As I have mentioned, I do have some health concerns, and they are ongoing. I’m now just over a week out from a 10-day hospitalization which was prolonged because of hospital-acquired pneumonia. Now I’m on home oxygen because I can’t even walk from one end of the house to the other without getting short of breath despite being on oxygen. I’m tethered to an oxygen concentrator by this 50-ft tube which I have to drag all over the house, and it’s infuriating. The worst part of it is whenever I leave the house, I have to schlep this 10 lb metal oxygen tank on a little hand trolley everywhere I go. I’m too used to being independent and being able to go where I want when I want, and this recent development is about to drive me crazy. I am going to wean myself off the tube and regain my independence if it harelips the governor.* I’ll spare you the rest of the rant.
Enough of that. Let us now move on to more pleasant topics:
We are in the middle of a heat wave — weeks of 100F+/32C+ temperatures (my electric bills are higher than giraffe’s ears!) with occasional scattered thunder showers and other assorted pyrotechnics.
We got this little thunder boomer on 19 May, 2018, but we’ve had a couple more since. As you can see, the hail is ricocheting off the neighbor’s roof, then off my porch and into my storm door.
Not surprisingly, with all this hot weather, I am on an iced chai laté kick, and here’s my recipe.
WOL’s Iced White Chai
4 tbsp of sugar (white or brown) or 3 tablespoons of honey, as you prefer.
1 bag of Twining’s Earl Grey Tea
1 bag of Twining’s English Breakfast Tea
2 bags of Twining’s Chai
6 cups of boiling water
a 16-oz bottle of Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Vanilla Almond Milk creamer.
a heavy glass or crockery heat-resistant 2-quart pitcher **
a large metal spoon or ladle
source of boiling water.
Fill the pitcher with straight hot tap water and leave it sit for about 10 minutes to preheat the pitcher. This is an important safety factor as it will help keep the pitcher from shattering when you fill it with boiling water. Right after you empty out the hot water, put the sugar in and affix the tea bags to the side of the pitcher with a clip or clothes pin. Again, for safety, place the large metal spoon into the pitcher and pour the boiling water onto the spoon. Let the tea bags steep until the pitcher has cooled to room temperature. Pour in the whole bottle of Natural Bliss, stir well, cover and refrigerate. Serve cold. Enjoy.
In the knitting news, I got me some of what we good ol’ girls in the knitting group I go to refer to as “snob yarn,” i.e., the kind of high-end, natural fibers, exotic blends, artisanal (hand spun, hand dyed, etc.), limited quantities, only sold on websites or yupscale “Fiber Shoppes” at $15-$40 for a 50 g twist yarn. I got it on closeout sale (50% off). It’s called “Sublime,” a blend of 75% cotton and 25% silk. It comes in 50 g (125 m/137 yds) “donut” skeins. I wanted it for a summer hat. I got 2 skeins of the above blue, as well as 2 skeins of silver, a skein of charcoal, and 2 skeins of purple. I’ve got it all rolled into balls and ready to go.
Since I can’t wear wool and I knit a lot of chemo hats, pretty much all the yarn I buy is either acrylic (hypoallergenic, machine washable and dryable) or cotton yarn you can buy at Michael’s and Walmart. (Life is too short for special care instructions. If you can’t throw it in the washer and dryer, I don’t have time for it.) But I wanted something special, something breathable with a soft hand for a summer hat because I’m worth it. However, I can’t start on it just yet because I want to do it on my size 9 (5.5 mm) 16-inch Red Lace Chiaogoo’s, and I can’t until I finish the without beads variation of this hat (see above) because it’s being done on my only set of 16-inch 9’s. I have about 18 rows to go on it. This is the first knitting I’ve done since I got out of the hospital last week.
Gratuitous product plug: ChiaoGoo makes needles with standard points in wood, bamboo and stainless steel, circulars, DPN’s, single points, and interchangeables. If you do a lot of lace knitting, however, you might want to try out one of their ChiaoGoo Red Lace circular needles. The Red Lace needles have stainless steel tips which have a longer taper that make knitting stitches like k3tog, p3tog, sssk, psso, and multiple yarn overs easier. The ChiaGoo Red Lace circulars come in all the standard diameters and in lengths from 16-inches to 60-inches. They have a flexible, memory-free, nylon-coated steel cable with superior joins. They are also quite reasonably priced (around $9-$11 depending on size and length). I really, really like them. Confusingly, ChaioGoo also has an SS Red product line, which have stainless steel tips with a standard taper, so if you want the longer tapered lace tip, be sure to order the Red Lace needle.
One thing I want to try out on the body of this new hat I’m making for me is a k1, p1 pattern worked over 81 stitches per row. Normally, seed stitch is worked over an even number of stitches with a row of k1, p1, alternating with a row of p1, k1, whether you’re working flat or in the round. However, if you’re knitting in the round, working k1, p1 continuously over an odd number of stitches will accomplish the same thing without you having to keep track of which row you’re on. The odd number of stitches will automatically alternate between k1 and p1 as the first stitch on the row and produce the pattern.
I’ve been having my hair cut Anne Lennox short (hear her fabulous voice) and will keep it that way for the foreseeable future, although I hate my hair short. It’s just so much easier and quicker to wash and dry short, and until I can get my health issues sorted, I’m having to ration my spoons. My hair has a mind of its own, however, and sometimes it will be sticky-outy despite my best efforts to get it to behave. (I do not blow dry, perm, color, or use jgels, mousses or any other kind of “product” except Johnson’s Baby Shampoo on my hair. My hair is too fine and fly-away, and life is too short for all that high-maintenance nonsense.) Hence, the hat. Stay tuned.
In other knitting news, I’m about half finished with both my shawls (sorry, I don’t have a more recent picture of the blue one). The light teal one is the Cable Edged Shawl. The blue one (I’m calling it “Cobblestone Lace”) is my own pattern, and I will publish it on my knitting site and on Ravelry once the shawl is finished and I have a good picture of the completed shawl.
*a "harelip" is now considered to be a politically incorrect term for congenital cleft lip deformity, which is a birth defect. However, it also refers to a type of through-and-through laceration of the upper lip resulting from being punched or struck in the mouth, i.e., a lip that is split below the nose like a hare's. ** I would not use an aluminum pitcher as aluminum will alter the taste of the tea. You could use a stainless steel pitcher, but I prefer glass or crockery as neither affects the taste of the tea. Pyrex glass or heat resistant glass carafes work, too. Never make tea in something that has previously been used to make coffee. No matter how thoroughly you clean it, you cannot remove all the residual oils from the coffee, which will ruin the taste of the tea.