Monday, October 31, 2011

Workshop in lace

A few weeks ago I attended an all day workshop on Estonian Lace with Nancy Bush.
What lovely examples she had with her, even though I have no intention of re-creating anything like them.  She DID inspire me to go to Estonia... to seek out the yarn shops, and look at samples myself.
Lace isn't for everyone, and I've done enough of it to pick and choose what I wanted to attempt that day... Friend, Kay, had a wonderful time.  After 5 rows she threw up her hands in disgust and cheerfully frogged the whole mess when she discovered the wrong number of stitches.
Here she is half hour later, with her same 5 rows, and STILL the wrong stitches...
No, really, we laughed a lot!! Especially after lunch when we decided to pack it in!  And Nancy insisted righting the wrong...
I have this beginning of a sampler to show:
Nupps and stars!  Peacocks and lillies!  Above there are three patterns separated by a single row of garter stitch.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back to... 'normal'

Painting leaves for Grandma
Two days ago, my daughter and granddaughter departed, separating us by 4,600 miles. I am very lucky that they would travel this far to see us, and allow lots of play-time, crazy non-sense with spaghetti cooked in hot dogs, rice on the floor, paint on the sidewalks, and intermittent screams of terror at night!  Although these sound very disturbing, we enjoyed it every moment we could, and fell comatose into a stupor 2 hours after they left. We will have lasting memories of her bedtime ritual of presenting us with a blanket, in which she would allow herself to be wrapped and carried outside to view the stars, moon, and Jupiter accompanied by Twinkle, Twinkle...  It was magical for us, and doubly magical for mommy who was delivered a willing toddler with eyes closed.
Close to Grandpa.
I'm planning on picking up the pieces of my life, and returning to a busy schedule this week, but first I'll try to write some blog posts, in some sort of order so you can see what happened.
One thing I would like to address is how stressful it is to live with a 2 year old and a 16 year old.  The 2 year old, a toddler, who is crazy about all things 'doggy' (the 16 year old).  Both of them managed uncharacteristically well, since the toddler made sure there was maximum contact between them...  The 16 year old doggy was given up for lost 2 years ago when she had a severe stroke and disabled her eye-sight and walking.  Within 2 weeks, she had recovered much of her ambulatory skills which leaves her running smack into things... she sees some things on one side only, and hears nothing.  So, when she had her last visit to the vet, and it was decided that she wouldn't need a 3 year rabies shot, because, really... (a 19 year old dog?) I opted for the 3 year rabies shot.
A week later, there she is, struggling to move, struck down by another stroke, totally visually impaired, and being carried outside because of limited mobility.  Stopped eating, too.  We tried to put aside the obvious thoughts while the 2-year-old continued her fascination with all things doggy.  A big factor in this fascination was brought on by our cats (Bonnie and Clyde) who made themselves very scarce until after said toddler's bedtime.  (Bonnie provided an educational tableau one evening by letting a mouse run around in the kitchen. No pictures... but lots of mouse hunting stories.)
Today's conclusion:  She's got 'good genes' (as the vet says), and by the time we returned from the airport, our 16 year old was eating, running around, and acting very non-114 "people years".
Puppy or 114 years old? (She's looking at you...)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's been a slow month... NOT!

Where have I been?
#1:  Toddler and daughter are visiting.

#2:  I said yes to too many classes (Math, Pipe Organs, Knitting).  I love them all but I didn't realize what it would be like to combine them.

#3:  I "had" a certificate.  A gift for $100 worth of photo products from Picaboo.  One of those Groupon things... It's a great deal, but I find it quite time consuming to decide what to make, and then make it.  I've had a year, and it expires tomorrow, so I was down to the deadline with the loftiest of goals:  Clean out ALL of my old photos from generations and put them into a neat photo book.

 Good news:  I managed to create 2 books and use my certificate with one day to spare!  Bad news:  I barely touched the surface of my photo-stash.

It was fun looking at them, and running out of the room to show others, and my standards aren't so high that it should take forever... just sitting down to do the scanning and cropping... but now I can relax.  I feel I've made a dent, and I await the finished product in a week or two.
Time for more toddler!
Ah!  There's the knitting...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kniting Out

MeBee keeps torturing us with the pullover on which we gave advice.  Me Bee, you won't like it:  Cut it up and start again, we said, so here she is, 6 months later.  The weather's getting cold!
 Ellie is busy, too, only she doesn't listen to people who tell her to rip it out.  Look how happy she is, and how beautiful her shawl is!
 GrandmaK is on yet another sweater... yummy stuff.
 And GranddaughterJ is doing her best to keep up... teaching full-time, too!
 The replacement baby sweater... not needed because the dreaded cabled baby blanket was a hit.  You better hurry up, or is this one for the NEXT baby?
 Keeping warm and loving those colors.  Just one more light green, don't ya think?
Last of all, let's share the harvest!  A freeze is coming the next few nights:   Basil for all!
And date candies, all wrapped up in white paper.  Thanks, everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2011

For the love of a Hummer

Hummingbird, you cute, elusive, tiny, last bird of the summer.  I thought you were gone, then today, there you were, quietly drinking down the last of the old sugar water.
I decided to freshen it up a bit... I'll cook one cup of water for you. You'll like that so much better, and the next door neighbor thought you were gone, too.  His feeder is washed and put away.
I'll just go inside and cook up that sugar water... what's this?  PBS?  This Old House?  My how clever--they made a tiny scale model, and are putting in and taking out, and ... what's that noise?  A river running?  The neighbor mowing the lawn? There's something going on in the kitchen...
As I round the corner, I have this sinking feeling that 1 cup of sugar water should be burned up by now.  What I saw was totally unexpected.  FLAMES emerging around the edge of the lid and down into the plate below the burner... The pot was full of volcanic lava.  Poor pot.  I feel I should punish myself by trying to clean it.
Any ideas?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Can't Keep UP!

I've been busy.  Something has to give... teaching, playing, museum time, blogging, knitting, gardening, laundry, fixing things for certain visitors, sorting through photos?

I've started picking and choosing, and guess what?  Blogging is really taking a hit.  I don't read them and I don't write them (as often).
Things aren't going to get any better... I've signed up for a Nancy Bush workshop next Saturday, and my daughter and granddaughter will be visiting for the next weeks.  Remember last March, how much I got done then?  But I love you all!
I have several posts started, but they are awaiting time to fine tune.  You'll see Knit Nite, and comments from previous FO's, and ... you'll hear about my kitchen fire, of course, no pictures... too busy putting out fires and ...  but what you DO need to hear about right now, is someone else's projects.  It's in Norwegian, but don't let that scare you...  she's amazingly versatile and talented, and when I saw this last blog, I just fell off the chair.
Muffin's World showcases this person's (Jorid's) knitting, painting, crocheting, embroidery, photography and general chit-chat.  (Great recipes, too.)
This is the link to her post about Finishing the Leftovers Jacket.  Yes, she used leftover yarns and every favorite pattern she has. For more of this sort of thing, see her leg warmers on September 23.  It you aren't impressed... well, I'm speechless!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Funny shawl:
Here it is pre-blocking.

Then the foot-work.

And what it looks like when wet.

And in final shape.
Color:  Straw, this is the best true color match.

I re-shaped it several times.  There wasn't a diagram and I first tried it in a crescent shape.  As a crescent I couldn't make the points pop.
 It will probably be a favorite this winter as a "scarf" and used wrapped around my neck.  It's very lovely soft, except the beads... will they be cold?
Modeling later.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good needles, Bad needles

I've got nothing against needles, in fact, let's be truthful here:  It's the fingers that can "be bad".  I blame myself when things go wrong.  Lately, I've been scratching my head wondering why I haven't had more calamities to report.  That makes for more interesting reading:  Problem, and solution.
Funny, but I haven't had any 'near misses' or so I thought!
It always happens that way, doesn't it?  I finished a few things lately and said to myself, "Well, that's that!  Move along. No excitement here, just nice FO's."  I'm talking about my lacey socks, cashmere vest, and romper. 
 Socks?  My 'on needles' Busy Bee socks, two-at-a-time/not at the same row humbled me.  There was a rather noticeable botching of the "honey comb" in one sock which alerted me to my non-super-human cleverness.  I carefully removed 4 rows of just the honey comb/10 stitch pattern.  In my frustration I conveniently 'forgot' to take a picture... heh, heh.
I looked down and thought, "You're crazy, Lady!  You're 20+ rows into TWO (count 'em) 2 shawls of lace and you haven't even thought about the ramifications of a dropped stitch."
Then I looked down again at my hands and found... yikes!!  A dropped stitch.  Nothing like a dropped stitch to call attention to NOT having had forethought to put in a life-line.
#1  Mystery Shawl
After a little fudging and guessing where that stitch might end up, I (almost immediately) put in a life-line in both shawls.  Here's the second lifeline for shawl #2. (I'm awaiting instructions for shawl #1, so it needed just one life-line, so far.)  Number 2 may look a little lop-sided because--err, it is!  I'm doing the final 46 rows which are short rows making the middle longer than the ends.  Can't wait to stretch it out (blocking) to see what it really looks like...
#2 Oslo Walk Shawl
Lesson learned, THIS time...  I think I'll knit a cow.


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