Monday, September 20, 2021

I've Got Rhythm

Yeah, so "rhythm" isn't something much associated with me, but I've found it with a knitting project.  Hmmm?  What's that?  Yes, I'm knitting.  The Hue Shift Afghan was crawling along, abandoned for stretches of time, and decidedly ignored.  Then my sister mentioned she was working on hers again, so I pulled mine out of hibernation and got going.  I was still on the first column in the second quadrant, and when I began column two, a new color (Alfalfa, in case you were wondering) came into play, and it must have been too much excitement, as I purled a quarter of a row.  I mean, come on, it's a garter stitch blanket.  What was going on with me? Anyway, after that, I was just clicking right along, knitting like I used to knit.  At one point, when my mom was over, she stopped watching the movie we had on (to be clear, she had already seen it and wanted us to watch it) and was just watching me knit. 

Back of Second Quadrant of Hue Shift Afghan with ends not woven in yet
The biggest challenges (if you can even call them that) are at the start of the second through fifth columns on a quadrant, and they really aren't much of a challenge.  I just keep knitting along, picking up stitches for the next squares, and have all the yarn (except the border) in a bag next to my seat in the living room.  No longer do I trudge through each square.  I'm cruising through them.  In fact, not only did I finish the second quadrant, I'm about one-third of the way through the third.  When I complete it, I will weigh the remaining yarn and take a guess at if I will need more.  And you know what?  I'm really not worried about that, either.  If I need more yarn, I will just get it.  I'll bring my digital scale over to my sister's and see if it looks like she'll need more, and put in the order.  

So, yeah, there are a lot of really not awesome things happening, but I think this is going well.      

Monday, September 13, 2021

Back to School

Fine, so the kiddos here have been back in school for over a month, but August was a bit much, so here we are.  The whole return to school is still more than a bit much, but I'm managing my anxiety about it a bit better than I was six weeks ago.  I still hold that the nieces and nephew could all come over to my house to learn arts and crafts, cook, play Big Brain Academy*, Wii Sports, Wii Fit Plus, and Wii Sports Resort and they would come through just fine.  Add in some Duolingo for the oldest niece to keep up with her foreign languages and we're soaring above the trees.  If we're feeling especially ambitious, we can add in the less glamorous home ec stuff and do a bit of cleaning and laundry, and there will always be yard work that needs doing.  

Ah, but that is not how we are doing things, and I understand why it is not.  My inability to take care of them all five days a week not being the least of it.  I'm mostly joking about keeping them all out of school, but with the way the world is going, I'm kind of not joking at all.  Anyway, I do what I can, and I can make masks.  I sewed a bunch and then sewed a bunch more for my older brother's friend's kid.

Many face masks that I have sewn from patterned fabric including:  Rainbow plaid, Avengers, Care Bears, Marvel Superheroes, Legend of Zelda, Hot Peppers, Hearts, Outer Space, Poppies, Hedgehogs, Dragonflies, and Flowers

Another bunch of face masks I have sewn from solid or semi-solid fabric including light purple, dark purple, white, sparkly light pink, and aqua. 

In the meantime, it's medical stuffs running amok, a bit.  We were in the hospital last month (non-COVID) and it was wild and they wanted us out of there as soon as possible.  I mean, he was admitted due to dehydration, and when they first got ready to discharge him he had unexpected vomiting, and if we could have found a way to get him to the car they would have had him go home, even though he couldn't even hold down a sip of water.  Did I mention that we were one room away from one of the plastic-ed-off COVID units?  The icing on the cake is that the unimportant (temporary--it was done and gone a day later) vomiting is now what some of the healthcare providers have seized upon as very important and they've changed up medicines and we have not had good results.  It's all a bit tiring, and healthcare folks are tired, too.  We're all just doing our best.  

Anyway, in spite of it all, I think were doing decently okily-dokily.  I'll be back soon, and I even have knitting.  I'm just as shocked as you are.  

*Did you see that their will be a Switch version of Big Brain Academy coming out in December?  I can't wait!           

Monday, June 14, 2021

Parting Shot

As has become something of a tradition, I knit something small with a magnet inside and left it somewhere on the son's refrigerator just before we parted.  The pattern choice was easy, as we couldn't have been together without the vaccine.  

It was quite an adventure, and maybe I'll bring some of the stories and pictures here to the blog.  Then again, I might just move on with whatever happens next, or more likely, wander away and neglect this place.  You know, same ol', same ol', eh?   

Monday, February 22, 2021

Still a Rainbow

Since it's a knit-a-long, I suppose it would be good to show the kit I chose.  It would be even better if I had gotten a better picture, but I'm not great at capturing all the colors.  Anyway, the pastel rainbow is a nice bit of change for me.  Well, I actually think this will not be for me when it's done, but I'm not even sure about that.  I certainly don't have anyone in mind for it, and by the time I put in all the work to make it, I may not be able to part with it.  

So, obviously, the Hue Shift KAL is well underway.  Before we got going, we were discussing ideas and a few details, and I asked if she wanted to set progress goals.  I asked her how many squares she thought she would average in a week, and she guessed at about four or five.  That seems doable for both of us.  At that rate, we will have the main part of the blanket finished in 20-25 weeks, and then all that would remain are the seaming, border, and weaving in of ends (no, we're totally going to weave them all in as we work each square).  That is not a very cheering thought, so I started to re-frame the way I was thinking about it.  I figure, the time it will take for us all to be fully vaccinated and can be together will be about the same amount of time as it takes us to finish our blankets.  So, finished blanket time will be family party time, right?  I'll think of each square as getting closer to getting vaccinated.  That being said, if we finish our blankets on that timetable and aren't all vaccinated, at least we will have our own blankets to huddle beneath.    

Anyway, the knitting is going pretty well.  It took me a few tries to get gauge.  I'm down from the suggested US5s to US2s, and she had to go up to US7s.  There have been misunderstandings along the way.  For example, my sister thought we were each knitting half of a blanket and that the finished piece would be hers.  My misunderstanding was where I thought she had already begun, so I got started.  Turns out, she was still practicing with scrap yarn to understand how to knit a mitered square.  So, I'm a little bit ahead of her.  While we're both on the first section, she's somewhere on the third strip and I'm at the start of the fifth strip.  However, she is ahead of me in vaccinating--she has received her first dose!   

Saturday, February 20, 2021

We Were Just Lucky

That's really all there is to it.  I don't much think about luck, as I don't find it particularly helpful.  However, it's about the best explanation I can think of for why we made it through just fine.  The idea that we have some special worthiness or mission to fulfill just seems vile to me, as if others are lacking.  Maybe you just call that survivor's guilt.  I don't know.  I've just found myself thinking about this randomly over the past year.

We took a trip to Texas in February last year to see the daughter and son-in-law.  It was our Christmas present from them.  It is something else to receive a gift from your kids you could not purchase for yourself or for them, but that's not for today.  I remember the concerns I had as we got ready to go.  I was packing a bit differently.  As usual, I had concerns about Bruce's health, but now with the added unknown swirling about.  I wondered whether the trip would be canceled.  I wondered whether we should cancel it.  I wondered whether we would be able to come home.  Some cruise ship passengers had been brought to an Air Force base near them for quarantine.  I was glad that the daughter's job had changed and she was no longer working on that base. 

It's become a bit of a traveling tradition to pick up a few reusable shopping bags local to the area we are visiting

We had a good visit, and parting was sad.  We wondered when we would see one another again, but we couldn't bring ourselves to say those words, whether we were hugging one another for the last time.  We crossed our fingers and tried not to worry as we made our way back home.  You could see it with other passengers, too, with every cough and sniffle ratcheting up the tension.  

Once home, we increased our efforts to prepare and took further precautions.  Bruce was staying home from most errands.  Soon, even my younger brother (who generally puts forth the view that most people's worrying is worthless and that they are overreacting) was checking to see if we were going to stay home all the time.  We had two last nerve-wracking errands to tend to after that call before we did so.          

The more I learned, the more that was revealed, I see how lucky we have been.  Well, if luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, we're doing our best to stay prepared, and, well, this is a heck of an opportunity, eh?  

Now, here we are a year out, and it all just hits over and over again for us.  We've had some extra-for-our-area winter weather, but we avoided much worse.  My heart goes out to everyone in Texas.  Here we are, just watching horrible suffering and no way to stop it.  All I can do is add my few dollars to those of others and keep thinking warm thoughts and praying.   

Saturday, January 16, 2021

If You Haven't...{first in a series?}...Have You Even Quarantined?

Will this be a recurring blog topic?  Knowing me, probably not.  While I've done some of the same things that many other people have done while staying at home, much of it isn't worth the effort of a blog post, and you probably don't have to worry about reading an ode to a loaf of bread I've baked.  Anyway, today we ask, "If you haven't colored your hair with dye bought as part of a grocery store delivery, have you even quarantined?"  Well, have you?  Up until recently, I had not.  I ordered two boxes (I knew one wouldn't be enough) of a color called Amethyst Chrome and hoped for the best not the worst.  I figured if it left the brown hair brown and made the white hair Amethyst Chrome, that would be more than good enough.  Then one day there was a horrible attack on our country, so in the midst of watching too much television coverage and doom-scrolling, I got out the boxes of hair dye and got going.    

Generally speaking, if you're going to show a physical transformation, you post a before picture.  Then again, I chose a hair dye shade called Amethyst Chrome.  If the dye takes, there is obviously going to be a difference.  So we can totally dispense with the before, right?  That being said, I know I can't get away with not showing an after, so here you go. 

It turned out alright, I think.  I don't know how it will hold up over time, and I'm not even thinking about how/whether to maintain this.  For now, I'm just going to stay at home and have purple hair. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Since We're Inside All the Time

I'm a homebody, for sure.  It's just a bit of luck that my history, personality, and brain chemistry have made staying home somewhat less difficult for me than it has been for some people.  I mean, that's all I can really call it.  Sure, there are moments when I might have had a boost if I could have convinced myself that it was some sort of intense feat of discipline and superior moral character, but I know that wouldn't be true.  

Still, there are things I have missed while adhering to the best guidelines for staying as safe as possible during the pandemic.  Looking out our windows is nice, and I'm very grateful for it.  That doesn't keep me from wanting to see other landscapes.  It's also a flimsy pretext for another yarn purchase.  What, like I'm going to get only two of the three Palette sampler boxes?  Of course I got the Forest and Ocean set.  There are so many gorgeous blues and greens, from light and bright to dark and deep.  Maybe I'll knit a grove of tiny trees, or perhaps just a horde of sickly looking zombies. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Happy Birthday, Sister!

Yes, it is time for one of the most knitblog-worthy of occasions, the knitalong!  This will not likely be a quick one, for we are knitting large items.  How large?  Well, if we get gauge, (and we'd better, or we'll need more yarn--seriously, we've been warned) they will be 50" square.  We're knitting the Hue Shift Afghan.  Can you believe it?  

My sister took up knitting over a year ago, and she's made her way through a few projects.  She finished her first major piece, (except for the ends--yes, I agreed to weave them in for her, and yes, you can judge away) so I asked her if she'd like to do a knitalong.  She seemed a little wary, as people often think I am a much faster knitter than I actually am.  Yes, it's true that I have more free time than she does, but she is a monogamous knitter, and besides, I thought she'd like the blanket.  I sent her a bit of the pattern (don't worry, I bought her a copy of the pattern once she agreed) and asked if she felt like tackling it.  She said she watched a Youtube video on knitting mitered squares and feels confident.  As soon as that text came through, I asked which color set she liked (she said Rainbow is her favorite) and sent in an order.

I'm glad I asked, because I would have guessed Jewel, and I would have been wrong, but I'm not surprised she chose Rainbow, either.  In fact the only one that would have left me scratching my head is Decor, as that is the least "her" of them.  I am going with Pastel because, well, it is a little different than I would normally (Rainbow or Jewel) choose.  Decor is my least favorite of the selections, but I don't dislike it.  I just think the other color choices are better with this pattern. 

While I waited for the yarn to arrive, I planned on sewing a project bag for her, but that didn't happen.  You're shocked, right?  Anyway, I baked a cake and decorated it up as best as I could and sent the cake and present over.  It's a milestone birthday, and I wish I could have put on a big party for her, but that cannot be.  I hope the cake and this present are a good way to celebrate the occasion.  They say, "Go big, or go home."  Well, why not both?  We're going to be home for a while, yet.  We might as well do something big.