Thursday, February 11, 2016

A post where she goes on again ... oral health and evil knitting

Thank you so much for the kind words in the last post regarding my gum surgery/procedure. I'm surprised how many of us have had work on our gums done. I actually had the bone graft and deep pocket repairing. I remember waking up saying, "Did you lasso my teeth in stitches?" and falling back asleep to wake up to myself up to the sound of my own snoring and then demanding chapstick. What a dork, right?

I have a problem with chapstick. To this day, I don't regret not getting an epidural in time, but I do regret not having any chapstick on hand during my son's birth, ha!

Anyhow, I was really okay -- the rash is still plaguing me, but I'm surprisingly not too crabby about it -- it provides a good excuse to avoid the gym this week and knit. I remember when a certain knitter had her rash and I'm definitely utilizing the love of oatmeal and hydrocortizone. Nothing like referring to the wisdom of knitters. At least it's not a heat wave!

I did my whole mouth at once partly because I have that DDS fear and also hey who wants to pay for that anesthesia twice if you don't have to? (and yeah, it wasn't just one spot, 'cause I got to complicate things ... always)

I got my stitches out today.  I'm terrified of that gum grafting you all described where they take a piece from the roof of your mouth so I asked them if I was at risk for that, but so far ... no. Also, despite the fact that I got the all clear for crunchy tacos and tortilla chips, I had ramen and karaage for lunch instead, ha! I'm so anticlimactic like that. It's like being excited to stay up late on the weekend to knit and then I pass out at 9:30 drooling to a Rosemary & Thyme episode on PBS. By the way nothing clears a room in my apartment faster than an episode of those two gardening ladies sleuthing about. I should buy the DVDs. ;)

The work has been really busy. There is an aspect of timing that is important which of course means I've got to sabotage myself and go two steps forward one step back. 

I dunno, times like these I really start going down the knitting rabbit hole at home. I think especially since I am not exercising very much and I am grasping for a sense of control ... let me explain:

I am so excited to knit something new.  A garment! So I spend an hour tearing through my apartment looking for a pattern I xeroxed. I fear I recycled it in my haste to declutter, depaper and make surface space.

That's okay right? Because there are only 1.2 million patterns I've been DYING to work on, right?

SO I turn to a cardigan that looks fairly simple. Top down. OK. But whoa, hey, what's this provisional cast on thing? I don't know if you know this, but the Provisional cast on is like the She-devil of knitting to me. I get going a bit, I think okay not so bad, and then I don't know. I second guess myself. Do you do this? Well let me explain something. IF you second guess with the provisional cast on, there is only so far you can go until it's FROG CITY. oh mah gah. I sort of threw it on the ground before going to bed last night. I gave it my sternest Mom face and said, "I'll deal with you later!"

Here's the thing, I can't read patterns. They make me feel dumb.  Does this happen to you, where you read the instruction and then you say outloud a little like Rainman, "What does that mean? WHAT does that MEAN?"

Other people said, "oh this pattern is easy to do and easy to read!" So part of me thinks, great, I'm stupid. Another part of me thinks, isn't there any easier way to do a neckband? Stupid, stupid. 

And that is your insight to my garment knitting. 

Maybe it's a half decaf knitting week for me.

Hang tight folks, I'll show you a snippet in the next week or so along with that blocked baby blanket. 

Wishing you all successful or at least stress-free, non stupid knitting time, oh yeah, and the best of Oral health to us all!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

As my cousin would say, "The Good Stuff"

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I had a gum surgery/procedure done just less than 2 weeks ago. I have been healing from that pretty well (in my non expert opinion) and despite being less than inspired about the lack of texture in my diet, I think I managed okay. I didn't throw up and I didn't cry.

Alas on the morning of my last day (10) of my antibiotic I got a full body rash. So that I admit has been a pain from recovering, because hello itchy patches/spots.

Anyhow I have been doing my best to focus on the good stuff.

One of my son's friends (and my friend's son) made me some homemade ice cream. It's delicious. I'm also so proud to know a youngster that wanted to do something so nice for someone else without being asked. Don't worry gang, I'm keeping the circle of consideration going with a thank you note.

A walk to the park and a chance to watch the kids play tennis on a terrifyingly gorgeous February day off.

Some experimental cookie baking. I first tried to make jam stripes, but I was failing and I was impatient. So I went with sandwich cookies, using Martha' Stewart's Vanilla Cookie dough recipe. I preferred the ones with jam, but kids do like Nutella. Also considering buttercream and lemon curd in the future -- since I still have half the dough in the fridge.

Also don't do this so late at night that you start sprinkling instant cocoa instead of sifting cocoa powder. Oh boy! Baking Shenanigans!

I am blocking a baby blanket and finishing another set of hats. Despite the fact I'm in a hurry I felt the need to cast on one with cables.

I have big dreams for President's Day weekend knitting!

I'm also hoping for an "Eating: All Clear" from the Periodontist this week and then look out! Crunchy tacos and tortilla chips for all my friends! I think I'm going to make a bowl of popcorn the size of my head!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Easily Distracted

I am 5 rounds away from finishing a baby hat. It's been that way for I dunno. 4 or 5 days. 

The problem is I figured out what pattern I wanted to knit for a baby blanket. However I wanted a specific yarn (Never one or enough that you have in your stash, you know what I mean?) I got what I wanted (and then some) but that's a post for another day ...

The problem is while I was there, i discovered Lace Lux all knit up in a simple sample and it was so soft ... and shiny. So I had to buy some. So instead of carrying about socks, I've been carrying that about. Just a wide scarf on US 10s  in stockinette. The tension is a little wobbles, I could've gone down to a 9, but so be it. 

Maybe if I'm feeling ... ambitious, I'll do another in rib and go down a needle size. But for now, I'm easily and happily distracted.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Just a few things

Let's catch-up, shall we?

I have been knitting! More small things. First up a set of 3 animal dishcloths for my Mom, because Mom rarely asks for anything and she can't knit because she is too busy making 850 quilts. Quilt shows, quilt clubs, quilt retreats, quilt conferences and classes. She has a problem. I'm so glad I'm nothing like that ;)

I knit them over last weekend. I've never done anything like this before. Kinda fun. I'm understanding the appreciation of the cotton knit dish cloth. My color choices leave much to be desired. I'd like to blame it on knitpicks, but it could be my questionable animal and color association. That dark one is navy blue and it's supposed to be a horse. Just go with it ...

Next up, 2 purple hats for my co-worker who has had a new baby. I think one is toddler and one is stretchy beanie, but not full-on hip hop size.

Last week I worked on a new soup recipe that was surprisingly hearty. Sausage, Kale and White Bean. I used Great Northern Beans instead of Cannellini Beans -- because that was what was in the pantry. I added a Parmesan rind and some Worcestershire for more Umami depth. I guess if you wanted to make a vegetarian version you would replace the chicken broth with vegetable and remove the smoked kielbasa. I would suggest a few pinches of smoked paprika while sauteing your onions, and carrots and celery, to add another layer of flavor. But what do I know?

I love soup and it was nice to have a bit left over for lunch and to freeze.

So these are the ways I've been keeping the rainy days busy around here. I've gone from one project on the needles to a handful with more queueing. As for cooking and baking I'm a little uninspired right now. Everything needs more time and patience than I have. C'est la vie!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I finished her socks literally 3 hours after she left ... the continent.

I had a wonderful treat this week. My friend Mrs. B was in town with her family for a visit and I got a chance to see her. This is funny since I had been working on finishing her socks for a New Years present seeing how I completely missed Christmas.

I got the yarn while I was visiting her in London last year during spring break. Trailing Clouds: Mind the Gap.

She is moving back to the States again later this year and I think they will make a great gift with a shared memory of her showing me around the Underground.

I knew I was going to see her one last time for brunch on Saturday. Alas, I could not finish them in time. She shipped out shortly after and ... I finished the socks then.

Looks like she'll be getting them via post.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy New Year! A few holiday highlights

I know I'm a little late to the start of the show, but that's okay. I know in my heart is the sincerity of my good wishes for us all.

I think it was good I went quiet a bit toward the end. I think I needed to just get through the end of the year enjoying the time with my friends and family and focusing on the very good that is in my immediate life.

Sometimes at the end of the year I think I reflect a bit too much and that in itself can become a little paralyzing.

Here are a few snaps from the end of the year:

I made these Nutella glazed doughnuts. Pretty and tasty! Perfect for a girls brunch before the ballet!

I finished my gingerbread socks!

I finished my Christmas socks on New Years day. These started off so strong, but then I think went to pot after one too distracted knitting sessions. My stitch count was somehow first off then misaligned. I ripped out 3 times, the last because I had misjudged the length of the foot when I was almost done with the toe!

I learned that my Twinleaf makes an excellent hipster scarf, just add hot chocolate and a too cool for you pose ;)

Unfortunately the workload both personally and professionally has not subsided after the new year as I had hoped, but I have had a chance to pop in here and there  around the blogosphere/Instagram world of knitters, crafters and doers!. There has been such a good energy from everyone to begin again with a freshness, calmness and simplicity that feels ... attainable. I thank you for that. You're inspirational without all the cheese. (okay maybe like just a sprinkle of Parmesan but I LOVE Parmesan -- and Dad jokes, in case you were wondering)

I begin this New Year feeling a little nervous but mainly appreciative and grateful. I am excited for some new knits and new adventures. I'm excited to watch all of you knit and ... live.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Finishes: Baby hats a study in pink

I'll be honest with you. I didn't really develop an appreciation for pink until I was an adult. In fact being an *adamant tomboy  I probably overcompensated for it quite a bit. I think around the time I became a mother, when commercials began to make me cry, all small animals found sanctuary in my heart and basically I became a big old softie about the entire world I learned to love pink. Do I think you need to have a kid to appreciate pink? No, I'm not THAT ridiculous. However I think for me, I learned to tap into things of hope and comfort more easily after I did. And that is what pink feels  like or represents for me. Hope and comfort. Like the soft light of winter, like an ocean view peering through the fog, like a Jacob's ladder in the middle of a valley.

'Tis the season people, let me get my squishy self on.

'Tis also the season of little people where a lot of happiness and hope is so innocently expressed.

A friend of mine just had her first baby. A much anticipated girl. She has been unapologetic in her love of pink preparations for this little one and so I thought ... how about a pink hat?

I've been wanting to try this pattern since Kepanie wrote about it.

It's baby bear hat and is knit in what I like to call, "brand spanking new baby" size. Sure I could math some gauge out and make a bigger one but why?

Obviously the kid will want a pink hipster baby hat, right? I've done this pattern before, but full human size. This was another hat I saw Kepanie did for a baby recently and thought, YES! Hipster baby. This Mom is too cool for school, so she gets a baby hip hop dancer hat to boot.

I'm pleased.

*where one must verbally, incessantly remind one's parents when any fashion choices were criticized or suggested including the color pink. Yes I was a handful.