how i knit to stay sane

June 7, 2013

Hi Again!

Filed under: Duke,family,Healthy Living,seizures,Tumor — K @ 10:37 pm

I wrote the post below without realizing what an abrupt exit I made from my blog 3 years ago.  This whole long post that I feel the need to share with you (assuming anyone of my old reading still check in….) is predicated on what in the interim.  When I was 26 weeks preggers, early December ’10, I had an “episode”.  I could only describe it as “I would expect a seizure to be, except it was only on one side of my body.  It turns out that, as not everybody knows, not all seizures are the fall-on-floor jerking.  As opposed that, a grande mal seizure, I had a petite mal seizure, which can affect only one side or part of your body, or even manifest in barely noticeable tics.  Long story short, I was diagnosed with a tennis ball sized brain tumor. (If you are morbidly interested, and heck, I would be!, I started another blog to post in at first when I processing my feelings.  The address is   The rest of this post is to catch you up, and let you that I’m getting back into knitting, and I have a goal to do more writing and sharing here. 

I know, I know, it’s been a long time. Before I bore you with my own life, though, i have a friend who was just diagnosed with a brain tumor — Katie, a 30 year old mother with three young children. I’d like to requests prayers and positive thoughts for this young family. I know first hand how comforting they are.

As for me, a lot’s been going on, and I haven’t felt like writing here much. No worries, though — I’ve several visits at Duke, and Dr. Desjardin always gives me my version of the best news possible — no growth.

I’ve been in a funk for a while. Since, like, the last time I wrote. I don’t term it depression — it definitely wasn’t clinical, and I feel like my little blue period was more a pity party, rather than a true depression. I did what had to do, as far as chores, child care, etc., but I really didn’t go out of my way to do anything extra — I am supremely lucky to have a husband who is self-employed and can be home when I need him, and a nanny, Meagan (she’s a new addition to the family, because I can’t be alone with the kids, or for transportation. And we love her!)

Anyway, I realized during a convo with my mom (meaning, she pointed out to me, sternly, but we’re gonna gloss over that, mmkay?) that I was sort waiting to die. And not in a good “Bucket List” “Last Holiday” kinda way. And as I became more detached mentally, I got more detached physically and emotionally as well. I mean, if you asked me if I loved my kids, a resounding yes! But I was content to watch them play. Well, I still am, but now I’m a lot more likely to teach them a new game, or get down on the floor to play with them. I watch a lot less tv, and I do, I’m doing something else — I used to knit CONSTANTLY! After the seizures started, it was really hard. I had to retrain my right hand. And if a seizure struck at precisely the wrong time, I would lose several stitches, get frustrated, and throw the needles aside and cry.

Around 4 months ago, Mom and I had this little ass-kicking convo, and I decided that she was right, I had been living like I had a death sentence, and was closing into myself instead of sharing what was left of my life with my most important people, with love and exuberance. I decided to start taking better care of myself physically, and have been following a healthy diet, and working out with a personal trainer, Daniel (If you’re local, I can hook you up! Brandon and I both really like him.)

I’ve lost some weight, gained some muscle, dropped a clothing size, can wear swimsuits I never thought I would again. I chase my kids, climb with them at the park, take long walks on the beach with my hubby (in the Bahamas, no less!), and gotten involved with my knitting again — not just doing the stitches, but really loving the deciding on a pattern, finding the yarn, knitting half the project, discovering that none of it’s right…. I don’t know, but I’ve always loved that! I’ve stopped living like I was dying, and started living — really LIVING!


November 27, 2007

What? Is six weeks a long time?

Filed under: family,knitting,ravelry,WIP — K @ 12:19 pm

Okay, okay, I know! But it’s been a busy six weeks! As you can tell…. My new “catch-up” posts have gone to the next page, already… (hint, hint! You’ll have to click to see the others!)

I got my ravelry invite, let’s see…. about 6 weeks ago. So, now, my secret’s out… THAT’S where I’ve been all this time. I’m in love! I’m definitely not one of the more active ones there, but I’ve been feeling very….inspired! I thought I knew the scope of talented people out there, just from some blog-surfing and such, but WOW! That was only the tip of the iceberg! I’m just amazed at what’s out there, and who!

What else? Oh yes! I got a job teaching knitting and using the knitting looms (a la Knifty Knitter) at Michael’s. I wasn’t thrilled, honestly, about doing the Knifty Knitter, but I knew how to use it, so I figured, no biggie, I’ll do it, since that’s what they need. So I started to research some other methods, and stumbled across! I love how she’s broken down how to do the stitches, and has made it quite simple to understand. I’m looking forward to looking like the queen of the Knifty Knitter, now, during the class! (Of course, at the end, I’ll have to divulge my secret source of information, and send my students her way! 🙂 )

Also occupying my free time, I found Marly at, and of the Yarn Thing Podcast. She’s a hoot, and I had a great time going back and listening to all of her archived Podcasts. She’s so funny, but not in a stand-up comedienne kind of way. More like in a sitting at a stitch and bitch with friends, and she’s the one that always has the funny story that makes everyone laugh and lose their place in their pattern. I really enjoy knitting while listening to her, and her conversations with her friends, who are frequent “visitors” to her Podcast.

And we went to Myrtle Beach for a week. It was a lovely relaxing family time, and we really enjoyed the time to just chill together! Photos of the kids are at

Okay, I think that’s it, for now. I’ll try to be better about keeping up to date! I can guarantee you I’ll be done with the Femme Fatale Wrap (from Creative Knitting) this week!

Love the hat!

Filed under: family,loom — K @ 10:57 am


Originally uploaded by daborbal

So, when you let an almost 2 year-old pick out her own clothes, this could be what you get…. if you’re lucky. Catie has a definite fashion sense of her own. 🙂

September 20, 2007

Hey, yook! Dere two!

Filed under: completed,family — K @ 5:01 pm

That’s what C is proudly proclaiming as she sticks her feet out to everyone she sees! She does love new socks…

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And holding up her vest along with the socks (and her pajamas…)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And I’ve now cast on for N’s new socks, to match his vest as well.  2 socks in 2 days.  N’s are only 4 stitches bigger, so I’m hoping to have 4 socks in 4 days, ready for wear by Saturday!

September 19, 2007

Color Love

Filed under: family,knitting,WIP,yarn — K @ 2:04 pm

I just am not finished using that incredible yarn that I used to make the kids’ vests. I love the vibrant colors and the smooth hand. So, hmmm, what next? Socks, of course! C’s impatiently waiting for me to finish her “weft scock, pwease!”

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

September 17, 2007


Filed under: completed,family,knitting,MS3,WIP — K @ 3:08 pm

This has been a weekend of finishing for me! I have turned three WIPs into lovely knitted happiness! All photos are clickable for full-size views.

The Mystery Stole 3, aka Swan Lake Stole, has been completed, blocked, and worn. This was my first lace knitting project, and I’m thrilled to have been a part of such a wonderful group of ladies, and to get to test drive a beautiful pattern. Thanks to Melanie for this experience — I’m looking forward to joining again!

Here is the completed work of wearable art:

Also, this weekend, I finished “matching” sweater vests for the kids. They are made from the same pattern, and use the same white yarn and teal yarn.

N’s also uses a navy blue yarn for a more “manly” solid stripe.

C’s has a more fun little-girl stripey pattern that was fun to do, but, oh my, the ends to weave in!

September 15, 2007

Crying over spilled stitches

Filed under: family,knitting,MS3,tinking,WIP — K @ 2:07 pm

After my blissful picture of what last night would entail, I kicked off a comedy of errors. To set the scene, N had been running a fever, so he’d fallen asleep in our bed. I’d asked B to move him half an hour before I came up, but that didn’t pan out…. So, I got my night-time bliss accoutrements prepared. I went upstairs while managing to balance my cup of tea, my iPod and headphones, my yarn, and my knitting. And then see that there is a little boy in my bed, right where I need to be sitting. I asked B to move him again, but it didn’t happen right away, so I set my stuff down, and sat down at the foot of the bed for 10 minutes, until B moved the boy. I took his sweaty place (his fever broke, thank God!), and got ready to knit…. and realized that, in all the jostling and moving, I’d dropped about 30 stitches off the needles. And started crying.

Now, I’m really not all *that* unstable. I am a pretty steady person, generally. And that may have been what took B by surprise. But most women need a good cry once in a while. I can’t help it if life is so good that it takes dropped stitches to make me well up…. But it’s been a long few weeks, with lots of little ups and downs, worrying over N’s fever, and that C would get sick, and that I would get sick, and starting a fairly strict diet to try to shed a little of my leftover baby weight, and really, I just want French fries. Really, I think I was crying over the French fries. Then, B said the unthinkable, “Why don’t you just put it away, if it’s making you cry?” Well, that did the trick. That just made me mad, so I stopped crying. PUT IT AWAY?!? With 10 rows left?!? Out of the 450 or so rows (more like over 500, but that’s with a fair number of short rows added in). NO WAY IN HELL, BUDDY! I think he understands a little better now. Or at least didn’t bring up that insane suggestion again.

For anyone concerned, don’t worry. The dropped stitches were able to be picked up again without too much trouble. I had to drop down about 3 rows to recreate all the pattern stitches, but I just dropped out the section I had dropped, and saved myself from tinking back 3 rows, at least. All is better, now, and I’m heading into the last 6 rows before cast-off! B looked mildly surprised when I volunteered to take the car for the oil change this morning. I think the surprise will turn to understanding, when he’s home with the kids, and sees me heading out the door with my knitting tote and iPod.

September 12, 2007

Knitting in kids’ tv shows

Filed under: family,knitting,tv — K @ 11:51 pm

I’ve noticed a lot of knitting on tv lately. Of course, not in mature shows for intelligent adults. I never get to watch those. But I have noticed a ton of knitting in preschool tv. Most notably those on Playhouse Disney, mainly because that’s what N and C like to watch the most. Off the top of my head….

Higgleytown Heroes: The Grandma Hero (portrayed by Betty White, no less!) that whips up sweaters and mittens for the Higgley kids when they outgrow their old clothes before the winter.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: In the “Frog Prince” episode, Princess Daisy sits in the tallest tower, knitting an insanely long multi-colored striped scarf. She uses it similarly to Rapunzel’s hair, but what really stands out to me is that there are no ends. So, has she been weaving them in as she goes, or is it more Disney magic?

Koala Brothers: They’re here to help, and they help someone (Josie, maybe? It’s been a while) learn to knit, so she can make a jumper for the ice-cream-selling emu.

Stanley: In the Camel episode, the fish (what’s his name again?) is knitting away in his bowl. I haven’t paid enough attention to this episode to note the specific reference. Is he bored, or is he knitting with camel hair yarn? Maybe I’ll have to watch again…

I’m sure there are others, but these are the main ones that come to mind so far…. Anyone else have any good ones to add in?

I have….

Filed under: family,knitting,yarn — K @ 1:46 pm

1 husband, 2 kids, a cat, 2 parents, their dog, and their parrot in my house. Thank God I also have several pointy sticks to force them to keep their distance when I need a break.

My parents have two houses. We have none. It saves money for both of us, for us to live in this house and pay for the utilities for one of the houses. So, here we are. Generally, it’s a pretty good set-up. Nice to have the built-in babysitters when we need it (not often), but we tend to not rely on it too often.

The kids — N is a boy, a little over 3 (b. 7/04). C is a girl, 1.5 (b. 12/05). My husband B and I have been married for 5 years. I used to knit once in a while, being self-taught from a book from Wal-Mart. I never really got into it, and rarely finished any knitting projects. I crocheted mostly, and that’s what I usually did to actually finish projects. Slowly, though, a shift happened. And I became…. *a knitter*. And I found a knitting group to meet with every week or two. And they introduced me to…. *good yarn*. I feel like a new person, with a new focus. Now, how to make these kids comply with my need to knit constantly. :scratching chin:

Blog at