small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Itchy Crawly Heebie Jeebies

Is my nose clean enough Ma?

This post won't be as long as usual. I hear lots of sighs of relief in the background so I won't feel the least bit guilty!

I really had a tough week without a lot of sleep. Out of the blue I developed the worst case of Restless Leg syndrome in the world. Oh heck-it was actually Restless Everything syndrome. Every evening when I would start to settle in to get some productive knitting done, I would start itching intensely all over my upper arms. At first I thougt "dry skin" and bought several new moisturizers and applied them liberally, very very liberally. Sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. And still evening came and I itched. Then I realized that it was not a normal itch, it was creepy crawly, almost painful. And then other things started getting crawly like my hair. So next step was to go by special hydrocortisone cream and sleeping pills. I got the brilliant idea that I would slather myself with cream, take some sleeping pills and be knocked out. Wrong answer!! I writhed in bed all night and had a sleeping pill hangover the next day. I already had a doctor's appointment scheduled for March so I knew I just had to figure it out myself or wait til I could see him. So I Googled my symptoms and the one thing I found was a possible over dose of Vitamin B-12. And that was only on 1 website. Most of the others say you can not overdose on B-12. Usually I only take 1 2000mg sublingual B-12 a day which works miracles for me in keeping away cancer sores in my mouth. But when I injure my mouth in some way I take more to help heal the sore before it gets out of hand. And so I had been taking extra. The good thing is B-12 doesn't hang around long so all I had to do is stop taking it for 1 day and the next night? No heebie jeebies or creepy crawlies.....just beautiful peaceful restfull sleep. So lesson learned about the B-12 and I will not up my dose indiscriminately ever again.

I did still manage to get a few things worked on this week. I got a bit done on the afghan but didn't get around to taking any new pics. At this point I probably only need to take pics every
other week or so or else it won't really look any different. I also got some knit on the Aran sweater but again not enough to photograh. I am almost to the underarm and will have to start on the sleeves real soon.

But I did do something pretty cool in my knitting world. It started Tuesday night when I realized I had not knit on any socks for a good while and that needed to be remedied. So I picked up the only sock yarn that I had wound into a ball and cast on my usual 72 stitches and did 2X2 ribbing. I wanted to use some garter stitch so I figured I would knit 6, purl 6 on row 1 and knit the entire row 2, repeating these 2 rows until I got to the foot. I knit a few rows of that the first night and was happy with the result. Now the magic starts the next morning. I always check on my on-line WW friends in the mornings. It had been a few days since one of our good friends had checked in and we were all starting to get worried. And for good reason. She finally confided in us that her doctor suspected that her breast cancer might have spread to her lung as there was a spot there. She was going to need a biopsy. I immediately knew those socks were for her. So I put all other knitting aside and knit pretty constantly until 4 whole days later I had a finished pair of socks. That is with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and size 1's!! I have never even come close to finishing 1 sock in that time let alone 2 and probably won't ever do that again. But hopefully she will love having very soft warm socks on her feet while she continues to go thru chemo as unfortunately the biopsy did not come back with the best news. But prayers will continue to fly to her from all of her dear on-line friends.

DH finally got to go to the neurosurgeon this week. And he is going to end up having surgery on the herniated disc in his neck. This is actually good news because the chances are very good that the pain will go away and the strength will come back by having it. The bad news is that he has to wait until April to have it done. He went to the most popular neurosurgeon in town who has a long waiting list and then the guy is going to go have knee surgery before he does DH's!! Darn guy wanting to be able to stand without pain!! And of course the end result is that our move has to be shoved back another 3 months or so now waiting for the surgery and then getting thru the recovery time. So it looks like I will be around SW Oklahoma just a little longer than expected.

Our weather here has been up and down for the last few weeks. But spring is so close we can taste it. My first daffodil should be blooming tomorrow and I have seen robins and cardinals returning to the feeders. This next week I hope to have a bit more done on the afghan and be working on the sleeves to my sweater. I want to do both sleeves at the same time on magic loop so that is something I have not done before. But that is what google is for. Don't you love the computer age when you can just look up about anything and watch a tutorial someone took the time to make just for you? And who knows-I may get another pair of socks on the needles this week since there is still a bunch of sock yarn waiting to be de-stashed!!!! But if I get started right now I can get 2 more afghan squares knit tonight. So off I go and see you all next week..

Monday, February 18, 2008

On a Dare

This pciture is the result of me not keeping my mouth shut!! I was doing some more packing this week and was digging around in the closet for things I would not need any time soon. I got to the dusty back of my hanging clothes and pulled out my hippy wedding dress. It was cheap when I bought it almost 32 years ago and has never been cared for anymore than just being on a hanger and drug from town to town as we moved. I decided to throw it in the washer and see if it would survive, suprisingly it did quite well. I happened to mention to my weight watcher friends that I thought I could actually fit into it after all these years. Well they kind of dared me to do just that and take a picture. So this morning, I donned the dress, set up the camera and staging(sewing interfacing over the window to diffuse lighting) and set out to make a self portrait. It took about 2 hrs since the lighting was still difficult with so much white. I just kept messing with the metering and finally got a few shots. So yes, I can fit into my wedding dress. But will I ever do this again-probably not!!! This dress will now be officially retired and given to my dear granddaughters to play dress up. I am sure I can get a much better picture when they play "wedding"!!

My knitting week was very very good to me. Last week I mentioned that I had to put the Million sq afghan on hold until more yarn came in. I only had to wait until Wednesday but then it came in droves!! I had been checking the mailbox everyday and finding nothing. I was expecting a Knitpicks order and 2 balls I bought on ebay. Then finally while I was out walking Wed afternoon the mailman came thru with my knitpicks order AND....a whole big box of yarn scraps from the Heathen Housewife herself!!!!! I could not beleive how generous she was and with what lovelies. The knitpicks order paled in comparison. Within minutes I had a new block on the needles and I have been cranking them out since. One day I reeled off 9 new squares. I think now I have finally used every yarn HH sent at least once and some twice. And the Knitpicks yarn ended up being quite lovely too. Of course now I am craving even more variety and have 3 more orders coming in. Still have a bit coming from some more friends too.

I am finally cranking on the Saddle Shouldered Aran. I can only knit about 8 rows a night tho. For some reason it makes my arms ache a little more than most projects. It may the extra work involved in the many cables that need to be crossed. But still 8 rows a night will have the project done well before sweater wearing weather rolls around again next fall. It took awhile but the spreadsheet format has started to click with me and the cable repeats are fairly easily memorized. So far I have only found one very tiny mistake, a purl stitch when it should have been a knit. But it is well disguised and I am sure not going to try to fix it. I am working on a fairly short cable circular needle so I can not "try" the body on yet but if anything it will be a little loose. Plus the steek would make it hard to tell. I can always make adjustments when I do the buttonbands to size it up or down just a little.

And for once I actually got some sewing/quilting done. This quilt top is the found one that I speculate could be at least 20 years old. I finished sewing on the last row of blocks, whipped on the border and today got it basted for quilting. Lexi just had to jump in and hog the picture. Crazy Cat.

I hope this next week finds me nearly as productive and accomplished!! There is still a bit of packing to be done although we got a lot more done this weekend. This is finally the week DH gets to go to the surgeon to see if he can get his neck fixed. I had to laugh when Sunday I was thinking about my busy schedule for the week. I plan on going to DH's Dr's appointment with him and I have my stitch group that night. That and the commissary and I was feeling a little pressure of being away from home too much. Think back less than 2 months ago and I would have had to add a 40+ hr work week and 4 hr commute to all of that!!! How I have adjusted to the slow lane!!! My only need for speed is in my needles!!! I will leave you for the week with just a few cute pics of the fuzz buckets. Both of them managed to be very cute and photogenic-much more than their human mommy!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Christmas Stockings Perhaps?

Don't you envy a cat on a chilly winter's day? They can just curl up in a warm sunny spot on the rug and bask the day away. They can be right in the traffic flow and yet they snooze like a log. The best I can do is reach down and stroke his warm soft fur and tell him how much I love him. And in another bit of cat related news-I am happy to announce that Lexi got her stitches out this week and was declared whole and fit. What I thought was an incisional hernia was actually a seroma( fluid filled pocket) and will gradually disappear over the next week or two. She is feeling her wild oats now that the stitches are gone. I swear she has gone into training for the Daytona 500. She runs around the house and thru her tent at top speeds of catness and just wears me out watching. I tried to get a pic of her this week but she never slows down enough to even use my fancy sports shooting mode.

Well my knitting week has been fun filled and somewhat productive. First of all I finally got the 2nd fuzzy foot off the needles. I took a pic and as fast as I could popped them in the washer. They felted up pretty fast but alas, not very evenly. Just as I suspected in the very dark recesses of my mind, the different sections of fair isle felted differently. And it seemed like the 2nd sock got all the patterns that shrunk more in the round dimension than length. But I went into the project knowing full well I may not get a great end result so how can I pretend to be dissappointed? I kind of think they will make great Christmas stockings for the pets. And of course that led into a new idea for bigger felted Christmas socks for the rest of the family. But not now, not for awhile, maybe not ever!!

Then my 2nd bit of knitting related news. I finally got my pattern for the Saddle Shouldered Aran from SchoolHouse Press. Actually it is really not a pattern just some guidelines and suggestions. And the graph for the cables is handdone by EZ herself and not very easy to read even for a veteren chart knitter as me. So I sat down with graph paper, all my Barbara Walker stitch books and the handout and I planned a sweater with my own cables. I will still follow her body design since it is the reason I even bought the pattern. And the hints included I am sure will help me when I get to the tricky little spots I am sure to run into. Too bad it did not help me get those 212 stitches cast on to a circular needle and get them joined without twisting. I did this twice, got 5 rows knit each time and had to rip out. I was using a long size 7 Addi Turbo circular needle so I could do magic loop. I think that is why I ended up twisting. So I got out an old shorter size 7 circular and cast on and managed to get the join without twisting. Well at least I think. I am not knitting 5 more rows on it tonight if there is any chance in hell that I will have to pull it out. I need a fresh start tomorrow before I even touch the project again. But I do think once I get a little more done that it will be a relatively easy knit and I can have some pics to show next week.

My most cool knitting news has to do with Ravelry. I mentioned starting my Million Sq Afghan last week from a pattern written by the Heathen Housewife on her blog. I got my project entered into Ravelry during the week and never thought anything more about it. Then I got a Ravelry email saying Shelly Kang has added you as a friend!! I was so excited I immediately wrote her back gushing how much I enjoyed her blog and how much fun I was having working on the afghan. She wrote back and actually offered to send me a little package of sock yarn to add to mine. That is so cool and of course I jumped on the offer. I will have yarn from the originator of the project in my project for all time. I just wish I could gotten her some of my yarn to include but she is on the final week of square knitting. I did not get a pic of the afghan this week because I have had to let it rest waiting for more yarn to come in. I have orders in to 2 places and 1 more friend plus Shelly's to come. I hope I get something from that darn postman tomorrow cause I am really dying to get back to knitting on it.

I did mess around in the sewing room this weekend also. I got both my scrap baskets cleaned out and lots of quilt "seeds" cut. DH brought me in a box from the garage he said had fabric in it. One of those things was a little quilt top I must have been working on years and years ago. I just had one more seam to sew in the body of the quilt and the fabric for the borders and back are all there and in perfect shape. So today I sewed the last seam and got ready to cut the borders. I am not sure what I will do with the quilt since it will just be a small baby sized quilt. I just wish I could remember the who, what, where, why and when of that project. My memory is really failing me these days, especially about UFO's. But then again,maybe that is selective memory so I don't feel guilty about the age and number of said UFO'S!!

We had some awesome weather this last weekend, warm, sunny with just a wisp of a breeze. I got great walks in and had plenty of time to knit on the back porch while the cats played on the patio. But today is another story entirely. Windy, cold and misty all day. But even so I saw my first robins of the spring and then later my first Cardinal. So spring can't be to far down the road. So I will be patient, watch the birds from the windows, and bundle up more for my walks. And my comfy porch chair will wait for me when the weather improves a bit.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Finished and on the Feet

As you can probably see, Miss Lexi has had her surgery and has recovered enough to snuggle with her favorite pal. She really looks funny with her belly shaved and her stitches are still in so I wish she had been the cat in front but oh well, they don't care a flip how they look for the camera. Unfortunately I think she had developed an incisional hernia from being to active to soon. We will here the official news when we see the vet Friday to remove the offending stitches. If it is a hernia I am sure there will be another surgery in the near future. I think abandoned kitty's cost to way to much money. But who can put a price on a purr?

This week gave us a real taste of summer. Our highs started going over 70 on Friday and soared about 80 yesterday. I moved my patio furniture around and got to sit out and enjoy the sunshine every afternoon. I did some knitting and some reading while basking in the sun and watching the cats pretend to stalk birds. I even tried to take a nap but I started to worry that the red tailed hawk would come snatch my expensive baby so I grabbed her up and went in. I managed to get several projects finished this week. I completed the Di Ve' felted basket on Saturday and it came out pretty well. It is still a little small but the form is finally what I want. The yarn felted nicely but it used up every bit of yarn I had so the basket ended up being quite expensive for a cat bed. But she loves it and will sleep in it till she outgrows it. And then I will rewash it and use it for more yarn storage.

I finally finished up with the Cable/Rib socks. And as expected I had to use some substitute yarn to finish up with the 2nd toe. Luckily I had used some similar Jitterbug on a baby sweater project so I grabbed that and pushed through. I am quite happy with my design features and someday I will re-knit these with the intent of publishing the pattern. I have the pattern written down and saved in the computer along with notes I made to maybe slightly alter the next pair. They really turned out quite pretty and the difference in the toe yarn is not that noticable at all.

I have had a great time working on my Fair Isle Fuzzy Feet. This is a project I am working on to use up more of my Cascade 220 stash. I knew I wanted my fuzzy feet to be more densely felted than my last pair so I cast on more stitches and used slightly smaller needles than called for in the pattern. And with the additional yarn being carried across the back of the color work these should felt heavily and be very very warm. I am purposely mismatching every thing about the colorwork between the 2 socks. I am not a good colorwork knitter but I figured with the big needles and the felting, my foibles will not be noticable. I have no real idea if these will fit when I am done but I figured they will fit someone, somewhere, somehow. And if they don't fit me I will have a better idea of how many stitches I need to acheive the end result I want. I am working on the heel of my 2nd sock now so they should be done and felted this weekend, ready for a photo debut on my next installment.

And finally I fell in love with a project I found while voting for the Bobby's on Revelry. It is the Sock Yarn Blankie by The Heathen Housewife. I vaguely remember hearing about her project and how people all over were sending her their leftover sock yarn. I should have sent her some of mine but I quickly let the thought escape my mind as so much does. So now I have decided that is what I want to do with my sock yarn(and anybody who wants to send me theirs now that Shelly is done!!). This project is going to be my small take anywhere kind of knitting and will maybe take me forever. I don't have a time line or deadline in mind nor do I know how big I will make it. I have told myself it needs to be at least as big as a wrap I can drag around to keep warm in cold places so we will see if I can get it any bigger. So far I seem to be able to only do 3 sq's a night which is about right for the variety of yarn I have on hand right now. But I got some yarn from a WW buddy today in the mail and my fingers are itching to get some of it in my project.

I am also going to start a new sweater this week. As soon as the postman brings me the pattern from Schoolhouse Press. So I won't talk much about that now and save it for next week.

Well, other than doing alot of walking, packing and cleaning, nothing much is going on with the house and the moving. So I won't bore you all much anymore tonight and I will get back to my knitting. Now get back to yours!!!