Mrs. Sue’s copy

Yesterday I introduced you to “Mrs. Sue”.  There is more to her story that you should know.  At her advanced age Mrs. Sue has great difficulty in hearing speech.  She certainly has no idea what is said in the sermon.

Our priest (Episcopal), Fr. Chad, has begun a tradition of always leaving a typed, large-print copy of his sermon with the ushers.  You can tell Fr. Chad has young children at home – on the outside of the folded pages is written “Mrs. Sue” in crayon.

It makes me smile every Sunday.

Gifting a (former) knitter

There is a dear elderly lady who sits behind me in church.  She is wistfully a former knitter, who finds it too difficult to knit at this stage of life.  (Let’s call her Mrs. Sue so I don’t have to keep calling her “this lady”.)

Mrs. Sue always remarks on whatever knit garment I might wear, and enjoys handling the  knitting. Last Sunday, inspired by Alison’s many gifts,  I took this scarf to Mrs. Sue.  I had worn it only to take pictures for Ravelry, and there it was in my closet waiting for the right person.  Mrs. Sue was thrilled, showing it off to each lady who came down the aisle.

This Sunday she tapped me on the shoulder to tell me how much she had enjoyed the scarf in the week’s cold weather.  What a smile – the perfect Christmas gift for me.

A mirage at the post office

First, mark this date:  Christmas knitting has been shipped, and on a new early date for me!

Second,   I’m a cat that has changed her stripes to adapt to the new environment.  You see, the post office now offers these lovely flat-rate boxes.  My previous habit would be to place everything in gift boxes, and the gift boxes went into a large box.  This year all the knitwear was wrapped the old-fashioned way, as soft packages.  Thus everything fit in a medium flat-rate box, and shipped for about $10, or half the amount I have spent with UPS in the past.

Third, and most importantly, it was a lovely experience at the post office.  They had their shipping supplies organized and nicely displayed.  There was a roll of clear shipping tape (with post-office logo, but who cares) for my use.  By the time I had secured all the goodies in the box and addressed it there was no line.  The clerk was happy to see me, and very pleasant.   Did you know they now take credit and debit cards?  No more worry about having the right amount of cash.  As I left, all I could think was “It must be a mirage!”

The postal service has  taken a page from McDonald’s’, and changed one word:  “Would you like stamps with that?”

Memories of Christmas past, and an honor

Last Christmas I knit the pattern DH chose, a Charcoal Ribbed Cardigan, using the yarn he chose, Elan Superwash Chunky in maroon.  The silver buttons were my surprise to him.

Yesterday, I got a message notice on Ravelry, and discovered a request to use this picture on the pattern page for the cardigan. DH agreed that he would be honored, too, and so when you look up the Charcoal Ribbed Cardigan you see DH.  He’s the handsome guy just above the model picture that was published in Interweave Knits.

This year I knit a scarf for him, using the yarn he chose,  Knit Picks Swish DK in garnet heather. Do you see a trend here?  I think I needn’t ask him about color again…he seems happy with maroon.

A knitter among strangers

Yesterday, as I signed in at the vision clinic, the receptionist’s first words were “I like your sweater, did you knit it?”

Wow, she likes my February Lady Sweater, and she knows it is knitting (almost unheard of in these parts)!  Are you a knitter, I inquired?

“Oh, yes, but I haven’t knit for years” she replied.  So I showed her my socks, too.  Then I told her about Ravelry, and wrote down the address on a post-it.  (I’ve provided a link here, on the very outside possibility that a reader might not know about this super resource for those who knit, crochet, and generally play with fiber.) That was a fun little moment in a common day.

Yesterday had another moment of note:  I finished all my Christmas knitting.  I’m rather pleased with myself, actually.  ” Nothing to see here, move on”, as the cops say.  Heh!

By the way, how do you spot a knitter at Wal-Mart?  They’re the one who chooses to stand at the end of the longest line.  What, don’t you carry knitting in your purse?


A Quiet Weekend

Although Garrison Keeler always begins his monologue   “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone”, you know he’ll have much to report.  Quiet in small town America can equal good, peaceful, trouble-free.  It is far superior to the latest crime beat news from big city America.

Our quiet weekend was spent enjoying scenes like this: 

That’s mid-day siesta in the birch tree shade.  Remember those little ducklings?  My, how they’ve grown!

They are accompanied by their guardian, the “watch goose”.  Notice that all the flock except the watch goose is facing the lake.  She is prepaired to face down any foe that might aproach by land.

Since my last post I have completed my Summer Garden sampler and taken it and its frame (as shown in the link) to my framer.  This is a departure for me; I normally choose a frame stock and have the frame custom made.  The cross stitch store had assured me there would be no problem using a purchased frame.

Not so, my friends!  The dear lady who does such beautiful work said she no longer stretches cross stitch for framing if she wasn’t making the frame herself – it was just too much work.  I said “Oh, dear!  I don’t know who else I would trust with my work!”  As we talked on, and she did allow that it was a lovely frame for the sampler, she said “I don’t have much needlework in shop now, and since it is you, I’ll do it.”  Thank heavens I have used her exclusively to frame my samplers in the past.  She had once remarked that it was a pleasure to work with my samplers because I didn’t have a “rat’s nest” on the back.

Much Christmas knitting was achieved this weekend, thanks to our own, personal film festival.  DH and I decided that we would watch all the previous Harry Potter films on DVD before seeing the new release in the theater.  We have enjoyed spending the time together instead of geeking out at our computers.  Also, by catching up this way we avoided the weekend theater rush.  Come about Wednesday we should be up to date and ready for a theater night.  I won’t try to take my knitting to that one, though.  It’s too big a risk – the floors are just too sticky!

What cha doin’?

I’ve been spending a lot of time at my cross stitch frame.  As I come close to the end it calls me more and more…it’s the lure of a nearly-finished object.  The sampler I’m working on is called “Summer Garden” and it just makes me happy.  I’ve even ordered the frame shown in the link, which goes so well with our white woodwork and kitchen cabinets.

I got a call Friday that the frame had come in to the cross stitch shop, but the pattern I ordered is still on its way.  Gas is costly enough that I will drive down there once, when the pattern comes in.  Now, if I can only finish the stitching before the pattern arrives, I could go straight from the cross stitch shop to my favorite framer.  There is some urgency involved with framing, too, as I hear she will retire in August.  Arrgh!  I trust no one else to do the job.

When the urge to knit overpowers the cross stitching, I’m working on grandchildrens’ Christmas.  DD was kind enough to measure everything there was to measure on my granddaughters (that ought to confuse them).  There is nothing like measurements for a needlewoman to give a true sense of a person.  My, how those young ladies have grown!

And now, the beauty shot!

It’s a finished object!  FO dance, FO dance!

Last night I didn’t think I would make it.  The designer called for changing back to the larger needles for the last row of the ribbing of the button band, and for the bind off.  I, sheep that I am, gave it a try.  You can guess what resulted:  a ruffle!  Not what my DH envisioned for his Christmas sweater, I can tell you!  So I tinked all those stitches, re-did the buttonholes to a tidier version, reknit the rows, and bound off.  The buttons got sewn on at 2 pm, and the picture shoot was on. (I’d have finished sooner, but DH was willing to do the winter pruning on my rose bushes, and wanted me to consult on how ruthless he should be.  Show no mercy!  Prune those bushes!)

Further news was received today about my Christmas knitting.  Dear Father-in-law called to thank us for the mittens.  He had been trying to tough it out using the snowblower without gloves, because he couldn’t get his gnarled hands into a pair.  Dad said he had been ready to drive to the cities to look for some mittens, when his gift arrived in the mail.  He reported that his hands didn’t get cold with the mittens on…could I possibly knit a second pair?  Oh, yes!   (Compare that to those ungrateful recipients of knitware we’ve all read about.)  In fact, I have 100 grams of the maroon superwash left from DH’s sweater.  Cast on time!

I’m knitting, I’m knitting

Assembly of DH’s sweater went very well, and in preliminary try-on it fit very well.  I ignored the pattern instructions on how long to make the sleeves, and went instead with measurements from his favorite sweater.  (Let me tell you it is a bit strange to lurk in DH’s closet with a tape measure, measuring a sweater sleeve.)

This blog post is brief:  must finish knitting the shawl collar and button bands so there will be a FO for Christmas.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend.  Knit on!

Knitting secret revealed

We’ve all been keeping Christmas knitting secrets.  Little knitting content has been blogged here or on others blogs.  However, today I had to fess up to what I’ve been knitting.  Up to this point, I had been sitting on the sofa, knitting away.  DH is used to seeing that, and didn’t actually see what I was knitting.

Today I reached the point where all the pieces had to be blocked.  Not only is it hard to miss that as you walk through the dining room, but also he is the architect of the blocking boards.  When I need to use both blocking boards, he knows which books to pull from the bookcase to shim under the corners of the second one (it extends out onto a card table placed at the end of the dining room table.)

So this morning, I placed in his lap the unblocked pieces of the sweater he had asked for.  The pattern is the Charcoal Ribbed Cardigan by Kate Kuckro.  I knit it in elann’s superwash chunky in maroon.  DH was very specific in his cardigan wants:  a shawl collar was #1.  He had ok’d this pattern, and chosen the yarn color.  The surprise was that he didn’t know I had begun his sweater;  he thought I was slogging away on a sweater for me.

I have high hopes of actually finishing it for Christmas, despite having a music gig tomorrow night to prepair for.  That will take part of tomorrow, and, of course, no knitting tomorrow night.  At least he knows I love him a lot!

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