What was I thinking?

I went back to school.

It was great. It was hard. I loved it.

Someday, I’m going to appreciate that it wasn’t super easy. I’d just about given up on ever finishing my computer science degree. The thought would occur to me to try again every fall. Every fall, I would remember the many times I tried before and agonize for all the things I let stand in my way. Working full-time, raising children, limited resources, an un-supportive first spouse, I’m too old to learn, all came together and at some point I just gave up and said “I shall try again later”. The years came and went and so many doubts plagued me. Why should I bother? What will I use it for? It’s not going to make a difference in my career. The mommy tax was too high, I’m too old, I’m too out of shape, and so on. Still, my unfinished degree haunted me. Year after year, the thought would not go away that I regretted not finishing. I knew I could get around almost anything, but the idea that old dogs don’t learn new tricks seemed to be the thing that stopped me in my tracks.

Then, I ran across an article saying that it wasn’t true. There wasn’t any hard evidence that older people couldn’t learn new things.

I now had a supportive spouse, I now had resources, my children were grown, and with reading that article my last mental obstacle vanished. I enrolled in college with my two youngest children and we all went together.  They had been going for a little while already and my oldest has graduated.

I loved it. I got good grades. I may have cried a little. Okay, I cried a lot. But it was good, too.

Here, I am. I made it two semesters and I was going to take a trigonometry class during the summer but that didn’t work out.  I took a math leap class instead that takes what you know and pushes you a little farther. I don’t need/want to retake trig and calculus, I simply want to refresh my knowledge so that I don’t freak out again during my physics class.

Summer is over and I go back on Monday and I didn’t get anything done, crafting wise, that I wanted to get done.  I didn’t finish any socks, I didn’t sew pajama pants, I finish my shawl for fall.

So, of course, I started a sweater and bought more sewing fabric.

I may need help.

A Recurring Theme

Failing at yarn chicken is a recurring theme in my world.

I love the colors of this yarn for baby blankets.  My visiting minster’s baby was due very soon and I needed something I could finish quickly. I could achieve that by using two strands of yarn and still get the color I loved. Instead of trying to keep the colors the same, I thought it would be fun to get a marled(?) effect. The two skeins of yarn started at the same color, so I wound up several lengths of one skein so I could start the colors at different places.  I put this bit of yarn aside, because yarn.  I keep yarn scraps. I may have even been thinking that I would need that extra bit.

As usual I got to the end of the blanket just a few shells short of finishing the row.

I sighed with resignation, but not surprise, and went through my supplies looking for the leftover bits of this yarn that I was positive I must have. I love this yarn and I’ve made more than one baby blanket with it. I looked in all my usual scrap yarn spots for the bit I saved when I started the blanket, couldn’t find it, and concluded that I had thrown away the scrap.

I purchased another skein and finished the blanket. What the heck, I use this yarn all the time. It’s my favorite for baby blankets and will always get used.

I

So, of course, today I find the scrap yarn. It’s not enough to fail at yarn chicken, the fiber universe has to rub salt in the wound.

 

Sock Mania

I want more hand knit socks for fall.  My feet get cold on campus and wool socks are almost a necessity.  I purchased some before school started last fall and while they are nice and warm, they are thick and don’t fit great. The socks that fit and feel the best are the ones I’ve made.  Which means I need to make more. After my pattern paralysis, I finally chose a few patterns and spent some time with my swift and ball winder.  I wound up some of the new yarn from the Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair,

picked a few patterns, and cast on a few pairs.

Pattern Paralysis

Startitis Paralysis: A condition in which one is burning to start a new project but is paralyzed with indecision on which pattern/yarn combo to use.

I have a literal floor-to-ceiling tower of sock yarn.

I have a shelf full of sock pattern books, thousands of patterns available on the Internet, my hard drive, and Ravelry.

I frequently browse through the books and the pattern databases. I flag patterns I like. I like several patterns. Why do I have such a hard time deciding on which sock pattern to start next?

In case you think I’m kidding about the tower:

That entire second column is fingering weight yarn. The first column of that style of tubs is Knit Picks yarn, some of which is also sock yarn. I have a lot of sock yarn.

Clearly, I need professional help.

 

It was a beautiful day.

David and I were sealed in the Mount Timpanogas Temple.  None of my family are members but my dearest friend, Wendy, made sure I was properly escorted and not alone. She held my hand, dabbed my tears, and dutifully took a lot of lovely photographs.

Except for this one, I hope it’s okay to take a selfie at the temple!

Thanks, Wend, it meant so much to me that you were there.

Travel knitting

We were sealed in the temple on a Thursday and then left for Las Vegas for a long overdue weekend away. David still ended up working but we had a nice time and I got a lot of yarn crafting done.

This baby blanket will be going to my visiting minister, Jennifer.  I need to hurry, she’s due soon.

I bought those awesome needles at Sin City Knit Shop in Las Vegas, so this picture was taken on the way home.

Socks for me.  I need more pairs, the CS building at UVU gets really cold.

I think I was distracted.

School didn’t leave me a lot of time for anything other than school. It was glorious, but my knitting suffered. I managed a few stitches here and there, usually while I was having a lunch or waiting for a ride.  Nothing earth shattering fell off my needles. My shawl got larger.

Well, other than stitches. It was a common occurrence for me to pull a project out of the bag and lose a needle somewhere.  My knitting and I didn’t get along as well as I would have liked. One day it attacked me and I ended up with a DPN embedded in my thigh.  I didn’t think those could really pierce skin.  Not the larger ones with rounded tips.  Nope, they pierce skin quite easily.

One tetanus shot later and my knitting and I are still not quite on speaking terms.

Take this small project for example:

It’s supposed to be straightforward boot cuffs. I’ve made dozens of projects that start like this. I must have been very distracted because it took a couple of days for me to get the thing to connect in the round without the stitches being twisted.  Then a couple more days to cast on the right number of stitches on the needles.  My first attempt left me with half the size I needed but double the number of stitches was too big.

Swatches lie like like dogs on rugs. FIVE retries later, I finally got one done finished.  I finished the other one late on Christmas Day.

I did well on my finals, by the way.  I know you were all just dying to know.