Archive for the ‘Sometimes I sit and knit…’ Category

Name This Flower

June 23, 2014

I am in between flowers in my garden. The peonies and the lilacs are down for the season and I am waiting for the hydrangea to bloom.

I am very anxious for the hydrangea because it will be the first time in three years that I will actually see them. A couple years ago, the lawn care crew cut them down with a chain saw when they trimmed bushes much too soon and then the deer ate all the tender buds the next two years. I solved the lawn crew problem and the deer eating the tender buds problem, so I’m waiting patiently for the hydrangea. 

In the meantime, I have become fascinated by a lovely flower that I have added to my bucket list with the goal of seeing a real one sometime. However, I read that they can survive in our hardiness zone here, so I may have to try growing them as well as traveling to see them.

Don’t the modified leaves look like they were made from hand-crafted felt? I’m a knitter. I like the texture. Do you know what this flower is? Leave a comment if you want to guess.

Name this Flower


It Goes That Way, Don’t It?

June 7, 2014

Remember my recent post about my orange reading glasses that just happened to match the orange yarn I had purchased at a yarn shop? Well the very next day, I lost the glasses! They were inexpensive cheaters, but still . . . they were my favorite pair. I thought I knew where I dropped them, but despite going back several times to look, I had no luck in finding them.



It goes that way, don’t it?

That incident happened at the very end of the Spring term at the college. And because the term ended and I had some vacation time in between the Spring and Summer terms, I forgot about my loss and got to work on a list of chores I needed to accomplish.

One of the items on my list was to service my shop-vac. The last time I used it, I saw that the filter needed cleaning, and the debris bucket needed a good scrub, too. I didn’t have time for it with my work schedule, so it was the first chore on my list because I wanted to give the car a good vacuuming when I was done.

I found the brush I use to clean the filter and got that looking clean. I dumped the debris from the bucket and then gave it a good scrub. I put the shop-vac back together and decided I had enough time to vacuum the car. I didn’t think I should need to vacuum the back seat area because no one sits there. It’s just Goodnight and me and she hasn’t needed to be safely buckled in a car seat back there for quite some time now. But, I decided to vacuum back there anyway.  

I pulled the front passenger seat forward so I could get at the carpet under the seat, check for things that had dropped – usually small change or those little rubber bands GN has for her braces – and guess what I saw staring up at me? Yup! My orange glasses! I’ve no idea how they got there, but, there they were!

I had my orange cheaters back . . . but not before I had found another very inexpensive pair to replace them.


It goes that way, don’t it?

Because I had lost my orange cheaters, I had put off setting up my swift and winding my orange yarn to prepare for knitting. Now that I have my favorite glasses back and a second pair of orange cheaters to boot, I am happily getting ready to begin.

It is dark and rainy outside this morning and my teenage housemate is still sound asleep. Yesterday was the last day of a very difficult school year for her and I’m sure her head will be glued to her pillow until I wake her up with the scent of breakfast on the stove. 

My swift will whir and whirl, orange-flecked balls of yarn will collect on the table next to the swift, the rain will beat its own rhythm on the windows, and my needles will click as I commence knitting the summer sweater I had in mind for the yarn.

It goes that way, don’t it?

Gram’s Guiltless Pleasures for this Week

May 29, 2014

I’m just being honest here. There was NO guilt involved whatsoever in the way I took care of my schedule this week.

1) I did not cook a single thing!!! My breakfast smoothie may not appeal to many folks, but it has a very interesting mix of flavors to start my day: kale, fresh pear, blueberries, and cinnamon blended in Lemon Ginger Echinacea juice. It’s a fruit and veggie smoothie and the kale is now coming from my container garden. I have two varieties! My lunch break will be explained in Guiltless Pleasure #3. And for dinner(s), I bought a roasted chicken from the store and had a salad every night. I even got to snip some chard from the same container that has the kale. I used the chard in my salad.


2) I stayed up late to listen to the Stanley Cup games on the radio while I worked on some knitting – not the orange yarn yet. I got started on a yarn rescue project before I found the orange yarn.

3) For my lunch break at work, I had a tailgate pic-knit! I found that no one wants to park on the top level of the college ramp because the sun beats down on the cars all day long and makes them hot by the afternoon, so . . . I took advantage of the solitude, threw my chair in the car along with my knitting project from Guilty Pleasure #2 and spent my lunch break in sunny peace! I intentionally had my knitting needles sticking out of my tote, but not the project.


Seriously, there was not another car on the top level the entire day! I’d move my office up there if the WiFi signal went that far!!!


I won’t even pretend to feel guilt. The summer weather and the summer term at the college change everything for me, including my perspective on guilt and guiltlessness.

I won’t be on the top level of the ramp all summer. I will actually be continuing with my Parking Price Protest (PPP) and parking off-campus beginning next week again, but for this week, only a three-day work week for me, I had too much heavy stuff to tote. Lugging it from off-campus would have made me 😁 and not 😃, so I came up with a better solution!

Just so you know, my Stanley Cup game night knitting will continue . . . tonight!

Aside from loving the game, I think the guys doing the play-by-play announcing are amazing! Baseball is a slower paced game to listen to on the radio and football has enough breaks in the action between each down. In basketball the whistle is blown often enough for the announcers to take a breath, but in hockey, the action is quick-paced and rarely stops until the end of the period. They manage to keep the players straight, their voices reflect the intensity of the action on the ice, and they do this for twenty minutes straight. It entertains me. 


I didn’t need my glasses to see the yarn, but . . .

May 28, 2014

I walked into the yarn shop with no clear plan in mind.

I am generally conservative, so headed straight for the wool yarns, black to be specific. Did I say conservative? I should have said boring. I wear a lot of black and in the fall, winter, and chilly spring weather, it doesn’t really matter to me. Warmth matters to me.

But on a beautiful Saturday, away from work and away from home for a summer drive with my granddaughter, the need for warmth in a hand-knit garment seemed to fade into cheerful hustle and bustle of the fun river community we were visiting.

I walked away from the black wool and wandered around the yarn shop. I wandered the entire shop, but there was a yarn that kept drawing me back to one corner of the shop.

When I went back to the corner for the fifth time, I finally decided to buy all the yarn on the shelf in the specific color that was drawing my attention. The skeins were bagged up and I went on my way.

I said I am generally conservative and that is true, but there is one way I cut loose a little bit. It’s with my reading glasses. I have several very bright and cheery cheaters. One in particular, is my favorite.



Now I did not consciously decide to knit something to match my glasses, but if they match, they match. This is not the first time I have fallen for orange yarn, nor will it likely be the last, but the flecks in the yarn must have subconsciously reminded me of  my favorite eyewear.

I have a particular summer knitting pattern in mind for the yarn I purchased on Saturday. I haven’t had the time to begin knitting it yet, but I will! I only used two skeins for the photo below, but there was enough on the shelf for what I plan to do.

The yarn is Plymouth Fantasy Naturale, 100% cotton mercerized. It did not have a name for the color, just the dye lot information. I do like to read the color names, though. Maybe they should call this one Grammy’s Cheery Cheaters Orange.


Not Much Yarn to Spare . . . but

May 24, 2014

The Church Rummage Sale Blanket Rescue Project is now complete. I have knitted everything I could knit with what was left after finishing the baby blanket.

So, Cynthia: booties, yes!

Carol E: mittens, yes!

Germaine: scarf, yes . . . sort of, if you count the twisted cord bow on the little honey bear’s neck!

And after all is said and done, I had very little yarn left.


So, for the $2.00 rescue price at the rummage sale, this has turned into very nice baby gift to give back to that church. The bear pattern was from a book called Knit a Square & Make a Toy, A Cole’s Home Library Craftbook given to me by one of my blog buddies. But, I made the bear to half the scale of the pattern in the book due to the amount of yarn I had left. I ‘bearly’ had enough!  😉


Now I’m off on a Grammy Filed Trip with Goodnight to a German Meat market that I did not know about before today. Time to buy the best of the wurst.

And Then a Hat!

May 23, 2014

I had enough yarn leftover from the rescued baby afghan project to make a little hat – start to finish last night after dinner. I might take a look at what’s left and see what else I can make with it.


Look at All Those Super Scarves!!!

May 22, 2014

I can still spot them! Of course when a big bunch of them get together for a photo shoot, it’s easy to recognize the work of those who participated in the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee’s Super Scarf Project.

Indianapolis was one of the final three locations making a bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl. I spotted a video online that was prepared as their 2018 Super Bowl bid thank you. At nine seconds into the video, a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l site appeared: a group shot of folks wrapped in their Super Scarves. There they are, in front of Lucas Oil Stadium. I took a screen shot of the group from the video. 


The characteristic blue and white designs make me smile. The resounding success of the collective efforts of such a large-scale textile arts project makes me smile. Recognizing some of the people in the video from my own participation in the project makes me smile. And . . . spotting one of my own Super Scarf designs in the photo makes me smile. (Front row, second from the left-my tribute to the fabulous fan foam finger).

I know that Indianapolis put its best foot forward for Super Bowl XLVI and I’m certain they did they same thing for their LII bid. Though they were not awarded the 2018 event, there is a part of my heart forever tied to the community. To view the 40-second 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee Thank You video, click the link.

I had to give Indy a shout out because when I heard they made it to the final three in the bidding process, I must admit to pulling out my knitting needles in case they were going to have another blue and white scarf knit-a-thon! The crafters rocked the 2012 project, the Super Scarf Committee surpassed their established goal by thousands of scarves,  and participation in the project caused a shortage of blue and white yarn in the endorsed colors.

There are many, many people in the world who saw the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl as a football game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, an indisputable fact. But Indybro got it on the nose when he finally figured out that I saw it as a very large showcase for the textile arts: for me knitting, and for others who crocheted their donated scarves.

So, hey Indy! I’m coming back for a visit very soon . . . and I’m bringing Goodnight! You’re still looking good!

Knitter’s Knitting Knitted

May 21, 2014

It was a lovely day here yesterday. In fact, it was pic-knit weather. So, I packed a lunch and the rescued unfinished baby afghan and headed to the lake down the road. I worked much of the day on the knitting.

As I predicted in an earlier post, there was not enough yarn in one of the colors to complete the last repeat. I took what remained of the color to the store and happened to find a worsted in an almost perfect match. It is virtually undetectable.

It also helps that there are stripes of other colors, including variegated yarns, between the two different yarns I used. Look for this color in the photo of the afghan at the end of this post. The color was called either Dusty Pearl or Stormy Skies, depending on the brand.



There was a second yarn that I thought would run out before I was done with the last stripe, but there was enough . . . barely! 


To tell the truth, the pattern called for two more repeats of each color and there was not enough of any of the five colors to do that. The additional ten stripes would have put the afghan at a length longer than a crib. What I have now is larger than a receiving blanket, certainly long enough for a crib,  and actually rather handsome the way the knitter planned out the combinations of yarns.

Besides, when I take on a challenge of rescuing and finishing an abandoned project from a thrift shop or rummage sale, my goal is to make do without a large expense. The one skein I purchased to complete a stripe was on clearance, so not much cost added to the project. The intended baby may not have received the afghan, but somewhere there will be a baby who receives the best intentions of the original knitter.

Because I rescued the project from church rummage sale, I plan to send a note and photo to the pastor in the hope that word can get to the original knitter that the project has been Because I know the demography of the church, I’m guessing that the abandoned project was donated by a member of the church. That person might like to know that their work will be paid forward.








Baby/Knitter Mystery Unravelled

May 18, 2014

I believe the baby and knitter from my previous post were fine at the time the progress on the baby afghan in question halted.  I am certain that I have solved the mystery. 

The knitter made a series mistakes while knitting the afghan. Interestingly, the same mistake was repeated in the same location as the afghan was worked. I believe the knitter did not know how to correct the mistake and did not was to undo the work that had been completed.

The stitch pattern was the two-row knitted ripple. The knitter had omitted a yarnover in the location for several rows and then it looked like the solution was to have added a yarnover, but it got added in the wrong location and consequently one vertical row of eyelets had taken a jog.

It took me a while to figure out the problem because there are 139 stitches across and they gather a bout to accommodate the needle length. I am not fond of ripping work with yarnovers because of the difficulty it can post when trying to pick up the stitches again. nor did I want to unknit the number of rows it required to fix the problem.

So, I found a quiet moment (moment here translates to two hours), ripped the knitting back down to where I could see the problem had started, reloaded the needles and then promptly knitted up the yarn I had ripped.

Since then, I have more than doubled the length of the baby afghan and can continue with the project. My gauge seems to be matching the original knitter’s, providing continuity to the piece. 




So, added to the benefits from my purchase preciously mentioned, I also consider it an inexpensive knitting lesson, or maybe a skills refresher course, if you will. First of all, I have never actually produced an entire project using the two-row knitted ripple, but was familiar with it. Secondly, It’s good practice to solve knitting problems, know different ways to solve them, to transfer those skills to other knitting problems, and then to retain the skills over time. Yes . . . I take knitting seriously in that regard.

Methinks the baby afghan knitter had another obstacle to a completed project on the horizon had the knitting continued, however. I can already see it, but I am going to continue knitting anyway.

Any guesses as to the unforeseen problem? Don’t look at the photo for a clue. Rely on what you know about obstacles to completing a project.




What Became of the Baby . . . or the Knitter?

May 17, 2014

Goodnight and I went to rummage sale at a nearby neighborhood church. We always like how the sale is laid out in different rooms. Goodnight heads for books and clothing and I browse every section.

The craft room at the sale has finished items made by members of the church and donated to the sale, but it also has craft supplies which tend to be mostly leftover from projects or cleaning out unwanted items that are still useable.

Tucked into the corner or the craft room, was a box that caught my eye. It was an unfinished knitting project,  still on the needles. The box wasn’t heavy enough for it to have been an unfinished afghan, so my first guess was a winter scarf. But I was guessing from the wrong paradigm.

When I spotted the box, I initially only saw the unfinished project and some used skeins of yard, but when I lifted the box up and poked around underneath, I found the pattern booklet. The unfinished project was supposed to be a baby afghan.



The original price sticker was still on the pattern and it had the name of a five and dime store that has been out of business for just under thirty years. I had never heard of that particular store, but I found it online. It doesn’t tell me how long ago the project had been started, however.

For the rummage sale price, I decided to purchase the box, bring it home and finish the baby afghan and put it in my collection of knitted items to donate.

I love this kind of challenge because I have to match the gauge of the knitter who started the project. I have done it before . . . even with a christening gown that had gone undone. Even though the project cannot go to the original intended recipient, the knitter’s best intentions get completed.

What do I think became of the baby? Or the knitter? I don’t know. I have certainly completed items begun by knitters who have passed away. I know it for certain because of the circumstances under which I received the yarn. But with babies . . . my first guess is that they just grew up too quickly and the knitter didn’t get the project done in time. That happens to the best of us.

Or . . . perhaps the knitter had a change of heart about the color choice. That happens to us, also.


So, for the inexpensive price, I get to have more entertainment than a movie, a new set if knitting needles, tip protectors, a pattern booklet that was previously not in my collection and a knitted gift to donate in the end.


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