Wooly Weather

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that when the weather turns cold, a knitter must be in want of good wool and a hot beverage.

It’s that time of year again. The time to bundle up in thick scarves, chunky sweaters, over-sized hats, and drink copious amounts of tea and coffee to ward away the afternoon drowsiness which accompanies darker evenings.

For me, this weather is perfect. I hate the heat, though my complaint actually lies with over-exposure to the sun (I’m super pale. Like, I glow in the sunlight in early spring. And I’m as red as a lobster in the summer). Right now I’m really excited to break out the wool socks and mittens. I’d be super happy if it snowed this week, but I know that it wouldn’t be a good thing for those who are still out of power from Sandy (like my parents; they already got half a foot of snow last night).

Still, my idea of a perfect winter afternoon is curling up in a huge armchair in front of a fire, snow swirling outside the windows, shelves of books host to infinite new worlds, my cat in my lap, and knitting in my hands. Some quiet music would be nice, too. Maybe some tea on a table beside me.

Biltmore LibraryTudor house in Elmira NY

Well, at the moment I’m lacking snow, a fireplace and my cat, but I have some form of the rest at school. The reading room has wonderful chairs to curl up in, Barnes and Noble is only a bus ride away, I have my iPod, I just bought a cup of coffee, and my knitting is in my backpack beside me.

When it comes to hobbies, I am not your average 20 year old. My art prof saw my knitting this past week and asked “Shouldn’t you be texting or something? Constantly tapping away at technology?”

Trust me, I do my fair share of that, but my answer will always be “No, I’d rather be knitting.” And what I knit isn’t your typical scarf or blanket either.

I started knitting when I was homeschooled, and made little stuffed animals and knick knacks but nothing very complicated. I stopped knitting for a few years, and then got back into it in high school when I was given sock yarn one Christmas. Since then, I’ve made

socks

First pair of knitted socks!

hats

Polka-Dot hat - took me forever!Blue Beret

scarves

Scarf in Progress

and now I design my own patterns. Which, let me tell you, involves more math than you think (Reasons why it’s good to have math core at Loyola).

I actually have Loyola to thank for getting me started on designing patterns. When I visited here my senior year of high school, I wore a hat my sister had knitted for me, but lost it when my mom and I were checking out Fells Point. I was really ticked because it was something my sister had put a lot of work into and I really liked wearing it. So, instead of associating bad karma with the school, I decided that I would try to make my own hat. I sketched out ideas, looked at other hat patterns, and came up with this:

Designs for my first hatLove wearing this, it's so soft and warm!

Since then I’ve made leg warmers, a fez, hand warmers, sweater motifs, and a Batman hat

How I plan out patterns: lots of graph paper!For my friend Ben :D

I currently have a Superman hat in the works!

Pattern in Progress

Writing patterns and knitting is so much more suitable for cold weather. Soft wool slipping through your fingers, smooth needles click clacking away, and the rhythmic hand motions are all very soothing.

I think it’s time to end this and take out my knitting. Productive Procrastination!

Philofoodlibrology

What’s your idea of the perfect day?

(A partial answer will be revealed shortly)

This is a slight alteration to the question my Philosophy professor asked in class last week: What criteria do we require for a perfect class?

You’d be surprised how many things we came up with, and how many of them we’d take as a given. For instance, you’d think it’d be easy to get perfect attendance or be in a good environment, but in a class of 28 someone is bound to get sick and the basement of Beatty Hall is overheated. Some of the more interesting answers ran along the intellectual line: participation, open minds, enthusiasm (both of the teacher and students), and incentive. However, the final requirement my professor listed kind of stuck with me this weekend: When class is over, you want it to continue.

How many students can say they’ve been in a class they wished wouldn’t end?

Well, I have, but only twice.

But that isn’t the point of this little story, we can discuss the American education system at another time (haha).

What I’m trying to get at is this: We all value our weekends: the time to kick back and procrastinate about papers while we hang out with friends and laugh so hard our stomachs hurt. But how often have we had a weekend that we want to continue, to extend for just a few hours longer not because we want to avoid the week ahead, but because we love the moment in which we are living?

This is why I decided to take a little escapade to Barnes & Nobles.

I powered through my homework on Friday night (still life for art) and Saturday (readings readings and more readings) so that on Sunday I could sleep in and hit the fun books.

By fun books I mean A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin (who, incidentally, was on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! last week). I really like fantasy books, especially ones that pull you into a completely different world and you can lose yourself in for hours.

While I was reading, I met a volunteer for Barack Obama’s campaign here in Baltimore. She was really nice and we had a brief chat about the election (she got to meet Michelle and hear her speech at Morgan State!). Of course, at some point I had to catch the Collegetown Shuttle back home, so here I sit writing and watching the Emmys (I believe in Sherlock!) as my roommate makes baked ziti for dinner.

I really wish I had a bit more time to chill out this weekend. Another day to enjoy the crisp autumn weather, a few more hours to read for fun, a few more moments to meet new people.

Maybe the James Taylor and Allman Brothers Band CDs I bought can brighten my walks across campus. My new soundtrack for the fall!