Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Countdown

Tuques, tuques everywhere!! Back in the grooooove again - will be okay until all the yarn runs out.  I managed to snag 4 balls of Eton Super Wool that a fellow Wednesday Nite Nitter was donating to the cause. Men, especially, have been asking for all the dark colors. They favor BLACK even though we tell them it's not fashionable to wear all black, all the time. They just don't give a damn. Black is the first to go. So, being the congenial submissive woman that I am, I am knitting BLACK hats. This is not as bad as knitting black socks - yes, I admit knitting ONE pair for an old Geezer with puffy, diabetic feet who needed black socks for funerals - but, never again.

Black tuques are a different bird. First of all, I'm using 6mm needles. Secondly, I can actually see the stitches. And best of all, I'm using two strands & it's all ribbing. So, you have to have black Buddy, here you are. Hopefully the dye will not run in the rain. I hope it does doesn't.

Most of my tuques will be in other colors simply because that's what I have.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Starbucks or Die

My little bout of Flu is over! While the injection site is still tender, the rest of me except my knee, is back to normal. Said knee is very tender so I guess the virus is still kicking the shit out of it. It also stiffens up quickly if I sit for too long. And sit, yesterday, I did. I actually made it to Starbucks for a tea & ran into two old buddies before the day got interesting.
My gimpy buddy was back from a visit to Edmonton - excuse me while I laugh once more - and left his medication in the bathroom there. Barely hobbling, he called for help & I ran him up to his doctor. Surprise, surprise, we were lucky, they let us in & we only waited 47 minutes!!

It seems there's a clinic on every corner these days & four within a block of his doctor alone but none of them will talk to you after 4:00 on ANY day or give you a number (waiting in line) after 2:00 on Saturday. Where are all these sick people coming from???? If you get sick or need medical attention after 4:00, is your only option the Emergency Room??? If it is, no wonder I waited for 8 hours when I had to go.

I've been lucky, I guess, I haven't paid much attention to Doctors, Clinics & Hospitals most of my life except the odd time I had to get stitched up, or wrapped up when I did something stupid. I sincerely hope I never get a lingering malady that forces me to hang around a Clinic on a regular basis. Let me drop dead suddenly, in the winter, when I can make a neat, frozen package outdoors.

Meanwhile, back at the Factory, I'm just about to put pink toes on the Dental Socks & I'm halfway through a second tuque for the Donation Bin.

I'm using my favorite Denise needles in 6mm with the 15" cord. The yarn is a donated worsted acrylic - local charities ask for acrylic so the clothing can be washed in commercial machines! I'm working K2P2 ribbing on 96 stitches for 6" then decrease every second row until 24 stitches remain. Closed the top by gathering all the remaining stitches & pulling tight. A pompom can be attached at the top if desired.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanx for Nothing

I've had a busy week catching up on a lot of chores that require walking & talking - both of which are problematic for me right now. My mother says I was walking & talking at nine months and haven't stopped or shut up since. Until now, that is.
You'd think that when one part fails, the other parts would take up the load. Ain't true when yer old! Not only am I a Gimp moving slowly but I have this little whispy,  unvoice from the nasty virus I got in January or February. I used to be able to lob a tennis ball across three courts & the church roof next door & could almost beat the ball there with my ordinary speaking voice. Old men with hearing aids could remove them & still have a conversation with me. I don't use the phone much these days because no one can hear me. I blame all this on menopause because nothing like either of these things ever happened Before The Change.

I let my doctor talk me into a Flu Shot this year in order to make sure nothing else catastrophic happens if/when I fall victim to this year's assault. I've NEVER had a flu shot because I hate needles. Why suffer when the experts are guessing a year in advance which strain will be here when they work on the vaccine. And I seldom got a bug that kept me in bed for longer than a day or so unless I had a really good book. Got that thing on Tuesday & this morning woke up to red, swollen eyes, sore throat, clogged sinuses, aching bones, headache & a pukey stomach. The only parts that don't hurt are my hands. Seems I've got the flu. I've had to cancel a Dentist appointment & a free Chinese lunch. I think this will be the last flu shot I ever get .  .  . 

I have been knitting though. Took the sock-in-progress to the Doctor's office with me on Tuesday & managed to turn a whole heel & knit part of a foot while there. These are for my favorite Dental Assistant who loves pink. I couldn't find anything pink but thought these would be nice with pink toes. Since I'm home with the flu, they'll get finished by the weekend. And for that pink?? Last night I dug through all my leftovers & found enough of them with pink to make her a second pair of Frankensocks to add to them.

The Red Lace Socks have been in limbo temporarily. When I'm finished the Dental socks, they'll be resumed. I actually enjoy working on them & they ARE very pretty. I've actually dug out a couple of other lace sock patterns which I think I'll try. Who knows, shawls may be next. Did I actually write that????

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Gimp on the Go

I've been galloping around a whole lot more than I was last week. To the drug store, to the Farm Market, to the coffee shop. They're all short trips, more or less, but not more than 15 minutes walking time. I've learned not to walk too far or too fast or I pay the price the next day. This gives me plenty of knitting & computer time - I'm back to being self employed & frankly, I love it. The only thing I haven't gone back to is my Plant Biology course. Right now I'm wishing I'd taken the money & bought some fancy fibre, a big Ott light & a pair of purple winter boots! The Sears catalogue has several styles in Cherry & Purple .  .  .  .  sigh.

The red lace socks are still in progress although sock number two is just about to have it's heel turned while sock number one is halfway between the heel & toe! Went to take some photos & the battery is dead in the camera. Another trip to the drug store coming up.

This cold, wet weather has made my hands really sore so I'm knitting a pair of plain light socks for the gal in my Dental office. She loves my socks & gets a pair every fall but I'd forgotten her size - I have another appointment next week so I'm hustling through a pair in Confetti. Confetti has been a real favorite of mine for years. Inexpensive, wears like iron & has a lot of interesting colors in self patterning yarn. The pair I'm working on now are cream with a little pale lavender & light pink pattern every couple of inches & a quarter inch band of mustard between the pattern repeats. It's the strangest color combo that I've ever seen but I'll put pale pink toes on them to make them special 'cause she loves Pink. I was going to make a pair of Frankensocks with yarns with pink in them but I don't have the time to dig it all out & knit them before Thursday. Pictures next time.

It's knitted hat season too. I said I wasn't going to knit them this year & I lied as usual. It just wouldn't be the same without a dozen hats to warm a dozen heads. Just sorting out the yarn to decide what I need & what I have. Here we go again!! And, by the way, for all you Shoppers & Keepers of Christmas Traditions - It's a Wonderful Life was on TV last night in glorious black & white. I guess it's time to start counting the days .  .  .  .

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Boy, was that a bad Idea.

I made my planned excursion to Safeway complete with coupons. Dropped the Ex off to his appointment, made my way into the store & even got a parking spot next to the buggies!! I planned on going slowly & enjoying it. About halfway around, I knew I'd bitten off more than I should've but hung in there & made it back to the car.

I am constantly amazed at how much effort it takes to do the things I used to take for granted like shopping & taking out the garbage. That shopping trip kept me at home with the heating pad & Ibuprofen for two days. Not only is the knee more painful but the wrist I dislocated two years ago is now painful too, dammit. This gives me more time to knit but won't let me knit for long  .   .   .   grrr

All of this explains why I haven't finished my Red Lace Socks. Oh, I've turned the heel on the first one & started the ribbing on the second but normally, I would be finished one &  halfway through the other one at the very least. But, I'm still plodding along. A little here & a little there & eventually they'll be done, sore wrist or not. That's what's so nice about socks. Even if you only knit a few rows a day, they'll eventually get done.

Here's the progress so far, stuffed with an extra ball of yarn to show the lace pattern. The heel is turned & I'm just starting to work up the instep toward the toe. This sock is worked on 72 stitches & feels a little small to me. I suspect I should've worked it on the 3mm needles suggested by the author even though I always use my 2.25mm ones for this weight of yarn.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


I'm sick of the cool damp weather already. If I were an American, I'd find somewhere warm all year round to live but since I'm not, short of moving to Vancouver Island, I'm in the warmest place in Canada already. My hands do not appreciate that fact. They ache, burn and crack when it's damp outside. Someone recommended Ginger tea.

And speaking of the old joints, the shoulder and neck recovered quickly, the knee is still it's usual sore self today. I admit to tromping around a fair bit yesterday but that last trip to the drug store just defeated me. I sat in the car, thought about it seriously and went home instead via the Starbucks drive thru. That's the problem these days. By mid-afternoon, I'm done. I want to order a couple of things from Sears but the walk from the parking lot, across the first floor to the escalator, across the second floor to the pick-up desk and back dragging a parcel, is beyond my ability. I AM gonna do the Safeway thing - I want Greek Yogurt desperately - on Thursday!!! Woohoo. I can DO this with a shopping cart to lean on and carry things. Right now, I'd like a cart of my very own. Something grocery cart tall, with the purse shelf in the same spot, that folds for the car and is about a third of the size out front. The little walker/seats the OLD folks push around are way too short for me. Carrying all those heavy bags from the car is a real problem but I'm hoping this will pass in the next month or so if I just keep on moving. Thank gawd I live in town.

And since I've been in front of the tube more than usual, I've been working on more socks. I finished my Blue Phildar socks. They were intended as men's socks at first but once I got into the daylight, I realized they had pink in them. Both men I asked said they were "too girly" to wear. Sigh.
Still experimenting with Modular Squares - don't laugh, but the needles I think I really need to make gauge are already in another project in a bin!  Let's just not talk about that at the moment .  .  .  .   

I wanted something small to make and fell into another pair of socks. I love socks and DO need a couple of pairs as emergency gifts. Sometimes I get asked for a pair to complete a Christmas hamper for a single person or for a raffle or sometimes, a friend needs something special, just because. So, I try to always have a couple of hats and some socks handy for last minute gifts. Last year I made some festive socks with lace Hearts down the front that ended up going to a Charity Raffle. This year I decided to make the Lacy Arrow Socks from the Spin-Off 'SOCKS' book. I love those dainty socks on the cover but would never wear them myself. But, like the crocheted lace tablecloths I used to make years ago, it's the challenge of making them that counts. Surprisingly, the Lacy Arrow pattern is easy to knit even though I'm using a very different yarn and smaller needles. The Designer used a fine handspun merino/silk yarn on a 3mm needle and I'm using a tough 3ply Kroy on 2.25mm needles. It's keeping track of the ROWS that's the problem of course. It's not always easy to tell which row you're on if you leave in the middle of a pattern set especially after sundown. But, I'm getting there fairly quickly because after all, it's the challenge that makes it interesting. My Kroy is a plain RED 3ply sock that should wear like iron. This pattern MUST be made on 4 dps at least to the heel because the pattern sometimes shifts a stitch or two from one needle to another. Otherwise, a nice, easy lace pattern.