I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe New Year’s holiday. There are so many things I want to talk about… Things I’m thankful for happening over the year, things I’ve knitted (I don’t even remember most of my projects), new friends, job stuff, new year’s resolutions, getting engaged… But I have a doctor’s appointment shortly. I’ll post a nice long post tomorrow but until then take care of yourself.
December 31, 2007
December 26, 2007
I hope everyone has a good one. I have to go to my mom’s house for Christmas dinner so mine isn’t over yet. I got a whole bunch of knitting presents such as this and this. I also received my present from my Knitters Review pal. Allison, I hope you get yours soon. I mailed it out a little while ago. Here’s a pic of what she gave me. Lots of fun stuff to play with!
There’s some sock yarn and a skein of Art Yarn in blue. There’s also some cedar blocks in there. Allison also gave me some maple syrup and chocolate. Yum… Thank you so much.
Dogs at Christmas are so fun. I got Wendy a tin of these dog breath mints. You rattle the tin and she goes absolutely insane. Waldo got a squeaky toy that he hasn’t managed to bit the squeaker out yet. It’s sooo annoying but he loves it. I also got him this quaking duck. He got it this morning. It is now resting in stuffed ducky heaven. Doesn’t he look sooo innocent in this picture?
And just because it’s funny, here’s another one…
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!
December 17, 2007
I decided on the Central Park Hoodie. I’m knitting it in the size 36 size. I was going to do the 34 inch size. My bust is 32″ around but I thought 2″ for ease might not be enough. Any thoughts on this???
I actually got gauge with size 8 Denise Interchangeables and my Cascade 220. Hmmm… I wonder if I should have tried those with the Minimalist Cardi. Oh well. It’s going along well. I’m almost done with the back. I have 5 skeins of yarn and the pattern calls for a bit more but looking at some of the other projects on Ravelry, I should be alright. If not, I guess a sweater was not meant to be with the Cascade that I got in a sale for $2/skein. I thought I had 6 but I can only find 5 in this mess of a stash. As far as the pattern goes, so far so good. It appears to be well written but like I said, I’m still only on the back. This is my first sweater in a long time that isn’t raglan. The seaming may kill me but I hope I get a sweater that I will love.
I have another FO. The Berry socks. I finished them this afternoon while at Common Threads I had a very legitimate reason for being there. I was buying a gift for my secret pal. I’ll post a pic of it after my secret pal gets it. I don’t know if she reads my blog or not but I want it to be a surprise. The Berry socks are knit with size 0 Addi Turbos in the magic loop fashion and Trekking XXL. They are my usual recipe of ribbing 3×1 all the way down. I love this ribbing as it is very stretchy. I have a whole bunch of the yarn left over. I always have lots of sock yarn left over since I have small feet. Does anyone have any ideas for using up the extra yarn? I don’t think there is enough to make another pair of socks. Maybe a pair of baby socks but I want to do something different with the leftovers. I should start a new group on Ravelry called leftover yarn. LOL…
I had a nice 3 days off. My first extended weekend in about a month. Since I’ve been orienting, I’ve been working 4 days a week which I’m totally not used to. I had a nice day on Friday shopping with my mom. I was on call for doulaing at UCSD but I wasn’t called until 6 pm! The mom was in early labor but it was her 4th pregnancy. I anticipated a fast labor. However, that was not meant to be. The labor lasted until midnight and I didn’t get home until almost 2 am. Needless to say, I missed the Blanket Joining party that my knitting group organized. Sorry guys! I go back to work tomorrow. Hopefully, I have a good week!
December 13, 2007
Can you imagine??? 5 days of knitting in Big Sur! Anyone want to go with me???
December 11, 2007
Ugh… Minimalist Cardigan is just not working for gauge. I thought I hit the jackpot when I got gauge with the bamboo size 6 addi naturas. Unfortunately that was not to last. I was happily knitting along in the called for moss stitch when I noticed that the back was looking HUGE!!! I was following some tips of pulling the yarn tighter than I usually do after completing the stitch even. But when i measured the back, the piece measured almost 19.5 inches! WTF!!! I guess I can’t do moss stitch to gauge in Cascade 220. My gauge had gone from 5 stitches/in to 4 to 4.5 stitches/in. Yucky. I do have some discontinued Filatura di Crosa Ambra Camel Hair which knits to 22 stitches to a gauge swatch. That might get me to where I need to be. Ugh… But I don’t want to see moss stitch for a while so I might revisit this project sometime next year.
In the meantime, I decided a less frustrating project would be the Central Park Hoodie.
It was originally published in the Fall 2006 issue of Knitscene, which is no longer available on the website. But I got an email saying that it is available for sale. I bought the pattern for $5.50. I think the whole magazine is $5.99. LOL… Talk about an expensive alternative. Oh well. I remember thumbing thru the issue last year thinking that it didn’t have anything special. For those of you who are curious what is on the cover, you can see it here.
Talk about judging a book by it’s cover. There was at least one pattern that I would knit.
Lesson learned: Sometimes knitting isn’t meant to be. That doesn’t mean you have to give up completely like I’d been doing in the past. I’ve been struggling with gauge for about 3 weeks now. Can you believe it? But in another yarn, I may have something stunning. At least I hope I do.
As for my new job, I’m in my fourth week of orientation. I’ve seen quite a few births and have finally seen the light when it comes to one of the most daunting tasks a new labor and delivery nurse has to learn, the vaginal exam or the VE. On my first day of orientation, my preceptor had me put on a sterile glove and exam a woman who had an epidural. (Thank goodness because I shudder to think what my exam would have felt like to a woman without drugs.) Now since I’d never put my fingers in any other vagina, I had no idea what I was touching. All I felt was warm mushiness. I eventually found the baby’s head but had no idea where the cervix is. For the next couple of sessions, I put my fingers in many vaginas and discussed cervixes, lips of cervixes, thinning cervixes. It was all greek to me. All these vaginas felt like long dark tunnels with no end in sight. And to make matters worse, I have short fingers. When a baby is high in the birth canal, station -2 or higher, I cannot find the back part of the cervix. How did anyone learn how to find the paper thin lip of a cervix or figure out when a laboring mom is complete??? I felt so frustrated that I would never figure it out. But the other day, I started feeling cervix lips and getting exams correct. I figured out what complete means. Yeah!!! Yesterday I got lots of practice reading unreassuring fetal heart rate strips. That means that the baby for whatever reason is stressed by the labor. I had one couple in the morning who didn’t want “a student”. My preceptor and I walked into the room and introduced ourselves to a pushing woman and her mom. The woman’s husband was snoring in the reclining chair. We were pushing with the woman for about 30 minutes when we decided to put a fetal scalp electrode on the baby because we couldn’t get good fetal heart tones with the external monitor on. We explained what we were doing to the mom and proceeded. A few minutes later, we’re still getting a strip that indicates that the baby isn’t tolerating the labor well so we go outside to report it to the doctor. I also tell him that the mom has a temperature and he asks me to start the mom on some antibiotics. I run and get the antibiotics while my preceptor goes back into the room. The dad wakes up and tells my preceptor that he doesn’t want a new nurse sticking things and her fingers in his wife, “practicing.” He said that I could watch but not participate in the care of his wife. Meanwhile, his wife is getting upset with him telling him that we’re fine and to stop making a big deal out of things. My preceptor tells him that I either have to be able to do things because I’m training or that she would get them another nurse. They got another nurse. Unfortunately for this mom and the next one that I took care of, the birth ended up in C sections which neither had wanted.
Hopefully the next time I post, I’ll have some progress on the CPH. I am still knitting the berry socks. They are almost done but I’m just dragging it out…
December 6, 2007
Especially in regards to gauge. Check out the evidence.
Both pieces are the Minimalist Cardigan from the Fall 2007 IK. The bottom piece is a misgauged piece. I was knitting this with my Addi Turbo size 6 for the first gauge swatch. I got 4 stitches to the inch. Way too big. So I cast on another swatch with size 5 Addi Turbos. I got 4.5 stitches per inch. I was close. This pattern calls for 5 stitches to the inch over moss stitch. Since I was pretty close, I cast on with my size 4 Addi Turbos and started knitting on…
Now since I am orienting, I don’t get a lot of time to knit anymore. I looked at the ribbing and said to myself, “This looks too big. But it must be right.” I’m knitting worsted weight Cascade 220 in a size 4 for goodness sakes! So I knit on for about 6 inches. I refused to measure this bad boy which happens to be the back. Moss stitch knits up at a snails pace for me and I didn’t want to know that it was coming out too big. Unfortunately it came time to own up to the mistake. I measured it yesterday. It measured 23 inches.
Now… I’m a 33″ bust so knitting the 34″ size is perfect. The 23″ size would be between the 43.5″ and 48.5″ size. What a disaster! I had thoughts of just finishing the sweater and giving it to my mom. How the heck was I not getting gauge with a size 4 Addi. Don’t people usually knit worsted weight yarn with size 7 or 8 needles!!! I was about to throw in the towel when I thought of trying to knit with my Addi Natura needle which is made out of bamboo. Size 6. I was sure it was going to be a failure. But as you can see in the top piece in the picture, I was right on. I got my 5 moss stitches to the inch. I am soooo excited and cannot believe that simply changing from the slick metal to sticky bamboo would get me to gauge. I need to get lots of bamboo because I’m always knitting things not to gauge. Usually too large. Which is why I love knitting shawls. It doesn’t really matter what your gauge is. In fact, bigger gauge is usually better.
This whole gauge thing was driving me sooo crazy that I am relaxing with a glass of Chimay which is a very yummy Belgian ale. It comes in a huge bottle. I hope I am not driven to drink the whole thing.
Sooo folks, as much as everyone hates to hear it, do a gauge swatch. And keep swatching until you get it right. IDenial is indeed an ugly thing. It can lead you to knitting for days and making you crazy. Here is a close up of the moss stitch incase you’re wondering what it looks like.
In other news, Matt and I bought this mixer on Sunday night. I used it tonight finally to make a meat loaf and some peach bread. The peach bread was made from a recipe that came with the mixer. I used the mixer to combine the meat loaf ingredients so I wouldn’t get my hands dirty. The meat loaf came out ok. A bit salty since I was lazy and just dumped French onion soup mix to season it instead of measuring out my usual mix of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and other stuff. I still haven’t tried the peach bread. I’m a little scared because I didn’t know that the flour in my flour container was self rising flour instead of regular unbleached flour. Matt decided to put the self rising flour in instead of regular flour because he was using it to make bear bread. I added the salt and baking soda so this bread might be salty instead of sweet like the peaches… I might have to down more chimay when I finally get the nerve to try it. Butter and a little more of the peach preserves might make it tolerable…. Anyone have any cooking disasters they want to share???