Sunday, August 31, 2014

Walk This Way

These days, I am walking for my health, and though my mile is still 18 minutes, it's getting faster (slowly, if that makes any sense at all).

My path is not flat. We live close to the highest point in our small town, which means that while the walk out may be downhill, the walk back is not.

This morning I watched squirrel races as I walked on the paved area near our elementary school. (Click to embiggen so you can see one of the racers.)

Yesterday, I spotted these which appear to be fall-blooming crocus. (from the web, search on fall-blooming crocus) Crocus kotschyanus (formerly known as Crocus zonatus) is a somewhat weedy species usually flowering in October. It has a bad reputation not only because it is a rampant self-seeder, but also because many forms have flowers that are woefully undersized. There is a form in commerce that appears to be badly infected with a virus, as the flowers are not just small, but seriously deformed. A good form of Crocus kotschyanus with flowers of reasonable size is worth having, however. In some lights the flower color approaches a delicate pink, and one can forgive a self-seeder of such beauty.

And a few days ago while walking at lunchtime near where I work, I spotted these.

I'm pretty sure they won't flower or go to seed (seem to be a bit "seedy" already, though).

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Batch

Here are another few of the fair entries for this year.

At right, an adult cap. This was the first item I finished since the last fair, and truthfully, I nearly entered it as fair isle.

Yarn is a blend of wool and ack. Pattern?? Who the heck can remember?

This year's Red Scarf Project scarf.

Baby set (2- or 3-piece) using a very old pattern from Spinnerin (c) 1975 The New Wee Moderns (so, before I was knitting for my own kids) for the hat and booties. The sweater is a basic top down with the same texture knitted in.

Yarn is Cascade Cherub (all synthetic) that I am dearly glad to (finally) be rid of.

Cowl from (I think) an IK special edition. Yarn is Fibranatura Baby Merino, another one I'd love to be done with. The color is called Johnny and is blue, tan, and olive drab.

Felted "other," a cute little vase knit from the last of some Noro Kureyon that I had stashed a good long time. Pattern from one of the newish Cascade books.

This one was fun to knit and felted up quite nicely. I will probably use it just for show. Perhaps with some dried grasses.

Felted purse. Needs a button in the center of the flower, I think. Too late now!

Yarn is from SERRV (fair trade non-profit). Want more. No longer available. Drat!

Lap robe in the Mason Dixon ball band dishcloth pattern.

I used Decor/Encore odd balls in 3 colors.

So now you have seen everything I photographed before dropping my stuff at the fairgrounds. And now, I wait.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's Time For the Fair!

The Great Allentown Fair starts next Tuesday. It's a tradition that goes back only a very few years. The old tradition was more of a harvest fair, in late September. Now, it's the last hurrah before school starts. I am thinking that the new tradition has something to do with kids skipping school to go to the fair. . .

Also, traditionally (in a tradition that goes back about 8 years), I enter a number of knitted items. This year, that number is 30.

Only a sampling is shown here, and since I have dropped everything off at the fairgrounds (yesterday morning), more pictures will have to wait until the results are in and I pick up my stuff.

First up, a dressy shawl in organic cotton. IK pattern, I think.

Followed by a scarf from one of the One Skein Wonders books in Noro sock yarn, stashed for a good long time while I looked for the perfect pattern.

The pattern is deliberate bias and the long stretches of color show it off well.

This is Adult Scarf, fine yarn.

The sweater I finished earlier this year in Puno (alpaca) color mulberry. The yoke is patterned, the body and 3/4 length sleeves ribbed (really wide rib). This one is for me.

And I look forward to wearing it this fall.

IK pattern.

Fair Isle, any garment in a variety of odds and ends of wool. The pattern is from Anna Zilboorg's 45 Fine and Fanciful Hats. This is one of the berets in the book.

I'm pleased with how even my stranding is.
I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it on Ravelry: Sheep In the Meadow pillow cover in odd bits of wool/ack blend (Encore, Decor, Easy Wool).

I had vowed not to buy yarn for these projects and I (mostly) kept that vow (see below), so my cover is smaller (the pattern calls for chunky yarn, I used worsted weight) but the size is perfect for the form I had on hand and for lumbar support on my desk chair.

These little ladies made me break my promise as I had no washable yarn in suitable skin and hair colors in sufficient quantity to make the knitted doll I had in mind.

So off I went to Joann's (coupon(s) in hand) to buy flesh (I was looking for peach) and something suitable for hair.

Vanna's Choice for the skin in the only even close to pinky flesh tone I could find (and believe me, I looked). WoolEase  in a medium brown made up the hair.

This project brought me right down to the wire. I was embroidering features at 8 pm Thursday.

Jean Greenhowe pattern.




Sunday, June 08, 2014

Trying to Catch Up

I'm afraid to look to see how long it's been since I posted. I report in weekly on one of my email lists and promise "film at 11" but never seem to get around to 1) taking pictures and 2) posting them.

This is an attempt to get back up to speed.

Afghans for Afghans is having a baby shower this month. Needed are socks (real socks with turned heels) and baby hats for the approximately 85 new babies born each day in Kabul.

Imagine! 85 new babies all entering the world, stark naked!
I'm really pleased with the way the self-patterning pair came out! No, they aren't identical, but they are close and that's what I was hoping for.

Here are all of my offerings. Baby sockies are so quick to make. If it weren't for other deadlines looming, I'd devote my summer (or at least June) to baby socks!

And here's one of the deadline projects.

This one is destined to be a fair entry then it will be the Purple Warrior Princess's Christmas sweater.

Buttons are coming. The pattern suggests toggles. I am tempted to go buy them, but my button stash is probably bigger than my yarn stash, so I am considering faux leather or some cross-cut antler. I think it needs something more natural than plastic.

On the health front, my spine surgeon has cut me loose. The Physical Therapists, ditto. I have to continue exercising and walking, probably for the rest of my life. The pain in my legs (except for the arthritic knee) is gone. I'll take it!

On another note, I am seeing a cardiologist regularly to deal with my blood pressure (not a new issue) and atrial fibrillation (that manifested during surgery). Three new medications and it is getting under control.

Getting old is not for the faint of heart!

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Has It Really Been a Month?

It has really been a month!

I promise to do better with knit blogging, but first, I must update my loyal fan.

The surgery on April 8 (2" approximate incision) was a rousing success. I was scheduled for 7:30 a.m.which meant being at the hospital at 5. Probably could have skipped trying to sleep, since that didn't happen. Hooray for early starts (no food after midnight until it's all over)! By 10, I was in the recovery room, completely alert (what a change from the last surgery experience 2 years ago) and my legs were pain free. Talk about relief!

I spent the next several hours in "holding" while waiting for a room. But that was okay. No pain. Books (Kindle) and knitting to keep me company. I sent the Other Half home to sleep.

I must say that both roommate experiences were challenging. But they are over and I have moved on.

I spent a couple weeks using a walker or a cane but have (mostly) abandoned both. Physical Therapy starts next week. I will see the cardiologist regularly and the spine surgeon a couple more times.

Life is good!

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Monday, April 07, 2014

Drive-By Blogging

It's been a rough month, Loyal Reader, but the end is in sight. (More about that after the knitting stuff, okay?)

I ran out of room on the 60" circular needle, so I have declared the 2014 Hexagon Scrapghan to be finished. Point to point, it is 72" across and odds and ends of all sorts of animal fibers.

It's a wonderfully snuggly blankie. (See comments at the end.)

And a special request from the Baby Grands (Tiny Prince Original, Tiny Prince Two/Too, and Purple Warrior Princess): Basic slippers, ala Minions!

These will go in the mail tomorrow or the next day (see below).

BELOW: I have been nursing what was thought to be Give It Time and It will Go Away Sciatica which Did Not Go Away.

Last Tuesday, I was scheduled for back surgery (simple, outpatient, an hour, tops) that turned into an overnight stay in the hospital on multiple monitors with dual (dueling) IVs and postponement due to heart issues (serious, non-life threatening).

Postponed surgery is now scheduled for tomorrow (time TBA) and I will probably be stuck overnight again for "observation.

The prognosis for my back and legs is good. I have been told that the relief (pain) will be almost immediate and that the strength will return to my legs, probably the right before the left.

I am not inclined to request prayers (that just isn't who I am), but if you could keep a good though for me, I would appreciate it.

On a happy note, I have crossed two off my Bucket List: ride in an ambulance and inject drugs. I will no longer need to contemplate again doing either! But I really had hoped to sit in the front and work the siren.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Does This Pom Make My Butt Look Fat?

Garter square bunnies from here to fill the eggs that fill the egg covers. Sort of like those Russian Nesting Toys.

I never realized how fond I am of them until I counted how many (several) we have.

So, now I am making them.

Sort of.

Knitting this week has been confined to 1) small fiddly things (the only things I've been able to finish) and  2) the never-ending Scrapghans  (actually just one of those and I am on the home stretch --or I had better be, I am running out of room on the 60" circular needle!

There are several UFOs on the needles. Perhaps there will be more FOs to report next Sunday. . .

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