I had a little over 57 miles of yarn in my personal stash… Last time I counted, it was 45… and that was after Ravelry started, so it couldn’t have been much more than a year ago.  That’s about a mile a month.  That seems a bit excessive.  It must be because I’ve started buying sweater quantities of yarn and haven’t knit up too many sweaters in the past year… although I just finished 2 sweaters.  BUT those yarns were never counted in the stash!  Oh, yes, one of the sweaters’ worth was… They were both short-sleeved sweaters though, and I’ve been buying long-sleeved sweaters’ worth of yarn?  All I wanted for my birthday was yarn, so that’s what my parents gave me, yarn money?  And I haven’t knit any of that up.  I should knit more and buy less.  Which shouldn’t be too hard to do, since I’m in a lot of debt now, ever since we bought the Wii.  R and I put ourselves on a spending allowance in January, because we’re trying to pay off our 2nd mortgage.  It’s not working out very well because I’ve been having so many medical bills this year, but without it, we’d be even worse off!  And I’d have even more yarn I’m not knitting!

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I didn’t blog about this until now because my fifth FO was a birthday present for my niece, who turned 3 today, and her mom reads my blog sometimes, so I didn’t want to ruin the surprise!  I used the Fashion First Aid bag from the Stitch n’ Bitch Happy Hooker book as kind of a rough model for this purse.  The yarn is Lily Sugar’n Cream Solid and I used an H hook.  I folded the purse length-wise and in half and sewed one seam along the side, instead of just length-wise with two seams, because it seemed like it was too wide to me.  Here’s the Ravelry link, for anyone who’s curious…

And here is my quintuple gold WIPs Wrestling medal!

Presented by Caesar Augustus Bobicus!

I can’t wait to get my Caesar Bobicus pin!

If you can’t remember what the other 4 projects were, they were Hannah’s Hello Kitty Knitting Notions Bag, Fat Bottom Bag, Cathode, and my Rowan Plaid Short-Sleeved Cardigan.

P.S. I did start and complete a 6th project during the Ravelympics, but I can’t share it with you yet, since I’m submitting it somewhere… Ditto with another project this past week… knitting up a storm! I’ll let you know what happens…

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I think my lumbar facet injections (all 3 of them) went really well on Wednesday. The doctor injected lidocaine and cortisone into the three lowest lumbar facet joints on the right side of my spine. When the needles went in and he first injected the contrast dye (so he could see what he was doing under x-ray), it were extremely painful, but in kind of a good way because they felt like they were in the right spot. A few minutes after he injected the lidocaine, he had me arch my back slightly (I was lying on my stomach), and he asked me how much I thought the pain decreased (that’s something I would have probably fainted while doing right before the procedure), and I said between 50-75%, so I think these shots are going to be very successful. The lidocaine wore off after about 6-8 hours, so now I’m in a lot of pain again, but hopefully the cortisone will kick in soon. The piece of paper they gave me to take home said it would take 2-5 days for the cortisone to start taking effect and up to 2 weeks for the full effect. My follow-up appointment is on September 2nd, at which point I’m really hoping I’m well enough that I can go back to work. Except that I’ve been having lots of neck pain (also a facet joint problem), increasing over the past month and I’m hoping that I can have the nerve endings burned off again soon. The doctor who just performed these injections doesn’t do cervical neurotomies, but the other doctor at the pain clinic has agreed to do it because my doctor is out and I just heard yesterday that my insurance has authorized him to do it and he can do it on Monday, but I told them I just had these injections done on Wednesday so I’m waiting to hear back if that’s too soon to have another procedure done or if it’s ok, because a neurotomy doesn’t have any steroids or anything and if I can get it done soon then maybe I can recover from that before the 2nd also, which would be good because my neck pain triggers daily migraines unless I take elevated doses of my migraine preventative and the elevated doses of my migraine preventative decrease my cognitive function (I’ve been saying the wrong words for things and I knit something for about 8 hours making a really stupid mistake the entire time and I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what and I didn’t stop and figure it out until I was done, and it took me way too long to figure it out, and I should have stopped after about 20 minutes of knitting, not 8 hours!), so I’d really like to decrease that medication before going back to work, but I can’t have daily migraines and go to work, so… you see my dilemma.

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Last year for my friend Hannah’s birthday, I wrote her a pattern for a Hello Kitty Knitting Notions Bag, because she’s kinda crazy about Hello Kitty. Some of you might remember my first attempt at this bag, which didn’t turn out so great. I don’t know why I procrastinated so long on test-knitting the second attempt, but I finally finished it yesterday, sewing in the pink zipper to finish it off.

Here it is before felting

Here it is after felting

Here you can see the zipper

Here are the two attempts side by side

I think the second attempt turned out quite well, so Hannah, knit your bag!

That makes 4 FOs for the WIP Wrestling event so far with 9 days left in the Ravelympics. I think I’ll definitely have one more FO to show you by the end of this event, and I hope to have one more FO that I won’t be able to show you. It all depends on how my back feels. I’ve been getting better in the last week or so (my average pain is down from 8/10 to 5.5/10), which is good news. The bad news is that my doctor is out sick, so the cortisone shot I was waiting a month to get didn’t happen this week. the good news is that I found another doctor who can do it next week. Depending on how that goes, I’m hoping I can return to work as soon as the week following the shot (I’ve been on short-term disability for 4 weeks now), although my follow-up appointment is 2 weeks later and my doctor doesn’t expect me to return to work until after that. I really would like to get back to work as soon as possible, but if I try to go off of some of my medications, the pain is intolerable and while I’m on all of them, I can’t really concentrate well enough to be a good engineer. I’m really hoping this injection helps a LOT.

P.S. If you’d like to knit your own Hello Kitty Knitting Notions Bag, leave a comment on this post. I don’t want to post the pattern anywhere because I don’t want to get into copyright issues, but if you would like a copy for your personal use, I would be happy to email one to you.

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Adelina (Ravelry link) was the lucky buyer and Rachel won the blog contest! Congrats, you two! Adelina chose Seascape, Natalia, and Ladybird Baby Sweater as her three free patterns. Woot!

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Yesterday I met my official “goal” for the Ravelympics: I finished the Fat Bottom Bag (Ravelry link) (from Stitch n’ Bitch Happy Hooker):

my Rowan Plaid Short-Sleeved Cardigan (Ravelry link) (my design):

and Cathode (Ravelry link) (from Knitty):

However, my real goal for the Ravelympics WIP Wrestling is to finish as many WIPs as I can during the Olympics. So, I’ve been working on test-knitting attempt #2 of Hannah’s Hello Kitty Knitting Notions Bag (Ravelry link), which I will felt this afternoon, and I might be working on another WIP or two…

Here’s the back — this looks a lot better than version 1, so I’m optimistic…

For those of you who aren’t on Ravelry, you can see more photos on flickr here.

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Go Team Bobaknit! I’m competing in the Ravelympics as a part of Team Bobaknit in the WIPs Wrestling event. I’m going to try to complete three WIPs during the course of the Summer Olympics, starting at 8pm Beijing time, or 5am PST, which means, between the time I wake up on Friday and the time of the closing ceremonies Beijing time. I haven’t figured out when exactly that is yet, August 24th, but I’m not sure what time, it might be August 23rd here, that’s ok. I think two of my projects have been sitting around for well over a year with less than a combined 10 hours’ worth of knitting/crocheting between them to finish them off. At least that’s my assumption. One’s a short-sleeved cardigan, the Rowan Plaid Cardigan, I designed with the help of sweater wizard and I didn’t like it’s results so I ripped out the sleeves and the zipper and I knit button bands instead and I’m re-designing the sleeves. The other is the Fat Bottom Bag from Stitch n’ Bitch Happy Hooker (Did I mention I haven’t crocheted since I stopped crocheting over a year ago? I’m going to have to re-learn…) The third is a newer project, Cathode from Knitty, but it doesn’t have that much left to do either, from what I recall… anyone else want to share their challenges in the comments? I haven’t been to Bobaknit since April because of my back problems so I feel like I haven’t talked to you the knitters in ages. =( At least I should be able to start blogging again now that I set up my computer on my lap in my IKEA chair. =)

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