Sunday, January 27, 2008

La chic!

Saturday morning evolved into a singularly beautiful clear (but very cold...-12...brrr) day. I warmed my hands around a steaming cuppa' tea as the thinly bright white sunshine filled my kitchen. "Today", I said to myself, "today..I steek". I had planned to steek during the week, but Wednesday got away from me and Thursday & Friday kicked my ass at work. I wanted to be fresh and energetic for this new challenge!

More Stripes...Only Not my interpretation of Amy King's great pattern. I'm using the rib wrong-side out and added waist shaping via decreasing needle size. I also have added about 4" in length for a more "tunic" style, and raised the V neck to just below the bust.

So you saw the center 4 stockinette stitches...That's the steek. I went upstairs for my trusty dusty (yes, she's been sadly neglected these past several years since I switched from quilting to knitting..sigh) Elna sewing machine. Luckily there was red thread still in the bobbin (leftover from the disastrous first attempt at HUGE production..i digress). Plugged everything in and let her rip.....

I sewed up and down the steek three full times, leaving a good 3/8" space between the stitching lines. Once I was satisfied that this wool blend yarn was held well in place...I grabbed some sharp pointy scissors and sat in the nice bright natural light.....took a couple of deep breaths...

It really almost made me giddy.

And I'll be it looks like a vest front. Or marinara sauce....hey, it'll be the perfect spagetti eating vest!

As we speak(?) I've done the three-needle bindoff for the shoulders and picked up the neckline. I have about 4 more neckline rows, then seaming of sides, then armhole edging. I hope to have a nice FO to show you tomorrow or the next day!

Maybe two actually....I cast on for Thorpe (scroll down to her sidebar for the free pattern pdf.) yesterday while waiting for Grandma Clara at the hairdresser's. It's in some luscious Misty Alpaca Chunky from the stash. I'm at the brim now! A fast, fun knit. Well, that's about it for today. Laundry, blueberry pies to bake along with a casserole to take over to a colleague's house. She had BOTH of her knees replaced a week ago! Brave woman! A little more knitting in between.....have a great knitterly day!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rampant Narcissism & Random Bits

Bets suggested posting a pics from each decade of our lives...I've lived thru the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and am now well into the are a few early 60's photos:

The Arctic Knitter tagged me for a meme........

4 JOBS I'VE HAD: Lifeguard, Shoe Salesclerk, OR Nurse, Nurse-Midwife

4 MOVIES I WATCH OVER & OVER: Titanic (but only because it's DH's Favorite movie. Alien vs. Predator (love that movie!), Breakfast at Tiffany's, Dr. Zhivago

4 PLACES I HAVE BEEN: the beaches of Hawaii, Tosca Hopping in Spain, Newfoundland, Denali National Park

4 PLACES I HAVE LIVED: Tulsa, Oklahoma...Burkburnett, Texas...Lansing, Michigan....Anchorage, Alaska

4 TV SHOWS I WATCH: Big Love, anything NatGeo, SVU, ER

4 PEOPLE WHO EMAIL ME REGULARLY: my former assistant Bobbie, the KnitBuds, my good friend MaryKay, that strange Mrs. Maka Mbutani from Africa always asking me for money to get the rest of her late husband's cash out of Nairobi.

4 FAVORITE FOODS: Shine's Grilled Chicken Salad mmmmmm, Lindt Dark Chocolate with Chili, Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 PLACES I'D RATHER BE: ANYPLACE WARMER THAN HERE TODAY (it's -10!)..Beach in Hawaii, Scottsdale, Arizona...the Carribean..

4 THINGS I'M LOOKING FORWARD TOO: DD graduating from High School, Summer hiking & fishing, learning to do stranded colorwork well, volunteer work in Haiti next year.

4 PEOPLE TO TAG: Bets, Joan, Tara & Marie...if you obligation of course!

Lastly....I STEEKED "More Stripes...Only Not" this on Ravelry! Will blog the project in total tomorrow or Monday! times!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jan 22

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

As if I don't have enough time-suck things to do! much fun at 4am! Last night was my first 'day' back after a nice little 10 day break. It was a lovely return. Seriously....the nicest night call I've had in months. Had a very sweet first timer who'd been flown in from one of our very remote villages. Often women from remote villages will deliver at one of the hub hospitals like Kanakanak Hospital in Dillingham or YK hospital in Bethel, but her original provider told her that she was very high risk for C-section because she was only 4'11" and had a "borderline" pelvis. Nothing like setting someone's expectations, eh? When I came to work, she was in triage enjoying a nice morphine sleep after a day and a half of prodromal (early) labor...i.e., having regular mild to mod contractions but little cervical change. Anyway, when she woke up...about 2 hrs into my shift....she was 6cm! Hooray! I admitted her to the unit. She was so all alone and very frightened and we talked about lots of different ways to help with her labor pain. Her partner had planned to fly in on Wednesday....but baby wasn't going to wait. We talked about her fear of needing a C-section, but my hands told me that baby was between 7 1/2 to 8 lbs, and her pelvis felt roomy enough...and baby was tolerating labor beautifully....i felt she could deliver her baby easily enough. We talked about epidural for pain, and she said as long as someone was with her, she thought she could handle it. Luckily she was the only patient in L&D, and her nurse and I took turns working with her breathing, massaging her legs, stroking her arms, cooling her neck and face with cold washcloths. I, of course, had my knitting in the room and would knit a row on More Stripes between contractions. She told me that she crochet'd and her mom knit, and seeing me knit at her bedside made her feel like nothing bad could happen. She had a sister long-distance on the phone for more than two hours...not talking much, just a few words of comfort from the handset lying on her pillow..Around 11:00pm, she was 8cm and I broke her 11:30 she needed just a little bit of Nubain (pain med) to help take the edge 12:55am she was complete and we started pushing.. and exactly 30 minutes later she easily delivered her healthy 7#14oz beautiful daughter into my waiting hands. Her bravery, strength, determination and belief in herself and her body and the natural process of birth overcame the dire predictions!C-section my ass! And it totally goes to show you what good one-to-one bedside nursing and midwifery care can do! Oh...and NO stitches...due to her most excellent control and cooperation at the very end! I think she easily drank 3 liters of apple juice during her labor, and we joked afterwards that baby should be named 'Apple', but mom and dad had already decided on another name...It's births like this, and moms like her that are so wonderfully rewarding and spirit renewing....Thank you mama J for making my first night back so lovely. And Happy Birthday baby Jade!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ohhhh Ruuuuuuby....

Ruby-from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino collection. I want to knit this pattern. It says advanced. I consider myself a solid intermediate knitter. What the heck, i'm going to stretch myself a bit. I'm just not quite sure yet what yarn? I have a $200 gift certificate to my favorite LYS, but you know me, I HATE paying full price for almost anything. If...i did decide to start this in February....i'm wondering what yarn would be a good sub for the Cashmerino Aran...I need about 2800 yds....i know's new Seta Lana is a chunky but i'm betting it would knit to gauge for me on 8s or 7s....the Juniper color is gorgeous....and the Superwash HW CHunky knits wonderfully too....or even the Uros Aran in the lovely Jacaranda color...decisions, decisions.....I think I'll check Ravelry and see if anyone else is doing this or wants to do a knit-a-long...which helps motivate me when the going gets tedious...

Knit amongst yourselves whilst I ponder this...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Greetings from the Furkids!

Dear Aunt fur is growing back but i's still cold...can i live with you (this only applies to auntie knitbloggers in WARM climates)...ok not really..I just gets tired of winter...and these silly ass dogs....

they just play and play, run and chase, any old thing will do....why little old spirit thinks he's all that and a bag of skittles...wrasslin around with a little tree branch!

play, play, play....silly assed dogs....humph...i'm going back to curl up by the fireplace....and take a nap.

it's january. i've never really liked january. at least here in Alaska. too cold....too dark. mostly feel like just pulling the covers up and staying in bed, sleeping, reading, knitting, drinking hot chocolate or tea...don't get me wrong, it's not SAD or anything, just a natural mammalian inclination towards hibernation...especially in sub-zero temps. The -13 to 0 spate only lasted about 3 days, then we warmed up to about 15-20 above and got some lovely fresh snow....then the power went out for about 12 hours....i read and knitted by oil lamps and candlelight. Reading Ken Follett's sequel to 'The Pillars of the Earth' (amazing wonderful totally worth the 900+ page read if you haven't read it yet...get'll thank me ;0), in a 'spoil myself' hardback "World Without End"...loving it.

I finished the first and part of the second 'Little Child's Sock' in Mountain Colors Bearfoot...hand-dyed 'Deep Grape'. It will not work. I hate it. Going to the Frog Pond. Not enough elasticity for the pattern, mohair content obscures the focused stitch patterns, decreases don't work right for leg shape..see photo

...anyway, it'll be a PITA to frog, but i have 2 huge hanks of this stuff, maybe it'll end up a shawl or something in it's next reincarnation. I have only just cast on for another try at my sock swap pal's socks. Her package is off and has lots of gifty goodness, along with cute souvenir Alaska sox and a solemn promise...because i am nothing if not determined to get this task completed ...along with upholding my honor in swadpome....darnit!

I've also knit quit a bit on my More Stripes vest. Question...when does it become your own pattern/design? The reason I ask is this. I like the wrong side of the fabric this is making much better than the right side, and plan to sew it up with the wrong side showing. I've added waist shaping and a great deal more length to the overall pattern. I'm keeping the steek, the overall proportions of the #s of stitches, the neck edging (which drew me to the pattern in the first place). I've changed the depth and edging of the armholes. The overall effect is more sleek and elongated. Is this now 'mine'? Or my interpretation of the pattern? just curious.

By the way, all furkid photos were taken at around 11am.....see what i mean about the darkness. i think i'll have another cup of coffee now and go get dog food. Ya'll have a great knitterly day. I think I'll go into doggie for the moment, play,play, play.....that'll pick up the mood!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Vintage Sock Love

Waaaaaay back in October I joined the Vintage Sock Swap. Fill out a questionnaire about preferences, measurements, etc....basic swap drill...and send out your pal a nifty gifty and socks to their specifications on January 7. I've been having 'issues' with my sock knitting these past two to three weeks. In fact, I have knit a grand total of 5 socks in 3 different yarns and 2 different patterns. I at last have one finished sock and have begun the second for my sadly neglected downstream sock pal. I am not thrilled with the end result though. We'll see what happens with #2. I have sent her a package with the REST of the swap items that I think were 'thoughtfully (read felt guilty as sin for being negligent AND late )selected'. She should receive it early this coming week.

To compound my feelings of guilt and amazingly talented and punctual upstream pal sent me the motherlode of all swap loot packages yesterday! OH MY GORDON! LOOK AT THIS!

perfect color! perfect fit! I LOVE STRIPEY SOCKS!

But not only did she make socks for ME, no no no....look at this adorable kitty print sock knitting bag.

She made it too...for ME! I Love It! (and yes, you may have noticed that I'd already cracked open the dark chocolate orange and the Hot Tamales!mmmmmmmmmm.....)
And...didja notice that yummy's Classic Elite Alpaca the most delicious shade of olivey..avacodo..squishy softness..great taste she has yes indeedy!

I'm feelin' the love....the Vintage Sock Swap Love....Thank You CINDY.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

More Stripes...but not really...

I've been struggling with some nice lacy sox for my downstream swap pal in the Vintage Sock Swap...the first attempt (made almost to the toe thank you...) was the French Silk Sock in a CTH handpaint that looked great in skein...but pooled and flashed and totally acted like an obnoxious teenager in the knit. Frog city. The second attempt was with some nice berry/red/plum koigu....halfway through the leg...rippit rippit rippit...the pattern really doesn't pop unless you do it in a solid i'm thinking. So off to the LYS for some nice solid or semi solid to get these puppies DONE! Deadline is Monday so I'll send the rest of the swap package with her other treats then....and plan on sending the socks next week when I'm OFFFF....did you hear that...OFFFFFF...for TEN WHOLE DAYS! Whoo....I have big plans I tell ya! More about the big plans later.....

I know you're just dying to know about the project in the photo. In an attempt to knit from stash, and to fulfill a New Year's Resolution to try STEEKING this year, I''m making Amy King's More Stripes from's Spring 07. The yarn is Berocco's Uxbridge Tweed (discontinued a few years ago) in a rich brick red. I'm using the KPO size 6s to get the gauge and will likely go down a needle size (or two) for a little waist shaping action........I'm hoping to have a nice cozy vesty vest to keep my vesty parts warm. It's 1 degree here right now. one. degree. No...the Chardonnay did not keep me did in fact give me a very big headache this morning. Not even 3 glasses...god I'm a cheap date.

Big plans.....weeeeeeeellll....we are starting the remodel of the first floor of our 25 year old house......and during the week I'm off....Demolition work will begin. Out will come the tile flooring (cracked down the center an earthquake or two ago)...out will come kitchen cabinets and large appliances....down will come a non-weightbearing wall....

I think the sledgehammer will definately help decrease frustrations...I'm getting excited just thinking about it.