only two more weeks of class. i just have to keep repeating that to myself: only two more weeks of class. it’s not that i dislike class; i really like it (although my first class after the mustang burned was kind of painful to get through, and not just because i caught my thumb while adjusting the telescoping arm of a four-point overhead rack, and pinched the %^&*^%$%^ out of it). it’s just that a four hour class (plus commute time, plus homework time) twice a week takes a lot out of you. it would be easier if i drove, but i just can’t justify paying $40 extra a week to drive to work/school/home two days for sixteen weeks or whatever. also, think of all the sock knitting time i would miss out on if i drove…

speaking of fiber arts: this past weekend was the 9th Annual Ohio-Kentuckiana Soapers Gathering, and since i don’t live in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, naturally i attend every year. (har.) we had a little unofficial fiber arts table, which was fun: Molly socked (in tiny bits of time snatched from being this year’s gathering chair!), Kim socked in between running around the gathering to round up people to buy raffle tickets for the Laura’s Rose Garden shawl she designed and knitted and then donated, and Mari worked on embroidery — while i worked on crocheting a swatch to practice. a rather sad swatch, since i didn’t know i was accidentally decreasing at the start of each row and at some point i realized i had not achieved a rectangle but instead a trapezoid of fabric. oops.

shockingly, i actually won Laura’s Rose Garden in the raffle! i was so surprised. i put in several tickets, but literally everyone there (around 100 of us), except one person, put in at least one. unbeknownst to Kim, however, there was a whole big conspiracy going on to ensure that whoever won the shawl, it would make its way back to her: people brought extra things to trade, people were going around spreading the word that they would be willing to barter, etc. i very stealthily (if i do say so myself) snuck it into her luggage while loading up the car, and she found it sunday morning. so that was fun. i did win another item, though, one of Marie’s stained glass items, a beautiful rose colored plate — i loved it to pieces at first sight, so i was thrilled i got to take it home! it’s beautiful, i’m going to try and take a picture of it this weekend for the blog because really, it’s just gorgeous. and she made it! i can’t even imagine.

i donated several skeins of my handspun… like an idiot, i didn’t take any pictures of them first!! one of them i was especially proud of, too — it was an attempt at a lighter weight yarn, which i spun from a variegated dyed roving, and then navajo plied to preserve the color variation. oh well. sigh. i know who won them… maybe i can ask her to take a picture for me. :-)

anyways, i did get a little better at crochet, and now i have a respectable start to rippling, and i even ordered some yarn from JoAnn’s Fabrics — Caron Simply Soft, since i wanted a washable, inexpensive yarn — so that’s fun. i just need to figure out how to hold the yarn in my hand so i can go quickly (without picking the yarn up and throwing it), i’ve got the hook motion down. i just need practice. oh well, that’s what swatching is for.

and in knitting news, i have another nearly complete transit sock — out of blue and grey striped Step yarn, which is very nice yarn indeed — which needs to be tried on and have a toe knitted, and then to have a mate knitted, so maybe i’ll have another pair of socks in a few weeks. i may give this pair away, not sure. and, in much more exciting news, i am going to start on the Nelly Shawl pattern that my SP9 sent me! i started out on it a while ago — actually, the night i got the box of goodies! — because i was so excited about it and the yarn. i still haven’t posted about that box because i wanted to post a picture of the shawl-in-progress with the yarn from the goodie box and on my shiny new needles from the goodie box. this plan was thwarted when, after i cast on and knit six rows in garter stitch, i decided i had better practice the lace part first with some scrap yarn — so i cast on some sock yarn on some other needles and proceeded to knit the lace pattern multiple times, not one single repeat of which came out right! i kept coming up with extra stitches at the end of the row. i thought i was misreading the pattern, or maybe losing track of where i was and skipping to a different row, so i got out graph paper and wrote the pattern down for myself in rows of alternating ink colors, so i could remember “i’m on the red row” and it would be easier to see… and still, extra stitches. i counted stitches obsessively, and i could not figure it out! it was making me crazy! i promised myself i could start on the “real” shawl with the “real” yarn as soon as i could do one repeat without mistakes… but i just couldn’t! and that’s about when it dawned on me that maybe it wasn’t me that was messed up, but the pattern. it turns out that the pattern has you casting on 58 stitches but, if you look at the graph, there are only 56 stitches indicated. it looks to me (and it seems like Kim agrees) that they forgot two purl stitches on the right-hand side of the pattern, symmetric with the two purl stitches on the left-hand side. so, i think now that that is figured out, this weekend i will probably get out my trusty graph paper and write the pattern in colors again (i liked that idea a lot, actually), and add in those two purls, and see if then i can’t finally get a repeat to come out right.

tomorrow: baseball game at 19:11, vs. the Ligers. the weather looks promising — if you prefer wintertime to spring: “Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Lows around 40°F.” i might take my crochet swatch/future cat blanket. :P i hope the hot cocoa guys will be out again… i mean, cold beer at the ballpark is just not very appealing when you’re already wet and shivering.

ennyhoo. this weekend i will try to catch up on backlogged craft blogging and so on, just as soon as i can catch a few hours at home.