Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gratitude

I am so grateful to all of you who left such kind comments on my last post about Grandma Eva.  She was laid to rest yesterday.  Breathing Life said it best - that I can “remember her with every stitch”, and I most certainly will.  You all are so gracious, thank you.

Saturday morning and it’s literally freezing here in South Mississippi.  For two nights we’ve had temps in the low 30s and when I got home from work last night, I actually chose to stay home and cook rather than go out to eat because I didn’t want to go back out in the cold.  It takes a LOT to entice me to cook if I have an option not to.  While I don’t like the cold, I have immensely enjoyed The Husband making a fire in the fireplace and I have thanked the Lord for wool this week more than once.  And then I wished I had more.  Wool, that is.  Is that wrong?

Last Friday The Husband and I got together with Lady L and her husband, David for dinner.  I’ve not seen her much since her retirement from my LYS but we had the nicest evening and I told her later that I was so inspired just seeing her that the very next day, I finished two projects and have been plugging along on the lap blanket I’m donating.  I think this is an excellent argument for going to dinner with them more often, no?  

The lap blanket was here:


Then went to this:


And now looks like this:


I still have a ways to go but I’m optimistic I’ll get it done on time for the December 1st deadline.

The two projects I finally finished last weekend were the vest I started for my mom ages ago and the shawl that needed to be blocked.  I won’t share any pics of the vest just yet since I’ll give the vest to Mom at Christmas but you’ll remember I only had to seam the shoulders and then finish the neckline and armholes which took all of a couple of hours.  I’m pleased with the results and hope Mom likes it.


I’m also very happy with the Morgaine shawl.  I’m not the best at blocking in the world and since I only own two shorter flexible blocking wires, I had to use a thicker, stiff wire to try and block the middle of the curve on the crescent, but it worked out okay.  I love fingering weight yarn, especially when it comes to blocking. It dries so quickly.  Believe me, in the moisture-saturated South, getting anything to dry naturally is a challenge.  It’s humid even when it’s cold.


Colors are truer in this photo


I’ve already worn this shawl and I love it!  I’ve said it before, this yarn is absolutely dreamy.  I hope LeiLani and Heavenly Fiber are at next year’s Magnolia State Fiber Festival again so I can snap up some more of her heavenly yarn (<—see what I did there?). 







I suppose somewhere in the midst of knitting this weekend I’m going to have to break down and do some cleaning, although it’s against my better judgement.  Meh…

Have a wonderful weekend,
Lisa

xoxo

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Passing

Beautiful Grandma Eva
Today is a sad day in our household.  I suppose it is strange to be sharing anything about a personal loss with all of you, but tonight, because she was one of our particular tribe, I think it is appropriate.  

Today we lost Grandma Eva.

Some of you will remember my sharing about The Husband's precious grandma.  Ninety-six years of love and grace and blessing.  I'm sorry that I only knew her for 15 of those years.  She was a delight.

Grandmothers are special people.  I don't have any grandmas by blood anymore.  I lost my father's mother when I was just a child - around 6 years old as I recall.  We were visiting when it happened.  I was hastened into the next room when, in the blink of an eye, she was gone.  Then, many years later but several years ago, my maternal grandmother passed, although the grandma I knew had been gone for some time.  But when The Husband and I married, I gained two grandmothers-in-love.  Love indeed.


Grandma Eva, this beloved, petite, wisp of a woman was stronger than you could imagine.  She knew the heartbreak of the loss of a child and the loss of a husband.  She knew the joy of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  And she knew the joy of knitting.  To many it may sound silly, but you...I know you all know exactly what I'm talking about.  

That got me to thinking...

While we are mourning her passing from this life into eternity, I realized there has been another passing.  A passing on of all that she was to those who knew and loved her.  And that was a lot to pass on.  Our lives are all richer, fuller, more complete because Grandma poured herself into us and into everyone she encountered, even strangers.




Grandma volunteered at the local hospital for 25 years.  And her craft?  She didn't keep it to herself.  In fact, I can't remember seeing her work on a project that she didn't give away.  I think of all the love she spread in the form of yarn:  decades of newborn babies whose little heads were covered with her love in the shape of a hat or a blanket; aged knees warmed by the product of hands that over the years became aged themselves - a bit stiff, but still determined to share.   She was still knitting a few weeks ago.  

Knitting was a part of her.

Until a few years ago, I wouldn't have understood.  But I do now.  And I hope and I pray that I continue the tradition.   Here's to you, Grandma Eva.  I love you.  I will miss you dreadfully.  And I hope to make you proud.

Lisa 

xoxo

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Swatch Out!

It is frigid here in South Mississippi this morning - down in the 30s in early November.  Yes, having come from the North, I know that’s not exactly frigid, but hello?  South Mississippi, y’all.  The neighbor said it was supposed to be another cold winter.  I never thought I’d say it, but I’m okay with that this year.  The Husband started the first fire in the fireplace last night - which I always love, I broke out a pair of my hand knit socks I’ve been waiting to wear, and unlike last winter, we actually have the yard fenced now so I don’t have to escort our Dachshunds outside in the cold. 

Toasty!

I spent a good portion of this past week trying to get caught up on my blog reading (a monumental task lately that I made a very small dent in).  The knitting blogosphere is filled with kind and incredibly talented people who always inspire me.  If you read my last blog post, you'll know that inspiration is exactly what I need and there is no better place to find some than looking at what others are doing with sticks and string.

Seeing so many wonderful creations from designers I love as well as the projects others have chosen to make - along with drooling over all of that dreamy yarn - has stirred up a desire in me that I normally NEVER have:  swatching.

I know, I know, only a foolish knitter never swatches.  I DO swatch when starting a project that needs to fit, like a sweater, but honestly, I do the bare minimum in order to see if I'm at least in the neighborhood of the correct gauge and that is the end of it (feel free to remind me of this the next time something I make doesn’t fit).  But seeing so many beautiful WIPs
with very lovely stitch patterns led me to pull out my two lone stitch dictionaries and thumb through them.  

I have no idea why this picture is blurry.  Seriously.
The original is crystal clear.

This made me realize two things:  1) I need more stitch dictionaries, and 2) I should really try some of these lovelies out for myself.  In the past, I have mostly just dreamed about them and don't bother getting off my fanny to go get some yarn and needles and start actually finding out which I like and which I'd like to forget. 

Did I say in the past?  That’s not entire accurate.

Must. Knit. Faster.
I'm still sitting here on my fanny.  The only thing I've managed to work on over the last week besides blog reading has been the lap blanket I'm making for donation.  Since it's a simple garter stitch blanket, I decided to practice my Continental knitting technique.  I've played around with it before, but this time it seemed to go a bit better since I have such a lot of garter stitch to do and plenty of fodder for experimentation.  Only problem is, my tension is hit and miss.  I've never been particularly good at using my left hand for anything meticulous (or even not so meticulous) and this is no exception.  I've Googled every knitter and their sister's way of holding tension and tried most of them.  I'm hoping to get a bit better at this but time will tell.

Oh yeah, back to swatching.  I haven’t.  At all.  But I do feel a bit more inspired.  And that counts, right?

Lisa
xoxo

P.S. - My preview of this post looks weird.  So I apologize for any weirdness.  Blogger has turned against me - blurry pics, weird layout.  I lament...