Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dry Spell for a Reason. A New Family Member?

Ok, I think I mentioned that I hadn't knit or crocheted lately (except for the now non-existent doily). I mentioned some reasons, and one of them was cleaning. A lot of organizing and cleaning was put off when Fred had his operation and was recuperating at home. Now he's back at work and I have my schedule back.
Today I got to the two boxes I've been meaning to get to since we moved the computer armoire the week of January 10th. One box was household files, and the other was full of office supplies. Then I started in on a box of VHS tapes I bought at a church fair. What am I doing with them? Taking them apart. For the tape. To knit or crochet with. Yes I said I was going to knit or crochet (might do both) with. A long time ago I was on an email list I believe was called "Artfiber". I crocheted a tote bag out of VHS tapes I bought from a mom and pop video store I worked at. It was for a swap. I hope the recipient liked it. I didn't try to keep the tape from twisting. I liked the play of relection and dullness on the tape as it twisted. I'm looking forward to experimenting with this tape. I have more than I'll ever need. I think the problem I have is it is so bulky and that is why I am taking the tape reels out of the cassettes. The first few I tried to unscrew, several weeks ago. For the most part it worked but was frustratingly slow. One of them was so hard to unscrew that I had to have hubby do it! Ok fast forward (pun intended) to tonight. I couldn't find the screwdrivers, thank goodness, so I grabbed a hammer! It is still really hard to get them open, but it gets out a lot of anger and aggression. I've gone through about half of them today and I plan on another half tomorrow.
Tomorrow is also Paris' yearly physical and she is due for her rabies and feline leuk shots. I'd love to go to Salvation Army and get some more saucers for Paris' food.
I have not heard back from the feline rescue I contacted about adopting a second cat. His name is Stetson and from what I hear he is a big boy. He weighed 8lbs at 6 months old. He's black. If I remember correctly he has golden eyes (I didn't see him, I just saw a picture briefly). He is shy and that is why he is considered unadoptable. He is about a year old, and playful but laid back. I think he will be a good match for us. We are good with the unadoptable. Look at Miss Paris. She has come a long way. What a love bug! From a hissing, scratching growling cat to a love bug. From a cat who finally allowed us to pat her a little to a cat who loves to snuggle and gives head bump kisses. She knows the words kiss and love and gives head bumps when you say things like, "give me a kiss", or "who loves me". I think we will be a good match for him.
enough for now...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Patterns Everywhere

Patterns, patterns everywhere and not a stitch knit or crocheted! I haven't picked up a hook or my needles in a few days. I've been playing games, cooking and cleaning. Well, I did pick them up the other day because someone asked for help with a doily and I looked at it, whipped it out in WW, and by the time I got to where they needed help, they had now I sit here with a ww doily wondering what I will do with it. For now it will stay as is. I have an unfinished mitten hat set, so I may HAVE to rip it out to use, but if not, I'll come up with something.
Anyway, Cast On's February - April 2011 has this baby triangles afghan and sweater pattern that I really HAVE to do. I also ordered the Mary Maxim Reflections Afghan kit today. We've been buzzing about that one at our knitting group. I've already been trying my hand at recreating it, and have come pretty close. Now I get to see how close I was.
Of course there are a thousand and one patterns I see that are just begging me to start on many patterns so little time. I need to go back to pulling projects out of the UFO bag, or they will never get done. To do that I need to finish the little girl hat/mitten combo I'm doing (mitten and finishing the top of the hat to finish) and the bananaberry hat/mitten combo which only needs the hat completed.
Stop blogging and get the mittens and hat done!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Too Painful and Lots of Memories

I tried to write about this on December 20th, and this is what I started with:

"Eight years ago tomorrow my father passed away. "

I couldn't write anymore and I couldn't publish that either. It just wasn't enough. I don't think the pain ever ends. It hasn't gotten less either. I will always miss him, the wisest man I ever knew. We had some great talks when we all went on walks on his property in Vermont. I think we connected better as two adults. I'm sure there were times in my youth that I let him down. I know there were. He never brought it up. He dealt with things and then went on with life. I don't recall him EVER bringing anything back up and flinging it in my face as so many people I have done. I pray I may become a better person, someone more like him. There are times it feels as though he is here with me. When I am in a strange location and slightly lost, I stop and think about him. Suddenly I realize what I need to do, how to go where I need to. He always did have a great sense of direction. Maybe he reaches out and shows me the way, or maybe I just inherited it from him. I don't think it matters.
With all the snow we've had recently I remembered the Blizzard of '78. I was at my friend's house on Ashmont Street in Dorchester. As the blizzard started winding up, I got on the MBTA (Mass Bay Transit Authority) and went into Boston to get the Boston/Providence bus that went by my front door in Walpole. I got there 20 minutes too late. Back into the T system on my alternate route home, the East Walpole bus. I figured that when I got there Dad would come and get me (he had a 4 wheel drive truck). When I got there it was REALLY snowing. I begged someone to let me use their phone and got through to him. He was really ticked off and told me to stay with the people whose phone I was using. I kept saying I didn't want to. I didn't know them. So eventually he relented and came to get me. He got stuck multiple times coming to get me and luckily we got behind a plow on the way back home. We still got stuck here and there. He got me home. I was a very lucky girl to have such a great dad.
I had a bug up my butt as a little girl to have my OWN rifle. I was a little Annie Oakley when I was little. Dad would set up targets and my brother and I were allowed to shoot guns with him. He was always responsible, always kept his guns locked up. We would NEVER even THINK about touching them without his permission. Anyway, I really, really wanted my own 22 rifle one year. I kept asking, nagging, get the idea. Always the answer was the same from my dad (and my brother joined in), "No, girls don't have their own guns." Christmas that year, all the presents were opened and I loved them all, but it was a real let down to know I wouldn't have a rifle. Like it took NOT getting it for Christmas to KNOW I wouldn't have my very own rifle. magic, Dad went to a closet and took out a looong box wrapped in Christmas paper. He was smiling as he handed it to me. I KNOW my eyes must have been huge by this time. I suspected what it was, and when I opened it...yep...I got my very own 22 rifle. I HAD to shoot it, so Dad set up a target and let me...I think that was the best Christmas EVER!
Of course I'll never forget the plant stand he made me. It was excellent. I think it was over 6ft tall, with three shelves (plus the top) and growlight bulbs on each level. The wiring was hidden cleverly in a channel covered by a thin wooden strip. Each shelf was wider, longer and deeper than the shelf above. The lights were hidden by wood around the edges. It was well made and lasted many years. I loved having it. My room had over 100 plants at one time and thanks to the plant stand they were very happy. I also had 4 windows in my room (a corner room).
And then there was my room. I was born in Norwood and we moved to a house my parents bought when I was 6 or 7. I forget when it happened, but my mother and Dad asked me how I wanted my room decorated. I was horse crazy so I said I wanted it to look like a barn and I wanted a green shag rug so it would look like grass. Dad made it perfect. Barnboard (some kind of sheet thingie) on the walls, green shag on the floor, and a huge, REAL wooden beam across the room. It had a huge beam as a support up the wall, the beam across the ceiling, and two cross supports from the upright to the ceiling beam. My Pier One hanging chair was hung from the beam as well as several huge plants. He also built in a closet on one side of my room. It had a bureau built in, above the bureau were some shelves. I had a section for hanging clothes and a built in hamper on the side of the bureau. I used to go in the side where my clothes were hung and sit on the rug and read. The closet was well lit and the rug was comfy. It was like being in my own little world.
Years later I had been helping to clean a stall for my mother's friend. I also used to help exercise her horse at the stable it was boarded at. The man who owned the stable used to buy and sell horses. When I was 13 he got a horse at auction. She had a hay belly and it kept getting bigger. In March I turned 14 and in May the hay belly became a foal. She was the sweetest little buckskin filly. I saw her just hours after she was born. I was going down just about everyday to take care of my mother's friends horse, and every time I was there I would visit with the filly. When she was a week and a half old the owner came in when mother I were visiting her. He said, "If I knew a little girl who would take good care of her, I'd give her to her." I just looked at mother with tears in my eyes and said, "Please?" She took one look at her and thought...she'll fit in a closet. All I had to do was take care of "Ma" and her filly for 6 months, wean her and then I could bring her home. Dad to the rescue again. He made our two car garage into a 1 car, 1 horse garage with a hayloft above. He put up fencing, and lined it with electric fencing. Her stall was so excellent. It was a half door with a ledge. She took great delight in intimidating people when they came to see her. My dad's friend, Lou Pollister, came in and leaned his arms on the ledge. She came right over and I told him not to, that he'd be sorry. He laughed the warning off. She came over and laid her mouth on his arm. He stayed there. I repeated the warning. He laughed. She opened her lips and laid her teeth on his arm. I repeated my warning. He laughed. She bit him. He stopped laughing and NEVER, EVER leaned on her ledge again.
When Dad left mother (I was an adult child living at home), I was kind of upset, after all who wants to have their parents split up. He moved to my brother's house where he reworked the tool trailer (he was a general contractor) he had built himself, to make it into a home. He eventually moved up to Nova Scotia as a landed immigrant. I think one of my aunts had some property on the North Mountain overlooking the Annapolis Valley. Eventually he bought a home in Petite Riviere in Nova Scotia. It is near Bridgewater, which is southwest of Halifax. When he bought his house the inside was soooo weird. Each of the rooms was a different color, deep purple, very orange, very kelly green, etc. He fixed it up a bit at a time. He had a very clever set up for filtering the water. Eventually he married Shirley Pollister. We went up for the wedding. Eventually they operated a very special home for the elderly. It was the first of it's kind. In Canada there were only 2 options at the time. Keep your elderly with you, or institutionalize them. So Happy Haven was a new concept. They were written up in the local paper. Dad grew and preserved a lot of the food they used for their residents. I LOVE the work he did in the kitchen. When my husband and I went up to NS for our honeymoon, Dad's kitchen was a mess. There were no cabinet doors, just cloth hung up in front of them. He reworked the kitchen, created an island, and made Shirley a nice china cabinet in the dining area. He had this really cool tv shelf setup that was on a shelf that pulled out from the wall and rotated so you could watch the tv from different places.
This is his obituary.
A sad note here. I had a message on my phone recently from one of Shirley's daughters. I called her back a few days after and left a message on her phone. I didn't get a call back, but I'll work harder to get in touch with her. I just found Shirley's obituary online. I wish I'd known, I would have loved to go and say goodbye to her. She meant so much to Dad. She gave him so much. I'm glad he found her and they had some happiness, I think they both deserved it.
enough for now...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Almost Back to Normal

January 10th Fred had his operation, a laminectomy and spinal fusion of 3 cervical vertebrae at the Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Dr. Kim told us in the morning it would probably be 3 hours, but it could be 4. He also told us he booked the OR for 5 hours. I was given a business card for the nurse liason in case I had questions and concerns. The rest of the day I spent downstairs in the main waiting room, watching tv, knitting and chatting up the other people who brought friends and relatives in for their operations. After 3 hours I was worrying a bit, after 4 I was somewhat frantic, and I called the nurse liason at 4:30. She told me they were finishing up. The doctor was down around 5 and told me it had been sketchy here and there but the results looked really promising. I waited several more hours to go and see him (sometime after 6). I didn't stay long and once in the car I really felt how long and exhausting the day had been. This past week we went back to the Deaconess for Fred's post-op check up. Dr. Kim said Fred was ahead of schedule as far as his healing. He has feeling and strength back in his hands and feet and has his balance back too. He says he isn't in pain like he was before the operation. Dr. Kim wanted him to come back in 4 weeks to get the collar off and talk about going back to work. Fred pushed and Dr. Kim is allowing him back to work on Monday with restrictions. He still has to keep the collar on his neck another 4 weeks 24/7. My schedule will be almost back to normal with him back at work.
Enough for now...

Monday, January 31, 2011


  1. 3 - 4 Year Olds: started striped watch cap/mitten combo, banana berry, lime and bright yellow.
  2. 5 - 7 Year Olds: 4 crocheted watch cap/mitten combo's (tan, kelly green, banana berry and lime stripes, bright yellow and banana berry accented cap and reverse mitten set).
  3. Older Teen: 1 wrocheted watch cap/fingerless glove combo (black 0f course).
  4. Small Adult/Teen: 1 knit red hat mitten combo (won in a raffle), knit light blue mittens.
  5. 3 scarves, 2 knit, 1 crochet.

After I finish up the striped combo I'm going to pull out the square EZ's baby ghan and get going on the border. This will be a home project, so I'll probably start another 3 - 4 year old combo as a portable project.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


These gloves are similar in style to Clara Putzke's "WARM CROCHETED MITTENS For the Whole Family". The pattern is in Workbasket Magazine and I believe it is in Volume 60, issue #1, October/November, 1994. I've made these mittens for years. I changed the pattern a bit because I felt the cuff was too wide. I add in some sl st rows in the cuff as I'm doing it. I'll add that info here later after I make another pair. I've never written down exactly what I do, I just do it. I also make crocheted hats, doing a crocheted rib (sc in blo) which I'll write down and add to the blog another time. If you find any mistakes in this pattern, please let me know. You'll have to adjust to fit yourself, or the person you are making them for. Measure the width of the hand, the wrist and arm below the wrist as well as the height of the hand from the wrist to the bottom of the index finger and the height from the wrist to the top of the thumb where it joins the hand. Then you can add or subtract sts as needed for a proper fit. I'll add my measurements soon.
Make 2. Chain 33
Row 1: Sc in 2nd chain from hook and in next 31 chains. Chain 1 turn.(there will be a total of 32 stitches (sts) in every row except the thumb rows which will have 26 sts).
Row 2: Sl st in next 10 stitches, sc in next 22 sts. Chain 1 turn.
Row 3: Sc in next 16 sts, sl st in next 6 sts, sc in next 10 sts. Chain 1 turn.
Row 4: Sl st in next 16 sts, sc in next 16 sts. Chain 1 turn.
Rows 5 & 7: Repeat Rows 3 and 4 once.
Rows 6,10, 12, and 14: Repeat Row 4.
Row 8: Repeat Row 2.
Row 9: Repeat Row 1:
Rows 11, 13, 15: Repeat Row 3. On Row 13, sl st on first 6 sts and then follow Row 3's instructions (26 total sts). Row 15 will end with 6 less sts then Row 3, but is the same otherwise(26 total sts).
Rows 12 & 14: Repeat Row 4. Row 12 is the last row before the thumb portion. Row 14 will have 6 less sts than row 4 but is the same as Row 4 otherwise(26 total sts).
Rows 16 & 18: Repeat Row 2. At the end of Row 16, top of the thumb hole portion, chain 7.
Row 17: Repeat Row 1, beginning with sc in 2nd chain from the hook and the next 5 sc and THEN following Row 1's instructions. (back to 32 sts).
Rows 19, 21, 23: Repeat Row 3.
Rows 20, 22, 24: Repeat Row 4.
Row 25: Repeat Row 1
Row 26: Repeat Row 2.
Rows 27, 29, 31: Repeat Row 3.
Rows 28, 30, 32: Repeat Row 4.
Leaving a long tail to sew up seam, cut. Sew up seam on opposite side of glove from thumb hole. With another length of yarn, sew up short seam above thumb hole. Weave in all ends.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

prioritized UFO list

  1. Men's gloves (wool alpaca blend)
  2. babyghan for Luke (not sure of which pattern yet - I did the baby tree of life from the Lion Brand website for the first baby).
  3. Reversible 12 x 12 cable scarf in Autumn Red Simply Soft (charity project)
  4. Lavender Red Heart and ladder yarn (ribbon??) knit cowl (charity project)
  5. Ladder yarn (ribbon??) scarf (charity project)
  6. Hexagon baby sweaters (crocheted). Blue and white needs to be seamed and have buttons sewn on. Lilac needs to be finished, seamed and have the buttons sewn on. (charity project)
  7. EZ's square babyghan - needs border (tulip bud forder from the tree of life afghan at the Lion Brand website ) (charity project)
  8. Baby Tuxedo (knit) (charity project)
  9. EZ's Dickey (I'm not sure which one I started, but I'll know when I look at the book) (just because project that will probably be a charity project)
  10. French country babyghan (charity project)
  11. Block the Queen's Crown Motif and make one more motif to experiment with (I'd like to make a bedspread for Joe, my son, out of the Queen's Crown tablecloth, but I don't know whether I want to change it up somehow, or make it and attach it to a backing of some kind).
  12. Spa wash cloths (make several - for moi!)
  13. Block Berka Shell Doily
  14. Knit a bsj out of the wool I originally bought to make it with (just because project)
  15. knit after hours shawl (for moi or??)
  16. Washer/dryer covers (I have two of three strips done for the dryer and I need to make 3 more strips for the washer)
  17. Finish the Ballo Baby Onesie
  18. Crochet the Magical Trapezoid Wrap (Knit and Crochet Show class I took with Joan Davis summer 2010) (for moi!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

11 in 11

I have to give credit where credit is due. Sarah London
gave me the brilliant idea of making an 11 in 11 list. Here's my list in no particular order:
  1. Keep crochet and knitting supplies organized.
  2. Learn a new technique or strengthen one in knitting and crocheting.
  3. Finish 1 not so interesting UFO and 1 charity project before any new of interesting project.
  4. Charity - do at least 24 hat/mitten combos for children, and 12 scarves or scarf/hat combos for adult women and 12 hats (or hat/scarf combos) for teens. (use up all RH and make accessories to use up luxury skeins). If anything is made from wool, label it and find a charity that accepts wool.
  5. Work from my stash whenever possible.
  6. Lose 10 lbs
  7. Walk 10,000 steps 3 days a week, 6,000 two days a week and 3,000 - 4,000 two days a week.
  8. Eat appropriate meals and snacks 4 times per week.
  9. Use dumbbells and resistance bands 4 times per week.
  10. Keep house company ready 5 days per week, including me (showered and dressed before 6:30am).
  11. Spend 1 hour 3 times per week learning Hindi.

I think I'll get my list of UFO's out and put it here prioritized. I'm going to update once a week with my progress.
So far:
  1. As I've been picking up and sorting through projects, I've been collecting all the various knitting and crocheting stuff and putting them in a plastic bag in my Jumbo Deluxe worm binder (very nice with lots of pockets).

  2. Nothing yet, although Linda has hinted at something that I might get from her that will help in this area.
  3. I've finished and felted the Ella Rae classic wool yarn crocheted bags I had started. They match the knitted bucket bag I'd already done (my first felted project). One is a little neck purse with fold-over-flap for "in and out shopping trips so you don't have to drag a two ton purse around", and one is a small handbag made from a big old granny square folded into a triangle and then pinched at the sides. I really need to find two "perfect" buttons for the extra "pop" for the triangular pieces that are folded over at the opening of the purse. I'll try and get pics and put them up here. I love the way the granny felted. It looks very textural, almost quilted. There goes one UFO crossed off and into the FO pile! For my charity knitting, I made one hat/mitten combo for 5 - 7 age range, started a second, and finished up a scarf.
  4. See above comment
  5. So far all I've worked with IS stash!! Hopefully I won't have to buy more yarn for a while. If I do it will ONLY be yarn needed to pair with stash yarn.
  6. I've weighed in January 5th, so I have a baseline. It will take me time to work up to 10,000 steps, but so far: 1/1/2011 3000, 1/2 3200, 1/3 3000, 1/4 4600, 1/5 7500(a tad ouchy), 1/6 5200, 1/7 4300, 1/8 4500, 1/9 5700, 1/10 6400 and the night is NOT over yet!
  7. I've been doing this all week except for three of the before bed snacks.
  8. Need to get going on this.
  9. Showering and dressing has been a breeze this week, and I'm working on getting the house company ready. Mobility is an issue, and with trying to up my steps AND clean the house (alone... the menfolk are NO help in this area), it's a slow process.
  10. I have the cds Linda's husband David gave me AND I have some Rosetta Stone too, so I have NO excuse!!

I'm sort of leaving the language and dumbell work until my house is a bit more company ready and I get my walking up. I'm using the UFO and charity work as rewards for getting my other listed items rolling.
Enough...time for bed...past time really! Good night!