Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sta funzionando

That's Italian for "It is working". I had to look it up on babelfish. I can speak a smattering of German and can sometimes get by in French, but the only Italian I know is on a menu. This Tuscany shawl has already grown since the photo. That's because I took a day (or part of one) to recharge. I knit and listened to audio books and did some baking and writing and reading.
The pattern was there all along, I only needed to delve in deep enough to encorporate it into my knitting.
I took the herringbone scarf on nights with me but there was too much going on. I even oriented a new nurse from New York which is a bit of an iron given my new status. It was a good project for both of us. I am pretty thorough with my principles of teaching, and she knows a lot more about nursing than me.

Oooh. Soft. Ooooh. I'm making everyone touch it. It's local alpaca wool like this that may make knitters out of my co-workers.

I never showed you the fingerless mitts I was able to whip up from this Ravelry link . I bought the superwash wool in Bellingham. We're planning another visit next month.

I managed to work out some problems once my brain came back on line. I created a new to-do list for my "in box"in my planner. I had a neat pad from Michael's in Bellingham, a nice link from DIY Planner and good old sharpie and glue.
Speaking of sharpies: the red shoes are now black(ish). Red shoes are fun unless they are the only ones that fit your orthodics and you have to wear them everywhere. I would have bought black but they were out. I'm still wearing them two years later and can't afford to dye old shoes ($50). Can't find new ones, so I solved my own problem with a permanent marker.
I hope I can keep up with all the problems and creative solutions. So far, it's working.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Third Attempt

I'm trying to get the rhythm of the Tuscany shawl. I feel that, under normal circumstances, I would have taken off by now. But I am still blunted from my night shifts and tomorrow I go into another one. This means that, right now, these are normal circumstances. The good news is that I have learned a lot from the failed attempts. It's pretty tricky working with non-stretchy silk. This fabric is slippery. I had to go to a smaller needle, so there were actually more failed tries a few weeks ago.
But I think of wearing this shawl when we go out to dinner on our Hawaiian holiday in February. Yum. The summer morning is sweet and inviting. I did a lot of errands yesterday, so I hope to take it a bit easier today.

The corn is glorious. The sky is blue. I needed a sweater and sunglasses for my walk. That is a huge improvement over the heat and humidity and poor air quality of the last month.
We took our time rounding the block and taking photos. Carly was so happy to resume our old schedule. Me too.
I didn't frog the entrelac because in my present state of lethargy, I'm as apt to make a mistake in action as inaction. I'll review it later. Emily says it's soft enough. I'll see how soft it is in September.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Second Thoughts, Second Guessing

I had a very exciting second night shift with lots of heroics. The time went quickly, the lovely lady felt better and I learned a lot. The first time I have hung blood in twenty years, the first time this century. Of course there are things I would have done better, sooner, smoother.
I find the work so intense! Even when things are quiet there are so many new people and ideas and lives.
I feel that I miss a lot of my real life while I do my shifts. I could never work full time and I need to get into my degree so I can move into a position more suitable to my advanced age.
I picked up my knitting lastnight while watching Dollhouse . I had totally forgotten about the entrelac shawl. I spent a whole hour reorienting myself to the intricacies of the pattern and then decided it wasn't soft enough, it was never soft enough and it's pretty colour and pattern couldn't overcome the scratchiness. Boy that took a long time! So today I shall frog it and consider another yarn (from my stash?) to make a shawl for my friend. I may just go and buy some soft sock weight yarn. I don't know.
What's on the needles? The little green sweater was delivered to maternity next door on Sunday night.
I started Li's reverse herringbone tweed scarf in a local alpace with 42 stitches (patterns 8 st + 2). It is on the other far side of the softness scale. Perhaps I should blame the scarf for frogging the shawl. It is pretty simple. I am tired of needing "less than challenging" knitting. But obviously I am not up to speed yet.
Today, Wednesday is my re-entry day. I hope to enjoy the breezy sunshine, get a grasp of my kitchen, walk the dog and treat myself to casting on Tuscany in the silk I bought in October.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Lonely Sweater

Maybe it's the heat. Maybe I'm still a bit oxygen starved from last month's pneumonia. Maybe it's just the problem of trying to grasp time during the long summer days, but I have been stymied.
This little sweater has been part of my life since I was born. My mother knit it to take me home from the hospital. It was one of the first things I ever knit. I have knit it more than 10 times. But this time, I hit road bumps including gauge, yardage, counting rows, measuring. Can you believe that after this picture, when I went to block it (at 5:45 am before I went to work) I noticed one of the sleeves was shorter than the other. Can you believe I think this is the first time I ever did that?
So last night, in an empty house, with a bit of a heavy heart for an old soul of a patient who died at the end of my shift, I unsewed the sleeve, knit it up properly and sewed it back on. All this for a baby who probably won't live through his or her first day.

I have alread cast on Li's reversible herringbone rib scarf in local alpaca as a simple knit for a Christmas present. I will try to knit toward hope of celebration, as well as revelling in the softness and the pertinence of the pattern.
Today I take it easy and prepare something (a tortilla torte?) for our night shift communal meal.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


What blogger would not be inspired by the Julie & Julia movie? I felt alone in my Julia Child obsession, watching reruns on PBS when the kids were small and even borrowing whole seasons from the library in the past few years. My daughter will watch them with me. Julia was such a contradiction in seriousness and mirth.
I was also aware of the Julie/Julia blog and read a few entries, so I was pleased to hear it was a successful movie with so much buzz. But I love Nora Ephron . She has taught me that just because something is a commercial success doesn't mean it can't touch your heart. I especially have loved "You've Got Mail".
This is my Paw's inspiring garden in his small back yard. It has taken my mom a bit of angst to give up the prize flower beds, but it brings him such quiet, constant joy. He is so quiet and constant. Lucky corn.
His best kitchen tip: don't pick the corn until the water is boiling. We used to take icecream out to the strawberry patch, too. Nothing like really fresh.
Mom's flowers still bloom for her.

And after I too a shot of the last sunset of the day. We are almost on the westcoast and you were all tucked into bed when this was speeding past my new camera lens.
The little green sweater is almost finished and I plan to take a break from baby sweaters and knit a Christmas gift scarf during my 4 nursing shifts.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Small Delights

The blackberries are in full berry and line the paths of my walk. I haven't had time or energy to pick a bucket yet. First I need to be scratched by my roses as I clean them up from their first big bloom.
I have been sewing little sock bags from this tutorial . I so appreciate the pattern support and the point of view of a knitter. This first bag was my trial.

This is a September birthday gift. I don't think she's a sock knitter, but she is a great knitter and these are the charming colours of her kitchen.

When it's closed, the smaller handle is the loop. I love it.

This is for an October birthday. She assures me she does not read blogs. I will try to keep it secret.

And this one is for me. I don't even remember who I made the patchwork fabric for. I'm sure I made a bag from it, though. The lining is very fine, but just leftovers from my headboard and bedskirt. This is almost too nice to keep for myself. But they are my own scraps. I'm sure I could make another group of these bags with my fabric stash. I just need knitting friends to make them for.

The Littlest One sweater has been wrangled into submission. I decided not to risk running out of the green, so I'm doing the yoke in white. The hospital doesn't want white because it doesn't photograph well, but I think I can use a bit. It's what I have most left over. Plus I'm getting really tired of this self-imposed knitting goal. I'm a bit over baby sweaters. I have a few to knit for nurses on my floor (not really friends, yet), so I bought some Berocco Comfort on sale. I also picked up the 100cm Addi's for sock knitting two at a time. I'll get there when I slash my stash and prune my queue.
The sun is back and I have a week to call my own. D is on course in Saskatoon. What shenanagins shall we get up to?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Reluctant and Elusive

I started this baby sweater (Beehive Layette for the Littlest One) for night shift. It is supposed to be simple knitting. I brought the wrong needles! At home I tried it again on my "sleep day". Wrong gauge still. Grrr. Last night I started again with my smallest 2.5mms. I don't think I used this needle before. But in my current, returning to the stream of reality, I can't be sure. At least it will be small enough now for the requirement of "newborn".
Summer heat has been replaced (temporarily?) with chilly rain. It feels like fall. I made a big step this week when I bowed out of a writers' group in favour of continuing my nursing education. They were very sweet. Honestly, I would rather write, but I need to develop my new career and at least start moving in the direction of teaching or program development.

The fruits and flowers of summer are still ours to savour. We had unexpected guests for dinner (and overnight). It was a bad time for us with Em sick and me getting over my illness and 2 night shifts. But I'm not sorry we opened our house. We should do it more often. The gazebo was a big hit with the after dinner cognac and candles. These will be the lovely memories.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Out of Bed

I have been slowly getting a few things done, with rest in between. The Cascade 220 was wound and is ready for the Bountiful Bohus.
I spent way too long in bed learning entrelac for this Dianna (Ravelry Link) shawl. The wool is single ply from Saltspring. I have just been hanging on to a cone of it that I was compelled to buy. The other Dianna shawls use colour changing wool that I like, but I wasn't up to shopping.

I started (and almost finished) fingerless mitts on my Christmas list. This is superwash wool in the Intercostal Mitts pattern. Please complain to me if you can't get in to the Ravelry links.

I finally bit the bullet and did a little scrapbooking. It seems daunting, but I decided to do a small book for my son's grad and the perameters helped.

Finally, the sign of the frog. I was able to reconsider this yarn-hogging sleeve from last November. What is stopping me from knitting it? It has been frogged. I decided to make Nephew #5 a simple yoked cable sweater that has already had quite a bit of success. I'll knit it in the round to the yoke, instead of flat. I've made it at least twice before and I think it will be flattering. I had tried to use a different wool, but this is the right stuff for this young man. The other stuff will work for #7.
So I was given the gift of time. I am moving around better and almost multitasking. I'm home from work a second day, but plan to do my 2 nights. I get 10 off after that anyway. So I need something simple to knit on my break at night. All my knitting has been with a blunted intellect and most frustrating. Never the less, I finished the green scarf and the Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks scarf. They are beautiful and soft and good medicine.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hooked on Holding Hands

I have been looking forward to knitting this pattern for quite some time. I bought the wool in May, I think, Montana by Online Linnie. I love the name of this scarf: Holding Hands and Feeding Ducks.

The star stitch really brings out the varieties of colour. It includes what I think of as a double crochet. Yes, a true hybrid crochet-knit pattern. Because I learned to crochet, I can comfortably knit continental, and I don't know how else you would knit this pattern. It took me a while to figure out why I was so reflexive with the action. But it does hurt my hand a bit (the reason I quit crochet0 and I have to temper my addiction to those cunning little duckies.
I hope my mom will like this for her aubergine coat. There is no eggplant in it, but every other purple. Just for those really cold days.
Jean inspired me as she has just finished a "My So-called Scarf" and a Harlot One Row Scarf. Both turned out beatifully.
I finished the Column of Leaves, but don't have the energy to block it. I would love to achieve something today, but I just futz about restlessly.

Here's my plan: bait. How long can teenagers resist the lure of a ball winder? I have 3 more skeins of Cascade to prepare for my Bountiful Bohus. I bought the same colours because I have a real brown thing going since I started resisiting the black. Bonus bohus: this is a black-brown.

The boys played poker in the gazebo lastnight. It was high jinks and lots of flames.
Today I feel quite a bit better, but only if I rest. I have a Dr's appt- the only one left in town- and I'll get my marching orders.
I started Tuscany shawl in the kilometer of pink silk from Granville Island, but it wants a smaller needle and I had to order one. I picked Addi Turbo lace 40 inches in 2.25 and 2 mm so I can also knit the 2-at-a-time socks when I'm done. The cake behaved very badly from the centre pull, so I had to restart from the outside. The wind in the gazebo drove my pattern to the lawn and I put it in a bag and poured a glass of wine.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Isn't she lovely? This Helena is on par with EZ's February Baby Sweater. I love the way the sleeves are knit in the round. I love the sweet picot hem (though I find it a bit deep). I won't have enough to knit the band around the neck and front, though. I'll try to rustle up a ball (or 3 for another one) or else I'll just use some white cotton stash.

Yesterday, while I was malingering on my chaise in the shade, D brought home a great meccano project. It was some work, but he did an awesome job of assembling it for my amusement.

Go to the link, I'll wait here. Radiofree Vestibules are one of my favourite comedy groups and the staff at camp did this skit.
Now we have a lovely place to eat supper out of the burning sun, to rest in the evening free of bugs and enjoy our morning coffee. Yay! I always did love Out of Africa.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

A New View

> It looks as if I've already taken 60 pictures with my new Nikon D60. Whew! And that's with a debilitating chest infection. I've been knitting a bit and sitting on the deck in the meagre breeze, reading.

My Summer Snowberry tree wasn't supposed to bloom yet. I like to think it got great care, but it's probably heat stress and the fear of not reproducing.

I homage to Li's beautiful sky pictures I add our pink 9 pm sunset. I'll have to change lenses for distance next time.

Did you know I had a birthday last week? Between camp and night shifts I made carrot muffins to take to work. My MIL had me up for lasagne (?!) and my mom took me out for an early dinner with Scotty and Paw.
My friend Jean knit me a beautiful cotton triangular shawl from Shaeffer Yarn and bestowed on my the honour of the Billie Holiday colourway. Yay. It is practically perfect in every way.

On a crazy note, I just signed up for a Twist of Fate retreat in Kamloops- next April! I don't know where my life will be then, but I have the weekend off from work and I hope my neice will also go. It's possible one of my knitting friends from here will go. Sivia Harding is teaching! This is crazy for me, but I have lots of shawl knitting in the queue and I would love to do some immersion knitting. They have a fall one, too, but I haven't even looked at it yet.
Back to the chaise and the antipyretics.