Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Hi, everyone. I wanted to post a project update and wish everyone a happy holiday (whatever that holiday maybe) and a happy new year. I've been knitting every free moment and have finished a shawl and started a couple of new projects. You know me, one is never enough.

I finished the Baltic Blossoms Shawl for my step-mother. It's blocked and all I have to do is weave in the ends. I asked Sarah to model it for me but the camera batteries were dead and then later she was busy so here are pictures of it without a human for scale.

I really love this shawl and will hate to have to gift it but I can always make another one, right? This was quite a journey from beginning to end. But I won out in the end and finished it. The yarn is so pretty. Here's the stats:

Pattern: Baltic Blossoms Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Spirit Trail Fiberworks Atropos Bombyx Silk in a one-of-a-kind colorway
Needles: #2 Knitpicks Harmony
Mods: I added 5 repeats to the body of the shawl and made the rest according to the pattern. I pinned out the points as scallops instead of points. I like that look better. I love nupps!

Meanwhile I've started a scarf from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. It's the kimono shawl but I cut the repeats from 10 to 6 so it's a little narrower. I'm wondering though if I should have cut them to 4 because it's still pretty wide and I only have 654 yards. I sure hate to rip it out now because I have over 2 feet of it done. I'm using Handmaiden Sea Silk 150g in Ivory. I've long covetted this colorway and finally scored a skein thanks to a generous gift from my wonderful MIL.

This is a boring knit but the yarn is so yummy that it keeps me going. In fact I think it's slowing me down because I keep stopping to admire and fondle. I worked on it at the Ram's Head Tavern in Annapolis last Friday while we drank a couple of beers and waited to see the Bacon Brothers.

I'm also working on a scarf from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush out of Filatura di Crosa Superior. I can't remember the name of the pattern right at the moment and I haven't photographed it yet. It's going fast but the Kimono Shawl is my first priority.

That's about it for knitting right now. I have to wrap up some presents tonight and we're ready for Christmas. We going to relatives tomorrow and the LYS is having a Boxing Day Knit-In so I'll probably go to that for a while. I don't intend to do any shopping on the day after.

Monday will be my last chemo treatment and I'll be so glad to get it over with. Thank goodness it fell after Christmas. Then I start radiation sometime after the first of the year.

I hope you all have great holidays and enjoy it however you see fit. Happy New Year, y'all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm still going...

I can't believe it's been over a month since my last update. I've been knitting like crazy so I have a lot to talk about.

I've been on a lace kick lately. I finished the Swallowtail and gifted it to my lovely co-worker. I really enjoyed this knit. The pattern is well written and easy to follow and the yarn I used, Handmaiden Sea Silk, is just beyond words. I think it's the perfect yarn for this pattern. It was a true pleasure to knit with and I wish I could afford to make more projects with it but it's a bit pricey for my budget. This photo shows the actual color of the yarn much better.

This put me on a path to nupp central. I purchased an online pattern that features nupps, Baltic Blossoms by Evelyn A. Clark and started it right away. I started it using Filatura di Crosa Superior of which I have 660 yards. This yarn is my most cherished possession and I didn't want to waste it. The small version of the shawl would have left me with 200 yards, not enough to do much with but not enough to knit the larger size. I did the body of the shawl before I finally made up my mind that I just couldn't live with the thought of wasting those 200 yards. So I ripped it out and started over using Spirit Trail Fiberworks Bombyx Silk Atropos. I have 500 yards of this so I did the body for the smaller size but I also went down a needle size. After knitting 9 repeats of the body and the first two lily of the valley charts I decided that the shawl would be too small. So I ripped out the LOV charts and added 5 more repeats of the the body pattern for a total of 14 repeats. With the smaller needle size I'm hoping that 500 yards will be enough to finish this.

Here's what it looked like before I ripped out the LOV charts. I ripped it back to the where the first lifeline is shown but unfortunately I had already removed the lifeline (I know, I'm an idiot). So I had a lot of fun trying to pick up all those stitches in SILK yarn but I eventually succeeded. I'm now back to where the first lifeline is shown but with 5 extra repeats of the body pattern. I'm ready to start the first lily of the valley chart. I'll have to do some major improvisation if I don't have enough yarn to finish this because the colorway was one of a kind.

Meanwhile, my friends and I went to Stitches East for three wonderful fun-filled days! I took two classes and really enjoyed them both but especially the Cable Variations class taught by Melissa Leapman. She is a really good teacher and kept the class moving even if it meant leaving some folks behind. The class description clearly indicated that it wasn't for beginners. I felt so sorry for the lady who sat beside me. She didn't know what an SSK was! She didn't even really get started on any of the examples before she had to quit and move on to the next one. I think she was in tears at one point. No one should ever cry over knitting. That's just wrong in so many ways.

I made some purchases at the market preview Thursday night. I bought a skein of gorgeous tencel laceweight Almaza from Just Our Yarn. Yes, that's the real color.

It's seems to be a very fine lace weight, perhaps closer to cobweb. I just couldn't resist the color and shine.

I bought two skeins of Jojoland Harmony, which is also a very fine lace weight. I'm into bright colors right now. Maybe it's because of the gray/brown yarn I'm working with right now.

I haven't worked with either of these yarns so I hope they will lend themselves to an enjoyable knitting experience.

I hung around the Windy Valley Muskox booth a little too long and ended up buying two balls of Golden Crown Suri Alpaca with the intention of making some sort of lacy scarf. They also had gorgeous pima cotton and beads to make a beaded scarf so I bought that as well. I forgot to take a photo of the cotton but here's the alpaca. I've started a scarf that I'll talk about later.

My hubby wants a scarf made from muskox but he's going to have to cough up the cash for that yarn because it's not coming out of my budget. It's nice but there's too many other yarns I'd like to have.

Let's see, what else did I buy? Oh yeah, I bought a skein of Creatively Dyed Beaches sock yarn. Probably won't make socks out of it though.

I also bought a couple books I've been planning to get. It Itches by Franklin Habit and Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. I have A Gathering of Lace on my list but I'm saving it for my Christmas list.

I cast on for the Lily of the Valley scarf using the Suri Alpaca from Windy Valley Muskox and I'm working on it off and on. Here's a progress shot.

This yarn feels so luxurious and decadent that it's hard to describe. It has a cool, silky feel and a fuzzy softness both at the same time even though I think those tactile sensations contradict one another. It also stretches a lot. I hope it blocks okay.

Somewhere in the the midst of all that I bought a skein of Malabrigo Worsted from Susan at Y2Knit and made another Better Bucket for me, since Hubby took off with the first one I made. I haven't blocked it yet and it's way too big for my hairless head but it fits over my head wraps and really keeps the cold off my bare head. The colorway it Noviembre, which suits it fine.

I had my fourth chemo treatment last Monday and spent the week on the couch too tired to even knit. No nausea, for which I'm so thankful, but extreme fatigue and weakness. This week I'm doing better. I only worked half a day yesterday but I'm fine today. Two more treatments and I'm done with chemo. My exams have been good. No new lumps in evidence so we just continue to treat all the side effects of the chemo and hope for the best. I've had to go on insulin and blood pressure meds but hopefully once the poisons are out of my body, I'll be able to go off those. I have to admit that I'm enjoying the hair loss. Bath time lasts about 5 minutes now because there's nothing to shampoo or shave. My eyebrows are getting sparse but may actually make it through without completely disappearing. My lashes are hanging in there too but I've read that they will be the very last hair to go.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Projects


I have about six projects on the needles right now. I'm working on The Clementine Shawlette in some amazing hand painted fingering weight merino with sterling silver that was given to me by a dear friend. I'm also making a pair of socks using some Intention Yarn by Lime & Violet using the Nutkin pattern by Beth LaPensee that was giving to me by another great friend. Yet another friend (I know, I'm so lucky) gave me some Blue Heron Chenille that I haven't found the right pattern for yet but I'm looking. I don't have photos of any of these projects and I haven't added them to Ravelry either.

I've also started Print O' The Wave by Eunny Yang out of some gorgeous Penthouse Silk by Neightborhood Fiber Company that I bought a couple of years ago. I started several projects with this yarn but none stuck until now. I've got about 8 inches of the center panel finished and was going pretty strong on it until the Loopy Ewe got in a shipment of Handmaiden Sea Silk. I've been waiting a long time for some Ivory Sea Silk and there it was in my cart at last. That's when I saw the Moss color. Out flew the Ivory, in went the Moss and that was that. I had been saving my money for Stitches East in November but a skein of Sea Silk might be impossible to find there so I wasn't taking a chance. It came a couple of weeks ago and I fondled it and sniffed it and let it sit on the coffee table for weeks knowing that I wanted to make the Swallowtail Shawl but that I had so many things going right now that I just couldn't start another one.

You know where I'm going with this of course. On Sunday I finaly wound the skein and dug out the Fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits and started. It's going really fast because this isn't really a "laceweight" yarn.


I'm always working on baby socks and have a pair done. I'm working on matching handsies to go with these socks because I had a request for a set.

I've had two chemo treatments now, one-third of the way done, whew! This one left me tired, so tired. But I can't complain because I can handle tired just fine. I'm back at work this week and next week and then it'll be time for my third treatment. Friends and family are taking such great care of me. How will I ever repay everyone's kindness?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow - Part II

before1I went to my beautician to have my remaining hair buzzed off last night. Here's a front view of the hair that was left after my first chemo treatment. It was driving me nuts under my hats. It was itchy and being pressed down in unnatural directions was making my scalp hurt.
before2Here's the back view. Lovely, isn't it?

First Linda Sue gave me a Mohawk because, really, how many opportunities does a straight-laced, white bread girl like me get to see herself in a Mohawk? It would have looked better if my hair had been thicker but of course it wasn't or we wouldn't be doing this in the first place.

mohawkNext she shaved off the top of the Mohawk and left me with some weird Hare Krishna type look.
Then she really got down to the job at hand and shaved it using a series of blades until there was just stubble left. The stubble is like velcro and sticks to all my hats and scarves. It should soon fall out though because my next chemo is on Monday.

After a lot of buzzing I finally ended up with the look I was after. I give you - Uncle Fester. Some black shadow around the eye and a black coat and I'm ready for Halloween.


Then we really got silly and Linda Sue gave me a wig that I could use if I wanted but it's really not me. Wouldn't you agree?


I'm going to order a wig from her that fits me better and looks more like my own hair. I know, I know, what's the fun in that?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I took this photo on Friday, September 26th. On Saturday the 27th my hair started to come out. It was day 13 since the start of my Chemo so I was expecting it. Everything I heard and read said to expect the hair loss to begin 10-14 day after my first treatment. What I wasn't expecting was that it would take so long to come out. Despite diligent efforts on my part to "comb it out" with my fingers there's still a good bit left. Today I wore a turban to work for the first time though because what's left is so sparse and ugly. I took the photo below this morning. I'm going to need more headgear. I plan to stop at a local medical supply store and see what they have. The turban that I'm wearing today was a gift from the local Breast Cancer Awareness chapter. They gave me two turbans and sleeping cap. I really can't say enough good things about BCA and all the help and assistance that they offer.

The lumpectomy went very well. Little pain and no nausea from the anesthesia. I told every staffer who came in contact with me that general anesthesia makes me sick and they went out of their way to make sure that didn't happen this time. I had a pill, a shot and a patch. There was no staples or stitches, just steri-strips. All-in-all, the most pain free surgery and recovery I've ever had.

The pathology report was good and bad. The good news was that it hadn't spread to my lymph nodes. The sentinel node biopsy was clear. The margins were clear as well except that the tumor was very close to the surface of my breast. To get completely clear margins, the surgeon would have had to make a hole in my breast and she opted not to do that. Radiation will kill any cells that were left in that area.

The bad news was that it was triple negative. No positive cells were found. This means that the cancer has a higher chance of recurring and that it can recur in areas other than the breast. Triple negative cancers are also more aggresive and mine was rated grade three, which is the most aggressive.

I had my first chemo treatment on September 15th. They're giving me Adriamycin, Cytoxan, and Taxotere. It took 6 hours for all the meds to drip into my vein. I didn't get sick but had headaches and "chemo brain" for the first few days. Chemo brain is dizziness, disorintation and short term memory loss. I couldn't believe how it affected me! I was looking under the sink for clean spoons instead of in the dishwasher at one point. Scary stuff!

Next chemo - October 6th. One of my friends is taking me this time (hubby went last time) and she's a knitter too so we should have a great time. They told me that it should take an hour less this time because now that they know I'm not allergic to the meds they can let them drip in a little faster.

But the knitting goes on. I just can't knit lace or anything complicated that first week after chemo. I'm working on Eunny's Print O'the Wave stole and various socks right now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It comes down to this...

  • On July 28th I found a lump in my left breast
  • On July 30th I had a mammogram and sonogram
  • On July 31th I had a biopsy
  • On August 4th I found out that I have an Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
  • On August 8th I had an MRI
  • On August 12th I met my Radiation Oncologist and discussed treatment options
  • On August 13th I met with my surgeon to schedule the surgery
  • On August 26th I'll have a lumpectomy.
  • Sometime after that, if all goes well, I'll have radiation (MammoSite RTS) twice a day for five days (if there's not enough healthy tissue left I'll have seven weeks of conventional radiation)
  • Sometime after that, I'll start chemo.
That's my life right now. I'll go for hours and forget all about it and then something reminds me that, oh yeah, I have breast cancer. When it's on my mind I can't concentrate on anything else. Work is getting to be joke right now but I think my boss and coworkers understand. I have a lot of stuff to get done before I leave next week but I just can't muster up enough brain cells to think about them right now. Time is running out though and I must force myself to concentrate on the tasks at hand for a little while.

My boss is okay with me working from home while I'm off. I'm taking my laptop home and there will be a spare one on my desk for those days when I feel like coming to work. I'll officially be on sick leave (because my employer doesn't have a "work from home policy" in place) but at least I won't have to come back to a mountain of work. I'm the only one here who can do my job (webmaster) so except for emergency postings that will be done by one of my coworkers following my written documentation, everything else will sit and wait for me to get to it.

I think I have a good attitude. My friends say I'm taking it very well. I haven't had any breakdowns, though I came close when I found out the the tumor is most likely triple negative. The surgeon said that the biopsy only samples a very small portion of the tumor and the pathology report after the surgery may show that there are some positive hormone receptors in the much larger sample that is examined. If there's even one positive cell in the sample then I'll receive the hormone treatments. Otherwise, I'll just have the radiation and chemo and then wait. I couldn't have regular breast cancer, oh no, I had to have triple negative breast cancer. But I'm not complaining because there are worse kinds of breast cancer and worse kinds to cancer in general. Breast cancer is highly treatable these days.

And by the way, all you ladies out there who are reading this and saying to yourselves that you don't have anything to worry about because there's no history of breast cancer in your family should WAKE UP AND DO YOUR BREAST EXAM RIGHT NOW (unless you're at work, of course) because the only history in my family was a great-aunt on my father's side.

I never thought of getting breast cancer for that very reason although I did do my exams. You see, cancer has cut quite a swath through my family, but not breast cancer. My mother and her mother both died of colon cancer and I have regular colonoscopies because of that. My father died of lung and brain cancer, and my half sister (dad's daughter) has kidney cancer. Everyone who didn't die of cancer died of heart disease. So breast cancer took me by surprise.

Fortunately for me, I have a fantastic husband, great friends and coworkers, a wonderful local breast cancer awareness program and good medical facilities very close by. I'm more curious than scared at this point.

My wonderful sister-in-law from Santa Fe sent me a beautiful Zuni horse fetish that I've been wearing in my bra. According to my research "the horse is an animal of freedom and the horse fetish has the power of healing, strength and safe movement". I'm knitting a pouch for him right now that I can fasten to my bra so I don't have to keep feeling myself to make sure he's still there. I've named him Victor (the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse's name, from A Christmas Story).

He's my constant companion now and probably will be for the rest of my life. Isn't he beautiful? I think he's carved from marble with veins of pyrite. Thank you, Robin, for sending him to me.

He's posing with my latest pair of baby socks. They're Koigu and the pattern is Miriam Felton's Infant to Toddler Sized Socks. We've given away all we had so I've been working on these when I get the chance and hope to complete some more while I'm off from work. So, that's how it stands right now. I'll update the blog again after the surgery but I don't want this to turn into a "breast cancer blog". It's all about the knitting!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Curved Shawl Finished


My friend and co-worker Karen was kind enough to model the shawl for me today so that I could post photos of the finished object. Here are the details and a blow-by-blow description of the knitting.

Pattern: A Curved Shawl with Diamond Edging from Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: Yubina Laceweight 100% Cashmere, approx. 300-400 yds.
Needles: started on a size 2 Addi Turbo Lace then switched to Knitpicks Harmony

6/12/08: This is a pretty easy knit once you get started. It would be easier still if I had Knitpicks Harmony needles in this size. The metal ones are a little too slippery. I’ll have to place an order soon.

I’m putting in lifelines after every 12 row chart repeat right now. As it gets wider I may do it every six rows.

6/18/08: I’m on the 22nd 4-row repeat and the pattern calls for 42 so I’m over halfway through with the body. Yeah! Still loving the knitting and have a hard time putting it down. I’m knitting much more slowly then I normally would though because the needles are so slick. I think I’ll breakdown and order the KnitPicks Harmonys in size 2.


6/30/08: I have about 35 4-row repeats done now - closing in on 42 very quickly. I did order the Harmony needles and now I’m moving much faster but the rows are getting very long. I can’t wait to start the border because I’ve signed up for another KAL on the Victorian Lace Today group that starts tomorrow.

7/2/08: 11 more rows to go on the center panel.

7/8/08: I have 6 repeats of the border done! It took me several tries to figure out how to attach it to the center panel. It was awkward to knit it onto the big panel and not twist it at the beginning. Then I decided to do it just like the Harebell Fichu and I picked up all the edge loops of the center panel onto my circular needle. This made it very easy to keep the border straight and now I’m sailing along. I think it’ll go quickly if I can just stick with it and not let myself get distracted.

7/21/08: I have about 4 more diamonds to complete and it’s done. I bought 500 extra-long pins yesterday at Joann’s because I knew I didn’t have enough to pin this out.

7/22/08: Finished last night. The pattern miraculously worked out, ending on the last row of the chart just like I had planned it that way. Since I inadvertently skipped a row on at least two repeats this is truly amazing. I’ll wait until Sat. to soak and pin. I have a feeling this process will involve hours of back-breaking work but I know it’ll be worth it in the end.

7/28/08: Blocked it on Saturday. It dried really fast. I put 3 pins in each diamond on the border and ran blocking wires through the picot on the neck edge. I am so happy with how it turned out. I would make this pattern again. It took less than one 500yd ball. I would say between 300 and 400 yards.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sock Knitting Continues...

I finished another pair of adult socks. These are Pillars of Fire from the Loopy Ewe Sock Club Summer 2008. The yarn is Wollmeise Sockenwolle 100% Superwash and if you haven't experienced this yarn I suggest you run, don't walk, to your computer and try to find a skein. It's not real easy to find though so think of it as big game hunting, big yarn hunting. The Loopy Ewe carries it but it's usually sold out. The lady who dyes the yarn is in Germany and does all the work herself I think, so it's thin on the ground.

If you go to her website you'll see that she shares it with her husband who's in the wrought iron business. I love that combination, iron and wool. It's like a place near here called Rudy's Welding Service and Cold Beer (seriously, go look at the photo, I love the description under it).

But back to the socks. I wound the yarn the night it arrived and started the next day. I don't usually jump right on sock club kits when they arrive. I've got some from last year still in my stash. But I've been trying to get some Wollmeise for a while and when I saw it in the kit I started screaming "Wollmeise, Wollmeise!" (you have to pity my poor husband and cats). I bought a skein last year from the Loopy Ewe but I didn't like the colorway (Drachenblut) and recently traded it to aliseknits (Ravelry ID) for some leftover sock yarn to make baby socks. This yarn, on the other hand, is gorgeous. It's also called Pillars of Fire.

Now that these are done, I can go back to the Green Appletini socks from the spring sock club kit. This is another one that I started right away because the yarn is so pretty. It's by Yarntini and it's 50/50 merino/tencel, one of my favorite combinations. I have one finished and another ready for the gusset.

The gusset worked out very nice and the short row heel is my favorite. It knits up quickly and looks very neat when finished.

Isn't the yarn beautiful? The tencel gives it a little shine. And how about those tight little cables? Aren't they cute? They're only four stitches so they're easy to do without a cable needle. Sheri at the Loopy Ewe really does a great job putting these sock club kits together. She has excellent taste in yarn!

In other news, my friends and I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and we had a blast.

The Action photo taken before we left from my house. My poor, long suffering husband took these two photos.

The Normal pose. We are, from left to right, Janis, Me, Marge, Audrey, Terry, and Jane. WE ARE KNITTERS!.

Monday, May 12, 2008

2nd Blogiversary

Two years ago today I wrote my first blog post. Creating this blog opened up a world I didn't know existed. I have friends all over the country that I've never met because of this blog. I feel privileged to be part of the knit-blogging community and always feel more than a little pride when I tell people that I have a blog.

Thanks to the readers (you know who are are) for visiting even though the updates have been thin on the ground lately. I hope to do a post about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival latter this week so stay tuned.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring Fever

I've been very busy knitting this spring but just not in the mood to blog. I don't know why I keep up this blog. I don't think that anyone reads it and I don't really know why they would want to. I have nothing witty or interesting to say. Just the same old stuff.

What have I knit?
Well, I knit Miss Dashwood, Katja, and these ribbed soakers all from Kraemer Yarns Little Lehigh Pebbles. Katja and Miss Dashwood are from Knitty. I found the soaker pattern while cruising on Ravelry and don't know where it came from.

These were knitted as a gift for one of our favorite waitresses at the Waffle House who is due in mid-May. They were very quick and easy to knit except for Miss Dashwood (the hat). I found it a bit of a challenge where the brim joins the hat but I think it was mostly due to the non-elasticity of the yarn I was using.

I also knit an alpaca baby jacket (b13-3 Jacket, socks, soft toy and blanket in Alpaca by DROPS design) using Classic Elite Alpaca Sox in the Oatmeal Melange colorway. This is the cutest little thing.
I left the crochet edging off because it was for a little boy and I thought that might make it look a little too feminine. I knit the Baby Bell Bottoms by Alison Hansel out of
Cascade Yarns Cherub Collection DK to go with the jacket. These were made for a friend who had her little boy a couple of weeks ago.

I made numerous pair of baby socks using Miriam Felton Baby to Toddler Sized Socks pattern to give away and I did indeed give them all away and am making more. I didn't keep track but I estimate that I've given away a couple dozen pair by now. Here are photos of just a couple of the
baby_tofutsiesbaby_rainbow_blackthem. I ordered more Moo Cards to attach to them in case the mothers have any questions about care or materials. I love making these socks and always carry them in my purse as my portable knitting. So far no one has turned me down when I ask them if they will accept a pair of socks for their new baby. It was all my husband's idea to start giving them away to strangers as an act of kindness.

I've completed a couple pair of adult socks as well. One pair was made for one of my co-workers, Harold. He's an avid fisherman and when I came across a skien of yarn from Woolly Boully called "Fishing with my Father" I knew they were for Harold.
Socks for Harold
Woolly Boully Softie Sock
100% Merino
Colorway: Fishing With My Father
Purchased From The Loopy Ewe
Pattern: my usual toe-up on #1 circs
I can't remember where the leg pattern came from. K3, YO, K3, SSK then reverse for the other leg, K2tog, K3, YO, K3.

This is Harold modeling the socks. I wanted to get a detail of the heel and the leg portion. I'm making a pair for me out of Claudia Handpaints with this same pattern.

Let's see, what else have I knit and not blogged about? Oh yeah, I just finished "A Better Bucket" by Amy Swenson. Talk about quick... I started Thursday and finished Saturday without even really trying. I've got to get a button or a big pin to put on it for decoration.bucket3

I'm buying the yarn to make another one of these for another waitress at the Waffle House who is graduating from college soon and moving out into the working world. I know she rides horses and this is a very warm hat. I wish I had made mine last fall. Now I have to wait months to wear it. The brim is double thick Malabrigo Worsted Weight Merino Wool right over your ears where you need the extra warmth. I may get some wear out of it at the baseball games for the next few weeks until it really warms up once and for all.

That's about it for now. I started "The Woodland Shawl" out of Dream In Color Smooshy in the Flamingo Pie colorway on Sunday but I don't have any pics yet. Enjoy the spring weather because it'll be hotter than Hades out there soon enough.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quick post to let you know I'm still alive...

I haven't dropped off the edge of the earth or fallen into a big hole. I'm just busy at work and at home and haven't really had anything interesting to talk about (do I ever?). The most exciting thing to happen to me lately is that my hair stylist talked me into changing my hair color and I agreed! I've had dark auburn for over 20 years but she suggested that it's time to lighten up. I started going gray in college and have been coloring my hair since I was 29. I'm almost 51 now so I guess she's got a point. A lighter color will make those glowing silver roots blend in better between colorings. So Friday evening she stripped my hair of most of it's red (no way to get it all out, red is extremely hard to remove) and then dyed it with a complex combination of colors to counteract the remain red. It's now a honey brown or dark honey blonde color.

That's the old hair on the left and the new hair on the right. I've never had light hair before and I don't know myself when I look in the mirror. I like it though and we may add some highlights come summer.

In knitting news, there's not much to report. I still working on the Harebell Fichu from Victorian Lace Today to give as a gift. I dropped a stitch on Sunday and just put it away for a while. I'll have to rip out several rows to get that stitch back on the needles correctly and I just couldn't face it at the time. I'm also working on a pair of socks for a coworker and more baby socks as my most portable project.

I ordered more Moo MiniCards so I can put them with the baby socks when I give them away. I wish you could divide your order in half and have different text on 50 of the cards. I would have liked to put care instructions on some of the cards and my contact info on the other half. Have you seen the Moo cards? They're wonderful little creations that let you use your own photos. They work with Flickr and you can drag your pics straight into the Moo card window. I didn't have quite enough so I used some of their stock photos to fill out the order. I like having a nice picture on one side and my info on the other.

Doug and I got a Wii a couple weeks ago and have been having a blast playing Wii Play and Wii Sports. Doug pre-ordered Wii Fit. Who ever thought that two 50+ year olds would be buying a video game? Doug is anxious to get Guitar Hero so he can practice and beat the teenage nephews when next we see them. How mature is that?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Many Irons in the Fire

I know it's been a while since I posted. I just haven't been very talkative lately, I guess. So here's an update on what I've been doing.

I made a pair of socks with Trekking XXL Color 100 that I purchased at Y2Knit with Christmas money. It's my usual recipe based on Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Socks. Knitpicks Harmony size 0 circs.

Let me sing the praises of the Harmony needles. They have the smoothest joins - I mean that it's like there isn't a join at all. I didn't have any problem seeing this yarn on the stained wood. All in all, an A++ rating.

I also made a baby jacket using Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton. The pattern is Super Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea. Isn't it cute? I followed the directions without deviation and it turned out great. I still have to add a button and a loop.

The yarn has a tendency to fuzz up while you knit and I don't really like that look but I guess that's how it's supposed to be. If I make this again I may use a different yarn. The colors really speak to me though. I'm an earthy kind of girl and I really like this combination.

I also started a new lace project from Victorian Lace Today. It's the Harebell Fichu and I'm making it for a waitress at our local Waffle House who will be graduating from college in May and starting work for the federal government. She's been waiting on us for years and I wanted to give her something that she can use in her new job. This should ward off drafts quite nicely while staying in place. For a lace project, it's a little understated and therefore perfect for office use. She is a natural redhead and I think the emerald green should suit her perfectly. I'm halfway done and should have plenty of time to finish and block it before she leaves.

I'm still making baby cloths and socks. One recipient is due any day now, one in April, and two in mid summer. Doug has suggested that I carry socks with me at all times so I that I can give them out whenever we see a new born or an expectant mother. He calls them random acts of kindness. Whenever we're out he points out babies that I could give socks to if I had them with me. Do I have a great husband? Yes, indeed I do.