Saturday, December 12, 2009

Back from Limbo

I do apologize for not posting new entries. I got a little too busy when Spring came around the corner. There were things I had to focus on: my job, my work at the college, my garden, and my knitting.

My full-time job at the carpet warehouse did some major downsizing due to loss of business (blame it on the economy). Half the work force was laid off. Thankfully, my position was spared, but more is now expected of me to make up for the other people who are now gone. It is my knitting and my teaching position at the college that keeps me sane these days.

The garden over the summer was a success! I may have bought too many plants and planted them too close together. Orderly rows soon became an unruly jungle that one must crawl through in order to harvest the produce. That is something I will have to keep in mind for next year ~ seedlings may be little and cute, but they don't stay that way.
The bumper crop from the garden was a lot more than one or two persons could eat (I had 26 tomato plants along with a lot of other things). I had to invest in a food dehydrator, and break my canner out of storage. Starting in July, and lasting all to way to November, I was drying and canning my harvest like there was no tomorrow.

My pantry is now full of jars and bags of my garden produce. I have no fear of starvation for the Winter.

Over the Spring and Summer I did work on my TKGA Master Knitter Level II assignments whenever I could find the free time. Took a few visits to my college library to hunt down information I needed for the paper I had to write for this level.

One of the requirements for this level is to knit a vest. Rather than knitting from a published pattern, I decided to take the extra step and designed a vest pattern of my own. Now, I usually can knit up a vest in two weeks, but this one took me two months since I was making it up as I went along and writing the pattern down as I go. Yea, I am a sucker for punishment. Yet, I am pleased with how the vest came out!

The patterns for the cables and the side panels are from Barbara Walker's Treasury books. I decided to be a little more daring with the central chevron pattern ~ I charted it from my family Aran jumper. I had to, since I never could find a published pattern for that particular chevron. I think this may be a pattern that is unique to my Clan. You can see the pic of my Aran jumper below to make that comparison with the vest above.

It took about a month and a half for the committee to go over my work. They were pleased with the results, and contacted CAST ON magazine to have my vest pattern published in a future issue. So, if you would like to knit this vest for yourself, keep your eyes open for the Fall 2010 issue of CAST ON for the pattern! I am super excited to have the opportunity to have a pattern I created to be published.

I got busy getting the Christmas tree up and.......

knitting my mother a Faroe Lace shawl that she wanted from Meg Swanson's A Gathering of Lace. She has some specific requirements, the main one being that the shawl be made with plant fibers for summer wear (Mum is a natrural red-head, and prefers to be protected from the sun).
I looked high and low for the right fiber and rejected them all. I was about to give up when the owner of my local LYS suggested bamboo. I took a look into that and found it to be perfect ~ silky soft without the price of silk. Even found it in the color Mum requested.

I have been growing my hair out. It is so thick and highly textured (yes, natrual)

But, soon I will have to get it chopped off. I am scheduled to get a cochlear implant sometime in January or February. They will have to drill holes in my skull to insert the electrode array and the internal processor. I've decided to donate my hair to Locks for Love prior to the surgery. It will be a load off my mind not to worry about grooming that thick mane while I am healing (one side of my head will be extremely sore). The upshot is that some child receiving chemo would have a wig of real human hair, and hopefully I will be able to hear something when they "turn on" the implant. Wish me luck on that!
This is all for now. I will try to do better with future posts. Drop me a line sometime for more news if it gets quiet.
Happy Holidays, keep your knitting needles moving, and stay warm.

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