Monthly Archives: November 2007

Photo Friday

Here are a few photos for today. I did receive a sock yarn club yarn this week that is worthy of being shown. I love everything that Roxanne from Zen Yarn Garden dyes and I love the yarn for the first shipment of the Sumptuous Yarn Club. The first yarn is a silk yarn in the color way Cabarnet. And my skein is sitting in a wine glass still. Naughty yarn!!!

And the second photo is one I took the other day of the afternoon sky. I happened to look out at the sky and saw that the clouds looked like they were flying south with the birds.

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Wash Day

Last night was wash day for my socks. I had several pairs that needed to be washed. So I set about washing the socks before I made dinner. There was a grand total of 6 pairs of socks that needed to be washed. I still had 3 pairs of socks in the sock drawer so I am wearing a pair of hand knit socks today. I need to hurry up and finish some of the ones that have been on the needles awhile. Winter is not even here and my feet are cold.

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I also managed to finish the hat that I was working on for myself. Quite awhile ago, I traded several skeins of sock yarn for a Monster Hat kit with Jacey. I like the colors in the hand spun and I like the felted monster too. But I decided that the monster would look best on his own white or cream colored hat. So the hand spun became its own hat. I still need to make a hat for the monster but the handspun hat is done. The hat was finished and washed last night. It was still a bit wet when I took the photo but I can tell you that the hat will be nice and warm.

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I also decided to make a pair of the Maine Hand Warmers from Clara Parks book The Knitters Book of Yarn. I bought the book last week at Borders because they didn’t have the book that I really wanted. And after going through the book, I think I got a better book than the one I wanted. I decided to use a skein of Manos that has been sitting in a basket for quite awhile. It was leftover from another project. I managed to finish one mitt last night except for the thumb and I am hoping to get the mate done tonight. It looks like there will be plenty of yarn leftover too. If you are looking for a book to have on your Christmas book, I would recommend this book. Well written and really nice projects.

I also received in the mail yesterday my order from Webs. This yarn will become my sweater!!!! As soon as I finish reknititng the second sleeve on the one that will be going to my mom, I can start mine. I need to try and spend some time in my quilt studio this weekend so I can sew up another sweater that is finished except for the seaming. I also need to finish sewing some Christmas presents and ornaments that I am making.

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And the weather forecast for this weekend has the possibility of the wonderful mix of wintery weather that we see here in the mid-Atlantic. And that means snow, rain, icy, sleet or any combination of the above. So that means staying in for me. I have a birthday party scheduled at the station for Saturday afternoon but I am wondering if maybe it will snow so I can get out of it…..

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Still Here

I am still here but I am busy knitting. There is a certain gift day coming up faster than I would like. So I am busy knitting. Okay, the one hat is for me but it just means that I am making myself a present that I know I will like. But no photos yet. So instead, I will leave you with a nice photo from Black Friday. And no, I didn’t get up for the early stuff. I might if there was yarn or books involved but not for any other reason.

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A Sweater for Me? Maybe

The red Carie sweater is now going to be my mother’s Christmas present. My model, aka my niece modeled it for me over the weekend before I frogged the sleeves. She decided that it wasn’t really my color. She wanted to know if I could get more of the same yarn but in a different color. So we looked at the color selection on the Webs site and she narrowed the choices down to two. The yarn for my sweater is hopefully on its way to me from Webs today.

But I have frogged the sleeves and reknit the first one already. I didn’t like how the sleeves fit so I added some stitches to them. And ended up knitting the sleeves in the round. I just need to get my mother to try the sweater on to check the sleeve length. My arms are longer than hers so I want to make sure I get them the length she wants. The way I look at it that I will have figured out all of the changes to the pattern that I want to make.

I do have a sweater for me that is finished. I just need to seam it up. At least I have the parts all together and ready to seam. I just need to sit down and do it. Hopefully very soon.

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Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving for those celebrating it in the US. Here are some photos of what I have had to cook to take to my brother’s house yesterday. We did Thanksgiving yesterday because my SIL is going to her sister’s house today. . And Mimi says thank you for making sure I got turkey to eat before anyone else. (Yes, my cat likes turkey and chicken.) The veggies are loosely based on the recipe in the current issue of Vegetarian Times which is a roasted veggie blend. I put plenty of veggies in with the turkey for those who want softer veggies. (Namely the two year old nephew. And my SIL can take them to her sister’s house for Thanksgiving dinner there. She will reheat them and roast them to give them a little bit of crunch.)

I also got my niece started on a basic hat pattern yesterday. She called me this morning to tell me that she already had almost 2 inches on the needles and she was wanting to know what size needles she needed to take with her so she could start a scarf. I think she might be addicted already.

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Actual Knitting Content

I have actually been busy knitting not just hats but working on a sweater for myself. Well, hopefully me since both my niece and my mom want the sweater too.

In an attempt to use up my stash, I decided to make the Carie Cropped Cardi for myself. I have exactly 8 balls of Rowan Big Wool in my stash. The yarn is the perfect gauge for the sweater and I am making the sweater longer since it will look better on me that way. Cropped and short waisted don’t work together. I have already used up four balls of the Big Wool. I decided to add the sleeves after I finished the second ball of yarn so I would not have to worry about having enough yarn for them. Each sleeve equaled one ball of yarn. So I have four balls left to use up. The sleeves are already seamed up and all of the ends so far are woven in. Hopefully the sweater will be finished in the next week.

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I finished another hat for my mom in Cascade 220. She had picked out the colors for a felted bag but the yarn is now hat yarn. Trying to find hat patterns that are different has been fun. I decided to use Sugar on Snow from Knitty and use up some of the red Cascade 220. The i-cord on the hat is purple. My mother is a Red Hatter and she can wear this one to their luncheons. I will be making her a purple hat with red i-cord. But right now I have another hat almost finished in yarn that she picked out and bought herself. (there will be a better photo of the hat soon.)

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I am hoping to get my niece started knitting hats Wednesday afternoon since she doesn’t have school. I am going to have her learn to make a hat for her baby brother first using some Encore I have in my stash. I have a basic hat pattern for her to use for her first hat. And I have some purple yarn set aside for her to make herself a hat as well.

And I have posted a page about the Small Comforts project. This will be an ongoing project and I would like to thank everyone who has already volunteered to make something for it.

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Call for Help

Okay, I have been silent this past week and for a good reason. My mother has a history of pneumonia and two weeks ago yesterday she went down to the Naval Hospital at Bethesda because she didn’t feel good. The x-rays showed pneumonia in the early stages but they went ahead and admitted her to get her on IV antibiotics. This is the standard procedure for her because of her history. But the next day, she started having problems with her vision. Now she is still getting used to trifocals but they sent her down to opthalmology clinic to have her eyes tested.

The doctor on duty found nothing out of the norm but wanted to do a brain scan just to rule out any problems with the optic nerves. The scan revealed lesions on my mom’s brain. Lesions on the brain sound worse than they are. Basically a lesion is anything that damages tissue. One thing about military hospitals, and Bethesda in particular, is that they are not afraid to run tests to find out what is wrong.

The National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda is a teaching hospital. The military medical school is located on the campus and NIH is right across the street from the hospital. So there was a team put together for my mom which consisted of medical students, residents, and doctors from both NIH and Bethesda. They decided that there was a spot where they could easily get in and obtain a sample for a biopsy. Last Thursday, she went in for what was supposed to be a simple biopsy operation and turned out to be almost a five hour long operation. Once they cut her skull, the surgeons saw that it was a tumor and they decided to get as much of it out as they could. The pathology reports do indicate that it was cancerous but the team feels that they got most of it out. None of the scans show that the cancer has spread so her team is very optimistic about getting it all cleaned up with chemo and radiation.

While she was in the hospital, I spent some time talking to the corpsmen on the oncology ward. And of course, while I was talking to them, I found out that this ward and the surgical ward never see any hand knitted hats for chemo patients and other patients who might need them. The surgical ward is right next door to the oncology ward and this is where many of the wounded from the war zones come to for care.

When a soldier is wounded in the field and treated at a field hospital prior to being transported to either Walter Reed or Bethesda, they are basically stripped of all clothing and placed into hospital gowns. It can take a bit of time before clothing catches up to the solders. Many of the soldiers who arrive at Bethesda are those in need of neurological care as a result of bomb blasts. Those needing orthopedic care tend to go to Walter Reed.

I said that I would be knit hats and make some small toys such as the Purl frog for the wards. If I can force myself to sit at the sewing machine long enough, I might even get some small lap quilts done. I told Cindy (the corpsman) that I would mention this on my blog and hopefully the knitting community would help. If you want to knit something, the only requirements are that it be soft. Chemo patients get very cold and softness matters.

Many of those who come in with neurology problems end up having surgery so their heads are shaved in the process. A small item placed in a patient’s hand who is unconscious can make a difference. There are signs and banners all over the hospital that have been signed by all sorts of businesses but they are just signs on a wall. A small item that a patient can keep that was made by hand can actually help their psychological healing by showing that some one cares. They may never know your name but they will know that some one cared enough to make a hand made item for them.

I would like to encourage anyone who want to make some thing to let me know. My mother will be going down to the hospital on regular basis for chemo and radiation starting in the next few weeks. Plus she is down there on a regular basis for doctors’ appointments. She said that she would deliver anything that is made. I will probably be going down with her sometimes to give my dad a break with the driving since it is a 40 mile one way trip. Right now I am working on a few more hats for my mother but I will be knitting hats for the ward after hers are done. (She now has 4 hand knit hats and I have 3 more on the needles.) So if you want to knit or make something, please either leave a comment or send me an email and I can send you my mailing address. And please pass the word on to any knitting groups you may belong to as well. My LYS is going to be posting a sign and will be encouraging people to make items for the wards as well. And as to what to make, you could make hats, mittens, scarves, prayer shawls, soft toys or what ever you think would give comfort.

And my mother is feeling fine right now. She got out of the hospital last Saturday and went out to the mall and bought herself an iPod. She has been out shopping for clothes and is right now on her way to oil painting class. There will be bad days ahead but right now she is living life to the fullest she can. And I do have a picture of her new scar but I won’t post it here. But I will post photos of two of the new hats. They are both the same pattern one in alpaca and the other is in a handspun by P of Knit Buddies. The other two hand knit hats she is wearing right now are one that was knit by Jodi of A Caffeinated Yarn and one she just got today from P in today’s mail. My mom was on her way out to lunch with a friend but she had her friend detour so she could pick up the hat which she promptly decided to wear today.

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