Monday, December 20, 2010

On the Road to Recovery

DH had his surgery last week. It went very well according to the surgeon. I suppose I have to take his word for it-- you see, when the surgeon came out of the OR to talk to me he said, "You husband had a very large hernia." Oy vey.

DH came home later that day and has been a bit motile since. Appetite pretty good, wnet off the heavy duty pain meds and as of yesterday not even taking over the counter pain relief. What a trooper is DH. Today he's at work for a few hours of data analysis (we work at the same medical school so I can nab him at a moment's notice and shuttle him home if need be).

The night before surgery I was about to bind off the back of Silures, only to find that my gauge was once again off, though I went down a needle size. This has not happened to me in maybe 20 years of knitting. Thoughts flew madly: the pattern was written for a yarn that's really a DK weight, and Rowan Magpie Aran is, well, Aran weight. On a size 7 needle (what I went down to), Magpie knits up as a substantial fabric (on a size 8, my preferred needle with it, it's lofty and drapy). On a size 6 it would be like iron to work with, stiff and unyielding. I was already making the extra-small size; I could re-write the pattern for one size smaller but my brain was a bit fried with DH's surgery coming up. So I grabbed a book, a very old book, of vests: Bernat #240 Small Change (if you like classic vest styles, this is a good one to have. The women's vests are pretty dated but the men's vests are true classics, and most could be worn by women too). DH picked a pattern (reluctantly, it must be told; he really liked Silures but I have no DK-weight yarn on hand and when asked, he wants a vest in thicker rather than thinner yarn). the pattern DH picked is an intricate one, featuring cabled lattices, Bavarian traveling stitches, asymmetric cables, and sand stitch at the sides. For all its intricacy (and despite the fact it's not charted), it's easy to memorize once the pattern is set. I knitted up the the armhole while waiting for DH, now I'm just about at the shoulder of the back:
Arnie's vest
Close-up of the cables:
Arnie's vest 1
This pattern loves Magpie, and Magpie loves this pattern.

In other knitting news, I finished a pair of socks:
Undulating Rib socks finis
Pattern is Undulating Rib socks by Ann Budd from the Favorite Sock book. Yarn is Cascade Heritage handpaints. This is my least-favorite sock pattern so far. Ms. Budd must be a very tight knitter, for she specified a 3.25 mm needle; I used a 2.75 mm needle and the socks are too slouchy in the ribbing; I may need to add some elastic. Also, the way she has you do the increases creates little holes (k1, p1, k1); I should have done the increases thusly: k1, p1b, k1; that would have prevent the little holes. Not so bad on the legs but at the gussets! I never had holes there before in any of the socks I've made. Maybe after washing and drying the yarn will tighten a bit. We'll see. I give the yarn high marks for being lovely to knit, lovely to look at, and lovely to buy ($18 buys a 437 yard skein, enough for a pair of large or long socks). No dye came off on my hands either- that's a common complaint I see on reviews of handpainted or hand-dyed yarns.

Being in sock mode, and needing a break from constant cabling, I started Evelyn Clark's Twining Leaves Lace socks. If you're looking for well-written sock pattern, Evelyn Clark's are those. Great charts and line-by-line written instructions. Easy designs (really! the lace pattern is so easy). Good pattern notes. And a pretty result:
Twining Leaves Lace socks
The yarn is Sundara sock yarn, 100% merino wool, color is Crème de Menthe. Pricey at $28 plus shipping for 370 yards (I may need to use another yarn for the toes, in fact); however this yarn knits like an absolute dream.


fleegle said...

What a gorgeous vest! And pretty socks!

I hope DH is already recovered :)

sapphireblue said...

I love the color of those socks!