Thursday, August 30, 2007


There seems to be a whole lot going on right now! Just how many WIP's can one have going on at one time and still accomplish something? And how many is too many? Is there such a thing? I have a note card on my fridge that says, "Too much of a good thing is a good thing." The problem I'm having is that I just don't seem to be getting anything finished! Some of that I can blame on my wrists, but honestly, some of it is due to the fact that I'm having trouble concentrating on any one thing for very long... Any one knitting thing, that is.

Also, there are just some things going on in my life (I alluded to changes in my last post) that are requiring my time and attention (I'm not complaining!) right now. Good things coming from that!

Here's my current WIP list, not in any particular order:

Cobblestone Sweater for Buddy B.

Log Cabin Afghan

Swirl Socks (kind of abandoned lately because of wrists)

Rusted Root Sweater (cast on, but not much farther than that)

Super Quick Baby Socks (almost complete)

Chemo Cap to donate (3/4 complete)

Cotton Dishcloth - Chinese Waves (half done) for a friend's apartment

Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (being made from the cashmere and silk Buddy B got me in Scotland last year!)

What about you? How many WIP's do you have on the needles?

*sigh* I need some some Knitalin, I think!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I am a creature of habit. For breakfast I like the same cereal. I drink the same coffee every day. My day has a certain order to it. Now, I wouldn't say I'm obsessive-compulsive, nor would my friends. I can certainly be spontaneous and flexible, but there are just some areas of my life that I like to stay the same. Like my job, for example.

Until this week, I had spent 17 years in seventh grade. I started out as a teacher, and then went back to school for a Master's degree in counseling. The past fourteen years I've been a counselor for seventh graders. I found out in May I would be moving to 8th grade, but not willingly.

I have to say that so far the change has been a pleasant surprise. The building is not totally unfamiliar to me. I started my counseling career in this district in this building, with seventh graders, before moving to another building for 10 years. The building I didn't want to leave. While introducing myself to the staff yesterday I joked that, "everything in education goes in circles, and in that tradition, I am back here where I started." Students and parents have been happy to see me. I had these kids last year. I can call them by name. They're giving me high-fives and hugs today.

Buddy B told me in the Spring, "Sometimes change is good. Keep an open mind about this. I think you will like your new building." Good thing I have smart friends, huh? I am casting on for Cobblestone tonight with Buddy B as the intended recipient; a gift for his support and encouragement. It's not a surprise. He chose the color (Cascade 220, Lichen) and has had to be measured for the sweater. I got gauge on the first try.

There are other changes taking place in my life as well. Happy changes. Exciting personal changes. Maybe life-altering changes. I'll keep you posted on that.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Friends, Fashion Statement... and yarn

First of all, thank you. Thank you to those of you who sent emails and left comments with good wishes for my friend. Things are getting better, but it's going to take time. Your good thoughts and energy and prayers are so appreciated! A special thank you goes to those of you who let me know that you are available to *me* day or night if I should ever be in need. It was a time for my friend to Find Out Who Your Friends Are.


Earlier this month, Sarah Lou went to Stitches Midwest, in Chicago, and had the great pleasure in partaking in all of the yarny goodness there. Being a thoughtful and generous friend, she brought me this beautiful gift.

"My Stash is Bigger than Yours"

That's the bracelet I want to wear. Instead, I am wearing this. X2. And for the record, Sarah's stash is bigger!

Quite the fashion statement, no?

But not all is bleak. There is sock yarn. Yummy sock yarn. The Loopy Ewe recently celebrated its one year anniversary. What's a FIRST anniversary without a celebration? Of course, there was a special yarn to commemorate the event. Of course, I had to have some! "Happy Anniversary to Ewe" (top) is shown with two other wonderful purchases.

And, purely out of yarn envy, because Sarah got some at Stitches, I had to buy some Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. That's "Pebble Beach" and "Foofaraw."

Last night at Yarn Haven was too funny to even try to describe. Somehow we ended up on the topic of shaving monkey butts. I blame Becky and Sarah. The baby socks are almost finished. I have one chemo cap nearing completion. Last night I received a free ball of Plymouth Bamboo to make another.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

A Friend in Need

Elizabeth Zimmermann, the amazing knitting genius I would meet if I could go back in time, once wrote, "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises."

This past weekend, I was OK, and my knitting was OK, but someone very dear to me was going through a personal crisis starting Saturday night. Rock bottom crisis. The good news is that things can only get better from here. (I'm hoping and praying!)

I jumped in and did as much as I could to help, and then I knitted.

What could be more hopeful during a crisis than baby socks? When finished, this will be a pair. The pattern is Super Quick Baby Socks, and the yarn is leftover Banana Cabana from Cider Moon. I'm using US size 5 needles to save my wrists and fingers. These socks already have a home lined up in the near future.

Readers, make sure your friends know they can call on you day or night if they are in need, whether the favor is big or small. Make sure they know you mean it. Then, make sure you're ready to go to their aid when they call. Remind your friends that everyone needs help sometimes, and it's OK to ask for help.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

No Sudden Movements...

I am knitting... ever so slowly. I have progress shots of my Swirl Sock and my Log Cabin afghan to show you... if I can get them posted. Ever since I came back from vacation I am having a hell of a time getting pictures from my camera to my computer and then getting them up here. (I blame the kids and the Ex, who had free roam of my computer while I was gone.)

Once this pair of socks is finished, I think I will be taking a break from the little pointy toothpick needles known as sock needles and DPN's. As much as I love knitting socks, it wasn't until venturing downward to the small-diameter needles that I began having the wrist pain and finger numbness.

The Swirl Socks are at the point of starting the gussett. yay! I am in love with the Rainbow Trout yarn from Cider Moon. This is the glacier weight yarn. Remember, these are my first toe up socks ever! I just love them!

The Log Cabin currently measures 24" x 27" unblocked, and is growing. I am loving the colors and how it is coming together. The freshly started green strip on the right is now complete. Orange is next. The simplicity of this knit is rather soothing, and the yarn slides quickly across the Knit Picks Options needles I recently acquired. I splurged on some long cords specifically for this project.

Right now I think I need to start concentrating on finishing some things, regardless of how slowly I progress.

Oh! And in case you're wondering... Night one with the wrist splints went like this: went to sleep at 11:45, woke up at 2:00AM. Back to bed at 3:00AM. Up at 4:00. Back to bed at 4:15. Up at 5:33AM. Back to bed at 5:40. Up at 7:45AM. The GOOD news is that I did not have any numbness in my fingers until about an hour after I was up and moving around.

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Friday, August 17, 2007


D is for Doctor.

That's where I've been today. I had an appointment this morning to discuss the wrist pain that has been greatly interfering with my knitting time. My doctor feels that my symptoms are indicative of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. That isn't great news, but it didn't surprise me. I have a treatment plan for the next month that includes a combination of meds, lovely (note of sarcasm) wrist splints that are 8" tall and reduced knitting. My knitting has already been reduced!

The splints have to be worn nightly while sleeping, while using the computer, and while knitting. Wisely, my doc did not say "no knitting at all." He knows that I used knitting to replace eating while stressed. Neither of us want me to put back 70 lbs. that have been lost!

We'll decide in a month if further tests (like an EMG) are necessary or if the current treatment will continue. Surgery may be in my future, but for now, I'll stick with this treatment plan and not even think about that! The things I tried on my own before seeing the doc were all the right things to do, and the doc appreciated the time I took to use a common-sense approach. It saved us both time in the long run.

In knitting news, my swirl sock is at the point of starting the gussett, and my Log Cabin afghan has been brought out of hiding. I will still knit, you know. Socks may have to take a hiatus as I'm finding little needles harder to manage with the numbness in my fingers. I am looking at yarn options to make Cobblestone for Buddy B... leaning toward Cascade 220 superwash. Can someone help me get him moving on choosing a color?! I jokingly threatened to drag him into Yarn Haven with me if he doesn't help out, but since he often shows interest in what I'm making, it really wouldn't be a punishment, and the shop wouldn't intimidate him.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Indulge Me

Knitting is still slow. I am seeing my doctor Friday morning about the pain (and my insomnia issues). So please, indulge me a few more trip photos, will you?

First up, Buffalo Bill's! Buddy B, this is for you. That little gift I bought you... the tokens? I found them in this shop. This place is in Cave Creek, just outside of Phoenix.

Next stop, The Horny Toad. Great lunch. Lots of giggles. My girlfriends insisted on taking me here for lunch as opposed to The Satisfied Frog across the street. Hmmmmm, I wonder why?

And look! In case one should need to make a call...

And here we all are together...
K2 has been my best friend since 3rd grade. Linda I've known since Kindergarten and now lives in Phoenix. And me. We all graduated from high school together. Our parents still go to church together. (That's kind of scary!) Especially since we have memories of one-liners from our trip like,

"I said 'skank' not 'skunk'!"

"Dry Beaver? I hate when the beaver is dry!"

And this one, courtesy of Linda's husband Steve:

"When I have to hold the menu past the end of my dick, I'll get glasses"

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Monday, August 13, 2007

A Feast For The Eyes

Some scenery for you from my trip. I think the photos speak for themselves. We are blessed with amazing beauty right here in our own country, friends. Make time to go see it. Take someone you love.

eeek! It's me!
Sunset at the Grand Canyon is an event that I will never forget. The beauty cannot be easily put into words, but I will readily admit to having tears streaming down my face while watching it, in near silence, with people from all over the world.

Sunset at The Grand Canyon, Yaki Point

Chapel of The Holy Cross, Sedona

Our last night in Phoenix we were given this beautiful show! Yes, right over our hotel. See the white speck on the balcony? That's K2 outside our door.

I'm still trying to figure out how I came home 4 lbs. lighter. Not complaining, though!


Friday, August 10, 2007

What a Trip!

I'd love to show you photos of my trip to Arizona, but for now, my computer is not cooperating with my camera. Hopefully the issue will be resolved soon. In the meantime, I am doing laundry, catching up on mail, making my kids happy and sorting out all the stuff that needs to be done after being away from home for 8 days and my kids being with their dad.

The trip was amazing... from Phoenix, to Sedona, to The Grand Canyon (complete with bull elk in the road blocking traffic!), south to Tucson and the Sonoran Desert with the amazing saguaro cactus. I loved, loved, loved driving through the mountains! I am someone who enjoys driving, and T-town is flat. Like a pancake. Having mountain highways to drive was so much fun!

Sedona has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I was particularly taken with this place while there for the day: Chapel of The Holy Cross. Not only are the views spectacular from this chapel, the simplicity of the chapel itself lends a peace and tranquility to one visiting. It was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, who had a winter home just outside of Phoenix. Taliesin West, now open for tours, and also still a design school, was another place I visited and loved.

Knitting was scarce for me, partly because I was so busy during my trip, but also because I am still plagued by wrist pain, but in both wrists now. My Rx naprosyn twice a day has barely touched the pain, and rest has not helped improve the problem in a noticeable way. Next week I see the doctor. It is quite frustrating to not be able to knit for more than a few minutes at a time.

I did find knitting shops in Arizona, though, and especially loved this one: Jessica Knits. I was able to find the Colinette Jitterbug - Toscana that I have been hunting everywhere for while there. Whenever I find Jitterbug, the Toscana colorway is sold out. The shop was packed floor to ceiling with yarn, the sales help was was friendly, but not pushy. Jessica herself was at the cash register, on the phone, placing orders.

My friends had a great time with my Loopy postcard coming out for photo-ops. K2 said, "You can't explain Loopy. You have to experience Loopy!"

It is good to be back home with the people I love. You know who you are. I could definitely live without the humidity that is here, though!

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