Muir Woods

We landed at our last stop yesterday afternoon, San Francisco. Yesterday we walked around and played tourist in town, and had dinner out. Today we took a tour to Muir Woods and Sausalito. Muir Woods might be my favorite thing about the whole trip. Even with all the other tourists, it was a very peaceful place.

Of course, the sock got in the act.

We leave here in an hour or so, and have two lovely sea days headed back home. We won't have internet access, so I'll see you on the flip side!

 

Cruising

John and I signed up for a Princess cruise several months ago. This one leaves and arrives back at Vancouver, so we were able to drive up instead of flying, which made it a bit more economical.

It also had the attraction of four and a half sea days, which as you all know, means four and a half KNITTING days. I was very excited to see “Knitters and Natters Get-Together” on the daily program. There are a half dozen or so crafters on board, mostly knitters. We've been meeting every sea day morning and having a great time.

Our ports of call so far have been Long Beach, Catalina Island, and Santa Barbara. My favorite has been Santa Barbara. Catalina is lovely, but I'd been there once before so knew what to expect. Santa Barbara is a gorgeous city with miles of beach front. We were lucky enough to have a sunny day yesterday and took a trolley tour of the city.

We land in San Francisco this afternoon, and will be here all day tomorrow as well, then two more of those lovely sea days to get us home again.

I apparently am knitting all blue things. The projects that Sweetpea is helping me with up there are my Hitchhiker, which I may finish one of these years, my new lace shawl, and a pair of socks for John. I finished the first one earlier on the cruise and am well into the second one. I have a spare ball of Opal sock yarn “just in case”, but that's likely optimistic. I also brought two spindles with me.

Here's a photo from our day in Santa Barbara.

Old Ben is an even slower knitter than I am. He wasn't much help.

We're off to lunch, then an afternoon in port!

*And no, I haven't done any yarn shopping so far.

 

Thirteen!

Blogiversary!

Thirteen years ago today, I hit the “save” button on my first blog post. I've had lots of fun and learned a lot about knitting in that time. Here's to at least a few more years blogging.

There's not much new going on at Chez Knitting Doctor. I haven't gotten alot of knitting done this past week, but finished adding length to one half of John's sweater. I'm working on the other half. It makes good basketball knitting.

Is there any question who we're for in this family? Go Heels!

 

Brilliant or Insane?

Oh my. I got a wild hair this morning and figured I'd share it here. I did start that pretty lace shawl Thursday, it's coming along nicely. I'm about 35 rows into it. Of course, there are about 344 rows in the whole shawl, which doesn't sound like much until you realize that by the last of those rows, there are 693 stitches on the needles. This one will be a long, albeit pleasant, slog.

That wasn't my wild hair. Here it is.

This is a Peace Fleece sweater that I knit for John a couple of years ago. It has always bugged the shit out of me, since it's an inch or two too short for him. Every time he wears it, which is a lot, I notice it and it annoys me that I didn't fix this at the time.

I have plenty of that yarn left, so this morning I started it. After a little googling, I found a video by Eunny Jang that shows how to lengthen or shorten a piece after the fact. Since this is just straight stockinette, it shouldn't be that complicated, right?

You start by undoing the seams at the sides. I'm pretty enthusiastic about weaving in ends, so this took a bit of work to get started.

Then you pick up a row of stitches where you want to add length. Eunny shows it in her video, but basically you pick up the right side of the “v” on each stitch, making sure you stay in the same row.

Once you have all the stitches on a needle, the fun begins. You snip (CAREFULLY) the stitches in the row above the one you just picked up, pulling off the ribbing piece as you go.

Which leaves you with live stitches on your needle. Then you just join the new yarn, and knit it as long as you need, knit new ribbing, and Bob's your uncle. Do the same on the other half (remind me to make them the same length), fix the seams, and you're done.

I had a brief thought to save the ribbing piece and just graft the two together, but came to my senses on that one. I could probably knit a whole damned sweater in the time it would take to graft that much neatly.

I'll let you know how this goes. I might need whisky before the day is done.

 

Twin Sweaters!

Finished! I still need to wash and block them, but they are done done done. Fritz and Sweetpea were happy to model, since I don't have real babies in my house.
Project Details
Yarn: Cotton Ease
Needles: 5.00 mm
For: Our neighbors have new twin granddaughters
Started/Finished: February 17, Finished today.
Modifications: the pattern calls for picking up stitches along the sides and knitting the sleeves down to the cuff. I knit them separately and sewed them in, since I think it looks neater. I also forgot to put in buttonholes on the first one, so I used snaps and just sewed the buttons on top. I made the second one the same.
What I Learned: Baby sweaters take longer than you think. It also helps if you don't wait to start knitting until after the babies are born.
Pattern Rating: 5 Stars. It's a very simple pattern, with only one minor error. After you pick up the stitches for the hood, you increase for a bit in the back center, then knit straight and do a three needle bind off. There is one extra stitch if you do the increases as directed. It was easy to fix.
NOW, I get to go cast on that pretty shawl I showed in the last post. I've been looking forward to that all week!

 

Reward Challenge

All done except for the seams and buttons.

I've been getting myself through the last bit of this with little rewards*. On Friday, John and I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer AKA Major Knitter for dinner. We had a fine time, and she brought me a yarn** gift as a party favor.

Here's the yarn:

That is 1600 meters of stunning lace weight yarn, enough for a huge shawl. And I have just the pattern for it.

I've had that shawl in my pattern library for years, waiting for the right moment and the right yarn. It is Longest Night, by Lori Law.

I've been rewarding myself for each little step of that baby sweater with a little teaser. I now have the pattern all set up in Knit Companion, ready to go when I sew on the last button. I don't really “need” a new lace shawl on the needles right now, but I'm doing it anyway.

Jennifer and I did wear our Faery Ring sweaters to the restaurant. Here we are.

 

I'm off to sew seams!

*Sort of like “Survivor”. “Wanna know what you're playing for?”

**No, that doesn't mean I fall off the Cold Sheep. Unsolicited yarn gifts don't count. Now, if I gave my husband a list and said “why don't you buy me a yarn gift”, THAT would end the no-buying streak.

 

Baby Sweaters

Or,

Why I'm Such A Slow Knitter

I'm still knitting those baby sweaters. I've finished the first one, and just have sleeves and a hood to finish for the second one.

You wouldn't think that two worsted weight garter stitch baby sweaters would take this long to make.

I've been having some upper back problems for the past couple of months that are really getting on my last nerve. I don't make a very good patient, since I'm not very “patient” with not feeling well. It finally got bad enough that I started getting regular massages, which are helping, but it's been a slow recovery. My massage therapist isn't one of those that gives you a feel-good spa massage. It's deep tissue/muscle work, and I'm wiped out for a whole day afterwards. It is releasing the knotted (knitted?) up muscles though. I haven't been able to be on my Peloton bike as often as I'd like either since it hurts. You have no idea how much THAT pisses me off.

I've been trying to be careful with how long I sit hunched over my knitting, so that's my excuse for how long these sweaters are taking to finish.

Also, for those of you doubters out there, I made it to 90 days without yarn shopping a week ago. It's actually been a little easier this time around. It helps that I dropped my work hours from 0.8 FTE to 0.6 FTE the first of the year. That obviously* correlates to a 20% salary drop, so I do have an incentive to shop from my very deep stash instead of the internet.

And in other news, I get to have dinner tonight with Jennifer AKA Major Knitter! She is flying in later today, and we're picking her up and heading up to Seattle for dinner. We're both planning on wearing our Faery Ring sweaters!

*That first paycheck after cutting back my hours was a bit of a reality check!

 

Seams!

I do love knitting, including sewing seams. I'd rather sew pieces together than go through all the crazy contortions that some patterns have you do to avoid them.
This is the first of two baby sweaters. Our neighbors have new twin granddaughters, and I dug through the Cotton Ease box* and found two bright colors to make sweaters for them. The first one is done, other than the seams, and I'm putting a little hood on it.

In the category of knitting screw ups, can anyone spot the mistake here?

How about now?
Yup, I forgot to put in the buttonholes. I discovered this after I had the shoulders seamed and started putting in the first sleeve. I am NOT reknitting to fix it. I'll sew the buttons on as decoration, and put snaps in.

That's the second color.

We're at Wintergrass again this weekend. So far it's been a blast, although we are really happy that our room at the Hyatt is on a “quiet floor”. I love the banjos, but not so much at 2 AM.

*Why yes, I have a whole box of Cotton Ease, in the original bright colors. They don't make this stuff anymore, so my grand stash plan is working!

 

Eleventy Billion And One

Conversation in my kitchen this morning:

John: “Are you on your way to your Iconoclast infusion?”

Me: “It's Reclast*, not Iconoclast, but yes.” (He also calls Tessalon cough pills “Teflon pills”.)

John: “Were you intending to wear your slippers?”

Me:

Me: “Why yes, apparently I was.”

That my friends, is the eleventy billionth and eleventy billionth and one reasons why we have to stay married to each other. He makes sure that I don't go out in public in my jammies and slippers, and I make sure he knows the right names for prescription drugs.

*Reclast is the infusion I get once a year to treat osteoporosis.

 

60 Days!

Just a quick blog update. As of yesterday, I've gone 60 days without any yarn purchases.

The last time I did this “cold sheep” thing, I made it a little over a year without buying any yarn. That was in April of 2015. Since then, there has been way too much added to the yarn bins. My goal is go at least another year. Let's see how that goes, shall we?

 

Rainbow Bright Socks!

New socks done!

Project Details:

Pattern: My own jerry-rigged sock pattern. 72 stitches, flap heel and gusset construction.

Yarn: Abi Grasso Self striping sock yarn

Needles: 2.00 mm

Started: 5/30/16

Finished: 1/22/17

For: Me

Modifications: none

What I Learned: Sometimes matching socks just happen.

We're in Guayabitos, Mexico again this year for a week. This is the same lovely place that we've stayed for the past 3 years. Here are a few photos.

And one last sock photo:

 

Progress

We may have taken that “magic of tidying up” a little too far.

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The furniture all got sent to storage yesterday. The cats and Lewey went to Bark Central this morning. And the rugs go today.

The guy is here today replacing the wood in the kitchen that was damaged. And next week the sanding and finishing happens.

Most importantly, WE’RE going today as well. We head to the airport tonight, and leave early in the morning for Mexico. When we get back, this mess will all be done.

Don’t even think about that yarn stash. The house, including my stash, is well guarded by our house sitter (AKA vigilant neighbor) while we’re gone.

There likely will be updates while I’m away, though the photos will be the same as the last two January trips, since we’re going to exactly the same place.

Excuse me, I need to go pack. The only thing I’ve done so far is get the knitting projects ready.

Rainbow Socks!

There are few things that amuse me as much as when striped sock yarn turns out to match perfectly.

 

I didn't even have to try very hard to make that happen. Mostly I don't try at all, and just have mismatched socks. These are going to be very cheerful when done.

 

Now For The Floor Repair

We’re in the middle of fixing the warped wood floor mess caused by the rat escapade from late December. The torn out walls have been patched and everything repainted.

The floor guys are here today tearing out the damaged wood that was warped enough to need replacing. It will need to be open to the subfloor for about a week before they get the new floor in. Then sanding, staining and finishing. The whole main level needs to be refinished since it’s one continuous wood floor. So all of our furniture will need to be warehoused for the duration starting a week from today.

Sigh.

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Ahhhh–

About a year and a half ago, I started my part time work journey. A couple years ago, I transitioned from doing hospitalist work to being “just” in the clinic. That meant more work days (since those hospital days were often 12 hours or more, I “got” to do fewer of them to equal full time), but no nights, weekends, or holidays at work. I’ve missed more family Christmases and such over the years than I can remember.

In June of 2015, I went from 5 days a week to 4. As everyone predicted, I quickly filled up that time with lots of things to do.

As of January 1st, I’m dropping another day, so I’ll only work 3 days a week. Which means that EVERY week, I’ll have Thursday through Sunday off.

Today marks the start of my first four day weekend!

Maybe I’ll get some of that yarn stash knitted up before I die after all. By the way, I’m doing the “no yarn buying” this year again. I last bought yarn on December 3rd, I’m hoping to make it through 2017 without buying any new yarn.