Friday, October 7, 2011

Playing Catch Up

Oy! Life has been insane! After my shoulder break (June), possible unnecessary gallbladder surgery (July), blood clot from said surgery requiring a 5 day hospital stay (Aug), I'm still working on healing from EVERYTHING. Anyone who's had their gallbladder out knows it takes time to, well, ..."adjust'. Lets just say I'm still "adjusting" so I stick close to home.  My shoulder still hurts but my range of motion has improved over time although I've got to get better about doing my stretches everyday.  I'll probably be on blood thinners for about 6 mos for the clot (Portal Vein Thrombosis - Not good!), I have another CT scan mid-November to see if it's dissolved at all (please, please, please...). All of this in addition to the fibro pain and inflammation I suffer from has made life just... dandy. But I'm still here (weaker and shakier but surviving).

And I'm still knitting! (slow as it may be)
Pattern: Just my usual basic 64 stitch sock.
Yarn: Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett in Exotic Color Pool Colorway
Hmmm, I wasn't crazy about this yarn. It felt like knitting with Paton's Kroy Sock: sort of rough when knitting up & slighty itchy. Not a favorite but I do love the colors. I'm sending these to my Mom for Christmas and she wears her socks around the house so hopefully they'll feel okay to her. She's not a big wussy pants like I am about the itch factor.

To compensate I'm sending her these too:
Pattern: My same ol' basic pattern
Yarn: Knitting Fever Indulgence in Colorway: 115 (Pinks, greens, white)
Now these are SOFT! I wasn't thrilled that the gorgeous colors in the ball sort of got "muddied" up in the knit fabric but they feel so good it's okay, the pink still comes through some. Mom will certainly enjoy these too! (my photo taking skills are so below par - I blame it on not feeling good and being too lazy to edit right now).

I also finished a simple pair of ribbed fingerless mitts for my daughter for the high school football games but I haven't seen them since they came off the needles in time for last game night - so no pics yet. I have another pair in the works for my other daughter but it's been slow going working with Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn. People are right in saying it's tough on their hands, it does feel like knitting with cotton - no give = pain in your fingers and hands. Not fun.

I also gave up being chicken about getting back to my spinning. When I broke my shoulder I was about 1/3 into spinning some gorgeous hand-dyed Polwarth I picked up at the last fiber festival I attended. I had such an amazing consistency streak going I guess I was afraid to mess it all up after being away from it for so long. I finally got up the nerve, oiled my wheel a bit, and was off to the races again:
I have to find the tag to check the info but I'm pretty sure it's Rivers Edge - Out of Oz (Reflection colorway). It's 4 oz of Polwarth. I'll probably be working this as a 2 ply and it should be a fingering/light sport when it's done. I can't wait, plying makes it all magical for me!

I've got so much blog reading to catch up on. Someday I pray things will be back to normal in my world.
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Healing Takes Time

My broken right shoulder is S.L.O.W.L.Y healing - with daily exercises, physical therapy, and TONS of patience. I still have limitations on my movements but it's getting better. When they first told me it would be two months before I would be out of a sling, I seriously thought they were joking, but...they weren't.  When they told me it would be at least 12 weeks before I started strength training - well, they weren't kidding about that either.  I'm simply amazed at how long these kinds of injuries take to heal! Everywhere I go I also hear "broken arm/shoulder" stories that makes me wince all over again. I truly know it could've been a lot worse. I say a prayer for those who are injured, it's no picnic.

I had my gallbladder surgery on July 27th, and for being an "easy" surgery, it hurt like heck. I've never had a worse medical experience. Healing from that has been slow going as well, and the pain in my upper right abdominal area has happened since it's been taken out, which was nothing short of depressing after the hell that was that operation. My diet needs to transform, I get it finally (at least I'm trying to!).  I'm seriously going to miss chili cheese dogs, hamburgers, spicy foods and pizza. Not that I ate those regularly, but darn, once in awhile some things are a treat. No more. No more... sob...

We also lost my dear Father In Law to lung cancer on July 15th.  We knew he was very ill, the end was very hard on him and everybody, nobody wanted to let go.  That's because he was such a wonderful and loving person, someone who truly, undeniably, made this world a better place with his presence. We miss him terribly and always will. I panicked that I wouldn't be able to handle the funeral day feeling as weak and pain ridden as I did, but I went and was so glad I made it. He was "all about family", and I realized having loved ones together makes the tough times easier to bear, especially since he LOVED having everyone together. I know he was totally smiling down on all of us.

With the shoulder injury, my usual "soul soothing salve" (Knitting) was off limits until very recently. I think I was going through more than I realized (depression) because I was buying yarn like nobody's business and all the time wondering if I would ever knit again! I actually stopped and bought yarn the weekend we went for the funeral at the LYS in their town. The color of this Noro grabbed me and made my heart pitter patter and want to cast on ASAP. The love couldn't be denied, the feeling of it moving through my fingers was mesmerizing. I can't even say how wonderful it felt to finally have my needles working their magic on my soul. I didn't realize until then how much I had truly missed it.  How much I NEEDED it to soothe my fears, worries, and just life stuff.

So here are my Comeback Mitts:

Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Noro Shirakaba
Mods: Went down a needle size from the pattern to size them down a bit. Also only cast on 40. Worked an extra cable or so on the top for added length.  Love. Love. Love.

Since then I've been knitting a bit every single day and feeling a bit better with each stitch. (and the worry over all the recently acquired yarn isn't as bad...) My knitting friends, and my wonderful family have helped me beyond words get through everything recently too. I'm so very grateful for them.

"Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises" ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Forced Time Out

I'm a bad blogger anyway but things have had to slow WAYYYY down due to a slight fall down the stairs one night (no light, a cats behind flashing in front of me for a nano-second, hands full so not holding onto rail = DISASTER). I dislocated my right shoulder and also gave myself two really nasty fractures. I'd love to write out the story one day, it still feels like it wasn't even real (an ER doc who looked incredibly worried every time she looked at me was funny after awhile) but it's really only entertaining to myself I think. (And maybe my husband who was with me to see it all transpire.)

I'm into week 5 of probably 12+ of healing and physical therapy, so I won't be getting any blog writing awards - or knitting - or spinning ones either. I somehow managed to finish up a sock while on a regular dose of pain killers but have since stalled out, both due to pain, and just lack of interest right now.  Of course, that hasn't stopped me from BUYING yarn unfortunately.

I'm in a sling with a support pillow most of the day, I even have to sleep in it so that has been interesting. I learned my master bedroom recliner is "perfect" to sit and spin in, but to "sleep" in, not so much. Somehow I've adapted in bed and have finally been getting some decent sleep without killing myself with pain. Anyway, this is one injury anybody should avoid at all costs. It just sucks.

I finally see a surgeon tomorrow for my gallbladder problems too. (At least I think it's my GB). The Gastro doc is pretty much done with me and what she can do but I'm still in pain so this is the next step. I'm just praying he'll listen and at least try to see if anything is up when he checks things out. I figure I might as well get all the healing over with at one time, after this arm is healed I want to just feel GOOD for a change!! It's been a sucky, hell of a year for me. :(

Here's to staying healthy and being good to yourself. And turn the light on when you go downstairs at night no matter how many other times you were successful in the past!!

ETA: Will get pictures of socks up that were finished in June when I can feasibly take a picture again...perhaps 7 more weeks??? wahhhhhhh

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy (Late) Mother's Day!

As usual I'm a day (or more) late and a dollar short. I had a nice Mother's Day and hope all my blog buddies did too. It's always nice to be spoiled. I'm very blessed, and I know it and treasure it.

I made these for my Mom:
(Except I can't take a good picture lately for the life of me, I think it's a reflection of how crappy I feel in general.) I really enjoy embroidery though. It seems like there are so MANY tiny stitches, and then before I know it I'm done! It's very relaxing and I've already aquired more sets to get stitching on.  Okay, French Knots are not my thing, but I plan to keep practicing.

This was my Mother's Day present:

A Woolee Winder for my Ashford Joy. LOVE LOVE LOVE.  I'm a spinning fool now. (Got my foot AND my purse in that shot! Photography classes??).

We've had too much anxiety around here lately. My dog Jenna was really sick this last Thursday, we took her to the vet and she thought she may have had a tick-born illness. She had to stay there with an IV of fluids and antibiotics until yesterday. I don't ever want to go through that again. It was heartbreaking and we could've lost her but she's on the mend slowly now and is back to wiggling her little behind.

My FIL has had his second chemo treatment and seems to be doing okay so far this time. We're always trying to keep positive thoughts for him. My Mom finally got in to get her back checked and got shots to help in the mean time while they get her scheduled for the x-rays and MRI's. I think it's her sciatic possibly. I just want her out of so much pain. :(

My health still sucks. Same story, different day. The Plaquinel worked for about 2 weeks - and I was PAIN FREE - for the first time in AGES. But, it wasn't meant to last unfortunately. I don't know why but I'm not happy about it. I'm back on Lyrica too but the pain seems to still peak more than I can manage. I'm due to see a neurologist next I believe, and get PT for my own sciatic problem.  I'm so tired of pain.

I haven't been knitting much lately but my fingers are itching. I have tons of sock yarn but don't want to use it. But I think socks are just right for my mood so I have to break down and wind a ball soon.

Happy Knitting and Good health to all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spin Fairies

They must exist! Here are the "Never Ending Bobbins"! They just go on and on and on and on....

I swear I've been plying these singles for about a MILLION years now. I don't think it's ever taken me this long to get a couple of bobbins done. (In truth I haven't been spinning that long,...and I am sort of a Drama Queen, but geez!) I'll just keep treadling and hoping.... I want to have them done by the time my Woolee Winder gets here (hopefully SOON!).

As I look at the bobbin it seems like I haven't done much. Maybe it's not Spinning Fairies but the whole universe slowing down. I swear I've been at it FOREVER!!!  (Major whine with some cheese.) 

Today has been totally nervewracking. Spring here will never make me comfortable. I'll still take an earthquake in CA any day. (BIG BIG BIG chicken here....) 

Stay safe and Happy Knitting (or PLYING). 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust

When I was going through the stash to put pictures on Ravelry I found my bag with UFO's in it. There's some sweater pieces that are going to "Frog Land", and a few other small projects (a scarf and a double knit potholder) that I plan to get done soon. I pretty much got the urge to empty out that bag and get these things out of the way.

This was in there too:
Pattern: Patchwork Carriage Blanket from "The Book Of Yarn" by Clara Parkes
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in colorways 837, 897, 910.

I started this probably back in 2005. I think a vintage tablecloth inspired these colors but it didn't translate into what I imagined. It's one of those "what the heck was I thinking?" projects. I'm just not into americana stuff (which is what this reminds me of - although it's nice, it's just not what I collect).

Cascade 220 Superwash BLEEDS TERRIBLY (a Shout Color Catcher couldn't even contain all that excess pink!). That's totally why I stopped working on this way back then, I think I had planned to test it before going on - but ignoring it was easier. So I just basically put it "out of sight, out of mind".

Finishing this was one of the projects that took up time and space so I could keep avoiding the amended tax form I needed to get done. (Boy, that sure lit a fire under me).  I'm just glad it's done and out of my bag.  It may go to my Aunt (who loves americana stuff) or I may put it in my future Grandchildren Box.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I'm the Queen of it.

Lately (okay, months) I've needed to file an amended tax return but I've gotten SO much more done instead! (Funny how that works.)

I took pictures (around 400) of my stash and loaded them on Ravelry.  Every. Last. Bit. (It's only been since Oct 2007) I took some things out for my Knitting Group swap that's coming up. I was surprised at some of the novelty stuff I just wasn't willing to part with yet. Now that I'm experimenting with embroidery, I see that stuff with a new perspective I guess.

While pulling out all that stash I found a few UFO's in the closet that have also been set aside for years. (Why on earth did I pick those colors? - I knit it, why didn't I felt it?) Some are getting frogged and a couple are getting finished (one day..soon).

I've played on my spinning wheel. Right now I'm in the middle of plying, which I usually love, it goes pretty quickly. But the thinner you spin, the longer it takes. I think my next yarn will be in the dk/worsted category. It makes me sleepy. And the cats keep trying to bite my singles.

I've been reading like the library will be closing permanently. Books are wonderful escapes.
(That one really doesn't count as something new since the library guy would send a search party out for my hubby if he didn't make my usual pickup).

Sooooo, The Big Guy and I are sitting there talking and I'm complaining to him about doing the taxes (instructions suck, blah, blah, blah) - I open it up. I read for a second. And I got it done in less than 5 minutes. At least I made myself look pretty smarty-pants in front of him. Yes, I felt silly for not just getting it over with since I've been staring at and avoiding the folder for so long, but it's like going to the dentist, who really WANTS to go to the dentist? Who really WANTS to read IRS forms?  But it just shows that when you have support, you can do anything. And I'm the one always telling my girls "things are never as bad as you think they'll be". And "If there's something you hate to do, just get it out of the way". Huh.

ANYWAY, I forgot to post about the Smokey Mountains Fiber Festival I went to in March.

Here's a sampling:
Rows and rows and rows of goodies. I honestly could never handle a bigger festival like SAFF, I seriously go into hyperventilating mode and almost get the vapors. I almost spent my whole budget at the first three booths! I mostly bought fiber to spin and I only came home with one skein of sock yarn (that I was going to buy eventually anyway).

 The sheep were very sweet!
This man is amazing, I wish I could remember his name. I don't know how his back can take this but he's done it long enough to be a real expert at it, I wanted to go hug him, he was just so sweet. We missed the sheep shearing last year so this year we traded off events (last year we saw the dog round up). 
 All in one piece. Amazing.
Bags for sale. I almost bought one for my friend Helen but I know she has some stockpiled already. I'm not one who has the strength to clean, card, or prep my own fleece. I totally know my limitations. My next big expenditure (dream) may be an electric spinner so that's what my pennies are being saved for. Although if I ever see a drum carder or good combs really cheap.....(like that will happen!)
There were a lot of things showcased: weaving, quilting, etc. This lady does bobbin lace, she took her time and explained it to me and was great at it. With all those bobbins, you actually only use 4 at a time. You follow a chart just like we do in knitting or weaving, and basically this is just "weaving". How she can know what place she's in is amazing with those tiny loops, but you "read" it just like knitting or crochet. (She's making another bookmark like the blue one there.)
The Big Guy was awesome, he was the cash register man, and bag carrier, AND photographer. Like I said, I was having the vapors with all that fiber-love goodness and was bouncing around like a crazy woman from booth to booth. It's like it was my oxygen.

Good thing this is only once a year, it's also only about 45 minutes away. I contemplated going to the Lexington KY one in May, but seriously, I can't spin that fast and I have enough fiber to last quite awhile. I have to keep some perspective on space. There's always next year....

Happy Knitting & Spinning!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Post - In The Nick Of Time...

Creative titles for my Blog don't really seem necessary since I only manage to post once a month anyway! (Which actually is a good thing with my sleepy brain). Wow, I'm sitting here totally bewildered! Where did the month go?? I figured I was good for at least TWO this month! I'm such a slacker!

Well, on to the knits:

I realized that I never posted my finished colorwork mittens! These were really fun to make despite my mistakes along the way. There's one glaring right at me in the pic, but they're still warm. Sometimes you just have to let things go. My friend Mona designed these, she's got some great patterns in her head!

Pattern: Ambassadeur d`amour-Ambassador of Love
Yarns: Cascade 220 in pink fuchsia and black.


Pattern: Tie Band Chevron Beret
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Cranberry
This was a last minute test knit on Ravelry (as I wasn't aware I was an "official tester" until things were already underway) so I had to marathon knit to get this done. Overall I enjoyed knitting it but the yarn wasn't the best. I wouldn't buy this again, it was badly spun/plied, really rough in some spots, very raggedy looking at times. Maybe I got a bad skein, but even Red Heart has never been this bad for me, and that's really saying something in my book. The color was the only saving grace for me.

Pattern: My basic 64 st stockinette sock
Yarn: Paton's Stretch in Cherry Sours
There's a "weird" feel to this yarn when knitting it up, sort of "rope like" sticky, but they end up softer somehow. My daughter loves them.


Pattern: Basic Socks (again)
Yarn: Premier Serenity Sock Weight in Spring Fling
My usual formula didn't work so well on these, they came out on the small side. The yarn felt thinner but I'm next exactly an exemplary "swatch" knitter so they are what they are. My youngest can still wear them, barely.. but they'll last a bit. I guess the sock bug has bit me again because another pair is in the works.

Next, since it's my Auntie's Birthday today, I'm posting what I made for her:
My FIRST embroidery project ever: Pillowcases.  I enjoyed each and every moment of it so I've already started on some more for myself. These fit her perfectly, she's always had a thing for "little blue birds". I hope she'll  enjoy these. Happy Happy Birthday Auntie! (I didn't iron them before I sent them but they still look cute!) I guess I'll save the remaining knits for next month since it's almost here!

I suppose the Lyrica has been making me sleepier than I realized because I swear the month just began! I've also just started taking Plaquenil for my auto-immune problem. My numbers are increasing in that department and my pain has been SKY HIGH, so, as chicken as I am, I'm also pretty darn desperate for some kind of relief. Here's to hope for less pain and having a "life" again.

I'm looking forward to Aprils post, I went to a fiber festival last weekend and had a blast. :O)  I paid dearly in the pain department, but it was still so much fun!

Happy Knitting!

Friday, February 11, 2011

February's Post

I guess one blog post a month is better than nothing!  Slow motion is my speed anymore! I feel like I'm ALWAYS knitting but where are the projects? hmmmm

My Second Noro Scarf:
I have a fussy Model to contend with. You know how teenage diva's can be. My Models Attitude: "Hurry the Heck UP MOM!!" My fault, she had just got home from school and I wouldn't let her go until I got a decent shot.

She always eventually realizes it will go a lot faster if she just cooperates. Smart Cookie.

Noro Striped Scarf
Colorways: 8, 87 and 282 of Noro Silk Garden.
I spliced my way almost throughout the whole scarf so it's really my own manipulation of the colors mentioned. I cut out mainly the oranges and browns that were in there and some dark green.  It's really so much more colorful in person, it's so hard to capture the real beauty on my camera (I suck at photography).

I love this one so much more than the one made out of Kureyon. It's so much softer and just gets better with each washing. It doesn't itch my neck at all with that mix of mohair in there which is a relief. I love wearing it, it just makes me happy. I'm just glad I got it done while the temps are still cool enough for it's use.

Some Spinning:

4 oz of Corriedale in the Calypso colorway from Black Trillium Fiber Studio's.

I wasn't thrilled with this braid, it felt extra "rough" from the get go. I know it's just one of those things, fiber can slightly "felt", it can sit too long, become too compacted, or be bad product from the processing, but I've practiced on other corriedale that wasn't this rough. I finished it up because I was dying to practice plying more, I did have fun doing that. I got about 288 yards out of this.

I've got socks on the needles currently, one pair for my daughter and one for my cousin. Now to decide what else to put on the wheel...

On the health front I'm back on a low dose of Lyrica (25mg) for my fibro and sleep problems. Three days down and I think I am sleeping a tiny bit better. With the weather getting nicer (slowly but surely) I'm going to start walking again to hopefully combat the weakness I feel in my extremities. I feel like a 200 year old in a 40 something body. Ugh.

Happy Knitting & Spinning! :O)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The New Year

Wow. I'm SO behind! January is almost over and here I am with next to nothing "knitting related" to post. I've worked on a few KAL things but the first was a BUST (rarely do I just THROW something AWAY - but this HAD to go - wait! I may have a pic of it before it went bye-bye! ).

Here it is:

Pattern: Duet 
Yarn: Simply Soft in Cranberrry
This was an UGH! if there ever was one. My Bad. I didn't check gauge, but I honestly didn't like it as a cowl OR hat anyway.  Even if it had been bigger to fit, I'm sure I'd have never used it. Caron SS just fuzzes so much too, way more than I remember in the past when I used it for projects. Something shouldn't look 100 years old after you just finished it!

Another unfinished KAL:

I've never done colorwork like this before and it's been quite a learning experience. It really humbled this old knitter. If there was a way to mess it up, I found it! Thank goodness the designer is a friend and was patient with my crazy questions! I think the pattern will be up for sale on Ravelry soon.  I'm now done with the first mitten and have started my second. I'll get a finished pic after they're blocked.

**Notes: I went down a needle size for the ribbing on the second glove, this one was way too loose. I also switched to Magic Loop, it's just way easier as I carry both yarns in the right hand, so yarn readjustments weren't constantly going on. Overall I may try this type of knitting again one day. Maybe on a hat.

The last project I have going is still in the finishing stages. I have to have something to blog about in February! :P
Life has worked it's way into my knitting time somewhat (I know, what's new!), and the COLD has worked it's way into my spinning time! Brrr! (When that lottery comes through I see an electric spinner in my future!) My thoughts and life have been so jumbled with all we've had going on, I just didn't want to post about the sadness and worry because I didn't want to bum out or chase away the few readers I have!

I promise to be back again posting happily one day if things ever seem to settle down.

Update on my FIL: After what felt like being in the hospital forever, they've finally released him to go home yesterday. He's getting therapy and is watched by a nurse everyday it sounds like. Even being home now sounds like a busy time for him! We're continuing to pray that he can live the rest of his life as he chooses and as pain free as possible. That's all we really want for him.

Update on my Mom: She's hanging in there. They're still trying to get her medications adjusted for the maximum benefit so that's an ongoing process I wish would hurry up. Even on her worst days she manages to always help bring ME back up. Mommy's are wonderful.


And a BIG HUGE Thank You to my knitting buddy Dawn for the nice Christmas package she sent me!
We're old blogging buddies who like surprises. Thank you so much for thinking of me Dawn. Honestly, this was the worst holiday season we've ever had, but there are ALWAYS bright spots that remind us
of God's love and grace.
Thanks so much for your friendship. (I'm really enjoying my soap and lotion! ;O)

Thank you Again. ((((Hugs))))

Here's to a better year down the road! myspace graphic comments