Blockages

I spent most of June in and out of the hospital. I’m just fine, but, as turns out, my dad was not. What seemed as though was going to be a routine cardiac catheterization (with the possibility of angioplasty) ended up resulting in major bypass surgery.
This was a shock, as my father seems to be a fit and active man. Apparently he’s been having (and ignoring) chest pains for at least a year. He’s also been only occasionally checking his blood sugar and taking his diabetes meds. And he decided that an herbal alternative to his cholesterol medications would be a fine substitute, though didn’t have his blood levels re-checked to make sure it was working.

Anyway, this was all shocking for me, who thought he was taking care of himself.
His arteries were 95-99% blocked in five places. The surgeon said he shouldn’t have been alive, let alone mobile.

He came through the surgery well, I took him home a week later and spent another week settling him in and arranging his care before returning home myself.
All this would have been bad enough, but was made exponentially worse by the behavior of some of his close friends. It’s not worth going into here, but let’s just say it’s very frustrating when educated adults act like jealous, petty children. I expected more.
While sitting in hospital waiting rooms, I had time to work on and finish the Clapotis. It’s a blend of reds and pinks, fitting for a cardiac unit. I’m happy with it – the color and size are perfect. The yarn was a little hard to work with, as the 100% wool didn’t like to be dropped, and I had to pick at each stitch to get them to unravel.

I had time a couple of weeks ago to block both the Clapotis and the Print O’ the Wave Stole, which has been finished for months. The Stole is my favorite thing I’ve made up to now. I look at it and realize how much time and work went into this one thing. I didn’t really notice while I was making it, but in hindsight, it was an extremely time and labor intensive project. But so beautiful!

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I’m a Copycat, It’s a Birthday Present

When I saw this, I knew I had to make one. This happened to coincide nicely with the nearing of my dad’s birthday. Now, wool scarves may not be the best things in May, but it will be a nice piece of hanging art until October rolls around.

My photos are nowhere near the quality of Jared’s, ever, and these are no exception – I shot them in a rush to get out the door to go to my dad’s party. They pictures are not very representative of the actual colors, but they should give you an idea.

Please ignore the random stuff on the floor. I’ve been sick, I need to clean.


Pattern: brooklyntweed’s Noro Scarf

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 2 x #047, 2 x #211? (I’ll check the band when I get a chance)

Needles: Size 7 Inox Circulars

Comments: This pattern is great. It’s simple, elegant and interesting. I am, however, conflicted about the yarn. While the colors can be amazing, the yarn has a ton of non-fiber stuff in it (twigs, threads, etc.). This seems to be a relatively common problem, and makes the yarn less fun to work with and kind of itchy. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out. It took about two weeks of evening knitting, is a little over 7 feet long, and 5-6 inches wide. The ribbing looks like stockinette, and makes the scarf thicker and reversible. Slipping the first and last stitches of the second row of each stripe hides the non-working yarn on the side, and makes a nice edge. The changing colors are fun – I found myself getting all excited for the next big change, and it helped to get through the more boring spots. I may eventually make another for a gift – next time I may choose a second yarn with more of the bright colors, without the darker intervals.

Yards of Stripey Fun

I sometimes get overwhelmed with things to post, and wind up posting nothing at all. That pretty much sums up most of my absence. I’m trying, once again, to catch my blog up with my life.

So here I present you with everything I have pictures of online. Other things have been finished, but I haven’t gone so far as to actually take pictures AND upload them. I will do my best to add those, and the finished versions of some of these, eventually.
“My So-Called Scarf”


Pattern: My So Called Scarf
Yarn: Manos Del Uruguay in “Mulled Wine”, 2 skeins
Needles: Size 11 bamboo circulars
Comments: I love this stitch pattern! It’s relatively simple to learn and looks more woven than knit. I’m thinking of trying to make a pillow cover out of it at some point. I didn’t change the pattern at all, and I’m completly happy with how it turned out.


Fiber!

I finally ordered fiber to use with my new(ish) spindle. They’re both from Chameleon Colorworks. There was a problem with the initial shipping, but it was all sorted out, and they were kind enough to give me a gift certificate for my trouble.

The first is a 50/50 Merino Tencel Roving in “Indian Wedding”:

The second is 100% Bombyx silk. I’m not sure what colorway at the moment, I found it through some sort of “secret” link – I don’t think I was suposed to be able to order it, but she shipped it anyway:

The actual color is a little more red than it looks in the picture. It’s gorgeous.

I’ve already spun and knit the Merino/Tencel, it will be a present for my friend in June, so the finished object won’t be revealed until then (not that she reads this, more that it’s not so much finished as of now…)

Spinning reject

One of my earliest attempts at spinning, this was actually me pretending to “ply” the yarn. I didn’t know what I was doing, still don’t really, and it shows. It was a big fibery mess, and not even very soft. Berkley didn’t even want to play with it. It’s in the trash now.


Previews

Here are a couple of projects I’ve actually finished, though I only have in-progress pictures.

“Simply Marilyn”

“Print O’the Wave Stole”

Detail:

One is the Loneliest Number

I may have said it before, but I have a little crush on Eunny Jang (who is about to become the newest editor of IK, congrats!). Before her, I had never felt the need to try colorwork. I also never thought about making mittens, let alone fingerless ones.

But then along comes Eunny with her Endpaper Mitts and suddenly I NEEDED fingerless mittens, fingerless mittens knit in Fair Isle.
And hence my Endpaper Mitt was born. It was so fun to knit – even given my dislike of dpns – and went quickly. It was extremely gratifying with relatively little effort. A perfect project.
There’s just one problem – the pattern is for Endpaper Mitts – plural, as in you need to make more than one in order to not unintentionelly mimic Michael Jackson. Usually, knitting another wouldn’t have been a problem, as the first was so satisfying. Berkley, however, had other plans.

Before I could even finish the thumb on Mitt 1, he stole both balls of yarn, and proceded to wind them around the condo. I eventually retreived the yarn and re-wound the balls, which should have been enough. Unfortuantely, Berkley REALLY liked the yarn. No matter where I hid it, he found it, and I returned home each day to a freshly decorated condo.

In the end, out of busyness and laziness, I gave up. The mangled pile went into the trash upon the arrival of the new roommate (who aparently didn’t find the yarn maze terribly decorative), and the last little bit of purple was locked away.
So the mitt is all alone, but will remain for now if only for bragging rights.

Bad Girls Don’t Have Time

That’s what they say about journaling, and I think it applies to blogging as well. I’ve been busy – with work, school, life, etc., and I’ve been neglecting this space.
I have been knitting. Taking the time to write about what I’m knitting takes time away from the knitting itself, which is usually more important to me. I do, however, like to have my progress documented, and it’s nice to be able to look back at what I’ve done before. I also love to stalk other people’s blogs for advice and inspiration, and I would love to think that others could be inspired by me (that’s assuming anyone other than me reads this, which isn’t always the case…)
But enough about my inability to consistently blog!
I’ve been knitting whenever possible – less than I’d like due to the fact that I’m pretending to have a real life, which includes spending time with other humans and away from the needles. As a single twenty-something, hermiting isn’t necessarily the best idea, and going out is pretty essential. Because I am trying, I’ve found myself in places such as “Necto” which is where frat boys and law students go to prey on barely 18-year-old girls. Not really my favorite place, but potentially the best dancing music in the area, so as long as you can fend off creepy sportcoat-and-pinstriped-fedora-wearing men, it can be a decent time.

Check out the hat action behind me!

My attempt at a social life is also why I found myself coming home from the bar at at 1 AM on Thursday. Again, nice time, but all I really wanted to do was finish the sleeves on Sahara. Flash forward to 3ish and me on the couch finally binding off the last stitches of the left sleeve. Twenty or so minutes of end-weaving and it was officially finished, but so was I – crashed shortly thereafter. This morning (afternoon actually) was for blocking, and photo-taking.

I soaked Sahara in some warm water and Euclean. Don’t mind the “products” lining the counter. My friend and I have a pact (similar to men’s porn pacts) so that if one of us were to die, the other is to go and remove most all of the deceased products, this way we won’t have to be remembered as so girly and self-absorbed.

Soak!

The water turned a very pretty shade of fuscia

Hand for emphasis

Due to the color leakage, I was afraid to lay Sahara out on a white towel on my white sheets, so I found a big red beach towel. Unfortunately, it sheds like crazy

From the front

And the side

 

Neckline detail

And, of course, Berkley was there every step of the way.
Actually, he’s helping me right now…

New Yarn!

I’ve been waiting and waiting and it’s finally here!
I ordered this back in August after agonizing over yarn type and color choice for ages, then patiently waited. I eagerly rushed home to the mailbox each day, checking (fruitlessly) for the squishy shipment. After two weeks, I called the distributor, only to find out that the color I wanted was backordered. Did I want to switch?
It had taken so long to choose the color in the first place, there was no way I was going back, I would wait for it to come in.
Flash forward to November, after making countless progress calls and waiting for weeks, the miraculous happened, the shipper had been restocked! My order was on its way!
And on one faithful trip to the mailbox, shortly before Thanksgiving break (and my birthday!) the package appeared. I rushed inside and carefully opened the envelope, gently removing the tissue-paper (aided by the not-so-gentle Berkley), and found inside that which I had been waiting for so long…


It is everything I had hoped for; soft, smooth, with just enough sheen. The color is the perfect shade of peacock, not too green but more than blue. It’s stronger than Kidsilk Haze, though lacking the fuzzy halo. It is destined to become the luminous Butterfly; my first real lace project.


The yarn is 1890 yards of laceweight JaggerSpun Zephry, a 50% merino 50% Chinese tussah silk blend in Peacock. I ordered from theknitter.com, and aside from the delay, I am very happy with them – they were extremely helpful, I talked to one of two people each time and they always remembered my order and always gave me status reports, offering to exchange it in order for me to choose something that was already in stock.

I am so excited! I’ve already started on the frill, and though it is extremely time and attention consuming, it’s very rewarding. I’ll update on that soon.

I’m headed into finals, it’s a little scary when I look over the amount of stuff I have to do in the next two weeks. I’m going to have to lock myself into a room/cafe for days in order to make a dent. But on the bright side – after the 13th, pathophysiology is out of my life forever! (or at least for the rest of my masters program)

Berkley’s Bed

Continuing in the vein of catching up with old FO’s, I present you with Berkley’s Bed!

Berkley’s Bed

Pattern: Princess Snowball Cat Bed from Stitch and Bitch
Yarn: Whatever the pattern called for, I forget now, in yellow and red
Needles: Again, I followed the pattern, bamboo circulars
Comments: I made this right after getting Berkley (sometime this August). He was so in love with my fuzzy blanket that I figured he’d like a fuzzy bed of his own. It was very easy to make, especially after coming off a bout with the terrible lace/cabled poncho (the same yarn later became Sophie). The only thing I did differently is stuff the sides instead of just folding them over. I then sewed the bottom together with some extra yarn to keep the stuffing from seeping. It gives the sides a stability that they lack on their own. Unfortunately, the most action the bed saw was during this original photo shoot. Since then, it was briefly a thing to bite, and now is pretty much ignored. This is partially my fault as I moved it to a space he doesn’t go to often. I should probably move it somewhere else, though it tends to get in the way.

Berkley shows his appreciation

At least I got a couple of pictures out of it

Sophie

Pattern: Sophie

Yarn: Cascade 220, slightly over 1 skein (Originally intended for a poncho, then the SKB, now multiple Sophies)

Needles: Size 10.5 24″ bamboo circulars, Size 10(?) bamboo dpns

Comments: This bag was super-easy to make. I think I may have done too many repeats, as mine used more than the recommended amount of yarn and is a little taller than the one in the picture. I still need to shave off the fuzzies and I’m thinking of adding some sort of flower or pin for decoration. This marks the beginning of Christmas present knitting, though I’m not sure to whom it is going.

Process Photos:

Before felting

Getting wet

No wonder my needles turned red…

Catching up, or: I suck

So I am aparently not so good at keeping up with the blog. This probably isn’t a huge problem at this point, because as far as I know, I’m the only one who looks at my blog anyway. But I am going to try to be better, especially right now as I am avoiding studying for my biostats exam.
In order to catch up, I’m going to try and add all of my (photographed) fo’s now.
Maybe one of these days I’ll actually have a blog worth visiting on a regular basis, until then bear with me!

Lelah

Pattern: Lelah

Yarn: Knitpicks Andean Treasure, in Embers, 5 skeins

Needles: Size 5 (?) bamboo circulars

Detail:

Comments: I loved this pattern. It’s the first non-flat thing I’ve made, as well as my first attempt at lace. It was relatively easy to adjust the pattern to match the gauge of my yarn, though at this point I’m not sure how many stitches I ended up casting on. I think I’ll make this one again, potentially in a cotton for the summertime.

Lelah in action:

Why Barefoot Knits

My feet need to be free. They don’t like being encoumbered by shoes or (god forbid) socks. My head and hands don’t like to be covered either, but I especially need naked feet. My grandmother (Sito) was also a free-footed woman. For her funeral, we all wore sandals with our toes painted red, her favorite polish, in her honor (totally bare feet don’t do so well in the Michigan fall). She was a knitter, chrocheter, and an amazingly strong woman. She is my inspiration. I hope to try and follow in her (bare) footsteps, and serve her memory well.

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