First Day of Autumn

I love autumn.  It is hands down my very favourite time of the year.  The cool breezes, the breaking out of blazers and cute boots, the reds and golds of the trees and, of course, the re-integration of my knitwear (mostly socks) into circulation in my wardrobe.

I also find I get severe start-itis in autumn.  I start thinking of all the lovely knitted items I’d like to have as the days get cooler, mostly dressy scarves and shawlettes and nice cushy socks and I start planning.  I also look to Christmas knitting and end up casting on far more than I really should.

In addition to all of this, Carla over at Georgian Bay Fibre Company is hosting an autumn KAL.  When I saw her last week at the Knitter’s Fair in Kitchener-Waterloo, I picked up a single skein of her Pengallie Fingering – 80% BFL/20% silk – in a lovely colourway called “Beausoleil Shoal” and figured I’d use it for the KAL, but wasn’t entirely sure what I’d make with it.

PengallieAlong comes Carolyn Macpherson and her Shifting Leaves Scarf pattern (there’s a cowl too!)…and while it’s intended to be a warm winter-y scarf, I thought that it would make a lovely “dressy” scarf in a fingering weight yarn.

So I wound the yarn this morning, and this evening, I shall succumb to my start-itis, and cast it on.  After all, how many WIPs is really too many?

Uhm, never mind.  Don’t answer that.

The Great Fake Boobie KAL Continues….

As mentioned previously, four of us in the indigodragonfly group on Ravelry are knitting Anne Hanson‘s Aria Delicato from some very special yarn.  This yarn, dyed by the ever generous Kim & Ron of indigodragonfly, was specially dyed and auctioned off to support breast cancer patients last spring, and each of the four of us who were lucky to get our hands on a skein has a story as to why this yarn is so special, some more dramatic than others.

My friend Mary’s story definitely falls into that category.  Her friend Deb, is pretty amazing.

My friend Deb’s husband died after a really tough battle with throat cancer, then she was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after his death.  She’s such a trooper she didn’t even miss teaching her classes while she was in chemo and she had all her reconstructive surgery done between semesters.  She’s not only my friend, she was my advisor for my Biology/Biochem MS degree. 

Two years ago she was in a meeting when one of the biology faculty pulled out a gun and killed 3 members of the department, wounded 3 more (one very very seriously; he’s alive, but will never again be his dynamic self), and Deb was the one that kept talking to the shooter until finally her gun jammed and she stopped. 

~Mary Setzer

So, Mary is knitting this project in honour of Deb, for her birthday later in January.

My progress on the project is, admittedly, much slower than I wish…lace + distractions + me = bad deal all around, but I will get there. I am trying to do 2-3 repeats a day in order to finish in 2-3 weeks.  This also leaves me some time to work on my January socks for the Sock Knitters Anonymous group.  One of my New Years goals was to finish 6 pairs of socks this year, so as long as I complete one every other month, I am good.  I am in no real hurry!

The Great Fake Boobie Knitalong!

Every so often, as a knitter, a skein of yarn falls into your hands that is truly precious – one that demands you do something special with it, so it becomes an item you always treasure.

One such yarn came along last year as part of indigodragonfly’s World Wide Knit In Public Day Auction, to benefit The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund.  The idea was simple.  One could bid on the rights to name one of several one-of-a-kind colourways, and decide what colours were used to dye that yarn.  Then others could bid on the finished skeins.  There were only four skeins of each colourway made, so bidding on some of them turned out to be pretty fierce.

Some of the stories were wonderful, and happy, and sad, but most of all, filled with memories and meaning.  The skein that I obtained, “Yes They’re Fake – The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me” has a story, and I will let the person who named it tell that story.

I’m just me coming through the other side of my year in Hell. I HAD Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed on June 24, 2011. I felt a lump on June 17.   I had a double mastectomy on July 15, 2011.  I had 6 rounds of chemo every 3 weeks, then 33 daily radiation treatments.  Based on the type of my Breast Cancer I had a total hysterectomy and oophorectomy (I had to get spaded so to speak;)  I have had silicone breast implants placed.  I’m doing well now just need to get the final work on the girls, and get back in shape and healthy. Unfortunately my family on both sides has a lot of cancer experience.

In addition to me – I had 4 great aunts, an aunt, a second cousin, and a first cousin who also had Breast Cancer – my Grandmother died of a liver metastasis – we never pushed to find her primary but 3 of her sisters had breast cancer. My Grandfather had a malignant nasal polyp and died following a stroke while having radiation treatment. My mother has had Colon Cancer _she’s still alive and driving my crazy! Her brother – my uncle also had Colon Cancer as well as throat cancer (he died of throat cancer). My Grandmother on Daddy’s side died of Lung Cancer at 52 – but she also had cancer in her ovaries. (We think the Ovaries were primary but have no way to be sure). In March while I was still in the midst of my battle my Father was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic Colon Cancer – he is fighting now too. He had a colon resection and is now having chemo. Doing well but his longterm outlook is grim. Mind you he is sneaking off this weekend to race his car! I joke with friends sometimes that I was gonna have cancer it was just a question of where. We have all just kept on living with everything going on. Some of our fights were harder than others and some of us suffered a bit more than the rest.

Yes They’re Fake – The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me: Reasoning behind the color. I’m thinking mainly gray – for the blur that your life becomes after you hear the words “you have Cancer”. Charcoal bits for the really bad days that you feel like crap and are tired of the fight. Red for the days you come up for air and think “hell yeah I can do this, I can beat this thing”. Finally, pink because it is the color for Breast Cancer.

~Wendy Radcliff/Clsywnch

Wendy tells me that the name came from a T-shirt…she has a collection of smart-assed “Fuck Cancer” T-shirts, that includes another that says “My oncologist does my hair”.

And just to illustrate Wendy’s kindness and spirit, I only have my skein of this very special yarn because of her generosity.  I placed a bid before leaving to take my parents to the airport that day, and returned after the auction had ended, only to discover that I had been outbid several times over, but that Wendy had sent a message saying that she was raising my bid herself and covering the difference.

Yes They’re Fake – The Real Ones Tried To Kill Me in Merino Sock

This long story leads to the KAL that begins today in the indigodragonfly Ravelry group.  We were tossing around ideas as to which pattern would be the perfect one for this yarn, and I threw out Anne Hanson‘s Aria Delicato.  All four of us decided that it was indeed perfect and that we would all knit it together.  And there are even some others joining us along the way, using other indigodragonfly yarns.

Feel free to join us, too!  I will post more as we go along, because there are more amazing stories to be told and I am sure the finished scarves are going to be absolutely beautiful.