HAPPY 2023

Here is a review of what I finished knitting in 2022. The list is a little short.

Chynna’s wedding shawl. It wasn’t the last finish of the year, but it’s the one I am proudest of. I worked and worked and worked on this thing and it was a real challenge. It’s not quite a finish as I ran out of time and ended the thing early. I will pick out the bind off and finish it this year.

Cup cozies. I loved these and Danica got a compliment on them from a barista. I think that’s the coolest praise one can get from a coffee shop cup cozy.

A slouchy beanie. I made this for Danica. She has this hat in a few colors.

Candy cane scarf. I whipped this up on my circular knitting machine. I really enjoy knitting, slowly, by hand, but there comes a time when I just have to get something done fast and this was one of those times. Chynna already had a hat and boot cuffs and this scarf completed the set.

Here’s to a little more knitting in 2023!

Blog? What blog?

Aka – Is it safe to go outside yet?

Aka – Chynna got married!

In the spring of this year, I would have said that was a silly thing to ask. Life seems to be not only sort of back to normal, “normal” isn’t even the “new normal”, it’s just sort of normal.

My family had made it through, one adult kid and her husband contracted Covid, the rest of us managed to avoid it, and then…

It was our turn. We made it through the wedding, then David contracted it at a conference. Then I got it, and then Joshua. I have to say, I’ve been sicker, but not by much. You really can lose your sense of smell and taste. It was just a little surreal.

Before then, however, I was knitting madly on this:

It grew and shrank and grew again for the next few months.

Until it finally became obvious that I wasn’t going to finish in time, because, well, it’s me. I never knit as fast as I can, nor as fast as I think I can, nor stay on target long enough. You get the idea. ADHD is so much fun. I had to make the hard decision to not finish it and it became a shawlette instead of a larger shawl. Why yes, I did block the thing the day before the wedding.

I think it worked out pretty well.

Photo by Jules Wagstaff of Datura Photo. She did a gorgeous job with both of my daughters’ weddings.

Dear Kit

I cannot express how much I miss you. I should have written this long ago, but things were chaotic. The blog was down, the blog was up, no, wait, it was down and I was drowning in homework. I started this post quite a while ago, time marker after marker passed and I would add a bit to it. Her birthday, the setting of the headstone, the 1 year anniversary of her death and I could never quite hit the publish button.

So, I decided that this would be posted on your birthday in 2022. I didn’t hit Publish then. I am sad that we didn’t get to do our birthday lunch this year. While we weren’t able to visit hardly at all during the pandemic, I will always be grateful that we did get to do our birthday lunch in 2021. I will always cherish the time we had together. There was an abundance of laughter.

Birthday lunch a Guru’s 2019

I mentioned that my uncle passed in September of last year. A victim of the pandemic. He needed hospital care but the hospital nearby couldn’t take him and by the time Ginger got him to the next one, it was too late.

David, the kids, and I went to his house to help Ginger clean up in October. At this time, one of my dearest friends and partner in knitting crime, Kirsten, was in the hospital. She had Covid and was fighting for her life. Due to medical issues, she was immuno-compromised and lost the battle. I couldn’t go to see her in the hospital and our only way to check on her progress was through social media. I hadn’t been on social media in so long, but now I was glued to it. I was half way to Bakersfield when I got the message that she had passed. I broke down in the middle of a rest stop bathroom.

I kept busy at my uncle’s house trying to keep the grief at bay, but things kept popping up that reminded me of her. The biggest one was while I was telling my cousin about how Kit and I would meet for lunch in between our birthdays. I hadn’t seen Kit much during the pandemic, even though we were both vaccinated, I was terrified of exposing her to whatever germs were flying around a college campus full of 18 – 22 year olds that don’t know how to wash their hands. We did manage to meet for our birthday lunch and that was, I believe that last time I saw her. While telling Ginger this, I discovered that Ginger has the same birthday as Kit. I sobbed at the dinner table.

I was fortunate enough to make it home in time for her funeral and the tributes to her were lovely. The tables around the chapel were filled with displays of her gorgeous knitting and spinning. In the weeks after she passed I was obsessively spinning almost every day. I filled every one of my spindles and now I somehow have to find the time to ply it all together and make something.

Kit was unfailingly kind. At her funeral, her family told stories of how Kit felt like she never fit in. She fit into my life perfectly. She was an unwavering example of the teachings of the gospel and I could always depend on her for wise and comforting words. We seemed to have a lot in common with books and music. We got tired during outings at the same time. With all that was going on with my heath, this was huge.

I know I had to have met her before 2013, but that’s the first picture I find of her is in 2013 at knit night. I miss being able to meet her for waffles, tea, and knitting.

Waffle Love, about 2013

We had a similar snarky sense of humor and our visits were always full of knitting and laughter. We laughed so much it hurt and now it hurts so much to go forward without her. Even now I can hear her saying “pull on your big girl panties and get on with it. You know where I am and that we’ll meet again.”

On October 13, 2021, the world lost one of its best people and I lost one of my best friends. God Speed, great lady, heaven has received another angel. Keep an eye on me please, I’ll get into so much trouble without you around.

Almost a year later while I was working on a shawl for Chynna’s wedding, I could feel her with me cheering me on. As I attended Chynna’s reception in the same place we held Danica’s, I could almost see Kit as she was then. There are so many places I look around and see good memories of Kit.

Love you, girlfriend.

Sometime last June…

We cut down a tree. We rented a boom. I thought they were called cherry pickers. I was wrong. We borrowed Danica’s truck to get the boom to and from the rental place.

David and Joshua cut the limbs from the tree and the rest of us dragged branches away from the base.

I showed the pictures to Dad.

Dad: Why is he wearing a mask?

Me: That’s his beard, Dad.

Dad: He needs hearing and eye protection.

Me: He’s wearing them. I made everyone wear them.

The next week we rented a wood chipper and filled the driveway with shavings.

A really cute nephew helped.

Our nephew Charles was such a trooper. He was exhausted but kept on hauling branches with Stefan and me.

Then, we had a graduation party for Chynna. My baby got her BFA from UVU.

We had many kind of treats that I gleaned from Pinterest:

I am stupidly proud of how they turned out. Almost as proud as I am of her.

To cousins, siblings, and old friends:

I probably started projects.

We’re not that far away from another June and hopefully we’ll get around to cutting down the trunk of the tree and getting the yard to recover from the drought. We took the governor’s advice to just let our yards go, but out neighbors didn’t. So, their lawns are still nice and pretty and ours sucks. :/

Pantry Purge

Also known as Spring Cleaning

Since I refuse to come to terms with my yarn, I went through the pantry and food storage. I took an inventory and came up with what we called Armageddon Meal Plans. Food storage is an incredible blessing. It does expire so we need to figure out how to use it up and replace it with new. Spreadsheets were involved. I love a spreadsheet. I can pull up a spreadsheet and see what I have down in the basement area (dubbed StuffMart) without having to search through the boxes.

It was gratifying to get an idea of what we had and the pandemic had taught us what was and wasn’t necessary. It was also nice to have a list and a plan of what we need to do better. We opened all the boxes and like things were grouped together. It was so zen when two partial containers could be combined to make more room.

Then I tackled the bathroom cupboards.

My bathroom isn’t that big. How did all that fit?

Yes, the craft room is next. Eek.

Are we on the other side?

Day 1 – I can do this.

Day 2 – Um, maybe.

Day 3 – Cats and knitting, I’ve got this.

I was insane by Day 5. Month after month, I thought about what to say. What to do. With all the of political insanity and the media hysteria and social media histrionics that it just seemed best to say away from the news and social media as much as possible. Wearing masks was almost impossible for me and no one cared. So, I stayed home. For over a year.

I didn’t bother with a 2020 planner, I took a semester off school. I just couldn’t face trying to continue classes online. I kept hoping the promise of “two weeks to flatten” was the truth.

It wasn’t.

The CS department was kind enough to let me continue to grade because there was a shortage of graders. It helped for me to have something to do.

2021 started.

Chynna’s final project for her BFA was an art show with two other students at the Scera Theater Art Gallery.

Chynna standing next to my favorite of this series.

My own classes started and Junebug kept an eye on me.

Chynna moved into her own place and I inherited a new spinner for my craft room.

Joshua got his purple belt in Kenpo Karate. I can’t tell from the picture, I really hope that’s the purple one.

I did odd things for my physics lab. Our physics class was in person and/or livestream, but the lab was online. All experiments would be conducted at home so we had to build the equipment that let us conduct the experiment. It was SO COOL!

*pic of bread board and boat with pennies*

I dove into the physics class. The former class from Hell that was standing between me and my Associates. I tried it during my first semester back to school after a many year break. That was mistake. I cried and quit on the last day possible to drop the class. The 2nd time, I was making it through. I was still crying, but I had it. Then Covid shut down the help lab. Third time’s a charm. Not only did I make it through the class, I got an A. The professor was amazing and he made it fun. I could tell that he was good at teaching much younger students than college age and instead of it being insulting, it was soothing and relaxing. The class was in person and online which meant it was recorded so I was able to rewatch anything I needed. His class also didn’t use the frustrating homework software that my last class used. I put in a good amount of hours on homework but it wasn’t 6 hours a day for a tiny assignment. It felt balanced and right. It almost *almost* made me want to take the 2nd physics class.

It’s summer and we’ve started to poke our heads out the front door. It seems like we are allowed to live life again.

The knitting and crocheting continue. A few house projects also continue and maybe I can get everything I need to get done before the fall semester starts.

Never ending crochet granny

I totally understand mother’s little helper.

I often wondered why my mother had a bottle of Valium in her bathroom cupboard. Because being a housewife is freaking boring, that’s why. You have to be high to get through the day. Thirty-five years later, I’m still shocked I’m not in a recovery home.

In other news, I decided my bestie needed a Baby “The Child” Yoda doll. So, I’m making her one. We’ll see how it goes. The little guy is turning out to be not so little.

This is take 2 with a slightly finer yarn and a much small hook and it’s going to be bigger than what is shown in the pattern picture. Whatever, I’m not starting over again.

Craft From Stash

It seems a little late in the year to state that 2020 is the year for Crafting from Stash. As I’ve just purchased yarn, I can’t say I’m going Cold Sheep. But for the rest of the year, I’m going to craft from my stash as much as possible.

My craft room will serve as a wonderful fiber shop where I hope to find many forgotten treasures. I’ve never been a monogamous knitter and now I just need to give into my Startitis and try to soothe my soul.

I would really love to purchase a circular knitting machine, but I can’t do that right now. Soon, but not right now. So, I’ve set up my old Bond knitting machine and am working out how to do hats from a flat panel.

When I took this off the machine, I used a circular knitting cable. After I seam up the side to make a tube, I will then do the decreases by hand. On the other end, I will remove the waste yarn and attempt to do ribbing, otherwise, I will bind off by hand and just let it be a roll brim. This is the trial run hat and from there I will know if I want to decrease the number of stitches and/or use a different size stitch plate. The machine fought me a little bit, but once I got going, it only took a few minutes to get enough rows for a hat.

Btw, the yarn I just purchased was name Corona. I don’t think that should count against the craft from stash. Do you?

I bought yarn just for the title.

I kinda had to.

I may have purchased three skeins. They’ll make great hats. I ordered them from Heindselman’s, a local shop that has been in business for over 100 years.

Yarn Corona Chunky in Cinnabar. I’ve also purchased Candy and Cactus.