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September 2009
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November 2009

The Next Sweater

As soon as the big ol' Noro sweatshirt was finished I turned my attention to Pas de Valse. With the crochet around the edges finished (which took half a day) and the sweater blocked, it was time to start the sleeves. I tried Magic Loop, but the yarn was too soft, the cords too wiry and the process totally frustrating. This sweater has been a challenge for my post-surgery brain and some of the instructions strike fear into my heart…like Kitchenering the back neck.

I am a scaredy cat when it comes to Kitchener stitch. A sock toe I can do, but when it involves 50 stitches or more, Kitchenering stops me cold. Last week, while working on feeling grown up and trying to stop the lollygagging, I made a goal to finish the shoulder seams and Kitchener the collar. I am, in addition to being a scaredy cat, an accomplished knitter, and I need to act like one.


After referring to Susan's marvelous tutorial (and printing out a copy), I settle down to "just do it". Of course, there had to be a couple of false starts, but once the brain and rhythm kicked in, I was off and Kitchenering! Not only did I finish all 50 stitches without much trouble, I did the whole thing nearly perfectly! This doesn't mean I won't have trouble next time around, however.


So the sweater body and neck are finished and I'm trying to decide which way would be best to knit the sleeves….a 12" circular (which may drive me battier than the Magic Loop) or DPNs.

My dear friend Birdsong is having a contest. Her first grandchild was born recently and she feels like it was a life changing event.  In celebration she'd like to hear about any life changing event you'd like to share.  Her contest ends on November 6th so you have a full week.  Good luck!

Big and Cozy

What's soft, cozy, warm, colorful and a little too big? My big comfy sweatshirt of a Noro sweater, that's what. The yarn is soft and comfortable against the skin and, while it is a bit too big, it is warm and warm is needed as winter returns.  It's snowing!


The Noro Silk Garden yarn has been hiding out in my stash for a couple of years and I'm very happy I bought it when I did, as it's one of my favorite Noro colorways. The colors were left to flow as they might from ball to ball, which creates confusion of how the colors should flow as only one of the seven balls used had no knot. The color sequence changed radically quiet often, but it matter not one whit to me. Every piece has its own character and color flow and the sweater is meant to be fun and comfy. Warm and comfy is key during the cold winter months and this sweater fits the bill.


When my weight begins to return (the docs say it will take a couple more months) it will fit a little better, but it is the big, cozy sweatshirt I imagined. Knitting with Silk Garden was more enjoyable than I thought it would be and it becomes even softer after a bath. (Make sure you wash your swatch when you knit with this yarn.)

The sweater took longer than expected.  I started August 30 but didn't get very far as I was in hospital the next day. As soon as I could I started knitting again, which wasn't until September 27th, it went fairly quickly.  I still didn't finished until October 22.


Pattern: Basic Pullover by Jane Ellison in Knitting Noro
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden - color 201 - 7 balls
Needle: Addi #8
Raveled HereRav_linkredyarnball
Sweater #10 for MoDoRav_linkredyarnball

Brain Racking

What's a knitter to do when the only thing on the needles is a big sweater? In fact, two sweaters are in the works and nothing makes for portable or easy knitting. While the Mystery Socks are small and portable, the clues only come along once a week, which gives me plenty of time to catch up. The socks (three of them) idly sit until the next clue is published and I'm left with no "on the go" knitting.


I've racked my brain all week for the right project to start, one that would make a nice on the go companion. Should I start shawl or another pair of socks? What was on my favorites list? Admittedly, I'm a little ashamed to say, one big draw back was winding a skein of yarn. There is no reason I couldn't wind a skein of yarn, I just didn't want to wind a skein of yarn, and I didn't want to start another pair of socks. Two pair in progress is enough, but I needed something to take to SnB Tuesday evening.


Sometimes the brain works and other times it just slips and slides around, not really catching on anything and, as I paged though my "up and coming" projects, I remembered that just the day before I'd pulled three balls of Rowan Scottish Tweed DK from the stash. Their destiny was to become a pair of Almeara glovesZzzzzzzzzyarnball.  The yarn had been purchased right after I bought a sweaters worth of gorgeous Glacier Blue Beaverslide Worsted.  The two blues look so nice together and I thought they make a lovely ensemble.

Once again, however, I hit a road block. Not only did I not have right needles, 7 DPNs, I could not find the pattern!  My prince charming, Smith, made a quick trip the LYS and picked up the needles, but I'm still looking for the pattern. Drat! Foiled again!


Tuesday afternoon, just before SnB, found me wandering aimlessly around the fiber/junque room racking my brain for a project that felt right. Finally, I decided to stop being such a big baby, picked up a skein of yarn and wound it into a ball.  The decision made, I spent the evening casting on for Beach GlassRav_linkredyarnball and with 388 stitch it kept me busy all night.

Back to Work

Going back to work has been fine, just a little tiring.  While the office seemed to survive without me, they left a lot of little things for me to clean up and catch up (like ordering supplies).  You'd think they could have at least watered my plant!  Anyway, they were all happy to see me.


While hanging out during my last week at home, and while trying get out of my lollygagging state of mind, I decided something needed to be finished. My need for a sense of accomplishment was strong. The Basic Noro PulloverRav_linkredyarnball had been slowly, slowly growing and the body was nearly finished. I needed to get over my funk, do the neck shaping and start the sleeves. After whipping my mojo into shape the front was finished and the first sleeve started. This sweater flies when you give it a little attention! The sleeve was finished over the weekend and the second sleeve is coming along (quite quickly), too. I even found the wherewithal to block the two body pieces. This sweater is going to be the big ol' comfy sweater shirt I envisioned and, if things go well, I could be wearing it this weekend.


While I was trying to act all grown up and get some of the knitting off the needles, I decided to finish the shoulders on Pas de Valse, and I did. However, I should not have attempted this complicated pattern while under the influence of drugs and recovery. The jury is out and it needs to be blocked and the crochet edging started before I'll know how it's going to turn out. I'm a little miffed with myself, but well, we'll see.   Wait, wait, wait!  I just looked at the pattern page in the Twist Collective and can see clearly that I didn't make the mistake I thought I had.  Ok, now I can block and start the crochet edging without beating myself up! What a relief and a renewed sense of knitting peace. Whew!  


Smith has been cooking almost everything we eat. He's even made tapioca pudding several times. (Thank you to all my friends who have dropped by with meals, it's been a big help!) After I caught up on reading a handful of gluten free blogs and pulling a few easy recipes, he took over and whipped up a quick batch of biscuits from  this recipe.  We didn't have chives so went with fresh thyme and used Pamela's Baking Mix (as suggested in the instructions).  We both loved them. They were great for breakfast and dinner.  Must make another batch soon!

Fall's Beauty

This weekends weather felt like a gift, full of warmth, sunshine and the sights of fall.  I ate up every minute of it, drinking in the colors and the fresh air while on my daily walks.


The morning light i\was strong and washed out the sky, but yesterday was so bright and beautiful. The valley trees are now donning their new colors of gold, red and brown.  The best of fall is the rich depth of color in warm earthy shades.  It fills they eye and warms the soul.

Blueskyandyellowlocust Leavesofburningbush
Brightbeautifulmums Fallberries
Colorsoffallyellow Malabrigodaybreak
Yes, the last picture is Daybreak blocked and ready to go. When the lollygagging came to an end my "big grrl" day included some blocking.  It felt good to be able to do more than just sit and knit.  It looks like I'm well on my way to normal.  I'm going to spend some time in the office today, which is a little bittersweet.

Pattern: Daybreak by Steven West
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, colors Stonechat and Boticelli Red
Raveled hereZzzzzzzzzzforblog

Time to Stop That Lollygagging!!

Last week was a rough one, but this week has been much better~super good, in fact.  There has been a fair amount of slacking and lollygagging, however, and while you say I have a good excuse, the lollygagging has been silly.  I've piddled with that and dabbled at this while really getting nowhere fast.  Half way through the week I realized I needed to do some growing up and get myself into gear. 

Messedupsock First thing up, because it was relatively easy, was to finish the leg of the Mystery Sock.  Sock Mojo and I haven't worked together for some time and it took awhile to find our symbiosis again.  As we started down the leg of the first sock it just didn't look right, didn't work out right, but we decided (together) to just push forward. As it turned out we had offset the ribbing so it didn't flow as one piece down the front of the leg.  

We really should have check pictures of other socks, but with laziness as a main factor, we decided not to bother with the computer.  Five repeats of the cable pattern went quite quickly and it turned out so beautifully!  We rewarded our efforts by starting the leg of the second sock and immediately noticed it lined up perfectly.

Big sigh.  But, rather than rip back the 5 repeats of the first sock, we decided to offset the second sock and not sweat the small stuff. We did, however make a packed to start a second pair and do it right.


And so we did.


This time we're using a beautiful fall color from Ball and Skein and this time we knit it correctly. Hallelujah!

In the All of It...

...I'm doing well, but recovery has been up and down. Mostly up, but with hiccups.  It felt good to blog and tell my story, but now blogging seems a chore.  I'll be back as soon as I feel like I have something to say and something to share.  Knitting continues, but it is slow. 

In the meantime, I miss you all and thank you, again, for your continued good thoughts.