Tuesday, February 23, 2021

In Between

 These days I am mostly decluttering and starting to pack. We close on our new house tomorrow, and then we have to move and get this one ready to put on the market. Work is hectic with both teaching virtually and planning to go back in a hybrid situation.

But in between, I find little times to do some crafty things. Thanks to Kim, I went a little crazy on the Hook, Line & Tinker hygge embroidery designs. It's been a fun and relaxing project that I'm going to hand-quilt.

I found a few hours to do some online sketching with a friend -- via Zoom, of course. This is the house where Marc Chagall grew up in Vitebsk, Belarus.

Then there's other people's crafts that I've come across as I declutter. The Barbie on the left is dressed in a darling suit that my babysitter knit in the late 1960s; the doll on the right is wearing a coat knit by my MIL. They are both better knitters than I'll ever be!

And I got some very good news this morning. Yesterday I had an endoscopy to see if I have Celiac Disease -- and I don't! I am so excited that I'm going to find time to bake Hamantaschen, even though the holiday for this Jewish treat has passed. It's a cookie dough folded around a filling -- with lots of gluten!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Long Slog

Right now everything feels like a long slog. We close on our house next week, so we are sorting, tossing, and packing -- never fun stuff! My union is in prolonged negotiations with the district to figure out how to reopen our schools.

And it turns out my latest sweater project is going to be a long slog, too. This is Porto.

It is a very loose-fitting pull-over knit out of a gorgeous Berroco non-wool yarn. The yarn is listed as DK, but it feels more like fingering. And the rounds get really long before you separate for the sleeves -- like more than 500 stitches! I think it will be worth it in the long run, but it's going to take a while.

My mitered-square blanket is another big project. I'm trying to figure out where to put colors for the last row. Then comes the long slog: the border!

In six to eight weeks, at least some of these issues will be resolved, for now I just have to take things a day at a time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Trying to Stay Positive

The day I've been dreading has arrived: My district has announced it plans to reopen in March -- without vaccinating teachers or other staff. The announcement is very vague, leaving us with more questions than answers. The only good thing is that I teach high school, so there is a chance that I will get vaccinated before I have to return. Fingers crossed!

But there are some things to be happy about. A couple weeks ago a friend dropped off some paper white bulbs and now I have flowers:

I spread them over two vases and dropped off one for my mom at her retirement community.

And, speaking of flowers, I'm finishing up a flowery project I started four or five years ago: embroidered flower bunting. I drew the flowers, so it's fun to see it come to life.

And here's another:

I'll take a photo when it's done and hung across our mantel. But it won't hang there for long...

Madison's disregard for its teachers is the final straw for me. I filed for retirement! As you know, we started looking for a smaller house a couple months ago. It's been crazy. All we wanted was a ranch with an attached garage on the near West Side. Apparently that's what everyone wants. The competition was fierce and houses are selling at $50,000 or more above assessment.

Well, we lucked out. We found the perfect house. It's a little farther from the city center than I'd like, but I think it would cost too much to live closer. Our current house is very close to downtown and the university, so it should sell fast. The one we bought was on the market for 3 days!

We close Feb. 24 and hope to get our current house on the market by April 1. With me working, we'll need a good month to get it ready.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Snow Day!

 Madison called a snow day -- even for virtual instruction -- and I could not be happier. I had insomnia last night, so the timing is perfect.

And what better than a snowy day to think about blankets? I finished my Habitation Throw. Mine is quite a bit larger than the pattern calls for. I just played it by ear. Some of the color transitions are better than others. I think I prefer more of a fade technique than these sudden changes. But it's very homey and comforting.

I've also been working on a larger blanket that uses worsted weight. I had an odd assortment of Julia yarn and Cascade Quattro, both discontinued, which is a shame. They are absolutely lovely yarns and they play quite well together. I'm using a variety of grays to tie it all together and hoping it works.

I think I'm going to let this one get quite large. It also has a border, so it will take me a while to finish.

I would love to spend the whole day knitting by the window, but I need to declutter. We are looking at a house tomorrow and it looks promising online. Whenever there is a house on the horizon I panic and start decluttering. Moving is a lot to take on right now as I try to adapt to my new diagnoses, but it needs to be done. It's never fun, but we'll be happy when it's behind us.

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Bad and the Good

 Let's just get the bad stuff out of the way. I've been absent from the Blog World lately because of doctors' appointments and bad news. It started with a podiatrist, who sent me to a rheumatologist to see whether I have Eylers-Danlos Syndrome, a disorder of connective tissue. Well, I do.

I also have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and Sjoden's Syndrome. You can look them up if you want. Suffice it to say that the EDS and the POTS make one very tired. No wonder I've been tired for 30 years. And I've had symptoms of POTS since I was 12.

And, if that's not enough, I have a biopsy scheduled for later this month to see if I have Celiac Disease.  I feel like I've been hit by a truck. 

As you can imagine, these new diagnoses are making the retirement decision quite easy. I have to formally announce by Feb. 15 if I'm going to get my retirement benefits. Don't worry! I'm not going to miss this deadline.

On to more cheerful subjects. It's been snowing here!!

I've been able to ski for the last three days in a row -- which is pretty much heaven in my world. The photo is from Saturday's outing to the Arboretum.

And I've been able to ski with friends each day. This is as close as I can get to socializing in person, and it is pretty darn nice.

I have two FOs, which have yet be photographed. I'm getting ready to cast on the Adrift shawl from Laine Magazine and using some stash yarn.

It's a nice easy pattern -- perfect for this time when I have so much to sort out!