Sunday, October 31, 2010

And the Winners are!!!

I promised them this evening, and here we have:

The winners of the four prizes are:

The Scarf: Paletpc
The Handspun: Sheila L.
The Lotus Yarn: Cathie J.
The Wollmeise: Melissa S.

Thanks you guys for your donations! You put me over $100 for ALS and I know that money will be greatly appreciated by the ALS Association.

I'll be contacting you shortly for a mailing address!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NEW PRIZE!!!

An incredibly generous person has been wonderful enough to donate one skein of Wollmeise for my raffle! (the picture is of two, but the prize is one)



There are now 4 prizes, and so far, we have 25 entries, so everyone has a great chance of winning a wonderful prize! Remember, each $5 donation gets you an entry, and all donations are tax deductible. You will receive a postcard in the mail from the ALS Association with a tax receipt on it.

Also-unless you say otherwise, everyone is entered for everything, so if you do not knit, please let me know and you will be in the running for the scarf only.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RAFFLE Part Deux

My hibiscus is flowering!

We had some random heavy rain for the last two days and I was unable to photograph the other two prizes. Luckily, the sun has come out today and made for some great picture-taking weather. Its also just plain AWESOME weather. I'm so excited I was able to wear a sweater! Yay!
Fall is definitely my favorite season.
But on to the prizes.

The first is a skein of Love Cats graciously donated by Lotus Yarns. It is the Chakra base, 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon and 10% Cashmere. It is just plain beautiful and I will be sad to send it out. But it will be mailed out at the beginning of November to the winner of the raffle! So go ahead and donate and your name will be included!

The third prize is the completed project. This is a lace scarf (Annis, from Knitty) made out of laceweight cotton and using silver beads. Its a perfect little mini shawl or scarf. It is a great weight for summer as well as other seasons, because it is very light and airy. I purchased the beads at a beadshow in Atlanta and the yarn in Guatemala. I'm very sorry to part with it but it will be going to a good cause!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

RAFFLE

I've been busy working this week and knitting up a little project for the raffle.

So the first prize will be this:


It is 182 yards (approximately 4 ounces) of Merino/Silk blend 2 ply, with a third ply of purple thread strung with silver beads. I will try and get a closer picture, but it is very shiny and reflects a lot of light. I was trying to get a fine yarn but sometimes you have to do what the yarn wants, rather than what you want. And this wanted to be a DK/Worsted weight yarn. It was thinner, but then it fluffed up when I washed it. But it is REALLY beautiful and would make an amazing hat, scarf or shawlette. I hate to part with this, but it is for a good cause and I think someone will really enjoy it!

The other two prizes will be revealed next week, after I get some photographs taken, but I will tell you that the commercial yarn I have as part of the raffle was graciously donated by Melanie of Lotus Yarns. It is really beautiful, as all of Melanie's yarn is, but it is a BRAND NEW colorway and has not been offered for sale on her site. So someone is going to win some beautiful yarn!

The last prize will also be photographed this weekend after blocking, but it is the knitted item. No spoilers yet though!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the Bar, Guatemala, ALS Walk and a RAFFLE!

Its been a busy couple of months. Briefly, I took the bar exam, went to Guatemala for two weeks with DH for a Spanish immersion school, and registered for the ALS walk in November.

There's not much to say about the bar. It sucked. Big time. But *fingers crossed* its over and I won't have to take it again. I don't get results until the end of October, but I feel pretty good about it.

Guatemala was amazing. It was life-changing. It know that sounds cliche, but it was. Our school was full of amazing people, the family we stayed with was amazing and the city of Quetzaltenango, also called Xela, was absolutely amazing. We loved it. I mean, there are hazards to traveling, especially to a country like Guatemala. Both DH and I were sick briefly, both food-borne. We both tried really hard to only eat the things Americans are *supposed* to eat, but we got sick anyways. Luckily we did not get any infections or amoebas (parasites) and came home unscathed. Our Spanish improved immensely, and although I wish we could have stayed two more weeks, we were ready to come home when we did. I highly recommend the school we attended. They are incredibly professional, and while the school costs a little bit more than other schools in the area, they have an amazing staff and the school itself does a lot of good in the community.

But how did it change our lives? We came home knowing how absolutely blessed we are to live here, in the United States, and to have the families we have, the opportunities we have and to have the amazing friends that we have. Guatemalans were by far the most friendly and generous of people I have ever met. However, while the country is full of intelligent and hard-working people, various historical reasons have led to the country being not far beyond a third-world country. Unfortunately the United States has played a large part in the subjugation of native Guatemalans (the indigenous people) who make up a large portion of the population. Although, in thinking about that now, its not very different from the indigenous population here.

My life isn't perfect. I am still not permanently employed and this stresses me out beyond belief. And unfortunately, the line of work I want to pursue will never be highly compensated. But I have an amazingly supportive family and have had opportunities greater than probably everyone I met in Guatemala. I own more THINGS than probably anyone I met in Guatemala. The family we stayed with was middle class and had cell phones, television and a nice home and furniture. But we have so much MORE things at our home. And I'm not sure why we have so many more things. Its put me on a anti-clutter path lately. I have a lot of yarn, a lot of clothes, a lot of books and a lot of random other things. Now, I'm trying very hard to find new homes for the things I own, the ones I can do without. I have given away a lot of stuff and haven't yet felt deprived. After visiting Guatemala and seeing how little even middle-class people are HAPPY with, I don't think I could give enough away to match that. But I'm trying.

The pictures are available on my flickr site, which is in the sidebar of this blog. The bottom line is that I loved it and I wish that everyone I know could experience what we did. I loved it and I'm making tentative plans to return. I will have to wait until I am permanently employed, but I will be going back. And not just to work on my Spanish.

So in an attempt to give back, because I realize more than ever before how amazingly blessed my life is, I joined my good friend in her pledge to walk in the ALS Walk in November. ALS is a degenerative disease with little treatment and few options for those stricken with it. It is usually fatal within a few years of diagnosis, although Stephen Hawking has actually lived with ALS for 40 years. He is an outlier and it is very important that we support the ALS Association's work towards finding treatment and a cure.

I've already received some very generous donations, but $.91 of every $1 goes to research with this organization. For that reason, I want to try to increase the donations I am able to generate. I have opted out of the rewards program, so I will not receive anything for increasing my donations. However, I will be receiving a t-shirt :)

Here's the deal: For every $5 you donate to ALS via my page, you will be entered in a raffle for some yarny prizes. Don't knit? No problem. I will also have a completed knitted item to be raffled off. I am planning on three prizes. One will be commercial yarn, one will be handspun and one will be a knitted item. I may increase the prizes if I am able to get donations. I will post more information (including photographs) in a few days.

The raffle will be up until the end of October, as the walk is November 6. I receive an email when you make a donation so just let me know via comments if you want your donation to be considered part of the raffle. On October 31st I'll do a random number generator selection and notify the winners!

Thanks for considering a donation!

My ALS Page

Completed items:




An Owl for my best friend's Birthday. (Rav link)


A Citron for a friend!


A shawl I donated to Eastern European Russian Orphanages Project. This will actually go to a Gypsy woman in Romania.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Graduated and unemployed-so why am I so busy?

The title would be the explanation for my absence. I have indeed been toying with the idea of a video cast, even tested out the lighting in my office (terrible) and even have an Evernote list of topics. So why haven't I done it yet? Because I am inexplicably more busy than I was when I was a full-time student.

Bar prep class is going along full-steam ahead and I am constantly playing catch up. I also have a part time job at the law library where I am working in the cataloguing department. That is only minimum wage but its pretty interesting. Well. That's not entirely true. It is only minimum wage but its not that interesting. Its actually very dirty. I keep thinking I should submit that job for Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs, but by the time I get a response I won't be there anymore (and hopefully the collection will be complete). I am actually entering a huge collection of law reporters from India that are mostly pre-Independence. A few go into the 60's, and apparently there are a few that the law library actually receives the new editions for, but those were already in the system. I am literally putting the books into the electronic system. They were catalogued years ago, with a "fake" cataloguing number, so that there was a record somewhere of them, but they never received a barcode or true Library of Congress call number. My job is to find the collections of dusty, musty, moldy and salty (from ocean travel apparently) and cart them to my office corner, barcode, write the call number in, and enter them into the computer system. My favorite part of the job is sticking the spine labels on them. That shows how fascinating it is.

But the people who work in that department (a department I had no knowledge existed until last month) are all fascinating, engaging and very nice people. Everyone has been very kind to me, take an interest in my life, job search, etc. and all are funny and smart people. I have to say, I won't miss fitting a few hours in between life and bar prep, but I will miss seeing these ladies every other day. Of course, I'm not really going anywhere, but I won't be able to chat about hiking the AT with the woman whose office I am invading, or discuss the differences between Castillian Spanish and Latin American Spanish with another member of the department.

So, that is what I am up to. Bar prep is not worth really talking about. Its miserably boring and I keep falling asleep during the videos. But I'm watching them, trying to pay attention and cram information into my skull. Suffice to say, I get a lot of knitting done while I watch them. (It helps me focus-otherwise my mind wanders off of Conditions, the Rule Against Perpetuities, and the Dormant Commerce Clause, for example)

As far as spinning goes... I did spin up 4 oz of organic merino that I dyed but I haven't photographed it. I actually haven't taken the second half off the wheel. I'd like to participate in the Tour de Fleece, which begins next week and conveniently ends before the bar, but I'm not sure I have enough fiber. Well, that's not true. I have about 8 oz of mill ends that I dyed a few weeks ago to spin as well as one pound of cormo purchased at SAFF that needs one more bath (so much lanolin!) and flick carding. I should spin that up to go with the other pound my friend gave me last fall-I would have enough for a sweater, I think.

Knitting:
- Completed one Christmas present (No pictures, sorry)
I know, Christmas, crazy right? Well it was part of a KAL (Knit A-Long) that I have joined on Ravelry and I figured I could get a present knocked out
- I am ALMOST finished with Haruni (Ravelry link) out of Malabrigo Sock. This is not bar prep knitting due to its charts. I actually think I only have one more wrong side row left then the fancy bind off. Tonight I watched a documentary (not worth mentioning) with a friend and I got the last few rows done. Then a couple Dirty Jobs on Netflix streaming and I'm in the final stretch. This yarn was purchased with a graduation gift certificate from a very good family friend. I love this yarn! I've used it before and I consider it in the higher price range ($20 per skein) but I really think it is worth it. I don't know how it wears as socks, as both projects are scarves, but I like it for them.
- Halfway done with another Christmas present (No pictures, sorry). This is out of Patons Kroy Sock and I have to say, for a Patons product sold in Michaels, I'm really liking it. I foresee using it in the future.

What do I have pictures of? Good question:



Off Kilter mitts (Ravelry link) made with Rowan by Amy Butler belle organic aran that my thoughtful future brother-in-law brought me from Paris. Just enough yarn in one ball to complete three cables down the arm. I don't know why I am holding my arm so awkwardly in the picture, as if it was a wrist brace. (I was having issues with my wonderful Nikon D50 that I got as a self-graduation from college present. I'm thinking I might have to replace it.)



Tawashi knot (Ravelry link) made out of random acrylic I found in my bin marked "Assorted Acrylic." I knew there was a reason I kept that. Its a paid pattern ($1.50) although its not much more than a long strip folded. The pattern has you switch from knit to purl at regular intervals in the strip, however, which makes the stripes look right when you fold it. Its quite ingenious and although you can make this without buying the pattern, its not too much to pay to avoid the arduous task of figuring out exactly how to fold it. Maybe it would just be arduous for me in the midst of watching COPS on a forced bar prep break. Also, this is still sitting on the table. I can't bring myself to use it for its intended purpose of scrubbing dishes. I guess I need to make more. That purple yarn isn't going to be used for anything else.



This was a test knit that I did for with some Spud and Chloe Fine that I had. Its a shiny and pretty yarn, being superwash wool and silk, but I didn't really like knitting with it. The pattern is fabulous though. Its written for both top down and toe up and the chart is well written. I didn't have much to contribute to her pattern once I was finished. That being said, I might rip it out. I love the pattern but I REALLY don't want to knit another sock with the yarn. Its so expensive, I think it might make a nice scarf-something lacey on bigger needles (Its a splitty yarn). The pattern is Hanging Diamonds by Sharon Bird.


Last but not least, this is my charity project for the months of April and May. It is the Road Scarf which is a free Lion Brand pattern. I made mine out of Lion Brand's Fisherman Wool, an appropriate choice, and had most of a full skein to use. I did three repeats and its quite a wide scarf, so it will keep someone warm this winter. The project was for Children's Emergency Relief International, which seems like a great organization even if they do mission trips. The knitwear we create goes to Eastern Europe, which although the people probably need more than scarves, at least one person will be a little warmer.

And that is the end of this massive post. I am waiting for DH to get home from work so I hate to go to sleep, I'll leave you with a quote I just read. The book is the Know-it-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs. I'm enjoying it immensely. The author is an editor for Esquire and a contributor for the New York Times, and spends a year reading the Encyclopedia Britannica. I think I like it so much because secretly I want to do this. But at any rate, I'm learning quite a bit and he's very funny, so its an enjoyable read. But I found something very meaningful in it (as the author did).

From Robert Ardrey under the category of philosophy:

"But we were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles, and our irreconcilable regiments? Or our treaties whatever they may be worth; our symphonies however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted into battlefields; our dreams however rarely they may be accomplished. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen. We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

IT IS DONE!

Three years seem like they have just flown by!

Its official, I have a J.D. I'm not a lawyer yet though; I still have to take the bar. But I can officially put J.D. after my name, or Esquire. I haven't really had a reason/opportunity to do so though, but I'm sure I will eventually!

I will be blogging more and I'm toying with the idea of a video cast. I think that it would be easy, with my mac and iLife and it would be a fun way to share some knitting as well as talk about whatever else is going on.

I'll give it some more thought. But for now, knitting:












First, some Superwash BFL from Into the Whirled in the colorway Voila!
















And for a friend who had to get rid of her pet turtle, a new Mr. T! The pattern is on Knitty.com and is free!