gifted things to each other late, so finishing them after Xmas was okay... :)

Mods: Alex has small hands, so I eliminated the last repeat of snowflakes to make them shorter.  I also didn't go up a needle size as the pattern suggests, and only stuck with size 1's the whole time.  If I were to make these again, I would probably lengthen the cuffs, but that's mostly personal preference.
Worst Part: Not much, honestly.  It was a great small project, easy enough to follow and memorize that I could do it while chatting with friends, and I love the way it turned out.  Yarn was a little scratchy for my personal taste, but I think Alex likes them, so that's what matters!
Best Part: I love the way this wool looks and works with colorwork.  Again, a bit scratchy for my taste, but I could be persuaded into making some mittens for myself with it...
(They look really nice when cross-country skiing...)
I have a few Works In Progress that I need to get working on and get out of my queue, because there's so many pretty things to make this year... :)