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February 2005
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April 2005

Chocolate Anyone?

So, I've decided to make today a chocolate day.  All chocolate all day, dark deep rich chocolate....oh ya, with almonds or hazelnuts, and not the cheap stuff, either.  Wouldn't a day like that be a dream come true?  And wouldn't it be wonderful if all sustenance could come from chocolate (and coffee)?  Yes, I'm daydreaming as I'm headed for a maudlin day....therefore, the need for chocolate and the need to dream of being pain free. I'm trying to stop the need to bitch vent and not succeeding, so here is a little one:

I'm tired of pain, this constant pain in the butt.  I have done everything, since starting PT, that they say to do.  Every stretch, every exercise and even daily electrodes on that muscle to ease the agony  pain.  It gets better OH SO SLOWLY!  Actually the last couple of days have been better than usual.  I have been very Zen about the whole thing.  With little complaining (growing up with 7 siblings you find whining does little good) I've been going to work everyday, blogging as much as usual, knitting, and seeing friends as often as possible. All this, in fact, has made the days worth facing.  I often think of Lorette.  She can't work, can't blog very easily, and while she most likely can visit with friends, she can't knit!   I guess I'll stop complaining and feeling sorry for myself.  Lorette is such an inspiration.

Things that have made my recovery possible:

  • medicine - martinis (self prescribed), muscle relaxant, Advil LiquiGels
  • yoga pants (waist bands are the enemy of sciatica) Verve Leda to be exact
  • electrode machine (twice daily) ...it hurts so good
  • TJ my PT
  • work (it's where I blog)
  • knitting
  • blogging (reading and posting-it takes a lot of thinking some days to come up with a post and some have been lame, but at least I did it!)
  • friends virtual and real
  • knitting
  • the mountains
  • Smith

I'm praying that the end is in sight.  Each day is better and I meet the personal trainer tomorrow to start my workout.  And speaking of tomorrow...it's Flash Your Stash Day.  I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours!!


Spellbound

I've fallen under the spell of stockinette stitch. Yes, that stitch dreaded by knitters near and far, the stitch that is boring, that goes on and on, the stitch that fries the mind and strikes horror in the heart of an intrepid knitter.  It may be a bit of ennui, or the need for simple things, or the constant (but ebbing) pain, but I truly find solace in knitting stockinette.  Therefore I have started two new projects that are mostly 'the boring stitch' and have one more that I'll start soon (the yarn is coming). 

Mystockinette First up is the Chickami by Bonne Marie.  I bought a very cool white jacket from Chico's last weekend and the Chickami will be perfect underneath.  The knittin is easy so it has been a great companion while visiting. Once the decreases are complete you can cruzzze until you need to increase and then you're sent for awhile longer. It's knit with purple Saucy by Reynolds .

While looking through the stash for something else suitable for summer wear, (spring fever has me by the throat) I came across some Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in a pretty pink.  The Eyelet Cardi (also by Bonne Marie) was on my list to do and it seemed the perfect thing for the yarn.  The gauge swatch was perfect and so I  started it this weekend.  Two Bonne Marie projects started the same week she has me under the 'heart' on her blog!  It's pretty thrilling and I feel we're 'in tune'.  (Let's not forget the beautiful Ribby. You must check out the Gallery.)

The other sweater that would be fun for summer is Alison’s  Nothin’ but a T-shirt from MagKnits.  I have some blue Rowan Calmer in the stash and have been looking for a suitable pattern.  This is such a nice simple T that would be perfect and fun to wear this summer.  Yes, more stockinette. As Jenifleur noticed in the comments yesterday, I have lost weight (10 lbs, 3 have returned).  Pain is a powerful appetite suppressant.  Now I'm working on getting stronger but staying thin with a personal trainer.  It will be a slow process but one I'm looking forward to.

The swatch of brown in the above photo is the Chestnut yarn from Black Water Abbey that will become a Chinatown Jacket. I'm awaiting yarn in the color Wine for the trim and Black for the contrast.  It's going to be a great coat for next winter. Snow and Liz are hosting the KAL so check us out here.

Now don't you worry about me and all this knitting, all this stockinette...it IS the process, baby.

~~~~~~~ Update: We now have an inch or so on the front lawn and it's snowing hard. Mountains have more than 4 feet since Monday. It's all good!

More Snow Pictures

Canyouimaginethismuchsnow Altatonsofsnow It was so beautiful in the mountains on Sunday that I took several pictures and thought you'd like to see more.  These poor people had just begun to uncover their car.  That was the unfun part of their fabulous week of skiing.  Today it is snowing again (only in the mountains) and there should be 2 MORE feet of new snow with more coming next week, too.  It goes on and on and we are not unhappy.  Of course there is NO snow in the valley.  My front yard is just plain brown lawn (I'll spare you the picture).

The above picture is Alta Ski Resort and below you'll see Snowbird's peaks.  The skiing in Utah has never been better so get on out here and enjoy it!

Snowbirdpeaks2

Don't worry about my being out in the snow with no coat...it was 50 degrees or so and I only took off my shoes for the sock picture.  If you want the details on the pattern and socks, Chris left a comment yesterday with details.  I can't thank her enough for such a lovely pair of socks.

Someday soon I'm going to get the hang of spinning.  I have been practicing everyday and as soon as there is something worth showing you'll know. I will persevere.

Now run over and give Laurie a virtual hug...she needs grrlfriends to send good thoughts for her son Will.  He had a fall and I'll let her tell you about it all when she's ready (he's doing well and it could have been so much worse).


Weekend Happenings

Sockapalooas

The mountains received recording breaking amounts of snow this year including 81" during this last week.  We had to run up to Alta and Snowbird to take a photo of my Sockapalooza Socks from Chris Q.  They are perfect!  I love the color and the pattern.  Chris said this was her first lace and she did a beautiful job knitting this pair of socks...for me!  They fit perfectly and will be well loved and worn. Thanks for a lovely pair of socks Chris, they are a treasure, and a big thank you to Alison for having such a wonderful idea.

Smithatalta Therereallyisacarunderhere Sunday was a marvelous day with our first clear blue sky in a week. It was actually warmer in the mountains than in the valley. We decided to treat you to pictures of  the resorts in Little Cottonwood Canyon. (Our usual haunt is Big Cottonwood Canyon.)  Here is Smith standing in front of the peaks of Alta Ski Resort.  Can you believe many resorts have over 150" of snow mid-mountain?  15 FEET!  Cars were buried so deep you could barely see where they were.  This guy was good natured about it as he had a fabulous week of skiing.

What a beautiful day of beautiful views, breathtaking sky and clear clean air to breath.  These are the best days of winter (wait, isn't it spring!?).  We enjoyed the pristine snow against the clear blue of the sky because that snow means we'll have water to drink for a few more years.

Peaksatalta

Here is a picture of me in Blaze, (I'm still lovin' that sweater!) with my knitting bag, standing at the base of a ski run in Snowbird Ski Resort. Can you see what's in the bag (besides knitting)?

Meintonsofsnow_1

Click here for a close up. Proof "Her Book" is in Utah. It's a little big book full of laughs and giggles that every knitter (especially those of us who can't get enough of knitting) will love and enjoy.  It's the perfect size to carry in your knitting bag so you can always get a lift, a smile, a good guffaw when you need one.  Thanks, Steph for a very good read!


WIPs of the Week and Contest Winners!

Orange creates in sanity?  That explains it. (See yesterday's comments for an explanation.)  And Neena...I'm keeping this one for me. You must continue to pay your dues for stealing Charlotte.

OK, on to the contest. Lot's of suggestions came in including golf club covers, eye pillows, sachets, lumbar supports, bags and cat toys.  A few of the unique suggestions were a camera case, pot holder, door stop, sweater for a small dog, sock holder for travel, soap sock, a small Christmas stocking and (my favorite) 'frame it and call it art'.  Claudia said I should pass it on to someone who wants it (anyone?) and Angela wants to give me her suck so I have a mismatched pair. No thank you!

My favorite entry came from Johanna and she also got to choose from the prizes. Her choice is the Twinkletoes Denim.

"I think that you should fill it with quarters and use it to hold up the local convenience store. (Don't forget to steal the scratch tickets in addition to the drawer money. It could really pay off!)"

That entry made me laugh out loud!  Thanks to everyone who entered. The winner of the Knit Picks Simple Stripe was picked by a random number generator and it's Sara of Knitwerk. Enjoy your yarn and the resulting socks!

Wipsoftheweek I have been knitting a little this week and I'll take a page from Susan (still under the weather, poor grrl) to show you the WIPs of the week.  I'm closing in on a Conwy Sock from Knitting on the Road,  the Chickami, which is the perfect thing to work on while visiting with buddies at SnB, and the (newly named) Bryce Canyon Scarf (yarn color says that's the right name) is great knitting because watching the colors and pattern change is very entertaining.

On the spinning front...I'm a klutz and will head to Anne’s for a remedial spinning lesson on Sunday.  Enjoy your Easter!!


The Kindness of Friends

AlpacaovertrainLast week I came home to find a Priority Mail bag from Over the Rainbow...you know, the Twinkletoes people?   When I said I hadn't ordered anything from them Smith looked at me with his 'Ya, right' face.  It was a mystery.  So I tore open the bag and found the most luscious yarn inside.  It was a large skien of alpaca yarn and the color combination was so beautiful and rich.  It's called Autumn but, I also saw Spring and the desert of So. Utah, in its tones.  It took some sleuthing on the order form to find that it was sent from a very dear friend.  Thank you...you are too generous.

FallingleafscarfdetailReversefallingleafFor a couple of days I would pet it each time I entered the room and played with ideas, in my head, of what it could become.  The soft yarn would be lovely against the skin, so that and a very cool pattern from Lucy Neatby,  helped me to make up my mind.  The Falling Leaves Scarf is a very interesting pattern that creates a reversible leaf motif.  After a few rows the pattern was in my head and it is now working up quickly.  The colors are more beautiful in the knitted fabric than in the skein as they blend and meld.  This isn't a colorway I would have purchased for myself, but I love it! Constantly choosing red, blue, purple has become too static.  This reminds me to think outside of the box...out of the color comfort zone and to enjoy all colors. The color sense of Claudia, Susan and Norma (even Cassie) is rubbing off on me as I love these orangey tones.

Today is your last chance to enter the Suck Contest.  Winners will be annouced tomorrow and there are some very creative and funny entries. Get yours in!


Knitting Karma

Flowerbasketalapaca

Shees...this poor Flower Basket Shawl.  It is a gift for my sister who is celebrating her 50th birthday later this month.  It was such a struggle to knit and at one point I quit and considered doing another shawl for her.  But, it just didn't seem right to give up so, with a contrite heart I knit on.  Nothing seemed to go right.  I blamed the yarn, blamed the pattern, blamed my constant pain for all the problems that arose, but in the end it came together.  It's smaller than I had hoped but should be the right size for a neck shawl which I think she will wear often.  I can't help but wonder if because of all the problems if this shawl has bad karma?  Can anything be done to insure that it will be a 'good' gift, full of love and caring, if I had such a hard time?  I did think of my sister while it grew but was often side tracked by the constant problems and corrections.  Her life has been full of problems and hard times.  She is now on track doing something she loves.  Is the shawl a refelction of her life to date or will it cause more problems?  I am praying and loving the shawl everyday until it is given to her to infuse it with all the good karma I can muster.

Zzzleaflacemarie Speaking of 'good' karma....Marie loved her Lace Leaf Shawl which was knit out of Twinkletoes yarn. She is part of my Swan Family and we celebrated all our March birthday's a couple of weeks ago.  It was so nice that the shawl brought a big smile to her face.

OK gang...what is it about pink Chibi's (or green ones for that matter)? I’ve never been a ‘Chibi wanter’ because it seemed too small to hold more than a couple of needles. I like my Altoid tin which is big enough to hold, knitting pins, cable needles (even though I don’t use them they may come in handy if I need to poke something or someone), and sewing needles of varies sizes.

To my knowledge it was Laurie who first blogged about pink Chibi’s last September after she found two while visiting a vendor at our local Fiber Festival. Can you believe that this Ebay auction actually lifted her picture! Norma, that smart ass smarty, said it well.

Last night Anne taught me to spin!  More details and pictures of the debacle how it went soon.

Seems blog moving is becoming the new spring fling. Check out Melanie’s new digs here.

And did you see my Sockapalooza Pal's socks arrived in Canada!   Huzzah!! See the post below.


You Can Tell It's Spring When...

...new ones abound!  Amy and Shelby (she swore me to secrecy) are both expecting little ones this year!  Congrats to you both and to your lovely families.  And Anne has a new one coming, too...this one is a horse!  What better way to welcome spring than with new life all around.

If you are wondering where the heck did Claudia go...well, try here!

I had a bit of fun this weekend in regards to knitting. Yes, I did get  some knitting accomplished (more during the week) and finished the FBS (this one from hell but it's done). The real news is the shopping I had was able to do.

Last week I ran into Black Sheep to pick up the The Opinionated Knitter that they were holding for me. (Ran into Susan while there...surprised? Go tell her to get well fast!).  I was standing at the counter when in walked a stitching friend of mine. She was shocked to see me standing there and told me so.  (Well, I'll be...) Anyway, it seems she was there to buy me a birthday gift as we were to meet at a guild meeting later that night.  She was thrilled when I told her I was there to buy the book and she bought it for me.  It's a great read, BTW. 

Mywoolyboardandbook In the mail on Friday was a card and a gift certificate to the Black Sheep from my wonderful sister, Neena. (Thanks so much Neena!!!)  That meant another trip (ah darn) back to the shop and I already knew what I wanted.  They had new wooly boards and I just had to have one. Our Knitters Guild has one that I borrow but I really did want a nice(r) one of my own.  This is the same one you can buy from Lacis.

Using a wooly board for blocking is great for any garment knit in the round.  Even cardigans can be blocked on the wooly.  First I put garment into the gentle cycle on my washer (cold water and a dash of soap).  Eucalan is nice for knits as you don't have to rinse, but any mild soap will work.  My washer is very gentle so I do let it agitate a few minutes. If the agitation is too strong you can just let the knitting soak.  Then after a short gentle cycle spin cycle (not the full time, just enough to get some of the water out) the knit can be rolled into a towel to remove excess water.  Then stretch it over the wooly board which is already set up to the right dimensions.  With air flowing around and through the garment it dries over night. Cool, eh?

Lately whenever I look at my hands they bring back memories of my mothers hands...even my grandmothers hands.  Because of that the Yarnmaven's post about hands really struck home with me. Please take a minute to read it.

Don't forget to enter the Suck Contest, if you haven't already. Some great ideas are coming in. You have until Thursday afternoon to enter.