Popping in

Just to say hey! I am hanging in. The horror slowed down for a bit, to low grade stress. It will ramp up again when Dad’s situation changes, but for the very moment it is not a cyclone.

And I finished something! A’s Christmas mittens are done, blocked and wrapped. Under the tree, even.

They should be nice and warm, the lining is two strands, held double, one is cashmere merino, the other angora merino. I hope they will felt into a soft warm hug for her hands.

I have been knitting tiny stars as well, no really good shots of them, but you get the idea here. They keep me sane, and distract me from Ocean currents which slowly progresses. I am thinking of adding beads to tonight’s star…

I started this on the 16th… that was a while ago!

Dad is at home. There is home health for the moment, and he really needs it, so here’s hoping no one changes his/her mind about allowing them in the home. Whew!

There has been lots of knitting on tiny things. The gnome is done, but as the MKAL is not, you will have to go over to my ravelry project page to see the completed object. I apologize if you aren’t able to do that. I will try to remember to post a photo here after it ends and everything isn’t so secret.

I also have had fun knitting little stars – the pattern is Scintillation by Hunter Hammersen. I tried adding beads, but things didn’t go as planned. I wanted to add them so they radiated out, but the beads I chose were of the cheap variety, and they would not cooperate. So instead I added them at the cast on, thinking that they would sparkle around the edge of the star. They did. But what an incredible chore that was! So I think I will retry my original plan someday with better quality beads. But not today. the one off by itself has beads, but of course, in artificial light the clear beads are nearly invisible. There were several more stars made, but they went off in packages. I still do want to make enough for a garland of stars. It might take me a few years.

I cast on Steel Creek at last on Dec 21, at the start of the Yarniacs Self-indulgent Knit Along (SIKAL). I have been wanting to knit this thing for at least 9 months, but wouldn’t let myself cast on until some needles got cleared off. As I am down to only Ocean Currents as a long term WIP, and a pair of socks as a travel project, I felt like I could. I started Steel Creek with the sleeves, so that I could use them as a confirmation swatch, and also to avoid sleeve island at the end of the project. I used a provisional cast on, and didn’t do any of the pretty cuff. I will wait and see how long they need to be, then knit the cuff downward.

I also want to cast on Nightshift, which I spun all that yarn for, but I am making myself wait until Ocean Currents is done. It may never happen! I have about 54 inches done on that, and at a minimum it is supposed to be 70, but I think it may need to go longer, so she can use it as a stole, not a scarf, if she wants to.

I haven’t been spinning lately, but I hope to do some in the next few weeks – my planned vacation was to start today and run all next week, but a big RFP came out on November 27 (that’s right, the day after Thanksgiving) that is due December 29th! Yesterday we got word that the due date got changed to Dec 30, but that is pretty immaterial at this point. Only the government would do this to people. So my vacation has been shifted from the middle of this week to the middle of next week. I will make sure to spin and sew during it. And if civil servants could be voted from office, I would definitely do some clearing down there in Augusta. This is the second year in a row that they have released major program RFPs due in December. Clearly, they have no consideration for the lives of the grant writers of Maine! That, or no clue how arduous it is to comply with their RFPs. Either way, they are on my naughty list again this year.

That’s about it – pandemic rages on, we work and stay home. Despite this, the numbers climb. I suspect that the minute Christmas is over, Governor Mills will shut us down again. I hope she does. As hard as that is, it is harder to deal with the results if she doesn’t.

Quick update

Thanks so much for all your kind comments, hugs, prayers, words of wisdom. They mean a lot.

We are hanging in there as best we can. Things in Connecticut are progressing slowly but steadily toward an outcome. What that outcome will be is yet unknown. But we will get there. Advice for you all: keep your things in order. Make sure you have your health directives and POAs up to date and that someone else knows how to find them. Don’t rely on just one person for everything. Getting old can really suck, but it doesn’t have to be a 💩storm.

That being said, the siblings are all still getting along and supporting each other. Silver lining!

I am finishing a sweater today, I do believe. I promise to share pictures when I do. And my little gnome is keeping me occupied. I might cast on some stars or a tree today, too. I need some little cast ons.

Thank goodness November is over

Guys, this was a really dark month for me. Not just because the time changed, though that is part of the trouble. Every time I felt like I was recovering my equilibrium, more bad news came down the pike. And on top of that – or perhaps underlying it – there was a pandemic.

Look at me cross-eyed, I will cry. Be nice to me, I will cry. If that is hard for you, think how it feels to be me? Ugh. I don’t like it.

Something good happened? Very exciting! But then multiple bad things happened to match it. I won’t give you the litany of things that happened this month, just know that loved ones were lost or soon will be, and people are sick in hospitals out of state. Hospitals which allow no visitors, even if I could figure out how to do the logistics of the COVID test, the quarantine, sort out safe lodging and eating, the hospital still won’t let me in. So here I sit, making phone calls and trying not to bother the wonderful, wonderful nurses too much.

And yes, I have been knitting, a little bit. And spinning, a little bit. But I have not been as productive as normal, or as I would like to be. Everything just feels like a whole lot of work.

One good thing has come of all of this – I have had closer contact, and better communication, with all of my siblings than I have in ages. We are not all on the same page yet, though I think we will be, but we are talking and listening to each other, and reaching consensus on the things that must be decided now, and consciously deciding what to hold off on deciding, with a plan for taking things up later. It is amazingly good. I hope it lasts. We are sharing the work of communicating with out of state family and the hospital. So glad we can do it.

Anyway…

Thanksgiving – how was yours? Ours was quiet. I cooked a turkey and stuffing and potatoes for us, and made bread for the inevitable (anticipated, actually) turkey sandwiches. We saw one of A’s sisters on the screened porch early that morning, and we saw the other in her backyard on Friday, on our way to a picnic at Mom’s house. My sister and her family also came to the picnic, and we sat out in the chilly wet yard for a couple of hours. Mom provided blankets and chairs, we all brought our own food and sat in our own pods. It was so good to see everyone, even if there were no hugs. My niece E the younger brought her brand new spindle, and a grocery bag overflowing with brightly colored fiber that she got for her birthday a few weeks ago. She happily spun away, and is making loads of interesting yarn.

Now it is December and we are back at work after a week of vacation. Hunkering down and waiting for everything to come around right again. Wondering about Christmas picnics… ? will Mother Nature allow?