Archive for June, 2013

Honeycomb stitch throw in progress

Honeycomb stitch throw in progress

Yes, I meant for the title to be a play on the title of the children’s book that my youngest loves. It has been a very mixed-up week for me. There has been a pall over Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas due to the wildfires around us. Until today, we really didn’t see much of the sun. Unlike last year, with the Waldo Canyon fire, I wasn’t afraid for myself or my family, because the fires weren’t as close. This year, the fears were different, because this year, I actually know people in the affected areas who either were, or came very close to being, evacuated. So it’s a little different, being afraid for others.

This week was also finals week, which adds to the “mixed-up” and “no good” factors. I studied so much that my brain went on strike during some of the tests. As of right this moment, all I can say for certain is that I failed the lecture portion of the AP final by one point, which has had me kicking myself all week long. The lab practical final I think I did okay on, and once the two scores have been combined and weighted, I’m hopeful that I actually passed. I did pass the Introduction to Veterinary Technology final, which is a huge relief, as I had to repeat the course this quarter. Medical Math was another one that had two parts, lecture and lab practical, and math has been the bane of my existence since elementary school, so I have no expectations there, or at least none I’m willing to give voice to. Medical Terminology I’m pretty confident about, but we’ll see. I’ve always been good with words and spelling. Cross your fingers for me. I really don’t want to repeat Anatomy.  The smell of formalin is not my friend. So the finals were both good and bad.

There is also the fact that we have to pull out our bathtub contributing to the “no good” part. There are hairline cracks in the bottom of our present, fiberglass tub. Since water can and will leak through and cause structural damage to the house, the tub has to go. Hubby has bought a cast iron tub to replace it. It took three men to lift the monstrosity into my poor Serenity, and two to get it out again at my house. It now resides on my living room floor, where it will remain until hubby assesses how much floor reinforcement he’s going to have to do to install it in the bathroom.

To the fantastic portion of our program, I must add that a friend of mine is moving from Jacksonville, FL, to Washington State, and will be spending the night here together with her hubby, brother-in-law, and grandson. We’ve been friends for several years now, but have never met in real life, despite many hours spent both online and on the phone, gabbing away about any and everything, so this is our opportunity to give each other real hugs rather than virtual ones, which are nowhere near as satisfying. And along with her human family, her four Siberian Huskies will also be spending the night. Can you say “seventh heaven”?? My kids are ecstatic! Seven dogs in the house at once? There is no way they are sleeping tonight.

Also adding to the fantastic side, we have taken the plunge and put a deposit down on a Malamute puppy. If the breeding took, we will have a new pack member around September. I said that we don’t have a preference as to gender, but I do want a long-haired dog. They always make me want to cuddle. Needless to say, we will be buying a new crate for crate training. Again, kids are ecstatic. No surprise there.

That sums up the Terrible, Fantastic, No Good, Very Mixed Up Week. During breaks from all of the insanity, I’ve been working on Bryony’s throw blanket on the largest of the Spanish long looms. It’s a honeycomb stitch that looks fantastic and is fairly simple to do. Bryony is already nagging me to finish it already. She’s going to have a bit of a wait, but it does look wonderful so far. It’ll be great when it’s finished, and hopefully she won’t balk at replacing the worn, falling apart security blankets she is presently dragging around!

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My odd-looking cable pattern

My odd-looking cable pattern

Fiber arts are very dangerous crafts to get into, I’m discovering. Dangerous to your wallet and your willpower. There is always, always a new tool, new yarn, new colorway, new pattern, new something for you to discover and covet. There are so many little Etsy storefronts selling drop or supported spindles, and each one is prettier than the last. Or the new loom that X manufacturer has released. Or new needles for naalbinding or knitting. Or new spinning wheels. Or new yarn…there is always new yarn!!! That one is the easiest trap to fall into, because yarn just isn’t that expensive in comparison to all the tools you have bought. When the spinning wheel costs $600, what’s $45 for a skein of that pretty handspun yarn with all the yardage? Just think what you could do with it! And though you have ten…twelve…twenty plastic tubs filled with yarn, you don’t have this one. And then there’s all the roving available, hand-dyed by someone who really knows what they’re doing. How gorgeous will that be when it’s spun up and plied? I bought a roving from Russia…Russia!…because the lady dyes them so beautifully, and I hadn’t seen one like it domestically. It took weeks to get here. It wasn’t overly expensive, and was well worth the wait. I haven’t spun it yet; I just haven’t had time, what with finals coming up, but I managed to restrain myself to the one roving. I have also managed not to go browsing on Etsy for the last couple of months since I bought that roving. But then there’s Ravelry. Quiet, insidious Ravelry, where you converse with people who make and sell the goodies you’re interested in, and they post pictures. This one is de-stashing a to-die-for spindle. Someone else is selling the loom she doesn’t use. Another has posted patterns for sale. Others are just purely evil, encouraging you and enabling you, because they have the same addiction you have. It is a minefield, I tell you! How does your willpower hold out against someone telling you what you have already said to yourself a dozen times?

I’ve gotten quite good, if I do say so myself, at not jumping to buy the tools. I haven’t bought a spindle in at least a month. Spindles run around the same price as yarn, anywhere from $20 and up. I am very proud of my restraint. Oh, wait…there was that set of interchangeable circular knitting needles…gorramit! And my pride in my restraint has just dissolved. Those knitting needles were only about three weeks ago. Back to the drawing board…

In other news, Bandit, our hit-by-car dog, has been completely discharged. She is out of her bandages, splints, and staples, off of antibiotics, and is doing so very well that the veterinarian has decided that the remaining surgeries will not be done. The ankle is stable and she’s walking on it normally. Everyone is amazed at how well she has healed. She is not a young dog, and it was expected that she would be in a splint for at least six weeks. She was out of that in two weeks. The staples came out yesterday. I don’t heal that quickly, and in comparison to her age, I’m a lot younger!! She’s geriatric!

We still have to keep her relatively quiet: no running and jumping. That has become a full-time job in itself. She wants to run and jump, and we have to be faster to keep her from doing either. So far, so good. She’s going to miss going to school every week and all the attention she got while there, but she’ll live. And she’ll see her tenth birthday. With any luck at all, she has learned something from this, but I’m not going to count on that. From here on, she is strictly an indoor dog. We often say she is dumber than a box of rocks, but she is a very savvy escape artist.

Aneira has found that she really enjoys her knitting loom. Hallelujah! We have had a meeting of the minds. I’m not sure what she’s making right now, but she claims she’s making me a hat. I haven’t seen it yet, though she’s told me she’s had to start over several times.

I’m working on an afghan on one of my long knitting looms right now. It’s supposed to have a cable pattern, and it isn’t going quite the way I expected at the moment, though I have followed the directions faithfully. I’m told it may be my choice of using acrylic yarn, as it doesn’t have the same memory as wool, or it may be that I need to wait until it’s done, washed, and blocked, and maybe it will settle into the pattern it’s supposed to be. My present plan is to make a swatch of the same pattern on another loom and see how that one goes before I take this any farther. Honestly, I should have done that in the first place. Live and learn, I guess.

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