Friday, July 30, 2010

Long week...

It has been a long week.

I'm tired.

Don't know why, just am.

A few things for Friday recognition:

1.  Finished THREE knitted wire bracelets for the Boutique.
2.  Scheduled some classes to teach on the technique...starting with a practice run "stitch and bitch" this weekend where we will test our ability to consume vast quantities of wine and chocolate while knitting with wire and beads on tiny needles.  I predict the need for a bunch of glass refills and the resulting handiwork being classified as avant garde art.
3.  Started and finished a man's hat for a volunteer project I promised my cousin I would help with.  Need to make at least four more.  Now, she did not call me directly and ask, but rather, she posted it on Facebook and of course, I wound up messaging back and forth with her and since I don't have ANY OTHER projects going <sense the sarcasm> decided I needed to get started on it that very night.  Oh well, is a good cause and I love my cuz Becs!...oooh the stories we could share about our youthful adventures!
4.  Jerk Ribs...yum yum yum yum yum yum...stupid easy recipe done in the crockpot.
5.  Got the Louisa Harding sweater back on track...it's so so so pretty.
6.  Almost done with this week's Square.
7.  Flower spa cloths in progress.  Two done and ten more to go...
8.  Avoiding the migraine sweater.
9.  Cats have been cracking me up this week.  Amos sleeps curled up as close to me as he can get.  When I get up to go to the bathroom, he walks in with me, sits down, waits, then follows me back to bed and curls back up.  Ashley is turning into a piggy.  She stays off by herself most of the time, but lemme tell ya, that kitty has super power hearing and without fail can detect the clank of a spoon in a bowl.  Norman, if he is not sleeping on my head at night, he is on top of the dresser...silly Norman...he's not that coordinated and usually manages to roll off.  Last night Bella and Sophie were out on the back porch.  She was standing on the back of a cushy chair looking into the living room.  We would look at her and she would just open her mouth like meowing, but nothing came out.
10.  And the last noteworthy mention of the week is Madison.  She told me I had to include her because she said so.  She is currently sitting across from me at the shop and questioning me about who reads this.  Wanted to know if all my knitting friends follow my blog and if they also blog.  She said we should start a new group called "Blocking and Blogging."  She's a silly one!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

On my needles now...

I truly love Flat Feet Yarns.  The concept of just being able to unravel a piece of unique pre-machine knitted material is wonderful.  Each swatch you get is totally one of a kind.  You never really know how the socks are going to turn out.  Or in my case, when the second sock of the pair is finally going to be done.

My first attempt at Fair Isle knitting.  Started this before the Winter Olympics were over,  got a migraine from carrying yarn and reading a chart that had some errors and now it may be done when the next Winter Olympics come around.  Ok, not really, am hoping the knitting fairies will come in and rescue me.  This project is bringing out "The Little Engine that Could" in me...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Technically, this is not ON needles right now, but it has been...until I ripped it out because of OCD/ADD has to be "rightivness".  But, it will be done, sometime, in the future, not necessarily my future, but it will be done...I can see them hanging in the window in my mind's eye...cool, now I don't have to finish/start them again since I've already imagined them done.  NEXT!!!

Resisting the urge to be an overachiever and go any further than this.  "This" is the first 8 garter stitch rows border of this week's Squares Class Square.  Already have the pattern, and could knock it out before Wednesday, but then what would I do in class besides talk, giggle, eat chocolate, talk some more, laugh some more....wait that IS a normal class.

The Louisa Harding Silk Sweater.  Found this pattern book and yarn at the Dutch Oven Yarn Store in Indian River, Michigan.  It is an EVIL store I tell you!!!  If it's not bad enough that they have all kinds of woooonnnnddddeeerrfffuuullll yarns and stuff, they force you to walk through a bakery that will make you gain weight from the smells just to get to the store.  Go there...you will be happy...oh and pick up a loaf of Cinnamon Bread for me too.

The Copper Bracelet.  That is all I'm saying.

The bane of my current knitting existence.  Halfway done with the back.  It is such a mixed up mess of gauge.  Can't even begin to describe my frustration.  Still have never managed to achieve the gauge they recommend on any size/combination of needles that would actually allow me to wear the sweater without it looking like a mesh mess.  Currently using 7's, following the pattern guide for a size large, but it is coming out to be a small, which I need.  Am being forced to think outside the box and pattern on this one.  Following the basic directions, but relying on real life measurements to move forward.  The yarn is a hand spun silk from India.  It has a varying slubbiness and thinness to it.  Important point...DO NOT knit outside with this on a humid day...it seems to suck up the moisture and literally feel wet on the needles (using bamboo and not addi turbos/lace because not only is it slick, but also a little splitty).

That should be enough to keep me busy for awhile.  Today started on a wonderful note.  My darlin' brought me breakfast in bed!  What a sweetheart...he wanted a haircut...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Birthday Boys





Tuesday was my baby boys birthday.  They are now 16 years old, can drive, and know everything :)  Life is good and as it should be.  This week has brought back a flood of memories.  Should have known it was not going to be a "run of the mill" pregnancy from the get-go.  During my first trimester, Alex shared his chicken pox with me.  You would have thought that after years of Mother and Daddy having Carrie and me play with the kids that came into the drugstore that had chicken pox, that we would have either had them or become immune, but noooooo.  Nothing quite as fun as being 27 years old with a 1 1/2 year old that is recovering from chicken pox when you come down with a ragingly horrific case of them yourself and your husband is out of the country.    After doing the antivirals, it was confirmed that I was pregnant and had been the whole time.
At the first OB appointment, I told my doc that I was going to have twins...boys...but he just laughed at me.  The first few months of the pregnancy were full of repeated hospital admissions and just being miserable with everything from pneumonia to kidney infections.  At the time, I was still working full time as a Dietitian and Assistant Director of Nutrition Services at the local hospital.  Cravings were crazy...could not get enough bacon.  Worked out well, since I would get in to work as they were finishing the breakfast service and could satisfy that craving, but the odd thing was that as much as I craved it, the SMELL alone could make me turn vividly green.  One of the docs on the Cardiac floor that I was covering had a habit of whistling softly.  Normally, this would not bother me, but suddenly, just the sound of his whistle would send me running to find a spot to try not to throw up in.

In March of 1994, I was involved in a car wreck on the way to work.  As the day progressed, became increasingly concerned because of no baby movement.  I had a couple of friends in radiology do a "practice" ultrasound on me.  SURPRISE! just as I suspected...twins.  Had the girls print out the films to prove myself...it was March 31 and I knew that without proof, no one was going to believe me on April Fool's Day when I shared the news.

By the end of May, first of June, the boys were getting antsy and beginning to hint at impending pre-term labor.  Sure enough, in early June, they tried to make an appearance.  Spent the next 6 weeks in the hospital, flipping back and forth between labor and delivery and a regular room trying not to have them.  It is a truly odd sensation when your fingers will no longer touch when you try to reach around your baby belly.  Finally, got to go home...only to be back in the hospital a couple of days later having an emergency c-section.  Frightening morning, as Christopher was delivered and found to be tiny tiny at 3# 8oz then two minutes later Wesley arrived in major respiratory distress...not breathing.  He weighed 4# 15oz.  At this point it was discovered that they had a condition known as Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  Basically, the babies share a blood supply and one baby is the donor baby (Chris) and the other is the recipient (Wesley).  More often than not, neither baby survives.  Wes spent the next few weeks in NICU in Little Rock before finally getting to  come home. 

Now, my babies are growing up and are a couple of silly and wonderful boys that have brought joy, fun, exasperation, excitement, fear and boundless feelings of love to my life.

Here is a trip down photo memory lane...

Chris at 4 days old.

Alex being a good big brother. (Chris is wearing preemie size socks and clothes...he was about 3 months old before the preemie stuff even fit him!)


Back together for the first time in the NICU Step Down Unit in Little Rock at Children's Hospital.


Wesley returning to the hospital at home.


The first time my grandparents got to see both boys together (Wes had to stay at the hospital for several days to learn how to nurse)

Finally home together.  8-13-94
Happy 16th birthday boys...I love you more than you will ever know.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bracelet beauty!


This is a gift for a very special friend.  I came across this jewelry making notion on our trip to Michigan.  It is a simple process, but definitely not for the weak fingered!  My fingertips are quite tender from knitting with wire on small needles.  But, the end result is so worth it.  I hope she likes it!



It may be difficult for me to give it up.

This week has been fraught with emotion.  Mama Bear came out of hibernation and was forced to bare her teeth and claws to protect her cub...

Weekend plans seem to be changing every five minutes.  The house is quiet, kids are all gone, Wes is fishing a tournament, and the cats are lazing around (except for Norman who has been stealing and playing with/eating some of the green beans I picked from the garden yesterday).  It is a little overwhelming trying to figure out what to do with myself today.  Will be doing some housework and a lot of knitting.  Should probably mow, but am not inspired to do so.  

Yesterday, drove to Azalia to deliver the birthday cake I made for a boy at one of the Group Homes.  Pulled into the driveway, got out of the car, and had no sooner lifted my finger from the doorbell when the door flew open.  The birthday boy himself was waiting at the door, literally jumping up and down.  These simple things that can be done for others are so precious...set the tone for the rest of the day.  Really drove home the realization of how blessed I am...along with the solidifying of my belief that to whom much is given, much is expected.  




Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Knottiness :)

I am all tied up in knots, both literally and figuratively.  Monday on the way home, the pink sweater that started out as the "Sexy, Spite Sweater" but turned into the "oh crap, it isn't petite, have to rip it out and do something different sweater", was coming along nicely.  Ready to start the armhole decreases and ran out of yarn.  Had a new skein with me, and instead of doing the smartest thing like wait until Tuesday and have Cathi roll it or even second smartest...wait until I got home and could drape it over a chair to wind, decided to lay it across my lap and start winding.  Oh no, Mr. Bill!!!! very bad idea.  What started off as a little tangle rapidly deteriorated into the mother of all "professional over-runs" (as my Darlin' Wes refers to a fishing backlash).  Stuffed it into my bag and tried to forget about it.

Tuesday, worked on the "gauge from hell" sweater until my eyes began squinting in frustration.  Liz had come back to the Cottage Tuesday evening while I was still there...diligently tackling the knottiness.  After laughing at my ever-lovin' stubbornness, she took pity on me and we spent the last hour there pulling, twisting, tugging, and cussing the mess.  The blob above is all that is left to untangle.  Takes a real friend to help with that monumental of a mess...thanks Liz!!!   I will not give in and "just cut it apart" as I was so sweetly encouraged to do.


Feeling a bit like a bag lady lately.  Today's luggage consisted of my Service League bag/notebook...desperately need to get busy planning the upcoming year and am pretty sure there is a Group Home Birthday Kiddo this Friday that I need to make a cake for.  The pink bag has my external, non-computerized brain book in it...can't leave home for work without it...not that I do anything with it everyday, but still, my shoulders fell naked if not totin' it around, ya know?!

The felted bag was my original knitting bag until my projects started overflowing, causing the upgrade in bag size.  That bag (on the right)  is now typically stuffed to overflowing and am now back to the felted bag for part of my projects.  Next step...a rolling suitcase...



 Fun stuff...a knitted wire and bead bracelet.


For the rest of my psyche that is tied up in knots, only time (and perhaps a little nightly intoxication) will help.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Colors


Yummy balls of color are now being carried around in a plastic bag in my car.  Not sure what the effect will be, but sorta like time out, maybe I am hoping that the yarn will behave and finally knit to gauge.  Due to the fact that it is 100% silk,  it grows and grows and grows.  Every swatch I have done has started out sorta okay, but wound up looking like mesh.  
Discussed this last night at Squares Class, and the general consensus of all...okay between the three of us that were continuing to hang around after class...was to use a working yarn with the main yarn.  Maybe use a sock yarn, or even perhaps, switch the main yarn to a wool and just use the silk for the intarsia sections.  Think I'll start with adding a sock yarn and holding the silk double for the intarsia.




Saturday, July 10, 2010

Reunion Day

Today is a most super special day.  It is the day we celebrate as our reunion day...the day that we were brought back together as one.  My life is complete with the one person that was made for me.  Our life is full of laughter, joy, smiles, and contentment.  Lots of "things" can bring happiness, but it is fleeting.  A more true measure is that of contentment.  My Darling One fits my soul.  Together we are stronger and better.  I respect, love, admire, and like him.  As we travel together through this life, we don't always see eye to eye on everything, but the wonderous thing is that that is okay.  You are not supposed to agree with everyone all the time...that would be boring.  But, we both give each other the freedom to disagree.  Ultimately, there are things in each of our lives that the other can weigh in on, but the final decisions remain with that person.  Our partnership is strong enough and loving enough to allow that to occur.  Others may not like the decisions we make separately and together but we will not be swayed in our commitment to each other and our life that we choose to make together.

A couple of important notes about ideas that I try to remember each and every day:

Money can buy medicine, but not health.
Money can buy a house, but not a HOME.
Money can buy companionship, but not friends.
Money can buy happiness, but not contentment.
Money can buy food, but not an appetite.
Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
Money can buy a crucifix, but not a saviour.
Money can buy clothes to attend church, but not FAITH.
Money can buy the good life, but not eternal life.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind DON'T matter and those who MATTER, don't mind."  Dr. Seuss









Mo Anam Cara always and forever, my darling.  Thank you for finding me and bringing me home.

Bath day


You can sweet talk all you want...I'm ignoring you for the rest of the day!



I spent hours fixing my hair and you messed it all up!



Aaaaccckkk! I'm dripping!!!


Maybe the sun will bleach the rest of my hair.


Drying in the sun and working on my tan.

Cat bath day is always fun.  Five cats and four puncture wounds later (thanks a lot Bella!) that job is done.


Friday, July 9, 2010

My guys...

What happens when you get the guys in my family together near water and just happen to have sticks with clear string and poingy hooky things on them?

But then, there is my Daddy who likes words...


Cornhole and such

Thursday morning, bright and early, the boys got up and prepared to drive to Arkansas for some time together with their Dad, but NOT before the challenge for one more cornhole game.  So, at 6:45a.m., the sounds of corn bags and laughter were echoing through the cove.
Alex and Chris (sitting next to Alex) were really not quite awake but were present for the good-natured  competition.

Okay, Chris is reeeeeeallly not awake.  They got on the road and after a very long day filled with heat, blowing hot air, torrential rain, and automotive anarchy, they made it.  My house is now painfully quiet, though it doesn't smell so much like feet.  Their presence is still palpable.  Socks on the floor, in the couch, behind the couch. Cups on the counter, dried ice cream drips in the sink and on the counter, and little memento bits of trash here and there.   The cats have calmed down, actually they were fine before, but Bella seemed convinced that everytime she got picked up, she was going to be pretend put in the sink.  Have not ventured upstairs...frankly, I'm afraid...very afraid.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Holiday Weekend

Today was simply wonderful. Slept in then putzed around the house for
a while. Had to take Chris to work, so popped into the liquor store
and got a few things including the ever decadent chocolate wine. It
gives new meaning to being a chocoholic!
Made some homemade applesauce this afternoon. Wes' parents, brother,
and nephew came over for dinner. Yummy steaks, potatoes, salad, corn
and lemon shake ups.
After dinner, the boys, Wes and Phil had a mini cornhole tourney.
Hilarious!
Ended the evening watching the lake fireworks. From our porch we had
an unobstructed view of not only our lake's show, but also two other
displays going on at the same time. Beautiful.
Tomorrow will be another full day. Have tickets to the Indians game
then will stay to watch downtown Indy's fireworks show.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The new project

The sweater shown before is going to be made out the balls of yumminess also shown before. Words cannot describe how simply wonderful this yarn is.

It is 100% silk from India and comes in stunning colors. Almost feels like water running through your fingers.

The only problem so far is that I have now done gauge swatches using four different sized needles and keep coming up with the same number of stitches per inch. Having to go to plan b for picking needles and recalculating cast on...the math is giving me a headache. Due to the fact that yumminess is quite pricey, I realllly don't want to mess this up.

Back to swatching I go.

Next project to be made with the yummy yarn

Yumminess in a ball

The fruits of my labor...

Random Mullet Lake pics


My Michigan Birthday...


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