Sunday, February 01, 2009

Where did January go?


I can't believe it's February already! January just flew by, mostly because I was so, so busy with work. Our nursing librarian left for a job in Arizona at the end of December and, by default, I became the nursing liaison. This is a very natural fit for me, since I worked extensively with nurses, nursing students, and nursing faculty in San Antonio, but it does mean that I now have two full-time jobs. Luckily, I have people to help me out with teaching and consults, but I'm the one answering all the calls and emails!

Last week was really busy, not just during day but also in the evening. That wasn't really because of my new duties -- Tuesday evening I co-taught a class on information resources in global health and Thursday evening, I joined several hundred other middle-aged women (and about 4 men) at Menopause the Musical at the Englert Theatre. The four characters include a Professional Woman, an Earth Mother, a Soap Star, and an Iowa Housewife (wife of a funeral director), so it's possible that our Iowa City college-town crowd -- full of professional women, curnchy-granola types, and Iowans -- identified easily with most of the characters. If you are anywhere near menopause and have a chance to see this show, I would highly recommend it! It's full of funny songs about "the change," set to tunes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Friday evening, I spent at the mall, although not really because I wanted to shop. You see, I LOVE my electric blanket and can't imagine life without it. A few weeks ago, I noticed that one of the controls was occasionally making an odd noise, and thought that I'd probably want to get a new blanket -- or maybe one of those heated mattress pads -- before next winter. Then around 4:00 a.m. Friday, I woke up just enough to yank the blanket up around my shoulders, and saw a little flash of light! I did it again, and the light flashed again! I didn't feel anything hot or smell anything burn, but I'm pretty sure I was seeing sparks. Around 5:00, I turned the blanket off, and by 6:30 I was cold. So that evening, off I went to the mall to find a new blanket. As I feared, despite the fact that we're in the depths of winter, electric blankets are hard to find in January. You were supposed to buy your blanket at the beginning of winter; the fact that your blanket might die at some other time is apparently not considered. I finally found one at the third department store I visited.

When I got home and pulled the blanket out of the bag, I saw that what I had was NOT an electric blanket, but a regular blanket that was supposed to be in the bin next to the electric blankets. So, happy that I had noticed this before 11:00 p.m., I headed back to the mall, where I realized that the queen-size electric blanket bin was full of regular blankets. All they had were king-sized electric blankets (five of them total). I considered getting a refund and continuing my search elsewhere, but considering that it was after 8:00 p.m. and I knew they were in short supply, I bought a king-sized one.

So - the bad news is that I have lots of extra blanket hanging out from under my quilt. The good news, though, is that my bed is nice and warm without actually being on fire, and that is a very good thing indeed!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Okay -- knitting. Up there at the top is a close-up of Daedelus. I am just five rows (two of them beaded) from binding off. I don't want to event think how many stitches are in each row -- one beaded row takes me close to an hour -- but I'm definitely almost done.

I think I mentioned before that I ran out of beads and couldn't get matching beads to finish. The original beads are sort of opalescent, while the new ones are more opaque. You can clearly see the difference below -- the new beads are at the top.

Daedelus Up Close

I'm not thrilled with the difference and wonder if I should have looked elsewhere for beads closer to the originals. However, the new beads are at the bottom of the shawl, so I think the heavier look will be okay, if not perfect.

As my carrying-around, knit-anywhere project, I started the Nereid Fingerless Gloves, based on Cookie A.'s Pomatomus sock pattern. I have to admit that I never particularly cared for this pattern until I saw it in a solid color. Even though this pattern is not particularly "busy," I think it just looks so much better in a solid color.

As I said, this is supposed to be my mindless knitting, but even with mindless knitting, you really need to check the pattern occasionally! The Nereid pattern says to knit two repeats of Chart A from the sock pattern. The author assumes that you've also read the instructions, not just looked at the chart. I knew when I started the second repeat that something was wrong, but I convinced myself it was fine. Four rounds in, I said to the friends I was knitting with, "It almost looks like the pattern needs to be shifted over one stitch." Oops! That's exactly what the written instructions tell you to do. So I tinked back four rounds, shifted everything, and am back on track. I think....

Fish Scales
Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Solid in Pink Blossom.
I'm already planning on buying more of this color!


Anonymous said...

She's alive!
I'd begun to worry, having not seen you post for what seemed like EVER.

Daedelus is looking quit lovely. Thanks for knitting it! I just can't wait to see it in person!

Anonymous said...

Daedelus is mine, yes? She is absolutely GORGEOUS!

Glad you found your electric blanket. :)

Anonymous said...

Glad you found an electric blanket! Warm beds without a fire are a good thing. :-)

Michelle said...

That's some pretty knittin', lady!

Bezzie said...

Holy crap, it SPARKED? What brand are you using? (Just for my electric blanket loving knowledge!)

I'm going to wait to see the entire Daed until I make a judgment call about the bead difference. I will say I immediately liked the opaque ones though when I saw that picture.

Chris said...

I'm glad you're warm and not on fire! So is work going to continue to be that level of crazy busy?

Steven said...

Glad you got the night-time toastiness situation squared away. Had to laugh a the tinking back -- spent last night doing the same thing on that pink sock -- forgot that the first time you do the chart, the first four rows are different. We live and we learn, right?

Anonymous said...

glad you are not on fire. P-socks pattern mindless? Daedelus is lovely, whatever beads you use. My mindless knitting is lots simpler than yours

Melissa DeSantis said...

OMG yes! January flew by! I'm hoping February is a bit less hectic. I don't have an electric blanket, but I do have two dogs and they work pretty well at keeping the bed warm. ;-)