Showing posts with label Knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knitting. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Free Time on My Hands: Promenade Shawl; Piper's Journey Shawl

Yesterday, I said I would be knitting.  And yes, I did just that.  

Almost finished with the Promenade Shawl.

And the (3rd, count it) Piper's Journey Shawl is well on its way to completion.  That pretty pink yarn is from Ginny, who dyed it with pokeberries!  I am joining in with her YarnAlong.

All this knitting is happening because Julie is still in Denver in the hospital.

The news last night, set to the background of Julie crying over the cell, was that the manor is reluctant to take her back as her "home" because she is on an IV.  But the IV is only temporary, we hope, and she should be on oral medications shortly.  Does this mean Julie will need to find another nursing home placement?  Will another nursing home here in the home town take her on, or will there be further reluctance because of her complications?  (She does require lots of assistance in turning in bed, electronic lifting into her motorized wheelchair, bathing, help with her two ostomy care bags, daily wound care, etc.)  Need I go into further detail?

So instead of biting my nails, I have turned to reading (again, PomPom, I am into the Tuesday readings with help from the Paraclete) and knitting, and even getting a haircut yesterday and planning on coffee with friends this morning.

And Julie stews in Denver at hospital.  Pray hard, friends, for answers to her placement here in Grand Junction.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Into 2016

Onward and upwards.  Yesterday was quiet on the home front and our activities included an 8 AM Mass to start off the new year, followed by a Mexican food lunch at a quick food place that uses fresh ingredients.  My all time favorite salad is Cafe Rio's sweet pork salad with a cilantro and lime dressing.  HERE is a link for this recipe, a copy-cat one, but it looks like the original.

Julie was quarantined to her room yesterday with the noro virus. She had her first symptoms while visiting us on Thursday, and had to be immediately taken back to the Manor (her nursing facility). A quick phone call a moment ago says the entire Manor is now under quarantine, so I will not be visiting again today. All the halls are closed and patients must stay in their rooms. She said she felt pretty lousy yesterday, so hope by today she is improving.  We are so thankful the Manor is on top of this crazy bug and that she is well cared for.

"Look for the presence of God in your life," Pope Francis says on New Year's (LINK HERE)  It is a good message, and I will be on the lookout for His presence.  Take a look at the homily if you have a chance.  Gene and I are enjoying our new church home at IHM. This is my new app for my phone: The Pope

January 3-17 are the dates our parish will host homeless men overnight, providing food and shelter.  This is the link for the sponsoring shelter.  I am looking at all recipes to make inexpensive but nutritious trail mix, stored in give-away zip lock bags.  Please email or comment on this post if you have a recipe your would recommend that would make 25 or so cups of mix.  Here are a few I found: link

OK, today's update must include a new knit I made from left-over yarns.  It is the Interrupted Striped Cowl by Gretchen Tracy.

It is my first 2016 knit project, made to go with my new Eddie Bauer flannel shirt:

Although colors are not accurate on my monitor screen, the colors really DO coordinate!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dog Biscuits

Julie suggested that The Manor House give dog biscuits to our local no-kill animal shelter for a Christmas gift.

Here is the recipe I forwarded to the activity director where today some of the residents will make these treats.  I found my old dog bone cookie cutter we will use, tucked away in a plastic bag that has housed cutters since time began; the plastic looks a bit worse for wear but the old cutter is still sharp. My thick notebook of recipes is kept mostly for nostalgic purposes, but it came in handy on this occasion.

 Cindy, Activity Director at the Manor, in Christmas attire!
Charley rolling dough

Nancy and Connie tasting the dough

 Julie's Big Idea to make dog biscuits!

Can you believe these herbs are still alive in mid December?  They are watered faithfully, and they keep on giving.

Last evening I finished 2/3 of the knitting required to make up the Promenade Shawl.  It was begun in July, so I have been fairly slow in the needle process. Each row must have a thousand stitches, and there are too many rows to count.  Add those stitches to changing colors, and it is mind boggling for knitting.

On another note, here is a present for Julie I have saved up for Christmas: another When In Scotland shawl.

Hoping your weekend is a good one!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Cardioversion, A Birthday, A Shawl

What do you call a "busy week?"  For just the husband and myself, the week now ending could be called filled with activity, if you consider numerous visits to various physicians and a birthday lunch a bit out of the ordinary.

Yesterday was the husband's birthday; he spent half the morning in the hospital being zapped by electricity through his heart. Actual terminology is cardioversion; he has been in atrial fibrillation for quite a while now, so that is an effort to get the heart beating correctly. This morning he said his chest felt like someone had punched him hard, poor guy. But yesterday the nurse ordered him a full breakfast and asked kitchen staff for a piece of cake since it was his birthday. Cake was not to be found, but the tray came with a cookie that I wrapped up and took back home for his dessert celebration.

Julie came home two days ago, again in the big white bus, for a lunch with relatives. She comes every Thursday now and seems to enjoy being away from the nursing home.  She says she feels like a released inmate when she travels away from there.  I hope she is kidding, I think she is kidding, but I understand.  Julie gets good care there and the staff is conscientious.  I now think of the nurses and activity directors as friends.  The on site social worker even gifts Julie various Word Chum apparel and is very fond of Julie. Julie is easy to like. 

And next week Julie has two appointments with physicians away from the Manor, so we will both take the big white bus to see a GI doc and a surgeon.  Julie will likely have an operation fairly soon to take away some diseased colon, but enough of that.

Frost was on the lawn this morning and it is below freezing during the night hours.  An owl was heard hooting around 6 AM, but he has not appeared in our owl house yet.  Gene says it sounds like a Great Horned Owl, not like the screech owl that lived in our back yard last winter.  We keep close watch on the doggies when they are outside because critters, raccoons and foxes, are coming down from the mountains in search of food.

On the knitting front, I am almost finished with another shawl for Julie.  This one I am keeping back as a Christmas present, along with a purchased flannel lounger in exactly the same colors. Notice Libby is modeling the shawl and not seeming very interested in the process.

About time to get out and to the favorite Mexican food place to get Julie and me some take-out for lunch, then on to the Manor.  I get enough for us so that I can eat with her not only on Saturdays, but also on Sunday after church.  Would that be called left over left overs?  The other lunches during the week, I usually take soup and eat with her in the Garden Room at the Manor while she has a food tray served.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

One Stitch at a Time

It just occurred to me that I have not yet shown knitting progress on a kit I purchased soon after Julie and I returned to Colorado in May.

That month of May in South Carolina was a complete wash in terms of knitting. Even if there had been time to sit down and knit, there was not a whit of concentration left in my frazzled mind.  So just as well that my hands had a break from the needles.

During June, I finished one of The Yarn Harlot books.  A story she wrote stuck with me when she talked about a woman in her circle of friends who took on the daunting task of beginning to knit a blanket, a huge one.  The woman in the story decided to begin this project while in the midst of several personal crises, including severe depression and the break up of her marriage.  McFee, aka The Yarn Harlot, went on to write that this woman, stitch by stitch, finished one row and then another, day by day, week by week. Lo and behold, after a year, the blanket was completed.  Somehow, the working of the project, the clearing of the mind, that entire process of making a blanket required a different sort of concentration of efforts.  And it resulted in more than just a finished blanket. With the ending of that enormous knitting effort, her depression had lifted and she had made important decisions, including one to end her marriage.  What determination she had.

Back to my tie-in and identification with the woman who undertook that blanket project.  No, I am not leaving my husband. But I did decide to order from a Norwegian designer who had put together kits for the most determined of knitters.  Those who had knit up this daunting project took months to complete it, according to their notes on Ravelry.  So I took the mental plunge back in June and bought the kit, knowing I would eventually complete it because I must finish what I start... a compulsion.  It may take a while to complete, but each completed stitch will work toward good mental health.

So this is the Promenade Shawl now on the needles, started in June:

But then I got distracted with other projects, like knitting up Julie's acrylic shawl just in time for cool weather.

She wore it yesterday on her Wednesday visit to our house.  Her aide helped to choose the dress from her closet to match the shawl, and got her ready.  Julie was all smiles when Dennis delivered her to our curb.  Gene made guacamole and tacos at her request.

Joining in with Ginny and her Yarn Along!

Julie and I took a leisurely wheel over to the hospice restaurant again this week. After thinking about the Ezra book and praying about the situation, it went much better than our first outing there. Thank you all for your kind comments about the Very Busy woman, by the way.  (And no, I have not heard from Her again.)

Here we are in the sun before our lunch.  A kind gentleman snagged from a nearby bench was the photographer.

Recipes tried this week: Beer Bread, and Rosemary Bread, thanks to Stephanie who blogs here.  Ya'll have a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Another Simple Knit Shawl

Fall begins tomorrow, so we hear. Pope Francis arrives in the US today.

And another, yes another, shawl is in the works. Yarn, courtesy of Knit Picks, all acrylic, which goes against my yarn snobbery instinct for wool.  But it can't be beat for wash-ability.  

Julie chose her colors, neither picture showing up quite as the eye sees the pinks and magenta. The pattern is knitting up quickly.

When I show any knitting project to some of the women residents where Julie lives, they almost always comment on attached knitting markers.  It seems that the little markers catch their eye as much as the colors.  Or perhaps it is merely a conversation starter.

Hobby Lobby had some cute labels in a 9" x 24" panel.  You are supposed to cut them out and attach to clothing, after writing your name on the inside with permanent ink.  Clever.

Our roses have been prolific this year.  And they continue to bloom now.  I picked up several inexpensive glass bottles, vases, for give away rose containers, and it is again time to buy more since those roses just will not give up production.  The cup holders in the car make perfect little containers for the blooms in the little brightly colored glass holders.  The rose leaves are almost half eaten by some critters, so I probably have not been a good steward of feeding them fertilizer and bug killer.  Will rectify that this morning before the clouds roll in.

Pope Francis comes to the US today.  Interesting reads about the pontiff here and here and here (re-branding the faith?).  Gene and I are attending RCIA classes on Tuesday evenings, and there has been some good discussion there.
(almost life-like)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sharing Goodness

Indulge me in the sharing of the goodness I found and re-found today in searching the web.  Here are web sites, readily accessed in the future for perhaps Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) or recipes or music or books (if I remember this particular post).
Julie is at Colorado Canyons Hospital, back from South Carolina last week, and is faring well.  Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes.  We hope for a Grand Junction placement soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Watermelon Socks?

Have you heard of picture yarn?  Well, Abi Grasso from Colorado Springs dyes it up in all kinds of colors with graphics that make pictures when knit.  She has an Etsy shop here.

Example: my watermelon socks

A neat trick, and the pictures are either closer together or conversely, further apart, given the size needles you use for knitting.  At one time, Abi dyed Santa Claus yarn, but it is not available this time of year.

This watermelon yarn was knit on size 1 needles and I was oh, so careful, to make the stripes match up because that is my OCD (my little tiny problem) that comes out in my knitting.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with Elise working on a new website for The Grand Junction Brush and Palette Club.  We put together pictures but we need many more for greater punch to show off this club.  It looks like only my photos are on there now, because others have not yet sent theirs in.  This is where you can see the Brush and Palette new website.  

Next week's program on April 16 at the Artist's Haven in Grand Junction will be a not-to-miss activity with Jim Brock.

He says:
My work is accomplished for its meditative possibilities. It is reflective of my interest in contemplative art that explores nature´s dualities, serendipitous qualities, and inherent spiritual mystery. 
There are three things that my work is teaching me – what to paint and what not to paint, when to start and when to stop, and when to have at it alone and when to ask for help – all dual, serendipitous, and spiritual.
Jim Brock 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Luck

As I have previously said, Jeans Knitting is one of the first reads of the morning when sitting in my chair, or actually my husband's chair, after I get up and turn on the fire and have coffee in hand.  She blogs daily and wakes me up with her perspective on her coming day.  Jean makes lists of things that she needs to accomplish that day. And updates me, for of course she is writing to me from Edinburgh, telling in her quaint ways of what on her yesterday's list was accomplished and what yet needs to be finished from her uncompleted list.  Most days she gives herself  a 100 percent rating, but a few times she laments that she was just too tired to finish one or two of her self assigned tasks.

Seems I follow Jean closely because I think of her as my one-generation-older friend who is keeping it together in her own way.  So maybe a list is the thing to keep in the forefront of my mind as I try to age with grace and wisdom.

So back to Jean's list, or my list, for the day.  Half of her day seems to involve taking care that her octogenarian, somewhat cranky husband, as she gets his lunch and keeps his writing files in order. That part of my day, compared with hers, does not exist, since my husband is in a reverse role with his own mother and ensuring she is fed and watered,  Although she still lives independently, except for not driving and having severe macular degeneration and not being able to read much or change the time on the clock or figure out how to order on Amazon.  But he needs no care whatsoever, other than being listened to, and occasional affectionate words and kisses.

Then Jean's list goes on to her knitting.  My, what a knitter she is, even to the point of designing her own laces and looking into software to aid in her motif designs.

My knitting, sorely neglected as of late, consists of this pair of socks on the needles, using picture yarn.  Google it and you will see clever yarns that have been mathematically designed to create pictures within the pattern, no matter the gauge you are using.  Here is a picture of my watermelon socks.  Notice those little black dots of color that play into the reds for the seeds within.

these are The Perfect Fit Socks, Abi Grasso Etsy Shop yarn

On the cooking front, two recipes I made this weekend are absolutely the best: carrot cake and hush puppies.

No pictures, but the carrot cake was found here, originally published by Southern Living. It has the usual suspects in the batter of grated carrots, crushed pineapple, with a little surprise of coconut.  We liked it, the neighbors liked it and I am serving it to friends today at coffee and tomorrow (frozen, but thawed) to the pinocle card group.

I was looking for an old fashioned sweet hush puppy like my grandmother used to make, but times have changed and what I found was from Paul Prudhomme, found here. We had fried trout with the couture hush puppies. Those puppies have onion, green onion tops, red pepper and only one egg, but after setting for a couple of hours in the fridge, the juices from the vegetables incorporate themselves into the flour and cornmeal and give an excellent texture. Beware these pups are fried, and I used only a film of grease, but they soaked up every bit of that canola oil. Not low calorie, but delicious. (And I did not find one recipe that called for just cornmeal, flour, egg and sugar, like Mom used to make.)

Saturday, I thought I was buying plain ol' johnny jump-ups for a splash of blue color on the patio while waiting for anything to rear its pretty head from the cold soil.  When I got home, I looked at the label more clearly after planting it and was happily surprised to learn I had purchased Rock Cress Axcent Lilac plants, a perennial.  What luck!  I needed new perennials.

The husband reminded me of what Garrison Keillor said:

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. ” 
― Garrison KeillorLake Wobegon U.S.A.

If you are following Angela in A Pause in Lent, I have written a piece on Path to Writing concerning what I heard yesterday in church since we are just two weeks away from Easter.  (It is under revision, in case you click on it and do not see it.)

Have a great week, and haste ye back in a few days to see the laundry line bowls in progress, thanks to the tip from Elizabeth, seen here when she writes about Washing-Tale Lines.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fair Isle Knit Socks and More

Phew.  Those fair isle socks (only two yarn colors per row, knit intermittently while holding the opposing color in the back of the knitting) are complete.

What with all the self striping sock yarns now available, I doubt if anyone other than an experienced knitter could tell that the technique used in whipping up these socks was indeed "fair isle" knitting.

Alas, one of the women from the Shetland Fair Isle Knitting Guild (link here for information and pictures) (link here for more pictures) (and also here for a knitting workshop blog post) would be able to differentiate and critique this knitting.  They could right away spot my errors.

But I continue working on the technique and do have a bit of prior fair isle knitting under my belt:

(Our Mercy)
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing kit by Sandra Manson and Kate Davies, using all nine shades of 2 ply Shetland Supreme wool yarns from various types of sheep on Shetland) .. kit available here

Now I have the bright idea of trying to create a portion of this picture in fair isle knitting, along with reference help from the Book of Fair Isle Knitting by Alice Starmore. 

Giovanni Battista di Jacopo (Italian Mannerist painter, 1494–1540), known as Rosso Fiorentino (meaning the Red Florentine in Italian) Angel with Lute Madonna dello Spedalingo

If I can graph this out correctly ensuring the shading on the cherub, it should be a year long knitting project taking a lot of patience and many shades of yarn. Pinterest has some graphing aides, along with Starmore's book.  There are very few Renaissance needlepoint kits with angels, and none that I could unearth on the internet linking angels, Renaissance and knitting.  If you know of any such kits, including needlepoint, please leave me a comment as it would save lots of time if I could find a kit readily available.

Linking with Ginny's Yarn Along this Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December Happenings

One of the blog feeds that comes to me daily is that of BJWS. Her blog is entitled "It's About Time," a reference to the many essays and pictures she posts from various historical eras.

BJ posted a picture several days ago that I will try to paint in oils for future Christmas display.  It is from the 13th or 14th century, and depicts angels and lutes.  The colors are vibrant.  It just "feels" like Christmas.

Mariotto de Nardo (1394-1424) Virgin and Child, Detail Angel musicians

We shall see if I can do it any justice.  It may be personal hubris to even try to recreate this angelic scene, but if seeking to paint with humility, realizing one's small talent, and/or simply trying to make a spiritual feel in one's home is hubris, so be it.  The quest continues.

Other than trying to keep down a persistent cough and struggling with viruses in both body and computer, I have been knitting intarsia socks.  Have you tried TOFUtsies sock yarn?  It is partially made from wool, soysilk and Chitin (made from shrimp and crab shells, a marketing gimmick that tells the fiber has naturally antibacterial properties).  It sold me. And the price point is practically a give away.  After waiting with bated breath over the weekend, this came in the mail yesterday,  The TOFUtsies yarn was even packaged in a little happy net bag with a silk ribbon drawstring.

This is one Salsa Sock in progress, found on Ravelery here.

Next month, I am looking forward to attending a women's writing retreat taught by Sandra Dorr and Susan Crosby.  If you google Sandra in Grand Junction, you will find out that she is an author, teacher, artist, and all around Renaissance woman.  Susan, a yoga teacher, likely has similar credentials.  All the information about the retreat can be found at this link. It will be held at the Redstone Inn in mountainous Colorado.

This is a teaser on the above link that caught my eye:

“You are perfect just as you are. And you could
use a little improvement.”
Suzuki Roshi

More history and lovely photographs of The Redstone Inn, an historic mining community built in the late 1800's, can be found here.   Come join in the wilderness experience!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crafting with the Lutherans

Tomorrow and Saturday the church ladies (and a few men helpers) will be involved in the





Friday hours are 9 AM to 2 PM      Saturday hours are 9 AM to 2 PM
Bazaar proceeds benefit ALC Women’s Ministries and local service organizations

Here are the knitted items I've knitted over the past couple of years and will donate to the bazaar to perhaps bring in a few dollars for the American Lutheran Church ministries:

The Elowen shawl on Ravelry:

and the Wilhelmina Shawlette on Ravelry, including a few color coordinated accessories:

This week I finished knitting the Norwegian Shawl by Sivia Harding, with yarn from Louet Gem merino fiber. This project took four weeks to knit.  There were very few problems in crafting this lace shawl; it was well written and the yarn was very well behaved. Generally, I wear shawls with the spined upper edge at the neck and the longer pieces wrapped around and, so the finished dimensions of 62 inches in length (29 inches in depth) will give adequate coverage to the neck, shoulder and front area.

Joining in with Fiber Arts Friday, Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia and Yarn Along for sharing.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Beanie for Alonzo & Zucchini Cake

Babies need hats.  Purl Bee has a cute pattern for a heirloom hat that made up in just a day or two.

Originally, the thought was to make a pair of booties, but after making the first one and realizing it looked too large, I checked the pattern and saw I had cast on too many stitches.  The second one looked lots better, meaning I have to rip out that first stay on bootie and start all over.  Can I get it done in time for Sunday when the hand off is to occur?

And, in the meantime, this is on the needles: Norwegian Shawl or Scarf.

For your culinary pleasure, I was directed toward a  recipe that is excellent; a fairly heavy zucchini cake with lots of cream cheese frosting with zested orange.  Have a look here.  My notes here.

Our neighbor keeps supplying us with his zucchini, and we keep trying new things with them.  Not a single zucchini has been harmed or wasted in the process of experimentation.  We took over a portion of this cake to them as a "thank you", and they upped us by bringing over zucchini brownies.  Not a bad deal.

Leaving you with this bumblebee on a cosmos.  They are busy little things.