Archive for January, 2013

January Knitting

January 30, 2013

Forget New Year’s resolutions.  Didn’t make any this year. Probably should have. Haven’t gotten much done this month except knitting. Had good intentions. But without a resolve to get particular things done, I haven’t had the motivation to get any of them done. Especially now that I’m retired and have all this extra time. (That’s probably the problem — too much time!)

Actually I started the year out ok. The plan in the back of my head was to get closets and drawers cleaned out, get rid of things that we don’t or won’t use anymore, and organize what was left. It’s funny how closets somehow become “dump” stations, isn’t it? (Come on, admit it — you all know what I’m talking about!) Two closets out of seven got re-done. They look great and there’s more room now.

Then something happened. Knitting! In my spare time, I’ve been working on several smaller items since Christmas. A shawlette out of some beautiful yarn I got for Christmas,

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another pair of fingerless gloves which was a request from a grandson,

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a lacy scarf,

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and a Möbius cowl out of chunky yarn.

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For months, I’ve been thinking about starting another afghan out of left-over yarns. It’s fun to knit with my new yarns, but my left-over stash yarns keeps growing and needs to be used up!

This was my downfall! Even though I get excited starting a new project, I get obsessed making an item as large as an afghan, especially when I use left-over yarn. I’m anxious to see how the pattern works up, how the left-over yarns work together, and watch all that yarn disappear from the stash. Am I the only one that gets a “high” from this?

So I started another log cabin style afghan from all the left-over brown colors in my stash.

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And I knit and knit and knit! And knit! All other projects went out the window. Hubby was even lucky to get supper every evening.

My friend Carolyn gave me a pattern for a cardigan knitted with several different patterns. Really pretty! It was a long cardigan and would take more yarn than a regular sweater. I wasn’t sure I had enough of one color of yarn in my stash for this cardigan. But it stayed on my mind and I kept thinking about that pattern while I was knitting on these other projects.

One day while I was driving into the garage from an outing with Hubby, I spied some yarn in my stash (which lives in the garage until it’s destined to become a project). I grabbed it on the way into the house, checked out the yardage, made a swatch, and voila! A new cardigan will soon be in the making.

The afghan was nearly finished and I was determined to finish it first. Only a few more rows to go. Unfortunately, the larger the afghan, the longer it took to make the strips. But finally, it was finished.

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Now to start on the cardigan. It’s so fun to knit on. The different stitches and patterns are keeping it interesting.

Then a few weeks ago, I was invited to a baby shower. That means another afghan, but a baby one this time. The gift I take doesn’t have to be a hand-made gift, but come on! My gift won’t be like any others and I want to make a hand-made gift. It’s what I do! So I put the sweater to the back burner and started another afghan.  Now I’m knitting and knitting and knitting again so I can get it done and get back to my sweater.

Until something else comes along!

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Something New

January 11, 2013

I like nooks and crannies and I’m always trying to find new places to stash things. This partly comes from living in mobile homes for about half our married life. It’s really amazing when I think back about all the “junk” we’ve been able to stuff into these mobile homes and now, our house.

In a way, that’s been a curse as well as a blessing. Taking the phrase, “the more money you have, the more you spend” could be said as “the more space you have, the more “junk” you can store” — in my case anyway.

I’m a pack rat. I come by it honestly, however, as I come from a long line of pack rats. Hubby’s folks, as well. It stems from living through an era where you either “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” I suppose. You keep things “just in case” they might come in handy someday.

So I’m always looking for more space. Maybe that’s why I like to rearrange and organize things all the time — looking for more space for all this “junk” that I just can’t bear to get rid of.

My eye has been on this little section of wall in our hallway, and I use that term loosely because it’s just a square of floor space that leads into all three bedrooms, the bath, and the livingroom. If anything was to be put there, it would have to be small — no deeper than six to eight inches. This wall faces into the livingroom and if something was there, it could be seen from anyone in the livingroom. So I was thinking a small shelf unit of some kind.

This has been in the back of my mind for several years. I’ve not made a point of looking for something but if the “right” item happened to show up, I was on it! Well, it happened to show up while I was looking at stuff on the net. It was ordered and arrived a couple of days ago.

I was so excited, I opened the box right away and started putting it together. Hubby thought it was funny to see this 66-year old lady sitting on the floor going through all these loose parts.

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It’s all together now and in its new home.

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I wasn’t sure about the doors on the front, but it may work out for the best. It’s a good place to store more yarn stash and nobody will know it’s there — shhhhhh.

Sis’s Macrame Hanger

January 7, 2013

My sister that passed away in ’99 went through a phase of making macrame hangers when it was popular in the 60’s and 70’s. She made several of them to give as gifts to our mother. When Mom passed away, I kept one of these macrame hangers of Mom’s that Sis had gifted her. It was an item with which I could remember both Mom and Sis.

The macrame hanger was put away for all these years; because, quite frankly, I couldn’t think of a good place to put it. Actually it was forgotten.

Then a friend gave us a big basket of fruit for Christmas. The fruit has been mostly eaten and the rest has a new home in the fridge. What to do with this pretty, big basket?

All of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks! The macrame hanger! If I had that hanging in my new sewing room, I could store some yarn in it and it would be decorative as well. So I fell all over myself hunting it up, getting it cleaned up, and finding the equipment to get it hung. Hubby had to help drill the hole in the ceiling.

The hanger actually had room for two baskets so I found another basket that would fit in the second place. I like it! And I have another place to store some of my yarn stash! Yeah!!

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Busy December

January 2, 2013

Dec. 4 — was the day before my  sis’s birthday.  Her actual b-day happened to fall on Survivor night.  Sis is a big-time Survivor fan, as well as myself, so she told her family that she DID NOT want to do “party” that night. (All her family usually makes a big deal out of a birthday.) So the day before, I took her a gift of some books on Amigurumi crochet. She hadn’t even heard of Amigurumi. I was shocked! It’s been around (or renewed again) for several years so it surprised me that she’d never heard of it before. She loves making small items and those little animals are soooo cute! Needless to say, I think she liked her gift.

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Dec. 5 — was the day that my dear friend, Carolyn, and I met for our monthly lunch. She needed a little help with some finger-less gloves that she was making for one of her granddaughters. We both brought a Christmas exchange gift for each other. I LOVE books, especially books on subjects like knitting! 🙂 Since she’s getting into knitting, I thought I’d help her along with more patterns, (even though she’s doing a great job of building her knitting library and stash all by herself), so I gave her a new knitting book.

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Carolyn knows that I love and collect pottery and I have several pieces that her mother made. (Her mother was an expert potter — won many ribbons for her work). So Carolyn gave me a piece of pottery that was made by a fellow potter of her mother’s. (Carolyn told me that her mother had the highest regard for this lady’s work.) It’s a beautiful piece that’s hollow and has something inside that makes it rattle. She also gave me a picture of her mother standing by a shelf unit that holds many of the pottery pieces that her mother made over the years. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Her mom was a very special lady!

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Dec. 6 – 14 — trip to K.C. to babysit with the two youngest grandsons while Son and DIL went on a cruise for Son’s 40th birthday. I arrived in time to go to the youngest GS’s program that he was in at school. It was a cute program with all the little kindergarten students. I really couldn’t understand what was going on but I do enjoy watching the little ones perform.

We had our Christmas with them early because they were leaving Sat. and as soon as they got back, I was heading back home again. We set up the computer and called Grandpa on Skype so he could watch everyone open their gifts. The boys had fun opening all the gifts and “helping” their parents open their gifts as well. As the littlest one said, “Opening gifts is hard work!”

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Dec. 16 – 22 — I knitted caps for all the grandsons (six of them), a pair of finger-less gloves and a purse for a couple of the girls. This week, I was finishing some of these projects, wrapping gifts, finishing the decorating, and spending three days baking and preparing for our party with the rest of the family. It was soooo fun and nice to not have to worry about going to work in between all of this. (I like retirement!)

Dec. 21 — Sis and I ran out to the nursing home to visit with our older sis and take her some Christmas goodies.

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Then back to Sis’s house to exchange our gifts…..

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Dec. 21 — Made a trip over to see Grandson #1 to take him the rest of his b-day gift. (I was in K.C. on his b-day) and take some gifts for his dad to deliver to Daughter C. for me.

Dec. 23 — was our Christmas party for the rest of the family. Still two family members didn’t make it. (I wonder if we’ll ever have all of them together again?) We sure missed them!

Number 1 Daughter and Hubby,

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Dad playing with the boys’ juggling balls. (Maybe I should have given him some as well!)

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Did you like your finger-less gloves, K?

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The boys had fun with the hats Grandma knitted for them.

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Dec. 25 — Hubby and I had our own Christmas party including gifts!

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How did Hubby know exactly what I wanted! He’s amazing!

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Hubby got what he wanted as well.

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Dec. 25 — We went over to visit with Hubby’s Dad for Christmas. The Sisters were there and had a big Christmas dinner ready for us all to enjoy.

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Dec. 26 – 31 — Relaxing and remembering what a wonderful (and fun) Dec. this was.

Happy New Year Everyone. I wish happiness, good health, and a lot of wonderful times for all in 2013.