It is slowly becoming less difficult to get back into the swing of things. My body is recovering, and I am slowly building up my strength and stamina to do the things that need doing. Also, the more I learn about my internal workings, the better my numbers are becoming (i.e., blood pressure and blood glucose). And I’m slowly regaining weight, currently in the mid-140s. So, yaayyyyyy for me, right? Once my weight stabilizes I’ll need to buy all new clothes, but for now I’m content to let everything hang and droop. I mean, with this isolation stuff, who is going to see me anyway, right? Hahaha.
By the way, Thank You to all who have kept in touch over the last many months, to check up on me, inquire as to my progress, and to let me know I’m cared about and not forgotten. I do appreciate the notes of encouragement as I regain my health as best I can.
This weekend I managed to get a full load of Blog Reader Specials dyed up. I might have even figured out how to dye some of the lighter, more pastel-ish colors that I have long been wanting to do. Bold, bright, heavily-saturated colors are terrific, but sometimes the lighter shades are nice, too.
All of these are Phydlbitz Sock (75/25 Superwash Corriedale/Nylon, 430 yards), and are normally $27.00 each. With heavy rains anticipated for much of the coming week, and Monday as a mail holiday, I anticipate these should be ready to ship Wednesday or Thursday. I’ll get them reskeined and ready to go as soon as I can, but I’m still not able to do a full day’s labor all in one day. These should be reskeined with presentation photos and moved to the Blog Reader Specials page by mid-week as well.
These were all dyed as Twinsets; when appropriate I have rotated one skein of each pair so you can see all the various colors that appear on both skeins of a Twinset. You do not have to take both skeins of a pair.
To claim the ones you want, just send me an email with your numbered requests. These are all one-of-a-kind dye jobs, created without recipes, so there’s no guarantee they can be repeated. The one(s) you claim will be the one(s) you get. If you need a larger quantity for a big project, you can certainly request something similar to what was done here, and I will dye your request in a single batch to ensure color compatibility within your project.
Still available: 34, 35, 54
Already claimed: 32, 33, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55
Yup! I’m trying to get back in the saddle again, but having been out of commission nearly six months (yikes!) I’m a little saddle sore after this week’s attempt to bring you a full 24-skein collection of Blog Reader Specials like I used to do. It took me about 3 days, counting pulling hanks, standing to dye, and so forth, and I’m feeling it today — I accumulated almost 7 hours of sleep in the night, and have taken several hour-long naps today as well. I just wore myself out.
But that’s okay! I’m recovering and on the mend, and at my last visit with the cardiologist he suggested it could be up to a year before I am really 100% ‘good as new’. It’s been nearly 13 weeks since the surgery, so I’m one-quarter there. And yes, I have gone through (and sometimes still going through) the frustration, denial, anger, and all the other ‘stuff’ that comes with discovering my body isn’t what it once was.
Enough of that. I have yarns to show. But first, a couple of updates — while I’ve been out of the loop with my health, the Post Office raised their rates, so I’ve had to adjust my shipping rates a bit as well. More than four skeins will ship at Priority rate (over 16 oz.) and I calculate those individually, but for fewer skeins these are the new rates I must charge:
First class shipping rates updated with January 2020 USPS changes:
1 skein = $4.50
2 skeins = $5.25
3 skeins = $6.00
I also learned that two of the yarns I added in the last year are no longer to be stocked by my supplier: the Merino Sport and the Merino DK yarns. 🙁 But they do have plenty of other yarns to choose from. I understand their shipping facilities may be dealing with shut-downs or limited access, but I’ll find out for sure when I try to order more yarns in the near future.
Onward to the yarns! These are all Phydlbitz Sock (75/25 Superwash Corriedale/Nylon, 430 yards) and are still just $27.00 each. To claim the ones you want, send me an email with your numbered selections. I will aim to get these all ready to ship by Wednesday or Thursday.
There was a breeze as I photographed, so some of the hanging hanks look weird; I apologize, I can’t control the wind. These are all Twinsets, and when appropriate I have rotated one hank of each pair so you can see the coloring in both of them. You do not have to take both hanks of a Twinset; I dye Twinsets as a convenience for those who like more yarn for a project. As always I recommend alternating balls of yarn to avoid pooling or obvious yarn changes.
Already Claimed: –
08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18,
20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
While much of the country is under stay-at-home orders, I hope you and your families are all safe and healthy. I don’t know anyone who isn’t affected in one way or another during this pandemic. We’re all in this together, each doing the best we can. Stay safe.
WOW!! It is already into April and I’m just now loading up the FIRST Blog Reader Special collection of the year! You know what that means? It means I am far enough along on my recovery that I can begin working again.
These are the yarns that I just posted to the Blog Reader Specials page. You can go there to see individual photos. There are 4 Phydlbitz Sock and 3 Merino Sport. The Phydlbitz are extras of the custom job I did last weekend; the Merino Sport were extras from a custom job early last fall.
BUT… I am not 100% yet, and probably won’t be for several months to come. The surgery took a lot more out of me than I expected, as far as strength and stamina, and I have to seriously modify a lot of what I used to do. I dyed a small batch on a custom order last weekend, and I discovered that there is almost nothing in the process that I can just do as I used to. Each little step of the way I have to monitor my exertion levels and see how I can accomplish it by either changing how I do it, or using assistive devices, or simply taking one task at a time and then resting.
Between the dire complications from uncontrolled diabetes (discovered in November), then being told to NOT work because of the aneurysm, and then not being able to work post-surgery, I have lost a LOT of weight and a lot of muscle tone. I was about 175 pounds early last fall, and now I’m only about 135-140 pounds. I have a lot of work ahead of me to both put on some healthy weight AND work on rebuilding my muscles that have gone dormant.
I even have a cool rollator walker to help me move wet yarns around the house, as well as help me around the grocery store – I can set the little hand-carry shopping cart onto the seat so I don’t have to hold it. Mostly the walker is helping me for stability, rather than full body support. And, when away from home, it’s a place to sit and rest when I must.
So, for as much as I can do, I am back to work, but please understand that I probably won’t be cranking out a new collection of Blog Reader Specials every week as I used to do. At least not in the short term. Perhaps by mid-summer I can do that.
It was four weeks after surgery before I could even think about starting to knit again — just didn’t have the “ooomph” to bother. And then I started with three balls of Phydlbitz Sock, which I’d divided into 6 half-balls (using my scales to weigh exactly half on each of them).
Now, I am more than half way, having started the 2nd half-ball of the black speckled yarn; you can see the joins on the right-side edge when I changed balls. I started with a nearly solid (badly dyed) black, then an odd variegated ball of navy and other colors, and then the badly dyed black speckled.
I’m using Old Shale with 5 repeats across, plus a 5-stitch garter border on each side. It will probably look better after a stern blocking, but I’m already liking it. The wavy texture is best seen on the variegated yarn, and hardly seen in the picture on the speckled. The black shows some of the wavy texture.
This is the pattern I’m using:
Cast on 100 stitches on a size 5 circular needle. Place marker after stitch 5, then every 18 stitches after, leaving 5 stitches at the other end.
This is your Old Shale pattern segment: K2tog 3x, [K1, YO] 6x, K2tog 3x (18 sts.)
Row 1: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit across
Row 2: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 4, purl to last marker, knit last 5 sts.
Row 3: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 4, Old Shale pattern 5x, knit last 5 sts.
Row 4: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit across
Some people prefer to use [YO, K1] 6x instead of [K1, YO] 6x. The stitch count will remain the same and the resulting fabric will look virtually identical. The important thing is to remain consistent within your own work.
Down in the black section, and even for part of the variegated section, I was losing stitches somehow and it took me a long time to figure out where mistakes were happening and how to fix them. For most of the early mistakes, I did NOT go back and actually correct the mistakes — I merely fudged the stitch counts in the next row. That’s not really the right way to do it, but as a personal knitting project not specifically for sale, I wasn’t of a mood for that much correction. After all, it was something to keep me busy as I was recovering, not something to be judged by a jury of professionals. 🙂 (although once this is done I may sell or auction it off!)
Many people (including me) have mistakenly called this a Feather-and-Fan pattern, but the actual traditional Feather and Fan has a repeat of 16 stitches, the increasing yarn overs are all one in one row, but the K2tog decreases occur over several rows. There are several differences, and I’m trying to be careful about calling the right name.
I hope you will try the Old Shale pattern I’ve described, and try it with solids, variegated, and even speckled yarns, or some other variation. And I hope you’ll share your results. 🙂
So! Tomorrow I will experiment with my dyeing processes and see how it goes.
This means I’m getting closer to being able to bring you more Blog Reader Specials! Yippee!!!