This is the start of a baby blanket for some friends who are due over the summer. Honestly, my friends just need to slow down procreating - this is, what? My sixth baby blanket now? Anyway, this is kind of a cross between KnitPicks' Carnival Baby Blanket (pattern and link no longer available, although Ravelers can see projects here) and a circular Spiderman blanket I found online. I liked the circular chevron shape of the Spiderman blanket, but wanted something a little more baby-ish and sweet. Since they don't want to know the gender of the baby, I got to have some fun with the colors. Unfortunately, the green doesn't show up very well in the photos. I'll have to work on that. It's pretty shapeless right now on the needles, but I'm estimating that it's currently about 18" in diameter right now, maybe a little less. I'm using Bernat's CottonTots again, since I liked it so much the first time.
I also finished these, finally:
My HSS3 socks. Jaywalker pattern, in Cosmic Fiber's Ravenclaw 2nd Year colorway. This is the first time I have ever gotten Jaywalkers to size properly to my feet (which, luckily, are about the same size as my pal's), and of course, I have to give them away. The colors kind of looked better in the skein than knitted up, but yet, I still like them a lot. There's a little bit of flashing, but more in the darker v. lighter sense than actual colors flashing. I did these guys toe-up, with a picot bind-off at the cuff, because I wasn't sure how much yarn I would need, and frankly, I was not in the mood to deal with ribbing when I got to that point on the first sock. The picot is also a much looser bind-off, so I'm hoping that goes to helping fit my pal even better. I am still waiting for the stitch markers, but then I'll send the package off! (It's only about a month late at this point - I was a terrible pal this time around. I hope the package will make up for it!)
I also have one more FO, but I can't share it yet.
Let's see...other than that? Work has been fine. We're getting ready to close this weekend in Santa Maria, take two weeks off this show, then come back, do a week of pickup and put-in rehearsals, tech for 12 hours, and then start the run all over again in Solvang. While Solvang definitely has it's share of quirks and inconveniences, it will be extremely nice to be able to call a show without being doped up. I'm apparently very allergic to some dust or whatever in the booth at the Marian. It takes my body about twenty minutes to react, causing my sinuses to fill up, which then makes it difficult a.) to hear the show because my ears are clogged and b.) to breathe, because I can't breathe through my nose as there is too much junk in the way, and I can't breathe through my mouth because I have to talk almost constantly during the show. Luckily, a single dose of Claritin or equivalent will usually prevent it, if I remember to take it in advance. In that way, it's better than the outdoor allergies, which seem to involve the more stereotypical sneezing and sinus pressure, and the only stuff that seems to kick it is Benadryl, which has the unforunate tendency to knock me out. (I missed a whole evening of class due to that stupid drug last week!)
Class is going pretty well. Monday was a little rough this week for some reason. It was just hard to want to go to kickboxing in the first place, and then it felt like I just could not do anything right during either of the tkd classes. Had trouble with my board break (surprise. No, I shouldn't think that way! Bad!), could not remember forms or one-steps for anything, etc. Haganah the next night was better - I did a total of 60 pushups last night! 3 sets of 20, alternating with sets of squats. They actually did not hurt at all, and I didn't have to go on my knees for any of them! This gives me much more confidence for the physical part of my black belt test this summer. I still need to work on grappling, though. We just started doing it in regular FIGHT class, although most of the guys have been messing around with it for a while, and it is a VERY different skill and muscle set than I am used to! Tonight's classes were much better - I got partnered with a beginner in kickboxing and a much lower belt in regular tkd class, and that is always interesting. I only blanked once in the middle of a form I was leading in instructor class, too, which is a first. I DO work on the forms outside of class, of course, and am making pretty good progress on them - the only ones I really would not be completely comfortable leading through are green, purple, and brown belt forms (Songham 5, In Wah 1, and Choong Jung 1), those just won't stay in my head for some reason - but usually as soon as Sir calls my name and the form to lead, it goes straight out of my head, and I want to say "I HAVE been practicing! I DO know this! Even though it totally doesn't look like it!" I didn't feel like that tonight, though, which was awesome.
I had a realization, though. There is a group of teens/tweens in regular class that are only a few belts below me at most. A couple of them are in my belt block, the rest are in the block just behind me. They are all Leadership students, yet they are often unfocused, mildly disrespectful, disruptive, and their forms and techniques aren't strong. (Yes, Sir knows this and is cracking down hard on it, but he can't be everywhere.) I often see the ones that are my belt level and think "This is so not fair. I'm doing so much more work than they are, yet at the next testing, they're going to get the exact same reward as I am." Then it dawned on me. These guys would never be encouraged to take a FIGHT class and be missed if they didn't come. They would never be asked to help teach a kickboxing class. They would never even be allowed to take the instructor class that I feel so clumsy in. I AM being rewarded for my efforts. I'm doing more work because I've earned the right to do it. Mr. R and Sir were teasing me at the end of the night for being a walking "triple crown" - I'd worn my kickboxing t-shirt, my FIGHT pants, and of course, my tkd belt. They are the only other people in the entire school who can honestly say they are actively involved in all three styles at once. (Sir babysits while Mrs. S does kickboxing, but I know he helps her come up with new ways to torture us.) That's pretty darn good company to be in!