Thursday, January 31, 2008

Updates, Gratitude, and Answers

I'm still packed for the most part. I started taking out the knitting. The latest updates are in my opinion, testaments to the power of prayer, good wishes and thoughts held for another person. Yesterday, Mom's phone call came with news I never expected. First of all, she had an appointment in her Doctor's office. After reading her x-rays he's decided that she doesn't have a broken rib, rather it's a muscle spasm. She's had those in the past along with a couple of lower back surgeries. So, while it's fabulous news that the rib is not broken, she's still got a bit of healing to go through.

Dad is also waiting to hear from his surgeon. As of last night he'd still not been into talk to my Dad. They did go drain a cyst, but nothing has been decided about his surgery. They are now thinking it's some scar tissue that needs to be removed from his intestines/stomach area. Back in 2004 he fell from his step ladder, broke one rib, displaced another, and caused a heital hernia. It was while correcting the heital hernia that his surgeon slipped and Dad ended up with Peritonitis. That's the beginning of his road of bladder cancer, two rounds of chemo and radiation. He's since lost one kidney from the chemo and has been dealing with the collapse of a portion of his intestines as a side effect of the radiation. All these things we're learning about as he goes through this journey.

My brother says for now to hold tight and wait, not to run up there just yet. He got a huge laugh when I told him...I guess it's kinda nice not being needed up there. He works across the parking lot of the hospital where Dad is right now. Mom and Dad's apartment is a couple of blocks away from the hospital. So, after going to work early in the morning, he runs over to Mom's to take out her trash, and anything else she needs before going up to the hospital to hear that Dad's grumpy because he's taken so long to get up there. Then he still has his own daughter to take care of and his own household things to do. I'm guessing he'd like to 'not be so needed' up there. However, he told me that if things get bad again, to get there asap. So, here I sit.

Now, I have been reading the emails and the comments to my Mom who then tells Dad about them all when he calls a gazillion times a day from his hospital bed. They are both very grateful for the prayers and good wishes. My Mom remembers a time when her Mom needed some surgery and was amazed that someone around the country had been praying for her and mailed her a letter telling of prayers during Sunday services. She was amazed by that. I told her...Mom...I've had messages from people in Australia and Great Britain for you and Dad. She was speechless. And if you know my'll know how hard that is to do! We are all grateful beyond words for the support you guys have given us. Yes. We do believe. Big time.

Now, in between the phone calls and pacing around the place waiting to see if I'm flying to Michigan in a hurry, I went back and started knitting and reading through the messages.

These slippers are from a pattern you can find from Bev's Country Cottage called Aunt Maggie's Slippers. is the link. (someday I'm going to have to learn to link properly here, but for now...this will have to do).

All of the felted mitts and hot pads are from the book, "Felted Knitts'. They are the Felted Mitts and Trivet patterns. I've made them 7+ times using Lopi, Cascade 220, and this time Paton's Classic Wool, double stranded. LOVE that pattern and have plans to make a lot more.

I ended up making two beanies out of the one skein of Paton's Classic Wool, black for the Ship's Project. I made both the adult large and the adult medium sizes of my Cathy's Beanies pattern you can find in my pattern list on the left side of the web page.

The baby blanket for my cousin's baby is now at roughly 66% complete. I really need to finish this and get the BSJ finished before she out grows these. Afterall, she was born in November. YIKES! Think she could stay a petite little girl so I can knit faster? Ya...I need to knit faster.

I finished the knitting of the Valentine's set here yesterday and got the pictures I wanted today. I'm calling it "Two Hearts as One" and as soon as I get the directions all typed up, I'll post them for you to all have with the story behind it. Don't forget to make a tribble to complete the set! I used Sugar 'n Cream's Hot Pink! but you could pick a red or a purple for your set. Sugar 'n Cream comes in 4 oz balls and I had to use 2 of them. Lion's cotton comes in 5 ozs balls and you could get all these pieces made out of one. Don't forget your buttons! I bought a card of 3 silver hearts for this and can't figure out where in tarnation I've put them. Must have been a really safe place so they wouldn't get lost. *sigh* not the first time, won't be the last, either.

Blogger isn't letting me use spell check today, so hopefully I've not butchered this too much. I"ll use it as soon as their finished updating blogger. And again. Thank you all so very much for your support for my parents. We're all very grateful! But the waiting for the surgeon to talk to my Dad...might be what gets me up there! I hate waiting. (ok so patience isn't one of my strong suits) so I'll attempt to type up those patterns.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Packed and waiting

I am packed and waiting for the 'word'. Dad will be having surgery, just waiting to hear when. much knitting do you pack when you're stressed?

I've shared with Mom the wonderful comments and emails so many of you have sent for them. We can't thank you enough for all the prayers, etc...that are coming their way. It really means a lot to them (and to me) to think that people from all over have them in their prayers and thoughts. Please keep them coming...for the doctor's, too! We are really counting on them. Bless them and the teachers who brought them this far.

These are packed for a very late Christmas delivery...

trying to knit this for the Ship's Project out of Paton's Classic Wool.

Packed, packed, packed,,,,oh ya..and, just have to remember to count...and breathe.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

If you please....

Remember my Mom?

She fell and broke a rib on Friday afternoon.

Remember my Dad? Here he is with our Bride to be...

He ended up in the hospital on Friday evening with symptoms of a heart attack. Now, it's been proven NOT to have been a heart attack, but more side effects from his Chemo and Radiation treatments. We're waiting to hear if he'll need surgery on his stomach.

So, if you please, light a candle, say a prayer, hold good thoughts (soft, healing thoughts)...

so that these two will be back on their feet very soon....afterall....Grandpa needs to be healthy this summer to preside over his Granddaughter's wedding! And Grandma needs to be there to help Granddaughter and Daughter through the events when we all come to town!

*sigh* it's been a long weekend...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Like kissing frogs...

Today feels like kissing a whole bunch of frogs before finding your prince...

rippit rippit rippit...
currently on start number four ... Make that number five.... ummmmmmmmmm....Number Six...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Felting 101

My house now smells like wet dog. Kinda reminds me of the Border Collie (TESSIE!) that we had while I was growing up. AWWWWWWWWW TESSIE! (family joke)....anyway, I love the 'magic' that happens when you start with these

and these

put them in a couple of zippered pillow cases

toss in an old pair of tennis shoes and jeans you keep just for felting

Add a bit of laundry detergent...and they come out looking like this

and like this.

I have them sitting in my kitchen with the rain and dampness...(figures, it never rains in Southern California....until I want the dryness for felting week...) on my wire cooling racks. I love them for blocking, stacks them up for less space used and helps the air to circulate around the pieces to dry faster.

But if you don't have a stacking rack...lay a flat rack over a larger bowl. The air will be able to circulate just as well.

Someday I'd like to make myself a set for me to use! Oh, stay tuned...Valentines Set coming up soon! Just working out the 'buggs' right now...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Organized...who knew??????????

If anyone tells my mother what I'm about to divulge here, I'll deny it to my last, dying breath. And I'm sure there are a few others out there that are probably needing some EMT services right about now. Or some heart patches. (don't hit your head on the table when you pass out folks)'s that shocking, even to my daughter. What's this earth shattering announcement?
Come closer. Really close and I'll whisper it into your ear. Go ahead, and lay your ear right up on your computer monitor. Naw naw naw...don't lean back in your chair. Give it a really good lean-in and plaster your ear right up on the screen here. Yep...that's much in your ear. 'Cuz I can tell you that I'm never going to admit this again after today. EVER. So you'd better catch it fast, 'cuz it's going to be quick and veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy quiet.

Ready? Here goes. *taking a very deep breath here.....* (feeling like I'm in first grade again standing on the edge of the diving board at the Filler City swimming pool knowing that my swim coach will never never never never catch me as I step off into the deep end...and my mom's too far away to catch me...who knew my knees could knock together this hard? This is really scary!)

I am getting organized. And here's the kicker. I like it!

There. I said out. Out loud. Well, nearly out loud. So, don't blink 'cuz you heard what I said, and it was exactly what you thought I said. Hmpf! And I never have to say it again after today! (hehehehehe)
Ahhhhhhhhhh better than therapy...I got it off my conscience and it felt good.

Thank goodness THAT'S out of my system.! ahhhhhhhhhhhhh now..for the fun!

While I'm waiting for the washing machine to do it's chores for this week, I'll show you what's about to hit the hot water today!

We have a couple of these:

and a couple of these:

And one of these!
(ran out of time, I'll finish up the rest later, they're not due for awhile yet.)

For those of you who are curious...they're the Oven Mitt and Trivets from the book, Felted Knits. I absolutely love this pattern and this book! I've used Paton's Classic Wool, double stranded for today's little adventure. In the past I've used Cascade 220 and Lopi wool. So far, I've not met a wool that I've not loved to felt! (Just make sure it's not a Superwash wool)

And since part of my garage now looks like this-they'll be more down the road now that I know what I have!

if anyone tells my mother...I'll deny it to my dying day...but I kinda like the way it feels to be this organized.

Not only are we color coordinated..but we're in zippy bags by dye lot, too! (I'm telling you, don't faint!)

But wait Bob, there's still more!

In a further effort to be ultra organized at a glance...we've added colored dots with letters on them. a=acrylic, c=cotton, w=wool. now, where do they go?

Well, Bob, I'm glad you asked..they go on the outside of each carton so at a glance I can tell the fiber content inside...and upon closer inspection the brand of yarn and which colors in that particular box.

Now, where did we get this idea? Back in the mid-90's we were moving into a house with 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and had to move out of two houses in one day (give or take) and had a few friends helping shuffle the boxes along. I had spent the previous 2 months packing up the whole by myself and thought if every bedroom and bathroom had their own 'color' I wouldn't have to stand next to the moving trucks opening every box to decide where to send it all. I used a color dot on the box, and hung a sheet of construction paper to match on the corresponding door. You didn't even have to read! to figure out which room to take the boxes to. And it worked really well. Well, at least in the beginning. While my son and I were lining the kitchen shelves with new paper the last truck load come over and the guys (OH BLESS THEM MY LUCKY DAY!) got tired going up the 17 stairs to the bedrooms and piled the load into the garage. Now, it wouldn't have been so bad had the boxes of refrigerator food been at the bottom of the middle of the pile!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya, not so good. I found them a week later. And not the easy way. oy! fun times as my kids like to say.
Yes, it was mentioned last night that "this classifies as "scary OCD organized"..."
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh're so good for me, would you please send some smelling salts over to my Mom's house now? She's going to need them. Fast!

Now, if you'll please excuse me, I have a bunch of wool that's 'itching' for a hot bath! (I'm just praying they're not 'dyeing' to 'blend together'....)

Encore, blends and sock're time is up soon! Start getting yourself organized and picture ready. Don't forget to straighten out your labels. Ravelry needs your data. I swear, it's the best 'library card catalog' ever! Cross referenced..and all!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Trapped in the dark abyss known as...

Ravelry! OK, so it's not so dark...but with all the 'organizational opportunities they have for you there, once you get started don't be surprised if you pick your head up and find out a whole week has passed by before you know it! I'm sooooooooooo loving this! And it started out so very innocently. Honest, it did!

Here's what happened. I got my invite back in October. I started to post several of my patterns over there that I've posted here. Then I got busy with some new patterns (yes, there are still more to come, and more that have been requested..) and went back to post them. In the mean time on some of the knitting boards Ravelry has been a topic of discussion. Talk began about how it sucks you into a black hole. A few just don't get it. I like to think about it as the ultimate knitting search engine. Or that it will be as soon as more and more items are added. Since my parents don't have a computer and are unfamiliar with all things computer type, I've explained it to them as the ultimate library card catalog for those who want to fill in the blanks over there.

I then started adding some of the books in my 'library.' I have several left to add, once their list is added to. That's been my own frustration as of this point. Not all of my books are on their master list. (It's also a HUGE enabler with their master list, too.) Then I got an email from Hobby Lobby that their online ordering site had everything on sale at 25% off! Well, knowing how much I LOVE that yarn crack, I thought it was time to get started figuring out what all I already had and what I'd like to 'acquire' as of yet.

As I was taking pictures and documenting all of my Hobby Lobby yarn, I pulled out a lot of my cotton with the intent of getting it ready for the next few patterns that I wanted to knit up. I realized then that I had a 'few' cones and found that I could actually fill up a whole bin with them. OY! Looking over these I'm getting the impression I'm partial to blues! (ha ha) and I know there is a blue/white combination still in the closet in my bedroom and several more that were special order colors from Peaches & Creme that I used for my son's Dodger blue colored KBB Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel set.

Then I added the Factory Mill End cotton bags from AC Moore,

Which then led to adding my 'big' skeins of cotton-have you seen the new stripes? Have I got an idea for you..but it might take me a bit to get there. I have a list to do...which seems to jump longer by the day, also thanks to Ravelry and the huge collection of pictures....

Which THEN led me to remember previous discussions on how people organize their needles. Of course I HAD to pull out my needles and snap a few pictures there. Is that a bit of a 'stack'?

Well, I HAVE been knitting since I was 7 years old...

Now, It's rare that I've gotten rid of needles. I have sent some off in the past, but I like the ones I have now. These containers were originally meant as wine container I believe from Target. They're perfect for my old metal straights and big old chunky 'poles'. Can you see the old white with red ends from Boye? If you look carefully, you can find the size 35 and 50's that are turquoise hiding in there, too. Then there were the bamboo Japanese needles someone mentioned on a list from a dollar store near my house that proved to be labeled with very incorrect sizes..and generally a catch-all for all things knitterly.

Next up on our show and tell list are all the circular needles that I used to think I would ever need, until I met those amazing addi-turbos. Once upon a time, thanks to the old 'Home' TV shows I created a notebook that I hole punched through 1/2 gallon zip bags to put them into the notebook by size. That's how I found out that I had several pairs of (US)7 (4.5mm) 29" circulars! Who knew? I still keep my 14" metal straights but rarely use them for knitting. They do, however, make fabulous drain and vacuum cleaner de-cloggers!

Plastic school storage containers are some of my favorite containers for needles, too. I have 3. One for my double points...

One for my crochet hooks...

And the third one is the long, ruler length box for my straight wooden needles. I went in search of these when I noticed my Brittany Black Walnut needles were beginning to bend from standing up in another container on my night stand. Once I started laying them flat, the bend just up and walked away!

Lastly, I am using the lunch sack that NMCRS gave me as an appreciation gift for the baby blankets to store my addi-turbos in. The padded lunchbox with a strap is the perfect size to keep them all wrapped up inside. Yes, I still keep them in their original pouches. I've also added cheap dollar store zip pencil cases all labeled by size to use for my 'take along' projects in my knitting bags. That way when I have multiple sizes for a project, at a glance I can pull the correct needle size, without more wear and tare and use them for storage in my knitting bags as well. It really keeps the points from poking through the project zip bags.

Then, as I was gathering and sorting and organizing, I found the black and red Paton's Classic Wool that I'd picked up eons ago for my brother's Felted Oven Mitts that I wanted to do for him. Which then reminded me that my daughter's birthday is coming up in March and I had pink and purple for a set for her all ready to go. That led me to pull out my copy of Felted Knits and I have 3 1/2 mitts knit up and am ready to begin the border on this first trivet. With luck later this week I'll get them all felted and dried..and sent on their way.

Then, I made more Potato Leek soup which I had to take pictures of because this batch came out even better than last weeks! This one for some strange reason, came out fabulously thick! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO So good!

AND if that wasn't enough to distract me from the rest of anything else going on in the world...we got the phone call. Well, that's not quite accurate. It was actually a picture on my phone.
The picture?
You could call it a bit of 'bling'.
Bling you ask?
Sparkly bling, to be exact.
On the left hand...of my daughter!
Oh, and yes, this is most definitely Mother approved..and Grandparents approved as well!
So, here at Chez's been a wee bit busy!

Bring on the Bubbly!