knitting

Finished Rose’s pillows


We picked a whole bunch of fabrics in pink and brown and had fun mixing and matching them. We used pink ball fringe as well as piping for trim. We even made our own fabric buttons for a couple of them.


Piping and polka dot button


Now her room is cozy and PINK!


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Fall bounty

Brian’s garden is still yielding lots of peppers and a few more tomatoes.


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FO and WIP



Dad’s socks
finished one and started the second.  Yarn Harlot’s pattern and pretty boring yarn.

Mom’s shawl that I started while I was at her house last month.  She had bought the yarn and pattern but decided the pattern required too much focusing to be enjoyable.  I picked it up and got into it.  This is the way to start lace knitting, on big needles with fat yarn!  It is a Lion Brand pattern and yarn. 

Then here is the curtain I made for Rose’s newly painted room.  Her colors are two incredibly intense pinks and a milk chocolate brown.  We bought a bunch of fabrics in those colors so I am also working on some pillows to mix and match. More on these to follow.

Restless

It has been over a month since graduation and I am no closer to landing a job. The current economy has not been good for us new grad nurses this year. Sure, there is a shortage of nurses, and people still need medical care, even in a bad economy. But, what is happening is the nurses that were expected to retire have not, and not only that, they have increased their hours since they need money too. The hospitals don’t want to spend the money to train new nurses when there are plenty of experienced nurses around so they are postponing their new grad training programs, and they don’t hire new grads without these programs. I keep hearing people talk about the baby boomer nurses hanging on to their jobs and I have to stop myself from getting irritated because after all I AM a baby boomer too, and I have no intention of retiring any time soon. Hey, I am just getting started!

I keep applying to jobs, first all over the Bay area and now all over California. I could wallpaper my room with all the rejections letters I have gotten. That is the hard part, I am having a difficult time not getting discouraged by all the rejection letters. I know there is a spot for me out there in a hospital somewhere, I just wish it would show itself soon, ’cause I am restless.

I keep trying to pass the time knitting or reading or doing some other thing that I used to enjoy, but I can’t seem to focus these days. I keep flitting from this project to that project and can hardly pull myself away from the computer waiting for a job posting to come in or a response from one of my applications to show up in my inbox.

I do have a few FO to show you though.
First, here is Olive’s sweater (the red one with the fake cables) I started it in the beginning of May see here. I gave it to my classmate, Trisha on the night of our pinning.

Then I started a sweater for one of Brian’s coworkers baby boy. This one is the same pattern as Erin’s sweater except that I had to adjust the guage because this yarn (Blue Sky Organic Cotton) is much thicker. I love knitting with this yarn, it is so incredible soft. I don’t care for the color much though. I had to rip out this sweater a few times because I failed to adjust the pattern for the thicker yarn, and then I got carried away and knit too many inches before I started the decreases for the raglan sleeves.
I finally finished it the morning I left for Tahoe to study for the NCLEX.

Since then, however I have not been able to concentrate on knitting, or anything else for that matter. So I have been making washcloths and stethoscope covers for my friends, just to keep my hands busy.

Last week, the day I found out that I passed the boards, I decided to uncover my loom and see if I could remember what to do. I had put a blanket over the loom for the entire year so it wouldn’t entice me away from my studying. I knew if I looked at it all the time, I would want to sit down and weave a few rows and knowing me, I wouldn’t tear myself away from it to get back to studying. So I covered it with a blanket and didn’t look at it. Well, when I looked at what I had done I couldn’t believe how beautiful and amazing it is! I had started making some kitchen towels, I think the warp is long enough for 4 towels, but to tell you the truth, I am not sure anymore. I looked at my notes and tried to remember enough to read the treadling pattern. After a good twenty minutes of staring at my notes and staring at the weaving, I figured out what I had been doing and started weaving again. Wow! I finished up the last few inches of the first towel, put in a divider and started the next towel. It will be more yellow than blue. I haven’t sat down to weave again. I am too restless, can’t sit still, can’t knit or weave. I sure hope this is temporary, I need these activities to keep me sane.

oops

All that knitting I did last night while laughing with Rose in front of Sleepless in Seattle? Ripped out. I forgot that I had adjusted the number of stitches in the pattern because my yarn is a heavier gauge. UGHH ! No wonder when I was trying to lay it out for the picture, it was asymmetrical. So I ripped back to the great divide and started the right front shaping again. I marked the pattern with the new stitch numbers now, hopefully I won’t make THAT mistake again. Good thing it is a baby sweater!

PS Mom and Amy arrived tonight to start the graduation celebration for Joe! Tomorrow is the big day.

Teenagers at large

Waiting for teenagers again. Joe is out with a friend, supposedly for dessert. They have been gone for 4 hours, could they still be eating? And Pat has been in Santa Cruz all day and just sent a text that they are driving home now. That road from Santa Cruz is treacherous, it makes me nervous. Oh, here is Joe now, wondering why I wait up for them. How do you explain without sounding like a crazy person? I wait up because when they don’t come home, and I start to imagine the heap they are in on the side of the road, I want to be on the phone to the police to search all the ditches along the freeway, or when the ER calls to say they have my kid I want to already be awake, Joe shakes his head at me, Mom, come on, when does anything like that actually happen? It’s not like we smoke crack or something! I could have reminded him that we just sat through the awards night at the high school where we listened to tearful parents give out scholarships in the names of the children they lost. And not just one of them, many of them. I was in tears by the end of it. It makes me realize how fragile life is, and how vulnerable our teens are, and they don’t even know it. I could have reminded him of that, but I didn’t, I don’t want him to be afraid, reality is close enough, one of us wallowing in it is enough. So he sits down at the piano and plays. “I learned all the Bud Powell songs from this one album” “Don’t you think this chord is awesome?” I smile and agree, I love to listen to him play, my own private jazz club. I’ll wait for Pat, probably be asleep on the couch when he rolls in.

The photo above is another baby sweater started for a coworker of Brian’s. I am using the softest cotton I have ever knit with, Blue Sky Organic Cotton. I knit this tonight while watching Sleepless in Seattle with Rose. She was laughing so hard she kept falling off the couch. I am enjoying having more time to hang out and BE with the kids.

Backroads Coffeehouse

Backroads Coffeehouse is Alhambra High School’s release party for their creative arts magazine. I love going to this event, the poetry, music, artwork and films that these kids create are amazing. Joe played with his trio, and Tina sang. They rocked the house, Tina has unstoppable energy and when she and Joe do music together it is fabulous. They have chemistry. The whole audience was on their feet and clapping along.

I am always astounded at the passion I hear from the kid’s writing. I love hearing their voice, what they have to say and am so impressed that they are brave enough to stand up and share it with everyone. I couldn’t do that at 17! I also enjoyed watching Pat meeting up with his old high school friends sharing about their year away at college. These are the ordinary proud moments, watching these emerging adults and realizing the world is going to be okay.

Oh and by the way, today was my last day of nursing school, I graduated last Friday and will be pinned this Friday. But more about that in another post.

No time for senioritis

Two more weeks of class and clinicals and I can’t stop now for a nagging case of senioritis. Do you think Airborne might keep it at bay? The assignments and papers and group projects are still coming fast and furious as well as 24-36 hours a week at the hospital. AND job hunting. Did I mention I have given up sleep, meals without my laptop and sitting on the couch without a book in my lap. I think I will breathe again once I have my diploma in my hand and a job offer.

I am not the only one in the house doing the last push before graduation.
Joe has managed to finish high school in 3 years and will graduate at the top of his class on June 12. I am so proud of him!

Up for air

Here are the first blooms on our roses. They are peaking right now, all of them are blooming at their best. They look good the rest of the summer but never as good as the first bloom. I am always amazed at how stunning they look, I just have to look up from the books and take them in.

Today we had our comprehensive exit exam, 3 hours, 180 multiple guess questions. It was brutal, we all stumbled out of there wondering if we passed or not. We only have to meet the national average which is 72%, it doesn’t seem like it should be so hard to reach. We have 3 chances to take it before graduation, but I sure don’t want to have to repeat it. We all got together afterwards for a beer and tried to remember as many questions as we could to help us study for the next time (if necessary). I have to say that I felt better after that, I don’t know if it was the beer or that I my answers were in line with most everyone else’s, probably the beer. We should get our scores on Monday. Luckily (or not) I have two 12 hour shifts at the hospital and class at 8am on Monday so I will be too busy to fret about the test. It hardly seems like enough time to come up for air before we dive right back into studying. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel though. We have just 5 more weeks before we are done!
I wanted to show you the finished sweater for my newest niece, Erin.

I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but just got it in the mail yesterday. Good thing she is a tiny baby so it should fit her. Here us the ruffle detail that is on the sleeves and the hem.

Here is the detail on the neckline.
And finally here is the finished sweater.
The yarn is Cabin Fever Cotton Tweed DK 45% cotton, and 55% Acrylic. The pattern is from a Cabin Fever book of top down baby sweaters. The pattern is called Little Tumbler. It was pretty easy and quick. I hope little Erin is cozy in it.
Then I started the next baby sweater for my nursing school classmate that just gave birth last week to a little girl, Olive. Another Cabin Fever pattern called Arabesque. It is the same yarn in red. Here is the beginning of it. The detail is a fake cable, made by slipping a stitch , knitting two and passing the slipped stitch over. I like true cables better, but this is cute.
Got to go, Brian is making a special celebratory dinner, pasta, fish and asparagus, all of my favorite things. I think he is looking forward to the day school is over for me and life returns to “normal”. : )

new niece

I haven’t blogged since January, my readers have been telling me.  I thought January was just a couple of days ago but they have pointed out that it is March; and actually almost the end of March. hmm, how did that happen.  I am seeing the light at the end of the nursing school tunnel but there is so, so much work to finish between now and then, I keep hoping it is still January so I have more time to finish.  This weekend I am writing two papers, finishing two other assignments, and planning a teaching topic for Monday.  Thankfully, midterms are over.  The kids think I am a permanent fixture in my chair in the dining room.  However, tonight I took a break and watched Twilight with Rose.  She bought the movie with her own money and was nearly jumping out of her skin to have me watch it with her.  I have decided, I am definitely old, I don’t even think Edward is cute and I don’t follow the dialog very well (maybe because there really isn’t any?) all they do is zip around the screen and look longingly at each other. But… it is the talk of all the 6th graders and I want to peer into their world a little to try to understand them better.   Above is what I did while I was watching; you didn’t really think I could sit in front of a screen and not knit?  I started a sweater for Erin Patricia, my new niece, born on Saint Patrick’s Day.  She is my brothers third child but first daughter so it is exciting to knit a girl thing for her. I hope I can finish it before she grows out of it.  I shouldn’t be knitting, and I shouldn’t be watching movies, I should be writing papers about anxiety and epidemiology.  Tomorrow. I’ll write more tomorrow.  We graduate in two months and then I can knit and watch movies (and blog) whenever and as much as I want to.