Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Little Puffs of Happiness

I've been feeling a bit like a nomad these days, splitting time between my temporary apartment in a new city, my husband's house, and my parents' house. What gives me a bit of comfort at the end of the day, often alone? The box of knitting projects and yarn I brought that sits next to the couch.

It's been an interesting month so far; new city, new hospital, new attendings. One of the perks? An awesome LYS! I've been itching to knit a pair of the Angora Baby Booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. The yarn is a delicious angora from Fleece Artist.

 Yarn: Peter Rabbit by Fleece Artist
 Just looking at these little guys makes me happy. Working in a city with one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Canada, that's a nice thing to have at the end of the day.

I picked my father-in-law's name for my husband's family gift exchange. He's a sweet, quiet, salt of the earth man who loves to spend time working their land and working in the wood shop. I decided to make him a hat, and therefore had my first foray into colorwork. The pattern is Machu Picchu Earflap Hat by Nichole Reese.

Machu Picchu Earflap Hat

Location: Irving Nature Park, NB

The yarn is Berocco Peruvia Quick, which was easy to work with and rugged enough. I've got a few more things on the needles, and hopefully more FO's soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

When you're used to going flat out, slowing down can take some getting used to. One day last week I went to work, and a few hours later found myself admitted to hospital for four days. I was told I needed to take a month of sick leave. A whole month, as a medical resident, without working? My doctor pointed out that we expect things of ourselves that we would never ask of our patients. We expect to keep ourselves going when we're sick, to push ahead, to not leave our responsibilities to our peers. She told me this environment needs to change, that we need to start taking care of ourselves. It's hard to do, but in the end I was showered with support from my peers.

So, in the past week, I've been learning to slow down. Reminding myself that I don't need to speedwalk everywhere, that it's ok to lie on the couch and do nothing but rest and recover. Best of all, I'm appreciating the blessing in this. With a wedding coming up in 3 weeks, I have a time to spend with my family. Time to read for fun. And time to knit!

In fact, the kitting needles have been calling to me. In the past two weeks, I started and finished a scarf for a friend, and knit most of a sock. There were supposed to be photos, but I lost my camera cord. Instead, I'll leave you with this little project I finished a while back.

It's Duet, from knitty The yarn was given to my by my fiance, after he surreptitiously bought it for me on an outing to Cricket Cove in Blacks Harbour, NB, because "it looked like me". It's an angora/alpaca blend, so soft! The buttons were found at a discount store in the states. The photos don't do justice to the lacey pattern. It won't be long until it's cold enough to wear this!

Stay tuned for a new quilt:)

Photographed in Prospect, NS

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Country Quilt for a Country Boy

I'm getting in married in two months, to a lovely boy from a small town in Quebec. He is the perfect match for me! He patiently comes with me to the quilt store, and our first time there he fell in love with this quilt. He and I dug through a box of scrap squares, and picked out enough to make this quilt. We both love the warm country colors and simple style of this quilt. Nothing fancy here, but it made us smile nonetheless.

M.E. gave me a quarter inch foot for my machine, and boy has it made piecing so much easier. I love that he takes an interest in what I do, he's even learned to use a rotary cutter, and likes to help with the layout :)

His mother is a quilt maker, and he grew up in a home with lots of lovingly made, beautiful quilts. We both dream of having a little farm someday, or a cozy house in the country with lots of handmade love inside.

We can't live in the same city because of our jobs, so it makes me feel better knowing that there's a quilt from me at the foot of his bed when we're apart.

 The pattern is called Country Patch, and it's made from scraps using some Kansas Troubles for the border. It's backed in flannel, and quilted in an all-over vine pattern.

My desire to knit had somewhat petered out, however these days I find it's been creeping back. I've started to troll Ravelry once again for patterns, and have a few new projects in mind:)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

You know you're a resident when...

You know you're a surgical resident when:
  • You wear your pager like it's the hottest new fashion accessory
  • You have a geriatric bedtime
  • You dream about colostomy bags and cheering when a patient passes poo for the first time
  • You think about having lunch while examining a big, gaping foul-smelling wound
  • You joke with your favorite old lady while wiping green stool off her stomach
  • A 70-hour work week is considered light
  • You can identify your patients by the smell outside the rooms
  • The dirty bedding in the call room doesn't matter because you're so tired you'd lay down anywhere
  • Putting in a chest tube is the highlight of your day
  • Your frequency of showering declines
  • You start chewing gum in the morning instead of brushing your teeth because it's faster
  • Coffee is your lifeblood
  • You wear the same scrubs for 48 hours
Despite spending 90 hours in the hospital this week, I have finished a quilt! I'm off this weekend, so hopefully there will be pictures to come:)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kiddos and Quilts

In our med school grad year book, I was voted "most likely to be found knitting socks instead of studying for her Royal College exams".  Indeed, I cranked out a pair of socks and two quilts while studying for my licensing exam. What they don't know is that all of this crafty business makes me study better... read 5 pages, knit 5 rows, and it all works out in the end.

The quilts I made were for my little cousins, who have to be the cutest 2 and 4 year olds I know. These were incredibly gratifying to quilt  and give.

Happy prints for a sweet girl.
The first quilt I made was for Holly, who loves to be wrapped in blankets and cuddle after her bath. It's from this pattern. It came together quite quickly, and I was initially afraid that it wouldn't be colorful enough but that wasn't the case!

Fabric: Love U by Deb Strain, Kona white

Hidden Hearts
I free-motion quilted this one in a meandering pattern, with a few hearts hidden along the way. The binding was pieced from scraps.

Holly loved her quilt. She apparently likes to get wrapped up in it and point out all of the little critters in the fabric.

Elliotts quilt was made from this pattern. I loved the vintage feel of the Lollipop line of fabric, and decided to pair it with brown sashing for a 70's vibe. This quilt was fun to make, and a great distraction from studying:)

This kid loves handmade stuff... when I was visiting he proudly pulled out a sweater my mom had knit him and lovingly pointed out the details. He then proclaimed, "but I never eat supper in it because it's too special to get dirty!".

What could be in here?
My very own quilt!
Mmm, soft and cozy :)
It was sad to move away from these guys, especially since they're growing up and changing so quickly. It made me feel better to leave something lasting behind with them. Elliott sleeps on his quilt every night, "warm (flannel) side up".

I saved scraps from the quilts and cut them into squares so that the kids could play a matching game with the quilt blocks. It was a hit!

Getting busy with matching
There will be more quilt pictures in the coming days, and hopefully some knitting ones too!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cross-country adventure

Hello again folks :) Lots has happened since my last post, and although I thought about the blog lots, it just hasn't been the right time to take it up again until now. In keeping with all the recent change in my life, I've given the blog a do-over too.

I finished med school and recently drove a U-Haul 1500km across the country to set up shop for the next five years of training in OBGYN. How was driving a U-Haul all that way? Never again! I decided to move all by myself, oh I don't know, to have some independent-woman-transitional kind of roadtrip. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Driving a 14-foot truck was hunky-dory on the highway, but that quickly turned into a nightmare when I reached my final destination.

I am not a city driver, no way. And suddenly here I was getting turned around on a bridge in major traffic, getting lost, trying to follow strange traffic patterns in a new city. I finally made it home, and then drove that baby all over again to the grocery store, etc, etc. After getting lost twice, I finally found the return station and barely parked the thing in the lot. The attendant proceeded to tell me that I was 1/8 of a tank short on gas, and instructed me to go fill up at the nearest station. Well, I didn't know where that was, and he directed me to one on a road I actually knew. So off I went. It turned out to be a small and very busy gas station. I pulled in and, CRUNCH! Yes, I hit a car parked at another pump. I was so embarassed, luckily the guy was nice and even helped me back the truck out when it came time to leave.

Since then, I've been learning to like this city. The people here actually stop for pedestrians and the work environment is great. We'll see what the next year brings.

In other news, the quilts have been hopping off my machine. After learning how to free-motion quilt, I've started to love the process even more as I don't feel like I'm ruining my quilts during the final steps. Here's one I finished a couple weeks ago:

Pattern: Madeline - Miss Rosie's Schnibbles

I loved making this quilt. The fabric had a wonderful feel to it, and the pattern was gratifying. The pieces were cut from fat eights, instead of using pre-cut 5" squares.

Fabric: Maison de Garance by French General
This quilt was finished while I was home visiting my parents. My mom fell in love with it so it now sits happily in her living room.

I had a lot of fun with the quilting on this one, and did a meandering vine pattern. In retrospect, however, I would have chosen a tan color instead of off white for the quilting.

And to end, I stumbled upon a nest of three baby robins under the deck. The babies have since flown off, and there are three new eggs waiting to hatch!

A surprise under our deck!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In

The busier I get, the more I fantasize about knitting/sewing/creative pursuits. It's a general rule around here that during exams I do more blog browsing or knitting than at any other time! Since clerkship started, my creative output has taken a bit of a hit. I'm currently on a surgical rotation, and after spending 80 hours in the hospital this week and coming across a "Friday Night Sew In" on Heidi's blog, I knew it was the perfect way to end the week.

My initial plan was to work on this quilt I started earlier this summer:

It's the Stacked Coins baby quilt pattern from Moda's Bakeshop. Despite lots of efforts, my quilting is still a work in progress.

However, after getting invited a birthday party for my favorite set of 10 year old triplets, I decided to make them wallets instead. The idea came from a wallet I made for myself a few weeks ago, as I was desperate to replace the ugly first aid kit medical recruitment propaganda turned change purse that I'd been carrying around since the zipper broke on my last wallet, oh, about a year ago.

This was the result:

Scrounging through my newbie fabric stash, it was a bit of a challenge to find something suitable for three very different 10 year olds!

I finished stitching the top of this owl pillow:

And here's a kitchen mat I made a few weeks ago to replace my old ratty one:

I took a knitting break to work on a little neck scarf:

Other knitting projects on the go include a second Ishbel done in Malabrigo Lace, some plain socks in Trekking XXL, and a pair of Hedgerow socks knit in some Regia sock yarn that has been kicking around my stash for about 8 years now.

The verdict: a Friday Night Sew In is the perfect antidote to a hectic week. I'll have to do this more often!