Saturday, September 22, 2012

Six Months

Six months ago today, my grandmother died. Charlotte, my dad's mother, was afraid to travel. I rarely got to see her as growing up I either lived in Europe or the east coast of the US. She braved the train all the way to Homestead, Florida 20 years ago, before Hurricane Andrew blew us to another state.
When I got married, she was there to lend a hand with floral arrangements and to make sure a giant granny square blanket would be made in my wedding colours. She worked on it in secret in my brother's room while we finished sewing and creating other wedding things. It is ofcourse made from red heart, and today I am so glad that it is. That blanket will out live me.
How do I know? Well I have the blanket her mother made thirty years ago atleast. A flaming orange mixed with shades of brown. Both blankets graced the floors of our very silly hippie anniversary party. (everyone came in costume and tie-dye and we lit a lava lamp. It is on youtube if you don't believe me.) We also used all those beads Grandma sent from mardi gras.

Charlotte remembered my birthday every year, which was a big deal. I spent most of my childhood with little contact from my grandparents. I remember crying when my friends would go see their grandparents because I wasn't able to. But every year on my birthday was a card, signed "Love, Grandmother" Very sensible, very practicle. There was no card this year.
On Charlotte's Birthday, we found out Bobbi had cancer.

Today we are about 10 days in to my Grandmama's pancreatic cancer. My mother's mom, Bobbi, lived with us for almost a year when I was a child. This is my SoCal grandmother, her father worked on movies, my mother's father worked on movies. There were some glamorous moments. She was beautiful. She is still beautiful. Tan, blonde, living on Hunington Beach, blocks from the ocean. she taught me how to walk in high heels properly with a book on my head. She sang silly songs to us, which we sang again on Tuesday night.

Bobbi would put vanilla behind her ears when ever she was baking. My mom did the same. When baking with my girls we dab the traditional vanilla behind our ears. Turns out it is a WW2 thing. Perfume was too costly, but vanilla could do the trick. To me it is my grandmother.

Grandmama was an occasional knitter. But she never taught me or my mother how. I have a baby poncho she knit. some where is one of her paintings, and then there are photographs of her and Elvis Presley (See, told you there was a touch of glam.)

This year has been hard. 2 broken arms, 1 crushed finger at kindergarten, scarlet fever, IRS audit... But this year has also been soo good. I did actually make my deadlines. This week I was so side tracked I was not sure I was going to get things mailed off.

Stress has brought cleaned and organized kitchen cabinets this week. I refrained from alphabetizing them. Ditto on the fridge.

I am still getting used to Grandma being missing. I placed an order for 4 copies of the book that has my pattern in it. I had planned to make them presents this holiday season. Thanking them for being crafty women, being proud of me, loving me.

This order was changed to 3 books.

Now I am hoping to get 1 mailed while I still can.

I got to talk with Grandmama, I didn't get to with Grandma. It makes a difference. I know now why they say people need to say good bye. We have gone so long with out a death in our family, this is unfamiliar. Pancreatic Cancer is horrible, deadly and fast. It is also under funded.  I have a few ideas for that.

Thank you to everyone who has called and emailed, and sent a Rav pm. Thank you for sharing your stories. I am blessed to have such lovely people in my life.

I love you a bushel and a peck....and a hug around the neck....



Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Sock Report Winner

Talia picked a name out of a bucket, her sand bucket to be specific .
The winner of The Sock Report is Suebeeeee.

The winner has been contacted. Thanks to every one for playing along.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Look something ~*~Sparkly~*~

As we are in our 4th season of Super Sock Scarefest, the topic of sparkly yarn has come up.
For those of you who may be completely unfamiliar with Super Sock Scarefest, it is a KAL where all designs are based off scary movies, usually B movies. You gotta love scary movies and knitting, what else makes those stitches magically speed across the needles like adrenalin?
Scarefesters get a suplly list, and they get a movie to go with each design. Most often '"que-able"  via Netflix. But you never know what yarn will be next OR when a scary bonus that is lurking in the closet, is going to jump out and scare you.

AT SOME POINT, SOME ONE is going to need yarn with sparkles. You may of course substitute plain non-sparkly yarn (BORING), but maybe you need some help figuring out what the sparkles are and why you may want them.

1- It is shiny yarn. The sun hits it and its a total distraction from all other knitting. This is one reason why sparkly yarn should not be stored next to plain yarn. Other stash yarns just can't compete with sparkles.

2- SOME sparkly yarn gets its shine and shimmer from silver, REAL SILVER. The cool thing about this is silver is awesome for circulation and fighting bacteria. Diabetic socks and even Rx crocs have silver in them for the medical benefits.

3- Investing in SIlver yarn is awesome because as the price of silver goes up so does the value of your stash.

But not all sparkles are from silver. This is not bad, it just is not GLAMOROUS. Stellina is a sparkly fiber spun in with the wool. Spinners can actually by it to add to their own fiber as the spin.

The really awesome thing about Stellina is it comes in colours!

So I am going to share some of my sparkly hoard, I do feel a bit draconian about the shiny jewels. So look, but do not touch the sparkly yarn. It is difficult to photograph, but you get the idea.

Grinning Gargoyle Shimmer Gold (Stellina but golden)




Holiday Yarns Silver Sock (WITH actual Silver)and Dream in Color Starry (with lurex fiber)


Knit Picks Glimmer (Stellina)


Kraemer Sterling Silver and Silk (Silver and in a silk blend!)


Of course clickable links are included to aid in your shopping.

Know of other sparkles we can add to our stash? Please share!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Magic of Knit Nite

For 5 years now, the Paradise Knitting and Spinning Guild has met in a sitting room at an upscale retirement (GRACIOUS retirement) center. One of the things I love about where we meet is the people who live there and their stories.
I come from a people of story, not just because we belong to the people of the book, but that was a good guess on your part.
Given any subject at any time, some how we will have a story to go with it. Now matter how bizarre,  we will have a family story. "Remember the time the militant lesbians tied dad to a tree out side the Pentagon?" (true story BTW)

The men walk by and chat about the mechanics of the spinning wheels, the women ask what we are making and tell us of the things the made "once upon a time".
We live in a town with retired Hollywood actors,  experimental aircraft piolts, old rock and rollers. We know most of those stories. I am loving the unexpected stories.

So when we sit on the green and purple couches at Knit (and Spin) NIte, we have this amazing chance to hear stories.
"My mother was a master weaver in Italia, wove the linen for her wedding dress."
"I once played cello at the Neuschwanstein castle."
"I was in charge of the horses for William Hearst's estate. I got to ride every day."
"I was in Times Square on VJ Day. The crowd and excitement was amazing."

My daughters come with me to Knit (and Spin) Nite. They are nearly 17 and 15 and a half. This week I was asked about the women who were with me. They meant my daughters! Girls on the precipice of their own amazing lives, waiting to write stories that will one day be passed down. I am so proud of the women they are becoming.

My friend Brooke and I began Knit (and Spin) Nite because we just wanted to sit and enjoy knitting, spinning and crafting without worrying about paying fees to an LYS if our project yarn came was purchased out side the store, or not being allowed to talk about products that store didn't carry. The freedom to just laugh and hear the stories.

I am ever so thankful to Feather Canyon Gracious Retirement for opening their doors to us and letting us meet there on 5 years of Thursday nights.

Thank you for sharing your stories.
 
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