Tuesday 10 October 2023

Ripping Out my Geogradient Shawl, Westknits MKAL 2023

 You know I spent entirely too much time during the night planning what I wanted to say.

And then this morning writing a draft of what I wanted to say.

Before ultimately deciding Stephen captured just about everything that needed to be said in his video a New Direction - MKAL 2023.

So here's to ripping out and casting back on!

Sunday 30 April 2023

TCH Chemotherapy Round 1 Day 1 (Docetaxel, Carboplatin and Herceptin)


Well Yesterday we got things under way. Kevin and I hopped into the car just after 8 am, and drove down to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary for my first round of chemo.

The day before we got things started with a couple doses of steroids, dexamethasone, morning of more dex and some zolfran for nausea.

I barely slept the night before. Likely a combo of nerves and the dex, and Marshall waking me up at 1:30 in the morning. 

Anyways, hospitals are beautifully empty on weekends, chemo Saturdays are the way to go in my opinion. My nurse Brenda was absolutely lovely, and everyone loved my chemo crocks and matching lulu sweater. My fresh blue hair was also a hit.

I got situated into my comfy recliner, and hooked up to my iv (hopefully I'll have a port by next time) and we spent the next 6 or so hours running drugs or saline.

The Herceptin first over 90 minutes was no problem. Then a 1 hour watch period with just saline.

The Docetaxel is the worse culprit for peripheral neuropathy, so we iced my hands and feet for the hour on that one. I definitely was watching the clock the whole time.

Then finished with the Carboplatin over an hour. That was the only one with a noticeable side effect, just in the last 10 minutes of the transfusion did my vein decide it had had enough. Lots of burning and stinging. But a warm compress and a flush with a sugar solution afterwards helped quite a lot. It's still a super tender vein today, but there are worse things.

On the drive home I had such a wave of fatigue, we pulled into our driveway just after 5 and I was straight to sleep until 7. Finished the day by celebrating the Leafs finally making it out of the first round of the playoffs (in 19 years) and tucking my kiddos into bed.  Then Kevin and I went for a nice cool evening walk up the road, 2km round trip and I slept like the dead last night.

Not too bad for my first day. For next time we need to do a better job of packing some real food and not just a big bag of snacks for the day. We watched some Walking Dead (Kevin has never watched and when started back at season 1 just after I was diagnosed, we're part way through season 3 now). And I even got some knitting done.

Now we see how my body reacts to all these drugs, I've heard the next few days can be a ride for sure.

Oh and before I forget, I went public with my diagnosis on the old social medias yesterday, and the steady stream of kindness, love and well wishes all day where a massive lift to my spirits and really did make the day a wonderfully special one. Thanks ever so much to everyone who liked a post, left me a comment or sent me a DM. It really means the world.


Saturday 29 April 2023

I start chemotherapy today. So here's all the questions running through my brain in the middle of the night.

It's 3:44 in the morning, I can't get back to sleep. So many things racing in and through my mind.

I start Chemotherapy today. 

Two months ago I would have never believed this was where I'd be today or that this was how I'd be spending my summer.

Two months ago I was a happy, healthy 35 year old, focused I prioritizing my goals, my self and my family.

But not because I had to, in order to have the best possible outcome for my cancer treatment.

And I certainly was up in the middle of the night reading into Canada's decision not to recommend funding for pertuzumab. I drug which up until a few hours ago I thought I'd be receiving tomorrow as part of my treatment. But now looks like it may be an out of pocket expensive that could run mightily close to $100 000 grand.

And how much would the addition or absence of this drug make a difference to my outcomes (I mean Canada decided not much, or not enough to be worth the funding)?

And what hail Marys would perhaps some external funding organizations combined with hopefully some good soul at our insurance company, would be pulled off on my behalf?

And why shouldn't I just be sleeping right now, rather than reliving my gradschool days combing though pubmed?

And don't I need to be well rested for my still very long day of TCH chemo tomorrow?

And am I a little hungry? Maybe dinner was too early tonight?

And where did I put my yeti full of water? I'm supposed to be hydrating.

Anyways, I dyed my hair blue, because it's all going to fall out anyways.

I'll write again after chemo...and maybe YouTube.

Speaking of which, today I tell my social media people's about my cancer. I'll link that video here when it goes live.

Off to maybe eat, maybe get some knitting packed and maybe sleep a little bit more.

Tuesday 6 April 2021

English Paper Piecing, or where my knitting mojo has gone

 I'm not going to lie to you my fibre friends, I've fallen down a new crafty rabbit hole, and believe it or not, there's no yarn there.

You see once upon a time I started watching historical sewers on YouTube.

So naturally, I believed I would do it too.

So naturally, I starting acquiring fabrics and using my sewing machine more.

So naturally, I started a new Instagram account just for needle and thread type endeavours.

So naturally, I found the quilters.

So naturally, I found Tula Pink.

So now all I want to do with my every waking moment is glue little bits of fabric to little bits of card stock, and then whip stitch them all together into something wonderful.

Like this cushion made with 2 inch hexies all fussy cut and stitched together, and quilted and bound and gifted to a knitter friend.

Or this quilt top in progress (actually, I've attached the boarders, I just need to get into the headspace to feel confident enough to free motion quilt it myself), featuring EPP blocks alternating with panels.

Or these blocks, actually my first English Paper Piecing Endeavours, learned from a Craftsy Class.

Or this pile of Tula Pink fabrics ready to become stars in a Tula Nova Quilt.

Or these fabric scraps and hexies as part of a Scraps Quilting challenge hosted by Quilter on Fire.

So you know, all that, and half a dozen more.

It would seem that in forcing myself to knit monogamously this year, I have stumbled into the Cast-On-Itis version of quilting.

Still working on my Stepaside Sweater tho, nearly done the hem, then just collar and cuffs!

(here she is a few weeks back).

Thursday 5 November 2020

Knitting a baby sized Schitt's Creek David Rose Sweater

 So of course Marshall needed this to be his Halloween costume. And of course I only had the idea for this the Monday before Halloween. So with 5 knitting days, I was off to the races.

I used the Strange Brew Pattern/Book by Tin Can Knits, and an assortment of Cascade 220 esque worsted weight yarn from my stash. I knit cuffs, hems and collars on 3.5 mm needles and the body of the sweater on 4mm needles. I knit bottom up and followed the 6-12 month size for DK weight instructions. After joining the body and sleeves I had 160 stiches on the needle.

The yoke was knit with 10 repeats of the following chart. In the star section I had 14 stars and rotated through the 4 star charts.

Feel free to use these charts. You'll have to do your own math and alterations to knit this sweater to any other size. I have no intentions on grading this pattern/chart to any other sizes as it would be inappropriate for me to sell the pattern with the original design of the show sweater being by Neil Barrett who I believe designed several of David's sweaters. 

You can watch my YouTube video documenting my process, and showing the details of how I steaked open the neck to fit over Marshall's rather large head.

All in all, I was very very pleased with how this project turned out. And Marshall couldn't be any happier (or cuter).

Thursday 15 October 2020

What's on the go? and where are we going?

 As per usual, I haven't posted in a while, and I have waaay too many WIPs on the go. Add to that enough planned future knits to insulate my whole house and you can imagine I feel a little bit overwhelmed by the need to knit faster sometimes.

So instead of apologizing for lack of posts, I'll just share a little of what I've been up to this week. And instead of thinking of all the future knitting I want to do, I'll just share what's prominent in my mind right now (no guarantee of course that it is what I'll actually cast on next, I'm easily distracted). Also a whole new 'InstaWorld' is calling me right now, and once you dip your toes in a little you'll understand why.

So this week, it is of course Westknits MKAL season, and like most years I'm keeping up.... so far. Here's Marshall looking stinking cute after I finished clue 1 and the bonus clue.

The yarn I am using for mine is local to Alberta, it is the fabulous Lily and Pine, her colours are always bright and cheery and perfect to knit with as we head into winter here. And my Rav page for the project is here.

Gnomes have been popping up around here as I slowly ease into my Christmas knitting. These are Never Not Gnoming by Imagined Landscapes, using some stash yarn leftover from knitting certain little boys Christmas Vests.... have I shared those here? Nope.... Here's a Rav Link.

I've started a new stitching project, this is the Original Dropcloth Sampler available on Etsy. And Speaking of stitching, I've gone down a all things sewing and stitching rabbit hole, triggered by my discovery of Bernadette Banner on YouTube. So thankyou YouTube Algorithms, it turns out you do know what I want to be watching. Anywho, that lead me to Costube, and historical sewing and Rachel Maksy and pretty much wanting to be her when I grow up. 

Long story short I added a new Instagram account to my life, you can now find me @turner_sr for homestead and life stuffs, @yarnlab for you know yarn, and @SaraSewsSometimes for my sewing/stitching endeavours. Also our dog Willow has one too @Willowtheflopdog. Here's a picture of her with my brother's cat Kimmi, who is most likely now our cat.

As for what I want to do next, in between keeping up with the MKAL, about 20 other WIPs, halloween costume sewing and 3 small boys.

The Milet Mittens by Ysolda Teague have been itching to be cast on for a while now. Especially urgent with the snow that has arrived the past two mornings. I've go a kit for these, and since colourwork practically knits itself you'd think they'd be done by now.

Cia of Cias Bod podcast on YouTube suggested that this month we should alter old knits to make them more wearable. And I've been meaning to lengthen my Soldotna since I cast it off.... sooo I should probably do that.

I've actually never ever worn it, something about being self conscious about my stomach and cropped sweaters don't jive for me. Speaking of which I should probably lengthen this one before the holidays as well too. (Julgran).

Anyways, that's just a little bit of what's going on in the yarn lab right now.

Wednesday 12 August 2020

We interupt these baby knits for an adult sized sweater: Vellichor by Andrea Mowry

 Shortly after our basement flooded, and I packed up most of my yarn stash in bins, I grabbed 3 skeins of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal and decided to cast on a fingering weight top for myself. Because what you really need when you're in your third trimester and renovating literally half of your house, is a garter/cable ribbed slog along project. The pattern is the Vellichor crop top by Andrea Mowry.

For yarn we have Inverness Tonal (the dark blue, I had two skeins) and Eucalyptus Tonal (the lighter one) and the peach is some fingering weight that I dyed probably 3+ years ago that has been sitting in my stash after being frogged out of a Westknits Shawl.

Like a good knitter, I did actually swatch a tiny swatch for this, and I believe was pretty close to pattern gauge with the recommended needles (3.25 mm). Measured my bust, picked a size and cast on a whopping 400 stitches in the round.

And off I went.  This was definitely a product knit not a process knit. There was just no getting into a rhythm with the knitting. Because it is essentially garter stitch in the round, with slipped stitches and cables, you just couldn't speed across a row. Every 5 stitches you must either work a two stitch cable (without a cable needle of course), alternate between knit and purl, or move yarn to the back of your work to run it behind slipped stitches. Thank goodness for the peach round every 6 repeats, otherwise it would have felt hard to see your progress.


But I persisted and eventually finished the garment, I believe I knit it a tiny bit shorter than called for, to avoid losing at yarn chicken on the Inverness (as it was I used 183 grams of my 200). Also, by the time I finished it in late June, I was so pregnant it just looked ridiculous on me. So it hung out on my mannequin for quite a while.

Now that baby Marshall is out rather than in tho, I tossed my Vellichor on for a quick trip into town to go to Walmart. And I love it! I really need more easy to toss on knit tops in my wardrobe. And fingering weight, as much as it may take forever to knit, makes for light and breezy knits, suitable for cooler days in Alberta summertime. Anyhow, not much else to say about this one, other than definitely give it a good wet block to grow the garter fabric lengthwise, because before you do, it will kind of look like you've knit a supper squishy wide rectangle, and you will wonder how that could ever be flattering on anyone.

My project Page on Ravelry for my Vellichor.