Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 13

Clearly, I am stricken with some sort of crud. That's the nose and head part. I'm pretty sure it's allergies.

I have a fever. But no, it's not constant. Ibuprofen gets rid of it quickly. I wake up fine, but within an hour of treatment, I'm Chilled But Burning Up.


I don't think so.

Will test the theory tomorrow when treatment is at 10:30 rather than 9.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We're Coming Down To the Wire

Nancy set me this picture of her completed Mittz.

Tomorrow is the final day to get yours into the mail for this year's Mittnz blitz.

Finished Mittnz should be mailed to

Cheyenne River Youth Project
P. O. Box 410
8200 East Lincoln Street
Eagle Butte, SD 57625

But first, send a photo to me: abmcmanusATverizonDOTnet

If you've completed 9 pairz, your name will be entered in the draw this weekend for one of 9 modest prizes.

Day 12: The doctor saw my skin today and said that it's holding up nicely. I think I may have the flu. Or else a bad allergic thing going.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

It's a Poor Carpenter That Blames the Tool

Truthfully, it was the tool! That's better!

This time around, I used a sportweight yarn (Red Heart Sport) in a variegated version of red/yellow/green/purple

Still using my 10-dent heddle. But what a difference!

The shuttles fly across. There's no hang-up (so far) and no missed warp threads (so far).

I love the faux plaid it's making.

Oh, and my selvedges look pretty neat.

Of course, the Wandering Heddles That Took a Trip To Illinois arrived today. They were on my porch when I got home.

Hooray for that!

After this weave is done I'll tackle the rest of the worsted weight acrylic.

Day 11 (if anyone is keeping track) puts me 1/3 of the way through ::big sigh of relief:: but I have either caught something serious (doubtful) or allergies are really, really bad all of a sudden (more likely).

This week promises to be very busy. I have no time to be sick.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cold Feet; Warm Heart?

Mittnz is nearly over for another year and (for me, at least), it's time to start thinking about Heet the Feet.

I finished these two pairs of slippers (the brown ones fit me) this week. They are just nicely shaped up-sized baby booties.

I used the same pattern for both pairs. The brown ones are 2 strands of some Dazzelaire sort of stuff I got at Goodwill (remember my big haul back in March?) on size 9 needles. The green ones are Sidar Snuggly Aran, single stranded on size 5s.

There's a definite chill in the air today. It's rainy and nasty out here in Eastern Pennsylvania, so I am thinking of warm things to knit and make.

Later today, I'll be rewarping the Flip in hopes of finishing another shawl this week.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Insert Title of Your Choice Here

For the past week or so, following the inspiration of Mariella, I've been playing with my rigid heddle loom.

Problems cropped up. The warp yarn was catching and sticking and there really was no Zen-like calm coming over me as I struggled to finish my practice piece.

So I did what any neophite fiber worker does. I screamed for help.

Mariella pointed out that even though the middle-size 10-dent heddle is what came with my Flip, it wasn't necessarily the best heddle for the this job. She was using an 8!

Head slapping moment!

I quickly jumped onto the Internet and sought out the vendor where my Flip was secured. Out Of Stock (saddest words ever sent to an impatient fiber worker).

So, I started scouting around for an in-stock heddle.

Mind you, there was no rush, since I had no intention of cutting the warp (all 500 miles yards of it) off the loom until I finished weaving the current piece.

I located the correct-for-worsted-weight 8-dent at another vendor's website and plunked down my card for it and another heddle (12-dent--I might also want to work lighter someday).

And then, I waited.

UPS notification arrived, and I dragged it into my "pending orders" folder without reading carefully. (Shoot me now, why don't you?)

The next day, another UPS notification arrived in my In box.

This time, it looked ominous (something about supplying the name of my company so that delivery could be completed), so I read it.


My heddles are traveling somewhere in Illinois! (Kentucky to Pennsylvania by way of Chicago?)

The vendor is tracking them down and re-routing and they should be here early in the week.

In the meantime, I continued to struggle with the Wrong Size Heddle and completed this practice piece in shades of blue which I give a "satisfactory" rating on a scale of Why Did I Bother? to Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Finished size is about 21" X about 6.5'. It weighs about 300 g (10 oz.), so it's lightweight but remarkably warm. I used up a lot of stash, which was the goal, after all.

Update on Weekend Off: A trip to the dentist this morning revealed that my teeth are in good shape despite a raging jaw ache that is not TMJ, not an abscess, not an advanced form of any disfiguring and debilitating disease (okay, I tend toward drama in the middle of the night, I admit it!), but likely a hypersensitivity to anything that might be lodged under a crown in that area. The dentist compared it to pregnancy gingivitis. All things considered, I'm really glad it isn't that! But it's always something.

I continue to be exhausted, and avoided taking a nap because I really want to get some uninterrupted sleep tonight.

And as long as we're all friends here, what happened in that game? I mean, is it the Iowa Curse or something?

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Imaginary Friends Come Through

My Imaginary Friends, Gail, Jaya, Joy, Mel, Stephanie, Ann, and Kerry, all knowing about this annual Mittnz challenge, got together and knit up a bunch of get-well goodies, because they knew that warm hands on the Reservation would also mean a warm heart in my irradiated chest. They sent me Mittnz.

A couple of other IFs are sending their Mittnz direct (hi, Jenny). And I know as sure as I am breathing that I have forgotten someone! And so, I will apologize in advance for the unintended slight.

There is such an interesting assortment there. All are wool for extra warmth.

These goodies were in with the Mittnz.

There were cards and notes and postage, too.

I have some wonderful Imaginary Friends these days, not like that nasty old Sidney that haunted my childhood. Bad, bad Sidney, always doing evil stuff that I got blamed for!


And Week 2 is finished and done. Only 4.5 to go. Yep. Today was Day 10. Monday is Day 11. Tuesday is Day 12 and so on. (Not that I'm counting or anything.)

Today, I noticed some redness to go along with the internal (infernal) pulling sensation. It was coming. I knew it. And now it's here.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mittnz and More

Melissa sewed the fleece Mittnz and embellished them nicely.

What fun!

And she's sending a few goodies as well.

I hope your Mittn crafting is coming along

I will be posting a photo of the wonderful prizes sometime this weekend. If that doesn't inspire you, nothing will!

And so Day 9 is finished and there are 24 left to go. It can't come soon enough to suit me!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lotsa Mittnz

Kelly made my day! She sent me this photo of her lovely Mittnz and promised to try to make more before she has to mail them.

Thank you,Kelly.

And now, if you will permit me a little whine. . .

Eight treatments finished and 25 left to go. I have this deep ache. It hurts inside. And going without my regular deodorant is making me cranky.

Just saying.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 7

Just checking in briefly. Tuesday is Meet the Doctor day. There was nothing to see, so I was allowed to slip into my street clothes (and out of the gown) before I met with her.

Apparently the "tired" is to be expected and "there's nothing we can do about it." It might ebb and flow; it might just get worse; it might go away sooner (rather than later). Bottom line, by November, it will be gone (just in time for holiday seasonal depression to set in).

In the meantime, for those of you keeping score: 26 left to go.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Mittnz Link

Jenn sent me a link to her Mountain of Mittnz. Follow the link, but come on back. She sure stepped up to the plate!

So, Day 6. I am still exhausted. Even though I slept an extra hour last night.

Tomorrow, I get to speak with the radiologist (It's scheduled. I can talk to her any old time I want to, but on Tuesday, she wants to talk to me.)

So, I have the cream and I'm taking warm (not hot) showers, and doing all the things I'm supposed to (and avoiding the things I'm not supposed to do). And eating well, and getting a little (very little) exercise.

And I'm tired. Very tired.

I came home early today to meet the plumber (don't ask).

I actually did quite a bit of work at home (read about 50 of the 60+ resumes we have for one position, participated in a 75 minute long conference call). You know, relaxing afternoon at home.

And tomorrow promises to be just as thrilling.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Christmas Is Coming

We are into the double-digits! Christmas is less than 100 days away and the countdown begins. Sorry to wreck your day!

This is the first of a pair of fraternal scarves for a dear friend and her husband (also a dear friend).

The pattern is recognizable, I'm sure. My own variation called for casting on an even number of stitches, because that works better for me (always slip the first stitch purlwise, then start each row with a k and end with a k).
Instead of the Noro yarn called for in the original, I used Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) in Natural Plum and Natural Violet.

I think the effect is very similar to that of Noro Silk Garden. (I can say that because my first one was made with Silk Garden.)

Frankly, I wanted to try the SWS. It seems to be going the way of All Good Yarns and I might never get another chance. So I bought 2 balls each of 4 colorways and cast on.

I am satisfied.

The other colorway is more earthy (translate: masculine) in shades of browns and rusts. That scarf is about half finished.

Yarn review: SWS is loosely twisted and somewhat splitty. It's available in limited colorways and quantities from a couple of online sources (Google is your friend) that I know of.

If you want it, get it now, because it won't last.

I used about 1.5 balls of each of the 2 colorways for this scarf. The leftovers will be incorporated into something (possibly a laprobe or baby blanket) at a later date.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Made It!

Well, that was quite annoying! For 2 days, I have been trying to upload pictures and Blogger has been fighting me!

I chalked it up to "tired" (technical term), and tried again this morning. Still no dice.

So I did what any tech savvy person would do. I rebooted.

Still nothing!

Then I had an ah ha moment. The little box next to "Accept terms of service" wasn't checked.

See, I told you I was tired!

Here's the picture I was trying to post yesterday:

DJ sent me this photo of Mittnz she made and ones she bought (time being short, life getting in the way, some other issues to deal with).

The two pairs bookending the lower row were handmade. The others were purchased.

There are way more than 9 there and a lot of people will have warm hands thanks to DJ.

So, how about it? Magic gloves are making their annual appearance all over. If you haven't been able to "make nine," you could purchase a few pairs before the mailing deadline. It's all about warm hands, after all.

And here's a photo of the last two pairs I made.

The lilac ones were finished a couple of weeks ago. They're Sidar Snuggly DK and Cottage Creations pattern from Projects fof Community Knitting. I've used the patterns in this booklet multiple times and love every one of them!

The blue pair are made from Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky using the pattern found here.

And now, what you've been waiting for (please allow me my fantasy), a photo of all 9 pairs gathered in one spot!

They'll be winging their way to Cheyenne River Reservation) next week.

For those of you preparing to mail, here's the deal. If the ones you are sending are hand-wash-only wool (like my green striped ones, the new blue ones, and the grey ragg ones) put a little tag on them that says something like "wool, hand wash, please." Otherwise, just toss them in an envelope and mail them (last week in September) to:

Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP)/P.O. Box 410/ Eagle Butte, SD, 57625.

Remember to send me a photo or a link to your photo (abmcmanusATverizonDOTnet) before October 1 to be included in the prize draw.

Nine lucky crafters will win small but significant prizes.

And in other news, this is only part of what arrived at my door (thank you, UPS) yesterday.

Cones of cotton chenille and other cotton that I will fashion into cuddly shawls for the elder blitz in early 2010.

If you like to knit (or crochet) and are looking for somewhere to place your hand mades, Cheyenne River is a great place.

There are several programs at the Reservation that serve the people.

Like to make itty bitty things? There's WIC (P.O. Box 590) and the Children's Services (P.O. Box 530) program. Are elders more your speed? There's a need for shawls, laprobes, hats, and slippers at the Elder Nutrition Center (P.O. Box 784).

And all that and everything else, including supplies you might be wanting to destash can be sent to the Youth Center (address above), where hundreds of kids gather after school each day, and families come for fellowship and assistance.

I promise, it will warm your heart.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Is It Exhaustion?

I am so tired I can barely move. After my usual 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

I hope this isn't fatigue related to radiation. It's two weeks early.

5 down; 28 to go.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Goodbye, Princess Sparky

You really were a princess in our hearts.

We will miss you forever.

Your silly moments.

Your lazy ones.

And your most dignified.

Day 4 was another good one. Got the cream. Will use it as needed. I'm on the south side of 30.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


So, you think I'm warped?

You'd have been half right the other day!

Inspired by Mariella, I sorted all my acrylic oddballs (and some full skeins) into Blue and Not-Blue and finally started warping my Flip.

I planned to make something as drop dead smart as the one on the link above.

So far, well, let's just say that Nonni is putting me to shame.

Here's how I accomplished the measuring and warping (direct method).

I got as far away as possible (obout 10') and used the warping peg.

Crafting is an adventure and a half at Casa Sheepie!

I will keep you posted on the progress here. Turns out that Nonni knows what she's doing and Sheepie, not so much. She used the 8-dent heddle. I have only a 10. So I tried to order.


(But I ordered some great coned stuff. . .) I will muddle on.

I finished up this little sweater (Rambling Rows Jacket--Cottage Creations) for a soon-to-be baby (due before the month is over).

The yarn is the same as my Sorta Laprobe that has always been a baby blanket.

Now, to choose the buttons.

The Other Half thinks that the sailboats are the ones. I like the fish.

Admittedly, the Not Fish will be easier to button on a squirmy baby.

Probably the boats. The sweater has the look of ocean waves.

And Day Three was exactly the way it's supposed to be. I left work, was there at the appointed time, was back at work in 45 minutes! Yes!

And I think I'll be asking for The Cream tomorrow.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Many More Mittnz

These are Kathy's. The first photo she sent which somehow never made it to the blog.

(I plead the 5th!)

There are 9 pairs there, in and of itself, a feat, seeing as how I am still Stuck At 8.5 Pairs.

But Kathy is a charter member of the Overachievers Club, so Iknew there would be more.

And I was right!

Today, I got this picture of billionty four more pairs. (Okay, 21.)
Same knitter.

All I can say is WOW!

Now let's see yours!

Day 2 was Rinse and Repeat, though there was a prolonged wait in the Holding Area (they were backed up), followed by It's Tuesday, Talk To The Doctor Day.

I had nothing to say. Thirty-one left to go.

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How About These?

Monique sent this picture of her completed Mittnz.
Wonderful, wooly, shades of Cascade.
Nine pairs. Just right!
Okay, I know I am starting to nag, but how are you coming?
I'm at 8.5 pairs and in a holding pattern. I'm afraid I'm going to Run Out Of Yarn!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Day One

One down; thirty-two to go.

So, they didn't lie. The set-up was worse than the treatment.

In and out in under 15 minutes (had I been on time--I was early).

I can do this!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Mittnz Are Rolling In

Two more people (none of them being me) finished their Mittnz and sent me photos.

Mariella, aka Knitting Nonni, has joined the Overachievers group with her 24 lovely pairs.

Aren't those tiny ones just so sweet?

And Carol K emailed me this picture of the nine pairs she made.

I love stripey Mittnz!

Lots of kids are going to have seriously warm hands this winter, thanks to the crafty folks who read this blog.

One pair, nine pairs, a dozen or more. They are all welcome.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Rest Of the Story

Okay, so now I can say that I have been inches from tears for the past week.

It does no good to tell me that the worst part of this whole treatment thing is behind me.

Lying on a very narrow (very hard) board with only about a 2" thick pad under my knees, right arm extended over my head, elbow crooked, and hand grasping a grip (as much for balance I think as to keep tissue out of the way), left hand in my pocket (and so, not available for balance) left elbow down and out of the way was the physical part.

The emotional part (lying bare chested with lord knows how many people--I counted at least 4 voices; my eyes were closed) was worse. I do not like to be touched by strangers. (I'm not so crazy about being touched by people I know, either--let me just say that the hugging part of AA was brutal!)

I didn't realize the toll it had taken until it was time to leave.

Attempting to maintain dignity, while clutching the back of the hospital gown, grabbing my "stuff" from my "locker," I dropped most of it on the floor. After I scooped it up, I retreated to the changing room and just wanted to sit there in the dark and cry.

I made it to my car, got out of the parking deck in one piece and arrived home. A hot shower helped a little, but I get to "rinse and repeat" thirty-three more times.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Really Bad Day

I've backdated this entry for myself and posterity.

Where to start?


I decided to take a few steps back from my proposed "treatment plan" because, frankly, a lot of it didn't make sense. Studies show this, that, and the other thing. Mostly inconclusive as to benefit and pretty conclusively bad as to side effects.

Then I met (for nearly an hour) with the medical oncologist to whom I was referred. He spoke about studies and studies and more studies, and bottom line, They Just Don't Know about the long term effects for a Woman My Age (60). Most of the studies showing that the benefit is minimal are on women over 70 (and in some cases, over 75).

So this past week, I had 2 long appointments to be photographed, tattooed, CT scanned, photographed some more, line up on a narrow, stiff board, tattooed again, marked repeatedly with a permanent marker. My shoulder is painfully stiff from lying still, arm extended over my head at length.

Monday, I start radiation (33 sessions). I have been assured that the worst is behind me, but somehow, I doubt it.

My life is on hold until the end of October.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lotsa Mittnz

Lizzie posted this picture to her blog (and gave me permission to post it here) of the Mittnz she's sending to Cheyenne River Reservation later this month.

I'm especially fond of the pink ones with the cables and the yellow ones with the pattern.

Good showing, Lizzie! (We've been racing and she won!)

These Mittnz are Beth's.

Good going on the guy Mittnz, Beth.

I know that I prefer to work with the bright colors that little kids like, but guys get cold hands, too.

Beth's an overachiever, and a lot of the male folks at the rez are going to be very happy!

Gail, who is my imaginary friend, joined forces with other imaginary friends to craft Mittnz to warm my heart.

She's mailing these to the reservation at the end of the month.

Warm, colorful. What more could anybody want?

The last two pairs are from another imaginary friend.

Jenny lives in the UK, but she's sharing her talents and her wooly stuffs to make me feel good and warm some cold hands.

These two pairs are already on their way, because, face it, they have a long way to travel.

They'll be in South Dakota right about the same time as the ones we're mailing from points all over the USA.

Do you need the address? Don't mail just yet. Wait until the last week of the month, then mail to:

Cheyenne River Youth Project (or just CRYP)
P. O. Box 410 (if you're using USPS) or
8200 E. Lincoln Street (if you're shipping another way)
Eagle Butte, SD 57625

Coming this weekend: Imaginary friends sent other stuff! How to get started Knittn Mittnz.
Other good stuff, including (maybe) a picture of my 9 pairs.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Goats and Rides and Food, Oh My!

The saga continues. . .

Let's start with the livestock, shall we?

I noticed that the areas formerly dedicated to sheep showing seem to be taken over by goats! I also noticed (for the first time this year, though lord knows, it could be that I am just blind) that there seem to be more Hispanic 4-Hers showing their animals.

I think there is a correlation there. I work with a number of Latinos, and whenever there is a "pot luck" (sadly, only once a year at the agency picnic) some of them bring the most marvelous stews that are spicy and yummy and based on goat!

And I was shocked, I tell you, to discover how much I enjoyed eating these sweet-faced little creatures.

Pigs, cows, not so cute. Goats, however. . . But I digress (yet again, yet again, Faithful Readers).

These little guys (clearly labeled as "dairy" goats, whew!) barely came up to my knees.

So sweet.

Do you think I could convince the neighbors that they are an exotic dog breed?

Then, there's the food!

Bill White,** local (to me) blogger and Man About Fair wrote about Nathan's Hot Dogs being at the fair, and so we went in search.

Fortified by a disappointing batch of nearly-cold, not nearly greasy french fries (note: NOT from this stand!), we were ready to walk from one end of the grounds to the other in search.

And we did.

And find it, we didn't.

So, we settled for a hot dog (smothered in chili, onions, and mustard) from Willie Joe's (local hot dog stand where we can get a doggie any day of the week if we are so inclined).

I will say that I find the food selection to be somewhat disappointing overall since the Fair Association switched midway vendors.

The new folks brought in their own food stands. Generic fair food.

Some local vendors (Willie Joe's, Smitty's, Vince's, the Brass Rail) are still present, and the church groups with their platters (half a chicken, creamed cabbage, corn on the cob with birch beer on the side) will always be there, but frankly, I miss the ice cream and some of the other treats.

And cotton candy. Have we gone so anti-carb that we can't indulge in a little candy floss once a year?

The bingo stand remains a draw, year after year. It's a place where you can sit in the shade and maybe win a prize.

I'll never be that young again. . .or that old.


And then, there are the rides. Don't try this right after a church tent platter!

I'd rather watch!

The last fair ride I went on was the ferris wheel, and that was many years ago.

The new midway folks have lots for the little guys, and lots for the dare devils.

This is much more my speed.

Except for the weight limit. 150 my fat ass!

**And speaking of Bill White, if you are a movie buff, you'll want to check out his Movie Quote Fridays.

Lots of fun!

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Results Are In

The day was hot, but breezy, so it wasn't unpleasant, but the air conditioning inside felt good, too.

The fairgrounds has two large buildings, one (the market where we shop every weekend) for vending, and one for exhibits that are permanent structures. In the past couple of years, they've added heat and a/c so that they can be used year 'round.

The exhibit building houses gun shows and computer shows and lots of other weekend events. It's quite the place!

The Best Stuff is always the first thing you encounter when you enter "Ag Hall" (the ehibition building). And ever the optimist, I always look, hoping that something I entered is on display there.

It hasn't happened yet, but hope springs eternal or something. (See also Einstein's Definition of Insanity. )

Meanwhile, I noticed no needlework in the bunch, so just maybe. . .

We had to wander past the display of baked goods (third place cupppycakes to the left there) and vinegars and wines and jellies and such.

There are categories like "lard," and "dried marrowfat beans," "potato candy" (this is Pennsylvania Dutch country, after all).

I've never felt quite so confident in my cooking skills as I am in my needlework, so I've never entered, though in my Earth Mother days (when the kids were Tiny Princelings), I did a lot of canning and preserving.

That was then; this is now.

So, on to the prizes! (That's why we're here! It's all about the money!)

Winter Bauble (aka Snowman, other) on the left, took a second place, Christmas Stocking, knit got a first!

$7. Ka-ching!

The pink baby blanket also took a second and the Adult Scarf (the red one over there on the right side of the photo) took a 6th place.

Total prize money there, $3. (Tiny little snowman earned a whole dollar more than the blankie for a whole lot less work and materials. What's up with that!?)

Fair Trivia: Total prize $ distributed (amid great ceremony) at the first fair was about $163.

Lot of blue stuff all gathered in one spot.

Laprobe took 4th place; sweater got a 3rd. That blue ribbon is attached to my clogs.

Total haul here: $4

All told, I won 28 ribbons for 29 entries. The multi-colored tote bag was the only item that failed to place.

The count: 1st-9, 2nd-6, 3rd-7, 4th-1, 5th-4, 6th-1. Not so shabby.

And like I have in years past, I vow (yet again, the loyal readers mumble) to start earlier. I will say that the Ladies That Guard the Exhibits seem to cheer me on a little louder each year. Thank you, Ladies.

Oh, and for those of you keeping track of the cash, the total was over $50. That's the highest ever (of course, I think this is the largest number of categories I've entered as well).

The Other Half asked if I was "pleased." I don't do this for pleasure. It's all about the money, Honey! (And my tongue is implanted firmly in my cheek as I type that!)

I will leave you with a parting Sheep Shot. There were lots of sheep (and other animals).

We walked through that bittersweet parade of young people leading their cattle to the auction tent.

I know that these are country kids, and that selling the beef and dairy animals you've raised from calves is part of the process and you learn that at your daddy's knee.

But I noticed several glittery eyes as that beautiful animal that was a part of each life was sold. Pride and sadness. Pride and sadness. They go hand in hand, don't they?

Next post: goats and food, and rides, oh, my!


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