Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Speedy Recovery Blanket

About a week ago we got some not-great news that a favorite cousin who underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor will also have to undergo further treatment for cancer. She is 42.

Not yet willing to pump out a few hats for her, I decided to cook up a blanket. I looked around Ravelry for awhile for something I wanted to knit. I really did. I wanted something easy for TV knitting, something chunky but a little interesting.

So I ended up doing it myself.

Hip To Be Square BlanketLink
Hip To Be Square Blanket
Yarn: Four skeins of Wool Pak 10ply (aka 1600 yards of any worsted, held double)

I hope it finds my cousin safely and helps to keep her warm. It's certainly not a ground-breaking pattern, but it was quick and easy. If you're not interested in applied i-cord for the edging, you can choose your own.

Hip To Be Square Blanket
She's not sick in this photo (this morning), but last week she came down with a doozy of a virus with a fever and a sore throat. Just in time for -20 degree weather, too. So she was out of school Wednesday (sick), and then school was cancelled Thursday and Friday. That makes four school cancellations so far this winter season.

Deep Freeze Jan 16 2009
Friday I put them in handknits and let them make Playdoh ice cream. It seemed to occupy them, at least. But it was odd, I must say. It contributed to the alternate-reality feeling I had all day. It's strange to be afraid of the out-of-doors.

In other news, I have actually become a working mommy again. Well, for the time-being anyway. I picked up some freelance work with my old employer. They've been very good about tossing me work now and then since I quit there 6.5 years ago before our son was born.

And so far, we are still in limbo regarding our long-term residence! Fairly soon we should know if we need to put the house up for sale (again) and actually sell it this time, or if we can make plans to stay. (Stay---what a delicious word.) I'm voting for the latter, but I've never been Ms. Moneybags, so we'll see how it all shakes out.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Moving On...

I can't stop thinking about last year, in total. Not about knitting, but about our experiences as a family. Both of my kids had their adenoids and tonsils out after some serious sleep apnea issues. We took our first family vacation to another country. We had our house on the market for much of the year. We took it off the market. Ups and downs, my friends. Ups and downs.

The very last day of the year could have been worse, but it wasn't that great. I had bought some ice-melt/rock-salt (whatever-you-call-it) and had somehow made the ridiculous decision to open the bag with a garden weeder. One that looks like this. And anyway, let's just say I really did almost prove Ralphie's mom right. Thankfully I had my glasses on.
My scratched glasses
It's a little difficult to see the scratch in this photo because of the focus, but it's there.
And it's deep.

So I found myself at one of the local eyeglass chain stores with the rest of the people who waited until the very end of the year to spend the money they've put away in their Flexible Healthcare Accounts (aka, everyone in the city). But after three hours, I ended up with these:

New glasses

And so far, so good. I can't say how happy I am that January seems to be moving along at a nice clip. Our reward for having such stunning summers here is that basically January and February get to the brink of unbearably cold. Next week? Temps of -15, without windchill.

I'm trying to focus on the right things, like how much progress our son has made in the short time he has been in elementary school. Here is a poem he wrote on Friday:

And no, his name isn't "Mike".

This year I want to get back something I seem to have lost. I have lost my go-with-the-flow, happy-go-lucky qualities. I used to have that, I really did. Ask my friend Trista. I want to get that back. Desperately. Anyone know where that went?

New glasses

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

I'm not nearly as organized as some. I can reflect, abstractly, on what I knit in 2008, and it included two adult sweaters, one of which I eventually ripped out over the summer. The other I just finished last week, and it, too, will eventually be ripped out, probably over the summer. It doesn't fit well and I am going to blame it on the design and my lustful need to knit without seams.
Imogen Finished
Imogen (Ravelry link) with Araucania Nature Wool Chunky
If you can imagine, for a minute, how this sweater is put on the body, and think about what happens to the rolled edges when one is crossed in front of the other and held together with a shawl pin? The edge bunches up under the other one and adds some lumps around the wearer's waist. Yes, I probably made this too big, but it also bags in the back a lot right underneath the arms, as it does in quite a few on Ravelry. Lesson learned. This year I would, however, like to complete at least one or two adult sweaters that I wear. For now, this one is still my favorite, imminently wearable (even while not pregnant), washable, dryable.

For now, though, I caught the crochet bug. Actually, I've been meaning to try this for quite awhile. It's a revisit of sorts as my introduction to fiber arts was at a very young age - my mom's mother taught me how to crochet. I think I only learned how to chain and do a single crochet stitch, though. This project got me excited to try again, however.


This particular grandmother died when I was in middle school. There was a time in my life when people just kept dying all over the place. First my paternal grandfather, when I was in the fourth grade, and then it just went downhill from there. His widow, my last living grandparent, died when I was in college.

Crochet hooks
What I have left of Grandma: Her crochet hooks

I have a bunch of loose Rowan Handknit Cotton that I plan to turn into a Ripple Blanket for our daughter. I knit her a blanket when I was pregnant with her, before I knew if she was a boy or a girl. And that blanket, a neutral tan, has never appealed to her. She carries around a yellow polyester fleece blanket. I'd like to bump it out of its prime spot - we'll see. That's a large spot to fill.
M's blanket
Rowan Handknit DK and Denim for M's ripple blanket