Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pluses and Minuses

Never awake me when you have good news to announce,
because with good news nothing presses;
but when you have bad news, arouse me immediately,
for then there is not an instant to be lost.

-Napoleon Bonaparte

Sometimes I love being an adult. Sometimes not. There are pluses and minuses. And I'm a bad-news first kind of gal.

Minus: A tire blowout on the I-5 on my way to work.
Plus: I didn't die, cause a 5-car pile up, or get held up at gunpoint while getting my Starbucks . . . or any of the rumors my friends spread after I called them to cover my ward team while I waited for the tow truck.
Minus: Tires are expensive.
Plus: They really had my interns believing that I threw coffee in the face of an armed Starbucks-robber.

Minus: A crazy-busy week at work.
Plus: Being a doctor. Only three more months of residency.
Minus: Which means new orders (see below).
Plus: I saw a patient in clinic this week whom I've been following for just about 2 years, since the end of my intern year. I called a consultant for her, and as she left she commented on how wonderful it has been to watch me "grow up" and become such a confident physician.

Minus: Getting orders to a Marine unit.
Plus: Co-location with my husband. All those 96-hour weekends the Marines like to take.
Minus: Wearing camouflage.
Plus: I joined the Navy so that I'll have something to talk about when I'm 80 (you know, since I've spent my 20s talking about knitting). The Marines always give you something to talk about!

Plus: Being married. Definitely the biggest plus to being all grown-up. It's no secret that I adore my husband. And he sends me flowers. To match my camouflage.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blue and Pink

Observe the space between your thoughts, then observe your observer.
-Hamilton Boudreaux

Today's a two-fer, to make up for the posting I didn't do last week . . .

I find baby sweaters to be a crucial part of stash busting - perfect for all those 2 and 3 skein lots left over from other projects, or otherwise hanging out in the stash. And then you have the perfect gift ready for any baby-giving occasion.

Ribbed Baby Jacket
from Debbie Bliss, available many places
Yarn: Lionbrand Cotton Ease in the old put up, approx 2 skeins
Needles: US 8
Notes: Unusual construction, but not difficult. My gauge was off so I used the numbers from the 2nd smallest size and the measurements from the 2nd largest.
Best Thing About This Project: I just love that ribbing.

Premiere Sweater
Pattern: from a free Classic Elite newsletter bouncing around
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Victorian Pink, approx 1.75 skeins
Needles: US 6
Notes: I accidentally forgot to increase needle sizes after the seed stitch on the sleeves. It looks fine.
Best Thing About This Project: A perfect paring of yarn and pattern.

I'm in for a long night of board review classes tonight. Which means quality knitting time! I'm almost to the good part of a Fair Isle Yoke Cardigan (i.e. the fair isle yoke part) after getting inspired by Jessica's here. Stockinette stitch here I come!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Staff of Life

Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. \
This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining.
-Jeff Raskin

Friendly reminder: Have you backed up your computer lately?

It's moved to the top of my to-do list after a bit of an operating system scare this weekend. Fortunately, the kind folks at the Apple Genius Bar were able to fix the software glitch (and for free!), but it did remind me of how much stuff only exists on one computer. . . . Not the least of which are many photos of knitted goods and my trusty yarn-stash spreadsheet.

At any rate, with my computer down for the count for a few days, you'd think I'd actually get some knitting done. And I did, but the photos still need to be uploaded.

While we wait, I want to refer you again to my new favorite cookbook. Complete with blog. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. It's amazing. Tasty. Great crust, nice soft insides. Good tasting. Easy. And really everything bread should be, but super speedy. Making this bread requires flour, water, yeast, and salt. It takes less time (and energy) than driving to the grocery store. And it tastes better.

Plus, the smell of baking bread really goes nicely with some knitting. Which is coming soon.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Why I Knit Socks

It's no use going to the goat's house to look for wool.
-Irish Proverb

This is my sister, about 3 minutes after I gave her a new pair of socks. Specially requested to be like the last pair - that is, "too soft to be wool." (Thanks Judy!)

These are in Fiesta Baby Boom - a delightful squishy sock yarn that is definitely "too soft to be wool" and meet the demanding requirements of my sister that they be perfect for reading legal treatises in a drafty apartment.

And that, my friends, is why I knit socks. Keeping feet warm and comfy from Somewhere, Iraq to Philadelphia to San Diego.

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Friday, March 06, 2009


Being born in a duck yard does not matter,
if only you are hatched from a swan's egg.
-Hans Christian Anderson

Apparently, I like complicated things. Systems with a lot of rules, nuances, exceptions, and many, many layers. After twenty-something odd years, I finally learned this about myself from my husband; he noticed it almost immediately. While it probably explains a lot of life, from my chosen profession to my yarn spreadsheet to the long list of sales, coupon match-ups, and recipes I take to the grocery store, it also probably explains why I knit a baby sweater with fifteen colors.

You read that correctly - fifteen, one-five. Granted, many of those colors only required a few ounces of yarn, but it does take up a considerable amount of space in the stash. Regardless, whether it is because it is complicated or because it is just so dang cute, this may be my favorite baby sweater yet.

Pattern: from Dale of Norway's Soft Treasures for Little Ones (apparently OOP, but snatch up a copy if you can)
Yarn: Dale Baby Ull - why mess with their color sense? in the 15 colors as called for in the pattern
Needles: US 0 and 2
Notes: No changes to the pattern. I made the 24 month size - if I'm going to do all that work, I want the baby to get a lot of wear out of it!
Best Thing About This Project: After all that knitting, I'd hate to say the buttons. But look at the buttons!

I'm counting this sweater for NaKniSweMoDo (knit 12 sweaters in 12 months, in a mishmash of Latin and blog-speak). Technically, it's not an adult sweater. It is, however 28 inches around, knit on US2 needles, and contains 15 colors. It took probably two- or three-times as much knitting as my next NaKniSweMoDo sweater, Acer, which is also finished and will appear this week. And it involved steeks. Plus, it's just so cute!

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Eye Candy Anyday

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface,
but always paddling like the dickens underneath.
-Michael Caine
Just because I'm not in the ICU all the time doesn't mean I'm not at work. Enjoy another teaser for the Bondegard sweater!

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Monday, March 02, 2009

In Like a Lion, or a Lamb

When you realize how perfect everything is
you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.

Sometimes it's great to live in Southern California. I know my mom is happy about her snow day today, but she did just get plane tickets to come see me. Probably for weekends like this. This weekend I had a brief respite from a crazy call schedule and actually got 2 whole days off. In a row. Imagine that! I spent the last day of February roller-blading around Mission Bay Park, which is pretty much straight out of a movie set. Wind in my hair, music in my iPod. Kites. Laughing children. Lots of palm trees.

I then spent the first day of March finishing my husband's cotton anniversary sweater and watching the end of Veronica Mars, Season 1 with my deployment buddy. (Teen girl noir, filmed in San Diego, what's not to love?) That was after a rather distressing attempt to buy cute sundresses for the coming home that's coming up. I know it's a recession and all, but by the time I haven't seen my husband for seven months, I'm really not wearing gray or black. I spend far too much time daydreaming about making the cover of Life magazine!

Regardless, March promises to be a good month. Out of the ICU onto the less-punishing call schedule of the wards, flowers blooming everywhere, and - not least of all - the end of the deployment is in sight. I don't mean soon, exactly, but at least in sight. (It's also classified, so you'll probably hear about it next when you see us looking really cute and happy on the cover of life magazine. Right after the Obamas get a Portugese Water Dog like my parents' dog.)

I did a great deal of knitting this weekend, and I have a whole bunch of stockinette stitch hanging out, courtesy of the ICU. I've also been a bit lax in my blogging habit, so I'm going to get back on an even-day blogging schedule. Consider today a bit of a catch up, and a sneak peak:

Seaming of the anniversary sweater:The beginnings of Laila's Stockings in a delightful blue and gold:
Finally done with Bondegard, featuring the world's most adorable buttons: Stay tuned for a veritable parade of FOs and WIPs.

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