Thursday, January 13, 2011

Catching My Breath & Waiting to Exhale

2011 hasn't started off well - I've found myself in the horrible position of getting the flu not once but twice. I am the lucky girl aren't I? Been out of work more than I've been in - I know it's probably irritating the hell out of my boss but honestly, I couldn't find it in me to care, what with my head in a bucket and all. I am praying that this isn't an ominous sign for 2011 - 2010 was the year from hell and I don't know if I could go through all that again.

Rewind . November 2009 - my sis, Queenie, has a seriously bad MS exacerbation. Like uber bad. Like not being able to speak, see, move (and here I was just complaining about puking in a bucket). She wound up in rehab for MONTHS, battled infections, idiotic doctors, insurance companies, etc...all of that. She lost her job, most of her mobility and a lot of her dignity. It was tough watching her go through that. Finally though, relief. She comes home right before Christmas and things are sort of OK again.

January-February 2010 It's not long before we realize she really needs help with mobility. Back to the doctors & arguing with the insurance company and voila ... she gets her power wheelchair. She can't fit it in her car but hell, she can zoom around the house. We're happy, things are looking up ....

March. Mom collapses in the garden. Neighbors come rushing, ambulance comes, off to the hospital where they tell us - not looking good. After a lot of tears, a LifeFlight, 2 priests and a nun, the 3 of us girls do the hardest thing we've ever done and let her go. It still just doesn't seem real. I keep expecting to see her head pop up in the garden with her great big smile but it never happens.

July. We remodel the house for Queenie - get ramps put in, redo kitchen, bathroom, lots of handrails...lots of MONEY. Overall a good thing, just expensive. Once it's all done, Big Daddy, the Locust & I move in with Queenie & Peepette. Weird to live with my sisters again & I know it's weird for them now that they have to live with boys but we're working it out.

December/Christmas. Christmas was hard - weird somehow, like that smell you just can't place in the frig when something's gone slightly off. We got through Christmas & New Year's without her - we'd gotten through all of the "firsts" - 1st birthday without her, 1st Christmas without her, and so on. I guess I had this feeling like once we got through all of the "firsts" things would be better. They are, by bits, but still...we're just "off" somehow. I'm hoping one day magically we'll be back. I hope.

And so here we are today. I'm still breathing, but catching & holding my breath a little bit, waiting for another shoe to drop. While I'm waiting & trying to breathe, I'll just do what I do best ...make socks.

Completed Bacon Socks

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Two Years Since I've Blogged....

and I'm still making socks.
In this case, I'm making with the Bacon. Bacon colorway that is. Excuse the crappy cell phone pic - my camera is somewhere...I just don't know where.

The yarn is from Holiday Yarns in the "Bacon" colorway. And y' looks just like freakin' bacon. I am not kidding. I would NOT kid about pork fat love. Making these for my Peep, the chef. I'm using the Roger Sock (Ravelry Link) pattern by Anne Hanson. The pattern practically screams Bacon!! just like that annoying commercial. Katie will absolutely love them once they're done. The yarn makes a nice squishy sock but whhooo boy is it skinny. I'm having to use a US size 0 for these and it's making things move a little slowly. A great colorway but I think I'll stick to something a wee bit heavier from now on.

A short post considering it's my 1st one in sooo long but I've had a lot going on in the last 2 years and not all of it good so I'm starting with the happy easy stuff .... socks.

(P.S. I tried originally to post this using MobileBlogger and my cellphone just to see if it would work and it didn't. Color me surprised).

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Diamond in the Rough

I haven't blogged in a long long time quite honestly because I haven't really felt like it (plus Ravelry has sucked my very soul from me). Life has been busy and in my free time I just want to knit & enjoy my life and blogging just hasn't been high on the list of things I've really enjoyed. Sometimes, blogging seemed more of a chore than a joy and more of an intrusion than anything else. I just didn't want let the world in. These past few days, though, really put me in the mood to share.

Hubby & I have been on vacation (sans kidlets) since last week and it's been wonderful - plenty relaxing. Aside from one minor disagreement, we've truly enjoyed each other's company and our time off. We spent a few days in Atlantic City (we lost) & recharged our batteries - it was wonderful. While we were there we celebrated our third anniversary and he completely surprised me with a gorgeous peal & diamond necklace that I don't want to take off. He was incredibly romantic, writing me a beautiful card and giving me little "clues" during the day before finally unveiling the gift on Wednesday afternoon. I was all teary & blubbery like I usually am and completely overwhelmed with love for this wonderful man.

It hasn't always been easy being married (hell, at times it's been downright HARD) but it has always been easy to love him. He makes me laugh, cry, smile & frown - he is a truly wonderful man and I'm so glad I'm his and that he's mine. He's the diamond to my pearl.

I love you honey. Thank you for saying "I do" .

Monday, November 19, 2007

Baby Jesus Takes Manhattan

Every winter, some folks at my job get together & take a bus trip to NYC. A few years ago, one of them got the (sacrilegious) idea of taking the Baby Jesus out of the Nativity Scene our administrative assistant puts up every year and taking him on a tour of the city (apparently, he thought the Baby Jesus didn't get out much). This past weekend marked the last of the bus trips so the Baby Jesus got one final whirlwind tour............

Monday, September 17, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods

Once upon a time, in a land far far away there lived a princess... a very TIRED and stressed out princess who needed a vacation. Not a big vacation, mind you, just enough to recharge her batteries. The Princess was lucky enough to have 3 friends who were similarly exhausted & stressed. What to do, she asked her friends? What can we do in a weekend to relax & forget the world exists? The answer was simple ..... KNIT.
All of them agreed that knitting was indeed the way to go. But just knitting alone couldn't be the entire answer since all of the girls knitted quite alot and kept themselves surrounded by yarny goodness. Lady Kim was even lucky enough to own her very own yarn castle (which, unbelievably so, was the source of some of her exhaustion!). What to do?
Lady Cathy came up with the inspired solution....
knitting retreat....
in the woods .....
with food and drinks....
no men.....
no cell phones......
just glorious knitting, nature and the company of good friends. And she had the perfect place in mind. Her aunt, Lady Jane, lived in such a place .... it indeed sounded like Nirvana....

So off the princess and friends went,
traveling late into the night

Road weary after long travel, finally, they reached their destination ... only one thing stood in the way of warmth, comfort, knitting & sleep....


The Princess was deathly afraid heights as was Lady Heidi. It was dark as dark could be and bridge was slick from the rain. Certain she would meet her death, the Princess nonetheless struck out across the Bridge of Doom, aided by the backwards walking Lady Kim (who didn't appear to be afraid of the Bridge of Doom but was petrified). With everyone safely across, they descended on Lady Jane's castle, nestled in the woods.

That first night they slept, lulled into dreams by the sound of rain on the roof and the comforting noises that only a century old castle can make. They awoke the next morning to find Lady Jane's castle was even more magnificent than they had thought....


The Princess and her friends savored every moment in this wonderful place. She found herself renewed with a fresh energy, even feeling brave enough to traverse the BRIDGE of DOOM for a second time (although truth be told, a trip to a yarn castle was what tempted her), surprising even herself by crossing. Even Lady Heidi crossed with a (semi) smile on her face!

That evening they curled up with their knitting while Lady Cathy flitted in the galley, preparing the evening feast............

Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing

With full stomachs and contented minds, the Princess and her friends knitted into the night....

Lady Kim and her
Vintage Bubble Bag

Lady Jane and her alpaca cable

Lady Cathy and her Socks with Bling Bling

Lady Heidi and Sheldon

The Princess' Neon Storm Sock
(unfortunately the Princess was not
photographed with her sock as she is
the Royal Photographer)

They knitted and laughed, told stories of their Knights (Lady Jane's Knight was in the far away land of Colorado, hunting for elk), their children, their families, their lives. With each stitch they interlaced themselves into each other's lives, forever weaving them together in this moment.

All too soon, it was over. The next morning the Princess and her friends bid adieu to Lady Jane and her brood



Gem & Gabriel

made the final crossing over the Bridge....took their last look....

and headed for home.
Our heartfelt thanks, Lady Jane ..... it was a trip beyond compare. Fair warning... plans for 2008 are already afoot!

***Yes, there WAS indoor plumbing!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Baby Love

I have Baby Fever, big time. Partly, it's because I'd love to have some kidlets of my own (not gonna happen) but partly because a friend asked me to whip something up for her brother & his wife. They've had their first, a lovely little princess named Yara. Princess Yara is a few months old and, up until recently, no one, not one person, gave Princess Yara anything handcrafted. Nothing. Not even one of those cute little Boo Boo bunnies that simply everyone gets. This simply would NOT do. Princess Yara needed handknits.

So I began. I started with the Pinwheel Blanket. Unbelievable as it sounds, I mucked it up. I missed a bunch of yarn overs (yarn overs are a lot like cops - when you need them, they're no where to be found. When you positively absolutely don't want one coming around, they're everywhere. BaHH!) Anyway, it's headed for the Frog Pond. Next, came the inevitable baby knit, Baby Surprise Jacket. Done in cream & trimmed in a nice red, I think it's going to be gorgeous this winter. I whipped up a quickie pair of socks in some Online Caribic #733 I had that matched it perfectly.

After the sweater, I just HAD to make Princess Yara some summer knits, as well. This time, it was Bernat Cottontots in LimeBerry & Koolade that saved the day. I made CivilBitch's Striped Halter which was so much FUN to make. I am definitely adding this to my baby outfit repertoire! It was easy and the finished product was adorable. I did some baby pants using Ms CraftyGalore's Soaker Pattern (they're not a true soaker as they're cotton and not wool but they turned out adorable anyway!)- super fast and they turned out perfectly. And, the topper, Children's Cotton Hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I used a slightly larger gauge, added a slight ruffle and, voila, had a sunhat. I love how this set just came together:

I have this urge to whip up some more of those halters, although the next time I think I might crochet an edging rather than knit the ruffle. That dang ruffle took almost as much time to knit as the whole halter did! Oy, such is a ruffle.

**sigh** I just love looking at these cute lil ole thangs.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Like a Virgin, Touched For the Very First Time

I'm baaaccckkkk. Whew. It's been a while. I can,however, blame my absence on a much needed, richly deserved V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N. **sigh** It was luverly. Went up North to visit my cuz & her hubby in LOndon, Ontario for a week. John & I needed the time away, truly. We didn't do very much - mostly relaxed - and ate - and I knitted (of course!). We had a fabulous time.

While there, Anne & I made a yarn/book/bead store pilgrimage - amazing! We started at The Mystic Bookshop in Downtown London-lovely little shop with a spitfire of a cat. Next, we traveled to Needles & Pins where I lost my Koigu Virginity. People, I"m here to tell you that this Koigu stuff is everything they say it is and more. The colors are so incredible and it feels so delicious - you don't whether to stare at it or eat it. Here's 2 I picked up there:

After that, we headed to The Mandala Bookshop where I found a great diabetic cookbook. From there we headed to lunch (french fries & brown gravy, anyone? Yum!) and then off to London Yarns where I finally got to touch (and of course BUY) some Austermann Step. From there we toddled down the road a bit to London Beadery where I was just overwhelmed. I picked up some beads for a scarf and some spacers for my Pandora bracelet (which I promptly broke but that's another story).

But, the highlight of the trip was later that week when we made a side trip into Hamilton to drop a friend off. We passed a little shop on the way in & I begged Hubby to stop on the way home. We found Needle Emporium just in Ancaster. Not only was the shop AMAZING, the owner, Julie, was incredibly friendly & helpful. I walked out of there with Kidsilk Haze. Yup, you heard it here first folks - I'm going to attempt lace. I've done lost my mind.