Sunday, November 15, 2009

Breast Cancer Fundraiser

For the second year I test knit a pattern for this breast cancer calendar. Mine is the third on the bottom row. I have already signed up to test for next year. The patterns are all new, designed especially for the calendar and never before published. Click on the image on the side bar to go directly to the site to order.
I have had friends and family members with breast cancer and have had a biopsy myself. Thankfully the biopsy came back negative but it made me all the more aware of the reality so many women and men face everyday. A little bit of yarn and a little time is the least of what I can do to help find a cure.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In the Middle

Do you sometimes just not feel like doing something, even something you enjoy doing? I just haven't felt like blogging. Summer was pretty uneventful. There was no exciting knitting, knitting but not exciting. I just didn't feel I had much to share. I'm not sure I have much to share at this point but I feel like blogging again.

This is some recent knitting. Two baby hats, one child's hat and two baby bibs and a scarf that is stash busting at it's best. My friends and coworkers are accumulating children and grandchildren at what seems to be an alarming rate. I think this is linked to my age. I was at yet another funeral recently when I realized I am in the middle of my life. Considering the average life expectancy for a woman I am over half way but I don't like to think about that. What I came to realize at this funeral is that being 50 something I know a lot of people younger than I am and a lot of people older than I am. I have friends not much older than I that are going to be great grandparents and I have co workers who are younger than my own children. Working in health care and photography I see all phases of life almost daily and I realize what an amazing place I am in. I have been given the gift of caring for friends of my parents in their declining years, comforting and assisting their children in dealing with this new phase of their lives, sharing in the joy of my childrens friends marrying and starting families and I am still healthy and active enough to enjoy it. Many, many times I have heard elderly patients state they don't see what is so golden about the golden years. I now believe the golden years are the middle years. The years you can see the beginning and the end and appreciate what you have right now in the middle.

I wanted to try a pair of fingerless mitts. I picked this fun stripe from my sock yarn stash and knit away. What I learned from this project is, try them on as you go if you intend to wear them yourself. That way you would realize you would like the cuff a little closer fit and they could be a little longer here and there. The result was a fun little knit and a few teaching moments that hopefully I remember.
So, what do you do when you have knit fingerless mitts and still have yarn left over? Not enough for a pair of socks, maybe ankle socks but I didn't think of that at the time. There was this water bottle cover pattern I had been wanting to try. Perfect! Mindless knitting, perfect for a road trip and a little TV knitting. Actually remembering what I just learned from the mitts I tried the cover on my favorite water bottle. Perfect fit! While the water bottle clothed in it's new cover sat on the kitchen counter I realized I really didn't want a cover on my water bottle. I just liked the idea of a water bottle cover. Plus, there was still too much yarn but not enough to do anything with. I left the project lying on the floor next to my chair for a day or two and then it struck me. It wanted to be a reusable gift bag! So I knit on making it as tall as possible and still have enough yarn to make the icord closure. Two fun little projects, some lessons learned and just a little yarn left over. See it lying there in the middle? What do I do with that?! I am now on the hunt for a project to use up little bits of leftover sock yarn. Any suggestions?

My daughter was home for the 4th of July and we decided to make a fruit pizza for dessert. She created fireworks out of the fruit pieces. I enjoy having her home. It is amazing the things we talk about when we are working on projects together. I miss her.

A good friend, local retired doctor and nationally known author passed away this summer. I loved reading his articles each week in the newspaper, was honored to care for him when he was ill and am thankful for the influence he had on our family. He always closed his articles with, see you down the road. Thank you Don.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We Took a Little Trip

My daughter was home for a week between school sessions and we took a couple of days to run around Kansas City. We went to Independence, MO to the Truman Library. We spent some time on the Plaza and at the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. We saw "Angels and Demons", shopped a little and saw the Steamship Arabia. I would highly recommend seeing the Steamship Arabia. It is amazing that items can look that good after being buried for 130 plus years. There were food items that were still edible and a bolts of fabric that looked as good as they day they were loaded on the ship. The following pictures were some of my favorites from the Nelson-Atkins.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Iris is Giving the Roses Some Competition

This iris was by far my favorite this year. I do not remember it being this vibrant in years past if it bloomed at all. It is one that had to be transplanted a few years back and it may just now be recovering. A couple of the transplants have never bloomed since I moved them.
This reminds me of a Kansas sunset and I feel these colors knit into a garment or pieced into a wall quilt out be breathtaking. Cathie I think this looks like a piece of your beautiful work.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Look. Socks!

My first pair of socks. I am so excited mostly because they actually fit fairly well. I have since started my second pair of socks this time toe up. That is a bit different but I think I would like to know how to kit socks either direction. So far I have knit about a million stitches and the sock is barely a toe cover. Nice mindless knitting though.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Full blooms and buds alike. I love my roses.

Brown spots don't lessen the beauty in my eyes. Kansas wind tends to beat them against the deck and bruise the buds.

Even the clippings of a spent rose are a lovely site.

When that Kansas wind blows the clipped blooms to the deck floor and scatters them into a work of Mother Nature's art who am I to argue?

Then I toss them all into a basket with the trimming shears and there is more beauty at least in my eyes.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Snow, Ice, Rain, Coats and Sweaters

Granted this was back on March 28th but if you will notice there is green grass, budding leaves and the promise that soon we could put away the coats and sweaters. But, oh no. Instead the weather people spent a week telling us we would have anywhere from 6-12" of snow, maybe some ice, sleet, freezing rain but no sunshine. Of course it depended on which weather person you listened to and they changed their predictions at least daily. So we prepared to be snowed in with a pot of chili, movies, the generator tested, extra candles set out and the lamp chimneys cleaned.

Oh yes, and plenty of knitting. I decided if Old Man Winter was going to give us one more blast I was going to knit accordingly. Side note, he wasn't done that weekend either but I digress. I love this little scarf. It is stash busting at it's best. Three complementary yarns held together in a fun little twisted drop stitch. I found my hands hurting after a few rows so I was alternating between this and my first pair of socks. Pictures later.

The rain started on Friday. A lovely mixture of rain, wind, sleet but no snow. By 11:00 p.m. it was freezing rain and the trees were starting to get heavy. Saturday morning the wind really kicks up and it starts to snow. That's the first picture. Lots of little flakes and at times these huge clumps of snow. That's when the branches started to break. This is the one that hit the deck after it drug itself along the edge of the roof and invited several friends to do the same. Fortunately the bulk of it hit the ground and there was no damage to the deck or the roof. Click on the picture and you will be able to see the beautiful Cardinal sitting on a branch. There were two pair that played in those downed branches all day. What a delight to watch.

A co-worker has a new grandson. Charles Thomas, Charlie to those who know him well. But not Chuck. He isn't a Chuck. This is one of his burp cloths. Both patterns are from Mason Dixon Knitting. I love that book. Great little projects that you don't mind giving away because you didn't invest your heart and soul in them.

This is another burp cloth and a bib. I just love the little bee button.

There are ipods, and iPhones and other various electronic gear that I have yet to personally embrace but they give me more reasons to knit. So, more stash busting and what do I get? An iPhone cozy. It fits a naked phone perfectly but my daughter prefers to keep the hot pink protective sleeve on her phone. She practices safe iPhone ownership. I guess that means I will have to knit another one slightly larger. I could do something with that sentence as well but I will leave it alone. This is a pretty neat little pattern in that it includes a pocket for your ID or driver's license. I also found that between this and the socks I am learning to really like DPN's. In my last Knit Picks order I got the 4" wooden ones. The next sock gets to break, I hope not literally, those babies in.

Due to the weather mentioned above my daughter has gotten quite a bit of wear out of her arm warmers. I took this picture while visiting her over spring break. We had great fun shopping, eating and believe it or not reorganizing her closet. While shopping we picked up some shelves and storage tubs. We then gutted the closet and started over. I brought home quite a lot of items to donate to our church garage sale and she is able to find all her stuff. She even found a few things she forgot she had. It was a nice break from studying. This is a tough semester for her but it is close to over. She is looking forward to some less intensive studying classes next semester.
And last but not least this little item. I love my insert name brand here mops for quick cleaning but refuse to buy disposable cloths. More stash busting but from the "too small to start a full size project" bag I am knitting reusable cloths. This one has more mistakes than I care to count but considering it is a mop cloth, who cares? I refuse to use precious knitting time ripping out mistakes on a mop cloth. I do plan to make more of these. They work great.

Well, it is time to get ready for church. I had hoped to wear something springy and cute based on yesterdays weather. But noooooooo, mother nature wants me to wear my drab old winter stuff at least one more time. I think I will wear black, all black, because I am so tired of winter that I am in mourning.
Enjoy your day and if it is spring where you are go walk barefoot in the grass for me. Thanks ever so much.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What Do You Do?

What do you do when you have plenty of yarn left even after knitting your daughter a scarf, and an ear warmer? Well, I test knit Opulent Armwarmers .
I find I don't knit fast enough to be a good test knitter but I certainly enjoyed these. The cables are beautiful, they aren't difficult as long as you don't try to knit them during an exciting basketball game or shoot um up type of movie. I think I messed up the cable on one of them during a particularly exciting ball game. Of course I didn't realize it until I had finished that armwarmer so the cable is going to stay that way. Since the mistake is high up on the arm my daughter's coat will cover my mistake. I took creative license when photographing them and put the mistake on the bottom. They are blocking at the moment. What do you do to properly block something like this? I gave them a nice gentle bath and then stuffed them with plastic bags. I will take more pictures when I have a hand model available.

What do you do when the grand kids visit and it is almost 80 degrees outside? Well, we play in the leaves, ride our bikes and dig in the dirt. We have LOTS of trees around us so there are always plenty of leaves collecting around the house and the girls love playing in them. Grandpa is sitting on the studio steps playing with a new camera. These two either ham it up or ignore the camera completely.

What do you do when there is a lovely Sunday ahead of you with no obligations other than church? I plan to photograph some knitting in progress, take a long walk, work on my to do list and knit. Have a wonderful Sunday and let me know what you are doing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February? Are You Sure?

I really love this little car seat blanket. It has already found a home with my great nephew Wyatt. His middle name is Cooper. I like the sound of that, Wyatt Cooper. I predict great things for this little cowboy. He is my parents first great grandson and has two girl cousins. Seems like just a little while ago his daddy was a small boy.
These three vests were knit primarily at the hospital. My mom had a total knee replacement the end of October and I spent a lot of time with her. About a month later my dad broke his ankle and spent one night in the hospital. I spent the evening trying to convince him that yes he needed to spend the night in the hospital for a couple of reasons he wouldn't want me to mention here. He left by noon the next day right after my mom's physical therapy appointment.
Scattered around in there were a few emergency room visits for my father-in-law and those offer a lot of opportunity to knit, talk about knitting, teach a little knitting and in general pass time waiting for test results. Do you like the buttons I used on the vests? I know, I can't see the buttons either. I can't see them anywhere. I have, somewhere in my house, the cutest flower buttons in the perfect colors for these vests but they are hiding from me. So, I did a tiny little braid and tied the front of each vest closed and the girls slip them on over their heads. I actually kind of like the look but I really want to find those buttons.

My daughter purchased a new coat and of course needed some knitted accessories. We were in a wonderful little shop in Manhattan, Kansas called Wildflower Yarns and Knitwear. She picked out this lovely purple in Lamb's Pride Worsted as her school colors are purple and white. We bought several skeins thank goodness. I have really enjoyed this yarn. I have had difficulty getting the purple to photograph well but the colors in the neck warmer are close. It is a little darker and richer than in the photos. Anyway, I have completed a scarf, a neck warmer that I test knit from a pattern on Ravelry called Dear by Holly Peacock, Calorimetry and am test knitting a pattern for arm warmers. There are also supposed to be mittens in this yarn but I haven't gotten there yet.
I have knit a second Dear for a man and he is currently wearing it to determine where exactly he wants the button and if it is too long or not long enough. I adjusted Holly's pattern in length only and used completely different yarn than shown here and it is sooooooo yummy. Pictures to come when he returns it for any adjustments.

This was such a fun little cloth to knit. I have a Ravelry friend who lives on a lovely farm, has a beautiful country home and is just as helpful and giving as the day is long. She lost a son last year and when I saw this little scene on a cloth I knew it was ment for her.

Hopefully this launches me back into blogging mode. I had better get the camera outside and photograph some works in progress. There are always a few of those.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Join In

If you haven't visited The Dizzy Sheep lately go take a look. I have my yarn and I plan to make a square for The Blanket of Change. How about you?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is There Anything More Beautiful?

I have never had much use for politics or politicians. I said repeatedly right up to election day "will it really make a difference" who wins?

After watching as much of Tuesday's events as possible I have decided that yes, it did make a difference. Tuesday was a new beginning. There was so much symbolism, so much beauty, so much hope and so much emotion that I don't remember seeing except with the passing of someone who touched the lives of a few or the masses. The poetry, the prayers, the speech, and the music from the the quartet to Beyonce singing "At Last" were moments in history that I think I will remember as well as I remember where I was when JFK was shot, and what I was doing on 911.

Saturday I will also listen to poetry, to prayers, to music, and to memories that filled 86 years of one man's life. Saturday we will gather to honor my husband's father. He left us peacefully on January 8, 2009 surrounded by his family. His breathing changed as the sun set and he took his last breath as twilight faded into night. I had prayed two days before that he could go home with the sun and my prayer was answered in Our Lord's time, not in mine. He loved to dance and the only time I have ever felt the true joy of dancing was in his arms. He called me his street girl with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. I only had the pleasure of really getting to know him the last few months of his life and I will cherish those months until my last breath.

So, in January 2009 I have seen the book closed on one man's life and a new chapter begun in all our lives. May we all cherish the minutes, the hours and the days that we have to make music, read poems and create memories.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Want to do This

I need a jump start after our rather hectic last few weeks. I will fill you in later. In looking for a new project or something new and different I ran across this project on Ravelry and I have decided to participate.
Check it out and I hope you will want to be a part of it as well.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fiber Fest 2009

February 14, 9:00-3:00
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
828 Commercial, Emporia, KS

• Buy, sell, swap yarn, patterns and accessories.
• Learn or brush up on knitting or crocheting.
Knit: 10 a.m. (basic) and 11 a.m. (intermediate)
Crochet: 1 p.m. (basic) and 2 p.m. (intermediate)
• See demos of weaving and spinning.
• Talk to knowledgeable fiber fans.
• Get some help with your dropped stitches and other problems.

...And there’s no admission fee!

For general information, contact Karen Whittlesey at (620) 794-9107.

To buy table space to swap or sell your yarn, contact Ann O’Neill at (620) 342-6998.
Tables are $5 each, which will be donated to St. Andrew’s to help the needy of our community.

Snow date: March 7.

We are excited to host our first fiber event in Emporia. We do not have a local yarn shop but would welcome any and all vendors to join us. Currently there are several of us who have stashes to destash setting up tables.
There is a quilt shop Prairie Pieces, Plum Bazaar craft store that any beading enthusiast should not miss, as well as a variety of other businesses within walking distance.
We hope to see you in Emporia on February 14. Contact me if you have any questions.