Yes, Goths Can be Geeks Too

•April 13, 2015 • Comments Off on Yes, Goths Can be Geeks Too

My Geek-a-Long 2014 blanket is finally finished!  Squares joined. Border knitted.  Done.

GAL2014BlanketNot the best picture – it’s from my phone – but you get the idea.  It’s done.  Whew.

I began this around the end of August 2014.  Most of the squares that I finished are things that I love.  Doctor Who, Jules Verne, Studio Ghibli, The Nightmare Before Xmas, Douglas Adams, Atari, Harry Potter and Pong.  Yes, I was a kid when Pong first came out; I thought it was the greatest thing in the world!  You could play a game on the TV!  Whoo!

Now, when I try to describe the wonders of Pong to my now-13-year-old, she looks at me like I’m insane.  Sigh.

The first Geek-a-Long blanket (and the one for this year) is for charity; the original blanket was auctioned off, with the proceeds going to Child’s Play, a charity that provides video games, controllers, and fun to hospitalized children.  It’s an amazing charity.

This year’s blanket has a theme: Mad Science.  So far, I’ve finished squares dedicated to Nikolai Tesla, Dana Scully, Rosalind Franklin, Princess Bubblegum, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, Stargate, Attack on Titan, and I’m finally starting Indiana Jones (my favorite fictional graverobberarchaeologist) this week.  It’s been a long winter.  Two birthday parties, two visits, present shopping/making, getting ready for spring planting – I’m a little behind.  But I’ll catch up.  I think.

BatFit Update: Taking Care of Myself

•April 8, 2015 • 2 Comments

I’ve been doing BatFit for the past 3+ months.  So far, I’ve gone on and off my “diet” and on and off my exercise plan for various odd and assorted reasons…

  • Holidays: Valentine’s Day, A’s birthday, wedding anniversary.
  • Illness: 2 rounds of the icks, including this current infestation of bronchitis.
  • Stress Eating for School: Yep. It’s almost over, too; so by this time next month, I won’t have that excuse.

On the other hand, I have been generally eating better: a greater amount of vegetarian/vegan meals than we’ve been used to eating, smaller portions, and fewer junk food trips.  We have Junk Food Heaven a short walk from the house, but it’s a bit expensive, so that keeps our trips there few.

I can also get through a beginning bodyweight workout one time through without stops in between the exercises: squats, walking lunges, pushups, planks, rows, and jumping jacks.  Just easy enough now to think about doing a second set, just hard enough to collapse into a coughing fit the second time through (at least this past week.)

As for taking care of myself mentally, well…

I take my meds. Every day.

I try to get outside at least once a day – this ick, though.

But. Some days are better than others; they always have been, and always will be.  It seems that the closer I get to finishing my classwork and maybe possibly getting a decent job, the easier it is to go down the depression hole. Which leads to one of my other goals for this year…

Cutting out negative influences. Some days, my biggest negative influence is myself. Other days, it’s other people who don’t (mercifully) live close by. I did make a sampler out of an online .sig last year. Maybe it’s time to start living that again.


Music to Spin By: Dalek Relaxation Tape

•March 15, 2015 • Comments Off on Music to Spin By: Dalek Relaxation Tape

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 on First Cast-on of the Year

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 on 2015

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.


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