The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Socks, they are finished

I did finish the second sock! But I must admit, I felt like I was doing the 50 km crosscountry ski race while I was doing it. Around and around on those tiny needles! But I am extremely pleased with the result and I don't think I'll take these socks off for a week or two, they feel so great! But I don't think I will use these bamboo Size 0 needles again. Can you tell which four I used on the socks? The unused needle is on the bottom. I can't believe how these bent out of shape and it got pretty annoying at the end. (Do the skiers ski with bent skis? I think not.) I have gotten a bunch of Susan Bates sock needles and I'm going to switch to those. (Thanks, Ann, for suggesting them.)

So what's next? Hats for Lenten knitting and giving, a pink scarf for Project Spectrum, and...


This is all you're going to see of the yarn for a while until it gets knit up some. The pattern will be Openwork Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. And it's not going to be on Size 0 needles!

Closing ceremonies and swatching time!

Kroy Ribbed Socks

Kroy Ribbed Socks (My second pair of socks)

Pattern: Traditional Ribbed Socks from Classics in Kroy

Yarn: Patons KroySocks 4 Ply in Harris Tweed

Needles: Clover Takumi Bamboo US Size 0, four DPN's

Finished February 26, 2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Getting Back on Track

The yarn for the Sockapaloooza finally arrived today. Now I just have to make the final pattern decision. I want to finish the Kroy socks first, however; hopefully by the closing ceremonies. Although I'm not making this an official part of my Olympic challenge, I'd still like to push myself in this direction.

Did anyone else see the little article on the Knitting Olympics in the February 20 Time magazine? Page 17.

Things are going well here. The old man and I have gone out walking every afternoon after I get home from work and he is getting his strength back. Today I had to hustle a bit to keep up -- a good sign! The late afternoon temperatures here are great for walking.

Time to knit and watch the ladies skating. Go USA!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Olympic Gold

Pattern: 2-Needle Fingerless Gloves
by Susan Lawrence for KnitPicks
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote in Brown Sugar
Needles: US Size 2
Begun February 10, 2006
Finished February 21, 2006

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


It's good to be home. It's quiet, the fridge is full, and the living room couch is pretty darn comfortable. We want to send our thanks publicly to everyone who has posted or emailed -- we really appreciate your good thoughts. Today was lab test day. The next evaluation is next Tuesday.

Special thanks go to son Mike, who traveled from his house to ours twice (over an hour each way) to help out with the things that needed to be done but which we ourselves couldn't do. Here he is typing out his med school acceptance letter. Notice sock knitting in front of the computer. In appreciation, I told him he could have anything he wanted for dinner. So he got tortilla soup, broiled pork steak with German-style seasoning, hash browns, warm fruit compote, and lettuce with hot bacon-vinegar dressing.

On the knitting homefront, the Olympic Knitting is finished. Pictures will be posted tomorrow. I got some Brown Sheep worsted today to knit some hats for Ann's Lenten Knitalong. I think I will be doing a lot of therapeutic knitting for a while and hats will be pretty straighforward. I think it will also do me good to knit for others who need a helping hand. Keeping my hands busy keeps the mind from overthinking, if you know what I mean. I want to finish up the Kroy socks and then leap into the Sockapaloooza pair -- if the yarn order ever shows up, that is. Then I have an idea for Project Spectrum as well, in pink for March. I think all this will be just enough to keep me moving without setting too many expectations on myself. I'm pretty sure that I will see more projects I want to do and Knitalongs that I'd like to join, but I'm going to limit myself to staying right where I am for now. And the sidebar in the blog needs some updating, too. Enough on my plate for now...

Again, thank you for all the support -- the comments and emails really mean a lot. Hope you all are having a great day!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

An Unexpected Weekend

Let me tell you, a weekend spent at the Olympic Village Medical Services (otherwise known as the local hospital) was not on the Olympic Knitting agenda. Friday evening we ended up in the emergency room when the old man, husband Joe, suffered a TIA. Friday night was spent in the ICU, where I managed a couple hours sleep in a chair made slightly more comfortable by the pillow and blanket a kindly nurse gave me. Saturday was spent waiting for tests, waiting for results, and waiting for doctors. I cast on the second fingerless glove and got a little done. Today was again spent waiting for test results and waiting for doctors. I got most of the glove done. The doctors finally gave the okay to go home late in the afternoon. Joe is doing fine now, but tomorrow we are off to the doctor's office for more tests, etc.

Without minimizing the seriousness of the weekend, the knitting was a help. It passed the time during all the interminable waiting, and helped to settle my nerves, which as you can imagine were pretty well shot after Friday night. The TIA episode itself lasted about two and a half hours, and was over as suddenly as it had begun. The hospital staff was excellent, competent, and compassionate. A couple of nurses had to see what I was knitting, of course. However, they were much more interested in blood pressures and other vitals, as they should have been.

Tonight, although we are both worn out, all is well and it is good to be home again. We have a lot of confidence in the doctor who will be treating him from here on out. The ice dancing is on and the ladies' costumes are furnishing lots of fodder for our amusement. However, we are going to have to kick the two girls out of the bedroom pretty soon. It seems they have taken shameless advantage of our absence.

Here's hoping you all had a quiet, uneventful weekend.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Half Way There

The first fingerless glove is finished and seamed. I am very pleased with the result. I made it with one size smaller needle than called for in the pattern and I am happy with the snugness I have in the finished product. Just perfect for me.

Tonight I shall go out into the Village and party a bit -- just enough to celebrate the successful first half of the program but not enough to ruin my concentration for the second half.

Not half way through the games yet, and the chocolate is still holding out. I managed to find the Knitting Olympics shopping center and snagged some Lorna's Laces sock yarn, among other goodies. Now, I had an excuse to go shopping -- I had left my stitch markers at home and had to get some more, of course -- and all this other yarn just jumped into my basket. Well, I have to have Olympic souvenirs, don't I?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A glove and a poem

As promised, the progress picture of the first fingerless glove. In the middle right is the gusset for the thumb, kind of hard to see, I know. I only have about another inch and a half of this to go. Then the seaming and the first one will be done. The colors are quite accurate on this picture as well. The yarn is Wildfoote Brown Sugar.

Now that I have gotten into the pattern I realize that I probably could have done something more challenging -- something actually with fingers or at least partial fingers. The more I look at other knitters' projects, the more I want to try something with a little more (okay, a lot more) challenge to it. This is what comes of surfing the net. You realize that there is more to life than what they sell at Walmart.

Time to do the name-poetry challenge! Just one of those games we play in the Olympic village when day is done...

P - Pumpkin colors in my wool
A - Alpaca, merino, some silk for you,
T - Together we knit for gold and fame --

K - Knit on by the light of the Olympic flame!

Maybe this isn't exactly what the poem should be but hey! At this hour of the night you take what you can get.

See you all on the ice tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I'm Almost Too Late

To wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. I've been out of town on a family matter, and so haven't kept up on the Olympic updates, but eleven hours in the car related to a fair amount of Olympic knitting. I'd planned on posting pictures, but the camera battery ran out of juice, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow.

The old man and I had our Valentine's dinner last night at Sakura. This is one of his favorite places to eat and we don't get to do it very often. We actually aren't very big on Valentine's day-type stuff, but any excuse to go out to dinner is a good one. Afterwards, we enjoyed the pairs figure skating. It was really amazing to see the courage that these skaters exhibit. This is the kind of stuff I watch the Olympics to see.

When we got home, son Mike had a Valentine's day present for us -- his letter of acceptance to medical school. We knew it was going to come, but it was special to just have it in hand, finally.

It's good to be back in the village again.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Drama Begins Tonight

Wow! What a march into the stadium! Several thousand knitters, marching, including those brave souls carrying their needles and yarn, ready to cast on as the flame is lit.

Proudly I marched into the fray, casting on for the fingerless gloves as the old man watched. What are you doing, he said. (SIlly man.) Remember, dear, I told you about the Knitting Olympics -- about how it started from a small idea and escalated into a worldwide craze, how it's been featured on NPR and maybe will be even more famous yet. Yes, he replied, but what are YOU doing there?

I'm making fingerless gloves, I replied. And then he gave me that look. You know, the look that says, "I think she's out of her mind. She keeps coming up with these weird ideas, but fingerless gloves? FINGERLESS? Is she nuts? What good are FINGERLESS gloves? Do I tell her she's lost it this time? And what can I say to her that doesn't get ME into trouble?" So, after a suitable pause, he says, "Why?"

Now I know and you know what he's been thinking during this long pause. But will he understand if I tell him about the challenge of it all, the spirit of the thing, the glory of the effort, the grandeur of being part of such a significant moment in history? Should I mention the drama of reaching for personal goals, of stretching one's boundaries? Or the tremendous fellowship bound to grow among so many knitters crammed into one too-small Olympic village? The excitement generated by the exchange of ideas and patterns, and the future bills generated by the future purchase of new and wonderful yarns that I see and will have to try out? Can I possibly hope that he will understand the fascination of knitting with my first hand-painted yarn and watching the colors dance together as I create a thing of beauty and unquestionable usefulness? Will he realize the absolute importance of having a gold medal to post on my blog? The pride of achievement? The satisfaction of a goal that is reached after unspeakable effort? I stare at my husband of thirty years and reply, "Because I want to."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It's Not So Easy

Why is it, just when I get settled in the village, and I'm out started to surf my fellow Team DPN members' blogs to get acquainted, reality wants to reach out and jerk me back? My family is supportive of my Olympic aspirations, but work? Work tried to delay my flight plans yesterday, but didn't succeed. Today it sent me home too late and too tired. I've unpacked my skein of Brown Sugar Wildfoote, but Big Cat and I haven't found the Size 2 needles yet. So I haven't done a gauge swatch yet. It's almost embarrassing. It's like everyone else is out on the ice practising, and I can't find my skates, so to speak. And then I got an SOS from the family. The dishwasher won't drain. It's full of yucky, scummy water. Well, not to worry. The pit crew (otherwise known as the dishwasher repair man) will be in on Monday, and everything will get back to normal. In the meantime, there are plenty of paper plates in the pantry.

As far as moving into the village, it was a pretty smooth process -- but the Knitting Committee was not impressed when Big Cat left a hairball on a chair in the dining hall.

In other news, Sandy has asked everyone to post a picture of their knitting spot. Since I had to go back to reality to deal with the dishwasher, I took a candid picture of my knitting spot. This is the living room and the couch where I knit. There's no knitting spread out on it right now, but for some unexplained reason the printer has migrated from the bedroom to the middle of the couch. The one Kroy sock is on the table, and there is no sign of Little Cat. Not surprising. She's probably off eating a bracelet or something. And on the right is the old man's recliner. Ten minutes before the picture was taken, he was sleeping in it, but that ended rather abruptly. (What do you mean, the dishwasher won't drain? Says who? You woke me up for this?) I thought about taking a picture of the scuzzy water in the dishwasher, but since I don't knit in the kitchen -- and I certainly don't knit in the dishwasher -- you all were spared a really disgusting posting.

It's getting pretty busy in the Village tonight. Do you suppose that, once this Olympic thing really got going, all the yarn shops saw a big jump in business? There's nothing like an Olympics to boost the economy.

See you all in the village tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

All Moved In

It didn't look good this morning for the move into the village. It was supposed to be a day off for me. However, a little after 8:oo am I got called into work for a crisis. Okay. I went in, the issue got resolved, and I went home at 9:00. The old man met me at the door, telephone in hand. "It's for you." It was work, again. Another crisis. A bigger one. Could I please come back? I didn't get out this time until noon. However, this was only a minor flight delay on my trip into the village. Now I am fully moved in and the family will just have to survive the fact.


This is Big Cat. She has been with us since she was about 3 weeks old. She was a shelter cat and we had to feed her kitten formula at first. She is the knitter's cat. She will curl up on the armrest or backrest of the chair or couch when I am knitting, or will move in and lay on the knitting bag. She will watch the needles and may even tap the tips if you let her. There is probably Big Cat hair in everything I knit. She is the one who curls up on the bed with us. She is about ten years old now and still bounces around pretty good when the mood strikes. Big Cat has definitely moved into the village with me.


This is Little Cat, the teenage cat. She thinks she is a teenage girl. Little Cat Does Not Do Knitting. Knitting. Is. Boring. She is also the Curfew Cat. She waits on the back of the recliner until all the teenagers are home at night. Then she runs to the bathroom with them. She loves to watch makeup being put on. And hair being curled. She doesn't object to watching the Country Music Channel. She checks out all the teenage boys. (Big Cat runs and hides.) She whacks all the blinds out of line in the window. She jumps across the dining room table. She hides out on the kitchen counters. She hides Christmas ornaments until Easter. She eats jewelry. She is especially fond of plastic wrist bands. She drinks out of the toilet.

She was NOT invited into the village.

In other news from the village, when I arrived I found a message from Whit, inviting me to join Team DPN. I explained that I would not be knitting my event with DPNs, although I would be using some pretty sharp Size 2s. I guess, though, I qualified for the team because I do frequently poke myself with sharp needles, DPN or whatever. So, armed with these stellar qualifications, I moved directly into the DPN camp. Pizza party, anyone? (Thanks for the invite, Whit!)

Also found on the village billboard, these instructions for safety on the slopes. Check 'em out.

Check in tomorrow for another village report.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Time Trials

Yesterday's SuperBowl was a good opportunity to practice with sock yarn and little needles. I only had to work a couple hours, so I had the pleasure of a Sunday (nearly) off from work. I really enjoyed the day. I did a little wash, went to the grocery twice (the second time for what was forgotten the first time), did some yard work in the warm sunshine, and knit during all the SuperBowl stuff. Dinner was a practice, again; chicken from the deli along with potato salad and coleslaw from the same place. I did make chili cheese dip in the crockpot. After the SuperBowl we switched to the Monk marathon for a couple hours. We actually saw a couple episodes we hadn't seen before.

I had cast on the second sock on Saturday, but only got an inch of the cuff done. On Sunday I got four inches done, almost 3,000 stitches. I got nearly to the heel flap. This second sock is going much faster than the first. I think I'm more comfortable with the yarn and needles now, not to mention that I am anxious to finish the pair now that I know how well the first one fits. Is it possible I could finish before Friday?

Yesterday and today have been so warm, I have had the doors and windows open and have been working in the yard in my shirtsleeves. This really isn't such a good thing. Early February here should be cooler and wetter. The old man and I were out trimming tree branches today, and I went in the back yard to prune the climbing rose bush. What should I see? Get a load of this.

The rose bush has started to leaf out. So have the rose bushes in the front yard, as well as one of my lantanas. THere are marigolds and geraniums blooming in the front, and my oregano is starting to get green in the back yard. The irises are getting new growth, and the mulberry tree is budding up as well. This is way too early. Especially since we have had no rain to speak of since September, as I recall. I have already been watering my little spruce trees, and with all this new growth I will probably have to start watering on a regular basis. This is definitely not in the winter plan. I cannot remember another winter when there has been no snow on the mountains. It's like we are heading full tilt for spring and have never had winter. In the high desert where we live, this is really bad news. All the grasslands and trees will dry out terribly and we will turn into a giant tinderbox. Already there are dire forecasts for the fire season. Hopefully the weather patterns will change and we will get some much needed rain in the next month or so.

I think that tomorrow I shall move officially into the Olympic Village, bag and baggage, and start serious time trials. Looking forward to seeing you all out in the venues.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Just a couple important things

I had an entire post pretty much ready to go tonight, and then I realized that a couple of important things needed to be addressed today. So the prepared post will have to wait its turn another day.

Today is Sandy's third blog anniversary. I found her blog not long ago (hey, I've only been blogging for a few months, so nothing is that long ago) from Margene's blog, and of course got intrigued originally by the sky pictures. In fact, in honor of her blogiversary, I have posted a picture I took last summer of the dusk sky at the Grand Canyon. But now, as so often happens lately, I have become intrigued by the entire blog content and am visiting her blog on a regular basis. I find that blogreading is taking up more of my time now, but gosh darn it, I'm just having too much fun doing it.

The second important thing about today is that I have been tagged by Ann for my first meme. So here goes...

Four Jobs You Have Had:

1. Child Care Provider
2. Pizza Maker
3. US Army Reservist
4. Data Entry Clerk (Anyone remember the old IBM keypunch machines? I was a speed demon in my day.)
None of these jobs are the one I have now. Just in case you were wondering.

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over

1. Chocolat
2. Mona Lisa Smile (Alright, I'm prejudiced on this one. Just because DIL was one of the "cast of thousands".)
3. The Jeweller's Shop (Movie based on play written by Pope John Paul II. Love the music score.)
4. I'm with Ann on this one. Fried Green Tomatoes and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Four Places You've Lived

1. Grew up in Detroit.
2. Germany
3. Georgia. Sorry. Too many bugs for my liking.
4. Arizona

Four TV Shows You Love To Watch

1. Monk
2. The Closer
3. Law and Order. Any variety.
4. The Weather Channel. (Alright. Maybe I don't love it. But it gets watched every day.)

Four Places You've Been on Vacation

1. France
2. Austria
3. New England
4. The Western National Parks. Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone, Tetons, Yosemite, etc.

Four Websites You Visit Daily

No fair. I visit a lot of blogs daily. So pick four off my sidebar and let's move on.

Four Favorite Foods (You mean I can only pick four?)

1. Frog Legs. (Come on, I'm a Michigan girl. You can add lake perch to that, too.)
2. Quiche. Especially if you are eating it out of your hand while you stroll along the Seine. Even more so if you are in Paris with your husband. And no kids along.
3. Ghirardelli. Dark chocolate. Exceptionally good if eaten in San Francisco. On the wharf. Seafood is a close second.
4. My mother's Polish meatballs. The ultimate Pumpkinknitter comfort food.

Four Places You'd Rather Be Right Now

1. Visiting my granddaughter.
2. Standing on the north porch of El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon. Getting ready to hike down.
3. Giessen, Germany. In the theater. On stage.
4. In Paris. Strolling the banks of the Seine. With the old man. No kids. With or without quiche.

Four Bloggers To Tag

Okay, whoever hasn't done it yet, considered yourself tagged. I want to see this when I visit next.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Poetry Day

The Secret of the Sea

Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!...

...In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,
I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies;

Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What a gal in Arizona dreams of.

Happy Poetry Day