Tracksy Web Stats A Knitter's Wonderland: April 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?”

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Another DW Cloth

Yes, I know this is getting old. This will be the last one for a while. The overall picture was fuzzy but here's a close up of the colors. It's Sugar and Cream - Sun Kissed Ombre:
I found a UFO and frogged it. I am designing a cuff to cuff tee-shirt with the yarn and I think I will like it much better. This is what the UFO looked like:

I found a pattern in my "The Ultimate Knitted Tee" book and I have a pattern I made a couple of years ago called "Melody Top" by I'm thinking between the two patterns it's only a matter of getting a gauge and redoing the numbers. So I am swatching right now to see what will work. Yes, I could follow either pattern but both call for size 6 needles and this yarn (Santana from Patternworks) really needs to be on size 8's.

And here is Sugar's latest perch. It's the top of my exercise bike. When Blueberry is too mean to her, she zips up to the top and clings to the handle. Here she is trying to get her balance and talking the whole time. Is it just me or does she look slightly psycho?

Anyway, once she gets her balance she is queen of all she surveys (until she gets down and Blueberry clobbers her):

And speaking of Blueberry, here is a picture of her on one of the porch chairs. She does look kind of crabby but I think it's because I just woke her up so I could take her picture.

And we went to a birthday party yesterday. The young man just turned one. It is so fun to watch a one year old whap his first birthday cake into pieces. Actually he just whapped it flat, got chocolate cake and icing everywhere and had a great time. Lucky for the rest of us, his mom had another cake for the guests. I had planned to take my camera so I could get some pictures to put up, but of course I forgot to even bring it. Perhaps Wayne has pictures on his blog.

It's been a busy week but the steroid reduction is going well. On Wednesday we drop to 2.5 ml.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Can't Believe It's Thursday!

This week has simply flown by. I've been working! And then napping...but busy nontheless (is that a word?).

And busy knitting also. I finished two more DW clothes. They are so fast to make, talk about instant gratification! I can make one in around two hours. They make a great carry along project. For
Theresa and Rachel who asked for the pattern, here is the link. I use size 8 needles and cast on 3o stitches, keep the "knit 3 sts" on each end and follow the pattern.

Here are the two I just finished. The first one is in Peaches and Cream called Potpourri:

And a closeup of the colors:

The second one done in Peaches and Cream is called Butter Cream Ombre:

My picture to show you the whole thing turned out fuzzy so this is just a close up of the colors. I have about five or six more balls of different cotton to try. I just love how the colors works up.

And I got my secret project done. I've decided to share it with you because I really doubt the recipient reads this blog and if so, she may not figure out it's for her anyway. So what do you think this is? This is the front. (this reminds me of Cousin It from the old Addams Family show)

Here is the back. This should make it easy to figure out:

Yes! It IS a dust mitt. A knitted dust mitt. A labor intensive knitted dust mitt. I couldn't find a pattern so I created one and ended up putting on the front strands individually. I'd say the knitting took one evening and the strands have taken me several weeks! So if you want to make a knitted dust mitt, just let me know. I'm happy to share the pattern (like there's going to be a big run on making knitted dust mitts).

And I'll share my secret for making the stranding go much faster - Carolyn was watching me work on it and said "why don't you just do every other row?" Well DUH! Why don't I! And I got the rest of the stranding done in about two evenings.

I was going to end with pictures of the cats, but Blogger won't let me upload any more pictures so I'll post them next time.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Knitting and Other Interesting Things

Knitty Committee was Saturday. We had a nice turn out. Tracy T. brought us some books and magazines to go through, which is always fun. And lots of great items being created around the table. Polly (with her back to me), Cheryl, Norma, Mildred and Gloria, and Janet (with her back to me also).
Janet, facing, Shelly, and across the table, Tracy and Dolores.

Here is Laura, Kathy, and Becky looking through the books and mags Tracy brought. Studiously avoiding me is Bette.

And I made another DW dishcloth while enjoying KC. This one is Sugar and Creme in Fairy Tale.

And I got a couple of premie slippers done. These are really small. And today I started another DW dishcloth at my open house. I always try to do some knitting at an open house.

And we managed to make it to church this morning too! What a busy weekend! And my apologies to Kay. The YI prefers to spend every spare moment out on the porch. It's enclosed so it's not like the cats get to wander around in the backyard. But they do get quality bird watching and interesting smells.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Kitty Kandy for Kay

Sugar is a year old. We aren't sure of her exact birthday but we think is was the first of April sometime. Tonight we just decided her birthday could be April 1st, it seems to suit her! Tonight I had to drag her out of a sound sleep so she could help me look at yarn. It didn't take her long to get into the role of Yarn Inspector.

I was going through the cotton Polly gave me, picking out a pretty color to take to KC tomorrow. As you can see, the YI was making sure I picked something suitable.

She liked both of these variegates but I wanted something a little brighter.

She thought the pink was nice but it's not multicolored. She's giving me the LOOK. I'm pulling out a handful of balls so I can give you an idea of the different colors. And she knows she's next. I don't know why I make her get out of my yarn boxes. I'm sure it would be in her best interest to just leave the lid open and let her finish sampling the yarn.

The YI samples yarn to make sure it meets her high standards. As far as I can tell her standards include a) it's some kind of yarn b) to check good yarn you have to put it in your mouth c) an even better test is if you can carry it while running, especially if some human is running behind you yelling (probably cheering you on to see how fast you can go with a large ball of yarn in your mouth) d) try to do test b and c without a human around. Then you can check the yardage by unwinding the whole ball and suck your sister Blueberry in even though she doesn't really care for yarn. But she does love a good chase.

Here is a sample of the colors. Here is the YI thinking it's about time standard b went into effect.

Here they are a little closer and the colors are better. I am now watching the YI like a hawk as she has already tried standard b AND c while I was setting yarn out. Though I caught her before she got very far with standard c.

So at Knitty Committe tomorrow I'm working on another DW. They are my favorite dishclothes for multicolored yarn. I do have enough white to make several Kuper clothes (round, short row dishclothes) made famous by Cheryl Kuper who has probably knit a thousand of them.

And I found out today the reason I've been so sick the last few days is because I'm having adreneal insuffiency. Simply put, my body is not making enough steroid to keep me going. So the Dr boosted my intake for today and tomorrow I'm back on 7.5. I'll be at KC if I have to come and lay on the floor!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Some Actual Knitting

I managed to fit some knitting into my busy schedule this week (my schedule consists of go to an appt, come home and nap, go to the next appt, come home and nap, leaves little time for knitting). Yesterday a good friend came by and we knitted and visited.

Polly Garvey, sweetie that she is, gave me a ton of cotton dishcloth yarn. So visiting and knitting yesterday I was able to complete one of my favorite dishclothes - yes you guessed it - the DW.

This particular color of Peaches and Cream Cotton is called "Gumdrop." Very spring-like and cheery. Here's a close-up:

I'm looking forward to making a lot of DW's. Most of the cotton yarn is verigated and some colors I simply have never seen. This is going to be great fun!

And my Emily scarf is done! I haven't blocked it yet but I did make a matching flower:

That's pretty washed out picture. Here is a close up of just the flower. Notice the beads in the middle. Makes a nice touch. I figure I can pin this to a hat and look very "together" -WooHoo!

I just love the way the scarf and flower turned out. Now I can get on to other things (not to mention the charity knitting I need to accomplish this month).

Thanks so much for all the good wishes on my great news. I appreciate you folks no end! You have no idea!

Monday, April 17, 2006

And The Answer Is...


Oh, wrong question.

Actually I got the results of my Pet scan this morning. Since I've shared every other milestone with you folks, I'm certainly going to share this -

THE ANSWER IS NEGATIVE! Cancer-free! Do you hear that? That's the sound dancing in the streets (okay, dancing in the house, well, happy wiggling in bed). My dr called early this morning to tell us the good news.

When I had the pet scan done, the tech decided to include my head when he found out about the tumors. Now here is what my dr said about that part of the the scan. He is, and I quote, "cautiously optomistic about the tumor. No metabolic activity was detected which means either the tumor is gone (which is what I think) or what's left of it is so small it's not showing up." I am CANCER-FREE! I'll still have to have the second MRI of my head next month but all that's going to show is no tumor.

So good news first thing today. Now I just need to get thru this steriod jaunt and I'm ready to get back to life!

My Emily scarf is almost done. I decided I needed to knit a matching flower to pin on a hat. I've been going thru patterns on the internet and in my books to find something I like. Isn't it funny how you can make a whole item but when you want an accessory it takes forever to find the perfect thing!

Well, I don't have much else for today. No kitty eye candy, no knitting to share, just some basic good news.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Recovering Emily (The Scarf, That is)

We did one showing today and then I spent most of the afternoon working on my Emily scarf. The frogging the other day was so disheartening. I just hate frogging! But, while I didn't get it quite recovered to where it was, it's pretty darn close. I wanted you to see what it will look like on my hunter green coat. I personally think the color combo is stunning! The picture doesn't do it justice, the coat is really green and the scarf is much brighter!

And a close up. Of course I haven't blocked it yet, but it's going to be very nice.

I also have a small baby hat someone gave me for our charity knitting projects. I apologize for the fuzziness. Tonight has not been my night to take pictures.

And I don't know where the Yarn Inspector went. Usually she is so vigilant about checking out anything I'm photographing. As soon as she hears the camera turn on, she's usually right there. She must be sleeping can hear a can of cat food being opened in the kitchen when she's on the back porch with the door closed. And these are cans where you just peel the lid off, kind of like sardines. Hmmm....makes you wonder.

And the update today is - not great. I don't understand but it seems just like clockwork, come Saturday and Sunday I don't feel anywhere near as good as the rest of the week. I had planned to clear out the piles of papers, knitting books and mags, and assorted stuff I've managed to accumultate around me here in the bedroom. I managed to get one stack of stuff put away before feeling dizzy. Really hoping I'll feel good enough to go to church tomorrow.

Have a Blessed Easter Holiday!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

And The Week Winds Down

Just in case you think I'm just laying around sleeping most of the time and listing a house or two in between naps, I thought I'd show you what I've been working on. Here is Beauregard modeling a premie cap. Yes, he is on top of the tv, the light was better.

The little pointy things on top of the hat are three dingles. I don't know what else to call them. I just like them and I put them on most of the baby and kid hats I make. For some reason I think a little kid or a baby just look cuter with dingles.

And the photo shoot was going just fine until Mom (Ms. Lana Lyn) decided Beau needed some directing. She was saying things like "Sit up straight, Look happier, Smile, etc" Beau was not very happy as you can tell by his expression. Nor was Mom when she realized he wasn't paying any attention to her.

Her intense little face says she'd like to climb right up to the top of the tv and SMACK him! But she couldn't, so she didn't but I did notice there was quite a little discussion going on later. I ignored it as I didn't want either one to think I was taking sides.

And I put almost EIGHT inches on my Emily scarf over the last couple of weeks. Here's what it looks like:

SIGH! Yes most of my inches are in that large pile of frogged spaghetti and my Emily scarf is back where it was when I started two weeks ago. I noticed an unfixable error right where I started. Oh, believe me, I worked and worked at trying to fix it without having to frog but in the end I realized I wouldn't be happy. Those eight inches were so pretty I'm just going to have to redo them. So the spaghetti has been rewound and Ms. Emily is back in her bag until I can bring myself to start again and be MUCH MORE CAREFUL!

So onto the Med update - Okay, going from 10 mg of steroid to zero was a mistake. My dr thought it might work, it was worth a shot. Hense, sleeping and feeling really, really crummy. So I'm back on 10mg until Friday. Then we go to 7.5, a week later to 5, the week after 2, the week after off.

I had an ultrasound yesterday (my dr was concerned about the swelling in my neck). It came back fine. And I finally had my Pet Scan done today. If you want to know a place NOT to got to have things done, email me privately and I'll be happy to tell you who and why. Won't know the results of the pet scan until Friday.

So now that I'm back on a higher dose of steroid, I feel better. I'm a little irritated my adrenal glands didn't even TRY to kick in but hopefully the more gradual taper will fool them into getting back to work.

One thing I have noticed (and no one else in the whole world would probably notice), I think my face is getting smaller! Well, my cheeks are not as tight, the splits on the inside have healed up, and I'm having trouble focusing my eyes. When I started to puff up, I had a couple of days where I had trouble focusing so I'm hoping this is the reverse process.

I'm off to try to get my little secret project finished so I can get it delivered.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Guild was Sunday

And it was really good. Of course I forgot my camera but I noticed Kay taking pictures so hopefully she will post some pics on her blog or send me a couple to post on mine.

We had about 29 people come! And two brought their young daughters. One was making spool jewelry. She has promised me, if they come back next month, she wil bring me some examples of her finished work. The second young lady was knitting LACE! On double pointed needles! With crochet thread! What do you suppose she'll be knitting when she's in her teens...

Our program was done by yours truly on the importance of swatching, knowing your gauge or tension and knowing the secret formula so you can turn any sweater pattern into a pattern that not only fits you but also lets you use the needles and yarn you want. I think it was pretty good program.

Then we went around the room and found out what projects everyone was working on. This is always so inspiring! And we had three new knitters come to learn how to knit and we had someone who came last month and learned how, come back for a refresher.

We are always thrilled by these things!

Our charity projects continue. It looked like we had a handful of baby hats turned in so we are getting good start on our projects. I managed to make one and had another about half done but decided I didn't like the stitch pattern so, of course I frogged it and started over.

I was a little late for Guild as I had shown a house earlier in the day and then the buyers decided they wanted to make an offer on it. Not a problem. I was only about five minutes late.

But it has been really busy last week and this week looks like it will be the same. And today is day one of NO steriods. I'll probably be fine up until about Thursday, if the other decreases are any indication. Then I'll fight my way thru the weekend and hopefully will come out on the other side fine.

This has be no fun whatsoever but I've decided that unless I actually collapse, I'm not doing any steriods. I want to be done with this! And I'm feeling fine mentally, not very fuzzy at all today. Physically I'm not quite as good but I blame it on the steriods (I blame EVERYTHING on the steriods...If I get a knot in my yarn I blame it on the steriods...if one of the cats does something odd, it's the steriods...etc). I'd like to call it denial but's the steriods!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

12 Things

I can't believe I haven't posted since Tuesday! I have been really busy with RE but the big thing is, if I do more than two things, I have to come home and nap. So rather than knit or bead or do something fun - I'm sleeping. Then today a number of new symptoms popped up and I slept most of the afternoon and evening (which explains why I'm doing this so late).

Since I have no pictures or even knitterly content I thought I'd share 12 things you may not know about me:

1. I DO NOT like chocolate! I can eat really good milk chocolate (like Godiva) provided its wrapped around a cream or caramel center.

2. I really like Snickers bars, Junior Mints, and M&M Peanuts (little chocolate, lots of other good stuff).

3. I can't stand lima beans, coffee, okra, or grits.

4. We lived for two years in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia (1986-1988)

5. We've been to Kenya, Iceland, Australia, Bangkok, Singapore, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Italy, Belgium, Holland, France, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt.

6. We got lost in little, tiny Luxemburg and circled the main square several times before finally figuring out what road actually let you leave town!

7. I was married once before for about 12 years - the last five he had a girlfriend.

8. Jim and I met via the computer back before there was an internet and only geeks had computers - lol. I wouldn't do that now!

9. He was in OKC, I was in Tacoma Wa. A year after our intial meeting we were married.

10. I was a computer programmer.

11. I have started at least two small businesses and dropped them as soon as they became successful.

12. I've been in real estate longer than any other career field (but then, this is where I'm supposed to be right now).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Busy, Busy Day

Well, day two of the half dose of steroids. I have some side effects but mostly I feel fine, except my knees are very weak. In fact, I can't climb even a small step without a little help. This better change pretty quick is all I can say. I almost fell twice today because I couldn't get my knees to bend correctly. Well, they bend but they have no strength to straighten back up.

The season of the house is upon us. I had two listing appointments today, one on Thursday and one on Friday. This is typically the time of year to buy and sell and it's getting brisk. And I am not complaining. I love helping people either get the right house or get the right price for their house. It's a career field I would never have chosen but it was chosen for me and God has blessed me in it. It is the only service area I know where you can make a huge difference to benefit people. And since I work mainly by referral, I spend little time talking to people I don't know.

And I have been knitting. Put a couple of lace repeats on my Emily scarf. About half done with my little secret project and want to get a premie layette done before Guild so I can get it turned in. I still have to do my homework for Guild. This meeting is going to be so much fun and so informative - I can hardly wait.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Well, It's About Time!

Today has been wonderful day! We went to this church for the second Sunday in a row and really enjoyed it. And surprise - Wayne and Kathy were visiting there too! So we had lunch together and had a great visit. And I have a chaste tree coming...., so Wayne was checking out the backyard to see where it should go and when he came back in he asked us if we had any bats in our bat house.

Bat house? Bat house? It seems the box on the fence is a bat house (okay, I thought it was something like a toad house until Wayne pointed out that toad would really have to JUMP to get into it). We've never seen any bats (or toads, for that matter) around it but we aren't usually out on the patio at dusk. I'd like a bat or two to move in. Wayne says they eat three times their weight in mosquitoes every night. So we need to entice bats. Guess I'll have to ask Wayne how to do that.

And then, I spent the afternoon beading! I haven't felt this good in over a week.

I apologize for the picture quality. It's hard to get a good picture of beaded items. From the top, a faux turquoise bracelet, a faux turquoise stretch bracelet, a glass bead bracelet, a watch I am experimenting with, and two pairs of art bead earrings. Here's a little better picture of the bracelets.

I'm still really shakey so it took almost two hours to get the bottom two finished. I was twanging jump rings all over the kitchen!

And lest you think I've had no knitterly endeavors, here is a scout master hat in Boy Scout Red I made for a friend who is - tada - a scout master.

I'm also working on another project but since I don't know if she reads this or not, I'm keeping it under wraps until I give it to her. Then I'll post pictures.

Med Update-MRI was Thursday. Great report. The smaller tumor is gone. The larger one has shrunk considerable, and the brain swelling is almost gone too. No other signs of cancer activity, so the radiation did its job. I have another MRI scheduled in two months to be sure the first tumor is gone. If it's not, then we talk about the Gamma Knife but I think the tumor will be gone and I'll be able to get on with my life. I have things to do and people to annoy!

I still have to have a PET scan, probably some time the end of this month. This is the one where they inject you with some kind of sugar (it might be glucose, I can't remember at the moment), then check from the neck down to be sure there are no other signs of cancer in your body. Again, I expect this to come back clean too.

And the steroids. This is the fun part. On Tuesday my doctor put me on Prednesone. The same amount of cortisteriod my body is suppose to normally produce. I was not bad for for a couple of days, then I felt awful. Spent most of Friday and Saturday in bed. And tomorrow, when I check in with him, his plan is to cut the dosage in half and by the week after be off the meds entirely. I expect this next week will be quite interesting.