Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My First Cloche

I made something.

Remember this:

  Well this weekend it became this:

and this:
and then I felted it to look like this:
(Please excuse the poor photos, my husband was traveling so I had to do a self-photo and my good camera is at my mom's house until this weekend.)

All I have to do is get a ribbon and then attach it andthe felted peacock feathers and then it will look like this:
Well mine will be close enough and beautiful.  I just hope the weather turns and we can start dressing warmer.  Thursday is another high of 95 degrees.  Boo.  Back to knitting to make myself forget the heat.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Someone like me?

I have been thinking about marriage a lot lately.  Mostly because I am finding many people my age are divorced and getting remarried.  People I knew in college or grad school who were happily married are now engaged to other people.  I guess you don't really advertise divorce on Facebook like you do an engagement. I wonder if any of these people thought I would be in the same boat as them; divorced before 30.

I married my high school sweetheart.  We started dating before the turn of the century in 1999.  We went to college together, had the same friends and experiences.  We married in 2005, the same summer many of my friends got married (all those marriages from that summer are happily intact I believe.)
  (Pardon the blurriness of this photo.  I took a picture of the wedding photo with my camera.  The real thing is so much better.)

For an outsider, my relationship with my husband may be strange.  We have very few things in common.  We like vastly different music.  I love to read, he doesn't. (It also makes me a book collector and he isn't)  I love to run, he doesn't.  He can sit and rock out child and comfort her with unending patience, I can't.  He loves chocolate, I don't.  I am more liberal in my theology and politics than him.  We have different standards on what needs to be done around the house and what constitutes clean.  I am more outgoing.  He is more tech savvy.   And the list could go on, but the main thing is that we love each other because we are different.  I don't think I could get along with a spouse that enjoyed all the same things I do.  If we both were runners, who would watch our daughter.  If we were both high-strung, who would calm a situation down. 

No, my relationship with my husband is not perfect, but it is good.  I look forward to many more years of goodness.  I wish everyone else the same in their relationships.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Newest projects

Earlier today I started working on a post about the under-appreciated-ness of librarians.  I decided not to finish it and post it because I don't want to complain too much on this blog.  Me writing about under-appreciated librarians and underfunded libraries really won't change anything.  So instead today I bring you, my knitting.

This is my latest FO (finished object).  The Baktus scarf.  It begins with just casting on 4 stitches and then it grows ever 4 rows, by just one stitch, until you make it to half way.  Then, it decreases by one stitch every four rows.  It is nothing but pure and easy garter stitch with some increase and decreases.  Easy to take anywhere.

I used size US 3 needles and fingering yarn   (Kroy Socks 4 Ply in Clover Colors) so it went slowly, but I really like the result.

It has been well over 90 degrees the past few days so I have not be able to wear it but for a bit (inside only) when I finished it.  It will probably be months before I get to wear it.  I anxiously await that day, not just for the scarf wearing but for the cooler weather in general.

Something about summer makes me want to make scarves and hats.  I think I like it because it reminds me that heat is only temporary and some day I will need warm goodies.

I definitely plan on making the Baktus again.  Maybe not with sock yarn though.
Maybe I will learn to make socks so I can use sock yarn to make socks and not scarves.  However I really like the tiny stitches so maybe so I might just keep using sock yarn for much larger projects.  I love knitting for both the process and the finish project.  I love making it and love finishing.  I only dislike sewing in the ends and there were very few ends on the Batkus, only where I had to add the next skein and at the beginning and end.

I am now working on something completely different.

This is my knitting/crocheting/yarn bag.  Yes, I sewed my knitting bag.  And what it in it today?.....
The beginnings of cloche.  Cloche pronounced \ˈklōsh\ is a fancy hat made popular in the 1920s.  This one is called "Fine Feather Cap" from Crochet Today.

It the end it will look like this:

I love the felting and the peacock feathers.  Hopefully I can get this hat done this weekend.  I work quickly on projects and housework goes undone while I am in the knitting or crocheting mode.

Who needs a clean house when there is yarn just waiting to be made into something.  I may have a small addiction.

Friday, August 19, 2011

No Time Like the Present

I feel I have had no time to do anything and I feel as though I have accomplished a lot lately.  It is the paradox I live my life in.

What have I been doing?  Swim lessons and other end of the summer/beginning of the school year activities.
 I have been spending my Tuesday and Thursday evenings watching my daughter swim to her hearts content. Her lesson only takes 30 minutes but in the end it really takes up the whole evening.  As soon as we get home, I have to cook, we have to eat, we have to drive, then swim, then drive home again.  If she is good, we play on the playground next to the swim complex before going home, but Delaina rarely listens and is good.  When we get home.  It is showering and getting ready for bed time.  I am just exhausted.  We did this for 4 weeks.  Last night was the last lesson.  I am happy.  But now we are moving on to the next activity.

My husband has been traveling a lot for work so we don't see him a few times a week.  I actually quickly adapt to sleeping in my bed solo.  I love to spread out!

A water main broke near our house so we were without water and then on a boil order.  The dishes and laundry just did not get done.  I am just a bit behind in that area, but really who is ahead in housework?

I think things will be better now, calmer (as if calm happens in my life).  Maybe I am just being optimistic.  I feel caught up.  I have 99% of my class planned and up on Blackboard.  I have everything done in the library that I can possibly have done before school starts.  I am checking things off my to-do list and putting post-its everywhere as reminders.

Maybe I will have time to knit, crochet and read this weekend?  Or maybe get groceries?  I also promised Delaina a trip to a new park.

PS On great news, my niece was scanned to see if her cancer has progressed.  All tests came back with no new cancer!!!  This is such great news.  Hopefully all this evil will be behind our family soon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Grumpy to Happy!

Grumpy.  I have a tendency to be grumpy.  I was very grumpy with my reunion.  It may have been that I was not drinking or I did not stay late enough to have fun with others or maybe I really am just a grump.  When I was little my parents said I was ornery like Oscar the Grouch.  I don't think my husband would disagree now.


I got over my grumpiness with a stop at Target.  I love Target and I love back-to-school shopping.  I am not taking any classes and my child does not need school supplies but I still love to check out all that the back-to-school section has to offer.  I also love to see the kids fighting with their parents to get the cool supplies over the cheap supplies.

I did get two school supplies myself.  A composition notebook and a set of two Sharpie pens.  The composition notebooks were just so cute clean and cheap; I could not resist.  What I will use it for is still a mystery, but everyone needs a composition notebook, right?  My Sharpie pen has already made my work day much more enjoyable.  Have you ever tried a Sharpie pen?  They are so amazing.  I highly recommend them.

I am a bit of a pen lover.  I have two mugs on my desk serving as pencil holders (or pen holders in my case) because one is just not enough. 

I will take every free pen offered to me and I will purchase pens that I think are cool.  I especially like eco-pens and pens that are not of the black or blue ink variety.

I guess when I get grumpy, I just need to focus on something that makes me happy; like composition notebooks and Sharpie pens.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

10 years later....

Today was my 10 year high school reunion.  My husband and I are high school sweethearts and graduated in the same class.  Unfortunately, the reunion was not our scene.  I am not a bar person and my husband is not much of one either.  We stayed for 2 hours.  It seemed to be the same old high school politics.

Here are my senior pictures; taken by Kevin Colby.


I was such a young thing and 20 pounds lighter.

Here we are today.  This photo is not the most flattering.  Bad angle.

It is hard to believe its been 10 years.  That means I am 28 and not 18.  I still feel like an 18 year old some days, but not today.  Today, I am tired and don't know many of my classmates.  Today, I guess I am a grump.  Today I am happy I married my husband and I had someone to talk to.  At least we got some time to be out together.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's who I am

I made a very important purchase last week.  One that could save my life.

Have you ever heard of Road ID?  If you spend any time away from your house working out, you should know about them and get one.

The founders of Road ID, a father and son, came up with the idea when the son was training for a marathon and the father worried about the son's safety and how anyone would know to contact him if the son needed help. Road ID was made to make runners, cyclist and anyone else out and about outdoors or in a gym have identification and emergency contact information on them.  There are several different styles, ones for shoes, ankles and wrists.  I chose the bracelet kind.

You can put your name and city as well as several different emergency contact numbers.  On this model there are seven lines you can fill.  If you want you can add a motivational saying.  I chose "Everyday in every way getting better and better."  It is from "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon about his son Sean.  I like the saying because I love John Lennon and my main goal in running is to just get better.   I want to get better every day.  This quote was perfect for me.

I was prompted to get one when I fell down running.  I just got a good dose of road rash and a bit of blood.  But it got me thinking, what if I would have really hurt myself.  I was less than a mile from home, but no cars passing by would have known that.  Now I don't have to worry.  I still worry about injury, but I am not worried about getting in contact with my family. 

I went for a run with my Road ID and barely noticed it.  It fits great and is very adjustable.  I will wear it when ever I work out, including in the gym.  People may know who I am in the gym, but they don't know who to call in an emergency without looking it up on some saved form.  Now I have my husband's and mother's name and cell phone numbers strapped to my arm so that they can easily be contacted.

I am training to run a half marathon.  Right now my mileage keeps me within a few miles of home, but soon my mileage will lead me further and further from home.  Plus, I love in the middle of a city with cars and crossing major intersections. Having my Road ID now gives me peace of mind.

If you want one please let me know.  I have some $1 off coupons.  My road ID cost about $30, but there are other styles that are cheaper.

I did not receive compensation for this. I bought my Road ID.  I just wanted you all to know about the great product.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My "Craftiness"

My life tends to go in obsessive cycles.  I will read, read and read until I stop.  Then I make stuff until I stop and go back to reading.  I am not one to sit still.  Even when I am sitting "still"  I am moving.  I have that horrible leg shake.  My husband is always getting on my case because I rock the dining room table or couch or where ever I am with my leg.

To better help me sit "still"  I knit, crochet, make cards, sew, scrapbook, make jewelry and try my hand at other fun crafty things I see on Pinterest and other places.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

I've made a few things this year.

I am high strung and I need lots of things to keep me busy.  Crafting helps me sit "still" otherwise I am not sure how long I could sit.  Could I watch a whole movie without knitting?  In a theatre yes, at home no way; not without something else to do.  I think I inherited this trait from my mother.  Time will tell if I have passed the gene on but all signs are pointing to yes at this point.  

Besides the fact the knitting and crocheting (main hobbies) make me sit, they also provide wonderful handmade gifts and a wonderful stress release.  A study by Harvard University shows that knitting has similar stress reducing abilities like yoga and meditation (check out Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity).  

Knitting is also great for lunch breaks because most of my projects are portable, small and easy,  with easy to remember or follow patterns.
I will be forever indebted to my mom for teaching me to crochet and instilling a love of crafting.  I am also indebted to Molly, who taught me and several other librarians how to knit one lovely spring day.  I haven't be able to stop since.

Monday, August 1, 2011


This is why I moved to Peoria.
 This is my dad and daughter.

We left our house in Nashville, unsold (we paid the mortgage there and rent here for 6 mos).  We had to move ourselves at our expense.  My husband had to quit his job so he was unemployed without unemployment benefits.  We sold out house having to pay in $6k that we had to borrow from my parents. For a job paying me well under national average for a librarian. For this.

This is my daughter playing with her cousins on the train at Pioneer Village in Walnut Grove, IA.

(These photos are from my phone and not great quality.  For some reason they tend to have a bluish tint.)

We moved for family.  Living in Nashville was pretty good.  I loved working for Vanderbilt.  I liked my house and neighborhood.  I loved my friends!!!!  I hated the heat and traffic, but I could tolerate them.  But we were so far away from our parents and our parents wanted to see our daughter.  We wanted our daughter to see her grandparents.  And so we moved.  

It has been almost two years since we moved here.  My daughter loves getting so see her grandparents and cousins on weekends.  We seem to spend at least one weekend a month.  Peoria is less than two hours from the grandparents (just North of Davenport, IA).  It makes for a very easy trip since our drive time from Nashville was near 10 hours.

Peoria is growing on us.  Illinois has a lot of problems as anyone who watches the new will know, but it is our home now; for better or worse.