Endings and Beginnings

It is June (well tomorrow it is).  The seniors are finishing their finals and will be graduating on Saturday. They having been toting around their yearbooks requesting last minute advice and best wishes to be written for them to reminisce over later.  The underclassmen are spending their last days getting ready for their exams and talking about their "big plans" for being that great Sophomore or Junior next year.  Hallways are getting quieter as each day brings us closer to the day where the school is empty and the girls are off to their respective places of vacation. Everyone is getting ready for class free days which will be filled with trips, summer reading and laziness.

Moulin Rouge

This June starts with me saying good bye to my first class of seniors who’ve I’ve met as freshman.  The transformation that one witnesses over four years of high school is quite numbing.  The growth and maturity that springs forth is stifling. They start out all giggly little 14 year olds and leave sophisticated believing they know it all 17 year olds.  I say good bye to them with all my hopes and blessings for their life beyond our hallways.

Offices are being cleaned of their clutter, with furniture being straighted and dusted.  Once busy bulletin boards are now covered in simple white sheets of paper for their summer hibernation.  June also ushers in a beginnings of sorts.  Like the purchase of a blank crisp notebook, June can offer excitement for a year of new and fresh ideas.  It’s planning time for September, for correcting the past years mistakes and for being a bit wiser for having another year under our belts.

Tweed Stitch Belt

I often work during this month with a huge battle with focus.  I yearn to be outside spending my time soaking up the sun and leaving school behind like most of my students.  It’s the knowledge that I too will have a summer vacation – a time where the school will be closed and I just will not be here that intoxicates.  These are the days of pure freedom!  Of sleeping in, semi-guilt free happy hour and lots of time to knit and enjoy!  I’ve started a few new projects in the wake of Fifi’s completion. (click pics for details)  Things that will accompany me to parks and beaches and Italy!

Cherry Swatch

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet that I will be traveling with 40 of my students to the beautiful country of Italy!  We will be touring every museum, church and fountain of the beautiful cities of Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri, Palermo, and Taormina to name a few.  Will I be tired?  Oh yes.   I’ve already begun a list of yarn shops that I hope to visit in what ever free time I will get.  I plan on bringing an extra piece of luggage – you know, just in case.

small worlds

In my 7 things I mentioned how I happen to be the admissions director of my old high school.  This was something I never planned for or prepared myself to become.  I did not apply to colleges with it in mind and up until late April of my senior year had no inkling that it was to be my future.  In the end it seems to be the perfect job for me right now.  It’s creative, hands on and I can really feel like I’m making a difference in  young people’s lives.

Now, of course at a local catholic HS, you’re not getting paid the big bucks but there are some huge intangibles that do apply.  I get a little bit of summer off, I work from 7:30 **ooph** to 3pm **yea**,  and I have a pretty nice office!  And of course the obvious – I get plenty of time to be creative (i.e. doing a whole lot of knitting!).   But then there’s the unexpected things that can happen when you’re an admissions director.

I had an applicant come in to take an entrance exam this past Tuesday.  Her mom was with her and decided to stick out the two hours of waiting time at my school.  With her she had a nice big Namaste bag filled with a knitting project.  Of course I see it and exclaim, "Oh what are you working on!?" To which she smiles and says, "Oh my daughter didn’t tell you… I work for Vogue Knitting magazine."  To those who know me well my reaction won’t come as a surpise.  (i kinda screamed a  bit –  more like an "Oh wow! I LOVE knitting!! I even have my knitting with me!") Her poor daughter was griding away at the gruling entrance exam while her mother and I talked about patterns and stitches.  She was working on a sample for their fall magazine and was basically knitting the sweater by looking at the photo of the Model!  No pattern just photo.  Right.

Of course she wanted to see what I was working on which I was happy to get.  I showed her Fifi who comes with me everywhere now a days and she even though my knitting was meticulous. (me! haha woo!) I guess I was a bit overly excited but knitting doesn’t really cross paths with my admissions world so this happened to be a huge delight!

In the end, her daughter did well enough to be considered (phew! I was so thinking "accepted=yarn") haha and we’ll see if she does indeed decide to enroll in my school.  Either way I made a new fabulous knitty friend who works for a fabulous knitty magazine!  I plan to try to keep in touch either way – she was very nice and kept telling me, "if you have any trouble with patterns or techniques, call or email me."    That’s a huge "You bet your yarn balls I will!"

So fast foward to today – I’m off! (yet another perk, seriously people HS admissions, not a bad job!) I just got back from a bit of shopping and the rest of my day will be spent cleaning my apartment in preperation for a visit from my old college roomie and her boyfriend.  No beach or traveling for me this weekend – just local bar crawls, a ting of shopping and hopefully some good knitting. Maybe even a finished Fifi!!

Fifi

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!!

7 lil chipmunks twirling on a branch

just a little play time before we begin:

Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7… Minute… Abs.
Ted: Right. Yes. OK, all right. I see where you’re going.
Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin’ there, there’s 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
Ted: I would go for the 7.
Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.
Ted: You guarantee it? That’s – how do you do that?
Hitchhiker: If you’re not happy with the first 7 minutes, we’re gonna send you the extra minute free. You see? That’s it. That’s our motto. That’s where we’re comin’ from. That’s from "A" to "B".
Ted: That’s right. That’s – that’s good. That’s good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you’re in trouble, huh?
[Hitchhiker convulses]
Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody’s comin’ up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won’t even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.
Ted: That – good point.
Hitchhiker: 7’s the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 doors. 7, man, that’s the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin’ on a branch, eatin’ lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale from the sea. It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.
Ted: Why?
Hitchhiker: ‘Cause you’re fuckin’ fired!

So I’ve been tagged by Suzeq with the 7 things meme and judging from my bloglines this meme is spreading as fast as Mono in High School.  I’ve definitely done this before but what’s another 7 weird or (is it random?) things about me.

1.  I have this talent (or perhaps a curse) to turn pretty much anything I hear into a song.  Not an original song by any means but one of the songs that has been databased in my head – which happen to be many!  I do it a lot with names ("Sweet Melissa" or "I see my Marianne walking away" – points to those who know the songs I’m quoting!) and almost always with phrases.  I constantly hear, "do you honestly hvae a song for everything!?"

Everything is everything. The more I talk about it, the less I do control.
– Phonix (6 Feet Under Soundtrack, Vol. 2)….

So Yes, I do.

2. I have this kinship with Julia Louis Dryfus.  Not only have I been called "Elaine" on many occasions, all starting in college, BUT she has played the character Margo from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  A quote that almost right after I meet someone (usually drunk) they like to say.  Usually it follows any question I might ask and their reply is always, "I don’t KNOW, Margo!"

3. I have walked into street signs and gotten my hair caught in a vaccum.  I do not shy away from having seriously comedic embarrasing moments.  I’m just That Girl.

4. I love superheros.  It probably started when I was younger and read any of my brother’s vast collection of comic books.  His favorites were Batman and the Wolverine.  I of course loved them all and often pretended to be an Xmen (remember my X themed meme?).  I watched Season 1 of Smallville religiously (now I just can’t bare to watch… Lana married to Lex, whaaa!?). I went to the opening of Spiderman and I now watch the show Heros (very much like Xmen don’t you think – the humans vs. mutants).  I always wish I had a super power, of course flying is nice as well as having superhuman strength or a fantastic and powerful laso, but the one power I wish I had was the ablity to stop time.  This probably explains my affinity to Hiro and Evie.

5.  My favorite drink is a Gin and Tonic with lime. Although nowadays I find myself drinking a lot of red wine, preferable Cab Sav. (You also know my feelings about Veuve)

6.  I am the admissions director for my old high school – a fact that I’m sure I’ve shared on older occasions but one that always has and always will remain such a random career choice for me.  I never in my life thought I would be here doing what I do.  Then again I didn’t really want to be a doctor or a laywer either.  It just solidfies my faith in karma, the holy spirit, Buddah, fate, destiny or whatever you’d like to call that which may lead us.

7. My boyfriend and I will be celebrating our nine year anniversary this June. Yes that’s right, "nine".  I like to say it with the voice of Principal Rooney when he explains to Mrs. Bueller that Feris indeed has been absent, "Nineee Times".   Has it really been that long?

sunshine on a rainy day

Glee

Pattern: Glee by Zephyr Style
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca, Alpaca Silk, approx. 6balls
Needles: Size 5 and 3 circs

Between the pain in the neck crap I had to deal with at work, the horrendous traffic I endured doing an errand for the beloved boyfriend and the torrental downpour I ran through because I forgot my umbrella I had this excited anticipation and calm because I was going to blog about Glee today.   It’s the little things that will calm you down when traffic is going 25mph on a major state highway.  Or when it takes you 45 minutes to get from point A to point B when normally it takes 10.   I even canceled a dinner tonight with an old friend because I though, "geeze, I wouldn’t even want to be in the same room as me right now."  But then I arrived home, all tired all dishelved and there she was just sitting on the couch waiting for me to photograph her.

This beautiful, simple, and so is going-to-be-worn-a-hundered-times top was a quick and satisfying knit.  The title of which is the emotion I am hoping to get to after several glasses of red wine and a foot massage.

Glee Ribbing

Glee

I cannot recommend enough this pattern.  It’s simple but oh so satisfying.  I have yet to buy and or sew on the hook and eyes.  I went this weekend to one craft store admid errands and all they had were black ones.  I am off tomorrow (The small perks of working at a Catholic HS: holy days) and will most defintiely be visiting some shops for them.

And in case you were wondering in suspense what I went ahead and did with dear Fifi. 

the beginnings of fifi

She and I had a nice heart to heart over some Veuve Cliquot.  We’re getting along famously now.

conscience knitting

I tend to not get too scientificky with my knitting. Most likely because I just want to get down to business to knit and make stuff.  I buy a pattern, get some yarn, swatch it up and knit.  I am rarely tempted to experiment with methods or techniques.  It all boils down to my impatience to just start the project which I completely understand is not always the best course of action. 

I just finished knitting the gauge swatch for Fifi and pre-soak it’s coming around to 5.5 stitches an inch rather than the 5st/in that’s required in the pattern.  I really like the way the 7s look and how neat the stitches are and tend to lean towards the "the top will stretch out over time so why not knit in tigher gauge" rational.  But is a whole half stitch a bit too much?  I feel like the girl who wants the advice that will just approve with the course of action she’d like to take rather than the practical "I know what I should do but don’t feel like doing it" solution. 

This is why googling is like a girl’s best friend.  I had saved Sundara’s post about knitting in a tighter gauge as taught to her by Catherine Lowe.  I thought "ooh goodie I won’t have to knit another gauge swatch".  Well in that post it says she recommends .1 to .25 tighter… again I’m looking at .5. (As a total aside, how does one achieve knitting at .1 tighter a gauge? that’s some concentrated tension right there!).  I could probably block the crap out of the top but is it really worth it?

The angel on my shoulder is just whispering to me, "oh, it won’t kill you to just go ahead and knit the gauge with your 8s.  I know you really want to start the top and not worry about whether it will fit or not. If you do so you will knit worry free and be at peace!" The pattern size I want to make is the second size up (33.5) after that is the 37.5 size which I think would make the top a bit loose on me.  Of course then the devil on my other should is saying, "why not knit the larger size only to produce a smaller top that way you won’t have to knit another gauge swatch… go ahead and cast on, you’ll feel better right now. Oh and get yourself some champagne while you’re at it..hmmm mimosas!"

Should I be searching for the Orange Juice or whipping out my 8s?

just try to not laugh

sometimes you just got to read non-knitting blogs…

Miss Doxie

I hope this brings some laughter to your day. I’m was trying to be all low key here at the office but her most recent post just make me laugh out loud twice.  I have a student trying to take a test near by who probably thinks I’m NUTS.  Seriously, this girl is a hilarious writer. I could spend all day in her archives but I don’t feel like peeing my pants today.

Anyway, I had the most luxurious quiet weekend ever which lead to lots of good knitting time. Glee is finished! Just some ends to be weaved in and a little blockage and we’ll be modeling in no time.  I may need to train the BF to take pictures so that I’m not doing the old – let’s see how far I can hold the camera away from my face to get a good shot pose OR the how many times do i have to reposition myself for the self timer shot pose. 

And because I’m not vain or anything here is a shot of me from my bro’s birthday party… at this point in the night I probably had about 10 glasses of champagne, but I think I look pretty hot. A credit to my dear friend Dana who let me borrow "The Dress". 

Margauxparty

oh and of course me and the birthday boy:

Meandbroparty

Happy Monday, All!!

Coming soon: Glee makes it debut.

what a feelin’

Seriously I almost forgot how good it feels to be "in the knits".  Glee is almost done! Just the picked up ribbing for the sleeves and V neck need to be done.  Give it a little blocking and I’ll be modeling her by the weekend (I hope!)  I defintiely found Glee to be a very easy knit.  I love top down patterns because you can really see how the piece is going to fit while you’re making her. 

This recharge of knit batteries has gotten me giggly-excited about thinking what I should cast on for next?

I’ve been tempted by so much of what I see on the internets.  Have you seen this beautiful Josephine (aka Fifi)!? It’s gorgeous!! I found her through the Ravelry site. (I won’t go into it as not to get people crazy, but patience my friends cause this puppy is GOOD ,no, phenominal.  I feel rediculously privalged to be a tester. (Thanks again Cara!) But sign on up they’re working crazy hard (two people!!) on getting it ready for everyone.) Anyway, I love color she made and it has such a great fit.  I remember seeing the pattern at my LYS but when you see it knit up it’s so different!

I think I might be skipping this one to the front of my "to knit next" list.  It’s right there with the shawl I want to make for my Mom with the Lacey Lamb.  I’m now leaning towards Eunny’s Print o’ the Wave stole.  I have the pattern and it’s very close to the one in Victorian Lace Today – so we’ll see.  I am hoping to gift it to her for ther birthday which is late July. 

It’s also a fantastically goregous Wednesday which is just beckoning me to sit out side with an iced tea knitting my dear life away.  I would do that selfishly if only I didn’t feel so guilty about not going to the gym.  But it’s supposed to rain tomorrow so there’s that! 😉

Suddenly I See

It’s hard to come up with a one liner to start the post that you’ve been meaning to write for a long time.  You want to be witty but truly are coming up short.  You don’t want to do that whole "gee, remember me?" bit or the apologetic line of how negectiful you’ve been to the dear knit blog.  You just want to jump right back into things but perhaps think that people kinda deserve to know where the hell you’ve been.

At first it was just because Cherie had nearly knocked the whole knit love out of me.  I seriously felt defeated about knitting.  I thought about all those great hours I knitted in Feb practically finishing the thing in two days and realizing that yes I’m gonna have to rip it.  That blow to the mind of "all that time wasted" really hurt my knitting psyche. 

I started making toys.  But I felt like I was going through the motions almost forcing myself to like it.  I finished all the body parts of Shaun the sheep and was on to the fleecy part.  I bought Zucca from my LYS and knitted away on the body – once done I realized that my little body parts were way to small for the bigger Zucca body.  Le sigh.  Another project that would need tweeking and me not to happy about doing it.

Then life happened. I became really busy at work and at home.  The whole Virginia Tech tragedy really blew me away and didn’t make me want to blog for while.  I work at a high school and think of the girls leaving for college and worry like a parent for them. I won’t get into it as it’s so long ago but I still think and pray for the victims and the shooter.

So with all this I needed something that would make me happy.  That would make me yearn to pick it up and knit it.  Make me confide in the fact that when I finished it  – it would fit.  Thank god for those Zephyr girls.  I had made Rusted Root a while ago and I loved it.  I bought Glee, got the yarn and finally casted on.

Glee

A spark has been lit! It feel so good to be right into knitting again!!   I actually took a trip to London during the last week in April which is where the bulk of this shirt was knitted.  It’s truly amazing what can get done on a 6 hour flight.  I also had a lot of down time at my hotel room and just loved being away from everything in a city I loved and reconnecting with a hobby I loved. I was in London for my brother’s 30th birthday.  It was a fabulous champagne filled time.  I promise pics once I get them.

As you can see I’m almost done with the main knitting and just need to pick up for the collar.  During this past weekend I went to Boston (a real world traveler I am lately…) just for a girls weekend with my mom and our friends.  I went to two yarn shops there: Newbury Yarns and A Good Yarn.   Both were well stocked with great yarns and I indulged in some Lacey Lamb for a shawl for mom.

Lacey Lamb

It’s a fabulous blue and I think it’s destined to be something from Victorian Lace Today.  I’ve seen this yarn around the internets made into so many beautiful shawls that it’s getting me excited to do some lace! 

I’m pretty much homebound for the rest of the month of May.  June brings a trip to Italy.  10 days with the girls from my school. I’ve never been so I’ll take the hs drama that I’m sure will be ahead of me.  Then it’s July… but who wants to speed time up that quickly… not me.

I just want to finish Glee, which has given me my knittng back.