Monthly Archives: September 2011

L’Shanah To’vah


I just wanted to shoot out a quick message into cyberland that I am not missing- I’ve only driven home for the holiday Rosh Hanshanah. As one of the ‘High Holidays’ in the Jewish calendar, I was compelled to appear, but I’m pretty happy about it because, although I am missing the same amount of classes I would have if I attended synagogue at school, the food is infinitely better. I hope you all have a sweet new year! For more information on Rosh Hashanah and its associated religious practices, take a look at this-

Apples and Honey- for a sweet new year

Sweater Saga part…whatever


So, Sunday afternoon I pulled out the sweater one more time, and I noticed something. Can you tell?

Can you tell???

Yes, that’s it- the two button bands don’t match. The first one I did is about an inch longer than the other one. When I made them, I tried to stop as soon as I got to the decreases for the V-Neck, but apparently I missed the first one and just kept picking up stitches. Whoops.

there it is!

So, I ripped. It was glorious! Well, maybe not glorious. It was more…cathartic. And sad.

It's GONE!

And then I had some much-needed comedic relief. (You have no idea how long it took me to figure out how to do this. WordPress wouldn’t just let me copy/paste the embed code; I had to use this other one that I found by searching the forums…it was quite the conundrum.) (Also, can I just say how much I love Alec Baldwin? The cold open was SPECTACULAR!!! Although my roommate wishes they had revived the now-famous shweddy balls sketch…)

And, 45 minutes later, I ended up with a much better button band.

Finally...pretty even.

Unfortunately, today I tried to play around with the collar. I think I got something I like, but I’ve run out of yarn with maybe 5-10ish more rows to go. I won’t be able to hit the knitting store until Wed., but I’ll make sure to keep you updated on whatever I figure out!

Family Weekend!


This weekend has been designated, by the powers that be, family weekend at my school. This means that parents, siblings, and extended family descend en masse onto campus. Yesterday, some parents even went to classes with their children. Eeeek! When I told my dad this he warned that he might break into hives the next time he enters a college classroom.

Considering I only live an hour away, my parents came up for some me-time. We started out down at the farmers market, where they also did an art show. They must have asked the artists to do demonstrations, because many of them were actually working on pieces. As a result, while my mom browsed the stalls we got to watch a guy build a kayak (!) and another do woodwork, which was pretty darn cool (or at least I thought so).

I had planned to have my parents take me to an italian restaurant for lunch (good eats!) but the place was closed (who is closed for lunch on Saturday, anyway?) so we ended up going to the Green Leaf. The Green Leaf originally was a bar (with food) right next to campus. We ended up going to the location a little farther away, which I assumed would be a little less bar-y and more restaurant-y. It was still pretty low-key, and the service was definitely more on a bar standard, but the food was good, so I was pretty happy. Don’t judge, but I was still in an Italian kind of mood, so I got a meatloaf sandwich, which had marinara instead of ketchup and some sort of Italian cheese melted on top (parmigiana?). YUM!!!

And then finally we went to the a Capella showcase. Unfortunately, they had moved it to our basketball arena because of rain, so the acoustics weren’t amazing. But my school is pretty into A Capella, and we had eleven groups preform. My favorite was definitely Reveille’s rendition of Rolling in the Deep- it was pretty awesome. (I think there is a different soloist in the version on youtube.) My mom ended up buying their CD! To finish up this post, I leave you with a couple awesome A Capella songs… Please don’t judge me for spending half an hour picking out these songs on youtube. Also, I make no claims that these are the best of our A Capella choices, they were just the first three of my favorites I found!

Sweater Heaven, or the Sweater Saga Part 4


The last time we saw the darling body of my sweater, it was blocking, looking something like this.

Well, actually, this is a picture I took right before I unpinned it. But it pretty much looked like this. I swear!

So, two days ago I finally decided to pop in my local library’s copy of Little Dorrit on DVD (highly recommended, by the way) and just get to work. I unpinned the sweater, unfolding it to reveal a only slightly noticeable crease.

I mean, really. Who is gonna notice this? And it will probably go away when I block it a second time, right?

And then got to work. Or, at least, I tried to get to work. I couldn’t find a single yarn needle (I have to own AT LEAST ten, but they are never around when I need them), which finally resulted in me dumping out my pencil cup and looking in the bottom. My pencil cup is pretty full with the usual pens, pencils, and scissors, but it also houses a few spare dpns, the fake flower I was giving during my serenade during freshman orientation (one of our best traditions, in my opinion. Boys halls practice songs together and serenade girls halls. And then they have awkward mixers…), etc. But, way in the bottom, I found a yarn needle. Unfortunately, it has a bent tip. For some reason, I have trouble making a straight edge with a bent-tip needle. I suppose they are really good for sewing in ends, but not so much for this. I would just have to work. Anyway, I got to work sewing up the shoulder seams…

Shoulders! And bent-tip yarn needles!

And then I began preparations to block out my sleeves. My awesome, infallible plan (famous last words) was to block the sleeves separately from the sweater, but still be able to use the already-blocked and shoulder-seamed together sweater as a template to make sure I shape the armholes correctly. Sorry if this sounds confusing, and sorry if the pictures are a little blurry. As you can see, my set-up is a little cramped.

The entire set-up. Mixing bowl of water and un-blocked sleeves on a rubbermaid bin. Blocking mat, semi-finished pieces, and a pile of blocking pins on the bed (good thing I didn't forget any!). Please ignore the miscellaneous laundry.

A wet sleeve. It sort of looks like the blob that ate...something.

Pinning the sleeve.

Sorry for this super-crappy shot of me trying to fit both armholes together. Believe it or not, it's hard to get an amazing shot in low light, while trying to hold wet AND drying knitting in place. Who would've thought?

Finally, two sleeves, all pinned out and ready to dry!

This is when it was all put under my bed for me to forget about.

And then, when that was all over, I sat down, paying only slightly more attention to Little Dorrit, and seamed up the sides. This was surprisingly unproblematic- maybe it was karma’s way of saying sorry for the sleeve-blocking fiasco!

Final product...ish. You can't tell, but I'm actually standing on my desk chair, trying to get a good shot of the sweater in the mirror over my sink. Because that is the only mirror I have.

College and Cookies, or, that Pesky Participation Grade


One trend I am noticing as I start taking smaller classes is that more and more Professors are dedicating a percentage of the final grade to participation. Don’t get me wrong- I’m pretty sure creating a blog demonstrates how much I like to talk and, you know, generally participate in life. In most classes, I have something to say about almost every discussion (except the ones on readings that I…lightly skimmed). My biggest problem with participation grades is how much it puts you at the Professor’s mercy. Admittedly, as a history major most of my grades are pretty subjectively based on essays. I have resigned myself to the fact that, while most Professors agree on what a good essay is, the line between good and great is blurry and extremely dependent on the Professor.

I can never tell with participation. Is great participation speaking several times every class? Does it have to do with speaking…at all? My best idea of good participation is having the Professor know your name within the first couple of weeks. My dearest friends, we are nearing the end of my ‘couple of weeks,’ and let me tell you that I have a certain Professor who still did not know my name. How, you might ask, do I know that? Well, let me tell you.

This Professor likes to pick students out of the class. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, half the time she does this she isn’t even asking a question; she might just want to use your name in an example to illustrate her point. Well, during our last class she called on the girl next to me twice, the girl behind me three times, and one girl (whose name is a super-rememberable Glynnis) at least five times. How many times did she call on me? None.

Coming into this week I had a strategy. This morning, after my 10:00 class was over I pulled butter out of the fridge, and after lunch, I made cookies. I made 36 beautiful golden brown chocolate chip cookies, and I arranged them wonderfully on a plate. I covered it with foil and marched it across the street to the history building. Throwing open the door triumphantly, I announced to the half-empty classroom that I had made cookies. And the rest, as they say, was history.

oh yes, I kept tally

and this is what I brought home...

In other news, I finally finished my second sleeve! Victory is MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except for the fact that, you know, I still have to block the sleeves and seam the whole business. And then there’s that collar that I still haven’t decided on. Well, I’ll try to record that for you guys, and I’ll post those as soon as I get to it.


College? What College?


Since the only sweater progress I have to show you is one rather un-interesting sleeve, I thought I would talk about something else today.

Sleeve-y, right?

Today is game-day. As I am lucky enough to NOT go to a big sports school, campus hasn’t quite erupted into a flurry of football-fever, but it is rather close. My dorm this year is right near the football stadium, so I can tell you that, despite the rain, preparations have been ensuing all morning. They emptied out the parking lot for tailgating and have blocked off about half of the roads on my side of campus. Most students have taken this with an attitude of resignation. My school is more famous for it’s nerdyness that athleticism. With the weather, I’m sure they won’t get more than a couple of hundred die-hards tonight, but I still look forward to hearing the obnoxiously loud announcements until AT LEAST eleven. Oh well, I guess that’s the price you pay for getting a dorm right near a big parking lot…

the stadium and afore-mentioned parking lot

The Sweater Saga- Part 3, or BLOCKING FEVER!


So, after having knit the back and both fronts in a record week, I decided to block the sweater. The edges kept of curling, and I had no intentions of trying to sew up the seams without pinning them out first. After all, I squeezed my foam blocking mats in with my move-in things…right?

a single, lonely blocking mat...

So, after filling two of my mixing bowls up with water from the kitchen, and then carrying them back to my dorm, I commenced with the blocking. First thing I noticed when I started laying out my pieces is that it had grown from a roomy 17.5″ across the back to almost 19″. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot…right?

19 inches. Oh, God, please save me.

And then, because I am the smartest person in the world, it wasn’t until the pieces were already wet that I realized that I was about 1 block short of enough room. Needless to say, I got creative. I ended up folding the tops of all three pieces over, on top of themselves, leaving me with one extra piece, which is currently lurking in that picture up top. I’m sure this will make it take longer to dry, but it should work out…right?

Folding over your knitting. Such a smart thing to do.

And then, as I ended my streak of cursing that, I’m sure, made my room mate’s ears turn blue, I realized that, considering the whole reason for this bout of craziness was to get rid of the curl on the edges, it was pretty much a waste of time. Because EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE EDGES HAS SOME SORT OF CURL. So then I hid it under my bed and cried some more.

Normal people hide their knitting under their beds...sure...