Saturday, May 25, 2019

I Need This Weekend

Thanks goodness for the screened porch. I am exhausted! It is heavenly to sit out here and knit. It seems like I feel this tired by this time every year. Is that because I'm not getting younger? 

I've been perusing a new knitting book. I don't buy knitting books often. There is the library, after all,  and there are all those amazing patterns online. However, I could not leave this one behind. If I'm going to call myself "Caffeine Girl," then I had to buy this one. 

I do have a rule about buying knitting books. There have to be at least three patterns I'm sure I'll knit at some point.  With this book, the cowls captured my attention immediately. This one is very sweet:
Considering that I wore my wool shawls into late May this year, I think I could find a place in my wardrobe for this one, too:
I really like this sweater. But I do have problems with wool. I need to learn about how to find patterns that work with cotton and linen.
Not that I'm casting on any of these right now. I have yarn for some non-wool projects that I want to do, as well as an embarrassing number of WIPs.

I hope to catch up with my blog reading, this weekend, get outside, and do some things with friends and family. 

This is a much-needed three-day weekend, and I am struggling to get work off my mind. The end of the year is always intense because there are students who are not going to graduate on time. They and their parents are very emotional. I feel for them, but I also have to scramble around to find the right GED programs and get their paperwork in order for the fall. I am working with a handful of homeless students this year, and there is one in particular who I am very worried about this weekend.

Enough of that. Time to get back to relaxing!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Hooked on Hitchhiker

It's been a dreary weekend: cold, windy, rainy, gray skies. I'm not complaining because I needed to rest and this weather definitely helps with that. I went to Torah study yesterday and then had a nice long lunch with my mom. Last night, Keith and I started the third season of The Man in the High Castle (Amazon), and it is as good as the first two.

Today I started cleaning up my studio and then went out to lunch and Urban Sketching. I ended up drawing one of our sketchers:
The blue sky is just wishful thinking. It was quite gray.
I'm pretty happy with this sketch. The woman sort of looks like Jean, the sketcher, which is a rare accomplishment for me! I need to find some time to just play with my watercolors. It's a challenging medium and I don't put enough time into it.

This is good knitting weather. I finished my first Hitchhiker, and I love it. It only has about 39 teeth (it's supposed to have 41), but it is long enough right off the needles. After blocking, it should be a decent length.
I like the way the gradient works out when it's around my neck. I think it came out well enough to be a gift.

It was such a fun and relaxing knit, that I just had to do a stash dive and start a second one.
I have no recollection of where I got this skein of yarn. It's going to be an adventure. It's a magic ball with 15 colors of sock yarn tied together with square knots and wound into a cake. I haven't come to a knot yet, but I'm hoping that I can just leave the knots in place and have a rustic sort of shawl. Strangely, there is no company name or brand. All I know is that there are 525 yarns of Merino superwash sock yarn. 

For dinner tonight I made a delicious red lentil dish from the Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook. The dish called for homemade mango chutney, but I cheated and bought some. I'm not vegan, but I do make a lot of Oh She Glows recipes. They are healthy and reliably good.

I noticed that the photo of my most recent quilt in my last post was fuzzy, so I just had to go on record with a better photo:
How was your weekend?




Monday, May 13, 2019

Trying to Focus

I hope that everyone had a lovely Mother's Day. Keith and I made brunch for our mothers.

I've been trying to be more focused on fewer projects so that I can actually finish a few things. After brunch on Sunday, I finished this quilt, which Keith calls "the ugly one."
 It's not my favorite, either. I was trying to use colors that aren't in my usual palette. I learned how much color inspires me. I think that part of the problem with this quilt is that it didn't emerge out of joy -- and I think that shows. This was a useful experiment, but I don't think I'll do it again.

On the other hand, I am thoroughly enjoying my Hitchhiker. I have come to the place in the skein where the dark teal is beginning to occur more frequently.
I spent quite a bit of time working on it this weekend and listening to a fascinating podcast from Slate about Randy Weaver and Ruby Ridge.

And I'll leave you with a photo of my grandkitty telling Rachel that it's time to turn off the computer:

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Spring Is Everywhere At Last

Even Wisconsin has finally welcomed spring! Kola and I are very happy to be able to hang out on the screened porch. 
 Last Sunday I noted that there were 31 days of school left, which means we are now down to 26 days -- 25 for me. I'll be eating Jello for dinner and undergoing everyone's favorite intestinal screening procedure tomorrow.  Yesterday a teacher went public on the state of the profession in the Miami Herald. I love my school, my colleagues, my students -- but no one is exempt from the budget cuts, testing culture, lack of respect. Those have become national problems. 

But, getting back to spring, I have started another set of mitts in Zauberball Crazy, and this ball is very cheerful and seasonal:
My quilting project also features flowers:
I like this project, but again, I feel like I'm following the commercial fabric's direction. I fell in love with the flowered fabric and then chose others to contrast with it. 

The projects I really love are more original. I've started working seriously on a piece for an exhibit that my fiber group is having in the fall, and I like this one so far. The show is at the Arboretum so all the artwork has to include Wisconsin wildlife.
I have four Wisconsin birds and a handful of native wildflowers. When I finish the design, I'll transfer it onto cotton twill and embroider it with perl cotton. I think it will be a fun one to embroider.

I've been taking it easy this weekend. I am exhausted following a week of student crises at school and an injury. A student came flying out of a bathroom and banged into my wrist, leaving me with a sprained arm. I spent the whole day dealing with Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine. Still, I did go out for Gallery Night on Friday. There's a new store that focuses on arts and crafts from Tibet, India, etc., and it is furnished with this completely beaded chair:
Really. That is all beads, see:
Five more weeks. I can do it, right?