Monday, April 30, 2012

Knitting Trials & Tribulations

Currently, the big project on my needles is an afghan for my future sister-in-law.  It's sort of my own design, but the layout and some of the cabling elements come from the Burridge Lake Afghan (link is for Ravelry if you are a knitter).  I wanted something a little less busy than the Burridge Lake Afghan and I didn't like all of the cables in it and definitely not the Trinity Stitch.  So, I did some research and picked some cables I liked, figured out which would work well together in terms of repeats, decided on the cables, figured out the spacing I wanted and came up with my pattern.  Like the Burridge Lake Afghan, I am knitting this in panels.  I'm nearly done with the first panel - just trying to decide if it is long enough.  Should it be just a lap afghan or should it be long enough that FSIL and cover herself head - well shoulder - to toe with it?  If I want the latter - do I have enough yarn.  So last night I was doing math.  One ball of yarn is getting me about 118 rows.  At that rate, I will need just over 3 balls to complete the first panel.  Since the third panel is the same series of cables - just left to right instead of right to left - the third panel should take the same amount of yarn.  The center panel is double the width of the others - in stitches anyway - so theoretically it should be double in terms of yarn usage.  So, if basically I need a total of 7 balls of yarn to do panels 1 & 3, then panel 2 should take 7 balls of yarn.  I have 16, so I should be good.  While I was doing this math last night and pondering the yarn issue - I took a quick look at panel 1 and saw one cable where I failed to cross it.  Had I crossed it the wrong way, I would have just let it be - let it be a design element.  But I didn't cross it at all.  I didn't like the way it looked.  So, I sucked it up, took those 8 stitches down to the error and have been reknitting.  Notice I didn't tink the whole thing back - just those 8 stitches.  This is the first time I've tried something like that and I am so damn proud of myself!   It's not easy, I'm actually doing a little continental knitting here, only problem is I'm twisting my purl stitches.
So, back to the yarn issue.  I decided this morning that what I would do is stop knitting on panel 1 where I am, put the stitches on some waste yarn.  Then I will knit panel 3 to the same point and put it on waste yarn.  Then I'll do the center panel and see where I stand when that gets to the same point.  And for anyone who is curious, the reason I'm knitting panel 3 before the center panel is that 1 & 3 are identical - just mirror images.  If I find that the I'm not happy with the projected width of the afghan after doing 1 & 3, then I can enlarge the center panel and continue to have the project be symmetrical.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Was I crying for her or for me?

The woman I wrote about in yesterday's post called me at work yesterday.  We talked some, mostly she talked, I listened.  I tried to affirm her feelings, tried to give her some advice.  After I got off the phone with her, I cried.  I really didn't expect that.  Some of it was sadness for her, but mostly I think it was dredging up old sorrows of mine.  Her situation was very similar, where they told her at one visit that the heartbeat was slowing, to expect a loss and then it happened.  So, I had a good cry.  I was drained by it.  I got home last night and just wanted hugs from A and Boomer.  I sat outside with A while he cooked and I drank a glass of wine.  I looked at him, at Boomer, at our yard and I know how very lucky I am, how very much I have.  It's hard though, to not be sometimes sad at what we don't have.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sharing experience, trying to help

The wife of someone I know recently suffered a miscarriage.  When the husband first announced her pregnancy and I found out she was only 6 weeks along, I did an inner cringe and thought that he shouldn't be sharing the news so soon.  Sadly I was right.  We talked yesterday, she's having a hard time.  Well, who wouldn't be having a hard time.  Sadly, her closest female relatives don't get it and are bumbling with being supportive and falling into age old traps - like thinking it would be good to be around babies.  Oy.  So, he came to me to see what I had done, to whom had I turned for help.  I gave him the name of the therapist I saw.  I offered to be available to his wife.  I was honest about the general suckiness of their reality.  The sad thing, for me, is that I can offer support, I can offer advice, I can listen, but I can't make their pain go away any faster.  And I really wish I could. 

Another step closer

I'm down another pound!  Yay!  I was kind of worried Sunday when I weighed myself and was up a little.  But I kept in mind that weight can fluctuate weirdly sometimes, it could just be water weight.  And it looks like I was right.  I didn't really do anything different this week, but I was only out to dinner once.  I had one beer that night and that was it.  It wasn't because of the diet, it was because I was looking at a 1 hour ride home, including going up and over a mountain.  Okay, a big hill - but it's a really, really big hill with windy, twisty roads.  I also added a little bit of weights to my working out.  I'm serious about the little part.  I'm only working on my arms right now, because I'm doing this at home.  My arms are my worst part - that double goodbye is really bad.  I'm considering changing gyms to one that will be closer to home and that offers more - like classes and a pool.  It will be more expensive, not a lot more but enough that I will feel guilt if I don't go.  So, I need to think about it, since during the summer, it's so much easier to get my exercise by walking in the neighborhood.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Photos

Some photos for a beautiful Friday.  We have some knitting - some finished, some WIPS - some flowers and some Boomer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happiness is....

.....beautiful new yarn!  I received some yarn in the mail this week that I ordered in March.  It is a beautiful green, with some subtle variegation.  I love, love, love the color.  I plan to make a shawl or stole with it and I plan to wear that shawl or stole to a big dinner we are going to in September.  Nothing like planning in advance!  It will be one of the choices to make the trip to Italy for the wedding in October as well. I haven't quite decided on the pattern yet.  I'm leaning towards one that is kind of Irish in design. 
I've got a lot of knitting plans this year - don't know if I'll get to do them all.  I need to prioritize.  I'm currently working on the afghan for FSinL.  I also want to do a baby surprise jacket for my niece for her 1st birthday.  That should be relatively easy to knock out.  I have multiple shawls I would like to knit for myself.  I would like to knit my husband a pair of nice socks - dress ones, unlike the ones I knit for him to wear under his scuba gear.  I want to knit an afghan for BinL.  I want to knit a baby blanket for friends who are expecting their first and then there's a guy in A's firehouse who is expecting his first that I should put on the knit list - but those unfortunately will be low priorities considering what else I want to do.
Priority #1 is the afghan for FSinL.  That's my evening project.  Realistically, I think I can have it done by mid-July.  Then the shawl for myself that is currently my work-lunchtime project.  I only get about 30-45 minutes a day with it, but it should be done in a week or so at that rate.   I think I will next do the BSJ for my niece.  That can be a luncthime project.  That won't take too long, even at only 30 minutes a day.  I may try to squeeze in another quick shawl for me before the BSJ.  I think that then I'll devote my lunch hours to turning my lovely green yarn into a lovely shwal.  When the afghan for FSinL is done, I may start right in on the one for BinL as my at-home in the evenings project.  His will be a simpler pattern and should go much faster.  
Wow - so much.

No movement to speak of

I kind of expected it just before I got on the scale - no change.  I wasn't really bad during the week, but I wasn't perfect either.  And exercise suffered.  But, the budget is done, so it's back to only one night meeting a month.  That means I should be able to get some more exercising done.  I've got about 5 pounds to go to get to my goal.  Honestly, I would like to go a little bit further, and I will try.  But 5 more pounds is a must.  It's a good feeling as I'm fitting into clothes I couldn't wear last summer - or at least could not wear comfortably.  I've never been one to be able to wear pants that are tight around my waist.  Whenever I see someone who clearly had to lay down and suck it in to button their pants, I wonder how they can stand it - but that's them, not me.  Anyway, I'm not thrilled to see no movement this week, but I'm not worried or giving up.  I'll be doing my best to stick to the diet and get lots of exercise in this week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I'm having a moment - a good one

If you've read my blog for a while, you know that I tried, but couldn't have children.  That was devastating to me.  There are a lot of people who don't get how painful it is.  How could they - they've never experienced anything like it.  There are people who don't understand when you stop trying.  For some, it's because they are afraid of what you represent - that it may be their fate as well.  There are, of course, people who do get it, even if they have had children - with or without medical assistance or adoption.  And there are people who try to get it, maybe they don't - but they try.  There are some wonderful women on a board I used to belong to who fall into those last two categories and the support I got from them, I'll always appreciate. 
So - to the moment I'm having.  I made a commitment a while back to find happiness in my life despite not being able to have children.  I was determined that I would have a happy and fulfilling life.  I did not want to wallow.  Not too much anyway.  I think I have done a good job of finding things in life that make me happy.  I've learned - for the most part - to stop longing for the life I planned and to love the life I have.  But with all that, I've never looked on myself as having succeeded in the world of infertility.  After all, I'm still infertile.  But today, I read a post in a blog I follow that has made me look at it differently.  I have succeeded.  Infertility did not defeat me.  I may not have defeated infertility, but infertility did not defeat me.  I am living happily.  I am living a good fulfilling life.  I went through the dregs of artificial reproduction treatment and miscarriage and came out the other end.  I may not have come out where I hoped, but I did come through.  Thank you Mali for helping me see that.  For a good read - go to

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A pleasant surprise!

After discovering that Easter could be a real eating holiday, I was surprised not to have gained weight this week.  Indeed, I lost a little.  Not much of a loss - but I guess sticking to the diet the rest of the week really paid off.  This is the last week of my budget meetings, so I'll be able to kick the exercise back up by the end of the week.  Yay!  I've really been enjoying my walks and now will get to adding some weights.  I have only one eating challenge that I'm aware of this week - a lunch tomorrow, which is pretty manageable.  So, I'm creeping ever closer to my goal.  After that will come another test - maintaining.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Happiness is....

.....the end being in sight.  Three more budget meetings - one this week, two next week.  They've been longer this year than in the past few years, but back then we were doing two a week always, so I'll take fewer but longer. 
Another thing to be happy about - got the news on our taxes last night.  Looks like we'll be able to redo the electric service to the house and put some money in savings.  Yay!  In fact, enough left to put in savings to cover the trip to Italy if we can't use frequent flyer miles. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Back on track

I did a good job sticking to the diet this week.  I still had some cheats in there, but nothing excessive.  And it paid off.  I'm down about 2 pounds from last week.  I figure that it wasn't all in this week, maybe some of what showed on the scale last Tuesday was just temporary.  I've kept up the exercise, but I want to add some weights in.  This week will be tough for exercise as I've got two night meetings - same next week - but then I'll be back to once a month.  I think I'll start slowly getting back into weight work - just maybe a few arm exercises after my walk.  The arms are my worst spot, so a good place to start.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Pictures! OMG!

It's been a while since I've posted pictures - so here are some knitting ones.  And Boomer too.  The first few are of my latest finished object.  I have fallen in love with a new yarn - plucky knitter primo fingering.  So soft, beautiful colors.

 Next up is a baby blanket - easy pattern, simple cables, pick up stitches around the edges and do a broken rib pattern.  I love the color combination.  I may have posted these before.

 Emmy's sweater - just so cute - even if posted before, it deserves another showin.
 And Boomer - doing what he does best, sleeping.  Can you believe the position he will get in sometimes!  Obviously the dog has no modesty.