Monday, December 31, 2007

Yarny Goodness

My knitting friend and I took a jaunt down to WEBS on Saturday. Their End of the Year sale is going on and we wanted to take advantage of it. It was a great day -- especially because for the first time in over a month, I actually felt good. (The wonders of antibiotics!) The place was humming - lots of shoppers, 5 cashiers, lots of help on the floor, and of course all the yarn you could wish for. I bought some Valley Yarns Northampton in fawn, some Berkshire in cream, some Ritratto, color 64, and a cone of 2/14 Alpaca silk in Pacific. Except for the Ritratto, all of the yarn I purchased was for specific projects. I lusted after the Franklin sock yarn, but resisted ---- I only have about 10 skeins of sock yarn in my stash, plus 3 or 4 skeins of hand-dyed lace weight. So I restrained myself.

I want to make "Cable Vision" from Family Circle Easy Plus Size Knits using the Northampton, but I'm having an impossible time deciphering the instructions. If anyone has made this sweater, I could use some help. My knitting friend and I think that there is a publishing error!

I'm using the Berkshire for the Seville Jacket from Oat Couture, and the Alpaca Silk for a Valley Yarns pattern called Vintage Vest. The vest pattern is also in 101 Designer One Skein Wonders book under Three Season Vest. I will probably make a simple trinity stitch stole from the Ritratto.

So, those projects are all currently in my queue ---- I swatched for the Cable Vision, but can't figure out the cable pattern yet, so I think I'll work on the Seville jacket as my next option. I need a break from lace at the moment. My blocking wires arrived today, so I'm borrowing my knitting friend's blocking board tonight, and tomorrow I'll block the Swan Lake stole!

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, knitterly 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Knitting and Health Updates

I finished it at last --- the Swan Lake Mystery Stole #3. It only took me 5 months! I loved knitting it even when I was cursing all the mistakes I made. I think I actually knit parts of it four and five times. I don't have pictures yet. I still have to block it. I ordered blocking wires from what I though was a reputable company that seems to be very popular with its new interchangeable needles. I got an email on Dec. 7 saying that the wires had been shipped. I still have not received them, and after several phone calls to some very snippy customer service people, decided to ask for my money back. I was told by one representative that the wires had indeed been shipped and I would definitely receive them by Dec. 2st. On Dec. 22nd I was told that they had no record of my order and even though I had a tracking number, they had no way to track the package. Both customer service people were snippy and rude. So I asked for a refund which caused no end of conniption fits but I finally got it. I have since found the same item on Ebay and hope to receive it shortly... So, I have also asked this company to remove my name from their mailing list. Once I get the wires, I will block my stole, and take pictures.

On to some new knitting projects -- I have a pair of Waving Lace socks going and I have ideas for 2 sweaters. I just need to get to WEBS to find the yarn! I also got 101 Designer One Skein Wonders as a Christmas present from #1 Son so I can do a stash raid if I get desperate!

On the health front --- I'm back on a third course of antibiotics. I'd gone to the doctor for my regular 6 month check up. Apparently, my pneumonia is not clearing up the way it should altho' I am improving. I honestly had no idea how debilitating and dangerous pneumonia can be --- as the doctor said, "Deb, you're a generally healty person - imagine if you were 20 years older!" I understand why so many older folks die from this. I'm hoping that by the time I have to go back to work on Wed, I will have finally gotten rid of the yucky cough~

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Different Kind of Christmas


This was definitely an odd Christmas this year. Being out of commission for the month before put a big crimp in my preparations. Our tree was finally purchased and put up on Dec. 22nd, but it never got decorated. Our adult sons put a string of lights on it on Christmas Eve, but that was it. All of my shopping was done via the internet, and I forgot some major things. I never got cards out, nor did my creche get unpacked, and I didn't get to one church service the entire month of December. Even my Christmas baking suffered and our traditional "Best Buttermilk Pound Cake" flopped as did our traditional "Mrs. Greenhill's Shortbread." These are two of the easiest recipes that I can make in my sleep, but both failed this year. Regardless, it was a lovely day, with both our sons home. We enjoyed a good meal, as well as each other's company. For the first time in my adult memory I didn't make it to church on Christmas Eve. Instead we watched "The Nativity Story" on satellite TV. A different kind of Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Enough is Enough!

I have been sick now since November 27th. I went home from work with fever and chills on Nov. 27, a Tuesday, and called in sick on Wed. On Thursday I called in sick again, and also called the dr since I suspected I had the flu. The doctor instead diagnosed pneumonia which a chest xray confirmed. I started in on antibiotics and by Sunday, was starting to feel better in that the fever and chills were gone, although sheer exhaustion remained. I was blessed with a snow day on Dec. 3rd which gave me another day of rest, and then on Tuesday I went back to work. It was a half-day for teacher workshops, and the principal excused me from the workshops. On Wed. I had to take a sick day because at the time of the xray, they saw something suspicious and wanted a CT scan on Dec. 5th. That afternoon I got call from the dr that my lungs were okay (tho' still pneumonia present) but now they saw something weird with my vena cava and on Friday I had to have a more detailed CT scan. Healthwise, I was still feeling lousy and exhausted. I had the 2nd scan on Friday, and they decided everything was fine. Friday night I started coughing. I hadn't been coughing up to this point. By Sunday morning my coughing had kept me up for 2 nights, so I called the dr who prescribed a heavy duty cough suppressant. Monday I went back to work. I have classes from 7:30-12:30 without a break, and then the kids go to their Unified Arts classes and I have prep time and meetings. My principal has been very supportive, and has allowed me to leave early if I need to. Monday was fine, except for the coughing. Tues. was a repeat of Monday. Wed. I called the dr again -- the coughing was getting worse, and I started running a low grade fever. When I went for my appt, I still had a low grade fever and the dr was treated to first hand observation of my coughing performance. He prescribed new cough medications, and gave me a new antibiotic script but asked me not to fill it til Sat, if I wasn't feeling better, or if my fever spiked over 100°. He said there was no reason I couldn't continue working, but to take it easy as much as possible. The new cough prescriptions seemed to help Wed.night, and I had a good night's sleep for the first time in almost a week. Thursday we got sent home from school early due to a fast moving snow storm. Thursday night I decided to start the antibiotics because I felt worse than ever, and although my fever hadn't spiked over 100°, it was 99.9°. I know that's not a terribly high fever, but my normal temp when I'm well is 97.4°. So I took the first pill at bedtime. When I woke up Friday, I felt human for the first time in several weeks. The coughing persists - and it's really yucky and exhausting. But it's Sat. morning, and although I have zero energy, and I'm still coughing, I feel better. And my temp is down to between 97.9-98.4°. I'm glad I trusted my body over my doctor's advice at this point.

But I am SICK of being SICK. It's 10 days before Christmas. I have done no shopping, no decorating, no cards, no baking. I don't have my tree purchased yet. I go to work, come home by 3, nap til 6, have dinner, and go to bed again. This is NUTS! I haven't been to church once in Advent yet, and due to tomorrow's huge predicted storm, probably won't make it tomorrow. I want to go to my team's holiday party tonight, but know the only that will happen is if I stay home and rest all day. We have 5 more days of school til our break and my sons will be home next weekend for the holidays. Do I sound slightly panicked? I'm taking that as a positive sign that I'm feeling well enough again to care!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ravelry Tea and Yarn Swap

A few days ago, in the midst of my bout with illness, this arrived in the mail for me.

tea goodies

What a terrific gift to receive! I've tried all of the teas and especially like Blend 103 from the Tea Emporium

And what yummy yarn! There's Koigu KPPPM in the purply-pink tones, and some Atacama hand dyed alpaca.

I've really been enjoying my Ravelry experiences. If you're still waiting for an invite, don't despair. If you're on it already, my id is dswgr6. The group that organized the swap - and another one is being organize right now,-- is Cup o' Tea.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Back to Lucidity

I have been sick. Majorly sick in a way I've never been sick before. Fever, chills, fever, chills, in rotation for almost 4 days straight. I thought I had the flu. I went to the doctor who promptly said, "It's not flu, it's pneumonia." So I've been sick with pneumonia for more than a week, but am finally coming back to what passes for normal. Except that I have the stamina of a wet noodle. I went to school today, and spent most of the day sitting. At my desk. This is not at all normal. I came home early and took a nap. Now it's almost 4 pm and I'm trying to do some catch up.

I did absolutely no knitting or reading --- the needles were too heavy, and the book took too much brain power. I mostly reclined on the couch, the bed, the loveseat, and back again the other way. I did lose 5 lbs! Not eating makes that happen.

Something that other teachers will surely understand: When the doctor told me last Tuesday that I couldn't go to work the rest of the week, I broke down in her office sobbing. "What's the matter?" asked the dr. "Sub plans!" I cried. "Why is that a problem? Just let the sub teach." "That's not how it works --- I have to leave step by step instructions for the sub --- 3days worth!" I don't think the doctor got it. So I did 3 days of sub plans in between shivers and shakes. Then on Monday, a blessing --- a snow day! I got one more day of recuperation. I went in on Tuesday because it was an early release day - and there were special activities for the kids, so I didn't have to plan anything. Wed. I was out again due to some tests the doctor wanted because the chest xray I'd had earlier showed some funky things. Then today, I went to school. But I'm out again tomorrow because while the tests I had yesterday ruled out the funky things they were worried about, they found another funky thing they need to check out immediately. No rest for the weary.

I did receive a wonderful swap package from my Ravelry tea swap partner. I will post pictures soon --- but I'm going to go drink a cup of orange rooibus right now, and take another nap.