The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Last Week (or so)

It's been a pretty busy last eight days or so. Change that to read exhausting, frustrating, energy-sapping, and any other adjectives you care to toss in. It must have been some malevolent force of nature or whatever that decided that we would move Nana and clear out her house during the hottest few weeks on record in Phoenix. Add to that a monster herd of thunderstorms that hit the Phoenix area last Tuesday night. There were several hours worth of storms with heavy rains, winds, flooding, and severe lightening. The yards and streets flooded and we lost power for a little over an hour; I couldn't sleep anyways so I read by flashlight, but I could have read by lightening bolt -- the flashes were that big and that close together. Fortunately we had no storm damage. Other houses had tree and roof damage. But finally on Sunday we made our last trip down to our house and stuffed, piled, shoved, and otherwise manhandled all her property that wasn't given to charity (yet) into our garage. I couldn't fit a bicycle into that garage right now. But now Nana is in the house, her house in Mesa is on the market, the furniture movers are contracted for September, and I think we can start concentrating on moving Annie to college now.

My personal "reward" in the middle of all this was Stephanie "Yarn Harlot's" book tour stop in Mesa. I had intended to come to this anyways, so it all worked out rather well. The malevolent force of nature did take a break that day and there was no rain. There was nothing else I could do at that point at Nana's house, so I spent some time at Michael's Arts and Crafts, picking up $1 balls of Sugar and Cream. The book signing was scheduled to start at 6:00pm, so I arrived at 4:30 in order to get a decent seat. There were four ladies who had been there since 1:00, sitting in the front row and knitting all afternoon. There was one more front row seat and yours truly snatched it up. (Just my luck, when Stephanie took her picture of the group, all you can see is my right arm in the lower right corner of the picture!!) I did some yarn shopping, and then took my seat and worked on the Trekking sock until it was time. Once Stephanie started, I was laughing much too hard to knit, anyways; it's hard to knit and wipe tears out of your eyes when you are laughing so much. Her formal talk was delightful, but once she picked up her sock knitting and started taking informal questions she became even more delightful and funny. I got to touch the lace shawl she is working on, and of course got to take a picture of the two socks together. It was fortunate that I was able to be one of the first in the book signing line, since I had a three hour drive to get home and I didn't want to leave too late. (Had to go back to work in the morning, too.) I did get home before the rain started up again. It has been raining a lot here ever since and we have a lot of roads closed and washed out in my neck of the woods now.

Of course, while waiting for Stephanie to arrive, I checked out the projects the other attendees were working on. I saw a few socks being knit, and some lace pieces; for some reason no one seemed to have any big bulky wool knits in hand. One lady was working on a sock with what had to be the magic loop method; I watched her surreptitiously for a while and decided that this would be just too fiddly for me. There was also some MasonDixon knitting going on as well. My MDK sock yarn log cabin knitting spent this particular evening in the car, but believe me, it has been worked on. It has certainly been the perfect overstressed knitter project; nothing much to count, nothing to memorize, and the color changes were quite soothing to the brain. See the difference between last weeks plain center block and what it looks like now:

I've used up a lot of my leftover bits of sock yarn and have started using some orphan skeins of yarn now as well. It's all standard sock yarn and all washable; I think it would make a great baby blanket or an even greater cuddle blankie for a toddler. I'm at a point now where I will have to stop soon; the bits of sock yarn I have left now won't make a complete log and I only have a couple actual orphan skeins of sock yarn (by orphan, I mean single skeins that will only make one full size sock). I don't think I want to make a bunch of small log cabin squares and seam them together; I would rather just keep adding logs until I get a size I like. I am really thinking about ordering a bunch of single skeins of KnitPicks sock yarn, both solids and variegated, to keep going on this blanket. In theory, it ought to hold up really well as a cuddle blanky; it's washable and tough as nails. I mean, it's SOCK YARN, fercryinoutloud.

The Fiber Factory, in Mesa, where the book signing was held, is a really marvelous shop. Lots and lots of nice things that I haven't been able to see and touch (I draw the line at smell) anywhere else. They gave me a 5% discount because I had travelled from the furthest point to be at the book signing, so I couldn't turn that down. Here's my loot: two hanks of Euroflax Linen (MDK handtowels!), a ball of Sockotta, and a hank of MountainColors Bearfoot, the last one in the store. Thank goodness for sock yarn and MDK knitting. I had been thinking strongly about starting another lace piece, something fairly complex, but after the last eight days I realize that all I will be decently capable of will be simple stuff for a while. Warshrags, socks, and cuddle blankies, that's the ticket.

I'm still well behind on my bloglines; if you haven't heard from me for a while, I'm slowly getting back on track. I was completely toasted on Sunday night, so tired I couldn't even fall asleep, but I'm starting to feel a little more human today. Time to get the next chapter of LittleLace of the Desert ready to post.


Blogger margene said...

Sounds like what you've been doing is exhausting both emotionally as well as physically. Missed you...take care of yourself.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

I can only imagine how tired you must be. Good ol'fashion mindless knitting always helps soothe ths soul. Glad you go to take a break and see Stephanie she's very entertaining isn't she kind of like knitting related stand up comedy. Your log cabin is coming out great!

1:09 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Front row seats! Wow. And isn't she funny? Good aquisitions as well... I'd say an all around good day there Pat. (I was looking for you in that picture as I knew you'd be there!)

2:01 PM  
Blogger Roxie said...

Lovely yarn accquisitions. Definitely a silver lining to your cloudy week!

6:20 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...


You are a great daughter.

I LOVE your block. Keep us posted. It is inspiring!

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Dipsy said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you've been through such an exhausting and stressful time - fortunately now everything's calmed down a bit and I hope Nana's already feeling at home in your place!
But you sure got a nice reward, you got to see the Harlot, how great! And I do love the yarn you got!

12:32 AM  

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