Sunday, December 09, 2007

14 Socks

I think I'm in the home stretch, I finally started the last sock!

Only thing is of course, you know these are for my husband so of course they are ginormous. Don't expect a post showing them as finished tomorrow or anytime this week probably. In the middle of these and the white scarf somewhere I also managed to knit these up.

Wee little socks for my wee little niece! Unfortunately, even with wee socks I have yarn-running-out issues. This is just some random acrylic I had floating around, I was certain when I started them there would be more than enough. Oh well... So if you look really, really close you can tell the one in the back is probably knitted tighter (because I knew I would run out) and then the tip of the toe is actually some Kroy sock yarn I found and used triple stranded to finish them up. Hopefully she won't be too bothered by it, she's two you know. So big socks, little socks I had to take this picture.

And of course my favorite picture:

I wish I could have taken this when the second husband sock was finished, on a day that wasn't gloomy gray so I'd have better light, but I'm hearing the lines at the post office are murder this year so some of these have to get wrapped and mailed soon! But still seven pairs of socks... 14 socks... I want to print this picture out and carry it with me and when I feel blue I can say, in 2007 I knit my friends and family 14 socks... and boy it sure was fun! Or what if I put it on my desk at work next to my wedding picture... Now that wouldn't seem too weird would it? I guess it would, I've realized lately that when the people at work hear me talking about knitting it's probably a lot like when the people at Dunder Mifflin hear Dwight Shrute talking about growing beets... Or Ping Pong...

Yup, I can see it that sock photo on his desk, right next to the bobble head and the Sheriff Mug... Too weird...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Can you believe it's December already?

I certainly can't. I know back in August I promised pictures of the girls in their soakers. I don't think I could have asked for cuter photos! The pink pants look much better on, and it looks like they fit pretty good!

This is my sister's friends daughter. I figure the pants must fit ok and I guess the itchiness isn't issue, otherwise she would never be able to do this-

Right? How cute is the acrobatic photo? So sweet. And of course I made soakers for my niece too. Except her version wasn't the pants, it was just the regular short soaker.

I'm not crazy about how this one came out kind of see-through. I think maybe it was the Cascade 220 being a little thin. (The pink pants were made with Patons Merino and that yarn is a little thicker) Also if anyone is thinking of making these my sister did agree that if I make any more in the future she thinks she'd prefer the long pants-version like the pink ones. With that one the baby can just wear them like little leggings, and they don't really need pants over them. With the short version the soaker is still very diaper shaped, and not so fashion forward.

As for what I'm knitting now I'm motoring along on the white scarf.

And I do concede that I no longer think it looks like crap. It is actually very, very pretty. I saw someone had knitted one of these out of Silk Garden on Ravelry and I swear it made my heart go pitter-pat. Proof again, that it's just the white that's really not my thing, otherwise this pattern is actually really very nice. You never know, on a different day, in a different yarn, I might someday knit one for myself!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sock salvation

Another Christmas gift finished and done! This is the regular old sock pattern I love from The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. The yarn is Shelridge Soft Touch Heather I bought in Rhinebeck. They went super fast with the magic loop method (yay!) I did something weird on the first sock where the toe came out a little crooked but I don't think it's anything someone on a galloping horse would notice as they rode by...

This on the other hand was kind of startling...

The first time I chose to wear handknit socks this season a couple of weeks ago I chose to wear the Waterfall Rib socks I finished during the summer. Somehow I got this blow out on their very first wear and it just broke my heart. Who knows, maybe I had something in my shoe, maybe it's because my foot is still swollen from the surgery (yes... still...) but I almost fainted when I saw that big ugly hole staring back at me. So what to do? Learn how to darn socks of course! I found a pretty good tutorial here. After I read it through, I was like, ok I can do this. But like a lot of things in knitting it's totally different once you sit down and actually try it in real life.

Here is my sock with it's Hannibal Lecter like sewing thread grid. And notice my light bulb held inside since I don't have a darning egg, it says try a light bulb which I think is kind of funny, but it works. Looks pretty neat, like this should be a straightforward endeavor at this point right?

Yep, about as straightforward as mud. At this point I'm really fudging it, each time I try to pick up a stitch I'm like "Is that the right loop, is that a yarn or a thread? Or a piece of fuzz? Do I go around 2 pieces of thread or one?" As descriptive as the tutorial is there is the part about 'faking' a stitch. I think about halfway through the hole I finally had my aha moment and my work started to match what I had read online. Unfortunately by this time the shape of the stitches was getting a little 'creative.'

Nonetheless, I'm pretty happy with it. It's a pretty thick patch and I think it should hold for a good long time. I know it's not perfect but it is my first darn job and I think things will only improve from here. I know a lot of people don't bother to darn socks, they'd just rather knit another pair but I really kind of enjoyed this. The alternative, to only have worn these socks once and call it a day? I just wasn't ready to go with that...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What we're giving it for this year, big and small...

For the pie, the stuffing, the potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the turkey, the gravy- the carbs, the fat, the sugar, I love you, I love you, I love you.

For the fact that I have 2 feet and 2 legs that work without pain. With every step, several months later, I'm still glad I'm not on those crutches anymore.

For my husband who is constantly taking out the trash, doing the dishes in the sink, helping people with their coats and cheering me on, every step of the crazy holiday, usually before I even need to ask.

For my family and friends near and far, I'm never with them enough. The ones that are far away today or not with us anymore, today I will miss you like hell.

For a New York Jets Win. Please, please, please let it happen. Please.

For the money to pay the bills, put the food on the table, for the health to enjoy it. For living in a country where it's easy to feel safe, I have clean water, shelter, clothes. Hey, a lot of people in this world don't. A lot.

For the parade, the cheezier the better. I love it! The balloons, the broadway numbers, the songs where a million people dressed all the same do cheezy little dances. And Al Roker. Al, I love you. Call me, we'll celebrate the carbs, fat and sugar together...

For taking off my shoes, having the glass of wine, picking up the needles and watching tv at the end of the day after everyone has left.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Wherever you are and whatever you do I hope you are thankful and well fed and happy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm knitting and I'm breathing...

Even though my progress is just running smoothly along on these socks (thanks to Magic Loop!) I realized I still have an entire scarf to knit before Christmas! I'm not sure why but for me scarves always seem to take a long time so I figured I'd better get cracking and cast on this.

The pattern is called Fuchsia Lace Scarves by Fiber Trends. It's for my mom who very specifically requested an all white-6 inch wide-not overly thick or heavy scarf. (Specific right?) I have to admit working with the white yarn makes my inner high school goth girl reel. Half the time I just know I'm going to spill something on it or get it dirty somehow, the other half of the time I just think it looks like crap. But I know it does not look like crap, it is just something that I would personally never, ever, ever wear. It looks kind of flared out because after 2 repeats of the pattern it was so narrow and I was worried it looked really weird so I blocked what I had so far and it stayed to be six inches wide, and actually looked a lot better after blocking. So now I am tempting fate and by just taking what I blocked and kept on knitting on it. Hopefully once I block the whole completed thing it will stay a uniform 6 inches wide throughout, and the section I've already blocked won't expand further mysteriously or anything like that. Hopefully...

On a completely unrelated note I did something different today and took my first yoga class! It wasn't anything too fancy, just the basic class they offer at my gym but I really, really enjoyed it. And it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be! For the most part the poses aren't terribly complex but when you hold them for 2-3 slow breaths sometimes you really start to feel it. I've been back at my gym (since the foot surgery) for awhile now, I actually did my physical therapy there so I would be back in the habit of going when I was ready. Since this surgery I've realized when I've always exercised before I would always just knock myself out with the cardio and never did any strength training whatsoever. Dumb move. This is a good way to end up hurt and on crutches I now know. So I still do my cardio and I had one of the trainers set up a strength training program with the weight machines for me. And guess what? I am a total weakling! Kickboxing? Cycle classes? None of these have helped the fact that I can only lift 5 pounds with some of the upper body machines. Sheesh! So I think the yoga will be good because it does take strengh and focus and it really calms me too which is nice. Especially now that the holidays are here and I'm sensing that crazed, way too much to do and not enough time feeling creeping up on me ever so slowly. It was nice to take the yoga class today and breathe and just be calm, for at least part of my day!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Magically Delicious!

One more pair down, just 2 more to go. These are for my dad, the yarn is Louet Gems Fingering Weight in Charcoal. I'm pretty happy with them, I'm beginning to think Louet yarns are perfect. Really, I can't picture being unhappy with them ever. Even though I have to admit earlier this week the sock knitting was beginning to get well, nothing short of tedious. I have 7 people who want pairs of socks for Christmas this year. Do the math and that is 14 socks altogether. Yeesh. I know I started a while ago, but with 2 pairs still to go, I'm not exactly at the end of the tunnel. Thankfully this week I was snatched back from the fiery gates of sock knitting hell (oh how I hate to see the words knitting and hell so close to each other in a sentence!) because Tracy helped me learn to Magic Loop!

This is really fun for me because if I had my choice right now I'd love to be knitting a sweater. The weather has finally turned colder here and it seems everywhere I look there are these amazing sweaters being knit or that I want to knit. Chris in my knitting group is knitting the Radiance Cabled Jacket from Webs and it is gorgeous! And I keep feeling the pretty, thick tweedy yarn in my stash wishing I was clicking away on a warm, hefty sweater rather than all these silly little socks on their silly little dinky bamboo dpns. Magic Loop feeds my delusion of sweater knitting just a tad since it's on circulars, I know it's a delusion but it might be enough to finally get through these Christmas socks. (We saw Lars and The Real Girl last night. I have the feeling delusion is going to be my new word for awhile...)

And in reality of course there are a lot of other cool pluses about Magic Loop. Beyond the 'your needles won't fall out and get lost' benefit because that was never a problem for me, I probably carry my knittting more carefully than I carry my wallet most of the time. Instead, the big thing I'm really enjoying is the absolute, complete lack of ladders. Not that the ladders killed me, I had made my peace with them long ago, and they were never huge for me-but they were there. But now with this method it's so much easier to eliminate ladders because when you go to start on the next needle you're tightening the yarn around the cable instead of just another needle and it's much easier to tighten the fabric.

I thought maybe I could make this point with this photo above-does it any make sense? On dpns when you try to avoid ladders by pulling the new yarn tight to start the first stitch of a new needle you are only tightening the yarn on the last stitch around the previous needle. With Magic Loop you are actually pulling the yarn tight around the cable which has a much smaller circumference than a needle. The result is less yarn between the last stitch of the last needle and the first stitch of the first one and therefore no ladders! Brilliant! I love it!

I swear I'm totally pulling the fabric tight in that photo too. Isn't that cool? It makes me feel smart like the guys from my new favorite show.

Ok, I know as far as shows go The Big Bang Theory isn't that good, it is very corny sit-com-y but I still can't help but love those characters. Especially Sheldon, I adore him. While I lack the actual hardcore math science knowledge of these true nerds, they possess a geekery I completely envy and probably would totally crush on if they ever existed in real life. That and the novelty t-shirts, sci-fi references and video game obsessions just get me every week.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Where I've been, where I haven't been and why

Gosh it feels like forever since I've posted. I know I had the little 'hi' in there last week with the pictures of my niece but other than that I've been kind of out of it. And even though I've been around doing stuff I'm now looking through my computer realizing I really don't have many pictures to show for it. But either way I guess here goes.

I went to Baltimore for Stitches East with the girls and had a great time. I have to admit I really, really love Stitches. Well the Marketplace at least, I have never taken classes actually, just buying the yarn along seems to get me in enough trouble. I love Stitches because I love buying yarn and I also think Baltimore is just a fun city. It's always easy to plan a trip around because it's easy to get a hotel nearby and there's always stuff to do in walking distance once the yarn haze has worn off at night. Truth is I always have fun with these girls you know. We just have fun sitting in our knitting group chatting and knitting every week-send us on the road and you know it's going to be a good time.

The weekend after that (and after the niece babysitting) we went to Rhinebeck. I have a strong urge to just admit it and say "I just don't get Rhinebeck" but I really know the truth is I probably went into it with the wrong mindset. People always say such great things about Rhinebeck, it seems to always be what everyone wants it to be. I guess I was looking for something else. After having fun buying yarn at Stitches in Baltimore I was kind of hoping Rhinebeck would be somewhat more of the same-another yarn buying extravaganza but with animals and some other stuff. And well, it's just much more of a variety than that. The emphasis at Rhinebeck is not on yarn, it' s on everything. Rather than viewing it as a yarn extravaganza it would be better to think of it as a fall festival with an emphasis on wool and fiber and some yarn. (BTW they had some neato food at Rhinebeck-fried artichokes, lamb burgers, fudge covered brownies, who knew?) I think one main factor that caused me to not get some of Rhinebeck-I don't spin. I think for spinners Rhinebeck is probably like what Stitches is like for me with yarn. And I think that's great. There's not a lot of places out there selling fiber and wheels and spinning stuff. So for spinners Rhinebeck must be mecca, and I think that's wonderful. Also I think Rhinebeck is also a big social meet up place and I can see the appeal of that also. I get the impression that many of the people who attend go year after year and have formed friendships from getting to see each other over and over. Believe it or not, even though there are times I just open up and mouth off on this blog, in person I tend to keep more to myself, or at least to our little group who I know won't laugh when I start babbling about nothing for no reason. (It just happens) We did go to the Ravelry party on Saturday night in Rhinebeck. And I thought it was a real treat, it was a really cool event Jess and Casey planned, and it was fun, but sometimes I have a tendency to be more of an observer than a partaker and that just happened to be one of those times. And of course I still had fun with our little group, food, drink, yarn, very happy.

Believe it or not this is the stash I have to show for it. Two big bags of Queensland Kathmandu Aran in a pretty tweedy green which I adore. I'm big into the tweeds these days. A lovely shade called Highway 30 of Socks that Rock, 2 skeins of Shetland Heather from Shelridge Farms, brown Regia sock yarn and a new case for my circulars from Crippenworks. I love the Crippenworks cases and recommend them highly if you're in the market for one. But that's about it. And that is my lame pictureless recap. Sorry I haven't been more attentive, writing, updating, picture taking. You'll have to excuse me, it's been a really tough last couple of weeks.

This past Wednesday we finally made the decision to have our little cat Allister put to sleep. He had been very sick and very much not himself for a long, long time. We tried to make him comfortable the best that we could but at the very end it was very clear that there was simply no quality of life left for Allister. And it sucks. And we miss him. Every day brings a new thing that you remember doing with him there and now he's just not there. And you always know the end will come, you know they're not going to live forever but it just doesn't prepare you for it any better. And in the end we know it's worth it. It's worth it to go through this lousy sad time, for all the good times you had with your happy pet, when he would greet you at the door, or jump on your lap or just be there when you couldn't sleep at 3 in the morning when no one else was. Of course it's worth it. It's just going to take time to get some perspective back. Time and yarn and friends and family help. And I'm a very lucky person I have all those things in spades. And we'll always be lucky we had such an awesome little friendin our lives with us as long as we did.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Insert yarn photo here

So last weekend was Stitches and tomorrow I leave for my very first Rhinebeck, you'd think there would be some stash photos here. Well, I did buy in Baltimore and I plan to buy more in Rhinebeck but being away 2 entire weekends in a row has left little time for blogging. Well, that and also a visit in between from the world's cutest niece! My sister was thrilled to win tickets to hear J.K. Rowling read and sign books at Carnegie Hall this evening. She's a huge Harry Potter fan so she didn't think twice about booking a flight to come up for the event. But who would babysit? Me of course! Well, ok, with help from my mom I guess. I knit the soakers, that is the extent of my diapering knowledge and I'm content to leave it at that level. In the meantime we've had a great couple of days eating crayons, playing with Mr. Potato Head and licking Playdoh. (Hey, I sniff yarn, I see the point of connecting with the essence of your medium.) If you need knitting content, well those socks she has on in these pictures are the ones I made a couple of months ago. There will be stash photos in the near future I promise. In the meantime, proof that the niece is not only still cute-but still fast!!!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dr. Strangelook, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Knitting in Public

I knit at work on my lunch breaks now. This might not seem like a big deal to some but it's a very new thing for me. Before my surgery I was very much a closet knitter. Outside of my knitting group and my immediate family people knew I knit and saw some finished objects here and there but very few actually got to witness me in the act. Not being able to drive for 2 months changed all that. Always relying on others for transportation means a lot of waiting. Not that I ever minded, I was always grateful to get rides from anyone even if it meant waiting for a cab to take me to the train station to take the train home from work. I was grateful to have the option to have a cab to take me where I needed to go. But there was a good solid month before I was even coordinated enough to take the train. Before that I would have to wait for my husband to pick me up. He works later than me, so once I finished work I usually had a good hour before he could make it to my office to pick me up. Those hours started to add up. Those plus the fact that no driving (or walking that much for that matter) also meant no lunch hours out. I sat at my desk everyday. Now spending that much time waiting is not really that bad, but if you're a knitter without your knitting, well, it's going to put you over the edge a little.

So now I knit at work and it's not so bad. My co-workers are intrigued. I have yet to do it in front of my main boss, he's not around a lot and I still worry about what he would think of it. But for the most part each day I either bring my lunch and sit at my desk and knit for an hour or go out and eat and knit somewhere else for an hour. My work is part of real estate, and the real estate market is frightfully dead right now so things are slow. I never skip lunches like I tend to do when it's busy.

And this knitting in public is not limited to work anymore. I knit at the vet waiting for the cat's appointment. While waiting for my hairdresser. On car trips where I'm not driving. I always knit on the long car trips before sure, but if I pick up the needles on a trip here or there, the extra 2-3 rows still put me 2-3 rows ahead.

It's made me super-productive, I think. On these soakers the legs sometimes seem like take me forever. They're 70 rows of 50 stitches, it kind of reminds me of knitting a pair of socks. I can usually do about 15 rows in a lunch hour. Add that to what I normally do at night and the finished objects are just flying off the needles. Before I start I usually set little goals for myself, like doing a certain number of rows or finishing the i-cord drawstring. I usually meet them and surpass them, I finish the lunch hour feeling very accomplished!

And this is how it should be. Knitting is so important to me really, why should I always hide it? Leave it for when I only have blocks of time in private to devote to it? It's funny how many people know so little about such a big part of me. While I'm not yet one of those people looking to spread the word necessarily (I'd rather sit and knit myself than teach someone new, I'm selfish I'll admit it) I'm definitely more comfortable with this than I've been in the past. And so what if someone thinks it's strange or silly? Really would I rather be concerned with what they think or be on my way to finishing up another project or using up more stash? Like I said I'm selfish...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm making a list, checking it 3,472 times....

Stitches East is less than 2 weeks away!!! And then Rhinebeck is right after that people!!!! Yay!!! Call me an overthinker, but I always make a list for fiber related events like these. The list makes up some things I need to get and then some general instructions. This way I don't end up buying too much or too yarn for certain projects, hopefully. An example of something I need-I have 2 men I have to knit socks for by Christmas and somehow the lavender Louet Gems in the stash is not going to cut it. So I need to get some more masculine sock yarn. A suggestion-I know I would like to buy some yarn for a shawl this year. I think something more fingering than lace weight. And I don't have a shawl pattern in mind, but I just need to make sure I buy a large enough amount to make a shawl out of. Another suggestion that I'd like to stick with- when I've gone to Stitches in the past I usually like to buy enough yarn for at least one sweater for myself. Well, since I still have a sweaters worth of yarn left from last year, I guess I'll only buy for one this year. I have 2 sweater ideas kind of kicking around, one is a bulky weight sweater where I could use any kind of bulky weight yarn probably. The other is a Berrocco pattern which I would want to use the Berrocco yarn for, I would not want to substitute yarns for this sweater. So tell me what you think-

One thing I've decided lately is I'd like to be knitting from my books more. I'm afraid I own more knitting books than I'd like to admit, and honestly I've knit from them a lot less than I'd like to admit. Enter my first consideration... Order and Chaos from Inspired Cable Knits.

Ok, I know it sucks the one in the book is knit in white, and the model's poses make it tough to make out how the sweater actually looks. Forget the fact that the guy she's forced to pose with is a complete tool (and why are they posing like it's for a prom photo???) forget all that. This really is a great sweater. I think. It is bulky weight yarn and yes I know bulky weight is not always that flattering on those of us who happen to be more curvy than the average bear-however- I think the cabling action will detract from that don't you? It's a comfy cozy type sweater, v-neck, not overly long and I like it alot. I've only found one other person who has made it - Melanie from Pink Lemon Twist (yes Mysterly Stole Melanie) has some great pictures of her finished Order and Chaos here and here. Bonus-if for some reason the yarn does not work for this sweater I could also easily use it to make Starsky or I also have a Ruana pattern I like that I could use it for. So purchase of yarn for this sweater would be a versatile purchase as well...

Unfortunately the amount of money I have to spend to buy the yarn for the other sweater I'm considering may well rival the budgets of some small, third world countries.

Jiada is a sweater that has haunted me ever since the Berrocco newsletter that featured it popped into my Inbox. I love the collar, and the colors, and the sheer stylishness of it. It is knit with Berrocco Peruvia and Jasper. Cha-ching! But that's ok, remember these fiber events are usually where I spend most of my yarn money for the year. It's one of the few times I don't look at the price tags of stuff. And I've only heard very drool worthy comments about Peruvia and Jasper, so I don't mind spending that kind of money since it's good yarn I'm getting in return. But, would this style of sweater even look good on me? Of course the model in the picture has no chesticles to speak of whatsoever. It's hard to picture how this would look with boobs. But I like how the collar 'frames the face' and that with the straightness of the diagonal front edge I consider this a bit of a 'jacket' type sweater and I think the color and the fabulousness of the yarns might hide some sins under there. Hmm... So any opinions? Order and Chaos or Jiada? I know, I like them both too...

In the meantime I'm knitting soakers. The soakers I knit before were a little too small for their recipients, so the bigger recipient donated hers to the smaller recipient and at least one of the girls has a soaker for now. But I'm knitting away at them, I finished one for my sister's friends baby, (pretend the ends are sewn in on the pic below) I'm on a second for her and once I finish it up I'll do another for my niece. And the small from before that didn't fit anybody is being donated to charity that accepts soakers. So you see, it's not that it didn't fit-it was really just meant to be for someone else!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Muchos Gracias!

First of all, thank you for all the nice comments you guys left on my last post. Thank you for wishing Allister well. And thank you so, so much for not thinking I'm crazy and being patient when I was just feeling so, so sad about our little guy. Maybe it is all the well wishes that are helping! Mid-week or so we started to notice a few changes here and there. He started eating a little more and hiding a little less. He started meowing again and as of this weekend we're certain he is definitely feeling somewhat better. While he does not seem to be 100% his normal self, we're so happy for just these little improvements. He goes back to the vet Monday night, so maybe after all these well wishes the results might actually come back better.

And I have another huge thank you to send to Sunne! I left a silly comment on this blog post and she liked it so much she decided to send me a treat!

What a cute little package & a sweet card. Such attention to detail! What's inside?

Stitchmarkers from Sunne's etsy store! Aren't they so pretty? Seriously, these are like prettier than a lot of the jewelry I own! And much better than the crappy ones I tried to make ages ago, no snaggly cut wires here! I love the colorful little hearts, and I love the little kitties and of course the sun will always remind me I got them from Sunne! They are the perfect size for socks which is good-I just got another request the other day, I now have 3 pairs of socks I have to finish by Christmas that I haven't even started. Eep!

But that's ok, the Waving Lace socks are done and that's a pretty good start.

Pattern: Waving Lace from the Interweave Favorite Socks Book

Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in Gunmetal Gray

Needles: KnitPicks 6 inch DPN's

These are an allover success in my book. This was the first chance I got to work with the Socks that Rock in my stash and now I see what all the fuss is about. It is beautiful, doesn't split, it's warm and woolly and so saturated with color. And just as I got to start to try out these needles of course KnitPicks comes out with an even newer type of needle! But this was my first time working with shorter dpns and metal dpns and I love both features. The length makes turning the sock so much easier, and the metal feels so solid, I know these are never going to crack or split! And the pattern was easy to follow and memorize. One more pair down, three to go!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Little guy, big love

Sorry for the pause between posting but we've had some pet drama going on here lately. Two posts back I mentioned our cat wasn't feeling so great. Unfortunately, after several prescriptions and many vet visits since then things have not improved. The vets aren't so sure what's going on. It could be the parasite they originally figured, but they think there is probably also something in addition to that, maybe a feline immune deficiency virus. All of his blood counts have been way down and while they seem to have levelled off a little, they still haven't improved the way they should from the medicine he's being given. And from his behavior we can tell he's feeling pretty crappy too. Allister is 11 years old and the vets have said this is a situation he will have to deal with until the end of his life. Whether that end is days, months or weeks away no one will tell us. He still has his good moments, he still wants petting sometimes, this morning he managed after 3 tries to jump up on the couch to sit next to me. I took the picture above when he felt like sitting by the door and watching leaves blow around for a few minutes this afternoon. But most of the time he secludes himself off in a dark corner exhausted. He barely, barely eats and he never comes upstairs anymore. Call me a crazy cat lady but seeing our friend like this has us just at our ends. Allister has been with us for 11 years. And in a house of 2 people a little pet starts to play a very big role. He has a big personality and he is loved very much. When he is down, 1/3 of our household is suffering and he carries our hearts on his shoulders. Maybe I'm a big sap but it just has not had me in the blogging frame of mind lately. There have been pity parties. A lot of crying and a lot of chocolate eating... It just sucks.

Crying, eating, knitting I suppose. Tracy reminded me knitting helps so it's worth a shot. If it doesn't work maybe I'll try gin. Or gin and knitting together. I don't see how it could make things worse. So far though it's just been knitting.

Those are the Waving Lace socks growing. And this is the Here and There Cables Scarf growing.

Eventually I'll be back into it. Concerned about the stash, excited about the new Knitty. Later though. For now it's just one stitch after the other. Counting each day as a blessing...

Monday, September 03, 2007

All it takes to make me happy

Yep the second soaker is finished. I mailed the soaker and pants off to the recipients Saturday. I have requested a picture of the girls in their soakers, if I get it I promise I will post it here first! I'm really glad about meeting this goal, I wanted to have soakers done by September and I did. I wanted to finish my cotton yarn by September and I did. I think this goal-oriented stuff might be a good way to knit for me. Next up-I said I wanted to knit all my yarn from the last Stitches East before going to Baltimore in October for Stitches East 2007. This goal I'm pretty sure, is one I'm not going to make. The problem is the majority of what I have left from Stitches is sock yarn. While I will really attempt to ramp up my sock knitting in the next 6 weeks (good god....) there's no way I can knit all of this without needing wrist or shoulder surgery. I really feel it when I only knit on small needles for 3 or 4 days in a row. For this reason I have to break it up with a worsted weight project. I started a scarf I will probably end up donating to charity for this purpose. But I need to remember it's just to break up the sock knitting, for the next 6 weeks (is it really only 6 weeks away?? that's so good yet so bad...) I really need to think socks!

And to those who think romance is dead lemme tell ya, despite the glamour of the cast and crutch situation in this house the romance lives on! The other night my husband was out of the house at some silly Fantasy Football thing when he sent me a text message on my phone:

Him: Did Amazon come today?

Me: Yes, what is it? (Thinking what is so important that it merits an interruption to the much anticipated kick off of the Fantasy Football season? Must be good!)

Him: Open it.

Inside was this

I have not gotten a gift or bought something for myself this cool in a long, long time. Yes those are already my greasy fingerprints on it, I covet this so much I don't know how I've kept myself from sleeping with this darn thing. I cannot tell you people how much I love this freaking show. The characters, the storylines, how it's science-fiction-y without being too 'out there.' And all of the actors are just so talented, their characters all manage to be flawed and realistic and charming and strong and it all just pulls you in! I'm constantly changing my mind as to who is my favorite. (Peter? Claire? Hiro? Parkman???) Of course I've already started watching it. I keep bubbling and gabbing to my husband about how you know, few things make me quite as happy as watching Heroes and knitting. And to do both at the same time? Really, that's like all I need. Both things make me just so happy. He doesn't get it, but that's ok, it was sweet of him just to get me the dvd.

In rocking out news, thanks to Jodi for naming me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger!

Thank you!! I try, even though I admit I just downloaded a bunch of Paul Simon songs to the ipod the other day, Paul rocks out in some ways too right? Anyway, I'm more than happy to tag some other rocksters out there. How about-

The Fabulous Traqua: Tracy went to a hardcore show with us in Toms River a few months ago. She can tell you I'm rocking when not listening to Paul Simon. And she just knit a Condom Critter. She rocks!

Sunne: I can't believe she hasn't been tagged for this before. She's so rockin! She runs the Punk Rock Gift Exchange. One must be rockin' to be allowed to fill such a post.

Knitxcore: I know, you're a dude. I'm sorry for the rockin' "girl" misnomer. You are a rockin' dude. He knit a sweater from the yarn colors 'lettuce' and 'carrot.' Go look, we will all want to knit sweaters too.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Self Portrait Saturday!

Ok, so I may be the only blogger taking part in this Self Portrait Saturday, probably because I kind of made it up 5 minutes ago and haven't told anyone else to take part. Why? Well, I'm just very happy today because today (August 25th) is the first time I have put in my contacts since June 27th. It's also the first day I've blown out my hair since June 27th. It's the closest I've felt to being my 'normal' self (stop laughing!) in awhile so I just wanted to take note of that, show my face and say hi to everybody! Anyone else feeling like taking part in Self Portrait Saturday (or Sunday or Monday, etc.) please feel free to have a blog post and a smile!

I know maybe it seems weird, my foot was operated on, this shouldn't affect my contacts or my hair but well, it just does. I'm one of those practical type girls that if it gets hard to get around (or I partied the night before, or I feel like staying in and knitting all day- hey it happens) well, the glasses go on and the hair is going to suffer. That's just what ponytails are for. Thankfully, these days I have been getting more and more mobile every day.

This is the hardware making me mobile. The walking cast is black and heavy and a godsend. Lately, it's allowed me to take the train home from work which gets me home almost an hour earlier and gives me a nice little knitting break after the work day. Last night it helped me get my laundry done, today the hair and the contacts, what's next world? Look out! Actually we're a week and a half away from no cast and physical therapy, and I promise Iwill be ready!

Unfortunately my little cat friend Allister, is not feeling so great. I'm not posting his picture because he even looks like he doesn't feel like having his picture taken. This week the vet diagnosed his recent general malaise as the parasite Hemobartonella. It's caused him to be anemic which means he's not eating a whole lot (he's lost 3 pounds), he's laying about even more than usual and sometimes he's been sick to his stomach a lot. Poor baby. We have him on the meds though, and once he finishes them the parasite should be gone and he red blood cell count should be back. It has not been a fun week at all, but we are of course VERY happy to find out it's not leukemia or cancer or anything really, really bad like that.

In other news I started a sock.

It's the Waving Lace sock from the Favorite Socks book from Interweave. In Socks that Rock Lightweight. Buttery stuff I know. But so far my favorite part about this sock? The needles! These are my new metal dpns from KnitPicks and I love them! Their shorter length really makes a difference and I've never knit socks on metal dpns before. They make the ssk's and k2togs so much easier. I think I must be a tight knitter because the needles don't fall out for me and sometimes I struggle with those increase and decrease stitches. No more, thank you KnitPicks metal dpns!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Little Things

Well, the soaker with legs/baby pants are finished. Before I show you mine though, I'm going to show you what the recipient has used in the past, and what I used as my model.

Even my sister who is using these now too admitted 'they look weird, they don't look like pants.' But they are meant to be roomy in the diaper area, and then fitted in the legs to catch leaks and apparently that's why this shape works.

Ok, I know mine looks even weirder. Tracy made the keen comparison to the knitted uterus from Knitty. Or I keep thinking it looks like a new muppet soon to be appearing next to Elmo and Grover. But, I think it is along the same logic as the original model and I happen to think it will work. I really adhered to the measurements of my sister's friends toddler who everyone says is very long and skinny. I made legs fitted enough to catch leaks, yet long enough to reach her ankles. It looks silly, but I think is will fit and wear well.

The navy blue yarn is the soaker I'm starting for my niece, she is a medium (the pink is a small). I plan to finish both and then mail them together, that way maybe they can try different sizes if they need me to make them different next time.

In non-wool-butt covering news I also finished the last 2 dishcloths from the Peaches and Creme yarn.

Ok, I have a few random little leftover end balls floating around the bottom of the stash baskets that may eventually come together as one crazy, scrappy cloth, but for now I'm pretending they're not there. Besides, something tells me I'll be placing another order for more Peaches and Creme before I know it. I love this yarn so much, and I feel like I've only touched on the knitting and gifting possibilities.

Here's a look at another project I was really into this past weekend, I made a big batch of stuffed shells with my mom.

Kind of retro right? I don't know why I think that, were these a big deal in the 70's? Or maybe they're just something my mom made a lot when I was a kid? I'm not really sure why I think this but it was just so much fun! Boiling the pasta and making the filling was super easy! And it's easy to get it in the shells too, but it's the impressive kind of thing that might look super difficult to people who have never tried it. They came out delicious, and I'm totally inspired by all the pasta filling possibilities I can explore now that I know how to do this. Shells with meat filling, spinach, seafood.... mmm. How about seafood and cheese and some kind of alfredo/cream sauce??? Yum!! And yeah, making them with my mom was really fun too. I always like cooking with my mom. It's such a great bonding time, we have fun and good food is always the outcome. I feel bad for some kids growing up today who never learn to cook or who never get to cook with their parents. Or only ever get to eat in restaurants and eat stuff that comes out of a box. I always treasure the fun times I have cooking with my mom, it's those little things that count.