This blog post is intensely personal in many ways. I don't talk much about my personal life because it's, well, personal. And when I expose my personal life, it also means I am exposing the personal life of others, and that is not always fair for them.
Since last fall, I have been saying to myself and folks here that I have had this "feeling" that I need to spend more time with my husband and family this coming year, and wanted to do a bit less traveling so that I could do this. So we're not far into January and well, life has a way of handing you its idea of what you will be doing.
As some of you know, I have had an apprentice for the past year - Jen H. She has been taking on more dyeing as her skills increase. This has been a relief to me, since I have been the only person who, until now, has placed dye on yarn and fiber. She is young, energetic, has a great work ethic, and is an important member of our team. And yes, Jen has given me permission to talk about what is going on.
Jen has been having headaches and some other symptoms with diminished eyesight. Had her vision changed?? Did she need glasses? We finally talked her into going to have her eyes checked. The optometrist saw something and had her see an ophthalmologist, who had her have an MRI, who had her see a neurosurgeon. This has happened over the last 2-3 weeks and she is now being scheduled for surgery for the removal of a brain lesion/tumor. What we do know is that it is in a good location for removal and appears that the entire tumor can be "easily" removed. Hopefully in the next couple of days. Of course we do not know what the recovery period will be or what kind of followup treatments she might or might not need.
So the personal affects what is going on professionally. Jen is like the rest of us...we like to work hard, we like the routine of a good day's work, we all love ending the day knowing we got a bunch done and that we're pleased with the boxes of yarn that are being packed to head West to Stitches. Needless to say, all of what is happening with Jen has interrupted our routine, and everyone is pitching in doing different things than they normally do.
Jen normally travels with us to Stitches in California, but not this year. We have 2 folks who will be pinch hitting with us to fill her shoes. Ivy, a part timer with us and a full-time college student. Wendy, who joins us from the Chicago area and has worked with us at Stitches Midwest.
I, of course, have been dyeing madly. But I can see that there are colors I will not get to do in the lineup by the time we ship this Friday, February 7. We will continue to ship yarn and colors as next week continues to fill in the colors. We expect that we will have lots of yarn at Stitches, but that the website will suffer in terms of quantity and variety as we will ship most everything that gets dyed to California. There are also a couple of special dyes that I need to do during this time for our Outing to Mardi Gras and the first trip of the 2014 Miss Babs Knitting Tour.
Also we want to recommend that if you haven't had your eyes checked in the past few years, that you do so soon. The eyes can be useful in diagnosing other physical problems you may be having. If you are having headaches, pay attention and get them checked out.
We do ask that you say prayers, light a candle, hold Jen H. in your thoughts, and generally think positively as she goes through the next part of her treatment.
P.S. We have two Jens at Miss Babs - Jen H. and Jen J. Jen J will be at Stitches West helping you with all your knitting, pattern subtitution, and yarn questions as she always does.
2/9/14 - Jen H. had the surgery two days ago, and she is recovering well. We don't have any other details than this, but all seemed to go well with the surgery.