Jul 31

I miss being on vacation.  I was getting so much done at home, even with the interruptions of the trips to the hospital to see Leslie.  Now all of that has come to a screeching halt.

First, an update on Leslie.  She is doing much better and is to be transferred to a rehab hospital either today or tomorrow.  As much as it will help her resume a normal life again, I can tell you she is not looking forward to the enforced physical therapy she will be going through.  Having her cell phone back has made her happy, though.

I am on the 13th inch out of 17 on my bag.  It looks much the same – just bigger.  I hope to have it ready to shove into the washing machine at the end of next week.

I started teaching another beginning sock knitting class last Monday night and have two more Mondays to go.  This class of ladies is a hoot and they are picking up knitting in the round pretty easily.

Also, remember, the next spinning class will be Tuesday evening, August 13th, from 6-8 PM at Starstruck Cat Studio.  If you want to learn how to spin or need some assistance, please join us.  This class has students at all different levels of experience and everyone works on their own level.  It’s a lot of fun, too.

And I am through the heel flap on a sock.  This sock will be a single since it is going to be my teaching sock.  Each of the 7 parts is in a different (left over) sock yarn color so it will be easier for the students to see them.  I have been meaning to make one for a while and decided to just go through left over bits of sock yarn and do it.  Ironically, I had exactly 7 different colors in the left-over bag.  I’ll show you what it looks like when I get it done.

The Indiana State Fair is coming up.  I will be demonstrating spinning in the Wool Room part of the Sheep Barn from 2-6 PM on both Friday, August 9th, and Saturday, August 10th.  Please come by, say hello and see what we demonstrators are working on.

Also, I will be judging the Sheep to Shawl competition again this year.  It will be on Sunday, August 18th from 10 AM until about 4 PM.  The actual competition will be from 10-2, then there will be an hour for Mindy (the other judge) and I to do our thing.  At 3, the auction will begin.  Come and spend the day with us and bring your spinning wheel, spindle, knitting, crocheting, or whatever.  The crowd loves watching and asking questions of those working, and they aren’t allowed to bug the contestants.  The Sheep to Shawl event will take place in the big red Opera Barn over by the Pioneer Village.

Keep your fingers crossed that I get to work on my studio organizing over the next couple of nights.

Jul 29

Not very many “I” photos this week, and you will see what my last week consisted of from the content.  So, let’s go.


IV stand and stuff.  I think I forgot to tell you guys that Leslie had two blood transfusions this past week.


Intensive  Care Unit monitor and wall of hook-ups for various things.


Ice cream – my birthday treat.  It was banana ice cream with walnuts and caramel from Cold Stone Creamery.  Yum!!!!!!


Incomplete set up of the studio.  I decided to start with the yarn – boy oh boy do I have a lot of yarn.  Yikes!  Scott said I needed another storage unit and I told him, “No, I just need to start weaving.”

That’s it from me!

Jul 28

Well, it is 99% complete.  I still need to install the floor vent covers and do a little touch up with the paint, but as far as I am concerned, I am ready to work in there.


This photo shows off the peach color I painted three of the walls.  Sandy suggested peach, and I am glad she did.  I have a second, untouched gallon that I will use for the bathroom (door near the center of the shot above) and the rest of it up stairs.


This shot shows the green accent wall.  This wall is where I need to do the touch up.  Along the door frame, when I took off the painter’s tape, some of the green paint did bad things and now I need to very carefully repaint it.  But that will come when I paint the bathroom.  Like I said, for now I am done!

The closet you see above has these deep, very sturdy shelves built into it.  Since they had to be strong enough to hold Scott’s entire collection of 72 long boxes of comic books, they are more than strong enough for anything I can store in there.  In fact, I joked that I was going to put a blow-up mattress on one of then and bring down blankets and pillows in case I needed a nap while weaving.


This lovely brown cabinet is from an antique mall somewhere around here and it will be used to house some of my better cones of wool yarn.  I have a lot of yarn to weave up, and I can hardly wait!

So, that is what I have been doing this week while not at the hospital with Scott’s family.  And speaking of that, Leslie is doing very well.  This last surgery closing up the leg incision was the ticket.  Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts.


Jul 27

When we got to the hospital yesterday afternoon, Scott’s mom was restless, fussy and in some pain.  Missy and Floyd were exhausted, so we sent them home and settled in with helping Leslie feel more comfortable.  Part of the problem, also, was that she was both hungry and thirsty, but she did NOT want hospital food.  So, we suggested ordering a pizza and having it delivered and that sparked her interest.  Domino’s has a gluten-free pizza crust, so we ordered a pizza to her specifications and I ran down to meet the delivery man when he arrived.

She ate two whole slices, the most food she had eaten all day, and drank copious amounts of water.  Earlier, Physical Therapy had gotten her to stand up on her good leg, briefly, while I supported her neck.  She didn’t trust them to do it, but her “Niter-Skeeter” was the person she trusted.  I was glad to help, although the brace she had on around her neck really did the work.  She didn’t trust the brace, either.  After all of that, she slept for a while, which is really what she needed.

When the nurse came in to check everything at 6:00, they found that her leg incision was leaking and they had to change her sheets, dressings and immobility brace.  At one point, there were 5 doctors and 2 nurses besides Leslie and me in her tiny ICU room.  Poor Scott couldn’t handle all the blood and activity and went to the waiting room until I gave the all-clear.  Leslie wanted me near her, so she and I whispered together and kept her mind off of what they were doing to her leg.

This morning, she went in for what we hope was her final surgery where they sewed up the rest of the last incision (about a foot in length remained).  She came out of the anesthesia much better today and woke up hungry.  Missy went down to the cafeteria and got her a baked potato and some veggie soup, poured the veggie soup over the potato and mushed it up.  Leslie ate the entire thing and sent Missy down for another one.  That is such good news!  Between the pizza last night and the potatoes, that was more food than she had eaten all week.

Right now, they are talking about moving her to rehab sometime early next week.  Your prayers are helping so please keep them coming.  She has to wear the brace on her neck for three months and a leg brace with no weight allowed on her right leg for two months, so she has a long way to go before she is healed.  But considering she could have died, been paralyzed, or lost her right leg from above the knee, she has been very blessed to have her injuries as they are.

Other than that, my studio is all painted, the carpet cleaned, and I’m ready to pull the painter’s tape off and start the moving in process.  That will start tomorrow morning before we head back to the hospital in the afternoon to relieve Floyd.  Poor Missy has to go back to work tomorrow as we will have to on Monday.

Jul 26

First, let me give you an update on Scott’s mom.  Yesterday, she had surgery on her knee, they sewed up one of the 18″ long incisions in her leg and 3/4 of the other one, leaving enough room for the drainage tube.  They also repaired her wrist.  It took her hours to come out of the anesthesia, though, and they kept her in ICU.  We are hoping that she will be back in a normal room today, but we’ll see.

Other than that, Scott and I have been busy working on my new studio.  After completely cleaning it out, I taped everything off and have painted three of the walls a peach color called Cheyenne Pottery and have only the second coat on the accent wall, which is the same sagey green as I painted the living room back in 2009, with paint left over from that.  It looks so cozy and inviting.  The colors rest me just being in there.  Sandy suggested the peach color when we were discussing it, and she was right.  It’s perfect.

This morning, I will paint the final coat of the green and shampoo the carpet before heading back to the hospital.  Tomorrow, I will get pictures of the room before we start moving looms, bookcases and tables in.

This is the Master Bedroom of the house, and there is a full bathroom attached to it.  With Leslie’s accident, we decided to hold off doing anything with it until Labor Day weekend, when we will clean it out (it has been used as storage for at least 15 years), paint it and set it all back up as fleece and fiber storage, a dye center and a wool washing room.  We are looking for a couple of single-burner hotplates to put in there to put dye pots on.  With the double sinks, long counter space and a tub to hang drippy things into, this room will be a handy part of the studio when it is done.

To say, this set up is going to be a great studio is an understatement.  I am going to be in creative heaven in there.

Jul 25

Yesterday was not a very good day at the hospital.  Scott’s mom’s leg wound started bleeding and by the time we left, she had been moved to ICU and had had 4 units of blood.  They have to find out why her blood is not clotting before they can do anymore surgeries on her, so today is a day of lots and lots of tests.

Because I thought it was more important for Scott, Missy and their step-dad, Floyd, to be with her, and since none of her bags of belongings or flowers could be in ICU with her, I stayed in the waiting room with everything and knitted while they worked with the doctors and nurses trying to figure out what was going on.  Basically, I played guard-dog.  Not the best way to spend one’s birthday, but yesterday was not about me, but all about Leslie.  She had it pretty rough and I would not wish what she went through on anyone.

Here is what I am currently working on.


I am a tad burned out on socks at the moment, so I decided to knit this project bag.  Of course, other than the basic shape, my bag will look nothing like this.  For one, I’m not using the pocket design, and two, I and knitting it like this:


The idea of knitting 172 stitches per row for 17 inches all in ST ST and all in one color was enough to send me to sleep before even getting started.  So I am doing it in 4 row stripes switching back and forth between rust and green.  The garter stitch section is actually the bottom of the bag and it was boring enough.  I’m still thinking about the pocket design, but right now, I am leaning toward solid green pockets on the outside and solid rust on the inside.  Also, I am thinking about knitting a band to go over the center of the bag, sewn on one side and with a snap on the other.

Because of  Leslie being out at various labs with tests being run on her all day today, we are staying home.  I have one coat painted on three walls of my new studio, so plan to paint the second coat this morning, mow the yard while it dries, then paint the first coat on the accent wall before going to bed.  I am planning to get up early tomorrow morning and paint the second coat on the accent wall before heading back to the hospital.  On the way home, I want to rent a shampooer and shampoo the carpet so it will be dry Saturday morning for us to begin moving everything back in.  There will be lots of sorting and organizing as it goes in, and I know there will be lots of things that will need new homes, so be on the look out.  I am approaching my 1,000th blog post, and plan to celebrate by sharing some of my wealth.

Please keep Leslie and the rest of the family in your thoughts and prayers. There is no quick fix for what she is going through.

Update on Leslie – they decided to operate on her leg anyway this morning.  If they close up the leg and get the bleeding stabilized, then that part will be done and it can begin healing.

Jul 24

Sorry, this post is late this week.  Between what happened to Leslie Sunday night, our being on vacation and the work we are doing on the house this week, I just now got around to downloading everything from the camera.


Horses – Scott has a nice collection of Breyer horses that he uses as props for his art.


These Heads get used by both of us as models.  Heady is the one on the left and she’s our slightly stoned punk chick.  Sam on the right is a good kid and he keeps a close eye on Heady to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself.


My winter Hat – in Houndstooth!  I love this hat.  It’s all wool and it keeps my noggin dry and warm during the winter months.  I bought it in Frankenmuth, MI, last January when we took up that 125 pounds of raw fleeces to be processed at Zeilinger’s.


Handsome!!  This fellow is another model Scott uses and he hangs out on top of the scanning computer monitor most of the time.  Just look at that lantern jaw.

Scott and I went to the Eiteljorg Museum where they have a guitar through the ages exhibit.  While Scott went through that, I went upstairs to the section I love best.


Handwoven Inuit wall hanging.  I love that face in the middle.  He looks like he got caught doing something he shouldn’t have been doing and is trying to look innocent.


Handwoven Hopi blanket.


Stunningly beautiful Handwoven baskets.  These people were serious artists!


Just look at the twill work on this Handwoven tray. Fascinating!


Another Handwoven basket.


And last, Handbeaded baskets with lids.  The detail on these is amazing.

That’s my H week.  I know I could come up with lots more H items.  Now, what am I going to take for I?

As for other H’s:

Sanna’s Bag

Ordinary But Interesting

Eweniquely Ewe

My Yellow Swing




Jul 23

Well, there is good news and not so good news here.  The good news is that the break in her neck will not need surgery, but she will have to have her neck in a pretty elaborate brace for the next three months.  The break is the spur off the back of C2, the second vertebra in the neck, but no spinal tissue or arteries were damaged.  Whew!

Now for the not so good news.  Her knee is in bad shape.  It swelled up very tightly, and the surgery she had yesterday was to cut it open and install drainage tubes.  It was considered emergency surgery and she could have lost her leg.  She has surgery to repair the knee on Thursday.

As for her wrist, when she was in surgery for her knee yesterday, they set the wrist, but she is going to have to have surgery on it to install pins.  We don’t know yet when this will happen.  Because of her Parkinson’s disease, she doesn’t tolerate anesthesia very well, so they have to take baby steps on getting her all fixed up.

It looks like she is going to be in the hospital for at least a week.  Today, she is feeling the fall more, and the complications of the Parkinson’s and not being able to sleep very well has made today rather difficult for her.  Please keep her in your prayers as she is going to need them for quite a long time.

I am just truly grateful that she wasn’t killed outright.  She basically took a head-long dive off the top of the stairs, landing on her head in the corner of the landing.  She got confused in the night and turned the wrong direction and suddenly there was nothing under her feet.  She had put her hand out to try to catch herself, which is how it got broken.  Floyd found her all in a pile on the landing and called 911.  He said he could tell her wrist was broken, and she said she knew something in her neck wasn’t right because she couldn’t move her head. But, all-in-all, we are so blessed that we didn’t lose her.

Jul 22

Scott’s Mom, Leslie Kirby, fell down her stairs and has broken her knee, wrist and neck.  The break in the neck doesn’t appear to be in a bad place because she can move.  She is being taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for immediate surgery.  Scott and I will be there as soon as we find out what room number she has been assigned.  I will keep you up on the situation as soon as I know more, but in the meantime, please put Leslie, Scott’s step-dad, Floyd, Scott’s Sister, Missy, and Scott on your prayer lists/chain.

Jul 20

Cue up the Rocky theme song, I did it!!!  Last night at about 10 past 8, I wove in the last end on the last sock of the year’s Tour de Fleece challenge.

To recap, my challenge was to spin yarn strong enough and smooth enough to knit socks and then knit those socks.  I started with this:


Four ounces of Frabjous Fiber 70% BFL/30% Tussah silk in their Tourmaline colorway.  With the word Tour in the color name, how could I go wrong, right?


I decided to fractile spin it by splitting half of it into 8ths and the other half into 4ths.  This way I was hoping I wouldn’t get obvious stripes, but muted hints at stripes.


By the end of the first week of the Tour, I had this, but was it fine enough to be considered sock weight?


Oh, yeah!  Even though I was able to spin the whole braid in a week at sock-weight fineness, I was very careful to pull out anything that wouldn’t be nice and smooth against my feet.


And the socks I knitted from it are everything a lady could hope for.  They have hints of stripes, but aren’t stripey, the heathered colors will go with lots of things I wear, and they are so soft!  That 30% silk give them a luxury feel, too.  I’m going to save them and wear them on my birthday on Wednesday.  These deserve to be worn for a special occasion.

Now, here is the bonus part of this.  These socks only weigh 2.4 ounces!


I have 1.4 ounces remaining with which to make something.  I don’t know what that something is, yet, but it’ll be something special, too.

So, I completed my first Tour de Fleece challenge and even came in a day ahead of schedule.  This was so much fun, I cannot wait until next year.

Duh-Duh Duuuuhhh. Duh-Duh Duuuuuhhh…  I’m turning the Rocky theme song back up and will run up the stairs holding my socks aloft.  I made it!!!!

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