Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It took 4 weeks this time

Recovery from surgery is not always a piece of cake, but I must say this round has been. Planning ahead and having a good surgical team helped immensely, but I have to say that since the advent of the Internet and my obsession love of knitting this recovery has been the best I've encountered. The first major surgery I had, knee surgery that released one side of my knee cap to allow it to lie correctly in the joint, was not this amusing after the second week. It gives me hope that when the time comes for me to move on from working full time to retiring that I'll be able to manage it well. For now, though, I'm feeling the urge to get back out into the world into a daily routine that involves social interaction and activity. I'm hearing things from work that make me want to be there for a couple hours at least to put out fires and check my email. Then I sit up and talk and laugh and my body says, "Hold up there, cowboy, you're not ready yet." Besides, I don't want to deal with month end quite yet and I have a sweater to finish.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's going to be a good day

I knew when I brushed my hair this morning and the naturally curly locks just fell into place instead of tweaking hither and yon that it was going to be a good day.

A fellow lister sent this link and it got me thinking. There's the myth of the boyfriend sweater (you know, where you never knit your boyfriend a sweater because after you do he'll break up with you), but I wonder if this would apply to guys knitting a sweater for their girlfriend. I don't think it's reciprocal because women love getting gifts from their lovers (at least this has been my experience). If my boyfriend/girlfriend knitted me a sweater, I would love it all the more because of the time spent on knitting the thing. But then, what if the sweater was a color I didn't like? What if it itched? What if it fit poorly? Tell me what you think.

Unlike plain stockinette sweaters or ones with one design element in them, the Sirdal has several so you can see progress clearly and revel in it. It's kind of like a huge self-striping sock, only you put in the colors. I was very pleased to reach this point last night, measure it, and find that it is right on in its measurement.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A new addition to the flock

The construction guys are busy on streets around me, so I'll be hearing the windows rattling and the sounds of backing up equipment while working on the Dale. I made more progress on it yesterday, getting up to halfway point of the main chest motif . Lorraine asked if I was going to put the braid on the Sirdal. I've decided I'm not going to, as the colorway I've chosen doesn't go well with the braid kit available. I've looked for other braid but none come in the two sizes required for the sweater, so I've bagged that.

Yesterday I went out with Ruth to the Pendleton outlet to pick up yarn for her daughter. It's the same yarn I used for the Rogue. Three pounds is enough for a couple of sweaters and other projects so Penny is all set. After the excursion I was all fired up to hunt for the Dale Nagano pattern, which is out of print and hard to find. I found other Olympic patterns to lust after and like a spoiled child I decided I HAD to have them. So off I went again, this time to Yarn Garden, came back with a haul of OOP Dale patterns. No Nagano but I did find ones I coveted and an additional one that was just too nummy to pass up. I hurt afterword, but I was satisfied and dutifully laid in my recliner and knitted in the evening.

This is the new addition to the flock of sheep that currently reside at my desk at the office. For now he'll be keeping me company at home.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I heard about this and while I don't have the facts of the case in hand I find it hard to believe that a teacher would use a school computer to access porn sites, especially if there were students around. Scout is raising a defense fund for Julie Amero, so please visit to find out more details. I can see someone getting frustrated by a chain popup and have no idea what to do about it (I see it in my office all the time; we use computers but many aren't savvy enough to know what to do in a situation like that). Especially if the computer is using an eight-year old operating system and old software.

In a knitting update, yesterday I didn't get much done on the Sirdal as I spent most of the day with doctors' appointments and related errands. But I'll satisfy your yen for yarn p*rn with an updated photo of the sweater. I did take the table runner with me since it was lightweight and elicited a number of comments.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

In Stitches

I finally warded off Penelope from my Sirdal and reached the upper body patterning. No more lice! I was more active this week so didn't make as much progress as the previous week, but I'm glad to get to this point in the pattern. Today will be a day of knitting, sipping tea, and listening to Cast-On episodes.

Update: The Sirdal has passed a milestone. It's large enough for a cat to sneak a nap on.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Oregon

On this day in 1859, the Oregon territory became the state of Oregon. By then some of my relatives had been settled in Oregon for almost 15 years. Oregon City was the destination of many settlers before heading up the Willamette to settle in the valley or down the Willamette toward Fort Vancouver. My siblings were school age during the centennial; it will be interesting to see what we do for the sesquicentennial in 2009. I better get my spinning skills up to snuff in case I want to reenact a pioneer woman like my great-great grandmother.

I'm so close to starting the Sirdal chest pattern. I'm at that point in the sweater where I think I'm making great progress but the tape measure says it's still only 12 1/2" long. What, is Penelope lurking in the closet and undoing my rows while I sleep? At least I know I'm not allergic to wool. Monday I woke to my hands so puffy I could hardly use them. I narrowed the culprit to a dusty copy of "The Book Of Lists" and after a thorough cleaning and cortisone ointment applications my hands returned slowly to normal. I lost a day to knitting but at least it wasn't so severe that I needed to visit the ER.

This and this arrived in the mail, courtesy of a gift card from a promotion. Some anime films are either extraordinarily violent or cutesy. "Akira" is intelligent and well-executed. And I simply fell in love with the adventure of "Master & Commander" enough to want a copy of my own. Heave to, me hearties!

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. Now the jewelry commercials (especially those extraordinarily annoying Jared ones) can cease and we can return to our regularly scheduled dreck.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Knitting progress

I don't have many spoons to use today so I'm posting knitting pix to give you an idea of how far I am on current projects. I'm halfway through the lice portion of the Sirdal and less than halfway done with the table runner. I'm also doing this through Picasa and am not liking how it hiccups while trying to write the post. It could be Blogger. It could be my computer. Whatever it is, it's irritating. I'll be working on a workaround for this.
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Friday, February 09, 2007

10 days done

There's not much knitting going on besides the Sirdal (a little over six inches to go before I start on the upper pattern section of the body). I got the measurements for the socks I'm going to make so I'll dig in Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks" for a good pattern for a man's pair. I may go in my Barbara Walker to find a nice rib. There are other sites on the Web I could browse, like and MenWhoKnit, who can give me ideas of what would be appropriate for men's socks. I don't want them to be dull but I don't want them too foofy looking either.
One thing I've had to resort to with the Addi Naturas I'm using is wearing a leather quilter's thimble. I didn't realize how sharp the points were going to be with all the knitting I'm doing until I started feeling a sharp pain where the point was hitting on my right index finger. Further inspection turned up a hole growing through the callus. Fortunately one of the things from my quilting days is the perfect solution for the problem. I throw with my right hand, so the yarn travels over my index finger between the leather and the blue elastic band.
I had intended to stay home tonight but ventured out after six to go to Stitch n Bitch at Mon Ami for an hour's gab with my fellow local knitters. I had a good time but didn't linger too long as I had driven myself there. The gals were glad to see me and shared their doings, and I had one of the crepes, a ham, brie, and pear concoction in a buckwheat crepe as a dinner treat.

When I settled back in my recliner to ease my aching belly, Maisie decided she wanted my affection. She settled on the right arm of my recliner and my right leg and insisted I give her attention.

Of course the others had to get in on the attention. Buster climbed up atop the recliner where he was safe from Maisie's smacks. Sammy was not so sensible and got away before I could get a picture in.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I've reached the lice portion of the body on the Dale and decided to take a break from working at such tight gauge. I dug out some laceweight merino (Baruffa FaRe) and cast on for a table runner, utilizing the lessons I learned in Joan Schrouder's class. I won't do borders on the sides, keeping the edgings for just the ends. The center portion is a simple YO, k2tog on alternating rows, shifting the eyelets over one stitch. The edging is from the class. I had thought about putting beads on it, but decided against it, wanting something simple to work on while watching the idiot box.

I went out this morning to get in a little exercise and wandered down to the corner where the city is busy putting in street improvements. The corner of Sandy and 45th has no street controls for cars or pedestrians other than stop signs at 45th. Crossing there on foot is precarious except during the wee hours of the morning. I used to do it when I worked earlier in the day but at the hours I work now it's too hazardous. The island they will put in the center of the street will at least give pedestrians a fighting chance to getting halfway across.

It's not often one gets to observe construction without obstruction or time limitations. The fellow operating an excavator with a bucket thumb was very skilled in my eye, using the teeth of the bucket to nudge these hunks of asphalt-covered concrete out of place, lift them, then dump them into a waiting truck. Some pieces would be too large to lift or intractable, so he'd use the bucket to crack them into more manageable pieces. Other times he'd have a piece just a little off balance and he'd flip the bucket to move it further into it. No matter that this piece of machinery was thousands of pounds and the material just as heavy; he chopped, shifted, lifted, and threw over sidewalk hunks as if he was chopping up a tree by hand.

Tomorrow I'll venture out to Unraveled for an hour or two. It will be good to get some fresh air and conversation.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A beautiful Sunday morning

Usually during the winter around here, the skies are overcast and gray. It's one of the reasons some folks don't like staying here in western Oregon. Not the rain, the gray. It dulls the colors and gives everything a depressing drabness. I'm a native Oregonian so I'm used to the gray days and counter it with color around me. When I bought my house, it was blue gray that turned drab in the winter. First opportunity I got to paint it I made it white with dark green trim. But others don't fare so well and turn into sullen, sour grouches or horribly depressed shadows (think Kurt Cobain--he grew up in Aberdeen WA, which is grayer than here). So our recent days of sunshine have been a real treat for us in the Rose City. One thing that it has brought however is unseasonable warmth. I have daffodils coming up already and word is that there are crocuses coming up too.

Friends came over yesterday and cleaned my kitchen. I was told they would do it, but I didn't expect such thoroughness. It was embarrassing. I'm not the greatest housekeeper; I'm lazy. So the results gave me pause. They didn't have to do what they did. So I'm thinking of what I can do for them for the time and effort they spent on my kitchen. And what I can do to improve myself so that this doesn't happen again.

Yesterday was not a good day. I had overdone it on Friday and paid for it yesterday. But I did get knitting done. I'm on the body of the Sirdal (313 #$@! stitches around on size 2.25 mm) and finished the first section around the bottom. When you're reclining back so your belly doesn't hurt and you're trying to ignore the noises in your kitchen and not interfere, all one can do is knit. And knit. And knit. (For you math freaks out there, calculate 317 (that includes the 4 steek stitches) by 19 rows. That's how much I got done yesterday. Ooohhh doctor!)

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I'm back home from my surgery and doing very well. I won't know until my post op visit how much my fibroid laden uterus weighed, but my surgeon said it was the same size as a woman who has been pregnant for 20 weeks. I looked it up. It's the size of a canteloupe. Good gravy!! No wonder I was miserable. Hopefully that will help shed a few pounds and give me the energy I need to resume regular exercise.

For now it's do nothing but walk. Don't bend, twist, jerk, lift, wash, dry, turn, boogie, or do the hokey pokey. I can walk. That's it. As long as I can tolerate. The more the better. It will help my insides resume regularity. Damn, I was looking to doing the shimmy shimmy shake once I was out of the hospital, because I feel good in a James Brown kind of way.

I will be able to drive after a week, though. Which means I can get out of the house as long as I can tolerate and visit my LYS's and work on the Sirdal. I finished one sleeve and cast on the body while on Oxycodone. Thank heavens for markers because after 50 stitches I was losing count and the puppy is 313 stitches of cast on. This morning I worked a row while not on narcotics and found I was off one stitch. HAhahahahaaaa!

I learned this morning that Molly Ivins died from breast cancer. I love her acerbic wit and descriptions of the Texas "Lege". I figure she's up in a corner of the Great Beyond sharing good ol' boy stories with Ann Richards, Mickey Leland, and John Henry Faulk. She'll be missed by us liberals. If you haven't experienced her writing, start with her first book, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? Here's a Lone Star raised to you, Molly. Give 'em hell.