Nittany Knits

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tonight starts the 7-10 day cycle of white blood cell transfusions.

We managed to avoid this step in mid April, yet here we are at the end of May doing exactly what we thought we wouldn't have to do. We are promised that this will be rough. These little buggers are the mean cells. We have been told to expect to go to PICU.

Ten weeks ago today I learned my daughter was in a hospital, and today she is no better than she was that first day. As a matter of fact, she would probably argue that she feels a lot worse. And she will feel a lot worse before the next 7-10 days are over.

Today was a whirlwind full of tests, many doctors, and a lot of tough choices. In the midst of it all came Miss Bonnie and her hubby with a lovely gift. I had no more than two blips of a second to say, "Thank You" and be wisked away to talk to two more people waiting to talk everything over with me as my daughter waited for me with three different machines beeping. Chaos.

Let me say thank you to not only Miss Bonnie for her wonderfully thoughtful presents, but to everyone that I never have more than that amount of time to thank. Please know that there is not one spare moment in my life at this hospital, and while I feel horrible that I cannot properly tell you all how wonderful your support is, I just do not have time away from the madness that is surrounding us. There is no down time. I am always hit at some time during a day how little time I have to thank everyone of you who have baked, prayed, driven, supported (emotionally and financially) my family and myself. I feel horrible that I can't thank you properly for the love you show us constantly. I also know that I cannot spend one less second than I am with my children, and thank yous are going to have to wait to be done properly. We are exhausted from how much time it takes to be sick at Hopkins. I am so done in I could not wake up to take my son to school yesterday. I have nothing left, and we are just starting on the tough part.

Thank you everyone. We cannot do this without your prayers and support!

Please forgive me for not answering phones and getting back to your kind messages, and in general being a walking posterchild of how not to be Emily Post. I really really wish I could let you know how beautiful you all are. I just can't right now.

Please please please pray for her the next 7-10 days!!! We can only pray that her medical team is doing what is best and this will eventually help to bring her home.

Happy knitting.

Due to my daughter now being told she has not one.. not two.. but three bugs in her blood now. Are we having fun yet? Since Monday we have maintained 104 degree temps and no medicine is bringing it down. All this adds up to more discussion of the possibility of white cell transfusion, a direction no one wants to go.

Since I am surrounded by chaos, my creative outlet is starting to reflect the insanity. I started knitting the 'Sock Yarn Blanket' yesterday. For those of you not in the knitting world, this means I have lost my ever lovin mind. I am knitting a full size blanket out of tiny yarn on tiny needles...because I can. It may take me the rest of my life, but hey.. why not.

I am a woman on the edge, I have knitting needles, and I am NOT afraid to use them.

Happy sane and normal knitting to the rest of you :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Originally uploaded by NittanyKnits
Lots of funny pictures of Detonator Socks are flying all over Ravelry. My son's photo of the socks I received are quite a hit, if not a little gross. The photo shoot of the sock I was knitting at the time of my elimination from Sock Wars, however, was up to me.

Having a lot less imagination than the twelve year old boy, I grabbed the first thing I could find that would signify that I was no longer in the battle. The fact that this Halloween decoration is the first thing that I saw that would work should tell you a little about the state of my living quarters right now. Why are my Halloween decorations still out and not packed away, you might ask yourself. In my defense, they were packed, the box just hasn't made it's way into my storage area yet.

The yarn is Tofutsie colorway 736, and I was somewhat sad to part with it. It would have been a great everyday sock. I tend to go with knitting the wilder colorways for my socks, so perhaps I need a couple Plain Jane socks.

On to hospital news. Yesterday, we found out what penicilin my daughter has a major reaction to. That was fun. Then today we found out that the pick line (that was put in place due to her central line getting a bacteria) has a bacteria. Fun. The doctors are pleased that she is not having as bad a reaction as last time, so they feel that she is making progress. We feel like we are in a hamster wheel that keeps bringing us back around to the same old issues. This brings us to another surgery, another fasting without food or water. Ick! She is still holding hope that she wil be out of here before the last dayof school on the 13th. Pray pray pray that this is also God's timeline.

Everyone heading out for the holiday, be safe. Happy Knitting!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I came home from meeting Miss Berger Beth on Monday night to see my 'Detonator Socks' from my Sock War 3 assassin sitting in my mail box. My son instantly had me do an artsy death picture with the socks that included ketchup, but I'll spare you all the image.

The socks are from a knitter in California. I can't find a blog for her or I would link you to her. Last year my 'Scar Socks' came from a knitter in Florida, and the first Sock Wars 'Sock of Doom' came from England.

Tomorrow I'll show you what my socks in progress looked like before they got sent off to California to be finished. I started another pair for myself since this is the first Sock Wars that I did not get to finish at least one pair before getting eliminated from the competition. I am making this next 'Detonator Sock' out of the Step yarn that contains aloe. It looks so different than the Tofutsie yarns since it has chunky stripes instead of the Monet like marbeling effect. I think it looks like a completely different pattern, so I'm glad I decided to make them.

Today is the anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyal's birthday, so go knit yourself a mystery pattern. Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Originally uploaded by NittanyKnits
Thanks to all who made this beautiful blanket for my daughter! Miss Berger Beth delivered it last night. What a wonderful gift. The picture only shows half of it. There are another 6 lovely squares that are not shown in this picture. Every square is different, and they are all put together with a lace border. She is going to love it!

Also thanks to Miss Alice, who I ran into at the new Harris Tweeter and gave me a very nice gift as well. I miss hanging out with all of you knitters!

Great news from the hospital today. We stepped foot outside for...7 whole minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is wipped out from it all, but I think it went great for her :-)

News from sock wars tomorrow. Happy knitting!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I've been picture free on this blog for a couple posts, so I thought I would add a random yarn shot from the Brooks Farm booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. This was taken Friday before the mass of knitters arrived. It's so yummy. It makes me feel warm and happy inside. Surprisingly, I did not take one single skein of this home with me this year. There's always next year!

The next big event in the world of fiber was supposed to be The Mannings Spinning Seminar in June. This is such a wonderfully relaxing and restorative day in the peaceful country side of south central Pennsylvania. (The people at The Mannings do not know it yet, but I am planning on retiring in their front yard!) This is also a day where the local church women sell food and homemade rootbeer to all of us fiber folk. It's still a couple of weeks away, but it doesn't look like we will be out of Hopkins by then. If this is the case, I am going to have to try to make my own rootbeer. I've got spare yarn and roving. The home made rootbeer cannot be missed.

Perhaps my focus needs to switch to the upcoming Stitch 'n Pitch events in the area. The Orioles, the Nationals, and the Bowie baysox are all having Stitch 'n Pitch events this year! How much fun! A day at the ball park surrounded by my favorite knitters. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening.

Today is Circus Day on the daily holiday calendar. Knit yourself something colorful and fun. Remember that Sunday is the 25th of the month, sop plan your Christmas knitting project now. only 7 more months to get those knitting projects ready for gift giving!!!!!!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I got some knitting time in today while watching the Penguin hockey game. Hopkins does not have the VS. television station, so I can only watch the playoff games when they are on NBC. I got more knitting in while watching the movie 'Underdog' tonight. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. So overall, it was a good knitting day.

Today was a good health day for my daughter, but she is getting weeker and is having more trouble standing and walking. I'm trying to interest her into seated yoga, but she isn't going for it. Tomorrow I'm calling in the physical therapists so she can tell them no instead of me for a change:-)

Thanks to all those who keep knitting hats for her next to bald head. They are so awesome!!! By the way StormMoon, my mother tried to steal her hat you made out of the Socks That Rock. I had to explain to her that stealing my knitting is one thing, but she is approaching a whole other ball park when she tries to steal your hat! She backed away slowly from it, but I know her wheels are turning for when this child starts growing hair again. She might be a knitting thief, but at least she has great taste!

Don't forget to knit something for yourself for 'Knitting For Me Monday'! Happy Knitting.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Busy week.

I am about to be taken out of Sock Wars. As they say, the socks are in the mail. I'm glad I ended up trying to keep up with Sock Wars with everything else going on. It changed my mind about Tofutsi for one thing. I really didn't like it the last time I knit with it, but I like the socks this time. It also was a way to get my mind off things, and that is never a bad thing :-)

My parents just left to go back home. They were in this week to finally lay their own eyes on their sickly grandchild. Thanks to everyone who helped to shuttle them back and forth from Hopkins. It isn't exactly an easy ride for the old folks.

Speaking of Hopkins, today was the 77th annual 'Turtle Derby'. Our turtle 'Dizzy' did not do much to try to win the race, but it was a lot of fun none the less. This event is always the day before Preakness (the slow race, and then the fast) and is put on by the first year med students. The turtles are brought in from Lousianna, and this brings up the question, "What is wrong with Maryland turtles?" The best part for the knitters would be the hand knit turtle my daughter received in honor of the event. I freaked out and needed to know who knit all these turtles. I was told they are knit by an 87 year old woman. Well done, whoever you are. They were very cute!

Millions of thanks to all this week. You all know who you are who try to make my life somewhat normal. I couldn't be any more blessed!

Happy Knitting!!!!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Yesterday was our 6th week straight at Johns Hopkins, our 7th week straight in hospitals, and my daughter's 8th week straight since she has been home. Imagine being constanly on the highest state of alert your body can be on...for 7 weeks. I am starting to crash. She started crashing this week. We still do not know when we will get sprung from here, but let us all say many prayers that it is before June!

But on with life.

Sock Wars 3 has officially begun, and as with all wars- we are making weapons when we don't even know who the enemy is. The pattern has been published, but due to some unforseen happenings in the supreme commander's life, our targets have not been mailed out to us yet. Fine with me since I get next to nothing accomplished all day tending to a sick child. If you were to ask me what I did today, I couldn't answer you...but I was darn busy doing it.

Good luck to all the Sock War 3 warriors. The winner takes 60 balls of sock yarn as the prize. Happy Knitting!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

We have a new infection to fight here at Hopkins, but the powers that be say that this one should not level her out like the last one. From their lips to God's ears.

I got a rude awakening this morning when I looked at my daughter and said, "Oh my! Tomorrow is Sock Wars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" She rolled her eyes and I got on the ball. Back on Feb 19th I signed myself up for my third round of Sock Wars, the bloodiest knitting game on the planet. For those of you starring at your computer screen in horror, the competition has you knit socks (weapons) for someone in the world. When they receive them, they die (of glee over their great new socks knit for them by a complete stranger). The game continues until only one warrior is left standing. It's great fun. It was even written up in the Wall Street Journal, so it can't be THAT weird. Anyway, I kind of forgot about it with evything going on around here. Luckily I am going home for a couple of hours tonight so I can grab my Tofutsie sock yarn (the official yarn of this competition) and get set to knit socks all weekend. What better way to spend Mother's Day weekend?

I'm going to start knitting my toe up socks this afternoon as a warm up. Sleeping Beauty has been knocked out by an arsenal of drugs, so I might get some good knitting in for a change.

Happy Sock Wars 3!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Today's surgery went well, but we ended the day with a fever. Augh.

This weekend was a blur. Now that things are starting to go better around here, the staff is being more honest about how bad things had been. This kind of honesty makes ones head whirl a bit. It was a great weekend though, so I will try to remember some of it with clarity.

My daughter now has a newly decorated room thanks to my sorority little sister, who came into town like a whirlwind and left her mark. She even cooked dinner on Saturday. I begged her to stay forever, but alas...

I got to go to the Sheep and Wool Festival and eat lamburger and prize winning sheep cheese on Sunday. I took a lot of great pictures of sheep. In the past I was interested in the yarn or roving. This year it was all about the sheep and the food and getting to see a lot of you. Thank you to everyone I saw that had kind words, hugs, and laughs. You all are so great.

Thanks also to my daughter's bible study group who has brought food two weeks in a row for the families living on this hospital floor. You have no idea how many people are grateful for your generosity!

My exhaustion has kicked in, so more will have to wait until later.

Happy knitting

Friday, May 02, 2008

Remember that McDonald's slogan "You deserve a break today"?

This is the t-shirt you get from the 2008 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival when you volunteer to help set up for the fleece sale.

We moved tables, made signs, and got to see everyone before the festivities began.

This was the first sheep to greet us.

This is the main exhibit hall before everyone arrived with their yarn goodies.

I thought that I would give you a wonderful picture of a preview of 'Socks that Rock' from 'The Fold'. Yummy colors!
This morning was just what I needed. A break from everything while getting to lend my time to the festival.
My daughter called me while I was there and I think she was very happy that she is safe at Hopkins so that I can't drag her to this year's festival. My son found refuge at a friend's home for th weekend so that he will be out of the was as well. Wow. You would think that I made them stand in line with yarn while I shopped for more yarn when they where wee children. Oh yeah, I did :-)
Hope you enjoyed the preview pictures of the weekend!
Happy Sheep and Wool!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

" A happy heart is good medicine and
a cheerful mind works healing."
Proverbs 17:22
Things are so much better today than last Thursday! The doctors are so pleased with her progress, and there is no more talk of white cell transfusions:-) You are the best prayer warriors!
She is still very tired and not up to visitors as of yet, but I will let you all know when she is.
With everything going so well, I am going to take some time for myself this weeknd to get out to the Sheep and Wool Festival. I'm trying not to feel guilty about going and enjoying myself, but some time to refresh my spirit can't be a bad thing. Thoughts of lamb burgers and sheep cheese are already dancing in my head. Anyone wanting to catch up with me will find me knitting near the Sheep to Shawl competition.
My BFF is coming to town to finish wrecking/ I mean redecorating my condo this weekend. The living room and kids rooms will look great, but something tells me I need to spend some time in my room (where she is throwing everything she doesn't want in the rest of the house). She is amazed by how much yarn she keeps running into :-)
Thank you again everyone for your thoughts and prayers- especially the crew from Grace Community Church who have gone above and beyond. We feel so much love from all of you. Thank you all.
Happy Sheep and Wool Festival!