9.25.2010

Spinning and watercolors

Not doing much but taking care of the recovering dog at this point, and the usual necessary things like work.

I did buy an E-reader, it was a spontaneous buy, I had some bonus money that I hadn’t used and was in Borders Books. I am always carrying books around and thought “what the heck?”. I love it, and now can’t imagine doing without it. Hundreds of books in a very small space that can be taken easily anywhere. I looked at them before but thought I would miss having the “book” in my hands. Well there is still knitting, spinning and watercolor books to buy, more room on my shelves for them.

I have also begun spinning again. Every time I start spinning again, I wonder at how much I enjoy it, and why did I stop?

The fleece is a BFL, a lovely dark brown, I was drawn to it because the color was quite dark, and I thought that unusual. I love the way it spins up. A pound is enough for me to really make something with it (I hope). It is  enough fiber to keep me busy for quite a while at the rate I’m going.

One skein done, yardage is approx 240, two ply and 4.4 oz. So I’m expecting about 654  870 yds from the pound.  I was hoping to work this into a sweater, not sure I’ll have enough. May have to mix it with something.

005 018

I have done several watercolors, ordered several books from Amazon on watercolors. Found this interesting site with “lessons” Create38 from Vinita Pappas, she has free tutorials, I like the way she explains everything she is doing and why, while she paints. There is also forums, blog etc… Seems I have the watercolor fever.

004

Breezy and tropical

002

I did this really quickly, trying to loosen up and not over think things. Can you guess what the vegetables are? I was introduced to an interesting watercolor blog, The Twenty Minute Challenge. The simplicity of the paintings are beautiful.

9.24.2010

Bloglines ending

oh-my-word

Thanks to The Quilter, I realized in time that Bloglines is ending Oct 1st.

If you need to export your blogs to another aggregator she gives excellent instructions, (hers are to export to Google)

I’m back to spinning, more on that later, I feel my inactivity leaving me, thank goodness!

All of our energy has been taken up with taking care of Syd, and his horrid scar. (see previous post for his Mast cell cancer story) I tell him scars on guys just make them more ruggedly handsome.

He doesn’t seem convinced yet.

006

9.16.2010

Syd and Surgery

We have been majorly stressed out at my house. It has been a rapid trip starting with the discovery of a small tumor on my male dog, Syd, after looking at bumps on the internet, (thank goodness for Dr. Google), I was convinced that it was a Mast Cell Tumor.

014

I was going to just dismiss it, due to the fact that it was about the size of a large pea, but we have always owned dogs, and this one sent my inner voice whispering. Better safe than sorry.  So I made an appointment with my Vet and got in that day!

The vet did a fine needle aspirate, suspecting that it was a mast cell tumor, and after looking at it in the microscope decided it was, it was sent off for a closer look to a vet lab.

They recommended surgery, with wide margins taken to try and get it all, evidently the tumor can be just one of the symptoms of Mast Cells Cancer.

When we picked Syd up, we discovered a much larger incision than we had expected, the vet ended up taking about an orange size of skin, lymph nodes and tissue out of his groin area. He had three incisions, coming to a intersection.

Long story short, after daily vet visits, and an infection, and stitches being ripped open, with much swelling and oozing and bleeding. We now have a boat load of meds, and are keeping him sedated. He has a dime size hole where the incisions come together that we have to apply some antibiotic into, and yes even sedated, that is a party, gurrrr…

But thankfully the prognosis came back good. Although the Tumor grade was II, the staging was zero, which means that they think they got it all, and it had not spread. Yay…

I want to thank everyone who gave advice, support and just listened! You guys are great!

There are many, many pets out there that have this! Please look and get an opinion on any bump you find on your dog, and cats can get this also, although not as often! Mast Cell Tumors may also “disappear” and reappear on the surface with surprising speed. This doesn’t mean it is gone.

Below are the most helpful websites I found on this subject!

http://www.parkhillsanimalhospital.com/inside/articles_search.php?id=495&category=0

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2087&aid=461

http://www.lab-retriever.net/board/mast-cell-tumor-t7344182.html?s=426178161c17b6532e18963b02140f56&

http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/deptsOncology/owners/mastCell.aspx

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_mast_cell_tumors.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastocytoma

And so I was finally able to sketch a few things, no knitting has occurred yet!

020

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

9.08.2010

Just add Water

Some more water color play!

Here I’m trying to loosen up, with a simple door. Trying to work on light and reflections.

002

Then I got obsessed with this boat!

003

First attempt, watercolors then added acrylics on top. Looks pretty stormy, I got dark and too late realized I went too far.

004

Second attempt, all water colors.

Oh yeah, I’m hooked…

I look to the sea
Reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me baby
Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me

I saw Styx in concert in 1977 and have great memories!

"Come Sail Away" is a song by Styx from their album The Grand Illusion. One of the band's biggest hits, it was released in 1977 (see 1977 in music), rising to number 8 on the Pop Singles chart and helping The Grand Illusion reach multi-platinum sales in 1978.

Musically, "Come Sail Away" combines a plaintive, ballad-like opening section (including piano and synthesizer interludes) with a bombastic, guitar-heavy second half. In the middle of the second half of the album version is a minute-long synthesizer instrumental.

Styx member Dennis DeYoung revealed on In the Studio with Redbeard (which devoted an entire episode to the making of The Grand Illusion), that he was depressed when he wrote the track after Styx's first two A&M offerings, Equinox and Crystal Ball, sold fewer units than expected after the success of the single "Lady".

The track would be the regular closing track during the band's live set before the encore. DeYoung now closes nearly all of his live concert performances with a rendition of "Come Sail Away". As he approaches the end of each verse, he stops singing and cues the audience to finish the verse for him, which they do heartily. The audience can be heard very clearly singing along with DeYoung and his band during the chorus of "Come Sail Away" on DeYoung's comeback live album, The Music of Styx–Live with Symphony Orchestra.

9.05.2010

Soaring socks

I finally broke down and ordered the Cat Bordhi Book, Socks that soar on two circular needles. And I’m not disappointed! I quickly understood the concept and took off knitting. I have tried many methods of alternative sock knitting and I think I will use this one again! This book explains the technique and also has a variety of patterns.

003

Her description of “A manual of elegant knitting techniques and patterns” is correct. She includes instructions for the method itself and how to convert your favorite patterns to her method of knitting.

She starts with a basic sock pattern in 3 sizes, so there is one for you. Then progresses to Felted boots, and a variety of other patterns, from socks with cats on them to an advance leaf and tendril pattern. A large variety, and I would knit quite a few of these. The book is great for the patterns alone.

One suggestion that she makes that I agree with; If you are going to try this, get some good circular needles! I started a pair of toe up socks with a different brand of needles and put those on hold until I’m done with this pair!  She suggests Addi turbos, (read Knitters Review here) which I am using, I am thinking of buying several pairs of Options Nickel Plated Needles from KnitPicks which I hear are also good (read Knitters Review here), and at a significantly lower price.

On a side note her website has some free patterns, three super cute felted bags and a swan tea cozy. A stole and a moebius cowl.

I’m using 008

which I have never used before,a self-patterning stripe yarn in a wool and nylon blend 75/25. At only 166 yards per skein you will need two for socks. (and two skeins at 332 yards may not make socks for a larger size sock or longer cuff) I am leering at my skein after my cuff is done, and wondering if I will have enough.

The yarn itself, has a very nice feel to it and is pleasant to work with, the brand has a large variety of color choices and although I has not worn them, I would buy it again, at $5.99 a ball x2= $11.98, and 332 yds in two skeins. Check your pattern yardage to make sure you have enough, and shop the sale ads and use coupons. You can usually get this one sale.

036 001

A little outdoor knitting, and the first sock is almost done! After the first sock is done, you can see how much is left of the skein.  I am a loose knitter, so if I had used smaller needles I think I would have had enough for a longer cuff, but I would make a toe up sock to make sure I didn’t run out before I was done.

The second skein started off almost exactly where the first skein did in the stripe. I had a hiccup in the second sock due to lunch time knitting. I had to frog it all the way back to the heel gusset again. But after that it went smoothly.

All in all, this is the best method I have run across on knitting socks on a circular needle. So much so, that I think I will be knitting my socks in this method form now on. It is fast, you can try it on with it on the needles, no more dropping stitches off the ends of you dpns, and I usually use sock knitting as a “on the go” project, and the needles are a real plus here.

010

Done! Ready for fall now and sock wearing weather!

May your knitting needles fly as fast as dragonflies…