Saturday, June 16, 2012


Wow, I logged in for the first time since Christmas, and wow, I'm sorry I've been away for so long.  I wont go into all the details of the excuses, just know it has been an extremely trying and emotional 6 months, if you follow me on Facebook, then you know all the details you need to know.

Things are going better, and I am knitting again, in fact I just finished what I consider a medium project, the Tomten Jacket.

I find Elizabeth Zimmerman's patterns extremely freeing, as you knit to your gage, and the yarn you have at the time.  I am not the worlds biggest math fan, but this is one real-life application of math that makes me extremely happy that Ms. Schmale drilled multiplication and division as much as she did, and the fact that I can do quite a bit of it in my head (a skill I find useful, and extremely lacking in today's calculator society).  That said this probably turned out a bit big for it's intended recipient, but it is okay as it is for a child, and erring on the side of big is way better then erring on the side of small.

Anyway, I knit the tomten jacket, for a special boy that just turned one.  Again, it is a little big even for this one-year-old big boy, but that means he should be able to wear it for two seasons if I'm lucky.  The blue part of the body is Cascade Eco Wool, a very nice heavy worsted, and at nearly 500 yards for $16, the eco could stand for "economical" in this case instead of the environmental eco.  I used about 700 yards of the blue, which is not ideal at 1.5 ish skeins, but it does leave enough for trim of another project or perhaps enough for a baby surprise if I mix it with other yarn.  The red in this case is some stash yarn, some Rowan Felted tweed that I had three skeins that I picked up as part of a dye lot sell off at 30% off.  It is double stranded, as it is a light DK weight, but I loved the way the colors worked with this.  Buttons are standard issue from JoAnn fabrics, which is okay.  Anyway to the photos!

Anyway, I hope to have another post soon.  I'm torn between finishing up something, and starting something new.  My summer is shortened this year because I am now a proud member of the Pride of Princeton Marching Band staff, but it will mean a reduction of time from the end of July to October.  Anyway, I hope to post soon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Knitting to Stay Sane...

Well, the Holiday season was rather busy, but I made it through pretty unscathed.  I did finish the BBFH in time, and it was beautiful, and will be much loved.  My sister says I will have to make it at least once more in my lifetime for any children she "might" have.  Here are a couple of pics!

It did turn out really beautiful, I must admit.  I don't really want to do one again though for a bit.

I did get some needles and yarn for Christmas, some of the square needles from and the Weekend Hats book from Interweave.  I did this in about two days.

As you can see I am getting better at the whole self picture thing.  

I will be doing a lot of knitting the next couple of months to hopefully stay sane.  We have a levy on in March, with its passage the district will still have to cut 3 million the next three years, without it, we have to cut 6.5 million by fall.  I probably won't survive a 6.5 million cut.  I try not to think too much about it.

I am also trying to get an additional part-time job to hopefully put some money away and a few other things.  If the levy passes I am looking into taking a few more classes in Music Technology in hopes that they start a lab at the High School, and I would have the certification (like orff levels) to teach it. I am attending a conference in Louisville next week to hopefully find out more about the certification and learn some things about Garageband and such.  

I would love to do The Knitting Guild of America's Level 1 Master's Program, because I am not satisfied with many of the patterns out there for many reasons, and again, if I am really good enough I could write patterns or books.  Eventually I would have to do Level 3, but you have to work through the levels in order.  I know that I could probably pass level 1 with not too many problems, and I do want my knitting critiqued, I suppose it is like a knitting jury (my music friends know what I am talking about).  I would learn much.  I just can't justify the $90 enrollment fee at the moment.  

Well that is all for now, I need to work on my blue sweater, and a few other things.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cast Time = Bored Time

I saw Dr. Rottinghaus on Friday afternoon.  My Achilles is healing, but not a fast as he would like to see (probably due to the fact I am still teaching 6 classes a day on it)  After discussing options he recommended I get a walking cast for two reasons, first being it will ensure my foot/ankle is in the proper healing position 24 hours a day, and second it offers a bit more structural support when I am up and on it.  He was concerned because I already have a short Achilles (due to comparing my other one)  that if my partial rupture heals short, I am one good about face from a total rupture.  Putting me in a cast for four weeks will hedge bets that I won't heal too short, and hopefully be pretty close to totally healed when I come out (average healing time for my injury is 6 weeks).  I did ask him why didn't they just put me in a cast two weeks ago, and he said most of the people they treat for this type of injury have an office or other low impact career.  I am a rarity apparently in that I am both a partial rupture and I have an on the feet type of job.  Most of the people with my injury do just fine in the boot because they have a desk job.

So now I have a cast for the next four weeks, I see him again on December 16th, which means I get to go through the entire Holiday Concert Season with a cast, not ideal, but nothing to be done about it.  I can only hope that the weather holds, and I don't have to deal with glop.

I debated over color, and I decided on a dark blue for two reasons, first being dirt, and second being it could be decorated wintry like with silver sharpie.  My sister had fun having arts and crafts time on it last night, and we decided to put Christmas Songs and decor all over it. Including a Menorah on the bottom of my foot.  I think it turned out pretty well!

Now, I have a big issue, none of my regular socks will fit over this thing (including the soccer socks I bought two weeks ago for the boot).  So I experimented today with making a cap to help keep it warm.  The first incarnation was knit flat and turned out rather....ummm....just see for yourself.

At least it was WVU Festive.  So then I tried a second incarnation, and ended up increasing too much and it was too loose.

So I gave up.  Then I remembered that I had this slipper socks that were always huge!  I went digging in my sock drawer, and it yielded not one, but two pairs of these.  So yes, my cast may look crazy now, but at least my toes are warm!

I will probably only wear it around the house, as my toes haven't yet gotten cold when I am up and around.  I even went to the Mall today (a small bit of Christmas Shopping) and grocery shopping, and my toes weren't cold up and around.  I also found a nifty memory foam knee pillow at Brookstone which works really well as cast support when sitting on the couch.  

I guess I have no excuse now not to work on the BBFH, as the shower is coming up on the 4th of December. I plan on parking at my parents house for Thanksgiving and not moving a whole bunch, I would just be in the way.  I don't think I will be making my Christmas cookies either until I am out of the cast, that and I will just be too busy.  I also have a whole week before Christmas off, so there is time.  I'm probably not going to be making the level of rum balls this year I have the past few

I promise to post pics of the BBFH when/if I finish it.  I sure hope I do before the shower.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Attack of the Zombie Shopping Carts...

Well, Life has been...Life.  I could make excuses but I wont, I am just lazy, that's all! I mean, really how hard is it to type?

That said, I thought Halloween was over earlier this week, but someone should tell the shopping carts.  Everyone knows, (and I certainly know from working at Kroger back in the day) that shopping carts have a mind of their own, kinda like zombies.

Well, I was at our local Costo (they have the best price on Soda usually), and it wasn't glamorous, I basically did it to myself, the putz that I am.  I usually butt the cart up against my car so that it doesn't run me over randomly, but last night I didn't do this.  I don't know if it was the wind (it was fairly windy) or a couple of cars driving by, but while I was loading my stuff into my car the cart rammed me in the back of my left ankle.  I felt a small pop, and there was pain, and immediately I couldn't walk well.

So I went home,  thinking, okay just a stinger, ice, Advil, rest and I will be right as rain by morning.  It did swell up, and bruise, but not bad, and the pain wasn't terrible either, but I couldn't lift my foot up at the ankle joint.  Being the Internet hound that I am, plugged my symptoms into a couple of symptom checkers, which indicated anything from a sprain (big deal) to a fully ruptured Achilles tendon (not good).  I made the decision that if I couldn't lift my foot in the morning I would go get it checked out.

Luckily here in Cincinnati there is an orthopedic group that has Saturday walk-in hours, kind of like orthopedic urgent care, which is really cool!  Bad news was I had my choice of Anderson, or Western Hills (both about 30 minutes away), though their everyday offices have locations closer.  They opened at 9am and I was there at 9am.

I saw one of their PA's he had me diagnosed in about 5 minutes.  The xray's showed pretty significant heel spurs, which didn't help my situation.   The Thompson test he did (there are good videos on you tube), was about half positive, (didn't move like my normal leg).  He said it is probably 95% sure that my Achilles tendon is only partially intact,  if it were fully torn I would have a fully positive Thompson with no movement.

Treatment for that is boot casting, for protection, and to prevent a full tear while it heals.  Said since I'm young that I have a good chance of it healing totally, but it will probably be a slow process (at least a month in the boot).  They want you to walk while in the boot since it will prevent atrophy, which can be the Achilles heel of this type of injury.  He also said to stay off of it as much as possible (yah do know what I do for a living?)  At least it gives me an excuse to sit on a stool while conducting right now.  On the plus side I get this smashing accessory for the next four weeks at least!

In any case I am so glad it is my left foot, as I can still drive and be fairly independent, if it was my right I would be royally screwed!  I just need help with some bigger things (like grocery shopping, I now have a cart phobia).

I would say this would lead to more knitting time, but alas...this is a Lima week.  I am not totally psyched about the program (like the last set) but oh well, I don't get paid to like the program.

As it is I now have a deadline for the baby blanket, Carla's Shower is on  December 4th, less than a month away.  Good news is I have only 30 or so rows left.  Bad news, it is taking me like an hour to do two rows on the damn thing since it is mostly purling (and over 400 stitches).  It is worth it though, perhaps I will get six or so rows done tonight, and six or so rows done tomorrow, then I will be at least a third of the way done with what I have left.

I should go, I need to think about dinner, and a few other things.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Being a Quilter Today...

Well I know I have been busy, but I have been in the middle of a Doodle Bricks Quilt for about a month, so I decided to finish it today.

Actually it is not finished completely...but the thread keeps breaking with the quilting foot so I am not sure about adjusting the tension on the machine.  All I have left to do is Quilt it in the ditch.

I have been staring at a blank wall for three years now, so I am thinking about putting it on the wall above my couch what do you all think?

Here is a picture of it the other way...

In other news, my big bed experiment worked out....I was more comfortable on my air mattress than my actual bed.  As my sister says "Lesley you are such an impulse buyer"  in some ways I am, but in reality I have researched things for months.  Such was the case with the new bed.

So I went out and bought a bed, mostly because I am much less cranky when I get good sleep.  I went to the Original Mattress Factory up the road in  Fairfield.  They are like the only place where you can get a mattress that you can still flip it.  Their prices are very competitive too!  

I went back and forth on full or queen, and I ended up getting the queen, thinking about a future at some point.  I am not disappointed.  

Macy's was giving things away again last week, so I got a really good steal on some bedding with the help of my parents.  I am not sore anymore when I wake up, which is awesome!  Here is a picture of the new bed actually made.

The Knitted Cat approves of this purchase as well, as he made himself right at home in his usual spot on the bed.  One bonus with this  bed set is that it shouldn't show his hair too much!

Well that is all for now,  WV is finally putting Norfolk State away, and then I think I have a date with my parents tonight.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Bed Experiment....

Well, as the saying goes we spend 1/3 of our life in bed.  All the advertisements say to replace your bed every 7 years or so.  Mine is 10, and has been moved 4 times.  It is still in very good shape, and has no signs of critters, which is important living in apartment life.

It is however, the proverbial college mattress, my Dad bought it for me when I moved into my apartment at WVU in 2001 (ugh...that long ago?)  I can't remember exactly what we paid for it, but I do remember it was less than $500.

I bought a northern nights feather bed to go on top while I was in Lima hoping to extend its life by a few years, which it has.  Honestly I should have replaced the thing when I moved back to Cincy in 2008, but I was more preoccupied with buying living room furniture at the time (since I really didn't have any, my Lima place was very small.  

I have noticed the past few months, that I am actually more comfortable on a hotel mattress (I've stayed in a higher end Chicago hotel and a Holiday Inn Express) than I am on my home mattress. I've also been waking up with back pain, which hasn't happened before.  In fact, my parents couch has been more comfortable, than my own bed.

So after waking up with a sore back this morning at 7:30am, an idea came into my head.  I know its and ideas, but who knows.

I do have a nice tall, queen size air mattress that blows itself up.  My sister, Melissa slept on it last weekend.  I usually keep it around for guests.  I have decided to requisition it for myself for the time being.  I needed  to clean out from under my bed and vacuum it anyway.  

My grand experiment is this,  if after sleeping on my air bed for a week I wake up less stiff and with less or no back pain, then I know that it is past time to replace my mattress set.  I will then hopefully save enough money by Christmas to get a new set as a Christmas gift for myself.  Here is my bed set up:

Since I had bare bones mattress set, I do want to get a nicer set, not top of the line, but something nice and in the middle, I don't even know how much one like that will cost.  I also want to shop around for the best price, and the best comfort level for me.  I can buy a car on my own, but I think I am going to recruit my Mom into helping me mattress shop.  It is just something I have not done before.  I am also having a debate on size.  I have been sleeping on a full, the air bed is a queen.  Do I think for myself or do I think for a possible future?  At least I have a couple of months to make this decision.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Busy Busy Teacher Bee...

I am almost done with the second week of school, and I can tell you that my feet hurt!  Here is what I have been doing during the absolutely mad back to school rush, and it doesn't involve a lot of knitting.

One of my jobs is to make sure everyone has an instrument and that is a HUGE job, when you consider the Princeton program 6-12 is about 300 students.  First thing was to make sure we had the correct basses in the correct places, I am still not done with this project. Yes, I can fit two basses in my car!

Second is once the students arrived is to make sure I had all the student instruments together for those who need to use a school instrument.    This was done earlier this week, and I was finally able to move the remainder of the violins and violas to storage, can you guess how many violins and violas I fit in my car?

Lastly there was just normal housekeeping like assigning celli and basses, adding hooks to the bass racks, and a few other items like that.

All of these 11 hour days have been taking their toll, and knitting has been on the back burner for now.  I hope to get started again this weekend, as I have a baby blanket to finish, a sweater I REALLY want to finish and wear this fall, and lots of projects lined up.  It doesn't help that it has been wicked hot in Cincy this summer.

I did get one cool back to school gift from my Aunt, it is a post it note apple.  On a side note, she got my sister the same apple, but my sister doesn't have a permanent desk to put it on.  She is going to be subbing this year, so I suggested she start a blog on the many locations her apple will rest this year, take a picture of it and blog about being a highly educated, but unemployed and willing teacher.  Her new blog is at   Hopefully this blog will bring awareness to the fact that many people are graduating from college and unable to get jobs, and that school districts just need to give people a chance!

Well I'm done with my soapbox for now, I leave you with a picture of my apple, which thankfully has a permanent home.