Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bits and Scraps

We got the idea from Merce over a year ago. To save all of our scraps and clippings from all of our yarn and fiber projects and collect them in a bag until we had a bunch to spin up into Treasure Trove Yarn. Both Twilight and I jumped on the idea!!! Of course, Twilight having a spinning wheel, has already spun up her very first batch.

I immediately fell in love. (I'm so easy) She's making a pillow, but it screamed a new rug for my art studio to me!!! The colors remind me of the rag rugs that used to be in my Grandma's house. So we made a deal to do some work trade. She loves my cookies, and I love her yarn. If you follow Twilight's blog, you already know that Twilight doesn't cook or bake unless she absolutely has to. So she's gonna spin up my bag of bits and scraps in trade for my baking skills. A batch of cookies whenever we get together. I think it's more than fair!!

So here is a pic of my odds-n-ends, and bits and scraps. All ready to be recycled into a Treasure Trove. It's a beautiful pile!! I'm going to follow Twilight's example and hand card it with some of the multi-colored fleece I have left over too. Then I'll hand it over to her and let her do her magick thing!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

April Flare

I need to write about my April flare. I haven't wanted to, but the whole reason I began this blog is to document things inorder to help my failing memory. I'll begin by saying that the weeks leading up to the flare were wonderful. I felt great, strong, energetic, and inspired. Unfortunately this probably encouraged me to overdo things, because I really felt like I could do it all!! This pic was taken the week before the flare hit. This is me and Twilight at our Beyond the Fringe art show opening party. I'm the redhead.
April 14th was a huge busy day for us. We were in Santa Fe that morning getting new tires put onto the little truck, and then we headed to Los Alamos to meet Twilight and Thebes to take our amature radio, HAM license tests. After we all passed with flying colors, D and I headed to Albq. It was really late by time we got there, and I had a huge energy rush. I felt wide awake and D and I were chatting up a storm!! So we went out for a late night dinner. I noticed that the skin on my hands and arms had started to tingle, burn, and itch. I remembered that on my Lupus Board they had said this was a warning sign that I'd had too much sun exposure, but I blew it off because it had been hours and hours since I'd been in the sun. So I dismissed it as irrelevant. I got to bed at about 2am.

April 15th I woke up at 9am and felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I felt like I imagine I would if I had drunk a bottle of wine, a 6-pack of beer, followed by a bottle of champagne. My head was in a tight vice of pain. I got up and stumbled across the room and grabbed hold of the table to hold myself up. The room was spinning. I started to get really hot all over my body. I could feel sweat starting to form in a rush on my forehead, my armpits, and covering my back. Then nausea hit and I began to dryheave. I made it to the bathroom and spent sometime hugging the toilet with more dryheaving. I fumbled for the faucet of the tub and got water to splash onto my face and neck. Daniel helped my back to bed and suddenly I was freezing and shivering. Every cell in my being hurt. Every joint was screaming. Even my toes were throbbing, and the sheets felt like lead weights too heavy on my feet. I stayed in bed until 6pm. Then D helped me outside for a few minutes to breathe some fresh air, and I was able to contact my friends to let them know another flare had hit. This pic is of me dressed in my Lupus clothes. This was taken during my first outing after the flare. The sun can't get to me!!!

This flare lasted about 7 to 9 days. Each day felt a little better than the previous one. But each day was filled with pain, exhaustion, and brain fog (confusion). It was at least 7 days before I could walk normally again. My joints felt thick, like they were made from clay, and my coordination was lost, and everything was clumbsy. Especially during the first few days, I was so weak. My muscles felt like I had worked them out intensely. I'd reach to pick up my glass of water, and not be able to lift it off of the table. Daniel was my hero. He never left my side or took his eyes off of me. He gave me constant TLC. He made sure I did everything possible to get better, including spending alot of time in bed. I love him so much. This is a pic of us also taken at the art show, pics taken by Thebes. I am so blessed this man loves me through everything!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Daniels Sweater

I started this cotton cabled sweater quite a few months ago, and then set it aside to focus on artwork. Thankfully I have a very patient husband. What could have been a great Soltice or Birthday present is going to be a Father's Day gift. This is a modified version of the Organic Man Pullover published in the winter 07/spring 08 issue of KnitScene. I made Daniel the Organic Man last year in cream, and it quickly became his favorite sweater. He loves big tunic style tops so this is a perfect pattern for him. I have the back and sleeves finsished already, and I CO for front this week. I was a little worried about my gauge and whether or not I'd remember the cable pattern. But it's coming out perfectly.

I designed this version with a Saxon cable down the center of both front and back, with a Seedstitch Wishbone Cable on either side of the Saxon cable and down the center of each sleeve. It's very handsome and compliments the Viking inside my man!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shrug update

The cuffs (done in Merce yarn) turned out beautifully. Each one is 7.5 inches. Now I'm knitting with my yummy Twilight handspun that I got for my Soltice gift. It's very very soft and bulky. It's knitting up into a hard core warm fabric. It feels reminicent of the old Irish fishing sweaters.

I love the color of the gray yarn. It's my favorite shade of gray. I could have chosen any color for the cuffs and it would have looked great, but I'm thinking I picked out the very best from the stash!!! This is the first project that I've knit out of my yarn bowl, and I'm loving that too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finished Legwarmers

These are part of my new summer wardrobe. Mission: Full Sun Coverage!! They look kind of short in this picture, but they come up just over the top of the knee. I did a feather and fan lace top. Since I don't wear pants, I'm working on more summer weight leg coverings so I can continue to wear my cute shorter skirts. I'm going tight shopping any day now too. Each one is a full skein of sock yarn with leftovers used for the top and bottom. These pics are pre-blocking.

I'm really liking lacey tops, it makes the lace stand out more than when the whole project is lace and the rest of the sock or legwarmer is a zombie car project with straight st.knit stitch. For my next pair, I think I'm going to splurge on some really fine Egyptian Cotton yarn to see how I like it. And I'll try a nice cabled top with the cotton!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sock Update

I've done two more pairs of socks! So far I'm averaging a pair a month this year. I didn't get a picture of the pink ones when they were finished........and then gave them away!! I'm gonna get better about this I swear! I personally love ankle socks, and not just because the knit up quickly. The teal-greeny ones I kept for myself!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Yarn Junkie's Wet Dream

Every yarn junkie knows about the gems of a stash. They are the rare gold coins sparkling amongst the hordes of saved up change in a jar. For some knitters it might be a skein of cashmere or a small hank of Quivet. For me, currently, it's four skeins of handspun yarn by Merce Mitchell. Spinner and felting artist of Taos. I was a fan of Merce's work long before I was aware of Merce herself, and I'm still surprised when I think that not only is she a real person, living only a mile from me, but she's become one of my bestfriends!!

I come from a background of extreme poverty, so there were periods with no knitting at all. I remember going into Walmart years ago and splurging on 4 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn and getting tingly toes because it was such an extravagance at the time. My financial world has improved over the years, and I've been able to have at least a small monthly yarn budget for a few years now. But I've remained frugel, and horded and recycled my way to an enormous stash that now has it's own room. I am a yarn junkie.

The issue with having gems in your stash is whether or not to knit them. When you have 64 yards of precious handspun goodness (with a price tag of $45) the pressure as a knitter is extreme. Once it is knitted, it's no longer in the stash. Each of Merce's skeins is a one of a kind work of art. She doesn't mass produce, and her sense of color is breathtaking. Her talent to mix and blend her wool like fine oil paints rivals Noro! Yes, I said it. So until today, I have kept these coveted goodies in my stash to fondle and preen over. But I'm in the middle of a Lupus Flare.....and I need to pamper myself. And Twilight is currently knitting with Cashmere Noro, which makes the knitter in me jealous to no end.

So today I pulled out the very best balls in my stash to begin a "Comfort Shrug". One skein of Merce's and 6 balls of Twilight's handspun (which is so wonderful that it deserves another whole post all of it's own)

For the very first time, I cast on with Merce's yarn!! It's incredible!! The yarn is like Merce herself down to the core! It's an expression of the earth and life. It isn't soft, and it's not smooth. It's knarly and inconsistent. It's personality is spectacular, a new color and texture appear with every stitch. It has strength and durability underlying it's beauty. And every so often a spot of shiny bright silky goodness pops out at you!! I just completed 8 inches of ribbing for the cuff of my shrug and not one single stitch was boring!! The act of knitting it was pure joy. Thank You Goddess for my life. Thank You Merce and Twilight for the yarn. I love you.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Too Much to Tell

Twilight just pointed out to me, again, that it's been over two months since my last post. I had to tell her that I hadn't posted because I couldn't remember my name and password to get into my blog. She gave me some pointers on how to get that information back and here I am!!

For anyone who wants a beautiful illustration on how my art show went this month, please visit Twilight's wonderful blog. She has carefully documented the event and each of the participating artists!! From my point of view, I'll say that it was a spectacular day!! It started and ended even before I knew what was happening. It was a dreamlike whirlwind of great music, food, art, artists and visitors. And ever since it ended, I've been fired up about next year's show!! I've started one new piece, and am planning on starting two more new ones as soon as possible!!


I'm currently in the middle of a flare. It's been the worst one in at least 8 months, but I'm keeping it under control. I have been feeling great over-all since my last post, this is just a minor set back. I have been working with my friends Helen, Twilight, and Merce with some Energy Healing Work. We've been studying from the books by Donna Eden: Energy Medicine, and Energy Medicine for Women. And then putting into practice what each of us needs and comparing notes of the effects. So far, mixed with the exercises given to me by my Rhuemy, I've had very noteable positive results!! I'll post more about that in the future!!

My best news came in March!! My blood specialists said that my ITP is now in remission. My counts are good and my body is producing platelets and not destroying them. Which means that I can now have an occasional dose of Advil or a small glass of wine without endangering my life.

So I've been celebrating life on many different levels!!!


I'm waiting patiently to find out if I've been accepted into the 2009 Taos Wool Festival. The work is being juried on April 25th. Currently on the needles, I'm finishing up a pair of summer weight legwarmers. And I picked up a long term project that got set aside while I was working towards the art show, it's called the Penrose Rug. It will eventually by my special meditation run for the inside of my studio. But I'm also hoping to show it at the Wool Festival this year.

This is section of the Penrose. It will be 8 pieces like this put together in a large circle. The orange diamond at the top is the point where all 8 will connect in the center. After knitting each small piece, I have added felted appliques and embroidery. Most of this is knitted from recycled yarn that I hand dyed myself last summer.


Daniel and I, along with Twilight and Thebes, took our Amature HAM radio license test this past week in Los Alamos. And we all passed!!!! In fact, Thebes more than passed, he continued on and passed his General and his Extra licenses!! So now our husbands are shopping for radios, and antennaes and misc equipment. Daniel has high hopes of setting up a base station that will bounce signals off of the moon!!