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A Sudden Halt

Sometimes life throws you a curveball, sometimes that curveball is the size of Texas. Right before Thanksgiving I found out that my wonderful stepfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This is the most cruel and horrible disease. It came on very quickly, and seems to be progressing also very quickly.

I pretty much dropped everything, got an okay from the physical therapist to drive a car and drove up to the foothills to see my family. It was such a shock.

It was my mother’s birthday and I tidied up a bit and cooked them a nice dinner. I got to see firsthand how rapidly this disease that erases many parts of my stepfather. I stayed there for five days and cried myself to sleep every night. I marveled at the courage of my mother who is an incredible woman. She is really shown me the true meaning of love. They got married when I was 18 and he’s been the best thing that’s happened to our family.

I brought things to knit up there, but I didn’t even open that part of my suitcase. I just cleaned the house, did other chores and just let my mom get some rest.

I still don’t feel like knitting but Christmas is coming, and I have a deadline for my sample knitting. Yesterday I cast on again the Mobius scarf and restarted that just to keep my mind off the sad feelings in my heart, It really does help a little.

I talk with my mom almost every day, and things are moving along for her as she tries to get her network of support care set up and I am doing what I can from here to help. I hope to get time off work to go visit them for Christmas, and find a way to get up there since I can’t afford to rent a car again.

We are going to focus on doing things one day at a time, enjoying the good moments, enduring the bad and just keep carrying on.

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(Me and my stepdad, before breakfast, being silly)

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More Mini Sweaters and Learning Lessons on Adaptations

I spent a few days with my dearest friend from childhood and her darling parents. It was much needed during a time of travail and stress.

For this little break I brought with me the möbius cowl I was living in Malabrigo merino, Arroyo in the colorway Glitter. To me the colors remind me of the falling mulberry leaves that litter the city right now.

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The original pattern from Cat Bordhi for “Your First Möbius Cowl” uses a heavier weight yarn so my first attempt I tripled the stitches but it was yards too long. My second attempt, photographed above, I doubled the stitches, but when I got near the end of the yarn I realized it too would also be entirely way too long. So next to a cozy fire, listening to the rain pounding on the roof, I unwound the entire thing and I’m ready to start again. Lessons learned when adapting yarn to a pattern: do better math.

Meantime, to distract myself from stress, I knitted my hostess several mini sweaters just for the whimsy factor. She was so delighted, the whole family just giggled as we perched my mini sweaters on our evening’s bottle of wine.

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This little mini was knit using remnants of Kauni yarn for Laura’s “Rainbow Bridge” Wingspan shawl. She wears it like a hug that I intended for her, and collects many compliments from people who see it on her. It’s quite lovely and suits her to a T.

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(my pal, her Kauni Wingspan and a guide dog puppy!)

I spent some time with my friend’s mom, going over the joys of Ravelry and looking over a knitting projects she started years ago that had a bit of a problem. She’s excited to be knitting again and I was encouraging her by describing the mental and well-being benefits of knitting.

Last night, while the rain continued to bucket down, I finished yet another mini sweater – this time using a bit of leftover Freia yarn – for her white wines.

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Over dinner of picked cracked crab, Caesar salad and sourdough bread we laughed over the lavender mini sweater and how perfectly it fit the slender neck of the Navarro Pinot Grigio.

I also started a sock for me in the Crazy Zauberball, just a plain two-by-two rib, that I stashed in my beautiful knitting bag from Nathan of Knit1Eat1.

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Nathan also made a perfectly designed messenger bag for me in the same fabric with accents of cream and dove grey. I haven’t stopped wearing it since it arrived, and I’m sad that the rainy season has started and I’ll have to put it away for just a little while.

I’m also working on a sample pattern for a wonderfully talented designer, but I won’t be posting pictures until I’m given the okay from her. But I can say that the design is beautiful and I am thrilled to death every time I pick up this project. The yarn for the project is from A Verb For Keeping Warm in Oakland in a beautiful silk butter hued lightweight yarn.

As I’ve mentioned before, knitting has provided me with comfort and solace when I’m stressed or upset, provided amusement in the whimsical little gifts that I give my friends, and it gives me great pleasure in being able to make something beautiful for myself such as this möbius cowl and cute, crazy socks.

What also helps me feel better are puppies, lots and lots of darling Labrador puppies! Don’t you think they’re enough to make anyone smile?

Enjoy!

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(If you think these puppies are cute, you should make a donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind or make a visit to their lovely visitor center. It’s a wonderful project and they really could use your help. I was so impressed that they provide over 800 guide dogs each year for visually impaired people at no charge!)

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