Tag Archive | knitting

Starting Over……Or Picking Up Where I Left Off

Starting over.  It can be a good thing or something not so good.  Starting over and ridding oneself of all the extra stuff that is accumulated over time can be cleansing and liberating.    It is the time to refocus…to reprioritize…to figure out what is important and what can be given away. What once seemed precious is now discarded. And the materials for those projects that were going to be worked on “some day?”  Well, as I have grown older, I realize that some of those projects are never going to be completed, much less get started.  So, out they go to charity or to someone who will complete them.  That is really a good feeling to not feel the pressure to get it done.

Starting over.   It is a good thing.   Thank you for patiently waiting for this post.

Blue Ribbons

The County Fair is long over.  The midway is empty and quiet, and the rides are packed up and  in winter storage.  However…..the excitement remains that I won Best in Show blue ribbon in the Sweater category for the Central Park Hoodie I knitted last winter for my daughter!  I knitted it in Berroco’s Vintage, a worsted weight, wool blend yarn, she choose at the Memory Hagler Knitting Shop in Birmingham.  I used buttons found in a Button Jar at a close friend’s house.  They are perfect for the grey yarn and she had just the right number needed.  It was meant to be!

Central Park Hoodie










In another category, the Charlotte Raglan Tee earned a blue ribbon, too! I called this my Tornado Tee as I started it on April 27th, a terrible day in Alabama’s weather history when so many lives were lost; and from which people are still recovering.  It’s knitted in Lily Chin’s Chelsea.  On a spur of the moment impulse, I entered a yellow Peaches and Cream soap bag and it won a blue ribbon in its category!  The woolen Habitat Hat and the Angora Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf also won ribbons.  My daughter knitted a slipstitch scarf that won a blue ribbon in the Junior knitting category!  Just as exciting was the Best in Show blue ribbon for her delicious chocolate fudge in the Junior Baking Category!  She also won a blue ribbon for her sugar cookies and a red ribbon for her chocolate chip cookies.


My life is far from being dull and routine.  The biggest event in the past month was my miniature schnauzer almost dying from undiagnosed diabetes.  Beemer was lethargic, vomiting and was practically skin and bones. When I left him at the vet’s we were not sure if he would survive the night.  But he did and after a weekend of IV fluids and monitoring blood levels I was able to take Beemer home Monday afternoon.  Right now I’m giving him eight units of insulin twice a day.   He does not have your typical schnauzer cut so we were not able to see that he had lost a lot of weight.  And he’s not your typical house dog.  In fact, the only time he wants to be inside is when it’s too cold or too hot.  So, we were not watching his water intake closely.

Today, Beemer is back to his usual sassy self, barking at passing white cars (my across-the-street-neighbor’s dog taught him to do that) and biting the tires of Bike Man’s motorcycle when he rides.

Beemer, the camera shy dog

Bike Man's restored vintage BMW bike










With all the vet expenses, it’s a good thing I have a great friend who brought wonderful sock yarn when she came to visit for the Colorfest!  I had too much fun….. so much fun that I forgot to take pictures!

And speaking of pictures…..There’s another reason for my neglect in blogging.  My computer has died.  Died as in the screen fading to white then going black.  BLACK!  Nothing.  Zilch.  Zero.  All my pictures, all my partially written blog posts in Word, and  ALL my knitting pdf. files are unobtainable right now.  My Life is in that little, thin, black laptop.  Right now I’m writing to you from the Bike Man’s laptop and it’s just not the same.

But my knitting goes on.

The Toshiba Tecra's Guts

What To Expect

Moonglow Alpaca Farm

Live Oak Shawlette


Mentone’s Farmer’s Market

Lookout Mountain Knitters

Gloves to match the Central Park Hoodie

A hat to match my Cable on the Side Mittens


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.

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

The First Time I Picked Up Knitting Needles

When I was little, one of my mother’s friends seemed to be able to do anything she set her mind to doing:  wallpapering, painting, sewing, and….knitting.  She probably crocheted, too, but I don’t remember her doing that.  I watched her knit and was fascinated by the things she made and I wanted to learn to do that.  I pestered Mother until she let me ask Ruby to teach me how to knit. I vaguely remember wanting to knit a sweater and that’s what she started me on – a sweater!  Not a scarf or scarves, not a washcloth, or even a hat but a whole sweater.  I remember it was a simple cardigan with 2×2 ribbing in a soft olive-green wool.  Mother bought the needles and yarn for me and I was on my way to knit;ing a sweater!  But….. I didn’t finish it.  However, I did complete the back but never knitted the front sides or the sleeves.  I remember seeing the back with bound off armholes and the neck stitches on a brass holder, stored in Mother’s double cedar closet; but after she died and we cleared out the house I didn’t find it in the closet.  When I think about when I learned to knit and how young I was, I am amazed that Ruby let me begin knitting on a sweater and not something simple like a garter stitch scarf.  Maybe that is why I am not intimidated by complicated designs or patterns considered advanced or needing experience; I was not told that I “could not do that.”  I am the same way when it comes to sewing.  The first piece of clothing I made after taking Singer sewing classes when I was 14 was a lined, wool, princess-seamed jumper with two pleats.  Daddy always told me to never say “I can’t.”

It has been a long while since that first almost-sweater.  These days I am finishing a second v-neck sweater.  I call it my “tornado” sweater since I started it back in April when the power was out from the tornadoes that hit a community two miles from where I lived at the time.  The back andthe front are finished and the sleeves are being knitted at the same times on circular needles.

"Double" knitting sleeves

This ‘double’ knitting is great in that when I finish a sleeve, they are both finished!

Sleeve for the Charlotte "tornado" tee shirt

Coco sitting on the back of the sweater.







This photo was taken at the same time as the one above but with a different exposure.





I would love to complete the sweater in time to wear to a wedding this Saturday but it is a wool blend and the wedding is in downtown Chattanooga, in the middle of July, no less.  Maybe not.  I may wear the first v-neck sweater I finished earlier this summer a combination of linen and cotton, perfect for a hot, humid Southern afternoon.

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