Another Hobby Blog

Monday, May 29, 2006

Post 197: Things Are Falling Apart Around Here...

I'm not of a mind to post details, but this weekend has involved an avalanche of very difficult circumstances. The only one of which I will lay out specifically is that last night I tripped off a porch step and sprained my right ankle moderately and stressed my left knee (with the ACL tear) minorly.

Most of the rest of the avalanche has not been physical, but it has hurt just as much in its own way.

I will likely be not posting for a while as I try to cope with things offline. E-mails are welcome.

I will get the May postcards out in tomorrow's mail. I am sorry for the delays.

I will consider whether to ask for an angel to replace me in SP8. If I can get my metaphorical feet back under me within a week, I would like to stay involved with the exchange. If I cannot, it seems only proper to hand my spoilee's care over to someone who can.

Hugs all.

Monday, May 22, 2006

On the Other Hand...

Simply getting into the car wrong hurts like H*77!
I am finding that I really dislike furniture that comes in kneecap height. Beds, car seats (SUV variety), benches... bump my knee on them just often enough to really get irritated by it. Slightly higher wouldn't hurt my knee. Neither would slightly lower. Argh!
..almost tripped over a one-inch curb rise in the parking lot today. Thank goodness for decent peripheral vision! barely lucked out on that one.

(whine whine!)

I really don't comprehend how I can do a really good swing dance without problems, but can't get around my own hotel room without near-injury.

Ah well.

Made six postcards today. They need to be pressed flat before sending.

Worked on my tank top and on the fish. I have now officially worked on all of the projects I brought with me (and several purchased here)!

Tonight's post is #196. (If I don't keep track, I will forget to celebrate #200! ... hmmm... what shall I do to celebrate, I wonder....)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wedding Festivities

Oh yeah!

I took a risk, and danced at the wedding. :)
Swing dance. vigorous, even.

Felt darn good.

Can hardly wait to get the knee back in form.


This is Post # 194...

I missed my centennial post. I'll just have to celebrate my bicentennial post instead!

Today was my friend's wedding. :) She looked fabulous! Very happy, a wee bit nervous, and absolutely drop-dead gorgeous! I could go on and on about all the decorations (1001 origami cranes!! and folded sugar origami cranes on the cake!!), the service (just the right length, very heartfelt), the food (catered. The Satay chicken skewers were delicious!), and the music (live three-piece band-very danceable). Instead, I will spare you my flighty ramblings about the decor and the environment, and I will tell you instead about what I was knitting. ;)

On Friday I went to a yarn store (compulsory excursion in a new city-- it's important to find out whether the lys here carries yarns my hometown lys(s) do not.) Two yarn stores, actually... an amusing story in its own right given that I parked right in front of one of the stores and didn't see it until I was walking *back* to my car after shopping at the other store. I swear, I was parked right in front of the front door. I was staring right in the windows as I pulled in to the parking space. Doh!!

So the first yarn store (by which I mean the yarn store I walked 5 blocks from my parking space to find--which was also the "first" yarn store in the sense that it existed last year when I spent time here in October (the store I parked in front of was brand new. Not yet listed in the phone books. Heck, for all I know, they opened up during the two hours I was away from my car!)... The first yarn store (Uncommon Threads) carries quite a few very good books (two of which followed me home) and a nice selection of needles. It also carries almost every color and weight of Jamieson's Shetland imaginable! It has a small selection of Koigu which is a very different selection of the colors than the ones available at home, but not a very tempting selection of the colors for my complexion. Otherwise, the yarns are either ones that I can get at home or ones that just don't appeal to me for current projects (they've got a decent selction of novelty yarns, ribbon yarns, and bulky yarns.)

I was at the yarn store, I confess, not just to see if I was missing out on a chance-of-a-lifetime skein of yarn, but also to find some yarn for a simple, brainless project. None of my current projects are in a simple, brainless phase, y'see, and I want something on which I can work three stitches while I'm stopped at a traffic light and not lose my place when I drop it as the light turns green.

My Trekking sock is an inch into the 2x2 cuff and should be filling that niche, but I need to rip it and restart because I used the wrong size needles for the cuff. Argh!! Ripping and re-casting-on is definitely not a stopped-at-a-light activity. (Just imagine trying to explain the tangle of yarn in your lap to a police officer who chances to pull you over because your rental car's tail-light is out. Hasn't happened to me. Don't want it to!)

My Shapely Tee is in a shaping phase.

My Koigu Leaf Lace shawl is not yet cast on. (I really should do that soon, if I want to feel justified bringing it with for the week...) And I'm not entirely convinced that it will be drop-at-any-stitch brainless.

My fuzzy wool-blend lace shawl is also lace, which pretty well drops it from the "knit-in-the-dark" "drop-at-any-stitch" brainless category, plus it's at a stage where I need to introduce a new pattern block and I will need to read the chart for awhile to get used to the new pattern.

I finished the lace doily-thing I made for my May postcard. (The one for which I purchased the thread on Thursday.) It's soaking. I need to get some pins so I can block it tomorrow night.

I think that covers the projects at-hand..

So I felt completely justified in searching out the lys to find a nice yarn with which I could knit a simple garter-stitch triangular shawl. From the point up. Just keep knitting and knitting and knitting (dropping the project into my lap as needed) until it's long enough or I run out of yarn.

I spent half an hour at Uncommon Threads, looking for something suitable. Since I wanted to work in garter stitch, I really wanted the yarn to be interesting--something tweedy or slubby or varigated, perhaps. But a large subset of what they had this time was very solid in color. Very solid. Plenty of choices in Cascade 220! Several options of Classic Cotton (no intarsia shawl! No!) ... very little choice in varigated yarns except for the Koigu (not my colors, sadly) and the novelty yarns. I somehow over-rode the idea of buying enough sequinned eyelash yarn to make an entire shawl, and left the store with two wonderful knitting books (I'll dig out the titles later), 3 skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky in a lovely but plain chocolate color, and a size 8 Addi Turbo. The yarn wasn't really what I was hoping for, but all I'm going to do with it is garter stitch anyway, right? ... and it's not quite the cushy-soft feel I was hoping for either. .. but it's just a project for the sake of knitting, right?

I walked back to the car, and noticed the anomaly that was (what turned out to be) the second yarn store. The huge, brightly-colored tangles of yarn in the window were what caught my eye, along with the brightly colored sign, "Children's Activity Corner." It was clear from the multi-colored jumble this was some sort of day-care center. And, of course, there was only one yarn store in Los Altos. It very obviously wasn't another clothing boutique, nor was it a cafe. Definitely a child-care center. .. but that's an awful lot of yarn for ten or twenty kids... and hey, some of that yarn looks like high-end stuff! Turns out it's a new yarn store called "Full Thread Ahead." I wish I'd seen this one first! before I'd walked five blocks and back!! They carry a much different selection of yarns than Uncommon Threads does. Full Thread carries Cherry Tree Hill yarns, Lorna's Lace yarns, varigated, brightly-colored yarns beyond description. Rather than carrying eyelash and railroad yarns, they carry a wide assortment of different fibers. There are silk and bamboo and soy yarns to choose from! There are blends! They appeal to a very different demographic of knitter, and I can envision it as quite possible for the two yarn stores to exist in such close proximity without ever needing to injure each others' sales. I hope the best for both of them.

Where in the first store I had been torn by finding nothing that quite fit the project I had in mind, in the second store I was torn by abundant choices! A skein of Cherry Tree Hill silk laceweight was very tempting.. but I really hadn't wanted a summer shawl, I'd wanted a warmer spring-and-autumn shawl. The Lorna's Lace in reds and oranges was very tempting.. but there weren't enough skeins to make a shawl the size I'd envisioned. ... Eventually I settled on several skeins of Misti Alpaca sportweight. I thought I would work it on a size 6, but that choice wasn't available at this store (their needle selection wasn't complete yet) and I wasn't going all the way back to the first store.

Friday night I cast on the chocolate brown several times. I cast on for a rectangular shawl, actually. Each time I knitted a row or two, then pulled it all out again. Wrong number of stitches. Not that far into the project, so I'll pull it out and show you how to cast on. Reason after reason emerged to prevent this poor Lambs Pride shawl from being born.

This morning, I yanked the needle from the five completed rows and brought the needle and a skein of the alpaca with to the wedding.

A simple, garter-stitch triangle it was supposed to be!

Instead, it is a free-form, organic lace. It'll still be triangular (I think), starting from the top center and working outward (like the Leaf Lace does), but aside from that every row is a mystery, and I cannot begin to guess what the end result will look like.

I cast on in the church prior to the start of the ceremony. I've been knitting on it since. It's a nice little triangle now, maybe the size of my laptop. I'll put pictures up later. It scares me. ;)

(muttering:) supposed to be a simple garter-stitch triangle! lace is not brainless! lace is not droppable at a moment's notice! ... oh well.. guess I just have to go back to the yarn store again... ;)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

How Many Knitting Projects...

...does it take to travel for one week?

Well, the Peacock packed:
1 Cotton Classic Shapely Tee (front panel is almost done, so I had to bring the whole thing)
1 Koigu Leaf Lace Shawl (not yet started--brought specifically for this trip. Had to bring all six skeins of Koigu. Not that I'm unrealistic or anything..)
1 multicolor over grey lambswool-angora fingering weight lace shawl. (cast on two days before travel. Pattern still in development.)
1 rainbow skein of fingering weight handspun (tiny skein. planning it to be a fish. not yet cast on.)
1 Trekking sock (left its completed partner at home. These socks are very specifically not going to "match." Think of them as "coordinating.")

That might actually be the full list. Or maybe I've missed something. It's hard to say.

So far I have worked on:
Shapely Tee
lambswool-angora shawl
Trekking sock

I pulled out the rainbow skein but haven't cast it on yet. (I've been doing that with it for a couple of months, actually.)

And what is the first thing I did when I got here? ..well, after sleeping, because hey--we got in at eleven and the yarn stores aren't open that late.

Yep. I bought another project.

In all fairness, it's a teensy project!! Teensy I tell you! .. I picked up a skein of Perle Cotton embroidery floss to make a patch of lace for one of my May postcards. :)

Still... when I think of all the yarn at home, I do feel a little silly.

(I don't have access to the pictures I want to post about, so I will just chatter randomly about things I'm doing from day to day until I get back home again and can post proper thank-yous, etc.)

Knee Update: Consultation Results

(Oh good, I remember my password, so I do get to do this update today after all!)

I am away from home for a week to go to a friend's wedding. (The wedding doesn't last the entire week--it's on Saturday.)

I am feeling so much better as the anti-inflamatory leaves my system! In retrospect I can't quite comprehend how badly off I was or how difficult it was for me to self-assess that I was under-par.

It may take me a while to get back into full swing (especially since my primary access point to the web is 800 miles away right now) but I'll make a go of visiting blogs this week and dropping in to say "hi." ... except that my access to the net is significantly limited as I am borrowing time on my husband's work computer. We'll see how it goes.

Speaking of husbands.. I hear that the shower has stopped and can assume he will soon be taking the computer away. I may need to write this post in installments.

Short assessment: If all that were going on with my knee were a torn ACL, I should not be feeling pain at this point. The fact that I still have pain of any measure and the fact that my knee is still swollen indicates that something else is going wrong. Whatever it is isn't evident on the MRI's, and the orthopedist suspects that my patella is slipping instead of staying in its proper groove.

He would like me to wait a while before surgery: to get a second opinion, to work with a physical therapist (who might be able to help assess what's going on with my knee through it's movements), and to try a set of custom orthodics to help align my knee movement and keep the patellar track properly grooved.

Oh, also-- he says that the MRI's also indicate that there was some damage to the miniscus. He said the damage was in a place that might heal on its own (might have already healed on its own) but if not, then if/when I choose surgery to fix things it will get fixed too. Not a huge problem in itself, but it makes a big change to the post-surgical healing span. If it's just the ACL that gets repaired, I should be up and walking a bit (I'm not expecting much) within a week or two. .. but if the miniscus also gets repaired, then I can expect to be forbidden from any weight-bearing on that leg for a full 4 weeks.

The idea that there would be a quick repair in early June after my first fiber conference, and that I would then heal well enough to enjoy the second fiber conference in late June seems, in light of this new information, unrealistic.

With all of that, plus the things on my personal calendar, I am looking at delaying the surgery until August.

In the meantime, there is Advil. Lots and lots of Advil.

If you are wondering what you could possibly do to help from so far away... yarn. ;) Get-Well yarn is greatly appreciated!! (grin!) ... or get-well cookies. ... or postcards... anything, really. Get-well e-mail, for instance! :)

Thank you to everyone who has posted encouraging comments and asked any kind of questions on the topic. I really do appreciate your concern and your support!

Hugs, all!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Knee Update: Consultation Tomorrow

I have my first consultation with the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday afternoon.) Must remember to bring my MRI images and my paperwork with me. I must admit, I'm feeling a little bit nervous. Worried I might forget an important question or something.. or that it might suddenly hit me that things really are this bad.. or something.

In other knee news: I apparently react badly to the anti-inflamatory my doctor has been having me take for my knee. It brought the swelling down a lot, and reduced the pain a bit, but it also made me feel sedated: drowsy, fatigued, slow and shallow breathing, apathetic, depressed, confused, losing track of a train of thought mid-sentence... I stopped taking the anti-inflamatory on Friday evening and I'm feeling much better today.

For the past several weeks I've been practically unable to even get one load of laundry run through in a day. And some days were worse. I've been falling behind on all the things that I've marked as important, like putting together exchange boxes and updating my blog, and doing laundry, and cooking meals, and making Spectrum postcards, and lots and lots of other stuff.

I started taking the anti-inflamatory around March 27. My ability to follow through on plans and projects dropped dramatically within the first week, but figuring out that the side effects were significant enough to terminate the medication took me a full month and a half more--in part because I couldn't hold on to the concept long enough to follow through on the research and appointment setting.

Today I finally feel almost "awake" again. I got 5 loads of laundry run through today! :) .. and I am realizing exactly how many of my plans went on hold or got forgotten or confused or interrupted over the past month and a half. .. and looking back, realizing how severe it was, I'm truly astonished I got the Sockapaloooza socks completed and sent off only days after the deadline. (If I could have remembered to put them in a box and address the box and get someone to take the box to the post office, I could have had them sent out on the proper mailing date. Those kinds of details were truly beyond my grasp at the time.) ((Does anyone know if my sockpal has received them yet? Do they fit her? Does she like them? .. she doesn't have a blog, so I can't go check.))

I have checked almost no one's blogs in the past month, for which I do appologize. I was simply too exhausted and too far behind in everything.

I feel like I owe everyone a great big appology.. for not getting to your blogs to say "hi" and see what you've been up to... for barely ever updating my own blog.. for not getting all of the emails answered.. for not getting the Spectrum Postcards I promised made and sent... (The postcard plan is temporarily on hold, but I hope to get back to it very soon. If today's mood holds, I should be able to accomplish some of the things that have been getting dropped!) ... I'm sure I've forgotten many other things throughout the past few weeks, and again, if I have missed something that is important to you, please drop me a note at peacockschallenge at yahoo. (I confess that if you have already done so, I haven't seen it. I haven't had the energy to check my email all that often, and that site in particular got neglected.)

I also owe Mia a great big huge Thank You!!! :) She sent a get-well skein of yarn!! and it arrived in today's post! :) :) sock yarn in beautiful green-blue colorway. luscious!! I will write a special thank-you post soon. .. but possibly not until after I get back from a friend's wedding. I have to travel for it, and I have only five loads of clean laundry to choose from. (Yesterday I had zero loads to choose from, so this is a big improvement.. but also a big indicator of how underprepared I am just now.)

Hugs all! I will prioritize blog updates as follows:
1- an update on my knee
2- thank you notes (if I can get the pictures taken and cleaned up/resized)
3- Norwescon ramblings
4- other stuff... which might take a different priority space away from something mentioned earlier once I figure out what it is that I feel like I'm forgetting.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Secret Pal 8: Questionnaire

I got my SP questionnaire updated for viewing.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Bethieees are Green...

May is Green month for Project Spectrum... so I just had to post this picture:

Bethieee in a green sweater in the tree branches. :) (with red hair. Short red hair. I'm still getting used to that idea...)

She had to go and climb the tree while I have an injured knee. argh!!! ... I really shouldn't have climbed the tree after her. I escaped a lesson in hubris, but just barely. I did it all carefully and took really good care of my injured knee, but even though I set my foot right on the way back down, it was still a little more abrupt than my knee would have liked, and I realized that my friends (the ones trying to dissuade me from climbing the tree in the first place..) were probably right after all. Just because I *could* doesn't mean it was *smart*. I hate this inactivity!

Thank You, Rox!!

As if I have not been spoiled enough! ;)

A box arrives in the mail from Rox! Totally not expecting it!!

Sure, there'd been a little teasing back and forth, what with me trying to coax her into giving me one of her "failed" dyed sock yarns! (ha. I love it. that makes it UN-failed! so there. ;) and her telling me to quit sending things or she'll move again and not give me her new address! :P'''''''''

So this box arrives in my mailbox and catches me TOTALLY off guard! and everything in it makes me absolutely LAUGH!! it's so much fun and so unexpected!

A get-well card, some Pop-Rocks! (only the packaging survived long enough to be photographed), a fabulous tin with a hand-painted sheepie on it! (the sheepie looks so silly-wonderful that I just crack up looking at him (her?)! with green polka-dotted felt lining! like a meadow with daisies!! and some hand-made stitch markers with orange beads and duckies!!! Duckies! hah! again, so cute and fabulous that I can't help but laugh when I see them! laugh and make them quack at each other and at the sheepy... Loads of fun with no yarn in sight! .. who would have thought you could have so much fun without yarn? ;)

Best of all.. (I just about squealed and fainted when I saw *this*!)

A Peacock barrette!! OMG! where did you FIND this?! It's truly amazing!!

I just about gave Rox a heart attack when I mentioned I was getting my hair cut last Friday, just barely after her fabulous barrette giftieee arrived! but this is a picture of it, in my hair, post-haircut!! I can still wear it!!! :)

(More pictures of the new haircut will arrive in a later post.)

Thank You *SO* much, Rox!! You really have brightened my mood!!

Thank You, Bethieee!

My roommate, dear friend, etc, Bethieee got me a skein of Get-Well yarn, too! She brought home this treasure from the local yarn store on a day I was having an absolutely miserable time coping with my knee and feeling left out.

Debbie Bliss "Pure Silk" in a wonderful almost-purple, almost-magenta. SO soft!!

I thought a lot about what I wanted to do with it.. only one skein-- I could use it as an accent yarn.. nope. a scarf? with one skein, too thin. Just fondle the skein for awhile? tempting.

And decided on this adorable little bunny from HeartStrings Fiber Arts. (good site. I've drooled over quite a few of the patterns.)

It starts out as a six inch square, gets folded and stitched into a vaguely bunny-like shape, and then gets ears and a tail to complete it. :)

soft and small and cuddly and portable. Just the thing for pre-surgery nerves.

Thank You, Bethieee!

Thank You, Indie!!

The first of the errant Thank-You notes! My SP5 spoilee, IndieKnits has become a dear friend. :) That alone would be quite sufficient to thank her for! (Thank You, Indie!!)

She recently moved from one flat to another, and in the midst of all that commotion and chaos, she found the time and resources to send me a get-well package!! OMG! Get-Well Yarn for my knee recovery!! :)

Although Laura (that's Indie) had told me to expect a package earlier that week, its arrival in my mailbox was a complete and total shock!

. o O ((The medicine I'm taking for my knee seems to be interfering with my ability to keep track of things. I'm needing to make a lot of lists lately, and I am constantly feeling like there is something I'm forgetting! If it's *you,* dear reader, and I haven't sent you: a thank-you note, an SP box, a return e-mail, a postcard ...the list goes on and on... Please prompt me gently! I really could use the help keeping track, and I definitely don't want you to feel ignored or unappreciated!))

I opened up my mailbox and found a package key! .. I opened up the mailbox package unit and found a box!! I thought it would be for Bethieee. There are two or three boxes she is waiting on, and every day we check the mail hopefully. :) ... It wasn't for Bethieee! It was for *ME!* Ohmigosh! total surprise.

When I saw all the pictures of The Queen on the stamps, I just *knew* it had to be from Indie! and it was. :)

Inside, wonderfulness! Yummy Cadbury candies with silly names!! :) I think my favorites were the "curly wurly swirlies" .. just because the name is so fab! (.. they were also the first to disappear.)

Laura's sweetie, Ross, included an awesome mix CD!! Thank you!! I love it! Loveitloveitloveit!! I'm still trying to decide which song is my favorite. :) It's definitely music that I didn't have in my library yet and which I am thrilled to be introduced to! Thank you!!

There's a bright and sunny get-well card, a pen from Get Knitted (perfect for my knitting bag!)...

...and some wonderfully scented soap (in a tin that will be perfect for holding stitch markers when the soap is gone!) and aromatherapy oil called "relaxation" (boy will I need that as it gets close to the day for surgery!)

And a most Wonderful get-well yarn!! turquoise and teal and magenta and purple... Bethieee says it's a yarn her little sister would have loved in seventh grade. Well, I love it NOW! .. from Fyberspates!! A yarn I have heard so much crowing about on the blogs, but don't have access to here in my local yarn shops! I am going to LOVE working with this yarn!! I can hardly wait for the surgery, just so I can cast on with this lovely skein! ;)

I really do love absolutely all of it, and I can't thank you enough for being so very wonderful, Laura! Thank you!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Rox, This One's For You...

I still need to write your formal Thank You!! complete with pictures.. (and I still need to write the formal Thank You!!! to Indie!)

But to alleviate you worries, SEE!! I can still wear the *OMG!* wonderful hair barrette you sent! :)

The stylist listened. :) I'm happy with the results! :) I will post more before-and-after pictures soon.

along with those errant thank you notes.

and the other posts I've been meaning to write.


The knee is responding positively to workouts at the gym (carefully designed to work the injured knee only within an approved range of motion.) .. I'm hoping my weight and body shape will respond positively to the workouts too. ;)

More later!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Hair Trauma

I am getting my hair cut tomorrow. This fills me with more visceral dread than the thought of someone cutting my knee open with a scalpel and rearranging the innards. (Of course.. the fact that the orthopedic surgery is still some time in the unknowable hazy future while the salon appointment looms on my immediate horizon, an unavoidable juggernaut of change.)

I love my hair..

The last time I willingly placed my hair with full trust into a salonist's hands was July 3, 1986. It was a disaster.

Now, in the salonist's favor, the cut itself was actually quite stunning and well suited to my face and to the clothing I just so happened to be wearing that particular day. But it was *not* what I asked for, and when I got so upset that I broke into tears, the aftercare was hideous enough to leave devastating emotional scars. ... I asked for soft layers--I got punk jagged choppy layers. I had one and only one outfit that would go with my hair (the one I was wearing) and not enough budget to get new clothes to match my new hair.

I cried all weekend. (and as you can probably tell, I'm still complaining.)

I have, since then, only twice allowed a salonist near my hair. In 1996 I made the SERIOUS error of entrusting my haircut to a salonist in Redding, CA. .. I should have found a way to get to a salonist in San Francisco, even if it meant travelling by Greyhound. Apparently there are only two haircuts for womein in Redding.. one is the barrel-racing hairstyle, and the other is the over-fourty bob. Again, I was so upset, I cried for a full weekend and wore dark sunglasses for more than a week.

The second time, in March 2000, I had a salonist cut my hair specifically for a costume I was planning to wear. Despite the arguments of what was and was not possible, she did more or less what I asked and I got a quite suitable result. It was a good haircut that suited me well enough, but I did not feel heard and respected by the salonist, so I felt extremely lucky to have escaped disaster.

However! (not the salonist's fault: ) I will never again trust a box of dye that claims to be temporary. ("semi-permanent" was the actual wording) .. two years later the color break was still horribly visible.

That weekend, however, my hair was flaming sunset red. *flaming* ... trees were bursting into flame around me from the sheer radiance of this color alone. Stunning doesn't begin to describe it. That weekend (and for altogether too many months afterward) my hair wore me. My hair entered the room, my hair got talked to, my hair got hit on. I felt the most insane form of invisibility I could ever have imagined. I think I now have some small inkling of what it must be like to be a celebrity and have people interact with you as if you *were* the character you portray.

The worst part of all about that experience was the number of people asking "have you had that color from birth?"

I *swear!* that is the one question I never want to hear again!! Honestly! I just felt like smacking people!! I do not walk around asking people with glittery blue eyelids if they've had that color since birth! ARGH!!!

Okay, so the color looked good on me. I'm still never doing that again! Gack!

So tomorrow I have an appointment with a highly recommended stylist. If he didn't come so highly recommended by more than one of my closer friends, I would not be able to summon the bravery required for this serious act of trust and commitment.
I hope he is good at hand-holding because I will need every single bit of reassurance I can get.

Tomorrow (Friday.. which according to Blogger is actually today, but I get to sleep between now and then, so it's tomorrow in my book) at 2:00 Pacific I turn my very precious self-image, treasured hair, faith in humanity, sexiest attribute, emotional stability, etc, etc over to a Hair Stylist.

Please wish me luck.

Rox, OMG! Thank You! :)

I must post an appropriate Thank You note complete with pictures! Thank you so much!! :) The box arrived two days ago. I will write the appropriate Thank You note after I write Indie's! (I am a bit behind. (pout!))

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I Have a Confession to Make...

And now that I've finished the SockapalOOOza socks on time, I feel I can safely bare my soul! ;)

On Friday, April 7, I posted a picture of this stunningly beautiful ball of yarn I received from my Spectrum Sock-Yarn Swap pal, Gabby Knitter!

What I did not want to admit, until the SockapalOOOza socks were safely off the needles, was that I loved this ball of yarn *so* much that I shoved aside all other projects (except for the SockapalOOOza colorwork socks, of course!) and immediately cast on a pair of Fabulous Marigold socks for myself! .. Now, I am not a person who wears much yellow or orange. I have one t-shirt that ended up in my laundry one day that is orange, oversized, and from the Ceramics department at the University I attended. I still have no clue where this errant orange t-shirt came from.. but it is the *only* piece of clothing that I own that will color-co-ordinate with my Fabulous Marigold socks. Most of my wardrobe is actually in the blue-green-purple range, but this will in no way deter me from wearing these amazing yellow socks. (as soon as the second one is finished..)

See, I took the Fabulous Marigold sockyarn to the Sci-Fi convention (April 13-16). I brought the SockapalOOOza colorwork socks too, but because the whole sock was charted, I really couldn't work on them while I was socializing and gasping at costumes. I needed a simple enough stitch pattern that I could drop my project into my lap when I needed to look up someone's registration on the computer or hand them their badge. (volunteering for the registration desk proved to be a convenient way to baby my knee for much of the weekend.) I needed a project that wouldn't take up much room--again ruling out the charts and board and multiple balls of yarn required for the SockapalOOOza charted masterpiece.

Working at the registration desk, I met *many* of the con-goers face to face. Hundreds of them. .. and let me just say that after the third hour knitting on these Fabulous Marigold socks, I had lost track of the number of compliments on the yarn. Not on my knitting (although there were a few compliments on that, too.. but not enough to make me lose count!) .. On the YARN! Complete strangers coming up to me asking where I found the yarn. Boy was I proud!! :) I have the bestest sock-yarn-dyeing swap pal ever!

You can't imagine how difficult it has been to knuckle down and get the SockapalOOOza socks finished before crowing about GabbyKnitter's prowess!! .. of course, it was also this Fabulous Marigold sock, knitted in 4 days while socializing, that woke me up to how much time the full colorwork was taking, and to the realization that I could rework the idea to an achievable goal! Thank you again, GabbyKnitter! :)

So here comes my end-of-April Spectrum Yellow-Orange blowout:

Friday morning: a ribbed cuff and a stockinette upper. I wasn't happy with the number of stitches I'd cast on, and I decided that I liked the ribbed section better than the stockinette section, so I ripped it all out and cast on again.

Sunday morning: Not a full sock, actually.. making nice progress, though. It got longer before we left the building, and even longer still before we got home that evening. (we stopped for a meal on the way, which gave me some prime knitting time.)

Late Sunday evening: decreasing at the toes, cuff turned down.

A while later: reworked toe. (for the 5th time...) .. first I started the toe too early and made the decreases too frequently, so the toe was all stubby and my toes were curled under. Then I started the toe too late and made the decreases too infrequently so the toe shape was very pointy and stuck out farther than my toes. Then I decreased at about the right rate, but the wrong shape... anyway, you get the picture. I often *say,* "it's simple, I don't work from a pattern, I just decrease when I need to and increase when I need to and fit these several parts together the way I like!" ... but in reality, there's a lot of changed decisions I make along the way. Ripping and reknitting when something doesn't quite please me.

By now, though, I've kitchnered shut the top of the toe and there is no going back! ... well, I suppose I could.. but I'm thinking I won't. It's a decent fit. Maybe as many as three rows longer than ideal, but very cushy. Comfortable socks!

I have one more sock to make (hopefully a matching one..), and I still can't get the inchworm song out of my head.

Monday, May 01, 2006

General Chatter

I keep hoping that I'll have time and energy to post about some of the wonderful things I have still in the queue! .. like NorWesCon! and a proper couple of Thank-You's! and the upcoming NWRSA Spinning Conference (first weekend in June-- Tacoma, WA this year), and the teapot and teacozy .. and the Mothers' Day present I knitted for my mom, and the Pop-Up Paws I started for Keithr (didn't finish because the season changed), and the felted mittens and hand warmers I am knitting for Bethieee's sister (haven't finished yet--same reason)....

Just thinking up that list is exhausting! .. but still, I will try to get to at least one of them later tonight.

Today I had my first appointment with a trainer at the gym. I decided, since this knee of mine isn't going to heal on its own with just rest and good nutrition, that I had to take some drastic measures to keep from losing my treasured muscle mass and flexibility while I am basically forced to be sedentary! Hence the training sessions. They will help me work out exercizes that are within my approved range of motion and that will target the muscle groups I need healthy for the recovery from surgery. :)

So I am exhausted. I had an hour-long session today and feel (for the first time since February!) that I actually *worked out*! Got my heart rate up for a sustained duration and actually sweat for the first time since the skiing trip without being in a sauna!

My knee hurt a lot during some of the exercizes and I thought that it might be too much, but it's feeling surprisingly well at the moment, so I'm quite happy with the results so far. .. of course, I'll probably be very sore tomorrow.