Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ouch.

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I think I need to face facts. My wrist and shoulder hurt. That day that every knitter dreads has arrived. It is bothering my arm to knit. I think it's because I knit the ribbing and 5 rounds of my Deep V Argyle vest last night on bamboo needles that had a really clunky join. Having to fight to move the stitches around the circular needle + sticky wool + stranded knitting = ouch.

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Today I decided that I was going to set the Deep V vest aside until I got better needles and worked on this:
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Textured Tunic from Fitted Knits. I'm using a much finer yarn than called for, which is producing a nice drapey fabric. I opted to not do the flaps with buttons and just did a shirt-tail type hem. I plan to make it long sleeved rather than the 3/4 shown.

But, it too, was ouch. DK weight cotton yarn on US 10 1/2 needles (again with not the smoothest join in the world) contributed to the wrist and shoulder discomfort.

I went to the LYS this afternoon in search of a better US4 circular with which to knit my vest and I now have a brand new BFF:
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I splurged on a set of Addi Turbo Lace circulars. Sigh. So smooth, so sleek but not overly slippery. Sigh.

I may have been tempted by some beautiful Araucania Ranco Multy but I ABSOLUTELY did NOT* buy any. No I didn't*. Honest*.

So, now what do I do? I bought some fabric (**cough** on-sale sheet set **cough**) with which to make a new bathrobe and a pair of pajama pants, but it didn't completely dry in the dryer (grr) so I won't be sewing tonight. So, I'll try spinning and hopefully I can do THAT. Or I'll work on the fabric pieces for the duvet cover I started months ago. How do people just sit in the evenings? I don't know about you, but I have realized lately that I find it nearly impossible to just sit still without doing something or making something, even while watching TV.

* lies. all lies. sorry. I did buy 2 skeins for a friend's birthday present which, in my internal justification system makes it alright. ehem.
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Transformers Toque Pattern

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I sat down today and wrote out the pattern for the toque. I've put together a .pdf file with the instructions, pictures and charts. I'm trying out a file hosting site, so let's see how that works out...

Transformers Toque Pattern Please let me know if this link isn't working. This is my first time using this hosting site and I'm not sure how well it will work yet.

Disclaimer: This pattern has not been test-knit. I wrote it up after the fact from memory, but I'm pretty sure it's accurate.

Please let me know if you knit one! I would love to see them.

I told the boy about posting the pictures and the response here and on Craftster and his big concern was that he wouldn't have a unique toque anymore. So I explained that each person will interpret the pattern/charts in their own way and each will be different. He still was concerned (jokingly so, I hope) so I assured him that NONE of the commenters would be from the Calgary area... Boys. So, dear friends, when you make your own Transformers toque, if you happen to be in the Calgary area, if you see the boy in the black & orange Transformers toque and you are wearing your own Transformers toque, do me a favor and hide yours? K? And tell him you like his...

Please feel free to email me at subloke AT hotmail DOT com if you have any questions about the pattern or have difficulty with my instructions...

Dollar & a Half Cardigan

Finally finished...

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Pattern: Dollar and a Half Cardigan by Veronik Avery, Interweave Knits Spring 2007
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Taupe
Mods: My yarn choice was a heavier weight than that called for in the pattern, so I used US 7s (pattern called for 5s I believe). I knit the numbers for a size smaller than what I needed to make up for the difference in gauge, which is a fairly lazy math-free way to do a re-sizing...

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I have a jar full of buttons but couldn't find 4 that a) matched; b) were the right size; c) were the right color and was getting frustrated. I finally remembered the wooden buttons on an old, worn out sweater that I had in my closet. Voila.

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I absolutely love this sweater. The only thing that was keeping it from getting done was my extreme distractibility (totally is a word) and I finished it just in time to wear it this fall.

Next up: Eunny Jang's Deep V Argyle Vest. I dyed some recycled wool for it last night:
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(the darker purple is even deeper than this picture shows).
Can't wait to get going on it.

And now, the moment (some of) you have been waiting for: I have the pattern complete with charts ready for the Transformers Toque. I'll give it a separate post so it can be found later if anyone wants.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

more than meets the eye...

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Autobot - the Good guys (for the uninitiated among us)

Back in June, I saw a Transformers knit toque (hat) on Craftster. I showed it to The Boy and he was, well, excited about it. To say he likes the Transformers would be a slight understatement. He hinted/asked/begged for one of his own. I played it quiet and said he might get one some day...

Meanwhile, I was charting furiously, searching for just the right images, trying to decide how to place the icons and what to do with the sides/stranded insides...

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Decepticon - the Bad guys

I finally decided to do one icon on the "front" and one on the "back" so he could switch back and forth if he wants. The panels between were a simple dotted pattern alternating every row.

My favorite part though:
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The inside reads: "More than meets the eye" (a line from the theme song).

His response? Jumping up and down excited. I don't think i've had that excited a reaction for a knitted gift ever! Kinda makes a person want to knit more gifts, you know?

Key quote: "I can wear it like THIS if I want to be good! or like THIS if I want to be bad!!! or like THIS if i want to be sneaky" then he made the transformers noise and turned it inside out. Aww. Transformers geek fan. So funny.

Pattern: My own. I am planning to put together the charts I used and make it available (probably by email unless someone can explain to me how to put up a pdf online for download?)(?)
Yarn: Lanett Superwash 100% merino (BTW: SO soft! I love this yarn!)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm back. for now.

Today I am doing this
ahhh  sunday
(first new sock of the fall)
It's Sunday. It's football season. I'm tired. (Pronounce that: "TIE-Erd". For emphasis)

Last week, all week, I was here:
bridge
(Well, technically, I was here specifically just the one evening, but I was in the represented city all week)

Tomorrow I have to go back there, which was unexpected and not entirely what I wanted to do, but it's out of my hands. Luckily it looks like this
water

And this:
sunset at english bay 2
so it's not entirely a hardship.

(It should be noted that the place where I will ACTUALLY be is not actually right there. It's inland from there. But it's much closer to there than I am where I live normally)

I want to live here:
tree house

I worked on this:
dollar and a half

I got to the top of one of the sleeve caps and this is how much yarn I had left
d'oh
(I had a brief moment of panic when I couldn't find the other ball of this yarn that i had brought with me.)(whew)

I came home to warm weather (apparently I missed out on the days of cool temps and frost warnings. darnit), trees turning colors and my "harvest" looking festive and autumn-y
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(they are not nearly as large as they appear in this picture... sigh)

I need to finish up the turn around on my packing, figure out again which knitting projects to take with me, confirm my flight and print a boarding pass (Thank you West Jet!) and try to get some sleep. I really do love to travel, but I'm definately not made for work-travel. If I am going to travel to a beautiful location I don't want to spend the bulk of my days in an office!

Sigh.

Mom Update:
After a rough first week of side effects from the chemo, Mom has started to really feel better. Her breathing is already improving, which is such an answer to prayer. She says that she hasn't had to be on the oxygen much at all in the last week and a half, compared to almost constantly prior to the first treatment. She has more energy and has just been feeling so much better all around (side effects aside) than she had been before the first treatment. She goes for the 2nd chemo treatment and an appointment with her Oncologist tomorrow (Monday Sept. 17) morning, so I imagine she will have some of the same side effects over the next week. It's just so reassuring to talk to her and hear her be "chipper" on the phone, after the discouraging down-slide in her breathing.

Thanks again for your prayers and notes of encouragement.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Where did the time go?

Hey! It's September!!!???!!!

Um, yeah. It's September. I've been meaning to post for a week now... not sure where that time went...

First, the wordy update:

Mom's first chemo went relatively well. The chemo nurse was so kind and thoughtful, and answered all of our questions. Mom didn't have a reaction to the chemo drugs at the time of infusion, which had been a concern, so that was good. Her first few days after treatment were relatively side-effect free, which was a blessing, as the day of the treatment had been so very tiring. Mom ended up needing an ultrasound for some swelling but they weren't able to fit us in at the hospital where she receives treatment so we had to go to another hospital in the city for that. In all, it was better than expected, but still a very long and tiring day.

She's been having more side-effects lately, but has started to notice a slight easing in the difficulties with breathing. While I was home we got her set up with Home Care so that she will receive regular visits from a nurse and Meals on Wheels a couple of times a week. It's hard to hear that she is going through these side effects, but I'm glad to know that she is being looked after.

Mom loved the cushion cover, which I knew she would. We put some Kleenex in one pocket, and a pack of Halls (throat drops) in the other. Then we both kind of looked at each other and laughed. My dad always had Kleenex in one pocket and Halls in the other!

While I was at Mom's I had 4 responses about jobs, two through direct applications and 2 through employment agencies. Initially I had planned to "play it by ear" regarding how long I would stay at Mom's, but with all the calls I decided to return to Calgary on Wednesday, August 29. Thursday I had 2 interviews, and, surprisingly, 2 job offers! I have such a hard time with decision making, especially when the choices are very equal, or when the choice has long term or serious consequences attached. (well, to be honest, I have a hard time making choices about anything, consequences or not... you do NOT want to go shopping with me if I need to buy something specific).

Friday morning I heard from both employment agencies several times, wanting to know what they could do to assist in my decision making process. In the end, I chose to go with the job that will make the best use of my experience, has the most potential for future employment/advancement, and, to be frank, they offered me more money in the end (i'm such a capitalist!! haha) I start on September 10, so this week I am on "holiday". I had wanted to go back and spend more time with Mom, but I'm getting a cold and I really don't want to expose Mom unnecessarily. The company is flying me out to Vancouver for training for a couple of weeks. I've never had to travel for work before, so it's kind of interesting. I'm always a bit nervous meeting new people, so this will be a whole lot of newness at once. I haven't been in Vancouver since the early 90s. Anyone have any suggestions for sites to see on weekday evenings?

Now, to the crafting updates (it's a crafting blog afterall) (Hopefully I didn't lose everyone with all the talkiness)

1. Wide scarf/narrow stole for my mom:
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Pattern: Border from "Scarf with the striped border" from Victorian Lace Today and the center portion from "Large Rectangle with center diamond pattern" from VLT.
Yarn: Jaeger Trinity (40% Silk, 35% Cotton, 25% Polyamide) in a blush pink
The scarf didn't block out as wide as I had been hoping for, but Mom liked it anyway. She had seen me working on it and I just didn't really say anything about it, so she didn't know it was for her. I wanted to make her something lightweight to give her a little warmth if she got chilly while at treatments. It's just wide enough to wrap around her shoulders or on her lap but narrow enough that she can wear it as a scarf.

2. (not very) Beaded Cami
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Pattern: Beaded Cami from Black Dog Designs
Yarn: Patons Grace in Azure
Mods: I knit it in the round and grafted the top and bottom together. It's a bit wonky at the grafting line (oops) but overall I'm glad I did it that way. I also did a wider strap so that I could wear it w/out a tank underneath. I probably won't, but I could if I wanted to...

3. FINALLY: My niece's blanket!!
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I used the tutorial for the Mock Cathedral Windows quilt at Sunshine's Creations.

I seem to have established a habit of making my projects more difficult than is necessary. This blanket is a case in point. Initially it was 7 blocks by 8 blocks (37" x 43") which seemed a bit too small. So, I added another round (34 more blocks) which brings the size to 49" x 54" (approx). Then, Mom said my sister was really hoping to find "a good heavy blanket" for Preslee for the winter. So, I decided to go ahead and back the blanket with fleece. I thought this would help reinforce the seams as well, since my sewing wasn't as straight and even as it should have been.
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I picked up a walking foot for my machine and I have to say: I LOVE my walking foot!! YAY walking foot!!

ehem.

Finally, as a word of caution to any other crafters out there who may be working on quilts and who may be a little, er, carefree with measurements:
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I measured my quilt. I made sure (or so I thought) that I would have at least 6" extra binding. Apparently I was wrong.
My solution?
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whew.

So, if you're still with me, thank you. I need to go figure out what the airline restrictions are regarding knitting needles, and figure out what knitting to bring for my week in Vancouver. Anyone flown WestJet and knit on their flight? Suggestions for tourist attractions, sights to see?