Friday, August 28, 2009

Losing a Friend

Monday, August 24th brought the call I dreaded, but knew to be inevitable. Our dear friend and neighbor Bernice was called home to her holy reward. Those of us left behind mourn her passing more than my words can possibly convey. Among the many things I'll miss about her are her smiling face and cheerful greetings.

To keep my hands busy during the difficult days while Bernice fought to live I've been crocheting this car seat blanket for our soon to be born granddaughter. This blanket is done in half double crochet, and after doing what seemed like tens of thousands of them my determination won out! The pattern is available free on the Bernat web site. I did change the edging to make the blanket a bit more girly. I'll make the pattern again, but the next time it will be knit and I'll narrow the leg portion as the excess makes the blanket quite heavy.

Also on my needles is a pair of socks, the Mermaid socks by Lucy Neatby. I am putting my own twist on them by knitting them toe up, and so far they seem to be coming out well. The yarn is Knit Picks Filici in Martinique. I'm disappointed to find there are very few sock yarns available that have distinct stripes without a jacquard look. If you know of a yarn that will compliment this pattern well please email me. I have some Luna Park yarn from Ornaghi Filati that may stripe enough to work but not sure until I try it. I may resort to several solid colors of yarn to get the look I want. I've also contacted Lisa Souza about dyeing yarn for me as I have no interest in trying it myself.
Today is a milestone in our family as my youngest son and a friend opened their own luxury tattoo shop in Colorado Springs, Co. The name of the shop is "To The Grave Luxury Tattoo". They have a web site in the works but it isn't ready yet.
Our youngest daughter has arrived safely in Colorado Springs where she will be living. Never one to shy from adventure, she drove a rental truck towing a trailer with her car on it, her St. Bernard keeping her company all the way. Only one small blip along the way, and that was a blow out of two tires, one precipitating the other causing a delay of several hours as the repair person brought only one tire, and decided to take the wheels with him, mount the tires at the shop and bring them back. It's not her first experience with rental trucks and towing a trailer, she did it on her last move also.
I'm off to treat my cold symptoms . . . passed from hubby to me with love!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thankfulness, Knitting, Crochet and Good Buys

There are so many things today that I'm thankful for, and I don't say it publicly often enough! Today I'm especially thankful for my health. Having several friends, as well a daughter who are fighting cancer makes me realize that the insomnia I'm dealing with is peanuts in comparison. In addition, my friend Bernice is still hospitalized in critical condition, and we have a niece also hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

Two recently completed knitting projects are a sweater for our soon to be born granddaughter. It's the Thistle and Clover pattern by Bonnie Evans. I'm very happy with the result. I have buttons for it, but they're a little brighter than I realized as I didn't have the sweater with me when I chose them. I may decide to choose another button yet.

Also completed are a pair of socks that my friend, Kathleen, knit the foot of on her CSM (circular sock knitting machine) and then mailed them along with a skein of yarn so I could knit the cuffs in whatever pattern I chose. I used the River Rapids pattern and I love the result, they are so comfy. The pattern can be found here. I'm anxious to start another pair, but this time I'll knit the foot portion too. Choosing the yarn will be fun as my stash of sock yarn would make people think I knit a lot of socks. The truth is . . . I'd like to wish I did, and some day I will knit more than I do now.
Currently I'm crocheting a car seat blanket for the granddaughter who is due in late September! It's the Softee Car Seat Pattern from Bernat. It's free to sign up and get their free patterns. The yarn came from a thrift store, but after weighting my yarn I was afraid that I would run short so I picked up a skein of it at Beverly's Crafts. Fortunately it's a Red Heart yarn that is still in production and even though it has a dye lot, the difference doesn't show at all.
Now for the exciting buys . . . at our local Friends of the Library store I found loads of knitting books . . . I picked up several, $145.00 worth for only $29.00!!!! I got the Little Box of Scarves II, as well as the Winter Knits Kit, 99 knit stitches from Leisure Arts, Knitting Pretty, Two Balls or Less, as well as a few I can't think of at the moment, and they're in the other room. At the thrift store I picked up a dozen balls of novelty yarn for scarves and two and a half skeins of baby yarn all for either $5 or $6 dollars. I think my best buy may have been Anne Akers Johnson's Knitting kit for $1.00! It's the book, yarn, a set of knitting needles, a crochet hook, yarn needle and two buttons! We bought a similar book/kit for one of our granddaughters about 4 years ago and paid about $25 for it. There were a couple of extra items in it, but also the needles and crochet hook were missing, but I had a pair of the same needles and an extra crochet hook that I put in. I'll give it to our great niece if she's still interested in knitting. She learned to knit last fall, but has no one to help her unless she comes here. She's old enough to use the instructions in this book if she wants.
7 things I'm thankful for;
my health, grandchildren, good friends, enough to eat, our kitties, my loving hubby and freedom!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Knitting away

There has been lots of knitting going on as I taught two of my daughters (by love) how to knit in the past few weeks. It's always fun to pass on the love of fiber and needles. Both of the girls took to knitting quickly, of course they are adults, but not every adult takes to knitting easily. As for my own projects, I've finished the shawl for my friend Bernice. It still needs to be blocked.

Bernice is fighting valiantly, but has had several set backs recently. Her liver is not filtering her blood well causing an elevated amonia level. This means putting her on a medication that causes diarrhea. She has also had a very slow heartbeat which led to requiring the assistance of a pacemaker. Additionally, one of her two skin grafts is not taking and requires clean dressings three times a day. As though she hasn't been through enough they have also found a bed sore on her head so they had to shave the area so they can keep it clean and treated. Please, if you are a praying person, keep her and her daughters and their families in your prayers. They have been through so much lately, they really need your prayers at this difficult time.
This week I've been moving between knitting a simple diagonal scarf in Vivace 100% bamboo yarn which has been my take along knitting, even though I haven't gone anywhere. Also, the cuffs of a pair of socks in a faux cable pattern, the Thistle and Clover baby sweater in Canadiana, and a lace scarf in Rowan Kidsilk Haze. There is also another scarf in progress in the Robin yarn the girls brought from England.

Speaking of which, here is a picture the yarn they brought me! The Robin is a dk weight acrylic that reminds me of an English Garden. The Spirit is 100% wool, that hasn't told me what it wants to be and the ZigZag is sock yarn! They also brought me post cards, a post card size book of sheep that are raised in the area, and a hand made note card with a sheep on it whose coat is real wool roving and above the sheep there is a pair of miniature knitting needles with a swatch of knitted fabric. It's very cool! They even brought me candy called Sheep Droppings which are a lot like Milk Duds.
I've started the Curve of Pursuit blanket for one of the granddaughters but am struggling to pick up stitches on the sides of a square knit on the diagonal because I'm a tight knitter, so I've decided I will reknit it on needles two sizes larger and try slipping the first stitch of each row. That should help considerably. I had no problem picking up stitches for the sleeves of the Thistle and Clover baby sweater.

My lower back has been giving me what for, and I can't quite figure out what I did to cause it, but I'm more than ready to have it go away! It has kept me out of the kitchen, which is a treat, but I'd gladly rather cook than put up with the pain and stiffness.

Momma Mia is coming on, catch you later!!