Tag Archive | crafts

FO: Classic Beanie

This has been kind of a strange week. It’s been a good week at work – I’ve been productive, felt confident that what I’m doing is good, made good connections. But at home, Duncan has been limping for about a week now. He went to the vet on Tuesday, and the vet said the motion of his knee (both knees have been surgically repaired) looked good and his bloodwork came back perfect. She said to give him an anti-inflammatory twice a day for two weeks, cut back on food to get his weight down, and keep walks slow and calm. I gave him two walks after that, and both times it clearly aggravated his knee to where he could barely put any weight on it at all. Duncan’s not a complainer so he wasn’t whining, but it was obvious he was uncomfortable. I talked to the vet again yesterday, and she said there was a chance he’s tweaked something so we’ll skip walks for two weeks and give him a chance to rest and heal. I’m really hoping that helps.

I also finished another donation hat this week, the Classic Beanie by Woolly Wormhead. It’s a simple, free pattern and just what I was looking for, but when it was done, I was a little worried – it looked like I’d knit a hat for a conehead! Thank goodness for blocking.

And I found my way back to sock knitting this week too, after a long hiatus where socks just weren’t doing it for me. I was working on my turquoise shorties with my fancy Signature DPNs, and it was fine, but then a couple of days ago I pulled out a purple sock, a second sock on my Knitters Pride SmartStix, and it just felt so comforting! I think partly it’s color (PURPLE) and partly it’s how the yarn feels in my hand (wool/nylon vs cotton/nylon/acrylic). I can’t tell if the needles make a difference. I do feel like I grip the Signatures more tightly, but I need to test them on a wool sock yarn to make an accurate comparison.

I hope to finish the purple sock this weekend – along with some house cleaning. I’m looking forward to a house guest arriving next Friday and I want to make sure she doesn’t know how we actually live, haha! Having company is always a good incentive to clean house, isn’t it?

Happy Saturday, friends.

FO: Not a Dickie

Two posts in one week?? Who even am I? Apparently I am going to continue my sporadic little blog here because it still pleases me to share things occasionally. Like today, when I have a new finished object to share. May I present, Not a Dickie:

The pattern is actually named Shoulder Cozy (Rav link) but when I was sharing the WIP with my lovely little group of knitter friends, one of them asked if it was a dickie and I said Definitely Not because I don’t want to wear something called a dickie and then another one said my Not a Dickie was very pretty and so now that’s its name. It’s shorter than the original item – I knew I had less yarn than the pattern called for so I just didn’t do the repeat of the first lace section, and I think it will be just fine. The pattern did have an error in the decrease section, despite that error being pointed out to the designer eight months ago, but it was easily remedied and otherwise it was a fast and easy knit. It used three skeins of Malabrigo Noventa in Hollyhock and the yarn is perfectly scrumptious, as Malabrigo usually is.

I also finished a book – Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano. She wrote Dear Edward, which the girl and I loved, and I had high expectations. Alas, I felt like this book was completely different than Dear Edward, not just in plot but overall vibe. It was a slow starter but by the middle I was getting into it, and then the last 1/4 I really liked.

After I finished that, I went back to the TV and knitting combo and watched an old favorite on Hulu – When a Man Loves a Woman. It’s not the happiest of movies but I love Andy Garcia, it’s from the year I graduated high school, and the husband and I used to quote a couple of the lines, so it has a lot of nostalgia for me. I must be on a kick of rewatching movies from that era. We watched City of Angels (so much Meg Ryan!) not too long ago and that really held up well for me; I still loved it. Next I want to rewatch Meet Joe Black but it’s not on any of the streaming services so I’d have to actually pay money to rent it (GASP – do people still do that??).

Happy Friday Eve, friends.

Monday Musings

I really don’t know what to do with this blog. I rarely write anymore – partly because I have limited mental energy to spend on it, and partly because it feels like it’s just sharing knitting photos, which I can do more easily on Instagram. What’s the point of doing it here too? Plus I’m nearing capacity on my photo storage again, and my options are either delete old photos (don’t love this idea) or pay an obscene amount of money to upgrade to a plan with a bunch of bells and whistles I don’t need (not gonna happen). I suppose I can keep going as I have been, just writing when the mood hits me, though I’ll still eventually hit that pesky image storage limit. If only WordPress offered a little add-on for that!

Still, with all that said, I have been knitting, of course. I finished a sock and cast on another. The new sock is in Saucon Sock yarn from Kraemer Yarns. I reviewed this yarn eons ago and that pair of socks has been one of my favorites, and it has been the most durable pair I’ve ever made – they still look almost as good as when I made them. (Note: I machine wash my socks, dry them on the lowest setting for about ten minutes, then lay flat to finish drying.) And because of their cotton content, they’re so good in the spring. After thinking about it for ages, I finally ordered three more skeins to make more spring shortie socks. I cast on a cowl in my new squishy Malabrigo Noventa. In a moment of weakness, I ordered Joji’s most recent purple bags (and I LOVE them!).

Recently I finished several books I really enjoyed: Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan (Picoult is the best at those mid-book twists), Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen (fact-based fiction about Helen Gurley Brown taking over Cosmo magazine), and The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz (another one with a mind-blowing twist). We’re caught up on the US version of Ghosts, so now we’re watching the UK version and really enjoying it. They seemed really similar at first, but now that we’re in the second season, I’m seeing more variation.

And I’m happy to report that Grace appears to be holding steady. I haven’t noticed any decline in the last couple of weeks, although we have had a few overnight accidents thanks to prednisone’s unfortunate side effects. There might be not-good things happening internally that will cause issues in the near future, but so far she’s just living her best life and stealing as much food as she can.

Happy Monday, friends.

Projects, Needles, and Yarn – oh my

Let’s start with the bad news first, so we can end on a good note. Grace went to the oncologist last week and the news was basically what I expected: it’s a very aggressive, fast-growing cancer and there’s no getting rid of it. IF it was contained to one spot and they did major surgery to remove it all, and followed it up with expensive weekly chemo treatments, she *might* make it to six months. However, there are indications it has spread to one lymph node and maybe the liver, so that seemed unlikely. We could try just chemo, which would give us maybe a 40% chance of getting her to 3-4 months. Or we could treat it palliatively and give her the best quality of life for the next month or two, which is what we decided to do. And after her doctor visit, we took her out for a good cheeseburger. And maybe a few fries.

We started her on Pepcid, Benadryl, and a high dose of prednisone, all of which could help control the symptoms and maybe even shrink the tumor a bit. And good news – it did! After a week on the meds, the tumor is noticeably smaller. It’s still an extremely large tumor, and this isn’t a sign of her being cured – it’s just going to improve her quality of life, which I’ll take. She is still in good spirits and doing well, so I’m going to appreciate that as long as it lasts.

Because the oncologist said she was stable in the short-term, the husband and I left the boy home with all the dogs and took a road trip to Alabama to visit the girl. We hadn’t seen her since August 2022! That is way too long, friends. Alabama might not be my favorite state, but we had a good time. Our day trip to Huntsville was a highlight. We found a wonderful used book store, a great yarn store, and spent the afternoon at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center – super fun, especially for the husband. I came home with a lot of new yarn and a lot of new books, and a completed pair of socks. Oh, and when I came home, I found my new needles had arrived! I splurged on a set of Signature DPNs for sock knitting and I can’t wait to cast on.

It’s been a rough few weeks for me – I’ve been in a super negative headspace – but the break helped a lot. I’m so glad I decided to go. The warm spring weather is helping too, I think. And the relief to come home and find out that Grace hasn’t gotten a lot worse! Happy Spring, friends.

FO: Chai Latte Cowl

Over the weekend I knit and knit and knit on my Chai Latte cowl. By Sunday evening my fingers were dark with dye from the yarn, but the cowl was finally finished!

This was a really fun pattern, and it was easy just to keep knitting until I came to the end of the second point. It seemed very long, especially after I blocked it, but it squishes up nicely.

That’s two more skeins out of my stash, hooray!

Adding to my WIPs

My Pawsitive Vibes colorwork cowl is currently pinned out and drying after its bath. It does look better but I’m waiting for it to dry before I make my final call. But with that being my third finished object of the year, I decided it was time to cast on a few new things. Plus I was trying to resist the call of retail therapy by shopping my yarn stash. I’d ended my work day Friday feeling pretty good – I’d sent off a difficult article to my boss’s boss for review, and I thought it was pretty good. Then I made the mistake of checking email one last time before calling it a weekend, and they’d replied “Not sure this is what {head honcho} had in mind. Might be good to interview them.” Now, I know they weren’t saying the article was bad or poorly written, just that the angle I took wasn’t exactly the right one. But that’s how it feels anytime I get less than positive feedback on my pieces. So I let that get to me more than I should have and wanted the dopamine hit of buying pretty new yarn. I resisted though and now I’m ready for five new projects!

The teal in the back is for my second Turtle Dove II – did I tell you I ended up going back and lengthening the sleeves of my gray one? Much better! The MadTosh Wino Forever will be a crescent-shaped shawl, the pink will be shortie socks, the turquoise on the right will be a lace cowl, the purple variegated in the middle will be a hat, and then all the way on the right you can see I’ve already got something new on the needles. This is some yummy merino worsted from the Wooly Mammoth in Omaha, and it’s going to be a simple Inclination Cowl (non-Rav Link). I started that one yesterday in the car. There’s a new store near me called Bliss Books & Wine and yesterday was their grand opening, and it sounded like a fun thing to do. So far it’s more wine bar than bookstore – the book selection was very very small – but I’m guessing that will evolve as it’s open longer. Of course I had a glass of wine and bought a book but it was loud and crowded so I was happy to come home and knit and read.

Once I finished my colorwork cowl, I decided to read my new book and it was so good I already finished it! If you’re a Matthew Perry fan, I can highly recommend his autobiography. It”s not the happiest of stories but it was really interesting and well-written, and I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes tidbits of Friends.

Happy Sunday, friends.

FO Friday: Curiosity Cowl

The I cord drawstring didn’t take nearly as long as I expected. In fact, it might have taken me longer to sew down the top edge to enclose the drawstring! But, in any case, my Curiosity Cowl is complete!

Overall, I do like it better now that it’s done and I can see it on. It’s not as floppy as I expected and while not the warmest, the bamboo yarn is comfortable. Mostly I’m just delighted with the drawstring because it reminds me of hoodies, which are my favorite thing to wear.

With this FO, I’ve finished three projects this year and used up 7 skeins from stash. I’m pretty pleased with that progress. I also finished another book: The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh. It’s a family drama/suspense that kept me hooked from the beginning. I liked it better than her first book, Ghosted. Have you read anything you loved lately?

WIP Wednesday

I’m so close to another FO! I finished knitting the body of my Curiosity Cowl last night while binge watching Ginny & Georgia (omg that show is like Gilmore Girls on drugs and so addictive). Now I’ve just got 32” of I-cord to knit for the drawstring.

I really don’t know how I feel about this cowl. I got super bored knitting it, and I think the bamboo yarn is going to be super floppy, and sometimes I like the sort of fish scales vibe it’s got going on and sometimes I don’t. I do love the idea of the drawstring though, so maybe that will be the thing that tips it over into cool.

Hope you’re all enjoying your WIPs today!

Sock It To Me Monday

Guys, I miss Sock it to me Monday. I miss knitting socks and seeing the socks other people are making (okay so I still get some of that) and just having the tiniest bit of something fun on Monday. SO! I will share the two socks on my needles that I have barely touched since casting them on at the beginning of the month.

On the left is a Wonder Woman sock. I still have several rows of stockinette to knit before I get to the WW stitch pattern, which is charted only and I’m not a fan of charts which is why I haven’t gotten very far on this sock. I think I’m going to do the leg yellow and the foot red. And the heel blue, of course. It might look weird but whatever.

The other sock is my paw print sock. Do those look like paw prints? I am not convinced and prefer my lace in shawls which is why I haven’t gotten very far on this sock.

But! I miss knitting socks so I’m going to get back to at least one of them … probably … as soon as I finish my Turtle Dove sweater.

Happy Monday, friends.

WIP Progress Update

The last two weeks have been all about the Australian Open, at least during my non-working hours. Tennis needs simple knitting so first I finished the garter stitch sections for my Scottish Highlands shawl (designer’s website), then I focused on my Turtle Dove II (free on Rav).

The shawl is ready for an intricate lace border now, in that pale cream color, and it’s charted and has multiple charts for each row, and that means I really need to focus when I work on that. But the Turtle Dove is ready for its split hem ribbing now!! I’ve even tried it on (which was an adventure because my needles weren’t quite long enough and stitches were falling off left and right) and confirmed the length is good. I have one more match left — the men’s final — and I’m hoping it lasts long enough that I at least get one side of ribbing completed. Must wind more yarn first, though!

As excited as I am for my sweater, I’m equally ready to get back to some of my other WIPs. Not just the lace for the shawl, but also my fun Curiosity Cowl (only found it on Rav). I’d made good progress before the tennis started, but I’m still not ready to join in the round. Once I do, it’s going to ZOOM. I also recently ordered a copy of 52 Weeks of Easy Knits and there are at least three patterns in there calling my name, but I’m resisting any and all cast-on urges until I complete another project or two.

I was quite proud of myself yesterday: the husband and I went out to a couple of bookstores and we were VERY CLOSE to my favorite LYS … and I DID NOT GO. I was very tempted, but not for any good reason — just because I knew there would be pretty yarn and I like pretty yarn. But I resisted, whew!

I’ve also decided I’m going to try a new strategy to control my yarn spending when we travel: like most knitters (I’m guessing), I have a queue of projects I would like to knit. I do not have the appropriate yarn for all of those projects. So I’m going to make a list of said projects that details the yarn requirements, and then when I’m out and about and happen to be in a yarn store where I want my arms to be full of yarn, I can at least buy intentionally for things I know I want to make. Yes, I will still buy yarn just because it’s pretty. But if I could end up with more yarn destined for projects and fewer single skeins of fancy fingering weight yarn, I think that would be a good thing. I think our first trip is in April, when we’ll go visit the girl, so I have time to get my list prepped.

Happy Sunday, friends.