I wish I could say that the steroids are enhancing my knitting performance, but that would be lying. Somewhere along the line I picked up a cold last week, and for an asthmatic, that is not a good thing. I ended up in the ER Friday morning, was glad to hear the X-rays showed no pneumonia, but apparently all that rattling and buzzing when I breathed was due to really, really annoyed asthma. And so now, in addition to the inhaled steroids and other meds that are part of my normal daily asthma control routine, I am on oral steroids, nasal steroids, antibiotics and high doses of anti-histamines. My public service announcement for today? Please, if you get a cold or flu this season - and I sincerely hope you don't - think about people out there with compromised immune systems due to chemo or other illness, and stay home. For some people out there, the common cold can be a dangerous thing.
Yesterday morning about this time I sat down to work on some socks I am making for one of my sisters for a Christmas present. This is a wonderful cabled pattern from Interweave Knits called Williams Street Socks. It is a simple 10 st cable worked every sixth row, so in the first cable round you hold 5 sts to the front, work the next 5, and then work the held five, etc. to the end of the row, knit 5 rounds. In the next cable round your 5 sts are held to the back. So I have been working the pattern starting with the cable round, working the 5 stockinette rounds, and then putting my knitting down to do other things, knowing that when I come back I will need to start by working the next cable round. I've been doing this all week, without any problems. Until yesterday morning.
For some reason, when I picked up my knitting, I could not at first read the knitting to know which way to go with the cable - zig or zag. This is not normally a problem for me, but between illness, lack of sleep from coughing all night, and major drugs, I had NO CLUE which way to cable. Finally I thought, What the heck, dive in, and if it's not right, all I have to do is frog it. So I started with the sts held to the front. Finished the round, looked at the knitting, and realized that the sts should have gone to the back. Ok. Frogged back to the beginning of the round, held the sts to the back, and worked the round again. And realized that I had held the wrong 5 sts to the back. Frogged back again, and did the round right.
I mention this not so that I can humiliate myself in public, after all, it wasn't a problem until now. But to show that we can all do those really, really silly things sometimes, and the worst that happens is that you have to frog back and fix it. Knowing my cognitive limitations for the moment, I worked out a plan where I can keep track of which cable crossing I just worked on my st counter. Now I've finished the foot and am ready to tackle the heel.
I am a big fan of Interweave Knits magazine and publications, it is a rare thing that they come out with a new book that I don't HAVE to possess for my own. They have a fresher outlook on knitting that I really like. Recently they brought out a new book in their Style series called Folk Style. Wow! Great designs, great color! There are several patterns in here I am looking forward to making for myself, such as the Grand Tour Waistcoat and the Algonquin Socks. The Modern Quilt Wrap is started with stash yarn, but on hold until I finish my holiday projects. I know one of my sisters would love the Paisley Shawl.
And then there is my eternally cold aunt. Last year I made her the crocheted felted boots from the Fiber Trends pattern, and I hear that she has worn them right through. This year I decided to get serious, and made her the Bunad Mukluks from Folk Style. This is a really quick and easy project that uses just over two skeins (so buy three!) of Lamb's Pride worsted. This is a yarn that I really enjoyed working with, and will use for lots more projects. I picked a bright red as that is her favorite color, and elected to leave out the tassels in the back. As you can see, they are just a giant pair of socks...
that you felt...
and sew slipper bottoms onto...
Couldn't be easier! And now they are ready to go out in the mail in plenty of time for her birthday. I'll definitely be making more of these, especially for myself.
So in the meantime, keep knitting! Look at resources such as books and magazines for inspiration, and enjoy our craft.