Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm surprised I'm still alive

I have not written in a month because I was trying to finish my first pair of socks which are not finished, but I will get to that later. I was kicked around this month by a horrible throat infection. I was out for a week and a half. I did not want to knit, crochet or read, the family was worried. I am just now really getting back into things and my throat is not completely normal, but I don't feel bad any longer. I have lived these 37 years reading directions, I have two kids that are mostly healthy, I cook, I operate machinery, knitting is just two stitches, right? I've already made one sock, I should be able to do this again, right. IT'S JUST FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS....I was working on the gusset of the second sock of my first pair of socks. I was very proud of myself. NOW... the sock had not looked totally right for a while, but the directions said knit down to the original number of stitches.... somehow I had in my head that the original number of stitches were...32... they were actually 64. It makes me wonder how I am still alive after all these years when I can't remember one number correctly. Of course I did not realize this until the decreases met in the middle of the bottom of the foot, then I knew "this is not right" SOOOOOOO I was angry and rather than just rip a little I (which I still don't completely understand how I would pick up all those live stitches, but that's beside the point. I WAS MAD!!) I ripped the whole darn sock!!! I've calmed down now. Cast on again last night. So in a week or so I will show you a pair, my first pair, of socks completed correctly. That is if the sun ever shines again in Central Ohio so I can take a picture. It has a habit of hiding from October to March.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A fabulous weekend

We had a fabulous weekend here in Central Ohio. We had some longtime friends come in to visit from Indiana. They brought their 4 month old who I got to babysit while they went to the Buckeye game. I wish I could have more children.... We all met up with local friends who have known us for 15 years or so. It was lots of fun sitting around getting to know each other again. It's sad when you used to see people every day and now only see them once a year. Don't take your friendships for granted. Then on Monday the kids had school and the hubby was off work. So we had a date. I even got roses. (This is a rare occurance in this house) A long leisurely lunch, a walk around the strip mall, a long visit to the 1/2 price book store, then a scoop of ice cream at Greater's (a wonderful ice cream parlor in Ohio). It was really a lovely weekend. Because of the busy weekend, little knitting got done. (Hard to knit with a baby in your arms.) I am still working on my first sock. I would have taken a picture but it is such a lousy cloudy day it would not have turned out. I have my second class this weekend, turning the heel. Sounds complicated. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

First Day of School

I taught myself how to crochet 9 years ago while I was on bedrest with my 3rd pregnancy (littlest guy). Then 1 and 1/2 years ago my mother was very sick and I was planning a trip to Virginia to help out. I was planning to stay for several weeks and wanted something new to concentrate on (so I wasn't concentrating on my mothers illness) so I took a knitting lesson from a friend. I learned a cast on, to knit, purl, and a bind off. Then I left for Virginia with 2 sets of circular needles ( I have rheumatoid arthritis and strights are murder on my hands) and a bag full of yarn. Unfortunately, my mom passed away 2 days later. But, I kept up with the knitting (now, it reminds me of my mom, even though she never knit). So far I've made a hat, many dishcloths, and several scarves. I was ready for something new. I signed up for a beginning sock class at my LYS (local knitting store), Temptations. The night before I felt like it was the first day of school. WHat was I going to wear? Who was I going to sit by? Were they going to like me? Was I going to be a total idiot? (especially, since I had never formally learned to knit, who said I was doing it right to begin with?) It was a really lovely class, although I have nothing to compare it to. The class was small, 6 people. Which I felt was a good number, it was not overwhelming for the teacher to be able to go around to help all of us. And no one was an idiot. I think everyone learned a lot. The teacher was fantastic. And now I can do Magic Loop. Supposedly, you can use this for hats and sleeves and things, but I'll stick to socks for now. We go back in 2 weeks to turn the heel and kitchener. Besides my class I've finished a few projects this week and cast on a couple hats. You can check out my ravelry projects for my works in progress but here are my finished objects. On the top is one of the market bags. The bottom one is the "afghan for the leather chair" that is finally done. It took forever. But I think it looks nice on its leather chair. One of the really fun things I did this week was go out to brunch with a very long time friend who I do not get to see enough of. It's great when 2 hours is just not enough time to chat and catch up. Remember, don't take your friends for granted they won't always be around. Go give someone you haven't talked to in a while a call and have a good chat.

Monday, September 22, 2008

So Square

I realized this weekend that everything I was working on was square or rectangular and all blankets and all crochet. So I went through a major episode of startitis this weekend. My works in progress on Ravelry tripled. I started on a Market Bag seen above. I love this pattern. It is by Lion Brand so it's free. It is simple and great for the mindless TV crocheting (needed as the new TV lineup is starting in earnest this week). And who could not use another bag. I'm planning on giving everyone in the family one with their Christmas presents this year. (Okay, if you are in my family act surprised when you get one.) I also cast on a amigarumi dolphin and a dolphin washcloth for my niece who is a freshman at college and very into dolphins. This is the first little animal thingy I've made. We'll see how it goes. So far so good. AND DRUM ROLL PLEASE..... I cast on my first sweater. If I finish it, it will be a present for my sister. She will appreciate the work that went into it, I think. It's a very simple plain pullover. I haven't technically cast on yet I'm doing my swatch for it though, so that counts right? (funny, I swatch for knitting and don't swatch for crochet. What does that mean? Probably, I'm just so new at knitting that I question everything I do, where as crochet, what's the worst that happens, I rip it...) Does anyone else examine what they have been working on and go through a startitis phase to do something different? I find this happens about every 3 months with me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike hits Ohio

I'm not even sure where to begin. Last week the whole family caught a cold. All 4 of us. It was one big coughing sneezing fit all weekend, with a lot of whining. I was planning on doing a whole post on how I was glad that the kids who were out of school Thursday and Friday due to illness were finally better and able to go back and how I was finally feeling better and would be able to crochet right side up again. (I had started crocheting laying flat on my back so that I could keep my nose from running) However, Hurricane Ike slammed into Ohio on Sunday evening. No Rain. But 75 mph sustained winds. I know the national news is not covering this at all but there are hundreds of thousands of people who still do not have power in the central Ohio area 3 days later. Trees are down all over, many houses were damaged. Our school district is back in school today with a 2 hour late start (they have to get new food delivered for lunches). But most kids in the surrounding areas are still out. Our family was very lucky our power was only out for 14 hours. The newspaper said today that many will not get power before Saturday if they do not have it now. Our family was not lucky in that our refrigerator never started working right after the power went out. It is sort of keeping things cold and partially frozen, but not really. Just enough so that it took us 2 days to figure out what was going on. So when little guy leaves for school I'm off to shop for a new fridge/freezer. That's yarn money I can't spend...and no knitting/crocheting until that gets done. By the way, how do people knit in the dark. I tried it the other night. NOT PRETTY..

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Class and the 3 Bears

I signed up for my first class this weekend. I'm goin' to learn to knit socks!! I've been knitting on and off for a year and a half. I have never taken a real knitting class before. I had someone teach me to cast on, knit and purl. I make a mean disch cloth. If it is rectangular I'm all over it. But I'm ready to move on. So socks here I come. The class starts the beginning of October and I am really looking forward to it. I'm quite nervous about it being my first class, I don't want to be the class idiot. Encouraging comments would be appreciated. I can be reached on Ravelry as Princess Kathy, or you can just leave a comment here, but so far only my hubby has done that. I continued on the "afghan for the leather chair" and the sampler afghan for the Lion Brand CAL. The CAL has not gone smoothly. Crocheted first square on an N hook, too big, Frogged, Re-crocheted first square on K hook, too small, Frogged, Re-crocheted first square on N hook just right. I'm like the Three Bears. Now I'm working on the second square then I have 28 more squares to go. I might get this finished by 2010. Hopefully, a great tennis match on this afternoon U.S. Open Men's Finals, so I'll get a lot of crocheting done...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Greener on the other side

I remember just a few weeks ago when I was day dreaming about the days when things would get back to normal, when the kids would be back in school and I could get things accomplished. The house would be clean again. There would be time for crochet and knitting again. I enjoyed spending time with the boys, but I felt like I never got anything done. There were camps to attend, days at the zoo, and museums, and the pool, errands that take twice as long with the kids in tow, etc...
Now that school is back in session I'm longing for those care free days. So far today I have been to the vet, grocery store, pet store, and still have to pick up the kids from school, go to the orthodontist, soccer practice, then back to the school for curriculum night. Plus find time to eat/feed the children. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.
For those that have asked Darby was doing better, but now that the big collar is off and she has started scratching at her eye again the swelling has increased. I'm waiting on a call back from the vet to see if that is another place I need to add in to my travels for later today.
I have started a new project. I joined my first Crochet-A-Long. The Lion Brand Sampler Afghan Crochet-A-Long. I'm starting late to the party, but am hoping I can catch up. The orthodontist office looks like a good place to get some crocheting done don't ya think? I'm hoping to work on my "afghan for the leather chair" as seen above.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cut Me Mick

Well, I haven't gotten much knitting or crocheting done this weekend. Our little kitten Darby (3 months old) somehow knocked herself in the eye with something Thursday afternoon. Her eye was swollen shut and huge. After an emergency run to the vet and a sigh of relief that there was nothing too major, then it came down to just caring for her. She was in one of those cone collars. Which are funny on a nice big dog, but just sad on a little tiny kitten, who is underweight to begin with. She could not walk, eat or drink with the thing on, because she could not hold her head up, she just dragged it around. So there was mama, staying up with her all night Thursday and Friday taking off her collar everytime she moved so that she could get something to eat, or drink or go potty. It was worse than having a newborn. I slept a lot on Saturday. She's getting around a lot better now, able to take care of her own needs. She goes back to the vet on Tursday for both her well check (that was supposed to occur on Friday) and a check on her eye. Here's hoping I get back to my 2 blankets I'm working on...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

About the Name

This is my blog for my knitting, crocheting, and anything else that might happen to come up. I hope to keep track of my family events, my knitting and crocheting projects with pictures and stories. Here's where I came up with the name. My daughter Gillian was born 91/2 years ago. She only lived 8 days. She had to be delivered at 27 weeks gestation in order to save my life due to a pregnancy complication called Hellp syndrome. She weighed 1lb 7.14 oz. After she was born she spent her short life in the NICU. A charity group called Touching Little Lives provided her with a quilt for her isolette, a blanket to be wrapped in, and sadly a burial layette. As I was grieving I promised myself I would learn how to sew, crochet and/or knit so that I could provide support to some other mother that was in a similar situation. I was going to start a foundation, a charity, etc...however, there was no need to reinvent the wheel. Touching Little Lives is a wonderful charity and I became a very active member. During that grieving process and my future pregnancy with my youngest son (I was on bedrest for 15 weeks) I taught myself how to sew and then crochet. I never really took to sewing. I got the idea somewhere along the way that I was going to make 11,000 blankets and/or burial layettes (that is approximately 1 blanket for each minute that Gillian was alive) and donate them to TLL or to the hospital that cared for Gillian. You may not realize this, but 11,000 blankets is a lot. Yes, I counted exactly how many minutes she was alive. I counted how many minutes I was with her. I counted how many minutes I was away from her. When your daughter is delivered to save your life there is a lot of guilt... Anyway, 11,000 seemed too daunting and somehow over the years I settled on 3,000, which I think I figured out is the number of minutes that I actually spent touching her. Because she was in a isolette, and because of the tubes, there was a limit on the amount that we could spend holding and touching her. (most often I put my hand on top of her head like in the picture) I doubt I will ever complete all of them. Who knows maybe someday someone else will read this and make a donation to TLL or to the NICU in Gillian's memory, but I'm working on it and that I think is the important part because somewhere there are 114 families (at this point) who have had babies in the NICU that hopefully got some comfort from something that I made.