Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life is an Excitment of Possibilities, Not a Series of Obstacles

Again, I have no time to post here. If I were a tad more organized, I'd be adding patterns that I've changed or created, not that there are that many or at least post something that might help someone who actually reads this.

My eldest son, daughter-in-law, and almost 2 year old grandson moved from Japan over a month ago to live with us. Now there are 6 adults, one toddler, one very old cat and one almost 7 month old puppy in this house.

It is amazing that things are running so smoothly. I credit my wonderful daughter-in-law for a lot of it because she helps with meals, cleans and does anything she can to help out. My daughter is at UBC full-time now but she still manages to cook dinner 3 nights a week. I'm down to only having to cook dinner on Monday nights, so life is good.

I have finished some knitting projects, but still need to find time to work on the alpaca grey sweater for my husband. I made two more Christmas stockings and will probably make a third one as I did the heel backwards in the first stocking. I'll use that one for our dog, Millie. She won't mind.

I still have to add decorations and names to the stockings, but they didn't take me very long to make, and the second one was much easier since I actually read the pattern and figured out how to do a regular heel. I'm used to doing socks toe up, so now I can do a cuff down sock on two circulars if I choose to do so.

Millie is now in dog obedience and at her third session today, she was the star pupil with the instructor. I think I finally have a clue as to how to get her to walk beside me much better. She loves to go to dog parks and just runs and plays with other dogs. She is quite submissive so she knows how to protect herself from bigger dogs who are running fast. She does a duck and hide.

My grandson is delightful. He's teaching me Japanese but his mum has to help me as he's just barely learning it. His English is good. His poor little brain must be confused with growing up bilingual, but it will be to his benefit.

We're have his 2nd birthday party this weekend and we did buy him some shelves and containers for the bedroom so he can put away his own toys. All of their belongings haven't arrived from Japan yet, so Yuka is able to borrow my coats or my daughter's.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August in BC, Canada

I'm not very good at keeping up this blog. And of course I don't write down patterns, or give any knitting hints, which I probably could do to help out others. Maybe at this time in my life, I just need a place to write down my thoughts about knitting and whatever is going on around me.

I recently finished the Cindy pattern from Berroco which was a KAL for the group on Ravelry for people who's names were related to Cindy.

I attended the PicKnit on Saturday, August 9th at the Surrey Museum in Cloverdale. I wandered around, met up with old knitting buddies that I haven't seen for awhile and even met some new knitting buddies that I only knew from Ravelry. It was a wet, damp and rainy day, but then it does things like that in August in BC.

I'm working on the Luna Moth shawl which is a free pattern from and I'm making it out of some Tussah Sea from Handmaiden that I purchased at Urban Yarns in Vancouver. It is slow going but lately I've found myself actually being able to follow the chart and know how many repeats I need to do before I get to the centre stitch. I have lifelines in place at specific spots so if I do end up with the wrong number of stitches and can't figure out where I made my mistake, I can rip back to the lifeline and continue on. I swear by lifelines for any lace knitting and I also used them for my Branching Out scarf that I just finished blocking.

I think I've convinced my husband that a sweater out of the light weight, #3 or dk and alpaca will stretch out of shape on him. I was trying to create a sweater, sorta follow a pattern and make it to fit him via my sweater wizard. It was just becoming too much work for me and trying to concentrate with a puppy around isn't easy. So now I'm going to make another swatch and he did pick out a sweater from a library book that I'd picked up of men's sweaters. I'd rather use this beautiful grey alpaca for a beautiful shawl, but then working with it is hard enough for me. I don't like to work with black because my eyes just can't focus on it and it strains my eyes. While this yarn is grey and cost a lot of money, I do think that if I can get the gauge for this pattern, I'll just stick with that. He may get it for Christmas but then again, he may not.

With my eldest son, daughter-in-law and my grandson, who will be almost 23 months old in September when they arrive from Japan, I think I'll be back to making Heagen sweaters. I have yarn to make him several sweaters, but the last item that I made for him was too tight so it will be easier to have him present so I can measure him myself.

My daughter has moved back home to save money as she continues studies at UBC and she has been a big help around the house. She works and is taking one class this summer, but she cooks many of our dinners and that is a major help to me.

What is going to be strange is having all three of my adult children plus my daughter-in-law and grandson and Millie, our 4 month old puppy all under the same roof. At least until my eldest son can find a job here that he wants. Hopefully it won't take him long to find something in management either school related or just a position that uses all of his abilities and experience. He has taken a Canadian Labour Law course by distance in Japan so that should help in some ways. He is also talking about getting a MBA. He doesn't want to have to live with us for long, but they have a lot of paper work to finish and deal with, plus job interviews.

I still go to 88 Stitches in Langley each Friday to sit and chat and knit. My husband comes home for lunch on that day so Millie isn't left in her crate for more than an hour or two. She is getting two walks per day now and she loves to meet people and other dogs. She is walking very well on her leash since I started watching the show, End-of-my-leash and incorporating some of his hints into her training.

I plan to take one knitting class in the Fall at 88 Stitches and since it is in the daytime, that helps me as I don't do well with a class in the evenings although I did it last Spring to learn about lace knitting.

My mindless knitting was the eye-of-the-partridge shawl and even with that, I had many lifelines. My trip to California was great but it was far too hot for me and I messed up one stitch and tried to fix it and ended up having to rip back one stitch at a time to fix my error. I didn't have a lifeline in place so after that I made sure I had several.

No problems with needles on Air Alaska and my friend and I both knitted on the plane and we hit as many yarn shops as we could in the Redlands, Lake Arrowhead, and Riverside areas. I did buy too much yarn as usual but I only bought yarn that I can't get in Canada easily and I was focusing on sock yarn or fingering weight yarns for shawls.

When I get over my desire to do lace knitting, I will have a lot of yarn for socks or whatever else hits me to make. I'm really sick of making scarves, but they do make nice Christmas gifts. The problem is that I've given my family fingerless gloves and scarves and hats for several years now and I guess I'm going to have to return to making felted clogs and sweaters.

I did cast on the vest for my daughter. It is the Ski Lodge Sloop vest from the 12 Months of Knitting and one that she liked. I'm using green malabrigo and changing the yarn every two rows as it is kettle dyed.

This constant shift in weather isn't doing much for my fibromyalgia nor my energy levels, but hopefully it will settle down in September. I love the Fall here in BC and I'm enjoying walking Millie and she had her first car ride without being in the crate because she was too big to fit into it. She was a tad nervous but she managed just fine as I had two quick errands to run, it wasn't too hot outside and I had the windows down and the air conditioning on when I was driving. She was shy about entering a new pet store but once she was in it and saw toys and a fake dog, she went up to the dog and wanted to play. It was quite amusing to see her all submissive to a statue. She just keeps getting better and better and I don't have to get up every single night to take her outside. That is a blessing and she is still sleeping at the end of our bed and not bothering me. My husband is the one who wanted her there and yet she does tend to sleep on his legs. I'm sure he'll change his mind when she is bigger. She sleeps in with me and is a horrible alarm clock.

With Millie at almost 6 months and Heagen at almost 23 months in September, it ought to be interesting to see them together. He is used to his Japanese grandparents' dog so I'm sure he won't be scared of Millie, and we're working with her to keep her from jumping up on people. Something that doesn't go over well with my 90 year old mother-in-law or at least it doesn't sit well with me. Mum just tolerates it.

Back to knitting and watching the Olympics.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Is It Really Summer Yet?

We had a very hot long weekend as Canada Day on July 1 was on Tuesday. Then last night we had lightning and thunder and rain. It was rainy today but not really horrible, but I do wonder if we are going to have a real summer this year or not. We didn't really have a Spring, so chances are that we'll continue to have hot days, rain, and then hot days.

I prefer nice and sunny days but not too hot. Yet our home is air conditioned, so I really don't have much to complain about.

I finished the Flower Basket Lace shawl that I decided to make to take with me next week when I go down to Lake Arrowhead to visit with 9 of my high school friends. I have 2 projects on bamboo needles that don't require much thought from me plus socks on two plastic circular needles.

Apparently Air Alaska accepts needles but any liquids over 3 oz are banned. I'm going to brave it and put all my make up stuff, creams, toothpaste, etc in my suitcase and just hope it doesn't get lost on the short flight from Seattle to Ontario, California.

Since I keep checking the weather in Lake Arrowhead and it is in the 30's C, I figured that I don't need anything to keep me warm.

I also finished the Gwen Vest from The Illustrator from Mission Falls, made out of cotton. The cotton was hard to work with, but it did turn out looking quite nice.

I still have about 11 UFO's and have joined a KAL on beginner knitters on ravelry making the luna moth, which is a free pattern from I've done the first 14 rows of it, but don't plan on taking it with me.

Millie is 3 months old now and had a rough weekend due to the heat, having another set of shots, teething, and feeling generally lethargic. My daughter moved back home this past weekend to save money while she's at UBC. She's going to take the bus so she can study and save on gas, which just keeps getting higher and higher. It is nice to have her at home again and she and her dad painted her old bedroom and she's settling in quite nicely. My den which is now my craft room still needs to be organized. Going from her old bedroom which was a good sized room into a small room meant that I've had to store a lot of my stash of yarn in the basement for now. It does give me a motive to start using more of my stash for projects though.
I'm also working on a Cindy pattern for a KAL on Ravelry for knitter's named Cynthia, Cindy or any other types of names that are related to Cindy. I'm slowly working on the back but my heart isn't into it right now. Mostly, it is because I've been busy with Millie and also trying to get things organized for my trip south. But I will finish it. I want to finish at least 5 of my UFO's before I start something new because I need to work on the sweater for my husband so he can wear it in the Fall and Winter. Also, I have a pair of socks for him that have been glued to the needles for months now.
Sometimes I just get bored with a project but I do always finish them. Unless like a couple lately that I frogged because I just didn't like what I was seeing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

UFO's and other Misc. Things

Since I'm planning to be in Lake Arrowhead in July with the same group of friends who came to visit me last summer, I've had to read all sorts of stuff about the rules and regulations of what I can or can not take on a plane. Air Alaska says yes to knitting needles but the friend that I'm flying down with said to take bamboo ones. She said they really are more concerned about liquids. Finding mouthwash in bottles less than 3oz isn't that difficult but it sure is a royal pain in the neck.

And then to have to put these items in a plastic bag to be inspected makes me just a tad frustrated. I'd rather just put everything in my suitcase but then with the air lines losing luggage left right and centre these days and not being able to lock luggage anymore and baggage carriers helping themselves to things in people's bags, doesn't do well for my sense of security.

However, I will do what I have to do. I have two knitting projects that I can work on on the plane and will probably just take those two items as they don't require much thinking. Well, the Branching Out Scarf does require some so I may do that on the plane and leave the Eye of the Partridge shawl for when we're all just hanging about.

Millie is now 11 months old and is quite delightful and very smart. Except that she likes to chew on my sweaters and slippers and my hands. I now just don't allow it. She starts and she is put down and I walk away. Then she'll go to my husband or anyone else in the room who will play with her. That is until she starts chewing on them and they figure it out that they'd better stop her or she'll keep doing it.

She is sleeping with us and I've tried to explain to my husband that he isn't going to want a big Golden Retriever pushing him out of bed but he's so smitten with Millie that I figure it's his problem. If she bugs me at night, I take her out to pee and if she can't settle down again, she goes into her crate. I love her dearly but I am alpha dog. She will wait until I step outside before she does, she will sit and stay for me. She will shake a paw and we're working on lying down. Mostly she just lunges for the treat, which is really just some of her food. She retrieves sticks or balls and rides in the car very well. She is getting used to having the leash on her and each day we practise walking around outside or in the house and if she doesn't chew on the leash, she gets a 'treat'.

I haven't been able to get much done around the house or yard, but then the weather has been wet and dreary and I don't feel like weeding. Plus, when I did try to do some in the backyard, Millie thought she should help and was digging holes.

I've managed to work on some knitting with Millie sleeping next to me. Problem is when she wakes up and wants to chew my needles or the yarn. I always win with this contest.

My Flower Basket Lace Shawl is coming along nicely with only a few errors and a few rows ripped back to my lifelines. I'm hoping to finish it to wear in California if there is a cool evening.

My Gwen vest from Mission Falls, The Illustrator is about 3/4 finished. I just need to finish the right front, block it, sew up the seams and figure out how to do the neck which at first didn't make any sense to me but is slowly awakening some of my tired brain cells.

I did cast on some socks in case I want to work on them in California, but I still haven't finished the pair of socks for my husband yet because I got so bored going around and around.

I feel like I have a new baby and a toddler rolled into one. Yet, Millie is fun and even though I still miss Scully, getting Millie when we did was the right time. With our grandson coming to live with us in September with my eldest son and daughter-in-law and my daughter moving home again at the end of this month to save money while at University, and my youngest son working full-time for a year before he has to decide if he wants to get another bachelor's degree or not, our house is very full.

I've had to move my yarn and quilting and scrapbooking supplies to the smaller den on the main floor and store a lot of yarn in the basement. My husband still has to tile the rec room in the basement and finish it up but he does have time before September.

It will be strange having all 3 of my children back under the same roof again, but as adults plus our daughter-in-law and grandson who will be almost 2 at the time of their arrival.

I just hope I can overlook their messes and that there is some order to who is fixing dinners and which day I do get to do the laundry in my own home.

Life is to be enjoyed and not suffered through so I choose to see this as a positive thing. We've always had family meetings to discuss issues, and my daughter has already suggested that we have one when she comes and then another one in September.

I'm grateful to have her returning home because even though she will be working part-time and studying for her degree in Sociology, she knows what needs to be done around the house and what I can't do nor should I do it.

I finished the Bias Shawl recently and it will also go to California with me. I've been checking the temperatures at Lake Arrowhead and I'll be taking mostly summer clothes. With rain and damp and cool weather here in BC, I've been forced to return to wearing some turtleneck tops just to keep warm. Hopefully that will change in the next week.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Welcoming Millie into our Family

On Saturday, May 10th, my husband and I drove out to Rosedale, a small town just past Chilliwack to look at some Golden Retriever puppies. It was a long drive, but I told him that we were just going to look. I'd already contacted a couple of local breeders about acquiring a Golden Retriever and we did have the option of putting down a deposit at one place for a female which would be ready in September.

Since my husband is a planner and I'm the type of person who will and who has purchased animals more spontaneously, it was a very long drive to just look at puppies and also make sure that these puppies were from a good family. I loved Millie from the start but David had his eye on another female that was a bit bigger. Since it has been me and the kids who have always brought animals into our home, David wanted to pick the breed and pick the name. I only asked for a female dog as that's what we had before and we had one very bad experience with a male mixed dog when our two older children were too small to have a puppy around. My reasoning was that females are easier for me.

David finally picked up Millie and she licked his face. That did it for him. He wanted her. I was also enjoying a male who was a bit shy and David asked if I thought I could handle two puppies. I was very shocked. Then instead of being spontaneous I thought. Training two dogs at one time is a lot of work and since I'm the one who is home the most, that job is mine. Having them sleep together might have helped, but I wasn't willing to spend double and also get double the work. So I said that since our other two dogs were a year and a half apart and our two older children were 14 months apart, it was easier to wait and see if we actually wanted a companion for Millie.

She rode home in our old crate, which David had cleaned and slept. We stopped at the pet store to get her some puppy food and a couple of toys.

So far, she has done all her peeing and pooping outside. I think I'm well trained. I took her out today and she met another dog and other people and seems to want to be outside digging and running around and trying to chew everything in sight. She will be only 7 weeks old tomorrow so she sleeps a lot, but she won't sleep in her crate next to our bed. I'll keep trying but the last two nights, she's slept with us.

I'm tired and have forgotten how hard it is to get up in the middle of the night with a new puppy to take her outside to pee. But she does return to our bed and settles in and I'm getting some sleep but it isn't what I need for fibromyalgia. However, I know that this stage will pass.

She seems to want to get into my knitting bag. I tried to knit this afternoon but she wanted to be right next to me and of course was interested in the yarn and needles. Finally she fell asleep so I continued to work on my bias Shawl.

I finished my Misty Garden scarf on Sunday, Mother's Day and it is blocking now. I'm still waiting for my lace wires from Knitpicks in order to block my Evelyn A. Clark shawl of Flower Baskets. I'm trying to finish up the few projects that have been sitting around for awhile, but I do want to work on a vest made out of Mission Falls cotton from the book The Illustrator called Gwen. I've been working on the back as it is mindless knitting at this point.

My knitting is taking a backseat to Millie right now, but I just mailed off the romper outfit that I'd made for my grandson.
I do wish I knew how to get my pictures to appear where I want them. I guess I'll have to email a couple of people who seem to do it seamlessly.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Saying Good bye To Scully

Early in the morning of April 20, our beloved dog, Scully died. We'd celebrated my birthday the day previous so she had a party, ate pizza crust and had a lot of attention and love. I had a feeling that she was going to die when I settled her on her bed for the night. Her breathing was quite laboured, and even though she was still going outside to pee, she preferred to lie on another bed on the patio.

Her timing was perfect. We all knew that if she hadn't died, we were going to have to put her down on April 22 but I just wanted to get through my birthday which was on April 21. We all had a rough day on the 20th, my real birthday day wasn't much fun for me, and I really felt the loss of her yesterday.

We'd buried her in our backyard and hopefully I'll be able to wander up to her grave in the next month or so.

I did finish the Kukka, by Norah Gaughan that I'd been working on and am enjoying wearing it. Since it is made out of Alpaca, it tends to stretch and I'm reblocking it now because I've been wearing it tied around my abdomen. But it is warm and perfect for our non-Spring like weather.

The knitting class that I'm taking at 88 Stitches, making a flower basket shawl/scarf by Evelyn Clark is slowly coming together. After learning how to add beads with a crochet hook, I ripped back to the 25th row, which was very painful to do, and added beads in three spots. I will be adding beads to the lace edging but I wanted some beads throughout the scarf, but not very many. I'm finally enjoying the pattern and have managed not to make mistakes this time around with the repeat rows. I'm using lifelines of course and they are really making it easier in case I do have to rip back. I'm also counting the stitches after I do each odd row so that if I have too few or too many, I can just redo one row.
I've also been mindlessly knitting a neck scarf that I usually take with me for when I have to wait in lines or for appointments. I just needed to finish something else or just not have to think too much. If I'm focused on the lace pattern I can sometimes forget about losing Scully, but sometimes I just need something to do with my hands that requires no thinking.
Grieving is hard. It has always been hard, but I do know that it will pass. And I'm grateful that we had Scully for 11 years and that she isn't suffering anymore.

Monday, March 31, 2008

It's Monday

My dog, Scully has now had two semi-bad days. She hasn't eaten anything yet today and gets very short of breath after she's been outside. Her hind legs aren't working as well as they were a couple of days ago. She is anemic and weak and getting thin and trying to find food that she'll eat is becoming harder and harder.

I still can't see myself taking her into the Vet's office and putting her down. She is a part of our family. She is my buddy. She loves me and the entire family unconditionally. I know that some people think that an animal shouldn't suffer, but neither should people and yet we aren't allowed to put people out of their misery or pain. Scully is my baby and the thought of taking her to the Vet's office and knowing that I'm basically killing her is something that I just can't do right now.

Right or wrong, I have to listen to my gut.

My husband did pay for her 2008 license, and he'd put it off until after our youngest son's 24th birthday on Saturday. We aren't superstitious people but there are certain things, like renewing a license for a year that just might mean that Scully isn't going to make it beyond this week.

Already today, I've had a couple of crying sessions on the floor with Scully. Our son doesn't want to find her dead in the morning as he found our other dog three years ago and I don't blame him. I want to spare him of that, but we did talk about it. We'd decided that seven bad days were our limit and yet she did eventually eat last evening. She is still able to get up to go outside.

I seem to be carrying on my life around Scully. If I have to leave the house, I try to limit the time I'm out. I went to get some more tins of chicken, turkey and even bought some liver for her today. My grocery shopping is basically for her.

I do need to do a big grocery shop at Costco this week, but it will depend upon when my son has some time to help me. Trying to push a heavy cart, lifting heavy items into the cart and then putting all the products in the trunk are very difficult for me due to my bad back and having fibromyalgia.

Thus, my knitting is slowly getting done. I'm almost finished with the triangle shawl made out of Fleece Artist Goldielocks and once I get closer to the end of a project, I just want it finished.

The Lacey hat that I made for a friend fit her and the new Fountain Hat that I'd cast on for her seems like it will fit. She doesn't want me to make her two hats, but I know how much she liked the Fountain Hat that was far too huge for her.

Depression is setting in only because of Scully. Other that her being so ill and dying, I'm very positive about life and trying very hard to be gentle with not only myself but with others.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another So-So Day

I finished this beaded scarf that I'd begun in March, 2006 over the long Easter weekend. I worked on it in March, 2006 until I got bored and got tired of moving the beads. Then for two years, I took knitting classes and learned different knitting techniques.

However, my daughter is back into working with beads and making bracelets, key chain dangling things, etc so I pulled out my beaded knitting last Tuesday evening when she was at the house to give a piano lesson and suddenly the urge to finish this project hit me.

I wasn't sure about how to end it as I was reading too much into the directions, as usual, so I phoned the woman who'd given the beaded scarf class and we chatted for a bit and she reassured me that I was doing it correctly. I had to K1, Drop 1, and then K1 at the end of the last row. I wasn't sure whether than meant to K1, D1, K1, D1, etc and end with a K1 or just D1. Of course I did analyze the scarf and figured out that I needed to drop every other stitch, but it was nice to be reassured that I was doing it right.

It is blocking right now but I will add a picture of the finished project. It looks so different than what is shown above. I can't wait to try bead knitting again with some beautiful Handmaiden that I have. This scarf was made out of cotton but I can just imagine how much more I'll enjoy doing the same scarf but in some silky yarn.

My dog, Scully did have four good days. It was nice to see her wanting to go for a walk again, although I made it a very short one on Saturday, see her eating but still only people food and see her begging for food and just being herself. It's amazing how the small things like her knocking on the patio door can fill my heart with love and joy that she is still with us.

Today is a bad day for her. She can still get up to go outside, but she's very weak and is mostly just lying on her bed and eating a bit of chicken and rice and drinking her water from a lying down position.

We celebrated our daughter's 29th birthday on Easter Sunday and it was fun and relaxing. She wanted pizza and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake so there was little or no work for any of us. She'd picked up her grandmother, who is 90, took her flowers and also brought me some Easter flowers. I really don't know what I did right to have such a wonderful, beautiful, and kind and gentle daughter. We've had our ups and downs, but lately it is a joy to have her at the house every Tuesday evening. She fixes dinner, gives her piano lesson and then we curl up together and watch American Idol. Not something I enjoy watching, but she does and since she has her ARCT in music, she can definitely hear when one of the contestants is off key or pitchy. I still don't understand what pitchy is, but that's why I need her to listen with me. I do have my grade 7 from the RCM but finding the time, energy, and patience to work on my grade 8 is beyond me right now. I'd tried a few years ago but the amount of time that I had to spend at the piano was cutting into my knitting time.

I still have several UFO's but I'm continually searching for a new pattern or wanting new yarn to start something else. However, I decided to work on my Kukka last night. I'm still working on my triangle shawl made out of Fleece Artist Goldielocks but it is mostly my on-the-go project.
I gave my daughter the Freedom Spirit beret and scarf that I'd made for her even though they are really for winter. She loved them. But then she loved all the stamps, paper, beads, and other card making and bead supplies that I'd bought her.
Next Saturday is my son's 24th birthday so we'll be doing it all over again. My husband can't understand why our adult children actually enjoy spending their birthdays with us, but I told him that we should be grateful that they want to share their special day with us.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Meeting a fellow knitter.

I had to go to a local hospital today to swallow some radioactive stuff for a laser scan of my thyroid. The parking lot was full, and I must have gone around it several times trying to find one simple parking spot. I'd given myself plenty of time as I know that the parking for this hospital is always full. Since I have a disability sticker due to having fibromyalgia, I finally found a disability spot that was open. I don't generally use those spots unless I'm in a lot of pain, know that I'm going to be walking for a long period of time or shopping and carrying heavy bags. However, I needed a parking spot very badly so I used it. I wasn't there for long as all I had to do was drink this liquid which tasted like water. I was reassured that I wouldn't be radioactive.

As a nurse, or somewho who nursed for 25 years before having to stop due to fibromyalgia, I did like how I was treated. I couldn't eat or drink anything for an hour, and of course all I wanted when I got into the car was a nice glass of water. But I did hold out.

When I walked into the nuclear medicine department, I saw a very nice lady sitting in a corner knitting. The joy that I felt to find someone else who knew the value of having a bag of knitting with them during waiting for appointments or waiting for someone else was instant. It was quite dark in the room so I did ask her how she could see. She said she didn't need much light and of course I pulled out the shawl that I'm making as it is my favourite mindless item to work on in such situations.

We found out we live in the same area and of course we both love knitting. I loved the yarn that she was using and it was nice to finally be able to touch some yarn from Knitpicks. I rarely purchase yarn online anymore unless it is something that I know and it is at a great discount. I buy all my yarn from 88 Stitches in Langley now as it is my home away from home.

We exchanged 'knitting cards' and her son was the type of young man who was polite and interested in someone else who knits as much as his mum does.

Since I'm working on the Fountain Hat, free from Knittingdaily for the lady who does the threading of my eyebrows in Cloverdale, I worked a few more rounds on it while tending my very ill dog.

Scully most likely has a tumor on her liver. There was no point in having an ultrasound since at age 11, we weren't about to put her through a very dangerous surgery. Even if the tumor was in a place that could have been easily removed, the surgery probably would have killed her. Her liver enzymes are up plus she's anemic. She did want to go for a walk on Tuesday after dinner but I didn't take her as far as we usually go even though she seemed eager to do it. The past two days have been hard on both of us. She's not eating anything except people food and her treats which are very soft. She's weak when she gets up and very shaky on her legs. She has some shortness of breath after going outside for a brief period of time, and it is breaking my heart.

We're just trying to keep her comfortable, give her a lot of love, and I'm going to make a hamburger patty for her tonight in the hopes that I can get some protein and calories into her.

She's turned her nose up at her regular food, all dry food and even the canned food now.

I'm not good at having an animal put down, but if she does continue to be so short of breath and isn't eating anything, I'll have to discuss it with my husband. I'd rather that she just go quietly in her sleep. She isn't crying out in pain, but I know that she's uncomfortable.

I've been lying on the floor with her at times and crying. She likes it when I'm in the room, so you'd think that I'd get a lot of knitting done. I'm not. Mostly I'm trying to find things that she'll eat.

However, the fountain hat is coming along. I've started the lace pattern. I just hope that it will be big enough for Sarb. Her head is 23" and the pattern says that the ribbing will be 20". I used Debbie Bliss cashmerino dk and 3.75mm needles. When I'd done a gauge with 3.5mm needles, I was close to gauge, but I need this hat to be bigger. I was helped out by ravelry and someone who had done the hat in dk weight and used 3.75mm needles and she said it fit her and she had a big head.

We'll see. If it is too small, I'll just frog it and start again. The fingerless gloves that I'd made out of the same colour of yarn is what she wants and the hat and gloves are a paid project. I like to do my very best work when someone asks me to make them something and wants to pay me for my time and the yarn.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Not one of my better days

My 11 year old shepherd/lab isn't doing very well. She's on prednisone for arthritis but I swear that the prednisone is making her sicker than the pain of having arthritis in her spine and no disc cushioning in her hind legs. So my days have been mostly spent worrying about Scully, giving her love, and helping her up to go outside to pee. So far, she's managed to get up with some help, and she did eat some canned dog food today. She's never had canned dog food, but she doesn't seem to want to chew anything rough. Even a couple of biscuit treats have been sitting by her bed for two days now.

Of course I've done some knitting during this time of watching her and nursing her. I finished the Ingaborg vest from a Noro pattern book, by Jane Ellison. I had problems understanding how to do the short rows for the collar, but I used the wrap and turn method and it did work out just fine. I reblocked it and it is still drying but I probably should have made a size small rather than a medium size. It seems a bit loose on me. Oh well. It looks funky, and will be nice for Spring days when it isn't raining.

I did start a romper outfit for my grandson, but I was going to do the legs in the round rather than have a seam. However, I realized that since I have to change colours about every 6 rows, it will be easier to sew up a seam and get all of those tails into the seam.

I started a long awaited sweater for my husband out of guilt as I spent far too much money on Handmaiden when it came into 88 Stitches. I now am trying not to buy any more books or yarn for two months, but it is very hard. I did pick up some Debbie Bliss Cathay and a book of hers on discount from I was able to use up some vouchers so basically my taxes were paid.

More guilt for me of course, but the purple that I bought will be perfect for a Spring/Summer top. That is if I can finish up some UFO's that are still lingering. The Wavy Scarf, a free pattern from Handmaiden is slowly getting worked on now as it seems to be the only thing that is holding my interest right now.

It must be the weather, my sick dog, and just generally tired of winter that is making me restless and tired. I'm sure that I'll feel much better tomorrow when I take my dear mother-in-law out to lunch. If not, I'll take a nap before dinner. Friday is my knitting day at 88 Stitches, and although I don't want to leave Scully alone for too long, she did all right when my son and I went to Costco this afternoon. I figure a couple of hours without me hovering over her will probably be a welcoming rest for her.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What to finish next?

I'm getting close to finishing the Tilted Duster by Norah Gaughan that was on the cover of Interweave Fall, 2007 magazine. Three of us decided to make it and I just have about 14 more rows to do plus do the collar and buttons. And of course sew the sleeves in.

I've discovered that I like to finish projects quickly. Thus, Sue from 88 Stitches did send me a short scarf pattern that was online because right now I'm into short scarves. They go quickly, they look beautiful and they are great for keeping my neck warm at this time of the year.

I'm trying to use up my stash, but when Fleece Artist and Handmaiden shipments arrive at 88 Stitches, it will be hard for me to resist. The short row scarf that I made was out of Grande Godiva, silk and wool and the colours are renaissance and look amazing in short rows.

My daughter tried it on and she loved it but it is mine to keep. I'm planning to make several short scarves with buttons for Christmas and I already have one saved.

I'm very tired lately and even knitting for a long period of time is getting to be hard on my poor fibromyalgia body. With the weather constantly changing, I've run into a flare that just won't go away. However, I'm determined to finish this Tilted Duster in a week so I can actually wear it before it possibly gets warmer outside.

In BC, I still need a sweater in the Spring and yet I don't want the rain to ruin the beautiful Berroco peruvia.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Cold Day

I don't seem to find the time to write something here very often. I do keep up my site at ravelry and my knitting projects are posted there. Currently I'm in an online KAL and we're making socks. I'm making toe up socks with some beautiful alpaca, merino wool and nylon that I bought at a fair a couple of years ago. I got the toes started and then put both socks on two circular needles. It makes the project go slower but at the end, I'll have two socks and won't have to be concerned about finishing the second sock.

I'm busy working on denim pants for my almost 15 month old grandson in size 18 months because I'd bought the yarn after he was born but never got around to making them until a month or so ago. I now have both legs done and have joined them together and all I have to do is go round and round for about 50 more rounds. Hopefully they will fit him. The pattern is from the book, Last Minute Gifts and I've found this book to have some nice projects in it.

I really have the obsessive/compulsive casting on syndrome. I have several ongoing projects. One is for when I'm out and about and have to wait for an appointment or just wait in line at the bank. It is mindless knitting. It is going to be a short scarf, and I did make one for my daughter for Christmas that she wears everywhere and gets lots of compliments about it. It makes her blue eyes look bluer and it keeps her neck warm as it is very cold outside lately.

However, the sun is shining and that makes up for the freezing weather since we live in British Columbia, Canada in the lower mainland where it rains and rains until one feels like they've turned to rust.

It is time to sit for awhile and either work on the socks or do a few more rounds of the pants, or even work a bit on the Tilted Duster that I've been working on for months. Sometimes having many projects on the go is nice because I can pick and choose, but at this point I really need to finish these pants before my grandson is too big for them.