Category Archives: Knitting and maybe some Crocheting, too
So very rare – a fellow fiber-lover is having a blog giveaway, and it’s free of all animal fibers! Love it so much, and am proud to call the blogger my on-line buddy. She, like me, is allergic to all of the animal fibers and adores cottons and silks. Check out the minion she knitted, it’s adorable. 🙂
Well, here I am again (finally), putting up another (possibly dull) blog post. Hehehe. It’s been a crazy-busy summer, with not a moment to myself to even think about blogging or knitting or anything but work. I’ve been ‘berserk with work’ all summer long, as a matter of fact. I love my job (most of the time, LOL!), but wow – really long hours, lots of work to do. For much of the summer, an often frustrating re-planning process has been going on at work. Such is the life of a project manager, though, so I really can’t complain (much).
In addition to all of that, it was a pretty rough summer for me, as I had a health scare going on. To make my long story a bit shorter, I went for a normal eye exam for new glasses on July 31. This included a dilated exam, since I’m well over the age of 40. During that exam, the optometrist (who is probably young enough to be my kid!!) saw an amelanotic nevus on my left eye. Basically, that’s a colorless mole on the eye. I didn’t even know that one could have a mole on the retina! He referred me to a retina specialist, because these things are nothing to fool with – they may be innocent and benign and may have been there your whole life, but they may also be a melanoma and trouble and a big problem. It took a month to get in to see the retina specialist, who did another dilated eye exam, looked at the nevus from every possible angle (ouch, my eye muscles!!) and declared it ‘possibly nothing’, but that we needed to have it further checked out to be sure, particularly since I am a smoker and have a family history that includes both retinal separation (maternal grandmother) and cancer (mother and maternal aunt). Yes, Mom’s side of the family was a really wonderful gene pool – brains, curly hair, ‘the fat gene’, and plenty of health problems. Oy vey. So, a week later, I found myself at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute being dilated again, and having several dozen photographs taken of both of my retinas (both of them) as a baseline, and an ultrasound on the left eye to get ‘more information’ about the lesion. All I can say about that experience is that, if you can possibly avoid it, please do. Even with numbing drops in my eye, having an ultrasound pen rolling on my eyeball was possibly the most unpleasant thing since childbirth! At any rate, the films have been viewed, and the lesion has been judged to be benign. Very cool. Dr. Retina Specialist still would like my internist to do some more tests, just to be sure, because these eye things can sometimes be a metastis from some other part of the body. Oh, joy!
In the world of knitting, I still have the Lily of the Valley Scarf from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush in the works. It’s very nearly done – I have four pattern rows and then the final few rows of preparation to graft the body and edge together. Woo-hoo! That poor scarf has been on the needles so long, I’m surprised that the yarn didn’t completely bond to them! I should, however, be able to wash and block it by next weekend, if not sooner, which is great. After that, I think I may start some holiday knitting for friends and colleagues. Maybe. I’m an awfully selfish knitter by nature, so maybe not! One option, though, it to make a couple more of my Sheepless in Spring Hill cowl, so that I can be sure I have the pattern down pat. If that were the case, then I could go ahead and ‘publish’ it, here and/or on Ravelry and then, like a zillion other folks around the world, I could call myself a ‘designer’ (not really talented enough to be one – not even by half – how about an unventor??) Oh, phooey – just realized that, once I finish the scarf, there’s a second sock just waiting for one more row of ribbing and a bind off, and the Emerald Isle Cardigan I started last fall that are both waiting for me to return to them. I really want that cardi for the winter this year, it’s really tailored and professional in appearance, so I guess I’d better frog the messed-up button-band front piece, start it over, and get the sleeves done! Ah, well, so much for holiday knitting, hehehe!
In other news, my younger son started high school (!) back in August. Yes, my baby is a freshman this year, and loving it. He’s off to a good start, as well, bringing in five A’s and a B at the first 4.5 week progress report. He’s even doing really well in his German I class, where the teacher’s weekly e-mail newsletter is constantly harping that the kids aren’t studying and aren’t doing as well as he had hoped. I’m tickled about the grades, since his transition from elementary to middle school was a bit rough. 🙂 On a less-happy note, I discovered today that the poor guy will be transferred to a different high school starting next year (re-zoning with the advent of a new high school in town). Downside – he loves his current school; upside – he’ll be a member of the very first graduating class at the new school, which is pretty darned special. 🙂
My older son is in, um, transition, awaiting his parents to get their _____________ together and ensure he has a vehicle so that he can go back to school and get a degree/certificate in something or other. At the moment, he pretty much has his heart set on a degree in Digital Animation from the Art Institute of Nashville, an investment of 3 years and $90,000…for a mere $20,000-ish more and another year of his life, the guy could have a degree from Harvard, but hey, it’s his life and his loans!
And so, I leave my 3 readers (hehehe) with a Fall-inspired song from a long, long time ago. Nat King Cole’s voice is like warm honey – smooth and sweet, and I love this song.
As I grow older and older (and older!), I find myself ever more nostalgic for the more innocent times of my youth. And yet, at the same time, I’m happy to be where I am, as I am. Odd, huh? Still, my craving for old music and old movies is huge lately. Heck, last night, I was watching Fraggle Rock on Netflix! (Can anyone familiar with the Fraggles even believe that the show is 25 years old now?) Anyway, the soft rock/pop music of the 1970’s is really appealing to me lately. I’ve always loved it, but in recent weeks, I’ll gladly take Carole King over Taylor Swift, America over Sugarland, etc.
Nothing new on the knitting front – Estonian lace in Sea Silk is still kickin’ my butt – I’ve frogged sections of this scarf more often than anything since my earliest projects…except “Hey, Teach!”, which has been on ‘time out’ forever and a day. 😛 Working hard at my new (temporary) project management job, and it’s causing serious brain-fry, which limits my usable knitting time. Plus, my commute is fairly long (1.25-2.25 hours each way, depending on traffic), which also eats into my knitting time. 😦 Not much else to talk about, so…
I’ll close with a taste of my taste in music lately, one appropriate to the season:
(Featured clip is from “Carousel”, Rodgers & Hammerstein, one of my favorite musicals!)
Here it is, June 1st, 2010. I can’t believe that it’s already June! I feel tremendously unsuccessful so far this year. Other than a few iterations of 198 Yds of Heaven (Ravelry link), I’ve not completed much this year. I have a second sock in progress, and it’s very nearly completed. I have a lovely lace piece on the needles, Lily of the Valley Scarf from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia book (another Ravelry link). That one is a joy to work, since I’m using some highly addictive Sea Silk from Handmaiden Fine Yarns. But it’s also not as portable as it could be, since it’s charted. Even with my Knit Picks chart keeper (Thanks, Mr. Marlajap for the great gift last December!), it’s a bit much to take to Knit Night! 😛 And, while I did find a job (finally!), it’s rather draining mentally, which is really eating into my knitting time, as is moderating some forums on Ravelry and, well, you know – being a member of a family, for heaven’s sake! I do have to spend a little time with my husband and/or sons once in a while, do the infrequent household task like laundry or dishes (Huh?! What’s that?!), and shop for groceries and such. ::sigh::
I did, however, want to put up a quick (very past-due) post to say, Yes, I did survive the Great Nashville Flood of 2010. We had 15″ of rain in one weekend at the beginning of May, and while it was a close call, there was really no flooding in my neighborhood, other than in some crawl spaces. The city of Nashville, cities north of Nashville, and many other areas, including Franklin, TN (only a few miles north of me, and where my husband works) were heavily, heavily flooded and there was billions of dollars of damage. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center alone will require $15M to repair; the Grand Ole Opry and the Opryland Hotel, and the Opry Mills shopping center were all deeply flooded and will require months of repair before they are back in business. Ugly, ugly. And, of course, as with Hurricane Katrina, the property insurance companies are refusing to cover much – either people weren’t in a flood plain and, therefore, didn’t have flood insurance, or they did and the insurer is denying the claim or pro rating it down to nothing, etc. FEMA is being pretty responsive, but getting the real money from FEMA takes time and patience. The home improvement stores and the clean-up/repair contractors are about the only ones who are benefiting from the whole nasty business. And the media almost completely ignored the entire event, far too absorbed with a terror attack that didn’t happen and the (admittedly horrible) oil spill in Louisiana. 😦 My water-logged crawl space? Well, I’m not on a flood plain, so I don’t have flood insurance, and even though there wasn’t actually any flooding in my neighborhood, the insurance company still calls it flooding (or so says my work colleague who has insurance from the same company and agent). It wasn’t flooding, because water did not overcome my foundation walls, it seeped up from the ground that couldn’t hold it anymore! Grrrr. Still, it could have been so much worse for me and my family, so I’m counting my blessings daily! 🙂 If you have the spare cash, please donate to any of the fine charities helping those who lost all or almost all in the Nashville Floods – you can find links to some of those organizations at this TV station web site. 🙂
The quote above is from Shakespeare, because I couldn’t think of a witty title tonight. It fits rather well, because there *is* some glory, but it’s rather uncertain. I know that it’s been Forever and Two Days since my last post, and that’s because I haven’t had much of anything to say – no new knitted FOs, no job on the horizon, and I was getting pretty darned down about it. But lo and behold! I sit before my computer now, an Employed Person who is also knuckle-deep in a new project. 🙂
Last week, I started a contract position as a project manager, working with the systems testing team on an (outsourced) application development project for my State. It’s very interesting, since I’ve never done anything in apps development before, always sticking in my little contact center world when it came to projects. All new people to get to know, lots to learn, and a crazy-messed-up-behind-schedule project to manage. That’s the Glory part, and I should be in heaven, right? Especially since I’m getting paid pretty well, as hourly rates go, to do this. Right?
Well, not exactly. This is where the Uncertain part comes into play. The job is only for six months right now, but it could be extended longer (the project has an additional 18 months or so to run after my piece is done), or it could possibly work into a regular employment position. Maybe. But that “maybe” part makes me nervous, of course. And the company that is contracting for my services was recently acquired by a large global firm, which also makes me nervous, coming on the heels of my bad experience with being a victim of a merger-related workforce reduction. 😛 And finally, the commute is awful for me, because I’m a spoiled-rotten brat who got awfully used to working either from home or 10 minutes away. Now it’s an hour-plus each way, and I’m exhausted. I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually, but man, this working-for-a-living thing is really eating into my Ravelry and Facebook time! (not to mention my knitting time!) LOL
The new knitting project? Well, that’s going swimmingly now that I have my brain screwed on straight about it (I did do quite a bit of frogging in the first couple of repeats). It’s Lily of the Valley Scarf (Ravelry Link) from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia, a beautiful book that is simply chock-full of gorgeous lacy-goodness to knit. Oh, the joy of the nupp! There’s nothing quite like trying to P5 slippery little devils together to make you feel like an Accomplished Knitter. 😉 I’m making mine in a single luscious hank of Handmaiden Fine Yarn Sea Silk, a gift from a Ravelry friend. I adore this yarn. It’s pretty much the Holy Grail of Sheepless Knitting, as far as I’m concerned, and I want more of this yummy stuff. NOW! Sadly, none of my LYS carry any Handmaiden yarns. But I will get some, I know that I will! Possibly as soon as I get a real paycheck! 😀
That’s it for now. I will try hard to post more often, but not makin’ any promises – right now, at 7:54 PM on a beautiful Tuesday evening, I’d like nothing more than to just fall into bed and sleep for several days. 😛
This is very cool. Check it out. Try your own blog on for size and see how different *your* music is from mine. 🙂
Edited to add: And the really cool thing is that the music will change every time you add a new post! 🙂