Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A New Beginning

After thinking it over, I've decided to just stick with this blog, but remake it over.  I imported the 2 posts I made at the new blog over to here and will cancel that one.  Why didn't I do this in the first place?  Oh well.  Women are entitled to change their minds.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'm going to start going by my real name of Betsy rather than Gingerella as well.  After a lifetime of hating my first name, I've decided to try and embrace it instead.  What better way to start than by discarding my nickname?

One thing creating the other blog did was force me to learn more about blog design.  I learned how to do a few new layout tricks and had a blast creating my Confessions of a Wannabe Housewife banner on Scrapblog.  Never mind that it took me 7 hours on Sunday to figure out (shhhh).  I actually like learning how to do new things on the computer and can dink around for hours trying to figure something out.  Maybe I missed my real calling in life, maybe I should be learning how to do web design or write code or something, hahaha.

So, I will continue on my journey to becoming a domestic goddess here and retitle Gingerella's Corner as Confessions of a Wannabe Housewife.  I'll still share other things as well, never fear Ginger fans!  :)  Please be patient as I overhaul the layout, which I will thoroughly enjoy doing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Current Knitting Project

One old skill that I have a head start on is knitting.  In October 2009 I signed up for a 3 night workshop through our community college to learn beginning knitting.  Now, doing this was way outside my comfort zone, because I'm really shy.  Truly!  Walking into a room full of strangers is on par with getting teeth pulled for me....but whatever it was that prompted me to sign up for the class, I'm grateful for now.  I got past my anxiety and learned how to cast on and do the knit stitch.....and that's about it.

From there I turned to YouTube and found lots of video tutorials on how to do other things like purl, yarn overs, join new colors, etc.  I also bought myself a beginning knitting book and tried a couple of the projects in it, such as the obligatory dishrag.

Seriously, once you learn the basic cast on and knit and purl stitch, you can pretty much teach yourself the rest from there.  I'm hoping anyway, I haven't tried anything really complicated yet.

Only, I haven't been as diligent about working on it as I should have.  In 2010 I've only made two things.....a placemat, and the project I'm currently working on (and have been since June!):  a Minnesota Vikings scarf for my husband.  He's been a huge fan since he was a kid living in Minnesota, and even though they've had a terrible season this year, he's still gung ho over them.....but I digress.

I based it on this pattern here for a Chicago Bear's scarf.  From there I just changed the colors to Vikings purple and yellow and got started.

This was taken under a lamp with a compact fluorescent bulb so the lighting is a little funny

As I said, I started on this in June.  I was hoping to have it done before cold weather set in but here it is the end of December and I'm still not done.  This is where I'm at as of today:

If I'm following the pattern explicitly, the end product will be 87 inches long.  It's currently at 47 inches.  I'm not sure I want it to be 87 inches in length, so I'm not sure how much longer I'll make it.  I want hubby to be able to wear it at least for a little while this winter!  

I know I've picked up some bad knitting habits along the way, doing this totally on my own.  For instance, I know I'm holding the needles incorrectly (English, not Continental style), which is probably why I'm such a slow knitter.  I don't wrap the working yarn through my right fingers at all, I just let it hang loose and grab onto it with my right hand palm down.  

One thing, however, that made all the difference to me was learning how to read my stitches.  This scarf is done entirely in single ribbing (knit, purl, knit, purl, repeat) and at first I was trying to keep track in my head which stitch I had just done so that I wouldn't repeat it.  I had no clue how to recognize my stitches.  I was literally counting stitches in my head and had to rip out rows several times when I saw that I had repeated a stitch.  I was ready to quit knitting altogether, I was so frustrated.

But then, via  I learned how to "knit the knits and purl the purls."  In ribbing, once you complete a row and switch to the other side, you knit the stitch that looks like a knit (even though on the other side it was a purl stitch) then you purl the next stitch that looks like a purl (even though on the other side it was a knit stitch).  I read that tutorial over and over again trying to make sense of it, but then it finally clicked and I understood.  It also forced me to learn to recognize my stitches.  Now while I'm knitting all I have to do is read the stitches to know what comes next without having to keep track of it in my head or on a notebook.

I think the next knitting learning curve I'll tackle once I'm done with this scarf is to learn circular knitting, either on circular needles or on double pointed ones.  I want to learn how to make socks, mittens, sweaters, etc. and to do that requires learning how to make round openings.  Just thinking about it makes me tremble in fear (ha ha) but I'm confident I'll be able to learn it.  :)

If you knit, what projects are you currently working on?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Graduation....I mean, Happy Holidays!

I was going to post these right away, but as always am behind again.  Typical me.  But you still love me, right?

(please say "right")

Here are some pics of Husband's grand day a week ago when he graduated with his Masters Degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney (where I also happen to work).

My Husband, Steven, on the left and his friend Ryan DeMoss

My parents in the audience (and man were those some hard bleachers....ow!)

Husband and me after the ceremony


Friends and colleagues hanging out in the kitchen (and a great view of our dog, Ginger's, derrière, lol!)

Husband and my Mom and Dad, stuffed full of good food and ice cream cake.  Ginger snuck into the picture too.  She's sneaky like that.

It was a grand day and we had a blast.  And, we're relieved it's all over.  What a crazy whirlwind this semester has been!  Time to kick back, decompress, and relax, man. 

It's been so crazy that I'm like....oh, it's Christmas?  It is?  What do you mean it's tomorrow......WHAT?  It's tomorrow!?!?  aaaagggghhhhhh!!!!   Well ok, I'm exaggerating a little.  Only a little though.  But our tree is up, pumpkin pie is in the oven, and tonight my parents will come over for a casual Christmas Eve supper (featuring my yummy chicken stew!), then we'll open presents, for tomorrow we're going to my Aunt's house for the Big Meal.  

I hope all of you have a great Christmas Eve and Day....full of good food, drink, cheer, and love.  :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's Almost Over!

This has been one crazy semester and once again I'm behind in blogging.  But, working at a university, I'll get one whole week off for the Christmas break.  Yay!  I'm planning on using that time to recharge and get some sense of normalcy back.  And get caught up on blogs.  :)

Why all the craziness?  Let's just say that when your spouse decides to go back to school, don't take it lightly.  Crazy semester?  Heck, the last 4 years have been nuts.  Husband decided in 2006 to go back and finish his bachelor's degree, and graduated in 2008.  Then he immediately plunged into master's work, and will be graduating with that on Friday.  :)   Yay!

I'm so proud of him and all he's accomplished.  What the future holds now, I have no idea, but at least the craziest part of the journey is almost over and we'll both be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief.  After the commencement ceremony on Friday, it will be time to PAR-TAY. 

Will post pictures and an update later!