It gets better (sometimes)

Well, the month of January is coming to an end. I have a rainy morning, and rocked getting a sermon completed, sermon slides prepared, and a reflection for a memorial service done. I’ve emptied the dishwasher, put away washed hand-knit socks that were laid flat to dry. I’ve even reviewed a couple of patterns that have been tech-edited (for publication!) and almost done there. It’s 10:15 am and I feel like I’ve walked up Mount Everest already.

Recently I read a writer who has said that he gets up and writes his daily word count before heading to social media, because he finds that he is much clearer and less distracted than if he fills up his brain with the Internetz beforehand. Given my productivity this morning (ok, I listened to a podcast, but it’s a story, not a million Instragrams and Tweets), I think I am now a believer.

So, other than going to the pool and getting some food for lunch between services tomorrow, this is the other “on the list” item. And a fun one! Let’s see what I’ve been up to:

Progress on the health front:

I went back up to Dr. Fancy-Schmancy mid-month, and we came out about where I thought we would – stay the course with the cane. There’s no real reason to do surgery at this point, and we’re guessing I have a stress-fracture in the leg. Nothing shows up on any scans. I thought he might say I had to go completely off the leg for a few weeks, but since I’m better with the cane (less pain, less pain medication), we’re trying that. And I’ve been cleared to go to the pool with care. Hurray! Stay tuned…

Knitting Bigger Stuff:

Both of my projects are big ones, and progress has been apace, but not terrible exciting progress-wise.

Twigs and Willows cardigan: this is my Christmas present to my cousin Marie – and it’s going well. The back is done and came out straight on gauge (hello, swatching pays off!), and now I’m mid-way up the fronts. The front yoke is where all the fun happens, so I’ve still a fair way to go – I’m knitting them flat, two-at-a-time. I did change where the shaping goes on this sweater. The pattern has one do this at the side-seams, and I’ve decided to put them into the back and fronts as princess seams for a more shapely look:

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Lunna Voe is the last kit from Ysolda’s 2015 Shawl club. The yarn is a Shetland 2-ply, laceweight, and the pattern is true knitted lace, with patterning on both sides of the knitting. All went relatively well until I hit the garter section (the last part of it), and realized I was knitting that so loosely (because I was using a much smaller needle, that I erroneously thought was too small) that I was going to run out of yarn, which when you are knitting 800 yards of lace is a big yuck.

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Now, because it’s part of a club, I could get a bit of leftovers sent from other folks, but I thought about and decided to do some knitting surgery. I used a very long circular needle to make an afterthought lifeline at the beginning of the garter section:

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lifeline inserted

 

rip back to that point, then re-knit the section again with a more normal tension. It’s going fine now, and I should have enough that I shouldn’t have to undo the swatches – which are a total of 5 grams.

Now I’m headed out for a week of continuing education and the like, and I’m hoping that I can figure out another quick and fun project to go with these bigger projects!

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Beginning 2016, and what Renee knit in 2015

Ok, so it’s January 4th, and I’m lucky to get the holiday today, although work is happening here at home, I get to be fairly informal about things (shower to come later, lol). The housecleaners came today, and it is always like magic that after an hour and a half they leave it sparking and clean for me and the kitties. So, that is a good start to 2016.

My fall into grace (the literal version): A less than graceful start for me was yesterday in worship. I was just finished communion and about to put the last plate and tray of juice cups onto the communion table when I managed to miss the step down to the table, and let us say that things went flying! Fortunately, I did manage not to break any earthen vessels – but the plate went flying, I went down on one knee, fortunately my head and other parts of my body missed the deadly-heavy communion that can only be moved by four strong folks.  I was so totally surprised I stayed down, and probably worried the heck out of the congregation. A few guys came up to see if I was ok (sorta) and a deacon cleaned things up briefly, and I was given a stool, saying “Wow! Is everyone awake now??” and we proceeded through the rest of the service briefly.  The same deacon who cleaned up the table had ice packs for me by the close of the service, and a few folks came up to tell me their own stories of public falls. Such a grace-filled community I am blessed to serve!

This morning I have the already in pain right leg and the left knee is now sore and swollen – feels like a bad bruise. Sigh. Maybe God is telling me to just slow down already. Fortunately the hands are free for knitting and crafting!

I’ve also tallied up the knitting for 2015, and the stats are a little different this year:

  • total yardage (new tally): 17,340 yards (approx)
  • socks – 14 pairs (gifts and charity for the most part)
  • sweaters – 3
  • shawls – 9 (4 from Ysolda’s shawl club)
  • hats – 4
  • cat things – 10 (9 fish cat toys and one cat bed)
  • necklaces – 24

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  • knitted knockers – 40 (for the charity by that name)
  • cozy for iPod – 1
  • charity knitted bag – 1
  • dishcloths – 21 (gifts for many in my life)

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with the same general theme – most of my knitting goes to others, although two of the sweaters were for me, which I am totally ok with.

I don’t set knitting goals as that is the place in my life that is fun and not structured, so it will be interested to see what unfolds over the next year! The first FO for 2016 is:

Oh! Valencia socks – The color is great, and the lace pattern is stretchy but not too holey:

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Many things are begun

It’s a New Year, and importantly for this knitter, I am done with the Christmas knitting. Everything turned out well, the recipients said nice things to me, but perhaps my favorite photo of a gift recipient was for Stevie, the new cat of my cousin Allison.

The cat bed, is the Bull’s Eye Cat Bed by Donna Druchunas, and while the original was knit with fun fur yarn (it was a thing for some knitters in the 2000’s), I decided to knit mine mostly out of Ecological wool because a. it’s a bulky yarn so it knits up quickly, and b. my cats love this yarn, as in, rolling themselves up in any FO I’ve ever made from it. Project notes here.image

Report from Allison is good. This photo apparently was taken 3 minutes after she unpacked the cat bed:

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and she basically is spending all her time in it, and giving swipes to Allison and her fiance when they walk by.

Other than that, live has been about knitting whatever I want, which turns out to be many things:

Socks:

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Oh Valencia Socks from Custom Socks by Kate Atherley. The second sock is almost done – I have only the toe left to do.

A fine lace shawl from the 2015 Shawl Club by Ysolda Teague:

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Lunna Voe – not available to non-club members for a while. The yarn is a custom color from Old Maiden Aunt, Shetland 2-ply, and fairly soft!

The sweater I have promised to knit for my cousin Marie for her Christmas present (no deadline):

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Twigs and Willows by Alana Dakos (from Botanical Knits)

And finally, I’m getting around to knitting the fingerless mittens (or gauntlets) to match my Symetrie hat out of my handspun targhee. I had found a free chevron mitts pattern, which didn’t work, then I started on my own, got frustrated and put it all aside, only to discover it this week when I was looking for a project bag to use. Then I did a new Ravelry search, and someone had put up the perfect pattern – Chevron Gauntlets. It was written for yarn in the same weight as my handspun, and lots of projects already knit, so I knew it worked. For $4.00, it was a steal, given how I hadn’t want to put the effort into figuring it out myself.

I made a couple of small modifications to match the Symetrie Hat pattern, to match the ribbing and the style of double-decreases, but I am happy to report that I have one mitten done, sans thumb, and about half-way through the next one.

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Finally, my grey tabby Isadora is feeling a little competitive about me posting about Stevie, so she wants me to show you that she really, really likes the knitted fish cat toy I knit for her and Brandy.

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So, knitters, what have you started now that the holidays are coming to an end?

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