Friday, October 28, 2016

Analyzing Creative Paralysis

I know that everyone gets creatively paralyzed from time to time. For me, the biggest creative suck has been being unwell.... or so I thought. (For those who are curious about my health status... I've left the details at the bottom of the post.)

The other day I had a chat with a good friend who is also dealing with an as of yet undiagnosed long term illness. She said she started asking the question, "What would be different if I was well?" I realized that other than having a bit more energy and less pain, things might not be that much different for me. As I started to wrestle with the question of what really was sucking my creativity away, I came across this TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is the author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic, among other titles. I really loved her insight on how creativity used to be looked at differently. Creativity was once seen as something from beyond, but after the Renaissance, it started being seen as something that came from oneself. I'd hate to spoil the talk, but I'd like to encourage all you creatives to sit down and have a listen.

The latest health update: I'm still undiagnosed, but each test and procedure I've done has come up clean, which is good. After having a colonoscopy, I've learned that I have an enviable colon. He didn't even biopsy me, I was that good. I'm now gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, (and fun free)... and eating as many anti-inflammatory things a person can eat (bone broth, bone broth, bone broth). My mental clarity is fantastic and for some reason my hearing has also become amazing, but the weird gut/nerve/not sure what they are spasms continue. I'm hoping it is just a nerve that got irritated and just needs a long time to not be inflamed.

Also, as I was doing the colonoscopy prep, I came across two really good accounts relating to it. This one made me laugh. And this one had some great tips I wish I had known about beforehand, like having a supply of Vaseline. Luckily we had Desitin on hand. I left a good dose of that on my bum after the colonoscopy and I was good as new the next day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I Got 99 Problems and My Socks Are One

I've got two different socks on the needles at the moment, and frustratingly, I've gotten a little stuck on both. The Concrete and Tulip sock that I'm working from the toe-up is going to probably end up as a knee-high if I want to use up every bit of yarn, so now I need to decide how to go about doing the calf shaping. Meanwhile the Hieroglyphic Socks, which I am working from the cuff-down, has some heel decisions. I think most knitters in this situation would start a new project. I am tempted, but I also want to wear these socks.

To figure out my socks problems, I've reached into my library to see how others have dealt with the issue. No need to reinvent the wheel. For the Concrete and Tulip socks, I'm looking at the Welsh Country Stockings in Nancy Bush's Folk Socks as an example on how to do calf shaping. (You can see them in the upper left corner of the book.) Those socks are worked top-down, so it isn't a complete match. But now I have an idea on what kind of spacing I'll need for each set of increases.

The Hieroglyphic Socks have a heel problem because I made it one. I didn't care for the recommended heel, but I did like the way stickfia on ravelry worked her Hieroglyphic Socks. Originally I thought I would turn the heel like she did, but I really want all the stripes to match. I realized that I had tackled this problem before, so I broke out Lit Knits to see what I had done. I think I am going to use the dutch heel that was used in Behind The Garden Wall.

What kinds of sock problems have you all encountered? And do you have any favorite books you reference to remedy said problems?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Knit Myself Into A Corner

I started a new vanilla sock the other day because my Hieroglyphic Socks were too complicated for car knitting. I got this skein of Caterpillar Green Yarns in the Concrete and Tulips color way a while back and I have been hoarding it ever since.
So pretty

I want to use every bit of it, so I decided to do toe up socks. These aren't my first toe up socks, but since my last pair, I've been converted to using a heel flap. "No problem," I thought to myself. "It's just like knitting my usual top down pair in reverse. I'll just replace the decreases with increases." That was going well until I got to the heel turn. Going top down, decreases help shape the turn. Toe up.... I had no idea.
What Now?

So I searched through as many tutorials as I could manage until I found one that matched close enough. I'm using Mash-Up Magic Toe-Up Socks Recipe (MUMTU Socks) by Zhenya Lavy, but making a few edits so that it accommodates what I've already knitted. Fingers crossed that this works and I don't have to visit the frog pond.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Baby Is Always The Triforce Of Power

My good friend Elaine is going to have a baby soon, so the call that many a knitter feel: I had to make her something. What started off as a simple baby hat idea quickly grew. She and her husband are big fans of The Legend of Zelda, so I knew that I needed to make the baby an Elven Hero hat. Then it seemed like Elaine would need one too. Of course if Elaine had one, so would Caleb. (I think new dads get a little left out in the baby hub hub, so I wanted to make sure he was included.) And all of a sudden there were three hats.

Connor had been talking about knitting a pair of socks as his fourth project, so I talked him into knitting a pair of baby socks for our friends. He worked really hard. He hardly needed any help at all. I was impressed.

This is Elaine and Caleb's first, so in keeping with the Legend of Zelda theme, we packaged everything to match the different parts of the Triforce. It seems appropriate since the three of them are essentially going to become a Triforce.

 This baby is going to be loved, and now it is also going to be cozy.

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