Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcome Justin Lee!

Grandtad has revealed that he is a boy! At 5 o'clock this morning we each received this photo message on our cell phones. The message was "Meet Justin Lee". He arrived 5 days late, but his Mom and Dad are thrilled that he is here (so are we!) Mom and Baby are doing well.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Still no baby. Poor Kim! She is past her due date.

We spent time with our kids around Christmas, I figured out that we were in the car 30+ hours between Thursday the 20th and Friday the 28th. That does NOT count driving around town either place. That's a lot for this body!

Serena wore her Rogue-ette almost all the time we were there. Did I think to get pictures? Nooo! sigh I have a request in for her to get someone at work to take a picture of her wearing it. If not, then maybe late January...

Tucker was unhappy that no one was playing with him. So he sough solace with his frog.
I knit several more pairs of wristwarmers for my sister, but mailed them off before I got pictures. Hopefully her hands will be warmer! I started one more pair, finished another, but one isn't a color she'll wear happily (I will though!) and the other is driving me nuts right now. As I've whined before, asthma makes knitting difficult some times. While I have been capable of knitting a 2 by 2 rib, I was doing a 4 by 4 (because I like the way it looks and to do something different.) I just couldn't. COULD not. 4 by 5, or 5 by 4... many many times. I finally put it away in disgust.

On the way home, it was snowing and blowing. Howard wasn't using cruise control, to keep better control of the car. At one point we watched the car just ahead of us as it perhaps hit ice or realized it was missing its exit. We don't know. Howard thought the first, I thought the second. Whatever, it started spinning. There was concern that we were going to collide. It seemed to be happening in slow motion. Just when we thought the driver had brought the car under control, a tire dipped over the edge and the car gracefully rolled and landed on its roof! Talk about a heart thumping stretch of time! Howard brought the car to a stop, then backed up to help out as I called 911. (As an aside, I really wish the dispatchers knew mile and exit numbers -- it would make it easier for those of us who aren't reading all the road signs as we go by! That would be me when I'm passenger.) All the time praying for them, for other travelers, for those who stopped and for a safe trip the rest of the way! We were told the people in the car were fine, so took off. It was a subdued pair in the car for the rest of the way. That happened 2 and a half hours from home. Ick! We rejoiced when the road cleared up shortly after we got back into Iowa!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Handel's Hallelujah Chorus

I should be asleep. The alarm is set to go off at 4:30 in the morning, so we can spend some time with the kids before Serena flies out for home. Yet, I'm awake. Drat.

My parents had a reel to reel tape recorder. Dad used it for work before his stroke. It was a massive thing by today's standards, I think each reel was close to 6 inches (15 cm). And heavy. But that was state of the art in those days. After his stroke, he didn't need it. We had pre-recorded tapes for it, I remember some were loaned by others to amuse him after he came home from the hospital, but the selection was...eclectic. The Messiah, Coppelia, western tunes... I think I remember some friends loaned/gave him tapes.

For whatever reason, I commandeered that machine. I needed it to go to sleep. I'd go to sleep listening to Coppelia or to Handel's Messiah. I'm sure I probably only needed one side to go to sleep, I seemed to have fallen asleep before "The Trumpet Shall Sound" for the Messiah, but I'd rouse for that. Wonder if that is why my Mom hates trumpets? She commented one time that they demand (bugle?) her attention.

Anyway, tonight I was thinking about the Messiah and the Hallelujah Chorus. How many times I've heard it or sung it in my life. My first memory of it is with that recording (no, I don't know who made it.) Then there is the memory of the pick-up choir of my high school days. A local religious institution invited anyone who wished to come for the afternoon to practice the Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah, to be performed that evening. We all came together, from MANY religious backgrounds, practiced (I'm sure that the sponsoring church's choir had practiced a LOT more) and then put on a performance that evening.

Then in college, the church we belonged to performed the Christmas and Easter portions on alternate years. Complete with brass quintet. I think that is the last time I sang it myself.

When we moved to New York, Serena was a member of the high school choir, which had the Hallelujah Chorus as the finale of the program every year. Anyone who had been a choir member in the past was invited to come up on stage and sing. It was a vibrant, exuberant performance, with friends meeting up since they had graduated. Some had been singing this together for 40 years or more. Most of them tried to get in on time, so they could get to the program. I know we tried to schedule her flights home from college in time so she could get there. Didn't always happen, due to finals schedule, but still...

Now, listening to XM stereo on tv, there have been a couple of playings of the Hallelujah Chorus. And there is still that stillness, that delight in the memories over the years.

Tonight, for some reason, instead of sleeping the Chorus is once again ringing in my head. The worst of it is that I can't remember, is it 3/4 or 4/4 time? Sheesh? Instead of the joy, why is THAT important?

We are waiting the birth of grandtad. Any day now. Whee!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


We have spent 16 hours in the car over the last 3 days. Here to Nathan and Kim's, there to the MSP airport and back (to pick Serena up) and then home today. Then we will drive up Christmas Day to have Christmas with the kids, then drive Serena back to the airport, then back up to N & K's. From there, we don't know what we will do -- yet.

It is so frustrating, to get so freaking many political phone calls a day! Good grief! Even though I've committed to a candidate, they call me so many times to make sure I'm still planning to vote for this person. GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK! The more you push me, the more irritated I feel. The political commercials are on constantly, the phone calls are ridiculous! Why in the world do we live here?

Still no baby. Poor Kim. She isn't comfortable. Neither of them (she nor Nathan) are sleeping well (surprise, surprise!) The only good thing is that we know that it will, eventually, end. Her blood pressure climbed suddenly, she was put on bed rest yesterday. Hm, good thing she was going to be off work Monday and Tuesady anyway!

With all of the driving time Thursday and today, I did get knitting accomplished. Not Friday, however, as we drove in the dark, and I didn't want to mess up the pattern. It is hard to get the correct number of rows in a Fibonacci sequence when you can't see what you are doing! LOL

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I don't think it is a word but it is exactly what some special people are. Appreciators. I have some appreciators in my life. Right now I'm talking about my knitting life. There are others, in other areas, but this was highlighted TWICE today! TWICE! YAY!

I have knit for my sister off and on for years. I love knitting for her, as she cherishes whatever I've made. To the point that I think she could safely get rid of the vest I knit for her in high school, um, way too many years ago! Unfortunately, that was before I had the idea that I should knit colors that look good on the intended victim, instead of my favorites. She looks good in rose tones, this was rust. Nevertheless, she wore that vest for a long time. Today she asked for wrist warmers in wild colors, because it is so cold in her office. Whee! I'm off to stash dive (and I asked my friend Dianne for extras, because she LOVES wild colors much more than I do.) I'd started a pair of socks for me, but the yarn yelled, "I wanna be wrist warmers!" Okay. I frogged the couple of inches I'd done, and that's what they will be!

Some of the yarn is in a bit of a short supply, so I'm going to knit them in reverse, start at the hand and work down. I suppose some could be Scandinavian pulse warmers....

My "almost daughter" in London UK who visited us several years ago wrote this morning too. The two sweaters I knit earlier in the year for my "granddaughters" are so loved, that the other day the youngest pet hers going in and out of the washing machine (called a wetter by the oldest , isn't that appropriate!) The sweaters (jumpers) aren't impervious to stains (darn it) but they are light colors -- lime green and neon yellow respectively, but the girls love them. That is what is important.

These aren't the only knit appreciators in my life! But I heard from both of them today, and that meant a lot to me.

I hope you have appreciators in many aspects of YOUR life!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

3 and a bit days of knitting

I couldn't let that last bit of yarn go to waste! Really I couldn't! I knit the mitts first, then, because there was so much yarn left, I started the Moebius. I got near to the end of the yarn, and put a slip knot in it about 4 times the width of the scarf (because of the ribbing.) I had about 6 inches of yarn left over at the end. Sweater pics will come after Serena tries it on next week. I'll try to get pics of the mitts on a body, as they do look nice.
Have you ever noticed that yarn sometimes does NOT want to be something? I was knitting on the Moebius last night using a different stitch pattern. It just didn't go well. I finally frogged it and started over. It went so quickly at that point.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


We are in that period of life that is so interesting. We are waiting. Every time the phone rings, we think, "Is it the baby?" Posts from them indicate how tired they are, and the baby isn't even here yet! Oh dear. New life is on its way. It is almost here. What a promise for the future!

Unfortunately, the phone is ringing a lot these days. You see, we are in one of the first election states. One memorable day I received 5 phone calls for political surveys PLUS 7 for political ads. I don't know about you, but I hang up on robo calls. Thanks but no thanks. I don't find it impressive that someone with a "name" has recorded a message and it is going out to several thousand people at once. I don't care. Click. I admit I have a weakness for political surveys. I want my voice heard. But there really is a limit. It has gotten to the point that I can frequently tell the politcal bias of the group who is sponsoring the poll. We're not supposed to notice that it is slanted toward one person/group?

Oops. I was just working on my yarn spreadsheet. Must keep myself honest. To realize that one of the times I added yarns, I managed to foul up my total ounces line. I don't know how. Not sure I WANT to know how. sigh But that means I have almost 200 less ounces than I thought I did. Um, that is quite a mistake! Over 12 pounds. I am not saying that I'm running out of yarn any time soon. Far from it. But still, there is a wonder about that error.

By the way, the wristwarmers are finished. Well, one still needs the ends sewn in. But effectively finished. Whee!

Remember my whine yesterday about the yarn for the last sweater that seemed to have gone missing. Well, I checked my actual stash (against the spreadsheet) for my yarn (purchased for me at the same time/place.) Hm, spreadsheet said 20 skeins. Actual stash was 12. I am going to take it that I did the same with Serena's. somehow. Must have been the day the spreadsheet went bad. grin That is a 1.3 pound difference there alone...

Friday, December 14, 2007


The sweater is done! In time to hand it off to the intended victim next week! I had just a bit of yarn left over (that I can find) and am in the process of making a set of wristwarmers. No pattern, just playing. Serena (said intended victim) said she doesn't need wristwarmers, so I will just have to wear them around here! Such a shame, as it is COLD in this house right now! LOL We still have power, but there are a lot of drafts.

As I said, the yarn left over "that I can find." I have a yarn database. I try to be accurate with it. There are things that slip through the cracks, it may be off by a few skeins, but not by much. So I wrote down that I'd brought 15 skeins (26.25 oz or 250 grams) of this yarn home from Serena's to knit this sweater up. I'd bought it a couple of years ago from New Zealand. The sweater weighs 1 pound .5 ounces or 468 grams. There would be a little more used, the ends that were trimmed and thrown away. That is 9+ skeins. I have the rest of the + skein and one more at hand (hence the wristwarmers.) BUT WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THE OTHER 4 SKEINS! I've hit the exasperation level by now. If I'd had them, I probably would have saved them to make something else toasty. But it didn't feel as if I had enough to make much, and thought "a-ha, wristwarmers!" Didn't want to waste this uber-warm yarn! I have searched the house. I asked Serena if she remembered how many skeins she had, her helpful response "a box full." True, when I sent them to her I squished them all in a small box. But that doesn't really give me an accurate count, now does it?

Does anyone else have this happen? Sheesh!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


There was a car accident last night. 4 high school boys were in the car. Two of them died. This is a small town. It has hit hard. Howard spent the morning at the high school as one of the volunteer grief counselors. Today 2 families are facing the Christmas holidays with their hearts breaking. Their friends are having to come to grips with the painful reality.

Inevitably, memories of the school bus accident while we lived in Oklahoma surfaced. Luckily that time no one died. It was the last day of school before the Christmas holidays. Many families had all of their children on that bus (even smaller town -- elementary through high school students rode the same bus.) Howard was one of the first ones on the scene. The first I heard about it was a frantic phone call from a father who had all 3 of his children on the bus. He hoped that someone had called Howard to alert him, and so he would be able to find out WHERE the accident was, so he could go to his kids. He had been given strange directions (the crash was so many miles east and so many miles west of town instead of north. Can't get there from here. But we didn't know at the time to substitute north for west.) Funny, I think of the accident, and I immediately see Serena's Christmas dress that I was making. I was pressing in the hem when I took the call. I can see the ironing board, the dress, and the feeling of horror. Mentally naming the children that were probably on that bus.

Things like this do happen. But we would all much rather that it didn't happen to anyone, but especially not to those we know. All we can do is be there for those who have been affected. And pray.

Monday, December 10, 2007

When the stitches go bad...

I was knitting away on the collar. Paying very special attention to those cable crossings that had been wrongly turned earlier. Really I was. About 12 rows in to tonight's episode of knitting, I realized, every freaking one of the center cables in tonight's knitting was done incorrectly! Part of me was in absolute shock. Part was horrified. The rest? Resigned. The sweater is no longer going to have a collar as I had planned it before. At this point I'm knitting a rolled edge to match the sleeves and hem, and this sucker is done!

Later (much later) I will figure out a way to show myself how the cables are supposed to go. Bur obviously not tonight.

I am now going to whimper off into the sunset.

One of those days

I made a commitment to myself today that I'd knit at least 10 rows this evening. Then I cut my finger while slicing bread. Can't tell if the bleeding has stopped yet, until it does I'm not going to even try. Knitting may be a moot point. I'll see. It is the tip of the left index, I don't use the tip foe knitting except on the cable rows. Wonder if I can come up with a work-around! I can tell you honestly that my typing is atrocious! Amazing how many letters use that finger!

Have you ever noticed how important something that is seldom noticed becomes when it is incapacitated or gone? As soon as you give/throw something away that hasn't been used in several years, it becomes vital. I don't understand. Same with yarn. Pass it on because it won't be knit up -- ever, and BANG! sigh

I've noticed as things become more uncertain, my knitting is doing the same. grumble

I've been pondering the new-born baby hat (knit for newborns at the hospital where I still volunteer, despite the fact that we moved away 4 years ago) that I knit while in the emergency room with my dad. According to information on the web, it is very difficult to kill the disease spores for what he had. Finally came to the conclusion to throw out the hat and the yarn (there was enough for one more hat.) I also gave the needles, stitch markers and row counter a good chlorine bleach bath. The stitch markers and row counter hadn't been used for the hat, but were in the same knitting bag. The bag was also swabbed out. Maybe overkill. I'd rather be safe than cause harm to a baby.

Update on the finger, new bandage because I bled through the other one, and yes, I can knit. Slowly at the cable crosses, but that finger is used to tension, not move the stitches.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Great Stash-Down

I've been thinking of shopping my stash for some time, and joined a group on Ravelry. Karin MT started it, and it has become vastly popular. Some are shopping only from their stash, others are working on a zero growth goal -- however much comes in, an equal part must go out. Right now I'm working toward the stash only, with the exception to be yarn for baby things. We'll see how long it actually lasts. There is so much laceweight there, I think the only way to use it all up is to strand many together until I reach the desired weight.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


47 minutes of playing human jack-hammer today and I managed to break the ice and clear the walk for less than half. I had to give up when the wheezing and sore muscles won. More tomorrow. I am trying to remind myself that I am doing good things for my body by all the work. I suspect tomorrow I'm also going to be saying something on the order of "Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, OW!" LOL It is probably still 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Happy Birthday Serena!

Happy Birthday Serena! The best daughter we could ask for!

Her birthday present today? Notice that her truck was totalled. She was told that the frame is shaped like a banana. The thing we are all trying to remember: She was NOT hurt!

On the sweater front, intended victim looked at the picture on the blog and "kind of likes the way it looks, so don't fix it." Whew! I have to admit it has been in time out since I noticed the error.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Not only did I notice, when I picked up this sweater today that I'd gotten one cable crossing wrong in the collar, I found TWO!
The second picture was to show you how I am handling changing this from a hood to a collared sweater. Lo and behold, it looks as if I missed one in the neck as well! Good thing I don't mind grafting. But for heaven's sake! I would guess that this means my peak flow is lower than I thought. Although, looking at it again, did I actually make a mistake, or is it the way the sweater is "posed."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh Drat!

Remember that I spent some hours yesterday frogging the neckline on this sweater, so that the ribbing is tighter? And was so careful to save the portion of the collar that is already done? I was knitting away on it today, and realized there is a cable crossing some rows back that went the wrong way. sigh I whimpered, and put it away. I will finish the collar (hey, it is attached again!) and, when the collar is finished, I'll cut that offending cable where the cross goes the wrong way, repair it, and graft it back together again. SO much better than frogging that many rows!

I commented to Howard today that it is funny, when I think I'm making a mistake, but keep going because I don't want to frog it, I rue it later. It takes so much more time and effort to fix the repair later, when more is knit, than if I'd fix it when I first realize there may be a problem. This seems to be a problem over and over again. WHEN will I learn to trust my instincts on thsi! whine He said, and I quote, "I refuse to comment." LOL

Monday, November 26, 2007

slight hiccup in my knitting

I was blithely priding myself yesterday on how far the Rogue was coming. After all, I was on the collar. Not much more to go! The end's in sight -- you know that feeling. Then I held it up, and it was -- GASP -- DROOPY! I'd forgotten to change needle size in the ribbing just before the collar. I wanted to do that (hey, when you start changing patterns you have to keep doing it, you know!) to provide some substance for the collar. I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to frog the ribbing (and the patterning on both fronts) without frogging the 4 inches of collar I'd knit. Late this afternoon I carefully took out the last row of the ribbing, which detached the collar. Whew! I've now reknit the rib, and will reattach the collar tomorrow. The end is back in sight!

why is it that my winter wardrobe has slowly picked up more and more red, and my socks do NOT match? It looks as if I'm going to need to knit more red socks for me this year! Funny, but up until the last few years, red is NOT a color that has been in my wardrobe. Why the sudden shift? I dunno.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Endless knitting

I am at the stage of a sweater where it feels as if it will never end. I know that I'm decreasing 8 stitches every other round. Yet the needle feels as full of stitches (or as if it has even more!) than it did when I added the sleeves (it is a raglan.)

I am also puzzling quite how I'm going to make the transition from the body to the neck, with the cables continuing on, seamlessly (or as much as possible.) The pattern calls for a hood, Serena wants it with a collar instead. Hm, just writing this helped, I've text messaged her with a question. I don't think that she wants it to be as I've puzzled, but different. In that case, it suddenly became a lot easier. Yup, she just replied. Second thought was correct. Whew! I'm so glad I decided to write about it, instead of proceeding on the way I was!

Pictures will follow as soon as it is finished. Or soon after.

Then it is on to baby knitting! Whee! They go so much faster than adult. And face it, they are so CUTE! LOL

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks Giving!

Got a phone call this morning, "Mom, I wrecked the truck, but I'm okay!" Black ice on the road, the pick-up spun and hit the guardrail on the driver's side. She had speculated several times as to whether the guardrail would be high enough to stop her truck. What a wonderful thing that it did, or she would have rolled over!

A caring commuter stopped and invited her to sit in his vehicle while waiting for help. He told her that he tries to help when he can, hoping that if he ever is in a similar circumstane, someone will be there to help him.She finally sent him on his way, so he wouldn't be late for work.

When the highway patrolman arrived, he let her sit in his (warm!) vehicle until the tow truck arrived two hours after the accident.

Then a friend of my mom's picked her up at the body shop and brought her to my parents' place, so she could borrow their car.

She is aching tonight from the impact, but no major damage.

So many things to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

knitted cotton washcloths

When we lived in New York, a wonderful lady named Edie had gotten to the point in her knitting life that the only thing she liked to knit was washcloths. She sold some at a friend's restaurant, but gave many away. I have some that she generously gave us. They are great! I especially like to use them for dishes (the few dishes that are done by hand, hey, that is what a dishwasher is for!) When I use them I think of her, how courageous she was, having battled cancer several times. She was a giving person.

Slowly they are wearing out. I need to replace them. I'm wondering about a cone of linen yarn I have on hand, I'll bet those would last a LONG time! There is regret as these wear out, Edie died just after we moved here. So they are the last tangible memory of her.

I've also wondered about giving them as gifts, but I don't know how many of the intended victims would use them. If a person is into using paper towels, a cloth that needs to be washed is not appealing. There is some gratification in cleaning up a mess and throwing away the evidence. Perhaps it is a lifestyle thing. I don't think we've had paper towels in the house since someone brought a roll while we were painting the other house. It has been years since I bought them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Random Sunday

Back after a wonderful time at Nathan at Kim's, although we really wondered if we'd ever get there.

Took off Thursday afternoon, got about an hour and a half away from home and got a call that Howard was needed back. When he got in, he was informed that the funeral was scheduled Saturday, a half hour after Kim's baby shower was scheduled to start. After some discussion, we decided that I would drive up without him Friday morning, I'd drop him off at 9, and then head out.

Friday I drove about 40 minutes, and he called. The funeral had been rescheduled until Monday. I turned around (he protested, but hey! it is his grandbaby too!) and drove back home. He packed his things (again) and off we took. Those 2 trips took $20 in gas!

The third time was a charm, although I do admit to many apprehensions as we drove along. We got in and Kim's "bump" has grown a lot since we last were together.

That evening/early the next morning Serena got in. All of us were together! Yay! Nathan sent Tucker their bassett/lab dog down to wake her and was quite disappointed that it didn't create an annoyed yell. Perhaps that is why he didn't try it this morning? grin

The 3 generation baby afghan was presented, with many compliments and comments as to how neat of an idea it had been. One woman asked how I came up with it. I hadn't thought of that in advance, so just commented that one never knows how many items will still be created by any one individual, so it is nice to capture something from each now while they people are still capable of doing it. The baby sweater was also well received. After the shower, Howard and I headed out, we had 5 hours on theroad ahead of us, and he had a full day today.

We'll all be together again at Christmas, either still waiting to see grandtad, or to welcome s/he to the family. Kim is due the day after Christmas, who knows what the actual day will be!

No knitting done on the trip, which is a shame! I had lots of time (13 hours in the car when you count the first try), come on, I could have done LOTS!) but not a stitch. Serena's sweater is up to the underarms, so it really has entered the home stretch. I just need to get moving on it!

Just because, yesterday Howard and I bought some books for the grandtad. Books that our kids loved when they were tiny. Books that they recited (after a while) with us. Those books were well-loved and read over and over. Most my brother's wife's mother gave to Serena when she was a toddler. She was a bookstore manager and felt it was important to instill the love of books early. We'd already started, but she certainly helped out! So, we bought sturdy books. Books that grandtad can chew on, "read" over and over again. And Daddy and Mommy can read to them, and the words that our children loved when they were tiny will once again resonate with the new generation.

I've accepted the fact that I have 2 lots of yarn that I love, but the colors aren't right for me. One is a deep brown that is a cool instead of warm brown. The other is a taupe, again cool instead of warm. I MUST buy dyes and take care of these, so they can be knit, instead of gathering dust in my yarn box.

I also remembered today a pair of socks that I'd loved while living in New York. I'd knit a strand of worsted weight wool with a fairly bulky mohair/alpaca. Those were yummy socks too. Why not take advantage of some some the oddbits in my stash, and knit more socks with them?! Too pluses -- I get warm socks AND stash reduction! A win/win!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My favorite pair of winter socks has bitten the dust. I knit them out of Classic Elite Montera, a wool/llama mix that I acquired at a KnitNic in Niagara Falls. I just checked my records, they were knit in 99, so that isn't a bad run. But, darn! I'm going to miss them. Knit out of the Blueberry pattern, they were perfect for the drafts in the house -- keeping me warm, despite the cold weather. I almost asked Serena to bring more of the yarn with her when she flies out this weekend. I just happen to know that she has enough for a sweater... But if I make socks from it, she won't have enough.

Over the years they had partially felted, so darning them wouldn't have worked well. I was surprised this morning when I suddenly felt a cold area. Looking down, I had 2 toes that had worked their way through the top of the sock.

Now, what yarn can I use to make a pair to replace them? I want something that is going to keep my feet/legs warm, as that just isn't happening right now. Not sure why I'm consistently cold, but there it is. Sock weight yarn just isn't heavy enough. For whatever reason, the shins just ache with cold. Not my favorite sensation!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

At least a little knitting

Today I was able to sit and knit for the first time since I got home. It hasn't been because I was too busy, but I didn't have the oomph. This afternoon I picked up a sleeve, with the intention of knitting just a few rows. Many hours later the first sleeve is up to the underarm (it was an inch along, so 17 inches was knit today) and almost 2 inches of the second sleeve is under my belt. That feels good, to have the knitting block lifted. I do NOT plan to finish it by this weekend. It would be nice, but reality should play a part, don't you think? After all, I'm going to need knitting for the 10 hours we spend in the car, even though we'll share driving. That still is about 5 hours of knitting time...surely I can accomplish something during that!

I'm wondering about bringing something really simple for the baby to the shower, and asking everyone to put in one stitch. I suspect Serena and I would be the only ones who know how to knit, so that may be asking too much time of the party. It would be fun, though, don't you think? To have something that both grandmothers, all of the aunts, and other friends and relatives contributed in the making. Kind of like the 3 generation afghan gone crazy. Speaking of which, I really need to get that put together this week!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hospice Care

Dad has entered Hospice Care. It seems so stark to write it, but I need to do so, to help make it more real. I had been home from Colorado 15 days when the paperwork was filled out. I am waiting to find out when they need/want me back out there.

I find myself waiting for the snow. The temperature has steadily dropped, the house is chilly from all of the drafts, where is the snow?

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Rogues

At long last here is the picture of my Rogue. It was made from Tivoli Aran Wool (NOT superwash wool) that DD Serena brought back from Ireland. I love it, and have lived in it a LOT since then. I some several skeins left over, I have thought about making wrist warmers from it, but I am concerned that it might be too scratchy against my wrists.

Here is Serena's Rogue, from
New Zealand Possum yarn. I love how it is knitting up, my only complaint is that it does have a tendency to shed all over me as I knit it The wonderful thing about it is the hand, though, it is soft, cuddly and makes me want to snuggle up in it.

Neither picture shows the cables well, but they really do. I wondered about the possum yarn, even though they mention cable patterns on their website.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Next Saturday is the baby shower for grandtad. My dad is steadily going downhill. Two stepping stones the two main stops on the continuum that is life. And the rest of us are preparing as best we can.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Long period of quiet

I've not been online much since I returned home. And when I have, much of my energy has been concentrated on a busy list.

Serena's Rogue is slowly progressing -- I'm doing the sleeves in the round, then will attach them to the body at the underarm -- finishing it as a raglan instead, so it can be knit all the way in the round. I like the way mine turned out, and it will flatter her broad shoulders.

Happy Birthday Nathan! I think the weeks until you are a father are going to speed by. Kim, however, may feel that they take forever! grin

Monday, October 22, 2007


This hasn't been an easy trip. The other day I walked down the road where Serena lives. I love to do that, there is always something new to see and sometimes it helps me gain perspective. It had already snowed once while I was here, and the ground looked pretty desolate up at this desolation. Yet I saw these bright yellow flowers blooming despite the chill.

If you look closely, there are tiny white flowers in this picture. Despite all of the odds against it, they are still blooming where they are.

And of course, my favorite scene while I am here, trees growing out of rocks. If I had gotten any further back to get the whole tree, I would have dropped off the side of the road and slid down uncomfortably! But this tree has certainly endured a lot to continue to grow where it happened to be.

Smaller trees growing despite all logic. They found just enough to start growing and have continued to grow.

One of Tamora Pierce's books calls trees "Rock Breakers." To grow, they force the rock apart. Takes a lot of steady pressure to do that!

Storm coming in

Pictures taken from Serena's deck as we watched the snow storm come rolling in. Actually, it started with her wistful comment that it was too bad we coudn't capture the contrasts and light. I wasn't able to completely capture it, but you get the idea. Snow off and on most of the day yesterday (seemed more on than off!) and got up today to the winter joy of snow that had melted on the car, then frozen as more snow had fallen on it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

long time no post

I headed out to Colorado to visit my parents and DD. Dad became sick the day after I got here, and I've been on a run. Mom is now sick as well, so life is doubly exciting. :(

I've extended my stay for a week, instead of flying home this morning I plan to fly home next Tuesday.

Did enjoy a meeting with the Evergreen Yarn Floozies last Thursday, I hope to meet up with them again this week, but there are no guarantees.

My Rogue is almost finished, I need to wash and block it then sew in the ends. Pictures soon, I promise! I'm in the process of starting Serena's out of New Zealand possum/wool. Yummy stuff in the hand!

Friday Mom fell in love with a sweater at Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder. I'm going to try to deconstruct it, as the sweater is part of a class offered this fall at the store. I don't plan to be here for any of the 4 sessions, so couldn't sign up for it and get the pattern.

The leaves are falling in earnest up here. Interesting, because they were on glorious display when I arrived. There is a small grove of aspen someone has planted in their front yard, it was glorious the other evening with the light causing them to glow. Today they almost looked tawdry, as if they had dressed up in discarded garments. If that makes any sense.

Up here the angle of the sun affects appearances greatly. When the sun shines at certain angles, everything seems almost magical. But when the sun has gone down further, the same scene looks dull.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rogue Delight

The Rogue is up to the underarms, and so are the arms. I'm changing it (I seem to have an inherent dislike for knitting exactly to pattern) to knit it as a raglan. I'd seriously considered making a second one for me out of New Zealand possum yarn (an introduced pest that is damaging ecosystems). But I was checking my blog for information I posted quite a while back, and found a sweater that I'd meant to knit then but forgot about. I think it will be the next one in the queue for me. I pulled out the pattern book too, while I was at it, which makes it harder to forget.

I know it doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'm having trouble knitting for Grandtad because I want to knit things that will be worn. I believe I'll be knitting a lot more baby things just as soon as I know what Grandtad's sex.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I've thought about making a Rogue for several years now. As you can see, I finally started one for me. I really like how this is knitting up.

Serena brought yarn back from Ireland for me. It is Tivoli Aran. When she brought it back, I tried to look it up on the web to find the information that is usually on the ball band, but is missing in this case. The only yarn I could find from them was superwash. So, I automatically assumed that it was superwash. Sad but true. You know what happens when you assume.

I have noticed that this yarn is a bit rough for superwash. And it has a sheepy smell. Which is also not a trait of superwash. Last night I looked again at the ball band. It indicates the yarn needs to be hand washed. Well there went the superwash theory! I am so glad that I'm using this for something for me, as opposed for something for the grand-tad!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


After being without a printer for several months, it is a joy to have one again. My other printer works, it just won't work with Vista. Which is a tiny problem, as my new computer has Vista... So, we bought a new printer. What a pleasure to just print something, instead of asking someone else to do it.

Today I decided to start a sweater. Hey, I was almost out of knitting and I need a project for next week while I fly. So, I pulled up the sweater pattern. Looked at it several times. I finally printed it off. Now I can just look at the paper pattern instead of trying to find my place in the middle of the PDF. Such a pleasure.

And the yarn. Yum. Slightly sheepy smelling Aran yarn that Serena brought back from Ireland. This is a pleasure to knit!

Knitting what?

Last night I was listening to Harry Potter 7 and spinning along. After a while I decided to take a break from spinning and start knitting. There was a small problem. I didn't have anything on the needles! I have a gauge swatch on one set of needles, but that pattern will have to be re-figured to go with the gauge I'm actually getting.

Later I realized that I do have one other thing on the needles, an angora shawl that has made it to the half-way point. But I do not have any other projects "in process." Something is definitely wrong! I guess I've gone far away from the multiple WIP person I used to be!

But last night, when I wanted to sit back and just knit, it felt almost as if it were an emergency! LOL

Do not cut the tip of the finger when cutting other stuff. Just don't. Maybe it is a good thing I didn't find any knitting projects, as the index finger on the left hand has a band-aid on it! Spinning isn't a problem, but since I knit mainly by feel... typing is difficult -- I don't seem to be hitting the keys clearly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Today I've spent spinning. It was FUN! I had to figure out a new Lazy Kate, it took a bit, but I managed to spin up all of one fiber that I'd prepped up. I decided to put the rest of the Cormo aside until later, and am spinning up bits of this and that which I had on hand. Clearing up the fier stash! Whee!

I do have to admit an embarrassing mistake. I washed some gorgeous yarn that my knit buddy had spun up. (She told me it needed to be washed.) I rinsed and rinsed. Suddenly realized that this yarn has firestar. Well duh! Those weren't bits of bubbles from the soap I used, it was the glitter added to the yarn! grin

Sunday, September 23, 2007

knitting along

I believe the caption on this one should be, perhaps "living dangerously!" How long before it collapses without its internal support? I managed to finish the sweater before that happened, though.

This shows the new wheel and the 2 completed sweaters. I've done my best to fix the colors -- these aren't pastels but "IN YOUR FACE!" colors. Easy for Mom to see at a glance from across the play yard! And exactly as requested -- bright green and bright yellow. Well, who knows if it is exactly what the girls each had in mind, my idea of Lellow and Beth's might be different! Same with Sian's and green!

On an aside, why is it that I can clear the field of all obstructions when I get ready to take a shot, and then realize I've left SOMETHING in? Each individual picture of the sweaters has the toe of a shoe sticking in there somewhere! sigh

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I didn't think I would, but I finished Wallaby #3 today! It was a slog, as asthma kicked in again, and I had a rough time just knitting. But it is done! I plan to take an "artistic" shot tomorrow, showing the colors but not the way the 2 sweaters actually look, so there will be SOME surprise when they arrive!

I'd planned to spin today, but made the mistake of starting an 800+ page book that is an e-book. Ya know, that is NOT conducive to spinning! sigh The Woolie Winder arrived this week, so I want to try it out before I head out for Colorado again!

Friday, September 21, 2007


We were told that Dad would be leaving the nursing home Monday.

That all hell is going to break loose because there is no seeming suport in place for my dad or mom?

That the sweater for my adopted (I’m trying to come up with the correct term, I’ve accepted her them as grand-children by heart?) is moving along, perhaps to finish knitting tomorrow.

That life, even with its ups and downs continues.

That the Woolie Winder and bobbins for my FANTASTIC new spinning wheel arrived!

That my sister knew to call me and say “help, I need you to research this for Mom”. It took a while, but I was able to come up with answers. Perhaps not the answers either of us WANTED, but it gave us the honest answers we needed, as opposed to the answers we might have gotten otherwise.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Grins and Giggles

Pitti Filati This site just plain tickled my fancy! What imagination to present it this way! What a sensual delight! Don't you want one of each, almost? Okay, there are some that don't tantalize me, but overall...

I was told that the first sweater is appreciated because it is so soft. I figure that if a child loves the texture of a sweater, he/she will wear it more. All to the good! Now I need to find a source of that yarn here, instead of having to buy it on trips to Evergreen! Especially as there is never any guarantee that it will always be carried there! sigh One would think that Wal-Mart would be consistent in the yarns they carry, but no!

Thursday Delights

My 5 things for which I’m grateful today:
1. affirmation from friends. Amazing what a few simple sentences can do. Two letters, each bringing me to tears, affirming me.
2. my new spinning wheel—named Abner. Who knows why, but that is what it wants to be named!
3. my knitting groove is back - I’m on the third child’s sweater in just over a week. That is unusual, but the joy of knitting small things - they go so much faster.
4. incubating a new pattern idea—the yarn Serena brought back from Ireland wants to become something soon.
5. sourdough starter—the smell is so distinctive and seems redolent of creating.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Time is such a strange thing as it relates to projects. I think I started this sweater (child's) Saturday. Maybe Sunday. It is moving along fast. I know it is. Knit in one piece from the bottom up (okay, I knit the sleeves first, then attached them at the appropriate time). Here it is Tuesday morning, and I'm complaining to myself that it isn't done yet? What in the world? I was amazed when I realized how quickly Alyssa's sweater went together. I think the combination of worsted weight and knitting in the round makes the pattern whip along. There is also that possibility that I'm just sitting here and knitting, without doing much else while I'm knitting these! LOL

I'm at the neck. That and the hood are all that need to be done. Whee!

May you see progress in your life today!

Monday, September 17, 2007

One of Life's Little Mysteries

Remember how I've joked the last few days about not bringing along the size 6 circular to start Beth's sweater? I bought one Friday. Can I find it now? Not a chance. I've looked several times yesterday and today, but it has taken a powder. I am sure it will smugly appear soon, just as soon as I have the bottom ribbing finished on this. Or perhaps it will even wait long enough to be absent when I start the ribbing in Sian's. Who knows. But it is missing.

I heaved a massive sigh this mornng, and switched off the needles in my Options kit, so I'd have size 6s on, instead of the 8s for the body. I don't know why I hesitated to do it -- takes but moments and I love the needle tips. Once I'm past the ribbing, I'll continue to use one size 6 tip and one size 8 while I'm going round and round, so the stitches feed off the needles easier. Once I get to knitting back and forth I'll switch to 2 size 8 needles so I don't get a gauge issue.

May you find the things that are missing in YOUR life today!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My new Wheel!

Isn't it beautiful! I love it! We were having "discussions" today, as I wasn't getting the flyer firmly seated, and it would suddenly come flying out at me. Disconcerting, to say the least! But, Howard was able to get it to seat properly. I will keep practicing. I'm spinning Cormo, which isn't the most forgiving fiber I've spun. For the most part it is doing beautifully. I believe all bobbles are user error.

I can see that I will want to purchase a Woolie Winder for this. I'm biased, I loved it on the other wheel, and want it for this one. Other than that, it is perfect! I'm so looking forward to traveling with this.

Even if Mabel and Mary pointed out to me today that trying to spin with it in the car was not one of my wiser ideas. sniffle. That's all right, it will do really well in Colorado with me. I wonder if Tora-chan is still as hopelessly attracted to wool as she was when she lived with us?

C'est Fini!

Well, this one is done. It is in the washer as I type. I figure it is a throw in the wash, throw in the dryer type of sweater, might as well treat it that way from the start.

Not quite enough yarn to do a hood. Instead I did a shawl collar. I think it will be warm and comfortable. Isn't that what a child requires?

And another chuckle at my own expense -- I once again brought the yarn to start Beth's sweater, and once again forgot the needles.

Um, Possibilities

Isn't this a wonderful array of possibilities? I've been thinking in those terms ever since I walked in the fabric store while visiting Nathan and Kim. There were just so many things this wonderful collection could BECOME! It can be this or that or the other. It is up to me to choose wisely (fitting fabric to pattern correctly) and then sew well.

Some of the fabrics seemed to be really out of character for me. Yet they sang to me. They called to be brought home. And, as you can see, they did. They are all now washed, ready for me to make the final decisions. As the ad says, "Umm, ... possibilities!"

Speaking of possibilities, I really that one of the reasons I really don't knit with my handspun is again possibilities. As long as it hasn't been knit up, it remains in the realm of "possibilities." It could be A or B or C. All of it is up to me. BUT if I knit it up it is now fixed. It is no longer a maybe, and a dream.

Perhaps I need to learn to move on from dreaming

Friday, September 14, 2007


I have a new spinning wheel! I am so thrilled! I'll show pictures tomorrow. Tonight, having spent 6+ hours in the car to pick it up, I am womanfully refraining from putting it together and spinning all night! LOL

I did however, get a lot knit in the car. The sweater is up to the neck. Somewhat miraculous, when you think about how a raglan sweater is knit in the round. Who was the wise person who realized that it could be knit that way?

That sweater has been a victim of my knitting mishaps. I read Geina's note as to her daughters sizes. I really did. Several times. Then proceeded to start knitting without looking at her note again. My memory is really "special" right now. Sian won't be able to fit into it for several years, at the rate she is growing. I am finishing this for someone else, and have bought new yarn for Sian's sweater. Disappointing, I was hoping for the same color, but I couldn't find it when I looked. She will be getting a GREEN sweater, just not the original shade planned.

As a testament to my organizational skills (grin) I brought along the yarn to start Beth's sweater today. Luckily I didn't finish with this one, because I forgot to bring along the needles to do the ribbing! I don't know what is going on with my thought processes, but I don't like it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Many many years ago, I worked in San Francisco's Financial District. I worked with some extremely kind people who were gay or lesbian. The AIDS epidemic struck after Howard graduated. I wonder about my friends. I hope they are doing well. I regret that I didn't keep in contact with them, to know how they are doing. Every once in a while something will come up, and I wonder "How is J doing, or...?"

They were so kind to a young woman who was newly married to someone in full-time graduate studies and working part time to make ends meet. I rode the bus more than an hour each way to work -- there were times that Howard had left for his shift before I got home. There are lots of fun memories associated with them -- tea and lunches. I don't think I could ever be as sartorially correct as J who told me one time (with a twinkle in his eyes) that he never threw ANYTHING out in his wardrobe -- just put it by until the fashion cycle moved around again. The man looked as if he dressed from GQ daily -- he was ELEGANT! Even better, in my opinion, he was KIND!

Regrets are the pits.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yarn Vomit

Sigh. I made the mistake of thinking this yarn was a center pull ball. It LOOKS as if it should be. I think that because of the slickeriness (my kids came up with that word, I think it works perfectly here!) of the yarn, that I made a terrible mistake. I took this picture after having rolled up a good deal of the mess already. It isn't pretty, is it. Just a tangled mass that took longer to fix than it should have. I think for the sake of my sanity that I will make center pull balls on the ballwinder, but will knit from the OUTSIDE!

As for the knitting itself, it is going along quite nicely, thank you very much! Which is a great relief after the Murphy's socks! I don't know if I should show photos or not, as this is a sweater that is going to England and I know Mommy occasionally reads this blog.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Murphy's Triumph

The sad news is that I have declared a victory to Murphy on these socks. I have struggled with them since December. I have had the stitches jump off the needles resembling rats deserting a sinking ship. I have fixed errors and fixed errors.

I had an ah-ha! moment the other day when talking with my friend, sadly blogless Dianne. We were talking about knitting needles, and the fact that not every needle is right for a specific yarn or project. With renewed heart, I picked these socks up today, and knit away, using different needles. Got to the toe of the second foot, to realize that once again I had made a drastic mistake. Not only was there a place in the gusset where a k2tog hadn't taken, and it was beginning to unravel, but worst of all, when I'd picked it up this morning, I had assumed (we know what happens when you do that!) that I'd finished the gusset decreases. In actuality, I hadn't. The sock was way much greater around than my foot. Which is not good for something that needs negative ease! I started to frog back again. I got all the way to the heel, and didn't have the heart to continue.

I loved this color. I really thought it would look great with my other clothes. Unless I buy the yarn again and make a different pair, I won't have this specific color in my wardrobe. Enough is enough.

Perhaps it has to do with the amount of pred singing through my veins (again.) Whatever. This afternoon I decided that a pair of socks that exemplify "anything that can go wrong will" was more than I was willing to complete.

On a more positive note, the 3 generation afghan is finished with the knitting portion. It is now waiting for Howard to crochet around each piece. In discussing this, we decided it will not only be a trans-generation afghan, but, with Howard's input it will become a trans-gender one too! Big grin!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My family understands me

Yesterday we were driving home from a fun visit with Nathan and Kim. On the way, the following phone call occurred:

Howard: Serena, Mom is nebbing, so she can't talk, but she needs you to look in your first Barbara Walker book and find Mistake Welt or Quaker Welt. (to me -- she has to find the book first.)

Howard: (to me) she doesn't see those, but sees Wager Welt.
Me: That's it.
Howard: That's what she wants, she needs to know how to do it.
Instructions followed.
Howard: Thanks honey, have a good day. Mom thanks you too!

Wonder how many families would understand?

With a total of 10+ hours in the car over 2 days, I accomplished a lot on the 3 generation afghan. Finished the 4th strip, and am tootling along on the 5th. Still talking about how to put it together. I'd hoped to find a green that I could use for an edging, none that I saw really did a good job cooperating. I did buy cream, but also realized I'll have enough of both purple dye lots to combine them and do a crochet edging around each strip in 2 strands (one of each dye lot.) Then perhaps mattress stitch the edgings together?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Eke, eke, eke!

In a wild day of finishing stuff, I knit up 2 more panels on the Presto Chango sweater (total of 4 panels, 2 of them are an inch wilder than the others. I hope this will allow the sweater to be worn a little longer. I need to find buttons for it -- 8 buttons.

I also finished up the third strip of the 3 generation afghan. The last square of the variegated yarn just BARELY made it. As in, I had to keep piecing the yarn. I had 4 grams left when all was said and done. That is WAY too little for my comfort! I'm grateful that it eked out. WAY grateful!

I tried to pick up a pair of socks that have fought, kicked, screamed and whined the entire time I've worked on them. I remember trying to start it while traveling to Omaha last Christmas to either pick up or drop off Serena at the airport. Didn't work out, and frogged. Tried again later. Frogged. I believe I picked them up on the Duluth trip after Easter. One sock has about an inch to inch and a half to go until I'm at the toe decreases. The other has just finished the gusset, so a long way to go yet. The stitches slide off my needles at the wiggle of my fingers. Then the yarn splits when I pick them up. I normally knit with 4 needles, on these I really need to use 5 needles. This is the LAST time that I knit with the old Brown Sheep Wildfoote without washing it ahead of time. There is such a diffference in the pre and post wash. I am just NOT enjoying knitting these. I'd like to get them done, it would be another project off the needles and into the "FINISHED" pile. The annoying thing is that I love the color, they will be perfect for me when I'm done...why can't I get these stupid things done!

Tonight is the first meeting of the knitting group. I wonder who will show up and what they will bring to knit. Actually, I wonder what I will bring to knit!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Victory of sorts!

I come from a family of unhandy people. The plumber threatened to not come if my Dad tried any repairs before calling him in. That is my background. Not ashamed of it, but it does bias me toward trying to fix things.

Ever since I washed the alpaca, I've noticed that the washing machine leaks occasionally. Having heard all of the horror stories, I was sadly sure that I had fiber down the drainpipe. The odd part was that it didn't leak all of the time. Just occasionally. Until the last 2 loads of laundry. Then there were these little puddles on the floor. Almost unperceptable, in fact, the first puddle I excused -- almost -- because my feet are so sweaty from prednisone, that I honestly believed it was because I'd just taken my socks and shoes off! Then I stepped into it further and disabused myself of THAT notion! LOL So, last night in a fit of something, I moved the washer out, to pour chlorine bleach down the drainpipe, to dry to dissolve any blockage there. Prior to calling in a repairman at $50 or so an hour, you know. The cold water hose was leaking. Not badly, but enough to let us know the culprit. So, today Howard extended his walking (he is up to 12,000 steps so far today!) and picked up new hoses for the washing machine, then replaced them when he got home. This seems like such a success! Something we were able to do for ourselves, as opposed to having someone else do it for us! Perhaps you have to have been raised in a non-handy home to feel it is a minor miracle. But it does.

The amazing angora shawl that attacked me is about half today. I really don't think that hot flashes from prednisone and close to 90* temps outside were a kind combination for me yesterday. Today the intensity has lessened. I know it will be finished soon, but the urgency isn't quite as horrid. Right now I'm trying to finish a front panel on the Jimmy Beans baby sweater out of Brown Sheep Superwash. With that done, I'll knit up one more panel, sew in some ends and consider that sweater for the grandtad done. I'd like to have something finished in my knitting life right now. Too many started projects, not much closure. Although the three baby hats for the hospital are done, I won't mail them off until I have enough to make a decent package. And no, I don't have a clue as to what a decent package of them would be yet. I think I have 11 skeins of that yarn, at 3 hats per skein with a little left over which will stripe, I believe I'm in trouble! 35 hats total out of that yarn, with 3 done? Yeesh!

As you can probably tell by my writing, I'm still on prednisone, and it affects all sorts of things in my being. Including my writing. My mind rambles as much as my typing, aren't you glad you aren't trying to keep up with me face to face?

When I told my doc how hard it is for me to write when I'm like this he gave me a gentle look and said, "stay away from the typewriter." Yeah, right.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Oh dear!

I woke up this morning with the idea for a new knitting project just itching to get started. No idea who it should be for, but the yarn, which had been purchased and designated for something else (an Anne Modesitt corset, would you believe!) wants to be a shawl! It even has very specific parameters. Now, do I pull the yarn out and start? I have so many other started objects going right now, it seems silly to start another! This should be fairly quick, and if it works out as I think, I may be able to get two out of the cone of yarn. But still.......

I think my mind had been thinking of the Red Scarf Project, but then it morphed. After all, this is red, angora, worsted weight (but I could knit it up on larger needles so it is cuddly...) Oh dear. Even as I typed I tried to wrestle it into another project, but the yarn is insisting on returning to its original purpose. But who does it want to be for? Sheesh!

Okay, I guess I will surrender to the inevitable. Hm, maybe size 13 needles? I knit loosely, so that is probably about right. I suppose the first step had better be to pull out the yarn. What do you think? I'm trying to tell mself that it will get that much yarn out of my stash fairly quickly... Just think, a pound of expensive yarn out of the stash makes an impressive dent on the total amount of yarn dollars at the end of the year! LOL

By the way, kudos to Howard! He took up the America on the Move Steptember challenge, and decided to take The Pacific Crest Challenge -- 10,095 steps a day for 42 days. So far he is staying near goal, two days over, one day just slightly under. YAY HOWARD! I'm doing the UK National - 4,644 steps per day, and haven't done nearly as well. I've managed to hit goal one day of 3.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A cold with asthma

Sorry I've not posted, I came down with a cold the day after I returned, and breathing takes a lot of energy right now! Actually, I really thought I HAD posted in between, but it is hard to dispute the evidence!
While I was gone, there were a lot of storms that blew through the area. In the space of just over 2 weeks our rain gauge outside has registered 12+ inches. That is a lot of rain! I think the day after I returned Howard pointed this out to me. It is the suet feeder that we see outside the kitchen window. The wind had wrapped it around the branch from which it hangs.
On the knitting front, I'm knitting baby hats. Not for the grandtad to be, but for the nursery at the hospital where we all volunteered. I had 3 operations there, Nathan had one -- it is a way to say "thank you" again. The Bernat Baby yarn goes a lot further than I had expected, instead of 2 hats per skein it looks as if I can get 3. Oh my! In other words, I'm on my third, and by the weight of the first two, there should be enough to finish this one. That is a lot of hats, when you count the number of skeins I bought! LOL They don't all have to be knit at once, but I'd like to get a good-size number together before I ship it off. I wish the yarn came in other than "baby" colors (pastels.) Many new mothers (or mothers to be) do NOT want pastels!
While in Colorado I just "had" to go to Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder (such a hardship!) Mom brought a book in to the store and read it while I browsed. Actually, I bought enough yarn while in Colorado that I had to ship a box home because there wasn't room in my suitcase! I also shipped home some books, as I figured that it was cheaper to do that than pay airline over-weight fee. After I sent it off, I worried, because the only things that have ever been lost or delayed in shipping are things that are heirlooms or knitted goods, and I'd included all of the remaining yarn for the generation afghan. Wouldn't THAT have been annoying! But the box showed up intact on Monday. I've gone so far as to open it and remove the books. Other than that, it sits beside the couch, waiting for me to have the energy to enter it all in my database.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What fun!

I love being at Serena's, I never know quite what I will see! There have been elk droppings all over the driveway, even though I've not actually seen them.

At one point this evening, I saw the tips of a deer's ears go past the basement picture window. A little bit later we heard an odd sound, finally decided it must be a bird. Shortly a fawn came by, and we realized it was the one making the sound! It was looking for its mother, who must have been the ears going by earlier. All of a sudden the fawn came right up to the window and looked in! There was a bit of a concern that it would try to come in! Finally it decided that mommy wasn't hiding in there, and went on, calling for mommy.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Yesterday we drove an hour to my favorite yarn store then met up with the aunt and her two daughters who live in Iowa. They were in Loveland visiting Kay’s daughter for the weekend and wanted to see Mom. I’ve lived in Iowa 4 years, but this is the first time my cousins and I have gotten together. I see their Mom several times a year as she lives about an hour away. Do you find it as ironic as I do that we had to catch up with each other HERE?

Anyway, not much knitting is getting done. I think part of that is stress. I can’t imagine why, can you? Sigh and grin.

I did pick up some great yarns for grandchild to be. Dalegarn Falk for a Debbie New baby set and Encore Chunky for a jacket. And some FANTASTIC buttons! I love the fun buttons you can get now!

I left some of my asthma medicine home by mistake. Howard was a dear and mailed it out Friday for delivery this weekend. This morning I sat in the living room, working on the computer with a cat in my lap. On my left was the picture window in the living room, on my right was the patio door looking out over trees and mountains. Bliss! As I sat there two does and a fawn came mincing by on my left, while birds arrived and departed on both sides! What a wonderful relaxing time! I had to stop when my computer, which had been plugged in, died for lack of battery. Not sure what happened, I moved it to another outlet and it was fine.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Positive Thoughts

I'm in Colorado, to help Mom with this difficult period. I'm not going to be online much. But someone posted this somewhere, and it really struck a chord with me.

The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. -- Chinese proverb

This is true in so many areas of my life. It deals with stress, knitting, exercise, weight control -- each begins with a small step or stone. It is in continued action that progress is seen. But it is still a series of actions. I sometimes forget that -- wanting to see the finish without doing the rest of the steps. Some things are easier for me to accept that I need to complete the stages -- knitting is the only thing that comes to mind, honestly. The rest -- I want to see progress and I want it NOW!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Embrace, what?

I was going to write somewhere else "Embrace Life!" And had to stop. Because there are so many ways that meanings become twisted. Someone else may take that to mean something other than what I do.

My thought was that life is to be lived. I must not be so enmeshed in self that I forget the joy in small things, the smell just after a rain, the carol of birdsong as the sun rises: the beauty around me.

One of my great joys is knitting. The feel of the yarn feeding through my fingers, the particular feel of the needles in my hand, the fabric as it emerges. Much of the time I don't need to look as I knit. There is the feel of the pages as I turn them, and the ideas that emerge as I read. There is also the thought for the person who the knitting will go to -- prayers and love go into the knitting as well, I like to think that becomes part of the fabric as it grows. Sometimes it becomes mechanical, then it must be put away, there is no joy.

May you find joy in many things!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gack Spit!

I can't believe it. I was at 18 squares on the afghan. I'm back to 14. And I'm not to sure about 7 of those! sigh

I was trying to figure out why I was using more yarn on these squares that I had on the last one before I frogged it. So I counted stitches on the first strip. I'd cast on 30. This strip, for whatever mad reason, I cast on 35. I'd knit 26 inches at 35 stitches instead of 30. I can't believe it!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Random Thoughts

Look what I found in the back yard while Howard was gone! It was growing on the remains of a tree or bush that was cut off at ground level. I don't know if the heat and lack of water caused it, as there haven't been any more since the rain started. I wish I had included something for perspective, the mushroom was 6 inches (30 cm) across and about 4-5 inches (20-25 cm) tall.

Why is it that out of obviously 5 sets of measuring cups (based on the fact that 3 are Tupperware and are in different colors,one is a plastic from another company and one is aluminum), I have :
2 - 1 cup measures (one aluminum and one Tupperware avocado green -- so you know their ages!)
2 - 3/4 cup measures (one orange Tupperware and one is a different shade of orange Tupperware -- different dye lots?)
2 - 1/2 cup measures (one aluminum and one white plastic from somewhere)
2 - 1/4 cup measures (avocado green and orange Tupperwares)
Does this make sense to YOU? LOL Perhaps it is time to toss all of them and buy several new sets -- I haven't decided. Did I send partial sets with each kidlet when they moved out? Do you notice there isn't a single 1/3 cup measure in the lot?!

I wish the dentist didn't instill such fear in me. It has been years since I had a dentist who could be considered terrifying, yet it is still difficult to go in. I do it as I'm supposed to, but sheesh, it is hard! I knit through the exam as much as possible -- calms me. Today, however, I ran out of yarn. Didn't expect such a long wait and wasn't prepared. This wasn't good. But I survived, and no problems with the teeth this time.

Howard was sweet and brought me back a pedometer from California. I'm trying to increase the number of steps in a day. It would certainly help if I didn't accidentally reset it several times during the day! I must say it is discouraging to look down and have it a MUCH lower number than it was the last time I looked! For example, this morning I had 199 steps on it. Later on I looked down and it said 4. Somewhere in there...

I know there was something else I was going to write, but I sure can't remember it now! I'll add it if/when I remember!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm back!

Baby afghan progress: 16 of 35 squares knit I suspect I will need to knit a border around it. As you can tell, there is still a hitch in my getalong with knitting right now.

For my friends who suggested Birkenstocks, I asked the doctor about it, he doesn't feel that they are good for the feet. This was surprising for me, as my feet love wearing the 3 pairs of sandals and one pair of clogs I have. I've worn my Birkies for years. Perhaps it is a symptom of working in Ithaca for a while? LOL Actually the clogs were purchased BEFORE I started working at Cornell. Too bad I bought suede, as the rest of the clogs are in fantastic shape. They really don't look good enough to wear in public any more. :-( As to why I have so many pairs of the sandals, well I need to have different ones for going without socks than the ones with socks, don't I? grin

Reach out to someone you love today!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Changes in life

My dad is 93, my mom is 85. They have been in great health for years. Just before we came out in June, Dad was diagnosed with a sprained back. He hasn't done well since. Tuesday I got a call that he was being hospitalized. My parents have always been part of my life. It is difficult to be reminded that I need to cherish each day that I have them -- that my time with them is limited. There aren't any guarantees in life!

I talked with him today, he is doing better. It looks as if he'll be going to a short term care facility Saturday for PT. This has been stressful for all of us, but especially Mom, Serena and Annette (who flew in to help out.)

One would think that I'd get a lot of knitting done during this, but it just hasn't happened! sigh I did get one more square done on the baby afghan. "Only" 20 more to go! LOL

If you are planning to knit for the Red Scarf Project, the deadline has changed! The received to them dates are September 1 through October 15. I need to check my yarn database for red yarn....

Monday, August 06, 2007

The knitting is coming back

I lost my knitting mojo for a while. It was so bad, that when the new Vogue Knitting arrived, it took several days to open it. As for the new Interweave Knits, I've looked at the first few pages and not gotten any further. This is NOT usual behavior! LOL

Yesterday I bit the bullet and frogged one and a half strips of the baby blanket. The one strip had the colors reversed of the way I need for those dye lots, and the partial had both dye lots on it. What I plan to do (you notice I'm trying to keep it fluid?) is to finish the strip Mom and Serena started, then make one more with the same color sequence. That will make 3 strips in that color sequence (variegated squares on both ends.) I'll put the one they knit in the center. Perhaps I should mark it with a safety pin in the meantime, so I don't forget which it is? sigh I'll make 2 strips of the other dye lots out of the opposite color sequence (solid squares on both ends.) I'll see how much yarn remains when I've finished knitting those strips, then decide whether to make an edging all around or to leave it as is. May make sad eyes at Howard and see if he'll crochet the strips together. That would add another grandparent into the blanket...

I know what I want done to join them, but don't know how to go about doing it! My grandmother on my Mom's side did an afghan of garter stitch squares in many colors. I think she edged each square in crochet, then sewed them together. I suppose she might have used a single crochet seam, and then used the seam on the public side. Unfortunately the afghan succombed to bugs while we lived in carpet beetle heaven in the house in New York. I tried fulling the blanket to preserve it, but it didn't work. So I can't look at it for reference. Now you know why I keep so many of my fiber treasures in the freezer!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saturday random thoughts

I've been talking with Serena and Howard as they are flying home. Both airlines have way overbooked all their flights!

We had some wonderful, much needed rain today. According to the little rain gauge in the back yard, 1.1 inches fell this morning. Yay!

Thursday I drove to Fort Dodge to get a pair of shoes that don't hurt. I tried on 15 pairs before finding ONE pair in the store that didn't hurt! It seems dreadful that I spent more on this pair of shoes than I've ever spent before, and while they are comfortable, they are NOT lovely. They truly remind me of what is referred to as "old lady shoes." I had to get shoes that diabetics buy.

I haven't knit since Howard left. I don't know if it is asthma related or if it is frustration with the baby afghan. I do have a baby sweater started, but haven't worked on that either. I should have checked peak flow a long time before this. Um, to be honest, I've not checked YET. sigh

Oh dear, I forgot to post this. It is now Sunday morning, I've picked up Howard from the airport (YAY!) and Serena is home as well. Oddly enough, they both flew out for their last leg within 10 minutes of each other! Serena made it home while we still had ~20 minutes left to go on our way home. She did make several stops on her way: my parents' place then the grocery store -- the grandcats were about out of food which would never do! LOL

Gas was 19 cents a gallon cheaper about 42 miles south of us, which doesn't seem fair in the least! It was 10 cents a gallon cheaper about 13 miles south of us, but, since I wasn't going to run out of gas quite that fast, and the town further south is historically known for being even cheaper, I kept going until I could get it there. Whew! I wouldn't have been happy if I'd knuckled under the pressure of the gas gauge and had paid that much more!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Friday's post a bit late

I had a fun day at the fair yesterday. Walked quite a distance to get to the demo place carrying a lot of wool, some drop spindles, and a travel mug with a beverage (it was HOT!) DH carried the wheel and more wool. I noticed as I was spinning that I do a lot of twisting as I spin. That must have a LITTLE health benefit, with all of the arm movement that happens! LOL

The children were interested in treadling the wheel, not spinning itself. I brought my wheel that is almost indestructable just because of that. The other wheels LOOK like what people think a spinning wheel should look like, but they aren't going to hold up to children. Um, there is also the small detail that I don't know if I can fit them in our car! LOL This one sits on the back seat, and can be fastened in with a seat belt. I spun up a rather heavy thread for each child that wanted one (they got to choose the color from the different ones I had on hand) and I made it into a bracelet for them. Some of the 4-H kids were gratified that I had brought wool from their sheep (from a previous year.)

One teenaged girl made about 5 feet of yarn, and seemed to enjoy it. She took my card, she may call for lessons. A college aged student and 3 adults also took my card. We'll see.

We then went shopping, and walked all over the store. DH needed clothes for the trip, of course where he needed to go was the very back of the store, then we needed something on the FAR side of the store (and they didn't have it...) On to Barnes and Noble, one of my favorite stores. Upstairs, downstairs, left, right. More walking. New books...

I walked more Thursday than since I broke that bone in my foot! The foot was sore, but not horribly.

We went to dinner, and I really thought I'd gone WAY over in calories for the day. But when I input the information for dinner last night, combined with the rest of the day, I was just barely under my minimum! I suppose if I'd been able to eat the sauteed vegetables that came with my order I'd have gone over. But after sending the meal back once because they had put stuff on it that I'm allergic to, it wasn't worth fighting. I just didn't touch anything that had come in contact with the vegetables. sigh When you are allergic to most herbs, just sauteing without herbs in the same skillet that you normally use doesn't get eliminate the herbs! We'd planned to go swimming after dinner, but it was getting late since we had to get up at 4AM. I don't do that (get up that early) for just anyone! LOL

As I drove home after dropping DH off at the airport, I had the treat of watching the sun rise over corn and soy fields. There had been fog in some areas after the rain the night before, it was lifting as I got there and looked as if there was a fire -- all these dark clouds just about tree level. Even more fun, I got home BEFORE DH's flight had even taken off! It was close, they boarded as I got the last things in the house.

I shipped the essential item that he forgot, to be delivered Monday.

Hm...Knitting Woes

It has been a frustrating few days for my knitting.

The 3 generation afghan is struggling. I bought enough sock yarn at the Brown Sheep outlet (seconds) to make a small baby blanket. It needs to be crib sized.

I am knitting 5 panels 6 1/2 inches wide, alternating the 2 colors every 6 1/2 inches. I have 2 1/2 panels knit. I ordered more yarn from another a web source, as Brown Sheep doesn't do retail except at the outlet, and the color of the solid yarn is decidedly different. The first purple was a red purple, the new purple is a blue purple. I suppose that is why the first color was sold as a second! The variegated is different as well, but not enough to be of a concern. I called Brown Sheep to see if they had more of the red-purple so I could order it via the same web source I'd used before, but it has sold out.

Part of the problem is that this is going to be knit by 3 generations for our new grandchild to be. My mom (Great-grandma to be) knit a square and Serena (Aunt to be) took over on that panel and is knitting the rest. So that yarn (the original colors) is not here, but many miles away. I'm not going to ask them to frog what they've done and start over.

I can see three options, I'm hoping someone else can see more or suggest which of my options is best.

Option 1: Continue as I've begun, with the color difference and hope no one will notice. Chances of no one noticing pretty poor, I think, although DH didn't notice a difference in the colors. I ran out of yarn in the middle of a panel, so one end of that panel would be red purple and the other blue purple.

Option 2: Frog the left and right panels (as seen above) but keep the center panel, which matches DD's. Knit 3 others with a strand of the old color and a strand of the new one giving a slightly heathered look.

Option 3: Keep the center panel (above) to match DD's with the old yarn and then 3 with the new yarn. I'm still going to have to frog, as I don't think there is enough yarn to finish DD's panel. I'm wondering if the contrast will be too great.

Actually, looking at the picture, I think the color of the variegated IS off enough to be noticeable. whimper

As you can see, the i-cord edging on this is too loose. I tightened it and sent it off to Serena with the other little one I'd finished (earlier post.) Howard put them in his suitcase to give to her.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I really don't like to knit i-cord

I really do not like knitting i-cord. I think part of the reason is that I can't develop a rhythm. So it is a constant start/stop procedure, which isn't fun. I look at patterns where the designer did lots of it (Nicki Epstein comes to mind) and wonder if she actually did it via a machine, whether a spool knitter or a big one. Not a problem, it doesn't feel like cheating to me. I'd do it if I had a machine that could take the yarn size. I hate it enough that my good blogless friend Dianne offered to knit some up on her machine, so I could avoid doing it. The package arrived in the mail today. It makes the Tomten sweater so much better! It went from a very utilitarian toddler's jacket to CUTE! I'll post pictures tomorrow. It is so cute, in fact, that I'm considering knitting up pockets, edging them with the leftover i-cord and attaching them.

Either I send off the yarn that was in the surplice sweater to Dianne for her to make i-cord for a tie for that sweater, or I'm going to cast on the appropriate number of stitches for the length I need for it, knit 4 rows and bind off. I've not decided. Perhaps a small swatch would be in order. I just know that if I try to knit an i-cord belt/tie, it won't get done.

I'm not sure what has triggered asthma this time, but something has. Blech I've nebbed 3 times today.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Phooey, I didn't do a gauge swatch

I've not done a gauge swatch on this Brown Sheep Superwash Worsted yarn. I KNOW that will bite me, but I've not done it. Suddenly I realize that, based on other time I knit with Brown Sheep Superwash, this project could GROW! At which point, it may be ridiculous. So, I'm waffling. I think I'll start a swatch tomorrow on another skein of yarn and see what transpires. After all, I don't want to frog any more than I have to! sigh

Sunday, July 15, 2007

One Finished Sweater!

This is the baby sweater I just finished. Isn't the pattern darling! I got it from Jimmy Beans Wool. It is the Presto Chango Sweater.
I changed the pattern to a stockinette panel in front as opposed to the stitch pattern because it wouldn't show up against the variegated yarn. I made it out of Brown Sheep Wildfoote in the Violet Garden colorway. I don't see it on any website, so it may be either a new colorway or a trial run. I love the color and it won't show baby mess, and since it is a sock yarn it can go in the washer and dryer. Since there are buttons on both sides, it can be for either a boy or a girl. (edited 7/16 to change the photo) I just changed the photo, as I figured out what caused the sweater to look so wonky in the photo I put up yesterday (I shortened the left seam as I sewed it, and the top button on the left was mis-placed.) A valuable reminder that when I think something is wrong, I should keep at it until I figure it out. I still may sew the right seam again, but at this point it is ready to go in the washer for the final step.

I have 2 more sweaters to finish. they really don't have that much more to do, hopefully I can finish soon! Of course, I've started another sweater. I'm using the same pattern as above, just because I think it is so practical. I hate sewing on buttons, but the effect is neat.


My Mom had a button box when we were growing up. It was, I believe, a red checked gift box that had held jams from Knotts Berry Farms. It was always a treat to dig through the buttons, some were plain, some were shiny, some had little bits of glass. We didn't do it very often, but it is a fun memory.

Somewhere along the way I started saving buttons too. Not too far into our married life, from the looks of the button jars! I have 2 - 1 gallon jars to hold my buttons. It all started from sewing, then we bought 2 fruitcake tins of them at an auction, then Ivadell gave me a jar of them...

It is almost a constant, however, that if I need buttons for a specific project, I don't have what I need on hand. Now that the fabric store where I used to buy them is closed, the situation is even more dire. I spent some time yesterday going through buttons for the 3 baby sweaters I have nearly completed.

In the process, it was a trip down memory lane. I found the leftover buttons from dresses for Serena, buttons that I purchased when she was tiny figuring I'd have them on hand when I needed, buttons left over from projects I sewed for Howard, some of the buttons I recognized from the auction and Ivadell. I found buttons out of deer horn made several years before his death in 93 by my Uncle Myran. I went through the buttons and remembered. I remembered both kids going through the buttons. When I needed to keep them busy, I'd ask them to string like buttons on thread. I had fun with all the memories.