Friday, October 28, 2011

Sorry About The Overkill

 All is well in Lucy's world.  She is still well on her way to WEARING me out EVERYDAY..thanks be to God.  We have been to several Dr's over this past week and they all confirm Lyme's and her full recovery.  The worst of the matter will be random "episodes"...sometimes it will be in her joints and other times headaches.  These episodes can last for up to 1 year...but may diminish sooner.  Overall we are at peace and we feel good about all the follow up appointment she will have to monitor her little joints to be sure these "episodes" don't cause more permanent damage.  And let me say thank you all for the texts, e-mails, phone calls and comments.  What a blessing to know people are praying for her.  I just encourage you to pass on that last post to anyone who lives in a tic heavy area.  The signs for Lyme's can be subtle and left untreated ...not good.....

Meanwhile...I was somewhat busy knitting away this week while Lucy and I sat for hours waiting for Dr's to come see her.  This little hat knit on little needles was the perfect hat to keep my mind occupied and hands busy. This is my first truly striped pattern.  I used the jogless striped method and for the first half of the hat I was doing it wrong...

 You have to slip the marker and slip one as if to purl..and for some reason in my brain that meant hold the yarn in front.  So for some of the rows there is a little stitch with a bar at the bottom where I held the yarn in front of the slipped stitch.  I was so annoyed at myself and was tempted to begin ALL over...but that ribbed part of the hat was knit on sz. 3 needles and DK took me like 3 days to go 3 inches.  I could not bring myself to live through that 3 inches again.  But NOBODY will ever see that little bar UNTIL I SHOW THEM...which I know I will....silly me!
 Now..about the color.  It is gray and yellow in a shiny Sublime yarn.  I saw this hat knit up at my favorite yarn store Fibre was in these colors. The pattern called for The Fibre Company yarn in 2 great colors..but my Fibre Space did not have this yarn.  There was something so FUN about this hat that made me decide that silver and yellow were JUST the colors for me.  I really want to practice with stripes and I thought I could handle this little hat.  As I was knitting I was getting a little worried that I would HATE the colors once I was done..I DO NOT HATE THEM!!  It is such a fun hat and I actually like to colors!!

 The picture in the pattern the brim is not folded...I HAD to fold my brim.  I am not sure if it is because I may have gotten a little carried away on my K1P1 ribbed brim and gone a little over 3 inches...but it looks cute and that's all that matters...
 I am wearing the hat today ...but I am SURE to loose this hat to a few little girls who also fell in love with it when I was finished.  It looks super cute on Emily and Lucy ..and even Jack can wear it (I am sure Molly and Priscilla look good in it to, they just have not tried it on yet).  So it will be like so many of my hats...first come first serve!!
So ..that is my hat story with WAY more info that you probably wanted.  Pete took all these pictures after lots of laughter on his picture taking skills.  I did not even realize I was getting some belly shots while showing off my new hat..but that is so fun.

I love seeing my baby belly AFTER I have the baby.  It is so hard to remember what it looked like and even felt like after that baby comes.

Check out the pattern on is free, fun and exciting!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not My Typical Post

 You might want to sit down for this may be long. I am not sure where my words are going to take me tonight.  Let me start by taking you back almost 5 months.  We had just arrived here in Virginia and we were driving to the Title company to sign our papers to buy this house.  On the way there Emily says, "Mama, what is this in Lucy's hair?"  She was sitting in the back next to Lucy playing with her hair.  I told Lucy to unbuckle at the next stop light and come show me.  She came up front and showed us and Pete and I knew instantly that we were looking at our first tic bite.  I was PANICKED!!  I did not know what to do.  Pete tried to get it off her...but that sucker (literally) was so stuck to her head.  I pulled into a grocery store parking lot and ran in to buy tweezers and rubbing alcohol.  I came rushing back to the car and Pete had called his mom.  She quickly googled tic bites and told us what we should do.  Get it out and clean the area.  Even with the tweezers we had a really hard time getting the tic off of her.
 Finally we got it off and Pete and I were both pretty freaked out.  It just felt..awful.  We had been in Virginia a total of 3 days and this was NOT what I wanted to be dealing with.  Prior to moving here a friend of ours knew a young girl who had severe Lyme's Disease.  She was in a wheelchair and looking at years of recovery.  After hearing that story and finding out Lyme's comes from tics I told Pete..."No thanks to Virginia!!"  But telling the Coast Guard that his wife had a fear of tics was not going to work. 
 Anyway, life went on.  We proceeded to pull lots of tics off the kids this summer and for some reason NONE of them were as bad as that one Lucy got back in June.  Something about that tic made me feel...worried.  This is the point in the story where I may want to remind myself to always listen to myself.  A few weeks later Lucy started telling me she had headaches. Mostly they seemed to be in the morning and not last long.  There would be a few days of complaints and then they would go away.  During this 3 week on and off period I told Pete, "Hey, remember that tic bite?  I wonder....."  But the headaches went away and I just figured all was well.  About 1 month ago she woke up one morning saying her arm hurt.  She could not lift her left arm and getting dressed was really painful for her.  I just figured she had fallen and sprained something.  Lucy is like a jumping bean that never lands well when jumping..she falls ALL the time.  Having an injured arm would be of no surprise.  But that too, magically, went away!!  Well, actually it went away and then came back.  I was not linking this to anything yet but thought it might be wise to haul her into the Dr. to get an x-ray to see if she had fractured something.
 But then poof..gone.  No more arm pain!  During this time period Lucy would wake up some mornings  saying her neck hurt.  I just figured she slept on it wrong and I felt validated because it always went away.  Well, Monday morning Lucy woke up stood up and collapsed on the floor.  She started crying and calling for me.  I went in and found her on the floor.  She said her legs hurt and she could not walk.  I thought she had slept weird and her leg had gone numb.  I started rubbing her legs and she cried in pain.  I kept trying to coax her into being OK and getting up and walking it off...but she was really hurt and would not even attempt walking.  I looked at her knee and it was pretty swollen.  Well what in the world???  She had raced up the stairs the night before right at bedtime.  We walked all over our neighborhood Sunday and she was FINE..nothing happened.  All of a sudden I was TERRIFIED.  That tic bite, Lyme's Disease!! I had heard of this...I had heard of kids not being able to walk, feet being numb, hands tingling.  I called for Pete, "Can you come carry Lucy downstairs she says she can't walk."  He came up and I said ..."Do you know what I think?"  He said, "Lyme's?"  That was it.  He thought it too.  All of a sudden I added it all up. I looked back 5 months and saw each ache as the symptom that it was.
 I have not established a Dr. for the kids here yet.  We have not needed one and I kept putting it off.  I am not a "take kids to the Dr. often mom". Well I started calling every Dr. I could get a number for.  With each call I was getting more worried. Nobody could see me..they all were not willing to see a patient for the first time on such short notice.  I will reserve my irritation for the medical community for another post.  Nevertheless, I felt more and more scared.  Lucy was truly in pain and the worst of the worst was flying around my brain.  I told Pete, "I am taking her to the ER!"  All the kids were pretty panicked.  Lucy not walking is like the most unbelievable thing and they were seeing it.  I pulled myself together and went to the ER.  I got there and the nurse asked what was wrong..."My daughter has Lyme's and now she can't walk."  They asked if I knew for a fact she had Lyme's and I said, "Not for a fact fact...but I know!"  They were sweet.  They took me right back and I told everyone who walked in that hospital room every detail of every symptom for the last 5 months.  They each agreed...sounds like Lyme's.  That is where my knowledge began and what? Why is she not walking?  What is happening?  Is she OK?
 She got blood draw and tests were run, x-rays taken and her little body got poked.  So where are we now?  Her actual Lyme test won't be back until next week.  But all the other blood tests that were run show the signs and markings of Lyme's.  She had tons of fluid in her knee joints and that is what was making her unable to just hurt.  Having joint issues is a big indicator of Lyme's.  Her blood work showed elevated levels that indicated inflammation and that too is a sign of Lyme's.  So....what do we do??  She is being treated for Lyme's which is a simple course of antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks.  She has to see an orthopedic Dr. to keep track of her joints and the fluid that has built up.

Bottom line is... she will be fine!!  While she is on Motrin she is walking around and feels much better.  The swelling is still there and I am still worried.  But really, she will be fine.  Lyme's shows itself in many different forms.  Lucy never developed the rash or flu like symptoms that is an indicator after a tic bite.  It seemed to go right for her joints.  She may have some of the joint pain for up to a year after treatment for Lyme's, but she will be good as new pretty soon.
I could write another 2000 words on Lyme's and what I now know.  But I know some people have it a lot worse and things could have been a lot worse for Lucy too.

 Last night I was a wreck.  The Dr's at the hospital were great..but I left not feeling like I knew all that was going on, plus Lucy was still NOT walking and in  great pain.  We went to another Dr. today and she made me feel better.  And Lucy began feeling better too.  I have more follow up appointments and I will keep you posted.

 I have felt so guilty for not listening to my own self 5 months ago and then as we went along when those little situations came up.  I knew something was not right about that tic.  I just got "that" feeling.  I am just so glad the God led us to figuring it out sooner rather that later. 

She is tucked into bed right now feeling better.  Thank you God!

Friday, October 21, 2011

As Promised ..part 2

 I know some of you are not knitter's who read this little blog of mine.  I am sorry if you are SO over hearing about knitting.  By now I am sure you have figured out that I am NOT PIONEER woman with several tabs to choose from..nor am I like Betty Beguiles who blogs about a range of topics...I am me and this is it.  And before I became a knitter I  would have never understood how there can be so much to say about 2 sticks and some stitches.  But once you drink the Kool-Aid, life is never the same again.
 So...back to my lessons at the yarn shop....
The 2nd lesson I had was actually with CRANKY knitter. She was to teach me purling.  She was not thrilled and I was even less so.  But I was desperate to knit and I didn't care how the information came to me...I just wanted it.  At the time I am not even sure I was fully aware of her attitude towards the whole thing.  It is in looking back that I have clarity on the situation.  She told me the basics of purling and then told me I was doing it way to tight and I needed to loosen up...HOW COULD I LOOSED UP??  I was desperately trying to hold 2 sticks , a thin piece of yarn and a project in the making...what do I loosen up on?  I left the store that night able to purl...barely.
 I think back on that yarn shop and what the vibe was in there. It was not was I was reading on the Internet.  The yarn was limited and I saw pretty lame samples hanging on the walls.  Through different blogs I had found I knew knitting did NOT have to be that way.  The 2 main women who worked there were not very encouraging. They seemed the be the keepers of all things knitted and they were not that willing to share what they knew.
 However,  there were 2 part time workers that I happened to meet one day when I ran in and they were way more fun and helpful.  One woman had a book called Weekend Knitting and she was really helpful picking out yarn and leading me to a fun pattern.  Unfortunately she did not work there often.
 And then I met Sophie.  Sophie is a beautiful young girl who is SUPER talented at knitting.  She would wear the most adorable knitted items and be ready to whip out the pattern and yarn she used.  Just seeing her inspired me to want to know more.  She was 16 at the most , and had been knitting for a few years.  I wanted to learn everything she knew.  I don't know if I will ever be as good as Sophie.
 I have been thinking so much about these initial experiences with knitting because I have learned so much and I have so much more to learn.  I love going to yarn stores and I think the knitting business is fascinating.  It is such a personal business. You are influenced by so many things and they are all very people oriented.  I like that.  The yarn store I go to now is 45 minutes from my house.  People there LOVE to knit...but the cooler part of this store is THEY LOVE TO SHARE. They have GREAT samples and they make you want to knit GREAT stuff.  The place is PACKED all the time and classes fill up before you can get your name on the list.  They teach cool stuff. 
Sadly there is a knitting store right down the road from me.  I have gone there from time to time ..but I find it very UNINSPIRING!!  The women are nice enough..but the energy and love of knits is slower and less contagious.  The classes are lame and the yarn is so-so. 

But hey, what do I know really???  I am so new at this.  But I want to pass this energy on to others.  I would like to teach people to love this craft.  I would like to inspire someone to struggle through the learning curve.  I have a long way to go before I could teach anyone anything...but getting people fired up and interested anyone can do.

Who knows if this was a good story.  Probably a bit long for some of you.  Sometimes I hate reading long blog posts.  But I just wanted to share and remember the beginning of this amazing journey I have begun...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Story of Knitting..Part 1

I started this blog about 2 years ago. I found Pioneer Woman, got a camera and have made several posts since.  I wanted to take cool pictures, write witty things and just be part of the blogging world.  I was then led to read lots of other blogs, most with cool pictures. I really had nothing specific to add to the blog world.  I did not have ranch and recipes to share.  I did not make jelly from homegrown berries. I was just me with my own thoughts and I thought the world would be a better place if they knew what those thoughts were.
 I was somehow led to Ginny's blog and was instantly taken with her photos and her lifestyle.  Up until that point I had never seen a mom with knitting needles and a garden that you actually eat from.  I was taken.  I admired what she shared and I was inspired to walk down her road a bit.  I then began clicking around her comments and noticed that all these moms were knitters too.  I was so surprised..people actually knit??  A lot??  And cute stuff?  I decided I wanted in!!  I needed to learn to knit.  I am happy I knew myself well enough to not be inspired to start a garden...
 I called my local yarn shop and asked when I could come in.  I told her I knew nothing ..but I wanted to make a scarf..TONIGHT!!  I had to wait like 3 whole days before my lesson took place.  My lesson was at 6:30...which of course led me to leave my house at 4:00.  I needed time to look through this yarn that all these knitters in the blog world went crazy for.  I walked in the place and was COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED!!  I knew instantly that I knew NOTHING!!
And the funny thing is..I now know that what I really didn't know was how much I REALLY didn't know!!  I walked around DAZED and really out of my element.  I wanted to feel connected to this yarn and have an instinct to reach for just the right skein..but really I had no instinct and I actually made some pretty horrible decisions when I began my walk with knitting needles. 

The shop I lived near was your stereotypical shop.  The lady who greeted me was a little snip and she was not THRILLED to be helping me.  I could tell that my ignorance ANNOYED her to no end.  I did not let that stop me.  I kept asking questions and bugging her for help.  I figured I would eventually win her over with my gratefulness...not sure that ever worked....but I wanted to knit and I was not going to let the cranky knitter stop me.

Thankfully my first lesson when I learned to cast on was not with the cranky was with the store owner.  She did a great job teaching me that night.  I left knowing how to cast on and do the knit stitch...
Life has never been the same since...

Come back tomorrow for more of this RIVETING story...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Yarn..and a 10 Year Old

 May I present to you 10 year old, her mittens and her cabled hat.
 These mittens are the first time I carried color up the side of my work...and somehow the mittens were ONLY photographed showing the row I carried my yarn up the side where I made some mistakes and the yarn showed.  But really..who cares???  These mittens were so cute on her and I would say it was a good first try at carrying my color.

 The hat is now hers as well.  I knit it for Pete and then realized it looked way to feminine on him with the cable.  I then tried it on and did not love it.  So today when I wanted to shoot her mittens I asked her to throw this hat on so I could get some pictures of it.
 We twisted the cable to the side and INSTANT love!!  WE both loved it on her and she is now the proud owner of this Spud and Cloe bulky cable hat. 

 This last week has been touchey with knitting.  I was not in a good grove with anything and I felt pretty discouraged about a few attempts I had made.

 The other bummer thing is I REALLY want to knit a sweater/cardigan for me....but right now I am ....larger than normal ALL over...especially in the milk department.  So I do not want to buy, knit and hate my first sweater.  And then I keep thinking knits.  But I don't know who this baby is yet and I am not wanting 14 things in neautral colors.

 But I sit here bubbling with hope for a great knitting week ahead of me.  I love where I have been and I love where I am going...
Pop over to Ginny's where the real knitting magic happen...but you all know that already

Talking To Myself

 I talk to myself all day...I am always at myself in my own head.  I try to keep it there, in my own head, so my children don't tell Pete that mama walked around muttering to herself all day.
 I am constantly making deals with myself.."You can check out that pattern and yarn on Ravelry right after you sweep these floors."  Or sometimes it's..."Just finish Math with the girls then you can quickly clean up from breakfast."  I can sometimes keep the bargain with myself, and other times I cave in..
 I have been getting myself more and more wrapped up in knitting.  I am not sure how to pace myself with this new obsession.  I find that I am sneaking peaks in magazines and books while I am bringing laundry up the stairs.  I will see kids being peaceful for a few minutes and start in on a row or two or 5.  And before you know it I am late for dinner prep and writing has not been check off for the day.
 Most of this distraction has been good and  not that noticeable to others, at least not that they are saying. But I know what needs to be done and I know I am doing a great job of avoiding it. 
 Yesterday I was feeling super gloomy...I knew exactly what the problem was and I kept trying to get myself out of the funk I was in.  You see on Sunday I spent a few hours knitting a hat that I have been excited about knitting for awhile. Last week I bought this yarn that I thought would be PERFECT for this project.
 Just as I am about to decrease I decide to try it on..IT LOOKED AWFUL!! 
The color..the fit ....EVERYTHING was awful.  I instantly ripped it apart, re-wound the yarn and went to bed feeling SO SAD.  I could not shake the feeling.  I love having a project that I love working on and not having something I LOVED knitting was a complete bummer for me.

 Having something to look forward to during the day makes my day so much brighter.  I need a knit that takes little concentration, but I like things with some pattern changes. 
 So last night, after a somewhat low key day I casted on some cable mittens and I spent 2 hours feeling completely happy once again.  What did I have to say to myself last night after a day of gloominess...
 It went something like this...
"You need to calm down about knitting.  Not every project will be your most favorite, best experience.  You will have to take the good with the bad, and above all be patient.  Even in the "bad" projects good comes.  I learned a lot from buying 20$ yarn for a hat that was so ugly I would not even step out of the bathroom to tear it apart.  The key to all is patience and endurance.  I want to be good at this..I want to make beautiful things.  But nothing good comes from you sulking around all day.  Take heart..another great project is bound to find itself sitting in your pile of great things to do.  Meanwhile..get to bed because it is way to late to think clearly!!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Glorious Fall Yarn Along

 There is no better time to be a knitter than fall..well winter is fun too.  But fall has all the promise of cozy days to come before the reality of cold weather sets in. 
 And all around me leaves are changing, falling and turning the most glorious colors.  I am glad to report that I have a few projects to share..with great JOY and HAPPINESS!!!

 First is my shawl thing..the pattern is here.  This is what kicked off some confidence with my knitting.  This was fun, easy and WONDERFUL to work on.  I saw a really cute sales girls at the knitting store I LOVE...and she was wearing it.  I asked her for the pattern..and now I OWN ONE TOO!!  Looking at it makes me want to knit another one...

 The girls were out the afternoon I NEEDED this picture taken so I asked Jack to take it for me..this is what I got.  But I had to show you that I LOVE this thing and I am wearing it ALL the time.  I did this wrap neck tie thing and I love it.  If I knit another I may go bigger.
 And would you look at this...I DID THIS..EVERY SINGLE STITCH and CABLE!!  I can not believe this is MY knitting and I am showing this on MY blog!  I think I can say .."My name is Lisa and I am officially a KNITTER!!"  I finished late Monday night and wore it all day Tuesday even though it was like 80 degrees and still damp from blocking.
 I made 3 mistakes that make no difference what-so-ever.  The more important detail is I fixed several mistakes I made.  That is what feels good as each project progresses...I am seeing the right and wrong of the stitches I make and I know what to do with some of them..some of them just require the good old fashioned RIPPING out..but with this little beauty I never turned back once I started.  The pattern is here and you all must buy the yarn she is fall heaven on a needle and cable!

 And in other great fall knitting news....
I made these mittens...I knitted both of them in 2 days on double points and I have to admit ...I think I like double points.  I took a class to get me over the fear of mitten making and now I am working on another pair for my Emily's 10th birthday.  This time I am using 2 colors..and let me just share that I have ripped them out 3 times already because I am sloppy when it comes to trying new things.  I just want to finish so  know what they will look like.  I need to slow down.  I just can't help myself sometimes...