yarn and beads (a very tiny update)

lace! and beads!

I did very little this weekend, and I’m ok with that. We had my mom and stepdad over for dinner Saturday and that was pretty much it. On Sunday I sat on my ass and knit. I finally finished the Feather and Fan scarf, I started a very basic wrap thingy, and I spent some time on that mess in the picture above. It will eventually be a beaded lace cowl, assuming I don’t go blind first.

And now I must go. I have an appointment for COVID vaccine shot #3 this afternoon, and I am quite happy about that.

enjoying it while i can

So stinkin’ cute

We had our “village” over for dinner Saturday night. These people are the friends we can call on at any time, for anything. And they can do the same with us. We all have our struggles and our emotional baggage from the past and we don’t hold that against each other. There’s a whole lot of unconditional acceptance and love in our village.

Lancelot’s birthday is later this week and I wanted to do something for him, but he’s not super excited about celebrating it or making a fuss about it. So I invited our friends over for dinner and didn’t say anything to any of them about it, or to him, until K noticed on the menu board in the kitchen that next Saturday we’re going out for L’s birthday with my folks. I wanted to keep things very low-key so that everyone was comfortable. It was amazing.

And the scarf has finally told me that it wants to be K’s. I had made them a beanie / fingerless mitt set and the colors coordinate nicely. At any rate, the scarf will have a good home with a great friend.

I try to stay optimistic about damn near everything, but I also try to be realistic. I watch the news at least once a day and I’ve been paying attention to what’s happening with the COVID-19 Delta variant. I know that even though we’ve been vaccinated we could still carry it and spread it. And I know that the governor in our state is a complete jackass when it comes to certain things, issues of public safety and health being what come to mind right now.

So we’ll be back to wearing masks in public, minimizing our exposure to and from other people. And for me this means I’ll be wearing a mask when I’m working on campus. Better safe than dead.

Next week is our vacation and our anniversary. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since we got married. It’s been one hell of a ride, especially considering that we’ve been living in a pandemic for the duration of our wedded life thus far. But I honestly can’t imagine going through this with anyone else by my side.

Yup, so stinkin’ cute

i finished reading a book and other things that really aren’t exciting to anyone but me

Before I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder back in 2006 I was a voracious reader. I’ve always loved books and a good story is actually one of my preferred drugs. Back then I was only sleeping a few hours a night because I was almost always hypomanic so I would read a full length novel every few days. There was a book case in my living room that was easily eight feet tall and four feet wide. My husband made extra shelves for it and pretty much all of them were stacked double deep. I had read 99% of those books.

The medication to control the symptoms of Bipolar made it so that reading wasn’t enjoyable, it felt more like a chore. Books no longer held my attention. In the time since 2008, when the second husband and I divorced, and quite recently, my book collection had dwindled to few enough that they all fit on a single shelf.

Now you kind of see why actually finishing books is a big deal in my world.

If I’m counting correctly, the book I just finished is the fourth book I’ve read this year. (don’t trust my math, I never do) I can concentrate again and I find myself getting very into the stories, which is amazing. I’ve found a few authors that I hadn’t heard of before and I’m totally loving this. Yay me.

Still life with scarf and dog

I am still knitting, mostly on this scarf, though the dog makes it hard some times. She thinks I should sit on the couch at night so that she can rest her head on me. There are several things about this that make knitting difficult. First, I end up all contorted with the arm of the couch on my left and her very solid self on my right, making it hard to get the wings to work. Second, she puts off body heat that is roughly equivalent to the temperature of the surface of the sun. And finally, she expects me to pet her. Constantly.

Don’t get me wrong, I love her, she’s a good pup. But I have realized that for any knitting progress to be made I have to sit in my chair. I am starting to wonder if this scarf is going to be mine or be gifted to someone. I’m waiting for it to tell me.

getting closer

You may remember that I made some goals for myself for 2021, six of them actually. I’ve already achieve two of them and I am now Super Duper Close to achieving a third. That would put me half way to what I see as a successful year, and given that the year is about half way through, I see this as excellent progress.

TA DA!!!

Those are the cabled fingerless mitts for K that I started last January 20th. I finished them on June 21, 2021. I’m very pleased with how they worked up and even more pleased that they’re done. And I was totally right, more than enough yarn left to make the basic beanie pattern I love. They look great and she seems quite pleased.

This is making me very happy because there is now only ONE project left from last year, and only two other projects currently on the needles. One is a feather and fan scarf that’s my “I don’t have to concentrate on this” project and the other is a shawl made with mohair and short rows. Don’t ask; I have no earthly idea what I was thinking, but since I started it I feel compelled to finish it.

Oh so yummy

I am still trying to be more mindful about what I eat and drink, which is another goal. To that end I have discovered that I really like making steel cut oats in the slow cooker. That was this morning’s breakfast and that batch of oats were cooked with mashed banana, salted caramel honey, and plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg. I use half water and half almond milk for the liquid, so 1C of oats and 4C total of liquid is enough for four breakfasts. So easy and so tasty.

There is a whole lot of hurting going on right now, and I wish I could do more to help. I have several friends who are struggling, all with different things, and I know there are a whole lot of other people struggling just as much but who aren’t saying anything. I want y’all to know that it’s totally ok to ask for help when you need it. Even if what you need is someone to say that you matter, your presence is important, you have a place in this world. Because you do.

so there I was, hip deep in chewed on pansies and lilies trying to fit a tarp over a blow up kiddie pool

The yellow Asian lilies are stunning right now

So the title is partially accurate. I planted pansies in the front of the house and the damn bunnies are snacking on them. And there are lilies, right now the beautiful yellow seen above and some that are more of a copper orange color. I think there are white, pink, and red out there somewhere. There’s also a ton of yellow hollyhocks. Thanks to my mom that yard is full of pretty things.

Now that the Evil Robin has left we can actually get out to the yard and we did indeed setup a pool. I told Lancelot that I want a place I can park my hot old ass when it’s hot and hang out with Dog Blossom. So far we’ve only done it once but it was mostly fun.

There’s a flower on my nose!

I took a picture this morning to send to a friend of mine and figured I’d share it here. I’ve reached a point where I really don’t notice it’s there unless I catch the “shiny” out of the corner of my eye. If I smack myself in the nose or catch it on something then I notice it from a physical perspective, but most of the time I don’t. I’m quite pleased that I finally went ahead and did it.

Ilo!

This is my version of the Ilo shawl. I used Trendsetter Yarns Paradigm in the Golden Flowers colorway. I started this on January 16, 2020 and bound off this morning, June 16, 2021. This is my very first all lace shawl and I am stupid proud of it. I’m hoping to be able to block it soon.

You may recall that one of my goals for this year is to successfully finish all of the “legacy” projects that I started last year and didn’t finish. I have two left. I started a pair of cabled mitts for my friend K on January 20, 2020 and the Sunset Lights shawl on November 23, 2020. Maybe I can get the mitts done by June 20? That would be neato, and they are what I’ve designated as next in line.

I am still working on the feather and fan scarf and the Skewed Shawl but they can chill for a bit. The scarf is my “public” knitting right now. At any rate, I feel amazing that I’m making such good progress.

And I’m back to doing Noom, at least almost entirely. I’m not worrying about exercising just yet. I need to get my shit back together and so far just paying attention to what I’m eating/drinking and logging it is helping. The weight I had gained back is starting to go away again. This makes me happy.

I feel this so much

It’s hot here right now, which isn’t uncommon for this time of year, but that doesn’t mean we have to enjoy it. I’m not looking forward to going back to working on campus in part because of having to deal with weather. But deal I shall. I’m still working on planning and plotting and figuring out how to make the most of the situation. I think I’m doing well. But I still want to curl up on a blanket with my ginger babes.

rolling with the punches

I saw that this morning and it didn’t speak to me, it fucking shouted at me. That’s precisely what I’m going to do today, what I’ve already started doing. I will pull myself out and do what I do best. And I will shine like the sparkly rainbow glitter covered unicorn I am. Hells yeah.

I could waste time and energy on being pissy about going back to campus or I can start laying plans for how I’m going to take over the world.

Step One: New Clothes – I realized the other day that I do not currently own enough appropriate clothing to wear to the office even three days a week without wearing damn near the same thing every week, not that I have an issue with that, but it’s not me. So Friday afternoon I went shopping with one of my colleagues. I found some lovely new pieces that should see me through a few more sizes. Speaking of which…

Step Two: Get Back to Healthy – Here recently I have basically abandoned everything I had learned about eating and living healthier. As such I’ve gained a few pounds back. When I eat healthier I feel better and when I get more activity I feel even better, so, I really want to get back into it. I’m starting this morning by logging my food again and trying to make choices that will fill me up in happy ways. Over the weekend I made a batch of steel cut oats for breakfasts and we stopped at a farm stand over the weekend so I’m currently enjoying delicious strawberries for a snack.

Step Three: Figuring Out What “Back in the office” Looks Like – There are things I take for granted when working from home, like having access to the drinks and food I want. I’ll have to take everything to work again, and now I don’t have a whole office to spread out in. There is a closet back in the office that was formerly mine that we’ll be storing our personal stuff in, but that means figuring out some storage issues. Yesterday afternoon I ordered something that I think will help, I hope. I also picked up an extra phone charger that will plug right into my laptop, and it was only $1, and it looks like a koala. But there are things like that, silly seeming things, that I’ve come to take for granted. Think about it though – I kept those same things for granted going the other direction when I was working on campus full time and never considered that I wouldn’t work on campus. Bottom line with this is that I’ll be back to playing “turtle” and living out of my backpack, and that’s totally cool because I know I can do that.

Step Four: Figuring Out What “Two Days at Home” Looks Like – Working from home like I have has been wonderful for my relationship with Lancelot. We get more time together than we ever have before and than if I had stayed working on campus full time. I feel like this time together has been the best part of the pandemic and I truly believe that our relationship is as strong as it is because of this. L has already told me that he’ll take on more of the chores around the house since I won’t be here as much, and that’s going to help a ton. Every time I start to flip out about all of this and cry he just holds me and strokes my hair and reminds me that we can do anything.

Step Five: Breathe – There’s a lot going on right now and I need to remember to take care of myself. It is impossible to pour from an empty cup. On Saturday we went and got our monthly massages. We stopped at the coffee shop on the way and while L was in having his massage I worked on a knitting project. I refuse to give up that time. And I finished a book and started another, and I’m back to working on the lace shawl. I’m taking care of myself because it’s essential, and let’s face it, I enjoy it.

One day at a time, I will survive this, too.

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.