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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Objects of My Affections

When you think of all the ways your course could have been altered, and the changes that would have resulted from those alterations, the wise woman must know that the path she followed was meant to be. It produced the three people you see here. That is good. Looking upward and onward.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moonlight Beach, Encinitas CA

I live in a beautiful part of the country. This is Moonlight Beach. It is a ten minute drive from my house. I like to take a cup of coffee, sit and sip, think, pray, cry, talk on my cell, watch the surfers and swimmers. I observe life and contemplate here.

Even on an overcast day the beach has visitors. I can park my car in the free lot, then walk a mile north and back a mile south for a perfect workout on the sand. Sometimes I pass another walker, sometimes I do not. I am active here.

Last week I watched a lifeguard push out a sand wheelchair to the beach break, knee deep. The man in the chair let a wave carry him away. Off he swam using the upper portion of his body to swim and be free. I felt a little voyeuristic watching this man undergo a transformation from handicapped to whole. It was intimate and a privilege to see.

At any given moment we use so little of the amazing resources we have at hand.

I want to call upon my hidden strength. I want to use the deeper resources. I want to live life with an appreciation and a purpose that leaves no time for fear or regrets. Tenderhearted, fearless and grateful. Carve that on my tombstone- it would be a fine tribute to the woman I hope to be.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ryan and Steezy

This past weekend was a "Ryan Weekend" which usually means we are isolated at home together. He guards his time with his Momma jealously.

This weekend, that was not the case. We had friends come for dinner. Tori cooked Skinny Italian in my kitchen. Ellen made a caprese salad with the sweetest homegrown tomato I have ever tasted. Karen brought ice cream and we had a delightful meal together. Ryan enjoyed the food and the company. He stretched more than his stomach by allowing me to entertain on his time.

Sunday morning Ryan was reminiscing about our beloved dog, Steezy. We miss her very much. I picked up her remains and a paw print from the Veterinarian this past week and shed a tear or two for my faithful companion. Ryan asked me to find another dog like Steezy. One that will sit in his "pouch" and lick his toes. They spent many a Sunday afternoon cuddled on the couch just like this photo. An Autistic boy and his faithful friend to the end.

A "pouch" is the space formed by your bent legs when you curl up on the couch. It was the seat of honor for the kids when they were little and I was reclining with a book or the TV. It is a warm and comfy place to be. I swore I would never have a dog again. Ryan and the empty pouch, may change my mind someday...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Flowerpot Hat Free Pattern

Here is the free pattern as promised. I strung you along for over a week. That was fun!

Notions needed:
Size 10 or 11 circular needles 16" length
Size 8-10 double point needles
One stitch marker
Worsted to chunky weight yarn 150 yds
Your goal is 5 sts to the inch, chunkier the yarn, bigger the needles.


Cast on 48 sts and knit in the round 6 rows. (I usually knit to the end of the row and place a marker and then join being careful not to twist the row when I join.)
Purl 6 rows slipping your marker at the beginning of each round.
Knit 6 rows.
Purl 6 rows.
Knit 6 rows.
Purl 6 rows.
Knit 1 row.
K4, K2tog, repeat to the end of the row. Slip marker.Knit a row.
K3, K2tog, repeat to end of round. Slip marker. Knit a row.
Switch to the double points and K2. K2tog, repeat to end of row distributing sts on to the dpn.
Knit one row.
K1, K2tog, to end of round.
Knit one row.
Cut the yarn 8 inches long. Thread onto a tapestry needle. Run the yarn back through each stitch removing from the dpn's. Draw the yarn up to form the top of the hat. Secure and close the hole by weaving into the circle. Weave in the ends and wear it well.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hat of the Day #9

This is the hat that started the series. I sit in the family room often. Across from the couch sits an old glazed piece of pottery I picked up many years ago at a garage sale. I like the color and the finish. Then in passing through some of my single skeins in the stash, there was a single ball of this wool tweed that was imported from the UK about 25 years ago. I had two balls in different shades of green. Somehow I saw a hat in my mind, knit to resemble the flower pot. Viola' - the Flowerpot Hat. Free pattern tomorrow!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hat of the Day #8

Jo Sharp Silkroad Yarn is a luxury Aran tweed. I finished the top with a second color of green for the fun of it.
Sometimes a little subtle change is all you need to keep things interesting. You can read a lot into that statement!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hat of the Day #7

Mohair, silk hand dyed delicious yarn in the flattering flower pot design. This hat looks good on. Any size head, worn low, worn high, big hair, no hair. You have to try it. I will soon post the pattern and the inspiration for the pattern.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hat of the Day #6

Noro Silk Garden Yarn from Japan makes the Flowerpot Hat soft and flattering for all figure types.
Simple to knit and so happy to wear.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hat of the Day #5

This is a version of the free hat pattern I posted a couple of weeks ago. You can go to older posts and find it if you like it. It is adorable on the head! Simple shaping occurs when you change needle sizes for shaping. Big needles and bulky yarn make this a one day project that is fun ! See the post- Hat Pattern For Free

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hat of the Day #4

This is a cotton topper with some interesting stitches. You can find a pattern that suits your skill level and practice in the forgiveness of a hat. If you decide the stitch you are sampling is not to your liking, then convert to simple stockinette and keep on shaping your hat into a finished product.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hat of the Day #3

A snugly little baby bear hat to match some leather booties. Look for inspiration where ever you see it.I like to browse baby clothes on sale and then make a hand knit to coordinate.Pop it in the cupboard and you are always ready to gift the next new baby that crosses your path.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hat of the Day #2

The girly version with a top knot and some twisty dreadlocks. All a girl needs is a pair of jeans and a car seat!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hat of the Day #1

This is the basic flower pot hat ready for gifting with a shirt and socks.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School

My friends, I must admit that I have bitten off more than I can chew. I will work on working out my school work and schedule, and I will be fine. I am old and strong.

I am having some bizarre emotional fallout from what should have been the empty nest. This Fall I should be driving home from delivering my college freshman son to some university within driving distance. Bawling my eyes out on the freeway.

In Fall 2004, we made that drive to Monterey, CA and deposited my daughter at California State University. She was installed with a new computer, books, bedding, dorm essentials, a monthly allowance, and the beginning of a journey that fulfilled so many growth and learning goals. She graduated with her Bachelor in Communications, Specializing in Moral and Ethical Business Practices. She works here in Encinitas for a Dog Daycare affiliated with the local Humane Society and she is pretty happy. She is mostly self sufficient. I occasionally do her laundry-because I like to. I feel like we gave her every opportunity to grow into the woman that she is meant to be.

My son is another story. It breaks mt heart. He is enrolled in the Woodworking program at Palomar, where he would like to be a Luthier. That is what he wanted to do. He has a full load. He has a beater to drive that he actually likes. He lost his job due to the broken elbow that has healed completely. So, he is looking for work. His computer is the same one we purchased for Brynn in 2004. Slow and old by today's standards.No dorm, no allowance, not even books yet. How is it okay to not provide the same for him?

How did this come to pass? Why did one child get every advantage, while the other takes what he can with very little complaints? He will never know the full import of the differences. But, I do. I am sad. I realize that we are blessed beyond measure. I know that I am feeling sorry for myself and my son. He will never know what it is to move into a dorm and meet a group of people that he will know and love for the rest of his life. To get along with a group of strangers as roommates. Formative and valuable lessons in my book. He claims that this does not bother him. I know that it really does. Why is such a fruitless question...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

German Style Light and Healthy

Here are some fresh made sausage with apple and chicken. Roasted veggies and a glass of Pinot Noir made this a meal to enjoy with the sunset out back.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Organic Garden = Healthy Eats

My neighbors have planted an extensive organic garden and it is overflowing its borders. I am so lucky to receive the bounty of this healthy excess! I roasted this medley of fennel, beets, carrots, parsnips, new potatoes, and leeks with a drizzle of olive oil and good old salt and pepper.

Next these two lovely cucumber cousins became a cold salad on the side! Just a little champagne vinegar with dill and onion. Dinnertime and not a dime spent. Thank you to the Lake Family!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lake Michigan from the Porch

I had the privilege of crashing the Schimmel Family Reunion on Lake Michigan in Muskegon. I love this family. Every last one of them. Karen and Fred are the most generous of hosts. Cousin Diane lived with my family for a short while. Her two sisters (Sharon and Laura) are busy raising beautiful future femme fatals. The weather was perfect. The lake was warm and swim-able late into the night. Star gazing with a wine before the final campfire made midnight come all too soon. Magic. All because I crashed the Schimmel party. Thank you Karen, Fred, Sharon, Matt, Lydia, Ella, Ava, Laura, Roy, Elaine, Diane and Michigan.

Hospital Sofa

This was 2 weeks ago. The recovery room was open for business. The boys were drugged to drowsy and resting with their respective wounds. Ryan had his right big toe nail removed. Evan continued to nurse the broken elbow and road rash. Both are doing very well and resuming all normal activities. I plan to close the hospital wing until further notice!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Broken Bookends

Karen went down June 5th and had a compound fracture of her left radius and ulna.
Evan crashed his Motorcycle July 15 and fractured his elbow in the right radial head.
NO MORE FRACTURES! Thank you very much...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In The Northern Michigan Woods

This is the view from the porch. This is the cottage without computers, telephones, television or a shower. There are bathrooms and a hand held hose in the bathtub. The library has free wifi and most of the time if you leave the phone a message, I will eventually get it. Some people have powerful phones that work- I just choose to be disconnected for awhile. Rocking and knitting. Swimming and sunning. Walking and talking. Sipping and snacking...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Winter Hats for Summer Girls

I am in my home state with my home friends- about to start the relative circuit. It has been a relaxing and restful trip, so far. I have been to only one knit shop and practiced great restraint. I had to buy yarn for the custom order! Two bright yellows and a pink, please.

My cousins children had requested hats in very specific colors and I wanted to knit them and mail them to the little ladies. Here you see the towheads on the shore of Lake Michigan. The oldest, Lydia sat in my lap and learned to knit. She will need a refresher, but she actually got through a couple of rows. The younger two(Ella and Ava) were more interested in playing in the waves. When we parted company I went to the knit shop I know up north and got busy and knit their hats and mailed them away to Des Moines. The snowy plains are just months away...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hat Pattern For Free

Inspired by a design in a tiny photo seen in the recent Vogue Knitting Magazine- I knit up a hat to proximate what I saw. (Page 32 of the Early Fall 2010 issue) I love it and have made a second one and wrote a pattern. You can try this at home for free from me to you. I feel like giving back a little something. It knits up quickly and is fun on big needles. Let me know how you like it. The first one I donated to a school in North Dakota, the second one is my sample and third one is mine!

Button Slouch Hat

-100 yards of bulky to Chunky yarn of your choice. I used a hand spun, hand dyed skein in Purple. This hat also works very well with the new yarn "Latte" by Ella rae- available at your LYS

-16' circular needles in sizes 9, 11, and 15. - one set of size 9 double points
-one stitch marker

Cast on 70 sts to the size 9 needles. K1, P1 to end of row, join in the round, place marker and continue in K1P1 ribbing in the round for 2 inches.

Knit one row. On the next row, knit 6, M1 into the 7th stitch, from the marker all the way around. There are now 80 sts on the needle.

Switch to size 11 needles and knit every row for 2 inches.

Switch to size 15 needles and knit for 2-3 inches.

Start to decrease as follows:

K18, K2tog to marker.

K17, K2tog to marker.

K16, K2tog to marker.

K15, K2tog to marker, and continue to decrease each row this way, until you have completed: K2, K2tog.

There are now 24 sts on the needle.Place 8 sts on 3 different size 9 double points and with the fourth needle, knit in the round until you have an 7 inch tube.

Use the Kitchener stitch to bind off by distributing the 24 stitches evenly onto 2 needles (12 sts on each needle) You may also do a three needle bind off loosely at this point. Leave an 18 inch tail to use to secure the tube to the hat and add the button.

Fold the tube over to the desired location, and sew on a 2 inch button through the entire flattened tube and hat. Weave in loose ends from cast on and button. The end. It is big and floppy and styling all at the same time. Very quick and very easy. All shaping is achieved by needle changes and then simple decreasing! Enjoy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Graduation- Proof of the Sheepskin

Here is the proof that he actually walked. We noticed his best friend Spencer was a no show. He graduated w/o a problem- just decided he wouldn't walk if he had to wear the silly blue robe?
Even though the casual Southern Californian dress code is very relaxed under the said robe.
What is wrong with these kids nowadays? Oh - I sound old. Afterward, Evan informed me that he
was grateful that I "encouraged" him to be part of the moment. It was a rough week and we celebrated with dinner on Dad.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stay on Your Knees

As in Praying- silly you! The Wenskay saga continues. As Heike said when I got to the scene of the accident- Season Three, episode #28.

On July 15th at 5:30 pm on a sultry hot day, Evan and Spencer left the house on their way to the bank and a meal out on their respective motorcycles. My parting words were as usual "Be careful and I love you" as Evan shouted back- "love you too Mom".

Five minutes later Heike (my little 24 yr old roommate, on her way home from work) called to say Evan was laying in the road and the ambulance and police were on the way and he was okay, but his arm was probably broken and his butt was roadrashed. I jumped in the car, tried to call his Dad and got there just after the ambulance and police. My son crashed his Honda 450 going 45 mph, on a very curvy road, one mile from home. A gardening truck was backing out from a gated community on a blind curve. He did not see the bikes coming. When Evan saw the truck he slammed on his brakes, flew over the bike, through the air and skidded 50 ft to a halt in the middle of the road. His friend behind him was able to stop his bike safely.

It was 97 degrees that day and Evan was not wearing his leather. He broke his right elbow and has road rash on his right leg, both hands, his back, butt and elbows. He is lucky to be alive. His bike and helmet are totaled, but the helmet did it's job and there is no head or face damage at all! A kind witness that attends the Church next door to mine, was first on the scene and took calm control over the situation. The gardeners were upset and grateful that Evan did not end up under their wheels or into oncoming traffic. He was surrounded by angels, both in the kind witness Lisa and Heike, on the scene. I was able to coach his breathing through the pain as the paramedics did their job.

At LaJolla Scripps Hospital the trauma team worked quickly. He had no neurological damage. A broken elbow, broken finger and a lot of road rash to heal. They put him under conscious sedation and set his elbow. We brought him home that evening. Today is day three and he is feeling the pain. Monday we see the orthopedic specialist. God is good. We have medical insurance. We have motorcycle insurance. His paperwork was in order. No tickets were issued. He will heal and I hope he remembers this pain. As his body knits itself back together I will knit simple hats. I know I will not forget it. We are saving his shredded pants and helmet as a reminder. Perhaps as a shrine next to the front door???

When I have time and it is safe and appropriate to do so, I plan to untangle the chaos of the emotions I am feeling about my life. Today I stay in gratitude for so many things...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Babies Everywhere!

Baby Girl born to the Cook family in Pennsylvania.

Little lamb to Hazel in Oceanside.

Brandy' baby boy sweater and outfit will reside in Temecula, CA.

This gray ensemble is perfect for Joaquin in Seattle, WA.
While a local surfer baby boy in Cardiff will enjoy the Hurley shirt and matching beanie.
All of these knit and delivered amid the chaos of June. I thank knitting and God for my peace.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Little Lambs for Little Lambs

I knit this for a friends baby. It made me smile. That is good.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

No More Dogs

We said good bye to our faithful friend. My co-dependent sidekick Steezy went to doggie heaven on June 14th and broke my heart. Turns out she had degenerative disc disease that is common to both the dachshund and beagle breeds. We did not know it until she ruptured a disc spontaneously and lost the use of her hind legs. She was sweet and brave to the end. We laughed with her all the way to the vets office. It was not that long ago that we met in the same room with our vet to have the same procedure done with Roxie-our 18 year old d/b mix. I do not think I will have another dog for a very long time. My heart cannot entertain another chance of loss in this season of hurts I am enduring. These are photos taken during her last three days when all five of us had a little time to say goodbye and shower her with our love. That is how we roll...