Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Need a Time Stretching Machine

Are We Still Here? << >> Am I Back?

Hi, All. Time Flies! I don’t know where it has gone…It’s true. The older I get, the faster time passes.

I have had another eventful month and a half. I had a bunch of doctor appointments for my stepdad and myself. He’s good, I’m not. That’s a relief. I still have to get him in for an eye check and a colonoscopy. I think he’ll be done for a year then. Me, I still have to get my mammogram and see my endocrinologist for a bunch of tests. Plus, I’m finally going to have my first session at the Pain Management Center on June 12. I filled out the paperwork a month or so ago. I am really looking forward to it. I hope they can help me out. Whoopee!

We’re still working on getting the stepdad’s house in order. I have to go and spend a week or so just packing up stuff I want to keep. We’ve pretty much have gotten the whole place sorted. Goodwill has been getting a lot of nice stuff, too.

We had some more excitement with my stepdad. He got out of the home somehow and wandered through the woods and fell in a creek. He was fine. Luckily, some people found him and guessed where he might be from and got a cop to pick him up. What a nightmare. His ID still had his old address on it, so I had a new one done right away. Another thing I didn’t think of…I didn’t think that it was a big deal that he wouldn’t remember where he lived because I never thought he could get out of the home unsupervised. Well, the nurses at the home are sure going to be more careful from now on. I wasn’t mad…Just relieved that he was okay…but the supervisor was sure unhappy, as well she should be.

I have had some fiber fun! On May 11, four of us from our spinning group went to the Minnesota Shepherds’ Harvest and Llama Magic at Lake Elmo, MN. I was only going to buy some oddball fiber if I found any…Which, of course, I did.

I got 1-pound of white bamboo top, 4-ounces of white Optim fiber,

and 5-ounces of the most beautiful white Pygora fiber. All nice stuff. I’m looking forward to spinning it someday (sigh). I’m still spinning up the light brown Alpaca fiber that I’ve been working on for at least 4 months. I have about half of a bobbin done of what will be a 3-ply lace weight. It seems I’m only spinning once a month at the spinning group meeting. No time otherwise.

I went to Mexico, Mo and Topeka, KS for a week with my husband . He spent 2 days building a rudder for his plane and then we visited some friends for a few days. We went through Lawrence, KS on the way home and stopped at the Yarn Barn. Nice place to visit and spend money.

I got a pattern for this neat swirl pattern shawl/stole from JoJoland,

2 skeins of ‘Heaven’ lace-weight yarn that is 45% Tencel and 55% merino. Don’t know who makes it but it’s gorgeous. Each skein is 120 grams with 3100 yards. So, I have 6200 yards of beautiful light blue ‘shawl’ to knit up. Another project, but it was 40% off…What’s a gal to do? I bought some 000 straight needles and a 000 addi Turbo circular needle to knit it with and

some practice cotton. I’m going to play with a doily or two before I use my ‘Heaven’.

I got my fleece from Maple at Northstar Alpaca’s from her ewe Cardigan…

Cute name and cutie sheep…It’s a lovely dark shade of brown and weighs 2-pounds 10-ounces in the grease. It looks and feels so sproingy and soft. I soaked it overnight in cold water. The water was the same color as the fleece. Good for the garden. Now it's waiting for me to rinse and dry.

My Norwegian sweater is on hold…It’s gotten to the point that it doesn’t travel well, and the only knitting I seem to be doing is when I’m riding in the car. I’m knitting the Hemlock Blanket from Jared at Brooklyn Tweed for a friend’s baby that will be born in the next 2 weeks or so. It’s about 3/4 done. I’m using machine washable undyed worsted weight merino from Knit Picks. I plan on doing some dye-painting on it when I finish knitting it. I think it will be nice.

The loom has got all its heddles on and they're all marked. I’ve got the Dobby half way done, but there are a bunch of parts missing and no real drawings or instructions. I THINK since the previous owner converted the manual Dobby to the Compudobby, some parts were not needed. Who knows where they went? Anyway, the plan is to put as much of the rest of the loom together that I can and then contact AVL after I get some ideas as to how much I'm missing…I’m very frustrated and not just a little pissed off. Argh!

I have to change my living schedule somehow. I have way to many things I HAVE to get done and no energy to get necessary things done much less playing with my fiber. I tend to sleep all day and then I’m up all night. If I’m lucky, I get 4 to 5 hours a day where I can focus enough to do important things like bills, banking, etc. I feel guilty spending time either reading other's blogs or writing this blog, but sometimes I’m just too foggy to do much else. I should be knitting or something more productive, but I can’t concentrate enough even for that. Last week I started a new sleep hygiene schedule. I’ve got to go to bed at 10 pm, get up at 9 am. I usually need at least 10 to 14 hours of sleep with no naps during the day. I’m hoping that 9 hours will be enough if it’s “good” sleep. Just like a “normal” person. This way, my 4 to 5 “good” hours will start around noon. Then I can make phone calls and appointments during the day time. What a concept. I’m bound and determined to do this. Once I get the sleep thing tackled, then I’ll be able to start some sort of walking therapy and some weight training when I start the Pain Management Center. I turn 49 in June…By the time I hit 50, I hope to be well enough to get into fiber production for real again. That’s my goal. All that plus I WILL quit smoking this year. I can hardly breathe anymore. I got hooked on smoking by my baby sitter when I was 7 and the first time I tried to seriously quit I was 10 and couldn’t do it. It was easy to steal smokes from my parents and buy cigs from machines in those days. Through the years, all my babysitting and lunch money went for books and cigarettes. I’ve never been able to quit. I have tried every smoking cessation aid out there. The last one was Chantix. It made me puke, but I didn’t care if it helped me to quit. Well, after 7 weeks of puking every single day, I still hadn’t quit. The only thing that kind of worked was those Commit Lozenges. So, I’m going to buy a bunch and quit…Not try, but QUIT!

Well, this has turned into a long blather…Hope spring has sprung well for everyone. Today was the first nice day that we’ve had and I was able to spend some of it playing outside with my grandchild. It was a good day. Tonight is downtime and knitting before I hit the hay…Gads, 10 pm seems early. I hope the internal clock resets fast. Take care all and I hope to have pictures of the dyed baby blanket up soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Are we still here?

Slowly Moving Forward << Main >> I Need A Time Stretching Machine

Hi, All. Happy 3 days before Tax day! It's such a mess here that I decided to get an extension. My paperwork is so disorganized that I gave up rather than do something wrong. Too busy doing important stuff to worry about the IRS :) Not really. I think that this is a first for me. Ah, well. Things will get sorted out.

FINALLY have my step-dad in a good place! I'm hoping that he will be good and there will be no problems until such time that he needs a nursing home. He now lives only 6 miles away from me and in a very nice house. The whole house is for dementia patients. There are 10 large bedrooms with baths and beautiful living and dining rooms. He seems to like it, but he is still packing his things every day. Nothing I can do about that.

Speaking of dementia, I thought I might bring up something I never thought of and would like to warn you all about. My step dad seems to have a real fascination with sex now. I got a frantic phone call from the last home telling me that he was taking ladies to his room and having them "fondle" him. He was scaring these poor old women and didn't realize he was doing anything wrong. His conversions are also loaded with sex. He's all over me when I come to visit, too. I can easily handle him, but it got me to thinking about people taking care of their elders in their home with children around. It would be devastating to have a grandparent molesting the kids. Something to keep a sharp eye on as it seems that preoccupation with sex and inappropriate language and behavior is very common.

I just heard from Maple at Northstar Alpacas. I am getting a fleece from one of her Babydoll Sheep. It's name is Cardigan...Guess what I'll be making with it? I can't wait to play. She sent it out today. WooHoo!

I'm still putting together the loom. It's getting closer. Lot's of little things to get through. Right now, I'm hanging the harnesses with 125 Texsolve heddles per harness marking each heddle bunch a different color.

Harnesses 1, 5, 9, 13 are yellow, harnesses 2, 6, 10, 14 are blue, etc. I've gotten 8 harnesses done and 8 to go. It takes me about 45 minutes to put together and mark 1 harness. Slow but sure.

Getting a little farther on my sweater.

This is 7 inches into the armhole. 5 more inches to go.

Last but NOT least:

I won the Theme Guess for the Secret of the Stole ii ! The name of the stole is Savannah. This pin is just gorgeous. It's made by Robbie B. at Ruby Vegas Designs . I'm just thrilled. I stayed up one night and worked for hours trying to figure out the clues. It was worth it. I still have a way to go before I finish the stole, but it will get done.

Well, back to the grind. Bill paying and more paper work on the agenda today. Take care, All.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Slowly Moving Forward

It's Hit the Fan << Main >> Are We still Here?

Hi, All.

Well, things are a little better in some ways and worse in others. I got my step-dad moved to a "locked" unit at the assisted living joint. I HATE it and he's not loving it either, but more importantly, he's safe. I'm trying to get him in a place that's closer to the town where I live. There is a great place that I wish I had brought him to in the first place. I thought he would be happier in his town, but he doesn't know where he is anyway, so I told him I'd like to move him closer to me and he said that he would really like that. So, as soon the the nurse I'm supposed to meet gets over her "bug", I will be making arrangements if they have space. I Hope this will be the last move for a while. The legal stuff is out of my hands and moving along. My step-dad's beautiful house is pretty trashed. He did some major damage to the kitchen and bath that will be a major project to repair. I think I will clean the place up and have a realtor friend come by and see what she thinks that I need to do to make it marketable.

I'm struggling with my illness and it gets a lot worse with all this stress. I can't do more that a few hours of work a day and then I'm off to bed for two to six hours. My "schedule" is all over the map. I wake up and don't know what day it is or if its night or day. It's not too bad if I don't have to be anywhere at any particular time, but really hard if I have to be functioning for meetings and appointments. Makes me think of the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times." Lately, my life has been really interesting. I'd like to have a party and go crazy with my spinning friends for an afternoon. Maybe in April. We all need a break.

I've had a chance to knit a little while waiting around for appointments and such. It's a big project to haul around, but it's all I'm knitting on at the moment.

I've finished the underarm gussets and am now working on the chest.

Here is the pattern that I have put together for the chest and shoulder area.

My loom came on Monday, February 25th. The only thing that was broken were some pegs on the sectional warp beam that will be easy to fix.

The instruction manual was also missing the "Parts Identification and frame assembly page. But I managed to put together the frame anyway.

Unfortunately, I had to stop and wait until I got the page from AVL so I could I.D. the rest of the parts. There are a LOT of parts. Sheesh! It took me three different days to put it together this much. It may take a long time before I'm weaving on this baby. That's okay, though, because it's fun to look at, even just the frame. The only thing I can see that makes it look "used" are a bunch of puncture marks on the frame. Looks like some kids got after it with something sharp. Other than that, you'd never know it was 14 years old. I'm very happy.

Friday, February 29, 2008

It's Hit the Fan!

Some Knitting << Main >> Slowly Moving Forward

Hi, All. This has been 6 weeks from Hell. I have had more things go wrong in my life and don't expect any let-up for a while.

The care taker for my step-dad turned out to be a thief. He also totaled my step-dad's car and left the house in a complete mess. My life has been full of Police, Banks, Attorneys, etc. Then, I got a call this morning telling me that my step-dad has to move out of the assisted living place because he wandered off last night this this breaks their rules. He's fine and I have hired a Senior Care company to sit with him at nights at the assisted living place, but he has to move out soon. I'm not sure why they have this rule since the place is supposed to take care of people with dementia and Alzheimer's. They wander, don't they? Anyway, I've been run through the mill with no end in site. So, to Sue O. and other's who wondered where I am, I'll be blogging more very soon. I have gotten a lot more knitted on my sweater and a new loom (which is currently in pieces all over the place until I get a day to keep putting it together).

Take care and I hope you are all having a better time than I am.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some Knitting

Dyeing's Done << Main >> It's Hit the Fan

Hi, All. Everybody keeping warm? We've been in the deep freeze up here in Minnesota. It's been way below zero degrees F every night for at least a week. A warm up is supposed to come soon. That will be good because I have to keep filling up the LP in the main house where my son is living and the electric heat we have where we are living is incredibly high priced. We are planning on putting in a Geo-thermal heat pump, but that won't happen for a year or 2. Good thing we have lots of wool long-underwear. I even wear my felted hat inside. I haven't made any fingerless mitts yet and I sure wish I had. I guess I just have to keep my hands moving with knitting and spinning so they keep warm.

We got my step-dad moved into the assisted living place. He's okay with it most of the time. He's kind of bored and wants to go places, but the staff wants him to stay there for a couple of weeks and get really oriented before he goes out much. It's a good idea because he gets so confused when things change, even the scenery. I'm going to spend the night with him on Sunday. We'll have popcorn and watch some movies. He'll really like that. Plus, I have a bunch of things that I want to do to make it more homey. Hang pictures, etc. It's really a nice apartment. Full size kitchen a huge bedroom, a big bath, and a good sized living/dining room. Hell, it's nicer than my place.

Here is a headband/swatch for the Norwegian Sweater KAL. I'm very happy with the way it looks. It fits both myself and my husband, but I promised it to him before I made it, so I'm out of luck. Rats. It sure feels nice.

Here's the sweater I made for my granddaughter before washing and blocking. She loves it. She slept in it the first night. The yarn is pretty but I have to say that it's not holding up well at all. I felt was a little loosely spun, so I should have knit a more dense fabric, but I was following a pattern and knit to the pattern's gauge. Next time, no loosely spun merino for kids. The pattern is from the November 2007 Creative Knitting magazine. I used KnitPicks Swish superwash wool on US size 8 needles.

I have some good news to report on my AVL loom. I got a sale flyer from the company 2 weeks after I ordered my loom. The loom was 20% off, so I wrote them and asked if I could get some sort of rebate or credit since it was only 2 weeks since I ordered it and 4 weeks before they will ship it. No problem, they said. They credited the balance of my loom to reflect the sale price. Now THAT sure is nice. I will spend a lot of that for software and flying shuttles. It's nice to know that this company is a fair dealer.

I've been ordering books lately. When it's cold, I spend too much time at the computer and look at my "wish lists". I haven't done more than glance at the books yet. I order them and then I'm too busy to read them when they arrive. That's okay. They eventually all get read. I read knitting, weaving, and cookbooks like they were novels. I ordered lots of fiction that I've been waiting for to come out in paperback. I prefer paperback books because they are smaller and easier to take along. I used a 25% off coupon at Barnes and Noble to get Donna Druchunas' Arctic Lace book. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I have a few ties to Alaska, and this looks like my kind of book. Lots of history. I've never been a buyer of strictly pattern books. I have enough stitch libraries and technique books to make my own patterns. I really like the history of the techniques and the stories behind the patterns. I'm also am for the Selbuvotter book by Terri Shea to arrive in a KnitPicks order. It should get here today. I hope so, because I need the cables so I can start the Norwegian sweater.

The Secret of the Stole ii started this week. I've got the first clue 2/3rds done. I also won a random drawing prize on the first day! WooHoo! Don't know what it is yet, but it made my day. My camera is dead (I left it on. DUH!) so no pics. Not too much to look at, anyway. I'm using the leftover yarn from the last Secret of the Stole. Waste not, want not, but it's kind of boring using the same stuff. I'm sure it will be nice, though.

I suppose I better get my butt moving here. I have some errands to run and I really don't want to go out in the cold. I have to pick up my prescriptions, though, so I don't have a choice. BRRRR.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Dyeing's Done

Dyeing For Norwegian Sweater KAL << Main >> Some Knitting

Hi, All, Happy 2008. Hope everybody made it. :)

I've been busy. Yesterday, I ordered my Reconditioned AVL loom. Here are the specs:

1994 60" Full-Frame Production Dobby Loom 16 Harnesses, Polyester Heddles, Compu-Dobby I,Mechanical Dobby, Dobby Bars, Peg & Peg Wrench, 4-Box Flyshuttle, Overhead Swing Beater, 1-Yard Sectional Warp Beam. It should ship out on Feb. 18.

All I can say is WHOOHOO!!!!

I've got the yarn all dyed. Here's all the skeins. It turned out better than I hadp hoped.

These four pics are one ball that I shot from four different sides.

The colors just leap right out. I think it will look pretty good when it's knit up. Now I am just waiting for the KAL to start. We will be making a headband "swatch". I still have to pick up which motifs I will use. I have the "Starmore" Fair Isle book and "The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting" to look through. Too many choices.

I've been working on the grandkid's hoodie in my off moments. It's coming along slowly but surely. Pardon the awful colors...I took this last night around midnight.

Well, it's off to the salt mines. I've got to ratchet up the organizing here if I'm going to have any room for the loom. It's going to be a loooooong month and a half. Can't wait. Take care, All.