Early B Cell Death

People!  A physical improvement today has me feeling so much brighter.  My personal sun has been shining all day.  I’m less stiff and in a bit less pain, and that makes moving around easier and less taxing.  The consequence of this is that I’ve tackled some jobs I didn’t think I’d get to for a while-cleaning out jobs that leave me feeling less cluttered in my brain as well as my home.  I put a little stool in my living room and plopped down in front of a yarn shelf and a big box of yarn and unfinished projects.  I sorted through the box, sending things to either the shelf, the prison yarn project box, or the trash.  That done, I went to my craft room which is dangerously overloaded and tackled another box of yarn and miscellaneous unfinished stuff.  Again, a three-way sort, with a few balls salvaged to shelve and the rest divided between prison and trash.  Barely a dent in the clutter I need to attack, but just like B cell death, a start.


Julian popped up again on his way back to his college town.  It was lots of fun seeing him and an old friend of his that I adore.  That was an unexpected treat.  We were all at home most of the day, and I enjoyed that.  I spent my time with them knitting and playing games online.  Julian propped up next to me to help with a word game; we were a fierce team, playing against lots of online competitors. 


I just stepped out on my porch in the humidity and heat to check my tomatoes.  In the dim porch light I didn’t see any tomatoes with red, but the number of tomatoes on the vine is astounding.  On one of the black plums, the tomatoes are hanging in clusters of up to six.  Every plant has tomatoes, even the two that I think I’m losing.  I’ve picked five so far, but the next two weeks are going to multiply that many times.  Due to the suspicion of Salmonella infestation we’ve eaten fewer tomatoes this summer than usual.  I can’t wait ’til it tastes like a real summer.


I had a special chemocap to work on today.  My in-laws have a friend at church who will begin chemotherapy soon, and he isn’t looking forward to losing his hair.  He told them he needs caps that are interesting and unusual.  I chose a Panda Cotton sock yarn to knit him a cap.  I’m about halfway to the dome.  I’ll photograph and show it tomorrow. 


This fireworks thing has turned into a real frustration.  This is the third night that we’ve had to listen to them.  Last night was like a full performance again, lasting two hours.  Someone set off sizzling sparklers in my back yard; I could hear them, and my daughter collected four burnt sticks this morning.  I was hopeful of letting my dog have her peaceful time in the yard tonight, but they are still at it.  At this point, we are beyond rudeness.  There’s nothing acceptable in making loud noises throughout the neighborhood at 11 o’clock on a work night. 


I’m expecting a busy today tomorrow.  Death to B cells!  Okay, I’ll stop my noise right now. 




Trying to Post, Cook and Knit a Hat

Today, with all the newborn caps mailed to afghans for Afghans, I still couldn’t get out of service mode.  I completed a purple chemocap that I started back before the newborn pieces. 


You see that little snippet of a paragraph up there?  Two sentences?  That is the first 32 words of more than 700 that I had written when I realized that my program wasn’t responding and hadn’t saved anything in 45 minutes.  This is why people hate computers.  But am I going to let that keep me from talking tonight?  Of course not!  This woman needs to talk!


As I was saying, I finished a chemocap today.  I was so pleased with it, because it is totally different from the piles of crocheted caps I used to turn out.  My experimentation with knitted cap design is finally paying off in more original, more interesting hats.  I started a second chemocap after I finished the purple.  It’s made from Knitpicks Crayon, a cotton boucle, very soft stuff.  I once knitted my stepgranddaughter a sweater from this yarn.  While she was staying with us, one of the boys threw it in a hot wash and hotter dryer and turned it into doll clothes.  The yellow chemocap is designed to fit kind of like a triangle scarf, the way it covers your head when you tuck the loose tail in at the back.  Hope this works. 


In my mind, I am letting go of some projects.  While I want to complete my design for Think Outside the Sox, I’m not feeling as determined to enter it in competition.  I’ll let the end-of-the-year events decide that for me.  Now that I know how I’m going to make it, and I’ve tried out the materials to some extent, I will start it over and knit it more neatly with an eye to producing a really nice prototype pair.  Meanwhile, I want to finish my niece’s cotton blanket (yeah, I know, that’s sooo last year), prepare enough items to feel comfortable with my trunk show in the fall, and stock up my baby stuff. 


Holy cow, how did it get to be 11:03 p.m.?  This evening I made a mixed berry cobbler.  My friend who brought me canned tomatoes also brought frozen berries, and I’ve mixed the last of them with some strawberries for this cobbler.  Somehow I’ve let the evening pass by without even tasting the cobbler!  Now that’s a miracle.  Would never happen if my prednisone dose was up.


I cooked alone today, but yesterday my daughter was in the kitchen with me, taking her first cooking lesson of the summer.  She turned out a decent sauteed chicken breast and wild rice dinner.  Since she will live in an apartment when she returns for her fall semester, I want her to feel comfortable producing food on a daily basis.  Up to now she has helped in the kitchen enough to know the terminology and equipment, but she needs to be able to take charge of the meal.  I’m sure we’ll have some adventures with this!


When I first wrote this post, I went on about my aunt, my mom’s sister, the one who taught me to crochet.  I think she’s going to have to wait for another day.  My typing fingers (I guess that’s all my fingers) are tired.  As my mom used to say all the time, tomorrow is another day.


Peace.  No, wait!  Tomorrow isn’t just another day.  It’s the Preakness, at Pimlico.  My dad grew up in Kentucky, where horse racing was a religion.  He gave me a special mission this week.  I had to (shhhhh!) purchase betting tickets on his favorite.  Wish us luck!


Now, get your peace.

Picking Up Your Knits

I gave myself the day off and then spent the whole afternoon working.  That’s the way it is when you start to have more energy and feel more well.  (Yes, that is exactly what I mean – more “well” as opposed to more sick.)  You do things just because you are grateful that you can, and it feels good doing them after months of stagnating. My yarn and other supplies are in disarray, and I was up to performing a good purging.  I couldn’t have done it without the help of Wonderful Son, who moved a shelf and took two bins of books to the used book store.  Looking at the newly emptied shelves inspired me to clear out some bins of yarn and do some organizing.  I gathered up projects on needles and isolated them with their respective piles of yarn by placing them in 2.5 gallon Ziplock bags.  A little pressure as I zipped them, and I had my own space bags. 

My cashmere (laaaaaaaa, can you hear the choir of angels singing?) is all together in one place now.  Completed cashmere projects for the fall show are starting to stack up.  What a luxurious bundle!  Likewise, I separated all my organic cotton.  I love to see it piled together, with the gentle colors from cream to chocolate.  This is the cotton fiber that I enjoy knitting, and I love wrapping babies and toddlers in it.

I threw away a pile of (shudder!) acrylic.  It multiplied in my house when I began to knit again because it came in such a seductive array of novelties-totally unlike anything available in my early knitting years.  Somehow I had a pile of swatches knit and crocheted to various rectangular sizes, then abandoned because of my lack  of satisfaction with their texture and drape.  How did I accumulate so many uglies?!  They have been an excellent lesson. 

I haven’t tackled the hand-dyed wools or the bags of alpaca.  I didn’t deal with the orgasm of Noro, but when I do it will decorate the room all by itself.  Sometimes I think I should get rid of half of my art collection and place skeins of yarn high on the walls to take the place of those paintings.  It would have the same effect, and perhaps more naturally.  Think how warm to be in a room decorated by yarn alone.  I took KnitKnit off the shelf.  You should see how I handle my knitting books, caressing the covers like they are my old buddies.  Isabel Berglund is one of the amazing modern fiber artists that Sabrina Gschwandtner features in her book.  Berglund has an entire knitted room installed in the Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall in Copenhagen.  The walls have garments knitted into them, so that visitors can slip into them and become a part of the room.  Yarn on the walls.  I could live like that.

Tonight I finished a chemocap that I started a few days ago.  I had been furtively working on it in moments of rest from my larger project.  The yarn is Risata, a sock yarn from Knitpicks, cotton and superwash wool with a bit of nylon and elastic.  I try to knit chemocaps in washable yarns because they get lots of use.  They need to stay on a slippery head, one that is notably smaller in circumference without the hair.  I cast on about 72 stitches on size 6 needles.  Knitting flat, I made about an inch of 1×1 rib, then switched to 3×3 rib for the body of the cap.  When it was as deep as I liked, I decreased to 3×2 rib then 2×2, then 2×1 and finally 1×1, using knit-two-together decreases every three or four rows.  (Just go with it.  You can do this.)  At the very top I changed to stockinette.  I wove the end yarn through the last 12 stitches and used it to seam the back.  Weave in, block if you like, and wear.  Or, as in this case, donate to your local cancer center.  Mine will go in the basket for Dr. Gandhi’s office where I get my fabulous B-cell killer.  I promised.  risatabluechemocap.jpg

Big day.  Sore feet.