Monday, December 31, 2007

red!



A late dahlia in the garden. (scroll down) led me to this, which, is, of course, leading to bigger quilt. I finally got the 1958 elna set up to free motion quilt ( sew in lines that spiral or squiggle). I am very happy about that. It will not be all matching fabric, as this is Budget Recovery Month, so i am working from stash for as long as possible. Last year I made it to mid Feb without a yarn or fabric purchase. This year, I'm committing to Jan, but I'll see how it goes.

I have had five blissful days off work, and am going to have to drag my butt back in tomorrow. It's funny, because I really like my job. I just like sleeping late, staying up late, sewing, spinning and knitting more. When I put it that way, I guess it's not so funny, anymore!

I think this might be the push I need to dye quilting fabric. I'm really low on greens. I actually think green is my neutral. I've at least never seen a leaf not go with a flower, and If it's good enough for Ma Nature, its good enough for me. Going to go write on my new calender, in March "buy green fabric".

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

ARGH Laptop

Yes, The computer died, but was resurrected. ( OOPs, wrong holiday) While I was without computer, I though about the computer, a lot. First was just the fury at having a mechanical something break for no reason. I'd actually have been less upset if I'd dropped it down the steps, or out of a boat. I'd have felt stupid, but not angry. Then The tech support system ( my husband) allowed as how he thought it could be fixed. I refused- didn't want to spend the money on something that was teetering towards obsolesce. Then, I started thinking about computers- what it meant to have a large cadre of invisible friends, to be connected to a group of folks who had some interests in common, even if they didn't have zip codes in common.

I missed my blogs. I missed my email groups. I really missed wikipedia, and I really, really missed Google. All the confidence inspired by the ability to look up anything, anytime, anyhow. I found that I use the web as an adjunct filing cabinet to my brain. Recipes, instructions, maps- all of those things have helped me become who I am. I also rediscovered what a terrible speller I am. I am old enough that my very poor spelling actually help me back in my schooling. Essays that may or may not have been good were uniformly graded down because not only do I not know how to spell, I can't even recognize a misspelled word. I once had a teacher get exasperated that I didn't even misspell things the same way- that is I could use a word three times, and spell it differently each time. Without the little red underline to alert me to my errors, my confidence and perceived intelligence tumble. I've been counting for this paragraph and the little red underline has saved me from shame fourteen times.

I wonder how I learned to read, come to think of it. It must be a different part of the brain, and luckily for me it is a part that works. My poor spelling put me right on the not college material track as a child, and then the advent of word processors put me back on again, midway through my actual college education. I also have to give credit to the office of services to disabled students, to whom I took a grudging referral freshman year, and discovered that I was very learning disabled. My handwriting was so bad, an my spelling so poor, that I had to type my rough drafts before the paid typist would accept them to type them properly, with all the spelling fixed. I learned to have readable handwriting by turning it into a drawing type activity, but if I am not careful, and sometimes even if I am, my handwriting can change greatly even in mid sentence. I write very short, structured notes in my patient charts, and I talk in very long, complicated, all around the mulberry bush sentences.

This last week I spent a lot of time thinking about commercialism, consumerism and money. Christmas week is a tough week to ignore those things, particularly if you do not celebrate Christmas as part of your religion. I thought about what having a computer meant- that I was free of appearing ignorant and dumb, that I was freed to express myself through the written word and find the words of others. I realize that the privilege of doing so comes because I have money, and can't help but think about those that do not have money. On the other hand, I work at a difficult job, a potentially dangerous job ( The only occupation with more disabling back injuries than nurses id that of a dock worker or stevedore.) I earn my money, and I try and do good work.

Like so many of us, I am worried about spending too much, using too much, wasting too much. I worry about the planet, and the hand basket it seems to be in. I love buying myself and my family little treats and luxuries, and I like spending money on yarn. A lot of yarn. Although I spent the week without a computer really trying to see if it was something I could give up, I realized that I cannot, not without really missing a big part of my life. I feel so lucky that I have the choice.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Why did no one tell me?

Been a while since the last nurse post. I teach new diabetics in my current job- the down and dirt survival skills like using a glucometer to check your own blood sugar, drawing up insulin and giving the shot, how to tell if you are too high or low and what that could do to you. Then I strongly encourage them to take some of the classes offered by the hospital- they have a crack team of diabetic educators- the neurosurgeons to my meatball surgery to put it in MASH parlance.

I get the privilege of hearing their whole story- how they first didn't feel well, how they have had no energy and have been buying stronger and stronger reading glasses, but they just don't see well anyway. I hear about their mothers, fathers, sister, aunts struggle with diabetes . I hear their fears about becoming blind, losing toes and then feet and then legs to amputation, about having to go on dialysis. Most of the time, I get the supreme pleasure of being able to offer solid, evidence based reassurance.

It is rare for me lately to be able to assure people that they will get well. Things are complicated, microbes are resistant, multiple diagnosis are colliding and interacting in ways we never dreamed possible. Part of working at a teaching hospital is that we get the sickest, the strangest, the most hopeless after their community hospital has give there best shot. ( Remind me to tell you why you WANT to be at a teaching hospital if you ever get sick.)

But the new diabetic, well, they can get well. Sure, they have to take insulin, four times a day, at least. Yep, gotta check the blood sugar four, six, eight times a day. May at some point actually get a small pump that the wear at all times on their body, pumping insulin in all the time, and more before they eat. Lot of work. Lot of trouble. But, in return, they get to live. Not only do they get to live with their disease, they get to live past it. They can literally have no long term effects of their diabetes if they can manage tight blood sugar control, watch their diet, exercise, all the good stuff. They can keep their vision, their kidney function, their toes, avoid the searing pain of neuropathy, heal well, feel well, live well.

Many times I have had the pleasure of seeing a patient after their hospitalization, asking how they are, and having them whip out their blood sugar log to show me the solid hard work they have done to save their own life. Before insulin was first extracted ( from animal pancreas's) in the mid 1920's, diabetes was a swift and sure death sentence. Now, it is a dangerous dance partner, but one that can be mastered and made to let you dance your own life. I applaud those folks who chose there own life every stinking day.

Then, there is the patient from today. When the Doc called in a teaching referral-a diabetic who needed "a little update" as he was now going to go on insulin, I should have heard that Jaws music. When he said the name, my head sank to the desk. I knew, that no matter what I said and how I said it, that this guy will not care, will not listen, and will not change. I have given him the compliance cheer four times in the last two years, but he always refuses to acknowledge that he has ever had any teaching. He has lost six toes in four separate surgeries. He will most likely lose more on this trip, and he has a bone infection in his hand that is worrisome. He cannot really see well enough to draw up insulin, but that is a common enough problem that I can order him a doohickey that will help him out. He denies having ever owned a glucometer, although I personally have dispensed two into his hands. Whenever I tell him the slightest fact about diabetes, he says, "Well, why did no one tell me that before?" When I mention that I did, he shakes his head, nope, never knew it was the sugar making his toes black. Nope, never knew that was why he had so much trouble seeing that he cut his hand on a saw at work. Nope, never knew any of it, but young lady, I'm going to get a hold of this, this time. First few times he told me that, I believed him It took all my work ethic to go see him today, and it will tomorrow, too. I phoned it in, a little, but I'll badger him until he is able to draw up insulin and jab it into his massive gut. I'll hand out the foot care info, the class info, the food info, all of it, and when he leaves, I will find the intact folder of info right where I put it on the over bed table. (Unfortunately, it will all have to be thrown away because of his habit of taking only one antibiotic a day- no matter how many are prescribed- and he is filled with resistant organisms. Gets him a private room. too) He wonders why all these doctors and nurses get so mad at him- we are all slipping our mask a bit- and this is why: We offer him the miracle of life and health, and he spits out a candy wrapper on it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sweater Goodness


We are having actual winter weather here- rare for us. It makes wool all the better. Here's what I've been working on. The yarn is a mystery- the shop owner said she brought it from Europe, but there was very little of it- three skeins- and no label. It has long color repeats, and so I am working with both ends of the skein, and letting the colors do their work. You see the yoke off the needles because I was worried about what the true dimensions were. After blocking, I was reassured. The body will be a solid, something, haven't got that worked out yet.

I started quilting, after a few months off. Have to get someone to hold up the quilt so I can take a photo. I also hauled out the fabric stash, re folded and grouped by color. I lack greens, too much purple, really, and short on the good yellows as well. Also, I have too many cute juvenile type prints, as I really don't want to make a bunch of quilts for charity just now. I will hold onto the prints, though. Just owning them prevents me from buying more cute, juvenile prints. A sew of the fabrics it seemed I had bought more than once. AT first it was just an odd- oh my I'm getting old feeling, but when I looked at the ones I had bought twice I saw a lot of really happy, warm colors. Need to beef up the greens and put a wide border on the top I'm working on, as I want it for a bed quilt so it needs to meet size requirements. To the fabric store!

Monday, November 26, 2007

No Time!

Ok, folks, I have a time problem. There isn't enough, really, and then I go do something dumb, like this plastic bag fusing. See the idea is, that you take six plastic bags, open them flat, sandwich them between paper and melt them into this new, uhm, substance. Directions here, if you must. But don't really, unless you have a lot more time than money, and a high tolerance for melting plastic fumes.

I have a stash. We all know that. I have a yarn stash, a fabric stash, a cool things for kids art stash, a bead stash, a book stash ( of things to read, fiction, plus books about using the above materials.) I have a sewing area, a yarn room ( doubles as the bedroom, dontcha know) . I have three spinning wheels and four or five fleeces worth, plus roving, plus 4 ounces of cashmere, plus R lent me her Bosworth charka and gave me a pound of cotton to play with. Oh, yes, and the LYSO has entrusted me with her circular sock knitting machine, to see if I can get it knitting.

I have even got a jumbo bin of Red Heart yarn for teaching children's knitting, although I haven't done that for, oh, three years. ( An aside- when my son went to private school, I mentioned that I would teach fourth grade and up to knit, if they wanted. They wanted- I became an elective, had a room, an aide, and a bunch of kids. Mention the same thing in public school number one- nope, no can do, and why would I want to volunteer in a class other than my child's? Oh, well, next year, we were diverted to public school number two, which we didn't fight because it was considered a better school- well, they have no time for knitting either, except one day for two hours and that was it. No more knitting, but they all got a hand out. Now Son 2 is at yet a different public school, and they too, have no time for knitting. We also can't plant peas without getting passed by a committee, but then, I said this was an aside. )

So, I have untold wealth a beauty to spend my time with, valuable tools to work with and a free hour. And I decide to try and fuse plastic bags into a usable material, so that I can sew a grocery bag. I have to wonder at my self esteem- I walked past riches to work with junk. Clearly, I need to start treating myself better.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Party's Over

Nothing left to do but eat leftovers and wash dishes. I have a general ban on washing dishes the night of the party, or worse yet, while the guests are still here. At my childhood dinners, we had to wash the dishes before we ate dessert. ( I do, however, follow tradition in that the table is cleared of all the food before dessert is set out. I hate the look of gnawed on food, and random plates of pickles or gravy pitchers.)

We had the kind of thanksgiving dinner that I dreamed of as a lonely young woman. Another couple, with children near our children's ages. THey praised out food, spoke intelligently about topics wide and near, and put up with the very crabby dog barking at the kids. ( We worked out that she seems to have a sore ear- I am hoping the vet clinic is open tomorrow or Saturday and we can get it seen to. I am also hoping that Dream Dog is crabby because of the sore ear, and will return to being wonderful after it is fixed.)

We four adults talked about love, history, politics, race, religion, medical pot, music, our parents, our kids...everything. There was no dividing up of the men in one room and the women in another. There were no hurt feelings or angry words. There was no rush for the evening to be over, at all. Wine was drunk, and no one drank too much. Stories were told, and no one bragged. The children busied themselves, happy with unlimited access to the computer games, and the tree house and a very cool toy called a stomp rocket. The came back and forth, delivering little updates on their activities in the next room, eating clementines and second pieces of pie. At the very end, the two youngest spent time sitting in parent's laps.

The refrigerator is full of food, the sink is full of dishes, and my cup runneth over.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Four Stages of A Laptop

Computer love- no, not that kind- seems to run in stages. I am firmly in stage three, right now, and feeling entitled to be in stage four. Ahem.

Stage 1: Heady Bliss. The keyboard is clean, clicky enough to let me know when the keystroke is done, but not so clicky as to annoy most others. Oh, the battery! Odes could be written to the day long battery. Unplug in the AM, trail around the house all day, checking the battery status and seeing, yes, Woolywoman, you have plenty of battery life left. The connections are swift and sure, and my packets just wiz along. I sometime send myself email, just for the thrill of how quickly new messages load. I browse graphics rich sites. I take the laptop everywhere I go, even if computer use is unlikely. I buy a new bag to carry the laptop in during our adventures together.

Stage 2: Dependable Comfort. The laptop is a noble, sturdy beast. It does everything I tell it to do, and I still occasionally take a spin through the control panel, update wallpaper and default browsers and such. Life is good, I have a nice machine to assist me, and that little scratch on the top only shows when it's closed.

Stage 3: Roiling Irritation. The laptop, while still indispensable, is annoying. It acts as though it has a virus, but sweeps find nothing. I find myself glancing at the clock while it loads emails, cursing the minutes I will never get back from my life. I have to ask Mr. Woolywoman for technical help, and it rankles. (Yes, I have an inhouse networking expert. Don't hate me.) I have odd glitches in page loading, and if I touch the cursor while the email is loading, it freezes. If it were a patient, we'd order a CT scan, but we'd find nothing. The thing still works, right. I'm writing this now, aren't I? So it's a little slower, and I just had to plug in after only one cordless hour. I rarely write or surf anywhere but at home, so get up and get the damn cord, already. Don't trip on the cord I have stretched across the living room, children. I eye my husband's laptop, which though sticky ,( he eats at the computer YUCK), is serviceable.

Stage 4: Crisis. Please look up at your keyboard, and note that the numeral four shares the key with a dollar sign. This is not coincidental. The laptop is totally unworkable. I buy a new battery and am appeased, until the browser fails to load at all. Mr Woolly de frags the hard drive, sweeps for intruders, considers adding a blank to the blank so that the blank will stop blanking. He'll do some research, toss some ideas around. I am cut off from my invisible friends. I stomp upstairs and down, book in one hand, knitting in the other, leaning over his shoulder. Did the blank work? I need it to work, ok? I may get just the tinniest bit shrill at this point. I go to the recycling bin, pull out the Comp USA fryer from last Sunday's paper, and rattle it menacingly. I...I...I realize that I do not know how to buy anything without a computer to research, compare, and contrast. I'll drive to the store. Lets see, for store locations, check our website. OH. I burst into tears. This stage only resolves with the purchase of a new machine. See Stage one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hiding In My Cave


Why yes, that is a grumpy little fish in a bottle, courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I think he likes me, though.

I knit a hat. A bulky hat. Two stitches to the inch. Very unlike me, with my DK fetish. However, a nice hat none the less. Perhaps it is something in the air, or more likely the lovely basket of super giant yarn on the table at the knitting store.

In further non news, we are having a freakishly mild fall, and yesterday I picked a ripe tomatoe off the vine, a full 10 days later than last year.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mom Sings

Oh, yeah, baby.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anSpBUxsgAU
You got to watch it. SOrt of like, me, except we have dog and not a cat.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Done!


Finished the stole from Just One More Row. Cheating, because this is the picture from when I first posted. It looks like this, but longer. It is a bribe for my son's kindergarten teacher. Err- I mean gift. Never actually finished a teacher gift in a timely fashion, before. Most likely I will post a photo after it is blocked, because it might look better/different then.

Other happenings include a whirlwind trip from my oldest friend. I have completely corrupted her into a Knitter capital K. She brought more yarn than clothes. My work is done.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Random Things I've Learned

Never, ever, put a banana in a backpack. No amount of care can make it turn out well.

Sideways knit, short row garter stitch hats are an excellent use of handspun yarn, or any yarn of inconsistent gauge.

Large dogs are easier to housebreak than small dogs. I do not know if this is a characteristic of the dog, or if it is because I care much, much, more about the poo from a 90 pound animal than a five pound one.

Small children are both more work and more fun than I though possible
.
To paraphrase Annie Lamott, Until I had a child, I was able to deceive myself that I was a good person. Now I know I am good enough, but it's an uphill climb.

I can never, ever, stop taking anti depressants. I would take them even if it was proven to shorten my life.

If I had to give up coffee, I could, but I hope I never have to.

Kind people seem to get more cancer than mean people.

Drunks seem to live forever- or does it just seem that way to me?

The best deaths for the dying seem to be different than the best deaths for the grieving.

Leave me a comment with a random thing you have learned, if you'd like.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tender


This is son one and son two. The older one has just gotten a sombrero at a restaurant that provides those for birthday people. No age limit. I always get my sombrero, too.

I find myself wishing that I could freeze the world, and keep only these tender moments. I myself am very tender, as of late. I have been fighting with a loved one for almost three days- every time I think we have begun to climb out of the valley of the shadow of misunderstanding, we , or I, slide back in.

My mother, whom I should be cherishing, has been visiting on a nearly daily basis since her retirement. I am losing my mind, as she is an odd combination of tender hearted and sharp tongued, and cannot seem to put two words together without raising the hairs on my back. She also has a habit of putting things in the dishwasher other than dishes, where these things melt or are otherwise destroyed, and she is puzzled by this. See, they're not dishes, and that's why, but it does no good.

Even the knitting is suffering. I found myself, in the last few days, unable to follow a simple pattern, and have resorted to knitting a scarf out of two strands of lace weight, yarn over, knit two together. It's an uphill battle, but if I can persevere than I will have a token gift for one of the teachers. If I don't, well I will have ruined two balls of lace weight.

It all passes, good or bad, the good days end, the bad days end.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

No Photos

Well, I've been putting off blogging until I charged the battery on the camera and uploaded photos, and then here we are, with no uploading to blogger. But rest assured, the blogger engineers are working on it! Because, engineers like nothing more than helping the clueless!!! Of, which, I am legion! Whatever! Still knitting. Had a mystery illness, which was, in retrospect, probably an RA flare up. Or something. But, it seems better, except that I nearly passed out while pulling weeds. As we all know, passing out is one's body's way of saying "look, weirdo, I've been telling you to lie down all day, and so I am now taking matters into mine own hands, as it were" . So I went into the porch and reclined in a plastic Adirondack chair until I felt better, and then I knit, and then Mr. Woolly had to pick up all the weeds off the side walk where I had flang them. Still have no photos, which makes it rather hard to say, oh look, I knit, because, well, it's sort of a photo dependent thing. So, off to lie down again, to keep my body from taking it over again. Brains! Brains are in charge!

Friday, October 12, 2007

One Done, One Started


The sweater under neath is Just one More Row pattern. The one on top is a sweater embryo, also from that company. It's called the heartbeat sweater , because it starts in the center. No swatch. I'm taking deep breaths on that one. Seems good, so far.

Rainy season has started, and with it the complete lack of sense exhibited by local drivers. What is it with these people? It's a little bit of water, falling from the sky.

Otherwise, I'm knitting Crazy Aunt Pearl's pumpkin hat. It has been declared too silly for boys, but I will wear my hat with Boing Boing PRIDE I tell you.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Quilt with Dog


Clearly, she's brilliant. She immediately knew it was a quilt, the moment I laid it on the just swept floor to baste. She was also able to instantly detect that it had less than the proper amount of dog hair on it, so perhaps her big fuzz butt was required. Quite the girl, our Ginger.

My 9 yo son helped a lot with this one. He did a good bit of the strip piecing and helped with lay out decisions. He said the house makes it look like a farmer's fields, so that's what we'll call it.

I wish I could pay for the long arm quilter to quilt every single top, as she does beautiful work. In stead I will probably just do some minimal straight line quilting on the machine through the indigo parts. I was pretty happy to find this much indigo dyed cotton at a fabric outlet place. It will look really nice as it fades.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

dogette blogette


THis is the little dog. She is very odd. She likes to be carried, but will not sit on your lap. Reminds me of both my kids as babies- they wanted you up, moving, on your feet.

A small dog provokes deep seated opinions. There are those who instantly adore her, based on size alone. Then there are those who instantly despise her, and me, based on, you guessed it, size alone. What really messes with their head is that I have one tiny dog and one giant dog.

I try to take the middle road. Annie is a poorly adjusted little animal who clearly had a complicated past with minimal positive experiences. She was found as a stray in a farm town out in the valley. She's complicated to love, and though her personality , ability to enjoy life and ability to initiate contact with us big footed folks has advanced, it has advanced very slowly. On the other hand, she's the most darling little muffinette in the whole world, and look at that fluffy tail!

Friday, September 28, 2007

End of Summer


Well, today was actually cool. I didn't force the boys to take jacket, as I usually do, and they were both miserable and cold at pick up time. This little sitting are was a new innovation to chez woolly. The umbrella has those little mist things that cool the air. I could sit there and watch the kids play in the driveway, or ride their bikes up and down the sidewalk.
The hollyhocks in the foreground are running rampant. The idea was that they would be the back row in a bed that's about 15 feet by five feet deep. Instead, I just let them take over. Glorious fun.
I should be more excited about the beginning of sweater weather, but I have that childhood feeling of disbelief that summer, beautiful golden summer, is over. I'm going to go fondle some wool, and see if I can get over it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Quilt Show


Well, I hung a quilt in our local, non juried, non judged quilt show. I'm not really sure what my idea was in doing so. Our local shop has it as a fund raiser for a worthy cause every year, and some one off handedly mentioned it to me, so I did. I didn't feel particularly invited, but I didn't feel un invited, so I tried to get over myself.

I think I thought that it would feel like more of a milestone, and that's why the hollow feeling about it. Maybe I was looking for praise, and that is always the wrong way to go into these things. Like most adventures, I would have had a better chance in getting somewhere if I had first thought out where I was going!

Another interesting thing that happened was that I discovered that my step father did not know that quilts were used as an art media. He was just fascinated that people bought fabric just to cut it up. The he said, ( get ready) if I wanted to make him one he would put it on his bed. Wow, really? My mother, on the other hand, was very taken aback that she was admonished for touching quilts. Her thought was that they were all machine washable.....perhaps I was adopted.

In any case, my quilt made it home, and it looks wonderful on the daybed that we use as a couch in the play room. I plumed up all the pillows and finally hung some posters down there, too. I should take a picture while it's still clean.

There were other, lovely quilts there, but I somehow managed to blur a lot of photos, so I will spare you.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dog Blog!


Isn't she lovely? Her name is Gingersnap. She's five years old, house trained, doesn't chew, doesn't bark, and gets along with the five pound chihuahua. Oh, and she's 89 pounds. What more could we ask for?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Yummy Ocean


Here's the progress I have made on the ocean waves stole, from justonemorerow.com The yarn is from the dye day a few days back. Interestingly, the color of the yarn is pretty close, the color of the rug is way off. It will look even nice blocked.

Oh, and I got my Ravelry invite. I added my books, the ones I could. No idea how to add yarn or projects as the only source acceptable for photos is flikr and i do not have the strength to set up one more account for anything.

Oh yes, nursing content. Well, actually, very little. I've been plugging away at the job, slowly reducing the number of dumb questions I ask. I find it fascinating that so many departments of the hospital have no understanding of how the other departments work, or don't work. Say a patient, formerly very sick and now just depleted and on the mend, needs some equipment. You'd think that the MD would understand that we needed a signed order, the folks who deliver the equipment would understand that if the contact person for delivery is not home, they are most likely at their family members hospital bed side, fretting about things, and that the folks who track all of this in order to prevent unnecessary days of hospitalization would realize that all this needs to happen in an organized fashion. Some how the department that teaches people how to manage their newly, and frequently shockingly medical equipment laden life ( that would be my department) is the one that takes the hit when this supposedly simple chain fails. Over all, very frustrating, as I and my fellows have a unique longitudinal view of where the hospital to home system works and doesn't work. Someone could ask us, I suppose, but, as Eyore would say, no one ever does. But hey, I get payed by the hour, and it's not a bad gig.

Friday, September 14, 2007

We're So Lucky to Live Here


Which is how I think of the name of the quilt I'm making. Here's one possible layout. The spaces will either be filled with a black and white fabric in the stlye of my heroes, Gwen and Freddy, or the blocks will be trimmed to fit.

I need to take a closer picture, but each house has a child's face in the window.

I tried to not use batiks, which was, for me, like giving up a drug. I have to say though, I'm more pleased than I usually am at this stage.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Baby Jacket

Here's a jacket I mad to use up all the Lamb's Pride bits I had. I love singles yarns.

I made this with afghans for Afghans in mind. The latest email from them however, is asking for bigger kid stuff. I think I will make some of the wonderful Lopi socks ( why does no one spell it sox? I love the way that looks and one so rarely gets to type an x) ANYway, they are a 35 stitch sock pattern that makes up faster than fast, and I have got to face facts about my Lopi stash. That is, it's too hot where I live to wear Lopi, or any bulky wool, and that and the White Buffalo Unspun that I went a little nuts over are taking up an entire amoire. I could use the space , frankly. Actually, I was doing pretty good on the stash reduction until my two LYSOs decided to close their stores. I need to get back at the stash management. Not necessarily reduction, mind you, but the organization of
whatever it is in those tubs, and getting some charity knitting done, and finding the perfect pattern for a Kureyon sweater.

I love the jaunty way the belt ties on this sweater. The pattern called for the ties to be tied in a bow, but I thought that would make an uncomfortable lump for the baby to lie on

Friday, September 07, 2007

Joy!

Life is good. Here's proof:



To commenter Tanya- nope, haven't spun any of it yet. But I did ditch all my other projects and cast on the Ocean Lace Stole on the mohair. I love me the hair of the Mo.

Fiber Friday





I've been spending my Fridays off in fiber/spinning. I want to be a better spinner, so in order to do so, I need to spin more, right? I'm working at getting past the hoarding mentality I've had- That is, keeping the good stuff for when I'm a better spinner and only spinning things that are cheap or boring. Bah! to the dye pot!

All of the below were dyed with Jaquard Acid dye- colors today were purple, lilac, fire red, Aztec gold, turquoise, and kelly green. Kelly needs to be toned down a bit- a little fluorescent in the roving on the gate. Other wise, I am very very pleased.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Baby Goes to Kindergarten

I thought i was ready, but I'm not. This is the last baby. He is five. He cannot wait until tommorow. Kindergarten. His teacher had better adore him, or else. I know I do.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Unsatisfactory Sleeve Cap

I was short rowing away on the Circus Tent Cardigan when I noticed something unsightly. Very unsightly, and unacceptable. Rip. Went into the worlds nicest yarn shop, Alameda Yarn Company, and the owner showed me how to knit a sleeve cap flat. Too bad. I think i could short row in a sleeve cap in solid color yarn, though. But when have I ever knit in a solid color?

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Little Slip


Rachel is closing her yarn store. I helped get rid of all that pesky Koigu. The mohair is Ironstone something. I'm making a shawl with it, and the yellow stuff nestled next to it. Rachel closing the store is bitter sweet. It is wonderful that she is taking care of herself and her family, and she will have a lot more time for that. Sad that this chapter is over.

Of course she could pull a Gail on us. Gail retired and closed her yarn store of thirty five years. Two weeks later, she had a new location, an new store name, and a new place. She says she got bored. When I get bored I but yarn. When she gets bored....well lets just be glad she's found something to busy herself with, shall we?

Other earth shattering news- I have a cold. SO not fair to have a summer cold. The children gave it too me, of course. I actually have sick time accumulated. I think that means I like this job, because I am not using sick time the moment I got it. Oddly enough, I was sick a lot more in the old job. Stress? Lack of sleep? Bad vibes? Who knows. Since five of us share two computers and two phones, it seems that calling in is actually kinder to my colleagues than going in, even with the increased work load. Also, my cheeks hurt, and I cannot be nice to people when my face hurts. Did mention the nose blowing? Yuck. Go wash your hands right now, in case the computer catches this virus I have...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Too Stupid To Count To 18

Yes, folks, I am too stupid ( distracted, worried, tired) to count to 18, and thus the new feather and fan stole ( f&f has a repeat of 18) has been ripped right out. (An aside: though I find the lame joke about frog/knitting/eg rip it, rip it to be a funny lame joke, I cannot bring myself to say that I 'frogged' something.) Yes, I ripped it out. SO, I have a pair of brand new addi lace needles-( I like the knit picks ones more, actually, and considering that Knitpicks are about a third less expensive, that's a good thing.) I have a brand new skein of Misti Alpaca laceweight, and I have a gauge swatch in feather and fan. I have decided to see how far 475 yards of laceweight goes in a dish cloth shawl. Started with one stitch in one corner and will increase one stitch per row until it's almost gone. Any guesses on how big it will be?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A month!

Where does the time go? Well, some of it went to the seven stages of mourning for my digital camera. You know- denial, anger, bargaining, hitting the camera with a hammer. Like that. Some of it has gone to a super busy work schedule. If I ever wonder about wanting to work full time again, hit me on the head with a big bottle of Tylenol. Extra strength. Luckily, this is only for the next two weeks and then everyone is done with their vacations and I can stop posing as a full time worker. ANd naybe I'll be able to move my neck in a larger range of motion. Or not. Whatever.

I am knitting a sweater that I could show you, but I am dependent on my camera for that, and it has forsaken me for a higher plane. Oh, yes, and there's a quilt I finished, but it is, alas, too large to fit on the scanner. But got check out this book- the quilts are wonderful, the color sense is wonderful, and the whole thing has turned me into a fabric addict.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lost in Space

Well, blogger has eaten my last few posts- and after I was all fired up to be posting more regularily, too. Lets see if this makes it through the ether.

Work- still a learning experiance, as in experiance is what you get when you don't get what you want. The hard part about nursing, and I dare say medicine, is that you do your learning on actually live people. There are systems in place to prevent massive screw ups, but still, nurses frequently say that they learn something new every day. My conscience pricks me when I have to learn something that, had I know it before hand, my patient would have been that much better served.

Knitting- I have gotten this book, which is very unlike most knitting books that I enjoy. I'm more likely to like stuff with cultural details and classic designs, heavy on the colorwork and technique, light on the word for word instructions. But the kimono baby sweater sold me, as well as the very conservative, traditional yarmulke pattern. While I don't think much of the knitted underpants, overall it is a charming and pleasing book. (NB there are people in the world so wealthy that not only do they have a horse, they are going to knit and then full it a blanket out of KUREYON. That nearly un sold me from the purchase, but the baby sweater triumphed.)

In other news, the dog we brought home from the pound last month bit my son. It was not his fault, I was there. The pound took her back, they plan on offering her to people without children if she passes her temperment test again. Another instance of experience. I think I will wait a long while before getting another dog, and let the elderly chihuahua age in peace. My son is fine, he did not need stitches, and it could have been much, much, worse. I feel badly for the dog, as she showed a lot of promise. But, one cannot bite people because they walk past you with a popsicle in their hand.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

holy cow

Well, then, I seem to have been able to sign into my own stinking account for two days consecutively. Can you feel the excitement? Next on my list: mailing the water bill on time ( it is only due quarterly, and I never seem to get that sort of thing right).

Spent the day first at work, where I had a lovely, lovely interaction with a patient. His wife was on my last nerve, as yesterday when I came to do a procedure on him that needed a consent signed, she told me she would be unable to sign it until she had prayed over it. Ma'am? Your husband is in the ICU, on a vent, with a feeding tube and a whole bunch of IV access, and you need to pray over wet her I start another line? Now? do you need to pray now? Because I'm not allowed to get overtime for this, and It's two o'clock, and so, uhm, could you check in with Jesus in a sort of rapid fashion? Because you have already traveled down the critical care, maximum medicine road, and I think it would be really helpful if now that you have called us in in force, you let us do our thing.

This morning he was on his "sedation vacation" which is a cheery little phrase that means letting ventilated people, thus people with a big old tube down their throat, wake up some so we can see if they are strong enough to breathe on their own yet and if they are still in there. (Gross oversimplification. Probabaly also a really gross sensation.) SO he writes on his clipboard " I want the blood drawing line. Do it now." I say ok and say well, sir this is what I'm gonna do and I'll tell you what I'm going to do each step and if I talk to much, well, I DO talk to much, but if you were my dad I'd want the nurse to tell you everything. I did my thing and when it was over he squeezed my hand and wrote "thanks for listening.

I was floored. I was grateful. I was touched. I was thankful.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

Comfort


Alison Hyde is the first person that I met on the internet and then became friends with IRL. To all who know her, she is lovely and kind, graceful under the many challenges that she faces, and a wicked good knitter. Now, she is also the author of a lovely new book- I got to fondle and drool over the patterns when I saw her at the Harlot event. Now, I adore Alison, and I am not alone in this. But this is a damn nice book- patterns that are fun, interesting knits- some of them will be a stretch for me, but all of them will be worth it. I'd buy this book even if I didn't adore Alison. She had to pry her advance copy out of my reluctant hands. Alison is wearing one in this picture, as is her test knitter in the teal shawl to her right. ANd, think, I Knew Her When....

I meet a celebrity


Dudes, I held the sock. Oh, and I met Stephanie. But,man, the sock. I think it liked me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Archives

Poor Alison has been reading the archives- clearly I need to up the output around here.

Work, well, today I witnessed informed consent for someone who is very hard of hearing. The entire sep down unit is now fully informed of the risks and benifits of a PICC line. Maybe we should have gotten consent from everyone, just to save time in the future. It was pretty funny in the way that nursing is often funny- horrible, but funny. The PICC nurse was bellowing away about the risk of infection, embolus, and nerve damage, making it sound dire. Then a more cheery bellow about how the line can last for up to a year, and most blood draws can be done from it, so no more sticks. She signed.

Knitting. Socks, except I've noticed that I don't like most of my vast stash of sock yarn. I don't know if my tastes have changed, or if I am just sick of the site of it. I'm going to try and work my way through Lucy Neatby's book, and see if that perks things up.

Like thousands of other people, I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool, and had a grand time. Won a prize for spinning blind folded, which was fun, and the friend I was with bought her first spindle, so, Bwhhhaaaaaa, she is now a member of the club. I was about to add a photo of a dear little goat, but apparently I am not smart enough to use the new updated blogger, and so that will have to wait untill my technical support dude returns from out of town.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hi Hon, I'm Home!

Well, looky here. I got my brain back. Not a whole lot to add, otherwise. I've become obsessed with ripples, as in here.

Cool stuff, but mine is a bit wider than I thought it would be due to a miscalculation. ( OK, I didn't swatch. I just made a chain and figured it looked good.) I'm not sure I would have chosen to make a queen sized afghan in rainbow colors, but what the hey. Maybe I'll keep it as a back burner project and use the ends of washable things in it- that's what I originally planned to do. Then I noticed that I had used all of my encore odd bits, and still had a ways to go.

Well, the traditional thing to do around here when a project is going poorly, or needs a decision, is to start something new! Perhaps another ripple afghan would clear the air! Yes! In mohair! To the dyepots!

AlisonH blogged me, and I have to say I'm tickled pink.

Monday, February 12, 2007

depression

It sucks. It really, really, does. I am just squeaking by on daily life. Blogging has fallen by the wayside. Sorry, folks. When I get my brain back, I'll start blogging again . I'm grateful for any good thoughts or prayers sent my way.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Knitting- gasp!

Working on just one more row's Crystal Cove pullover. I had to change the gauge into something i already had, so I used Merino Stripes.
It is a little nerve racking. One, I have such wonderful self esteem that I am always surprised at how big a sweater has to be to cover my vast tracts of land. Two, this stuff is hard to rip out. It likes to be knit loosely, and so I have no confidence that the sweater might just not stretch right down to the floor. Knit tightly, the yarn resembles a brillo pad. Knit loosely, it has a soft, airy feel.

The giant log cabin blanket is beginning to approach it's final size. Picture soon.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hats

I seem to be hat impaired. The last three I have knit that were meant to fit someone ( as opposed to those hats that were for charity, or newborn gifts, or were really swatch caps) have been wildly inaccurate. Finally I knit a sideways garter stitch hat, similar to the harlot's scarf rescue hat, but with short rows, and it fit me. Still have a am to rip out. Make that the last five hats, as their are two tams that have each been ripped out twice. The other hat I gave up, and sent to afghans for Afghans.

SO I guess all the mojo is in the sideways knit, and as I just finished a baby sweater made that way, and have cast on and knit the front of a sweater for me me me in that direction, I guess I have to go with the mojo.

On work, there is nothing to report. I am perpetually looking for a new, or additional job and thing I have found one in the recovery room. I plan to drop by on Monday and chat with the head nurse and she how the work is there. Head nurse herself has warned me that it is not for the paranoid or insecure, so I have to see if that means that it is a busy place with a lot to do and not much hand holding, or alternately, if it is an insane environment where your coworker will not help code a patient that is not in her assignment. More will be revealed.

Monday, January 08, 2007

ok, then

Did a bunch of finishing knitting for afghans for Afghans. Mostly hats, but a lopi sweater, too. Knit a scarf for the Orphan Foundation of America Red Scarf Project. They send a Valentine's care package to former foster children who are in college. Keep knitting for charity, but I still feel like a loser. Could it be the famed Spring Depressive Episode is going to be early this year?

Made a sweater, which I like. Asked the dh if it was flattering, and he said that there is no woman so lovely that here looks are enhanced by wearing a cardigan sweater. Hmmmm. At least, and this was a goal, it is the correct size and has a norman amount of ease. My MO is usually to knit vast tracts of wool, and then wonder why it looks like a bathrobe. Actually, I have a garter stitch coat that would be a lovely bathrobe, if I added about six inches to the length. Might be a possibility. Wanted to add a photo of the Einstein Sweater, but all the photos had proud creators in them, and I don't want to mock anyone. (Anyone but me, that is.)

Oh, and did I mention my dog died? Well, I had her put down. Noodle, the Standard Poodle is gone. She was a good girl, a second hand pet . We are down to a sane number of dogs, now ( two), but that is a cold comfort.