Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Sorry!

I'm sorry about the delay in posting -- Howard and I have been leaving at 7 in the morning most days and not getting home until 9 at night. That makes it rather hard to keep up here!

I'm working with some delightful older people, but sometimes things happen that tickle my funny bone.

The other night I was helping one of them as she decided what to wear the next day. As it had been chilly, she had laid out some sweaters to wear. She told me that she wnted the white one with big flowers on it for the next day. I brought out the only sweater that matched the description. It wasn't the one she had in mind. I brought out the only other white sweater -- still wrong. Finally I brought her ALL of the sweaters that she had put out. She pointed to the grey, light blue and cream argyle and said triumphantly -- THAT'S the one I told you I wanted!

I didn't laugh. But it was close! :)

The fire didn't destroy any houses and was out that evening. We stayed away another night, so the smoke wasn't in the air any longer. Well, there was still a slight smoky smell in the air, but it didn't get into our things. That was a big relief!

I'm knitting away on the Plisse. Still haven't finished the first half.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Oh My!

Yesterday, we were doing laundry at Serena's. (We gave her the washer and dryer with the understanding that we could do laundry at her house.) Howard went outside to put something in our car. He was surprised by the neighbor calling out "Hey, be careful, there is a bear in the area!" Sorry, that just ISN'T something that happened anywhere else we have lived! Yes, in upstate New York there were occasional bears. But that wasn't anywhere in our neighborhood, although there were church members who saw them. Our house was too surrounded by many others. We did have deer who slept in our yard (we could tell by the grass) but that was it. In Iowa we didn't even have that. There was an unnerving reality of "you have now changed locations" to that warning! grin

We were driving home this afternoon when there was a sign on the freeway saying something like "Fire on Green Mountain, visible smoke". Okay, we didn't know where Green Mountain was. Kept driving. Got closer to home, we didn't pass the fire. We turned off at our exit and there were so many cars going our way. Hm. Looked over to the foothills and BLAST! We saw the fires. Oh dear. So THAT is the name of the mountain! Bad words. The smoke was blowing away from our apartment, but we knew that could change. Text messaged Serena,"Can we stay with you tonight?" She wrote back, "yes, but why?"

Got home, started packing a suitcase for the next few days. Closed all of the windows, hoping that will keep the smoke from adding its essence to our things. Debate as to whether how many days we should pack for as well as what exactly we should take.

The last we had heard, the fire was 85% contained, with cooler weather and perhaps rain expected. The bad news? As we drove by on our way to Serena's, the wind had shifted and was blowing straight toward our place. But the windows are closed (also good news!)

We bought bookcases today, to replace those which don't fit in the elevator. I don't know if we bought enough, but we bought as many as we thought would fit in the apartment. Tomorrow was going to be a day of bringing books upstairs, unpacking then going back for more. We'll wait to see if the fire is contained before we decide.

Life is certainly interesting!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bragging Grandma Alert!

Look at what he is trying to do. Just before he turned 7 months, he is working on crawling. Doesn't he look as if he is having fun?

They went to Duluth today, and Daddy seems to be packing him around. I think he's teething again, don't you? grin Well protected from the sun! When Nathan was about this age, we went into a restaurant around Sacramento. The waitress enjoyed being around the 2 children. Nathan grabbed for her apron strings every time she came by. I don't know if she noticed or enjoyed the game -- he undid the tie each time, each time she tied them up again as she left our table. Justin did the same thing today -- like father like son?

Views from our deck

Storm coming in!
As it was raining, we realized there was a double rainbow...
The other side of the rainbow...the railing on our deck isn't really secures, we are on the fourth floor, so I didn't try too many times for this side!
I REALLY wish this one had turned out right -- the end of the rainbow was in the tree next to the building directly below us!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What a week!

This has been a week! Started a new job on Monday, that afternoon Mom found out she needed to be on oxygen 24/7, then I sliced the tip of my left middle finger off that evening! Monday was also our 35th wedding anniversary. That, let me be quick to assure you WAS a positive!

Last night I found out that Ruth Schooley, one of the Knitlist listmoms died Tuesday. Ruth was a great lady. She was warm, caring and knowledgeable. She loved to share what she was learning in the fiber world. When I was upset by something on the list, she had a gift for helping me see the situation in a different light.

Until the finger heals, I can't knit to destress! Yes, I tried. No, it didn't work.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rocking Chair

We went into a consignment store the other day, and there it was...a little maple rocking chair. Perfect. We snapped it up.

When I was pregnant with Serena, we drove from San Francisco to Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Texas and Arizona to visit family. While we were visiting, we looked for a rocking chair. I love to rock, and wanted to rock my baby. In Iowa, uncles and aunts helped us look. Then Uncle Myron asked if I wanted one they had that he'd refinished. It was perfect. He called it a nursing rocker, low and no arms. As he said, "it has been chewed by a dog on one of the rockers, so you don't have to worry about the baby damaging it."

So we stuffed the chair in the back of our tiny Datsun and drove home with it. The back of the rocker was over the cooler in the back seat, so every time we needed in the cooler we had to tip the rocker.

That rocker rocked both children, and became a knitting rocker. No arms, which was perfect for this body's repetitive stress problems.

Then Serena moved out and took the chair with her. I missed it. She set it so she can look out over her view and rock quietly with a cat in her lap.

So now I have a new to me rocker that is just right for me. It is set so I can look out over OUR view -- withOUT a cat in my lap. For whatever reason, I have been able to start knitting again. Perhaps it is the rocker? Whatever, my Plisse is starting to grow a bit.

Just for fun Howard asked her if she would trade rockers. Her eyebrows went up all the way and she said, "but it is MINE!" Which is almost word for word what I'd predicted. We all laughed.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I want to make a quick apology to Howard about my comment about not visiting the Brown Sheep Factory outlet while we moved.

He was very patient last year when we went. He talked with the ladies in the shop, encouraged me to buy and did not try to hurry me along at all. I did not have a concern that he would be difficult if we did go up there.

The reason I thought it would try "spousal patience" is called "logistics." To make that stop we would have either driven both trucks there -- incurring perhaps a mileage charge on my truck as well as additional gasoline expenses OR we could have parked the trucks somewhere, unloaded the car from the dolly, driven up and then back to the trucks. That wouldn't have cost so much in gas, but it would have extended an already tiring trip. I could not justify it in my mind.

So, other than the one point in time when he made an awful face when I suggested it half in jest before time, the decision was mine. I didn't suggest it a we traveled.

You know, I just realized that I didn't even take one photo of the trucks!

Monday, July 07, 2008


Yesterday we celebrated my mom's birthday. We'd originally planned to picnic on Serena's deck, weather and fatigue contributed to going out instead.

When we arrived back at Serena's, the power was off, so the garage door wouldn't open (took us a while to figure out the culprit.) As we were trying to get the door to raise, look what stepped out from the front of the house... I left the little bit of our car in.

Today was a "nibbled to death by ducks" day. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. For whatever reason in their benighted minds, the phone company decided to turn on our DSL service last Thursday, but did not turn on the land line. The cell phones drop service in the middle of calls even though they show full coverage. Just one darned thing after another.

On the positive side, though, we think we have all of the totes out of the garage and stowed away. All of the kitchen boxes that made their way into the apartment have been unpacked. On to the next step -- bringing boxes up out of the garage and unpacking. Forward!

I tried to take pictures last night of our exquisite view. They were either too light, too dark or too shaky to post here. I'll try again later. We have a panorama view of Denver all the way out to the airport. I will figure this out!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

long drive

We left our former town this morning around 7:30 and drove over 400 miles today to Ogallala NE. We thought about driving the rest of the way and swiftly decided that would be nuts. Is that the polite way to put it? If we had gone all the way, we would have either have awakened our daughter LATE at night, so she would have had a rotten night of sleep or we would have found a motel there, which seems silly, as we were both tired, hot, sweaty, grimey and ready to stop. So we did.

Stopped at a wonderful restaurant (walked over from the motel.) The waitress went absolutely out of her way to make sure that the food was safe for me. I know that food allergies make it more difficult for restaurants, but it sure makes it difficult on this end too! To have a waitress work so hard so I can safely eat -- priceless!

Right now we are in the motel room, praying that the air conditioning will finally kick in enough that we will feel cool enough to sleep. Right now, despite a shower, I am dripping in sweat.

We aren't going to stop at the Brown Sheep outlet. I'd love to. I really would. But with one truck on limited mileage and neither one exactly "fuel efficient," not to mention the "small" detail of spousal patience, I didn't suggest the stop. Actually, I did when we were originally in process of discussion of the trip, and his response was such that I dropped the idea. sigh I'd love to go, but we would probably spend more in gas for both trucks than I'd save. whine

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Have you ever had a day that went on its way in a handbasket? Today was one of those.

We picked up the rental truck. I somehow misread the size of the truck. I thought we were getting one for a 2-3 BEDROOM house, and had requested a 2-3 ROOM house. Do you see the problem here? We could either have packed most of the furniture or the boxes. Not both.

I just about had a meltdown. I knew it was my fault and it was up to me to decide what to do. Howard was busy with the wonderful friends who were attempting to fill the truck as thoroughly as possible. I called around, there wasn't a truck to be had until Monday.

So, Monday morning we will pick up a second truck in Des Moines, drive it up here and load it with the rest of our belongings. We will each drive a truck out. I just don't see any other way around it. This is not a popular decision with either of us, but...

Lots of soda, water and nutritious snacks. Which will also mean rest stops. grin We will definitely be making a 2 day drive of it (found that out when we realized the tow trailer for the car has a 55 mph limit. ) So, we'll start off first thing Tuesday morning and drive about half way. Then we'll drive on in Wednesday.

Some of Serena's co-workers have volunteered to unload the truck Thursday after work. They are just as grateful as we are that there is an elevator -- we will be on the 4th floor! Others have volunteered to come by on Friday -- a holiday! they are giving up a free day to help us! We are grateful for such generous friends!

Just as I had the truck situation under control, I received another phone call. Howard's hard drive on his laptop has melted down.

Are we having fun yet?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Before we left for Duluth we drove by some of the flooding in town. We are high enough that we were not affected in the least. People in town had sandbagged for several days, successful in some areas not so much in others.

Justin was teething while we were in Duluth. That means that as we held him we were dribbled upon. Isn't it wonderful that babies are so cuddly that one doesn't care? LOL
This is a WINDY picture of the family in Duluth. A lovely lady offered to take a picture of all of us, so we have this windblown shot. Don't you love all of the sunglasses! This is our immediate family, taken by Stacey. Kim, Nathan, Justin, Serena, me and Howard.

This is the Hunt clan that got together that day, me, Stacey, Kim, Nathan, Justin, Serena and Howard.

See how Justin is willing to play?

I feel as if I'm being nibbled to death by ducks. (Thanks to my friend Dianne for the expression.)

We are almost packed. We are waiting for final confirmation on apartment. Friends are coming in Saturday to load the truck. At this point it looks as if we will leave Tuesday morning. Life is an adventure! I am trying to remind myself of this.

Asthma has kicked in again (surprise surprise) and I'm on a high dose of prednisone. That makes all of what is happening even more emotionally wearing.

For good news, Justin now has two teeth. The first was expected, the second surprised his parents three days after. The first e-mail said, WE HAVE TOOTH!!!! The second message was a text message saying, "There are now 2 teeth! Didn't know that the second one was coming in!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Today I fell apart. Cried when talking with someone. I think it is the first time I've cried since all this started. It was hard to stop.

I'm so glad that I'm knitting for someone else during this time. It would be so hard if I saw the sweater constantly. Too much of a reminder of difficult times. This sweater has such strong emotions knit into it, I'm amazed the yarn can handle it! The intended victim's dog died, then her house was hit by a tornado, I had to frog the sweater twice -- THAT elicted strong emotions! and then Howard losing his job. I think it will be finished before we move -- the new project will have different emotions.

We are packed. All but the last things around the house which will be done at the end. Over 2 weeks early, but I feel good about it. Boxes abound.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Oh Fudge

I was quite proud of my progress on Margaret's Mermaid, but still had a niggling concern at the back of my mind. I measured today, with 1/4 of the body knit. Even though I had managed gauge on the sleeves with the same needle, the stress of the last weeks shows on my knitting. I frogged again, and am going up a needle size to be able to knit this correctly. So far I've knit the body 1 1/4 times. I look forward to knitting it completely, correctly and happily!

It is a good thing that I like the way this sweater looks as I knit it, or I think I'd throw it in a corner, stamp my feet and scream! snivel

On the packing front, the house is becoming occupied by boxes. I started a stack in the fiber room while I was working in there, and it kind of grew on me. :) So the two back rooms are stacked with boxes.

I have been nagged by the feeling that we need to be packed long before we need to be gone. In exploring that, I've come to realize that comes from our past
  • About a week before we moved from Portland Nathan was hospitalized with croup and asthma for 5 days. The Tooles and Petersons came in the last day and stuffed things in boxes and loaded them on the truck. (That was an...interesting move. We couldn't get the tow trailer lights to work on the car -- the first night we stayed at a motel and the crew from "The Incredible Hulk" got them to work for us! We didn't mess with that connection until we got to Oklahoma.)
  • When we moved from Colorado, I went to the doctor for a lump in my throat 3 weeks before we moved. A week later I went back to the doc, and was hospitalized until AFTER the truck had come to get our stuff. Wonderful friends who, in Howard's words, -- I was in the hospital 3 hours away -- "descended on the house like locusts, packed things in boxes until there were no more boxes then stuffed things in trash bags and loaded them on the truck." After they were finished he had to buy clothes and medicines for the journey as everything had been packed. That's all right, we would not have gotten everything to our new house without them.

So, I have precedent worrying me. If we are finished packing early, so be it. I'd rather whine about not having enough to read than not be ready when it is time.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Sorry, whine ahead. Ignore if you like.

We have had problems with centipedes in this house since we moved in. I've not been able to get on top of the problem. I am sure a lot of the problem comes from the leaks in the bathroom and laundry room when we first moved in -- the crawl space is damp -- a breeding ground for the dratted things.

I don't do well with centipedes. They repel me.

This morning I was packing the kitchen. I opened a cupboard that has the best china. What do I see but a centipede wriggling away. Ick, ick, ick! I did pack that cupboard. I felt that I'd probably not be able to tackle that cupboard later if I didn't do it right then.

Now I'm taking time away from the kitchen, to slow my soul. I really don't like them!

That begs the question, of course...what else will I find? And WHERE?

I will be glad to get out of this house!

Friday, May 30, 2008

packing, packing, packing!

We are packing and packing. Although I see progress, I am still at the point of seeing how much is left to DO, as opposed to how much is done.

I did finish the Velveteen Rabbit sweater, which is quite happily back with its owner. He picked it up yesterday. I think it turned out better than I'd anticipated, I'm not sure for him, as I really am not sure what he thought it would become. He hopes it is now good for another 37 years. :)

I suspect you really do NOT want to see the wall of packed boxes, correct? Nor the spaces where stuff used to be. Didn't think so. Take my word for it. They are both there. More will be gone by Monday night, as the city does a clean-up where you can put furniture etc. out of the curb for others to choose. What is not picked up by new owners is picked up by the city. Gone, out of our lives. Somewhat sad on some things, but freeing.

I hadn't realized how much NOISE the little freezer made until it found a new home with someone else today. We freecycled it, the people picked up the freezer, a dresser and a trunk.

Last night a bad storm blew through. The weather radio was going out fairly regularly. I have to confess, after the storm moved east of us, I unplugged it. I couldn't stand it any more. I'd almost be asleep and BLAAT! I don't know how yours works, but ours will warble/blat/whatever VERY loudly for over a minute. Actually, the other evening I was going to let it go, figuring that it was a test. After 2+ minutes I decided I should check it. Yup, it was a real storm, not the twice a week test. sorry about that!

Last Monday I got an e-mail from a friend in Denmark, checking to see if we were all right, as she had heard about the bad tornado in Iowa. We weren't affected, but my aunt was. She is in Parkersburg, but the tornado missed her. A tree down, but as far as I've heard, nothing else. Of course, she had to leave for a while as she didn't have services -- water, sewer, gas or electricity. Small world, that I hear about a tornado an hour down the highway from us from Norway.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Yes, we are moving. No, we don't know where. We do know that Howard's job ends June 30, so that does give us a timeframe.

Scary times!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A motley post

Last week my computer presented me with the dreaded "blue screen of death". Four days later I have it back, still not sure what went wrong, but it seems to be working. We did buy an external backup for it, while I was backing it up monthly, it had been 3 weeks since the last one. The computer people were originally muttering about "wiping the drive", which worried me.

I really do not like packing. It seems that everything we own multiplies, so there is so much more than I think there is. It also takes more room to put it all in boxes, than put tidily away. I only have a small stash of acrylic yarn, it is being used to fill in those odd shaped places that happen when you put books in boxes. There isn't much left to pack of those skeins, only 3 left. Too bad I don't want to use the wool skeins! I might not have enough yarn to complete ALL of the book boxes, but it would do a lot of them!

And I do odd things. I was in the middle of re-reading a series. What did I do? I packed the rest of those books! Pfftp! I really don't want to open finished boxes, that rather defeats the purpose.

I know that one move I got tired of labeling boxes as "books". So I used variations on that theme: "more books", "I'll bet you can guess what is in this box!", "yes, we have a lot of books" and "yes, we've read all of these". You get the idea. I suspect the first 20 or so boxes were regular, but by the time we were at 63 boxes... That was the last time I actually COUNTED the number of boxes of books. It becomes a bit daunting.

I saw a new doctor last week, who changed my asthma medication. The pulmonologist said the next day that 80% of patients do just as well on it as what I was taking before. I'm part of the 20%. I've been wheezing since the change. I've changed back to the other medication, but my lungs have yet to forgive me. The dust from all of the books? Who knows. Whatever, it has certainly negatively affected my knitting! As in, I can't! grump

We are at that stage of life where we are paring down. It is hard to do. We have a lot of books up on PaperBackSwap.com (no, they aren't all paperbacks), there have been items of furniture that have found new homes. But I still feel the urge to pass more stuff on -- slowly. I guess I'll know when it is enough.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh Bother

I realized last week that I'd changed gauge on the Mermaid as I knit it. Although I'd almost finished the body, I wound up frogging it entirely. I can't believe that I didn't notice, but it happened. It was way too small for the intended victim, so there wasn't a real choice, there isn't a point in giving someone a sweater that doesn't fit. I decided to knit the sleeves first this time, I finished the second one this morning.

Right now I'm starting on a job of sweater repair. It is a sweater that I believe has come something of a Velveteen Rabbit for the owner. He's had it for 37 years and has worn it every winter. It has held up well, but it needs some help.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

New Justin pics

Isn't this a great picture that Kim took? I laughed when I saw it, every time I see it I smile. He looks so happy. I love these pictures. This is a new toy, as he steps on the piano keys below, he plays music. There are many other things that he can do, but the making music seems to be key. (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

There once was a

When we moved from Fresno to Portland, many years ago, Mrs. Williford gave us a dresser and a book for Serena (who was around 18 months old at the time.) We used the dresser for years, it just went to a family with 4 children, to continue the tradition of giving.

But the book. Ah, the book. We read that book over and over and over to both children. It got to the point that we knew it by heart. I don't know what happened to our copy. I want to read it to Justin when we can.

Yesterday a new copy came. Howard was able to identify it by the back cover alone. He didn't know that it was coming, but he knew exactly what it was when this picture emerged from the envelope.

The book? "The Boy With A Drum" by David L. Harrison and pictures by Eloise Wilkin I look forward to reading it to Justin many times.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

And then again...

As I was admiring this sock, I thought, "This looks pretty small." After more rows, where I was still worried about it, I finally gave up and tried it on. I believe this means I will frog it again. sigh


Remember me, Ms. "I Hate to Knit With Colors"? Look what is on my needles at the moment!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I asked my good friend Gen to model Mom's sweater, as they are near to a size. I think it turned out pretty well!

I have started a pair of gorgeous socks for me. Well, they will be gorgeous if I manage to get them knit up! These are stranded knitting, which means using a chart to keep track of the knitting. I can do this with cables, I don't know why I have troubles with this. Anyway, I just frogged (rip-it, rip-it) 35 rows on one sock and 25 on the other. whimper

Then I started another pair of socks for me. Just simple socks in a gorgeous color that has been marinating in my stash for too long. I had about 4 inches of each sock done when I took a good look at them. They were HUGE! So they frogged out as well. It wasn't my best knitting week, because while I finished Mom's sweater and the humming socks, the rest of my knitting turned out to be negative knitting!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dentist knitting

I had started the pair of socks that shall be known as humming to take to the dentist yesterday. Unfortunately, I'd knit more on the plain part than I should have. I realized that it was NOT going to carry me through the dental work. So I grabbed cotton yarn and needles on the way out the door and cast on for another Tribble. Started knitting away. And knitting. He needed to do a lot of work on that poor tooth.

I learned the following things while knitting without a chance of seeing my knitting (non-knitters, ignore all but the first one):
  • trying to pass the ball of yarn through the last stitch requires grabbing the CORRECT ball of yarn. You see, there was also another TWO balls of yarn in my little bag, and I carefully lifted the wrong one through that stitch and started pulling. And pulling. Finally gave up and stuffed the rotten thing in my bag. You know that cotton can make a mess when it isn't corralled, don't you? It did.
  • I can do an SSK, but it takes more thought than a k2tog;
  • I counted stitches to tell which row I was knitting. Counting helped me concentrate on knitting instead of the dentist, and if the row was coming up short a stitch, it meant I was on the pattern row;
  • a normal bind-off didn't take much effort, in fact, it was looser than my normal one;
  • my fingers are smarter than I think they are!

Another rotten mess straightened up last night. I am not good at winding a center pull ball on my own. Isabel tried a couple of times. I understand the theory, but seem to fail practicum. I rolled up a skein while at Nathan's. When I started knitting it I realized I made not been successful again. sigh I wound up as much as possible on the ball winder, then broke the rest and called it quits. Last night I sat down with it and untangled. Remembering WHY I don't like to untangle messes like this. But it needed to be done. And it now is in a tidy EXTERIOR pulling ball. That last little bit that might be needed for the socks, it would be terrible to run out!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

That lady and her camera

Nathan hates having his picture taken. I caught him chatting on the phone and smiling, and couldn't resist. Of course, with the way things go, it is NOT a good picture of Justin. But I like the expression on NATHAN's face!

These two are so close to each other, but I couldn't choose between him. He looks so serious, doesn't he. There were a lot of smiles this trip, I certainly didn't catch a single one on the camera!

Justin has found his voice! He has learned to squeal. It is hard to know without looking at his body language whether he is squealing in anger or fun. He likes the noise, but it tends to startle him too!

He's teething, Grandma's fingers were great to chew on. He is making bubbles and doing a lot of drooling. It will probably be a while until those teeth come in, but he'll chew away until they do!

But Grandma!

I believe this is called, "But Grandma, you guessed WRONG on how big I am!" What do you think? He'll grow in to it, of course, but doesn't he look bemused?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

But they ...

I was complaining in the car yesterday about this sock yarn. It is part of the Kaffe Fassett collection by Regia. He is well known in the knitting world for his use of color. Which, I'm sure, is why he was asked to put together this collection. I don't know, perhaps something went wrong between the colors he chose and the colors that were reproduced. Whatever, I was whining (let's be honest here, right?) and said to Howard, "The colors don't SING!"

There was a pause as the man searched for the right thing to say. He has been around me long enough.

Finally he said quietly, "no, but they are trying to hum."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Musing on socks

In the fall of 95, Joan Hamer donated a sock pattern to the Knitlist.  It sparked a whole new era of knitting for many of us.  Hundreds of pairs were  knit by listmembers.  When stores discontinued carrying Woolease, Knitters descended in throngs to purchase all of the existing stock. 

After a while, people began creating new patterns for socks.  XRX held a sock contest, the winning entries were displayed at Stitches and included in the "Socks, Socks, Socks" book.    Judy Gibson designed a toe-up pattern that resulted in a sock that looked exactly like one knit from the top, her "You're putting me on!" pattern.  

Some gentleman developed a machine that dyed the yarn in a pattern that striped or mimicked Fair Isle patterning!  Big stars for him!  That excited our imaginations.  When the yarn first came out, it was easier to buy in Europe than in the US.  So swaps were formed.  Those living abroad had "wish lists", those that wanted the sock yarn (and other goodies not available here at that time) happily filled wish lists in exchange for OUR wish lists.  I did several swaps with Colonel Holly Doyne -- she seems to remember the package of zippers I sent the best (all sizes and colors, based on her preferences), I remember the Regia booklets, the Horst Schultz books and a 100 gram skein of the most marvelous yarn.  It was teal/blue/green/yellow and looked like spring to me.  I was in a sock swap at the time, I knit up a PINK sock with stranded patterning for my partner and knit that green yarn with black stranding for me.  The socks didn't match deliberately, I wanted to play with patterns.  I did something wonky on the heels, but they fit well enough.  After this many years, the socks are showing signs of wear.  Serious wear, as in "I'm not sure I can fix this wear."  Which was a cause of some sadness.  And since I never received the socks from my swap partner, I couldn't replace them with warm thoughts from her.  

Yesterday in the mail came two skeins that look as if they are family members of that pair.  My heart is happy!  

Friday, April 18, 2008

My yarn weakness

It is sad, but I have realized that I have this terrible weakness as to sock yarn. I have a stash of it. I will admit to a having enough to be able to knit socks for several years without running out. Yet there is something about seeing sock yarn for sale that makes my heart go pitter pat for a moment. I talk myself out of it, so far. You will please notice that I'd like to make a promise that I will continue to do so, but... What is it about sock yarn, as opposed to any other yarn? I started to say I could understand if it were -- a different kind of yarn -- but then my mind went blank. I really couldn't imagine any other yarn "tripping my switch." I started to write cashmere, and remembered the cashmere in my stash that is patiently waiting for me to come up with some sort of project for it. Just to get it out of my stash. It has been there long enough, but without an inspiration it sits. Hm, qiviut? I knit up all that I had and gave the projects away. Sweater yarn? I have enough for many sweaters in my stash right now, I don't feel a need to pick up any yarn for that.

But sock yarn. Ah. What is it about SOCK yarn? I don't know. The fact that socks usually go fairly quickly? As opposed, of course, to a sweater which could take SO much more yarn and take longer to knit. The magic of turning the heel? Even after 90+ pairs of socks, I still delight in heels. I don't know why. But I love sock yarn.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mom's Sweater

So earlier in the week I was going to post this picture, of the finished sleeves. Took the picture, never put it up.
Early this morning I finished the body of the sweater. "Only" the miles of edging to go. Around both sleeves and the entire sweater. That may take as long as the REST of the sweater!
I wish I could get a picture that clearly shows the color. It is a mainly blue, but there are flecks of magenta and green, so it "reads" more of a teal. At least, it does to me.

I find it fun that I am knitting with this color. As I started in on it, I realized it is the same tones as Howard's vest I knit years ago o of the now discontinued color of Woolease -- Tartan Twist. That one used plies of the various colors to achieve the desired effect. The yarn I am spinning on Albert, my Victoria wheel is turning out the same as Mom's yarn, I'm spinning it so the colors blend instead of separating. I now know what to do so that I can make the colors separate, but right now I'm happy with the tweed effect. I don't know how many pairs of socks Iknit out of Tartan Twist, that was a color that several people were drawn to when I was knitting Joan's sock pattern, the pattern that taught so many knitlisters to knit and love socks. There we were, all learning at the same time. Whee! It was a fun time!

The Trouble With Tribbles

Where have I been? Smoking knitting needles, I guess is the best way to put it! I saw a pattern called "Tribbles" online at Ravelry. And one thing just seemed to lead to another then another. I couldn't make just one, they are fun and addictive to knit.Then I knit some more of them!
And then there are those facecloths I've been knitting. I'm getting a nice basket-full, don't you think? This is popcorn knitting, mindless, easy at the end of the day when my brain doesn't want to function. Last night I just couldn't face the final bit on the body of Mom's sweater. So I cast on a facecloth, and by the time for bed, it was finished and a tribble was too, all but the finishing on the tribble! Which took moments this morning. I LOVE finishing a project so quickly.

Think Spring!

Howard was outside the other day, and called me to see. Look! The strawberry plants are starting to grow! New growth is poking up amid all of the dead leaves, which protected them from frost. Whew! Winter is leaving!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Howard was been gone all day. It was a nice, quiet day. My favorite.

I called the doc first thing yesterday, wound up going in. Which would have been all well and good, but although I sat in a corner, someone saturated in perfume sat 4 seats away. By the time I was called back, I was in some distress. At least the doc now sees what happens. He was amazed that my voice was so bad and deep. I think I’m going to have to rethink how I handle the doc’s office. Maybe check in, go back to the car and wait until they call me on the phone to come back? I wasn’t in good shape, dumped my purse twice (which I NEVER do!), shaky, just felt out of control. Unfortunately, yesterday Howard had needed to sleep, so he got up just as I was leaving (again a rare occasion.) That meant I had to drive to the pharmacy, wait for the new med, then drive home, even though I did not feel as if that was a safe proposition. Usually when I feel that way I refuse to drive. What was I supposed to do? It was raining, not a good day for my lungs to walk home either, the way they felt.

Got home, wandered around, and finally surrendered. I took a nap! I don’t DO naps! It was imperative, I slept more than 2 hours. Thinking about it today, I don’t think it was lack of sleep or the new med. I think it was the reaction to that perfume. That seemed to have done me in.

Anyway, today is MUCH better. Mom’s sweater is humming along, when I sit down to do it. I have had a couple of sweating issues, but not like yesterday evening, when I wound up changing from the skin out 4 times before I went to sleep. I was running out of clothing to put on! For some odd reason, I did two loads of wash today. I finished both sleeves today and cast on for the body.

A lot of nattering, probably about nothing. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Attacked by a project!

This is partly what I wrote to Dianne and Helle, partly new rambling.

Monday night I decided to finally ball up some 5 skeins of yarn that have been waiting. For a long time for me to get a "Round TUIT." I was ready to start Mom's sweater. I really truly was. See, I had 2+ skeins (minus the swatch) all rolled. I had the gauge swatch done and measured. I had the provisional cast-on done for the sleeves. And I stalled. Big time. I was so tired, I just couldn't do it.

Showered, because I felt I was salt encrusted (it hasn't been a good time for these prednisone hot flashes. I am changing clothes fairly constantly during the day.)

Picked up one ball of the teal Butterfly cotton to do a gauge swatch. Just that. And it grew. I rifled through some Mon Tricot books, trying to find just what I wanted -- a onesie. Couldn't. Did find a top with matching shorts that could be adapted, I guess. Won't look like the original when I'm done! :)

Started the first flap, then did the second. Finally went to bed. Woke up at 4 this morning and couldn't sleep. Stayed in bed for about a half hour and gave up. I went into the other room, grabbed my knitting and a book and away I went. I we t to Kmart and picked up 4 onesies 9 month, 12 month, 18 month and 24 month Howard was at a meeting down the street. I can have enough to make a pattern in each size. If people are interested. I find it curious, all 4 were the same brand. The size 12 month was SMALLER than the 9. In fact, the two are reversed. I would say that somewhere there was a mistake.

Mom's sweater, of course, hasn't started. But I'm feeling really good about this one! LOL

I love Butterfly cotton. This is a DK, I'm knitting it fairly tightly -- at 6 sts an inch. I thought about doing snaps at the crotch, but I also remember how the snap tapes didn't hold well when I sewed things for Serena. So I thought small buttons. I think that if I do offer it up for a pattern, that I should do it in more than one color. Teal is what I have on hand. I'll have to see what I can find. I'm not doing a "girlie" color (which is all pretty much is offered on Ravelry at this time, unless I want to buy enough for MANY!) because I prefer that it be WORN! LOL

I woke up early again this morning and started in on this way a great deal of joy. Well, except for the time that I was talking with Howard later in the morning and suddenly bound off! That was a surprise. grin

It is in the dryer now, already having gone through the wash. I am hoping that washing will even the stitches, I did this in stockinette, but I really need to knit a cotton in at least a SIMPLE pattern, as it shows every single freaking tension change.

This is the first project in a long time that has grabbed me and not let go! :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

what must be learned

It is funny how I have forced myself to change in some ways. Almost a year ago (hey, I was on pred then too!) I broke that bone in my foot reacting to the timer. A moment in time well remembered.

Now, when the timer goes off, I don't go running. There are times that I can tell it is driving Howard nuts, but I can let it ring. Stupid thing rings for a minute.

I don't always learn quickly. I don't always learn well. But I did learn that running to turn off a timer can be counter-productive, in fact, painful!

Timers are my friend, but I need to be in control of them, as opposed to them being in control of me!

I did get the stitches picked up for the collar. One by one by one. A slow process, hindered by this odd desire to save as much of the waste yarn as possible. Let me think about this. Waste yarn. By definition, to be thrown away. So what is my compulsion to save it? I have ounces of this pink yarn that was given to me. Some of it double stranded, some not. I have used it for waste yarn for several years now, um, longer than I really want to think. At least the early 90s? Serena was still in high school. There is probably enough to last me until I die and beyond. Yet I still try to salvage it when I use it. Who knows. I do remember Jane Carrigan, who gave the yarn to me way back when. She had started a top for herself and abandoned it. I got the yarn. It is wonderful for the waste yarn. Crochet up a chain (I can do that much) and pick up the stitches. But, I picked them up stitch by stitch, unraveling as I could, and snipping when it became necessary. Through all of that waste yarn in the trash when I was done. Ready to go on to the next step.

howard and birds

Howard loves to feed the birds. We have 3 bird feeders in the back yard, a suet feeder, and squirrel food on the ground. The squirrel feeder was an attempt to keep the um, the um, the pests (there are many other words that Howard uses here, I was trying to come up with a "family friendly" one) out of the regular feeders. They can only access one of them, their tries to get to the others are fun to watch. I've posted before about Howard's antics with the squirrels.

He isn't fond of grackles. They are messy, they waste the food, they scare off the smaller birds.

This morning, his loving wife (that would be me) text messaged him: Grackle grateful for suet!
Howard: Grrrr!
LW: :) but I thought you smile at the thought of pleasing a birdie! Giggle! :)
Howard: You are evil, in a very nice way!

I realized that trying to pick up the stitches from the provisional cast-on (for the facing/collar of the Mermaid) is NOT a good idea when the hands are shaking from the pred. Not, not, not. I'll do it later.

I tried to knit the sheep facecloth last night. It is cute, I had some white cotton that would have been perfect for it. I made it through the first row of bobbles. And frogged to the start of the pattern. Knit a facecloth in stockinette stitch with garter edges. There was no way I was going to happily do all of those bobbles. Just not. There was also the reality of how long those bobbles would take to DRY when the cloth was used! The rest of the cloth would dry, those could mold. That is my story, and I am sticking with it. I'm not a bobble knitter.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I had planned to spend quality time today, learning how to do a braided cast on. I have decided that is better suited to a day when I am NOT on prednisone, and can make sense of the directions. Until then, I will knit a swatch, make facecloths, work on the Mermaid or whatever. Note to self: do not try to learn something when the brain is not fully present. At least, do not try on your own. If someone else is there to catch mistakes it might be different. Not today.

knitted prayers

Friday night I was knitting away at the Mermaid for my friend Margaret. It felt as if I wasn't supposed to stop. I thought of her, prayed, and knit away into the evening and late into the night.

Yesterday I kept trying to call her. I felt there was a reason I had felt that way. The phones were busy. All day. Now that is odd. I kept trying and knitting. Praying for Margaret and Don.

Last night I received an e-mail from another friend that Margaret and Don are all right, but their house was damaged in the tornado that went through Friday night.

I have just a bit more to go on the body of the Mermaid, then I will put it down for a bit. During clean-up, she really does NOT need me to call and ask for her sleeve length. If I become too impatient, I'll just knit the sleeves per the pattern. I know they run long -- the designer is a tall person (so is Margaret. Hey, most people are taller than I am at 5' 2". I knit the sleeves for Serena, Kim and me shorter because we don't NEED that sleeve length. I'm pretty sure that Margaret will need the pattern length, if not a bit more.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I like Panera's bagels. Plain. Those are safe. Toasted are best. grin Was eating one last night and broke a tooth. This is the second tooth I've broken on one of those bagels. Really, they aren't THAT hard!

I was putzing around the house, waiting for the dentist office to call. I started a batch of oatmeal cookies. I am, perhaps unfortunately, NOT a precise cook. Baker. Whatever. I tend to go with the feel. After all, the flour is more moist some days than others. I also use my fingers to form the little dough balls. Howard left, my fingers were absolutely covered with dough. Dentist called. I am glad she called, but 3 minutes either way would have saved a really sticky mess on the phone!

Mermaid is growing. There are less than 2 stripe sections to go on the body. I am enjoying this knit again. I love the kingfisher (teal) color yarn that is the contrast. I would never choose the black and grey for the body for myself (wrong colors!) but it is going to be stunning on Margaret!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

All Fool's Day

Yesterday afternoon the postman knocked. He had a lot of mail for us in the truck, but wanted us to know that we had what looked like a water main break. There is a little fountain coming out of the ground here. I wish it had showed up better. It ran down the sidewalk and out the neighbor's driveway, then down to the street all night, at a respectable rate.

The picture below is just before the dig. You will notice that Mother Nature had a surprise for us as well -- that white stuff was NOT forecast.

They started digging. And digging. And digging. 5 truckfuls of dirt came out, I didn't count the dirt going back in. It was a cold day to play in water. Although, to be honest, some of the things that they did looked a lot like little boys playing in a huge puddle of water. Making big splashes. With the backhoe. THAT makes a splash all right! LOL
Called the landlady, she had been under the impression that there wasn't much grass removed. Oh. Well. Yes. I think there was.

Someone asked if I was planning to do any April Fool's Day tricks. I think enough is enough, don't you?

Sunday, March 30, 2008



Justin and Us

Justin and Grandpa. Need I say more?

Justin and me

Gen's Quilt

Gen made a quilt up for Justin. So we used it for play time on the floor. This almost smile was just before or just after a BIG smile. I just wasn't fast enough.

Justin and his sweaters

This is the goldfish sweater, with the Dale of Norway Baby Ull yarn Mabel and Kay bought in Norway. Honestly the first sweater we tried on, but he wasn't quite sure what that idiot Grandma was doing with the camera! grin She sure stuck it in his face a lot!

This is the Presto Chango sweater, from jimmy beans Wool, knit out of Brown Sheep superwash

This cardigan became a pullover because Grandma forgot the buttonholes! sigh I tried to continue as a cardigan. It would have none of it. Perhaps that is just as well, because buttons like this won't be easy to button on a squirming toddler. As you can see, I went with the majority rule, and put in an additional 3 buttons. There are still 4 buttons left to decorate something!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Joy of a Grandson

We are a family of readers.

Justin was grumpy today. Actually, he was very hungry and wasn't happy about having to wait for his milk. We were trying to wait for Mommy to come home, but it wasn't going to happen. Sorry Mommy! I was holding him while Grandpa thawed milk for him. There was a copy of "Peter Rabbit" on the table, a tiny cardboard version of Beatrix Potter's beloved book. I picked it up in desperation and started reading it to him. I didn't show him pictures, but he quieted and listened to the rhythm of the words. The book ended and he started fussing again. So I read it again. Just as I finished, he came to the end of his patience, but Grandpa had come through! The milk was ready!

I think we have another reader!

Pictures will be coming! He is a toad like his Daddy about pictures. He will have the biggest smile on his face, but bring out the camera and it disappears! Especially as you push the button. It might have been there as you pushed, but in that moment, it is gone and there is a wide-eyed look of astonishment that you would even think that you could catch a smile. grin

Thursday, March 27, 2008


We stayed in a lovely hotel last night in St. Paul. There are lovely white comforters on the beds. I was knitting away at my Mermaid, and thought "this would be a great place to take a progress picture!" I guess it is official -- knitting rules! Howard, the sweety, just laughed. The body is officially to half. Yay!

We were going to explore downtown St. Paul by foot. I was wheezing, though, so we didn't go very far. I needed my prednisone, and couldn't take that until we ate. Stopped at a likely place and had a lovely time. I'm so glad that retaurants here are now smoke free! We ate at Matty B's, the maitre d' took special care so that I could eat safely. It is worrisome trying to eat away from home with so many food allergies, he went far out of his way so that I could have a delicious meal. There was a jazz band playing in the background, we were on the other side of the restaurant, so chatting was easy. It was a delightful experience.

As you may have noticed, I'm back on pred. There wasn't much wheezing, but there wasn't much air getting in and out of the lungs either. My voice has been staying in the bass register, which causes some hilarity with friends. There was a debate as to whether Howard and I had switched voices (which would have been a good trick in and of itself, but it has been deeper than his.) Some people close to me couldn't recognize my voice. I guess it is hard to process when you know the person's voice and it is suddenly SO much deeper. Memorable, I understand. grin

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oh Wow!

Not very long ago I talked with our dear friend Gen about making a quilt for our bed. I've loved Star of David quilts for so many years. I tried quilting in the early 80s, I made a few tiny things and stopped. The ladies in Idalia Colorado quilted, I learned a bit more. But my abilities are um, weak. Gen is a QUILT MAKER! She loves to piece the way I love to knit.
Gen generously told me to come over and choose the fabric from her stash. Yesteday she came over to give this to us. She wanted to give us a visible sign of her love. I think that she has given us a hug that will be cherished the rest of our lives. I had tears in my eyes as I unfolded this precious gift.

She apologized that she wasn't able to quilt it. Oh my word! I think she gave so much already. I have checked with a friend who knows a quilter who may be willing to quilt it.

Each time I see this quilt, I will be hugged by Gen. Her love will enfold us at night.

What an absolutely lovely gift from the heart! God bless you Gen!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Goldfish Sweater

Here is the finished Goldfish! I dropped it down onto the snowbank outside the front door, then took it looking down at it. I couldn't quite reach the arm to untuck it where it fell, but the rest of the sweater almost looks posed. Almost.

Yarn used, Dale of Norway Baby Ull, 4 skeins, I started with Brenda Zuk's Salmon Run then played with it. My fish are shorter, thus they look fatter. Pattern designed using SweaterWizard and Stitch and Motif Maker.

Oh, and it is resting on a new bed of the white rain that fell last night.


I started an e-book. I made the mistake of reading a review about it. Normally, a review is a summary of the absolute essentials of the book. This one says "Because this is such a great ending, I'm not going to divulge anything else about it. You'll have to read the book to find out."

Now, for a person who has a hard time starting a book without reading the ending to make sure it all comes out okay, this is horrible! One of the few times I didn't want to read the end to find out and the reviewer does this to me? mutter, mutter, mutter! Yes, despite the years of being yelled at by family and friends, I still read the end of the book first.

So far I've not given in to tempation. Will it last? I dunno. :)

Maybe I'll take a picture of the goldfish sweater in the white rain that is on the ground. The forecast was "it is too warm for any snow, it will all fall as rain." HAH! That is some awfully solid white rain on the ground, I watched the neighbor shoveling it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Goldfish Sweater, he is finished!

Between the county caucus this morning and the knitting group this afternoon, the goldfish sweater is completed! I need to give it a quick wash, then I'll post a picture. People seem to think it is cute!

Thank you again Kay and Mabel!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh for...

Then last night, as I'm knitting away at this Goldfish Sweater, I notice that the last cable I knit in the column with the wrong cable was wrong AGAIN! sigh I must have looked at the wrong cable when I glanced to see which way the cable was to go. After all, I've hit the stage where I really don't think I need the pattern. whimper

I spent most of the morning fixing those two cables. The first was done by snip, move stitches then kitchener. The second was dropped down, fixed, then knit up again. Just those 8 stitches. Now can I finish this sweater? snivel

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I had planned to write a post today about the joy of knitting when the pattern finally "clicks." When you suddenly "get it" and develop a rhythm. You see the word PLANNED? HAH!

I am having trouble believing that I went 7 rows without noticing that cable crossed the wrong way! After all, I look at my knitting! I know that I have to check to see what row I am (which way the seed stitch starts.) I LOOK at my knitting. I thought. Now I'm on the 8th row, time for another cable crossing. ARGH! This yarn isn't nice to drop down and knit up, it splits better than cheerleaders! I'll wait until I'm done and do a snip and kitchener repair.

The good news is that it is beginning to look like a sweater! As you can see, the arms joined the body today!

The color is somewhere in between these two shots. It is not quite a baby yellow (I called it that and one vendor was quite offended, told me it was "real yellow." Okay. It isn't a BRIGHT yellow. The first picture is too gold. The second one is too pale. Somewhere in the middle. You imagine, as my camera doesn't want to see it that way. I tried playing with the color, it wants to turn it into a gold, and it isn't.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Tale of a Sweater

Last fall, two wonderful ladies, Kay and Mabel, went on a trip to Norway. While they were there, they thought of Justin (who was had yet to make his appearance) and bought some yarn so I could make a sweater for him. It is beautifully soft Dale of Norway Baby Ull -- a superwash wool in a lovely yellow (safe for either sex!) That was so sweet of them!

Here is the sweater I've started from that yarn. I've had a bit of a time, my gauge changed after my swatch, and I had to start over again. I started over the next time when I realized my gauge had changed again. This time it seems to be consistent. I have both sleeves knit and am nearly 3 inches up the body. It is going to be a seamless pullover, with a shawl collar. I like how it is working.

I started with Brenda Zuk's cable pattern in Salmon Run, a pattern I'd purchased thinking about our son. I felt that an all-over texture would be too much on this sweater. And then, of course, I started playing with the cable and changed that. I think the fish is now more of a goldfish than a salmon. grin

So, thanks to Mabel and Kay, Justin is going to have a sweater with "fishies" that will keep him warm. I can't wait until I see it on him! I know it is going to be too big (I purposely designed it so he can grow into it) but I love the picture of him in the changed Tutti-Frutti.

Thank you, ladies!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

We Belong

The song in the hotel ad is haunting me...the chorus sings "we belong" over and over again. I think it ends with the word "together", but the part that sings -- okay, I'll be honest, is STUCK in my mind is "we belong".

There are so many places where I have found I belong. Some are a good fit, others are...not so good, but I stay because of friends, or circumstances, duty and sometimes (unfortunately) from habit. Some ties are weak, some are strong. But they are there.

We each need to belong.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Newest Justin pics

This one is a bit old (if you consider his age, that seems to be all wrong!) Aunt Serena is a fan, can you tell? So is Grandpa H, for that matter. Aunt Serena is trying to catch him young, I believe.

Justin spent part of a day at day care yesterday, so they could all experience it before Mommy has to go back to work. As they said, doesn't he look worried? grin This is at the day care site. He''s changed a lot already!

From what we understand, there are a lot of pictures being taken, but not a lot of time at that end (and boy, do I remember that lack of time) to send them on. We will "have" (such a hardship) to make another trip north to visit, and copy their pictures onto CDs so we can have them as well. There are some cute pictures on his webpage, but I can't copy them for my computer. There is one that he looks just like Jack Benny! The only thing missing is the hand up to the face!