All posts by Taneya Koonce

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Day!

For my present to Kalonji, I knitted the Dr. Who scarf and I completed it just in time for the holiday. The scarf is ridiculously long; it took me more than 100 hours to knit – but I thoroughly enjoyed knitting it!  If you know anything about Dr. Who, this scarf was worn by the 4th Doctor. This is my Christmas and Anniversary present to Kalonji.  :-)

And, at home today we are having a quiet day. Kaleya has opened her presents – one of which is a digital camera so watch out for photos from her later on!

The Family that Knits Together

Knitting & crocheting extravaganza in our house this past weekend.  Since starting the Dr. Who scarf, the kids have all expressed interest in learning.  So, learn they did!

Miles has started a scarf. It will be red, black and green and the stripe pattern is based on the Dr. Who scarf.  It won’t be nearly as long though.  I’ll share pics once he get’s more done.

I learned how to knit on a loom and taught Kaleya & Q.  They are jointly working on a scarf and doing a great job! Jihad has done a few rows here and there, and plans to start his own scarf after they do theirs.  Looks like I have to make a trip to Michael’s to pick up another loom sometime. :-)

Kaleya_Knitting1

 

Q_knitting1

And, I taught myself how to make crocheted granny squares!

grannysquare_v2rev

I’m hooked. I want to make a bedspread now for our bed.  It will be a huge one too – king sized! I’m thinking a bunch of individual squares like this one – but with a different color scheme.

Meanwhile, I continued working on Kalonji’s Dr. Who scarf and have now made it 2/3 of the way through. I’m on Row 744 of 1042; that’s about 70% through – only about 300 more rows to go. Whoo-hoo!

drwhoscarf_2013-12-08rev

I am enjoying working on his scarf so much, I decided to make another one – for me. Kinda funny since he’s the Dr. Who fan.  But, mine will not have the original coloring – instead, I’m going vibrant! And, I’m crocheting it instead of knitting it.  I am using Caron Simply Soft yarn and my colors are Iris, Off White, Limelight, Sunshine, Dark Country Blue, Grey Heather and Red.

drwhoscarf2yarn

Since I am crocheting the scarf, I’m having to figure out how many rows to do, and it seems that with my gauge, I can get away with cutting the knit row county by 4.  And, the yarn I am using is finer than the yarn for Kalonji’s scarf, so mine won’t be as heavy.  Furthermore, I reduced my scarf’s width to 8 inches.  I think I am going to love it when it’s done! Here is my first progress pic at about 11% complete.

drwhoscarf_taneya_2013-12-08rev

 

My Return to Knitting – Dr. Who Scarf

In the past few months, Kalonji has become a huge Dr. Who fan.  And, he’s turned Kaleya into one too! It’s so cute.  Last night, he took her out on a daddy + daughter date to go see the 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor.”

Then, this morning, Kalonji sends me a picture of the scarf worn by the 4th Doctor and told me he wanted one.  To which I replied – “I’ll make it for you!”

4th Doctor figurine

And, make it for him I will. I’m actually quite excited – I haven’t knit in about 12 years so it will be fun to return to it.  This will by my Christmas and Anniversary present to Kalonji.

A funny thing though is that when I showed the picture of the scarf to Kaleya, she recognized it – and, when I asked who from the show wore it, she replied “The 4th Doctor.”  Wow! Not just any Doctor – she knew it was the 4th one.  #smh

It may take me forever and a day, but I am going to enjoy doing this while doing my binge TV watching.  Tonight we went to Michael’s and I picked up the yarn for it. The pattern was easy enough to find and as colorful as it it, there are only 7 colors used in it – not too bad.  The colors as you see in the picture is not quite true to what they are in person, and the colors I’ve chosen are not quite “true” to the original – but it’s close enough for Kalonji.

I took the time to figure out my gauge and everything, so the final product will be about 12 inches wide and 12 feet long.  Vanna White’s Vanna’s Choice yarn by LionBrand (mostly- there is one exception). I am using size 6 needles (14 inch long) and the scarf will be 50 stitches wide.

Looks like most of my genealogy projects will have to go on hiatus in the month of December.  :-)

I Heart Snagit for Chrome

Over the weekend, I learned that TechSmith, the company that makes Snagit, a screen capture program, and Jing (another screen capture program and one I use often) has now released a Chrome extension and app for Snagit. Yeah!

Why am I so excited? Because I operate, as much as possible, in the cloud.  Though I have a few programs I locally install, I try to avoid them in favor of apps and Chrome extensions as the latter provides much greater flexibility.  Using apps and Chrome extensions makes it easy for me to do my work in a manner independent of a specific device.  So far, I have not been thrilled by the various ways in which I do screen capture as I end up bouncing back and forth between 3 different tools – Awesome Screenshot, Windows Snipping Tool, and Jing.

But this week, Snagit for Chrome was released and I have installed it and so far, so good!

What I like about it?

  • duh! it’s a chrome extension
  • when you capture, the image is automatically saved to a Google Drive folder that gets newly created – so, I don’t have to take the extra step to hit a “save” button
  • b/c the images are in my Google Drive – I have that folder linked to my Picasa Web and so I can manage photos in Picasa
  • just like Jing, screen capture dimensions are shown as you take the capture
  • just like Jing, there are tools to add text, shapes, and lines of different colors
  • u can quickly get a URL for easy sharing and the url is automatically sent to  your clipboard (thus, avoiding the need to hit Ctrl+C) – they get bonus points for using goo.gl URL shortner :-)
  • once you take the capture, if you start typing, your cursor is automatically in the title field to edit the image title
  • the “app” part of it allows you to quickly access your image library in Google Chrome

What I would like next?

  • the ability to crop images
  • ability to save the image to clipboard (in case I want to quickly import in a presentation — the Windows Snipping Tool does this)
  • ability to capture whole screen (below the fold) — Awesome Screenshot does this
  • the ability to screencast
  • would be nice to have a way to send to my Google online photo gallery (selecting a specific folder for it to go into)

Great job to the TechSmith team for making this available! So far so good and I eagerly look forward to future updates that will hopefully add extra functionality.

Yarn Braid Beauty

10 hours of braiding later, I have finally finished Kaleya’s yarn braids! This has been a long time coming. :-)

I first read about yarn braids around a year ago.  I liked the idea of doing her braids with yarn as it looks natural.  We have not used any chemicals in her hair ever (e.g. relaxers), and as challenging as it is to do her hair in its natural state, we are very committed to not putting a relaxer in her  hair.

This summer, I put twists in her hair and it’s pretty much been in that style since. I have loved the twists – they are a great protective hairstyle and she’s enjoyed having them. So, I began to really consider switching to yarn braids as not only is it also a protective style, but the yarn would add consistency to the dimension of each braid and the yarn adds weight. Many thanks to Rory of the Chocolate Hair/ Vanilla Care site for all the tips and info she’s posted about yarn braid extensions – it was all a great help!

Between 10 hours of braiding last night and today, we are now done! And, Kaleya loves them! I personally love how they look – they do indeed look natural, and I made the decision to just tie them in a knot at the end and cut off the excess. These should hopefully last around 6-8 weeks. I could get used to this :-)

loving her braids

back view

side view

SchoolHouse Rock Live

What a great afternoon we had yesterday! Thanks to free tickets from the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee we were able to see a sensory-sensitive performance of Schoolhouse Rock Live yesterday at Nashville Children’s Theatre.

It was actually our first time going to the Nashville Children’s Theatre, so we didn’t even know where it was located. Fortuantely, it was quite easy to find. And, it’s behind the Howard School Building, which is where Kalonji and I were married :-)

Nashville Children’s Theatre

We saw Schoolhouse Rock Live! (which, until the show actually started, I had in my mind we were going to see a live performance of School of Rock – shows how much I was paying attention! )  I’m not the biggest fan of Schoolhouse Rock, but Kalonji is, so it made total sense why he snatched up the tickets after getting the email about it.

It was great too! The performance included many Schoolhouse Rock songs – including a few that I even knew.   I think my favorite was 3 is a Magic Number. Just something about the music.  The sensory-sensitive aspects of the show were a great accommodation – they didn’t ask fussy children to leave the theater proper, loud or surprising moments in the performance were preceded by a red glow light.  At one point in the performance, they even threw balls into the audience for everyone to bounce around. I don’t know if that was specifically a sensory adaptation, but Q loved it! I almost got hit in the head with one of the balls :-)

Mr. Morton was the closing song and I’d say I may have to start liking that one too.

Kalonji’s favorite Schoolhouse Rock song is “I’m Just a Bill.” He loves that song.

It was a great show. And the cast signed autographs afterwards

pic is blurry, but Q waits for an autograph

I have to say, I may be a fan of Schoolhouse Rock now :-)  Many thanks to the Autism Society for providing the opportunity. We are so grateful for having them as a resource, not only for our serious needs, but for the fun ones too!

A Glimpse Into My Job

I have a very interesting job.  And, trying to explain what I do is not always easy.

By training, I am a medical librarian and work at a major academic medical center. I also have a degree in public health.  My official title is Health Knowledge Information Specialist. I relish in the fact that I have the opportunity to be involved in so many different types of projects at my job and the bulk of what I do on a day-to-day basis is project-based work.  There are so many ways to to provide information science and knowledge management in a health sciences environment and we do many interesting and innovative activities – including conducting major research initiatives. Conventional, we are not. :-)

We have a recently published paper in the Journal of the Medical Library Association that describes how we strategically align our work to the core missions of our medical center. I love this mandala my Director created that visually shows how we focus our work around what the medical center is striving to accomplish.  Click on the image to see it larger.

mandala

 You can read the article online at PubMed Central for more details.  #lovewhatido