It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day

•September 24, 2015 • 1 Comment

For the past 2 + years, I’ve been going towards a new and different career path. My family are all chemists/retired chemists: Mom, Dad and younger sister, all of them. I, on the other hand, have been the family freak (in many ways). Science and medicine were interesting and seemed fun, but were beyond me. Music wasn’t. So that’s what I did, for a long time.

I’ve been pursuing a new career in health care. If you don’t have experience in the field, it helps to have certification and an education.
We’ll see how much it helps. In May, I finished taking classes for medical coding. Two weeks ago Saturday I took a certification exam. Today I got the results.

I passed. No idea how, and by much more than I expected – SO much more. But yeah. I did it.

So this morning, I celebrated by scouring some more Churro for a rug that I’m planning for our basement. Re-scouring it, really; but it’s coming out really silky and just right for combing, so I think the extra washing round will be worth it. That and another hike to Zombies, Run! was my celebration.

Now all I need is a job…

School’s Back

•September 5, 2015 • 5 Comments

So, our Baby Goth is back in school. She started 8th grade about a month ago, and it’s…going. The days begin far too early for our little night owl; she gets on the bus at 7AM and gets home after 3PM. We’re having more and more arguments about homework and practice time. I guess that’s all part of the fun-filled world of Having a Teenager in Your Home.

Other than that, it’s been hot. Really hot. Like in the high 80s to high 90s F for over two months now. Which could be worse, but the fire danger is getting considerably higher. Again, that could be a whole lot worse too. (We’ve had it a lot worse, in fact.) Hot doesn’t lend itself well to fiber things.

I did manage to finish the Wavedeck shawl that I made from the yarn I spun during last year’s Spinzilla week.

I finally blocked my Wavedeck pi shawl today. #knittersofinstagram #handspun #lace

A photo posted by karen m (@spyderkl) on

This was really a lot of fun! I wasn’t sure whether or not the yarn would work, but I like the way it turned out.
Also, another pair of socks. For the person who almost never wears them.

Socks are finally done. Whoo! #ravelry #sock #knittersofinstagram #knitting #knitty

A photo posted by karen m (@spyderkl) on

Perhaps she’ll wear them this winter.

I’ve also been learning how to make a rug. Donna Druchunas has a class in Amish rugs at Ruzuku, and I decided to give it a try. My grandmother, and most of the women in her family, made a lot of rugs from rags and leftover yarns. Most of them were woven, but I did recognize some of the rug styles; especially when she showed combinations of knitted and woven rags in rugs. Mine is nowhere near that impressive, but I’m still at it.

Now for a bit of a BatFit update:

Have I mentioned that it’s been hot? There’s a small window between when I take Baby Goth to the bus and it’s too hot outside to breathe. So I’ve been walking our dog in the mornings. For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying Zombies, Run 5K training. It’s a little more fun than the average C25K program, so that’s been nice. I used to run when I was Baby Goth’s age. I had enjoyed it so much that I talked to the high school cross-country coach about starting when I got to high school. That was the summer that we moved away to the End of the Earth. When I asked the cross-country coach there about joining, he smiled politely and said that that wasn’t open to girls. And that was the end of my running.

Running is hard now. I’m a hell of a lot older now. But. surprisingly, I’m able to do it. I feel better mentally afterwards, which has been helpful. Since I’m about to start working in health care soon, it’s not a bad thing to be more healthy. It’s gotten me to eat slightly better again, too. We’ll see whether I can finish this, but I really want to.

As for one of my other goals, I finished my certificate program in May and have been studying for a CPC certification. I have a certification exam in one week. I’ve been studying, but I’m not certain if it’ll be enough. As I’ve said before, this is a huge 180 shift for me, so we’ll see how this goes. It’s also a test that people seem to take multiple times, and that makes me more than a little nervous. But we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, studying and spinning will be on my to-do list for the next week.

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.


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