Monday, October 31, 2011

Well, They Aren't Socks Yet

Don't even have a full gusset yet. But.. well does it really matter?

Saturday was the baby shower—and as luck would have it the sweater and hat became part of a set...
The stroller was brown and green, the matching blanket, green and white.. And there were other green and brown, and taupe gifts. What can I say? Great minds think alike!

The down side to the shower was the weather—Friday night, the weather reports said snow in norther suburbs, and a dusting in NYC by 9 PM—but as almost every knows.. It was rain and snow (and flooded streets) in Queens by 2 PM—and enough snow that I had to scrap the windows after about 5 miles (from my house to my daughters) –then off to Manhattan to pick up Matt—and northern Manhattan was a paved with broken branches—None blocked the roads completely—but it was a taste of what was to come. The Saw Mill Parkway—a lovely road where the trees form a bowery—was reduced to 2 lanes in each direction—every quarter of mile, yet another broken tree or branch on the road. Bigger more traveled roads (the Cross County Parkway) were a bit better, but eventually we had to get off and were once again on local tree lined (and tree branch strewn) roads

And all the while the snow is coming down—so fast that the roads were slushy.

I left early—but not early enough—The roads were better--(the worst of tree limbs were pulled to side) but visibility was bad—and the heavy wet snow covered everything—road signs were unreadable. I ended up taking a detour of a few miles to find the entrance to the highway.

The best was the roads got better as I once again headed south. Scarsdale ended up, all said and done with 10 inches of heavy wet snow—Queens had under 2—90% of which was melted –since Queens was a bit warmer (we never fell below 33°--and 1 degree is enough! Things melted (albeit slowly) and roadways were wet, but not slushy. The sidewalks were slushy—but (knock wood) I didn't even slip!

So what little knitting I got done—got done yesterday at Panera's—I was busy in the AM—and afterwards visited a bit with a friend—so it was almost 8 by the time I got home. I just didn't get any knitting done after dinner, either.

A busy weekend, but not much to show for it!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

and me--were over turned yesterday--
The post below was ready to go yesterday—all I needed was the photo's—and when I went to take them— I discovered the men cleaning the ceiling of the terrace (as part of the painting prep work) hadn't protected the the window/door frame to the terrace and the high powered stream of water had leaked –and my floor was wet—so instead of taking photos, I was busy mopping and moving things.
The “baker's rack” that I use as a plant stand is up close to the window (d'oh!) - and covered with stuff (planters, cache pots for plants, the outdoor clock/thermometer, and other stuff (trowels, water cans)--So moving it is a big deal (I can't just drag it across my wooden floors the way I do across the contrete floor of the terrace!)

By the time I was done--I was out of time--and later--out of lightl

Flapped and Turned

But not yet gusseted! And, of course, as is the way with flapped/turned/gusseted heels, the stripe pattern on the instep is “broken” No matter.

The flap (as I like them) is a few rows deeper than convention (these socks are 64 stitches—a good number for a 4 stitch rib pattern to work symmetrically) and the flap should be 32 rows long (16 chains on each side and 16 (+1) pick ups on each side for the gusset.. but my flap is 34 rows deep, and 18 (+1) stitches picked up. 19 + 19. This will make the gussets an extra 3 rounds long.

It always seems forever to knit the gussets—all those extra stitches in every round—but because its also longer-- When I am done with the gussets a good part of the foot is also knit. I have the weekend and Monday to finish these—I think they will come in right at the wire.

(Does it matter? Sure they are October's socks—and I would like them to be knit in the month of October—but a day late? Who cares!)

Oh—and the hat—all done—knit and finished. Today I'll buy some ribbon and wrapping paper to get it all packed up and ready for the shower tomorrow.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Not a Hat--

Yet. But the complex border is done and nicely, (not perfectly, but nicely) grafted.
The rest of the hat will be ribbing—to create the maximum of wear. Baby's heads (well, normal baby's) start out small (my baby's had big heads from the get-go) and grow—FAST! Ribbing will let a hat fit (unstretched) on a new born, and then stretch out to fit 3months later. (There is about 1 inch of unseen ribbing behind the leafy border) The hat easily stretches onto Head--(about 19 inches)--so it should fit for a few months.

I'll finish it today—and get back to the heel flap and get the heel of the Rag Effects socks done, too. And once the heel is done—it seems no time at all till the sock is finished!

Not today—well, not finished with the socks today) but the hat will be finished.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Legs Done

And half a heel flap too. I also wove in the cast on tail (and the beginning of the round is now marked with a stitch marker--but soon it will be a moot point. I always make the sole at the beginning of the round (and the instep as second half.)

So I have made some real progress—But I have to stop—well for a day. This Saturday is Jennifer and Guy's baby shower—I have the little leafy sprout sweater—But I want to have the matching hat, too.

There will be more hats, and a few bibs later on—but to start—a sweater and hat set. The baby's due in January—and there are lots of cool months and plenty of sweater wearing time –and plenty of months for warm hats, too.

So tomorrow, (I hope) a hat to show—and then back to the socks--I've already done about half of the leaf border--and that's the part that takes the most time.

--And I have been working on some new video's, too--mostly specialty cast ons--specifically some choices for double knitting--but they take forever to edit and upload--so it will be a few days before they become available.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Promise

I'll get some knitting done today—If for no other reason than I want to finish theses socks this month! And time is quickly running out!

Reading and cleaning, and cooking (and this morning, already, shopping) have eaten into my knitting time. Yesterday—NOTHING! Not a single stitch of sock was knit.

But—my refrigerator is clean, and dishes were loaded into the dishwasher, and the same put away later, clean!

This AM I went out to breakfast—and afterwards-- a quick stop at Trader Joe's—where I stocked up on oatmeal. The price has gone up (isn't that true of everything?!)But at $3.29 for a 30 ounce canister, they are half the price of all the competitors. (I bought 2 canisters. It's not quite a 2 month supply—my local Trader Joe's has such a horrid parking lot I tend to avoid going--but enough to keep me in oatmeal (irish/steel cut style) for a while.

It's noisy today—the terrace ceilings are being power sanded—the last steps of refinishing them will be clean up and painting—Both the ceiling and the floor. Then the new railing go in—all this (hopefully) before the weather turns too cold and wet to be doing outdoor work. Already its been rainy enough that the work is behind schedule—and quiet rainy week days are punctuated by noisy “catch up' week ends. Tomorrow—more rain. It's already been the wettest year on record (or near to) and there is still 3 months of the year to go. I hope there are more cold, wet, windy days (as predicted for tomorrow)--which bad as they are, are better than mountains of snow!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday—Again!

And not much to show for it. A few more stripes have been added to the sock—but its not quite a full color set repeat. --You'll have to wait to tomorrow to see it.

I didn't get much knitting done yesterday--(mostly because I was running my mouth!) but even thought it was just 3 of us,(Debbie, Lynn and me) I was happy—it takes a while to start up a *knitting group—and for people to get it in there schedule (and memory)

I hope the group grows—but I am almost afraid—the Panera's at the new Rego Park Mall is beautiful, and well run—but its always packed! And fitting in a big group on sunday afternoons might not be possible. Well, I will worry about that when the group grows—and then we can all collectively decide when to meet.

The other thing that's been keeping me engaged is eating—Healthier eating. A contributing factor to my infection (and healing) is my weight—I have never been thin, but in recent years, I have been heavier that I was 20 years ago (when I was still overweight) and heavier than I was 30 years ago, (when I was also overweight) I need to lose weight—in serious way (and I have been!)

I have been very conscious of my eating—and eating better (and the results are already showing) but it takes more time; and thought and effort.

It's something I need to do for my health, and to do for my vanity. My DD became engaged last month—and while the wedding is about a year a way (they still haven't actually settled on a date—but September 2012 is the month.) I have a lot of weight to lose—and slow and steady is the way to do it..a pound a week is over 50 pound in a year—and that's a very do-able amount to set as a goal—And 50 pound will make a very big difference healthwise. I am already ahead –but I recognize its always easier to start a diet—and weight comes off a bit easier in the beginning—but long term dieting includes set backs and plateaus—and “planning” on 2 pounds a week can lead to disappointment (and failure)--Right now I am averaging 2 pounds a week—but this is a long term project.

I likely won't be thin come the wedding next year, but I will be a lot thinner and healthier than I am now.

*Are you in Queens? Would you like to join the Sunday Knitting group? We meet at the panera's/Rego Park Mall—the at Junction Blvd. 2 PM, every Sunday. Come on by and join us!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Knitting Content!

Once again, knitting content! Finished the cuff, and started the leg—I went with ribbing—a variation—that has a name—(or perhaps several) but I can't think of any of them.
It's a 4 stitch pattern (R1: K3, P1; R2:P3, K1—sort of)--those directions aren't quite right, because of an offset --
Its column 1: knits, column 2: garter, column 3: purls, column 4: garter—a pattern that creates a deeply ridged ribbing.

I've completed one full set (and then some) of the stripe set, dr. blue, lt. Blue, green, (very pale), golden brown, and red. And already the stripes are a full row out of synq—Oh well.

The pattern I just enough to be interesting, the stripes are encouraging—though I think I'd like them better if they were all solid (like the blues and the red) or all soft tweedy colors like the green and brown. But in the end, they are what they are, and they are fine. Maybe I'll like them better by repeat 2 or 3.

I've gotten off to a late start—and won't get half of what I hoped to accomplish done today—but I'll do what I can and leave the rest for another day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blue Sky's and Sunny Day's

--it there any better cure for the blues? (Well, to be technically correct yes, but...)

Crazy 8's put aside and new simple socks started—Patons Ragg Effects—in a simple stripe pattern.

Nothing done but the cast on and a few rounds (not even a half inch!) but this is the perfect yarn—every few rounds (before I get bored or distracted) a new color—The grey is a bluish grey (the color of very faded denim) the other colors (red, dr. blue, lt. blue, gold, green) are nice enough. This will be a basic go with almost anything sock. A simple no brainer, generic sock.

I still haven't decided on a stitch pattern—I am thinking about a rib—3 X 1—but I've done that before. Maybe a broken rib, or deeply textured rib. I have time to decide--I tend to like a nice deep (1.5 inch) cuff—and I have a number of rounds to do before I have to decide.

Later today I MUST catch up on laundry—every day I have used a fresh clean towel as a 'drape'/work cloth for cleaning and dressing the wound—10 days later, I have a full load of towels alone to wash!

Plus there are clothes—this time of the year is the worst—2 week ago there were 80° (and warmer) days—now day time temps are in the 60° (about 16° to 18°C.). I think it's finally time to move the sleeveless tops and dresses to the back closet, and bring out the long sleeves tops (and light jackets)--and soon enough, winter blankets, too.

Short sleeve T's never go away—I like to layer them under long sleeved shirts--(then I can open the neck and roll up the sleeves if I get to warm)

And I have resolved—Saturday is for SEWING! I want to get some skirts made—I have the fabric (denim, and twills—Since January!) and I have a pattern, and I always have thread, and other notions. All that is needed is the gumption and drive to turn the fabric into new clothes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Recovery

Is slow(too slow!) but steady—Doctors appointments—and anxiety about them (2—one Tuesday, one Wednesday) is past. The lanced infection is still an open draining wound—and will continue to be for a while. There is, still the new daily routine of cleaning and dressing. There is marked improvement--(and one sure sign—itchness!)in appearance. The next follow up is in 2 week.

Nothing has been done on the crazy 8 socks—they might be put aside till next month—I think they are just to much to cope with now—There are just too many changes going on in my life right now—if I were angry (or scared—or very scared) complex knitting would be a good distraction. But I am just a bit overwhelmed—and complex knitting is just another chore.

I have lots of self striping yarns—I think its time for something dead simple—something to just knit and not think about for a while.

Even reading is going slow—I am only about half finished a book I started a week ago—and that's slow for me.

With all my introsection, and self centered concern about my health (and continued health with out insurance!) I don't feel I have anything to write about—and nothing to show either.

Maybe tomorrow will be different! --Actually I know it will be—I just hope in a more visible positive way!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crazy!

Times 8! A black sock—with 8 raised I-cords—that will twist and turn and make raised cable like 8's.

Right now, it looks a mess—with 16 mini balls (8 per sock) of the various colors, PLUS the base yarn, with ends still not woven in—its all a bit chaotic.

And if history serves, it remains a bit chaotic—I might WILL switch to some zip lock bags—each skein in a mini one, a set of 8 (one socks worth) in a quart sized one. Or I might will likely still have to stopping every once in a while to untangle.

(By Round 2, It was a mess! my tentative post was edited to reflect that!) So I am off to organize –mini plastic bags, in side of medium ones—I'll see how that works.

The sock is a bit loose (64 stitches + the 8 I-cords) but the cabling will pull it in a bit.

A simple twisted cast on, and a few rounds of garter for the cuff. I have no idea how long I'll make the leg--(but I suspect I will aim for my usually 7 to 9 inches (7 inches before I start the heel flap, which will make up the last of 2 inches of the leg.)

These socks will take some time to knit—but I think they will be just wonderful when done!

This PM I go for my surgical follow up visit—I suspect it will be a long wait—but I have knitting—and after I'll head out to Tuesday night knitting—at least for a little while.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

No News

Is good news? Well, it's boring. I picked up the bag of yarns I've collected for the Crazy 8 socks—but I didn't actually do anything. Maybe today.

Health-wise, my infection/wound is healing up nicely—though antibiotic are playing havoc with my digestion—Some probiotics are the next order of business—I need to replenish all the good bugs that normally live in my digestive track, and I don't think there is enough yogurt in world to do that!

SO, since I have nothing to write about—I'll send you off to a blog post that does--

My DIL-Sonya—is a fiber artist—and she has a collective project going on—A simple one—quick and easy to knit—it only needs a few yards of yarn. All the details can be found on this blog—and you can also follow her on FaceBook or on Ravelry (her group) Why don't you join in? I will be—I have a few yards of a lovely shell pink-too much yarn to discard—but too little to do almost anything else with.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Rhythms of My Life

Have changed! I still haven't gotten back to my normal routine (it's day three!)And in reality, I never will. But I am on my way to getting some new routines in place.

Number 1 priority (that's being met!) is oral antibiotics-4 times a day (as near as to every 6 hours as I can manage!--so for I've never been more than 20 minutes late)--and next priority is changing the dressing on the 'wound'--The good news is: every day is less ugly looking—it's changing, slowly but surely, becoming pink and healthy looking (and I am getting better at doing it!) There are other medical priorities; scheduling a follow up to surgery, and other stuff.

Like getting some tape—I came home with 99% of the supplies needed to change the dressing—everything but tape! I've been to the local drug store twice now and forgotten to get tape twice!--I have a few inches left—but I can't forget again today!

On the knitting front—well I have, in the back of my mind, socks—1 pair for me (the Crazy 8's) and one pair as a gift. (A thank you gift) But I haven't done anything so there is nothing to show! And I need to get the hat (to match the baby sweater) knit, and... (well the list of things I want to knit is endless!)

A distraction to knitting is a book—I can't manage to read and knit at the same time.

And then there is the “bad news comes in 3's”--I am on the mend—but 2 good friends have been ill at the same time –One painfully so—A cracked molar (and emergency root canal) and one seriously so—with cardiac and kidney problems (both high blood pressure related). Prayer (good) and worry (bad) about both of them is distracting me, too.

So.... Let's change the subject!

When I was in the hospital—my daughter put together a small goodies bag—a hair brush (vital!) some hand cream (not really needed), and other toiletries. The best was she tucked in one of these –something totally new to me—Sally Hanson's Salon Effects--a Peel, Place and Press on NAIL Polish!

I was a bit incredulous—but now, I am a believer! It's not cheap –each box is a single use application and cost about $10—but I was able to give my self the of the best manicures ever!
Still it's cheaper than a salon manicure.

First, it's almost odorless—a major plus. Second, it's not that hard to get smooth and even. It's a bit tricky—but I managed to do it in a hospital bed, with an IV line in my wrist (which limited my hand mobility)--and got the left hand done (easy! I am right handed) first—but also got the right hand done—Not perfectly—but infinitely better than I have ever been able to with liquid polish. Thirdly--no drying time--it goes on dry!

No spills, no unevenness, no smell--these alone make it a good product, But! here it is 4 days later—looking pretty damn good!--So it's durable too! So far, no chips, no peeled edges; It's holding up way better than average.

So, while I forgot tape (that I needed!) I did manage to find another pack of the press on polish--(and since it was on 50% sale, bought 2!) One the metalic beige (a sort of champaign color) and one in a pink camouflage. But there are lace and butterfly and floral patterns, and solids --including one that looks like blue denim (a woven look!)

I know I am not the last person to have discovered this product--and that to many this will be old news. I don't often use my blog to do product plugs (especially free one!) but this is a product that impressed me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A FO (almost!)

FYI--this post might contain TMI for the squeemish!

Just 4 rounds of ribbing on one armhole, and then 2 ends to weave in.

It's MOSTLY back—and collar—and just a bit of fullness at the breast—where, eventually, a small shawl pin will hold it together. On the mannikin's, it looks pretty shapeless (and, it is) but stretched out over my body, it has a shaped front that is a cutaway. Just 4 skeins of Lion Brand Amazing yarn—in the Mauna Lua color way. One more skein (and a bit more) will become the LONG sleeved fingerless gloves I want.

I started this when I first got the infection--(Monday Oct 3rd) and finished the back before I ended up in the hospital, working collar and the front/back waist band while I was in the ER—mostly before I got admitted to the hospital.

I didn't get to much done as I slowly got better—I ended up with IV lines (first in back of right hand, then in back of left, and then in right wrist--) the first 2 became pain full (really painful!) in a few hours, the last, lasted 3 days—(72 hour!) The IV meds were so painful going in—one Vancomyisin—came from the refrigerator--(and was physically cold to the touch) —but felt like it was a 120° when the started dripping into a vein!--Yowza!


Curious? Last –make the 2 weeks ago, I was leaning in to get something off the back seat of my car. (2 POS(piece of ....) 2 door) and the “hinge lock” slipped and the door fell closed on my leg.
Hurt! I ended up with a “egg” (not a surface bruise) and well its seemed to be getting better.. but I didn't, keep my leg elevated or compressed (enough) and went about doing a bunch of stuff.

Sunday—a fun long day (Oct 2)--I got the first hint it was getting worse, not better. (Here is were I engaged in some magical thinking too) Sunday night it showed the classic signs of an infection--
Galen (? I think it was Galen, a Roman Physician) 3000 years ago quantified an infection—Dolar, solar, molar, cholar—or Pain(dolar), Heat (solar), Swelling (molar) and Redness(cholar)--

Monday it was worse—but I refused to stop my magical thinking (“It will get better on it's own”) until the time pain, redness (and then, a ugly 'bruised looking boil) swelling were so bad—I knew I needed treatment.

I started at a walk in care center—and they were kind—but said—Oh, no, beyond our scope.

So off to the local hospital ER. (the day in the ER is worth a post of its own!)--IV antibiotics—to start—a few day worth—and Saturday—a “procedure”--The Surgeon—one Dr. Hassain—lanced and drained the egg (or as they say in doctor talk “hematoma” )

A few days of intense bed rest, LOTS more IV antibiotics, and finally yesterday I was sent home.

Getting home was exhausting (I hadn't really moved much in 4 days—between a open (draining) wound on my leg, and IV lines in my arm-) I spend most of the time in bed. Technically I was ambulatory--(I got up to go to the bathroom and to shower) but I didn't move much.

Then it was up and get dressed, check in at the admitting office, stop in at the drug store--(I am now on oral antibiotics) schlepping a big bag of “goodies” to dress the wound--(the wound needs daily dressing and I am going to be changing it my self for the next week) and other stuff—well all in all it took 2 hours from the time I left the bed, till I walked in the door. Most of that time was 'sitting' not standing (which hurts) or walking (more comfortable than standing) –but it was for sure more activity than I had in the past week!

So much more to catch up on—but duty (more doctors appointments!) call! I've got to go!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thank you all for you're good wishes (they came to pass!)

Last week I thought I was on the mend--but Friday ended up in hospital --and just got discharged today. One pesky little bruise, became a hematoma, and then got infected (an nasty looking!) its still looks pretty nasty (but in a totally different way--I might do a post tomorrow with details (and semi hide them--for some it might be TMI!))

4 days of IV antibiotics and minor surgical procedure (lancing and draining the infection) and now i am home. Still on antibiotics, and all sort of other stuff.

But I got some knitting done--tomorrow a photo of a FO!

Thank's again for you kind thoughts.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Laid low with an infections... Hopefully on the mend, and will be back to blogging soon..

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Getting There

Sleeves, knit, edge (and elsewhere) finished, front panel of leaves knit (and finished too!)

Now just two little leaves to sew onto the fold back cuffs of the sleeve, and the sweater is done. Well there is still the hat—but that will be quick! And there is the small snaps to buy and sew on-That will be done tonight. Well the sewing tonight—I will have to run out today and buy the snaps!

I especially like how the double leaf pattern distorts the knitting in just the right way—make a shaped front to the neck—the end—with the full leaves are not part of the pattern—but work out perfectly. A perfect little organic growing thing!

I think I will put off starting Crazy Eights till tomorrow—After the Sunday knitting group—so far there will be maybe 5 or 6 knitter—small. But it will grow.

It's hard to start a group—But a good meeting place is must. One group I started to attend? Every week, a new place.. and none of them were well suited. They were too small or too inconvenient—A good meeting place needs to be near public transport & to have good (or at least some) parking. Better yet if it is an easy to find place (the Rego Park mall has red roof.. that can be seen from outer space!) And Panera's offer good food—not to expensive—and not junky (fries, greasy burgers) but salads and lean sandwiches. OK, they have cookies and pastries, too. But.

If you are in Kew Gardens, or Middle Villiage, or Elmhurts, or any near by neighborhood.. come on by! I look forward to seeing you tomorror at 2PM.