Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Koolhaus, part deux in handspun!

Unfortunately, my first Koolhaas somehow ended up in the washer and then the dryer and felted down to an unwearably small size. Boo hoo. And here I am in LA in frigid temps with no hat to keep my ears warm! Koolhaas 2 to the rescue!

All up close and personal

Pattern: Koolhaas by Jared Flood
Yarn: My handspun!
Needles: Size 6 circulars
Final word: Love! So satisfying to knit with handspun. Is there anyway I could quit my day job and devote my life to fiber based hobbies?

Monday, December 29, 2008


Raul was one of the three lucky people that received handknits from me this year. One of those three handknits is still a work in progress and is about halfway done (oops.) I also knitted a pair of socks for my SIL, but I forgot to take pictures before wrapping them up (again, oops.)

This is the November installment of the Rockin Sock Club sock yarn and pattern. The photo is a little washed out - the colors are more vibrant 'fall-esque' colors than what is pictured here. Pattern was "Holidazed"by Anne Hanson (ravelry link.) Using Socks that Rock Mediumweight sock yarn and my trusy size 2 Addi turbo circulars. Quick knit and super fun!

I signed up for next year's sock club too. So excited!!

Here is another picture of socks with cute dog.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Dinner

At the last minute, I was able to trade calls with a co-intern, and Raul and I were able to both have Christmas Day off. Yay!

We made dinner at our house that night. Here's what it looked like:

Hello. I am Christmas Dinner. I would like to say hi to my friend HMMD, who loves to see photos of peoples' dinners on blogs.

We made Cornish Game Hens using this recipe. We do not recommend it. Not sure if the problem was the recipe or with our preparation. Either way - it was a ton of work and not very tasty. The other stuff was way good - mashed parsnips and potates, yams and roasted brussels sprouts. And dark chocolate covered peppermint Joe Joe's for dessert.

The best part was the company.

Hello. We are very good guests. We ate everything (even the hens) and told Shannon and Raul it was delicious!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

We celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary on December 11th! Woo Hoo! The weekend before, Raul planned a romantic getaway to Catalina Island.

We flew there by helicopter - a lifelong dream of Raul's and a great fear of mine. I had anticipated that it would feel as if I were hovering above the ocean in a tin can. I was pleasantly surprised as the helicopter was very un-tin-can-like.

Hello. It is our anniversary and we are in a helicopter. Above the ocean.

We stayed in Avalon. It was a super small town - very much a cruise boat sort of town, but it was such a nice get away from the city.

We stayed in a great place, right across the street from the harbor. We ate breakfast on our balcony in the morning.

The final word is that Raul did such an excellent job planning (and not over-planning as is my compulsion) this vacation that he has been elected to the high position of "Vacation Planner for All-Time." Way to go Raul!!

I will end this post with words from one of my patients, "If you want to get it right, never eat peanut butter in front of a god." If this statement makes sense to you, I would advise presenting to your nearest psychiatrist for evaluation.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hello. We are super cute boys, and we say happy holidays!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Babies in Handknits

Remember this sweater?

Here is an action shot modeled by recipient (and dad)!

So cute!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


More handspun!

Hello. I am roving.

All spun up.

In skein form.

This is 4oz of superwash merino roving from Sakina Needles in colorway 'squashed'. I believe I have about 170 yards of worsted weight yarn. No overtwist this time! I am working on attempting to spin yarn finer than worsted. Spinning is my new obsession. So fun.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Whose blood are you covered in?

I am now rotating through a county psychiatric ER, and I used the above line to open a patient interview after introducing myself. Exciting times. I was on call last Sunday, and an agitated and violent patient had to get tasered. The situation was terrifying. I remained safely in the nurses station while the patient was being subdued; I am not trained to take down patients, and I have resolved to myself (and repeatedly promised to Raul) that I will not try.

I am glad that Thanksgiving is coming up and I will have a bit of a break from this rotation.

Monday, November 3, 2008


No posts for the month of October. Hmm. Things have been busy, and well - I kind of lost my groove there for a couple months. It was very hard to come back from rotations after having 2 weeks vacation. And I came back to night float. Sleeping on a gross plastic mattress in an office at the VA is way less preferable to sleeping in my own bed, at home with my husband. And let me tell you, during those two weeks, few things could have been more annoying than to be repeatedly woken from sleep by nurses that don't know their patients to go see patients that really can't tell you what's wrong. I truly enjoy psychiatry, but I like sleep more.

And then I went to a geriatric psychiatry rotation, and that was wonderful at first. My patients were very high functioning for the most part, and they were largely admitted for the management of mood disorders. I found the therapeutic relationships that I was able to establish with those patients to be immensely satisfying. But well, they got better and were discharged. The patients that have been admitted to my service lately can be generally described as severely demented or delirious, admitted for management of behavioral problems. Caring for a demented patient is extremely challenging. It is often impossible to explain the therapeutic purpose behind your actions - how do you explain the need for postural restraints to a patient that is severely cognitively impaired. They can't understand that they are a huge fall risk, and you're worried about them injuring themselves. They just know they are unable to get up out of the chair they're sitting in. And the management of agitation...it's such a fine line between good control of agitated behaviors and oversedation. In these interactions, sometimes it is difficult to see how I am actually helping these patients. And one of my co-interns attempted suicide last month. It was a lethal attempt, and he has not yet demonstrated significant neurological recovery. It is so sad. He is a beautiful person, and we are all holding out hope that he recovers. These last couple months have been hard, and I am tired. I'm only working about 60 hours/week, but I am have been so tired. It is helpful to remember that life won't always be like this - I look forward to my third year of residency when I no longer have overnight call, and I will get to work ~40 hour weeks. And I had a good week last week. I got sleep. I was able to have dinner with Raul for 5 nights in a row (gasp!) and I was able to remember that I actually have it pretty good.

So, though I have been neglecting the blog, I haven't' been neglecting the hobbies. Spinning is fun. Here are some photos.

The middle skein is 4oz of superwash merino wool from Chameleon Colorworks in colorway 'Taos'. This roving was super soft and luscious and very fun to spin. I was attempted to spin worsted weight yarn, but it came out a little heavier than what I was aiming for. I am making a baby surprise jacket from this yarn. Pictures to follow when I finish it (hopefully this week.) The skeins on both ends are 8oz of superwash merino pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms in colorway 'I Feel Free.' This was also very fun to spin. I am thinking this may become a Tomten. I am still getting the hang of spinning. At present, I am able to spin worsted weight yarn fairly consistently, but I am noting lots of overspin in my finished yarn. I'm not sure if the problem is with my singles or my plying.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I meant to post this earlier, but well, I've been busy.

On vacation, I spent quality time with the grandmas, and I also went to a small-town county fair. Here is a photo of me enjoying both aforementioned activities:

While at the fair, we ate these:

Hello. I am an Indian Taco and I am delicious. Never tried one? Well then, you haven't really lived.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


So, I have been busy in my blogging hiatus. I started a new rotation - on geriatric psychiatry, and I am really liking it. I also caught an upper respiratory tract infection, and I spent more than a few days feeling very sorry for myself. No worries - I am on the mend. Sinus irrigations are really where it's at people. No Joke.

I've also been spinning. I took a lesson on my wheel a couple weeks ago, and since that time, I have spun up nearly every bit of roving in my fiber stash. I am learning, and getting a little more proficient with each skein I spin. Here are some photos:

This is my first spinning endeavor. The roving was a wool/donegal wool blend. 8 oz.

I am bulky and will likely be made into a soaker for cloth diapers.

My second attempt at spinning. Merino wool. 8 oz. I have no idea how many yards I have - I suppose I should figure out some way to measure that.

Singles on bobbins.

Awkward photo of plied yarn on niddy noddy.

So many hobbies. So little time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quilting is in my blood

It was inevitable that I take up this hobby. I have a genetic predisposition. Here's proof.

Grandma's quilts.

So, during my recent vacation I made a trip to a local quilting store to buy a magnetic pin cushion with Quilting Grandma. While there, I happened to see that the shop had cut up a bunch of fat quarters in Amy Butler fabric and were selling them as a kit to make this quilt. So, of course I had to buy it. And of course, we had to have a quilting date the next day.

Me with Grandma in her craft room.

My squares.

So fun.

My goal is to have all the squares done by February, and I think that's totally doable. I have about half of the fabric cut and ready to piece together!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Down with Anonymity

My friends gave permission to post entire photo, so you could see their beautiful faces in addition to their feet.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Flynnjamin's Great Adventure

So, the dog has been my buddy for the past week as I drove up and down California visiting family and friends.

First up, the bay area:

Hanging out on a d-mn lovely porch with friends' feet.

Then playtime with cousins:

Blogging world, meet my new niece, Tess. She's cute.

Finally, with the whole family:

What a life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Knitter's Heart

About two years ago, I made a pair of Fibertrend's Felted Clogs for my mom and gave them to her for Christmas. Just recently she informed me that she had worn them so much that the soles now had holes. Take a look:

Hello. I am a handknit, and I am literally worn out. How cool is that?

Seriously, if you want to be the recipient of an unending stream of my handknits, wear holes in the ones I've already given you. Way to go Mom. So, despite my earlier claims of retiring this pattern, I promptly walked myself to a local yarn shop, picked out some Cascade 220 wool, cast on, watched the Olympics, and presto! a new pair of slippers were born.

New slippers, modeled by darling mother:

A lovely profile shot:

Details (same as the previous 15 pairs):
Pattern: Fiber Trends Felted Clogs
Yarn: Cascade 220 wool, about 2.5 skeins
Needles: Size 13s?
Comments: Mom, I will happily make you another pair should you also wear these out.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I just started two weeks of vacation. The first two months of intern year have really flown by. So, I'm on vacay, and Raul just started a month of trauma surgery - I last saw him when I dropped him off at the hospital at 4:45am yesterday morning. Pobrecito Raulito. Before leaving, he made me (really twisted my arm) promise to pamper myself while on vacation. So, I promptly went out and purchased a spinning wheel.(!!) I have long been fantasizing about owning a wheel, and now my dreams have come true. Take a look!

Isn't she beautiful?!

The wheel is an Ashford Kiwi, purchased here. I love the wheel and the shop where I bought it was great - they offer lessons, too, and hopefully, I will be able to squeeze in a lesson before my vacation ends. I haven't tried any serious spinning on it yet - I've just been reading up on handspinning and practicing treadling. Very excited!

So, with the darling husband working 12-14 hour days back home, the dog and I set out to drive up and down the state of California over the next week to visit friends and family. We will keep you posted of our adventures!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sweet-tart Anklets

I have said this before, but it bears repeating - I love ankle socks. I think I have some subtle wool allergies that make wearing full socks a little unbearable at times, but ankle socks I can wear with gusto and pleasure. I wore this pair on call last week, and my ankles could breathe and were happy.

As a side note, I have become an Olympics addict. That's why there have been no recent posts. I can't get enough of swimming and gymnastics and beach volleyball. I just wish the programming started earlier in the evening, so I didn't have to stay up so late. Last night I pre-napped for the Olympics. Good strategy - will repeat. I have also been knitting like a fiend during the olympics and on my rotation (!), and I was able to finish the July installment of Rocking Sock Club socks in record time. Here they are:

View on 2 feet:

Gusset and such (with a strand of Flynn's hair for garnish):

Pattern - Sweet tart anklets by Marilyn Kaleikilo
Yarn - Blue Moon Socks that Rock Lightweight in colorway Goody Goody
Needles - Size 1 dpns
Comments - Quick and easy, and I have already professed my love of ankle socks, so no need to go there again. My first picot edge - love it!

So, I think it was when I was finishing the gladiator socks that I had a thought that went something like this - "I did a pretty good on these socks, but if I were on a reality show for knitters, I would probably get voted off." I then came to my senses - how boring would it be to sit around and watch a bunch of people knit, week after week, on a reality TV show? I really like knitting, and I'm not sure that I would even watch that. Do any of you watch Bravo's reality TV (ie Shear Genius)? So good.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Family is Good

I spent the weekend in my hometown. After being a way for 4 years, it's so nice to be less than a 2 hour drive from my family. They are wonderful. My brother got a new puppy, sorry no pics, I forgot the camera. Very much looking forward to future playdates with my dog and his!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gladiator Stockings

Apologies in advance for the photos. My dear Raul has been putting in 80 hour weeks on his present rotation, and I had to handle this photo shoot solo. It's really hard to take pictures of socks while you're wearing them.

So, I saw the Sex and the City movie recently. I really like the movie, but I totally hated many of the shoes they wore. Those of you that know me, know that I am in no way a fashionista. I think I have been dressing in the same style since I was about 12 years old. I'm cool with that. I pay little attention to passing fashion trends. But I really have to say that I totally hate gladiator style sandals. Blech. After finishing these socks, I noticed they were a little gladiator-ish - the traveling stitches remind me of laces. I like these socks, but I still hate gladiator sandals. I will now stick my head back in the sand, continue to wear the same clothes I've been wearing for the past 10 years, and ignore all things relating to fashion.

Onto the socks!

View of both feet:

View from the back:

From the side:

Pattern - Cleopatra's Stockings by Yarnissma
Yarn: STR lightweight in colorway "Incredible Shrinking Violet"
Needles: Size 1 (2.25mm) for the foot and Size 2 (3mm) for the upper part of the cuff.
I am so happy that I joined this sock club - it's really been a wonderful experience. I love getting a surprise skein of yarn in the mail every other month, and I've really expanded my knitting horizons with the patterns included with the yarn. This pair was quite challenging - knit from the toe up with a provisional crochet chain cast-on. A first for me, and not as difficult as I had expected. All in all, love the yarn and the pattern and the finished socks!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goody Goody

Yarn in the mail!

July installment of Rockin Sock Club sock yarn. I cheated and looked at spoiler pictures of this yarn on someone else's blog before I got mine in the mail. I was not too impressed by the photos - I'm not a huge pastel fan. However, when my yarn finally arrived, I found that it is much lovelier in person than in photo. Colorway is 'Goody Goody' (hence the title of this blog entry.) And this month's patterns are quite exciting.

Now I just have to finish May's socks. Almost done. Pictures soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Feels like home

First earthquake since we've been back! Oh CA, how I've missed you.

All is well. No injuries were sustained while we were diving under tables and jumping into doorways. No fallen pictures or pantry items. The dog thought it was fun and asked if we could do it again, please.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Knits in the Works

So, you may thank the blogger option of 'scheduling' posts (ie having an entry post automatically several days after writing it for all these recent entries.) Yay for the magic of the internet and computer programming!

So here is a view at what I've got on the needles.

First up, the sweetheart vest. It's for my grandma for her birthday.

So, you might notice that I omitted the white stripe running through pink section because I could not find this yarn in that white colorway. I think it looks ok.

Now, tailgate rag rug from Mason-Dixon Knitting.

I'm using 4 strands of the worsted weight peaches and cream held together and the contrast rows are knitted from 1" strips of fabric I had in my stash. I accidentally left this project on the living room floor the other night, and it had an unfortunate incident with the Roomba in the morning. Luckily, Raul was able to extricate Rooma from tangled yarn web; Roomba was unscathed and tailgate rag rug sustained minor injuries that will be easily mended.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ode to the Roomba

For years, Raul has wanted to buy a Roomba. Our former house was small without much carpet, so I resisted. Now, our place is covered in carpet - light beige carpet, too. And us with a cat and big black dog that love to shed. I finally relented, and Raul purchased a Roomba about two weeks ago. It's effect on our lives has been profound. Every morning, it wakes itself up, runs around our house vacuuming, and when it is done, it puts itself back to bed in its charger. It's magic. Roomba, thank you for your vigilence in keeping our floors free of dog and cat hair, and thank you for allowing me to spend my free time knitting and not vacuuming. We heart the Roomba.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I can see clearly now..

Because I have cool new glasses!

Just a peek (trying to minimize identifiable photos of myself on the interweb because I don't want any stalkers.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


OMG! What kind of sadist puts motion sensing lights in a call room? Really? Who needs the lights to go on everytime you roll over in bed when you're only getting a couple hours of sleep? And how funny is the wikipedia definition of a call room? It must have been written by a resident - someone well acquainted with working herself to the point of exhaustion.

Call is fun by the way. I like psychiatry, and I am liking this city much more. The dog is still happy as a clam in mud, and the cat's doing better - at least she's been urinating exclusively in her litter box.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Leafling socks

March installment of Rockin Sock Club Socks finished!

These photos were taken while I was visiting Raul on call (I brought him dinner on a night when he had to stay overnight in the hospital. Yes, I am a very wonderful wife, you don't have to tell me.) He was kind enough to help me with a sock photo shoot in his call room.

View on 2 feet.

Full frontal.

Intimate heel detail.

Yarn: Socks That Rock mediumweight sock yarn in color Lucky
Pattern: Leafling by JC Briar
Needles: Size 2 circs
Comments: So FUN! I loved this pattern. The author said she was inspired by Cat Bordhi's new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I have to get this book. This sock construction is ingenious. You add the gusset stitches as you go, so you don't have to pick up any stitches for the heel. Amazing. And I love the almost cabley-look of the pattern in the front. I am so going to make this pattern again.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


So, life here is way different from Iowa City. Overwhelmingly so. So many people everywhere, all the time. So many cars everywhere, all the time. I walked from one hospital to another the other day, and the route I took required that I cross 4 different interstate on-ramps and off-ramps. It was kind of terrifying. I don't think I am ever going to walk that route again. Even if it is shorter. Though there are some cool things about LA. Like my family. I have seen them so much since I've been out here, and that has been wonderful. The food is really good. The farmers' markets are phenomenal. And the weather isn't so bad. : )

Raul and I started residency last Tuesday, and it is going well. It's busy. We both have to take overnight call (where you have to stay overnight in the hospital to handle any problems with your patients and to take any new admissions) once or twice a week. We don't get to see each other as much as we used to, and I miss him, but we're getting used to it.

I took my first overnight call in the hospital last week. It was an interesting and overwhelming experience. And terrifying. I survived, and by the early morning (I got my last admission at 2am), I was actually having fun.

Raul is doing well. He's saving babies in the Pediatric ICU. I think we could all take some lessons from him on how to handle stress and to leave work at work.

The dog is loving it here along with all the attention he's getting from my frequently visiting family. And he doesn't have to sleep in his kennel anymore - we moved his dog bed next to our bed. He's a happy camper. The cat, not so much. She really misses Iowa City, and her cat door that provided her with constant access to the great wild outdoors. She's been going to the bathroom in places other than her cat box. Those of you with cats know that this is not a good thing. I've started letting her outside when I'm home, and she seems to be doing a little better. I bought her a cat bed today, and I think she likes it.

ETA: I later found out that Greta was not nesting in her new bed. She was urinating in it.

Slowly, but surely, we're getting there.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Whoa, Indigo Ripples Skirt is finished?!


Close-up of lace:

I am cool and rippley.

Pattern: Indigo Ripples Skirt by Kat Coyle from Interweave Knits Spring 2007
Yarn: Elann Den-M-Knit denim yarn in color dark denim, 14 balls
Needles: Size 4 circulars. I think the pattern called for 6s or 5s. I'm not sure, but when I swatched (whoa!) I found that the resulting fabric was a little see-through on the larger needles. Not something that I am really interested in in a skirt. I was able to achieve a more densely knitted fabric with the smaller needles, and all was right in my knitting world.
Size: So, this was a little tricky. My waist measurements matched the large size and my hips, the extra-large. I cast on for the large, and increased (in a way that I do not remember because it was over a year ago) up to the number of stitches required for the hips of the extra-large size. It was a bit of a gamble, but it turned out pretty well. I also increased the lengths of both the solid panel and the lace panel for a longer skirt.

I am really happy with how this skirt turned out. And it only took me a couple years to make. The time flew by, really. I had been hitting the knitted denim skirt pretty hard since I finished my rotations, and I finally cast-off the final stitches during our drive out to LA. Let me say, finishing it was a total beast. The ruffle at the bottom of the skirt ate yarn like crazy, and to make it even more ruffle-y, you do this increase thing with the cast-off where you add a stitch for every one stitch you cast off. So, I ended up having to cast off 1200 stitches. It took some time. Overall, the pattern was excellent and very easy to follow.

Unfortunately, we no longer have a washing machine and dryer at our immediate disposal. We do, however, have coin-op laundry in our building, but no matter what temperature setting I choose, the washing machine always washes my clothes in scalding hot water. Not the best laundering conditions for handknits. I was finally able to wash the skirt during a visit to my mom's (sidenote - it's totally awesome being 30 years old, and still taking dirty laundry to mom's. really.) And it shrunk to the dimensions I was aiming. For those of you unfamiliar with cotton denim yarn, the knitted garment should shrink approximately 30% in length.

Also, I opted for some braided elastic in lieu of a drawstring because I am not a huge fan of drawstrings.

Monday, June 16, 2008


We've just moved into a new apartment, and some hand knits were totally needed to spruce up the place. First up, bathmats! Raul's dreams have finally come true - we have two sinks in our bathroom. He may now brush his teeth without worry of knocking over any of the miscellany that I invariably leave lying all around the sink. Whew! We also now have two bathrooms - this is one more than we previously had, and in this new place we had a definite shortage of bathmats. Mason-Dixon knitting to the rescue!

The pattern calls for three strands of double worsted to be held together throughout. I found cones of worsted weight at Wal-Mart (yes, the evil empire, don't hate me.) I bought six cones - six strands worsted = 3 strands double worsted, right? It all worked out, and I have a ton of yarn. I made two of these bathmats for our bathroom, and I think I have enough yarn left over to make the Tailgate Rag Rug from the same book.

Here's a photo:

Hello. I am squishy and quite delightful to stand on. I am also somewhat camouflaged in this photo. Please click on picture should you want a more detailed viewing. Thank you.

Pattern: Absorba from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Peaches and Cream worsted weight, 6 strands held together throughout, 3 strands ecru, 3 strands white
Needles: Size 15s
Comments: Super quick knit. And fun, too. I haven't yet washed them, and I am wondering if they'll shrink a little. Log cabin knitting is fun. Maybe I should start quilting in my spare time.
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