Saturday, May 31, 2008

Uggy Muggy

Last Monday we went for our walk (I'm trying to still go twice a week) and it's getting to that stage of summer that I absolutely cry over- high humidity. Hot. Humid. Icky. Frizzy hair. Sweat. Stay Inside Kind of Weather. It's funny how I can't get used to this part of the south. I can take 100+ temps in CA (even in pantyhose by gosh!), but high humidity just makes me unable to breathe. It feels like being smothered. Does it get any easier?

This is the first time we took the wooded trail and they weren't kidding in that sense. It was kind of spooky with all the trees around, I pictured some wierdo hiding in there waiting to jump out and try to kidnap us! (I watch too much forensic tv...) All that tree coverage does nothing for the intense heat, you feel like you're in an oven. I think we'll stick to the regular walking trail out in the open from now on. And the BUGS..ew.... we won't talk about the bugs in there...I guess I wouldn't have been a very good Maid Marion after all... .

After going up and down (it's pretty steep in some areas) and around and around we came out on this part. The golf course is there and it looked so pretty. We went back though, it wasn't great for bike riding and my oldest had her's. It was a great workout though, I haven't sweated that much in a long time. Being outside here now is like walking into a sauna. Why aren't the pounds falling off?? I didn't make it out there the rest of the week, maybe tomorrow...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Pretty Silk Scarf

Here's a close up of my Diagonal Lace Scarf.

You can barely see the little "pink" areas well in this picture. They were the reason why I wanted an "open" pattern for this yarn and it worked out beautifully. I didn't like the splotchies that showed up in a tighter fabric. I spill enough stuff ON myself all by myself, I don't need help from my yarn. So this pattern was perfect.

I blocked it at the same time as my Dark Mark illusion scarf but have been lazy about blogging about it. It took forever just to get pictures - I was lazy about that too. These could have been a lot better but the way I've been feeling, I'm lucky to be doing anything at all.

I threw my Grandma's black velvet jacket on my youngest and proped her up with the scarf around her shoulders. She's so tiny! LOL!! But that's my vision for it, to wear it with another yummy fabric like velvet. The silk is just so soft and I want to play with and pet this scarf all the time. It does get fuzzy though so I have to be careful how I handle it.

This is the reason why I've shyed away from that "lace" shawl Dawn!! I can't tell you how many times I had to tink back because I messed up on a row here and there. It's embarrassing how distracted I can get with a repetitious pattern, (and only 30 sts in each row!) I can't imagine the tears I'd shed if I tried a whole shawl!!! I want to participate in the Knitters Olympic Trials so that may be the project that I work on for those 17 days....what the heck, who's going to throw me in Knitters Prison if I don't finish or change my mind!

The other part that I completely stink at is blocking. Oh Lord Give Me Patience. I do such a bad job no matter what I block. I even bought the wires and still had no patience to use them on my scarf. I can't imagine how much time it would take for a shawl??

Well, The Big Guy's been on vacation this week so I've been trying to work on his Father's Day socks at night after he goes to sleep. They're in a dark yarn so that's really a lot of fun for my poor old eyeballs! I should wait until next week so I won't lose my eyesight completely but I really want them DONE. I've only got the leg on one done so far...

Bedtime for this tired knitter...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What a difference 4 stitches make!

This was the Monkey that I was working on a bit ago and Dawn was absolutely right when she commented about the size of these.
They WERE too small. I couldn't fit my big toe in there (okay, that's an exaggeration but that's what I get for not bothering with gauge-ever). Monkey's need room, they don't stretch much, so make sure and double check your gauge and fit. Some of us (like little ol me) don't seem to learn...

Here's try number Three:

"Three" because I worked them for a bit with a 68 st cast on and the pooling was close to the Monkey but WORSE imo. Instead of going in a pretty spiral it was straight up and down! Total bad pool. Ick Bad. Could not live with it bad. No pictures of that, I ripped straight away.

Facts: Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in "Desert Flower" - Magic Loop Size 1's.

These are much more to my liking but still are a bit on the tight side. Good thing my Mom has small feet since they'll go to her now! I'm just off my mark lately.

My favorite Magic Loop is even bugging me! I keep getting ladders no matter what I try. I know Lorna's Laces is a pretty thin sock yarn though, I should stick to DPN's with it. I don't know if the cable on my Knit Picks Fixed Circular is too thick? I pull tight, I get ladders, I don't pull tight, I get ladders. Whatever I do: ladders (see above)! These didn't go away either, this was AFTER their bath!

The Fibro has been kicking my butt bad since late April. The exhaustion and pain have been at least an 8 or 9 on a scale of 10. I slept almost 12 hours (I would say last night but actually it was today since I'm still nocturnal). And any rest I get helps but I hate missing so much of my days. I started taking the Lyrica again and I think it's helping a tiny bit. I really need to find something else for the pain, and a new Rheumy DR to help me figure this out. If I could only get up in time....

Well, Dancing With The Stars is over and I was happy as pie that Kristi won! I was worried there for a bit. I don't usually vote because I'm always disappointed (am I a jinx??) but I voted online for her anyway! I gave up watching Survivor and American Idol awhile back because it was always so frustrating! grrrr Rotten people wouldn't get kicked off and I'd be pulling my hair out, cussing out the TV and driving The Big Guy nuts. It's better that I changed the channel. And that I watch things like "Dancing" that he wouldn't be in the room for if I paid him.

Like Anna, who's not alone in her Ninja Warrior obsession, I'm hooked on shows like Deadliest Catch and Everest: Beyond the Limit on the Discovery Channel. These people (men) are amazing in how far they push themselves. I wouldn't want to do either thing if my life depended on it so it's kind of thrilling to watch someone else live on the edge. I do enjoy some competitiveness now and again though in shows like Project Runway or Top Chef. I love those too. They don't need my votes, it's frustrating at times, but it's still fun to watch. Deadliest Catch marathon starts tomorrow...I hope I can get up to watch it! LOL!!

Hope everyone has had a great Memorial Day Weekend.

To all our troops, past & present -God Bless and Thank You.

Monday, May 12, 2008


My Dark Mark Illusion Scarf:

But, I'm not the happiest of campers. I used Cascase 220 Superwash since it's for my nephew (who'd eventually need to wash it). After I finished it I ran it thru a cold water, delicate cycle for a short time, then dryed it in a mesh bag for a few minutes. It seemed REALLLY Long when I took it out to switch it! Okay...nervous time...and thinking of ripping back and reknitting that middle section was swimming through my brain.

After a bit I laid it out to dry flat (glad I left off fringe as it was already to my knees). Later, I was on the phone with my Mom telling her how long it was (and panicking) so when I got off the phone I put it back in the dryer. Wa-la! It DID shrink down some thank goodness!

It's not up to my standards though, it still seems too stretched out, not enough stitch definition, and most wool things I knit = "Piley and fuzzy". And I'm thinking I should've used those size 6 needles after all. It's funny because I'm usually such a "tight" knitter that it's my norm to go UP a needle size but this pattern called for 7's which I went with. I HAD started on 6's but thought it may have been to narrow as I was working it up. I should've listened to my first instinct tho, it showed much better definition of the image than the end result. Notice how blurry his eye areas are? Other people's are much clearer on Ravelry.

It's a fun pattern and I finished in about a week (some consolation if I do decide to redo it). I don't usually like reading charts because keeping my place is always so hard!! My eyes wander all over and I get dizzy! But this one is pretty easy to read and it makes it hard to stop, I kept thinking "okay, just a few more rows.." and knit until my wrists hurt. I think Storm Moon Knits did an awesome job! Especially if a "chart-inept" person like me can work it up. Bravo!! for the pattern! Boo!! to the knitter who second guesses herself.

Oh well, Dancing With The Stars is on tonight. If Marissa stays I'm seriously going to quit watching anything anymore! LOL!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Mother's Day Graphics

Today I'm wishing my Mom many beautiful days ahead. I'm very grateful that's she's okay now and want her to know she's one of the best parts of my life.

Last year around this time was rough. My Mom was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer called Merkell Cell Carcinoma in Nov 06. It started out as a simple "pimple-like" dot under her right eye that was growing slowly - and after being diagnosed as a "fatty cyst" by her regular doctor (who went on maternity leave Thank God!) she found out what it REALLY was after a biopsy by a different doctor who realized this "could" be something else. The "C" word was introduced into our lives like a thunderbolt. You're never ready for it and I think I was living in a bubble thinking we'd always be okay. What made it more scary is that this is so rare, and so dangerous. The surgeon told my brother that she could possibly not make it thru the surgery. Very scary stuff indeed.

My big brother, who lives in the same city as her, was the brave one that took her to the 12 hour surgery in another city in Dec 06 to remove the cancer, and to all 25 rounds of radiation treatments in Jan and Feb 07. (I think it says a lot that my Mom was able to be released from such a long, scary surgery after only two days. She was blessed with awesome doctors all the way thru this ordeal. This was a springboard for Hope I believe. God is Good.) I wanted to be of some help as well so I flew home alone last April (I'm the "biggest chicken" about flying!) and stayed until August. I'm also "the Biggest chicken" and the MOST "non-nurse" type person out there -trust me - I am NOT the one you want around in an emergency -so to be honest Mom took care of me more than I did her. But I was able to be there as she was beginning her rounds of chemo AND going thru a major stomach surgery that wasn't related to the cancer.

We got thru it with lots of prayers from many loving people, and we had some awesome doctors move for her good in this ordeal. The chemo did scare me something awful. I only pictured what I saw in the movies and was surprised to see a room full of people eating, watching TV, and visiting while hooked up. I know it's not pleasant side effect wise, but Mom was awesome. She even let me boss her around when I made her ride in a wheelchair once in awhile because the chemo would tire her out. She wouldn't always admit it, but I could imagine it's effects even when she didn't show them all the time. I only crashed into the elevator doors a few times, and almost ran over a few people too, oops! We always had lots of laughs and she was on anti-nausea meds thankfully while I whisked her around. Of course, I knit while she was hooked up during the sessions. I can't remember all that I got done, but I think it was a few pairs of socks and some gauntlets. For a tough time, we made the most of it and actually had lots of laughs.

She's healing every day now and goes to see her oncologist regularly. So far NO MORE C stuff. With this type of cancer there's no "test" to show it's back. She has to be on guard of any changes in her skin and the dr checks her thoroughly. She's had other health issues over the years like fibro, (which puts my whining to shame since she had no choice but to work thru hers as a single parent) but she's still as fiesty and independent as ever. I never think of my Mom as getting older- and SHE still keeps me going more than I help her. She got ME thru this tough time. Hands Down. Her ATTITUDE was always one of hope and healing. That made ALL the difference I truly believe. She's no weakling like I think I would've been. She's one tough cookie who's endured more than I EVER could in this lifetime.

What makes this Mother's Day special to me is that we have had our ups and downs over the years, but we've made peace and talk about everything now. It's taken a lot of growing up, listening, loving, praying, AND forgiving. But I'm so grateful that I still have time to tell her how much I love her and appreciate all she does for me. Last year was a blur, but this year I can reflect on how important she is to me.

If I ever grow up, I want to be just like my Mom. Oh yea, and all those things she told me when I was little (and older) that I said "yeah, yeah, yeah (eyes rolling)" find with wisdom and time that your parents were usually right on the money. It only took me 40 years to realize that. Now that I have my own daughters, I work on reminding them of all we've endured thru the years, my Mom & I. I hope it carries over and we'll always have that closeness too.

Thanks Mom. For everything. We love you and Happy Mothers Day!!!

I was also blessed to get some luv this happy day. From The Big Guy: My favorite color of roses - not quite pink-not quite red. Just... "right".

And my absolute favorite - another Shabby Chic quilt. (I could never have enough linens). I have Rachel Ashwell shower curtains, sheets, duvets, and now (another) quilt. Luv, Luv, Luv them. I've been so good in the yarn diet dept, I may stick to it after all....

Happy Mothers Day to everyone.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Is it Friday yet?

I'm tired again . We had our dentist appointments yesterday and I was so relieved that I didn't need any fillings redone (I've been having some sensitivity) that we did a tiny bit of shopping at Target, Ross & Marshalls on the way home (after Olive Garden - gotta walk off that pasta). My pre-teen needed a purse and gosh, she's one pic-ky little girl. (I guess I can't talk though, it took me two years and flying to another state to find my last one. LOL! )
We finally found something for her but I'm just beat today. It's sad how little it takes to wipe me out anymore. Gotta mention that to my Doctor at the next visit. I think I better start drinking at least a little bit of caffiene soon. This constant fatigue is killing me.

When we were at the dentist waiting, we watched a story on a newschannel about a man whose wife had died after being in a bad accident and while she was in the trauma unit of the hospital being treated, someone stole her engagement/wedding band. I wasn't paying really close attention since other people are in there talking but it sounded like the hospital was stalling afterwards and didn't want to tell him they'd been stolen. Now he's gotten the story out to the media in the hopes of getting it back and probably lost valuable time because of their actions. It's a "customized" ring that she had designed herself, so anyone who spots it might recognize it and replacing it with "money" just isn't the point. I just thought that was such a bummer for him to have to deal with after losing his wife. Yes, it's just a material thing, but it meant a lot to him and he wanted his son to use it someday when he got married to honor his mother. It really ticked me off how the hospital handled it as well. They deserve all the bad publicity they get because who else but hospital staff would be allowed in a trauma unit with her?

Then I got home and read this from Clara on Knitters Review about someone stealing her shawl from the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. What a world this is coming to when people gotta steal from knitters! Shame shame. I hope guilt eats away at both of these crooks. And the others who tried to ruin it for the festival as well. I've never heard of things being so bad at an event like this. Where's a lightning bolt when you need it?

Okay, enough anger. I just got thru telling my oldest that she has to get things out and not hold stuff in or it will give her high blood pressure like her old fogey parents. I guess I took my own advice! LOL!

Here's some of my latest knitting. I told Dawn that I'm probably going to frog these Monkeys. I'm not sure why, other than I just can't dig the pattern with this yarn. I also was going to try to do the pattern down the foot, which I normally don't do, but what can I say, I got a bee in my bonnet.

I may just finish it plain tho, we'll see. You can't really see it in the pic but I've already started the decreases and part of the pattern for the foot so I'd have to finish that repeat before going plain. Decisions, decisions. I've now started the second sock in plain stockinette and with a slightly larger cast on to see how it pools as well. Whichever one I like better I'll go with.

I'm still working on an illusion scarf for my nephew (which i didn't get a picture of). It's really curling bad, I hope it blocks out decently. I'm probably going to wash it, I just can't wear or gift anything without cleaning it first. Keeping my fingers crossed that I don't ruin it. I'm hoping to be done with it by next week.

Okay, time for a nap.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Still Knitting & Ticking

Thanks for your well wishes last week friends. It was a very rough time for me. Every health issue I have decided to have a party and show up at the same time! I was aching like I haven't in like - Ever! It showed me that some of my days are better than I realize! As in all things, you don't know how good you have it until it gets worse! I'm on the flip side now, feeling a bit more of what's "normal" for me! It's still not fun, but it's WAY better than last week. I feel like the Bride of Frankenstien - "she's alive.... she's A L I V E!"

Here are the Broadripples that I made for my Mom for Mothers Day. (I was modeling - ignore the shaved but "unlotioned" legs- my daughters were my photographers and cranky ones at that-it's a Monday. And since I put blinds up in the bay window I don't get good light anymore for my pictures, even when they're all open). Enough excuses, here's the pic:
I may have mentioned before that on size 3's (which the pattern calls for), a 56 stitch cast on was seriously HUGE in my eyes so I used a size 2. It wasn't much fun because it's a much tighter knit with the Cascade Fixation. I think I've used size 4 or 5's with this yarn before. My right finger tip has felt bruised and tender from the KnitPicks circ I was using (sharp little pointy things they are!). I even switched to my bamboo DPN's but still, on size 2's, it's pushing it. Just another "ow" to add to my long list anyway. All in all I think I'm happy with them. I'm not super excited over the "feel" of them, but Mom wears her socks in the house mostly and they'll be good house socks. The colors remind me of candy canes or something like that. Here's a close up of the broadripple:

Still, an easy, nice pattern. I made some mistakes but you can't see them unless you're really looking good with magnifying glass! Once they wash up they get snugger as well. Maybe that's why they use the 56 st cast on? Not everyone has small feet and ankles like my Mom.

I finished my silk scarf but haven't blocked it yet. I ordered blocking wires from Joann's using their 40% off coupon, and once they came I finally got around to finishing the scarf. I just like having every knitting accessory ever made! Oohh, Makes me Happy Happy! Blocking this scarf still scares me but I'll take the plunge and get it over with soon I hope.

I've been working on some Monkey's that are taking me absolutely fricken for-ever. I've never taken so long to do ONE sock (I take that back - I think I do this a lot). I like the pattern, I guess it's partly how I was feeling last week - even though I started the sock a long time ago . So I put it aside, (again) and started a scarf for my nephew for his birthday in November. You can never start a gift too soon!

Speaking of Gifts, The Big Guy said I could get some yarn for Mother's Day!!!!! Guess what? I can't remember AT ALL what kinds I've been drooling over...I kept thinking I should've been making a written list rather than a mental list (me, mental list, very forgetful, yep that's a problem)....It's okay tho, I'm not in total panic mode. We'll be visiting his folks soon, the yarn shop that I love is on the way so I'll pick something out there. Whew. Close one.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ups & Downs

I finished these socks awhile ago hoping it would break my Mo-Jo spell but I don't think it did much in that department. I don't know what to call them, maybe "swamp" or "seaweed" socks? My girls don't even want them so that tells me to never take a colorway for granted. What looks pretty in a hank can really change when knit up. My picture taking ability lately is on the fritz as well, I just can't get good enough lighting and my editing stinks too.

The pattern I used is Tidal Wave from SWTC's site. It was a fun, easy knit but I did the foot section plain as usual. I'm just a picky gal who doesn't like the feel of a textured pattern on my foot when I wear shoes. The yarn felt a lot softer after running it thru the washer. The tencel I guess gave it sort of plastic-y feel when I was knitting them up so I was happy with that at least. These were made out of All Things Heather in Grapevine. I'll wear them around the house I guess.

This is one reason why I haven't been posting much lately.

I have a problem with my right wrist every so often. If I over do anything like scrubbing I end up in ex-cru-ciating pain for days. I often clean house without any problems, but I must've done something to make it flare up. I couldn't type or KNIT and I had to use my left hand for the TV remote. Total bummer. Lot's of Ben Gay and keeping my wrist brace on helps though.

I've also had a terrible week of migraines. Miserable. That's Me. I haven't had any this bad in a long time - at least not for this many days in a row. It's been rough. Even now my eyes feel watery and my head feels like it's too heavy to hold up for long. I've just been sleeping and resting as much as I can. Migraines almost force you to take that downtime whether you want to or not. How come it's easy to get ideas of things to knit when you can't really do it?

PS. To add to my "crush" list when I was (much) younger: Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Wow was he hot.

PSS. Jeanne!! Sorry I missed your call! I'll get back to you as soon as my head stops throbbing....