Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Subway Knits Episode 64: Lots of News

Off the Needles
I finished a Jake and the Neverland Pirates hat, of my own design.

I also completed the Blue Riband from Coronation Knits.

On the Needles
Playing yarn chicken with Olla, working on The Aussie's socks.

Spin Right Round
My new fiber from Northbound Knitting came: Brewski on Shetland (upport right corner). It smells so gloriously sheepy.
Source: Northbound Knitting Ravelry Group
 Knitting Finds
Bijou Basin Ranch came out with a line to celebrate Outlander coming to tv this Spring: Outlandish Colors. The Merino base is a light worsted for $25, Bamboo is a light sport for $29.
Source: Bijou Basin Ranch
Pins and Needles
I sewed a project bag out of Downton Abbey fabric; realized how grateful I am to have a sewing machine when my favorite jeans ripped in the weirdest spot.
I check out Nimblestix, a new social networking site for spinners. 

I Knit NYC KAL: together with Craft Stash and Yarngasm, we are celebrating our love of NYC this Spring! 

To play along:
  • Knit any pattern using yarn/ fiber dyed by a NY state based indie dyer
  • Knit the special featured pattern (below)
Special Featured Pattern: 
Triboro Hat and Cowl by Amy Tyszkiewicz 
Yarn from Jill Draper Makes Stuff
Into the Whirled Fiber: Children of Time on Wensleydale
Yarn from 716 Knits
To qualify for prizes, you must post in this thread.

Laura is coming to NYC! We are both going to Rhinebeck! 

Speaking of fiber festivals, check out Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair
Want to go? There is a bus from NYC to the festival, too! 

PS. I'm heading to Greece this summer, and I will be scoping out the craft scene there. Any tips for packing 5 weeks worth of clothes in one carryon? 

Thanks for listening!
Closing Song: "Feel the Same Way" by Poema

Listen here, and subscribe here and here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Under Construction and Branching Out

Every once in awhile, I feel the need for an update and refresher on the blog. I have been blogging for a long time (regularly since 2006), and recently I have been in a bit of a slump.

Part of that is because of my offline life making it almost impossible to document online. The other part is a lack of inspiration. 

I recently stumbled across something that was inspiring and I hope it does work out. 

In the meantime, watch this space. There will be a few cosmetic changes, and I am working on a few content changes too - one thing I want to do is have certain features on specific days of the week that focus on other aspects of my life besides knitting. I did that recently with my DIY and Summer of Craft this past summer, but also want to do some fun things like document what I cook and other things happening in the apartment. 

One thing that I definitely want to try is "Fashion Friday" - I love reading some lifestyle blogs if only for the outfits which are fun and inspiring for my own wardrobe. Given that I am a teacher there are a few limits (like high heels!) so I want to try and and fun, comfortable and fashionable outfits to share. 

I did get almost nominated for Best Dressed Teacher amongst my students - I came in a close second. I got Neatest Teacher. 

Speaking of which, there are other topics I do want to talk about like teaching and organization. I LOVE organizing things, and living in a small NYC apartment and a shoebox in Japan, you tend to pick up a few tricks. 

The knitting will be here and in fact there will be more of it! Shownotes for the podcast will get better too with more pictures and detail to make it more stimulating and interactive. 

I'm still keeping the name of the blog for now; depending on how things go in terms of content, the name may change. But never fear, links will be updated or I may have a dedicated blog just for shownotes only. I will keep you posted. 

In the meantime, I get to play with layout! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Treading Water

The short story: ever since I returned to work from February break, it has been extremely crazy.

The long story: ever since I returned to work from February break, all of this has happened (in no particular order): 

  1. Parent-Teacher Conferences
  2. Principal Evaluation due to visit from Superintendent
  3. Working on my tenure portfolio
  4. Report cards
  5. Informal observations
  6. IEP paperwork craziness
  7. Doing the after school math program
  8. Chiropractor banning me from knitting
  9. Stomach virus/flu epidemic going around school
  10. Test prep for State Exam
  11. Gym
And that is on top of the usual lesson planning, grading and dealing with the minions on a daily basis - I am shocked that I didn't call out last week just to give me a day to regroup. 

My co-teacher and I decided to stick it out together last week even though we were both sniffly; my principal got hit with the epidemic and was out for a week an a half. 

She is a force to be reckoned with -  she would be the one to rally the remaining humans and become the leader of the last human colony after the zombie apocalypse. 

And yes, you read number 8 right. My chiropractor banned me from knitting. I normally get the twinges in my wrist because of RSI, but I felt them in the apex where my neck and left shoulder meet. My massage therapist also noticed this too and mentioned my jaw and neck muscles were especially tense. No knitting meant no podcasting, really. 

As a result, there has been nothing but work and tv watching (not fun when you're not knitting, though The Kennedys is on Prime now and was entertaining) and a general sense of ready to freak out and fall over the edge any minute, or drown under all the crazy. 

But now, the paperwork is slowly getting done, after school program is over (I am NEVER doing it again) and I have my afternoons back to myself again. 

Hopefully I can be more productive again during the week so I can go to the gym more (Zumba is awesome! Never mind that I fell during a class) and catch up on knitting and life outside of work. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Subway Knits Episode 62: Marshmallow Fluff and Unicorn Sparkles

Off the Needles
Rosa Rubiginosa Socks are DONE!
Darjeeling Socks - halfway done. So loose - bc its toe up? Different needles? Not sure. Not a fan of toe-up. I feel like cuff down yields a tighter sock.

On the Needles
Olla Mitts from Knitty Winter 2013 - Zealana AIR Chunky Review

Working on a Zoom Loom - The Woolery kindly sent one for review, and it ties in nicely with care of magical creatures assignment to weave something. Detailed review to come, but I fear that this will open a major rabbit hole.

Knitting Finds
Been awhile with this segment...
Scrumptious Collection Volume 3.
Pom Pom Issue 8 is coming out.
Stitch Block Cowl - by the Purl Bee
Downton Abbey Mystery KAL - no swap this year been too busy and sick on and off to organize it, but this is a hilarious mystery kal...based on what a character does you knit for a certain amount.

Ravellenics - join Team Sasquatch, who is following the mantra of the Yarn Harlots knitting olympics - set a challenge to accomplish during this time. I have set up the Ravellenics chat and FOs parade threads...so far, have a few things in the works for prizes! Prizes include a skein of Gynx Yarn and a bottle of Julep nail polish in sparkly America.

QAL winners! Please see the thread and respond to the earburn.

Thanks for listening!
Closing Song: "Feel the Same Way" by Poema

Listen here, and subscribe here and here.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

In the Conductor's Booth: An Interview with Martina Behm

In what appears to be a series-within-a-series, this year's Vogue Knitting LIVE! brought Martina Behm of Hitchhiker fame to New York City. We had a wonderful chat at Knitty City before her talk and trunk show.
Hanging out at the knit table in the back of Knitty City. I am wearing Hitchhiker, and
Martina is wearing Matchmaker, her new pattern. 
Original Hitchhiker. A lot of Martina's patterns are designed to avoid purling,
especially her larger stoles and shawls. 
Talking about Lefty. 
All of the original samples. New York Spark is the pink and navy hat at the top of the pile. 
After her talk and trunk show, Martina had a little bit of a surprise: she brought several skeins of Wollmeise Pure (100% Merino fingering weight) from Germany! One of the colors was actually the color used in the original Hitchhiker. We threw our names in a hat and I thought I would not win. 

In fact, I was the first winner! I had a hard time picking since I had a choice of the 5 colors, but I ended up with Die Auster which is a lovely teal and pale green with a bit of cream: 
I never took German so I asked Martina what "Die Auster" meant - "The Oyster." Love. 
This is my first ever skein of Wollmeise, and I am definitely knitting it up into one of Martina's patterns. Check out the poll in the Ravelry group to help me decide!

Special thanks to Pearl at Knitty City for hosting, and Martina for taking the time to chat!

Thanks for listening!
Closing Song: "Feel the Same Way" by Poema

Listen here, and subscribe here and here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Subway Knits Episode 61: The Fiber of Our Lives

Off the Needles
Turban(d) originally published by Manos del Uruguay - submitted for Ancient Runes as part of HPKCHC.

On the Needles
Cast on Strathcona using my handspun; messed up, frogged bc I kept picking at it. I think was too distracted by the Outlander Fan Gathering in LA which was live streamed.

The sock I am working for my overdue swap is the Rosa Rubiginosa.

I plan to knit more socks during the Ravellenics. Speaking of which - there has been a lot of chatter and controversy with regards to the games and where they are held and to be quite honest, I also grappled with participating given what was going on in Russia.

Politics aside, there are ways that you can still participate and in a way make your voice heard - A Playful Day linked to Old Maiden Aunt where for every project completed, she will donate 5 GBP to Stonewall UK which is an organization that works for LGBT equality locally within the UK and internationally.

If there is something that you know about that is US-based, please share and I will post links in the forum thread for this episode.

I will be knitting a few things in a rainbow hue and also participating as part of Team Sasquatch. My own knitting group is also doing its own thing separate from the games, so there is a lot to look forward to. Right now I am planning out what I want to knit;  Mid-Winter recess coincides with the second week of the Olympics so while working on my tenure portfolio, I'll be knitting.

Head to Toe: Kid's Knit Accessories by Katya Frankel - this time, the students in my knitting club have a say! Published by Cooperative Press, $16.95 for a digital download.

Vogue Knitting LIVE! Recap
Had a lot of fun. More detailed post with the swag and pictures to follow.

Thanks for listening!
Closing Song: "Feel the Same Way" by Poema

Listen here, and subscribe here and here.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Staying on Track: Maria 2014

I really do not like making resolutions. Everyone does it and they are broken within two seconds of the ball dropping in Times Square.

They also sound more like rules and are a bit limiting. Lest I sound like a Grinch, what I like to do is make goals and a plan for those goals (maybe it's the teacher in me, because we have to do this for our kids).

Taking a page from Jasmin, I also want to try and make these goals that go along a theme - and this year is about Staying on Track. I want to do things but then I lose sight of them and then forget about it.

So what I am going to do is categorize things here below and make lists. Because I like making lists.

Health and Wellness
  • Run a 5K (done; registered for the Color Run)
  • Run a REAL 5K through NYC Road Runners (and become a member).
  • Go to gym at least 2-3 times a week; place class calendar at gym in schedule. 
  • Train and register for the Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney World in 2015 (so long as my work schedule allows it). 
  • Track what I eat. 
  • No more takeout! Cook on weekends and use leftovers during the week. Use the crockpot more.
  • Chiro Stretches.
  • When I get home, straight to my desk and do work for only another 2-3 hours.
  • Stay on top of grading, don't procrastinate. 
  • Don't overextend yourself (planning the field trip took alot of time and energy. I'm done for the school year). 
  • Saturday mornings: plan/grade for 2-3 hours (wake up at 6-7 AM), lessen load on Sundays. 
  • Work on Tenure portfolio on Friday afternoons for 2-3 hours. During February break, spend 2-3 hours each day working on Portfolio. 
  • Complete at least 3 sweaters (Slade, Hiro and Messaline). 
  • Spin half of the fiber stash. 
  • Finish all WIPs. 
  • Sew some pillows, a skirt, 2 project bags and start a quilt.  
  • Knit or spin for 30 minutes a day in the evening. 
  • See friends in real life at least 2 times a month.
  • Make a date with The Aussie one time a month. 
  • Call my grandma once every two weeks. 
  • Call my dad every other 2-3 days. 
  • Completely pay off one credit card; make a dent in other.
  • 10% of salary minimum every paycheck into the savings. 
  • No more takeout!
  • Make a weekly budget and stick to it (I used to be really good at this).
  • Set aside a monthly craft budget, no rollovers. 
  • Travel to a new country, preferably a new continent or region (under the condition that we go to Greece next Christmas). Antarctica is out, so that leaves South America and Africa. In terms of regions, Dubai/Middle East is an option, as well as SE Asia.
  • Think of a good 30 Before 30 list and accomplish it. 
  • Blog at least twice a week; come up with a themed weekly post. 

This may sound like a lot but for me, these are things I want to work on and having them specifically categorized helps me keep my focus and not lose sight. Hopefully I can get things off to a good start this weekend and stick to it. 

Happy New Year!