Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Epic Knit Has Begun

I knew that I needed to start the Epic Knit before my break ends if I am to start it at all, so after spending a few hours trying to bring some order to the sewing room, I assembled all the pieces. 
About a half hour later, I had 298 stitches cast on and was into the second round. Yahoo! Maybe I really will get this monster knit by the end of the year. Of course, that's easy to say now as I haven't started the very complex Fair Isle pattern. That's where the challenge begins.
But it is way too nice to stay inside. Keith and I took a long walk this afternoon. It was 22 degrees and sunny -- my idea of a perfect day. It gave me a chance to wear my Sockhead Hat.
And I'm thinking of Kathy B, who will understand that I am a bit blue today. My daughter left yesterday to go to her dad's house and is now on her way back to Miami. The house feels very lonely without her.

Having a two-week break is downright luxurious. I feel very lucky. And very relaxed! I was hoping to take a quick trip Up North for some cross country skiing with friends, but it doesn't look like there is snow anywhere. No climate change here!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Loving Winter Break

I am happy as a clam to be on break. School was just crazy that last week. I don't think I have ever needed a break quite so much.

The break started out with a birthday dinner for Rachel. My ex-husband actually suggested a photo of three generations: Rachel, me, and my mom:
So far, I have mostly hung out with Rachel and Keith, cooked and crafted. Does it get any better? Rachel always has work to do (that's life in grad school), so she's fine with me sharing the couch -- her on her laptop and me knitting.

While I continue to procrastinate on the Epic Knit, I have been enjoying the Antler hat:
And I'm enjoying my quilting/embroidery project. I've named this technique "Crazy Kantha."
It is Christmas Day, so we will soon be off to Keith's parents' house for dinner. Rachel is at her dad's for a few days, but she'll be back soon.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

I'm a Meme and Other News

We had the Special Ed Department Holiday Party Friday night, and I won some pretty awful stuff in the White Elephant exchange, including a really awful hat. I was goofing around in it and one of my colleagues turned me into a meme:
This afternoon I went drawing with my friend Tsela, who included me in one of her sketches.
 Tsela is much faster than I am and she completed two sketches in the time it took me to do one. We always think it's fun when we draw the same thing. The results are always quite different (mine is on the right):
We were drawing at Madison Chocolate Company (highly recommended!) and saw a celebrity there. I know he's shy so I settled for taking a photo of the back of children's author Kevin Henkes. 
I started a hat with some Cascade 220 from my stash. The Antler Hat pattern is free from Tin Can Knits. I have never been disappointed in a Tin Can project. This is a very easy cabled pattern, and it's going quickly.
I am making a recipe from my new cookbook for dinner tonight: Lemon-Fennel Chicken in a pot.
I love Dorie Greenspan's baking recipes. I swear by her pie crust. She is the co-author of Julia Child's baking book; I can't imagine a better credential! I also made one of her chocolate cake recipes for dessert. I hope things come out well because my mother is coming for dinner!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Another Week Flew By

... and I still haven't started the Epic Knit. I can't even blame Hanukkah, as we won't really do much until Rachel gets home for winter break.

I did receive some hand-made pendants from my talented SIL Mary. Isn't this just SO cool?
She has an Etsy store here, just in case you need a gift for someone special -- or yourself!
While procrastinating on the epic cast-on, I finished my Dewberry, and I can wholeheartedly recommend this pattern. It's fast and easy, and looks great. Like Kathy, now I want to make a larger size.  I have a feeling I'll be giving out a few of these as gifts a year from now.

I'm almost done with finishing on a quilt. You can't tell from the photo, but I managed to miter the corners on the binding, which I am exceedingly proud of!
I know the flash photography does not do it justice, but the days here are short. I'm making a few more in this crazy/Kantha style. They are intuitive and relaxing. 

And relaxation is much needed. High school students get crazy this close to Christmas. Quite a few students I know are having trouble in the community -- and that never helps their academic performance. Still, the students are my favorite part of the job (along with the special ed team in my building). My husband and a few physicians strongly feel that I should retire. I go back and forth. I hate the paperwork, but there are still parts of the job that I truly love.

If you're retired, I have a question: How did you know when the time was right?

Sunday, December 2, 2018

I Blame Kathy!

If you read Kathy's blog (and if you don't, you really should) you know that she has knit up two Dewberry cowls. Hers are so lovely, that I just had to cast on one for myself:
Not only is it a beautiful pattern (which she says is also easy), but it lends itself well to Malabrigo Rios, one of my favorite yarns.

This is kind of a problem, because I'm supposed to be starting my Epic Knit, which is an amazing fair isle cardigan from Marie Wallin:
Is that not stunning? 

It's knit from the bottom up, so you start by casting on more than 350 stitches. Casting on that many stitches is so boring! I can't watch TV or listen to a podcast. It's all about counting. So I keep finding ways to avoid the start. I know, I need to develop some self-discipline.

It is going to take me forever. Marie Wallin is a British designer who runs an annual club of one pattern. I'll be shocked if I finish this in a year.

And since Hanukkah starts tonight, I want to gift you this hilarious and brilliant Hanukkah song:

Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday!)