by Gary Varvel
This was my first time doing Magic Loop. I decided to give it a try because the idea of getting both socks done at the same time using any pattern was very appealing.
When you cast on for Magic Loop you divide the total number of stitches in half so that half are on one side of the cable and the other half is on the other side. This is the general set up, so I just proceeded this way without reading the pattern all the way through.
Turns out I didn’t have enough stitches on one side to do the cabling. Unlike dpns I couldn’t just move the stitches I needed, so I transferred them to dpns, rearranged the stitches, and moved them back to the long circular.
I’m knitting and finishing up the legs when I realize that the right sock is supposed to be a mirror image of the left sock! The cables on the right sock should be on the opposite side of the left sock. Clearly I had not learn my lesson in the beginning.
I transferred the socks onto dpns again, rearranged the stitches, and moved them back to the long circular. I was very grateful that at least the pattern was the same so I didn’t have to undo all my knitting.
I was able to turn the heel and pick up the stitches for the gusset without much fuss. Proud of my progress I proceeded to move onto the foot and started the toes. I’m knitting along when I realize that I will most likely run out of yarn. This is how much yarn I had left when I was almost done with the toes.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was able to get extra yarn from a lady on Ravelry. With the yarn in hand I joined in and finished the toes. I’m getting ready to bind off when I realize I am four stitches short on one of the socks. I had decreased one row too many after the gusset. Of course I did. Here is a picture of my sock after I ripped back to where I was decreasing before the foot.
Despite all the ‘complications’ I had with these, I have decided that I like doing two at once using magic loop. It’s so satisfying knowing I don’t have a second sock to start. I can’t believe I’m about to type this, but I may never use dpns to make socks again!
When I first looked into this method there seemed to be plenty of directions on how to do this for toe-up socks but not for top-down ones. Here are a couple of websites that were helpful.
I have a first generation Kindle (I bought it a little over two years ago) that needs a new home. I know it’s not the latest and greatest, but I would love to see it go to someone who really wants it and needs it instead of reselling it. Email me (my first and last name with no spaces/symbols at gmail dot com) if you’re interested.
When I was younger I always looked forward to my birthday. A special day to celebrate me with my friends and presents? What’s not to like? But, as with most people, the fun of having a birthday faded as the years went by. I guess cynicism took over, and childhood magic met reality.
What I remember most about my birthday parties is Carvel’s ice cream cake. You know, the kind with the crunchy cookie bits sandwiched in the middle of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with the waxy frozen icing. We only got to have it on our birthday so it was a special treat.
This year I have found myself counting the days until my birthday. Perhaps it’s because I’ve had a rough couple of years, or maybe because my perspective on life has changed, or because I’ve come to terms with my mortality. I don’t know.
What I do know is that I’m genuinely happy that I’ve made it through 33 years of life, and I’m looking forward to sharing a ‘Thanksgiving’ meal with friends. And, while my birthday cake won’t be from Carvel, I’m excited to introduce Carol to the princess cake. It’s amazing to me that a person who loves marzipan as much as she does has never had it.
I’m currently knitting Paraphernalia by Taina Anttila two at a time on magic loop. (More details on this in a later post.) As I’m knitting I realize that the leg is much longer than I expected. Thinking I wouldn’t mind having a longer leg I proceeded without much thought. Well, I’m halfway through the foot when I realize that I am most likely going to run out of yarn. Of course now that I look back on the pattern it clearly states 400-500 yards required, and of course I stupidly chose to use a skein of yarn that has 360 yards. sigh.
Ravelry to the rescue! If you knit/crochet/weave and do not know about Ravelry, go now and join. It’s free. It will change your life. Really. Anyway, I went to Ravelry and looked up who used this yarn in this color to make a project that most likely would not have required the whole skein. I find a handful of people and saw that one of them actually noted how much yarn the project took and how much of the skein was left over.
I messaged her asking if I could buy her leftovers. She promptly replied back saying yes of course and she would send it to me for free because it was such a small amount. Woo hoo! Then I sent her my address and learned that she lives 3.5 miles from me in SF! She then said she saw that I liked STR’s lightweight, and since she found it too heavy for socks, she offered to give me two skeins she had on hand!
Along with the leftover Nyame, she sent a skein of Tree Hugger and a skein of Lettuce Knits. Knitters are the BEST. Seriously, do you know any mean knitters? …. Never mind, if you do I don’t want to know.
I’m in the living room sitting on the couch tootling around on the computer. Mom turns to the Korean channel on tv; a Korean drama is playing. I look up randomly and see three actors on the screen. To my shock I realize that I know all three of them from three different dramas that I have seen. It seems the craze has crept up on me. I guess I should be surprised I haven’t seen more of them.
I wish Netflix had some available for ‘instant play’ so that I could watch it on my Roku. They do have some of the more popular ones, but you can only get them on DVD. It’s too bad they’re so expensive to buy.
Completely off topic side note: Trader Joe’s Pita Chips with Cinnamon & Sugar – delicious. I am eating them as I type and had to share.
(I couldn’t resist…)
I woke up not feeling all that great. This isn’t necessarily abnormal as morning seems to be the hardest time for me. I got up and went to labs, but it was painful. I even got the phlebotomist that I like. Normally she’s great – gets it in one shot and is very efficient.
Today she was either off, or my body was just not having it. She drew from my hand (not unusual for me), but it felt like she hit a nerve. Then the vein blew before she could get all the vials filled. She then drew from my left hand which also hurt, but in a different way. This time it hurt the whole time the needle was in. The pain in my left hand subsided pretty quickly, but my right hand still aches.
After labs we had breakfast at the bakery cafe that’s on the main level of the building. I couldn’t believe how much food came with one order! I think it could have fed 3 people. My mother and I both ate, and there was still food leftover. I took my morning meds with it, and while my mother went to the pharmacy to pick up an order, I proceeded to throw up and made a mess. It was awful, I couldn’t do anything but wait until she came back. I’m pretty sure most of my meds came up, but I didn’t double up. I think it’s better to not take enough than to overdose.
Feeling like crap I got home and struggled through climbing four flights of stairs completely out of breath and exhausted. I feel a bit better now, but it was a rough day. And to boot, it was like 80 degrees here today! What the hell happened to Fall?
On a whole different note, I can’t believe my birthday is exactly 1 week away. Carol, Fidel and Peets drive up on Saturday and Mom leaves for Southern California on Sunday. They swap back on Thanksgiving day, though Fidel and Peets will be leaving before then. I feel like I’ll blink, and it’ll be December. I really hope the weather turns and stays that way. I don’t know if it’s the east coaster in me, but I’ll be upset if winter is warm this year.
My silver lining for the day: I called Comcast and got a courtesy discount of $15/mo for 6 months.
All my life I’ve been an ordinary person. If you were to have seen me walking down Market Street in the downtown crowds I pretty much blended in. I would say I’m probably average height and weight for an American female, I have no deformities, and nothing particular that stands out. Sure you may notice me as ‘that Asian girl’, but in general this doesn’t happen very much in SF.
Before I got sick I was pretty much ignored in public. As an urbanite I very much appreciated the sense of anonymity that living in a city provided. At the grocery store people shoved past me, and the cashier was probably the only person who said hello – and usually that was only if s/he was required to by store policy. When people waited on me at a restaurant I felt no different than how they treated the person who was with me or anyone else. If I needed help or customer service at a store I had to flag down a worker bee and wait.
Now that I’m a ‘disabled’ person I am no longer invisible. I can’t decide if this is good or bad. Being on oxygen in a wheelchair is something that can’t be easily overlooked. Now I’m stared at – a lot. Usually from kids between the ages of 4 and 8. I only had 1 kid ever smile and wave at me – she probably knew someone in her life who was in a wheelchair. Regardless, she was definitely the exception. Adults usually smile when I catch them staring, and they immediately go about their merry way. Only one adult has asked what happened to me, and that was while waiting for the elevator in the hospital parking garage.
I will never forget the old lady outside of BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse. Janet, Carol and I were outside waiting to be seated. This elderly couple came out of the restaurant and the woman stared at me for a long time. She must have been in her late 70s or early 80s. If I were to have drawn a thought bubble over her head it would have read ‘Oh my God I hope I never end up like her’. I’ll never forget that appalled look on her face.
Earlier this week I went to the mall. This trip made me 1. realize that I am indeed a disabled person and 2. aware of our cultural response to the handicapped. We went to the food court for lunch, the Apple store so I could replace my wireless router, and to See’s for a treat. I don’t think I had ever been treated so well in my life.
It’s not just what people did for me, but the feeling I got and the response I felt from complete strangers. People held the door for us, made sure we had room in the elevator, I was greeted warmly by every person I encountered, and I felt like I was given undivided attention. People were actively listening to me and making sure I felt comfortable. I remember thinking, this is what it must feel like to be beautiful or famous… without the envy.
My theory of why I’ve been treated this way is that when people see me, they see a young female who shouldn’t be in a wheelchair on oxygen. I think it’s the combination of pity and compassion along with our country’s general belief that everyone deserves the right/chance to do/be like everyone else. We’re all about equality here in the US… well, at least in theory.
If I were elderly instead of in the ‘prime’ of my life, I wonder if I would have been treated so well. I think more people would expect an old person to be on oxygen in a wheelchair and therefore not feel a strong sense of injustice. Though I must say that I have observed people’s patience and understanding increase three fold for people who are physically handicapped, young or old. (Physical being the operative word. I’m not going to get into perceptions of the mental and unseen disabilities in this post.)
I wonder how much truth there is to the saying ‘you can tell a person’s true character by seeing how they treat service people and the elderly/disadvantaged.’ Does it reflect a person’s true character, or does it just show what kind of manners they were taught? Just because someone has good manners, does that automatically mean they are good people?
After much neglect, I have finally finished the August socks from Indie Socks CSK. Pattern: Tulip Socks (Ravelry Link) by Chrissy Gardiner. Yarn: Bugga! from The Sanguine Gryphon in colorway Sharpshooter Leafhooper. Needles: 2.25mm dpns.
After I finished taking a picture of them, my mother tried them on and said the length of the sock leg was perfect on her. Guess who owns these socks now?
I am a die-hard double pointed needle (dpn) user for small circumference items like socks. I have found the 2 circs at once incredibly fiddly and very slow moving and never bothered to learn the magic loop method. I have very little patience for all that moving and repositioning of this and that. My hands are very accustomed to dpns so knitting with them goes very quickly for me. I’m sure 2 circs/magic loop users will argue exactly the opposite.
Despite my love of dpns, I have decided to try the magic loop method simply for the convenience of doing 2 at once. I have knit 2 socks at once on dpns, one sock inside another. Remember these?
This method is great for patterns that are stockinette or ribbed, but it’s not great for patterns with cables or methods where crossing of the stitches are required. Here is where magic loop comes in. I am willing to try it if it’ll make knitting socks more convenient. I am going to cast on tonight. Wish me luck!
Fair warning: The chance that this post will bore you to tears is pretty high; bear with me while I reminisce.
As my mother was going through some miscellaneous items, she found a bottle of linen spray that I forgot I even had. When she sprayed a little bit to smell it, I was instantly transported back to my bedroom in my Garfield St apartment. Isn’t it funny how certain triggers take you down memory lane? Especially when you smell something or hear a song.
The smell of pasta sauce simmering takes me straight back to the halls of my elementary school. Back then our lunch was cooked on site by ladies in hair nets. I always knew when we were having spaghetti or stuffed shells for lunch.
Ralph Lauren’s Polo will forever remind me of when I went on a date to see Groundhog Day in high school. The entire car was permeated with the smell. I swear he must have doused himself with it. Seems like a billion years ago.
The smell of patchouli oil reminds me of Julie, my roommate from college. Actually, we went to high school together. We were both in AP Art History our senior year, but we barely knew each other then. She wore it as her perfume, and I remember it was the first time I had ever smelled patchouli. I have so many memories of her. I held her hand while she got her tongue pierced, and one summer we went rollerblading nearly everyday for hours. She lives in Long Beach now so I don’t get to see her very often.
Rosebud Salve reminds me of the marina district. I bought my first tin of it at Burton’s Pharmacy on Chestnut St. This is when I was teaching 3rd grade at the upper campus. We had an in-service day, and my co-worker and I walked down for lunch. We sat in front of the Wells Fargo, and I put a little bit on my chapped hands as we sat there killing time before we had to get back.
The smell of the scent Clean Linen from Glade Plug-Ins will forever remind me of the 1st grade classroom that I taught in. Little children after recess do not smell pleasant. It’s a particular funk I always tried to avoid.
One of my first memories of driving across the Bay Bridge involve stand-still traffic, raging hunger, one tin of Cinnamon Altoids, and an urgent need to use the bathroom. It was two hours before I got to pee, and I finished the entire tin of Altoids. I haven’t touched one since! This incident may also be a contributing factor as to why I’m reluctant to cross the Bay Bridge.
Sweet Dreams by the Eurethmics reminds me of my uncle who passed away when I was young. I remember listening to the tape in my cousin’s basement when we were little. I must have been told it was his tape or something like that. I don’t even know if he liked the song.
Shout by Tears for Fears reminds me of my cousin Eugene. He was in the bathroom getting ready to go out – looking in the mirror, grooming his hair etc.. I was in the doorway pestering him, and he burst out singing that song in my face pretending he had a mic in his hand.
I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany reminds me of my cousin Elliot. I remember we were in his basement, and he was standing on the arm of the sofa singing the song and he wrapped his arms around himself and jumped onto the floor.
Paula Abdul’s album Forever Your Girl will always remind me of the cross country car trip my family took when we moved to California from New York. We must have played the tape until the ribbon wore out. I still can’t believe we survived that 5 day trip in the old Sundance.
Better Man by Pearl Jam will forever remind me of my friend Shamim from high school. I don’t think I know anyone who loved Eddie Vedder more than she did.
I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston takes me back to my ceramics class in high school. Our teacher let us bring in music to play while we worked. The movie Bodyguard was really big at that time, and I remember the girl who sat across from me at the work table sang along, horribly might I add, every time it was played.
Green Day’s album Dookie reminds me of my cousin Ed. When I went to visit NY after I graduated from high school, I stayed at his house. When I woke up in the morning, he was blaring the album while he was getting ready in the bathroom. I remember thinking it was odd that he liked Green Day. I have no clue as to why I thought that. The last time I had seen him I think he was eleven years old. I had no idea what kind of music he liked.
Don’t Speak by No Doubt never fails to take me straight back to the dorms in college – specifically the cafeteria. There were tvs mounted from the ceiling and it played music videos all the time. My freshman year Don’t Speak was always on.
Whenever I hear Chris Isaak’s Baja Sessions it makes me feel like I should be cleaning. When Nina was my roommate in the on-campus apartments, we used to put it on the stereo whenever we cleaned. Nina was a huge fan of Chris Isaak, but I have no idea why we chose that album.
Funny enough when I think of Chris Isaak I don’t automatically think of Nina. Sade’s album Love Deluxe reminds me of her. She used to play that cd over and over and over and OVER again whenever she was upset or sad. At that time she was having a crisis with her on again off again boyfriend who was probably the most passive-aggressive person I’ve ever met in my life. Needless to say I have that album memorized.
Anyone willing to amuse me with songs/smells/etc. that trigger memories for them?