Wednesday, January 5

Which hat? That hat?

Well, Christmas has passed.  I didn't finish the sweater for Smallest, but I did have to undo it and start over because I wasn't following the directions.  Sigh.

I still need to sew up the toes of the socks for Middle.  They go back to Chicago on Sunday, so time is short.  Today is Wednesday.  Oh! I do have a sock picture to share.  I knit these back in... 2014? They're matching socks for Middle and Smallest - toes and heel yarn are swapped with the main yarn between the socks.

Over the holiday, Lauren asked for a hat with a larger brim than her current hat.  I thought that I had made her a Bankhead hat, but alas, I was just looking back through the blog to remember what the yarn was and I made her a Turn A Square hat!  I have completed about six inches of 1x1 ribbing at this point, so I think I'm just going to stick with the Bankhead.  Hopefully I'll have enough yarn.

I bought some nice tweedy olive yarn to make an Almina shawl, so I think that will come next after the sweater, hat, and socks are finally finished.  I did also discover a 3/4 finished sock while looking for something else, so I have that to finish too.  

I've started on the last row of the Hue blanket, so that's exciting.  Hopefully I can finish it this year.  Goals!

I'm making a new ballet costume for Smallest also.  This year it's the Awakening of Flora, so it's a romantic (long & droopy) tutu with an overskirt and a bodice.  Much less challenging than last year, and I'm behind on getting it done.  She needs it for the 23rd of the month.  I've got the mock-up of the bodice done, and made the skirt (and screwed it up) so we'll see if I can get my act together.

Happy New Year!


Monday, November 22

Ah, Kitchener, we meet again...

 I have finished the socks for Middle.  One might be a row or two longer in the leg than the other, but that's not such a big deal.  It is not entirely true to say that I have finished.  I have 24 stitches left on both socks that I must sew together using the Kitchener stitch.  This is a fancy way of sewing the stitches closed in a way that looks like they were knitted together.  It's a grafting stitch.  Sometimes I do it well and the toes look beautiful, sometimes it looks really horrendous.  There are a billion online resources to use, so I'll find one and get it done.

In the meantime, I have picked up the sweater for Smallest.  I was working on it while we were watching Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings last night and now I have to un-knit three rows to figure out what I screwed up.  Alas.  At least it's a smaller sweater.  

We are preparing for Thanksgiving also.  It will be the first holiday without my Father-in-law.  I know that my Mother-in-law was in a memory care place last year for the holiday, but Jeff is adamant that she was with us for the holidays last year, and I don't think that's the case, because the facility was highly restrictive about visitors.  At any rate, she doesn't remember last year, so it doesn't really matter.  We'll be gathering at Jeff's brother's house, which will accommodate her wheelchair, except for the bathroom.  I'm learning more and more about handicapped bathrooms and am thinking I need to rate the Houston area bathrooms by how easy they are to use.

At any rate, it should be a nice holiday, and we'll have tasty food, and be with good people.  

I'll see if I can remember to snap a picture of the sweater to share soon.

I should be going to France in a couple of weeks.  I don't know if I want to take the sweater, or start on a shawl to work on while I'm there.  I finished my Sunwalker shawl at the last in-person meeting (July, 2019) and knit some socks at the previous overseas meeting (Paris, 2017).  I was swatching for a Good Vibes, but have set that aside.  Maybe I can work that in while working on the sweater...


Monday, November 8

Road Trip!

 This weekend, I drove with Smallest up to Memphis so that she could audition for the ballet program at the University of Utah.  We left after a school program on Saturday morning and arrived in Memphis around 10:30ish?  It was an uneventful drive up, which is always good.  The perk was that it was Daylight Saving Ends weekend, so clocks went back, the audition was at 2:00, and we could sleep in!  

Much sleep was had, then we had a tasty breakfast at Bryant's Breakfast, which was very tasty.  I had a bacon biscuit with egg and cheese, and Smallest had the Nutella Supreme pancakes.  We were pleased with our decision.  Here are the pancakes:

After breakfast, it was back to the hotel to relax a bit and then get ready for the audition.  We left around 1:15 for a quick drive to the studio, where registration was to begin at 1:30.  The studio was a brand new place and is really stunning.  There were about 20 other girls there and one boy.  They all got to go in and warm up after checking in, and overall things went pretty well.

At the end of the program, we were the last to leave because Smallest was waiting to change clothes.  The professor who lead the audition complimented her, and we discovered he knew several of her ballet teachers in Houston, which was cool.  Smallest said the teacher had a lot of Russian-training tendencies in his dancing, so she was very happy to have had the experience with the Bolshoi program this past summer.  At least something good came out of all that!

We left around 5:00 to drive back to Houston.  We got dinner at a sketchy Subway at a gas station, which was amusing, and had a smooth trip back home.  Smallest slept the last couple of hours, so hopefully she won't be tooo tired today.  We arrived around 1:30 in the morning.  We enjoyed some really beautiful sunsets, and laughed a lot about how Smallest has picked up a lot of my habits, for which I apologized profusely.

That's about it.  I'm thinking about a short nap here before lunch.  Maybe... I do have a library book to pick up.  I could walk and get it on the way home...

That's what I know.  Now we wait to hear from Utah about scholarships and admission, and wait to hear from the other schools about auditions.  Lots of waiting.


Friday, November 5

Upping the frequency

 If I post more frequently to a blog that no one reads, does it really matter?

I will feel better about it at any rate.

The water hyacinth continues to bloom and is entirely pleasing.  I am still taking pictures of the flowers, but not as frequently.  I had been thinking that it had plenty of water with all the rain we've had recently.  However, when I was out back to check some breakers, I noticed that the water was pretty low.  It's been filled up now and I know to check it every so often.

Other excitement... Smallest finished the college applications that were due for Nov 1.  This involved filming dance videos and then editing them into longer videos and videos of different combinations.  She had to do some of this for an application due Oct 15 and had a terrible time with editing software while at her dad's house.  Luckily for her, this time she was at our house.  I helped her with the filming and once she selected the videos she liked, I did all the editing.  iMovie for the win!  There were some short sleep nights, as the musical was still going on, but she's been a trooper.  The Oct 15 deadline school has invited her for an audition, and one of the other schools has admitted her but she's waiting to hear about a dance audition.  There are some reach schools in NYC that I'm sure she's anxious to hear from too.  One of the other schools has a regional audition this coming Sunday, so we are driving up to Memphis for some dance fun!  Paar-taay!  I am glad we are close enough to drive.  Flying seems so crazy these days with flights getting canceled all over the place.  There weren't any flights back to Houston Sunday afternoon, so we decided to drive.  It should be fun.  Only about 8 hours.

I've started on some Xmas knitting.  Socks for Middle.  They mentioned that they liked tiger stripes last year at some point and about a week after that, this yarn appeared in an email newsletter so it seemed like destiny to me!  I'm knitting Vanilla is the New Black because the heel is cool and something I haven't done before.  After those are done, I've started a sweater for Smallest.

We've made progress with my in-law's house.  We've removed everything that's going, except for some furniture for Jeff's brother.  Now it's time to get the estate sale moving!  There was a lot of stuff.  Oof.  There's been a lot dealing with Jeff's mom and her insurance.  Medicare is complicated!  I think we have everything sorted now.  We will see.  I did take her to the dentist this week.  Turns out she hadn't been in four years, so it was good that we took her.  Apparently she doesn't really like going to the dentist.  However, she _does_ like going on outings, so that was more important than where she was going.  We got tacos for lunch afterwards and that was a nice perk too.  She is starting to lose more of her words though, which is sad.  

That's about it for now.  I made a top for Smallest last night.  I'll see if I can get her to send me pictures of her in it at a party tonight and then I'll relate the story soon.  Off to Memphis tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 6


 Oh my, it's been a while!  Shame on me.

We are back from Spain, stepdaughter has gotten married and started law school.  Sadly, while we were in Spain, initial tests suggested that Jeff's dad had some sort of abdominal cancer.  It turned out to be pancreatic cancer, and he passed away just a month after those initial tests. We have been trying to catch up on everything since then.  We also had to put our dog to sleep the week before my father-in-law's memorial service.  It's been non-stop fun over here.

As we've been cleaning out their house, preparing it for whatever we decide in the future, I was able to acquire something that I've admired for many years.  Jeff's mom is/was an avid gardener, and has many wonderful plants.  We re-homed her ginormous fiddle leaf fig tree to a friend's office, other plants have gone to be with other family members, but the one I wanted is apparently highly illegal.

Here we have water hyacinth.  It is highly invasive, will spread to cover the surface of any water supply it is exposed to, and has truly lovely blooms.  It's happily sitting in a plastic container on our back porch now, and with replenished water rewarded me with a bloom two days ago.  It survived our freeze back in February, and it will remind me of my mother-in-law every time I see it.  

In other news, I had a EMG test to determine what was going on with my neck/shoulder pain and it looks like it's a pinched nerve.  I get to have an MRI to see what's going on in there, and I'm continuing with physical therapy.  The PT has been so helpful in increasing my range of motion.  Good stuff.

I'm also back to knitting, as of yesterday.  I've been doing some cross stitch in between.  The test ruled out carpal tunnel, which I had secretly worried about, so I figure it's time to knit again!  I have a sweater to make for Smallest, and some socks for Middle.  The Boy doesn't seem concerned about knitted things, so I'm not too worried about him.  He also tends to run hot, so he might not need anything either.

Perhaps I should set a regular posting day...


Tuesday, July 6


 I have a small project bag that's perfect for socks, and I usually have socks-in-progress in there so that I can grab the bag and have it with me anywhere I'm going that I'll have to wait (doctor, car repair, kids' lessons, etc.)  Well, I was packing for a trip recently and realized I couldn't find my little bag!  Crisis!  I was also bummed because I had some of my favorite DPNs in there, and stitch markers, and I was getting close to finishing sock #1 of the pair that was being made with some souvenir yarn from a pattern that I was a tester for, so clearly I needed to find it!

I was worried that I had left it in a public place, and was mentally preparing myself for a permanent loss.  I've been back from the trip for many days and have looked around the house with no success.  Then (you know it's coming!) I took a different car to run an errand.  We have more cars than drivers right now, and I had taken the car in question in for service before I left on my trip.  When I returned from my errand, I checked the back seat to see what else needed to come inside and there, creeping under the driver's seat, was my bag!  Hooray for the bag!  I am happy to have it back.

My recent trip was to take Smallest to a ballet program in New York.  We took a week beforehand to look at colleges in the area.  We had a nice time and I thoroughly exposed her to the NY transit system, as we didn't rent a car.  That has paid off, as she's now scooting about NY with friends from the dance program.  Good stuff.

I haven't been doing much knitting lately, as my shoulder/arm discomfort isn't totally resolved.  We are heading to Spain for my older stepdaughter's wedding, so I feel like I should bring something more than a sock to work on.  I have plans for some yarn, so perhaps I can swatch/start on the shawls before we leave. I need to do some serious sleeping on the plane over, but I should have some time to work on it while we're there.  Things to think about!


Wednesday, April 28

Sooo behind!

 I had such good intentions of posting more often.  I will try to do better.

Currently I have been knitting and unknitting a shawl.  I started it, decided it wasn't going to use up enough yarn, unknit a bit, started making it bigger and got close to finishing before I decided I had made it too big, so I had to go back and make it closer to the proper size.  Ah well.  It's the Livie shawl.  Here's a piece of it from the first knitting.

Other things... I finished the scarf for Jeff's brother and a cowl for brother's wife, those were Christmas presents.  They were well received.  I did finish the cowl for other brother's wife, but we didn't see her at Xmas, so I don't know if she liked it or not.  I don't know if I have a picture of it either.  Hmmm.  

The I Want You shawl lays nicely after blocking and I wore it a lot while it was cold here.  We had a small cold snap in Texas this February.  You might have heard about it.

I finished leg warmers for Smallest.  She happily wore them to her ballet competition this past weekend.  That reminds me that I need to put some elastic in them before the ballet competition this coming weekend!  No picture of those.

Oh!  I made Smallest's ballet costume.  She gets lots of compliments on it.  I am pleased.  I didn't make the actual tutu, but I made the part that goes on top.

I forgot that I made two sweaters also!  Another Flax Light for my friend's son.  Apparently the son really loves the colors in the sweater and it's big enough that it should last at least through the fall.  He is growing fast!  I also made Middle a sweater.  This one is the Homebody.  It's just a plain sweater.  It turned out well.  I would make it again.  Middle claims to like it.  I have no idea if it's actually being worn or not.  Same thing with the other two I made.  

Last are some socks.  I finished the Speckled Space Socks, and they have been claimed by Smallest.  I like them, and would make another pair.  I also had the fun of participating in a test knit!  I had to knit a sock in a week.  It wasn't too hard, but I was nervous about making it look good.  I started in a blue yarn, but it was hard to see the pattern, so I switched to a purple.  I'll undo the purple because I have other plans for that purple, but I will finish the blue because it was such a nice squishy sock!  It was the Dots and Lines from this set of three.

Lots more than I thought I did!  I have a couple more shawls to work on once I finally finish the reknitting of the current one.  I think this time will be the last time.  I'm going to mostly follow the directions.

I think that's it.  We're about to spend a week out of town for Jeff to learn how to make Prarie style stained glass, so I should have plenty of knitting time while he's playing.  I will also be working remotely, but there will still be knitting time.