Monday, September 29, 2008

In which I cut my knitting

The idea of steeking has always scared me. To cut your knitting on purpose seems very counterproductive, don't you think? So this summer, when I was looking for a new challenge or skill to learn, I naturally turned to the freakiest thing I could think of and that is steeking.

For those of you unfamiliar with the theory of steeking, you basically take a shortcut to knitting a sweater by knitting it in the round. This allows for easier colourwork and faster knitting since you probably won't have to purl. Once your piece is complete, you simply stitch around the area that you would like to open up, grab some sharp scissors and your nerve and hack away.

I had recently completed the patterned yoke of my Bountiful Bohus sweater and was ready to proceed. In a rare display of knitting awareness, the Dude told me that it looked good. Without prompting. To which I replied "Now I'm going to cut it." He was appropriately appalled.

I enlisted the help of my sister in law, LittleMissBossy to you Ravelers, because I needed support and am still use alcohol as a mood stabilizer. LMB is the sewer in the family, so I "let" her do the stitching while I drank coffee and chatted with my brother and my nephew. I had marked where the stitching should occur with some yarn in a contrasting colour. That made things a little easier.

We ran lines of stitches along the centre stitches which would eventually be cut. The tutorial on Knitty suggested two lines of stitches on either side of the area to be opened up. We did three cause I'm anal like that. LMB seemed to think that was enough.

(That's her Don't-Mess-With-Me face.)

We also did a line of stitches along the row of stitches which would be folded back and from which I would pick up the button band. More on this later.

When we had sewn more than the required number of rows and I had collected myself sufficiently, I started to cut. The whole time, I kept saying to myself "I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe I'm doing this."

My nephew was shocked.

So was my brother.

I cut quickly. There's really no point in prolonging these things. And do you know what? Nothing bad happened. Some of the stitches unravelled slightly, but it is all in one piece, ready to be finished.

Next time, I'll show you how I finished the button bands and stitched down the facings. I may even block it, just for you.

This is all assuming there is no baby between now and then. I wouldn't bet the farm.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

T's Guide to Freakin' Out People

Step 1: Look like a normal suburban mom. Preferrably in the normal suburban mom uniform of Lululemon. Looking like a normal suburban mom also means you have to look a little rushed and under pressure, but also sport perfect eye makeup and hair.

Step 2: Carry a normal looking bag. Not a bag with any knitting or crafting reference. A bag such as a those made by Coach, or Kate Spade, or Burberry. Truly, any high end bag (and make sure you refer to it as a bag, not a purse) will do.

Step 3: Take your child to their activity of choice. Swimming lessons, soccer, fencing. Whatever your uber-suburban pre-schooler is into at the time.

Step 4: Get your child appropriately introduced to the activity. Make sure they are comfortable in their surroundings. Give them a hug, whatever you need to do to urge them into full participation.

Step 5: Step back. Take a seat with the other normal suburban moms. Observe your child for a few minutes, give them a wave and a smile, then throw them a kiss.

Step 6: Engage in idle chit chat with the women around you. Discuss your child's other activites, how great they're doing in their new school, how excited they are to be swimming/soccer-ing/fencing. Make the other mothers truly believe that you too are a normal suburban mom.

Step 7: Now, this is the key to the Freak out. While talking to the other mothers, slowly and methodically, pull .... out ... your ... knitting.

Step 8: Wait for it. Wait for it. There is it. Shock, furtive glances, chairs turning. You have accomplished the freak out. It usually, in my estimation and experimentation, takes approximate 1-3 minutes for this to occur.

Then you have it. Peace and quiet. You are no longer forced to engage in the idle chit chat, or the comparisons of Bobby Sue's* busy after school schedule or Johnny's* difficulty with his Montessori program. You can sit, watch your Punk swim with an amazing all-encompassing grin, and knit in peace. It works, I can guarantee the results.

*note that these are made up names for the other children that were there. Also note that no normal suburban member of the mom-fia would name their children Bobby Sue or Johnny. I have yet to come across any children with these names in my uber-suburban neighbourhood.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


That's about all I can muster up to say about these socks. They are DONE.

They are being added to the Christmas Cumulus, and will be given away with love to someone who will appreciate them far more than I can.

I feel better about these socks when I put them next to these lovely flowers our family received to brighten our last few gloomy weeks.

Thanks Catknip.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Waiting Game

I am not a patient person. Waiting is one of the most difficult things I ever have to do. I fidget. I pace. I bug the Dude.

So this whole being off of work and waiting for a baby thing is really not my strong suit. Fortunately, I have still been able to do some knitting.

Socks for a nephew.

Socks for a neice.

I'm half way through a pair of pink socks for the Princess in this yarn.

My mind, however, is always drawn to the what ifs. What if my water breaks in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store? What if I have horrible labour that scares the Princess? What if I can't get a hold of the Dude? (Don't laugh. My husband is very difficult to reach at times. Don't confuse this with being important.) What if the Princess totally rejects the Baby and her Mother? What if I don't get the next STR sock club shipment before all of the above happen?

Waiting sucks.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scarves across Canada

I am participating in a bit of a crazy endeavour. I joined up in the summer and am in the midst of it. I had actually forgotten about it until another package arrived the other night.

I'm in Traveling Scarf group on Ravelry. The premise is that you start a scarf in some yarn and a stitch pattern of your choice. Then you pass your scarf on to 11 other people to work on, and in the end you get it back. There are examples of works in progress from other groups here and here and here.

It has been a great way to use up bits of yarn I have. I can not throw yarn away, so I have bits and pieces of every type of yarn I've ever bought. It's kind of fun to rifle through my old yarn and pull stuff out.

This is how my scarf started.

I used up my leftover Andean Silk that I made my Candystripe kerchief out of. I picked out a pattern I liked from my Harmony Guides and cast on. I sent it off to someone in Burlington and now I wait for it's return.

In the meantime, I work on everyone else's. I received Vivian's yesterday and picked out a coordinating color, and this is what we have.

The blue is not near as bright as the picture leads you to believe. So I'll finish this up today and send it off to the next person and wait for my next delivery. Getting yarn / knitting in the mail is so much fun - even if it's not for me!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mama, you knit me a sweater?

The Princess has been as patient as a two year old can be lately. She's had to watch me knit baby sweaters, baby hats, socks for Dad, sweaters for Mom. At last, there is something that she can model for her adoring public.

This is the Drive-Thru sweater. It is a terrific pattern and a really fun knit. I usually shy away from colour work because it freaks me out a little and you know that I don't deal well with change.

The body of this sweater goes very quickly and the yoke keeps things interesting with the colour changes. I understand that the pattern is based on EZ's percentage system which just goes to show how brilliant that lady was.

I made this sweater out of Cotton Fleece which is soft and has a nice drape to it. It isn't as heavy as 100% cotton and I think I'll be using it again if I can find it. It would seem that our local LYS's don't carry Brown Sheep products. May I suggest to you local LYS types that this line of yarn would be welcomed by the local knitting community?

Friday, September 12, 2008


This last week has kicked my butt over and over again, for a lot of reasons. There are tragedies occurring to people I know and love, and it's been a hard week for our family. Not as hard as it has been for the people around us, but hard nonetheless.

Then I got this.

From two wonderful people. With a card that said things that meant a lot and things I needed to hear.

It was a reminder of what friendship means.

Thanks ladies. The farkly* yarn is lovely, and your friendship is farkly to me.

*farkly - a combination of the word sparkly and another word I will not use on the blog, because I don't want to offend my readers. Coined by the two ladies who gave me the yarn

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Say What? T. actually finished something???

That's right - she did.

Two things actually.

Crazy, I know.

First, I finished the Hanameeee. That's my made up word for Hanami for me. At least originally it was going to be for me, but now I don't know. I don't love it. It's lovely, but I'm not sure. It may go in the Christmas pile. I should make that sound a bit nicer. Pile implies, well other things. Let's call it the Christmas Cumulus.

It still needs a bath and some stretching, but I am awaiting some blocking wires to help in that endeavour.

Second up, the Bainbridge scarf.

Another thing to put in the Christmas Cumulus. This little number took 2 short nights of knitting and is quite warm and fuzzy. I can think of a couple people I know who would appreciate this one.

Things are flying off the needles here at Baad Medicine. Watch out for flying wool.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

There's a Rocket in My Pocket

Here is the next in a line of projects I have finished lately. It confirms my love of baby clothes. They are unapologetically cute and fast to knit. I whipped this up in a little over a week.

It's the Rocketry Sweater made famous by the Yarn Harlot. I can totally understand her obsession with this little number. It comes in a kit with several different colours of Dream in Color Classy. It might be one of my new favorite yarns. It is soft and blooms nicely with washing. The colours are amazing and one day I'll make a sweater out of this stuff. (T., I know what you're thinking. We're not ordering any more yarn right now. Maybe next week.)

I had little bits of yarn leftover so I whipped up a matching hat. I used the Umbilical Cord Hat as the base pattern and did the colour changes as suggested by the Rocketry pattern. Overall, a very cute little set.

I'm not sure who will be the baby who gets to model and keep this ensemble. I have quite a few sweaters that will fit the under 1 year old set and my little bun couldn't possibly wear them all. A few will likely be set aside for the happy day when some people in my life have new little buns of their own. (You know who you are.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The end of an era

From this...

(in his mother's knitwear right out of the gate....)

To this...

I can say a lot of cliches about where the time has gone. But they won't describe what I'm truly feeling on the eve of his school debut. Excitement, anxiety, nostalgia. Those words only touch the surface.

Mostly I feel love.

He's ready, he's going. He will develop his own little persona. It's good.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Catching Up

I seem to have been neglecting my knitterly duties here at Baadmedicine. I have been knitting and I have lots to show you....


Ok, here's the thing. I'm due to give birth in a month. As a mother who is quite advanced in her pregnancy, I am starting to really feel it. My back gets sore, I'm tired, my hands are achy and swollen when I wake up. All of these things have taken a toll on my knitting. To keep you interested, I thought I'd dish out a finished project every few days.

The Project du Jour is ly Olympic Socks. There were designed by yours truly and knit for men's feet. I always aget a little nervous when I start a pair of men's socks because I know it takes a long time to finish a pair and it really is a big commitment. At the same time, I don't want to knit up plain socks for the men in my life. A little pattern every now and then is a good thing.

Therefore I present to you Faux Paw. They are men's socks with a linen stitch Argyle pattern that I think works fairly well with variegated sock yarns. You like it? Let me know.