Monday, April 19, 2010

Death & Dying

So I think it is time for another Aughra update. This one will be a little different than others. See Aughra's body has decided not to wait for her anymore. When I went to see her on Sunday, I was shocked. I see her every week and in one week she had noticeably lost mass. The skin around her eyes was red and sunk in. Her forearms were smaller than my 9 yr olds. At the end of last week, they called mama-san and told her they were concerned with Aughra's kidneys. They seem to be leeching more water from her body than she is taking in. Also Necrosis specifically Coagulative Necrosis has begun in her legs.

Let's see if I can organize my thoughts into something you can follow. Aughra's mind still works, at least as well as it can with her low O2 levels. So She knows her body is crumbling around her and it scares the hell out of her. She never expected to live to be old. She had her 1st major stoke in her 40's. That is when they found the brain tumor. Which seems to be benign since it hasn't changed in 30 years. She has 4 major strokes and a ton of mini ones that she barely notices. Those, a heart murmur and 2 bouts of cancer have done nothing to make her believe she was ever going to live to be old. So she never thought about a lingering death. She thought it would be more of a bolt out of the sky thing. Now she is scared and small. I hope you understand what I mean by small. She seems to have drawn in on herself. She used to but this force of nature and now she is just a little old lady.

I got to thinking about death and dying. I remember me and my friends discussing our deaths. Do we want to grow old and dying in our sleep or go fast in some dramatic way? I know all of you, my dear readers, will shocked to find out that none of us picked and a slow wasting illness as the ideal way to shuffle off this mortal coil.

In this day and age we seem to have more compassion for our pets than for our human loved ones. If our dog/cat has something fatal and is in pain, we do something about it. We can't stand to see the poor thing suffering. If our great Aunt Sue is dying of incurable cancer and is in pain, society says we need to 'just be there' for her. Which means there isn't a damn thing you can do for her but wait like a vulture for her to go. the whole time quietly praying for an end to her suffering while feeling guilty about wishing for her death.

Why? Why do we do this? Is the last few months with this person, who isn't really the person you loved because the pain and drugs had changed them, that important? Is my sadness more important than Aunt Sue's pain? Well, I will tell you the sudden death of my paternal grandfather was a lot easier than this. I even found him all cold and stuff. The lingering decline of my great grandfather who had dementia.He didn't know where he was half the time and other half of the time he thought my Mama-san was his wife. Nothing to it. There was pain but the pain was short lived.

One of the hardest things I do is going to see how much of my grandmother, my Aughra, has disappeared in the last week and knowing that she knows how much she has lost too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lacey Lace.

I have 2 goals this year. To make a bunch of lovely lace and color working projects. For my first project I made Haruni outta some yummy new stuff my favorite Yarn pusher sent me to try out. WOW! I love this pattern. I love this yarn! I LOVE THIS PROJECT! LOVE! I really want to make it again out of the same type of yarn but bigger and OH JOY! the designer tells you how to upsize.

So Haruni is a pretty simple lace shawlette. A field of Fern stitch with a crazy beautiful edge. The designer made it fairly clear all the way. I think I might have had the duhs going while trying to make this. There were a couple of spots I was cornfused at. The first spot is "Continue Chart A as established until you have 12 stems in each half". She goes on to explains what she means by stems. However, I couldn't decide whether she meant total for the half or across the row. After looking at my 12 stem field, I decided she meant across the row. I told you. duh!

My next 'huh?' moment came while reading the directions for the edging. Basically you work the chart across, ending with just the leaves not the triangle decrease bit. If you look at the first picture in this post, it shows the center of the shawlette. Two sets of leaves separated by a single stitch. So you begin and end each half of the shawlette with leaves. Which the designer says. Which I didn't get until I did it. I know I was being dense. This shawl does need blocking. I chose to block my with scallops. I have seen it done with a straight edge. I think It is equally beautiful either way.

Now about this yarn. LittleFreak is opening a new online shop called Shameless Twist. Which she hopes to have open by the 1st of May. In this shop of wonders she will offer Murmur. That is what my shawlette is made out of. Crazy soft 100% baby alpaca fingering weight. Yummy. 1 skein is enough for this project. Just enough but still enough (I think I have 5 or 6 yards left)

I will let you in on a little secret. She will be keeping LittleFreak open as a testing ground for new colorways and guess what she has in her shop right now? Murmur! It is incognito as babykisses but I saw it there. And....It is on sale! I don't know how long she is running the sale. So hurry if you want some!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cliff Jumping.

Most knitters/crocheters have go-to patterns that they pull out for gift giving opportunities. Something that they end up making over and over again because the pattern is easy and turns out great. I have a dear friend who found her go-to pattern for yarn. If she has a skein or so of yarn that she wants to work with but it hasn't told her what it wants to be it become the Storm Cloud Shawlette. She has made this pattern 4 times. FOUR! She would come to Saturday knit group and tell us all how easy this pattern was. Show us how pretty it was all worked up. We would all oh and ah over them.

One day Chelle decided to try it. [She has made at least 2. maybe 3]. She came back with this lovely green thing. Then Lorenia tried it [She has made 4]. The Storm Cloud Shawlette took over. Everybody was making them. So I caved. I admit it. I had this great handspun I didn't know what to make with and I just caved. So if mama-san asked me today "Would I jump off a cliff if all my friend were doing it?" The answer would have to be "Yes. Yes, I would."

Enough about my weak will power and the fact that my friends peer pressured me into this project. Peer Pressure? I'll be 35 this year. It never goes away.

This pattern is all that they,my peer pressuring bad influence friends, said. It is quick, easy and beautiful. It shows the loveliness of yarn off. It can go from Shawlette to half-moon blanket. And...drum roll please.. its free! So everybody go make your own. 'Cuz you know...All the cool kids are doing it.