Friday, February 29, 2008

quickie update on my parents

Forgive me for posting a copied email here, but it pretty much says it all while I'm out the door back to the hospital...

Just got a call from Mom, she's been discharged..they've found a mass on her kidney and has extra fluid in her abdomen. They're waiting for the dye from the CT scan to get out of her system before they can do the next x-ray on her. And then figure out her next step.

Dad's surgery will be Sat at 11am, Michigan (eastern) time. I'm literally running out the door to pick up Mom. The roads are really bad here, 4" of snow expected today and she's wishing for a shampoo before we spend the night (most likely) with Dad at the hospital tonight. He gets rather 'antsy' the night before surgery and Mom wants to be with him. Thankfully, they're going To be in the same room now, so I won't have to go running to the opposite ends of the earth to check on them both (Dad is in room 97, Mom in 21 on the same floor). I did have presence of mind to request they be on the same floor when they admitted her. That proved to be a wise thing so they could each 'hike' to the other room as a destination when they needed to do their daily therapy walks. Then have a sit down and visit before being able to hike on back.

Thank you to everyone for their prayers, I have a gazillion emails yet to read, but they'll have to wait. My Dad's become rather 'impatient' if I don't answer the cell phone fast enough to find out where he's misplaced his glasses, or get him some Vernors,or whatever he's needing. I'm just very thankful at this point, that he wasn't acting like it was all over yesterday. He chewed me out a couple of times pretty good. I guess God heard me say out loud, that I'd take Grumpy any time rather than his 'I give up, take care of your mother' attitude he's had. Even Dad's closest friends who had come to see him have been as worried as I was with the level of depression and his 'it's over' attitude.

So, I'm ready for a day of making my dad 'grumpy' cuz the docs said yesterday it was good for him to feel in control and it got him very alert for the first time in a very long time! We had my Dad back yesterday! Here's hoping he's back for a veryyyyyyyy long time to come!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

a nano-sec here.

The world's shortest post by me, I think....I'm in Michigan and have been at the hospital with my parents. My dad's surgery has been postponed until Sat...Mom was admitted last night...I'll update later when I can, but please, keep them in your thoughts, prayers and good wishes. They are Ron and Jackie. I've been knitting in the dark. It keeps sanity to some degree.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My bags are packed...

The U of Michigan colored BSJ has been finished in time for me to hop on a plane just after midnight as I go home for Dad's surgery. It's been switched to Thursday now. The doctors have assured Mom that it's a scheduling issue, and not Dad that's caused yet another delay. I'm kinda glad I wasn't there when the had to tell my Dad that there would be yet one more delay. Can you imagine being in the hospital for 3 weeks now? And to know that once you have more surgery that you'll have to be there for 2 more weeks? That's going to be ~6 weeks in there by the time he can go home! ULG! I can't imagine what he's going through. I do know he's been depressed and won't get on the phone when we call lately. I told Mom that I'd go directly to the hospital from the airport. She offered to wait at home for me, and I told her NO for a change. I don't want my Dad there bugging the nurses waiting for me to get there. He has a tendency to 'stress'. And that would be an understatement of the facts.

The BSJ (my 5th so far) will be traveling with the baby blanket and the hat with me. I'm not sure I'll be able to drop this off with my Aunt, but I wanted my parents to see this before it gets mailed down. Every Sunday, my mom clips Joann's and Michael's coupons out of the newspapers to mail to me after church. This set is for my Mom's baby sister's youngest granddaughter(still with me here?). I figure it's about time they get to see something that their support has produced.

Here is the inspiration for the sweater colorings. This is the display of Michigan Hockey Jerseys for the public to purchase. How'd I do? Pretty close for a baby sweater? The specifics: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket. Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Navy (1 1/2 skeins), Buttercup (partial skein) and White (leftovers). Patch is from The M-Den in Ann Arbor. Buttons from Hancock Fabric Store. (US) 6 (4.0mm) addi-turbo needles.

Here's hoping the flights aren't delayed, the weather is good for driving, and the Doctors, surgical and nursing staffs are going to put my Dad back together again.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tribble Tutorial

Tribbles! Yes, after all the emails and comments that you have all sent to me, I thought I'd share mine with you. Abigail certainly was right when she posted this pattern. They're growing like gangbusters around here! And such a fabulous way to use up your leftovers! So, let's get started.

Number one, you need the pattern. (updated link 12/13/08)
See what I mean? They're mutliplying!

Next, dig out a bag (or two) of your cotton left overs. What, you say you don't have any? Well...hop over to the left side of this page, and knit up a few of my dishcloth patterns (grinning here...) and then you'll have some! After that, you can knit up the Tribbles pattern. Like I did. I try to keep my ends really long- longer than the pattern states. I'll tell you why in a minute. Yes, I still have a lot of left overs, yet. That's ok. I like the pattern, I'll make lots more. Remember, I've been knitting for a veryyyyyyyyyyyy long time, so I've had a chance to collect the left overs. I'm a product of Depression Era parents, you don't throw out anything that might be useful at some point! Today, they just call it living green. (and they think it's a new concept-ha!) Anyway, back to the knitting. The only thing I've done differently with the pattern is to use a (US)7 (4.5mm) needle. They were what I had on hand, and I have a couple of those. So, that's what I grabbed the first time, and that's what I keep using. I do have a pair that's a (US)6 (4.0mm) but I never put them in my knitting bag to take out of the house. I'm afraid of them getting busted. They're not being made anymore. So, my clover (US)7's (4.5mm) are what I keep using.

Next, you're going to sew together the diagonal ends. I love my chibi needles with the little bend in the tip. But, I've used those little plastic blue needles for years. Use what you have, like, or can find in the bottom of your knitting bag.

This is going to give you a 'tube' now. But, do NOT cut your long thread! You're going to use it in the next step.

Using that end you used to sew the diagonal ends together, thread it through the edge stitches all the way around the top of your 'tube'. You're going to pull this together the way I finish my Beanie hats.

Now, as I do with my beanies, I go around the circle twice. Hense the reason for the longer tail. Two times around seems to give me the feeling that it's going to 'last' longer than the first wash cycle. However, watch out when you're pulling the thread that you don't pull too hard and have it break! (Wanna know how I learned That one? )

Then you can clip the thread. Now, I never clip threads too close to the knot. Yes, I use knots on closing the circles. But, again, I have this 'concern' that in the first wash, it's all going to slip out and fall apart. Once anything gets past that first wash, and it stayed together, I'm ok with it.

After that, I turn mine inside-out and that will hide the first knot inside. Repeat that same process with the opposite end of the tube. Run your needle through the outter edge stitch twice, and pull it closed.

Here's where you can see it getting closed up. Becareful as you pull on your live thread. You may find it helpful to 'smooth' the Tribble so you can pull the center tighter.

To hide the knot, I'll run the thread behind the closed circle not, once, but twice. Once is good, twice is better? If you pull it well, the knot will slip t the inside and not show on the outside.

Draw the needle up on the opposite side of the closed circle, and then clip your thread. The end will (luckily) slip to the inside and that SHOULD be the last time you see it.

Using your thumbs, start smoothing out the Tribble from the center circle. I have explained before as if you had some pastry in a pie plate. You're going to stretch it from the center outwards. I use my thumbs to do that. Keep going on both sides, or as much as you need for it to lay flat.

That's it! Your Tribble is complete. But wait, you still have leftovers, so go back to that stash of leftovers, and knit up a bunch!

I'm going to finish up this little's the BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket) from EZ...and the little girl (yes a girl!) who will wear this (providing she hasn't outgrown it..) was born last November (I'm so far behind!). Now, she's baby girl #4 for her family and they're buried in Pink over there. So here's to starting with her collection of U of Michgan sweaters! Bout time, eh?

I'm heading to Michigan at the end of the week to be with my parents. Dad is having another surgery and this is the one my brothers are calling the "scary one." The doctor is going in after the Haital Hernia. Dad's a bit (huge exaggeration here) nervous on this one. And for a change, the Stubborn Ole' Swede (Mom-her self proclamined title) didn't stop to bat an eye when I said it was time for me to go home. So, say a few prayers for my parents, and for the Doctor, his surgical team and his nursing staff. He's been in the hospital for over 2 weeks thus far, and he's probably looking at another 2 more post surgery. Cabin fever doesn't begin to describe how he's feeling. Dad's down to 156#'s the last time he weighed himself. That threw him for a loop, too. He used to be over 200 #'s. I'm bringing his vest with me to see if I'll have to restart it smaller. I'm hoping not. But with the weater they've had this year in Michigan, he's going to need the wool when he goes home to keep him warm. That way I can hug him when I'm not there. The vest, and the afghan that I made him a couple of years back when this whole surgical process started. He fell onto his step ladder putting away books in his library. August, 2004. I've actually lost count of the number of surgeries he's had. That's a scary thing to actually say out loud. It's been way too many!

I have one more project between the baby sweater and working on the vest full time. With a little luck, you'll see it soon. Hint, it's Green. Hopefully, without all the typos and 'need to fix-its' from the last Two Hearts as One pattern set. I 'Think' I have them all fixed now. (I certainly hope!) Thanks for all the help you guys have given me when you go through the patterns. It's great! And gratefully appreciated. Now, back to knitting!

Monday, February 11, 2008

I love repeats!

Do you know what these mean?

Yep, I finished it ...finally! Now, since you've been asking...and for those who's the Feather and Fan Rainbow Baby Blanket over there <----- in the Wishing I was Knitting at the Lake Patterns list. However, the particulars are as follows.

5 skeins Navy, Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn
1/2 skein Buttercup, Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn
made 47 pattern repeats; 5 pattern repeats of Navy, 1 pattern repeat of Buttercup, ended up with 5 more pattern repeats of Navy before the top border in Navy.

The rest of the pattern was followed as written.

Last week was a busy week. Meet my newest 'in-person' friend, Norma.

We had the opportunity to get together and knit/crochet one afternoon over lunch. Now, check out what she was working on!

and the close ups!

Let me tell you about her speed! I thought sitting at the top of the Rose Bowl when my oldest marched for UCLA and not looking at my knitting was pretty cool. (So did lots of kids who'd watch and whisper to their parents, Look, she's not even looking at it!) However, I stand humbled as I watched her crochet hook FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy Moly! She's fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And me who's very crochet challenged...has to watch every.single.loop! She doesn't watch her crocheting either! At her speedy gonzalez speed!!! I am very impressed. Not only did we not run out of things to talk about (we are both part of AC4C yahoo group) we had a very wonderful meet up. Isn't it fun, that people you meet online in your groups, talk to on the phone, turn out to be just as nice and fun in person?

So, what did I do next?

Well, another Two Hearts as One kitchen set. This time for my parents. Dad had a rather rough week last week. On Thursday night he aspirated into his lungs. While they cleared it, he's having a hard time thinking he'll be going home anytime soon. Mom said his doctor keeps telling him to 'buck it up' cuz he doesn't want Dad around there for long. He's very confident that he'll be heading home soon. (Yea! Doc!)

As Mom and Dad go through this round of hospital stays, I'm again reminded of their devotion to each other. They truely embody the 'Two Heats as One' theme I wanted this set to represent. Before Mom was able to go to the hosptial to visit, Dad kept calling her telling her how much he missed her. Isn't that something? To be 79 and 80, and still kiss in the elevator (it's been named the 'Kissing elevator' in their apartment), hold hands, and miss each other when they're not together...I do believe that's what Valentine's Day is all about! Don't you just wanna join me in saying, "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...I want one of those!?"

The lighting here, is a wee bit off I think. I made this set in Lion Cotton Poppy Red and it only took 1 skein for both of these, with enough to make up a Tribble...but it's not ready for it's photo shoot just yet. Check out this button I found at my local Tall Mouse store. Isn't it perfect?

So, I'm finally back on track for the family baby that was born back in November who is baby girl #4 in her family, and lives in Ann Arbor. Don't you think she'll be the envy of the boys around town?

Well, perhaphs if I can finish this quickly and get it to her before she grows out of it-huh? Can you tell what this will be?

Three guesses what these are getting ready for?
Yep, everything here is chocolate chip cookies, you love it over and over and over again! Or should I say potato chips, you can't stop at one!
One last request, I love sharing my patterns with you all. I consider it a blessing to have the ability to write them semi-understandable. (well, except for the mistakes...oy! sorry.) It gives me great pleasure to read the comments and the emails from you as you enjoy the patterns and tell me stories of what they mean to you.'s recently popped up that someone, I'll politely say...'borrowed' the pictures from my hot pink Two Hearts as One Dishcloth and Kitchen Hanging Hang Towel as their own work. Please, understand that those are my pictures. I wrote the patterns, I did that work, and I took the pictures. They have been published here, and as such, belong to me. Therefore, they are copyrighted to me. (see the end statement at the bottom of my blog.) I get a big thrill seeing what you all have done on your own. So, please, use your own photos to show off YOUR work. Don't use mine. Polite enough request?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

oh! so close.

I think if I can't finish the knitting on this blanket by tonight...there's something wrong with my ability to concentrate..oh wait.look! that's pretty! Yes, I'm easily distracted by shiny and knitterly things. OY! Maybe that's why I originally started this blanket back in September..for the baby who was born in November, and here is February and it's STILL.NOT.DONE! And we won't EVEN mention the BSJ for this baby girl..since she'll probably outgrow it before I get that finished. Do you think if I put in an order for some knitting tomtens that they'd stop by tonight and weave in the ends for me?

Me, either. But, a girl's gotta have a dream, ya know?

On another note...Dad had surgery this past Saturday. It was a day filled with delays after delays after delays according to my Mom. Including, but not limited to the delay of NOT TELLING ME until Sunday that his surgery was going to be at 3:00 pm on Saturday! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR......say it with me....MOTHERS! (not that I'd EVER be ONE OF THOSE! said as I *bat my eyelashes*)

In addition to the delay of notifying me, you know, the daughter, the one who's been calling and worrying, and emailing the family....the doctor was also late getting over to the hospital that day, and he didn't have it until 7ish pm.

The doctor is happy with the results (scar tissue removal, found fixed a hernia, and replaced old hernia mesh screen from years ago...) and believes he won't have any further problems! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES! Now, Doctor, sir...May we kindly have that in writing??? Cuz the last thing Dad needs more issues with blockages...and surgeons...and testing hospital beds. (Too bad he wasn't being paid for all that quality control testing he's done over the past 15 years......)

Again, let me thank each and every one of you who've sent comments, prayers and emails for my parents. We're all so very grateful for the support.

One last thing...there have been quite a few questions regarding the Tribbles scrubbers. Go the pattern. I have some *cough cough* some...left overs from dishcloth knitting. I'm wondering if you guys would like me to make them up and take pictures to show you why mine come out so flat? Let me know. And let me tell you ..when you see it're going to do one of those V-8 commercial deals where you slap your forehead and say..DUH! that was easy! But, I'm here to help and ifin' ya'll want me to knit up a few more...well...what can I say...I'll just have to do it! (ha ha ha).

Stay dry...stay warm...I have a blanket to finish and as Maxwell Smart would say...was 'JUST THIS CLOSE' to being finished. (Someone...please stop me from going over to Ravelry..I found some more pretties today to suck me into that time warp!)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Two Hearts as One Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel

Two Hearts as One Kitchen Hanging Hand Towel© Cathy Waldie, January 22, 2008 (revised 2/9/08)

(US) 7 (4,5mm) needles
4 oz. 100% worsted weight Cotton (sample in Hot Pink! Lily Sugar ‘n Cream)
Chibi Needle

C/O= Cast On
Sl 1=Slip One
YO=Yarn Over
PSSO= Pass Slipped Stitch Over
X’s= Times
Tog= Together
B/O= Bind Off

C/O 59 stitches

1-6) Knit across for bottom border, slipping the first stitch of each row
7) Sl 1, K1, K3, YO, Sl 1, K1, PSSO, K4, YO, Sl 1, K1, PSSO, *K5, YO, Sl 1, K1, PSSO* 5 x’s, K4, YO, Sl 1, K1, PSSO, K3, K2
8) Sl 1, K1, P55, K2
9) Sl 1, K1, K3, K2 tog, YO, K4, K2tog, YO, *K5, K2tog, YO* 5 x’s, K4, K2tog, YO, K3, K2
10) Sl 1, K1, P55, K2
11-18) Repeat Rows (7 – 10) for a total of 3 x’s
19) Sl 1, K1, K3, YO, Sl 1, K1, PSSO, K4, YO, Sl 1, K1, PSSO, K33, YO, Sl 1, K1, PSSO, K4, YO, Sl 1, K1, PSSO, K3, K2
20) Sl 1, K1, P27, K1, P27, K2
21) Sl 1, K1, K3, K2tog, YO, K4, K2tog, YO, K33, K2tog, YO, K4, K2tog, YO,K3, K2
22) Sl 1, K1, P26, K3, P26, K2
23) Row 19
24) Sl 1, K1, P25, K5, P25, K2
25) Row 21
26) Sl 1, K1, P24, K7, P24, K2
27) Row 19
28) Sl 1, K1, P23, K9, P23, K2
29) Row 21
30) Sl 1, K1, P21, K13, P21, K2
31) Row 19
32) Sl 1, K1, P19, K8, P1, K8, P19, K2
33) Row 21
34) Sl 1, K1, P17, K9, P3, K9, P17, K2
35) Row 19
36) Sl 1, K1, P15, K10, P5, K10, P15, K2
37) Row 21
38) Sl 1, K1, P14, K9, P9, K9, P14, K2
39) Row 19
40) Sl 1, K1, P13, K9, P11, K9, P13, K2
41) Row 21
42) Sl 1, K1, P12, K9, P13, K9, P12, K2
43) Row 19
44) Sl 1, K1, P12, K8, P15, K8, P12, K2
45) Row 21
46) Sl 1, K1, P12, K8, P15, K8, P12, K2
47) Row 19
48) Sl 1, K1, P12, K8, P15, K8, P12, K2
49) Row 21
50) Sl 1, K1, P12, K9, P6, K1, P6, K9, P12, K2
51) Row 19
52) Sl 1, K1, P13, K9, P4, K3, P4, K9, P13, K2
53) Row 21
54) Sl 1, K1, P14, K27, P14, K2
55) Row 19
56) Sl 1, K1, P15, K25, P15, K2
57) Row 21
58) Sl 1, K1, P16, K11, P1, K11, P16, K2
59) Row 19
60) Sl 1, K1, P17, K9, P3, K9, P17, K2
61) Row 21
62) Sl 1, K1, P19, K5, P7, K5, P19, K2
63) Row 19
64) Sl 1, K1, P55, K2
65) Row 21
66) Sl 1, K1, P55, K2
67-77) Repeat Rows (7-10) 3x’s
78-80) Knit across

Begin decreases for the Towel Top

81) Sl 1, K7, *(Sl 1, k2tog, PSSO), K7* 4 times, end, (Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO) K8. (49 sts.)
82, 84, 86, 88, 90, 92) Knit (slipping the first stitch)
83) Sl 1, K6, *(Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO), K5* 4 times, last 10 sts: Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO), K7 (39 sts.)
85) Sl 1, K5, *(Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO), K3* 4 times, last 9 sts: (SL1 K2tog, PSSO), K6. (29 sts.)
87) Sl 1, K4, *(Sl 1, K2tog, PSSO), K1* 4 times, last 8 sts: (Sl 1, K2 tog, PSSO), K5. (19 sts)
89) Sl 1, K3, (K2tog) 6 times, K3 (13 sts.)
91) (K2tog) 3 times, K1, (K2tog) 3 times. (7 sts.)

Tab Section of Towel Top

92-93) Knit, slipping the first stitch
94) Sl 1, K1, P3, K2.
95-108) repeat rows 93 and 94 of the tab section.
109, 110) Knit, slipping the first stitch
111) Sl 1, K1, P3, K2
112-125) repeat rows 110 and 111 of the tab section
126) Sl 1, K1, Bind off center 3 sts, K to end (4 sts) (creates buttonhole)
127) Sl 1, Kfb next st, Kfb next st, K1 (6 sts)
128) K2tog, K2tog, K2tog
129) Knit 1, K2tog, pass first stitch over. Pull tail through last stitch. Weave in ends, wet/spray block. Sew button into center stitches on tab decrease row #92.

Don't forget to make a Tribble to finish off your set!