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.