I Wish I Had A Better Update

It’s been quiet around here, and not the kind of quiet that means I’m too busy taking care of business to spend 10 minutes writing but I’ll have a lot to show you when it’s over. The kind of quiet that means I’m drowning under seasonal congestion and the injury to my shoulder is giving a whole new and terrifying meaning to the phrase ‘You’re grounded.”  No aerial.  Very little knitting.  Absolutely no crochet.

I can’t do anything that causes pain in my shoulder, and while that means I get to sit back and relax, per doctor’s orders, my house has become the wide open range for dust buffalos and mountains of smelly socks.  I don’t know where the time went – I was/am in a medicated stupor, trying to ease the swelling in my arm and get rid of whatever phlegmy monster is building a nest in my lungs.  It’s beginning to drive me crazy.

Before falling ill, I moved a bunch of my craft supplies into the dining room for anyone to play with, and I’m happy to report that our tree is beginning to take on the character of our house.

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The more people that stop by to visit, the more handmade ornaments get added.  a state of worry that I didn’t have the time or energy to make ornaments with Ellette, I had bought a small set of orb ornaments and set them out in case Ellette wanted to decorate.  She looks at them, then at me, and says very bluntly, “Mom, why did you get these?  They’re kind of lame.”

Our house has been left in the enthusiastic hands of an 8 year old, and I can’t believe how much fun she’s having handling the holiday on her own.

Something Finished Something Started

With NaKniSweMo starting on Friday, I have been simultaneously prepping for that while wrapping up everything else possible.  The yarn is purchased and wound (I have just over 1500 yards here, I really hope that’s enough, but get the feeling I should buy one or two more skeins).  I am knitting An Aran for Frederick, which has been in my queue since the pattern was released a couple years ago.  It was the first aran I saw that I thought suited my desires in an aran sweater.

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For those of you who don’t know what NaKniSweMo is, let me explain.  The month of November has traditionally been allocated to budding writers as a challenge to write a full novel with a 50,000 word count within the 30 day month.  It has been called NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month.  Well, knitters (and to a lesser extent, crocheters) have decided to take the month for themselves and create our own challenge.  Enter, NaKniSweMo (or NaCroSweMo) – National Knit a Sweater Month.  We have 30 days to knit a sweater consisting of at least 50,000 stitches.  Seems like a lot, right?  Most adult sized sweaters knit with a standard worsted weight yarn have at least 50k stitches in them, so it’s not too much of a stretch for most.  This will be my second year participating.  Last year, I made Barberry and discovered a lot of useful information about knitters, math, and technology (I had so many awesome spreadsheets to manage my stitch count).  I finished in 28 days with a stitch count exceeding 66 thousand.  This is still my go-to sweater!

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So, last night I stayed up later than I meant to, determined to make as much headway as possible before Friday.  I finished my pokeball purse – a holiday gift.  Although, when I finished weaving in the ends and got a good look at it, it strikes me as more of a magic pill (think the Matrix) than a pokeball.  The bottom is not rounded enough.  I will get through as much other knitting as possible, and if I still don’t like it later, I will rip back to the red and try again.  It’s a good, mindless pattern, so I think it’ll go by quickly.

I worked a bit on other things, but they didn’t end up complete which is why they are not pictured.  I worked a few more rows on Esjan and even brought out my Tech Square Afghan!  I worked on some of the duplicate stitch things (the major thing I’ve been putting off), and then sewed on some of the embellishments.  It needs probably 20 minutes of loving before being complete, and my own resolution is that I have it done by Thursday night.  Tonight I have my Cyr wheel class and will be getting home late and sore, so I’m not sure how much I can accomplish tonight.

Prep Work

I have been over here questioning the wisdom of my decisions.  8 days in the desert? Really?  Nothing available to me if I forget it?  The idea of not having enough water, or food, or stable shelter is a little worrying right now.  Ironically, I was completely fine and stress free until a coworker stated that he would be losing his mind if he were in my shoes.  I couldn’t sleep last night.

When I got home from work, I set to further food prep.  I had picked up a dozen apples, sent them through the slicer/peeler/corer.

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And set them to soak in lemon juice and water so they wouldn’t turn brown.  While they were soaking, I worked on other prep stuff – gauging how much food I had and whether or not it will be enough (I alternately go from thinking “Whoa, this is a lot” to “Oh my god, this can’t be enough for a week!”)  I also cleaned the house, because I don’t want to leave for so long and leave a mess for my roommates to deal with.

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Once the apples were good and soaked, I placed them on trays in the dehydrator.  My house is loving this machine – from dried strawberries, to mangoes, to vegan jerky (more on that later), it has constantly been in use by just about everyone in the place.  Our kitchen smells amazing!

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I kept them drying at a high heat, shuffling them around to make room for more rings, and turned the heat down low before going to bed.  They are all done now, and looking delicious.  I still feel like I have so much more to do.  Knitting time has gone out the window (which is probably a shame, because if I spent more time knitting I might not be so worried), and I’m packing and making lists and labeling boxes and trying to think of what I’ve forgotten.

But I know it’s going to be wonderful.  It will work itself out in the end.  We will leave on Saturday, and I will chew my fingertips to the nib and get a little antsy on the freeway and maybe say a few snarky things to my driving companion along the way (sorry about that in advance, dear).  We will pull up to the gates on Monday and I will probably get out of the car and jump around in anticipation (and from being in a car for 48 hours), and the next week will pass in a colorful, sunny, chatty, hug-filled, dusty blur and you will be given dozens upon dozens of photos to prove that it happened, and all of this frantic prep work was totally worth it.

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