Oh, the pretty….

When I first started to look for a spindle, I knew what I wanted. I wanted a rich rose wood whorl with an ebony shaft. I looked high and low and contacted a few sellers on Etsy, but no one had what I was looking for or could create it. My first drop spindle was made from Italian resin instead. It is beautiful, and I love it, but I still kept looking for that one spindle.

I found a seller on Etsy, who had some beautiful things for spinning, including spindles. I took the plunge and contacted the seller, then waited with breath held to hear back. I didn’t have to wait long. They were willing to create just what I had been looking for all along. The seller is Brandywine Woodworking and I cannot say enough good about them! The communication was quick, responsive, and friendly. The spindle was made quickly but still with an amazing attention to detail. This little one is truly a work of art. However, it spins like a dream and just wants to spin forever and ever. This was my first custom made spindle and it really was a joy to work with them. I will not hesitate to go to them again when I want to add to my spindle collection. 

The package showed up today, and just the box it shipped in made me grab my camera. I knew it would be one of those worthy of unboxing photos. It took quite a bit of restraint to not rip into it, but I am glad I didn’t. I truly enjoyed just opening it and then seeing it for the first time. It is everything I had pictured in my head and more. 

Without further ado — photos!

 

The Box -- Loved the leaves stamped all over.

The Box -- Loved the leaves stamped all over.

Look at that packaging. Nice!!

Look at that packaging. Nice!!

WOW!

WOW! Cocobolo whorl, Ebony shaft.

WOW again! :)

WOW again! 🙂

Nice touches. This heart was what was tied to the bag. Also handmade by them.

Nice touches. This heart was what was tied to the bag. Also handmade by them.

In Memory of Jasmine

Today I took Morgan to our unbelievably awesome vet for his 6 month checkup. 6 months ago we didn’t know if he would live or die. He is a miracle and a wonderful cat. I am so thankful that he made it through. Our vet told us that not only is he out of the woods, but he is so far out we can barely see them anymore!!! I almost cried on the way home, and realized that I have been perched on a thread these last six months waiting to see which way he was going to go. Now it is OK, he is OK — I can breathe and enjoy that he is with us and will be for a long time to come.

This has me reflecting on everything our family has gone through in the last year. It has been quite a year for us here. It all started in late August / early September when our darling little Jasmine suddenly got very ill. Ill enough that we had to rush her to the very expensive emergency clinic one night. I don’t remember the entire series of events. No surprise there as it was very stressful. I was in school full time and dealing with a very ill cat. It drained me beyond measure. She got better for a few weeks and we thought she was going to recover….and then one day she just dove downhill again. That was the day we lost her, at a mere 6 years of age. It was a terrible day and a terrible decision to have to make. I never wish that on anyone. We could have tried to save her, but it wasn’t likely to do much other than prolong the inevitable. She was so very sick and we knew that it was time. Our vet is so wonderful that he was almost crying with us when we were in the room as we said goodbye to her.

Closely following that, while my head was still swirling with all we had just gone through, Morgan became ill with the very same disease that took Jasmine’s life. The day I brought him into the vet and saw how yellow his skin was, I almost lost it. I probably did loose it actually. I had to leave him there and he was going to be there for a few days. I left him and as I walked out I remember sobbing so uncontrollably that I could barely breathe or see. I felt like I was being dramatic then, in retrospect I know now that it was what anyone would have done in my situation. I can’t even describe what I was going through then, but I know it was terrible.

He made it through 3 days of iv fluids and meds at the vets office and came home on Saturday. They wanted to see how he would respond to being home with us. The hope, of course, was that he would do better with his family than in a cage at the vets office. We set up his sick room, our bathroom, just for him. We piled a corner with the most comfy blankets we could find and topped it with one of my husbands shirts (he is very attached to him). I poured everything I had into him. I fed him, by hand, a special blend of food via syringe since he wasn’t eating. I sat with him and did some healing and energy work. I talked to him and loved him, and even sometimes cried. It was so horrifying to me to walk in that room and see the skeleton that had once been our baby boy. I could literally see death hanging around him and I was doing my best to keep him here, with us. Keep in mind, I was still in school full time and still reeling from the loss of Jasmine. I think I was probably just a shell of myself at that time. Knowing he needed me desperately is just about the only thing that kept me going. I was not going to give up on him, and dammit I was going to fight with everything I had to get him better.

Somehow, someway, he slowly started to get better. I don’t think that I believed he was really making progress at first. I could see the numbers from his bloodwork, but they meant nothing to me. I was terrified that he was going to turn like Jasmine did. How could I not be? In fact, I realize now that I have been waiting for that turn for the last seven months! Part of me will probably always be hyper-sensitive to him and react anytime he shows signs of being ill. Maybe even overreact. It still all just seems so very surreal. He is OK. I have to keep telling myself that.

Now, it wasn’t all bad. I made it through school, with decent grades. Add to that, we added a new cat to our family as well during that time, our sweet Callista. Never mind that we brought Calli home the night we checked Morgan into the vets for three days! A bit insane? Hell yeah, and we knew it. However, when we first met her, we knew she was family. You don’t leave family behind in a cage no matter how rough life is. She has been a great addition, and in some ways has helped me cope and deal with the loss of Jasmine. She is so beyond loving and sweet and seems to know just when I need some kitty loving.

So phew! All of that in about 7-8 months. I have taken a lot from all of it too. I am stronger from it, and I learned to trust my instincts, because they are always right on. Morgan and I became closer and formed a bond we just didn’t have before this. He is an amazing cat, all of our cats are. He was just always more attached to my husband. I am thankful for that new closeness with him. He loves to snuggle with me, and does it more now.

I also learned just how dangerous it was for a cat to stop eating. Never would I have imagined that it could cause so much damage so quickly! I always thought that they would eat if they were hungry and that is so not true! A cat who stops eating is in serious danger within 24 hours. Both Jasmine and Morgan developed Hepatic Lipidosis, or fatty liver disease. When a cats body starts to break fat down, their liver cannot process it like a humans can. It all builds up and can cause liver failure. It is so very scary to watch a cat decline so rapidly. It is a terrible disease and one that can so easily be prevented.

This post was a long time coming. I feel relieved, a bit numb, sad, happy, elated, so many things all at once right now. Because of the series of events that occurred, I didn’t get much time to mourn Jasmine. I do still miss her sometimes and always will. I also know that she led us to Calli without question. This post is made in her honor, her memory. Because of her Morgan is alive today. I knew what to do and how to save him. I was better equipped and we were much more familiar with our vet.

It is with this I end, in memory:

Jasmine

Jasmine

Goodies!

Over the last couple weeks I have ordered things here and there. Of course, they all seem to have come in at about the same time! I have some lovely new roving, and a new and beautiful spindle. I also finished my scarf over the weekend. I blocked it to get a bit more length out of it, and it came out great. I love it!

Here are the photos:

Tada! Here is my finished scarf!

Full Length View of Finished Scarf

Full Length View of Finished Scarf

 

Another View of FO

Another View of FO

 

Below is 4oz of Romney, that I got for $4.60. Purchased at the sheep and wool gathering in Altamont this weekend. 

Roving from Maranatha Acres

Roving from Maranatha Acres

 

Next we have roving from Actual Size Creations. It was difficult to capture the color of both of these. They are rich in color and so lovely in person. They are both superwash merino.

Cloudless Sky

Cloudless Sky

Night Sky

Night Sky

 

Last, but certainly not least, is my beautiful new spindle. I love the one that Tina let me borrow, but I loved drop spinning so much, I wanted to get one of my own. This thing spins like a dream, and is less than an ounce which makes it good for spinning lace. I cannot say enough good about this. It comes from Butterfly Girl Designs and I *highly* recommend her!!

My New Spindle - Italian Resin

My New Spindle - Italian Resin

 

That is all for now. I will have my new goodies with me at knitting tomorrow night so that everyone may see and feel them up. 🙂

Blah

Warning: this post may be fragmented as that is very much how I feel today.

Today is the second day in a row that I have woken up exhausted. I know that I am likely to take a nap sometime soon — for an hour or more. I shouldn’t need this much sleep. I am sleeping at night. I also feel kinda zombie-ish again today. Just not totally with myself, as strange as that may sound. It is a very difficult space to be in as it makes it hard to focus, and to really do anything. I don’t like feeling this way at all.

I have to say, I have come a long way though. I started on medicine for my depression back in October. I am a very different person than I was then. I am not angry all the time, I don’t explode constantly, I am putting myself out there and doing things I never would have done before. My husband is a great help as he is honest about my behavior and lets me know if the meds are not working. He complimented me this morning on how impressed he has been that I have been going out and doing things without him. This is something I NEVER would have done before. I am enjoying it too — who knew?!

I know that in order to continue healing I need to put on my big girl panties, stop making excuses, and start doing what I know will help me. One of those things is food. Food is such a struggle for me and really always has been. I love to eat, and I really love to eat crap. I have been doing a lot of that lately, and I know that it does not help me at all in my fight against the depression. If anything, the things I have been eating are working against my meds. The two biggest culprits that I struggle with the most are sugar and gluten. I eat a lot of both and they both make me feel like complete and utter crap! I have lived without them both and when I have succeeded in that, those were the times I felt the best. I was much more with it, more focused, had more energy, and was sick/had headaches/migraines less often.

That said, I am putting this out there for all to see. As of today, I am going to work at being as sugar free/gluten free as humanly possible. I will allow myself the occasional treat as I also know that deprivation does me no good. I am doing a week of phase one on South Beach. I have followed this plan before, and I always have tremendous success on it. This will help me purge the evil sugar from my body. Once I do that, it is easier for me to stay away from it. This isn’t about weight at this point in my life. It is about being a better me, a healthier me, one who is more present in my everyday life and is able to fully move past the depression.

I started the day out right already and had a nice, nutritious broccoli omelette. Never mind the fact that as I sat down to write this, the omelette slid off the plate and landed between my side and the arm of the couch! The fact that I didn’t get all shades of pissed off over that is definitely proof that I have come a long way. The old me would have totally blown a head gasket. I just calmly cleaned it up, was able to salvage most of it, laughed a little and moved on with my morning.

Knitting has already been a big help too. I have actually noticed that on days like this, when I feel like I have medicine head from hell, if I knit, it does help me focus a bit more and bring me back to myself a little. I am looking forward to the long term benefits of this as time goes on.

A Wonderful Love

Who would have known, who could have guessed, that almost 16 years ago I met the wonderful man I now call my husband. It has been quite the journey for us. We met just after my 16th birthday. He was dating a friend of mine, and I remember fondly swooning over him. I watched how he treated her like gold, despite the way she treated him like crap. A few years later, they had a nasty break up, and while my friendship with her disintegrated, ours continued to blossom. He was there for me through a lot of the very difficult times in my life. Never one to judge, always supportive and willing to listen. I can honestly say that I don’t know where I would be today if it weren’t for him. He put me back together, and helped me heal from some things that would otherwise have torn me to pieces and left me a dribbling mess. Things that most people are lucky enough not to endure in their lifetimes — things too difficult for me to mention on such a public blog.

As someone who grew up without a support structure, his caring and unconditional friendship meant so very, very much to me. Even my high school friends were flaky, and seemed to be the type who could turn on you without a moments notice. Many of them betrayed me in more ways than one. Family was pretty much non-existent. My mother didn’t really know how to support herself, let alone a growing daughter. She loved me in her own way, but it wasn’t always enough.

He was always there, and he has never betrayed me. I have a deep faith that he never will in anyway. He even forgave me, when in ignorance, I betrayed and hurt him. I did not deserve his forgiveness, and I did a lot of groveling. He accepted it with a grace that most people would never be able to muster. I was young, stupid, and impetuous. Little did I realize then just how close I came to losing the best thing that ever happened to me.

When I was 19, he was even nice enough to let me move in with him. I started college and did not have a driver’s license. The college I was going to was almost 2 hours by bus from my mothers home. It was a mere 45 minutes from his. That, as they say, was that. It was kind of an odd transition for both of us, but our friendship slowly grew into more. It was odd in the sense that we never really dated, just moved in together. What started as a blessedly wonderful friendship became a loving, caring relationship. We knew each other so well, that it was a good start. We didn’t play any of those mind games that some couples do at the start of a new relationship. We couldn’t, because each of us knew better. We had seen each other through many ups and downs. We were best friends at that point. Who better to be with than the person who is your best friend. We had our moments in the beginning. I am a Leo and he is a Scorpio. It was rough sometimes, but we always came back to each other, learned from what happened, and grew strong.

Five years ago, today, we were married. I am a very lucky woman, I married my best friend. Our five years of marriage have had their share of ups and downs as well. We have guided each other through a lot, and continue to grow together. To this day he is always the number one person in my corner — my biggest fan. He cheers me on, celebrates my victories with me, encourages me to be a better person, is brutally honest when I need him to be, and even holds and comforts me when I am sad and need to cry. He is my everything and I am most thankful that I have him in my life. I just cannot imagine life without him. I am a better person because of him, and I am whole thanks to him.

To my dear husband: I love you more than anything else. Words cannot express just how much. I hope you read this, and that you are touched and full of love on this, our day. I don’t always get a chance to thank you for everything you have done for me over the last 16 years. Know that I appreciate you, am thankful for you, and love you with all that I am. Happy anniversary.

 

June 5, 2004

June 5, 2004

I Made Yarn!

Over the weekend, Tina gave me a most beautiful drop spindle to borrow and learn with. I quickly order some lovely shetland roving to use on said drop spindle, from Contented Butterfly Farm. Well, the roving came in today – it is so nice! A pretty natural chocolate color. I took it out of the bag, looked at it, and tucked it back in thinking it might be better to wait until I go to knitting again and have someone help me. I didn’t quite know where to start.

I picked up my trusty laptop and decided to look for videos. I found some really good ones. It didn’t look terribly hard so I got my roving out again and gave it a go. It worked!!! I was making yarn. I am SO excited. 🙂

Without further ado….photos!!!

 

Roving from Contented Butterfly Farm

Roving from Contented Butterfly Farm

Sweet Touch -- This was attached to my receipt. :)

Sweet Touch -- This was attached to my receipt. 🙂

 

The lovely spindle with MY yarn on it!

The lovely spindle with MY yarn on it!

Pretty

Pretty

 

Look at that yarn. :)

Look at that yarn. 🙂

It may not be perfect but I feel like I am getting the feel for it quickly, and more importantly it came from MY hands! 🙂

Project Time!

Things have been going well in this knitters little corner of the world. 🙂

I had so much fun at with Harriet at her knitting group Friday night. When I got there, she handed me a printout for a pattern for my first project — a scarf! She then told me to go shop. Wow! I felt like a little kid in a candy store. It was my very first time in a yarn shop and there were pretty and soft things everywhere I looked. I roamed around the store almost overwhelmed at all the choices. I thought I had something, and then was told it was the wrong type of fiber (cotton, not wool — oops…missed that one on the instructions). So I put it back and kept looking. Finally, as I was about to give up, my eyes landed on some very luscious yarn. I picked it up and loved the feel and look of it, it was the right weight, and….it was wool! I loved, loved, loved the colors. The yarn I picked for my first project was a lovely Noro.

My Lovely Noro, Colorway 185

My Lovely Noro, Colorway 185

I started to work on it right away and made good progress. I was so excited, that I missed another step in the instructions. I came home that night and started fresh. I had fun at the store sitting there knitting and talking. It was another great group of people and I will be going back again this Friday.

Saturday saw my husband and I at our friend Tina’s birthday party. It was at a beautiful park in her hometown of Catskill. We all sat in the lovely weather and did our thing. We gabbed, and knit, and crocheted, and spun. It was a blast! Tina got some awesome birthday presents, and it was fun watching her excitement as she opened them. Later on, we went to dinner with her and her husband as well as a few other people. After dinner, we went back to their place for a movie. Tina kindly lent me a beautiful drop spindle because I want to learn how to use one. I cannot wait to have the chance to learn with that! I have some shetland roving on the way thanks to Etsy!

My Progress After Saturday

My Progress After Saturday

Lovely Detail

Lovely Detail

I got a lot of work done on my scarf over the weekend and put in quite a few hours today. It is really coming along nicely and is currently measuring at about 15 inches!! I really love the yarn I am using and how well it is knitting up. It feels good in the hands and the colors are just stunning. I am truly enjoying my very first project and am so excited to be making something. I keep looking at it in awe. I am just amazed that this is coming from me. It is so beautiful and I will be so proud to wear it when I am done.

My Progress After Today

My Progress After Today -- About 15"

Tomorrow night is knitting in Hudson and I can’t wait! I purchased my first official knitting bag from Jess of Stitched by JessaLu, and she will be brining it with her to hand deliver. I am excited to have something really, really pretty to put my knitting in. Plastic zipper bags are just not as nice. 🙂

I am really having an amazing time meeting all these great people. I never imagined I would love knitting this much! It has quickly become something I love to do and feel like I have done my whole life.