WIP: Chemo Cap #1

I mentioned previously my efforts to make a hat for a co-worker who has been diagnosed with an in-operable Brain Tumour. Click “here” if you missed the original post.

Choosing a thin yarn and a time-consuming technique did not make for a quickly-finished hat. The Instant Gratification came in a different way, as I enjoyed watching the colour changes of the yarn as they progressed accross the piece.

Unfortunately, the construction of the project didn’t lend itself to being re-sized too readily. And I got it… wrong. I should have anticipated that the thinner yarn would have meant I needed to do a lot more rows of squares. I think I was in denial about how far this was from being a quick knit – I didn’t want to add to the pain by doing more again. When I finally admitted defeat, I abandoned it altogether and went on to finish a watchman’s style cap in bulkier Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton.

Entrelac Crochet in Wendy Happy

All is not lost for this project, however. Unfortunately, it’s another sad tale, though.

One of my recurring tasks at work is to carry out a feasibility inspection of a tenant’s homes. Basically, if a tenant’s needs change due to disability or over-crowding, they can apply to the Council for an extension to their home. I visit and report back to our Housing Department on whether or not it it’s feasibile to extend the house to accommodate their requirements. It’s an aspect of my job that I really love, because it brings me in contact with my “end-user” – the citizens of our Council area. I know I’m a big softie liberal leftie, but they are the reason I’m in the Public Sector.

In the last few weeks I was inspecting a two-bed, mid-terrace house for a family with two children – a boy (9) and a girl (2). The boy has Cerebal Palsy and needs access to a loo downstairs; because the children are different sexes they’re going to need an extra bedroom. I was greeted at the door by the mother and her dote of a 2yo girl – just a few months younger than my youngest; whom I noticed had a tube coming from her nostril. In the course of my visit the mother told me that her daughter had been diagnosed with cancer four weeks earlier. Hasn’t this woman had enough, already?

At the time, I was thinking I’d love to make her a crochet hat, something lacey and girl-ey with a brim; for her to wear in the summer. Then this WIP went wallup. So now my plan is to finish this hat first and use the rest of the skein to make up another, more flouncy one; then post both off.

Hopefully, they’ll be moved into a three-bedroomed house by then.

Yes, my report back to Housing said the house wasn’t feasible for extension to provide both a downstairs toilet and an extra bedroom. I added a recommendation that, in the light of the little girl’s condition (though her prognosis is good), in order to improve their quality of life as quickly as possible – currently the 2yo is either sleeping in the mother’s room or in a toddler bed in the living room – I recommended that they be transferred to a 3-bed soon. I even went to far as to check the list of empty three beds in the area and I’m to go shortly to carry out a feasibility inspection of adding a downstairs WC to one of them. Go me!

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She’s Outrageous, She Screams and She Bawls!*

“…Jean-Jeanie! Let yourself Go!”  

 … Away? 

…to the Frog Pond?- and quickly too, you Fug!

Love Jeanie stacks?**

**(with apologies to David Bowie – these are what I think the lyrics are!)

 Yes, the pattern is tough but fascinating and therefore I found it worthwhile to try it.

Just…

not in this yarn / colourway due to unfortunate pooling / striping that would better suit Harry Potter.

Make it stop!

Now!  …please?

Phew! That’s better.

*(Did you wonder from the Title if this post was about someone else?)

Wednesday’s Wip Pahwade

New Entry:

I cast on for Jeanie last night. This is possibly the most challenging thing I’ve knit since… no, wait… ever. It’s not the pattern – I got to grips with it pretty quickly: a basic stitch pattern of four stitches [ktbl, p1, k1, ptbl] which forms a 1 x 1 rib defined by twisted stitches at the edges. These four stitches are then cabled over another four and the 1 x 1 rib makes the cables reversible – very clever. The columns of twisted stitches are beside stitches that will be dropped, hence the need for definition.  So far, so sensible.  

The challenge is the yarn. It’s bamboo and I haven’t knit with bamboo before and it’s! so! slippery! I started on the wrong needles, my denise needles: not enough control and the stitches were snagging on the cable join. Since I switched to my bamboo needles I’ve got on better. I’m still not happy about my tension. I fear it’s all going to be too drapey. Ten rows in and I’m already doubting if this is going to get done by the middle of August – it may become a Christmas present.

Upalupagus - Upstream Architecture in Trekking XXLDropping back to #2:

We have Upalupagus, the own-design, toe-up socks in Zitron Trekking XXL using the Upstream Architecture from Cat Bordhi’s book “New Pathways for Sock Knitters”. My guage is 9.5 stitches to the inch. By the time I’m finished the arch expansion (only one set of increases to go) I’ll have 120 stitches per round! Gah! why have men such big feet? All I have to do then is turn the heel and chug on up the leg until I run out of yarn. These should have been my June socks in the SAM 5 KAL. Hopefully they’ll be done in time to get a credit for July.

Moving up:

I recently re-discovered my “April” Socks – Diagonal Cross-rib from Favorite Sock, in Mega Boots Stretch. I gave up on them in preference for Back to Basic Socks. I might dig these out again and make them my holiday knitting for the next two weeks in Westport – along with Upalupagus… and Jeanie(?)… Where’s my third arm?

Biased - multi-directional scarf in Noro KureyonNon-movers:

GlenvAargh!, and its donor, The Behemoth, still languish; Biased, the multi-directional scarf in Noro, is going to get frogged; the Tomato swatch has at least been measured and I got different results at different times (I may have used a different tape measure) but mainly the wintery weather here is putting me off prioritising this;

Golden oldies:

These are the WiPs I bet you didn’t even know I had – my UFOs. I like to pretend they don’t exist. The Mole (an Alan Dart stuffed-toy pattern, based on Mole from Wind in the Willows) just needs embroidery to his face (and motivation); some day – hopefully before next winter – I’m going to knit a pair of mittens for my daughter.

Choosey Tuesday

In a continued attempt at (possibly) having some recurring features today I will endeavour to delve into my queue to assess the next pattern that should be promoted to WiP status, and – more importantly – why.

First up, we have two skeins of Bamboo from SWTC.

SWTC - Bamboo

I bought these in This is Knit with my sister in mind – she likes these shades of green, or at least… she did last year. For a long time I had an idea of knitting her a clapotis. She’s a knitter, but not really into the whole Internet / Blogging / Knitty side of things (and I tend to play-down how much I’m involved in that side of things, for fear of revealing to her just how nuts I really am). So, admiring my clapotis, she was quite taken with the idea of dropping stitches to create the fabric. However, the other day (after our last knit-night, in fact, when Caroline, the Blogfree Bootie, was thinking of casting on for some lace with some beautiful saphire coloured merino) I wondered about upping-the-ante a little (okay, more than a little) and working on Jeanie from Knitty instead. Caroline & I have agreed on another mini-kal – she’s thinking of Juno Regina, also from Knitty.

Thing is, my sister’s birthday is in the middle of August so I’d want to get cracking now. On the other hand, last year she got a knitted poncho and bag from me (one of my first blog posts) so maybe I’ve done “the knitted green thing” to death already.

Today, to get me out of jail on my SAM 5 KAL (due to getting distracted with some snazzy gift-knitting and technique-aquiring in June), I completed my Stew-pot socks. These socks were double-knit tubes with after-thought heels that almost got me out of jail February – they were nearly knit in one day, but not quite.

 Just one snipAngular ankles

Pick up sts

Up close they’re quite embarrasing looking but I learned a lot from them and I’m keen to try an after-thought heel again – only properly this time, following instructions and not just winging it, for a change. I’m thinking of the Up-down Sprial Socks from Favorite Sock with my single skeins of Shelridge Farm Soft-Touch Heather and Ultra in Crocus and Forest, respecitively.

Shelridge Farm - Soft Touch Ultra & Heather

In the meantime, I must bear in mind that I have plans for a certain secret project which has a deadline of the begining of September – which really means it needs to be knit by early August. I hate knitting to a deadline. Let’s go back up and drool over that bamboo some more, to cheer me up…