the knitting ref

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year
There are a little more than 2 more hours to this year, but who knows if I'll still be conscious when midnight rolls around. It used to be so easy to stay up (until 2, 3 4 a.m.). Now it takes almost super human effort together with an afternoon nap.

I've made it to 2006. I wondered if I would. I take perverse pleasure that I did make it this far. It's become almost o.k. to live in limbo. At least it means I'm living.

What am I looking forward to in 2006? Well, I want to make it to 2007, for starters. I want to go to New Zealand (in the planning stages for November). I want to learn to spin yarn. I want to see my family continue to do well in life. I want to become a great aunt (baby due in July). I want to continue to relish the simple things in life--sunrises and sunsets, the feel of a soft breeze on my skin, the feel of yarn slipping through my fingers as I knit up the "perfect" pattern. Finding the perfect knitting pattern. Living.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sore. Throat.
Work has been ugly, ugly, ugly. I think the office cold is catching up with me, so I decided to wuss out, come home, and snuggle up on the couch. I really wanted to get through the holiday season without getting sick.

I would dearly love to be able to post a picture or 2 of the scarf I'm working on. I'm loving it. It really is a great "lace" project, even though I'm knitting it with worsted weight alpaca. The camera cord, though, is still AWOL. I'm about ready to go buy another one and hide it so that I'll know where it is when I'm ready to use it.

Folks around here seem to think that if it's sitting out in the open it's fair game. Can't seem to get them to understand otherwise.

Man, this post sounds whiny. I think I'll just stop now until I feel better.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Best Laid Plans
So I had this great post all planned out in my head, starting with a picture of the tree in our front yard with all these great fall-color leaves, and how we spent Christmas Day opening presents in our shorts because of the 80+ degree weather, and how this is why Californians are so weird. It was going to be followed by another picture of the scarf I am working on and a dialogue about how much I'm enjoying it.

What happened? The freaking camera cord has gone AWOL, that's what.

So, with your best imaginations, picture 3 lovely sugar maples (at least that's what I've always been told their called) standing tall with lots of green, yellow, red, and rust leaves under a bright blue sky. There are lots of these leaves on the ground, crunching satisfyingly when walked upon. One would think it's mid-September to look at these lovelies.

But the temperature is a balmy 80 degrees. One would think, from the temperature, that it's mid-April. The family is running around in short and short sleeved shirts.

But the calendar says its Christmas Day. For Pete's Sake!

No wonder Californians are a little "off." We don't know which cues to follow. I am a Californian born and bred. I have never seen a "White Christmas." In fact, most of my Christmases have been of the same as this year's. But just because I was borned here (as my kids used to say), doesn't mean I like it. Give me cold temperatures and grey skies.

That said, this has been an absolutely wonderful Christmas holiday. Christmas Eve was spent cleaning, wrapping gifts and finishing 1 last scarf for my nephew's wife who I thought was coming for Christmas day festivities. Turns out the nephew, his wife and her sister decided to stay in Arizona and not come to So. Cal. after all. So 2 gifts finished in the 11th hour for naught. But I'm not bitter, not me.

Except for that one downside, the rest of the weekend was wonderful. Everyone was pleased with their gifts, I was pleased with mine. The food--of which there was way too much--was all scrumptuous, and everyone had a good time.

After things had quieted down in the afternoon, I felt the itch to start something new, 'cause there was no way I'd pick up something I already had on my needles. I paged through several magazines, and books, until I came to the Fern Lace Wrap from the Little Box of Scarves. And I'm hooked. 4 repeats in Misty Alapaca worsted (color #7300), and I'm loving it.

Today was spent cooking a turkey the Hubster got from his job and I don't know what else. I know I was up doing things--cleaning, putting away, etc.--but the place doesn't look like much got accomplished.

That's o.k. Given the way the weekend went, I'm almost ready to go back to work tomorrow. Almost.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth (but I am seriously thinking of becoming a hermit). Family (DD moving back home), work (crazy, angry-making, distracting), holidays (gift knitting, purchasing, decorating, baking, the list goes on and on) have made blogging so that it's not even on a burner, much less the back one.

I'm very close though. I finished the last of the shopping this a.m. The knitting is basically done, except for 2 scarves for last-minute guests. The baking and decorating is looking good. Hopefully, soon, I'll be back to a normal schedule--or at least as normal as my life ever gets.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It Has to Be Here Somewhere
I thought I was so slick. Last year in January, I got the lovely Herrschner's catalog with all their really great after Xmas sales stuff. In it were these really neat angel pins. I liked them, the price was right, it was a simple project, so I ordered them. I've always like order stuff from Herrschner's--never had a problem, and didn't again this time. When they arrived, I pulled them out of the box (envelope?) and almost immediately started gluing them up. This really was a fast project, and within 24 hours I had 12 cute little angel pins ready to be given to my coworkers this Xmas.

So where are they? That is a really good question. I have torn the house apart trying to find these little suckers to no avail. I been looking for a solid week. I'm even making the Hubster twitchy. We'll be quietly sitting, watching t.v. (while I'm knitting of course) and I'll think of a possible place and all of the sudden jump up to look.

What makes me really crazy is that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I go ahead and give all up for lost and get something else those little suckers will show up. Guess I've better go ahead, bite the bullet and get it over with.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

I Guess I Have No Fashion Sense
When I started the votives, I was mostly making them because they looked like a quick-to-finish project that was totally ugly. Since I've finished, though, everyone is just going ga-ga. I even got 3 comments on WWLHG about them! DD (a teenager who never likes anything her mother does) likes them. Both of my parents gave favorable comments on them, and the Hubster is making noises about making a few for some of his co-workers.

In truth, with the candle lit, they do look pretty good. I make the first ones with copper wire; the next ones will be with silver wire, but the same kind of beads. It'll be interesting to see how they turn out.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

It's Amazing How Things Work Out
Last night I finished the Hubster's and DD BF's caps (pictures of those on the WWLHG blog titled 3 More Babee), and was looking for the yarn to start my nieces' purses. Looking without success, I might add.

In my hunt, I came across some beads and remembered a pattern I'd seen in Handknit Holidays involving knitting with wire. So I pulled out some 28 gauge copper beading wire I had (amazing I could find that, huh?) and decided to give it a try. Love it, love it, love it. The pattern calls for 24 gauge, but I like how delicate it looks. DD has given her seal of approval too. (Amazing!)

If things continue to go as well as they have (I know, I just cursed myself), I'm going to make some more of these for gifts for some folks at the office instead of going out and buying them something. Amazing what I'll do to keep from going to the mall, eh? (I hate shopping!)

Another amazing event is that I can see the bottom of my hamper for the first time since I don't know when. I got a good start on the laundry last weekend, but still didn't get it all done. So today I started the machine going first thing and got ALL my laundry and the sheets and towels all done. AND put away! So, until I take off the clothes I'm wearing, I can see the bottom of my hamper.

I had to laugh when I read Crazy Aunt Purl had to say about going out and buying panties instead of doing laundry. I'm exactly the same way about socks! I can never find the socks I want, or they're dirty, so it's off to the store I go. Well, today, I sorted through all the clean socks and paired them up. I had probably a dozen unmatched white socks and less than 4 other-colored unmatched socks that I just trashed. I have over 30 pairs of socks! Now that's embarassing. I guess I won't have to go sock shopping for a while eh?


Monday, December 05, 2005

I'm feeling good
I'm feeling good about a number of things. First of all, I finished the scarf in the picture. Now an FO in and of itself is not that big a deal, but this one is going to someone who is serving in the Armed Forces overseas. That feels good.

Second, the girl child is moving back home. I just got used to not having her here, so there will be another adjustment, but I'm glad she's coming back.

Third, because GC is coming back, I was forced to so some serious purging/consolidating/cleaning. The laundry is completely DONE for the first time in months. I can walk completely around the bed without tripping over boxes, bags, etc., and I've got all my stuff out of the GC's room in preparation of her moving back next weekend (we won't talk about all the Hubster's stuff that's still in there).

Fourth, I'm just feeling gooooooood. It's been almost 2 months since my last chemo, and I didn't realize how tired I was. I had gotten used to feeling tired. In all the weekend doings, I was able to really do almost everything I wanted to without getting exhausted. I stayed until midnight both Friday and Saturday--I can't remember the last time I did that. I don't know what's going on with the innards, but I'm really feeling quite remarkable.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I'm a baaaddd girl
I had a CT scan today. Now, I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, and, for the most part, it isn't. (For anyone who doesn't want to read about medical stuff, just skip down to the ++++.) My problem isn't going through the "doughnut," or having to drink that nasty stuff to "clean out the system." My issue is with the IV.

I've never had large, clearly defined veins, and although I used to donate blood regularly, sometimes it took some digging to fine an appropriately working gusher. After so many rounds of chemo, the veins in my arms are trashed--not so much as to cause other problems, but having lab work done is a crap shoot. But those phlebotomists to it 100's of times a day; most of them are pretty good. But when you have to have an IV put in for medical tests, most of these techs are not all they could be. I'm just saying.

This is the first time I've had a scan at City of Hope. And I will say it was lucky that an actual nurse was the one that put in the needle. But still, she used a vein that's right on my wrist. VERY painful, even when it's placed on the first try. And she did get it on the first try.

Still and all, it's not something I look foward to. So, I try to treat myself with something after to make up for the experience.

So before I went to Duarte, I checked online to see if there were any yarn stores in the area. And, lo and behold, there's a yarn store just 3.3 miles (according to Mapquest) from COH! So afterward, I headed to "downtown" Monrovia to Unraveled (no website. 137 E. Colorado Blvd., Monrovia, CA).

It is a whole lot to lift the spirits. Just being around all that fibery goodness was bracing. The ladies in the store were busy setting up the store for their open house tomorrow and Saturday, so they weren't up for much chit chat. But then, I wasn't in the mood for chatting anyway. It gave me a chance to wander around and look at what they had. Lovely, lovely stuff.

I intended only to look for some olive colored yarn to work into a cap for DD's BF (which I found), but they had lots and lots and lots of Alpaca. I was lost. With a great deal of restraint, I only left with enough Frog Tree Alpaca in a lovely green. (Sorry, it's out in the car and I'm too tired to go get it to confirm the colorway.) But I want more.

Definitely a store I'll be frequenting.