March 7, 2015

Riding Life's Rollercoaster

The last month has been interesting.  I've been attending the UW's Mini Med School, which I really enjoy.  It's two hours of public health-related lectures each Tuesday evening.  I won the gross anatomy lottery this year so was able to visit a gross anatomy lab.  I'm not able to distill that experience into words, though.  It was amazing.  It can be painful to revisit something I'm deeply interested in but completely able to pursue, however.

With the positives also come the negatives.  My energy has been lower this week and I think the recent decrease in fatigue is over.  My body wants to be awake and energetic only at night, which is inconvenient.  And making and keeping friends is always difficult.  I also lost a group of close online friends due to life's inevitable changes.

But I'm still here, and I'm pushing ahead on the Niebling lace project.  I've almost reached row 200 out of 250.  It should be a little faster from here on, the pattern repeats are shorter thus easier to memorize.

It this seems scattered, well it is.  Communication is difficult lately.

February 15, 2015

Ssk-free I-cord edging

I unvented a slightly easier way to apply I-cord edging.  You may read the description and think: pshaw, that's simple, I could have thought of it myself!  But you didn't, I did ;)  I may sound cocky but this is my blog and I get to revel in my own cleverness.

Without further ado the how-to:

1) Cast on your I-cord.  I used 4 stitches to make a more substantial edging but 3 sts is typical.

2) Ready the left side of the piece to be bound off (PtbBo).  This is where we depart from convention and aim for genius.

If PtbBo is worked in garter st, finish with a right side row.  Otherwise the stitches present themselves as purls and create unsightly bumps along your finished I-cord.

I-cord on left in blue, PtbBo on right in gray

3) Commence I-cording by slipping the left-most PtbBo st onto the right side of your I-cord needle.

4) Knit together the first two sts (I-cord and PtbBo).  Then knit the remaining I-cord sts as usual.

5) Slide the I-cord back to the right side of your needle (or slip the sts to the right needle if not using dpns).

Repeat steps 3-5 until you have completely bound off PtbBo.

My swatch half bound off with I-cord

So yes, knitting I-cord is still tedious.  But you've eliminated slip, slip, knit in favor of k2tog which always counts as a win in my book.  Happy knitting!

February 12, 2015

Blanket Accompli

My squishy, warm and cozy Mitered Brights blanket is done!  And I love all of its 40x48" or 100x120cm.

It folds up nicely
Whimsy is important--thanks Tom for reminding me--so I added a multicolored I-cord border despite being tedious to knit.  And unvented a slight faster way to work it, which I will post.

The Blanket, posing provocatively on my queen bed
I reknit the border a few times all told to get the tension right, it kept loosening up as I got bored went.  I surprised myself Sun night when the last stitch was truly cast off.  I'd already worked most of the ends in as I went.  Of course then I had a dream that they were still dangling, because my brain is a sadist.  I got the last laugh,  I woke to a fully finished blanket :)

February 3, 2015

Wise words from a friend

Yesterday I read a beautiful blog post by my friend Byrd.  She is also living with chronic illness, and offers her unique and valuable insights.

Here are some observations Byrd has about folks with chronic illness:

"We are wise.  We are funny.  We have marvelous insights.  We see things in a different light.  Because of what we have faced, we value kindness, thoughtfulness and consideration.  We value things that make the world a better place without taking away from others.  In fact, what we value Adds to others.  We are complete."

She is also an artist with work on Flickr.

January 16, 2015

Blanket Border 1.0

The grey blanket yarn finally arrived and I've finished the body and am working on the border.  On the plus side: the blanket is big!  On the minus side, the blanket is big!

The first border scheme I tried looks too much like Mork's suspenders are strangling an otherwise classy blanket.  And the scale is wrong.  I'm all for 70s-tastic, just not this time.  I'd like a wide charcoal border but am running low on charcoal yarn.  But I have plenty of light grey ;)

Nanu nanu
I had a pair of these as a kid, loved them!

Border 1.0 on right
After struggling with perfectionist tendencies for twenty years it can be nice to work on something without a clear plan.  It makes my brain itchy to try to solve problems and make decisions on the fly.  But in a positive way that indicates changes in neuroplasticity.
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