Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm Like a Sailor- One At Every Port

Through all of the suckage of the last few months (and man, there was a LOT of suckage), I’ve managed to work on that neverending yarn stash of mine, if even just a little bit.

Weeeellll….there may have been a teensy weensy bit of adding to said stash prior to working it down (one step forward, two steps TO THE YARN STORE!) but that was part of my evil plan for our “vacation” trip back home from Australia. I wanted to stop at a local yarn store at each of our visits to get some local yarns, if possible. While there were no yarn stores to visit on Guam, and no native sheep for me to stealthily shear at night like a ninja, there were a few to choose from in Honolulu.

Unfortunately, there aren't really any “local” yarns to Hawaii (at least not at this store…if there is some Hawaiian sheep not doing the hula but actually producing wool, dude... tell them to get back to the dancing because that’s where the money’s at.)

(Sorry…my mind totally started seeing a hula dancing sheep who then transitioned to wearing a top hat and singing, “Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaaal!” And now you can see it, too. You’re welcome.)

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes- Hawaii…

YarnStory specializes in all natural fibers and, since I may have a skein or two of wool lurking about somewhere, I thought I’d try something new…something I’ve never thought of trying before, and certainly something I’ve ever inhaled. So, I bought some hemp. 

It's called Hemp for Knitting. Crocheting with it is illegal. Unless you're in Colorado.

There’s a pattern from Vogue Crochet 2013 that I’ve wanted to try ever since I first saw it- a Pineapple Dolman Top- and I thought, what better yarn to use for a pineapple top than yarn from Hawaii? AND, it’s a DOLE-man to boot! HAHAHA! 

Vogue Knitting
Oh come on! I’m not anything if not punny. 

I started crocheting my Hawaiian Hemp Pineapple Dole-man right away but had to put it aside for a bit because I didn’t have the right kind of hook for it and, since I waited until our last day in Hawaii to buy my yarn, I had to wait until we made it to our next destination to buy a new hook. Gah! 

Our early morning trip to the airport was an absolute comedy of errors which culminated in another night in Honolulu, an urgent care visit, and some slightly deranged woman saying very loudly to anyone within earshot, "I'VE GOT THE SHINGLES- ONLY THE SHINGLES!" so there would be no confusion as to why I...I mean "she..." was picking up herpes medication from the pharmacy. 

When we finally arrived in Phoenix, I knew I had to visit the Southwest Trading Company (if you are able to, you should totally visit this place. AMAZING!).  I invited my Mother-in-law to come with me so she could choose some yarn- something she’d like in a color she’d like for something she would actually wear. Since she has very sensitive skin, and since Arizona isn't known for its need for wool in the winter, she chose this delicious soy yarn for a scarf. I started messing about with various stitch patterns and she chose one she liked. A knit pattern. With lace in it. 

Gothic Lace made with SWTC Pure (100% SoySilk)

Now, I’m still a very new knitter, and I didn’t have much experience with anything other than stockinet so you can imagine how much I was kicking myself for showing her that swatch. But I thought I’d rise to the challenge and hopefully make it in time for Christmas.

But then... *sigh*

Part of the suckage of the last few months included some very strange and scary neurological issues for me, as well as some very intense hand pain that I had been living with for months. The hand pain started sometime last spring, around the same time I started knitting. It was like my hooks got all my knuckle joints to protest my budding love affair with the needles so they were going to punish me with SO MUCH PAIN. 

So, I had to put my MIL’s lovely knit scarf away for a bit since the pain was becoming unbearable. That and the scarf was making me very angry and needed to be punished, so away into time-out it went. It was either that or burn it (IT KNOWS WHAT IT DID!). 

Our next stop was Albuquerque where I was able to visit Fiesta Yarns and buy some of their Zia cotton yarn (on clearance....holy moly their yarn costs a pretty penny!) While their storefront isn't really anything to write home about, it would be really cool to be able to have a tour of the dyeing process in the back. As a native New Mexican, I must say I have a sense of pride for this yarn brand- if only Albuquerque could be known for its gorgeous yarn rather than directionally challenged rabbits and crystal meth. I quickly cast on for a cute knit tunic that I found on Ravelry, but soon discovered that my hands were still not on the whole, "I'm a knitter, now!" bandwagon and had to put that away, too.

My hands didn’t hurt so much when I crocheted, though. I figured my hands just needed time to adjust to the new muscle movements that knitting requires and chose to ignore the condemning "ADULTERER!!" looks from my hooks  So, once we made it to Virginia, I crocheted my family some new scarves. Of course I needed to buy more yarn for these scarves (teehee!) since my stash was somewhere on the ocean taking the scenic route back home.
Only one of them still has...."fringe"

And then a blessing came. It came disguised as the worst case of strep throat ever seen by any doctor alive, but it was still a blessing. You see, I was put on some antibiotics (a Z-pak) to help calm my raging fever. Turns out I didn't have strep, after all, just the worst case of tonsillitis ever seen, so I'm not sure the antibiotics did anything to help me get well any faster; however, the week after taking the meds, I noticed that my hands didn’t hurt anymore. And the other weird and scary neurological stuff stopped, as well. (!!)

After months of fearing I was getting Rheumatoid Arthritis and possibly Multiple Sclerosis in retaliation for my dalliance with knitting, it turns out that my hands weren’t protesting my carnal love affair with the needles after all! Had I not gotten so horribly sick, I'd never have known my hands and body were merely refusing to work due to (*most likely) Lyme disease.

Man. Once I figured that out, my torrid love affair with knitting was back on like Donkey Kong, baby! I finished knitting my MIL’s scarf, and in time for Christmas! 


And then I made a hat for My Mister. And then another hat for My Mister since his head isn’t the size of beach ball. 

The jellyfish one and my Head Eating Blood Clot make a good couple.
And then a cowl for my lovely friend Miss A, who now lives in Hawaii (and who we were able to visit whilst there). 

Actually, I RE-knit it. IT KNOWS WHAT IT DID!
And then this pretty, sparkly scarf for me. 

Doubles as a hypnosis tool.

And then this lovely hood for me. 
Yes it is lovely! Use your imagination!
And this hat for me, but since my head is not the size of a softball, I gave it to SweetPea. And then made me another one. 

I will never be as cool as she already is.

And this sweater that's almost done.

Yes, it's supposed to be that big. The sleeve, on the other hand...IT KNOWS WHAT IT DID!

In short, I’ve been rather unfaithful to my hooks as of late. I did pick them back up after the first (ginormous) hat I made for My Mister since I needed some instant gratification, so I made this cute hat for SweetPea. 

She was trying to knock the camera out of my hands. She's like the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.

And then I started this sweater. However, in my defense, I did try various crochet projects with this yarn, but none of them looked right to me.

Even in knit I wasn't in love with it. Though this pic makes me want to change my mind.

Ohhh....don't look at me that way, hooks. C'mon, baby. You know I love you best! Knitting? Well....she's just something new....a little sumpin sumpin on the side, but it doesn't mean anything! C'mere, baby- I'll show you just how much I love you best....


(Actually, there has been a bit more crochet...but it's for a couple patterns, soooo......hopefully will have them up...soonish?)

*(Unfortunately, it cannot be confirmed since Lyme testing is notoriously unreliable. I had a false negative when I had it in 2008, too. However, the big clue is that I got better after taking antibiotics, so SCREW YOU, LYME! By the way, since Lyme disease is very rare in Australia, and considering the time frame when my symptoms first started, I most likely contracted it while in Asia last year. And you didn’t think that story could get any crazier! Well played, Thailand. Well played.)


  1. beautiful works! you worked hard. I hope it stays!

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