Today I got a new backup/surge protector for Mum’s computer and replaced the old one. I then typed a few paragraphs for this post. Then, for some reason, there was a ‘blip’ and the computer shut itself off and so did the new battery thingy . . . again, all was lost. Luckily, I am not . . . so, here we go again, beginning more or less from where I left off with the last post . . .
A finished blue slipper, still to be sewn up and then felted.
The blue slippers, now both on the same needle, still not quite complete.
Above – where I was when the last post gave up the ghost; I began the Jade Heather green slippers on Sunday afternoon, I think it was, after finishing the knitting of the indigo blue ones before lunch that day. I cast on the first set of stitches and knitted a few rows, then, remembering that I really don’t like doing the same thing twice (why I usually knit sleeves, mitts, etc., at the same time; also so that they match), I cast on the stitches for the second slipper and knitted those until the works were even.
Yesterday morning I was up to here . . .
. . . and then I remembered the main pitfall of knitting two items at the same time on the same needle (I use circulars for this most of the time); I got into the rhythm and obviously distracted myself thinking about something or other. A few rows later I noticed what you can see above – I had used the yarn from one slipper to knit on the second set of stitches . . . sigh . . . another ‘oh, well’ moment, but not one that could go without correction. So, very carefully, I undid stitches until I came to the offending bit, then made sure I had the right strand and continued on my way . . .
Tonight I am nearly up to where the pattern calls for decreasing to form the toes.
I hope the colour comes through; it makes me crazy not to be able to tell what you lot are looking at . . . on my end, the photos just look dark and I can’t see the mossy green, heathery colour I love so much.
Upside down, sorry, but maybe you can still make it out . . .
You know, I had completely forgotten what a joy it is to work with real wool. It’s so much easier on my hands than acrylic. I still prefer acrylic for anything I give away, as I hate the thought of all that work being lost when someone forgets and throws a piece in the wash or, even worse, the dryer. When my eldest son was born, two of his aunts, who lived in New Zealand, made him a lovely baby shawl in the old style. I loved it so much. That winter we lived in a small shack within hitchhiking distance from Ladysmith, BC (in good weather, close enough to walk). One day we took the laundry to a Laundromat. When I took everything out of the dryer to fold it, I found a small mat of some kind. I couldn’t imagine whose it could be . . . I thought at first someone had left it behind by accident. Then, the horror gripped me . . . you guessed it; it was the formerly lovely shawl, now completely unusable. I was so devastated. I don’t think I ever told anyone what had happened to it, and lucky for me, no one asked. I still feel such shame at my carelessness . . . it would have been a precious heirloom to pass down now that that same son has his own wee ones.
But, as I was saying, I remember now how much I love wool, the feel of it, the ease of knitting with it; the stitches just slide along so easily . . . and now that I have learned that small plastic fibres from things like acrylic yarn and those fleece garments made from recycled pop bottles and the like are causing a major problem in the ocean, as they are eaten (accidently) by fish, working their way up the food chain and ending up in our own food (we deserve it, though, don’t we?), I’m inclined to use only wool from now on (well, once I finish using up my acrylic stash, and I do have mixed feelings about that, too).
Speaking of heirlooms, this is a photo of the rocking chair once owned by my Mother’s maternal Grandmother and my Great-Grandmother. This was the woman my Mum and her siblings called Bestemor, which is Norwegian for Grandmother. I never knew her, but I have loved the stories about her all my life and to honour her and also my Mum’s mother, who died when Mum was only 10, my grandkidlets call me Bestemor, too. It helps to keep the various grandmothers straight, as these days kids tend to have more than two anyway. In Norway, I would have called this Great-Grandmother ‘Oldmor’, or Old Mother. I like that, too, although I suppose some people might be offended by it these days. I hope to be an Oldmor one day, but that’s likely a long time off.
This rocking chair was ‘lost’ for some time, then one day, when my parents were visiting Mum’s Uncle Bill in Saskatchewan, they got to talking about some of the old things they remembered. Uncle Bill told Mum that the rocking chair was in his basement, but in pieces. He asked if she’d like to have it anyway and when my Dad saw it and realized that only one small arm spindle was missing, they were delighted to take it home. My Dad could do anything and do it well. He made a new spindle, refinished all the wood and cleaned up the round leather seat with its lovely tooling.
The original seat, as good as ever.
I like the pressed pattern of the upper back, too. One reason this rocker is so important to me is that my Oldmor, my Bestemor, my Mum and I have all sat in it with our wee ones. Such a heart-warming connection for me. We don’t sit in it anymore; Dad felt the wood was too old and might not be able to take the strain. Besides, he’s not here anymore to fix things for us and I doubt we have anyone left who could.
More photos from frigid, snowy Friday, two weeks back; taken on my way home from the library with Mum’s supply of reading for two weeks. Good thing I still have my backpacks . . . it’s the easiest way to carry things these days.
A lovely tree on my way home with groceries the following day. That yellow light way ahead of the shopping trolley marks our front steps. We’ve had a few days of unusually warm temperatures (up to +12 or so late yesterday evening, for example) and much of that snow is already a distant memory . . . weird weather, eh? today it was +6 or so and I was quite warm in my fleece jacket and unlined poplin coat.
More of the lovely snow, going to the mall and on the way back . . .
Taken from the bottom of our front steps and looking south towards downtown.
Another of my favourite heirlooms: this was the secretary (writing desk) that belonged to my Mum’s parents. When she was young, the family lived in a farmhouse with one bedroom (for the parents and the youngest child) and a large room that had the kitchen at one end, a large dining table with benches down the sides, a double bed shared by the three sons (two older and one quite young), with two more double beds shared by the six girls and separated from the larger area by curtains hung on a rope or wire. At the foot of one of the girls’ beds stood a chest of drawers that held their clothing and at the foot of the other girls’ bed stood this desk. Here my Grandfather sat to do the farm’s accounts and pay the bills and no doubt this is where both he and my Grandmother sat to write letters to family far off, in Connecticut and in Norway. I’m pretty sure there were some family still in North Dakota, too. My Aunty was lucky to end up with this piece. It had been in the care of the oldest sister. When her oldest daughter, my cousin, and her husband took over the family farm my cousin hated the dark old furniture that had belonged to her grandparents, so much of it was thrown out. The thought of that breaks my heart, even today, so long afterwards. But my Aunt, that cousin’s mother, called my Aunty who now lives here and offered her the desk, as it was a piece from their own family. She had it in the back of her truck and brought it over that day. Some time later, my Aunty let someone re-finish it, so it’s now a lighter colour than it was originally. The handles are cheap new ones. I wish someone had thought to keep the old ones, as they might have been restored or at least replaced by something similar. They didn’t have the backplates you can see in the photo. This desk is solid oak and I’ll share a picture of the inside of the top with you another day.
Well, back to knitting . . . big hugs to all of you in the Virtual Village. ~ Linne