Saturday, February 25, 2006

That's a wrap

So, it's been a few days since I last posted. It's just been rather busy over here. Tonight, DH is on overnight call at the hospital (he's a doctor) so it gives me a bit of a chance to provide an update and get some extra knitting in. Speaking of knitting, the first sleeve has been going pretty well:

Here's my progress! I had the very ambitious goal of being done with the sleeve by tonight for my post..but I still have a few more inches to go. It's starting to slow up row by row with all of the increases...but I'm happy with how it's looking so far.

I've been reading a few posts about the Manly Sweater over at and it appears as though people have found the sleeve on this sweater to be too long. So, I will be shortening it as I get to the sleeve cap. I still have about 20 more rows until I get to that point though. But, I measured DH's arm from the top of the shoulder - and it's about 20 inches..but the sleeve is knitted to ~ 24 inches long. So, I'll be playing around a little with that in a bit.

In other news, the big unveiling of the afghan occurs tomorrow. We're going out with the newly engaged couple - we haven't seen them since they got back from their little vacation on Monday. Anyway, I read in a bunch of articles that the key to getting a good reaction to a knitting gift is to wrap it. So, after all of the time I spent knitting the afghan, I wasn't going to cut corners by not wrapping it. Well, DH and I went to this specialty paper store to do this because I wanted some sort of box to put it in. While we were there, we were so taken with all of the gorgeous wrapping papers and ribbons that things got a little out of, here's the wrapped gift in all of its glory:

Gorgeous, right? I mean it certainly does justice to the gift inside, but I don't think I need to tell you how much the paper and the ribbon cost. They better appreciate it!!!! DH and I were commenting that we've never gotten anything wrapped as beautifully as that before. Regardless, I don't think I'll be doing that again - it's just too expensive. I think in the future I'll just stick to buying the cardboard box for $7.50 (which isn't exactly cheap either) but then using regular wrapping and regular ribbons from a pharmacy. Well, I'll let you know about their reaction after tomorrow evening.

Well, I think that's it for now...I really want to make some more progess on this sleeve before the evening is out.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The ecstacy and the agony

So, first the good news...two days ago, I finished the front of the Manly Sweater. I am very happy with it:

There will be a black neckband at the v-neck - but that won't come until later. However, I did not stay happy for long. Yesterday, I started on one of the sleeves, and there was just bad knitting juju. Have you ever had one of those days? Well, it was very frustrating because I really wanted to make progress on the sleeve - and it just wasn't happening. I had to rip it out twice due to the trouble I was having with the increases.

However, there is hope! Today, I started back on the first sleeve...and so far (fingers crossed) so good.

In other news, school stuff has been good. No 2 hr long faculty meetings this week, thank goodness! Just lots of other smaller meetings. Plus, I think I mentioned that one of my classes had their first exam last week - and they did well...the average was an 84...which is basically what I aim for so I'm happy with that.

So, that's it for now - I'll be catching up in the next couple of days..hopefully by that point, I'll have better luck with the sleeves!!!

Friday, February 17, 2006

My cats take some of the spotlight

So, yesterday turned out to be a total bust. I got no knitting done because I was stuck in this faculty meeting for about 2 hours. So frustrating!! Plus, we didn't even discuss anything really essential - we were voting on this faculty handbook (ok, that's essential) but these faculty members were arguing about the most ridiculous semantic issues. When I came home after 8pm, I was just mentally and physically exhausted which meant that I did not knit and could not think about posting on the blog.

Today, I had a quiet day because I'm home on Fridays (no classes, yeah!). So, I got a lot of knitting done. So much, in fact, that I finished the red portion of the front of the sweater. Check it out:

Looks like I'm making good progress. I'm hoping that tonight - I'll start working on the second black stripe and will finish it...but we shall see.

How's everyone doing with the knitting olympics? I am not participating, as you know, but I've certainly been watching a lot of the's very conducive to knitting. Anyway, for some reason, practically every time I sit down to watch the olympics (when it's not prime time), I keep getting Curling. Has anyone else experienced this too? Now, I don't want to offend any curlers out there - Curling is perfectly fine - I wouldn't mind watching a match or two even though it's not the most exciting - but everytime??!!

And now for something completely different, my cats wanted some blog attention. So, here they are:

So, you've met Frodo already. This is him again in all of his glory. He's the big brother - and if that's not enough - you get a view of my bathroom door and hamper (which desperately needs attention - but lucky for me I won't need to suffer that embarrassment since the top is cut off).

And this here is Sam - the little brother. He's still a kitten..but not for long, he'll be a year in about a month. Although he was very interested in the camera, by the time the delay kicked in between me pressing the button and the picture actually being taken, he kept finding something else to be interested, this was the best glamour shot he'd give me this evening.

So, that's it for now - I'm actually starving so I'm about to heat up some dinner - and then back to working on that sweater!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's good to be back

So, after putting away the afghan for when my friends get back from their little engagement vacation, I started working back on the Manly Sweater. Boy, is it good to be back!!! After dealing with mohair and lace for the past two weeks, it's nice to get back to wool and ribbing - so that I can actually see each individual stitch! Something tells me that I'll be able to finish the front in a relatively short amount of time. It just seems so much easier now!

In school news, things were relatively uneventful. One of my classes has their first exam tomorrow - so I've been preparing for that. I also just found out that one of my students actually lied to a Dean - hoping that she'd be able to sneak into my already full class. The Dean actually called me at home about this - oh boy. She's going to be let into the class but the Dean really felt like it was a difficult dilemma: let the girl into the class vs. teaching her a lesson against lying. I also had a Town Hall meeting that was led by the university president for faculty and students. It was a complete waste of time - but I thought it was the right thing for me to do to go.

Well, I'm going to get back to my sweater now...I'll post a picture of my progress in the next few days.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The afghan is complete!

Hello everyone! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!
I hope that everyone is celebrating with lots of kisses and chocolate!

Sorry it's been a few days since I've posted. There's a good reason for that. I REALLY didn't want to post again until I was finished or very near finished with the afghan...and it's DONE! Hooray!! Here's a picture:

So, here's the whole afghan - again the colors aren't so hot but you get the idea. That's my cat, Frodo, again at the top of the picture. It turned out a little shorter than it was supposed to - that's what happens when you decide not to do a gauge swatch, but I think it's long enough.

Well, I'm quite pleased with it. It's really just beautiful - the picture doesn't quite do it justice..and the yarn is just so soft and yummy. Beyond the finished product, I really learned a lot in the process - it was the first time that I did any sort of lace work and the first time that I did fringe so it was a good experience overall. Plus, it took me about 2 weeks. I think that's pretty good too - especially considering how long the sweater has been taking me....

Which reminds me - so, now I can get back to working on the Manly Sweater. I'm definitely looking forward to it because it'll be a lot easier than the afghan. Plus, I just want to get it done already!!!

In other news, classes have been going well - no complaints. Not much new on that front - except that I had a really great meeting with one of my colleagues in the department. She confided in me how she's been struggling with the students in this one particular class - because they basically challenge everything that she tells them - even if they're presented with tons of empirical evidence. So, she's very frustrated. I was just touched that she felt comfortable enough to share that with me. She also shared her frustrations with the tenure process since she's coming up for tenure this definitely scared me to death! Luckily, I have some time before I need to worry about the whole tenure thing.

So, I need to run for now - I still have to deal with dinner both for myself and my hubby and my poor cats - but I wanted to make sure that I got to a little update!

Until tomorrow!!

Friday, February 10, 2006

News, news, and more news!!!!

Well, there's quite a bit to report for today. Much news!

So, I got assigned my secret sister from the secret sister swap. Of course, I can't tell you who it is - but I'm very excited about it. If anyone has any good ideas about little gifties, that would be appreciated. The limit is $10 for all 3 months of the swap - so keep that in mind. I also got a little email from my secret sister - although she's not a secret. She revealed her identity - but that's okay.

In other blogging news, I signed up for another knitalong. It's the "Year of the Sweater" KAL - I thought it would make sense to sign up since I'm working on the manly sweater...well, once I actually get to finishing the afghan (more on that in a bit). Plus, I have many more plans for sweaters in the near future. So, I thought - why not??

Just a quick thought - is there anyone out there who HASN'T signed up for the knitting olympics? Don't get me wrong - I'd love to - but I have just too much going on to get involved in the knitting insanity - and that would also mean that I'd have to put my current projects on hold - and I really don't want to do that. I feel like we should - I don't know - create some kind of group for the rest of us who are knitting olympic spectators. I just feel so left out!!! Well, clearly I'm not the only one who feels this way. I was checking out Hazel Nutcluster's Blog and I found that she has this great icon:

This just totally sums it up for me!!!

The afghan has been coming along nicely - I have less than 2 more skeins of the MC to go - so almost there! The big engagement was last night - and then they leave for a surprise vacation (well, it's a little surprise for the bride to be) for about a week. So, I'm planning on giving it to them when they come back. I should definitely have it finished by then based on the rate that I'm going.

In other news, classes have been going well - but keeping me VERY busy. But, I found out something so weird - one of my colleague's daughter is in one of my classes!! I still haven't sorted out how I feel about that - but it just seems so surreal.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Prof. Knitwit strikes again!

Okay - so I was hoping to give you some inside info. about the sister swap...but the coordinator hasn't been feeling too well so it's been delayed. I'm just dying to find out who I'm paired with!!

In other knitting news, the afghan has been moving along well. At this current moment, it's long enough to be a lap blanket. I have about 3 1/2 skeins down - 2 1/2 more to go!! It's really looking good...but I'll tell you - I'd kind of like to make myself something soon! Both this afghan and the manly sweater have been gifts for others...I'm dying to get to the long list of knits that I want to make for myself. But, it will just have to wait.

In my blog readings, I came upon this site: : so, according to the site, here's my blog in a nutshell:

Pretty cool, huh? It gave me an outsiders view of what I've been thinking about for the past few days.

In teaching news, all has been going well. My advanced class was not as scary as I feared on Tuesday - of course, I have it again tomorrow so the anxiety is rising - but I think it gets easier with each class. Well, I actually have to head out to do a little extra planning for tomorrow's class. I was planning on doing a little class activity - so I need to check up on that.

Until next time!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

And the afghan moves on!

Well, it's a new week!! I've been working furiously on the afghan and have made a lot of progress. This is how it looks so far:

The colors are a little hard to see - for example, the stripes are in bright blue. But, you get the idea. It's moving a little faster as I get more used to the lace pattern - I'm about half way through and I'm really happy with it. I'll tell you though - I'll be happy to get back to the Manly Sweater - it's so much easier in comparison!

The engagement is scheduled for Thursday - I probably won't have it finished by then - but I'd like to finish as close to the engagement as I can. At the rate I'm going, it'll probably be about a week or so before it's done. That's not too bad, right?

In other news, classes have been going well - it's been busy but enjoyable. I still get a little anxious before my advanced level class. It's always so hard to conduct a seminar style class - and my students are so bright. I just want them to get a good experience out of it - most of the advanced seminars I took as an undergrad or grad student were just horrendous - and i'd hate to have them feel the same way.

What else - well, the sister swap starts tomorrow. I'll be really excited to see who I'm paired up with and to start sending little gifts. How fun!!

Have a great night everyone!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Just for a little fun

So, in my recent blog browsings, I came upon a post from The Scattered Gemini and she described something that sounded like it would be fun to share with my blog readers.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the "coolest" book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

So, I went over to one of our bookcases (we have waaaaaay too many books, our bookcases are overflowing - but that story is for a different entry) and randomnly pulled out Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions.

Let's hope that this provides us with some wise words:

"It was collapsing into all the holes which had been dug into it"

Now, I'm going to get back to working on my afghan while I ponder the deeper meaning of that!!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Well, last night I tried to work more on the afghan - and it was just a total disaster. So, I ended up frogging the whole thing - it's really not an easy feat doing lace work with mohair and holding two strands together at once!

So, I realized one of the big problems is that my needle wasn't working for me. In the pattern, I need to do a yarn over, slip the next, and then knit the next two together and pass the slipped stitch over the two knit together. Basically, it became very difficult for me to get the tip of my needle in to knit the two together. So, I went today to a LYS and picked up a different size and style of needle - and it's working much better! I've done a total of six rows and so far no errors! Hooray! What a difference a needle can make!

Here's the progress so far:

Overall image

Close-up of stitches

Again, sorry the image quality isn't so hot. One day I will have a good digital camera.

Ok - but get this - I got such a great compliment today. As I was getting my new and improved needles for the project, the woman working at the LYS actually complimented me on my scarf - that's the same scarf in the sidebar! She said it was just beautiful. What a thrill to get such a nice compliment from a yarn goddess! It really made my day.

So, back to working on the afghan...the engagement isn't too far away!