Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Confirmed: It's Seasonal

I've mentioned several times before that I have many "hobbies" (though I prefer to think of them as "interests", "passions", or when I'm really getting into it with someone "callings"), and that my commitment to (read: utter obsession with) them waxes and wanes. Sometimes I want to knit all day and at the beginning of this summer, when Sock Summit was coming and I had no socks, all I wanted to do was cut and sew fabric. I hypothesized then that it could be a matter of timing and circumstances. I was day-dreaming of warm summer days and so wanted to sew things that fit with that mental image.

After today I think I was completely right. About a week ago the weather here took a turn for the cold. It's as though the wind woke up, geese starting flying, our heat got fixed, and we needed to use it. The last two days in particular have been pretty pointedly autumnal; the very visible and very permanent-feeling snow on the mountains makes it clear that winter will soon be upon us; the steering wheel in the mornings has confirmed that I need to find my hand warmers.

At first I was a bit upset. I don't like being cold. I don't mind a brisk day and as long as I'm properly bundled I'm okay walking in a breeze, but for some reason I love Alaska and hate the cold. I wasn't looking forward to dealing with all that winter brings.

But today, today we went to Eddie Bauer, and while I can no longer bring myself to buy knitted things, they had wonderful, beautiful, inspiring sweaters. There was color work, texture, light for layering, heavy for cuddling, simple, elegant, and everything else that knitting can be. All of it was represented. I wanted it all. And I knew I would never buy any of it because I can knit it all (and it would be knit out of wool, not cotton, sorry).

People talk about that moment when they know they're a Knitter and not just someone who knows how to knit. I've felt I've been there for a little while, but this experience at Eddie Bauer confirmed it. That and the other day I was telling Bob about how I had to remind myself not to stare at the sweaters some of my students wear. The stitch may be beautiful and the sleeve construction interesting, but it's not worth the reputation as the total oddball teacher. (One student last year, wore this wonderful lacy cardigan. It was interesting but simple, and I loved it all the more because it had raglan sleeves, which I haven't seen on lacy cardigans that often. I just can't see myself trying to explain that a teenager.)

But, I digress, I still have sewing projects on-going. I'm still thinking about quilting, but knitting has my heart again.

Tonight I'm going to work on a scarf.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Several Short, Random (and Likely Only Important to Me) Notes

Bobby is combining signs and vocal words. It makes for quite the song and dance.

I imagine it takes a good bit of intestinal fortitude to claim that the book you recently published is, "flawlessly structured." I understand the need for confidence and a bit of audacity, but come on isn't that a bit much?

My sophomores self-segregated in the computer lab today: all the boys in one cluster, all the girls in another on opposite sides of the room.

Yesterday Bobby managed to fall and bloody his lower lip then get the refrigerator calendar to fall on him and bloody his upper lip. It wasn't the best 30 minutes of his day.

For the first time in our married life Bob and I have a yard with trees that loose their leaves. It is both beautiful and depressing.


This year I have a love-hate relationship with the snow on the mountains. I love that I'll have a reason (like I need one) to knit things to keep my loved ones warm; I hate that this means it will once again be February, the depths of winter, and I'll be yearning for summer.

Bobby is learning to "smile," but it really looks more like a baring of teeth.


I don't have time to read everything I'd like to, but still try and so end up with a head board that looks like this.
Not too bad until you consider that I usually sit in bed for 5 minutes before falling deeply to sleep and I have never been able to read more than one book at a time and keep them both straight in my head; a serious disadvantage during both my English degrees.

The fat, cold rain that was falling when I left school today reminded me that every September it rains like this and every September I think, "Good thing it's not colder or this would be snow."

"Baby-proofing" really only buys you time, not certainty.

After reading some Transcendental writing with one of my classes, I have decided to simplify the scarf I'm knitting. Garter stitch with some spiraling eyelets, two yarns and it'll be simple yet (I hope) lovely.

Despite all my best efforts to confuse him, Bobby successfully put on his own shoe on the correct foot this evening.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Late and Random With No Pictures

Apparently blogging more than twice in a week is physically impossible for me right now. This week started out promising, but when the whole family succumbed to a cold it was all over. Bob was sick in the early part of the week, Bobby and I got it Wednesday night. We powered through Thursday, but Friday I took a sick day to try to rest and take care of Bobby. More experienced parents out there might get a total chuckle out of the idea of resting while simultaneously caring for a sick child. I know, crazy thinking. And get this, I don't even have a fever. No excuse...

To top it all off on Thursday the guy came to start installing the pocket door for our closet. He came back on Friday and will be finishing up on Monday (I think). So, trying to rest while caring for a sick child and there's remodeling going on upstairs and strangers in your house. Yeah, again, no excuse, just some crazy plan that I would somehow rest.

The rest of Friday and Saturday worked out pretty much the same way, so by the time I rolled into bed last night I was still sick and still tired and Bobby was too, and so this morning I am resting as much as I can.

Bob and Bobby are installing new doorknobs throughout the upstairs. It's a purely aesthetic change, there's nothing wrong with having a hodgepodge of different colors and styles of doorknobs scattered among the rooms upstairs, but all the little changes like this that we can make seem to make the house feel more like ours. (I think it was because the sellers were still living here while they were showing and selling it, but I've had a hard time feeling like this is actually our house. I didn't expect this at all, and it's getting better, but still a little strange right now.)

On the crafting front I'm considering my knitting options. You know that restless feeling you get when you're sick and not able to do to much, but have a lot that you'd like to do? Or when you know you want to do something, but you're not quite sure what? That's where I am with my knitting right now. I have several things going, but nothing is really holding my attention. And I have many things I'd like to start, but feel bad about starting something new when I have so many things already going (usually I get over that real quick and just start something, but I can't seem to this time). I'd like to knit on those pink socks, but I have HUGE ladders between the needles and none of the tricks I use can seem to make them go away. I'm considering running out to a store in Eagle River that carries the Hiya Hiya short circular needles just to get rid of the issue, but haven't had the time or been able to work up the nerve to spend the money.

This week was pretty much a wash, but I'm still holding out hope that as the scheduled days of fall become more normal and we all settle into them that time will mysteriously begin falling into the days and I'll suddenly become a more productive person. I'm still hoping, but haven't seen any promising developments. Even when you think you'll have time something always seems to come up, doesn't it? But maybe, just maybe something will work out sometime soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Half Way Point

Here I am half way through the week and I haven't written since Saturday. I'm trying to be satisfied with at least this much. Particularly because this half has been a bit busier than normal.

On Monday we had our heat fixed. Because we bought our house in the summer we couldn't tell right away that the heat wasn't working. The heating system had been checked before we bought it and we didn't need to turn it on. But, apparently the east side of town is colder than all the rest of the Anchorage I've been living in, and for the last two weeks especially it had just not been warming up.

Finally we called a guy, he showed up, bought some parts, replaced those, still wasn't working, checked some more things, then thought, just to be safe, he'd double-check that the thermostats were wired correctly. And well, who knew that the wires actually had to be connected to the rest of the house?! I guess whoever installed them got distracted or something and never got around to finishing the job. So, while the thermostat looked for all the world like it knew what it should be doing, it wasn't speaking to the rest of the house about its job and so we had many mornings (and a couple afternoons which was the real kicker) of 62 degree temps. Plus it made me sad that when Bobby wanted to nurse in the middle of the night that I was almost scared of his cold little hands touching me.

Then that night, I had back-to-school Open House. It went pretty well. I had more parents than I think I've ever have before, and it's always better to talk to people than to stare at a blank classroom. The best part was coming home to a warm house. And, I felt safe taking one of the extra blankets off the bed.

Tuesday night, Bobby went to bed at 8 (crazy, I know!). Bob and I relaxed downstairs. We are watching Arrested Development (one of his students recommended it) and while he rested (he's been sick) I worked on these socks. I know only on the ribbing, but the cast-on took a while (I did a tubular yarn-over so it would be nice and stretchy) and for some reason I'm having trouble knitting through the back of the loops. The yarn is by Dye Dreams and I'm excited to see how they knit up. I love knitting from charts. Straight up love it, love it, love it! And, I love the subtle colors in this yarn, so the combination is pretty enticing. I didn't swatch because, while I have a particular recipient in mind, I'm also in that they'll-fit-someone mode of thinking. This is the beginning of my sock summit loot that I'm knitting!

Then, I thought I should maybe try out the wonderful contraption sitting next to the coffee table. The wheel is rented for now, but I'm going to start saving my pennies to eventually buy my own! So, using some fiber I got from a friend of mine I started spinning this. It's pretty nice to just be able to spin and not have to worry about bumming time off someone else and I can start and stop and know that what I've done will always be there. Of course, now that I've said that I'm sure I'll discover wool eating gnomes in the backyard moving indoors for the winter.

Other than heading to bed so early last night (he's making up for it tonight), Bobby's been fixing things with his new toolbox full of tools. He's been working on his shoe sales pitch and eating bananas pretty consistently. He's starting to say some words regularly. His vocabulary now consists of hi, bye-bye, ball, dog, burp rag, baby (there's a baby on the yogurt he likes), and dada. He also can say up and goldfish, but he has some pronunciation issues with them and so it's not real obvious that that's what he means. And, dada means both Bob and anything else he's trying to get. He also knows the signs for please, thank you, water, up, more, and milk. He's been using please and thank you more without being prompted which makes me very happy! Though yesterday Bob and I both got the sneaking suspicion he was telling us to say thank you.

Bob has picture day on Friday and one of the pictures is for a groups of students he works with throughout their time at the school. This year, they've told him he is supposed to dress up as Link (from the video game Zelda, in case anyone didn't know) so we've been looking for costume stuff. We ran some errands looking for things tonight, but beforehand he stumbled across
this pattern for a knitted baby Link costume. I think it's pretty amazingly cute.

Bob has open house tomorrow night and then we'll be heading into the weekend. We're all coming down with a touch of the sniffles, so I'm hoping we all get some rest.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

About That (Belated Photo Friday Included)

So, maybe you've noticed (maybe you haven't, but I sure have) that I haven't been very good about blogging regularly. Something about buying a house, moving, Sock Summit, minor remodeling, school starting, and the myriad little things of life have made blogging take a back seat for a while. I've been trying (in that I think about it and feel horribly guilty when it doesn't happen) to keep up on the Friday posts, and I think about (sometimes even start) posts during the week, but just haven't been able to get everything else in the house and at work done while also getting sufficient sleep. And, yes, the sleep is more important right now.

I'm saying all this to make two points. First, it's true you can't "serve two masters." I either knit or read, but I usually get into one or the other, or I make dinner every night of the week, or grade consistently. This school year has started with a jumble of priority reorganization and there are just not enough hours (or minutes) in the day to satisfy every role. Second, I've really missed blogging. The consistent writing is helpful in keeping track of Bobby's days and helps sort of keep the little bits of life from getting too terribly tangled. So, I'm going to try to write more frequently. I'm hoping that as the school year smooths out, it'll be possible.

It would also help if Bobby decided to go to bed before 9.

Moving on to the pictures, I thought some of these needed a little explaining.

Bob has a couple of fantasy footbal drafts this last week; Bobby was apparently very helpful.
It's a bit hard to tell, Bobby has an oven mitt on his arm and is using it to try to retrieve his ball from under the table. He also has completely unsnapped his pants so it looks a bit more like he's sporting a very attractive (though the slit is way too high) denim skirt.
He loves shoes, but loves helping you put on shoes even more. Here he is putting his sandals on Bob (he doesn't quite get the size thing yet) and then he noticed me taking pictures and brought me my sandals.

I decided to knit Bobby a hat, but it's too small. I thought I'd try it on him anyway, to figure out when to start the crown decreases. And I think I'll have to knit one his size now, because apparently he liked it.
At least, I thought he did, until he smiled just as big ripping it off his his head.