Sunday, November 30, 2008

The End Of NaNoBloPoMo

This is the last day of NaNoBloPoMo, and I made it. There were many nights when I really wanted to pack it in and give up.

So to sum up the month:

1. I proved to myself that if I set my mind to do something I could finish it, it's just determination, even when I really don't feel like it.

2. I could have put forth better self-discipline and less procrastination. I didn't write half the posts I wanted to because of this.

So, I'm thinking about trying it again, whether or not it will December, I'm not sure. Christmas is coming and I haven't enjoyed the holiday for several years now, for a variety of reasons. Usually, I go into hibernation about now.

I finished spinning and plying the second batch of CMF Avalon. Here it is resting before it's pre-soak. It's 8 ozs and 600 yards 3-ply. I'm really wondering what's up with my spinning lately as I usually get 110 to 120 yards to the ounce on 3ply.


I've been in the mood to play around with Sims 2 lately, so that's where I'm off to the rest of the evening. I haven't messed around with it for a few months.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Long Day

It's been a long emotional day here at bunneh kitteh land. Here is a picture of how we're currently feeling.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fiber Friday

After yesterdays mass cleaning and festivities, I'm barely able to move today. Between the severe sciatica, muscle fatigue and arachnoiditis (nerve pain caused by the dye in a mylogram) that has been acting up the past couple weeks, I've spent most of the day napping.

I lay down for a bit after dinner, not planning to fall asleep, but I did. Usually, in the winter, when I lay down after dark I turn the bedroom light on, so if I fall asleep when I wake up, I'll know it's the same day. Tonight I forgot to do that. So, after I had slept for about a half an hour I woke up and thought it was 8:00 am Saturday. I argued with Duane for several minutes before he convinced me it was still Friday.

For this weeks Fiber Friday, there really isn't anything new to show. I've been working on spinning a custom order and in between spinning the other 8 oz of Avalon to finish my sweater.

So, I'm announcing a sale at my Kreative Kitties store this weekend. I was going to make it until Sunday night but since Monday is Cyber Monday I decided to extend it an extra day. It's 10% off everything. Free shipping for US residents for $75.00 purchases after any discounts.

International customers receive $5.00 off shipping for $75.00 after any discounts. $7.50 off shipping for $100.00 after any discounts, it goes up $2.50 for every $25.00 from there.

I'll be adding more stuff over the weekend. Crossing fingers for some sunshine for picture taking, as the sun has been in hiding the past couple days here.

This pretty alpaca still has not yet sold, so it will be there until Sunday, unless someone snaps it up.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It's been a very long day here and my back is insisting that it is indeed broken.
So while I recuperate, I'm offering you some pie to tied you over.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Poor Dammit

If you've read this blog for awhile, you are aware that Dammit is an unsocial bunny. So the past few weeks we've been plotting any discussing how to give him a much needed mani-pedi. The opportunity came the other morning while Dammit was chasing a cat from behind my chair.

I blocked one side with a knitting book, while Duane came in from the other side to nab him. After much scuffling and jumping up and down, Dammit was subdued. The funny thing is that once he's caught, he doesn't continue struggle but goes into hypno-bunny mode.

Post manicure he got much snuggles and kisses. To mark the occasion Duane took a picture. Here we are plotting his demise together.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dammit says........

Don't expect this happening here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

To The Man Who Taught Me To Knit

I wasn't able to get to my mother's yesterday due to a bad flare up of back pain. She did scan this one picture for me. Hopefully, I will be able to get over there to pick out other pictures later. This is not an easy post for me to write, so please excuse any typos I might miss.


My Grandfather, John Alexander Mann born November 24, 1902 - December 18, 1992. He liked to be called Jack. At his funeral, the man who gave the eulogy called my grandfather an ordinary man way too many times than necessary. It was the worse thing I ever heard anyone ever say about my Grandfather. In my opinion he was a great man in disguise as an ordinary man.

His mother died of influenza, during an epidemic when he was a young boy. His father died shortly afterward from the effects of alcoholism. He refused to partake in holiday drinks for fear of turning out like his father. His aunt and grandfather raised him and his older brother, in Dansville, NY.

During WW1, too young for the army, he was sent to a factory where they taught him to knit socks for the soldiers. At the end of the Depression, he met my grandmother. He came to Rochester to work during the week, living in a boarding house and going home on the weekends.

They married on November 26, 1936. He said he wanted to get married on his birthday, but Grandma wouldn't hear of it. The next day was Thanksgiving so that was out. So they married on Friday. They moved to Dansville and he worked for Foster Wheeler until the start of WW2.

The start of WW2, they moved back to Rochester, and he worked as a Draftsman for General Railway Signal Works until he was forced into retirement in 1968. Not "washed up" as he put it, he remained active into his 80's doing odd jobs, painting houses, refinishing furniture, mowing lawns and shoveling driveways. He taught himself to do Old English lettering freehand and made name plaque's and gave them away. One winter he made name plaques for all the teachers in my school.

My parents separated when I was a baby and my grandparents raised me until I was 12 when my mom remarried and moved away. They tell me when I was a week old, while my mother and Grandma was shopping, he stood at the entrance of the store holding me, stopping everyone who came in and give them all my statistics. He was the one who taught me how to tie my shoes and tell time. When I was six, my mother bought the house one door down. He would go over a couple times a day and let our dog out, clean up any mess she made and do our dishes.

When I was about 9, I had spent a week with my cousins during summer vacation. They were knitting and I was crocheting, and we tried to learn by watching each other. When I got home, I bought a pair of knitting needles and tried to remember what I watched them. After listening to me sputter most of the day, Grandma let it out that Grandpa knew how. He tried to feign ignorance, but after a little cajoling on Grandma's part, he agreed to show me how. His only annoyance was that I insisted on holding the yarn in my left hand being that I learned how to crochet first.

That whole winter we worked on scarves together, as he helped me perfect my knit and purl stitches. He would knit on the scarf while I was in school and I would take over when I got home. I really wish I had one of those scarves now.

He was a man that never said a bad word about anybody, held no grudges, and as Grandma put it "give the shirt off his back" if somebody said they needed it. I remember long walks around the neighborhood in summer, stopping at the sweet shop for a paper sac full of homemade suckers in whatever 12 flavors I wanted that day. He would stop and say "Hello, how are you doing?" to everyone we passed by. He never knew a stranger or an enemy.

When I was a teenager, my parents took my grandmother out-of-town to visit some relatives, my grandfather didn't like to travel so he came over to stay with me. My mom had left some steaks for me to cook for dinner. I knew he liked his meat "well-done" but I didn't know how long to cook a well done steak. You've heard as dry and tough as shoe leather? Well, I think I could have cut up an old boot and set it next to that steak and you wouldn't be able to tell which was which. He ate every bit and stopped long enough a few times to tell me how delicious it was. I felt awful, as I knew it had to be just, well, I don't think words could describe how bad it was. He never complained about anything, ever.

My first cabled garment was a vest for his 84th birthday. Grandma said she had a hard to getting it away from him to wash it. The same thing with the flannel shirt I made him the following year. We often talk about knitworthy people on the Ravelry group Selfish Knitters, he was totally knitworthy.

He loved baseball, but I don't know his favorite team. I remember him talking about The Sox, and I can only assume based on geography he was talking about the The Red Sox, and The Blue Jays.

He had a penchant for sweets and would swipe cookies or candy when Grandma's back was turned. She would scold him that he would ruin his supper when she turned and caught him with his mouth full, a big smile and denying up and down what he did.

In 1990, a month before my youngest was born, my Grandfather suffered a mild stroke, while my Grandma was in the hospital with kidney stones. It took his long term memory and he wasn't the same afterward, we had all became strangers. Slowly, he relearned our names, but the memories were gone. On his 90th birthday, he told my Grandmother that he and George Burns wanted to live to 100.

December 18th he suffered a massive stroke and died instantly. Grandma said hours earlier claimed everything was wonderful. The hamburger she made him for dinner, he said was the best he had. The dish of plain vanilla ice cream was the most delicious he ever tasted. He did his dishes and they watched Jeopardy. He said he was tired, so Grandma got his pajamas to help him change into. After handing them to him, she turned around to change the channel on the TV and she heard a low groan. She said when she turned back around she could tell he was gone, that fast.

I wish I could show him all the things I knit now, show him how I taught myself to spin my own yarn. I would like to show him in one of my knitting books how German and Shetland knitters held the yarn in their left hand and it's called Continental. There's so many things I wished I had asked him, like who is his favorite baseball team.

There's much more I could tell you about my Grandfather, but I won't bore you any further. If you made it this far, I thank you for reading about the greatest man I've had the honor of knowing, he walked this earth in disguise as an ordinary man.

Happy Birthday Grandpa, where ever you are. I still really miss you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Something Different

I've made it three weeks now. I really should post earlier in the day, but keep hoping for better inspiration.

Here's a small sample of my favorite tatted edging, made with some of the tencel I've been dying.


I'll be posting the tencel and a bunch of hand-dyed cotton thread to my etsy store over the next few days.

Tomorrow I'm heading over to my mom's for the day. We're going through some of my grandparents photo albums for a very special blog post on Monday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fiber Friday

True to form the cat attacked fiber yarn was hard to photograph. Below is the three better photos of twelve. It was a pain to spread out for dying, even more frustrating to spin. While it is a super wash fiber, some of the fibers rolled into little balls that were a pain to draft.

The plying was the fun part, watching the colors come together to form an interesting yarn. I also figured out a new trick. Normally, when I plan to spin a plied yarn, I weigh my strips outs evenly and end up with very little left over on one or more spindles. However, I was so disgusted with the tattered pile of fiber, I just tore it into three lengths and started spinning.

Spindle 1 ran out of fiber, and of the two leftover, one seemed to have twice as much leftover than the other. Normally, at this point I Navajo ply the leftovers. This time, leaving the two remaining spindles attached to the yarn, I grabbed an empty TP roll and loosely wound the singles from the spindle with most left over. I then took the end and spliced it the spot where the first single left off, and continued on with my three ply.

When I came to the end of the singles on the tp roll they formed a perfect little loop with which I used to seamlessly Navajo ply the remaining single leftover on the last spindle.

I didn't think to take pictures of this process, so I hope I wrote it so it can be understood. I'm always spinning three ply yarns, so I know I will be using this technique again in the next week or two and will take pictures at that time.

The specs: 4 ozs of SW BFL attacked by an unknown number of cats. 330 yards not my best spinning of 3 ply yards per ounce. Tomorrow it gets it's spa bath and I will check the WPI after it dries. I have a feeling it's going to really plump out after it gets it's spa treatment to test the twist.



Going, going ...... soon to be gone. I fell in love with this alpaca in a colorway I call Peaches, when I dyed it for sale. At that time, I needed the money to buy more stock for the store than I needed more stash and I knew I wouldn't get around to spinning in the four months that etsy gives for a listing. Well, the listing expires on the 30th at which point if it hasn't sold, it will quietly slide in my personal bin.

I still need the money more than the additional stash, so if you want it grab it before the end of the month.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just A Hodge Podge

This post probably resembles my mood the past few days. I've been trying to keep busy, however, free floating anxiety has me running in circles from one thing to the next.

Here are the mittens I finished for Duck. Hopefully, she'll be the mood to model them and the hat. I'm in the progress of writing the pattern for them.


I finished spinning and plying the cat spit SW BFL for Mom's leg warmers.


Duane and I think we have worked out something to rig up a way to wind thread on spools using my sewing machine. Tonight, on our way to weekly grocery shopping we stopped at JoAnn Fabric for supplies. While heading to pick up the couple things we need some bolts of fabric attacked me and forced me to bring some home.


I wish I could have afforded to get the whole bolts of the last two to the right.

Finally, a picture of Dammit being good and looking happy about it.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Duck

Today is my granddaughter's 4th birthday. I finally finished the thumb on her mittens for today. However, she got off the school bus a real grump. No pictures, no trying on mittens. So here's a picture I used a couple months ago.


So happy birthday, my grumpy duck, just wait til your 40.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm So Not Ready

Like most of the North, this is what I woke up to this morning. Actually, there was more when I first woke up, this is several hours after the sun played peek-a-boo. I'm not ready to deal with the cold this year, not ready for shorter and shorter hours of daylight.


I was a bit quicker and smarter today, and got a picture of the merino/tencel while the sun made a brief appearance. First spool is finished, two more to go. Quarter is added for scale, the single is about the thickness of a 2/20 strand. I've switched back to finishing up the last spool of SW BFL.


Plurk was acting up today every time I tried to bring it up, so I was able to get some dying done. All the 2/20 tencel I skeined over the weekend is dyed and now resting comfortably, curing in there little plastic wrap cocoons. I'm anxiously awaiting til tomorrow to find out how they will turn out.

Dammit caught in the act.

Nom, nom, nom. Mom's craft magz sure are tasty.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Over The NaNo Hump

Yikes, I almost forgot to post. That would have been bad, since as of today I've made it farther than two years ago.

Today, was full of blog post fail.

I was going to take a picture while the sun was shining of the merino/tencel I'm spinning. How was I to know that when the sun popped out it was just saying a quick hi and I should have made a mad dash for the camera. Fail.

I was then going to bake you a cake, but then realized I'm out of eggs. Fail.

Not much progress on the knitting front today either. Fail.

I'll go for my old stand-by.

Dammit says, "You iz buzy, I serve myself."


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sock Knitting Suspense, Frustrations and Nightmares

Who ever says knitting socks is boring hasn't knit socks from the top down. Remember the lovely blue SW merino sock I bought at Rhinebeck to knit my mom socks? I cast on, on the way home, only it had been awhile since I made socks and cast on too few stitches. Almost the whole leg finished and I had to frog and start again.

Then a few nights ago, in fit of insomnia, I stayed up and finished the sock, except for kitchener stitching the toes closed. It was getting suspenseful have way down the foot when I had the equivalent of the approximate size of those super bouncy balls found in gumball vending machines, maybe a good sized jaw breaker's worth. Every couple rows, will I have enough, will I have enough. Top down sock are adventurous, not for the faint of heart.

Here is what looks like an almost finished sock, waiting for kitchener, with it's marble sized yarn ball stuck to the end of the needle. Well, it's about to be frogged, again.


What!?! What went wrong now? You ask.

I read on a post on Ravelry that SW Merino acts like silk and stretches. The problem, my mom and I wear the same size shoe, but her calves are bigger than mine. So, I knitted the sock a little loose for my leg. It should fit her well, except if the yarn stretches. I confirmed this with my helpful Plurk friends.

Then the mind debate began. Leave as is. Cast on smaller. If cast on smaller, how many fewer stitches. The mind boogles.

Well, just have her try it on, silly, you say.

Two things. First these are a surprise. Secondly, she comes over once a week to take me shopping and when she gets here, she's ready to go. The whole take off shoe, sock, try on, take off, put original sock and shoe back on, too much hassle.

Well, measure her leg and say it's for those leg warmers she wants.

Yep, thought of that. Except, my DD (not dear) borrowed my tape measure last week, and when it will resurface my possession is questionable. Yes, I could and should go buy another one, but, I just want to get these damn socks finished.

An answer came to me when I read Close To My Heart's blog post. Blueberry Waffle socks in fewer stitches, would be snug yet the stitch pattern would be stretchy enough. What better than blueberry waffles for blueberry colored yarn. This will feel like a whole new sock instead of redux times trois.

After another insomnia episode last night, I'm now this far.


I've been pretty depressed and anxious lately, as I have some stuff going on and about to have a whole lot more really crappy stuff happen soon. Nothing I can share on a public blog. It's a lot like watching a snow ball roll down hill and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

For part of my night, I started spinning the merino/tencel from Rhinebeck to chear and distract my mind. I had said, I thought it would be like the merino/silk I've spun before. This is far slipperier and I wouldn't suggest an advanced beginner to try it for fine singles. It would probably be much easier for a thick single with much pre-drafting prep in advance.

I took this picture with flash. Way shiny. I will try it again when there is sun, and no flash.


This should be a very light fingering 3 ply when finished. I think it should make wonderful lacy stockings.

Lexie says, "Psst, Dammit, I gots a secret."


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rainy, Windy and Blowing

It's dreary weather here in Western, NY.

Bootsie says, "It's a good day to stay in bed."


Friday, November 14, 2008

Can You Stand Another Day of Cute Bunnehs

I waited til late to post and am tired. Can you stand another bunneh picture if I promise to do better early tomorrow?

Dammit and Lexie say:

You call this dinner?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Up All Night, I wish I Sleep All Day

I seem to have found myself on an old vicious merry-go-round, that's not all that merry. I love the seasons of fall and spring best, my body, not so much. The unstable weather systems grab hold of my joints, especially low-back, hips and pelvis. I was up all night, and unfortunately didn't get to sleep much today, with babysitting duties. Lack of sleep causes more painful flare ups and you can imagine round and round I go.

I still remain ever optimistic and have hope to sleep well tonight and wake up feeling better tomorrow. I'm not even paying attention to that unstable system heading this way over the weekend. La la la, I can't hear you weatherman.

I have several better posts in my head to write, just need some sleep. I finished Mom's first sock during my insomnia episode and will have pictures tomorrow. While trying to keep awake for GD I did upload 7 skeins of SW Merino to etsy. I still have 2 skeins of regular merino and a big 6oz skein of DK weight SW merino, plus some odds and ends to get listed. Then there is that big tote with 10 skeins each sock blank, merino/silk fingering, and regular merino sock to get dyed.

So, I'll leave you with this Lol bunny that really sums up how I'm feeling.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 12

Day 12 of NaNoBloPoMo, I'm still here. Bright Eyes is better today, she's still limping slightly, but is much better than last night. Hopefully, she just landed funny and strained a muscle.

Me, I felt the rain coming before our weatherman told us it is coming tomorrow. Warm air will be coming over the lake and bringing showers. Forecast, gradually warming to 60's by Friday, then plummeting to highs in the low 40's. Life in Western NY. Makes me want to yell at Mother Nature, "Just pick something and stay their awhile."

I took the yarn pictures for the etsy update. Afterward, my back was aching, so I thought I would just lay down for a bit. Three hours of a nap later, and ouch. My back and hips hurt so bad, just the weight of sitting was excruciating.

So, for those of you that have been patiently waiting, these and few more will be uploaded to etsy if I have to do it laying on my stomach in bed.


Take care everyone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Plodding Along

That title thing, thinking up a good one, I'm not so good at. I think I was doing pretty well there for awhile, but the daily posting is getting a bit of burn out. Not even at the halfway point of NaNoBloPoMo, but I will persist. I just hope I don't bore you readers in the process.

I really need accomplish a goal right now. So that is why I signed up, to challenge myself and reward of the satisfaction that I persevered. That is the reason for the title, it's how I'm feeling today is just plodding along. It's kinda like the way little Lexie hops.

My connection is getting better slowly. I was going to call complain today, but then remembered all the schools are off today. So, I figured they would use the increased use as a reason. Fingers crossed that they were just doing work nearby and it will continue to improve.

As a reward for doing such a good job at posting for me, Bootsie received a container of her favorite sparkle balls. She wanted me to tell all of those who commented, "Thank you."

As you can, the clan had to come for inspection of Bootsie's booty. Not their favorite toys, she was left to have her fun of destruction.


Dammit has been really, really bad with the carpet lately. He loved Trisquits as a treat, then tired of them and moved on to Wheat Thins, now he's pretty much tired of them. Why, oh, why won't he tire of snacking on nylon? So, I bought him some tiny bunny corn cobs. The fascination lasted as long as the video. Sigh.

Led Zeppelin fan? Yes or No. I believe some are skeptical. He was so bad last, switching from the carpet, get sprayed, climb the bookcase, chew my magazines, get sprayed, rinse and rapidly repeat many times. So much so, I was to just throw the spray bottle at him. Instead, I put in his Zeppelin DVD and he ran over to his area by the door. Did a leaping and binky dance to Black Dog until my hand touched the camera. He flopped down mid-leap and quietly lied there listening to the music the rest of the night.

I'm up to the second fair isle stripe on the "not Christmas knitting" sweater. The pattern called to change to color 1 immediately after the lace. I felt it would be too much of a stark contrast and continued on with the pink. Just as the second color started right after the first three repeats, my happiness is that the pink did started right at the finish of the second repeats.

The colors are a bit subdued than shown in the photo. I think it's starting to look like something that could be found in a boutique.


This is Bright Eyes, and Mommy's baby. Duane says she is me if I were a cat and visa versa. Just like me she has a hard time keeping her eyes open for pictures. I'm feeling high anxiety tonight, because she woke up from her nap hobbling, not putting weight on her right hind foot. I picked her up and attempted to check out, but she whipped around with her left front and almost tore my face off.


Later, I was able to pick her up in a towel, but Duane took her from pointed with feet pointing away from the light. Yeah, that's ok, I can just use my laser beam eyes. So when he turned her around, she wriggled partially free, scratched him good, and made her escape. She's now hiding under the dresser. Hopefully, we will be able to try again tomorrow. I'm hoping it's just a splinter, and a good amount of salve will help work it out. I'm hoping.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Late last night my internet connection went intermittent then very slow, then poof. So, I shut down and told it to think about it for awhile, thinking that this morning everything would working fine. I've had very slow connection all day, memories of my 28K phone connection in 1999.

It's going back in and out this evening, so I can't upload the pictures and videos I had taken to show you. No listing of the 9 skeins of SW Merino sock yarn I dyed and reskeined for my etsy shop.

Dammit has been especially bad the past couple nights. He probably had plans on surfing the Zeppelin message boards. I put one his Zeppelin DVD's on and now he's munching on the new treat I bought him, instead of the carpet and climbing up the bookcase for tasty nibbles of my craft mags.

So, I'll send you to couple really great blogs I found this week. First is, Back Porch Musings, I found on Blogger's Blogs of Note. The pictures are just wonderful. I just want to grab my knitting and climb into one.

The other is this week's NaNoBloPoMo's Blog of the Week. This is her first time with NaNoBloPoMo, and she was quite surprised when I left a congratulations on her blog. If you love to cook, bake, or just look a good food pictures give Ezra Pound Cake a visit. Warning, I had to put on a bib and force restraint from licking my screen.

Of course, Dammit was just bouncing around like a madman to Black Dog while I was typing. When I picked up the camera to get a quick video, he stopped mid leap and stared at me dumbly. Not my day I tell you.

I have tomorrow off from the babysitting duties, hopefully my connection is working properly. If not I'll call to complain. Here's hoping I can keep connected long enough to post, and maybe Dammit will be inspired again long enough for me to get a shot at him. With the camera, of course.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Taking Over

Hi everyone. Mom can't come to the blog today. So I offered to write this post for her.


We are making sure she finishes this sweater for Grandma. The colors are nice but Bootsie prefers silk, herself.


It's a hard job keeping Mom off the laptop, but Bootsie can handle her.


No Mom, no Plurking for you, just keep knitting.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

What I Haven't Tried

I've knitted for around 33 years, before the internet it was easy to think I've tried everything there is in knitting. I'm not really one for trying something new for the sake of trying it and I've never had an interest in entralac until I saw this set at Rhinebeck. I think I'm going to have to give it a try sometime soon with handpainted yarn.


I haven't yet made anything that required steeking. It's not that I'm intimidated by it, I just haven't gotten around to it. I have Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified book by Philosopher's Wool and really want to knit Southwest for awhile. Hopefully, soon.

I have not tried socks two up, magic loop or i-cord. They just really haven't yet interested me. That's all I can think of that I haven't tried in knitting, I'm certain if I really search I can find more. What are some things you haven't tried and why?

There are four lace repeats finished on the burlap sack Kauni Sweater for mom. I was pleasantly surprised how the yarn changed to the second color just as started the fourth repeat. I really hope it continues to work out as such. No sense in taking another picture for two more inches of knitting. That will probably be like watching grass grow.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fiber Friday

BFL Peaches. This will be part of this weekend's etsy update.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hunkering Down and Random Thoughts

I tried to hunker down and get things caught up. Though, it didn't really work out for me. There were a few reasons for this. First of all, I've been having really bad pain days since the weekend. Actually, it's been longer than that. It always seems to be something, my migraines, my tooth, that I still need to decide which dental care I want to use, and my constant back, pelvic and leg pain. This is sort of about chronic suffers, so if you're not interested just scroll down to the pretty pictures.

I have trouble getting organized and staying on track. Most chronic pain sufferers, have this complaint. It's really hard to organize my thoughts when I'm trying to ignore aches and pains. Which might be able to tell by this post.

While, I know there are hypochondriacs, most chronic pain sufferers don't like to talk about the fact they don't feel good. If other people, friends and family think they are sick of hearing about it, imagine for a minute how tired the suffer feels about it. Unfortunately, most pain can't really be seen and many are good at covering it up. I really wish there was a patch that shows how bad the pain is. Others can just look and see, and say, "Wow, your patch is bright, dark red. How are you handling that?" Similar, to the monitor they put on a woman when she is in labor that shows how strong the contractions are.

Finally, there was a chiropractor I saw while I was living in Tucson for a short time. For the most part, he was a quack. But he did say something really intelligent, maybe he was quoting another doctor. It's not how severe the pain is but duration of the pain that is really wearing on a person.

I know there a few other sufferers who do needle crafts out there that read my blog, as I've gotten e-mails from them. It's really nice to connect and know there is someone out there that understands.

Though I stayed off the computer, I hardly accomplished a thing I wanted to. The last three skeins of SW Merino sock yarn are in the oven, setting the dye. I had wanted to get these 7 skeins re-skeined to list on etsy, but no such luck. Try again tomorrow.


Here is the spindle with Layla plied. It's most of the 8oz. I didn't weigh out the three batches of fiber I split, and I had a bunch leftover on two of the spindles. Normally, I splice them together, wind on one spindle then Navajo ply but I didn't feel like it this time. So, I'm winding the leftover onto TP rolls. How happy I was when I went to CMF to order more dye and found their SW Merino and BFL on sale.


I was really happy with their fast shipping. Ordered Friday night and it arrived yesterday. SW merino Layla and San Francisco and another bunch of BFL Avalon.


I really loved spinning the Avalon and had planned to order more eventually. When I got the sleeves on my sweater, the yarn has gradated lighter than the top. It really stands out. So, when I saw the sale I bought more and crossing my fingers it works out, otherwise I will have to rip and alternate between the two batches.


I have two pattern repeats finished on Kauni Sweater. It has to be the rich color that's keeping my attention. The fabric feels similar to burlap and I really hope it softens when I wash and use a good hair conditioner.


Dammit says, "Yes, we know she's nuts."


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Don't Do Christmas Stitching

First to answer a question. Carol asked, Have you started spinning the merino tencel? How slippery is it? I love the sheen of it but lack the gumption....

No, sadly I haven't started spinning it yet. I only have 4 bobbins for my wheel, 3 are tied up with the SW BFL. The fourth has a bit of white Shetland I started. Of course, there isn't much Shetland on there and I could wind it off on a toilet paper roll and start..... No, must stay on course. I would like another set, but right now, 4 bobbins keeps the Queen of Wipsluts honest.

I don't think it would be any harder to spin than merino/silk blend, which I love. It would depend on the spinner, I heard some think merino and merino/silk is too slippery for them. I'm one of those that taught myself on merino and had usable yarn in a week. Please don't hate me because I'm a reincarnated spinner who had a fairy fart on her hands.

Sorry, last posts video wasn't of great quality. They are mostly out after the sun goes down and the lighting isn't the best in here. Lexie's dark coloring doesn't help matters.

I don't do Christmas stitching anymore. Deadlines like that are enough to drive me to drink heavily. Twenty years ago, long before we had a Wal-mart and fabric was cheaper than already made, I decided to make all the women in my family flannel nightgowns and the men flannel shirts. From Thanksgiving to Christmas eve every spare moment was spent cutting patterns, pinning, cutting, and sewing the pieces together; rinse and repeat 15 times. Thrown in was sewing for my two young children, their winter wardrobe.

A week before Christmas, late one night, I was found by my MIL sitting in the middle of a pile of fabric, crying in frustration and spewing a hatred of a thousand suns the hatred of the holiday. My Southern Baptist MIL had my 22 year old soul's eternity set at that moment with Hell fires and brimstone. It was then I swore off Christmas stitching. Her small containers of homemade fudge got more ooohs and aaaahs every year.

Every once in awhile since then, I've given in to temptation and picked out an individual to bestow a handmade gift. This always ensues much anxiety, panic and many way too late nights of frustration. Then the anti-climatic receipt of the gift sends me into depression for weeks afterward. Stitched gifts are still received, but only because I happened to have something finished in the stash.

For the past few years, I have been giving large tins of homemade fudge, English Toffee and peanut brittle. The candy factory opens a few days before Christmas and requires only a few slightly late nights. While the receipt of these gifts is still very anti-climatic. My family does not indulge in expressions of emotion. Requests to be put on my gift list are growing.

So I'm wondering, was it the wool fumes of Rhinebeck that caused me to order this pattern, this yarn and this yarn, with the intention of making it by Christmas for my Mother, just a few days after we came back. It's not like I don't have a ton of projects in the works and planned ahead.

Much to my surprise it came very quickly. My mailman scared me when he knocked on the door that Saturday afternoon and I was still in my nightgown. Luckily, it was my wonderful regular guy who is never surprised by my often disheveled appearance. I once ran down the street after him in the middle of winter wearing my flannel gown and housecoat to mail out a package. He deserves a knitted hat and much fudge for Christmas.

So, I'm thinking I might just be able to get this done. It's all downhill from there, folks. First of all, the pattern calls for size 4 circular needles which are already in use on a second Peacock shawl. I decide to switch the shawl over to straights and free up the needles. While watching my Saturday night British shows on PBS, I cast on. I have very sensitive skin, the wool is causing my hands to itch. I'm hoping it softens up after I wash it.

Two nights in and I have the first pattern repeat finished. Except, I don't like the openess of the stitches on size 4 needles. So, I try a swatch on size 3, which is just off gauge by a smidge. I then check the math of the designers gauge against the dimensions given. They are way off and if I had continued I would have knitted a small tent just big enough for GD to play house in.

So, I recast on the 300 stitches on size 3, knit the first row, second row, the pattern row doesn't match up. Maybe I counted wrong. Rip out, recast on again. This time I put a marker every 100 stitches and double counted. Pattern row doesn't match up again. I check back and find no errors, so I tink back several stitches and fudge it. Start to knit plain the next row and 50 stitches in, I find my error on the previous row. Grrrr. There I sit at midnight on Tuesday night, rip or tink, rip or tink. I decide to tink all the back and stay up do so, and reknit. At this point, I was determined not let this sweater get the better of me. Game on, knitting.

Next night, I happily finish the first repeat and wonder why it's still curling around the needle. So I try to straighten it out. Now, if you are a knitter reading this, I bet you know what it is coming next. Yes, the cast on stitches had twisted the first row. Heavy sigh. Rrrrripppp. At this point, I stuff the whole mess in my knitting bag to put it in time and out. Let it think about it's defiance for awhile.

So yesterday, my Mom is over, she had visited my much younger sister who is out of town for awhile. She had told her how I knit GD a hat and mittens. My sister, who had learned how to knit last year, asked her if I would knit her a hat and matching gloves out of the same yarn for Christmas.

"Does the yarn match any of her coats," I asked.

"No", says Mom.

"So she wants a matching set to GD, for the hell of it?!?!?!?"

"I guess so," she said. She added, "I suggested socks and leg warmers."

My sister is moving back home next week and Mom keeps the house colder than an igloo.

"She knows how to knit. I can help her figure out the patterns and she can make them herself," I say.

"Well, I thought you could make them for Christmas," says Mom.

I don't do Christmas knitting, I make fudge.


Currently, I'm on the third row. There won't be any stay up all night stress. If I get it done in time, yay. Nope, not stressing myself out. After all, I don't do Christmas stitching.

Dammit and Lexie say, Yeah, we know she's nuts.