Weekend Things – Nov. 16, 2019

November is birthday month in our family (we sneak into early December too). In a month’s time, we celebrate 2 grandchildren, 1 nephew, 1 daughter, 1 daughter-in-law, my stepmom’s and my birthdays. It is mostly card exchange as except for the two grandchildren, all are adults. Grandkids get gifts of some sort depending on age and interest.

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that I am a spinner, knitter, sometimes crocheter, weaver. Because of this, I am a definite yarn snob. But, sometimes it is necessary to use yarn that I don’t spin for a project. Granddaughter local is one of the birthdays. She is turning 8 and has grown many inches and many pounds since last winter, she needed a new winter coat. Her Mom found a real bargain, a very neutral gray coat that granddaughter loved. To go with her new coat, and because she seems to love her handmade gifts (last year a string backpack for her music lesson items with a colorful binder to hold the music), I decided to make her a knit hat, scarf, and mittens to go with her new coat. Because they will get hard use and need to be washed, I bought a giant Caron Cake of acrylic yarn in shades of purple to make them.

I had finished the mittens, hat, and most of the scarf a week or so ago, but didn’t want to add fringe to the scarf and it didn’t look finished as is, so this afternoon, I crocheted a triangle on each end and added a small tassel, maybe less appealing to their 3 cats if it is left out. A year or so ago, I found the little wooden buttons that say Handmade with love by _____, so I added her pet name for me and sewed one on one end. Her birthday is next Sunday, so after we go to the farm where our turkey has been raised to pick it up, we will have a family celebration for her birthday.

Last night, I finished knitting a pair of fingerless mitts from some Romeldale CVM wool that I spun for the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em challenge. They were given a soak and blocking last night and are currently drying. Here they are before their bath.

They will go in my shop and be taken to the various Holiday markets until they sell. I am toying with sewing a row of small deer antler buttons to the backs of the hands.

Saturday mornings, when I am not at an event, are breakfast out followed by the weekly Farmers Market. Today I was seeking yams for Thanksgiving as I didn’t grow any this year. Also seeking some ground beef to make dinner for daughter and her family tomorrow night, and other than that, I just browse and make decisions on what is available. I was able to get nice turnips, fresh spinach, Daikon radishes, potatoes, breakfast sausage, and Mozarella in addition to the yams and ground beef. As I finished the last of my fermented dilly beans last night, the Daikon radishes were purchased to make kimchi. Once home, they were peeled and diced, sprinkled with salt, sugar, and crushed red pepper and set to weep while I put everything else away and finished the scarf for granddaughter. It is now packed in a jar with a fermenting lid to sit for a few days.

Next weekend begins the holiday markets. There is still one scarf that is about half done that I would like to get finished and blocked, then I will begin a pair of fingerless mitts or glittens for me as I lost one two weekends ago when I did the Harvest Festival at Booker T. Washington National Monument. There is no real hurry on them and I can knit on them while I am vending.

The Chair redux

Those of you who have read my blog from the beginning may remember a post called “The Chair.” Because of the loss of the archives, I can’t provide a link to it for you to read, so here is a brief summary. Many, many years ago, maybe 20, hubby fell in love with a huge chair in Sams Club. Every time we went to shop, he looked to see if it was still there and sat in it for a bit. Near Christmas, daughter and I set out to buy that chair and bring it home, hide it, and put it in the house for his Christmas present. It didn’t fit in my car in the box, so daughter and I unboxed it, loaded part of it in my mini van, I left her standing in the parking lot with the rest and the box while I took it home and returned to get her and the remainder of the chair and the box. We hid the chair in a neighbor’s garage until closer to Christmas, recycled the box and got it in the house as his gift. That chair moved when we sold our house to build this home to the rental we were in for a year. Then I moved here to a new job, into an apartment, and “the chair” moved to an apartment until hubby retired to move here. He and our youngest son lived in that apartment for 2 years then moved to a better apartment for 1 more, then hubby and “the chair” moved to the mountains to sit in our loft in front of the TV. His chair.

Eight years ago this December, our mastiff was born, 8 weeks later, we drove to Pennsylvania to get him. As he grew, as mastiffs are prone to do, he would back up to “the chair” when hubby was sitting in it and sit on the edge, eventually getting big enough that he would manage to curl up in hubby’s lap.

That chair as you can see from the arm, was failing and shortly after this photo was taken, it gave up and we bought a “new chair.” The “new chair” as we discovered was pleather, and not very good quality pleather. Where “the chair” lasted about 15 years and 4 moves, the “new chair” failed after about 4 year and the “new chair” wasn’t big enough for the beast and his master to share. Now understand, our dogs do not get on furniture, except the beast and his master’s chair. Because Ranger couldn’t get on the chair with hubby, he would try to sit on the edge, finally pawing at hubby’s leg to get him to come down on the floor with him. This is another mastiff trait. By this morning, there was no pleather on the seat, the back of the cushion had come unstitched and the stuffing was coming out, the chair has been covered with a fitted sheet for a month and hubby showed signs of allergy every time he sat in it.

He has been promised a better chair for Christmas, but the old one needed to go now, and the loft thoroughly cleaned of the pleather dust, stuffing, dog hair bunnies, spill stains under furniture. The loft also contains my chair, various spinning and weaving tools, a desk, a file cabinet, a love seat, and two small tables. It was decided that the “new chair” now old and decrepit was headed to the dump and he would use the love seat until Christmas. With much effort, it was gotten down the steps, into the back of the SUV and hauled away. The loft has been vacuumed, dusted, floor hand washed, and rearranged as the love seat was not where he could see the TV.

It isn’t the best arrangement, making it difficult to get behind the seating to the desk and printer, but it will do for a few weeks.

Stiff – 10/20/2019

Since my return last week from helping eldest and family finish moving their household, I have done almost no knitting and no spinning. The weather finally broke and has been much cooler and we have had some rain.

The rain revealed that the vent through the metal roof that has been resealed twice since installation a dozen years ago is again leaking. The leak ruined the drywall soffit in the finished basement within a year or two if it being finished, and several years ago at Christmas, eldest tore down all the drywall and rebuilt that soffit using paneling that allows me to unscrew a few screws and lift out a piece of the panel to put a drip pan in the ceiling whilst awaiting another repair.

The leaky vent is one of the two toward the left side top, I sure can’t get up there.

The cool and the rain also bring in the winter stiffness in my hands and lower back that are caused by arthritis, thus the lack of knitting and spinning. The arthritis and trigger finger in 4 of my fingers is always worse in the winter.

With the various historical demonstration and craft events looming, some knitting must be done. One of the projects that went with me and never left my bag is a triangular scarf. This morning I picked it back up to work on. It is about 1/3 done and is a smooth fine fingering weight merino.

Another reason knitting isn’t happening much is that prior to my leaving, hubby gouged a good bit of flesh out of his back (I will spare you the gory pictures) and as I wasn’t here to keep it bandaged and antibiotic on it, it didn’t heal whilst I was away. If we keep antibiotic ointment and a thick pad over it and he doesn’t stretch or twist too much, he stays fairly comfortable, but he can’t reach the spot to care for it. Now that I am home, it is getting treated, covered, and I am doing all the driving so he can sit still. Riding passenger is always knitting time. The wound is healing now and hopefully will cease causing him discomfort soon.

I have some worsted handspun yarn skeins that I would like to get knit up into fingerless mitts before the craft shows. I never know how much to price my handspun handknits for so I went on an etsy adventure looking them up. It was not helpful at all. The prices are all over the place, the styles equally scattered. I saw short “wristlets” for way more than my much longer mitts. Plain bulky weight ones for double my fingering weight cabled ones. But then I saw handspun handknit lace shawls priced so low that the cost would hardly cover the fiber, much less the time to spin and knit it. I have several hats, a couple of scarves or mini shawls, a couple of large shawls, 1 pair of fingerless mitts with gusseted thumb. There may not be a lot more to sell if I don’t get busy.

I need to figure out how to raise this rack enough to use top 3 or 4 rungs without setting it on a table top. The rack is 5 feet high and at one of the events, I am limited to an 8 foot table they provide. Still pondering how to do this safely and securely.

Well, back to knitting, or they surely won’t get done.