hurricane at a boarding school

So this past week has been like living through a hurricane in more ways than one.  Monday started off with meetings from 9 am until around 10 pm.  Thankfully, it allowed for 10 inches of knitting, but even with that it was a long and boring day.  Whenever we have days like that I think, this must be what my students feel like when they sit and listen to me all day.  Tuesday was more meetings, but thankfully they were more interactive.  International students arrived Wednesday as did my first official night back on duty.  Thursday was the eye of the hurricane, with the day off for class planning.  Then the eye passed and the remaining new students and all sophomores returned.  This began the true craziness with a day full of orientation on Saturday.  At least I had a fun station at canoeing.

And then there was today, when the real hurricane hit.  Or really the tropical storm.  Or really just a lot of rain.  But since the school didn’t quite know what to expect, orientation came to a screeching halt Saturday, with all events postponed until Tuesday and the start of class moved back until Wednesday.  The dorm was on lock-down from Saturday night until the storm passed.  At first it was a bit stressful, getting a plan together to entertain and care for the 30 students in the dorm.  In the end it was a really relaxing day.  The students really bonded over Monopoly and Risk and then enjoyed a mixer with the girls’ dorm next door.  Since a majority of the students are new, it’s been nice for them to have the campus to themselves for a few extra days before school starts because they really seem to feel at home here and have connected with the other guys in the dorm.  It also was somehow rejuvenating for me as a faculty person.  Even though I needed to be around and available all day, it was nice to not have meetings and plans all day and just get a chance to hang out with the students over food and puzzles.  It was a nice break in the hectic-ness, especially given that the hurricane ended up going west of us and so it caused almost no damage aside from a three hour power-outage on campus and a few broken tree limbs.


now presenting the autumn cardigan

This yarn began as a giftcard my mom bought for me on groupon.  As always seems to happen when you have a giftcard, it is impossible to find what you want.  I went to the yarn store wit a couple yarns in mind for sweaters, but couldn’t find what I wanted.  I finally settled on this yarn, but they didn’t have enough of the gray or cream I wanted.  AFter deliberating with my mom, we decided this yellow would work for the pattern I had in mind, Aidez, then I got home and had second thoughts.  Problematically, they had already rewound the yarn for me so I couldn’t take it back.  Ravelry to the rescue.  After searching for a few minutes I landed on this cardigan from my favorites list.    It was a sweater I had liked for a while, but wasn’t on the top of my to do list.   Thankfully this rocky start did not continue into the project.  The knitting was quick and relatively easy and the finish project is just delightful.  Of all the sweaters I’ve knit for myself, this is the first one that actually fits the way I like.  I also love the color, it makes it seems very autumnal and warm.  I honestly can’t wait for cooler weather so I can start wearing it.

For the knitters out there, this is the twentyten cardigan.  The pattern wasn’t too expensive and it was written well.  I really appreciated that it was crafted so that it was knit all as one piece.  The sleeves in particular were structured in a really cool and interesting way with short rows.  This is definitely a knit you have to pay attention to, especially with the increasing and decreasing on the button band while also making the pocket or side shaping.  The only challenging place was the top of the fronts.  If I had followed the patterns entirely then I should have found off the button bands, but I just added an extra six stitches for the collar, but I don’t think it made a difference in the fit or look.  Here are a couple of my favorite features:



This will probably be the last crafting post for a while.  I did get a LOT knit during Monday’s day of meetings on the Alameda Cowl, but now that students are starting to arrive, life is getting a little crazier and I’m trying to get ready to teach next Tuesday so that during Friday through Monday’s orientations I won’t have to also worry about class prep.  Don’t worry the crafting will still happen, but just not as quickly.

they grow up so fast

One year ago this Sunday we brought home a little bundle of joy and we named him Calvin. While it took him a little while to warm up to us, we were in love instantly.  Now he is a little like our shadow, following us from room to room and greeting us when we return home.  It’s hard to imagine life without him.  Even though he has stayed small, you can see from the below picture taken a couple days ago, he’s definitely grown into a teenage cat.  He even has the attitude to go with the age.

Happy Homecoming Calvin!  Here’s to many more years.

the last supper…before the dining hall reopens

While school doesn’t officially start until August 30, yesterday was my first day back to work, with dorm planning in the afternoon.  I’m realizing that going back to school is very similar as a teacher as it was when I was a student.  To some degree, I’m really bummed the summer is over.  I enjoy reading, crafting and baking.  On the other hand, this week I’m beginning to get bored being home all day.  Perhaps its because I planned my crafting well and all my major projects – fixing up the apartment, knitting baby presents, and working on my quilt – have now been completed, but Thursday I sort of just wandered around trying to figure out what I should do with myself.  I think I am putting pressure on myself to make this last week of break relaxing, but productive, while also fun.  It’s not really working out.

Last night, for my last hurrah before the dining hall reopens, life gets crazy, and I only bake for the boys on duty night, I decided to make a really tasty dinner with fresh tomato sauce using CSA tomatoes, meatballs, creamed corn, and a peach tart (Baking by Dorie Greenspan).  It was a little over three hours or prep, cooking, and dishes, but I loved every minute.  When the meatballs took slightly longer than I anticipated, I decided to cap the meal off by getting out our wedding China.  David wasn’t quite as excited about cooking for two hours when he got home from work, but he participated willingly, especially once he tasted dinner and then had leftover meatball sandwiches today.

Let’s just say it was a night well spent, capped off by watching the new British miniseries Sherlock on instant netflix.  If you like CSI or Castle then you should give this a try, it was really good, but the episodes are on the long side at 1.5 hours.

baby as a teddy bear

One of the two projects I needed to finish before I start using the new yarn was this cute little baby outfit.  Imagine it with a baby in it and it will help it not look like a furry ghost.  This is for a couple friends from Divinity School, who are also having a baby in October.

For those knitters out there, the pattern is by Sirdar and it’s pattern #1774. I absolutely love the finished product.  It’s soft and snuggly and washable, all of which are perfect for a baby.  The process of knitting was a little crazy.  The yarn (Sirdar Snuggly Snowflake Chunky) catches really badly and the whole time I was worried about losing a stitch because there is almost no stitch definition, making fixing a dropped stitch difficult.  It was also hard to pull the yarn apart if I made a mistake.  The other slight frustration was piecing.  There were a LOT of pieces.  I think it took almost four and a half hours to piece together, weave in ends, and add the buttons.  On the positive side, the thickness of the yarn made the knitting part really fast and it hid mistakes well.  I’m not sure I would knit it again, but I’m definitely happy with the final product.

weekly csa round up

wk 7 share: lettuce, tomatos, green pepper, garlic, onions, cantaloupe, oregano, parsley, watermelon, tomatoes, jalapenos, corn

This is probably the last week of real cooking and eating at home because school gets going next week.  Most of the ‘meals’ for this week are some version of a potluck, so next week’s list of recipes will be a lot of salads.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  As far as last week’s share we did pretty well this.  We had a few vegetables that we couldn’t quite finish, but we ate at least half of everything and often everything.  Here’s how it happened.

Tuesday: Ratatouille from an old edition of the William Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook
Veggies Eaten: Zucchini, Onion, Eggplant, Tomato, Thyme, Green Pepper
Comment: This would definitely be better as a side and not a main dish, we were left hungry.  We also confirmed our dislike of eggplant.

Thursday: Chicken Tostadas and Salsa
Veggies Eaten: Tomatoes, Radishes, Lettuce, Onions, Jalapeno
Comment: I have always loved this recipe.  This is probably the real recipe of the week, but I knew I liked it so I’m going to give it to something that was new this week.

Saturday: Arugula, Corn, and Bacon Pizza from the Minimalist Cooks at Dinner
Veggies Eaten: Arugula, Corn
Comment: This recipe has potential.  It would probably be better with cheese (either Parm or Moz) and the Arugula should be added after cooking rather than before as the recipe requires.

Sunday:  Vegetable Frittata with Asiago Cheese  
Veggies Eaten: Zucchini, Tomatoes
Comment: Really good.

Monday: Potato, Green Bean, and Pesto Pasta from the Minimalist Cooks Dinner 
Veggies Eaten: Green Beans, Potato, Garlic Scapes
Comment: This recipe may have been improved by using regular pesto and not the garlic scape pesto that I made weeks ago and froze, but even then it was pretty bland and needed both salt and cheese to be edible.

Recipe of the Week: Vegetable Frittata with Asiago Cheese


Getting Ready for School Crafting

Last Friday marked the one-week mark to my return to school.  I decided to begin my preparations for the return to school the way any good teacher who knits (and now crochets) would do, I bought a lot of yarn.  The beginning of school, especially at a boarding school, is really busy and I knew that I would not have a lot of time to find new patterns once I finish my current project and even less time to drive to the yarn store and buy yarn.  So I went on a back to school shopping spree, except instead of buying clothes, I bought yarn.  A couple of the items will become clothes, so its kind of the same thing.  I’m so excited about the new projects, it’s a little hard to keep working on my current project before starting on something new.


I did get started on a new crochet project, to ensure that I don’t forget what I learned in class.  I decided to go with the placemats I showed in a prevoius post.

Then I also bought yarn to make a few more potholders using patterns from the book 200 Crochet Blocks.


This week I’ll probably get started on this cowl because it’s a nice small project that I could easily take to back to school meetings.

The moment I saw this cardigan I was excited about it.  The best part is the back.  I really want to start it yesterday, but I have another sweater project I really should finish first.


Placemats: purlbee
Potholders: 200 Crochet Blocks
Cowl and Sweater: Knitscene, Fall 2011 

crochet bootcamp

Halfway through crochet class, and here is my progress:

Crochet class has really turned into crochet bootcamp.  Tuesday, not kidding, I crocheted at class (10-12:30), then after running errands and and making dinner, I crocheted while the Ratatouille cooked, then at Home Depot, and then for two hours after we returned home.  When we went to bed I still wasn’t finished with the homework and had half an hour left of work in the morning.  So you can see why I didn’t post yesterday.  Today I had some free time in the afternoon so I finished early.  It got me thinking about what I’ll work on after the class is finished.  Here are my top four project ideas.  Thoughts or other ideas…

Beautiful Crocheted Hangers:

From Dottie Angel.

Crocheted Placements:

From Purlbee.

Another Potholder:

From a German website.  Thankfully someone translated it into English.

Peek-A-Boo Pillow:

From Knitting Loves Crochet.  Right now this is slightly too advanced, but perhaps in a few months.

weekly csa round-up

wk 6 share: radishes, arugula, carrots, sungold tomatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, zucchini, jalapeno, eggplant, corn, green peppers, herbs

It’s getting easier and easier to eat vegetables.  Of course this week, we had my mom’s help and then took some with us down to Connecticut when we visited friends.

Tuesday: Steak, Beet Salad (from my friend Mia), and green salad
veggies eaten: beets, lettuce, cucumber, green pepper, carrots

Thursday: Stuffed Green Peppers (from The New Best Recipe), Green Salad
 veggies eaten: green pepper,  tomato, lettuce, corn, green pepper
comment: in theory these sound really good, but this recipe was a little bland.

Saturday: Zucchini, Tomato, and Mozzarella Sandwiches (created by my friend TJ), Fish Tacos, Corn, Salsa (created by my friend Hannah)
veggies eaten: zucchini, tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, corn
comments: everything was delicious.  The sandwiches were grilled zucchini, with fresh sliced tomato, homemade pesto, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, and toasted bread.  I really want to try to replicate this, especially for a weekend lunch.

Monday: Chicken, Potato Gruyere Gratin
veggies eaten: potatoes
comments: The potato gratin was great and fairly quick, but it was meant to go with this lamb dish, but our lamb went bad while we were out of town so we had to substitute chicken.

Recipe of the Week: TJ’s Zucchini and Tomato Sandwiches

my first trip to the machine quilter

Today was an exciting crafting day.  In the morning, I began my week-long crochet class at Webs yarn store (more on that tomorrow).  After the class, I took my finished quilt top and bottom to a machine quilter.  The machine quilter was incredible.  She took almost an hour with me picking out the batting, pattern, and thread color.  Above is the pattern I chose.  It will be in a thread color called ‘mint green’, although it looked more like a pale blue.  Now I’m playing the waiting game until the end of September when she plans to have my quilt finished, so it looks like the summer quilt will have to wait until Fall to be finished.