Monday, April 30, 2012

Twins & a Doctor

Just a quick update...  The twin set of baby blankets is finally finished.  No photos yet but as soon as they've been blocked I'll take some.  I'm quite happy with the way both blankets turned out and hope the customer will be as well.

Meanwhile, I've returned to the mitered square item.  I'm still calling it an item because I can't decide if it's going to turn out to be the intended afghan, a lap robe, or a table runner.  I'd really like it to be an afghan, but an afghan knit in fingering weight yarn on size 2 needles really will take a lifetime.  It will most likely end up being a lap robe because I think it's past table runner size.  Maybe a small table cloth or table topper.  We'll see how the patience level holds out.  So far, it hasn't gotten the least bit boring because I change colors so often.  If it wasn't for patterns I keep seeing on other blogs that I want to knit, I think I could probably be happy working on this one item for the rest of my life.

One such pattern that's recently caught my attention is a Dr. Who shawlette.  Actually, it's called the Bigger on the Inside Tardis shawl.   Sadly, I have to admit, I'm not a big Dr. Who fan.  I've only watched one episode & I was so confused I couldn't get into it at all.  One of these days I may try again.  But my daughter, my daughter is a HUGE fan.  And she's been asking me to knit her a shawl.  I am SO excited to have found this Tardis pattern.  Sarah will absolutely love the pattern & knitting it for her may even make me likeable to her teenaged brain.  I just hope I can contain my excitement and keep the knitting a secret.  Luckily, a knitting blog is the very last thing she would ever read so I don't have to worry about her finding out here.  It will be interesting to see if she notices that I'm knitting something in Tardis blue.  Meanwhile, I await delivery of the yarn.

For now, I'm off to bowling.  Counting today, only three more weeks of homeschool league bowling left.  Zack's Saturday morning youth league ended last week.  Which means I now have Saturday mornings free!!   Of course, summer leagues start up the day the homeschool league ends.  But that's okay.  The summer leagues Zack will be bowling in are all at night so I won't have to get up early.  Not getting up early is always a good thing.

Oooh!  The mail is here.  I wonder if the Tardis blue yarn magically arrived in one business day instead of the expected five to fourteen.  I better go check.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wishy Washy

It's been a pretty exciting weekend in the Wiant household.  First, the USBC youth bowling league season ended which means I now have my Saturday mornings free for a while.  Pretty dang exciting if I do say so myself!  Also exciting was that Zack won several awards for various bowling achievements and very nice plaque for having an over 700 series.  He's happy, I'm happy.  It's a good day in the Wiant house.

But most exciting, was the purchase of a new washing machine.  I'm not sure what it says about the patheticness of my life that I'm this excited over a new washing machine, but....  I am VERY excited.  While I enjoyed meeting new & exciting people such as rodeo cowboys, folks from the World Wide Wrestling Federation, or the interesting girl with the tattoo of a snake that came up out of her butt crack (yep, quite visible!) and presumably wrapped around her body because it slithered out of the top of her shirt, around her neck & down one arm, I am HUGELY excited to end my time spent at the laundry matt.   Hubby has spent the last six weeks ordering parts & replacing them on the old washing machine.  The old machine, which after only three short years decided to go bonkers & cop an attitude.  Rather than starting like it was supposed to when you pushed the "start" button, the status screen would either read "Err," "LOC," or I swear, occasionally "LOL."   I swear it said LOL!  Anyway, Hubby apparently hit his frustration limit yesterday afternoon.   Maybe the machine finally LOL'ed him too, I don't know.  All I know is that I was upstairs, he was downstairs replacing the most recently ordered part.  I heard some loud cursing, some banging, more cursing, a dull thud.  A moment later, hubby sweetly called up the stairs to me that we needed to go buy a new machine.  He'd gotten so mad at the old one, he'd shoved it out the back door & over the edge of the deck.  We now have a very nice metal container garden waiting to be filled.

In knitting news, the first of the twin baby blankets is finished & I'm about a third of the way done with the second.   Progress on the second one is a little slower than the first.  I guess the excitement of a new project is wearing off.  But it's coming along and I'm still on schedule, as long as I continue to knit 23 hours a day.  Thank goodness for Lost, Supernatural & Downton Abby DVD's.  They are getting me through the blankets quite nicely.

Well, I'm off to throw in another load of wash & knit a bit more.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


So, I'm used to the blue tailed skinks that crawl all over our house and occasionally visit with me when I sit out on the porch, but I draw the line at sharing my house with a baby alligator.

Ok, so it's not really an alligator, but it sure looked like one when it confronted me.

The twin baby blanket project continues.  I finally finished the body of the first blanket this morning & have started on the contrasting border.  I'm pretty excited because I'm still a day & a half ahead of schedule.  If I can continue to knit 23 out of every 24 hours, I may actually finish the pair when I said I would.

Meanwhile, Max continues to guard against intruding bumble bees.

And gators.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sinking Ships

To honor the anniversary of its sinking, I signed up on Twitter to receive “real time” tweets from the Titanic a week or two ago.  In all honesty, the tweets have been a bit of a pain in my butt.  There have been a LOT of them.  But while my phone’s constant buzzing over the last week has driven me slightly mad, I’ve learned quite a bit and enjoyed the sensation of being a part of the adventure.  
But tonight is a different matter.  As you may know, Titanic sunk in the early morning hours of April 15th.  Because of the time differences between our locations, that means that for me, it’s sinking just before midnight on Friday, April 14th.  I knew the tweets during the actual sinking would make me uncomfortable, but I wasn’t prepared for the depth of emotion I’m feeling.
All evening, I was getting tweets about how Titanic was receiving numerous messages from other ships regarding ice & icebergs in it’s path.  And how the various crew members basically ignored the warnings.  Thinking about the human ignorance involved and how many lives would have been saved if just one of those messages had been noticed upset me to the point that I actually got down right hostile towards my family.  (Good thing they are used to me blaming them for things way beyond their control.)
But now that the boat is actually sinking.... and the reports of half empty life boats being launched are coming through....  and knowing what’s to come....  I’m actually shedding a few tears.  
I’ve been on my share of sinking ships.  Actually, they were all boats.  Some were canoes.  Some small, one or two man sailboats, a few ski boats, several larger sail boats, but the largest of them all was probably only about 20 - 25 feet.  No big sinking ocean liners for me.  Just small, manageable boats.  But I have sunk my share.   I’ve also had to either swim or paddle a boat home because of broken masts,  broken rudders, lost or missing paddles and engines that refused to start.  Honestly, I’m not sure which is more embarrassing - the number of boats I’ve sunk, or the number of times I’ve had to swim a boat home because something went wrong & I was without a paddle.  The sinkings were all just bad luck.  The paddle problems were pure stupidity.  Well, except for a few cases when the boat rolled & the paddle was lost in the process.  But still, those paddles should have been tied down.
But the point of all that is that I’ve ended up in the water plenty of times but the water was always warm.  Well, mostly warm.  Warm enough not to have ice floating in it, that’s for sure!  The air temperature was also always warm.  Or at least warm enough.  Another point in my favor is that every single one of my mishaps took place in a river, the Gulf or a gigantic lake.  I take pride in the fact that I’ve remained dry every time I’ve ever ventured onto the ocean.  That’s not to say that the various mishaps weren’t exciting.  There were massive numbers of jelly fish involved in a few of the adventures and at least one of them involved the super nasty “blood sucking” kind.  There’s been electrical storms.  There was the sinking without life preservers & one of my fellow shipmates didn’t know how to swim.   Luckily, we were fully stocked with coolers.  Coolers float.  Of course, all those coolers may have had something to do with why we were dumb enough to go out without life preservers, but I digress.  There was the 4th of July when each time we shot off the flare gun, passing boats would return fire with fire crackers & bottle rockets.  And if you consider my wind surfing accident a “boating” accident, there have been extremely large fish & a broken back involved.  
But throughout all those accidents, I was in control.  Well, as much control as you can be in when you are sputtering and wondering what the Hell just happened to your boat & why on earth are the paddles & coolers are floating away from the upside down &/or swamped boat at such a high rate of speed.  With the exception of the wind surfer, each accident was resolved by (1) making sure everyone else was accounted for & conscious, (2) righting the boat if possible, & (3) either climbing back into the boat & paddling for home or grabbing a rope and swimming the boat back to shore.  And while I will admit to screaming like a little girl while swimming through massive amounts of jelly fish &/or while lightening struck all around me, I was never in a true panic situation.  The situation was always under control.  Even the wind surfing accident which resulted in a broken back was dealt with without panic, mainly because, although I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down, I still had the use of my arms and a bit of control over my situation.
But those folks on the Titanic....  The air is freezing.  The water is even colder.  They don’t fully understand or comprehend what is happening to them.  They have no true control over who makes it onto a lifeboat & who doesn’t.  There are so many people & fear breeds fear.  Panic sets in & it’s all over for them.
And while the panic grows, the water rises.  The bow sinks.  The stern follows.  Titanic is no more.
And I shed a few more tears & sing...
For Those In Peril On the Sea:
Eternal Father strong to save
Whose arm has bound the restless wave
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
It's own appointed limits keep
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in Peril on the sea
    Phil Coulter

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Blanket Progress

I'm making progress on the set of twin baby blankets.  Well, okay, I'm making progress on the first of the blankets.

I've got 10 pattern repeats completed which puts me slightly ahead of schedule.  Which I probably should never have mentioned.  Something disastrous is bound to happen to it now.  Not to mention, I said it on a Friday the 13th.

A few things I'll point out just to stretch this post out a bit....  Yes, that blue, green & purple pile of knitting there behind the baby blanket is the same pile that was there for the last photo session.  It's a scarf.  A scarf that's been awaiting having it's ends woven in for a few weeks now.  It will probably still be sitting there in a few more weeks.  Weaving in ends is not exactly my favorite thing to do.

See that yarn bowl?  I LOVE my yarn bowl.  My mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas this past year & I've blogged about it before, here.  I still love it and use it daily.  Sometimes it holds paper clips & Post-It's instead of yarn, but most days it's full of yarn.  I like it so much I'm thinking about buying another one.  A bigger one.  One that will hold a great big skein of yarn.  I wonder if anyone makes them in a hotdog shape so that it would hold a long skein - like Lambs Pride comes in.  Google, here I come.

And there's my coffee cup.  I LOVE that coffee cup even more than my yarn bowl.  It's huge.  It holds a little over two cups of coffee, the handle fits my hand perfectly and the cup itself is thick & substantial without being too thick to drink from comfortably.  I worry about my cup though - it's got a crack on one side from where some horrible, disrespectful family member put it in the microwave.  It doesn't leak though so I continue to use it and guard it with my life.

And of course, there's a bottle of wine and a box of crackers.  Doesn't everyone keep wine & crackers on their desk?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Operating Heavy Machinery

Please pardon my insanity today.  I started a new antibiotic for my rosacea last night and all I can say is, phew!  Last night, I took the first pill in the middle of drinking a pot of coffee (fully caffeinated of course) and within 5 minutes felt like I was stoned out of my mind.  I read the warning label & all it said was that I shouldn't operate heavy machinery until I knew how I'd react to the medication.   I couldn't imagine trying to operate heavy machinery - I wasn't even sure I knew my own name!  About 20 minutes after finishing the full pot of coffee and about 3 hours before my regular bedtime, I decided that I was not sleepy, but too stoned to function & I went to bed.  Fell asleep instantly & slept through the night.  In fact, I slept better than I have in years!

This morning, I took my pill and immediately felt like I'd had a shot or two of morphine.  Every sense is dulled & I'm not positive I can feel my fingers.  And then the manic thoughts kicked in.  Good Lord!  My brain is in manic overload with thoughts of what I should do, what I can do, what I'd like to do... whirring through my head while my body refuses to budge and doesn't even realize I have a brain.  I'm starting to worry that I may spontaneously combust due to the friction of the two.

So that's my condition today.  Please pardon me while I ramble madly and make thousands of typos with my non-working fingers and a brain that's struggling to read.

Yesterday's trip to the dermatologist was .... interesting, I guess you'd say.  The doctor has been hoping to get me off the antibiotics for quite awhile but the topical medications just don't work for me.  I wish my rosacea was just the red face people associate with rosacea, but it's not.  Nope, I'm special.  A few rosacea suffers get, on top of the redness, giant sized zit type things and their face swells and their eyelids swell closed and it's quite painful.  It stings/burns like a bee sting and you get the sensation of bugs crawling across your skin (always pleasant!) and your skin feels like there's ground glass imbedded in it when you touch it.  So, each time you try to swipe away one of those imaginary bugs....  Ouch!

So, I walked into the dermatologist's office yesterday after being off the antibiotics & on the topical for two weeks with my face exploding.  All I could think was that I was going to have the opportunity to show her a big, gigantic, "Told you so!"  But I didn't even have to say it.  She walked into the examining room, took one look at me & said, "Honey, you look awful.  Does that hurt?"  Then she proceeded to give me a prescription for a new antibiotic (they stopped making the old one I'd been taking,) a second prescription for another topical lotion and a coupon.  A coupon for $50 off the topical.  $50!  Fifty dollars off, not five.  Yeah, that was a fun trip to the pharmacy.


I started a mitered square blanket or table runner (depending on my patience level) last week.  I'm not sure what I was thinking but I'd decided it was time to use up some of the scrap & stashed sock yarn that was lurking all over the house.  So, sure.  A mitered blanket made out of fingering weight yarn on size US2 needles.  No problem!  I should be able to whip that out in a week, maybe two if I'm a slacker about working on it.  Right?  Sure.  No problem.  So far, after a week and a half of obsessively knitting without taking time out to even wash dishes, I have this:

It's looking much more like a table topper than a blanket.

I set the mitered square monstrosity aside yesterday to start on a new project.  Two baby blankets for twins. Twins that have already been born so the pressure is on to knit fast.  So far, all I've accomplished is

I'm blaming the lack of fabric on that new antibiotic.  Sure hope my body adjusts quickly & I can soon return to operating heavy machinery!