Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Yes, I had to jump on the Orangina bandwagon. I just love Stefanie Japel's patterns! And, now that I have Ravelry, I succumb to peer pressure so quickly. It's like everyday I find something on there that someone else is knitting/has knitted, and I just have to knit it too! Plus, I really wanted to be working on something fairly mindless. In cotton. I'm guessing this is because it has been so stinking hot here. Although of course I have the fear that I won't finish it in time to wear it this summer (because apparently I don't finish projects anymore. I simply collect yarn and patterns.) Either way, Orangina is fulfilling my present knitting needs and desires. Besides, look how gorgeous this lace pattern is. And it's so easy!
On other news, Sarah, a.k.a. The Plucky Knitter, made her debut on The Loopy Ewe last night! WooHoo! I literally had been stalking the site all day yesterday (I just had a feeling a Sneak Up was coming.) Well into the evening, I noticed new icons were going up on Sheri's site, and of course, one of them was for The Plucky Knitter, which you can also get here on Etsy. I emailed Sarah immediately - how exciting to have her yarns on TLE! Anyway, the Sneak Up did happen last night, and I snatched myself a few things, including some TPK lace weight in a beautiful blue called Afternoon Tea. Gorgeous.

I believe Kara and I will be making an excursion to TLE on Friday, just to soak in a little yarny goodness and visit with Sheri. Kara has never experienced TLE in person. I am so excited to go with her!

Cindy (my sister) and I made our reservations last night for a hotel in Chicago for next week. That's right, we're going to Stitches Midwest! I can hardly believe it. It just happens to be right at the end of my medical leave from work - perfect! And, I finally get to meet Sarah in person as well. So much excitement going on around here. Although I'm wondering how Cindy (a non-knitter at this point) is going to react to all the craziness of the knitting world...

Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes and great comments on my last post. Everyone is so kind and thoughtful. It's so wonderful to have such great friends. I honestly don't know how I was living without you all for so long!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

And Now For Something A Little More Exciting

So apparently some people think I'm not very exciting in my blog, but am a little less boring in person. (This has kind of been an ongoing joke lately.) After much discussion with the girls, I realized this was indeed true. For those who have known me for a while, I am a fairly private person, and it takes some serious determination on my part to "share." I know, so silly, since as a social worker I ask people to share with me all day long. (Of course, work is different. Besides, I'm totally comfortable with other people sharing!)

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to hide the real me from everyone. I was terrified that if I shared who I really was, people wouldn't like me. I thought I was so different, and isolated myself to the point of feeling very alone. This was all definitely generated by a low self-esteem and a long history of depression. I have been in treatment, on meds, and worked with therapists a gazillion times. However, this year has been my turn around point. I finally asked a friend at work if I could have the name of her therapist. I took a huge step that day. My first day to share a little piece of what was going on inside of me. Asking that question and then choosing to work hard with that therapist has forever changed my life.

One of the biggest changes I've worked on and been the most proud of has been my decision to make friends. Real friends. Not just keeping up with acquaintances, but actually talking with people about my life and their lives and letting people in what I had always thought was my isolated, dark, and depressing world. As it turns out, I have similarities with all kinds of people, and I am totally loving getting to know everyone! I started with the girls at work, sharing small things about myself in small increments. Then I branched out into the knitting world, and am making some awesome friends with some fantastic people, both online and in person. I am still so stunned that I actually have plans to go out with people, and that I really look forward to going out, rather than being scared to death to leave my little apartment. I finally feel like a worthwhile human being!

So, here's where all the irony comes in. I went to a new SnB Sunday after work, saw some great people, and had a great time. Life was fine. Went to bed that night, woke up around midnight, and felt physically terrible. I had pain (which I had thought was heartburn) but it was so bad that I eventually got sick to my stomach and just cried. I didn't sleep at all the rest of the night. The next morning I called in sick to work and talked with my doctor. I just started seeing her a few months ago. She had me tested and was treating me for acid reflux, and we were both thinking this was just a nasty flare up. So she increased my meds, and that was that. Tuesday, I still felt awful, and the pain was not going away. So I missed work again (which I absolutely hate to do - honestly - I hate calling in sick.) I finally reached my breaking point Tuesday night around 9:30, and I just knew something was really wrong. I called the doctor, and she sent me to the ER. I eventually got admitted, and had a bunch of tests run. Turns out, I had 6 gallstones in my gall bladder and 1 stone stuck in my bile duct on the way to my pancreas. That was what was causing the excruciating pain. So, I am now minus 7 gallstones and 1 gall bladder! First ever surgery and first ever stay in the hospital (just got discharged yesterday.) I actually was admitted onto my own floor at the hospital! The staff was great, and I had a bunch of people stopping in to say hi. Unfortunately, for a while I was too sick to really appreciate it. Man, I have never been that sick before in my life - AWFUL!

So, now I am recuperating. Mandatory time off work (oh darn.) The only thing is, I'm not allowed to drive for a whole week. This sucks when you are a single person. Especially a single person who finally enjoys doing things with friends! (See the irony there?!) But this is all ok. First, I will have tons of time to knit and read and blog, which I am always wanting to do. Second, the doctor seems to think these stones have been a problem for years, but had obviously never been diagnosed. She says once I get past the surgery recovery, I should feel better than ever. Looking forward to it!

So anyway, to all of you I have been getting to know and hanging out with, I will be back, just as soon as I can drive! So, do you think this post was a little more exciting?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thanks to My Secret Pal 10

A huge thanks goes out to Jeanne, who was my Secret Pal 10! She spoiled me all the way through! The final package was so thoughtful; I could really tell she put a lot of time, effort, and thought into my gifts. Check it out!
Ya'll know I've been working on lace for a while now. Jeanne decided to make my final package a "Lace Starter Kit." How perfect is that?! She sent a row counter that will hang on my needles, the Knit Picks Chart Keeper, a notebook, Lavender Eucalan, blocking pins, a skein of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool to knit Knitty's Branching Out, and the Knit Picks Adamas Shawl pattern for when I'm ready to dive into something more difficult. Jeanne, you are fantastic! Thank you so much for being so kind!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Am Going To Scream (Or Maybe Cry)

Ok, so apparently I'm having one of those weeks during which my knitting skills are on the blitz. Earlier this week, after being about 3/4 of the way through Cindy's Rusted Root, I decided to take some measurements of both her and the sweater. Wouldn't you know, RR was knitting up huge in the next size up. Remember how I ripped back a while ago because I thought it was too small? I completely miscalculated both the sweater's and my sister's measurements. How is that possible? So now I'm only about 1/4 of the way through the sweater at this point. I'm beginning to think it will make a good Christmas present.

In order to prevent making mistakes during the lace panel on RR, I took the Montego Bay Scarf to Knit Nite Wednesday. I had also brought along FCS, hoping that maybe someone could help me figure out a better way to keep track of my stitches. Annie was that someone. She spent some time suggesting needles to use for lace, and showing me how to separate the pattern into smaller sections using markers. Thanks Annie!

You would think after all that guidance and teaching from Annie, I would just be flying right through the FCS, right? Wrong. To add to the proof that I have absolutely no knitting skills right now, I just spent 2 1/2 hours trying to knit 4 rows on the FCS. I repeat, trying. I realized that I need to move the markers and add more every so many rows. I thought I had grasped that concept. But the marker placement thing seemed to throw me all off, and somehow I kept ending up with too many stitches. I just ripped the 4 rows out again, and am back to where I started earlier this evening. Thank goodness for lifelines, in both FCS and RR.

After a week like this, you would think I would give up knitting altogether. Not so. Interestingly enough, I instead felt the need to add more projects to my already long Queue. I blame Ravelry for that. (I think I'm already addicted.) I went to The Weaving Department yesterday, since all of their yarns were 30% off this weekend. There, I was finally able to find a Size 6 24 inch Addi Turbo Lace needle, which the FCS has been both on and off today. Of course, in knitting my four rows a million times, I did get a good chance to try this needle out. I really love it - definitely worth buying. Nice and pointy, and not quite as slippery as the Knit Picks Options. The slightest bit of drag makes me feel a little less scared about losing stitches. I also bought two different skeins of Noro Silk Garden for the Child's Rainbow Scarf in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, (I know, like I need to knit another scarf in the middle of the summer,) and a skein of Rowan Cashsoft DK to make Grumperina's Odessa. (I have never bought a skein of Rowan yarn. I am very excited to try it out.) So, are you beginning to see the winter knitting theme here? I wonder why I have such a desire/need to knit winter accessories this summer. Needless to say, I believe in the theory that the cure for WIPs that aren't going very well is to cast on for another project or two. Maybe I'll just put FCS aside for now...