one day at a time

Today is the day I go for my latest blood draw, get the stuff to do my 24 hour urine collection, and have an ultrasound of my kidneys. You’re jealous, I know you are. At least I don’t have to go to the hospital to have this done, and that’s good. We’re still a red state, and this is a red county, and that goddamn Rona got me all twitchy. And that’s mostly because not everyone around here is taking this seriously.

Moving on…

I’m still working on Off Kilter, 10 repeats of 25 done on the main body, so that’s good. I took the time to print a few more patterns I had saved the other day and put them in my little tote bags along with the yarn I’ll be using. I also spent a few minutes updating my yarn inventory. And now we pause.

Does anyone else have a spreadsheet of their yarn or is that just something odd that I do?

It actually started because Lancelot made an off-hand comment at one point about how much yarn I had and didn’t I have enough already. (and yes, I did still marry him) So by way of proving that I did not actually have too much yarn I did what any reasonable knitter would do and drug every last skein and ball out of storage and cataloged it. (maybe I should mention that my undergrad degree was in Library Science, but I’d have cataloged it anyway)

I seriously recommend doing this, for whatever craft or hobby thing you’re into. You’ll come out with a much better understanding of what you have and you’ll likely notice some trends. Like for me, I have WAY more sock/fingering weight yarn than anything else and a lot of that is from Knit Picks.

That’s a piece of my spreadsheet. Ain’t it purty?

I really do find it helpful. I try to add the information about new yarn when I get it and then once I use a skein I highlight that row and make a brief note about what I used it for and when. Ideally I would love to go back and get pictures of the things I’ve made and be able to tag the photo with what yarn I used and when the project was completed. I know a lot of people do that and I think it’s a great idea. It definitely appeals to my desire for order.

And since we’re talking about new yarn…

Wooly Wonka Arianrhod Sock yarn in Peacock

That lovely yarn arrived earlier this week. Lancelot picked out the color and it’s so stinkin’ pretty. I took the picture right next to the window so the color is pretty close. The two skeins I got of this are going to become a Sunset Lights shawl. I think it’s going to be absolutely stunning.

So yes, I desire order. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t deal well with chaos, not in my physical surroundings and not in my head. And unfortunately the more chaos there is in my physical world the harder it is to control what’s happening in my head. The one feeds the other. This is part of why every morning (except Fridays) I make the bed. I also usually take time to straighten up the house (if I didn’t the night before) and I try to run a load of laundry as soon as there’s enough to do so.

If my home, and now my office at home, are tidy and orderly then it’s easier for me to feel like my head space can be more orderly. Knitting, and cooking to an extent, are also part of that. Having that time to relax with something I enjoy is crucial.

I know it’s hard for all of us right now with everything being different and scary, but my tiny bit of advice is to control what you can and roll with the rest of it.

Or you can be like Eric and bury your head in your paws while you nap

it’s a sickness

I’m one of those people who pretty well has to be busy all the time. I have this sort of compulsion to be doing things. I love lists and that feeling of crossing things off of them. My idea of a good day off is getting a ton of shit done.

Seriously, I wonder if there’s some kind of medication for this?

I’m only partially jesting. I know that part of my compulsions could easily be tracked back to the bipolar, so I keep a close eye on that shit. When I get to the point where I feel like I need to do ALL the things all at once, I call the good doc.

Right now I think that more than anything this is a need to have some kind of control over my world in an effort to experience some normalcy. And who doesn’t need/want that these days?

So this weekend we spent some time getting ready for the Halloween party, in addition to getting things done around the house that had been put off for too long. Laundry got caught up again, the utility room in the basement got cleaned, and we just sort of tidied up in general. And I knit.

I keep thinking I should take a picture of what I’m working on but then I forget until the lighting is just horrid, but this is at least a try…

Off Kilter

This is my Off Kilter shawl, using size 3 needles (I’ll have to switch to longer ones soon), with La Jolla yarn from Baah in the Pink Tourmaline colorway. The color in this picture isn’t quite right, though it is delightfully bright. The pattern suggested a yarn with a nice color change in it, which would be great, but I think this is going to be wonderful. I’m figuring that the unusual construction will be even more obvious in the solid color. And the pattern is a great balance of “mindless” and “gotta count right here.” Just a fabulous project all the way around.

surviving a pandemic is harder than advertised

First things first – this shit is HARD. And by “this shit” I mean “life” right now. I won’t pretend that I had any idea what this whole Rona Plague business was going to be when it all started, but I certainly didn’t figure it would be like this. And I had NO FUCKING CLUE that my fellow humans had the potential to be so ridiculously stupid about all of it.

I think it’s probably safe to assume that we’re all struggling, at least a little. It’s still difficult to get certain supplies, like toilet paper and seriously what the ever loving fuck is up with that? We’re still not supposed to gather unless it’s outside or with people that already live in our homes, and in many places there are still mandates to wear face masks (which I FULLY support). I haven’t seen a movie in a theater in so long that I can’t tell you what the last movie I saw was, we haven’t been to any live concerts or theatrical shows, and I still don’t get the deal with the TP shortage.

And we’re scared. There’s proof now that someone who had the virus and recovered has been re-infected by another genetically different strain. So yeah, WTF?

We need some social interaction that doesn’t happen through a screen, but how do we get it safely? That is a fabulous question. According to my psych doc the time has come to get a fire pit or space heater and a warmer coat, you know, so we can have some friends over but stay outside so that we stay safe. Maybe we’ll build a snowman, who’s in? (no snow yet but it’s coming, oh yes, winter is coming…)

At any rate, we’re a “red” state again (still?) so I’ve decided we aren’t going out this weekend. I’d rather stay home and play it safe than go out anywhere unnecessary. Besides, there’s plenty of stuff to do around the house. We are actually going to have a very small Halloween party in the garage. I purchased an electric space heater and I found an idea for using Sterno cans to make little fire pit things for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. I am very much looking forward to it, and yes, we’ll be keeping it safe.

So there are a few things to do to get ready, and there’s always knitting to do. I’m still working on the shrug I started but it’s just boring right now. I like boring sometimes, but I also like something that requires a little more concentration. With that in mind, and as always trying to find something that was already wound up and would work, I started Off Kilter last night. I’m using a solid fuchsia pink (again, it’s what was ready to go) that I think is going to be amazing.

I’m not typically one to spend money on apps for my phone but I decided to break down and get the Row Counter app (links to Google Play store), in part because I can download patterns I have saved in my Ravelry library right into it. I had been using the free version but the upgrade lets me put in more details, photos, and track not only my row but the repeats as well. So far I really like it and find it to be worth the $9.99/year price.

The boys approve

progress

I’m still here, still kicking. I come here and think about writing way more often than I manage to actually write. Some days I can’t decide what my topic should be, but more often it’s a case of running out of energy before I find the time to try. Work is still busy and, like most people I talk to, I just don’t have the energy I once did.

Part of my difficulty is that we’re changing seasons. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder so I’m starting to feel the effects of not as much sunlight. I’ve got my little magic sun lamp thing setup on my desk now, the trick is to be here and turn it on every morning. Some days that’s easier said than done.

And part of my difficulty is the continued Rona; dealing with the plague is taking a toll on all of us.

I’m behind with the normal tasks I take care of around the house, I’m not eating great, and I just flat out don’t feel like I have any ambition. I am managing to knit, but I don’t seem to get decent pictures of it. Of course that’s due in part to having a whole tote bag full of “finished” projects that need to be blocked and have the ends woven in. That includes Waves of Happiness, so yay. But I ran out of yarn very near the end, so boo. But I had a very nicely complimentary lighter purple that I finished it with and it looks great, aside from looking like a gigantic mess because it desperately needs to be blocked.

The current project is a very simple shrug, pattern of my own devising, that will have beads on the sleeves. It’s my “stupid simple” project that I don’t have to think about. I need to figure out what my new “I need to get lost in something” project is going to be. Not like I don’t have choices.

At any rate, since I can’t show you any knitting the least I can do is delight you with a picture of the boys. This was right after Garth had started grooming Eric and right before he started chomping on his neck.

break time

I’ve decided that the world is just too screwy these days. With all of the political bullshit and the plague nonsense I just can’t deal like I used to. So I’m being much more selective about what I’m doing with my time. I can’t give my precious free time and, more importantly, my energy to things that don’t bring me joy.

To this end I’ve been off Facebook since late last week. And the only time I really watch the news anymore is first thing in the morning and that’s primarily to get the weather forecast. (I also think the weather dude on the station I watch is an attractive young man)

Anyway, it’s been helpful. I do still know what’s going on because Lancelot is making sure I’m aware. But I’m more relaxed, for the most part anyway, and that’s good.

On Saturday we had our friend N over for dinner and a movie. It’s nice that we have a few people we feel comfortable having over to the house. We’re talking about having a slightly larger gathering on Halloween, but out in the garage/driveway. I’m really looking forward to that.

A rare photo of all three FuzzButts at the same time

I am still knitting, still the Waves of Happiness shawl. I have three repeats of the lace left to do before I start the body. I’m started to be slightly concerned that I don’t actually have enough yarn, but I’m hoping. I’ve also been trying to figure out which project gets to be next. I’ve purchased a few patterns and found several more free ones, in addition to the collection I have printed in a binder already. So many choices.

words are hard, have some pictures instead

I am pretty sure I have some kind of sinus infection. Yesterday I ended up spending the entire day, Monday?, in PJs doing remarkably little. I needed it. I maybe could have used another today, but I’m going to try to get by with just calling it a day early. So the ol’ brain pan isn’t working that well right now, I’ll offer you some pictures in lieu of coherent thoughts.

Her new favorite place to lay at night, right in the middle of my lap.

Finished shawl; two repeats of the lace pattern. I need to block it yet. I had a ton of fun knitting this.

The start of Waves of Happiness. I’m 20 repeats into the lace border. Those are my favorite slippers, by the way. Oh, and L’s feet on the other foot thingy.

the best laid plans

So that was not really the weekend I had in mind, but it’s all good. No one ended up in jail or the ER, so we’ll call it a win.

In the category of productive things we did get the grocery shopping done, we got our flu shots, we finally figured out the pressure cooker thing, and we had our monthly “big outing” to our favorite Italian restaurant. I finally got to wear the dragon bracelet Lancelot got me. I felt swanky.

We really are kind of cute together.

I appear to have caught the rotten seasonal Fall cold that’s going around. Joy. What that usually means for me is lots of drainage and headaches and sometimes a very upset stomach. I got all of that on Sunday. I was MISERABLE.

I did manage to get some knitting done. I’ve reached the lace portion of the S shawl (I cannot spell it right, sorry) and this is the first time, at least that I can recall, that I’ve done lace from a chart. It scared me, I’m not going to lie. And I’m not really even sure why other than it’s different. I’m also not going to lie and tell you that I haven’t screwed up a bit, but you know what? Who cares. It’s my shawl and no one else will know. So there you have it.

I’ve finished the first 24 rows and have started on the second set. I’d like to maybe do three repeats but I don’t know that I’ll have enough yarn. I am planning to use as much of this second skein as possible.

And I started the other shawl I had lined up on Sunday. It’s called Waves of Happiness, and unfortunately it’s no longer available. If you want to see a picture you can still see it on Ravelry. I had printed a copy of it ages ago and stashed it in my binder. Anyway, I’m using a very lovely dark purple tonal yarn from Knit Picks. L ordered me more knitting needles on Sunday because I realized I didn’t have one long enough to work the body of this shawl. That’s love, let me tell you.

For anyone else interested in what’s to become of the yarn I got last week, the three very pale purple balls of Palette are destined to become the Ennis Lotus Cowl, the two balls of Chroma will become the Caterpillar Shawlette, and I’m thinking the green skein will end up as a Greenfield Shawl. I have no idea yet what to do with that super funky skein – suggestions anyone?

 

the postman bringeth

I may or may not have confessed to buying more yarn. Well, I did, and here it is. The colors are fairly accurate except for the two balls of Chroma on the end. All of this came from Knit Picks. What you see here is three shawls (at least one of these is a for sure) and a cowl. I’m pretty damn excited.

I’ve decided that I’m also going to try branching back out into some of the crafts I used to do. I saw something on Pinterest this morning that was made with seed beads and lamented my lack of motor control. Lancelot gave his usual gentle encouragement and that got me started looking for ideas. What I came up with is decidedly not as complicated as I used to do, but requires only supplies I have on hand and should be completed within an hour or two.

I also found instructions so I can re-teach myself how to needle tat. I never could figure out how to use shuttles, but the needle made sense to me. The only tatted piece I still have is a reasonable size doily I made. I’m not sure if I’ll get back to that level of complexity, but I’d like to give it a shot.

Speaking of shots… More blood work came back goofy so today I had a tele-health visit with my psych doc. The regular doc is worried about my kidneys so she wanted me to talk to the psych doc to make sure it’s not related to the Lithium I take for the Bipolar. Psych doc is not worried but has requested her own blood work which will include a Lithium level, among other things. So for now there will be no changes. Her guess is that the kidney doc will do the same as the blood doc and we’ll keep an eye on this for a while as well. Very exciting.

I’m looking forward to a productive yet relaxing weekend. There are some small projects around the house that need to get done and some craft projects I would like to do, and Lancelot mentioned wanting to watch a few movies. Doesn’t sound half bad.

life goes goofy

Lancelot and I had a really good weekend, in spite of me not feeling great part of the time. We did get our finances joined – yay – and our errands run, including a trip to a local bee/honey store. That was awesome. On Saturday we went so I could get yet another blood draw (more on that in a bit), we actually got to eat breakfast at our favorite bagel place (because no one else was in the dining room!), and we got our monthly massages. We were supposed to go out for dinner to celebrate our one month anniversary but I was exhausted and decided that there was no way I would enjoy it.

So instead we relaxed the rest of the day and got take out food from our favorite Thai restaurant.

Yesterday I got a call from the doc’s office about the blood draw. Back when I got to go see the special blood doc they had done some test to check my liver and kidney function. Those numbers were not good so I had to have those tests done again. Evidently my liver is ok but my kidneys might not be. I had to schedule an appointment to see the psych doc (GP thinks this might be from the Lithium) and I’m waiting for a call to get an appointment with a kidney specialist.

At any rate, after I found out about that my body decided that it was really not amused and I called it quits at 1pm. I camped out on the couch with the dog and my latest knitting project. I feel marginally better today. I honestly think I’m having issues from a sinus infection. I’ve got a lot of drainage and a wicked headache right where my sinus cavities are. No fun.

On the knitting front, I had L help me wind up yarn for two projects over the weekend. The one I’m actively working on right now is Syyslaulu, inspired by the one that NothingButKnit made. I decided to make mine with yarn I brought back from Ireland last spring; S Twist Wool. The label says that it’s mixed mountain fleece from Tipperary. It’s beautiful shades of soft orange that I think will be wonderful with this pattern. I just wish the yarn itself was softer.

That is the shawl, though that’s a horrible likeness of the actual color. I took this pic this morning at around 6am while I was waiting to go get L from work. This is how I often get to knit in the morning, complete with the little black dog nose. And yes, I tend to keep my current projects in small rigid tote bags. It keeps them mostly safe from critters.

I can’t remember the other upcoming project, only that it’s also a shawl (surprise!) and that the yarn is Knit Picks in some shade of dark purple. Also, it has a lace edge. Yeah totally not like me. Right.

I did order and receive some stunning lampwork beads here recently that I need to do something with. I got a large focal bead and some smaller accent beads that I think I’ll turn into earrings. All I know is that I need to get crafty again soon.

I’ve also been working on the whole meal planning thing.  Tonight’s dinner, meatballs and mushroom gravy, is in the crock pot already. I’m trying to figure my menu out ahead of time so I can order only the groceries we really need.

So that’s where I am right now. Sitting in my office wishing I was knitting instead of working.

short weeks are always the longest

I didn’t work on Monday because it was Labor Day and for me that means a paid day off. I don’t work tomorrow because Lancelot took the day off and for me that also means a paid day off. We have errands to run and things to accomplish and that’s not always easy given his regular work schedule.

However…

It’s been a bit of a rough week. Pippy appears to have done something to her mouth, though the vet can’t figure out what. Garth looks like his one eye has something going on but every time I go to call for an appointment it looks better again.

Last night I did some “real” cooking and by that I mean I chopped up a bunch of veggies and a package of sausages and threw them in a pan in the oven to roast. And then promptly burned myself.

Today we had a local charity lined up to finally come get the excess crap out of our garage. The same time they were on their way Pippy showed up at the back door absolutely caked in mud. L carried her up to the bathroom where I got to strip down and hop in the shower with her. Keep in mind that this was at like 11am, right in the middle of my work day. And I had a workshop to give this afternoon.

So I hosed down the dog, got her mostly dried off, and got dressed for the second time. I actually pried some rocks out from between her toe pads. I have no idea what the fuck she was digging for out there, but she’s not going to be allowed out unattended while it’s all wet and rainy. At this point I’m not sure there’s a single clean towel in the house.

I got everything lined up for the workshop this afternoon and then it looked like no one was going to show, but at 2:05pm I had two people. It went alright except the one person started asking very specific questions that really didn’t go along with the advertised topic. I love it when they do that. (no, no I do not love it)

At any rate, I’m stuck in my office for about another 30 minutes and then I am DONE. I’ve decided that I well and truly hate the few knitting projects I have going so they’re going in time out and I’m going to start something new. (shocking, right?) I’m just not sure what that’s going to be. (we all know it’s going to be a shawl)

I kind of feel like I say this a lot, but I need to hit my own reset button again.