Monday, December 21, 2009

4 days left

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Ok, I think I can afford the time to blog....

First of all, no, I don't think your jaywalker socks are ugly! Of course, I have a rather bright color sense, so as Knitting@Lunch observed, we have to take that into consideration. Just wear them when you're feeling daring and fun!

As you may recall, I went into December with ambitious goals and a bit of a cocky attitude. I have been properly set in my place, however, and now I'm just knitting for survival. I believe that I started to go seriously awry the second week in December, when I finished the second front. That was around the 10th. That left me with plenty of time (so I thought) for 2 sleeves. One front took me about a weekend, and the second front took me about 4 week days - so those two pieces in a week. Now all I had to do was do the 2 sleeves in a week, and I'd go into the weekend of the 19th ready to block and finish. Pretty much a whole week for other small projects!

Then reality set in. Math hit me first. Each of the fronts called for a cast-on of 56 stitches, knit even for about 15" and then do decreases. I assumed sleeves were about the same amount of knitting or less. However, each sleeve called for 51 stitches, and then INCREASED to 81 stitches and 17" long, then some decreases. Turned out that was a lot more knitting. And before that really sank in, while I was riding high, my sil called and asked if I wanted to go out for dinner, shopping and taking the little girls to see Santa. Honestly, none of you could have resisted this. Look at those faces!!!

Sunday brought computer issues that required my attention, and some unexpected babysitting, and while I got through all of that, the bottom line is that the first sleeve took me NINE days, not just a weekend. (Of course, there were parties and tree-decorating and all that other stuff too....)

So last Friday, the 19th, I finally finished the first sleeve, and knocked out a quick soap sweater to fulfill a request and give me a break. It just took an hour, so not a big deal. OH, plus sometime during the sleeve process, I was unable to resist the temptation to spend an hour or so on a crochet mitten, but it was a time when I couldn't have concentrated on cables and increases, so that's ok. I sat down Saturday around noon with the ribbing of the sleeve done, ready to start increases. I had carefully marked and observed where the increases should start, and I was really quite proud of myself for being able to replicate my (cough)design mods(cough) from the first sleeve. I even remembered to do mirrored increases, K2tog on the right and SSK on the left.

I was halfway through that first set of increases, and spread it out on my lap to observe how nicely it flared out........but it didn't flare out.... it tapered in.......CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!! K2tog and SSK aren't INCREASES!!!! (You caught that right away, didn't you??????)

No way to make that a design modification, so I ripped back and tried again. I was really focused this weekend tho, and so 48 hours after I cast on for the second sleeve, I was pinning the sleeves out to block. I had blocked the fronts and back on Saturday night, and I've sewed the pockets in, so tonight I should be able to sew the seams, and start picking up button bands and neck edges.

So yes, I think I'll make it, no thanks to my space-cadet brain, but that happens sometimes. I may even get those crochet mittens done! At this point, ANYTHING else that gets finished is just a bonus. ;)

I hope this finds you well, and that you avoid the coughing that your kids are doing!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka DesignatedKnitter!)

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Is this sock ugly?

Greetings and Dear Cynthia,

How is your Christmas knitting going. It didn't sound crazy to me at all. Really. Ahem.

I would *love* to see a photo of your Cassidy cardigan. I'm thinking about making that one, too, and I just know your mom is going to love hers after you finish it and gift it to her... (Christmas 2009?)

I am sitting home on a "snow day" today. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is *closed* for the day, due to our blizzard warning. (The last time the UW cancelled classes was in 1990.) City buses, which usually go by our house several times an hour, aren't running, and even DH has the day off because of the weather. We've cleared about 15 inches of snow already, and it continues to drop steadily. It's beautiful right now; tonight the winds are supposed to increase (I think the heavy winds are required if they're going to call this a "blizzard") and the temperatures are expected to drop considerably. I am so thankful for a cozy home.

I'm still knitting little hats and mittens (ornaments). I especially like the red mitten having the cable, and will probably knit it's mate to tie on a gift for a friend of ours who is also a knitter. I still have to decide the fate of the others yet, though they will probably also accompany little gifts...
I also started a pair of Grumperina's "Jaywalkers" using my Kaffe Fassett Design Line Regia yarn. Cynthia G gave me the idea of using a chevron type pattern for the striping yarn, and I had actually been wanting to do that for a long time, so here's where we are so far:
Question: Is this sock ugly so far? I need to know...honestly. I'm thinking about ripping it out. I think the heel looks especially odd the way the colors ended up...

Also, you will notice that I am knitting this sock from the top down, and now, a few rows past the whole heel thing, I'm already wondering if I'm going to have enough yarn. AAUGH! I've definitely morphed into a "toe-up" sock knitter, and you will hear my scream all the way in Indiana if I run out of yarn just shy of the toe... I'm knitting the largest size, because of many reports from other knitters that this pattern lacks stretchiness. I'm able to get it over my heel easily, though am glad I went with the larger size.

And so, while we are debating the ugliness of that sock, I also started another one.
I think this is a prettier color scheme, and it might have even been a better choice for the Jaywalkers pattern, though I'm content to knit this one in 2x2 ribbing on the instep and ankle.

Well, I do have some studying to attend to today. I still have two weeks left of the craziness, and the fun of finals begins one week from Saturday. Nothing like a day off today, though, to re-group and get caught up on some things. I've missed you all, and am thankful for your blog posts so that I can keep up with your goings on even though I've been a blogging slacker.

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Insane Christmas Knitting.......

Here, for your amusement, (and to answer repeated requests by Knitting@Lunch!) is my current list of knitting to be completed by December 26th!

1. Lace Kneesocks: These are for my sil, and are not a gift. She requested them, and bought the yarn for them last summer, and I've procrastinated and now the cold weather has arrived. They are ALMOST DONE! I have just 2 lace rounds and some ribbing left on the second cuff (toe-up) so I think I can finish them tonight.

2. Sweater for my mom: I finally settled on a pattern by Chic Knits, and I've been in a KAL at Knitting Today. The group is meeting on December 10th to working on sewing up the pieces, and so that would be great if I could do that. However, um, well, I have the back done and I've started one of the fronts...and there is less than a week to go. Sure, I can knit 2 fronts (with added pockets) and 2 sleeves in a week!

3. Blanket for my dad: This is the one that amuses Knitting@Lunch the most. (Altho she also swears that my mom is getting a VEST!) I've been working on the blanket since summer - it was my baseball project for quite a while. The thing is, tho, that it's crochet, which is obviously faster, and it's already pretty big. I was shooting for a very generously wide and long ripple afghan, with the ripples going along the horizontal. HOWEVER, if I make the ripples vertical, it is be enough to be a normal sized afghan, so that can be done with just a few hours of work.

4. Ok, just for fun, in my fantasy world, where I actually get more than the first three things done..... My Godson's 2nd birthday is December 26th, and I'd like to make a "Rocketry Sweater" for him. I have most of the yarn in my stash.

5. I have a great-niece whose birthday is December 22, and so maybe I could knit her a hat and mittens? Crochet maybe??

6. A couple of Soap Sweaters for little gifts.

7. Some fingerless mitts???

Oh hush. What's Christmas knitting without impossible goals???

Today is Knitting@Lunch's 4th Blogiversary, and this was her present! Stop on over and wish her a Happy Blogiversary and tell her just how delusional you think I am! ;)

Keep Knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Miniature hats take a lot less time

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

Here is the current state of my my "boring tan sock yarn" that matches yours:
I'm thinking about what sort of sock I'm going to make with it -- probably an original pattern. It was soooo great to visit with you, even if only for a couple of hours, while I was in Fort Wayne a couple of weeks ago! Next time we'll have to make sure we have some time to knit...

I've had a whirlwind week at school, and let's just say that I survived, even having to leave early yesterday to care for my sick seven year old. 41% of my ortho grade was determined within a span of 24 hours (and included three different, though all high-stress, assessments). I also had to give a 20 minute presentation for a different class on Tuesday, but now I am virtually done with that class for the rest of the year. Big sigh of relief, so today I'm here to tell you about actual knitting progress.
I finished the pair of Tofutsies socks on our way home from Fort Wayne:
I used the "Diagonal Lace" pattern from the Wendy Knits book "Socks from the Toe Up." It's the first time I've used the "heel flap" style on a toe-up sock:
It will be interesting to wear these socks which contain fiber from shrimp and crab shells...

I also finished a cute little hat ornament, shown here with a can of soda for scale:
I *LOVE* the beads! It is from a Blackberry Ridge kit, "Mini Hat and Mitten Ornaments," and there should be enough materials for me to make all of the ornaments shown on the front of the pattern. I'm not sure if I'll keep them or give them away as gifts... Nice to tackle something which I can finish in a reasonable amount of time given my schedule these days.

I am contemplating making sweatshirt/hoodies for DH and the boys for Christmas. Recall that I did this last year, and though I finished them at the final hour, it was not without a certain amount of stress. I get done with classes/exams on December 22nd, I think, so not sure if such an idea would be wise with the rest of my obligations... Well, actually, I'm quite certain that such an idea is *unwise* and *unrealistic*...but isn't that how we knitters/sewers are? Anyway, stay tuned to see if sanity reigns or not...

I hope this finds you all well! I'm going to go make another knitted ornament :-)
Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Oh, it was so fun to get to see you last weekend! Too short, but that's always the way of it. And how fun to figure out that it was 10 years ago in the fall that we traveled to Duluth together and came back knitters! (And you first started suspecting that you were having a baby!) What a great trip. I look back at that time and marvel that so much of how I thought my life would be 10 years later (if I had indeed thought much about it) is nowhere near how the reality has turned out to be. High on the list of "I wouldn't have believed it if you told me" is the size of my stash - not to mention all of the things that I have knitted!

We took a look back at that trip when we started the blog almost four years ago. I thought I'd post a link to
your story, and also to mine. I think that if on that trip we had tried to look forward 10 years to what we might be doing, if we had accurately predicted our knitting obsession in any fashion, we would not have predicted the yarn that we both purchased on our Anniversary Trip to the yarn store! Probably even if we had discussed it before we walked into the store, we wouldn't have thought we'd each buy this:

Tan-colored sock yarn! But we have a long term plan that will be revealed in the fullness of time.

As I mentioned, I posted to the blog 3-4 times while I was at Stitches Midwest, and due to some convergence of the planets in the internet arena, all of those posts disappeared into cyberspace, never to be recovered. I'm (mostly) over my bitterness, and I'll catch up with posting soon! ;)

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)
-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Done Done

Dale of Norway pattern book:
$12.00 each.

Yarn to make Ibenholt sweater:
$100.00 each.

Being completely done knitting two Ibenholt sweaters for the rest of our lives:
Priceless !!!!

(Sharing a great hobby like knitting with your mom: Also priceless!!!! Hi Mom :-)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ibenholt Ibenholt

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

Well, school started about three weeks ago, and I am swamped. It's all interesting, though still a lot of work.

Let's talk about Ibenholt. I knit this sweater for myself about a year ago, and it has been sitting waiting for me to sew in the zipper since then. Also, my mom was making the same sweater at the same time, as a sort of "knit along across the miles." You may remember that my mom reached the point of "being done" with her Ibenholt sweater last spring, when my dad told me to finish knitting it for her because my mom wouldn't let him talk to her when she was working on it, and she was working on it every I brought it home with me at the point of dividing for the fronts and back. I managed to finish knitting most of it while we were on vacation at the end of August, so last weekend I finished sewing the sleeves in:
This means that I now have **two** Ibenholt sweaters, both at the point of being done except for sewing the zipper in... I am motivated to have them done within the next week, however, because we are going to a Brewers game with my parents, and so will see my parents, and I can give the sweater to my mom *in person*. I thought about mailing the sweater to my mom, but I am taking no chances of losing it in shipping...

Speaking of the Brewers game -- DH is a Phillies fan. He read a book some time ago called, "The 33 Year Old Rookie," and the author, a guy named Chris Coste, was so inspiring that DH started following the Phillies because they are the team that finally gave Chris Coste a chance in the majors. So, for the past couple of years, DH has been trying to figure out a reasonable way to go see the Phillies play. A few months ago, DH purchased tickets to a Brewers vs Phillies game which will be played in Milwaukee toward the end of this month. YAY -- a dream come true, except that about three days *after* he bought the tickets, Chris Coste was traded to the Astros... Anyway, it's been decades since I've seen the Brewers play, so I know the game will be fun, none-the-less...and my mom will hopefully be wearing her new sweater (I *am* going to get that zipper sewn in...).

In completely unrelated news, I found two little home-made sets of shelves at a rummage sale, in a nice lime green color. Here is one of them sitting in our garage:
I painted them white, and now they hold all of my school books and some sewing stuff. It really cleaned up my work room quite a bit, getting rid of three crates and opening up floor space where my school stuff was housed before. I still have some organizing to do in my work room, but this is a nice start:
Notice my Ibenholt sweater patiently waiting for me to sew in its zipper...

Well, I'll take a photo of my mom and me wearing our twin Ibenholt sweaters and share it with you. I hope you had a great time at the Stitches Midwest Market!! Of course I'm expecting a full report :-)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sock O Rama

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

Thank you for fixing our blog graphics, and for cleaning it up in general!  Much improved!  Also, nice to have our header back...

Here is some sock yarn I bought back in May, in colors I wouldn't have normally gravitated to without my mom telling me to get out of my comfort zone:
It probably seems tame to you, but the green in particular seems odd to me, though I'm committed to making socks out of it and wearing them proudly.  Also, does anybody have any suggestions for patterns (other than plain stockinette) which would work well with the Kaffe Fasset stripes, shown on the right in the photo above?  I was thinking about Monkey socks, but the pattern might be lost in the colors/stripes?  (Also, Cindy G, that is a "top down" pattern, just sayin'.)

Second, you've seen both sets of these socks in progress, but now they are finished.  This pair is just a standard toe-up short row heel pattern using Trekking yarn, size 1 needles:
They don't match, but that is part of their charm, right?!   It's not clear to me that the yarn had actual pattern repeats in it, so it's not my fault  :-)   so the perfectionist side of myself is being forced to just "let it go." 

This next pair is the "Gusset Heel Basic Socks" from the book "Socks from the Toe Up" by Wendy:
A close-up of the heel:
To orient yourself, you are looking at a lateral view;  the part on the left shows the back of the heel, and the part on the right shows the bottom of the heel.  My 9-year old took these photos, and he told me that I would have to tell you exactly what you are looking at, because it's not otherwise obvious.  It is an interesting heel construction, and quite different from any others I've made, though it's much more straightforward than typical short row heels which involve lots of wraps and turns, so in that respect, this would be a good choice for less experienced knitters, or for knitters who are not overly fond of lots of wraps and turns (ahem).

I'm working on another pair of socks from the same book, called "Diagonal Lace Socks."  This pattern utilizes a more conventional heel style (Sl 1, K1 every other row, etc), though worked from the toe up, and I only had to wrap and turn 8 times during the whole thing (for eight short rows, while turning the heel). 
This yarn is TOFUtSies, made of 50% superwash wool, 25% soysilk, 22.5% cotton, and 2.5% chitin.  I was curious about making socks out of something that came from shrimp and crab shells, and I don't know why that makes it antibacterial, but there you have it!  Nice yarn, to say the least...

I also have three sweaters which I dug out of hibernation, and which *SHALL BE FINISHED* before I even think about casting on for another sweater.  I hope to have at least one of them completed before my next post (which may even happen this week -- just warning you, because I know that it could catch you off guard -- but hey, I have no classes for more than two weeks!!)

More soon!
Have a great week!
Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sweater bands, take two.

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

First, I don't know where our blog header is.  I suspect my DH might have done something with our web repository (moved it? the blog can no longer access the proper files??) - I'll try to figure out what is going on with that so our graphics return to their rightful places...

Second, you have some of the most unusual projects I've ever read about.  I think you're the only person I've ever known who has assisted in building a windmill.  Also, the only person I've ever known who had to retrieve her sheets out of the treetops.  And, there was that cow sling thing that you knit...  My sweaters/socks pale by comparison.  Maybe I'll try to knit in a tree or something...

I have two very large tests next week, so I thought I'd take a little time right now to procrastinate by posting to our blog.  After Wednesday, I'm *DONE* with school for the summer.  Then I have two weeks off to clean our bathrooms, mop the floors, haul the dust away, and get myself and the boys ready for school...  I've got lists of things to accomplish;  if I get even half of it done, I'll be thrilled.

Remember my Basic Chic Hoodie?  I really love the pattern and the way it's turning out, and as I work on it, I keep thinking about what other colors or stitch patterns I'll use when I make the next one of these.    For now, however, I really should focus on what I'm doing...for example, when picking up needles to knit the front band, I maybe should have checked the actual needle size called for in the pattern *before* I completed the entire front band.  Here it is with size 6 needles:
Difficult to see, but perhaps you noticed, ahem,  some significant puckering, which didn't look nearly as bad when it was on the needles, really....but it was too much to try to block out and live with, so I ripped it all out and re-knit with size 7 needles, as called for.  

I used "one-row buttonholes", which are my favorite ever buttonholes, over three stitches. And, instead of following the directions for number of stitches to pick up, I did my usual "pick up three stitches for every four rows" method, and I came within two stitches of what the directions suggested.  Also, the directions have you make the left front and right front bands separately, and then seam the right band to the left band where the hood seam is.  I decided to pick up all of the stitches at once and make both sides at the same time, so no seam.  Just a few more stitches to bind off of the front band, and some additional finishing, and I'll post a picture of me wearing the completely sweater (which seems to have taken forever -- school has really cramped my knitting productivity).

It's a rainy, rainy Saturday, and I really have to get back to studying.  In my next post, I'll have some sock yarn stash enhancement from a couple of months ago when my mom made me buy bright colors I would not be inclined to purchase on my own (which I know you don't believe actually happened), as well as two pairs of finished socks.  

More soon!
Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Friday, August 07, 2009

Tulips it is!

Thank you all for helping me decide to make this lovely sweater for Katelynne. I didn't quite get done on time for her party, but they came to visit a few days later, so she is all set for cool weather.

I made the 4T size, which is a bit big but all the better to grow into. I still love this pattern, which is good since I have so much of this yarn!

I was delayed in starting this sweater when I took a few days of knitting time to work with my brothers on some windmill repair for my aunt, and to help haul away the remains of a tree they took down for her. (My brothers are grand men!) My part of the windmill consisted of painting the red on the fins and taking pictures. My parents and two nieces came along for the installation and we had a great day! More pics can be seen

Great job on the slippers! I've been trying to decide how to make my moms slippers 'non-slip', so thank you for posting about that.

Keep knitting!


-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, August 03, 2009

Summer of slippers (update) and appendicitis

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

I have a free moment today, because the rest of my family is out of town right now.  School has been extremely busy, but great.  Only a week and a half left of the summer session...

First, status on the Sand Hill Crane family which hangs around in our neighborhood:
They walk through our yard once or twice a day, going from pond to pond in the neighborhood, and eating flowers on their way (which has been annoying to our neighbors).  These birds are great fun to watch!  The little guy is getting so big!

Okay, so when I last wrote, I had some ballet slippers knit but not felted.  Here are two pairs of ballet slippers, both knit to be the same size, one pair felted and the other pair not felted:
Here is another pair, which I felted at the same time as the ones in the above photo, and which were knit to be a smaller size, but which ended up being about the same size:
I am wondering if that is because they are a lighter color??...since lighter colors often don't felt as well?

And, I made two sets of clog slippers (one for my nephew, and one for my 6-year old) that look a lot like this:
I wanted all of these to be anti-skid, so I did some research.  

I read about using puff paint on the bottom of the slippers, applying it as cute little shapes, which then dries and is non-skid for a short while, but which would have to be re-applied every so often.  

I read about using some stuff that can be purchases at Menards which people use to dip tool handles into in order to achieve a rubber coating on them, but this looked messy, and if I messed it up, there was no way to get it off of the slipper (and to be honest, it looked rather industrial, and not like a cozy slipper).  

I read about using caulk (as in caulk like you apply around the top edge of a bathtub), but this also looked quite messy and industrial.  

I finally decided I'd go with some anti-skid fabrics.  I tried two types.  
The type which has the little raised foot shapes was made out of canvas, having edges which unravelled significantly, so I serged around the edges in order to contain the threads, prior to sewing them onto the slipper bottoms.
Yesterday was the big party, and I gave away four pairs of slippers to all of my nieces and nephews, and they were LOVED by all of the recipients (they all put them on their feet and started walking around with them on outside).  
Also, by some strange twist of fate, they all *FIT* the feet of their intended wearer, too!  I felt like I won the lottery, except without all of the money...

In unrelated news, a few weeks ago, my brother noticed a slight pain in his lower right abdomen.  Then he put in a new floor.  Then he ran a 10K race.  More than a week later, he thought he should maybe have it checked out by the doctor, but he had two days remaining to work in order to get a perfect attendance (for the quarter) award, so he went to work for two more days, and finally took himself to the emergency room.  They determined that he *may* have an appendicitis, so they took him to surgery that night, where they realized that his appendix had ruptured, who knows how much earlier, but sometime during the prior week, and his insides looked like hamburger.  So, after a much larger incision was made to scrape out the infection and rinse his insides, he ended up with a six night hospital stay.  He lives in the area, so I was able to visit him in the mornings and walk around the unit with him...  He's doing much better now, and we're all breathing a huge sigh of relief.

I've actually finished some other projects, and have made some progress on some languishing sweaters.  More on that very soon!  (Did I mention that I have only a week and a half left of school for the summer?)

Have a great August!  (August?? -- already??)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What do YOU think??

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Well, I'm almost finished with my current toddler sweater! I just need to knit the sleeves and do the finishing, which you know in my fevered imagination will only take a couple of hours..... ;)

And so obviously it's time to decide on my next project. My great niece Katelynne will be turning 4 at the end of the month, and so I have a couple of choices. I had planned to make 'Kitty,' the sweater that I made for Lydia's 4th birthday last May. However, I've made FOUR toddler sweaters in the last 4-5 months, and they have all been raglan sweaters with lace skirts, so it's possible that I should shake things up a bit. I do also have the yarn and pattern to make another 'Tulip' sweater, so that is an option.

It all started with the One-Skein Sweater for a baby shower:

I modified that (my own design) for Josie:

Then I did 'Kitty' for Lydia:

And finally, I'm doing 'Helena' for Maya:

So, please help me decide!! (Oh, and I have to get started in the next few days....just sayin')

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Let's try again!

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Hello - I hope you're still enjoying your summer. I suppose you're keeping busy - how are the slippers coming? I just realized last night that I have never felted mom's slippers - I gave them to her big - so I'd better get busy on that!

My current 'project of focus' is a top down raglan sweater with a lace skirt for a toddler. Yes, it should sound familiar, I've done at least 3 variations of that in the last few months. This differs in that it called for DK weight instead of fingering. I'm modifying it by using an Aran weight (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino.) Since I'm using a larger yarn, I'm making a size 18 mos in order to get the desired 4T size.

A dear friend of mine and her husband are currently in Haiti, finalizing the adoption of a little girl. I think she was 6-9 months old when they began the process, and now she is somewhere close to 3 years old. I remember that she was pretty big for her age when they first met her, so I'm hoping the sweater is a little roomy, but at the least not too small!

I remember when our friend Ross came back from spending a few years in Panama, he could no longer tolerate any air-conditioning or cool weather for quite some time. Makes me think that a little girl who has spent her whole life in that climate is likely to find Northern Minnesota rather chilly on summer evenings and once fall/winter arrive, so I'm hoping this merino/cashmere blend will be snuggly!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Technical difficulties

Greetings Dear Readers:

Yes, we are experiencing some formatting weirdness. We'll endeavor to figure it out and get back to normal as our schedules allow. (I'm really hoping that posting from my phone wasn't the culprit -I really like that convenience!!)
**Edited to add: Well, it seems my last post was somehow the culprit, so I've taken it down. Guess we'll have to do without the picture of the Fuzzy Feet! I'll try to show them to you when they're felted!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Much ado about nothing...

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

Before I forget, YAY that your mom now likes hand knit socks. It's always a gamble when I make socks for somebody (and I've had one recipient who point blank told me that she is not going to wear them, then kept them anyway), so I'm so glad that your mom is recognizing their virtues!

Nice to have this past week off. The boys and I are in that "zone" in which we are trying to figure out how to coexist together again 24x7 without driving each other mad. I estimate that two weeks into the summer, things will resume their even keel; until then, I imagine a continuation of conversations similar to this one (an actual discourse at out house yesterday):

6-yr old: Mom, my cereal smells weird.
8-yr old: Maybe you slept in too long...
me: ????

In the early evening last night, my 8-yr old asked me if I was having a bad hair day... I don't know what might have caused that...perhaps the baseball cap I was wearing earlier in the day, or the tennis I played in the heat and humidity, or the laundry which was enough to work up a sweat, or maybe getting rained on as I was waiting for him to get out of the pool when they called it quits due to thunder during swim team practice in the morning....

I've had some time to knit as I've been waiting for my kids during dentist appointments, sports stuff, etc., though given that it is only short bursts, it has been mindless knitting. And, in my efforts to pull together and develop a plan for completing all my works-in-progress, I've only succeeded in starting a new one, because all of my mundane WIPs are at points requiring thinking, such as turning a heel, picking up buttonhole bands, etc, so I reached for the dishrag cotton. Here is the Circle Dishrag, which I saw on somebody's blog (though my brain has been on the fritz this past week, so I can't remember whose blog it was) and decided to try it. It is probably one of the most "three dimensional" dishrags I've made, and is an easy pattern to memorize. It was going to be very large, so I cast on 34 stitches instead of 46.

Later today, I hope to felt my ballet slippers, so I'll try to post some before/after snapshots yet this weekend...

I forgot to mention to you that during my clinical, I had the opportunity to observe an entire surgery! I watched a "hip resurfacing," an operation taking about 2.5 hours, and something that I was working with patients on beginning "post op day 1" to start their road to recovery. I credit my cadaver lab of a year ago as giving me the "stomach" to not get at all woozy during the procedure. Really, it was very interesting, and gave me some insight into what goes into some orthopedic surgeries.

Coincidentally, I've been noticing some minor hip soreness the past few months which I really can't attribute to sore muscles, and I'm beginning to be concerned about the possibility that I may be developing some osteoarthritis. To give my hip joints a break, I decided to take the summer off from running, and so will be biking to school every day (as weather permits) as well as using the elliptical trainers at the gym instead of the treadmills. (My anatomy professor from last summer always used to tell us, "Exercise is bad for you." As you already know, I don't believe that, though I think we should listen to our bodies, too...)

Here is a sandhill crane in our back yard, eating some of the bird feed we put out there:
I didn't want to scare it away, so the picture is through a window/screen... The neighbors have named it "Rupert," and it typically traipses through our yard every evening between 7:00 and 7:30pm.

Okay, so I really have to crank on some filing this weekend, so that's it for now. Have a great weekend!

Laura (YarnThrower)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Mom and socks....

Greetings and Dear Laura:

My mom has been on my 'No socks for you' list since I was knitting my first pair of handknit socks, and she laughed at me and wondered who on earth would want to wear wool socks. Even when other people praised the socks that I made for them and she started to get curious, I told her no. (I lent my dad a pair after his surgery when his feet got cold but he never wore them.)

Mom had been dropping hints that she needed new slippers. (One of her friends made them for her out of Red Heart, but she has given up knitting, so the worn ones can't be replaced.) Dad just asked if I could knit some for her, but mom explained that she'd blown that years ago. (They don't know that I'm making Fuzzy Feet for her up-coming birthday!) When he mentioned again about her cold feet, I agreed to lend her a pair of my wool socks.

I kept forgetting to ask how she liked them, but last night she sighed and said "I may as well get this over with. Do you want these back or can I keep them?" I just laughed and told her she can keep them. I asked if she likes them, and she admitted that she does. She said that she always thought they would be itchy but they didn't itch a bit! I told her, "Mom, you should know I only knit with good yarn!"

So I'm working on felted slippers for her, using this Lambs Pride Worsted Paint in a pretty Cranberry Swirl colorway. I think she'll like them.

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to work!

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Well, not nearly so much fun as last weekend. We are having our company picnic today, so that is some fun at least. If I get a good picture of Lauren winning the three-legged race with knitting needles in her hand, I'll post that tomorrow!

For today, here is another FO from the archives. This is
'Mable,' also from Heirloom Stitches. They really have wonderful patterns! I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and it was a great yarn for the pattern. The lace kicked my butt a LOT but I finally got it.

And here is a picture of the birthday girl on a cool spring day, wearing her new sweater!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, June 15, 2009

The highlight for today....

Greetings and Dear Laura:

The theme for today will be driving, as I am heading for home soon. Before I hit the road, I thought I'd give you a peek at one of my finished objects from the last month or so.

Introducing 'Kitty' from Heirloom Stitches. I used 'Feet First' yarn from Cottage Fiber, which is a wonderful yarn. It's put up with 490 yards, which is the most generous I've found, and one skein completed this sweater. I made a size 4, for my great-niece Lydia. I didn't worry about stopping at the proscribed length, I just kept going until I judged that I didn't have enough yarn for another pattern repeat. The part of the project that gave me fits was that the pattern asked me to do purl/yarn-over combinations, which I'm not a fan of. I'm planning to do this sweater again, but I'm going to change it so that the yarn-overs come after knits, and I purl two together instead of knit two together. The sweater looks really good on Lydia tho!

And now I'm going to take Renata on a quick trip to choose yarn for a bag that she wants to knit and then I'm heading for LaOtto. I'll leave you with one last picture of my two new knitters and I!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)