Tracksy Web Stats A Knitter's Wonderland: February 2006

A Knitter's Wonderland

(To the tune of Winter Wonderland) Needles click, how they glisten, cozy sound, as you listen, they’re stuck everywhere, sit down if you dare, welcome to my knitter’s wonderland. Yarn abounds to overflowing, countless books increase my knowing. I need every bit; I care not a whit if there’s no pathway through my wonderland! In an evening I can make a mitten, start a shawl, a sweater, or a hat. But the question to ask any kitten, is “Do you think she’ll really finish that?”

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Last Treatment

Today was the last radiation treatment. I hadn't planned on making this the topic of my post but the radiology dept really gets into the last treatment and you won't believe what happens!

First, here's my mask with Mardi Gras balloons tied to it!

At the end of the last treatment, the ladies (three of them), radiation techs, came in with the balloons and tied them on the mask (and of course, guess who thinks the balloons are really for her).

They gave me a certificate showing I'd gone through 14 treatments, got hugs from absolutely every one in the back (there are about 10 techs - two men and eight women) and when I finally managed to get to the front desk to leave, a lady from accounting had left a set of earrings she made for me! (Hmmm...can we say "stitch markers?")

What a blow-out day! I was so surprised! I hardly know these people and yet they rallied around me like family and were so supportive for 14 days! Alright, I tried to convert three of them into knitters, tried to talk a guy into getting wife into the guild, I mean, it's not like I don't push knitting worse than a druggie pushes his addiction!

I have only good things to say about the staff at Mercy Hospital. I never felt out of the loop, never felt like piece of meat, never felt anything less than getting the full attention each step in this process required. So if you have to have awful things done, go where the staff understands it's awful.

And with that said, so ends my radiation for the moment. I am still on steroids. Shelly, I look like a moonbaby - My face is so round and shiny! I have to wait a month and then I have another MRI of my head to see what's going on. Steroid tapering starts next week. And with a little luck, a lot of prayer, and the grace of God, in two weeks I'll be feeling like my old self again (or better!)

And I SO appreciate all of the kind support, prayers, and encouragement I've received through my web journal. You have no idea how important you all are to me! And now onward and upward -

Let's look at some knitting:

Here is finished fuzzy foot #1. Does it look large? Does it look normal? Do NOT look at the toe! I have no idea what a grafting stitch is so I just did a three needle bind off. It's going to be felted for pete's sake! But again, does it look the right size?

Here it is next to hubby's arm. Hubby is not a small man! This sock is huge!! I've got the second one started and am up to the purple stripe. Will probably get it finished tonight. Sugar ripped it out once for me. Not exactly the most helpful thing in the world. But I have some orange handspun left over and I'm going to knit and felt a toy for her. She really loves yarn!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Knitty Committee

I love this group!

By the time I finally got around to getting pics, people were on the move. We must have had around 15- 20 people. This is my support group. The core Knitty Committee has been together for around 10 years. Others have joined in the last couple of years. We used to meet at Borders until they evicted us (okay, not every establishment wants 15 - 20 women brandishing pointy sticks, laughing, talking, and generally taking over the cafe).

St. Eugene's now hosts us. They aren't worried about pointy sticks or noise. They gave us this great big room, let us bring in food and drink and if we need more room, they accomodate us. We've been here several months and really like it. We meet the 4th Saturday every month from 10 am till noon. We embrace all forms of fibery love. Mostly people bring knitting or crochet projects to work on but we also have spinners, weavers, tatters, cross stitchers, needlepoint, quilters, sewers, etc.

We had some friends up from Norman from the Sit n Stitch there. Some guild members, some from the Gourmet Yarn KI. It's a great cross section, a great mix of people, and like I said, this is MY world! There is nothing like being in a group of people you feel so comfortable with that you can say anything to, you can share what's happening, and you know they care!

Then afterwards, Kay, Emily, Terri, Judy, and I all went out to lunch at Bennigans. While this was all really wearing, it was so much fun! I had expected to see Rosemary at lunch but found out she had company coming. Next time she needs to plan better. I think she needs to hang out with us "old ladies" more!

And the "Chubby Cheeks Club" is in full swing! Kay would like a membership but both Shelly and I think her cheeks are too slender. Plus she's going to have to get caught up on the eating program. You absolutely HAVE to eat at least every 2 hours otherwise those cute little cheeks will probably just disappear completely - lol!

I finished the first Fuzzy Foot. I'll post a pic of it later. Jim was humming "Valley of the Jolly Green Giant" when he saw it, but it's going to be felted! I've cast on and started the other cuff, then got bored with it. I have to MAKE A HEEL FLAP. So I made a couple of beaded bracelets instead. I had actually planned to make a couple of stitch markers but the bracelets were way more fun.

Med update - Okay, so yesterday was terrific! I mean really terrific! I enjoyed every second. And I spent most of today resting - lol! But this morning the hair thing started. Yes, it's falling out AGAIN! This time it's still so short I don't think I'll bother to get it cut. I'll just live in a cloud of hair (kind of like PigPen in the Charlie Brown strip) for awhile and see what happens. When I started losing hair during chemo, I went ahead and got it cut off cause it was too long to mess with. It's not even 2" long at the moment and I'm expecting it to just thin way down and not go completely bald. We'll see.

And yes, I was expecting the hair to fall out. The drs had already warned me that raditation would do that. Otherwise, not a bad day considering I spent most of it in bed!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Fuzzy Feet Fun

I had to TURN A HEEL! I can not imagine doing this on tiny little needles with tiny little yarn. I didn't like it on size 10.5 needles! The Dark Side will NEVER win!!

And having said all that. Here is Fuzzy Foot #1. The multi-color is the cuff, the purple is the foot. I have to do 9.5 inches of foot to fit my hubby. As you can plainly see, I've got about 3".

I am offically claiming this as my sock making adventure! After these are done, I doubt I will ever turn a heel or create a heel flat again. Back to normal slippers for me.

Tomorrow is the Knitty Committee. I can't wait! I'm going to try to remember to put my camera in my bag. I'm sure it won't be anywhere near as fun as the Norman Sit n Stitch was on Thursday. (not too many greek gods wandering around the church) But I'm sure we'll manage to have fun anyway!

Quick update - Only two treatments left. Am so glad for the weekend. Still taking steroids but no treatments over the weekend.

Shelly - I finally had an honest man tell me that yes, my face IS rounder. So the chubby cheeks club is in full swing - lol!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Look What I Found

A baby sweater that just needs the front band finished, button holes added, ends weaved in and it's DONE! Actually I found TWO!!! One in the green and another one in blue. What was I thinking! Why didn't I finish these? I could have given them away several times over. Too weird!

And I haven't even touched the Fuzzy Feet today. What little time I did have to spend fooling around, I spent beading. And nothing to show for that amount of time either.

But I did work very hard at getting two more people involved in coming to the Guild or KC or both - lol! The receptionist at the radiology is a very beginner knitter and an accomplished beader. She's been trying to help me with a bracelet design. Today when I got there for my treatment, she had a another nurse waiting to visit with me. Another new KNITTER!

We had a great visit (the lab was running about 1/2 hour behind so we had plenty of time) and I think she may come to the KC on Saturday. She mentioned how she's afraid of cables but would really like to learn. So I gave her CABLE HOMEWORK - LOL!

And radiation treatment 11. Just for fun, I had the rad tech take pics of me with my mask on. Now I just have to decide if I want to share these or not. They are kind of weird looking and might put people off. Let me know if you think you might want me to post one or two.

Then I spent the evening finding fruit smoothie recipes to use with my new whey protein suppliment (not getting enough protein and meat tastes bad - the whey was suggested by the radiology nurse). Found several recipes, made one to test, and drank the whole thing! These are really supposed to be two servings...hmmm...I see a bit of a problem here.

It was delicious! It's the first time in ages I've had something that tasted sweet and good! And no sugar added at all. The whey has a natural sweetness and of course the frozen blueberries were sweet. I was prepared to add stevia (I went to it during the chemo. It was the only sweetner I could tolerate), but didn't even need it. And it held me for over two hours, another big plus.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fuzzy Feet Beat!

And they are going so fast! Here is the cuff of #1. I started out using the magic loop on this, thinking I'd do them both at the same time so I could monitor the yarn. Uh...can you say...gotta be smarter than the stuff you're working with...

So I gave that up and went directly to just measuring and keeping totals. Handspun is so soft to work with. I just love it!

And notice my very cool, one and only, stitch marker. Polly made me this a while back and I keep thinking I'm going to make a set of blue bead ones to match it. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.

I had really planned to accomplish a bit more than this today, but woke up feeling kind of off. Called to get the silly pet scan set up and found out I wasn't supposed to eat for FOUR hours prior. Like that was going to happen, after what happened yesterday. So the scan is cancelled for the time being and I'm still eating like I haven't had food in days. I swear my face is rounder but Jim still thinks it looks the same. Shelly mentioned chubby cheeks from steriods. Boy can I identify with that!

Radiation Update - treatment 10 today. Four left. Think the steriods are helping finally. I have pain in my hip and I haven't even felt that hip in a couple of months. So that part is good/bad. I felt better this afternoon and am hoping to feel really good tomorrow. Especially since I'm not doing the scan.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Oh The Places We'll Go!

I had originally started the sides of my next felted tote, when Jim said he liked the yarn! So the sides are now back in balls awaiting the Fuzzy Feet treatment! He also decided he wanted my handspun (so much softer after felting), NO PROBLEM! Here are the colors he picked from the batch I just dyed:

I've already split the balls into two parts in hopes of having the slippers appear vaguely the same. And while at Michael's this afternoon (I've decided walking around craft stores is part of my PT!!) I found some puff paint to put on the soles to cut down on slipping and maybe even keep them from wearing out so fast.

But you know what! For all my complaining about socks and little needles and little yarn - these Fuzzy Feet are actual socks! I'm going to have to turn the heel, I'm going to have to work the toe - OMG!! I had no idea until I looked at the pattern closer. And now it's too late - he likes them - HAHAHAHA!!! So I'm off to start Fuzzy Feet.

Health Update - If you are on steriods, you must eat. If you do not eat, your blood sugar decides you no longer love it and it pouts. When it pouts you crash and find you can not only NOT eat, but you can not move!!!

Theresa - Perfomance enhancement - I am power eating to keep my blood sugar happy!! Geez! Who knew it would get so cranky. So anyway, I was zipping along this morning, talking ninety miles a minute (perfomance enhancement), thinking I should probably stop and eat (every 2 -3 hours) and pushed too far. Thank goodness for speed dial. Had Jim on the phone in seconds and he was on his way home anyway. A bit of scare so now I'm eating like every 15 minutes - just in case - lol!

Rest of the day went fine. Physical therapy at Akins to get snacks (I'm stuffing my pockets like a squirrel, taking food everywhere), physical therapy at craft stores (still looking for a special bead for a bracelet). Dr says I need to walk - lol!

And I have to tell you guys - I so appreciate your support with all this. I always feel surrounded by so much good stuff it's incredible! THANKS! Posted by Picasa

BTW, post title actually refers to sock knitting. I just realized it kind of doesn't make sense (unless of course, you are perfomance enhanced and it better refer to FOOD).

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Finished Market Squares Bag

IT'S DONE! I finished and felted the straps last night and sewed them on this afternoon. Overall I like this bag. I'm not too happy with my color selections and plan to make another one in a different color. Once I got started it went pretty fast (course having a full FIVE days to just knit on it did make a difference).

I found a
photo gallery of the bags and have been looking at color choices. I'm really leaning toward a mauve, and two grays idea. Kay mentioned using a color wheel to help with selections. Great idea! I'm going to dig mine out and take it with me to Gourmet Yarns next time.

In the meantime, I'm working on the sides of the other little lunchbox tote with some of the yarn I dyed. I have to say, handspun is so soft (well, mine's kind of thick, I don't spin tiny yarn any better than I knit on tiny needles), I really am enjoying the knitting. Size 10.5 needles, big soft yarn, bright colors - like heaven!

And once the tote is done, I'm think I might try the
Fuzzy Feet slipper pattern from Knitty. Jim would like some new slippers, since his old ones are worn out, and I'm thinking this felting thing is so much fun, I should combine them. But his slippers will probably be leftovers from the Market Squares Bag (I was surprised how much yarn was left over) and not my handspun. I'm not so sure my homespun yarn would hold up under foot-wearing.

All you Olympic knitters out there are doing so great, I've enjoyed keeping up with your knitting. Makes me feel kind of bad to admit I'm making Fuzzy Feet when I see some of the REAL knitting taking place - lol!

Med update - Started the day with a cold drive to see my doctor. I was on time, he managed to show up about an hour later! AND upped my steroid intake! I can already tell the extra dose is working - I haven't stopped eating since I took it! Then radiation treatment #8. Six days to go. Anyway, I'm having a pretty good day. Up, dressed, and out the door by 9am (I AM NOT a morning person) and still dressed and NOT in bed at 7pm - whoo-hooo - hahaha!

Sunday, February 19, 2006


This is such a downer! I know we need the snow. I know this is good for us in the long run. But for Pete's sake, couldn't it show up on say, MONDAY!

This is going to be whiny!! This was our first big guild meeting at the Belle Isle Library. While there is still a chance it will come to pass (very thin), I've already heard from several people who are not going to be able to make. And I understand. I'd rather you were sitting in your warm houses, knitting warm yarn, not taking your life in your hands on the street! I may be doing the same.

I just so look forward to getting together with other knitters! But even as I type this, I can see something pouring out of the sky, kind of sleet-looking - PHOOEY!

So if you read this before you come, PLEASE call the library to be sure they are still open. PLEASE do not drive on bad roads. We can reschedule our special speaker (she isn't sure she can make either), we can pass out new lamb names later, we have more time to think about charity knitting.

I'll probably update this later in the day as things shake out!

And here's the update. As you know we ended up cancelling the guild meeting due to the weather. But I was most interested to hear from the library that several people had called in to check on it. I also received a couple of direct calls from interested parties wanting to know if we would be on or not. So the guild is definitely gaining interest!

I'm going to go ahead and announce the lamb names by Wednesday. I'm thinking I might put their cute little pics up on the guild group at some point. They are SO cute!

So that's it for now. Med update - spent most of the day in bed but it was a good day! Started the second strap of the MSB and should get it done tonight. Played with the beads I bought on Friday.

Aside to Wayne, whatever in the world would make you think this was a NEW hobby - LOL! Just wait until I show some of this stuff to Kathy!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Finished Yarn Pics - Updated

Posted by PicasaAnd the finished product! I love the bright colors. I'm really excited about getting the other tote bag finished so I can see how this yarn felts. I'm curious if the colors will mute down somewhat.

I ended up posting this pic with Picasa2 and am giving up for the time being. LOL

I'll update the rest of this entry later today.

Thought I'd just add a little note. The Metro OKC Knit Guild meets tomorrow at the Belle Isle Library. We start at 3pm and run till about 5pm. Several people have called or emailed about the coming. If the roads are bad - don't come! And call to be sure the library is open if you're driving more than 10 minutes.

We have a really great special speaker who will be talking about making socks, plus we will have new lamb names for our lamb logos. And last but not least, we'll be setting up our charity knitting goals.

So if the weather or the roads don't stop you, come join us. Bring a project to work on and meet some of the most interesting, talented knitters around! No dues and no membership requirements. Hope to see you tomorrow!

And the med update - not a great day. Steroids kept me awake most of the night. You'd think I'd knit faster or be able to benchpress the knitting machine, but no, the steroids just keep me awake and add nothing to my overall abilities.

But the wee hours allowed me to get some ideas about new jewelry making projects (is that my hubby I hear groaning - lol) and figure out how to work the handle for the Market Squares bag. Eventually I'll get that posted too.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Dyeing Part II

Now for the exciting part! The dyeing part is great fun. I love making a big mess spooning on dye colors, squeezing the dye along a hank of yarn, seeing what color mixtures show up. Kay asked if I ever mixed the colors. I haven't, though I always think I'm going to. I usually run out of colors so fast I don't have time to play around too much.

And before we start this session, I've had a request to include a little med update at the end of each entry for a while just to let you know.

Here we go! When the jars come out of the hot water bath, the magic begins:
Look at this! The water is CLEAR! When the yarn goes in, the water is full of dye. When the yarn comes out, the dye is in the wool and the water is clear! I have a cold water bath ready on in the sink. As I dump each jar of clear water out, I squeeze out at much excess water as possible and drop the yarn in the bath. And here is the filled sink:

After rinsing the hot water out (usually there isn't any dye left to come out), squeeze each hank gently to get out as much water as possible and hang up to dry:

I have this kind of weird hanger I found at a yard sale years ago. It has octopus arms so I can do a LOT of yarn at the same time. Here it hangs in the guest shower full of draining yarn. It takes a couple of days for the yarn to completely dry.

And the finished hanks look like this. In the fading sunlight. Theresa asked a while back if people ever notice when knitters take pictures. I do a lot of pics on my front porch. Not once have I been able to get a neighbor to come out and ask what I'm doing. They probably think I'm nuts! And believe me, approach me while working with yarn and you take your non knitting life in your own hands - lol!

The next step is winding these up into useable balls. I set up my swift next to my ball winder and just start winding. Doesn't take too long unless you get a little extra help.

Okay, I've given up on getting pics posted here so am doing an update this morning just to show you how pretty the finished yarn turned out. The extra help came from the YI sitting UNDER the swift! She is not a tiny cat and I was kind of worried about whacking her in the head with the legs of the swift but she never wavered. And I guess it never hit her - lol!

And the medical update - Radiation treatments - 7 (half way thru), good day today, not nearly as crabby and whiny as yesterday - lol. Even I can hardly stand to be around myself on days like that!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dyeing Part I

Want to know what I was doing the other day? I was dyeing a vat of handspun yarn because I was too lazy to dye the roving and spin it! I had quite a bit of white already spun up just didn't know what I was going to do with it.

So here for your viewing pleasure is how to dye yarn using easter egg dye. First take all the yarn, wind it up on your swift into hanks, tie it in four places so it doesn't tangle, and dump it in a sink of cold water:

This is too get excess air out and wet the fiber. I use ugly acrylic yarn to tie it up. Easy to find and I don't feel like I'm wasting it.

While letting the yarn soak, prepare the easter egg dyes. I use quart jars and an old canner. Into each jar I put 3 tablespoons of vinegar and a dye tablet and let the tablet dissolve.

As soon as the tablet is gone, I add about 1/2 cup more of vinegar to each jar and fill it half full of cold water. Stir a little and add yarn. Be sure to squeeze out as much excess water as possible before putting it in the jar. I've read you're only supposed to put about an ounce of yarn in each jar, but I have no idea how much that is and can't be bothered in the middle of a creative pursuit to figure it out. So I put in enough to fill up the jar but not overflow it. I then top it off with more cold water, and kind of slosh the wool up and down in the jar a little with a stainless steel knife to get it mixed evenly. Then I pop the jars into the canner:

I fill the canner with water up to the bottom ring of the jar neck, put on the canner lid, set the heat to medium and wait till it starts to steam. I let it steam about 20 minutes, taking care to turn it down so it doesn't boil. Boiling = felting = darn hard to knit!

While that's cooking, I take the last few skeins I've been saving and I do a hand dye batch. I make up another set of easter egg dyes in little cups. Same drill - 3 tablespoons of vinegar, one tablet, let the tablet dissolve (this is actually the directions on the easter egg box). Then I add the 1/2 cup of vinegar and paint the skein with the colors. Before:

And After:

These little guys are rolled up into sausages in plastic wrap so they don't leak. As soon as the jars in the canner are done, pull them out and put a rack across the bottom. Lay the sausage packs in the bottom and steam them for 20 minutes.

More fun to come tomorrow as we open the packets, drain the wool, and take a look at the outcomes. And always wear gloves!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Harn Homestead Knitting

First and foremost I want to thank you for the wonderful comments and emails regarding my last post. I have a great community of friends and family and I appreciate every one of you! Thank you for your prayers, thank your for your support, and thank you for letting me be part of your lives. I may mention from time to time what's going on with me but it's time to get back to the regularly scheduled feature of KNITTING!!

Yesterday I had the honor and privilege of meeting and teaching five lovely ladies how to knit. We met at the historic Harm Homestead museum, in OKC, in the little farmhouse. The ladies were delightful (I tried hard to keep my drill sergeant personality down to a dull roar) and they all made marvelous progress. I have encouraged them to come to Guild, get involved in local knitting groups and tried to infect them with the knitting bug as hard as I could!

And speaking of Guild, don't forget to go vote for lamb names! I'll be sending out a reminder later today. And I hear the weather is supposed to be bad on Sunday. Unless there is an Artic blizzard or the library closes, I'll be there.

Short posts for a while. Depending on how the energy holds up, my next big project is to get the Market Squares Bag felted in time to show it off at Guild.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I Know, I Know...

I’m the one who starts whining when every blog I’m addicted to does not post every day; I’m the one who starts complaining privately when every blog I’m addicted to does not post at least every other day; I’m the one who starts complaining publicly to any one who will listen about how if you have a blog you need to post on at LEAST three times a week.

So have you noticed a little hypocrisy here? Maybe a little thing like certain whiny people haven’t bothered to post in the last five days? Thought maybe they better have a darn good excuse? Yeah, me too.

So here’s my excuse – I went in the hospital on Thursday and just got home this morning. Is that pretty good? Five days in the hospital with NO INTERNET! I could live with the poking, prodding, being awakened every four hours to make sure I still had vital signs (isn’t snoring a vital sign for Pete’s sake!) but NO INTERNET! Pure torture.

I’m home, I’m getting treatments, and I’m going to be fine. Read further at your own risk because what follows will be details, ramblings, and is VERY LONG!

The Story
On Thursday I happened to notice a very interesting thing – the nail beds on my hands had turned a dark blueberry purple. As I was going out to share this interesting phenomenon with my hubby, I noticed my left leg had kind of turned into a dragging stick. While I was enamored with this new color on my fingers, Jim was seriously freaking about it. Within minutes he had me on the phone with my oncologist. The upshot of the call was –

Dr “How far away do you live?”
Me “About seven minutes.”
Dr “I’ll see you in seven minutes.”

As most of you know I’ve been doing a pretty good battle with cancer over the last year, in fact it will be a year in April. And I’m winning. Or was winning up until about two months ago.
As it turns out, the cancer had snuck up into my brain and had started to take up residence. From the doctor’s office I went straight over to Mercy Hospital. I spent an hour and a half in an MRI and another 30 minutes in a CT so the doctors could determine what and where. And the results were this – cancer free from the neck down, two small tumors from the neck up.

And immediately stuck in the hospital getting huge doses of steroids (the legal kind – thank you) to stop the inflammation and swelling around the tumors which was causing the numbness in my left leg from toes to waist.

The prognosis is good. The tumors will be treated with semi-focused radiation. If the radiation doesn’t completely zap them, then we go to the Gamma Knife, another form of more focused radiation. I’ll be having 12 more radiation treatments (I’ve had three while in the hospital), one a day, five days a week (Saturdays and Sundays off).

The only bad news is my two inch long hair will go back to a buzz cut since it’s just going to fall out again anyway, and the fatigue will be back. Stuff I can deal with. I’ve got a lot of great hats from the first time, got a wig I like, I’m good to go on the head end.

But remember my
pathetic little outburst about piano wire needles and hand knit socks? Well, socks would be really nice…

And the question people ask me (or might ask me if they didn’t think I’d ramble on too much) is “How are you handling all of this?”

And here is my answer. I know Who runs my show. He has been running it since I was seventeen. Everything I am, everything I have, every aspiration, every thought, every plan I plan is in His hands. I have a rock solid belief in where I’m going and Who is going to get me there.

Am I perfect? NO! Am I going to push anyone into my beliefs? NO! Do I always walk the walk and talk the talk? No, sadly. I am human. But I am a born again, spirit filled Christian. I know the joy of the Lord in a deep, personal way which can not be shaken (and believe me, there has been lots of shaking before this!)

I just know Who takes care of me. My life is in His hands. I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to go Home and be with Him. His choice. Will I fight to stay here? Of course! I have several years’ worth of yarn to use up! Will I accept the outcome if the tumors can’t be removed? Of course! I have lots of knitting friends who would love to enhance their stashes.

Will this change how I live, love, and interact with others? It already has! I enjoy people. I like trying new things. I love meeting and making new friends. I’m going to work a little harder on getting UFOs done. I want to do more knitting road trips. I have places on earth I want to see before I go Home. I still have a couple of large items on my list of lifetime goals I want to accomplish.

Will others notice a difference? I don’t know. If you knew me BC (Before Cancer), you know I’m pretty energetic and like to try new stuff. Not much change. If you only have met me after I started the long dark road, you might be amazed at what I plan to do once the cancer isn't slowing me down so much.

So no pics tonight. But on the Wednesday before, I had dyed up a bunch of yarn to finish my felted tote. I have pics of every step. That’s coming. I finished the Market Squares Bag (not a lot to do in a hospital with no internet) so will be posting about that. And I am trying to work on UFOs intently. I really want to get at least two sweaters done that have been hanging around here for three or four years.

Want to talk to me about my faith – I’d love to. Want to talk about cancer challenges – just ask. Want to talk about knitting – one of my favorite subjects. Want to talk about buying or selling a house – pure passion on my part. So if you have a question, just ask. Believe me, the odds are you can’t ask me something I won’t feel comfortable talking about!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Spinning in Norman

Going to Norman was great fun! Got to meet a few of the Sit n Stitch ladies, got to see some spinners in action, and got to watch a knitter become a spinner (well, two knitters).

Here is Emily with Polly:

Step 1

Step 2

And suddenly you're spinning - Step 3

The other knitter to try the drop was Rosemary, who went from step 1:

To step 3 in record time!

All in all, a very fun time! More pics tomorrow!

Monday, February 06, 2006

No Progress

No progress to report today on my market squares bag. We went to Shawnee to visit and talk real estate. Left about 3 pm and didn't get home until 9:30 pm. Got exactly ONE rectangle done on the way there.

Tomorrow night will be fun! Me and Polly and Emily are going to Norman to join the Sit n Stitch group for a spinning demo. I'm really looking forward to not only seeing some different kinds of fibers being spun, but to get to put faces to blogs. That's the best part of all this. You meet someone and you feel like you already know them because of their blog postings.

So a short post tonight and probably no post tomorrow (since we won't be back until late). For those of you who'd like another group to get involved in, a new knit & crochet group has started and meets at the Full Circle Bookstore at 50 Penn Place. They are meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday, at 7 pm. I won't make this month but I am planning to make next month.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Happy Camper in Wonderland!

(Where do you suppose the term "happy camper" even came from?) I am up to tier 8, the second lavendar row on my Entrelac Market Squares Bag. This picture was taken this afternoon. I put on tier 7 and two rectangles of tier 8 during the super bowl.

The Knit In at Gourmet Yarn last night was great! Must have been over 15 knitters working on projects. As usual I forgot my camera but Rosemary was there working on a sock, Emily was working on a really soft scarf, Jennie was there (but I didn't see what she was working on, maybe a sock), Kay was working on a sock (Margaret had a sock class before the knit in), Jan was making a scarf, I didn't see what Karen was working on, Terri had wrist warmers going, another Susan was working on a very colorful poncho for one of her twin grandaughters, Beverly was working on a scarf, another scarf, and the market squares bag. Sherry came with her daughter from Dallas and they both looked like they were working on socks. Several other ladies were there but I didn't get everyone's name. It was a great group!

And see how many have blogs!! Oklahoma knitters are starting to come out of the woodwork! Which reminds me, the Metro OKC Knit Guild has put up the February newsletter. Go check it out!

And now I'm off to do my weekly writing assignment which I put off every week until the very last minute. I finally figured out what to write about while I was sitting at my open house today.

And if you know where "happy camper" comes from, let me know - thanks!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Dark Side

As Ali calls it. Or knitting on piano wire as I call it. We are both talking about SOCK KNITTING. This stemmed from my little rant yesterday about needle sizes. I have two things to say about the dark side (after I stop laughing):

First, I love hand knit socks...I CHERISH hand knit socks. I have one pair a wonderful friend made me. I wear them only occasionally because I know the love and time that go into socks and I don't ever expect her to make me another pair. So my plan to get more hand knit socks without me making them is to be especially pathetic and pitiful. That way my receiving hand knit socks is rather like helping a charity case.

Second, I have already visited the dark side. Not sock knitting but worse:

Knitting on straitght pins! With ONE strand of five strand embroidery floss. This whole thing is the size of a quarter. And I didn't just make the one, oh no, (did I mention I tend toward obsessive compulsive) I made TEN! I have three left. I gave the others away. I did this around my 32nd birthday, just to prove I could. This is what probably pushed me over the edge on needle sizes!

So much for the dark side. But I did like Theresa's idea of having more than one large project to work on at a time. I do that too, only I NEVER get back to it. I just keep starting new sweaters and never finishing them. I went back to one of my earliest entries where I listed my UFOs. Most are sweaters and are still in the same state as when I took the pictures. In fact, I had forgotten about a couple of them.

And that brings me to my latest Large Project - the Market Square Bag. At the rate I'm going, Kay will not have to worry about getting hers done before mine! I have three tiers done. I started the fourth last night. Half way around the bag, I noticed the rectangles looked a little floppy. Sure enough, I had made up my own instructions for the round, so spent the next several minutes frogging and complaining. Tonight I will look at the directions FIRST!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I Really DO Love Entrelac!

Yes, you DO see a second row of tiers on my Market Square bag! Huge amounts of thanks and gratitude are being swooshed to Kay because last night I was able to do tier 2! Her tips saved the day and it only took me 45 minutes to find dps in the right size.

Can you believe I have TWO sets of size 2 dps and ONE set of size 1's! I can't even remember what I MIGHT have used them for.

For those of you who don't know my knitting style (that's what I'm calling it and I don't want to hear other wise thank you), I like knitting with larger sized needles. For lace and sock knitters, those would be plus size needles. I have found and passed by patterns whose breathtaking cuteness and well written lines were quickly tossed aside because gauge came on a size 5 needle.

For dishclothes I have forced myself to use a size 6 just so I can get one and a half cloths out of a ball. I even struggled a little with the Market Squares Bag - it's done on size 8's. Not bad, and done on circs, but still...a 9 or 10 would make it go so much faster.

And that's the crux of the problem. I have a need for speed! I don't like making sweaters because they take too long (that's why I got the knitting machine, I wanted to actually WEAR a sweater I made), I've NEVER made an afghan, shawls are beautiful, and socks are too cool but at the idea of making any of these I break out in a cold sweat.

I look at Polly who is designing a gorgeous lace shawl, at Gloria who knits cobwebs, even at the many sock knitters in the various fiber-licious groups I'm a part of and I stand (well, actually sit) in awe!

I make the
5 Hour Baby Sweater on size 10.5's, hats on size 1o's, even the baby blanket worked up pretty fast on size 9's. I like short, fast projects. I don't like dedicating more than a couple of weeks to any project (again, that's where the knitting machine comes in so handy). I can almost finish a sweater (short sleeve, round neck) in that amount of time. I want RESULTS and I want them NOW!

Anyway, back to the Market Squares Bag. Kay suggested using dps to pick up the first row and after I did it once, it was obvious. So thank you Kay!

And if I can do one tier a night, I'll have it done in 2 weeks!