Friday, December 30, 2011


This arrived in a Christmas package yesterday:
YAY!!!!!!!  The maroon is a lovely wool/angora blend, and the pinks are merino/silk/cashmere blends.  I'm just going to pet them for the next few weeks.  They're amazing.  And since they are a gift, they are guilt free new amazing yarn!  Totally made my day.

And, there is one more skein of yarn used up for the year,
and in one last mad attempt to make it to use up one more ball of yarn before the year is over,
the second sock is now in progress.  Admittedly, it's a really stupid choice as it's fingering weight yarn AND size one needles AND 253-yards rather than a more intelligent 100-yard skein in worsted might be, but I am nothing if not completely delusional in these matters.  I think it's because some teensy, tiny completely insane part of me really thinks I could still make it over 16,000 yards knit for the year, and the sock is moving rather quickly as it's just rounds of knitting, but 450 yards in 2 days does perhaps seem a bit.........insane.  But if I finish the socks, I will also start 2012 with one less WIP, one less ball of yarn, and 253 yards less yarn.  And I AM just 15 rounds from the heel shaping.................

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Only 1000 To Go!

The mohair scarf is done!!!!!
It's the longest scarf I've ever made, but with the European scarf-tying look being so popular right now, I thought long might be best, though I'm now worried I made it too long.  Maybe I'll block it a bit wider to shrink the length just a bit.  BUT, 245 yards of yarn from my recent yarn order have been used up and won't have to be accounted for on my start-of-year yarn tally that I am going to make myself do.  Another 1000 yards by the end of the year, and it will be like that 1375-yard hank never happened............

I started to cast on the second sock for this pair
because it's the closest to being a Finished Project in my huge pile of WIPS, but then I remembered:  I made it to 111 finished projects already.  Now I'm after yardage for the year.  (Knit just for fun?  What???)  So, I have dug out my birthday socks, because if you look really closely:
this sock is really close to being done, and when it IS, I get to count another 230 yards.  Never mind that I will then have 2 single socks and no pairs--with 3 days left in the year, this is not the time to bother me with rationality.......

(Side note:  RobinH had asked about the wonderful hat pattern for the orange beret.  It's a free pattern from Bernat, which you might be able to get to here.  Their website is a bit hard to negotiate because you have to log in to see patterns, so the Ravelry link is here.  It's a VERY cute hat in bulky-weight yarn, so it's a great fast knit and not very difficult.) 

Monday, December 26, 2011

So Now I Can Show You These

 Andy and I generally pick "themes" to do for Christmas gifts, but after all the fun we had last year with gifts for each others' hobbies, we decided to do it again this year.

For a while I had been planning to make Andy some fleece pajamas--probably more for lounging than sleeping, but something comfy and warm to change into after work, and since he started playing the mandolin this year....
I put a mandolin on them.  The design is a bit heavy for fleece, and his mandolin is actually a slightly different shape, but I did match the colors to his mandolin exactly, which was fun.

And this,
is the first project I made with my new yarn--I think the day after the yarn arrived.  I love to work with lace weight, but one does have to appreciate how fast bulky yarn can be knit up.  It's not exactly this vivid of a color, and it reports being happy in its new home--especially since there's a coat that matches it nicely.

Now, on to those 2012 presents!!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Season's Greetings from Château Sutton-Goar!

In case--after the year of the cat in a cast, the year of the broken toe, the year of bronchitis, or the year of the pantry moths--you were beginning to think that the holiday season is a bit eventful here at the Château, I can only say, "Why break such a perfect record?" Thus we are enjoying the holidays here during the Year of the Injured Back.. And let me just say, being rescued from the floor of the bathroom clad in crossword puzzle pajamas by eight paramedics really kicks off the holidays nicely. Since they brought along the ambulance AND the firetruck, it actually was a lot like our own personal Macy's parade. What could be more "holiday" than that? We are happy to report that the patient and her dignity are recovering nicely.

Square Foot Gardening
This year we decided to try the square-foot gardening method instead of whatever one would call my regular "shove plants in anywhere" method. It really maximizes our limited garden space, which provided even MORE opportunities for me to lose the squash wars. I planted spaghetti squash and got zucchini. I planted patty-pan and got acorn. I planted yellow zucchini and actually GOT yellow zucchini, but a squadron of squash bugs arrived to remedy the situation immediately, lest I start to think I had successfully mastered something in the squash family. As if.

This spring, some good friends invited us to be part of a monthly music club. People sing, bring instruments, or both, and we have a really fun evening and occasionally perform at little "house concerts" held by members. Since so many people in the group are learning instruments, it has been the perfect time for Andy to learn the mandolin I gave him for his birthday about 4 years ago, and he has progressed so much that his flute/mandolin trio just played what might have been the world's fastest "Carol of the Bells" rendition ever. Everyone enjoyed the song so much that after the flutist was given oxygen, they played a slower version as an encore.

Year of Free Events
As we always enjoy new yearly challenges, this year we decided to explore the many free events Boise has to offer by attending something new each week. We attended films, art exhibits, clubs, lectures and book sales for several months, but finally had to desist when we became too busy.

Exploring Eastern Oregon
To celebrate Andy's birthday, my cousin Dustin joined us on a 4-day weekend exploration of Eastern Oregon. We caught the Walla Walla Onion Festival, Baker City's Miner's Jubilee, a street fair in Pendleton, a chainsaw carving contest in Milton-Freewater, enjoyed some fantastic museums as well as the old Union Hotel, though I think we'd all agree that the highlight of the trip was the Pendleton Underground Tour and the ability to spend the night at the old brothel the Tour runs as a hotel. Andy still enjoys telling everyone that his wife booked him a night in a brothel for his birthday. When he's feeling a bit less mischievous, he includes the part about it no longer being in operation.
This year I have learned.....
  • Trying to downplay the level of pain to the paramedics is silly--they have good drugs and they are willing to share.
  • If the ER nurse fails to listen to you when you mention you are getting dizzy, fainting in the wheel chair will make her MUCH more attentive
  • Apparently in medical paperwork terms, getting one's tail kicked by a turkey doesn't count as an "accident."
  • There are times in life when putting one's own socks on can make one's entire day
  • Being thankful to have lots of homemade soup available while one is unable to cook because of a back injury when canning the dang soup helped contribute TO the back injury is a lot like living in an O. Henry story.
  • When the doctor prescribes Valium for after physical therapy appointments, it's best not to dwell too much on why he thinks you might want to be unconscious after them. You'll find out soon enough
  • A fast way to add a bit of mystery to one's gardening is to label seedlings with permanent marker on masking tape, which is only permanent when it isn't exposed to sunlight.
  • I was only willing to try the "humane" route the first time we had moles attack the garden. I am now in the "death through smoke bombs" camp
  • I can kill any plant that someone says is really, really hard to kill, though in my defense, I will also have plants normally considered non-invasive try to take over the entire yard.
  • Even in Idaho, it is possible to harvest fewer potatoes than you planted
  • Finding out that the old electric guitar that you've had for 25 years and dropped on the gym floor at least once is suddenly a pretty valuable, much sought-after "vintage" instrument is a lot like finding out that your grandfather is actually a rock star.
  • It's really helpful to have at least one sedentary hobby, like knitting, that one can do while recovering from a back injury, but if pain pills are involved, one does risk ending up with a hat large enough to fit a walrus
  • Camping with friends is indeed a lot of fun, but I'm still really glad to return to plumbing
  • When canning recipes say silly things like "cook until reduced by one-third," it would be wise to prepare several more jars than the recipe suggests. No matter how hard I try, I cannot do fractions in cooked mustard.
  • Theo, my little side-kick kitty, takes his role as get-well kitty very, VERY seriously and does not appreciate being laughed at when he flops down on his back beside me as I'm doing my physical therapy exercises.
  • All the smugness of being smart enough to buy a restaurant-sized stockpot to use for canning season will be completely obliterated when one realizes one forgot to buy a spoon with a restaurant length handle.
  • When you have to check the dates to verify that it is already your 5th wedding anniversary, things are going well.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a healthy 2012,
Toni and Andy

Friday, December 23, 2011

That Makes It All Better

Even in my fantasy knitting world, having just discovered an additional 1375 yards of yarn, it didn't seem likely that I could knit up an additional 1375 yards by the end of the year to even things out, but I could knit up an additional skein of yarn, so....
Actually, this Mock Men's Aran hat used just about 130 yards, so I'm scaring myself with the mental discussion that if I could already have knit up one-tenth the amount of yarn I found, am I positive I couldn't knit up maybe half?  Two-thirds?  The entire stupid amount?  I am nothing if not stupidly optimistic.  So,
meet the new scarf.  It's on size 8 needles, fairly simple design, and in some of the new mohair yarn.  If I get it done by perhaps the 27th, that will be another 245 yards, then I would only need 1000 yards in the last 4 days of the year to reach 1375, which seems completely reasonable to me as I'm currently on my third cup of coffee this morning.  What could possibly go wrong.......?

Thursday, December 22, 2011


So, I had the brilliant idea to get the rest of my yarn photographed so everything would have pictures.  None of the first laceweight yarn I bought had been photographed, so a little rummaging turned up this
so I took a picture, pulled up my stash on Ravelry, and..........

It wasn't on there!

This 1375-yard hank of cobweb yarn wasn't in my stash!  I have MORE yarn than I thought, and I'm not altogether positive there isn't another hank of this color somewhere.  I actually really like this yarn, and my very first shawl was made from this exact yarn, but my stash added 1375 yards and I didn't get the fun of buying anything!!!  

Dang!  Maybe cleaning the sewing room isn't such a great idea after all........

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

She Knits!

Some days I just defeat myself with my own optimism.  For the last THREE days I have been waiting to update the blog because I was just positive that this

was going to really be finished any minute, and then I could brag about using up another ball of yarn for the year.  That fingering weight yarn and size ONE needles could still strike me as "almost done" shortly after turning the heel probably explains a great deal.  SO, three days later, I have now used up almost 15,000 yards of yarn this year, making it my second-best year ever with 10 days left to go.

So, it of course made sense to find a really, REALLY large ball of yarn that I can't possibly knit up in 10 days,
and start on a toddler sweater that also can't be finished in 10 days.  In my defense, there is a bit of a baby boom happening around us, and my newest "honorary" nephew has already outgrown the sweater I thought I would be giving him for Christmas, and will be receiving a 4-year-old sized sweater at the ripe old age of 5 months because nothing else I have made is the right sex and probable right size at the right time.  This is a 2-year-old sized sweater, which will hopefully be an appropriate size for him at some point while it's cold enough for a sweater if I get it ready for Christmas 2012.  I can understand why more people make baby blankets than baby sweaters--one doesn't have to try to correctly predict the size at appropriate sweater-temperature times of the year.  Throw Global Warming in there, and I might never get a baby sweater size right again........

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Of Course

So, I figured out what to do about the mohair, decided how to adapt the monster hat to work with my yarn, and...
am working on the socks instead.  Part of it has been because I had a bit of a setback with back/hip problem after Tuesday's physical therapy and I don't care how experienced you may be at knitting--if you're taking pain pills or muscle relaxers, stockinette is your friend.  I'm happy to say that I have been yanked back into position and now just ache rather than hurt.  This is progress. 

Speaking of progress, want to see how the musical stockings look now that they're up and being filled?
I love how it all turned out! Well, except for the part where the cool "washable" music ribbon I found to make the stocking loops with faded almost completely when the stockings were washed.   That part irritates me to no end.  But the overall effect is still nice.  And I have learned to not waste my money on printed ribbon ever again, so there is that. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Problem Solved!

The yarn that matches beads I already have,
gets to be beaded scarves.  Those that don't get to be hats.  See how easy decisions are when one has spent their allowance on yarn?
I wish I had some brilliant amount of knitting to show off, but I do not.  Yesterday I wrapped gifts and even got a few sent off.  I'm still not entirely off pain medication--but generally down to one Aleve every 24 hours, instead of 4--but I'm slow and I get worn out pretty fast, and I think I was asleep by 9:00 last night.  So, not much knitting.  BUT, there have been two new ideas:

1.  Get the remainder of my stash photographed for Ravelry.  I think it's all on there, but there is a lot of yarn that didn't have photographs, and it's really easy to not pay attention to those yarns.  So, every time I'm ready to add photos to the blog, I go photograph a few missing yarns.  Interestingly, one of my friends on Ravelry wanted to know if I had robbed a yarn store, as I guess in the "friends' activity" setting, yarn is only "stashed" when a picture is added, so I have gleefully been stashing quite an insane amount of yarn this month.  As Lead Cold Sheeper, I can certainly understand her concern.  Not that there wasn't a bribing-myself-through-the-back-pain purchase, but it wasn't THAT bad.  If it were, I think I'd need to get that Valium prescription looked at........

2.  Keep a Projects To Do notebook.  The knitting projects are fine because I have my queue on Ravelry, but I have a lot of sewing or other ideas that can't be added, and if I don't write them down somewhere, I get sidetracked.  I think I'll make it a real paper-and-ink sort of journal, and maybe even attach fabric or pictures if appropriate.  I have an account on Pinterest, but that only works if I go look at my page, which so far I don't really do.  So, I'm hoping this idea might help me stay organized.  Ahem.....GET organized.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Think We Need A Vote

So, the big monster beret was supposed to look like this, or rather "sort of" as I'm using a totally different yarn because no matter how tempting the idea of angora was, I just couldn't see giving everyone hats in baby pink or baby blue.  With a slight bit of editing, I think I can make the pattern work with the mohair, or I could make mohair scarves.  Idahoans don't wear hats as often as they do on the east coast, I think, as we really don't walk anywhere in the winter.  Maybe one more hat and then some scarves?

Do you guys get more use out of hats or scarves?  And, I'm thinking of adding beads to the scarves, which I don't think I can do to the hats.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sometimes, One Really Needs An Open Mind

The mohair hat ended up, well....
really freakin' huge.  And did I check gauge?  Of course not, because I am a slow, slow learner.  It still works as a hat, but it's now a beret rather than the tam I was hoping for.  As it's mohair, it's easier to change expectations than change the hat, but I think in future hats, I will be casting on far fewer stitches for the band. 

My back continues to improve, though instead of leaving Friday's physical therapy session full of spunk and energy like I did on Monday, I was so exhausted that I actually came home and fell asleep--then slept another 10 hours that night, and might have made it to 12 if Theo had thought that appropriate.  I have been resting a lot this weekend, which has resulted in
the long-promised new sweater finally being cast on and currently resembles some sort of purple ramen-noodley mess that will hopefully be straightened out with some very severe blocking, and because I seem to love frustration,
this is what I think is now my third or 4th attempt at the free bow tie pattern on Knit Picks (which I do NOT recommend, by the way).  The pattern suggests casting on 40 stitches and knitting them in double knitting, but I don't think there is a needle small enough to get a gauge with fingering yarn that would NOT ensure that the wearer could lift off in strong winds.  I tried 30 stitches, and finally tracked down a free sewing pattern for a non-mutant bow tie, and found I can maybe make the pattern work with 26 stitches and basically working from the outline and deleting the Knit Picks pattern entirely from my computer.  

Probably because of my natural tendency to get insane ideas when frustrated, I have decided to try knitting a mitten ornament for each niece and nephew this year.  Thus today's mitten output:
As we have 8, this could be doable--though I admit I have been giving them away as gifts faster than I have been making them.  These were new ideas that I had.  Theoretically, the blue one (which somehow ended up with 2 extra stitches) has a snowflake on it (which it doesn't really resemble) and I got the eyelet and ribbon idea for the white one without getting the accompanying idea to figure out whether I needed an odd or even number of eyelets for the ribbon to work as intended.  

After so much unsatisfactory knitting, I felt the need of a quiet, easy project--sort of the knitting project equivalent of a hug, so I have started another toe-up sock:
Some days monotonous knitting is JUST what I need.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The New Plan

The new bribery plan:  I only get to play with the new yarn if I behave myself and don't "overdo"

The GOOD news is:  I feel a lot better after only one physical therapy session

The BAD news is:  Being me, and having been severely restricted in movement for over two weeks now......well, it was probably just a foregone conclusion that I would be a complete idiot at the first sign of recovery.  I'm probably lucky I didn't do anything completely insane, like cartwheels through the house.

I don't think I did anything that would involve a set-back or the need to take those darn Valium pills, but I will be resting for a while and behaving myself for the rest of the day.  And if I DO behave myself, I get to play with this:
This is one of the new gift hats I ordered yarn for.  I'm thinking that I might end up getting two hats per ball instead of one...which means I have a LOT more knitting ahead of me than I thought.  I'm enjoying it, though you can tell where I was knitting when the Valium kicked in last night.  The pattern is off a bit in one spot, though I don't think it's noticeable.  In any other yarn, I would rip it back and fix it, but mohair really hates to be tinked or frogged, and I can only find the problem because I know it's there, so there it shall remain.  

The box of new yarn is here on the bed beside me for inspiration/bribery purposes.  As I order new yarn so rarely, I am totally milking this for all it is worth.  When it first arrived, I was so overwhelmed by possibilities that my first project was
Yep--more mittens!  I got some get-well sparkly white to go with the sparkly blue, and so far the blue mitten ornaments have been the most popular, so I thought a few more wouldn't hurt.  The white one is mistakenly missing two rows, which is why it looks so stubby.  But as long as it isn't near the normal mittens, it will probably look fine.  Project 112 for the year--can you believe it?

I have not yet cast on a big sweater or shawl.  I got a bit overwhelmed by  possibilities and then decided to work on some extra Christmas gifts.  AND, I am currently at just under 15,000 yards of yarn and 83 balls of yarn knitted up for the year.  It's certainly not a personal best, but it is already my second best yardage year since I've been tracking, so I'm hoping to make it to 16,000 or 17,000 yards by the end of the year.  This probably helps explain why I didn't immediately cast on the fingering-weight sweater I have been lusting after.  :)

I am nothing if not a maniac...........

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm There!!!!

Meet finished project number 111:
which is what ALL the fashionable oatmeal containers are wearing this season.  What about project 110, you ask?  Shhhh--it's a secret.  It is Christmas, after all.

I have finished 111 projects!!!!

I am not yet willing to concede that there is anything good about throwing one's back out, but I will admit that it gives one lots of knitting time.  And speaking of, guess what arrived yesterday?
And the timing couldn't have been better.  Between the pain, the pain pills and all their side effects, Thursday's set-back, and the fact that I can never accept that things don't just heal quickly because I want them to, I have been a bit low the last couple days.  Being able to bribe myself with new yarn is helping--especially since it will be a while before I'll be able to sit enough to sew again.  I'm sure I'll be much more cheerful Monday evening once I've been to physical therapy and have learned what I can do to help my back heal, but in the meantime hitting my goal AND having new yarn to play with helps.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Catching Up

This has been my view much of the last 2 weeks:
Theo has been quite a good get-well kitty, though I think he's a bit relieved to see me making enough progress that he feels he can leave my side--or my chest--for a while.   And I'm quite relieved that Andy headed him off with the live mouse get-well gift he found the other day.  Kitty nursing has a few drawbacks.

I had a bit of a set back yesterday so there were pain pills AND valium (though not at the same time, obviously), but after they wore off a bit I was able to finish project number 109:
and of course, I have immediately cast on another project.  This
will be a new hat with a doubled-over band, which explains the teal yarn used as waste yarn.  I'm almost there!

 And some pictures of past projects that haven't been on here yet.  The latest chemo cap:
and the red hat:
It's really a pretty cute hat, especially for a free pattern

I saw the spine specialist yesterday, and was thrilled to find out my treatment will be physical therapy.  To me, that means I'll be able to control this through whatever it is they have me do, and I'll never have to go through this again.  I was really unnerved when the doctor was surprised that the pain hadn't dropped me to my knees as soon as it happened or anytime since.  Obviously, that means there's a worse version, so I will be the most highly motivated patient the physical therapists have ever seen! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Seriously, this just makes my day! 

In other exciting news, I have finished the red hat and I think I know where I left my camera, so will share soon.  THREE more projects to go for the year!!!

And--now this is big--I have been able to function for the last 24 hours on just Aleve--no scary pain meds.  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can now knit something besides stockinette!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Thanks everyone!  I am happy to report that I can mostly function with just the over-the-counter pain medication the doctor recommended (Aleve, I believe is the non-generic name--I can't pronounce the actual name on the label), though if I'm moving around much I have to resort to the stronger pain killers, which make it hard to read, type, or do much of anything EXCEPT move around, but this is huge progress!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously, earlier this week even with the pain pills AND resting it still hurt, so this is big.

I have finished the first plain-Jane sock, and am on to the second one, and I have started a hat for my more lucid moments.  I have been SO tempted to cast on a new sweater for Andy since he's been such a champ taking care of me this week, but I thought if I attempted to figure out gauge right now, the sweater would either be large enough for Andy and three of his closest friends OR just the right size to fit Theo.   So, I'll stick with the socks and hat for right now..............

Friday, November 25, 2011


There has been knitting, but mostly very, very simple knitting.  The pain pills I'm on make me drowsy AND hurt my stomach, if I try to not take them the pain makes me dizzy and faint if it gets too bad, and when the muscles start having spasms (which usually happens when trying to stay off the pain pills), then I have to take the Valium, which makes me absolutely stupid.  I had been able to get away with just taking an over the counter pain med they suggested at night since it lasts 12 hours, but last night it failed me and I woke up in serious pain TWICE and once had to wake Andy to help me.  So........I'm having a relatively rotten week.  Poor Theo is just beside himself.  He leaves my side for about 2 hours a day, and it seems that sleeping on my chest is his version of nursing.  Considering everything I went through on Monday, I like his version much better even if it might not be very effective.

So, I had originally decided to not do a "reward" yarn purchase for getting through another year of cold sheeping, but earlier this week I decided that if I could get through this week, I would get my $100 to spend for the year.  The thought has really helped me through some of the pain and (I am sorry to say) a bit of self-pity.  I will be stretching my goal to 175 in the "all used up" category to compensate, but under such extreme circumstances, even I can lighten up once in a while.  I'm actually amazed at how much mileage I have gotten out of the very idea, but after such a terrible night last night I finally placed an order this morning.  I ordered one more ball of the yarn I've been using for chemo caps to remind myself there are much, MUCH worse things to go through, and a very soft yarn to finally make the balaclava I wanted to make a couple years ago when our temperatures dropped to zero for a week but ended up not being able to make as I didn't have anything warm that was soft enough to be against one's face.  I also picked out a yarn for a project for a good friend that I've wanted to make for some time but didn't have the right color (I think this might be a screwy sentence, but I'm on Valium right now, so bear with me), and actually REMOVED several things from my cart before ordering--which may be a first for me.  I did have my doubts about being turned loose with a credit card on a yarn website while heavily medicated, but I think I did much better than I expected.  And now I have the thought of new yarn to help me through this.  Beats valium ANY day................

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Day You Realize You Might Be Getting Older.....

*  Wake up at 7:00 after a long Nyquil-induced night which you hoped would relieve the back pain from having thrown your back out the day before.

*  Make your way to the bathroom, only to realize you are about to pass out.

*  With as much grace and speed as one can muster with a sore back, get down to the floor before actually passing out.

*  Realize now that you're on the floor, you can't get back up

*  Have husband hand you 3 Advil tablets to see if you can numb the pain enough to get off the floor, which you now wish you had swept over the weekend.

*  After a while and repeated examinations by both cats, realize it's rather hopeless.  Consider spending the entire day on the floor.  Wish part of the bathroom was carpeted.

*  Admit defeat and allow husband to call for paramedics.

*  Give the neighbors plenty to talk about as both an ambulance AND a fire truck pull up outside your house.

*  Surrender any last trace of dignity you were pretending you might have had when you greet 8 strange men while you're laying on the floor in your crossword puzzle pajamas.

*  When two young men have helped you to your knees, scare them by fainting from the pain.  It's best not to have warned them that you tend to get dizzy if you want to achieve the full effect.

*  Come to on the bathroom rug in time to hear the paramedics discussing how to carry you down the stairs.  Try not to think about how often the furniture got bumped when it was being brought up.

*  Scream loudly in pain each time they move you a bit to get you strapped onto a very cold metal frame--this will help them appreciate what growing old is like.

*  Pray none of the neighbors are around to see you being wheeled out of your home on a stretcher.

*  Enjoy a long ride in the ambulance as it strives to hit every single bump and pothole on the way to the emergency room and wonder why ambulances are constructed without shocks.

*  Realize that trying to downplay how much you are hurting is stupid as A) the paramedic has pain medications he is willing to share, B) he can see you flinching in pain, and C) you have already totally parted company with your dignity anyway

*  Scream repeatedly in pain as the doctor examines you, which will result in you finding out that the number one thing people show up in the emergency room for is indeed back pain, and that there is little they can do except give you prescriptions for drugs.

*  When the nurse tries to move you to a wheel chair to discharge you, warn her you're feeling dizzy.  When she doesn't really take you seriously, faint in the wheelchair.

*  Wake up back in the bed with an I.V. now in the opposite arm, and many new wires attached to you.

*  Enjoy a full battery of tests that go on for several hours, only to be told that the body's response to pain is often to slow down the heart beating, which is probably an okay response except when one already has a naturally slow heartbeat.

*  Take several hours before you can get into the wheelchair without fainting.  This time the nurses leave the I.V. in until they're sure they will be able to get rid of you, as you have run out of arms.

*  Make it home with very funky drugs and where you finally get food almost 24 hours after your last meal.

*  Enjoy a drug-induced sleep, interspersed with wake-up head bumps by a very worried kitty.

*  Find out that the drugs might limit your consciousness, but certainly help with the pain as well.  Wish you'd taken a few less spills on your horse as a child--especially the ones involving splatting into the pole arena fence.

*  Decide aging might beat the alternative, but that is still stinks all the same.......

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Seriously, now that I'm this close to hitting my goal for the year, ever time I log onto my blog to update it, the theme from Rocky keeps running through my head.  Not that it's a bad song, but then it's stuck in my head the rest of the day, and by the third hour of the darn thing I start to get a bit cranky.  However, it DOES make me want to knit faster, so I guess in some way it's helping. 

The chemo cap is done (da da DAAAAAAAAAA, da da daaaaaaaaa), so I just need FIVE more projects (da da DAAAAAAAAAA, da da daaaaaaaaaaaa) to hit my goal for the year.  (da da da da da DAAA, da da da da da DAAAA da da...)

THEN I hope to work on something--anything--big and without a darn theme song.....

da da DAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, da da daaaaaaaaaaa........

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finishing Friday

As I get closer and closer to 111, I'm fantasizing more and more about quilts and sweaters and big lace shawls.  After 2 years of mostly small projects, I am really ready for some bigger projects.

Yesterday I started the day by finishing up the new set of mitten ornaments:
then cranked up Jeeves for a couple more towels,
partly because it's a fast way to get a finished project, but mostly because I am totally in love with this design.  I bought several musical embroidery designs from Embroidery Library,  so then it was just a matter of finding a quote to go with it.  I've always loved this one from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, even if it is uttered by Orsinio, whom I have always considered to be one of Shakespeare's biggest drips.  Still, it makes a nice towel AND finished project number 105.

For project 106 I thought it might make a nice change to make something that isn't "one of two," so
I'm making another chemo cap.  I've almost used up my entire stash of this yarn, so there probably won't be any more of them for a while.  I think I have one ball left after this.  I like having them available to give to friends dealing with cancer, but I'm even happier to say that MOST of the finished caps are still in my possession.  I hope the current supply will last me several years.

SIX more projects to go!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eek! 44 Days Left!

With only 8 projects left to finish to meet my goal, I'm actually a bit ahead, but today I am still a bit freaked out.  Only 44 days left in the year--YIKES! 

For a few days last month, I was knitting a little mitten ornament every morning over coffee, which was fun but it got derailed when I decided to knit the Christmas stockings for my friends.  But now that the stockings are both done AND delivered, I thought it would be a good time to revive "Mitten Mornings,"
though this poor little guy has been in progress for two days now.  In my defense, yesterday (thanks to Theo) I was up at 5:00 and making breakfast and canning and cleaning and vacuuming and doing laundry--so  I wasn't really slacking. 

I have also started a birthday present for next year,
as so many of the Christmas basket stash-dash projects are coming out of the basket as gifts almost as fast as they go in, so these babies are for a February birthday and can stay in the darn basket for a while.  Obviously, I didn't think this challenge through very well. 

8 more projects and THEN I will be free to tackle some of my bigger projects again.  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  There may be hope for dem fischer sin fru after all.....

Monday, November 14, 2011


Normally, I've counted small things like ornaments as 1/2 a project, but for this one there won't be a second, so meet finished object number 103:
It's cute enough, but as you can see from the grid, it's too big for a Christmas ornament and too small for anything else..........and I might be just a bit soured on it as the pattern called for grafting on both the toe AND the heel after suffering through colorwork on DPNs which is always a bit of a challenge if you don't want any tension problems.  The pattern calls for some duplicate stitch red berries on the holly leaves which I may or may not get to.  I think just for the sheer "crankiness" factor, this gets to count as an entire project.

8 more to go!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Closing In!

With the help of Jeeves, I have now completed 4 towels with this design:
though the first two were made with the weird plastic-type water-soluble stabilizer which never really works and are now "keepers" as one has a hole and knot where the "s" should be, and one has it where the "b" should be. Yep, it did actually take me two towels to remember not to use the stuff.  In my defense, I didn't have Jeeves for the majority of an entire year, and apparently have to relearn just about everything about embroidery.  Or I'm just an idiot.  Or a combination of both. 

The November Project of the Month bag contained enough yarn for a third washcloth,
and by finishing this one this morning
I can now count them as a finished object, so I am down to 9 projects left to finish for the year.  I started a little mini stocking ornament, 
and will probably try for another set of towels today.  With all these little projects, I am of course just dying to do something big like a sweater or shawl.  12 sweaters in one year is just sounding better and better..........

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I finished another towel last night, and am hoping to finish up a set of wash cloths today, so I'm now at 100 and closing in on 101..................but there are some stupid red tomatoes that will need my attention shortly.  Darn real life chores--they keep interfering with my crafting.

Thinking more about the "Twelve twelves" idea in 2012, my current list idea:

1.  12 sweaters and/or shawls
2.  12 finished sewn apparel items
3.  12 decorations
4.  12 Christmas ornaments
5.  12 hats
6.  12 bags
7.  12 pen sleeves
8.  12 washcloths
9.  12 embroidered towels
10. 12 placemats
11. 12 WIPS (any craft)
12. 12 gifts

Of course, with 6 weeks left in the year, this list might change as well, but I am already excited about knitting sweaters after two years of little items.  I think if I have a few fairly loose categories--gifts, wips, decorations, I won't feel too limited for the year.  And I think I could finish up the 12 pen sleeves in one day.  They're a bit of a pain, so it helps to have an incentive to make them, and I am such a Type A that being able to check something off a list is a huge incentive for me.  Of course, for maximum stash reduction, I don't get to overlap items, so a sweater WIP can count as either a sweater or a WIP, but not both.

Obviously, I should never think up new challenges while riding the emotional high of being close to finishing a previous insane challenge........

Friday, November 11, 2011


The new Christmas stockings are DONE!
And there is a finished towel that needs to be removed from Jeeves,
and if I can get a second one done before having to call it a night, I could have project 100 done today as well!

111 projects might not be so insane after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

97 And Closing In On 98

 They're done!!!!!!
And fortunately the picture doesn't show that all the white of the "Allan" stocking except the very last 2 rows are a tiny bit more of an off-white than the other stocking or stripe that one can see in natural light on the bottom of the stocking.  DANG!  If I had the remotest idea what the yarn dye lot was or if this weren't a discontinued yarn I would have fixed the bottom rows, but as it stands, I would have to knit the entire stocking over which I'm not sure I have enough yarn I'm just going to hope that my friends are very forgiving or can't distinguish shades of white.  Rats.

And the first Project of the Month washcloth is done:
and since I'm counting 2 as a finished project, I'm halfway to having project 98 done.  Then I think I need to think about a few hats or caps to pad out my project numbers.  54 days isn't very many...................

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

95 And 96

Today has only been half a Finishing Friday, as my morning was taken up with canning (again!), but I have managed to finish one ornament that I'm happy with
 finished the one I'm not overly thrilled with, but which can hang on the back of the tree,
 and made one that counts as a whole Finished Object by itself because it was such a blasted pain in the neck:
It's less in a state of "finished" than "in the Ornament Protection Program for its own safety."  I think I will be spending the evening with something less irritating.......which could be anything really..

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Twelve Twelves?

So, today on Ravelry there was a discussion in the Stashdown group about what challenges we're going to have next year, and one of our REALLY optimistic members suggested finishing 12 12s in 2012.  I should not encounter such wild ideas while having morning coffee, because after having convinced myself that 12 sweaters would be totally doable, it isn't too much of a stretch for me to make it exponentially harder.  Just in theory (sort of), what if I did:

1.  12 sweaters
2.  12 Christmas ornaments
3.  12 embroidered towels
4.  12 hats
5.  12 place mats
6.  12 gift bags
7.  12 pen sleeves
8.  12 washcloths
9.  12 sewing WIPS
10. 12 chair covers/decorations
11. 12 coasters

One more category....sewing would be a good idea, or maybe 12 scarves, some of which could be sewing?

Too crazy?  By which I of course mean, too crazy for ME even?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


There are 59 days left in the year.
The holiday season is coming.
Canning season is still going.
I need to finish 17 more projects by the end of the year. 

Okay, now might be the time to start panicking........... 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's November!

And time for a new Project of the Month bag:
Cotton washcloths!  That works out nicely, because it fits in with the Christmas basket stashdash AND the fact that there are 60 days left in the year and 17 projects to go, and I am starting to freak out just a bit.  So, the new washcloth is already cast on:
and I'm thinking I can get two washcloths and a tribble out of this, so that would be 1 1/2 projects, leaving me with 15 and a half to go.  Still "yikes."

The Christmas stockings are moving along,
but I thought I was about to have a major issue on the second heel flap:  I ran out of red yarn.  I'm moving about more, but I still can't really sit, so I was contemplating how to send Andy around town looking for a yarn that I knew the make of but not the colorway, and decided to simplify things by looking on the internet....................only to find the darn stuff (Bernat Berella) has been discontinued.  Who discontinues acrylic afghan yarn?????????????  

Luckily, a rummage through the sewing room turned up most of another skein of red, so the stockings and my sanity have been saved, but I do hate moments like that because it gives me one good justification for hoarding stashing yarn:  I might not be able to find it later.  This is a very bad thing for my Cold Sheeping resolve.  I think I'll need to spend some major time in the sewing room this week, and perhaps let a bag or two of yarn fall on my head to strengthen my resolve.....