Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summer Daze

My summer is officially over. I went back to work last week, but I feel like I really rested up. I did a lot of reading, some writing and research, and I finished up some old languishing knitting projects.

These socks are from a great pattern, Roza's Socks, published in the Spring o7 issue of Interweave Knits. I started these socks, honestly, two years ago, but the size zero needles can make for slow progress. I had finished one, and had done a couple of inches of the second one. Then I caught a serious case of the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome.

Somehow, when I decided to finish them, it just took a few days. I don't know why I waited so long. The pattern is well written, and the advantage of the tiny needles is that these socks are very stretchy and fit perfectly. They're knit from Knit Picks Essential Tweed.

I also finished this scarf, which was on the bottom of my sewing basket for about a year and and half. Scarves make for tedious knitting. This one, made from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's (the Yarn Harlot) pattern, One Row Hand Spun Scarf, is easy and looks great, but scarves feel like they will never end! This one is knit from some old (like from the 90s) stash yarn, Unger Escapade, 90% acrylic and 10% mohair. It has a great color gradation. But I'm totally done with this scarf.

I've spent the last couple of weeks as Cat Wrangler extraordinaire. Allie went on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, and yes, they seem to have survived the ordeal just fine. They flew to Wisconsin, visited Peter's family, and drove back in a car his parents gave him. They arrived back a bit tired and out of money, but otherwise just fine.

In the meantime, I was here to take care of the four cats. They were mostly well behaved, though they really missed being short one lap. Alex has been gone a lot at his new job as a stocker at a local grocery store. ("Too back you're not a Night Stocker," says his friend Tim, "that would be so cool." Get it? Night Stalker.)

So the cats and I kept each other company. We like it when the house is very quiet.

And we're all very happy when it fills up again with noise.

We're all poised to go back to school. Classes start Monday, and Allie begins her last year of community college, and Alex is going to HSU and will live at home for the present. I'm going back to my regular teaching duties, though because of the state budget, all faculty are being furloughed for 9 days each semester: mandatory unpaid leave for us, and canceled classes for students, who are paying higher and higher fees.

I'm glad I had such a peaceful summer. The road ahead looks a bit rocky.


Judy S. said...

Great socks! I love the tweed and the inspiration to finish a couple of my singles. I know what you mean about scarves; they do go on and on! Your kitties are very cute; do they get along? Ours tolerate each other but aren't really friends. Too bad about CA and its financial troubles....sounds like state employees are doubly do you just teach less or faster? I hate it when students get penalized.

Debra said...

It sounds like it was a big UFO finishing summer for you. Atta Girl! but I hate that you have to go back to work so soon.

Finn said...

Hi Barb, the socks are wonderful! So happy you finished them. I've been known to fall in that dreaded place with 2nd Sock-itis myself..hard to climb out of there.
The scarf is very pretty, despite the bad review....LOL
And kitty company...good quiet fun!
Always sorry to hear of more cuts out there in CA. It's hitting home back here also. DD works for Washington County, MN and 8 of their staff got pink-slipped. Luckily she's further up the food chain, but doesn't help the work load much with 16 hands missing. There seems to be enough of that Rocky Road(not the good kind) to go around. Take care. Hugs, Finn

quiltmom said...

Glad that summer was restful and productive - You do such fabulous knitting and your scarf is beautiful..
I am sorry to hear of the cuts - it makes life difficult for everyone and worrisome too. I hope that you will find the fall not too stressful. The economic downturn seems to be everywhere unfortunately. One can only hope that there will be some improvements for everyone.
Warmest regards,

Plays with Needles said...

I'm glad that you look back on your Summer as a positive one. I have enjoyed the extra time we've had with you.

And, BTW, I got Night Stocker right away and I HOWLED! Love the way that kid thinks!

Kay said...

I hope it's a good year for you in spite of all the budget problems and related pressures. Maybe it will bring out the best in students. Good luck.

My husband taught his first class today. 260 freshman, not his strength. I'm crossing my fingers for him, too.

Magpie Sue said...

I would love for my kid to get a job as a night stalker (stocker). It would do him good in so many ways.

So glad you're content with your summer activities. Hopefully that will help smooth out the bumps in the road ahead...