Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

Hat heel 1

Hat Heel by by Kathleen Sperling (free pattern from Knitty.com Fall 2009

in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock mediumweight colourway River Rocks from the Rockin’ Socks club Sept 2009 shipment.

I really enjoyed this pattern.  I like the idea of being able to knit the foot from the top down (which I find easier to fit properly) as well as knit the leg from the bottom up (to use every last inch of precious yarn).  I also think that the little ‘hats’ on the heels with the earflaps are super cute. Earflaps!

Only thing I didn’t like was how tight the little earflap gussets are. There’s not a whole lot of give.  I’m not sure how I will rectify this next time (and there will be a next time!!) but there are several recommendations on ravelry.

I have a love-hate relationship with Socks that Rock yarn.  I think that the colourways are so gorgeous in the skein and I really like the quality of the yarn that Tina uses as a base yarn.  What I can’t come to terms with is the pooling.  I have tried. Oh my I have tried. I was a rockin’ socks club member for 3 years and finally had to accept that I didn’t like the yarn enough to keep spending the money and not finishing the packages. It just wasn’t for me.  And that’s okay.

I actually really liked the colours and how they came together in the above hat heels.  The jewel tones are a bit more complimentary to each other and not quite so shocking and garish.

swirly rainbow goodness

ravelry details here


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I am currently in the middle of a 3 week whirlwind tour of 10 Canadian cities, interviewing for residency positions. This painful and nerve-wracking (not to mention crazy expensive) process is glamourously called the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) “tour”.  Myself, along with ALL of the other medical students in the country who are graduating this year, having applied in November for our prospective residency programs, are now criss-crossing the country for a series of interviews, meet n’ greets, and socials, all in hopes of securing a spot in our desired schools/disciplines’ residency programs for the next 2-5 years. As per the name of the ‘tour’ this process is supposed to be a “match” ie. students have some input into their preferred schools/programs by submitting a rank-listing, while schools do the same (ie. if they interview 60 students for 5 spots, they rank everyone 1-60 on how awesome they thought you were). Frankly, it’s all really moonbeams and fairy dust and I don’t really understand how this whole mess works other than I submit a list of programs that I’d be willing to move to/participate in and some magical computer in Ottawa spits out a name on March 6th and then I go wherever it tells me to in June.

For my tour, I’ve applied only to Obstetrics and Gynecology programs. I applied to 13 programs, got 10 interviews and turned down 2 of them (one because of bad timing- overlap with another interview, and one because they got back to me really late in the game and I’d already spent too much money on plane tickets and good riddance). As of today, I’ve participated in 3 interviews: Halifax, London, and Hamilton. They’ve all been pretty good and I think that I’ve shown myself off pretty well, considering my socially awkward tendencies and the strangeness of the CaRMS beast in and of itself.  I have an interview tomorrow in Ottawa, followed next week by interviews in Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver. Really, all programs in Canada are excellent. They’re all a bit different and a whole lot the same. Ultimately, I would be happy to match to any program that I’m interviewing.

So, anyhoot, what’s a knitter to do when faced with 3 of the most stressful weeks of her burgeoning medical career?

Knit of course.

10 days before CaRMS tour started, in the middle of my General Surgery rotation (read: up at 5 for 6am rounds, home by 7pm each night, call 1 in 3), in my infinite wisdom, I felt the best way to show myself off to these interviewers was by presenting myself in a handknit vest. Nothing says amazing like answering “what do you do in your spare time?” with pointing at one’s chest and proudly pronouncing “this!”.

So I went to the library at took out a neat book called Craft Activism and bookmarked Kirsten Kapur‘s Craftitude Vest

and then it begins

where all my best knitting happens it seems- on call.

One of the great things about a short deadline is there is no room for dilly dallying.  Project monogamy is a must.

all vesting all the time

I knit doggedly



i sit on your sweater

perhaps cat-edly is more appropriate

After blocking everything out front and back, I realized that I had marfed up the very last cable at the top of the front.  This realization was of course on Friday night around 23hoo…. and my flight for halifax was leaving at 5am on Monday morning.


I am the stupid cable that shows where Kirsti obviously fell asleep and kept knitting

So after wailing, crying and pleading with myself that it was “fine” and “no one would notice the difference”, I went to bed.  Actually, it’s more like Mike put me to bed because I was pretty much hysterical.   I couldn’t seem to explain to him that with my life spiralling out of control, I *NEEDED* this sweater to work.  If I couldn’t control the sweater and complete it in time, then I would surely fail at CaRMS, fail out of medical school and end up living in a cardboard box. Nothing like extremes when dealing with botched knitting at midnight.  Saturday, I woke up took a deep breath and ripped it back.

Oh G-d. Oh G-d. Oh G-d.

insert hyperventilation here

And everything was okay, really.  I managed to re-knit everything by Saturday night and sort of steam block it out.  I stitched together the seams and picked up the arms and neck and had it all soaking in a tub by Sunday afternoon.  I dried it out in front of the heater over night and it went into my bag in the am.  And it fit! and it looked sharp! and I. MADE. IT. WITH. MY. HANDS.

dear internet- this is my belly

nothing says professional like handknit vest when EVERYONE else is wearing a suit

Cable fixed

I may not look like everyone else, but I'm happy and comfy and DAMN proud of myself. (note- I am NOT wearing a t-shirt and jeans with this vest to my actual interviews- that would be super unprofessional).

Documented over on Ravelry.

I have to say, one great thing about such a cramped deadline is that there was no room to languish.  If this project had been done under ‘normal’ circumstances, I’m pretty sure it would have sat in a cupboard for months (or years) until I “had the time” to sort it out.  Not to mention how long I would have procrastinated sewing it up and finishing it.  I’m actually happy that I had to “deal with it now” because I did deal with it and now I have an awesome, unique vest!

Here’s to hoping it’s just one of the kooky thing that makes folks remember me and think that I’m awesomesauce, so that when March 6th rolls around I’m not planning moving to the 8th choice on my list!

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{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

navy is hard to see at night

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{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


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More Mojo!

Things are just flying off my needles.  Unfortunately, they are flying  ON them too- like this wonderfully addictive little stashbuster by cosmicpluto.

not so windy Turbulence

1/2 a turbulence?

My not-so windy-Turbulence cowl  details on Ravelry.

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Mojo returns?

I’m finally feeling very crafty again these days. I don’t know if it is the weather (boo winter) or finally being home with my own supplies or what, but I’m a crafting fiend as of late! I think it has more to do with actually being home.  I got home 2 weeks ago from my last set of electives and my rural family medicine rotation (13 weeks away from her own bed is enough to make anyone crazy!!) and I don’t leave again now until the CaRMS interviews begin in Janurary. I’m on psychiatry now, which means my days are pretty quiet- 830am to 530pm. I’ve been getting to the gym for a run 3-4x a week! I’ve been cooking real meals (not just popcorn for supper!) I’ve been hanging out with my partner! I feel like a normal person. It’s wonderful!

I’ve been trying (and succeeding!) to finish up some of the projects on my to-do list for 2011. it feels so good! My to-do list (ie. the pile o’ projects that is sitting behind my chair in the living room) is very large.  Too many bouts of start-itis and not enough finishing up.  Projects   that ran into a road block at some point in their making. But the strange thing is, they’re not even really big problems, just things that would take 10-15 minutes to puzzle through. Prime example?  My february lady sweater.
FINISHED Feb Lady Sweater

Ravelry tells me that I started this project November 2009.  I ploughed through the whole project in no time.   I skitched it out with less than a meter of  wool left to go.  It was blocked and done by the end of Dec 2009. Everything was coming up Kirsti. Those perfect 3/4 sleeves! The lovely purple-y tweed!  This was a winner!

Lovely Tweediness

I found the perfect-est buttons that matched the tweed to a t (from knitpicks- but it looks like they’re not carrying them anymore). I sat down to sew them on and then I realized that I had forgotten to make button holes.

forgotten. to. make. the. button. holes.

Okay.  deep breath. there are solutions here-

  1. I don’t need buttons- I could just use a sweater pin. Nope. That looks rediculous.
  2. I can sew on the buttons and use snaps underneath.  Nope. The wool pulls all funny and gapes weird.  I’ll have to sew on a ribbon facing to do that. Then the ribbon sticks out. ugh.
  3. I can do an afterthough button hole (from EZ’s Knitting without Tears).  Oh my G-d. I can cut my knitting and make an afterthought buttonhole…with less than a meter of safety yarn.

And so, with the buttons sewn on, my sweater sat for 1.8 years in the pile o’ projects behind my chair waiting for the moment when I would “take the time” to sit down and “figure this out”.   Well, that never happened.  Last weekend, I pulled it out of the pile and resolved to figure out the afterthough buttonholes and deal with it once and for all.  Except I didn’t. Figure out the afterthought buttonholes, that is.  While I was fiddling with it, I just sort of pushed the buttons through the other side of the fabric, forcing a make shift button hole. And it worked.  They look smooth and clean. Now, they are not functional as actual buttonholes, ie. for opening or closing the cardigan, but I don’t think I’d ever wear this sweater open anyways. And putting the sweater off/on is not that complicated- it’s just sort of like a pull over.

Buttons conquered!

2 years to push the buttons through the fabric.   Jeesh.

Lately, I’ve also been inspired to sew. I’ve been quiliting a little bit every morning when I get up before clinic. Sewing is so quick compared to knitting, like instant gratification! My sewing machine all of sudden started skipping stitches on friday though. I’ve worked through my manual and nothing seems to help. I guess it’s time to take it in to the professionals. I hope they can fix it- I don’t want to throw a wrench in my crafting groove!

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I seem to have lost my oomph as of late. My inspiration meter is running on empty.
My get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone.
All of my energy seems to be funneled into getting up and being “on” for 9+ hours a day at the hospital & there doesn’t seem to be a lot left over for me.
Being a medical intern is hard… and I don’t mean in the way that tv medical shows make it out to be- what with the running around and the sleep deprivation and the sex in the broom closets and all that. It’s not really the hours or the work that’s tough- yes, the hours are usually crazier than I’m experiencing in this rotation and the work is intense and difficult, but for the most part that is interesting and engaging enough to be its own reward.

What really drags you down is the being “on”. Everyday you are judged. All day, everyday you are questioned and monitored and evaluated. It’s like the most stressful job interview of your life…. and it lasts for a year and a half. Every specialist assumes that you MUST know the details of their specialty. Every preceptor has their own way of doing things that is the RIGHT way. Every physician/PT/OT/RT/lab tech/social worker/whatever thinks their role is the most important in caring for patients. They think that you should think that too. You should be rediculously passionate about their job, above all else.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m keen. I’m keener than keen. I truly believe that you can make up for a whatever you lack in smarts with a shit-ton of enthusiasm. And mostly, that’s what I bring to every day of my internship: a “man-this-is-the-most-amazing-thing-ever” attitude that takes me really far. My patients thank me for taking time with them. My preceptors give me good feedback 95% of the time My reports read: “Kirsti is enthusiastic and great with patients.” “Kirsti has excellent clinical skills and good bedside manner.” always closely followed by “Kirsti would benefit from reading more”. I have a wonderful relationship with most of the nursing and support staff teams. I feel like I’m learning a million things every day. I feel like I’ve gained a million new skills since January.

But I don’t feel like it’s getting any easier. I just feel like I have fewer excuses than I did in January for being confused and lacking knowledge. At least then, I was a “baby” intern. I could be a disaster and it wasn’t my fault, I was just starting out. Now, just as I’m starting to have a few basic things under my belt, everything gets ramped up. The expectations are greater everyday. Why don’t you know this yet? Why aren’t you more competent?

I’m not ready for ramping. I need more practice with basics. I don’t have any energy left for more ramping.

On the plus side, my call shifts are giving me lots of extra knitting time at 3am.

Paeds Call 1

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