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Friday, April 24, 2015

Fridays Make Max Happy!

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Smiley kitty!

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spinning

I don’t know if anyone still remembers, but I own two spinning wheels.  I haven’t used them in ages because spinning wheels and baby animals are just not a good combination, and while I was waiting for Logan and Max to mature, I just got out of the habit.  Periodically, I’d think about spinning, but didn’t really do anything about it.

Then I had surgery and my body was using all my energy for healing.  As I started to get stronger, I realized that spinning might be a good thing for me because it takes minimal energy, both physical and mental.  Mickael brought my Kromski Symphony downstairs and set it up for me.  I sat down to spin and it was like I had never stopped.  I spun for an hour, and when I quit, my arms were shaking - ooops!  I had over done it, again.

I waited a couple of days and tried again, this time timing myself for 20 minutes.  I hadn’t worn myself out that time.  I started spinning everyday, just a little bit at a time at first, being careful not to overdo it.  I’m now strong enough to spin for an hour at a time, and yesterday, I completed a bobbin!
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This is 75% Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) and 25% Tussah silk from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the Rook-y color way (black with green, blue, and purple) from the Raven Clan.  I started with 8 ounces total and I’m spinning a three ply yarn.  The singles are 40 wraps per inch and I’m using the 10:1 ratio on the whorl.  According to my notes (thank heavens I keep a little notebook for each wheel), I started this bobbin on November 10, 2012.  I hadn’t spun much on it then, I’d really just gotten it started and hadn’t done much more.  Max would have been one and Logan would have been two, so they must have been having a really good nap when I started this, because at those ages, neither one was really good to spin around, although Logan never attacked the spinning wheel.  Max used to jump on it while I was spinning and try to take it down like a tired wildebeest who had fallen behind the herd.  This time around, Logan has been sleeping at my feet and Max has sat on my lap (which is treadling of course) and plopped right on top of my fiber and held it in his paws for me.  Thankfully, he doesn’t do this every time I spin, and when he does, he doesn’t mind when I reach under him and pull more fiber out.  He’s a strange little cat.

Anyway, I’ve got the first bobbin finished, and I got the second bobbin going yesterday afternoon, so I can keep right on spinning!  The spinning uses less mental energy than knitting does and it’s making me feel like I’m less of a lump right now.  Some days, by the time I finish homeschooling Caleb, I have no mental energy left.  Knitting on those mitts mostly happened over the weekends when I wasn’t using my brain for homeschooling.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Look! I Actually Got Something Done!

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I’m getting stronger!  My body still won’t let me do everything I want to do but I’m now more than halfway to the six week limit before I can run again.  I’m not napping during the week anymore and I can go upstairs several times a day without getting exhausted!

I have had energy to work on projects over the last couple of days and I was able to finish my modified Alice Caterpillar Mitts for Loopy Academy, Semester Two, the striped project.  These are modified because the original pattern is written for DK weight yarn in the mitt section and the mitts are knit flat.  I’d have never gotten to the required 175 yards with DK weight yarn, so I knit mine in fingering weight and knit them in the round.  I’m not sure which would be more fiddly, seaming them up at the end like the pattern calls for, or working the ruffle in the round like I did.

For the mitts I used The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in Smoke and Charcoal and the ruffle is knit in Shibuiknits Silk Cloud in Lumen.

I still have to knit the slipped stitch project for this semester, and then I can decide if I have time to do the extra credit.  The extra credit info came out right before I had my hospital adventure and I planned to do it, but hadn’t ordered yarn yet or picked a pattern.  I have until May 30 to finish the semester projects and extra credit if I do it.

I’m hoping to start blogging more regularly now.  I won’t be here every day yet, but I’m hoping to start with a few times a week and work up to my regular schedule.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Tiptoes in quietly, to see if anyone else is around...

I’m still here.  I’m not getting much else done other than healing and home schooling right now, but I’m here.  Caleb and Mickael are being amazingly helpful to me, all I have to do is ask.  I’m not allowed to lift anything 20 pounds or more for six weeks, so I really need their arms to do the heavy lifting!

I think about knitting, but when I actually have a chance to knit, I usually end up sitting like a potato. (Not an interesting potato either, like spicy, curly fries; no, I’m a boring potato right now - school lunch tater tots kind of boring.  Do they even do tater tots in school lunches anymore or is it just carrot sticks?)  I’m also napping every afternoon and I know that’s helping me to heal, but I feel like a four year old.

Logan is still sticking to me like glue, but he’s stopped waking up every 30 minutes or so to check that I’m still here (he did that when I first got home from the hospital).  Max continues to be drawn magnetically to my incision and tries to stand on it.  I think he knows he’s not really supposed to stand on me right now, but he thinks he can help me feel better by either standing on me or jumping back and forth from one side to the other, clearing my incision area but making me very, very nervous.  I suppose there’s a reason most cats don’t go into medicine.

I can see signs that the healing is happening, I’m just impatient with the pace it’s taking and with how much of my energy it’s using in the process.  On the other hand, I know logically that I need to let my body heal at its own pace or it will take longer.  I know that at some point I will feel like knitting again instead of falling asleep, I just need to be patient.

Monday, March 30, 2015

So, There’s Been A Few Changes Around Here!

We like to mix things up here at Pink Lemon Twist:  different types of projects, occasionally some crochet or some sewing, and sometimes Max or Logan takes the blog for a spin.

Last week, my body decided to add a little adventure to my life.  I’ve been dealing with some back pain (muscle spasms) for a while now and late last Monday night, it turned into difficulty breathing.  We decided to head to the ER and find out what was going on.  A couple of CT scans later, I was being admitted.  Tuesday morning began with an Endoscopy to remove gall stones, Wednesday I was given a rest day (as much as you can rest in the hospital), and Thursday morning I was in the OR getting my gall bladder removed.  They had planned to do it laparoscopically, but when they got in there, realized that for reasons I won’t get into, it wouldn’t work, so they had to do a traditional surgical removal.  I was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon.  It feels so good to be home!  I had a very waggy welcome home, followed by Max waking up to give me purrs and kitty love.

I’ve got a lot of healing to do and my goals are small.  (Yesterday’s was to watch The Walking Dead season finale at home, in my own bed.  Check!)  I haven’t felt like knitting yet, but I know that will come as I heal.  The blog is obviously going to go quiet for a bit, but I do plan to be back as I get myself back.  I’ve had too much fun over the last 10 years or so to quit now!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Loopy Academy, Project 2

For my second project, I’m working on the stripes assignment.  I had picked the Alice Caterpillar mitts, but then after buying the pattern, I realized that I would never get to the yardage requirement using the DK weight yarn it calls for.  I decided to kind of wing it on the pattern and make my own version in fingering weight, and I decided to knit them in the round as well.
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Here’s what I’ve got so far.  I’m using The Loopy Ewe Solids series in Smoke and Charcoal for the mitt portion, but the ruffle is going to get really fun!  I’m carrying the yarns up the inside of the mitt instead of having thousands of ends later.  I figured that my stripes were narrow enough to do that and it’s working out just fine.  I’ve just got a little more to go on my first mitt now!

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Felted Bowls, Finished!

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I got all of the lace finished for my felted bowls, and I even got it blocked.  I was able to just add or subtract lace repeats for the different size bowls, and I also made my lace taller, since my bowls were taller than those in the pattern.  One Loopy Academy Semester Two project done, two to go!

This was an easy pattern and honestly, my only complaint is that they came out a different size and shape (narrower and taller) than the pattern bowls.  This is more a function of different yarns felting differently than any fault with the pattern.   Since this was a Loopy Academy project, I needed to use Loopy Ewe yarn and they didn’t have any bulky yarn that would felt (or they didn’t have it in a color way I was interested in, I can’t remember) so I used worsted weight, double stranded.

Overall, I’m very happy with the project and Max seems to like shoving his head into the bowls.  Logan doesn’t seem to care one way or the other about them since they aren’t storing bacon.

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