Saturday, February 24, 2007

Totorini



We watched My Neighbor Totoro this week at my SAP. (Guess whose idea?) And along with this glorious movie was an art project.

The kids are usually nuts over making puffball animals: Chicks, jubjubs, alien space monkeys. This time we made various creatures and totoros! O Totoro, Chu Totoro and Chibi Totoro. You might also notice a soot sprite or two and a few Pokemons. And let's not forget the lone tamagotchi (If you can find all of these I will be highly impressed!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

School Age Handpaints

Koolaid Hand Painted Yarns by my school age art prodigies

Isn't that just gorgeous? This was my art project today in my school age program. We ordered some Bare WOTA from Knit Picks, picked up some bargain koolaid from Aldis and let them at it, all smocked up of course. Unfortunately I forgot my real camera, otherwise I would have taken some rockin' photos of the process.

One of the things that I enjoyed most about this project was watching the different learning paths that students embarked on for their dying. You see I didn't really tell them how to do it. I showed them an example and let them work independently, helping when needed and explanations of different techniques at the appropriate times.

It was pretty neat to watch the iterative process that some of the older students went through in their dying. One experimented with mixing right there in her saran wrap and came up with a skein that she called messy wheat. Then she just dropped the dyes in discrete areas, carefully mixing certain spaces. Another young gal experimented with over dying in her first skein and then long single color repeats in her second making sure that no over dying occurred. Then these two got together and shared their knowledge and made a few collaborative works. Some of the younger students saw their methods and relied on imitation for inspiration for their creations and experimented with negative space and the like for their unique touches.

On a more practical note, this was the first time I did the microwave method, and my only complaint is that I think there are a few tricks to the whole saran-wrap thing that people have been keeping off the 'net.

Basically, you have to be a saran-wrap rustler. I am a complete imbecile with the stuff and can barely get it out of the box and onto a surface or rim without major mishaps occurring along the way. But to put down a 4 foot long piece and then wrap the skein up later so that "things" aren't touching requires quite a bit of saran-skill. And I didn't read anything about this.

Our Fix: We discovered that rolling the edges over the yarn on each side of our skeins worked best. I also used extra pieces of plastic wrap on the ends for added coverage.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It's All Official!

So the date of my upcoming fight has been fluid, to say the least. A number of things have to come together in order for the evening to take place. You have to schedule the venue, the doctors, and the officials. All of which have been mismatched at some point during the last month.

But you know it's got to be official when flyers are being posted:

Ithaca boxing rocks!

I only have to weigh in 10 pounds lighter. (5 by my scale at home. I wish this were the accurate one). Arrggh!!!

But there is another official event - FO: Droplet Hat

The Droplet Hat from Knitting Nature is complete!!! This one is made from leftover Aracunia Nature Wool. My gauge was dead on - for stitches per inch. Unfortunately, My row gauge was a little off. So the hat is shorter than I would like to wear. So it's not quite complete.

Droplet hat in Aracunia Nature Wool

See those pink strands of yarn? Those are going to be the center of the earflaps that I am going to knit. I'm just trying to decide if I should knit those flaps in seed stitch or with a line of bobbles on a purl back ground. What do you think?

I'm also considering putting a pompom on top.

After my discovery of the row gauge debacle I did a little searching on the 'net for finished droplet hats. Of the ones I found, most looked a little too short, so if you were planning to knit this pattern up, I would recommend adding in a few extra rows.




For what are stars but asterisks. To point a human life? -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I am so lucky to have gotten at least a little bit of Valentines Love! Look at the card that thoughtful Holly sent. It was so unexpected and sweet. Thanks, so much.

My cool card from Holly

And inbetween all the working out and such, a little knitting has been getting done. And I have the proof.

Droplet hat from Knitting Nature Actually this guy is getting sewn up at the moment.

Can you believe it? I am going to be posting an FO soon! Perhaps I am gaining back some knitting momentum. (To be honest, I think I am gaining back a lot of life momentum at the moment).

I've also started a shawlette from the Basil Zephyr that Annie sent me for the one skein exchange. Everytime I look at this yarn I see the flower petal shawl from Elann. So that is what it will become. t won't be anywhere as big as the one pictured on the site, but I think it will be very wearable with the right dresses and such. The pattern is not complicated in the least, but it is lovely. So, all in all, this will be some mindless but relaxing knitting that I am hoping will produce a nice FO.

My work life at the school age program has been going really well. Yesterday I had about 12 kids in my knitting and crochet enrichment group. It's exciting to see how far some of them have come. I have three 4th grade gals that can knit and crochet. Yesterday one learned how to make icord, one worked on mastering single crochet and the other worked on the twirly whirly scarf that she started. I have another 5th grade gal that has just taken off with crochet. She's a real DIYer and her first project that she self started was a bag for her tamagotchi. She freeform-crocheted the whole thing, unventing a lot of techniques along the way. It was amazing to watch.



I was also in charge of art last Friday and came up with a project that turned out nicely. My boss has 65,000 CDs that she needs to do something with. So we used them in multimedia artworks. Above is a piece that I made with one of the Kindergarteners. She made her own amazing painting as well. Some of the petit artistes made fun little sculptures with CDs using the hotglue gun (one of the best inventions of the last century!). And we also made door and window hangings with fishing line. Tres fun.

Now I am going to try to get around to everyone's blog!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stone Mountain

I've been saving this post for a while and seeing that I don't really have any knitting content to present at the moment, I decided to show something more than a little quirky from my Atlanta trip. Stone Mountain

Welcome!

The South is such a hospitable place. I found the people in Atlanta to be quite nice for the most part, though I didn't hear many, "y'alls" about. But of course, that wouldn't do at a place like Stone Mountain. It's a veritable shrine to Southern history. Witness the flagstones of the Succession:



Or better yet, the portraits of the generals. Can you name them all? (Mouseover for the answers.) You could take a cablecar to the top. It's barely visible in the picture.

Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis

Now of course, a little place like this couldn't exist without a fake little shop town, replete with live blacksmith and black coffin for posing in. Not to mention cotton candy at most every corner and holiday music piped throughout (there was no escape).

The streets should also have names befitting the history of the park:



Apparently at night, there is a laser show that beams the face of Martin Luther King over the confederate generals. Imagine that? When we were there, there was only going to be an evening holiday show. Darn!

It was a beautiful place. The mountain itself was gorgeous and I really wished I could have hiked it. There are some cool igneous structures and I imagine that the view from the top is marvelous.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fight Life = Boring Life

I've been missing the blogosphere. I haven't really been able to post or read much lately, so please excuse my recent silence if you've noticed that I have been MIA in the comment zone lately.

Actually, I've been training for my upcoming fight (March 3rd)and starting back with school. My days now go something like this: wake up at 5, work out at 5:30, finish at 7, get ready for work, go to Job #1, go to Job #2, work out at 5:30, come home, shower, eat, shoot it's 8:30, go to bed/go out/do homework. Pretty boring.

But I have been getting in some sparring. I did 9 rounds last week and hopefully I can get in just as many more in weeks to come.

It was a little embarassing because I am so rusty. On Tuesday I sparred with one of the girl fighters from my gym and I got clocked pretty nicely in the chin. My jaw was a little sore for the next few days, but on Wednesday and Thursday I got hit quite a bit more.

There's a former professional boxer who is coming down to spar with us gals now. How cool is that? She's taller than I am which is something completely different and good for me to experience. She has longer arms than I do so I am having to change my overall strategy. She boxes at a level above me, but not too much so I am always being challenged and schooled when I am failing myself (I did have a little headache this weekend). It's a great experience and I am lucky for it.

But, I rested up this weekend and only worked out a little bit - just to work off some frustrations more than for fitness. You know, there was some drama, a bunch of disappointment and a car accident, but I am dearly going to miss the sleepy, warm-in-bed mornings. Brrr, it's so cold out. I don't want to think of venturing out in 1 degree weather tomorrow.

Hopefully I will have more knitting content soon. I have been working on a hat from Knitting Nature (God, I love this book. Thanks again, Annie!). And it's coming along nicely. I also recently saw, My Neighbor Totoro, and have fallen in love with that movie. I hope to knit a Totoro hat at some point and wax a little poetic about the whole thing. I have so many question and thoughts about it. Ah, thank you, Jon.

I should be finishing my homework. :doh:

Cheers for now!