Tuesday, July 29, 2008


This weekend, I allowed myself an extended weekend full of knitting, Friday afternoon, most of Saturday, Sunday evening, and Monday afternoon /evening. In all, over 18 hours of knitting - enough time to completely listen to Anne Bronte's "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" and begin listening to "The Monsters of Templeton" by Lauren Groff. All that knitting had a price. Last night, my elbow was too sore to play our new Wii (a birthday gift for my husband from his parents) and today I woke up with very sore shoulders. I have to remember to take breaks and stretch. Oh, and not to over-indulge.

So what did I accomplish is all this time.
1.) I have almost completed the Icarus Shawl. I just have the few border rows, which are not charted for some reason and, from what I have heard, the never-ending bind-off. I started in on the first row of the border, but messed it up somehow.

2.) 1.25 hats, of which I do not currently have pictures. Plus, they are a bit of secret, shhhhhh.

3. ) Metaluna Mutant Mitts - I have been wanted to knit fingerless mitts for a while. I have had some Frog Tree Alpaca sitting in my stash for a while and when I recently checked out from the library this book, it all came together. While in the throws of creativity, I saw my husband's Metaluna Mutant Toy, and the colors reminded me of my mitts. Thus the name. Here are a couple of "In Progress" pictures.

Hmmmm, those really don't give you a sense of the overall pattern. At this time, I have actually finished knitting both mitts. But some of the fingers are too tight and need to be re-knit. Oh, I forgot, I still have one thumb to do as well.

4.) Re-knitting cuffs for my husband's alligator or lizard or baseball socks. I don't remember what we ended up naming them. I had the same problem with my stuffed animals as a kid.

Anyway, these socks were a birthday present for my husband last year.

After he wore them a couple of times, they developed holes in one sock, mostly in the cuff. I think the yarn was weak in places. I have fixed the hole in the leg and cut off the bad cuff. I am now ready to re-knit the cuff.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Swap Complete

One evening last as I was making dinner the door bell rang. The UPS man had left a package at the door. I knew it was my package from my felted nest swap partner, Knittrips. I forced myself to wait until after dinner to open the package. Here is what was in it.

The nest, embellished with a beautiful blue flower pin.

The Extra goodies - Stickers for my student's papers, a lovely green bag of glass hearts, a sample of Eucalan Wool Wash, and wonderful tea called "Ancient Happiness".
What a wonderful set of treats. I am always on the lookout for new stickers for my students (in my experience, college students enjoy getting stickers on their papers). I have been wanting to try Eucalan for a long time. My favorite is the tea - it smells and tastes delightful. Plus there is the added joy of saying I am drinking Ancient Happiness. Thanks Knittrips, you have helped to make my first ever swap a great experience.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I embellished my Blue Skies hat with motifs that remind me of giant kelp and red algae. I suppose a name change is in order. I am thinking about adding some orange starfish, but I'm not sure.

I have been doing a lot of knitting while watching Lily. My husband is also sick, so it is convalescing day at our household.

Our Furry Friend

Pets are part of the family. This is not a stunning new insight, but it is true none-the-less. Our cat, Lily, is beloved by my husband and I, and by many of our friends.

We aren't sure how old she is, but in the 12 years or so that she has lived with us, she has always been really healthy. She does not act like an old cat, still running around on wild tears through the house on an almost daily basis. Thus, when she stopped eating and stopped playing, we became worried. On Thursday, we realized she had not eaten all day, and then we started thinking, the last time she was really frisky was about 2 weeks ago. We had both assigned her reclusiveness to the visit of my rowdy and loud nephews. So I started watching her and noticed that she kept licking a spot by her tail, and she was sitting down really slowly.

Yesterday morning we went to the vet and the diagnosis is an abscessed anal gland. Not a serious condition if treated. The abscess was lanced and drained. We now have to give her antibiotics and clean out the wound twice a day.

The hardest part for us is that we don't want to lose Lily's trust. She looks at us like, "what have you done to me and why are you torturing me". We have blocked her access to under the bed, as it is too difficult to lure her out. I don't want her to have negative associations with special food treats. Nor with us picking her up. So we have been holding and petting her alot, not just when it is time to "doctor" her. She is annoyed - she want to be left alone and she wants under the bed. We know we have to do these things to help her heal; I just wish we could explain that to her.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things that make me laugh . . .

. . . include coming across funny scientific names while reading an other wise dry book chapter about isolation buffers.

I give you Sedum burrito.


A pervasive theme in the "knit-blog" world has been the knit-along. For those of you not familiar with this idea, a knit-along is where a few to hundreds of people knit together in cyber-space. The knit-along may focus on a single type of item (i.e. socks), a single book, or an individual pattern; the possibilities are quite endless. The idea of knitting-along has been so popular that recently a book was published - not surprising called "Knitalong". One of the authors, Larissa, also writes one of my favorite knitting blogs - Stitch Marker.

I have not been much of a joiner of knit-alongs. There have been a few (including one for the Blue-Ribbon Wrap pattern in Larissa's book), but mostly, I don't like to have external deadlines associated with my knitting. I have enough stress in my life. The life of a teacher is filled with small daily deadlines - papers to grade, lectures to write and present, etc.

Thus, I am a bit surprised at myself that I have joined, or am contemplating joining, several knit-alongs. Maybe it is the unstructured summer schedule or maybe it is wanting to share my knitting, I don't know.

Here's the rundown.

1. Felted Nest Swap - Based on the felted nest pattern in "Knitalong", the idea of this swap is to knit, felt, and embellish a small bird's nest and trade it with a partner. This swap was set up by a woman named Heather through the Ravelry web-site. My partner is Knittrips, someone I have never met. I have finished knitting the nest and I felted it last night. Currently, it is setting in the sun on my back step. No pictures - it is a secret until Knittrips receives it.

2. The TikkunTree Project - A community art-project advocating peace.

3. Ravelympics - To celebrate the summer olympics, a group of people over at Ravelry have organized this event. The basic idea is to choose a project (or projects) that would be a challenge, but not impossible, to knit during the summer olympics. I have joined in three events.

W(ork) I(n) P(rogress) Wrestling
Mitten Medley
Gift Knit Pentathlon

I haven't yet decided exactly what my projects will be.