Thursday, August 07, 2014

Wow -- 400!!!

Just as I zipped on over here, I see by the stats that I've got 400 posts on this blog already. 

Wow. For the folks that follow me, please feel free to share away -- most of us who write are kind of inherently a bit "full of ourselves" and we like it when other people read our stuff. It's a creative thing, I suppose. 

Keeping a Secret...

Well, I shouldn't have been keeping this a secret. Here's one of the coolest Etsy stores. I was introduced to these bags through a Facebook group, Addicted to Sock Knitting. I'm in the category of "mildly addicted," I think. There are folks in this group who can knit a pair of socks in a couple of days. 


Drawstring bag
Anyway... meet Chicken Soup Designs. Carrie makes some seriously adorable and useful bags. I'm telling you: if you have an interest, she's got a fabric she can whip into a bag for you. Here's just ONE of the bags I have - the puppy print. I have the rose bag (which I won in one of Carrie's frequent drawings), and I have a set of the tea-print - but those are in stash because they're destined for Christmas gifts. Oh, and I pre-ordered the Dr. Who bag set. And ordered the knitting sheep.

I'm telling you: knitting sheep AND Dr. Who??? Who can resist? Not me, obviously. I love the drawstring bags for portable projects. They've got a square bottom so they sit nicely, and they're nicely lined. The drawstring is nice and sturdy, too. She also has matching stitch-marker keepers, too. They beat my current system of grabbing a big zipper bag! 

Anyway, go check her out. You'll love what you see. I guarantee it. 


Heel detail
As long as we're on the topic. The week off for recuperation from surgery brought with it knitting, but I really didn't get to this sock till I was feeling more human. 

This is the heel detail. One of my instructors just came in to admire them, and she wants to learn how to make socks. I can teach her!! As long as she wants to learn with DPNs, that is. 

I think I'm going to adopt a strategy to deal with The Dreaded Teal Sock. I will knit a few rows on that (though I'm not carrying it to work today, because I just decided this) and then reward myself with something I really do want to work on. I'm so sad that the Teal Socks have become jinxed. If I wasn't so sick of the yarn, I'd frog the first one and start over on both of them, but I just don't have the energy to do that. I just want to plod on through and get the second one done. Done. And DONE.

New stash
And you see my most recent stash acquisition... Yep. That certainly IS Trekking XXL in the upper left corner there. I've learned, though. I have to use smaller needles (probably size 1; Teal is on 2.5, I think). And this is actually a very pretty color, so I might do something not-so-plain, but definitely NOT the Nice Ribbed Sock pattern. No offense to the pattern, but like I said: Teal has encompassed me in such dread. 

I think the only thing worse will be if they don't fit me. Because of my own idiocy, the heels don't match (note to self: NOTES TO SELF are helpful!!), and so I can't even give them away. 

That Fluro in the upper right, Ocean, I think, will be in the Hermione sock pattern. It's a free download on Ravelry, so if you are a knitter and NOT a Ravelry member (and how could THAT be???), get on over there and join up. 

Now that I see how the Fluro works, I think I can be a bit more adventurous with the patterns on the leg. So maybe that lime-and-yellow in the middle will be a swirl rib with a plain foot. Even knitting this at 72 stitches (which my knitting friends gasp at) -- I've got plenty of yarn so I could make the swirl ribbed leg a bit longer than I did with the Madeline Tosh Robin's Nest. 

So many projects... But I have a job. 

If anyone's interested in Harry Potter projects, here's a link. I'll definitely be doing the Deathly Hallows hat. I loved it when I saw the movie. And I need another hat. 

Recovery, and Lunch...

Like I think I mentioned, I've been diagnosed as anemic. Joy. So I have to eat more protein, and the doc just called. I have to have labs way earlier. 

Here's the low-down. I was diagnosed by the cardiologist; called my primary care guy. My physical was initially set for the end of Sept. and then 2 things happened at once. I had to change the appointment and the nurse wanted to talk to me about the anemia thingie. 

The "earliest available" appointment is 10/6/14.... He said that he wanted to see me "earliest" and I told her that October was apparently what it was going to be.

Well... not so much. I have to go get the labs on Monday, pick up a test kit for fecal occult (yeah, poo test) and then I'll get a call back to see if "earliest" is actually earlier than October. 

I was wondering why my sister was freaking out about it. I suppose I should Google "anemia" to see what's going on, but actually, aside from being tired from the surgery, I'm not showing any other symptoms. And it's normal to be tired from the surgery. 

Eating more protein is turning out to be a chore. I don't like meat much. I have no philosophical differences with eating meat. I do try to buy locally farmed stuff as much as I can, and I don't like the factory farms; and ethically I am not jazzed about the cruelty that goes into "Big Farm." But I just don't like meat a lot. It's heavy. Makes me feel sluggish. 

But this is apparently more serious than I think, since yesterday she was saying, "I don't think he'll want to transfuse you unless you drop below 8."  What? 


Ummmmmmmm. Guess I'll eat more spinach, beans and yeah - beef. 

Speaking of which, this was lunch. Spinach, baby kale and arugula blend, mushrooms, a quarter of a chicken breast, cucumber from the garden and the avocado dressing I made the other day. Oh, and raw pumpkin seeds.

And I couldn't finish it. I ate most of it. Ate the mushrooms, cukes and chicken. But I am just full. 

The nursing instructor here today suggested that I eat garbanzo beans. I love garbanzo beans. I can do that. Will keep you posted on that. Anyone out there with experience in anemia, holler. I probably would make myself frantic if I did a Google search. 

The Garden...

Pickling continues. We've got 2 batches of Sweet Pickle Chips under our belts. There will be more this weekend. I'm thinking that since Bread & Butter need to be sliced, we could perhaps beef up that stock. 

Our friend Bill just had a knee replacement. I think a Pickle Basket is a good get-well gift!

Pickles make everything better. 

At least that's my story.

I've also picked up a magazine from Better Homes & Gardens with lots of interesting chutney recipes, jams, spreads, etc. 

This preserving of stuff gets addictive. I haven't made jam in a few years, and I'd also like to do more tomato sauce, though I didn't plant the right tomatoes for sauce. 

But I could get some flats of berries and make a mixed-berry preserve. Or a pickled garlic, or a nice onion jam. 

The mind reels. 

Random Picture...

This is slightly doctored. Just cropped, actually. Quinn was napping and I love the way the sun shines through the blinds and makes her striped. 

She was worn out. She and Raisa are mostly at a truce now, and while Raisa plays with Hubby, Quinn will come play with me. They also do play together, but we're still watchful because Raisa is an idiot and doesn't always see when Quinn's had enough. 

She seems to know when Tippi has had enough. And there have been some pretty fearsome-looking "tooth fencing" battles. I can tell when it's just play because both Elkhounds are "snorters." They snort rather loudly as they play.

It's when the snorts turn to a growl that you have to be in a hurry to call a halt to the madness. 

Otherwise, it's a ball of whirling fur and teeth. 

Never a good sign. 

We go back to finish obedience this week. I think Raisa will actually have to repeat Advanced Obedience. She's not anywhere near ready for her CGC. She's still not quite a year yet, and anyone who knows anything about huskies knows that a young husky is just not going to do much but be a gigantic ball of whirling dervish. No way will she do the long stays or even a passable "heel" or "come front." 

No use stressing about it. I think we may have pushed her farther and faster than she was ready for. I know we were used to River-the-Robo-Dog, but I think we're realistic enough to know that Raisa isn't there yet. 

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