WIP Wednesday: 2 January 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! Yesterday marked the end of my post-surgery time off work, so don’t be surprised by how little knitting I can done in the weeks that follow.

Finished – Anastasia Socks

This was my last WIP that I started before my surgery and I decided to put everything else aside and finish the second sock before the New Year. Pretty arbitrary, as the recipient didn’t even know they were being made and, really, what’s so unique about the new year. I started working on the second sock on Friday and I sent them off on Monday to their new home, with my friend’s sister. (Ravelry project is here.)

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Frogged – Cradle Me

I’m not quite sure what I was thinking. There was no way that I was going to ever finish a blanket without a specific recipient in mind. Frogged this over the weekend and started a new project with the yarn.

Started – Boneyard Shawl

I like to always have a shawl on my needles and this pattern is nice and straight-forward. I’m using the yarn I had intended to use for the Cradle Me. Not very much progress, so far, but it’ll slowly get larger. I haven’t worked on it since I cast on the other day but will pick it up again once I’m done with the hat I’m currently working on. (Ravelry project is here.)

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Started and Finished – Duo of Waffle Hats

After making the Knots Coming Untied hat, I decided to use up the rest of that yarn to make a hat that would actually fit Matt plus one for me and one for Lizzie. Except superwash yarn grows when you block it and let it air dry…so the Knots hat is now mine. This brought me down to two matching hats to be made. I did Lizzie’s first then got Matt’s done just before going to bed on New Year’s Eve. Except, of course, Lizzie doesn’t like the color of her hat…so now what was her hat will get sent across the street to the kid who was going to get the Knots hat. Oye. (Ravelry project is here.)

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Started – Lizzie’s Rainbow Hat

Lizzie explained that she sort of liked the pattern of the waffle hats but wanted one in pink, instead. I brought down the pink yarn I had – the same Berroco Vintage DK – but also grabbed some Miss Babs Killington in Perfectly Wreckless. She chose the Miss Babs (“It has ALL of my favorite colors in it!”). After some thought, she decided she didn’t want the same pattern and I eventually decided on a slip-stitch one. Simple but looks cool. It’s got a bit of pooling but she says she likes it. Wanna bet she never wears the finished product? (Ravelry project is here.)

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One Little Word 2019: Present

I’m participating in Ali Edwards’s online course for One Little Word again this year. If you’re not familiar with the concept, I won’t try to paraphrase Ali but point you over to her page about OLW. My words in previous years were WORTHY (2013), ENJOY (2015), and CONNECT (2016). I’ve never been great about completing the course or, if I’m honest, even keeping my word at the front of my mind all year.

My word this year: PRESENT

Materials for the Year

Most folks who participate do so as a scrapbooking exercise, using Ali’s recommended materials, both digital (included in the class) and physical (not included in the class). I tried the scrapbook approach before but it just didn’t work out well for me. I worried too much about it being pretty enough. I’m using a Leuchttrum 1917 dot grid notebook and am going to try to keep things very straight-forward and simple. Couple pens or markers. Some washi. Maybe a sticker or two.

January Exercise

This January, like in previous years, Ali encouraged participants to respond to a series of short prompts/journaling exercises. I’ve included copies of my responses, below. You can see how minimal I’m trying to go with this, a plain Sharpie pen and some fun washi to mark the edge of the page that starts the month.

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I’ll share more about my OLW journey next month with how January went and my responses to the February exercise. If you’re also in the class, look for me in the Facebook group and say hello.

What I Read in 2018

The other day, my local library system posted a list of its most popular books for 2018 and it got me thinking. How much reading (or listening) did I even do this year? I found myself doing more podcast and music listening on my commute and fell out of the habit of reading before bed. I was doing lots of consumption of books in the early part of the year but that fizzled out in the summer.

Total: 12 non-fiction books, 7 fiction (4 of which were re-reads)

Non-Fiction

  • Theft by Finding (David Sedaris)
  • Hamilton (Lin Manuel-Miranda)
  • Bellevue (David Oshinsky)
  • Flat Broke With Two Goats (Jennifer McGaha)
  • The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell (W. Kamau Bell)
  • The Four Tendencies (Gretchen Rubin)
  • Yes, My Accent is Real (Kunal Nayyar)
  • Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman (Richard Feynman)
  • Better Than Before (Gretchen Rubin)
  • Happier at Home (Gretchen Rubin)
  • Educated (Tara Westover)
  • Calypso (David Sedaris)

Fiction

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (JK Rowling)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (JK Rowling)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (JK Rowling)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling)
  • Lost Stars (Claudia Gray)
  • A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy (Alexandra Bracken)
  • Burn for Me (Ilona Andrews)

What books did you read this year? Did you discover any books I should check out? What are your reading/listening goals for 2019?

WIP Wednesday: 26 December 2018

Welcome to the very last WIP Wednesday of 2018! I did some finishing, some knitting, and some frogging this week. Lots can get done when you’re off work and don’t have many errands nor chores to get done.

Finished – Dotted Rays

Lizzie claimed the Dotted Rays as her own so I finished it up – with about 50% not yet used – and gave it to her.  Mind you, she’s not actually worn it yet. Oh, 5 year-olds! (Ravelry project page is here)

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Finished – Sockhead Slouch

When I was making this hat, I had no idea who it would be for. Then, it came to me, our amazing mail carrier! She’s always careful to take all of my (many) letters and the occasional bill and is never bothered by a little snow or a cluttered front step. (Ravelry page is here)

 

Frogged – Adventurer Cowl

I decided that this did need to get frogged to I could re-start it with fewer stitches. I also decided I wouldn’t re-start it right away but wait until I was in more of a mood to knit a lace cowl. Maybe this Spring?

New Start and Finish – Knots Coming Untied

This project started out as a Tied Knots hat for Matt out of Berroco Ultra Wool DK. After completing the first cabled chart, I had him try it on. While it does fit, it’s rather snug. Thought about it for awhile and decided to go a different direction. The new recipient is one of the neighbor kids and I didn’t do more cables but followed (very roughly) the Saku pattern for the remainder of the hat. (Project page is here.)

 

New Start – Tale as Old as Time

This project is more inspired by than closely following the pattern I’m using. I just sort of picked up needles and started on it, only to realize after that I have a pattern for exactly what I’m trying to make (a long, stockinette tube to be turned into a cowl). Too lazy to re-start, I’m going to keep going and hope I can make sense of how to finish it when the time comes. I’m going to work on this here and there as the mood strikes. More photos will come once something exciting happens with it. Otherwise, it’ll just get added to my WIP report the weeks I work on it. (Project page is here.)

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New Start – Cradle Me

A few months ago, I bought this yarn (Socks That Rock BFL) from someone’s destash on Instagram. The color is beautiful and the hand so lovely, I had to use it for a special project. I decided to use it to make a blanket. This is one of those knits that will find a recipient when it’s complete. I’m just happy to knit with this yarn. No photo for now as I’ve only done a few rows of the garter stitch border. (Project page is here.)

What’s in your WIP pile this week?

WIP (Bag) Wednesday: 19 December 2018

One of my goals for 2018 is to keep my WIPs to such a limited number that they’ll fit in the custom Fringe Supply bag I picked up at my LYS (fibre space) back in November. Well, we won’t count sweaters as the bag can hold a sweater WIP only without anything in there, but we all know I only knit one of those a year, anyway. And, well, my current WIPs don’t entirely fit.

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So, let’s see what I’ve got in there this week…

Adventurer Cowl

I had this queued as soon as I saw it pop up on my Instagram feed. I’m using two colors of Miss Babs 2-Ply (Orchid is the purple and Threshold is the green) and Hedgehog Fibers Twist Sock in Concrete. I’ve done one repeat thus far, all done on Monday as I watched too many episodes of The Ranch in a row. I put it aside as I’m trying to decide if I want to pull out my progress and do one or two repeats less. It’s quite wide and I’m worried it won’t be very long with the amount of yarn I have left (about 450 yards). The pattern does have some fiddly rows though, so I’m putting it aside to really think through what I want to do with it.

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Sock Yarn Scraps Blanket

This project will pop its head in every now and then. That large ball of yarn represents all of the leftover sock yarn that’s less than ~100 yards per color. I’m making simple mitered squares which expand to be 100 stitches wide and 8″ or so square. This one is square 5. Think I’ll try to use this as my default running-errands project as it’s quite small to haul around. Well, it would be if I hadn’t decided this morning to roll all of that yarn into a single ball for the mere purpose of seeing how large it would get.

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Sockhead Slouch Hat

I made a ton of these over the summer. Yes, summer. This one is in Socks That Rock Heavyweight in the colorway Royal. I’ve just gotten past the ribbing so have a good 5″ or so still to go before the crown decreases. I get a few rows done on this here and there, mostly right after I climb into bed. I’m hoping to finish before the New Year.

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Dotted Rays (Mine! All Mine!)

As I’ve probably shared on here before, I can work with most wools but can’t stand to have any of them against my neck or arms. This means any projects I actually want to keep for myself have to be made in acrylic or cotton. This is yet another Dotted Rays shawl, but being done in Lion Brand Mandala in the Unicorn colorway so I can keep it for myself. Nice and subtle to throw on my shoulders when I’m chilly at work or wear with a black t-shirt and jeans on the weekend. If I had to guess (too sore to stand up at the moment to get the scale), I’d say it’s about 25% complete at this point. I really want to get this done before the New Year so I an wear it when I go back to work.

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Anastasia Socks

I had every intention of keeping these for myself, then I finished the entire first sock and realized that it was too large. So, I put out a call for recipients and my friend said they’d fit her sister perfectly. Excellent. I actually lost this WIP for a few weeks, hiding in my office here at the house. I’ll pick these up and make some progress whenever I feel like working on socks again which could be a little while.

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What are you all working on lately? Rushing to finish holiday knits or knitting what you please, like me?

2018: Year in Review

What a year it’s been. I’m sure I say that every year, but this one has been particularly full of ups and downs.

January: Made lots of small cross stitch samplers for friends and coworkers. Went back into therapy for a few months. Matt helped out with robotics, I did not. Made several trips to the local trampoline park with Lizzie. Started winter ballet class. Took one of our cats, Willie, to the vet to figure out what made him lose lots of weight – turns out he had liver damage which didn’t really have a treatment. (He’s less skinny now but whines all. the. time.)

February: Spent a weekend in Florida to see my parents, brother, and sister-in-law. Visited Johnathan Dickinson State Park for the first time since I was a kid. (Finally!) Learned how Instagram Stories works. Spent an entire Sunday by myself in DC.

March: Went on our annual ski trip with friends, probably the last one we’ll ever take to Davis, West Virginia. Threw a St. Patrick’s Day party with decorations Lizzie helped me make. Got a light snow.

April: Lots of letters written – over 50 in total by month’s end. (Note to self: Don’t do this again.)Ate our first dinner of the year out in the porch. Weekend in Shenandoah. Attended the Unicorn Festival.

May: Trip without Lizzie to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Ran out of craft projects while on vacation for the first time ever. Slimmed down my yarn stash quite a bit. Got a horrible eye infection.

June: Weekend at Great Wolf Lodge with family. Lots of trips to the community pool. Saw Sound of Music sing-along. Homemade super hero cape for Lizzie. Switched up anxiety / depression medication – so, so happy I did so. Got new coffee table and side tables for the living room off Reddit, of all places. Found out my dad had a new cancer recurrence and needed to start chemo, after all.

July: Family reunion in Edisto Beach, South Carolina. 13 people in one house for 4 days – whew! Went off dairy, soy, and gluten in attempt for solution to tummy and skin issues.

August: Stopped elimination diet due to horrible abdominal pain. After several tests, found out I have Crohn’s Disease. Spent a weekend in Shenandoah with friends. Start of birthday party season for Lizzie’s friends.

September: Lizzie started Pre-K (and loves it). Spent weekend in Florida for my birthday. Old friend from LA came to visit – went to Harper’s Ferry, National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and National History Museum during his visit. Lizzie took her first ballet class at school. Off to Italy with Lizzie.

October: Italy trip! Shenandoah weekend soon after. Had first colonoscopy and learned of colonic stricture. Found out my mom has breast cancer. Made our own Halloween decorations for the living room. Lizzie dressed up as Ariel (in a store-bought costume she decided she wanted at the last minute), Matt as Prince Charming, and me as a bee. Handed out candy with neighbors on our driveway, taking advantage of unseasonably warm temperatures.

November: Saw a surgeon to talk about stricture repair options; confirm with second surgeon that surgery was only valid course of action. Spent a weekend in NYC for a friend’s 35th birthday. Several cycles of feeling fine for a few days then miserable for a few. Had family and friends to our house for Thanksgiving.

December (so far): Lizzie turned 5! Had a right colectomy and am home, recovering and trying to use it as an excuse to fully relax.

 

How was your year?

Week of Review: September 2-8, 2018

Labor Day week is always an odd one. You get a day off, which is great, but it means you feel a day off the entire rest of the week. Tuesday, masked as a Monday.

Life of Lizzie

What a week. We got through her growth spurt to find out this was definitely a brain development phase. She’s been talking almost non-stop, making various levels of sense. She gets distracted halfway through a sentence and restarts. Patience is also thin, with everything being very hard to handle when it doesn’t go her way.

We survived, though, and she even made to her very first movie in a theater with her BFF. Lizzie kept jumping into our laps when there was a loud or otherwise scary bit and doing her normal asking of questions through. Lessons learned: 1. Sit her between us and 2. Remove her light-up shoes before the movie starts.

On the Needles

Lots of knitting this week.

I finished two of the same pattern, Dotted Rays by Stephen West. The first was for Lizzie in Kelborne Wools Mojave, in three color-blocked colors. The second is in the Hot Mama colorway of Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors.

I also got some great FO photos of the three hats I finished recently. These were the Sockhead Slouch in Miss Babs, a simple 1×1 ribbing hat (on the right in the second photo) in Socks That Rock Lightweight in Islands in the Stream, and Wurm in the same yarn.

Adventures

Our adventure this week was down to Florida to visit my parents and to celebrate my birthday. We went to the beach and in the pool, ate seafood and key lime pie, played cards, and enjoyed relaxing. I was also able to get together for coffee with an old friend.

Discoveries

  • Household Name podcast on Stitcher
  • Simply Lemonade rediscovery)

Ugh. Sigh. Oye.

It was very hot and humid this week which meant lots of sweating going to meetings or just existing. Happy for cool bubble baths and iced drinks.

Better Me

Very good weekly this week, in terms of symptoms. Very not good week this week, in terms of healthy food choices. But next week is another chance to make good choices.

On Tap

  • Seeing Hamilton at the Kennedy Center
  • Friend from California visiting
  • Finishing up architecture products for project at work (hopefully)