Friday, September 30, 2011


Despite the fact that this blog was originally set up to share mostly crafting type things with the world, it has not been used for that lately. Instead, cancer took over this blog and became the most talked about topic around here. For good reason too. There is a lot there to talk about and although sometimes I will complain that I'm tired of talking about cancer, at the same time, it is SO amazingly helpful to get it all out. So I come. I write. I feel better. I move on.

And as helpful as blogging has been to me, so to recently has knitting. Actually knitting has always been helpful to me. One of the first things I did upon getting my diagnosis was to ask my mom to take me to the local knitting store. It just made sense. I found out I had cancer. I found out I was going to be bald. Clearly I needed some hats to wear upon my head. Alright, alright, I get it. Not every single person goes from cancer to bald to hats to knitting store. But I did.

And I knit a lot in those days between diagnosis and surgery. I knit in waiting rooms. I knit at home. I made some hats for myself. I made some for my mom. It was a good way to keep busy. It was a good way for me to work off anxiety - for the most part knitting is the same motion over and over. The repetition is lovely. And if you have the right pattern? There is a rhythm there and you can just keep working without needing to put too much thought into it. And I needed that then.

Then surgery came. And for a while I couldn't knit. I couldn't do much of anything actually. My arms might as well have just been gone for as much as I could use them at first. But true to form, I started knitting as soon as I could. I was so excited that first day I could pick up my knitting. It didn't last long. I think I managed a row of the shawl I was working on. But darn it, it felt SO good to get that row done. And so slowly, I began to knit more and more.

Then came chemo from hell. And let me tell you - one of the ways we knew it was affecting me so much - I stopped knitting. Even the husband commented on it once or twice. And believe me you, I wanted to be knitting. But I couldn't. That first group of medicines I was on was just so harsh for me. It left me barely able to do the things I needed to do (i.e. eat, get up and go to the bathroom, etc) and certainly didn't leave me any room to do much of the things I loved to do or wanted to do. But, thankfully, even that medicine's time came to an end. And as that medicine left my system, I was able to start knitting again.

Of course it came back slowly. I had to find my rhythm again. I had to find the projects calling out to me. (Yes, it may seem strange, but it is true. I believe for the most part, projects find me and tell me when it's time to knit them). And then the new medicine started to show it's lovely side effects. It attacked, more and more with each dose, my joints and mostly in my hips and knees. There were days were walking any more than necessary was just going to be an option. But oh, I could pick up those needles and knit through most of those times. Not always, the new medicine also attacked my hands and made knitting impossible some days, but thank goodness it hit my hands with less intensity.

There have been several days where at the end of the day all I can say I've done is knit and watch tv that day. And thank goodness for knitting. Because I really believe through all of this knitting has been a lifeline to me. I may not be able to whip up a 5 course meal these days, but darn-it, I can whip up a shawl. I can't always walk my son to the bus stop, but I can make him a vest he can wear proudly to school. I can't repay my mom all the kindness she's shown me - not just this summer but my entire life - but I can knit her some socks. I can make beautiful things. I can show my family I love them through my knitting. And the knitting has helped me feel connected to my family through it all.

Not only that, but it's another way to honor who I am. I was knitter before all of this. And while I may not be able to knit every single day, cancer did not take that part of my life away from me. I am still me. Cancer has changed me - it has changed me in some pretty big ways. But at the end of the day, I am still me. Cancer can change me, but it didn't take everything away from me. And having my knitting? Every stitch I make? It's a reminder to myself that I'm still me. My appearance may have changed. I may have some life experience I never really wanted, but I'm still Brandie. And knitting is still important to me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ha ha - the joke's on you!

Well, not on you. On me.

You see, the end of chemo came. And went. And it was wonderful and lovely.

And now? The side effects are kicking my butt. I mean beyond kicking my butt.

I knew this going in. I knew the side effects didn't' stop with the medicine drip. I knew that it would take time for the medicine to leave my system. I knew my body would keep fighting and working. However, what I'm learning is knowing something and going through something are two completely different things. And um, yeah, I guess I keep learning that over and over with this cancer things. You can 100 people tell how things will work, and there are just too many times in life that it doesn't matter what they say - you can't fully prepare for it until you are there.

I also think there's a big component to this that is emotional. Emotionally I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready for side effects to be gone. I'm ready to start returning to life as normal.

But my body? It's not ready. It still needs time. It still needs healing. It still needs me to be gentle to myself. And that right there may be the crux of the problem. I still need to be gentle to myself. I still need to let others to take care of me. And let me tell you, as nice as it is to have everyone wanting to take care of you? It's also not so great. Because it's my job to take care of them. I'm the wife. I'm the mom. My parents are in a busy season. I want to be in my son's classroom. I want to be the one helping. Not the one in need of the helping.

Yet. Here we are. And I can wish upon a million stars for things to be different. But here is where I am. And this is what I need to accept. And this is what I need to come to terms with. Because while I know things will get better, they won't be getting better tomorrow or even the next day. So I guess I'll have lots of time practicing giving myself more time. And grace. And patience.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Updates

Here is an e-mail I recently sent out. While I try to get it to everyone, I'm sharing here just in case I've accidentally forgotten anyone!

Dear Friends and Family,

It's been some time since we sent out an e-mail update. First let me begin by thank you all again for all the love, kindness, and support you have showered us with this summer. I'm not sure we could have made it this far without it all.

Last week was a big week in our house. On Friday I received my last chemotherapy treatment - which was a very happy day for sure. Sadly, the side effects don't end with the last dose. The medicine will remain in my system for at least a month. And while I still have more treatment to go, being finished with chemo feels like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So what's next? In October I will begin radiation. Radiation will last for 7 weeks. I will also continue to get Herceptin (although not a chemo drug, I do get it through the oncologist) every 3 weeks for an entire year. I have already been on the herceptin for 8 weeks now and it leaves me with some side effects. We are hoping the chemo is complicating the side effects and that the farther we get away from chemo, the less side effects there will be.  And through all of this, at some point I will begin to take tamoxifin - just a daily pill that is side effect free for most women. Which is good, because I'll need to be on it for at least 5 years!

Anyway, that's where things stand for right now. As always I try to keep the blog semi-updated (and thank you for those who head over there to read and comment. I don't respond to all comments, but they always make me smile!)

Much love,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Fall ...

So Friday marked the first day of fall. And don't get me wrong - I love fall. Applesauce, apple cider, pumpkins, fall festivals, pulling out sweaters, fires in the fireplace. It is all lovely and wonderful.

But this year, the start of fall means something completely different to me. This year the start of fall marks the end of the summer I feel that cancer stole from me. And we can sugarcoat this summer as much as we want to, but the truth of the matter is that cancer did in fact steal my summer. Not only from me but from my family. All the places I would have taken the kids. All the days we would have gone to the pool, or on bike rides, or hung out at the park with friends. All the times my mom had to be over here when she could have been doing a million other things. All the work my husband had to miss. All the vacation time he took that wasn't spent on anything remotely near a vacation. I could go on and on with these examples.

I also know that not a single one of those people affected by my cancer would complain about it. At least not to me. What I call their sacrifices is what they call being part of a family. And while I appreciate that is how their attitude is about it, still, in my heart they all made big sacrifices. Our summer was stolen. And I feel jaded by this. I am hoping as time passes, this will sting a little less. Or that next summer will bring a redemption to this summer. Or heck, even as we head into winter, and life gets back to "normal" (whatever the heck normal can be at this point) that things will start to feel better to me.

And this isn't to say that I only see the missing parts. I don't. There was also so much love and support and help this summer. I haven't forgotten any of that. There is so much beauty to find in this past summer too. I know that and recognize that. It's just with summer now at an end, the unfairness of it all seems to weigh on me more heavily than it did before. Because I can't go backwards at this point. I can't make up for all we missed. I can only move forward. And summer is now behind us.

But summer isn't the only thing behind us right now. Chemotherapy - which was grueling and so much harder than I could have ever anticipated, is also behind us. The shock of diagnosis? Also behind us. Hopefully all the worst parts are behind us. And hopefully things will begin to get easier. We aren't to easy yet, but we are to easier. And that is a truly wonderful thing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


If you look over there ----->
you'll see a poll. Take a moment to click an answer. And I promise I'll be back soon to give you an update. Just today I'm tired and run down. Side effects don't end with last chemo treatment unfortunately!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Update ...

Chemo for today was canceled. My white blood cell counts were just to low to get another round of chemo.

I can't lie. This feels absolutely crushing to me. I was just so ready to be done. And put this behind me.

The new plan is: a shot today, a shot tomorrow (to boost the WBC), and then hopefully chemo on Friday. That all presumes the blood counts are good though. Which they should be. My oncologist said that he's never had this plan fail yet, so I'm counting on it.

And also. This too shall pass. A last chemo treatment will happen, even if it's not today. 

Milestone Day

Today is a big milestone day.

Today I go for my very last chemo treatment. Can you believe it? I almost can't. There were moments it felt like this day would never come. But it's here. And I'm SO excited. And also as I mentioned in my last post still feeling a bit fearful. But mostly? Today I am just joyful. Happy tears keep pouring out of my eyes because I just can't believe I survived chemo. When this first started I wasn't sure I could survive it. I wasn't sure I could be strong enough. And oh there were moments I wanted to quit. Where I thought about just not going to chemo this time.

But darn-it, I pushed through because at the end of the day I wanted to be here (to annoy you all ha ha!) for a long time yet. And I knew I had to just keep going - just one foot in front of the other.

And so today here we are. At the end of chemo. And I am celebrating it today. And so I leave you with some music. A beautiful song. For you my dear family and friends; my supporters and shoulders to cry on; my biggest cheerleader and biggest source of encouragement.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Fear ....

On Wednesday I go in for what will be my last chemo treatment. This truly fills me with joy and happiness. Chemo is not fun. Even the "easier" chemo - sure it's easier than the hard chemo, but you know what? It's still not easy. So I am thrilled to be done with chemo. If I could, I'd have a HUGE party Wednesday and invite everyone to come over and help me celebrate the end of chemo. I'm that excited about it.

And yet, there is this other half of me that has start to completely. freak. out. Chemo is ending. But what if I need more? What if the cancer isn't all gone? What if it comes back? Maybe I should get a few more treatments. Just in case. Because let me just tell you all right now, I do not ever want to go through this again. Ever.

So chemo coming to an end is sort of a double edged sword for me. For as much happiness as I feel for chemo coming to an end, I also feel a lot of fear. And truthfully? This is the most fear I've felt through this whole process. Just a few days ago I was crying to my husband because I don't want this cancer to kill me. Because I want to see my kids grow up and get to hold my grandbabies.

I know logically I shouldn't be filled with this fear and this worry. I know that the doctor's didn't just put a bunch of numbers in a hat and draw one out and go alright, she gets 4 treatments of this medicine. There isn't anything random about my treatment. It's based on the too many women who were treated before me.

I know that worry will get me no where. That it's not good for me. I should kick it to the curb and focus on being happy that chemo is coming to an end. I'm trying. I am. But this fear is there. I have a feeling this fear will be a nagging presence in my life for a while. And I think that makes sense too.

But now I have to find that line ... that line where I keep control of the fear and not allow the fear to take control of me. I think actually getting to the end of chemo, and getting the chemo out of my system once and for all will help tremendously. And having all my awesome support (including you my lovely readers) around me and being there to listen to me will help a lot.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Today I wore a little hat I picked up a few days ago at Target. We were there to get things for the kids and I spotted this little hat and decided I needed to have it. My 9yo was with me and she loved it too and begged me to get her one. Seeing as the hat was all of 2.00 I decided she could get one too! So now we match =)

We also both got a new pair of Paul Frank pajamas. No, it's no Missoni, but let me tell you, my family really enjoys Paul Frank and so all the girls were treated to a new pair of jammies =)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Two days in a row people ... don't get used to it though! LOL!

Anyway, today on my head is this lovely hat, knitted by my friend Catherine. It should also be noted that I had a doctor's appointment and my doctor said (and I quote) "You looked so cute sitting in the waiting room with your blue hat on!" So, there you go. Although I think I look cute in all my various head gears, I just don't usually leave the house to get other people's compliments on them!

And just like yesterday's brown hat, it is perfect for this cooler weather we've been having. My head is very happy. And my heart is so blessed to be wearing these items made for me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Um, yeah, I know, it's been almost 2 months since I last told you about what I'm wearing on my head. But, well, a) I'm really bad at remembering to do things every single day. And b) I have cancer so I've been a bit busy with that. {That's right people. I just pulled the cancer card. LOL!} So, anyway, I'll try to share at least once a week. I mean that should be a good goal for me.

So today I am wearing this lovely hat. It was knit for me by my friend Home's Jewels. It's nice and soft. Today it was chilly {it's like fall or something is getting ready to come to the Chicago area}.

=) Hope you all are having a great day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

School days

So we've been doing school for about a month at our lovely little home school.

When we started a few weeks ago, we started with basics: math, reading, writing. Every day. We have slowly been expanding. This is all new, crazy, fun to us, as until now we haven't used textbooks or done worksheets, or even done "school" every day. My girls are rock stars though and we have done 6 days of school pretty much every week so far.

The 11yo just finished reading the Mockingjay trilogy. I can tell she enjoyed it because she read the last two books in just 3 days! A book report is coming in later this week so we'll see what she tells me about in that. She also just finished a rough draft of a report of England. Writing is not her favorite subject and we sometimes butt heads when it's time to write, but we are getting through it. She did write one report last spring, and I have to say, for her first report? I don't think she did bad at all! We also just invested in a writing book for her that along with just more writing reports in general, will help to strengthen her writing even more. She is about half-way through her grammar book {and she's getting through it so fast I already ordered the next book because we will be in sooner than we think!} and she is doing some sentence diagrams.

{This brings me back to my 7th grade English class, where I learned about diagramming sentences. I don't remember my English teacher's name, but she looked like ET and we all called her that when not in class. One day she told us ET was one of her favorite movies when somehow we were talking about Drew Barrymore in class. I now wonder if she knew what we called her and said it just to get our reaction!}

Math right now is multiplication. Yes, just multiplication. She is learning it quickly, but remember we've never done textbooks before, so if it sounds like she's behind, the truth is, she is, however, it's not from lack of understanding! We are also doing major work on fractions right now. I do not think her book is teaching fractions well enough so we are actually supplementing with another workbook that also includes decimals and percents and how to go back and forth {I should note, this could be because fractions come in the next book, which we won't be using, so I need to supplement}.  She is about 1/3rd of the way through her math book. When she finishes, we will actually skip the next book in the curriculum and jump ahead 2 books. This may be confusing or not make sense, but it does make sense for our goals and will work based on the preview I've seen of both texts!

The (brand new as of yesterday) 9 year old is also ticking along. She is rocking her math book so far! The suggestion is 1 week per lesson. She's getting through her lessons in 2 days right now. In about 10 lessons I predict we'll slow it down and get more towards the week per lesson, but it's nice to see that so far is easy for her. {Truly, we could do a lesson a day, however, each lesson comes with 4 worksheets and I think 2 is more than enough each day!} Right now she is half-way through her math book. Good thing I already have the other book here for her to work from!

She just finished reading Arthur Makes the Team and is now on Stanley, Flat Again {for school}. It is awesome to have her reading books to me. This child struggled so hard to learn to read. She tried. And tried. And never gave up, but reading just clicked for her in the spring. So this reading thing is a BIG thing. On her own she is reading a bunch of the Amber Brown books. Her. Picking up books. On her own. And reading them? Just amazing!!

She is also working through a writing, grammar, and spelling book (from the same company as Miss A}. We just started this with her last week. I am loving this series of books so far. They are perfect for her. However, writing, and especially spelling is definitely her weak area. But we are working through it and most days she jumps in full steam ahead and just works. Seriously, if effort and desire was all it took, this kid would be a better writer and speller than me!

She also does geography (just a mini-lesson) each day and we've discovered she LOVES it. I think definitely science/math/geography are her strong suits and definitely where she shines.

Coming down the pipeline: As soon as treatment for me has slowed down, I want to add in science and history. Also, at the start of the new year (which isn't all that far away!), the girls will be taking their first standardized tests. Can you believe it? They've never filled in bubbles before or done a scantron or anything like that! So today I purchased some test prep books for them. Here's where I add, in general, I'm not at all about teaching to the test or putting much pressure on test prep at this age. However, given they've never taken a standardized test, I think it's important that we do practice ... not for content, but just on taking tests in general. But oh my, I really struggled to buy those books today! I just kept thinking we homeschooled so we wouldn't HAVE to do this test prep stuff! LOL! But really, it's all good and it will all work out in the end!

Anyway, that's where the homeschooling stands. I'm glad it's going so well. I won't lie. We struggled over whether to keep them home this year {mostly wondering would I be up to teaching, would I be healthy enough, would they cooperate enough and be okay with this transition from informal to formal learning, etc, etc}. So far though? It's going very well. We have the occasional not wanting to do work because "my favorite tv show is on!" or "I want to play" but really? I feel that way some days too LOL! =)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Misc. questions ...

Readers, today I will be answering more questions from you!

Nan | WrathOfMom said...
What was your wedding like? Big or small? Were you engaged for a long while, or less than a few months? Do you still like the dress you wore? Are you in contact with your bridesmaids or groomsmen?

My wedding was very small. We had 18 people there - husband & I; my mom, dad, 2 sisters; husband's dad, stepmom and brother; husband's mom and stepdad; my 2 grandmas and grandpa, and husband's grandma and grandpa, the minister and his wife.

100_2184 (my daddy walking me down the aisle)

We weren't engaged for very long. We were married a few days before what would have been the 1-year anniversary of our first real date. We were pretty young - I was 20, he was 23. I was also 20 weeks pregnant when we were married. So you could say it was a shotgun wedding, however, even though we were on the fast track, we didn't jump in head first either.

100_2189 (I'm now at the point where yes, I do think we look like babies in our wedding photos!)

I do like the dress I wore, although it was very traditional. We got married at my husband's parents house in a lovely backyard ceremony and then went to a local restaurant to have some good food. A few months later we threw a reception at my parents house - a very casual affair, but we did want to celebrate with everyone even though we didn't have everyone at the wedding itself.


I can't lie, I loved my wedding day. It was beautiful and perfect and lovely. Every so often though I wish we had done the big church wedding, the rehearsal dinner, had a best man and bridesmaids and all that jazz. And yet, when I see the stress people go through planning the big wedding? I'm very grateful we didn't have all that stress. There wasn't much pressure for everything to be perfect, it was just a nice, simple, lovely affair. And we were so in love (and still are) and you can't beat that on your wedding day can you? I walked down the aisle without a doubt in my heart that I was doing exactly the right thing!


J. said...
If you could live in any time period (besides the current one), which would it be?

Every so often I long to live during the prairie days - the days of Laura Ingalls. It seems so romantic. Of course, life was hard back then. And I know that. But it's what I'd pick if I could. {Of course I would absolutely miss the internet SO VERY much}. The big draw is living off the land and life seemed simpler. It was harder, but simpler. And often times I think that in this day and age we are too busy, too rushed, always running around. Even kids today have very little down time. That makes me sad :( We need more time to just be. And that is probably what draws me to that time period the most.

Of course we won't mention should I have lived back then and should I have gotten cancer, well, yeah, I will miss today's medical knowledge, medicines and technology again. But we'll pretend that if I lived back then, cancer (or you know, childbirth for that matter) would have killed me!

FrankandMary said...
I'd love to read about what you think your 3 best qualities are.~Mary

Yikes! This is hard to answer! I don't know what I think my 3 best qualities are. I think I'm an awesome friend. I've got your back. Sometimes I can be rough around the edges and put my foot in my mouth, and yet, if you need me to have your back, I will be there for you. No one messes with my friends. And I'm pretty darn good at giving hugs. {Sometimes though I need a reminder to just listen.}

I like my craftiness abilities. I think it's pretty cool to have the time, desire, and know how to make things - from knitting to baking some cookies. The truth is almost everyone loves getting something homemade. And I love being able to give people homemade things. While making things is not for everyone, I love that I've found it in my life.

What else? I'm pretty giving. Well, my husband and I are giving together. I think my husband is definitely the most giving of the two of us, but if I can give you something or do something to help you out? I will. Need a ride? Need someone to pick up your kids because you are running late? I'm there. Need some groceries? I will bring them to you. I often wish I could do even more. Someday I will - I'd love to be able to give more time.

Alright, I think that answers most of the non-cancer questions you all left for me (which I loved! I love getting your questions! I might have to ask for them again =) ) I will get to the rest. I will talk more about the cancer, it's just some days even I need a break from it LOL!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Parenting with Cancer .... part 1

Many times I've been asked how are the kids doing with all of this. I've been hesitant to share too much on here because, well, I always feel like that should be their story to tell. {And yes, my kids are 5, 8 and 11 and I'm secretly hoping that they actually won't remember much of this and so they won't have much of a story to tell someday}. I mean I like talking about my kids and all, but on the blog it's harder for me to share things that aren't just so cute or so funny that I have to share.

But cancer has not been cute or funny. And I'm sure you can imagine, but it's been hard on every. single. one. of us. So I will share some of those struggles with you and how we've tried to work through them. {Also, this will be long and wordy. I apologize in advance}

First, let me share with you that my kids knew what was going on every step of the way - from the first visit with the breast specialist, to the mammogram, biopsy and then discovery the cancer. I do not regret keeping them in the loop the entire time. First of all, we homeschool, so for those appointments they either went with me or stayed with dad or grandma. It's not like I could do all this while they were at school so they wouldn't know. The fact is, they knew something was up even without me talking about it. Although we kept it light at first ... the mammogram was just a precaution because grandma had cancer and there was nothing to worry about {which I honestly thought was the case at the time}. So when I shared with them that the biopsy came back with cancer, it wasn't out of the blue. However, I don't think it made it any easier. We all thought the first mammogram was precautionary, a baseline really. We were told the biopsy was precautionary ... that what they were testing was nothing 80% of the time, and only something the other 20, and cancer was only one of the couple of somethings it could be. {I also want to add here, although it was right for my family to be included every step of the way, for other families it is right to withhold all information until the bad news comes. Because each situation and family is different and I am absolutely a firm believer that in all of this there is no one right way to do thing}

Now, telling my kids was the hardest part of all of this so far. It was horrible. I was home alone with them. My mom was on her way over. Husband was trying to get out of work early. I knew I had to tell them before anyone got here, before they figured it out on their own. I wanted them to learn it from me. I wanted to be able to answer their questions, and not leave anything to their imaginations because often their imaginations can think of things that are far worse than the actually situation. But let me tell you, it was also hard. I could have let my husband or my mom tell them I suppose, but for me, I needed to be the one.

Anyway, I called them all to my bed and told them. We all hugged and cried. After 30 seconds, Mister Man (5yo) asked if he could go back to playing the Wii. Which made us all laugh, and then cry some more. Then I told everyone we needed to go eat chocolate. It was 10 in the morning. I think they all thought cancer invaded my brain at that point because I've never suggestion candy that early before! But we ate chocolate and somehow we all felt better. Somewhere in the midst of all of that, and I wish I could remember more clearly, Little Miss (who is not so little at 11) asked me since grandma had it, and I have it, did that mean she would get it. That was a hard question for me. Because I don't think any 11yo should be worried about getting breast cancer. It doesn't belong in their world. They should be worried about puberty coming and shopping for the first bra and things like that. Not breast cancer.

I know Mister Man just didn't understand it all. He's too young. It didn't mean anything to him that day. I was still home. I wasn't coughing. No sore throat. No runny nose. There was no tangible sickness signs he could see. So for him, I was just sad. I'm not sure Miss M (8) really understood that day. She got I was sick, but I don't think that day she really got it. As, honestly, she shouldn't have. Cancer has not really been a part of my childrens' lives. {We've had relatives go through it, but only when they were much younger}. So she was sad. And she hugged me. And was sweet, but yet, not quite grasping it. Little Miss though {who at 11 clearly needs a new nickname LOL!) she got it. She understood it. It makes sense but it absolutely hit her the hardest. She didn't really know what was coming and yet she did know. She may not have seen it, but she got it.

It was such a hard day. Just thinking about it makes me cry. I hate that day. That one day forever changed my children's childhood. In many ways they felt this summer, but it also changed it in a lot of ways they'll never know.

I planned to write more about how they've managed through the summer, but you know what? I can't anymore. I'll try to share more another day. It's just. This part of the story? It's so hard to write about. It brings up so many emotions within (that maybe I'll talk about another day).

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Your questions: Knitting

First up:

MrsSudz said... Ok there chicky, how old were you when you decided you liked knitting? My mom is crafty and my sisters me not so much. Mom tried to teach me several times to knit and i just plain suck at it. So when did you know you liked it?

I learned to knit when I was 24 years old. I remember at a much younger age, an aunt tried to teach me to crochet and I just didn't get it, and probably wasn't too into it truthfully. But when I learned to knit, we had just learned a friend was expecting a baby and I just decided I needed to knit some booties to give as a gift. So I learned to knit. And I ended up giving her 3 pairs of booties and a baby blanket!

But oh my - if you could have seen my first couple of attempts! At the time my oldest was 3, almost 4 and I swear it looked like she knitted up my first few swatches.I almost wish I had saved them just so I could see how far I've come! LOL!

I was hooked as soon as I made something that didn't look like a mess! I do admit that I sometimes go through phases where I absolutely do NOT want to knit at all, in any way, shape or form. That can be hard to deal with, but I also take a break and don't force myself to knit at those times. 

SortaSuperMom said... 
What's your favorite thing about knitting/ sewing and what's your favorite thing you've made? Is there a story behind it?
My favorite thing about knitting and sewing is just how cool it is to take yarn and fabric and turn it into something else. I mean you take this string and can make bags, purses, scarves, sweaters, toys ... well, so many things! It's so fascinating to me. 
My favorite thing to do is to make a lined bag. If you haven't done this, I'm not sure it will make sense .. but, you take the outside layer and the inside layer and you sew them together with the inside part actually inside-out and on the outside and the outside part right-side out but on the inside. Then you turn it and it comes out perfect. It almost feels like you are performing a magic trick. It still amazes me every time I do it. 

I'm not sure if I can pick a favorite thing I've ever made. That's such a tough question to answer. I suppose it's a lot like asking me my favorite child! I'll pick one thing to share:


So these socks were the first socks I ever knit. Which is a HUGE deal. Socks are scary and required some new techniques for me. So it was a big deal. I knit them at the time for my now 11yo. She requested socks and picked out the yarn (I want to say she was 5/6 at the time?). So that made it super special. The socks have since been worn by the other two kids too. And every time a child wears them it makes me smile. I love it. =)

Jessie said... I would like to know if you are working on any current projects. I also would like to know what one thing you enjoy eating or drinking right now, or has all enjoyment of food and rink temperarily gone away?
I am currently working on a sweater (for me) and a scarf for my oncologist - who has been so amazing to me and retires at the end of the month. The knitting is slow going. The current chemo is causing lots of issues with my hands/fingers. It often feels like I'm wearing a much too tight pair of gloves. My fingers feel stiff and the insides feel much to big for my skin. I know that must sound weird. It's almost like feeling swollen, but I'm not actually swollen. It is making it tough to knit (among other things). Everything is slow going. I admit, this has put me in a foul mood. I am finally in the mood to knit (the first medicines took away all my desire to do anything crafty at all) and my fingers don't work. I've complained. A lot. About it. 
As far as eating goes, my stomach is still picky, but s-l-o-w-l-y getting less so. I've been craving a lot of salad lately and grapes. I could eat salad and grapes all day. And cheese, but only mild-sharp cheddar. No other kind. So strange. That is mostly what I've been eating though. I figure it's not that unhealthy so you know, I'll run with it and see where it takes me! 

A real conversation ...

So this year we are working on report writing with the 11yo. She is less than thrilled with report writing. It's hard. It's boring. Lots of sighs when it's time to do it, etc, etc.

So today we had this conversation

her: Just teach me grammar and spelling. It's all I need to know. I'll never have to write reports.
me: Yes, you will have to write reports. Writing is a key for so many jobs.
me: Even if you go into fashion design like you want, you may have to write reports about your business if you want people to give you money to make more clothes and other things.
her: Well, let's be honest. If that happens, I'll just hire you to do that part for me.

And now? I'm the one sighing LOL!

As an  aside, she played at today and earned 680 grains of rice to help end hunger just by practicing multiplication!