Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Recent knitting

Last Wednesday, at the coffee shop, someone told one of the new women that I knit a shawl every week. That's not really true; however, I did start this one last Thursday and fisished it on Sunday. It's really a very simple one, and not very large, but I like it.

 This is a baby blanket - non-traditional colors. The yarn had three strands wound together, but not twisted together, so I decided to separate them. One ball had two strands of green and one of multicolor, while the other two balls had the reverse. I knit a mitered square and then changed my mind about what I wanted to do. I switched to a 'log cabin' style without binding off each 'log.' Then I did an I-cord edging to bind off the final stitches. I think it turned out well, and some of my knitting friends agree.

Here is one of the placemats I mentioned last time. It's woven with plastic bags on a cotton warp. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. But don't put a hot pan on it - the plastic will melt.
 At the yarn exchange on Saturday, Stephanie gave me several skeins of this yarn because she didn't like the feel of it. Influenced by two conversations I had that day during which the room temperature in nursing homes was mentioned, I have started two lap-robes with that yarn. One is solid color, with three different simple stitch patterns, but this one is a bit more colorful. I really like this stitch pattern because it looks different on each side, but both sides are nice. I will probably crochet an edging around it when I finish.

And finally, here are some slippers I knit for Rose. I'll be making some for Lexi in a different yarn when she lets me know how wide and how long her feet are. It's like pulling teeth to get measurements from my descendents.

43 years ago, I was in West Jersey Hospital, Northern Division, in Camden NJ awaiting the birth of my son. He came at 10:01 pm. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DOMINIC!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Yarn Exchange

Valerie hosted a yarn exchange at the coffee shop yesterday. I returned home without a couple of things I took and with a couple of new-to-me things. I shared a table with a woman I had never met before. It was interesting getting acquainted with her.

I took along one of the placemats so those who saw me creating the weft 'yarn' on Wednesday could see the finished product. I finished the weaving on Friday. I had planned to tie a new warp onto the remains of that one, so I wouldn't need to thread the heddles and sley the reed again. However, I wasn't thinking very well when I cut off the mats. When I made the first scissor-length of cut, I should have grabbed those warp threads and tied them together so they wouldn't slip back through the reed. But I didn't! When I made the last cut, the weight of the warp-beam apron pulled all the threads back through the reed and heddles. I could have cried! Now when I rewarp the loom, I'll need to do all of it again.

But before I went to the yarn swap, I went to the doctor - my primary care physician. She gave me a shot of cortisone, and prescriptions for eye-drops and an antibiotic. She said the shot of cortisone would work faster than a prescription for Prednisone. I said faster sounded good, because I'm planning a little trip next weekend. I am feeling better today and my eyes weren't glued shut this morning, but I still have a way to go. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Stand Corrected!

Carmen says the beach we went to was Sea Girt, not Manasquan. If we had been south of Atlantic City, I might have known one town from another, but the only beach I ever went to north of AC was at Barnegat lighthouse at the north end of Long Beach Island.

I still feel rotten, but I got three more placemats woven today, finished the applied I-cord edging on a baby blanket, and started a shawl.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Feel Rotten!!!

I started a cold the last day I was in NJ almost two weeks ago. I thought it was over, but either it has come back with a vengeance or it has sent its cousin. This time it is affecting my eyes, and causing aching muscles as well as sore throat and stuffy nose.

I went to Paducah today anyway. After the Eucharist service at church, I was talking to Kimberly (parish administrator) about weaving. She said her latest project had been a stole (the liturgical kind priests wear as part of their 'uniform') she wove for Megan, the new assistant rector. Just then Megan came into the office and asked if I wanted to see it. Of course I did. It is beautiful! Kimberly is a much better weaver than I will ever be. 

Then I went to the coffee shop for the regular Wednesday afternoon get-together. Some of our regulars were missing, but Sandy's friend Kathy is still visiting, so she was there again. And new Paducah resident Cathy and her visiting friend Carol were there too. They all added to the conversations. 

I took the loops of Kroger bags with me and was putting them together and rolling them into balls;everyone seemed interested in that. When I lamented the fact that WalMart no longer uses blue bags, Kathy said she has a bunch from some other store that are about the same shade. She said that when her family member (son? husband? I don't remember) comes to take her back to Cleveland, she'll have him bring them. Fiber people are wonderful!

When Hayley came, she was interested in seeing how I cut the bags up. She's going to show her UMW group tonight, because they have some project they plan to work on for the regional or national group.

It's early, but I think I'm going to bed. I may not even read, since my eyes are burning.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Knitting as incentive

Last week, on the KnitTalk Yahoo group, people were talking about using knitting as incentive/reward for completing other, more arduous tasks - like housework! Sunday evening and Monday morning, I used it to finally get a warp in my loom, so I can weave some placemats. First, of course, I had to stand in front of my warping board and wind off 112 ends, 8 yards long. I did it in two groups of 56 ends each. I would have taken a knitting break between the two, but my sister called just then, providing the needed respite. After winding the second group, I sat down and knitted for at least half an hour. Then I put the lease sticks through the cross and suspended it between the castle and the back beam, lashed the raddle to the castle and used it to spread the warp to the desired width. After that I knitted for a while and then went to bed. Monday morning, I tied the warp onto the warp-beam apron and wound it on, then took a knitting break. Thread the heddles, knitting break, sley the reed and tie on to the cloth-beam apron, knitting break. Then I had to prepare my weft 'thread.' I'm recycling Kroger bags. I had previously folded them and cut them across so they form loops. Now I'm looping them together to form a long string. (This operation reminds me of the 'belts' we used to make in the office out of rubber bands and a paper clip to hike up our slips so they didn't show beneath our skirts.) So far I have one placemat woven and the second one about 1/3 done. I expect to get nine or ten mats out of this warp. I'm making the weft as I go along - one mat's-worth at a time. I think I'll take the bag of loops with me when I go to the Art Guild today and the coffee shop tomorrow. 

This warp is alternate threads of beige and a tan/blue/white variegated cotton; the Kroger bags are tan. After I finish this warp, I'll put on another one with yellow and a tan/yellow/white variegated and use yellow Dollar General bags as the weft. I've also saved white bags from various places; I don't know what color(s) I'll use for warp for them. I wish WalMart still used the blue bags.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

We got to Alyssa's house about 3 am. I sacked out on Lexi's bed and she slept on a pallet Stephen had prepared for her on her floor. I woke up about 7 am, used the bathroom, lay back down for a few minutes, and then decided that I wanted to go home. It was good to get here!

The trip went very well. One day, Alyssa, Lexi and I drove down to Camden County. We went first to Collingswood, to the street where I lived for 28 years. My neighbor/friend/angel Marie was not home, but one of Alyssa's friends was, so we talked to her for a while. Another neighbor came home while we were talking, so he joined the conversation.

Then we met Dominic near his apartment in Oaklyn, and went to a park in Haddon Heights and talked for a couple of hours. He had his DSI with him and Lexi enjoyed taking pictures of us and making funny faces out of them. She also played on the playground equipment while we adults talked. We had supper at Friendly's in Westmont, then dropped Dominic off in Oaklyn and returned to Carmen's house in Jackson.

 On Thursday, Carmen, Alyssa and Lexi went to NYC. I stayed at Carmen's and knitted and read. That trip would have been much too strenuous for me. They had a good time, though. They visited FAO Schwarz, The American Girl Doll store, the Natural History Museum, and maybe something else I don't remember.

While they were gone, I finished the 'chair socks' I had started the day before. Her downstairs neighbor complain about the noise when people move the dining room chairs. I'm not sure whether these will help, but maybe so.

On Friday, Carmen, Lexi and I got up early and went to the beach in Manasquan before they required passes. 

I enjoyed sticking my feet in the water, and Lexi collected some shells, or pieces thereof.

Then we visited a lake where Lexi collected a few water lilies. I sat in the car while they did that. 

We also drove through the woods behind the Six Flags Great Adventure Safari Park. We could glimpse some of the animals through the trees. Carmen calls that drive 'the poor man's safari.'

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Greetings from New Jersey!

Alyssa, Lexi and I drove to NJ on Saturday - arrived at Carmen's house about 3 am EDT.

Yesterday, Carmen, Lexi and I went to the IKEA store in Elizabeth. I hadn't been to IKEA since I stopped at the Baltimore store when I was moving back to KY in 1994. That time I was getting things to complete the configuration of my IVAR shelving units that I had planned for the room I would be using in my parents' house. This time I got some lingenberry preserves and some gooseberry preserves, as well as a waste basket for my weaving/knitting room. You don't find lingenberry or gooseberry preserves just anywhere. The gooseberries remind me of my childhood; there was a gooseberry bush in the lane to the pasture on the farm where I was born.

I don't know yet what we'll do today.