Music to Spin By: Dalek Relaxation Tape

•March 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Because, I’ve been working all week on classes, etc. and I’ve got nothing else. Enjoy.

Emotionally Attached: The Professor’s Homework Assignment

•February 26, 2015 • 3 Comments

This month, the Curious Professor Z challenged us to come up with a piece of music that is “the most beautiful you’ve ever heard.” Something that provokes an emotional response.

This is a tough one. I’ve been in and around music my whole life: my mother played piano at night when we were getting ready for bed; we listened to the classical music station in town while we were going to sleep; music was the biggest way that I was able to relate to my classmates in elementary school. I’ve played at least one instrument since the age of 6 on. When I discovered Goth music (I think the term at the time was “positive Punk” – at least until I left college and moved to the Big City), it was something that just made me happy. Believe it or don’t. Teaching music is the one job I’ve done the longest and it’s been the one I’ve been happiest doing. Even when I go on to do something else soon, I don’t know if I can think of myself as something else besides a musician and a parent. Music is both an emotional trigger and an emotional release for me still. But anyway.

Back to the assignment. The piece I’m thinking of isn’t exactly Goth; it’s a piece by a composer that did her thing at the middle of the Romantic period. Clara Wieck-Schumann was a pianist and composer. She’s probably best known as being Robert Schumann’s wife and Johannes Brahms’ student (or something more if you believe the stories). This is one of my favorites:

It’s a nocturne, a song about the night. Chopin and Debussy wrote some lovely ones. This one makes me think of a winter night in front of a fire, or watching the snow fall from indoors at the window. At least to me, it’s certainly a night-time song.

There are a lot of other pieces of music that evoke an emotional response, but this was the one I thought of for my homework.

What’s in my Basket? The Professor’s Homework Assignment

•January 30, 2015 • 8 Comments

This month’s homework assignment is pretty easy. I think. I have a lot of things going at one time (what, me ADHD? Naw…), so there will be a few things here, one from each basket.

First, there’s the knitting basket:20150129_125958
That’s the Wavedeck Pi shawl from the Knitty Winter 2014 issue. It’s been fun so far. The yarn is my own; spun from a Merino/silk blend I bought a while ago, and that I spun for Spinzilla 2014. It’s going okay. I’m not sold on the color, but it looks better than I’d feared.

Then the crochet basket: 20150129_130045
This week’s Geek-a-long square. Also handspun. This yarn has been sitting for a while, so it’s not splitting like some yarn I’ve been using.

The spinning basket has a couple of things, but I’ll just show you one: 20150129_130307

This is bison/bamboo/cashmere roving. It’s soft and beautiful; I think I’m making at least one more prosthetic for my mom out of this. The only drawback is it’s probably going to be warm in the summer. This is my “waiting for A at the (fill in the blank)” spinning.

There are a couple of other things I’m working on… 20150129_130358
See these? They are the in-progress blankets I started last fall. One is the Geek-a-long 2014 blanket (I managed to get 18 squares finished) and the other is a “Big Bang Theory”-style Amy Farrah Fowler blanket for my sister and her girls, as they’re big fans of the show. It was supposed to be for Christmas; so you can see how that went.

I’m working on a sewing basket. Right now I need to come up with a more permanent place for my machine and a decent cutting surface. Once I’m finally finished with school in May that will be easier.

As you can see, I’ve got a problem with “start-itis”. I have a hard time finishing things, especially if it’s a handknit or crocheted item that needs sewing. I’m good with hand sewing, honestly, and I enjoy it. As long as that sewing doesn’t involve putting knitted items together, it’s good. This Christmas I was racing to get a couple of things finished and mailed off…and now my brain is rebelling against doing a lot besides coding practice.

In the spirit of start-itis, I’ll be starting a new thing very soon.

First Cast-on of the Year

•January 2, 2015 • Comments Off

Yesterday, I did a lot of knitting. I wrestled with finishing the Geek-a-Long blanket. Six strips connected, two and a half strips connected together with three and a half more to go. It’s kind of a hodgepodge; I’ll show you once it’s done, but I’m happy it’s just for home. Next year’s may be a bit different.

I also cast on for another shawl. The Wavedeck shawl by Kate Abernathy, in the Winter issue of Knitty, looked pretty good to me. Not necessarily a quick project, but fun; I like the idea of Pi shawls, and I’ve got some of that handspun from Spinzilla to use. Here’s what I have so far:
It’s been a frustrating experience, trying to split the colors up in this particular bag of top. It doesn’t look like anything’s been split in the singles, so I gave up and plied it together however it landed. I think it’ll be okay. We’ll see.


•January 1, 2015 • Comments Off

We stayed up to see the New Year last night. One of us has discovered the wonders of the Group Text, and the rest of us were greeted with beeps from the other’s phone every 20 seconds. Two of us drank an entire bottle of champagne in preparation for my cutting out alcohol for a while. We talked about the coming year, and what we were expecting and hoping to have happen.

And now, it’s the new year.

I’m racing to finish the Geek-a-Long blanket before the next one begins on Sunday (SUNDAY!). The strips are all together; now it’s time for connecting the strips into a useable thing. Some of the strips are crocheted, and some are knitted. It’s just for us, so I don’t think it’ll be a problem.

And this afternoon, I’m starting something new with the yardage I spun during Spinzilla. It’s the Wavedeck half-Pi shawl. The only difference is it might be slightly smaller because the yarn is fine. Very fine. Not exactly a problem since I’m, well, not very tall; but it means it will be different.

I have some ideas in my head about an embroidery project or two, but that will be for later.

Here’s hoping that 2015 is the beginning of many good things for all of you. Happy New Year.

BatFit 2015 – Goals for next year

•December 30, 2014 • Comments Off

Yes, I’m doing BatFit again this year. This past year I lost a little weight, then gained it all back and then some. Thank you, stress eating. I did get closer to some of my goals – one more semester of school, a practicum and a certification exam to go; cutting out some of the more negative influences in my life where I could, and not paying quite as much attention to the ones I can’t exactly cut out; and I spent some more time spinning. For this year, I have some goals:

  • Finish school and my practicum, and get certification. One more semester to go.
  • Find a job, preferably one that will allow me to work on my certification while on the job if need be. It would be nice if my practicum lead to a job, but I’m not getting my hopes up.
  • Eat more vegetarian meals each week, even if it means fixing something different for myself than the rest of the family.
  • Talking to my PT about the feasibility of getting back on my bike with the neck problems I’ve had/still have – and then doing as much as I can. It’s not going to be my only form of exercise. But I really have missed getting out on a bike.
  • Getting outside, even during the winter. Once again, we’ll see. That might be a little more challenging once my practicum starts and I’m working again.
  • Concentrate more on the people who mean the most to me and ignore the ones who aren’t. Especially after this summer, I’ve got a lot of thinking to do; certainly about what friends are and what they do to/for each other.
  • Doing some more sewing for myself. It was fun making A’s costume this Halloween; I’d like to do more of that too.
  • carviing out some alone time that doesn’t necessarily involve being in a car either driving or waiting for somebody.

That’s the only things I can think of right now, but I’m sure I’ll find more. Probably. We’ll see how this year goes.

The Day After

•December 26, 2014 • Comments Off

Well, Giftmas has come and gone. It was a good day – A got quite a haul, I got punked by my sister (a play on my name, sent as individually wrapped rocks), and Dad Goth finally got his new skillet. We had dinner and watched the Doctor Who Christmas special. My thoughts about this last one:

  • I can honestly say last year’s was better. And I’m no fan of Matt Smith’s Doctor.
  • Stephen Moffat needs to decide if he’s making an episode of Sherlock (where multiple plots and bizarre convoluted story lines seem to be the order of their day) or Doctor Who. He can’t seem to do both.
  • Holy hell, is the next season going to be the Clara Oswald show too?
  • I wish Nick Frost was the new companion. Just sayin’.
  • I also wish Peter Capaldi would stick around long enough to have Neil Gaiman write an episode for him. At least one. He did say in the Radio Times that as long as Peter Capaldi is the Doctor, he’s going to write an episode for him.
  • This is, unfortunately, the first time since the new run started that I can wait for the next season to start.

Today we’re having our White Christmas – there’s at least 6″ of snow outside and it’s not stopping. Fortunately we don’t need to travel anywhere today. It’s beautiful, but. I really don’t like feeling isolated, even as much of an introvert as I am.

I’m getting ready for the next round of BatFit. From roughly just before Halloween until now, I’ve gained any weight that I might have lost. I’m hoping this winter, with only one class (and a practicum, so we’ll see how that goes) will be slightly less stressful. This semester has the added benefit of being the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s see if I can find a job once this is over. Anyway, I got through at least one of my goals: doing reasonably well in my classes. which translates into an A and a B. So now I need to think about setting new goals for next year. I need to think about that. Probably write about my actual goals next time.


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