Monday, April 29, 2013

My Birthday

I had a wonderful  birthday on Saturday. I sat on the deck and enjoyed the sunshine. I knitted, I relaxed and did nothing that resembled work. ; )

DH made a very yummy shrimp scampi for dinner, with an accompanying salad! Yes, I had a salad! It is one of the things that I had been doing without since chemo started and it was delish! We had apple pie with chocolate ice cream for dessert. My sons both gave me plants for my birthday. I have an orchid and a bromeilad to care for now. I hope I don't kill them in the first month ..... I will post pictures soon.

On Sunday I did some laundry, some weeding (it takes along time to weed all of the garden beds we have with my lack of exercise tolerance) and some knitting. Angela invited me to come to her place for a chat and knit session and that was great. Her family even presented me with a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to me!

The Juego Mystery KAL is no longer. I haven't frogged it yet but I will. I am just not happy with it and I love the yarn too much to waste it. I think Angela will drop out also since she is not enjoying the knitting of it. I did, however, find a very interesting shawl for us to knit and I believe we are going to order the yarn and get going on this shortly. It is the Now in a minute shawl from  I love the idea of  knitting with gradient skeins to enhance this pretty shawl pattern. I don't have any idea how to dye and spin for this on my own and the price of the yarn is very reasonable.

My two main projects right now are the Pine Forest Baby Blanket and the Marian Tunic. Once the baby blanket is finished, I think I will pick up Topiary again. I would love to finish it before the hot weather gets here. If I can get 2 projects off the needles before starting that new shawl I will be thrilled. I have the whole summer to finish up the small projects like socks, mitts and gloves.

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Friday!

I tried. I really tried to make it through a full week at work. My brain was ready and my body willing ... at first. By the time I got home from work on Tuesday, though, I was sore and exhausted! I think I went to bed at 8 PM and stayed in bed until noon the next day. I needed that day off very badly and I am glad that I used my brain enough to acknowledge it instead of fighting it. I have to admit that even with that day off in the middle, I am ready for the weekend.

I did no knitting on Tuesday night due to the fatigue but knitted quite a bit on Wednesday while I soaked up some rays on the deck. Mostly I worked on the baby blanket for my brother's little girl, since that actually has a deadline. ; )    Then I knitted on the tulips Cardigan and finished weaving in ends and knitted the two front bands and the I cord edging around the fronts and bottom hem. I have to knit the neck I cord and the sleeves still. That should be a quick knit, maybe something I can do while at the LYS knit night. Yes! I am going back next week to join my friends for knitting and chatting!  I hope to get in a few weeks of visiting with friends and doing "normal" things before surgery.

It's my birthday on Saturday. I hope to have a yummy cake but other than that I don't plan to do anything special. I would love for the weather to be good for knitting out on the deck.That is one of my favorite things to do right now. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring knitting

The side effects from the chemo have not left me yet. I have spent a lot of time sitting and knitting and watching TV, more than I had planned on. However, things are getting better. I actually worked 6 hours on Friday! I hope to have about 5 weeks of working normally, at the office, before surgery.

The not feeling well has allowed me to complete the center band for the Marian Tunic, pick up that zillion stitches (actually 292) along one edge and start the open work pattern. I have knitted almost 3 pattern repeats and love the way it looks so far. The pattern is easily memorized, which makes things much easier on a 292 stitch row. ;-)

I am in love with the color and I think the stitch pattern is very pretty and perfect for summer.

I joined the Juego mystery KAL on Ravelry. I had appropriate yarn and beads in my stash and that seemed to be an omen, so I purchased the pattern. I was thrilled with the result of the first clue! Deep purple yarn with light purple beads. The second clue, however, is a slipped stitch, mosaic type of stitch pattern using the contrasting semi-solid light purple yarn I chose and I am just not sure I like it. I never have really liked that type of stitch pattern. In addition, while I assumed this was a shawl KAL, it seems that we do not know what kind of garment we are knitting. It is a true mystery. I have decided to wait to see what the next clue looks like and decided if I want to keep going or rip it. I love the yarns and the beads too much to use them in a garment I don't care for.
This is the close up view of clue 1.  I love it.
Over view of the piece, showing the contrasting color shown here. I love the yarns together - they show up a bit bleached out here - and the knitting is actually being done on in 3/4 of the stitches. At the right side of the photo the stitches in the dark yarn are on a holder and not being worked.
Here is a close up view of the clue 2 stitch pattern. The colors are pretty accurate here. It's pretty but not my taste. Right now, anyway.

I mentioned my brother's upcoming child last time, and the yarn I ordered has arrived. I am knitting the Pine Forest blanket for them in a Knit Picks superwash yarn. The color is a blue with lavender tones to it. I cast on last night after washing and drying the swatches. I don't have much time for this knit (the baby is due on May 10), so it will be my main focus for a while, though I always do some changing out of projects being knitted. This photo show the color a bit lighter than in real life. The swatch showing the stitch pattern is on top and the garter edging is beneath it.

I started knitting the Tulips Sweater a while ago for a friend of mine. This is the body of the sweater. I have knitted the bottom edging in seed stitch and need to start working on the front bands. It's for a little girl named Parmida. She is adorable and her Mommy will love the sweater even if she has no idea. : )

I planted seeds last week in peat pots and saw some seedlings poking their heads up! We brought the seedlings and baby tomato plants in the house last night since the temps dropped into the 30's, but will get them back outside today so they can soak up the sunshine. In a week or two, if we can get a few dry days, DH will till the garden area and I can get seeds in the ground. We are hoping for an early start on the gardening this year. We can always plant more seeds if things freeze or don't germinate.

We plan on tomatoes (obviously, since the plants are pretty unmistakable), cucumbers, corn, watermelon, green and hot peppers.

I hope to be able to post photos one of these days. We bought a new (used) computer and the old photo software doesn't work with it. I have to figure out how to get the photos off my camera onto the computer so I can post them. Ugh.

ETA I added the photos but I am very resentful that I have to learn a new system. Hopefully Picasa will allow me to do things that Picture Project didn't to make up for the new learning "opportunity". 

Have a happy day.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I am finished!!!!!

Chemo treatments are over! No more! Pretty soon I will be able to eat the things I have been having to forgo and  starting right now I won't be making several trips to the infusions center every 2 weeks! Stage one of cancer treatment is over and we are now moving into the planning stages for stage 2 , which is surgery. Tests are scheduled for the last week of April.

I have completed 40 repeats of the band for the Marion Tunic. That is one half of the band that goes from front to back. Now I start on the bottom band. That's 15 repeats. Then I pick up a zillion stitches for the right side of the body and knit the open work pattern. It will be a while before this piece is finished, but I am determined.

Meanwhile I have just ordered yarn to make a baby blanket for my baby brother and his almost wife, who are expecting their little girl in mid May. A sweater would have been quicker but they don't last as long, so a blanket it will be. I haven't decided on the pattern yet but picked the color and the yarn. ;-)

Also on the knitting front, I have completed Rob's Riff socks! Finally. :-( I was bad and took a long time to finish these off, but they look good. Hopefully they will last. Next up is finishing Bob's socks. I am doing ribbing up the legs, so they are good travel socks to work on. Simple. Small. To be finished soon, I hope.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Marion Tunic Beginning

I cast on for the tunic yesterday. I did, as usual, have some ripping to do but I still managed to complete 6 pattern repeats (of too many to count).

Right now it is wonderful that the rows are 20 stitches long so it doesn't take long to complete a pattern repeat. This color is a bit darker than in real life.

On Ravelry there is a group that does a spin off of Project Runway, called Project Spinway. There is a challenge, frequently a photograph inspiration, you find fiber (in appropriate textures and colors) and spin a yarn that is inspired by the photograph. There are usually little extra challenges thrown in along the way and there are deadlines. It is also important to explain the process you went through in making your selections and photographing things well earns points, too. Since I still have 1 more chemo to go, I didn't sign up for this competition but have decided to spin along as a fan - no deadlines, just fun playing along. That way if I have a bad week and can't make any progress, I don't feel guilty. ; )
I can really use a fun, short project right now in spinning. I think this will do.

I have spent quite a while this morning trying to choose a photograph for the challenge - your backyard. It can be a literal translation - your actual yard - or less literally, what you consider the back yard to your area, for instance. I thought initially that I would do the Chesapeake Bay but in looking through my photos, I am pretty sure I will chose flowers or something directly from my yard. 
This one is a strong contender.
As is this one. 
And this one.

Sigh. I think I have to search further. Or maybe I should close my eyes and pick? I love them all.