Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Sun came out today

October used to be such a glorious month in the Lower Mainland. You used to count on a warm October with crisp evenings & cool nights. Is it my imagination, or have we had too many years with too much rain??? Today was a wonderful October day. Cold morning, warm, almost hot afternoon - yes, that IS a bit too much sun on my face - with the cool evening just starting as the sun goes down. I got my rays at Starbucks today from 2 to 3:30 while knitting on the Wonderful Wallaby in the Anniversary Blue Briggs & Little wool. I love the color. The Carpenter who is to wear this sweater loves the color too - it will bring out the blue of his eyes & make him a little more irresistible to the woman in his life. The BT & I brought them together about 8 years ago when we spent a summer being bums at Starbucks - sigh, young love . . . . . . .

Since my fingers are better, I've been able to take up the needles for a longer period of time & have finished my Tomten jacket in three colors. I have yet to sew up the sleeves or figure out the front closures - looking thru the button bin this evening to see if I have anything that will work - who knows, it may get a zipper. The next one will definitely be a pullover!!!! I think I hate sewing up & sewing on buttons the most - I'd rather knit!!!
Haven't decided if I'll knit a pullover Tomten next or make the Baby Surprise Jacket. The Tomten is really a fast & simple knit - all garter stitch - without any bother about shaping which is really nice if you just want to take it everywhere for those moments you need something to do. It's like car socks - mindless time filler. But some child will love the end result & I guess, in the end, that's the most important part of knitting for charity.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Holy Crap, it's almost Monday again!?!

I have no idea where the last few days have gone other than they've just gone! Hey, I want some of this life back when I'm not stressed or aching! My thumbs have been so damned sore that I haven't knit more than the cuffs on the Tomten jacket & even they aren't sewed together yet.

My friend Karen told me what the problem is with the BT - She said he's grieving. Well, duhhhhhh, of course he is!! - smack myself in the forehead . . . I took all those courses too, way back when, but it's funny how you don't apply them when YOU'RE the one with the problem. Once the light came on behind my eyes, my blood pressure went down. I've litterally been making myself sick with worry. Of course . . . . he's working thru the Anger stage!! I'm so stupid. Upon realizing this, I was able to talk to him rationally about what's going on & beat him up a little about taking it out on me. And then I asked some important questions about how he'll manage when he CAN go home & what he thinks he'll need to make that happen. There's nothing like being prepared when the Social Worker asks the very same questions . . . .

So, now that the BIG problem was sort of solved on Wednesday - the Ladies Auxiliary's home made brownies - on sale in the Hospital didn't hurt neither!!! I was able to come home & root thru my bags - yes, litterally BAGS - of left over sock yarns for ideas for Frankensocks. I think I need a bag of black & red to tie everything together! I love Frankensocks. As long as the measurement from cuff to heel & heel to toe is the same, you can do anything in between! I have more people every year to knit for so I haven't decided whether to make another dozen infant socks for Afghanistan or to make adult socks for charity. So many decisions, so little time . . . . . What did someone say today?? Two months to the big day . . . .

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One last whine . . . no, I don't serve cheese with that!

I finally quit feeling sorry for myself
, pulled in the old a**hole strings & got back to the grind. I picked up my friend Lucy yesterday morning bright & early - she had some moaning of her own to get done so we had a little teary session in memory of her dad who died two years ago this week. We sat outside in the sunshine, on the cement block behind Starbucks with a coffee, & talked of old times. We laughed till we cried over some of the shenanegans that used to go on at the grubby little shop by the
Patullo bridge where most business transactions were done in cash. We giggled over all of the dirty, grimy, sticky, nasty jobs we used to do for her dad for money. He once signed me up to release towed cars from the compound across the yard, if you can believe it!! I was the bookkeeper who also stripped cars & helped install windshields while she learned to scrape, label, paint, prime & cut up junk cars. We both ran for parts. Gawd, I miss you Jerry.

And then we drove down to visit the Nasty Man at the hospital. I know he was glad to see us but as is often the case these days, he was sour & mean. She offered to tip over the chair & suggested we leave him out behind the bushes. He'd fallen in the bathroom just before we arrived so that really put him in a mood! He's frustrated. He's not progressing as fast as he wants. He's tired of the Geriatric ward. And he just wants OUT. But, some progress to report - he's doing physio TWICE a day now - they ARE considering a walker for him & he's getting assessed on his personal care ability tomorrow. I think that man just needs someone a little younger to compete with. His current roomie, who is a lot younger, has given up & just won't try to do anything for himself! That depresses the BT more than anything.

Not much to report on the knitting, spinning or dyeing front. I've been too busy doing receipt sorting & data entry. There's nothing like a little emotional stress to raise the Blood Pressure & cause the old arthritis to flare up too. I'm back taking pills three times a day again & can't spin at all at the moment.
My Tomten sleeves are almost finished
- I have one to go, the closure to figure out & then onto the next one which will be a pullover Tomten!
I do prefer to START new projects than FINISH old ones . . . . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another Weepy Weekend . . . .

I spent the weekend feeling sorry for myself. With the BT & my friend Lucy in the hospital, the Girls at the Spinning Retreat & my techie buddy Kelly in love & visiting out of town - hey, we all know what he's doing!!! - I was actually lonely. I couldn't even find Kelly's buddy Steve on the weekend! The only one left was my ex. Guess who I ended up eating Shanghai Noodle Soup with??? Yup, the EX! Oh I could've hung around Starbucks on my own, I suppose, someone I know would've come in eventually but I wanted to whine & you have to have just the right people for that!! I've been working on my own too long - when I go to work, everyone else is off, I'm losing touch!!

Man - I gotta get out & find some new friends or get a day job like everyone else!!!

I did spend time working on the Tomten jacket. After half a sleeve I realized something was wonky. EZ isn't always really clear in her directions in the Opinionated Knitter! When I realized my sleeve was wider than the back of the sweater, I knew I'd done something wrong! Frogged the whole sleeve back to where I picked up the original stitches & really LOOKED at it. Aha - You don't pick up & knit ONE underarm stitch on the holder each row as you knit the sleeve, you must knit ONE sleeve stitch & ONE underarm stitch together at each end until they're all knitted up. Makes sense to me. So, I'm happily knitting the sleeve once more & it now looks like a sleeve! I now get that nice horizontal line where the sleeve meets the body. Details. Details.

Didn't spin Sunday away as I planned. I was lonely so I went to work. It gave me something to do & I got the wash done while I was at it. And it took me close to the Sushi shop!! Mama had sushi for lunch & the remains for supper!!! Lucky me, Kelly arrived home & took me for coffee in the evening. Oh boy, he's got it bad. He's already commissioned a Designer to work on the rings . . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

All men are snakessssssssss . . . .

I'm actually still talking to the BT although I've considered trading him in on a newer model! Well, any model for that fact. He can't understand why MY stomach churns & I'm all stressed out - after all, HE's the one with the injury!! He's the one who has to stay in hospital . . . And who's the one who didn't look after himself??? Hmmm?? Why are sick men like poisonous snakes???? GRRRRRRR

I did stop by for all of 40 minutes
- Apparently the Physio - heh, she's a member of my Spinning & Weaving Guild - works him like a Rented Mule for two hours every day with no nonsense. By the time she gets done, he's done for the day & has to sleep! He says learning how to walk again is the hardest work he's ever done & he's just too tired to hang out in the coffee shop much!! Apparently the rehab ward is terrific, the staff are wonderful - if you have to be in the hospital, this is the ward you want!!! He's taking advantage of everything he can do & work with. And he's much happier. I guess the secret to make a man better is to keep him busy even when he's sick. I swear my stomach got better just listening!

I treated myself to dinner & then headed over to my favorite LYS, Knitopia. I was going to give a fellow knitter a lesson in turning a heel a la Queen Kahuna & turn in my first "Boomer" sweater. I had lots of fun knitting this wild little thing. I just cast on about 94 stitches & went to town! I split the stitches at the armhole & knit the front & back separtely with a three stitch garter band on either side of each to make picking up sleeve stitches easier. I was going to put buttons on the shoulders but if a kid loses one or two, they may be hard to find.

I looked through a ton of yarn but couldn't find the color I needed to finish the fronts of my Tomten sweater. DAMN. Well, there was nothing to do but frog the one partially knit front & knit them b
oth in another shade of something. The back can stay the way it is. I ended up knitting the narrow fronts in this grey & using a pink for the arms. I think it all goes together quite nicely, don't you???? The Tomten is a fun little sweater to knit & would make a great adult jacket. It does eat a lot of yarn though, so be prepared!! I think I like it's design more than the Baby Surprise Jacket - oh, stop yelling!! - I know the BSJ is a stash buster & a lot of fun to knit but this one's so simple. I'm thinking I'll make the next one a pullover with a split front! Maybe I'll even steal the pouch from the Wonderful Wallaby for the front . . . . . . I must say knitting kid's sweaters is a blast - nice change from all the socks I usually churn out.

And back to Arvik - my perpetually-in-progress handspun sweater was chosen by the cat as a daybed while I was gone all day yesterday. She pulled the sweater-in-progress half out of the plastic bag & rolled up in a ball with it . . . . . I'm thinkin' that this is a hint to finish it NOW & get it out of her way!!

The Girls are off
to the Fall Retreat, sigh . . . . with my cat
sitter in the hospital, I'm stuck at home this weekend. Maybe I'll just spin all day Sunday & think of them driving through all that rain in the Canyon. I have been spinning up the superwash sock yarn I bought at the Spring Retreat hosted by our local guild. I'm not sure it'll be socks but I'm sure getting fond of fingerless gloves . . . . I'll never be a shawl or scarf person either but leg warmers for work??? Maybe . .

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ode to the BoyToy

So how's the BoyToy doing??
Well, he had a nasty blow-out in one of the arteries in his brain which could've killed him because it took two days to get him to the hospital. By the time we actually got him there, it was trying to heal itself. Lucky for him, lucky for his family!! You don't get too many of these breaks in life. He will have some p
ermanent damage but the medical staff say it'll be minimal - whatever that means. He has no paralysis & his speech is good but he still hasn't located his left arm & leg in space. They're still about 4 inches from where he thinks they are - they used to be about 8" away so I guess this is progress too. His eyes are still not working together properly - they both see & focus but not together in the same place. He can read & understand the big letters but not the small print. His recall is sometimes goofy. But he can pass most of the tests the physio gives him but the big one - he isn't walking yet. His hand is better than his leg. A bunch of his pals hauled him out this weekend for beer & pizza. He's on the mend if he can go out for beer & pizza!!! He's extremely nasty & cranky - sick man syndrome?, wants to escape the hospital at any cost & just wants to go home NOW. And he can't wait to go back to work. So I guess life returns to almost normal.

And how am
I?? Well, relieved, angry, resentful, stressed, restless, carrying on as I always do. At least the cat's always happy to see me when I come home - she rushes out to the car to give me shit for being gone so long!!! When I'm really angry & resentful, I try to remember how I'd feel if it were ME laying there not being able to make my own decisions, being poked, prodded, isolated, no privacy or hot shower. I'd be screaming long & loud too. I hate hospitals. I hate the smells, the sounds, the people & the whole industry. And I generally avoid them at all cost! LOL Its funny - the staff say they don't like patients who just want to stay in the Hospital Hotel. But heh, they really don't like the ones who want to get up & check out quickly!

I HAVE been getting some knitting done though. Wheeling those damned wonky chairs, the emotional distress & the change in the weather has kind of crippled my hands. I can't even spin right now. I can barely write never mind knit! But, I've been slowly working on my "Boomer" projects. I still have to find three buttons for the shoulder of the bottom up sweater in the wild colors - yellow, lemon, orange & beige AND I've got a EZ Tomten on the needles in plum - haven't decided what color the arms will be but I wish I had Celery colored yarn. This is the first time I've made the Tomten & I thought it would be fun although garter stitch really seems to go on & on & on. I might try the Baby Surprise Jacket too - it'll be much bigger in the yarn I've been given but I'm not sure how much bigger! I think chunky yarn is much harder to knit with than good old sock yarn when you have sore fingers but I'm doing a little here & there. The day is so dark & grey today that my camera won't even take a good picture . . . .

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Another Day, Another Visit

I'm getting pretty good at wheeling wheelchairs around hospital corridors. The only thing I'm NOT good at is making my way up & down hills with a loaded one. I think the staff on the BoyToy's ward hate us. Two days in a row we've had wonky wheelchairs. They go where they desire. They stop suddenly when we hit a mat or veer off into a wall when we try to go straight! It's not easy wheeling a 230 pound man up a hill but it's impossible when all four wheel
s are going in different directions!! I just about dumped the poor man into the roadway over a 4" drop yesterday . . . . I don't need to go to the gym because I'm getting a terrific workout at the hospital!

I'm doing a fair bit of knitting. My pals & I have dropped everything for a couple of weeks to knit for the "Boomer" project which sends knitted hats & sweaters for small children to Afg
hanistan to be distributed by Canadian troops. The girls must have a dozen or more hats between them while I've finished one sweater & am onto the second which is EZ's Tomten sweater. I might even get a Baby Surprise Jacket done in this chunky wild yarn. I'm enjoying the knitting - just stocking stitch or garter but I've got 12 different colors to work with!! LOL And I've found that I've forgotten what size a small child actually is . . . . This is a pic of the first sweater in progress. The second sleeve is now finished & I have to sew three buttons on the shoulder!! The Tomten jacket is already on the needles & will be in purples & grey.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

In the Blink of an Eye

My best bud had a stroke Sunday night. We both thought he had the flu & didn't actually do anything about his condition till Tuesday afternoon. With hindsight, we should've done something on Monday but neither of us would acknowledge what we both suspected. Who really wants to think they're having a stroke at 50??? Not the guy having one, that's for sure. My pal Karen tells me he has a good chance at a full recovery - I certainly hope so. I mean, what's life without a BoyToy??

So you get to thinking about YOUR chances. About 5 years ago, while sitting at my computer late one evening, I had a TIA. My right hand went all numbish & tingly & the right side of my mouth went all tingly. I thought, OH SHIT, I'm having a stroke. I immediately went & took two regular aspirin with a hot drink & tried to relax. The tingling went away. I went to the nearest clinic in the morning since it was a Friday night on Welfare & Pension week. Welfare week means the emerg is backed up outside the door & it would be tomorrow before anyone saw me anyway!!! I was lucky - my blood pressure was sky high but I had no visible damage once the pressure went down. But I could've had a stroke. The BoyToy has been bitching at me periodically ever since. Did I really heed the warning?? Somewhat. Got my pressure under control. Changed my diet a little. But my weight is the same & I don't exercise. Guess this is a wake up call for both of us . . . .