Archive for October, 2008

The rain to the wind said,

“You push and I’ll pelt.”

Robert Frost “Lodged”

It’s been a wonderful day of rain and wind. When wet, the gold, yellow, orange and red of autumn’s leaves intensify. Against the background of a gray metal sky, the leaves are wonderfully vibrant. When plucked from their branches by the wind, they swirl in such a play of color that it is like looking at a Jackson Pollock painting in motion. I love autumn.

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She isn’t harassed. She’s busy, and it’s glamorous to be busy. Indeed, the image of the on-the-go working mother is very like the glamorous image of the busy top executive. Arlie Hochschild The Second Shift

I have news for dear Arlie, there’s nothing glamorous about being so busy that your head spins. That’s what I’ve been all this week: too busy — too busy to even be busy. Very little knitting has gone on and so the Autumn Lace Sock pattern is still not ready.

My poor baby girl, a pointer labrador mix, Dakota, needs an operation to remove a large lump. I love her to pieces and am just sick over this operation. Too boot, the vet is now treating her for hypothyroidism. I’m not crazy about taking medication myself and I always have grave reservations about giving my pets medications. But the vet says she needs the soloxine. I read up on the med and hypothyroidism in dogs on the net. Dakota doesn’t show any of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Yet the vet said her blood test showed hypothyroidism. I’m real uncomfortable with this.

I hope to get knitting done on the Autumn Lace Sock this weekend. In the meantime, I have a box full of hats I crocheted last winter. I am going to go through them, take pictures and put some of them up for sale in my Etsy store Avalon’s Dream. The link to my store is here and on the sidebar. I hope to post one or two for sale over the weekend.

Tonight I think I’ll just sit and love my 2 pups.

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Knitting Continues

As a cure for a cold, take your toddy to bed, put one bowler hat at the foot, and drink until you see two.

Robert Bruce, Sir Lockhart

Let’s just say I would if I could follow the above advice. Another trip to the MD’s. More medicine and nothing works. My insurance company is getting cranky with all this. It does not like me being sick. I don’t like me being sick either.

My insurance company is now playing doctor, deciding what it will cover, what it won’t. It’s become like a game of craps. Will it or won’t it cover this next medication, test, or proceedure. A roll of the dice, if you will. What it does or doesn’t cover seems as arbitrary as a dice roll.

I am not a fan of medicine, its practioners, etc. I have seen first hand the stark limits of “modern medicine” when I watched my husband die 12 years ago. He was 42 years old. For all the advances in medicine there is still so much that it cannot make well again.  Medicine, modern or otherwise, has it limits.

Today, I took my pointer – labrador mix to the vet. Dakota is my big baby girl and I love her dearly. She is 8 years old. The vet found a lump on a mammary gland. Tests are being run to see if Dakota’s kidneys are well enough to withstand surgery to remove the lump.

I am still knitting the Autumn Lace Sock.

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The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

William Shakespeare

All’s Well That Ends Well

I am knitting and checking my math as fast as I can and still I see no way I can meet my own deadline of releasing the knitting pattern for my Autumn Lace Sock today. Dang and double dang it. You see, I have this major hang up about releasing a pattern that I have not thoroughly tested myself. It is very important to me that my patterns be accurate and easy to follow. I want knitters to enjoy themselves while knitting my patterns and I want them to love the projects when they finish them.

So while I am 99% sure that all size measurements for the Autumn Lace Sock are correct, I need to finish knitting the woman’s small to be sure. I want to see that the proportions are right. Especially the proportion of cuff length and the percentage of leg pattern that shows beneath the bottom of the cuff and comes before dividing for heel and instep. Although the numbers tell me that length and percentage will be fine, I need to see it in real life before me. I guess you could say I don’t trust numbers.

On the Rhinebeck front, I am still undecided about whether I will go.  If I felt good there would be no question that I would go, but the creeping crud I caught is still hanging in there. I keep thinking of all that beautiful yarn I’ll miss touching and I could almost cry. Sigh.

Time to get back to the sock.

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You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

A little over a year ago my younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.  A mastectomy was followed by a long course of chemotherapy and then radiation. I decided to knit her a shawl that she could wrap around herself the way my arms would if I were there to comfort and support her.

The first thing I did was look for the “right” yarn, which I now know was naive. The yarn had to have the correct colors, weight, and texture. I found two that I was going to narrow down to one. Then it hit me. Content. Fiber content.

Did I really want to give my sister a shawl made from heaven knows what chemicals? Wasn’t her chemotherapy enough exposure to chemicals for a lifetime? Thus began my research into and sole use of organic yarns or yarns made of natural fibers. What I learned about how yarns are made and dyed changed me as a knitter. It also changed how and why I choose a particular yarn for my projects.

I won’t bore you with too many details. The short of it: Chemicals play a large role in the manufacture of yarn. A much larger role than I had ever imagined. They even play a role in yarns made of all natural fibers. And unless the organic yarn is grown in a particular color (organic cotton yarns come to mind here) their “organic” status can be lost the minute the yarn hits the dye vat. If you want true organic yarn, it has to be organic from start to finish. Vegan dyes, natural dyes and dye procedures keep an organic yarn organic. (I am not going to start on mordants, though a yarn company’s use of and type of mordant does make a difference to me in selecting or not selecting a yarn.)

I very much believe in “going green”. I make my buying power agree with my sentiments. I buy yarn from companies that have small environmental footprints.

Next time you’re looking for yarn give one of the environmentally friendly ones a try.

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Pattern: Hearts Abound Baby Socks

Page 4

Foot should read: Work even until piece measures 3 inches from the back of the heel or about 1.5 inches less than desired total foot length.

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The two basic items necessary to sustain life are sunshine and coconut milk. Did you know that? That’s a fact.

Waldo Salt

Midnight Cowboy

Well, I’d be out of luck today if my life depended on sunshine and coconut milk. It’s cloudy here in the northeast and I am allergic to coconut.

I have finally completed the work on the Autumn Lace sock.

I couldn’t be happier. It came out exactly as I planned. I will release the pattern this Friday. Right now I am proofing the pattern. I am also knitting a pair of Autumn Lace Socks for myself. That’s how much I really like the look of these. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK 100% superwash merino in apricot. I love the softness and warmth of this yarn.  All the details of the socks will be given on Friday on my blog, in my Etsy store AvalonsDream and my Ravelry spot.

Rhinebeck is happening this weekend and it may be the first time in a long time that I will not be able to attend. Rhinebeck is the sight of the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. It is always awesome, especially if you are like me and love animals and yarn and spinning and knitting. Unfortunately I am still harboring remnants of the creeping crud. I am still pretty congested and lacking my usual energy. The drive up, the drive back, the walking around, may not be something I can easily do this year. It will break my heart, but I may have to pass this year.

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