Monday, December 15, 2014


That stands for Walk Through Bethlehem.

I have been weaving at this event at the Nazarene Church in Mayfield since 2008. Last year it was scheduled for 5 nights, but we only got to do one because of the weather. This year it was scheduled for 3 nights and we got to do all three. God and Mother Nature smiled on us. The temperature stayed between 45 and 55, and there was no wind or rain. (It's raining now.) During the three nights (2 hours each night), we had a total or over 1,900 visitors.

During the year 2013, I wove 500+ 'miniature rugs' (think mugrugs/coasters), 60+ 'strips of cloth' (bookmarks) and I don't remember how many 'tiny squares' on a 2" Weave-it loom. These are things for the children to 'buy' with the 'shekels' they are given when they enter the village. Since we only did one night last year, I didn't need to make more items this year. My little products are very popular with the kids - there were 18 mugrugs and 2 bookmarks left at the end of last night. I took them into the fellowship hall, where all of us 'inhabitants of Bethlehem' gathered and announced that they were up for grabs. They all disappeared in a flash! So after they bring my loom back to me, and I weave three or four more rugs to finish that 12-yard warp, I will need to start weaving mugrugs. I think I'll shoot for 500 again, plus at least 100 bookmarks. I'll also make more of the 2" squares; I can carry that little loom with me and work on them at knitting meetings.

I wove one rug each night. I'll find out how long they are when I take them off the loom. Of course, I was talking, explaining what I was doing and how the loom works, almost the whole time. I really enjoy doing that. I'm really a rather shy person, but I have no problem talking to people when I am demonstrating weaving or spinning. I guess that's because I have something specific to talk about.

Any the rugs that look good enough for human use, I think I'll donate to Bellewood in Paducah. It is an agency that helps kids who have aged out of foster care do things like set up their first apartment. I donated some things there several years ago, and I think that would be a good place to take the rugs.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fiberarts Stuff

I've been saying for about three years that I need to take everything I have on consignment at the Mayfield Art Guild gift shop out of there. Some things had been there for ten years and had not sold. (I think the Art Guild is the best kept secret in Mayfield.) About a week and a half ago, my friend Cathy asked me if I had anything I'd like to put on her table at the Project Hope (no-kill animal shelter) Christmas Bazaar. That was the nudge I needed to get my 'stuff'. I did that last Tuesday, then washed things to freshen them up a bit, and put new tags on them.

I only sold a few items on Saturday, but I enjoyed the event. Now I need to decide what to do with everything. The baby blankets, and probably the children's caps, will go to Hope for Life pregnancy resource center. I asked great-granddaughter Lexi today if she and her friends would like the handknit belts. She said that one of her friends collects belts. The one shawl can just be added to my shawl stash. Actually it will be the only one there right now, since I recently took all of the ones I had to my church. However, I currently have six more on the needles, and only one of them has a designated recipient. I don't know what I'll do with the rest of the stuff, but I'll think of some place to donate everything.

I spent several hours today with Lexi. Alyssa called this morning and asked if I could pick her up at school and take her to her orthodontist appointment at 11am. Since they were getting out early today for their Thanksgiving vacation, I didn't need to take her back to school. We had lunch at Panera and then did a little shopping. At Michael's and Hobby Lobby, she used coupons on her cell phone. My phone is not that fancy, so I pulled out a paper coupon at Hobby Lobby, but couldn't use it because the one item I bought was already half price.

When I picked Lexi up, I got to meet the 'lunch lady' that she gave one of my shawls at the end of last school year. The school is arranged so that the lunch area is right inside the front doors. I noticed some women sitting at one of the tables on the far side as I headed for the office to sign Lexi out. When Lexi came out of the hallway, one of the women got up and headed over to us. Seeing Lexi, she figured out quickly that I was the knitter, and came over to meet and thank me. That was such a nice experience!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Knitted wrapping paper, year 3

Two years ago, my then 11-year-old great-granddaughter told her mother that she hoped I'd knit my wrapping paper again that year. I have a tradition of giving my descendents Hallmark ornaments for Christmas. At some time, I had given Lexi hers in a knit, drawstring bag. I guess she wanted another one, so I knit drawstring bags for the six great-grandchildren, but wrapped the adult gifts conventionally. The two babies didn't give a damn, and I'm not sure what the 9-year-old boy thought, but the 11-,8-, and 7-year-old girls liked them.

Last year, I knit hats for everyone, including the adults and the unborn child, and put the ornaments in them. This year, I am knitting washcloths for everyone. My intention for the great-grandchildren was to match the towels my sister had given them with their names appliqued on one end. However, I learned yesterday that the four girls all have light purple towels. Doesn't matter for Lexi, since she's the only girl in the house. but the other three girls are all the same family. So . . . purple, lavender, and that bright pink might be good for Rose.

Michael's had Sugar n Cream 'dishcloth' cotton on sale last week, so I stocked up - one ball of each solid color they had (except yellow and orange, which I already had at home), but there were a couple of colors that were already sold out by the time I got there on Wednesday. I'll go back on Tuesday with a coupon to see what other colors they have now. I'll also check out Hobby Lobby (with a coupon, of course).

The washcloths have the person's first-name initial in garter stitch on a stockinette stitch field, with a garter stitch border. Very easy projects.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Fulled Purse

Some people would say felted, but to me felting is done with unspun fiber. After the fiber is spun into yarn and then knitted or woven, the correct term is fulled.

Fifteen years or so ago, my friend Dana cleared some of her 'stuff' out of her mother's attic. She brought some of it to our fiberarts meeting and I came home with a large trash bag of wool.
Looks like so much yarn barf, doesn't it? Each piece is about two yards long. I have pulled out a lot of them, tied them together and rolled them into balls. This is what I haven't done anything with.

Here is what I've rolled into balls but not used yet. Several years ago, I knit two bags and fulled them. I recently completed another one (I had started it in May 2011 and then set the project aside). I don't remember how I had planned to do it when I started, but this is how I finished it.

I knit it in the round in stockinette stitch and am using the purl side as the right side, because that is where all the knots and tails migrate. On the flap, I bound off a few stitches every inch or so, alternating sides. The strap is just garter stitch. Actually this one was too long, so I did another one. Then I put them in the washer and dryer with a load of jeans to full them before I put on the strap. I had forgotten that garter stitch gets longer rather than shorter. The main part of the purse went from 15" to 10.5", and the flap from 13" to 9.5", but the strap went from 61" to 65". I had planned to have the strap doubled, but didn't like it when it was done. I figure it will make a good sash for my costume for the Walk Through Bethlehem in December.

And here is the final result, already loaded with wallet, check book, etc.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I think I signed my name 50 times today. I've finally been able to re-finance my mortgage. This will lower my monthly payment somewhat, but the main thing is that now I am the only one on the mortgage and deed. The reason I have this house is that my granddaughter and her husband wanted to buy it. In a weak moment, I co-signed for them. In less than two years, I was in the house but their names were still on the paperwork.  I had tried to re-finance a few years ago, but hadn't been successful. One downside: now I'll have to stop trying to convince Andy that he should come clean out the gutters, since the house was partly his.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Day

I had a lovely day today. I went to The Ice House in Mayfield, as I usually do on Tuesday. Mary and Brandie (mother and daughter) came and we knitted and talked for a while. Then they asked if I wanted to join them on a trip to Paducah to do some errands. We went to Hobby Lobby where I bought a 5" needle to weave with on my 4" Weave-it looms (somehow I have lost one of the looms, as well as a needle to weave with). They each bought some things, but Mary didn't find the main thing she was looking for, so we went to Michael's. They didn't have what she wanted either, but Brandie bought something. After that, we went to Home Depot for a piece of wood for Mary's husband to make little looms for Brandie's daughters.

We went through the drive-through at Wendy's for hamburgers and fries, which we ate as we traveled back to Mayfield.

Then I went to the library to return books and check out more. I ran into a friend (and neighbor - she lives about a mile down the road from me), so we talked for a few minutes.

Since I got home, I haven't done anything constructive - just played on the computer. I should shut it down and knit a few rows before I get in bed to start one of the books I got today.

I'll be back in Paducah again tomorrow to talk to my insurance agent, return books to that library, go to church and then meet some knitting friends at Panera.

That will be all of my socializing for this week; then I'll stay home for a few days to do laundry and knit and read. Sounds like a boring life, doesn't it? But it suits me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


About this time yesterday, I smelled something that made me think "raw sewage." I checked to make sure both toilets had been flushed, although I knew they had, since I'm the only person living here, and I hadn't had any visitors. After an hour or so, I realized that the atmospheric conditions were just right (or wrong, in my opinion) for the stench from the paper mill in Wickliffe (20 miles away) to reach Milburn. I smelled it all night and this morning, but things are back to normal now. That happens three or four times a year, but it always takes me a bit to figure it out when it does - I guess I'm slow.

Friday, August 22, 2014


I took three shawls that I've completed recently outside this morning to photograph them.

I posted a different picture of this one previously, but these show the whole thing, plus close-ups of the right and wrong sides.  The top photo, of course, is the right side, although the wrong side doesn't look bad either.

The next one is an example of what to do when you have a skein of multi-color yarn that just doesn't work in any other project. Get a co-ordinating solid color yarn and make what I call my diagonal pinstripes shawl. I start at one corner with four stitches, then alternate the yarns every other row, while also increasing one stitch every other row. It is garter stitch, which is knit every row. When I run out of the multi-color yarn, I pick up stitches along the other short side and do a border of some kind. I've made several shawl like this, using various borders.

On this one, I used a very simple Yarn Over, Knit Two Together (YO, K2tog in knit speak). On the other side of the point at the bottom, I switched to Slip Slip Knit, Yarn Over (SSK, YO). I purled alternate rows. When I felt the border was wide enough, I did a few rows of garter stitch and then bound off.
I tried to show the top edge in the next picture. This is where I switched from one yarn to the other, knit three stitches and did a yarn over to increase one stitch. It doesn't matter whether you pick up the new color from in front of or behind the other one; as long as you are consistent it will give you a nice edge.

And now for shawl number three. This is the only one that is from someone else's pattern.
It is done in modules, with stitches picked up along the edges of other modules. I think my close-up of the fans is of the wrong side, but then it really doesn't matter, does it?

I haven't spent much time in my yard this summer, so I wasn't aware that I apparently have moles.
Can you see where they are traveling underground?
I guess you call this a molehill.

Friday, August 15, 2014


I finally finished the blanket for that new great-grandson I mentioned a month ago.
This is a picture I took of it before mailing it to NJ. His name is done in shadow or illusion knitting, which only shows up at an angle. His middle and last names are on the side edges. His mommy sent two pictures of him with the blanket.

Note how the words disappear when looking straight on.

I hope he gets a lot of use out of the blanket.

My latest finished project is a basket-weave shawl knit in four shades of green. I did it first in just three shades, but it wasn't long enough when I ran out of yarn. They were all old yarns in discontinued shades, so I could not get more. Friends gave me some suggestions, but I decided in the end to completely unravel it and start over, adding a fourth shade. I'm pleased with the way it turned out.
It is about 18 inches wide and five feet long.

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Trees Don't Like Me!

It's a bit blurry, but you get the idea. I spent some time outside earlier today pulling up volunteer tree seedlings from flower beds and doing some pruning on three trees. I think this was mostly from the flowering crabapple tree, but some might have been from the holly and the Japanese maple. I haven't been on any blood thinners for at least a year and a half. When I was on coumadin, both of my forearms were constantly bruised.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Wow! Two posts in one day! But when I pulled this up, I realized that I hadn't posted anything about Robbie's arrival.

Now on to the cousins part. Last weekend some of us got together for the first time in 25 years.

Eight out of 21, when we're scattered from Florida to Washington, isn't bad. That's our grandparents' graves we're visiting. We also went out to the farm our parents grew up on. The house there burned in 1949 or '50, but the barn was still there when we last got together. It's gone now. but when we found the artesian well emptying into an old bathtub (I'm sure the bathtub wasn't there when Daddy was growing up), we knew we were in the right spot. I have a picture from 25 years ago of my father and uncle sitting on the edge of that tub talking.

Before going out to the cemetery and the farm, we spent several hours at a church talking and eating. One of my cousins who had organized the reunion suggested that we go around the room and each tell a story about our parents or grandparents. Of course, it didn't quite work out in that orderly way, because one story would remind someone at another table of something, but the whole storytelling time was wonderful!

As you can tell from all the gray hair, we shouldn't wait another 25 years to get together again.

Robert Glenn Rickards III

He arrived on July 3, which just happened to be his daddy's 25th birthday. He weighed 8 lbs, 14.4 oz and was 21 inches long. Mommy and baby are doing well - and so is daddy.

And even Grammy.

I have no idea when I'll meet him in person.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I've just come home from a funeral/memorial service that was lovely. The man who died was my oldest great-granddaughter's great-grandfather on her father's side. He was 87 years old and had been sick for a couple of years. They tell me that after his wife died (before I knew the family), he started planning his own funeral - the hymns, scriptures, speakers, pall bearers, etc. And more recently, he had asked his two oldest great-grandchildren to be honorary pall bearers. Jake is 14 1/2 and Lexi is 13 ( they are each other's oldest playmates). I know that Lexi felt very honored by that. Fred had been living at his daughter's home for about a year, I think. Lexi decided that she wanted to be there for Granddad's last days. They say that one day last week, the only word he said was Lexi.

The funeral was held at the church (Macedonia Church of Christ) he had been a faithful part of for decades, which is as it should be. Burial was in the graveyard beside the church. Then there was lunch in the parish hall (I know that's not what they call it, but I'm Episcopalian.)

Now I'm waiting for a great-grandson to be born.

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's June

How can it be six weeks since I posted. Either nothing has happened or I've been busy, and I can't tell you which.

My main activity this week is demonstrating spinning at the Purchase District Fair in Mayfield. The fair had gone downhill and wasn't even held last year. They are now trying to resuscitate it. The mayor asked me several months ago if I would demonstrate weaving. I agreed to that, but after some thought, asked if spinning would be OK instead. For weaving, I need someone else to transport my loom; for spinning, I can move my equipment by myself. So now we are three down and two to go. Tuesday through Friday, we open at 5 pm and have packed up by 9 pm. Saturday, we open at noon; I don't know how long I will be there. There have been several 'no shows' of people/businesses who had said they would come, which is disappointing. The crowds have been sparse in our area, but I think the midway has done well.

I enjoy talking to people, especially children, explaining what I am doing. In hope that next year I can get some people to join me in demonstrating other fiberarts - weaving, knitting, crocheting, tatting, maybe even bobbin-lace making. I need to start talking to people in my various groups.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Dr Who?

I haven't watched the program for years - decades, in fact, but I just made two Dr Who scarves - sort of.

Two weeks ago, I went out to the shed at the back of my lot, and discovered the Dr Who scarf I had made for Dominic 25-30 years ago. I thought he had taken it with him when he moved back to NJ. He tells me that I made another one for him, as well, and he has that one. Anyway, the one here had significant mouse damage.
I brought it into the house and washed it, then started making another scarf from the yarn as I unraveled it. The original scarf was 15 inches wide and about 12 feet long. I decided to make the new one 10 inches wide and no longer than 8 feet. It turned out to be about 7 feet, because I came to another bit of mouse damage at that point. Then I started a second scarf from the rest of the old one. It is 7 1/2 inches wide and not quite 5 feet long. I now have a bunch of little balls of yarn (up to 2 yards each) that I want to do something with. Maybe I'll put them together and make a hat.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tempus Fugit! (did I spell that right?)

Has it really been two weeks since I posted anything here?

Those daffodils in the last pictures are kaput, but now the redbud, flowering crabapple and dogwood trees are blooming. I've done little bits of yardwork, but not too much. Mostly I've been knitting. Here are two shawls I've finished recently.

When Rose spent the night here a few weeks ago, she said she wanted me to make a shawl for her to give to her teacher at the end of the school year. "A big one like yours, but red . . . you can use some white . . . stripes." She showed me on mine how wide she wanted the stripes to be. It is 27 inched long at center back - that should be big enough. The second picture is a close-up of the lace edging I put on it.

This one is smaller - only 20 inches at center back. I alternated two rows of solid red with two rows of a variegated red/pink/orange. The border is all red and is the tulip pattern I've used several times recently.

Both shawls are basically Elizabeth Zimmerman Pie-Are-Square shawls, with some variation.

I had my every-four-months oncology visit on March 26; I'm still in remission.

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Favorite Model

Lexi is spending a couple of days of her Spring vacation with me, so I got her to model my latest shawls.

These two were in my last post, but I think they look much better here - must be the pretty model.

And here is another one that I just finished today; I call it Yellow Tulips Shawl.

She went with me this morning to my monthly Lake Area Fiber Artists group. She had her cellphone with her and also a book (the 7th of the Harry Potter series), but she also participated in the conversations. I am very proud of her.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring is here?

Maybe, finally.

The daffodils were two weeks late, but are blooming profusely now. I walked around my property today and saw more than I thought I had. There are also more crocuses than I knew about - only half a dozen, but that's more than I had noted in prior years. The iris leaves are up in six or eight places, and my one clump of bleeding heart has a lot of leaves (red at this stage) pushing up. The dogwood (1) and redbuds (2) look like they'll bloom in about two weeks, and the white-flowered crab apple has quite a few baby leaves. The lilac also has flower buds on it.

I used my pruning saw today to cut off part of the limb on one pine tree that a couple of small ice storms damaged during the winter. The main part of the limb is too thick for a pruning saw; it needs a chainsaw.


I completed a few projects this month.

The first picture shows the colors well, and the second shows the stitch patterns.

Rectangular, slip-stitch shawl. Sorry it's so blurry.
 Front or right side.
Back or wrong side.

Baptismal blanket for church. I started this back in August, but ran out of yarn about 3/4 of the way through. I kept checking the store where I bought the yarn, but they never had the right color. I finally asked for it and was told that a brighter shade of yellow was the only yellow they carry now. Other stores in the area didn't have it either. My sister found the right color in a different store in Louisville, so I was able to finish the blanket, an have enough to make another one.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

February Knitting

What do you do when you can't get out (at least not without difficulty)?
I knit. Here are the things I've finished so far this month.

Slip stitch shawl, started January 28, finished February 5.

Purple tulips shawl, started January 29, finished February 10.
I started this at the weekly knitting get-together, with yarn I had just picked up from the donated stash at church. When Jan asked what it was going to be, I said, "I think it will be a shawl." Since she is the type of knitter who never starts anything without a pattern in front of her, she couldn't understand that.
The 'tulips' are a modification of a Snowdrop Lace stitch pattern from a Mon Tricot stitch dictionary.

Baptismal blanket for a baby who will be baptised at my church. I've been making these for a few years. Most of the symbols I use are from my own charts. I have two more on the needles now. I started this one on January 31 and finished it February 13.

Slip Stitch scarf, started February 13, finished February 14. The colors are actually somewhere between those in the two pictures.
I don't know why Lexi has her eyes crossed - silly kid - oh, well, she's beautiful anyway.
I think I'll make a scarf like this in black and white and a bit longer, for someone taller (Lexi's not quite 13 and still rather short).

Yellow Tulips scarf, started February 14, finished February 15. The same tulip pattern as in the shawl.
I'm considering a shawl using three shades of yellow, with seven or eight rows of tulips.

Of course, I currently have several other projects on the needles.