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Posts Tagged ‘life’

I am still here. So much has gone on with mom and dad and their health and my having to assume their business responsibilities that I haven’t been able to find the time or energy to post. I am hoping to find a balance.

On to knitting. Is it just me or is there a dearth of knitting inspiration out there? Barnes and Noble does not carry either Vogue Knitting or Interweave anymore. Brooklyn Tweed hasn’t really published a group of projects for autumn nor has Twist Collective. What sources for projects do you look at?

Right now I am still stuck on the short-row shawl. I’ve been near finishing the thing three times only to have to frog it all because of mistakes. It is becoming my forever project and I can’t find anything else I want to start knitting. The shawl needs to go into a time out, get itself together and behave. In short, it is driving me crazy.

I haven’t purchased new yarn in quite sometime because I can’t find a project I want to knit. Yarn Rascal is literally panting for new yarn to greet and meet. Unfortunately he has to wait. I have decided once again not to go to Rhinebeck for the wool festival. I just can’t see driving all that way only to be stuck in crowds and lines to see anything. I am not a big crowd person. It gives me claustrophobia.

I am toying with attempting to finish the sweater I was making myself. But I’d need to find where it is the stack of wips, then find what little directions I jotted down. I also think it is going to be too big. While I swatched, I didn’t wash and dry the thing. My knitter’s intuition tells me it is not going to fit as I want.

And so I am in a kind of funk.

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This Is Life

Life can happen so fast. In a blink of an eye it can go from being good to not being so good. After I got Dad home from the hospital Mom had what they think was three or four heart attacks over a three-day period before she would agree to go to the doctor and from there the cardiac care unit of the hospital.

Did you know you can call an ambulance but if the person you want transported to the hospital, even if they are in the middle of a heart attack, refuses to go or get medical attention there is nothing the ambulance people or you can do? I was in shock as I explained to them that my mother has this idea in her head that she has to die before dad. Dad had just come home from the hospital, I told them and mom was not thinking properly. They told me that I would need to hire the services of a psychiatrist to prove mom’s thinking was not rational. Exactly what other criteria did they need from a psychiatrist other than seeing a woman who clearly was having a heart attack refuse medical help because she kept saying she “had to die first”?

She went the entire weekend experiencing heart attacks before I could talk her into at least going to her doctor, even if she didn’t want to go to the hospital. From there she went by ambulance to the hospital. Apparently if a doctor calls and says the patient is going to the hospital, no matter what the patient says, the ambulance people are taking said patient to the hospital.

In the mean time, dad has one kidney left which is not working properly. We get the test results from the nephrologist Monday. We will have to see where we go from there, though dad is adamant he is not doing dialysis. Mom is currently home but is not able to do anything. Right now I am playing the role of visiting nurse, making sure all their medications are set up and trying to monitor how they seem to be doing. All of my mother’s real estate businesses have fallen to me to take care of. I am trying to get a handle on where everything is at and what needs to be done. Mom tires easily so I can’t get a lot of information from her all at once.

I refuse to give up my knitting, though actual knitting is going slow. I am still working on the short-row shawl. The concentration that’s needed is good for me. It gets my mind off on a different track and I can forget about the parental situation for a few moments. I am also keeping up with my tech editing of knitting projects. It too helps give my mind something else—something positive—to focus on. Hopefully I’ll have a picture of the shawl in progress soon.

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Dad is out of the hospital but not doing well. He sees a kidney doctor on Friday. It seems the one kidney he has left is not functioning at an acceptable level. I feel we are at the beginning of the end. As I see it we are in the eye of the hurricane and the back side of the storm has yet to hit.

I was going to show you a picture of the short-row shawl. I had knit up a whole ball of yarn and was starting on the second ball. I felt I had enough of the shawl made to give you an idea of how it looks. Well…that shawl ended up being ripped back to the beginning yet again. On Monday evening there was a small health crisis with Dad and I put the shawl down in a hurry, not marking where I was in the short-row work. When I came back to it later that evening not only could I not discern what specific short-row I was on, but a number of the stitches had slid from the needles and were unraveled.

My life line was in and so I ripped back to that only to realize that I could not tell where I was in those short-rows as I had the life line in the whole shawl. What became clear to me was the life line needs to be inserted only on the wave just finished, not run through the whole shawl. That way if I need to rip back I know I am at the beginning of the wave. I almost cried when I had to undo the whole thing. I was so happy having gotten through one whole ball of yarn. But I didn’t cry. I just took away the new knowledge about the life line.

In the meanwhile, Yarn Rascal has been busy. The craft room clean up so new windows can be installed continued on without me while Dad was in the hospital. Every dog we’ve ever had gets a trip to the pet store to personally select the “house” he wants to call his own. We take down various crates and allow the pet to chose the one he/she feels most comfortable in. After all, this is a place in the home where the pet can go to relax, de-stress, or hang out with selected toys. Along with the crate we also buy an orthopedic foam mattress to fit the crate so that things are comfortable. The crate Yarn Rascal chose was a small mansion made for a bigger dog but it was what he wanted. He uses it to store bones and toys he doesn’t want anyone to touch.

While I was busy at the hospital and at Mom’s Yarn Rascal continued with the yarn clean up of the craft room. He moved every ball of left over yarn that was a merino and cashmere blend to his “house”. When I finish making socks or a shawl I keep the remaining yarn in a ball. Usually it ends up in a whicker basket and there it remains until I put it in a Rubbermaid bin. I keep the yarn with the dream that some day I am going to make a blanket out of all the different colors. In fact I had chosen the Bee Keeper’s Quilt as a possible project.

bee keepers quilt

bkq

As you can see it is made up of small hexagons that are two-sided and individually stuffed and then sewn shut. They are then sewn together one at a time. While I love the look of this quilt and think it would work quite well with the yarns I have I also think that it might drive me nuts construction-wise.

Anyway, Yarn Rascal is now the keeper of the merino-cashmere extra balls of yarn, while I am left to pack up the plain merinos.  The dog knows his yarn.

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Playing With Fire

Well, I knew I was playing with fire, tempting the fates, or however you want to put it, by not having an on-the-go knitting project ready for use. I took my father to the emergency room at 1 am and spent the next five hours there as they got a handle on what was wrong. I had no knitting with me to relieve the anxiety. At 4 am I also became a quasi-patient when I had the most awful full-blown panic attack I’ve ever experienced. The medical staff was quick with ruling out all the big things it could be and finally coming around to a bad panic attack. My poor mother whose health is not that good, I dare say fragile, was left on her own for a bit while I was tended to. But this is what I get for not having a traveling knitting project to calm my nerves.

Dad was admitted to the hospital around 5 am. I was released and able to take my mother home. By then she had completely unraveled and it took me a bit to get her comfortable and feeling okay. Since her open heart surgery she does not like to be left alone. I understand that. But I needed to go home and sleep a bit and change clothing and be with Yarn Rascal who becomes untethered when I am not around. Both Yarn Rascal and I have separation anxiety when we are away from each other.

Today we should find out what is up with Dad. And no, I still haven’t been able to get yarn around needle to start a simple sock project to take with me.

This all came on the heels of the one last craft store in the area closing. It was where I got my paints and drawing supplies and came up with decorative little items to create for the house. No yarn stores, now no craft store—I don’t know what that says about the area I live in but somehow I feel it’s not good.

Making things with one’s hands nourishes the soul, exercises the imagination and strengthens the ability to dream. In difficult times it is relaxing and reassuring to have something at hand that you are making. Somewhere else to turn your attention and get it off repetitive worry. I worry about my mom and dad. I also worry about a society that turns its back on crafts and art.

Anyway, it is off to the hospital with mom to see dad and check in on what the doctor has diagnosed. Sans knitting to work on I must remember to just breathe.

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Where I’ve Been

Just before Christmas I lost my computer to a broken hard drive. I didn’t know hard drives could break. It’s not like I use the computer in an Indy 500 kind of way. But break it did.

Try to get a computer fixed over the holidays. It doesn’t happen, my friends. I had to get the original operating system from the maker. I can say with a high level of certainty that I will never buy this particular brand of computer again.

At Christmas we lost my mother-in-law. No one was feeling festive.

Next up my Barnes and Noble nook died. I’ve had it for years–their original version. Because I read voraciously, the nook prevents books from collecting all over the house. My mother-in-law was also a voracious reader and we often talked about authors and shared good reads.

Then the year old car had a number of indecipherable icons light up, most with exclamation marks besides them so it conveyed a sense of urgency to understand what the hieroglyphs meant and get them fixed.

At this point, I was feeling the fates just were not with me. Though I was knitting it wasn’t the relaxing kind of work. I was making fingerless gloves to go with the cowl I knit. For the life of me, I couldn’t seem to reverse instructions when it came to the right hand glove. I ripped out twice. Then I knit a full glove only to find it too wasn’t a right hand glove. Yarn Rascal was craving the particular yarn I was working with. Rather than rip yet again Salpal suggested I gift the glove to Yarn Rascal, who had sat in my lap diligently holding the end of the glove in his mouth while I knit it. He is now the recipient of a fingerless glove and sends his love and thanks to Aunt Salpal. He says he owes you one.

Pictures of all will be coming as soon as I repurchase the photo editing software and install it.

Right now Yarn Rascal is sitting in the doorway with a pen in his mouth. It means he’s gotten into the desk drawer again, a place he shouldn’t be in. His tail is wagging madly because he knows he shouldn’t have the pen but he just can’t help himself.

Ah, me.

 

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At the moment, I am having a different kind of knitting experience. After much dithering I am knitting a blanket for my father that I hope to finish before his life ends. He is always cold lately and I thought a knitted blanket was a nice solution. I’ve made one crocheted afghan so I know the time and energy that goes into a large project like this. After I completed that afghan I felt done with ever doing another. To think of knitting an entire blanket was beyond what my mind could comprehend. Who in their right mind would ever consider such a project?

After Dad’s recent hospital stay, I overwhelmingly felt he needed a knitted blanket. Part of my mind rejected the idea of knitting it and said go out and buy him one. The other part of me felt that wasn’t the point at all. The buy him one side posed a valid argument that I don’t know how much longer Dad has and was I willing to start a blanket knowing I might not complete it in time? How would I handle that failure? The other side said that’s right I don’t know how much time he has left so I better get knitting.

Usually when I am knitting for someone the hours are filled with thoughts of them enjoying and using the item over time. It’s reaffirming a continuation of life. The hours spent knitting this blanket are not like that. Projecting forward in time brings me to placing it in his casket so it will always be near him. It’s a very different knitting experience. I see how I have associated knitting with hope and life and a continuation of positive things going forward. The connection between knitting and hope is, perhaps, the strongest for me. The act of knitting means hope and pushes away the feeling of despair.

While I have not fallen into despair knitting the blanket, the knitting is more solemn. Just to be on the safe side, I’d like to complete this blanket by September. So that’s where I am right now: at the hottest point in the summer, knitting a blanket made with bulky weight wool.

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I’m having a proceed at your own risk kind of day. Everything I touch or do isn’t working out. I know I should stop while my blood pressure is only slightly elevated from annoyance and the headache that is forming over my right eye is still manageable. But heck, I got things I gotta do, which is exactly the wrong attitude for today.

In the top things I will screw up today is a baby sweater I am making for a company. This time it is for a boy and has a large size range: 3 months to 8 years old. Lots of math and figuring, and adjusting. Of course I’ll use a calculator, but with the way things have already gone today, I won’t trust any of the answers it gives me so I will be figuring everything twice. At some point, I can rest assured, the calculator will stop working, mercifully putting a halt to any feeling of productivity I might have accrued.

I need to procure buttons, one for a sweater I already made, 5 for the sweater I am making. I can take comfort that one or all the following will happen during the procurement process: traffic jam where I sit in a motionless car without forward progress for 15 minutes or more; when I cross the street to enter the button store I am run over by a crazy motorist racing to make the beginning of a movie that’s already started; the button store has no buttons in the size I want and the color I want, or the store has buttons in the size and color but not enough to fill what I need; the line at the checkout has more than 20 people in it and there’s only one cashier all the other workers are hiding in the stock room.

If I am not run over by a crazy motorist, food shopping is next. The store is in the exact opposite direction of the button store so it’s a bit of a drive. When I get there it is destined to be a mob scene where I can’t get near most of what I am there to pick up. Little children will be screaming at the exact frequency that will move my headache from manageable to pre-migraine. Feeling hurried to exit the store before the migraine sets in I hurry through aisle after aisle only to stand on the checkout line for 25 minutes. The headache moves to pre-migraine. I escape store, arrive home, unpack the groceries to find most of my food list has been unfulfilled. Schedule return trip to store, ask The Skipper if he minds having a sandwich for dinner.

With the migraine now in full bloom, I zoom over to my home, which I am renting at the moment (this is a whole different can of worms and problems), to see what the Real Estate Woman is talking about concerning pictures in the cobweb and spider haven area under the front porch. The area is accessed only through the garage, is meant to be used only to get to the main pipes coming from the village into the house should there be a need and has never had anything beyond a rake and a shovel stored in it. I can guarantee two things will happen: 1) I will hit my head on the pipe that I always hit my head on when I enter this little area; 2) I will get bit by a spider after blundering into its web. The hit on the head will spread the pain already in my head nice and evenly around my cranium. The spider bite will need tending to and allergy medication.

All in all I’m planning on having a good weekend. I just need to live through today to get there.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

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