Sunday, March 29, 2009

Renewed Energy

I finally feel as if I'm recovering from the stress of the past few weeks. For nearly a week after my trip to Vermont I'd put in a long day at work, come right home, eat dinner and crash. The energy has slowly come back though, and I've become productive again.

I finished my niece's socks.

And started some new ones for me.

This is a mill end from Blue Moon Fiber Arts that I picked up (okay, practically snatched out of my best-friend-evar Tika's hands) at Stitches West in February. Hot pink normally isn't my color (I leave that to Jasmin) but I thought this colorway was pretty cool.

Our back yard has been quite productive as well! We've been eating peas:

And carrots:

The onions are well under way:

Here's a blurry but pretty iris:

(I'm wondering if I could possibly interpret that into some hand-dyed roving.)

And the roses are going crazy:

Ah, Spring!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Catching Up

Thanks everyone for the hugs and sympathy with regard to Riso. Even though I didn't have it in me at the time to respond to you each individually, it helped a lot to know you're all out there. He was a great boy and we miss him, and we'll be ok.

I have a bunch of catching up to do - some things big, some things little. So this is a bit random but here we go:

A few weeks ago some of you saw me at Purlescence trying to knit something out of cut-up mailing envelopes to wear to my company's 10,000,000th customer celebration. Well the knitted fabric (if you can call it that) ended up too stiff so I went another route, but here's what I ended up wearing:

We were asked to don company-inspired cocktail wear - so between a bunch of mailers and copious amount of black duct tape, I cobbled together a Netflix flapper dress. Not knitted (though my Isadora-Duncan-style scarf was crocheted), but I'm still pretty pleased with it. Yay for fringe.

I never elaborated on my father and stepmother's visit over Stitches Weekend. I took them to Stitches thinking they'd last about 90 minutes - they're super high energy people, but they're not exactly fond of crowds so I figured our time there would be short. I was wrong - they lasted over 4 hours and made few but very high-quality purchases. In the meantime I got to see some friends, missed running into a few others, but over all had a very good time.

My stepmother is a very creative person - she sews and quilts, and also knits beautifully. She brought me a few presents. First, no one has ever made so socks for me before! I love the color and they fit perfectly.

Miguel liked them too.

The other gift is really special. Growing up, my grandparents had a house on Martha's Vineyard. On the sofa in that house were two hand-needlepointed pillows, a gift sometime in the '50s made by a friend of my grandmother's. When they sold the house a few years ago, my stepmother saved the pillows, even though they were in pretty sad shape. She saved the needlepoint and made them into new pillowcovers for me.

Cool, huh? And they're even 'my' colors.

Oh yeah - so I went to Vermont last weekend. I even bought shiny (kind of) new shoes for the event:

The event being my son's wedding! Meet Jesse and Heather.

The event took place at Heather's grandparent's house. It was simple and lovely and perfect. I flew to Vermont on Friday, and home on Sunday. Fortunately the flights went perfectly so there was no travel stress. Just knitting time. I made a ton of progress on these:

These are plain vanilla socks for my oldest niece, who loves camoflage colors - this was the closest I could find to that. The yarn is Regia Galaxy Saturn which is a very nice basic sock yarn at a reasonable price.

I've also been working on my Lady Eleanor Stole:

It's a very easy knit - easily done while socializing - and I love watching the color changes. This is out of Noro Silk Garden in a discontinued colorway that I bought at Webs about 2 years ago. I will likely use it more as something to keep on the couch to throw over me when I'm cold than as a wrap, but we'll see. A girl can always change her mind.

I'd be slacking a little in the spinning department but have picked it up again. I'm currently making a 3-ply sock yarn out of Superwash Merino in the Aqualung colorway from Crown Mountain Farms.

I have 8 ounces of the stuff which is easily enough for 2 pairs of socks. If I don't trade away half with someone else, I may ply 4 ounces of it together in the standard method and Navajo-ply the other half just to see the different effects. As usual, the CMF fiber is just fab - I recommend it highly.

And last, I've been having computer issues for a few months. My laptop (IBM Thinkpad) is over 5 years old and the left mouse button under the touchpad actually has a huge dent in it from my thumbnail hitting it thousands and thousands of times. Certain keys were non-functional (not being able to cursor left is a real bitch, letmetellyou), the wireless card was fading fast (losing the internet every 30 seconds isn't fun either) and in general, it was just dying. It did a fine job while it lasted, but it was time to move on.

Enter my new buddy, Mac:

Purty, huh? I opted for this over another PC because I was tired of Microsoft commandeering my computer while I slept and making changes in the name of 'security' that ultimately screwed up plenty of other things.

I'm still learning about Mac and a new way of doing things, but I think we're going to be good friends.

Monday, March 16, 2009

He's Gone

Riso December 31, 1996 - March 16, 2009

We let him go gently this evening. He was ready. We are heartbroken.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Drive By

Ok, this picture is really blurry but it captures the mood perfectly! I had the pleasure of meeting up with Norma and Joan for lunch and a little yarn crawl on Saturday before the wedding. We had the best time. Here we are in less blurry form:

I've been following Norma's blog for years, and Joan and I have commented on each other's blogs but mostly 'know' each other as frequent commenters on Alison's blog. It was absolutely fab to meet them both in person!

Oh yeah. The wedding was pretty cool too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Right Direction

Some of you will remember this post in which I expressed my frustration with my now former physician. I switched doctors and also started working with an endocrinologist. Unfortunately, both new relationships turned out to be disappointments. Apparently it's not just the individual doctor; much of the problem is with the group itself which seems to want to make it extremely difficult for you to actually speak with or see your doctor, and gives them so little time with each patient that all they can do is shove a prescription at you and escort you out the door. During this time, my blood work continued to yield results that were heading in the entirely wrong direction.

Not my idea of acceptable health care. So I decided to take a few other routes. First, I stopped taking the medication prescribed by the endocrinologist who turned out to be big on medication and short on listening. Then I got a recommendation for a naturopath who was willing to work in conjunction with traditional doctors, and I started seeing her late last year. My first visit, we talked for nearly 90 minutes and discussed the possibilities of what could be going wrong. I then did a series of tests, and our next visit we reviewed them; they weren't good. We then talked about how to make improvements. I started taking herbal supplements and did a 3-week cleanse. I also switched conventional physicians and medical groups. Through recommendations I found a doctor who was willing to work with the naturopath, and seemed much more willing to figure out the problem rather than medicate the symptom.

Well this week I had more blood work done. Thanks to this new approach, I'm no longer heading toward diabetes; my glucose levels are back within normal range. Other readings are still higher than we'd like, but every single one of them has reversed direction and is progressing toward better health. I've lost 6 pounds - the first time in 3 years I can say that. I've only been at this 3 months so I'm pretty confident that I'll see even more improvement as time passes. So yay for me and to those doctors who wouldn't listen to me - in yo face! I'm a happy girl.


Anonymous/Leah wanted to know if the 2 pictures of the Lisa Souza batts from my last post were indeed the same batt. Yes - they were. One showed the warm dark brown and the other, while the batt itself looked washed out, better showed the streaks of tencel running through the wool. I fully admit to not being a good photographer. Shots on this blog that turn out well do so entirely by accident, not as a result of my skill. It's not that I don't care - I do - but my time is limited and if I gave my photographs the attention necessary to improve the quality, I would probably blog only rarely. It's all about priorities.

Other Happy Things

I did end up making one more purchase at Stitches West.

This is an ounce of 100% Silk Tussah in 'Jade II' from A Verb For Keeping Warm. I decided my Golding spindle deserved a little special fiber project, and this is it. I don't know what I'll make from it when it's done, but I'm going for a 2-ply lace weight. The color in this shot isn't entirely accurate - it's really a little more green and less gray.

I'm off at the crack of dawn tomorrow to fly to Vermont for my son's wedding. Next time I blog I'll be a mother-in-law! Bwahahahahaha...

See you next week.