Of Miracles and Ponchos

A few days ago, a miracle happened to my friend.

Sister checking out her baby brother

Sister checking out her baby brother

Well, when you think about it, in depth and medically, objectively, and statistically, it is a miracle.  The fact that it happens about 353,000 times a day around the world does not diminish the joy, the awe and profound sense of wonder for the new parents when it happens to them.

I was privileged to hold the little gift.

I was privileged to hold the little gift.  I was trying not to breathe on him!

What was so quirky about this baby’s path is that a month before he was conceived, my friend, Wendy, had decided to have a tubal ligation.  I remember asking her if she was sure.  Once these procedures are done, there’s usually no going back.  It’s done.  She said, yes.  She didn’t want anymore babies, didn’t want to be pregnant and in her thirties.

The day before her procedure is scheduled, she cancels.  Doesn’t want to do it.  When I saw her again, I hugged her and then asked again, Are you sure?  She was sure; said it didn’t feel right.  I guess she knew, because here he is, 10 months later, her intuition.  The labor was all of one hour and 30 minutes long and relatively easy.  I say relatively, since the uterus really didn’t have any time to adjust, like in longer labors, and she was having the worst cramps when I took that picture.  She was near tears.  Needless to say, I didn’t stay long.  I know when I’m in pain, I don’t want to maintain friendly conversation!

I was just so happy for her, I had to write about it!

Fall colors

Fall colors

Now for the poncho.  (If you know of a better segue, please let me know!  The miracle of birth and life is a tough act to follow.)   The way I’m putting it together feels more like a vest…poncho?  Anyway – no sleeves!  Yay! It’s a gift for my postal carrier, so I thought of how she works and what she does.  I didn’t want the standard poncho design, because it would get in her way. I’ve been seeing pictures of ponchos that have buttons on the side and look sensible and relatively easy to make, especially when you’re lifting boxes and moving all day long.  It wouldn’t get in the way.  So, with a gleam in my eye, I decided to create my own design.  I did ask her favorite color, and she likes green also!  I didn’t want to overwhelm her with a monochromatic palette, so I added in some festive yarn.

Now I have a bit of a dilemma.  I have decided to drop it off at her work when it’s finished, which should be within a week.  My great fear is that she won’t like it.  You know how it is when you’re making someone a handcrafted gift.  Should I leave it anonymously and let her figure it out?  Or, should I let her know, so she knows whom she should be disappointed with?  (I know…bad sentence structure!)  Or is there another way I’m not thinking of?  I’m making a poll, so please let me know!

Departures

I have an adult daughter who lives with us.

She is my only child.

Yes, I’m sure she’s spoiled and she knows it.

For the last five years she’s been saving money from her work to go to Europe.  I’ve never known a person to work so hard and be so dedicated to her craft.  Really.  Every bit of extra money has been squirreled away at the expense of the small luxuries most of us in America appreciate.  Only recently, with her tickets purchased, has she allowed herself to deviate from her strict budget and spend a weekend with friends at the beach, throw a really big party in honor of her aunt, and eat out at a restaurant or two.

Rachel’s original plan had been to stay where she could work for her lodgings and some meals with the intent of spending her hard-earned Rachel 09-04-2016cash on being a tourist during her time off.  There are many places that offer that arrangement.  She would probably have been there for months, if not a year or more.  But things change.  Several months ago, she was offered a position at a local business that she felt she couldn’t refuse.  Well, let’s modify that.  She did refuse the position, but was pursued until she accepted.  *proud mother*  So, from a wandering vagabond freestyle kind of plan, she goes to a tightly scheduled and regimented tour of a month.  She’s still excited though.  She leaves tomorrow.  And I look at her from across our rusty outdoor mesh tabletop and see how she’s just waiting…and I’m trying my damnedest not to think of hydraulic failure, terrorism, theft, military coups, getting stranded – even bad restaurant service.

*sigh*

From Rug to Table Runner; OR, I Didn’t Buy Enough Paracord

Sometimes I remember things or objects from my youth that have literally been forgotten for decades.  One of those bits of flotsam and jetsam that recently floated across my consciousness was the rag rug from my childhood we had on our living room floor.  The colors were drab and muted, very utilitarian in nature; however, put on the old wood floor, it really fit.  Around 1975, my mother decided she’d had it with her young daughters cleaning the floor by using Pledge and creating a dangerous, slick surface for her stockinged feet – don’t do it! – and she had the standard gold shag carpet installed.  Goodbye wood, goodbye rug.

Flash forward 41 years, and here I am, wanting to make a rug similar to the one from my childhood.  This transmogrified into wanting to make an outdoor rug for our new deck; a rug that wouldn’t require washing and was durable.  I’d read somewhere that it was possible to use paracord for certain crocheted objects and the said material could be purchased at a craft store.  Without further thought or research, I did just that.

I purchased 120 yards (really?) and a more ergonomically friendly size “N” crochet hook.  With only a vague notion as to how I should proceed, I powered through it.  I’ve done enough crocheting through the years to improvise, even though I’m not a big fan of it.  As you can see, the yardage fell far short of the imagined rug, but at least it made it outside.  It’s sturdy, a bit rough on the hands, but it will last quite a long time out in the elements.  My family was so impressed by this little place mat that now they want me to make a bigger one.

Will I?  Yup.  But later.  My fingers got callouses from this!

 

How Time Flies

It’s already been a year since my last mammogram, and here we are doing it again – which is a good thing.  I remember being astounded the first time I had one of these done that my body could be stretched and distorted in such a way.

All kidding aside, I think it’s very important for women to have this diagnostic performed regularly; you never know.  As far as procedures go, this is relatively painless and very fast.   As for those of you ladies who should be doing this but keep putting it off, stop that!  Don’t blow it off because it doesn’t run in the family, that your copay is too much, that you don’t have the time or you think the odds are in your favor.  Early detection is crucial to getting favorable results, i.e., to stomp cancer’s ass!

Now after saying all that, I hate having it done.  I really do.  But, I’d rather catch any anomalies before they become growths or tumors.  Ick.

So are you up to date?

Back to Square One…Or Is It Stitch One?

ribbit trail

So, just when I was really jamming on my Deadhead Baby Blanket – yea, someone wanted this! – I noticed a gaping hole in my fabric about 4 rows down.  Puzzled, I tried to figure out what caused it.  Normally, we’re talking an easy fix to pick up the stitch, because after counting my stitches, I discovered I was short one; but WHERE I lost it remained a mystery.  I was stumped.  As you can see on two of these pictures, I was pretty far along.  And I also included the point that had me guessing.  If you point out where I lost it, please let me know!

I was so frustrated, I just frogged the whole thing, and we’re starting again.  I’ve decided I’m going to do a different texture, a bit more complex.  Like I need that with this!  Either way, it’ll look good when I’m done and again, Wendy better like this…!

What’s on my Needles Today

The socks are finished.  Thank you.  It’s been my experience that socks are not a small, weekend project, contrary to their size.  They take awhile, at least for me; so when I finish them, it’s a bit of a disappointment when they don’t fit they way I would like.  I try to work in a lot of negative ease, and this time, I used KnitPicks Stroll Tweed, which must have been slightly larger than the yarn I used the first time I made Vanilla Latte Socks, so I ended up with slightly larger socks.  Oh, well.  They’re still cool looking and I will be wearing them!

Now that those are finished, I need to concentrate on one of the harder projects I’ve ever started.  I say harder, because it’s not something I would normally knit.  I talked about this on my last post, the Deadhead baby blanket!  I love the girl who requested this like I would my own daughter (my daughter is sitting next to me on the couch right now – thank goodness she doesn’t follow my blog!!) or else I would have passed on it.  I am anxious to be done already and I will be following the advice of a blogger friend, Angela of Avanta Knits, and using intarsia for the color changes.  That means that I will be learning intarsia.  I believe I’ve used the method before, way back when, but it wasn’t called that, it was just block color changing.  Not hard at all (clears throat nervously).

As you can see, I have broken the picture down into stitches, but I wonder if this will be detailed enough?  It’s 6″ x 6″, and I’m using Red Heart Soft worsted weight yarn.  Thinking of putting it dead center.  How I’m going to pull that one off will be a bit of good math and a LOT of luck.  The dimensions and numbers I have used were based on the garter stitch, even though I will be using a stockinette stitch for the logo.  Yikes.  I’m going to keep my fingers crossed on this one!