Saturday, January 17, 2009

Aran Isle Slippers & M&Ms

As you've seen in a prior post I have been knitting Aran Isle Slippers as gifts. The pattern is in the Holiday issue of Interweave Knits (pg. 80). I found the single sole to be rather thin and flimsy So I knitted 2 more soles, 2 stitches narrower than the originals, and sewed them into the slippers, wrong sides together. It makes for a cushier sole, puts a stockinette side against the foot for more comfort and stabilizes the shape of the slippers. The slipper soles are shaped to be right and left so the second sole for a right slipper should be a left sole and vice versa. And I made the inner soles 2 stitches narrower so there wouldn't be any bunching when it is sewn in. It fits perfectly.

These are for my SIL Maria.

The M&Ms? I'm eating the red ones as a visualization of red blood cells in honor of my friend Alison who is fighting for her life. She has Lupus which is when the body's immune system goes crazy and attacks its own body in error. One of the things it has done to Alison's body is to cause Crohn's which is a devastating disease all by itself. Alison's doctors have the nearly impossible task of trying to get the immune system toned down enough that it stops trying to kill the whole body and just do the once-in-a-while job it is supposed to do. She has just started on Humira to do just that and stop her from bleeding to death with Crohn's.

When your body is fighting an infection you have a lot of white blood cells running around in your body. Alison has waaay too many. She needs more good, robust, healthy red blood cells so I am visualizing on her behalf by eating the red M&Ms. Does that make any sense? I've been praying for Alison for many years and I thought maybe I could mentally send some more power to her battered body. I hope it's not just a silly excuse to eat red M&Ms. :o)

Alison's blog,, is on my list of favorites if you want to take a look. She's a fighter with a positive outlook on life. She is a gentle soul who is always doing something kind for someone else. She is loved and prayed for by many but there is always room for more. She's been too sick to read her email but she can read her blog comments on her laptop without having to sit up. So we are leaving lots of comments on her blog. If you go over tell her Gretchen sent you!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Big Day!

It's been an exciting and nearly overwhelming day for me so I thought I would share a bit.

First, My Delaware Holly slipper sock pattern went up for sale on the Sockathon website today. A new experience for me. It looks like this.

Second, we got our property appraisal for our reverse mortgage today, A LOT more than we expected for our old Victorian that we bought "as is" 21 years ago. Still hard to wrap my mind around being able to pay off all our bills and live comfortably without using credit ever again.

Third my baby brother's first novel came in the mail from my Mom. I'm proud of my baby brother!

Found out we have to arrive at the hospital at 6:30am for Alex's 8am surgery on Wednesday. Getting up at 5am is not a pleasant aspect for this old night owl!

And lastly, I finished my brother Greg's Aran slippers, a late Christmas gift.

Not a bad day! Except for 2 very sick friends that I am very anxious about, 2009 has promising beginnings. I will keep praying! Bless us all!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Well folks, here's to a much better New Year, for us ALL! We are SO ready! Alex has surgery for his cantaloupe next week, finally. And, if all goes well, our reverse mortgage should be coming together in a couple of weeks. It will be so good to pay off the bills, buy groceries without credit and not worry constantly about how to pay the next bill. Seems this old Victorian we have lived in for 21 years is worth a lot more than we paid for it.

So, here are a bunch of pictures I have been saving up for my blog.

Our modest little Christmas tree.

Finished Bramble Bag for my SIL Mary.

My clean studio just before the house appraisal.

Alex giving the kitties a taste of some new kitty crunchies he just brought home from the store.

Necklaces knitted for my nieces. I made extra balls for kitty toys because they kept running off with the ones for the necklaces.

Nephew Seth's Candy Corn afghan.

And our little Christmas table waiting for company.