Chemo, Knits and Chores

Tomorrow is a treatment day.  I will go to the chemotherapy suite and get my IV of medicine that hopefully will push back these B cells and give me some disease-free months.  The last treatment didn’t go very well.  I seemed to have a very blunted response to it, and not long after I was back in the flare I’ve been fighting since August.  When I was a child, I was told that bad-tasting medicine worked better.  I hope that applies this time.  I have to pay the full cost of the upcoming treatments (tomorrow and in two weeks), so it will probably work better. 


On to the fun.  I have some photos.  Last week, in my Be Sweet Bamboo infatuation, I made a size 18 months baby girl’s jumper.  It’s prettier than you can see, but maybe you can appreciate the pleats and the ruffle.  besweetbamboolilacjumper 

On the other end of the spectrum, some sturdy mitts with a cuff at the top.  It provides padding for driving when turned down, and warmth for the fingertips when opened up.  I think a lot about the structure and function of garments.  Guess I’m like an engineer designing clothing, hehe.  That’s my undergraduate degree, but I never thought I’d be using some of those design skills in knitting.  karaokemitts Karaoke is South West Trading Company’s thinner 50% wool/50% soy mix.  (Gianna is the heavier with the same mix.)  These colors are very strong, with a bit bluer blue than my monitor is showing.  The inner part of the cuff (on the opposite side from the thumb, has a little tab with a buttonhole.  I haven’t sewed buttons on yet.  You can kind of see the stitch pattern of diagonal purls running across the mitts. 

I know I mentioned the lace scarf that I was knitting from my gorgeous Karabella Supercashmere Fine.  Here’s a shot of it stretched on my new blocking board.  I think I mentioned that it sold when I took it to knitting group for show and tell.  karaokemittsnov07-001 


Today I packed up books to send to the secondhand bookstore, paid a zillion bills, cleaned off a few surfaces that had grown too cluttered to be used, started some laundry, packed up some little mittens for afghans for Afghans, and took a bunch of phone calls.  That is sounding like I made myself useful today.  Oh yeah, I packed up a pile of kid hats to be a contribution, hopefully to an orphanage in Atlanta.  I think I can chill now.


Oh yeah, I forgot something.  During the summer I knitted a sleeveless purple sweater for a sample for  This weekend it came out in an promotion for one of their yarns.  I love the sweater and the way they photographed it.  You can see it right here:  Click on the photo and you’ll see details. 


Okay, can’t linger.  My NCIS team is coming on.



Cashmere, Bamboo, and Trunk Shows

Some loose ends:  The trunk show will be in Atlanta.  A friend offered to set it up and invite a good-sized neighborhood association, along with friends and colleagues.  I’m scared, but I’m going to do it.  There’s something about being the only vendor, instead of setting up in a sea of vendors…  I do enjoy sales situations where I can talk to people one-on-one about my knitting.  So many people have personal stories about their own craftwork or the knitting of a loved one, and I like fielding questions about the process of making my pieces. 


The customer who ordered the baby hat said her daughter doesn’t like having things under her chin, so I unraveled the straps and removed them (53 seconds work).  It will be on its way in tomorrow’s mail.  I generally send things Priority Mail-I’ve found it reliable and fast.  I’ll have a big Post Office run, with the box of things-I-forgot-to-pack for my daughter, and the finished blanket for my niece. 


Today I’ve finished wrist warmers (rather long ones) to go with a simple cashmere cap.  They will be for the trunk sale.  I’m still turning over possible embellishments in my mind.      

I’m experimenting with’s Superwash Bamboo now.  It is very soft, shows stitches nicely, and I’m thinking baby blanket with small cables.  We’ll see. 



Organic Cotton Baby Sweater, Fast Becoming a Sweet New Favorite

January 22nd, I started the explanation of the organic cotton baby sweater which is knit from bottom back to bottom fronts, including sleeves, in one piece.  I don’t think I mentioned that my favorite source of Pakucho organic cotton is, one of my favorite knitting stores.  I’ve gotten to know the owners and staff and love their selection, prices and service.  This isn’t the first thing I’ve knit from the Pakucho, but I think it’s going to be my favorite.  Here we continue. 

When we left it, we were on row 55.  We had finished casting on 20 stitches on either side for the sleeves, and were knitting up the sleeves and body continuing our knit 2/purl 2 pattern stitch.  We had about 40 rows of back, then started the sleeves.  When we reach row 68, we need to bind off the center 14 stitches for the back neck. 

organiccottonbabysweaterneckline.jpgAttach a second ball of yarn to the second side so that you can continue to keep all your stitches on one needle (one circular in my case) and knit the rows from both sides together.  On the neck edge of each of the next two rows, knit two together.  Continue to knit in pattern for 28 rows after the back neck bind-off.  At rows 74 and 96(counting from bottom of back) K2tog at the last two neck edge stitches on each side, adding a total of eight stitches to the front edges.  At rows 96 and 97, you also loosely bind off the outer 20 stitches of each side, as your sleeves are complete.  Continue to knit in pattern for 40 more rows, loosely binding off both fronts at about row 136.  This is what you have:


You can see that I added a cream colored ball and striped the fronts of the sweater; this was done because I was getting low on the light brown color, but you could make this change (or not) in any way you desired.  You can see the increases at the top front of the neck (right at the shoulder level) and just before the top cream stripe, right at the level of the sleeve bind-off.  Here is the sweater folded over but with no seams done (and on the wrong side): 


Okay, at this point we have a choice.  Remember how we bound off 14 stitches to form the back neck?  Well, we only put back 8 stitches with our increases, not enough to make the front edges meet.  Depending on our method of closing the front, we may need some overlap.  My plan is to pick up stitches along the front and neck edges using my circular needle, and knit a band that is narrow at the neck side and wider at the fronts.  You could also use your crochet hook and whip through three or four rows of single crochet, or whatever stitch you desired.  Or you could get very, very creative and stitch on some grosgrain ribbon or some other cute trim (although I kind of dislike turning a soft, organic cotton creation into something with artificial trim). 

Anyway, I’m going to work on it as I envision it, and get back to you.

At 10 mg of prednisone, some joints are hurting and stiff and I’m hoping more B-cells will die or at least quit fighting their immunological fight in the next week or two.  Meanwhile, I can knit.