Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

the sweater

My Mom has always knit. Not always knitting, though. Seems like there were periods where she didn’t knit at all. Before I was born, she knit both her and my Dad matching sweaters when they were on ski patrol – around 1950 or so. I now have hers ( my sister Deb has Dad’s), and still love it.       It is still beautiful, all the buttons are there, and incredibly, barely even pilled after sixty years, though it’s pretty thin in spots. My old knitting teacher pronounced it ‘much loved’ when she did some repairs on it for me years ago.
I had always wanted to learn to knit, and mom said she couldn’t teach me as I’m a lefty. When she moved back to Seattle from SoCal, I decided I really needed to learn. So I enrolled in an adult ed class, and became one of the ‘regulars’ there for about seven years. I did learn, but, I don’t think I’ll ever be an expert like Mom or Deb.
I stick to ‘easy’ things. I’m one of those knitters that believes that a little mistake or two is just fine to leave. I have a stack of unfinished projects that I’ve amassed over the years. along with a good stash of yarn for future projects as well. I have a hard time resisting beautiful fibers ( especially when it’s on sale ).

Once I begged Mom to knit me a bathing suit – I think I was thirteen. It was in an issue of McCall’s Needlework and Crafts ( which of course she had a subscription to ) and it was out of cotton -yes cotton- yarn. A malliot, one piece from the front, and from the back it looked like a bikini. Yellow with white around the edges. She made me that bathing suit, which was adorable. I wore it only a few times though; turns out it was better for sunbathing than swimming in. When wet, it turned into something akin to a saggy/soggy dishrag. 

There’s always a hooray when I finally complete a big project. It’s part of the reason I make stuff – that validation that I’ve done something useful/meaningful with my time.
I finished it. The Sweater. 
Before we moved, I bought some beautiful yarn in San Diego. I don’t remember when I started knitting it, but it seemed easy enough, even if it was a lot of sweater – more like a coat, really. I started knitting – sleeves first – just like my sister does. The yarn is a roving type of thick-thin, which has lots of textural interest, but it knits up really weird. Some of the spots are really thick, while others are very thin. 
I would knit on it for awhile, then put it away for long periods. I got all the pieces done, then it needed the button/buttonhole bands and the collar added on. Which needed to be re-done, because I knitted them too tight. A couple weeks ago, I picked it up again and vowed to finish it up before the cold season ended again. Lots of steaming and blocking later, I have a sweater.        
It is big, it is heavy, and  although it’s incredibly warm, I have to say, I’m not in love. It’s so weighty, that it wants to sort of slide off my shoulders. I wore it for a week or so before adding the buttons on – which pointed out that either the bands are not even or I got the pockets completely off. The sleeves, with their big turned back cuffs, are nearly too long; I think I should tack the cuffs in place. And the worst of it is, after only a few wearings, it is pilling some. Ugh. What was I thinking, using such loosely spun yarn? I think it needs a belt, or something, but I’m afraid that will give it even more of a bathrobe, bag lady look. 
I’ll certainly wear it, but this one won’t go down in history like the ones that Mom knit. 

Now back to the Christmas to-do list. 

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This is one of those things were I don’t really have much to say, but I wanted to post a pic so an entry comes along for the ride.

I get weekly emails from sewing, knitting, quilting, cooking, etc. sites. Most of it is just what you’d expect, but every now and again………
An ad from a knitting site came yesterday and this caught my eye:  Is it just me?? Tell me what woman would want to knit this. Not that there aren’t some pretty design elements – but no one wants those trees across their breasts. really.

I started to paint the rafters on the east side of the house yesterday, but got into a tangle with some bees that have made a hive in the corner of the roof, so I moved on – I need to either wait until they go away, or somehow try to remove them. Instead I went around to the other side and I finished painting all of the deck railing. Sunny is loving her freedom, and is running miles chasing the chipmunks every day – there is one who is in the holz hausen and taunts her – it pops up here and there. I think it’s become a game between them. 

Between the hot weather inland, and the Fourth, our area is filling up for the weekend. The influx of rv’s of every shape and size must be some sort of record – I’m already feeling sorry for those who will have to battle the traffic to leave on Sunday. My sister and her husband are coming ( with their new camper ) and I’m looking forward to the big chicken (wing) cook-off at a friend’s house tomorrow. Also on the itenerary is the Ocean Park Parade – which will be new to me.

Yesterday Richard got the jeepster licenced – so we are good for cruising the beach tomorrow night.
I’ve proposed a sort of ‘art car’ paint-what-you-like on it for tomorrow at our friend’s house ( Richard told me awhile back that I could do whatever I liked with the outside/inside of it, but now he’s not sure if he’s keen on that idea). I think it would be fun to let folks have their way with spray paint or whatever sort of goofy decorations. After all, it won’t likely be driven except for on the beach a few times a year. Worst case scenario is that you spraypaint over it later – it sure couldn’t look worse than what it does now.

Tomorrow night is of course the Big Deal here. 28 miles of fireworks on the beach! With the weather so nice  – in the mid 70’s – it should be perfect. Then Sunday is the big beach cleanup. It’s a well organized thing with provided trash bags, and lots of folks with beach vehicles to pick them up. I’m hoping that it stays nice out for that, unlike the rain that happened last year.

So, I’m off to make cookies and treats for the party tomorrow – happy 4th, everyone!

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shopping local

Today we went shopping for a mantle for the fireplace. We took advantage of the great weather, and went to Waikiki Beach. Not that one, but a beach down at the park at the end of the peninsula. There was a lot of wood to choose from:
While we were there, we contemplated bringing home this new car ——  
but decided that we have too many already.
We did find a good piece – no surprise –  and then had to haul it out of there. Easier said than done- it took us a couple of hours. It was about seven feet long, and 20" across, and heavy. We drug it with straps, rolled it on small logs, and once off the beach finally put it on a hand truck to wheel it to the truck. You can take wood, but no power tools ( chainsaws ) are allowed in the park. We took it to a local guy who has a small saw mill. He is supposed to call us in a couple days when he goes to cut it, then we’ll go and have him cut a 4×8 out of it with the edge that we want. I can’t wait to have that whole fireplace project finished.

The other day there was yet another critter – a whole family, actually – at the bird feeder. Sunny saw them, as the feeder is about eight feet from the sliding door, and her barking chased them off – Here’s an ‘I spy" pic
that Richard took. Today the deer were back, looking for the free lunch. They don’t scare away easily. I’ve learned how to shake the ‘no barking’ can ( that we use for Sunny ) together with a gibberish goofy holler, and they run. I need to teach them that the crazy person is here and they should stay away. Until we get a fence, and that could be awhile. Its a fun game.
The other night as it was clouding up, I got this great picture  .

I’ve been making good progress knitting on a sweater. Maybe I’ll have it done in the next few days.

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I can only imagine the shock of this happening. That poor baby! This weather has brought so many unusual things, but I think that about tops the list. 

 With some of the horriffic flooding and the like – I’ve been moved to tears watching all the devastation. For me it’s akin to seeing all of the fires that have ravaged California over the past year.
People who bought their dream home, on some property with a little creek running through it. An acre or two, a couple of outbuildings and a workshop, and things have been ‘normal’ for ten or twenty years. Now its all gone, swept away in a rush of water and mud.  Seems like that story has been repeated over and over on the news these past few days.

I have been doing little more than sitting and knitting the past couple days. I started a simple sweater with some pretty yarn that was a Christmas gift from my sister. Its the perfect thing to do in this weather. That, and watch movies.
The other night we watched one of the "that’s Entertainment" movies, and there was the most amazing ‘dance’ number – if you can call it that. I’ve watched the clip a dozen times, and can only see no more than four shots in the whole scene. I am in awe.

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warning! nudie alert!

This morning I heard of this. Funny, only if you’re the onlooker. If it were me, just maybe it would be a cause to sue. Would you?
 You would never live it down. To see all of the pics, go to the above link.
Richard and I were talking about skiing the other day, and whether or not he could ski with his knee in the condition that it’s in. I haven’t skied since breaking my ankle several years ago on an anniversary ski trip. I got just two runs in before we called it quits because of the super cold temps. That evening I missed a step on a sidewalk and fell, completely bending my ankle over. It took forever for it to heal. I’m ready to give it a go though.
In the spirit of skiing, here are a couple of pics from a 60s? knitting leaflet:
 What would someone think if you zoomed down the slopes in one of these:  
or maybe this number?  How many of these were really made, I wonder? Were they given as a gift, as a suprise to the recipient? "Here sweetie, I made you the cutest ski hat – because I know how much you like being a little kooky! Or you could wear it if you decide to go ax murder that family down the block."
There’s a part of me that wants to knit all of them up and display them in the den, mounted, like hunting trophys. What else could you do with them?

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Well, it had to end. After nearly a month off, the phone rang at about 10:15 pm. Suddenly there is stuff needed for V.Mars that is urgent, so, this morning I went to the studio to pick up a pile ( guess they had been saving it up until there was something urgent ) of stuff. I need to have a couple pieces done and returned there by this afternoon.  Not a big deal.  The rest of the things aren’t needed until next week. 

When life hands you lemons…… well, you know the rest. But in my case, I have several dozen of them, all handed to me by a couple of neighbors.   So, tomorrow I will juice a bunch of them, and freeze some of that juice in ice cube trays to save for a later date, and my plan is to make a few batches of lemon curd ( I found a recipie that can be frozen ) , and try to make some candied citrus peel. Beyond that I don’t know what else to do with them. Any suggestions??   ‘Tis the season, as I see them on the ground everywhere around here when we’re walking in the morning. Our poor little dwarf Meyer lemon ( sweeter type ) tree only managed to carry two pieces of fruit to term this year for some reason, which I will pick tomorrow. Next to that, we have a dwarf blood orange tree that is five or so years old, and never even blossomed until this year, and it is loaded with fruit ( I counted 27 the other day) that is nearly perfectly ripe. Not sure what to do with those, either. 

Richard surprised me this morning with a gift of $$ to go and purchase the psp that I have been pining for ( he knows what a deal shopper I am).  Along with that, he is having a portrait done of Sunny (painted by Julie’s boyfriend) for me that I am sooo excited about. Craig has done some truly amazing dog paintings, that you would have to see to believe, and has been wanting to do one of Sunny for quite a while. Julie said yesterday that it will be another week or so before it’s finished “he’s very meticulous” ( I’ll post pics of it ) I can hardly wait . I also recieved some really interesting yarn from my sister, Debbie – kind of a do-it-yourself-surprise-kit.  cool. And we’ll be going to dinner tonight. 
It is shaping up to be a wonderful birthday.

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