Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hand me Down Knits

I'm just back from a wonderful visit with my best friend, Lara, her husband Kevin and their baby, Sam. My mother and I went down for a week, and it was wonderful. I'm pretty exhausted, but it was totally worth it.

Here is a photo of Sam and I. Love this kid.

This is Lara and I with Sam. Lara has been mentioned several times in my blog. She is my best friend, more like a sister, really. She has saved my ass more times than I can count. She's an amazing person and a really stellar mom.

She also has a flatter stomach than I do. Which is wrong in so, so many ways!!

But wait! This is a knitting blog! So, when I went to visit I brought with me a bunch of hand-me downs from my friend April. Included was two hats I had knit for her son, Brady...

This is a doggie hat. When I saw the photos, I realized an end is poking through the hat. Which makes me want to ring Lara and have her tuck it back through, but I know she's a little
busy at the moment!

And finally, I had forgotten I knit Brady a Bunny Hat. Based on the Stitch n' Bitch pattern. Now Sam has it.

Here he is, ready to face a chilly day.

And this photo KILLS me. Makes me think of "A Christmas Story" and makes me want to make a matching outfit for it!

While I was there, I nearly completed the "Not Your Standard Issue Sweatshirt, Take Two"- but I ran out of yarn!
I'm just working on the hood, the last piece, and I thought I had one more skein, but I cannot find it anywhere, so I've ordered some more yarn. Ack.

Today I am going to work on Jemima. I've been working on this pattern with Jen, and she's now WAY ahead of me. I admit, I've put it off because I find the tubular cast-on SO fiddley.

And finally, will be starting work on a Mosaic project this week. Photos to come.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


So, I fainted today. It's happened a couple of times, the first was when I was sick with Crohn's, but not diagnosed yet. I was planting in the garden and conked out.

It's happened once or twice again, when I was really anemic, and then today I decided to do some weeding. It's really nice and cool out today, so I decided to take advantage of it, and go for it, even though I still have a fever. This time it wasn't so bad. More of a swoon than a faint. I had all these little bright floaty things in the corner of my vision, then large dark spots, and I felt my knees kind of buckle. I think I was only out for a few seconds. So, I'm back inside now. Going to sit on the couch and knit for a while. Even changed into pj's.

All in all, I'm just fine. It was very Gone with the Wind, without the rockin' clothing.

So much for cleaning/organizing today. It's frustrating, not having the strength/energy to do what I want to do. Adam used to do so much, and before I got sick, I had so much energy. It's harder than I thought it would be. Taking care of this house. By myself. But I'll manage.

In closing, here are some photos of my house...
here's a photo of the crafting shelf of my bookcase... there are more knitting books in the bedroom, other bookcase, car... but most are here.

And here is the trunk where I store a lot of my yarn. On top is a photo R took, and I just love it- it's a goat in Ireland, he now guards my stash. I love this photo so much.

Can you see my little penguin peeking out? Story on him in another post.

And here is a lamp that once belonged to Adam's mum. I love this lamp, so much, and my father in law was kind enough to give it to me on my last visit. R rewired it for me, and here it is. I have a kind of a lamp fetish.

The little pottery piece was something my sister in law made for Ad and I- it has my nephews little hand print on it. I love it. And yep, that's a wooden sandpiper behind, as well. I like wooden birds.

This is my Hoya blooming. Make this one bigger if you can, it's pretty cool. It's starting to release the syrupy sweet smelling stuff, which means it's almost done blooming.

Here's the other bookcase, with some nudes. I like nudes. I even have nude lamps. Seriously.

And finally, here's a photo I bought at a local gallery/frame store. R took another pic, of a boat called the "Miss Anne" and I'll frame that soon. Am going to start a collection of photos of boats called Anne. Why not? But I do love this one.

So that's a peek inside my house. I'd show you more, but honestly, you couldn't really see it for all the clutter!


Saturday, August 18, 2007


Headed to the frog pond is the Sweatshirt sleeve. Ugh. Pattern is a 10 row repeat and it said to increase every 6th row. Which I took to mean "every row 6" but which of course, as written, meant every 6th row. I'm such an ass.

Here is the sleeve, to be ripped. Was 3/4 done.

Pardon the flash, but it's in the living room and it's getting dark! Just wanted to show you what I did today, as I'll have nothing to show for it tomorrow!

The pattern reading I find frustrating. I need patterns writers to be VERY specific. Even on patterns where they are praised for clear instructions, it isn't always clear to me!

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Friday, August 17, 2007


Here is Jemima, the back side, cast off. My tubular cast on is crap and looks wonky, but will hopefully even out when I block it!

At the same time, I am working on Not Your Standard Issue Sweatshirt, Take 2.
Here's progress on that- it's for my sister.

Lots of seed stitch...

And cables.

Both knit in comforting, yet grey yarn. Fitting.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yarn Pron

So I may have mentioned that with the convergence of many unpleasant events over the past few weeks, I've bought some yarn. Er... here it is. The first batch, anyhow.

I'm making myself a Log Cabin Blanket, using Silky Wool. Now that it's arrived, I'm not so sure about the orange- it's lighter than I thought it would be, and Moose would love this color, so I may order a few more skeins for a sweater for her, and then replace the skeins with another brown/green.

Any thoughts on the orange, or a replacement brown or green for it?

This one was taken with a flash, mistakenly, but I liked the way it really highlighted the colors, where usually flash washes them out and misrepresents...

Then we have the Skye Tweed in the Heath colorway-

I got 13 skeins of this, to make Rupert the Cobblestone sweater from the new IK. It's very him, I think, and since we've gone back to being friends, it's safe to make him a sweater!

It's hard having these yarns on hand and not knitting them, just yet- but I'm still working on the Lady Eleanor's, and I have also been doing a little knit along with
Jen. Have you seen her blog? Go have a look if you haven't she takes the most amazing cat photos and is a really talented knitter. Her talent is further evidenced by her patience with me. We're working on

Jemima by Anna Bell, both of us are using Cashsoft DK, and I'll have a photo of my progress up soon. It's not much to look at quite yet. The tubular cast-on was tricky and I was especially pestery with Jen on it!

So that's it for now. Am really trying not to look at all the other yarns!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Stuff you REALLY need to know about

So, I have spoken to a lot of friends about this, but there are some things you all should really know. They're not nice things to think about, but they're important things.

1. Life Insurance. If you're married, or co-habitating with someone, get life insurance. Get enough to pay off the mortgage, pay off all the debt, and have some left over. This goes for men and women. A lot of times, if the man is the primary bread-winner, they won't insure the woman for as much, but if you've got kids, and the woman dies, who is going to take care of those kids while the man is winning the bread? You're going to have to hire a nanny or other child care and it's not cheap. When Adam died, I had to hire people to pick up the trash, mow the lawn, etc... I've got a couple medical issues, so it's harder for me than most, but either way, losing a spouse is horrid enough, without having to worry about how you'll pay your bills, what you'll do when the roof needs repairing, etc. Money doesn't make it better, but not having it can make it a hell of a lot worse. Also, Adam's memorial service was about $10,000, and that was a basic service- no church service, no burial plot, a very simple casket for cremation, etc. So keep that in mind, as well.

2. Last Will and Testament
I know, they cost money, and no one likes to think about why you'd need one, but if you have anything of value, if you own a house, own a car, have more than a hundred dollars in your bank account, get a will, and do it now. This goes double if you're married or have kids, but even if you're single, if you OWN ANYTHING worth anything, and don't want the State/Govt. to basically inherit your goods through taxes, etc, get the damn will. You'll need to name an executor/executrix (by the by, having been an "executrix" I can't tell you how often I though Dominatrix, which is the only other time I've heard "trix" used for the feminine), and this person should be someone who more or less has their shit together. There's a lot of paperwork involved, even with a will, so keep that in mind. But do it. Find the couple of hundred it takes to have a will made up, and then put it somewhere safe and give your best friend, grown child, sibling, etc. a copy. Just in case.

3. Teach your Spouse
Most relationships, mine included, fall into this comfortable rhythm where the man handles certain things and the woman handles other things. If you died tomorrow, think about what your spouse would be left hanging on. Can he operate the washer/dryer/oven? Does he know where you keep certain things, when certain things are paid, how to make some basic dinners? If he died, do you know where certain tools are kept? How to change the filter in the furnace, and when it needs to be done? Do you both have a really firm grasp on what you owe to whom, where the money/investments you have are, etc? Make sure you do. It's ok to each handle things, but make sure, just in case, that you both have a rough idea of what running your house involves, for everyone.

4. Last Wishes
I was lucky, in that over the course of our relationship we did talk about what we wanted done when we died, more or less. I knew Ad wanted his organs donated, and they were (a note on this, it's important your spouse knows what you want done and is on board. As strongly as Ad felt about organ donation, if I'd said "no" it would have been a no-go, no matter what was on his license or on the card in his wallet), I knew he wanted to be cremated, but not really what he would have wanted done with his ashes. I think I did ok there. But I was lucky in really having a sense of what he'd have wanted. Talk to each other. Do you want to be cremated or buried? If you're cremated, you can still be buried, or scattered, or turned into diamonds, or kept on the mantle, any number of things, really. It sucks to think about it, but do think about it and make sure you each know what the other wants. If you're single, tell your parents/siblings, etc. I cannot even begin to tell you how fucking horrid it is to have to go through this experience, and hopefully you won't have to deal with it for a very, very long time, but when you do, it's immensely comforting to think "this is what he wanted" - it takes a lot of the "what the hell do I do now" out of the situation and gives the person who is bereaved some focus.

Now maybe this could have been in with the Will, and maybe it should be, but honestly, you'll probably just leave everything to your significant other. Makes things a lot easier. That being said, think about the other people you're really close to, and think about what you would want them to have of yours, if you died. I didn't have anything like this, and I really struggled to find some things of Adam's to give to his family and closest friends. So I have a list. My diamond studs go to Lara, my engagement ring is to be split up with side stones going to sister in law and center stone to my sister, my knitting stuff to someone, my sweaters to someone, etc... Just write up a list and tuck it away somewhere that your survivors could find it. IF there's any chance you've got a family who will fight over shit, and from the brief stint with a window support group I had, I know this can apparently OFTEN be the case, then put this stuff into a will. But if your family is like mine, it's fine to leave everything to someone, and then let that someone know that you want certain people to have certain things.
I know, it's just stuff. But I often wonder if I did things right. I wonder if there is something in a box in the basement that Adam would want some University friend to have, or whatever. I asked all the people who he was really close to, what they'd like, but no one was comfortable with this, even though I assured them that if it was something that I wasn't ready to part with, they'd have to think of something else. But no one likes to talk about this stuff, or think about it, so just make a list, you know, if there are things that matter.

6. Why Get Married?
I've known a few people who, are for the most part, married, but for one reason or another, they don't actually get married. The reason I'm about to get into is also the reason I sited when writing to my congressmen, supporting gay marriage.
When Adam was in the hospital, he was in the ICU for three days. If we had not been married, I would not have been able to go and sit with him. The ICU is for immediate family, only, and girlfriends and boyfriends do not qualify. The rest of Adam's immediate family were in England, and if it weren't for us being married, he would have been alone. He would have died alone, with his family on their way. That thought horrifies me.

Also, it varies from state to state, but I think for the most part, if you leave your estate to a non-spouse, that person is more or less totally fucked by taxes. Spouses get something of a break. There is something called an "affidavit of surviving spouse" which allows you to sell your husband's car when he dies. There is no affidavit of surviving significant other.

Which brings me to one last point- put everything in both names. EVERYTHING! The house, the cars, etc... I cannot tell you what an everloving pain in the ass it is when things are in the deceased person's name. Adam was the primary breadwinner and most everything was in his name, and you would not even BELIEVE the fucking paperwork. Just to pay the mortgage, they wouldn't release information to me, because my name was not on the paperwork. We never thought it was a big deal, but we were wrong.

So that's it, really. But you all need to know this. I'm amazed at how many friends are married, but don't have a will, or only have a little life insurance. I was partly in this boat, and when Ad was killed, it seemed so stupid, we had appointments for life insurance a month after he died. When you're young, you just don't think you need to worry about it yet, and hopefully, you won't. But go and do it. Make the appointments this week, and just get it sorted. You'll NEVER regret that you made all the arrangements, but you'll definitely regret it if you don't.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Silk Garden Scrap Give Away

Thank you to everyone who made such nice comments about my Lady Eleanors! I am planning to give away the scraps I have left over, for someone else to do a scrappy E. So stay tuned, once I'm done, I'll have some sort of contest, probably just have you leave a comment if you're interested, and I'll put them in a hat and send them off to someone! So if you think you'd like to do a scrappy E, or if you have use for a bunch of random Silk Garden, stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I Miss You

September 9, 1972- August 8, 2005


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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Short Row a Go- Go.

Weird title, but that's what I keep thinking!

Firstly, the weather here has been crap, and so I am needing to take these photos inside,and it's hard to get the photos looking right in low light with no flash, so I apologize for that.

First, another couple of photos of the multi-directional scarf.

This was a really fast knit.

Secondly, here are some updated photos of my Lady Eleanor. This is the first thing I've knitted for myself in AGES!

Going to be weaving in a lot of ends!

Now, I think I mentioned before that I have bought a lot of yarn for this, but people from the knitty board also sent me their scraps. I decided to do earth tones and wasn't sure what to do with the gorgeous jewel tones I had received. So, I bought a shitload more yarn and am making a second Lady E, this one will be donated to my dad's agency, for the next silent auction. Really need to get some photos of this in the sun, but here are a few photos...

So, that's what I've been up to lately. This is after all, first and foremost, a knitting blog.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Thank you

Thank you all for your kind words. It's been a culmination of things that's had me down lately.

Do I start with the hardest and go toward easier? Hmmm. Here is the deal, in random order.

First, today is the day I wrote about in my "Dread" post. If you haven't heard Wendy's podcast yet, please do go listen, she and Marty really did such an amazing job. Two years ago today was the accident. Two years ago on the 8th, Adam died. So it's a hard week.

Last week, R and I decided to call our relationship quits, and go back to being friends. That is the product of a lot of things, but it was nothing acrimonious, no fighting. And he's stuck with me for good. He's an amazing guy and I'm lucky to have him. Needless to say, it's been hard for both of us, but we're determined to muddle through the inevitable rough patch, we've done it before. We've been through a lot.

So, that's been hard, very sad.

On top of the emotional things, I've been sick for almost a month. I'm not responding to antibiotics and I had to go back in for more blood work on Saturday. I may need a little IV intervention in the form of drugs and fluids, and that's ok. But because I've had a fever for a month, I haven't been able to get Remicade. So the pain and fatigue are joining in with the fever, sickness and depression and the results have been somewhat rough, to say the least.

I am knitting like a maniac. Mainly because that's what I do when I am borderline seriously crazy.
I'll be pestering you all for suggestions on what to do with a ton of yarn I recently bought.

Thanks to all of you for your support. I really appreciate it, so very much.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What do I do when I'm sad?

And lately I have been very, very sad.

I knit like crazy. I made this yesterday. It's a scarf and hat made from three skeins of Noro Transitions, for my Uncle's birthday.

The photos are not great, but I feel like crap and am, as aforementioned, very sad. So you'll forgive me, please.

The other thing I do when I'm sad? I change my hair. I'm growing it to donate again, but I had some caramel highlights put in. Here is another crappy photo, of moi, taken with the mac. I look like crap, I'm sick and have been crying a lot, but you can sort of see the hair.

Did it work? Well, not really. But it's ok. I'll cease the crying, someday.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Go, Now.

Ok, if you haven't heard it yet, you have to go over to Wendy's Podcast.

She and Marty chose my dread post for their show, which I found really touching, and she did an amazing job with it. Wendy and Marty, thank you. I'm so touched. You guys fucking rock. And, if you haven't bought her candles, buy them, they're brilliant, much better than anything else out there (my faves are Sandalwood Amber and Lavender).

Oh, and you can search "squirrel venom" in the top left. Wen, I can't believe you remembered that post!

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