Tag Archive | crafting

An Answer for Jack

The vet called yesterday and confirmed that yes, Jack has hypothyroidism. It’s been causing lethargy and weight gain mostly, but also some flaky/scaly ears and a few instances of unsteady walking. The gastrointestinal issues that prompted me to take him to the vet aren’t a typical symptom but the vet said she couldn’t rule out the possibility that they were related. He’ll be on a twice-daily pill for the rest of his life, but it’s small and relatively inexpensive. He’s already had two doses and is perking up quite a bit. It makes me feel bad, wondering how long he’s been dealing with this without us noticing. I just thought he was getting lazy as he got older. It’s a relief to have a clear answer, even if it does mean having two dogs with chronic conditions!

The other good news is that I finished a sock yesterday. I’d already finished one green sock from my new sock yarn, but before I started the second I needed to make a quick purple sock. And it really was quick!

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Now I’m back to the green. And when I have one solid green pair and one solid purple pair, I want to do purple with green contrast bits!

Sock It To Me Monday

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary: the husband and I have been married 23 years now! But I have to say, I like celebrating things better when we’re not in the midst of the pandemic. It was too hot and muggy to do anything outside, so we decided to mask up and try visiting an antique mall, one that’s big enough for people to be socially distanced inside. It was … partially successful. There was space, but there were also more people than I expected, and I felt like I was being crowded or rushed whenever they were behind me. There was a sign that masks were required, but we saw a ton of people wearing them under their noses. We saw one woman just wearing a plastic face shield. It wasn’t a relaxing environment for me, and I felt bad being tense and anxious when we were trying to celebrate. I did find something cool, though!

img_8394It’s a yarn swift!! I have an Amish-style swift that the husband made me years ago, but I had to get this one too. As soon as I figure out how to attach it to the table without damaging the wood, I’ll be testing it out. And I’ll be testing it with my new LolaBean sock yarn! (Yes, I realize this is a tenuous connection to Sock It To Me Monday, but I’m rolling with it.)

img_8391My obsessive Instagram habit paid off and I snagged one of the Jimmy the Model sets from LolaBean Yarn Co.! I just love watching their videos, and of course I love the yarn too. I’m trying to resist the urge to cast on. It’s hard.

I don’t know about you, but my weekend went way too fast. Maybe Monday will go fast too?

Switching Gears

I made little progress on my new Ripple Bralette yesterday, because yarn arrived in my mailbox! This is a review project I’m doing and it needs to be done lickety-split — thank goodness I’m making simple socks.

img_8379I started with the green. They’ll be for the boy to test, since these are machine washable and he’s a teenage boy so he’s a little harder on socks than I am. Jack kept me company while I worked on them and by the time I went to bed, I was ready to start the heel.

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Of course the pink/purple will be for me, and I’m thinking some Rose City Rollers will be perfect summer socks. Maybe I can finish the first sock this weekend! Happy Friday, friends.

Ripple Bralette, Take 2

I was dreaming about shoes. Purple loafers, gray oxfords with hot pink laces, pink oxfords. They were cute shoes, and I was excited to be shoe shopping. But then the husband’s alarm went off at 6 am, and he wasn’t there to turn it off because he got up at 5:30 with Grace. I managed to make the noise stop, but then there was a dog pawing at my bedroom door, and then the alarm went off again, and that was it. At least I got to sleep until 6!

My Ripple Bralette did not work out. I tried it on yesterday and while I was able to get it on (barely), it stretched out more than I wanted and didn’t give the best coverage. Not surprising, given that I was using sport weight instead of DK, I didn’t check my gauge, and I chose the smaller of the two possible sizes. I’m not even made about it, because honestly, the body is totally my kind of knitting. I love to knit ribbing, and I love to knit in the round on 16″ circs. It feels like making a hat! So I frogged my precious fucsia Malabrigo and set it aside for a future project. The pattern suggested using worsted weight yarn if you want a denser fabric or more coverage, so I found a nice red merino, since I don’t wear red tops or accessories anymore. (Purple hair. Don’t like the two together!) Then I double checked the yardage requirements, put the red back in stash, and found two skeins of Malabrigo Rios. The color, Archangel, has more yellow/orange in it than I’d like, so using it for a bralette seems ideal.

img_8371Now, don’t freak out and yell at me, but I still didn’t do a gauge swatch. I chose the next size up in the pattern. For the cast-on, I went up one needle size than recommended for a little extra stretch, but for the band and body I’ll stick with the recommended sizes. I will try it on a little sooner this time, but honestly, I don’t even care if I have to frog and reknit again. What the heck, we’re in a pandemic. Knitting ribbing makes me happy.

I got an update on Jack yesterday too: the vet is thinking he might have an underactive thyroid, based on his bloodwork. It can pop up in middle-age dogs, as Jack is, though I had no idea it could affect dogs. They’re doing one more test to confirm it, but if it’s confirmed, he’ll be on a daily thyroid supplement for the rest of his life. For me, this is good news! No, I wish I didn’t have a second dog with a chronic condition, but I looked up the symptoms and it would explain several things that we’ve noticed in Jack over the last few months. If we could do a simple pill and he’d feel better, that would be fantastic. Also, I’ve had the same issue for several years, so I know that treating it is easy and inexpensive. And if nothing else, it would explain his recent weight gain and prove wrong the snarky vet tech who “playfully” shamed me the other day!

img_8368So I’m calling yesterday a win, and hoping for another one today. Happy Thursday, friends!

Ripple Bralette

Today started a little early for me, with Grace starting her barking at 4:45 am. The husband usually gets up with her during the week, but that’s around 5:30ish, close to 6 if we’re lucky. I felt bad this morning, so I got up and let the dogs out while I tried to get more sleep on the couch. The upside is that I had a bit of knitting time before starting my work day, and I got the back of my Ripple Bralette bound off. Of course, first I had to look at the pattern wrong and bind off too many stitches, undo the bind-off and redo it, but I got there in the end.

img_8359Now here’s the funny thing: supposedly that’s going to fit on my body! That’s what the pattern says and all the projects seem to support that, so I’m trusting the pattern, but I am skeptical. Now I just have to knit the cups and straps and it’ll be done!

Yesterday was a weird day. I actually wore real clothes and went out into the world multiple times! I voted, I drove to my local bookstore to pick up Midnight Sun (and it’s a signed copy, YAY!), and took Jack to the vet. (Mysterious gastrointestinal issues that are sporadic but persistent. No answers yet, just bills & expensive dog food.) In the waiting room at the vet, there was a woman across from me wearing a mask below her nose. Intentionally. And I know it was intentional because while she was talking to the vet tech and the vet, she kept reaching up to adjust it and make sure it was barely above her upper lip. Super. You can bet I stayed more than six feet away from her and discouraged conversation. So yeah, it was a long, kind of stressful day, but I ended it by “making” the guys watch Shrek with me. We hadn’t watched it in years so it was good for a few laughs.

61827260952__b4b76fbf-8db7-493d-8c82-5980dc6c895dJack and I wish you a happy Wednesday! (He is just happy he does not have to go to the vet today!)

Hopping around

Not that long ago, I was a monogamous knitter. I mean, I haven’t been for most of my knitting life, but there was something about quarantine that tipped me into it. However, it would appear I have reached the end of that stage. Either that or I haven’t found the right project, because my lace sock and garter stitch/short row shawl have not kept my attention. First I cast on a simple sock last week, and that’s been good, but over the weekend I needed something new.

Originally I wanted to try my hand at sewing a top, so I spent some time on Etsy finding the right beginner pattern, but once I bought it, printed it, and assembled the pattern pieces, I discovered the fabric I wanted to use wasn’t quite wide enough. Heck it all, I’d cast on a new project. I’ve been wanting to make a Ripple Bralette for a while, so I grabbed my last skein of Malabrigo Arroyo in Fucsia and bought the pattern. Well. Guess what? It calls for the old Norwegian cast-on. I don’t know that cast-on. Here’s how that went: Okay, hello youtube, help me please. That doesn’t look too bad. Let me try. Wait, are you kidding me? What? Do that again. Oops. Shit. Pause replay pause replay rewind pause replay. WTF. ARGH.

I did that for about an hour until finally the lightbulb went on and suddenly I was in the rhythm and it was super cool! After that, it’s all ribbing for several inches, so I’ve just been knitting along merrily and crossing my fingers that it will actually fit. Because, you see, to heck with gauge swatches. I wasn’t in the mood. I might come to regret it, but whatever. It’s a small, quick project, and the suggested ease is between 9-15″ of negative ease, so I just need to get close enough, right?

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Oh, and just now I went and looked at Arroyo and it’s actually a sport weight, not DK. Sigh. This could be fine, or it could be bad. Fingers crossed!

Pattern: Ripple Bralette DK. I can only find it on Ravelry at this point.

How do I do this again?

After a three-month furlough, I went back to work this week. Not on-site, still work from home, thank goodness. But, guys, I forgot how to be the job-doing kind of person, and I am tired. Part of it is just catching up from being gone so long and trying to get back in the loop, and part of it is just getting my brain back in shape to add work in with all my other thoughts and worries and anxieties. And of course part of it is because I’m not sleeping well (see first two parts). So, it’s bittersweet but overall I am trying to focus on being grateful I have a job to come back to. And all of that means that this has been the extent of my knitting this week.

img_8323It’s a new sock, because my other sock is lace, and I needed a good, mindless sock. This is for a friend who recently moved away, and it will be her first pair of handknit socks. Maybe I will make her a convert and I can just start mailing her socks, because I am getting overrun with socks in my own sock drawer(s).

Happy Friday, friends! Here’s hoping for a refreshing weekend for all of us!

Friday Progress

Nope, no finished objects for me this week. My monogamous knitting lately has been my Sea Swell Shawl, but it’s annoying me right now. It’s made up of left and right wedges, all done with short rows, and is designed as a fade with either three or five colors. But when you fade in a color on a left wedge (as happens once in the pattern), the new color starts on the wrong side. The other option is to start the new color in the middle of the row, but then when you get back to that part, the working yarn is a few stitches down because of the short row. Argh! This probably makes very little sense, but let me assure you, it bugs me just a little. I got the new color joined and did a few rows and now I’m bored with garter stitch short rows.

805165C5-8FA5-4047-A551-C57EB4F7E3E4_1_201_aSo yesterday I said to heck with monogamy and picked up my newest sock project. This is my Show Me Yarn Bootheel yarn in the Stained Glass Menagerie color, and it was so light and airy that I needed a lace pattern to go with it. I ended up picking the Mercury Socks pattern, which is free on Ravelry.

AD0523AB-4389-4DB8-83BE-D499069710F6_1_201_aIt’s a simple five-row lace pattern, so while I have to keep the pattern handy, it’s not taxing my brain too much. These will be perfect spring socks!

It’s weird, though, because the last two or three weeks, I’ve been doing things other than knitting. I did puzzles for a while, but got burned out on those I think. I’ve been reading a lot, and recently I’ve loved 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, and Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan. My last read was a stinker so hopefully the next one will get me back on track. I’m thinking Odd One Out by Nic Stone. I’ve also gotten back into LEGOs, which I never would have expected. I loved building the boy’s old Harry Potter LEGO sets a couple of months ago. Something about creating order from all the pieces, and the concentration required, was soothing and satisfying. But the sets he has left are Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, and they don’t call to me. So I ordered the Friends LEGO set, and I did one bag a day, which gave me six days of fun. And it hasn’t abated: I’ve already ordered my next set, a lunar landing module. These are crazy times, friends! Have you taken up any unexpected hobbies lately?

 

New Knitting Case

For ages, I’ve been coveting the Namaste Maker’s Train Case from Jimmy Beans, but could never justify buying one. But they recently decided to phase out their Namaste line and put all the Namaste products on sale. I acted quickly so I could get one before the purple was gone, and it arrived Friday.

57927CD4-F699-4A5A-95B6-8571F6CDE11EIt’s gorgeous purple faux leather, with a magnetic lid, and it holds my Sea Swell Shawl quite nicely. I love the little hole on the side for the yarn!

Apparently it was designed to fit nicely underneath airplane seats, but I won’t be testing that any time soon. I’m happy enough to have it sitting on my coffee table. I can’t lie: there’s part of me that wants to order one in dark teal too!

Sea Swell Shawl

My WIPs are down to three, and that’s after I cast on a new sock yesterday. But I’m still mostly going to continue with my monogamous knitting, and I’ve selected the WIP Sea Swell Shawl by Stephen West. (Ravelry link here) This is the mermaid shawl that I’ve been trying to make for over two years, and I just haven’t found the right pattern before now. I started this one at the end of May and set it aside shortly after, though I don’t remember why. It’s a lot of short rows, maybe that’s why, but it’s also garter stitch, which is my fave right now. I’m doing the large size with five colors and I’m just about ready to start fading in Color B.

And I know I said I cast on a sock but it’s a lace sock and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need a self-striping vanilla sock very soon!