WIP Wednesday: 26 December 2018

Welcome to the very last WIP Wednesday of 2018! I did some finishing, some knitting, and some frogging this week. Lots can get done when you’re off work and don’t have many errands nor chores to get done.

Finished – Dotted Rays

Lizzie claimed the Dotted Rays as her own so I finished it up – with about 50% not yet used – and gave it to her.  Mind you, she’s not actually worn it yet. Oh, 5 year-olds! (Ravelry project page is here)

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Finished – Sockhead Slouch

When I was making this hat, I had no idea who it would be for. Then, it came to me, our amazing mail carrier! She’s always careful to take all of my (many) letters and the occasional bill and is never bothered by a little snow or a cluttered front step. (Ravelry page is here)

 

Frogged – Adventurer Cowl

I decided that this did need to get frogged to I could re-start it with fewer stitches. I also decided I wouldn’t re-start it right away but wait until I was in more of a mood to knit a lace cowl. Maybe this Spring?

New Start and Finish – Knots Coming Untied

This project started out as a Tied Knots hat for Matt out of Berroco Ultra Wool DK. After completing the first cabled chart, I had him try it on. While it does fit, it’s rather snug. Thought about it for awhile and decided to go a different direction. The new recipient is one of the neighbor kids and I didn’t do more cables but followed (very roughly) the Saku pattern for the remainder of the hat. (Project page is here.)

 

New Start – Tale as Old as Time

This project is more inspired by than closely following the pattern I’m using. I just sort of picked up needles and started on it, only to realize after that I have a pattern for exactly what I’m trying to make (a long, stockinette tube to be turned into a cowl). Too lazy to re-start, I’m going to keep going and hope I can make sense of how to finish it when the time comes. I’m going to work on this here and there as the mood strikes. More photos will come once something exciting happens with it. Otherwise, it’ll just get added to my WIP report the weeks I work on it. (Project page is here.)

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New Start – Cradle Me

A few months ago, I bought this yarn (Socks That Rock BFL) from someone’s destash on Instagram. The color is beautiful and the hand so lovely, I had to use it for a special project. I decided to use it to make a blanket. This is one of those knits that will find a recipient when it’s complete. I’m just happy to knit with this yarn. No photo for now as I’ve only done a few rows of the garter stitch border. (Project page is here.)

What’s in your WIP pile this week?

WIP (Bag) Wednesday: 19 December 2018

One of my goals for 2018 is to keep my WIPs to such a limited number that they’ll fit in the custom Fringe Supply bag I picked up at my LYS (fibre space) back in November. Well, we won’t count sweaters as the bag can hold a sweater WIP only without anything in there, but we all know I only knit one of those a year, anyway. And, well, my current WIPs don’t entirely fit.

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So, let’s see what I’ve got in there this week…

Adventurer Cowl

I had this queued as soon as I saw it pop up on my Instagram feed. I’m using two colors of Miss Babs 2-Ply (Orchid is the purple and Threshold is the green) and Hedgehog Fibers Twist Sock in Concrete. I’ve done one repeat thus far, all done on Monday as I watched too many episodes of The Ranch in a row. I put it aside as I’m trying to decide if I want to pull out my progress and do one or two repeats less. It’s quite wide and I’m worried it won’t be very long with the amount of yarn I have left (about 450 yards). The pattern does have some fiddly rows though, so I’m putting it aside to really think through what I want to do with it.

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Sock Yarn Scraps Blanket

This project will pop its head in every now and then. That large ball of yarn represents all of the leftover sock yarn that’s less than ~100 yards per color. I’m making simple mitered squares which expand to be 100 stitches wide and 8″ or so square. This one is square 5. Think I’ll try to use this as my default running-errands project as it’s quite small to haul around. Well, it would be if I hadn’t decided this morning to roll all of that yarn into a single ball for the mere purpose of seeing how large it would get.

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Sockhead Slouch Hat

I made a ton of these over the summer. Yes, summer. This one is in Socks That Rock Heavyweight in the colorway Royal. I’ve just gotten past the ribbing so have a good 5″ or so still to go before the crown decreases. I get a few rows done on this here and there, mostly right after I climb into bed. I’m hoping to finish before the New Year.

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Dotted Rays (Mine! All Mine!)

As I’ve probably shared on here before, I can work with most wools but can’t stand to have any of them against my neck or arms. This means any projects I actually want to keep for myself have to be made in acrylic or cotton. This is yet another Dotted Rays shawl, but being done in Lion Brand Mandala in the Unicorn colorway so I can keep it for myself. Nice and subtle to throw on my shoulders when I’m chilly at work or wear with a black t-shirt and jeans on the weekend. If I had to guess (too sore to stand up at the moment to get the scale), I’d say it’s about 25% complete at this point. I really want to get this done before the New Year so I an wear it when I go back to work.

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Anastasia Socks

I had every intention of keeping these for myself, then I finished the entire first sock and realized that it was too large. So, I put out a call for recipients and my friend said they’d fit her sister perfectly. Excellent. I actually lost this WIP for a few weeks, hiding in my office here at the house. I’ll pick these up and make some progress whenever I feel like working on socks again which could be a little while.

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What are you all working on lately? Rushing to finish holiday knits or knitting what you please, like me?

2018: Year in Review

What a year it’s been. I’m sure I say that every year, but this one has been particularly full of ups and downs.

January: Made lots of small cross stitch samplers for friends and coworkers. Went back into therapy for a few months. Matt helped out with robotics, I did not. Made several trips to the local trampoline park with Lizzie. Started winter ballet class. Took one of our cats, Willie, to the vet to figure out what made him lose lots of weight – turns out he had liver damage which didn’t really have a treatment. (He’s less skinny now but whines all. the. time.)

February: Spent a weekend in Florida to see my parents, brother, and sister-in-law. Visited Johnathan Dickinson State Park for the first time since I was a kid. (Finally!) Learned how Instagram Stories works. Spent an entire Sunday by myself in DC.

March: Went on our annual ski trip with friends, probably the last one we’ll ever take to Davis, West Virginia. Threw a St. Patrick’s Day party with decorations Lizzie helped me make. Got a light snow.

April: Lots of letters written – over 50 in total by month’s end. (Note to self: Don’t do this again.)Ate our first dinner of the year out in the porch. Weekend in Shenandoah. Attended the Unicorn Festival.

May: Trip without Lizzie to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Ran out of craft projects while on vacation for the first time ever. Slimmed down my yarn stash quite a bit. Got a horrible eye infection.

June: Weekend at Great Wolf Lodge with family. Lots of trips to the community pool. Saw Sound of Music sing-along. Homemade super hero cape for Lizzie. Switched up anxiety / depression medication – so, so happy I did so. Got new coffee table and side tables for the living room off Reddit, of all places. Found out my dad had a new cancer recurrence and needed to start chemo, after all.

July: Family reunion in Edisto Beach, South Carolina. 13 people in one house for 4 days – whew! Went off dairy, soy, and gluten in attempt for solution to tummy and skin issues.

August: Stopped elimination diet due to horrible abdominal pain. After several tests, found out I have Crohn’s Disease. Spent a weekend in Shenandoah with friends. Start of birthday party season for Lizzie’s friends.

September: Lizzie started Pre-K (and loves it). Spent weekend in Florida for my birthday. Old friend from LA came to visit – went to Harper’s Ferry, National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and National History Museum during his visit. Lizzie took her first ballet class at school. Off to Italy with Lizzie.

October: Italy trip! Shenandoah weekend soon after. Had first colonoscopy and learned of colonic stricture. Found out my mom has breast cancer. Made our own Halloween decorations for the living room. Lizzie dressed up as Ariel (in a store-bought costume she decided she wanted at the last minute), Matt as Prince Charming, and me as a bee. Handed out candy with neighbors on our driveway, taking advantage of unseasonably warm temperatures.

November: Saw a surgeon to talk about stricture repair options; confirm with second surgeon that surgery was only valid course of action. Spent a weekend in NYC for a friend’s 35th birthday. Several cycles of feeling fine for a few days then miserable for a few. Had family and friends to our house for Thanksgiving.

December (so far): Lizzie turned 5! Had a right colectomy and am home, recovering and trying to use it as an excuse to fully relax.

 

How was your year?

Week of Review: September 2-8, 2018

Labor Day week is always an odd one. You get a day off, which is great, but it means you feel a day off the entire rest of the week. Tuesday, masked as a Monday.

Life of Lizzie

What a week. We got through her growth spurt to find out this was definitely a brain development phase. She’s been talking almost non-stop, making various levels of sense. She gets distracted halfway through a sentence and restarts. Patience is also thin, with everything being very hard to handle when it doesn’t go her way.

We survived, though, and she even made to her very first movie in a theater with her BFF. Lizzie kept jumping into our laps when there was a loud or otherwise scary bit and doing her normal asking of questions through. Lessons learned: 1. Sit her between us and 2. Remove her light-up shoes before the movie starts.

On the Needles

Lots of knitting this week.

I finished two of the same pattern, Dotted Rays by Stephen West. The first was for Lizzie in Kelborne Wools Mojave, in three color-blocked colors. The second is in the Hot Mama colorway of Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors.

I also got some great FO photos of the three hats I finished recently. These were the Sockhead Slouch in Miss Babs, a simple 1×1 ribbing hat (on the right in the second photo) in Socks That Rock Lightweight in Islands in the Stream, and Wurm in the same yarn.

Adventures

Our adventure this week was down to Florida to visit my parents and to celebrate my birthday. We went to the beach and in the pool, ate seafood and key lime pie, played cards, and enjoyed relaxing. I was also able to get together for coffee with an old friend.

Discoveries

  • Household Name podcast on Stitcher
  • Simply Lemonade rediscovery)

Ugh. Sigh. Oye.

It was very hot and humid this week which meant lots of sweating going to meetings or just existing. Happy for cool bubble baths and iced drinks.

Better Me

Very good weekly this week, in terms of symptoms. Very not good week this week, in terms of healthy food choices. But next week is another chance to make good choices.

On Tap

  • Seeing Hamilton at the Kennedy Center
  • Friend from California visiting
  • Finishing up architecture products for project at work (hopefully)

Weeks in Review: August 19 – September 1, 2018

I thought about writing a weekly post last Sunday, but just wasn’t feeling it. But, I’m back and have a quick summary for ya’ll.

Life of Lizzie

The big excitement for Lizzie was starting Pre-K. She’s at the same school she’s been in since she was just a few weeks old, but she’s now one of the Big Kids. The class is much structured than her preschool class was and she’s all about structure. She wasn’t exactly cooperative with first day pictures, but this one turned out cute and very Lizzie.

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She also had her hair cut the week before last. It’d been since May that she had it cut and her hair grows so fast it meant getting 3″ off.

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She’s also had lots of fun playing outside with her buddy from next door. They’re not longer in the same class at school so we’re making sure they still get to hang out plenty after school or on the weekends.

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On the Needles

There were quite a few days in which I had no ability to knit due to humidity. I did, though, manage to complete two hats and and almostttt done with a shawl. The first hat is a simple 1×1 rib hat in Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Islands in the Stream.

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The second hat was in the same yarn but uses a modified version of the Wurm pattern. I’ll post an FO photo of it later, as I have yet to take one and the light is being weird right now.

I’m very close to finishing Lizzie’s Dotted Rays shawl from Kelborne Woolens Mojave. I decided against the stripes so pulled out the few rows of gray I’d done and re-started in a color blocked fashion. All that’s left is to cast off on this, so FO photo will come later this week.

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Fabric Stabbing

I did quite a lot of cross stitch this week, so much so that I only have a few colors left on my mandala. Of course, I didn’t start in the very center of the fabric so I’ll have to move it multiple times to finish it up. The pattern is called Spectral Mandala from thewordinstitches on Etsy. I, obviously, did not use the colors of the original but whatever I could find on hand. I think I’m going to do a much smaller piece next, though I don’t have any specific plans.

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Discoveries

  • Starbucks inside our local Target is very quiet on a Saturday morning
  • Mission BBQ is pretty decent, even eaten cold
  • The steamed crabs place near my in-law’s has some of the best crabs I’ve ever had and were quite easy to eat

Better Me

I’ve gotten my appetite back and have had to work really hard to not eat every single thing I see. I blame the Prednisone, though I’ve stepped down my dose quite a bit. I’ve felt mostly good, with a few meh days here and there. No pain, though!

On the mental health side, I’ve decided to get back into daily journaling, in sort of a bullet journaling style. I feel like I have so much I want to remember, both things I need to accomplish and things I don’t want to forget happening. I may show off some of my prettier pages in the near future.

On Tap

  • Celebrating my birthday with my family
  • Lots of work-related expectations/due dates to meet (though we’re really winning people over to our approach, which is a win to me!)
  • Finishing Lizzie’s shawl
  • New shawl project, maybe? Or socks?
  • Potentially finishing the cross stitch

Week in Review: August 12-18, 2018

This week flew by, yet also managed to crawl along. Matt was on call (ugh) and I had a few bad days and a bunch of good days in there, too. Let’s get started.

Life of Lizzie

Poor kid didn’t get to go to the pool until Saturday, as it was too hot or I wasn’t feeling well enough to take her or Matt got paged or…something. We went last night, right after dinner and enjoyed the empty pool and lack of direct sunlight.

She went back to the eye doctor for one of her regular appointments and her eyes are really not working together, markedly so from her last visit. This means it’s back to patching her eye, an hour each weekday. Thankfully, I never tossed out the old box of patches AND she’s finally old enough to realize we’re not torturing her, by trying to help her. Patching her right after school has been the ticket.

All week, she’s brought up things she’s looking forward to, over and over. My birthday trip to Florida. Going to Italy. Halloween. Her birthday party – to which she has said she only wants girls there and it’s going to be My Little Pony themed. Asking when it’s going to snow and if she has to go to school when it snows. Guess she’s tired of summer?

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(Sporting some shades I got her from the Target dollar area…and a ton of dirt from playing outside.)

On the Needles

I started and got a little bit into another Sockhead Hat for my neighbor in Socks That Rock Lightweight in Island in the Sky. This was my at-work project all week, though you can see how busy my week was by how little I got done on it.

I pulled out the progress I had made – little as it was – on the dark purple shawl and started it again as another Riparian Entertainment, one of my favorite lacy cowls. I brought it in to show it to the recipient, a coworker, and she loved it.

Not much progress, overall, as it’s been quite humid and I haven’t felt like knitting other than here and there. And the knitting is all away at the moment, so no pretty yarny photos this week.

Fabric Stabbing

After months away from it, I started back on cross stitch project. It’s great for when it’s too humid to knit. I played around with a few things, but eventually settled on this rainbow mandala I had previously started. If I can get it done in time, this will be part of the goodbye gift to Lizzie’s preschool teacher; Lizzie’s been under her care since she was a year old, so it’s a big deal. (I also got her a pound of excellent coffee because, well, she’s had to deal my kid for 3+ years.)

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Discoveries

Brazilian steakhouses are pretty good, even if you’re like me and don’t eat a ton of meat at a time. I went with friends on Friday night and really enjoyed myself. If it wasn’t the same price for just the salad bar and the salad bar plus all-you-can-eat-meat, I would have been very happy with only the salad bar. (Yay for DC Metropolitan Area Restaurant Week!) Also, need to remember they have free valet at that particular location so there’s no need to pay $5 to park in the garage down the street.

The Cara app for tracking symptoms, sleep, food, medication, and a bunch of other things. It helps you to figure out what may be causing your issues or, at least, what may be related. I came across it on a blog about Crohn’s and it’s been very helpful. It’s free, too.

The Great Interior Design Challenge on Netflix. Competition show out of the UK that’s just what it sounds like. Everyone’s pleasant, the settings are lovely, and the designs are varied and fun.

Oye. Ugh. Sigh.

Humidity. Crazy-high humidity. How did I ever survive, growing up in South Florida?

Inability to sleep on steroids which I fully expected but is not my most favorite thing to deal with.

Finding out the medication my doctor had prescribed was extremely expensive. Lots of fretting lead to my deciding to get it, anyway. I was in so dang much pain that day, my cheapness lost out. (I was saved by his having a stock of samples of an alternative for me to try and an odd lack of traffic – at 4 pm! – to get back over there after having already left the area to get the meds from a pharmacy by my house.)

A Better Me

I had a pretty good week, health-wise. I saw my primary care doctor on Monday for a quick chat. His first words to me: “You got our call about the CT results? Kinda scary, huh? But we’ve got this.” Saw my GI doctor on Tuesday, the day I was the worst pain all week. I’ve stepped down my Prednisone dose and added an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory to the mix. I was also given pain meds, should I need them. Looking at the Cara app – I had 3 bad days, 3 good days, and 1 OK day. And that’s judging them relative to feeling totally normal, so quite a lot better than the week prior, where I went from feeling like death to feeling like maybe I was actually already dead. Or..something.

On Tap

  • Back to GI doc to see how the meds helped and figure out when I’ll start more specific testing to see the severity of what’s going on
  • Finishing that hat? Or maybe a shawl? Or the mandala?

 

Week in Review: August 5-11, 2018

Before we get into the normal topics, I want to share a few special things that happened this week.

New Blog Name, New Site Location

After lots of thought the last few months, I decided to change the name of the blog and it’s address. The WordPress link remains the same, but the domain has moved to thatangelaleese.com. I wanted to stop pretending I’m a brand. I’m just me. I’m Angela Leese. That Angela Leese. That one who sat next to you in engineering classes or who you saw spill an entire iced coffee down her top or who gets bit by spiders anytime it’s possible. I may not be the only one with my name, but I am a pretty awesome Angela Leese.

Health Update

It’s been a horrible week, I’m not going to lie. I was basically useless most of the week when I was at home and maybe got two-thirds of my hours in at work. Everyone has had to cover for me and did so before I could even ask. Matt. Bob and AJ at work. I also got some amazing support my countless medical office staff members who squeezed me in and let me move things when needed. Answered my many stupid questions. Don’t know what I would have done without all of them.

I may have mentioned last week that I hadn’t been feeling well, maybe about a weird cramp in my abdomen. It got worse, so I went and saw my primary care doctor as soon as I could get in on Monday. His thought was gallbladder issues, as I nearly punched him when we pressed where my gallbladder is. Ultrasound and blood tests came back normal. Saw a GI specialist who guessed stomach ulcers but wanted me to get the CT scan my doctor had already ordered. And, after what seemed like an eternity of intense pain, a diagnosis: Crohn’s Disease. I’m on steroids and start working on figuring out long-term treatment tomorrow.

Okay…back to our normally scheduled programming…

Life of Lizzie

Lizzie was, of course, impacted by my health issues. I was too sore for hugs or snuggles and often couldn’t help her do things. Matt also had to do work at home each evening, unfortunately about the time my pain was at its height for the day. She got ignored a lot. But, she was a trooper.

She very excitedly helped Matt make cupcakes on Thursday night. I got zero photos, but they were yellow cake with chocolate ganache covered in as many large sprinkles as she could fit on each one.

Our neighbors got a new trampoline so she had a blast jumping on it a couple evenings.

We went out to Shenandoah National Park for the weekend with some old friends. She had a blast blowing bubbles, getting her face painted, hiking, and having a dance party with one of our friends.

On the Needles

I finished the hats for Lizzie and her BFF, at least the knitting part. She insisted that they have pom poms which I need to make and attach. Hats are using the Barley Light in the child’s size, knit in a yarn I cannot recall right now. Ha!

I also started and completed a hat for her BFF’s sister. Pattern is the Sockhead Hat and yarn is Miss Babs 2-Ply Toes in a colorway I can’t remember at all. I made the adult size, despite her only being 8, per her mom’s recommendation. No FO photo, so here’s one of me with the hat 80% of the way done.

I also started, just yesterday, on a shawl in Kelborne Wollens Mojave, a lovely cotton and linen blend. I was going to make a hat with it but it’s got too much drape to it, even at a fairly tight gauge. I’ll offer the FO to the person I was going to make the hat for, with the option to decline in exchange for a hat in the same color but a different yarn. Pattern is Dotted Rays.

I made zero progress on the two shawls I started last week, as I got on this hat kick. Really should have grabbed one of those for the Shenandoah trip but it didn’t cross my mind. I’ll probably work on the purple one next, for a break from this pattern.

Adventures

Our big adventure was to Shenandoah. I’m all out of words to describe one of my favorite places on the planet.

Discoveries

    My diagnosis, obviously
    Iced slightly-sweet tea
    Cotton and linen yarn doesn’t make a good hat but is heavenly as a shawl

Oye. Ugh. Sigh.

Enough of my whining for one week.

A Better Me

Zero progress on this, as I’m just trying to get back to normal. May have lost weight, but I don’t really care. I stopped keeping away from gluten, dairy, and soy after my doctor told me forget about it. I may start it again but, again, I need to get back to normal.

On Tap

  • Treatment plan development
  • Finishing the three-color shawl and picking up the purple shawl
  • Mailing off a few things that have been sitting for weeks
  • Weekend with no plans! (I think.)