Thursday, December 31, 2009

Knitting tally 2009

8 washcloths
1 afghan (large)
3 baby blankets
6 capes (like the ones Lexi is modeling in the last post)
3 doll blankets
1 earwarmer
6 gift bags (small drawstring bags you could put a small gift in)
25 hats of various sizes, baby to seaman
1 pair legwarmers for Lexi
2 pairs mittens
2 ponchos - matching ones for Lexi and her 18" doll
1 sarape
16 scarves
31 shawls
4 pairs socks
17 sweatbands, most donated to Habitat for Humanity
7 sweaters - 2 were matching ones for Lexi and her doll, the others were baby ones donated to the Pregnancy Resource Center in Mayfield
20 miniature stocking ornaments for Lexi to give to her classmates

I also wove 200 squares on a 2" Weave-it Loom and 40 or so on a 4" loom.

All of this used over 65 pounds of yarn, most of which was here at the beginning of 2007, plus I gave at least another ten pounds to various knitting friends. I'm gradually getting my shelves cleared off. Then maybe I can buy more - or at least bring home some of what was donated to the charity knitting ministry group at church to use it for shawls and laprobes, and for scarves and watchcaps for the Seaman's Church Institute.

I have three projects going now:
A doll sweater that I started during the summer, set aside and forgot about until I was reading my worksheet,
A shawl requested by Carmen for a friend/co-worker of hers who has helped her understand my disease and treatment,
An Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket that I started this morning so I can show the women I was knitting with yesterday what a strange piece of knitted fabric it is before you fold it and sew the shoulder/sleeve seams. (The ones I gave to the Pregnancy Resource Center were of this variety.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh! This is cool!

That's what Lexi was saying Monday after she discovered that she could go  around the world on The Weather Channel website. She had been on the couch like this (Do you think she's comfortable?), playing with her new electronic toy she had received for Christmas, when there was a sound like thunder from the computer. She wanted to know what that was and I told her there must be a weather alert. She went to the computer and asked how to find out what it was. I told her which icon at the bottom to click on . The alert concerned possible flooding in the agricultural bottomland along the Ohio river twenty or thirty miles from us. She read that to me and then noticed the map of our area. Being eight years old and very comfortable with computers, she started testing what she could do with that map. I think she visited every continent, often zooming in on towns, etc., and frequently saying, "This is cool!" I was delight at her interest. I pulled up another chair, and traveled with her for a while.

Then before I took her home on Tuesday, I had her model two of the short capes I have made recently. Of course, on an adult they don't come down as far - she's only 51 inches tall, and her shoulders are still quite narrow. 

This is my own pattern that I tweaked a bit the first few few times I made it. It's a Hobby Lobby yarn called Soft Delight Extremes, with a lace edging in a worsted weight, solid color yarn (various brands, depending on what I had in my stash.

I particularly like this red one. I started to do the edging in scarlet, but realized that was too jarring. The burgundy is much better. 

The background is my stash of knitting, etc. books and magazines, which I have also been collecting for 46 years.


Today was my oncology visit. Their lab is having trouble with their machines and has to send the blood elsewhere for testing. The nurse/practitioner and doctor decided that, since I had no complaints that would suggest a problem, it would be OK to give me my VelCade and Decadron without the results of the bloodwork. My INR, which indicates the 'thickness' of my blood was perfectly in the desired range, so I continue with the same amount of Coumadin. The INR is checked on a little meter similar to the gloucometer that diabetics use to check their blood-sugar levels, so we didn't need to wait for it.

After that bit of my social life, I went to the Market Square Coffee for another bit of it - knitting. We had at least a dozen people today! I really enjoy the women in these various fiberarts groups I meet with at various frequencies. While we talk about our knitting some of the time, more of our conversations are about other parts of our lives. I think most of us develop a trust of the others in the group and can say some things we probably wouldn't say to other people we know.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Three points STILL determine a plane

A few weeks ago Carmen was looking for a pattern for a carrier for the food gifts she wanted to give to friends for Christmas. I told her that if she got started earlier next year I could help her out with knitted and fulled/felted carriers. I told her about bags I had made several years ago for the bottles of herbed vinegar I gave to co-workers at the Senior Center. She wanted to see a picture, but I don't have any. So, yesterday I made one that I will send to her. I started with a garter-stitch square for the bottom, then picked up stitches around the edge of it to knit the sides. Since the bottom is square, I thought it would be good to use five double-pointed needles - one for each side and one to knit with. It was very floppy, but I kept thinking things would improve when I got an inch or two up the sides. After almost six inches, it was still driving me crazy, so I divided the stitches onto three needles, worked with the fourth, and set the fifth aside. Immediate improvement - much more stable!

Next time I wash jeans, I'll add this to the load and see how much it changes. It is currently 5"x 5"x 11".

A Complaint:

Are there song lyrics that annoy you? I'v found some on one of my Christmas CD's. They go something like, ". . . feel sorry for the laddie; he doesn't have a daddy; he's the little boy that Santa Claus forgot." I resent that!

Carmen was seven and a half and Dominic had just turned five when their father died on Labor Day weekend. As fall progressed and Christmas decorations appeared in the stores, they frequently asked me when I was going to get them a new daddy. That was the farthest thing from my mind; I was too busy working and caring for them. After Christmas, they stopped asking about a new daddy. I think they had daddy and Santa Claus connected and were afraid they'd have a bleak Christmas. After Santa visited anyway, they were not interested in replacing their daddy.

Don't get me wrong. I do feel sorry for that laddie, as well as my own children and many others. I think the ideal situation for children is to be in a household with a father and mother, who have as least a reasonably good marital relationship, and who are both involved in the care and training of the children. However, not everyone can have that.

Down from the soapbox now.

Merry Christmas!!

I gave this needlepoint to Mother many, many, many years ago. It's one of the things I reclaimed after she died, along with the afgan you see a bit of behnd the needlepoint. I wasn't sure she'd like it; it may have seemed too Catholic for her, but for years she kept it hanging throughout the year.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Another Fiber Week


I rarely set the alarm clock, but I did for Monday. After taking a shower, dressing and having my toast and coffee, I left the house before 7:30. I had to stop at the hospital in Mayfield to have blood drawn for a protime test. A nurse from the Cancer Group called late that afternoon to say that the number was 1.9. They want it to be between 2 and 3, but that was close enough to take me off the Lovenox shots. She said I should take 5 mg of Coumadin Monday night and then go back to 2,5 mg. About five minutes later, she called back and said, "I did tell you that you can stop the Lovenox, didn't I?" I assured her that she did. Giving myself shots was not as bad as I had anticipated, but I'm glad to not need to do it any longer. Now I wonder how long it will take for the bruising caused by the 17 needles I did use to go away.

I continued to Murray to meet Mary C and ride with her to Cadiz for the Lake Area Fiber Arts group meeting at Jean's house. Since the stop at the hospital had gone so quickly, I had 45 minutes to wait - good knitting time!

An email was sent about two weeks ago saying that Jean would provide a main dish and the rest of us could bring whatever we wanted to fill out the menu. Some of the women missed that message, but we had plenty of food. Since I don't do much cooking now, I took a tray of several varieties each of cheese and olives.

This group also has a tradition of each person giving every other person a small gift at the December meeting. I came home with two jars of jelly, a quilted pot holder, a bar of handmade soap and a small packet of cookies and fudge. I gave Christmas balls with openwork knit covers in variegated yarns. About half of them were in a red/green/white colorway, but there were at least two other colorways as well.


I left the house a little after 9 am and headed into Mayfield with several stops to make before going to the Ice House to see if any others from that fiber group would show up three days before Christmas.

  • First was the electric company to pay my bill.
  • Next to the women's shelter to donate four or five scarves and a hat to match one of them.
  • Then came Bailey's Tire for an oil change, lube and check of the transmission fluid. Another good block of knitting time. After a while, Tim came over and said my back tires were in bad shape. I told him that I couldn't afford different ones at this time. He said he'd see if he could find a used one to replace the worst one. Later, another one of the men said my car was ready. As I followed him to the counter, he said there were two new-to-me tires on the back. When I asked how much I owed, he replied,"How about just Merry Christmas! it's been taken care of." My mouth dropped open and tears sprang to my eyes. To my, "But . . . " re responded, "Just pay it forward sometime." Does my charity knitting and weaving count as 'paying it forward'? We have probably all been on both the giving and the receiving end of things. I find the giving end more comfortable. In fact being too generous with my granddaughter is one of the main reasons for the 'hole' I'm currently in. But I've been in such holes two or three times before and have worked my way out; I'll work my way out of this as well. (But I digress.)
  • Then to WalMart for one item. Melanie's husband asked me later how long it took to get that one item. I knew exactly where it was in the pharmacy/health care section of the store, so I picked it up and headed to the nearest express checkout lane. There was only one person in front of me - well, actually two people, but they were together.
  • Next came the gas station to fill the car's gas tank.
  • Then to Taco John's for one crispy taco. I was amused at the woman in front of me who asked for her order 'to go.' We were in the drive through - they assume we want our orders to go.
  • Next was Stone's Drugs for a refill of my blood pressure medication.
  • Then I drove by a curbside mailbox to drop in my phone/internet payment.
  • I finally made it to the Ice House/Art Guild about 12:30.
Dana said that Jay had been there but left already. While we were talking, Melanie and her husband came in. They weren't staying because they were going to lunch. I had brought the rest of the ornaments and the rest of the cheese/olive tray. I had both Dana and Melanie take an ornament and gave out two others later to two of the Art Guild 'regulars' who dropped in. Dana and I both picked at some of the cheese and olives to supplement my taco and whatever she had brought for lunch.

I had come to the end of the ball of yarn I was working from while I was at Bailey's and discovered that I hadn't put in the other ball as I had meant to, so I was dead in the water as far as knitting goes. So I took a book from the Books and Bargains corner and started reading. About 2 o'clock, Dana asked if I was going to be there a bit longer. I said I was. She needed to work up a bank deposit, and feels more comfortable doing that when at least one of the regulars (those of us who are there frequently, whom she knows she can trust) is there. She worked up the deposit and took it to the bank. When she returned, she wrote me a check for my items in the gift shop that had sold since the last time she gave me such a check. I then deposited it in my bank and went home.


I left home about 9:30 for my 10:30 oncology appointment. My first stop was Davis Drug to pick up my one Zofran pill. (Yes, I use two pharmacies. Prescriptions from my family doctor, whose office is in Mayfield, I get filled in Mayfield. Those from the oncologist, whose office is in Paducah, I get filled in Paducah. It makes sense to me.) The Zofran is for nausea connected with the ValCade they give me. Medicare will only let them dispense one Zofran tablet in any 24-hour period, so I have to get that pill each week before my treatment.

After that, I went to Market Square Coffee to meet other knitters. We had decided last week that we'd bring 'noshes' to snack on. I had refilled my cheese/olive tray (I was glad for the overcast so the car interior stayed cool), and also took the ornaments. There was one ornament left at the end of the day, and I left it on the table. The 'noshes' were my lunch and I ate so much that I didn't eat any dinner. It was already dusk before I left the shop, and completely dark by the time I got home.

So I've had three busy days, and now am looking forward to at least three non-busy days.

Friday, December 18, 2009


People tell you that the prep for the colonoscopy is bad, but that the test itself is nothing. However, no one ever says anything about the aftermath - that time when you go home and resume eating solid food. You take a bite and chew and the enzymes in your mouth start the digestion process. You swallow, the food travels down your esophagus to your stomach, where the digestion process continues. The nutrients your body needs are absorbed and the undigestable parts proceed into your NOW COMPLETELY CLEANED OUT intestines. You can feel and hear them gurgling down that loooong tube to you know where, and you feel an urge to fart. HOLD IT!!! You need to consciously control that sphincter muscle until you are securely seated on the toilet. That will almost certainly be a wet fart! It will take several hours (days?) to get things back to normal.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I had my first one today. Many people had told me that the prep was worse than the test. They're right, of course, but the prep wasn't as bad as I had expected. For the test, I was asleep, so I didn't know what was going on. They gave me three sheets of pictures they took of my insides. They found nothing bad, apparently. Alyssa went with me to drive me home. My appointed arrival time was 9:45, and I got there 15 minutes early. I was home before 2 p.m. I've spent the afternoon knitting and playing games on the computer - pretty normal activities for me. I've also eaten, which I couldn't do yesterday.

It's early, but I think I'll get in bed and read for a while.

Monday, December 14, 2009

WHEW - we made it

L ast night was the end of this year's Walk through Bethlehem. Saturday, as soon as we got everything set up, it started sprinkling. After a few minutes, they decided to call if off for the night. Then, as soon as everything was put away and we had taken off our costumes, the rain stopped. But of course, we assumed that it would start up again. It did, but not until much later in the night. They decided to extend the Sunday hours by half an hour on each end, and made an announcement to that effect on whatever radio stations they advertised the event on.

Last night was very good. The ground was a bit soft from the rain, and the sky was overcast, but the temperature was around 50 F, I think. I was able to take my gloves off, which made the weaving easier. The overcast actually made it brighter - the clouds reflected the lights from Mayfield back down to us, so I could see my work better. There were more visitors than any other night.


I am having to take Lovenox instead of Coumadin now for five days leading up to my colonoscopy, and then for a few days afterward. I think Dominic wished this on me. It's not enough that I have peripheral neuropathy caused by the Myeloma and/or the medication I take for it. He also thinks I need to know what it's like to stick a needle in my belly twice a day. Of course, I only have to do it for a few days; he has to take the insulin for the rest of his life. It's not as bad as I thought it would be, but I still don't like doing it.

Monday, December 7, 2009


We nade it through the first weekend, with about 500 visitors over the three nights.

On Friday, I mentioned that I keep sliding around on the stool I use. The woman who was working in the fabric stall where I was said that she works with special-needs children and that they use mats of some kind to help the kids with picking up their cups, etc without tipping them. Thinking about that later, I decided to see if the stuff you put under rugs to keep them from slipping would help. It works great!

On Saturday night, I realized that I was weaving much faster than I had expected, so the warp I had put on wasn't nearly long enough. I asked if I could get into the fellowship hall, where they put my loom overnight, about 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon to tie on a new warp. I wound off about ten yards Sunday morning and tied it onto what was already on the loom. It meant tying sixty knots, but at least I didn't need to thread the heddles and reed. Last night one of the little boys of Bethlehem (I like the way they have the kids in costume, running around as part of the town.), who I guess had heard me tell someone about putting on new thread, asked where the cloth I had woven the previous two nights was. I told him in my car. He asked if he can have it. I told him to see me after we went back into the fellowship hall, but I think he forgot. I'll need to find him on Friday. The only thing I know is that his 'Bethlehem name' is Uri. (I chose Naomi as my 'Bethlehem name.')

Last night they put me at the rugs stall. Fabrics is about 3/4 of the way down the 'street' and rugs is the second stall inside the city gate. It was interesting being in a different location. The beggar and the leper, both of whom get chased out by the Roman guards whenever they sneak in, rarely get down as far as the fabrics stall, but I saw a lot of them last night.

When people finish the walk, they are invited into the fellowship hall for a hot drink (coffee, chocolate, cider) and cookies. They are also invited to leave comments. Then when we Bethlehemites have taken off our costumes and are enjoying the hot beverages and cookies, the comments are read. Last night someone mentioned the weaver as a highlight. I was surprised - and pleased.

It's a bit warmer today, so I'm hoping the warming trend will continue, and that it will be about 50 degrees next weekend.


I had a scan of my legs today to see if there are any blood clots. I have a colonoscopy scheduled next Thursday, and need to be off coumadin for five days before that. If there are no clots (the technician saw none, but a radiologist will need to examine what she did), Dr Winkler will just let me be off coumadin for those five days. If there are clots, he will give me something else instead of the coumadin. I'm hoping the radiologist agrees with the technician.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

One down, five to go

Nights of weaving in 'Bethlehem,' that is. Last night it was COLD - about freezing. Tonight will be the same, and probably tomorrow night, as well. Perhaps it will warm up during the week and next weekend will be nicer.

I had on cuddleduds, both top and bottom, jeans, a turtleneck shirt, a wool sweater and the long garment the church provided to make me look like a first-century Palestinian. On my feet, I had wool socks, felted wool insoles and sneakers. My hands were the problem area. I had the fingerless glove type things I sometimes wear while knitting to relieve aches in my hands (I don't get such aches often), cotton gloves and wool fingerless gloves. Even though the cotton gloves are thin, it is hard to work with them on, so I didn't wear them the whole time. At closing time, I had trouble with the buckle on the belt I use to hold the loom in its folded position, but I thought that was just because I didn't have enough light to see what I was doing. However, after I took off my costume, I went into the ladies room. I had to come out of the stall and have another woman unbutton my jeans for me. I could feel nothing with the fingertips on my left hand. It took a few minutes for that to 'thaw.' The hot cider and cookies sure tasted good!

I got home about 9:30 and went right to bed. I have flannel sheets on my bed, plus a blanket and a poly-filled comforter, but after fifteen or twenty minutes I got up and put on a down comforter, too. When I woke several hours later, I was nice and toasty warm.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Three shawls

These two are what I call Random Shawls. In each case I used a 'foundation yarn' - a baby-weight yarn that I carried throughout the shawl. I then used a different yarn for each row, leaving the ends of that yarn to form the fringes at the ends of the shawl. I use seed stitch because I like the way it mixes the colors. The red one is 180 stitches. It is only about 15 inches wide, which is too wide to be a scarf, but a bit narrow for a shawl. However it is six feet long, so it can wrap around even those of us with ample figures. I could have made it a bit wider, but not much. I now have very little red yarn left.

I started the blue one on Thanksgiving, and when Lexi saw it that evening (less than three inches done), she said it reminded her of the ocean. I hope I continued that throughout the shawl. This one is about 23 inches wide and only a little over five feet long. That's a better shawl size. I have now taken the blue-blues out of the basket, kept the teal/turquoise-blues in and added some green-greens and yellow-greens to make a green shawl. I've also set aside white and pale pastel yarns for another shawl. People seem to like this type of shawl. I use all types of yarns - smooth, fuzzy, eyelash, etc.

I need to trim the fringe here, but I wanted to show what it is like.
The shawl below I call a Truncated Triangle, because I started with 45 or 46 stitches rather than the three I would have used to make one with a point in back. I spotted this yarn through the almost-clear side of one of my plastic storage bins, and wondered if I had enough for a shawl. There were only five balls, but they made quite a large one. It has an edge of five garter stitches, then a yarn over to create a new stitch, thus increasing the width. The main part is just stockinette stitch - as simple as you can get, but I figured the yarn is the interesting part here. It weighs less than nine ounces. (The random ones weight at least a pound.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cheese & Christmas

There's not really a connection, just two things I've been thinking about today.

Lisa asked about the gjetost cheese I mentioned recently. It's a Norwegian cheese that is brown in color - maybe caramel-colored would be more accurate. It's flavor reminds me a bit of evaporated milk. Although I don't like evaporated milk, I do like gjetost cheese occasionally. I used to buy it in NJ, but hadn't seen it in western KY until last week at the Kroger beside Noble Park. I don't know how I came to eat it with cucumbers, but I do like the combination. Lexi didn't care for it, but she does like the camembert that I bought this week. That did not surprise me, since I know she likes brie; the two cheeses are quite similar. I'm trying to help raise this child to like a wide varity of food. So far I think we're doing well in that regard, although I wish she'd eat more vegetables. I also want her to be willing to try new things. I've told her that I don't ever want to hear her say she doesn't like something if she hasn't accually tried it. You can say you don't like the way it looks or smells, but unless you've tasted it, you can't say whether you like it or not.

I even tried limberger cheese a couple of years ago. One of the stories I remember Mother telling was of Grandma smelling something unsavory one day. She checked all the kids' pants, but there had been no 'accidents.' She kept sniffing and finally followed her nose to the pantry, where she discovered that Grandpa had brought home some limberger. It is something I might eat a sliver of every two or three years, but it won't bother me to live without it for the rest of my life.

Now to the Christmas part:

Here's some of the plant material Lexi and I gathered yesterday morning.

And here is what she did with some of it in a corner of the dining room.
We also hung angels on the mantel. Only a knitter would have this kind of covering for her mantel. The top is machine-knit in green, and the edging is hand-crocheted in red. The edge along the back side is just single crochet, but on the ends and the front side, I did several rows of other stitches, ending with picots along the bottom. The picots are good for hanging ornaments from. There are nails along the back of the mantel to grab the covering, but I also weighted it at one end with a heavy rock and at the other with some small but heavy marble candle holders. Lexi hung a bunch more things here after she took the picture, and I added plant material to the top of the mantel this morning. I also moved the Father Christmas away from the tiger print. He is more visible against the white wall. I put an all-white mother and child figurine where Father Christmas is in this picture. It shows up well there.
There were hangers in the boxes with some of the ornaments, but not with all of them. I think I have more hangers somewhere, but not in the boxes I pulled off the shelves. It was easier to give Lexi a package of 18 gauge aluminum wire and needle-nose pliars with wire cutter, than to pull down more boxes of decorations looking for the 'store-bought' hangers. I told her that way she could make the hangers whatever length she wanted them.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Wow! It's 1 o'clock already! And I was up before 6 for no good reason. So far, I have:

1) pulled out some leftover sock yarn. Valarie told us yesterday that Stephanie is gathering sock yarn to make a blanket for a neighbor. It will be nice to have less sock yarn sitting in the basket asking me what I'm going to do with it.

2) knit several rows on a prayer shawl I started a couple of weeks ago. I've made two other shawls since then, but let this one languish for a while. There's still a good bit more to go on it.

3) put a penny into each of the 22 (so far) mini-stocking ornaments I've made for Lexi to give to her classmates and other friends. I pushed them down to the toe and ran a couple of stitches across the top of the penny to hold it in.

4) finished warping the loom and wove six inches. The warp is only three yards long and 60 threads wide. It's what I plan to work on during the Walk through Bethlehem coming up the first two weekends in December.

5) received phone calls from both of my children. Dominic was on a bus on his way to Carmen's house. Carmen told me about what she is cooking. She likes to cook.

I will be picking up Lexi later today and bringing her here to spend the night and the day tomorrow. She spent last night with her father and will have dinner with his family, so I don't know what house I'll get her from. I think we'll do some decorating tomorrow. I plan for us to go outside and gather holly, ivy, nandino berries, pinecones, Japanese maple leaves (they're a beautiful shade of red now) and anything else we can find in the yard that seems appropriate. Then she can arrange them on some large trays and put some Santa and angel ornaments among the greenery. I think she'll do a good job and also will enjoy doing it.


I saw Dr Winkler briefly yesterday. He has changed the way I take Revlimid - not the amount per day, but the number of days. I've been taking it every day, but now he wants me to not take it for a week, then take it for three weeks, then off a week, etc. Next month he wants me to do another 24 hour urine collection and will order some blood work in addition to what they do at every visit. At first he said to do the urine collection on the 16th, but I told him I have a colonoscopy scheduled on the 17th, so he said to wait until after that.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another week gone by

This isn't really a Friday thing, it just works out that way sometimes.

Lexi spent Saturday afternoon and night with me and then we went to church Sunday morning. It was "Bible Sunday" when Grace Church gives Bibles to the second and third graders. Lexi's grandparents' church has already given her a Bible, so now she has two. The one she leaves at Macedonia Church of Christ and gets a star for having it with her whenever she goes there. The one from Grace is for her to keep at home and read (maybe). It is the Good News translation, which is not my favorite, but it does have some good maps and other 'helps' in the back.

Then we went by Nana's house and gave her the shawl. Lexi had decided that we should wrap it as a gift. I had the perfect box for it, and she found some nice wrapping paper in one of the closets and did the wrapping herself.

I didn't see Dr Winkler this week - only his nurse practitioner, Anna. I like her. She's a bit older than the other nurse practitioners - not quite my contemporary, but not a whole lot younger than I am. Anyway, since I didn't see Dr W, we didn't discuss maintenance as I had thought we were going to. Maybe next week.

Yesterday, I met Lexi's school bus and we went to the library. I know she always wants a snack as soon as she gets home, so I took her four choices - 1) ginger snaps, 2) gjetost cheese and cucumber slices (I like that combination), 3) Fritos with Swiss cheese and havarti with horseradish, and 4) popcorn. The popcorn was not on my list when I was planning it in the morning, but when I was putting it together I couldn't think of what the fourth item was, so popcorn was an easy substitute. We had to stop at the drug store to get the rest of the pills they were short on my refill when I was there on Tuesday, so I bought beverages for us there - Yohoo for me and 'pink milk' for her. Then we sat in the parking lot at the library and consumed most of the snacks. That wound us being most of my supper. When we got into the library, we each headed to the books for our age group - intermediate and adult. She has her own library card, so she checked out three books and then used a computer for a while. I only checked out two books and then sat down and knitted until the computer she was on 'timed out.' It was a nice way to spend an hour and a half.

Today we were supposed to have our monthly service at St Martin's Church in Mayfield, but only Evelyn, Mary and I showed up - no clergy. We waited about twenty minutes past the regular starting time, then went to the Happy House (Happy is the surname of the original owner of the house) Restaurant for lunch. We had a very nice time visiting over lunch. Since my blood was very thin when they checked it Wednesday, I ordered the spinach/Swiss sandwich. I figure the spinach's vitamin K will help thicken up my blood.

This morning, I took the paper trash out to the burn barrel and started it burning. Then I put on some gardening gloves, picked up the pruners and went back to the barrel to burn some of the branches I had pruned from trees a couple of months ago. Some of the branches are too large for pruners - I'll need to use the pruning saw on them. One of the large ones fell against my leg and I thought, "That will cause a bruise. Will I remember where it came from when I see it tonight when I take my jeans off?" Then I moved a bit and realized that I felt something wet on my leg. I looked down and there was a dark spot on my jeans - blood! I made sure there was no danger of anything falling out of the barrel and then returned to the house to put a bandaid on my my injury. It wound up taking five bandaids since I only have the regular width ones. I guess it is a combination of getting older and of the medications I take that has caused my skin to be so thin.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday again already?

Maybe I've been busier than I thought.

Sunday I went to the opening reception at the Ice House for the annual juried exhibition. I have not entered anything for several years. It's always interesting to see what the juror selects. There was a really good turnout for the reception, which was good to see. Those of us who are part of the Art Guild often feel that most people in town don't know we're there.

On Monday I actually did something other than knit. I moved some of the dirt I got the men to leave for me when they cut down the bank on my neighbor's property. I wimped out after three half-barrowfuls though. That filled the hole at the north end of the house, but I will probably need to add more after it rains. There are other places I need to put dirt as well. I'll get it done sometime. I also wove the second of the looper rugs. Just one more to go and I can cut off that warp and put on the narrow one I want to work on during the Walk through Bethlehem the first two weekends in December.

Tuesday was the regular weekly fiber group at the Ice House. Alyssa had joined us the last two or three weeks, but she started a new job Monday and no longer has that time free. I guess we only have five more weeks before we take a six-week break - the Ice House is always closed from just before Christmas until the beginning of February.

Nothing significant of Wednesday - just rearranging a few things in the dining room.

Yesterday, Thursday, was the Vintage Grace meeting at church - for us senior citizens. We met at 11 am and filled boxes for the Seaman's Church Institute's Christmas on the River project. I took with me three scarf and hat sets plus six hats that I have knit since my last donation to SCI. I also took several shawls to give to the rector for her and other parish visitors to give to people who need an extra 'hug'. After filling the boxes, we had lunch. We won't be meeting again until January because of the holidays.

Today I'm doing laundry and knitting. I'm working on the border at the bottom of the Pie-Are-Square shawl I've decided to have Lexi give to her Nana (her dad's mother), who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I plan to have Lexi tell her it's to wrap around her shoulders when she has her chemo treatments. Last I heard she had not yet decided on how extensive she wants surgery to be. Then after that will come radiation and chemo I guess. When I started this shawl, it was not for anyone in particular = just the 'keep in the car to work on when I forget to take another project along' project. I was about half way through when Alyssa told me of Beverly's diagnosis. I decided that the shawl is for her and have made a special effort to complete it. The yarn is some that I got almost 22 years ago at an auction for a nickel a ball, so I only have 25 or 30 cents tied up in it, but many, many hours of knitting. The border alone will probably take eight hours.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Medical Week

It started Monday morning with a bone survey - 28 x-rays of every bone in my body - and an MRI. The IV the tech put in my left hand caused a lot of puffiness and discoloration that has not quite gone away yet.

On Tuesday the only medical thing was getting a prescription refilled before I went to the Ice House to knit.

Wednesday I went to the Ophthalmologist in Mayfield at 10 am. No vision exam this time, just an examination of my eyeballs. The pressure is good - no glaucoma. The cataracts continue to grow slowly, so it will be a few more years before Dr Williams will need to remove them. There is thinning of the cornea, but that is not unusual with the shape of my eyes - I've been near-sighted since I was a kid. He wants me to come back in a year.

Since my eyes were dilated, I didn't want to drive for a while. There is a nice sitting area by the elevator in the Medical Office Building, so I sat there for a couple of hours and knitted. I had started a scarf after I signed in to Dr Williams office, so I continued working on it. 32 stitches, tiny checks pattern, alternating squares of two stitches by two rows. It lies flat and is reversible, both of which make it perfect for scarves. By the time I got home Wednesday afternoon, I had worked fifteen inches. I enjoyed sitting there knitting and watching the people come and go. But I didn't hear any of them speaking of Michaelangelo. One young woman did talk to me for a few minutes about my knitting. I invited her to join us at the Ice House on Tuesday mornings.

When I left there, I drove to Paducah for a 3 pm appointment with a gastroenterologist. It took me longer than usual, because my eyes weren't back to normal yet, so I didn't go over 50 mph. When the woman at the Cancer Group asked me last week if I had a preference for gastroenterologists, I said I didn't. She told me that the only one I had heard of (we go to church together and his granddaughter is a friend of Lexi's) has retired. One of my first friends in Mayfield is a nurse practitioner and has been working for him for several years, so I wondered where she was working now. Since Lynn and I no longer go to church together (when St Martin's in Mayfield was closed, she transferred to St John's in Murray and I transferred to Grace in Paducah), we don't see each other often. I was delighted when I was called back to the examining room, to find Lynn waiting for me. In addition to the medical history stuff, we spent a few minutes talking about our families. I will be scheduled for a colonoscopy sometime soon. They have to get permission from Dr Winkler to take me off Coumadin for five days before the procedure.

Thursday was my oncology appointment. Dr Winkler was out this week, so I saw Dr Conkright instead. He had the results of the x-rays and MRI from Monday. Nothing alarming or unexpected. He said that when I go back in two weeks, Dr Winkler will probably talk to me about maintenance doses of either VelCade or Revlimid. I'm not sure which one I prefer. I'm trying to figure out which side effects I'd rather put up with.

And finally on Friday I went to the orthopaedic surgeon for a follow-up on my hip replacement. He had his technician x-ray my entire pelvis, so he could see if there was arthritis in my other hip. There isn't. He wants me to come back in about a year and a half. When I checked out, I told the girl that I wouldn't make an appointment now, but would just try to remember that I need to go back around my 70th birthday. Can I be that close to 70?


Alyssa called me from the Fall Festival at Lexi's school Thursday night. As soon as they walked in, Lexi's best friend ran up to them and the two little girls went off together, so Alyssa sat and talked to various people from the school. One of them told her that they'd be glad to have some hand knit mittens, hats and scarves to give to kids who need them. So I'm working on a few, and Alyssa is too. She called today and asked for a couple more sizes of needles, some sport-weight yarn and the I-cord maker. She had mentioned earlier that she didn't find any mitten patterns, so I also took her several books of all mittens. I need to get a list of the books she has of mine.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler Bedtime Prayer

I'm reading a book written about 95 years ago - Michael O'Halloran by Gene Stratten-Porter. I first heard of Mrs Porter about 52 years ago. During the summers I was 16,17, and 18, and after school and on Saturdays of the school-years between them, I worked in a private home. The household comprised Patti, who was 1 1/2 when I started, her parents and her maternal grandparents. Her grandmother had a stroke many years before, and spent her days in an upholstered rocking chair. While Patti napped, I would read aloud to Mrs Rollins. I read two of Mrs Porter's books to her. On those warm summer days (this was in the late 50's, before air conditioning was common) I would be reading along and then I'd hear Mrs Rollins calling my name - I had fallen asleep reading. Fortunately, Mrs Rollins was good-natured about it.

But I digress - back to the prayer.

Following his ears, Mickey finds a small girl wrapped in rags, lying on a heap of other rags. Her parents are dead, or at least gone, and she has just watched her grandmother, who cared for but abused her, die. She was small for her age, and could not walk because of a bad back. 'They' had taken her grandmother's body away and said they'd be back to get her. Mickey knew that meant take her to an orphans' home. At first he tried to tell her that the orphans' homes were nice places; he'd seen some of them from the outside. But he also knew that such homes were something his mother had NOT wanted him to go to. That is why she had very carefully taught him what he needed to know to fend for himself after she died. He had been doing just that for the two years since she died, although I think he's not more than eleven. He sold newspapers and sometimes did deliveries, and continued to live in the third-floor rooms he had shared with his mother. He got someone to help him move Peaches to his place, cleaned her up, fed her, and started teaching her to read as his mother had taught him. After a few days, he decided she needed to say her paryers at bedtime. He started to teach her the prayer so many of us learned as kids:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shoud die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

She repeated the first two lines after him, but balked at the third one. Mickey came up with a couple of alternatives, but they really expressed the same sentiment in different words, and she wouldn't say them either. Finally he thought of this:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
Guard me through the starry night,
Wake me safe with sunshine bright!

I like it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Strange Dining Experience

One of the side effects of the Revlimid I take is diarrhea (boy, that's a strange word!). Immodium helps, but another thing recommended is eating rice. Yesterday I decided that between my oncology appointment and knitting at the coffee shop, I would go to a Chinese restaurant and have a plate of fried rice for lunch. I have often noticed a sign for one called Wah Shing about a block down from where I usually turn off Jackson Street to go downtown, so I went there. There were about half a dozen cars in the parking lot, but when I walked in there were NO OTHER CUSTOMERS. The cars must belong to the employees. It was about 12:30, so I don't think I had just missed a lunch crowd. The food was OK, but it sure felt funny sitting there by myself. If I decide to have fried rice for lunch again, I'll go across the street to Chong's. I haven't been to that one, but I've been to the one by the mall many times.

While I was waiting (briefly) for my food, I looked at the Chinese Zodiak on the placemat to see what various family members were. Daddy was horse, which seemed appropriate because he loved horses. Mother, as well as my son-in-law, was rat. While the common idea in this country of 'rat' may be appropriate for Bob, I hardly think it applied to Mother. Being six years apart in age, Mom and Daddy were opposites. I think anyone who knew them would find that appropriate. I don't remember what attributes were listed for any of the signs.


When I got to Market Square, I was able to get a parking space almost in front of the coffee shop. That hasn't happened for a while. There were a couple of knitters there whom I hadn't seen for a few weeks, plus a young lady who is a fellow Berea College alumna. She didn't have anything with her to work on, because she didn't know about the group, but she may join us again.


Since I am almost at the end of twelve cycles of Velcade, Dr Winkler has ordered another bone survey (about three dozen x-rays of every bone in my body) and an MRI of my spine. He's also referred me to a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. I've never had one. So next week I have medical things every day but Tuesday. Monday will be the tests. Wendesday I go to the ophthalmologist in the morning and the gastroenterologist at 3 pm. I think that timing should work, even if I have drops in my eyes. Thursday is my oncology appointment, and Friday I see the orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up on my hip replacement.

I won't have the colonoscopy next week, but just give history and be evaluated for posibly having the test. Sixty-eight years old and never having had one, I'm sure they'll say I need it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fair Exchange?

I'm glad yesterday was sunny - great for driving the 65 miles to Cadiz for the Lake Area Fiber Artists meeting. There were only five of us this month. Ellie was working on a quilt, Eileen was weaving shoelaces on an inkle loom, and Jan, Vickie and I were knitting.

Last month, Dorie had asked if I had any cotton yarn, so I took about six pounds of a variety of cottons with me yesterday. Dorie didn't show up, so I told the others to help themselves to the yarn. Vickie was interested, but Eileen reminded her that she's trying to cut down, because in a couple of months she and her husband are planning to start traveling around the country living in an RV. Jan took a couple of pounds of it. She asked if I wanted to trade for a basket she had there. I said, "I have enough baskets. Just take the yarn." A bit later, as we were packing up to leave, Jan asked if I'd like an apple crisp. I said, "Sure," not realizing she meant the whole 9 x 13 pan.

I ate a bit of the apple crisp last night (very good), and took it with me to the Ice House/Mayfield Art Guild this morning. A little bit more got eaten, but the rest is in my refrigerator. I'll be eating apple crisp for the next week.

Alyssa called this morning and asked to borrow one of my sweater drying racks. She joined us at the Ice House and worked on the sweater for herself that she's almost finished with, and then on the cat costume she's making for Lexi for Halloween. I'll have pictures of Lexi in it next week. As she left, I reminded Alyssa to get the sweater racks out of my car. She came back in a couple of minutes and asked if she could have some of the cotton yarn, which I had left in the car yesterday. She has something in mind to make with some of it. I told her to take it all, though I imagine she'll return some of it later.

It has rained all day today. I got into Mayfield earlier than I planned to - Dana was just arriving to open the Art Guild, so I decided to go to Big Lots before the knitting group rather than after. I'm really glad I did, because it wasn't raining very hard then. When I left the Ice House this afternoon, it was pouring, so I sure didn't want to make any stops.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Like Jersey Best

Well, not really. I'm very happy to be in western Kentucky.

On one of the NPR news programs yesterday - probably Marketplace, since the subject was financial instruments - some NJ politician said that New Jersey Turnpike bonds are very safe because there's no other way to get from New York to Wilmington. I said, "Of course there are other ways."

There's the old joke of someone saying they live in NJ and another Jerseyite asks, "Which exit?" I lived in NJ for 28 years and couldn't tell you which Turnpike exit I lived near, because I rarely used the Turnpike. There are plenty of other roads to get wherever you want to go.

Although it is one of the smaller states, it is quite diverse. When most people from elsewhere think of it (if they think of it at all), they do think of the Turnpike corridor with its industry and its bedroom communities. But if you go south and east of that road, you'll find rural areas and the great Jersey shore. Cape May is my favorite. It's an old whaling town, and now has fishing 'party boats' going out every day. My father-in-law used to go down from Philadelphia on Friday nights, spend the night in a little, old-fashioned motel across from the docks, and get up early to go out on the Porgy II for a day of fishing. He always caught something.

And I'm told that the northwest section of the state is also rural, although I've never visited the area. It is also hilly - quite different from the flat sandbar that is the southern section of the state.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Am I losing it?

It started yesterday:

First I missed two turns.

Then I got into an exam room at the Cancer Group. I was warm, so I took off my sweater - a v-neck one. While I was waiting, I looked down and realized I had my blouse on inside-out. I put the sweater back on. I'd have stood against the door and switched the blouse, but the nurse had taped the tubing to the blouse after she drew blood because she knew I'd be back for my VelCade treatment after seeing the doctor. I did go into the ladies room and turn the blouse around before I left the building.

I think that was all for yesterday.

I had forgotten to get my Atenolol prescription filled when I was in Mayfield on Tuesday (the ones from the Cancer Group I get filled in Paducah, but this as from my family doctor in Mayfield), so I had to do that today.

First I was two blocks past the electric company before I knew it, so I had to turn around and go back. I usually mail the payment, but the return envelope was sealed shut - I guess my mailbox leaks and we've had a lot of rainy days recently.

Next stop was the Hope for Life Pregnancy Resource Center to drop off some knitted items - 4 or 5 baby blankets, five baby sweaters and eleven hats. I always breath a sigh of relief when I take a bunch of things like that out of the house. The doors were locked. I checked to make sure it was a time they should be open. I found the doorbell - it's an old house and the bell has been painted over several times, so it's not real obvious. A woman came and couldn't understand why the door was still locked. I explained to her that the buttons were not sewn on the sweaters because the neuropathy in my fingers makes sewing needles difficult for me to use. She said that was OK.

Then to the drug store with that prescription. The insurance company wouldn't pay for it because it was too soon. They didn't pay attention to the fact that it was a new prescription with a new dosage schedule. Since it was only $12 for the month's supply, I just went ahead and paid it.

Next, at the gas station I first pulled up to the wrong side of the pump, but I realized it before I turned off the engine.

I made it from there to Big Lots with no problem, but bought some things there that have more sodium than anyone should consume.

Finally, on the way to the bank, I missed 2nd Street and had to turn down 1st, then get over to 2nd later.

From there I made it home OK.

Now I think I need to just sit and knit.

No children, I don't need a keeper yet!

And Dr Winkler used the term remission again, but said we'd continue the treatments for a little longer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Breakfast in Bed

Lexi spent last night with me. When I awoke this morning, I thought I heard her moving around at the other end of the house. In a few minutes, she was at my door calling me. She had a cup of coffee and a toasted English muffin on a little tray. While we were sharing the muffin, she told me that English muffins were mentioned in a book her class is reading. She was the only one who knew what an English muffin is, so she had to describe it to the rest of them. I wonder if any of them went home and asked their mothers to buy some.

She's spending tonight here, too. I think I'm about ready for us to get in bed and read, even though it's only a bit after 7 pm. The last time she was here, she finished reading The Frog Princess, so last night she selected Help! I'm a Prisoner in the Library. She wanted me to read to her, so I did. It's a short book, so we got almost halfway through it. I'm enjoying it, and want to finish it tonight. Therefore, we need to go to bed early.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ginger's Hoodie

One of the patterns Alyssa printed out from the Internet the other day was a hoodie for a cat. She thought it would be fun to make. I think she did a great job on it. There were a couple of new skills, like picking up stitches for the sleeves and the edging around the hood. Can you believe that Ginger is actually wearing it?
I got a little wild last week on this baby blanket. It is done in mitered squares, which I find addictive. It was a good way to use up some of the little balls of yarn I always have on hand. I think I'll make another one soon.
I'll take this blanket and a few others, plus these little sweaters and several hats to the pregnancy resource center in Mayfield. The sweaters all need buttons. I'll pick them out from my button stash (You didn't think yarn was the only thing I had a stash of, did you?), but I can't sew them on because of the neuropathy in my fingers. I guess the girls who get them can sew on the buttons. I'll take pictures of the hats and post them soon. I'm having fun with them. Each one takes only about two hours.
And here are the elbow-length capes I made for the woman who asked for one for her mother. Her husband picked it up from me at the Art Guild today (and paid me, of course). I hope the mother enjoys wearing it.
This picture gives a better idea of the shape of the cape. It's my own pattern, which I am trying to refine. The closure is a loop of I-cord and a 'button' made of a length of I-cord tied in a knot. (I-cord is made by knitting three or four stitches on double pointed needles, pushing them to the other end of the needle, pulling the yarn around the back of the work and knitting the next row. It can also be made on a 'knitting knobby', knitting nancy' or a thread spool with four nails pounded into it. The I stands for idiot because the cord is often used to hold the two mittens of a pair together. I remember having mittens linked by a cord of some kind threaded through the sleeves of my coat, but didn't hear them called idiot mittens until I met my husband.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Looper rugs

The hard part - measuring the warp threads (all 200 of them), winding them onto the warp beam, threading the the heddles, sleying the reed, and tying onto the cloth beam - is done, now, so I can start the actual weaving. The loopers are a byproduct of the sock-knitting industry. They are like terrycloth and make great bathmats. I may be doing some of this weaving as a demonstration at an event connected with the Mayfield school system. I got the emailed request for that on Wednesday and replied that I would do it if they would provide transportation for the loom. I haven't heard anything more, so I don't know yet.

Alyssa came out yesterday to shop my stash. She left with a small bag of yarn, two or three sets of double-pointed needles, a cable needle, several books, some patterns she printed out from the Internet, and a bag of fiberfill. I'm really proud of the way she has taken to knitting. She's trying a bit of everything, usually following directions in books, but occasionally calling me with questions.

Dominic, don't be such a smartass! Of course that word is enabler - I'll leave the embalming to my cousin Scott.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Yes, I'm an enabler!

A couple of weeks ago, Alyssa called and asked me to bring some yarn, knitting needles and learn-to-knit books to her. I taught her and her sister the basics when they were seven and eight, I think - they are now 23 and 24. She has called with questions a few times. One evening she said she was very tired, so I suggested that she set the knitting aside and I would look at it the next day. When I got there, she had either found the error and corrected it, or she had fudged it and finished the bootie/slipper she was making. She plans to come out here tomorrow or Thursday to shop my yarn supply. That sounds good to me; she can help me get rid of my stash!

Sunday she called and asked if I have a tatting shuttle. One of the books I took to her is the Coats & Clarks Learn How to - Knit, Crochet, Tat, Embroider. She thinks tatting looks interesting. I said that I have one, and I know I do, but I cannot find the dang thing. I did find the little kit from a needle tatting class I took at a knitting conference sixteen or eighteen years ago. I went to WalMart before I went to her house today, thinking I'd buy one for her, but our WalMart has almost no needlecraft stuff now. She works near Hobby Lobby and Michael's, so she said she'll buy a shuttle at one of those stores. At least I gave her the needle tatting kit and a ball of thread suitable for tatting.

Yes, I intend to continue to be a fiberarts emabler!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Three in a row

Days of meeting with other fiber people, that is. Monday was the Lake Area Fiber Artists which met in Murray. There were seven or eight of us, knitting, spinning, etc. Dorie just sat there and talked - or mostly listened. She wants me to bring some cotton yarn next month. I'll be glad to get some of it out of the house. And another woman (I cannot recall her name) wants to borrow my picker for her to process some of the wool she has. I made notes on my calendar so I'll remember.

Tuesday was the weekly get-together at the Art Guild in Mayfield - four of us. I'm trying to teach Louise to knit, but I think she would have been much better off if Jo had been in the room the first time she came. Jo is much better at teaching than I am.

Wednesday, after my oncology appointment, I went to the coffee shop and met with six or eight other knitters and crocheters - and Mary Margaret. She is a Paducah native who worked for the city (oops, that should say 'county') for ages and knows everyone in town. She doesn't knit or crochet, but likes to join us on Wednesdays to talk. We enjoy listening to her telling about Paducah over the years. Also in the group is Lisa G, who has a farm with a variety of animals. She's just acquired two Jacob sheep - she already had a few of another breed. We were talking about processing the wool. She's interested in doing some dyeing with plant materials, so I've pulled a few books off the shelf to take to her next week.

On the way home Wednesday, I heard a funny noise - sort of like something being thrown around in the right front wheelwell. I pulled into a church parking lot, and looked to see if I could find any reason for it. I couldn't, but then I know very little about cars. I decided to continue on my trip home, but was unable to turn the steering wheel. That was one of the times I'm glad Carmen and Alyssa insisted I should have a cell phone. I called AAA and they sent a towtruck to tow the car back to my regular mechanic in Mayfield. It was about 6 pm when we got there, so the garage was closed, of course. The driver dropped me off at Alyssa's house and I asked her if I could sleep on her couch. She had a better idea. Since she didn't need her car until afternoon, I drove it home. That way I got to sleep in my own bed, and more importantly, didn't miss any medication. The problem with the car was that the belt tensioner had broken and torn up the belt. It was the little pieces of belt that I heard being thrown off. It didn't take long to fix once they got it into a service bay, and only cost $140.

After all that, I took Lexi to her gymnastics class. Trevor would be home from work before we got back, so it didn't matter that I don't have a key to their house. Right! As soon as I closed the door (locked automatically), Lexi said, "Oh wait, I need shorts." It's hard to do gymnastics in jeans. Fortunately, Alyssa called right then and came up with a solution. She called Nana, Lexi's Gill grandmother, who only lives five miles out of town and always has a supply of clothes for all her grandchildren. When we got thee, she was standing in the driveway with a pair of shorts in her hand - another disaster averted! This was the first time I took Lexi to gymnastics; it was interesting.


The numbers seem to be OK in my tests. The results of the 24-hour urine collection should be available next time. After Wednesday, I will have only one cycle (3 treatments) of VelCade. Then we just have to wait and see what will happen.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another long, but good, day

If I need to be some place at a certain time, I need to get there first, before I pick up a book to read or a knitting project to work on. Thursday, I had two places to be - Grace Church at noon for the 'Vintage Grace' luncheon and Stephanie's house at 7 pm for the charity knitting group of Grace and First Presbyterian Churches.

I figured that if I left my house at 11 am, I'd have time to stop at Dr Winkler's office to pick up a lab order and get to the church by noon. Just as I was picking up my purse and knitting bag, Alyssa called. So a few minutes lost. About ten miles before Paducah, they were clearing away an accident or a disabled vehicle. About ten minutes lost there. Then when I got to Dr Winkler's office, the receptionists didn't know anything about the lab order, and had to go looking for it. Another ten minutes. It was about 12:25 when I arrived at Grace. Everyone else was eating, but there was planty of food left, so I got my plate and joined one of the tables of other senior citizens.

I left there a few minutes before 2 pm, and went to the library. I picked out two books in a series my sister had told me about. The series is about some Norwegians who settled in eastern North Dakota about the same time our great-grandparents came from Norway and settled in Minnesota. I sat there and read the first few chapters before checking out the books.

From there I went to the lab at Western Baptist Hospital to pick up the jug for the 24-hour urine collection - I hate those things - and to find out if I could return it on Sunday. I could, but not to that lab. Instead I had to go to the one in the basement. It's sort of the inpatient lab, while the one on the first floor is the outpatient one.

Next stop: Hobby Lobby. At the Gourd Patch Festival last weekend, a woman liked a short capelet that I had in Tyea's booth, but wanted it a bit longer for her mother. Fortunately, I was able to get the same kind of yarn I'd used for the other one.

Then I stopped at Books-a-Million to buy a Webster's New World Children's Dictionary for Lexi. It says that it's for third through sixth grades - perfect! I plan to give it to her on Tuesday, but I'll wrap it in Christmas paper and say it's an early Christmas present.

By this time, it was about 6 pm (you know I didn't just run in and out of either Hobby Lobby or Books-a-Million), so I went through the drive-through at Burger King and then pulled over into one of the parking spaces and resumed reading while I ate my sandwich. I was under a street light, so there was plenty of light to read by. When I looked up and realized it was completely dark, I knew I'd read longer than I had intended. When I started the car, the clock read 7:16. The question then was, "Can I find Stephanie's house in the dark?" I did, and was there for an hour or so talking and knitting. It was after 9 pm when I got home.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gourd Patch Festival

Before I tell about Saturday's Gourd Patch Festival at the Mayfield Art Guild, some better pictures of that cap/scarf to wear with a motorcycle helmet and jacket. Lexi spent the weekend with me, so I asked her to model it for me. She thought I needed pictures of front, back and both sides. (Isn't she a beautiful model?)

About a week and a half ago, Tyea called and asked if she could borrow my craft show tent to use at the Gourd Festival. When her husband came to get it on Wednesday, I gave him a brief explanation of how to assemble it. I wasn't sure how much he understood. Not that he's not an intelligant person, but I was told on Friday that he's not in the least mechanically inclined. Therefore, I decided that I would go into Mayfield early on Saturday and help set up the tent. When I got there, I learned that Tyea was going to use a different tent. Soon Pam arrived without her tent, because another member of the family was using it at another event. So we set up my tent for her to use. She was painting faces and told Lexi she could be her first customer - the first customer is always free. Lexi sort of latched on to Pam and helped her, as well as other vendors, all day. I was delighted to have her make herself useful.

She also found time to visit the kids' tent a few times. Ron runs this each year. He has a box of gourd pieces, as well as things like beads, pine needles and corn husks, and many colors of paint. Here Lexi is painting her first creation - more on that below.
It was a cloudy day, but except for a short sprinkle in late morning, it didn't rain. The turn-out was good. There was musical entertainment, including the gourd band from Murray State University. At noon, there was a gourdmobile race - like the pinewood derby the boy scouts do. Fred has classes at the guild, and I think at some of the schools, for kids (and adults) to decorate their cars using gourds. Some of them are quite imaginative.
I'm not sure who created this board, but a lot of people had fun taking pictures here. Adults had to either kneel or bend down pretty far. I think even Lexi had to bend a bit.
This is the first thing Lexi created in the kids' tent - a bowl of soup. The spoon-shaped gourd half is what inspired her on this. She painted the outside of it a bright pink. All of the ingredients do fit in the bowl. The ingredients are a mushroom (must be a Portobello, since it is large in proportion to the other things and is brown), two pieces of yellow squash, and two onion rings. Not a bad recipe! She gave this creation to me.
Later she made a mouse family, which she plans to keep for herself.
A ladybug which is for Mommy.
And an abstract piece she will give to her teacher. It could be used as a 'weedpot.'

She also made herself a bangle-style bracelet, but I forgot to transfer the picture.

I spent most of the day knitting and talking, and watching the silent auction table, reminding people that the four paintings on the wall were part of the auction, too. We stayed until the very end, then stopped at Domino's to get a small pizza for our supper. It was a long day, but I know we both enjoyed it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Designer? Me?

Well, maybe.

When Carmen visited me in July, she asked if I could make something for her friend Felicia to wear with her motorcycle helmet and jacket that would protect the back of her neck from the cold wind. This is what I've come up with. I'm so bad at taking pictures. There's not enough contrast to see the thing well, and the neck piece doesn't show at all. But I don't feel lilke taking another picture. I started at the top of the head with 14 stitches and increased seven every other round to 84 stitches. Then I worked even to six inches from beginning, and switched to 2,2 ribbing on the front half and seed stitch on the back half for one inch. Then I bound off the ribbing and continued on the seed stitch part for another four inches. Next, I marked stitches 11, 22, and 33 and started increasing on each side of those stitches as well as at the beginning and end of each right side row. I worked until I ran out of yarn, but I think six inches would be about right. When I send the hat/scarf to Catmen, I'll ask her and Felicia to critique it for me.

I think it might also work as a 'capped' cape if I just continued knitting the 'scarf' part. I might try that sometime.
This is the shawl I'm currently working on, and it is also my own design. However, I like to use Elizabeth Zimmerman's term 'unvent'. I'm sure someone else has done the same thing, but since I haven't seen their work, I consider this mine. The cable is from one of my stitch dictionaries; however, when I looked back at the book after I'd worked on this for a while, I discovered that I was crossing the cables opposite from the book. This picture shows the beginning of the shawl. I'm increasing four stitches every other row to create a triangular shawl. When it is the width I want it to be, I plan to figure out how to turn the cable around the corner and work it as a border on the two short sides. I think I know how to do that, but my idea might not work out right. If not, I'll try something else.
And here are the matching sweaters for Lexi and her American Girl doll. The doll pattern is from the Borroco Yarn web site, and is worked in one strand of fingering weight yarn on small needles. For Lexi's sweater, I took measurements of her, worked a large swatch, and figured out how many stitches I needed to use. For it I used two strands of the same yarn and larger needles. Both of them need buttons and I may need to do something more with the neck on Lexi's.

I rarely use other people's patterns now. I did years ago, but for myself I always had to make adjustments, because I am what is often called 'ample' - sounds better than fat, doesn't it? It's not difficult to find large size knitting patterns now, but it was when I started knitting. After adjusting a few patterns, I graduated to measuring, swatching and doing my own.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ahhhh, fall

The last few days have felt like fall! Wonderful! It also sounds like fall - crickets in the evening, you know.

It's great to have the A/C off and the windows open. I've even needed a comforter on the bed some nights.

Goldenrod is blooming - too bad I don't have any wool I want to dye.

The black walnut tree is losing its leaves as well as its nuts. It is the last tree to leaf out and the first to drop its leaves. I've discovered that the reacher/grabber tool the physical therapy people gave me when I had a hip replacement is great for picking up the nuts. I walk around with a bucket in one hand and the tool in the other, picking up the nuts and dropping them into the bucket. I'm getting quite a pile of nuts already and there are still loads of nuts on the tree. The squirrels will eat well this winter. I was surprised yesterday to see one of those little guys on my front porch swing.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My weekend

I had a great weekend! On Friday I drove to Louisville to my younger sister Renee's house - or rather condo. Her three-month-old grandson was baptised on Sunday. My sister Pauline and brother-in-law Mac from Florida flew in to Lexington that day, but did not come to Louisville until Sunday. Mac's high school class had a reunion on Saturday, and there are a couple of other activities he is involved in this week in Stanford, where we all went to high school. In addition they're visiting some of his cousins in the area. They're making a motel in Danville their headquarters for the ten days they're in Kentucky.

I spent Saturday with Renee doing her errands, mainly connected to the christening party. She did take me to World Market at my request. They closed their store in Paducah, and there were some things I liked to get from them.

Mac returned to Danville on Sunday afternoon, and I drove Pauline there on Monday. It was a bit out on my way, but it was nice to spend a couple of hours alone with her as I had done with Renee on Saturday. As we get older, that seems more important.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Carlisle County Fair

Lexi spent Fridqy night with me, and we went into Bardwell Saturday morning to see the parade. I thought this 'train' out of barrels was cute.
I hope there were no emergencies in the county Saturday morning, because I think every emergency vehicle in the county was in the parade.

There were several floats, including the Golden Oldies band.

And the 'queen' of the fair.

Also, anyone who wanted to ride their ATV in the parade was welcome. There were several family groups.

There were also tractors in a variety of colors.

And horses. The girl whose back is in most of the pictures is Lexi. A lot of the people in the parade were throwing candy, frisbies, etc.

After the parade, we went to the fairgrounds/county park/little league field to view the exhibits. My lace shawl got a red ribbon and my baby blanket got white. The red earned $1. They paid it in cash. Not long ago I ran across the check I got about 60 years ago at a fair in Minnesota. I think it was for an apron I made in 4H, and I believe it was for $.50. I was more interested in having a check than in having fifty cents.

We were disappointed that the rides didn't open until about 6 pm. I had promised Lexi that we would 'do' the rides, so we had to go back.

She liked these two, but they weren't my style.

This is something I probably would have liked twenty years ago, but seemed too wild for me now. Lexi wanted to try it, even though she had watched the way it worked. She was alone in the seat, and did some sliding around. When she got off, she said she was scared. We rode the Merry-Go-Round twice, and three other things. She got a large slice of pizza for her supper, and last thing before we left, we got a funnel cake to share. We ate about half of it that night, and the rest on Sunday morning.