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The Anklebone is Connected to the Wristbone

The Anklebone is Connected to the Wristbone

I have been waiting months for this, my ankle is doing well in physical therapy which means I can use crutches! I’m bipedal again! I have been able to walk around at home and a little at work using crutches, finally, with partial weight bearing.

The other side to this is that using crutches is killing my shoulders, forearms, wrists and hands. It’s all kind of bad. Any kind of crafting is just not possible and my handwriting is become like the finest doctors, completely scrawly!

I’m eyeing my projects and just hanging out with them, happily. I know I can work on them again, someday soon, and in the meantime I pet them and admire how they look and feel.

  • A bias möbius cowl in palest lavender kid mohair. It’s so soft and fluffy and ethereal.
  • The Kauni cardigan. By all that is yarny I will finish the sleeves before Christmas!!!
  • a baby dress for a coworker, it’s a little dress but she was born in June so I think I will have to make a new project for her, and save this for some other lucky wee girl.
  • The Scottish Thistle shawl in Kauni. I made a good start but the color stranding isn’t quite right so I’m going to frog it and start over. I do realize that this is a perfection issue!
  • A Zephyr Cove shawl in deep purple, vineyard hued sock yarn, I’m very close to starting the lace border, this was a delightful thing to knit.
  • The Happy Crochet blanket, I’ve made 34 out of 600 squares. It’s delightful and it does making me happy.

    I need buttons!

    I finished the solid purple yarn and have half a ball left of the multi, so pretty.

    Aren’t they adorable?

    The center of the granny square looks remarkably like spray cheese, does it not? And no questions about spray cheese. It’s dairy. I need this for my ankle. Heh.

    I almost forgot about this last one:

  • The neverending Viajante! In Malabrigo lace, I have a skein to go for this shawl/poncho.
  • IMG_5821.JPG
    The Vaj)

    Me and the Vaj in the sun!

    Here’s to the path of healing! Hopefully the MRI I get tomorrow shows improvement, next week I will know my fate. It had better be improved or it’s back under the knife. Wish me luck!

    Happy Crochet Blanket, 1/30th Done!

    I am happy to report that after a few weeks, and a lot of personal trauma, I have completed 1/30th of my Happy Crochet Blanket!


    Obviously, it doesn’t look like much now but completing one little granny square of each of the color patterns sure feels like the start of an accomplishment.

    I have fallen extremely behind my goal of doing three a day because of life events, such as getting run over by a wheelchair, a massive electric wheelchair, while I was on the bus seated in the handicapped seats. Happily the accident only set back my ankle recovery by a week or so but obviously having to go back on pain medication and the stress this has cost me has put doing anything artistic on the back burner.

    I’m so very lucky that my friends and family pitched in and helped me raise money so that I can take the bus to and from work, and to my PT appointments. There’s an incredible amount of kindness in this world and somehow I was lucky enough to tap into that and it has helped me feel so much less stressed. Thank you all for your help and kindness!

    So this weekend, after being able to buy groceries again, I made myself a lovely large latte laced with some delicious coffee liqueur and finished the first round of many of my colorful granny squares.


    Pretty soon some dear friends will come over for dinner, a humble repast of local brought bratwurst, pasta with slow roasted tomatoes and padrone peppers. It feels good to be up to being creative again, with my hands with fiber, and with food.

    Now I’m starting round 2 of 30 of the Happy Crochet!

    An Ocean of Blue

    Posted on
    An Ocean of Blue

    A while ago I joined the Simply Sock Yarn Club, where they send you gorgeous sock yarn and pattern suggestions each month. I love these clubs, it’s like getting a present to yourself every month.

    The first installment is a gorgeous set of gradient yarn from Miss Babs, she calls it Shades of Peacock.

    Shades of Peacock

    To me, it perfectly matches one of my favorite rings, a blown glass ball filled with azure liquid, my own personal drop of the Caribbean. It’s a big ring and I wear it most days.

    Shades of Peacock

    The club recommended several patterns for this yarn but I chose Spectral, by Debbi Stone, The Stitches of My Life. It was designed for this same yarn but in a grey gradient.

    It’s a cowl with a lovely texture to it and knit in the round.  It will be a perfect thing to go with my ever-present black jackets during our very foggy SF summer.

    Finally I feel good about trying to knit something besides the never ending Vajiante poncho, I knit and knit on it and I swear it goes nowhere.   After my latest ankle procedure a week ago I am still taking pain drugs and just don’t have much cognition, but like the waves on the shore, the pain is ebbing away and my mind is clearing.

    I can’t wait to get home from work to start weighing out the yarn so that I can start it when I am up visiting my family this 4th of July!




    A Pause For Healing and Minor Knitting

    Posted on
    A Pause For Healing and Minor Knitting

    I’ve been quiet for a little while because I’ve had another procedure on my ankle, minimally invasive this time but still annoying not to be allowed to walk for the past month. Surprisingly I have not felt like knitting at all.


    I have been working on my Vajiante or “Vag” shawl and have made it to two of my craft nights! That group really lifts my spirits! Despite being extremely challenged by simple stockinette I have managed to make some progress on it and hope to wear it this year.


    Yes, I have been dropping stitches all over the place, but hopefully they won’t show too much after it’s been blocked. No matter how carefully I repair them, I still feel like everybody can see exactly where they are. Or is it just me? I feel like my brain is taking a vacation, involuntarily, while my ankle is healing.

    I have about one and a half of a skein of yarn to go to finish this shawl/poncho. It is interminable, but what else do I have to do.

    Well, actually I do have a few other things I want to do! For example I decided to branch out from my current repertoire and try hooking.

    Some lovely Twitter friends shared a beautiful crocheted blanket of floral-based granny squares and the colors were just so delightful I had to try it. I impulsively bought the first installment of a kit for this blankets and I have no idea what to do now.

    I’m having another yet ankle procedure on Thursday, so while I’m home recuperating I shall indulge myself on YouTube and try to learn a few of the basic crochet stitches so I can attempt this beautiful British pattern.



    It is called the Happy Blanket from The Mercerie in England and I hope my friends at craft night can help me with the crocheting aspect as well.

    20140624-224541-81941024.jpg(this is craft night)
    (P.S. The saddest part about craft night is really can’t tolerate any alcohol right now, not even my favorite Lime-a-Rita.)

    I found a bit of cotton yarn and tried to make a dishcloth. I think it came out really nicely, but I swear it fried up all the remaining brain cells I had because it shouldn’t have been this hard, and after just completing one I feel like I’m done.


    I have enough of the yarn to make about five more, if I can wrap my head around that!

    I also bought a beautiful pattern that I saw on my friend Chris’s Facebook page, another Ruth Sorenson pattern using Kauni yarn done in fair isle and depicting Scottish thistles in a beautiful design. Since I’m Scottish, I figured I had to make this so perhaps someday I will. Here is the Flowers of Scotland Shawl.

    20140624-223439-81279094.jpg(Ruth’s photo from her Ravelry page)

    It’s just beautiful, I love the colors, but is much too ambitious for me right now. Her designs are lovely but her pattern instructions are possibly not translated in the best possible manner from their original Danish (or is it Norwegian?) for my current levels of comprehension.

    This section made me cry.

    Increase 1 st on both sides of the
    shawl as shown on the chart. Increase
    each row 3 times, then knit 1 row without
    increasing etc.

    Oh my.

    Before my first minor procedure last month, I had finished one sock of this really cool pattern and started the cuff of the second sock, and then lost the pattern and I can’t figure out where I got it from or where it might’ve gone to. It was on my bed when I came home from surgery and then it is gone. It is not under the bed, it is not on my dresser, or on the coffee table, or in my pile of baskets of knitting and yarn. So I’m a bit stuck. Perhaps I’ll do what my friend Kathy at Princess Animal does and just knit a second stock in a completely different pattern and say to heck with it.


    I still also have the Swiss cheese scarf using Knitwits ombre yarn. I just cannot count properly right now in order to get the buttonholes to offset properly.


    This, by the way, is officially the world’s worst photograph of me. Ever. Please just look at the beautiful yarn that I’m holding up and imagine you can’t see anything else. Thank you.

    So as you can see, I have been thinking a lot about knitting, but not actually doing much of it. I’m hoping this brain fugue is just temporary and a side effect of the pain medication they have given me, and not some permanent vast wasteland of stupidity that will afflict my creative processes forever.

    Fun at Stitches West 2014

    Our annual trek to Santa Clara for the Stitches West convention was a wonderful way to spend a day off, surrounded by friends and thousands of wonderful yarn-loving people. The Convention Center was awash in color and textures and I have not seen it this packed since the first year I attended with E___.

    We took the day off to go to the Marketplace on the first day it opened, and perhaps next year we will go on Sunday instead. It was tricky to get around with the hordes of shoppers, and there were more booths here this time than in any time I have ever attended. We were there the entire day and closed the place down and still had barely enough time to stop at all the booths.

    E___ and her sister J_____ and A____ filled our bags with snacks and treats and started working in a logical grid pattern to see every nook and cranny. This was helpful because we all have varying interests in things and some of us would linger longer at a booth than others so it was easier to find our group when we scattered. Plus E___ wearing a hot pick backpack was so clever, we could always spot her and A___’s newly purple hair!

    First off, I made a new friend, Johan. He’s all mine, ladies, don’t you love the Norwegian knitting advertisements?
    Stitches West

    I fell in love with the soft hues and the pattern for this shawl that took only 600 yards of worsted weight alpaca. Alpaca became the theme of the day, if I fell in love with something, it was alpaca! Seems like there was a lot of alpaca here this year, replacing kid mohair as my yarn of addiction.
    Stitches West
    Stitches West

    One skein was around $70, a theme for the day also. Seemed like all the great yarn was around $70, with the average sock yarn climbing to $35. In past years the sock yarn average was $25.

    This is a bear rug, knitted. Isn’t he adorable? We all wanted to hug him. A lady saw me taking his picture and started to clown around putting her hand in his mouth, then his teeth fell out! I was laughing so hard I missed that picture of her trying to fit the teeth back in without the vendor noticing, and while we were screaming, “The bear is eating her!!”
    Stitches West

    Now isn’t this a clever idea, iron on patches in cashmere for your sweaters and jackets that get holes. The moth shaped patches were hilarious I thought. The vendor had some really cute plain knit sweaters using the patches as decor, they were gorgeous!
    Stitches West

    This booth had one of the prettiest displays we saw the entire day. Their hexagonal knitting needles felt really good in the hand but sadly the joins to the cables had a gap and I just hate it when your yarn gets stuck on the joins, it’s like a log jam or Los Angeles traffic, something to avoid. I continued on in my search for size 3 and 4 circular needles for the Viajante shawl that I will be starting soon.
    Stitches West

    I bought this pattern, it calls for $90 worth of alpaca so perhaps some day I will get the yarn.
    Stitches West

    These little felted birdhouses were just so cute, I wonder if the birds up at my mom’s place would be enticed to nest in them? Has anyone used them? They are cute enough just for decor I suppose.
    Stitches West
    Stitches West

    These made me want to get clogs, meet the socks named Fang.
    Stitches West

    Love this booth with the felted flowers, every year we stop to admire them. It would be fun to have these at home but imagine having to dust them.
    Stitches West

    Move over food trucks, the next big craze will be yarn trucks! What a darling idea.
    Stitches West

    One of the patterns from the Yarnover truck, such pretty lace.
    Stitches West

    I know it is rude but I had to Keneer this shot of this marvelous lady knitting on size 1000 needles. They were impressive, and that she carried them around with her all day was even more impressive.
    Stitches West

    Later in the day the knitted bear rug became easier to see. Or did he eat all of that yarn? No one is talking.
    Stitches West

    We eventually stopped for lunch and an “ankle break” aka a rest break for The Crankle. A___ spotted these slutty nachos being sold, for $8! They were so massive and the cute young man serving us gave us each a pint of sour cream *each*.
    Stitches West

    We staggered away in a nacho coma for about an hour but it was worth it.

    I also made spiced pecans for snacks and they kept us alive while we waited in line for about 30 minutes for our food. Here they are, sauteeing in butter and sugar about an hour before we left for Stitches. The recipe is here.
    Stitches West

    I love owls and so does my mom and this booth that had felted projects and crewel work caught my eye.
    Stitches West

    I purchased a darling kit for crewel work, since I needed some needles and canvas and an embroidery hoop. There was also a really cute book of crewel patters that I had to get, perhaps I shall cheat on embroidery a bit and use up the gorgeous Persian wools I have from petit point needlepoint for crewel projects.

    Such a pretty leaf pattern on this sweater. Last year I purchased from this same book a pretty shawl pattern with leaves like this around the border. I realized that I could use the knitted on border to make a sweater or any scarf with these kinds of leaves.
    Stitches West

    It’s the Shirley Temple sheep, check out those bodacious ringlets!
    Stitches West

    I almost fell to the floor looking at the beautiful Quince yarns, look at these hues and they all feel so divine.
    Stitches West

    This was another gorgeous table-full of fun.
    Stitches West

    Hi Kira!
    Stitches West

    I had to go and get a hug, and to check out her designs. I love her patterns and her eye for detail and fit is amazing. Kira K was a mentor to me when I first started knitting, she worked at the original Artfibers location and a lunchtime I would go there and buy obscene quantities of gorgeous yarns and then ask her what I should try making as a beginning knitter. She encouraged me to knit lace and helped me interpret difficult bits as I went along. She was so kind and encouraging and I can’t thank her enough for helping boost my confidence as a beginner. Love her!

    Yes, Virginia, unicorns exist.
    Stitches West

    This booth had the cutest whimsical patterns, I started singing, “I’d like to be, under the sea….” when I saw these. No otters though, darn it all.
    Stitches West

    In case you have a black thumb you can knit your own garden, with cacti and succulents even. I thought the lizard was a nice touch.
    Stitches West

    There is a trend I’ve been seeing for the past few years for yarn bowls, instead of using a ziplock ghetto bag like I do most of the time. This gentleman takes the yarn bowl to the ultimate level in lathed burlwood bowls. I just want one for my coffee table, yarn or no.
    Stitches West

    This vendor wins for best table decor, and the yarns were gorgeous to the hand. Turns out I know the owner’s sister, a friend of my sisterfriend L___! Many hugs were shared at this booth.
    Stitches West

    Meet Thor, the largest skein winder ever… and Thor’s new owner B___ is a member of LSG and totally lovely.
    Stitches West

    I told you in my last post that I planned to buy out every stitch marker in the place, and if a booth had stitch markers, I bought some there! Sadly, they were sold out of the owl stitch markers but I got two chickens that are jingle bells! So adorable but I am not sure how annoying they will be to use, stay tuned on that.
    Stitches West

    The knitted lace guild’s table was fascinating, check out this display of tools from the old days, aka the 1980’s.
    Stitches West

    This is the godfather of lace, I really wanted to meet him but he had hordes of ladies around him at all times. Love his hat too.
    Stitches West

    Coco Knits had the cutest felted planters this year, sadly they were not for sale, we all wanted one though (hint hint, Coco Knits people, next year, better have these for sale!)
    Stitches West

    There were a lot of non-fiber vendors here this year, tons of knitting themed jewelry, scarf pins, buttons, baskets and the like, and these shaker boxes. The gentleman behind the table was finishing a box while we watched. The scent of sanded wood was lovely. I long to have an entire tower of them like the one in the corner, can you imagine the cost?
    Stitches West

    Doesn’t this look like an armadillo? Sleeping in pretty pottery yarn bowls. Some of the bowls at this booth had lids, which was quite clever, it keeps the ball of yarn from leaping out and hiding under the coffee table when you pull its tail.
    Stitches West

    I don’t know who he is but his fascinator is fascinating.
    Stitches West

    Please look at this closely. On size 19 needles this lady is knitting a rug. Yes, a rug, and it’s out of pure alpaca. I couldn’t stand it. I had to touch it. I had to walk on them, sadly though I didn’t feel up to taking off my shoes. Some of the booths had these lovely gel pads to stand on, the same kind that cooks use to cushion their feet from hours of standing on concrete floors. I love those gel pads. But the alpaca scattered throughout this booth were 10 times cushier than the gel pads. Can you imagine having an alpaca rug at home in the kitchen?
    Stitches West

    Everyone has to do something crazy at Stitches West, and this was my crazy. I forked out $70 and bought the yarn to make a rug. The skein was so large I just carried it around like a pet dog. People were stopping me and asking me about it, the yarn looks like a giant skein of dreadlocks, like I had scalped Bob Marley alpaca style. It was incredible. I started calling the skein Rover (aka roving, get it??!!) and it is a great way to meet people. I should have bought two skeins, one just for conversation purposes. I imagine putting it in one of those nylon dog carriers and taking it everywhere. This is where I realized I was getting very fatigued.

    Anyone up for a giant grab bin of Noro and Poems yarn? This lovely gal had to climb in there to help out the shoppers lest the fall in reaching for bags of deals.
    Stitches West

    I bought this shawl pattern too, it’s called Flame and knit out of, take a guess, it’s not alpaca. It’s quivut! One of the most expensive yarns on the planet this scarf was so divine to touch, it was almost x-rated. The quivut blend required for this shawl would run over $110 for the project. But what a shawl… A girl can dream. And the available colors were stunning.
    Stitches West
    Stitches West

    These socks were so clever, do you recognize what this is?
    Stitches West

    The yarn in this booth, the Verdant Griffon, was divine, the rich hues of their dyes glimmered like jewels. I am going to make these socks someday but not in parchment colors, in something jazzy. Have you guessed yet? It is the first lines of Beowolf in the original language. I adore them.
    Stitches West

    If you were a yarn, what kind would you be? Well, the answer for myself is obvious, and here is proof.
    Stitches West

    One of our last finds of the night was the magic Painfree Pillow booth. We were resting our feet and having an ankle break around 2 pm, drinking tea and generally looking and feeling exhausted. I remarked I wish they had massage chairs there, or those vibrating foot things, A___ suggested. A woman walking by whipped her head over and almost shouted, “You have to go the magic Painfree pillow booth, it’s amazing!!”. We giggled, thinking there were magic pain filled pillow somewhere in the world too, and then promptly forgot about it. Later, when we walked by the booth we were cajoled to sit by the hunky young men working there. What a clever staffing choice, by the way. The Painfree pillow vibrates when you put weight on it, battery operated, with 4 different vibration patterns that cycle through for 12 minutes. Oh my, my feet and lower back were in heaven and sitting there for 12 minutes really did give me enough of a boost to go on. A___ and I both bought these pillows and for the rest of the weekend my feet were so happy. I can’t wait to get home tonight and am seriously thinking of getting one for the office. Magic.

    As we left for the day we realized that Tess was missing from the show this year. It is probably a good thing as I had already gone over my budget for the day. I got some great sock yarn from Miss Babs, and a huge cake of yarn from her for a Viajante, 1750 yards for $75. I also found some darling heather-flecked sock yarn that will make a shawl, and the kind ladies at that booth gave me a link to the pattern for it as well. Of course I found a ton of stitch markers, which I sorely needed for the Event Horizon shawl. I will share photos of these finds as I use them.

    Meanwhile, we left the conference, actually they asked us to leave because we were there past closing time. We entered into the twilight hour and it was about 67 degrees outside, shirt sleeve weather and palm trees. I love California winters on the Peninsula!
    California winter, 67 F at dusk

    We headed North to San Mateo to stop for dinner at a Japanese Izakaya and it was fine, it wasn’t ramen but everyplace was mobbed. Who would have thought that San Mateo was the epicenter of dining on a Friday evening? It was good to get home and use my vibrating pillow and to examine all of the cards and photos I took, and admire my new yarn and patters. It was a wonderful day and I am looking forward to starting my new projects.




    The 6′ Shawl – Event Horizon Pi Shawl

    I must be crazy but I joined a Knit-a-Long for Donna Druchunas’ Event Horizon Pi Shawl, a gorgeous creation in lace from her newest book Stories in Stitches 2. The shawl is circular and starts with a light center and ends in the deepest black. It is also an incredible 6 feet in diameter.

    Photo courtesy of String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns

    Photo courtesy of String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns

    A great yarn dyer that Donna knows made up kits for the shawl project in hues of teal to black, red to black, purple to black and grey to black. Living in Fogland as I do, I decided I needed to make what I call the “Foggy Grey Matter” Event Horizon Pi Shawl. The yarn is simply gorgeous, it’s so extremely soft for sock yarn. If you can get your hands on some String Theory Caper sock yarn I would highly encourage you to do so. I can’t stop fondling the lace that comes off my needles.

    Right now it’s the shape of a Rastafarian beanie and at 560 stitches growing larger by the day. I am almost done with the second of six skeins of yarn so I have a long ways to go.   I am knitting the larger shawl, at 6 feet in diameter, and the owners of String Theory did me a huge favor and sold me one of their test skeins of yarn so that I could have enough to knit the larger size.  They’re my heroes!  I feel quite honored to be able to make a unique shawl even more unique because of their kindness.

    Foggy Grey Matter Pi Shawl

    and a closeup:

    Foggy Grey Matter Pi Shawl

    This Friday through Sunday is Stitches West and I have a shopping list which includes buying up all the stitch markers in the joint, because the handful I have will be quite inadequate once I go up to the next chart in this project.  If you want stitch markers better get to the Market on Friday before me!  If you are going, let me know, we will be doing meet ups for tea and snacks whenever my ankle gives up, which will be several times during the day!

    If you want to buy a kit to make yourself a shawl, go here.  It’s not too late to join the KAL on Ravelry!  I have a feeling I will not be finished by Pi day.

    Socks for Cats

    While staying with my dear friend D___ during the acute phase of pertussis, mostly to make sure I didn’t die during the night alone, I wasn’t up for much as I said in my last post.  But life tries to strive for normalcy and I had time on my hands and I was taking a lot of narcotic cough medicine, some of it, in fact, is the kind some poor people try to buy illegally.

    Well, I was feeling pretty goofy most of the time, when I was awake, so I made some mini sweaters using leftover sock yarn as a gift for a friend visiting from Seattle and for my mom’s birthday.


    The cats were very interested in “helping” so we had a little dress up moment.

    Mini / Cat

    Mini / Cat

    Mini / Cat

    I got a crazy thought and made up a pair of socks from yarn leftover from the scarf for D___’s cats! I know, I know, cats don’t wear socks or tolerate such shenigans very well but D___’s cats are really sweet and used to little people running around so, why not, I thought.

    Laughing causes me to have a huge coughing paroxysm fits but it was totally worth it.  I had to stop for a while because I was laughing too much.

    Cat socks....

    I had to fiddle with my mini sock pattern to get them to fit the cat. They were tolerant but questioning what we were doing.

    Sniff the sock.

    Cat with Socks - Series

    Maybe it’s okay?

    Cat with Socks - Series

    First the hind feet.

    Cat with Socks - Series

    What is going on here?

    Cat with Socks - Series

    Now the front feet.

    Cat with Socks - Series

    Cat with Socks - Series

    That’s not so bad.

    Cat with Socks - Series

    Then both?

    Cat with Socks - Series

    Cat with Socks - Series

    And let’s not forget the other cat!

    One second later and they’re off with a quick paw-shake!

    I know it is truly wrong and yet it was so very funny!

    No cats were harmed in the making of this post, all cats were truly loved and petted and got extra stinky cat food after the sock fitting.  I promise.

    A Hopefully Happier New Year

    It’s tough to celebrate a new year when you have lost a loved one. In my other blog, Heather in SF, I shared what happened. My dear mom came to visit in SF for the holidays and it has been a gift to be together.

    But before that, while staying with my friend D___ during my convalescence from pertussis, I started to feel better and had an outing with E___ and went to the Interweave Knitlab conference in San Mateo for a day and we learned how to do knitted embellishments from Annie Modesitt. I managed not to have a coughing spasm in class, which was a huge thing.


    Knitting with straight needles

    Bobbles swatch, 5 stitches

    Cables without a cable needle

    Annie Modesitt embellishment class

    When I heard the sad news it was especially awful because I wasn’t well enough to travel. I couldn’t help my mom with anything except call her every day and just offer love and hugs and organizational support from 200 miles away. What helped me a bit was to knit, it’s normal activity for me and calming. It felt good to try a bit and yarn is absorbent when the tears just flow.

    When I felt up to it again I retrieved one of my purchases from the Knitlab Marketplace from its lockdown facility in my luggage (cat free zone) and made a little scarf for a friend who is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

    Scarf for Mary, complete

    It is the beautiful Kle Shawlette by Paula Pereira, using a claret ombre Freia yarn from Tina Whitmore. It was the perfect soft spot of vivid color to brighten up tough days. She loved it and I bet it looked great with her platinum blond wig or the deep auburn wig.

    Another really pretty yarn I scored at Knitlab was also from Tina Whitmore, the ombre Freia laceweight in Grapevine. It morphs from acid Thompson green-grape to a grapevine bark brown to a deep purple Vanessa-red grape hue.

    My treat from Knitwhits, such pretty colors!

    I decided to finally cast on the Swiss Cheese Scarf with this yarn and I am still working on it, I’m in the purples now.

    Swiss Cheese Scarf - progress

    I have lost interest in knitting again, because I cut off a large piece of my finger pad last weekend. It is tricky to knit holding out your index finger with an ET head bandage, doable but so tiring and clumsy.

    ET finger

    Trust me when I say it’s hard to type without your index finger. It will be fine, happily, bandages off in a week! Then I can start the Event Horizon Pi Shawl by Donna Druchanas. She’s having a knitalong on Ravelry and I bought the Grey Matter colorway, which I have retitled the Foggy Grey Matterin honor of our San Francisco fogbank.

    Hope you have a happier new year and have lots of fun knitting planned.

    Knitting Interrupted

    I haven’t been writing or knitting much in the past few weeks. A most random and alarming incident of illness has waylaid me yet again, this time it is pertussis or whooping cough.

    After 7 days of quarantine and 12 days in bed I received a most kindly invitation to join friends for lunch. My friend, in a medical field, advised a bit of fresh air and sunshine would do me good and she was right.

    The highlight of the day, besides dear friends, sunshine and a tiny tot of champagne with an ocean view, was her belated birthday gift to me – a knitting book – Knit Your Own Cat.

    It is such a funny book with patterns for a variety of cat breeds in either a standing, sitting or lying pose. We had a good giggle over it and the day cheered me up immensely.

    I’m trying to read it as I’m back tucked up in bed with 27 pillows. I must sleep and rest sitting up now, when I can rest. There’s no treatment for pertussis other than palliative care. Antibiotics killed the bacteria off and stopped the contagion but drugs don’t stop the damage the bacteria causes the lungs. I have quite a few more weeks ahead before I reach the convalescent phase.

    Knitting isn’t even possible now because I’m too exhausted but I have this fun book to read and my Kauni cardigan on the bed next to me. The bright colors cheer me up and just hugging the yarn makes me feel a bit better.

    Here’s to better days….

    A note, pertussis is very contagious and I got it after heavy exposure despite being vaccinated last year. The vaccine only lasts 3-10 years and only offers 80% protection. Many foolish parents don’t believe in vaccinating at all and sone celebrities like Jenhy McCarthy are helping to spread this stupidity. However other celebrities such as Sarah Michelle Geller (Buffy!) are trying to combat this ignorance. She is working with The March Of Dimes on an awareness and vaccination campaign for families to protect their children against pertussis, The Breathing Room .

    Pertussis can be deadly to infants and small children and just knowing how wretched I have been faring helps me understand why little ones can’t survive it.

    Here is another informative site about pertussis: CDC’s site on pertussis

    Please consider getting another vaccination for yourself and your family and circle of friends. Here in the US pertussis is devastating towns in Texas and California and air travel helps expose many people than ever.

    Camino Bubbles and The Small Things

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    Last year I came across a shawl pattern that made me smile, I think it was the colored yarn and the pretty photograph that really did it for me. It just looked so happy and happy was what I craved right then.  I was healing from surgery, a broken heart and the loss of my beloved Pogo.

    Camino Bubbles by Kieran Foley

    Camino Bubbles by Kieran Foley

    (doesn’t this make you smile too?)

    Now that my body is healing I wondered if my heart has, and realize, no, it has not. A friend offered me a kitten and I just could barely finish the conversation before dissolving into tears.   This simple and kind offer brought up all kinds of things lurking under the surface that I have been holding down and out of sight.   I miss my cat.  I miss being loved.   I miss my late boyfriend and the other one before him that just didn’t work out.  I miss being happy.

    Trying to define what makes me happy is part of my healing exercises.  Positive thinking and planning for the future is part of this too, so is playing with pretty, soft yarn and being creative.   I realized the other day that we can’t do anything about the big hard things that happen in our lives: death, illness, loss, pain.  We can, however, actively seek out and build up on the small things that bring happiness.  Seeing a beautiful planting in a flower bed and pausing for a moment to enjoy it; standing in a sunny spot instead of rushing to cross the street; having a cup of really good coffee out of a pretty cup; reading a note from a friend send by the post; sharing a meal with someone you love – these are all small things that make me feel good.  They are not life altering moments, often they are quite brief but I am making a conscious choice to seek them out and create them for myself.   My hope is that by having enough Small Things happen will sort of offset or cushion the awfulness of the Big Things of which I have not control.  Isn’t there a saying such as “Many small steps make a mountain” or something like that?

    I love this....  Trees are poetry...
    (Small Things like this, found while walking home are worth noticing)

    With this new mindset, I took stock on the Small Things that make me happy and of course making things with my hands and my heart were high on the list.  I already have dozens of scarves and shawls and lots of socks but the point of it is that I made them, they are healing activities and bring me happiness during the process.

    That night I decided to purchase the Camino Bubbles shawl by Kieran Foley and make it for myself.  It will be ready by summer when our delightful fogbank descends.    So, I cracked open a bottle of wine from my little adventure this weekend, and got started.

    The yarn I am using is called Poems Sock by Wisdom Yarns in the subtle Ivy Trail colorway.  It is pretty, with soft greens and creams and bark hues that flow from one color to the next.  This yarn is fun to use because it is a single ply, sometimes is thick and sometimes it is thin, it has a bit of a shimmer to it in the sunshine and feels good to work with in my hands. I made my mom an adorable tea cozy for her baby Brown Betty with this yarn in an autumnal color one year and I still have that yarn in my stash which is destined for a sweater someday, perhaps someday soon.

    I turned on an old time radio program on a podcast that my dear sis recommended, Case Closed by Relic Radio.  They feature murder and detective mystery stories from the 40’s and 50’s and sometimes the shows were set in San Francisco.  It’s wonderful to knit by, although sometimes it got so exciting I forgot where I was in the pattern and had to go backwards a bit.

    A glass of wine, an hour or two of knitting and the aromas of my pot roast slowly simmering in the oven finally made me feel a bit better.

    Camino bubbles 1
    (Camino bubbles in progress – Chart A halfway done)

    At lunch yesterday I knit while in the sun in a little garden area in FiDi.  As I was knitting I realized there were tiny shadows bouncing over my knitting.  I looked up to see that they were from the honeybees zooming around the flowers, how delightful is that.  They didn’t mind sharing for a moment for a quick picture.  I also noticed a large swathe of star jasmine which are starting to set buds. I will be keeping an eye on them and will be sure to return when they are in bloom.

    Camino bubbles 2

    I will be happy again, and while I find my happiness through Small Things I will have lots of “Heather-love” in knitting form to keep me cozy.

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