Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Dusting off the old blog

I've been thinking about blogging a lot lately (as in, "Maybe I should get back into blogging"), but wasn't sure I wanted to make a commitment to it. And then, I wrote a couple of notes on Facebook (one about seeing Harry Potter 7.1 and another about books I read in 2010) and I realized I miss having an outlet for my thoughts. So, here I am dusting off the blog after a year of dormancy. I don't know how long it will take me to get back into the swing of things, but my goal is to post at least twice a week.

I should probably catch people up on what I've been doing (assuming there's anyone out there who still has my blog in their feed reader and sees I suddenly have a new post).

I finished my PhD and graduated in June. Can we get a Hallelujah? It took 10 years, but I am finally, finally Dr. Montegna! However, despite having this advanced degree, I still have no idea what I want to do with my life. I'm currently considering teaching and doing some exploration into that. Secretly, I hope I get pregnant and become a stay at home mom for awhile. In the meantime, I'm relaxing at home, teaching catechism on the weekend, reading, and crafting. It's a hard life.

I continue to go to my knitting group as often as it meets (usually 2 days a week, but we've cut back to one day a week over the holidays). I have done plenty of knitting but haven't taken many pictures of my projects nor have I really been keeping track of them on Ravelry. That's something I'm hoping to improve upon this year. I've also been working on sewing projects for myself and my gaggle of nephews. My new favorite medium is felt. So. easy. to. work. with.

I knitted gifts for nearly everyone this Christmas. Socks for my mom and MIL, hats for BIL, FIL, UIL (uncle-in-law) and a scarf for my SIL. My FIL still wears the scarf I made for him 10 years ago! Such dedication to a handknit should be rewarded so I need to find the perfect gift to make him next year. Socks, maybe? Or even...a sweater????

I had planned to knit sweater vests for three of my nephews and a sweater for the fourth but ran out of time. I have actually knit all of the pieces for the sweater, but I want to redo the tops of the sleeves. I had blocked them and realized they were different sizes as I did so. I frogged back both of the tops (since they were both wrong) and reknit using the same yarn. There is a very, very clear demarkation between the original knitting and the reknit stuff. The original knitting looks beautiful and perfect and the reknit portion looks wonky with ugly stitches. I had thought blocking would even them out but I was wrong. So, I'll be frogging them yet again and knitting with fresh yarn. I know I could use the frogged yarn if I made it into a hank and then washed it and dried it to straighten it back out but I don't have the patience to do that. I do have more than enough extra yarn, though, so that's the route I'm going.

I've signed up for some craft-alongs for the new year and set myself some schedules I'm hoping to follow. They are:
  • The Year of Stash Socks knit-along on Ravelry. The organizers pick two patterns per month and we knit from our stashes. Alternatively, you can knit a plain vanilla sock if you so choose. I don't have that big of a stash that it needs to get under control (in fact, I had to buy yarn for the first month because I didn't have a superwash worsted weight yarn for the pattern), I just wanted to join a sock club. For Jan., I am doing St. Brigid's Canomoyle Socks (Rav. link).
  • 2011 Christmas Once a Month. This is a schedule of my own devising. I'm working on one Christmas present a month this year in the hopes that I will not be frantically working on Christmas presents in November and December. First up, the Pembroke Vest for nephew H.
  • Embroidery Companion Sew Along. This is based on the book Embroidery Companion by Alicia Paulson. The first project is the Days of the Week teatowels. I've done a fair bit of cross-stitch but almost no straight up embroidery and have always wanted to try it. This seemed like a good opportunity to start.
  • Stitch by Stitch. This is my own thing. I received the book Stitch by Stitch by Deborah Moebes for Christmas and am going to try to do at least one project from it a month. The book is a real learn-to-sew book. It assumes you know absolutely nothing. It even gives you patterns for paper templates to practice sewing curves. The projects are meant to be done in order as each one is building a new skill and taking advantage of skills you have built from previous projects. Having sewn a few skirts, I'm not a complete newbie, but I think doing these projects will teach me a lot about how to sew with more polish. It comes with patterns for the garments (which are towards the end of the book), but I'm a little concerned about them, because I would need to lose something like 30 or 40 pounds to fit into the largest size. While I would like to lose that much weight I'm really hoping to be pregnant by the time I reach those projects. Maybe I'll sew them for someone else? (Like my mom who is thin.)
That's a lot of crafting! And, I confess, the only thing I've started is the vest. I don't even have the book for the embroidery one! (Note to self: buy embroidery book tomorrow.) Also, I have some friends with babies due so I want to knit for them, too. I guess I'd better get started!


  1. Hey you!!! I'm so glad to see you pop up in my RSS feed!

    CONGRATULATIONS on getting your PHD!! I've thought of you often and hoped you were approaching your goal.

    I hope to see you in my feed more often!

  2. Congratulations on your Advanced Degree!

    The gift-a-month idea is a good one. One year I made about five gifts over the summer and it did make the holidays a bit easier. I still overdid the last-minute knitting, though.

    On your more recent post: Congrats on the kitty! You are the second blogger I've read today who has a new cat, and whaddyaknow, so do we! We kidnapped a stray from my friend's barn -- too cold to leave it out there any longer. Now to introduce her to our evil feral cat Milo. He might think she's a snack.

    Happy blogging. I'm trying to keep up this year; my blog reading took a dive in 2010.