A Much Needed Weekend

Guys, I needed this weekend so badly! Between everything going on at home and a huge work project that’s been giving me fits for 2 weeks, and stress even before that, I just didn’t know how much of a stress ball I’d become.

The work project finished up on Friday afternoon. I was able to go home and grab a power nap, then Mr. Ink and I mowed the lawn before a weekend of rain began. I did some weeding and some housework and we made an easy dinner, then settled in to watch a movie together while I knit on the pair of socks that need to be done by Monday.

I finished them.

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It’s VERY rainy and dark today, this is as good a photo as I’ll ever get. These are for Mr. Ink’s sister in law, who is just one of those people who gets jobs done. She and I think alike, but I haven’t been in the family 30 years, so I don’t say that which I think. She says it for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate her. Also, she’s so knit worthy. I sent her home with a large cowl a little over a year ago, and she wears it ALL OF the time in the winter. ┬áThese socks are an easy way for me to say thank you for all the help and support she gives us.

If all goes well, I’ll have another finished object soon. But, as of right now? I am thrilled to report that’s one skein of commercial yarn out of my stash during my month of knitting exclusively.

I’ve been doing a lot of gardening lately, I got some gladiolus in the ground, and I’ve got some cannas waiting to be planted. I have moved a bunch of day lilies to another area in my yard in order to claim more space for my veggie garden. The veggie garden is mostly in, and I’ve planted a bunch of various plants in my shadier gardens, which were just mulch and no plants. Mr. Ink’s hill has gotten a lot of work lately as well, he’s been removing old dead roots of bushes long choked out by weeds he’s finally eradicated. He tells me the erosion out there is getting pretty bad but I’ll like the solution. I asked him what the solution was, and he said more plants, plants and rocks. That’s great, since I keep going to my favorite plant store and purchasing him plants that like rocks. I guess I get to continue!

I’ve got two more gorgeous blooms to show off, my iris bed is busting out now.

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Irises are such elegant flowers for the time they bloom! And, I’ve got a beautifully established columbine which never had a chance to bloom last year, so choked out was that flower bed.

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Now it’s blooming beautifully in the midst of siberian irises that haven’t bloomed yet. With all the rain we are getting right now, expect a lot more bloom pictures!

I Don’t Know

With all the upset of Mr. Ink’s mom starting directly after I decided to give up spinning for a month, I am not sure if I just find it relatively uninspiring to blog about knitting, or if I’ve just been too busy and lack the motivation to blog in general. I suspect I’ll need to try another month off spinning to find a better baseline in the future.

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Here’s the heel of a second sock! I began, and knit the heel flap and heel, starting on Monday. Pretty good I’d say, for a couple days work. I thought that Mr. Ink’s sister in law would be arriving on Friday, but that didn’t work out as anticipated. She’ll be arriving on Monday instead. That gives me a weekend, a rainy one at that, to finish this sock.

Actually, I plan to knit about to the toe, and then leave it be. Once she arrives, she can try on the complete one, and I can either finish up, or make adjustments and finish up both socks to the proper size.

As for Mr. Ink’s mom, she’s now in a home for rehab, working on learning to walk again. We visited last evening and I was impressed with the facilities. They’d come highly recommended, so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it was really nice to see how lovely they are. I hope the care equals the facilities. In the meantime, the next month brings us paperwork, and cleaning out her apartment. It’s been less than a year since we cleaned out the old family home, and I still have nightmares about it, so I am not exactly looking forward to this next clean out, despite the fact that it’s only 13 years worth of stuff, and a much smaller place.

Meanwhile, there are the regular inconveniences of differing opinions that different family members bring to the table in situations such as this. For instance, the one where some family members believe that all the stuff from ┬áher apartment will be coming to my house to be stored. Those family members would be mistaken. I’ve got issues with “stuff.” I keep my level of “stuff” WAY down whenever possible. And clutter drives me right crazy. We are currently housing stuff for kids who don’t live with us, and that’s about my limit. I do believe that there are lovely things called storage sheds, and you can rent them by the month, and “stuff” can just stay in there.

And after typing all that out, I think it’s pretty clear that the mental exhaustion of each day right now leaves me little room for blogging about knitting. It’s not the knitting, it’s the situation.

Oh. Yeah. And also the huge work project.

OK, here’s the thing. Life is full of cycles, and the cycle for me is stress. Hopefully it’ll settle down soon!

Continuing

The day before I got a call about Mr. Ink’s mom, I picked up a refurbished and now no longer made fitness tracker. I figured it might be fun to see my steps and it might also get me up and moving on the days I am not biking. But, then, I spent a bunch of time in the hospital, which really isn’t conducive to movement at all, especially if you may miss something important when you leave the room. And you are the only person there to hear it and help make decisions.

So, I took to sneaking out when Mr. Ink’s mom had asked for pain relief, knowing she would then sleep. The hospital she chose is just beautiful and on a beautiful campus. And right now? All the trees are in bloom. So I’d take a walk around the hospital, each time around gave me 2,000 steps.

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And during those steps, I’d get to see such beautiful things!

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Beautiful things along with the parking lots.

I went in yesterday to see her after blogging. I figured she won’t be at this hospital much longer, so I won’t get to take advantage of that lovely walk much longer. So I walked again before I even went in. Once in the hospital, I was VERY encouraged to see her up in a recliner, eating healthily, with beautiful color in her face. And chatty! She was very chatty. I was there for the orthopedist visit, where he told us surgery had gone just as well as possibly could be expected, and now the onus was on her to have a good recovery. It’s a long one, 3 months before she’ll be back to weight bearing on that hip. But seeing her up and in a chair already was so encouraging.

Now, this is a woman who has lived entirely by herself for the last 12 years, not really having visitors so often, and not driving, so unable to take herself out. We would see her when she needed to go to the store or the dentist or whatever, and we’d make sure she had a place to visit on holidays, but as a rule, she was alone. I had been thinking the day before that it must be SO overwhelming to go from that normal to the hospital normal where you’ve got people talking to you all day. So, when she told me I could leave any time, after having a lovely chat with her, I took that as her cue that she needed some alone time and stepped out. And took another walk around the hospital.

Being home most of the day yesterday was lovely! I got the house back in a reasonable order, and got some knitting done. Look at my hanami! I am well within the cherry blossom section now!

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I am still knitting away on this every chance I get, and it’s still fun! I can’t wait to see it blocked.

We were also able to get a bike ride in, and mow the lawn, and I gardened. And, feeling quite indulgent, we also stayed up late, watched a movie, and made a nice dinner. It’s our last alone day in our home after all. At the end of the day? I had over 20K steps! That was so fun!

And all that gardening made me realize we’ve got our very first iris of the season blooming!

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It was twilight when I snapped that photo. I’d been trying to pick that henbit out of the nearby ferns, a really irritating job. And then I realized there was a gorgeous bloom right in front of my nose and I hadn’t taken the time to notice it yet! That felt like a lovely end to the day.

 

Halt!

Just when you say something like “speeding right along,” life throws you a curve ball.

And that’s exactly what happened with the end of my week. On Thursday afternoon while I was still at work, I got a call from Mr. Ink’s sister in law. She’d called over to his mother, and his mother reluctantly admitted to her that she’d fallen two days prior. And not told anyone about it.

Now, knowing that any fall in an 88 year old could potentially be quite serious, and not being able to get in touch with Mr. Ink, I headed over there. She was able to get to the door, and I was able to get her into the car. We headed to the urgent care which is practically next door to her, but they wouldn’t see her. So, we then headed off to the only hospital she seems comfortable with, which was quite a ways away, in rush hour traffic.

By that time I’d been able to get ahold of Mr. Ink and he met us there. I was so thankful we’d gone to an ER, as what I didn’t realize was that while I could get her IN my car, I was completely unable to get her back OUT of my car. But they had experienced staff to help with that.

We learned, once in the ER, that she’d not just fallen 2 days before, she’d fallen 2 days before, and then fell again the next day. On fall 1, she’d broken her hip. On fall 2, she broke some ribs. And naturally, she hadn’t been eating because she was unable to make herself food.

I REALLY don’t know how long she would have gone without telling someone, if Mr. Ink’s sister in law hadn’t called and then pried the information out of her. I spent most of the day yesterday at the hospital with her as she was poked and prodded by all manner of docs and nurses, just to confirm that she was fine for surgery. As it turns out, besides the hip, she really couldn’t be healthier. So we made some decisions about surgery, information was conveyed to Mr. Ink’s brothers, and then Mr. Ink arrived to take over for the actual surgery part.

She came through surgery just fine! She’s got a long recovery ahead of her, and no more living alone, but she also did very well. When we have to take her to an ER for something, it’s always really fun for me to listen to the doctors and nurses talk about her outside the door. “This is an 88 year old female on absolutely NO medications whatsoever, with no known health problems.” “WHAT?!” “Seriously. No meds at all. No known health problems.” And it always continues in that direction for awhile. She’s such an anomaly, they can’t, initially, believe it.

I will be headed back up to the hospital soon. Tomorrow Mr. Ink’s younger brother comes to town. At the end of the week, Mr. Ink’s sister in law will come to town. So, we will be having a full house again, which has been the case the majority of 2016 so far. But we’ll be very grateful for the help! And we continue to be grateful we’ve got a house large enough to have people stay at.

Here’s what I realized, as I sat in the hospital yesterday knitting on a sock. The sock I was knitting on was started for Mr. Ink’s sister in law. She’s our greatest support when it comes to Mr. Ink’s mom, even though she lives 1,000 miles away. And she wanted socks, and I was happy to make her some. But as I sat there knitting on it, I realized she’d arrive in a week, and I could present her with a pair of socks! Also, it was SO appropriate that I was knitting socks for HER while in the hospital with the person she helps us care for from miles and miles away.

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I finished that sock (Though it may be too long, I can always pull back the toe once she arrives) and I’ll start the second sock on Monday. I feel confident I can finish it by Friday.

Speeding Right Along

I have to admit, ever since the weekend was over, the only knitted item getting any action is my Hanami stole. Since I don’t love knitting the basketweave lace portion, I set a goal to do one repeat a day. I figured it would keep me on task, and get me through it faster. On Sunday I managed two repeats, and by last evening I was into the transitional chart.

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It certainly is growing quickly! Can you see the beads in the middle of each diamond? Beads are always so hard to photograph, and I suppose the pops of color in the handspun also hinder the view.

As of this morning, I am all the way through the transitional chart and halfway through the first of the cherry blossom charts.

I want to begin adding beads again, but I am not entirely sure where to put them. Certainly not at every cherry blossom, that would get exhausting and heavy. I’ll give it some more knitting time and maybe a solution will come to me.

I have also managed a tiny bit of work on the sock, and a little work on Drake the Snake, but both are so negligible as to be not at all photo worthy.

However, I do have another plant photo. Last year my extremely talented gardening coworker gave me a tiny little Lady’s Mantle. It did well in one of my shade gardens last year, but I was surprised just how early it appeared this year, and how full and large it is already!

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It has established itself very nicely. I am looking forward to adding far more to this shade garden this year. It’s got this lady’s mantle, and then a bunch of fairly small hostas. It’s my intention to add a bunch of taller shade plants to the back of it and we’ll see what else.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I am going to talk about it again. When I was younger, I hated gardening with a passion. So it’s such a great surprise to me to love it in adulthood.

The Socks

It seems only reasonable that during a month of self inflicted exclusive knitting, I’d have a pair of socks on the needles. I started these mid March, as I needed another pair of “emergency knitting” socks.

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I am photographing them in the car, because that’s where they reside! I keep them around for moments I might need knitting while I am out, but they get knit on most often when I decide I’ve had enough single track riding but Mr. Ink wants to do a bit more.

That was the case yesterday, and I got a bit further down the foot. 10 out of 13 repeats are complete on this sock.

Since the sock pic is a bit boring and I don’t have much progress on anything else today, can I show you garden photos?

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Not entirely sure what this plant is on our retaining wall, but it’s in its glory at the moment. Really gorgeous! You can see, behind it, phlox peeking out. Here’s a close up:

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It was far more abundant last year, that plant, but kind of got choked out. We are hoping that it fills in above a bit this year, and we are working on encouraging that.

Another phlox photo is one that Mr. Ink planted last year, and it’s just blooming like mad too!

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It seems to be really enjoying it’s spot on the hill.

And finally, the tree we planted when our 17 year old dog passed away last year, the Coco Memorial tree, made it through the winter! It’s a red bud, and we weren’t entire sure it would make it. Not only did it make it, but it is exhibiting it’s first flower!

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When we moved in to our home, we realized we had no trees. It’s a huge yard, and NO TREES! None at all. Now we have two. And another one arriving shortly. (And frankly, our rose of sharon is rather tree like. But it’ll never grow like a tree.)

After doing a bunch of yard work this weekend, prior to the current rain, I am highly inspired to get out and buy plants. I love that I’ve learned to enjoy gardening, and also love that Mr. Ink picks up where I slack in that department. But most of all, I love that gardening happens for a season, and then we get a break.

Opposites

When I am exclusively knitting as a craft, it’s important for me to get something in the opposite needle size as to what I’ve currently got on the needles in order to avoid the claw syndrome. I saw this great little free pattern called Polar Opposites, a cowl created out of both bulky and laceweight yarn.

Now, the yarn that happened to start this month of self inflicted exclusive knitting was my pink corespun yarn. It was the skein I couldn’t fit into my handspun stash area. So it seems natural that it just never get in that area at all, and I knit it right up.

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I paired it with a dark teal laceweight yarn from Estonia brought back by a good friend years and years ago. It is, quite frankly, amazing. I will knit right to the end of the corespun skein, and then decide if I want ot to be a scarf or a cowl, depending on length.

I will absolutely be making this pattern again. It highlights the crazy beautiful corespun texture in a way most patterns do not. It’s fun, it’s easy, and best of all? It’s making the softest fabric ever. I need so much more of this in my life!