Friday, February 25, 2011

Let's see. . . hmm. . .

So, it's been a while since I've written on the blog!  I've been filling my time with school and home.  It's been a bit busy around here.  Doesn't it seem like things tend to become critically in need of lots of time and attention ALL AT THE SAME TIME!?!?!? 

This semester I'm taking two really interesting courses.  The first is called, "Intellectual Assessment" in which I am learning to administer cognitive assessments.  Back in the day, these were known as "IQ Tests" but are no longer because they're much different now.  These days, the assessments measure mental processing speed (how quickly you can perform mental tasks), working memory (how many things you can juggle and manipulate in your brain at once), visual spacial ability (think parallel parking, tee hee), and verbal comprehension (vocabulary and general acquired knowledge). 

Often times we think of intelligence as one is "born with it" or not.  This is only part of the story!  The part you're "born with" is just the range that you work with.  The rest is increased through constantly using your brain and learning new information and skills.  In a nutshell, it is what causes you to be at the top of your range or not.  You are in control!  Isn't that neat?!

My other course is "Behavior Intervention" which covers research proven methods that, with their implementation, can significantly increase desired behaviors.  Being that I'm studying Educational Psychology, we focus on how to help children achieve a mental and emotional state that will maximize their ability to learn.  Using these tools help to cultivate a "learning rich" soil in their minds so that they can reach their full potential with their own learning.  Love that!

In addition to school, my son is currently testing for his black belt in karate which is a 6 month long ordeal.  Basically, six days a week for 6 months, we are at the karate school in the evenings.  This is requiring us as a family to be extremely efficient with our time management as homework still needs to be done for my classes as well as his.  My husband, who the textbook reluctant hero, is a saint as he comes home early from work a few days a week to take over toddler duty while dear Grandma drives across town to pick up the ninja boy and then drives across town on another direction to take him to his karate class then drives across town in yet another direction back to her home.  Makes me tired just thinking about it.  Usually, I pick him up after my class lets out at Uni and then we both head home to snarf some dinner and breathe a little bit before we wake up to do it all over again.  They do say that "Idle hands are the Devil's playground" so we must be little angels these days! 

As for Little Sister, she is happily trucking along in toddler world.  Naps are her arch enemy as there is so much socializing to be done she doesn't seem to have time for them.  She absolutely ADORES being outside and will play in the back yard and listen for birds all day if I let her.  To her, the songs of the birds are quite magical and she wants to go outside and hear them when she first wakes up as part of her little routine.  Often I will let her eat her lunch outside in our gliding chair and she will sit very still and quietly so that she can hear each little chirp and tweet of her bird neighbors.  My personal favorite is when she sings back to them. 

My knitting, unfortunately, has been mostly on the back burner as I don't really have much time left over this semester.  Maybe I should change the blog title from "Psycho-Knitter" to "Psycho-class taking-karate going-hiney wiping-co bird listening-Mom".  What do you think?  You can fit that in an address bar, right?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

scrappy sweater

So, in keeping with the spirit of Responsible Recession-ing (yes, it's a verb, now), I decided to make L a cardigan using . . . wait for it. . . yarn I already own.  I know, I know, but I'm trying to clear out the stash so that I actually have room to put all of the new yarn that I'm going to buy from PARK AVENUE YARNS , my new local yarn shop (totally feels good to say that!).  Anyway, I had about 3/4 a skein of some old Paton's merino wool yarn that I bought from a little old lady because I felt sorry for her. Isn't that ridiculous.  Anyway, I figured I would do some stripey action and use Susan B. Anderson's (all hail the Susan B!) Easy Top-Down Raglan Knitalong as my template.

For those of you who are new to sweater knitting, this Easy Top-Down Raglan Knitalong is a great sweater pattern for first time as well as experienced knitters.  The basis of the pattern is from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits book (which happens to be on sale 40% off at Knit Picks right now.

Anyhow, I began scrounging around to find colors that would go well together.  Unfortunately, that is not my strong suit so I went with Paton's Classic Merino Worsted Weight yarn in the Winter White colorway.  Ok, I admit it.  Right here and now.  My name is Kristin, and I'm a yarn snob (Hi, Kristin).  Not that there's anything wrong with Paton's, but I just plain old don't like it.  It tries to pass itself off as quality merino, but it just isn't.  When I think merino, I think of the good stuff. . . the Lorna's Laces kind of stuff.  Well, I know merino, Paton's and YOU, sir, are no merino!

In addition to the white Yucky McScratcherson yarn, I chose to make myself feel better for giving this sweater to my daughter by doing the stripes using some stashed Lorna's Laces in a really beautiful straw color as well as a  bright grass green and bright pink.  Halfway down the first sleeve, I made quite an interesting discovery. . . the Yucky McScratcherson Paton's yarn had a HORRIBLE bumpiness to the stitches and the Lorna's Laces was smooth and delicious.  Check it out for yourself.
This one is going to require some serious blocking.  I almost feel badly for the poor little sweater.  Kind of want to get out my shoulder massager (yes, mother, I said SHOULDER massager) and help the sad little thing work out those kinks.  Probably would be the most lovin' that poor quasi-merino ever got.

Anyhow, here's where I am so far in the sweater process:
I did a good old fashioned Elizabeth Zimmermann garter stitch on the bottom and front edges.  I have yet to finish the sleeves and add a collar, but no doubt it will be done by tomorrow because I have a Psychopathology midterm tomorrow and have to study sometime.  

By the way, I've been steadily working on Halloween costumes for the kiddos. When I say "steadily working on" that really means "steadily delegating to my dear mother for her to work on".  I figure, why re-invent the wheel.  The woman is a master seamstress among everything else and as far as having it all, she puts Hillary to shame!  She's like an evil\ a brilliant mixture of Paula Deen and Sarah Palin.  She will  serve you the most wonderful cookies, invite you to stay the weekend at her gorgeous home in the woods (that she decorated herself) whilst mind melding the Democrat that may be lurking in you to her way of thinking.  All the while you will be so charmed by her hospitality and charisma that you'll want to tell her all of your dark secrets and where you "hid the money"!  I swear this woman should be a cop.  

But I digress. . . She is making Little Sister a sparkling Little Red Riding Hood costume that would make any German Drag Queen jealous!  For under the gingham skirt, there is a red tutu which Sister has been playing with already.  She figured out on her own that she could put the tutu on and then pull the front over the back of her head so that it fits on her like a sassy bolero.  Check it out:
Personally, I can't decide which is cuter, the drag queen bolero or the regular tutu.


Finally, for my last indulgence, we went to visit my wonderful cousin T on Saturday and they took some great pictures of Sister and her cousin, J.  

And one of my gorgeous new cousin, A.  Don't ever tell anyone you saw me sans makeup.  It's not allowed here in the big TX.

Well, on that adorable note.  I'm off to sweater land.  Have a good week, knitty people!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Ever wonder if there is someone out there that looks like you?  Well, I found my twin.  She lives in Norway (shocker), she knits (double shocker) and her name is the Norwegian version of Kristin (triple shocker).  Ok, I've put a picture of me below the picture of her.  I'm the one with the baby.  Crazy!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I want to eat this yarn

Madelinetosh Jade yarn.  drool drool drool. . .



"Mommy, why do all angry mobs have torches and pitchforks?"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's a fancy girl morning.

Friday, July 16, 2010

So, for a while now, I've been knitting some hats for a friend who is currently battling breast cancer.  It brings me so much joy to knit for someone who really enjoys wearing what I've made.  So far I've made some really neat patterns, but one thing I've noticed is that lots of people are looking for modern and sassy chemo hats.  All I'm saying is that just because one is currently kicking cancer in the butt, doesn't mean they can't look sassy and fabulous while doing it! 

Therefore. . . I've decided to start creating my own chemo hat patterns.  I've started on my first one this week.  It has a picot edge 2x2 ribbing and is made out of Knit Picks Gloss DK yarn which has such a gorgeous drape and is soft.

Here's where I am so far: 


I'm going to be adding an intarsia-ish band of breast cancer ribbons.  I'd like to post the pattern here for those of you interested, so look for it soon.