Friday, January 31, 2014

New Year, old goals, new and old again

Welcome back.  Last time I wrote in this I had just arrived in NJ. I've been and then moved to TN.  It was a good trip except for some construction sites in VA.  Closed on the condo and discovered today that it is 1080 sq ft instead of the 950 I thought it was.  That's good news.

I had to update a few things after I somewhat moved in (meaning everything is here but not 100% unpacked).  I replaced the dishwasher, added a disposal, installed a new water heater, and replaced the light (one bulb) with a light/fan combo (3 lights) in both my bedroom and the dining room.  

At some point I will need to fix the lighting in the kitchen and add small task lights under the upper cabinets.  I'll also need a new stove at some point - this one is not self cleaning and the heating elements on top all list to one side or another.  None are level nor do they appear to be able to sit level - the clips to hold burners in place are not positioned the same as the holes in the stove top and it also appears someone made them fit.  They work which is all I need at this point.  I will also need to replace the apartment-sized washer/dryer unit with a new one. This one is old, the ventilation does not work well and the dryer doesn't do a very good job.  Eventually the clothes do dry, so it stays until it doesn't work.

Next project - work on closets - getting the materials to let me use shelving where I need to and to hang clothes without catching on a lower shelf.  Then I need to get closet items into the closets and also set up system for completing some of the WIPs (works in progress) in quilting, counted cross stitch, knitting, one embroidery project, and to set up the craft area so I have a place to put my sewing machine, drum carder and other stuff such as an inkle loom and a rigid heddle loom.  

I've found a primary care doctor, an opthamologist, and a counselor/therapist.  I'm extremely happy with all of them.  The primary care physician (pcp) adjusted my medications and I'm feeling a lot better but still having some setbacks.  Nowhere near as horrible as a year ago, but enough to rattle my cage and cause some problems.  The counselor is a neat person and we get along well.  I've outlined what I expect to achieve with my sessions and she feels they are doable and we are starting to work on those.  The eye doctor has put me back on eye drops for the glaucoma as I meet 8 of the 10 criteria he looks at for glaucoma.  The next appointment I had with him had my pressures down to 13 and 14.  That is terrific as that is the goal other doctors had set as a target pressure.  So I'm all set in that area for a while.

Now for something a bit different.  I was loaned a book by a friend who thought I would like it.  I read it earlier this month and fell in love with it enough that I bought my own copy.  It is Down This Road by Holly Young.  This is her first book.  I can't give specific reasons easily but the main character is one I can identify with along with some of the challenges she meets.  It is through reading her journal that we are told her story and meet and love or hate the people around her.   

Holly states this is based on a true story.  I wish I could have known the actual people used as the spark for the story.  If they were anything like the characters, they would be some wonderful people to know.  Not many books can have that said about their characters.  I believe most people will enjoy the story.

On to other things.  I'm test knitting a pair of socks for a designer from Great Britain.  I'm having fun with it.  The yarn is Opal, Sweet & Spicy in color 636, Peach.  The sock on your left is from the beginning of the skein and the other from the other end.

I'm happy with  this as my most recent start was yesterday.  I've also learned a new trick. The increases for the toe are done with a make 1, front and back.  at the beginning of the row, this is done on the first stitch but at the end, you stop 2 stitches before the end, do the kf&b and k1.  The neat thing is that the kb part of the stitch puts a small horizontal bar at the base of the stitch.  Doing the kf&b in the first stitch of the row puts that bar on one stitch in from the end.  Doing the kf&b 2 in from the end has the bar also one stitch in from the end.  Something so small does make a bit of a difference.  I'm making a 64 stitch sock and will do Eye of Partridge (EoP) for the heel turn and heel 'flap'.  

This is my progress on a Kustom Kraft SAL called Early Fall.  SAL is Stitch A Long. This reminds me of Lake Nickajack, just a bit west of here on I-24.  The river/lake shows along with mountains in the background.  I'm doing a method called Parking.  I'm working in columns now since I learned another 'new' trick.  There are 2 fairly recent videos on YouTube showing how one woman works her parking.  Then I also am using another person's method of doing the first leg of the cross, in this case \ and then bringing up the needle in the lower left where I can park the thread.  That way I can know for sure where I am with the parked thread.  The videos also show the stitcher using one marker to block out portions she has completed but using a 2nd color to mark where these parked stitches are.  I'll try to get more detailed photos for the next posting.  

Last, I'm finishing my first Bullseye Bump from Loop.  Stephanie does a magical process of turning wool and other fibers with bling or sparkle and makes them into a roll where things pull from the center and you end up spinning progressive colorings.  This first one was called First Blush and what you are seeing are the outside layers.  This started as a medium peach color then moving out to white and then gray.  Sounds boring and maybe it is - but I'm having fun spinning it.

The little pieces that look like errors in the picture do not mean I had a dirty lens but are the bits of sparkly stuff.  You can see parts of the color changes and I have a soft ball of between softball and volley ball size to finish. I think I will Navajo ply this.  That way the colors stay together and I won't have all sorts of bits to add to the yarn.  I do have 2 weaver bobbins that have parts of the two previous spinnings.  They will be worked in as I ply the yarn so I preserve any color progression.  The next one I have is more intense color in it so will be a bit more dramatic when it is done.  But that one is on the back burner. Next up in the spinning will be to finish almost 3 lbs of corriedale roving.  One lb from Halcyon Yarn is super soft.  2 lbs are from Spunky Eclectic in Maine and will be used in a sweater of some sort.  After those are done, washed and dried, then I will start 17 oz of cotton.  You may think that's not much but it's about a 2 gallon bag overfilled.  I'll also do the handpicked cotton from Cotton Man, which is 2 lbs.  It's not quite as much as there are seeds that are heavy with oil.  The lint (unspun cotton) is just fairly short and very fine.  

When the socks are done, I'll grab one of my WIP knitting and finish it, then another and so on.  The SAL will take the longest and I will hope to finish by 1/1/15.  The other part of the SAL is that we get one page of the pattern each month.  I believe we have 5 pages of 12 so far.  I'm still stitching page 1.

So this is most of what's going on.  There's more but that will be coming in the next entry. Take care and Enjoy!


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