Tag Archives: knitting

Update – 04/11/14

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It has been about a week since I said “I’m having surgery to remove a mass in my head” until now. Lot’s has happened since then and I thought I would update.

It is weird in the online world to ever know if someone is reading this or if anyone could possibly care about the update of a perfect stranger. I think about it a lot when I write a blog post but even more now I guess. I love to write and I am an open honest person who loves to read blog posts, especially those who are written about people’s everyday lives. Maybe I am just nosey.  So, in the absence of knowing if anyone is interested, I will just forge ahead assuming all are! Yes, I know that is crazy. Such is the online world.

So, I have had surgery on the back of my head and even though we haven’t had the formal meeting to tell us of the pathology we do know it was/is cancer. Pretty darn scary stuff but I am not the kind of person to fall apart and feel sorry for myself so I am forging ahead and am ready to do battle. It might be good to say what kind of person I am right now. Most who read my blog (those brave few) know that I knit and spin. They know we have a new truck after trying to duct tape the poor old truck together for years and that I love to write. They have read about the fiber shows I have gone to and my chihuahua. And tat I love all things Disney. I am also an exceedingly happy cheerful and strong person. I think this will help in the months of therapy to come. I hope I can help others who may be going through this too, not because I know it all but because I think a lot of people when scared often just need someone to say “hey, I am going through this too and I care a lot, lets just chat”.

I have been online reading others facebook posts and blogs for years and have, until recently, been a lurker. When all this happened, I decided maybe it would be good to stop lurking and just talk so I posted my update on facebook. I have a lot of people who I follow and who follow me and so I posted what was going on. Most of these people I know only on facebook by name although some of my precious Disney friends I have met at the PNW MouseMeet. Well boy was I honored, amazed, surprised and humbled by the outpouring of support I got.I can’t tell you how it helped and will help in my recovery. I have gotten private messages from people to tell me that they have gone through this too and what I can expect. Everyday since I opened up, I have cried because of the love flowing out of my little laptop. And I don’t dry often! This is a world which I will rely on and I do so hope that I can help someone myself through their journey.  I think this kind of support is going to be as important to me as any medicine. I stop and think about it often durng the day and I hope these wonderful people will read this blog and know what a HUGE HUGE difference it has and will make to me. I keep thanking them and they are probably getting tired of hearing it but I am going to keep saying it because it is that powerful to me. One of the other things about an online life but especially facebook is when to tag and when is it weird and to do so so that people don’t think I am trying to just get readership…I am not.  So when this gets posted to facebook, I am going to tag people. If you really don’t want me to, PLEASE let me know and I will stop. I just don’t know what the protocol is on such things and I will always assume this might be interesting to someone but do know that the last thing I want to do is flood your facebook with silly “tags”.

I guess this is enough for now. It is 2am on friday morning and I had to take some pills (holey cats, how can they give out so many pills!!) and I should go to bed. I have been staying with my wonderful sister since surgery and have been getting totally spoiled. I really want to be home but for now, I need to be here and Kevin needs to be at work and my being here lets him do that.

Thanks so much for listening and I will be blogging much more but not just about this. I will get back to spinning (which I did this morning and was thrilled to find that I still could) and knitting. The knitting is harder, I was working on this gorgeous pink lace sock and the pattern was just too hard to follow for now so Linda found me some yarn, large needles and a simple sock pattern and I am off and knitting again. It is great therapy.

Dana

The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds

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The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds

A few days ago I post a story about penguin sweaters….below is an excerpt from a new article. There is a link below to the full article but this is it is a nutshell:

“Hundreds of sweaters started flooding in, far outnumbering the rescued penguins. Skeinz was contacted by local and international media wanting pictures of cute penguins in sweaters. The organizer’s holiday coincided with a long weekend, so there was another delay in shutting down the campaign. But by now the horse had bolted, as the online newsletter content remained unchanged and was easy enough to copy and paste into emails; the penguin sweaters had gone viral.

And by now it turned out that none—not one—of the sweaters was actually used. The rescued penguins were being kept in warm water and recovering under heat lamps, much less stressful for wild birds than dressing them in a cute knitted sweater. Nobody seems to have asked the vets and rescue workers if they in fact needed penguin sweaters, and those interviewed seemed a bit surprised by the international knitting effort.

The end result is that “hundreds, possibly thousands” of unneeded sweaters will continue arriving at Skeinz. The organizer claimed, “the sweaters were a way for people to help, even if they weren’t going to be used.” Apparently the sweaters will be sent to a conservation group in Australia, though with crates of penguin jumpers already in storage it’s hard to see when they’ll ever be needed; some might be sold for unspecified fund-raising purposes. It all seems like rather a poor use of thousands of hours of volunteer effort: the knitters would have made more of a difference supplying gloves and hats for the volunteer clean-up crew, or donating a few dollars to Greenpeace, or writing to their MP with their views on maritime safety or offshore oil drilling. Knitters didn’t sign up to make sweaters for sale; they made them for penguins.”

via The Great Penguin Sweater Fiasco | Giant Flightless Birds.

Knitters wanted for penguin pullovers – ABC Melbourne – Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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Knitters wanted for penguin pullovers – ABC Melbourne – Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

 

My sister-in-law tagged me on Facebook with this and I think it will be a really fun project to do. I wanted to share in case someone else was interested!!

 

Enjoy!

Dana

A Quick Check-in

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I have been meaning to write something all week and just have not found any time. I have been working long hours and have a really big project that I am working on that will take some time. Today I announced to my daughter that I believe that suckyness is to be declared a real word. She works at the same place and she agreed.  So that how my week has been.

I ordered some new knitting needles on eBay and they came this week. They are ChiaGoo Premium Stainless Steel 12” circular and have a wonderful red cord that never kinks. I have a few in 40” that I got at Madrona last year and I really liked them so I was thrilled to find they also have 12”.  I get a size 1 and a size 6 to make socks in both fingering weight and worsted weight. I have more than a few pair of socks started so I am going to switch to these on a couple. I love working socks on a circular needle but I haven’t figured out how to do the heel on them so I switch to DPNs for that (and the toe).

Something else that came this week (today actually) was a D23 Expo vinylmation!! We had tickets to go this year but couldn’t because of work and I was more than sad.  We are definitely going when they the next one in 2 years! I found the vinylmation on eBay and it is very cute. I have a weakness for them….

Well, that’s about it. Hope everyone’s week is going well!

Dana

D23 Vinylmation - They also came in blue and white

D23 Vinylmation – They also came in blue and white

Art…or “What Happened to the Dream”

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This blog started off being just snippets of my life, my knitting, my spinning and maybe even blogs when we finished a project in what has to be the longest remodel EVER!  As the months have past by, I find I am spending a lot less time on all of those wonderful things and much more time spent bent over my keyboard working….  Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to work from home but it does tend to take over my whole day.

As an example: I have a very strong wish to be able to do art more often and do a little every day. How hard can that be, right? A little work on an art journal page, an ATC (Artist Trading Card)…anything that would be artistic on a daily basis. Soooooo, I gathered a lot of small art supplies together in a box. The box overflowed to a larger box to the point where I finally bought one of those plastic 3 drawer units with wheels, thinking that I could just pull it up to my desk and it would all be nice and tidy. This worked once. Just once. Apparently these units have a weight limit and I had packed mine WAY too full and promptly broke off one of the wheels……. So not much art has been done. Did I mention that this drawer unit is sitting right next to my spinning wheel? Yes, well it is getting about as much use as the rolling art kit. The various knitting projects are piled on top off my rolling cart that I keep files in for work. I look at them in the morning as I clear it off and again at night as I pile everything back on at the end of my work day (I work 9-10 hours a day).

I haven’t figured out a way to work in a little creative time yet. The simple thing would be to get up earlier in the morning but while it always seems like the perfect answer at night, it never seems like a good idea in the morning.  And of course there is the stupid practical jobs like cleaning or working in the yard. I always feel like I SHOULD do those first but rarely do them at all.

I admire other people whose blogs I read at night (we are talking 1am here, not in the evening when I could be doing art or cleaning) I’m sure there are other blogs that are saying the same thing I am but the blogs I read are about totally together folks who can somehow find the time to do everything and always have time to do art or knit a sweater in 3 days. They say they also work full time… so there must be a way.

I did manage to dye some wool. I bought this wool on eBay (it is 10 pounds!) and the ad said:

Organically processed New Zealand wool, from Romney sheep, cleaned and carded. Approximately ten pound bags. We will box and ship to 48 States for a flat $10.00 per ten pound bag fee. $45.00

I was very excited to be getting so much wool for not very much money. I guess you get what you pay for because when it came it was more like polyester batting than nice clean wool. It is very clean but almost impossible to spin. It is possible that if I had a drum carder, I might be able to make it into something that can be spun but they are expensive so I don’t think I will go that route. I did find that it felts almost immediately and while it will take some time to go through that much, I think most will be used for felting. I had some jars of mixed Jacquard acid dyes from doing some hand painted yarns and so I took each one, poured it in the crock pot and added some extra water. Each color came out really well and I am going to make some beads first. I made one out of the purple batch (I know it looks blue in the photo but it really is dark purple).  The reason I did it in the crock pot is because I was working and I can just walk away from it and go check in a few hours. I understand that crock pots are used for cooking food and that people actually cook dinner in them…these people must not have any good take-out options….I use mine for dyeing!!

This really is purple, not sure why it looks blue. I am the felted bead.

This really is purple, not sure why it looks blue. I am the felted bead.

Well, this got pretty wordy so I’ll sign off for now.

Dana

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First KAL!

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I just started my first Knit Along (KAL). I have never done this before but I like the social aspect of it and it is a pattern that is a bit of a stretch for me (lace and small cables).

The pattern is called the Bosc Scarf  and I might never have found it but for someone who read my blog about getting my spinning wheel and “liked” it. I went to read her blog  and found she was doing a KAL for this scarf.. I have always wanted to do a KAL so I thought I would just jump in and try it. I’m glad I did.

The pattern is actually very easy, with basic stitches and small cables. I have only been knitting a few years (not that a lot of people didn’t try starting with my future mother-in-law when I was still in high school…but that is another blog) so lace is a challenge. I made my sister a lace hat for Christmas last year but that is the only lace I have done and it was a very simple pattern. This year I wanted to learn cables and this will be a good start on that. However, it took me four tries before I got going. The first time I got off on the pattern count (it has 3 repeats across) so I ripped it out, cast on again. The next time I was fine on the count but the yarn overs (YO) weren’t right…..the third time I realized that I really need to add markers between the repeats and boy did that help!! It helped the repeats but it didn’t help when I was halfway across a row and found that I had moved one row down on the pattern on the third repeat…..ok, I may have ripped out this one in anger and frustration rather than just rip back a ways. And I now have post-it notes above the row I am working on.

So, 5 rows into it now, I am moving along fine. If I didn’t knit so slowly I would be doing better and I’m sure the other people in the KAL will be done with theirs before I get to the cable section but I am having fun with it. Plus, being in a group keeps you at it. I hope to post photos to Ravelry soon. It is possible I need to learn to knit continental this year too….

 

Dana

Christmas Knitting

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I have officially started my Christmas knitting! Last Christmas, as I have done for many years before, I vowed to start my Christmas knitting in January. Yes…well…. This year has gone by so fast and suddenly I realized in August I should maybe get going on the knitting so I started making a list, looking at patterns and buying yarn (No, I didn’t NEED to buy yarn….but who can resist) Then life got busy again and just last week I KNEW I had to start so I got the project that will take the longest out and started. So far so good and I think I will get it done (can’t say what it is because the recipient reads this blog). I will post pictures after Christmas. I am also going to try to get 3 pairs of mens gloves done. Gloves don’t take too long but these will be much larger than the ones I made my Mom last year. Still, no problem…I think.

Last year I started a knitted mouse (about 8 inches tall, with scarf) to decorate the table. My husband Kevin saw it and said that it would be wonderful for the “Christmas Animal”. Back story: Many years ago one of the pattern companies came out with a Lounge Lizard pattern. It was wonderful, looked a little like a gecko (only 31 inches long) and was weighted with beans so that it could be posed. I thought they would be great for Christmas for everyone (I made 8 of them) and they were a big hit. Thus was born the “Christmas animal”. Over the years it became obvious that not everyone wanted a stuffed animal so we have switched over to more practical things like polar fleece blankets, quillows (at quilt that can be folded and stuffed into a pillow) and last year I made a fabric organizer that fit into a cup for desks. Most years I also include a small animal, which brings us to last year. After Kevin thought the mice would be great for Christmas I told him that I didn’t think I would have time to finish them all but I would try even though it was December already. And so I started to knit..and knit…and knit. I knit in the morning while Kevin was getting ready for work (this is from 2am to 3am!). I knit at night while watching tv and with my headlight, after Kevin went to sleep. And I knit and I knit. I finally got all the pieces done and was feeling pretty good about it when I realized it was was a week before Christmas and I still had to sew, stuff and make the little scarves….. Long story short (oops, too late) I did get all 7 finished but there were late nights and a few tears.

This year I am NOT going to knit the Christmas animal but I do have to say I have a darling pattern for knitted rabbits that I am going to try to make to decorate the table. I am NOT going to make one for each person. But they are awfully cute and only 6 inches tall…..and it still October, I might have time.

Dana