Friday, January 31, 2003

I pulled out the materials for the Kandinsky Kimono, you know, to just look at and touch. I didn't want to start anything new until I seamed up the Mountain Colors vest. Well, of course that lasted about 2.5 minutes. I've knitted about 20 rows on the back - at least I've forced myself to knit only in my early morning hours until the vest is done. I should be able to do the seaming in direct sunlight this weekend and then I can fly on the Kimono.

I'm in a very happy place these days because my fiber friend Jillian (the Knitting Frau) is coming back! She was here in the area about 10 years ago and we sporadically kept in touch (her in-laws are still here). Anyway, she's coming back sometime this spring!! Whenever I get bummed out about something, I tell myself "Jillian's coming back and she can talk you into starting a new project and out of your doldrums in no time flat."

Shoulder surgery is Monday - I'm a little scared, but mostly hopeful that everything will turn out okay. (or at least that the orthopod doing the surgery doesn't make it worse!) I'm a little unsure about how much time off I'll have (my concern is being able to drive well enough to get back to work). Anyway, I hope I'll be able to knit and spin at least a little.

Here's my wheel. It's been sadly neglected for the last couple of months, but we'll see what a little time off can do for it. I have a whole fleece that's sitting in my basement designated for a project - it needs to be carded and spun first. I'll let you know how far I get.

Monday, January 27, 2003

So glad last week is over. I knew it was going to be bad, but I never really understand how bad it can be until I'm living it. I had 2 consecutive days of software training, followed by a day-long meeting. My head was swollen. I didn't even go home on Wednesday, just checked into a hotel in town - now that's dedication (or stupidity!).

I finished the pieces of the Mountain Colors vest yesterday. It's a beautiful dark colorway, so I didn't want to seam it at night. I'm hoping that sometime this week, I'll get home early enough to have natural light. I also need to dig out my reference books to learn how to crochet an edging around the neck and arm openings.

My shoulder surger is next week. I'm wondering how soon afterward I'll feel like knitting. I will probably bring in the yarn and pattern for the Kandinsky Kimono before I go to the hospital. I'll feel better if I can see it, even if I don't feel like working on it.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Hmmm, does it count that I was at least knitting like a fiend even though I didn't knit the thing I said I would? I still had the Mountain Colors ribbon in the car when I took my son to hockey practice on Friday night. To keep my daughter busy during his practice, I took the ribbon into the rink and she held it while I rolled it into balls. She didn't complain too much because it was so soft and yummy (I did have to tolerate her rubbing the yarn on her face every now and again).

So after that sensory experience, I had to start knitting with it right away. My first attempt produced 6 inches of knitting before I realized that I had made a mistake and shifted one of the lace panels over a couple of stitches. When I held it up for my husband to view, he shook his head and said, "You have to take it out don't you?" When I said, "Yup" and shrugged my shoulders, he looked at me in surprise and said "Wow, not so traumatic, that would have made you cry a couple of years ago." While he got the timing wrong (it was more like 7 or so years ago that it would have made me cry) he surprised me by remembering how traumatic a mistake like this used to be. Now, it's not such a big deal - I get to enjoy knitting with the yarn again!

So, anyway I have just a few more inches to go on the back of the vest and I'm hoping to knit that away tonight and get started on the front. I love vests!!!!

Friday, January 17, 2003

It worked for me last weekend, so I'm game to try again. I'll announce the big project I'm going to start and then I'll have to give a report on Monday. I'm going to start the Kandinski Kimono (Interweave Knits, Spring 2002). Mission Falls Cotton is the most luscious cotton I've ever knit with. Normally, I hate to knit with cotton, so I picked up a ball of this stuff, just to try it out and FELL IN LOVE! The fabric is lovely and the drape is wonderful. I can't wait to get started.

I have been working on being ambidextrous in the last couple of days. It's not as hard as I expected it to be. I realized that I already do a lot of stuff with my non-dominant hand; it was a little surprising. There are some things that are just impossible for me to do with my left hand, however (clicking the seatbelt while in the driver's seat comes to mind). Oh well, I guess I won't be back to work as quickly as I had "hoped."

Thursday, January 16, 2003

So, it seems that I can't get myself working on another big project right now. I'm overwhelmed with having to make a decision (I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I seem to be the only one able to make a decision in my office - but that's a completely different story). I'm dithering between which big new sweater to start, so in my hesitation, I went to my LYS yesterday and spent my 20% off coupon on some luscious Mountain Colors ribbon. I fell in love with the pattern last fall and bought it on the spot, but couldn't pay $28.00/hank - no matter how gorgeous it is, and I needed 3 hanks. Well, they're in my stash now...

As promised, I also have a picture of my unspun silk scarf I'm fairly pleased with it and it goes so quickly that I feel a great sense of accomplishment with my 15-20 minutes of knitting nightly. Here's the hankie that it came from My daughter has requested "one just like it...only in purple." I can forgive her, she's only 7, but she knows what she likes!

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

I figured out how to make the camera work and here is a picture of the front of the finally finished Hanne Falkenberg Dacapo jacket...

And here is the back...

I do believe this is the most cleverly designed thing I've ever knit. I can't quite get my head around how she thought this up - but I am glad she did. Incidentally, the wool was a little rough feeling while I knit, but (as promised) it softened up beautifully when washed. I can't wait to wear it!

Monday, January 13, 2003

It's finished!!! The Dacapo is done and drying on my dining room table. I wanted to take a picture of it, but as I don't have my own digital camera, I haven't done it yet. Will be taking a camera from work to get the pics up ASAP.

The unspun silk scarf is coming along nicely. I didn't have the self control to attenuate all of the silk hankie before beginning the knitting - just wanted to get started. So, I did approximately 1/3 of the hankie and grabbed the needles. It's very soft and looks terrific, I'm just a little concerned about pilling. I think I'll wash it before beginning a second scarf. I'll also have to pull out my stitch dictionaries and see if there are other simple patterns I like to try this technique on the 12 other hankies I have in my spinning stash.

So, what's up for my next "big" knitting project? If I take a look at my list - it's the Philosopher's Wool sweater kit my mother-in-law bought for my birthday. Her's is absolutely gorgeous and I'd love to have a sweater like that. Of course, I could also finish the Sally Melville design I started last year and promised to have finished before going to Stitches East in October (the back and sleeves are done, as is 1/2 of the right front). Oh well, having no self control (as I stated before), I'll probably pull out the Philosopher's kit and at least ball up the yarn.

By the way, husband is doing well - with a minimum of whining on his part. He still needs help moving from bed to living room, but all in all for one who had surgery less than a week ago, he's in good spirits and fairly good health. I told him this morning that he has to be well enough to drive me home after my own surgery in approximately 2 weeks (rotator cuff tear). He's promised that he'll be designated driver as well as general supportive guy.

I'm going to take some advice from the KnitFlame list and start trying to be ambidextrous for the 2 weeks prior to the surgery. The tear is (of course) in my dominant shoulder and I'm worried about being able to drive back and forth to work. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, January 10, 2003

I've been looking for a turtleneck black dress to wear with my Dacapo sweater. I found one (with the help of my sister-in-law) at L.L. Bean. I hesitated to buy it, because it only has a mock turtleneck and I really prefer "real" turtlenecks. Well, I figured that I could just send it back if I didn't like it - so I ordered. It arrived yesterday and it's perfect! I tried it on this morning and then ran to get the unfinished Dacapo and it looks great.

So, my weekend plans are to finally finish the jacket (and I'm hopeful that I'll post a picture of it as well). I'd also like to finish the unspun silk scarf. There, it's in print and I'll have to hang my head in shame if it isn't done by Monday.

One more thing, husband is coming home tomorrow. It will be an extremely happy day for his little Brittany Spaniel who is about to starve herself for want of seeing her "boy."

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Well, it wasn't kidney stones - it was a burst appendix! Apparently the man has the pain tolerance of a stone. The surgeon thinks that his appendix burst on Sunday night. My husband went to work on Monday (and to the doctor on Monday night) and then back to work on Tuesday morning. His doctor called me at work because she couldn't get in touch with him to say, "I've already scheduled the surgery and I hope he hasn't eaten anything in the last 5 hours."

Suffice it to say, he had eaten something and was on his way to lunch when I finally caught up with him. This was what he said to me, "Well, I guess I'll get things in order here on the job site. Let my crew know what's up and head over to the hospital. I should be there in about an hour." I think my reply was truly unprintable. Upshot of the story is, he is doing well, taking every pain killer any nurse will hand him and should be home by Friday.

I HATE being a single parent. I don't know how people do it. I'm responsible for homework and hockey practice and making sure everyone has clean clothes to wear everyday and food to eat every evening. It's a good thing my kids like eating cold cereal!

Enough whining - it's time for lunch.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

...and reality sets in. My husband may have kidney stones. He spent the entire weekend in bed (with me in the living room rolling my eyes because "geez, he thinks no one has ever had the flu before!"). When he called me yesterday afternoon to tell me he was "peeing orange." I told him he had to get himself to the doctor. They did an Xray and a CT on him yesterday and we're waiting for the results today. They did give him some good drugs, so at least he spent one pain free night.

My holiday reading plans went completely out the window. I wanted to pick up Crime and Punishment, but it sat on the shelf for my entire vacation. Instead I went through some of my back issues of Spin-Off and picked up The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham. (Not an original idea I must add, I couldn't sleep one night and got up to watch TV and caught a bit of the movie on ACM.) Despite being a smallish book, it's not a quick read. I can't believe I never picked up Maugham before - this from an literature major! I keep reading quicker and quicker just because I can't wait to find out what happens, and the language is beautiful!!

So the 'to do' list is only half a mile long now...

Monday, January 06, 2003

Back at work after a 2-week vacation. It was terrific, but it's time to work again - I find that if I don't have anything to do at home (structured stuff) that I waste a lot of time and get nothing done.

I did organize some magazines in my studio. I tend to finish reading a magazine and then stack it on my desk - well, the stack was about a foot high, so time to file them away. In relation to filing the magazines, I'm trying to get all my stash (books, magazines, yarn, and spinnable fiber) into a database so I know what I have. I just got a new Palm (m515 for the technoids) and it came with a great set of programs (Documents to Go) that will allow me to migrate my Access databases into my Palm to take with me everywhere. I also have KnitAble - so I'm getting organized. It's a good start for the new year.

My Christmas present from my husband was a drum carder. I have some fiber that was dyed beautiful oranges, reds, and yellows, but it's matted a bit. This makes it hard to spin, so I'm wondering if I can card it through the drum carder and then spin it. It's really gorgeous in the roving and I'm dying to see it spun into yarn.

Also started a project that I picked up at Stitches East. I bought a couple of silk hankies with the intention of knitting them without spinning the silk first. The resulting scarf is beautifully soft, but I'm worried about it pilling terribly. We'll see how it goes. I'd like to have a couple done to sell at my guild's winter sale.

Dacapo - finished knitting!!! I just have to seam up the sleeves and weave in a few ends. I'm dragging my feet as I'm afraid it's a tad small for my zaftig body. I should finish it, block it, and if it doesn't fit - oh well. It was great fun knitting and someone will be able to wear it!!

Back to the mile long "to do" list.