2016 In Review

So, looking back, 2016 wasn't my best year. Okay, so really? It kinda sucked. But it was kinda awesome at the same time. Lemme 'splain...

Early last year, around March, I was working on a cool little project that started out like this...

This gorgeous yarn that I got from Crave Yarn in Santa Fe. This little bit of knitting I did turned into something fabulous. It turned into what would become the cover of Knitters Magazine's Summer Gold issue K123. I had no idea at the time that I started this that it was headed that direction until halfway through the project. By March, I knew I was going to submit for a change to be in the magazine but I had no idea what would become of it. I made a cool little sample to submit to Knitter's that looked like this...

A tiny little bit of each section of the shawl was represented in my swatch. I submitted and sat back and waited. 

As I was waiting I got sick. I went to the hospital for some flank pain and there next thing I know I was admitted because I had a kidney stone but also a hernia with bowel coming through. The kidney stone was far more emergent than the hernia was. I was transferred to the downtown hospital for emergency surgery to place a stint to let infection drain that had built up and made me sick. I was in the hospital for over a week on high dose antibiotics and meds to manage my pain. Once I was released from the hospital I spent three weeks at home doing NOTHING. having the stint in was the WORST. I do not recommend it to anyone if you can avoid it. Maybe its different for men, but all of the symptoms associated with having a stint were less than ladylike. And I'll leave it there. My next surgery was scheduled for 3 weeks later. The infection needed enough time to drain from my system as I was antibiotics at home as well. Three weeks later I went in for surgery which, thankfully was quick and easy. I was home that day. I had an appt to see my general surgeon (yes, I have a general surgeon and we know each other well!) wherein surgery was scheduled again for June 1st. 

Somewhere between getting out go the hospital from the second surgery and scheduling the third, I had heard from Rick at Knitter's Magazine that my submission was accepted! I was so ecstatic and quite frankly, needed the good news. I was beyond thrilled! Lots of phone conversations and emails went back and forth about my pattern. The way I had initially written it was not something that seemed to translate well. So Rick decided to knit the shawl himself and write up directions that would suffice for the magazine.  He knit the damn thing in a week, I couldn't believe it. Then again, this is the man that also knits full sweaters in 7 days as well. I should not have been surprised. Once proper directions were written, they could move on with publication. 

I had surgery on June 1st to repair the hernia, mesh was placed and I went home that day. Surprising seeing as how my trouble with oxygen always seems to make the doctors want to keep me overnight. I  breathe shallow and when you are coming out of anesthesia, this means low O2 numbers. No one in the hospital likes that very much. But I was able to hold and went home that day. During the three weeks that passed, I was notified by Knitter's that my design would be their summer cover. I couldn't believe it! Again, I had been in need of some good news. At the same time, I also began to notice that my belly looked....not right. The incision was not pretty and clean as it was in the beginning. Back to the hospital I went. I was admitted again. I had developed an abscess and they were now starting to talk to me about extensive surgery to repair it. Again, I was transferred to the big hospital downtown. My surgeon met me there a couple days later and after looking at my films had determined that the abscess wasn't as big as initially thought. He opened me up bedside and drained it. This left quite a hole and a tunnel where the infection was. I was in the hospital another week on antibiotics and pain meds. While I was in the hospital I got an email from Karen and Rick at Knitters with the pictures that would be used in the magazine! I was beyond excited! I was now allowed to announce the project and the upcoming magazine! I did this from my hospital bed. To address the hole in my belly my surgeon wanted to try to heal the mesh before doing another surgery to replace it. I was placed on a wound vac. (If you don't know what a wound vac is, google will tell you way better than I could explain). I went home with a wound vac and would be on this wound vac for almost 6 weeks. While I  was home recovering and tied to my wound vac, this happened...

Knitter's Magazine had sent me 3 copies of the magazine ahead of the release date. I was beyond thrilled with! Again, the good news and good things were happening in the middle of the bad stuff. Fast Forward six weeks, the magazine had been released, I had just gotten off my wound vac before my first trunk show was scheduled at Santa Fe's Yarn & Coffee. I was SO happy to be off that thing! I felt like I could finally move on with my life and put the recent months behind me. 

In late September, I started a scarf project with Dream in Colors Everlasting Sock Yarn in the colorway Rain Cloud...

You all watched it come along as I posted pictures on IG and FB. I was really excited about this pattern and knew my intents were to self publish on Ravelry. But I wanted a completely rad photo shoot for it too...my first real photo shoot. So I enlisted my friend George to model for me. You all remember George?

Of course you remember George. Who could forget George?

Prior to finishing the scarf and actually having this photo shoot which you all saw in my last post, I had a recurring problem associated with my Multicentric Castleman's Disease. I had my symptom free for 5 years and I woke up one Friday morning with intense pain in my left groin. I knew exactly what it was. It was the same exact pain it all started with in my right groin in January 2009. Once you have that pain you don't forget it. I didn't tell my Mom right away. Later in the afternoon I did. I was at the cancer center the next day. Unfortunately, my doctor was out from having to have surgery herself. I was under the care of another doctor who ordered the ultrasound and some other tests. What I needed was a biopsy. I knew that. Mom knew that. This is the fourth time I've had surgery for this disease and I knew exactly what I needed. Having this disease means I run about a 25-35% chance of it progressing to lymphoma. Each lymph node that blows up has to be biopsied for cancer. Just to be sure. I'm not taking any chances. Surgery was scheduled for September 29th. Mind you, this was now my 4th surgery of 2016. And the 4th surgery for my Castleman's disease. *sigh* Folks, it was an incredible short but loooong year for me. It was starting to feel as though it wouldn't end, while at the same time going too fast. Wasn't it just April and I was in surgery for the first time? After I came back from a couple weeks or so of rest we did the photo shoot for The Journeyman Scarf. Which came out fabulous. I absolutely love it! I made a second one as I gifted the first one to George. I knew, he of all people, would appreciate it. So that meant making a second one....which you've also see unfold in social media. I am finished with it, just haven't blocked it yet. So that's it folks, I did 2 things this past year. But maybe now you'll understand why I only did two things. But maybe you'll also understand why I saw it as an awesome year for me too. 

The Holidays were very good to me and the New Year is too so far. I'm not in a hospital and I have nothing pending. LOL! But seriously, I am so grateful for the magazine publication of Crescent & Arch in Knitter's Magazine and for the great photo shoot with George for The Journeyman Scarf. I'll take those and run...and give 2016 the big ol' bird...

Whatever you're working on now, I'd love to know. I am trying to get my new lace design to a place where I can actually work on it. The stitch count isn't coming out at the moment and its pissing me off to no end! So its currently in time out. I'm working on a crescent shaped shawl I have going too, and I have NO CLUE what it will turn into. Literally no clue. I put it down last night to finish a pair of mitts I start a year ago but never finished. I finished one of them and did all but 15 round of the second one. Stupid me. So I'm finishing that. I WILL have a project to show for this month if it kills me! At any rate, I'd love to know what you are working on folks. Post pictures to my business page on FB or tag me on IG!!! Thanks for hanging out with me and for hanging with me and my sporadic posts this years. There was a reason why, I promise. I will be better this year I promise. Until next time....KNIT ON!!!!


  1. Wow Claudia, in spite of having such a sucky year,you achieved more than many do in a lifetime! Congratulations again on cover of Knitter's Magazine. Even though it seems like you accomplished it just this year, it is the result of many years of knitting and designing. You Rock! Here's wishing you a Wonderful and Healthy 2017! Thank you for being such an inspiration to all that know and love you! Venetia


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