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.