The lights were Flickering
Friday December 16th 2011, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Family,Wildlife

Got up late. Looked out the window: a female Northern Flicker! The spots were hard to see in the shadows and I had to go check with a birding friend to be sure. I’ve only seen them a few times before. Picture a woodpecker that often doesn’t actually peck wood, rather, it likes to stride through the grass stabbing at insects on the ground, which is what this one was doing.

You have to love a bird that looks like it’s sporting a sock-monkey’s smile.

Got the last of the to-go presents wrapped. Richard mailed them. Collapsed and read cover-to-cover the book “Avian Architecture” that Richard-the-younger and Kim gave me for my birthday.  Way cool stuff in there; I could rattle on all day now about bird structures! Who knew a bird colony on a cliff could look like barnacles on a boat.

The best antidote
Thursday December 15th 2011, 11:38 pm
Filed under: Family,Lupus

My thanks to those who said they had no reaction to Reclast (and yes, that’s what it was); I don’t want to be scaring people.

Mine was fierce: it felt like both my lupus and my Crohn’s went nuts. Shooting pain, joints, shivery fever all night, barfing night and day. It has finally let up just enough that I can sit up long enough to type this. “One of the unlucky ones,” the doctor said to Richard on the phone.

Then he asked if I had hives. No. I really am one of the lucky ones after all; I should be able to take it again, then, and I do need it.

I was reading my messages, glad for the connection to the world outside my room, but was unable all day to sit up to answer them.

One, the best one of all, was from my sister: her granddaughter was born last night, to parents who had been trying to conceive and to carry to term. She’s absolutely beautiful: big wide-open eyes looking back, a full head of dark hair.

Just like my John looked like as a newborn.

We are so blessed.

And again and again
Thursday December 15th 2011, 12:37 am
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life,Lupus

Today was the true spirit of holiday rush.

Remember that four-year 29% bone loss? (Yeah, steroid meds are fun.) I was scheduled to have my first yearly IV infusion of an osteoporosis drug this afternoon. They needed a morning sample from the lab beforehand, preferably same-day.

At the lab, I asked, wasn’t there supposed to be a blood draw too?

With the place packed and signs pleading for patience saying that they had a new computer system in place and it would likely take a few weeks for everyone to get up to speed with it, they looked me up and assured me no.

Well okay then. I stopped by the house afterwards and then I was going to the annual lupus group luncheon. I look forward to it all year. There are old friends who turn out for it that I never get to see otherwise, and I’ve missed it too many times from having germs–you do not bring contagion to an immuno-compromised group. I had RSVP’d, I was germ-free, and I was good to go.

The phone rang as I was walking for the door. The doctor’s office: I was indeed supposed to have had blood drawn, and it had to be at least an hour, preferably two before that IV, the sooner the better.

I. Am. Going. To. My. Luncheon. And I did: and our group got seated at the door, which kept being left open and I kept getting up and shutting it. Lupus. Sun.  Come on, folks, you know what group is here.

The manager, bless her, said to me that the whole restaurant was reserved and everybody was here and then she locked the door! And put a chair in front of it to try to get people from the other group to go out the far one or at least notice that a message was being conveyed. Go her!

I probably shouldn’t have ordered at all. My soup arrived, a little too hot to eat yet, less than five minutes before I really really had to bag it up and leave (but it was so good). We were supposed to be rung up as a group; they let me pay and go, glad to be able to help. Good folks there at Allied Arts.

But I was stressed out enough to trigger my cardiac cough. Back to the lab. Back home.

This IV was all something new and they told me I would feel like the flu for several days afterwards, maybe even a week. I had no idea how I would react. Richard wanted to come with me to be a support and just in case I wasn’t up to driving home, bless him. I offered him half my soup, still warm.

We arrived at the oncology clinic. The nurse clearly was used to people who weren’t used to IVs, and apologized at blowing a vein on the first try: my blood pressure was so low, it was hard to find a good enough one.

Eh. I knew there’s a world of difference between that and a vein that collapses after a couple days’ use in the hospital and screams at the saline they have to push through it; this was nothing, absolutely nothing. I assured her it was okay, and it took a few tries before she believed me that it really didn’t bother me, none of this stuff did.

Dem bones dem bones dem dry bones. An hour of sitting and quietly reading with no pressures to get anything else done in the moment. Enjoying the quiet.

I’m just glad there’s something they can do!

Just watch him now!
Wednesday December 14th 2011, 12:24 am
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

(It’s still the 13th here, my blog timestamp is off an hour.)

As Richard hung up my coat at Flea Street Cafe for the birthday dinner, the maitre d’ exclaimed to me, Ooh! I love your necklace!

Yesterday’s silver beaded chain? Today I got to wear an alpaca beaded version. Picture a Saint Bernard with the proverbial cask: I now come equipped with emergency yarn around my neck. Not that I would ever think of taking these soft jewels apart, but still. It is so me. So perfect.

My doorbell rang this afternoon during the few moments I was actually home between errands: Andrea, bearing gifts and totally surprising me. Inside her two bags were thistle seed and a hanger for them for my finches, and this hand-crocheted Fair Trade alpaca necklace from Bolivia.

Wow. Coooooool! Thank you! And like I say, the lady at Flea exclaimed the moment she saw it, just like I did.

Moments after we walked in the door home again from there, the phone rang: our son Richard and his wife Kim, wanting to set up a Skype chat.

And so we got to wave hi and play almost-patty-cake via the cams with our little grandson. Parker, I am here to assure you, is as cute as ever.

We adjusted our camera a moment to be in a more direct eye-to-eye line with him rather than offsides, and then I seem to have waved hi just the right way: Parker got the biggest smile waving back, got all excited about it and turned and RAN TO HIS MOMMY. Three steps.

Wait. Did we just see what it looked like we just saw?!

While my son was going, Wow! He’s never done that before! We’ve never seen him do that before!

First steps. For delight at his Grammy on her birthday, to the safe reassurance of his Mommy. Does it get more perfect than that?

Chain of thought
Tuesday December 13th 2011, 12:36 am
Filed under: Family,Life,Lupus

(Day two: quite good. Yay!)

I was at our clinic today, paying my December bill in person because I needed a receipt for it. I knew that meant I would have to wait; I came with yarn.  I set down my cane and my purse and then the admin lady smiled as my needles came out.

I sat next to a desk, and attached to that desk was a pen connected by a long chain of tiny silver balls to a black plastic base.

The previous person at my seat had painstakingly, perfectly wrapped that chain around and around and a few more times around, so that it sparkled in a circle at the base as if it were a small Christmas tree skirt. Horizontal tinsel.

I was charmed. The woman there was delighted that I’d noticed it too and told me about it. I wondered how long it had taken that person to get it set just so–and I didn’t want to mess it up, but when I needed a pen mine weren’t easy to find and the woman smiled again and assured me it was okay to go ahead and use that one. (I did try to redo the little desk sculpture but it was clearly going to take me a long time and I didn’t want to get in the way of her work.)

From wrapped to scattered in an instant.

I spent the evening with tape and colored paper to try to get some presents ready to go out of here, and soon. Some people do incredible jobs of present-ing a gift just so; for me, I can only hope that they’ll be charmed that I tried.

This is the first Christmas that we have a grandchild who will be old enough to open his own toys: things that wobble, things that go ’round. And you know that means there needs to be a good plain box, too, because those are always the best.

The day after the sun
Monday December 12th 2011, 12:05 am
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Lupus

Wow, did I really get off this easy this time? A little joint inflammation that dissolved away like the ocean fog by mid-day, a little in the eyes–but no loss of vision this time. A few cardiac-cough spasms that gave up and went away and were nothing.  So far so good. So different from other sun-exposure episodes.

Thank you for your prayers and your Thinking Good Thoughts: to me, it all matters, whatever your religion or lack of it. It’s all love in God’s eyes. Caring makes the whole world blessed.

And so I am blessed by people I know and whom I wish I could. Again, thank you.

Tonight I finished the baby alpaca hat I began on that mountain.  When it is right it will tell me whose it is, and then it will go from being knit for the whole wide world to just one person in it. At its time.

Do the unexpected
Saturday December 10th 2011, 10:39 pm
Filed under: "Wrapped in Comfort",Friends,Knit,Knitting a Gift,Life

Part One.

I had no idea what the place was going to be like or even quite where it was going to be. Which was okay, I was going to be the passenger.

My friend Nina was taking part in a small–very small, as it turned out–holiday craft fair in Sky Londa today, immediately down the hill from Alice’s Restaurant.

Phyl was sure it was going to be held indoors and safe for my lupus, and it’s always good to see Nina, so up twisty Highway 84 we went.

Well, there were doors, that much turned out to be true: a stand-alone room of a building with the doors wide open and most of the crafty goings-on out in the fresh air, with Christmas trees over to the side being picked out and bundled onto cars, attracting people driving by to or from the coast. Come.  You see all these trees all around? Bring one home with you, pine-sized. Buy a handknit woolly scarf while you choose in the chill.

The sky was a dense fog, the ear-popping elevation not limited to the tops of the redwoods. I had on two layers of sweaters, wool knee socks, and a good wool hat. Nina was cold in a down jacket and thick hat and I realized that my heating-impaired house had gotten me more used to colder weather than I’d realized. (One site says it was 46F there today, one, a bit more.)

Checking the blog, it was Wednesday that that skein of Malabrigo Rios jumped onto my needles for no reason I knew of and just absolutely demanded that I knit it into a hat, and fast. NOW. And there seemed to be only one stitch pattern for it. That was that.

It wasn’t for my Christmas knitting queue, either. Don’t ask me how I knew that, but it just felt obvious all of its own. Well, huh.

So it got made. I knit it into the pattern that surrounds this blog, except done with yarnovers to make fern lace. I ran the ends in to finish it this morning right before Phyllis came to pick me up; whoever it was going to be for wouldn’t mind if I wore it just this one day, would they?

Ferns grow freely among the redwoods, the fronds echoing the green needles above; the Azules colorway echoed the California coastal sky, bright blue and foggy mixed together. With a touch of green. The ferns.

There was a seat just behind the window next to the door. After admiring Nina’s knitting for sale and visiting with a few friends, (side note for them: my brother Bryan’s Jeppson Guitars is here) I sat down there, figuring the glass would give me a little bit of UV protection on one side at least, pulled some yarn out from my purse, and started another hat while listening to a singer with his guitar who was seated in that room too and whose sound had drawn me in there in the first place.

I tell you, he was good. I looked around for signs of CDs I could write a check for but saw none.

Another man had told me there would be four musicians together later, and I’m quite sorry to have missed that but I can only be outside so much. But while I could be there, the one playing then, I could have listened to forever.

Yarn winding in time around wood as he played helped keep me warm.

I (in my sun worries) thought we were there about an hour and a half; Phyllis later guessed about 45 minutes. Judging by rows finished, she’s probably right. She came to me to say she was done just as I was finishing up a needle; okay, cool–and just as the musician finished his song and said what he was going to be playing next.

He had a blue canister with the word TIPS painted prominently in bright yellow.

I was standing up to go but turned to him instead, glad that I could say something without interrupting–the timing had come out perfect. I said very briefly I had no cash with me (much though I wished) and major home repairs waiting. But this I could do: Malabrigo. Some of the finest wool in the world. I had just knitted this (and I took off my hat). I had made it up as I’d gone along, and it is a woman’s, but I was sure he could find someone to give it to; “I want to throw my hat in the ring” to thank him for his music, and with that I put it in his tip jar.

The new warmth in his smile was like no one else’s.

Part two.

We were pulling out when I went, “The honey!”

“Oh, right,” answered Phyl, offering to let silly me pay her back later (I did) and she pulled off to the left to where someone was selling local honey across the side street.

He had blackberry! My favorite! I told the man I couldn’t go to the Kings Mountain Art Fair anymore where I used to buy it; too much sun time.

He asked if I were sensitive to the sun?

Turns out he and his doctor have discussed whether he had lupus on his arm. He seemed grateful to be able to say that to someone who knew what the word meant.

I explained there were two types, skin only and systemic. If he has it there, don’t let the word scare you.

He told me as we left, “You take care of yourself.”

“You too.” And I assured him that systemic notwithstanding, I’d had it twenty+ years; I’m doing fine.  He was visibly comforted.

Part three.

Costco run. I grabbed my piano hat on our way out the door. If I was able to stay warm enough on that mountain I didn’t need more than a hat thrown on down here too, right?

There was a woman in the store’s motorized wheelchair wearing a set-up that I recognized from when my son had knee surgery: her leg looked tinker-toyed. She was offered a sample of smoked salmon and wanted to buy some, but it turned out to be set on a shelf high above her head and the person giving the stuff out was too swamped with customers to notice.

But I did. “Do you want me to reach that for you?”

“Oh, yes, please! If you would.”

Now, I have spent my time needing that chair before. I know that people in wheelchairs like to browse too: like not just having help getting something down, but also like not being forced to buy it or stash it in the wrong place after looking it over simply because there is no physical way to get it back up high again, the helpful person by then long gone.

So I hung around the salmon a moment, just in case, thinking, browse away, hon.

She asked me if I were a pianist?

(I didn’t say, not like my concert-pianist grandmother nor my organ-performance-minor son, but) “Yes.”

She was too! She LOVED my hat! Wait–I’d *made* it?!

Hey (bring on the brag). I’d designed it.

I showed her the inside: how I’d wrapped the yarn across the backs of every single stitch so it wouldn’t have long lengths to snag on things. But that had made it so the black shows through the white keys a bit across the front, and for later hats, I’d gone with the long lengths. (The floats, to a knitter.)

I did offer to put the salmon back up if by chance she needed that. She loved that someone understood how it was to be seated.

However long later, Richard turned back to get one last thing for me and then we headed to the checkout. With him at the cart, he picked a line.

Which turned out to be next to that woman. Her young sons had joined her by then, one quite small, one maybe six or seven. I knew it couldn’t be easy to have Mom having a hard time getting around for awhile, especially if that’s a change.

I said a quick inner prayer, wondering. In response I felt this: could I re-create the hat? Sure, in a day, two, tops. Could I re-create this moment? Not on your life. And so while she was turned the other way I whipped my hat off my head, stepped over and tucked it into her cart just as she turned back.

She was stunned. “NO!” in disbelief. A delighted butbutbut.

May I?

She shook her head in how can I let you and joy and are you sure. Yes I’m sure.

She exclaimed some more and her older boy admired it and put it on his head. She told me he played violin.

“I don’t know how to knit a violin yet,” I laughed. (Thinking, but just wait…)

Her husband joined them right about then and the next thing I saw, all of them were laughing and happy, and then the older couple behind them in line were happy for them and admiring their hat and loving being at Costco right there right then.

I had been exposed to enough UV earlier to burn my cheeks and wonder what my T- (ed. to add, and B-) cells would do next. But as I once told my friend Scott, “Sometimes you just have to LIVE!”  I was hoping the Decembery conditions would be enough in my favor, but it was a risk and I knew it and I weighed it and I took it. Maybe, hopefully, I’ll be fine. Some things are worth what you pay for them. It was a day well spent.

But that very awareness pushed me to choose not to be selfish but to grab the moment given me to make that family happy.

As that musician had made me happy by the depth of that smile that had lit up his whole countenance. He, too, had played his part to help make it happen for them.

We all arrived of our own choices where we were supposed to be.

Got me wrapped around their fingers
Saturday December 10th 2011, 12:31 am
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift

Parker ready to read to his younger cousin: hey look, he saved her bookmark.

When Holly was here in town several months ago, I showed her a project I was working on.

She admired the yarn, but as she did so, simply having another set of eyes looking at what I was making it into made me face that yes it was a doodle but no I didn’t like how the second half was coming out.

Finally today I sat down and risked it catching on itself all over the place and carefully ripped half of that little shawl back and reknit the now-squiggly length back up and past that point. It feels so much better.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you, starting with Stephanie, who have ever said you’ve never regretted frogging something that needed it:  at last I have a beautiful mink/cashmere project that I love and that lives up to what it should have been all along.

As it knit back up I gradually went from appeased pride, to, I can’t wait till the recipient gets it!

Meantime, Parker and his cousin, as usual, steal the show.  Birthday and Christmas season. Celebration times!

One small step for knitters, one big step into Knittingkind
Thursday December 08th 2011, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life

Medical week, round three: I had to go in for an ultrasound. You know, just to make sure I didn’t need an ultrasound.

Drink 40 oz and come in an hour later. Did. Used the facilities apparently a little too close to the time; came in, and–nope, you need to drink more and we’ll call for you in twenty minutes.

(Cool! More knitting time!)

So I’m sitting there in the waiting room and someone I hadn’t seen earlier who works there appears from around the corner and nods at me with a smile. I smile and nod back; doing 2×2 ribbing, I don’t have to look much at what’s in my hands, my eyes are free to notice what’s going on around me. I’m knitting a hat at the center of the Venn diagram of two circular needles, the tips not in use waggling a bit as I work. In retrospect it must have looked complicated.

It isn’t.

She disappears back into the hallway behind the door.

I apparently had been verified as friendly: and so, two minutes later, she reappears through the door with another woman who immediately sits down next to me (as the first stays standing, smiling and nodding some more) and tells me that they’d taken knitting classes together at such-and-such LYS in Los Gatos and they didn’t get it! Why does it do this when you do that, and, and… They were in agreement that they were both about to chuck it. They clearly were both also in agreement that they didn’t want to.

“If you do stockinette stitch for your scarf the edges will curl. If you do some knit/purl combination at the edges it’ll be okay.”

“That’s what the lady on the plane said!” she confirmed eagerly to the one standing.

Then she said something about practicing with garbage yarn–her phrase–and I told her, “If you knit garbage yarn you end up with garbage. And it’s not fun. I use really nice yarns and it makes me want to knit.” And here–I had her feel the baby alpaca in my hands.


The standing one stayed shy and a little apart but the smile was getting bigger.

They had great enthusiasm, they loved being able to talk about it with no pressure of being in a yarn store where everybody else was better at it than they, and they just seemed to need to know that knitting really is something one can stay passionate about even if one has to start at it by being a beginner.

Is there anyone who was never a beginner?

Dream and on!
Wednesday December 07th 2011, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

Got another hat finished today, out of yarn that bossed me around and flew onto my needles whether I’d planned to use it next or not. And only just now writing this do I realize that that colorway and the pattern I chose for it looked rather like–wait for it–a bluejay’s feathers. I had one in the hands today and three in the bush yesterday.

Got a package: some raspberryish Sock Dream yarn I’d ordered. (Richard had looked at it online with me and had declared it nice and you know, your birthday’s coming up…) It was from Karin, my friend who drove from Albany NY to Vermont for us to finally get to meet in person while I was there three years ago. Tucked in the envelope was the total surprise of sparkly soft laceweight Wink in what else but Periwinkle from her Periwinkle Sheep shop with a Happy Birthday card. She remembered? She did that?!

Wow. Thank you, Karin! They are both so soft, and you know I’m a softness fanatic. And here she is, forced to deal with an injured back whether she has time to or not and yet thinking of how to make someone else’s day.

Totally made mine. So generous. Wow. I keep going and petting those yarns.  I hope to do her gift justice.

The third thing. I went back to the dermatologist today to check my scalp post-skin cancer; I’d had lupus lesions in reaction to the surgery and a reaction to the stitches themselves and she’d wanted a five-month follow-up.

She’s a young mom, and she was looking at the scar, which is indented into my skull in just exactly the spot that when I called it my fontanelle she had to stop a moment, she was laughing too hard.

And I have this weird piece of hanging skin at the very back of my head where the worst autoimmune grumbling had been; she declared it inflammatory tissue that, although it’s quite attached to me, won’t be forever; it just looks weird hanging there by a thin little bit.

I think I’ll name it Chad.  Poor little Chad has lesion-air’s disease. And now I could knit it a soft sparkly sweater in two stitches flat.

Follow up
Wednesday December 07th 2011, 12:39 am
Filed under: Friends,Wildlife

Lori Stotko, the hands specialist, had wanted me to test the new shaping for awhile.

“So how are you doing with the new splints?”

“Edward Shovelhands.”

She laughed. She tweaked them a bit more–curl that edge a tad, add velcro across this part of the fingers, there you go, good for happy knitting for another three or four years.

And on the wildlife front: I’ve been throwing  a few nuts out mornings and afternoons, far from the feeder, just a few but it seems to be enough to keep the squirrels docile around the birdfeeders. Not enough to hoard but enough for a few of them not to be hungry; seems to work.

The bluejays clearly have caught on. One saw me opening the door today and was just waiting for it. I closed the door and, swoop! Got it! Jab, jab, jab, jackhammering it steadily apart on the ground.

What happened next I did not expect. There was a sudden three-way birdfight: swoops and jousting and chasing right through the smallest twigs through the trees, mine mine mine, continuing on out across the neighbor’s yard and then the next, swoop, swoop, (run!) go away, MINE, and just when I thought it was over there they were back again, swooping and flinching, chasing and fleeing. I definitely got my entertainment out of that walnut.

The squirrels, meantime, kept well out of sight till those big beaks were too.

Vermont Country Store vs ThinkGeek
Tuesday December 06th 2011, 12:11 am
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

We were reading from newly-arrived catalogs at the table and giggling.

“Monkey sock wine covers, only 12.99 each. And if you buy two, you can wear them as socks afterwards!”

Him: “Star Wars Hans Solo frozen in carbonite done as a chocolate bar.”

And then he showed me the unicorn chopsticks: the horn is the stick part and the poor little horsey is tipped upside down while you get to eat; always spearing the food, never getting its own share. Oh, and can’t forget the Lil Vampire Pacifier: “If baby starts to sparkle, feed to werewolves immediately and make a new one.”

Spear the cod and foil the child.

(Those catalogs just go to show, you can foal some of the people some of the time, but you can’t foal all the people all the time…)

Hands down and hooves up, his pages totally trumped mine.

(Knitting: I frogged the bamboo/pearl yarn back to the ribbing, started again, frogged again, and finally gave up and kept it simple. Stockinette, straight up from the brim–amazing how much better behaved the yarn was for that. Zee hat, it ees done.)

And a half cup of porridge juice
Sunday December 04th 2011, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Family,Food

What do people do who don’t have hearing losses around to entertain them?

Richard was reading the contents of the Odwalla fruit juice label aloud.

“Wait,” I stopped him–“one cup of flamingos?”


Seems reasonable to me
Sunday December 04th 2011, 12:17 am
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit,Life

I woke up with tingly hands after all I said about that pearl yarn, which, I found out, does indeed get a bit splitty at k3tog. It is on hold for today; the larger and more comfortable size 5s came out, a little Malabrigo Rios, and a new project is whizzing by woolly well now.

And I got to go to the annual December Birthday Club potluck breakfast. A new baby was admired, his first-time mom consoled on his not-sleeping, he was cuddled and cheered and she melted at his tiny fussy face, as did we all. He tried to smile back at us, he really did, but it was such hard work when you’re so new.

On a whimsical note: I’ve read that if you ask Siri, the voice in the Iphone 4S, the meaning of life, she will answer with a question: Why are you asking this of an inanimate object?

I mentioned that to my husband, and his so-innocent-puzzled response was, Well, why didn’t they have her answer “42“?

(Okay, so I just googled, and apparently sometimes Siri does indeed say 42. Great engineers think alike.)

Oh, and Lene? If you haven’t seen it yet, I found a chair for you. And yes, I want one too.

Knit and pearl
Saturday December 03rd 2011, 12:47 am
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Lupus,LYS

A side note first in case someone out there needs to read this: last summer I started to make a chemo cap out of a bright white corn-based ribbon yarn, thinking it would go with everything for the recipient and not be itchy.

A few rows into it and it looked like I was knitting a great big garish hospital bandage to plunk on their head. I ditched it.

Today: I had to return something to Lands End. Rather than pay return postage, I looked up where there was a Sears store accepting such. Turned out I could drive south to a mall that I knew required a too-long walk in the sunlight to park, or I could go to the one in San Bruno.

You know, the one just a few streets away from Cottage Yarns. The fact that I’d knitted six projects in seven days, five from skeins I’d just bought there, needed showing off anyway.

The Sears parking turned out to be two car lanes’ width from the door, much safer for my lupus. Bonus.

I’d offered Richard to come with me to keep me out of trouble. (He’s on semi-vacation.) But no; returns and yarn just weren’t his thing.

When I was at the Cottage last Saturday, I bought a single, cautious skein of cotton/modal/I think it had some silk in it too, where’s that ball band, and knit a chemo cap out of it. My hands did much better than I expected; cotton and I are not friends, but I got it done by the end of that day with only minimal soreness.

So, back to the Cottage–only this time, knowing a little more now about gauge and effect in that kind of yarn and what needle size I could use, I took a more serious look at the Sublime Bamboo and Pearls. Again, not knowing the particular yarn yet, I bought just one skein to test.

I’m late blogging tonight because I could not put it down. 70/30 “Viscose from bamboo and viscose from pearls.” So soft! Shiny, just slippery enough to tamp down the effect of inelasticity from the celluloid bamboo, it just poured through my hands like water over pearls. It’s made of many strands but, being rounded well and with my sharpish Holz and Steins, it hasn’t been splitty.

But what surprised me, apart from the fact that it was almost as easy as wool to work with, was the warmth from the strand that suddenly caught my attention in my cool house. Cotton feels cold. I did not expect warmth. I don’t quite understand it; I can only guess the oyster is designed to stay comfortable in its ocean. That 30%, I am guessing, would have been made from what they shaved off the pearls to make them round for market. Purls from pearls knitted on needles of leftover wood from making musical instruments. It danced in my hands.

Kathryn was unexpectedly away taking care of her mom; I did get to show off to her husband, who loved the knits, but not her yet. They had more Sublime colors, you know…

I think I’m in trouble now.