the knitting ref

Sunday, August 20, 2006

O.k., I Can Change My Mind, Can't I

The Completed Mason Dixon Washcloth. I've decided I do like it done in variegated yarn. So sue me. But hey, I've got 1 xmas gift done. Woo Hoo!

It's been a very slow week. Chemo kicked my butt again. Not as bad as 3 weeks ago, but it wasn't pretty. I picked the aforesaid butt up off the couch last night and went to see Tim and Faith. Great concert. One question though. Why do they have to put the volume up so loud it makes your ears bleed? We were at the Staples Center, and I swear they could have heard the singing in Century City. I guess I'm just going to have to bring ear plugs from now on.

I should also be posting the sock yarn, book and tape meausre that my SP8 sent me. But I'm just too pooped. Nonetheless, thank you very much SP8. I love the colors of the yarn. The Hubster and I are having a bit of a tug-of-war as to who will wind up with these socks. Course, unless he learns to knit, I think we all know who will win, don't we?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Moving A Little Faster

And just in time for the next round of chemo. Nonetheless, it was a productive weekend. The majority of it was spent working around the house so that when I'm laying on the couch feeling like s*$t, I won't have to look at the filth.

But there was fun stuff too. Friday night was spent at the Redlands Bowl. A truly lovely concert of Columbian and Venezuelan folk music.

Saturday morning I went to my first meeting of the Riverspinners. A small but extremely fun group of ladies. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to next month's meeting. In spite of the all the yakking, I was able to get a fair amount spun. This is some of the roving I got in Solvang. It's merino and I'm finding it quite a bit sticker than what I've worked with before. Not in a totally bad way though.

And I have an FO in spite of it all.
I'm calling these Libery Bay socks. It's the Dublin Bay pattern that's made the rounds on the blogs. The yarn is Lorna's Laces, Liberty colorway. I love the yarn so much, I'm making anklets from the leftovers. Don't quite have enough for a full pair of anklets, but I have some LL in white, so I'm knitting as far as I can with Liberty and then finishing off with the white. Or maybe knitting a bit, then a knitting a chunk of the foot in white and finishing off with Liberty for the toes. Or???? We'll see how I'm feeling once I get to that point.

Lastly, because I need another quick satisfaction project, I'm working on a Mason Dixon washcloth, bobbles and all. All I had was some varigated Peaches & Cream. Definitely not feeling the love. But it's good to hide the boo-boo's this first time around. Any more of these will definitely have to be done in solid colors. And there will be more. In fact many more. I'm thinking one of these with a handmade soap will make a lovely Xmas gift for quite a few peoples on my list.

Hope you have a lovely week.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Walking through Molasses

Haven't had the energy to put together a decent post. So in lieu thereof, I give you the following that's been making the rounds.

Bold the ones you have done:

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it (Daily!)
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (’99 Womens World Cup Final big enough?)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster (Love 'em!)
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day (Actually did sign language all day)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow (My gp’s had a dairy farm)
56. Alphabetized your cd's (Actually did it for my husband)
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas (My FIL lives just outside of Vegas)
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived (So far, so good)
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (All 3 actually)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head (When I was losing my hair the first time)
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Adventures in Spinning

So Thursday when I said I’d fill you in on my adventures in spinning tomorrow, I really meant Saturday.

The adventure began at Village Spinning & Weaving in Solvang. It probably a good thing this store isn’t any closer to my home. Too much good stuff. (It’s bad enough they have an online catalog.) One of the owners (I wish I had gotten her name) greeted us warmly. At the time we were the only customers in the store, and when she found out I was a new spinner, she nicely asked questions about how much I knew and gave some great tips and ideas.

There was a cute moment during our conversation. The conversation turned to wheels, and when I told Owner Lady that I had just purchased a new (to me) wheel, the Hubster, who had been quietly following me around and listening to our conversation, piped up and told her that I had brought the wheel along with us camping. He was thinking (like most non-knitter/spinners) that such information would elicit an “isn’t-that-weird” type response from Owner Lady. Without batting an eye, Owner Lady says, “Oh, I know a lot of spinners who do that.” The look on the Hubster’s face was priceless.
Although some roving had come with the wheel and I had a pound (!) of plain Corridale roving, I could not leave that store empty-handed. The green is “English Wool”, and the other 3 are merino. Too pretty.

As we were driving away on vacation, I had spent exactly 2 ½ hours being taught how to spin on a spinning wheel. And not a minute of it on MY wheel. So it was with more than a bit of trepidation that I pulled the wheel out of the car at our campsite. After all, I was in a rather public forum. We had the premiere site (#4) there at Limekiln. It one of 2 that looks directly out onto the ocean. At some point, just about everybody who visits eventually walks by on the way to the beach.
But the Big Sur mojo was strong. I tied up a leader on the bobbin, and started spinning. I started with the roving that came with the wheel. It was a bit rough, and I was a bit rough, but the rhythm soon came, and before I knew it, I had spun up all of the dark brown. So then I picked up the off-white. It was feeling good. And I was garnering a fair bit of attention from my fellow campers. The kids were really funny, because they were usually the ones to stop and look while the adults were trying to take surreptitious peeks at what I was doing. And the Hubster invited them in (cause he loves to talk--he’s the talker in the family), and I gave several mini-lessons. It helped that I could b.s. my way through most of it cause after all, what did anybody else know? One of the other campers even asked if he could video me.

Before too long, I was ready to try plying in which I had had no instruction whatsoever, so I read what the book I had brought along had to say, and dove it. Success!
Altogether I have almost 300 yards of 2-ply (mostly) crappy yarn. I’m thinking I’ll make a hat or some such out of it.

After I emptied the bobbins, my new purchases were calling me. I decided to try the English Wool. I really like the colors in the roving, and I figured I might be fairly successful with it. Was I ever.
So far I have 2 bobbins of lace weight that I am absolutely in love with, and I‘ve only used half of the package. Now to find the perfect lace pattern. Any suggestions?

On the way home, we made another pit stop in Solvang and made a few more purchases. 2 more English Wools (the Hubster already has dibs on the blue roving), and 1 more Merino.
What with all this, the alpaca my secret pal sent me, and the Corridale, I’ll have plenty to spin for quite a while. Spinning is something I’ve always (I’m talking like since I was a kid) been intrigued by, and I’m so glad I’ve jumped in. While knitting has been, and will continue to be, very therapeutic, spinning is very quickly developing a higher therapeutic zone. I’m finding it very meditative. Not that I necessarily have to put my whole focus into what I’m doing, but the rhythm of it is very, very soothing.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lucky Girl

As promised, full disclosure of what my Knit Sock Kit Swap pal sent me.

When I got home from chemo last Friday, there was a package sitting on my couch, and I had no idea what it could be. A look at the return address told me it was from Debbie in Lincoln, Massachusetts. ????? What the heck was this? I opened the package, removed the (color-coordinated) blue and green tissue paper, and found this:

It was sure purdiful, but I still wasn't sure why Debbie had sent it to me. I opened it up and looked in: Duh! Head slap! (Well, it would have been a head slap if I had been feeling better) My KSKS pal had definitely come through.

I wish I could say I spent the time on Friday closely appreciating my lovely gift. In truth, once the mystery was solved, I set it on the end table (and gazed at it often), but that's about as far as it went until Sunday.

I was feeling slightly more human Sunday afternoon, and was able to give my gift a proper inspection. Some Lorna's Laces in the Island Blue colorway. Delicious. Fiber Trends Walking Away Socks pattern. 3-in-1! The DPN's and stitch markers to do the job. And some Massachusetts chocolates which I am only just now beginning to think about taste-testing. Oh yeah, and a lovely card which I still can't find in this *#*%&#! mess.

But the bag! A class act. Both the inside and outside materials match perfectly. Love the colors. The workmanship on the bag is first rate. And the handle is the perfect finish.

Once again, my dear, my bow down to your handiwork. Perfect in every way. Thank you veddy much.
And last but not least, the cats love the box (as evidenced by Nubbs).

Tomorrow, adventures in spinning!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Back Among the Living


When I say last week kicked my butt, it kicked my butt unlike just about any other time in my treatment. The chemo itself wasn't so bad, but when you combine it with not having eaten a real meal in over a week, a bloated belly, and anesthesia for the new port-o-cath, and it was all just too much.

The first paracentisis removed almost 5 liters of fluid from my abdomen. Monday morning I had another that removed another 3 liters. I've lost a total of 13 pounds (not a weight-loss method I'd recommend) since the 24th of July.

But, the fluid removal made room for food, and as I'm able to eat decent food, I'm slowly on the road to recovery. And the fluid isn't coming back as quickly as before which is a hopeful sign that this chemo is working.

Enough of the ugly stuff. I'm so far behind it isn't even funny. The house is beyond a disaster, but I take it as a sign of good things that I'm starting to care.

I need to say right here a public THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to the Lincoln Knitter (whose card I of course can't find in the mess, so that's all the info you get for now) for the outstanding, fantastic, super deluxe knit sock kit swap. It came while I was feeling my most horrible, so I haven't even emailed her to let her know I received it. As I get to feeling more capable of actually operating a camera, there will be a blog post that is truly worthy of her creation. Lady, you nailed it! The colors are perfect and the bag is a work of art. I bow down to your superlative skills. I am truly grateful.

And because I already had this on the computer and managed to upload this with only 2 trys, a picture of me spinning at our campsite of Big Sur (more on that soon too).

Thanks to one and all for all the prayers and good thoughts. I'm feeling your positive energy, and I know that it's helping me get through the bad stuff.