Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Last year was our first year as a group to make lap size afghans for the retirement home residents.  I thought I was going to loose my mind.  I made several and Peggy made some and Kat made some and still it seemed that we were not getting any closer to our goal.  Sharon came back from up north and Dr.Cathy and Miss Pricilla came home and they turned in some and still I was so worried.  As it turned out December 17, 2011 rolled around and we had exactly enough.  I did a lot of crying that day.  Relief, but also sadness in that we were the only Christmas some of these folks would get.

This year we have taken on a slightly larger home.  We have Jody and Donna and LaTonia and several more. New friends who came in with us and who have been a gift from the Holy Mother. The blankets are coming in at a steady pace and I am feeling that we will make our goal.  I have done some and still have a few more I want to finish.

I am looking at all my yarn and all the projects on the needles and thinking I need to get busy on some promised projects of my own.

I have decided to make 2012 a year of Magical knitting.

First off are the shawls for my sisters of circle.  Then there are my robes. I bought that yarn back when I have yet to get anything done.  I love that yarn and it is a labor of love.

I look at my collection or projects and think ok you thirty or so… who gets to be pushed back? 

John’s birthday is coming.  He loves fedoras.  I saw a pattern to knit and felt one. I ought just knit one.  I just got in the virgin wool in black.  He’ll be able to use it for a while.

Then there is Dave.  He could use some really warm riding socks and a helmet liner.  His birthday is in November.

Why is falling love so hard on the knitting?

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Where do I start? How about Tori moved back home. Or, Tore moved home and brought her fella. Perhaps it would be easier to say that she and Leon got married on December 31, 2011.

Ok, I got my baby girl back. I am so happy to have her where I know she’s eating 3 a day and has heat and water. She went through a bad patch. I don’t think I still know the half of it. When she got really stressed she called me and asked that I bring her some yarn and crochet hooks. I was proud to pull together a big bag. They moved in with me on December 17th.

As you may have guessed there is new twist. He crochets.

He has joined us at the knitting meet ups. I have GOT to work on him about his conversational skills. Some of the things he says!

I have to date looked up a pattern for the Confederate Battle flag. Yes, there is one. I made him promise to also do an Old Glory for the Honoring our seniors program before I agreed to hunt up yarn for him. They are both red, white and blue…. Patterns for several sports teams and NASCAR, assorted household items, and I guess he will have to write his own pattern for a riffle cozy.

When we shop for yarn he looks at the camouflage. I wonder: do they make that stuff just for guys like him? He prefers steel hooks. Won’t touch one that’s “pink”.

Tori has/is teaching him Tunisian crochet. He wants to learn to make “cool blankets and stuff like Miss Kat.”

I have come to realization that the stash much now be a three way split. He is NOT getting any of my black. I have plans for it!

He is a mess in his tough red-neck mannishness. He won’t crochet with pink yarn either. He insists on being sooo manly.

I wonder: He does know he’s a crocheting man. Right?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Of all the knitting magazines on all the news stands....

Last year I was soo gleeful about ordering all the known knitting magazines available in north America. At the time I was sure this was a really good idea. I had had my fill of getting an issue of the one or two that I was usually getting and being completely disgusted that the darn thing didn’t have a single pattern I would touch with some else’s needles. Or, skipping picking one up on the rack and discovering too late that it had a couple of good ones I would have liked to have seen.

With credit card in had I began logging into the various sites. I have discovered a few things.

One, just because you have an order confirmation does not insure that the subscription is paid for. More than one of the companies waited as long as 4 weeks to attempt to charge my card. Then, when it didn’t go through ….

Two, I had envisioned sitting down to roughly one issue a month and enjoying a leisurely read. Wrong! They are all quarterly and seem to arrive all at once. I have discovered unwrapped issues sitting in the read me pile along with the oil industry and construction trade magazines. A fun little surprise, until you realize that I picked up at lest two of these on the news stand “since I didn’t have it”…. To the tune of about 4 to 6 bucks a pop…

Three, I did get more patterns I liked. And that would be the crux of the problem. I now have in addition to the ones the kids picked out when they were here… 30 yes, I said 30 projects on the needles.

Kat made the comment that she must be knitting faster since I wasn’t finishing any projects lately and she was getting all these things finished.

Gee, I thought I was in danger of giving up sleep to knit. Just, no matter what I do, I can’t seem to make and any headway. Two to four inches is about all I can get done before I am forced or called to work on one of the other projects.

Did I mention I had found some wonderful vintage yarns on Ebay and I had started projects with that… not on the list of 30.

I renewed Knitting Today. I got an issue today. They changed it to Knitting Life. I think I am delighted to report that it sucks. They dropped all the features that I had decided to get it for. And expanded the crap I was willing to overlook. The bright side is that there was not even one pattern in an ad let alone featured in the magazine that I have ANY intention of ever knitting!

Thank God!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The joy of Yarn....

I have a Lola cartoon clipped and on my wall at the office.

It reads:

There’s nothing to do. We’re snowed in. The picture is of a house with snow up to the window.

Scene moves to the kitchen; balls of yarn roll across the floor and out of closet not unlike Fibber McGee’s. (dated myself didn’t I?)
Why don’t you organize your stash?

I will as it becomes necessary.

I have committed a great sin. I have bought more yarn.

I don’t know how or why it happened. I was looking for orange yarn to gift a dearest one and there was this lot of over ten pounds and then the same seller had a bigger one of greens and then they emailed me about a friend of theirs with a store on Ebay that had some unusual cones and now ….

Now I have over thirty pounds of mostly read heart in greens and oranges and pinks and another 30 pounds or more on the way next week.

I get euphoric when the yarn arrives. I love to pull through it and sort it to put together projects!

I know what I will make with it. I just need the time to get it put where I can find it easily and then go knit it.

I figure if I make myself I can get the shelves up in the small bedroom in a little over a week. Not a daunting task. I can do it.

If I win the lottery or PCS and I get started within the next few months…. I can get it all knitted up by the time I turn 100.

Come on lucky numbers!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I begin the research of the book

I found a pattern some time ago in a “one skein wonder” knitting book. It was a top that to this day I have no clue how they thought it could ever be made out of one skein. However, the comment said that is was based on a tunic found in an ancient Grecian grave. I have made this top a dozen or so times. To say the least it takes about four skeins to make this for a woman of medium size. I guess if you made it for Barbie or Twiggy….

It got me to wondering about the history of knitting. I have begun an in-depth research of the subject. I can’t say I have learned too much, but then I am one of those history buffs. I remember about ten years or so on PBS there was one of those programs where the modern day contestants willing gave up the comforts of home and attempted to live as primitives. I remember one particularly grumpy woman who took a ball of wool yarn from the weaver the after working with a couple of sticks announced that she would be knitting socks for the “tribe”. The producers told her that it hadn’t been invented yet. She responded that she just had. She proceeded to begin knitting socks. She calmed down a great deal and with the first pair of socks became the tribal favorite and went from hateful shrew to beloved “mother”.

I tend to think in terms rather like that. No doubt some one realized that there was a need for a fabric that could be shaped to fit. Seams rub and fittings are a pain. Advent knitting.

We find tantalized fragments of knitted good from thousands of years ago. The first items found that bare a resemblance to something we recognize is more around the middle ages. It seems there were a lot of socks knitted. Some gloves and things but on the whole socks won out. I think it comes from the wonderful roundness of knitting.

The first gloves/mittens that seem to have been knitted were simple. The luscious patterns came later. My theory is that as with anything wear wears out things and the simple things used by four stair step toddlers went the way of the carved wooden spoon and bowls. They wore out and were tossed. We get fragments found in ditches sometimes.

Twineing is old, and from the look of things it was some darn sturdy stuff. The fancy patterns came along latter and were reserved for the folks who could afford it and by definition did need it so it didn’t get worn out. It got put away in trunks and later found by decedents a few hundred years later. Museum pieces though wonderful to look at aren’t a really good representative sampling of the real life of the average people. For us normal folks what was worn was functional. A woman with one at the breast and two or three crawling and toddling had no time to waste making finery that she would never wear. A shawl was for warmth and I can see where she might work in a bit of nicety for her daughter or herself or even her mother. But I think it would be more likely that the mother made that little bit of extravagance in the twilight of her life when she had years of experience with the simple and now was more free to be creative. It would be at this time that she would be allowed to sit and knit while watching the grand children.

A young girl learning would have been taught the simple and easy that would be desperately needed by a young couple. The warm socks and mittens and even sweaters and jackets. Socks are simple. They look daunting to some but they are very very simple.

I have noted that there are a great deal of recorded forms of knitting that were done while a woman was walking from point a to point b. Talk about never a moment for yourself. Imagine walking behind the herd of cattle moving them up to the summer pasture, a baby on your back, a toddler by your side, keeping track of the other kids who are supposed to be helping and your knitting socks as you go! Yet that was the way of things. It took hours to prepare each meal. There was not a store to run to for the items needed let alone the inability to buy such things!

Knitting was the art of time management. It is to this day portable. Easier than mending to take with you and requiring little thought if the pattern is simple enough.

I set out to find and copy and perhaps modernize a few patterns. I am still researching. So far I only have the one. I will find more that speak to me. That tell me about the women and girls who created them. Why were they developed and why were they remade over and over again. I think they were knitting the same patterns over and over again just as I do. There is logic in the thought. I will keep looking and keep you posted.

An explanation of knitting

The other day via text messaging I attempted to explain my knitting to a really nice guy.

He was trying hard, but it was clear that he didn’t get it. He has yet to see my stash. I am reluctant to share that. There are those who would call me a hoarder. I am not I am a collector. I know what I have and to what ends I plan to use it. All except that Christmas stuff I bought about ten years ago and I STILL can’t find a pattern I like for it. 17 skeins…. I digress.

He asked me about my knitting groups. I lost him there too. I tried to explain that the Saturday Books-A-Million was actually Kat’s group but that I attended. That it was a meeting of the greats; those of us who are currently writing books or have gained notoriety with our work. I don’t know how I fit in there, but dear sweet Kat assures me that I do.

I told him about the second Thursday Chick with Sticks. He got that one better. But isn’t sure how it works out that we are giving doll blankets to a men’s prison. He thinks the lap blankets for the nursing home are great.

He asked about the projects I have in the works. That gave me pause.

What do I have “on the needles”?

*A king size Entralac afghan in purples and greens for my bed

*An Entralac jacket in shades of orange and red for myself

*The red dress I started for Tori’s wedding, before she insisted that I wear black instead

*A Diatema in black, white, brown and yellow that I was working out the pattern for as a

full dress

* A lap blanket in blue, white and a dark blue with a silver thread in it

* Dark purple shawl in valure for the secretary at my son’s school

* A red and blue (think tech colors) lap blanket in Tunisian crochet.

* An off white afghan for a co-worker

* An afghan in LSU colors

* That other $%@$! Sock that I can’t seem to bring myself to work on

* The tie for my son’s principal in their school colors

Is that really all?

It seems like I should have more. I have got to go through my closet of project bags. I was sure I had more.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Too sick to knit

It never dawned on me that this would ever happen.

I knit on the back of a motorcycle, on my lunch break and even in bed. I will not knit it the tub. Although, I was almost tempted once. Once.

This last week I got too sick.

I sat at Books and flipped through a catalog. I have no desire to knit.

There I was surrounded by my friends and was FINALLY at Books and I didn’t care to knit.

It wasn’t the project. I had two with me. It wasn’t the witty chatter that kept me listening instead. No, I was just too sick.

I felt bad. I hurt and I didn’t want to move.

There is fear here too. I reflect on my dad. He had planned a get away with a lady. Instead of love in the air he had come home with a stomach problem that turned out to be cancer.

I am having difficulty swallowing. Soup seems to be good now. It wasn’t on Saturday.

I can manage to get things down now if I go slowly, if I avoid cold. A piece of cake sent the worst pain across my chest and down my right arm. Since when does swallowing cause pain in my arm?

I had once envisioned the scenario of my having cancer. I would be the cheerful little thing with stylish caps gaily knitting same for others. I would take advantage of my perspective to knit more tits and premi sweaters.

I am afraid. I don’t want to be the morose little soul who sits and stares. I don’t think that this is all that serious. I don’t think. I feel like it’s getting better. I don’t want to be too sick to knit. I want to always have the comfort of the click of my needles. I want to feel the rhythm of the work. I want to see it as it grows, to look at it and gauge how long I have to go how long has it been. I took great care long ago to learn to feel my way along a row of knitting. I was concerned at the time that if I lost my site I would still be able to knit. I went back and relearned it for purling and a couple of other stitches.

I am afraid. I do not ever ever ever want to be too sick to knit.