Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good-bye 2016

New Year's resolution for 2017: To post here more often. Since I don't have any medical stuff to write about, and especially since I've been on FaceBook, I've sort of let this slide.

It's a few hours early, but I'm not going to finish any more knitting projects or books before midnight, so here's the tally for 2016.

Knitting projects finished:
17 shawls
15 scarves
35 hats
5 baby/children's sweaters
12 baby blankets - 7 of them were baptismal blankets for my church
1 dishcloth
2 cowls
6 knitted knockers (prostheses for women who have had mastectomies)

Works in progress, some of which I will finish in 2017:
3 shawls
2 scarves
2 adult-size blankets 
2 baby blankets
1 pair of socks 

I read 71 books during the year, averaging 257 pages per book. Most of them were novels or mysteries, but there were also:
1 poems and short stories
10 memoirs
3 children's
2 biographies
1 style guide (This reminded me of helping with some research 45? years ago for a style guide to be used in all offices of the large accounting firm I worked for at the time.)

Back to the knitting: The one project that I really should be working on right now is a blanket for my great-granddaughter who will be born in a couple of weeks. Her name will be Violet, so this is part of her blanket:
Now I'm working on a row of small purple flowers around the edges of the center panel. Her name will be done in shadow/illusion knitting in the borders. The top and bottom borders are done with her first name. After I finish duplicate stitching the small flowers, I will pick up stitches on the sides, and put her middle name on one side and her last name on the other.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Down at the Car Wash . . ."

My great-granddaughter Lexi (on top of the car) and her friend Camryn are spending a few days with me to help me with some housework, yard work, etc. That included washing my car, which hadn't been washed for years - I sometimes identified it in parking lots by it's dirty/black roof. They also washed the chairs visible in the foreground and the pads that go in them.

On Friday and Saturday, we also did a lot of pruning and weeding. I did the pruning, we all did some weeding, and they carted stuff to my neighbor's burn pile. About 2/3 of the pile they are standing in front of is stuff they added to it.
I really have not been doing yard work this year.

Today the girls vacuumed and mopped. And took trash down to the big trash container which I leave at the end of the driveway, because it's too hard for me to handle. I usually put one bag at a time in the car and take it down whenever I'm going out, but I discovered this morning that one of the smaller trashcans under the carport was almost full. I wonder who put that stuff in there - I didn't.

For the most part, the girls have also cooked for themselves. Lexi's mom sent a bunch of stuff with them when I picked them up on Thursday. However, we did go to Luke's Restaurant in Arlington last night for supper. Lexi has always liked Luke's; they have the best fried catfish around.

I think Alyssa (Lexi's mom) is going to pick them up tomorrow. Then on Tuesday my sisters are coming for a couple of days. I'm looking forward to that.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Trumpeters

My two oldest great-grandchildren, playing at a professional baseball game today.
Devin will be 13 in a week and a half; he just completed 7th grade.
Lexi will be 15 on Thursday; she just completed 9th grade.
The Superman shirts? They're from Metropolis.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

May Fiber Fairs

The first one, and one of the big ones nationally, is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. The last time I went was in 1993 or '94, when I still lived in NJ. I took my two granddaugters along that year - they now have daughters older than they were then. The ones I went to this year are much closer to my Tiny Town.

On May 14, I went to the fiber fair of the Southern Illinois Spinners and Weavers in Metropolis IL. It was small, but nice. Since it was local (40 miles), I ran into several people I know from some of the fiber-related groups I am, or have been, in.

On May 21, I went to the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival in Lexington KY. I've known about this festival for several years, but had never gone. I wasn't going to go this year either, but then I found out that Annie Modesitt would be there with her yarn and books. I like Annie's work, and love the title of one of her books - Confessions of a Knitting Heretic. However, it is one of her other books that made me want to meet her - Knit with Courage, Live with Hope. In that she writes about her husband's struggle with Multiple Myeloma. He and I were diagnosed about the same time (9years ago). His experience with it has been a good bit different than mine, including bone marrow transplant, which I did not have. From other things I've heard, I believe that myeloma is worse for younger people, and possibly for men, than for older women like me. Annie said that her husband is doing OK now. (I've been in remission almost six years.)

I spent that weekend with my sister Renee in Louisville, which put me much closer to Lexington. Renee went with me to the festival, and saw a couple of things she had not heard of before, principally needle felting. There were people demonstrating various techniques, and there were fiber animals. We watched a sheep being sheared.

I didn't buy much at either event - some carded fiber to spin in Metropolis and a ball of yarn in Lexington.
I think when I get that fiber (50% Romney wool, 50% mohair) spun, I can use the two yarns together in something FOR ME. The yarn is 60% superwash Merino, 30% bamboo, 10% nylon. Although it could be washed carefully by machine, the yarn I spin from that fiber will be hand wash, so the resulting item will be hand wash.

I also bought another one of Annie Modesitt's books, History on Two Needles. In it are several knitted garments she designed, inspired by historical statues, paintings, etc. Her explanations make it much more than just a pattern book.

After a couple of hours at the festival, Renee and I went to visit our cousin Elcena in Georgetown. I think that for each of those two, the other is the only cousin she remembers playing with. All of their other cousins, on both sides of their families, were 1,000 miles or more away. My older sister and I (and maybe our brother) remember playing with cousins when we were still in Minnesota, but Renee had just turned 3 when we moved, and I think Elcena was born in Kentucky. I enjoyed that visit.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Four months of knitting

My brother reminded me this morning that I haven't posted here in a coon's age, so I promised him I'd remedy that when I got home from my regular Wednesday activities of church and knitting. So here goes:

First up, the baby surprise jacket I showed the beginning of in my last post. You didn't expect it to look like this, did you?

Next some shawls:

I took most of these to church today to be blessed and given to people who need a reminder that they are not alone in their illness or bereavement.

Then there is this little thing that was supposed to be a shawl, but I didn't enjoy knitting the pattern, so I bound off and called it a scarf. When I asked Lexi how she would wear it, she immediately put it on her head and tied it at the nape of her neck under her hair. Yes, that hair is green!

There have been scarves . . .

And hats
Well only one. Actually there is another one, but it needs its own story.

Also baby blankets
Really, there were six, four of them christening/baptismal blankets to be given to babies baptised at my church. I guess I haven't taken pictures of everything, This one with the hearts will go to the Hope (pregnancy resource) Center in Mayfield, as will the baby sweaters.

The hats and scarves will go to other charitable organizations in the fall. I'll probably add to their number before then. Small items are good for summer knitting.

Now for the other hat. At the end of April, I demonstrated spinning at Sedalia Elementary School, as part of a 'Heritage Day' - 16 groups in four hours. By the last couple of groups, I couldn't remember if I had shown then how to use hand carders to prepare the wool, or how to spin on a drop spindle. I told some of the groups that I would knit a hat with the yarn, and would give it to the music teacher to show them. (I figure she sees all of the classes.) The next day, I plied the brown/red/white singles I spun at the school with a solid brown singles I had spun previously, and then knit the hat.
After the Heritage Day activities were over, the Drama Club put on two short plays, which I HAD to stay for - my 10 1/2-year-old great-granddughter Rose was Snow White in one of them. The kids did a good job. Drama students from Murray State University go to the school to work with the kids. I think that's a great experience for both age groups.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Still knitting

I finished a blanket for a friend's grandson. She had made a little sketch of what she wanted in the center panel of the blanket months ago. I got that part done, but had to wait until the baby was born to finish the borders. They contain the baby's name in shadow/illusion knitting, and the parents didn't want to know the baby's sex until it was born. It's a boy.

I've also done several hats.

Actually, I did two of the purple ones. I think I'll make more of the ones with the flap to keep the neck warm. All except the purple one are in yarn heavier than I usually use. For some reason (mostly good sales) I've bought quite a few skeins of bulky yarn recently. I guess I'll use it all hats for charity.

And there have been some shawls, too.

I had to start replenishing my supply of them, after taking the five I had on hand to church to be used as prayer shawls. My great-grandchildren will expect me to have some for them to give to teachers in May, and the church may need more. My sister has asked for the blue one. I made it with yarn left over from two infinity scarves I made for my daughter and one of my granddaughters for Christmas, and from the shawl in the top picture. (The actual color of the yarn is somewhere between the top shawl and the outer border of the middle one.) When I took the shawl in the bottom photo to the Lake Area Fiber Artists meeting on Monday, I got one of the others to model it for me. I showed it to other friends yesterday; one of them said it reminded her of a peacock.

And there is one scarf finished so far.
And two baby/toddler sweaters.

Well, I guess I haven't photographed the second one since I finished it. It is a Baby Surprise Jacket, designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It is done in one piece and looks rather strange until it is folded correctly and two shoulder/sleeve seams are sewn. That bright yarn is some that jumped off the shelf into my basket a month or so ago.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

What I knit in 2015

40 hats of various sizes
13 headbands (these were done so early in the year that I had forgotten about them until I checked my log)
18 scarves and cowls (14 of these were for family members for Christmas)
9 pairs of mittens (most of these matched hats, and all were donated)
9 shawls (these were all for the church for prayer shawls or for great-grandkids to give to teachers)
7 sweaters of various sizes (one was even for me)
2 large baby blankets (for my new great-granddaughter and for a friend's grandson)
1 Christmas stocking (for my new great-granddaughter)
6 can cozies/soda sweaters
2 pairs of slippers (for my two youngest great-granddaughters, ages 3 and new-born)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year! 2016

It can't really be two months since I posted here, can it?

I knit scarves for family members to wrap their Hallmark ornaments in. 14 scarves or cowls and one Chriatmas stocking (I thought the 6-month-old was too young for a scarf), and I forgot to take pictures of any of them.

My friend's grandson was born in the middle of November, so I've also been trying to finish the blanket she requested for him. I did the center of it (except for the sun's rays, which I still need to do), but couldn't do his name around the outside in illusion knitting, because her daughter didn't want to know the baby's sex until it was born. Here is a picture I took of it a couple of days ago; I have since finished that border with his last name.
Now I need to do some rays in embroidered chain stitch.

A few weeks ago, the parish nurse at church told me she had recently given out nine prayer shawls, leaving four or five still in the closet. So I took in the five finished ones that I had here. I have since finished one of the three (?) I had in progress, and have started two more. I'm really glad to get back to them. While I've been working on the scarves and baby blanket, I've been itching to work with some of the yarn I've bought in the last three months or so. I didn't need more yarn, of course, but sometimes it's hard to resist. I may already have SABLE - Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.

During the first week of December, I again wove rugs at the Walk Through Bethlehem in Mayfield. My daughter ran the rug stall, where I was weaving. She had some of the kids from the congregation helping her on Thursday and Friday nights, and her granddaughters on Saturday and Sunday nights (one each night). I love this picture she took of Rose.
I think both of the girls enjoyed helping Grammy, and I know Grammy enjoyed it and was very impressed with the "village."

In December there were also the band and chorus concert at Lexi and Devins' school and a Christmas program at Rose's.