Monday, May 30, 2016

Yarn Bee from Hobby Lobby FAIR ISLE Knit Scarf

Happy Memorial Day to All!!

At the Homestead this weekend was lots of rest. Yup, saying WAS because we are going out to shop some sales some time during the day. Mr. Darcy had flashbacks of Thanksgiving Day at the mall but he said he needed to go anyway to get some professional attire for work.

 Kate Spade here I come!

Also been reading alot with my new glasses for glaucoma. The computer contrast with these are sooooooo much better. It takes all the blue light out and helps so much.

While at my last eye appointment I had a 1: 40p appointment and they called me back at 5:30pm. I was prepared as always though big glasses and knitting project in hand. As the nurses called patients they would comment on how I knew to come prepared. They have a hot tea and coffee machine and I just always know it's a 3-5 hour deal there so I had a blanket scarf around me in case the AC was too much, knit project bag complete with lotions and notions, and a tote bag full of my Ipad mini with kindle, and much more. The lady beside me finally asked if I brought dinner in that bag too.

While sitting there, I cast on a vanilla knit project, because I have to have one of those for TV knitting or when I just knit for the process. I cannot do lace counting in shawl work while watching TV. Just way too many mistakes.

So I cast on with this yarn from Hobby Lobby that was in my stash. What sold me was a swatch that HL had beside the yarn in the fair isle print. Gorgeous!

I wanted to do a simple stockinette material but I knew it ALWAYS curls. And this one is doing it too.

However, I have learned that it takes more than 3 knit stitches on a border to stop the curling and as long as I learn something from what I'm doing that's the point.

Yarn BEE---Brand
Fair Isle in colorway Red /Blue multi
80 % acryllic and 20% alpaca

see here for ordering



Using Addi Turbo number 7 needles. I LOVE those



What do I think so far?
  1. I don't care for acryllic as much anymore and prefer merino/silk/cotton/cashmere but this is really a pretty good yarn considering quantity and that 20% is alpaca.
  2. At first, if you look closely there is about  2in white hairs throughout the ball of yarn. Funny I though this was Abbie hair but finially I figured out it was part of the yarn itself.
  3. I LOVE the self striping and fair isle effect
  4. I LOVE the shades of blue and red and gray and off white in this.
  5. Dang it, I didn't nail how to make it not curl again. I can lay it flat for pictures but oh my the curling.
  6. Reinforces that I love nice yarn shops with expensive yarns but I also like Hobby Lobby's yarns in my stash too.
  7. Mr. Darcy is eyeing this project way much and thinks it looks really good. I think he is hinting to have it for himself.
The most random is that I picked out a Blue Red mindless TV knitting project for Memorial Day weekend. I promise I didn't reach in my stash on purpose for color coordination. However, may be our gut instincts from what to pull from stash is really what is in our heart.

Through a 15 hour watching of Greys Anatomy old episodes yesterday with Mr. Darcy I got here:



Have a great day!

Jennifer

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A New Knit Finish--Mantle of the Garter shawlette

So.

I was looking for a good stashbuster to use up the remaining precious cotton/viscose from Italy yarn from the last project. I found on Ravelry a great free pattern HERE called Mantle of the Garter by Margaret Anderson Kilfoil.

It's a good TV knitting or traveling or waiting around in doctor's offices kind of project.


I finished it last night at midnight and had a million ends to weave in until about 1am.
This morning, I stretched in on the chaise on the back porch where tiny bits of morning sunlight could show you a bit.
The coloring is not that great because again I used my Ipad camera.



I used my teeny little decorative pins to hold it a bit.


The morning sun filters through and it's nice and cool out. The shadows cast are not so great but you can get a general idea.



I even used a section of the English Roses by Malibrigo that I made a shawl last year in. It was just enough to finish up the remaining skein and blended so well in the shawlette.



 

I plan to wear with a navy blue summer dress or a white Tshirt and jeans.

Things I learned from this project:

Even though I used cotton as the main fibers, I would suggest using the much springier, fiber that the pattern calls for. I used up 2 balls of stash yarn together with straight cotton. I also use a remaining Malibrigo merino called Old English Roses from a previous project.

Cotton /viscose has give. Plain cotton doesn't so much. 

Reinforces my love for my favorite cotton yarn for my budget I Love This Cotton from Hobby Lobby. You can find any color for any cotton project and for the yardage per skein and the quality it beats all for me. I go to it when I know I want much variety for straight up cotton.

This is a shawlette and I would probably, if knitted again, increase more and make it larger for a shawl.

Weaving in ends is still my notoriously least favorite part of knitting. That being said, when my last end is woven in, the pure rush of a finished project is a good thing. A real good thing. Like finally finishing and completing something.


And that, my friends, has been my easy knit project while going through yet another eye surgery last Friday. I had a trabeculoplasty in the left eye. Lets say the weekend was rough but I go for my post op today and better with exception of the sunlight. 
Sunlight is no longer my friend even with my really good sunglasses.

Around the homestead, while cleaning the back porch on these most gorgeous of cool Summer days, I saw one really large Turkey. I think she is trying to find a place to nest for her babies.
Not sure but I'm glad this Summer they are back.

Also saw 3 deer just outside the window and when I looked at one, he peaked around a tree at me. He was so funny. I think it was mother and 2 babies.

My next project I'm getting together from a KAL but really I missed the first 4 weeks so it will be later than the KAL on Ravelry. However the pattern looks more challenging and all the clues to the mystery knit a long have been given. The yarn is fingering and it's using 6 colors for a shawl.

I will post soon the skeins and the colors and my cast on.

Hope all is well with you and remember to enjoy some part of the day and spread love and compassion wherever you go.

Till later,
Jennifer

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sautee Sunset Summer Scarf Progress

Progress on Sautee Sunset summer scarf I'm making. The colors again are faded due to poor quality on my Ipad camera. I hope to get you a truer representation of the vivid, gorgeous colors when I get my camera fixed. I thought I would share my progress.

This yarn is Santorini which is 58% viscose and 42% cotton. Its a great combo. For a little history I looked up the viscose and basically its a rayon that actually has been around since the 1800's. I found a great little history site discussing cotton and viscose.

If you are interested in a bit more about the type of textile and why it is put in some yarns/fabrics, this is a good short read. I learned a few history bits about it.

click HERE


I started not to post pics as they are faded colors until I could get my camera into working order. Seems like a cloud or lavender effect in these pics but you will get the jist of the design.



I do get a few rows in  each morning really early or at lunchtime. 
I am using a sweet little heart marker progress keeper from Molly.
Her podcast and website is A Homespun House.


I'm starting on the second skein.
Each skein is 125 yards.
I was so surprised at how far the the first one was.

The colorway only has a number and is 2107
It is from Classic Elite Yarns.
I purchased this in Dahlonega Ga at Magical Threads.
I'm using a number 7 Addi circular needles


The actual colors are so vivid and actually look like a sunset on a clear day.
I made increases and decreases to create a "mountainous" effect.
I'm looking forward to incorporating this in my wardrobe with denim and a crisp white shirt and it will also be great into early Fall due to the autumn deep rust colors and navy scattered throughout.

The cotton and viscose with a lace pattern make it a great Summer accessory, not too hot, just right to still wear something you knit!

Our sunsets and sunrises here in North GA mountains are breaktaking.


It is awesome to be inspired to create living here. 
Future posts will show accurate colors of this project with the help of Mr. Darcy soon.

Here's hoping you are getting the weekend starting off at peace and have something on your needles to enjoy this cool Spring air!

For our weekend, we are going out to eat and working around the house cleaning out and donating many many bags of items, and actual pieces of furniture to the local battered women's shelter.
So far we have donated 8 large bags. Much more to go as I simplify our living space. 

See ya soon!

Jennifer

Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Knit Finishes Prayer Shawls and Such

It's been a very long time and so much has happened since my last post. 
My health has had many turns. It's been a daily struggle with eye pain and losing my sight in one eye. 
Long story short. It would take an entire hour if you only knew, but I brushed myself off and decided to post a picture of my first prayer shawl I designed ( and maybe even have already) but on my dressform, along with another very simple garter shawl that I started back in Fall 2014 and found in a project bag and decided I needed to feel some accomplishment and therefore today it's cast off the needles. (Now that is a total run-on sentence but,,,,,,). 

 I have not blocked it. Just to take a look see. I have had this dress form from ebay for a couple of years now and it really was not expensive at all but has really, really, really come in handy for knitwear and such. If I can go back and find the seller on Ebay I will,  because I think every knitter, especially if trying to design, should get one. I think the shipping was even free and it's not too heavy, but not light either. 





Maybe I should name this one Blue Days. I think I spent many of them at Emory this year, I've lost 50% of my vision in the left eye now. Next, is laser in the next 3 weeks. They are trying to stop the progression but my cornea is not letting it. Again long story. But, I can knit.
I have another eye. Thank God.
I found a supportive glaucoma group that totally understands. I'm thankful for that. 
And thankful I have a husband that understands and will be my eyes if they fail.

I cast on this shawl in Fall 2014 and it's what I call a process shawl. I literally knit for the enjoyment of the process not the project. I'm sure many know what I mean. 

In the midst of many project bags tucked away I decided this weekend to finish and cast off this afternoon. Then, I rambled through my glass bobble and pins jar that I save things in and found a pin for it. 
Cheered me up a bit to put it on the dressform today.

The next one is my first design prayer shawl. This is a project shawl. I had a specific reason and goal in mind for this one.  One day I will write it up and explain why I chose and how I chose the pattern. It has a special meaning to me. 


The reason the dressform is so useful for me is that you can actually get it in your own measurements. 


This comes in great handiness when designing or knitting for sure.


Don't you like this choker necklace I put on it from the 90's? Yup, I still had this in my jewelry collection and now chokers are in again. :)




For not being blocked, it's not too bad.


And with this one, I used Malibrigo yarn

http://www.malabrigoyarn.com/

I don't think this colorway is even available anymore. I will need to search and find the ball band.
I used 3 skeins.

It knits like butter. I love it. This is the second shawl with this brand I used. I don't know if you remember the Old English Rose colorway that I knit a shawl with.
Gorgeous old rose colors.

I started to test knit another prayer shawl in the colorway Christmas at Downton and got halfway through it when the season ended. Couldn't do much knitting in March so it's in a project bag waiting for me.



On the other half, my sweet husband has started woodworking as a hobby, in between managing several schools in the district, and is just about finished with his MBA online.
He is presenting one of the plaques he made to the principal and has made each one for many schools in the region. 
At Christmas, he wanted some woodmaking stash stuff (in our language), and so I was so happy he has a creative outlet as well. He really is talented. He totally restored the Hoosier cabinet in our house a couple of years ago.
I am very proud of all he has accomplished this year. We will soon be celebrating his dual major/ Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources and Operations Management. 

Well, I have to leave you with a bit of humor. I couldn't stop laughing at this one..........




I know that's sick, right? LOL

Long story short?

since January

  • Downton Abbey was our every night must have to see. We ordered the complete series of years and went through all of them except this past season of which we will probably watch endless episodes with popcorn again.
  • I've learned how to put objects in my eyes I never thought I would before. Yup, I can do this!
  • my better half got me my first pair of REAL sunglasses......and I love them because sun is not my friend
  • I've learned how to really appreciate seeing everything and especially colors.
  • I've learned from great sources for vision impaired how to utilize things on the computer for adapting to going blind.
  • I've eaten way too many lunches at Zaxby's. People at work think I'm addicted.(can't help it, their tea is the best)
  • I've come to love hubbies mustang just for the tinted windows.
  • Putting on eyeliner is a real 10 minute event now
  • I've watched many declutter You Tube channels but wishing I had the energy to do it all at one time. It's getting there though. 
  • I just got my supplies for my first KAL---Queen of Thrones!
  • My goal to drink 10 cups of water a day is a very real thing I HAVE to do, not want to do now.
  • My hubbie has watched many a chick-flick with me in the past 3 months.
  • Abbie freaks out on the weekend when we say
    "the pizza man is here" and he is here quite frequently
  • there's no place for fluorescent lights......no place
  • Sunday mornings are a given for chocolate-covered doughnuts at the homestead
  • Cross stitching patterns haunt me to be stitched but my eyes went to yarn instead
  • McDonalds now knows my breakfast order by heart and I just say hi at the drive through and it's one egg biscuit and a large half cut coffee with 5 splenda/ 5 creams
  • February, in the middle of another corneal ulcer and 2 weeks out of work, my husband got me the prettiest Valentines Day chocolate box with red velvet EVER and I ate every one.....well, I shared a few with him
  • chocolate was pretty much a theme since January and the answer to all problems
  • my Ipad mini is now playing the Bread and Olivia Newton John Pandora stations quite regularly
Bless you and have a great Monday.................

Jennifer

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Time for All Seasons---Glaucoma and Corneal disease




I am writing a short  long post to catch up.

A new year

2016

 I really can't believe it!

Many of you that have followed my blog for a while and the closest of friends know for the past 5-6 years I have been on a journey with glaucoma. It's not something I would wish on anyone for sure.
I was diagnosed at a simple Walmart eye exam about 6 years ago and also had a hemorrage near the retina.

I thought things were getting blurry because I needed new glasses. On yeah, "I'm getting old!"

 My readering glasses from Walmart were doing fine actually. However, the digital picture they took identified "cupping" of my optic nerve in the left eye which was very slight and early. I was so glad they identified it early as I started on eye drops for glaucoma. I still did fairly well in my profession and with stitching and knitting and life goes on.

So for 5 years I went to the same general eye doctor every 6 months as I had to have a medical exam for the glaucoma. They explained it as a "CT of the back of the eye to get a picture of the optic nerve and for any damage".  Four years ago, the optic nerve started to become damaged. I still didn't notice anything in my eyes different with exception that the corneal scar on my eye (they found that at the first exam as well) was becoming more apparent with pain. At first this was like having an eyelash in my eye all the time. This progressed to severe pain this past year like having an ice pick stabbing my eye. The scar was getting worse. The scar was old and originally from a hit in the eye in my early 20's. The glaucoma meds and dryness has caused degeneration of the cornea over the years.

Zoom forward to this past March. I had an intense migraine right after a long trip. I went to cover my right eye and I looked forward and really got unnerved that many areas were totally blind. Just gone.
Like steamy fog on a mountain. You know the mountains are there but all the dense fog totally makes them go away.

I looked again. Blinked. This didn't change anything. Evidently my right eye had been taking over my vision and I can still function well but my optic nerve and visual field tests for the past 4 years were worsening. The general eye doctor referred me to a glaucoma specialist. It was at this point when I got my records I saw my failing tests every year but this generalist eye doc didn't take it too seriously.

This started the real brick that hit me that I was going blind in my left eye and it was a matter of time.
Since April of last year through October, I have had to see retina specialists and glaucoma specialist with pressure checks and many tests including a CT of the brain back in October to rule out a brain tumor. I was having headaches from the eye pain so bad.

I was then identified and told I had a Salzman's nodule on my cornea on that eye and I needed surgery. I had no idea what that was. I work in the medical field but eye issues were definitely not my specialty; however, when you are going blind, you learn alot about all kinds of things in the eyes.

CT showed no brain tumor. Headache behind the left eye would come 3 times a week like a brain freeze from eating ice cream and it would last 24 -48 hours. This increased. I was set up for surgery at the glaucoma specialist when they decided surgery needed an open OR room not out patient as my risks were too high in an out patient eye surgical center.  I continued to work in my profession through this entire time. I could see as my right eye now is dominant but the pain was identified then at Emory University as a corneal ulcer with corneal degeneration, advanced and advanced glaucoma in the left eye. They said at second look that it was not a Salzmans nodule but a corneal ulcer that was a much more severe problem.

The corneal specialist is very nice. The university is a big, busy place but all the drops, meds, everything was professional and options given. My husband has been through this with me and has been a good supporter. My parents also were concerned and aware of the pain I have been through.

On the day before Christmas Eve, I got an amniotic graft on my eye by a corneal specialist.
I literally was in bed with this prosthesis about the size of a quarter under my eye socket and praying that the graft woud take when they removed the prosthesis 3 weeks later.

I took 3 weeks off work for this procedure and had it removed last week. It healed the corneal ulcer but the glaucoma is fairly stable, but necessary now to look at other options for the glaucoma. So now I have a corneal specialist for the degeneration and they have set up in February seeing an attending glaucoma specialist at Emory for options. I returned back to work this week.

I still have some irritation under my lid where the device rubbed and still very sensitive to light but it was good to be back at work. I could not ask for any more sweet and understanding co workers and friends. The day before my procedure, they asked to say a prayer for me in a circle. I was so deeply touched in my heart and so thankful. The graft is from amniotic/placental donor tissue from a woman who had a C section. I had never heard of this and interesting to me because I'm a women's health practitioner.

The scar on my cornea will always remain and the specialist said I will have to wear a prosthetic clear scleral lens. I will be fitted for it in 2 weeks, it's sent to New York to be made and then I go back to get the device, learn how to put it in and take it out every morning and night.

The visual loss/blindness in my left eye is about 45% and is not reversible. I thank God every day for 2 eyes.

Until I got the graft procedure, I was knitting after work some at night and weekends but my pics are forthcoming. I do not write this for any pity AT ALL please but just to let those who follow my blog know why the gap in writing.

My corneal specialist is hoping and myself too that an ulcer does not occur again on the scar but she says that it probably is going to be recurrent. This is why the prosthetic device will hold my cornea and keep it from getting as dry too and maybe prevent this.

I have some limitations but mostly I'm doing well. The sun is probably the worst thing so I wear sunglasses alot. I love cloudy days now.

I'm very thankful I can continue in my profession and help others feel better. Being on the flip side is so very different!! I am also thankful for the corneal specialist. She listened and identified the problem right away. She was there when I cried about my fear of going blind. She is reassured with the graft the ulcer went away and is just a very understanding and knowledgable lady.

The next step on this glaucoma journey is next month. One day at a time.

I take one day at a time and I know that there is always a purpose for everything as God promises us but I also know we sometimes don't know why and may never know why these things happen. Coming to peace with that.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found
was blind but now I see.

Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace my fears relieved.


Thank you if you made it this far to read. :)
I have not forgotten my blog and all you who still take the time to read.
I will be back soon with a much better blog post and get back in the groove.

On the knit front.............just off the needles a scarf for my hubbie in the color Lake Tahoe
please excuse my picture. It's from my phone.

Actually picture one is the right color.


and this is finished and in a whole different light. LOL




It has not been blocked here. Definitely a simple, quite bulky alternating of stockinette and garter, easy on the eyes.


I plan to cast on my Christmas at Downton Lorna's Laces yarn REAL soon!!!!!!!!
I will be making a shawl.

Also will share a pic of part of my Christmas present in my next post.

I also will be having a blog sale in the next few months so stay tuned.

I hope this finds YOU all happy and healthy with the start of 2016!!!!

Jennifer

P. S. Miss Abbie sends her sweet love!

Gadget

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