Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Yarn?

This morning, my email included an ad from Michael's. Today and tomorrow, they have certain yarns on sale 2 balls for $5 - they're usually anywhere from $3 to $5 each. There was also a coupon for 15% off the entire purchase, including sale items. I printed out the coupon and stopped at Michael's before going to church and the coffee shop. I bought 16 balls in a variety of colorways. When I was checking out, the clerk asked what I was making. I told her that I don't know, but that I do a lot of shawls and scarves. It's not that I needed more yarn - I DO have a bunch already, but my stash has gone down in the last couple of years. And I have specific things in mind for some of what I bought today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm tired!

About 10 AM, I went to Fancy Farm and got my lawn mower that was fixed. The other one is still at the shop, but this is the one I like best. The men there put it part way into the trunk, tied it in, and tied the trunk lid down. I had planned to go to Mayfield to knit at the Art Guild, but decided to come back home and mow. Bonnie helped me get the mower out of the trunk when I got here. Then I had to go around the corner to the gas station for a gallon of gas. I filled the tank and mowed the fenced-in part of the back yard. Then I took a lunch and knitting break. Later I filled the tank again and mowed the yard on the south end of the house. I figure that's enough for one day. I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the back porch knitting - finished one of the shawls I started last Wednesday evening.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Show 'n' Tell

I took a few items to the knitting group at the coffee shop yesterday.
First was my second Felicia Shawl. I call it that because the first interrupted mitered-square shawl went to my daughter's friend Felicia. Although Felicia has commented that the holes are too large, I think I made them the same size again - not sure, because it has been at least three years.The holes get smaller as they go from point to top.
It's really a very simple design, with no sewing because I picked up stitches from existing 'squares' to make new ones.

 Next was a rectangular shawl with pockets at both ends. On this end, I sewed down the middle to make two pockets. The other end has one large pocket with a button to keep it from gaping. I think this one would be suitable for a man, as well as a woman.
 The pockets are knit 3, purl 3 rib, but the rest of the shawl is a pattern of squares three stitches wide by four rows long.

I also had a bib that I designed on the needles. I took all of these pictures Tuesday at the Ice House (Mayfield Art Guild). After I got home that day I unraveled the strap and redid it, making it a couple of stitches wider and a couple of inches longer. I will sew a button on the top, right corner; the strap has several button holes in it. I also made a burp cloth with the same yarn, but the stripes are horizontal in it. When I had my kids (1966 & 1968), we never heard of burp cloths. We just threw a clean diaper over our shoulder for that purpose. However, since most people don't use cloth diapers now, burp cloths are important.

Last night, since I have finished the two shawls above, I started two more. And today at the luncheon for seniors at church, I started another burp cloth.

Spring's progress:

 They're both flowering crab apples. I have only the one white one, but four of the pink ones. The pink ones have reddish leaves.

The redbud, dogwood and lilac are also in bloom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

first yard work, 2012

Yesterday, when I took the trash down to the end of the driveway, I took along an empty trash bag and my 'reacher-grabber' device, and picked up trash that had blown over here from other people's places. There are some things that I couldn't reach, but I got most of it. I also picked up stuff from the ditch along the road. There were several fair-sized boxes that had been there since the big winds a week or so ago. The trash men took all of that away this morning.

I spent a couple of hours at the Mayfield Art Guild, knitting and talking with Mary, then did a few errands, and got home about 2:30. Shortly after that, Sara and Reggie came to get my lawn mowers to take them to the repair shop.  I hope the guy doesn't take too long to fix them - my weeds are growing well.

Sara said that Rose is doing well after her tonsilectomy last week; she went back to school today.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

$10 pretzel

Lexi spent the night with me last night, and we went to church this morning. I think we are both still on standard time - we didn't get up until 8:30 CDT. We walked in at the end of the Psalm, so at least we didn't miss the sermon or the Eucharist. Lexi has stopped going out for the 'Good News Time' which is really for third grade and under, so she hears the sermons. I don't know how much attention she pays to them - she usually draws as we listen, but she was aware that Richard had several funny parts in his this morning.

It was 'Pretzel Sunday'; the youth group sold soft pretzels after the service. They do this a couple of times a year. When they first talked about doing it, and were discussing pricing, some kid popped up, "$2 each, or two for $5." After they realized what he said and had a good laugh about it, they decided to do it that way. This year they have gone up to $3 each or two for $7. I had six ones and a twenty in my wallet, so I gave Lexi the twenty and told her to get two pretzels while I fixed my coffee. She came back with two pretzels, but no change. I had forgotten that they don't give change. I guess I just made a more generous donation to the youth group than I had meant to. Oh well, c'est la vie!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


That's the name of this colorway of Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn. I think it was named by a 1960's hippie, high on pot (or LSD). I like all of the colors in it, and I thought it looked interesting in the ball, but when I got a couple of inches worked, I thought, "Whoa!! That looks pretty wild." Even more so in the sunlight than on a cloudy day like today.

I got some of the things done today that I had planned - like filling the windshield washer tank on the car, replacing the passenger-side wiper, and checking the lights (I had thought that the right headlight wasn't working, but then it wasn't really dark last time I had them on.) I also taped a bumper sticker in the back window. My friend Mary gave it to me recently. It reads, "If i knit fast enough, does it count as aerobics?" I think the answer to that is NO, but if it did, I'd be in great shape.

I had also planned to walk down the driveway, applying stump killer to the little stumps of volunteer trees that my neighbor's family had cut off the bank last week. However, the weather has not been good for that. It has looked all day like it is going to rain, and there has been thunder and lightning, but only a few drops of rain, so far. I don't want to take a chance of the poison being washed off before it can take effect.

I spent two or three hours sitting on the front porch knitting. I untied the porch swing from the pillar, and sat in it for a while. It's almost the time of year when the great-granddaughters refuse to sit in that swing. There is a holly tree at that corner of the porch, and it is almost in bloom. The buds are open enough that it smells heavenly, but there are only a few bees buzzing around it yet. In a few days, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of them.

Friday, March 9, 2012


That's what I woke up to today. It's amazing how quickly the water disappeared. The paths in the herb garden are dry and Lake Whenever is gone. Sort of makes me want to get out and go somewhere, but I think I'll stay home again.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gray, dreary, rainy

That's what it looks like here today. It must have rained most of the night, because the paths in my herb garden are flooded and Lake Whenever has reappeared in my neighbor's field across the road. It's a great day to stay in and knit or weave. After being out and about for three days in a row, staying home is nice.

Metropolis schools were out on Monday, so Alyssa brought Lexi over late Sunday afternoon to spend the night. When they walked in , Alyssa announced that she was bring me an unfed child. As Alyssa went out the door, I started the whats-for-supper conversation.

"Do you want chicken or fish?"
I open the freezer door. "Tilapia or Salmon?"
"Salmon. Wow. Looks like you have a lot of tilapia. And we can have couscous and maybe peas." She walks away.
"OK. I have some couscous already cooked, in the refrigerator. Oh, I also have spinach."

She loves spinach. The package says four servings, but I cooked the whole thing, sauteing it with garlic in olive oil. I took one serving and she took half of the remainder. After she finished that, she put the rest of it on her plate. When she announced that she couldn't eat any more, there was still some of everything on her plate. We covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Monday morning, she heated it in the microwave, and ate it for breakfast.

She asked what I was going to do that day. I didn't have any plans, and neither of us wanted to stay home, so I suggested that we go to Murray and look around. We stopped in Mayfield to cash a check and to fill the gas tank. She's not familiar with Murray and I rarely go there. I drove around a little, pointing out different things. She commented that there were a lot of people walking. I told her they were mainly the university students. We went into a store called The Book Mark, but it was more of a gift shop. The books were used ones; we each selected one. She discovered an alcove filled with Hello Kitty! stuff, and said we need to tell her Aunt Sara about it. Sara plans to decorate the nursery with a Hello Kitty! theme.

By then, Lexi was ready for lunch, so we went to McDonalds, (I would have preferred something else.) and after that to Big Lots. I was glad that they had some of the blueberry preserves that the Mayfield store no longer had last time I was there.

Lexi had noticed the Calloway County Library, and wanted to go there. I had never been to that one before. She found a book and read a bit of it, while I just sat. We were in the area near the computers. She wanted to use one, but neither of us has a library card there, so I suggested that we head back to Mayfield to the Graves County Library. I let her use my card to get on a computer, and I sat at the next one (they were not busy) knitting.

A little after four o'clock, we went to the Senior Citizens Center. They were having a bean supper fund raiser. We were early, but that was fine. I can always find someone to talk to there, and I also had my knitting with me. Lexi is also very familiar with the place, so she found a deck of cards and tried to build 'houses' with them. There were door prizes - mostly from local restaurants, but I had donated one of my handwoven throw rugs for that purpose. The MC had Lexi and other children who were there pull the tickets out of the box. We didn't win anything.

After that we called Alyssa to find out where she was. We met her near the mall in Paducah, Lexi went with her, and I came home. All in all, a pleasant day with an almost-eleven year old.

Tuesday, I took the car to the mechanic for an oil change and lube. I also got a new bulb in the headlight that had been damaged when I ran into a deer last fall, and two new tires. After that, I did my normal knitting at the Mayfield Art Guild with Mary. She pointed out that, with the braids on the ends, the Wingspan shawl can be crossed in front and tied in back. That will keep it from falling off the shoulders. Great suggestion! I'll be sure I put a note about it with the shawl when I give it to a teacher or the church shawl ministry.

Yesterday, after going around the corner to pay my water bill, and visiting a post office in Paducah, I went to church and then to the coffee shop for lunch and knitting. I was greeted heartily when I walked into the shop because someone wanted information about sewing a zipper into a sweater. They were sure I'd have done it several times (I am the oldest one in the group, after all.)  But I've only done it once, and didn't really have any words of wisdom.

So now I need to go to my knitting nest and select a project to work on.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I did it my way

With apologies to Frank Sinatra (my all-time favorite singer) and whoever wrote that song, and also to the women who designed the Citron and Wingspan shawlettes. I don't usually use other people's patterns, but these two really intrigued me when I saw them on Ravelry.

Citron (designed by Hilary Smith Callis): I did this first as written with a sport weight yarn and size 6 needles. It turned out to be 46 inches wide and 20 inches long at the center back. There are pictures of it on my post from 2/24. The more recent one, I did in worsted weight yarn on size 8 needles. It is 54 inches across ad 26 inches long at center back - a full size shawl.
Instead of doing the ruching, I did a different stitch pattern in those areas. First I did seed stitch, which can be thought of as blocks one stitch wide by one row high. In place of the next ruched area, I did blocks two stitches wide by two rows high. Then three by three, four by four, and finally five by five. I may have gone on to six by six, but I didn't have enough yarn.
 In fact, for the ruffle, I added a second shade of yarn in order to make the ruffle as long as I wanted it. I think it worked out OK though.

Wingspan (designed by Maylin Tan): Ms Tan wrote these directions for sock yarn and size 3.4 mm (size 4) needles. However, since she included suggestions for using heavier yarns and needles, I don't think she'll mind what I did. I used the same number of stitches she did with the fine yarn, but I used worsted weight yarn and size 10 needles. That changed it from a shawlette/scarf to a full size shawl ( 62 x 18 inches). I used mostly yarn from my stash, but did have to buy more of the multicolor. I also bought the yellow, because I wanted the 'mustard' rather than the bright yellow I had on hand.

It is a very unusual shape, isn't it?

I used all the colors for the edge along the top - single rows of the colors, leaving 18 inch tails on both ends. Then I braided those ends to make ties, although it doesn't need them.

Anyway, as I said, I did it my way.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Still here

Actually we didn't get the worst weather in Milburn. About 2:30 am Wednesday, when I woke up to go to the bathroom, I saw some lightning; there was quite an interval before I heard the thunder. About three hours later, I was awakened by the telephone. It was the County Judge Executive (robocall) saying that the county was under a tornado warning, and advising to go to an interior room on the lowest level and to stay away from windows. I didn't feel like moving, so I stayed in my nice, warm bed - my bedroom is two steps lower than the rest of the house, and my bed is as far from the windows as it can be. I guess I really should have gone into the other bed, in the room with no windows.

This morning and early afternoon, I sat on the back porch knitting. It was warmer outside than it was in the house, so I opened two windows and left the back door open for a while. It was just breezy when I first went out, but later got quite windy, so I came inside.