• Touring and cables

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    The past couple of days I’ve been working on some fine singles for the Tour de Fleece. I am using some Wound Up Fiber Arts Superwash Merino in Sweet and Low (I am eyeing the sparkle sock batts like crazy!!!!!). I love superwash merino. It’s my favorite thing to spin (well, maybe after SweetGeorgia Panda, that stuff is just straight up exquisite). SW Merino is so fluffy and springy and does not need a lot of drafting. Because of the treatments involved in making the fibres superwash, they take dye like crazy so the colours are more saturated than they would be on other fibres and I love me some colour!

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    Anyways. I was originally going to spin this as a 2 ply, because I really like bright coloured barber pole/marled fine yarns. To prepare the fibre, I split it in half and then am starting to spin each half from a different end so that the colours don’t line up. But now I am thinking maybe I should chain ply it. I also got a braid of FatCatKnits Superwash Merino in Moxie (pictured above) which HAS to be spun and plied all fine and barber pole style (just look at some of these). Do I need two yarns like this? Haha. Probably. They are my favorite. I am going to decide on the Sweet and Low later today….

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    Spinning aside. I am SO in love with this Rowan Sweater from one of the new fall books, Pioneer which overall is really great. OMG. All those cables. And a hood!!!! I love the ribbed sleeves too (but would probably complain about knitting them a bunch). I want to knit it for myself so bad. Yup me. I just want to live in that sweater. The hardest would be picking a colour/yarn. I think I’d knit it in a grey. Or maybe a really nice heathered deep green – there is a Cascade 220 Heathers green (forest heather I think) that is pretty amazing. Or I could do it in a light blue or rich red…. too much choice! There are too many gorgeous fall sweater patterns popping up everywhere right now, all I want to do is watch leaves fall and wear sweaters and drink coffee on cool crisp days. Too bad its plus a million times infinity humidity right now. And if you want to see more scruffy beard guys in cables, check out BT Men.

  • Oh messy life!

    This week has been kind of rough. I started physiotherapy and  had some doctor appointments and am realizing 2 things. First is that I am a lot sicker than I like to think I am. The second, which goes with that, is that it will be a much longer time than I think/I’d like before I can go back to doing the things I was doing before I had a hot dog on my spine. Yup. It’s a lesion, shaped like a hot dog sitting there all making my legs not work quite right. I’m more or less all numb/pins and needlesy from the waist down with some major muscle/mobility issues in my left leg.

    The second is really hard. I’ve never been a terribly physically active person other than doing some running the summer before, but in November I decided that had to change. I started exercising and worked hard to change my eating habits (side note, not a diet, but actually taking the time to work on understanding what I am and should be eating and why and making positive changes to reflect that). I did exercise videos in the winter (which are so boring!) joined a gym, started running more, using weight machines ect. I lost 60 pounds, and built up some crazy leg muscle. I made lots of positive change and had grown into some great habits. I was feeling really good about myself and was planning to run a 5k with some friends in a couple of weeks. Like I was finally treating my body well and this is how it repays me? Jerk!

    So to go more into what’s going on, some background and all that. I woke up a few weeks ago with a tingly leg, you know, pins and needles, that just would not go away. I even went to the gym and ran for 20 minutes thinking that just getting my circulation going would help with no luck. The next day I was walking funny so I went to a walk in who referred me for an MRI (which would not be until September anyways, yeesh!). The week went on and things got worse, but gradually enough that my other leg, which was still ok, could compensate for. So I didn’t really notice how bad it had gotten. I went on a work trip on the Friday & Saturday and when I got home, my other leg started feeling numb, so I figured maybe I should go get checked out while I could still move around somewhat independently. Right? I went to the hospital where I was admitted and got an emergency (16 hour wait with no food!) MRI. Which showed that I had a lesion on my spine and two on my brain. WHAT? Where does that even come from, right? The official diagnosis I was sent home with based on this and my medical history and all that junk was transverse myelitis secondary to multiple sclerosis. Bummer. Those are some big words of suck. I’m taking it better than I probably should be, but I figure I have a lot of time to live with this one, so it’s ok if I let it simmer in slowly. Today I googled something about MS I was curious about for the first time and decided it will be a while before I ever do that again.

    I had to use a walker in the hospital. It was crazy. And to go further than down the hall I had to be wheeled around. I could not even wiggle the toes or lift up one of my feet. Wearing shoes was impossible because the weight of them was too much. It’s insane. Going from being able to run 5k to that. Just insane. I can’t even explain it to you. When I can run again I will probably cry it will be so awesome. Or even bike. Or take the kids on long adventure walks. I miss those. Luckily the large amount of steroids they gave me to reduce the inflammation are working well and I can kind of walk now.  My recovery is much better than they predicted it would be which is great. I haven’t really had to use the walker they recommended I get. On the other hand, my normally poor sense of balance is challenged to the point that I can’t stand up straight with my eyes closed without something to hold on to.  I look pretty funny moving around. But I’ll get past this. I am tough and determined. And I’ve already gotten past so much. I can walk around somewhat kind of normally/comfortably. I can wiggle my toes and I can kind of use stairs. I can walk to the end of a hall without feeling exhausted and I can go to work and do worky type things.

    I know I should probably take it easier than I am, but it’s hard. Not doing things like going grocery shopping, taking the bus to work, getting things done around the house would just be too much for me. Getting to normal life as much as my body can handle has been really important for my mental well being. But at the same time, I need to allow myself to step back and rest too. I have this bad habit of putting on a game face, but really, I need to let go of that so I can let myself take the time to recover and so others around me can see that I need that time.  What I need is a week of sleep! I am not even kidding. Or at least let myself take naps now and then.

    And then, when I start getting better I need to work on getting stronger so that when I get sick again I can fight it. Seeing as my physio homework this week involves tapping my feet on steps, I think I have a ways before I am there.

  • Pepo Pie

     

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    I really wanted to knit the boys something really matching and stupid cute. I decided on vests, mostly because my older son, B LOVES dressing up in nice shirts and ties. Mostly because when he does all the ladies tell him how cute he is, and who doesn’t like that, right? I picked up some SweetGeorgia Worsted, which I hadn’t knit with before in Slate and Cherry. Slate for Little O because I love a good handpainted grey yarn more than any other and cherry for B because red is his favorite. It is such a nice yarn! It relaxes so nicely into place when blocking.

    I looked through a squillion patterns and finally settled on Pepo Pie, a super cute all in one piece button up vest. I decided to start with O’s which I knit pretty much as written I think. It was a nice easy knit. I worked on it in the car a lot. I loved that all there was to do at the end was three needle bind off the shoulders and sew down the ends. I managed to get it JUST BARELY out of one skein. Win! Then I used some of the Cherry to make a little crochet bow tie and some random scraps of yarn to add a fox head for the stupid cute factor. And some fun skull crest buttons I had leftover from something else. Now I have to make B’s. He wants a skull and crossbones on his. I have some time though, it is too crazy warm for vests right now.

     

  • Honey Fig

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    Honey Fig is one of my favorite SweetGeorgia colourways. Those rich plums and purples and hits of gold balance each other perfectly. I had a braid of it in a Panda fibre blend which is a super fluffy mix of superwash merino, bamboo rayon and nylon. If you wanted to spin up some amazing socks, this would be the fibre for it. Seriously, this stuff spins like a dream! It’s so light and airy that I barely needed to pre-draft it. It glided out of my hands. I am so glad I have 3 more braids of this fibre in other colours, I love it!!! I spun the braid from start to finish as it was and then chain plied the single to maintain the separate colours. My favorite thing about this colourway is the bits of gold, so I really wanted to maintain them. I ended up with an aran-ish weight yarn, which was my goal. I like when that happens. Spinning win!

  • Tour de Fleece days 1-3

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    So far so good! I’ve spun up two yarns, one a sport-dk weight crazy plied yarn and the other a thick and thin single. The plied yarn is two different Fleece Artist colourways, Tiger and Phoenix in a super squishy soft BFL. I am not usually a huge BFL fan, but this stuff is SQUISHY! The orange is a Sanguine Gryphon Bugga braid in The Great Pumpkin that I won as part of a Spin-a-Shawl spin/knit-a-long.

    IMG_2214Spinning has been super good for loosening the muscles in my legs. The more I move around the more tense and wound up they get until they are so tight I literally feel like I am going to start floating from all that elastic energy. So that’s good. I have my first Physio appointment tomorrow which I am curious/nervous/excited for. And I’ve been working on hexagons like crazy. I found tonnes of extra bits of Noro around to feed my blanket.