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Revamping Underway

Hi, everybody!  I’m still here but have technical difficulties as my laptop computer screen went white then faded to black…….  My hubby is a former computer programmer and has been all over the internet and back trying to figure out what happened.  His latest opinion as to what happened is that the mother board is gone.  I told him I don’t care I just want to be able to retrieve my documents and pictures. ESPECIALLY my pictures!   So.  I’m waiting for that to happen.  In the meantime, I’m using his laptop when I can.  I will have to re-take some pictures of my ribbon-winning entries in the county fair and my test-knit one-cable mittens.

I have continued to knit during this fiasco.  I knitted a hat to match my test knitted mittens and just yesterday finished gloves for my daughter to match her Central Park Hoodie!  And a local knit group I’m “hosting” is beginning to pick up new members!

Oh, yes.  Add to this mix, my miniature schnauzer almost died from undiagnosed diabetes. Beemer is fine now, up to his usual barking.  I’m giving him insulin shots twice a day.  It’s no big deal, I used to do this for my Nicki kitty 14 years ago.

My plan is to kick off a revamped and, hopefully, improved blog starting December 1.  This is something I have wanted to do so, as the saying goes, “There’s no time like the present.”

Enjoy your holiday this week giving thanks for all things, small and large, known and unknown.  I’m planning to enjoy turkey and my dressing, which my hubby said is better than his mother’s was!  My budding chef, aka known as The Teen-ager, wants to make a pumpkin pie for her daddy.

Until the 1st, be safe, have fun and take care.

Saturdays Mean Something, Again

During the summer when school is out and if you’re not working outside the home the days pretty much melt one into another,  especially here in the Deep South.  I get to sleep a little later in the summer and go to bed a little  way later than usual.  But school has been in session since August 8th which means early mornings and daily drives to and from high school.  So.  On Saturdays  I can sleep late.  But don’t count on it.  Between the 9th grader who likes to get up before the birds (she’s not mine, must be her daddy’s…) and cook breakfast. And because her daddy who thinks I’m wasting the day by being in bed, I am usually up no later than 7:30.  Oh, and let us not forget the cats who jump upon the bed and start making biscuits on your stomach while purring loud enough to register on the Richter Scale. Lately my daughter’s specialty is baking English Scones from scratch and they taste delicious, wonderful, and scrumptious.  She makes enough for me to nibble on what’s left all day long.  And for an extra special treat, sometimes she puts out the blackberry jam she made from blackberries she picked while on walks up and down the street in July.  Again, early morning walks.  I am usually still hanging onto my first cup of coffee and talking incoherently.  Unless I have something to knit, then I am alert, making sense when I talk and looking forward to that second and third cup of coffee,  And woe be to the person who wants me to stop and do something for him out in his bike shop. 😦  So maybe after Saturday morning, I will have something to show you in the way of that raglan sleeved sweater I am almost finished with.  Oh, so close.  But it has wool in it, blended with cotton and I am not that anxious to wear it when it is 95 degrees outside and when the car sits for two minutes, the thermometer registers 115 degrees F.!  It’s Labor Day Week-end; the trees are beginning to turn colors.  Let’s cool it off, please.  But, back when I was in high school, I got my second-worst sunburn lying out by the pool over Labor Day week-end.  The absolute worst sunburn I got came from my sorority’s week-end house-parties in March in Destin, Florida.  Not in May or June, but March!  Suffice it to say, I don’t tan very well.  But burn, that I do very well.  Besides knit.  And sleep.  And snuggle with my cats.

The Art Show was held this week-end in the Mentone Park among the trees.  That was a very good thing; as it was hot in the afternoon.  I took a few pictures of the vendors.

The Mentone Art Show among the trees.

One of the vendors was Beth Bailey aka The Original Scarf Lady, who takes yarns and strips of fabric and makes necklaces and hair clips.  She was generous and gave the Teen-ager one to wear in her hair.

The scarf and hair-clip designer with the Teen-ager. Sorry you cannot see the hair-clip very well.

I’m sorry you can’t really see it on her.  I took a picture to show you how nice it looks.

Hand made hair-clip using vintage fabric and yarns.

She may be reached at alabeth@aol.com.   Here is another picture of Beth wearing one of her scarves.

Beth Bradley wearing one of her scarves made from vintage fabrics and yarns.

I bought a pair of handmade earrings from Pam Nicholson of Napoleon’s Baubles.  She may be reached at spaigenicholson@gmail.com.  For the last couple of years I have this thing about wanting to wear handmade earrings.  I love them, they are beautiful.  I was going back to another vendor to get a pair of earrings made from melted glass which were gorgeous.  However.

I never made it back to the art show as it was supposed to last two more days but Tropical Storm Lee interfered with a lot of people’s plans.  On  Sunday, the power was out from 2:30 p.m. (with the last sheet of macadamia and white chocolate chip cookies left in the oven) until 12:15 a.m.  We were very fortunate compared to other people in town.  Down the street there are several trees down, two of which fell on the same house.  When high winds are combined with saturated ground, you get trees falling over.   And my thoughts and prayers are for those who are really suffering from the effects of floods and power outages and tornadoes.

One more thing about Saturdays in the fall:  FOOTBALL!!!  Southeastern Conference Football!!!  In my house the Auburn and Alabama games are evenly supported until THE GAME.  Then we watch it from opposite sides of the room.  But preferably in separate rooms.  Now, having said all this with such emphasis I can not tell you who Auburn is playing this week-end.  After all, it is just a game.

My current WIP is the Garterlac Dishcloth.  I’ve frogged it twice and in frustration went back to the Ravelry site and a tutorial was offered.  Due to the power outage I did not get to work on it any yesterday.

Twice frogged Garterlac washcloth

I still have not seamed the raglan sleeved sweater.  After all, there was no power and it is hard to seam dark blue in the semi-darkness.

Transitions Lead to Drastic Changes

It’s been six weeks since I moved in the middle of June.  The only knitting I have put around my fingers is the two sweaters I started back in April.  What I really mean is that my yarn is still in plastic bins.  I can’t get to the stash for all the hard plastic.  And these bins are either stacked in the floor of the closet under my hanging clothes or around the bed in the extra bedroom and there’s even one bin still languishing in the far back corner of the rental storage unit.

Also in even more bins and boxes are fabrics and patterns and magazines related to my sewing hobby.  I have already made the decision to concentrate on the knitting as it’s more mobile, more creative in some ways, and I’m more sane when I knit than when I sew.  With sewing I am stuck by myself in the bedroom with the machine.  With knitting I can be all over the house, yard, town, even the county!  I discarded a lot of stuff during the move as I have reached the age where I know I am not “going to get to it, one day.”  Especially if I keep up this knitting.  Even with what I discarded, there is wwaaayyy too much left.  So, let’s get real.  I am not going to do anything with all that fabric. So what do I do with it all?  It definitely is not going to the garbage can to be picked up by the mean green machine on Tuesdays.  A good friend is active in the Homemakers club where I previously lived and I will cull out what I do not plan on using which will be about 75 percent of it.  I plan on keeping about two bins for myself.  She can have the rest.  What is really bothering me about all this excess is that I cannot get a grip on what I do have so I can create all these wonderful and beautiful things which are in my imagination.  And who wants to spend all morning searching for that particular yarn or piece of fabric?  And when it is found, you are mentally tired and want to move on to something else.

When all this material is sorted out, the first thing I will to do is to make a quilt from my mother’s house-dresses and remnants from the dresses I made my daughter when she was a baby and toddler.  Plus, there is fabric from dresses I cut out and never made for her.  Long before I was born, Mama made a quilt top using the Grandmother’s Fan pattern and that is what I will use as my pattern.  As you can see she used a yellow cotton broadcloth for the background but I think I will use a blue as that is the color I most associate with her.  Also, most of her dresses were predominately blue.  Perhaps I was unconsciously influenced by her when I picked the blue yarns for the two sweaters I just finished.

Mama's quilt top

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close up of Mama's quilt top

Tornado Aftermath

I have been without power since the tornado hit Wednesday.  I watched the tornado, shrouded in rain, from the church parking lot and then it went east, to kill 40+ people in the county.  I’ve been knitting to candlelight and going to bed to the sound of my neighbor’s generator.  But with no power, you can go outside and see an infinite number of stars you don’t ordinarily see.  It’s wonderful but the reason is painful.  Don’t know when I’ll be back online.  Please pray for those who lost family members and those who can’t find family members.  We’ll never be the same.  When I wear the sweaters I’m knitting, I’ll remember the storms.  All of north Alabama is without power as the huge power lines that carry electricity cross country are down because of the tornadoes.  We may be without for one to two weeks.  Should have a lot to show by then.   My brother-in-law’s neighborhood in Pleasant Grove is in shambles but their house is ok.  Who is untouched?  take care

My Birthday Is This Week-end

My birthday is this week-end.  It’s a big milestone for me.  Did I say big?  Did I really say just ‘big’?  The one ten years ago was a ‘big’ milestone, this one is a huge milestone.  This birthday is making me take stock of my life and exploring ways I can enhance my life.  Are my priorities in order?  Do I want to make any changes?  If so, what?

Normally I don’t pay much attention to birthdays.  Growing up, my family celebrated birthdays but in my husband’s family they do not get much attention. So, rather than be disappointed over the lack of hoopla, I have chosen to give them not much thought.  However, for this one, I want to celebrate!  Even if it’s nothing more than going out to dinner with my husband and daughter.  And I don’t mean going to a Cracker Barrel.

My daughter has asked me what I want for my birthday and I’m almost at a loss as to what to tell her.  I have come to realize that apart from family and church, my leisure activities are centered around reading and knitting – not necessarily in that order.  I have the circular needles and single point needles that I need.  I have more yarn than I can knit up in the next five years.  I would love to have a set of hand blown glass knitting needles or a pair from Signature Needle Arts.  And, who wouldn’t want a skein or two or even three of cashmere or silk yarn?

When I read, my favorite writers are Southern women who write about Southern women.  We’re complicated, notorious, loyal, funny, serious, catty, flirty, to name just a few characteristics.  I also like books about Ireland, knitters, cats and the East coast.  The last book I read was by Debbie Macomber and before that I read Patrick Taylor’s An Irish County Christmas, my first from him and it will not be my last.  Maybe another of Taylor’s books is what I can suggest for a birthday present?

And I still haven’t blocked my daughter’s Central Park Hoodie.