I’ve resolved to stop apologizing for my blogging patterns of late. So what if I only post once a week? Most of you probably have me on your feed-readers, right? If you’re not using a feed-reader yet, I highly recommend Google’s. Stick with me, I’ve got another marathon post heading your way.
First, let me follow up on last week’s post – thanks to all of you who suggested meal ideas for me. The top candidate so far is the Chicken Tetrazzini recommended by Jeloca, which also reminds me of tuna-noodle casserole, which I’ll have to put on the menu for a few weeks out. In the mean time, Sophie requested roasted chicken for dinner when we were at the co-op yesterday.
We were standing in front of the meat counter, ordering chorizo sausages for another recipe I love that Joe’s been begging for. She saw the row of whole organic free-range chickens sitting there and said “I want a bone for dinner” (they call chicken drumsticks bones.) I added a chicken to our order, and roasted it up tonight. I couldn’t make it last night, because Joe usually eats lunch late on Mondays and isn’t hungry for dinner, and since roast chicken is also one of his favorite meals, I saved it for tonight. But all that boils down to – now I have some chicken leftovers, and we’ll have tetrazzini some time this week.
I know we all deal with picky-eater issues, but our household has its share of them. Joe doesn’t like seafood, except he will eat fried fish and chips, and sometimes tuna salad and tuna casserole. He’s allergic to tree nuts and most fruits, and doesn’t particularly care for most vegetables, although he will eat them at dinner without complaint in order to set a good example for the girls. Sophie is a carb fiend, and is likely as not to turn up her nose at anything else set in front of her, but she’s also at an age when she doesn’t need to eat all that much, so a few bites of whatever really is enough, and I do my very best to keep that in mind. Julie – well, she’s a good eater, and has been eating a lot lately due to a massive growth spurt. But she loathes tomatoes and tomato sauces, and is prone to general not-gonna-eat-it fits as are most five-year-olds.
Me – well, I love food. There are a few things that I really avoid – grapefruit, eggnog, and sundried tomatoes top my list. Also, I have a general aversion to canned soups as casserole ingredients, which means that I usually substitute a from-scratch sauce when they are called for. Whew! It’s amazing that I manage to feed the lot of us.
Moving on, I have to post another picture of my Ingenue sweater. I’ve been wearing the heck out of it since I finished it, since spring hasn’t fully arrived here in Minnesota. We had one really nice week, then back to snow and ice earlier this week, and now a slow warming trend is expected for the weekend. We might even get up to a high of 60 F for Easter.
This sweater is so easy to wear, and so incredibly comfortable. I love the softness next to my skin! As with so many soft, cuddly yarns, it’s starting to pill already. I’m okay with that. Pills don’t bother me too much. Surprisingly for how light and airy this yarn feels, it’s also really warm. I’ve been dreaming a bit about what I might do with the remaining yarn. If my girls are luckyluckylucky, I might knit them sweaters for the fall.
Oh, and one more follow-up from last week. I’m afraid that some of you might be mislead by the picture I showed of my spinning stash. Someone even used the word reasonable in responding to the amount of wool pictured there. So, um, I’m going to flash a glimpse of the extent of my yarn stash overall. There are three large bins hiding in my clothes closet upstairs – two of them are full of my Pomfret hoard, and the other is only about half full at the moment because I destashed the other half at camp last fall. They’re labeled with numbers, and the yarn in them is recorded in my Ravelry stash.
Here’s a good chunk of my sock yarns – hanging on my office room wall are all the ones put up as twist-skeins. It seems to me that I’ve put a small dent in this portion of the stash over the last year as well. I really have been trying to be more conscious of my yarn-buying urges.
This is the rest of my wool/nylon sock yarn stash. It’s been shrinking gradually as well. In the front there is a small cake of glittery purple handspun that I bought from Aisha a couple of years ago, and I’m still trying to suss out the perfect project for it. See the sheep figurine? My grandma Marlys made that, modelled after a sheep she saw in a field and couldn’t forget.
Okay, and then there’s my yarn closet. I call it my yarn closet, but really it houses most of my knitting stuff, knitted artifacts and samples for my classes, and a bunch of other crafty stuff, and a portion of the top shelf is dedicated to stuff I’m hiding from the kids – at the moment, it’s the planned contents of their easter baskets.
So in the picture above, top to bottom on the left side – a bin containing the remainder of the Ingenue-sweater yarn; a bin of yarn I use for demonstrating things in classes; two bins of knitted objects – some class samples, some of the girls’ baby items, a few used-up socks and glittens, etc; a bin of leftover worsted-weights mostly Cascade 220 and Malabrigo; a bin of yarn left over from my purple diamond sweater (yes, I vastly over-purchased for that sucker); a bin of towels and other stuff I use for blocking, plus some other miscellaneous yarn-related tools; and another bin of knitting-related tools and crappe.
Still with me? On the right side – a skein of mostly-white sock yarn that I use as scrap in place of stitch holders and for blocking, a few skeins of Malabrigo lace weight which haven’t been put away yet, my renewed collection of sock yarn scraps, a bin of enough Lavold Silky Wool to make a sweater, a bin of food color dyes and another one of blank yarn (anyone interested in taking these off my hands? e-mail me!) a bin of solid-color sock yarn, a bin full of enough Kauni to make two sweaters, bins full of Koigu bits and cotton/wool/nylon sock yarn bits. No, you may not have any of my sock yarn scraps. I’ve given away all that I plan to, and there are plans in place for the rest.
On the other side of the closet, a bunch of scrapbooking crappe, paper supplies for printing patterns, the green box is nail polishing stuff, the pink-lidded box is beads and cotton thread for making those beaded-edged socks that little girls love, and the rest is pretty well labelled.
Now my conscience is more or less clean. There are a few bits and bobs laying around elsewhere in my office, but that’s the brunt of it.
Whew! We’re not done yet. I’ve been spinning away at that seacell/merino roving, and I’m about halfway done with the last 8-ounce package. I’ve been kind of alternating how I split up the lengths of roving, sometimes spinning the entire thickness, other times splitting it thin. I want to randomize the color-lengths so that when I ply it – well, it’ll be more random. I took this picture of the bobbin on the wheel today – it’s a stretch of longer color chunks, and at a point where the bright colors are all showing up. Totally misleading about the overall colorway.
Here are the rest of the singles so far. Two of those bobbins have about 4 ounces each on them, and the big one is holding an entire 8-ounce package! This is one of the many things I love about my Rose. You can fit 8 ounces on a bobbin, and I could have gotten even more on there if I’d tried.
I’m really looking forward to plying this project up. Maybe by the weekend…
Oh, a quickie here – I took a picture of this book to remind myself to mention it. If you love socks and like texture and challenges, go buy it! There is so much eye candy here, and all of the patterns are cool. The first entire half of the book is information on the design process, and there are several patterns in here that I could actually see myself knitting. Angee, Rick, and kai-mei are my favorites.
On the knitting front here, I’ve been diligently plugging away at this blue handspun lace sweater thingie that I started a while back.
I started with the sleeves, doing both at the same time on one circular needle. This has got to be the worst part of the project, but at least I’m getting it over with first, and hopefully the body will go much – well, if not more quickly, then at least more smoothly. I hate the futziness of stopping so often to shift the needles around. The only option that I think might have been better is knitting them flat, which would have been easier knitting, perhaps enough to justify the seam, and blocking would have been easier then too. Ah, well.
At least this way, I can try the sleeves on as I go. The lace still doesn’t look all that pretty yet even stretched out – blocking will really help smooth out the decreases and pretty it up (I hope!)
I’m doing three repeats of the leafy/flower motif around, then filling in with reverse stockinette as the underarm expands.
At least since It’s spring, there’s no real rush to finish this project – but I do think I will do my best to focus on it here at home to just get it over with. I know I’ll feel differently about this once I get the sleeves knit to the armpits and can move on to the body. I’m hanging on to that thought.
And finally, a stupid story about a stupid mystery rash that’s been driving me crazy all week. Feel free to skip this part without fear of missing any good stuff at the end of the post. I mentioned last week that I woke up on Thursday with a crazy-itchy face. Well, it only got worse over the next few days, and by Sunday, I woke up with one eye swollen almost shut, a blotchy red rash all over the bottom half of my face, and even some rash on my hands. I look like a freakin’ monster. I don’t know which is worse – seeing my face in the mirror, or living inside it, constantly feeling the burning itching and doing my very best to keep myself from scratching.
Here’s what my hand looked like this afternoon – it’s not exactly the same as my face, but you can get an idea of how bad it is. No way I’m putting a current picture of myself up on the Internet for the world to see!
Well, something similar happened about three years ago, and I’d gone to a local Urgent Care at the time to have it checked out. The main doctor there happens to be a rheumatologist who used to work at the Mayo Clinic, and retired to open his own clinic. So when I went in there three years ago, he freaked me out a bit by telling me that rashes on the face with no other explanation (like changes in diet or laundry or skin products) can be symptoms of auto-immune disorders. He ordered a bunch of bloodwork, all of which came back clean, and we shrugged our shoulders and waited for it to clear up.
This time, I went back to the same clinic, partly because by Sunday I couldn’t wait any longer and partly because I knew they’d have records of the previous rash. Again, they couldn’t come up with any clear explanation for it – I haven’t changed any of my products or habits, haven’t really eaten anything unusual, haven’t been outside, etc. The one theory that the doc came up with which I kind of like is that the rashes happened at pretty much the same time of year, when the light wavelengths from the sun are the same, and that it could be a photo-allergic reaction. Apparently there have been other documented cases. I like this theory because it is less scary than the other options being presented.
Since the lab was closed on Sunday, the nurse practitioner that I saw told me to come back on Monday for another blood draw. No problem, I thought. I’ll sneak out while both girls are at pre-school, and it’ll be okay even though I’ll have to skip my parenting meeting. It’s just a quick blood draw. But I had to drive out a little ways, then I was kept waiting for a few minutes, and then in comes the head doctor guy and starts asking me lots of questions – the kind of questions that a rheumatologist uses to diagnose things like lupus or arthritis or other connective tissue diseases.
And the funny thing was, I was answering yes to some of them – things that I had just been taking for granted like waking up with numb hands (’cause I knit and spin too much and have a past history of repetitive stress injury) and aching joints (yes, I wake up every morning and use an act of extreme will power to get out of bed and move around enough to get my back and hips to stop screaming) and a couple of other things like that, which I had mostly filed under the suck-it-up-you’re-out-of-shape-and-getting-old category. But it’s funny, because the conversation made me realize that most of these things started pretty much right after Sophie was born.
And I was trying not to freak out, trying to keep an eye on the clock because I had to get back to the school for Sophie – I hate the idea of not being there the moment the classroom door opens and the mommies come in to pick up the kids. I want her to *know* that I will always be there for her. And the doc tells me to put on a gown so they can do a chest x-ray?! and I said okay, and I still don’t know what they were looking for there, but I guess I’ll find out on Thursday when I go back to get the bloodwork results.
So, as awful as having the crazy-itchy-monster face is, I’d much rather have it unexplained and show up again every few years than the obvious alternatives. In the mean time, I’m taking Claritin during the day, Benadryl at night, Zantac, which also blocks histamines, putting on Hydrocortisone cream and drinking lots of water. I still itch to hell and back, but I think maybe it’s starting to clear up a bit. Oh, and I’m not doing any Google searches. Nope. Not me. Please, feel free to send healthy vibes my way, but also? Pretty please, don’t share any horror stories. I’ll let you know something when I know something. Whatever it is, worrying about it now isn’t going to help any.