A Fit of Insanity

Okay. All I can say is, it’s Ayumi’s fault. One minute I’m a mild-mannered tech coordinator, and the next I’m ordering kits to knit toy animals. That doesn’t sound so deranged until you realize that the kits are in Japanese, and I DON’T READ JAPANESE!

I was using Babel Fish to translate the site and thinking, “This isn’t so hard. I should be able to translate what I need.” So I ordered. Then I realized that they aren’t sending me an electronic set of directions that I can paste into Babel Fish to translate. They will be sending me a paper pattern in the kit. Even if I scan it in, it will be a photo, not something I can feed into Babel Fish for translation.

And so I decided to go back in and cancel my order. But first, I looked at them one more time…

little elephant toy kit bull terrier toy kit

What was I thinking? Who could resist these? Plan B is to rely on friends who speak Japanese to help me translate. Blatant abuse of friendship, yes? Maybe I need to hire our school Japanese teacher to translate. That might be best.

Of course, all of this implies I have time to knit, which I don’t. I did knit on the plane last weekend on my way to and from a conference in Shanghai, but no time to knit once I was there. Did squeeze in almost 30 minutes this week because I actually went somewhere besides work so I had time to knit in taxis. As a result, my dad’s scarf is almost back to the point it was two weeks ago when I frogged it. I looks just the same so I won’t post a new photo, but it feels much softer since my knitting is much looser. Not lose, just looser.

Now I thought I finally had a whole day off to sleep and workout and write letters that are months overdue. Now Kent reminds me that friends are in town today from Korea and we are scheduled to see them. It will be a treat to see them, but this introverted girl is dying for some quiet time at home. Big apologies to all who are still waiting for me to respond to letters.


My Basic Sock

On the flight back to Singapore last July, I started work on my first regular sock. I’m using the basic sock pattern in Cat Bordhi’s “Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles” book. I’m loving the yarn. It is Austermann Step. It doesn’t have a cool colorway name, just a bar code, and since I don’t speak German, I’m not sure which is the yarn and which is the colorway.

basic sock

I’m glad I knit the tiny practice sock first. It is giving me confidence since with this lovely striping yarn on #2 Crystal Palace circular needles, it isn’t always easy to see what I’m doing.

I knit a lot on the plane and when I was traveling in Malaysia and Cambodia. Now that I’m back, I’ve been working on the heel flap. I was using it as a traveling sock, but I lost count of my rows and I’m having big trouble counting them on my own. The heel flap has me purling one direction and doing a wonky yarn over stitch the other direction to make the heel sturdier. I like the look, but I sure can’t count the rows.

basic sock

I spent an entire taxi ride from Woodlands to Robins Road trying to figure out the count. I think I am on row 33 which is a problem since I’m only supposed to knit 30 rows. And so, I’m unknitting three rows. It seems that I’m always blogging about unknitting.

End of July WIPs

[For some strange reason, this didn’t post back in July when I wrote it. I have no progress to report, which is depressing, but at least the post is still accurate.]

Summer is over for me. I’ll be back at work tomorrow trying to make sense of all that needs to happen before I start giving inservices on Monday. While I really like my job, I’m sad that more knitting didn’t happen this summer. It’s left me with a small pile of WIPs.

First, there is the Grace Kelly Scarf. It is patiently waiting for me. It is a good traveling project and it is waiting to travel.

Next, there is the class sock from Sensational Knitted Socks. I STILL haven’t Kitchenered the toe because I haven’t had 30 minutes of uninterrupted time in which to figure it out and do it. Fortunately, a friend sent me a link to a brilliant way to do this stitch. I’m eager to try it. The illustrations and directions are so good that I think I can do it!

My spiral tube socks are also waiting. I purposely stopped knitting after the first sock because I wanted to dive into socks regular (not tube) socks while I still had access to amazing Louise to help me. As I wrote before, they will be a pair of slippers when completed. I will sew small leather heel and toe soles on them and they will be a Good Thing even if they aren’t lovely. I think I’ll cast on the second sock and bag it up so I can use it as a traveling sock now that my basic sock is getting tricky.

Yep. The final WIP is my basic sock. It is the first sock in Cat Bordhi’s Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles book. I’m really glad I knit the class sock first. It was small and quick and gave me experience knitting heel flap, turning a heel, picking up stitches for the gusset, etc. It helped that the sock was knit on larger needles with worsted weight yarn; I could “see” what I was doing better than I can with the fingering weight yarn I am using now.

There you have it; my list of WIPs. I think it is complete, but it’s possible there is another one or two lurking out of sight.

Sick Cats and Questionable Photography

I’ve been sitting here on the couch looking out over the pool and palm trees as I work. I notice Batu out enjoying the balcony so I snapped a few photos. I’m not a great photographer and I left my real camera at school, so I snapped a few handphone shots. Now I’d like your opinion. None of the shots will win awards, but which one do you like best and why?  Or are they too similar for you to see a difference? Thanks in advance for sharing your opinion. (And take a moment to feel sorry for poor Batu who is slowly recovering from an eye infection. She has her sore eye squeezed shut.)


Kapas has no opinion. She’s working hard at her Sunday nap.

Coming Up for Air

Whew! It’s been an intense start to the school year.  One of those, where you put your head down and just push on through for a month.

Today is the first day in three weeks that I’m not at work.  I had planned to go into work, but by the time I was done working out, grocery shopping, cooking for the first part of the week, doing laundry and washing up, it was 5pm. Oops.

I bought a whole chicken. That doesn’t mean the same thing here as it did in the US. Here the whole chicken did have an empty cavity, but it still had feet and head.  That unnerved me a bit.

Once the bird was prepped, it went into the stock pot where it simmered away for an hour.  Eventually the dark meat went into homemade chicken soup.  Instead of pasta I used the multi-grain mix that’s been in my cupboard for months because the directions are in Mandarin and so I didn’t know how long to cook it.  The light meat will be turned into BBQ chicken pizza on Tuesday.

I  made curried chicken salad which we had for dinner (and will eat again tomorrow.) I also made a pumpkin pie.  The pie pan I bought is a bit small. The crust from the Betty Crocker pie crust mix was nothing exciting, but then I don’t usually eat the crust anyhow.  Next time I’ll try an apple pie. May need to get a bigger pie pan first.

I had planned on working on my school laptop tonight, but now I can’t because the technician who installed software on Friday seems to have locked me out of wi-fi access again.  Words Will Be Had about that tomorrow, since that keeps happening.

Tomorrow will be a good day.

  1. My assistant will be back from surgery.  I’ve missed her company.  I’ve also missed her incredible efficiency.  I might be able to go home a bit earlier soon, thanks to her return.
  2. I start teaching.  I’ve had a sub these first two weeks while I did all the set up.  Now I get to dive in with kids.  They’ve been coming up to me in the halls asking why I’m not teaching.  They light up when I tell them I’ll be back this week.  Pretty good feeling for me.

Well, since I’ve got to go to work early thanks to my lack of wi-fi on my work computer, must head to bed.