Sunday, September 30, 2007

So it goes

One project off the needles:

It ended up a tad short - I ran out of yarn, but I hope it's future recipient will still like it.

Here is progress thus far on my Indigo Ripples Skirt (pattern by Kat Coyle in IK Spring 2007):

I think I might be about one third of the way done. I am using smaller needles, so my row gauge is way off and this yarn shrinks significantly when washed and dried. So, I am at the spot where I need to dig out my washed and dried swatch and figure out exactly how long I need to make this solid panel to achieve desired length. Well, that sounded complicated, so I decided to cast on for another project..

This is Raul's Cobblestone Pullover (pattern by Jared Flood in IK Fall 2007):

The yarn is Swish worsted weight in color lemongrass heather from Knit Picks. The yarn the pattern calls for is prohibitively expensive given our current budget, so we opted to go with Knit Picks, a yarn supplier known for their affordable prices, and I am happy to report this yarn is luscious! And it is machine washable and dryable. Heaven! You know, I am thinking that men's garments are much easier to knit - they require no shaping for hips or waists or breasts - you just knit a tube for the body, two smaller tubes for the arms and then shape the shoulders. Men have it so easy.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Much Better

This weekend I had a most excellent surprise - an unexpected visit from my favorite of favorites:

(He's holding a blenderful of homemade smoothies, dee-licious)

There was lots of dogwalking, handholding and happiness this weekend. This is his last week away, and I will be glad when he comes home for good.

Also much better is the outward appearance of our house. Here is evidence:

Home with old, peeling paint and gross, rusted, spider-web filled window awnings:

And here is same home after thorough peeling and several coats of new paint:

And here's the garage. For those of you that saw it pre-painting, can you believe that's the same door?

Quite a marked improvement, no? I still have some work to do (like paint the front door and pick up the 10 million paint chips that are scattered around the house), but it feels good to have the bulk of this project behind me. Also, it's quite nice to walk/drive up to a pretty house covered in non-peeling paint at the end of each day.

So, I have been thinking about knitting pretty much all the time, lately. It's an exciting life, I know. I bought some yarn this weekend to make Raul the Cobblestone Pullover (if you access the link, scroll all the way down.) As much as I might complain, I have more free time now than I have had in several years. And I have only 2 more rotations to go this semester - so most of November and all of December will be devoted to residency interviews and knitting and hanging out! Excellent!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Scarves and Such

Greetings from the hot then cold then hot then stormy midwest! Oh weather - you make life so exciting.

So, I am recently returned from a visit to Raul up in Minneapolis. A very beautiful city. With a very beautiful Costco, and that Trader Joe's is really something to write home about. And the Mall of America...that was a little too much (Note from Raul: I wanted to ride the rides, but alas, there was no time). Oh, the wonders of the big city.

Now - onto knitting! No, I have not finished any projects, but I have started some new ones!

Hairy green scarf (a Christmas gift for a loved one that has previously enthused a love of hairy scarves and the color green.)

Chevron scarf - I may keep this one for myself. I am really liking it, but if my current pattern holds and I keep if for myself, I may be dooming this scarf to the pile of never finished objects. Sad. Anyways - what do you think of the color combo? Is it too much like your mom's 1970s kitchen?

Re: the residency application process (just because this is such a confusing and bizarre practice to those who have not recently suffered through nearly four years of medical school), I offer this update - I have a few interviews scheduled. No, none of the programs from CA have contacted me, yet, but it is still early in the game. Rest assured.

Love to you all! And welcome back to my globetrotting Grandma!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rough Day

Aye carumba. Do you ever feel like the universe is conspiring against you? This single parent thing is rough (and my kids are the kind with four legs that eat dry food from Costco.) Raul has been on an away rotation for almost two weeks, and I am exhausted. Walking the dog twice a day, working 9-10 hours every day, driving up to see him on the weekends. Pobrecita Shannonita. And today, I locked myself out of the house while taking the dog outside to tether him, so I could get a few minutes peace (he whines incessantly from the moment I walk in the door until I take him for a walk.) I climbed in through a window - the cat was inside, trying to bite me and the dog was outside trying to climb up after me.

It's too much I tell you.

I have been knitting. I am in the process of making the Indigo Ripples Skirt by Kat Coyle, and I am about 1/4 of the way done. I am starting to hear the call of Christmas knitting, so I think this skirt may soon be relegated to the bin of unfinished projects (remember the storm water shawl and glee.) At least the skirt will be in good company. If any of you out there figure out how to eek a few more hours out of every day, please let me know!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Baby Baby

Raul's very good friend is expecting a baby in November. The following three posts detail handknits for their soon to be arriving little girl. Her father has a love of wood and interior design, and the baby is to be named Maple. I found the yarn at a wonderful yarn shop in San Francisco (as mentioned below). I set out looking for some wooden buttons, and Raul and I were very excited to find little wooden leaf-shaped buttons at JoAnn's fabric and craft store. The patterns for all the handknits below were very easy and straightforward - any questions, please ask!

February Baby Sweater

This is an Elizabeth Zimmerman classic from her Knitter's Almanac.

February Baby Sweater:

Button Detail:

Pattern: February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Louet Gems light worsted weight in color 'fern green'
Buttons: Falling leaves wooden buttons from JoAnn's. The buttons were sold in a multi-pack of normal leaf shapes (as used on sweater) and maple leaves (as used on hat.) Given the name of the baby, I would have loved to use the maple leaf shaped buttons on the sweater, but a test run proved them to be a nightmare to get in and out of the little knitted buttonholes. I think the others look cute, and they are much more functional.
Needles: Size 7 circular for the body and 4 size 7 double-pointed needles (dpns) for the sleeves
First, the yarn was a dream to work with. It is very soft, and machine washable and dryable. And the best part - I was lucky enough to find it on sale at the best yarn shop ever. I would definitely recommend this yarn for baby knits or any other projects.
As has been done by other knitters previously, I made the pattern seamless by using dpns for the sleeves. As I am a devoted 2 circular needles type of girl for sock knitting, it as been a long time since I have had the need to use double-pointed needles. At first, I felt a little like Edward Scissorhands making these sleeves, but I quickly became comfortable using dpns again and all was well. Also, the pattern calls for a row of decreases before the rows of garter stitch at the bottom of the sweater. I accidentally left out the row of decreases and ended up with a sort of baby swing coat. A friend with children assured me that despite it's wideness, it would fit a baby's dimensions and could even be worn as a smock with a little summer dress by a 3 year old. Talk about versatility! Anyways, this was my first Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, and I am in love. I have plans to make a couple other of her baby sweaters for other friends that are expecting, and her designs for adults are beautiful as well.

Hello Bonnet

I have been wanting to knit this pattern for some time, and I was quite excited to realize that I had enough yarn left over from the sweater (see above) for a little baby bonnet.

Pattern: Top Down Bonnet from Hello Yarn
Yarn: Louet Gems light worsted weight yarn in color 'fern green'
Needles 5 size 7 double-pointed needles
Comments: This was a very easy knit, and it's cute!

View from the front as modeled by iPal:

View from the side with Stay On Baby Booties:

Button detail:

Flynn modeling bonnet:

Stay On Baby Booties

Pattern: Stay on Baby Booties purchased from local yarn shop. I was sold the pattern for $5 and then told a story about how the pattern was given in photo copy form to the shop owner, and they have no idea what book it is from. So, it is highly likely that they are selling a pattern they do not have permission to sell and that they got for free; I find this mildly annoying. Please email me if you want the pattern, and I will give it to you.
Yarn: The ever popular Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in color 'Life's a Beach.'
Needles: 2 size 2 Addi circulars

These booties are very easy to knit. They may be knit with 5 double-pointed needles or with 2 circulars, and by changing yarn and needle size, you could easily make them larger or smaller to fit various sizes of baby feet. I have been told these little booties actually stay on newborn/baby feet. I will have pass reports from the soon-to-be parents on to you if this really is the case.
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