Saturday, October 27, 2007

octoer 27, 2007

it's been a challenging week on the home front. i'd heard from experienced parents about teen angst and the crazy level of influence...often not so great...that teen peers can have....but've never really had it rear it's ugly head TOO badly here at home. Sigh. All I can say is that I am getting paid back in full for my own misbehavin' at that age. And all one can do is hang on for the ride sometimes. I've heard that eventually it gets better. And I know from taking care of former patients that it can be so very very much worse. But wow...they can sure suck the wind from your sails at times. Guess it's all part of life.

And I am so grateful for the partnership i have with my husband, and for the friends I have, who've given immeasurably supportive words and reassurances. These are both on-line and in-the-flesh friends. You know who you are. I send my thanks.

This morning one of those friends showed up to go for a BIG walk. It was the lovely and talented BFF MaryKay (yes, like the cosmetics). I've blogged about her before. We've been BFFs since our girls were barely walking. Today we made the short and easy mile+ hike to Thunderbird Falls. The weather was sunny and a brisk 23 degrees, but we were well bundled. (Why yes, those are interpretations of Amy Singer's "Churro" hat)

The trek back is steep and hilly at times, and there are lovely overlooks into Thunderbird Gorge

and directly at the Falls themselves (which were very low at this time due to our lack of much in the way of autumn precipitation).

Then we followed the VERY steep trail down into the gorge to the actual river. It was so beautiful and crisp. We reminisced about many other hikes and road trips we've made. We used to do this one with the kids in backpacks, and past pets on leashes. It was early enough in the morning that we didn't encounter another soul until we were almost back to the trailhead. A nice hour of outdoor exercise and conversation with a dear friend. Now there's Chicken Tortilla Soup simmering on the stove for dinner, and a bit of knitting to be done. I think the storm is over for a bit. I am feeling very blessed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Let the Knitting Begin

Holiday knitting has started off with a BANG! DD asked for a hat and matching fingerless mitts for Christmas. Because she's a bit on the picky side with hats, i showed her the top 20 hat patterns on Ravelry. She chose the Odessa, but wanted it with no beads so she can wear it under her riding helmet. She also went shopping in the yarn room when i was trying to do stash inventory and glommed on to the Nashua Woolly Stripes Tweed right away. The Odessa was a very quick and easy knit and the only modification I made was a different yarn weight (heavy worsted instead of DK) and made the hat 6 1/2" before starting the crown decreases (because we are a big-head family and like our hats to cover our ears). Same size needles, same # stitches at the caston. Loved the pattern! And the man was kind enough to model it for the blog photo...although he's incognito wearing the Hollywood shades lol! Seriously, a great, quick easy peasy knit hat pattern. It will be made again.

Here's a shot of the pretty the way it all swirls around ;0

To match, I'm using the other ball and a half for Fetching fingerless mitts....quick and's less than an hour of fast knitting action.....

Started my new job this week. I cannot tell you how much I love it. You'll just have to imagine me getting up cheerfully each morning, and coming home cheerfully each evening (or morning, depending on the call schedule) but knowing I won't get another call because I'm off...blessedly, totally, 100% OFF when I'm not clocked just heaven. I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders....and my patients...oh my's amazing when you're working with people who actually are trying to be healthy, and are cheerful about their pregnancies, and aren't chronically mentally or emotionally ill.......It seriously improves MY emotional health and well-being I must say! Thanks so much to everyone for your support and well wishes while I made this enormous change. All your positive energy and input helped both with the decision making and the transition. I hug you ALL!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Needle Ho'

Bets initiated a lil discussion about needles the other day and it got me thinking that maybe, just maybe....i might have a bit of a problem.
I learned to knit on aluminum needles and didn't know there were any other types for years and years....until i started knitting with a vengeance again about seven years ago. During the past seven years, i've tried out and collected a VAST assortment of pointy sticks. Today was the first day I really LOOKED at what I've collected. I think...i may have a problem.
First of all.......when i started knitting again....I started back with Brittany straights.....oh, they held my stitches so well, providing just enough drag that even slippery stuff didn't just jump off and drop itself....hence, an almost complete collection of Brittany straights.....

But sometimes, i didn't have/make time to go to the LYS for the i'd pop into JoAnn's or Michaels and pick up Clovers....not quite so pointy, lots of friction/drag for slippery fibers....relatively inexpensive...and they came in CIRCULARs..whoowhoo..I was hitting the bigtime with the knitting by then....and with multiple WIPs (or FTPs...failure to progress)this small collection was amassed....

Then...socks and other things that were worked in the round, but had diameters too small for circs (don't even get me started on two-circ knitting..i hate that!)and a nice collection of DPs came into being...and of course there are multiples of the 1s, 2s, and 3s....maybe say 3 or 4 sets of each....silly me...
oh...and the BIG jar of needles, well lets just say that, between my compulsion for thrift stores..and a nicely recovering ebay habit.....the jar ran out of room...but there are lots of interesting foreign made needles in various metals and plastics there...yes, even one pair of lightup loser needles purchased for hairsticks at a knit in public night. This is really pathetic.

Here's a close-up of my favorite thrift store intact, mint condition, vintage Boye Needlemaster set...that i got for a buck and a half! I still get all excited thinking about that surprising find! And no, i've never used a piece of it...but i do take them out and fondle them once in a while ;0

Currently, I am never without my favorites....the starter set of sz 4-15 KnitPicks Options interchangeables.....i love these needles and now only use the others for super slippery yarns.....or if my KPOs are stuck in a WIP...

I didn't show you all the needles in the WIP pile...because that would be just...not so good...and really really embarrass me ;0

So what's next....well, I really want a set of the KnitPicks Harmony interchangeables for Christmas. According to those in the know...they are wonderful and pointy and smooth and of course the gorgeous colors appeal to my aesthetic sensibilities....when I asked the man to put these at the top of the Holiday gift list...he said OK but looked puzzled....I asked him what that look was for....and he just gestured around the room to the little piles and bundles of tools scattered about....and gently asked...."do you think there might be a problem here?"

hmmmmmm.....i don't want to go down that road. I'm just going to say that at this "point" in time...i think i have a needle for every fiber....but you never know what you might need in cable lengths....or with the next fibery goodness coming from the mills...gotta stay on top of the technology...right?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Check it Out!

You all MUST go check out Allison's Pacific Waves Shawl (she's linked over there under knitbuds) know the one...directions are "cast on 541 stitches"...541. Well that would stop many people dead in their tracks. me included. then she posted it as "the shawl that never ends...and it goes on and on my friends"....don't think that inane tune didn't go through my mind for hours and still pops in at random....but HOLY COW! that's amazingly beautiful. And she takes some of the best pics too!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Finally, A Day Off......

Whew, she says...flipping the sweat from her brow with a brisk motion of her fingertips.....i have worked 4-20 hours a day...every day...for the past 16 days. Last night...beginning at 8pm...began the first >24 hour stretch at home. aaaaahhhhhh....transitioning from one job to another involves a lot of very hard work in the short term......

But it's not terrible at all. I love what I do. And even when it's hard, wretchedly hard, it's still rewarding. There is no place else, no other time, when Hope, and Joy, and the greater mystery...all can come together. Every once in a while, you see shines like glittering golden dust motes, slowly swirling around, faster and with more energy as the mothers' efforts coax their babies out.....until a semi-visible cone of light focuses itself on the brand new face in my hands...culminating in a shockwave of joy exploding through the room with the first intake of breath and indignant howl.
I am a tired, yet content midwife this morning. Sitting in flannel jammies and sweatshirt, sipping a cup of tea.

But I have an agenda today. I decided the Scroll pattern was not what I had in mind for the Devon. It was frogged and is now turning into the VanDyke Check pattern, a simple textural that has a nice effect with this yarn. Lace patterns and Texture patterns..this yarn knits up both beautifully....Anyway, I want to finish this swatch and see how it blocks out before this evening.

The rest of today will also be dedicated to finishing up the HUGe project! It needs to be in the mail by Friday. I started it about 2 weeks ago when I had 16 hrs at home..and it will need a 3-4 hour stretch to finish up today (i'm estimating..hah..not necessarily good at that sometimes)...Pearl has been protecting it from the nosy canines......

I ordered the Sierra Aran from, in Lichen, for the man's Cobblestone. He likes how it feels and it will be worn over a t-shirt and it doesn't come up on his he SHOULD wear it! (unlike the Galway turtleneck from a few years back..oh well ;P )

I really wanted to order some of that Lang Moon in their blowout sale..$25.00/ I'm gritting my teeth and behaving because I don't need more stash enhancement at all right now. Wow, me excercising self-control and discipline...what a concept. I'm anxious to get started with the Christmas knitting.
We had our first bit of snow yesterday morning. About a 1/2" to 1" in East Anchorage/Muldoon area to the was gone by noon...but the snow has quietly crept down the mountainsides this past week, and full winter will be here before we know it. Stay warm and knit on.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Ssssswwwwappin Goodies!

i got spoiled! my knit1tea2 super secret swap buddy spoiled me ROTTEN! She's been leaving me sneakygirl emails every couple weeks or so since the swap started. i got a little obsessive and tried to figure out who she was through her 'voice' on her blog...and then eliminating those who'd already sent goodies and all....but i really had no clue! Caryn in ROCK totally!
All wrapped up in this apparently innocent gift/photo box....

is a plethora of goodies.....

Blackberry fruit very very favorite ever!..Numi Breakfast Blend organic tea...Honey Sticks..which are VERY hard to find in Alaska... Green & Black's Organic Bittersweet Dark Chocolate..(to which the man piped up and said.."hey, that's for me right..something for the DH's who provide the support for this knitting/blogging habit huh?" pphhhttttb..not on your life!)
A beautiful Saffron and Clove Soy Wax smells divine!..a handy dandy magnetized note pad to help keep me organized...and beautiful pettable Misti Alpaca Chunky in a rich dark chocolate color...mmmmm...i think i know already what this will be when it grows up....and last but certainly not least..for the handcrafted part of the swap...this adorable green tea towel that she embroidered a way cool kitty design! very handy and perfect for my kitchen crafty self. This was my first swap ever and I have to say it was everything I'd hoped for and then some! Thanks so much Caryn.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Grandma Clara thought this was entrelac, but it's really a nifty easy lace pattern from Barbara Walker Treasury #1..the blue book...called Scroll Pattern, pg 220. The yarn is Devon from in Rosewater...the needles, US 3s. I think this would look great in a worsted or aran weight self striping for a shawl. Definately hoping/thinking the irregularity of the sides will sort itself out in the blocking process. Devon is so nice to work with but I don't think i can/will do anything large on this size of needles...lovely soft hand the Devon has..very nice to knit with...too bad Elann's not going to restock it.
knit on!