Friday, April 30, 2010

Finishing touches

Well, I only got one more rug out of that warp. I don't know how long they are - I'll measure them after I cut them off the loom and let them relax for a day or two.

I set up the sewing machine today and 'finished' some of the things I've woven in the last six months or so. I hemmed the four 'looper' rugs I wove for my daughter and grandchildren last fall. I also zig-zagged along the edges of eighteen mugrugs I wove on the narrow warp I put on for the Walk through Bethlehem in December.

Tomorrow I'll cut the current four rugs off the loom and hem them, as well. Then I'll need to re-warp the loom and make more rugs. As I was doing that sewing (an some knitting), I was thinking about what kind of warp I want to do. I have enough 'filler' material to make at least three dozen more blue rugs, but I don't want all of the warp to be just blue. Maybe stripes of blue and variegated pastels, perhaps with pink or yellow thrown in? I need to do a little sampling, don't I? 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Three down - two? to go

rugs on the current warp, that is. I've done more weaving this week than knitting. This warp (200 threads, 7 yards long) wound on easier than any other I've ever done! When I was threading the heddles and reed on Monday, I kept smelling wood smoke. It was a cool day, so my first thought was that someone nearby was using their fireplace. However, that's not something I've ever been aware of here. It finally dawned on me that the odor was in the loom. It was from the small bonfire I was beside at the Walk through Bethlehem in December. It's not noticeable when I just walk past the loom, or even when I wove off the rest of that warp, but when I was doing that threading I had my nose almost resting on the loom.

The warp is a bit on the light side of medium blue. The first rug is royal blue, the second is stripes of royal and light gray, and the third is gray. Last December, the pastor of the church said something about maybe having door prizes at the 'Walk' next time. I figure I can donate two rugs - that blue and gray one and a red and black one I'll make before than. Those are the colors of the Graves County and Mayfield schools, respectively.

I have done some knitting each day, of course. On Sunday, I started an afghan for my great-niece Kailee. I 'designed' this blanket several months ago, when I was working on a laprobe using the same stitch. I had half of the yarn in my stash, and bought the rest shortly thereafter, but it has all been sitting on the shelf since then, while I worked on other things. It's going quickly because I like doing the stitch (two-color half-linen stitch) and the yarn is very easy on my fingers. 

One of the shawls I have on the needles is taking me ages to do because the yarn is hard on my fingers. I keep setting it aside to do other things, but am finally getting close to the end. Several times I thought about ripping it out and giving the yarn away, but I persisted. I probably will give away the yarn that is left over - enough for another shawl or a sweater.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Not what falls from the sky. The ones that grow from tiny bulbs. The stitch pattern I used here is called Snowdrop Lace; it really does look like Galanthus flowers. I wonder if the person who designed it had that in mind when she started, or if it was a bit of serendipity. (That word always makes me think of my college friend Peggy. She's the one who told me about the Princes of Serendip.) Since snowdrops are white, I figured this shawl was a good place to use the white orlon (soooo soft) yarn I got from my friend Shirley's stash after she died.

This 'interrupted mitered squares' shawl is like one I made a couple of years ago and sent to my daughter for a friend of hers. It's a bit funky, but then so is that friend. She commented that some of the holes are too big, but I made this one with the same size holes. I hope whoever gets it likes the large holes. The holes get smaller at the top. This is fun to do, and is another one of those "How did you do that?" projects.

I think I'll give this turquoise shawl to Lexi's teacher. I made a shawl for her teacher last year, because I thought she was retiring (she decided to teach one more year), but now I think I may make that a tradition. They do some team-teaching, so the shawl will be only for her main teacher. I guess I'll need to do the same for Rose's teachers, as well, especially if she is out here.

All of these are triangular, started at the point. The one with the holes has a 90 degree angle there, but the others have closer to a 120 - I increased two stitches on each row instead of only one.

This little sweater is called a "Baby Surprise Jacket." The pattern is by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It is knit all in one piece and looks really strange until the shoulder seams are sewn. I think the pattern is fun to work, and enjoyed putting in the stripes of color on this one. There are buttons to go on the front, but I can't sew them on because of the neuropathy in my fingers. I'm certainly glad the neuropathy doesn't bother my knitting!

We had quite a storm yesterday - thunder, lightning, rain, wind, but not the tornadoes some people got. It was beautiful and sunny this morning, but has clouded up now. I'm glad I got that mowing done on Friday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

More yard work

Whew! I'm tired again. I spent about three and a half hours today alternately mowing and knitting. The mowing I did was what I call trim mowing. My neighbor does most of my yard, just because he likes to mow - the riding lawn mower is one gas-powered vehicle he's allowed to operate. However, he doesn't try to get too close to the house or to trees, and he stays well away from the bank beside the driveway (he's legally blind). When the mower conked out on some high, tough grass and wouldn't restart, I gave it and me a rest. I sat on the back porch and knitted while I cooled off. The second break from mowing came when the UPS man delivered my Revlimid. I decided it was a good excuse to take another knitting break. The third break came after another conk out on tough grass. This time, as I walked to the porch, I saw that Robbie was mowing in my back yard. If he was worried that I was going to mow some of the area he usually does, he needn't have. The fourth mowing session completed the areas I had planned to do.

While I was mowing, I was also checking on the things Lexi and I  planted recently. Some of the glads have sent up their leaf-tips, three of the four lilies look great, and the other is not bad, but there is no sign of the bleeding hearts. The peonies and hosta that I moved are also fine.

I have some seeds I should have planted, especially since we expect rain tonight and tomorrow, but after finishing the mowing, I didn't feel like doing it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pulling More Weeds

I'm tired! I went out to the herb garden at 11 a.m. When I came back inside, I was amazed to see that it was 1:45 p.m. It's a beautiful day - sunny, mid-60's; warm enough that I took my sweater off shortly after I went out, but not so warm that I got hot and sweaty, even though I was in the sun the whole time. I got the rest of the quadrant of the garden that is planted weeded. There's not as much cilantro as there has been the last two years; I guess I didn't let as much of it go to seed last year as I had before. There is thyme growing in a couple of spots I wasn't aware of, the lavender and oregano clumps have grown nicely, and garlic chives is volunteering all over the place. There are two things that I'm not sure about. I hate that! I don't remember everything that I have tried to get started there, so I don't know if these are things I want or not. I'll let them grow on for a while, and then decide whether to pull them up or keep them. There's space for more plants. I don't know what other herbs I want to get established.

Now it's time to sit and knit!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gardening help

Alyssa called yesterday and said that Lexi wanted to spend the night with me. She asked if that was OK. Of course - I didn't have anything else planned. So she brought Lexi out and also brought some supper for me. Nice!

Today when Alyssa came to get her, Lexi was off playing with some of the kids in the neighborhood. Alyssa and I started pulling weeds out of the rock paths in the herb garden. Lexi joined in the weeding later. It looks much better now, but there is still more weeding for me to do among the herbs. I have to do that part, because I know what's an herb and what's a weed. It was a beautiful day and was very pleasant being out there in the sunshine. I should sleep well tonight! It was also nice talking with my granddaughter. She was asking me some gardening questions, among other things. I had reasonable answers for most of her questions. I guess I have accumulated a good bit of knowledge on several subjects in my almost 69 years.

Lexi and I also planted some basil in a couple of large flower pots, and she watered some of the things we planted last week. She kept wanting to water the irises and other things that are well established and don't need watering at this time.

I finally mowed the fenced area behind the house yesterday. When Lexi was here last week, she kept telling me that I needed to mow. She said that the grass was up to her knees. She was exaggerating then, but she wouldn't have been yesterday. Some of the weeds were up to my knees, and I'm 5'6" - she's only about 4'4". I should rake up the clippings, but I don't have the energy to do that.


The extra tests that Dr Winkler ordered last week, showed no need to take extra vitamins, etc.

I had told Dr Winkler last week that he might meet my great-granddaughter the following day, because she might be there with her grandmother, who is one of his breast cancer patients. On Wednesday, he said that Lexi was a cute little girl, who had kept occupied with her electronic game device. Sounds about right!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I put that fence around the daffodil foliage a few minutes ago. I should have plenty of daffodils next year, and if I put the fence up earlier, they will increase each year.

Lexi spent Sunday and Monday nights with me. On Monday morning, she moved some dirt while I cleaned out the flower bed in front of the front porch. Then she helped me plant the new bleeding heart roots. The package said one root, but there were two in it, so I had to dig another hole. I also planted some tarragon and parsley seeds I bought last year and never planted in the end of that bed that gets the most sun. By then I needed a knitting break.

Later I went back outside and cleaned out some spaces on the south side of the house. When I was almost finished with that, Lexi appeared and I had her plant the 25 gladiolus corms while I dug holes for three peonies I wanted to move from a spot that doesn't get enough sun. I had her use the blade of the trowel to space the corms before she planted any of them, and showed her which way they should be put in the holes.

In digging the first hole for the peonies, the spade hit a large rock or root, and I wound up on the ground. With one foot on the ground and the other on the back of the spade, it didn't take much to throw me off balance. I was surprised that I wasn't sore the next morning. After I got the peonies moved, I decided I'd done enough gardening for the day.

About that time the nine-year-old twins (girl and boy) who are visiting next door this week appeared, and Lexi went over to introduce herself. She and Brittany spent the rest of the day together.

On Tuesday morning, I moved some hosta (I have plenty of it on the north side of the house and of the shed) to the area where I took out the peonies. There were two clumps of hosta sort of underneath a bleeding heart. I thought I'd dig up both clumps, but I got half a dozen divisions from just one of them, so left the other one where it was.

My flowering crabapples (four pink and one white), dogwood (one white), lilac and one of the redbuds are in bloom, so there's lots of color in the yard. Lexi asked me if dogwood flowers can be pink. When I said they can, she said then she has seen a lot of dogwood in bloom in Mayfield. I'm glad she had observed the shape/style of the tree and of the flowers on my tree, which she knows is a dogwood, and recognized other dogwoods even though the flower color is different.


Yesterday was my oncology visit and then the knitting group at the coffee shop. My red blood count is slightly low, so Dr Winkler ordered further tests to see what vitamins, etc, need to be increased. I guess I'll find out next week.


At the knitting group. Lisa G asked me when I was going to do more spinning. She has a small farm with several varieties of fiber animals, as well as chickens and beef cattle. She said she had someone shear recently and wondered if I was needed a fleece. I have plenty of wool to spin already, but I emailed her today that I am interested in a Southdown/Baby Doll fleece just to see what it's like.

That conversation yesterday inspired me to lay down my knitting needles for a while today and do other fiberarts stuff. I wound off a quarter of the warp for some of the rugs I'm planning to weave for kids who have aged out of foster care, and then I spun for about an hour. Of course I also did plenty of knitting.    

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Yesterday I finally got out and did some flowerbed cleanup. I had my 6-cubic-yard wheelbarrow piled high with 'stuff' - mostly last year's flower stalks from hosta, peonies, silver-dollar plant and some member of the mint family that I haven't been able to identify. I also managed to get the stump of a small evergreen shrub out of the ground. The shrub died two or three years ago and I cut most of it away, but couldn't get rid of the stump without doing more digging that I felt like doing. The roots have finally rotted enough that I was able to pull it up. I guess I spent about an hour doing all that. In the process, I was able to assess the progress of my plants. The bleeding heart is blooming, hosta and peonies have sent up shoots, several silver-dollar plants are growing well, as are irises.

I almost cried when I looked out my kitchen window yesterday morning. While I was in Mayfield on Thursday, my neighbor mowed my front and side yards. Great, EXCEPT he mowed down my large bed of daffodils. I had not put a fence around them yet, because I figured as long as they were blooming he could see them (he's legally blind) and would mow around them. Since he started mowing part of my yard, I have always put a fence around them after they finished blooming to protect the foliage. (As long as the leaves are green, they are producing the energy for next year's flowers.) There are some leaves that didn't get cut all the way down, so I'm going to put up my fence anyway.

Lexi will be spending a couple of days with me next week (spring break). I plan to have her help me plant the bulbs I bought from one of the school fund raisers. 

My Little Model

When I went to meet Lexi's bus on Thursday, and then take her to gymnastics, I took along the shawls, capes and one laprobe I have ready to take to church.  She was dressed up because of some special event at school that day. I don't often see her in a dress. She particularly liked the coral shawl and found the orange cape very soft.