Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two weeks

Wow, it has been two weeks since I've been here.  While I've composed numerous posts in my head, I haven't been able to write them (for many reasons, none of them very good).  And one of my goals this year was to get here on a more regular basis.  No time like the present to work on that!

What happened to keep me away is that school started back again.  I'm coming up on the end of the third week.  Tomorrow is the first exam of the semester, and by all rights I should be studying for it right now, since my twenty minute break ended fifteen minutes ago.

This week started our first hospital clinical experience, too.  We spent Monday and Tuesday in the hospital, assigned an actual, real, live patient who needed actual nursing care that we were expected to give.  Can you say "stressful"?  More than stressful, actually.  It was completely nerve wracking and draining in a way that I've never experienced before.

The hospital I'm at is over two hours away from where I live, so on Sunday night I drove to a classmate's apartment mid-way between here and the hospital.  So not only am I going into a new situation, I'm not even coming home to decompress between clinical days.  In the grand scheme of things, this isn't a real problem, and I feel grateful that a classmate is putting not only me but another one of us up for two days a week during the entire twelve week experience.  No one slept well on Sunday night, and we had to get up in time to leave at 5:30 am.  By Tuesday afternoon, during our debriefing, we were all so emotionally and physically drained that conversation was minimal.

When I got home on Tuesday evening--at 6 pm, almost fourteen hours after I started my day--I was so tired that all I could do for dinner was open a jar of pasta sauce and boil some spaghetti.  I didn't even add garlic to the pasta sauce.  Nothing.  I couldn't fathom chopping and onion and sauteing garlic.  Plain old Ragu served over noodles.  Like I was twenty again and didn't know how to cook.  To top it off, Tuesday was our anniversary.  Happy Anniversary, honey!

In other news, Frosty's stitches are out and he is feeling much better.  Of course, resting on a pile of three foofy blankets probably helps a bit.
That's my little F-er.  All smiles.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Visit

My mother was here this past weekend.  She flew in Thursday night and left Monday morning, so just a quick stop.  She is both a knitter and a reader, so our first day "oot and a-boot" (Yooper slang for "out and about") involved another visit to The Salty Sheep and then down to Jacksonville for a stop at a bookstore.  She kindly enhanced both my stash and my library.
A closer look at the yarn?
This is Madelinetosh sock in "Mansfield's Garden Party."  I haven't knit with their sock yarn yet, and I'm interested to see how this knits up, especially with how many colors are in there.
Pinks, greens, and yellows.  This could be absolutely lovely.  Or not.  We'll see.  I just needed a little spring in my yarn.

We also toured Tryon Palace in New Bern.  The entire tour was interesting, but I fell in love with the Kitchen Office.  The kitchen house was separate from the main house, because the historical wealthy didn't really want to see where the magic happened, so to speak.  The kitchen house was more than just the kitchen; it was also where the seamstress worked.  There is a room set up with several looms, roving, a couple of wheels and spindles, and knitting in progress.  I wish I had pictures!  (The Historical Society does not allow taking photos and I couldn't find any online.)  It is amazing how little the tools of this craft have changed in the last three hundred years.

And since I often close with a picture of one of the Snufflepuffs, I give you a picture of my Frosty looking rather dejected.  You see, he had surgery on Friday afternoon.  Poor little guy blew out his ACL and was limping all week.  Now he is confined to his crate for the week to protect his leg.
You can see the incision on his hind leg.  Poor Frosty.
He is already so much better than he was just a few days ago.  He really wants to move around, but he tires so quickly.  Here's to a speedy recovery for the Doodlebug.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Knitter's Revenge

I met up for lunch with a dear friend, Layne, whom I haven't seen enough of lately.  We ate at a great restaurant with an ocean view, and a view of the yarn store we both love-- The Salty Sheep in Swansboro, NC.  We talked about knitting, family, knitting for family, and scads of other things.

While we were talking about people who request knitting, we had the following conversation:

Me:  She asked me knit a hat for the baby.  Not just any hat, but a specific one that matched her nursery.
Layne:  Did you do it?
Me:  Yes, but I used acrylic.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Flower Power

Oh my goodness, where have I been?  I really, truly expected to post much more over break but somehow life got in the way.  I haven't done much.  I haven't even finished Christmas Knitting (more on that in a later post).  On more than one day, I didn't leave the house except to walk the dogs.  I've read a lot, watched an awful lot of Parenthood on Netflix (while Mike is at work), watched a lot of Burn Notice on Netflix (with Mike, when he is home), read a lot (but not everything on my nightstand; I did make it to the library), and did some cross stitch.  (More on that in a later post, too.  Almost finished!)  And did some knitting.
I'm calling it the Upsa Daisy.  Isn't she cute?
I'm showing the finished product before all the working shots because if this was a blog I had just stumbled upon, I would probably scroll to the finished object before I read the entire post.  I like to know what I'm moving towards.  As much as I would like to be spontaneous and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, I generally do best with predictability.  Or at least when I know the outcome of the situation.  If I know the outcome, I can go along for the ride, no problem.

Does anyone remember a set of books from the early 80s about plucky heroines, each book titled after the main character?  Titles like Caroline, Elizabeth, and others?  I was probably around ten years old when I was reading them, and they were so dreamy to me.  They were historical fiction, and the title character always had two problems.  One, she had an historically important problem of the time.  I distinctly remember one book where the girl was a Suffragette.  And her second, not quite so historically important problem, but the Biggest Problem In the World?  TWO suitors!  Who did she pick?  The (good) reader never knew until the last chapter.  Always the last chapter.  Not a "good" reader (then, as now), I usually always looked ahead to figure out which guy she ended up with.  Only then could I sit back and enjoy the show.  (For the same reason, I often watch movies more than once, and generally enjoy them more the second time around.)

Anyway, that is why I'm showing you the finished hat first.  But now I'm telling you that I had the pink part finished for a week before I could get up the mojo to knit the six white petals.  Once I did it, it took about twenty minutes, tops.
Petals at the ready
Then I had to pin all the petals to the hat.
No real science to it, just pin and go.
Then I had to use all those obnoxious tails to sew the petals to the hat.
It is amazing how many of my knitting pictures look like this, with a glass of wine in the background.
I left two long tails on the petals, one on the cast on and one on the cast off.  As I was stitching these one, I used one tail to stitch down one side, wove it in, and used the other tail to go up the other side.  I thought maybe I should just use one per petal, and weave the other tail in before pinning to the hat, but I think using the two tails gave me a bit of maneuverability with the petals.  I didn't pin them on in the exact position they ended up in; I fussed with them a bit, squinching them around to fill in the space properly.
Not exact, but perfect nonetheless.
It ended up being so sweet.  I love it, and I hope the recipient loves it.  Raveled here, if you are looking for yarn information.

And of course, the gratuitous picture of a fluffy dog.
Brett, examining the finished product.