Thursday, April 28, 2005

This is the Zinfandel yarn, working up. Isn't it well named! Isn't my picture cleverly disguised so you can't see how well the pattern crisply shows up in this wool? It really does! But against a fuzzy background, you see the gorgeous color, and nada about stitch definition! Of course, it hasn't been blocked either, which makes on heck of a difference as well! For example, this is actually about 18 inche long by 4 inches wide! Sheesh!
An alternate use for the sewing machine! I was trying to figure out how to make miniature books! Most of the common wisdow says the spine needs to be sewn or glued. Why not sewn by machine instead of hand? So here is the work of several hours time, cutting and folding, then a few minutes time sewing! LOTS of fun at this stage! The book that seems overly long is actually two books, and the "miracle" of lighting makes it seem (and the fact that there is perhaps 1/2 a stitch between them). All of the books are bright white. My sewing "table" is a bright blue short filing cabinet and a dresser that had been Terrors, then Serenas. They support a laminated board which holds the sewing machine. Primitive, but it works.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm almost dancing

turns out part of the headache has been the dreaded drug interactions and toxicity from a different drug. Feeling better today, but starting to feel a lack of sleep. Almost 2+ inches on D^ora's sweater body done now, just a touch more on the scarf, I'm reading about politics and life in 14th century England (and enjoying it -- New Oxford History book, ask me if you want the actual title), still fighting the computer keyboard to get the symbol for D^ora's name right, I have it set correctly, it will work in Word, but not in other programs, drat it.

Howard brought home the new M&Ms from the Dark Side, and they are quite good. I'm allowing myself to about 5 at a time, I've had 2 servings of them today YUM! I do wonder why they have to be dark COLORS as well, it doesn't seem to be fair to the M and Ms to be only dark and dreary.

A new use for the sewing machine today -- sew up new books for the dollhouse exchange. I need to do covers and end papers. I suspect that the needle I used will never be good for sewing fabric again, but it worked quite well to sew up the 27 books I got done so far today. I think I'd like to do an equal number of books as I did today, and finish the books for the trades. Then on to the cat toys. Next is the camping swap. All due by the middle of next week. I've signed up for one for next month and that is it. Tea kettles, 5 at this point.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Zinfandel yarn from Nature's Palette, musings

This yarn is scrumptious, and I'll be posting a picture soon. I'll get Howard to take it outside and grab some pictures of the scarf as it is growing. I think it is growing up nicely. The yarn has a great hand and flows nicely.

At 26 stitches a row, the scarf is coming along swiftly, unstretched it is already over a foot in length. Now, once it is blocked, I'd guess what, 15 inches? I don't want to lose too much width and it is fairly narrow already.

Clapotis is toddling along on the long side. I'll send it outside for pictures too.

We got my glasses adjusted today, as I noticed that one eyebrow was about the middle of a lens in my glasses. It seems to help some on the computer and reading, but alas! not for the migraine itself. We came home and I took a nap. Neurologist visit tomorrow. Last increase of medicine tonight. Yay! The headache itself is improved, it appears for shorter periods of time, but the nausea and light sensitivity continue unabated. As Mom said yesterday, that is 1/3 improvement!

Did a gauge swatch yesterday, the sweater is ready to hop on the needles.

Friday, April 22, 2005


This day has been an exercise in frustration. I woke up wheezing, but could NOT find my nebulizer. Now, as an asthmatic, I knew the season was coming up fast. So I laid it out where it could be found easily. I carried it with me last weekend for the knitting class. BUT WHERE THE BILLY BLUE BLAZES DID I PUT IT THEN? We searched. We looked. We dug. We prayed. I napped. The peak flow (air getting through) dropped. No sign. We started talking about ordering another one (5 days). I made a last annoyed comment how I had tried so HARD to put it where I could GRAB it. And there it was. On the stairs. Easily grabbed. Where I'd missed it all freaking morning. Sigh. I feel better now that I've nebbed. Thanks God!

Howard bought me one of those marvellous white fluffy robes for Valentine's day that you see in ads. I never thought I'd spend so much time in it! Talk about a new blankie! I sleep in it when I don't feel good, lounge around in it, pull it on when I'm cool, put it on after a shower! I highly recommend them! No WONDER they mention them in conjunction with spa days!

Started a very simple knit scarf for a May wedding. I can do this, I tell myself nervously. With the pattern right in front of me and no cheating, surely I can. No memorization to be attempted, the head isn't up to it. Something else that seems to be gone with the headache -- visualizing the pattern and seeing what is coming up. Another thing to talk with the doctor about Tuesday. sigh. At least I'm SEEING a doctor on Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Briefly this morning, I felt great! I didn't have a headache. No nausea, no light sensitivity. I lay there rejoicing, afraid to move, and wondered why we don't pay more attention to such feelings more often.

Then, I moved. Darn it. It all came rushing back. But for a brief period of time I was able to remember how it felt to be "normal". And I can once again hope for that in my life. I'm not sure which is easier. In a way, it almost feels it was cruel, because the long slog without letup was starting to seem normal. Right now, I am torn between hope that this means it is lessening, and false hope.

On other notes, I had my hairs cut (the children insisted you did not have just one hair cut, but you had many hairs cut, and the tradition has continued in this family) this morning, the lady forgot that my part is going to stubbornly continue, so we will see how that plays out. Annette, remember the pixie cuts we used to get? Ta-dah! That's what I got this time, just a bit longer, curled on the ends. I guess my face just cries out for it. I don't know, I had my eyes closed against the light.

The neurologist has taken back my case, I will see him on Tuesday. He, for some reason, was under the impression that the migraine had stopped, and that I'd been having a SERIES of migraines in this period of time. Don't we wish!

The Clapotis skittered off the end of the needle and had a merry time trying to make a mess. I've retrieved it as best as possible, and gone on. One repeat is going to have a dropped stitch at 2 stitches instead of 3, but it was that or frog about 10 rows. Executive decision.

Rain through the end of the week. Enjoy.

Last night as Serena mentioned that Dad had been talking about the family farm near Conrad in Grundy County, the weather alert sounded with a severe thunderstorm warning in -- Conrad in Grundy County! It isn't supposed to sound unless it is for THIS area! How is that for small world! Grundy is east of us by 2 hours.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


All right, I worry about knitting. Its future. Crochet, I understand, is the new thing. Should be hot soon. What happens to knitting then. How many knitters will we lose? How many stores? How many books? How many of those just getting interested because it is cool will decide it would be more fun to crochet?

Part of me doesn't care. I'm not worried about the ones who are doing it to be hip. I'm worried about the ones who learn it and love it. Who will they turn to for lessons? What will happen to the stores who supply our ahem addiction? Will they only provide the novelty yarns, and then all of us are out? Will the new knitters go on and learn the joys of knitting more complicated patterns on smaller needles? Will they too advance to more time consuming knits? Lace, and the joys of a gansey? I hope so.

That's why we meet here every other week. And I encourage people to step just barely beyond their comfort level, to find that yes they CAN do it. Because we can't go the next step unless we TRY!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Knitting Class

Thank God for friends! Understanding ones! I was sub par for the class today, and they understood. There were times that _I_ didn't understand what I was saying, let along THEM! So, it helped that Mabel and Cheryll were there to translate Mary speak into something resembling English! One person picked up knitting on double points as if she'd always been doing it, which was fun to watch. It went from "I can't!" to "I can!" in a matter of moments with no effort on my part. Her daughter lay on the floor and knit away. I think part of the joy of this group is the pleasure they get in learning. All ages interacting, without barriers. That, and the "I CAN do this!" attitude, which can't help but carry them through!

I spent part of the class organizing my circulars, which had gotten into a muddled heap. I'd had them in something like a circular solution, and carrying them back and forth had tangled them seriously. So now each size is in a 2 gallon bag. That should help tremendously. Next class, the doublepoints! As the needles are being used as resources, I want them readily available, not hanging on my wall! But, I also need to be able to reach and get what I need! Still thinking about this!
All but done! I conned George into donning this, after 5 attempts at legs, we are calling this DONE! YEs, I will be adding ties to the flaps, and I am going to have to beg Howard to make more tassels, because I put the second set so securely away that I lost them. sigh. Migraines do not mix well with knitting, I'd say. A fun knit, but frustrating for me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Who is killing the furnace?

Woke up this morning to the unmistakable sound of something in agony -- the only question was what. Finally figured out it is the furnace. It has had to work itself up to turning on all winter, somewhat like a prima dona -- I'm almost ready. click. oh I'm not quite ready yet. click click. You aren't paying attention. click click click. this morning it was "A Night On Bald Mountain" by an unskilled group of players at double speed and triple sound level. Yay verily, enough to wake the dead! Wailing, moaning, whining, I think I even heard the gnashing of teeth in there! I really thought for a moment we had the steam boiler going for a bit, but remembered in time that it is a different furnace. What a way to wake up.

In fairness to the migraine (yesterday's post) it isn't so much that it is a liar. I am better. I just am grumpy that I want to be better at being better. I can knit, which is so much of an advance over several weeks ago. 2 weeks ago I wouldn't have been able to knit the simple pattern. I don't know if I can knit lace yet, but that's all right. well, almost all right. I'd like to be able to do it, but the fact that I can knit is a gift of its own. I do get tired and crabby that the headache restricts so much of life, which sometimes seems restricted so much already.

I'm hoping to post pictures of the hat soon today (if the camera finishes charging) and ask for decisions on the legs. I figure that way YOU can have a say too!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Migraines are liars

Migraines are liars. They lull you along with a false sense of security, that you are getting better, then slam you. Now, I will rush to tell you that todays "hit" was less severe than previous, but it is frustrating to backslide when you start telling yourself that you are on the mend. Or maybe it is the painful truth that I am impatient. Whatever, I was able to almost finish teh chicken hat today. I finished 2 legs, but am still not happy with it. If you are counting, that means the chicken has now possessed 3 legs. One was removed and trashed. A raw chicken hat's leg should have been consumed, but I draw the line at that, so it was trashed. I don't go there. And I really don't want to volunteer it to BE consumed, thank you very much! In my inimitable way, I've also noticed that the legs seem to head different directions. Pictures to come tomorrow, once the camera is charged. I thought I had some life in the batteries, but they decided not.

A sweet thing happened today, I asked one of the quilters in church for some scraps of material to use in the dollhouse. She brought by a grocery bag FULL! And apologized that she had been interrupted before she could finish! One piece is perfect for a mosaic floor. I'm trying to figure out how to make a shiny surface out of it. I know, experiment.

New way of taking the medication is helping me sleep. That is great! Even though it is midnight and I am awake. The med just hit, you should have seen the line I just erased! Maybe I should leave it in the next time, for you to chuckle with me!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Better still!

Headache is almost gone, and the only real affects of the migraine still hovering are dreadful light sensitivity, fatigue, and a muscle tic in the left eye. But I'm much improved. Thanks to all who have prayed!

I've even really felt like knitting! We KNOW that means I'm on the road to recovery, right? I think I'll be at a point I can post pictures tomorrow. Today it doesn't look enough like anything to post.

Dilemma, I'm wondering about placing the little loom in the safety deposit box until the end of tornado season. I'd hate to have it blown around and broken. Are my priorities skewed? Fiber can be washed or replaced, the little loom can't. What would YOU put in there. The normal suspects, or course, but there is still room left over. Not enough for a full sized book, if I put in the loom. Ideas?

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Well, this past week I've managed to knit 3 sleeves to go under wrist splints. I started off as usualy, knitting with a pattern, but had to stop, as that made me nauseous. Stockinette for me right now. Anything else is just too much. Sigh. And sometimes that is beyond me. But there is pleasure in going round and around actually making something after all this time.

Next on the docket is the Viking Chicken Hat. The link is in to the bottom right. I suspect you will recognize it. It does look much as it is named. Originally for an infant, this is going to be the groom's presnet for a May wedding. From what I understand, he'll actually wear it too! Update with photo if we get one at the time. I'm thinking superwash in a cream color, 2 strands of Brown Sheep worsted which is a light heavyweight.

On the head, I realized today (after sleeping well ALL NIGHT! THANK YOU muscle relaxant!) that the left eye seems to think there is a train coming with the bright light shining in it. Now, how to persuade it that it isn't? That may be the problem, getting it to shut down the light sensitivity, so I can return to some semblance of what passes for normal in this life. I've noticed that I am always thinking there is a bright light shining, even when there isn't, but finally was able to pay attention enough to the fact that it is one eye. Maybe that is progress? I'm hoping! Also hoping that sleep via the muscle relaxant for several days (per the doc's suggestion) is the ticket we asked for, and I'll wake up much better. Remember the White Queen as played by Carol Channing in "Alice Through the Looking Glass"? "Much, bettah, Much baaaaat, taaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh" as she turned into a sheep.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Another day, another IV

Well, Wednesday saw another IV. Blech. And the first nurse in the ER at the local hospital with who made me wish I was not there even more than I already didn't. 'nuff said.

Serena had great news yesterday, which has mitigated the light sensitivity of this headache. I am so thrilled for her!

2 mitts knit, another started. I have to be careful knitting in the round. If I watch, I get physically sick. I tried, knitting a lace pattern. Had to switch to stockinette. I know the recipient commented that she liked the patterns. No can do this year. Maybe another time.

Realized that the Viking chicken hat is due soon, must start that. White wool, I think. That's about all I have that would work. I refuse to go out to buy anything right now. Red heart would work, but I don't want to go shopping. So, it is stash shopping. Picture will go on the blog as it starts. Thanks, Serena, I think.

Even with the contrast down by 50% on the computer, the monitor is still too bright, and I can only be on for short times. Bye for now!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

This is the Colonial Jack Loom that Carolyn and Robin Brown made for me from pictures. Isn't it absolutely beyond wonderful? The pictures are posted with their permission. The pieces move, and over the next while I'm going to try to warp it for show, at least. The loom deserves my best efforts! THANKS CAROLYN AND ROBIN!
See the tiny shuttles that have been loaded so they are ready to weave? "All" I need to do is warp the loom! This if the left front view.
The cloth beam brake. Really moves. Wow!
Here is a back view of my new loom. Carolyn and Robin took the pictures, and it turned out much better than my pictures, so I'm sharing them, with their permission
This is a picture showing how the treadles really work! See she shed rising in the back?

Monday, April 04, 2005

look at the surprise that came in the mail today! From Carolyn and Robin Brown near Niagara Falls ON! They hadn't seen one, but they found a picture and made one for me, to commemorate "Charlie", the loom that had to leave my life. I cried when I opened the wrapping and found it! You can't see it, but there are tiny mini shuttles that came along as well! The sheds really move, the bars move, the treadles depress and move the sheds! I am SO IMPRESSED! WOW! You should see the other things they sent too! I decorated the house with them, took a picture, and the picture didn't turn out. Par for the course, eh? THANK YOU!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Look, some progress! I've turned the corner! Can any of us believe it! I'm able to knit on this! I guess this means I'm getting better, even if the head doesn't believe it! I think, if I were to make a shawl of this, it should be wider, but i wanted this more as a scarf. I want Howard to take a picture outside, because I think it will look better that way!

Ah yes...


I needed to take 2 things upstairs this morning -- a rickety rocking chair that is the only one we have that doesn't have arms (as an aside, why do rocking chairs NEED arms! I want them without so I can KNIT! no I NEED them without so I can knit and not damage my arms!) and I needed to bring up my tea. Also a necessity. A grave necessity. Ask any of my immediate family. You need coffee to get motivating? I need tea. (For those of you worried that it is my caffeine intake causing the migraine -- we tried that. I stopped the tea entirely. I changed tea brands. I bought new tea balls. I now wash the tea ball in the dishwasher after every use. None of the variations changed the headache. Hot lemon water to get motivating is not the same, but I tried.)

Anyway, the chair, the mug of tea, and I had gotten to the stairs. As an aside, I was looking lovely with my sunglasses (similar to those people who have had cataract surgery) on in the house, wincing at the sunlight. People outside are wearing their spring clothes, no jackets. Personally, I think they are deluding themselves at the forecast, as it is 43 right now, and no way would I wear short sleeves and a skirt without a jacket! I'm wearing jeans, denim shirt, t-shirt, heavy wool socks, clogs, and still chilled. You guessed it, I want my TEA. This migraine leaves me constantly chilled. I had dragged said chair to the staircase while carrying the tea. Started lifting the the chair with one hand, while the tea with the other.

Dilemma. This was NOT going to work. I made it 2 stairs with both. Terrible dilemma. Easiest solution, was to (horrors!) put down the tea! Otherwise, I'd have to go back downstairs with the chair! So, the tea went on the newel post (luckily flat, as opposed to the one in NY where this would never have occurred to me!) and the chair went trundling to our room. I didn't even move the furniture around for it before heading back down to rescue the tea.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


For all of you patiently waiting for me, I'll try to be more frequent!

The neurologist thinks it may be as many as 5 more weeks for the migraine to get under control. Can we all say "whoopee!" sigh

Because of that, the doll house has been moved to Nathan's room. The spinning wheel and books on tape are now in our bedroom. Serena's bedroom has the one window which wasn't blocked off from sunlight blocked, so I can do stuff there too! So, we're going to "make the best of a bad situation.

I thought about trying to name the headache, thinking that it had been in residence so long, it deserved it, but then I decided that I didn't want to personify it THAT much!

Tried to wind off 2 ounces of the beautiful silk today. With great forethought (hah!) I weighed the ball winder. Wrote the weight on it in ounces and grams. Wound the ball of silk, weighed the amount I thought was correct, (WITH the winder, so if it wasn't correct I could make adjustments), and I was short an ounce. I think this means I am SUPPOSED to be giving people 1 ounce balls instead of 2. sigh At least, that is how I'm going to interpret it!

The races (auto) have started. So, to cover the "lovely" noise of racing car engines, I'm going to put on a book on CD and try to knit. Enjoy your day!