Socks, socks, socks. It's been the week of the sock lately. My DH's bday was last weekend and I really had no idea what to send somebody so far away. So, I knitted him brown everything! Brown socks in cascade fixation in a generic sock pattern of my own design. I also knit him matching brown washcloths in the old standby pattern. I hope it gives him a taste of home.
I've been keeping busy with work lately, working on a couple of different projects. My husband and I have also embarked on that big journey called buying your first house! Whew, just the preapproval was more paperwork than I was wanting to deal with! I really have no idea what I'm doing, but I plan on flying out to GA in a few weeks to go pick a house out (hopefully, keep fingers crossed please.) If you have any helpful hints, please, please tell! =)
Along with that, I've embarked on the road to alternative medicine to try and get my body back to feeling good. I feel like I'm 60 and I'm only 25 (well, 26 in october)! I've always been active, running outside and working out at a gym but recently I've made some changes.
I started acupuncture treatments, natural remedies, a chiropractor, energy yoga along with a new gym and a revamped diet. I'm not really a junk food eater, but I was finding much of my traditional foods I really lost my taste for. It's like my tastebuds just got up and walked outta my mouth because I find I am having trouble eating meat/cow products and dairy which is really weird. I've always been a steak and potatoes kinda girl.
With that said, I was a genuine skeptic when I started this whole journey. The whole idea of someone sticking needles in me was absurd. I have found significant changes in the level of daily pain I had to endure and an increase in my energy which is more than I thought I could ask for. It's nice to no longer have a traditional doctor medicate me, with no further thought.
What was wrong you ask? Well, I used to get those headaches that you get after a really really bad day. You know the kind that knock you on your behind and all you can do is just head for a chair, tylenol and tea? Well, I had those headaches 24 hours a day for 6 months and they were getting worse. It really just zapped my energy. I went thru all the traditional treatments, hence the ct-scan and crazy amounts of bloodwork but none of the traditional methods or medications worked. I finally found myself at a point where they were injecting me with big needles full of muscle relaxants trying to dull the pain. The were injecting these things in places I better not disclose! =)
That was where I took a step back and thought there had to be another way. And now, on a different path I hope to find it. Has anyone else out there tried acupuncture or natural treatments? I'm interested in hearing about it, good or bad. I'd love to hear what you have to say!
I've also been working on a one-skein wonder with a single skein of noro kochoran. It's a great pattern and a very fast knit. You will, however, never see that shrug on me, ever. Simple reason is that my shoulder size means I have to make a bigger size and when you get that big, it's really no longer a 1-skein wonder, it's more like 1 1/2. I tried to fudge it at the end and ending up binding off really tight. It cuts off my circulation when I wear it, so off to the frog-pile it goes!
After all these longer-term projects I was craving something quick and dirty using something from my stash. The first thing I made was this: it's a knitted keychain/scissor fob knit on 0000needles (yes that's 4 zeroes!) They were very quick to make, less than an hour and lots of fun. I picked up the kit at Stitches West. After I was done I found my compulsion still had not abated so I started this:
A Nantasket Basket, pattern by Susan This is the Nantasket Basket Pattern by Susan. Isn't the bottom so pretty? Here's a better shot of the side, pre-felting:
And here's an after shot. The pattern was very quick and lots of fun, I highly recommend it. I used Cascade 220 in yet undetermined colors cause I lost the ball band. I knit it on size 11 needles rather than the recommended, cause well, that's all I had! =)
What's OTN now you ask? A pair of socks for my hubby. His birthday was this past weekend. What do you send someone working in a giant sandbox? Brown socks! Pictures later! I also got a little crazy and cut off a lot of hair today at the hairdresser. I can feel little breezes on my neck and it's a very strange feeling let me tell ya! Have a great night!
First of all, if you're thinking of giving it a go, run don't walk over to the knitalong!!! It's ok, I'll wait for you! =)
I had the pattern and yarn languishing in my stash for a long time because I was too overwhelmed to start. I started out by printing Kate's wonderful chart located in the files section of the knitalong. Just to get myself started, I used the written out directions in the pattern until they ended on row29.
From there I switched to the charted sheet, which looked like absolute gobbly-gook to me.I took two colors of hilighter and marked out the pattern repeats.For example, the repeat is 8 stitches wide and 8 rows tall. So, I hilighted the single repeat on the chart for rows 19-26. There were 3 hilighted repeats (I alternated hilight colors) from rows 27-34,and 35-42. There is 4 and a partial repeat on rows 43-50. I used apost-it note to mark each row as I worked it across.
After I finished two rows (a pattern row and a purl row), I would hilight them "done!" on the spreadsheet. Kate's chart was very useful to me to show what color I should be using and to keep track of the row numbers, and I also used a row counter as well. I used different colored stitch markers for the edging and the center. The general concept of the pattern that I had trouble with at the beginning was that you are constantly increasing the stitch count at both end of the repeats. You continue knitting the extra stitches outside of the repeats until you have the extra 8 stitches you need at both the edging and the center to make a complete repeat.
Then, you just add stitch markers to them and start back over with thepattern and you will be working a row similar to 27 where there is no space between the edging and the repeats. The rows of the chartI used exclusively for the main body of the shawl is 27-42. If you use just those rows, you will be run through the full 16 row idea of the pattern repeat. Simply keep adding an additional pattern repeat as your shawl begins growing and growing, Kate's chart is great for referencing that!
Also, you will use copius amounts of stitch markers, so make sure you have plenty on hand! My favorite are the rubber ones, because the YO's have less of a tendency to slip over. I would also recommend non-slippery needles like wood or bamboo because they give a bit of "stick" to the yarn which is very helpful to me in a lacepattern. You can also count to make sure you have the correct number of stitches (8) between markers on the WS rows as you are purling back, which often will help you find a missed YO. Another thing worth mentioning is lifelines. I added a few here and there among repeats so I wouldn't have to rip back as far.
Well, I hope somebody finds this useful! Happy knitting! Be back soon with some new FO's and a fabulous needle-exchange package pic!