Archive for December, 2007

A Long Week of Waiting and Knitting
December 23rd, 2007 | Link

After a long week of waiting, my dad had surgery today to remove the remaining blood that was pressing on his brain. I’m happy to report that he was much improved—if weak—when I saw him this afternoon. He had been improving over the last few days, but the difference after surgery—even with the morphine and the tubes and the anesthetic hangover—was tangible. He won’t be home for a few days yet, but things are looking very encouraging.

For the last few evenings that I visited Dad at the hospital, I took a portable DVD player and the first season of Hogan’s Heroes, which he enjoyed a lot. While he watched that, I listened to my iPod and knitted. First I got through the better part of the Glampyre Knits “One Skein Wonder”—all that I have left to do is the trim. Then yesterday I dropped by Gina Brown’s (the yarn and needlecraft store where I used to work, some 15 years ago) and fell in love with a skein of Handmaiden Yarns Rumple Silk (scroll to the right) in the Sangria colorway (again, scroll to the right). It was a splurge, but hey, it’s Christmas. So now I’m working on the Bias Shawl, which Handmaiden sells as a kit. The color of this yarn is amazingly vivid. It’s great to see all these small fiber studios popping up all over the place (even Canada!).

The Ghost of Christmas Present
December 17th, 2007 | Link

My sister and I, in matching Christmas dresses, posing with my dad

This photo was near Christmas, 1971. That’s me and my younger sister (one thing I discovered going through all my parents’ old slides: my mom was big on the matching dresses) and that’s my dad.

Early last week Dad was admitted to hospital after a CT scan revealed cranial bleeding in two places that is causing pressure on his brain, causing his behavior to become… irregular (to be kind), and wreaking havoc on his short-term memory. The doctors tried draining the blood through tubes inserted through holes drilled into his skull, but it only partially worked. They are going to perform additional surgery later this week to suction out the remaining blood. They expect a full recovery, but have warned us that it could take up to a year for Dad to return to his old self.

I flew up to Calgary last week and have been spelling off my mother, sister and other family members at the hospital. Our friends and family have been wonderful and supportive and we couldn’t have gotten through the last few weeks without them (especially given that my mother has been recovering from surgery herself). My bosses and co-workers have been amazing, and I have been surprised by the kindness of complete strangers, like the Expedia customer service rep who waived the change fee for my flight due to the circumstances.

It doesn’t feel much like Christmas at the moment, but we are hopeful at least for a better year to come.

Yesterday I was very glad to have scanned all those old slides, when I was able to spend several hours with Dad in his hospital room going through them all on my laptop.

The Ghost of Christmas Past
December 9th, 2007 | Link

Baby me and the Calico Cat

This is baby me and the Calico Cat at Christmas, 1966. The Calico Cat was my first Christmas present, and slept with me for at least the next 12 years. By then all her fur was worn off and the fabric was threadbare and one of the metal rods in her legs was poking through.

I’m scanning a few hundred of my family’s old slides from the 1960s and 1970s for my parents for Christmas. Don’t tell them, okay?

Christmas Ornament Links
December 8th, 2007 | Link

17 Crafting Days until Christmas
December 8th, 2007 | Link

Oilcloth Apron

One yard of oilcloth, one yard of poly-cotton broadcloth (for the back), two packages of extra-wide double fold bias tape and about an hour of cutting, pinning and sewing. One package of the bias tape went around the straight edges on the left, bottom and right (all in one piece, with mitered corners), and the short straight edge at the top. The other package makes up the neck strap and the ties and binds the curved armholes – and neatly covers the raw edges from the other bias tape. So much faster to buy the prefolded bias tape and not have to do all that pressing!

Finished Objects: Shimmer and Foliage
December 1st, 2007 | Link

We had such a quiet, pleasant weekend for Thanksgiving that I was able to start and finish the Shimmer shrug. It is a pretty quick knit, since there is no front to speak of and the back is cropped.

Shimmer shrug, from the back

I messed up the lozenge pattern on the back, and I also think it’s just a touch too small through the back shoulders. If I were to knit it again – and I might – I would probably add an inch to the width in the back. Originally I had planned to wear it with a sleeveless dress, but it doesn’t cover the dress straps in the front, so I’m wearing it mostly with t-shirts. Shrugs are my favorite thing to wear at work, because they cover my arms with more warmth than just a shirt but don’t make me too warm.

Shimmer shrug, from the front

The shrug used less than six balls of Elann Pegasus yarn, and I bought seven, so with the leftovers I decided to knit up the Foliage hat from the Fall 2007 issue of Knitty over a couple of evenings during the week. I did the worsted-weight yarn version, but with only two repeats of the lace pattern after finishing the crown so it’s a bit shorter:

Shimmer shrug, from the front

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My name is Shannon Hale. I make things from paper, cloth and yarn, and sometimes write about other things going on in my life. More...

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