For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

People Say That I’m A Dreamer

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Dear Ann,
I suspect you are dying to know my New Year’s Resolution, so let’s get that out of the way.
Listen. I don’t want to make anybody feel inadequate. Just because I have dreams and ambition and a crackling fire in my belly doesn’t mean that everybody does. Life is hard. We have difficult choices to make. But my feeling is: aim for the stars. Get out there and TRY, girl. Like it says on the sweater, BE the change you want to see in the world. So that is why I am fully committed to my New Year’s Resolution, however unrealistic or difficult it may prove to be. I solemnly promise, in front of God and this assembly, that throughout the calendar year 2009:
I will use hand cream on a regular basis.
It may be too late to prevent early onset of Dinosaur Claw Hands. (The feet have already gone mesozoic, and cannot be saved.) But, doggone it, I’m going to try.
Stuff I Made in 2008
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So. I made 2 more Noro striped scarves before I was Done With That. One in mistake rib and one Classic Jared, for a total tally of 4 scarves or 16 skeins.
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I have come to prefer the Mistake Rib version. Less stripe, more drape. A bit easier to knit. Wafflier.
These were Christmas gifts. I finished them in Nebraska but brought them home to wash and block, because I don’t like my mom’s well water and it was too cold there for handwashing anyway. Handwashing must wait for spring. And now I’m mailing one back to Nebraska. That’s the way it goes, sometimes, with the handknit Christmas gifts. No point in stressing about it. It’s not like it’s not still winter there or anything.
Straight Talk About Calorimetry
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With my rich lode of Silk Garden leftovers, I finally got around to making a couple of Calorimetries.
Now. There is one reason that Ravelry has 6,898 Calorimetries logged in so far. It’s not because our society has a gaping unmet need for partial hats, or woolly button-on headbands. Sure, it’s nice to have such a thing if you have long hair and you wear it bunched up in the back, but people were finding ways of dealing with their hairstyle/hat interface before Calorimetry came along. The reason this pattern is so wildly popular has nothing to do with the FO itself, its utility or beauty. It’s about how truly fun they are to knit. The perfect tasty snack, with a little trick that is easily figured out the first time through. I could see myself falling and not getting up from this project if I’m not careful. As a precaution, I decided never to knit one from anything from leftovers. That should keep my production levels somewhat related to the number of people I know who might wear such a thing. (By the way, for my Silk Garden versions I cast on 100 stitches instead of 120, and used size 6 needles to keep the gauge reasonably tight.)
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Such a great place to put a vintage button or two. (If you put 2 the fit is more adjustable to the Hair Of the Day.)
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This one really looks like an eye. Creepy? Yeah, but so what. I think there are remnants of 4 different shades in it.
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Maggie liked it. She would have liked it a lot more if it had a North Face logo on it, just saying.
That clears my 2008 FO inventory. Moving on.
Love,
Kay

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43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. The Noro scarves are beautiful. I think the “eye” headband will keep the evil spirits away!!!

  2. That is cute – Calorimetry never much appealed to me before but those pics make me want to knit one. (Not sure what I’ll do with it with my super short hair).

  3. You’ve got me singing and swaying in my chair. I hope you’re proud of yourself.
    I am so inspired by your Resolution. You make me want to be a better more moisturized person.
    I’m just sayin’…
    xo

  4. Upon your excellent recommendation I made one gift Noro Striped Scarf, and then one for myself, out of Kuryeon. This is one very warm and very long scarf. I think, in fact, it is causing global warming. It should come with a warning: not for the perimenopausal subway rider.

  5. your Noro scarves are gorgeous!
    As for the moisturization resolution, don’t give up on your feet – get thee to a Bed, Bath & Beyond and pick up a PedEgg and a tube of Miracle Foot Repair. There’s hope! =)
    Happy New Year!!!!

  6. Alright, Kay, the hands: With a mild case of psoriasis, they rarely look “tip-top”. However (besides the intermittent need for prescription stuff), I have found two very nice hand products which I would like to share with all who put their whole heart into hand made items.
    1) ‘Zim’s Crack Cream’ (smells like clove)–available at Harmon Beauty Supply (but I generally have to ask a manager, as no one else seems to know what it is, and it’s not in the hand cream deptartment).
    2) ‘Whole Foods Hand Salve’. The scent is lavender & lemon verbena.–gives me a good “reason” to go into Whole Foods because mostly what I’m really there for is to look at the desserts…
    At any rate, may it be so in 2009, as in the previous years: hand and heart shall never part.
    LoveDiane

  7. lovely scarves, and my first thought of the “eye” was that it was a leaf shape.
    And, thank you for the picture of the Calorimetry with the hair up. I have so far escaped the lure of this pattern but I think that self control is now well and truly gone. This would be perfect for warmth and dealing with a mass of hair!

  8. what a brilliant resolution. i should try it since working with cotton this past month has left my fingers so beat up i can’t go near the silk or alpaca i want to spin …
    (love the noro scarves. wishing i had two balls of noro in my stash right about now…)

  9. Remember the commercial that said “her hands give away her age”? That’s totally me due to a previous career that involved latex gloves for 6 hours a day. Anyway, I second the recommendation of Zim’s Crack Creme (I get mine at Walgreens) and add to it some A&D Ointment under some cotton gloves at night (yeah, the baby’s butt salve)
    Gorgeous scarves! Makes me pine for some Noro.

  10. That cotton glove trick works for feet too: I will slather up my feet, put on socks, and wake up to silky-soft feet in the morning.
    (Though there is a chance that said feet might be hazardous on non-carpeted floors.)

  11. Bear with me through this MSL moment: The key to keeping that resolution is to keep cream on the bedside table. (That’s where that galvanized, econo-sized tube of Occitane shea butter is parked, thank you very much.)

  12. Oh! A resolution I can JOIN! Step one: find the hand cream!

  13. I also just mailed my handknit Christmas gifts to Nebraska! They arrived on the 5th. So much for deadlines. :-)
    Also: what a great resolution!

  14. please don’t forget Boudreaux Butt Paste – seriously brilliant to cure all skin ills – don’t ask me how I know …
    anyway, I’ve completed at least 5 or 6 Noro scarves, all sklept by rockstar son …
    happy and healthy,
    mhv

  15. Lovely mooshy-looking color-rich scarves! That mistake rib is my current favorite reversible pattern.
    On the calorimetry, I saw a beautiful leaf until you said “eye.” Now I see a beautiful eye. sort of an ancient-egyptian-motif eye. Even the colors work for that image. Pretty!
    Happy new year’s resolution, and I’m with you on the hand cream. I keep mine next to the bedside lamp so I cannot overlook it…half the battle right there!

  16. Re hands and feet: did you ever try Bag Balm? It is disgusting to use something originally intended for bovine milk production, but sometimes it actually works and always prevents the cracking fromgetting the point where it hurts.
    As for the North Face logo, sadly gift recipients hardly ever prefer the implied logo in every hand knit.Sometime in the nineties the Whitney Biennial included the work of an artist who used a lot of thrifted crocheted stuff. One installation was entitled “More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid.” It was at this point that I began to give hand knits only to a selected few.

  17. seeing that you are the daughter of Most Moisturized Mother, I have every confidence in your New Year’s resolve!

  18. Most Moisturized Mom must be proud! For the feet, I recommend soaking them in warm water (I add some Eucalan — can’t hurt), then scrubbing off all dead skin with a loofah or foot file or whatever. Then do the moisturizer (many good ones already mentioned). But if you don’t get rid of the dead skin first, the moisturizer just slicks it down, doesn’t get rid of it.
    Besides, it’s a good excuse to sit quietly and knit for 10 or 20 minutes :-)

  19. I agree totally with Jenn. PedEgg. Get one. You’ll be amazed. Your feet will love you! Hint–don’t use on elbows. Don’t ask me how I know!
    Janet

  20. I agree totally with Jenn. PedEgg. Get one. You’ll be amazed. Your feet will love you! Hint–don’t use on elbows. Don’t ask me how I know!
    Janet

  21. I like your calorimetries the best out of all the 6000+ people have made. :)

  22. hand cream ?
    the next step would be manicures
    then polish buffers and push
    back cuticles with a soft cloth
    after washing hands bowls
    to soak your nails and hands in-
    they would be so soft your rings
    would fall off hopefully
    you have insurance

  23. The Burt’s Bees hand salve is something wonderful too — even if it can’t all be rubbed in on the first application. Perhaps before donning gloves or going to bed is best!?

  24. Wow – you go.
    My foot treatment of choice is A&D ointment, put on right after a shower, followed by a sock chaser.
    And it IS really nice not to have the yarn snagging on cracked hands!

  25. Do the Calorimetries work when the wearer has short hair? I have a good friend whose ears hurt easily in cold winds and she lives in Utah! So I was looking for a good ear-covering pretty.
    Besides, why should I be the only one not making one?

  26. Do you leave the clumpy bunches of white, unspun threads in the Silk Garden in or pick’em out? I’ve been picking, and it takes too long. And do you exert control when the two colors are very similar or just let the chips fall?

  27. I love the calorimetry! I missed it in knitty, but this is something both my daughter and I need. We live in the snowy Sierra foothills in Northern California and I have very long hair that spends half the time up in a bun. A hat makes me look like I’ve got a tumor, plus it’s all messy when you take it off.
    I’m going stashbusting as soon as I have breakfast. Happy New Year!!

  28. Actually, I think the “eye” one looks rather like a flounder… complete w/two eyes on one side… :) They are great! What a great idea for leftovers–OR handspun, which I have just learned how to make. woohoo!
    Good luck with your resolution. You might discover a side benefit: actually *liking* how your hands feel. (I speak from experience: I have chronically awful cuticles & have made the switch to Totally Moisturizing Every Day…)

  29. My favorite moisturizer these days is Aveeno Creamy Moisturizing Oil, available at chain drugstores everywhere. I have insanely dry skin that just laughs at most allegedly long-term lotions or creams, but that one lasts for hours and hours. Plus it smells yummy!
    My hair is so short I’m not sure a calorimetry would work for me, but definitely for my daughter. Although I don’t think anyone could make one any cuter than yours. Clearly you had a magical collection of leftover bits and pieces of Noro — I can only hope that mine work out as well.

  30. I made six of those puppies for stocking stuffers for my 20 somethings. They were recieved with acclaim, which can be faked…and worn, which cannot.

  31. I started a calorimetry last year out of leftover yarn, and realized I didn’t have enough yarn to finish (truly scrap level yarnage). I might have to try making another one though, because I actually have long hair now. Amazing what a year can do on that front!

  32. Mind if I join you in that hand cream venture?
    I found a really good hand cream at Origins that seems to work. I try to remember to put it on at night before bed and in the morning before I leave for work. I think it actually hydrates instead of just forming some sort of oily protective barrier against the elements.

  33. I have a bad habit of touching my face with my hands and if I have any sort of hand lotion on I break out like crazy even though I am in my late 40’s. In the winter I do break down and use Cetaphil lotion which causes the least amount of skin problems.

  34. Best ever hand cream: I worked for the Forest Service for several years; every spring during tree planting season (think cold mud on your hands 24/7) our whole crew would have dry cracked skin on our fingers, to the point of bleeding.
    We tried *everything*. The only thing that worked was straight anhydrous lanolin. We ordered it by the tubful from the local pharmacy. It has to be anhydrous. It was cheap and effective but smelled slightly sheepy until it soaked in all the way.
    The anhydrous lanolin I use now comes in nice little tubes in the baby aisle (and sometimes the lotion aisle) at the drug store — brand name Lan-sin-oh, used by nursing moms when those um, critical nursing components get, you know, chapped. It does *not* smell sheepy.
    The secret is to get your hands wet (very important) and then rub in a little tiny dab. If you don’t get your hands (or other body part) wet first, it takes seven forevers to soak in.
    Don’t do it right before you put your gloves on, because it takes a minute or two to soak in even with wet hands, and until it does, you will stick to things. Like the insides of your gloves. Or the steering wheel. I have *such* a mosturized steering wheel …

  35. … but you’re not the only one, kay.

  36. “Like it says on the sweater, BE the change you want to see in the world.”
    ….Uh, Kaaay, like it says on WHICH sweater????
    LoveDiane

  37. I have strong opinions about wintertime skincare, and it all has to do with humidity. I mean: humidity is the key to it all. Over the years, Hubbo has foisted upon us all sorts of humidifying devices, with the result that my truly, miserably dry skin has improved to the point that I use lotions very rarely. I used to go through all sorts of creams, lotions, gunk and goo, none of which gave me any lasting peace. Humidity, women! Listen up! The lack of moisture in the winter air is what does skin such grievous wrong.
    We went so far as to install a humidifying system in our heating unit, after years of cleaning humidifiers, changing filters, and filling tanks with water. It CHANGED OUR LIVES 4EVER! It’s hooked into the water line, it blasts moisture through our heating vents, and I get a little teary just thinking about how little I worry about my skin now because of our 40% humidity. I still have all sorts of Japanese weird stuff for my face, because why not? But the rest of me is very happy.

  38. For the hands: I concur on the bedside table positioning. Not foolproof, but it’s as good as it gets. For me, it’s The Bee Bar from honey-house.com. Solid bar that you warm in your hands for a minute, then rub in. I like the vanilla scented one.
    And the unbuttoned Calorimetry looks like a halibut. Just sayin’.
    Mmm, halibut.

  39. Well, I am clearly in the minority, but the eye/leaf/flounder first struck me as A Certain Female Body Part. ifyouknowwhatImean.

  40. I hear you on the North Face logo — I just tell my girls to say they got it (sweater, hat, whatever) from Anthroplogie…

  41. I made a Calorimetry when it first came out in Knitty. I was headed for a night out in the wilds of NC and my huge head looks funny in hats. I love it. And, I have pretty short hair so that need not be a drawback. I will now proceed to get to work making a second with left over Silk Garden.

  42. First had to get past nodding “yes” to outsider category as a shawl wearer. made two that sit in closet. Next it was this charming head thing…but not for short hair? Then thought how might be odd contrast unless I used gray yarn…very low key, you know. And the “good eye” to ward off evil!
    Sun shining in PDX, sitting outside in it, totally disorenting.
    love, n

  43. Don’t give up on the mesozoic feet until you’ve tried Aveeno (or the equivalent store-brand knock-off). It works miracles. It sooths rashes. It moisturizes like nothing else. I even use it on my chapped lips. My allergic skin *loves* the stuff. If I have any problem with my skin, I apply it. I’ve even converted my grandmother.