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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Starting a new chapter, as they say

As readers of this blog will know, I've spent the last six or seven years in college finishing up my bachelors and going for my masters degree in psychology.  After all that work, I got my diploma delivered to my by UPS in a flat cardboard envelope, sandwiched between two thin pieces of cardboard.  Not exactly as I imagined it, but at least it's finally here and I'm official.  I officially have a masters of science in psychology concentrating on applied behavior analysis (it even says so on the diploma).  That means that I can sign all my correspondence with M.S.-ABA after my name, lol.  That also means that this year, in Alex's 504 meeting, if anyone tried to give me any grief I can slide this baby across the table and say (ala Steven Speilberg in Austin Powers) "my little friend right here says" I know more than you do about how to treat this disorder.  My dream has finally come true!  lol

Another new chapter is that I recently was hired to work as an ABA Tutor in a school district in Massachusetts for a substantial raise over what I'm getting paid now, with less risk to my personal safety.  And as an added bonus, I'm working with a former co-worker from my days at the bank.  I've been assigned to an elementary school and my hours are almost exactly what I work now.  The schedule follows the school year so I can also have summers off if I so choose.  I've always wanted to work in a school and I've enjoyed my time in the classroom with my current boys, but I'm just getting too old to handle the level of physicality that goes on in there (as evidenced by my season-ending knee injury, lol).  I felt pretty guilty about leaving my room, but some of the other staff members have already moved on and I was about to be reassigned to a different room anyway, so I'm feeling better about it all now.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Teacup socks and beet pesto

The other day I finished the first of my Teacup socks.  My friend Heather texted a photo to me of a sock she knit with a nice ribbed pattern and I decided that I needed to knit that too (this is a regular occurrence, lol).  So I knit my first sock using Glenna C's A Nice Ribbed Sock pattern (it's free), and used my favorite afterthought heel because it works so nicely with self-striping yarns.  I also knit it toe-up so it went pretty fast because I was only ribbing on the one side for the majority of the time.  The photo here is more accurate than the last one, and you can see the subtle shift in light blues that looked like white in the last photo.

Meanwhile, I finished the first Timberline sleeve and started the second.  It's definitely going faster since I started using the Toolry cable needle.  Being on vacation this week didn't hurt either.  My only issue is trying to resist the desperate urge to cast on for this.  It's a Thea Coleman pattern and I love her work so much.  I haven't knit one, but I've bought several of the patterns, and the yarn to knit the sweaters with.  I'm honestly not sure why I haven't actually knit one up yet.  I need to rectify that situation this year.

In other news, I finally cracked out my veggie noodle maker and cooked up some "zoodles" out of zucchini.  I told Alex that they were just green noodles, and he ate them without giving me a hard time.  Then yesterday I gave in to the compulsion to buy a bunch of fresh beets, and I made beet pesto (found the recipe on Pinterest).  It's not bad, and the color is fantastic!  We had "pink pasta" made with the beet pesto over whole wheat penne, and Alex had seconds.  The other guys in the house know what's in it, and Alex just thought that I used juice from the beets to make the pasta pink, so I was able to get him to eat a new vegetable without giving me a hard time. 

I also decided to go through my folders on the computer today to clear out some of the old junk.  I ran into an issue earlier in the week where my computer couldn't convert a newer Word file because there wasn't enough memory left on the computer.  So I opened up all my folders and found a bunch of old stuff I didn't really need anymore.  I was also surprised to see how many patterns I had designed, which never saw the light of day because I stalled out somewhere along in the process.  Now that I'm done with school, I'm going to take another look at them and see if I can't get some of these out into the world. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pop blanket is completed!

I took advantage of a cool(er) day this past week and put the Pop blanket together.  I'd been thinking about putting it in rainbow order but my friend Heather and her sister (via text message) voted for the random pattern, and at the end of the day, that's what drew me to this project in the first place, so I went for it.  I had no plans for it and I just can't bring myself to give a hand-wash wool blanket to a new mom, so I gave it to Eddie.  (I may have mentioned this before).  Anyway, Eddie is not impressed, lol. He won't go near it.  I think I have him too well trained to stay off my hand knits.  I keep covering him with it or laying it in the places where he likes to sleep, and he keeps stepping around it.  Although today, I did see him laying on the very edge of it so that's progress.  When it gets colder, I'll throw it into his cat bed.

In sock news, I finished my gummy bear socks and immediately cast on for the Tea Cup socks.  This photo is lousy so it doesn't show off the true colors of the yarn at all.  My fault for taking a photo of red socks on red pants, lol.  It's interesting because I was really looking forward to knitting this colorway but now that I'm into it, I actually like the other one better than this one.  Either way, I'll have socks.  This summer feels like the summer of socks, and I have more than my fair share of sock yarn, so I'm just going with the flow.  Maybe I'll make a dent in my stash by the time my latest yarn diet lets up.  Heather and I decided that we needed to reign it in again so the yarn diet is back on (with a small break allowed in October) until next April.  I really need to knit up the yarn I have in the apartment, and I have to admit that it feels good to do that.  Who knew it would feel so gratifying to actually turn the yarn into that thing I originally bought it for.

In other knitting news, I did pick Dante's Timberline sweater again and it's moving along more smoothly than before.  I did make two changes that seem to be helping.  First, I finished graduate school so my brain isn't fried.  Second, I changed to a cable needle from Toolry (which was created by Naomi Herzfeld, co-owner of Bella Yarns).  It has a unique shape that makes it easy to get the stitches on and off the needle, and as an added bonus, the needle is magnetic.  That means that I can stick it right to my chart keeper, or hang it from the magnetic pendant prototype she gave me.  That has greatly increased the speed with which I can work the many, many cables in this pattern.  I don't like to use cable needles, but this one has been a life saver and I'd definitely give it my stamp of approval.

And finally, in ridiculous news, I saw a new item on the supermarket shelves..."Pot Ready" pasta, which is actually pre-snapped pasta for those of you who break your pasta before putting it into the pot.  How busy/lazy have we become as New Englanders that we have to have our pasta broken for us!  Does that step really add that much extra time to the cooking experience?  And to top that off, we ran into Colonel Sanders at the market too.  Here's proof.