Friday, August 30, 2013

Happiest of Happy Birthdays to Our Mother

A long time ago when the earth was green,  there was a little girl
who grew up to be a big girl
and she married her sweetie and they lived happily after

After her sweetie died, she came to live with me.  She is not old, she just has a few years.  She is game for most everything.  Like going and  feeding the elk on a cold winter's day.
And this was taken exactly one year ago on her birthday.  Playing cuddle with the newborn alpaca.

 She still loves to get her nails done - this week is Winnie the Pooh and his friend Eeyore and the beehive and the bees - sorry no picture
But she hasn't gotten old.  She is still just as feisty and out there as ever.

Happy 86th Birthday Mom
all of your children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren

Friday, August 23, 2013

Still knitting . . .

Still sitting here knitting, but a lot slower.  I had never heard of a frozen shoulder until I went to the doctor a week and a half ago.  Let me tell you a frozen shoulder is painful.  Doc gave me a couple of cortisone shots, some muscle relaxers and some anti inflamatories that really seem to work.  I started physical therapy this week - it is a lot of work, takes a lot of time and some of it hurts like the dickens but it seems to be working.  I have much less pain (still quite a bit but a lot less) and the flexibility in my shoulder is starting to come back. Every time I get the least twinge in the other shoulder I am terrified that the same thing will happen tho!  I think that would make me cry.


Monday, August 19, 2013

New Patterns

 Remember that cute cloche that I knit?  
I wrote up a pattern when I knit it - both the first and second versions.
I tried to get someone to test knit it, but everyone was too busy so I left it for a long time,
and then knit it again myself.  I did find some errors in the pattern.
So, here is hoping it's complete and error free.
It is published and available anyway.

And remember the Reykjavic pigs?
I wrote up and tested a pattern for them too.

Meet their American Cousin - his colors are a little stronger (couldn't find the leftover yarn so grabbed something similar).  
I'll be putting that pattern out there in the next little while!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Dena!

Happy Birthday

Celebrate with Cake,
and Family!

Love you . . . 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Little Piggy Story

I have had a lovely adventure in knitting over the last few months that I would like to share because it was such a cool thing to have happen.
About mid May I got an email out of the blue from a young lady in Berlin.

Katharina to me:  my boyfriend and I went to Reykjavik in April where we rented a house from a private person.  There we saw this amazing pig standing on the window sill.  We went to the hand knitting society, but nobody could tell us who might have made it.  I searched the web and saw your knitting blog and the photo with the pink pigs.  Was it you who knitted the pig on our photo?  And if so, would it be possible at all to convince you to knit a pig for me?  I would be so happy to have such a brilliant present for my friend.
She included this photo in her email. 

I believe that this was the photo she saw on my blog.  These are pigs I knitted for cast member in Charlotte's Web.

At first, I thought it was an Estonian pig from the Kiri Kari book (which I would love to own if anyone has a copy they'd like to sell).  But no, it wasn't.  I searched Ravelry for a pattern for a pig like this and there were none there.  It is larger than my little pink pigs and clearly a different pattern but similar.

My reply to Katharina:
No, sadly, it was not me who knit your pig.  I was going to say that the pattern for that pig came from Estonia, but after looking a little closer, it is different.  I don't know where to find the pattern, but I can probably create something very similar.

We emailed back and forth for a while trying to decide what would be a good trade for the pigs.  She made several suggestions and told me more about herself and her life.  I didn't want this to be terribly complicated or expensive or to put her out so I suggested she just keep her eyes open and the right thing would present itself.  We both felt that exchanging money for the pigs would not feel right.

During our conversations, it came out that she wanted this as a present for her boyfriend.  I suggested that it might be nice if I made two - one for her to keep and another to give. 

Aaah, Teresa, you can read my mind, I would love to keep one!  And I heard that knitted pigs are scaredy-cats and hate to travel alone, it is much better to send them in two!  I think an exact copy in color and size is the best, but if it is boring for you to make two the same, you have artistic freedom! 

And so it was decided.  The conversations started in May (the 13th).  I was in the middle of a couple of big knits and knits with deadlines (passion flowers, Mom's birthday present, galapagos socks), so I didn't get to start until much later.  And then Zuzu got in my knitting bag and tore the beginnings of the first pig off the needles.

Both Katharina and I were excited about this and our correspondence continued.

She wrote:  I am also very excited and it is so hard not to tell my boyfriend about it, I think of the project at least three times a day . . . At least I could tell my sister in Chile and my best friend in my hometown Munich about it!

I sent this photo to her about the middle of June to show that I had started knitting -
this was before I began the colorwork and before the dog ate the pig.
Dena helped me chart the color work as all I had to go by was the first photo and sometimes it takes two sets of eyes to get it right.

Katharina replied:  I see:  good news, though I am not sure if it is the rear or the front . . .

A few days later Katharina sent me this:
I have everything complete!  If you could send me your address, I can send you the package!

Then, on July 16th, Katharina's package arrived.  I was stunned and thrilled.  It was something really special and very international.  She managed to get Martin, her boyfriend, and her sister in South America.

Everything was inside a lovely wooden box:

 And she wrote me the nicest note.  I need to apologize to her for not returning that favor.  When I got to the post office with the pigs, I was still trying to decide how to package and mail them and I just forgot about a note.

In her note, Katharina said:
Finally I have things together and can send them to you.  Haribo Gumibears are I think the most famous German Sweets.
Yes, Katharina, and everyone in my family loves them!

The thick wool comes from my sister; she lives in Santiago de Chile.  When I told her about the pigs, she went to a market and gave the wool to her manager that went to Berlin.  I picked it up at the hotel lobby.

The thin wool is from a small knitting shop next to my house.

And the postcard shows Checkpoint Charly, probably the most famous point on the border between the GDR and West Germany.  It is approximately 300 meters away from my house.

And most important:  the box!  I told my boyfriend that I would like to send a birthday present to a friend from University in Munich.  I said it was her 30th birthday and that she used to like knitting and that I would like to send her a box for her wool. . . I did the image manipulation and Martin engraved the pig with his laser cutting machine.

The box is very special - the image is the picture Katharina sent me to use as a pattern to knit the pigs.  I meant to get a photo of the pigs with the box but forgot.  That is ok though because as I was knitting, I wrote down the pattern.  I will be putting it up on this blog and Ravelry as soon as I test it or find someone else to test knit it.

Here are the pigs . . .

But after getting the lovely package with all the goodies, I had a little thought . . . I knew that Katharina was going to keep one pig and the other would go to Martin.  And we had already decided that pigs were scared to be alone.  I didn't want anyone to be lonely, so I let the two piggies play together a while so there would be plenty.  Pigs are like rabbits, right?

The pigs posed for their family portraits and then headed off to the airport to begin their travels . . .

Eventually arriving in Berlin and moving in with the very nice Katharina, 
there to live Happily Ever After . . . .


Friday, August 9, 2013


Beads! Beads! Beads!
I have been having a terrible time finding beads in town - there is only one big box store that has any and they don't have very many colors and only one of the sizes I would use for knitting. I did buy some online, but the first batch I bought were size 6 when I meant to get 8s (that worked out ok because what I am knitting now needed 6 even though I thought it needed 8).

Anyway . . . A friend went on a trip to her hometown and she told me they had a bead store there that she was sure would have what I wanted. Oh yeah, they did! These are what she brought me back. They are even more gorgeous in person. She couldn't decide what colors and I was kinda vague about it so I got tons and glorious colors that my friend liked - I do too!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Slow Progress

Usually when we go to the beach I get a lot of knitting done. This time, between the car issues and a bad and painful shoulder I am only making slow progress. I had hoped to finish two big projects I am working on but it is not happening. It doesn't help that I lost my cable needle - yes, I can cable without it but I prefer to have and use it. I have offered the girls and dogs a reward if they find it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

New car . . .

Well, new to me anyway. It is used but very low mileage and very nice. Much better that my dead car or the rental.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

On the needles

This is one of the things on my needles. I had a tough time finding beads to go with this - the yarn is reddish but not so red that red beads will work.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The day started out so well . . .

Update:  The car has met its true death and is now well and truly dead.  We are 330 miles from home with no car.

Yesterday we decided to visit the new first choice college which meant a 3 hour drive down to Melbourne.  On the way home, the car died in Jacksonville.  And I really do mean it just died.  One minute we were in the fast lane on I95 going well over the posted speed limit in the middle of rush hour traffic and the next minute Steve was saying "the car just died - I have no power - the engine shut off".  Fortunately, we were going downhill and were able to coast over to the 'side' of the road.  I say side because we were out of traffic but not off the highway.  We ended up in a striped off area between the regular fast lanes and an on ramp but there were three more lanes of traffic to the right of the on ramp because this was an area where a couple of highways were merging.  It was a scary place to be and we (Steve, both girls and both dogs) were completely stuck. 

So I call triple a and, tho it was far more difficult than it should have been, I thought I arranged a tow truck and was careful to let them know that tho I was not in the way of moving traffic I did not consider myself safe given the narrow dead lane I was in and the fact that I was just over the rise on a hill.  Sadly, they did not relay info to the tow company accurately.  Aaa told the tow truck I was on 95 southbound when I was heading north, that I was in the path of traffic and did not relay how impossible it would be for two of the people and both dogs to wait while the tow truck took two people and the car away.  

That's when the calls started - insurance, rental, triple a, acura dealer, more rental, more acura, insurance again.  In the morning on the way down I had been charging my phone but before it was charged, Steffie said hers was dead so I gave her the charger and turned location services on on mine (huge battery drain) to use it as a GPS.  On the way back mind had dropped to less than 40% so I asked for the charger back (3rd time) and Maddie was using it - right up to when the car died and my phone was down to 24% and I needed to use it.  But both girls had fully charged phones.

The tow truck company calls and says we can only fit two people in the cab of any of our trucks and no dogs.  Triple a knew that and should have told you. So Steve calls the Acura dealer to make sure someone will still be there when we get there and see if they have a loaner or rental for us and have them send someone to get some of us.  No, no, and no.  He also spoke with enterprise rent a car and, since by now it was 5:58, they said we were out of luck because they were closing at 6.  The car died shortly after five.  

Sometime after we stalled there a cop pulled his car behind us and turned on his lights.  He called the Acura dealer and suggested that they send someone to get us and was told they would.  Then the service manager called Steve back and said No, they would not.  The cop was not happy.  I called triple a and said I cannot get thru to the rental place you keep connecting me to, you didn't tell me the tow people couldn't get us all off this sea of highway and I need you to fix this NOW.  So that woman (the fourth or fifth by now) says she is going to call a cab and will call me back.  Meanwhile Steve (and the girls) are trying to call State Farm about coverage and Hertz about rental cars and time is passing.  During all this the tow truck shows up.

The cop comes over with the tow truck driver who could not tow the car with the truck he had because the car is 4 wheel drive.  This truck came to move the car out of the way of traffic because triple a said that was where it was.  The cop says he has a solution to the getting us off the highway and when I tell him triple a is getting a cab he says call them back & tell them not to bother.  I did not need to because they called me to tell me they couldn't get me a cab.

The tow company sent two trucks.  The first to get there was just to move the car out of traffic but was also to carry me and the girls off the highway.  The second was a flatbed for the car, Steve and the dogs who, much to their terror, had to ride in the car on the flat bed.  While we were waiting for the second truck, the first driver asked what happened and said it was probably the alternator and his shop had mechanics.  This prompted by my saying I did not really want to give a penny to the dealer after they had been so unpleasant and unhelpful.  I told the driver to take the car to his shop.  

At 6:45 we finally headed off the interstate and on the drive back to the tow shop Maddie finally got hold of a human being at National rent a car and reserved us a car at the airport.  We still needed a way to get from the shop to the airport with 4 people and 2 dogs and all the stuff that we needed to take out of the car which is a fair amount with the girls. The way-beyond-nice folks at Sprint Towing put us, our stuff, and the dogs in a car and drove us to the airport where we could pick up a car.  The lady  waited with the girls and dogs safely in the car while Steve and I arranged for the car and found it.  At 8:00 we were finally back on our way home.  The family that owns Sprint are now our heros.

The only problems now are a dead car and a rental that we hate - mostly because it isn't our car or one we would have ever picked. Oh and we are going to have to go back to Jacksonville to first get the car and then return the rental to the airport.

But, even tho our three hour drive turned into six, we are off that highway and safe.


P.S.  I think we should get the pink car for Maddie.

Sent from my iPhone