Slow and steady

I've been slowly working through some projects. I was sucked into a great project that is designed as an RPG (roll playing game) where you roll the dice to see which chart of that section you get to knit. It's a lovely scarf, and I've finished it recently. Β The pattern is called Heroes of Yarnia. It was a lot of fun. And now I am working on a blanket that will continue until the end of November, that is by the same designer. So much fun! Β It's double knit, just like the scarf, which means it's fully reversible. πŸ˜€ Untitled   I also released another pattern, which you can find on my pattern blog of here. And of course that blog has links to all my patterns on the side, as well as a link to Ravelry to see them all with pictures and be able to purchase them on there as well. Β This latest pattern is a hat. I wanted to use the theme of leaves for something, since when I started it it was fall. A hat seemed like the best place to get a nice big pattern. IMG_1211 The hat pattern is available in three adult sizes ranging from 19" around the brim to 23" around the brim. It can also be made shorter if the knitter prefers a regular hat and not a slouchy. I haven't been feeling well with my new medication, so my designs have been put on hold temporarily. But, I just stopped one of my meds and I'm feeling a tiny bit better. I'm going to try to get as much done on the latest sock pattern as I can today, and maybe I'll get more done than I expect. Β For the latest updates on patterns, be sure to go over to my design blog, or you can join my Facebook page. As for an update on me, well, like I said above I've felt crummy. I've collapsed 4 times in the last two months, which is a big problem. I almost broke my wrist twice. Thankfully it was sprained, but needless to say you can't do much knitting with a badly sprained wrist. The first fall was the worst and I bruised and sprained my whole right side. Β So, we'll see where we take things at my next doctor appointment. Today I went to see the asthma doc and we've changed things up on that front as well. I've started a daily medication to see if we can get the inflammation to go away in my lungs. Fingers crossed! Apart from that I picked up a test knit for a gorgeous scarf that is a super secret until the designers mystery knit a long has concluded. I have to try to get that done by the end of March. Β No rush. lol

2017 update

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. Sorry about that. We made it through Christmas, and had a good time. I put my pattern testing on hold during the holidays, because it was just too hard to get anyone. Most people were busy finishing off gifts for family and friends. Thankfully I had finished my Christmas knitting well in advance of Christmas. I knew I would have to get mom's gift in the mail early. I have also finished a bunch of projects and a bunch of patterns have been published. For the links to patterns and to keep up with those, you can find them here. That is my website for my design business, as well as my site for my portfolio of test knits that I have done. I'll be doing another update there shortly, because things have been released or started. First up in the finished projects portion of this post is mom's sweater. I am so in love with this pattern that I am making one of these for me now. Mine is just a little brighter blue that what I used for mom's. Mine is a denim color. The pattern is Herbst Rosina, and is a beautiful sweater. As a quick caveat, you'll have to read the pattern carefully. It was translated into English and some of the pattern is worded a bit strangely. If you have knit a sweater before, you should be able to follow the directions well enough. And believe me, it is well worth it. The lace design on the back is worked until it touches the front lace of the sweater. It makes this lovely sweeping lace design on the back that is gorgeous. I love every bit of this sweater. It also goes faster than just a plain stockinette, which is nice. When I was knitting this, I knit until I split off for the sleeves and then actually knit the sleeves before finishing the body. The main reason I did this, was to be able to lengthen the sweater. This way I don't have to guess what I need for yarn to finish the sleeves, and I can just keep knitting until I run out of yarn, or I hit the length I want. thumb_IMG_1142_1024 thumb_IMG_1146_1024 These socks are my own design. They are called Diamonds at Sea. I finished these just after we got back home from our cruise, so I did a fair bit of work on them while sailing. That contributed to the name. The diamonds were more visible than normal, because I used a slipped stitch technique instead of a leaning stitch type of technique. IMG_1181 I finished a pattern for another pair of socks that launched just a couple days ago. These are called Butterfly socks. Somehow in the process of waiting for the testing to finished I lost the second sock of this pair. It has to be in the house somewhere, but I can't find it. IMG_1202 In the fingerless mittens category, I have completed two patterns. First is Dreaming of Spring. These are a raspberry stitch that gives it a little height and definition to the mittens. I only did the design on the top of the hand, because I always find having some kind of bobble on the underside of the arm or palm really gets annoying when I type or need to rest my arm on something. IMG_1173 I also launched By the Shore Fingerless Mittens. These have an oyster stitch that reminded me of sitting by the Bay of Fundy watching the waves and having wienie roasts. I also made a pair of these for my cousin. She needed something for at the rink, so I put a flap on her pair. IMG_1177 Untitled I finished a pair of socks (not my design) called By the Seine River. These have a simple meandering pattern that creates a wave like design. I used a yarn that is a bit busy, so the pattern doesn't show up that well. But, I wanted to get the yarn used up. hehe I do love the pattern, though. It was a quick knit, too. Untitled Another pair of socks I made for myself were the Osier socks. It's made with a yarn I got from a yarn club, and it looked like fun. They turned out really well, and I love wearing them. The color is very cheerful. πŸ˜€ The pattern itself is very easy to remember, and is a great travel pattern. Untitled Time for another pattern of mine. I have no link for this yet, because it hasn't been released. I am planning to release it in a couple of days, so be sure to check my design website for it. This is the Leaf Slouchy. I started this as fall was rolling in and the leaves were falling to the ground. I wanted to have a nice wandering leaf pattern. I had some trouble with this pattern because of some issues with my health. I was having a lot of trouble with my memory and just keeping things straight in my head. My cognition has been in the toilet the last few months. More on that shortly. IMG_1211 This adorable hat is called Romancing the Brioche, and I knit it as a test knit for the designer. It's absolutely adorable. The ribbing and the heart are done in the brioche technique and give a nice definition to the stitches. IMG_1213 Now for a work in progress. This is a knit a long I am doing. It's double knit, so it's fully reversible. The designer has this set up to be like a dungeons and dragons game. Each clue has a number of charts, and you roll the dice to determine the chart you will use for each section. It's a lot of fun. The other thing I like is that your scarf is going to be completely unique. It's fantastic! Untitled Untitled Now that I've run through all that, time for a quick update on what is happening here. As I said above my health has been rocky. Mentally I've just not been there. The medications have messed my mind up to the point that my memory was short. The old doctor I was seeing was a real piece of work and was ready to just shove me out the door. So, I went to see someone else. The new doctor has been great. She ran a bunch of new tests to see what she was dealing with. She also did an ultrasound of my hand and found inflammation. I should have no inflammation when on a biologic. So, that medication was stopped and she got me approval for a new one. I start that one last week. She also gave me a steroid shot. That spot is still bruised. lol But, I am feeling so much better. I can think straight today, which a huge improvement. The new med is injected every two weeks instead of every week. It seems like I may have been allergic to the old meds. Great that the old doc paid enough attention to my concerns to actually listen to me. >.> The new doc heard me and told me that I should have been in remission long ago, so that means the old med wasn't even working. There is no guarantee that this new med will work better, but we'll only wait three months before moving on...not two years. So, I'm satisfied with that. I can actually sit here and type, which I haven't been able to really do in months. I've started playing around with food again. We bought an Instant Pot, and I've been doing a lot of our meat in that. It's so fast and easy. I plan on trying it for bone broth soon. Tonight we made a Portuguese Beef Stew. It was delicious. It's cooked in white wine, which gives it a much lighter and brighter flavor than I am accustomed to. But, it is very good. Now that I can be up and around more, I want to do some more experimenting and trying out different recipes. I have plans to make some snickerdoodles in the next few days. I don't have any vegetable shortening, but thankfully tomorrow is grocery day. I am on a diet, but there is nothing wrong with a wee bit of a treat now and then. As long as I don't eat the entire sheet of cookies in one sitting, I'll be just fine. I have pretty good willpower when it comes to baked goods, so I should be alright. That about sums up what has been going on around here. I will try to keep up with things better now. Since I can actually type, it should be much easier.

Checking in

Wow, it's been longer than I thought since I last posted. I've been keeping busy the last couple months. We went on our cruise in September and had a lot of fun. Unfortunately I was sick by the time we got home, and am still sick 2 weeks later. I have many meds for my asthma, and to try to prevent pneumonia. We may or may not be winning that battle. I'll know more in a couple days. The cruise was once again a writing retreat. We really needed a mental reset, and this did just the trick. We were able to relax, and hang out with friends new and old. We were able to get some great advice from some of the pro's that were on hand, as well. It was great. I spent a lot of time relaxing. We had a balcony on our room, so I was able to spend some time out there. But, it was hot and humid, so my time was more limited than I wanted. At least it was a wall of door/windows, so I could see the water, even when I wasn't outside. I managed to get my sock finished and the pattern updated to out it in for test knitting. The last two weeks has been very little (read as no) knitting. A couple days ago, I felt well enough to finish the sock, and yesterday I updated the pattern and got the ball rolling there. Trip pictures: Our ship when we were in St. Maarten. We did an off ship day and did a bit of shopping, so I was able to grab a picture. This ship is huge! I think it's now classed as Royal Caribbean's second largest ship in their fleet. They were still calling it the largest when we were on board, but I think the new ship is supposed to be bigger. Untitled First stop (Jamaica): Untitled St. Thomas: Untitled St. Maarten: Untitled Wild chicken in St. Maarten: Untitled My sock by the water: Untitled I could knit here all day! Untitled And I'll throw in a picture of Abby, because she posed for pictures before we went away on vacation. I was doing photos for the sock pattern I released in September, and she decided it was her turn. IMG_1164 In all, things are going well here. We won't have any impact from the hurricane, which will be good. I feel so bad for all those in its path though. It's devastating so many areas. πŸ™ Now it's time to go get some work done (what I can do, at least), and then return to resting.

Heat wave

We're in the midst of a second heat wave in just a few weeks. Although, it does amuse me that they call them heat waves now, when it always used to be called Summer. lol Oh well. Either way, it's hot outside, and it's stuffy. So, I'm tucked away indoors. The air conditioner has been struggling to keep up, though, which has meant it's really uncomfortable inside. Sunday we did an inspection of the system on our own. Let's face it, we can't get and HVAC guy in here for at least a week with this heat. Everyone and their dog is going to be having issues. Well, as we did our inspection, we found that not a single duct has been taped. Yep, not one. That meant that there are a bajillion leaks just in the furnace room alone. So, we bought foil tape, and covered every seam. We also felt around and covered everything with a draft. That was such a huge help. We've had at least three companies in here doing various inspections of the AC and furnace, plus a whole house balance check, and not one felt the need to mention the tape? Ugh! Oh well. That's why we do it ourselves. Today we'll go outside, and make sure the outdoor unit is clear. I trimmed the bushes back about two weeks ago, but we're going to clear more. Plus we'll also shut down the system and clean all the coils. That will be everything we can do with the system. Next up is insulation. Our exterior walls are so thin that we have no window ledges. I kid you not. The walls are only thick enough to hold a standard window box, with no extra. There is also no vapor barrier anywhere. When we hang pictures we pull out bits of insulation (and sometimes not even that), and no plastic. So, we'll go around and temp the walls. If they are warmer than they should be, we'll be tearing out drywall and spray foaming everything. It'll cost us a few thousand, but it's still cheaper than adding an entire second AC unit, which is over 20k. It will also make the house more energy efficient. Apart from that, I've had to put down what I was knitting for the Ravellenic games. It is a Christmas gift and it was just too hot in here to work on it. So, I started a pair of socks. That was my second choice for the games. I should have sock one done tonight, I hope. πŸ˜€ Untitled The yarn is very pretty. It's Tough Love Sock from sweetgeorgia. It's very pretty and very nice to knit with. It's not splitting in the least, and is just so smooth. This color is called Oyster Bay. It reminds me a bit of Moon Mist ice cream, but it needs more green for that. I chose a pattern I haven't knit before called By The River Seine. It's a simple pattern with just some knit togethers and yarn overs. Super easy. But, it gives the illusion of waves. Other than that, the weeks have been filled with doctor fights, and trying to exercise. I need to do as much as I can before the end of October, because the doctor might be taking me off the meds. Hopefully I've been on them long enough that it isn't a huge deal. I'm just tired of the doctors in the same practice disagreeing so much. This med works, no it really doesn't, but this does, but the only way to really help this is diet and exercise, ya, but you should still have this drug. If the med won't fix it, why should I take it? So, I've eliminated gluten from my diet, and have done some other diet modifications that we were already working on, and have been trying to do some exercising. It's been fine so far. πŸ™‚ I'm not convince gluten free will help, but I need to give it a few months. We'll see. πŸ™‚

Website changes

I made some changes to what is seen on the right hand side of the blog, and the theme I have running as well. I have a second blog running now, which is mostly business related, so I decided to link up to all of that stuff. Right now I have mostly bracelets and stitch markers up on my Etsy shop. My first sock pattern is currently getting tested, and I hope to have that up for sale in September. I have been busy making a bunch of stuff over the last bit. Here are some of the things I made yesterday and today. Untitled I really like the stitch markers that have the book charms hanging from them. I'll definitely have to make more. The stitch markers on the left of the picture look like little Jupiters. Now I want to do a whole line of celestial themed stitch markers. That could easily be my thing. πŸ˜€ I have picked out some beads that look very planet like, so once I bite the bullet on those, I can start making sets. I would like to actually sell some things first before I invest more. Mind you, my investment is pretty small at the moment. I think I'm in for just a few hundred. Most businesses run thousands in start up costs. I have a second sock pattern that I have been working on as well, and I hope to have that out for test knitting in the next few weeks. Either that, or I'll use the same pattern I have now and change out the chart. That will mean a much earlier release, since the meat of the pattern will already be tested. So, as you can see I have been a busy beaver. Hopefully this will pay off. I'd like it to at least pay for itself. That would be nice. Until then, I'll keep plugging along and keeping things updated.

New endeavors

Well, it's been a few weeks since I last posted. Ooopsie. I didn't mean to wait that long. But, it's been a busy few weeks. We finally started working on the house again. The first room we tackled was the library. It's the room that is open to the foyer below. We moved our office out of the front room, into the fireplace room, which was the living room. This makes for a quieter library area. We finished painting and then yesterday we hung the pictures. IMG_0456 IMG_0455 We love how it turned out. It's very tranquil in there. We still need to finish bringing in some books, but otherwise it is how we want it. I have also started working on inventory for an Etsy shop. I have been making chain mail bracelets. Here are the two samples I made that I'll be keeping. Untitled I have a copper bracelet done in a different weave that is sitting there in my little drawer I have for inventory. The goal is to get a bunch of stuff ready and then list it all. That will also mean making some more stitch markers. I have a bunch of charms that I purchased that will be making into stitch markers, and possibly necklaces. Today I released my first sock pattern for test knitting. They are called Winter Jonas Socks. I came up with the idea during the storm this past winter. All I was doing was sitting inside knitting and occasionally snow blowing, so I had lots of time to come up with ideas. I already have my second pattern planned out. Untitled Now we are moving on to other rooms in the house. We are trying to get things decluttered and rearranged and made useful. Next up is the guest room, because we bought a bed frame for in there that is still sitting in the entry way. We've had it for a couple months now. Slowly, but surely I will get from room to room. πŸ™‚ Thankfully the guest room just needs the bed frame, bedding and a mirror set hung.

In Progress

I have been doing so many test knits lately, that I haven't had a chance to do an update on where I stand on some of my WIP's. This is of course not a full run down, because there are always WIP's that go into hiding that I find months later. First up, I have a sweater that is going to be a Christmas gift. It's the Herbst Rosina Jacket. This pattern is a bit of a challenge. I don't know if it's due to being translated, but some of the wording isn't clear as I go through the pattern. Knowing how to knit a sweater helps a lot, as you know how things should be working. I would say this is a bit more of an intermediate pattern. There are increases, decreases, lace patterns and cables. Even though it may be a bit complicated at times, the sweater is gorgeous. It really is so pretty. I chose Miss Babs yarn. This is Yowza! What a Skein, in the Cloak colorway. It is amazing to work with. It's not necessarily the softest yarn I have worked with, but my goodness is it squishy. It is absolutely perfect for any sweater that you want to just snuggle up into. It's also sturdy enough to hold up to a pattern. Just perfect yarn. Untitled// Next up with have my Afmaeli sweater. I have made this once before, but it met an...unfortunate end. It will get a new life as a pillow case. >.> This one is going to be a bright and cheerful variation. I think I finally managed to get a picture of the color that is pretty close to true. It's such a beautiful vibrant purple for the body. The yarn is Periwinkle Sheep Merino in Aran weight. I have the colorways of Plum Crumble, H.R.H., and Stones Dancing in the Fog. It's beautiful yarn. Like the Miss Babs it is very squishy, yet sturdy. I do love that this particular yarn is not a solid color. It has slight variations in it, which gives a great look to a stockinette sweater. Sometimes sweaters can look a bit plain in a solid color, but this yarn is fabulous for giving it some definition. Untitled// This is a very new WIP. I started these only yesterday. They are Hermione's Everyday Socks. I am using Camelot Dyeworks Percival, in the Midnight Express colorway. First off, this is the first time doing the Hermione's socks. The pattern is so simple, and will give a great texture. However, it should not be used with such a bold variegated yarn as this. I can't see the pattern what so ever. I will probably just keep going, but I haven't decided. There is a good chance I will rip back to where the cuff ends and just do a vanilla sock. This yarn has so much detail already that a pattern just can not compete with it. The colorway is really pretty though. Untitled// I also have Honey Badger socks on the go. These are the socks that just will not end. I don't know why. I love the pattern. I think it's probably the yarn. It is Schoppel-Wolle in the Kleckse colorway. But, I have to be honest. Even though this yarn is very pretty, it is so splitty! It just keeps giving me trouble as I knit it. So, I keep putting it aside. Untitled// Last, but not least is a sock pattern that I am currently designing. I can't give many details, other than this sneak peek. Untitled//

Finished projects and planning

I actually finished a couple more projects in the last couple weeks. One good thing about getting meds that work for me, and feeling better is that I have my knitting mojo back. I made another pair of socks for myself. I am really trying to get my sock drawer filled for the fall/winter. πŸ™‚ Take Five Socks. This is a great go to pattern. I finished these socks in about 4 days. The pattern is super simple and I have it memorized, so I can work on it anywhere. They really are one of my favorite patterns. It adds just enough detail to be interesting, and can be used for women or men, since the pattern is very unisex. Untitled The other project I finished was a pair of fingerless mittens that have been sent off to a friend. This is another pattern that can be whipped up quickly. It's the second pair of these I have made to send to someone. They are called Sleekit Mitts. There is just a little bit of texture, which gives them a bit of extra stretch. And with that stretch they can fit a variety of sizes with no changes needed in the actual making of them. πŸ™‚ Untitled Would you believe that I have already started my Christmas planning? I left it until almost September last year, and it was way too much of a rush. So, I have started early. I have mom's Christmas present on the go already. The goal is to send some stuff up to mom and dad in various packages to avoid any customs charges. If I send it all at once, the dollar value for a one time shipment is just too much. This year I'll do it over the course of a few months. That means mom will have to store them somewhere, but it'll still be a bit easier. Instead of making stuff in September, I'll start shipping in September. hehe My goals have been updated recently: 3 sweaters- #1: The Brick: finished 10 pairs of socks- #1: Osier Socks: finished. #2 Girl’s Best Friend: finished. #3 Lapsang Souchong: finished. #4 2luvcrew socks: finished. #5 My cup of tea Socks: finished. #6 Take Five socks: finished. #7 My cup of tea Socks: in progress 2 scarves (laceweight): Ostrich Plume Scarf: in progress 6 hats- #1: Herriot Hat: finished Beekeeper pieces (Thanks Moody for the reminder!) Fingerless mitts: Finished This will be my running tally spot as well. πŸ™‚ eta: WIP’s to finish: Battle of Five Armies Shawl: finished Bay of Fundy Scarf Estonian Square Shawl Ortansia Wrapigan Girl’s Best Friend: finished Lapsang Souchong: finished 2luvcrew socks: finished Limberlost Trails Cherry Blossom and Diamond Shawl eta: starting yardage: 84,919 April 24 yardage: 72,419…used 12,500 yards so far. So, I am short on a couple things right now. I haven't completed any of the scarves, but I do have one on the go. I don't know if I will get all of these done in 2016, but I want to get a good dent in them. The socks won't be an issue, and neither will the sweaters. The beekeeper pieces are a long term thing. I'm using left over sock yarn to make these, and plan on making a king size comforter out of them. The WIP's are a working list, but some of these will take months and months. The Estonian Square shawl will take a long time. The finished dimensions are 52" X 52". It's huge. But, this gives me a way to keep focused on what I want to get done. πŸ™‚

Time to Adjust

For the past number of years, I have known where I was headed. My knee was shot. I knew it was, but I also hoped I was wrong. Two weeks ago it popped and caused awful pain. I couldn't ignore it any longer. So, I called an orthopedists office, and they got me in this past Friday. I made it the two weeks well enough. It hurts, but I can tolerate it. I thought about cancelling the appointment, but J wouldn't let me, and I did know that it was necessary to go. They did a set of xrays when I got there to see what was going on. When the doctor walked in, went through a brief history that comprised of "you've been through a lot", and "I'm not going to sugar coat this". The original condition I had, which was osteochodritis dissecans is still there, but is pointless to even consider doing anything with. It's such a minor piece of the puzzle now, that we are just ignoring it. We found where the rheumatoid arthritis has been happily living. The doc also found osteoarthritis in that same knee. Double whammy with the degenerative conditions. He told me there is nothing we can do right now. The only treatment option is a knee replacement, but given my age, I am still too young. At this stage I would have the first at 40, second around 55, and then amputation by 70. No doctor wants to do that. So, we'll wait it out. He said I might have two years left, but we could be surprised and maybe I'll get 10 years out of it. So we'll begin to plan for all of this. Once I get to a point of having the replacement I'll be happy as a clam for a while. But, it's getting to that point that is going to be difficult. There are questions of how long do I wait this out. How do I extend the life of the knee as far as possible? Is there anything I can do to help it's life? The first step is exercising again. I haven't done much the last couple weeks because of the pain, but the doc gave me the all clear. And any exercise will be good for the knee. Other than that, who knows. So we know what I am dealing with, but we have no idea of time frames. In the meantime, I am still knitting and crafting. My craft room has been completed, and I have been decorating in there. πŸ™‚ Music corner: Untitled Dress fabrication area and storage: Untitled Desk: Untitled Closet storage (this will have red curtains around it, as soon as I hem them): Untitled I have finished a lot of projects recently: Lots of socks: Lapsang Souchong. This was a test knit and I have finally finished the second sock. I loved the pattern. πŸ˜€ Untitled 2luvcrew socks. These ones took me a while to finish. I liked the pattern, but was not in love with the sock yarn or the fit at the time. It grew on me though, and they are comfortable. πŸ™‚ Untitled My Cup of Tea socks. This is a favorite of mine, and I make them a lot. There is just a simple pattern that gives them just enough interest to make them go quickly. Untitled I have finished my oversized comfy sweater. This is Brick. It's too big, but super comfortable. πŸ˜€ Note to self. Don't make a sweater that is one size larger when you are trying to lose weight. It is very quickly two sizes larger. lol Untitled Then we have this bad boy. This is the Battle of Five Armies shawl. It is by the same designer as the Lapsang Souchong socks. It's huge, and amazing. It is the third in a series of shawls based on the Hobbit movies. It took me over a year to finish, because I was hopping from project to project and spent a good stretch of time not knitting at all in the last year. But, this is a gorgeous shawl. I have already worn it out once, and will wear it again and again. πŸ˜€ Untitled Untitled Last but not least is a large work in progress. These little guys are hexipuffs. They are only 2" across, and are knit in one piece like the toe of a sock. They get stuffed part way through and then sealed up. The goal is to get enough of these for a king size blanket. This means I need about 700 of these things. You'll see by the picture that I might have a little ways to go before I hit 700. Then I need about 30 or so half hexipuffs for the edge to make it all smooth. The reason I'm spending time on these is because A) it'll be super cute in our country theme bedroom, and B) it uses up my sock yarn scraps. πŸ˜€ So, this blanket will cost me nothing extra. It'll just clean up the scraps I have as I go forward making socks.  Lots of stuff updated this time. πŸ˜€ I should have some more projects finished in the next couple weeks. I have another pair of socks on the go that should be finished in a couple days, and then I have a small quick project to do. Then onto a scarf that has been in progress for far too long. Although I do have to do one more pair of socks for a gift for someone. πŸ™‚ At least I am able to knit again! That has been a huge perk to the new meds we have added and the ones I had already been on. I can do a lot of things I wasn't able to do for a while. It really helps me feel a lot better.