Sunday, October 27

Endings and Beginnings.

Once again, it has been months since I last posted.  So much for blogging more in 2013.   I have a number of half finished drafts saved but they all seem so pointless to post now.    I need to share something much more personal than I have in a long time.

My Dad died on August 31st.

I can't believe that sentence refers to me.  I can't believe any of it happened, really.   I'm still waiting to wake up from this awful nightmare.    It was totally unexpected and blindsided all of us. He had been fighting cancer for two years.  And winning! Or as much as he could have been since his (bladder) cancer was so aggressive and never would be considered cured.

He was doing well.  Or so we all thought.  As recent as a week before he died, his oncologist predicted he had years left - ten would be a good time span to plan for.  But cancer is a sneaky bastard and his was very aggressive.   It metastasized into a "spider web" that covered his lungs and couldn't be seen on any scans.   We never even worried about it being in his lungs.   We were worried about lymph nodes and bones and they were all fine.   He was 60.   So ridiculously young.    I am 33.  How am I supposed to live the rest of my life without him?

I am an only child and was so close to my Dad.  We were two halves of a whole, and always joked that no one else really understood us except the other.   My world is shattered.   Two months later, I am just feeling like I can go on and live in this new reality, even if I don't want to.   This is what life is now.

Something that we have in common in the ability to assign sentiment to everything and anything, and keep it all.   The idea of have to get rid of so many papers, envelopes, notes, pens, etc. that meant something to my Dad - but nothing really to us - is so hard.   So I have started to look at all of my "stuff" in a different light.   Do I really need So. Much. Stuff.   Not really.    That's where I am right now, sorting through years of  memorabilia and papers so others don't have to later.   It's keeping me busy, at least.

Here's to the rest of my life, whatever it may become.

Sunday, June 23

Two Months?

Wow, time sure got away from me.   It's amazing how fast "tomorrow" turns into two months from now.    Summer is finally (mostly) here and things are busy as usual.   I am taking a couple of classes "for fun" at the college where I work.   Actually, I am getting some education to back up my experience with graphic design.  - 'self-taught' doesn't get you very far on a resume!   I don't think it will even be anything  beyond a side job, but you never know.

My garden is doing well, except for some various pest issues.   I've never had any problems with plants been eaten by either bugs or animals until this year.  I think I may be rabbits.  My bean plants especially have been mowed down to nothing.  Looking for some non-toxic solutions.  I've heard red pepper flakes around the edge of the garden will keep them out.  Anyone have any experience with this?

I went to the Midwest Folk Art and Fiber Fair yesterday.   It's only a 15 minute drive from home - very convenient!   I will post a photo of the goodies I bought plus some more details tomorrow.  Or two months from now.  Whichever comes first.  :)

Garden, June 2013

Thursday, April 25

Finished in 2013, Part II: Toast

The second little stash busting project of the year was this pair of Toast arm warmers.    When I chose this project I had very specific requirements:  no complicated shaping or patterning to keep track of, no tiny needles, no dpns, and stashbust! yarn.   It provided three out of four; I used dpns but luckily they wasn’t as fiddly as I remembered them being.

toast armwarmers
It is very difficult to take a photo of your own forearm. Especially in poor lighting.  
See them here on Ravelry.

I know these arm warmers are sort of funny things.  Like, why not just go put on a long sleeve shirt?   Sometimes just my arms are a little chilly.  Or I’m lazy.  Whatever.   But these have the great ability to cover part of my hands while typing but not causing the weird palm sweating thing I get with fingerless gloves or wrist warmers with thumbs.   Love them!

This yarn (Berroco Uxbridge Tweed) had been in my stash even longer than the Barefoot, something like 10 or 11 years.  It is some of the first “real” yarn I ever purchased.    It had been discontinued and since I loved the texture, I bought up all I could find. Most was used to make hats for gifts years ago.   I saved two balls of blue and one purple one for myself to use once I found the right pattern.    I decided this would be perfect. Something I could wear and enjoy frequently but not be subjected to a lot of wear and tear.    They were easy and provided a quick sense of accomplishment.  A total win!

Wednesday, April 24

Finished in 2013, Part I: The Hitchhiker Scarf

It's only April and I am set to surpass the amount of projects finished in 2012.

I’m totally hooked again.

First,  the Hitchhiker scarf:
Hitchhiker Scarf

I  plan on taking a better photo if the sun ever comes out.
See the details here on Ravelry.

I used a skein of Mountain Colors Barefoot sock yarn that I have been hoarding for at least 8 years. 

Did I mention that 2013 is the year of stashbusting?  I have more than enough yarn to keep my busy.
Since I wanted to use up every bit of yarn possible, I am a little disappointed that my scarf doesn’t have 42 points – and therefore not technically a "hitchhiker scarf" .  Still, it is soft and warm and fun.  And finished. Yay!

Tuesday, April 16

Knits from 2012

This post is going to be very short, considering the title.   I started and finished a total of two whole knitting projects last year.  I also did a little (very little) spinning.

I did finish some sewing projects, and did a ton of work in Photoshop for Project Life. (I have gone from totally not getting the point of digital scrapbooking to being completely addicted.)   Most of my accomplishments are in digital format – but I have printed a few photo books.    I have done a lot of art journal type canvases in PSE; it’s very cathartic for me – without a huge mess to clean up at the end!  I may share some here eventually.

Anyway, back to the knitting.   I made myself a super easy, color changing scarf using Knit Picks Chroma:
Rainbow Scarf

Most recently I made my Dad a thin, soft, ribbed hat for his birthday in October.   I was worried about his temporarily bald head being chilly.  Luckily his new chemo doesn’t affect hair follicles and it is growing back.   He still likes the hat, though. :)   The yarn is Miss Babs Yummy Sock.

Dad's hat

The spinning was accomplished during the “Tour de Fleece” last summer.   I honestly don’t remember any details of these.  The last photo in the collage is the fiber I wanted to spin to reach my goal.  Ha!
TdF 2012

I have also been eyeing my wheel again lately.   It feels so good to feel better.   Like my synapses are firing again, and the fog is lifting.    I can’t wait for spring to finally arrive.

Saturday, April 13

2013 already?

I find it very difficult to believe that it is already the middle of April, 2013. Also that it has been over a year since I have written here.

 Lately I have felt the urge to write and share again, which has been not surprisingly in conjunction with my desire to do fiber arts again. So much has changed since I last shared - but a lot is the same, too. There were times over the last year that I wished I hadn't stopped posting, since a little support from online friends would have been wonderful. But it felt so strange to jump back in and try to explain myself that I never did.

 I will be doing some catch-up posts as the mood strikes, as well as sharing new knitting (yay!) and my usual summer garden/house projects. I am also planning on giving this blog a facelift. Thank you to anyone reading this, and I promise to be back soon!

  Some tidbits from the last 16 months:

 1) It feels like our house is never going to be done.
 2) Our pets are happy and healthy.
3) We are healthy and … sometimes happy.
 4) Cancer sucks.
 5) I have writing a knitting pattern.
6) I am expanding my veggie garden from the 3 - 4x4 beds I had last year.
7) I have seedlings growing in our laundry room.
8) The weather has been awful so far this spring.
 9) Work is work. Some good days, some terrible days.
 10) Being an adult is a rip-off. Now that I can eat all of the cookies I want, I know I shouldn’t.
 11) You can’t ever go back again. Appreciate it now.
 12) F*ck Cancer. My dad has already beaten the odds. This time now is a bonus we are so thankful for.