It’s In Our Genes

Hello friends! It’s been a while. I’ve had a super busy but also really awesome month, and sewing has definitely fallen by the wayside (knitting not so much, which is awesome! At least if I have no time to sew, I can still feel like I’m making progress somewhere). Last time I posted it was my first day of my first hospital placement, which is all wrapped up now. I can say unequivocally that it was a fantastic five weeks. I’m stoked with the placement and much more interested in geriatrics than I was a month ago! In terms of learning-exciting-things, I am now mildly proficient at taking blood for blood tests, I can put in an IV line if I have to (although probably successful and unsuccessful are tied at the moment – it’s not my top skill), and I can have a conversation with a patient without stuttering too much (that’s an achievement, I promise). I’m also really enjoying the learning style – there’s an expectation that we go research things that we see ourselves, which means essentially we have free rein over what we’re studying on any particular day (there is some formal class stuff, but it’s the minority) and that is exactly how I learn best. I found the last two years of medical school a bit of a drag at times, so it’s something of a relief to get into the hospital and realise that this is still interesting to me. Plus, the team of doctors I was placed with were all very friendly, welcoming, and good at teaching, which helped a lot when I was lost and didn’t know what was happening.

So, back to the making of things! Like I said, I’ve had very little to sew (although I have some January makes waiting for photos – but in the little free time I’ve had, sewing has been prioritised) but I have had an hour in the car every day to and from placement. Which means: Hoorah for the knitting.

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These socks started out with the yarn – a merino/possum blend, with nylon for strength, which claims to be recycled yarn. Now on the one hand, I am fully in support of new possum-fur yarns – possums are a serious pest in NZ, so having a possum fur trade is ecologically pretty great – but on the other, recycled yarn is also a good idea, and also it was $10/ball at the yarn store sale. My sister and mother also picked up some of this and started their socks before me, and on looking at the beautiful bloom of the possum I decided it would look really nice with some cabling up the side of the foot. Failing to find a pattern I liked (apart from one in German), I tried to work out if I could design one, and remembered seeing a cabled DNA pattern somewhere. Perfect! I thought. What more could a medical student want?

As it turned out, the DNA pattern was too wide for my tastes. After a lot of playing around trying to modify the pattern (these socks took me 6 weeks to make, but 2 1/2 weeks was just swatching and trying things several ways), I settled on a pattern only 2 stitches narrower – still too wide for what I’d imagined, but the best I could do and have it actually look like DNA. I’m fairly happy with the result, and it’s the most complicated pattern I’ve ever made myself, so I’m very stoked with that.

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I started these toe-up, because I’m enjoying the control over leg length I have that way, but got to the heel and realised I know no toe-up heels that I actually like. After much research I used this one from Knit Better Socks (which is a pretty useful resource, by the way), but ripped it back and altered it because I didn’t like it, and ended up with a slightly-better-but-still-not-great heel. As seen here.

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Can you see the bulbousness around the corner? I can, and it bugs me often. Next time I make socks, I’m planning to do a top-down French heel and write down exactly what I do so I can replicate it backwards – I’m not over toe-up socks, but I am firmly in favour of French heels (here’s a picture of one, if you’re interested). They’re by far the best fit of what I’ve tried.

On the other hand, this is an overall satisfying sock. I made up the pattern, following what the yarn wanted to do, and I ended up with something warm and attractive and wearable. I am feeling accomplished as a knitter right now.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

And, since I have a new house which is also beautiful, here are just a couple of photos for a taste of it.

That’s all, see you next time!

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