How I spent my Sunday afternoon………

So the ultimate “I don’t want to do anything” phrase is, or was, I have to re-organize my sock drawer. This is something I actually did today, along with my underwear drawer. And my knitted sock drawer. And my other knitted sock drawer.

Life has been pretty hectic and crazy since mid-April when Mr. Tang got sick. (Miss you still ever so much MrTanggy:(. ). Then came the end of the school year, that’s always hectic. Then I had decided to sell the house in Show Low, so we had been going up there since Spring break almost every other weekend packing, sorting, etc. Prepping. Takes lots of prepping and fixing things to sell a house. All of this looming on my leaving on a cruise that I had booked a year and a half ago as a retirement trip. But then I didn’t retire, but I had already ….more about that later….

So the house officially listed at 6:30PM on Monday, June 18. Carpet cleaners were coming the next day so it couldn’t be shown then. There were already two appointment requests by noon on Tuesday. Fast forward not quite 6 full days to Sunday, June24. Had a great offer come in. The only non-negotiable was closing on July 26, the day I got back off my cruise and went to work. My response to my agent was uhhhhhhh….

I countered, they accepted before the close of the 7th day, and a back up offer had come in for the the full asking price in cash. Pretty sure it was a done deal at that point, one way or the other.

So Sunday night it looked pretty obvious I needed to make some serious plans. Everything was pretty well cleaned out, extra furniture stored, etc. But there was still a bunch of stuff there. I packed Monday from about 5:30 AM till Tuesday around 1AM. Had a Dr appt in Phx for cortisone shots in my wrist, so that’s 3 hrs down, shot, lunch, 3hrs back. More packing/storing. Had to rent a refrigerated space for heat sensitive artwork, kachinas, Indian rugs, animal skins, whisky, knitted things, you know, important stuff. My original schedule that week had me leaving for Yuma Wednesday so I could pack for my cruise Thurs/Fri, drive to LA and stay with Carson on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and fly out on Tuesday evening. Somehow I managed to stick to that schedule. Movers were confirmed, papers signed, contact information spread all over, dear friends Bertha and Pedro agreed to pack up the kitchen, towels, left over stuff during their stay in July, Curt scheduled to come back and oversee the movers, etc. Took pictures of rooms, cabinets, drawers, labeled them as to what goes where, etc. Brought a carload of boxes of stuff home with me.

Managed to get packed up and drove myself to LA. Had cruise bags that I didn’t need to repack(but did). Stuff to use at Carson’s, it was like leaving for college and forgetting stuff.

Left on the trip Tuesday night, Carson and Adler drove me to the airport. Biggest, longest trip I have ever taken in my life! It was the trip of a lifetime. I still have photos to post from Reykjavík, the Faroes, Shetland, and London, so watch for those.

The house closed 2 days earlier than anticipated, on July 24. The people love it. I hear they have two beautiful young children and two beautiful black labs. That house needs a family to live in it and love it all the time. The movers never showed. Thankfully Pedro went back up with Curt and they moved everything, these two guys who probably shouldn’t have been lifting stuff, I am so thankful they just handled everything!

So the cruise was a knitting cruise on Holland America, through a company called Craft Cruises. I highly recommend them! It was all I hoped it would be and more. We started in Denmark, visited Norway, Iceland, the Faroes, the Shetlands, returned to Copenhagen, and I spent a couple days in London. Unbelievable trip of a lifetime! Scored some major yarn.

Flew back to LA on Tuesday, July 24. Asthma kicked in on Wednesday and I reached straight for the prednisone. With all the excitement, jet lag, etc I was a sitting duck for it. Drove back to Yuma on the 25th and went to work on the 26th. Got sicker over the weekend, but it’s better now, after a call to Teledoc they told me to go the ER for IV steroids and a chest X-ray. I opted for Urgent Care instead. Still tapering from that. See my pulmonary guy tomorrow, but I am much better after lugging around my nebulizer all week.

So after arriving home, there were more Show Low boxes, and I had all 3 suitcases kind of explode in the bedroom. Fortunately the kinds of clothes I wear to work aren’t cruise clothes, so I wasn’t in a laundry crisis…….for the moment.

Sometime this past week, I sat on the floor and played with my yarn, organizing in according to ports. I found out that lots of us did it this way. It was nice to reorganize it and relive it’s curation into my collection. Yes, curation. BTW, collecting or curating yarn does not necessitate the action of knitting it. Sometimes it is nice when knitting happens after a particular yarn curation, but it is NOT NECESSARY. As Deb pointed out, yarn makes great insulation when wedged into small spaces in your RV for instance. (Linda-make sure Danny sees this?lolol). Of course you always keep the shopping bags these new acquisitions came in just to impress yourself. So they are living in my chair right now in the bedroom. Because there is uh, no room anywhere else, yet.

Which brings me full circle back to the laundry situation. Which is becoming quickly a crisis. For my trip I had purchased new undergarments because I was going to use the unlimited laundry option. You don’t want someone else washing the undergarments that most of us have in our drawers right now. That’s just embarrassing even though you will never see that person who washed them. They return them to your room folded so nicely like they came from Nordstrom’s and they are presented with tissue and sticker on the tissue around them sitting in a little wicker basket. Really. So I bought 8 new pair. I only took officially 5 complete changes of clothing for a 14 day cruise, with 3 extra long sleeved blouses and 3 short sleeved. So I didn’t need any of those washed or their pants, but I was in crisis mode for undergarments.

I pre-sorted then sorted laundry today. Because of the ShowLow situation, I had no place to hang any of the short sleeved shirts I was going to wash. I don’t wear work clothes all the time, so I needed to be able to wash and hang some of that stuff. That cause a little flurry of focused activity to clear up some space. Then I washed my nice new foundation garments. I had purchased these handy little things about 8 months ago I guess. I don’t know for sure, I do know that when I tugged on the laundry basket and the pulled it out of the closet the giant Container Store bag fell over and there they were.

I have 3 organized columns in my drawer now, everything is all nice and neat and things won’t migrate over to the other side of the drawer. My drawer is super organized now–those are Sockwells in the middle, graduated compression stockings I wear every day because I’m on my feet so much. 8 pair collected over the last year. All other sections nice and tidy and should be easy to keep that way.

The regular sock drawer doesn’t have to compete with the Sockwells now. It already had it’s little dividers but needed a good sorting.

And the hand knitted sock drawer—it had the beginnings of organization, just needed a nudge. Here it is…

Then I have the “tired” sock drawer–those awaiting transformation into a life possibly as wrist warmers–or needing mending. There are a few of them and they live in the quiet space with jammies….

They are secreted under the fingerless mitts at the top of the photo because after reinventing themselves they may show up in someone’s gift bag.

So this was a long post. Hope you enjoyed it. Hope to post more often. Hope to go to the gym. Hope to lose some weight after I get completely off the prednisone in a week or so. Subscribe if you want to see if any of that actually happens, besides the prednisone, I will be getting off of that, for sure. Hope your Sunday was as fulfilling as mine!

This is a test…….

I haven’t used this blog is quite some time, and I want to see if it still works. When I initially changed over from blogspot to WordPress, it was easier to use. But firing it up again tonight seems awkward, so we”ll see how it goes.

I have been extremely busy for summer vacation, such as it is. Prepping a vacation house to sell. It is too far away, way too big and requires way too much energy to keep up, so time to move on. Selling a place is a lot of work though, as I am finding out. I will keep my fingers crossed that it goes quickly! It has a lot of fond memories, but it is simply time to move on. Not my idea of a retirement house or retirement community for that matter.

I am also prepping for a cruise in July, which is super exciting! Scandinavia this time, starts and ends in Denmark. We visit two ports in Norway, Iceland, the Faroes, and the Shetlands before returning to Copenhagen. I will spend a couple of extra days in London before going home. I get home, then it is back to work the next day. I’ll have a couple of crazy months at the beginning of school, then it’s off to Iowa for my husband’s high school reunion. The weather there will definitely be better than it is at home at the end of September!

My wrist is getting stronger every day. I do have issues with the other one, but I have adjusted my knitting and know my limits, so it is manageable at this point.

Hope this test works—I will be brave and try a photo next time……..

Update on my wrist ………….

This is Sunday and I had surgery on Wednesday morning. I’ve had arthritis in thisL wrist that has been a bother for a few year. I had tried conservative means of dealing with it, like NSAIDS and a spica splint. About a year ago I decided to find an orthopedic hand surgeon to see what else I could do.

That inquiry led me to Donald Sheridan, MD in Scottsdale. I have been seeing him for a little over a year and had 3 different episodes of cortisone injections to help with the inflammation and pain. They helped a lot in the beginning but the 3rd go round was a total bust.

This X-ray shows the arthritis over two of the carpals in my wrist. It is considered a 4.5/5 on the rating scale. You should be able to see a couple of bones there, instead you see what looks like a cotton ball.

The surgery I had is the second most common wrist surgery following carpal tunnel procedures. I had a trapeziectomy with an FCR suspension arthroplasty. Dr. Sheridan removed the trapezium (circled in red below) and built a joint out of existing tendon. Fortunately, our bodies have plenty of tendons, more than we need. He used the FCR tendon, which runs from the 2nd metacarpal (where the green arrow points) up to where it attaches to the radius. It is actually much longer than this. The end attached to the 2nd metacarpal stays attached. At the radius end, he took about 1/2 the width of that tendon, harvested it and moved it back to the space the trapezium occupied. He weaved it in and out of the other tendons in the area, stitching it as he went. It creates a suspension joint and will work just like the one it replaced. The beauty about his technique is that it doesn’t involve any pins, screws or anything artificial. The thumb and index finger will return to normal function with healing and physical therapy. I have a pin that runs from my 1st metacarpal to my second (thumb to index finger) to stabilize these bones while I heal. On December 28, this dressing comes off and the stitches come out. There are 2 incisions, one over the joint and two where the tendon was harvested. I will get a regular cast that day and it will continue to cover the pin. About 2 1/2 to 3 weeks after that, the cast comes off and the pin comes out. I will have a splint and be able to start therapy at that time. Over 4 weeks, I will gradually wean myself out of the splint. Full range of motion is usually seen by 3 months with the ability to perform all activities in 6 months. My strength will continue to improve even after 6 months have passed.

Come get your KNITTING ZEN on this Sunday!

YES !  Knitting season is finally here!  We are going to gather this Sunday, September 17, at 12:30, at the Clubhouse at the Villa de Coronado townhouses at Mesa del Sol for a little fiber comaraderie!  The address is 12172 Via Loma Vista, Yuma, AZ 85367.    As you drive in the entrance, the parking lot is straight ahead.  The clubhouse is located behind the pool with the door on the right hand side by the road.  Please do not park on the road, as there is plenty of room in the parking lot.  

Please share this invite with anyone you know who is a knitter, or who wants to learn.  There will be knitters of all levels, from beginners to old,  seasoned, ancient     experienced!  There is no agenda, except to meet old and new friends who share a common interest, so I hope you can make it!  

A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO ALL NEW KNITTERS!  For the sake of clarity, new knitters will be described as those who haven’t finished their first project yet, perhaps they will be starting their first project this very day.  There will be a drawing for some yarn to start your stash which will be suitable for a new knitter!  So please feel welcome and come, there will be loads of fun as you learn the soothing art of knitting!
AND A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO KNITTERS WHO HAVE FINISHED AT LEAST ONE PROJECT!  Bring something for show and tell–something that you keep in your knitting bag that you find to be an important tool.  Not necessarily something that you bought in a yarn store or a big box craft store’s yarn department, but something that is an everyday helpful object.  This will be especially helpful for New Knitters to hear about, so remember those days and share with us!
Subscribe to this blog for updates………………………

Yes, you too can knit like this!

I met with Terre Paulin Munk today after work at the Northend Coffee House.  You have to check this establishment out!  They have some great coffee drinks, very unique, and bake their own scones, bagels, and other yummy desserts.  They open at 6 and they are veryyyyyy close to my work.  I plan on making them a regular morning stop!  But back to the knitting………….

Terre has been knitting since July 2016.  She knits socks.  In fact, she has knitted 13 pair in the past year.  That’s 1 pair a month, y’all!  Did you know that there are over 14,000 stitches in a sock?  She knits them on 9′ circulars.  If you have knitted anything in your life, you know how tiny sock yarn is, and how small the needles are that you use for socks.  Tiny.  Anywhere from size 0 to a 2.  Most people start knitting (at least those I teach) on a 10 1/2 or 11.  

Some of you I know are thinking to yourselves “Why knit socks?  Why not just buy them?”  There are a couple of compelling reasons why.  #1. They are the ultimate multidimensional knitting.  The first time you turn a heel and realize that you have made something that will actually fit around a body part, its nothing short of a miracle.  #2, just try one on.  They fit like no other.  If you want to try one on, I’ll let you try one of mine.  Then I’ll help you learn to knit one.  You’ll fall in love with sock knitting.  

So think about that for a minute!  If you have been thinking about knitting but don’t think you can do it, just think about what Terre has accomplished in just 1 year.  If she can do it, so can you!   So—dust off your needles and pick out a pattern and some yarn!  If you don’t know what to knit, call a friend for ideas!  Call me for ideas!  We are looking at a meet-up on Sunday, September 17.  Details are still being worked out–subscribe to keep up on the details!  

You could be knitting this next week!

I started this as a sample for our class, so you can see how the color changes in this yarn. You don't have to be able to execute fancy stitches, you can relax, learn and let the yarn do the work for you! I am going to knit this until it's about 34" long, enough to wrap around my neck and I'll bind it off. I will wear it as a neck warmer, probably with a kilt pin from Joanns holding it in place. You can make yours as wide or narrow and as long or short as you like, Knitter's Choice! This could cost you less than $20 to make-

The sale at Joanns runs through August 16, so get your yarn and needles and lets get knitting😁!
I looking to start on August 22 and August 24. Subscribe to my blog to keep up with important announcements as we get closer to those dates. I hope you can join in the fun!

So, would you like to knit with me?

 

“Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below average intelligence.  Of course superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.”

  -Elizabeth Zimmerman, Knitting Without Tears

New school year, new school, new opportunity for teaching people to knit!  It has been quite a while since I taught a new batch of knitters.  I have had a few people express an interest in learning,  I know some that already know how but want to learn a new technique, and some that are comfortable with their knitting and just want to sit around with other knitters, so LETS DO IT!  This is the perfect time of the year to learn!

I went to Joanns today to take pictures of everything you would need if you were a new knitter.   If you are up for learning, the first thing we will do is knit a scarf.  You will learn to cast on, execute the knit and purl stitch, cast off, and fix mistakes along the way.    If you select one of the bigger balls of yarn shown below (those with 300+ yards) you will have enough for a scarf and a hat.  You will use a chunky or bulky weight yarn and fairly large needles.  We will use circular needles, not the long straight traditional needles.  Circulars are much easier on the wrists and more versatile than straights.

My philosophy for teaching you to knit is:

BIG YARN + BIG NEEDLES = INSTANT GRATIFICATION

We all want that, right?  Below  is a pictorial list of what you need.  Like EZ said, you need yarn and needles.  Also a bag of some type to carry it in and a zip pouch to keep your crochet hook in as well as any other gadgets, such as a small pair of scissors, measuring tape, safety pins, pencil and notepad.  A crochet hook is a must. The pictures below show you several different yarns you could select, all would give you a great knitting experience, needles (if you get in on the sale I recommend the interchangeable tips and separate cable).   I recommend circular needles because of their versatility and ease in using, especially for beginners.  Ergonomically they are much easier on your body.

Joanns offers a discount for Teachers–just take your school ID or a pay stub or something that proves you work for a school district.  You save 15% on everything, everyday.  Tell them you are a Teacher.

For those of you who work in the same facility that I do we can meet once a week for  about an hour after work.  For those of you who don’t work in the same facility, we will figure out a place and a time that works for us.  There may need to be more than one day available, so we will work that out when I find out how many of you there are and what days fit you best.  If you miss a lesson, have no fear.  I will get you caught up when you come back.  There is no strict schedule here.  Some will complete  their projects before others.  It doesn’t matter to me how long it takes you.  If you don’t like it, I will finish your scarf for you.

There is no fee for the lessons.  I will guide you through the scarf and on to whatever comes next for you.   At the end of each lesson, I’ll do a review and have one of you video it looking over my shoulder and post it here.

I hope you can join us!  Leave a comment below, email me at work or at knitter@mac.com or message me through Facebook and we will get started!  Here are your shopping photos!

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Puzzle yarn was in the aisle today on the way back to the yarn section.  I bought a skein of the color under the word Yarn.  I will be posting pictures of what the scarf will look like as I work on it.  I hope that we can get started knitting in a couple of weeks.  You will be able to get a scarf and a hat out of this 328yd ball of yarn.

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Scarfie was also in the aisle way.  It is a little thick and thin, which would be very forgiving for a new knitter, FYI!  Mistakes won’t be too obvious because the yarn varies in size ever so slightly.

 

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Be sure to have at least 250 yds or so-you need to check your yarn to be sure you have enough if you purchase the smaller skeins.

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YES YES YES!!!

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I hope you can join us!

 

 

 

2016 Knitting Year in Review

On many different fronts, I am so glad this year is almost over.  Rather than think of all the unbelievable outcomes 2016 brought, I am posting my year in knitting because knitting makes me happy.  There are several projects that are not shown here because I forgot to take photos when I finished them.  I am really good at knitting but not to great at documenting via photos.  I plan on doing a better job of that in 2017.

There are at least 2 shawls, one baby blanket and at least 3 little ones with hats that I don’t have photos to document.  I never know when I gift a piece of knitting if the person likes it when they live far away, unless they send me an email or text or photo.    Thank you to all of you who do that.  Even if I don’t get a photo, I know that you got it and like it when you text.   I often worry that I have spent time making something that is not valued on the other end.    There are  times that I make something, send it, and the only acknowledgement I get back is when the tracking number shows it has been delivered.

That has happened a couple of times.  When I make something, I knit it for a specific person.  Even if it is a gang of Frosty hats, I have a list of little ones and I do them all together.  If it is a sweater or blanket,  the yarn is selected specifically for that person and I think about them while it is being knitted, hoping it will bring the recipient comfort.  That is what it is all about for me.  I don’t keep a closet full of baby blankets, pull one out and send it off.  There have been a few times that I make something just for the challenge of the project, but those times are rare.

There is a little bit of your soul that gets incorporated into a piece of knitting.  And I know that most people get it.  When I see pictures of my knitting in the wild with the recipient, I know they get it.   Time restraints, and now arthritis,  are limiting my ability to create via knitting.  I am branching out into other Fiber related creative outlets as well as making jewelry that use my hands and wrists in a different way.  I have to be able to create on a daily basis.

So, here is my year in review.  There are a few that predate 2016 but I included them anyway.   And some are funny, like the cake below, which was creative.  I don’t know if the teacher involved disallowed the ditching or not.  And there is MrTang, the fringe-eating cat.  I don’t know if all of these will post.  If not, I will make more than one post.  I hope your 2017 is full of health and happiness!  Knit onward………

 

 

 

 

Aprísco???

What in the world is an Aprísco you ask?  In Portugese and Spanish, Aprísco means “a small corral or pen to hold sheep; a sheepfold”.  In my world, it is a portable little corral for your size 13/14 crochet hook and size 8 or 6 beads that you use in knitting.  Why does the world need an Aprísco you ask?  Answer:  because there isn’t anything else like it in the world.  Nothing.

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Here is what it looks like under the hood:

imageThere is a nice little bench in the bottom with a groove to accommodate the crochet hook when it is not working.  The bottom also holds two removable bead containers with screw on lids.  Each of them will hold 10 mg of size 6 beads, probably more size 8 beads.

Oops! Spilled the beads!  We all hate it when that happens!  But, not a problem with Aprísco !

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You can spill as many beads as you want, they cannot escape the bottom.  Notice the crochet hook in the ready position.  There is a hole in the groove to hold it upright.  You can fit 4 size 6 beads on it.  It is ready to go whenever you need it.  When you replace it, you don’t have to hit the hole exactly because on either side of it, the bench slants a bit to help guide the hook in.  Helps to avoid more spilled beads that way.  Almost forgot–see how the bottom sits on the lid?  There is a lip around the lid that functions as an anti-slip control.  Also, the inside of the lid, the part that is against the surface, is a different texture that the outside, which also helps to prevent slippage.

It has taken a couple of years for me to get to the beta testing I am starting today.  I had to form an LLC, connect with an attorney to file a patent, and now, finally, to send some of these out into the world to be tested by Knitters.  Testing will guide me in determining the answers to 2 questions–1) Is this device something that others find useful; and 2) what colors would be universally acceptable?

Four little Apríscos are going out into the Knitting World today.  Wish them well, check back for updates!