Well, the adventure began there. I was on a plane to Albuquerque, NM, the day after school let out. Both my mother and stepfather lived in Houston, TX, but Max wanted to be buried back in Albuquerque where we are all from. First, I had to share a hotel room with my mother for a week....A WEEK! Don't get me wrong, I love my mom and she only wanted to share the room because she didn't want to be alone but really, a whole week in the same room with your mom?
Of course, there was a ton of family drama. Not from my family but from Max's. I could go into it here but that would take forever. Let's just say that I was shocked.
To top all of this off, I was mister nice guy on the plane down to Albuquerque and helped a woman get her stuff out of the overhead bin. In removing her bags I strained my bicep tendon. Now, I didn't realize this until the next day when my shoulder started killing me. So, in the middle of all of the funeral drama, I ended up at urgent care being tortured by an evil doctor only to be told to take lots of ibuprofen.
Well, we got Max buried and I got myself and the family back to our respective homes and four days later, I was back on a plane for a series of conferences in Washington, DC. This time, I was gone for 11 days. Of course, I had to share a room with my good friend Karen and I was at these events with about a hundred teachers from Oregon. Now, I'm a social person. I like hanging out and having a good time. However, after the funeral fiasco, I didn't need much more human interaction. Really, all I wanted was to lock myself in my room with a dog or two and knit.
To add fuel to this fire, you also have to understand that I am not a fan of hot, humid environments which DC in the summer is. On average the temperature was 97 with a heat index of 107. It was vomit hot! I just lived in air conditioning which is another thing that I'm not too fond of.
By the end of my stay in DC, it became apparent that I was getting a cold. What fun, a summer cold! Of course, my husband has filled my social calendar while I was gone. Just what I wanted, more human interaction. Actually, to be fair, he did give me an out but I was a trooper and made the appearances.
Now to add icing to the cake, we had a litter of puppies at the beginning of June. Puppies are pretty easy the first four weeks because the dam takes care of them. However, at four weeks, you have to start socializing them and cleaning up after them. Ahhh, no rest of the weary. I actually had dreams of coming downstairs to and inch of puppy urine covering the entire first floor. ACK!
Well, the puppies went to their new homes in the middle of August (thank God) and, of course, we kept the show pick. Her name is Libby and she is a little, black monster but I love her anyway.
Now, after all of this summer fun, it became time to go back to work. Generally, I'm okay with going back to work. I like teaching. However, this year, my district cut 204 teaching positions. This meant that my class sizes were going to go up. Well, I wasn't prepared for what they became. My largest class is 56, 7th graders. My next largest is 50, 8th graders whom I see at the end of the day when they are the most bouncy. My class sizes are F'n insane! I'm just beat at the end of the day and it's only the beginning of week three. I really don't know how I'm going to make it through this year and I'm actually looking at teaching overseas to escape this untenable situation.
That's pretty much the summer in a nutshell. It wasn't fun or relaxing. All I want to do now, is find a small village on an island in Scotland where I can live with my dogs and knit.
Speaking of knitting, I did accomplish a fair amount of knitting since this was my refuge from my summer in hell.
First, the big news. I submitted a pattern proposal to Knit Picks for a book that they will be publishing in February and it was accepted. I got the message while I was in DC and I started jumping up and down I was so excited. My poor roommate thought something had bitten me and that I was in pain. Anyway, I can't say too much about it other than it's lace and it's beautiful.
Next, I joined a men's knit-a-long for a pair of kilt hose. This was my first attempt at a pair of socks. I had always thought that socks were super hard but these were really straight forward. I made them from my own hand spun, also a first. Of course, not knowing about knitting socks, I followed the pattern exactly and they turned out a bit baggy. The men more experienced in socks realized that the pattern needed some modifications like decreases at the ankle. Anyway, I washed them in hot water and put them in dryer for a bit and, presto, they fit pretty darn good.
The next finished item is my fair isle sweater. I have to say that I am very tickled with the way this turned out.
While the colour choice and fair isle motif is from another designer, the sweater construction is all mine as well as the addition of shoulder straps and other fun details.
I really enjoyed coming up with this pattern. As a matter of fact I enjoyed it so much that started another sweater with the same construction and I intend to publish the pattern. Also, I'm thinking about creating a class on seamless fair isle sweater construction. It's really not as bad as people think. If they get a bit of an introduction, they will be more willing to tackle a project like a fair isle sweater.