Monday, April 27, 2009

I think it might be Spring

Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen!

I'm a little afraid to say it out loud, but really, it might be Spring. Finally. I've got some tulips (not planted!) and I've had some narcissus blooming as well. If I'd bothered to weed the front garden, I'd have pictures to prove it. I haven't weeded anything, though, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I suppose one proof of Spring might be that I finished that sweater for Himself - now that he can no longer comfortably wear it. lol

I've been crazy busy. Not really news, huh? There was the big rush at the end of Lent leading up to Pascha, though, coupled with the recovery from the hernia surgery. That made things extra fun all around. I had thought that I was having surgery early enough to be recovered well enough to sing in the choir for the big services right at the end (Passion Gospels, Lamentations, Holy Saturday and then Pascha and then Bright Monday). Our beloved Bishop Joseph was here for a few of them, and all of these services are long, and intense. Well, I was well aware that proper breathing and support involves lots of abdominals, but I didn't really think I'd need all of them. heh. Of course, I also didn't know I'd have a six-inch incision either, so there you go. Still, I made it with the help of a comfy bar stool to perch upon when I got too tired. I did resort to using some pain meds to get through the services. Good thing I didn't need them all earier on.

I absolutely collapsed on Tuesday, however, and didn't really feel recovered until last Thursday. (Pascha/Easter was April 19 for us.)

During the mad rush to Pascha I was also on a sewing deadline. I volunteered to make a cape for a gift. A friend of mine has a teenage dd that is about as warm and fuzzy to most people as a hybrid skunk/porcupine. The young lady is smart and lovely, but is quite a challenge for reasons I can only guess at. Anyway, her parents always give the children a nice gift for Pascha, and they wanted to give her a cape. Now, this whole thing was dodgy. She might not like it, it might not be the right color (she wanted all black) and it might not fit. Since it was a gift, a surprise gift, we couldn't measure her. Got it? Full-length cape, no measuring. Easy-Peasy, right?

So, here it is.

Yep, we dared to line it with a lovely deep periwinkle sort of blue. It looks smashing on her, she has that peaches & cream skin with nearly black eyes and hair. Her mom reported that the lass was stunned speachless, spent a long time just hugging the cape, and she wore it proudly Pascha morning. This week the normally silent and brooding girl was positively gushing with thanks and appreciation for the work I did on the cape. I feel very blessed that the gift was so well-received and appreciated. Glory to God, I hope it is a blessing in improving relations in her family, which was my prayer while sewing.

Well, and that the blasted hem would be even. I ripped the full hem out three times. I am so getting a dress form with my tax refund... Envision, if you will, me modeling a cape intended for a near-anorexic young lady (opposite of me) asking my 6 year old if the hem looked even in the back. Man. What an adventure!

It was an easy pattern, but still.

More fun, the knitting I finished.
This is the #2 fish hat made for DD2. Again, it must be Spring because I finished the hat and she no longer needs it. lol Oh well, she'll have it next year, right? She picked the colors, all Cascade 220 Wool, but I added in the blue, it just needed a more "middle" color. (I have no official color theory training, so I have no idea what that "middle" really is. Tone?) Anyway, so two shades of pink, a very dark purple, blue and yellow. This is another live fish, so buttons on the eyes.

I had several kids come up and admire the hat, hinting strongly that they'd love to have one. I made polite noises, but I'm not really interested in starting a fish hat business. Although, I'm concerned that I might have opened myself up to a cape making business, so why not add the fishy hats too? Kidding!

Actually, the cape was such a huge push to get done on time that it sort of kicked me into a crazy Finish Everything phase. I'm enjoying the motivation, goodness knows I haven't been very good at that lately. I'm trying not to worry about then the energy will dry up. I'm also trying to avoid starting anything new right now. So far, so good. Well, except for books. I've been starting, and finishing!, books. They are all from the library, though, so that's okay. I've already paid for them (taxes).

Now I'm working on my Bellatrix socks that I started last year at Pascha. Isn't that nice and tidy? I've more than tripled the amount of leg knit up (not too hard, really), and I'm finding it a very easy pattern. This year. Last year, not so much.

I'm knitting this up, in case you don't remember all the way back to last year (lol), in Scout's Swag Death Eaters colorway. I've got two more repeats of the leg pattern and then I'm ready for the heel flap. I'm trying to talk myself down from extra leg repeats & so forth, but who knows what craziness I'll get up to.

Ah well, phone's ringing and I'd better just save this and get going with my other chores.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Fuzzy Spring

Well, that was quite a break!

March was insane, as you might have guessed. My eldest DD turned 9, so we had a family celebration and a party shared with her birthday buddy (a boy she's grown up with). The kids invite most of the same people to their parties, so we just have one big party together. This year, glow-in-the-dark bowling. There were about 20 kids and a bunch of grown-ups. It was a smashing success.

There was drama on an online knitting forum, and I was caught in the edges of it, but it was very frustrating and I spent a great deal of time trying to contain the drama/damage in my own little corner of the world. That sort of thing is draining, however, and I just didn't have any energy left over for blogging. I also didn't want to drag the drama into this space, but I'm certain I would not have been able to resist. So, the break was good for that reason as well.

March was also doctor month for me. I've been having some pain/discomfort that turned out to be a hernia. So, I scheduled surgery for that on April 2, last Thursday. It went well, but the doctor found a second hernia that he didn't know about. Therefore, he said I'd be extra sore. Yay me!

It hasn't been too bad, pain-wise. I've had worse, but there's something about incisions in one's abdomen that are just uncomfortable to think about, even if they aren't hurting. I'm still moving slowly, but I got overconfident yesterday and stayed off the pain meds, thinking I was "done" with them. By the end of the day I found that I was not done with them, and today I'm feeling a bit less good than yesterday. Serves me right for being so cocky. Still, all is well and I am on the mend.

All this down time means I've had some knitting time. Yes, even though I'm on some great meds, I've been a knitting fool! And now I give you, the completed Jack's Aran Sweater from Men In Knits.

Here's another view, it is tough to get the cables to show very clearly.

The cables match on the front and back of the sweater, and by the end of the front I had almost memorized the 8 row cable pattern. The sleeves had a simple 4-row cable pattern on each, which was so easy it was scary. I knit both sleeves and the neck on meds, but after repeated inspections, they still look good and correct. lol

Himself tried it on, and it fits exactly as he wanted. He commented that no one would believe I knit it, it looks so good. I get what he means and I appreciate the thought/compliment. I hope I still think it looks that good when I'm off the meds. chuckle

I'm now trying to decide how to spend my recuperative time. I'm gearing up for a new sock club (Vampire Sock Club from Fresh From The Cauldron) that starts in May, so I'm trying to finish stuff on the needles if I can. I've still got the second fish hat, which is probably how I'll spend my time, and a few hibernating projects as well. I hope I don't go completely loopy and pick up the shawl while on the meds. I'm pretty sure that would be a fantastically horrible idea. shudder

We'll see. Since I'm not at all sure this is the least bit coherent, I think I'll call it a post. I can't wait to re-read it after I'm off the meds and see how I did. lol