31 May 2007

And here I am...

I still don’t feel like blogging, but I figured I’d do it anyway.

I’ve read other bloggers, and seen them write that they feel weird if they don’t have a sock on the needles. I often think—well, used to think—why? Knitting is knitting, right? Well, I’ve discovered it’s not. I don’t have a burning need to keep socks on the needles per say, but I do have a burning need to have portable knitting. For me, these days, portable also means mindless, and that has somehow worked its way into meaning socks. Tuesday morning I rushed out of the house and realized I’d forgotten all of my knitting upstairs. I was running late and didn’t want to take the time to go back up to the apartment to get the current sock. So, I took a deep breath, got in the car and left. As the time for me to leave the office to go to the cardiologist approached I began to regret the decision more and more. I thought about leaving extra early so I could go home and pick up the sock. It also crossed my mind to go up to Needle in a Haystack to buy more yarn. The little bookkeeper in the back of my head said no to that one. So, I was headed off to the doctor’s office with no knitting to keep my hands busy and my heart rate under control. Then I realized I did have knitting with me. I had finished the booties for Diana and she told me I could have the extra yarn. So, I started a baby hat with the leftover baby cashmerino and one of the circulars I always carry with me. The doctor and his nurse both commented on the knitting, and I felt better.

So, in light of the fact that socks have become my portable mindless knitting I present you with the yarn that will become Clessidra:

I’m not crazy about burgundy/maroon (I wore maroon pants/skirts for my high school uniform and I'm over it--along with pink and grey), but this is very pretty yarn. It has a slight sheen. I’m not going to unpackage it because in the end I will just put it back into a plastic bag to store anyway. Clessidra is by no means mindless knitting, but the yarn was on sale (Thanks for the enabling Clare!) and I was awestruck by the pattern as soon as Knitty published it. It may wait until I can concentrate and continue to crank out plain jane socks, but at least I have the yarn in the stash, right?

Another Cuff

The other item that I’ve knitted many of, but am no longer enamored with is Mary Ella from Knitty. It’s a beautiful piece. So nice to feel…run your fingers over. This one is for Daniella. She bought the stuff to make it a while ago and had a hard time with the gauge so I agreed to knit it for her. I wasn’t given a time frame for completion (until last Sunday) and amazingly that was the day I got it done! Ahhhhhh……..So, without further ado, here is the latest Mary Ella in very watermelon-esq colors. I think I was able to capture the green of the beads this time.

As you can see I have not actually finished. The ends need to be woven in, and the clasp needs to be sewn on, but for that I need to dig out the thread, and I'm not entirely sure where I put it during the great pre-surgery clean up of '07. I'm doing a Scarlett O'Hara on this one....anyone know the reference?

Today I am carrying the little hat, and my Trekking XXL sock. The yarn is eh, and the colors are horrendous, but it’s a stockinette sock, I’ve got an appointment with the gastroenterologist, and my restless hands have some thing to do.

Edited to add: OMG! Crazy Aunt Purl commented on my blog!?!?!?! I hope I dind't offend her [You, Laurie] by saying that I thought she was just being nice! I'm even more impressed that she remembered me because I imagine she gets hundreds of emails and I apparently made an impression. So, Hi CAP! -- tb

29 May 2007

Even Less

I don't have any knitting content and no pictures. I've finished a baby hat and booties for a co-worker to gift to someone else and have delivered them without taking any pictures. I finished the Jitterbug Sahara socks, they're jacked up. I've finished on of a pair of Trekking XL socks, they're really not very good looking. I feel like I have nothing good to report and like keeping my rants about sock yarn and local yarn stores to myself.

Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow. Hope you all had a good weekend!

24 May 2007

I don't want to

I don't feel like talking or writing or communicating with anyone. I'm drained and I want to just pull into myself and try to regroup.

I've been thinking about Crazy Aunt Purl alot lately. It amazes me how much support she gets from her readership when she exposes her weak spots. I share things--not so much on this blog, but with people in real life--and I'm often ridiculed and looked down upon for my weaknesses. What makes one person worthy of love and support, and another a target for rude remarks and ridicule? Is it something in me? Something in people's perception of me? What people think I am able to "handle?" I was told once by my brother that he doesn't help me--even when I ask for help--because I'm the strong one. Funny, I don't feel very strong.

Anyway, those are my musings for today.

On to knitting news:


I went to the Stitch-n-Pitch on Tuesday. It was fun. The so-called Tevana-B-Party was not the largest group within the Unwind group and we were spread out all on one row. Hard to talk that way, but in the end we shifted around to empty seats in the stands and were generally comfortable for the second half of the game. It was quick and I was happy about that. The bag from Unwind was fine. I ended up making the square with the yarn that they gave me. There was yarn left over and I think it's more than enough to make a second and maybe third square as well. I'll have to try to fit it in.

To be perfectly honest I haven't really looked through the bag I got at the stadium. I know I got a crochet hook. I gave away my ball of yarn which was lavendar scented I think.....It wasn't enough to make anything unless you had more than one ball so I gave mine to Joseline so she can make a scarf if she likes. It will build her stash. When I look thru the bag I'll let you know how I feel about it.

The highlight of the game for me was I got to meet Crazy Aunt Purl. She acted like she knew who I was from some emails we exchanged and that was really nice. She also took a picture of me on her way out of the stands, but alas I didn't make it onto the blog. Probably a good thing cause I'm sure (SURE, SURE, SURE!) that I looked horrible!

Grandma's Shawl

I haven't touched it in two days and I'm feeling guilty. It takes a level of concentration and clean hands that wasn't possible at the Stich-n-Pitch or Priscilla's last night. So it has not grown any larger than the pictures show.

Here is the shawl and the cone from whence it came:


One of the reasons I decided to go with the Unwind group to the Stitch-n-Pitch was for the discount. Hey, I'm on a budget! Anway, I got some yarn that I've sort of been thinking about and an impulse purchase. I also got some tools in the post.

Here is a new hank of Jitterbug.

I can get two socks out of the hank easy, but what to do with the leftovers? I thought I would get a colorway that would work with the leftovers from Diana's socks and make a pair for myself with that bit and the leftovers from a pair I was going to make for Madeline. Of course they didn't have the colorway I had in mind so I bought the one that I thought would work best with the Castanga......not so much, eh?

I'll probably keep this for myself and keep on the look out for the one I really want for her.

Do I need to explain this choice? AND IT'S ORANGE!?!?!?!?!?

I got these for me. There was a sample worked up in a funky basketweave pattern that I just kept going back to fondle. I just couldn't let it go....So much so that after we got back and Nic was paying for her stuff I stood and counted stitches to try to figure out the pattern. I've got someone to help me perfect it. I'm super excited....a long orange scarf!!!

And finally, I got these in the mail on Tuesday from Moonrise Lace Knitting.

The price was only $12 for the lace ones and $10 for the Addi Turbo that I ordered. She sent them to me with a level of trust that is UNHEARD of today. I got them in an envelop with an invoice. That's right, she sent them to me trusting that I will make good on the trust she has given me. I'm touched that there is someone out there who still believes in people this much....maybe she just believes in knitters. May her trust never be in vain. I'm putting my check in the mail today!

21 May 2007

Photoless Update

Grandma's Shawl

I got the yarn for Grandma's shawl in on Friday. It's gorgeous. It's working up beautifully. I'm not using either of the patterns I mention below. I didn't even bother swatching for Morning Glories, although I think I would use this yarn for that project. I did try out the Japanese Feather Stole and the yarn didn't like the pattern. I tried to swatch it with the Zephyr Laceweight I got as a "try it before you buy it" sample I got from Sarah's Yarns, and I didn't like the way that looked either. I was tempted to try out the cashmere sample I got, but was sort of eh on the project by then. So, I went back on line and found this pattern. The yarn is a bit heavier than DK weight. It's along the same lines in terms of thickness as Red Heart, but a much denser feel. It's so nice!

Here are a couple of pictures I snagged from MAGknits. My yarn is a creamy white.

I called Grandma yesterday to ask her how to cook something and she asked if I was done with it already. I wanted to say: Whoa Lady! (actually I might have said that...). What I'm sure I said was: No Grandma, I only started it on Friday night, but I am working on it. I think she would love to have it for Grandpa's party, but I'm not sure I can swing it. It goes quickly, but it's a long piece of knitting. I'll aim for a finish date of June 12, but I doubt I can pull it off. Three days and I've got about 10 inches and 35 of the 59 rows done in the first part of the pattern.

Also, it's pretty heavy and the idea of "blocking" it frightens me. What's the deal with sending knitting to the dry cleaners for blocking? I'm scared what ever their process is will damage the yarn...the color, the feel, you know. If you have any suggestions for me I would greatly appreciate them.


The Stitch-n-Pitch is tomorrow. I'm tired and I need to be in the office by 7:30am at the absolute latest to get in a full day before leaving for the SnP. We're taking the party bus from Unwind, and by some freak happenstance there is a "Tevana B. party" within the Unwind party. The girls think this is hilarious. Either Stephanie will be thrilled that I've gotten so many people to come with or will ban me from the party next year. We'll see. I don't know if I'll go to the SnP again, but if I do I might try out the A Mano party....just a thought.

surgery news

I have gotten the approval for the procedure (along with the removal of my gall bladder if necessary), and just found out that I also have the approvals for all of the pre-op stuff I need. This is a little exciting, but I fear the surgeon's staff will do something to eff it up. We'll see.

**Updated to add: The cardiologist wanted to see my records and labs before calling me to set an appointment. The surgeon's staff sent that info over today. The gastroenterologist has to see me in the office before they'll set up the requested procedure and that's the second week in June. The pulmonologist is so busy they can't see me until July...wait, make that June 29th...yeah. I think I'm ready to throw in the towel on this and just stay the way I am.

Okay, so it's not picture less, but the pics are not of my work. Here's to hoping my work will live up to the beauty of this design.

17 May 2007

Visits and Sock Yarn and Shawls..Oh My!

Blogless Daniella came by to visit on Monday. It was great. She hasn’t been able to come to SnBs for a few weeks and it was great to see her. So, we’re in the apartment and I’m clearing stuff so she can sit (yes, clearing stuff…so many piles of paper!) and she pulls this fluffy peachy goodness out of a bag with and announcement that it was supposed to be a good luck with your surgery gift, but since the insurance company was screwing around so much she didn’t want to wait any more. It is gorgeous. It’s Zen Garden yarn in Fuzzy Navel. It’s soooo soft. Soooo squishy. Soooo nice! I don’t like the drink but I LOVE this yarn.

Over the past year or so…since I started school…Daniella has bought me the nicest sock yarns I’ve ever seen. There were a couple of hanks for my birthday last year. A couple of hanks from the Unwind Superbowl Sunday Sale. Another two hanks just because and now this. I cannot express my gratitude. These are yarns I have looked at and decided they’re not “in the budget,” and then Daniella shows up with them in some color that’s just perfect for me. Thank you Daniella!

So, here is the latest installment to my sock yarn collection:

Let me just say that I think the birthday yarn and the Superbowl Sunday Sale yarn will live on as a scarf and not socks. This peachy stuff however will be socks and will be worn proudly with my orange Crocs! Whoo hoo!

I’ve decided I’m going to follow Nic’s lead and make my grandma a shawl. I told her about it and asked her what color she wants. She said white…without a pause, white. Yeesh. As I started to try to suggest black would be a better choice she pre-empted my argument and said: white will match with everything and I don’t want black because it will pick up too much lint. I still tried to argue, and she sort of okay’d a blue shawl, but I’m going to give her what she wants.

I ordered a cone of Zephyr DK weight in White from Sarah’s Yarns. Sarah’s does a cool thing where she will send you a “try it before you buy it” sample to make a swatch of any of the yarns she sells. I asked for four samples. I’m excited about this arrival.

On to the pattern. I was just digging around on the net like I do and I came across Knitspot. Her work is beautiful.... B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L! Absolutely gorgeous designs and a special perk for me is the borders are worked at the same time as the body of the shawl. I’m torn between two of the designs. One I think it more my grandma’s speed and has basically won out, but the other one will be a wrap for me someday….maybe out of the left over white zephyr and dyed to some color I find irresistible….Only time will tell.

Here are the designs:

Morning Glories will be for me:

Japanese Feather Stole for grandma:

I would like to do the Casino Shawl for her, but I’m not equipped…provisional cast-on of 300 odd stitches…not happening.

In surgery news….I was approved yesterday for the actual procedure and now the doctor’s office is supposed to submit for approval for me to see the specialists for the pre-op testing. Also, the surgeon wants a copy of the psychologists report which I’m having mailed to me so I can forward it on to them. We’ve taken one step forward. Hopefully, it won’t be another 7 to 10 business days for the approvals for the pre-ops and the surgeon’s office won’t drop the ball on submitting for the tests again. **sigh** All I can do is hope.

14 May 2007

Mother's Day Gifts and Stuff

Happy Mother's Day to all of you ladies out there with children. Yes, I know I'm a day late, but this is pretty good timing for me, all things considered.

I swore I wasn't going to knit more than warshrags for my mother this year. When I put in the work on some really complicated project and she seems non-plussed it's a bit of a let down. That said, I got Wrap Style and that laceweight yarn that was the perfect colors for her and got to work. She'd seen the yarn and I showed her brooklyntweed's shawl and she liked them both, but requested that the shawl not be too short. So, I got to work on the shawl and you'll see the fruits of my labor blocking down below.

So, I made the Mother's Day deadline, and am quite proud of the results. Here is my mother with her shawl and a shot of the collection of warshrags:

Here are some final shots of the shawl hanging in dim natural light with the flash. These pictures are pretty true to the actual color:

In other news, School is going okay. I feel like it's been a large waste of time this quarter because we don't have lab instructors most of the time and when we do they're just making us do the same set of shots over and over again. I'm really quite tired of it and would prefer to sleep in and just turn up for lecture. Alas, that is not possible. They count the hours you are physically in the lab, and I just can't bring myself to try to hustle the front desk staff into signing me in and out each day. Besides, I might miss a valuable learning experience....

I decided to make little inexpensive bracelets for my classmates that are mothers. I hit the bead store and got quite a few strands of $1 Indian Glasswork beads. Here is the tray of some of my beads:

Here are the bracelets. The orange and cream one didn't make it. I decided to make that one all cream and then make one that was all green. Yes, I know you don't see any cream or green beads. I added them to the tray when doubt creeped in about the orange. It's one of my favorite colors, but I wasn't sure the recipient would be as excited about it. The lavender one is my favorite

I think that's all the news I've got. The doctor's office dropped the ball and submitted for my pre-op testing on the 8th instead of the 3rd as promised. I've been approved for the abdominal ultrasound, but all other referrals were voided. They want to approve the actual surgery before they'll allow me to go see any specialists. I don’t' think this is ever going to happen for me. My grandmother told me to pray, but how do I know if this is God saying no, you shouldn't do this or an unnecessary series of man-made obstacles to something that God is saying is okay. That's the hard thing about prayer. You just never know if God is saying yes, no or maybe.

07 May 2007

I apologize.

I was wasting time at work recently by scanning the blogs that blogs I like to read link to….does that make sense? It’s like, I go to Looped & Stretchy and click on the Grumperina link…then from Grumperina I’ll click on each one of her linked blogs…because I have an enormous amount of time to just cruise blogs. Anyway. I was cruising blogs (instead of working—like they pay me, or studying—because it was the end of the day and only one other person was here) and I would scan down the page. If there were no pictures I wouldn’t stop to actually read anything. Which leads me to apologize to the five of you who read my madness here even though I’ve been lax about posting pictures with my once a month posting. Today I have pictures and I will do my best to keep the pictures and posts coming more often than once a month.

The Shetland Triangle.

I’ve been thinking about this piece since I saw it on brooklyntweed. His is made in this Sundara yarn in a rich wine color. As an aside, I realized I only wanted to figure out how to dye yarn because I can’t afford to buy her stuff and thought that maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to come close to what I think her stuff looks like.

So, I finally ordered Wrap Style when I got my LOTR special edition set from Amazon.com with a gift certificate my brother and his wife gave me for Christmas. Then I was bored one day and as I cruised the internet I landed on the Handpainted Yarn website. Their yarn is really quite inexpensive. I ordered two hanks of laceweight in two different colors…that’s right, four hanks of laceweight for about $30 delivered.

You see where I’m going with this… I’ve got the pattern and the yarn on hand, and despite fiftyleven other WIPS I converted the laceweight from hanks to center pull cakes (an arduous process to say the least) and started the triangle.

Here it is in it’s preblocked form. I think it’s cool, you can see the leaves in a raised form.

The specs: (I've been wanting to do this forever! I'm not sure I'll ever do it again, because really, I'm just not this organized.)

Started: April 23, 2007
Finished: May 6, 2007

Yarn: Handpaintedyarn.com Laceweight in Avellanas LC, it's an olive color with coppery touches and a brown sheen. Hard to explain, but really pretty, especially in the sunlight. I held the yarn double for a more substantial wrap....shawl...thing.

Needles: Addi Needles in US size 6

Modifications: I can't figure out how to do the weird provisional-knit in a circle cast on that's called for in most patterns. I usually end up with a knotted ball from which I am unable to extract the waste yarn from. So, after tossing my knot into the trash I dug out Miriam's Seraphim pattern and did the cable cast on she calls for. I cast on 5 stitches with the cable cast on, worked one row: K2, yo,K1, yo, K2, and had the seven stitches she called for and started the pattern from there. Other than that I did 10 repeats of the body so that I had a larger shawl. My mother simply requested that it not look like she was trying to use a handkerchief as a shawl.

This is the first piece I've blocked and I think it went okay. There are things I don't really understand about the process but I winged it and when I woke up this morning it was still securely attached to the carpet, so I guess I did okay.

Here it is blocking. I just sat and stared at it in wonder as it dried.

I've actually made a lace shawl. Amazing! You'd think from reading this post that I was a real knitter!!!

On the surgery front things are back in a waiting/holding pattern. I had my consultation with the surgeon on Thursday. The woman in my doctor's office was dragging her feet about making the request to change the surgeon so I just kept the surgeon she assigned me and got in to see him the next day. His staff gave me all the information I need about my pre-op testing and said I should expect this portion of the process to take 4 to 6 weeks. **sigh** So, I wait.

01 May 2007

Step Three: Big Changes Afoot

I currently have, in hand, the approval for the consult with the surgeon. Why am I not screaming excited you ask? It’s because I’ve been approved for a different surgeon than I requested. I’m lucky that they approved me for the Huntington group and not the Arcadia one, but c’mon! If I ask to go see Alan why would they say okay you can go, but you can only see David? Damn them!

So, I’m sitting here, shaking my knees and waiting for the office manager from the surgeons’ office to call me back. I’ve gotten to know her at the support group meetings and she might be able to tell me if I can see the surgeon I want instead of this guy they’ve chosen for me. My life sure ain’t been too easy. . . (does anyone know whose lyrics those are?)

There is balance, right? Does it? Will it ever be out of balance for me in on the good side of the scale? I’m tired.

In other news; my brother’s wife had the baby. Senaiah Milan. She was 7 lbs 8ozs, 20 and a half inches long. She’s quiet, sleeps a lot…very cute. I made a hat and booties for her to take with me to the hospital yesterday, and I took the parents ice cream.

I’ve been working on the socks for my classmates, and the shawl for my mother….I actually haven’t touched the shawl since Thursday, but it’s at the top of the queue. I had lots of studying to do…still have lots of studying to do. I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Well, now I’ve gotten my approval and I still have to wait. I really hope this helps the Tevana Patience System!