Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

First up:

I want to find the time to post more often, and the only way to get started is to start. So here goes…the last time I posted was in July, so I’m already behind on my decision to post more often. I guess I better get going and write, right?

Part I – Knitting…and frogging…and knitting…and socks…and frogging…

I signed up for the Ravelry Olympics in the “Sock Put” category before the Summer Olympics started. I’m on the “Crazy Toes and Heels” Team, but I figured it would be likely I wouldn't finish. I started a second pair when the torch was lit, but I still haven’t finished the first pair I started in July and it’s not looking good for them, either. I can’t seem to find the time to knit and even when I can, the cats seem to be especially awake, if you know what I mean. They are very happy to see me pull out the yarn and needles. I think they must think it’s time to floss when they see the yarn.

I can’t seem to get more than a couple of rows done at home because of my kitties. I’ve been getting a lot more done during meetings at work, even though I get a lot of funny looks. I can only knit in a meeting if I’m not supposed to be typing, but I was in a couple like that last week so I got a bunch done. I actually got about two inches of the socks knit up in one very long meeting. At least my brain and my hands seem to be able to work independently of each other, meaning I can knit and think and even speak intelligently (I hope) at the same time. At least no one seemed to think I said anything stupid.

Right now the problem is that I haven’t finished a “Crazy Toes & Heels”-type sock in ages and I can’t remember how to do it. I have to keep referring to the book and even though the I through the method was great, the book is a bit confusing. It jumps all over the place and is just a little bit too full of explanations. I never thought I’d say that, but I guess sometimes there is such a thing as too much information. This book has so many pictures and explanations and information that it’s sometimes just a bit difficult to get to the actual how-to. Sometimes I have trouble figuring out exactly what the next step is. I wish there was just one or two pages that would summarize the actual instructions on how to work the pattern.

I bought the book from the Queen Kahuna website ( hosted by the author, Mary Ann Beattie, because I wanted to be able to knit two socks at once on two circular needles. I’ve graduated to using one long circular, but am still having trouble following the book’s instructions. For example, it gives instructions on adding short rows to extend the length of the sole of the sock and on how to add slip-stitch under the heel for longer wear, but it’s difficult to figure out how to accomplish both things in the same pair of socks. I’ll figure it out; I did it before and I can do it again. Of course, it’ll be too late for the end of the Olympics, but I did try so I don’t feel too badly about it. I think I won’t sign up for any more “finish this by the end of” stuff like the Ravelry Olympics, though. I just don’t seem to be motivated to finish things under pressure like that. The two pairs of socks I started ended up being frogged right back to the cast on. I guess that means I don’t get any medals, huh? Oh well, I don’t think I’ll die from that. I really didn’t think I’d finish anyway. I’m not the speediest knitter and I tend to be fussy about how things look (probably like most knitters) so I end up ripping or tinking back if I see one little boo-boo or even just something that doesn’t look right to me. I think we’ve all been through that, though, so I’m sure no one will have any problems understanding where I’m coming from.

On the UFO front, I completely frogged the shawl I started for my wedding in July. I've cast on in a completely different pattern and have knitted up about three inches so far. I know, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’m lucky to get a couple of rows done between mis-counting the stitch pattern, tinking back to where the error is, and keeping the cats off the yarn. Since on the day I got married it was over 90 degrees F, hazy and humid, I really didn’t need a shawl to keep me warm. I will probably finish the new pattern in time to wear for this winter and it will be a lovely accessory to my winter clothing. It’s usually a bit chilly in my office, so it’ll be nice to have something I can toss over my shoulders to keep warm that won’t be so heavy that I’ll roast. Of course, this year the office is trying to save on heating and cooling costs, so it’s been hot all summer and I figure it’ll be cold all winter. If I’m right, I’ll need some extra little wraps and shawls to throw on so I don’t freeze in the office.

I’ve gotten a lot further with the asymmetrical cabled wrap I started. We went up into the Adirondacks a few weeks ago for a very long ride (about 175 miles one way). We went through Lake Placid and Saranac Lake and up into Tupper Lake and it was just a gorgeous day for it. I even got to stop at a LYS in Lake Placid, Adirondack Yarns ( and picked up some chunky Baby Alpaca and a lovely pattern for a rectangular wrap with cables. It’s a ‘store’ pattern and came with the wool but it looks like it’s an easy knit so I might actually be able to get it knit up for winter. The wool is a sea-green and very soft and luscious. Maybe it’s the super bulky baby alpaca yarn and the size 13 (US) needles that I’m using. Duh…it sure goes a lot faster than the lace weight I'm using for the 'wedding' shawl. I’ve already used three skeins and the pattern calls for five, so I’m nearly finished. I really can’t keep starting things and then leaving them to sit in the UFO pile and languish; I'm going to have to finish something soon.

Mom was looking at the cabled wrap the other day with lust in her eyes. I was working on it in the waiting room when I took her to the doctor’s office and she was checking it out while I was knitting. She ‘knits’ with a loom and doesn’t use wool. She goes though acrylic yarn so fast, she probably couldn’t afford to use wool or alpaca. I know I couldn’t afford it. She does fondle my yarns when I stop at the house to see her, though. Mom really only works on the loom to keep her fingers busy so she doesn’t smoke, though I don’t think she’s really trying to quit smoking that hard. I just worry because she shouldn’t smoke at all. She has all sorts of medical problems and I don’t know what to do for her except be there when she needs me to. I’m the oldest, so I’m the one that deals with things when she needs them dealt with. Ah well, that’s a vent for another day.

So now let me get back to socks. I really want to finish up some socks. I have all kinds of really nice sock yarn and I like the going around and around part because I don’t have to think. It’s the heels and the gussets that are making me nuts. I think I’m giving up on Queen Kahuna. I was a member of the Yahoo group for a while and I read all the responses to everyone else’s problems and questions; my problem was that as soon as I posted a question, all the responders disappeared. I waited a couple of weeks and posted again and still got no response, so *poof* I’m outta there. The only good thing is that I’ve learned how to work on two socks at once on one long circular needle. I can cast on using Judy’s Magic Cast On ( – just google it) and I can work my way from the toe to the heel. All I have to really figure out is how to put in the gussets and turn the heel. I’m sure that working from the ankle to the cuff will be just as easy as the foot part, so I’m not worried about that. I keep looking at the sock books at the bookstore and reading all the reviews on-line, and I haven’t seen anything that seems like it’s what I want, so I’ll just keep looking and knitting and trying to work my own way through.

Part II – Three cats! What in the world possessed me???

Last time I told you about Gracie and how she was joined by Ed and Gene. They are such a lovely bunch of kitties, but they are a real handful sometimes! For example, I have to remember to flip the tissue box upside down before I go to bed at night because they just love to pluck tissues out and shred them. I got up one morning and it looked like it had snowed in my living room! Pop-up tissues are apparently a lot of fun for kitties at night…The boys are also very fond of the bathroom sink and the shower. If they stay in the bathroom in the morning while I’m getting ready for work, they will even come into the shower while I’m in there! And I thought cats weren’t supposed to like water; certainly no one told these cats, that’s for sure!

They are certainly very different from what my Miss Alvin was like. She only went into the bathroom in the winter and then only because the bathroom has the warmest floor in the house. I’m just not used to young cats, I guess. I never know what I’ll find when I get up in the morning or when I get home from work at night. Every day is an adventure and none of them are boring.

Recently, the ‘boys’, Gene and Ed, also discovered toilet paper and paper towels. Help? I have been keeping the toilet paper in the linen closet in the bathroom and I don’t know what to do about the paper towels. Gene especially likes lying in the bathroom or kitchen sink (right under the paper towel roll, of course) and I’m having a hard time breaking him of that habit. I don’t so much mind about the bathroom sink, because I don’t think he can do any harm there, to himself or anything else. In the kitchen though, I’m not sure I want little kitty feet all over my counters, etc. Also, I have a ceramic cook-top and I don’t want him jumping up there when the element is hot, though Mike says “he’ll only do it once…” I don’t think I even want him to do it once.

Part III – now to the scary bits…

I have been going through an anxious period of watch and wait and wait and wait…you get the drift. Anyway, seems like I’ll have to wait yet another little bit. I got the results of the MRI last week, but the results really didn’t prove anything. I go for an ultrasound in November and maybe there’ll still be surgery after that.

Let’s see, what else has been going on in my life? Besides getting married becoming a cat-Mom and getting a tattoo? A bit of a fearful time as I wait to hear how things are going for me, health-wise. I’m having some gynecological issues and waiting to hear how I’m going to end up dealing with them. It’s looking more and more like a hysterectomy will be in the offing. All I have to do is wait for test results, watch, and wait, and wait, and wait….It seems like forever to me. I’m not going to elaborate too much until I know more, but I’ll post as I can. Another visit to the doc in August still didn't tell me what’s what, but I'm hoping I'll find out more in November…Keep your fingers crossed!

Still haven’t heard anything about what’s what in my body. I go for an ultrasound on November 10 and to the doctor on November 11, so keep your fingers crossed and I’ll keep you posted.

Part IV – Inked!

I’ve had so much feedback from my friends and family about my Shaun the Sheep tattoo and it’s pretty much all been positive. I’m just having a fun time with this. I still meet people who see the tattoo and say, “Is that a real tattoo?” Some folks just can’t believe that at 52, I actually got a tattoo. As the commercials say “I’m lovin’ it.” This is fun.

Part V – Connubial Bliss…so far, so good!

I’m leaving the slideshow up because I just want to. After 21 years, I’m happy to share my happiness with everyone. If I could figure out how to put up the video, I’d put that up too. I showed some friends and we all had a really good laugh. Of course, since we were married at an airshow, you might guess how the video sounds. You would not be surprised if I told you that the ‘dialogue’ is somewhat buried by the sounds of airplanes and other airshow type noise. When Mike set up the camcorder, he didn’t think of setting up a dedicated microphone to catch the ceremony so we have our real wedding, like I’ll always remember it. I giggle every time I see it and it makes me happy. I guess I’m not just like the rest of the world, but isn’t that what makes the world go around?

Remember, until next time, wear natural fibers; hug your cats!