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This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

It’s February, so clearly it’s time to start breaking out the posts about Christmas gifts that I made. I always think I’m going to prep the posts in advance so they run in January, but then life happens. This year it was a trip to India that took prep time in January and then a big chuck out of February!


So here’s the first of my holiday gift items: a Glitz shawl made for my sister!



Pattern: Glitz Shawl by Kelli Slack


Kelli is a designer with exceptional taste who does a lot of patterns for my local yarn store. I am always admiring her designs in store, but I think this might be the first one I’ve knit up! It definitely won’t be my last. This is a really nicely written pattern with clear charts and good written instructions. I might have marked a few more things as repeats because of the algorithmic way I think about patterns (and the way my eyes skip over the written instructions when I’m tired), but a bit of highlighting and the chart kept me on track without much trouble.


I did this one exactly as written, which means it was actually the easiest of the gifts I made this year, since I made the rest of them up (and tried valiantly to keep notes on what I did).


I particularly love the little dangle bead detail on in this design. I may have to use the same idea in other projects I do!



Yarn: Teresa Ruch Tencel 5/2


I am so obsessed with this yarn that the folk at my local yarn store tease me about how I have to oggle the new stock all the time, but the colours are just that great, and the yarn itself blocks like a dream and has this perfect drape and sheen. Especially with crochet, it just ups the elegance of pretty much every project I’ve tried it on, since it’s such a light fingering weight and it practically glows with colour.


I have used it for a few projects now (most recently completed: Cadfael), but this was first time knitting with it. The yarn really helps make the “Glitz” that the shawl’s named for stand out, although I opted to go with a blue rather than the metallic tones it was designed for. The blue makes it a bit more like something you might have in an Elsa from Frozen cosplay, but since my sister and I have spent years cosplaying together, I didn’t think she’d mind. And besides, she looks good in blue. (Okay, she looks good in pretty much anything, even when we intentionally do thrift store finds that we can’t imagine looking good on anyone!)



It’s definitely more of a decorative piece than a warm one, so I imagine it’ll be some months before my sister can make good use of it, but hopefully it’ll be a fun wardrobe addition when the weather warms up! It was certainly a fun thing to make.

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Thanks to headaches, travel and life, I've experienced a lot of nausea, and the remedy that I hear most often is ginger. Now, I like a good ginger tea, eat pickled ginger with my rice sometimes, and use ginger in things from stir fries to cookies, but I've never particularly noticed it making a big difference in my nausea when compared with, honestly, consuming just about anything else. (Cheese, almonds, jello, crackers, apple juice, whatever. Eating a small amount of nearly anything will take the edge off my nausea.) So today I decided to do a bit of research: is this something about my metabolism, or is ginger one of those herbal remedies that isn't really that effective?

First stop, a book chapter entitled "The Amazing and Mighty Ginger" from Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. It tells me that there's studies that say ginger works, but also studies that say it doesn't:


Although the antiemetic effects of ginger are the most well-studied effects of this condiment and have been reviewed extensively, the effectiveness and safety of ginger for treating nausea and vomiting have been questioned in the past because the findings reported were often contradictory


Another website lists a bunch of studies (the website I don't know about, but the studies are hosted on the US National Institute of Health so they're probably legit enough). Most of these sound reasonable to me, although some seem a bit biased in study design.

So... yes, there's evidence that ginger helps with nausea. But the hint of studies that say it doesn't are very interesting, because it's *much* harder to get a negative study than a positive one published (at least in my experience). We could be deluding ourselves and letting confirmation bias win if we trust the positive studies but not the negative ones. I didn't do deep research, but I'd say it's likely that ginger helps, but not necessarily as clear-cut as people might have you believe.

As for me, well, I still like ginger, so I'll try it when it suits me, but not worry too much about stocking up before the weather change triggers more headaches.

Home!

Feb. 22nd, 2017 09:50 am
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Made it home from India without incident, by which I mean my green card was accepted at the border and no one asked me to unlock my phone. It's weird how I just went on a trip to a country where I couldn't drink the water and the front page of the newspaper had multiple rape cases and an acid attack against women and yet, crossing the US border was *still* the most scary part with the constantly changing rules.

The trip was great. I saw so many things I never expected to see, ate so much delicious food, and met so many people that I'm not sure I'm ever going to get everyone's names straight. The PyCon Pune conference was *amazing*. I keynoted to a room of over 500 people, and I've never had such an engaged audience! I did code sprints with people who were awesome, too -- we discovered that Mailman had something like 9 different dev setup guides, many of which were out of date, and yet somehow everyone got things up and running *and* folk helped patch up the docs to be consistent. If you ever get a chance, seriously, go.
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This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Still spinning! Skein number 4 is blue. It’s the same blend as the orange one, only I divided it up so that I could match the plied colours more:


My handspun attempt #4


And here’s a comparison between it and the orange one:


My handspun attempt #3-4


And finally, here’s all four in a few configurations:


My handspun attempt #1-4


Still enjoying the spinning and I’m working on #5 now, although I’m using a very different fiber so it’s been a bit of trial and error!


My handspun attempt #1-4

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This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Remember this cardigan I started back in March? I almost made the Cardipalooza deadline in May, but abandoned it a bit shy of the deadline when I ran into problems and decided it would be better to take a break than to try to push for a deadline. I picked it up again now that it’s finally getting cool again, and I finally finished it last weekend.


Acorn Trail Sweater


Acorn Trail Sweater


The pattern is Acorn Trail. It’s a beautiful sweater, and I’ve found Amy Herzog’s sweater fitting books really interesting, so I was eager to try one of her patterns. With judicious use of a highlighter I didn’t even find the pattern too hard to follow despite the many possible adjustments. I did somehow make the body section longer than I intended and had to do a run for more yarn, but to be honest it’s a nice length and while you can spot that the last skein is slightly more grey if you look a the sleeve joins at the shoulder or in the button band, it’s not as bad as I first feared.


Acorn Trail Sweater


I thought I would prefer to do a pieced sweater because most of my knitting is on the go, and doing pieces meant I could still easily carry it around. But it turns out I’m not great at seaming and I don’t much enjoy it, and even while I was knitting I spent time wondering why I was making seams when I could just put things together in 3d in the first place. In the end, I *did* convert the sleeves to be knit in the round rather than flat because I couldn’t honestly think of any reason not to do so, but I did the rest of the pattern as written. Still, I found I was constantly sad I couldn’t try it on as I went and adjust it all more precisely, so I think next sweater I try may be a more seamless affair and probably top-down. The current leading candidate is Lush, but something else may well catch my eye before I get to making it. I’m guessing right now it’ll be after the 2017 Rose City Yarn Crawl before I’ll have time for a sweater again.


Acorn Trail Sweater


The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Bobby Blue, which I picked up from For Yarn’s Sake. That was the first yarn store I visited when I moved here, I think! It’s very conveniently located next to the woodworking store in the same mall as the chocolate shop.


The yarn is soft and lovely and washable. I would totally use this again, although maybe not for a sweater since getting enough in one dye lot was hard even with For Yarn’s Sake’s fairly large collection. I did stripe it to even out the dye lots, but that last skein is still noticeable to my eye. The colour did bleed a bit when I washed and blocked it, but nothing dramatic, just enough that I’ll be careful if I decide to use the remainder in some colourwork.


Acorn Trail sweater detail


The buttons I picked up at Black Sheep at Orenco, and aren’t they cute? They’re probably a bit impractical since star buttons can be kind of finicky in knitting, but I liked the look of them and honestly, I mostly wear my cardigans open since work is pretty warm for sweaters. Although it did snow this week, so it’s cool outside!


Acorn Trail Sweater


Many of my knitwear photos are self portraits since my husband’s photographic passions are more about architecture and landscape than people. (I on the other hand, am mostly about people and flowers.) But he was kind enough to help with these and as always, the two of us working together results in much funnier expressions. He did a really nice job, although I cheated and gave him a 50mm prime lens so he had no choice but to be a bit more close up than he normally would be.


Acorn Trail Sweater


So that’s it! I’d guess that the sweater was under 2 months of work in total, but with a 6 month gap in the middle. Honestly, I thought it would take me longer! I’m pretty proud of my first me-sized sweater, and I’m sure it’ll be the first of many.


Acorn Trail Sweater

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