Wednesday, December 28, 2005

wrist warmers -- don't they look good?

Here are the wrist warmers. I was hoping the photo with Serena wearing a "life without lupus" bracelet over one would be the best, because I designed these originally when her wrists hurt so much from the lupus. But, as you can see, the bracelet shows up as an orange distraction, darn it! You can't see the lettering.

The pattern is my pattern from the knitlist gifts with some embellishment. There is an error in my original pattern, if the correction isn't up soon, let me know and I'll send you the correction.

really truly, I'm tired of serial migraines! No clue what is causing them this time. Thank God they aren't as severe as earlier in the year!

Thanks Serena

Thanks to Serena who let me know that it isn't my computer who is slipping, but my brain. sigh The pictures will be coming as soon as she gets them to me from HER camera.

My brother said the avatar is too young, that although I tried to make it middle aged, it doesn't. I'll make a newer one, that correctly resembles me, or load a different picture! LOL Can't win, can we!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

more river pictures

I finished wrist warmers for Serena. They are out of a wool/tencel that I was gifted with several years ago. I had a photo of Serena modeling both of them, and waited until it had actually downloaded until I deleted it from my camera. THEN the program froze, and I lost it. sigh Isn't that the way life goes?

So, I give you more pictures of the Mississippi River (which isn't nearly as frozen this time as it was last visit) from Nathan and Kim's house.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What, me organized?

I have an Excel spreadsheet with my yarn in it. I try to keep it correct. For a while now, I've been trying to figure out why the sock yarns didn't match the spreadsheet. So, the other day, in a fit of something, I updated it. I weighed out the yarns that were seconds to get the correct amounts, and got it all correct. Still couldn't figure out where the yarn had gone. But, it was updated, and with that virtuous feeling of a job well done, I went on with my life. Wondering what I was going to do with 23 ounces of 3 ply black Kroy!

Days later, in cleaning out for Serena's arrival for Christmas, I find two Rubbermaid totes. Hm, what are they doing in the sewing room? They must be empty, totes don't belong there. You guessed it. The missing yarn has been found, and moved back to the yarn room, but NOT into the yarn closet, where I'd think it had been put back into the spreadsheet.

Want to bet that I have MORE black 3 ply Kroy?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sharon's Socks

Hand Scrub for Rough Skin

I give you Sharon's socks -- which, despite my attempt at making them not match struggled to match, and I think they succeeded much more than I did!

May I also recommend a sugar and olive oil scrub when your hands are dry and rough? This was suggested on the knitlist, many years ago, and I don't always remember. My hands were so rough after knitting with these socks, there is enough cotton that the finger tips weren't happy. Mix perhaps a tablespoon of white sugar with enough olive oil until it is a paste. Rub it together in your hands. This will scrub away all the roughness on your hands. Rinse with warm water, and pat dry. Your skin absorbs the oil, the sugar is rinsed away. I make this up and keep it in the bathroom for when I need it, otherwise I won't remember to use it!

Sunset on the Snow

I have found a great way to take a photo of a rayon/cotton scarf! Take it out in 5*F (-15C) weather and photograph it in the snow! The sun and snow take a better photograph than the dark inside of the house, and the cold ensures that where you place the scarf, it STAYS. Of course, it would help if the idiot photographer (that would be me!)had checked before going out the first time and had put on her coat! After that slight mistake, things went much better! Here is the scarf, which will be in the 2007 Knitting Pattern A Day Calendar. If you can't wait that long for the pattern, let me know! I'm in the process of making it again in Crystal Palace Mohair, and it is working out well, but just as slippery!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mississippi River as seen from

Nathan and Kim's

in Winter

Mom and Dad wanted to see the Mississippi River from Nathan and Kim's house. So in an act of love, I stepped outside yesterday morning and took these pictures from the front door. I didn't go further, it was too darned cold! At that time of morning, as we were getting ready to leave to go to Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's Bookstore in Minneapolis and then drop Serena off at the airport, it was a hearty sub zero*F (-17.78C.) I wasn't going to go very far at all! It was so cold, that the shutter react swiftly as it normally does on my camera. So, I'd push the button (and no, I wasn't wearing gloves on that hand!), and it would take so L-O-N-G! for the camera to react! Anyway, the next picture is the scene directly in front of their house. The funny shaped thing next to the tree is their mailbox. On the river side of the road.
This is why they were able to purchase the house -- just down the river from them is a paper mill. The fumes from the mill blow directly into the house, depending on the wind, and make it hard on lungs. The dam to power the mill is just downriver of their house. See the snow covered piles of logs in all three pictures? Also, see the overhang of the house? I did NOT step out from under the porch! All taken from right there!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nathan Hunt Graduated!


Nathan, I know this has been a long, hard slog. Harder for you than many others, as you have had to fight attention deficit disorder. But you fought, and you won. No wonder I cried and applauded last night as you marched in. And cried as you walked across to receive your diploma. AND am crying as I write this. Hey Nathan, I'm SO PROUD OF YOU!

Something that I've NOT, not, not been able to blog for the last 2 months was that Serena decided to surprise Nathan and fly out here for his graduation. So, every single blog post has had to be carefully censored, lest I let something slip! The only one who DIDN'T know was Nathan. We managed to keep the secret until her plane landed! I believe the first words out of his mouth when he saw her were "You little shit!" Then they hugged. Serena will fly back home Saturday, then fly back for Christmas next week. She wanted Nathan to know just how proud she is of him, and that she knows how hard he had to work to get here. GO NATHAN!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Run before the Storm

We Ran before the storm a day early to get to Nathan's graduation. Woke up this morning to 4 inches of snow up here, and it is projected to snow 4 more inches today, and another one tomorrow.

I tried to knit in the car, but a combination of low oxygen level (asthma - I nebbed 4 times yesterday) and low light (we left at 3:30 in the afternoon and dark comes at 4:30) I frogged almost every attempt.

I did a gauge swatch for a scarf I'd done, without doing a swatch. When I commented on that, Howard looked at me, and said, "I'd think you would know better by now." Hm, is this the fact that he knows me too well? sigh and laughter. The rest of the knitting was an exercise in frustration.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fog in the Night

We had a heavy fog last night, and freezing temperatures. Absolutely gorgeous this morning, and I couldn't do justice to it with my camera. So, you are spared many poor shots. I hope the two that do upload look good this way! They are the overgrown yew bushes in front of the house. They captured the fog and were temporarily frozen. Of course, part of one shot also has the run off from the porch captured on the bush too.

How much knitting to take on a 4/5 day trip to Minnesota? Must take more than needed. Otherwise, I'll run out, and that would be a catastrophe! I'll also take spinning, because, after all, I'll probably want to spindle... I'd take the wheel, but Tucker would help too much, I'm sure!

Sheesh, Mom, why didn't you tell me that kicking the leg of the bed could do so much damage to a toenail? LOL You told me so many other things about my feet...

  • always trim the toenails straight across so the nails don't become ingrown;
  • allow plenty of toe room in the shoes so the toes aren't squished;
  • well fitting shoes make a difference to the way you feel all over...

WHY did you miss on that one MOM? sigh

All my good work to prevent ingrown toenails, and I have one. Bad bed. I'm going to have it taken care of in January, per the consult this morning.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I promised some time ago that I'd give you the recipe for the cookies I'd unvented, but wanted to try them again to make sure they came out successfully.

The second time around, I added the entire batch of Cranberry Relish, changed the white flour to whole wheat, forgot the the baking powder (well honestly I'm allergic to corn, so I forgot to make the quick substitution, okay?) Instead of the lace cookies I got the first time, I got cookies that didn't spread. They aren't heavy, they remind me a bit of thumbprint cookies with a zing.

So, here goes:

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
Gordon's Cranberry Relish (1 cup or all of it)
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup egg white powder
2 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugars. Add hot water, then the cranberry relish (your choice of how much) and oatmeal. Beat in. Sift together the rest of the ingredients, add to the other mixture. Mix well. Drop on baking sheet. Bake at 350º for 18 minutes. Let cookie cool 5 minutes before removing from baking pan.

Gordon's Cranberry Relish
1/2 cup pecans
1 package fresh cranberries
1 whole orange, rind and all (wash the orange)

Chop the pecans, reserve them.
Chop the orange in the food processor until fine, then add the cranberries a few at a time until they are all chopped. Then add the pecans to mix. It is ready to serve (or in this case, use in the cookies!)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Isn't it time to QUIT dear?

Last night, I was working on the second heel. And suddenly realized that one side had 5 stitches, the other had 7. Now, those of you who read this and knit will realize that I had MADE A MISTAKE. Sigh. Which first meant I had to verify that one half of 36 is indeed 18, plus 2 is 20, aloud. (I'm doing a round heel.) And Howard agreed with me. Which is a good thing, but still, I was wondering there for a bit, because, after all, where did I go wrong!

Howard said, "Isn't it time that you put that away for the night?" A valid concern, but, I also know that if I hadn't frogged it right then, today I would have picked it up, and started knitting, and probably gotten even further, and would not have noticed that uneven stitch count until it BIT ME!

Yes, I've learned, by sad experience, that I'm one of those people who need to fix an error NOW, not wait until the next day. At least frog it out, and then knit it back at another date. But, emotionally, it is better to get past the painful point so the next day is fresh.

So, I frogged the stupid thing out. Then counted the stitches several times to see that yes, there were 36 of them, which means that I didn't pay attention the first time.

And I knit the heel up again, then picked up the gusset stitches on both socks. So, the socks are on the downward slope. Here we go! Sharon, you still may get them this year!

I've been thinking of taking off the progress trackers from the blog. They are kind of fun, in that they are a way for you to see that I am or not following through with what I say I'm going to do. But, as a project is deleted from the list, it is gone for good. Instead, I'd rather have a "to do" list, a "finished" list, and not clutter up the blog with the icons. Since I have a website, I can link to that.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sharon's Socks

I wanted a project that wouldn't tax any brain cells, so I started Sharon's socks. Finally. The poor things have been on my "to do" list for so terribly long! If Sharon were any kind of a nagging cousin, she would have called me and asked me why I hadn't even started them! As it was, she hasn't. Which does not bode well for the knitted items she had wanted for her grandkids, does it? Um, Sharon, ask, will ya?

I decided, that since she is as quirky (in a very nice way, I hasten to assure you!) as I am, that I'm take advantage of the yarn's (Regia Cotton -- a superwash wool and cotton) tendency to individuality. It IS a self-striping yarn. I took no precautions to make the yarns match. In FACT, I looked as I started the socks, and tried to be sure they wouldn't. Behold, my attempt at tempting fate... sigh

The slight variations seems to be caused, so far, by the needles. I can't believe it. If I had WANTED to get them to match so well I wouldn't have been able to do such a good job! Sharon, you are stuck with a pair of matching socks. Sorry.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I'm feeling stagnant right now, as if everything is on hold. Partly the weather. It was -8 (-22.2C) degrees this morning with a wind chill of -25 (-31.6C). Does tend to cause the furnace to run and run no matter WHERE the thermostat is set. We are supposed to be warming up for a while though, and that is great.

More photos will be coming on the blue socks, as I realized that you really can not see a thing about them. Other than the fact that they are on a pair of feet and they are blue. Not good photography.

Made some wonderful shortbread last night, the simple kind, butter, sugar, whole wheat flour and vanilla. Yum. I was trying to figure out why I want to bake this time of year, Howard commented that I am trying to bring warmth into the house! I think he has a valid point!

Earlier in the week I made date layer bars. They are so much easier to make than in my childhood! Then they were a special occasion because of removing the pit from the dates. What a sticky long process that was. It seemed mom and all of us were coated with date sap by the time we had enough to start cooking them. Now, thank goodness, we can buy a package of chopped dates and start in. I tried adding the water and cooking in the microwave, but that was a mistake. I didn't subtract to account for the loss via evaporation. They have more of a delicate center than normal.

I'm in the mood for some absolutely brainless knitting. Maybe that is what I should be doing, instead of kicking myself for not doing what I feel I "ought" to be doing. There are some things on the list that fit, so I would still be sticking to that. Right now, I'm in the mood to read and knit. Not patterns that say "pay attention, will ya!" I suspect that unless I listen to my "inner knitter", I'm going to make some big mistakes. sigh

Hopefully I'll see you soon on the other side of this mood! P.S. It really wouldn't hurt my feelings if you commented when you read! grin

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Serena is 30, miscellany

Saturday, Serena our eldest turned 30. She has crammed a lot of living in those 30 years. Did living with a chronic disease cause that, or was it her personality to begin with? She was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus as a Junior in High School (about 16), after wondering what was wrong since she was 12. Despite one bobble, when a doctor told her she was too sick to work or be in school, she has forged ahead. She's graduated from college, gone on to work in Minnesota and Colorado, and is happy where she is.

She helped plan her office holiday party which was Friday. This week she knit up a shrug to wear with her dress for the party. Unfortunately, in the rush Friday morning, it was left behind. She can still wear the shrug later!

'Tis wool wearing weather here in Iowa, as the weather forecasters keep talking about "Arctic blasts", and "wind chill" and the furnace labors to keep the house warm. We've turned down the temperature in the house, which makes the first floor cooler, and the upstairs cold. The computer room and the bedrooms are upstairs. I've taken to putting a blanket around me while I'm at the computer. It does cut down on computer time. There are advantages...

The USPS has it in for me. I have mailed 2 sweaters to a particular designer, and both have taken the scenic route to get there. The first was, admittedly, sent first class. It took almost 2 weeks to get across the country. The second, however, was sent 2 day mail. Five days later, it still has not arrived. I should have learned, after I sent a package to Serena, (one of the 2 day one rate boxes) that took 2 weeks to arrive. I think, from now on, when I need to send a parcel to that particular designer, I'll send it UPS. Serena's birthday card went UPS, as I was determined to have it there on time. It did.

I finished something you can see! I know, it is a shock to me as well! I knit the Parting Ways Socks by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer. These were great to knit, no errors in the pattern. They make a beautiful sock, which fits well. If I were to knit it for me, I'd buy more yarn, and make it longer, as I like my socks higher on the leg. I used Nature's Palette 100% Merino from Margaret.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Easy way to string beads on yarn!

I've been trying to string beads on worsted weight yarn. It hasn't been pretty. Trying to get a needle that had a large enough eye to accept the yarn, but that would allow the bead through was tough.

Anyway, here is my solution...

I threaded a needle with thread. Made a knot in it, and put the the yarn through it, and slipped the bead through the needle, and down onto the yarn.

It allowed me to (once I figured it out, darn it for being so slow!) to load the beads fairly quickly, and start knitting. Still had the problem of the beads that were too small for the worsted weight yarn, so I advise doing one or two at a time, so you don't have to take too many off. But, I was able to develop a rhythm. And cheaper than buying a bead needle that I'll lose. Would be nice to have one, but still, in a pinch, this worked nicely!

The commission sweater is off in the mail, as is the dragon scale scarf, and 9 helmet liners (I didn't knit all of the helmet liners!)

Friday, November 25, 2005


Lots of things to be thankful for this year. Yesterday was a quiet, pleasant day.

Gordon Hunt lived across the street in New York. It was fun having someone with the same last name! He shared family occasions with us. His Thanksgiving and Christmas offering was a marvellous fresh cranberry relish. It became our own family tradition. Of course, over the years, it has been adapted, but it is still "Gordon's Cranberry Relish", and the holiday isn't the same without it.

Gordon's Cranberry Relish

1 package fresh cranberries
1 whole orange, rind and all (wash the orange)
1/2 cup pecans

Chop the pecans, reserve them. Chop the orange in the food processor until fine, then add the cranberries a few at a time until they are all chopped. Then add the pecans to mix. It is ready to serve.

This is good on in so many ways:
  • as a garnish on turkey, chicken or pork,
  • in baked yams (not candied ones, just baked in the oven, popped open, sprinkled with salt and pepper then a tablespoon of this dropped in,
  • as a winter fruit serving,
    and my latest adventure,
  • Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies!

Made those yesterday evening, and they turned out beautifully. A very lacy crisp cookie. Will try again today, after I get the body done on the commission sweater, and will come back to give you the recipe. Mom, I think you would say it is a tea cookie.

Friday, November 18, 2005

on gauge, and family

Did a gauge swatch. too small. Changed needles. Just right. Knit 2.5 inches of the front and back, checked again and the gauge is off. Sigh. frog. Have you noticed that things like that happen especially if you have a deadline?

Had a quick visit from my just barely turned 80 year old Aunt Ivadell today. She was driving to visit her cousins in a nursing home 2 1/2 hours away from her home, and we are about the halfway point. So, she tries to stop and visit when she sees them. She is special to our children, and I'm always glad to see her. Ivadell, with her daughter Virginia and grandchildren Timothy and Kimberley came to Nathan and Kim's wedding.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

How do you spell relief?

Howard had surgery on his other shoulder Tuesday. We went in not knowing whether we were going to have a simple clean-out, or a rotator cuff repair. He went in on the right shoulder this spring expecting a clean-out and had rotator cuff surgery. I think we both half expected this to be the same, while hoping it wouldn't. Even the doctor felt the same way, as the X-rays, and MRI on the right shoulder didn't suggest the damage. So, he went in for a "decompression with a possibility of rotator cuff."

Imagine my relief when the doctor came out and told me that it was NOT a rotator cuff! He should be out of the sling by the weekend, and recovered shortly. Without the pain of the bone spur in his shoulder. Howard's relief was much greater, of course. Should have had the camera along!

The day of knitting at the hospital was great, as it allowed me to just sit and knit without many distractions.

An update to the tornado information of Saturday, there was an 84 year old woman died about 15 miles from here (24 km). Some of the middle and high school students went to help clean up Monday. They had planned to clean up yesterday (Wednesday), but I haven't heard if the school took them or not, as the weather has turned brutal. Tuesday was out, because of the forecast for blizzards (welcome to Iowa, 70 degree F (21.1 C) or more on Saturday, and blizzards on Tuesday. Then, we plummeted into the freezer -- right now it is 12F or -11.1 C. at 10 in the morning. It is supposed to warm up into more seasonable weather, but who knows.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

An amazing site

Here is an amazing site that everyone should bookmark (at least in my opinion!)
Find a human The way to call and actually talk to a human, instead of being lost in the maze of automated phone service!

I'm amazed

Two people in two grocery stores while in Colorado offered outstanding service.

On the first, I commented at the checkout. The person there automatically felt I was voicing a complaint, and called the manager on duty. She was very surprised that anyone would bother. She asked me to fill out a customer response form. When I did so, she said the person would probably get an award, as it happens so seldom.

At the second store, the person had already clocked out for lunch, but when she heard that I was looking for dried smoked peppers (hey they aren't readily available in my part of Iowa!) she came by and helped. When I got to the checkout I again commented and filled out a customer response form. They had to track her down to be sure I had the right person (bad Mary!) She came by to thank me, and I could tell it was a rare occurance. But it obviously made her day.

Please, when someone does a good job, let the people above them know! THAT is the way to counter in a small way the growing negativity we see around us!

I'm practicing avoidance techniques this morning...

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Your Hair Should Be Orange

Expressive, deep, and one of a kind.
You pull off "weird" well - hardly anyone notices.

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)

You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.
You'd make a talented professor or writer.

A Funny Story

This was what happened last Monday evening when we got in to Denver. It is in Serena's words, I lifted it from Serena's blog.

Okay, so my folks flew in to visit this afternoon. I left work, drove over to the airport, and picked them up. Three adults, crammed into the cab of my pick-up. Not a very big pick-up, mind you! Toddled through traffic (not as bad as I'd expected, even leaving work), and headed toward the health/organic/healthy food grocery store to get stuff Mom could eat (severe food allergies), as well as dinner. Right next door, there's a Barnes and Noble. Since Mom and Dad don't have one close, we wandered over. As we perused the books, Dad and I wandered off, as Mom was doing more serious book browsing. Whilst wandering through aisle just after "Food" and "Wine", I spotted something laying on the floor of the aisle.

After gaping in disbelief for a moment, I looked at Dad.

"There's underwear on the floor at Barnes and Noble!"

He looked at me VERY strangely! "What!?"

"Look," I pointed, "there's someone's underwear on the floor!"

He looked. He stared. We both started giggling.

He asked, "Should we tell someone?"

"No!" I said. "I'M not telling anyone!" Still giggling...

I wander off to tell Mom, seeking a safe haven (safely away from the navy boxers decorating the floor). I whisper to Mom, " there's underwear on the floor over there!"

She looks at me blankly. "What?"

I try again. ""There's underwear on the floor over there!"

And again, the blank look. By this point, I'm starting to giggle all over again.

"There's underwear on the floor over there!" Mom looks shocked. "Where!?!"

I point, and in doing so, notice that Dad is calmly, and politely, informing the girl at the information desk of the newest decoration (He, the cad, tells her that "There is an article of clothing on the floor." She looks puzzled, and a little concerned, and heads off.

My father, at this point, is grinning like a fool. I'm giggling. My mom, not believing me, heads off toward the "underwear" aisle. She returns giggling. Now we head toward dad, who's in prime position to watch employee consternation over the "underwear" aisle.

We see the girl who first headed off turn a brilliant shade of red, at sighting the new decoration. We see her commandeer the gentleman working behind the counter at the help desk. We watch him follow her, very skeptically I might add, and then voice an appalled, "Oh my." He turns pink.

At this point, I'm laughing so hard, I'm facing a book display, and holding on for dear life. My mother is chortling, and my father is doing his best to not roar with laughter! We watch the same beleagured young man stare at the undies on the floor, and proclaim, "This is NOT in my job description!" which only succeeds in making us laugh all over again.

As we left the store, we saw someone had removed the thoughtful floor covering. We're hoping they dispose of the offending article. But it sure made us all laugh!

Saturday, November 12, 2005


A group of us went on a shortened yarn crawl today -- we visited one yarn store. Just as well, tornadoes blew through this area of Iowa. Not quite what one expects in November! As far as we know, no one was hurt, but the path we would have been on was such that we would have been driving in heavy wind and rain. Not good. As it was, we drove home from brief periods in driving rain.

While there the group decided that they couldn't wait until December 3rd to meet again, so they will have a "pick-up" meeting this Monday at 4 to start the new projects with the yarn they just purchased. Mittens, socks, afghan, scarf... I'm not sure what else! Knitting enthusiam! Hooray for knitting!

As for me, I bought four skeins of an autumn toned mohair that seemed to want to be a shoulder shawl. This is from vergnasco, and I have 400 yards. More than adequate for the current pattern in mind.

I also bought 2 skeins of a gorgeous Fonty rust mohair (190 meters total)(why do my fingers want to type morhair tonight?) with coordinating ribbon yarn. And one gorgeous lonely ball of Trendsetter Dune that looks as if it is a party all by itself. Again, autumn colors, closer in tones to the rust than the other skeins, but spun with glitz. A yarn of many colors. Whether these will be one shawl or separate hasn't been decided.


Gauge is an odd duck. Have patience with me, I really will get somewhere, eventually.

I learned to knit in Brownie Girl Scouts, many many years ago in second grade. We know it was in second grade, because Annette didn't learn. She would have learned if I was in third grade, because she would have been in the troop too. I learned on red Boye size 2 short needles (still have them) and with sport weight wool burgundy yarn. We started by covering an oatmeal box and top with contact paper for a project holder. All of us had the same paper. It was white paper with little pink roses, with 2 leaves per rose. There was a hole in the top for the yarn to feed through. When you finished knitting, take the top off, put your knitting in, put the top back on, and everything was safely stowed until the next time you were ready to knit. I think we also had cotton cord carrying handles, but I don't remember for certain.

We were on to the knit stitch, then to the purl. I was lucky that my mom was able to help me, so if I faltered, she was there to rip back to where the error was, and start me on the right track.

The first project I remember was the infamous scarf. I really don't remember finishing it, but that scarf went with us on a camping trip. It kept me busy as we drove from Missouri to Colorado, in the month long camping, and on the long drive home again (hey I was little, I knit a LOT slower then!) I don't remember wearing it, I don't even know if I finished it.

Over the years, Mom and I have had exactly the same gauge. She could fix my knitting when I had problems when I was a child or a teen, althought she believed in ripping back and letting ME knit it back up. Felt I remembered the lesson better. When I teach, I usually knit back up to where the student was. I wonder which method is better? (I figure my way prevents the student from being discouraged. Comments?)

That burgundy yarn followed us around for years. I don't know what use Mom had for it originally, but she had several skeins of it. Some of it in balls, at least on still in a skein, and I remember holding it as Mom carefully rolled it into a ball. I remember finding it off and on through the years, and have even found small balls of it still in my stash.

Later on, Mom started a few projects and became tired of working on them. I was able to pick up her knitting, using the same needles, and finish them for her after tinking back a row to eliminate the needle mark. There was no difference in the gauge. She did finish knitting a gorgeous afghan (that I never would have started) full of trinity stitches. Things had to catch and hold her attention. This one did.

When I broke my wrist my knitting became looser. I didn't even think of it when I asked Mom to knit on the helmetliner the other day. And you know what? Mom's gauge has changed too. You STILL can't see the difference between her stitches and mine. She knit the first inch of the stockinette portion. Our gauges are exactly the same. After all these years, we STILL knit to the same gauge. CHEERS Mom! I love you!

Friday, November 11, 2005


Had a wonderful time Thursday knitting with the Evergreen (Colorado) Knitting Floozies! They are such a welcoming group! Mom and I felt a part of the group, and the time passed by so quickly! They meet every Thursday from 10-12 at Hearthfire Books. If I have it right, we have: Barb, Cindy, Georgine, Gail, Mom, Nancy, and Gloria. Mom knit an inch on a helmetliner while we were there. I was repairing a damaged sock for Georgine(and forgot to take before and after pictures!) that had been attacked by a puppy, so have nothing to show of my time.

This is Howard, my sister Annette, and Mom at the airport, just before security. Hey, I'd forgotten to get pictures most of the trip, so I thought I'd get one picture at least! LOL! Annette and Steve cut THEIR vacation short a day so they could see us. They had taken 2 weeks and traveled to southern Utah just to relax and visit the sites there.

Update on the items I took to knit with me:

  • Mabel's helmet liner was finished right away
  • I did start and finish a helmetliner while I was gone.
  • The Parting ways socks are much further along.
  • The short row scarf needed a new needle -- the stitches merrily jumped off the needle without any provocation. darn it. Even while transferring from one needle to the other it was quite easy to lose stitches.
  • The dragon scales scarf has grown, but needs to grow some more.
  • Couldn't start the other socks -- the needles were occupied.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hello from Colorado!

We're (Howard and I) are on a quick trip to visit family. Sunday we saw Nathan and Kim. The night was enlivened by Tucker, their basset/lab cross jumping on the bed at midnight. He managed to land on both of us, he didn't want one of us to feel left out. That dog is HEAVY! He has the lab body from his mom, but the basset legs from his dad. -

We are spending the days with my parents and the evenings with our daughter Serena. Much laughter has occurred. Mom and Dad's cat Isabelle has been properly adored, and Serena's cat Tora-chan has reminded us that she is queen of our hearts. After all, she lived with us for several years.

Went to a yarn store today, and was saddened when they told someone that she needed to learn to knit a different way, so she could get help. The woman was taught to knit back backwards instead of purling by her grandmother. At what point is it all right to step in and offer to help, when the store clerks are stymied? But, they are suggesting a method that is going to put money in the store (if she accepts). If she doesn't accept, we may have lost a knitter. Sounds as if it may be a lose/lose situation all around. What happened to the philosophy that there isn't a wrong way to knit?

Did find a book I'd been wondering about buying, and was happy to buy. "The Cable Knitting Handbook" by Annie Maloney. Subtitled 101 Original Stitch Designs . She did a great job of pulling together the book on her own, and self-publishing it. If you are interested in cable knitting, I recommend it. She also did a lace book, I'll have to look for that later.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A frogging we will go!

Rats! The scarf is looking good, but it is curling too much for my liking. So, I'm going to visit the frog pond and start over. This is the current incarnation. I'll put a garter edging on either side and both ends to fix it. Since I like its current width, I'll go down in needle sizes too, so it doesn't overwhelm the wearer! Otherwise, we could be looking at a too small shawl!

Packing to visit Serena and my parents. I tend to pack more than needed, "just in case." Always bring extra fiber projects, don't want to run out of knitting, for heaven's sake! That would be a catastrophe! Right now I have ready for the trip:
  • Said scarf that has started over -- the second picture. It hasn't been blocked at all, but you can see how the colors are working together well;
  • Pair of socks that are knit in Jackie E-S's Parting Ways pattern. Both are ready to have the stitches picked up from the heel flap;
  • Helmetliner that just needs the face ribbing -- rest beautifully knit by Mabel until she ran out of yarn. I'll finish that, and have enough yarn for at least 2 more complete helmetliners;
  • Yarn for another pair of socks;
  • Yarn for a short row scarf. Do you think that will be enough for 6 days? sigh

I had written this and uploaded it earlier, and it didn't work. Hope this one does!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

oh my

Today, after several days of 70 degree weather, it has started to cool off. Murphy's law, the new air conditioner is being installed, and the basement door is open and the furnace has been turned off. For some strange reason, the house has steadily cooled off. As he left tonight, the guy said that unfortunately the furnace wouldn't be running tonight either! I see comforters on our beds tonight!

The commission sweater has been put in the mail, thanks to my sweet, ever patient husband! Whee!

I've started the next project. This is obviously the wrong size of needles for I'm going to have to frog and start over, but I love the colors! I'll try more pictures in other light, as there are more colors of blue and green in this. The yarn is from Margaret. I'm knitting it up for her. This color is Sea Cruise, and the yarn is a cotton/rayon with 700 yards per 8 ounce skein.

I had to have some help on winding the ball on the skein, one of the ends buried itself when I snipped the knot. I've never had that happen before. Absolutely bewildering! Clip the knot, and suddenly I had only one free end! That was certainly exciting! Especially as it was NOT the one which allowed me to wind the skein into a ball. I couldn't figure it out. Howard spent 3 minutes looking at the same skein, and started the skein. sigh

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Birthday Nathan Christopher!

Today is our son Nathan's Birthday. Happy Birthday Nathan!

Nathan had severe asthma as an infant and child. It landed him in the hospital a couple of times in complications with other illnesses. He had a lot of shots. He used a nebulizer (he called it making dragon smoke.) Running was out of the question.

He outgrew the asthma for the most part about 12, thank God. He has mild exercise induced, and he deals with it.

Nathan and Kim have been happily married for 3 years. Right now he is working 36 hours a week, doing an internship, and going to college full time! He graduates next month! I'm very proud of him. He's matured into a wonderful man!

On the knitting front, I'm almost finished with the sweater. whee! On to the next project, a scarf for Margaret The yarn came yesterday, and is gorgeous! Don't you think? She hasn't even had time to put the picture of this color on the website yet! I asked, she said it was all right to put it up here.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rats -- so a new post

Blogger and I agreed to disagree earlier when I tried to show our partial "bookshelf" of Andre Norton books. It seemed such a perfect place to put paperback books when we moved in. And we had so many of her books... and so we have the Andre Norton "shelf". Only her books are on this, and we have about 9 feet of her books! It also is a handy place for the McMoran balance too!

Knitting Books

Of the 185 books logged in so far on my new online toy, 149 of them have been knitting books! Guess I can tell where my heart is! It is hard to believe that earlier this year I went culled them, and decreased the number by at least one shelf's worth! I haven't been buying new books much at all, can you imagine what my total would be if I had been purchasing them? The mind boggles! LOL

I keep telling myself virtuously that this is good for insurance purposes. After I get done with the fiber room, and the shelf down the stairs with the Andre Norton books, I'm going to use Howard's laptop and do the downstairs a bite at a time. That is where the preponderence of the books live. I think even more than his office. I don't know for sure. The problem is that books live all over the house, and I'm not always good about putting them back where they should belong. Right now I'm still missing some books from the last time I used/read them.

I'm entering the home stretch on the commission. Maybe today on the body, then just the seaming and the fiddly bits. Whee!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oh-oh, new "toy"

So, I'm reading Cate's blog, and she mentioned a great "time suck" website relative to cataloging books. Of COURSE my ears prick up, and I have to go there! I've spent the rest of the afternoon there. It allows you to catalog 200 books for free, or, for the princely fee of $10 a year or $25 for life an unlimited number of books. I've started. JUST in knitting books alone (well okay, I did find one spinning and one art book mixed in there) that when I stopped for the day, I had over 130 books in there! TWO bookcases of the 3 in the fiber room. Life membership here we come!

It looks as if the site may be best visited earlier in the day, as I was kicked off about an hour ago and have not been able to get on since. Says too many users. But, way too much fun. It searches Amazon for the info once you plug in the ISBN number. So you don't have to type in very much info.

The commission sweater is moving along nicely, thank you.

Going to see the Dress Rehearsal of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirits" tonight. Howard is Tech Director, and I'll sit in the booth with him. That way I can see the performance.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stash Comfort Level

There have been some posts on other blogs about stash comfort levels. I think each of us have to establish our own limit and not fret about it. Is it taking money from essentials in life? Is it taking up too much space in YOUR opinion? If both of these answers are no, then I'm not too worried!

My stash has been my sanity saver. I had to stop working for health reasons in 2000. Since then, I've pretty much lived off my stash. It has dwindled drastically since then. Oh, I've bought a bit, but not like I did before. There have been some generous gifts from friends who have enhanced the stash too. But the majority of my fiber adventures has been from stash shopping. By having the stash on hand, I could continue to do what I loved, without guilt.

Now I'm going to have to do some really thoughtful planning with my stash. What to do with about 2 pounds seconds (I think) of black 3 ply Kroy sock yarn. Things like that. It will take a long time to knit! LOL

Waiting for some yarn to arrive -- so I can finish test-knitting a sweater. Shouldn't take long once it gets here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


I think waiting is one of the hardest things in life.

Right now Nathan is waiting for things to work out. He needs 60 hours at the internship. After being assured that his job would support him on the internship hours, they changed their minds. His work had originally said that he could split the weeks out 2 days at his internship, 3 days at work at 10 hours a day for 4 weeks to get it done. This week he was told that it was off. He either had to work full time through his internship, or become a part-time employee of the company. After much wrestling with the decision, he and Kim decided to take the part-time and he will have to start looking elsewhere with his new degree. In the meantime, it means he will be working extra hours, packing, selling their house and wondering how long the tunnel will be.

Life is like that. Yeah, it is.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I saw this meme at “The Diet Diary Blog”. It’s not about knitting, except for the fact that it’s circulating like wildfire at knitting blogs.

Naturally, I had to follow the command at the end of the list of reasons.

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog box turtle has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans…

Re-post this if you believe in legalizing gay marriage.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Knitting and survival

I was asked to speak at a local service club today about two friends who were in a Communist Concentration Camp after World War 2. I made a comment in passing in the knitting group, and it led to this speech today. People really listened.

I met Kathy and Katrina through our church, but our real point of contact was knitting. Very early in our friendship, Kathy looked at Serena and me knitting, and said, "You would never have made it in the concentration camp -- you would have starved to death!" It shocked us, and surprised her that she said it! She and her mom had worked in a knitting factory after the war, if they made their quota, they ate. Not a lot of food, but it kept them alive. They insisted that we learn the "proper" way to knit -- their way -- Continental. And kept us at it until we were proficient and fast. Not as fast as they were, but a decent rate.

Over the years that we lived there, some of their experiences were told. I expect not many at all. But we heard a few. And some of those I shared today. Without sugarcoating. Starvation, Cold, Depravation, Exile and Death.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

What a compliment!

The doorbell rang this morning. When I answered, Katy was there, and she handed me this...

I feel so complimented!

Friday, October 14, 2005


Nathan graduates with his Associate's Degree December 14th. I'm so proud of him! He has worked full time while attending college full time. This has been a long, hard slog for him, and he has done really well! There have been quite a few jokes as to what he will do with all the free time when he is done. Hey Nathan, I'm PROUD of you!

Migraines seem to be my body's weight loss management program. I do say it is working. Slowly, but it is working. I do wish I wouldn't come up with new foods I can't eat. We bought 25# of dried garbanzo beans with the last food coop order, and the first batch I cooked found out that they trigger -- migraines. Now I'm trying to find someone who will take the rest of the beans from us. Just called the local food pantry, and they are delighted. They are low on food, as people have contributed so much of their charitable dollars to hurricane relief instead of local needs. So, there we go! Whew! I don't need to worry about THAT any more.

The knitting is moving along nicely. As it is garter, it is always slower than I think.

Hint 1 When knitting the two fronts and the back at the same time (in separate pieces) I'm putting one ball on my right side, one ball in my lap, and one ball on my left side. That seems to stop the atrocious tangles that have happened in the past. Of course, it does mean that getting up quickly is a thing of the past. LOL

Hint 2 When working several pieces together (to make sure they are the exact same size) pin the pieces together with safety pins, so you have, in effect, one continuous piece with several ends. When you get to a split, change yarns and keep going. The only time you turn and go back the other direction is when you reach an UNPINNED edge. Just don't stop at a pin, you'll confuse yourself! Let me know if you need a visual.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Yesterday a girl asked Howard: "How could Jesus be a carpet layer if they didn't have carpet yet?"

Carpenter and carpet layer are so close, don't you think? Probably to a child, they do sound close. and to many children, they have more experience with a carpet layer than a carpenter!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Great Knitting Weather!

Wow! Fall Fell! Yesterday we brought in the houseplants, and today we are adapting to cooler temperatures. Earlier in the week the air conditioner was running, that is now a thing of the past. Even with the thermostat set at the new low temperatures, to save energy, the furnace has clicked on a couple of times.

All in all, good weather to curl up on the couch, put a good book in the CD or tape player and knit away!

Earlier this week I did a gauge swatch. I always do a gauge swatch for a sweater. I was right on target. But somehow, as I got to the top of the sleeves, I realized something was not right. In the process of going from gauge swatch to sleeves, my knitting had tightened up. The sleeves were WAY too small. I had to frog both back (I knit both at the same time to make sure they are the same size when I'm done!) and start again with larger needles. I'm about to measure again to make sure they are still the same. Don't want to do THAT again. Would hate to have them turn out too LARGE this time, now wouldn't I!

Isn't that how life turns out sometimes? You plan ahead, but the actual details change as you go. Life IS a challenge!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Migraines -- again

Started week 2 of migraines. All clues of what has caused them have been exhausted, and I'm tired. Two a day since Thursday. I'm tired. We thought we could trace it to environmental/food, but that seems to be out as well. I don't see the neurologist until next week, which seems a heck of a long time away right now. Stress? Well, I'll give you that one! These migraines cause a GREAT DEAL of stress!

Sunday, October 02, 2005


The other night we had a frost advisory. So I carefully covered the houseplants that spend the summer outside. I made SURE they were all covered. The next morning, this is what it looked like. The largest plant is claustrophobic? Just had to see out? Sheesh? I don't understand.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Have you ever had a pressure that has been on your back for a long time? That you just can't seem to get rid of? That you finally take steps to eliminate? That's how I feel today. First baby steps taken. Whew. Any journey is full of steps, and Howard and I are taking the first ones together.

On the knitting front, my project is growing. It will soon be done, and I'll be back to things that can be displayed here. It is nice to be able to show off progress.

Last Thursday was the first day of Autumn, and we may get our first frost tonight? Sheesh. I am not ready to bring in the plants yet -- as in, the spider plant has grown in the last two years to be HUGE (from a 5 inch pot to this!) We repotted it at the first of the summer, and it decided it liked the idea. I think this is an 18 inch pot. The lovely lavender concrete (at least on my monitor) is compliments of the overcast skies. It isn't actually that color. What a nice idea, though, don't you think? grin The tomatoes are reaching the end of their growing season.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Okay, I'm exasperated, as I'm test knitting something, and ran out of yarn. So, that project has come to a major screeching halt (you could hear the screech as I stopped couldn't you?) and I'm trying to decide what to do next. Whatever I start, has to stop again as soon as that yarn gets here, so it gets finished. Maybe a pair of socks, they sound fun. Or another helmet liner. I like the idea of socks better.

Actually, Murphy has been having a wonderful day. But I can safely say that the universe has been against me today. Well, not really, but it feels like it. A cascade of things going wrong. Nothing earth shattering, but still!

I did finish another helmet liner. I had one a couple of inches along, so this one was picked up and I finished it tonight.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Wreath of Helmet Liners?

This is what is going in the mail tomorrow -- a pinwheel of them! They aren't colorful, but I could have SWORN that Sandy's friend sent two grey ones, and spend some time yesterday searching the house for the second one. Finally counted, and had them all. sigh They are NOT models of loveliness, but they represent warmth and caring. That is 18 more who will be warm this winter.

Derek shipped out yesterday. Shirley stopped by today for yarn to make at least one while taking her husband for treatment next week. It felt like a hug.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Sorry about the delay in posting. I've been trying to knit up helmet liners before some commission knitting gets here. I won't be able to post that, but it was nice to hear compliments about my knitting from another source! Right now I'm up to 13 helmet liners knit, plus 4 that arrived today in the mail from San Diego! I'll finish another tomorrow. I think the helmet liners are a way of praying in the dark, as our nephew Derek heads for Iraq.

Our local church just celebrated its 150th anniversary this past weekend, with many former members and pastors attending to celebrate with them. They all seem to have had a marvellous time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

and the days turn toward autumn

Wow! We had two storms blow through today, almost two inches of rain between them. It became dark enough both times to seem to be night in the house. It was nice, because Howard was home during the second storm, we sat in the living room, and read quietly, while thunder boomed overhead, and rain pummeled the windows. Of course, it would have been VERY uncomfortable if we had to be out in it (and Howard had to for the first storm -- he waited it out and then walked home.)

The heat had been less, but the storm broke the heat even more, which makes me start thinking of fall and the coming of winter. How are the people who have moved here from New Orleans going to to handle the cold of winter? It is something to be experienced, not described. Already the talk is that we must keep our houses cooler this winter, to conserve energy. Joy. Lots and lots of hot tea all winter long, to keep the insides warm, while layers and layers outside. Heavy socks anyone?

Friday, September 09, 2005


Please remember that in times of great disasters elsewhere, the local foodbanks wind up going bare, because contributions dry up. The people who rely on them are still in need, but they have no place to go. We have a responsibility to them as well. Poverty doesn't take a break.

I made one last effort with the sweater, and here it is.

The shingles are clearing up. Whee. This has been an experience, which I hope I don't repeat!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

It is Saturday Morning and the brain hasn't started yet

Some mornings the brain doesn't start well. Today is one. Howard was a sweetheart and brought tea to me, otherwise, my brain may not be functioning at all! LOL

The images of New Orleans are haunting me, as I'm sure they are most people. Knitters are coming together again for the common good at Give a Little This time, for the Red Cross. Donate to the Red Cross, tell Margene and Susan at the the address given on the blog, and other knitters are donating incentives.

I'd also like to remind you that there are other charities that are working their butts off at this time. Many houses of worship/denominations are taking up collections this weekend for the disaster, and will be sending the money directly where it is needed. No administrative fees.

As promised, the pictures of Dôra's jacket. Hm, the back doesn't want to be uploaded. One more try (I've tried several times) and I'll decide you don't want to see it! LOL That's it! You don't want to see it.

Three helmet liners down. Howard is shown "graciously" modeling one of them. My cohort on these couldn't figure out what they looked like from the pattern. Unless I hear otherwise, I'll post a final total when done with the others who have contributed to my totals, and not keep posting my results here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Helmet Liners

Helmet Liner Number 2 done! It would certainly help if I could do 2 by 2 ribbing mindlessly, but with the medication for shingles (hey, they really are getting better, I'm seeing improvements, but still...) right now. I'm all right with the knit 2, but somehow, I keep finding a purl 3 somewhere in the mix, and have to tink (knit backwards or unknit) back until I fix the error (and it is NEVER just a few stitches!) I'm going to try to con, er, persuade Howard into having his photo taken modeling at least one of them tomorrow, as Serena doesn't have a clue what it is supposed to look like. Serena is in on this grand scheme of outfitting her cousin Derek's group (Howard and my nephew)with helmet liners shortly after he gets to Iraq next month. It would help tremendously if we knew how many were going to BE in his group, but as HE doesn't know, WE don't know. This is called knit/knit/knit/knit. So, tonight I finished number 2, and started #3. I have this sneaking feeling I may be really good at these after a while. The first liner was from leftovers from Do^ra's Jacket. And there is enough left over for at least one more liner.

Do^ra's Jacket arrived today. Good news, she likes it! Whew! That is always a relief! I don't know about anyone else, but I always worry, unless the person is right here for immediate feedback as the item is being made. Otherwise, it is so easy for a disconnect between what I think they want and what they actually want. Not to mention a problem with measuring! Hopefully pictures soon!

Howard made some absolutely wonderful bread today in the machine, blueberry, pecan and oatmeal. Wow! Something to remember! I hope he wrote down what he did, because it is definitely a "recipe to remember!" Not to mention filling the house with a delightful fragrance.

Monday, August 29, 2005


This has not been one of my better weeks. I've developed shingles. Feels as if the skin has sustained a burn, and is seriously annoyed with me. ANYTHING touching it hurts. Sleep is difficult, don't move or I wake myself up. The trip this weekend to Bloomington IN is off as well.

D^ora's sweater is in the mail to her, hopefully Larry can get a good picture of her wearing it (thus admitting _I_ didn't get a good shot of it before it left here!) that I can put here. I'm somewhat amazed that despite heavy pain meds I was able to knit on it. Howard says he isn't, there is such a thing as being stubborn. Whatever, it was finished this morning, and as he was going to the post office this afternoon, I popped it in a box to mail off. THEN I thought about pictures.

Our nephew is being posted to Iraq. To support him, and the guys he will be working with, Serena and I are going to start knitting helmet liners. A box of yarn arrived today, and some of it promptly went on to Serena's. Each stitch will carry a prayer for safety. Sometimes, in the face of big events, we feel helpless. This is our way of seeking to find a way to harness our worry.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Warning: Shameless Bragging Ahead!

Some things I've never had much of a forum to show off! So, I'm doing it here!

These are the wedding stockings I designed and knit for Antina's US Civil War Wedding Serena's Senior Year at Beloit. The lace pattern is period for the time, the yarn is a wool/silk (Zephyr). I used 4/0 needles for the sole of the foot, and 0s for the legs and the top of the foot. Many adventures were had, knitting these! Do NOT knit in your nightgown with needles that are sharp enough to be considered weapons, drop one needle in your lap, and then stand up! Grievous bodily harm will result! Ask me how I know! And Howard laughed.

This is a Christening Gown for my friend Julie's grand-daughter Rachael. I used the finer than cobweb weight silk/wool that Jaggerspun produced as an experiment, unfortunately discontinued. The BUTTONS weigh more than the gown itself! The pattern is from "Shetland Lace" by Gladys Amedro.

One of my rare forays into Fair Isle knitting, Lucy Neatby's pattern, Shelridge Farms kit, I fell in love with this at Maryland Sheep and Wool several years ago. I bought it, and then it sat in my stash, daring me to knit it. In the process, I decided that I did NOT like the Philosopher's Wool method of knitting Fair Isle. I prefer stranding the other way.

Dianne's Sleeves in Your Pi. This is the first one I did. I think. Dianne is my knit buddy from way back. She had the yarn spun up from some of the fleeces she had purchased. It doesn't block as large as I'd like, but it looks really good on her, I think!

And finally, a really good (if bad color representation) of Serena's graduation sweater. Now you can really see what I'm making again.

Monday, August 22, 2005

When the going gets tough, I get knitting

So, Dora's jacket body is still in time out. But, the sleeves are growing. I know you can't tell from the picture, but they are actually at about 8 inches. Growing nicely, is one way to look at it. Enough to ease my mind about the blasted edging. Of course, I'll probably finish the sleeves just about in time to need a project to take to the wedding next week. The jacket might be a good project for that, as it won't require notes, but there is a lot of bulk involved, so it isn't the best for knitting in a plane. More thinking required.

Just for fun, I started Karis, from Rowan 36, designed by Sharon Miller. Of course, I'm not using the yarn called for. This is a mohair/wool that Belinda Daniel sent me from Australia. Wow, is it wonderful to knit with! I wanted to block the edging before I picked up the stitches for the body, so here you can see what it blocked out to look like. Nice, eh?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Camera Shows All -- Darn it!

Took a picture of Dora's Seville Jacket body today, and realized I'm going to have to frog (rip-it) the edging and do it again on smaller needles. Sigh. I'd suspected, but sometimes the camera gives you a better perspective. Yes, Mary, the edging is too big. Damn. That means the sleeve cuffs are going to be too big as well too. I sure hope the BODY fits her! LOL!

The edging is ruffling, which would be fine if that were the intent, but this is supposed to be a smooth, close design. I need to drop two needle sizes, I suspect.

I think I'm going to knit a pair of socks in the meantime. Or something simple. I don't know what. Something to ground me and let me get back to this.

We found out yesterday that our nephew Derek is being deployed to Iraq next month. One of my first reactions was "what can I knit for him so he knows I care?"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

still here

I'm still here, the body of the sweater is done, and the sleeves are started. Barely. The cuffs are done.

Still trying to find out if we are going to be moving, where (in town), and all those "minor" details. Will update as I find out. Things have just been harried. Which is why I've not written. Sorry.

Will post pictures of the jacket body tomorrow or tonight.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Goodbye Aunt Martha Louise

My Mom's sister Martha Louise was buried today. That feels really final to write that. We've known since last fall that she had a fatal illness -- Myelodysplasia, but she fought it a lot longer than any of us expected. It turned into acute leukemia, though, and her body couldn't fight any longer.

An obituary is an odd thing. It distills a life into a dry paragraphs, that don't really say much about the person. No mention of the sweater she knit for me when I was in high school (it was of bulky yarn, royal blue wool with red and white accents -- a ski sweater which was great while skiing!) I think she knit Annette one too that year, but I don't remember for certain. No mention of how she loved to have people stop by the house and spend the night/weekend/whatever. No mention of how she loved to shop. Or eat out, many places which recognized her by name.

I knew she and my uncle had students stay in their home because they loved to have people around, but the fact that 30 of them from around the world stayed over the years is amazing! Two of their sons found their wives from this group!

Memories of them going to San Francisco when we were in Marin County -- Mom and Martha shopping (Macys!)then watching Godspell with us in live theater.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

thoughts on knitting a jacket edging

I was asked how I'm knitting the edging on my jacket. Easiest way to show that, of course, is to show with pictures. There is this small detail that the jacket I'm working on is a really deep rich brown, but let's try.

First of all, I started knitting the jacket with a provisional cast-on. I used a cotton yarn that contrasted with the jacket yarn. This is one of the places where my minimal crochet skills comes into play. I did a long crochet chain. Usually I ask Howard to do it, but his right hand was still in a sling, and he just stared at me when I asked. So, I did it. sigh. It doesn't matter if the chain stitches aren't of equal size (mine aren't) they just give a "home" for the knit stitches.

Once the body is knit, pick up the stitches around the body. At this point, I pick up about half of body's worth of stitches (about all that fit comfortably on my circular -- I REALLY don't want to be fighting them!) The same way that you do at any other time -- for the areas where you are picking up horizontally (along the bottom of the jacket or the neck edge), pick up one stitch for every stitch. Where you are pickin up vertically or along a curve, a good solution is your gauge. For example, on my jacket, my gauge is 5 sts and 6.5 rows per inch. Right now, I'm picking up a stitch for 5 rows and then skipping a row. If my gauge had been 7 rows, I would have probably gone 2 rows skip 1, 3 rows skip one, as I wouldn't want a 2 row gap.

Now it is time to start knitting the edging. I used some more of my waste edging (I had lots left over) and cast on the required number of stitches. That way, when I'm finished, I can kitchener the start and finish together, for a clean look. It would also be possible to do a 3 needle bindoff. Just because the instructions tell you to do a regular cast-on, doesn't mean you have to do it that way!

As you can see, although I've started, it is going to be a long time before I'm done on this! Mentally, I refer to it as miles of edging. A good time to settle down with a good book on tape and relax into it!

When I get to the corners, I'll do 2-4 suspended rows on each side of the corner without knitting 2 together from the body stitches. That will give the edging some shape, and not distort the jacket. I may very well do a k3tog instead of a k2tog at the corners of the neck, to help shape the edging there.