An Interlude

While sitting in the layoff hearings for my district I was able to work on my knitting. The first two days I worked on a baby dress called Clara and the third day i made the Interlude Hat.

An interlude is really what the layoff hearings were. A break between my classes, I took off the week to sit in on this farce, while my job (along with almost 300 others) were kept or lost in the arguments between the district lawyer and the union lawyer. Jubilation would spout up any time someone’s layoff notice was rescinded, meaning their job would be kept for the next school year. My job, along with the majority of the art educator jobs, were lost.

Interlude Hat

The hat was nice and tight when I made it but when I blocked it it bloomed a little and is not as small as I would like. There seemed to be minor errors in the pattern, where it would had an extra stitch at then end of a couple rows but I just kept those in and it came out just fine. You can find the pattern through Ravelry here or on her website here.

I also worked on my Clara dress. I love the dress and looked for years for the pattern for free and finally broke down and purchased it along with the yarn to make the dress. The theme in my knitting seems to be purple. I knit a lot of purple things.

Clara is a pattern that is being used by a third generation of knitters, according to the Isager wool guy. You can find information on Ravelry here and on the Isager site here. From what I have read, unless you bind off the top very, very loosely the neck is too tight to allow it to actually be put on a child, so people are knitting back and forth on the top and adding buttons or cutting it to add a button band. Adding a super-stretchy bind off has also been suggested. This pattern is knit from the bottom up with a blousey skirt, then a waistband and decreases at the yoke.

Tonight was the opening of an exhibit of fairy tale art at the Haggin Museum, our local fine arts museum. I went with another art teacher and enjoyed it very much. Hooray. I should illustrate children’s books, perhaps. Either way, I need to make more art. I am looking forward to this summer and intent to use it to explore and create. If I have a job for the fall, that would be awesome. If I do not have a job, honestly, I am okay with that too. i am so fortunate to be able to be happy either way, so many people would be bankrupt or have families to support and I just have to make sure I can feed myself and my puppy.


Shalom Cardigan

Over a year ago my sister gave me a bag full of yarn. Awesome stuff, too. And it continued to sit in it’s bag, next to the gorgeous yarn I picked up at Stitches West in 2010. Some of that yarn was finally used to make my beautiful Favorite Sweater. After finishing my Favorite Sweater and still being on a knitting binge, I searched through Ravelry‘s free patterns until I finally found something I liked that used the bulky alpaca my sister gave me. That’s how I came to make the Shalom Cardigan.

I am a short woman, being completely honest here. So I scoured the reviews of the Shalom Cardigan patterns to add sleeves and to shorten the body. I learned that if each of the three sections of twisted ribbing before the split for the sleeves was shortened by two rounds the body would be short enough for me. Adding sleeves was easy enough and I also included some waist shaping as well as button holes the whole way down so I can close the sweater all the way.

I like the sweaters that close only at the top but honestly, unless one is a waif or really dresses well, it makes us look dumpy. Also, I lost a bunch of weight and want to show off, so my sweater buttons all the way down. Once I sew on the buttons, that is.

Using a self timer to pose for pictures, not that brilliant.

The great thing about alpaca is that it’s super warm. Also, while I was told that it would stretch, it has not. However, I think it is a wool blend, so it actually felted a little bit and shrunk up when I washed it. I did add some more to the sleeves after I washed it because they became too short. I have found that the yarn sheds a lot.  I look a bit like a line backer in it and the yarn under the arm makes little fuzzballs. I pull off a lot of fuzzballs, mostly at work no less.

I actually have enough yarn left to make this sweater again, because I required less yarn than required when shortening the body. If I made it again without sleeves I would be able to make a tunic!

I have also made a shawl, so I’ll be posting on that.

In other news, my school district is cutting its art program, so I will soon be without a job. I am not sure where my life is going, I really thought I was going to be married this December but that has also changed. My life is about to really go into a flux and while I don’t enjoy that and spent the weekend freaking out over it, at this point I am feeling rather ambivalent. That may be because I still have a month and a half of work and I know I can go on unemployment if necessary but more than that I’ve been so stressed out about all of this for long enough and then I lost my grandfather, which was okay because he had been waiting for a while to go and wasn’t happy about being here, but the stress of organizing a funeral and family and then the job and the relationship status change and then oral surgery, wow, it’s been a lot. If you have read this whole thing, thank you. What I have started to do is to try to focus on putting my faith on God and recognizing that I am obviously not in control of the all the tings that happen in my life. I have control over what I eat and things of that nature but there is so, so much that I really have no control over. I’m trying to learn to live with that, it goes against my nature.

A Finished Sweater for Valentines

I wore my lovely new Fitted Sweater on Valentines Day, thinking it would be a very romantic and very red sweater.  Also, we were going out and I was hoping to get some nice pictures of it in nice places. That and a romantic picnic (which, sadly, didn’t happen as I had hoped).

At the Petrified Forest in Sonoma County


It is a little gappy in the bust, I wish I had done ribbon reinforcement behind both plackets instead of just the button side. It is a beautiful sweater, however, the buttons are really heave and flop about when the sweater is unbuttoned. Switching to lighter buttons would help.

I also made my boyfriend several different valentines cards at a girls night. He got two of them. The third I kept.

A map of the paths our lives took before we met, illustrated on actual maps from AAA.

I was surprised to learn later on that some friends of our actually got engaged on Valentines Day. Wow.