Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reading Drought

I seem to becoming out of a reading drought. I read 4 book in June, two in July and checking  my Goodreads account (very official method) this past weekend I discovered I have not finished a book in the month of August!!!

Seriously people.  I love reading.  What is so wrong that I have not finished any books and don't seem to realize it?

I decided that I had to finish at least one book this month.  So, I read all evening yesterday and finished The List by Siobhan Vivian.

This is the second book of Vivian's I have read and I really like both of them.  The first book I read was Not that Kind of Girl.

Vivian has a real aptitude for capturing the high school girl.  How mean and nice she can be.  How she struggles to find herself.  She is a force in realistic fiction.  

In The List, eight girl's lives are changed when "The List" is posted.  This list is a tradition and every fall it contains the name of the prettiest and the ugliest girl in each high school grade.  The story follows each of the girls on the list lives the week before the homecoming dance.  The writing is pure and powerful.  It makes me remember all the bad and good things I thought and did in high school.  How everyone make rash judgments.   How when you get some shallow thing you have been working for, you realize it was a bad goal all along. 

Great book.  4/5 stars.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not Too Matchy

Months ago I bought yarn to make D and myself matching cardigans.  Sounds cheesy doesn't it.  Well I am not making them too matchy, just a bit.  I am making the cardigans from the same pattern and the same yarn, but not the same color or, of course, size.  I am really trying to convince myself this is not cheesy like the picture I have of my mom, sister and I all wearing pastel kitty sweaters in the early '90s.

I am spending a lot of my time doing a bit of professional knitting, but I finished up some of those projects and could not start the next.  It was Sunday and the yarn I needed was at Hobby Lobby.  Why do I want to go to Hobby Lobby only on the day it is closed?

So, I decided to cast on Yoked Cardigan by Knitbot for my D.

I love this pattern because it works up so quickly and in a variety of sizes.  I could make as small as a 17" chest.

Here is mine:

You may remember when I made this late-June/early-July.  I was my first cardigan.  Really my first knit article article of clothing.

I don't have a picture of me wearing mine because I would have to have someone take my picture and I just never get around to asking and doing it.  I like getting my picture taken, but I end up taking most of the photos around here.

Here is D's so far.  I have only knit on it a few days.


I just have another inch or so in the body and then the sleeves.  This is a short/waist-length cardi with just-above-the-elbow sleeves. (Is there a technical name for that?)  

She seems to like it so far...

So how cheesy of an idea is this?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another New Year

Today marks the beginning of another new school year.  Being an academic librarian, my entire work life revolves around the school calendar.  Summer is a time for projects, the projects you have no time for during the school year.  The school year is for doing everything we can so that people have a positive experience at the library and get the information and space they need.  I am ready to switch over to the school year life.  Summer is nice, but it is the school year that I really thrive upon-seeing people, helping out, all the activities on campus.

Last week was "Celebration of Learning" when all the faculty comes back and we, as employees of ICC, have some staff development time and tons of meetings.  Usually this week exhausts me, but this year, something special happened, because instead of becoming over-tired, I became super energized.  I am so excited for this school year to start.  I can see ways ICC is making improvements all over campus.  I can see how the library is becoming a more prominent fixture on campus and in the minds of staff and faculty.    I see a great year ahead for all the committees I am on.  I see an amazing future for the AAWCC (American Association FOR [not of, men are very much welcome] Women in Community Colleges) chapter at ICC of which I am now president-elect.

I am not sure what the change is exactly.   Maybe something is different in how I am experiencing things.  I just feel blessed to have great co-workers.  I may be paid thousands per year less than industry standard.  I may be under-appreciated because libraries and their staff tend to be under-appreciated, but I am happy to have a job and to see new and the same people everyday.  I get to problem solve and research.  I get to talk about books and the future of libraries.  I get to teach people about all the information available to them through the library.

Things are not perfect, I don't want you to believe they are, but I am just happy.  I very special kind of contentment happy.  I love being an advocate for good information and books.  I have great people to talk to everyday all of who are so very smart and talented.  I feel that my work ins finally making a difference around campus.

I am feeling more positive on the home front too.  D is a challenge, but a good one.  Her potty issues continue to plague us.  My heart breaks for her because I know her tummy has to hurt constantly.  But here are small victories too.  Adam may travel a lot (70 nights gone so far this year), but I am getting used to it and starting to enjoy some alone time too.  My running has been plagued, but I am okay with that.  If I have to walk part of my half-marathon next month, I will make peace with that.  We spent many weekends visiting family in Iowa which was very nice, but it has left me wanting to be a homebody for a while and work around the house. My to-do, to-knit and to-read list keeps getting longer, but I am happy.

This happiness is bound to come with annoying side-effects so, I apologize to my friends and family that will so kindly put-up with my craziness.

I hope this happiness puts an end to my complaining streak, but complaining does make me happy so we'll see where this road goes.

Happy new school year to you all.  I hope you find it full of promise.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Unexpected Knitting

On Saturday I set up a booth at the Peoria Riverfront Farmer's Market to sell my knitted and crocheted goods.

I took this picture with my phone, so not the best quality.

It was a wonderfully cool summer day.  So much nicer than my last month's farmer's market booth (it was a million degrees). And I really think that made all the difference.  People wanted to touch the yarn.  They were reminded that cold weather does exist and they should prepare.

I sold much more than I expected.  Last month I sold one hat which was nice because it paid for my booth's sub-rental and the yarn. I came out even that day.  I was just hoping for better than even this time.  I made a nice profit this time around, I sold several items which really boosted my spirits.  Yes, it is nice to make money, but more, it was wonderful to know that someone I did not know wanted something I made and was willing to pay for it. Plus, more money to buy yarn!!!!

Then something most unexpected happened.  People I know at work started commissioning projects.  I have orders for mittens, scarves, dishcloths and Christmas stockings.  All of a sudden I feel like a professional knitter.  My knitting confidence is soaring high this week.

Yet, I have not sold a single thing on Etsy.

I guess you just have to know people.

Friday, August 10, 2012


I finished my Ravellenic Games challenge!!!!

I will tell you all about it... later.  I have to get ready to sell my wares at the Peoria Riverfront Farmer's Market tomorrow.  Stop by if you are around. Look for the yarn.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I have been consumed with watching the Olympics and knitting. I was blessed to have Thursday and Friday off from work because D's day care was closed for training.  That means I got to watch daytime Olympic coverage!!!  Oh the random sports I have been missing.  I think I am in love with water polo.  I would never want to play it (I don't float or tread water too well), but I love watching it. D is really getting in to the games too.  She says she wants to be a diver- not sure if platform or spring board, yet, and a volleyball player- inside not in the sand.

I am so close to finishing my Ravellenic Games cardigan.  Maybe I would have been done by now, but I had to work on some other projects too. (Yes, had too.)  I get a bit antsy when I only have one big project to work on .  I need other projects to keep me happy, too, so I made a few baby bibs and a hat.  Oh and I spun a bit too.  I have to keep the variety up.

I just started working on the second/final sleeve.

Just a few more inches to go.  I think I can have it all finished up by the weekend or at the very latest by closing ceremonies on Sunday.

I need a suggestion for buttons.  What do you think for buttons? Color? Shape? Size? I'm not sure.