Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy and Sad

First, the Happy:

I can finally share my stealth-knitting project, Wool Leaves.  I really love how this turned out!

Wool Leaves

The yarn is Madelinetosh tosh dk, held doubled.  The color is called Calligraphy, and is a gorgeous neutral -- sort of parchment with hints of tan and grey.  The blanket is for Bezzie and her new baby girl.*  I wanted something kind of girly, without being pink (which I realize is weird for me).  I'm really happy with how this turned out, even after knitting it the equivalent of twice -- first, I knit half on size 10 needles, which was too tight, then almost half on 11s, which was too loose.  10.5's finally seemed just right, though!

And now the Sad:

I'm sure many of you remember Simon, who lived with me for years, first while my sister and I lived together, and then after she got married. Simon and my Harley were the best of friends, so we didn't split them up until I moved from San Antonio to Iowa City.


Anyway, at the ripe old age of almost 18, after having been on heart meds for at least 12 of those years, Simon succumbed to old age on Friday.  This wasn't a real surprise, but was still heart-breaking for both my sister and me.  I'm glad I got to spend some special time with Simon at Christmastime.

*  Just in case you wondered, I don't knit for every pregnant blogger I read.  I met, and knitted with, Bezzie during her brief time in San Antonio.  In fact, we even worked on the same campus!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Couple FOs

I spent the last week at my mom's. She's doing really great and I could see her doing better and better daily. I knew she was feeling better on Friday, when I found her in the kitchen, mixing up a batch of cookies. No big deal, she said -- they're bar cookies! Today, she started cardiac rehab and also got to start driving again, so that really makes things more normal for her.

Being at Mom's gave me time to knit a couple small, much-needed projects.

First, Thor got his sweater.  Here he's sitting on my mom's lap -- much to my niece's chagrin, Mom is his very favorite person!

It's a little big. I think I may have to make him another one in a non-acrylic yarn that keeps its shape better. The patter is Little Penny and the yarn is Caron Simply Soft. I adapted the pattern to better fit Thor's neck, shoulders, and chest which are all just about the same size. The shawl-style collar helped with that. I also trimmed the leg holes with a couple rows of single crochet in navy blue. Details here.

And after washing a few dishes, I realized that Mom desperately needed new dishcloths.  She likes the Ballband Dishcloths I've made for her, but hers are in tatters, so I whipped out a new one Friday evening/Saturday morning.

Ballband Dishcloth

Details here.

And -- the stealth project is blocking right now!!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

What I've been up to

Sorry for the long silence!  Life has been both boring and hectic.  Boring because in winter, there is no way I can get a decent picture of my knitting anywhere in my house, so I feel dumb posting knitting pictures posts without photos.  Also, I've finished a major stealth knitting project.  Once it's washed, blocked, and mailed away, I'll show y'all some pictures (although they may very well be dark and gloomy, for the previously stated reason).

And hectic because I've been back and forth between my mom's house and mine (220 miles each way) several times in the last couple weeks.  On February 15, Mom had open-heart surgery to repair two leaky heart valves.  She had a triple bypass plus mitral valve repair in 2003, and really felt fine.  But she went to a new cardiologist (her original one died of cancer a while back, and she didn't like his replacement, so this is HIS replacement) who saw something wonky with her mitral and tricuspid valves.  He said she's in such good physical condition that they weren't bothering her yet, but would be.  He was afraid that the mitral valve might have to be replaced, but the surgeon was able to repair it instead.

Since her surgery in 2003, Mom has been going to the gym three times a week.  For the most part, her recovery this time has been much faster, and I think it's because she's in such good shape.  We heard from more than one person in the hospital that they really couldn't believe her age.  Her only problem this time is that her heart wants to beat really slowly.  It was very slow for the first few days after surgery, then sped up to a more normal rate (low to mid-60s).  But this week, it has slowed back down to around 50, causing her to be tired and have a horrible headache.  She may yet need to have a pacemaker, but that is very minor surgery compared to what she's had.

So -- I'm at Mom's right now, and will spend the week here.  After I get home, I'll block the stealth project, and show it to you.  And since I have knitting with me, maybe there will be pictures of that, too!