Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Post Seventeen: Three Inches!

I prmoised pictures, didn't I? Well, here: my darling little kitten Spaz making a morning face for the camera. Isn't he just precious? And my sweater-in-progress on my awesome Denise needles from my best-ever Gamma. Oh yes, and the Great Orange Spot, as well.

And this beauty is one of the twelve goblety-things I picked up at a garage sale a bit ago. I'm sure I'll find some time this weekend to put up some of the others I intended to, too. But not right now. Mom's picking me up any second for dinner.

I now have a full three inches (mmm...7.62cm, I think?) done on my Topsecret sweater! And two more blocks on my Waiting scarf. Lots of knitting for me the past couple of days!

As for school, two exciting things: English and band. In English, I am just so excited for the current unit. We are spending roughly the next week or two (maybe three if I check, but I'm too lazy) on various gods, and at least a full day on the idea of a Mother Goddess. Can you say "Pagan"? I'll bet some parents won't be pleased, but too bad. That's what happens in a public school, not everything is how you like it. And it's not in a "convert to this!" sense, but is being connected and done as part of our classical heritage bit. Mostly the Greeks and Romans, but still. Works for me.
Band, band, band! We have almost finished an entire chart for halftime. It's nothing huge or especially intricate so far, but we're doing a good job. Trouble is, we might not have it perfected by Friday night, considering we have no school Friday. But still, it's progress. And I am so very proud of my squad! I don't even have to tell them what to do half the time I should, because they know, and the other upperclassmen help the freshman the instant she looks confused, which I'm super glad for because I can't always see her. They definitely deserve cookies. And Katie asks every day if she can yell "HERE!" during attendance. I love the enthusiasm they have!

Monday, August 29, 2005


Post Sixteen: First Day

Ok, first day of school today. It was OK. Just OK. Teachers are great, didn't overstress myself in band, got most of my books, got some homeowrk, BUT have a total of three classes with close friends and am the only one of my usual group to have first lunch. Ungh. But the plus side of lunch is that it gives me time to catch up with Helen a bit. Haven't seen much of her since she moved and came back, really. Even though we both technically live in town, and work together, and are in the same building for six and a half hours a day. I guess I need to lurk the library more often or something.

I do still have band rehearsal tonight, because we have three or four home games in a row I think. So my Monday and Friday evenings are taken for a while. But I really do love band, I really do; what I hate are the IDIOTS and people who don't care in it. If Miss P tells you to do something, you run to do it, don't mosey across the field. That wastes time. And yes, you will get tired. That is why our gym requirement gets waived if we take four seasons of marching band. Four seasons=one year. But we really do more than the gym classes. I'd like to see them march AND play AND know the chart AND be on the right foot AND breathe properly for all this to occur without passing out. Plus miscellaneous other things.

And I still am not properly sure how Jordan managed to be drum major. I can understand from watching his mace routines, but he confuses the band so much when he gives directions that it makes me wonder. We really aren't as dumb as we might seem from that. And oh, poor Chuck, he went to the wrong spot during our performance Friday. He and Jordan were supposed to be on the 45s, and Chuck was on the35 or so! I would have cried if I'd done that! It would havebeen better had he not been in the way of half the band. Poor Chuck! But he's resiliant; and knowing him, he'll watch that video 20 times and get it perfect for the rest of the season.

I have a confession to make. I bought another pair of shoes yesterday while shopping with Josh, his mom, and his little sister. They are adorable. Little pink heels with white polka-dots and a little pink bow across it. I shall post pictures. And they have made me see that my size range is larger than I thought. They are US Women's 7's and fit well. I would probably have gotten 8's, but the only pair they had was the 7's. can now officially wear anything from a 7 to a 9, depending on the shoe type and brand. Dress shoes and heels tend to be 8's, and sneakers or tennis shoes tend to be 9's, as are my band shoes. I now own 23 pairs, I believe. to knit my sweater, and maybe do some homework. Maybe.

(Just kidding. I do my homework. And this early in the game, there's no excuse for not, really. Unless someone dies all of a sudden. And unless Miss P impales Jordan on the mace tonight, I think we're OK for the night.)

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Post Fifteen: Tomorrow, Tomorrow!!

Finally, my homework is finished and I can organize my room for tomorrow. This summer, for English, I had to do a journal on a book of my choice from a list of notable works (final selection: Lost Horizon by James Hilton); read and then write a 50 point exam for some Greek myths (not my favorite ones, either) in a textbook; and then do research on, then summarize and write a response to plagiarism. Had I not been testing out of Health and BST (business services technology, basically, Microsoft office apps) and stretching it so I wasn't (too) bored this summer, it would have been done in June. But yeah. That's actually less than the original assignment, plus much, much easier (DAMN IT!) because the teacher changed over the summer. Sad. I really loved Mrs. Frazier, she was the first English teacher past grade five to teach me anything.

Surprise, surprise, I actually have a reader. Carina, thanks. I have no idea if anyone else out there is reading this, nor do I particularly care, but I figure she's left three or so comments, that makes her an official reader. Hi there!

But now I have to go take care of some things before I get up tomorrow and run about with my yarn in a tangle. Oh, and I'm going to find out on the first day this year if any of the teachers care if I knit during class, as long as I continue to pay attention. Which I do. My mind actually opens up to reception quite a bit when I knit. Like when I begin to sleep. I like, absorb the stuff going on around me. But seriously, I'm going now. Bye! (wait, I promised kitty pictures, didn't I? Oh well, maybe tomorrow, if there's time. Band rehearsal, you know.)

Hi! I check your blog every day, you know. It's pretty interesting, and it's been awhile since I've been around teens all day long. I miss it.

That's a decent summer reading assignment. Not bad. Although, I stayed away from journals, as they can be faked pretty easily. Make them write an essay with a weird topic to fight that. ;) A plagiarism essay over the summer? Hmmmm. It's a wee bit odd, as I always covered that in class to make sure that I was perfectly clear. Ooh--does the new English teacher confiscate all study helps, like Cliff's Notes or Barron's? I did. Yes, I was an evil English teacher. :D

I always let my students knit or crochet in class. If you need it, there are some good quotes in "No Idle Hands: A History of American Handknitting" about knitting in class during WWI. I used them on my administrators whenever they got in a snit about kids knitting in class. I'll look them up for you. I found that my student paid attention much better when knitting, just as I did in my classes in college. Or . . . you could have your English teacher e-mail me for a chat. ;)
EVERY DAY??? Holy crap! I might update, like, once a week!
Much of the homework was assigned by the original teacher, who wanted all of this as a background for her to pick up on when the year began.
And we are allowed to use Cliff's Notes, as long as they are an AID, not our primary reading source.
Really?! Man, I never let my kids use them, mostly because they wouldn't use them only as an aid. I had one student who tried, but she was using it as a crutch instead of doing the hard work to understand the piece.

Yeah, you're on my every day list. It's all right--hardly anyone else updates daily. I'm just always curious to see what's new. ;)
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Saturday, August 27, 2005


Post Fourteen: School

May I just say one thing: YES!!!!!!!! I am so glad school starts Monday. I still have a bit of English homework to do, but nothing that could possibly take me two whole days. We've already had our first football game, and while it was a bit embarassing for the band, it was fun anyway.

And I've decided that as soon as I can, I'm going to design a knit version of our "feather helmets" as little brother put it. Not quite sure how yet, but I'll do it. And I'll wear it, too. Hmm...and then maybe I'll make them for my freshmen next year. I can see them in my head, but I'm not sure how to do it yet. But thanks to my awesome Gamma and my dad, I have the tools to do it!

Found that cool moonphase thingy finally. I'd always wondered where they came from, but never had time to hunt them down. Yippee!


Ooh, what English homework do you have? Enquiring minds (who used to assign that sort of thing) want to know. ;)
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Thursday, August 25, 2005


Post Thirteen: Needles

So, I've gotten the Denise set from my awesome Gamma, and I've tried them out, and I love them. But not more than the Boyes yet. I do think I'll keep both sets. It makes sense. Afterall, Boye does have a couple more sizes of needle in there. The case of the Denises really reminds me of a bible. It's weird. But I love them anyway. So smooth and fast, the only difference I noticed from the aluminum is that they aren't cold when you pick them up. Mmm...knitting in the winter without fear of sticking myself to the needles!

I do sort of wish they were colorful and bright like the Boyes, I just love how happy they look. The gray and blue kind of look sad and mopey, but I know I'll make some wonderful things with them, so Yay mopey needles!

I'll be sure to post pictures of them soon, both of my cute little sets, and the Topsecret sweater that's on my 10.5 Denises right now. (It has 7 rows on it! Woo!). And later, some more kitty pictures. I have an amusing one of Spaz. I guess I surprised him...

So Gamma, I love you! And thank you for the birthday present...I'm sure it's one of the strangest things ever requested for a sixteenth borthday, but still. Mmm...knitting....with needles from Gamma. :D

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Post Twelve: Dilema

I have a needle issue. When my family went school shopping on Friday, I talked my dad into a Boye Needlemaster set because it was 50% off (was missing the protective plastic around it- nothing else). I thought about it for like 10 minutes, like so: "What if Gramma bought me the Denises? She wouldn't, it's $50, and she has 7 grandkids. But it's my 16th birthday soon. But they're $50. But I'm the one that made them Grandparents. But they're $50. And these are $35, and I have a sweater lounging on too-short needles right now. And you love aluminum, and what happens if she did get them for you, and you don't like the way they knit? But everyone loves Denises! But...etc."

Next day, my Gamma (the one who taught me to knit) calls and asks if I'd gotten needles yet (backstory: I'd been telling her how I wanted a set of interchangeables and that I'd heard that Denises were the best, though $50 [see where it's going?] and jokingly [ok, half] told her how cool it would be to get some for my 16th birthday). I say "yeah, but I'm not sure I'll like them yet. I hear bad things about the Needlemaster." And she tells me she was thinking about the needles I told her about, and how it was going to be my 16th birthday, and needles are a long-time investment, and found some with free shipping, and ordered them. (Insert happy, my-Gamma-bought-me-Denises-for-my-birthday moment here!) and we talk about possible return of the Boyes, and other stuff for a while, and we get off the phone, and I run over to my WIP to change it over to one of the Needlemaster needles.

I, err, love them. No loosening, no snags, no difficult movement, no problems, except that I have to measure them to know how long they are. None of the badness I've heard. But I REALLY want to know about the Denise set. I was considering asking her if I could try them out, and if I like them better, keep them, if not, she could keep them. And I don't know if Michael's accepts once-used returns on things like that where I bought it because it was "damaged goods" already and I haven't further damaged it.

I don't know what to do! Just knit my sweater and hope things work themselves out? Or maybe trade Gamma? But what will Dad say if I'm knitting with other needles than what he bought me, ever-so-reluctantly? Help!

Why not keep both? You'll always need more than one set for each size, and some yarns will do better on the Denise and some on the Boye. It'll work out for the best if you keep them both and use them both.

You'll probably like the Denise enough to keep them, and then you'll always bless your grandma by using them. Your dad will be proud to see you using tools he bought, so that'll make that better, too.

Trust me, there are never enough needles in the stash.
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Friday, August 19, 2005


Post Eleven: School Shopping!!

I just got a brand-new TI-84 Plus Silver Edition for school! Yay! My own beautiful graphing calculator! Mmm...wonderful! J'adore j'adore J'ADORE!!! I think I'll name it Mikal. Like Michael, but cooler. Lol. Oh, I love graphing calculators! (Yeah, I'm a nerd, geek, bookworm, Debate Dork, Band Fag, Science Olympiad Geek, Chess Club Nerd, and Band Fag, and I love it!) Mmm...calculator!

And I got three new shirts and a pair of jeans, and two bras and the usual school supplies. But I still need a dress-up outfit, and shoes. They are seriously the best-fitting jeans I've had in a long, long time, though. And new-jean colored, not like that faded crap. I hate that. I want to break in the jeans myself, not have them worn out when I buy them brand-new. Ugh. what made me most excited as far as paper supplies go (again, geek extreme!) was the yellow graph-paper notebook. Because all my maths stuff is yellow. I color-code my subjects, alright? Maths are yellow, English is red, French is orange, and green or blue depends on which science book I have this year is bigger. If Botany's is, then it's blue; if Physics' is, then Bot's green. The color includes a book cover, a folder, and a notebook. And three-ring binder if necessary.

I also talked my dad into a Boye Needlemaster set. For $35 at Michael's (50% off) because the plastic wrap cover was missing. I know, I know, I hear bad things about them, but I had to try them for myself. And well, $35 isn't bad for like oh, let me see...$57.72 for every size in 29", at WalMart price, if we figure 36" circs cost about $6 each, then that's another $78, and a total of $135.72 so far. So, actually, just from the cost of the 29"ers, the set is more than worth what Dad paid. I still have to try them out, but if I don't like them, I'm sure I could get all his money back, maybe plus some, off eBay. People out there do like them. And I prefer aluminum, anyway. The resin of the Denise set makes me cautious. If it's anything like plastic, I don't want anywhere near them.

Make Botany green and Physics blue for their respective subjects (plants and waves and stuff). As a former color-coding geek, I usually went with the subject matter for deciding color. Okay, I never took botany or physics (weird long story there about physics), but that's my take on it (as if it really matters). ;)

Good on the jeans!!! It's darn hard finding good jeans, and you deserve a chocolate break for those.

I lot of people, including the Yarn Harlot, love Boye needles, and I've known several knitters who loved their set. Try it and see. For a whole lot more money, Plymouth has a bamboo set, if you decide to save up for that (runs around ninety bucks).

Ahh, youth. I remember my first graphing calculator. *sigh* Of course, that was when they first came out, which just goes to show how old I am . . .
Well, my blue book cover is a "jumbo" size, and if used on smaller books, it makes it slippery to pick up.
And I'm really excited about the jeans. It's the first time I've gotten a 1 to fit right. (I'm a 0). They're also my first pair of new, non-hand-me-down jeans in oh, three or four years.
I had a TI-82 when I was eight, but it didn't work. I've been a nerd from a young age.
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Post Ten: Makeover!

So yeah, my blog changed. Orange and green, and some blue thrown in. And I figured out the Sylfaen thing. Not quite sure I like that light orange-yellow at the top. Maybe I'll make it blue? I tried the yellow of the headings in the sidebar, but it looked like crap. Meh. I'm mostly HTML illiterate (what kind of genius American teen am I???), though, so I go by trial-and-error. And with the help of wonderful people on the knitty boards and elsewhere on the internet. So yeah. My adventures begin!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Post Nine: Aww...

I have some adorable photos of my kitties here. I just had to post them! I'm also very grateful to someone on Knitty and her husband for those two awesome UFO bars I have down at the bottom of the page. Woo!
There's Wiskers hiding out behind the second computer desk, and wisk giving Spaz a bath. They were all curled up together yesterday as I was finishing up some summer homework sleeping, and it was so cute I had to run for the camera. Especially when the baths started! How cute is that?
I've decided to start really messing with this thing, so if you stop by and see some weird stuff, sorry, just experiments. If you see something you particularly like or hate or whatever, drop me a comment. But be warned that I'm going to set this thing up so I like it. If y'all don't, tough cookies.
First experiment was with the bar things. Worked OK, I guess. I'm not really sure where I want to put them, though, so whatever. Second experiment will be with fonts, and third will be with the colors of the page and/or a background image. If I can wangle it. Then it'll be fonts again, so they work with the other stuff. And maybe some other crap thrown in once in a while. I think I like this font, for now. I'm really rather partial to Sylfaen, so if anyone knows how to make this thing do it, tell me, please!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Post Eight: We have YARNAGE!!!

Here are some pictures of the scarf I have named Waiting. Because that's exactly what I tend to be doing as I knit it. Mostly for materials for Topsecret, but also for lines, rides, Drum Majors, etc. The yarn came from my stash, originally from some random garage sale, so I have absolutely no clue what either ball is. They feel and look and knit up like they're basically if not totally the same fiber.

There's a close up of my beautiful ribbing. I love it. And even though there are some mistakes, it's just a freakin' scarf, not even a gift scarf (yet). I think it's something like 20 stitches across and every color stripe is about 20 rows, give or take the accidental one or two.

But this, this is the exciting part: I got home from my boyfriend's house last night to find a package waiting for me. I open it up, and WOOOG!!! It is my two glorious skeins of Bernat Mirage in Midnight Hues. Pictured are my two great big beautiful balls (it came to me in skeins, so I wound it. By hand. I really don't know why I do; it makes more sense to knit from the center-pull thingy in the skein, maybe it's just for the extra time I get to touch my yarn. I don't know) and a pop can I threw in for scale. It's really much more beautiful than the pictures give it credit for. O, my beautiful yarn! I shall write a poem to You in the Blue Notebook. I shall squeal with glee every time I look towards You. I will sigh in frustration when I realize that I still lack the needles for Your project. Then, I shall pet You, and all will be better. Then, I shall hear my brother make a comment about playing with my balls. And I shall sigh once more before kicking some serious (non-yarn) balls in.
YARN!!! 20 oz. of Bernat Mirage I had to order from Nebraska (Thank you, Yarn & Thread by Lisa!!! THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!!)

Monday, August 08, 2005


Post Seven: Photos

So here we have several photos, my band hat, from the front and side in all its plumey glory, followed by my wonderful cat enjoying my stash. I love my hat. It's beautiful. Not. But really, I love my hat. I've never been the lucky recipient of a poker, a jabber, or a wiggler. (respectively when the plume hook pokes you as you march, something in the hat jabs into your head, and when the plume has no hook so it wobbles to and fro as you march).

Following Wisk is the stash itself, then the hat without plume. Much of my stash is garage sale finds, so it's unknown fiber content.

Your stash is so neat and all rolled into balls! I prefer knitting from balls instead of center pull skeins, but I have yet to learn how to make them into balls.

I'm lazy.

I am, however, jealous that they are garage sale finds. I never have that kind of luck.
Thanks. Balls are easy. Just wind the yarn around your first two fingers until it's a good size, then just slide it off and wind the yarn around it perpendicular to the way you were winding before and just keep changing where you're winding the yarn as it gets bigger. It's OK to cheat and just wad it up to start, too...or tie a big bead in there.
Ah, thanks, I'll definitely try that today.
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Sunday, August 07, 2005


Post Six: Band Camp, etc.

So I had marching band camp this past week. It was fun, but definitely a lot of work. It's always bad switching back to a Soprano mouthpiece from the Bass, but this year I discovered I had gone down to a 2 1/2 reed. I'd been playing on a 3 since sixth grade! Not that it matters, really, because I've been trying to break the darned thing since seventh grade anyway, (Don't tell my director!) and it seems to be invincible. All I've managed to do was lose two pieces of cork off a couple of keys. If you haven't noticed, I hate my soprano clarinet. I'd trade it for any other instrument in an instant if Miss P wouldn't take my head off. Which she would.
I think the dance was the best part, really. Ooh, and squad competition. When we got our squad assingments after tryouts, I ended up with squad G, without trying out. We have 26 squads this year. When we did squad competition, (director gives a command, we follow, if someone in your squad messes it up, you're all out and free to heckle those still in), my squad was in until only four squads were left. I SO did not expect that! My boyfriend and Steffan's and Nikki's squads went down before mine did, and they're seniors that've been SL s before. Yay squad G! You guys rock! It pissed off Zazi that I got a squad, though, because she tried out and didn't get one, and I just helped Alyssa with hers and I got my own squad. I don't get a cord, though, because I was appointed rather than trying out.
As for the dance, I actually danced for most of it for the first time ever. Hung out with Steve and Zazi and Kristabeck and Olivia and random Sophomores most of the night. I didn't know Steve danced! He was a real dance ho! I didn't dance with him, being attached and all, but many other girls did. Even Sam. I didn't think he'd dance with Sam. But the whole thing was a blast.
I really got some great pictures this week. I'll try to remember to get them into my Yahoo album.

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