Thursday, May 31, 2007

Garter Again

Well, I was right. Knitting in stripes is much more palatable for me. See how much futher I've come? My only concern -- I think the colors are too close to each other. What do you think? Should I frog back and change the green to a cream instead?

Garter Stitch

Why is it that I found knitting the Ballerina sweaters so fun and fast, yet knitting garter stitch is normally boring for me? I started another sweater in garter, and am struggling to get going on it. As in, I have less than an inch knit, and I've been working on it for 3 days!

On the Ballerinas, there was always something happening. A stripe, a gusset -- whatever. I did find the bands difficult, again because there really wasn't anything happening. I looked forward to the next step -- the next change. Otherwise, it takes so much longer to knit than stockinette because I'm knitting more rows.

I leave you with my pathetic results of 3 days of knitting. Shameful, isn't it, as I'm really not terribly mobile at this point? Maybe I should add stripes to keep my interest up! I did realize, as I typed this, that one of my problems is that I normally read while I knit. I use my heel to hold the book. Can't do that right now. Is THAT the reason I've not been knitting, with all this lovely knitting time? Must get a book in the CD player, I guess!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Last post on Run-a-go-go

With a broken foot, I've had to bow out of the challenge to move 350 miles by July 4th. I tried. It was my own personal goal, not imposed upon my by anyone else. Since it is Tuesday, I thought I really needed some closure here -- since I had publicly committed to doing it. So, by last Sunday -- the day before I broke my foot fairly early in the day -- I had managed to move this body 142.2 miles from April 1 until May 21. I had it figured out that I could make it, but then life got in the way. So, no more updates on this. Sadly enough. If you are interested, the challenge is here. The group challenge was for 100 miles, I was trying to go what I thought was possible within the context of challenging myself even further.

Decisions, decisions

I have this lovely cone yarn -- the little sticker inside says COREN-INDIK, Inc. 3/2.9 equivalent, 68% cotton/25% wool/6% acrylic. It has aged in my stash for some years. I do know that I bought it in St. Cloud at a knitting machine store. That was when I had high hopes of being able to master my knitting machine. No washing instructions. So, I knit up a gauge swatch and first washed it by hand and lay it out to dry. Next I'm going to throw it through the washer and dryer to simulate "normal" washing treatment. Measuring the swatch at each step of the way. That way I know how to treat the final product. Don't want to spend hours knitting up a summer top to find out that washing it was a serious mistake. My thought is that this would be a nice top for me.

Next decision is color. It is a taupe, on the cool side. I need it to be a warmer color to look good on me. I should dye it before I knit it. That means skeining the whole cone and dyeing it before I knit it up. Part of me whines at the extra work. But if I don't do it now, the chances of the dye striking evenly afterward isn't very good. If I dye with an acid dye, only the 25% wool will change. Will that be enough to affect a difference? If I do a union dye, will I get the color too strong or too uneven? And now the truth is out -- I am not a fearless dyer!
I suppose the last decision is to throw the cone back in the stash until I'm ready to knit Kim a sweater! That is, after all, always a possibility! Not to mention, that was why the yarn was originally purchased...
Also explains the 10 skeins of Heirloom brown yarn I bought some years ago. It is a cool brown, and I need it to be a warm brown. "All" I need to do is skein it up, overdye it, and it should be good. Right? And it sits in my stash. This is yarn Mom and Dad gave me for my birthday in 2005. Still there in the stash, waiting for dye courage.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A thought

I found this on SparkPeople.Com and thought it was so appropriate for many thing in life. I first thought of knitting, but then it expanded into so many areas of life.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Almost Finished!

All done but the buttons!

EZ's Baby Surplice

Just for fun (and a really quick knit) I decided to start the EZ Baby Surplice in the latest Vogue Knitting. I think I see why she never published it, the stripes not lining up bug me. A cute, easy pattern, but if I make it again I'm going to do it with the edge decreases at the edge instead of in 4 stitches. See how it cocks up because of that? I'm going to do some sort of edging to cover the color changes -- at this point I'm leaning toward picking up stitches the whole edge, stockinette for several rows and bind off. It will curl and give a nice look. I find i-cord fiddly to knit, or I'd do that. Cream buttons? My original thought had been to do the edging in cream, then I thought -- Baby. Messes. Edging in green it is. LOL

Thursday, May 24, 2007

NOT a picture of grace

Unfortunately for me (and my foot!) I am not a picture of grace on these crutches. Long ago I was on them for several months while I was pregnant with Nathan. I've not used them since. That time I used both feet on the ground. Now I'm trying to keep the left foot up in the air as I move around. It is...difficult. Ungainly. Dangerous.

I almost tipped over in the hall. Put my left foot down for balance. OUCH! I thought it was better today. It is now elevated, perhaps the best way to put it is that the foot is sulking.

Thank you Poem from the Middle School Class

The middle school girls and teacher that I've been knitting with presented me with a book, a poster and a hand-made card yesterday.
The card says:

You're talented at spinning yarns of all kinds...
Our time with you too quickly unwinds.
As we cast off this school year and head into break,
all the things you taught us we're happy to take.
You're such a gem - a "purl" to be precise.
Sharing your time and skills was so nice!

The South Hamilton 8th Grade TAG students

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

All I can do is laugh

1. I only broke one bone in my foot
2. I finally moved out of denial and saw the doctor about it this afternoon (I broke it yesterday)
3. Howard was able to drive me to the doctor
4. Howard is available tomorrow to take me to the final knitting class for this year at the middle school in the town about 20 miles away
5. Nathan says I gave him a headache trying to figure out how I did it. As he said, "only you Mom!"
6. We can laugh about it.
7. Doesn't hurt as much as when I crushed my wrist
8. Pain meds
9. The pharmacy rents crutches so I didn't have to buy them!
10. It was NOT damage from osteoporosis which caused it (which was a concern)
11. I don't have a cast, but a boot on that foot
12. Think of it as more knitting time -- right?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wonderful thing

Serena left for Costa Rica for work this morning. Before she came here, she had been trying to figure out how to get a laptop to take with her on this trip. She'd just bought a new desktop earlier this year (before knowing about this trip).

A couple of days before Serena got here, Geina, one of my friends in England, wrote and asked if I knew of anyone in Iowa that needed a laptop! A friend of hers on another group had commented that she had a good one to give away.

So, Thursday while Serena was here, we drove down to Des Moines and picked up a laptop for Serena and 2 computers for the computer lab we are putting together for the church. Isn't that wonderful! Serena has put a wireless card in the computer, and has been quite happily reading her e-mail and e-books on the laptop while in bed with the cats. LOL I think she has even gamed World of Warcraft with Howard there!

We are so grateful to Geina for making this possible, and even more to Anna for the computers!

Once again I am in awe of the way God pulls things together!

Friday, May 18, 2007


I am having a "frustrated with other knitters" day. When I started the knitting group here in town, I freely loaned out books, needles and other knitting necessities. Problem is, very few of them have been returned. In fact, only one person has made promises to return the books she borrowed. I've decided, with a great deal of regret, that I can no longer loan any books, nor can I loan needles or tools unless I absolutely do NOT want to ever see them again. How very frustrating! This was an expensive lesson. And a sad one.

Then, this evening I was looking at a knitting magazine that I'd bought on e-bay before we moved to this house, and realized that the person who sold it had removed all of the instructions, leaving only the pictures. This is a Mon Tricot Baby-Knitting from s/s 73, I used mine originally to knit things for my children. When it came up in a batch of Mon Tricot magazines, I grabbed it. The other ones in the batch were fine, but this one! The person had to remove the staples, take out the instructions, then staple it back together, as the photo section was in the middle of the magazine. Of course it is way too long afterwards to post to the seller and complain.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Asthma and knitting

I admire people like Alison who can keep knitting through almost any circumstance that their body puts them. I wish I could.

I've whined before that there is a direct relationship between how my lungs are doing and my knitting. I talked with my doctor about it today, and told him that even though technically I am all right, that my peak flow meter says that I'm in the safe range, there is a level where I am no longer able to knit. In trying to explain it to him, I finally said, "It becomes impossible to do one of those things that helps define me." I don't know what he thought of me when I said it, but after thinking about it, he suggested that I do another pred burst, then stay on pred until next month, where we will evaluate how I am doing again.

Even though I don't like being on pred, it is a relief for him to hear me, and acknowlege that I know my body. It was also interesting looking at 3 months of peak flow charts, because there was a steady slow decline in my peak flow which also reflects my knitting life -- steady decline.

So, today was a good day. AND I was able to knit the heel flap on that second sock while waiting for the doctor. Which means I am feeling better too. Luckily, just as I realized that I didn't remember what I'd done to turn the heel on the first sock, the doc walked in. Rescued! I really must pull out my notes and finish the heel, so I can get on to the foot! Pictures soon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thank you Secret Pal!

Look what came in the mail for me! A GORGEOUS blue hand-knit scarf, two KnitPicks Options pockets (I don't remember what KnitPicks calls them -- the resealable pouches to store cables and such), cables and a beautiful hand-made card! Thank you Secret Pal!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm back! this has been a fun week, with Serena here. It has been a very wonderful time, she has matured into a friend, as well as a daughter.

Here are Nathan and Kim as they left last Sunday.

This is something that has been nagging on several of us since Uncle Joe died. Joe was a gentle, kind man, who loved people. When we had a family reunion he "borrowed" Serena to practice being a grandfather, as Jeremy was going to come almost as soon as the reunion was over. Howard and I have fond memories of Joe carrying a big tree branch for the fire, with Serena holding the tip "he'ping Unca Joe" get ready for the fire -- and anything else Jor could think to do as "Grandparent training. He and Ivadell were loving presences in our children's lives, coming for Confirmation, Graduation, and just letting our kids KNOW that they cared. When he died of an abdominal aneurysm, we ached. Nathan and Kim, Annette and our parents were able to make it to the funeral, Serena, Howard and I weren't. While Serena was here, we went to the family cemetery. Not really to visit Joe, because he isn't there. But to make a statement. And we fulfilled a promise to ourselves. The man who took time out, on his way to Serena's college graduation to visit the John Deere museum needed something to commemorate some of the things that made him JOE! There was a purchase of some small toy John Deere tractors. They were then quietly glued to the concrete surrounding his headstone. This was NOT meant to deface his grave, but to acknowledge the wonderful man we knew. I had mentioned this desire to Ivadell, who thought it was a great idea when I brought it up.

On Tuesday, when we went to the family cemetery, we did not contact anyone from the church to let us in. Yet, in the wonderful way that God has, my Grandmother's oldest brother's oldest grandson had felt the need to come to the church that day with his wife. We saw his wife, and asked for permission to go into the church. When we explained who we were, she commented, "I don't know anyone else who has a right." We spent over an hour with them, going through the church and talking about family. I learned all sorts of interesting things -- his mother's wedding reception was held in Iowa in the early 1900s -- with -- get this! A SIT-DOWN reception at the farm-house for 125! Think of this! Iowa! In January! Now, think about this! Even feeding field-hands (something my grandmother did) you fed 25-40. Where did they PUT that many people! Not to mention the fact that they were cooking on woodstoves. How did they DO this in a farm-house in COLD Iowa in the middle of January! All of the people would have come by horse and carriage. So, not only did they have the logistics of the FOOD, they also had the horses to take into consideration! The mind BOGGLES!

I have to admit that I had problems with the generational shift. His grandfather was my grandmother's oldest brother. There was really a generation in age between them. Yet he is younger than my father. Serena had to kindly put it in words of one (or so) syllables for me to catch that he is not of my father's generation, but really mine, even though he is older than all of my cousins of this generation. Am I boggling you too?

But think, he and his wife almost didn't come to church that Tuesday to remove a tree from the grounds. They had thought to go Monday or Wednesday. But, they decided to go Tuesday, when May's grand-daughter and great-granddaughter. were there. Thank you Charles and Ruth!
Then we went to Ivadell's and spent some quality time with a favorite Aunt!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Update on Family information

My Dad said that it was his great-grandparents that started the Alice Church, so it would be my great-great grandparents. Their name was Klein.


I didn't think to bring out my camera until just before Nathan and Kim were ready to leave, so I forced everyone together for 2 pictures. The flash reflected off of Howard's glasses in both shots, but I think this is the best picture. Kim, Howard, Serena and Nathan. All LOOKING as if they had a good time this weekend, anyway! LOL

The house is quieter today with them gone, but I am enjoying having Serena here. So far we haven't accomplished much, she brought books for me to read, and has gleaned my books. Much fun, and both of us learn about new authors this way!

Tomorrow we are going to visit Aunt Ivadell, hopefully I will remember to bring the camera along. Oddly enough (sigh) my first thought of the "I must take along" was "do NOT forget the nebulizer!" Since I'm using it many times a day right now, I don't want to be without it! Our plan is to visit the cemetary where so many of my Dad's family is buried. Serena only saw it once, before she was in school. I don't tend to visit cemetaries, as I believe that the part that made the person WHO they were is not there any more. But it will be interesting to see the church that my great-grandparents help found. Or perhaps my great-great. I am not sure which it was. I could ask my dad, I'm sure he knows. And I should. I know that there are portraits in the church of those family members. It would be nice if the church were open, but I don't know if it will be. Of course, I had to ask for specific directions as to where the cemetary is actually located, as I even had the TOWN wrong. Tells you how much attention I've paid in the past.

I'm hoping to briefly meet up with a knitting friend. I have books and things for her, she has books for me.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Happiness Is

Having your children home.
Lots of laughter.
Watching Serena and Howard "infect" Nathan with World of Warcraft.
We will only be 5 of us until tomorrow, but we are enjoying it!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Oh dear!

Oh dear, it is Friday and I've not been posting. I have been trying to get ready for this weekend, when Serena, Nathan and Kim show up! The house is going to be pleasantly full! There was a lot of rearranging needed, as the room Nathan and Kim stay in had become the home of the exercise equipment -- there wasn't room for their bed (we use inflatable air mattresses for guests, saves room when we guests are gone!) Actually, I'd spread out in the fiber room so there was no room for Serena's bed as well, but that is normal in that room. It is a small room, with bookcases, stash totes and desks around the edges, there is just barely enough room for the bed. Good thing Serena doesn't mind! We gave her the choice of room this time, as she will be here almost a week while Nathan and Kim only overnight.

I complain a lot because of prednisone, but I am grateful that I have it to take! Life would be very different if it hadn't been available to take over these last years. I started it again yesterday, and am delighted that my breathing has improved.

I still have the socks on the needles and the Scrawl (shrug). It is at the point that I need to decide if I dislike the way it is turning out enough that I frog it, or I finish it. This waffling is not a good thing. I'll decide today and see if I can work on it. If not, maybe the socks will be safe to knit.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tuesday Check-in

I hadn't realized how long it had been since my last check-in on my physical progress.

To my frustration, going outside right now triggers asthma, which cut short the idea drifting through my mind of bicycling. Oh well, that's why I have things to work out with in the house.

Run-a-go-go challenge to go 350 miles by July 4th.

Surprise treasures!

I went outside the other day and found surprises in the yard! This is the first spring in this house, so we don't know what treasures will surface. I know that the last two are weeds, but the tiny purple flowers with the dandelion were beautiful! Actually, I suppose the violets are considered to be weeds as well, as they have spread through part of the front lawn, but still, they are beautiful!