I forgot to mention…

…that I got a swift and a ball winder this past Xmas.

Pretty little yarn cakes!

I gotta say: Not having to hand-wind everything is pretty sweet…and far more efficient.

That’s my whole stash of Malabrigo Finito, BTW, all rolled in about 45 minutes. It’s about to get all sorts of colorwork-ey up in here.

* * * * * * * * * *

…that I knit a giant blanket a few months ago.

Warm and wooly!

It completely covers a queen-size bed. The pattern is Jared Flood’s Bridgewater, just supersized from laceweight shawl to worsted weight blanket. I dig it.

* * * * * * * * * *

…that I finally took pics of the socks I made for The Dude.

The Dude’s socks…not, however, modeled by The Dude

I couldn’t be happier with them…but I’ll never knit 2X2 ribbed men’s socks on US 0 needles every again!

Yay for Malabrigo socks!

* * * * * * * * * *

…that I decided it was a good idea to knit a fingering-weight fair isle baby blanket in the round…

Call me crazy…

…and it turns out that it totally was!

…but it was loads of fun to cut this thing in half!

I set the steeks with crochet using leftover BFL handspun from the Sunshiney socks, followed by two lines of machine sewing. Worked like a charm!

Just need to do the finishing work, and she’s done.

I’ve recruited Jenni to help me with the sewing (because she’s a sewing rockstar and I am decidedly not…) after I block this out. The pattern, Latvian Garden, is so much freaking fun to knit. Most of the yarn is Corgi Hill’s now-discontinued Fiona (the purple, the only exception, is Claudia’s Handpainted Fingering), a buttery superwash merino-cashmere-nylon blend.

* * * * * * * * * *

…that I fell off the Operation Stash Containment wagon for a little while, but I’m officially hopping back on. Yay for stashbusting!

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Keeping On

Official Gypsy-doodle diagnosis: Stage 3 Lymphoma. Multiple peripheral nodes effected.

Treatment: 20 mg of prednisone twice daily.

Prognosis: Six months.

:::sigh:::

In happier news, I finished a pair of happy socks.

“Bright Sunshiney Socks”

They’re my Fiber Optic BFL handspun, with Spud & Chloe Fine for the cuffs, toes and heels, using my Plain Jane recipe.

Big ‘ole Simon photobomb in this one…he’s so high maintenance…

It took me a whole year to knit these socks. Seriously! A whole year for a pair of stockinette socks! In my defense, it’s been a hell of a year…

By contrast, it only took me two months to knit a fair isle baby blanket in the round in fingering weight on US 2 needles…

Inside out, setting the bright sunshiney steeks, getting ready for the big cut!

…and now it just needs to be steeked! I’m itching to cut this thing apart…just a little more crocheting to go…

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

This past February, I chanced upon a clever little soul. Or maybe she chanced upon me.

Hi.

I named her Gypsy.

When I found her, though, wandering the city streets in my neighborhood in the February cold, she looked like this.

Enough to break your heart…

But, from the start, she had these eyes…eyes that knew more about hard living than I could ever imagine…and a sweet, sweet face.

A pibble with the angel eyes.

I called The Dude when I found her on the street to ask what I should do, but of course, the answer was simple: Take her.

So, I did.

It wasn’t always good times with Miss Gypsy-doodle.

She’s been on medication since day one. Skin treatments, antibiotics, anti-fungals, steroids, antihistamines, grain-free food, supplements…someone did a number on the poor girl, for sure.

I even got the cone of shame!

And then there were other problems, scary problems that almost meant the end of Gypsy in our life.

But one seriously amazing dog trainer solved all Gypsy’s problems.

Brandy and Gypsy…buddies, at last

After months, Gypsy finally seemed to…relax. Her issues with the other dogs vanished. Her tail wagged uncontrollably. She gave unabashed cuddles and kisses and even learned to lie down and enjoy the simple act of sleeping in the sun without fear, without anxiety.

Like a regular dog raised in regular circumstances.

The last couple of months have been wonderful.

Brandy, Max and one very flat Gypsy

This past weekend, finally off all her medications for the first time since I found her emaciated in the street, lymph nodes all over Gypsy’s body swelled up. Badly.

Today, we found out that Gypsy has cancer. Lymphoma.

We won’t know for a few days yet just how bad it is or just what our options are.

After everything she’s been through, after all she’s endured, it seems so incredibly…unfair.

There’s no other word for it.

As I keep telling The Dude, who is simply heartsick, that our Gypsy-doodle is far from done with this world. She’s eating like a champion…she eats ALL THE THINGS…and she’s playing with Max like nothing else in the world matters.

Chair cuddles!

And so, we’ll make every moment a good one for her, every moment she has left one of love and warmth and comfort and happy puppin things, whether it’s a year’s worth of moments or just a few weeks.

Chomping Nylabones with my bestest buddy, Max.

Because that’s exactly how a puppin’s life should be.

Sorry to break radio silence with a sad post. Today was just a sad day.

Amends

I know, I know, I know…

I promised to be better.

But I’ve been just as bad.

I could make up excuses, swear I’ll never drop off the face of the planet again and try to play catch-up yet again.

Or, I can just accept that my life has been insane and that relief is blissfully in sight, and then buy you off with an obscene amount of Malabrigo Finito yarny goodness…

"Cereza"

"Paloma"

"Plomo"

"Natural"

"Pearl Ten"

"Lavanda"

"Mares"

This stuff is luscious. Seriously. Go get some before you can’t get it anymore…or before I buy it all…

Dude, Where’s My Blog?

Oh, hey!

Remember me?

I realize it’s a little cobwebby around here…my bad. I haven’t been around here in a while, but I have good reasons, I swear!

For one, February was smack-dab in the middle of Annual Busy Time. And then all sorts of craziness started, and Annual Busy Time turned into Hey Here’s A Crazy New Job Opportunity Get Your Resume Together time.

Which, itself, turned into Hey You Just Got A New Job time.

And that transitioned into OMG WTF Did I Do This Job Is Insane time.

And, in turn, that’s merged into Watch Out, I’m Seriously A Big Deal time.

It’s been a busy few months.

My social life dropped off significantly as I started working 9…10…11…12 hour days and have to be on-call 24/7.

I have had zero time to cook. Or bake. Or go grocery shopping.

And the knitting pretty much stopped, too. Very sad, I know. But, as I’ve started to find a balance, I’ve been able to find time to play with my sticks and string again, which has been wonderful. And this week, I’ve started a new schedule where I work from home in the mornings — something I wasn’t thrilled about in the beginning but which is actually a lot nicer than I anticipated.

So, there’s the story.

And now here’s what you really came here for.

Plain Jane Handspun Socks, with a picot hem and contrasting toes and heels...a pattern from the recesses of my brain

Yup. There it is.

The Setesdal Love Hat from Knitscene, in Valley Yarns Huntington and some handspun, donated to Tracy's collection for Children with Hairloss

You know you missed this.

The Scraptastic Redux, or The Second Scrappy Scarf

Oh, baby…

Haruni, in pure cashmere. This deserves a blog post all on its own...and it'll get one...someday...

Wait…is that actually…handspun??

Yup, had a little quality time with Evelyn. Sport-weight two-ply corriedale from Spunky Eclectic in "Twenty Ten"

For future reference, 2X2 rib socks on US 0 dpns is not the fastest way to knit a pair of men’s socks.

A modified version of Treads, from Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch, in Malabrigo Sock, for a special dude. It's a miracle I actually finished the first sock in this century.

This is kinda-sorta a sock.

Another Plain Jane sock, this time in my Bright Sunshiney handspun, again with Spud & Chloe for contrast.

So, there it is. I am, in fact, alive. And well. And knitting.

And I’ll be back here at some point…hopefully sooner rather than later!