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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Grad school 'n socks 'n stuff

Yesterday, dear readers, I started grad school...and I'm already exhausted.  I'm sure I've done it to myself, but there it is.  So far, my work load is pretty ridiculous but when you really look at it, it's the same amount of work as what I was doing for two classes.  I hope it stays like that and doesn't pick up as the weeks go along.  Thank goodness for Monster Energy drink (looks like I've fallen off the wagon) and spell check.  I was so tired today that I couldn't complete a coherent thought.

Anyway, the day before school started, I finished off my non-school period by finally finishing Alex's rainbow socks.  He's been waiting for these since this summer but that's okay really.  He didn't need them until now.  Here you can see him modeling these brightly colored socks.  I stated on my Ravelry project page that I didn't love knitting with this yarn because it really irritated my hands, but the color was just to intense that I sucked it up and pushed through.  Alex actually likes the way these feel on his feet and has asked for more pairs in this yarn.  I'll have to see what I can do about that (If I can find the time).

The pattern is called Knock Your Socks Off, and I tested it for Helen Bingham.  I made the cuff longer than suggested, and added length to the heel flap and the foot because Alex is tall and has bigger feet than the average child his age.  Lengthening a sock pattern isn't anything new to me, lol.  I wear a woman's size 10 shoe and with the exception of Alex, all my boys wear size 12's (Alex isn't far behind).  Alex just discovered He-Man, and has asked me for a pair of He-Man socks o.0  I have no idea what he means by that and I don't see that happening in the near future, but he stands a good chance of getting the light blue pair he asked for.

In kitchen news, I've been going a little crazy making treats.  Tuesday night I made Snickers Popcorn from a recipe I found on Cookies & Cups.  It was a heck of a lot easier than I expected, but I discovered that my kitchen is too small to really do this right.  It's hard to mix the toffee into the popcorn when I don't have enough counter space to spread it all out onto.  However, baring that little problem, it turned out really good.   Alex had to go to bed before it was ready, and he made me promise to put some in a jar for him and put his name on it, lol.  He's learned that snacks which existed before he went to bed may not exist when he wakes up in the morning.

As you can see in this photo, I complied with his request.  He was a very happy little boy when he woke up yesterday to brand new socks and a jar full of popcorn with his name on it.  I may have even been persuaded to let him eat some of said popcorn before school.  There goes my nomination for Mom-of-theYear, lol.

And finally, I got his evaluation in the mail yesterday.  It was very informative and made a lot of sense.  It's possible that he doesn't even have a defiance disorder, and that all of his behavior issues stem from attempts to avoid certain situations that cause sensory discomfort.  You can bet I'll be studying anything and everything sensory-related I can find while in grad school.  I hope to find some answers by the time I'm finished.

Monday, October 15, 2012

October stuff (with photos this time!)

As I mentioned last time, I'm testing a pattern for the very talented Yarn Yenta aka Heatherly Walker.  Heatherly is partially responsible for forcing persuading me to design knitting patterns, lol.  So here's what happened...  I signed up for my second season of Super Sock Scarefest and a discussion thread was going on about IF we were going to design a sock for the upcoming season (IF!), what movies would we pick.  I was pretty active in that thread, tossing movies around willy-nilly and having a general good time.  Then I got a call from Heatherly telling me when the designs were due, and what my supply list would be.  I'd knit socks without a pattern before, but they had always been one-offs and I'd never designed in multiple sizes before.  So, under a great deal of pressure encouragement, I got my needles out and published what would turn out to be my most popular pattern to date: Night of the Lepus.  And each year sense I've been asked back to design more scarefest socks.  Speaking of which, my latest SSS design is scheduled to be released on Oct 21st, so get your needles ready!

Anyway, the sock I'm holding like a grinning fool is the Alyssians pattern and is part of a series by Heatherly.  You can't see it very well from my quick-and-dirty webcam photo, but it's got a really pretty lace stitch and an eye-of-the-partridge heel.  It's my first time ever knitting that type of heel (although I've wanted to for a while now) and unfortunately, the tonal-dye of my yarn doesn't really let it show up as well as I'd hoped, but it's working EXACTLY as I hoped in terms of how well it plays with the lace.  I modified the pattern by knitting the leg for 6 inches instead of 4 inches...because I'm a giant.  Otherwise I'm knitting exactly as written.  This has been a great little project to pick up when I need to put down the Knit Picks project (which I'm almost finished with). 

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Alex and I have been having a lot of fun thanks to some new food blogs I've discovered, such as Cookies and Cupcakes, Swamp Hollow Designs, and Make.Bake.Celebrate, and an old favorite, Annie's Eats.  I've made witch's brew soup, and creepy cupcakes, and birthday cake fudge, and fall trail mix, and a Halloween gingerbread house (from a Wilton kit).  Almost every day this past week was a new, fun, seasonal treat.  Thank goodness I'm allergic to most of it, or I'd have gained 10 pounds! 

I know it sounds like a lot of baking, but I've got to get it all in now before I start school on Wednesday.  Yep.  Grad school.  I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be a grad student, and here I am.  I'm not really excited about it though.  I'm more apprehensive.  My husband, however, said he'd be really stoked if he were me and he thinks it's exciting and I should be proud of myself.  I think he might have taken a breath in between saying all that though.  To help get over the anxiousness, I've taken on another test knit, and another sample knit, lol.  The test knit is for another talented designer who I admire, Hilary Smith Callis aka The Yarniad (she of the Citron fame).  Hilary is the designer who's handknit tie caught Dante's attention, and led to my being forced to design Shelby for Alex (because I can't knit a tie for Dante without knitting a tie for Alex, lol).  I love her designs, and this one is no exception.  Unfortunately I can't share it with you yet, but I'll make sure to take some pics and have them ready.  That being said...here's some photos of food and stuff, lol.

creepy cakes
witch's brew with witch legs made out of Nan