Knitting, knitting, knitting

Gee, can you tell what this post is going to be about? LOL
I went on a wonderful yarn crawl while on my way to CA this past summer and I discovered so many new and wonderful yarns. I’m in love with MadelineTosh yarns now. I have a ton of Pashmina but can’t wait to experiment with the lighter weight yarns. The Alamitos Bay Yarn Company in Long Beach, CA is the ultimate in yarn shopping and enabling. LOVE THEM!! I bought so much yarn from them that I had to make 2 trips to the store. I’ve really gotten in touch with my love of fingering wt and lace wt yarn after months of obsessing over just sock yarn ( which is mostly fingering anyway). I also discovered this amazing yarn by Araucunia called ruca or runa can’t remember exactly but it’s made from 100% sugar cane and it’s one of the softest, drapiest yarns I’ve held. So I bought a bunch…LOL I’ve fallen in love with the concept of making new things and trying that which seemed impossible a few months ago. I can do anything I put my mind to.
Christmas knitting has begun. Only two or three projects this year, but big ones for the people who are getting them. I”m also working on a project for me (Picture coming when finished)for the first time in a long time and I’m just crazy for it. I love working with Pashmina yarn; the hand is great and the colors blow me away. YUM!!
For the first time in years I’m doing a swap. A Christmas/Winter Holiday themed swap. I can’t wait to start “stalking” my recipient and putting together the most amazing package for her. I can’t wait to see what my person puts together for me. 🙂
I just love knitting and all that goes with it; especially this time of year. 🙂

A little of this and a little of that.

Maybe not as better as I thought.  The kidney infection is still gone, thank God, but now I’m plauged with cluster or migraine headaches that suck just as badly if not worse.

I”m getting my shit together, though.  Even though it was late, I got my secret swap package sent.  I really hope she likes it.  I plan to spoil her rotten next month (the last package) to make up for the lateness.  I’ve wanted to be a much better swap partner than I’ve been, but my swapee has been so great and understanding about everything I’ve been through.  I’ve been blessed with great swap partners on both sides. Since my camera seems to be another of the things on the dead list, I thought I would just go ahead and describe what I got in my first package ( a little late, I know, but I was hoping to have pictures instead of just describing…argh).  First and foremost I got an amazing skein of sock yarn from the Great Aiderondak Yarn Company; mostly deep, saturated blues and burgandies with some orange, green and purple thrown in for good measure.  Swapper (I’m tired of saying “my partner” etc. so I will just call her swapper for now) said that she hoped it would inspire me to try my hand at socks and all I can say to her is “enabler!” LOL.  I am going to try to make a pair of socks with it once I’ve finished up my commitments to X-mas knitting.  There were goodies for Jake (too sweet) also a Disney towel that expands and opens when you throw it in the water…I’m saving that for a day that a bath is the last thing on his agenda.  There were two stunning stitch markers that had leaf charms on them and I’m in love…of course I’m a total stitch marker whore to begin with so that isn’t too surprising.  There was a tub of body butter (another of my weaknesses in life; I swear Swapper read my mind) in a very relaxing lavendar scent…great for right before bed moisturizing; calming and soothing scents help me drift off to sleep (now if I could only stay asleep…)  I saved the best for last, though, an absolutely charming little project bag with squirrels and pumpkins all over it; the perfect autumn project bag.  I will post pictures as soon as I get the camera working again, or get a new one, whichever comes first. 🙂

On the house front, it’s a done deal now.  We had our inspection and everything came back okay, so we’re going ahead and will be closing on election day.  We’re hoping to be fully moved in by Christmas.  There’s quite a bit to do in the kitchen.  That’s an understatement, really.  We have to gut the whole thing and start over.  I’m excited about that prospect, though.   It means that the floors, counters and cupboards will all be our choices and that will make it feel even more like home.  We’re also going to get all new fixtures and lighting to start with. Those will be our two big before we can move in projects.  There are a lot of other little changes and tweaks that we want to do here and there, but they will come over time.  There is so much really beautiful old, dark wood in the house and I’m in love with it.  I’d love to be moved in even sooner, but we leave for CA and AZ in mid-November and will be gone for 3 weeks.  It makes for a bit of a crunch to get everything done in time for moving in; in my insanity I’ve insisted that I want to host Christmas Eve for my MIL, BIL and SIL (really by BIL’s girlfriend, but they’ve been together since Jake was a newborn and she’s his “Aunt Katiebugs” so that makes her family in my book) in the new house.  The offer was made in the excitement of getting the house and I’m a little stressed about it, but I don’t regret it.  It’s my motivation to stay on track and get things done.

I really think this move will be good for me.  A fresh start, if you will.  Andrea disappeared on us, again.  I don’t know why I thought this time would be different, but it’s the elimination of one of my crutches to stay in the house all the time.  I’ve been working (with limited success) on becoming a much more social person.  I’m trying to get past all the phobias and hermit-like habits that I became so enmeshed with when we were in Lake City.  I’ve made some really good friends in the last year or so and I really hope I haven’t blown them by being me and not ever going out of the house.  It’s the craziest thing.  I WANT to go out and do things, I have a great time when I’m out with friends, but when it comes time to actually LEAVE the house, to go out, I feel this panic start to rise inside me.  The last time I did anything social was the Michigan Fiber Festival with Andrea, Shannon, Emily, Kai (I know I spelled that wrong, didn’t I Shannon?) and Abby.  Jake had so much fun with the kids and I had a blast with the older folks.  We made plans to get together and Jake got sick, then I got sick and this whole thing spiralled.  Needless to say, plans never happened and even though TJ keeps telling me that people understand when you’re sick etc.  I feel too embarrased to call and apologize for my freakish behaviors and phobias – again.  Yes, I know I’m an idiot.  So anyway, I plan to be a lot more social and spend time with my knitting group again (if they’ll still have me) and do other things.  Being in Battle Creek will be good in that sense since one of my biggest hurdles is the long drive (and yes, for me Kalamazoo to Battle Creek seems like a LONG drive).  It’s time to get Jake socializing with other kids and to allow myself to have a life and have fun and not hole up in the house like some sort of leper.  I deserve to have a life and friends, damnit and I’m not going to blow it if I get a second, or is it third or fourth, chance.  Okay, when did this become a self-pitying rant about how I’ve screwed up friendships and made a agoraphobic out of myself?  Life is positive and I’m going to be positive.  Self-loathing over, let’s move on!! 🙂

quick post

Just a quick little post to say that I’m finally better; YAY!!!!  Also I got my first secret swap package and it ROCKED.  I’ll add pics as soon as I get the camera out of the van; we’ve been house hunting and using it to take pictures and I keep forgetting to bring it in.

Oh yeah…WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!  Well, we put in an offer on one anyway.  I hope it will be accepted.  It’s in Battle Creek which I’m actually happy about.  It means being much closer to work for TJ and I’ll be closer to Shannon Too, which means I’ll actually leave the house more often and be more social since I won’t have to drive endlessly.  Hopefully it also means we’ll have a babysitter for Jacob that I will feel comfortable enough to actually leave him with…Emily, you want to make some money?!?  🙂  The house is small, but not too small, and it definitely needs some work, but it’s in move in condition other than the kitchen which we’ll remodel before we go out west in November; I can’t wait to start ordering cabinets and ceramic tile etc.  The best part is that the attic is a finished walk-up that will make a perfect studio for spinning/dyeing etc.  We’re supposed to close on the 5th and take possession the same day.  🙂  We’ll find out later today if they accepted our offer.  Fingers crossed.

Will I ever be better? Enquiring minds want to know…I want to know…

Does anyone remember that old commercial for The National Enquirer…you get points for being both old (LOL) and for being a font of useless information and trivia if you do.  No copyright infringement meant by blatantly stealing the quote for my blog title.  Don’t sue me, cause I ain’t got nothing worth taking…LOL

So here we are, almost a month after the hospital debacle of ’08 and I’m still not well.  I kept saying that I wasn’t better, that my back (kidneys) still hurt and that I still felt like I had a bladder infection, but the doctor assured me that it was my imagination or that I was just healing a little more slowly than most people.  “The urine test came back clean.  We didn’t see any bacteria in it,” he assured me over and over again.  Just a few problems with that ladies and gentleman of my readership (which is small indeed, just look at my blog stats if you don’t believe me.  The numbers, those sad, pathetic little numbers, don’t lie):  first of all, and most importantly I feel the need to stress, I STILL HAVE ALL THE SYMPTOMS AND ASSOCIATED PAIN WITH A BLADDER AND/OR KIDNEY INFECTION!  Secondly after doing extensive reading on the subject of these infections, it is possible I’ve read to drink so much fluid before a urine test that you essentially flush the bacteria out of your system, or so it will look to the test.  In reality, they are still there, they are merely regrouping from the flushing and drowning they’ve just had.  Had they bothered to test my urine EVEN ONE MORE TIME after they admitted me they would have found those little buggers and treated me accordingly.  Not that I’m angry and bitter or anything.  So now, like I said, it’s almost a month later and I’m still in horrible shape.  I’m in more pain than I was in when they admitted me.  Thank God for Percocet or I don’t think I’d be making it through this.  I’m taking a lot more than I should be, but it’s the only way to alleviate the pain.  For God’s sake when I was in the ER they had to give me 6 mg of Dilaudid before I felt any relief at all.  Hello, I’m completely tolerant to pain meds at this point.  The only blessing through all of this has been that the one symptom I haven’t had is the frequency.  Stupid name, by the way.  They should call it intense burning pain accompanied by a fullness that you feel you have to constantly expel even though there is nothing there to expel.  Well, now I have that as well.  So my current dilemma is do I go to the ER and deal with this on a Saturday evening when every moron person in the world is sick and/or hurt or do I buy the OTC pills to help with the symptoms and wait until Monday to go to the doctor.  I think I’ll wait until Monday at this point because if they do (by some miracle) actually find the kidney infection that I’ve been trying to tell them I have for a month now, I’m not going through the whole oral antibiotics at home routine again.  I did that last time and it didn’t work!  Nope, I’m going to insist, demand, beg pathetically, ask very nicely if they will please admit me and do this with the strongest IV antibiotics they have.  I want this infection knocked out of me yesterday!

As if this whole kidney/bladder thing wasn’t enough to make me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry violently, I’ve had horrible cluster headaches or migraines (not sure which) these last two days.  Both of them lasted about 4 hours or so for the main pain with the effects lingering for the rest of the night.  It felt like the left side of my head was trying to detach itself from the right side and start its own new head.  Seriously, my eye was throbbing, my jaw bone was throbbing, light and sound were excruciating.  It hasn’t been fun.  I don’t know if it’s possible for a kidney infection to cause that, but I’m sure gonna find out.

On the knitting/spinning front, not much going on, I must admit.  My life, if you call sleeping, peeing and crying a life, has just not been overly conducive to it lately, I’m afraid.  I’ve started a pair of what are called Thigh High socks from Lion Brand’s free patterns, but are really a pair of leg warmers that cover the tops of your feet and have slits for the heels.  They are really cute looking and I’ve been promising Kate a pair of leg warmers forever.  It’s my first foray into solo color work.  Very basic striping using Fibonacci numbers and 4 colors of Rowan Calmer (I love this yarn so much) that I’ve had in my stash forever and a day.  I’ve put the Tidal Wave scarf aside until I finish Storm Water, which is coming along nicely.  I’ve also put aside my camel down mitts until I finish Storm Water.  It was part of a deal I made with myself when I started the mitts flouting the no new projects until I finish the scarves for X-mas rule.  I decreed to myself that I would allow myself to work on one mitt per scarf.  Since mitt one is done, but scarf one is not, there will be no starting mitt two until aforementioned scarf is completed.  It’s a good thing I took really good pattern notes when I did the first mitt, huh?  LOL  Yeah, like I took pattern notes, good or otherwise.  My idea of pattern notes is counting the number of rows in each section so I can copy it for the next mitt…on a napkin that I most likely used to wipe my mouth…LOL  Seriously, I have some very basic notes to follow from when I get to mitt number one.  Would I really allow my precious handspun to be wasted that way?  Not on your life.

Getting ready to get my first swap package together to go out.  I’m still waiting for a few things I ordered to arrive, but I think that my “swapee” is going to enjoy her package.  I’ve gone with a lot of the things that she said she liked in her questionnaire.  I planned to be much more sneaky and stalky and to find out secret things about her and really spoil her good, but this whole illness has kind of put a damper on that.  Still, I plan to spoil her the best way I can from this position.  I really hope she like me the package.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Have some fun for me since I’ll either be in the hospital if I can’t take this anymore or at the very least in this bed, wishing I was able to enjoy some of this Indian summer we’re having. ARGH!!!

Yarn Swaps and Crazy Life

Again it’s been months since I’ve been able to post.  I’ve had computer problems – another new laptop after the old new one (strange words usage) died on me.

I’ve joined my first yarn swap and I can’t wait to get started on it.  So here’s my questionaire:

  1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft?    ***I both knit and crochet, but I tend to knit more often.  I’ve been crocheting for about 20 years and knitting for about 3.***
  2. Do you spin? What type of spinning do you do?  ***Spinning is my latest fiber related passion.  I got my first wheel for mother’s day and I spend as much time as I can playing with her.***
  3. Are there any other crafts that you participate in?  ***I also dye both yarn and fiber***
  4. What are your favorite yarns/fibers?  ***I’m a big fan of bamboo yarns and fine merinos.  For spinning I love baby camel as well as Merino/Tencel blends.  I’ll pretty much spin anything I can get…LOL***
  5. What are your LEAST favorite yarns/fibers?  ***Not a fan of novelty yarns, nor do I particularly care for corridale or columbia fibers***
  6. Are there any types/brands of yarn that you are dying to work with but haven’t gotten a chance?  ***I’ve always wanted to try Artyarns Regal silk and/or the beaded silk.  As for fibers, I’m always looking to try spinning fibers I haven’t tried yet.  Llama, cashmere, yak, suri alpaca are examples.  BFL is another fiber I’m anxious to try that I haven’t yet.***
  7. What are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet?  ***I’ve been knitting a lot of shawls and fingerless gloves as of late.  I’m anxious to try knitting my first garment at this point, a simple sweater or cardigan, perhaps.***
  8. What are you currently working on? Anything you plan to start this autumn?  ***Currently, I’m finishing up the Ravelympics:  The Storm Water Scarf in Sea Silk (what an amazing yarn, btw).  I also have the Tidal Wave Scarf on the needles in Silk Twist (another amazing yarn).  Both of these are Chrstimas gifts for family this year.  This fall I plan to try the Evangeline sweater from White Lie Designs – it’s the next thing on the my to buy pattern list.***
  9. What is your favorite FO? (Please, post a picture if you would like.) ***My favorite F.O. is the Zig Zag Moebius scarf that I made for my MIL last Christmas.  I don’t currently have a picture, but will try to get one of it to post.***
  10. What is your oldest UFO?  ***My oldest UFO would have to be the blue jean shawl that was supposed to be a Christmas gift last year but never got finished.  I’ve also got some fairly old scarf and hat patterns that I lost interest in.***
  11. Are their any knitting/crochet techniques that you would like to learn? ***I’m anxious to get better at sock knitting, have several book on the subject.  I’d also like to learn more sophisticated lace techniques in knitting***
  12. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?  ***I’m a very beginning sock knitter.  Foot measurments to follow as I’m not near the knitting bag at the moment, so no tape measure at the moment.  My shoe size is 8.5 – 9, though. ***
  13. Do you have a yarn winder and/or a swift?  ***I have neither.  I tend to wind hanks to skeins using my knees and a nostepine.***
  14. Where/how to you keep you needles/hooks?  ***I use the case that came with my Knit Picks Harmony Options needles.***
  15. Do you collect anything?  ***I collect native american pottery.  I got my first one from on a trip to Tucson, AZ a few years ago and have been obsessed with the bowls and their colors ever since.  I also collect Zuni fetishes, the bears are my favorites.***
  16. What is your favorite type of music? Are you MP3 ready?  ***I’m pretty musically diverse.  I guess if I had to pick one genre it would be country.  I’m also a rabid listener of 80’s music – I guess that probably rivals the country music love.  I am MP3 ready, sort of.  My Ipod was recently stolen from my car, but I have plans to replace it as soon as I can, though.***
  17. Do you like sweets? What are your favorites?  ***I’m not a huge fan of sweets, but I do allow myself to give in to the call of Godiva every once in awhile…:)***
  18. What is your living situation like? Any pets? Children?  ***We are in the process of moving to an apartment right now while we look for our “dream house”.  I have a four year old son, 3 cats and we are getting the little one a puppy for Christmas this year.***
  19. Are you allergic to anything?  ***No allergies other than some random hayfever.***
  20. Do you have an online wish list (Amazon, Etsy, Loopy Ewe, etc.)? Please include links for your swap pal.  ***I do not, but have been meaning to set up a Loopy Ewe list.  Will post the link when it’s done in a subsequent post.***
  21. Are you having a birthday during this swap?  ***No, my birthday just passed last week.***
  22. What is your Ravelry ID?  ***shannwa***

There we go.  All the information you could want about me.  I’m happy, though, to share anything else that a swap partner might be interested in knowing.  I’m really excited about this swap and can’t wait to spoil the heck out of someone.  Yay, an excuse to buy fibery goodness.  LOL