Snawheid in the hospital

I’m seeing a negative pattern here. The past two easters have been spent in the hospital. Last year, due to my pregnancy and a small placental abruption, and now due to baby Noah and complications from chickenpox.

The start of the easier holidays has been tough indeed. Baby Noah got chickenpox from his older brother, and started getting rashes on Monday. It looked normal enough, even though he was completely covered by them, but on Thursday his fever spiked and it wouldn’t go down, no matter what we did. After a few hours we decided to go to the emergency room. I rushed off from work, and met husband and baby at the hospital. By then his skin color was dark red, with purplish tones. Looked really scary. We where received in the quaranteen room, since chickenpox is really contagious. They suspected a major skin infection, something called Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome. They gave him monster doses of painkillers and fever relievers in combination with broad spectrum antibiotics. We got transported with ambulance from the emergency room to a hospital more specialized in small children and infections. I spent a total of two days in the hospital with Noah, while he was in a pretty bad state. Luckily the infection turned out to not be 4S, rather it was thought that he had a very severe reaction to the chickenpox virus itself. There was no bacteria in his blood stream, which is a good thing, and allthough they kept treating with antibiotics to help is immunesystem along, the whole thing turned out to be less complicated than what was initially thought.
After a day or so, the fever broke, and allthough he was weak and not eating, he wasn’t burning up anymore. He got fluids, and more meds and I had a sleepless night untangling him from wires and medical equipment and eventually we got to go home, where he actually started playing and eating again. This little fella knows how to scare the living crap out of his parents, and create some drama. I spent my days in bed with him, knitting away at my Snawheid, while he slept on my chest.

During the chickenpox episode, I heard many people around me asking if they could meet us to expose their kids and get the disease overwith. I get it, for the most part this isn’t a dangerous disease. But it’s quite uncomfortable, even in its milder forms, so I wouldn’t recommend anyone intentionally exposing their kids to this. Furthermore the health care system in Sweden treats this as a harmless disease. It’s actually not. There are several, quite common, complications. I would recommend anyone that can, to actually vaccinate their children. I would have, but it wouldn’t have helped Noah, since he’s too young for the vaccine and would have been exposed to he virus by other kids at his brother’s daycare. The vaccine is not part of the general vaccination program in Sweden, but you can get and pay for it yourself. If you ask me, it’s worth it. The cost of loosing 1-2 weeks work is higher, and you don’t have to deal with any discomfort.

As for why it’s not part of the vaccination program is beyond me. Many countries already have it as a standard, so there’s no medical reason to not include the vaccine. So it’s a political and / or economical question. Well, I don’t have any actual figures, but I’m pretty sure that the cost of having people stay at home and care for sick kids for two weeks per child is more costly, without even counting  the the primary and hospital care for the kids unfortunate enought to need it. And then there’s all the kids who get so sick thet don’t make it. The doctor at the hospital informed me that there are several such cases every year. That, you can’t put a price tag on. And doing nothing, when there’s a vaccine is simply unforgivable. Our politicians need to reconsider. Gör om gör rätt, as we say in Sweden.

We’re lucky, and we’re home. We even managed a short walk today. Flashing the finished Snawheid. I’ve actually finished multiple projects recently, but due to everything going on, I’m a little behind on taking pictures. Stay tuned.

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Nerdy girl yarns

Through ravelry ads I just found the most amazing site. A shop filled with nerdy, geeky themed yarns. It’s like I died and went to heaven. Someone has combined two of my favorite things; Nerdy sci-fi TV shows and yarns. I had to make a quick post here.

Who can resist Batman colored yarns? Or maybe something more macabre, like zombie themed? I haven’t gotten through the vast selection of yarns yet, but so far my favorite is under the science section; Farnsworth totally rocks my boat.

I’m currently not buying any yarn. I’ll patiently empty some of my stash and knit away at my queue, but this page is now officially saved as a favorite, and after my move, I’m totally going back to order stuff. Expect me to go totally bananas.

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The result-driven knitter

You know how some people knit just for the joy of knitting? Or do endless swatches just to learn that new technique? Yeah, I’m not one of those people.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy knitting. It’s my meditation. A knitting-free day is torture for me. I need it for my mental sanity and for the benefit of those around me. But apart from that, I want to maximize the result from my knitting. If I don’t enjoy or wear the items I knit, there’s no point to it. I’m almost obsessive that way. I have no UFO:s. I will relentlessly knit away on an item, even if knitting that item sucks, because I can’t bear the thought of having half-finished items just lying around. This desire to see what the finished item will look like, has kept me knitting fairly monogamously. It’s only just recently, (when I find myself having fairly little me-time, and want to maximize on all the short windows of time that can possibly translate to knitting-time), that I’ve had more than one project on the needles. This is usually driven by the state of a specific knitting. I don’t want to bring an entire cardigan while knitting on the train. I don’t want to be knitting advanced lace or color-work while watching my favorite TV-show and so on.

As for new techniques, I enjoy learning new things as much as the next gal. If I didn’t I would obviously still be knitting straight scarves in garter stitch. But what I decide or not decide to learn, is purely driven by the items I decide to knit, and that in turn is based on items I would like to wear. So if I find a pair of nice-looking socks, that are knitted toe-up; I’ll attempt to follow the pattern, and then I’ll have learned this new technique. I usually don’t look at a pattern unless I want to wear it, so I won’t know how the garment is knitted until I’m actually emotionally invested in it.

That’s another thing; I’m excellent at following patterns, but not so great at deviating from them. I’m impressed by people who can just improvise their own sweaters. I’ve never been able to do that. Now, after years of knitting various items, I’m much better at not trusting a pattern blindly. I adjust things to work better with my measurements. If I don’t like the look of a certain decrease, I’ll try something else, and so on. But I’m still far, far away, from creating an entire sweater by just winging it. I’m not even sure I’m good enough at garment construction to change a pattern from being bottom-up to top-down.

Either way, I find myself reluctant to buy any knits from the store nowadays. I look at items, and say to myself “Well, I can probably knit that!”, or “I’m sure I’ll find something similar on ravelry”. There’s really only one drawback with this approach. There’s not enough hours in the world to fit all the things I want to knit for myself and the people around me.

So there you have it. I knit the way I do almost every thing else (but cleaning. My husband will vouch for me being super-sloppy. Sorry) – somewhat obsessively to maximize the result but while maintaining the best quality I possibly can. What kind of knitter are you?

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London, beers and a whole lotta ripping

Last week I was away on a business trip to London. I was expecting some quiet resting time, and to catch up on some knitting, but that really wasn’t the case. The days where packed with training, and the evenings with socializing over beers (which isn’t too bad at all), so there was very little time for anything else. I didn’t even have the time to get to a yarn shop, which is probably just as well, since my stash is absolutely full (yes, I know, I could get bigger/more bins, but I’m moving in about 3 months, so I’m actively trying to get rid of stuff, rather than accumulating).

We didn’t do all that much sightseeing, there really wasn’t all that much time, but we did take the London eye, and I must say, London is absolutely stunning, especially in the evening.

I brought a knitting, of course, and extra yarn to start a sweater, but the only knitting I actually ended up doing, was on the plane. Quite efficiently, I knitted almost an entire glove. I didn’t bring the colorwork overall (the pattern is 1305-17B) I’m working on for Noah. It was too big and too many threads to keep track of while traveling. I was excited to get back to that knitting, because up until now, it’s been loads of fun.

My excitement quickly turned into frustration. I’ve grown a little spoiled reading american patterns. They’re quite extensive, with charts showing increases and decreases and everything. Norwegian patterns aren’t quite as pedagogical. I get one chart, which is the 32 stitch pattern repeat. The amount of stitches on the needle isn’t divisible by 32, and nothing makes any sense. I’ve asked Facebook for advise, but the answers didn’t really help.

For about three days I’ve been absolutely stuck, ripping, knitting and repeating the process, without any progress at all. I really want the overall, otherwise I’d put the knitting in an angry corner and start something else. But I hate quitting, and I’m sure that once I get it, it will go back to being a fun knit. Right now though, I’ve made nothing and I want to rip out my hair and scream.

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Two mittens, two sizes

So.. I don’t do color-work particularly often. It’s fun but I have a hard time maintainaning my gauge when I do, because it requires me to hold the yarn differently than what I’m used to. I’ve finally finished my Perianth mittens, and I quite like how they turned out despite the fact that I wasn’t quite convinced about the color-choice. I think I might knit them again, but with two solid yarns with much more contrast. The pattern was actually that fun.

Even though I knitted both mittens, one after the other, you can kind of tell, I got used to knitting with two colors, so the result is that the first mitten is somewhat bigger. Especially the bortom half, is wider. It’s not quite enough to make me rip the first mitten, and since I’m going to be the one to wear the gloves, I can probably live with the slight size mismatch, but it’s enough to annoy me just a little bit.

Oh, well, with practice comes perfect. Clearly, I need to do more colorwork. Besides, the mittens don’t even match in color, so I’ll just call them quirky and move on to the next project.

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Christmas allover again

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve started working again, which by the way is awesome. Unfortunately this means that the knitting blog has been somewhat neglected. Work, everyday life and the techblog have dominated my free time.

I have finished projects (OK, one project – the praline cardigan is still in the “I’m-too-bigboned-to-wear-it-bag”). I’m knitting on the train, and in some meetings at work, and during those few precious moments in the evening when both kids are sleeping, pretty much whenever is socialt acceptable. BUT, snapping pictures of projects in actual daglight is somewhat of a challenge. It’s normally dark when I leave the house, and dark when I get home.

The other day though, when I got home from work a nice suprise was waiting for me in the mailbox. My christmas gift that I treated myself to. I bought a few skeins of pretty red Traveler Sport, and one skein of Chamomille Primo fingering from Plucky Knitter, right before christmas. It was the first time ordering Plucky yarn for me, and I must say, it was well worth, both the money and the wait. The yarn itself is so soft that I spent half my evening yesterday stroking it. And the colors. I mean wow. Just wow.

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As usual, details can be viewed in ravelry.

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Flash da Stash 2016

Every year, there’s a tradition on Ravelry to flash your so called stash. Up until now, my stash has been pretty modest, but last year I kind of overdid it and bought tremendous amounts of yarn, so this year, there’s actually something to show off. And let me tell you, it’s one thing to see the yarn when it’s all packed up in it’s boxes, or as separate entries on Ravelry, and a whoooole different story to just take everything out all at once and take a look at it.

I decided to take it all out of its boxes and bins, and let it breathe for a bit. It was enough to almost cover my bed, which is about 160 cm wide (I think that corresponds to about a Queen size bed). And that’s not really all, I’m still waiting for the last thing I bought before the year endes – some fabulous Plucky knitter yarn, which was my (husbands) christmas gift to me.

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All of it

 

Thankfully my stash is well protected and still intact. I’m scared to death, to get some kind of infestation of bugs or insetts chugging away at my pretties.

Now I need to get back to knitting. So far this year, I haven’t finished squat. My praline cardigan is a work in progress that’s closest to being done, but after completely pigging out during the holidays I’m actually quite worried I won’t fit into it, so I’m kind of dragging my feet to finish it.

The Perianth mittens are getting there. It’s a really fun pattern, but it’s quite time-consuming because I’m not really used to doing color-work. I’m a little scared that I’ll end up with a pair of mismatched something again, because of the contrast yarn i chose, and I’m pretty sure I’ve changed my gauge (atleast for the width) throughout the project, but it’s too far along now, to give up, and since I’m making them for me I’ll probably use them regardless.

Last but not least I had to throw something on the needles that doesn’t require any concentration. We’re watching The Walking Dead again, and I kept having to rip the Perianth pattern, because I couldn’t keep up the attention, so I’ve cast on for a warm overall from Norwegian Viking garn for Noah, that will fit him well during the spring, when the normal winter overalls are slightly too warm. The first part of the overall is mostly stockinette with increases for the legs, so it’s almost boring.

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Come Monday I start working again, which is going to be great fun. Not sure about the impact it will have on my knitting time. It might increase it because I have time to knit during the computer. I’m not allowed to start any more projects though, until I finish one of those currently on my needles.

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