Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I've been tagged!

Wow! I've finally made it in the blogging world. I've been tagged for the first time; by The Knitting Ewe!! Thanks, I think. I must tell seven random things about me. Compared to the Knitting Ewe, I'm not terribly interesting.

Here we go:1) I spent four years in a convent. Not just a Catholic girls' school, but a real convent where we all wanted to become nuns. This was in the 1960's when there weren't a lot of opportunities for girls. The nuns in "my" convent were quite accomplished--my French teacher was a Fulbright student; two nuns ran a printing press operation; my Chemistry teacher was the first woman to attend Marquette Dental School; the financial managers for the order were nuns; the woman who ran the physical plant and huge boilers was a nun. Wow! I was "in the convent" during my high school years after which .....(see #2)

2) My family moved to Northern Nigeria for two years. My father was with a government project. Very, very interesting experience, to say the least.

3) I learned how to knit in the convent from my fellow high schoolers. I loved it. I knit while studying. For a period of time knitting was prohibited on Sundays because it was "work." I protested this, since we were required to do schoolwork on Sundays. The ban on knitting on Sundays was lifted!!

4) I hide yarn from my husband. I think he has good reason to complain about the size of my stash. My problem is that I have to keep the yarn in the basement and I forget what yarn I have. I've made lists, etc., but that doesn't help. I keep finding surprises whenever I look.

5) I stopped knitting when I was about 30 and started again when I was in my late 40's. I'm not sure why I didn't knit for 15 or more years. During that time I made lots of my own clothes. When I began to knit again, I was shocked at all the new yarns and interest in knitting. In my previous knitting life I was a lonely solitary knitter. It's so much fun to have a vitual and a tangible knitting community!!

6) I just graduated from library school (a master's degree in library sciences) at age 57. Now, I must look for a job. I'd rather knit!!!

7) I love coats and jackets--this must be because I live in the upper Midwest. I would own 25 coats if I had the money and the closet space. I believe life is better with a coat or jacket for every temperature. Some casual, some dressy. I would even love a fur coat ( I know, this is not politically correct), but I would wear only a vintage fur coat--at least 50 years old. when I was in college I had an old ratty racoon coat from the 1920's that I wore on campus in northern Wisconsin. It was so cozy warm. I've never been so warm in the winter.

8) I started taking piano lessons at age 50! I had always wanted to take them when I was a child, but our family had no money for lessons, much less a piano. I stopped lessons when I started graduate school and had no time to practice. If I find a part time job, I will take lessons again. I loved it. I wasn't very good, but I loved it. The music sounded magical to me--to think, that my hands could make music!!!

Whoops, I've gone beyond seven. I'm not too good at following directions!!
I'm still looking for ideas for socks for my sock pal for sockapalooza. She is from New Mexico. I'm not sure what people wear on their feet in a warm climate--since I'm from the frozen north!

Sock decisions!

I am participating in Sockapalooza 4, for the first time. Unfortunately, however, my sock pal does not have a website, so I can't scope her out. I do know, however, that she lives in New Mexico. Hmmm. I live in Wisconsin where wool socks can be worn nearly every month of the year, depending on the weather on a particular date. I would imagine that New Mexico's weather requires wool socks in only a few months of the year. Therefore, I thought of using cotton/wool/nylon yarn and making shortie socks; i.e. socks that come just above the ankle. Or, could shortie socks be cheating--less knitting. Not so fancy. I'd use a lacy stitch, perhaps. Or, make two pair to make up for the fewer rows needed for the socks.

Any comments? What would you recommend??

Thanks to those who commented on where they wear their shawls. Jeans and t-shirts seem to be perfect shawl partners. I've been wearing my lace shawls only for dress wear, but I think I will loosen up a bit and wear them on most any occasion!!

Cheers to all you sock knitters!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Milestones, those markers on the road of life that let us know that we have accomplished something. Somehow our lives are changed when passing the milestones--usually for the good. I passed an important milestone on May 20, and I hope it is good. I finally received my masters degree in library and information studies. I also am now eligible to receive the appropriate license to be a school librarian.

I knit my way through many classes, until the classes became so complicated that I needed both hands to take notes!! Information technology was one such class, as was information architecture and cataloging.

Here I am in my robe, hood and hat with my daughter #2! She was more excited about my graduation than I was!! She earned it--she got me up to go to my 7:45 a.m. Spanish class more than once. And she set an example of how to stick to one's homework until it is done. And how to keep at it until you understand it. And how to go to school even when you are not feeling well--no wimp scholar is she!! High school kids have a hard life; harder than I ever had it and harder than my graduate school life.

Here I am with my parents. I am wearing my father's PhD robe, the one he wore when he was a faculty member and marched in annual graduation processions. I wore the robe out of respect for his accomplishment. He started college when I was 1 month old, after he returned from WWII. He finished his PhD when I was 16--and there were a total of five children in the family. He worked full time and studied whenever he could. Of course, my mother sacrificed a lot to achieve the goal--she deserves an honorary PhD. (She never went to college because she was at home taking care of us kids.) Nothing I experienced as a late in life graduate student compared with the hard times they had making ends meet and burning the candle at both ends.
Knitting milestones are also important. Blocking an item is like a graduation, of sorts. all the coursework is completed; all the papers are handed in and this is the ultimate final step before sending it off into the world to do good!! Here is my Shaped Triangle Shawl from Gathering of Lace; the one I started in 2002 after Knitting Camp. Or, maybe I started it in 2003. At any rate, I purchased the yarn, Joslyn's lace weight yarn called angel hair, at Knitting Camp. (the yarn is truly deserving of the name. It is wonderful laceweight yarn!!) The shawl sat smushed in a bag for years and I finally retrieved it this winter. I vowed to finish it by June 1, and I blocked it this evening!!!

Ignore the little blips--There are some in the photos. I'm planning on wearing it with great pride, even with the little problems for which I did NOT rip back. I ripped back for a number of problems, let me assure you. But, at some point I just had to get this baby done!!

And done it is!! The temperatures are in the mid to upper 80's this week and I don't have anyplace to wear this. Maybe I'll have my husband take me out to dinner at an air conditioned restaurant. I plan to wear it to Knitting Camp beginning July 5, regardless of the temperature!!!!

Where do all of you wear your shawls?? Do you have an elegant life that I don't?? Maybe I should celebrate finishing the shawl and graduation all in one!! Although, dh already paid for a dinner for 10 family and friends after the ceremony........ Clearly, I need more milestones to celebrate by wearing my shawls!

Friday, May 18, 2007

One down, two to go

Yes, the big project for instructional technology is done!!! It is a DVD on how to make a bibliography, for 4/5 graders. I showed it to kids at a school. Some liked it, some said it was helpful, one boy said it was "cheap" and others said they knew everything already (teacher says they didn't). At least it is about to be handed in.

Then, at 7:45 tomorrow morning, a spanish grammar test, for which I haven't studied.

And then write a short paper on making the DVD, etc.

Then, clean the house. Then, go to bed.

Sunday morning--graduation at 9:00 a.m. and dinner at 4:oo.

I'll do a little mindless knitting to get through all this--squares of left over sock yarn for the famous sock yarn blanket. My 30 year old now says she wants one too. I figure I need about 200 more squares!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Please, don't tell my professor that I haven't been working on my instructional technology project 24 hours a day!! I've been procrastinating.......
On Sunday my daughters and husband took me to a mother's day brunch and afterward we did our traditional Mother's Day activity--went to the local arboretum to view the lilacs in bloom. This is the 30'th consecutive mother's day that we've done this--except for the year we were in Spain but I figure that doesn't count. Daughter #1 who remained in the US visited the lilacs in our place.

Put your nose into this clump of blossoms and smellllllll!!

In addition to ooohing and aaahing we take pictures. I've trained daughter #2 well--she and I have a contest to see who can take the best (and the most) photos. she always wins!

Last night I went to my church knitting group and we took this photo of 8 of the 10 members who worked on the blanket. The blanket brought in $1,130 to the auction proceeds!!! We sold raffle tickets for $5 each, 5 for $20. This was the highest earning item at the auction!!! And, surprise of all, a member of the group got the blanket!!! She is the one on the lower left.
Also, last night I went to the local Knitters' Guild stash reduction sale--I gave away lots of baby yarn. To people who knit for charity. And I purchased only sock yarn, of which there was only a little.
Now, I'm updating the blog, downloading photos, etc., etc. Anything to stay away from that horrible project!!! Here I go, back to the school work.....I'm going, really I am, after I check a few knitting blogs.....

Oh, by the way, if you want to see LOTS of other photos of lilacs, just click on the flicker box in the upper right.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Progress on Shaped Triangle

Time is screaming past me and my projects are having a hard time establishing their priority order. Top on the list should be the completion (rather, the beginning and completion) of a complicated project for my instructional technology class. Second on the list should be studying for my Spanish advanced grammar and composition class. Third should be knitting. However, the knitting seems to creep to the top of the list at all times!! Graduation is on May 20, so I'd better make sure I finish my coursework so that I can actually graduate!

Meanwhile, let me show you which knitting has been putting itself on the top of the list. I've been working on the Shaped Triangle shawl from Gathering of Lace. This is the shawl I started in 2002--but we won't talk about how long the shawl has wallowed.

I love the pattern. And found no problems with it. Only problems were that of execution! Until this week. I did 29 repeats of the 16-row lace edging, and this all proceeded without incident. Then, I got to the center turn. Fortuitously, the stitches all lined up. I had the correct number of stitches, according to the pattern chart. I was so thrilled!!! Thrill turned to tears, however. Look.
The center point of the lace edging did not match up with the center row of yarn overs of the shawl. You can see the three triangles that form the center turn of the lace edging. The center triangle was started two rows too soon. The green line shows the problem. Drats!! What were they thinking?? It all looked great on the charts, but in practice it is off.

So, I did what all good knitters do, I practiced ripping out, one stitch at a time. I will adjust. All knitters know about adjusting--their attitude as well as the instructions.

I'm taking this shawl to Knitting Camp this summer, Meg Swansen's camp, as in EZ's daughter. And as in the editor of Gathering of Lace. We'll discuss what went wrong. In the meantime, I'm reworking the turn of the lace edging at the point. I'll post a photo of what works out.

Meanwhile, shed a few tears for me, please, as I devote the remainder of the glorious weekend (perfect for gardening, bike riding and knitting out of doors) to my course projects.