Sunday, May 26, 2019

Yopping Update #47 - More decisions and ONE WIP

My goodness, we are getting down to the wire with this year's Yopping (Year of Projects).  As usual their will be many little knits not knit (all my advent plans), but also, as usual, I have created many things that were not planned.

As of this moment I have....drum roll please....only one WIP!  I will get to the details of that ONE WIP in a moment.

This past week, thanks to Portuguese knitting (for purl) and Continental knitting (for knit) I finished all my remaining squares on my Hearts and Diamonds KAL from the Simply Knitting Magazine.

so now my guest bed looks like this

I keep going into the room and looking at the arrangement and switching things around - I am almost happy with it, and once I am I will start sewing it together.

Back to my ONLY WIP...

I picked up the Fisherwoman's sweater, and it took me a while to remember where I was with it, but I finished the first pattern repeat (16 rows) last night.  I can knit about 4 rows an evening before my arm gives out.  The wrong side rows are just knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches so that is mindless, but the right side row involve 6 charts - all with cables - and the charts aren't all the same number of rows so I had to get organized with coloured markers and lots of magnetic bars to keep my place on each chart.

Yesterday was my one year birthday with CoDA and I got my one year coin:

On a sad note my dear brother-in-law's boat was destroyed by fire on Friday evening. We had all put our hand-prints on it in memorium to him.  The police are investigating, but it looks like a beach party fire that went awry.  So very sad.  I can hear him from the great beyond harumphing about the senseless damage done by thoughtless persons.

My arm is up and down - sleeping is still tenuous and I think I overdid the pool exercises last Wednesday so I am playing overly cautious since then.

I made some notes to share at the CoDA meeting and I will leave you this week with a poem I read to the group

Meditation for Courage by Rudolf Steiner

We must eradicate from the soul
all fear and terror
of what comes towards us from the future;

We must look forward
with absolute equanimity to whatever comes,
and we must think only
that whatever comes is given us
by a world direction full of wisdom.

It is part of what we must learn during this age,
namely to act out of pure trust
in the ever present help of the spiritual world;
truly nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail us.

Therefore let us discipline our will,
and let us seek the awakening from within ourselves,
every morning and every evening.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Yopping Update #46 - Thought process

I took the advice of Yarnma from last week's comment and from the pictures of JustMagicMaria's blanket and I crocheted around each of the squares with a row of hdc (half double crochet) and then joined them together using Rachele Carmona's Flat Braid Join with only one chain on her Youtube channel.

So I went from this:

to this:

I didn't like how the pink was arranged

but now I see the light green is all bunched up

hmm  I needed to flip the square middle left
Now the pink needs adjusting again
Nope, that isn't right either

so I flipped all the bottom squares, but something was still off

So let's swap square 5 and 8

And that is how I finally was ready to join them together.  As I was arranging them I realized that to me the squares all look like different landscapes or seascapes.  Sunrises and sunsets, sky and land and water.  

I did a final row of hdc in dark pink before blocking. 

It didn't seem quite finished once blocked so with some advice from my quilting friend we decided I should add another border in purple and she suggested the shell stitch.  I had enough purple left over so I went for it.  

Done - TaDa  

Remember the annoying nagging monkey - well, this happened:

I made him a friend

Chilling on the piano

And then because I can't leave well enough alone I decided I could knit some more squares for my Heart's Desire Blanket using the portuguese knitting technique.  

background is red, heart is pink and white


fairisle square
I overdid the knitting thing though because my arm was super sore last night, lesson learned (ya, right), no really, lesson learned.   

I will only knit 1/2 square tonight, and see how that goes.  

Generally speaking I think my arm is s l o w l y improving - I see the physio again on Tuesday.  

So that's it for me - some progress.  Plus I blocked a few more of my KAL squares which had been sitting there mocking me - so I am currently at 30 squares out of the 36 and they are all blocked now.  

It is a long weekend here, and we have had company, - today we are going out for lunch and dinner (my husband had his 71st birthday on Friday and we have been celebrating ALL weekend (and by celebrating I mean eating - lol), but I will try to get to the pool this afternoon regardless.  

To follow other yoppers check out there updates here.  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Yopping Update #45 - Hooking along

Despite my sore arm I have found that crocheting is doable so I finished my basket weave kitchen cloth.  This was done with my left hand - I like this stitch and once I saw how the pattern was unfolding I could crochet without looking at the pattern.  Of course I did frog it back many rows, twice, when I realized that things were going wonky on one side.  I think it is pretty good now and in my kitchen drawer waiting to be put into circulation.

I then picked up and finished the lopi slippers and felted them - FOR THE WIN!!  I love them.  They are a perfect fit and sooooo comfortable.

I went back to my crochet mandela sampler blanket I started last year.  I have finished two more mandelas.

My monkey came out of the time out bag on Friday and I finished the tail, the 2nd leg, two feet and two arms. I finished these parts with my right arm - so he is technically an ambidextrous monkey since I crocheted his head, body and 1st arm with my left arm. And then I even put it all together - how cute is he?  The instructions for stitching the toes took three tries, because I couldn't easily follow the instructions and pictures in the pattern, but patience persevered and I did it!

"So glad to be out of the ziploc bag and finished - see?  Nagging works!"

I have finished all the squares for my baby blanket, and I have bought some purple yarn to crochet the squares together.  I am now looking into which kind of join I want to use - I tried the single crochet and didn't like it, then the flat braid and didn't like it.  I want something in between the squares and not just seamed together.  Part of the problem is that top and bottom the squares have chains to work with but the sides don't.   Any ideas crocheters? Any one?

9 squares in search of a border

So, yes, crochet is my go-to at the moment - and I am using my right hand again as long as my elbow is tucked firmly against my side with a pillow under my forearm.

Physio went well on Thursday - lots of IMS needles which I think help quite a bit.  Although I was wallowing in self-pity on Wednesday, by Thursday things were looking up and I got some errands accomplished that have been too long on my to-do list.

On Friday I went for a l o n g walk with a dear friend and we chattered our way to and fro along the seawall.  My feet were a little sore Friday night, but it felt good to be out by the sea in the sun. (I discovered last night that part of the sore foot problem was a sliver festering in my heel - ouch, and I know, too much information!)

Yesterday my dh and I had lunch at the Quay where a Peruvian Tall Ship was on display.  I did get a bit too much sun, but it was lovely watching the tourists come and go as we sipped our coffee at the waterfront. (I also had my first ever Poke  bowl for lunch.  Oh My God - so good!!  How did I not know of these wonderful things before now!)

I bet you were expecting a picture of the Tall ship

Happy Mother's Day to all who mother in whatever capacity they do so.  I like how in England it is called Mothering Sunday - makes more sense because I know so many Mothers of both genders, who mother whether they have children of their own or not. 

To follow other yoppers check out their posts here. 

ok ok  Here ya go (picture from (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC)

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Yopping Update #44 - Left isn't Right

Monkey - "Hello, I am over here.  A stuffed head, an unstuffed body, and one leg.  Hello??? Anyone, there?"

Mary-Anne - "Shush Monkey, I am trying to figure out this whole 'crocheting with my left hand thing'.  I have realized two things.  One, you are annoying.  Two, when you crochet with your left hand, the pattern is reversed. 

Monkey  - "Hear no evil"

Mary-Anne - "No, really look at this."

Leaning to the left
Leaning to the right

Monkey - "See no evil"

Mary-Anne - "Come on, you have to see the difference"

Monkey  - "Speak no evil"

Mary-Anne - "Argh.  You are so annoying.  Also my tension is much tighter with my left hand.  What's up with that?"

Monkey - "I need another leg, just sayin', plus I have been crocheted only with your left hand, so who cares!"

Mary-Anne - "You are such a nag, so now you are being put away in the time-out bag.  Bye-bye!)

Monkey -"Nooooooooo" 

Monkey - muffled words, probably not family friendly.

So yes, I am on my 4th left-handed square (this blanket was started last fall some time) and I suppose blocking will help the size difference, and I have decided it will be a design element to have four of the five squares leaning a different direction.

So no, left isn't right.  (But I still believe in DOG)   - little dyslexia humour.....

There was a Michael's incident a few days ago, but, hey, I got 40% off this crochet hook set and case.  The coloured hooks came with the case, and the rest are mine.

And I got two more skeins of the Loops and Threads Joy DK yarn to finish the above lefty/righty blanket.  (also 40% off)

I love this yarn - it is very soft and lovely to work with (and at the sale price 3.99 a ball!)

I continued a little with my lopi slippers using the Portuguese knitting style, but because I seem to also knit with much tighter tension with this style, and because I am knitting with roving - it also aggravated my arm. Still, one is done waiting to be felted and the other will be slow going with only a few rows a night.

Looks like it would fit a hobbit, but hopefully it will felt to the correct size.

I have painted a little this week which felt good, and today I am off to a craft fair with my Croatian teacher - so we shall see what I come home with.   Retail therapy and time with friends is almost as good as physio therapy for my arm, right?

Some of you have asked if surgery is in the future - It doesn't look like it.  My doctor and physio believe that physio and time will get me going again.  It is a partial tear, which means there is still some tendon attached to the bone which is a good thing.  I also talked to my physio about swimming and she suggested I could side stroke, or kick on my back.  Duh.  I am such an all or nothing thinker at times.  Of course I can still go to the pool and propel myself through the water - so I am working on that and made it to the pool three times this past week.

Okay - I am off to get my haircut before the craft fair - wishing you all a good, healthy week!

To follow the other intrepid yoppers as we head to the finish line of July 1 - check them out here. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

I am enough

I have not had an easy month (or two).  I have been wondering "What is the point?" to this thing called life. 
I have raised my children.
I have retired from my job (sort of).

What do I offer the world now? 

What is my purpose?  Yes, that is the question.  What is my purpose now?

Last week I spent a few days at the High School evaluating two teachers - so there is some purpose there.  During one of the lessons a student asked me for some help with their homework - and I did help - so there is that.

I go to my Coda meeting and my meeting at Hope Centre and I have some input sometimes and perhaps what I have to say helps someone. 

I think my question is bigger.  My purpose in life - what is it. 

I got up late today - and had to hurry off to Coda so as not to be late.  Still, everytime I go there I seem to have an epiphany either while there or on the way home.  Today I walked home from the meeting.  I passed a few other walkers and nodded, said hello, acknowledged their dog, or their child in the stroller. 

And the thought hit me.

Maybe my purpose is to just be me.  To smile at those I pass on the street.  To acknowledge the lost and lonely, or the triumphant and proud.  To meet human to human if even for just a moment - to let others know they are not alone. 

To let myself know I am not alone. 

When I get like 'this' I don't want to answer the phone, or the door, and if someone I know pops into view at the pool or grocery store I want to hide. 

But maybe, just maybe, if I think of the other and stop for a moment to say hello and exchange a few pleasantries it will be enough.  Baby steps towards not feeling so lonely - even though my loneliness is self imposed. 

I have been trying to find the Why, in the What which I do everyday.  The swimming, the knitting, the gym, the work, the walking and even the eating and the sleeping. 

I have been in almost chronic pain for the past couple of months - and the sleeping hours are the worse.  I usually wake up in alot of pain, but it does ease up considerably during the day as long as I don't aggravate it. 

Of course - everything aggravates it - dishes, sweeping, reaching, driving, lifting, and don't even mention knitting, or swimming. 

My other epiphany today was to stop.  Just stop all the things that aggravate it - because I can't knit just a few minutes and I realize that texting or doing crosswords on my phone also aggravate it and doing those things left handed is too hard. 

So except for watching you tubes the phone will only be used for - wait for it - phone calls.  To use whatsapp, or facebook messenger I will use my computer because typing with two hands doesn't aggravate the tendon like using my thumb to text does. 

So that is today.  I did take another try at painting the bleeding hearts that are blooming outside my front door.  I was happier with today's effort.

And then I spent some time on my Croatian exercises because there is definitely a purpose to that.  

Moja Unuka! Ona je lijepa.  Ja sam njezina baka. 

It is not that the pity party is totally over.  But it is winding down I think. 

And that is a good thing, no?