Rocking the Week #6

Here is my crazy week with a lot of picture support.

Bee on blooms.
Last Thursday I went to the first appointment with palliative care. On the way in from the parking lot I had to walk under blooming trees. Look! The first bee of the season. ūüôā You know, it was hard to get this shot with the phone camera… I think that I entertained some of the other visitors to the clinic while I chased this little guy around.

I’m pretty sure I’ve flunked out of palliative care. Here’s the problem: I need someone to help me manage my overall medical care (since I have six different doctors at this point…) but they don’t really do that. They do help people with serious end of life decisions and provide medical options¬†to ensure their comfort; I got some great advice and then they kind of turned me loose back into the health care stream. I’m kind of a catch and release palliative care patient: they will call every three months to check on me, but basically I’m doing pretty well. I have a serious illness, but I’m not yet seriously ill enough to really justify taking up their time. I’m already doing a lot of the things that they encourage patients to do (and so do all of you, too.) It’s really important to do something that helps with stress¬†like meditation (or knitting, spinning, and weaving!) and they told me to start keeping a journal (Oh, you blog? Never mind! Just carry on with that, they said.) Really, it was encouraging. They told me to use the inhaler as much as I want and to go to more frequent appointments with my primary care doctor. Check. I can do that. ūüôā

It is good to think about end of life decisions, though. Here’s how I reacted: I called my kids (and grandson) and told them that we need to all go to Walt Disney World for a fun vacation. We will ride the Monorail, buy Micky Mouse ear hats, go to the Star Wars attractions, and it will be wonderful.¬†I’m also systematically cleaning out all of my junk from cupboards and the garage. Does anyone want my Great-Aunt Alice’s set of crystal platters? How about a classroom set of homemade DNA models? A well-used heavy duty 3-hole punch? Right. All those things are out of here!!

Hummus
Friday I decided to go wild and made homemade chickpea hummus using the recipe from fellow blogger Ros (Cooking Up The Pantry). I cooked the chickpeas in my crock pot for 6 hours on low, and then everything went into the food processor. Oh, my goodness! Several days later I am still eating it with veggies and warmed flat bread. Yumm!! All of the food Ros has in her blog is to die for. Seriously. I would knit for her for food.
Weaving
I’m still weaving on the dishtowels. I’m getting towards the end of the warp: this is the fifth towel in the set. Weaving is really quality time for me. I worry about the plot of the book I’m reading, come up with my grocery shopping list, and dream up new patterns for fingerless mitts. Once I’m in the zone it is like magic.
Pansies.
The last two days have been warm and I’ve started clearing out the flower beds. Look! Pansies that survived the winter!
Phlox
and of course the Phlox has started blooming. I have a big bed of this and it keeps sending out satellite colonies of phlox all over the yard.
Shawl
Not only did the phlox start blooming, I got the Waiting for Rain (by Sylvia Bo Bilvia) shawl finished. The colors in this yarn look just like the phlox to me. This is a perfect springtime shawl! Here are my project notes on Ravelry.
Edge of shawl.
Isn’t the yarn yummy? this is LYDIA sock yarn in the colorway Garden Party. I added a picot edge to the bind off.¬†
Book and knitting
Tonight I’m working on my Snowfling Mitts again and reading my current book. The suspense in the book is just killing me. Every few chapters I have to take a little knitting break. ūüôā If you can’t read the title that is Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline.

It has been really nice this week; warm and sunny with blooms and bees. However, this is Colorado; we have a winter storm warning posted for tomorrow because a humongous storm is roaring in to dump huge amounts of moisture¬†for the next 5 days. Seriously. I’m wondering how many inches of snow is made by four inches of water. The storm is the big story on the news and each update reports it to be building in intensity from the last report. Yikes! Maybe I should pick up speed on the mitten knitting.

That’s OK. I have hummus, books and yarn. I am all good.

Have a great weekend everyone. If you should happen to see a snow shovel, think of me.

 

 

 

Stitch Markers for my “Waiting for Rain” : A Short Tutorial

I started knitting my new shawl over the weekend. The colors are really cool. Check this out:

Knitting
This is the beginning of “Waiting for Rain” by Sylvia Bo Bilvia. That cool yarn is “Garden Party” colored Lydia Sock Yarn.

I grabbed the shot of the knitting just as the sun was getting ready to set, but you can see the great way the flecks of color are showing up in the white yarn. I just love it! I can’t wait to get to the part of the shawl where the lace inserts appear. There are short rows coming, too. Fun!

Today my wrists were sore when I woke up so I decided to take a break from the weaving and knitting today. I vacuumed. I did laundry. I cut out some fabrics to do some sewing later on this week. I also took out my new beads and decided that it was time to make some more stitch markers.

Stitch Markers
These are currently my favorite little stitch markers. They are simple, light weight and perfect for projects using fine yarn like socks and fingerless mitts. The largest bead is a 6mm Swarovski cubic crystal bead. I picked it up at a local store and have never seen them again.
Envelope
A couple of weeks ago I decided to just order some more cubic beads from Amazon.com so I could make new stitch markers. It took almost three weeks for them to arrive. Oh. Who knew they would be shipped from Hong Kong?!
Beads
Here’s what was in the envelope. Two of these bead sets came. Sweet! Eight new stitch markers waiting to be made!
Beading supplies
I cleaned out my beading supplies a few weeks ago. Here’s the little drawer that I keep everything in. I need to use the needle nose pliers and the wire cutters to make the markers along with¬†the beads and wire.
Beading Materials
I made little piles on the table of the bead colors thought I might use along with 2″ headpins and small stainless steel split rings. The rings¬†that I used have an inner diameter of .25″.
Beads on Headpins
After playing around a little I finally settled on a combination of beads that I liked. I threaded them onto the headpins with the largest bead at the bottom. This was just personal taste: I could have also put small beads below the largest bead.
Bending wire
Using my little jewelry pliers to anchor the wire I made a 90 degree bend in the headpin wire with my fingers about 1/4 inch above the beads, and then…
Making loop at top of wire
I wrapped the wire around the headpin a couple of times using my fingers to wrap the wire while holding the loop at the top with the pliers. Easy-peasy!
Cutting excess wire
I cut the excess wire off after finishing the wrap. This is the only dicey part of the entire operation: you should wear safety glasses when you do this because the wire can fly across the table when you cut it. I try to hold the end of the wire when I make the cut, but you never know. Safety first! I even put the cats outside while I was working.
Finished stitch markers
All that was¬†left to do was¬†to thread the marker onto a split ring and they were¬†done. Ta-da! I now have cute markers to use while knitting my “Waiting for Rain” shawl.

Won’t these look cute on my lace shawl?

Can’t wait to get back to knitting. My wrists are feeling better already. Maybe tomorrow. ūüôā

 

 

Rainy Day Story

I have been knitting on mitts like crazy, but for some reason I have shifted my interest to¬†shawls. Seriously, I am dreaming about lacy shawls and¬†the yarns in the stash.¬†Must. Have. A. New. Shawl. It is a serious case of shawl longing for sure. It is less than a month from the Interweave Yarn Fest and I need to be flashing a new shawl when I go. It’s a matter of pride.

And besides, it is raining outside today. Gloomy. Cold. I can’t be expected to knit in these conditions. I need to go on a pattern hunt¬†and then it is time for some serious stash shopping.

Yarn
Lydia Sock Yarn in the colorways “Garden Party” and “Forbidden Fruit”

I think that the whole “I need to knit a shawl” thing started when I saw this yarn at the local yarn shop. Doesn’t it¬†look like a great warm weather shawl? I want the body of the shawl to be in the light color and the bright yarn will be used for some type of color pop. Maybe knitted lace at the bottom of the shawl can be in the bright color. I have¬†some¬†shawls in my shopping cart at Ravelry (OK. There are 58 items in the shopping cart. Some of those must be shawls, right?), so I headed on over there to see what I could find buy.

 Image credit: Softsweater

 

We have a winner! This is Waiting for Rain by Sylvia Bo Bilvia. I’ll be adding lace to the bottom and maybe some other pops of the bright color yarn. I¬†bought several other shawl patterns that were in my cart while I was there with a smoking PayPal account. Here they are:

Well, once I had all of those patterns printed out I headed up to the stash to dig around and match yarns with the patterns. My stash is in the walk-in closet in the spare bedroom, so I took my laptop and a latte up with me and dived in.

Computer and yarns
As I ¬†matched yarns with the patterns I entered them into my queue on Ravelry. How organized is that?! I was digging through lots of yarn as I made my decisions so I just gave up and…
working on the floor of the stash room
worked on the floor of the stash room surrounded by little tubs of yarn as I made decisions and assembled the kits for the shawls.
Yarn in kit
This is one of the shawl kits. I have the yarn for “Waiting for Rain” together with the pattern and the needles that I am going to use. This is the shawl that I plan on starting as soon as I’m done with the current projects. (I may even be able to stick to this plan… mostly. I can cast on a few more projects this week too, right?) I have the yarn and patterns for “Exploration Station” and “Solaris” also in this kit, but am still deciding on the final yarns that I will use. “Exploration Station” is the one that is the hardest for me to make a decision on: a new yarn color¬†may need to acquired.
Yarn and pattern
The other shawl that I am dying to cast on is this Best Friends Shawl that I plan to get done in time for a friend’s birthday. The pattern is for two shawls with the colors reversed. My friend will get one¬†one and I get to keep the other. It will be great!! I can’t wait to see how these two colors play together. I put this shawl in the number 2 slot in the queue.

I am so fired up and energized to get knitting on the new shawl projects. Check out my Ravelry queue; it is now really shawl intensive. This afternoon the sun came out and I spent some time knitting on the current projects. I do believe that I will have some FOs to show off by the end of the week.

About stinking time I got something finished.