Friday, June 27, 2008

All the News That's Fit to Print, and Then Some

Where have I been the last month you might ask. On an emotional roller coaster would be the answer.

First the good news. Steven received an amazingly good report on his first bone marrow biopsy. Donor system 100% of marrow and they don't see any leukemia cells for now. His doctor said it is a miracle. He has put on some few pounds and gone out in public. After seven and a half months in the hospital, a trip to Sam's Club is totally exciting. He is still dealing with extreme fatigue, tremors and unbelievably bad mouth and throat ulcers, but that is a small price for what he has been through.

And yes, I am still knitting, sort of. It is more knit one row, tink half a row for the moment, when I can keep my eyes open long enough to do so. I started a Manos pattern, The Blues, in their Stria cotton. It is a lacy wide cropped top which I am hopeful can be worn in Texas in some season. Here is the pattern:
And here is the back:

And here is a close-up of the lace:

And here is what a skein of Stria looks like when you break it at each knot and hand wind it. Six knots in one 116 yard skein is bloody annoying. Look at that little piece that is not much more than a yard long. Working in all those ends on a lace pattern will not be what I would call amusing. These darn knots, which they cut very short, are the main reason for all the tinking I've done while knitting this.

The Manos pattern is cryptically written. A newbie knitter would be very frustrated. I seriously scratched my head at one point, but after knitting and frogging a couple of times, I came up with a solution. Unfortunately at my current slow pace, a sweater which should take only a couple of weeks has required almost a month just for the back. Oh well. I've got to pick up some speed if I'm ever going to use up my stash.

What I am really being tempted to do at the moment is make jewelry. Some of you may not know, but I have a background in precious jewelry design in France and Italy. Of course at the moment I'm dreaming more of stringing seeds and glass rather than setting rubies and diamonds. I could make a hundred parures in the time it takes me to knit a sweater, or a pair of socks for that matter. Think I might set aside the knitting for a week-end and see what happens. Of course, I should also be painting the entry hall and the guest bathroom and the cabinetry that was eaten by the Irish Wolfhound Katrina refugee. Though putting my office back in shape should be the priority at the moment. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The Leukemia Society is collecting donations today. I should have taken a photo of the piles of bags on my front porch waiting for pick-up. All I can say is I wish I had managed at least twice as many.

Now for the sad news. This week I lost my adored cat Tujagues. He was an Exotic (short-haired Persian) only barely four years old and totally healthy. My friend Doreen, an emergency room doctor, had just come in the house. Tujagues came up to be petted, then walked away a few feet and had a seizure of some sort and was gone instantly. Thank goodness Doreen was with me and she really took care of me as I was simply in shock. And thank goodness we had just gotten the good news about Steven. I wanted to mention this here because of how important Tujagues was in keeping my spirits up these last difficult months. He could put a smile on my face no matter what was going on. Here is the little guy's baby picture and yes, he had attitude with a capital A.

Jo called him the Beautiful Bowl Cat. His absolute favorite place was in this Mexican bowl. He was a splendid little representive of his species. It is way too quiet around here without him.

There is still a report to be given on WWKIPDay, but that shall come next time.