Yeah, okay, hi blog. Sorry I haven’t posted, I have another post in the works as well. I got busy writing grades, then I got busy bullying my kids (only figuratively, I promise) into getting their work done, then I got really sick Thursday morning with a sore throat leading into a pounding headache and inability to stand, and spent from about 3 pm that day until the early hours of Saturday morning asleep, except for breaks to drink more water, tea, or juice mixed with Pepsi Max.

And before you criticize, colas actually are sort of good for your throat in that they open in up- also Pepsi Max has ginseng but no calories, and the reason I hate juice is that it is so sugary. Seriously, even things like orange juice that are supposedly so good for you? Lies. I have better results when I feel a little iffy eating a couple of real oranges than I do drinking orange juice, plus then I actually fill my stomach, rather than consuming liquids, which never register in your brain as actual nourishment unless they’re milkshakes of whey protein, but anyway my hatred of commercially produced fluids can wait for another day- and I do not like to drink juice straight because it does not go down my palate well. For the record I had apple elderberry juice, because apple juice also helps your digestion. Now, where was I?

Ah, yes. So I got behind on everything non-school and even on school a bit, but there you are, story of my life these days. This week I just have to get through and then I get a day off/optional workday on Monday, then the joyous four day week after. I like the shorter workweek even more than the longer weekend, if I’m  being honest.

Anyway, speaking of getting up to date, what I have finished, most recently, on my needles (which would be about 2 weeks ago now):

Pattern: Norah Gaughan’s Hypatia from Vol. 5 of her patterns for Berroco.

Size: XS (32 bust).

Mods: None, except…

Yarn: The yarn I used for this was salvaged from a clearly hand-knit vest I found at one of the thrift stores here for the grand total of 50 euro cents a few months ago. I unwound it, unsure what to do with it, and then settled on this, as something I had wanted to do for awhile. However, it was clearly more of a heavier lace weight than the DK-type weight the pattern called for, so when done on the right needle size it came out in a more lacy, breezy quality, which I liked, and so I decided to do the smallest size and figured it would come out the right way, and it did. This is incidentally something I did with the last Norah Gaughan pattern I knit (which I still haven’t shared. Oops. I promise I will). In that case, I used the worsted weight the pattern called for and slightly bigger needles, partly because I didn’t have the right size. I also think that there is a little more give in her designs than the measurements suggest, so rather than going up a size- the next size on this was a 36- and possibly having a garment too big to wear the way I wanted it, I would rather risk needing to stretch it, block it, and possibly beat it for being too small.

For actual statistics’ sake, this yarn appears to be a cotton blend of some sort. I think the original Berroco form was a wool blend. The type worked just fine for the way I wanted it to be.

…And some more views. Yes, I need a photographer. Working on it.

Anyway, I think it turned out the way it was supposed to. Do I like it? Mostly, yes.

It was recently brought to my attention that I am in fact an X- Shape Body Type, which basically means that I have proportional, and curvy, hips and shoulders, short legs, and a well-defined waist when I can keep it that way- in other words, I have a legit “hourglass figure”, as the glam mags like to say. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, and in fact it’s kind of nice, it’s just that in this era it’s hard to admit to yourself that you’re an Hourglass without feeling lame, unless you look like Christina Hendricks. Which isn’t to say that I want to, I mean she’s gorgeous, but those things could double as both airbags and flotation devices, which not only would get in the way on my long runs, I imagine it also gets her invited to a lot of unsolicited off road driving, backpacking, and canoeing trips because, well, everybody could use a little more in the way of safety equipment. My point is, every girl’s curves feel like pretty lame sauce in comparison.

But anyway, since I am apparently this “X Shape” I have suddenly become more aware of the need to wear things that are actually form-fitting, or at least in the right places. Not that I didn’t before, it’s just that I was suddenly made aware that curves can actually look better, rather than worse, if you draw attention to them, or rather draw attention to them by accentuating the absence of them in your waist, whatever a waist you have. I know, I know, tell that to every single middle school girl. Yes, I was there once as well. With that in mind, I was not entirely sure if this vest would do what I wanted, but I think it does as long as I balance it out with things like the black form-fitting turtleneck (another 50 cent find) and Express “skinny” jeans (acquired in a clothes swap last spring’s Reading Day, they admittedly fit a little more like straight legs now. Seriously, I would recommend the Central European diet to anyone. Minus, you know, the meat and alcohol. So I guess I would recommend the Central European Walk Everywhere and then Go For A Run diet. Or regimen. Or thing).  I hope it will also look good in the warmer weather over another tank top, since I obviously can’t wear it alone and it is a very light fabric. And did I mention the yarn source was 50 cents and I still have enough for a lace shawl I’ve been wanting to make? So, in general, win.

A few other random musings around the city:

  • Grades are really hard to give. We grade on numbers, 5 being failing and 1 being best. Our kids, as one of my fellow teachers put it, tend to “know everything…except why he’s getting a 4 in my class.” Not that any of mine are failing, it’s just a little overwhelming the first time to think,  wow, suddenly they think they’re all getting 1s because I never singled them out to talk about grades. They think this even when they got 2s and 3s on tests. This bites. Which is because I like my students, I legitimately like every single one of them, and I don’t mean it personally when I give them a lower grade than 1, but try telling them that.
  • One of my colleagues- and I am a little sad to say one of the ones I don’t always get along with- is in the hospital with an illness. I don’t know the latest update, but the family is in need of money even though the expenses are paid for by the state (See, sometimes national health care can help. Admittedly not all the time.). Prayers would be appreciated, or even just thoughts/commiserations.
  • I’m apparently good at cards. A couple of weeks ago I won about 12 euro playing blackjack, as I do about once a month, and no one else in our group won anything that day, and last night in a Texas Hold-Em tournament I played with 8 of my guy friends(yeah, I don’t even know how I get myself into this), I got third and got my 5 euro entry to the pot back. So I didn’t lose anything, at least. I say that the real secret is I’m good at betting, and even better at not betting, so I don’t lose my money. Yeah, my favourite kinds of risks are the ones with no risks at all.
  • Last Sunday I spent a really nice time with several of my friends at one guy’s house. Despite the fact that he is the only local I know who does not drink alcohol, his parents were still pretty slow to stop trying to ply me with wine/spirits/what have you, even when I said no. They were a bit unbelieving that I wanted, actually, none, not even a little. They also found out that I was a vegetarian, as well as one of our other friends, and that I didn’t even eat fish (apparently fish is, like, as vegetable-like as spinach out here, because this comes up wherever I go). And then they found out that I was left-handed. As I told my friend and his brother, “Oh, I have all sorts of weird habits”…making me realize that as weird as I am here, I’m really not that much less weird in the United States. Food for thought.
  • Considering I am starting to think that even about 20 degrees Fahrenheit is cold, I really won’t ever be able to hand a winter in Minnesota, all the way through, ever again. In some ways this does not really upset me.
  • I think I had something else to add, but I forget it now, so I’ll just stop while I’m ahead.

Anyway, I hope to write a little more frequently this coming week, but we will have to see, of course. I wish you all well in your writing/crafting/body shaping adventures.


Author: elizabethlorraine

Writer, actress, runner, knitter, and geek.

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