Sunday, February 28, 2010

To Everything There is a Season.....



For two winters I have had to endure ridicule from Blaine and Fred (my therapist) for wearing my Bass Pro Shop's "Pro-Line" rubber fishing boots everywhere I go. And for two winters I've told them that the boots keep my feet warm in cold weather, and they're especially useful whenever it snows---they are perfect snow boots.

Fred didn't "ridicule" me overtly---he just remarked that I "stood out" wearing the boots with a Kansas City Chief's jacket. And I know that he really meant that they were weird boots to wear anywhere except to go fishing.

Anyhoo, today there was a sale at Jo-Ann's----and sure enough, there, in a blazing picture in Jo-Ann's sale paper, there they were....summer gardening boots!!

And I SO want to see the look on Fred's face when I walk in wearing these with a Mizzou jacket.



Saturday, February 27, 2010

Not again....



So on we go,

With many a winding turn,

No burden is he to bear,

We'll get there,

For I know,

He would not encumber me,

He ain't heavy...he's my brother...

("He's My Brother", The Hollies)


I'm sure all of you have heard of the terrible earthquake in Chile---one which was even more powerful than the one which ocurred in Haiti! And many of you may have friends or family there who you are very worried about. So here's a telephone number that I was told can be used to find out the status of those friends or family:


I am heartbroken over the fact that another city has been destroyed---and I cry when I watch the pictures.

My sister has a friend in the area where the earthquake hit, and she is very worried about her. Her friend is employed by the United States Embassy to Chile, and so my sister may be able to contact the Embassy to find out her friend's status. We can only hope she's alright, but I learned early this morning that the Embassy has not been able to find all of their employees.

We can only pray.

And so I am asking everybody, no matter which faith or higher power you embrace, to either pray or to wing your good wishes to Chile. I do believe that it will help even though we can't be there.

I did volunteer to go to Haiti for a month, as an RN, since they need more RN's. But the Director of the organization to which I volunteered said that he reluctantly had to deny me because I'm taking a lot of meds. He said that, personally, he wanted me, since I'm a Trauma Nurse, Psychiatric Nurse, and also a Home Health nurse, and he needs people with those qualifications desperately, but it would not be possible for me to.

And I can understand...

So all I can do is sit here and pray for all the earthquake victims. I pray for the victims and the rescuers every time I think about it.

And so I pray....and knit.....



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Update in the House of Bo....

"Touch this bowl and you'll draw back a stub!

That idiot, Little Baby, stands guard over her catfood plate and milk saucer for hours at a time, even though our other cat, Leonard, doesn't like to get into tangles with her and never eats out of her catfood plate or cream saucer. For a cat who's in the stages of the equivalent of seriously arthritic, elderly, human old age, Little Baby can whup Leonard's ass.

Of course Blaine and I always break up their fights, but we can't help chuckling a little because Little Baby is way smaller and ten times older than Leonard but she always wins the fights. When Leonard wants to get out of her way, he uses me as a springboard to jump up to the top of the couch, where Little Baby can't reach him. She's too old and arthritic to jump up on furniture anymore. (And that irks me NO END that Leonard uses me as his springboard, which knocks everything out of my hand. And that idgity cat NEVER uses Blaine as a springboard.)

Sometimes when we come home from somewhere, we find thick tufts of Leonard's black fur on the floor, poor cat.

Stupid cats....

Anyway, I've been working hard on the Little Red Riding Hoodie (shown below). I know it looks like it's going to be short in the width but have no fear---after I cut the steek I am going to put a decorative panel on each of the buttonband edges, and also up & around the hood. But for the life of me I can't think of which dang panels and/or edgings I should use--- and also if I should use the red or else introduce some black (or some other contrasting color) for interest. And as for the buttons, I am in anguish about that issue, too--- considering the fact that buttons would look horrible on most of the trims I'm waffling about, not to mention the buttonholes. And a zipper won't work because most of the edgings I've looked at are not straight.

So I keep on knitting, burning my brain cells out trying to figure out what to do about the whole issue.

And I'll keep studying edgings and panels in my knitting books until I am cross-eyed....

I've also made progress on the camo cardigan shown below. On the machine is the first of the two sleeves. When a garment gets long enough to touch the floor I roll them up and then hold them in place with knitting needles. I have to do that because I don't have any more weights except the hem that came with the machine--- so Blaine told me he'd take me to Bass Pro Shop to get some things from the fishing department to use as weights. And while we're there, maybe I can talk him into buying me a hoodie by saying I need a hoodie for "measurements" for the Little Red Riding Hoodie....

Below is when I got under the table to snap a pic of the front. I don't recommend this ---mostly because I bumped my stupid head so hard that little skeins of yarn swirled around my head and I probably gave myself a concussion.....

Onwards I knit.....



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mother Always Told Me to "Accessorize"...


But you've got demons in your closet,

And you're screaming out to stop it,

Saying life's begun to cheat you,

Friends are out to beat you,

Grab on to what you can scramble for....

("Hide in Your Shell", Supertramp)



And so the predicted blizzard begins.

First it rained, then it froze, and then it began snowing over the frozen rain. The weather man on the news said (and I quote): "If you absolutely don't have to go out on these roads, DON'T GO!" And then Blaine, in his numbskull brilliancy, decided to drive to the grocery store......

I will be nervous until he returns. (Especially since he's driving MY truck....)

There's a picture down below of my progress on the Little Red Riding Hoodie. I'm on the body now. So many cables to do but they're relatively easy ones. They look more complicated than they are.

But it helps me to knit because I'm very worried about a medical thing. If you've been reading my Twitter you'd know that I went in for some routine labwork at the medical doctor and no sooner had I gotten home than they were calling me urgently to tell me that the scheduler would soon be calling to tell me when to come in to discuss with the doctor some "abnormality" in my labs.

And I know exactly what it is....

I had been seeing a previous doctor but I fired the asshole for being rude to me. But I fired him right after he had just found the same thing---that I had some abnormal labs. It seems that my liver labs have suddenly gone sky high when they have never done that before in my entire life--- even in my heavy drinking days. So for my liver enzymes to go astronomical when I'm sober is.....well... scary to say the least. And he did a test to see if it was any of the hepatitises but I was negative on all of them. So then he said that he thought it was one of my psych meds which has a reputation for causing liver trouble in some people.

So now I'm worried about that ---in fact I'm more than worried. I'm very terrified and frightened that it will turn out to be the fault of that particular med. So frightened and terrified that I'm not sleeping or eating---and I'm drinking too much coffee. And the reason I'm so terrified is that I really need that particular med. And I'm nervous that they'll take me off of it. I mean, I think that some of my various meds are no big deal--- but this one....this one I need.

Anyhoo, I'm knitting a lot to calm down and not fret so much about the issue until I talk to the doctor. And I'm mainly knitting a lot on the Little Red Riding Hoodie below.

And below is my attempt to allow you a closer look at the cables, but they don't show up well even though I "zoomed" the picture. For some reason my stupid photo program hasn't been "zooming" very well, which is frustrating. The "sharpen" feature is also acting up. I think it's because Blaine re-loaded the program after he did one of his computer overhauls. (I think I'll just un-install it and then re-install it MY WAY.)

I think the hoodie matches my new bag (below), don't you?

You know me---I wear funky clothes, funky accessories, funky everything. One time, my therapist Fred asked me to wear some of my knitted things to our next appointment. I thought that was an odd request for a therapist to ask. But it was right after I had innocently mentioned that I usually dress a little crazy, but that I try to keep my attire conservative when I go see him so that I don't frighten people in the waiting room. (There's other therapists and shrinks there.) But he insisted.

So I wore a psychedelic sweater that I'd knitted with un-matching sleeves, some of my un-matching socks, the jean jacket that has turned into a monster, and my beloved Bass Pro Shop knee-high rubber fishing boots (which I kicked off so he could see the socks).

And after he took one look at all this stuff he scribbled madly on his little tablet.

And I would give $100 to see what it was that he wrote.

Seriously, $100.

I mean it, I would actually pay $100.

Seriously, I would.

Hell, I'd pay $200, maybe three....

* *

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trying to Knit & Watch The Olympics---Despite Certain Annoying Distractions


Hark, thou stupid human!

Okay, as you can see I've got Little Baby trained to come tell me when it's time to do certain things, like open a can of tuna, pour cream, or turn on the Olympics. In the above case it is most likely time to open a can of tuna. But I chose instead to commit the unforgiveable sin of setting something else above her wishes.... which in this case was that I turned on the Olympics and picked up my knitting.

And in addition to hand knitting, I'm also trying to make progress on the camouflage sweater for my uncle on the USM machine.

And, like always when I don't pay attention to Little Baby's tuna demands, she then goes on a campaign to distract me from whatever else I'm doing so that I'll be forced to give her some tuna or go insane. Here she embarks on one of her favorite gambits for distracting me, that of "posing".

And don't, for a minute, fall for it. Sure, it's charming. Sure, it's cute. But let's call it for what it is..... a cat's way of "human manipulation".

She's not above ridiculing me, either, as shown below where she yawns as largely as she can next to a stack of my reading material, which really doesn't bother me since I couldn't care a fig about what she thinks of my reading choices.

(Those particular books are on the floor since my knitting stuff has grown, like lichen and moss, all over every single piece of furniture we own, leaving little space for books. I'd put homeless books on all the toilet bowl tanks if I didn't think it would convince Blaine that I'm even crazier than he thinks I am.)

And if subtleties don't work, there's always the ever-popular pose below, where she literally sits on her damn plate until it drives me so damn nuts that I go in there and put some damn tuna on her damn plate.

It's cold today so I'm wearing my Mardi Gras house socks. (And excuse me for the errata snafu on my posts to the Socknitters and Knitlist today---I have since corrected the errata with an errata to the errata---and I've also corrected it on the original blog post. The pattern was correct as written, but I had just neglected to put in the option for a slightly different color pattern just before dividing for the heel, which basically is where you switch two little color charts.)

(Dadgummit, I just confused myself again. Frankly, I think there needs to be an errata to my brain...)

"Oh for pity's sake, Little Baby", I told her rudely, as she continued her foolishness. "If you think you're so dang cute, then why don't you go to Cat Fashion Model School?"

Meanwhile, here's my progress on the Little Red Riding Hoodie's peplum area. But you can't see what I've done--- it's a row of small bobbles. This camera does not like that particular red yarn no matter which angle or flash I use.

And then, of course, Little Baby wasn't about to let me get the last word with my jab about Cat Fashion Modeling School--- as illustrated by the startling picture below....


(The little asshole...)




Sunday, February 14, 2010

Things To Do While Watching the Olympics...


1. First, go to the International House of Pancakes for breakfast and have strawberry-banana pancakes with eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. (Then steal and eat two of Blaine's Country Pancakes which is his own fault for not guarding that little plate while he attacked his ham & eggs plate....)

2. Come home, put the Olympics on the TV, and work on the peplum part of the Little Red Riding Hoodie;

3. Work on the camo cardigan for my uncle, the back of which is currently all stretched out on the USM after I had to do the ribbing twice due to a dadgum mistake... (but don't worry---I made a good swatch and it will shrink to the right size when I take it off the USM...)

4. Jump when Blaine cries: "Look out back!", turn around and look out the sliding glass doors--- and be totally startled by an unexpected blizzard!!

5. Look out front and laugh my butt off at the stupid kid across the street who certainly wasn't going to allow the blizzard to interfere with his solitary basketball game...

6. Ask Blaine to please do something for me which requires brute strength, and when he ridicules me for needing help, remark sarcastically: "I'm not as strong as you, Blaine---what do you think spells G. I. R. L.?"

7. Whack Blaine on his butt when he replies: "Crazy?"


Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Suburban Kilimanjaro....


When you're sure you've had enough of this life,

Well hang on, don't let yourself go,

Cause everybody cries

And everybody hurts, sometimes....

("Everybody Hurts", REM)


Oh hell, all these therapy appointments are trying.

I get a migraine headache every time I have one of those serious, hour-long sessions with Fred. And now he's added this very determined and insistent "mobile therapist" who drags me kicking and screaming out into the public. He's coming for me again tomorrow....

It all makes me so very melancholy..... too melancholy.

And so I watch it snow....and I knit.

Anyhoo, here's what I did with the poor Little Red Riding Hoodie. I got rid of the decreasing section because I wanted the bottom of the hoodie to be the same size as I cast on for, and eventually I mean for it to flare out from the waist area in its finished form. So now I'm working on that. Guess you could call it a peplum.

And here's a swatch of the camo yarn that I'm going to use on the Sweater Machine to make a sweater for my uncle. Yeah, I know it's a weird looking camo pattern, but Blaine chose it. And since he's a man, I guess he would know. (Hopefully.) I am going to use some tan colored yarn for the cuffs, collars, buttonbands, etc.

And, lastly, here's a cropped, patch-pocket sweater that I made from Opal 6 ply. I've got some tiger-print Opal 6 ply up in the Magic Yarn Closet that I'd love to make another one from. (But I wouldn't put patch pockets on that one....)

(Oh, and yes--- those are a pair of my non-matching house socks on my feet...)

And here's the Tunaholic, aka Little Baby. I was not too happy to walk into the kitchen and see her sassy little self laying messily in her dish which still had food in it---and she had also strewn her food all around her dish on the floor. That's her annoying way of saying she doesn't like Meow Mix cat food as much as she craves plain tuna.

Just another day in Paradise....



Monday, February 08, 2010

The Big Bad Wolf Ate My Homework.....


There I was, merrily knitting along on the bright crimson piece above, with visions of a cute hoodie as the finished product---so that I could call it the "Little Red Riding Hoodie".

And I would knit on this thing at night while watching TV with Blaine. I usually get "into the zone" when I'm knitting while doing something else, and I certainly get into "the zone" at night when we watch TV.

And then one evening, while drinking my favorite Constant Comment tea, a cold dread came over me as I realized my rounds were shorter....and so I finally took a good hard look at the thing....

And I noticed that it didn't have the number of stitches that it was supposed to have!! And I'm not talking 4 or 5 stitches, oh no---I'm talking about barely having enough stitches to make an 8 year old a Little Red Riding Hoodie!

After first giving a hideous scream, which caused the cats to scatter and Blaine to nearly fall off his couch, I fully realized what I'd done. HOW could I have DONE such a stupid thing???? I ask you....HOW???

What happened is that I wanted a bottom edge with "dinner bell" ruffles (which definitely look better in person than in this picture). (I took that picture on the back deck while it was snowing---can you tell?) And then after the dinner bell ruffles I wanted to put some...oh, popcorns all around the bottom edge. And then I further realized that if I was clever, I could do decreases to make the purl stitches between the popcorns gradually meet up with the knit stitches on top of the dinner bells......and have them all morph into K1, P1!

I was so thrilled with how it was turning out that I then put two rows of eyelets inside of purl ridges....and it was looking so RIGHT---I mean I really liked this thing.

Until I discovered that all those decreases in the popcorn area had diminished my stitches to around HALF of what they are supposed to be!! (You can see it in the picture.) Waaaaaahhhh!!!!!

I grabbed the thing and ran for the mirror (with EZ's theory of there being "no mistakes in knitting" ringing in my ears) and held it up to myself to see if I could save it somehow. Like.....maybe....a peplum or something?

But no matter how many hairbrain ideas I threw out, my brain told me that there was no choice....I was going to have to rip all the way back to the rows just above the dinner bell ruffles and start all over. (Because there is NO FRIGGING WAY that I'm gonna rip the damn things---and the decreases don't start till in the middle of the popcorns anyway.)


(Blaine wisely kept silent on the matter).

(And yes, I know that for someone who's been knitting since they were 10 years old this is a pretty lamebrain mistake to make.)



Saturday, February 06, 2010

My Name is Little Baby and I'm a Tunaholic....

One can of tuna fish is too much and 1,000 cans are not enough....



Monday, February 01, 2010

Leonard & Little Baby's Most Hated Night


There she lay.....totally unsuspecting.... content in her usual spot, laying on top of her food bowl in the hopes that the Tuna Fairy would pay her a visit...

Blaine came into the kitchen, calling for her, and she perked up, thinking that FOR SURE the Tuna Fairy was going to visit....

But the Tuna Fairy wasn't paying a visit---noooooo--- The Tuna Fairy, aka Blaine, had other plans for her---and he nabbed her. And so then it was too late for her to make a mad dash to freedom. No.... it was too late. And even though he petted her for reassurance, she put on that "mad" face as she was too late in her realization that Blaine wasn't simply going to pet her----no, he was there to perform her weekly brushing, an ordeal which she hates.

And when Leonard saw what was going on, he made a beeline for the basement. He wanted NO PART of this action....

So Blaine set to his task, brushing poor Little Baby.

Blaine brushed and brushed, and Little Baby made a weird yowling noise the whole entire time.

She sounded like he was killing her, even though Blaine is very gentle--- and we think she secretly likes it but just doesn't want to admit it.

And I'm standing there laughing like an idiot at her weird yowling, but Blaine just brushed on and on....

Sometimes Little Baby gets sneaky and tries to break and make a run for it---but Blaine is too smart for her.

Meanwhile, I guess Leonard forgot about what was going on, because I spied him laying on top of the couch, unconcerned, not realizing that his turn was next...

When Blaine was finished with Little Baby, he let her go and she indignantly stalked away. And then.... Blaine sneaked up and caught Leonard!

And Leonard HATES being brushed. He is not liking this one single bit! And he is younger and stronger than Little Baby, so he can squirm harder to get away much better.

And Leonard is not above getting ugly with the whole thing, even barring his teeth and claws one time, as you can see below!

Ah well, another Saturday night brushing the cats. But there's something I know that they DON'T know....

Brushing them is not the only thing that is going to happen to them regularly---because I bought Blaine a "PediPaws". You know--- those gadgets that painlessly files cats' claws? Since we chose not to have the two cats de-clawed, we figure the PediPaws will do the job of filing their front claws down, painlessly, so that they don't do damage when they claw the furniture or rugs. So Blaine's going to open that thing soon and start regularly filing their claws....

Heh, heh, heh, heh......