My “long-term” project took about a month. This is a lovely pattern by Laura Aylor—well-thought out, well-written. I like working with madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light so much that it might be dangerous to go into a yarn shop that carries it, but for now, these two skeins were the last of my stash. I have the same problem with Brooklyn Tweed Loft, but luckily, I have some waiting to wind and knit.
Anyway, I wanted a project that wasn’t lace, and that required attention and thought. I got it—especially when it was time to double the stitches for the ruffled border. I made the mistake of calculating how many stitches it would take to finish: 15,864. For days, every time I sat down to knit, I just had to do the math. Then one day, I had just four rows to go, or 2,664 stitches. I was a little sad, I think, and after I bound off, my beautiful shawl sat in a lump on the couch for days and days. I’d finished, but now what?
What else should I do when I’ve just done a lot of knitting on relatively small needles with fingering yarn? Cast on a giant cowl, of course. Not an infinity scarf, but a cowl that’s really deep—I’ve noticed them popping up on Ravelry. I texted my niece Becca and asked her opinion: if I make this kind of cowl, would you wear it? She said sure, so I did.
I had some Lot 1 of The Great White Bale, I had size 10.5 needles, and I had a free Sunday. I cast on 80 stitches, knit for eight rounds, then worked double seed stitch until it looked deep enough. I repeated the eight rounds of stockinette, and bound off just as Boardwalk Empire was starting. It was so much fun! It’s drying now (I had to take the picture while it was damp), and in the end it’s going to be about 28″ around and 18″ deep. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on a person. It needs someone who can really wear something this big and bold. That’s Becca!
After Cowl-zilla was finished and out of my system, I went back to the scarf I’ve been knitting for the other Becca in my life, Rebecca of the Remarkable R’s. She chose a beautiful deep green/blue shade of Nona at Rhinebeck last year, and I vowed to have it finished for this year. I’m making Lisa Lloyd’s The Road Not Taken from A Fine Fleece. I’ll take pictures of it when she wears it on October 20th!
And after that’s finished? Well, I need socks.
September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. It’s important.
After my diagnosis in May 2008, I learned everything I could about my cancer—uterine cancer of the endometrium—but of course I wish I’d been more informed before I was overwhelmed with the symptoms of my disease, and by the diagnosis of an advanced cancer, Stage III-C.
Women of every age need to learn, understand, and be aware of their bodies. This is where my own education began: The Foundation for Women’s Cancer.
I’m here, five years after beginning my journey, and still learning. If you know my blog, you know I’ve tried to write about my experiences, and to share them with the hope that they’ll help someone else. I’m not a cancer warrior. I’m a traveler. The category archives are here: Cancer; and here: Road to Wellville.
It’s late summer. No matter what the temperature is, the air feels different, and the green world has taken on a slightly worn-out look. I love the late afternoon, when my little porch is almost in shadow, and there’s a breeze from the direction of the ocean.
The initial unpredictability of my new work life has been transformed into a routine, and I welcome it. I go to work knowing what I need to do, most of the time. I’m still learning the unfamiliar language of An Office: how to work in a cubicle, how to approach the people who seem unapproachable (and how not to), how to let the awkward moments pass because that’s the only way to move on. I have Duties now, and Projects. And most of the time I can solve problems without asking for advice on how it’s done.
After I finished knitting my Arroyo scarf, I dug around in my stash for the next project. I wanted to knit something that would take some time, that I could work on slowly. I had Laura Aylor’s Cinnamon Toast shawl pattern, and I found two skeins of tosh merino light in “Earl Grey.” I’m taking it slowly, but it’s growing so quickly!
At first I was worried that the yarn might be too busy for the diamond shapes in the pattern. After a few inches, though, I decided that there was no turning back, and I’m happy that I didn’t.
Shawls always look so funny on the needles, all bunched into a blob. The bigger they get, the blobbier the blob becomes. It’s not until they are off the needles and blocked that they show us their glorious selves. Cinnamon Toast is different—it folds itself into an accordion. Very tidy!
In a few weeks, it will be Autumn. A few weeks after that, time for Rhinebeck. And a few weeks after that, the Knitter’s Review Retreat. I’m full already. My year has been different, to say the least. I need my annual anchors, visits with the friends I see only once or twice a year, and a chance to connect with the Jane I am in these places and with these people. Will I look as different as I feel?
I needed to knit. My new job fills my brain to capacity each day, and I needed to come home to knitting—to count out the stitches, lean the decreases left or right, knit the garter stitch. So I did. The result of a week’s worth of knitting is my Blue Bale Arroyo, a pattern by Sarah Wolf.
The yarn is the rare and perfectly sublime Lot 3: The Kraemer Experiment from The Great White Bale. It’s merino blended with silk, dyed by Jennifer Heverly at Spirit Trail Fiberworks. Each of us received just one skein, 390 yards. My scarf used less than 300 yards.
I dressed up my little cubicle at work. There’s not much you can do with beige walls, a beige desk, and a beige floor. Well, I’m sure there is, but I’m just not going to take it all that far. A few more photos, or a poster, then I’m done. I think I like the minimalist look.
My job is reminding me that my brain needs to be flexible, that I can be nimble, and that I have more than enough room in there for all the new things I’m learning. There’s still a way to go before I feel comfortable with all the routines and how to be in an office instead of in a store, but I’ll get there. And I might be tired at the end of the day, but I drive home in a good mood—a simple thing, but something that I realized I hadn’t felt for a long, long time.