Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It's Baaaaack! (Chalazion II -- the terrifying sequel)

I have just returned from a WONDERFUL five days of backpacking the Lost Coast in Humboldt County, and woke up this morning to find that my eyelid hurts again. I think the chalazion is coming back. Time for the wet washcloth and eye drops! The doctor warned that this might happen. Argh!

Camp knitting: finished the adorable pair of fingerless gloves! Bound off the last stitch just as the sun was setting last night on the car trip home. The yarn is gorgeous, they're warm and cozy, and I can't wait to make another pair.

I will take a photo just as soon as I know if our camera is okay -- it took an unfortunate dip in the ocean when my DH decided to jump into the waves fully clothed, and forgot it was in his pocket. You have to know my DH to truly appreciate this story -- he gets a little crazy in the great outdoors!

Finally, I received this lovely note from Princess M's mommy: "She was so proud of her purse that Auntie Becca made for her. She took it to school for sharing on Thursday and proudly told anyone who would listen that you had made it for her. She even showed it off to people in the church office with my mom after school that day."

I have a fan! One day when she's a famous movie star, I can be her personal knitwear designer.

Looking forward to my first meet-up in ages tomorrow night -- hooray!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Props to Mel and Camp Knitting

Please, everybody, if you haven't already, go visit Mel's blog and give her props for finishing the Monkey Bag from Knitty. It looks great, but apparently was a huge pain in the butt. Her descriptions made me NEVER want to knit with hemp.

I have definitely decided on the wrist warmers (or fingerless gloves, if you prefer) for my camp knitting project. This is a pattern from Joelle Hoverson's book "Last Minute Knitted Gifts" -- a book I like more and more every time I pick it up. Joelle goes over all the basics, including color selection, and has gorgeous, detailed photos as well as clear instructions. And as someone who likes to make people presents, I love it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Knitting Frenzy!

Chalazion report: Smallish red blemish on lower eyelid. Not very puffy. Hopefully will continue to fade in color and not leave a permanent scar.

Head injury report: In what can only be described as a bizarre gardening accident, my former roommate M, who is not a knitter but a jewelry designer, stepped on the end of a rake just like people do in bad sitcoms. The handle bounced up and hit her, and she ended up with a sizeable bruise on her upper eyelid. Be careful out there, people. The star in charge of eye-related injuries is clearly up to something.

Knitting report: My show opened Friday, and after two weeks without a day off and four days without touching knitting needles, I spent Saturday in what can only be described as a knitting frenzy.

Blue Cardy progress: here it is! The completed dark blue half with a partially completed light blue half. Buttons aren't sewn on yet, but aren't they cute?

Princess M's bag now has a cotton lining AND a label indicating who made it for her. She will receive this tomorrow night at her 3rd birthday dinner:

CNITU's "feesh" backpack is now in a state of almost-done-ness. (Note the super-cute lining fabric.)

I cast on the White Lies Nicole lingerie! The yarn is a super-soft wool and silk blend, so nice on the fingers! I'm enjoying it thoroughly. This is how it looked Sunday evening, but it's progressed another few inches since then:

And finally, I made it over to my San Mateo LYS, Vanessa's Needlepoint and Knitting Shoppe, on Saturday afternoon. Despite the annoying extra "p" and "e," this is a nice big store with tons of yarn! I was a bit overwhelmed, but noted some favorite brands including Prism, Great Adirondack, Debbie Bliss, Muench, and Trendsetter, but sadly, no Rowan. GREAT 50% off sale baskets on the floor, and instead of just random balls of weird novelty yarns, they had multiples of the same color in interesting solid color yarns. Here's my on-sale stash from this shopping trip:

Fabulous Modigliani and Muench yarns, also note the free pen and tape measure you get for signing up for Vanessa's frequent shopping card. Vanessa herself is very sweet and was dressed in a gorgeous, drapy black-and-white poncho.

(You'll have noticed I'm posting more photos than usual, this is thanks to my new laptop and my DH's mac.com homepage. I have severed my ties with the Microsoft moster that is Hello!)

For my final photo of the day, I'd like to share MomWiz's terrific bunny for PM's birthday -- she made one for us for the wedding, and now the Princess herself will possess her very own girly version.

Outdoor Knitting report: The DH and I and some friends are off to the Lost Coast in Humboldt this weekend for a backpacking trip. A long car drive and plenty of relaxation time in the big outdoors means one thing: knitting! I will take Nicole along for the drive, but she's just too pale and delicate for camp knitting. I swatched a set of fingerless gloves last night in a nice burgundy wool for my camp knitting project. Might bring along a baby hat as well -- I have a great new pattern from the Yarn of the Month club to knit in Rowan Tweed 4-ply.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Head injuries to knitters week

It's getting better! The chalazion is now a reddish, crusty scab, still ugly but distinctly smaller than it was. I can now see over my own lower eyelid, which is nice.

So I must turn my attention to poor C, who has stitches across her eyelid. It begs the question, how did this heinous thing happen? Pray tell, Christina!

To all the other knitters out there, I offer this advice: Duck. We must put an end to this epidemic!

Friday, May 13, 2005

The sty that would not die, part two

A visit to the doctor yesterday about the world's ugliest and largest sty revealed that it is NOT a sty, but something called a "chalazion," which is apparently Klingon for "large ugly bump on the eyelid." I had never heard of such a thing, but lo and behold, you can read about them here, if you are the victim of sick curiosity.

I sometimes think my family was specially chosen by God to experience strange and unusual maladies. My father is just getting over an obscure viral attack on his thyroid, my mother's last trip to Alaska was cut short by some weird intestinal blockage, I'm the only person I know to have ever suffered from viral menengitis, my sister has a bizarre degenerative eye disease, and now this. Much less life-threatening, but much more hideous.

The chalazion, having now been subjected to antibiotics and warm compresses, is turning yellowish and flatter and achieving a whole new level of ugly. I hope this means it is going away. If not, I will have to go back to the doctor next week and have it surgically removed. Blech.

Meanwhile, at every free waking moment I have to have a warm washcloth over my eye, which means I can't see to knit. Evil chalazion! The final insult!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Uglification and disgruntlement

I have joined the ranks of the truly ugly. Cinderella's step-sister ugly. Phantom of the Opera ugly. Frightening small children ugly.

I have an enormous sty right in the center of my lower left eyelid. It's the size of a small cherry tomato, and about the same color. It is not possible to camouflage something this big and hideous with anything except dark glasses, and I am not pretentious enough to wear dark glasses indoors, so the end result is that I have spent the last several days frightening people. It's actually fairly entertaining. I'll walk into a room, remove my sunglasses, and observe the expressions of shock and/or horror. People who love me, like my DH, are quite honest about it. "Gosh, it's gotten worse!" he exclaimed last night after I'd spent several hours deluding myself into thinking it had gotten better. "It looks really awful!"

I much prefer his reaction to those of the polite folks who attempt not to comment, like the young teacher I interviewed this morning. She kept trying not to stare at it, but she couldn't help herself. She kept blinking quickly and then jerking her gaze suddenly to the right. Fascinating. I could have taken her off the hook by excusing my appearance in advance, but I was seized with a desire to discover what the truly deformed have to deal with.

I would take a picture of it to share with you all, but I'm not sure I want it documented for posterity. I will be quite relieved when it's finally gone, although it might take a while. Ugliness this profound does not go gently into the good night.

Shall I talk about knitting now? I had a few hours to kill on Saturday, so I made a naughty visit to Knitting Arts for their Mother's Day sale. Acquired a lovely array of Rowan, Muench, and Great Adirondack. The Rowan is all wool tweeds, dk and 4-ply, in greenish-blue, off-white, and rose, the Muench is Samoa cotton(the best for my little backpacks and purses), in lt. blue, lt. green, pink, and peach, and the Great Adirondack is crazy stuff, fuzzy and shiny and sparkly, in a rainbow of pastels to match the Samoa. Kind of like the Prism we used to make Shawlapalooza -- I have this idea for a little poncho and matching bag in Samoa/Adirondack for Princess M, a smaller version of the Fuzzy Sparkly poncho. The Rowan is for a hat from Interweave Knits last winter, plus some socks. When I get around to socks!

I'm halfway through the final knitting piece for CNITU's backpack; soon it will be ready to block and crochet together. Slow going -- I have NO TIME to knit at the moment, since my middle school students have their final performance on Friday and my show goes into tech on Saturday. I recall Sally Melville saying in one of her books that if she doesn't have time to knit every day, she gets grumpy. Ah, Sally, how right you are.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Another happy mom!

My DH and I presented Mom with her Bias Betty scarf yesterday, along with a book on the History of Chocolate (we are all three huge chocoholics). She was very appreciative and sent a nice thank-you email right away. I look forward to posting a picture of her in her scarf! Perhaps it will come in handy on their upcoming trip to Alaska.

I sewed the hood on Blue Cardy yesterday and finished off one of the pockets with a row of crochet. It looks great, but it's slow progress. Sleeves and the other pocket next, then I'll start finishing the light blue side. Still, it will almost definitely be done by CNITU's birthday, whether it fits him or not! The CNITU "feesh" backpack continues to progress swimmingly, pun intended.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Hooray for thank-you notes!

As always, it is pleasant to be thanked. My DH is something of a thank-you note champion, which makes me very spoiled. But he was well-trained -- my MIL sent a nice email right after receiving the pillow, which is now residing in a drawer as a sachet. (It's a bit small for a throw pillow, so the sachet use makes more sense.)

I wish there was a way to refresh the lavender without disassembling the whole thing -- maybe a spray of linen water?

Now must get around to writing those last few wedding thank-yous...

Here's the knit side of the Mother's Day pillow... Posted by Hello

Here's the fabric side. It's filled with lavender to use as a drawer sachet. Size is about 8" sqaure. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 02, 2005

Lingerie it is!

Well, there were very few truly decisive votes, only one on the actual blog, but it looks like at least my male friends are in favor of the White Lies Lingerie. I have to admit it looks fairly difficult, so I'll review the pattern and see if I can handle it or if I need to practice my lace skills on the Aura shawl first.

Anyway, as Spinnity points out, it's spring and one really should be knitting seasonal garments. Ah, spring, when a young man's thoughts turn to lingerie...

Knitting on the big screen: I saw Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy this weekend, which was of course disappointing since it just couldn't be as good as the books, but knitters should watch for the very cool knitting section of the movie. I expect patterns for the knitted elements to be posted on-line any day now, after all the knitting geeks have seen the movie and jumped up and down about it on their blogs. Meanwhile, here's a really delightful column about technology from the late, great Douglas Adams. Hard to know if he would have hated or loved the movie; it definitely Americanized his delightfully dry humor, but he re-wrote the story for the radio and TV shows and doesn't seem to have had much of a sense of self-importance about the whole phenomenon.

Other knitting news: The Nancie Wiseman pillow is finished and on its way to MIL. We took photos; they will be posted in the fullness of time. The Feesh Backpack is ongoing. Blue Cardy is still in various pieces. Spinnity lent me her blocking wires so that I can put final touches on Bias Betty for Mom's Day.

And to respond to C's request for button gossip: I got some teddy bear buttons for the Halloween costume I'm designing for Peter this year. Also got really tiny yellow and orange buttons just because they're so cute and leetle! (What is it about girls and little tiny things? It really is a strange impulse.) And some blue and green shell buttons that are pretty and elegant. The buttons I used for the NW Pillow are silver with a vintage floral design.