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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

YOP 10.31.16


Bet you didn't expect a post from me.

I had a really bad flare up of pain that wasn't like what I'm used to with the Fibromyalgia.  My doctor suspects it may be RA and put me on a round of steroids to calm things down and then started me on a med used for RA.  I guess it take at least 13 weeks to start to work.  I also had a cold and I've been very tired (which may be from the cold or a side effect of the new meds).  We will see.  I've been feeling a little bit better and was able to do a few things.

I started learning how to tat again and I made this tatted awareness ribbon.  I thought it would be easy to do since I used to tat before but it I had forgotten how to get started again.  I pulled out my 3 ring binder I put together for my tatting notes and patterns but I didn't have anything on there about how to start lol  I had to learn the basics again and I used this site http://www.georgiaseitz.com/  I actually learned from another site and some youtube videos originally but Georgia's site is very helpful.

I wanted to make this into a Fibromyalgia Awareness pin for obvious reasons.  I wanted to find a purple butterfly to put on it but I couldn't find one at Joann's and our Michaels store is closed due to a fire.  Anyway, this is what I ended up with.

I also was finally able to knit the Bankhead hat. I could have made about 4 of these with all the work I did if I didn't have to take out so much to fix mistakes.  The fibro or whatever is causing the pain makes it really hard to focus sometimes.

It kind of bugs me that the ribbing slants.  I thought it wouldn't show when it was on someone's head but it does.  My husband said his hat should be longer so he can fold up the edge and pull it down over his ears when it gets really cold.  Plus he said it should be black to go with his gloves.  It is also a bit thin.  This is lion brand wool ease yarn so it has some wool but I think the wind we've been having will go right through it.  I'm going to get some bulky wool yarn in black to make him a hat.  One of my boys will wear this one.  I already got some bulky yarn in royal blue to match the fleece lining to his coat but since he made the comment about matching his gloves I'll do that for him.  I'm just so happy to finally finish my first knitted hat!  I had a hard time with the dpn's at first.  I didn't have a problem when I was making socks but I guess it is a little different.  Mine are mostly metal and I got right up to the last row and a couple of my needles just slid out and dropped several stitches.  I couldn't figure out how to fix it with all the decreases so I had to start over.  I finally found some needle tip stopper things that came with something I bought.  I didn't understand why I would need them.  They were called "needle point protectors" so I just stuffed them away thinking I didn't need to protect my needle tips since I'm always at home.  I used them to stick on the ends of my dpn's to keep the stitches on while I was working on the other areas.  That worked and I'm thinking that is probably what they are actually for.   They really should call them "Stitch protectors."

Well, that is all for me for now.  I'm happy to finally have an update after being MIA for several weeks.  I will be flying to Anchorage (Alaska) to see my Rheumatologist this Thursday and I always enjoy seeing the mountains there.  I'll try to get a few pictures to share.  It really is amazing to me that you can be in the middle of the city surrounded by cars and shopping and restaurants and you can look up to the horizon and see the mountains.  It looks like the city is built right up to them.  I don't fly well but it is only a 30 minute flight from here.  I hope it isn't too bumpy this time.

Monday, September 26, 2016

YOP Update 9.26.16

I finally finished my Meandering Rib Scarf and I am so glad. I was getting tired of the same thing all the time. Of course I couldn't wait to give it to my husband at Christmas and just gave it to him as soon as it was finished. He really liked it which is really nice. He isn't big into "crafty things," especially if they are things to wear. I knew he would like the color and also pretty sure he would appreciate something knitted over crochet. Now I want to make him a knit hat in the same yarn to match it. I've never knit a hat so I am looking for a good pattern that isn't too challenging to start with.  I've already got enough challenge going on in the new project I just started.

I'm taking on an intarsia wrap using 8 balls of yarn (each one is half a skein - 71 g). It is already making my gray noodle hurt but I'm figuring it out. Hopefully by the time I'm finished it will look like the pictures in the pattern, Japanese Weave Wrap. The pattern is great with photo tutorials for how to do a multi-color cast on and other necessary things. I watched some youtube videos to learn about intarsia before starting.

Multi-color cast on
The first time I started this I got my yarn and myself and some furniture tied up together. I knew there had to be a better way. I decided to lay the balls out in order and instead of flipping my work I just moved myself to the opposite side. That way I have a lot less tangling. The little bit of tangling I get because of crossing the yarns when changing color I just fix as I go.

For some reason I'm always good at getting half-formed ideas and then I have to run the idea by my husband or one of my sons to get a complete, workable idea. My oldest son (22) is super smart (Enrolled in public school Gifted & Talented class/ELP when he was only 3 years old!) but he is book smart and if it isn't math, statistics or he hasn't read about what you're doing he doesn't have a clue lol. He was so confused when I tried to explain to him what I was doing. It was funny because he stood in front of my yarn balls for 30 minutes trying make sure I wasn't totally crazy. He was drawing diagrams and writing out number sequences and I was trying to explain knitting in very basic language and what I was trying to do. He was sure I was wrong about how this thing was going to come out and wanted to save me from wasting so much time on it. My youngest son (19) always compared himself to his brother and never thought he measured up.  He didn't see that he had his own talents when he was younger. I did though. He is very clever and he is my main go-to for color questions and things like "Is there something in the garage (or backyard etc) I can use to (do whatever)?" Anyway, my problem was my kitchen table is way too wide for my idea of moving myself to the other side instead of flipping my work; It's a big circle. I didn't have anything else that would work and I couldn't use the floor or Buddy (beagle puppy) would make a mess of things. My younger son came up with the ironing board set up with a bar stool on either side. Later he grabbed my yard stick and put it behind the balls to keep them from rolling off.  

Now I'm learning to change colors properly when on the right side or wrong side of the work and praying I don't make any mistakes. I really wish I had a couple of 12" double pointed needles.

I'll leave you with a new picture of my dwarf maple looking a little more glorious than last week. You can't tell from this picture but it frosted this morning and the air was frosty and white-ish like there were very fine particles of ice in the air. It looks almost foggy but it wasn't fog, it was ol' man winter's breath hanging in the air.

Monday, September 19, 2016

I got my laptop back!

I am so happy!  Now I realize just how much I love it!  I'm just too old to have small screens. Eventually I may need a large screen TV as a computer screen so I can see but for now this full size laptop is really nice. I was surprised when I picked it up to move it to my lap that it seemed so heavy! The chomebook weighs nothing and I'd gotten used to how easy it is to move around. It also has a good, long-lasting battery so I could move to my room or the kitchen for a while and it weighs less than most of my books. One thing I will miss about that little guy is how easy it is to adjust the brightness. There is a row of buttons across the top and one of them turns it up and one turns it down instead of having to remember where to go to find the settings to adjust that. That was really handy when I had a migraine and I've been having a lot of them lately. I can still use that when I want but for now I'm a happy dancing fool with my ol' pal back!  Oh and now I should be able to print the pattern for my new project. I'm so glad.

I also got a new toy for Buddy today.  Here is a little video.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

YOP Update 9.18.16

Sorry I missed last week.  It is hard not having access to the internet like usual. I still don't have my laptop working but I think I might have it back sometime tomorrow night.  My oldest son doesn't like not being able to fix things for me and he really tried. He is going to school to learn computer stuff like his dad so he tried everything he could. I ended up reading a book a day while I had no internet. I did have my kindle and could use that to access the internet but it was so weird to me. There were apps for some things like email or some websites like amazon that made it easier for but for other things I had to use the silk browser and everything was so small. I just got frustrated and read a lot of books instead.

My oldest son came home from work one night and handed me a chromebook. That is what I'm using now. It is perfect for me because I use chrome and gmail, google drive and google docs etc. I just logged in with my gmail account and boom! all my stuff is right there just the way I'm used to. My son just said this laptop can be the kitchen/grocery list/recipe laptop after I get my laptop back. Our family uses an app/website called Ourgroceries.com so everyone has the same list and can add to it or cross things off. This laptop is small and light and super easy to use - well mostly. I actually love it except that I can't get my printer to work with it. You can only use a printer that can connect to the cloud since this computer doesn't actually have a hard drive to save things too. My printer probably would have in the past but it has issues now. We need a new one but I've bonded and hate to part with my old friend. Besides that I just bought new ink cartridges and I plan to use them once I get my laptop back.

In case you didn't see it last week in the YOP Ravelry group, here is the picture of the dress and headband I made for my friend's baby. She looks so pretty in it! I just knew she would look good in that color.

I'm still working on the Meandering Rib Scarf for my husband but I am so close to finishing.   It is 4' 5" and I'll go to 5 feet and see how that works for him or if he wants it longer. I really thought I'd be finished by now but the whole family got sick. I actually had about 4 extra issues hit me at once on top of my fibromyalgia pain - including daily migraines. It is fall here now and it has been raining a lot. I'm allergic to mold so my allergies have been bad and the doctor is sure the fall migraines are caused by the mold outside. Fall is one of my favorite seasons though and it is so short here in Alaska. I hate to miss it because I don't feel well so I have been going out to enjoy it anyway. My absolute favorite moments happen in the evening when I let Buddy out for the last time before bed. I turn on the porch light and sit on the back porch with my coffee and enjoy the cool air and the sound of the gentle wind. The rain lately has been gentle too so I enjoy listening to it and my roof over hangs so I am protected on the porch. It really is beautiful.  I wish I could bundle up that whole experience and some how share it with you all but there really is not way to give it justice. 

Meandering Rib Scarf

I'm learning that this little laptop doesn't let me put my images to one side with the words to the other side. The word wrapping doesn't work so there is just space around the pictures so I am just centering them.

So I saw a new pattern I wanted to make and I can't wait to start it. I wanted to go look at yarn this weekend but because of feeling so bad I ended up asking my husband to pick some up. He is really nice about doing that even though he feels really out of place in a craft/yarn store. He really would have done about anything though just as long as he got to go golf on the last day before they closed. He also picked up some cold medicine for me and my son and some other treats for us before he went to golf. Here are my colors. The two gray skeins are the same color and they are a little bit darker than they look there. Actually, I think all the colors are darker than pictured. 

I'm going to make myself finish the scarf for my husband before starting this new project so maybe next week you'll get to see what it is. Here are some fall pictures to show what it looks like here now. This is what I see out my front window. 

This is my dwarf Maple tree which is the only type that will grow here.  It just has a little red but later it will be completely scarlet. My grass really looks long there but my mower is broken. My husband might actually fix it now that golf is officially over. My son actually mowed two strips in the front yard before it broke so it looks really classy. 

Buddy is getting so much bigger. He loves to go on walks at the park now that he has all his shots. I couldn't get a better picture since he moves so much and always has his nose to the ground. 

Okay, I hope you all are having a good time wherever you are in the world and enjoy your stitching. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

YOP update 9.4.16

I will attempt to add pictures to this post but I'm having trouble with my phone right now.  

Well, this is a pretty sad update but I didn't knit much at all this week. I spent the first part of the week resting and recouping from cleaning during last weekend. That is what the Fibromyalgia does to me. If I do anything that requires very much activity (meaning more than sitting on the couch) I will be down for 1 to 3 days depending on what I was doing or what the weather was like. It was so worth it though. My bedroom looks so nice now! Oh! And I also found my very first pair of socks I knit back in 2007 I think? A friend helped me and when I knit the pair this July it felt like I was learning for the first time again since I'd totally forgotten everything! I even forgot how to do the SSK decrease and had to look it up on youtube. Anyway, those first socks have obviously been worn and washed several times but I'll have to take a picture anyway since I never took a picture of them finished to post to my Ravelry project page. They were knit on sport weight yarn using double pointed needles and I was knitting so tight I was breaking needles.

Thursday, Sept 1st was my 25th anniversary! Wow, I can't believe so much time has gone by. I don't even feel that old. We decided to just spend time here in town since it is so pretty here right now. It is finally not raining and it is so pretty and sunny but not too hot. You can just feel a bit of a nip in the air in the mornings and then it warms up to perfect. We usually like to go on drives to look at the fall leaves on our anniversary but we don't really have that much color yet. It seems like we usually have more by now. The forecast calls for beautiful weather all weekend but possible snow on Tuesday! I hope it doesn't happen like that because I really like fall and don't want it to end too quickly. One season at a time please!  

Anyway, my husband and I decided it would be better to travel during the winter after it starts to get depressing and go to see his mom in Cali and maybe visit the redwoods. I've never been and I would love to.  

Hedgehog fibers/Eel
We had a nice breakfast Thursday and then went to a movie (Suicide Squad) which I loved. We went to a bookstore and then a real LYS - well The only one here. I bought some yarn and caked it up there. Hopefully I will be able to get a swift and ball winder of my own soon. They only *just* added Hedgehog fibers to their store and I homed right in on that. I bought some sock yarn in the EEL colorway which reminds me of peacock feathers with some black. I also got a mini in Graphite to add black heels and toes to the Turtlepurl yarn I bought on Etsy in the colorway Dream room. I think my husband likes it better when I shop at Joanns. My new sock yarn isn't cheap. The one full skein of Hedgehog fiber cost me $32 and he said, "$32 for a pair of socks and you have to do the labor?"  I said, "No, I GET to do the labor!"  hehe I guess only a Knitter can understand. Oh, I also got a sock ruler. The Grocery Girls showed one on one of their podcasts and I've been wanting one ever since. So now I'm all set. All I have to do is figure out which sock pattern to use. I did buy the fish lips kiss heel pattern and kind of want to try that but I also feel super nervous and don't want to mess up my new pretty yarns.

Turtlepurl turtle toes in Dream room plus Hedgehog mini in Granite for heels and toes

After the yarn store I had my hubby drop me off to get my nails done. I haven't treated myself to a mani/pedi in so long and it felt so good. Of course my nails are purple since that is my currently favorite color. Saturday my husband and I decided to continue our celebrations and we went to breakfast again and did a little more shopping. I also got my hair done. I refreshed my purple highlights but went for a deeper purple this time. She added a toner to help it last longer this time and my hair is so soft and shiny. She curled it really pretty but then I crashed as soon as I got home and messed it up. I should have taken pictures before I left the salon! That was just too busy a day for me and I couldn't wait to get to my bed. Hopefully I can get a good picture to show the color but I'm not sure how well it will show in my lighting.  

Jo-Ann Sensations Cosetta in Cosetta purple
Here is the one thing I knit: A swatch. I found this discontinued yarn in my stash and I really want to make myself a hat with it. I have attempted to use this yarn before but never got very far since I have a hard time getting gauge with it. It says it is a bulky weight yarn but it seems it isn't as bulky as a lot of the yarns people use for patterns. I knit this swatch last night and blocked it, which I've never done before. I'm hoping that was part of the problem and I'll be able to get it to work for a pattern. It is really pretty and I'm loving the stripes of purples. It also has just a touch of silver here and there - not stellina but actual silver touches in the fibers. I really don't know how they did that but it is beautiful. I'm sad they discontinued it.

It looks hand-painted with metallic silver paint

Oh, Buddy the Beagle Baby got to go on a walk with me Saturday before I took my long nap. He is learning what it means to "go for a walk" and not a sniff. I've never had to teach a dog to heel before since the other's I've had already knew when I got them. He's my first puppy and he did a pretty good job this time. He does get to go for "sniffs" too though.  He did get really scared when a car drove by us. He had never seen a car except to get in ours so the poor guy shrank down to the pavement and didn't want to move. I'm sure he'll get used to that but I hope he keeps enough of that fear to not ever run in front of one. He's a hyper pup so we really have to keep close tabs on him. I hope he never gets loose!