It’s On, or the Kick-Off of the Final Flare Tour

In the words of the precious youth of America, it’s on! 


I could stop my post right here, and let you add your own intentions, but then I wouldn’t be a blogger.  This post is the written record of thoughts that were with me on arising.  It’s about the seemingly sudden acceleration of a number of processes:  hurricane season, the school year, the Presidential campaign, my knitting.  People speak of spring as being a new beginning, the initiative season.  For me, it has always been fall.  Every year I reach a point where a number of things in my life suddenly click into gear and reach their full speed.  This year, my life seems to be in sync with the world outside, and I can feel the momentum of all those things carrying each other forward.


I watched a good portion of the DNC.  It left me feeling that Democrats (and Obama/Biden supporters as a whole) are right where they should be.  Hillary Clinton-and I admit I watched while holding my breath, praying for whole-hearted, sincere support-sternly and graciously brought the party to unity.  I was proud to see her being the strong leader that we needed at that moment.  Barack Obama did not disappoint.  His attention to the details of his plans for the middle class was timely.  I couldn’t be prouder to see him on the podium.


As for John McCain and the RNP-are you kidding me?!  Sarah Palin?  Hillary, she ain’t. 


Last week I saw the wind and rain of Tropical Storm Fay battering north Georgia.  At one point, I received a phone call from the hotel front desk, requesting my presence in the closest stairwell to wait out a hurricane warning.  Now category 3 hurricane Gustav is anticipated to land in Louisiana in two days, and is being chased by hurricane Hannah.  Hurricane season is truly on.  The only saving grace is that no one in local or federal government wants to be caught with their pants down in a repeat of Katrina. 


This is the natural time for a knitting person to crank up the production.  We want all those lovely, cozy, knitted garments to enjoy all winter, and the weather will soon cool and make it more tolerable to put wool or alpaca on our needles.  If you sell knits, like I do, you are receiving more contacts about custom items, and working to get your store stocked with new merchandise.  I am preparing for my first trunk show.  I’ve cleared the deck by completing the green lace tee for my daughter and the blanket for my niece.  The striped Noro bag has been felted and I’ve only the strap lining to make.  I knitted cashmere for the trunk show yesterday, and I will be continuing to push forward with my more luxurious yarns and new designs as I go through the next two months. 


Finally, the production that I have dubbed “The Final Flare Tour” is in full swing.  Ever since my chemotherapy doc declared that I can have my treatments closer together as an attempt at preventing my flares completely, I’ve had excitement.  Lately, with the signs of that last flare almost completely gone, and my prednisone dose tapering down, my mood has become even more positive.  The pain in my sacroiliac joints is still limiting my walking, but I’ve been able to climb stairs and hop up from my chair without months of planning or even loud groans. 


I slept four hours last night and I’m ready to knit again. 



Wednesday, Still Listing

I’m still running my days by lists.  Knit, take care of store, cook, pack…those are the major items. 


Today I finished the last panel of the cotton blanket.  I made a row of single crochet and a row of double crochet on one panel side, then a row of single crochet and a row of trebles on the other.  I used slip stitches to join them.  This takes more yarn than I had to finish both seams.  I’ll be able to complete it when I get one more hank of Cozy Cotton.  I like this finish and it’s much stronger than just a slip-stitched seam.  Have to photograph tomorrow, before the daily thunderstorm. 


I ordered some cookbooks from Jessica’s Biscuit last week.  There were a couple I was dying to have, along with a freebie offer.  I am in love with The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.  The book contains everything you’d want to know about baking without animal products, including how to stock your pantry, what to look for in certain ingredients to make sure they are vegan, and how to reproduce all the popular baked goods from breads to cakes to tarts and bars.  I made chocolate cake tonight from the most simple, wholesome recipe.  It is delicious and moist and it rose quite high.  My other books are on African cuisine, vegetarian cooking (sort of a comprehensive text), and grains.  I’m a dedicated cookbook reader.  They have so much more to offer than just instructions, and I even enjoy the style of the instructions from some authors. 


The Noro Kureyon bag is almost done.  I haven’t decided on a style for the top.  I’m thinking of a special handle treatment, but that will have to marinate in my brain overnight.  I don’t want it to be mundane.  For myself, I prefer a handle long enough to go over the shoulder.  That’s easiest when you have a heavy load.  I inevitably design things with my own preferences in mind.  Guess my perspective is the only one I truly have. 


I’m happy for all the recent comments and attention to the blog.  It’s nice to know you’re not talking in a vacuum, like the tree that falls in the forest…



Accomplishing Stuff

Missions accomplished.  I had a long list of things that needed attention today, and I made it through most of them.  My list ranged from phone calls to knitting.  I knitted another block for the niece’s blanket and mulled over the finishing details.  I think I’ll crochet between the panels.  I haven’t finished one that way before and it will add the width that I need.  There’s only one more panel to complete before I’m ready for that. 


Tonight, with the “work” behind me, I’m knitting on a project that I started months ago and then lost.  Somehow I forgot that I put it away in a basket in my living room.  I rediscovered it today and I’m adding some inches to the length.  It’s a Noro Kureyon tote bag that will be felted.  Right now the base measures 5 x 16 inches, and I plan to add another eight inches to the existing 16 for the length.  I turned up the base so you can see that it is a separate rectangle, knitted perpendicular to the body.  I knitted the base first, then picked up and knitted stitches around it’s perimeter.  I love how the narrow base has very wide stripes, and the wide body of the bag stretches them out to skinny stripes.  The colors are vivid and the yarn is rather rough, so it’s not my choice for something to wear.  It’s perfect for a bag.  It will last forever.  Noro is like comfort food to me.  I get comfort from handling their exquisitely blended colors.  The first two toes on my right foot made it into the photo.  Can you see them? 



I was ashamed to notice that Etsy has changed some of the features on the posting software.  It’s been a couple of months since I added anything to my store, and there have been some modifications to make it more streamlined.  It was a reminder to me that I’ve been neglecting the store (, and I was happy to completely add five products.  I have another ten or so to add, but I’m not trying to fix my world in a day.  What I really need to aim for is having something new to post four or five times per week.  I did some updating.  Some unloved products (unloved by me, primarily) were removed from inventory and they will be donated to serve a useful purpose. 


This ability to act gradually sneaks in as my flares go away, until I suddenly find myself able to do chores that I’d neglected for weeks or months.  I love it.  I think I was raised to “get things done”.  My mom used to wake us on Saturday morning with a list of chores.  She would come into our room singing opera and annoying the heck out of us.  I’d wonder why I had to get up when we were free all day.  Next thing, I’d be eating breakfast and anticipating a morning of ironing and dusting and straightening my room.  I usually didn’t rush doing those tasks, because I kind of enjoyed the process.  Don’t tell anyone I said that.  It’s like the finishing work on a knitted piece – kind of peaceful and pleasing to perform. 


The ability to relax and enjoy the most mundane activity is really a blessing.  Some people think it makes one a boring person, but it actually makes you a person who will never be bored.  If all else fails, I can move into my head and distract myself from the task. 


I’ll continue with another list tomorrow.  I have donations to drop off at a church, yarn donations to mail, groceries to buy…