Sunday, January 28, 2007
1. I am a hoarder. I keep things forever. The less delicate among you might even call me a pack rat. I don’t throw stuff out because I am certain that there will come a time that I will need said stuff. (I have been developing my need for a yarn stash long before I became a knitter.)
2. I am a terrible housekeeper.
3. I love grocery shopping.
4. I hate doing laundry.
5. I love to cook but I hate to clean up – especially, I hate washing dishes.
5b. My husband claims that I am not content with a meal I have cooked until I have dirtied every pot and pan in the kitchen. I tell him that every girl has to have something that she is the best at and I guess that's mine.
6. My favorite color is red.
7. I am a Christian. I was raised Southern Baptist and continue to attend a Southern Baptist church. I am proud of my religious upbringing.
8. I spent time in the Ukraine after my senior year of high school with a church group.
9. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Given the opportunity, I would go back in a minute. Without hesitation.
10. As household chores go, I like ironing the best.
11. I like vanilla and vanilla-based ice creams the most. Baskin-Robbins’s Pralines & Cream is my all time favorite.
Why Call It Self-Portrait Sunday If It Seldom Includes a Picture?
Once I can walk around again on any consistent basis, I have vowed to myself that I am going to take more interesting pictures - both of me and my knitting and of other people. For now though, I took this picture on Tuesday after I came home from my visit to the doctor. It was the first time I'd put make-up on since having surgery so I decided it was a photo-worthy occasion.
So What's Been Going on Around Here?
It seems I haven't had much to say lately. I have been knitting socks. See?
That is sock number 1, just past the gusset. Actually, it is the second sock. I knit the first one through the heel turn and then cast on for the second. So, while it was the first sock to make it this far along, it is actually the second sock. Not that that matters to anyone but me....
That sock is now to the toe decreases stage and is resting on a piece of scrap yarn while I knit the second sock to the same spot. (The second sock is currently about 1 inch beyond the gusset decreases so there has been significant progress made as a pair.)
A thousand wooly thank you's to RC for holding my hand - all the way from PA! - through this new and scary and fabulous sock knitting business. I am thrilled and mesmerized by the wonderful miraculous world of sock knitting. I am well and truly hooked. I have, in fact, already placed an order for some new and delicious sock yarn. Does anyone have any experience with Lisa Souza yarns? I've read lots of rave reviews throughtout blogland and decided to take the leap when I discovered what may just be the perfect red. (St. Valentine)
As for the ankle, the staples came out Tuesday and it's feeling pretty good, considering. I was spared the cast (hurray) and as soon as I can get it on without crying, I will be in the boot. I had it on yesterday for nearly 5 minutes. (Yes, it does occur to me that the fact that I am celebrating 5 minutes with the boot on is a sure sign that a) I don't have much to celebrate and b) I may surely be heading squarely off the deep end.)
So that's it from this end. I am going back to work later this week. I've been working at home the last few days and will until I go back to work Wednesday. I am half thrilled about it and half horrified.
Further, in the spirit of updating, thanks again to all of you for your kind words and warm wishes to the SIL, Lori. She is well on her way to mending and is heading back to work tomorrow. I will be waiting for a full report from her on what we've missed in the last two weeks.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Saturday and Sunday are pretty much a pain/pain medicine induced blur. Yesterday was the first day that I did anything much more than sleep. And while I was awake, I did this:
and started this:
The yarn for both is Cherry Tree Hill's Supersock in the Peacock colorway and I'm using metal Susan Bates dpns in size 0. I have heard it said that getting started when knitting a sock on double pointed needles is a bit like lassoing an octopus. I would say that is a pretty accurate description. The size 0's are SO TINY. They feel almost fragile. It took a little getting used to but now I think I have the hang of it. It feels like it is going to take forever to knit a pair of socks but I am optimistic.
The Gory Details
My ankle is still really swollen and, of course, still hurting ridiculously bad. Here is the little incision on the top of my ankle where he repaired the cartilage (and took note that the graft he did in August is doing "exceptionally well").
Then here is the big incision, where he fixed the tendons.Next Tuesday, he will take out the staples (8 and 16, respectively) and then he will put on a hard cast, which I will be in for 4 weeks.
“If the work of God could be comprehended by reason, it would be no longer wonderful, and faith would have no merit if reason provided proof.” Pope Gregory I, c. 600
Friday, January 12, 2007
Here we have a completed Hedgehog, again from the Fiber Trends pattern I used for Christmas.
Resting peacefully on the towel warmer (which has only occasionally been used to warm towels but is great for drying towels as well has sweaters) we find the beautiful Briar Rose Abundance.
Isn't she loverly? And so soft! (You will have to take my word for it on the soft but really, very soft.) Before this fabulous package arrived to me, I had made up my mind to make myself a wrap using the Cozy pattern from Knitty. I love this wrap and came within a snap of making it for the ISE last fall but was afraid I would want to keep it for myself. I knew I want this wrap for myself so I decided not to take the chance (sorry, Kim). The color of this Abundance is luscious and gorgeous and rich and wonderful and just exactly what I wanted for me - I am a sucker for the reds (Thank You Chris!! It really is just perfect) - and I thought it would translate well to the Cozy pattern (which calls for a silk yarn of appoximately the same gauge as the Abundance) but now I am wavering. Any opinions?
RC, you are a sock pusher, too, just like Kim! Are ya'll in a gang or something? Seriously, I will start the sock soon. Before I go back to work in a couple weeks. OK?
For now, though, I have made a decision about the hospital knitting. Ya'll should have known...I chose the option that included a visit to the yarn store, of course! I picked out this ChaChain the Salsa colorway. Last night, I cast on and knit a few rounds just so that the fiddly part of getting the ChaCha going in the round was behind me. It has been so long since I have knit with fun fur (other than when carried along with the hedgehogs) and it is amazing how slimy and weird the ChaCha feels in my hand. I plan to do this one and probably another one before the February 28 deadline. I have several balls and parts of balls of the black Patons Allure (I have a quickie little baby bootie pattern that I've done several times from this yarn and they are precious) that need a home and this seems perfect. This is a really wonderful cause and I am thrilled to be knitting for it.
A Side Note
Last night, I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and just couldn't make myself go back to sleep. Eventually I figured reading would tire my eyes and I got up and got a book from the shelf. It is one I have been wanting to read but just haven't gotten around to it. A Cure for Dreams by Kaye Gibbons. These are the first two lines of the first chapter:
"When my mother was a young girl, she spent the pinks of summer evenings sitting on the banks of the Brownies Creek, where it flows into the Cumberland River. She always sat with a ball of worsted in her lap, knitting and dreaming of love coming to her."
Somehow it just made my heart happy. I went to sleep about 20 minutes later. Incidentally, Kaye Gibbons is one of my favorite authors. I highly recommend Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman and Charms for the Easy Life and anything else you can find by her. Something of hers is quite likely to be my next Book on CD purchase. Probably this, in fact, when I find it on CD..
When I went to the yarn store for the ChaCha, I was feeling a little fidgety and squirrely. It took me forever to make up my mind on the fun fur. I figured I needed some little something to settle my nerves.
Sakura by Noro seemed to do the trick.
I think that's it for now. I will probably be back around some time next week. Have a wonderful weekend!
“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor to measure words but to pour them all out, just as it is, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keeping what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” George Elliot
Thursday, January 11, 2007
1. Thank you for all of your prayers and kind words. Lori went home about 10:30 this morning and is doing well, all things considered. I have a sneaking suspicion she will spent the next 2 or 3 days sleeping.
2. I finished the alpaca hedgehog and plan to felt it this evening. We'll keep our fingers crossed that I remember to take pre-felting pictures. This guy is smaller now than the first two were after felting so I think he will be small and cute. Which is what I was going for so that's good. I've never felted with this particularly yarn before so I am a little nervous. (If my knitting ever gets documented in a television show - a very boring, very strange tv show - then this would be the time for some suspenseful music and a commercial break.)
3. The finished hedgehog means, of course, that I am now allowed to start the tiny sock in the Keychain Sock Blocker Sock that Kim sent me. I have cast on but that's as far as I got before I had to do something else. Hopefully tonight. (Baby steps, I guess.)
4. The Abundance arrived yesterday from Chris. HURRAY!!! It is waiting patiently next to my swift. This skein, true to its name, is quite abundant and I have no idea how I am going to wind it without making it into smaller balls, which, really, may be the best route. I have never had this much yarn in one glorious, continuous strand. So lovely. I'll post a picture of it tonight and I'll tell you then what I am contemplating doing with it for the knitalong. At least, what I think I am thinking about doing with it. Now that I have the yarn in hand, I'm not sure that what I have in mind is what it really wants to be...
5. I need something simple to knit on during the hour and a half I will be sitting around at the hospital tomorrow before my surgery. There is always a fairly good chance that they will give me something "to help me relax" and I won't be capable of following a pattern. Waiting for the last surgery, I worked on a baby washcloth. I'm thinking I'd rather not repeat this ill-fated knitting. I have signed up to knit a hat or two for Kate's project for the Children's Hospital of Boston but I haven't gotten the fun fur yet. If I have time to stop at the yarn shop on the way home tonight, I might cast on for this tomorrow because really, a fun fur hat knit in the round ranks pretty low on the knitting-that-requires-thinking scale.
I think that is it. I've had a lot of coffee this morning and it is cold in my office. These two factors come together to make me blather on even more than usual. Ahh, well.
Pictures tonight. Oh, and an update on some simple knitting for tomorrow. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
"Keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was." -Lillian Carter (mother of former President, Jimmy Carter)
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
It is a rarity, indeed, to have a friendship that at once uplifts you and keeps you grounded. That warms you, heart and soul, while journeying with you through the cold, dark night.
In my sister-in-law, Lori, I have a friend like that. A friend who both sympathizes with my struggles and forces me to face reality. A friend who embraces me for what I am without letting me forget what I can become. It is a blessing to call her friend and an utter privilege to call her family. It is no understatement to say that marrying her is absolutely in the top 3 things my brother has ever done. She is a gift to all of us. If you have a moment, please pause in your day tomorrow and say a prayer for her – for both of them. At 31, Lori is having a hysterectomy tomorrow (Wednesday). While it isn’t her idea of the ideal route to take, it is the best thing for her and she is ready…but not ready, as I am sure you can imagine. She talks a little about it on her blog, so I won’t say any more about that. Please stop by over there and offer her a well wish or a kind word. If anyone deserves it, it is Lori.
“Sorrow comes in great waves…but it rolls over us. And though it may almost smother us, it leaves us. And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain.” Henry James
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Sheesh. I'm glad I've got that off my chest.
Self Portrait Sunday
1. I don’t have a particularly keen fashion sense. I wear things that Katy says will look nice on me (or things that she doesn’t wear anymore and passes along to me) and I do my make-up the way I do because either Katy or Lori has told me, “You should do this with your make-up.” I can acknowledge that I need help in these areas and most of the time their input doesn’t offend me. Most of the time.
2. I almost always wear lipstick when I go out of the house.
3. I love my family. We have our warts and our weirdness but somehow this makes me love them more. I sincerely enjoy family get togethers. Frequently this includes board games. We can be very competitive.
4. I miss my Daddo so much. And I wish I had had a chance to get to know my Nana (his wife) better before she passed away. (I was 3.)
5. I love my little dog Sally more than I consider reasonable.
6. I bite my nails – and I have as long as I can remember. I have tried to stop but have been unsuccessful. This is not a habit I expect to be able to kick.
7. I have issues about toilet paper. In my house, we only use the very best toilet paper. 2-ply. Very soft. We eat off brand cereal and use generic ibuprofen. There are things you can skimp on and things you can't. Also, when I put the toilet paper on the roll, it has to come over the top, NEVER from the bottom.
8. I am accident prone. It is sad, really. Once in a while, I think I’ve grown out of it, and then I do something clumsy again.
9. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping. Then I will have a night where I get like 12 hours of sleep and then still go to bed on time the next night. Is there such a thing as a binge sleeper?
10. For the longest time, I didn’t want to learn to knit because I had learned to crochet years ago and absolutely hated it with a burning passion. Now I knit voraciously.
11. I do modular origami. I do the regular kind, too, but modular is my favorite. I do a lot less origami since I learned to knit.
Friday, January 05, 2007
A Handknit in Action
It is a busy Friday around here but I wanted to show ya'll this picture:
That's Courtney's baby D in his one and only sweater. Isn't he cute??
Today I have a pre-op appointment. Next Friday I am having more surgery on my ankle. I've delayed telling ya'll cause I have been trying to pretend in my mind it isn't happening. It hasn't worked. (I am working on abiding by Today's Quote.)
Chris sent me this picture this morning showing the Abundance that she customed dyed for me for the Briar Rose KAL. (I chose the skein on the left.) So pretty! I have something in mind to knit for myself from this yarn. Any thoughts?
Have a wonderful Friday!
"I have learned to live each day as it comes, and not to borrow trouble by dreading tomorrow. It is the dark menace of the future that makes cowards of us." -Dorothy Dix
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
The anticipation is over - my scarf from Kim arrived today. Hurray!! It is beautiful. And if Kim had any concern as to whether or not I would like the color, she can rest easy knowing that the scarf is an almost identical match to the sweater I had on today when I received the scarf! (It was such a close match that I had to take off the sweater and photograph the scarf with my tank top so you could see it.) (We will refrain from any discussion of my fat arms or goofy expression. In my experience, self-portraits are seldom flattering.)
It is lovely - Rowan Felted Tweed in a perfectly wonderful green and cream with blue flecks. From what she tells me, she found the pattern when Dave did it for the ISE3 and then she bought it here. I really love it. This scarf does not have a right side and a wrong side but (I've decided) a right side and a reverse side. Cables up both sides. Simply fabulous.
See? Here is the front and the back side by side
Here we have, just for the fun of it, Lori modeling my scarf. She is such a cutie. Here's a close-up of the scarf in action.Also in the package with my scarf was this nifty little bundle. It is the Keychain Sock Blocker Sock. So cute. Kim and I have talked frequently about my (not so) secret desires to start knitting socks and my equally (not so) secret hesitation to take the plunge. She is a sneaky little knitter and apparently thought this unassuming, sweet, innocent-looking tiny sock would convince me to purchase a set of Size 0 dpns.
She was right. These came home with me today after a quick stop I accidentally made at the Hobby Shop on my way home from work. Knitting this little sock will be my incentive to finish the first of my mother's hedgehogs. (I've promised myself I wouldn't knit on anything else until I finished the hedgehogs.)
I would like to also mention that I went in to the Hobby Shop, I picked up these needles, a 16" Size 8 circular needle, paid for the needles and promptly walked out of the store. I didn't buy even one little inch of yarn. I did not even cast my eyes longingly in the direction of the yarn. (I'll tell you in a minute why this is not as virtuous as it might at first appear.)
Ya'll, the Kniterella is a sock pusher. Also, she takes much better arty pictures than I do. Go take a look.
One last thing before I call it a night
I've joined Kim and some others in the Briar Rose Knitalong.
"Come join us for a knit-along showcasing one (or two, or three...) yarns from Briar Rose Fibers. Order enough yarn for your project or find a pattern for the Briar Rose in your stash and get ready to cast-on. Chris, whose imagination is behind all of the hand painted heaven, has graciously offered a yarn "give away" from time-to-time. "
Chris does amazing work at Briar Rose. The yarns are beautiful and the colors stunning. I am really looking forward to getting started. I plan to knit something for myself.
I ordered my yarn today. (See? I'm not so innocent after all.) I chose Abundance in a just-for-me colorway of reds and reds and more reds. I will show it to you just as soon as I receive it, which, according to Chris should be some time next week.
"I wanted to be the first woman to burn her bra, but it would've taken the fire department four days to put it out." -Dolly Parton
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
My friend Kim tells me that she has knit a scarf for me and that it is in the mail somewhere between here and Michigan. I am so eagerly anticipating receiving. Of all the times to have the post office closed for three days in a row!! Luckily, I relish the anticipation. I can't wait to see it and touch it and have it in my hot little hands. AND I can't wait to show ya'll the pictures. Hurray!
This weekend we took down the Christmas tree and ferretted away all the decorations and today we were back to work, full-steam ahead. Here we are - back to the ho-hum, ins and outs, ups and downs of the every day. Am I the only one that feels a little deflated after the holidays?
"Southerners will forgive anybody anything if they have good manners. Once a particularly charming Congressman who had been a guest at a church dinner my mother had attended was caught sometime later rather, well, flagrantly, as the French would say, in a motel room wearing a dog collar and his wife's lace bra and panties. Mother's response when asked if she would vote for him again? 'Why, of course. After all, everybody's got their little quirks. Besides, he has lovely table manners.' " -Fannie Flagg (as quoted in Seale Ballenger's book, Hell's Belles)
Monday, January 01, 2007
As I've seen many others say recently, I am not generally a maker of New Year's resolutions, but for what ever reason, I am inclined to make a (very short) list this year. Nothing terribly exciting but here they are, nonetheless.
1. Exercise more and lose weight. (Aren't these New Year's resolution staples?)
2. Finish more projections than I start. (This actually IS possible, considering how many unfinished projects I already have sitting around.)
3. Be a better housekeeper. (My husband will be happy if I manage to keep this resolution and nothing else.)
4. Work more efficiently - both at work and at home.
5. Manage our household budget better.
Very run-of-the-mill goals, I know but that's ok. I've never been a very exciting girl and there's no reason to start now. (It didn't make the list.)
I have long been a lover of quotes so I think I'll start including a quote in my posts. And considering how often I seem to discuss my kniting good intentions, I decided this would be a good one to start with:
"I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."
--Augusten Burroughs, Magical Thinking
The scarf is based on a slightly modified version of the August 22 stitch pattern in this calendar. The stitch pattern is called Woven Cables in Relief and the scarf is called So Am I. The scarf got its name because, while it was being knit, Kim was going through major jaw surgery and thus, both Kim and the scarf were black and blue on the day they met. Luckily, only the scarf remains so.
The Woven Cables in Relief stitch pattern is as follows:
Multiple of 15+2
Row 1 (Right Side): Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, cable 10 front, *K5, cable 10 front, rep from * to last 6 stitches, K6
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: K6, cable 10 back, *K5, cable 10 back, rep from * to last stitch, K1
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: Purl
[Cable 10 front (or back): Slip the next 5 stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the front (or back) of your work, knit the next 5 stitches from the left-hand needle; then knit the 5 stitches from the cable needle.]
So Am I Scarf
So Am I (SAI) stitch pattern
Multiple of 12+2
Row 1 (Right Side): Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, cable 8 front, *K4, cable 8 front, rep from * to last 5 stitches, K5
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: K5, cable 8 back, *K4, cable 8 back, rep from * to last stitch, K1
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: Purl
[Cable 8 front (or back): Slip the next 4 stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the front (or back) of your work, knit the next 4 stitches from the left-hand needle; then knit the 4 stitches from the cable needle.]Instructions for Knitting Kim's So Am I Scarf:
This scarf is knit in two halves and joined at the center so that the pattern is right-side-up on both sides when worn.
Cast on 38 stitches. (This will be three repeats of the So Am I stitch pattern, plus 2.)
Knit 17 repeats of the SAI stitch pattern. Place all stitches on stitch marker.
Cast on 38 stitches.
Knit 17 repeats of the SAI stitch pattern. Using a kitchener stitch, join the two halves.
Pin (not so tightly as to stretch out the pattern) to blocking board or similar and steam block with your favorite method, as appropriate to your yarn.
Yarn: Two (2) skeins, Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton Silk (191 yards per skein)
[Note on Yarn: This stitch pattern eats up the yarn quicker than you can imagine. If you make this scarf and decide to substitute yarn, don't skimp on yardage.]
Gauge: 4 stitches per inch in stockinette on Size 8 needles
Needles: Size 8 (US)
Pre-Blocking: 4" wide by 68" long
Post-Blocking: 5" wide by 73" long
A Note on Cabling
I am by no means an expert on cables. This pattern is so easy flowing and comfortably repetitive, I got tired of using a cable needle after about 2 repeats. I learned to cable without a needle from Wendy at this link. It really is easy and (for me, at least) takes the tedium out of cabling.
There you have it! Please let me know if you have any questions or if you find any mistakes.
Wishing you all a wonderful, happy and blessed 2007. Happy Knitting!