I Knit Better Than I Cook

I’m getting somewhere.  Three new items posted in my store:  llama mitts, the purple rug, and the green baby blanket.  My goal is to complete and post two more items this week.  I’ve also finished the red bathmat for my daughter’s roommate.  It is having its first wash as we speak. 


Here’s the baby blanket:  You may recall that this blanket is superwash wool/bamboo.  I steam blocked it with a hand-held portable steamer that my daughter bought me just before she left for school.  She doesn’t like to knit, but she is very astute about what I need to knit this volume successfully.  I have no idea where she learned about steam blocking, but it sure saves me a lot of time. 


I made a disaster cake this evening.  It was supposed to be 7-Up Cake.  Well, technically it is, but last week’s cake puts this one to shame.  I used reduced fat Smart Balance instead of the regular Smart Balance, and the cake looked beautiful when I took it out of the oven, but sort of collapsed in on itself as it cooled.  Tastes good when you ignore the texture of the dense, settled innards.  Mmm. 


Now I’m ready to tackle the next piece.  More knitting, maestro, please.




Thinking About Thinking

Today I’m eating crow.  Well, actually I had salmon patties and 7-Up cake, but it was a crow-equivalent since they are favorites of someone I owe big-time.  You see, this week I blew my stack at someone and said hurtful things and went on and on about my-not necessarily right or well thought-out-opinions.  Yesterday I began to see that I was wrong in so many ways – but it followed a pattern that has become familiar.  I apologized today, we made up and I prepared the favored foods and we ate cake, but I am still thinking about this.


The reason it plagues me is that I have periods when it seems that my  thinking changes radically, and events or people that I’ve been perfectly comfortable with start to be unacceptable in some way, and I can (at that time) see my worries mounting.  When I start to express them, it is in an emotional, forceful way.  Later I can see that it is out of proportion to the seriousness of the problem, but at the time, I feel justified and righteous.  It’s as though I’ve run out of acceptance, or tolerance, or understanding, and all the opposite feelings and viewpoints come tumbling out. 


Today is the first time I’ve thought of it in relation to lupus.  I mean, in the past I’ve attributed some of it to the emotional strain of chronic illness, some to unresolved mental health issues, and some to congenital meanness.  What I haven’t thought about is if the cerebritis I have from lupus periodically flares and makes my thoughts blaze through a different path.  Cerebritis is the long-standing term for brain irritation from lupus, but the pathology of it is still evolving.  Some of it is blood-vessel damage, some of it is inflammation, some can occur from blood clots landing in the brain, infections from immunosuppression can cause cerebritis…there are a number of etiologies. 


It’s not that I want to avoid cooking for people and apologizing.  Those are okay.  But I’d so much rather prevent the fulmination of these episodes, and so far I haven’t been very successful at it.  How do I recognize the change in thinking?  Can I stop after a particular trigger and do something to defuse?  Would some physical modality like rest or exercise or water torture help? 


Oh, I don’t know.  I just don’t know, and I’d rather talk about knitting.  I made a hat from Knit Picks lovely Panache today.  It has everything:  alpaca, silk, cashmere, merino, and it feels like it.  Knitting with it is therapy.  I’m still working on the wool/bamboo baby blanket.  I think I can make left cables in my sleep.  I love cables like I love scalloped edges.  Oddly enough, I’m craving some big, bulky knitting.  Where is that coming from?  Looking into the cooler future?  Who craves fat yarn when it’s 89 degrees?  This is what I’m thinking:  people need jackets/wraps made from fat yarn with interesting shapes.  Nothing fitted.  There’s some specific design criteria for you.  I’m gonna eat cake and refine it.



Superwash Bamboo Baby Blanket

This is one of those days when I wonder if I will ever run out of places that hurt.  I had a few weeks of sacroiliac pain, and now one knee and thigh are intensely painful.  I’ve limped around the house for two days and I’m doing my usual waiting period before I contact my doc.  Lupus is like this.  Meanwhile, I make my meals, and sit and knit.


I prepared all my stuff for mailing today, and my young cousin made the trip to the Post Office.  It felt good to see packages going out the door, some things completed. 


I’m working the elann.com Superwash Bamboo, which is actually 65% superwash wool/35% bamboo.  It’s comfortable and flexible in my hands after all the knitting with cotton and plain bamoo.  I’m making a baby blanket with a sweet little cable running up each edge.  I snapped some quick photos.  It was difficult to show off the cable, but here’s the rough view:

 These are small cables, 4 stitches across.  I think the scale will be perfect for a baby blnket.  One ball of yarn made about 7 inches, and I anticipate the blanket being about 28-30 inches square, including a perpendicular edging for each side.  The bottom is garter stitch for about 3/4 inch.  This yarn is less than $3 per ball, so it makes a very reasonably-priced baby blanket from natural materials that feel smooth and luxurious.  The bamboo is a special plus, since it has antibacterial properties that persist even after 50 washes.  I much prefer this to wrapping an infant in acrylic fiber. 


I am writing this pattern as I go, and I will print it here and offer it free when the blanket is finished. 


When I have a larger project on my needles, like a blanket or sweater, I like to take breaks and work on smaller, quick-finish pieces.  I think I’ll grab a ball of cashmere and finish my night with a hat. 


I’ve been making time in my days to answer my cousin’s knitting questions and help her move on to new projects.  She’s a natural.  Her second project has neat, even stitches and no glaring mistakes.  She’s on her third, stacking up simple items that she can use for gifts.  With her knit stitches coming so easily, it’s time to cast on and purl.  Be forewarned:  sit still for a few minutes in my house, and I’ll teach you to knit.