Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Knitting and a day out

Yesterday was my 19th annual cancer check-up! It is amazing for a couple of reasons, first and foremost being that it is totally amazing to survive cancer for 19 years! Also, I can hardly believe that it has been 19 years... some days it feels like it just happaned yesterday. My oncologist doesn't even see me in person any more, except if I want to. She is too busy taking care of people who's care is more urgent. I nodded to her in the office, but the nurse practitioner did my exam. Everything is fine!

After that (which took longer than it should have, thanks to the new computer system!) we went out for lunch with a former boss of mine. We stopped in and saw his retirement community. He recently lost his wife, so it was nice to spend some time with him. (He is in his 90s, and still going strong.) He wanted to show off the view he sees every day during meal time. Isn't this gorgeous?


The whole city spread out. We had a gorgeous day as well. One of the residents takes care of the green house. I love these colors!


While we were waiting (and waiting) at the doctor's office, I finished this, a dishcloth from the never-ending cotton yarn skein. There will be more from this skein too!


Last Thursdsay, after our knitting outing I decided I should learn to knit lace, since I picked out yarn and a pattern for a lacy shawl. My Knitting for Dummies book had a pattern for a lace sampler, so I found a yarn, and tried it.


Talk about new vocabulary! and these are all acronyms. You have ssk, k2tog, yo, and one I am not quite sure of, p2tog-b. Those stand for slip, slip, knit; knit two together; yarn over; and I think the last one is purl two together in the back stitches... If you look closely at the sampler, you can see I missed a yarn-over in one of the sections, even though I think I did that section at least 3 times. I enjoyed it, though, and it helped a lot to see a little bit of what the different combinations of stitches looks like. I felt confident enough to try the pattern I picked out, but didn't get quite as far. Here is the first half of the pattern:


I messed up on row 16, so I quit, and I haven't had a chance to work on it again. This is not the type of knitting you do "on the train" or in a group. It needs a lot of concentration. Moonsilk Stitches gave me quite a bit of good advice on how to handle the knitting, including writing the pattern out one page per row (to avoid getting confused on what row you are stitching) and the use of rescue rows, lacing some thread through a row before knitting it so if you make a mistake you can back up to there without having to take out all your work. A third suggestion was to count your stitches after every row to make sure you are on course.

My swatch actually looks pretty good as far as I got (discounting the bubble-gum pink, of course. I picked up the pink from a "survivor" promotion, but the more I look at it, the less I like it. I may even end up using some of it for temari wrap, but for now it works for practicing my knitting.) I like the ridges that formed. The second half, where I messed up and quit, has a more leafy feel and I can't wait to see how that looks as well. I did mess up several times on the first half, but started over each time.

I love learning how to do new things! I think that is part of my problem. I enjoy the learning process, but once I have learned, I don't always enjoy the doing. That happened with learning crazy quilting. I enjoyed the on-line class I took, but I made such a mess picking out fabrics, threads, trims and embellishments that it took longer to clean up than it did to stitch! Something similar happened when I tried polymer clay... making the beads and things was fun, but I couldn't get the finish I was looking for. So far, cross stitch and temari are good with the doing/process.

I won't have time today, though. I have another outing planned to Chicago with my yoga class group (!). More pictures tomorrow! I hope I can post this, last time I had to use another computer to publish my post after writing it on this one. We shall see!


Moonsilk Stitches said...

Wow! 19 years! Way to go! (boy, time flies!) That is wonderful. We'll have to celebrate next year for the big 2-0. I love your lace knitting--even in pink.

I agree about learning vs. doing. I also like the designing/planning but once I have it all planned, I don't always feel the need to actually stitch it!

LW said...

So happy for your 19 years cancer free, Jane! Keep doing that beautiful needlework.