Sunday, July 26, 2009

Counting to 8

I think I have it down pat now, but then so does my 3 3/4-year-old great-granddaughter. I'm working on this lace shawl, which has an eight-stitch repeat, so I'm counting to eight a lot. I started the shawl on Tuesday morning, using a fine (lace weight?) cotton and large (size 11) needles. That combination makes for rather fussy knitting. It is sort of my own thing, but heavily influenced by Elizabeth Zimmerman, the knitting doyenne of the twentieth century, and Alison Hyde, current lace shawl designer extraordinaire.

Then in Thursday morning, before going to have bloodwork done, I discovered that instead of the 329 stitches I was supposed to have, I only had about 220. I guess I was distracted (probably the phone rang - they are annoying devices sometimes, aren't they?) on an increase row, and didn't study the work well enough when I got back to it to realize where I was. I thought I'd remedy the problem that evening, but Lexi spent the night with me, so that was impossible. I spent much of Friday helping Alyssa, so it was Saturday morning before I was able to work on it. I laid it on the ironing board, and used the steamiron to press the area where I needed to pick up stitches on a smaller needle. Flattening it out made it easier to see the individual stitches. I didn't do a perfect job of picking up all stitches of a single row, but was close, and after unravelling to that point, was able to get everything right while transferring the stitches to the size 11 needle. Then I did the increase row and now have the 329 stitches - 40 repeats of the eight-stitch pattern, plus one extra to 'center' the work and four garter stitches at eash edge. So now I'm counting to eight forty times every other row; the wrong-side rows are all purl. I think it is going to be a lovely shawl - gossamer is an appropriate adjective for it.
On Wednesday morning, I decided that I needed an easier project to switch off to, so I started a shawl in worsted weight yarn on size 10.5 meedles in the Old Shale stitch pattern - very easy knitting.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good weather

The last few days have been beautiful! I have the windows open and a couple of ceiling fans on. I even mowed in the middle of the day today rather than waiting until after supper. I did two tankfuls of gas - about 45 minutes each. I think that was too much - I'm having trouble walking now. Maybe I can do more tomorrow after I get home from knitting at the Ice House (Mayfield Art Guild).

I also vacuumed the interior of my car this morning. That was also a 45-minute job. I don't remember when I did it last. It sure looks better now.

Other than that, I've done my usual knitting. I just finished a sarape-style thing for the sexton at church, who will soon have knee surgery to repair some ligaments or something. I figure a sarape is more masculine-looking than a shawl. I was concerned about making it too big, and now I'm wondering if it's too small (narrow). I'll see what other people think tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Carmen, Sara and Rose arrived about midnight Saturday. Lexi was spending the night here and said she was going to stay up until they got here. I made her go to bed about ten and promised I'd wake her when the arrived. I went to bed, too, but left the light on in my room. Alyssa and I had opened out the futon, put sheets on it and pulled all the extra pillows out of the closet earlier. We also made a pallet in the room she just painted, which is where Lexi wanted her cot, too. When I woke Lexi, she was awfully groggy. They left this morning for the return trip, and are probably somewhere in PA now.

The two cousins had both been excited about seeing the other for weeks, and enjoyed the visit. Lexi also got to spend a lot of time with her Grammy (How can my daughter be a grandmother?) On Tuesday, the two of them went to the Harley-Davidson store in Union City TN, and on Wednesday, the ones in Marion IL and Cape Girardeau MO. Lexi was not with Carmen yesterday when she went to the one in Paducah while I was getting my treatment at the Cancer Center. Yes, she has a Harley and wants shirts from every Harley dealer in the country, I think.

I wanted Carmen (computer technician for Abraxis Oncology, a pharmaceutical company) to do some work on my computer, but was not expecting either her or Sara to do anything else for me.
One day, I thought Sara had gone out to the back porch to smoke, but she took a long time. When I looked out, she was washing all of my porch furniture. I usually do that in the spring, but hadn't gotten to it yet this year. Then she started scrubbing Alyssa's pool which has lain on the ground all winter. Alyssa has just moved and will be able to set the pool up where she is now - level, open ground and a fence. The picture above is of Sara hard at work. Carmen also did some trimming on my walnut tree. It is bearing nuts this year, so some of the branches were hanging quite low. I had trimmed some earlier, but these weren't in my way at that time. The part I could not have gotten was the part that was lying on the porch roof. She used the pool ladder to reach that - I'm afraid of ladders.

On Tuesday evening, when we were going out to dinner from Alyssa's house, I was reaching for the door handle of her car when my foot caught the edge of the concrete driveway, and I wound up face-down in the grass. I told them I was trying to make sure the bee that had stung Lexi earlier was dead. I'm really surprised that I'm not sorer than I am. I only had a little soreness on my right side, below my arm, and that seems to have gone away already.

Although they were on vacation, Carmen got about a dozen calls and emails a day from the young woman who was filling in for her, and Sara (procedures technician and office manager in a gastroenterology office) got a couple of calls while she was here.

Rose is a trip! She's very outgoing and a big talker. She had no problem accepting me, even though the only time we met before was three years ago, before she was even a year old. She also had no thouble saying Grandmother. She will be four at the end of October and talks extremely well for a child that age. And Sara seems to be a wonderful mother. At first Rose had a problem with Trevor's dog. but by the end of the visit, they had made friends. Sara and Rose slept at Alyssa's house four nights, so getting along with the dog was important.

The house seems rather quiet now. Back to my normal knitting, I guess.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pictures of shawls, etc

This is the afghan I'm working on for my great nephew. You may be able to see the needle hanging off on the left side. I'm working on a column of medium-size squares, then will finish with a column of large ones. When I bought this yarn, I thought it was all the same - different dye lots, but I figured that didn't matter with this yarn and this design. When I started the second skein, I discovered that, while they are all 'green camo', some of them are 'stripe' with long sections of each color, and others are 'ombre' with short sections of each color. So - - - back to the drawing board. I'm doing the large and the small squares in 'stripe' and the medium ones on 'ombre.'
Here's a rather plain shawl in cotton. It's triangular with a cut-off tip. I was going to add some beaads along the edges, but none of the beads in my stash are suitable, and I don't feel like buying more.
And this is the last 'random' shawl I did when I was on that kick - yellows and browns, with bits of green and pink. The green and pink are so pale and so small that they are hardly noticible.
I did these two (yes, there are two there) to illustrate the effect of white and black on colors. I real life, the black mkes the colors 'pop', but in this picture, that laprobe is almost inviible. (I'm not a good photographer!)

For this one, I started with about a dozen stitches and increased fairly rapidly to about 190 (a la Alison Hyde)Then I did a row of 'feathers' and doubled the stitch count again. That was followed by a not-very-lacy zigzag pattern and then another row of 'feathers' at the bottom.

I think this one is going to be for me. It's not really yellow, but that's how it looks after I had the computer brighten up the picture. It's really tan. That stitch pattern at the top and bottom is actually upside down from what is shown in my stitch dictionaries, but it looks like flowers to me that way. It's one I've used several times. This is a 'pie are square' shawl. I started with twenty stitches and wound up with 724.

So that's what's been keeping me busy. Plus, of course, oncology visits and some yard work - mostly mowing and spraying weed and grass killer. The last time Robbie mowed my back yard, he left a large section unmowed. By the time I got back there to do my normal 'trim mowing' (he's legally blind, so he leaves quite wide 'collars' around trees, etc) that grass was too high for my mower. I tried two passes, but had to stop every twenty feet or so to clean out the discharge chute. I decided that I would kill the grass chemically instead. I sprayed what the sprayer wand would reach yesterday. When that section dies, I'll be able to spray the rest. The area will probably fill in with ground ivy, but at least it will be green and easy to cut.

This morning after Morning Edition finished at 9 o'clock, I mixed up more weed and grass killer, and sprayed along the driveway - both my side and Robbie's. The first gallon took me about 3/4 of the way down. The second gallon finished up the driveway edges, the area around our mailboxes across the road, and the sidewalk from the driveway to the clump of trees (wild olive? mostly) at the south side of my property. I realized when I got there that the ice storm in January had done some damage in that area. I think I'll add cleaning that up to my list of things for my new-found handy man.

The handy man is Alyssa's father-in-law (according to US tax law, when I took that class thirty-some years ago, divorce only voids one relationship - that of husband and wife. The in-law relationships remain). Bobby Gill has recently taken early retirement from Goodyear Tire. He's not one to just lie around the house, so he will be looking for things to do. Alyssa told him I have some little things around here that need to be done, and he said he'll work cheap. I plan to call him after Carmen, Sara and Rose return to NJ from their visit next week.

OK, Dominic, now I've posted again. He told me a few days ago that I hadn't posted for a long time. When I checked, I discovered that he was right. I guess I didn't have anything to say.

Oh! things are gonig well medically. Dr Winkler had some surgery, so will be out for a few weeks. Yesterday I saw Dr Conkright and next Thursday I'll see Dr Ginn. I've seen both of them before. I like Dr Ginn better, but I'm not really particular about which one I see - they all have tha same information about me in front of them.