surgical strike

Behold! This is pretty much the extent of my crafting over the past five weeks – putting gourds (grown by my parents!) in a basket on our coffee table. That shit looks so seasonal.

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As you can tell from my drastically reduced crafting, this surgery clerkship is kinda killing me, but in a way that I kinda actually enjoy. Waking up every morning between 4:20-4:45 is a bit of a drag, but once I get those first few minutes out of the way the day is pretty good. The people with whom I work are overwhelmingly kind and encouraging (okay, with maybe one or two exceptions, but hey, not everyone can be  Glinda the Good Witch), everyone is very interested in education, and the relationships that surgeons have with their patients are both incredibly special and interesting to observe. I have also seen some strange, cool, and sad stuff. Laparoscopic surgery itself is just a very fascinating thing, then I have seen some very traditionally “surgical” things, like poop coming out of man-made or natural orifices from which no poop should ever pass, more anuses than I could shake a stick at (SERIOUSLY! that is one of those things where when you decide to go to medical school, you acknowledge that you’ll see some stuff that’s depressing and difficult to process, but you don’t really stop to take into account how many anuses you’ll be looking at and putting your fingers into for your education/job (pro tip for all future med students possibly reading this blog – you will be reaching into lots of butts)), and some stuff that has been really really depressing. Like lie awake at night and simultaneously think about the 21 year-old that died right in front of you and the elderly man in the ICU hooked up to eight million tubes depressing. Sigh.

Okay, now I just waxed poetic for an absurdly long time about surgery, which is just really weird. Sorry everyone who reads this blog and mostly likes knitting and hates being reminded about poop and anuses. But does this mean I am going to be a surgeon? Nope. I think I still want to do pediatrics, but I do have to say that this rotation is actually inserting a little doubt into my steely rejection of surgery.  And I’ll still be very grateful when I get some knitting time back (:

sweater frenzy

Yup. I finished ANOTHER one. This is the Clarity Cardigan, which I’ve been working on for about 4-ish months now. I started this project after the boards and really just tore through the majority of the body in 3 weeks, then got bored and stopped (of course).  After I finished David’s sweater I pulled this bad boy out and saw that the body was just like an inch from being done – no more excuses! I made short work of the sweater once I picked it up again. The collar is a bit difficult to style, but I’m getting the hang of it. While the color isn’t quite right for fall, I think it will make a really great sweater for those terrible days in March (and April…) when I desperately want it to be spring, but it’s still only 35 degrees outside. It’s terribly sad that those days happen so frequently that I specifically made a sweater for them, but eh – it’s Chicago, what else was I expecting?

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When my dad saw the finished product on me he immediately broke into a rendition of “Rainbow Connection.” (Thanks Dad.) While I do acknowledge that this sweater is particularly Kermity, I won’t be sad because I have a deep affection for the Muppets. If you want more project notes check out my Ravelry page.

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PS – this is a scheduled post – as you’re reading this, I’m on trauma call at the hospital. Eeep!

a mad man, a box, and a pair of earrings

Saturday, August 23 was a special day. It was a day for which I had waited since CHRISTMAS! It marked the return of Doctor Who and the beginning of Twelve! EEEE. In order to celebrate (besides wearing my TARDIS shirt, drinking out of my TARDIS mug, dressing my cat as a TARDIS, you know, the usual), I made some earrings (which then subsequently went unphotographed because the camera was in Alaska and I was in Chicago).

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These aren’t just any celebratory earrings. The beads are abstract-ish DW-themed ones I made from my summer class last year.They were among the first beads I made, so they’re quite rudimentary in comparison to my chickens and initial attempts at flowers. The little blue rectangles are little TARDISes, and the red,white and blue beads are a mini-tribute to my favorite Doctor, Ten (and his 3D glasses).

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Since the 23rd I have watched the new episodes multiple times and engaged in many serious discussions about the new Doctor, Clara and other companions, etc etc. My opinion? I like Twelve. I like his grumpiness, I like the fact that he seems mad (in multiple meanings of the word), I like his kvetching, and I just absolutely loved, loved, loved the scene with the silver platter in “Deep Breath.” One thing that will take some getting used to: the Scottish accent. I definitely would have benefited from some subtitles of all that very Scottish ranting. That being said, I thought “Into the Dalek” was kind of poorly written and very confusing and while I am super excited about Danny Pink, I thought his initial character development was not done well. What do you think? And if your response is that you don’t watch Doctor Who, then I suggest that you change your television viewing habits (and consequently, your life) posthaste. That will be all.

surgerizin’

Hi blogging party people.  Last Tuesday I started my surgery clerkship! This mostly means that I now work a LOT. By a lot I mean I start at 5:30 in the morning. It is, um, grueling. Grueling is a good word. At the same time, I feel very lucky to have the schedule that I do have and to be working with some truly nice, inspiring folks. While getting to see inside real, living human beings while the capable folks next to me fix their problems is an absolute privilege, I unfortunately don’t have a lot (read: almost any) time for crafting. This part is a bit hard, as I spent a lot of time over the past two years striving to be someone with a lot of hobbies and an excellent work-life balance. But hey! It’s only eight weeks, and I am trying to console myself with thinking of ways that surgery and crafting are similar. Here’s what I have so far.

  • You know how sometimes when you’re crafting you lose track of time, then startle yourself into awareness and realize that it is some ungodly hour and it’s been like ten hours since you last ate, drank or peed? That’s surgery.
  • Accidentally doing your work in such an un-ergonomic position that you later find yourself in a secluded hallway, subtly trying to massage your own back on a doorframe.
  • And duh. The sewing. One is sewing clothes, and the other one is closing skin incisions. The biggest difference is probably the fact that when I’m sewing Lady Skaters, my knees aren’t literally knocking together with fear.

harry potter and the obviously different dye lots

Why do so many of my blog posts involve me writing the word “TRAGEDY” in all caps? Um, maybe it’s because I eff up my projects so much, but this is getting ridiculous. This one is definitely 100% my own stupid fault. Read on to join my pity party.

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I decided to knit my sister a sweater for Christmas, and chose Ginny’s Cardigan from the Interweave Harry Potter Knits magazine.  I had 5 balls of superwash DK in a purplish red color in my stash, so I just bought a couple more from KnitPicks to have enough to knit the sweater. I was almost done with the sweater body today when I realized that there was a stripe where no stripe should be.  It turns out that the dye lot for the KnitPicks Swish DK Bordeaux colorway has shifted slightly to be just a little more purple. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a lecture hall so I couldn’t fully express my frustrations, which would have involved much gnashing of teeth and loud sobbing.

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See? Very obvious stripe. Ironically, there was a post on Fringe Association yesterday about the same exact thing! I read it and thought, “Wow. I would be so sad if that happened to me.” THEN IT DID. Murphy’s law of knitting, I suppose. In the end, I decided to frog everything that I had done (and by that, I mean I decided to make David frog everything I had done, because there would be no way I could do that to myself) and buy more of the newer Bordeaux.  So much for making headway on Christmas gifts before the surgery clerkship. Luckily, this hasn’t represented TOO much time spent knitting (thank goodness for DK weight, size 6 needles and a loose gauge). Time to see how quickly I can catch back up.

sew groovy

Have you ever encountered a piece of fabric and immediately known exactly what it was going to be? This was one of those fabrics for me.  I went to a Jo-Ann Fabric in Chicago for the first time ever (normally I go to the one in the town half an hour away from my parents’ house) and it BLEW MY MIND.  The Jo-Ann location I normally go to has about 1/3 the fabric that this location did, with almost exclusively quilting cotton, baby flannel prints, and licensed character/logo fleece. Not exactly the most inspiring fabric selection. But this Joann… HOO BOY. So many apparel fabrics! It was distraction city from basically the second I walked in the door. Whoops.

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Anyway, I spotted this knit fabric in passing, and it was just dying to be a knit wrap dress.  So of course I had to take it home and do its bidding.  Luckily, I found a tutorial for a Lady Skater pattern hack for a pseudo wrap dress.  It was very useful, and given the fact that I managed to use this pattern hack without any incident, it’s also definitely foolproof.

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Cutting out the fabric was probably the biggest challenge – the Lady Skater pattern does that weird thing with folding to meet the selvedge edges in the center, and this fabric was really lightweight and sticky to itself. My kitchen is about four feet wide (not kidding) and six feet long and this fabric was >60″ wide and over two yards long, so I just could not get it to fold nicely for cutting.  Instead of continuing to struggle inside, I took it out to the hallway and did the cutting there. I am that neighbor, everyone.

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After a sweaty cutting debacle, the rest of the dress came together very smoothly.  My biggest gripe with the dress is that the back gapes a bit, but that might have to do with the stretch content of the fabric + my neck binding isn’t as tight as what the original pattern suggests. It’s not gonna stop me from enjoying this crazy-printed bad boy.

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famous last words

Hello there everyone. Can y’all guess which incredibly inaccurate and foolish sentence came out of my mouth not even a month ago?

“I’m totally not doing any knitting for Christmas gifts this year.”  “I’m in the middle of destashing and not buying any yarn, and it’s going really well.”

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If you were the shrewd, cynical consumer of Internet information like I know y’all are, and you guessed that I actually said BOTH of those things, then well shucks, you’re right. Ugh. Just ugh, you guys.  Up until the beginning of August, I had only purchased two skeins of yarn for all of 2014. Just two!! I was feeling very smug about my 3 out, 1 in challenge/promise/thing. And then that fricking Knitpicks sale came along and ruined everything.

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In this gorgeous pile of shame I have enough yarn for gifts for David, my mom, dad and sister, a friend or two, and maybe even a lil’ sumpin sumpin for myself. I’m terribly torn between excitement and shame about this most recent yarn acquisition. Alas, alack.

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