Saturday, September 28, 2013

Clothworks challenge!

G'day all!

Whoops, how embarrassing!  I thought my Clothworks day was the 29th...  I'm a bit dyslexic about 6s and 9s.

OK, now where were we?

A couple of months ago, Susie from Clothworks (that link is to their blog, main website here) popped up on the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild with a Blue and white (and red!) challenge for a new range of fabric, Marsha McCloskey's "Everything Blue."  Clothworks is a fabric company with a variety of lovely collections of fabric.

I put my hand up and my little parcel of fat quarters arrived a while later.

I thought about what I wanted to make, and eventually decided that I would do one of my fave sorts of blocks - a log cabin, possibly wonky - and a new to me block - flying geese.  Flying geese blocks are very fashionable it seems at the moment and I jumped on the bandwagon.

Can you excuse the quality of the pics?  I hoped to get a nice day to take pics on but forgot on the last sunny day (I've been taking pics of my yarn stash) and it's been a bit manky in Seattle these last couple of days.  Indeed I'm writing this post whilst wearing my nice warm flannelette (aka flannel to Americans) lounge pants after we got soaked walking back from the supermarket.

My log cabin type block turned out nicely - it looks like a picture frame to me.  I did a bit of a gradient on the colours that I was given.  I could've added red to the block but I liked it as it was.

Don't look too closely at the points of my flying geese.  I also added a frame to this one to bring it up to size and it really sets the geese off nicely, I think.  Anyway it was surprisingly fun to do and I can see more flying geese in my future.

At the end of it all, I had not a whole lot of fabric left.  I was surprised by how much the blocks used.  I've got a few 2.5" strips left and that is it!

Thanks, Susie and the Clothworks team for giving me the opportunity to play with this lovely collection.  And umm, whoops, sorry I didn't blog it on the right day!  *blush*  And triple sorries about the quality of the pics, taken on my phone!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Glottal incompetence

G'day all!

I have had a fun week of medical appointments.  I managed to knit quite a bit of sock whilst on the bus going to a different appointment each day - the sock got a foot, a heel and part of the cuff!

The sun is racing back down the peninsula.

My three year breast cancer checkup came back clear.  This is extra good news as my type of cancer is more likely to come back quickly, within the first three years, as it is particularly fast growing and aggressive.

Huge, fancy, modern building where I get
my checkups, but that is a rant for another time!

The otolaryngologist said he had good news for me.  That good news is that there is no obvious reason for my paralysed vocal cord.  The bad news is that apart from knocking me out and injecting it with collagen (to fatten it up so that it covers more of my trachea), there is little they can do about it.  I learned that I have achieved incompetence, hooray for me!, or at least glottal incompetence.  I am very glad I do not have to speak German or any other language that uses many glottal stops because I plain can't do them.  Even Talk Like a Pirate Day was a bit of a disaster cos I could only say Ahhhh!  not ARRRRR!!!!!   I sounded like a nancy-boy to be frank.  Also my breathlessness is a result of glottal incompetence - because my right vocal cord is sitting wide open, it can't close off my trachea, which means that I can breathe in and I can breathe out but I can't hold air in my lungs when I stop breathing in.  Air just leaks out.

Magnificent dahlia

I am feeling a whole lot better and a lot less stressed now, though I am still fairly limited in what I can do, but I did manage two flights of stairs yesterday without feeling like I'd die.  I can talk the hind leg off a donkey as long as I'm not walking uphill.

So what have I been up to this week apart from medical things?  Hmm, not that much really!  A bit of work.  A bit of whining about the weather, though that cleared up again for two or three days so I stopped whining (I was not the only one - all of the locals were unhappy with several days of grey).  The first strong cold front of the season is forecast for tomorrow and given autumn only starts tomorrow I think that is pretty impressive!

Autumnal roses have been
excellent this year

We made relish on Sunday - I would like to say it is eggplant relish but it was really "I bought a heap of solanaceae (tomatoes, eggplants, capsicums/peppers) at the market and we need to use them up" relish.  Hopefully it is good.

I started cataloguing my stash on Ravelry.  I thought I had a bit of stash on it already but it turns out most of the stuff I have here in the States is not on Ravelry at all.  So then I hooked out the old point and shoot and started taking pics of my stash to upload.  It is easier to deal with a point and shoot when taking pics of wriggly handfuls of yarn.

This is only part of the madness...

 OMG I have a LOT of stash.  I foresee a yarn diet in my future.  Actually I see it happening right now, along with a bit of a destash.  I have so much yarn - 88km or over 50 miles of yarn lurking, wanting to be knitted.  If a pair of socks takes 300m of yarn (and all my yarn was sock weight), I have enough yarn for almost 300 pairs of socks!  And I haven't gotten all my stash onto Ravelry yet, not by a long shot.

Definitely autumnal

Ah the madness.

I have to stop stashing yarn and start knitting what I have.  Same with quilt fabric.

Don't you just want to pick up this tiny little
tug boat and give it a hug?
Or is that just me?

Topping it off nicely, money that is currently going into play money is going to have to be diverted to getting me a new phone.  That'll stop my nasty little stashing habit!  My poor old Galaxy S is struggling with the gingerbread version of the OS and there is no way it would cope with key lime pie (the current version).  Plus the back case is cracked, there are chunks out of its plastic top and bottom and just to top it off nicely, yesterday as I hurried to the bus (I can hurry without dying now!), my bag decided to spit out a whole lot of stuff, including the phone.  Of course the phone found a stone to land face down on and now it has a couple of nice cracks in the screen, including one that runs about 2/3 of the way down it.

The Center for Wooden Boats, Lake Union

Sigh.  So now I have to cough up for a new phone - this poor old one won't survive another fall.  I think the screen protector is holding half the screen together at the moment....  It still works but I'm not hopeful for its future.  It might be a plastic phone but jeez it has taken a real hammering and still works.  I'm actually quite fond of my phone - it can be an absolute pain in the butt but I've had it for three years now and it's been my constant companion - and I'll be sorry to say goodbye to it.

Lovely old boat and MOHAI at Lake Union

Which leads to a problem.  I'm not buying an iPhone.  I'm going to stick to Android but which one?  Galaxy S three or four?  HTC one?  Whatever I buy, it has to have a good camera on board and after reading several reviews, I still don't know what to get.  I don't want a windows phone, so no nokia lumias for me.  I want an unlocked phone too because it will go home to Oz with me, plus being locked into one carrier here in the States is very peeving.  But that makes it expensive up front.

Which phone?

Signs of the season

The weather is getting cooler, though Thursday was a bottler!  25C was lovely, though a bit warmer than I expected so I thought I was having hot flushes for half the day, except everyone else was having them too....  The trees are starting to colour up.  Some are red all over now - amazing!  Tomorrow brings the first storm of the season and given the season starts tomorrow, that is pretty early!  Nothing like getting a flying start to autumn by having a strong cold front push through.

Reddening up nicely.  NOOOOOO!

I am having difficulty with the idea that winter is well and truly on its way.  Ok, we technically have three months of autumn to get through but in another month most of the trees will be bald, a few will still be hanging on to colour and it will be getting dark so early!  I'm not ready for winter yet, I want my long days back!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Am I a little hoarse or a crow?

G'day all!

I've been putting off blogging cos I keep hoping I'll have pics of my new knitted FOs to show you all but umm well I don't.

A sneak peek of a new top for me.
So, you'll have to deal with pics of plants and places we've been and a couple of teaser pics.

And a peek at a new cardie.

I've been pretty busy recently as my sister, her husband and one of their kids were visiting.  They got a nice place in Capitol Hill, which in extra nice, low traffic times is a bit over 20 minutes away.  I've spent a lot of time shuttling back and forth from there.  It was lovely to see family here and we had my niece here in our place for three extra nights whilst her parents were off doing the Rocky Mountaineer.

A touch of family.

It's a month since I stacked whilst walking on flat pavement.  I went back to the scene of the crime and honestly, there is one bit where there is a tiny lip on the edge of a concrete block but if it is 5mm higher than the rest of the blocks I'd be surprised.  There is also a big gap between a couple of blocks and that could've caught my shoe... but mostly I fell over because I am special!

Pioneer Square, sorta.  At Too Early O'Clock.

I was in town today because I went to see an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist for those of us who can't manage otolaryngologist, which is a helluva mouthful, no pun intended!).  I've had not much voice for nearly four weeks now and I'm over it.

I took selfies on Mt Rainier.

Turns out that whether or not I'm over it, not much can be done.  Or at least I'm hoping I'm in the not much can be done basket.

I knitted on Mt Rainier.

My right vocal cord is paralysed.  This explains the lack of voice, the inability to sing, the feeling that something is wrong on the right side and the choking myself on water.  It is most likely viral - a virus attacked the nerve, like literally.  The alternative is the nerve has problems because it is being pressed on by something, so with my history of cancer, I'd really prefer that it is a nerve and that it will clear over the next few weeks.  Or months.

Fireweed and Tatoosh Range

Apparently I'm in good company - the CEO of Google has bilateral vocal cord paralysis.  The good thing about that is he is throwing some money at research and treatment of vocal cord paralysis.

Anyway, I just have to hang cool for the next while and see if there is any obvious issue or if it is just being a brat.  I hate hanging cool.  I predict a LOT of knitting and playing with pretty fabric in my near future, though tomorrow I'm off to a day of seminars about running an Etsy shop and how to do it all nice and legally here in Seattle.

Like a fairy dell, only animated!
Christine Falls

I also can't use all of my aerobic capacity, which is a bigger issue in some ways - after starting a steroid inhaler for presumed asthma, I can now walk up a hill somewhat more easily (I walked from third ave up to ninth at Madison today in Seattle, and that is up a pretty steep hill!).  On Sunday we went to Mt Rainier and I thought I was going to die on the mountain.  I just couldn't breathe well enough. 

A different waterfall - the waterfall below!

Have I mentioned that our property managers have advised us that unless we sign another lease, not stay month by month, we will be charged $500 per month over the rate we paid when we moved in?  And even if we go for a 12 month lease, we will be paying $300 a month more for exactly the same apartment!

Narada Falls

You can probably guess what our response to that was!  So we (ahem, DH - my voice is hoarse) will talk to our credit union hopefully next week, though I am going to be horribly busy next week.  I have medical appointments three days in a row.  Blah!  I'd better email my bosses - medical stuff is chewing up a bunch of time at the moment cos when you are seeing specialists and getting tests run, you do them at the times they are available rather than waiting for weeks.

More Tatoosh Range

Hmm, what other excitement has happened?  Quite frankly, I think there's been enough excitement recently and I'd just like some plain old boring boringness to happen, giving me some time to quilt some stuff and knit some things and just hang out without much pressure to do things.  But alas that won't be for another week or so.

Signs of the season.  NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!