Thursday, December 17, 2009

A little stress for the holidays

Well, I've been going full speed on a long cabled cardigan for my step Mom, hoping to finish it for Xmas. She was in the hospital all of last week for tests and my husband & I & one of our daughters took turns staying up in Baltimore & hanging out with her at the hospital. Above is the view from our hotel room - I got to walk around the Inner Harbor one morning, a lovely cold walk. I thought I'd get a lot of knitting done during my 2 days but I ended up ripping back 6" on both fronts and then barely recouping that loss.

The pattern was not very clear about where to place the pockets, so I put them in 6" from the cast on edge rather than 6" from the top of the ribbing...details...Must consult schematic!

So yesterday I finally finished the fronts, weighed them and went to look for the remaining yarn for the sleeves... you've guessed it, there's not enough.

Only three lonely balls, 150 grams, and the two fronts weighed about 300 g. Don't you ordinarily figure the back/both fronts/both sleeves as being roughly equal in size & weight?

So the yarn is long discontinued, I only found one ball on ravelry and haven't heard back from my begging p.m. I always, always buy extra - maybe they only had 15 balls? So I was in deep despair, but on my way to work I realized that this is clearly not my biggest problem at the moment so I should not obsess over it.

Yes, I could have finished it as a long vest, but the recipient is not really a vest wearing person. She prefers a long cardigan with pockets. So it does need sleeves.

I had a massage scheduled after work and my friend worked all the kinks out of my back & shoulders. When she was done, it occurred to me that I could unravel the back down to the ribbing and reknit it as stockinette - do you suppose that would reap enough yarn for plain sleeves? It's this sweater:(ravelry link).

This is the back - I don't really like the design that much, and it's a natural to make the back plain. Maybe a few stitches in seed stitch at the sides for transition?

I have already found something else to give my stepMom for Xmas, so I'm not in a hurry. It's just frustrating, and I'm ready to be done with this particular sweater. And I was hoping to have something really special for her - she's been undergoing a series of tests over the last several months and after last week they have decided she doesn't have hydrocephalus after all, but possibly Parkinson's. Not what she was hoping to hear, although it means she does not have to undergo surgery again. They sent her home with a new medication to try and will follow up in a month or two.

But truly the the hardest part of our lives at the moment is that her husband is dying. He's 89, he's had a good long life, but those of us who love him dearly are very sad to see him slipping away, and I worry so about my stepMom being on her own.

Maybe he will get through the holidays. It would be a wonderful thing to have our family together for one more celebration. The girls will all be home by Xmas eve, and we'll play it by ear. Or by Jack!

Meanwhile we are busy at Bluemont with First Night preparations. We organize and run these wonderful New Year's eve events in Warrenton & Leesburg. I will be singing with the Flaming Shillelaghs - an Irish band - this year. I'm really looking forward to that. I sang with them in August when they needed a singer to fill in for a few concerts and a wedding reception and it was great fun.

OK, take a deep breath, go for a walk, pat the puppy. Count my blessings.


Evelyn said...

Hang in there Melissa. You can't let the stress affect your health. I am keeping you in my prayers.
I love that puppy face!

jenknits said...

Oh my, there's enough stress in your life! Hang in there and keep your chin up.

Joanne said...

Sending you a hug and more puppy love from Winnipeg. May the healing--of all sorts--be strong over there. And, about the sweater? Maybe try knitting the sleeves first, and if there isn't enough yarn, consider 3/4 sleeves. If that doesn't appeal, yes, try a plain back. After all, leaning on cables like that might not be as comfy as a plainer stitch...