Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh, My Aching Head!

Sinuses, do we really need them? Must we have these holes in our faces that fill up with gunk and ache so badly? I got a sinus infection last week. It really put a damper on my activities over the weekend. I took a sick day on Monday and managed to snag a doctor appointment. She listened to me explain that it felt like my upper teeth on the left side were being pushed out of my jaw against their will. Now I'm on antibiotics and sinus meds.

It hurt so bad I didn't even feel like knitting. That's when I know I'm really si....

I just now received a phone call from someone wanting to verify the model number of the photocopier in our office. Now my momma didn't raise any fools and I didn't just fall of the turnip truck yesterday so I told the dude that I know he's participating in a scam and that he should be ashamed of himself. He says "this is not a scam" and then hangs up on me. Way to protest your innocence there, Buddy.
If you ever get one of these calls, don't give them any information. They will send you supplies for the copier that you didn't order and then bill you or even worse just bill you without sending you anything.
WE NOW RETURN YOU TO THE BLOG POST ALREADY IN PROGRESS...; I loose interest in doing the things I love.

The snow from last week is still hanging around. Here are some photos of the lacey remnants along our driveway.

I did force myself to knit a little over the weekend but the only thing that kept me going was this beautiful Malabrigo Twist yarn. The pattern is The Amanda Hat (Ravelry link) and I think I did something wrong on the crown. It's a little small. I may open it back up and rip out the crown and add some extra rows between the decrease rows. I really like it though. It fits good around my tiny head and should stay one better when I'm shoveling. Not that I want to do anymore shoveling. I've had enough of that to last me quite some time. But I found that the various hats I've knitted don't stay in place during hard manual labor.

Meanwhile, I've started the Evenstar Mystery Shawl KAL, a pi shawl inspired by Arwen's necklace that she gave to Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings. When I finished my first and only pi shawl last summer (Girasole by Jarad Flood) I was fairly certain that I wouldn't be doing another pi shawl any time soon. I'm just not fond of round shawls. But Susan Pandorf's motif for this shawl was so lovely and I'm such a sucker for all things LotR that I immediately signed up. I commissioned Nicole at No Two Snowflakes to custom dye 1800 yards of lace-weight silk for me and purchased 3000 beads.

The first clue was released Friday night but I didn't start it until Tuesday evening because of the pain in my head and mouth. I didn't even look at the pattern. It hurt just to think about a circular cast-on in 100% silk lace-weight. When I did started it I remembered one of the reasons that I don't care for pi shawls - the circular cast-on. I tried 3 different methods and after starting over at least 10 times and having to cut off the worn-out end of my yarn, I settled on Emily Ocher's method. Now I'm almost done with the first clue. No photo yet.

I'm using a the recommended needle size, US#3 and it's producing a looser, more open lace than I usually allow. I've decided to continue with this needle size though because I want this shawl to be large. I'll get used to the openness, I guess.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Bad Things, Man!

This sun pillar phenomenon is get out of hand around here. This morning was the brightest, reddest one yet. I think it means something really bad is coming. Something like another 6-10 inches of snow on top of the 24" we got over the weekend. Here in the Desert of Maryland we're just not equipped to deal with these amounts of snowfall.

Here's what it looked like around here on Saturday morning.


This is my LYS Y2Knit in Funkstown

Barn yard gate

Our poor shrubbery ("nothing too expensive")

Sunday the sun came out but it was in the single digits so not much melting occurred.

Looking up the driveway to chez Artz

Rime ice on the asparagus

Looking down the driveway

Our hemlocks at sunset

I realize that this amount of snowfall is normal in other parts of the country but it's pretty unusual here. Schools and colleges are closed; Federal Govt. is closed, local govt. is on liberal leave. Most of my coworkers made it in yesterday and today and our county government is functioning normally. Our Highways Dept. employees have done a heroic job getting the roads open and now they have to start over again with very little rest.

We have had a few weather related deaths in the area, mostly due to the fact that rescue crews couldn't get to the victims in time. This despite the concerted efforts of the state and county road crews and private individuals with plows and loaders. It's so frustrating for the rescue workers who try so hard to get to the victims but are thwarted by the weather conditions.

I think most of the residents for Washington County are ready for spring. I know I am.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Another Beautiful Snowy Morning

This morning's sunrise was beautiful in a different sort of way. Snow and fog blanketed the area and it was a little dark yet for good photos. We cleaned off the cars (someday we hope to have a garage) and by then it was light enough to take photos without the flash. They're still a little dark but they capture to eerie beauty well, I think.

Here's the shrubbery in front of the house.

Notice the snow crusted on the neighbor's chain link fence in this picture.

More snowy trees and fog in our front yard.

This one is in the alley I walk down every morning and evening from the parking deck to my office and back. I think it's a pear but I could be wrong. I like how snow is clinging to every little branch.

I am continuing to knit in the evenings, primarily on the India Stole. I'm almost half done and the rows are getting shorter as I approach the point. I think it's beautiful but the yarn is kind of clingy and I think it would have been better made with silk. But then I think just about every thing looks better made of silk.

I've been having a lot of pain in my left shoulder lately and had an x-ray on Wednesday and an MRI on Monday. I haven't heard the results of the MRI yet but the Dr. called about the x-ray and said it showed a significant amount of ARTHRITIS! I go see an orthopedist tomorrow; I suppose he'll tell me, "You're old, get used to it."