Thursday, December 27, 2018

Christmas, day three

Last week was one of those weeks - I drove 471 miles and was never more than 40 miles from home.

On Sunday (12/16) I went to Metropolis to see Lily, Brady, and Calla sing a few Christmas songs with the other Sunday School kids at Immanuel Baptist Church.

On Monday (12/17), I was back in Metropolis for Brady's Christmas program at school at 2 pm. Then I hung out at Alyssa's house for a few hours and went to the High School band and chorus concert at 6:30. Lexi and Devin both play trumpet.

On Tuesday (12/18) I was back at Metropolis Elementary School for Lily's Christmas program at 2 pm.

Wednesday (12/19) I went to Paducah for a bit of shopping and to knit at the yarn shop.

On Thursday (12/20), it was back to Metropolis at 10:30 am for Calla's Christmas program at Head Start.

Back to Metropolis on Friday (12/21), this time by way of Wickliffe, which added 20 miles to the trip. A church in Wickliffe had some gifts for Lily and Calla, and Alyssa asked me to pick them up for her. Then I stayed with the kids while Alyssa and Stephen went to do some shopping.

I think I stayed home on Saturday.

Then started all the Christmas meals.
Sunday (12/23) I had Carmen and her friend, Alyssa and Stephen, Lexi, Lily, Brady, and Calla over for supper and to open the gifts I got for them (Hallmark ornaments). Last year I decided I wanted family over for chili on Christmas Eve, and wanted to make that a new tradition. This year Christmas Eve Eve worked out better for the working people. I had chili, broccoli/cheese soup and carrot/raisin salad, and Carmen and Alyssa both brought some sweet stuff. When I told the kids a few days before what my menu would be, Lily said she definitely didn't want the broccoli/cheese soup.

On Monday (12/24) Lexi called from her grandparents' house where she had spent the night. She said her Nana had cooked a whole lot of food, and then her father called and said he and his wife and step-daughters couldn't come. So Lexi wanted me to come over and help eat it. Her grandparents are some of my favorite people, so I was glad to spend some time with them. Alyssa and Stephen and the three little ones were there, too. Beverly (Nana) had a children's table set up in her back room, like I had here. (But her children's table is not 74 years old like mine is.)

Then on Christmas morning I went and had brunch with Carmen and Lanny and visited with them for a bit. 

So I think I'm all Christmased out, and will enjoy a few days alone. The kids don't go back to school until January 7, so I'll probably be called upon to babysit some next week.

 Probably Lexi's best gift was notification that she has been accepted by the University of Kentucky. She got an acceptance letter from University of Tennessee - Martin a few weeks ago, but UK is her first choice.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Rugs

The five on top are the ones I wove at the Walk through Bethlehem. Actually, I only started the fifth one there and finished it at home after my loom was returned. Those five were woven with cut up t-shirts. The bottom five were woven with some stuff that a friend got from a pajama factory years ago. This is the first year I have used a striped warp - I like it! They vary in length depending on how much there was of a particular color or shade. Counting from the top, numbers 1, 3, and 5 are all white, but not exactly the same shade. Number 2 is black and number 4 is dark blue.

On Tuesday, I plan to take them to The Lighthouse women's shelter in Mayfield to see if anyone there wants them. If not, I will take them to the Paducah Cooperative Ministries on Wednesday for women in the Fresh Start Village. I think I have some knit things I can take, too. 

I put on a 12-yard warp with no thought to whether that many rugs would fit on the cloth beam. They did, with about half an inch to spare. Last year, when we were able to do all five nights, I almost ran out of the 8-yard warp I had put on; that's why I put on 12 yards this time,

Monday, December 3, 2018

Over for this year

The Walk through Bethlehem was cancelled both Friday and Saturday. Although the weather in the 6 to 8 pm time slot on Saturday was not bad, it had poured rain through much of the night Friday night/Saturday morning. The men of the church worked throughout the day Saturday diverting rain water from the village. They even build a bridge at the entrance. By Sunday evening, things were good enough for us to go ahead. I guess they were afraid their bridge wouldn't hold the garden tractor and trailer they move my loom with, so two men carried it between the entrance and my stall. Good thing I'm the first stall inside the gate. 

Pastor Steve brought my loom and other stuff home this morning. Now I need to weave a couple more rugs to finish off the 12-yard warp.

Since we only did three nights instead of five, there is a lot of stuff left over. I had made 387 miniature rugs - 220 are left. I also had 366 two-inch squares - 310 remain. That means I won't need to make as many next year. I keep saying each year that I am going to weave some scarves; maybe this will be the time I actually do. I might learn more about weaving that way.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Two down, three to go

Nights of the Walk through Bethlehem at the Nazarene Church in Mayfield KY, that is. Wednesday night was cold (35 F), but last night was comfortable (52 F). It looks like we may be rained out tonight, but I think Saturday and Sunday will be OK.

Someone took my picture Wednesday night and posted it on FaceBook. I swiped it to post here. I'm the one weaving and my daughter, Carmen, is the merchant in the rug stall.
At least for weaving I can wear fingerless gloves with hand warmers inside, so only my fingers got cold. I felt sorry for the potter; not only could she not wear gloves, she was working with wet clay. Her hands were completely red when we finished.

This is the tenth year I've done this event. I enjoy it - the weaving, the talking about weaving to the visitors to 'Bethlehem'.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

I'm here, I think

Once again it has been about six weeks since I posted. Things have been a bit hectic, and I've done a lot of driving back and forth to Metropolis. Sara and her girls moved in with Alyssa, but Sara was not doing what she was supposed to, so now only Lily and Calla are there, and Rose is back in New Jersey with her father.

The Fall Festival was interesting. The club decided that they wanted to put my 'critters' in the Country Store, rather than use them in the fishing booth, so I had to price them. Only a couple of them sold - people don't want to pay $5 or $10 when most of the items on the tables are one tenth of that. The dishcloths and hotpads sold at $2 or $3. I took the 'critters' that were left, along with some scarves to the craft sale at church. I don't know if they sold there or not. I told them to donate any that didn't sell to Paducah Cooperative Ministries for them to use however they saw fit.

The next thing coming up soon is the Walk through Bethlehem that I've been doing since 2008. I have 386 miniature rugs (mugrugs/coasters) and 366 2-inch squares for the kids to 'buy' with the 'shekels' they are given when they enter the village. Pray for good weather - no wind or rain, and temperatures around 50. I have the loom warped and ready for someone to pick up on Wednesday morning. The Walk is Wednesday through Sunday next week, 6 to 8 pm.

Monday, October 15, 2018

572 miles

That's how far I drove last week. I know my grandson-in-law probably drives at least twice that much every week as part of his job, but I'm retired. And the only time I was more than 40 miles from my house, I was riding with someone else.

It started on Sunday when I picked Rose up to spend the night with me. Monday morning I took her to the dentist in Lone Oak for a filling, then to Mayfield for basketball practice, and on to lunch in Paducah and over to Metropolis for Brady's birthday party, and of course home again after the party.

We combined his party with a 50th anniversary celebration for my brother and sister-in-law. For their anniversary on June 22, they did something novel. Instead or having a party at or near their home in Florida, they sent $50 bills to our sisters and me and I have no idea who else, asking us to celebrate with people who are special to us, and to send them pictures. I held onto that bill until my western KY/southern IL family were able to get together. Then I gave it to Alyssa and Stephen to help pay for the pizza, sodas, etc. for Brady's bityhday party. Here is the picture:

The adults and teen-agers, left to right: Stephen, Devin, Lexi, Alyssa, Rose, Lanny (Carmen's friend), and Carmen holding Calla. In front are: Brady, me holding a sign Alyssa made, Lily, and Brady's girlfriend Charlotte.

There were several other people there, as well, and I told them they were welcome to get in the picture, but they opted not to. Stephen's father took the picture.

Sara was missing, and Reggie, and of course the New Jersey gang.

Back to the week's driving: I've forgotten exactly how things went, but since it was fall break all week for Rose and Lily, I was helping with them and was back and forth to Metropolis and Mayfield several times.

Then on Saturday I went to a high school marching band competition in Sikeston MO. That's the time I rode with friends - Lexi's grandparents. Since we could not go the way people from this area usually go to Sikeston, because the bridge over the Ohio River between Wickliffe KY and Cairo IL is closed for repair, we went to Metropolis and followed the buses and equipment trailers. Then we sat in the football stadium for about four hours watching bands of various sizes do their thing. The temperature was in the low 50's. After about three hours, when I went to the ladies room, I had trouble unbuttoning my jeans because my fingers were so cold. I had started knitting a scarf on the trip over, but certainly couldn't work on it while we were there.

The Massac County band places third in their class, and their drum major placed first!

Here are my two trumpeters, Devin and Lexi:

Afterwards, we joined the band for supper at Lambert's (home of throwed rolls). Even though we had a reservation, we had to wait over an hour to get in, because a couple of the other bands were there, too. Lambert's stayed open past their usual closing time to serve us.

Then we followed the buses back to Metropolis. It was 1:45 before I got home. It was a very interesting day.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Monthly (?) Update

I continue to work on things for the Fall Festival, although when I finish a snake (the 3rd) I'm working on, I think that will be all for the Fishing Booth. I may make more dishcloths and hotpads for the Country Store. Here are most of the critters I've knit and crocheted.

 This octopus pattern is from a group who make them for premature babies. The babies seem to like to hold onto the curly legs. It is surmised that they feel like the umbilical cord to them. Carmen has requested that I make a pink one for a co-worker's baby (not premie)
One of my knitting friends made the orange fish. Although it doesn't look like it in the picture, she did a better job with this pattern than I did. The fish on the back row are all from other people's patterns, but the two in front I made up as I went along.
These cats all have the same amount of stitches - just the size of yarn and needles changed. When Alyssa showed Brady the pictures that I posted on FaceBook, he asked her to call me so he could tell me he wants a cat like the largest one, but in blue and black. I don't have any yarn with blue and black in the same ball, so this is what I cane up with:
I don't know if it matches what he's thinking of or not. I suggested to Alyssa that she have him draw and color what he has in mind.

On to the rest of the critters.

Four knit and four crocheted. the biggest and smallest are both knit with the same amount of stitches, just different size yarn and needles. 
When I took the picture, only the gray striped snake (knit) was complete. Since then, I have finished the solid gray (crocheted), and have done a bit more on the green one (knit).

The squid is my own pattern. I looked at a lot of pictures of the actual creature online, and read descriptions, and this is what I came up with. I have made a second one, as well.

I've also been weaving more mugrugs. 190 completely woven, so far, although 40 of them need to be zigzagged across both ends to keep them from unraveling. I'm almost finished with another 8-yard warp - 35 to 40 pieces. I'm using up a bunch of 'stuff' - mostly old t-shirts friends and relatives have given me and yarns I don't like to knit with.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I'm still here

My brother reminded me a couple of weeks ago that I haven't posted for a looooong time. And now it's been even longer. Things have been a bit topsy-turvy here this summer. My granddaughter Sara and her three girls spent a few weeks with me. My house is not really big enough for that many people. A lot of their stuff is still here, but they are in a women's shelter in Mayfield now. Rose (almost 13) was pushing for that, because she realizes that her mom can get some help there that I couldn't give her - with things like employment and housing.

Rose is also glad to be at Mayfield Middle School where she knows a few people rather than Carlisle County Middle School where she knows noone. I don't think Lily (age 6) was concerned about where she goes to school. And Calla (age 3) is too young for school yet, although she went to Vacation Bible School with her cousin during the summer, and was very impressed that she went to school. I don't understand 3-year-old speech very well, but that word came out loud and clear. During the program at the end of the week, she turned a couple of somersaults while they were singing their songs.

Here is what Lily and Calla looked like on Lily's first day of first grade. Don't know why Rose was not included on her first day of seventh grade.

The following week, school started in Metropolis. Lexi is a senior this year, and Brady is in kindergarten. He's only 3 months younger that Lily, but the cut-off date is September 30 and his birthday is October 8.
For a retiree, I keep fairly busy. I have two fiber-arts groups that meet every week and two more that meet monthly. I really enjoy spending time with other people who knit, crochet, weave, spin, etc. I mostly knit, but I did weave a dozen placemats for my granddaughter-in-law recently. Now I'm working on 300+ (I hope) mugrugs for this year's Walk through Bethlehem. This event is something I've enjoyed participating in annually since 2008. I have 75 mugrugs completed so far, with a third 8-yard warp ready to wind onto the loom. I also have 350 2-inch squares for the Walk, and Rose has one of my Weave-it looms and some yarn to make more.

I recently joined the local Homemakers group and discovered that they put on a Fall Festival in late October each year. I've been here in Milburn 15 years (I think) and have never gone to it. I'm knitting and crocheting dishcloths and hotpads/pot holders for the Country Store booth, and little animals for the fishing booth. For the dishcloths and hotpads, I'm using up the rest of the second cone of Peaches and Cream cotton from the placemats I wove for Jaimee. Here are the little critters I've done so far:
Actually, I'm still working on the snake. I also have another fish on the needles, as well. Rose has the Owl Puff pattern and may get some of those done for me. They take me very little time, but then I've been knitting since 1963/64; she's only been knitting a couple of years.

I entered a shawl in the county fair this year; it had been several years since I entered anything. I got a blue ribbon on it, which is probably not a big deal, since it is such a small county.
I came up with this design a few years ago, and have made several like it.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Busy Saturday

Yesterday I left the house a little before 9 am. I went around the corner and paid my water bill, stopped at the Lovelaceville PO and put three bill payments in the mail, then headed to the Fort Massac visitor center in Metropolis IL for the Southern Illinois Spinners and Weavers guild meeting. 

Sue was giving a lesson on knitting sweaters from the top down. I've knit many raglan-style top-down sweaters, but never one like she was teaching. In this style, the sleeves look like set-in ones. I like that look. We had to do some measuring of our bodies and knit swatches using different size needles to decide which one gave us the 'drape' we wanted. We worked on our sweaters, and talked, and had our pot-luck lunch until about 3:30. 

After that, I came back across the river to Kentucky, but only as far as Paducah. I went to Kroger for a couple of things, then to Bluegrass Downs race track to hear the Massac County High School jazz band play from 4:30 to 5:30. I always enjoy listening to them. There are 3 or 4 of the kids who graduated this year, so yesterday was the last time to hear them. I noticed two new kids, as well - rising sophomores who have been in the regular band this year and were selected for the jazz band for next year.

I had planned to stay at the track and watch a couple of races (harness), but decided I was tired and just wanted to come home. By the time I got here, it was 7 pm.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

I'm beating you to it, Jim.

My brother reminds me when I haven't posted for a while. I'm beating him to it this time. 

There've been several band events for me to attend, and now two of the great-grandkids are playing t-ball. Some days they both have games. Then I have to decide whether I want to drive 20 miles of 38 miles. I really don't enjoy watching t-ball, but I want to support the kids. The band events I do always enjoy.

Rose came home with me Thursday evening after her sister Lily's game. I'll take her home tomorrow. While we were having supper Thursday, I realized that she really didn't know much about me. So I've been telling her about my life, and also about my extended family. The book that my cousin's daughter put together before our last family reunion helped a lot with Mother's side and some information a cousin put together after a reunion 20+ years ago helped on Daddy's side. I don't know how much she'll remember. She has spent a lot of time reading, and also sleeping. She has selected a few books from my shelves to take with her on her trip to visit her grandparents in Florida and her dad in New Jersey. She leaves for that on June 4 and will be gone about a month.

Monday, April 23, 2018

But I haven't done anything newsworthy, have I?

Yet again, my brother has reminded me to post; he says it's been 8 weeks since I did. Maybe I've been too busy to post. No, not really.

On the knitting front, I have three 'temperature scarves' to show you - one for each month.
I've done some other knitting, as well. I like this little toddler top pattern, because it is done all in one piece and doesn't require any sewing or buttons. I have the yarn in several different colorways that I hope to use for more like this. But I'm currently working on several shawls. I'll get back to baby stuff after I finish a couple of them.
On the great-grandkids' activities front:

On March 8, Lexi was inducted into the National Honor Society.
On March 9, Rose was one of the court jesters when the 6th graders from her school put on the musical Joust.  They used the high school's theater rather than the gym at their school. I enjoyed the performance.
Last week I drove 450 miles and was never more than 40 miles from my house. 185 miles of that was on Tuesday - Sara called about 8 am and asked me to do her a favor. So I drove from Milburn to Sedalia, then went into Mayfield to do her favor and a couple of errands of my own, and came back to Milburn. Later, I drove back to Sedalia and got Rose and took her with me to Metropolis IL to the Jazz Supper at Massac County High School. Baked spaghetti, salad, bread sticks, with cookies or brownies for dessert. The schools Jazz Band provided entertainment. Wednesday was my normal weekly trip to Paducah. Thursday was Alyssa's birthday, so I drove to Metropolis and took her out to lunch. Friday I went to Mayfield for the library's used book sale (I already had 16 unread books stacked up beside my bed, so it didn't really make sense to buy more). Saturday I again went to Metropolis; this time to have dinner at the Mexican restaurant there and hear the Jazz Band play again. Those kids are  good!
I think that brings us up to date, and I hear thunder, so I'll publish this and then shut down the computer.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Beanies, blankets and baby sweaters

That's what I've been knitting recently. I've spent a lot of time at granddaughter Alyssa's house and have not taken my laptop along, but I've taken plenty of yarn and needles.
Here are the beanies:
Same yarn and needles, different stitch counts - 80 on the left, and 88 on the right. Since it is a light weight yarn, they are baby- and child-size.
This one is also 80 stitches, but since it is a heavier yarn and larger needles, it is adult size.
The child-size hat is 68 stitches and the adult one is 80 stitches.

 Here the child's hat is 60 stitches and the adult's is 76. 

All of these beanies are simple knit2, purl 2 ribbing all the way up. Easy to work; don't need to think about what I'm doing. Some are long enough to turn up for extra warmth on the ears, some are not - just whatever I felt like doing at the time. They will all be donated to some agency that helps the less fortunate.

Now the blankets - baby blankets, that is:

This is very basic - garter stitch (knit every row) starting at one corner with 2 stitches, increasing one stitch every row until a reasonable size, then decreasing one stitch every row back to two stitches. Again, doesn't require much attention. The yarn used creates the stripes.
This one is still in progress (obviously).

And now the baby sweaters. I showed two in my last post; here are two more:
By now you recognize this yarn from two of the hats and one of the blankets. No buttons on this one yet - or on the two in my last post. I have trouble using a sewing needle, because of the neuropathy caused by multiple myeloma and/or the medication they gave me for it (yes, I'm still in remission after 7.5 years), so I've asked Carmen to select the buttons (some that I have are still from my mother's stash) and sew them on.
You can't get much simpler that this sweater. The slit at the neck makes it much easier to put on. I love yarns that create stripes on their own, while I just knit round and round!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

More knitting

I have finished another Baby Surprise Jacket and am working on two more. Here's the one I finished:
I only had one ball of the variegated baby colors, so when I ran out of it, I looked through my stash for coordinating colors. I first added the green (don't know why it looks blue in the picture), and when I ran out of that I added the pink. Then I extended the  sleeves with about three inches of pink ribbing. The sleeves in the pattern as written are rather short. If the three inches make them too long, they can be folded back.

Now I have started two more BSJs - one in a striping yarn that is grays and white, and the other in a yarn that will give wide stripes (color blocks?) of several pastel colors.

I've also knit three children's hats, using up leftover yarn.

Sorry about the blurry pictures.

Our weather for the last several days has not been to my liking!!! Here are a few pictures I took.
It started warming up yesterday, and some of the icicles have fallen or melted, and the cap on the birdbath is not quite so tall now. Even under the carport, Carmen's vehicle got covered.

I didn't leave the house for 8 days - there was no place I really needed to go.


Monday, January 1, 2018

And a few more knitted items

What is it? Like a piece of origami, it needs to be folded. Then it becomes this:
Well-known in the knitting community as a BSJ for Baby Surprise Jacket. It was designed many years ago by Elizabeth Zimmerman, one of the knitting greats of the 20th century. It is a nice sweater in a solid color, but really stands out when done in a self-striping yarn. This is Lion Brand Ice Cream in Tutti Frutti. I have just started another BSJ in a yarn from my stash that has lost its label. It looks interesting in the skein; we'll see how it works up.

I've also finished a few other things.
A small scarf - only 7" x 40"

A diagonal pinstripes shawl. This is my own pattern, and there are many examples of it on the blog.

And, of course, the completed temperature scarf
Colorful, isn't it?
We never had a high in the single digits, but we did have two in the teens in January, and we ended the year with a 19.

For 2018, I plan to do a scarf for each month. I'll cast on 125 stitches, leaving about 6-inch tails on each end. I will also leave 6-inch tails each day to be fringe. I may use some eyelash and other non-smooth yarns. I should come up with interesting scarves. The colors I plan to use are those on electrical resistors (are they still used as they were 50 years ago?) - black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, gray, white.

A few weeks ago, I realized that the speakers on my (small, inexpensive( CD player weren't doing well, and mentioned it to Carmen. On Christmas Eve, when Alyssa, Sara and their families came over, there was a large, wrapped package for me. This is what it contained:
The first thing this former RCA employee noticed on the box it was in was the word Victorola. It has a 3-speed turntable, which I haven't tested, because I no longer have any records. I shall have to see if Kevil Korner (local charity store that supports a sheltered workshop) has any. The radio, CD player, and cassette player all work fine. It also has Bluetooth capabilities, which I don't understand. Reggie and Stephen with playing with that part, and it seemed to work OK.