Monday, March 31, 2008

Things are looking up for little Desi. I called as soon as the vet's office this morning (obsessive mama much?) and the tech said she was awake, alert and moving around but the vet hadn't seen her yet so to call back then. I called at ten and he said he thinks she'll be fine and can come home tomorrow (a very bald and probably very mad cat) so now I just have to scrape together the other 600 dollars to pay him. Doesn't matter, it's totally worth it.

I also went to the surgeon's office today for follow up. She took the steri strips off so I can have a proper shower now (finally! I've been feeling so gross) but she didn't have the pathology back yet so I have to go in AGAIN on Friday. It would save so much time and money if they would just do these things over the phone.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bad day

Today hasn't been a good day. This morning I found out that a woman who was much beloved on a forum I belong to, lost her battle with breast cancer. She was 'mama Cath' to us and while we all knew it was coming, it's still a tough blow.

And then I discovered something wrong with my kitty Desi. She's been acting a bit off the last few days, though nothing really alarming and when I took her collar off I discovered a needle sticking out of her neck! Unfortunately there was thread attached so she had emergency surgery and we won't know until tomorrow if she's going to make it. She's just 10 months old and I am just devastated. I love that cat more than I have ever loved an animal. She's definitely my furbaby and I'll be heartbroken if she doesn't pull through. And of course I feel like a terrible kitty mommy over it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Channeling the Yarn Harlot

So I had the lumpectomy today. It wasn't so bad. Actually, while I would hardly recommend having this experience once, let alone twice, the second time around wasn't nearly as bad. For one, I knew what to expect. For two, they were actually ahead of schedule! When I had surgery in 2006 it got very backed up and I was 2 hours late getting into surgery. That's a lot of anxiety building time. For three, I remembered to tell the anaesthesiologist that I had some bad nausea from the general last time so I got gravol before I woke up. It is so much nicer to not wake up queasy.

Anyway, now for why I titled this post channeling the Yarn Harlot. You remember a few weeks ago when she wrote about packing extra yarn for her daughter's weekend away? I took the same sort of approach when selecting my knitting for the hospital waiting. I brought 4, yes 4 projects which my mother thought was crazy. You knitters out there probably understand though. I brought the two projects that I am currently working on: the baby blanket and Ice Queen. The blanket requires some concentration and Ice Queen is just fiddly with the beaded parts so I wasn't sure I'd be up for them. With that in mind I brought yarn and needles for a simple hat but what if I wasn't feeling the hat? So I also brought sock supplies.

I think all the yarn was good luck because I only had time to knit 2 rounds of blanket. Maybe that's the secret, if I bring a lot of contingency knitting there won't be any waiting?

Now I'm off until the 31st, another plus this time around. I rushed back to work last time because I was temping and only getting paid for days worked. That turned out to be a mistake. Now that I have sick benefits I can take the time I need to recover. And since there's a long weekend it only works out to 5 working days missed. Hopefully I'll get a lot of knitting done.

The rush is on for the blanket now. The baby, Audrey was born on Friday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The wheels in my mind are spinning

There’s a group of Vancouver knitters over on Ravelry called the Terminal City Yarn Wranglers. There is a get together every few weeks in Vancouver. Though I’ve been a member almost as long as I’ve been on Ravelry, I’ve never been. Something tends to get in the way most weekends. There was a gathering this past Sunday and I decided that this time I was going to make a point of going. I’m so glad I did.

There were 4 others there at a coffeeshop on Main Street and one of them, Louisa, was kind enough to give me a drop spindle lesson so I spent most of the time “spinning” or at least, trying to. It was fun and though I need a lot of practice, I’ve got a starting point now. I can already see this spinning thing becoming addictive. There’s something soothing about the spinning spindle and the transformation of fiber into yarn.

That’s the result of my first attempt. My plan is to try and get in 20-30 minutes of practice a day. There’s just one little problem, now I want a wheel. I’ve done a little bit of looking and the prices make my eyes boggle a bit. One of the cool things about taking up knitting is that it requires minimal financial investment. All you need to get started is some yarn and needles, and even going high end, the single purchase price isn’t likely to be huge. (Assuming you don’t want to make a handspun quiviut sweater or something). That makes the investment in a wheel seem quite substantial, though still a bargain compared to my kayaking stuff.

So I have a plan. I get paid bi-weekly and have an extra payday in May so the deal is if I don’t buy yarn between now and the end of May, I can buy a wheel. While my stash is minuscule compared to some, it has grown exponentially in the past few months and needs to be tamed. I had it all out on my bed last night. It looks bigger than I thought it was when it’s all together like that.

Wait a second, that sounds an awful lot like a yarn diet. I have steadfastly maintained that yarn diets are a bad idea because you’ll only end up on a yarn binge at the end which will counteract any stash reduction you may have achieved. Hmmm, then again, wouldn’t a splurge like a spinning wheel satisfy any yarn binging urges?

Maybe I’ll call it a yarn fast instead of a yarn diet. Sounds shorter term.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Fibrefest Damage

I couldn't resist going to Fibrefest 2008 in Abbotsford today. I was going to, because I really don't need more yarn but yarn love won out.

In the end I only bought two skeins of yarn from Shades of Narnia. Come on, they were 5 dollars a piece how was I supposed to resist??

All other purchases were spinning related and, as I said to my mother, don't count as stash until they're actually yarn.

I bought a beautiful spindle. The roving pictured with it comes from a farm in Aberdeen, Saskatchewan. It will probably be awhile until I attempt to spin it but since my grandpa was born and raised in Aberdeen I had to buy it. Aberdeen is a pretty small town even now so that was a neat small world moment. And besides, the roving is beautiful. The spindle is by Viking Santa and is maple and lacewood. The roving is 50/50 Wool and Tencel.

I also bought a kit of roving for socks from Funknits.

Now I just need to learn how to spin!

Oh and here's a photo of the yarn I dyed all wound up.

I can definitely see myself doing more dyeing. What a great way to combine my longtime love of painting with my newer love of knitting.

And in medical news, saw the surgeon on Thursday. I'll be having a lumpectomy on March 20th. I'm not entirely convinced of this course of action but the priority now is to get it out of there. I will be looking into finding a doctor around here who has some more experience with phyllodes and see what they think.

Just to clarify, phyllodes tumors aren't breast cancer, at least not the kind I have. But because they can grow very quickly and are rare enough that they aren't fully understood, they still require removal.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Socks and Blankets

I finished a pair of Monkey socks over the weekend. I ended up frogging the sock I posted about a couple weeks ago because I got to the toe decreases and decided I didn't like the fit. Monkeys were a lot more interesting than knitting another plain stockinette sock. It was a fun knit. There was some pooling on the second sock so I had to switch to the outside of the ball but the pooling was mostly on the sole of the foot.

Jitterbug is short on yardage so I followed the lead of other Ravelers and did 5 repeats on the leg instead of 6. Turns out I wouldn't have wanted 6 anyway because I'm short and these socks are plenty long enough.

Now I've started working in earnest on the blanket for my cousin's baby. I fought with a circular cast on for a while, took no less than 12 tries before I figured it out. I started out with 2 DPNs because 3 was too awkward and it went much more smoothly.

I'm using one of my new ADDI bamboo needles and I LOVE them. The yarn slides like butter. They are so smooth. And the cable is flexible enough that I was able to switch to the 16 inch circular once I had 64 stitches.

I'm about to start on the pattern part which is a little scary. It's not like I can turn to the Internet if I'm stuck on something. It's just me and my own instructions. Eeep. I also have no real idea how it will look in the end so I hope it works out because it would really suck if I did all that work and then hated the result. This is what it looks like after 31 rows: Like a blob. Fingers crossed that the blob eventually transforms into a really beautiful blanket.

I had trouble finding a yarn I wanted to use for this project. Obviously it's for a baby so it has to be washable but I didn't want acrylic. I also needed a gender neutral colour because my cousin either doesn't know or at least hasn't divulged what she's having. I don't like yellow, pale lime green isn't much better and as for purple, I'm skeptical of its status as a gender neutral. I love this minty turquoise colour though. Good thing too cause we're going to be spending a lot of time together.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Colour your world

I've been wanting to try hand-dyeing yarn so when I spotted a Louet kit on sale for 40% off at Three Bags Full I took the plunge.

All the supplies set up on the table.

Yarn Bath. I lost count of the number of times I had to shoo the cats away.

Undyed yarn awaiting its destiny

Hand-dyed yarn drying.

It was pretty fun and definitely something I'd like to do more of. After all, I love to paint so what a perfect way to combine two loves.