Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Maybe it's the fact that I'm on day 8 of 13 straight days of working. Maybe it's the PMS. Maybe it's that I have 3 sick people in my house and I'm running myself ragged trying to take care of everything. Perhaps it's not any of those things... but I had such a frustrating experience last night and I'm still irked by it.

Saturday and Sunday I worked my usual 5pm to 10 pm shift at the hospital doing Bed Control. Thank heavens it was a slow weekend and I didn't find myself stressed at all, which is unusual for Bed Control. In fact, yesterday was so slow that I brought out my knitting from my purse and knitted on a sock while I watched the bed board and the bed control program for new ER patients to place. I love that I can knit without looking at my hands! In between calls to and from the nursing stations I knit a good 1.5" on the sock!

At 8:45 the third shift came upstairs from finishing pre-reg close and started their other closing duties. They don't take over Bed Control and Labor & Delivery until 9:15 so there's a bit of time between when they come up and when they take over. At 9:00 they were both at my booth for some reason and one of the girls asked me about the sock I was working on. She talked about how she wishes she had time for doing something like this but there's just no time at all. I told her that I knit while I watch tv or movies, and that I knit some before bed or while I'm waiting in lines or at appointments. She asked how much yarn it took to make a pair of socks and I pulled out a skein of the yarn so she could see and then I told her that it took 2 of these skeins.

My coworker took the skein of yarn from my hand and turned it around and around to look at the colors. Then she saw the price and had a cow. "7.25 for this? And it takes two of them? Do you know how much this costs?" I looked at her and said, "Yes, I am pretty good at math, plus I PURCHASED the yarn so I know that it costs $14.50 plus tax"

She starts in about how she would NEVER pay so much for string and how RIDICULOUS it is! I asked her, "Do you go to the movies? You pay $9.50 for the ticket and more for popcorn or a drink. For that much money you get 2, maybe 3 hours of entertainment. For $14.50 I get 20 hours or more of entertainment and at the end of it I have a beautiful pair of socks that I get to enjoy or I get the pleasure of seeing someone else wear and enjoy." My coworker didn't care to listen but then went on for another 10 minutes talking with someone else about how crazy and stupid it was to spend so much money on string.

Allow me to vent for a moment.

1. Frankly, I don't care what hobbies you have. As long as what you do isn't illegal, hurts yourself or someone else then have fun! You like to garden? Great! You enjoy building stuff in your garage? Wonderful! Just don't have your fun by burning kittens with matches and I'll be happy for you.

2. I was raised that you don't talk about money and the price of things with people outside of family. Enough said.

3. Knitting isn't just about the socks, the sweater or the mittens that it produces. It's a process for me and I like to pick yarn and needles that are pleasurable to use. I love the feel of the needles in my hand and the texture of the yarn as it passes through my fingers. I admire the colors and the tone of the yarn in the skein, after it's been wound and in the fabric. I don't mind paying more for yarn that I'll love through the whole process and after the project is off the needles. I like quality items and it is worth it to me to pay more. I can get a pound of yarn at Wal-Mart for $4.00 but I won't enjoy knitting it and it won't be nice to wear. What is the point of that?

4. Yes, I paid $14.50 for a pair of socks that I'll have to make myself, nonetheless. What they won't know is that I waited until that yarn was on sale to purchase it. I also make other sacrifices if it is going to be an expensive project and will save up the money before I purchase the yarn. It may seem ridiculous to you but that's probably why this is not your hobby. Personally, I think her $10,000 collection of manga is ridiculous but that's why it's not my hobby. Refer to #1... as long as she can afford it and she enjoys it then that's great!

It took everything in me not to throw double pointed needles at them or make it personal by throwing their own hobbies back at them. (You just had major back surgery 7 months ago so why exactly are you swing dancing and hurting your back again to the point of missing work?) But I stayed on the high ground by just smiling and letting them be tactless. Ooookay! I feel better now!

Friday, February 08, 2008


A big part of my 2008 so far has been spent going through my house room by room and making decisions about "stuff". We have a lot of "stuff" around here and now that Ailish has joined us and added her own "stuff" to the mix... well, let's just say that it didn't make things any better. For a little thing she's has a surprising amount of "stuff" and considering her size you'd think it'd be small "stuff" but you'd be wrong.

Exhibit A

One thing that I've decided is that I have a lot of purses that don't suit me. I'm not a small purse kind of person. To make life a little easier I've ordered a Namaste Everyday bag in black and I'm looking forward to its arrival! In order to make a little room for it I'm putting up my Namaste Messenger bag in chocolate brown up for sale on Ravelry.

Ravelry ladies, here are the pictures of the bag!

The outside of the bag

Cute striped lining and pockets
Zippered divider and side zipper. There are also two interior pockets
Just like luggage, the outside can unzip to add some width to the bag. There is a small stain next to the zipper on the bottom of the bag.

The seam has popped open here just a little bit but would be easily repairable. Obviously seaming is not my favorite part of any project.

If you have any questions you can feel free to email me at briannekeene@gmail.com

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Knitting has been uneventful as of late. Well, I take that back. There has been eventful knitting just not of the good and productive nature.

I started a modified Anouk for Ailish and things were going well until Owen found the project and managed to remove and lose one of the size 7s from my Denise needles. We've searched the house over and over for weeks with no luck! Anouk went back in the bag and into the craft closet until I receive a replacement from the company. The order was placed today and hopefully I'll be back to knitting my girl more cuddly clothes by next week.

The Monkey fever bit me and I pulled some Tofutsies (color 718) from the stash play with. Mom had purchased this yarn for me while on vacation and I thought it would be fun to play with such an interesting yarn. Fun was not quite the right word. I went through three needle sizes and then when I found the right one (size 0 if you were interested) I knitted the cuff down to the heel and tried it on for kicks just to find that the sock wouldn't fit over my heel.

I'm an adult so I did the only obvious thing. I pulled my needles from the sock and stuffed it in my knitting bag to give the yarn to someone else. This is why it is so important to have knitting friends to help you through the hard times! Kate is going to make some socks for little miss Haley and I hope that she loves them! (Kate, I happen to have a skein of 724 in the stash if you'd like it.)

Thankfully, inspiration struck and I'm in the middle of a sock that I'm in love with and should fit. (My fingers are crossed which makes knitting a little difficult, but I'm dealing.) These are done toe-up and while I've made 2 pairs of socks this way I've never been happy with the way that the heels have turned out so I sent out an email to my girls to get some help.

While I wait for help to arrive it's time to look back to projects that I've finished recently but haven't displayed!

May I present Thuja. These socks were a quick knit on size 2 double points, knitted exactly as written in the pattern. Sarah dyed the yarn herself and I love the amazing job she did with the fiber! Just look at the subtle variations in color. Beautiful! It is the perfect match of yarn and pattern.

The last project for today is Wisp. (I've been on Knitty a lot, can you tell?)

Call it sacrelige, but I'm using this lace scarf as a table runner.

Knit as directed by the pattern but on size 6 needles instead of 8 to give it a little tighter look and without the yarn overs on the sides. The yarn is Misti Alpaca Lace in Sea Mist, which was a joy to work with. Even with doing a full 17 repeats of the lace pattern I still have 25 grams of yarn left which is enough to make another Wisp. Perhaps someone will see a Wisp of their own under the Christmas tree this year?

Yes, I'm already thinking of Christmas knitting! Ailish started crawling on Christmas Day and is now pulling herself up onto her feet and I think I'm going to need all the head start I can get to make sure that I have my holiday knitting done before Easter 2009!