Thursday, January 28, 2016

Knitting Fun

  • I have finally finished my “leftover” socks.  There is yarn from 5 different earlier pairs of socks and I still have leftover yarn so there will be more leftover socks down the road.



  • And I also finished knitting 8 washcloths, 4 for my sister,
    Waunita/Jonni and 4 for my daughter, Lisa.



I do want to share why it sometimes takes me a lot of time to get things done.  Abby seems to feel she is needed in case I drop a stitch.

But the need to be close to me ends when I offer for her, and the other two, an opportunity to go out to the “play pen.”  We had this fence put in because I am not strong enough to take all three dogs on leashes for a walk.  And they have a lot of fun chasing after the squirrel that likes to gather the little acorns under the tree. 

And now I need to get off this computer and see if I can find all the parts of my cardigan and figure out where I was in the pattern.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll see you all here next week, I hope.

PS: I am linking to Patchwork Times where you can see some more knitting fun.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Many Things

 I will start this blog post out with a picture of our really cute great granddaughter, Scarlett, who turned 1 year old today.  She is so much fun to show as she loves the camera as much as the camera loves her.

 I have been knitting.  Here you can see the two front pieces of the cardigan I am currently working on.  And I hope you can see where I have started the increases on both sides of the slip stitch.  These increases will be the beginning of the wide collar.  I have to say I am really impressed with my ability to knit both fronts with the opposing increases.  On the other hand it has been pretty easy and I again will credit having learned to knit two socks at the same time.

And speaking of socks, here are my leftover socks.  I have completed one heel and half of the other.  I hope to be done with these this week as I really want to wear these very colorful socks. 
I think I will be making more of these, they are really fun to do. 
These are some simple blocks
I am making for some easy sewing, trying to get back to it.  I have several applique blocks I need to be working on but I need to get my cutting table cleared off before I can work on them.

quite some time and didn't come up
with an idea for them.  They are being
sewn onto some 2 1/2" strips.  I am
trying to make them as different from
each other as possible.

This is my design wall.  The interesting thing about it is that it hasn't changed since Spring.  Well, that's not quite true.  Some of the blocks that were on it have fallen off and I haven't yet been able to pick them up off the floor and put them back.  However, I am feeling so much better that I am hoping that I will soon be more productive in my quilting again.  I did take the bobbin out of my Handi Quilter and start to  see if I could figure out why the thread is being cut while I was quilting.  And then I will begin to work on the quilts that became UFOs when I became sick.  And then I will have something new on my design wall, I hope.

But for now I will leave you with this terrific picture of Abby, the sweetheart who sleeps under the covers of my bed.  She has to have her nose outside the covers and I think she thinks she can't be seen.  But on this morning she could be seen twice, on the bed and in the mirror.  I had a pretty good laugh before I could get up and start my day.

Please forgive the mess this post appears to have.  Blogger is making it very difficult to write my post and I have been unable to upload a post from Live Writer.  But despite this: have a great week, I plan to.  Gari


Friday, January 1, 2016

On My Needles 1/1/16

 I have started a new knitting project.  It is a cardigan sweater.  The pattern is called a Milo Cardigan and it can be found here.  And it is a free pattern which is even better.  This picture is of the back which I finished this week: it is not blocked yet.  I was a little concerned that it will roll at the bottom since there is no ribbing but that is a problem I will deal with later.

And here is the start of the front.  I am doing both fronts at the same time, just like I make socks.

The only problem is than this sweater has an unusual, for me, band, collar and facing, and each side is done in reverse of the other.  I did read the directions over and over several times before I decided I could figure out how to do them at the same time.  The are worked from the bottom up so for 14" all I have to do is repeat the same two rows over and over.  After that I will be working on that inverted cone shape and things may get a little tricky. We'll see how I do, won't we?

 I am still working on my "leftover" socks and I really like how they look.  I got stopped however when I got to the heel as I always have to watch the video to remember how to do the heel I currently like.  I think I will have to print out the pictures so I can keep going.  This is my studio knitting project and I haven't been out there (no central heat) for the last few days and probably won't much this week or until it warms up a little more.

But this is another reason I am working in the house.  I bought these acrylic needles just before Christmas and I really like them.  I got them because they looked pretty and now I find that they work very nicely.  They have a pretty sharp point and are slippery enough that the yarn moves but still have enough tooth to keep it from slipping off.  I see that they come in double points, too, but I don't really like much working with DPNs so probably won't get them.  Interestingly Staci of Very Pink just introduced this set and spoke very highly of them so I must know what I am talking about.  ;-)

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's Eve and are well on their way to a Happy New Year.  Our daughter and son-in-law will be coming over this evening and are bringing a traditional southern new years dinner: fried chicken, black eyed peas, and greens.  So we should be having good luck in 2016: not taking any chances.

Happy New Year,   Gari

Friday, December 18, 2015

Finishinfg Touches

 This is how I start my day.   Whether Eric leaves to teach his classes or sleeps in, as soon as he is out of bed I have the doxie horde with me.  And then it is hard for me to want to get up.  They don’t always lie around like this, sometimes they are all over me.  And you know I hate that.  Also they tend to come and go, jump down at the slightest sound and then bound back in acting like “we found you.”  It’s a great way to start the day.

And when I finally get up and ready to face the world I walk out into our living room to what is our Christmas tree this year.  Although not an original idea, it was one I saw online last year and spent most of the year trying to get it implemented.  First we had to find a wooden ladder, which was not as easy as I thought it would be.  Then, because this was going to be our Christmas tree, I decided to paint it forest green.  We bought premade shelves and I have since decided they also need to be painted but that will wait for later.  Anyway, after the ladder was properly prepared Eric took over adding the lights and then arranging the village pieces.  We are both thrilled with it.

Oh, you may have noticed the big empty space at the bottom.  We decided that with our three doxie babies, who have to get into everything, we would do better to not set up any of the village down there.  We do have three large animated Pooh pieces that may make an appearance before Christmas gets here.

The last few years that I worked I used the word “whatever” quite frequently.  It seemed that decisions were made that I thought were either illogical, not well thought out, or just plain stupid.  However I was not consulted for my expertise nor would my unsolicited input be appreciated so I would utter “whatever” and attempt work within the new guidelines.  I became known for the word.  So when Eric saw this clock he knew it was made for me: I agree.

I have nothing creative to show.  I will show what I have made as gifts but they will be shown after Christmas.  This has not been a year for creative gift giving so my offerings are quite small and humble.  But I couldn’t let this season of gift giving go without something made by me.  I am so grateful for my family’s response to my illness that I needed to respond with a little something that wasn’t bought but made.  And the thing I am most grateful for is the gift that God has given all of us who would receive it, that of his son’s sacrifice that assures us of eternal life with Him.  That gift has made everything worthwhile.

Health Update:  I was supposed to start an increased medication this week but turns out my white blood cell count was low (800) so it was put off for at least a week.  Other than that I appear to be doing well.  This pause in chemo therapy seems to be common but it was the first time it had happened to me.  I am having some pain problems with my hip replacement.  I was going to talk to the surgeon about it but my appointment this week was postponed (he had three emergency surgeries) until next week.  I just hope it will take care of itself rather than me having to go back in the hospital.  I REALLY don’t want to do that ever again.

Eric starts a 3 week semester break tomorrow: I will probably be spending more time in the studio for a while.   Have a great week and a Merry Christmas, just in case I don’t get back here for a while,  Gari

Friday, December 4, 2015

Off and On My Needles

I am always happy when I can report that I have completed a knitted item.  I am a very slow knitter.  It doesn’t bother me until feel I should have something done and I don’t.  These socks were started in March but I became sick around April/May and finally wound up in the hospital for half of July and again for a week in August.  Then it took me another few weeks to get back to knitting.  Since these socks were planned as a gift I focused on them and had them ready to gift on time.  I was almost as excited by them as my daughter was.

Meanwhile I had started on these.  I call them my “leftover” socks using the leftovers from earlier socks.  There is no rhyme or reason as to the order of the yarns but next time I may plan first.  I am putting two rows of the black/white between each new yarn.  This has been so fun, especially since all I am doing is knitting a plain stitch over and over.  I think I am about 2 1/2” away from starting the heels. 

I am sharing on Patchwork Times, come check us out.

Hope to see you all next week,  Gari

Monday, November 30, 2015

Birthday Month Part 4 & Conclusion

Nov 26:  It is hard to believe that Birthday Month is coming to an end.  Today I got another AU ornament.  Initially I decorated the bedroom with them but on Iron Bowl Saturday Eric used them to decorate our front door to ward off evil Bama spirits.

Nov 27:  My gift on this day was a pair of AU tights for me to wear on my birthday.  I was quite concerned as tights have never been my friends.  However I have lost enough weight that they fit great.

img_0289_22796295334_oNov 28: It’s a new iPad.  I have an old one that has difficulty holding a charge and Eric has been keeping it going for me.  Now it will be easier to charge it and my responsibility.  And I had it up and running before I went to bed (tech savvy).

And on my birthday we had all four of our children here: first time all together in 27 years.  I felt like crying but I didn’t.  We even had three of the four spouses plus some of the adult children.  There were lots of laughs and a significant amount of AUBURN/alabama trash talk.

As you can tell from this picture, fun was had by all.  And I spent the whole day smiling, I was so happy.

11-29-15Nov 29:  Before I could get up Eric presented me with these owl wind chimes.  The owl is beautiful and the chime is delicate.  I think I will attach it to the bed so I will hear the chime with movement.  I wonder how long that will last.  Winking smile

Nov 30:  My last Birthday Month gift is on back order and didn’t make it here.  I guess the good news is that I still have one gift to look forward to.  The bad news is that it leaves this month incomplete.  But it has been a really fun month and I have enjoyed sharing it.

done and gifted
One more thing, I did get these socks done and gifted to my daughter on her birthday (16th).  Because they were started before I got sick and were finished after I finally have begun to feel so much better, they really felt special.

And now we leave Birthday Month and enter the Christmas season.  See you back here next November 1st for another Birthday Month. Meanwhile we will continue with our regularly scheduled knitting and hopefully quilting blog.  Have a great week,    Gari

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Birthday Month Part 3

For anyone who hasn’t been reading my blog I feel I should explain what is going on at our house.  At the end of June my arm broke, almost on it’s own.  I had to have surgery to put it back together which included a metal piece to hold the two pieces in place.  While cleaning up the break the surgeon detected cancer in the bone.  A biopsy confirmed that diagnosis but found it was breast cancer that had migrated to all the bones of my body.  This diagnosis insured that my cancer was incurable but with medication could strengthen my bones and perhaps increase my lifetime.  I opted for medication rather than chemo and/or radiation and have been on two different medications since that time with positive results.  Oh, and I got to have two other surgeries, getting a pacemaker because my heart decided to cut back on beating (27 beats per minute) and hip replacement because the orthopedic surgeon, after looking at the x-rays, decided that there had been such significant deterioration that it was likely to break on it’s own.

Anyway, my husband decided to not take any chances that I might not be here for my next birthday and has made this Birthday Month the best one ever: a gift a day.   

Nov 18:  My husband has a great sense of humor.  And although we don’t feed the dogs from our plates, he recognized this expression as theirs.  And when you have 4 of those faces looking up at you, it is sometimes hard to ignore them.

Nov 19:  I collect glass owls: they can be found all over the house and even in the studio.  So this little crystal owl is a perfect fit.  It even has the body that matches the topaz, November’s birthstone.

Nov 20:  One may have noticed a Daschund bias.  I have had and loved Daschunds all my life and right now we have 3. Thus IU got this scarf.  It is really heavy so when we get those few really cold days this winter, I am ready to face them.  Isn’t he cute?

Nov 21:  What we are looking at are the flowers.  My husband knows that I love getting flowers and these appear to be lasting for a long time.  They really do add a soft touch in front of my owl lamp, don’t you think?

Nov 22:  This is a “giant” dark chocolate bar.  I had just explained to Eric that dark chocolate is good for the heart and this showed up.  Do you think I could convince him that pound cake was good for bone reconstruction?  

Nov 23:  We are decorating parts of our house for the Iron Bowl: we have our children coming and will be dealing with some Alabama”  fans.  So today’s gift is a cute ornament to show our preference for Auburn.

Nov 24:  It’s another sleep shirt and I love it.  Eric has been buying from Christmas catalogs and he is doing such a great job in finding things that I am loving.  I have now slept in this and then I laugh at it when I wake up and look down.  I have to admit though that the dogs don’t seem to be overly impressed.

Nov 25:  This one really made me laugh.  Several times a week Eric has heard me moan about having come from getting dressed but forgot my reading glasses, which I really need.  So I start pouting as I trudge back to the bedroom to get them. I have several pair but he got these for me and is insisting that they be kept in the living room, just in case I forget again.

That’s if for now but we still have a few days coming and that includes my real birthday.  But I cannot tell you how much fun this has been and not only for me, Eric has enjoyed it, too.  And I keep wondering how he is going to top it next year (I do plan to be here).

Happy Thanksgiving everybody,   Gari