Sunday, March 31, 2013

Knitting and chemo progress

One more chemo Treatment to go!

I am a bit more achy this time than last time. Vitamin B is suggested to minimized the neuropathy that is a side effect of Taxol. At my last visit, however, the doctor said there might be some drug interactions if I took the vitamin B on the day of chemo so I skipped it the day of the infusion as instructed. I think, though, that  I won't skip it again. I think taking the vitamin helps to minimize the muscle and joint pains that come with the Taxol. I hurt more today than I did 2 weeks ago. Pain or no pain, I will feel better in a few days and I have only one more treatment to go. I can do this.

Knitting on my 2 main projects continues. Topiary has gotten longer by more than a full pattern repeat since I resurrected it. I really like the yarn and the pattern and want to end up with a nice long wrap to snuggle into. I plan to knit at least 4 more pattern repeats to what I have here. This is a close up of the stitch pattern.

 Here you  can sort of see how long the wrap is already. The wrap is 3 pattern repeats across and this is a heavy worsted yarn. It really is about 4 feet long. 

Rob's Riff socks have finally gotten past the "trouble spot". You follow a chart up the foot, continue the instep pattern while knitting the gusset, and then count back a certain number of rows to find your starting place on the chart for the heel pattern. You then hope that when you get back to knitting on the leg that the patterns match. This one did! Perfectly, with no fudging required! I am very excited. Now I just knit up the leg, following the chart until I run out of the main yarn. Then I will switch to the accent color and do the ribbing. This sock, the second of the pair, should be finished by the end of April. 

 Front of sock:

My new large project, now that Shellseeker is finished, is going to be the Marion Tunic from the Spring IK. I swatched and blocked and am ready to start knitting. This is the center panel swatch. Stitches will be picked up on the long edge for the body of the tunic.

This is the openwork swatch. 

I would be knitting on Topiary today since I want to finish it before starting something else but my joints ache too much to manage it. I might just cast on for the Tunic today. I could use a knitting project that is lightweight and a bright, spring color to work on today to banish the grey drizzles. 

Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finished Shellseeker

Here it is! Finished! It fits well (even damp. I couldn't resist trying it on and it was taking too long to dry!) and is just the right style for me for cool evenings on or off the boat. I might make another some day ....
The pattern was well written and I had no problems understanding the instructions for the pocket.

It's chemo day again tomorrow. Sigh. Only this treatment and one other to go, though. The end is close!

It's spring, the temperatures are higher and yet we had snow on Monday. This weather is very confusing. It was very pretty looking out the window Monday morning - the trees were all covered with the white stuff. It was a winter wonderland for certain. I waited until the rush hour mess had cleared out, then I went to work. The men in the house shoveled snow and cleared my car for me. Thanks, guys.

My current knitting projects are my Topiary Wrap and Rob's Riff socks. I was doing really well working on the 2 projects. I haven't knitted on them in 3 days because I am tired when I get home from work.  Work is, I hate to admit, more important, especially right now. This weekend should present ample opportunity for knitting, though.

I am feeling much better these days. I have more energy and can do much more before I tire out. I feel better in general. I have to watch my calories now - to avoid gaining too much! 2 more chemo treatments and then I get a break for a while. I can't wait to have a nice steak  with a salad on the side and something with berries for dessert. Those are the things I can't have now that I crave.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


This is it so far. Unblocked, ends still dangling but only 1/2 sleeve to go and I love it. It feels great and fits well. Very nautical.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Shellseeker Sleeves

One sleeve is complete, the second has been started and is actually about 3 inches long! I tried the sweater on yesterday to check for sleeve length and my son (35 years old) admired it and the way it looks on me! The boatneck is a bit floppy and sloppy looking. I will try to find a way to improve the look of that, but otherwise I like the sweater a lot. I think it will be very comfortable for cool evenings on the boat or at home.

I have been re-reading the Monica Ferris series of needlework mysteries recently. Somehow I have been attracted to counted cross stitch as a result. Bob dropped me off at Joann's so that I could browse on Saturday and I picked up 2 small kits. I have been working on one of the kits in between knitting projects. I am not sure if it will be mine or Mom's but I like it. As small as it is, 5x7 inches, it will take a while to finish. I am finding it an enjoyable change of pace, though it will not replace knitting.

I spun on the wheel yesterday and finished the second bobbin of singles and made good headway on the third bobbin. I might be ready to ply by the end of the week! I hate plying but it will be great to finish the yarn and have it ready to be knitted. I hope to get in some spindle spinning this week but I'll have to see how the joints are behaving first.

Tiny little snow flakes are falling right now. Just a few, few enough that I have to really look for them, but it gives me something to look for. Have a good day.

Friday, March 15, 2013

6 down, 2 to go

I have 2 more chemo treatments to go! I didn't think I would ever get to this point for a while, but the end is in sight.

I have been knitting a lot lately. The body of Shellseeker is finished and the first sleeve is more than half knitted. Bob's sock are well on their way also. Both heels turned and one sock has about 3 inches of a leg knitted. This morning, though I had committed to knitting on only those 2 projects, I picked up Call Me Cordelia shawl and knitted 8 rows. I knew I would be knitting on Shellseeker and the socks while I was at the infusion center getting IV fluids and I wanted something else to knit for a while. It felt good.

This afternoon I spun on my wheel for about 45 minutes. I missed spinning the last couple of days for one reason or another (like chemo) but I made up for at least one day today. I finished one bobbin (the second of three) and started the third. I am spinning a 3 ply to knit the Mariposa cowl. It was a spin/knit along for a Ravelry group but I knew from the start I would not get it finished in the time specified. I was right. I will finish it, though, and do the knitting over the summer when I need small sized projects to knit in the heat.

I would love to spindle spun more of my silk but I think the body aches that are a side effect of this chemo drug will keep me from spindle spinning.

I was hoping for a nice weekend but with rain predicted, and chilly temperatures, I suspect I will be stuck inside most of the weekend. Sigh. My emotions need sunshine and outdoor time. We have a few daffodils poking their leaves up but no flowers or buds yet. We have been talking about that to plant in the veggie garden and that's been fun. It will be about 2 months until we can plant anything, though. I am really impatient for warm weather this year. I am so tired of feeling cold.

Well, have a good weekend, all. Happy St. Patrick's day to you.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

It wasn't all that bad

I did not have an allergic reaction to the new drug. I was nervous enough that I told the infusion nurse that I was nervous and she gave me a little something to help me relax. In addition to the pre meds, I was feeling really loopy. I got the test dose, then the real thing and left feeling pretty good. The next day went well, too. The day after that I spent in the recliner. My back muscles felt like someone had beaten them. Sunday the pain moved to the joints. Every joint hurt. They say that you get flu like symptoms and they are right. It feels like a really bad flu only without the fever and cough. That was the worst day, though. It got a bit better each day until by Thursday I was feeling pretty much back to normal. I even went to work that day!

Mom left on Sunday after a 3 week visit. It is a bit lonely here, but I think the timing was good since I feel so much better now. I think she is happy to be in her own space, too.

I have been knitting. I feel easily overwhelmed and all of the projects that are on the needles right now are adding to that feeling of there being too much to do. I decided to work on that by selecting one larger and one smaller project that I felt like knitting on and ignore everything else. I am knitting on Shellseeker. It's a sweatshirt style sweater, knitted in cotton, stripes of blue and a soft green that looks almost beige. I just finished joining the front pocket to the sweater last night. Next up is the bottom edge ribbing. The body was knitted in the round, top down, so this means that once the ribbing is complete, there remains only the sleeves to knit. I am excited!

I had thought that my chemo treatments and recovery time were going to be a great source of knitting time for me. Chemo made a fool out of me. I had no idea that it would take so much out of me, change my priorities in living life and make me too tired and uninterested in knitting. I feel better in general with this new drug, so I am able to get back to my normal activities. Some of them , anyway. I am still anemic, so I have a low tolerance for activity but  I will work on improving that now that the weather is getting better. That's another thing I was not prepared for - I am cold all the time. I layer, I dress warmly and I still shiver. Warm weather can't come soon enough for me.  Activity will help with the coldness issue and just getting me back  in shape a little so I don't huff and puff just from climbing the stairs from the basement.

My other knitting project is to finish Bobs socks. I am knitting them on DPNs but keeping pace so that I don't get second sock syndrome. I am trying to turn the heel and knit the heel flap but my chemo brain won't let me get it right. I need a pattern to follow and don't have the right stitch count for any of the patterns. Oh, well. I'll get it sooner or later.

Spinning has been an off and on activity but I hope to make it more on than off. I seem to have acquired a huge amount of fiber. Not only do I need to clear some space but I am interested in spinning it for the experience and to see what it will make. I am going to try to spin daily for a minimum of 20 minutes for the rest of the month and see where that takes me.

Have a great weekend.