Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WIP Wednesday - Not Fast Enough

Things that don't go fast enough . . . .

  • my Internet connection (or more accurately, my whole computer. I think it's on it's last leg.)
  • the days that need to pass until the weekend
  • the four hours until dinner (Pea and I are on diets, and find ourselves very hungry between meals)
  • my latest pair of socks . . .
Yup, last week I realized that August was right around the corner, and I wasn't likely to finish either of my current Socks In Progress in time for a July SAM credit. So I decided to cast on a pair of footies. Footies are quick, and if I made the cuff at least 2 inches long, they'd count for a Summer Of Socks credit also. (Does that make them Shorties instead of Footies???)

I pulled some Elann Esprit / Sock It To Me from deep within the stash and cast on. I'd been mulling over an idea for footies with cables like the famous Fetching Mitts. I decided my cables would alternate between left and right crossing. It ended up looking something like this. (They look better in real life though.)

I like it. But as you can see, today is July 30th and sock #1 isn't finished. How likely is it that I can knit one and a half footies by midnight tomorrow??

Not very likely at all. Oh well, I guess I'll finish next week and have my August credit out of the way early.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Three more rows . . .

on the neckband and my big wool sweater will finally be done.

I'm off to commence ribbing, bind off, soaking and blocking. I WILL get this finished TODAY!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vacation knitting

As any knitter knows, the most difficult part of packing for vacation is deciding what knitting projects to take. I knew I'd be bringing the new knitting bag that my mom gave me for my birthday. And it can fit quite a bit. First in was Hypoteneuse. And the Malabrigo socks. But I needed something else. I certainly wasn't going to drag that big wool sweater down to Virginia in July. I needed something new . . . . something mindless . . . . something SOCKS. So I turned to the sock yarn stash.

Yikes!!!!! With a stash of that embarrassingly massive size, how does one pick?? Well, I dug deep down and came up with two skeins of self-striping that has long since been discontinued.

About time to cast these on, I'd say. After all, it's so pretty.

There wasn't much time for knitting on our vacation (and the heat and humidity didn't help) but I did manage to make a little progress.

Yup, I think it's a keeper!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good to be home . . .

I guess I'm not the adventurous type, because it sure does feel good to be back home from vacation. Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful time. But I'm always happy to get home, get the fridge stocked, get the laundry washed, and get back to "normal" life.

Our trip was to Colonial Williamsburg for a Family Reunion with my mother's side of the family. I was sure I had gotten a shot of the 25ish of us all posing together, but I guess my camera was hidden away when the picture was taken. Hopefully some relatives will upload their copies soon! The best I can do is a picture of me and my brother at Jamestown, with my aunt and uncle in the back.

How can you tell that's me, and that we are related? Why, by the way we are both desperately trying to ignore the camera (and Pea) in the hopes of not getting our picture taken!! Our conversation probably went something like this:
"Is he gone yet?"
"Nope, still there."
"Well for goodness sake, don't look - and certainly don't smile!"
"Why doesn't he just go take a shot of the scenery?"

Speaking of scenery, Virgina is gorgeous. Very very hot and very very humid, but also very very pretty. See . . .

Oh my, what's that in the left corner? Could it be a yarn shop? Why yes, it is a yarn shop!! In fact, we found a few yarn shops while there. And some yarn happened to follow me home, along with some beads and a sheep.

No silly, not a real sheep. Although that would be cool, wouldn't it? We'll have to see about that for the next vacation souvenir!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Yarn P*rn - not just for Fridays!!!

Admittedly, I'm running a bit behind these days. My brother is here from Colorado for the first time in a few years. Pea is officially on vacation this week. And it's time for some fun. I had hoped to pre-write a few posts to keep things rolling on the blog while I'm off "playing" - but I seem to have run out of time.

But before I go, I wanted to make time to show you the gorgeous yarn I won in a blog contest over at The Plucky Knitter.

It's called Perfect Weekend. And it's so perfect, I think we need a closer look.

Doesn't Sarah do an amazing job with her colorways? "Perfect Weekend" is going to make a perfect pair of socks! Thank you, Ms. Plucky!!!

And with that, I'm off for a perfect vacation!! See you next week!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What do you knit . . . .

when it's hot, humid and so sticky out? Well, if you are me, you work on a wool sweater, of course!

I know it makes no sense to be knitting wool in the kind of weather we've been having this week. And I'm actually craving some new projects to cast on. But since this sweater is SO CLOSE to being done, I'm forcing myself to hold off on anything new until it is finished. Just the ribbed cuff on the second sleeve and the neck-band, and this is off to the blocking board!

Maybe I can finish it today?? And then, stuck in a drawer for a couple of months, I guess. Oh well, at least I'll have a new sweater to console me when the summer is over.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New Socks & an Interview . . . .

My latest sock project is very slow going. I love it, but there isn't much to show yet.
The pattern is the challenging but wonderful Twisted Flower Sock by Cookie A. The yarn, of course, is the yet-to-be-released Malabrigo Sock I won at Stitch n Pitch. I figured yarn this special needed an incredible pattern. It's a good match, but will probably take me all summer to knit.

So, since there isn't much to say about the sock yet, I have shamelessly stolen a blog idea from Kathy. She interviewed her Fireman. I've interviewed my Engineering Geek (aka Pea). Hope you have as much fun reading mine as I did reading hers.

Interview with Engineering Geek:

Karen: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
Engineering Geek: How you enjoy it so.

Karen: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?
Engineering Geek: It's everywhere, *^%*& it, and it uses too much money and we can't do anything because of your knitting habits. No, don't write that. I'm only half kidding - I mean mostly kidding.

Karen: What is something I have knitted, that you recall as good?
Engineering Geek: (laughs) Clarify good. Mmmmm . . . the green shawl is very pretty. {He means Kiri}

Karen: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?
Engineering Geek: No. You make it expensive by . . . . never mind.

Karen: How much is all your remote control helicopter stuff?
Engineering Geek: All of it? $250. {He's not counting the new $400 helicopter he wants to buy very soon.}

Karen: Do you have a helicopter stash?
Engineering Geek: No.
Karen: What about all those extra blades and other parts for when it crashes and the pieces all break.
Engineering Geek: Well, yeah. I guess so.

Karen: Have I ever embarrassed you, knitting in public.
Engineering Geek: No.

Karen: Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?
Engineering Geek: Malabrigo.
Karen: Yeah, I'll go with that. Actually, I was thinking Sock Yarn.
Engineering Geek: That's too general.

Karen: Can you name another blog?
Engineering Geek: Mmmmm, yes? Uuuhh, I should know because you used to do banners for some blogs. Somebody "knits by the seashore"? {close} "Some Bunny's Love"? {Impressive}

Karen: Now, do you mind my wanting to stop at knit shops where ever we go?
Engineering Geek: (laughs) Sometimes.

Karen: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?
Engineering Geek: Hahahahha, yes. So you know your gauge - which would be how many stitches per inch. So your sweater comes out the right size.

Karen: Do you read Musings of a (mostly) Self-Taught Knitter?
Engineering Geek: (looks sheepish) Occasionally. Yeah.

Karen: Have you ever left a comment?
Engineering Geek: Yes. {but he hasn't left one in years}

Karen: Do you the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?
Engineering Geek: (laughs a lot) Uuuhhh, NO.

Karen: Thank you for this insightful interview. Would you like to add anything in closure?
Engineering Geek: (shakes head) No . . . I love you.

Yeah, I think he's a keeper!!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I haven't mentioned this here, but I recently decided to start a Diabetes blog too. I was never sure I could keep up with two blogs (I'm still not sure I can), but I decided having a separate blog where I can talk about life with diabetes and all that goes along with it (some good, some bad), might be a really good thing. But since diabetes is such a big part of my life, you'll still see some D-Stuff here too. Like today . . . Gina has had the wonderful idea that we all raise our voices and let the insurance companies know how much we need them to approve requests for CGMs.

A Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is a device designed to constantly check and track your blood glucose levels. It can not correct for a high or low reading, but it can sound an alarm when your blood sugar is off. At this time, it is not a replacement for the "finger stick" method of blood glucose checking, but is meant to work in conjunction with it and make it easier to keep an eye on BG levels. The technology is still quite new - with the bugs and glitches that we know is par for the course with any new technology. Because of that, along with the cost factor associated with a CGMS, most insurance companies are denying coverage. Even some insurance companies who had approved coverage in the past are reversing their decisions and letting people know they won't be covered any more. The post from my diabetes blog continues below:

I've been on my pump for about 2 1/2 months. Before I took the plunge, I couldn't see how the "new" pump technology could really help me any more than taking injections. After all, both have the same end result - getting insulin into my body. Now, as a pumper, I can attest to how much better this little piece of technology is. My blood sugars have never been better (although I hate to say that for fear of jinxing myself and ending up with a boat-load of highs - I think it will take a while before I get more confident that control this good can last). Pumping has also made my life much easier in ways I never could have imagined.

So what does that have to do with Continuous Glucose Monitors? Well, like the pump, in the not so distant past I had no desire to try a CGMS. I figured why mess with what I know - finger sticks? How could a CGMS be any better, especially since the technology is new and all the kinks have not been worked out yet?

Well, my views on CGM have changed in the last 2 1/2 months as well. I can see how, even if right now they are not always 100% accurate, a CGM can help control immensely. They help spot trends and pinpoint times of the day when a basal tweak may be necessary. They work hard in the over-night hours, when I'd be asleep and less likely to catch a low - ready to sound the alarm if my blood sugar starts to crash. I am sure a CGMS would make my life easier in ways I could never have imagined - just like my pump. So I am very upset to know that if my doctor agrees with me that I am ready to start on one, chances are good the the insurance company will jinx it.

I have had an important point ingrained into me over and over - the most important thing a diabetic can do to stay healthy is to check blood sugar often and keep it under control. This is the best way to fend off complications and live a long and healthy life. Yes, the cost of a CGMS is not small - but the insurance companies need to understand that the costs are much smaller than the cost of managing and treating diabetes complications. And on a personal level. the costs are nothing compared to the improved quality of life a CGMS can bring me.

I did not ask for this disease. It's something I was dealt, and I live with it every day and work constantly to manage it the best I can.

I did not ask for this disease. But you can bet I'm ready to ask for anything that will help me manage it. Don't deny me that right.