Sunday, March 23, 2008


Thursday was a bit of a whirlwind. We are very excited to have matched in LA, but after the excitement wore off, I realized that I had to leave my life here and start a residency, aaack! I am quite sad to be leaving Iowa City, and when I realized that my countdown for graduation also represented the amount of time I had left here, I found myself wishing I could slow down time. So, med school was no fun, but I really found some unexpected joys here. I never dreamed of meeting anyone like Raul, and with him, I've established my first real 'home' apart from my parents. Though this house is small and has its imperfections, I wish I could pack it up, take it with me and plunk it down somewhere in LA. We have so many good memories here. I am also going to miss my friends (Hilary - we are so going to have annual reunions, and once we have both surfaced from debt, we are so going to surf camp!)

Enough sentimentality. I will leave you with photos of my craft table. This space was made possible by the Great Basement Clean-Up and Reorganization of 2008 that took place earlier this week during our frenzied preparations to get our house ready to show.

Fabric cutting central:

I have long desired a large cutting mat, and recently I came to the realization that everything at Joann's Fabric store is always 40-50% off. So, my desires suddenly became affordable, and I now am the proud owner of a rotary cutter, a self-healing cutting mat and a cool ruler/cutting tool thing. And the table is an adjustable-height drafting table that Raul purchased when we first moved in together and I was not so keen on the idea of sharing my desk. The desk is currently at its tallest height, and I no longer have to stoop to cut fabric. What a back-saver! Both cutting tools and desk were indispensable yesterday whilst I was cutting fabric for a super secret, surprise gift. So fun. And it was not my intention to have all my cutting tools be coordinating shades of pink. When you are searching for bargains, you can't be choosy.

Here is a close-up of the fabric on the table. I am going to make a capped-sleeve camisole!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Goodbye snow-blower! Hello Los Angeles!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Dishcloths! In recent months, I have looked around my home and realized that I have accumulated a ton o' stuff, including several large plastic tubs full of yarn. I am attempting to stash bust with my knitting. As I may have mentioned previously, one of my grandmas passed on her stash of cotton dishcloth yarn to me. I made a serious dent in this yarn over the past couple weeks by making these dishcloths:

So, it's not really like these few balls of yarn were really weighing me down, but it feels good to have less stuff. Admittedly, they are not the most attractive bunch, but they are going to occupy the kitchens of good friends that don't mind some ugly dishcloths. Plus there is always hope that they will fade into more attractive color combos with each washing. Continuing with my stash busting theme, I am also going to dig into the long neglected unfinished object bag and get to work on the Indigo Ripples denim skirt and the Storm Water shawl and Glee.

Also, it is with a huge sigh of relief that I announce Raul and I put in a grueling 15 hours of work yesterday and finally got our house ready to show. It was rather alarming to realize that all of our home improvement projects had to be finished by the next morning. It was pretty brutal..lots of painting and cleaning and more painting and more cleaning. The cat and dog were in my cheese the whole time, too. Here is evidence of the cat's involvement on the armrest of our futon:

Translates to "Greta was here" in catspeak.

The house looks really good though. I am glad that we'll get to enjoy it in it's current state of pristine cleanliness before we leave in a few months.

Match Day tomorrow!

Monday, March 17, 2008


We successfully matched into residency programs! We find out on Thursday where those residency programs are located. It's done this way so that people that don't match have a chance to scramble into a residency. Sounds stressful, huh?

We've been spending the past weekend (and actually previous months) getting our house ready to sell. We met with a real estate agent yesterday, and though we still have a couple things left to do, we listed the house and will start showing it on Wednesday. What a pain it is to get a house ready! I've been cleaning bathtubs and basements and painting. I have decided that I am incapable of painting without making a complete mess. Paint gets everywhere - including unexpected places like all over my back and in my hair. And all over the dog. Exciting times in the E-C house, I tell you.

Stay tuned for exciting news this Thursday!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wee Goodies

This is a post about the finished objects of others.

First up is an adorable needle holder book made for me by my friend, Hilary. These books are super cute and very useful, and my needles were very happy to move out of the envelope that was their former residence and into the felt pages of this lovely book. Thank you Hilary!

Hello, I am a beautiful and functional needle book. Take a moment to admire the art on the cover. It was created by Hilary with scraps of wool and thread.

Next, is a lovely hat by Raul. It is based on the hat he made previously - he liked it so much that he wanted to make one for his darling mom. So Myriam, this is for you! We are planning a trip to a cooler climate this summer, and Raul did not want you to be cold.

As before - yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca bulky, knitted up on size 15 needles.

Flynndog wearing Grandma's hat.

So, some serious excitement is quickly approaching. On Monday we find out IF we matched, and on Thursday, we find out WHERE we matched. Keep you posted!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Barcelona Skirt

Barcelona skirts are done!

And just in time for the grand opening of the local yarn/fabric shop where we bought the pattern and the fabric! The identical skirts were intentional, but the matching shoes, tights and tops were not. One observant woman told us we took the twin thing too far.

Photo was cropped to protect Hilary's anonymity (though of the handful of people that actually read this blog, I suspect most of you already know her or will meet her at graduation. Still, one can never be too careful.)

Close-up of my skirt:

Pattern: Barcelona Layered Skirt by Amy Butler in size XL
Exterior Fabric: Amy Butler Belle in sea green/coriander
Lining: Off-white muslin
Comments: This is a really wonderful pattern, and the instructions are excellent. I followed them nearly to the letter and ended up with a very wearable, professional looking skirt. I did modify the edges of the layers - the pattern called for them to be left unfinished with the intention that they would fray with washing. I thought the frayed edges would be too casual, and I wanted to wear the skirt to work, so I zig-zagged across the unfinished edges with a coordinating thread. Hilary opted to do a french seam for her layered edges - they both turned out very well but created entirely different looks. I also had to bring the waist in - the XL fit through the hips, but gaped in the waist. Hilary helped my put in 1.25" darts on either side of the zipper, and the fit improved dramatically. Also, the pattern calls for an invisible zipper. Installing an invisible zipper requires an invisible zipper foot; I found this tutorial very helpful in installing the zipper foot.

Now, more gratuitous skirt shots:

Close-up of zipper and lining:

Sorry for the booty shot, but don't these darts look awesome? So smooth and unpuckered.

I am very happy with the finished product. While at the fabric store grand opening yesterday, I bought more fabric to make an un-layered, a-line version of this skirt. I highly recommend both Amy Butler patterns and fabrics. They are a little more expensive than what you could find at a place like Joann's, but they are so worth it!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


January's Rockin Sock Club socks are finished!

Please excuse the pasty, white legs. We are in the middle of an unending winter.

Star toe - up close and personal.

Pattern: Serendipity by Adrienne Fong in size medium
Yarn: Dragon Dance by Socks that Rock (January Rockin Sock Club installment)
Comments: I really love these socks. The yarn is gorgeous, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colorway. Initially, I had some problems with the pattern...On the first sock, when I switched from the ribbing to the lace pattern for the cuff, the yarn started to pool. I tried going up (and then down) needle sizes to no avail. Then I left the project unattended on the couch for a few minutes, and the cat chewed through the strand of yarn connecting the sock on the needles and the ball. I started over and voila! no pooling. Thanks Greta! I also did not really love the pattern at the start - stripes over lace are weird to me, and I thought the pattern would go better with a solid color yarn. However, I love the finished product, and I think the pattern and the color really complement each other. I did an extra half pattern repeat for a longer cuff, and on the next pair, I would make the cuff even a little longer. The heel is a short row heel (thank goodness for all the previous practice!) and it's my new favorite heel. The toe is a star toe (as you can see above), very comfy and pretty. I wore these socks to the hospital on Monday, and I was happy every time I looked down at my feet. In the past, I really have not kept too many of my handmade items for myself. These days, everything I make seems to be for me. And it's awesome!

Exciting preview - Barcelona skirts are finished! Love it! Pictures tomorrow!

7 weeks to go!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Eyeballs and (not in) gutters

Done with 2 weeks of ophtho, and it was a rather painful experience though I did see lots of cool stuff like an enucleation surgery and some really excellent ocular prostheses (fake eyes) where you almost couldn't tell the real eye from the artificial one. And the fake eyes aren't round balls like you'd think they would be - when the eye is removed, the surgeons attach the eye muscles to a space occupying conformer, and the fake eye is actually a flat piece of very elaborately painted porcelain that sits behind the eyelid. I also saw some children born without eyes, and some of the reconstructive surgeries that can be done to enable the kids to wear prostheses are amazing. I was on a plastics team, and in addition to the reconstructive surgeries, I also saw some lid lifts and other exciting stuff. People really freak out about their eyes - I have seen patients practically faint as the physician was trying to touch their eye. Since pre-school, I have been wearing some sort of corrective lenses, and I think now, you could pretty much touch my eye with a rock, and I might comment on the discomfort, but I could sit calmly in a chair while you did it. I suppose others aren't so lucky and feel the need to kick their legs up in the air and weep during procedures (long story).

Onto more exciting news, Raul and I cleaned the rain gutters today. We have had massive amounts of snow this year, and today the temperature was above 50 degrees, and it all melted. Cleaning the gutters is Raul's favorite job, just ask him. He has some 'shoulder problems' (wink, wink) that prevent him from actually cleaning the gutters, so that's my job. I wear gloves, climb up a ladder and stick my hand in the gutters, and today I pulled out clumps of ice and rotting leaves and mud. It's Raul's job to hold the ladder to make sure I don't fall. I think he got the short end of this deal - it's no fun to be standing and holding a ladder while mud, ice and rotting leaves are raining down. He's started wearing a raincoat on gutter-cleaning days. He is smart.

I will have some finished objects to show you soon! Hilary and I have plans for another 2 person sew along in the works. We are going to make Amy Butler's Barcelona Skirts in the fabric shown in the picture. I also am going to make a Nappy Bag and I am finishing up the toe on sock #2 of my Rockin Sock Club socks.

Onto the most exciting news: 8 weeks to go until I am done with med school rotations!

Yours truly,
Dr. (for reals in 10 weeks) Knit
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