Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crunch Time

Thanks so much to all who left comments on my last post. I'm especially grateful to those who validated my self-pity - now that was awesome ;) In all seriousness, your kind words and thoughts really cheered me. It certainly is nice to be part of this little community, isn't it?

Frisky also thanks you - see the sincerity in his eyes? (Or is he just begging for that piece of cheese on the counter?)

I am in week 2 of Feeling Much Better. So, now it's the end of another semester and I'm up to my ears in papers and exams that still need to be graded. This is an improvement over yesterday, when I was up to my forehead in papers and exams. Just two more exams to administer and then I can hang up my hat for a week or two before summer session begins. Woo!

Now, on to the really important issue: knitting. I am ready to divide for the front and back of the Sleeveless Drops Top and thought I would share some pics of its turquoise yumminess:

This colorway (Dream in Color Blue Lagoon) is really fabulous. I'm so glad to have found a project for this yarn, especially a sleeveless one as I tend to wear a lot of this kind of top layered over blouses and tees. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good fit - so far, it's right on.

After this I am looking forward to dipping into some DK cotton and cotton/bamboo stash I've had lying around. There are some terrific summery top patterns - now, how to choose? Any ideas? What are you knitting this summer?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Knit Therapy (warning: whining and self-pity ensue)

Although I haven't mentioned it here, people who know me in real life know that I've been going through another round of giant kidney stone drama. I had the main surgery last week and have one more procedure to go this week. Unfortunately, this time the surgery was a lot more invasive. It hurts more, and it's taking more time to heal. I am also completely exhausted.

So, today has been a day for feeling sorry for myself, boo-hoo :( A month is a long time to be in pain.

It's times like these, though, that I also realize how much I have to be grateful for: a family that loves me, a job I love going to even when I feel crappy, friends, really good health most of the time, and omg - health insurance.

Also, I am grateful for the fact that I have knitting to obsess over. Waiting rooms are a great place to get a few rows done. Check out my progress on the Drops top:

Even when I've been too tired or sick to knit, scrolling through FO pages on Ravelry (and blogs, and knitting mags, and catalogs) is like an extra dose of percoset, baby. Not to mention poring over the stash and planning my next projects...

Is that weird? Oh well, no matter ;) This is my holistic health plan, and so far I haven't noticed any negative side effects (other than the mess of yarn and pattern bits scattered around the house) or drug interactions.

I am also grateful for Frisky. He always seems to sense when I'm not doing well, and he drapes his healing aura over me at these times. Or maybe he's just taking advantage of the fact that I'm spending more tme on the couch?

Either way, there's nothing like a little puppy love when you're feeling low :)

Next post will feature more knitting and less whining - I promise.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Has Spring Really...Sprung?

Although it is officially spring, the weather in these parts has continued to fluctuate between barely-warmish and pretty-darn-coldish. Frisky is patiently waiting for summer to arrive:


In this season of renewal I have been evaluating both my yarn stash and some long-term projects, and mercilessly doing away with items that have become stagnant.

First on the chopping - er, frogging - block: The February Lady sweater. I totally, shamelessly, geekily wanted to be part of this bandwagon. I even joined the KAL on Ravelry. I eventually got through the bodice and a good chunk of the lace before realizing the unfortunate truth that this is one wagon I needed to get off.

The problem was not so much about the sweater as it was about me. Trying the sweater on as I went proved to be a painful reminder of my last trip to the junior department somewhere in my late 20s...that feeling that suddenly, without warning, I had become irrelevant to (in?) that particular fashion genre. And so it was with FLS.

After many months of denial I finally bit the bullet and started ripping. It was actually not as painful as I thought, mostly because the Dream in Color yarn is just so delicious.

At first, I cast on for the Striped Modular Vest (details rav'ed here.) Unfortunately, getting the required gauge for the project resulted in a fabric that was...well, droopy, even wimpy. I will try again later with a slightly heftier yarn, but in the meantime, it was back to the frog pond for that beautiful DIC.

Now I have cast on for what I fervently hope will be this yummy yarn's final incarnation: the romantically named Pattern #105-12 from Drops (Details rav'ed here.)

This seems like the kind of top that could be worn most of the year layered over a tee or a blouse. Me likee.

The pattern is typical of Drops - really great instructions (as long as you read ALL the way through before beginning) and some nice little details. For example, it's not showing up too clearly in the pic above, but there is a very cute raised figure 8 detail that runs up the sides. Check it out:

Hopefully I'll get through this project in time to get a bit of wear out of it before the dog days of summer.

"zzz-huh? Dog day whats?"

I'm also swatching for a super-secret mystery project using some dyed Eco Wool I got on sale at Webs:

This stuff grew a LOT after washing. So far the swatch on the left is spot-on, but I will reserve judgment until both are completely dry.

I initially thought I would dye this yarn first, but now that Ii've seen it knit up, I might just leave it alone. We'll see. (But you haven't gotten rid of me yet, Lynne - I will definitely be dyeing its turquoise cousin, heheh.)

So that's the news on my side of the fence. Hope spring has sprung where you are!