Happy New Year!

2013-01-01 16.01.07It’s been a crazy week, what with hosting Christmas dinner, the stroke and death of my sister’s fiance, cleaning, and various other things, but I got Claudia’s socks done on the last day of 2012.  They look really great, and I can’t wait for her to try them on!

2013-01-01 15.59.43I also managed to find and photograph an old project of mine — Damson.  The pattern was a gift from a friend, at a point where I really needed something to cheer me up.  And it did that admirably, and reminded me that I love shawl knitting as much as I love sock knitting.

I have started (today) yet another pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks, this time for my friend Joanne.  She chose some J. Picks sock yarn in the Louisiana colorway.  I’m about halfway up the ribbing, and will hopefully have something to post on this one soon.

Claudia has picked out yarn for another pair of socks, although I’m not sure what pattern I will use for them.

So that’s where my knitting is for this month.  I’m going to take a look at the patterns for YOSS-2013 in the next few days.  Hopefully, I won’t bail this year, as I ended up doing last year.

I hope this year brings lots of yarny goodness, health, happiness, and prosperity to all!

See you next time!





“I’ve declared that Tuesdays are for Random Acts of Patterns (or RAP). It’s the fibery equivalent to Random Acts of Kindness! Most of us have either randomly given or received patterns, so this is not my invention. However, I’d like to make it a movement and get more people involved! So on any random Tuesday that you feel inclined to and/or can afford to, consider randomly selecting a fellow Raveler and gifting him/her a pattern off of his/her queue. 🙂 THEN – Come back here and tell us! I get so inspired by people who participate in RAK, or in this case, RAP, that I’d love to hear all about your generosity in this fab community! 🙂 Of course, you don’t have to wait for a Tuesday. You can participate in a RAP at any time, but I thought Tuesdays could use a little jazzing up!

ALSO – if you’ve been the recipient of a RAP, please share too! We all need a little sunshine in our day!

I sent out a RAP today and put in the message: You’re a recipient of a Random Act of Pattern. Happy Tuesday!

Spread the love! :)”

With this message on Ravelry (posted on 9 Oct, 2012), Karrie (aka KnitPurlGurl) started a tradition that I just found out about today.

I was checking my email and found that I had been gifted with a pattern from one of my favorite designers by the lovely Ethereal Fibers.   I emailed back thanking her, and asking what the “RAP Day” she referred to in her email was.

She explained to me that a knitter named KnitPurlGurl had started this about two months before he passed away, and that a number of knitters were keeping the idea going by gifting others with a pattern on Tuesdays.

Given my circumstances, I can’t do this every week, but I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I intend to participate whenever I can!

In other knitting news, I continue to work on my second Sunday Morning shawl, and to dither about whether or not to turn it into an afghan.  I will also be measuring a friend’s feet tomorrow, and helping her choose a pattern for a pair of socks, the money from which will be put towards the root canal/post/crown I need that my insurance won’t cover.

So, that’s about it for the moment.  If you can, and are so inclined, I hope you choose to take part in RAP Day!

Not Pushing Seems to Have Been the Right Thing To Do

Sunday Morning Shawl – In Progress (©2012 Deborah J. Wunder)

My knitting mojo seems to slowly be returning. I’m still struggling through the feet of the Colbert socks, but after successfully completing the Wingspan shawlette that Adalisa suggested I try, I decided I wanted a shawl that used up a lot of the odds and ends from the socks I had made over the last few years. So, I started one of my favorite shawls, Martina Kastanek’s Sunday Morning Shawl, which is a free Ravelry download.

Kerry Blue Shawl – Quarter View (©2012 Deborah J. Wunder)

This time, I am sort of considering making it a huge diamond, instead of a huge triangle, however.  I got to thinking about the Kerry Blue Square Shawl, by Martha Waterman, of which I have made three, two of which I have used as blankets during rough winters. (The one pictured is the first one I made — around 1992.  I made a second one, in garnet, somewhere around 2003, for Dee to use as a blanket.)  It’s a mother to make — it’s made in the round, so to speak, and the errata sheet for the pattern is about 2/3 of a page, because the biggest error is in the set up row for the third section, when you have about 303 stitches on the needle.  But I love the idea of another big, cuddly blanket shawl, so I’m seriously thinking of how to turn the triangular Sunday Morning  Shawl into a diamond.

So I am happy to say that it seems like, because I didn’t push or force it, my mojo is finding its way home — just in time for winter knitting, too!

It’s Ba-ack…

My knitting mojo, that is.

Thank you, Adalisa, for suggesting I try Wingspan!

Here is the finished project.  Not the greatest picture, because my room has yellow lighting rather than natural.  The yarns I used were:

Denim Variegated:  Ethereal Fibers Nebula Sock Yarn in the “Bondage Password” colorway.  Melon Variegated:  Fleece Artist’s Special Nyoni in the “Melon” colorway.

Did the project on an old Size 4 circular needle that was my Mom’s, and bound off with a Size 5 bamboo needle.

I can already think of a couple of variations I would like to try on this pattern, too.

I’ve gotten a fair amount of knitting in over the last few days, thanks to Hurricane Sandy. We were very lucky — the Belt Parkway, with it’s bedrock base, is elevated pretty high at out latitude, and made a great berm against the water.  We have light and power, and have had them throughout, except for three hours or so last night, when Con Edison took down the power in a large area of Brooklyn (Homecrest, Sheepshead Bay, Midwood, and a huge chunk of Flatbush) in order to prevent further transformer failures while they tried to fix the problem.  I caught a nice nap while the power was down.

My next knitting will be to try to finish the socks for Stephen Colbert that I committed to doing.  I got all but about 2/3 of the feet done before my knitting mojo went on vacation, so I don’t expect it to take too long to finish them.

Not too much else to say right now, except that if you were in Hurricane Sandy’s path at all I hope that its impact on you and yours was minimal.  I know that so far, in New York State there are 26 deaths attributed to the storm.  And, while I know that that 26 deaths too many, I also know that Hurricane Katrina killed over 1,800 people in New Orleans.   Given that New Orleans is one city, and New York is a state, only 26 deaths in the state from something like this is an amazingly low count.  I also know the property damage is beyond belief, but — seriously,  folks — property can be repaired or replaced; people, not so much.

Anyway, to those of you in the area affected either by Hurricane Sandy, the earthquake near British Columbia, or any of the other disasters we seem to face on a more and more regular basis, please take care and stay as safe as possible.

See everyone next week, God willing and the water don’t rise again.


What’s Your Favorite?

Moat of us have favorites.  This holds true for knitting and crocheting just as much as for authors, foods, or anything else.  So, here are some of mine:

  • Things to Knit:  Socks, Shawls
  • Knitting Needles:  My Size 00 Addi Turbo Laceweights
  • Crochet Hooks:  My old Boye steel hooks
  • Yarn Weights:  Sock, Lace
  • Yarn Colors:  Blue, Purple, Rose, Peach/Coral; Burgundy, Cerise, Variegated
  • Indie Dyers:  Kellee at Ethereal Fibers; Morandia at MIB Fibers; Melissa at Keegan Lane Yarns
  • Designers:  Wendy from Wendy Knits; Annie Kuo Lukito; Elizabeth Zimmermann; Cookie A
  • Times to Knit:  Watching TV; riding in a car
  • Patterns in my Ravelry Queue:  543
  • Types of Knitting:  Fisherman, Lace, Textured, Mitered, Fair Isle, Double-Knitting
  • Type of Crochet:  Filet
  • Favorite Sock Cuff:  Folded Picot
  • Favorite Cast-Off:  Jeny’s Stretchy

Favorite Cast-Ons:  Mock Long-Tail; Queen Kahuna’s

So, those are my favorites.  What are yours?

Fail (although not epic)!

It’s been a long summer for me. And my knitting and writing has all suffered as a result.

For some time, I have been feeling incapable of doing much more than knitting and sitting at the computer. This culminated in my thinking I had the flu again in late June. Unfortunately, it was nothing so easy.

When I didn’t answer her phone calls for three days, my sister turned up on my doorstep, and demanded that I go to the hospital. She offered to take me to any hospital I wanted, and was even willing to let me consider it overnight. Fortunately for me, I realized that my not having the energy to tell her to go away probably meant that she was right. So we headed off to the hospital, with an assist from my ex. (It took both of them to get me out of bed. I literally did not have the energy to stand up.) When we got to the hospital, I found out that my blood pressure was 96/52 — not good for a woman whose untreated blood pressure can only be described as obscenely high! I was admitted and diagnosed with cellulitis that had not only gone septic, but systemic…as the doctor put it on my third day in hospital, “If you had taken the overnight to consider, the question would not have been which hospital, but burial or cremation.” And, yes, that scared the heck out of me. I have been on antibiotics since admittance — in hospital, I was receiving one bag of Vankomycin a day, as well as an oral dose of Cipro. Since release, I have been on Vibramycin (Doxycycline Hyclate) twice a day. Mostly, all antibiotics make me want to do is sleep, so both my writing and knitting have suffered.

The upshot of my hospitalization is that I now have Medicaid, so I don’t need to worry about medical bills, and the insurance that I got assigned to is one my local doctor takes.

And that’s where the fail comes in. I am barely 1/3 through my Ravellenic Games project (which I will finish, darn it!), halfway through my Socks for Stephen Colbert project, and only on the second pair of socks for my accountant. The baby blanket I have been crocheting for charity is only about half done, and the writing project I need to turn in (with pictures) on the 18th is going to need an extra week or two, which I need to discuss with the client.

As for blogging, I have not felt up to much, especially since when I was just starting to feel better, my roommate got sick. It took me a week to get her to go to the doctor, and the day following her appointment, we got a call that he was sending an ambulance for her, it would be at our house in half an hour or less, and she was going to the hospital, no arguments, because her hemoglobin was 5. I tossed on clothing, and we headed to the ER in the ambulance, and I stayed with her until she was admitted and in a room. She was in the hospital from Friday afternoon until Tuesday, so that meant I had to do some of her chores, including feeding the cats and changing their litter. (We have an agreement that I will not ever have to do because she is the one who insisted on getting the cats. However, the litter seriously needed changing, so I did it.)

At any rate, I am back, plugging away at my Ravellenic Games project (Bea Schmidt’s ). After that, I will get the Colbert socks done (and they are coming out beautifully, although slowly), then get back to the socks for my accountant.

I am just hoping I can get back on track enough that I can finish out my YOSS for this year. I need to make three pairs of socks to be caught up, and the two I’m working on will help do that.

Still, it feels like fail, even though it’s certainly not an epic fail, and I do understand that the health issues are a lot more important than whether or not I get 12 pair of socks knit this year.

May has not Been the Kindest Month this Year

Life has been happening this month; nevertheless I have been knitting.

My May YOSS Project was Marilyn Phillippi’s Tilting Tardis Cowl. I used Fleece Artist’s Nyoni, in Melon, and the shawl came out perfectly gorgeous! This was made out of the yarn that was left over after I had completed my Marrowstone Shawl. It just needs the right buttons, and I am planning to get those in the next few days.

Knitting Marcy Vandale’s Marrowstone Shawl was great fun! I forget who on Plurk turned me on to this pattern, but thank you whoever it was! It worked up fairly quickly because the trim of the shawl was knitted sideways, then the stitches for body were picked up along one side of the edging. I chose this to increase my options for Wear A Shawl Day, which is the 11th of each month.

For this month’s charity knitting, I picked a crochet project, Cay Litchfield’s Baby Bobbles Blanket, specifically to use up a donation to my stash of acrylic yarn (National Yarn Crafts’ Natura Deluxe Acrylic) from a friend’s late mother’s stash. The colors so far are medium blue, lavender, light blue, and two different pastel ombre yarns. This is being done as a contribution to Project Linus.

My next stash-breaking project is Martina Kastanek’s Sunday Morning Shawl. I am using up a lot of fingering weight yarn for this project; It’s good to watch the odds and ends become something useful and pretty! It’s also good to reduce the number of small balls of yarn in my project basket! This project is another addition to my Wear a Shawl Day collection.

My last project on the needles is Wendy D. Johnson’s Toe Up Feather and Fan Socks. These have been lying fallow for a while, because I have had Real Life to deal with, but have now been picked up again, and I am about 1-3/4″ away from starting the heel. The yarn is Ethereal Fibers’ Nebula Sock in the “Thump” colorway. Sadly, the light in my room is yellowish,so the picture does not do the colorway justice. The colors in this yarn are truly luminous in daylight.

So, knitting-wise it has been a busy and productive month.

And my next installment should have some exciting news, if all goes well!

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