Friday, November 30, 2012

Lime Puff-ed

I finished the Lime Striped Shower Puff very slowly yesterday.  After having killed my left arm last week I wasn't about to power through and make it hurt so much again quickly.  Look at me being smart.  This one took a little more than one 2.5 oz. skein of Sugar and Cream.  Doesn't it look refreshing?  Just the way you want to feel in the shower.

I'm slowly working on the Winter Warmer too, although I think I'm going to tink (k-n-i-t backwards) back a couple rows because there's a big hole in the tan row.  I'm also going out this afternoon to see if I can't find some better US19 needles.  These are working but they're plastic, not very pointy, and they're just not comfy to knit with.  Bamboo or wood would be better.  I've got coupons.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not Much Yarn Stuff Gets Done When Your Wrist's Hurting

See, the week before last I crocheted and knitted almost non-stop through an unexpectedly long stretch of days off.  My left wrist doesn't like that and it's not shy about letting me know it.  I've been trying to avoid knitting the last few days.  It's hard.  I keep finding new things I want to make and keep looking at the Works In Progress (WIPs) that lay there calling my name.  I decided on Monday that garter stitch (all knitting, all the time) would be easier on my wrist that a project needing both knitting & purling or a crochet project (that's the real offender, that crocheting action) so I took my Maple Tree Scarf to work with me to catch up.  Everything was going well until it occurred to me that we had snow on Saturday night and I didn't have any snow colored yarn with me.  Dang.  I unearthed a smidgeon of white yarn when I got home and caught up, and I knitted yesterday's rows before bed last night.  Look how big the roll of scarf is.  I don't think any of us is ready for this but... 5 weeks from yesterday is New Year's Day when the scarf will be done.  Holy Jeebus.  That also means that 4 weeks from yesterday is Christmas Day.  (i need to lie down)

Monday afternoon was very long at work with no knitting and only an audiobook to keep me awake and not even my Kindle to play games on.  I'm ready today.  I've got the Kindle, my mp3 player with 2 audiobook novels and 3 projects in my bag.  Easy ones, cross my heart.  Okay, maybe one is a crochet project but I promise not to bear down on it trying to finish it today; I don't need it to be finished for 2 weeks.  Cross my heart. 

I gave in and cast on a scarf last night.  Hey, it's with super bulky yarn on size US19 needles; it won't take long, and... look how pretty!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

On A Crocheting Jag

I need to stop or at least take a break.  My left hand's kind of tingly and achy and that only happens when I crochet too much or for too long.  *sigh*  I don't want to stop because I'm enjoying it.  I will stop knitting and crocheting with cotton yarn; that's the worst on my hands I assume because it's inflexible, but I'll just cut back using regular yarn.  It'll be okay, I'm sure.  And I'll wear a brace like a good girl, that'll help too.

I made another crocheted chemo hat from a new pattern I found.  I really like the golden brown with the dark brown stripes.

The knitted black Boystown Beanie is coming along.  I realized that I wasn't going to make it to the end on what I had so on my way home from knitting with Skully this afternoon at Michaels for another skein of Red Heart Soft yarn so it'll be all black with just that narrow gray stripe.  I like it.


Last night at Friday Night Knitting I finished the Double Thick Dishcloth.  I really like it; it's thick and squooshy.  Can't wait to try it out.  And the stitch to make it double thick was easy.  I'll be using it again.

I stopped at Monterey Yarn on my Small Business Saturday rounds today.  Two skeins of super bulky Universal Yarn's Big Time in the Sapphires colorway.  I've already found a "shoulder warmer" pattern and am itching to cast on.  Now, do I have size 19 needles?

At Thanksgiving dinner DIL1 asked if I'd stop at their house to see if "the ladies" had laid any eggs and to take them home with me.  They did!  Guess who'll be having fresh eggs and bacon for Sunday breakfast?

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Give Up

Four times now I've tried to crochet the Zac Brown Band beanie--and failed miserably.  They've either been coneheaded or flat.  Grrr.  Now I can crochet the bejeebers out of my old standby hat pattern which is very like the Zac Brown beanie... I DON'T GET IT.  Sorry, I'm that frustrated by the whole thing.  I sat down on the couch around 4 PM yesterday, frogged my latest ZBB attempt, wound the yarn up willy-nilly, and got a standby hat started.  And finished before 10:30 PM., with a break for supper and an orange and kitchen cleanup (sometimes Durwood lets me if there's football on).

On Saturday I sat watching TV with Durwood after supper and finished the Hyperbolic Pseudosphere.  I love it.  I made it around what I'd decided would be the last round (I did 4-5 rnds single crochet, one half-double crochet, and wanted to end with one double-crochet) with only 18" of yarn left over.  Whew.  It was a good thing I stuck a marker in the first stitch of that last round because I would have given up in exhaustion halfway around just because it was so FAR around once that last time.  I had read notes of a few of the people who made it before saying that they hesitated to use it as a shower puff because it was sooooo thick it'd never dry so that's when I decided to single crochet my way out from the center a bit and then put progressively taller and not as dense stitches on.  This is really a pattern you can use as a jumping off point.  I'm tempted to use it as my Bay Lakes Knitting Guild washcloth exchange, or one like it.  It amuses me and takes no time to make.  Crochet's kind of like knitting, I think it'd pass muster.  Besides look how cool-looking it is.  People will fight over it.  I'm doing it.  (do you think that'll be okay? god, i'm such a weenie.)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Too Much Fun

I was surfing the Ravelry pattern files of dish/washcloths seeing if there was one I wanted to make for the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild holiday exchange next month when I came across this one.  It slapped me upside the head and made me hunch over the keyboard looking at projects made with it and other possibilities.  Doesn't it look like coral?  It does, if you've never seen it in person, trust me, it really does.  This morning I've gotten back onto Ravelry and found many more patterns, many of them free.  This could become quite an obsession. Look at darymaid's coral reef!  Totally amazing.

As soon as I got home I went down into the stash, picked out an F hook and a partial skein of non-pastels and just plunged in.  Here's what I have so far.  Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, November 16, 2012

That's Better

On my way to work today I made a quick stop at St. V's Hospital to drop off the first five chemo caps for men.  I wheedled my way past the greeter and 2 receptionists to put them in the box where there were only 2 ball caps.

Here's how it looked when I first saw it:

Here's how it looked this morning after my delivery:

I like photo #2 better.  Don't you?  More hats are in the works. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I Did On My Day Off

I finally finished the first men's chemo hat I cast on, that's what I did.  I'm not a very fast knitter and I'm not a very project monogamous knitter either. 

The crocheted one which was the third one was slightly problematic.  I started it, frogged it, restarted it using a different pattern, refrogged that one, re-restarted it using yet another pattern, re-refrogged that one, finally started it again with my old-standby pattern and a one size smaller hook and finished that one at work on Tuesday, which took up quite a bit of my time as you can imagine. That's it below in all its chamo-y glory.

So last night after supper I reloaded my 2 chemo hap project bags (one crochet & one knit) with new man-approved yarns (I ran them by Durwood) and plunged in again.  I'm determined to crochet a Zac Brown Band-style beanie, even though that's one of the patterns I tried before and ripped out, but I think I figured out what I was doing wrong.  It's the brown blob on the left.  So far, so good.

I found a similar rib-knit hat pattern to the original one that calls for a bigger needle (I'm really a big yarn/big needle girl) and cast that one on in the black.  When I was digging for yarns for the hats I found a tiny scrap of a black, white & gray yarn that I slapped in after the first few rows just so it isn't solid black.  I know, I know guys like solid black (boring) hats but this is just a little bit of interest I don't think they'll mind, do you?  I promise I'll do an all-black one next.  Men need to get with color, all this blue, brown, gray, forest green, and black is just plain dull.  Dull, dull, dull.  Perk it up, guys, walk on the wild side.  How about a nice rust?

I got my teeth cleaned in the afternoon too but there are no photos of that.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Maple Tree Scarf

On Sunday when I was moving all my knitting clutter out of the living room I realized that I stopped knitting my daily rows sometime in late October.  It made me feel like a slacker, so I brought it to work with me yesterday and knitted a few rows.  I clipped the last variegated, autumn-leaf-colored yarn and brought some solid gold yarn today to represent the last few weeks of all-yellow leaves.  There's not a lof of the gold left so I'm going to knit with it to the end, there are still a few maple helicopters left hanging so it's a valid color choice, and then splice in another brown.

I rolled it out to take its picture and measured it, and it's over 100 inches long.  It's Week #46, only 6 more weeks and then I can bind off this beast.  Put it behind me.

Aunt B had an interesting suggestion to turn up the ends to make pockets so that I can wind it around and then shove my hands into them.  It might work.  Way to think outside the box, Aunt B!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Not Exactly Finished

But closer.  On our drive up to Kugel's Cheese Mart in Lena on Saturday I knitted on the final miter of the Hubbard Grand-Baby Blanket and got almost done, so I finished that last corner last night while watching the Firefly 10 Year Anniversary special.  Which was kind of lame; I enjoyed watching the marathon of episodes all afternoon and evening much more.  Now all that the blanket needs is edging.  The pattern says to pick up stitches on each side separately, knit an increasing strip of edging, bind off, and then go to the next side.  Seems kind of odd to me so I'll be thinking about what to do.  Maybe just crochet a few rows.  The second ball of yarn ran out before the end of the last miter.  See the lower right corner?  I just grabbed the third ball and kept going not really looking at the color progression.  I kind of like it.  "One of these is not like the other..."  Sing it with me!

I had hopes of finishing another chemo hat but I kept crocheting and then frogging (ripping out) what I had done and starting over.  I think I'm on the third pattern and the fourth hat with this yarn.  Good thing it's acrylic or I'd have worn it out by now.  I had hopes of making a Zac Brown Band-type beanie and found a pattern.  That was try #3.  Evidently the band has coneheads.  I'm back to my original standard crocheted hat pattern only I'm using one size smaller hook.  I know, radical.

I only added one row to my knitted one; that's not going to get it finished anytime soon, is it?  No.  I also noticed my Maple Tree Scarf in its little plastic package when I was de-crap-ifying the living room this morning.  It has become increasingly difficult to even remember to knit my down-and-back rows weekly much less daily.  I've got it here at work with me and will be caught up by the end of the day.  Cross my heart.  I don't know what I'm going to do with it because it is so long and so thick, it'll be long enough to keep a giraffe's neck warm.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Under A Planetary Cloud

How are you doing?  I'm okay.  No, I'm not really, I hear that Mercury is in retrograde and the astronomical anomaly has totally bollixed up my mojo.  I knit or crochet and don't seem to get anywhere.  I did manage to unearth a 3/8" button from Mother Malcolm's reclaimed buttons the other day that I sewed onto the third of the teeny tiny keyring purses and I cast on #4 in yarn that has a sparkly thread in it.  I opted not to make the fourth of the patterns because it asks you to make a bottom and then pick up stitches all around.  People, these purses call for use of US1 needles, there is no freakin' way I am going to be picking up stitches on something that small, plus it requires 9" of 2-stitch I-cord and there is no freakin' way I'm doing that  I'm back to the first pattern, the one that's just the size to tuck your car remote key into.  It's the right thing to do, even if the beginning of them using that spiderweb-ish fingering yarn on those toothpick-sized double point needles is a royal pain in the keester.

The second crocheted he-man chemo hat looks more like a hot pad than a hat at this point.  I need to put on a few rows so that it starts to look hat-like.  I'll be working on that today while fending off the hordes of customers that regularly darken the store's door.  Not.

*edited to add: it's growing way too big; I'm taking it to the frog pond, I'll start over with a different pattern*

The first of the knitted hats is still in the works.  I wish I knitted faster but there it is.  I've plonked in a couple stripes of beach colored variegated yarn and have a couple inches to go before starting the crown decreases.  Maybe I'll manage to finish one or the other this weekend.

My knitting friend Mitch stopped by the dive shop and dropped off 2 hats he'd made.  Thanks, Mitch!

Monday, November 5, 2012

There's White Stuff Falling Out There

Durwood and I had an appointment with our financial advisor this morning early and when I left the building to come to work there were white specks of some sort of precipitation falling from the sky.  Snow-ish sort of stuff.  Yikes.  I'm not psychologically ready for snow although we did get the tuned-up snowblower back from the fixit shop on Thursday so we're good to go when the flakes really do fly.  (better get gas)

I went along with Durwood for another radiology appointment on Friday (don't they have enough pictures of his insides yet? they take a new one every 6 month) and noticed for the first time that they've got a wicker trunk full of chemo caps for women and a small box of ball caps for men.  Nothing warm and soft for a newly bald man's head, so I put out a call to the board members of Bay Lakes Knitting Guild right away, I plan to put it on the BLKG blog today, and now I'm telling you.  I'm guessing that it's the same all over, everyone makes cute knitted and crocheted caps for women and the men are out of luck.  I understand that  some men choose to shave their heads (DS included) as a fashion statement so a man who has lost his hair during chemo doesn't stand out like a woman in the same boat does, but those caps are also a symbol of caring and hope and support.  Men might pretend to be he-men but they do have feelings (I know they do, I've seen it) and the disparity between the sexes couldn't be more obvious.  I'm asking all knitters and crocheters out there to do what guild member, Andy's doing and work up your leftover balls of yarn into a few caps for men.  Swing by your local oncology clinic or wherever they're needed (like a VA hospital where nearly all the cancer patients are men) and spread a little yarn-y love.  My plan is to have one always OTN (on the needles) or OTH (on the hook) so that when I need a little break, a little instant project gratification, I can work on a hat and therefore have a tidy pile that I can deliver once a month. 

Think about this; making a few he-man chemo caps could be the one good deed that springs your soul from Purgatory and ushers it right through the Pearly Gates when the time comes... I'm just saying.

Lastly how about a gratuitous cute grand-dog picture.  Here's Porter bored with all the football games and no one taking her outside to play.