Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Year has Passed! Not possible!

Where does Time go? Another year has passed and another birthday come and gone. Being born on the Fourth of July has advantages...and disadvantages. First, no one forgets your birthday! And on the other hand...no one forgets your birthday! And for some reason, they want to add up the years and remind me of fleeting time. Good grief, I have to hang around long enough to knit up my stash, OK?

Back to the Fourth, I always think of my poor mother having her very overdue first baby on Independence Day, July in a hot climate in a hospital with no air conditioning. Most miserable I am sure. As children, of course those of us born to firecrackers are told all the foll-de-roll is just for us. And I do have great fondness for and fascination with those pyrotechnic displays. Living in Europe for many years, my birthday wasn't "special" in the sense of a holiday. Usually we were already in Monte Carlo for the summer so every day was vacation in good European custom. Someone always gave a dinner outdoors near the sea. We could watch the fireworks competition over the harbor. It was quite different from sweltering in the Texas heat where even tissue thin clothing is too much. Yes, I had a HOT outdoor dinner in my honor this year before going for the fireworks display.

My mailbox was overstuffed with birthday goodies. I will stick to reporting only the knitterly ones. Dear thoughtful Proseknitic sent Socks 2 at a Time (which I have been meaning to tackle) and a positively charming little book, The Radiation Sonnets (a loving and humorous look at a cancer patient's ordeal), which I read each night before falling asleep. CelticMemory Jo sent a huge skein of undyed "Stinky" (silk & cashmere???) which is named for its pungent fragrance when damp. Mmmmm, perhaps you shouldn't wear it for walks in the rain? This woman knows how to make me smile. Gorgeous lovely stuff, it arrived with its own delightful clear plastic project bag bearing an impressionistic Parthenon on the front, booty from a recent trip to Greece.

My dear "old" friend Kay from New Orleans (now Vermont) sent a dreamy skein of QUIVIUT, hand dyed by Mountain Colors!!! Delicious stuff. Kay wanted something special and hunted this down. A Knitspot "little nothing" scarf should be perfect for this treasure. And it will be so much fun to go around saying quiviut, quiviut, quiviut...don't you think?

And this lovely wonderful exciting skein is from Micki's wheel. I'm sure you could hear me squealing for miles when she gave me this. How sentimental to knit with yarn a friend (and a very talented friend at that) has spun with her own little hands. I've had so many ideas for this. It's just too special for socks so I'm sifting through ideas for shawls or scarves. As the knitters know, this plotting and planning is a huge part of the pleasure of the craft.Second son David presented me with an elegant project bag and a sweater's worth of gift certificate from Yarns Ewenique. When I expressed pleasure with his choice of shop, he was quite surprised as he thought I didn't know about it. Now stop laughing. Tried to explain to him that there wasn't a LYS in a hundred mile radius that I (or any knitter worth their needles) didn't know and that his inheritence was going to be yarn so he had better learn to knit or marry someone who does.

OK, just one non-knitterly gift will show up here, and this because the picture is just so gorgeous I can't resist. My Hungarian Ex and his current wife Betsy sent the most beautiful bouquet of roses. Can't you just smell them?

Many, many thanks to all my dear friends who went out of their way to make me feel special knowing how difficult this year has been. I love and treasure all of you. I owe so many proper hand written thank you notes and just don't seem to get there these days. Please forgive me, I shall return to normal soon.

And now for the obligatory knitting content after all that yarn pron, here is the front and back of The Blues. This has been frogged and tinked as much as it was knit for one reason or another, usually having fallen asleep on it mid row and doing very creative knitting when I came to consciousness again. It is finally to the point of joining the shoulders, basting the sides, and trying on, hopefully to find a perfect fit. The pattern called for knitting everything in pieces then joining. But I like to use a 3 needle bind-off on the shoulders for neatness and stability. Then I think I will just pick up stitches around the armholes and knit the sleeves down instead of cuff up. For now this will not be a mindless project and it will become bulky and cumbersome, so I shall have to find something else (a new project?) that is simple enough to take on clinic days for the long waits.

Steven ended up back in the ICU for eight days with a couple of infections. He got out of the hospital again last week and came here since Lisa had surgery on Thursday. He did well for three days, then had a 48 hour stretch of non-stop puking over the week-end. I thought I would have to take him back to the clinic a day early on Monday, but finally the meds kicked in and he was able to eat and keep fluids and pills down, so we waited until today's appointment. It was a tough call to make. He goes from OK to very sick so fast. The good news is that no leukemia has shown up yet in his labs. He is still not producing red blood or platelets, very slow on that and they aren't sure why. Nothing transfusions can't fix for the meanwhile. No leukemic cells...Life is good!