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 for.......so 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.....