Random Tuesday

  1. Yesterday, I released the pattern for my Catherine Morland shawl. You can buy it here.
  2. I spent today in a second grade classroom. I’m exhausted. I’m not even sure I’m thinking coherently anymore.
  3. This blog got over 870 hits yesterday. It’s kind of crazy…and while I know why it happened, I doubt that it will ever be a regular occurrence.
  4. Second graders are exhausting. I think it’s their energy level that keeps me from wanting to be an elementary school teacher.

My Day in Pictures

I got up this morning. I drank a cup of coffee.

I took a shower. I got dressed all cute.

(You don’t get pictures of this part of the day. But anyway…)

Then I went and spent half day subbing in a sixth-grade classroom.

Then I came home and I found the quickest path to Mordor on a Google Map.

Then, I spent a couple hours on my bed with some tea, my knitting, and the world’s most beautiful cat.

I love my current knitting project.

That’s my Georgia sweater and it’s my only project currently on needle. I’m in a monogamous relationship with this sweater until it’s done.

I also have a monogamous relationship with this bug-a-boo.

Isn’t my baby sweet?

That’s news to me!

As you might imagine, or perhaps you might not, I get some pretty interesting spam comments on this blog. However, Askimet, wordpress’s spam filter, is usually pretty good about catching them and stopping them from actually going onto the blog. Most of them are extremely inappropriate and things I’d never share with anyone. Others are utterly ridiculous and make no sense.

I also get to see what search terms brought people to my blog. And yesterday, someone found A Large Cup of Tea and a Long Book with this search term:  daniel cecilia baby big soon happy marry will 2013.

Okay, now this doesn’t make much sense. It’s not a sentence, but I think one could make sentences out of parts of it. And I think someone is *trying* to predict my future. I’m not sure if Cecilia and Daniel will have a big baby soon or if their (our?) baby will be big soon. And I think they will be happy soon. And they’ll get married in 2013.

Hmm, I didn’t know that I was marrying someone named Daniel in 2013. In fact, I’m not sure HOW I could marry someone named Daniel in 2013. I don’t really know a Daniel who I could marry and I seriously doubt that I’ll be getting married in 2013.

In all honesty, this is my favorite odd search term yet. It looks like it could be predicting my future, but it’s not. It can’t be. But it is entertaining.

FO Friday: Hannah

I’d like to introduce you to my newest finished object, Hannah. Hannah is a baby blanket/shawl that I created out of my very active imagination for the niece of a very dear friend of mine.

Hannah is made out of bright pink superwash wool. (Worsted weight, worked on size 8 needles)

Now, I might be slightly biased, but I think Hannah is absolutely gorgeous.

Now I was originally asked to make a baby blanket, and I had planned on using a more traditional baby blanket pattern/layout for this project. But then I decided to copy the pattern/styling that I had using for Hannah’s aunt’s Christmas present.

You see, as I started knitting, I realized that baby blankets, especially hand-knit ones, shouldn’t just be for infancy. They should be something that the child can take with them through life.

Baby blankets should be something that can be carried through life. They should be there for thirteen-year-olds who have watched a few too many episodes of Castle and Bones. They should be there for broken-hearted sixteen-year-olds. They should be there for late nights in college.

So this is for Hannah. And I hope that she likes it and that it stays with her long beyond infancy.

Potential Text Messages

I’ve spent most of today holed up, watching movies, and working on a baby blanket. However, as I’ve been working on it, I’ve had the urge to send various text messages, but I have no good friends who are knitters and would be able to understand my messages, so I’m sharing them with my blog. (Also, holy run-on sentence, blogosphere!)

Anyway, here they go…

  1. Here’s the problem with knitting a blanket in a triangle shape on circular needles. You have no clue how big it will really end up being.
  2. Here’s the problem with knitting about 500 stitches on a 24-inch circular needle. You have no clue how big this blanket will end up being.
  3. I have some idea of how big this blanket will end up being, but I’m didn’t swatch, so I have no clue how this yarn blocks. I mean, I know how superwash wool blocks in general, but I’m not sure how this one blocks out.
  4. This project’s successor needs to be an instant gratification project because triangle-shaped baby blankets will never be considered instant gratification knits in any world.
  5. Would Jane Austen approve of this project?

Okay, so I have a friend or two who might sort of understand that last text, but I’m not too sure that they’d totally get it. I spent a good three hours watching the 2008 BBC Sense and Sensibility while knitting. S&S has long been my favourite Jane novel in large part because I relate to Elinor Dashwood in a way that I relate to no other character in literature. (And no, it’s NOT just because of my mild crush on Dan Stevens. Thank you for asking.) I know that most people think that Colonel Brandon and Marianne have a more romantic love story than Edward and Elinor. And maybe they do. But I’m not looking for fireworks or white roses on coaches or men who fight duels-although those are all good and fine things. I’d much rather have a man who wants to do some good in the world and chops the wood for our fire and chases our chickens back into their pen.

But that’s an entirely different story. And if you really want to listen to me wax poetical about all the reasons why I love Edward Ferrars, please let me know and I can write a blog post about that.

In the meantime, I’m going to get back to putting the lace edging on this baby blanket. I should be done with that by about Monday or next Christmas. And then, I’ll be back with more adventures from my merry little life.

Grace

I’m working on a pattern. You’ve probably seen this pattern around here before.

It started out like this, and I gave it to Jenn for Christmas.

And then it looked like this, and I gave it to my mom for Christmas.

And now it looks like this, and I’m keeping this one.

The pattern is written. I’ve tested it three times and I’m more than slightly confident of it. But now I need to take some really good pictures of it before I can release the pattern. So, at some point in the near future, I need to find myself a model (I do have friends, after all) and get some awesome pictures of it in use. And then, I’ll be publishing a lovely free shawlette pattern that’s named after my great-grandmother.

FO Friday: Seedless Sedum

On Tuesday, I finished a sweater that I started working on right after Christmas. It was my post-Christmas selfish knitting piece-although most of my current knitting is technically “selfish” knitting to be entirely honest. Regardless, this was my first purely selfish piece in a while.

The pattern is Sedum by Jane Richmond. The pattern, which is wonderful, was originally written to be entirely worked in seed stitch, but I worked it entirely in stockinette because I really wanted a plain, simple cardigan. I’m planning on wearing this with my new skirts quite often, in fact.

This morning, Annie came over and took pictures for me. I’m tremendously pleased with them, and I’m very excited to share them with you.

Annie rather brilliantly proposed that we take pictures while I made tea. The sweater is terribly me-ish, and it is rather perfect to wear it while making tea since tea is one of my absolute favourite things in this world.

This picture is absolutely one of my favourites out of the bunch-because it has my beloved “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I love and admire you” mug from Brookish on etsy.

The mug in the above pictures (and in the one below) has a picture of my dear Audrey Hepburn. I love it.

In short, I’m utterly pleased with this sweater. I absolutely love it. And I might make another one like it in the future.

And how does The Reens feel about all of this?

She’d like you to know that you can’t read her poker face.

Have a splendid weekend! And hopefully I’ll have more exciting knitting news and pictures in the next few weeks.

Adieu to Spleen and Disappointment

It is now time to announce one of my favorite parts of the year-the Third Annual International Pride and Prejudice Appreciation Day. Yet again, the venerable Katie and I have created our favourite holiday of the year. The Facebook event can be found here. And a list of suggested ways to celebrate can be found below. (It can also be found on the FB page.)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

It is also a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.

Furthermore, it is yet another truth universally acknowledged that we must set aside one day out of the year to celebrate the greatest novel written in the English language.

Join us wherever you are for festivities that would scandalize Lady Catherine DeBourgh and shock Mr. Collins.

I have been asked how to best celebrate this event. Well, here are my humble suggestions:
1) Watch the movie-with friends, of course!
2) Drink tea.
3) Quote the book.
4) Read the book aloud to friends.
5) Randomly greet friends with “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
6) Say “Capital, capital” whenever anyone says ANYTHING to you.
7) Pack your trunk, re-pack it according to Lady Catherine’s instructions, then re-pack it in any way that you want because Lady Catherine will never know.
8) Appreciate the shelves in your closet, which are the very essence of economy and convenience–happy thought indeed!
9) Make sport for your neighbors, and laugh at them in your turn.
10) Have compassion on poor Mrs. Bennett’s nerves (or, as an alternate activity, cough as you please).
11) Buy a chimney piece that’s worth 8,000 pounds and enjoy the nice blaze.
12) Take a turn about the room because it is a very refreshing exercise and it sets your figure to a better advantage for Mr. Darcy.
13) Visit your fencing master. At the end of your visit, make a fist and say, “I shall conquer this. I shall.”
14) Play the piano in an out-of-the-way room where you shall bother no one.
15) When tired say “Lordy, I’m soooooo tired.”
16) Go to Brighton.
17) Take a swim in the lake at Pemberly and then very awkwardly greet the love of your life soaking wet.
18) If anyone asks you what you think of something, you should say “tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me!”

And I’ll think of more in the next three months.

So please do join in! Darcy will be ever so disappointed if you don’t.

DIY: Jane Austen Quote Mugs

Today, I made something. It was the perfect something to be made by the young woman who named her blog “A Large Cup of Tea and a Long Book.”

So what did I make? Two Jane Austen quote mugs, yeah, that’s right. TWO Jane Austen quote mugs. Like TWO mugs with Jane Austen quotes on them. How awesome is that?

Wanna see them?

So there they are. One is fresh from the oven and the other had been out for about half an hour.

I got the idea at Target a few days ago. They have in their Dollar Section these really cute mugs (like the one on the right above) for $2.50. And I have in my possession a couple of paint markers. (Two green, one blue, one purple; I’m not a huge fan of one of the the green or the purple, so I didn’t use them today.)

I decided that for Valentine’s Day, I could give Katie a mug that featured one of her favorite Jane Austen quotes: Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?

But I realized that the mug is big (like any tea mug ought to be) and I could get more than one quote on it. So I picked four awesome Austen quotes and wrote them on a lovely mug.

Then, I heated the oven to 200 degrees and put the mug in for thirty minutes to allow the paint to bake into the mug.

I think it’s lovely. And it was so easy.

All I had to do was:

  1. Buy the mug and markers.
  2. Pick the perfect four Jane Austen quotes for Katie.
  3. Write them VERY CAREFULLY on the mug.
  4. Bake it for 30 minutes at 200 degrees.

It’s so easy an idiot could do it. (I know; I did it.)

And then, I realized that I wanted my own Jane Austen mug. I had a tea cup and saucer that I had tried to decorate over the summer, but then I forgot to bake them. So I washed them and then decorated them.

I baked the cup and saucer (200 degrees, 30 minutes) and now, I have my own “Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?” cup and saucer. Awesome.

Seriously. I ask you. Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?

P.S. If you’re wondering what other quotes are on Katie’s mug, keep reading. If not, please comment before departing. And then go make your own mugs.

  • Second quote: One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. Emma
  • Third: How quick come the reasons for approving what we like! Persuasion
  • Fourth: Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of choice. Pride and Prejudice
And one final gratuitous mug shot…

12 Goals for 2012

I did this last year, and I thought I’d try it again. Last year, since it was 2011, I gave myself eleven goals. This year, I’m upping the ante slightly and giving myself twelve goals. I might continue in this vein for the next several years although around 2027, I might start to have trouble coming up with 27 goals for my life. But you never know. I might actually be able to do that. However, we’ve got 15 years before we have to find that one out.

So now, here are my 12 goals for 2012.

  1. Finish reading Middlemarch. It’s a carryover from last year, but this year I’m going to do it. Sorry, George Eliot, but you will not be on my 2013 list. Anthony Trollope will be replacing you.
  2. Make six pairs of socks this year. I made four last year, and I’m determined to do better this year. To be entirely honest, I don’t know why I’m so fixated on this, but I am. So, six pairs of socks, here I come.
  3. To find a real job-I think this is self-explanatory.
  4. Take the GRE…so I can go to grad school and, ya know, get a PhD in English literature
  5. Figure out which schools I want to apply to for grad school…and maybe apply this year? I might put that off another year. It depends on how a few other things play out.
  6. Go to Iowa for a week and see The Hunger Games with Jenn.
  7. Make Katie a sweater for her birthday…I know, I said I was going to do this last year, but I’m really going to do it this year.  She picked a pattern and a yarn today. It’s going to happen.
  8. I want to make myself six sweaters this year. And I want the Ravelympics to help me to this goal. (NB: These six sweaters do include the two cardigans I currently have on needle from 2011. They do not include the tunic I am frantically trying to finish right now or the two short sleeved shrugs I’m planning to make in the next week or so.)
  9. I want to sew more of my own clothes. There’s something that I love about looking at a piece in my wardrobe and knowing that I created it. I value my homemade (both knit and sewn) wardrobe pieces more than I value store-bought stuff.
  10. I want to have an adventure this year. I’m not entirely sure what that means, and based on the amount of uncertainty in my life at this point, I’m fairly certain that some sort of adventure is inevitable.
  11. Spent more time praying…and actually finish reading both of Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth books; I’m thinking that I need to accept that having a cup of coffee with God in the morning or a mug of tea with him in the evening is actually acceptable-and good for me.
  12. Last year, my final goal was to become more patient. This year, I have the same final goal but with a slightly different approach. I want to find some form of meditation that will help me to achieve some sort of peace/patience in my life.

So those are my goals. I think I have some other dreams and hopes up my sleeves, but those are other stories for other days.

But for now, Happy New Year!