When you have a yarn and knitting addiction. I’ve been on leave from work for the last few days because my Gran unexpectedly passed away last week. She was 91 years old and one of the most amazing women I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. She was born in 1922 in St. Helena California. She lived her whole life there until she met my grandfather, a salior on leave from the US Navy. They married quickly and she left her family to move first to New Orleans and later to Norfolk, Va. She had two children, my mother and her brother and raised them without the support of her family and mostly on her own as is the case with most military wives. In the early part of the 1960’s, the family returned to the Napa Valley where she was born. I interviewed her once for a paper I wrote in college and as part of that paper I asked her if she had any regrets or any part of her life she would change. She said that even though her life wasn’t always easy, it was a good life and she was proud of the things she had accomplished.
Growing up I never thought I had much in common with my Gran. Times were so different at the same age for her and I. I became a teenager in the late 1980’s and she became a teenager during the great depression of the 1930’s. The times and technology were so different. But the changes she saw in her lifetime…I can’t imagine. But I learned a lot from her. The two most important lessons, besides how to make fried chicken the Southern way, I learned from her were how to be graceful under pressure and how to knit. My mom taught me the basics of knitting but all the tricks I learned from Gran.
One knitting memory I will hold dear is from this last Christmas. I looked up from my knitting to realize that there were three generations of women all knitting in my living room. That common bond, it was awe inspiring. But my favorite knitting/Gran memory is from a few years ago. All of the other grandkids got handknit sweaters from Gran. When I opened my box, I got a pattern and the yarn to go with it. When I protested, she simply said that I knit better then she did (I’m going to call BS but you don’t argue with Gran) and that she wouldn’t knit for me any more. It still makes me laugh out loud when I think about it. She was always a feisty woman.
Now, I told you that story to tell you this story. Since I’m home/doing family stuff I’ve had a lot more time to work on my knitting then I expected to. Grace is supposed to be my vacation knitting but I’ve already completed the yoke and am several inches into the body. I’m afraid that Grace is either going to be done or close enough to done that I wont have enough left to make it through the vacation.
Not being at work also means that I have more time to play on Ravelry. Yesterday I found Effervescence by Olga Buraya-Kefelian. Considering that I knit Gramps Cardigan in DK and am working on Grace in fingering weight, a sport weight cardi seems to make sense as my next sweater project. The pattern calls for Quince & Co in Chickadee. I haven’t used any yarn from them before but I’ve heard good things about it. So I went ahead and ordered enough to knit this.
Picture by Quince & Co.
Coastal Fog by Anne Claire? OMG, what an amazinly cute cowl. Did I just order the yarn for this from Yarn? Yes, I did. Like I need another project.
Gramps Cardigan has reached the blocking stage and currently just needs buttons to finish. So I cast on for Grace by Jane Richmond from the book Island also by Jane Richmond. I was able to pick up the book locally at one of my local yarn shops, Anna’s Yarn Shoppe. I ordered Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock from Jimmy Beans Wool at the end of last week and it arrived at the house on Wednesday. I finished weaving in the ends on Thursday morning for Gramps Cardigan and blocked it same day, just need buttons. I have some that I pulled off of my Gnarled Oak Cardigan…that I haven’t finished after I frogged the first one, but that’s a story for another time.
Grace is supposed to be my vacation knitting for next month, but you know how that goes. Yarn comes in the mail and the urge to cast on is overwhelming. You must cast on and you must ignore the overwhelming number of WIPS that you already have. Argh!!! Why can’t you knit faster or have more arms like an octopus?!!! Then you could knit all the things!!!
I also ordered yarn to knit the Truckee Shawlette. It’s not fancy but it might make for easier vacation knitting than Grace. No matter what I have to have vacation knitting. It’s a must and a given. I’m sure that I will have Grace, Truckee Shawlette, and at least one pair of socks with me on our road trip.
Hubby, Maggie and myself are hitting the road next month for some time in Klamath Ca and time with my parents and “baby” sister next month. We’re planning on doing some salmon fishing, hiking and general exploration of the North coast of California before heading into Southern Oregon for time with my family. I saw my dad briefly in January but haven’t seen my bonus mom or little sister in two years. It’s been too long and I miss them so much. Life is too short to be separated from the people that you love for such a long period.
But between now and then, I plan to keep myself busy with work, knitting, and our back yard remodel. But I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. I’m so excited, I can barely contain myself. I haven’t had a vacation in three years and this vacation is going to be great.
That I need a cardi fit for Gramps.
Photo by Tottopper
A couple of weeks ago Hubbs and I made a long weekend out of Ceaser Chavez day and went camping up at one of our favorite camp spots, Collins Lake. It’s only about an hour and a half north of here and a great weekend get away spot for us. Of course you can’t relax without knitting.
I’ve had the Gramps Cardigan by Kate Oates in my Queue for a while and I’d finished the cowl that I’m knitting for my bosses going away gift, so I figured why not. I ordered up some MadelineTosh Vintage in Charcoal from Jimmy Beans Wool. I’m making pretty good progress on it when I’m not being sidetracked by that crazy game, Candy Crush on my tablet. Ugh. Such a time suck. Anyway, I just finished both sleeves and have moved on to the raglan decreases for the sleeves.
My regular everyday sweater is my Roheline by Srvi Simola published in Twist Collective (seen above two years ago with Boomy). But after 2 years of almost daily wear, it’s looking a little worse for wear. The yarn has pilled badly and it’s just looking ragged. Gramps Cardigan will replace Roheline as Roheline transistions to my around the house sweater. I might knit Roheline again since I get so many compliments on it even in it’s ragged state.
Hubby is out of town today and instead of sitting here and wasting my weekend…ie knitting (not that that’s ever a waste but the weather is too nice to spend it inside) I packed up Maggie and my little point and shoot camera and we headed off to The Auburn State Recreation Area for some outdoor fun.
The butterflies were out in mass! Maggie liked chasing their shadows as they flew along.
Maggie really seemed to enjoy all smelling all the things…except big dogs, then she hid behind my legs. The funny thing is that she seemed unfazed by the horses.
Our fist stop was at The Black Hole of Calcutta waterfall. It was an easy walk in that was mostly level and an easy walk on an old railroad bed. Magg’s isn’t much of a water dog but she did dip her toes in.
The wildflowers were blooming along the trail.
We stopped and rested a lot because it was pretty warm even though it was fairly early in the day. Lots of water for both of us and a couple of snacks.
The sky was a deep blue without a cloud in sight. Perfect day for a hike.
I’ve heard my mom say on several on several occasions that she was too sick to knit and have always thought that was just an expression. But it turns out that it’s an actual thing. A couple of weeks ago I came down not just with the flu but with a cold at the same time….something I didnt even know was possible. I was so ill that I was sleeping all day and all night, not eating anything for 5 days and drinking just enough to keep me alive. You’d think that being off work for a full five days and not getting out of jammies for nine days would equate to lots of knitting, but no. I was too sick to knit. I even had two orders of yarn arrive and was even too sick to open the packages. Just too sick to even care.
I’m better now, back to work and every thing. Took me about a week and a half to get my energy back and thankfully only about a week to start getting my knitting mojo back.
But I have been working on a couple of special projects. Currenly I’ve been working to complete my third Brighton Cowl. The first two are blocked but I haven’t finished them despite the fact that all I need to do is sew the ends together to finish. The first one is for me so no rush there. The second one is for my step mom. That one I’d like to finish up and send off to her before spring really comes on and its too warm for her to wear. The third one (pictured above) is for my boss. Before I got sick it was announced that she would be leaving and we would be getting a new manager. Still not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I don’t do well with change so its going to be a crap shoot if it’s good or not. But I started a third cowl as a going away gift for her. We haven’t always seen eye to eye over the last five years but I really like her as a person
We recently hired a new OT on our unit and he’s amazed that I knit my own sweaters. Any time I’m wearing something knitted he wants to know if I made it myself. Which of course the answer 99% of the time is yes, I did. Recently after the big announcement that my boss is going to be leaving, the OT asked my boss if I had knit the sweater she was wearing and she said no but that she would love to have one of my hand knits. Now I like my boss and I think she’s knit worthy, but I don’t think that she’s hand knit sweater worthy. Too much time, money and effort goes into knitting a sweater for me to knit one for someone who is not an immediate family member…on my side. Love Hubbs family, but they don’t get hand knits from me anymore since I found out they dont wear the things I knit for them even when they specifically request them. Sorry.
Anyway, I digress. The Brighton Cowl is such a fun knit and the perfect way to use bright verigated yarn, I thought that boss lady would like to have one. Her favorite animal is ladybugs and butterflies but since we’ve gotten her quite a few of those over the years, why not indulge her request for a hand knit? I ordered a skein of Cephalopod Skinny Bugga in Hawaiian Bobtail Squid. I’ve been working on it ver diligently this weekend. Just a couple more repeats of the pattern and I’ll be ready to block it. My boss wont be leaving for a few more weeks yet but I want it done before she leaves so I’m not rushing around like a crazy person…good luck with that.
I also have a new sweater on the needles at the moment too. My beloved Roholine is wearing out and will nees to be replaced soon. But more on that next time.