Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dear Friends

I'm back tonight with more purls of wisdom:

  • When someone you love is critically ill, it's best to stick to Words with Friends or Dice with Buddies on your iPad while in the ICU.  Leave the complicated lace at home.
  • If you don't heed my words and are as delusional as I seem to be, when you drop a good 8 or more stitches of lace off the needles, don't be surprised when your stitch count is off.  You'll either pick up too many or too few and rarely the right amount.  Lace is fussy that way.
  • Whatever you do, when your stitch count and pattern are off, don't lie to yourself and knit an additional 1,000 stitches.  You have to stop and figure out what went wrong and fix it right then and there.  It's not going to get better on its own and with this kind of huge mistake, a repair can't be fudged.  It'll show.
  • Don't worry though because you heeded that voice in your head and put a lifeline in after every chart, right?
And that right there is the rub.  I have one lifeline two charts behind me.  Things were going so well that I thought I could get away without frequent lifelines.  When I completed one chart after the first lifeline, the thought crossed my mind I should place another, but sometimes they can be a real pain in the ass to do correctly.  It's time consuming to thread dental floss through hundreds of stitches without catching markers or going through the wrong part of a stitch.

Tonight I ripped out yarn barely thicker than thread.  Thousands of stitches.  Thousands. Surgery was impossible as I could not read my mistakes and had no clue how I'd compounded the initial error by attempting to fudge, pick up yarnovers that didn't exist, knit more than one stitch together with name it.  I guess I wasn't in my right mind.  It wasn't reparable in the state I'd worked it, so rip I did.  Or should I say we?  Believe it or not, it took 2 of us nearly 30 minutes to undo all of those stitches including all of those nupps and beads.  On the bright side, seeing a lace project off the needles gives a knitter a good idea of how beautiful the project will be once able to knit again in a good frame of mind.

I'm down to the lifeline now, but I've worked 20 hours this weekend and I'll be heading back to Ohio tomorrow to lend a hand at the hospital and help pick out a rehab facility, so putting those stitches back on the needles will have to wait.

In the future I'll be using lifelines more frequently.  In the meantime, I have a message for myself:

Threading a lifeline takes much less time than re-knitting thousands of stitches.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I've been waiting to exhale

I have a story to tell, but since it's not mine, I won't.  I am going to say a couple of things here which should paint a good enough picture:

1.  Time = Brain

2.  If you aren't happy with your treatment, get thee to another hospital.  ASAP.

3.  Choose the most assertive person you know to be your voice when yours is lost.

4.  Or suffer the consequences.

It's been a tough week here and our little family is suffering the consequences.  I'm really sad to learn that in some emergency rooms, "treat 'em and street 'em" is still an acceptable way to push patients through, or in this case, out of the system.

It's a damned shame.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shhh. I'm counting!

Feeling overly worried about my son being all alone a few weeks ago, I sprang for a flight to California and sent my daughter to visit her brother.  I think they're making the most of it.  I've had sunset photos, swimming pool photos, food photos and this:

Sure, it's a Padre's game and not the Tigers, but it sure looks like it's warmer there for baseball than it is in Detroit where going to a game without a down coat is downright foolish.  I am holding out hope for Spring as I did see the sun peek out today and the high is about 45 degrees.  It's supposed to be 67 tomorrow, but as usual, I'll believe it when I see it!

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Sara decided to move out there with her brother.  However, I'm not driving.  I'll pay someone, anyone really, to make that trip in my stead!  Even if that means forgoing the chicken fried steak in Oklahoma, I'm not going to drive cross country again in an itty-bitty car.

I wonder how long it will take her to decide it's time to make a move.

On the topic of stealth knitting, I've made it through most of the transitional chart of the piece and have one new row that includes nupps (rhymes with soups).  Now a nupp is an interesting textural stitch common to Estonian knitting that is made by creating 5,7 or 9 stitches out of one and stitching them all back together as one stitch on the return row.  The shawls from that region were prized for their beauty, but purchased by weight.  Want to make a lace weight shawl weigh more?  Create nupps.

Tonight will mark the first appearance of nupps in my knitting.  I am finding myself thankful that I bought two balls of that yarn and not one.  I'm also thankful that as the nupps appear, the beading slows down.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The not so happy hooker...

Technically speaking, I have 5 weeks to finish my stealth knitting (if you want to see it, you'll have to deduce where it is on that page.  I figure the recipient won't go looking).  One would think five weeks is quite enough time, but things are getting in the way.  Things like earning a paycheck, entertaining the dog, cleaning the never ending dust bunnies, laundry, and eating (which requires shopping and cooking).  You know.  Life.  The list of tasks are endless.

I have a good 300 stitches on the needles now, and it's growing.  By the time I finish the next 12 rows, there should be 413 stitches.  Still, it will grow.  As I approached the completion of the first 12 repeats of chart 1, I threw up a poll on Ravelry.  Should I continue to bead, or stop beading in the midsection and pick it back up at the end?  The consensus seemed to think I was being a whiny knitter and should continue what I'd started and maintain beading throughout.  Some felt that since I was creating what will surely be an heirloom, I shouldn't sell it short.

I decided the hive mind was correct.  I was being whiny. It's so tedious!

The beads are added one at a time by placing them on the tiniest crochet hook first.  The hook only holds 3 size 8/0 seed beads at a time and rather precariously at that.  If I hold the hook any way but upright, the beads fall off.  The sofa cushion is likely a treasure trove of beads right now.  If I run short, I'm going bead hunting there before I go back to the bead store.  Anyways, don't tell Dr. K, but against professional advice, I have been using my teeth as tools when I hold the hook there between bead applications.  Hopefully I won't break any because I don't have time for a dentist right now!

Monday, April 8, 2013


Not really.  Stealth knitting has consumed my time! Between work (it was my weekend to do so) and this, I've not had much room for anything else.

I have, of course, made time for this, too:

Hail yeah!

Go Blue!