Friday, March 21, 2014

Three by Three

I've felt increasingly anxious over the past week so I started writing about the events of this past week only to quickly realize that the craziness boils down to 3 events and 3 things we need to change:

1. All I did all week was drive, and I really don't like driving. Especially in downtown traffic during morning rush hour. Thank goodness a lot of the city was on spring break this week so that those particular drives weren't as heavy as they could have been.

2. I have seen enough of the inside of hospitals this week, and I'd like to take a break, thankyouverymuch.

3. We didn't school enough this week (due to #2) and the house is a bit of a disaster, but we did have the best field trip ever on Monday.

The grace in all of this is that we finally have some answers for my health issues and a treatment plan begun. So what has been the problem for the last several months? An auto-immune disorder called Sjogren's Syndrome that did something weird and started attacking my nerves, in what is called mononeuritis multiplex.

Yeah, I had never heard of any of that either.

But it explains why I haven't had any feeling in my left hand for almost 3 months and why my left leg is so numb that walking has been... interesting. I shuffle like I'm 92, and take the stairs one at a time like my toddler. Hopefully in time the nerve related symptoms will go away and my body will start to behave like it's 32 again. Maybe just in time for my 33rd birthday.

{Usually there would be a picture of something here, but I didn't really want to take a picture of the 3 tiered pill box that I have to manage my meds, as if I really am 92.}

The draining schedule of the last few weeks has also shown me a few areas we need to adjust around here if we're going to continue forward in health and happiness.

1. We have white space built into our calendar for a reason and I've been narrowing the margins over the last two months to fit more in instead of recognizing that we might need MORE space during this period of time, not less. I am tired, and that's not just the Sjogren's talking.

2. We need to fuel our bodies better. Real food has fallen to the wayside over the last few months, because it takes time to plan real food meals into a busy schedule. We are getting back on the train this weekend and working hard at staying there through the end of the school year. I'm planning a few things to make this weekend to make our week go more smoothly and to make healthy meals an easy choice.

3. I really need a block of creative time to feel healthy and whole, and I just haven't had much of it lately. I've been needing extra sleep so my early mornings awake by myself with coffee and yarn and a book had dropped away (I've been working on picking them back up this week) and then my regular time on Fridays has slimmed down since Miss Ellie has decided sleep is somewhat optional. The little bits of knitting I've been fitting in here and there haven't cut it. I really need to dive in to a bigger project, but I just haven't had a block of time where I also had the mental energy to tackle something new.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Sharing projects and ideas are part of what makes my monthly group of ladies so much fun. We bring whatever we like and want to share. Of course not everyone in the group loves everything but it is always interesting never the less. A few months back Joan shared this quilt. She had researched it but found nothing about who made it or any patterns that were similar. We still don't know much about it. I decided to draft a pattern of it and share it with the ladies. Now I am not usually attracted to these kinds of patterns, but this is just a very unique one. It is "Big Stitch" appliqued on, like needle turn applique, only stitched down using floss and a big running stitch that really shows and is meant to be seen. It is much quicker to stitch this way.


Below is the sketched out  pattern I drafted. As I was working on this I just kept thinking that the unfinished hat was too big but after stitching it down it is just right.

What makes this so interesting to me is that the block is 16"X11", which is an unusually tall rectangle of a block. The original block didn't use asian style fabrics but I decided to. A friend in my group has a lot of asian fabrics so we are swapping fabric for longarm quilting time. Oh, the benefits of friends who quilt!

 The embroidery makes this so pretty. Can you see the big running stitch? Just turn under the edge and stitch it down. I plan on using different floss colors- just whatever I think contrasts well with each block.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Socks, Toe Up

How are you this fine morning? My crazy socks are  almost complete. I think if I can get another 2-3 hours on them I'll be done, but time is crunched this week, so it may be the weekend before I can finish these off. I'm hoping to sneak a few stitches in today and tomorrow, and if I can make it to knitting group tomorrow night I may get them finished on Friday.

One great thing about working these socks toe up is being able to use every last bit of this yarn. I went a fair distance on the leg of the first sock, and now I need to catch up on sock #2 so that I can evaluate the situation- how much yarn I have left, how high I'd like the socks to go, how much ribbing I'll need at the top... I think that's part of why I'm so enjoying sock knitting right now- the opportunity to make them just what I want them to be is just what I need right now. Once I actually did the heel turn for toe-up it wasn't actually very hard- I think I'll need to do another two or three pairs of toe up socks before the process soaks into my brain, but that's okay. I have sock yarn waiting in stash, and I can always order more!

I'm reading mostly on the kindle these days and I have a few books going at the moment. I'm close to finishing Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's The Amazing Thing About the Way it Goes, Diana Gabaldon's Drums of Autumn, and What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst. I've been half way through all three of them for over a week now, so I'm making a point to finish up within the next week or so. I have a bunch of reading to do to get ready for next school year as well, so I really need to focus on finishing up my "for fun" reading so I can get to the academic reads soon.

Monday, March 17, 2014

More socks

We made our way to Planet Comicon over the weekend. a portion of the con was dedicated to Star Trek and getting the majority of the cast together for an event hosted by William Shatner. I am not the big Trek fan in the family- that honor goes to my husband- but I do know the shows pretty well, particularly Deep Space Nine, so I was able to listen in on those panels and know what was going on. Wil Wheaton was gracious and charming for the second year in a row, and we also got to see Jewel Staite3 (also charming, and very very funny) and attend a few of the author panels for both books and comics.

I, of course, spent the panel sessions knitting. I worked mostly on my virtually impossible to photograph Exploding Socks but also cast on a new pair in a yarn that may end up looking better in the skein than as a sock. It is Pattons Kroy FX yarn in the Clover Colors colorway and I'm really enjoying watching the yarn change on the micro level as each stitch passes through, but it's not quite the same effect on the macro level. I also considered the fact that I've knit a lot of striped socks lately and that may be messing with my color changing expectations a little. To be honest, it doesn't really matter how they turn out- a completed sock is a completed sock, and I'm all about sock gathering right now.

More handknit socks, not less. It's all in the manifesto.

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