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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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. 😀 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. 🙂 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. 😀 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. 😀 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. 😀 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. 😀 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. 🙂 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.

Spring cleaning in February

We have begun the process of recovering our house. Not from damage, but because we've felt so awful the last year. We're both allergic to dust, and our dust bunnies have brought friends. So, you can imagine how much fan that is! I set up a chore list that has a list for each day of the week. We're slowly getting into the routine of it. I think it's set up with enough chores to keep on top of things, but not so much that it's not achievable. I'm implementing a few things for Lent. First is getting on top of chaos and clutter, both in the house and mentally. It will take weeks for us to get the house back in order. But, I have to say that it's improving quickly. I have our bedroom and the guest bedroom looking nearly normal and well kept. We've almost caught up on the dishes and kitchen tidying. I think we'll be caught in another few days. I have also altered my eating to make that cleaner as well. I have cut down significantly on the pop. I keep trying to cut back, but keep getting lazy or tired of drinking something else. At this stage I am drinking an iced tea lemonade. It's a powder mix, and is 1/3 the sugar. I just put the powder in a large mason jar (quart), then put in ice, then add my water. I can then put the lid on it and shake away. 😀 I get a very cold drink with a ton less sugar, and it gives me water instead of caramel flavoring. It's also real sugar, so no high fructose corn syrup. I'm trying to stay away from that, because it makes me feel awful. My sugar levels skyrocket and I get very sick to my stomach, and have GI issues. So, I should probably list my goals somewhere. There are many, and most of them are knitting based. But, first for me, I want to lose 50lbs. With that, I hope that I'll feel better physically and with the meds I'm hoping that will mean I'll get more weight off after that, and just feel able to go and do what I would like to do. With the weight loss, I'll feel more comfortable with getting my knee taken care of. I'll be going to an orthopedist soon to see what he wants to do going forward. Until then, here are my knitting goals: 3 sweaters- #1: The Brick: in progress 10 pairs of socks- #1: Osier Socks: finished. #2 Girl's Best Friend: finished. 2 scarves (laceweight) 6 hats- #1: Herriot Hat: finished Beekeeper pieces (Thanks Moody for the reminder!) Fingerless mitts for a friend WIP’s to finish: Battle of Five Armies Shawl Bay of Fundy Scarf Estonian Square Shawl Ortansia Wrapigan Girl’s Best Friend: finished The sweater I mentioned as in progress above, The Brick, is a bit under half done. I am at least half way through the body. Then I have to do the sleeves and the neck. I'm pushing to get this done next, and we have a wee bit of a cold snap coming, so I might make it. I have 3 days. hehe I might be a bit delusional, but you never know unless you try! Untitled Two pairs of socks and a sweater being finished by the middle of February is pretty good. I am also working on sewing a plaid shirt for myself. Just ignore the cat fur. Daisy has decided that it is the best bed ever! hehe Untitled And with that, it's time to go work on that sweater. It won't knit itself!

The other side

We made it through the storm! Unfortunately, not all the buildings in the area did. A local Catholic school had a roof collapse at the location of their music department. The snow drifted up in that area and they weren't able to clear it in time. It has already warmed up enough to melt a lot of the snow, and we've had some rain. Thankfully our area didn't flood, although there were flood warnings for the whole area. We did end up with about 30" on average around the area. That's a lot more snow than they are accustomed to here. It was cleaned up pretty fast in our area. In other areas, it didn't fare so well. Where we are, there are a lot of areas with trees and things where the snow can be pushed. Other areas are so built up that there is no where to put it. So, in the come with front end loaders and trucks to haul it away to fields. In that downtime I finished a pair of socks. These ones are Osier socks. They turned out cute, but they actually run a bit smaller than most of the patterns I have used recently. That being said, they are a fast knit and are very cute. The pattern is very easy to follow and was a pattern that I could take with me anywhere. I used Chroma yarn for them. The Chroma is nice and soft, but is very splity. And if you make a mistake, trying to tink back can be difficult. This means that they will really hold the pattern well over time. But, they do shrink easily, so just soak them to wash and don't agitate the water. I am worried about how the yarn will wear, but I'll find out soon. These bad boys are about to join my sock drawer. Untitled After I finished these, I was digging around for the pair of red socks I had started ages ago. I remembered them being too big and fiddly. But, I remember incorrectly. I thought I had to tear them out to start over. But, I had already ripped them out, started over, and had one sock completely finished. lol They are knee highs too, so this is something I probably should remember knitting. 🙂 But, I started these 3 years ago, so I can forgive myself a little. I also thought that the matching red yarn I have downstairs was needed for these socks. But, I guess it isn't. I have plenty in the wound cake that is connected to the partially finished second sock to more than finish this sock. I feel like I have some strange yarn vortex going on here because two knee high socks should take more than what appears to be a half of a skein of yarn. This pattern is called a Girl's Best Friend. It's a diamond pattern that is repeated on each side of the leg. The rest is just straight knit, so this is a wonderful pattern for just sitting back and relaxing with a nice cup of tea and just letting the brain relax. I had to knit two different sizes. One is the medium for my left leg and the other is the small for my right leg. Since my calves vary so much in size, this should work out perfectly. The medium is a perfect fit for my left leg. I did however make a slight modification. The ribbing is supposed to continue up to be a thigh high sock, but I stopped just below the knee. I find that socks that go over the knees and up onto the thighs annoy my skin. So, I just decreased a bit in the ribbing to tighten it up a bit and it worked great. I even remembered to make notes on the patter, which somehow I managed to find after three years and a move! What are the odds?! Untitled Now that February is here, and we're starting to relax a bit from Christmas and things, it's now time for getting organized. Spring is going to be here very soon, and nurseries are opening up in just over a week. So, garden planning was a must. Today I sat down and went through all the seeds we had and made a map of our garden space. I have everything planned out of where things are to go. Plus I made the purchase list for things we need to get, like some fresh soil, fertilizer, some marigold plans and peppermint plants for bug control, etc. In two weeks I have to plant the tomatoes and peppers in the started kits to get them going, and then they will be planted around the end of April, outside. Everything else is being planted the last week of March to the beginning of April. Hopefully I can get the amount of plants I would like to get. I'm not really sure if I'll get what I want. We'll find out when we start planting. We'll take our time this year and be very diligent on what is planted where, which is why I have it all drawn out. But, I want to make sure we don't have over crowding. I also just finished the chore chart. It's simply the days of the week, and certain chores for each day. Everything is usually in my head, so it's hard for Joe to just pick up something to do. Plus I get very frazzled because the "clean what is dirty" plan ends up with me needing to clean everything now. It will take a few weeks to get caught up, probably, but this has everything listed for us both to be able to look at. It's up on the pantry door where we can easily see it. I actually finished 3/4 of what is on the list for today, so yay me! I'm just not changing the bedding, because I haven't washed the other set of sheets yet. hehe Those are being washed now. So, I'll call it a win. I'll change the bedding another day and then wash the current set on the other laundry day. This should help get the house cleaning under control a bit, and not make me feel so overwhelmed. I like a clean and tidy house, and it's been tough to get it that way. Fingers crossed this does the trick. 😀 That's pretty much from our neck of the woods. Lots of things going on, and we're trying to keep afloat. It's hard to get everything done in the day and have time for the other stuff. Joe gets very little writing time right now, which needs to be remedied. Hopefully we'll get that figured out.

Snowy Weekend

It's pretty snowy out there right now. We are in the crosshairs of Winter Storm Jonas this weekend. And by crosshairs, I mean that when they show the map and they show the area that's to be walloped around DC, that's us. It's going to be a good weekend to just hang out at home, drink hot chocolate, read and knit. In preparation for the knitting, I have a bunch of projects on the go. I have three pairs of socks cast on, a sweater, a wrap, and who knows what else right now. haha I did have another pair of socks that I was working on, but the cast on was way too tight. So, I've ripped it back and I'm going to try again. I think if I use larger needles for the cast on and first couple rows it will make a big difference. I did finish a lot of projects recently though. First is a pair of fingerless mittens I made for a friend: Untitled I also made a hat, which is just in time for this weather: Untitled Some Christmas presents were actually completed this year. Cowl for my sister in law: Untitled Scarf for a friend: Untitled Hats for my parents: Untitled Untitled I finished a sweater for myself. We went to Detroit over Thanksgiving (end of November), and I was able to wear this while we were there. Untitled I am still keeping up with the rheumatologist. Unfortunately the doctor we were seeing moved away. Her mom was very sick and needed the extra care, so of course we completely understood. We are now seeing the nurse practitioner at the same office. She seems pretty good. When we talked about what was going on with my pain levels she did a thorough check of my joints and muscles. She came to the realization that I also have fibromyalgia. One of the issues is that my muscles don't release. They just won't relax. I also have nearly constant nerve signals. So, I tense up a lot and get a ton of nerve pain. I am doing massage therapy every couple weeks, which does help a little bit. But, now that the rheumatologist has found all this, I am going to start on a new medication. I just have to wait for insurance approval. It's one of these medications that can be used to treat 10 different things, so the insurance company wants to make sure that I am taking it for something that they have approved it for. We'll see how that goes. Otherwise we'll have to see if they will approve a different medication. Hopefully I'll find out about that next week. They say 2-3 days, but that is never the case. And it's now been 5 business days since the paperwork was sent in. In order to deal with all this, I have been making some diet changes. There hasn't been much needed, but the rheumy would like to see us on more of a Mediterranean diet. All that has meant for us is adding an extra 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruit, at least, per day, an extra serving of fish a week and an extra serving of lentils per week. Otherwise, we've been doing pretty good with our diet. I have cut out the potatoes, which I'm not happy about. But, it's okay. I'll treat myself from time to time. We are also making sure to limit our pasta to one time per week. The next thing to tackle is the white flour. I have to do some looking to see how I can change that out and how much I need to. I'm already feeling a bit better, though. My body enjoys the extra fruit and vegetables, so it's not complaining at all. The one issue that I have is my sugar levels. I am crashing a lot. This is going to require some tweaking to get my system to stabilize. We'll call it a work in progress. 😀

Summer update

The last number of months have been filled with dealing with health issues, injuries, and knitting. Not the kind of summer I would have liked, but it's the kind I was given. We were able to start up our golf lessons again this summer. Unfortunately, the end of July into August has been too warm for us, and my breathing has been suffering. That has meant more time indoors for me. J has recovered well from his surgery. It was worse than the doc thought. He was able to save some cartilage, but only because he stopped digging. The meniscus tore quite a bit, and folded over on itself. That was all clipped away and repaired. He's feeling much better now. I've been on the biologics for about 5 months now. They are doing well, but I'm only at about 75%. The pain is significantly reduced, but not completely. I am also very very tired. When I go back in October, we'll talk about whether there is something secondary going on. Until then I will work at getting my strength back and getting everything stretched out. Here is a little bit about what we have been doing. We went to a Pentatonix concert. It was fantastic!! We really had a lot of fun. We even ran into friends that were also there. We were right up at the front of the pit area. 😀 Untitled I have been knitting (I see a theme here). The bottom blue socks were for a swap package a week ago. Thankfully the recipient loved them. The others were for me. Untitled Untitled thumb_IMG_0754_1024 Untitled Wildlife watching, while on the golf course: Untitled We had a deck garden this year. Three of these bad boys were going all summer. We have a fourth one now, and we'll be adding a raised bed on the ground around most of the back deck. Untitled Until our garden is big enough to supply us, we are getting a weekly vegetable delivery. Daisy is fond of the box that everything comes in. Untitled We did a lot of canning. Strawberries, tomatoes, peaches...all jarred and stored: Untitled Abby has been taking good care of me (notice how happy she is..she's drooling). hehe Untitled We have also finished painting the walls in the laundry room. We tore out the old shelf and bar system that was in there, and was taking up too much room. The new shelving is out of the way, and makes it much easier to get to the washer and dryer. It also holds more pantry items. The walls are a pretty lilac color. I still need to paint the trim and cabinets, but having the walls done meant getting the room put back together. And everything out of the dining room. 🙂 Untitled Hopefully I'll update more often going forward. Especially since the fall is approaching, and I have been actually able to do things. That has unfortunately meant less knitting time, but that's okay. At least I am able to knit and do other things.

Spring seems to be here!

In the next few days, I will begin taking some pictures of spring. 🙂 I want to get pictures of the buds as they are coming out on the trees. I do this nearly every year. It just makes me so happy to see the first signs of spring. Our snow is completely gone now, which is awesome. But, my family in friends up north are no where near being into spring yet. They were hammered with more snow today! The snow in many places is 6-8 feet high now. It's going to be months before they completely thaw, if the snow ever stops. I was actually able to finish a project yesterday, which was awesome. It's my Katie sweater. It's a red with a grey/oatmeal bottom. I absolutely love it! katie cropped 01b2a1f5e49d13c30cfc50fb8498b9d995f6a45614 01079acecc38d90a4bd7ffaa8eff84315ba5672048 It doesn't look that great over this tshirt, but it was done, so we took a quick picture. The ends are not woven in yet, either. They are now though! For the next three months, at least, we are starting on a full diet. We have been slowly getting stuff out of our diet and trying to get back to natural cooking, but it has been tough. It was also halted a bit when J hurt his knee. He tore the meniscus a few weeks ago, and is now waiting for surgery. That will be at the end of the month. So, the plan is to get meals prepared ahead of time and put into containers and into the freezer. We will also be doing this for J's dad, who really wants to get going on weight loss. This was also kicked into high gear because of my last rheumatology appointment. She wants me to try going gluten free. I'm not a fan of this, because my body really excels on carbs. But I do have foods in my diet that I have issues with, and have cut them out completely. That means nothing with high fructose corn syrup, no nuts, and no chicken or eggs unless it is organic. I have a terrible allergy to the antibiotics in the chicken feed. The same antibiotic is used in the sprays for fruits down here, so I have to go with organic fruits as well. I am already down 6 pounds and down an inch or two on the waist. Good bye bloating! I was starting to think all this pain was in my head, but the rheumatologist did another blood test last week. It's one that gives me a scale of how bad the disease activity is for the rheumatoid arthritis. She thought it would come back low, and that we would go to a neurologist to look for a secondary cause. The results came back yesterday, and I am in the moderate-severe category. That explains that! The doc was a bit surprised, since my other blood work showed that I was getting better. And maybe I have, and this is where I am now. That's a scary thought. I am doing one more month on my current medication to see if there is an improvement with the max dose. Then we'll talk about the next step, which is biologics. These really do worry me. It's like you are borrowing from your future for today. But, if I don't take them, I am doing the same thing, because in another 10 years or so, I won't be able to walk at all. It's almost lunch time, so I should get something good together for that, and then start the meal plans for the next couple weeks. With J's surgery coming up, I will need to premake things and get everything set up and ready. I can't guarantee that I'll be well enough to cook, so I need to prepare. 🙂

Starting Fresh

It has been a year since we moved, and just a few months since the passing of J's mom. It still feels like nothing has changed, but at the same time, that everything has changed. We are now working on getting settled in the house. Yes, we've been here almost a year, but up until now we have just been puttering and just living in the house. I have started making curtains and getting rid of the awful plastic blinds that were here when we moved in. It has kept eyes out, but it has felt sterile and lifeless. Curtains really do add a level of home to a house. It doesn't hurt that we have all new windows and doors going in tomorrow. Our shutters outside are blue, but our front door is red. That just didn't work. So, even without all the drafts, it needed to go. The new door will be blue, like our shutters. Hopefully the windows will make the temperature inside feel more steady and more comfortable. This is the start to both J and I doing a full revamp of our daily lives. It feels like the last year has been us just trying to survive. Our minds are scattered in so many directions. We're both exhausted beyond belief, and thanks to that our diet has gone out the window. That has made us feel even worse. So, yesterday was the start of the fixes. There were smoothies for us both, filled with fruits and yogurt. This was to help settle the stomachs as well as help with the arthritis symptoms that have been plaguing us both. The smoothies were pretty simple. I found an all natural juice at the grocery store. It was in the fridge section, had no preservatives and the only ingredients were fruits. One has blueberries and blackberries, and the other was raspberries and blackberries. Then I put in some organic vanilla yogurt, and a couple handfuls of dark cherries (frozen ones). They were cold and soothing. We also tried to focus on food when we went shopping. And I mean real food. Not boxed or whatever. We have been so tired, that takeout has been our fried...well sort of. Today is the start of keeping the take out away, as much as we can. That now raises the question of what is for dinner. And this is where I run into problems. I find I have been bored with food. I need to get some new recipes to try. I know we have many we haven't made yet, and the buffet cabinet is full of cookbooks. Time to start going through books to pick out some items to try this week. Cooking is really as much of a crafting item as knitting or sewing is. It's all about the creation and how things go together. Before we moved from Edmonton, I had started putting together a cookbook. I have a few recipes that are completely my own. Since I am allergic to red dye, I developed an orange cake recipe to be able to still make the Harvey Wallbanger cake that J and his family love so much. It is light and fluffy, and has a lot of orange flavor. It's just not the bright orange color that you see in the box mixes. On the craft front, I have been busy with charity knitting, which really needs to get to UPS and out the door. sigh I have made three hats that will go up to Nova Scotia to be put in as part of a charity event to raise money for my cousins friend. She was diagnosed with cancer, and they want to raise money for her family. This is a cute hat in cotton that will be a bit lighter on the head. It will be warm, but not overly bulky: Untitled I made two of these ones. They are a bulkier yarn, designed more for the middle of winter: Untitled I finished a couple shawls as well. One is going into the mail as well, but this one to a friend that lost her daughter. I can't show that one yet. But, this one is going to be mine: Untitled There is a third shawl in a gorgeous yarn from Woolfolk that is so soft and squishy that it should be illegal. It's amazing! I have to get that blocked still, so right now it just looks like a blue blob. It will have to wait until after the windows are finished, so I'm not in peoples way. This is a set I sent to a friend for her mom for Christmas. Her mom is dealing with cancer, and really needed something to help her keep warm: Untitled This is another hat that went to a friend in Nova Scotia. She was just starting chemo and was starting to deal with the effects of winter with no hair. Her daughter was struggling with things as well, so I made two hats that were identical for them.  And last, but not least, I made a pair of slippers for my cousin for Christmas. They were actually quite a pain in the butt. The top is made separately and then sewn on to the foot. This was not nearly as easy as I expected. My brain just wasn't capable of doing that at that point in time. After a few tries I was able to get them sewn together, and to have both slippers looking the same. Untitled That is everything from this neck of the woods. Hopefully I will have more regular items to put up here. I am hoping to start having some pattern designs to share with people. I have something in the works, but I just have to get to it. I have six more curtains to make, and then I can get back to the knitting.

The middle of August, already?!

I can't believe that it is the middle of August already. The summer went so fast! I'm kind of surprised it went so fast, considering everything that has been going on around here. It seemed like the type of summer that would just drag on and never end. I've lost count how many different rheumatoid arthritis meds I have been on over the past number of months. I think I'm up to about 7 or something. Last week I started a new one..actually two. sigh We went to the bigger guns, since the anti-inflammatories aren't doing enough. It brought my inflammation numbers down a bit, but still not into the normal range. Hopefully my next blood work will be better. I don't really want this new med to work though, because it's a doozy. It's a mild form of a chemo drug, and it scares the crap out of me. I only take the dosage once a week, which is good, but still...scary. I took my second dose last night. I'm actually not doing too bad today. Last week was a complete write off. I started to feel better just in time to take the next round of meds. Thankfully that meant I could get some things done yesterday. I was clear headed enough to make these: Untitled We bought medium sized t-shirts for our favorite teams. Then yesterday I sewed them up and stuffed them. They made for some very cute pillows. J ordered them, even though he wasn't quite sure of my vision. He loved them when he saw the finished product though. He thought I was going to cut out the logos and make small pillows, and instead was delighted to see big pillows that are snuggle worthy. They will be great on the new love seat/recliner that is coming on Tuesday. I can't wait for the love seat! It's two recliners joined together, with a table in the middle. The table has an arm rest with storage under it, and there are two cup holders. We put up a bunch of the wall hangings yesterday, and only have a couple things left to go up. I can't wait for the pictures of the finished room. It has to be finished this week, because we also need to pack up the kitchen. The renovation of the kitchen begins on the 25th! Then we have landscapers coming sometime around September 2 to work outside. We're getting all ready for the winter. Normally J and I would try to do a lot of this ourselves, but after this summer? Not a chance. J goes back to his doctor on the 2nd of September for test results. We discovered in the course of him going to the rheumatologist that he has Hemochromatosis. So, we have gone from an osteo arthritis to a blood disorder, and probably a genetic one. After the results come back, he will need an ultrasound of his liver to see if there is any damage. His iron levels need to be below 350 to be considered normal, and he was at 788. The treatment is simple, though. He just needs regular blood draws, based on how fast his body regenerates the iron. It could be once a year, or once a week. We won't know that for a while. But, that just means he is a great blood donor. Once the doc gives the word on what needs to be done, they will hopefully start the blood draws right away to keep from doing any more damage to his body. That was quite the shock to us though. I don't have any finished knitting projects at the moment, but I am finally feeling well enough to consider knitting again. I am test knitting a couple pairs of fingerless mittens for someone, and also working on the same sweater that I was working on last time. I am finished the back of the sweater and 1/4 of the front. I am looking forward to it being finished, and being able to wear it when the weather cools down.

Quick update

The last few weeks have really flown by. I have been under the care of a rheumatologist, which means new medications that were really causing stomach unrest to the point of my stomach nearly declaring a civil war on my intestines. It has gotten much better now, and a truce has been reached. Unfortunately, these meds aren't really doing much for the pain in my joints. It might be back to square one in a few weeks if my blood work still isn't where the doc wants it to be. We were able to watch some World Cup soccer the last few weeks, and since we were just sitting here watching it, I pulled out my spinning wheel. I was able to get quite a bit done, actually. Untitled The bobbin that on the wheel here is almost full now. I was trying to get it filled to ply this skein before Tour de Fleece started (it runs with Tour de France, where you spin as they bike). But, with the pain in my hands, that just isn't even remotely possible. Maybe next year. At least I was able to have some fun during the soccer games. I hope to pick it back up again soon. I have managed a bit of knitting. First up is my Ethereal tank top from Knitty. I love it. It's light and airy, and great for the hot days in these parts. The picture is side ways, but you get the idea. It has lace at the bottom and top, and also running up both sides. Untitled Next is a pair of socks that I finished for mom for Mother's day. This is my standby pattern Take Five Socks. I love this pattern. Untitled Next up is another pair of socks. These ones were a new pattern that I tried out. I absolutely loved it. The pattern was easy to follow and added just enough design to make them interesting. It's called Scylla. The yarn for these turned out to be amazing. It is called String Theory, and is the Dark Matter colourway. The people that make this yarn pride themselves on exact dying to get the perfect stripes in socks. Their effort was not in vain, because it is absolutely fantastic. I love these socks. I have two more skeins from them, and I am working on another pair of socks in the White Dwarf colourway, which is white, grey, and blue. It's gorgeous, and stripes just as beautifully. Untitled The last finished project is my Maple Leaf Shawl. It is gorgeous. The pattern is interesting as well, and has you stopping and starting a lot, which results in a bunch of ends to weave in. But, the effect is fantastic and it is well worth it. I finished this just in time for Canada Day, but just unblocked it today. Untitled Hopefully I'll be able to get some more knitting done over the next few weeks and be able to post some more finished items. 🙂