Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekend fun

Such a lovely 3-day weekend (and I still have the rest of today to go).

Friday night we got around to watching Divergent.  Aside from the fact that the main character, Tris, was sort of whiny and a bit slow to grasp her situation, I enjoyed the movie.  I'm sure we will watch the subsequent films, but probably not in the theater.  It didn't grab any of us the way that The Hunger Games did.

Saturday, I spent some time with my friends who own Yarnover Truck ,the mobile specialty yarn store.  Of course, I couldn't visit without buying yarn. Seriously, they were having a sale, so how could I pass up some yummy discounted yarn.  I'm trying to branch out in color choice and do some decidedly "not me" color combos.

I think these two colors will good together in a stripey wrap of some sort.  I have found a couple of patterns that I am considering, but haven't arrived at a decision yet.  With all the other backlog of projects and yarn I have in stash, it will probably be a while before I get to these anyway.

Most of Sunday was spent prepping for my fantasy football draft.  I have been in the same league for 10 years.  It's a great group of guys, all of whom hate that they keep getting beat by a girl.  While some of my fellow coaches have never made it to the playoffs, I have won the league championship twice (including last year) and made the play offs almost every year.  I'm pretty happy with the team I drafted last night.  Although, I don't put much weight on what is actually drafted (outside the top tier players), because it's really what you do throughout the season with player moves that makes the difference.  I'm so excited for the season to start.  I love knitting and watching football.

I also started a new project on Sunday, the Starshower cowl pattern using Anzula Nebula in the Keola colorway.  This is not the best picture of the yarn, but, if you look really closely, you can see the sparkles in the yarn.  With the start of this project, I have 3 on needles and 2 that need blocking.

I also finished two audiobooks on Sunday, The Magicians by Lev Grossman and Dead Air by James Goss. I found a love of audiobooks when I was getting my MBA.  As you can imagine, I didn't have much time for pleasure reading during that time and I missed it immensely.  I took to listening to books on my (semi) short drive to work.  Since completing my MBA, I have continued to listen to books (as well as read them).  This way I can read and knit at the same time.

Today, my plan is to sit on the couch and 1) play Lego Hobbit on the XBox 2) knit while watching my husband play 3) knit while watching TV and 4) knit while listening to a new audiobook. Oh yeah, and get some laundry done.

I hope everyone is having as pleasant a weekend as I am.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Busy Week

As much as I love to knit, there are some weeks where I just don't have it in me.  This past week was one of those weeks.

I've been in Texas at a conference for work.  There are many conferences where I know I could get in some knitting time, but the Tessitura conference is definitely not one of them.  Not only am I almost constantly taking notes, giving presentations, eating and shaking hands, but additionally by the time I make it back to my room . . . I'm so exhausted I know I would make numerous mistakes (even if I was knitting garter stitch).

The conference is now done and (as I write this) I am waiting to travel back home to my loved ones, which includes my yarn.  Now that the chaos of the week is over, I am craving some knitting time.  Knitting is my zen and I could use a little of that right now.  My brain is still swimming with all the information gathered this past week.

That's why I love this conference.  In one week, I get enough ideas to last me the next year.  I absorb the mana and I am powered up and ready to go. (Yes, I know my geek is showing.)

In case you think the conference is all work and no play, these pictures should prove otherwise.

Every year the attendees, vendors and staff of Tessitura get together a band to rock the house on the final night of the conference. 

These talented folks (is it any surprise that artistic people work for arts based companies), create lyrics based on Tessitura related material and sing them to the tunes of well known songs.  For many, this concert is the most highly anticipated part of the conference.  I was at the first conference where the Tessiturians (yes, that is the name of the band) performed, and I have enjoyed watching the group morph and grow over the years.  I always look forward to hearing what new pieces they will come up with and how many new instruments will get added to the mix.  After almost a week of intensive brain-drain, the concert is the best way to blow off a little steam.

Next year, the conference is in Orlando (I can't even type that word without hear Elder Price in my head. Thanks, Book of Mormon!).  The band gets to play on the stage at the Hard Rock Cafe.  It should be epic!

So, for another year I have put TLCC to rest.  Now, I need to get some rest and go do some zen knitting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Not My Usual Topic

Life is short and precious.  Why does it always seem to take the death of a beloved person (either actually known or known for his/her work) to remind us of that.

This week Robin Williams died.  Mork went back to Ork and I hope he finds peace there that he couldn't find on Earth.

It's a real wake-up call, that you just never know what is going on inside someone. 

I'm still struggling to wrap my brain around the fact that he took his own life.  I'm not sure why his death hit me so hard or why it has affected me so much.  Yes, I loved his work.  From a young age Robin was there.  I remember eagerly awaiting the next episode of Mork & Mindy and sitting with my family watching it.  I also remember my younger brother running around the house endlessly saying Naa Noo Naa Noo (or however you spell that) while wearing rainbow suspenders and then attempting to sit on his head.

Maybe that is it.  Robin Williams was tied to many of my favorite memories and some of his work affected me profoundly. 

I remember seeing The Fisher King and being blown away by the depth of his ability.  It was so outside his normal film.  Dead Poet's Society really made me think about my life and why I wasn't seizing the day.  Bicentennial Man, which so many people didn't like, I loved, because it sparked a conversation with friends about what it means to be human.

He made me laugh endlessly.  Mrs. Doubtfire was such an amazing performance with so many great lines, many uttered so softly or so fast that it takes repeated watching to truly grasp everything.  And speaking of a multitude of characters, who can forget Genie.  Aladdin, would not have been as wildly successful as it was without his comic genius.

When his return to TV in The Crazy Ones was announced, I was excited.  Weekly doses of his comedy!  When it was cancelled I was sad, but thought, "I will look forward to what he is going to do next."  That's really it.  I was always able to look forward to his next performance, to seeing what his comic genius mind would come up with.  Now (after the last of his movies come out), I won't have that to look forward to.

I guess, all that's left to say is . . .

Thank you Robin Williams for sharing your genius with us and leaving behind such a rich library of performances for us to watch endlessly. 

Carpe diem!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Long Term Projects

I have a hat that I have been knitting for years.  It's not a complicated hat.  In fact, I would say it qualifies at mindless knitting.  The kind of knitting that doesn't even require you to look at it.  In the beginning, that term was reserved for anything in garter or stockinette. As my skills have grown, the term can now refer to any pattern that can be memorized easily.  That is what this hat is.

So why have I been knitting it for years?

It started out as chemo hat for a friend.  But I realized that it wasn't really going to be a good choice for that situation, so I set it aside in favor of other choices for her.  By set it aside, I mean I had it in a purse that I rarely used and because it wasn't a priority project anymore, I completely forgot about it. (Yes, it was staring at me as a WIP in my Ravelry queue, but I was blind to it.)  I meant to finish it and give it to my daughter, but again, it slipped my mind.

Then about a year ago, I went to use the purse and discovered the project sitting inside.  I thought, "what the heck, I'll take it with me."  It had been so long though that I couldn't remember the simple pattern.  When I got home, I immediately looked it up and decided that the project would live in this purse to be the mindless knitting I took whenever I needed something small to work on.

As the project has no definitive purpose anymore, I don't particularly care when it gets finished.   So it goes on car rides, to the fair and last week it went to the movies.

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. (Loved it!) I knew we were going to have to get there early, which would mean plenty of time for mindless knitting.  Don't get me wrong, I love to watch the 20 minute pre-show of stuff I didn't know I should care about, but I was feeling restless and knew my hands would need to be occupied.

This time I discovered the one problem with mindless knitting. . . it can't be completely mindless.  As you can see from the picture I was using double pointed needles.  At one point, I ended up with an extra needle with no stitches on it.  Yep, I had just kept knitting and put two needles worth of stitches on one needle.  I realized something was wrong when the knitting got REALLY tight.  Then I saw the extra needle sitting in the purse.  Drat!  I spent the next several minutes rearranging the stitches and by the time I had them back in order the previews trailers were starting.

Away went the project and I have no idea when it will make another appearance.  I know someday I will finish this hat, but I think part of the fun now is not knowing when.