December 31, 2006
We have winners!
I've emailed all the winners - so if your name is up there and you think you might be a winner, check your email (and your spam filters!) Email me your address and I'll get the prize out to you as soon I receive the yarn from Blue Moon.
There really were only six possible socks to choose from: the Trekking Walking on Sunshine Sock, the STR Hot Flash Jaywalker, STR Panzanite Jaywalker, the Koigu Embossed Leaves Sock and the Koigu Purple Knee High. And the last pair of socks knit in 2006 were...
My new shoes and my new socks!
Dansko Camilla in Black Oiled Leather
That's right - who knew I was so predictable? I started the year knitting jaywalkers and I ended the year knitting jaywalkers. Nothing like completing the circle.
Jaywalkers in STR Hot Flash, picot edge variation. I forgot how much I like to knit this sock - it goes SO quickly. This is my 10th finished pair of Jaywalkers. I still have a pair to finish - and maybe I'll make another pair, you know, to even things out. But not quite yet. I've started two new pairs of socks:
Simple stockinette socks, two at a time, G-Rocks and January One. Perfect together.
I hope you all have a happy, safe, wonderful New Year. Thank you so much for spending some of your time here. I really appreciate it and enjoy you and the blog and the larger knitting community so much. It's given great richness to my life. Here's to 2007! Bring it on!
December 28, 2006
That is until you see it somewhere else. Just remember where you saw it FIRST. (I joke! I'm joking my friends!)
Today is La's Birthday, so I thought I'd give some stuff away!!!
Two BRAND NEW COLORWAYS from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock. THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR SALE until sometime in the New Year so please don't bother the Blue Moon folks. As soon are they are available, I will let you know. And the best part? Part of the proceeds from the sale of G-Rocks will go to fight Skin Cancer!!! [Ed note: this was my error. $2.00 per skein will go to fight Skin Cancer.] THANK YOU BLUE MOON! You know I love you! Again, these colors are not available to the public yet - when they are I will certainly let you know.
You can win them here. (You knew that was coming....)
You didn't think I was going to let the birthday pass without a giveaway did you? Silly, silly! Winners will receive one skein each of G-Rocks and January One (Lightweight Socks That Rock), one of my beloved Orange Chibis (god I love these needles so much!), a box of my Yarn Cards and three Mini-Soaks. I'm a complete Soak convert, so I thought I'd pass on the love.
How do you win? Here we go.
I'm currently knitting what will most likely be the last sock I knit this year. I want you to guess which sock I'm knitting. Here are the clues:
1) It is a MATE to a single sock already knit.
2) I may or may not have knit the first sock sometime this year.
3) It may or may not be a pattern I have knit before.
4) It may or may not be knit out of Socks That Rock.
5) All of the first socks have been featured on the blog, on my foot.
6) There are SIX possible socks that it could be.
But only one is the right answer. TELL ME THE PATTERN, YARN & COLORWAY IF APPLICABLE. Leave your guess in the comments. Comments will close on December 31, 10 AM EST. One guess per person. There will be SIX winners - the first three people to get the correct answer will win. Then three winners will be chosen at random. Winners will be announced at (or close to) December 31, 11:59 PM EST.
Happy Birthday TO ME!
December 27, 2006
Recently I received a letter from some kind lawyers asking me to take down some words on my website that infringed upon their client's trademark. Even though we all got a HUGE laugh out of it and talked about the ridiculousness of lawyers and putting words together seemingly erroneously, it IS serious business and I complied with their request ASAP. The words they asked me to remove have indeed been removed.
Imagine my surprise to find that the same thing has happened to ME! Someone has copied some of my words, written here on this blog, and used them as their own. Not only didn't they give me credit for the words, but they didn't ask my permission. So just in case anyone forgot:
Copyright 2004-2006 Cara Davis and januaryone.com.
All rights reserved.
DO NOT COPY OR REPRODUCE ANYTHING
ON THIS SITE WITHOUT PERMISSION!
As we all know, mistakes can happen. I didn't know that putting two words together would get me a letter from a lawyer, and once I found out, I fixed my mistake. Maybe this person doesn't understand that copying a post from my blog, or taking pictures without permission is wrong. Maybe YOU don't know that. And that's okay. Not everyone can know everything all of the time. But I'm telling you now that it's wrong. If you have any doubts at all, err on the side of caution and ASK the owner of said material. They may say yes, use it - they may say yes with certain qualifications or they may say no. Every answer is appropriate because THEY OWN IT.
I'm not going to say what it is I found or where I found it because I'm going to give this person the benefit of the doubt for a little bit. So don't go looking around trying to defend my honor or anything - thank you for having my back - but I'll let you know when I need you.
Thanks for listening and reading and not stealing, as always. ;-)
FYI: Linking to someone is FINE. That's what blogs are supposed to do - you link to another site. Do it ALL THE TIME. Even quoting a part of a post is fine, in my book, as long as you link back to the original and SAY where you got it from. In this case, someone copied an ENTIRE post of mine and published it AS THEIR OWN on their blog without any credit or permission or anything. That is BLATANTLY WRONG. Please don't go all paranoid on me. ;-) You can use brand names too, by the way. I was joking in this post when I wrote out Mac and Apple and Xerox and Kleenex with asterisks. You don't have to do that. And as to the question as to how I found the post, I happened to link back to myself in my own post, so it came up in one of the links to this site. HAHAHAHAHA! I caught myself! ;-)
Oh and It's NOT YOU! I have attempted to contact this person in various ways, so if you haven't received an email from me asking you to take down the offending material, then DON'T WORRY! It's ALL GOOD!
UPDATE! All over folks. The content has been removed and peace has been restored to this little part of the kingdom. Thank you all for playing.
As you all know, I was crazy trying to find something to knit after Ariann. It was killing me - ask G. I was in a surly mood, flitting from needle to needle, book to book, trying to get my monkey mind onto something, ANYTHING to calm me down. I seem to be having a bout of AFTER anxiety. Know what I mean? You get through the awful thing and you're in survival mode and then, when everything calms down, you're like WTF?! Now it's safe to get all anxious and crap and I needed something to knit.
If I told you how many times I went through every knit magazine/book I own - every stitch dictionary, every leaflet - how I scoured the internet for patterns - it would make your eyes bleed and honestly you'd never want to knit again. There was even an early morning Saturday (two days before CHRISTMAS) run into the city for yarn. An impulse buy like I haven't done in ages. More to come on that because I still need to block the humongous swatch I knit for a sweater I will probably never make out of yarn I'm not sure I even like. THAT'S how desperate I had become.
It wasn't until I spent a couple of hours trying to figure out Am Kamin (I couldn't even figure out how to start the freaking SWATCH) that I had an epiphany! There, sitting on the couch next to me, patient, non-judgemental, dare I say it...EASY, were the legs of my NOLA Knee Highs. Quietly, without whining, without begging, without hurt feelings for having left them shamelessly to knit other things, they whispered knit me. Knit me. Knit me. So I did.
Stockinette knee highs, knit using this pattern. Koigu, P852 (variegated) and 2340 (semi-solid). I used two separate skeins for each leg, then split a skein for the feet. There's a bit left over of each skein. One skein of the semi-solid and there's probably a little less than half a skein left over from that. So over all I dipped into four skeins of Koigu. Knit on Addi Turbos US#1s. Two circulars, as I knit all my socks. I bought this yarn in New Orleans, so they're my NOLA knee highs and I love them.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas. It was pretty low key around here which is what we like best. Not too much gift giving (that's reserved for birthdays) but Georgie scored BIG TIME!
Dr Pepper? FOR CHRISTMAS!? Don't feel bad for good ol' Georgie because this isn't your ordinary run of the mill supermarket Dr Pepper. This Dr Pepper is SPECIAL!
This Dr Pepper is CAFFEINE FREE!!! WHOO HOO!!!! As someone (me, well, and Georgie too) who can't, won't, absolutely doesn't drink caffeine, but LOVES Dr Pepper this is a Christmas BONANZA! The mythical Caffeine Free Dr Pepper DOES EXIST! I haven't had caffeine deliberately (okay - a sip here and there of G's Dr Pepper because I love me some spicy cherry) for almost 20 years. I found out the hard way that it makes me feel like I'm having an anxiety attack and when you sort of ARE having an anxiety attack why add to it? Caffeine makes me sick. Nuff said. (For those interested, I purchased my caffeine free Dr Pepper from the source, The Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company. I also got a case of the original made with pure cane sugar. G likes the caffeine every now and again and I figured we had to taste if it's different.)
I'm a Pepper! He's a Pepper! Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?
PS - Tune in tomorrow for an extra special EXCLUSIVE birthday giveaway only available at JanuaryOne!
December 25, 2006
Posted by Cara at 10:12 AM
December 22, 2006
I am so screwed. I love Ariann so much I can't knit anything else. I've got tons of half finished socks laying around - not interested. A beautiful shawl which I'm knitting in beautiful yarn - nah. I printed out a couple new patterns yesterday - Eunny's Anemoi Mittens and The Mason Dixon Perfect Sweater and neither one does it for me. It's like when you finish a fantastic book and you want to be reading another book RIGHT AWAY but really what you want is to be STILL reading that fantastic book. That's how I feel. I want to STILL be knitting Ariann, but also wearing the Ariann I finished. And that doesn't mean I want to just start knitting another one - you know? I think this also has something to do with what G & I just went through this whirlwind last month. I mean talk about highs and low! My gosh! I don't want the lows back but Ariann has reached mythical proportions. I finished it - was WEARING it - when I found out G was okay. You can't get any more special than that. This sweater is IN me now.
So my question to you is to help me find something new to knit. I want to knit another sweater. Last night I went through every freaking magazine and book I have and I didn't find anytihng. I thought I wanted to knit it from stash but the only yarn I have enough of in stash is Jo Sharp DK Silkroad Tweed and Aran Silkroad Tweed and Aran Silkroad and for some reason I can't find anything to knit with that. I decided, out of desperation, that I will buy new yarn if I need to - after all - I have a birthday coming up. I don't really feel like designing my own sweater, per se, but I will if that's my only option. Which I can't believe it is with all the talent out there. I think I'd like a cardigan again, but it doesn't have to be. If it's a pullover I need to make it a v-neck because I don't like crew necks. (Besides, the girls look better with a bit of skin showing.) And I want it to be INTERESTING. No plain stockinette thank you very much. Maybe some cables. Or lace. Or both. Something infectious. What's your favorite sweater pattern? The one that made you want to knit it all over again as soon as you were finished? PLEASE help me. I'm desperate here.
I was tagged again for the weird things meme - so I'll do it. (First by Wendy and now by Jeanne.) But I'm not sure about this whole weird thing. I mean, I've always thought of myself as a little bit different or weird, however you might like to slice it, but I'm not sure there are specific things that make me weird. I asked G what was weird about me and he said, didn't you just ask me this? So maybe it's weird that I keep asking what's weird about me?
THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.
1. I am currently seeing two therapists. This may not actually make me weird, just insane. But seriously, one I've been seeing for FOREVER (actually off and on since the incident I spoke about in this post) and the other one I recently started seeing in attempts to figure out what to do with my fertility or lack thereof. It's been working pretty well (and NO I am not pregnant.) Obviously I believe in therapy. Which either makes me very weird or Woody Allen. Probably like one and the same.
2. I've got lots and lots of phobias. For instance, currently I'm not driving certain distances on highways alone. Put someone else in the car with me and I'll drive forever. Alone, not so much. I think I can go about 1/2 hour away. I used to be worse, then better, then worse. Maybe I should address this in therapy? Hmmmm.... I also hate to fly and won't get on a plane without Xanax in my system. And no amount of Xanax would get me on a propellar plane. Or a helicopter. Or a hot air balloon.
3. I know you all probably know this one, but it's still kind of sort of strange: I still sleep with my baby blanket. Every night. Recently I left it at my sister's house (where my nephew slept with it to keep it safe) and I was leaving for vacation the next day and I refused to have it FedEx'd to me lest it get lost in the mail so I had to go away without it. I slept with a t-shirt of G's every night because I needed something between my chest and my chin - you know - in that crook? Or else I couldn't sleep.
4. I have a Bachelors Degree in Religious Studies and Philosophy, a Masters in Library Science, and a Masters in Fine Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing (Fiction) and yet my current profession is Photographer - for which I have never taken a class. Ever.
5. I bite my fingernails. But only for grooming purposes not for nervous purposes. For some reason I can't cut them with a fingernail clipper. Which, by the way, I can't watch other people do - like on the subway or some other public place. TOTALLY grosses me out. For nervous purposes I pick anything and everything on my skin. I'm a scab's worst enemy. Zits? Watch out! And oh my god the ingrown hair. It's like orgasmic to me. Gross, but orgasmic.
6. I will NOT eat chicken on a bone. It completely and utterly grosses me out. I will eat chicken breast to my hearts content. I'm a red meat girl ALL THE WAY. Ribs? Send them my way. Lambchops? YUMMMMM! But put a drumstick or a wing or some other sinewy gross foul fowl thing in from of me and I will puke. So don't invite me out for wings okay? God I can't even think about it without feeling ill....
So there's my weirdness. I'm sure there's TONS I forgot. If you feel like talking about how weird you are, go to it. And don't forget to leave me your favorite sweater pattern! I'm not kidding! I NEED HELP!
If I don't get a chance to tell you before the weekend - have a GREAT HOLIDAY - whatever you're celebrating!
December 21, 2006
Oh my! Santa brought me another present yesterday! I must have been a VERY good girl this year!
Yesterday I received a FedEx (almost didn't open it because I thought it was a work thing for G) and inside was a letter from some fancy schmancy lawyers in our nation's capital telling me I made a big big boo boo on my blog. Apparently I put two completely innocent words together in a blog title and once these words were together: KABOOOM! I set off alarms all around the trademark world.
Not to worry, I fixed the offensive pairing and will offend no more. I learned my lesson. You won't see Kle*nex here. Or X*rox. Or M*c. Or Ap*le. Or any other word that's going to get some lawyers on my ass. No siree bob.
The kind folks down there in Washington want me to send them a letter back letting them know I've complied with their demands. My good friend Ann drafted it out for me and I found my best purple pen to write it:
Seriously, though, I understand that according to the strict letter of the law I MAY have done wrong. MAYBE. The letter states I used the words together in a promotional capacity, which I think is arguable since I never made a cent on what I was "promoting" and in the end helped raise $19,000 for charity. That's neither here nor there. I immediately removed the words from my blog as per their request. And I'll be sending them a real letter stating as such. Honestly, this was a nice wake up call. I'm not sure I realized how important the blog is to me until it was "threatened." All in all, I'm just glad I've made some kid super happy on Xmas by helping their lawyer parent bill out $1000 to send a letter to ME, a completely unassuming KNITBLOGGER. (They printed out and sent me a copy of the blog post where I made my fatal mistake - did they bother to read it? I really have to wonder....)
And my Solstice present to you is a hearty laugh. Because I'll be guffawing over this one for QUITE a while and I hope you will too! THANK YOU PCH! And Merry Christmas one and all!
December 19, 2006
First of all: STOP! We don't want to cry ANYMORE. And all you nice people keep making us cry harder with all the freaking LOVE you're sending our way. ENOUGH! Really, though, I don't know what to say, I'm all kinds of touched. You start this blog thing because, you know, maybe you'll talk about your knits and maybe you'll meet some people who also like to knit and next thing you know this awful thing happens and you've got good vibes and thoughts and karma and hopes and prayers coming out the wazoo. I never expected it - I'm not really even sure I wanted this - but oh my god I'm so freaking grateful it hurts. ALL RIGHT. I said no more tears and I MEANT IT. NO MORE. It's party time at this here blog - it's coming up to the day we wait ALL YEAR for so no more. I'm going say THANK YOU from the depths of our hearts and that's that.
Let's talk knits.
On November 28, five days after we found out Georgie had cancer (did I mention he doesn't have it anymore? No? Well, HE DOESN'T HAVE IT ANYMORE!!!) I became obsessed with Ariann after seeing it over at Margene's. I bought the pattern and immediately began swatching. The next day I went and bought some yarn. Twenty days later, I've got this:
It's not perfect, technically, but it's freaking perfect. I have barely taken it off since I finished it. I LOVE THIS SWEATER. I knit it while I worried about my husband and our life together and basically everything under the sun and it calmed me down and distracted me and made me happy at a time when I was probably the least happy I've ever been. Happy, hell, I was scared shitless. But the knitting made me feel better.
I knit this sweater while I waited for G to get out of surgery - possibly the worst day of my life - and the sweater kept me sane when I was full of panic. Xanax schmanax. Ariann was my drug of choice.
The pattern is pretty much perfect as written because, well, Bonne Marie is a MASTER, but I did tweak it some. I made the body longer and I'm very happy with the jacket look. And I made the sleeves longer - although they turned out much longer than I intended. I turn the edges under and it looks fine and I don't care because I love every inch of this sweater. I can pretty much guarantee that it will never be buttoned and I won't be making the belt.
Sure I ripped it back a few times. Sure I messed up the sleeves a few times. Sure I knit more than I needed to a few times. Ask me if I care. Go ahead. Ask me.
I'll tell you - I don't care. Because anything that can make me feel like this at any time in my life, let alone the worst time in my life, is PERFECT in my book!
Pattern: designed by the GENIUS that is Bonne Marie Burns at ChicKnits. (I made the 43" size - I would recommend sizing up - a lot of people have been coming up small.)
Yarn: Cascade 220, The Heathers, Color #9460 - Dune Heath (I used six skeins just about.)
Needles: Addi Turbo, US size 6 (4.0mm) and 7 (4.5mm)
Buttons: Purchased at Tender Buttons in NYC.
Pictures: Jen stepped up once again. She of the supermodel post - man she can work that shutter, baybee.
If I had the yarn, right here right now, I'd start this sweater all over again. Did I mention how much I love it? Just a little bit?
I love this sweater.
December 18, 2006
I'm ready to celebrate my fucking birthday because today we got THE BEST NEWS EVER!!!!! NO MORE CANCER!!!! The pound of flesh they cut out of my beloved's body is cancer free and so are his lymph nodes. So tonight, we've got a little bit of this:
And a little bit of this:
And a whole lot of THIS!!! (Make sure you click the link - you will NOT be disappointed.)
We can't thank you all enough for your good wishes and prayers. It's meant the world to us. And to celebrate, look for a BONANZA BIRTHDAY GIVE AWAY coming soon.
LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Cara and George
I finished knitting Ariann at around midnight Friday. Then I went to Philly for the day on Saturday and when I came home Saturday night I closed up the underarms seams and let it soak. Then I laid it out to block. All day Sunday I fussed with it and right now I'm wearing it!! It fits. Sort of. It definitely fits in the body - I'm not sure I'll ever wear it buttoned (not sure I would've anyway) and I'm not sure I'll make a belt for it (not sure I would've anyway) and the sleeves are way too long, but I've got them tucked under and they're good. I'd rather have too long sleeves than too short anyway. Overall I'm very happy with the sweater - it's toasty warm and looks really nice and it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination - but it will be a good sweater and I will definitely make it again. I'd cast on right now if I had the right yarn for it. Not sure what that is, but I'm thinking about it. (Maybe denim? Kay? What do you think?)
Today I will be weaving in ends and sewing on buttons and maybe taking a couple of pictures - it's really gray and dark today, so I'm not sure. The sweater deserves nice pictures, so if I have to wait for a better day, I will. Sorry.
Here's a meme I saw over at Vicki's the other day (and a million other places), since I'm light on content.
The first sentence of each first post of the month for 2006:
My grandparents, thirty-six years ago, at the hospital the morning I was born.
Yesterday was the last day of E Street Radio on Sirius.
I know I said I was going to work on Short Rows, but really, that's about weaving in ends so any distraction is welcome.
This is NOT a joke.
Not one person said anything to me about my shawl at the wedding, but WHO CARES!!!
One of my favorite movie moments is when they all raise that barn in Witness.
The move went well in that all the stuff from the old house is in the new house and no one died.
The kids and my sister are gone.
Yesterday, as most of you probably know, was November 1st.
It's been quite the year. I'd be lying if I said I wish it wouldn't end.
I was tagged for another meme by Wendy but I'm not sure I'm going to do it. I'm paying the tag forward - if you like the meme at Wendy's go to it. I'm feeling all kinds of weird these days and I'm not really sure I want to write it all down.
Another issue I'm having: ALL WOOLEE WINDER USERS! Question for you - did you have a big adjustment period? I purchased the WooLee Winder about a week and half BEFORE Rhinebeck and only just received it last week after many delays. The karma might not be with me on this one. I finally took it out yesterday and was so excited to get back to my spinning - and then it positively sucked. I felt like a rank beginner. I could not get the tension right to save my life and there was too much twist or not enough twist and the yarn kept breaking and finally I said forget it because I was getting so frustrated I was about to ship the thing back. Please tell me it will click. I waited and waited and waited some more and to be this disappointed now is a huge letdown. I just want to spin. Is that so wrong? Thanks for any tips and tricks or commiserations.
Pictures of Ariann soon. I hope.
December 15, 2006
I sailed along on Ariann yesterday! I think I only had to rip back once - and that was only like two rows (it was faster to rip than to tink.) PROGRESS! I even got to talk to the designer herself, and she was most encouraging. Thanks Bonne Marie!
I hate to say it, but I think I might be able to finish this for tomorrow. I'm tempting fate, I know, but I've got 11 more decreases to go (although I lost count somewhere along the way and this seems like too many decreases, but it's how I can get to the numbers needed in the pattern. I can't find a mistake anywhere but it looks like I'm going to be two stitches short along the back. Maybe I'll just drop off two decreases back there. Otherwise, everything lines up. It's all going to be covered by the collar anyway, right?)
Anyway - I'm off to get buttons today. If I make it back and there's still light I'll snap a picture - otherwise, patience my pretties. Patience.
Have a great weekend!
ETA: I found buttons!
I went to Tender Buttons in NYC and this is what I came up with - I swear I went through a million buttons. This color is really really hard. I ended up with a pretty plain button - it's gray with a hint of green - which picks up the gray in the heather of the yarn. There's a really nice swirl to the button so it's not as plain as it appears at first glance. These may not be the buttons I end up with, but for now, they'll do. Off to finish the sweater! It'll be the best Hanukkah present! Happy Hanukkah everyone!
December 14, 2006
It shouldn't be surprising; it's the story of my life these days. I'd show you a new picture of Ariann, but really, just look at yesterday's picture because it looks EXACTLY the same. But, yet, I knit for hours and hours and hours yesterday. Behold: A Cautionary Tale.
Ariann is no doubt a great knit. If this sucker should fit when I'm through with it I can safely say it may be one of my favorite knits of all time. But I think it's a challenging knit in some respects. Those dreaded words: increase/decrease within the pattern are going to kill me. When last we saw Ariann, she was speeding along, decreasing up a storm. Raglans are nice in that the rows get shorter and shorter and the knitting gets faster and faster. I was on the phone with my fellow Ariann knitter, Margene, yesterday boasting about how much work I was getting done when I remembered that my row gauge was off and my beautiful decreases were probably not going to work so well. Margene encouraged me to take it off the needles and try it on to see how the underarms were doing. I did and cried for ten minutes because it's small across the bust. Then I remembered my beautiful swatch and took that out and measured it and measured it again and reminded myself that I washed it and it grew and everything will be okay with the sweater. (Please let everything be okay with the sweater. This sweater HAS to fit.)
I redid the measurements with help from Ann and started back on the decreases. Then I forgot one and had to rip back. (One thing about the Cascade - I can't fix mistakes without ripping because the loops get so stretched out when I try to reknit them nice and tight without ripping - drives me crazy!) Then I knit back. Then I figured out I had messed up two yos and I had to rip back again. By this time I had knit for hours and hours and I realized that something was VERY wrong with the decreases - I was actually INCREASING stitches everytime I did a DECREASE. Magic, no? What I wasn't paying attention to was that there are mirrored increases and decreases in the stitch pattern. I had decreased out a decrease, but by still knitting in pattern, I was INCREASING every right side row. And since I had added rows to compensate for my row gauge, I was making the freaking sweater BIGGER instead of smaller!!! After hours and hours and hours of knitting, I had to go back and rip down to one of the first few decreases to get things back on track. I managed to knit back to where I started yesterday - maybe even a bit further row wise because of the added rows, but I've still got a lot to go.
Of course, all of these problems showed up right after I said I wanted to finish it for Saturday. I found out yesterday that I'm going to see The Nutcracker on Saturday with my sister and her two oldest and I thought how perfect! I can wear my new sweater! Isn't that always the way? Hopefully some decent progress pictures tomorrow.
December 13, 2006
with confidence and hope, through all crises.
That Zimmerman chick might have known what she was talking about. I think this sweater, Ariann, saved my life yesterday. But first, the surgery went fine and G now has an approximately 8" gash along his side and he's quite comfortable actually and we don't know anything. They told us we'll know something between Xmas and New Year's - like two weeks. The torture continues.
I knit A LOT on Ariann yesterday - I finished the sleeves and added a few repeats to the body and joined the whole thing up and knit the first set of decreases for my size. I've got a lot more to do but I want this sweater DONE. It's incredibly tantalizing to be almost there so I keep knitting and knitting. Yesterday this sweater felt like my only friend. I've waited for G to get out of surgery many times before - but those were always orthopedic surgeries where they come out and tell me he's got to do PT and he'll be fine. This was SO MUCH different. First of all, I was alone. Which was my own fault because I had lots of people offer to sit with me. I just thought it wouldn't be a big deal since I've waited out surgery alone lots of times. I had my knitting, right? Man was I wrong. This was the absolute worst. The waiting area was huge and packed with families all waiting and I overheard what felt like a hundred awful stories and everyone is so anxious it's like the AIR is anxious and it's noisy and crowded and it was all I could do to keep my head down and knit and knit and knit. If you should, god forbid, ever have to wait out surgery in a cancer hospital, my advice to you is to bring a friend.
But it's over now and the waiting at home continues on and January One can't come soon enough. If I'm lucky I'll have a beautiful new sweater and a healthy happy family to go with the day. We continue to appreciate and thank you for all your good wishes. Thank you. Thank you.
December 11, 2006
Everyone who ordered notecards - they went out today! I spent the whole day boxing and labeling and I hope you're thrilled. It turns out I have about 30 boxes left, so I'm putting up the For Sale sign one more time.
Palette Blank NoteCards
Box of eight press printed notecards. 5"x7" glossy card stock. Blank inside. Envelopes included with each box. All cards in box are the same. $4.50 shipping and handling charge added to each purchase. Quantities are limited.
Thank you! I promise this blog will not turn into a look what I'm selling this week blog. If I sell the notecards again, I will be giving them their own site. I'm thinking of doing the sheep cards press printed as well and maybe some other series. That won't happen until the new year so this is it. Thank you for your patience.
I've got no pictures for you because it's dark out and I'm just sitting down to do stuff. I sincerely apologize for all of the lost weekends out there because of my last post. I won't link to it or the game lest I be accused of getting people fired, losing their jobs, or ruining their home lives. I managed to get to level 28 and then I got stuck. And then I stopped going back to it. I think I will try again, but for now I'm satiated. Snood isn't really doing it for me lately either.
And Ariann is freaking killing me! Don't get me wrong - I've written a lot lately about putting things down when you are not satisfied with a project and the pain I'm feeling with Ariann is absolutely NOT that. This is oh my god when are the sleeves going to end pain. I'm still completely enamored with the finished product and the more I see of Ariann around the blogs the more I love it. That said, I'm still not done with the sleeves. I worked on them all day yesterday hoping to get them finished and I did complete all of the increases, but I still have like three inches to go to get to what the pattern states and then I'm going to tack on a few repeats because of my short row gauge. And then I was measuring the body again and it somehow shrunk so I've got a few repeats on that as well. My new goal is to somehow get all the knitting on the sleeves and the body done tonight and join it together so that when I'm sitting in the hospital all day tomorrow I will have something exciting to keep me occupied. I'll be bringing an unfinished sock as well in case I can't concentrate.
Tomorrow is G's surgery and I won't be blogging. Chances are we'll be leaving pretty early for the hospital and a lot of the day will be hurry up and wait. I will try to update when I can - we probably won't have any news good or bad for a while yet.
Thank you for your continued good wishes.
December 08, 2006
I can't get off of level 3. Now I'm going to feel stupid all day long. Thanks, Internets. Thanks a alot.
UPDATE 11:22 AM - Okay I'm back and I got past 3 and am now stuck on 6. I had the right answer to 3 the whole time I just couldn't figure out the right url. Sorry everybody.
UPDATE 12:19 PM - Stuck on 10. I gotta go do some work. Or play Snood. Snood is the BOMB.
December 07, 2006
Because it's more like sleeve hell. And an island connotes peacefulness, calm, vacation. Sleeves are anything but. I'm still loving the pattern and the yarn and yada yada yada but really there's nothing enjoyable about knitting sleeves. Why is that? I'm SO glad I'm doing them both together because the pattern calls for you to work the increases into the pattern and oh my god that's so freaking hard that if I had to decide what I was going to do on one sleeve then try to remember or understand what I did when knitting the SECOND sleeve I would never get it done. And of course I write stuff down but who can remember what they wrote when they're scribbling stuff? And I always forget something somewhere. So the sleeves continue.
And even though they look like socks, I promise, they really are sleeves.
I probably won't get much knitting done this weekend because the cards and all their packing materials arrived. Now I just have to put it all together and wait for USPS to send me the priority mail boxes. Which hopefully come today or tomorrow. There is still stock to be had, so if you're interested, here's the information again:
Palette Blank NoteCards
Box of eight press printed notecards. 5"x7" glossy card stock. Blank inside. Envelopes included with each box. All cards in box are the same. Will ship in approximately two weeks from purchase. $4.50 shipping and handling charge added to each purchase. Quantities are limited.
The cards came out better than I ever hoped and I'm really really really happy with them. Thank you to all who have purchased the cards - I hope you love them as much as I do! (PS - They make great stocking stuffers. ;-) I'm SO bad at the self-promotion!)
Once again, thank you for all the good wishes, vibes, mojo, karma you're sending our way. I fear I may have used up a lot of my own personal good karma yesterday driving into the city to get to the appointment. G had gone to work much earlier for some conference calls and I left around 9:30. You should know that NYC is literally around 3 or 4 miles from my house. Then add on another couple miles to get to the East Side. Round it off large and you've got say, 10 miles. That's being generous. It took me over 2 hrs to get to the appointment. I alternated between crying hysterically that I was missing possibly the most important appointment of our lives, and screaming at the top of my lungs at every other car on the streets of New York. If you happened to be looking into my vehicle yesterday, I can assure you it was NOT a pretty scene. As luck would have it, when I finally got to the hospital, G had not gone in yet and we waited another 45 minutes before they called us in. I felt like the worst wife in the world while I was driving though - it was not a fun start to the day.
Thanks for all the advice about going on the Internets and looking up cancer. We learned that lesson the first weekend after the diagnosis. I'd be in the office ostensibly doing work and would let out some huge sigh and G would call from the other room - what'd you read? Tell me what you read. Or I would walk into the living room where G would ostensibly be doing work and his eyes would look a little red and I'd say what did you read? Tell me what you read. We quickly got over that and stopped reading. Even me, former research queen - I couldn't handle it. I figured there would be plenty of time for research when and if we needed it. Fingers crossed we won't need it.
December 06, 2006
We went to the Cancer Hospital today which is possibly the saddest place on Earth. But everyone is extra friendly which somehow makes it sadder. Like you have to get cancer for humans to extend a bit of courtesy and warmth. I know that's not really true but sometimes it feels like that. And yes I'm still a little bit bitter.
Next Tuesday G will have surgery to remove a wide area around the lesion (he's calling it his pound of flesh) and at the same time they will biopsy the lymph nodes where the melanoma may have spread. The doctor we saw today told us we have every reason to be very optimistic that it hasn't spread, so that's what we're going to be. If it hasn't spread, that's it. It's done. There's nothing more to do except be vigilant with sunscreen for the rest of his VERY LONG life. If it has spread, well, then, that opens up a whole other can of worms but we're not going to go there. If the expert doctor told us to be optimistic then there's no reason NOT to be. We won't know the results of the biopsy for around two weeks.
Which leaves me about a week before my birthday. G's been asking me if there's anything I want for my birthday and I told him that the only thing I will ever want for the rest of my birthdays is for our family to be healthy. But this year especially for HIM to be healthy. That's all I want. There was a question in the comments about where to send me a birthday present - thank you so much for thinking of me, but no presents are necessary. If you INSIST on doing something for my birthday, please consider a donation to the Skin Cancer Foundation or a charity of your choice. That would be the best present ever - besides my husband being healthy.
Thank you all for your comments on yesterday's post. I'm in awe of all of you! There is so much to learn from each other if only we could get over our own hangups - you know? Remind me next time to tell you about the summer I thought I should be admitted to a mental hospital - now that's a DOOZY! ;-)
Off to knit more sleeves....
December 05, 2006
Gather round, kids – Auntie Cara’s going to tell you a story. If you sit quietly and listen – there will be a knitting treat at the end.
I’m glad my post yesterday hit such a nerve with so many of you and all day as I read your comments I thought about how I came to know what I know in my life. I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about me.
It was fourteen years ago – almost to the day really – that I had my first existential crisis. It was to be the first of many and in retrospect hardly the worst, but it taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. I was weeks away from my 23rd birthday – just a baby really – and I was preparing my first papers for graduate school. I was supposed to be living the dream: one year out of college I was accepted to a very prestigious graduate school in a PhD program in a subject I loved (Philosophy of Religion – Theological Existentialism – specializing in Kierkegaard.) I was commuting back and forth to Philly from North Jersey for school – living with the love of my life – preparing to write papers on my favorite subjects. I had worked for this for years – it was my dream come true.
And then I couldn’t write the papers. I did all the research and made all the notes and I couldn’t write. Every day that I couldn’t write I got sicker and sicker. Anxiety attacks. Nausea. I could barely leave the house I was so panicked. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I thought I was either dying or going crazy. Or both.
I went home for my birthday and I remember driving around with my mother and I told her that I didn’t think I wanted to go to graduate school anymore. Instantly I felt better. Instantly it felt right. This wasn’t what I wanted to do. Of course, the anxiety didn’t end there – I had to actually drop out of school. I had to tell my father, who had hung banners of this prestigious school all over his office walls and told everyone he met that his 22 yr old daughter was in a PhD program. I had to tell the school – where I was supposed to be TAing a class the next semester. I had to tell Georgie. But most of all I had to convince myself that it was okay not to do this – this thing I had wanted to do for years. Had worked hard for – had made a commitment to – not just on paper but in my heart and soul. The visions I had of my future were all academic – I would be off summers to raise our kids. The ivy halls would become my home. We’d travel to the best jobs. I’d start smoking a pipe and have leather patches on my elbows. The saddest part of the whole thing was that the 2 hour train rides back and forth from home were my favorite part of the day. And if you’ve ever commuted on Amtrak you know that that’s pretty pathetic.
So I came home from my parents and told Georgie that I wanted to quit school. I was sitting in his lap in our old apartment and he was holding me and I was crying and without missing a beat he said I’ll take care of you. Possibly the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. Really. And we were so young then.
I did drop out. I threw up in my father’s office before I had to go talk to school but they seemed to understand and I’ve never had any contact with them again. I came home and continued to have anxiety attacks. I didn’t work. I took up pottery. And then I started to look for a job. I needed a job. The week before I was supposed to start a new job I had the worst anxiety attacks of my life (up to that point – unfortunately they would actually get worse much later on.) I started seeing a psychiatrist. I started my new job and the first week of work I popped a Xanax before I left home every day. Eventually everything got better and the anxiety lessened and I realized some things about myself and my life.
Deciding that I didn’t want to go to graduate school – deciding that I didn’t want to spend at least seven years of my life being miserable doing a job I was never going to enjoy doing – doesn’t mean I QUIT. It means I made a DECISION that something was not right for me. As a life long perfectionist taught to finish what you start, deciding that this wasn’t the best thing for me was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. On paper it really does look like I couldn’t do it and I quit. But that’s not how real life works. I remember talking to a good friend afterward and she told me how strong she thought I was – I laughed because here I was paralyzed with fear – and she said no – I was strong because she would never have left the program and would’ve been stuck there forever. I guess I was strong but really I was just insane. My body and mind forced my hand in making this decision because I was making myself sick. It had to stop.
I learned, too, that I had to grieve for this person, this vision of what I would not become. I would never be a professor. Never be a Kierkegaardian scholar. And THANK GOD for that because I would be one of the most miserable people in the world right now and my life wouldn’t be anything like it is and despite some blips in the road here and there, I have a fantastic life. I love it just the way it is – ever changing but true to me.
The moral of this story is to listen to your insides. If they’re making you crazy sit up and listen! Deciding that some path or relationship or situation is WRONG for YOU doesn’t make you a quitter. It makes you smart and content and it may take a while to see these things through – I was pretty miserable for a long time after I left graduate school – but eventually you will be all the better for it.
I may have taken this advice too much to heart at times – I’m on my fourth career now – and I’ve been INCREDIBLY fortunate to have the support I have from my husband and my family in all the endeavors I’ve undertaken. But I’ve always worked very hard for what I’ve done and what I’ve had and continue to have.
I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this today – maybe because I feel a receptive audience or maybe because I’ve been thinking about my life a lot lately, but here it is. It’s good to share and if maybe one of you is kind to yourself and realizes that you aren’t where you want to be or need to be and finds some courage in this post and gives yourself permission to CHANGE, not quit, then I’m happy. What’s a life lived if you can’t share it with others?
Thank you for listening. Now onto the knits.
Here's the blocking rug shot of Ariann, ala Bonne Marie:
Yesterday was sleeve day. I love doing both sleeves at the same time when I knit sweaters. There's nothing worse than finishing the back and the fronts and one sleeve only to have to knit ANOTHER sleeve before you're done. So I do both sleeves at the same time. Also, this helps when you fuck things up on one sleeve - the same fuck-up occurs on the second sleeve and you can therefore call it a design element. Voila! The sleeves for Ariann are knit in the round, so this was also a good opportunity to learn how to knit two things at once on two circulars which is my preferred way of knitting small circumferences. I looked at all the websites and couldn't figure out the freaking cast on. This has been my problem before. So I solved it myself. The pattern has you start knitting the sleeves on small needles, so I cast on the sleeves on BIGGER needles. I joined the first sleeve in the round then transferred it to the smaller needles. Then I cast on the SECOND sleeve on the bigger needles, joined that one in the round and transferred it to the smaller needles. Two sleeves on two circulars! It worked (after the second or third attempt and one rip out because I thought I had the wrong number of stitches but really I just read the pattern wrong.) Things were going along swimmingly until around midnight last night when I realized that I made a mistake on ONE sleeve, but not the other (only I can fuck up a design element.) So I ripped the bad sleeve while leaving the good sleeve intact on temporary needles - knit until the bad sleeve caught back up to the good sleeve and put them both back on the needles and we were on our merry way. It's slow going knitting both sleeves at the same time, but when I'm done - I'm DONE (with the sleeves at least.) I'm not sure I would do this with socks though. Don't ask me why, but it feels like I wouldn't do this with socks. Maybe. We'll see.
Sorry if I got a bit preachy or pedantic up there. I'm just trying to spread the love. And save the cheerleader.
December 04, 2006
I managed to finish the back/fronts of Ariann yesterday. At least I think I've finished them. I didn't bind off the way the pattern instructs you too because, well, you never know if you're going to need to tink a bit or add some on so I stopped at 16" (the pattern calls for 14, but I added some to the length) and I'm going to start on the sleeves today. I'd take a picture - actually I tried to take a picture - but it's sort of long and the pattern looks EXACTLY the same as it did the other day when I posted pictures so I decided they weren't going to be interesting so leave them out.
I generally like to do the sleeves at the same time, and I'm taking this opportunity to learn to do two socks on two circulars but instead I'm going to do two sleeves on two circulars. It's always the cast on that trips me up so I'm going to take extra time today to figure it out. It really shouldn't be too hard.
I'm still LOVING this project. I pass my own test. What test is that you ask? Well, I was reading over at Megan's (The Knitting Philistine - very nice blog, by the way) and she was saying that if you don't love your knit as much as I professed to love Ariann in my last post, then maybe you should move along to another project. Tongue in cheek, surely, and I can certainly be accused of being OVERLY enthusiastic at times, but really, why knit something you're not enjoying?
I've tried to live my life in this manner. If I find that I don't like something - be it graduate school, a job - and I mean REALLY don't like it - not have a frustrating or a bad day every now and then - I mean when it eats at you and it's a chore to get through the simplest tasks and you feel nauseous when you go to work every day - then it's time to move on. Life is SO short and we can't waste our time doing things we don't like. I understand that I've been extraordinarily fortunate that when I hated a job or a life direction I was able to move on to the next thing and find what I love. I've been EXTREMELY fortunate in that. But I have worked at jobs that I didn't love. Jobs that were just a job, a way to make ends meet - and it was during those times that I tried to fill my off hours with things I DID love. I worked so that I could throw pots. Or take classes. Unfortunately I wasn't knitting then, but I loved what I was doing outside of work nonetheless.
I've talked before about how knits don't have feelings. So if you want to start one project but don't feel like you can move on from what you're working on - even if it's no longer giving you pleasure -take it from me: the knits don't care. They really and truly don't. One of the greatest lessons I've learned in my life is that it's just as important to find the things you DON'T like as it is to find the things you DO like. Crossing things off the list - whether it be a knitting pattern or a career choice or a relationship - these are learning opportunities. I've found it's much easier to find out what you don't like than it is to find what you love. And everytime you cross something else off the list, you're getting that much closer to the thing that will give you the most fulfillment.
So people might say that my knitting has become very pigeon-holed and that I limit myself to certain fibers and certain kinds of patterns - but I've tried a lot of stuff and I KNOW WHAT I LIKE. It works for me. And that's all that really matters.
December 01, 2006
KNITTING! And it feels so so so good!
I have one purl row to go before the last waist shaping decrease. I need to figure out a button hole method and also add a new ball of yarn (one down six to go!) before I start knitting again. That's about 7'' of glorious Ariann. I love this pattern. LOVE IT! I've made it a bit longer - instead of the pattern specified 4 pattern repeats before the waist shaping I did 9. A repeat is only two rows and I'm dealing with the whole row gauge thing (I'm getting 28 instead of 24 per 4 inches) so I think it works out well. And when I did the decreases I added an extra repeat between each one. I'm going to do the same with the increases. YAY! My goal is to have the body finished by the end of the weekend. We'll see - no pressure - but I want this sweater wrapped around me ASAP.
Bonne Marie is a genius. Look how beautiful the stitches are - I love how the decreases and YOs all work together. I think this would make a beautiful sock pattern as well. Nice and simple but oh so elegant. I did what Bonne Marie suggests and took the sweater off the needles and measured it width-wise to see how it's going. With a little bit of stretching (which you'll need to do for the lace anyway) I'm getting the 43" called for in the pattern. I'm just so happy about this project. I hope nothing happens to fuck it up. It's like I've put all my eggs in Ariann's basket. Not too much pressure or anything.
I was remiss yesterday in not mentioning where I bought the cutie string dolls and yarn - Knitty City in NYC. A very nice yarn store. Check it out if you're in town. A MUCH better choice than the other knitting store on the Upper West Side. BEYOND better.
A couple of other things: SUBMIT TO YARNIVAL!!! Two days until the deadline for submissions for the next issue. Go! Run! SUBMIT!
Also, I might be the last person in the world to link this, but I first saw it over at Cate's. Apparently, there's this guy who's doing some kind of project on how meme's spread. Consider this my mention and link to the project. And now I'm going to go ping the entry. Let's show this guy that knitters KICK ASS. Go ahead and link to the project on your own blog. And don't forget to ping! (What does that mean anyway?)
Have a great day. I'm gonna go eat some fantastic leftovers from the fabu dinner Georgie cooked last night and then I'm gonna knit knit KNIT!