Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ice House Knitting Group

Here's Shirley modeling one of her knitted and fulled hats at the knitting group on Tuesday. Isn't it colorful?! She adds eyelash yarn to the brim and is often quite creative with the colors, although many are 'quieter' than this one. She's also an excellant rug weaver.

I took the afghan that I pulled of the shelf a couple of weeks ago to finish after 20 years. I was ready to start the last (5th) 8-oz skein of yarn and needed help deciding whether to use fringe. If I was going to use it, I needed to cut it before starting that last skein. The concensus was that I didn't need fringe, so I have now finished the blanket. It is not Lily Chin's reversible cables, but it is cables and it is reversible. The back of the cables on one side form the reverse stockinette background for the cables on the other side. It's Cliveden 4-ply acrylic. (I think Cliveden has become Caron.) It's an ombre yarn with three strands of white and one of pale peach. After I bound of, I thought I had enough yarn left for a preemie cap. Since it is worsted weight yarn, I used size 6 needles and 49 stitches. After finishing the cap, I had only a couple of yards left. That's what I like - very little waste.

The other things I've completed recently are two seamen's scarves, a hat and mitten set for a 6 or 7 year old, and six other preemie caps. I've emailed a friend who's a nurse and asked if the local hospital needs preemie caps, but haven't heard from her yet.

No, that one scarf isn't black, just a very dark burgundy. I don't do black by itself - too hard on the old eyes.

I did more mowing yesterday for about an hour, but there will be no mowing today. It's cold and rainy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Mowing

I did some of the mowing on Sunday. It felt good to be out there in the sunshine. There's still a lot more to mow, but we'll get to it soon.

Yesterday was my monthly doctor's visit. She said that I'm responding well to the treatment, and she's glad that I'm tolerating the drugs well. The steroid causes edema, occasional slight dizziness, and shakiness, but that seems to be all. From now on I will only be taking the steroid for the first four days of each four-week treatment cycle, so most of the time I should be OK. And when we picked up the prescriptions at the drug store, we had a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting the same $280 as last month, but it was only $7.50.

Today is Tuesday, so I'll be going to The Ice House in Mayfield to knit. So it will be at least tomorrow before we do any more mowing. By the time we finish, it will be time to start again.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Wow, it's been a long time since I posted. Dominic started mowing a couple of days ago. You can see how high the grass had grown. He did the fenced-in area behind the house that day and did more today outside the fence. If he does a little each day, by the time he finishes it will be time to mow the first part again. On Monday, I was sitting on the back porch knitting and thought I felt good enough to put on my gardening shoes and start up the mower. A few minutes later, I got up and realized that wouldn't be a good idea. Maybe later, we'll see how things go. I have pulled most of the weeds from the garden paths, and today I pulled last year's cypress vines off the fence, so this year's can grow there.

Knitting Group

The group that is meeting every Tuesday at The Ice House in Mayfield had a yarn exchange this week. Everyone seemed to have definite ideas about what I need. Jo insisted I must have some mohair - well, yes, it is lovely stuff. Shirley had a large bag of baby/sport weight in off-white and pink that she thought I could use for some of the charity knitting. It was in hanks, so on Thursday I set up the swift and the ball winder and wound it into balls. Great for most of it. But the largest hank of white was a MESS! I should have taken a picture of it on the swift, with some of it hanging down. I was not able to use the ballwinder at all, but did manage to hand-wind some of it.

I also threw some of it away after doing some snipping in various places trying to get to a point where I could work with it.

This is what I wound up with. You can also see some of the mohair in the zip-loc bags.

Someone at the meeting mentioned preemie caps, so I made half a dozen of them on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Now I have to find out if the local hospital wants them. It looks cute on Lexi's doll, doesn't it?

I'm currently trying to finish an afghan that I started about 20 years ago. I think it was supposed to be a wedding gift for someone that I have long since lost track of. It was about 40% done when I stopped working on it. I've moved it from NJ to four different houses/apartments in KY. Now I'm determined to finish it. I'm at 80% now. Before I start the last 8-oz skein, I have to decide if I want fringe, and if so, what kind. I think I'll take it to the group on Tuesday for consultation.

Today I moved the rest of the yarn that was in a bookcase in the dining room to the shelves in the bedroom hallway. I'm making inroads into my stash! There's also room on those shelves for the yarn I brought home on Tuesday.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Rose's Blanket

I washed Rose's blanket yesterday and took pictures of it this morning before taking it to show off at the lace guild. It's hard to see the stitch patterns (I'm a lousy photographer) I especially like the heart and star that I tried to get shots of. they're worked in double seed stitch. I need to do something for my other great-granddaughter with the star on it - her middle name is Starr. She's gotten very good at drawing a five-pointed star and sometimes uses it in her signature (she's almost six).

After we got home this afternoon, I put the blanket in the 'little table' that my father made for us kids when we were small and that I use as a coffee table. I looked up later and discovered that Midnight had decided to test the blanket. I called Dominic out to look at her, and he grabbed the camera.

Heartland Lace Guild

I went to the Heartland Lace Guild meeting today in Paducah. This group is mainly a bobbin lace group, but they let in anyone sho collects lace or is otherwise interested in lace. I'm not a collector and I don't do bobbin lace, but I do knit and crochet lace sometimes. And I'm facinated by bobbin lace. It doesn't seem like it should hang together. And how they keep track of all those bobbins and follow their pattern is beyond me. This hat is bobbin lace.

And Renee, these two lace pillows are for you. You said you had never seen bobbin lace being done. Here are two different styles of pillows. The bobbins are worked in pairs, twisting the threads that are then pinned to the patterns which are on those blue pieces of paper. Maybe some day I'll try it. One member of the group, Lise, is a lacemaker, teacher, designer extraordinaire. I'm sure she'd be glad to get another person hooked on her favorite craft. She also knits lace.

Saturday, April 7, 2007


My sister drove down from Louisville yesterday morning and spent the night. She's going to a wedding in Hopkinsville today and then going back home. It was really nice to see her; it had been about seven months since I visited her.

Alyssa and Alexis came for supper last night and spent about two hours here. Alyssa took a couple of pictures of Renee, Lexi and me. I'm not sure which is the better picture of Renee. Neither is good of me; I'm having some edema because of the steroids I'm taking for the multiple myeloma, so my face is a bit puffy. And of course Lexi couldn't take a bad picture if she tried - almost six is a great age!

Renee brought lunch with her when she came - Derby City Chicken Salad from her Kroger. She says it's not at all Krogers in Louisville. I just finished it up for my lunch today - very good.


This morning I cast off the blanket I started Monday for Rose to take to daycare. Now I have to chart her name and duplicate stitch it onto the plain knit square. I'll post pictures of the front and the back when I have the name on. Some of the stitch pattern I used are reversible, and others look nice, just different, on the back. I'm pleased with the blanket. When I showed it to Alyssa yesterday, she said Sara might think it's too good to take to daycare as well. I sure hope not. If she's looking for something real plain Jane from me, she's out of luck.

My next project is a cape out of handspun wool for a friend who's been throwing yarn and books at me for years and not letting me pay her for them - maybe this will make us even. For my charity knitting I use machine washable and dryable yarns, because that's the way most people are used to doing laundry. My friend knows how to take care of the handspun, of course, so it will be nice working with it and to know that she's not going to ruin it.


Alyssa and Lexi brought me two sheep yesterday - a ceramic one for my collection. They're on every flat surface in the house, I think. Most of the groups also have donkeys (Eeyore) as guard animals. But the other one I can eat! I just noticed that it's from the Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company in Philadelphia. I lived only a few blocks from them for a year and a half many, many years ago. When the wind was right, we could smell the chocolate -would you believe it was not always pleasant? But even when it was bad, it was better than the tanneries or whatever on Aramingo Avenue.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Winter is back

I had to turn the heat back on yesterday. They're giving freeze warnings for the next several nights. My lilac which was so beautiful is wilting now. Dominic brought the lawn mowers (both walk-behind ones; one is self-propelled) up from the back shed on Monday, filled them with oil and went around the corner for gas for them - Yes, tiny town does have a gas station. They both started with no problem, but he hasn't done any mowing yet. We were too busy with other things on Tuesday, and I guess it was a bit wet yesterday, and too cold today.

We went to two knitting groups on Tuesday - in Mayfield in the morning/early afternoon and in Paducah in the evening. The Mayfield group has two women who are just learning to knit, so they're meeting every week for a while. I'm glad Jo had started teaching them, because she's much better at teaching than I am. I can answer questions, demonstrate techniques, etc, but teaching is not my forte. They started with the garter stitch dishcloth that starts with three stitches and does yarnover increases. I think Betty Ann bought every color of Peaches & Cream that WalMart had and went to town knitting dishcloths, which she plans to give to neighbors for Easter. Julia had not gone quite as crazy - only five or six. Tuesday they were starting on a different dishcloth pattern and learning to purl.

So we spent about three hours at home (I was knitting, of course) and then headed for Paducah in time to get to the drug store before it closed at six. They only had half of the Thalidomide that I needed last week, so we had to pick up the rest of it. Then we had supper - taco Tuesday at Taco John's - and got to the coffee shop early for the Ewe-nique Knitters meeting. Valerie said come on in, so I was the first one there. I selected a table and started knitting. It wasn't too long before others started arriving, including Heather with the baby. Ben was born on Valentines Day and has already been to two knitting guilding meetings - think he'll be a knitter?

Knitting from stash 2007

Yes, I'm still knitting from my stash. My production for March consisted of 6 hats, 4 scarves, 4 short capes, 1 child's sweater, and 1 pair of slippers for me. The hats and scarves are mostly for the Seamen's Church institute. We dropped the capes off at a nursing home in Mayfield on Tuesday. The slippers are from some of my handspun wool. I made them bigger than I intended to, so I need to full them. All of this used 6.16 pounds of yarn, for a total of 16.62 for the year.

When my granddaughter called Saturday night, she asked me to make a blanket for her daughter to take to daycare - she said the one I made a year and a half ago when Rose was born is too nice for daycare. She wanted pink, with Rose's name in black. On Monday afternoon, I looked through my stash and found three 8-ounce skeins of Red Heart 4-ply in Raspberry. I decided to make a stitch sampler blanket - four blocks wide and five blocks long with garter stitch 'sash' between the blocks and a wider garter stitch border around the outside. I made the lower right block in stockinette stitch, on which I will duplicate stitch ROSE, not in black, but in a dark plum/purple called Roseberry. I'm ready now to start the fifth row of blocks and will soon have to start the third skein of yarn, so I guess the blanket will weigh between 17 and 18 ounces.

I love stitch dictionaries! Working on different stitches makes the knitting so much more interesting, and it seems to go faster. The capes I made for the nursing home residents were in lace patterns, except for one. I did that one in stockinette stitch because of the terrycloth texture of the yarn. It was soooo boring, I thought I would never finish.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Spring's Progress

I don't know why this flowering crabapple is blooming only at its top this year. This picture was taken a few days ago - it has finished blooming now, and has only the leaves. Whoever did most of the planting here must have liked red leaves. I like them in the little Japanese maple, but am not crazy about the rusty color of these five flowering crabapples. And the barberries that were here were horrid! That was not just because of the red leaves, of course, but of the thorns, which are like sewing needles. I've gotten rid of all of them.

I like this little flowering crabapple. It was a gift from a couple of friends when I had the house blessed three years ago. The flowers are white and the leaves are green. It's small yet, of course, but seems to be growing well.

I'm glad these two pine trees are growing together, forming a screen so I don't see the neighbor's yard so much. I now don't feel like I'm snooping when I'm only sitting on my porch. I wonder why the tree on the right has such a nice conical shape, and the one on the left is so scraggly.

The lilac is beautiful this year. Last year it didn't look very good, but I pruned it quite severely last summer, and that seems to have done the trick.

The dogwood is now in full bloom. All of the dogwoods in the area are great this year.


Two more short capes for nursing home residents. I plan to drop them off Tuesday when we go into Mayfield. The blue and green one was using up some odd balls of leftovers. The lavender one has several mistakes in it, but I think it will pass the galloping horse test - you know, someone passing on a galloping horse won't notice.


While Dominic was waiting for me this morning, he spied a rabbit in the grass. He grabbed the camera, and got several good pictures.

And then after church he took a picture of me talking to my priest, updating her on my medical condition. It was good to be back at church; I hadn't been since Christmas Eve. Dominic has been asking me for the past few weeks if I wanted to go, but it always seemed like we'd already been to Paducah so often that I didn't feel like going again. This week we were only there on Monday. I think I will only be having monthly (or every four weeks) doctor's appointments now, so I may feel more like doing other things. At one point yesterday, my legs felt like rubber, and this morning I felt rather shakey.
I'm normally a moderately fast knitter, but not this morning. I was trying to knit in the car, but gave up because my fingers just didn't want to work right. I took a nap this afternoon, and feel better since then.