Thursday, May 28, 2009

Updating the knitting-finally

Before we get to the gazillion and one pictures, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has posted comments and sent emails about my Mom. I think I'm starting to come out of the fog her announcement put me into. It really hit me so much harder than the first time she went down this road. I know it's hit her really hard, too. Really hard. She has been upset that her memory is giving her fits again. I keep trying to remind her that with all the two of them have been through, combined with the chemo drugs they've already pumped into her, it's bound to have an effect, or two. Then I told her, that in the long run, maybe this (the memory thing) could work out. If we have to tell her something unpleasant, it wouldn't be a bad thing to forget, and we won't have to rehash the details. Now, on the other hand, I told her, if it's good news, then we'd be delighted to keep reminding her and talking about good news over and over. At that point, she laughed, and some of the stress seemed to temporarily leave.

Talking with my oldest daughter afterwards, we got to remembering the Carmel cake mixes we like from back home, and it's frosting and how she wants to pick up some to take with her the next trip to see Grandma. Since this has become my Mom's new favorite cake, I would just like to know if this would work as a new chemo treatment. Because, let me just say, if it would work...I'd buy it all!

However, I did pick out some veryyyyyyyyyyyyy lovely off white yarn for her. I'll share the details on that at a later time. But if she's gotta loose her hair again, she's going to be wrapped in a lot of softness. Gotta love picking up a free pattern from a store to knit with! And I believe the one I got today, is going to fit the bill. Now, if I could just figure out a hat to go with it! All in due time. She's gotta go through July and August first.

Now, back to the knitting...Here are 4 items that are either delivered or about to be delivered to WRC, one of the April projects for AC4C. Remember the purple sweater that I found I'd knit in the wrong sized needles? Doesn't seem to have messed with it too much in the long run. Since I'd originally thought of it preemie sized, bumping up the needles one size made it a bit wider, so it's good to go for a newborn. Since babies come in lots of sizes and then don't stay in that size for long, well...I choose not to go back and re-knit it all. (I am a bit tired of all the froggin' going on around here ..sheshhhh...). The top picture was from my cell phone, which shows the color better in the 2 pink blankets, but is a bit fuzzy on the purple set.

This picture from my camera, shows the color of the purple set (still fuzzy) better, but whites out the pink blankets. I just couldn't seem to get it straight last week. (The camera has come back today, from a good old fashioned tune-up! Can't wait to take it for a test spin, soon!)

So, what-da-ya-think? This is the big project that I've been working on since freakin' forever. My end of the project isn't finished..and neither is the blanket. Arlene is going to put it onto her fan-tab-u-lous knitting machine to add a border to it. I still need to type up the directions for the original knitting so you all can have the pattern. [Ok, so I still need to figure out a border as well.] I promise I'll get to it, soon. We have some more deadlines to hit that have been pasted project wise. But, I do have to say, I'm happy with the blanket at this stage of the game. This also means that I'll have to knit up a 2nd one with the border, since the first one is no longer with me. [Isn't this fun?]

Now, onto more details. Speaking of 'tails', this is allllllllllllllllll that was left over from the single skein of Red Heart Designer Sport in Grape that I used on the sweater set. That was a bit close!

Here's a better picture of the sweater set. See how it looks a bit boxy? A bit wider than the pattern shows, but since kids can outgrow a sweater, I swear in a matter of hours, at this age, I'm not concerned. But, if this had been knitted up for a particular child, that needed a particular size, I wouldn't have been so flip about it. I would have either started over from scratch, or ripped it alllllllllllllll out, muttering unkind thought to the needle goddess for my tiredness at the time of the origin of the mistake. ya, that's the ticket. Don't take responsibility for picking the wrong needles. Blame it elsewhere...ohhhhhhhhhhhh man. Details....King Cole Matinee Sweater set, knit to preemie counts in the pattern, but really turned out big enough for a newborn, just about a 1/2 " shorter. I can live with that. Without blinking my eyes while I type that, too.

Here's a close up of the buttons. Cute? Can you make out the purple trim around the edges and the purlple centers?

Then, here comes the bonnet. That was a really quick knit..and I'm thinking for some of the weekend challenges, this would be really cute on it's own. Even without the whole 'you dummy used the wrong sized needles' kinda of sweater moment. and Yes, I'd knit this one again.

Then, it came time to finish off the Beribboned Sweater from the Kids, Kids, Kids book.

Looks as cute as everyone else's did back some time ago, when I picked up the book when ya'll were knitting it up.

More cute buttons. 'eh?

I even knitted a hat to go with it...

Along with the Crayon Ripple Throw (Lion Brand web site, with a size 'h' hook, rather than the 'j' the pattern calls for ) and then packed it up for the daughter's friend in the frozen country.

Yep, it's done, and yep it's cute. but....NOPE, I'm thinking I'm not going to knit this sweater up again. Why? It's one of the strangest constructions I've EVER seen, and keep in mind that I LOVE the BSJ! Add to that the gargantuan amounts of purling in that pattern-hurt my wrists. Which is NOT something I care to repeat. It's the first project EVER that I've objected to purling on. And normally, purling doesn't make me bat an eye. EVER. And to think I had to beg the daughter into letting me try out this pattern. That'll show me! I suppose. Even if it's a cutie patootie sweater. (Now that I've said no, wanna bet I end up knitting it again some day? It's the old..never say never issue. I'm certain.) was a birthday dinner for a new 22 year old...we went to have some good old...bait. er....sushi. Where she got...

Counted Cross stitch! Man oh man, oh man! Have my eyes changed since the days I used to work on 28 and 32 ct stitch fabric..WITHOUT any glasses! Now, to work on this, my bifocals..(yes, I'm older than dirt as has been pointed out to me..very recently..) weren't strong enough! I had to go to the bookstore and pick up a pair of readers that were a - get this....+3!!!!!!! I didn't even know they made over the counter readers in a +3. Ulg. But what a difference it makes to actually see those pesky holes! (Details, coaster kit I'd picked up from Hobby Lobby way back some time ago...and my floss-the kit had everything but the floss in it.)

Since the kiddo was home from frozen country, most of her things haven't been brought back. Being back in the land of beach country, and this is one definite beach girl, I thought she could use another towel. Finding this one with the flip flops on it, is what made me go grab the flip flop coaster and spurred me onto finishing it up on time. (shocker, I know).

Back to knitting. Now, it was time to get cracking on the preemie baby stuff for the Naval Hospital down in San Diego. It was also due back in April, another AC4C project. I've used the Baby Jiffy Knit Sweater (<----) from there. The 'turquoise' is Surfbaby, from Sweet Delights Baby yarn from Baby Bee. I used a size 4 (3.5mm) Addi needles. Same for the blue one-Baby's Blue, Sweet Delights Baby yarn from Baby Bee, sold through Hobby Lobby. After I made the hats (pattern to be posted as soon as I can find the paper I had the measurements brain is a sieve lately...sorry), while packing up and labeling the rest of the knitting I'd been putting together for the Naval Hospital, I came across the pink sweater. That is knitted with (US) 5 needles, using Prettiest Pink from Bernat Baby Softee. So I decided to knit up a hat to go along with that as well.

Here's two different views of the baby hats made to match the Baby Jiffy Knit sweaters. Pattern details to follow soon.

So, all in all, the cumulative knitting that will be heading down to San Diego for the NICU and hospice units is here. 3 Baby Jiffy Knit sweater and hat sets, 2 Just My Size Preemie Basketweave blankets, 2 cami Cathy's Beanies all from the pattern list <<---over there, and one Simple Garter Stitch Prairie Shawl in Black from the Folk Shawls book.


A pair of Basic Baby Socks from the American School of needlework's book: Knit a Dozen Baby Socks using a (US) Size 2 (2.75) set of double points out of Angel, Sweet Delights Baby Yarn from Baby Bee. I went down a size, since many of the babies aren't full termed when they will need these socks, sadly. These have been sent off to match up with other pieces for Baby Burial sets. Did you know that here in the USA, Memphis, TN has the highest infant mortality rate? That just breaks my heart. I would have loved to have done more for that AC4C project, but couldn't get anymore done before the deadline.

Finally, and sorry for the poor quality here in the picture (sooo happy to have my camera all fixed up now!) but these are Grape socks to go with Grape King Cole Matinee Sweater and Bonnet set that are already down in Texas. A little behind, but on their way. I used another skein of yarn since the last 10" I had left over from the sweater set, wasn't going to be enough to start a set of socks. Same pattern as the above white socks, but used the (US)3 (3.25mm) set of double points that the pattern calls for.

I really like this pattern for baby socks. Now, if only I could remember the stitch counts for turning the heels, I'd have the whole pattern memorized! Yes, I will make lots more from this pattern and I'd like to work up the others from that same book. Too cute. I remember when my kids were little and booties, as cute as they were...never seemed to stay on their feet. I'm hoping to get feedback from some mommies at some point on how well these work. Booties make me nuts to knit. These little socks for some reason don't. I get a kick out of them...pun intended.

Now that I've once again, typed out a novel to equal War and Peace...I'll close for tonight and again thank every one who has taken the time to say a Prayer for Mom and written a note in both the comments and emails, and just wished good wishes in her direction. You are all blessings, and I'm so very thankful to know of the love and support coming in for her recovery. Guess I should have remembered more about the 'cautiously' part when the doctor said..'cancer free'. I just thought we were finally home free. I'm also thankful that my parents have medical insurance. Amen to that. But I'm still willing to test the Carmel cake and frosting theory.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I wanted to ...

I wanted to share all the knitting I've finished this past week with you all and wish the vets a hearty THANK YOU for their service today.

But I've been struggling and fighting back tears all day.

I called home to arrange a trip to visit my parents and heard Mom's words....

"My Lymphoma is back."

I have my tickets to go home in a couple of weeks...and the prayers have already begun.

Pictures in a day, or two of the knitting. I promise. Today, I just wanna hug my Mom.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Using the proper tools

I remember a time when I had no clue about Addi-turbos. I thought circular knitting needles were the best thing since sliced bread for making sweaters and hats and afghans. No more would I have to cram all those stitches onto a 14" metal straight needles. Then, came a day when I heard about a yarn shop across the way that was the newest chapter of an old shop that had closed when the owner retired. I wanted to go look it over and possibly pick up a needle for a project. At that time, I thought the Susan Bates Silvalume needles were pretty slick tools to be used. Looking at the price tag on the Addi-turbos sent my heart racing! How could a needle be THAT good and worth that price? I thought as the shop owner touted it's praises. I walked around the store for a while looking at all the yarn that was different from the 'original' store. I ended up letting my desire to work on the project that I needed the needle for (long since forgotten) dictate the purchase of this 'new finagled-high priced-you're going to really have to show me what you can do' circular needle.

That's where my love affair with the Addi-turbos began! And, it's where I learned that using the right tools for the job works for knitters as well as for car mechanics and house repairs. Remembering from years ago, being told that we HAD to buy this tool, or that tool for fixing up a house we were going to eventually buy...made me think that maybe I should start investing in this craft that I'd been working at for more than 40 years. That it wasn't just a passing fancy, and if I was good to other people, maybe it would be OK to be good to me, too. It was from there on, that I started using Birthday money and other 'found' money to buy tools that were 'right' for the job as I could come up with money over time to replace bad joins and the straight needles were sent off to unclog drains and vacuum cleaners.

Now, I know that not everyone likes my choices, and there are many others out there. And that's OK. I also believe you should try out choices and then decide which ones are right for you to use for your particular projects. And I'm thinking that now I should take some of my own advice since it appears...

I need some new garden tools.

Ya think the ground was a might be hard?

It's been years since I grew plants in the yard. With the possibility of the kids coming home this summer, I thought they'd like some fresh tomatoes and peppers. Then I finally found some lavender plants that I've wanted, but couldn't find for more than 25 years. I guess my timing was off and I looked at the nursery after they were all sold out.

Now, before you tell me I have the containers in the ground, I know. It's on purpose, I'm trying to see if I can out-smart the gophers that also live in my neighborhood.

It couldn't hurt. I'm tired of 'feeding' them-so far, I have won for 2 weeks.

In the meantime, using other 'proper tools', we have a finished Crayon Ripple Throw, pattern from , using an 'H' hook, and the new "WHITE" from Simply Soft.

I got around to washing my socks that so many of you told me to do, and what do you know? The socks went right back into shape, just like you said it would! Thank you for all your help! Knitters are fabulous people!

Yep, I'll be making some more..once I get my to-do with deadlines list pared down a wee bit.

Then I knit up a couple of Baby Jiffy Knit sweaters with Sweet Baby Delights Baby yarn from the Hobby Lobby stores and (US) 4's (3.5mm) circulars (yes, they were Addi's). Then I added a little hat using the pattern I found on Ravelry from: here and . I changed the pattern to pick up the texture from the sweaters using a (US) 3 (3.25mm) 12" circulars. I've also used double points, and prefer the 12" circulars. It goes faster with the circulars.

My plan is to write out the changes to this pattern and post it here soon. I like it for preemie sized hats. These are going to be sent down to the Naval Hospital in San Diego NICU.

I moved my old entertainment center back where it belongs and finally have a place for my Grandfather's wooden chairs and the others things from my grandparents, and picked up over the years. No more leaving them in boxes. (see..proper tools for the job!)

As soon as I get this Beribboned Sweater finished from Kids, Kids, Kids, I'm trying to get back to the baby sweaters that were sent to 'time out' with the wrong sized needles used and my apparent lack of picking up the correct number of stitches after frogging parts of them. Ya, I remember them. I was hoping they'd pipe down and be quiet. However, their deadline is Tuesday. So is the blanket that I started back in February.
Guess I should get my tools out and get them finished?

Yep, thought so, too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to Mommies,

and Grandmothers....



Children who make us mothers....

"extra" kids who call us 'other Mommies"....

those who should be Mothers...

who want to be Mothers...

don't want to be Mothers...

Know a Mother...

Love a Mother...

Lost a Mother...

Lost a child...

Dads who fill in or become the Mother...

and those who let someone else be a Mother.

Hugs and love all around, may your day be filled with lots of hugs, laughter and most of all, love.

(appologies to everyone in my heart today, that I haven't put into the pictures...but you know who you are!)