I need a serious case of startitis

I passed my dissertation defense, and am now officially Dr. Dominick!  Good alliteration, eh?  My dissertation research included two knitting groups with 4th grade girls to see if participating in the knitting group enhanced their social skills and academic achievement, while reducing problem behaviors.  The group seemed to have a medium effect on lowering bullying scores and raising communication scores.  The girls loved participating in the group and I loved working with them, so while I would have expected a greater number of positive results, it was a lot of fun conducting the group.

In knitting news, I’ve been totally lazy about getting a good picture of my New Girl skirt.  I will get to it soon.  In the meantime, I’m feeling a little out of inspiration for new projects.  I just finished a secret project that I will get to blog about later in the week, after a baby shower.  I have those socks on the needles still.  I’m almost lamenting the end of the cold weather here, because colder weather inspires so much fabulous wool knitting!  I’m ready to focus on warm weather items with linen, but I’m not sure what to make.  I’d love suggestions in the comments.  I have been eyeing Cocktail(Dress) for awhile and I have a TON of Laines du Nord Baby Milk (merino/milk fiber/cashmere) to use, but it’s in super pale pinks and gray. milk-2I don’t usually swath my person in that much pink, but the yarn was a STEAL from WEBS, so this dress will only cost me around $40 to make.  milkI think the peachy color on top would work for the sleeve caps, then gray for the chest stripes.  I have the most of the pink on the bottom, so that will have to be the main color.  I’m going to swatch a bit and see what I think.  It might be some super girly insanity.  But I want more ideas! I’m ready to fill up my dance card with summer knits.  What are you planning for the warm weather this year?

Many balls in the air, only some of them yarn.

What a week!… I’ve been alternating between excitement, anticipation, nervousness, fear, and fatigue. I think this whole dissertation reality is setting in. It will be fun, but also a tremendous amount of work. I know some of you out there feel my pain. I’d say more about my study, but I think that’s best left until it’s completed. It involves knitting and that is enough goodness to outweigh any negativity. If all goes well, I should be able to begin the study at the end of September.

Right now I’m juggling a lot of different roles and priorities like being a good mom to Z, being a good partner to Matt, a good friend to those that I’m close to, kicking ass at a dissertation, designing knit wear to fuel my creativity and passion for the craft, and helping others achieve their fullest potential as a licensed counselor. I switch back and forth between these roles a lot, but I love each of them. This involves some compromise too. Unless someone is coming to visit, Matt and I can ignore large swaths of clutter for some amount of time, and neither of us goes out of our way to create gourmet meals (or even slightly creative ones) on a regular basis. Each human only has so much energy to expend at one time. It’s a choice where you spend it.

Enough of that tangent. How about some knitting talk? Beatnik is my SSKAL project. It has a deadline of September 24th, but if I don’t make it, I’m already planning to forgive myself, and perhaps comfort myself with yarn. Hahahah.beatnik updateI’m done with the back. I decided to start the sleeves next to give myself a break from the brainy cables.

beatnik update-5I’ll likely be making these about 1″ longer or more. Overall I’m making the small (36″) size, but I’m making the sleeves XS because so many people seem to have really baggy sleeves in the finished projects, and even on the sample for the pattern. I’m still fairly new at the mechanics of set-in sleeves, but I’m hoping if it’s narrower, but still has a long enough sleeve cap, this will alleviate some of the bagginess. It’s all an experiment, right?

This experiment bores Seymour.

This experiment bores Seymour.

Mmmmmmm, cables.

Mmmmmmm, cables.

I plan on ripping out Matt’s shawl collar for this design and reknitting it to be wider. Then I’ll decipher my notes and write up the pattern. Fridica asked about it the other day and I think I just need to stop being a chicken and write the pattern.  I’m aiming for mid-September, but it sounds like that’s shaping up to be a crazy month, so we’ll see.

In addition to that, I have a b-day sweater to knit by the end of September (2 yr old size). I’m considering making this one, styling it like a fox and possibly narrowing the shoulders. I’ve realized that kiddo shoulders are pretty narrow. Knit Picks has a new superwash worsted weight wool (Wool of the Andes), and you can get a free skein from them by using the code TRYSUPERWASH from now until the 28th. I bought Persimmon Heather and Oyster Heather. I think it’s going to be a fun knit.

Next I’ll be posting about a lace project I was keeping secret! I gave it to the recipient today, so I’ll blog about it soon. I’m terrible at keeping secrets, but I only had to for about 9 days from start to finish.

All is well. All is well. All is well. I’m just going to go with the flow. Have a great weekend!

Dissertation proposal day!

I am still knitting, on Beatnik, on Gemini, and maybe something else that I won’t mention yet. I will have finished pictures of my mom’s socks any second now…. but until 2 o’clock today most of my brain is focused on preparing for my dissertation proposal! I plan to incorporate knitting into my dissertation as a therapeutic technique. When I came into my office this morning, this was on my desk:

9544686427_db6b6f9e03_cI don’t know who left it, but I’ll consider it a good sign.

Don’t forget, if you want to grab one of my patterns on sale, MANY are 50% for a limited time. Use the code BACK2SCHOOL at the checkout. The patterns that are on sale include TuxedoPrufrockBetwixtWendingRuffaluffagusThe Unexpected Hat, and my newest, Firefly Seeker.

Where do those weekends go?

I really meant to have a finished pic of Kit up today, but somehow the weekend disappeared too quickly and that didn’t happen. I’ve worn it twice since blocking it last week. It’s comfortable and I love it. It seems like it will wear well with jeans, shorts, and skirts, so I anticipate wearing it a lot for the rest of the summer.

Time is flying! Z’s birthday party is in a couple of weeks and I’m totally flummoxed by party prepping. I will not look at Pinterest. I will not look at Pinterest. I will not look at Pinterest. It’s just a first birthday. Phew. Ok. I had to write that down. I have to periodically give myself these kinds of affirmations.

How about some knitting? Well, I had some leftover Euroflax in a couple of colors, so I’m whipping up a little linen dress for Z. The birthday girl needs a new dress, of course, and linen is something she might actually be able to wear before fall.

bday dress

I will probably write the pattern up when I’m done. I loved the half-linen stitch on Kit, so I’m incorporating a little of that on the edges of this dress. Knitting this dress (or knitting in general) are the most calming parts of my day.

Right now my dissertation proposal is screaming at me again, so I’d better go pretend that I love it as much as knitting for a reasonable stretch of time.

Knitting in class

I am in a 7:30-9:30 a.m. summer class. When I’m not taking notes, or feverishly plotting my world domination with the therapeutic breakthroughs I will surely create through my dissertation, I am knitting on my Featherweight Cardigan. This is my second one. You can see the first one here.

The teacher does not seem to mind that I’m knitting in class, and even noted that his daughter is an avid knitter and when she was in high school she had a psychology teacher that encouraged it. It’s fantastic that there are teachers out there like that. I think it really helps me focus, and stay awake. Though I am a morning person (I know…gag, right?), my sleeping has been off and sometimes I feel hit by a truck in the mornings these days.

In a comment on another post I was asked about my dissertation topic. Maybe it’s a bit weird, but I’m not ready to reveal that since its still in its infancy, and there is a hair of paranoia on my part about someone wanting to do the same thing somewhere. I guess it’s sort of like holding off on revealing much about a knitting design in process. I will shout it from the rooftops at some point, but for now it’s going to stay undercover. I will say that it involves some knitting.

Since it is the second Featherweight, I feel no rush to finish. I haven’t decided if I will rib again for the collar and cuffs, or if I will do seed stitch or garter stitch instead. I also feel this complete lack of rush because it has consistently been 100 plus degrees Fahrenheit outside and there is no end in sight. Unlike other summers, I am no longer freezing while working in the library. I am hot, even with no sleeves. Ah, the joys of human incubation.

You might gather from the way I talk about pregnancy that I’m not exactly fond of it. You would be correct. I am not a glowing, overjoyed, zen sort of pregnant woman. I am hot. And larger than I want to be. And tired of getting out of bed and traveling downstairs to pee several times in the night when it’s difficult to get out of bed and I think the cats are purposely parking in my walking path. One of my greatest pleasures right now is swimming when I get a chance. If you are pregnant in the summer and you know ANYONE with a pool, try your best to get them to let you use that pool. Luckily, one of my very best friends, Missy, lives in an apartment with a pool. It’s never quite as cold as I’d prefer, but it is heaven to be able to float and hop around freely. I’m trying not to be full of complaints when it comes to pregnancy, but I also advocate not being fluffy and glossing over the bad stuff, because if you are pregnant it’s okay not to love it all the time and it’s okay to bitch about it too. I do really really love feeling little Princess Mozzarella move around, and I love it when Matt talks to her in the belly. That’s the kind of stuff I want to remember.

Stay cool. Jump in a body of water (pregnant or not) if you can and it’s weather appropriate for your climate.