Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I started reading/listening Harry Potter 5 yesterday and that has brought me back to my knitting. In other words, I'm making progress on my knitting! Whee! The first sleeve on Caroline's Sleeves In Your Pi is done but for the edging. Looking at what she had done, it looks as if she had changed the edging, so I need to wait to hear from her for that information. So, this afternoon I'll pick up the stitches for sleeve number two. Whee! I'm not sure why the picture has the pink tinges on that sleeve, as there aren't any on the actual sleeve! This is a Tahki cashmere blend yarn, really yummy!

Dora's sweater is almost to the underarms. I'm doing the Seville Jacket, but with the caveat that I'm going to steek the heck out of it. Still haven't decided how the edges will be done. The great information on the Ample Knitters Group was gone the last I looked, someone had done a lace/cable combination that eliminated a lot of the bulk. Any ideas? The yarn is a wool from Uruguay. It is so fantastic! I'm hoping that when Dora's sister ever goes back she'll buy more for me. It shows cables with such absolute delight that one would think it was designed for it! Can't wait to start my sweater with it! (Mine is green yarn.) I want to complete Dora's sweater first. Next picture will have something against it to prove size, as once again my picture is not giving you any clue as to dimensions. Stockinette curls so wondrously, you have no clue how big it is, right!

Howard's physical therapy yesterday was especially strenuous, and he is miserable today. He says he hurts as much as he did the Saturday immediately after the surgery. As he has PT again today, I'm hoping he is blunt to his therapist. Lots of ice and sympathy on my side!

And then I need to start some socks, as my socks are wearing out. Two pairs gave out by the end of spring. That either means I'm going to have to replace those two pair by fall, or wash some socks in between laundry days. We'll see. I do have enough sock yarn on hand, of course. grin I have a LOT of sock yarn on hand still, but the supply is slowly dwindling. Amazing how it does go down.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Clapotis Disaster

Clapotis and I went with Howard to get his stitches removed yesterday. I believe I had mentioned in an earlier post that the yarn had once again decided to slide off the ball and tangle in a heap? My plan was that would be a good time (as one always sits and waits at a doctor's office!) to untangle. This was the knitter's fault, I didn't contain the yarn as I was knitting it, something one should do with a slickery yarn. ALWAYS. I didn't. Now I'm paying for it.

Anyway, we drove down after 2 days of rain (talk about gauge -- we had 4 inches or 20 cm in 36 hours!) there was a heavy haze over the land as we drove at 7 in the morning for an 8:00 appointment. Do you see the error in my judgement?

So, we settled in to wait, I neatly put Clapotis (on the circular) in my lap and started untangling gently. It is a silk/rayon handpaint yarn, and I love the colors dearly. So I'm paying close attention to the work, not to anything else around me.

He was called back for the appointment. I jumped. Badly. In the process, I pulled about a tenth of the scarf off the needle. The stitches started running for the bottom. Howard just looked at me helplessly and said, "they called my name, are you coming back with me?" I gathered everything up and put it back into the plastic bag. When we got home, I took a picture. It is called, "I'm going to start over".

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Okay, one week on after the surgery and almost a week after the haircut, here is a bit of a blurry picture of Howard smiling (okay, almost smiling -- this is as close as you are going to get today!) for the camera. He is standing next to the door of the fiber room. His shirt is on over the sling because he dressed himself, instead of waiting for me to help him. We won't go into any details about this, I am sure you can draw your own conclusions. LOL

Knitting group went well today, one woman, who was sure she wasn't ever going to be able to do more than knit scarves is almost finished with her first sweater -- a shell for herself. Another woman did some problem solving on her own and has started her first ever sweater. I'm proud of both of them. The youngest knitter there today is trying to finish a purse for the fair by the end of the month. I understand the wish to be DONE with a project that she is feeling.

I really could see in my own knitting where the migraine hit the other day. Do not continue knitting lace once a migraine starts. That way leads to painful frogging! sigh. rats. It took me a while this morning to figure that out. In the end, I put it away to work on when the group wasn't meeting.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Newest finished item! Must be a summer baby, as it is cotton! Funny how much I love feather and fan in dollhouse knitting, yet not so much in full size. I like some of the variations more in full size. Actually, this is a variation, as I don't have a purl row on the public side. Need to play with the bind off to get a better echo of the cast on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Oops, a spot of explanation

I'm sorry if I offended anyone by my complaint about the situation with Howard. No, I don't mind taking care of him. I love him dearly. But I was caught off guard terribly. I also owe him big time for helping me after both my wrist injuries. We were laughing that when I did mine he drew the line at inserting tampons, pierced earrings, and contact lens. I'm trying to come up with where I should draw the line. Suggestions? LOL After all, I should reciprocate, don't YOU think?

Things are going to be difficult for a while. For example, today I sent him off on his own to physical therapy (about a half block down the street.) I took out the recycling bin, took out the trash, and because of the storm last night, managed to trigger a migraine. Got a call from the physical therapist that they needed me to learn how to help with his PT. Okay. Walked down (can't drive like that!) and helped out. Walked back. By then I was pretty nauseated. Took my medicine and had a nap. I'm going to have to figure out coping skills.

This afternoon we need to go get him some knit shirts that button all the way down that leave more room for his shoulder. His cotton dress shirts just don't allow enough wiggle room. Maybe I'll wear a mask. He seems to have the pain more under control today, which is great. I can tell that he is getting a bit of cabin fever too. Maybe he can go into work tomorrow for a bit. I think it would be good for him emotionally.

Monday, June 20, 2005

This is all that shows of the surgery. I particularly like the yes, written in black magic marker, to let the surgical team know which shoulder is the correct one! grin. Despite being washed several times, it hasn't come off yet.
Howard's new look! This was his idea. Because of the surgery, he has gone from hair that easily hit the middle of his back to this. Much easier for him to care for with one hand! The beard and mustache were also trimmed up. As you can see, the sling is secured around his waist, that arm isn't going anywhere!


Remember the simple cyst Howard was going to have removed from his shoulder Friday? The doctor got in there and found (in his words) "a big hole and a bone spur" that hadn't shown up on the MRI. So, after surgery for a torn rotator cuff, the man is spent the night in the hospital, then dealt with a lot of problems with nausea from the morphine. Being as stubborn as he is, he then stopped the morphine to stop the nausea, but didn't have anything for pain from 5 in the morning until about 10. By which point he was pretty washed out He couldn't meet up with his physical therapist until the nausea and pain were under control. She taught me how to put his shirt and sling on, and gave him a stern lecture about what will happen if he doesn't follow instructions (he gets to do this again!) We left the hospital about 3, and got home just after 4 in the afternoon. It felt really good for both of us to get home.This church had insisted that he record a sermon just in case he became unexpectedly ill, and the choir director called suggesting he use one. At first he had thought he could preach Sunday, but it became apparent that he wasn't going to be able to do so. He went to bed really early, exhausted by all his body had been through.He starts physical therapy Tuesday. For the next 6-8 weeks his right arm (he is right handed, ofcourse) is going to be in a sling most of the time (shall we say except for therapy or being washed), and then the sling is going to be attached around his waist so it doesn't put stress on his shoulder. Can we say that I'm not amused? I'm supposed to help him get dressed, help him lift... The list of things he normally does around the house that now devolve on me is pretty impressive. Not to mention the fact that he can't drive for the time he is in the sling.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Knitting and such

The knitting is slowly moving along. I realize I don't have the foggiest idea as to how large a knitted baby blanket would be for a doll house. There is a real tendency to want this one to be done. You may see it bound off and completed tonight. If so, I'll try to get Howard to take a scan tomorrow.

On the Clapotis front, I found another -- UNTANGLED -- ball of yarn today, I think I may do the unthinkable! Cut the yarn I have in progress, attach the new ball, and work away at that! It would make good hospital knitting, and be less frustrating than trying to work away at a tangle while Howard is in surgery. Although, I suspect Dora's sweater may wind up the victim of that, as I can go around and around without paying any attention. We'll see. also possible that I'll just read a book. Who knows. I've not sat and waited for someone in surgery nearly as much as I've
been in surgery myself!

Wheezing today, which is annoying, as I've not done that for a while. Which also makes me tired and out of sorts. It isn't that hot, but my, does the house feel muggy! Let's skip dinner, have some frozen fruit, and forget it!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Iowa Sheep and Wool

Howard and I went to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival Saturday so I would be able to find it Sunday. Then we figured a different way to get there on the way home. Which kind of cancelled Saturday's drive. But it was a fun outing together, and a nice drive around the state.

Yesterday I drove with the sun on the left side of my face, and drove back with the sun on that side of my face. I refuse to look in the mirror to check, but it feels a trifle sunburned. Howard hasn't mentioned anything, so I will take that as a good sign. I only made one wrong turn, going north instead of south, and figured it out within about 15 miles, so I wasn't late, thank goodness. Almost, but not quite. sigh I was doing so well too. Hey, the sign said Adel, so I followed it. Who was to know that it meant the other direction. There is a reason I'm terminally lost! Howard wasn't surprised at all that I turned the wrong way. I'll bet no one that really knows me was surprised either.

Sadly, there were no class members, people signed up for spinning, weaving, locker hooking, dyeing, or felting. All of the knit and crochet classes went empty, which really surprised the organizers. I was very restrained, bought very little. Howard did buy a few gift type things. I wasn't supposed to look, so I can't tell you what he bought. I almost bought more roving to spin with, but persuaded myself that I really need to use up more of what is on hand before I buy more. The stuff I liked felt really nice, but the colors weren't that great, which makes it easier to resist. One place had great knitting yarn, but the owner had such a high amount of perfume that it was easy to resist getting close. I just couldn't. But her colors! yum!

There is a place in Ames, I took her information (and bought some thread from her) that specializes in dyeing. Not dyeing as I usually think about it -- yarns and such -- but fabric or thread or clothing. She had variegated quilting thread -- wouldn't that be a trip for knitted doll house things!

I walked around the festival with my doll house knitting in my hand or pocket. Mainly in hand, as I made the mistake of putting it in my pocket at one point, with the points up. Stuck my hand in to retrieve it, and impaled my finger. Drat. Drew blood quite nicely, thank you very much. Something about bleeding all over white cotton thread. sigh No band-aids in sight, either. Finally stopped bleeding, knocked the scab off, and got the blood on the knitting. There is no justice. sniffle. LOL

I really wanted to stay longer, but as people started to move inside with their lunches, and the barbecue pits kept opening (with the garlic, onion and other seasonings wafting through the air straight into the building where I was), it became quite clear that it wasn't a smart idea. rats. I may need to rethink trying to teach next year. Called home to let Howard know I was on my way.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The two Serenas. My Grandmother and my Daughter. About the same age when the pictures were taken. Kind of amazing, don't you think?

Monday, June 06, 2005

The most recent finished item. This is another silk thread offering, maybe 5 inches by 4.5. I really need to learn to put something next to it to show scale, don't I! Sorry! Look at the "yarn" coming off the top -- that is regular sized sewing thread. Does that help?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

This book was forced in upright into the shelf in the picture below by the fall. It was on the floor, leaning against something, and somehow events comspired to wedge it into that shelf. It is the size of an oversized craft book (it is on crocheting sweaters), and it briefly was the size of a paperback!
This is one of the standard paperback shelves we have (the upper one, not the lower one.)
Back up and functioning! Seems miraculous to me!
These are the things at the top of the bookcase, as well as various and sundry things that were caught in the scuffle. The teapot to the left actually flew off at Howard, who caught it and set it down on the book, instead of landing on the book (which amazed me!) Neither teapot (nor lid) sustained any damage, which is wonderful, considering there were very heavy rock bookends beside each one.
The bookcase back in place against the wall, wondering what had gone wrong. Poor thing, I think it felt abused! We built it in Colorado, so it has been through several moves, and nothing like this has happened before!
The majority of the books and equipment as they lay, just after we had lifted the bookcase off. You will notice how neatly the top books remained in order. Because of the wires and such, the bottom books were not so cooperative. Notice the two glass button jars that had been on the floor of the living room? Neither one broke. Whew!

Oh, dear.

I think you know that we read a lot. In packing for each move, I have varied the boxes of books for my own amusement by putting such inane statements as "another box of books", "yet another box of books" and "If you can't guess -- it is books!". Most of the book boxes have been lamely labeled "books", but it does get boring writing that over and over.

I was upstairs today, and heard a loud THUMP. Shortly followed by "I'm all right!" from Howard. Which didn't tell me much. So I called down, "What happened?" "The bookcase with the television fell down!" sigh.

I didn't think to take pictures at first, but I did once we got started. Pretty impressive.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Another reason to dislike prednisone

Despite all the osteoporosis medicine, I have advanced to osteoporosis in the left hip. Huzzah (she says with great sarcasm!) I'm going to start one of the new medicines that is once a month for 18 months, then check again to see how the bones are doing. In the meantime, I need to do weight bearing exercise to encourage the bones along.

On the knitting front, I picked up the red silk afghan today, and worked on it. Shouldn't be too long before it is finished. I still haven't prioritized my to do list. Pretty sad when you must put THAT on your "to do" list, eh?

Yesterday I made raspberry bars (recipe available on request), did laundry, and all sorts of ambitious things. Today made up for it. Just never got going. But I did knit. I guess I have one on day and then next off.
Newest finished item, a doll house afghan in silk thread. I blocked it again so the bound off edge actually has a better definition, but I'm going to have to work on that, because, as you can see in this picture, there is a big difference in the two edges. sigh I also should have taken the time to turn the photo, so turn your head, all right? The red afghan seems to be turning out nicely.