Sunday, November 04, 2012

Sunday Fodder

Hi, Knitters,
It is Sunday already. Last week was a complete blur. Do you want to hear about it? It really isn't all that interesting or important just busy life stuff that everyone has from time to time. If not, skip ahead to the knitting content. But if yes, here is the rundown:

I got back from VK Live Chicago on Sunday evening and awoke early Monday morning with a painful headache that I couldn't shake for several days. It was really a tough one. I don't suffer too often from headaches and usually if I ever get an occasional one it can be fixed with a couple of ibuprofen. This headache would not go away and it kept me up at night. Finally, on Wednesday the pain dulled. I was not able to accomplish much at all while the headache was there.  Luckily it faded just in time for Halloween. On Halloween night we hosted our annual dinner and trick or treating at our house and neighborhood with my sister and brother's families which is always a treat not a trick. We had a good time together. Here is the creepy crew this year:

Aren't they great?

Next, I had to pick up my son who took the bus home from college in the middle of the night at 3am, on Thursday/Friday morning. Due to crazy scheduling of his classes, the bus schedule and doctor appointments there was no other choice. I set my alarm for 2:40am but couldn't really sleep leading up to 2:40am for fear I wouldn't get up. My son had doctor appointments for a knee injury on Friday. I spent the entire day at the hospital Friday where I did get some knitting done.

On Saturday we had to serve breakfast to the high school girls swim team before their meet. I had shopped for this on Thursday at a couple of different stores but hadn't organized it yet. I woke up early Saturday morning to get things set up and ready to be lugged into the school before their early warm-up was done. That went fine and the girls swam well at the meet that day. On Saturday night we hosted a small dinner gathering. I cooked up my mom's hearty bean soup recipe, sliced, buttered and warmed two loaves of french bread and made a yummy chopped salad with tons of veggies. It was a delicious and comforting meal if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, while I was cooking I sliced my finger. My husband ran out to get band aids because of course there was not a single band aid in our house. After cooking and cleaning for the dinner I felt a rare and true feeling of exhaustion set in.

Now it is Sunday morning, I am feeling much better.  I can type and knit with my band aid-ed pointer finger which is good. My husband is taking my oldest son, TC, and our 9-year old nephew to a Packer football game right now. They are on the road as I write. It takes about 3 hours to get to Green Bay from Madison. The sun is shining but it should only be in the forties today so they loaded up winter coats, hats, mittens and blankets to keep them warm. My son with the knee injury opted out which opened up the spot for my nephew who is beyond excited to tag along.

None of this simple busy-ness seems important or relevant with all of the Hurricane Sandy issues going on but I thought I'd share anyway. The news clips and headlines are heartbreaking. I heard once from my friend and editor, Trent, that he was okay but I know his NYC apartment was without power and water for the week. I was thinking about him and all of the east coast knitters, friends and family this week. My brother and his family are all fine. They live in the D.C. area.

Needless to say, the blog and my book page editing have been neglected this past week and so today I am attending to both.

So on with some knitting! I finished the little hat on the right to donate to the Halos of Hope charity. They provide in-need chemo hats for patients all across the country. I'm getting these hats to the charity headquarters this week.

I'll tell you more about the hat on the right in an upcoming hat post. TC knit the hat on the left and she is donating it to Halos of Hope as well. She is a generous knitter, rarely keeping or knitting anything for herself.

I have recently designed several new baby hats for gifts that I haven't blogged about. I am considering releasing a mini hat collection for download on my pattern shop. I have a lot of pattern writing lined up for the upcoming weeks. Not my favorite thing but a necessary thing.

On another note, I just have to share this beautiful fall platter my sister gave me for my birthday that was earlier in October. I love it so much. She knows how much I love the fall season and I will use this year-round, not only in the autumn. It is a fused glass platter by Peggy Karr. Take a look at the red leaves and remember the color for later.

This morning I looked about my cluttered studio to take stock of things I need to get done. I gathered a big stack of books that range from fiction, to stitchery, to knitting. All of these I plan to talk about and review in upcoming posts. I have more books to review that aren't even in that stack. Some of the books I purchase myself and some are sent to me from various publishers to review. I am considering posting a book review a day for a week or two just to get caught up at some point soon. I think that would be kind of fun.

Lately I've been thinking about patterns that I have written up and knit but have never gotten out of my sketchbooks. This brings me to the cabinet in the photo above. It was a free find on the street next to my sister's house last summer. I couldn't believe my good fortune finding this cabinet that fits so perfectly into my tiny studio. I especially love the cameo knobs. This thing was so dirty when I brought it home. I had to scrub and scrub to get it clean. It was literally brown in some spots. It looks so good now.

Well, I bet you think I would store yarn inside....

... but instead I store years and years worth of sketchbooks. Inside these scrappy sketchbooks are my handwritten published books, random ideas, drawings, watercolor paintings, complete patterns, incomplete patterns, new book ideas, yarn samples, lists, etc.

In fact, on that way bottom shelf. I have a little cigar box with a lime green stripe that is storing a complete book idea inside. It is really good but I haven't shared it with anyone yet. So it sits.

I think I am going to pull out these sketchbooks and look for unused treasures over the winter. That is my plan.

While sitting at the doctor for most of the day on Friday I pulled out my old unfinished Calligraphy Cardigan in Tosh DK in the Thunderstorm colorway. I am almost to the ribbing on the bottom of the body. It is a long sweater with four inches of ribbing on the bottom edge. I think I have about four inches of stockinette left before I get to the ribbing. I know I will love this one when it is finished, I just need to finish it. I did add a steek at the front of the body because then I can knit round and round instead of back and forth. It was a good choice  for me as it is surely making this go faster. I already have the perfect buttons lined up and waiting to be stitched onto the button band.

I have also been plugging away on my next shawl design. I can't wait to finish and I am getting close. I have one sample finished in handspun. This one is in Brooklyn Tweed's Loft (fingering weight), two skeins in the Long Johns colorway. I adore this yarn and color. If you look at my platter with the leaves, it is the red leaf color exactly. I love this color red. This shawl sits on the arm of my chair so I can steal a row or two whenever I have a second.

The harder I work the messier my studio gets. It happens over and over. I need an overhaul soon and then it will be clean and shiny and super-organized only to become cluttered once again as my work load increases and I become absorbed. It's just the way it is.

Oh, and here is another sketchbook brimming with handwritten patterns and drawings... and on the bottom of that stack in the background is yet another spiral sketchbook partially filled.

It goes on and on.

Have a super start to your week. I hope things are looking up out there for everyone.
best, susie
p.s. As if this post wasn't long enough, I have to share two blogs I have fallen for in the best way. Click here and here to visit them.
p.p.s. Purl Soho just released their own yarn line, Purl Soho, a squishy merino wool. That is incredibly exciting and I can't wait to try it out! Click here to see more.


keatime said...

so sorry to hear about the headache, that is NO fun!
I love the leaf platter. As I was walking my pups this a.m. through our small neighborhood park, there were a lot of leaves on the ground as we'd just had a wind/rainstorm. Some HUGE maple leaves with just those colors. Love it and I too love Fall the best.
Be well.

Word Lily said...

I love hearing about all your sketchbooks. I'm getting a collection of those myself. I wish I was more organized about that stuff, but like you said, when I get busy or caught up in something, the mess proliferates. Looks like I'm in good company on that though, at least!

Kepanie said...

Oh boy, I didn't like reading about your headache! Fatigue? Hormones? I hope you called your doc about it. I woke up Saturday too w/one that built up and after trying to sleep it off, I took some IB and drowned myself in spa water which I find to be a great detox.
How is your son's injury? Poor baby taking the bus. I hope he wasn't in too much discomfort. You must have been so worried about him :O(. HUGS Mama!

Anonymous said...

Oh Susan, I am glad you are feeling better. That headache lasted a long time and sounds like cause for concern. I almost emailed you at 4:15 this morning when the pups got me up (they care not for time changes) as the temps in central Illinois were mid-20s to ask after the much mentioned mitten pattern. Glad I didn't. I would have felt so terrible.
Rest yourself and take care.
A day without Susan is a day without sunshine!

Jennifer Edwards said...

Oh Susan...this is So cool to see your sketchbooks and notebooks filled with ideas for patterns and books! I have reams of sketchbooks filled with artwork (much of which winds up on my blog) and then other sketchbooks with drawings of knit and crochet designs and their hand scrawled sketches. Here is a little knitting poem I wrote to go slong with the tune "Do your ears hang low"... hope you enjoy!

Nickycarp said...

Hi Susie, glad you are feeling better. Headaches are the worst. Can I vote YES on the mini hat collection??? Please??? Ha ha! Would love to see that! Everything sounded great! You were a busy lady this weekend, even with a headache. Hope this week is better. It should be for us, too...if this nor'easter stays away!!! Nicky momoffour

bookagent said...

Headaches are just awful, so glad you are feeling better. I hope you are planning to release the hat pattern, it's SO cute. I would love to make a couple in time for the holidays!

Pam H

Mary said...

I'm glad you're feeling fine again. Headaches are baaad.

I've been knitting for years but there's always something new to learn. Just what is a 'steek'? I looked in the on-line dictionary but that didn't help.

Melissa Martinez said...

I apologize, but I love to see others' workspaces as unkept as mine! Creative spirits are not always organized ones. Makes me feel like I'm not alone. Thanks for sharing.

Hannah Fettig is one of my favorite designers, so looking forward to seeing your finished sweater. I have finally reached the ribbing edge of my own Effortless Cardigan. THe end is in sight!

Glad to hear you are feeling better!

Deb said...

Susan you are amazing! No idea how you do everything you do. Certainly admire you! I would love to see a pdf on baby hats created by you and I know it would definitely be a keeper. Look forward to seeing it.
Thank you for window into reality with your family happenings. Get some rest and load up on vitamins before winter germs greet us!

Vickie Howell said...

Sorry I missed you at VK Live! Xx

nanaelliott said...

Susan you are such a tease. Love the pink striped hat. Can't wait for a pattern!

Mom 7 Plus (Carol S.) said...

I like those sites also! Thank you for sharing! :)

I also love your cabinet! I'd have grabbed it also!

A tip: the next time you cut yourself pour ground cinnamon on it. It is a natural coagulant! (A friend's daugher cut her hand badly. My friend grabbed the cinnamon because it was the closest thing. It stopped the bleeding within 3 seconds. And she did not end up needing stitches)! It was God-inspired!

Thank you for your posts. They always make me smile, and hope for the time when I'll be able to get more knitting done. Everything comes in stages! Someday I'll not be so busy with little ones. And I'll knit ALL the time! Heeee-hee!


Fruitful Fusion said...

I love seeing your knitted creations and I've tried a couple of your patterns. But today I noticed one of my recent reads! Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. I loved the book. It made me miss home (I'm a Brit living in Saudi Arabia), I could relate to parts of it (I'm of South Asian origin married to someone who's not) and this book made me want to move to East Sussex!!!