Saturday, February 27, 2010


Ok - I guess I underestimated how long this would take and how difficult it would be but . . . well, you never know. First, I have never knit mittens before - yeah, I know, even the girls didn't believe that when I said it out loud, but it's true. Second, I've never knit stranded mittens before and I know how I hate doing sleeves in stranded colorwork so I figured mittens had to be at least as onerous and maybe more so. Third, I never ever know from day to day how much, if any, knitting time I'm going to get. So, a pair of not simple mittens and a baby sweater might have been more than I could accomplish in two weeks . . . but it wasn't.

And, the February Baby sweater is also done - well it has no buttons, but I have to go find some. All the ends are woven in and both the mittens and the baby sweater have been washed. So tomorrow I get some buttons and then it gets gift wrapped for the teacher (who is on bed rest, so we have to take it to her). It was a fun and easy knit and I think I might make more baby sweaters in this pattern.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympic Knitting

So you want an update on my Olympic Knitting? It's going well. The torch lighting was so late here that I barely cast on the first project before I went to sleep. But I did enjoy the opening ceremonies - especially KD Lang's song. And I finished the green sweater before they lit the torch, so I at least got something out of my knitting bag before putting two new projects in it. (Mr. Greenjeans is still in time out, but I'll work on that later.)So, here's the February Baby sweater from Knitter's Almanac. The body is supposed to be knit to desired length and it's not quite there yet . . . but it's close. I'm planning to knit the sleeves in the round because I really hate seaming. It won't be difficult at all to finish this before closing ceremonies.
Next, the Foxhead mittens - you can see the beginnings of the foxhead pattern if you look closely. They are another story altogether. I've knit them this far twice (before this time) and farther than this once. The first time I was knitting them on dpns and thought that the stranded work was too tight and not stretchy enough so I ripped it back to the ribbing and restarted on two circs. The second time I realized I had knit past the thumb opening and so had to rip back and put it in. The third time I realized that the fox head pattern started BEFORE the thumb opening and I had not started it even well after I'd gotten there, so I had to rip back again. If I ever start paying attention to the pattern, they will go a lot faster.

And lastly, some pics of my photographer that I meant to post the other day. She far prefers to be behind the camera, but every now and then I manage to catch her with the viewfinder. She is a most helpful photographer even if she is a most unwilling model.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow in Atlanta

Snow in Atlanta is pretty. Maybe that is just because we see it so rarely and it's so different from what we normally see. But I really enjoyed watching it yesterday and seeing what it did to the world around us. And I have to say that driving last night was no big deal. The ground wasn't cold enough for it to ice, so the roads were a little slushy, but it wasn't any worse than driving in rain. So we went out to dinner as usual on Friday nights and had a nice time. The restaurant was almost empty, which it never is, so that was pleasant too (at least for us, the owners weren't too happy about it).

This is the very beginning of the snowfall, nothign was sticking yet, but it was falling pretty hard.

And this is the daphne with just the lightest coating on the leaves. The snow started sticking on plant leaves first. See the hot pink buds? They usually open in late January to early February here.
And this is the pond very early in the snowfall.

This is the pond about an hour later - just before we went out to dinner. It continued to snow, but it also continued to get dark. It was much deeper this morning.

Here is a gratuitous cute dog picture because I can post whatever I want to post. She doesn't really like the snow because it gets her feet and belly fur wet and she can't smell the ground thru the snow.

And this is the Green Sweatshirt sweater finally finished. Steve didn't think I really made it, but I did. It was a lot of knitting for such a plain jane sweater, but it's warm and comfy and nice for a snowy day. I don't think I'll do another one unless I use bulky yarn because it's so much work for so little show.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Knitting Olympics

The Yarn Harlot is once again running the Knitting Olympics. She was the one who came up with this brilliant Idea and until Ravelry came along, she was the one who ran it. I haven't quite figured out how it works on Ravelry, but the Harlot's concept is simple and elegant. You figure out what you want to knit from start to finish during the time the winter olympics are going on. That's a 17 day project, but it's not supposed to be something easy for you to finish in that time - it should be a challenge for you to complete. Then you go to her blog and she has a special sign up page - you enter a name and what you plan to try to complete. Once you have signed up you can go look at a list of all those who have entered and what they plan to try to accomplish.

I signed up. I'm almost finished with the plain green sweater - just the bottom ribbing left to do and ends to work in. It should be finished very soon - maybe today? The blue Greenjeans is in the bottom of the knitting bag because I ripped out all the cabled ribbing that I had knit - about 9 inches of it. It really hurt my hands to knit that, so I guess I'm avoiding redoing it. I knit a little bat for one of Miss S's actress friends who is playing the bat in Charlotte's Web. I have lots of things I want to knit but a few I have to knit. I'm going to have to get working on a shawl for the show and I need to make at least two baby gifts. So, for my olympics I'm going to do one - project that I have to do - a february baby sweater - and one that I want to do - Foxhead mittens for someone going to cold country soon. I'm making them in hunter green and yellow - the school colors of a certain college. (Good thing she rarely reads this blog.)

Wanna join me?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Journey of the Shawl

The shawl and Fred and I went down to St Luke's Hospital and checked in at Patient Registration Services (admitting to us older folks) at 7 am yesterday. I only needed to finish binding off and weaving in the ends to be able to wear it. I finished binding off and then it was my turn to fill in forms. Forms all filled in, I started weaving in ends. At the hospital they had something called Transportation. This is where they have someone escort you to wherever you need to go whether walking or in a wheel chair. The young man from Transportation showed up when I still had an inch left to weave in. He is asking questions (what is your name, birthday etc) and I am furiously weaving. I am doing well at weaving and not so well at answering questions. Actually I am failing this quiz very badly. So I finish the weaving, put away the crochet hook, put on my shawl and the journey begins.

We went first to Nuclear Medicine. We had been told that the basic plan for our journey would be admitting, nuke medicine at 8, breast imaging at 10 back to nuke at 10:30 and pre-op at 11:30. Followed by surgery to last however long was necessary.
So the young man from Transportation took us to nuclear medicine and since we were there at 7:20, the girl said they couldn't start until 8 because the doctor wouldn't be in until 8.
No problem. I took a seat and got out a new crochet pattern I wanted to try, Widget Fantacy Flower Hot Plate. I got out my pattern and read the first line. Make ch5, join with sl st to make a ring. I know how to do that I thought. So I got two stitches on my crochet hook and realized that it is knitting that keeps the stitches on the needle and that I didn't remember how to crochet. Just then they called my name and I put the project and pattern back in my bag and (spoiler) never got a chance to take them out again.
The girl had been reading through the stack of papers that had come downstairs with me and decided that I didn't belong at nuclear medicine but at pre-op. We thought this was odd but what did we know.
So she takes us over to pre-op and drops us off. The gal there signs us in and writes down a complete description of Fred, what he is wearing etc. We go to find a seat and stop at the 'flight status board'. Don't know the real name but it tells where every patient is: pre-op, operating, recovery, patient recovery. I don't know what all because at that point I was whisked away.
To a room where you have to take everything off and put on the gown. with no back.
I played thousand questions, got an i.v., had my knitting bag taken away, got cute little blue footies, and put my shawl back on. I got to see Fred for a few minutes and had him take a picture of the shawl. He included me in the picture even though I said not to. Then the camera had to leave with all my other valuables.
Next stop was back to nuclear medicine where I had four shots in the nipple and watched the radioactive stuff travel from the nipple to the armpit. Also heard how I wasn't supposed to have the iv in yet. That took about an hour and a half. My shawl thought that lying on my back watching a tiny tv screen showing the radiation moving through my body was boring. I agreed.
Then we were taken to breast imaging where we were half an hour early, the doctor was busy and I wasn't supposed to have an iv in yet. So the shawl and I sat in a hallway in everyones way in a wheel chair. This did prompt them to get me moved up tho. I had them send word down to Fred because he had been told I would be gone an hour and then returned to pre-op. So I had another mammogram, the doctor inserted a needle, took a mammogram to check the placement, moved the needle, checked the placement (this was the side squish for those of you familiar with the procedure). Then with the doctor holding the needle in place we changed to the up/down squish and checked and adjested and checked. In the correct place and the doctor removed the needle leaving the wire in place. The wire was to guide the surgeon to the correct spot since there was nothing for her to actually see. Oh, and the wire stuck out about 5 inches. Wasn't exactly expecting that. The nurse wrapped it into a coil and taped it down so it wouldn't get caught in the shawl and ripped out.
Back to pre-op where Fred joined me. We found out that my operating room was behind schedule. My surgeon came in and said she was ready and I was ready and as soon as we found a room we could get to it. This was at 11:30. 12 o'clock came and went. 1 o'clock. Finally got to the operating room with my shawl on. They said my shawl could stay but had to sit on my legs to watch since they needed to be able to cut on the arm. And it all goes blank at that point.
Then I was waking up. Surgeon stopped by twice (maybe more, it is very foggy in my memory). I do remember asking for my shawl and the nurse telling me it was gone. That woke me up and I panicked. All I could think about was loosing the yarn Teresa had made for me. And all the time spent knitting on it while waiting for mammogram after mammogram. And losing Teresa's yarn. The beautiful, beautiful yarn was gone. But we found the shawl and I wrapped it around me and went back to sleep.
But the good news is. Surgery went well. The first look at the sentinal lymph nodes showed no cancer there, so only those lymph nodes and the bad one came out. The lump came out. The cancer came out. All the results of the biopsies on the lump, the cancer and the lymph nodes will be back on Teresa's Birthday. I can only hope that she is studying as hard for her part of this as I did for my part.
The shawl hasn't been blocked. The only thing that hurts at all is under my arm kinda towards the back. I can't see back / under there so I will assume it is fine. But anything that moves that muscle stings like the dickins. So I am not going to block the shawl anytime soon. The rest of me doesn't hurt as long as nothing puts pressure on it. If I move I do notice a twinge, so I am seriously thinking about not moving.
Update on Teresa's Birthday and I will try to have the shawl blocked by then. Although it has done a mighty fine job just as it is.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Progress on my Beaded Shawlette (Judy Pascale pattern)

If you haven't had your yearly mammogram, PLEASE go get it.

I get one every year on December 31st. I know that is putting it off until the last minute but it is also J's Birthday and I do it for my family. Having it scheduled first thing in January and always for the same date actually helps me to remember not to schedule anything else for that date. Usually everything else is closed on New Year's Eve anyway. And what could be more fun and a better way to celebrate than by having a mammogram.

This year (well, actually last year now) I was there but they had changed the place so I was in the wrong place at the right time. So we re scheduled for January 4th. That means two years between mammograms. December 31 2008 until January 4 2010. I really should have gotten it every year.

Along came the 4th of January and I went in and did the squish and squash and went home, fat, dumb and happy. While I was there I had started knitting on my shawl. It was Judy Pascale's Beaded Eyelet Garter Shawl and I got to the row that needed the beads, which I hadn't found yet. The technician Nicky told me where she had gotten great beads for her wedding and after the appointment I went over there and drooled at all the gorgeous beads. And I actually picked some up for my shawl. Thank you Nicky.

Next thing I knew I was getting a phone call. I had flunked my test. They scheduled a retest. So I went back on T's Birthday. I made quite a bit of progress on the shawl before the diagnostic mammogram. And even more waiting for the ultrasound. And more waiting to talk to the doctor because I flunked those tests also. So another appointment. I saved the shawl for knitting at these appointments.

Then I took Fred with me on his birthday to do the biopsy. I have had more fun and so has he but you get the birthday present you get. That was the day I got to lie on that really cool pink table. I am posting the picture so none of you feel that you have missed something. You get to lay on the pink table and drop your titty through the hole. Then they do many unthinkable things. I flunked that test also. And I only got a tiny bit of knitting done. It turns out that while you are lying on the pretty pink table, you have to lie perfectly still. All that time doing nothing interesting, nothing fun and not allowed to knit.

That just left A's Birthday in January. We went to see the nice surgeon and I won a door prize. I got the way cool knitting bag in black with pink stripes. Also included was a water bottle and a little black pillow and a white stress football and a notebook with a pen. Great for taking notes and writing down knitting stuff.

And a thank you to Susan G Komen Race for the Cure Boise for providing these great door prizes especially the book that was included in the bag but not in the picture. Be a Survivor. A book full of great information on how to get through this time, what was going on, what would happen, what might happen and explanations of what was happening. And encouragement.

And a big thank you to all the people who have offered encouragement. We needed it. Still need it.

While at the doctor's office I did make quite a bit of progress on my shawl. That is the good news. The not so good news: Unfortunately I really blew that test. Bad. I feel that it wasn't really my fault because I didn't get to study because I didn't know we were having a pop quiz. However, when Fred and I left the office I was in shock. Teresa informed me that I had better start studying really hard because I really couldn't afford to fail any more tests. And no one else wanted a failed test for their Birthday.

She really only said this since her Birthday was the next in line. So I got out the wine that Jennifer had given me and I studied. And studied. As you can see from the photo, I studied a lot.

Apparently it worked because on the next visit to the surgeon, I passed all of the tests and got a date for surgery. Saw her Monday and surgery is tomorrow. The surgeon has the most magnificent knitted doily hanging in her waiting room, and I keep forgetting to ask her if she knitted it. But I have included a picture of it anyway just for the knitting tie-in. And looking at it in person and up close, it is knitted and not crocheted. And absolutely wondrous.

Teresa sent me a cheer you up package. A great basket for putting knitting stuffs in. And the basket was already stuffed with stuffs. A charm bracelet that I have been wearing (sorry can't wear it tomorrow) with sheep and alpacas and knitting charms. Even included a bigger of just the bracelet so you can appreciate all its glory. Some alpaca notecards for saying thank you to my supporters. A coffee cup with a neat motto and teas to make it into a tea cup. A couple of candies to sweeten the pot. Between the teas and the bracelet is an alpaca phone charm. Since I don't have a phone I put it on the handle of my new knitting bag.

I did get some knitting done. But the shawl isn't finished. But tomorrow I have to be at the hospital at 7 am. Which means I have to get up at 'oh I didn't know that hour existed' and drive into Boise. After admitting, I get to go play at Nuclear Medicine. I will spend the morning becoming radioactive and hopefully finishing the shawl. Then 11:30 I go to surgery. Eventually I will go home. Oh and the really great news. Nothing to eat after midnight until the I get to go home part. Are they looking out for my diet or what. What diet you say. The one I am starting in a few hours.

Hopefully on Saturday I will post a picture of the finished shawl. Which I will be wearing.

Teresa's birthday present? I didn't forget her. They will be removing two lumps, the bad lymph node and 1 or more sentinal lymph nodes. We will learn the results on Teresa's Birthday. Doesn't that make you hope it is good news???

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

News Flash

Ok - first off, the explanation of all the spiders (and we still hope to get one pic of all of them together). Because so many kids wanted to participate, the spring musical this year is going to be two musicals - A Chorus Line and Charlotte's Web. Miss S decided way back at the beginning of the year that she wanted to be Charlotte in Charlotte's Web. She wasn't even interested in trying out for A Chorus Line. Most of the rest of the kids wanted ACL and some even said they'd quit if they didn't get parts in that musical. Miss S just hung in there tho. Well, they posted the cast list yesterday and guess who is playing the roll of Charlotte!

In other news, the younger child will be competing in this on Saturday.

She's gonna have a busy month. First we have the MathCounts competition - they call the kids 'mathletes.' Then the next weekend is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at Georgia Tech. Then toward the end of the month, she's participating in the Science Olympiad Competition.