Thursday, June 29, 2006

Just because you can knit something

doesn't mean you should. This is something that I think all knitters need to recognize. If you don't agree check out You Knit What for countless examples of yarn abuse. I mention this because I saw a real live knitting horror today. A fellow resident showed up in a handknit sweater today. She made a really big deal about it and mentioned it to everyone..."Hi, I'm J. I'm a knitter and a spinner; I knit this." Now try to picture this sweater. It's predominantly blue and green. Royal blue and spring green. Stripes. In a lace pattern. With lots of open space. And nothing underneath except a bra. Which I saw a lot of. As I sat behind her all morning. Seeing it? Not bad, you say? I'm not done yet. Between each stripe of blue and green is two rows of garter stitch. In hot pink. Seeing it better now? With three-quarter length sleeves. And a turtleneck. A hot pink turtleneck. ::shudder:: I'll say it again: Just because you can knit something doesn't mean you should.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"When I look back on my ordinary life, I see so much magic though I missed it at the time." Photograph, Jamie Cullum

Wow, I love this town. Ignore the hassle of getting settled in a new state (new issues in the whole car thing, but I won't bitch about now), ignore the hours at the hospital, ignore the constant fear of accidentally killing a patient. I love it here. Where else could I take a five minute walk and go see Jamie Cullum perform? I love Jamie Cullum! I got his first album a couple of years ago when it first came out and fell in love with his piano solos and sometimes cracking voice. There's something vulnerable about how his voice cracks a little on the last note of Blame it on My Youth, like he's really sharing a story of heartbreak with you. And then I got his second album last year. Wow...amazing. I was on my way back from an interview in Cleveland and had to drive home in the dark. Now the trip from Ohio to Carolina is fine enough in the daytime, but at night the West Virginia mountains on I-77 are rough. I listened to Jamie for four hours straight and he never got old. That album got me home, and I've loved it ever since. Now after seeing him live, I think I love Jamie Cullum even more. That guy has limitless energy. He's an amazing performer... 2.5 hours of singing, playing, dancing, jumping. His piano solos were awesome, like listening in on jam session. If you haven't listened to him, you should check him out. (Click on "Jamie FM" in the sidebar on his site.) Great interpretations of standards and quality new songs. My current fave is Photograph. Love it! He opened with it tonight with a kickass intro on piano.

Monday, June 26, 2006

It's meme time!

I love memes. Saw this one on Beth's blog.

Take a look around you. Other than your computer, peripherals, a desk/table, and chair--- what are the five things nearest to you right now?

1. Lois & Clark Season 1 DVD - my entertainment of choice this past weekend.
2. Palm Pilot where I've been updating my address book
3. Pen from the Ambien rep
4. Pediatric Advanced Life Support textbook
5. Glass of water

Exciting, eh? Feel free to play along.

I love W!

I'm not into posting about politics because it's so divisive, but I'm going to make an exception for the moment. I love the president. This may not be a popular opinion, but I don't care. I didn't vote for him the first time, but I wish I had. I did vote for him the second time, and I don't regret it. I think he handled 9/11 amazing well, and I fully support him in the war on terror. And I really love him when he's angry. This clip is great. OK, all done with that. From now on I'll stick to knitting with the occasional medical story.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday Sky

Sandy has a neat idea for making Saturdays in blogland a little more exciting...Saturday Sky. So here's the view from my apartment today.

What does it looks like where you are?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

First thing's first...Thank you Secret Pal! I got a package from my SP today, and boy what great timing. I've had... a large week. And it isn't even over yet! I got home from work and picked up my mail. No notice about a package, just a bill and my Netflix movie (What will I be watching?) which is nice but not too thrilling. Especially since I have a package from my mom on its way here. So a little disappointed, I went upstairs. I unlock the door, and what do I find? A box! From my Secret Pal! YAY! (My apt manager rocks...since he left to go home he brought it upstairs for me.) And now, for my goodies.

How awesome is that? Two skeins of sock yarn - will be used for a Christmas gift, recipient not yet determined. A skein of Sugar 'n Cream in perfect colors for the dishclothes I said I wanted to make for my new kitchen. Blocking pins (I've been wanting to buy some for forever!) which will be very handy if/when I finish Charlotte. A cute notepad and note cards. A great pin - possibly to put on a felted bag as decoration or on the lapel of my white coat. A candle that smells heavenly - cinnamon with a hint of a fruity smell, kinda like apple pit baking. And some yummy mint chocolates (I already ate one and the rest won't last much longer). Thanks, SP. You rock!

Now on to some griping...I am so tired! I blame my medical school. Really! I finished my last roation of medical school in February and have been doing pretty much nothing since then. I waited for the Match and then waited for Graduation, but other than getting ready to move I've done nothing. I've been sleeping late, watching movies, reading books (and certainly not medical ones), and knitting for four months. Now I'm expected to jump right into this whole doctor thing. Really hard to do. Just getting up early is a struggle. Thank God for coffee! And then the hassle of getting settled in a new state - new driver's license, new registration, new plates (which I can't put on my car because I don't have a frame on the front end - I have to go to the VW dealership and get HOLES DRILLED IN MY CAR!), new auto insurance (which is way more expensive up here). I'm also working on getting a new cell phone number which has turned into a huge fiasco. Don't believe the Verizon website when they go on about their "EZMove" program. I called the 800 number... I'm sorry, we can't change you to a Mass. phone number because their billing is different than SC billing. You will have to cancel your service and get a new contract in Mass. This will of course involve a new credit check, an activation fee, and an early termination fee of $175 for ending your service in SC. WHAT?! So now I'm being a complete pain in the ass to anyone at Verizon who is unlucky enough to answer the phone or email. Until they give me some way to do this without that fee, I'll just keep my SC number.

OK, moving on because just thinking about Verizon makes me mad. Orientation has started and it's fun so far. Most of the time is devoted to learning all the life support procedures. Since I'm doing Med-Peds I have to do all of them - ACLS for adults, PALS for children, and NALS for neonates. The best but most disturbing part of this has been learning how to intubate (put a tube into the airway to breathe for a patient) for NALS. For ACLS and PALS we learn on dummies, but NALS is different. We practiced on kittens since they are similar to newborns. Good because it was real; intubating a plastic dummy just isn't the same. But it just seemed so mean to do that to little kittens. They were sedated so not in pain, but I'm sure they felt it when they woke up. And thankfully the kittens weren't euthanized in the end - they will all be getting a new home. But it was sad to see them like that.

In knitting news...not much. I've gotten a few rows of my scarf done, but I haven't picked up my lace. Haven't touched my socks. Haven't swatched for my sweater. The hours are just taking a toll on me; I really need to get back into the swing of things. I'm at a point now where I've gotten used to 8 hours of sleep a night, so I'll have to taper that down. Must be ready for July 1 when the real misery begins.

Gina - The pattern for the scarf is here.

Monday, June 19, 2006

This is quite possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen. Isn't my blog pretty To see what your blog looks like go here. (Shamelessly ripped off from Ann.)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Beth - I can't figure out how to email you to respond to your comment... The stitch for the scarf is really easy once you catch on. Just reading it didn't make a lot of sense to me, but after the first couple rows it goes quick. Only two problems I had: First, I need really good light to see the stitches. I was working on it at the movies this afternoon and it wasn't light enough so I screwed up a couple times. Second, I had a hard time unknitting to fix my mistake. I got my stitches all twisted and it took awhile to sort out. Other than that, it's going well. And it is so soft in this yarn!

My last few days before work (aka my thinly veiled trip through hell) begins and I'm planning on spending them knitting and watching Gilmore Girls for hours and hours. Maybe a break to go to the movies, but mostly sitting on my couch watching Gilmore DVDs and knitting. So what am I knitting? My Amazing Lace shawl? My socks? Swatching for my sweater? Of course not! That would make sense. Instead I dug through my stash, found a skein of Malabrigo, and started a scarf.

I seriously need help.

Amazing Lace Challenge 2

Welcome back, Amazing Lacers! Team Gamecock Doc has made some progress since beginning the challenge. After several setbacks including some frogging and a big move we seem to have hit our stride. But now the real challenge will begin. How do I live life as both a knitter and a Med-Peds intern? Well, it's complicated and I guess a little extreme. It involves serious time management and multitasking as well as lots of caffeine. Every day begins with a large pot of coffee. Charlotte is kind enough to supervise the brewing.

As I rush around getting ready Charlotte patiently waits on the table. She always stays near my "ears" because she knows I never leave without them and she would hate to be forgotten.

Then comes the commute to the hospital. A twenty minute drive provides plenty of time to get some knitting done and some coffee drunk.

Once at work the team has a more difficult time getting together. But progress note writing and work rounds do have a little downtime. Just hide some lace in a pocket and a pattern on the clipboard.

Once rounds are over there is more free time while waiting for new admissions. This is prime knitting time. Notice how well Charlotte goes with scrub pant green.

Once at home the studying begins. Why did I choose a specialty that covers every age group and possible disease? Too many books to study from. But with strategic placement I can read them all, knitting all the while.

Whew, it's been a long day. But there is still work to be done - articles to read, labs to check, pages to answer. Poor Charlotte isn't used to this life, so she heads to bed early leaving me to study alone. I keep telling her that coffee is essential, but she's too worried about stains. Oh well... Night, Charlotte!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I went shopping!

I spent the morning walking the streets of Northampton and spending a lot of money. I feel it is my duty to stimulate the economy of my new town. I especially feel a duty toward LYSs, and therefore purchased yarn in both Northampton Wools and Webs. Hello, my name is Gina, and I am a shopoholic. So what did I buy?

For a detailed discussion of my purchases, read on.

Two sheets of super cute wrapping paper to wrap the books I ordered for my secret pal. (They haven't arrived yet.) A card for my parents' anniversary (40 years!). And a little notepad to carry in my purse.

Yarn for my secret pal! Her birthday is this month so she has to get a great package! Two skeins of lavender Rowan Cashsoft - quite possibly the softest, most wonderful yarn on the planet. And two skeins of sock yarn in her favorite color - orange. Side note: Cashsoft is the yarn to blame for my yarn addiction. I was a sad crocheter using nothing but Red Heart from Wal-Mart until I bought some Cashsoft in poppy at Northampton Wools when I visited here in November. I made myself a scarf with it and fell in love. Then I decided to teach myself to knit and it's all gone downhill from there.

More gifts for my secret pal! A cute little bag to fill with notions, Eucalan lavender-scented woolwash, stitch markers, and darning needles.

Yarn for my first sweater. The picture doesn't do it justice though. It's a beautiful light heathered brown, and it's softer than a cloud. I want to sleep with this yarn on my pillow! Gorgeous!

All in all I think I was pretty good today. The yarn for my sweater and some needles (one pair bamboo and one pair ebony) are all I bought for myself. I had to drag myself away from a shelf of KidSilk Haze. That stuff is dangerous! It cast some kind of spell on me, and I just stood in a corner petting it until I came to my senses.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Benedict + Apple = Fun

I love my pope and I love my iPod. But together they are even better. (via Julie)

Where I knit

I've been seeing "Where I Knit" posts everywhere, and now that I'm settled I'll show my knitting spots. Plus it lets me show off my new digs. And apparently I'm really into blue, so it fits into this month's Project Spectrum theme too.

This is where I knit when I'm watching TV (or one of the many, many movies that I own).

This is where I knit when I'm online. And where I blog. I haven't set up my wireless yet so I have to be here in order to plug into the cable modem. You can also see part my movie collection. I have two 5 shelf bookcases and half of the space is filled with movies. Truly sad...must stop buying movies. Perhaps replace movie buying addiction with yarn buying?

Here's my basket-o-yarn placed for ease of access from either couch or chair.

And where I knit before bed, usually while listening to audiobooks or podcasts.

So that's my place. Lots of blue...I didn't plan that, it just kinda happened. And to complete my current blue obsession, I'm getting a KitchenAid mixer in cornflower blue!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I am such a dork and keep forgetting to mention how great my secret pal is. Thanks for the cute e-card. I LOVE it and click on the link randomly to make me smile. Thanks, secret pal! Sorry I couldn't sneak you in my trailer, but I'll think of you and send you cosmic fiber love while I wander through Webs later this week.

I have a small knitting purchase to report. I finally bought the current issue of Interweave Knits. I've been eyeing it since it came out, mostly for the lace article, and broke down today. So I got it home and read it cover to cover. Great issue. The lace article is wonderful and will be my right hand for the remainder of the Amazing Lace. And the patterns are great. I would like to make most of them. I'm eyeing the Marseilles pullover - a nice cable sweater. I really want to try my first sweater and have been checking out patterns for months to find a good one. But I keep chickening out. I mean, I've been knitting for less than a year and am definitely not very skilled. So I read patterns and price yarn but then go back to a sock. A sweater is such a big many stitches, so much yarn, all those seams. But I really like this sweater. I must get up the courage to try it. Ignore the fact that I've never cabled. I can knit a sweater...I will knit a sweater!

Friday, June 09, 2006

I've arrived

So I made it to Northampton and I'm working on getting settled. Most of my furniture is here and maybe half of my stuff is unpacked. I need to be completely set up by the end of next week so that I'll be ready to start work. I won't have much free time once work starts so it all needs to be done. I didn't realize how much stuff is involved in moving especially changing states. New driver's license and registration, new car insurance, new bank, new cell phone. Much to do next week. I also need to get my internet turned on (totally stealing internet from a neighbor right now, bad Gina!). In all the driving and unpacking, I've gotten very little knitting done. By very little I mean three rows of a sock. Pretty pathetic, but I promise to improve. Once I unpack all my yarn and find Charlotte I'll get to work. In the meantime, I need to go back to Webs. I went by yesterday but didn't buy anything. That place is amazing! Aisles and aisles of fiber. I just walked around touching gauge swatches and squeezing skeins. Completely overwhelmed. I really need a plan when I go in there again. I'm thinking a soft bulky yarn for a quick scarf or hat and some cotton or cotton blend for my first sweater. I really want a cotton cardigan like the one from the Gap that I've had for years but it showing serious signs of wear. So I'll think and plan and return another day.

Gina - Thanks so much for my prize. Looking forward to making pompons and the candle smells great. It was my very first mail here! The manager was showing me where the mailboxes are, and your package was inside my box! Yay for mail! Next time you're in town we need to meet up.

Friday, June 02, 2006

D Day

As in Departure Day. In just a few hours I'll be hitting the road for Massachusetts. I'm planning on driving through the night to avoid traffic and getting there around noon tomorrow. Plenty of time for me to get my key and unload my car and then wait for my stuff to arrive. I totally lucked out with this moving thing. A neighbor is going to visit family in Maine and volunteered to help me move - he owns a truck and a trailer and all my stuff fit in it.

I said good-bye to everyone yesterday. We went for Indian food and then saw X Men (which I though was awesome, by the way). After the movie we had a Krispy Kreme run and then we all set out for home. It was weird how the whole night I wasn't thinking about it being my last night here. Most of my friends are staying in state and a lot are going to the same programs, so they will still be together. And the idea that I wouldn't see them again for at least several months just didn't hit me until I got in my car. It's going to be hard starting over, but I think it will all work out for the best.

I'm going to take a nap before hitting the road. Write you again from my new home!