Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Socks for Afghanistan

Today I mailed off these socks to Afghans for Afghans for their Socks for Students. They're made with wool generously provided by Elizabeth Durand, plus a little KnitPicks Wool of the Andes I had on hand. I hope they make their goal of 250 pair; they have expressed a little concern about getting that many in time for their trip in March.

My knitting is still progressing slowly, which is why I don't have a finished vest to show off as well. When I started experiencing wrist pain a while back, I just figured my carpal tunnel syndrome was flaring up, and treated it in my usual manner. But when my neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees started hurting too, I started looking for another cause--no flies on me! It occurred to me to read the helpful brochure that came with the medication recently prescribed by my dentist; right there, smack dab in the middle of a long list of possible side effects, was JOINT PAIN. It also listed loss of appetite; wish I had gotten that one instead. Anyway, I called my dentist, I'm no longer taking the meds, and the pain is slowly receding.

Since I've had to limit my knitting time, I've been reading about knitting instead. Recently got a copy of EZ's Knitting Without Tears, and I've been poring over the instructions for seamless sweaters. Of course, that's just making my fingers itch to cast on for a sweater, so perhaps my choice of reading material was less than wise. I'm thinking some Peace Fleece sport weight in Kamchatka Seamoss would lend itself nicely to a simple raglan or yoked sweater.

I also got this book recently, which also has some seamless sweater patterns. I think I'll try out a kid-size sweater before I launch into one for myself, see how I like the method. *sigh* There are so many things I want to make; I would love to be able to just sit down and start knitting like mad. I wonder if I could score some really good pain meds somewhere?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ask and ye shall receive

So, a few days ago, I commented that I wished I could knit socks for the students in the schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan that I was reading about in Greg Mortenson's book, Three Cups of Tea. Lo and behold, what do I receive but an email from Elizabeth (the kind person who sent me this yarn), telling me that Afghans for Afghans is collecting socks to distribute to students in Afghanistan. Plus, she encouraged me to feel free to use some of yarn she sent me for this project.

This sock project is exactly what I was wishing for--warm, handknit socks, hand delivered to students (boys and girls), along with a message of friendship. I've been reading about the cold, poverty, and lack of educational opportunities, especially for girls. It just seems to me that warm socks will be such a tangible, practical symbol of friendship and support that they will do much more than warm some toes. I guess that's the knitter in me coming out.

Since I seem to be receiving what I ask for in this blog, I just want to mention that I'm looking for a new job. If you know anyone in the St. Louis area who needs a top-notch network administrator, please, drop me a line: carol_fuhr AT yahoo DOT com. (I figure it can't hurt to ask).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Warming trend

View from my back doorWe had temps in the 50s today, and omigawd, it was wonderful. I went w/o long underwear for the first time in weeks, and I actually doffed the coat for a while. While I was outside, even! The snow is melting quickly, and we have grass in the yard again (dead, soggy grass, but grass nonetheless). The sun was shining, and I was lucky enough to find opportunities to get outside often (read: I was working out of the office today, and nobody knew what I was up to). It was so wonderful to be outside in temps that wouldn't threaten my life if my car broke down or something. Best of all, it's supposed to last for several days! Temps in the 50s and 60s are forecast for the rest of the week. I feel like dancing!

Progress on my vest has slowed a little. I worked on it so much this weekend that my carpal tunnel syndrome is flaring up, and I've really had to restrict my knitting time. I'm so close to done that it is hard to pace myself; I want to sit down and just finish, dammit! I should still be able to finish this week, though. If the weather stays nice, maybe I can take a pic outside, so you can see the color better than in the lousy indoor pics I've had to settle for.

I've decided that my next project, whether a whole sweater or another vest, absolutely must be knit in the round. Knitting is a lot easier on my wrist than purling. I've been looking at a lot of raglan sweater patterns, and I have a Lopi pattern book coming soon with some lovely yoked pullovers. Not that I'm ready for all that colorwork; not by a long shot! But there's no reason why I couldn't make one all in one color, or with maybe a couple of stripes.

In the meantime, I think I'll go take a couple of Advil.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

We have a visitor

A few days ago, the b/f saw a little rabbit under our back porch. After the snow last week, we saw his tracks between the house and the wood pile; apparently, he made several trips back and forth. We've been worried about his ability to find anything to eat or drink, so Friday I put a dish of water and some bunny kibble near his hangout under the porch. However, we got more snow Friday, and I didn't see any tracks in the snow either Friday or Saturday. But this morning, hooray! Bunny tracks between the house & the woodpile. Can you see 'em in the pic above? It looks like he has made the trip twice, and during at least one of those trips, his water was still in liquid form. I'm pretty sure some of the kibble is missing, too. I'm so relieved that our little visitor isn't starving in this weather.

Speaking of weather, about all I want to do is stay inside and knit, so my vest is progressing apace. If I had been able to take a pic yesterday, you would only have seen two or three inches of the right front. Now I'm up to the armhole! I'm thinking I should be able to finish sometime this week. That reminds me, I still need to buy buttons. Maybe I can do a little shopping on my lunch hour in the next day or two.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Need more sweaters

Hilfy is watching the snow come down. We got 4 or 5 inches earlier this week, and now we're getting more. Here's the view from another window; if you click on it, you can see the flakes coming down:

Brrr, it's been cold! I know, it's nothing like some people are experiencing, but I don't have the wardrobe for this. I have a few wool sweaters, but in past years they haven't seen much wear because our winters have been getting milder & milder. Not this year! It has stayed below freezing for months, and I need more sweaters! I've never minded that I'm a rather slow knitter; after all, I'm more interested in the process than production. But now I discover that wool sweaters are almost impossible to buy; it's all cotton & synthetics. When did that happen? So now I'm wishing I could make those needles fly like some people, and just whip out a sweater or two to help me get through this winter.

I have been making good progress on my vest. If my camera's batteries hadn't just died, I could show you a pic of the back, left front, and a bit of the right front. You'll just have to imagine it, along with how soft it is. If it turns out as well as I hope, maybe I'll tackle a whole sweater. Should have it done in time for spring.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My weekend

This picture pretty much illustrates how I've been spending my weekend: knitting a sock for CIC, and reading Three Cups of Tea.

This is the first sock from the wool Elizabeth of the CIC-knit group sent me. I added a little purple yarn I had on hand because I was afraid I wouldn't have quite enough for a pair. On weighing the finished sock & the yarn I have left, I probably would have been OK w/o the purple, but now I know for sure I have enough. Much better than sweating it as I near the end of sock #2 and obsessively trying to estimate if I have enough to finish.

If you haven't read Three Cups of Tea yet, I highly recommend it. It's a great book about Greg Mortenson's efforts to build schools in Pakistan and Afganistan. I especially love that his schools educate girls as well as boys. Wish I could knit them socks. :)

Oh, I also finished the back of the vest I'm knitting for myself. I think I'll start on the front tonight while I'm watching the intrigue and corruption of Rome.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This kind of help I don't need

Apparently, Yitzhak felt the need to remind me of the importance of blocking my swatches, because I found one of them in her water bowl. BTW, we keep a towel under the water bowl because of her penchant for dunking toys therein. She tends to splash.

The culprit in her hideout.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I've been down with a cold, but while I was miserable, this arrived to cheer me up:

A lovely bunch of yarn from another member of the CIC-Knit group! Plenty to make lots of warm socks. Thank you, Elizabeth! Right away, I cast on with that blue skein that is second from the right, even tho' I'm not done with the pair that makes my hands hurt. I figure I can do a couple of rounds on the painful pair, then switch to the plain classic stockinette stitch I'm doing this new pair in. Ahhh, relief.

I've also been working on a vest for myself, and I'm very pleased with how fast it is going. I've started the armhole decreases on the back, so I'm nearly half done.

It's been years since I've made anything larger than a pair of socks for myself. I'm not counting my Olympic tank top, since I haven't crossed the finish line with that yet. But this vest just seems to be flying off the needles. Doesn't hurt that I love the yarn. It is deliciously soft, and I periodically stop knitting just to admire its dark red heatheriness and pet it a little. OK, the skeins could have fewer knots, but the price was low enough that I'm willing to weave in a few more ends.

Speaking of the Olympic tank, I've been thinking I should dig that out and finish it up. I really don't have much to do on it, and I've been in something of a finishing mood lately. Partly because the spare bedroom where such things get relegated is starting to drive me nuts. I really need to clean it out, and one way to help tidy up is to finish the half-finished projects. That, and list on eBay the stuff that has been waiting for longer than I care to think about. OK, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. I think I'll go knit some more instead.