Whew! I’m trying to get ready for a three month trip to the States to mothball up my life there, get a lot of business matters settled and started up. This last week was the first of my two weeks to get everything done.
So for the first time in the two years I’ve been traveling, I broke out my calendar program and started making lists again.
I can still do it. I can still get things done in a timely manner. I can still get more stuff done in one day than I’ve been getting done in a week, over the last two years.
Phew. Frankly, I was getting a bit worried about that.
But I’ve been so busy that, to be honest, the blog is suffering a bit. Sorry about that, I promise it’ll get better. I’ve more or less decided, btw, that I’m going to fall into a schedule of posting Enabling, Techniques, and Tools posts on Mondays, Tangled Skein posts on Fridays, and Spotlight posts monthly. Still working on the extra pages, so don’t give up on those.
Someone also pointed out that the problem with this newspaper format for the blog is that if you can’t remember what section a certain post fell under, it can mean having to go through the entire section to find it. Do remember there’s a search function on the home page! Just type in a keyword or two, and it’ll pull up everything on the subject. (One of those extra pages is going to be an indexing page, so people can browse if they prefer that.)
Patty’s cashmere hair came out beautifully, thanks to those of you who asked. I mailed the hat to KC, who wrapped it for me (bless her heart) and took it over to the hospital. They opened up Skype so we could all see each other, and then KC gave Patty the hat.
Patty looked puzzled for a moment, trying to figure out what it was, and then when she realized, threw her head back and laughed til I was afraid she’d fall off her bed. Then she teared up a bit because “it was so sweet to think of this” — and then, being Patty, started laughing again. After a bit more conversation, they hung up and went parading around the hospital to show everyone Patty’s new head of hair.
To be honest, if someone told me that I had to stop knitting right now, and never knit ever again, it would all be worth it to have seen Patty’s reaction to getting that hat. I’m so grateful to have made her happy!
Cracking on with the late Christmas presents, it’s all done but for the grafted seam on the cashmere neckwarmer for J’s mum, which I intend to finish tonight. Taking pics today and will post at some point.
Karen is coming over today and we’re cutting out linings for coats. She’s never re-lined a jacket and is feeling a bit nervous about it, so since I had to cut out the lining for J’s sister’s jacket anyway, she’s going to come watch me do that, then we’ll cut out hers.
Tonight I’ll cut out the final version of the knitting bag for our Knitterly/Crocheterly Prize for the KAL and get started with that. I’ve got several changes to make based on carrying the prototype — the whole thing needs to be a bit bigger so you can carry a knitting magazine without breaking the binding when you open up the bag, the slip pockets need to go to two instead of three and I may add a key pocket inside the zipped pocket.
Ness will be coming up from London to fetch my sewing machine on the 15th, so all of the sewing has to be long done before then — which follows, since I’m leaving on the 16th!
Yesterday, I received my brand spanking new Addi Click set! I bought it from Wolhemel in the Netherlands at a really good price, along with an extra set of cables and the 3.75mm tips that don’t come with the set. I’ve already cast on and cast off a neckwarmer, and I am in LOVE. Yeah, the tips aren’t that sharp, but are still more than adequate, and so far, no problems with the connections (touch wood). Absolutely beautiful to knit with.
It’s been…a rough fortnight.
On Sunday, it was announced that Kage Baker died at 1:15 AM. Family was with her, and she died in their arms. Kathleen, her sister, wrote:
Kage’s body will go to MedCure, a body donation program working on training surgery students. They will cremate it and return the ashes to me in about 3 weeks. Her ashes will then be scattered half from Catalina Island and half from Plaskett Creek beach near Big Sur.
I’m thinking of Kathleen every day, and if you can once more spare her a thought, please do.
Lastly, J’s cousin F was killed in a tragic accident last Friday. We woke up to the phone call on Saturday morning. I couldn’t go to the funeral as it’s entirely possible that they wouldn’t have let me back into the UK, but most of the family flew into Ireland on Sunday or Monday. (As it turned out, when they came back to Stansted, there was a problem and they all ended up going through regular immigration procedures, so it was good we didn’t trust to the normal procedure of flying from Eire to the UK, which doesn’t usually check passports.)
The family sent texts and called at different points to tell me how things were going – not quite the same as being there, but it had to do, and of course when they came back on Wednesday, I got a full report.
F’s body came back from the coroner’s to his parents’ house on Monday, so the family and village gathered around while they waked him. At the funeral on Tuesday, the church had to put speakers outside the building so the people who couldn’t get in could hear the mass. F was a wonderful musician, and so his friends came from all corners and provided music.
I once rather stickily wrote in a review that “the uilleann pipes are the cry of the human soul given voice,” and there is no time that is truer than at a funeral.
Then they all walked to the cemetary, which isn’t an insignificant ways away, carrying the coffin. They’d walk about 100 yards and then switch coffin bearers, walk another 100 yards and switch again, so everyone who wanted to could take part in carrying him to his final resting place.
F was 35 years old.
Life is so short and we have each other for only an unspecified amount of time. Go find someone you love and give them a hug and a kiss and enjoy being with them for a moment, right now, will you? It’s the best tribute I can think of for anyone to give Kage and F.