Did You Hear Me Scream?

I was so, so good and then get punished. How is that fair? As I have expressed in the previous post, I’m stalling working on our daughter’s scarf. No more! I finished yesterday. A big incentive was a project I’ve been eyeing for a long time. It needed a little cooler weather and conditions were just right yesterday. This was going to be so good. My knitting mojo was going to take off again and no one was going to be able to stop me. Except for myself of course.

But let’s get the scarf thing out of the way. All I can say is: finished. I’m not in love. But what else was I going to use the yarn for? Let me present the Zombie BBQ scarf for one night of Hanukkah:


But you came here for the screams. After midnight while happily, very happily knitting along the deathflake mittens I noticed something wrong. Of course I was already bothered by something, but had no idea what that something was until it hit critical mass or a tipping point. I can be very dense that way. Trying to will my knitting to do what I want it to do, though to be honest, it has not worked yet. Always ends in tinking or frogging.

What was going wrong? Take a look:


You don’t see it? Hear the screams? Black skulls? Wrong color scheme is what’s wrong!!! To my defense, the chart has the skulls in black and the background white. Can’t figure out why. It’s probably explained in the directions, but I wouldn’t know because I don’t read directions.

As you can see from the picture, I’m no good at stranded knitting or whatever you call the hell of carrying along two colors. I was hoping I could go through life without learning that skill. Until this pattern comes along and holds me in its spell. I knew that resistance would be futile, at least I know myself that much.

I’m now teaching myself stranded knitting continental style. And no, I will not carry my yarn left and right hand. I carry yarn with my left hand and this is not going to change. Back to watch videos and start over, right after frogging the whole thing.

I think I’m pretty zen about it, after the screams no other outbursts. Just handwringing.

Not wanting to ruin my gemini reputation I also finished a beanie for Stephen and dyed it last night with koolaid. My first attempt at dyeing. Even Stephen is turning koolaid friendly after seeing the results. The black cherry smell, not so much.

DSC_0008 DSC_0009

Now look at the beanie again and know that I spun, plied and knit and then dyed the thing. Kind of proud right now but waiting for the day when I will look at it and think what a beginner I was. That’s how good I want to get.

A word of advice about using koolaid: wear gloves. My fingers look like they came straight out of a murder scene.

In other news: Lambtown, Dixon. I did go and came back with major loot to be shown to you another time. The two major accomplishments and excitements: 1. I fell in love 2. Got 3 bobbins made for my spinning wheel, and they arrived today.

1. Fell in love with the Schacht Matchless spinning wheel. Morgaine from Carolina Homespun let me try the Matchless they had set up and it felt like, like what? Effortless? Butter? Magic? No, not magic, it was love. I always thought I would like that wheel also known as the cadillac of spinning wheels, but somewhere I also got the feeling of hyperbole, it’s not. I’m saving my pennies now. Feel free to contribute to my spinning wheel fund, I would not complain.

2. The spinning wheel I have now is an Anthony Cardarelle. It’s a one of a kind. Hence, parts could become a problem. Spinning wheels have changed since this was made in 1969 and I’m somewhat limited with what I can do. For now, as a beginner, this is OK. Until a Matchless comes my way. The bobbins Clemes & Clemes made for the wheel arrived today. They are the folks who took over when Anthony died in 1970 I believe. They are a bit shorter, the bobbins, not the people, but let’s hope they will work.

In other news, I survived my anniversary. And if you don’t mind I would like to take the opportunity again to post what Stephen wrote a year ago.

“October 16, 2012

I would never discount the relief and gratitude I feel: in the past few days Marianna has survived a massive, seriously life-threatening heart attack and two surgeries, the latter 7 hours of quadruple bypass and all that accompanies it. Having said that… my heart, head, and stomach hurt at seeing her – a full day later – in such apparent agony (hopefully dulled by medication) and discomfort. I.e., she’s still in the immediate post-surgery area, strapped to a bed, and breathing on her own only in the past few hours. During our last ‘visit’ I was sure – from her eyes – she wanted to cry, or scream, or both, but both were physically impossible. I was gonna head home today or tomorrow to deal with a work disaster, but that’s emotionally impossible. So our kids are driving there to bring me what I need, for work and to take care of Marianna. I wish I could just quit my stupid job, with the universe hiring me as her caretaker…. -S

October 17, 2012

Some progress today – a coupla chair-sitting sessions, speaking getting a bit less difficult – followed by some setbacks: she needed a transfusion, and her heart rate suddenly started climbing, with a headache – a frighteningly familiar pair of circumstances, tho with a different and also familiar (to us, because it plagues my dad) diagnosis: atrial fibrillation. Medication has slowly been settling things down, and the a-fib just now stopped. Marianna’s sleeping right now – well, most of today, actually. Food’s been a problem, too, but no time to finger-tap that story on her iPad. Let’s just go with another long, deep, heartfelt – please join me – Whewwwwwww………… And once – and always – again: thank y’all so very very much for caring about this wonderful person next to me. -S”

In my own words a while later I write about my experiences at that time. I’m pretty forgetful, but the hospital time is burned into my brain. I remember so much.

“My mind and my fantasies were constant companions. With the help of some narcotic here and there.
Imagine you are in bed laying on your back day and night. No getting up. A catheter attached so no bathroom breaks either.
Staring at bland walls I was able to close my eyes and imagine the most exotic textures. From floral designs to leather coverings, the walls let me play with them for hours. Especially the gorgeous leather design. I could imagine making small cuts and the leather would curl back at the incision, just like my wounds on my belly now that don’t want to heal.
After surgery and my experience with death behind the curtain, I spent several days in ICU. Getting blood transfusions, afib, another blood transfusion, probably developing the clots while being bed bound.
After the initial ICU, one patient, one nurse, I made it to another ICU unit, two patients, one nurse. The place I started out at.
Nothing to occupy my mind, but my imaginings, I started paying attention to noises coming from outside my room, and there were plenty. Next to my room, an important booming voice, often on the cell phone, and many visitors. I made him a politician whose constituents were not allowed to know he has heart problems. I pieced this together when a nurse mentioned his constituents. I gave him a very interesting life with lots of intrigue and scandal.
Then the almost constant screaming from another room. Stephen thought it was another language, but I made out phrases like, go away, leave me, over and over and over. That almost drove me crazy, so I had to come up with something. He was a serial killer of young women and feeling regret, he now wanted to confess. Also, he did not want to be tempted to kill again and so told the nurses to go away. The young nurses had no idea what was going on and were actually very attentive and fond of him as it turned out. I wanted to shout out, get away from him, you’re in danger, but I’m glad I refrained. It turns out the not so old man had a stroke and probably what I took as confessions of murders was just gibberish.”

So how are all these people doing now? Lesson learned and living a healthier life? Or like me, just plodding along?

I better go, I have some frogging to do.

Hard Times

This has been one hell of a difficult week. It started out with back ache on one side last Sunday. Monday I had to go in to see the dentist for another phase of my tooth implant. With back pain. The two hours flew by as if I was having fun. OK, could have been the nitrous oxide. But the week kept on plodding along slowly with a continuous back ache. tried heat, pain meds, from strong to weaker to in between, but nothing helped. I could sit for a little, stand up for a little, and be in bed for longer periods of time. Got nothing done! Just felt sorry for myself.

Today came the break through. And of course I probably overdid it immediately. When I don’t want to tackle my mess, I throw myself in to Stephen’s affairs. I flung papers and photos and cassette tapes (yes, he saves cassette tapes, don’t ask, it’s a long story), CDs, dust bunnies and dust buffalos, and after a few hours and repeated complaints by Stephen that he did not sign up for this, his room looked much better.

Yes, and so I did kind of, with less vigor, attack my room and all my stuff strewn around the house. To be honest, I only managed to kind of organize my yarn/sewing/craft room. There is a clear path to the table and the sewing machine. And I carried my computer downstairs into our bedroom where I keep a desk that I use as I do all flat spaces in the house, to store stuff on I don’t know what to do with.

Actually I cleared the desk top pretty well, but please don’t look behind the curtain of the closet where piles are awaiting me for sorting.

I’m hoping I did no further damage to my back because I am ready to knit.

Knitting did play a role during the week, if only to finish projects and do very little ones.

Let me introduce you to my new hobby: making dishcloths. So far I only have a picture of the first one I made. While watching the Champions League soccer match yesterday (Germany against Germany, I could not go wrong), I started and finished another dishcloth.

ImageVery unimaginative, your basic dishcloth. Here is the link to ravelry and the pattern.

A friend recently gave me a generous amount of yarn. And I have been dipping into this stash. First I used the sari silk yarn. It is a rather heavy yarn, so what to make? I decided on a skinny scarf for our daughter Liana. It was not easy to knit with this yarn, it did not move along the needles easily, but it turned out well.Image

This box of gift yarn has really inspired me. And with that I present a hat for Liana:Image

This hat pattern is here. As you can see I made a little change by adding a band at the bottom. This was a suggestion by the yarnharlot. The button was an easy find at our local Ben Franklin.

And last, but never least: socks. A while ago I finished the non-wool socks for my friend and a pair for Stephen. I’m so blessed that Stephen is willing to wear about any sock in any color I make. Image

I’ve ordered some fleece artist sock yarn recently and fell in love. By accident I ordered a color twice (tiger) and at first was disappointed. But once I knit with it I realized it was a very happy mistake. I did finish the pair of socks, but I’m having a hard time letting go of them. Eventually, perhaps when I knit a second pair, I might be able to pass them on.Image

With that, I’m somewhat caught up with my knitting adventures. There is still a backlog of pictures and projects to show you. For now, excuse me while I go and knit.