The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What The Sock Knitter Made

Refrigerator pickles. (You thought I was going to say socks, didn't you.)

To make two quarts (two mayo jars worth):
Thinly slice up English cucumber or Armenian cucumber. Usually about 2 1/2 cucumbers fit into the jars. Slice up some onion with them. I like to use sweet onions. Add liquid made up of:
2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 T salt
1 T celery seed
The liquid will not cover all the cucumbers. Cover jars and place in refrigerator for 48 hours. Enjoy! The cucumbers will all be in the liquid by then. The rest of the cucumber can be sliced and added as the level in the jars drops.

There still has been knitting. I have been working on the Brick House sock while sitting at the care center with Nana. She is doing a little better, thank you. But work on the sock is slow. The lighting is poor, and there are interruptions, of course. And I'm always slow picking up the gusset stitches. My personal weak point. But I read somewhere, and I wish I could remember where so I could credit the source, that it is comforting for someone in a hospital/care center to see someone knitting. It means that all is well, or at least reasonably so. I don't know if it is having that effect or not. But it's not hurting the situation. And the nurses are enjoying it. So I knit on.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Pears and Cherries

The pears are ripe and ready to be picked. There are probably about a hundred, I think, not counting those that the birds and bees already have claimed and those that are too high for any one to reach. It must be time for a pear pie.

The cherry leaf shawl grows bigger every day. I think it's going to work out just fine with this yarn. The lace mojo is back in full force!

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

August 007

August is a month of much importance.

The roses bloom again. This year, with all the rain we have had in the last several weeks, is heavily abundant. Usually the second bloom roses dry up on the stem without even opening. Not this year.

The garden is heavily abundant as well. And not just with weeds, which are also going wild from all the rain. The Greek Oregano is taking over the flower bed.
And the pears are just about ready for harvesting.
The storm clouds still gather on a regular basis.

And the thirty-second time around honeymooners are still going wild as well.
(Alright, this picture was taken last year. But it was ditto for this year.)

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Brick House, Cherry Leaf, and Where Did the Week Go?

The weekend away was totally wonderful. Wonderful food, wonderful wine, wonderful accomodations, wonderful weather -- no high temps and no high humidity! A very much living-in-the-moment weekend, just what a 32nd anniversary weekend ought to be.

Then reality hit. We got dropped off at LAX on Monday morning to the mother-of-all standing room only out the door on the sidewalk waits. We waited to check in. We waited to drop off our luggage. We waited to be searched. And in the middle of it all, a phone call from home about another medical emergency. As if we could do anything about it then. Finally get home, drop everything, rush to the hospital. Where we spent most of the week. I finally finished unpacking yesterday, a week after we got back. It was Nana who had the health crisis and she is now in a 24 hour care facility to finish convalescing. I think my nerves are recovering. But now I need another vacation!

Not much knitting got done at first, although I did end up taking knitting finally while sitting at bedsides. The new Brick House Monkey Socks are coming along; I'm ready to start the heel flap on the first sock. This is being made from KnitPicks' new sock yarn, Felici, in the Clay colorway. The yarn is nice and soft and I like the staggered stripes in this one.
At one point I was so desperate for something to keep my hands busy that I picked up the very neglected second sock of the Welsh Country stockings and got back to working on some straight stockinette stitch. This sock was definitely suffering from second sock syndrome, but I think that after this last week I'm getting back into the groove for it.
However, I've been desperate to be knitting something with some concentration involved in it. The socks are nice, but the patterns are easy; my other current knitting, the two blankets, are just garter stitch. (The Icarus has been abandoned; new yarn will be acquired at some future point.) I needed something that I would have to concentrate on in order to get my brain and nerves to relax. Garter stitch may be relaxing, but it still leaves the mind too much room to think. And worry. So I cast about for something to cast on and finally decided on the beautiful light fingering weight yarn that Roxie sent me a good while back. I perused my books to find something that I could make with a thousand yards and the Shoulder Shrug in Cherry Leaf Pattern from Victorian Lace Today leapt out at me. I used Ravelry to see what other knitters had done with this pattern and the choice was clear. I cast on and started knitting this afternoon. But not until the laundry and the bills were caught up.
I'll be visiting Bloglines soon and trying to post more regularly now. I'm so behind on my Ravelry notebook and groups! Hopefully as things ease up around here I'll get back to more normal activities. I miss visiting with you all each day! Sorry there is no time to add links for everything in this post, but it's time to start dinner and then the nightly visit at the care center. And then hopefully more lace knitting. And a glass of wine. And maybe cheesecake. Or chocolate. A girl's gotta have her stressbusters.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Walking on River Rocks

The River Rocks Monkey Socks were finished on Sunday. I was hoping for some sunshine to take a decent picture, but no luck. These are my eighth pair of completed socks. There are two pair on the needles; one pair is the Welsh Country Stockings and the other is a new pair of Monkey Socks. The Monkey pattern was so easily memorized, I couldn't imagine not casting on for another pair right away.

I'm having lace knitting issues these days. I'm not happy with my Icarus shawl. Not the pattern, I do like the pattern, but I'm not happy at all now with the mohair yarn I'm using. I was having some doubts about it, but still knitting away, then I went to check out all the Icarus shawls on Ravelry and I realized that I'm just not getting the results I wanted. So Icarus is in hibernation, and will probably be abandoned in favor of either merino or alpaca laceweight. In the meantime, I'm feeling the lack of lace knitting in my life. I've got the yarn to do a Wool Peddler's Shawl, but that means a lot of garter stitch before the lace begins. I've already got two blankets going in garter stitch, and I'd like to do something that isn't so garter stitch heavy. There's more laceweight in the stash; I'll have to do some serious stash-diving and come up with something to satisfy that persistent lace craving.

We continue to have rain every day. The weeds are growing like mad. I finally got to weed wack the back yard today, just in the nick of time. I was putting the tools away when it began to thunder once again. I had to get the exterminator out today as well. There has been so much rain and everything is so totally sodden that the little creepy beasties are all searching for a dry home and want to share ours.

This will be my last post until next week. Our anniversary is coming up and we are taking a long weekend away by ourselves. The new Monkey socks will be allowed to come along, however. Hopefully I will find some sun to take a decent picture or two. Also perhaps some dry weather so I can get walking again! See you all next week!

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday Flowers and a Friend