The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Week--Reviewed

            Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, but it has been a long week since last week…so I am not necessarily talking only about this week right now…more like the past 7 days.

            Let’s see.  This Monday and last Monday were similar…running errands.

            Last Monday, the kids and I did all sorts of shopping: groceries, bought the chairs for the dining room table…I can’t even remember what day we bought the fish…but we have new guppies –even one male with a lovely double tail…now we have all sorts of new babies floating around too…

            Tuesday we spent the evening w friends while R golfed…Wednesday…I had a HUGE allergic reaction to the mold in the rabbit’s hay.  Last time we bought hay, nearly the entire middle of a 96 ounce bag of ‘premium’  Kaytee timothy hay was full of what looked like mud and mold…so I ended up tossing out more than half the bag (hindsight says I should have tossed the whole thing)…the next bag of hay I bought came from Petco, their store brand, which the House Rabbit Society people all told me was not good…and it isn’t…it’s the seconds or whatever, badly cut short straws, mostly dust…but I’ve never had a dirt/mold issue w them, so far…this past week, I decided we’d try a different store completely  in the hopes that that one kaytee bag was merely a fluke.  Apparently, it is not.  This time, the kaytee hay looks fine…but I had a very violent reaction to it.  I grew up wallowing in hay on various farms … clean hay is not the issue…we all agree on that one…so…moldy hay caused a very violent reaction.  It was awful…I was really making good time cleaning and organizing the basement…I had cleaned up the rabbit cages and pulled the bamboo rug to toss…I had some shelves up and was getting stuff put on them…I was finally making headway…when my neck started to itch.  Now, the problem is…I’ve had this little bit of a rash for awhile…nothing big; nothing major.  My neck gets itchy, especially when I sweat.  We originally thought it might be R, because …well…because…but then it moved up into my eyes about 2-3 weeks ago…again nothing major.  Dry, itchy, rough skin…not even a discoloration or anything…but then a few days after my eyes started to bug me, my scalp, just in one area, started to bug me…dandruff shampoo quickly got rid of the scalp itch… it also seemed to help when I used the shampoo on both my eyes and my neck as well…when my neck began to itch on Wednesday, I thought at first it was because I was sweating…and any sweat can make my neck itch unbearably.  I tried to stop myself from scratching a couple times, so I didn’t scar my throat or anything…but it dawned on me after about ten minutes…it was still really itching badly…and I now had skin under my fingernails… I needed to wash my neck to stop the sweat from making me itch…
            Now, no burning running eyes…no coughing or sneezing or wheezing…nothing but this horrible wasp-like itch…I walked into the bathroom and freak…my neck is swollen and covered with hives, from nearly the nape of my neck all around the front down to just below my collarbones.  When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure how much damage I had caused by scratching.  Since I hadn’t realized it was mold or anything by that point, I did what I normally do…I cleaned my neck…and the hives on the inside of my elbow of one arm and my wrist of the other arm…with sea breeze.  Honestly, it stung, but not as bad as it could have.  The problem was…it didn’t help the itching…at all…so I went nuts trying to find hydrocortisone cream, knowing we have three tubes somewhere in the house…because R had some before we moved in, E had her own tube for her itchies, and I bought a tube after we moved in because I couldn’t find his or hers at one point…after nearly tearing my hair out, literally, trying to find this stuff…I found it…and I applied it by the handful…but the itching would not stop…so…I took a shower and washed everything off…I used the dandruff shampoo as body wash…and that helped immensely.  I took an allergy pill before got into the shower, it just then dawning on me this may be an allergic reaction.  Hey, I had to deal with the itch first…R called while I was in the shower…the voice of reason and the only person who can really calm me down or reach me no matter what headspace I am in … he picked on me for the shower…and the sea breeze … he had me take a second allergy pill, knowing this would knock me out for the majority of the night … I can take one of these guys and be a little tired for the next 6-12 hours…but if I take 2 in a 12 hour period…I am toast…and the label says they last 4-6 hours… uh huh…I finished the call, finished my shower…and pretty much crashed on the couch for …the rest of the day and the night…and was still groggy the next day when I woke up and took another one, just to be safe…
            The allergy pills had the added benefit of making my hands and mouth swell a little bit…and my internal throat swell.  R wasn’t sure it was just the pills, but since these pills have done it to me before, I wasn’t all that worried.  I could breathe fine…I just had trouble swallowing, which wasn’t that big a deal after what I had been through the day before…R still says the allergic reaction is to blame for a lot of the swelling.
            Believe it or not, there were no marks on my throat at all from the scratching I did…I still cannot get over that one.  Not one mark the next day, after 95% of the swelling was gone.  The day after, nothing unusual at all.

            We went to Sam’s club on Saturday?  I think…  I think so; we had N w us.  There was a demonstration for this spa facial stuff, Avani…we bought it.  We brought it home.  I used it on my eyes and my neck, as well as the rest of my face.  The stuff on my eyes vanished…on my neck, you could tell the places I didn’t use it …I wanted to compare, so I left some skin untreated.  The next day, I did the places I had left undone the previous day.  Although the dry skin is trying to come back on my eyes, very slowly—since I was not anywhere near vigorous when I did my eyes—my neck is still completely clear and itch-free--this stuff is wonderful…

            We went out for a wonderful meal at Outback Steakhouse ... then we all needed to walk around some afterwards…so we went to Value Village.  We found this amazing king-sized comforter, with two pillow shams…it looks tough enough to suffer through the dogs…and pretty enough for me…and not-girly enough for R.  The colors are gorgeous…all autumnal and subdued, but still bright and engaging…when I saw it all I could think was both our colors, all mixed together.  It’s terrific.

            Sunday was busy…the whole week-end was busy.  R golfed Sunday morning, starting at 7:50am…he was home about 3p or so…which put us behind our ‘normal’ schedule…so I didn’t get to go to all the stores I had wanted to go to in that area.  We took the kids to eat and to play at McDonald’s playground…which we do every Sunday.  Then my poor patient R agreed to run the errands that we could run…which entailed a trip to TJ Maxx, two of them as luck would have it…walmart (fish food is cheaper there, sorry…I do try to stay away from them as much as I can) and a trip to Michaels since we had a coupon to use… dunkin donuts (drool, dribble dribble, drool)…there was more of the on-going saga w E, convincing her we do love her and that we are pushing her education for a reason…    

Honestly, I did not realize she was a far behind as she is academically…I knew her reading was slow, but I also know that she reads better than she lets on…her math work is third grade…but she balks at us pushing her past where she is now.  It’s not that the work is too hard for her…it’s that she’s afraid to continue, because it will get harder and we’ll expect more from her and what if she can’t measure up…so…we found a software program at sams club that may help stimulate her desire to work …and then I found a website online—it was recommended in one of my homeschool groups…the site is called Lesson Pathways.  From the looks of it, I like it, but we haven’t sat E down to use it yet…as yesterday was hectic in and of its own self.  Having said all of this, and having R to back me up and to help out w her, I know we can get E moving this season…we run homeschool all year round…w week-ends off here and there for visiting cousins and whatnot—but that can and will stop if she doesn’t start performing…

            I did have a great deal of fun though…E notwithstanding.  I had two different women, in two different stores, hours apart, stop and talk to me about my tattoos, both of whom told me how great they are and how good they look.  *Smile*

            Since we didn’t make it to all the places I had planned to go on Sunday, E and I headed out yesterday.  We went to world market.  E loves anywhere we can go that they give you free coffee.  They were out of tea samples when we were there, but the coffee was incredible, as always.  E loves that store, as much as I do.  I love the colors and all the neat things you can find there.  I went there in search of bells…strands of bells…I found them.  I have hung them up at home and the house is now good…not done yet, but at least I have my weird airy fairy air apparent all over the place now.  You cannot step in the door now that you don’t know that this is my home too.  I think I did a good job of keeping and maintaining all of R’s stuff…while incorporating my own.  He’s not upset or bothered by anything I’ve done…so I call it good.

            We then went to a couple other places right there to grab some small things…then we went to the BEST place of all…and the place that made me giddy and happy all day long: Kirkwood Knittery…oh, how I LOVE that store…the only store in the state of MO that carriers Habu Yarns (that we …or the Habu website…know of anyway)…I fondled much Habu yesterday…the paper yarn is incredibly tactile…I love it.  I will have to find a reason to buy some at some point…I ended up buying some of the beautiful silk and stainless steel yarns…and decided right then and there I would not order the wool and stainless steel from lionbrand ever again…I will always drive out to Kirkwood to my favorite yarn store…
            BUT…that is not why I am so happy.  I went through the $1 booklet and 50 cent magazine bins in the back…I also checked out the $1 a ball bin and the 30% off rack…but I stuck w booklets and magazines…I walked out w ten booklets and magazines…2 skeins of the silk and stainless steel yarn…for $38 (I know, I said yesterday $36…I was wrong….)…a stack of magazines that included no less than 5 copies of Rebecca, old ones, yes, but still gorgeous (I found out one is actually recent…so…big thrill there)…and as I told the fabulous Brooke when I checked out, if there is but one pattern in each magazine and booklet that I like, then I have wasted neither time nor cash in buying it.  I am a VERY happy woman today…very very very happy…I need to go back and grab some of the crochet magazines…they were all American ones, and I was really set on European magazines yesterday…not to mention, my knitting is far far better than my crochet most days…but then again, how else am I to learn?

            We also dropped by hobby lobby while it was actually open, since we were in the area.  Honestly, if I had walked out of there empty-handed I would have been fine…I didn’t though.  They did have yarn on clearance.  Weirdly enough though, there clearance bins were full of the exact same yarns, same brand, same color, same lot, everything—but you had to watch because if you picked up four skeins of the same yarn, each skein might be priced differently…I wanted to buy about six skeins of this one yarn, but could only find three the same price.  The prices ranged from $1.67 to $3.99…it’s all discontinued colors…why are the same colors not all priced the same?  I can almost understand why some different  colors are higher priced, almost, coveted colors maybe costing more to earn the store more money; uglier colors not so expensive just to get rid of them…but we are talking the same dye lot and everything here…I spent under $20 and came home w two yarns that I plan to combine into yet another modified ribby tank…then we walked into Hancock’s fabrics in the same complex…this store used to have such a great knitting/yarn section…I still have stash I bought at their store before the exodus to MD …  but they did have thread and fabric galore this time…which is why we were there.

             I’ve been commissioned to build a purse for my favorite Glass Fairy…as we await the arrival of her gorgeous fabrics, I thought I would scope out threads and notions a bit…since we haven’t really gotten down to brass tacks about the basics of design and construction…we didn’t really need anything at hancock’s yet…even though I really ought to grab 20+ yards of muslin to start working on my dress at some point…I am not going there until the house is all done and everything is unpacked and put away and we all feel comfortable in our own home again…

            We’re getting there.  At least we are happy together during the process…that counts for such a great deal.

            Now…I have all my measurements ready for my EZ seamless yoke sweater…I have EZ’s pattern in The Knitting Workshop…and a copy of Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns….I now must sit down and write out MY pattern for this sweater…because all I really needed from Ann’s book was the 4 decrease rows on the yoke, so my sweater won’t pucker…and since this is my very first “real” sweater, I want it to turn out right…the numbers I have using EZ’s percentage system (EPS) do not match anything in Ann’s book …my gauge is 4.5 stitches per inch.  Ann has a 4 stitches per inch  and a 5 stitches per inch recipe, no halves or quarters or anything like that…I should be able to figure it out on my own though.

            I have not yet finished my second hanging mitered towel yet…since I only work on it while we are in the car…while R drives…usually only on Sundays…that is my excuse and I am sticking to it…the next one I make…because R does love them and we want more…I think I shall make a ballband towel…like this one, or maybe this one

            What I am planning to do today though is start working on this bikini top/bra pattern…in preparation for doing the whole silver bikini, quite possibly a thong bikini….there’s a long camping, and campy, story behind this…but hey, anything for a laugh…I swear…  Anyway, at Michael’s on Sunday, with our 25% off coupon, I bought some loops and threads charisma simply because I liked the colors…it’s called ‘Sunny Day’ and is variegated blues and greens….

            I totally forgot about Michael’s there….not only did I grab the necessary silver yarn for the camping bikini (Vanna’s glamour in platinum—I should have enough for a 4 piece bikini—2 different tops and 2 different bottoms—if I did the math right….w plenty left-over In case I goofed or change my mind on what pattern to use….)…we grabbed a cool gift for my Dad (which we cannot in good conscious reveal here until after he receives it so it remains a surprise)…blood splats for Halloween decorating…my 9yo found a sign that fit so perfectly I had to have it…keeping in mind my Dad, and many others, call my kids my little monsters….the sign says “A happy witch lives here with her little monsters”…I want to keep it up all year long…mwahahaha…I love it.

            And since technically I am a member (or I was when we were in WV) of the Black Hat Society (I cannot find a good link now…but let me show you the blog that introduced me to the BHS in PA….HERE)…I amused the snot out of E by telling her we should get the sign that said “Black Hat Society member”, that we were members already, and that we should get one for my mother, who is far more into the Black Hat arena than am I…she and I share similar views, but walk different paths, that’s all.  E has had her “the witch is in/out” sign for awhile now…she is proud to have a sign so like her Granny’s own sign that says the same thing…when I hung E’s sign up this time, she took the ‘vampire’ sticker off the sign (her sign said the vampire is in/out, instead of the witch) …the vampire sticker is on her door…so she is still holding on to that one…but she is happy to be the witchy-poo here now…yes…strange child…from a strange family…and we all love her and we love each other…how much stranger can you get, right?

            I have more to say, more things to recommend, but I am going to stop here so that anything important does not get lost in the mass of verbiage that is my life.
            Enjoy your day.