Friday, November 30, 2012

Fifty Fridays #17

I can't miss Friday.  Apparently, I even have my son's attention.

This is one photo that I don't remember.  I wasn't there.  I wasn't even a twinkle in anyone's eye.

It's a little odd to think of a world where I wasn't present.  I mean, we do it all the time, don't we?  But I wonder if we aren't injecting ourselves into the scenes just by trying to imagine them.  But to really  think about not being a presence on this planet?   I find it just slightly unsettling. 

So, who are these folks?  This is my Dad with his mother's parents.  So, my paternal greats.  This is quite a casual snap although it probably is not an ordinary occasion.  I doubt that my father ran around in those white clothes for play.  And, even though men dressed more formally in those days, my great-grandfather looks pretty spruced up.  Have they arrived?  Or are they leaving?  And where are they going?

There is one thing that can put the present into the past.  I think that this great-great-great-granddaughter resembles that long-ago little boy.  What do you think?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Stash

I did say that I had finished a couple of projects.  And I did.  Not near enough here to justify two weeks absence but there it is.  Ask me how many books I read in that time.  Sometimes, reading is better than knitting.  I have for you today two stash and two non-stash.  Two finished and two unfinished.  Balance in everything is important.

These are the knee socks for Becky.  She tried one on and it stayed up really well.  That was my constant worry..that the socks would fall down.  I have memories of knee socks always becoming bunchy ankle-socks by the time I'd walked to school.  They look very cute on. Great colors. This a very basic knee sock from Paton's.  You can find it here.

These are socks for me.  Red socks!  Oh, this Donegal-type yarn  knits up beautifully.  I  like the cabling although I did get lazy and just did the leg as a cabled pattern with the foot in the 2x2 ribbing.  Both of these are non-stash.

Does it qualify as stash if it's someone else's that they donate? Now I have some extra acrylic - pinky-lavender, aqua and white.    I almost always make something for babies or kids out of the acrylics.  If I had little ones to clean up after, I'd thank you for it.  Washable trumps fabulous fiber every time when it's for little ones.  So, I made a baby sweater from the aqua donation - with a touch of white.  It reminds me of whipped cream.  This pattern is very easy and fun to knit.

And, another kid's sweater with the white.  It's not capturing my attention this week...besotted with my red sock yarn! - mostly because it has Fair isle bits.  Ask me why I choose such a pattern when I don't like to knit it?  Well, I liked the look.  You will, too, if you click here for the pattern. 

Time to make some muffins and go visiting. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fifty Fridays #16

It's been the most heavenly week.  There was rain and cold weather but that was OK with me.  I took myself off to the brain spa.  I finished several books, managed to get a couple of knitting projects done, played the piano and tried very hard to ignore the computer.  So peaceful.  So restful.  Now that I'm all blissed out, I should be able to return to blogging. 

But it's hard, isn't it?  Jumping back into the busy-ness when I was so relaxed may be easier said than done.  One toe at a time.   And looking through old photos is always fun.

This photo was taken at Manning Park when I was about 20.   My then-boyfriend and I had gone for a day trip with my family.  We went in our own car and followed my Dad.  Me barely holding back the little moans as I felt the wheels slide out from under us.  I am so-o bad in snow.  Of course, being poor students, we didn't have snow tires.  We did have chains but they were in the car - not on the tires! Male drivers are invincible, don'tcha know?   It's not a scary road in the summer and only the snow slippage frightened me.  I don't think we would go over a cliff or anything...just off the road would have been bad enough for me.  Even worse when I could look ahead and see my Dad sliding a bit, too.  Back then, cars had such crummy handling and steering but they were way heavier, too.  The cars in the background were not vintage then. 

In any event, we got there.  I guess the sun was shining since I had my very cool prescription sunglasses on.  This photo was taken after I had had my first - and last - slide on a toboggan.  Ouch!  That hurt.  I do remember the snowball fight that we waged against my younger brother and sisters.  I wonder if they remember it, too? 

While I have driven through Manning Park many times since then, it's always in the summer.  I have never been back for the snow. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ffty Fridays #15

Just showing up for the weekend.  That's me, these days.  Weekdays are pretty darn busy still.  But today may be the last stressful day for this year.  I shouldn't say that out loud, should I? won't tell anyone else, will you?

This is yet another of those family photos.  I remember this day quite well.  It was Easter and my sister's baptism.  And - a strange thing to me at the time - my father was also baptised.  He'd developed a grudging respect for the new minister.  All I remember about that man was that his face was extremely shiny with cleanliness.  He was somewhat aloof and definitely not someone who related well to children.

It was a happy day and I think that was because of the church activities.  This would have been very important to my mother.  And when my mother was happy, we all were.  Of course, it being Easter, my brother and I would probably be on a bit of a sugar high, too.

I remember the dress because it was made especially for Easter.  It was made from Dan River plaid cotton fabric.  This is important because it was apparently a fabric that was new to us.  I found a blog posting that tells a bit of the history of Dan River Cotton Mills.  Ack!! I can't make the link work.  Check out Quiltville's posting - you can google it.

Back to the dress.  It was soft greens and blues and I had a snazzy red plastic belt to go with.  Not sure which was more fun for me:  the belt or the three tiers in the skirt.  That dress had a wonderful spinning skirt. 

I think the ribbon in my mother's hand is from a little hat that my sister was wearing.  Her dress was pale yellow...funny the things you remember.  Ros wore a lot of yellow.  My mother was very conscious of what colors looked well on us girls.  I got the soft greens and blues....she got the yellows.  My brother escaped that kind of scrutiny. 

Off to prepare for a society general meeting that I am chairing.  It could be contentious. I am hoping that it will not be.  Then I will be free of this stuff for a week or so. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday wonders - S

S is for Service.

Today, I will be laying a poppy wreath at the end of the service to honor our local veterans.  And to remember all those who have gone off to war and never come home.  Too many wars.   At the end of the day, the gray stone cairn is made beautiful with the brilliant red poppies, green leaves and purple ribbons.

This is what the day always meant to me when I was growing up.  It meant my father marching in the parade.  Here he's leading his Air Cadet color party sometime in the early 1960's. When I was even younger, it was exciting to see him all dressed up in a kilt, black busby hat and high white gaiters. Hey!  That's my dad playing the snare drums in the pipe band.

To this day, the sound of the skirling pipes, the rat-a-tat of the drums makes me cry.  It wouldn't be a Nov. 11 service without the pipers. Thank you, veterans, for your service to all of us. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Stash

Time for the knitting report.  It's not really stash as such this week. All four projects were worked with yarns that didn't come out of the original mountain supply.  I'm straying from my pledge - have been for a while now - and knitting what pleases me, or what's new at the moment or what I find in the stash cupboard that suits the purpose.  So, yes, I'm buying a bit of yarn here and there. 

This cool green thick and thin yarn followed someone home from the thrift shop.  Just one ball with less than seventy yards.  What to do?  I chose this quick - about an hour - hat pattern from Laurie Kimmelstiel which has enough textural interest to keep me happy and still show off the colors.  I didn't have a short enough circular or dpn set in the right size, so I knit it flat and seamed the back.  It worked beautifully, I think. Nefertiti enjoyed wearing it on the frosty morning I shot the photo. 

She needed a scarf around her neck as well.  Another refugee from the thrift shop,  this was a worsted acrylic with a lot of fluff and in the most gorgeous autumn leaves colors - oranges, rusty browns, red and green - not the washed out pink it appears here.  Think bright.  Again only one ball but it seemed to have a lot of yardage.  I doubled the strands, grabbed the BIG needles and knit up this wonderful scarf pattern from Nancy Kleiber.  I've made it before and it's really a joy to knit.  Only 15 stitches, reversible and ruffled on the ends.  The yarn made it so cushy and cosy that I could have kept it.  But these are not my colors so it joined the hat on the craft sale shelf.

I have one girl's knee sock finished. get to that second one. 

And, this is my guilty pleasure.  When I go out to Steveston each week, I stop in the village if the traffic allows me to be early.  I have a shop that stocks a good selection of sock yarn and it's fun just to browse even if I don't buy.  Last Tuesday, I shook up my routine and stopped at the other yarn store that I also like.  It stocks a lot of very nice yarns that are so much  fun to get touchy-feely with.  I know that their sock yarn selection isn't as good as the other so I felt pretty safe.  But, look!  I've never seen a Donegal-type sock yarn before.  It was red.  Oh, my, I was lost.  And, of course, I couldn't wait to start knitting it up.  Those whining UFO's will have to dry their tears and wait quietly. 

While in the store, I chatted with the woman in charge.  She  made a big fuss over a sweater I was wearing - the Tranverse Cardi - and  I was completely won over.  See how I had to buy that little ball of red sock yarn? Then, she told that she teaches spinning.  Hmmm...I will retire from the busiest part of my busy volunteer work in the coming year.  And I have a wheel that is waiting in a corner of the sewing room.   Is this an omen? 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fifty Fridays #14

Another week.  I wasn't chained to the computer or the meeting table this week.

But I have been neglecting these kids for many weeks.  They've been napping in the sewing room and every week a few more have arrived looking for a home.  I just showed them into the room and told them to behave themselves...I'd get to them.  Soon.  And soon came this week.  I'm up to my elbows in Barbie clothes, shoes and hairstyles.  My babies are all bathed, brushed and bonneted.  By tomorrow, I'll be putting them all away again for a while.  I must get as many done at once as I can as the thrift store sells a lot of dolls between now and Christmas.

However, this is Friday and I must have a photo this week.  My daughter noticed!  Today's dig through the digital 'shoe-box' produced this lovely photo.   This is me and my Aunt K.  I'm the baby and I can only tell you that I'm more than 5 months old.  Clearly it's summery weather.  The notes say it was taken in PEI where we lived when I was a baby.  It could be near Summerside but since there's a car I can't tell you.  I'm guessing that the car is my Grampy's and they've come from Nova Scotia to visit.  But that's just a guess.

 What I can say is that my Aunt K was a very important character in the family stories that I heard from my mother.  Even though I never met her until I was an adult, I always felt as though I had a relationship with her.  I knew that we both were 'sturdy' girls and we both had thick, curly hair.  I think my mother talked about her whenever she brushed my hair.  Especially if I wanted to grow it long.  She feared the weight of the thick hair would pull the curl out as it did my aunt's.  What odd memories to have of someone you never met.

As she moved on with her life, I heard about her education, her first job and her wedding.  My cousins came along and all were as unknown to me as she was.  It always surprised me to think that I had real-life cousins because they were photo people my whole childhood.    I suppose they all felt much the same way.  It's hard to imagine now with all the ways that we can stay connected.  When I was a child, the only connections were letters.  Pale blue ink on thin paper written in my mother's pretty writing and an illegible note scribbled on the bottom by my father.  Letters from the east with older-style penmanship and less comfort with the writing  process.  Always received with great joy from my mother.  She loved letters. 

Photos would occasionally accompany a letter and this was always a cause for delighted scrutiny of the faces and backgrounds.  How they'd grown! Aged! Look what they've done to the house! Such things showed up in the pictures that no one ever commented on in the letters.  Just the stuff of day-to-day life.  For my parents, it was a recognition that the place they came from was changing as well as confirmation that many things stayed the same.  I'm sure for those in the east, it was a glimpse of a strange place.  Family known and unknown.  Grandchildren they would never really know. And yet, there was a familiarity with the way things were done.  As they had been done in the family forever. 

Photos can say such a lot even when the intended message is completely different.  I'm sure this one was just a photo of the baby with her Aunt K.  Now, I get all caught up in the landscape, the clothes, the house. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday wonders - R

R is for Riches.

I have shelter from the rain and warmth from the cold...

an abundance of food ...

and family and fun. 

Can't get richer than this.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday Stash

Two weeks worth of reporting to do!  I didn't have the photos taken last week and just didn't have a chance to get at them.  At the end of this week, I felt like I'd been in a chess tournament.  So much plotting of strategy - I'm lousy at this - and trying to make sure that my queen isn't captured after two moves.  Since I know I am so very bad at it and it's important that the queen stay in play for as long as possible (and possibly win)...oh, I'm exhausted.  A good mystery novel will be the weekend remedy.  And here we go into what has kept me calm-ish...

I did finish the cardi for Gabby.  I had some fluffy pink stuff for trim and I knit some round balls instead of making pompoms.  It looked huge and it is a bit big for her but not as much as I thought it would be. 

The seasons changed at the craft corner and the scarves made a reappearance.  It's funny how, when things get a second airing, there is often more notice taken than when they were first put up.  So it is with this scarf.  The woman selling it wanted one for herself, too.  Luckily, I had enough yarn.

In an attempt to use up all the yarn, I made one more to donate for sale.  I still have enough left for yet another.  Maybe later.

I finished the Finchy Feet - finally but didn't get a finished photo.  Then I decided that I wanted to make some little socks, too.  Plain ones in fancy yarn...

and fancy ones in plain yarn.

A baby hat with a pompom.  I have remembered that I dislike making pompoms because they never look the way other people's do.  But the hat is cute and makes me think of Christmas windows.  I used the Top Down Pi Hat pattern and just did my own slip-stitch thing.  It all uses up sock yarn. 

I am trying out a basic pattern for girls' knee socks. Oddly, I've never made knee socks but I wanted to see if I could do it with the same amount of yarn that I would use for two adult socks.  I'm sure there's an easier way to figure it out but not nearly as much fun.

I will be back tomorrow with my weekly alphabet offering.  I haven't abandoned Blogland!


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