Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sleepy Hollow


And, just like that, it’s over.

knitting bag and sockNo more running up to Fox Chase every morning to get zapped or sitting in a recliner in the infusion room getting my chemo treatment on Mondays. I can put my knitting bag away for the moment, since I won’t need to grab it on my way out the door. I don’t have to double check my phone to make sure there’s enough juice in there to get me through tweeting, yapping on Ravelry and general farting around online.

It’s done, it’s ancient history. 6 rounds of chemotherapy with docetaxel and 30 radiation treatments equalling 3,300 cGy (centigrays). Which basically means I had a fairly easy chemo regimen and a pretty intense radiation one.

Of course, I’m not done with Fox Chase; I’ll never be entirely done with Fox Chase. I’m a cancer survivor for the ages, but also a lifetime cancer patient as well. As one of the nurses said, “We’re your new family!” My smartass reply was, “And I’m eternally grateful, but you’re the family I really didn’t want.”

She understood.

So now I’ve moved on to a new phase of this whole crazy trip. I get to recover from the treatment.

Make room for CatMom, sweetie.

Make room for Momcat, sweetie.

And it’s not like I wasn’t warned, of course. Chemo and radiation are very hard on your body and radiation for head and neck cancer is notoriously tough on the neck and mouth. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s going to take some time for me to get over this. This ain’t pretty.

So the next couple of weeks are going to see me doing a lot of napping, a lot of knitting and a whole lot of resting.

Because, damn it, I will be well.


Constant Craving


I’m a very unhappy person right now.

I’m a foodie living a very sad, lonely life these days. I’m a cook who isn’t cooking, a baker who isn’t baking, an eater who isn’t eating. I walk through the supermarket on Saturday mornings dreaming of salmon and fettuccine alfredo and lasagna and oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.



I want a mushroom and spinach pizza and a quart of shrimp lo mein. To go, please.

I want a veggie shepherd’s pie and a fish pie and an apple one, too. With cinnamon ice cream on the side. And then maybe some Jelly Krimpets with a hot cup of tea.

One day. One day, soon, my mouth will heal and the taste buds will start working again. And breakfast will be a bowl of oatmeal with real maple syrup or a piece of homemade coffee cake and there won’t be a plastic bottle of “Blueberry and Pomegranate Ensure Protein Drink” to be found in my refrigerator. Which contains neither blueberries nor pomegranates, to no one’s surprise, I’m sure.

Or a glass of Carnation Instant Breakfast, which comes in 3 varieties of chocolate, strawberry and French vanilla. I may never drink a milkshake ever again.

I’d kill for a shrimp egg roll.

With duck sauce? Oh, yeah.

And you do not want to know what I’d do for a grilled cheese sandwich.

I'm killing myself here.

I’m killing myself here.

It’s obscene and probably illegal in several states.

Or ravioli. With vodka sauce and mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Mmm.

Yeah, definitely illegal.

All I can say is, the day that I can eat real food again, you’d all better stay out of my way. Don’t even think about blocking the door to Wegman’s or the local pizzeria or it could get really ugly.

Better yet, come shopping with me. We’ll cook and have fun and eat ourselves silly. Wallow in cheese and butter and all kinds of caloric goodness.

Soon. I promise.

Sweeter In A Sweater


So, now that you’re all excited about my spring knitting (you are, aren’t you?), here’s the plan.

If 2014 was the “Year Of The Sock”, 2015 is “The Year Of The Sweater”. When I started knitting a few years ago, the whole idea of learning was solely (ha!) so that I could knit socks. So I got needles and yarn and took a knitting lesson and bought books and watched YouTube videos and consulted the oracles and brought the knitting gods and goddesses gluten-free wine and fair trade chocolate and now I knit socks. Lots of them, and I do love to knit them. I’m pretty good at it, too.

But they’re only part of what I now want to accomplish. It’s time to move on to bigger things. Like sweaters.

I have never knit a sweater, so in typical littleredyarn fashion, I’m jumping in with both feet. My goal is to make three sweaters this year. The first one is an top-down pullover with an Indian blouse feel to it, the second one is a cardigan full of cable-y goodness and the third is a coat. leonard knitting

Yes, I’m knitting a coat. Don’t look at me like that; it’s just a long sweater.

I think.

Anyway, here are the patterns and yarns I’ll be using.

Up first is the “Indian Print Henley”, designed by Anne Hanson, from the “The Knitter’s Handy Book Of Top Down Sweaters” by Ann Budd. I’ll be using “Galileo” from KnitPicks in Urchin.

And isn’t that pretty? I used to live in Indian shirts when I was in high school (cue up some Allmans for me, please), so that’s a nice, updated trip down Memory Lane with enough, ahem, coverage for this almost-50 year old.

The second one is “Plaits and Links” from Kathy Zimmerman. I already have the yarn for that; it’s the oh-so-luscious “Kenzie” from HiKoo. That’s in the boysenberry colorway. It’s been in hibernation for a few months since I knew I was going to lose weight from the surgery and my treatments. I know some of the weight will probably come back, but I’m going to really try and stay on the cute side of chubby after all of this is over.

The coat? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. The coat is the wonderful “Car Coat” from Vogue Knitting. I think I’m going to use Quince & Co’s “Puffin” for this. So that means a trip to my favorite LYS in the Manayunk section of Philly, a hang with my friend Lisa and a couple of well-spent hours inhaling yarn fumes. Some La Colombe coffee and I’m set for the afternoon.

I’ll be doing more socks, of course. I have a lot of sock and I was gifted with a tremendous amount of beautiful stuff over the holidays. I already know “Zombody, Throw Me Some Beads” is going to become a Larch. Well, that’s what it told me and who am I to argue?

I think there’s going to be a crocheted afghan somewhere in there, too. Maybe. At least I can start it.

And hopefully finish it.