Saturday, all day, it was raining cats, dogs some mice and a unicorn. Russell Crowe was walking around the neighborhood with some wood and boat plans. That’s when I got an order to make one of these. I listened to the rain, sighed deeply, then went upstairs to get dressed in going out in the rain clothes. 

It was after 6 pm and I told myself I could wait until rain stopped or the Apocalypse really started in earnest but nope, I wanted to go get my supplies and get the job done because I was certain…certain, I tell ya, I did not have this yarn in stock.

I went into the yarn room where the newly sorted yarn is sitting in the huge bags. Found the three bags that held the big yarns and cakes..and sitting on top of bag #2. Was a little less than half a skein of the gray fiber needed to make this hooded scarf.

I pulled it out and looked at it. Was this enough? There’s a lot of yarn in that scarf. I know I have a lot left over when I make one. This skein is probably a remnant from the last one I made. I never made attention to what was leftover. Note to self: pay attention next time. I weighed it…because..that just seemed the right thing to do to determine how much I used before to make a scarf. Thinking that’s why I had that skein to begin with. 7 ounces. It’s a 16 oz skein. Does that mean a scarf takes 9 oz and I won’t have enough? There are fewer things more frustrating to a knitter than being near the end of the project and they run out of yarn. You’d rather hear your mother-in-law say she misses your husband’s ex-girlfriend from high school. (My mother-in-law never did this.)

I took another deep sigh – I am getting so good at that – plopped myself down in my chair, pulled my J hook and went to work. It was soon quite clear there was more than enough. I finished most of it that night and finished it off. 

This tells me a couple of things: my memory of what is and isn’t in my yarn stash makes going through my yarn stash thrilling because I can surprise myself. Thank goodness for the yarn sort. I have no idea where I would have found that half skein if it was still willy-nilly in the shopping bags. This saved me a lot of time and some money. Organization is a good thing. I am not going to have an unorganized stash again. 

Don’t hold me to that. This is a in the moment declaration which may be followed by a dose of reality. The gods are laughing.

 

I gave thought to taking a photo of the EDS to show the progress of the front and thought that there wasn’t much progress to report so a photo wouldn’t do much. Then I compared the last photo with where it is now and thought there was a difference. But I didn’t have the camera and thought there wasn’t so much progress that it was worth going downstairs to get it. So, I thought the next time I will bring up the phone to take a photo.

Then I laughed myself silly at that notion. Bring up the phone to take a picture. That’s something that no one in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or  most of the 90’s said to themselves. Ever. The first commercial camera phone didn’t show up until 1999. Life, as we know it, was changed.

I can remember back in the 70’s watching General Hospital and  Robert Scorpio was talking on a wireless phone about the size of a deck of cards and I thought, how can anyone hear him talking with that so far from his mouth. That ain’t gonna be a thing. It’s a thing.

Taking pics is so much more convenient than before (except when you leave the camera/phone downstairs and don’t want to go get it.) But I imagine just as there are people who know how to knit and knitters, there are people who take pictures with their camera phones and photographers. I believe photographers can take awesome pictures with their camera phones and then there are folks like me. I used to be more of a photographer but that hobby gave way to knitting. If I had only known where knitting would lead me, I would have kept a toe in.

I have to find a place with lots of light to do my photography and videos inside in the winter. As it is, no matter how cold it gets in Chicago – and it does get cold – I take my photos outside because the light is best. It’s not like it gets sooooo bad. Except when there are polar vortexes. Cold enough so that even the snow says it doesn’t want to be outside. We had that last year and I still managed to take photos when I needed to. For me, it’s December, January and February that cause me grief. At the end of November, I start telling myself it’s just twelve more weeks before reasonable seasonable weather will be here. It works for me.

I any case, tomorrow works for a picture. I am working on the EDS and unless knit math decides to play with me, there will be even more length to show you. So it works out for everyone.

I am also on my third go round in the hat I am designing. It was called the slip stitch beanie then the checkmates beanie. I think I will stick with that name though I will be using the slip stitch. Not as many floats to deal with. Mr. Honey brought me some chocolate covered raisins. They are keeping me sane while I go through this. I will show you a pic in progress when I decide on the final design method. I just have to bring up the phone.

 

 

Mr. Honey released me into the wild last night. He took me to the mall where I met Ellen and Laeh for knit night. It was the first night in a week that I was out of the house and not headed for the hospital to be poked, prodded and padded. Last night was a social occasion but I couldn’t drive. I could barely walk.

I have put walking, simple walking, on my daily schedule and it will be chore to walk from the house to the near corner and we’re the fourth house from the corner.

But, for the first time in I don’t know how many years of having knit night, I thought it would be a good idea to take photos of what we’re working on. In a point of irony, it is called knit night but Laeh doesn’t knit, Ellen knits but prefers crochet. She rarely knits and I do both but prefer knitting. Shannon couldn’t make it because her kid has a game and Miss Vicki was late at work…we think. But there be photos of the folks that did show.

We call Ellen the professional hooker. She went through the certification program and got a sheet of paper and everything. She is always making something for her wardrobe. Whereas, I make nothing for myself. She always wears a shirt with some saying about crochet. I should have take a pic of her shirt but I’m new at this pic story telling. Her shirt this month says, If you think chocolate is addicting; you obviously never tried crochet.

I understand the cuteness of it but I couldn’t help but think knitting is more addictive. Agree to disagree.

Laeh knits baby blankets with the baby’s name written in Hebrew. She designs them and then crochets them. Laeh has a busy ‘real’ life as an athletic trainer in a high school so the blankets get worked on when they can. She seems to start when the parents are still in the expecting stage but seems to finish after the baby is born. That would make sense but the baby for this blanket is almost 2…..so. That’s why the blankets are so big; so the kid can drive over and pick it up.

I feel incredibly selfish. I am working on a prayer shawl that is not for a baby and not for my own closest. I am making a prayer shawl to add to my shop for someone to purchase. Only in my knit group, devoid of knitters, can I be made to feel inadequate because I run my own business.

That’s what friends are for. Putting that aside, I am really liking this prayer shawl. Look at those colors. It looks like they come from one skein but this about four different colorways. I love the random. I have no idea how I am going to describe the color when I write the description but the photos should do most of the work for me. These shawls, being made with random colors, are a successful experiment. I like the freedom they give from having to have more specific yarns on hand. I have a lot of Homespun and it will be used. These shawls are also into the wild and I am hoping they find a place in civilized society. 

Enjoyed last night a little bit more than usual. It’s the little things.

Here’s the pic of the EDS I promised. That’s the back and the beginning of the front. Sorry I couldn’t get it staged better but you know that’s not what I’m about.

It’s a beautiful yarn and if I can find the ball band, I will let you know what it is. It’s Mecha by Malabrigo. There’s no way to get everything to match up so I hope her daughter is eclectic like that. I don’t remember how she had it when I got it but I doubt it was symmetrical.

 

I am almost ready to break free. I haven’t been out of the house since last Thursday when I had my therapy session. Mr. Honey will be dropping me off to knitting at the mall. Usually it’s two or three of us so we will see how it is tonight. I will just be glad to be out of the house. I am in fear of the escalator catching my leg wraps though I will have shoes on and everything. Then I remembered I was being dropped off. He can drop me off and pick me up on the ground level where the food court is. I don’t have to go anywhere near the escalator except to pass it by.

I will not be taking the sweater with me. It almost seems like I should but I will be taking the prayer shawl with me so I can closer to finishing item 9/10. Is there something wrong with me that I am thinking I can finish off the last two items and get the entire October collection done before the middle of November and then somehow catch up? Not quite sane. I should give that up. We know I won’t though. That’s how my mind works.

I’m not even sure what I will be making in the next collection. I think I will be reintroducing a stocking cap. I look forward to the whole process. But that won’t start until I finish. I will try and control myself. Tonight, I will be happy to be out of the house for a social instead of medical reason. Freedom is a good thing.

 

 

I promise I will provide an update to the EDS. Now that the yarn sort is over and Mr. Honey has revealed his plan for how he will get the bags in order and lined up, we can move on to other yarny things. I figure the best thing to concentrate on is Elizabeth’s Daughter’s Sweater. I promise there is more to it than the time I took this impromptu photo some weeks back.

For one, the back is done and the front is on the needles and being worked up. Because I was in Phoenix and then the hospital, I have lost the time I work on it in the morning and I am making that time up by working double shifts. I have read the pattern – it is the Echelon sweater by Michelle Wang. I don’t have the idea that she will ever read this blog but just in case, I will note she shouldn’t take it personally that I modified her pattern. I modify all patterns, even my own. I’ve never read a pattern I just did the way they said. Maybe, when I first started out, but the moment I realized the knit gods won’t open the ground beneath my feet because I changed an instruction, it was no rules for me.

I modified the stitch. I modified the increases, shaping and decreases. I’m pretty sure the only thing left of the pattern is the name. Sorry, this has to be done quickly and I tarried too long as it is. But it will be a tunic type sweater just the way she designed it. Thankfully, she doesn’t need me to promote her designs. 

It’s not even a matter of thinking I can do it better. I don’t think that at all. I think of it as more of a ‘you want me to put the left needle where and do what? That sounds like too much work.’ kind of a thing. In other words, it was too complicated when I read it so I don’t want to try it and will instead convert it to something I already know. It’s a wonder I can do something more than garter stitch.

This no rules for me thing really only works in knitting in my life. Everywhere else, there are boundaries. But I press them when I can. So, I will update the EDS and show the pieces and then we can continue on to completion. I said the front would be quicker than the back and I do believe that is the case. You shall see for yourself.

 

So this may not be going quite as planned. The yarn sort is done. All the bags that had been hanging out in the hall and the bedroom have been emptied and the fiber has been placed in the storage bags or thrown away. Yes, I have thrown out yarn. I was not going to donate it or give it away and it was too tangled to do anything with so I hardened my heart and sent it to the great yarn stash beyond.

In the end, I used ten of the large, really large storage bags. I’m slightly disappointed it took only eleven or twelve. Mr. Honey originally bought three boxes (which are nine bags total) and bought me three more boxes. There is one box unopened and the other was opened with one taken out but I was able to consolidate two bags into one and return the empty bag to the box. 

The room looks worse than before. Not really, but I thought the bags would line up nice and pretty. Mr. Honey stepped into the room and said I should make path to the bookcase and take out some paperbacks to donate to the PADS folks the next time we go. He said the bags would ‘line up then.’

No, they won’t. Because I was already in the bookcase and they didn’t line up then. 

I am afraid this was just round one. I think I will have to go through the room again and start taking more stuff out. On the other hand, I could knit more. That would eventually clean the room out. I would have to knit about 20 hours a day and live for another 60 years, making me the oldest person on the planet but the room would be clean.

The sacrifice might be worth it.

 

So, I think things are returning to normal. I am working on the EDS – and I am happy to report the back is done and the front is about to hit the needles. How much you want to bet it goes faster? I am working on item 9/10 of the September collection..egads, that’s going to take some knitting to catch up with that. I’m not counting on it.

But I am, in the interest of being in Knitsville, going to show you the hat patterns I was working on.

 

The first is the Cable All Around Beanie. It’s a little retro fresh. Did it in Ice Yarns Saver in green.

Then there’s the DNA Beanie. Done in Ice Yarns Saver in Cream and Caron One Pound in Claret. Both patterns are written up and need to be formatted. There’s another pattern I did before this when I was on track and I have one more to do. I know the pattern. I just have to figure out of I am going to use three different yarns or use a variegated or self striping yarn. I still haven’t used the Ice Glitz and it could provide an interesting variation. Don’t know what I’m going to do. I have to knit a prayer shawl so I have some time to think about it. Also have a hat order. That should give me enough time to think about it. If I go with three colors, do I use three distinct colors or variations of one?

See, crazy thinking. Like I said, returning to normal.

This is totally my fault. I wanted to let you know about the wedding (it was beautiful) and seeing the family (it was fun) and the weather in Phoenix (I don’t remember but let’s go with hot.)

But I can’t. We flew into Phoenix on a Wednesday. The wedding was Friday night and we flew back to Chicago on Saturday night and we went from the airport directly to the ER and I spent four days in the Resurrection Hospital hotel.

Diagnosis: Cellulitis. Do not ask me how I contracted a skin disease. I got it before we left and we went to Phoenix with me in discomfort and came back with me in pain. Mr. Honey took a photo of it – you don’t want to see it. Good thing we didn’t go before the wedding or we would not have made it. With all that, there is news in Knitsville.

Mr. Honey had to learn how to ship packages. While I was in the hospital, I had two orders that needed to be shipped. At the time, there was no telling when I would be home so he had to handle to ‘ready to ship’ items. Knitsville has a new postal employee. He forgot to add the free pen to one of the orders but no one knows it’s coming anyway and I forgot to tell him to add the business cards but those things can be forgiven. The good news is all packages were sent.

I also got a special order right before I left and he brought me the things I needed to make it. Here’s the thing about knitting in the hospital; it seems like it would be a great environment to get some stitching in but there are so many distractions. When you contract a skin infection, at least in my case, there were surgeons (it’s a teaching hospital so there were residents in my room at 5 am) infectious disease doctors (for some reason, I needed two of those), my case manager, the head nurse, six nursing students and a chaplain. Not counting the nurse, nurse assistant and my primary care physician, the people who came in to take my blood and do an ultrasound and the guys who came to take me to get a CT done. And the wound nurse (whom I adored.) See what I mean? Not a lot of knitting was done. The hat was finished a couple of days after I got home because I had to recover from my cure.

So, it’s totally my fault that there is no more knitting done. I’ve missed the deadline to finish the September line and start the October line and there aren’t more things in the shop that are ready to ship which is a drag on business. But the good news is the folks in Knitsville were there for me and things are back on track if not exactly caught up. I finished the hat and shipped it, I finished item 6/10 and I am designing a new cabled beanie and I am back with you guys. If there are any of you guys out there. 

Both my legs are wrapped and taped from toe to knee and I have started therapy so there’s a new fun time in Knitsville. But I am working on the EDS and all is right with the main part of the world. I’m itching to get stitching.