I have new knitting friends!

I'm such a lucky nerdy knitter. I got to meet Bess last Sunday, and boy, was that fun. There were 4 librarians in one place, all of us knitters, and all of us talkers. To make it even better, we had brunch at the newly-renovated Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton (for those of you living outside this area, that's pronounced "Stanton"). Yum-a-licious, I say. The only down side was when I went to retrieve my knitting bag from below my chair and discovered I'd pulled the needle out of the last few stitches...of my lace shawl!!!! But the best part of being with a bunch of knitters is that everyone understands. I was mid-sentence (telling a thrilling story, I'm sure) when the disaster struck, and I couldn't carry on until I fixed the problem. Everyone at the table said "Do what you have to do to fix it." And so I did, and everything was fine. Phew!

I'm almost done with the main (boring) section of the Icarus shawl...one more set of row repeats and I'm ready to move on to the set-up section for the lacier section. Yahoo!

Yesterday was my second recent date with a new knitting/spinning friend. Janice (catspaw to some) came over with her wheel & we hung out on our deck, spinning and chatting. Aah, that's the life. Janice has a beautiful wheel that folds up like a Transformer (they're more than meets the eye, you know). Janice fit right in at the Nerdy House--she knew just how to handle the Beast to keep him from "baptizing" her. Janice has lived in this neck of the woods for much longer than we have, so not only is she a great knitting/spinning resource, but she knows all kinds of great things about our area. What fun to have a new pal in our lives!

Today was a big day for the Beast: we went for a drive, which on its own would cause excitement, but this time we went to visit a friend and her pooch, Lobo, at their house with all kinds of land for running. Beasty Boy ran and ran and ran, but didn't quite play with Lobo, which was disappointing. At least Beasty Boy didn't run off--he spotted a critter and took off like a shot, but I was able to reattach his leash before he got through the fence.

So, we've all had big weekends around the Nerdy home. Nerdy Hubby did major landscaping work at the house and got to play golf, and I got to spin, knit, chat with a new friend, AND exhaust the beast. Perfect!

Because I'm at home, I don't have high-speed connection to the web, so I can't post photos until I'm at work again. When I return to work, I'll make sure to have a photo of the Icarus-in-progress. The color changes are looking really nice. Thanks again to everyone for the suggestion--I think I'm going to love it!


Such sadness

I don't really get involved in the news, and don't express many personal opinions when controversies are brewing in the world around me, but I just couldn't ignore the fact that more people than we have in our entire extended family died today, all in a matter of hours.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims, and to everyone who will have to endure reliving the experience every day. I hope they'll find peace.

A new fun thing I found

This was on someone else's blog, and now I can't remember whose. Sorry!

It's totally fun!

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Introducing...Nerdy Knitter, as interviewed by Maia

First, I have to start with a big thank-you for the nice comments about the Nerdy Vest. I'm so very pleased with it (and myself, naturally--hee hee hee), that your comments are really nice to read.

And the haircut support doesn't hurt, either. I had someone tell me I looked 15 years younger, and I just laughed...I really look a lot like a photo of me from elementary school. Being at a college with young students is funny--I look more and more like the students than I do the faculty. But that's fine with me.

Enough about me and my age issues!

I asked Maia to write 5 questions for me after reading the 5 questions she answered on her blog. Her interviewer was very thoughtful and asked really good questions, and I know Maia to be a thoughtful person, too, so I knew her interview questions would be thought-provoking.

I was right:

What is your favorite thing to do on a date night (just you and hubby)?

This is a funny question because we've become such early-to-bed folks that "date NIGHTS" are pretty uneventful. What we really like to do together is to take "Sunday Drives" around our area. We recently (3 years ago) bought a house in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so we're still exploring our neck of the woods and love seeing the mountains from different roads near our house. Plus, being in the car is an intimate space for conversation, so we often have nice chats while we're driving.

I also love taking my morning walk with Nerdy Hubby. It's 2 miles on a gravel country road with nice views and occasional cows or other critters. Basically, any time I get to stroll with Nerdy Hubby is a good time. We used to walk quite often when we were dating, so it's fun to reminisce (holy cow--I can't spell that word!).

I know your dog, Henry, can be a handful at times, but he is also a great joy for you. How has Henry changed your life?

Yikes! I assume you want the positive ways he's changed our lives, right? Hee hee. We love our boy, but he's certainly a handful.

I think having a scaredy-pooch has taught both of us patience because we have to remember that he's doing whatever neurotic thing he's doing because he doesn't understand something that's going on in his world. Sometimes that's as simple as being skiddish around a shadow, while other times, like Maia's pooch, it's when Nerdy Hubby raises his voice while watching sports. When we first brought Henry to obedience class, we were apologizing for his behavior, saying "It takes him a while to get used to new things," and the instructor very calmly said, "Me, too." That was really important for us to hear--Henry's not the only critter, canine, human, or otherwise, who needs time to adjust to new situations.

So we're still learning patience around our poor boy.

But we also laugh so much more with him around--he's a constant source of amusement. He never stops trying to convince us to play with him, which usually starts out as a nuisance, but then we end up laughing at his persistence.

We've learned a lot about each other, too, of course--I'm the softy and Nerdy Hubby is the Big Meanie. (I knew that already, but caring for Henry has confirmed it.)

If you were to switch careers, what would you pick?

Let me start out by saying that my Myers/Briggs personality type is ENFP. I had a career counselor tell me that this translates to my wanting to do a bunch of different things, and that I could be good at all of them. I don't know about all of that, but it helps to explain my semi-short attention span when it comes to career goals.

Right now I'm a reference librarian, and I like it just fine. When Nerdy Hubby's PhD is complete, we'll be moving to wherever he finds a job, and I'll be looking for a new job. Chances are, I won't look for a library job because I'll have the opportunity to start over with something new.

I have a certificate in graphic design because that's what I really would like to try next, but jobs in that field in this area are few and far between, especially when you compare the entry-level salary to my current salary.

But if I could have ANY job I wanted right NOW, I think I would pick being a radio interviewer a la Diana Rehm. I really enjoy her program--she's based in Washington, DC, and interviews authors, actors, activists, politicians, and other experts in a wide range of fields. I have insatiable curiosity, so I would love to have a job that allowed me to ask questions of fascinating people every day. So, if anyone reading this knows Diane Rehm and wants to plant the idea for me to be her apprentice, feel free to mention my name...

What is your favorite travel destination? Or where would you most like to visit?

Nerdy Hubby & I were just talking about our attitudes toward travel last night, and it's kind of funny. We both love learning about new places and cultures and all of those reasons people travel, but we stronly dislike the logistics of travel. I don't like living out of bags. I don't like eating at restaurants every day (yes, I know, this is not a requirement of travel). I don't like lugging stuff, whether it's packing/unpacking the car or schlepping to/from airports. No bed is as comfortable as our bed, so we're often uncomfortable elsewhere.

But with all of that said, I guess I will say that the one area I hope Nerdy Hubby & I will get to visit at some point is Australia/New Zealand. I was a Rotary International Exchange Student to Australia when I was a senior in high school and I've never made it back there. Now I have a close friend, N, who lives in New Zealand, and we've never met for real, so I'm anxious to try to get to NZ to meet her and her family.

If you could travel (temporarily) inside the story of any book, which one would you pick and why?

This is such an interesting question--it sounds easy, and then once you think about it, it becomes clear that the books we enjoy reading might not be the best places to exist, even temporarily. For example, if your favorite fiction is set in a time when women were repressed and mistreated, I doubt you'd choose to live there, even for a moment.

So, with that said, I think I'd really like to live in Tove Jansson's books. I read them when I was young, and there's a real sense of innocence and happiness that I think would be refreshing to experience. Plus the characters are wonderful and odd--I love this one girl, Little My, who bites people on the ankle!

My second choice would be Pippi Longstocking, I think, because I always dreamt of doing the crazy things she could do.

I'm sure I'll think of a zillion other possible choices later, which is also part of being an ENFP, I believe.

Thanks, Maia, for such a great interview.

If anyone would like me to ask THEM 5 questions, let me know in the comments. I hope I can do as well as Maia did with mine.


Here's my cutie-pie Nerdy Hubby

Well, the photo still isn't great, but at least you can see the Nerdy Vest on his body. I'm so extremely excited about how well this fits him, I can barely stand it. The poor guy--I keep walking around him, adjusting the fit, messing with the way the collar sits...I just love that it fits him. And I designed it just for him. That is so cool!

Nerdy Hubby looking nerdy

I have other photos, too...a before:


and an after:


It's funny--I had picked out a bunch of super-short 'dos from a magazine, and was completely ready for it, but then the finished product was so similar to a haircut I've had before, that I was actually a little disappointed. My friend went with me and had a super-cute cut that made me a little jealous. Meanwhile, our hair texture/type is completely different and MY hair wouldn't do the same thing, but I just wanted it to be something new (to me).

I haven't had hair this short for 5 years, so most folks in VA have never seen me w/short hair. To them, this is a new cut. To me, it's just an old cut from my past. I know, I should just deal with it. It's still nice to have all of that hair off my head.

I'm off to close up the library.

Tomorrow's schedule involves meeting up with THREE other librarians for brunch at a fancy restored hotel. Yahoo! I wish it was today because I'm hungry and have no food at home. So, it's off to the store for this Nerdy Knitter.

Then I have to find a way to exhaust a poor pooch who can't go outside because it's pouring. What to do, what to do...

My friend, Maia, has sent me 5 interview questions to answer, but they're very involved and I want to do them justice, so I'm going to think them over and post my responses later. Thanks, Maia, for the great questions!


The nerdy vest is done!

Bess, from the comments (and from her incredibly interesting blog, of course) named the vest Nerdy Vest, which I love for so many reasons:

1. I'm "Nerdy Knitter"--that's a no-brainer
2. This vest is for my nerdy professor-to-be hubby
3. Vests in general are kinda nerdy, dontcha think? (Before anyone is offended, I like the term "nerdy," and think being "nerdy" is fun.)

So thanks, Bess, for the name, and for the encouragement.

Here's the finished product. You can follow the link to Flickr to get a few more shots. None is very good, I'm afraid. I'm waiting until the vest dries to get a photo shoot with Nerdy Model Hubby.

I must say I'm quite pleased with myself on this one--it's the first thing I've ever made w/o a step-by-step pattern designed by someone else. It's also the first thing I've ever made that actually fits the recipient like it was (wait for it...) made for him.


Sorry--you want a photo, don't you?

Here goes:

Nerdy Vest, closer

I'll try for better photos tonight or tomorrow morning. We'll see how receptive Nerdy Hubby is to modeling for me.


My husband, some hotshot

Hee hee--that post title came into my brain from absolutely as far in left field as you can get without leaving the ball park. Remember that commercial for laundry detergent, and the guy tells his customers (I think) his method for getting clothes so clean is an "ancient Chinese secret"? Then, when his wife discovers that it's just a box of detergent, she says, "Ancient Chinese secret, huh?". Somewhere in that same ad, she says, "My husband, some hotshot."

The reason for all of this is that the comment from "anonymous" in the last post was from Nerdy Hubby himself. For those of you who missed it, here it is:

"Anonymous said...
The vest would go well with my new shoes. Better hurry up. "

The new shoes mentioned are golf shoes. I scheduled a weekend with Nerdy Parents, and what does Nerdy Hubby do? Schedules a weekend of golf with his best friend, of course! Unfortunately, the vest wasn't complete in time for the golf weekend--it would have been very helpful considering it SNOWED (in Virginia, mind you) on Saturday.

Speaking of the vest...I'm sewing the side seams tonight, then I've got to pick up stitches for armholes and neck. I love sewing up seams, but I don't pick up stitches very neatly, so I'm a little afraid of doing that. I just want it to look nice, you know? And picking up stitches can make or break a handknit item.

Meanwhile, I couldn't bring the whole vest project to NYS with me (too bulky for the small carry-on bag I chose), so of course I had to select a new project!

What did I choose? I started the Icarus shawl. Yahoo! I'll take a photo this week. It's gauzy and beautiful so far. The pattern allows for adding row repeats to extend the size, so I'm not too worried about how fine my yarn is--I'll just do a bunch more repeats before I get to the edging (the feathery part).

The next time I hem and haw over making a shawl, remind me that I prefer to knit them from the widest point to the narrowest point. I'm on the 3rd set of row repeats for the Icarus, and I'm already looking ahead, wondering when I'll be done. Each RS row adds 4 stitches...I started with 5 stitches and now have well over 150. And I'm barely in the early stages. Sigh. But it's gorgeous, and I can put it down to do other, smaller, projects.

My mom is using me as a test case to see what she thinks of the yarn in the Icarus pattern. Why would she care, you ask? Because she bought the SAME YARN (in a slightly darker color combo) last year. She's unsure of what to do with hers, too, so I'm sure she's following your suggestions closely.

I spent a good number of hours at Nerdy Parents' house looking through Nerdy Mommy's knitting books. I really loved Folk Shawls--I wish the Nerdy Parents didn't live so far away; the Nerdy Mommy Library is so appealing!

The big visit to NYS was to celebrate Nerdy Dad's 65th birthday--wowie! We had a very nice family-filled weekend, and even managed to fit in a few hours to knit.

What happens when 2 lace knitters sit down to knit in a rare quiet moment? They both spend the whole time finding a mistake, fixing it, making another mistake, frogging, reknitting, finding another mistake...yup, you guessed it--I ended the 1-2 hours of knitting on the very same row I started on! I was feeling pretty pessimistic about the pattern by then, but I haven't had any problems since then (knock on wood). I think it was the distraction of chatting with my mommy. It's her fault, I tell you!


What fun ideas you all have

Thanks to all of you for the comments and suggestions; I'm really leaning toward the Icarus Shawl after seeing Grace's photos. It's lovely AND I have the magazine at home. Yahoo!

First I have to finish Nerdy Hubby's vest, though...I'm just starting the 'v' shaping for the front, so I'm getting there. "Just" the neck shaping, then the shoulders, then the neck/armhole ribbing and seaming. Maybe another week or so and I'll be ready to start a new project.

I hope the vest fits after all of the measuring and math I've done. Oy! Not much longer and I'll know for sure. It's going to be very cold here this weekend--too bad I'm not closer to being done so Nerdy Hubby could wear it on the golf course.

You see, I'm going to see my Nerdy Parents in NYS and Nerdy Hubby's best friend is coming for a golf-obsessed weekend. It seems like the only time the weather takes a turn for the worse is when Nerdy Hubby has grand plans for outdoor activities. Poor guy--he's watching the forecast just in case there's a change...I hope the forecast changes, too, because the NYS forecast isn't so great, either. Below freezing at night? No way! It was over 80 degrees in VA yesterday, now it's supposed to be hovering at 33 tonight. That's craziness, I say!

Oh, how I wish I could knit at work. Unfortunately, I have work to do. I promised myself I'd sneak in a post if I completed a particular task, which I did. But that deal didn't include a major post, just a little mini-post. Back to work for this Nerdy Knitter!


Welcome Wendy Readers!

Wendy graciously posted my question looking for suggestions for the "perfect" pattern for my beloved lace yarn. She suggested I post a photo since there are so few of them available online for this particular yarn. Here's what I've got. The colors are almost right, although the real yarn isn't quite so bright in real life--more plums and mustards than berries, if that makes sense. So what say you? What should I do with this 100% merino lace-weight yarn that is 2400 yards in one solid ball? I love it and want to love the finished project just as much.

Thanks to the folks who have already commented without even seeing the photo! I'm going to take a look at the patterns recommended in the previous post's comments.

In answer to one commenter's question: yes, this yarn is the yarn affiliated with Galina Alexandrovna Khmeleva's name. I wish the site had more photos of things...I saw all of the beautiful things at their booth at Stitches, but it has been too long since I saw them, and I don't remember if their examples used the variegated yarn like the one I bought.

I'm anxious to read what you experienced lace knitters recommend--thanks in advance!

How could I resist?