Thursday, June 25, 2009

Technical difficulties

Greetings Dear Readers:

Yes, we are experiencing some formatting weirdness. We'll endeavor to figure it out and get back to normal as our schedules allow. (I'm really hoping that posting from my phone wasn't the culprit -I really like that convenience!!)
**Edited to add: Well, it seems my last post was somehow the culprit, so I've taken it down. Guess we'll have to do without the picture of the Fuzzy Feet! I'll try to show them to you when they're felted!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Much ado about nothing...

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

Before I forget, YAY that your mom now likes hand knit socks. It's always a gamble when I make socks for somebody (and I've had one recipient who point blank told me that she is not going to wear them, then kept them anyway), so I'm so glad that your mom is recognizing their virtues!

Nice to have this past week off. The boys and I are in that "zone" in which we are trying to figure out how to coexist together again 24x7 without driving each other mad. I estimate that two weeks into the summer, things will resume their even keel; until then, I imagine a continuation of conversations similar to this one (an actual discourse at out house yesterday):

6-yr old: Mom, my cereal smells weird.
8-yr old: Maybe you slept in too long...
me: ????

In the early evening last night, my 8-yr old asked me if I was having a bad hair day... I don't know what might have caused that...perhaps the baseball cap I was wearing earlier in the day, or the tennis I played in the heat and humidity, or the laundry which was enough to work up a sweat, or maybe getting rained on as I was waiting for him to get out of the pool when they called it quits due to thunder during swim team practice in the morning....

I've had some time to knit as I've been waiting for my kids during dentist appointments, sports stuff, etc., though given that it is only short bursts, it has been mindless knitting. And, in my efforts to pull together and develop a plan for completing all my works-in-progress, I've only succeeded in starting a new one, because all of my mundane WIPs are at points requiring thinking, such as turning a heel, picking up buttonhole bands, etc, so I reached for the dishrag cotton. Here is the Circle Dishrag, which I saw on somebody's blog (though my brain has been on the fritz this past week, so I can't remember whose blog it was) and decided to try it. It is probably one of the most "three dimensional" dishrags I've made, and is an easy pattern to memorize. It was going to be very large, so I cast on 34 stitches instead of 46.

Later today, I hope to felt my ballet slippers, so I'll try to post some before/after snapshots yet this weekend...

I forgot to mention to you that during my clinical, I had the opportunity to observe an entire surgery! I watched a "hip resurfacing," an operation taking about 2.5 hours, and something that I was working with patients on beginning "post op day 1" to start their road to recovery. I credit my cadaver lab of a year ago as giving me the "stomach" to not get at all woozy during the procedure. Really, it was very interesting, and gave me some insight into what goes into some orthopedic surgeries.

Coincidentally, I've been noticing some minor hip soreness the past few months which I really can't attribute to sore muscles, and I'm beginning to be concerned about the possibility that I may be developing some osteoarthritis. To give my hip joints a break, I decided to take the summer off from running, and so will be biking to school every day (as weather permits) as well as using the elliptical trainers at the gym instead of the treadmills. (My anatomy professor from last summer always used to tell us, "Exercise is bad for you." As you already know, I don't believe that, though I think we should listen to our bodies, too...)

Here is a sandhill crane in our back yard, eating some of the bird feed we put out there:
I didn't want to scare it away, so the picture is through a window/screen... The neighbors have named it "Rupert," and it typically traipses through our yard every evening between 7:00 and 7:30pm.

Okay, so I really have to crank on some filing this weekend, so that's it for now. Have a great weekend!

Laura (YarnThrower)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Mom and socks....

Greetings and Dear Laura:

My mom has been on my 'No socks for you' list since I was knitting my first pair of handknit socks, and she laughed at me and wondered who on earth would want to wear wool socks. Even when other people praised the socks that I made for them and she started to get curious, I told her no. (I lent my dad a pair after his surgery when his feet got cold but he never wore them.)

Mom had been dropping hints that she needed new slippers. (One of her friends made them for her out of Red Heart, but she has given up knitting, so the worn ones can't be replaced.) Dad just asked if I could knit some for her, but mom explained that she'd blown that years ago. (They don't know that I'm making Fuzzy Feet for her up-coming birthday!) When he mentioned again about her cold feet, I agreed to lend her a pair of my wool socks.

I kept forgetting to ask how she liked them, but last night she sighed and said "I may as well get this over with. Do you want these back or can I keep them?" I just laughed and told her she can keep them. I asked if she likes them, and she admitted that she does. She said that she always thought they would be itchy but they didn't itch a bit! I told her, "Mom, you should know I only knit with good yarn!"

So I'm working on felted slippers for her, using this Lambs Pride Worsted Paint in a pretty Cranberry Swirl colorway. I think she'll like them.

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back to work!

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Well, not nearly so much fun as last weekend. We are having our company picnic today, so that is some fun at least. If I get a good picture of Lauren winning the three-legged race with knitting needles in her hand, I'll post that tomorrow!

For today, here is another FO from the archives. This is
'Mable,' also from Heirloom Stitches. They really have wonderful patterns! I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and it was a great yarn for the pattern. The lace kicked my butt a LOT but I finally got it.

And here is a picture of the birthday girl on a cool spring day, wearing her new sweater!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, June 15, 2009

The highlight for today....

Greetings and Dear Laura:

The theme for today will be driving, as I am heading for home soon. Before I hit the road, I thought I'd give you a peek at one of my finished objects from the last month or so.

Introducing 'Kitty' from Heirloom Stitches. I used 'Feet First' yarn from Cottage Fiber, which is a wonderful yarn. It's put up with 490 yards, which is the most generous I've found, and one skein completed this sweater. I made a size 4, for my great-niece Lydia. I didn't worry about stopping at the proscribed length, I just kept going until I judged that I didn't have enough yarn for another pattern repeat. The part of the project that gave me fits was that the pattern asked me to do purl/yarn-over combinations, which I'm not a fan of. I'm planning to do this sweater again, but I'm going to change it so that the yarn-overs come after knits, and I purl two together instead of knit two together. The sweater looks really good on Lydia tho!

And now I'm going to take Renata on a quick trip to choose yarn for a bag that she wants to knit and then I'm heading for LaOtto. I'll leave you with one last picture of my two new knitters and I!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Knitters

Greetings and Dear Laura:

I'm really enjoying my visit in Kenosha! Today my Goddaughter Isabella (5) and I visited Fiddlehead Yarns. I was looking for some DK wool for a crochet project and I found some Dale of Norway Falk in 7 colors. I already have 3 colors of Rowan Pure Wool, so I have 10 of the 13 colors that I need.

I brought a learn-to-knit kit with a book called "Gigi Knits" for my Goddaughter Renata (8). After lunch, we did the first step, winding a ball. Later she cast on 25 stitches and has worked about 2" of garter stitch! She's doing really well, and she's already learning to decide what level of wonky she would rather have than frog. Isabella is also learning and doing well. She's still more comfortable if we work together, but she's learning the motions and steps.

-- Post From My iPhone


Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

I love your idea of posting shorter posts more frequently! Fun to see what you're up to, and I hope you enjoy your stay in Wisconsin (though seeing as it is "God's country," how can you not?)

My clinical finished up yesterday. I was "working" in a hospital for four weeks, and similar to my hospital clinical in January, I was reminded that smoking does really, really bad things to your body (not just in the lungs), and if you're going to drink excessively, then don't try ascending/descending stairs, or you may fall and break your neck, quite literally. It's always sobering for me to spend time in a hospital, and it makes me thankful for my relatively good health, and also gives me ammunition to use when I'm trying to teach my kids about making good choices.

I received a $25 gift card from Barnes and Noble, and so I purchased a book I've had my eye on for months:I don't spin (yet, and really, I won't until my kids are out of high school, really!), but the book offers manufactured yarn alternatives, and I loved so many of the designs in the book.

In a moment of insanity, I decided I was going to make slippers for my nieces and nephew for a "cousins birthday party" which has become my family's tradition in August. Instead of holding six separate parties for all of our kids during the year, my mom invites all of us over for one big party which is more about being together as a family than it is about giving big gifts to each of the kids. And so, I'm making some little gifts out of stash yarn (Cascade 220). I'm using this cute pattern for the girls: ...though I don't know which pattern I'll use for the one boy. (Any ideas out there?) I'm sort of "winging" the size on these (note that these are really the same size, but due to my "trick photography, they look different):I will go ahead and felt the first two pairs as soon as they are knitted just to make sure I'm in the ball park.And, still plugging away on the socks: I love it when I get past the heel on a toe-up sock, because then it's just about mindlessly knitting around and around, which I actually like.

That's about it for the knitting news. I have next week **off**, and plan to do two big things with my time:
1.) figure out what I have "on the needles" in the recesses of the house, and make myself a "schedule" to finish it -- I always do better when I create a little urgency on something, and I know there are at least two or three sweaters sitting around which are very "close" to being finished
2.) clean the house! (yeah, right, like that will happen, but if I don't at least put it on a list of things to do, then there's even a smaller chance that it will happen...)

Have a great weekend!
Laura (YarnThrower)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hello from chilly Wisconsin

Greetings and Dear Laura:

The news for today is that I'm having a lovely visit in Kenosha! I arrived this evening, and soon after Kathryn and the kids arrived back from a week in MO. I'm looking forward to a fun weekend.

Here is a picture of my stash acquisition from Three Bags Full in Northbrook IL, my Chicago stop when I come north. It's Malabregio sock yarn in a rich mossy green colorway. Mmmmm.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Found object

So I'm just going to try quick bits instead of official BLOG POSTS.

I've been really overwhelmed lately, so I've been cleaning closets and storage areas to help cope. Today I finally found this bowl, which sat on my Grandma Schroeder's dining room table when I was a child. It had wax grapes in it, but I loved the grape-purple color and the interesting shape. After it became mine, I bought beaded fruit for it, but it has all been packed away since my last move (2003 or 2004.). I knew it had to be somewhere and today I hit the jackpot!

-- Post From My iPhone