Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fall knitting projects

I love knitting for kids.  The turn around time from effort to payoff is wonderful.  And knitting for a new granddaughter makes it even more enjoyable.  Here's what I've been knitting this fall:

a newborn cardigan set...
 a sleep sack and apple hat...
and a boob hat and sleep sack.
Our sixth grandchild Rowen in her sleep sack at the hospital.  The hat's still a little too big.
Sweaters for our granddaughters, 4 and 7.....
And finally a sweater for big brother....
He's 18 months.  Hard to capture a clear shot.
I have two more grandchild sweaters to make but I'm taking a brief break to knit myself a birthday sweater.  Love keeping the needles busy!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Chair with Interior with a Book

Whenever I go to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art I make certain to stop and see my favorite piece; Richard Diebenkorn's Interior with a Book .  I really can't quite describe the peacefulness that comes over me when I am standing in front of this painting.  My imaginations goes overboard coming up with the possible stories it holds within.
And then one day I was looking at the corner of our great room where my grandmother's rocker sits and it reminded me of the painting.  I was standing there thinking about the painting and it occurred to me how I could have a memento of the painting right there.  I had recovered the chair once already, and I had painted several pairs of canvas shoes, why couldn't I do a study of the painting on the cushion of my grandmother's chair?

Three weeks later and here it is sitting in one of my favorite spots in the house.  It's made my grandmother's chair even more special! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A reason to crochet

As a personal preference, I've always liked the look of knitted stitches better.
I never had a desire to learn to crochet.  Until I saw the work of Magaret Ooman's crocheted stones.  She writes a beautiful blog, resurrection fernBut it was Purl Bee's tutorial that really motivated me.  I spent the last week's spare moments teaching myself and here's the result.....

I found that the tutorial is really just a suggestion.  It works best if you just let yourself,
(and your stone) see what works best.  The hardest part is getting the crochet to fit snug around your stone.  I found it very addictive.  But really, how many crocheted stones does one person need?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Break

After three months of knitting and sewing for birthdays I finally get a break.  There's not another birthday or holiday I need to make presents for until September!
Quinn and Braxton, siblings, both had their parties on the same day; one in the morning and one in the evening.  Quinn turned one and Braxton turned three.  That meant Quinn got her first book.

This was my eighth book to make for our grandchildren and I have to admit I was struggling with the verse until my husband came up with the brilliant idea of doing a cover of Bob Dylan's Quinn The Eskimo.

It was a hit!
I also made her a little top, shorts, headband and matching doll...
 and knitted crowns for both.
And for Braxton, who loves bugs.... a stuffed ant.  After looking at many google pictures of ants  I "winged" the pattern. 
 (Yes I know ants don't have wings.)
Maybe all those years as an entomology mom in 4H will pay off in a second generation.
And now that I have until September I feel like a teacher on summer break.  I'll have time to make some things that I've had on my wish list. 
During all of that sewing and knitting the week before the parties the cherries were ripening.  As it turned out it was obvious that the cherries could wait no longer and the very next day after the parties we started picking.  The entire week was consumed with picking and pitting.

We eventually lost count but we believe we have about 30 quarts put up!  And the tops of the trees are still full!  But we just can't take it anymore.  We are declaring cherry season closed.
Still, with all the cherries I was able to squeak out a small project; a knitted bracelet. 

I must have had blossoms on my mind.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Grief, a way of life.

There’s that momentary feeling of terror when you are face to face with someone who has just suffered a great loss.  What do I say to this person?

I know that when I was that person lost in the immediacy of my own grief I hated hearing the circumstances of another person’s loss.  I didn’t want to hear the stories of how the people they loved died.  I had just lived through the circumstances of my own loved one’s death. 

I know those people were trying to tell me look, I lived through it and came out on the other side.  I survived.  You will too.

But what I wanted to hear was how they survived it.  How did they get out of bed every day, eat, sleep, breath?  But no one seemed to have that kind of advice.

I don’t know how I survived the loss of my brothers.  I read memoirs of how people grieving felt.  Their words often described exactly what I was feeling.  I wrote my own feelings down, a way of trying to release them from occupying so much of me.  Eventually I got out of bed, ate, slept, and started breathing again.  I learned how to live with grief.

What I do say now about my grief is that it occupies a closet somewhere deep inside me.  I can open the door and let it wash over me and I can feel the fresh pain of it all over again.

Since the loss of my brothers I’ve lost my dad and my aunt.  I know there will be more too.  All these years later I do understand why people tell the circumstances of their loss. They don’t know what to say.

When I come face to face with someone grieving I have to make a conscious effort to not tell my brothers’ stories, or my father’s and aunt’s cancer stories.  I tell them how sorry I am and try to let them know that if they need someone, I will be there.

But still I feel inadequate and I don’t know that I’ve said enough.  I want them to know that it is possible to adapt to living with grief.  I hope you find your way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Craft Yoga

Sometimes you need to take a break and do something just for fun.  Some crafting yoga like this branch weaving.
After two weeks of non stop sewing and knitting for our grandson's first birthday I needed something like this.  Over and under...... 

Here's some photos of Jools' birthday presents. 
I made this handsome guy's birthday shorts and tie and mommy's pinafore.

And his birthday book.....


And then lots of knitted balls because balls are his favorite things.

Soft and easy to grab hold of.....

And a basket to gather them into.

And now I'm back at it.  Our granddaughter turns one in a week and a half!  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Wildflower Nature Study

Recently I've been reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  While I have a great many problems with the story, one being how quickly she adapts to her new situation, I do admire one talent in the main character.  She knows her botany.  Something I admired in my own father.  So for this new growing season I have set a goal to learn about the wildflowers growing around me.

These beauties are Dame's Rocket, a member of the mustard family.  They were originally planted by the early settlers but eventually became naturalized.

Yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris, was named for Saint Barbara the patron saint of artillerymen.  They used it to soothe wounds caused by explosions. 
I love seeing them in the grass fields.
The Star of Bethlehem, a bulb flower, is another that escaped cultivation and became naturalized.  You would think with the religious reference it would be a nice plant but the entire plant is poisonous and causes harm to livestock. 
This structure, according to local history was built as a stage coach stop.  The rock corral where they kept the horses is actually on our land.
In the 50's it was owned by a woman named Cass Coe.  Legend has it that her flowers were so beautiful she became the envy of the community.  And people would come from all over to sit and listen to her tell tales of local history.  Now we can only see glimpses of the flowers she tended, themselves becoming wildflowers of sorts.
So this is what I've learned so far about what's growing along the roadside and in the fields near me.  Of course I could be wrong.  So many look alike.  If indeed you know that I am mistaken I would love to hear from you!