Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Knitting Worry

My fiance and I headed to the Thousand Islands region on the St. Lawrence River (along the boundary between Upstate New York and Canada). It was meant to be a quick, relaxing jaunt to visit my mom's BFF and her husband at their summer home. Maybe with some sightseeing via boat and some fishing.

We left Friday morning and Dan had a sore throat and a slight cough. By our evening hike around the island he was feeling really poopy. And after a night of coughing fits and not being able to breathe very well in the morning, we decided to go to the emergency room. My nurse friend Kelli suggested that the quick decline might be pneumonia and she was right! After being admitted to River Hospital emergency room very quickly, we sat and waited for breathing treatments, steroids, benadryl, 2 "big dog" antibiotics and robitussin with codeine to start working. By 4:00 PM they decided since Dan was on 4 Liters of O2, he was going to be admitted.

I am very good in a crisis. My real melt down didn't happen until we were all done with the hospital two days later. Since Dan was finally able to get some rest and was sleeping in the Emergency Room, I sat by his side and instead of actively worrying, I knit. I concentrated on my child's cardigan in Lion Brand Cotton Ease (the newly relaunched Cotton Ease). It was a nice easy garter and stockinette striped pattern and very good worry knitting. Especially good for stopping on a moment's notice waiting for updates. (Pattern was a free Lion Brand flyer next to the new display of the relaunched Cotton Ease. I will admit that the baby girl on the pattern flyer--not the same kid as on the internet pattern--was too cute to avoid wanting to knit the cardigan.)

I added inches and inches to this sweater meant for no one in particular, the colors just spoke to me and the size was sort of determined by what I got out of the gauge of the needles I had on hand when I started it.

When we found out Dan was not going to go home Sunday like we thought, I spent the entire day in the hospital keeping him company. And I knit my current "epic project", the building blocks baby blanket from Vogue Knitting on the Go I. I am using Red Heart Super Soft something or other I got for $3 a ball when I started the project two years ago. I got quite a bit done on the intarsia house block while trying to concentrate on Dan and not on the fact that I was terrified that when I had to leave for the night he might have a catastrophe and, well, all of the things you knit instead of worry about.

The blanket is knit in squares--the filler squares are meant to look like lego blocks and the intarsia is meant to look like the images are made of lego blocks. The blanket is worked in great strips and will eventually get a garter stitch border.

Luckily, Monday he was finally able to breathe room air. With six prescriptions, we headed home. I continuing to work on the building blocks blanket and the cardigan now that I've caught the bug (but am breathing deeply and coughing in order to avoid developing pneumonia). Macy, The Official Spokesdog of the Totally Knitting Universe, is doing her best to nurse me with sweetness.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Knitting Progress!

It has been about a decade since we last updated, but Brian and I are still knitting and making yarn mischief. It is simply interspersed with other things.

Brian's BF* Boomer totally bought him a Wii for Christmas. I go to their house to play Wii a lot, which is very fun, especially since their TV is 110" and also they sometimes put up a screen outside to accommodate the projector. Imagine playing Wii on a 220" TV. Boomer's hobby is buying and doing awesome things with gadgetry.

Right, so back to the knitting content.

In March I accidentally made a sock for a giant. I discovered the error in my gauge while I was on a trip to Philadelphia and someone mentioned how enormous it looked. I had already turned the heel and tried it on, careful of my DPNs and... well, they were right. I don't know what happened with the gauge when I changed from 2x2 ribbing but it was horrific. I just wanted it to be stockinette on the feet because I don't like ribbing around the foot.

The yarn is gorgeous Trekking XXL in Color 39, light greens and browns. I am either going to rip it out entirely or rip it back before the gusset decreases but basically the sock is in purgatory in my yarn room closet until it thinks about what it has done and I get over the shock of a sock gone terribly wrong.

So what did I do while I was in Philadelphia on a Sunday and my only traveling knitting project was traumatic and could not be relied on for joyful companionship on the 1.5 hour drive back to Jersey City? I made my fiance and my friend Zoe stop by an LYS** so that I could get a new project. Nothing soothes the wounds of a knitting project betrayal like new yarn. And some addi turbos, just to see what all the hype is about.

We stopped into Loop, which thankfully maintains reasonable hours on Sundays and I bought one of their sample projects, a bright pink ruffled shawl that was a surprisingly easy pattern. I was drawn to the shawl immediately because of how vibrant, girly and fun it was. It reminded me of something I would have died to have found in a dress up bin when I was a little girl. And, let's be honest, shawls like this are the evening wear equivalent of a feather boa. I wear those on stage and I wish I could wear them every time I dress up. (See the dress-up appeal of the shawl modeled by my friend Anne.)

The yarn is Alchemy: Yarns of Transformation in color "Promise--Evening Pink". It was $34 for 423 yards. The shawl is knit on size 13 needles and I did the bigger size shawl--60 stitches at the widest point of the triangle, with a five row repeat ruffle border. I don't think I can attest to the transformative nature of the yarn, but it was a pretty quick, straightforward knit. I did a great deal of the project while on jury duty, which meant I replaced the addi turbos with my Denise circulars to pass the muster through the x-ray machine. I still have some yarn leftover, and I am thinking I might add another ruffle to it just because I can. I mean, it is already bright pink, I don't know if being too showy is even a consideration.

I wore it with an evening gown I had sitting around in my closet to a benefit for NoLose, "My Big Fat Queer Prom" in Asbury Park, NJ. And I had yet another brush with fame. My knitting was totally featured in the Village Voice.

Since it isn't the greatest shot of the FO*** (though it is a great one of me singing "Before He Cheats" to Zoe), to the right is another one of that night, with me and my friend Sarah.

I think we can all agree my shawl should have another ruffle.

We recently moved because my fiance decided he was tired of yarn falling on him from every crevice in our old one bedroom apartment. He said that I can have a "Yarn Room" as long as yarn isn't in any other room in the house. I packed everything in a hurry so I have bags of WIPs*** and UFOs***** as well as garbage bags full of my stash. It is really horrendous.

I am trying to organize it all and, in the meantime, I've gotten through some of my old WIPs. I will post some more FO pictures later, but suffice it to say that after 2 years sometimes you just have to finish something. I have this real knitterly ADD****** and I am not a very fast knitter, so it makes me tend to have way too many objects on the needles. I think at one point I had fifteen. I am not exaggerating. When I first started knitting, I was whipping out FOs far quicker than I have time for now, so I think that might have justified the stash and project piles a little better.

Brian is also knitting. His BF really likes alien motifs, so he made him a Rockin' Alien Illusion scarf from Stitch n' Bitch. His BF manages an apartment complex and actually took that WIP and showed it to a resident and claimed to be able to knit and "lookie and the illusion where an alien pops out of nowhere"! I believe this managed to endear the woman to Boomer in a way that simply being his charming self could not. And believe it or not, this is not the first person I have known who lied about being able to knit. I sincerely do not know why one would do that when it really is as easy as logging onto, but whatever floats your boat.

Brian is now making Boomer some alien socks from This is his progress OTN*******. I found some glow in the dark yarn the other day and I believe he will duplicate stitch some decorations onto it when the pair is complete. He is using Lang Jawoll and the 2 circular needles method. I think he has bent his needles and am not sure if it is due to needle quality or the effort of fair isle sock knitting. Or perhaps he just doesn't know his own strength.

**Local Yarn Shoppe
***Finished Object
***Works in Progress
*****Unfinished Objects
******Attention Deficit Disorder
*******On The Needles