Sunday, May 29, 2011

Miters on My Mind

So.  I've had miters on my mind for a long time now.  Specifically, a blanket.  This blanket from my all-time favorite knitting book, Mason-Dixon Knitting - the Mitered Square Blanket.

I've been wanting to do this blanket for a long time and periodically, I would look at the finished projects on Ravelry.  I've even collected a small stash of Takhi Cotton, mostly leftovers from Ballband Washcloth kits from my LYS and a couple of skeins I added onto a order of yarn a while back.

I spent hours on Ravelry and boy, was that a mistake.  The more I looked, the more mired down in indecision I became.  Should I use different colors like I'd planned (juicy and blah's per Kay's suggestion in the book)?   Or should I use light and dark colors in the same color family?  Or should I use only one color for the contrasting stripes?  Or should I use(fill in the blank)?  My head was spinning! 

Then a few weeks ago, I had the thought that maybe I should knit a mitered square BEFORE commiting to an entire blanket.  And I am knitting squares for Blankets for Birmingham so this would be perfect!  Kill two squares in one knit!  I copied and pasted the pattern onto one sheet (personal use only), got out my Peaches & Creme and started knitting.  I learned three things:  1)  I love knitting miters, 2) I need to enlarge the instructions, 3) I need new glasses - ok I knew this one already, but whatever. 

Today, I made a decision.  I'm making it all different colors.  Since, I've been knitting the log cabin blankets, I've made some happy color discoveries.  And that's what I hope happens with this mitered blanket.  Stay tuned.  I hope to get started soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blanket Squares! Mother and I are making blanket squares for Blankets for Birmingham.  She's crocheting and I'm knitting.  She likes to say that we're making squares.  But I like to say that we're making a blanket.  So far, we have 33 squares and we're still countin'. 

That stack on the left is Mother's and the stack on the right is mine.  So far, it's
Mother 27   Me 6  for a total of 33.  This doesn't count the squares that she's made since Sunday!

Mother says that she can't work (clean up debris) or hold how to cook anymore but she CAN crochet squares for a blanket.  So, that's what she's been doing.  I keep telling her that there'll be a blanket made of up of just "Mom" squares. 

If you'd like to join us in knitting or crocheting a square,  here are the specs:
8x8 inches (or there 'bouts)
cotton yarn

Send to Elizabeth over at Trailing Yarn or you can send to me and I'll make sure that Elizabeth gets them.

Now, gotta go knit a square!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sick Week Knitting

I've not felt well this week.  My allergies have been in full swing so I've felt miserable and my head felt like it was filled with cotton wool.  All I've been up for knitting-wise is garter stitch so I was glad to have Tristan's Blankie of Many Colors to work on.  I've gotten a good bit done in spite of being very tired every evening and going to bed early.

Last night though, I felt better and I finished these:

More photoprops for Elizabeth.  A Pea Pod and a diaper cover.  I tried finishing the diaper cover on Thursday night but the leg bind-offs were just a bit too much for my wooly brain to manage and after taking it out several times, I just gave up for the time being.  The Pea Pod needs two buttons and I plan to get those this week.  Both need their spin in the wash and dryer.

Ready for the Washer and Dryer

I've got a stack going for the washer and dryer.  There's Walker's Blankie of Many Colors, a Mitered Kitchen Towel, the Pea Pod, Pea Pod hat, 3 diaper covers, and a Log Cabin Blanket Square.  They'll go in as soon as I finish the diaper cover on the needles and get the buttons on the Pea Pod. 

Stay tuned for an update on blanket squares!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Log Cabiney Goodness

Remember Walker's Blankie of Many Colors that I've been blabbering talking about?  Well, it is finished.  I finished it this morning before getting ready for work.

Disclaimer:  If it looks lumpy, it's because the grass needs to be mowed.  And this is before it's spin in the washer.  James Spann is predicting showers coming up later in the week and I wanted to get the picture while the sun was still shining!

Last night, as I knit the last couple of rows, and then this morning, as I bound off the last few stitches and sewed the corners, I realized with suprise that I was sad to see this blanket finished.  It's been like an old friend this year.  As I knit, I reflected on the past year. 

I started off last June with enthusiam never dreaming it would take almost a year to finish!  My plan was to get it done by the end of summer   In July, I went to Kentucky to visit the little fellow who's getting this, to see his big brother, and to meet his new little brother.  I took this blanket and my basket of yarn with me.  Walker,  2, grabbed the yarn from my basket, shouted "balls", and threw them with glee across the living room.  His mother and grandmother chose colors for logs (navy and gold).  August found my uncle in the hospital with my Dad having to stay most nights (my uncle has demetia).  So,  I stayed those nights with my Mother.  I worked on the blanket intermittently at home since it was too big by then to tote back and forth.  I took other projects to work on at her house.  September was the same.  It was a long hospitalization for my uncle.  October, November, and December found me knee-deep in Christmas knitting.  In January, I vowed to finish it and I worked on it every now and again through February and March.   In April, I found my log cabin groove again and worked on it in earnest.  Then, on April 27, the tornadoes hit Alabama.  When the power came back on days later, I knit, my hands moving of their own accord.  The steady rhythm, that is garter stitch, was comforting and healing. 

So, now it is May and the blanket is finished.  I hope that Walker finds as much joy and comfort from this blanket as I have. 

Today, I'm really glad that I've already started another one.  This one will be for Walker's little brother, Tristan.  I am determined that Liam, Walker, and Tristan will get their blankets for Christmas! 

It's coming right along!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Circle the Knitting Needles! Blankets for Birmingham!

Elizabeth over at Trailing Yarn is throwin' up the Knit Signal!  So, knitters (and crocheters), circle the wagons!  It's time to knit blanket squares for Blankets for Birmingham!

As many of you know, tornadoes ripped through Alabama last Wednesday leaving in their wake, homes scattered to the winds, entire towns were completely wiped out, a number of injured people and over 200 lost their lives.  Many are still missing.  Life will never be the same.  Almost everyone either personally knows someone or knows someone who knows someone who lost their homes or their lives.  For us, these are not anonomyous people on TV, newspaper, or internet.  Everyday, I hear or read stories of extraordinary courage, hope, and thankfullness.  I hear people who are thankful that all they lost was their power and the contents of their refrigerator and freezer.  Thankful that all they had was a tree in their roof, or in their yard, or on their cars.  And very thankful that they didn't lose their lives or families.

Everyday, I talk to a friend who lost three members of her Sunday School class.  She lives in Pleasant Grove, one of the hardest hit areas.  Parts of her town are completely gone and the National Guard and State Troopers are checking ID at all entrances to her town.  And then there's our friend, Joanne, who wasn't home during the storm.  When her husband went to check on the house after the storm, he had to walk three miles.  When he got there, their house was the only house standing on their street.  And he found the neighbors in their house.  It was their only shelter. 

The needs are great here and will not end in a few weeks or even a few months.  I don't have a lot of money or household goods to donate.  But I do have a healthy stash of Peaches & Creme cotton!  And I have time.  So, I'd like to join Elizabeth in asking for 8x8 squares in cotton (it doesn't get that cold here) to be joined in blankets for Blankets for Birmingham.  The due date is September 1, 2011, just in time to be seamed up and distributed before cold weather really hits.  I've already started my first square in my favorite cotton yarn - Peaches & Creme. 

The best part is that we can knit or crochet a prayer in every square.  If you would like to knit a square (or two, or three, or more), that would be wonderful! You can mail your squares to Elizabeth or to me. 

God Bless!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Are you OK?

Every conversation since Wednesday afternoon has started with that phrase.  Conversations with relatives, friends, co-workers, and even strangers.  And it is always spoken with the greatest concern.
Thursday morning at work was a busy time trying to locate everyone and just making sure they and their families were OK and if they had damage, what could we do.  Between the storms early on Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening, everyone has a story to tell. 

The situation for many is dire.  They've lost homes and family members.  There lives are forever altered because of the storm.  The damage was widespread as the storms ripped across the state.  The news stations are doing a good job.  As a matter of fact, for many, the radio was the first news they had of the severity of the situation because power was out in much of the state.

About two miles from me, the storm cut a swath through a pasture uprooting and ripping apart trees.  And caused sagging power lines.  That was the second question: "do you have power?"  But no one was complaining about no power since we still had our lives and had our homes.  Actually, no one is complaining about anything:  no power, long lines at the grocery store and not being able to buy certain items because the power was out there too, long lines at the service station, not being able to buy ice, etc. 

Our power went out Wednesday morning but then yesterday evening, these guys from Lake Wells, Fl showed up! 

My power was restored at 6:50pm!  Thanks guys!  And thanks for spending time away from your families to help ours! 

Another thing heard over and over this week:  "the grace of God".  For many, it is by the grace of God only that they have their lives.