A Little Spinning

My feeble attempts at Tour de Fleece notwithstanding, I do actually start spinning during that event, I just never finish on time keep to my own schedule.  Take this lovely merino-bamboo fiber that I got at a (sad) closeout sale of an LYS:


I finally finished it this week – it sat on tubes awaiting a good soak and thwak. The fiber itself is a pretty good imitation of merino-silk, with a better price tag.  It is dyed by Maia of Tactile Fiber Arts, who I met years ago as she was getting started with her business, and how I got the spinning bug in the first place.  Hopefully it will turn into a Christmas gift sometime this fall.  Don’t you believe in magic like that?  Just lovely, lovely stuff.

Yesterday I ventured out with my cousin and Mom for lunch – they were both wearing sweaters that I had made them (this one and this one), and kidding me for not adhering to the dress code.  Oops.  Fiber lunch fail.  Obviously no-one had told me.

And yesterday, because there is not enough for my body to deal with, I managed to thwak by forehead with one of those small red-and-white coolers that I was attempting to put away before my cousin showed up.  By lunch, my stomach wasn’t doing so well,  and the rest of the day I spent in bed hunkered down with a bad stomach and head, wondering what new ailment had popped up, and then it “hit” me – it was a small concussion.  Geez.  Pox and head thwaks.  At least the hurricanes decided to stay on the East Coast.

All the gloom and doom news is a downer, but this lovely piece that was posted on The Knit Wits Ravelry board was a big cheerer-upper. Take a look!
[Grrr. embedding not working – use this link]

Yarn Bombs: When Good Knitters Go Bad.


Me and Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges is my virtual stalker boyfriend.  I’ve run into Jeff Bridges in the following parts of our media world in the last 48 hours:

1. WNYC’s Studio 360 podcast

2. NPR Fresh Air Podcast

3. Stephen Colbert’s “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central

4. Now even the local NPR station, KQED, is tweeting about a giveaway for tickets to the concert at the local auditorium here in Marin.

My conclusion:  Jeff Bridges is my secret stalker – he may have been married forever unlike most Hollywood types, but clearly he is after my entertainment dollars me.  And don’t say otherwise!

Here at Poxfading Central, the effects of the chicken pox linger. My doctor says I continue to need to rest, which is gonna be harder this weekend because I have actual work scheduled.  I will do what I can to rest afterwards.  Very frustrating.


Taygete Blocking

The Taygete shawl knitting is done – a clever pattern that I enjoyed knitting (got a bit weary of the picot bind-off, but it looks great).  This shawl definitely needs to be blocked:



And even though I went to work for a couple of hours, I knew the knitting would not be lonely – Brandy oversaw everything:

And by the time I returned (only three hours later – I’m still a weakling, apparently), Izzie was also looking over things too:


And I did get some new blocking wires, although I didn’t use them today. More in a future post – they look pretty cool.


Pox Fading Central

Yes, I am happy to report that the pox spot scabs are falling off, and soon those spots will be a distant memory.  And energy-wise, things are better – I will try doing a few hours at work on Monday to see how it goes.  I’m more than a little bored (even the latest episode of Project Runway hasn’t helped).

The baby birds are definitely gone, and at least one member of the Casa del Pox family is quite happy.  Izzie can now lounge for hours on the balcony in her favorite chair:

Me, well, lucky me, I received an emergency yarn house call from my local yarn store owner, Sophie, who owns Blue Bird Yarn and Fiber.  Pretty cool, huh?  Nothing can replace that kind of service or care. I put in an SOS for some Tosh Sock, and she brought a few colors for me to check out.  The deep blue (colorway is Fathom) I already had, and that yummy olive-y green-brown (colorway is Oak) is what I picked:


and these two colors are turning into a Rosemary Hill design, Taygete (rav link) from her 7 Small Shawls ebook.


This is a truly lovely pattern, but I  noticed that the pattern says the shawl is over 90 inches post-blocking, which is way more shawl than I need, being a bit height-challenged.  So I’m shooting for a 60+ inch size using the notes she provided in the pattern to adjust it. Gotta love a designer who puts the math into her pattern to make it easy!

Boredom also got me swatching with the Madeleine Tosh Vintage – what a fabulous yarn it is.  I have a great new idea for a sweater, the washed swatch is drying to see if I like the needle size and gauge.  And I’ve pulled out an older sweater that I designed a while back to put together a submission to a publisher – time to get my juices going in that direction.


Green (and a couple of FOs)

I seem to be on a green kick.  It started with the Cece cardigan that I’ve knitted for my cousin Rachel’s birthday:

She’ll be pleased – it’s a perfect weight for a sweater in the Bay Area.

I used a lovely technique from the TECHKnitter for grafting the ribbing at the back neck. I had one tight point, but on the whole I’m pretty happy with how it came out:


Then it was the Miss Babs Yummy Sock yarn in the Kiwi colorway that caught my eye – it turned into a pair of Candelabra Socks (rav link) by Chrissy Gardiner.

Candelabra socks 1c

The lovely Candelabra Socks are done and will be held for a Christmas present.  I’m not saying for whom.

And there was the olive drab leftovers to be made into a cap for Socks for Soldiers:
SFS Hat2

Finally, the very lovely Madeline Tosh Vintage in the Jade colorway that I bought from Blue Bird Yarn & Fiber got pulled out to play with some swatching for a sweater of my own design.  It really does glow!

Update on the baby birds:  Yesterday afternoon, there was only one chick left in the nest, now I don’t hear even that one. At first I thought that the one baby might have died, but then the other one is now gone too.  Can it be that they learned to fly and left the nest this quickly?  edited to add:  Probably. Birds can learn to fly in about 11 days!  So self-sufficient, those birds.  It’s a little lonely here at Pox Fading Central.



The pox are fading here at Casa del Pox, to the point that this name will have to be retired at some point soon.  But with chicken pox, this does not mean that all is well and happy here.  What I have learned from this episode of sickness:

  • Chicken pox is not like the flu (at least for adults).  You may think you’ll be feeling better soon, but that does not make it so.
  • You can be non-infectious, yet still feel like crap out in the big wide world.   This is a cruel thing to someone forced to stay home for about 2 weeks already.
  • Just because you are well enough to knit does not mean you can do much that needs doing, like household chores or bill-paying.
  • An iPod touch is a crucial device is such situations – when you are in bed and can barely move a muscle, you can listen to podcasts and books, and check twitter and email in the prone position.

So the waiting continues.  The little chicks are finally peeking out of their nest on my balcony – so cute.  I will have to have the kitties inside a lot so they don’t get captured and played with.


FO: Milkweed Shawl

Have you ever had a “flash knit”?  By that I mean a knit that comes to you like a bolt of lightning saying, “Knit this now!” and you find yourself pulling yarn and needles out and simply doing what your hands do?

I had one of those happen to me on Friday. Thursday I learned that one our team that taught at Lake Tahoe was going to need brain surgery to relieve pressure on her brain from a subdural hematoma she sustained in a fall after she left our training.  It’s a miracle that she managed to make it home safely at all.  And thank goodness her doctors took her seriously and got her scanned and all.

Carol is such a dear, wonderful person, as well as a talented pastor, so as I prayed for her on Friday during her surgery, I realized that she’s going to have a recovery time afterwards, and I have yarn and needles.  And she lives in sheep country (Montana), so such things are worn all the time there.   I pulled out the lovely Pigeonroof Studios merino/cashmere/nylon blend that I had spun and didn’t know what to do with, and realized that (of course) garter stitch will most always be your friend with handspun, handpainted yarn, and knit another Milkweed shawl (rav link). It went at lightning speed – a flash knit.  Last night it was knit — looking lovely even before blocking:


and then this morning I put it to the magical powers of the wet block – and it’s really great:


Tomorrow I’ll pop into the mail priority, and it should get there within a day or two of Carol returning home if all goes well.
Milkweed Shawl3f

My healing continues, but slower than I’d wish.  I am no longer infectious (yay!), so I ventured out on a test run yesterday.  I went to the drug store to buy me and mom a few items, dropped by to see her for the first time in two weeks, with some of the beautiful lilies that I had been given, and some muffins that I had made yesterday morning.  By the time I left, I was pretty tired and hungry.  I stopped and got a smoothie and bagel sandwich, and with grit made it home completely wrung out.  The virus has left me with no energy.  I spent the rest of the afternoon in the horizontal position, or close to it.  So, this morning I am at home and not at church.  Which is a bummer and I’d really like to see folks, but that’s where things stand.  Thank goodness for the knitting.



A couple of days ago I got some presents:

Sock Summit Swag

My Sock Summit Swag and gifts arrived – I may not have gotten there, but my friends picked up my swag for me, and lovely Sue also got me this very cute Sock-aholic bag — lot’s of lovely pockets for utensils.

And here’s a close-up of the lovely fiber:

City pencil roving

From Rain City Fibers Arts – a pencil roviing in merino, nylon and cashmere in such lovely colors that remind me of the Pacific Northwest. I’m totally looking forward to spinning with it.

And I got cheered by some lovely flowers that the Deacons of my church sent – just in time for me to be able to enjoy them:


Last night, I finished knitting the Cece sweater, so I hope for a photo soon – it definitely needs blocking.


A Little Bored


It’s Official

We here at Casa del Pox are glad/sad/conflicted at the news that our pox title has been duly earned – yes, I haz Chicken Pox.

Warning:  This paragraph is a rant.  Thank you, physicians over the last 16 years, for never mentioning that there is a chicken pox vaccine available to healthy adults, especially those who come in contact with vulnerable populations.  Thank you for never checking on this history despite the CDC guidelines.  Now, lucky me, I’ve lost several hundred dollars in income, at least a couple of weeks of my life, and now I will be lucky enough to need the shingles vaccine having now had the chicken pox, not to mention having to cancel a long-planned crucially-needed vacation to a very special event.  A special thank you to my GP who didn’t put me on the anti-viral the second she saw the rash, resulting in a crucial one-day delay in treatment that probably made things worse because she supposedly wanted to “watch it.” Yes, that $8.00 very safe prescription was so dangerous that we definitely should have waited ’til the medication wouldn’t make much of a difference.  Thanks so much.  And young twat dermatologist – thanks so much for asking me in my feverish haze, “Why do you think you have a fever?”  That’s just the kind of discerning question that one expects the patient to be able to answer  — oops, oh yes, usually the physician takes that question!  And giving me a paper prescription that would have to be taken to the drug store to be filled, and then when I said, “Please call it in, I can’t go out in public,” you so helpfully noted that only people who haven’t had the chicken pox are vulnerable (which said diagnosis was not even confirmed at the time).  The complete lack of any instructions on care and follow-through – yes, that’s exactly why my insurance co pays you the big bucks.  Yeah, you really know how to run an appointment to help a patient.   And your completely incompetent staff who hadn’t a clue about dealing with an infectious patient – way-to-go!  And let’s not forget the fact that your office apparently forgets that there are things like faxes and phones – wanting me to wait a day to talk to you because you were at another office the day I called asking for help.  You really make a gal feel special. I can’t imagine that I’d ever darken your doors if I had something serious, like cancer – which I’m assuming you have to deal with all the time.

Back to regular programming:  Brandy is up at normal weight now – 9 lbs with lot’s of energy and still thinking home is a great place.

Brandy at 9 lbs

And the socks are progressing too —

Candelabra socks 1b