Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pause for Reflection

2001. What a year. It was the year that Everything went down. My brother broke his arm. My dad had gall bladder surgery for gall stones like a bag of marbles. Mom...I forget what happened with her, but my sister got married. And I? I got a new kidney to take over for the other one that was beat down by immune suppressant medication. Double edged sword, no?

And I was still in school, though in September, I was still recovering so my plate wasn't as loaded as usual. I had afternoon classes. I was checking my email in a groggy fog that accompanied just waking up rather than the consistent one I had before my transplant. That's when it all went down.

And just like WWII stories/movies/books can tear me to pieces, any thought of what happened in New York still makes me tear up. A lot of Wrong happened that glad this isn't a vlog because I'd turn off the camera right now. Anyways, it took a while to sink in what was happening. Mom and I had every television on, tuned into the news. Dad was shooed home in case They decided to bomb the federal building where he worked in Kansas City. Class was cancelled. It didn't matter. There was nothing but death and dying happening.

But someone once said that experience is an arrow. You have to be drawn back, put under extreme duress and pressure, but then you are released into freedom and joy. I saw heroes that day. I saw heroes for weeks, for months, for years. Even now, there are people still rescuing others from that devastating day and the events after.

And my heart goes out to those who lost. And my love goes out to those who helped.

Friday, March 08, 2013

But I never thought I was Crazy

You know you have a yarn problem when Dad sees all of the bits and bobs strewn about in a massive carpeting of his office/spare room for photographing and accuses you of being a hoarder when you had to shove out of the way HIS electronics he's been saving since the 70's and 80's.
I tried organizing it a color, weight, what box it was living in, handspun vs. not, that sort of thing.
 Fiber on the bed, yarn on the floor...

 The hardest part after photographing each skein to organize (not done there by half) was to pack it all away. But then I go onto Ravelry. I see other people's stashes. I think about how much I've learned from my own projects, how much I've connected with others, how much empty time I have filled in doctors' offices, grocery stores, work when everyone is in bed and all the pills are put away, the reports are all written and there's nothing to do but wait for the shift change (it's a rare thing to happen in a nursing career but prominent enough when working in a nursing home)--I think of all of that while looking at my stash and I realize that this is not hoarding. This is a hobby. The yarn does eventually get rotated. I am never in need of handknit socks. I always have something to drape around my shoulders if I'm cold.

And so, am I hoarding? I'm going to protest and say, "No, I'm *preparing*."

As for WHAT I'm knitting, well, socks. It's still good sock weather and then Sock Madness started up as well and for those who have read back on this blog know that though I passed last year, the siren call was too much to ignore this time. Now, my goal has been to use UP some of the stash, but how can I possibly say 'no' to people like Laura Harmon, owner of the newest LYS on the block - Harmony. She has luscious yarns that are mostly picked by other knitters as she has seriously surveyed us all on what she ought to stock and she's not gone too far wrong!  Like these Jane Bennet socks that I made of Malabrigo sock Arco Iris on the left. How can you say 'no' to such gorgeous yarn?

But I did say there was Sock Madness, no? And when the first specs came out, I was a bit dismayed as it asked for wildly variegated yarn. I had nothing of the sort so after grabbing some KnitPics Stroll in Bare (undyed), I went to create a bit of a disaster of the microwave with water streaming onto the stove below (don't worry, what I didn't catch in used drinking glasses got sopped up by dishrags). But in the end, I created a colorway I have finally decided a name for: Leprechaun In A Blender. The name is appropriate because that green is really kind of unnaturally bright and then those deep berry reds and the dark purple that looks more like brown or black...okay, a touch morbid but it does make me giggle just a bit. Next time I'll be a little more selective of my Kool-Aid dyes. And now I'm tempted to use the green on my hair, y'know, for St. Patrick's. Not that it would be considered all that professional in my line of work. Pity.

I have a few more things on the needles at the moment including Janalee's Traveling Socks. I promised to knit 2" of lace on each sock since her hands do not appreciate being put to work on such teensy needles (Size #00s, which is about as big as the needles are for drawing up blood). But the LiaB socks are top priority for now.

Some of you may wonder, why does Kit knit so very much (and others wonder how I knit so very much which is a secret). Well, it's a little like why I prefer to knit in theaters. At a movie there is always a degree of stress related to the movie on the screen. It's how movies like that are and there is always something there to relieve that stress, primarily food. I've been to movies without knitting and when THAT happens, I eat popcorn a lot. It's a bit pathetic, but hey, it's there for my enjoyment, right? But if I do bring knitting with me, the stress is relieved through the stitches, I can enjoy the movie without making an utter pig of myself. Now, consider the stress of the movies and halve that but make it constant. Mom has been ill and on her good days, I'm relaxed, we go out, we do things together, my knitting production takes a dive. On her bad days, she's on the couch most of the time and I'm making sure she doesn't get lonely or go without anything and that's when I either eat or I knit. Of course, I'm not comfortable knitting upstairs what with the beagles running rampant but I hope you understand the point I'm getting to; I'm managing stress.

Which is also why my clothes are getting tighter every day...oh dear.

And that's about it. For those of you curious, I've got a few recommendations.

What I'm listening to:
Warning: These robots really move like robots and it can be a little spooky. But the music is magic and CLEAN. :)

What I'm reading:
Mrs. Brooke recommended Emperor Of All Maladies and I got it for $5 on Kindle and it's been utterly fascinated. As the subtitle proclaims, it is a biography of cancer and it involves so very much. I'm still repeatedly surprised at how ignorant we as a medical community are about cancer. And it makes me so grateful that mom survived her bout of breast cancer and it's been over 5 years since she finished treatment. That's termed a great success in the field of oncology.

I'm also reading Doctrine & Covenants Made Easier since I'm teaching that to my wee Primary kiddles.

And Sheri Dew's No Doubt About It that my sister got me for Christmas.

It's a lot of reading but it's all worth it.

And finally; What I'm watching

I'm catching up on Season 2 of Grimm since Season 3 is about to come out.
I'm still hooked on The Walking Dead but I can't recommend that to anyone who isn't a total weenie bit sensitive to graphic violence.
And I've been introduced to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube since Janalee was talking about it. It's hilarious but I can only take in small doses (which is good since each 'episode' is under 5 minutes).

So what's up wichoo?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Works in Passion

If you've known me for a while, you know that when I was a kid, I loved to draw. I would draw a LOT, I even had a doodle journal for a bit that I cringe to look through. SO MANY EMOTIONS! Prednisone is bad, kids. Don't be on it for 17 years, then have a transplant and have to come off it, your body will be VERY UNHAPPY.

Anyways, now I knit. It alleviates the nerves, it creates things that I don't have to cringe at, I don't see all the raw emotions, though I can still feel them when I stroke the fabric. Here I cried into the blanket. There, I was watching an intense movie and knit so fast my needles almost caught fire. But no one can see those things but me.

Last week was kind of dramatic. No, wait, it WAS dramatic, no 'kind of' or 'maybe', it just was. And I had to admit, I was so glad I was knitting and spinning, it took a lot of my anxiety and pain away. And funny enough, well, the worst of it was taken while working on my Serenity Blanket. Of course, I was also watching a whole lot of video game playthroughs (it's fun to watch GhostRobo play scary stuff because he's as big a wimp as I am, though a little more squeaky).

But it's not just to knit, I get bored, my wrists get sore, I need something else. So, my dear friend Janalee caught me at a spin out near Park City and handed me a small bundle. "I'm sorry it doesn't have any black in it, but it's as close to goth as I could find," she said as I opened it up. Uhhh, are you kidding? It's named MARCELINE! If you don't know who that is, watch Adventure Time with your kids, you might spot a little vampire girl with a bass ax guitar who sings like Anna Nalick and sucks the red out of things (not blood, just the color red). It is PERFECT.

So here I am, spinning a worsted weight (or as close as I can manage once it's all double-plyed up) and chilling out when I'm not knitting or dodging drama. Just thought I'd update all of you.

So if you're feeling a little in the dumps (or a lot in the dumps), what do you do? Do you draw? I don't much anymore but I love looking at other people's artwork. Show me!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So I went to fight a War.

I won't apologize. This is my blog, I will post what I want when I want but...I do need to catch up on what I've been doing lately. See, I went and joined Nerd Wars, the latest Tournament (#4) starting in February and I've been knitting. Like a fiend. Nevermind castonitis, that got sated very early on. And now I've got a lovely finished object gallery just to show off!

Now, I'm on Team Tardis and if there's any reason for the silence here, it's because I exploded with posts there and quickly rose to the top of the chattiest chart. I've met so many friends, including Maggie (who works at Kamille's and has angora bunnies!). But I don't have pictures of them (or if I do, I don't wish to show them since I'm in them). Let's move on to the knitting.

It begins with the Gothic Tam, available in the Interweave Knits Holiday Accessories 2011 issue. I was disappointed that the tweed yarn caused the intricate pattern to get terribly lost but I still liked the swirling vortex of space look.

The second was my attempt at the 2-color brioche stitch using a couple of Malabrigo Worsted colors. It came out lovely, warm, and soft as a sigh.

These were the prize of my February, cashmere fingerless mitts. I had some laceweight cashmere but not enough for anything actually lace and so I had to search the Ravelry pattern search and came up with this. It's actually even softer than a sigh, it's luxury and it only could be moments away from my fingers when I wore them rather than a hat or a scarf so I could pet them while I wore them.

Any baby that calls himself Stormageddon: Dark Lord of All (Doctor Who reference, Netflix it now on Instant) is deserving of a hat that looks set to keep his ears, head, and part of his chin warm against the chills of war. The pattern was lovely, once I got over a severe case of derp and figured out what I was doing.

And at last:

A Tardis cover for the device that holds more books than I could plausibly carry. It brings me a smile every time I see it, keeps the random drops of bathwater off my device and also chases off any random dust.

Five projects in a month? I did it and I'm quite chuffed, I "melted the cube" or managed to meet all 5 challenges (well, 6 challenges but one was a donation to a charity) and I'm that much closer to being prepared for winter, babies, and watery doom to my books.

And I'll have 5 more to feature next post but in the meantime:

Enjoy the weather while you can.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How I spent the last two hours at work.

Now, I'm not a lazy nurse, I'd prefer to call myself an efficient nurse. Which means that by 10pm at the nursing home, meds are done which includes all the signing off of meds and narcotics that I've passed, all the treatments are done, all the tube feedings, all the nurses' notes, the call lights are answered, everything is...quiet. Or mostly quiet, depending on how well those narcotics worked.

And I am left to my own devices. Now, I'm not sure what Teri or Patty do when it's quiet for them, but for me, I grab my knitting and now that I have it, my Kindle. I used to scoff at those who had one. I know, I'm a guilty one, but you just can't beat the feel of the paper, the inexhaustible battery life, the reliability of a good old fashioned book. But a Kindle is light, portable, doesn't need to be held open, and always opens to where you last left off. Convenient!

And then there's my knitting project. I had a case of startitis but most of those projects landed in the frog pond as soon as I cast on and checked gauge. Sometimes that happens. But one that endured is the Spectra scarf.

I had no idea how much straight knitting it includes. It's a garter scarf, pretty much, with panels of stockinette and a little bit of short row action just to keep the knitter from going utterly comatose. The yarn is from Studio June, called Star Struck due to the sparkly bits of silver woven throughout (antibacterial!) in the color Bright Copper Kettle. The panels are Jojoland's Melody, cleverly named MS08. Clearly these people don't work for Crayola.

The nice bit about both Kindle and Spectra is that I can put both aside immediately in the case of a call light or bed alarm going off. The joys of being a nurse in a rehab facility, eh?