Thursday, September 30, 2010

Going to the UK today

Packing just one suitcase and one backpack for the CRAFTLIT TOUR , I'm off today to walk the streets where classic English authors walked.  London, Bath and Wales are the destinations.

Now if I can just remember which of the many little fabric and plastic bags, sacks and envelopes contain those necessary travel accessories in the luggage, we're all set.  (It will be like playing Concentration when looking for those aspirin or that iTouch recharger.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wooden Crochet Hooks

These lovely hand fashioned crochet hooks were made by William Schmidt of Turn of the Century.

Having recently taken up crochet, and reading that wooden crochet hooks were easier to hold and made pulling yarns less taxing on finger joints, I found this one in walnut and ergonomically fashioned.  The shop is on Etsy and owned by DCWoodcraft.

 DCWoodcraft's Etsy shop made purchasing quick, and DC efficiently sent it out the next day.  The postal service cooperated by sending it quickly.

This hook feels smooth, organic and comfortable while working with it.  My SIL says she really likes hers, too.  SIL has one made in cherry wood in size "J", although any millimeter sized hook can be purchased.

Here is the crocheted baby blanket in progress with the ergonomic hook attached:

Pleased with the wood hook, I might get rid of most of those stashed plastic crochet hooks.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Color Saturday

We took a little drive yesterday up past Powderhorn Ski Resort and on to the mesa east of Grand Junction, CO.

Petraglyphs beside CO 141:

Husband on left and friends on right ... a few fish in the lake.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Read the Directions First

The Haruni Scarf is finished with major modifications, because I started knitting in haste and then repented in leisure.

It is a lace knit.  If you look carefully, one side is one stitch "off".  So I added a ruffle, and there ya go: finished.  Size 40" x 19" with a modified edging.

Close up of the bottom of the triangle:

The original free download for the Ravelry Emily Ross pattern can be accessed here.

Next time I knit this pattern, I'll re-read through all the directions. o:(

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Remember Albom's book: The Five People You Meet in Heaven?

Generous Omi, thank you for picking my comment from your posting a few weeks ago, and sending me such a nice box full of goodies.

You might want to read about the amazing occurrence here that Omi and her dog were lucky enough to encounter...spoiler alert: a $500 table she coveted 11 years ago she now owns.

Back to the treats that Omi sent: at least 30 items including little soaps, trinkets, books, charms, buttons, yarn, magazines, pin cushions.  Oh, my!  She even sent extra goodies because she knows they can be passed along to our local hospice patients.

Which leads me to the wonderful thing that happened yesterday while Libby and I were visiting a very ill elderly woman in her last hours of her long life;  and hence, the title of the blog post.
                                                                The Event

Our patient (Mrs. A) was not rousing when Libby and I arrived at the nursing home, along with our special friend and new hospice volunteer, Mary.  The aides said she had been asleep all morning and they could not awaken her, and that likely she had only a few more hours of life.

Libby licked Mrs. A's hand and I talked to her, placing my hand on her shoulder.  Within five minutes, Mrs. A. began a very lucid conversation, and talked about how her daughters had come from long distances over the weekend to visit with her.  Mrs. A. petted Libby and continued in conversation with us for 20 minutes more. The nurses and aides were surprised that she rallied to raise her head and talk with us.

After Mrs. A was fully awake and conscious of her surroundings, an elderly woman was brought in to the room by her middle aged daughter.  The visitor was in a wheelchair, connected to oxygen and had a bit of difficulty in speaking due to lack of breath, but we understood within a few moments that this visitor was Mrs. A's long time best friend.

Mary, Libby and I excused ourselves with heartfelt goodbyes and returned to our car. 

Mitch Albom  in his book The Five People You Meet in Heaven posits that we are all connected to another, and that an action undertaken by one person is destined to have an unanticipated and often life-changing influence upon someone else.

Perhaps the reason for our simple visit and leaving a small gift was simply to awaken Mrs. A. so that she could see her best friend and talk a bit with her before she left this world.

Makes sense to me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where are all those American Jobs? Outsourced, of Course

A couple of days ago, I had to reschedule some flights due to an unexpected medical occurrence. Not to worry, United Airlines and Patel, answering the 1-800 number from out of this country, helped me reschedule. This two-way conversation consumed about half an hour, and only after he had to repeat most of what he said at least twice because of my difficulty in understanding his British/American/Indonesian accent.

After our transactions were concluded, Patel asked my level of business satisfaction, on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest level of satisfaction. It took me a split second to decide on the level "3"; an accurate and very generous response, I thought. Patel seemed very disappointed in that response, and you could almost hear his sigh of disappointment in only receiving a "3". He asked me why he had received this seemingly low number. I replied (likely in too much of an exasperated tone) that it was because our half hour conversation could have been transacted in about two or three minutes, if only I could have understood what he was trying to tell me in our lengthy discourse.

Poor Patel, I probably cost him a bonus that day because his customer satisfaction levels with United Airlines was less than exemplary.

Along the same lines, James Lileks tweeted this:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Therapy Dogs and Getting Ready for Dog Work

Just an update on Libby and her Therapy Dogs International visits: she has been awarded a new certificate for 250 completed "official" visits with clients requesting her pooch services of dog licks and cuddling.

This is her previous certificate.
Her "new" certificate is in the mail.

(See video on sidebar for Libby's Work Day)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nostalgia in the Fall with Fidget Pie

Since my children were small, every autumn brought out the baker in me and the need to make fidget pie. 

This pattern of making a fidget pie with apples and potatoes first started when we lived in Michigan and the fall season brimmed with gorgeous pumpkins seen along the roadside.  Of course, apples and apple cider were in abundance, too.

Here is a scanned page of a fidget pie recipe that must be over thirty years old, and still resides in my jumbled hodgepodge of recipes that cannot be discarded:

My husband has played along with the "Season of Fidget Pie" each September, and made an excellent one last week.  He wrote the recipe and has pictures of his pie here.

The main ingredients are potatoes, apples, diced ham, onions, a bit of apple cider, and a buttery pie crust.  It was delicious!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday's Thought

Love your neighbor as thyself.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Baby Blanket for Nephew Jackson

A new baby blanket for a new nephew!  Niece Erin is over the moon about becoming somebody's mom next month.

This is the front cover of the pamphlet where I found the pattern for this cozy item made for Baby Jackson:

Sandnes Lanett 9910 Baby 0-4 Pamphlet
(a paperback booklet from Norway)

Knit in mostly a multicolord heathered yarn, the details on the hearts did not pop out.  Instead, after knitting one lace repeat of the hearts at one end of the blanket, a light blue acrylic yarn was added to the interior of the piece, and another 80 rounds or so of the heather.  The major modifications to the original pattern were:
  • 12 repeats of the ten stitch lace chart were used, with 120 stitches per row
  • the blanket was made much larger by knitting more rows
  • two of the chart patterns were substituted for a simpler design
  • a contrasting lighter yarn was used for the inner part of the blanket
  • acrylic yarns were used instead of the wools specified 
  • an attached Icord bound off the two shorter edges
  • a single crochet was added to bind off the longer edges
                                                   the chart:

some definition:

This is the completed blanket with specs that can be found here on Ravelry:

                                                         finished size: 35" x 41"

Hopefully, Jackson will drag around this easy-care blankie for several years to come.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lace Shawl (Eliina): A Ravelry Favorite

Those knitting errors that caused me such grief (rows and rows of lace kntting that had to be ripped out):

Never fear, it is now completed:

It grew as it was knitted.  Finished size: 90" by 51".  Specs are here on Ravelry.

The Eliina Shawl is a free pattern download available by designer Lankakomero.  It is available here.

It will stay on a living room chair nearby the fireplace.  The Debbie Bliss cashmerino wool  that it was knit with will be comfy and soft as a throw this fall and winter.  (That cashmerino wool is often used in high-end baby accessories.)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jell-O Mold with 10 Layers

This is from Craftzine, including the Jell-O mold picture.

How To Make Stuff - Ten Layer Jello from Rarebit Productions on Vimeo.

Wow.  If you thought the video was lengthy, think how long it would take to make this dessert.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Photographs at Summer's End

SIL Jack has some great pictures on his Flickr account.  He sent one on email yesterday, so I'll show it along with some others from our garden.  (Go here to see more of Jack's photographs.)

This is a volunteer sunflower growing alongside morning glories.

These morning glories are also volunteers from seeds sown several years ago.

Can you see the spider web to the right of the head of the plastic iguana below?

This summer, 12 yellow finches were eating from their feeder at the same time!  Below, four were caught on camera a bit later

It feels like autumn in Colorado, although we still have three weeks of summer left.