Taking a Car Trip in the middle of COVID -19 Safely.

Many of you will recall, a long time ago,( when I went on more trips, or to events,) I asked a unknowing person to hold my yarn for my blog post. This guy was a terrific waiter at STITCH in OKC. We were far away from other tables, AND, we moved into the shade without asking. We all wore our masks. Clearly , dear waiter guy, you were a doll to participate but don’t think for a moment I didnt clean that yarn and those needles as soon as I got them back.

And Dear Waiter, you are not covering your nose. You have a lovely rather noticable nose, but it needs to be covered. What did I clean with? WEll, I had a darling bag, filled with

A roll of peper towels

Hand sanitizer gel

Gloves

Masks

bottled water and soap.

THis bag went everywere with me. If we had to stop at a public bathroom, it came with me. I made fireman wear gloves pumping gas. THis bag was used before during and after the trip down to Oklahoma. IT seemed silly at times, (I also wiped every surface of a table we ate on, outside) but I am at peace knowing we took every precaution.

My friend drove here to Wisconsin from LA to see her brother and she was a font of knowledge. We were to turn off the a/c when we entered the hotel room. We could open the window then for fresh air. We started the AC when we left the room and by the time we came back 12 laters, we had a cool room and shut off the air. WE asked that no cleaning or hotel staff enter our room for our stay.

There were a few times when I reminded Fireman to put his mask on, and he said, “okay, that was the plan”. BUt he was tiring of it. Still, he complied.

I’ll fill you in on AL and WIll, and their awesome place. This was the longest we had gone without seeing Al. 10 months. Since Christmas. It was too too long. WE went because we feared Covid would get worse. We snuck in a glorious weekend of 70s and sunshine while it was rainly and cold here.

Any knitting started on the trip was a big blunder. I finally got to get started and get somewhere on my new shawl. ( Somewhere in Kansas that is, on the way home)

MIssing stitch markers, called for extreme mesaures. Two lifesaver gummies had to play the roll of markers. Now I am loving the new shawl. It is called Stevie shawl for Stevie Nicks. Its real 70s. I love it.

And then this happened after we arrived home safely. The drive is roughly 12 hours. That is 12 hours too long. While Oklahoma is a great place, oh I’m not going there today. Anyhow, I wore my shawl along the trip. It snuck into the wash last night and unraveled. Generally, I dip such things. It is okay. I will turn it into a pillow.

There’s tons more to chat about, but I have to catch up with all of you. We did not take computers along. We only had our phones.

The sun is shining. I know how many days till Christmas and I’ll see Al and Zach then or at New years!!!! Halloween is starting to sound like we need some radical fun. Anyone up for a ZOOM Halloween with me? MInimal costume required. You might just wear your pumpkin shirt, or sit by a pumpkin that we can all see.

I’d love to do that with you.

Books Al Liked

This post covers some Books Allison loved in 2020:

Musical Chairs :very fun family story.

How We Show Up: Mia Birdsong

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell(Al says this was a hard read. But she felt it a worthy read.

Allison told me the romance novels she fell for were not, patriarchal and painting women as subservient to men. Who knew?

Sure she called them Bodice rippers historical Romance books, which hardly sounds feminist. Do you read this genre?

She likes Tessa Dare

*The Duchess Deal

*Unclaimed by Courtney Milan

*The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

I have some podcasts I enjoy:

The Fat Squirrel. Amy Beth is funny and a great knitter. She is a natural in front of a camera.

I loved the podcast: Terrible Thanks for Asking

A favorite newsletter “The Empress of Dirt” is always full of timely gardening ideas.

Thats our Monday list. I will be catching up with your blogs very soon. Anything to add to my lists?

What’s your Secret?

One of my secrets is that our paddle boards are blow up. They are so light to lift and yet so stable to ride on. I learned that there are 1000 piers on Lake Geneva.

So when you see me carrying them I look like a strong strong woman.

Harvest time means a lot of things here. But I learned something today . There is something called Glass Gem Corn. It is so pretty. It looks like rainbow corn on the cob. I guess it is for grinding into cornmeal or making it into popcorn. It is beautiful.

Apples are abundant but we are not out in the orchards. We go and get a big bag of well, whatever is best that week. This week it was Paula Reds. It never occurred to me that other states don’t grow and pick apples! Al says Oklahoma has no orchards. She loves apples.

Finally, harvest means lots of farm machinery that needs time and space on the big roads. You have to slow down and you have to appreciate that they feed the nation. I can wait. It is fascinating to see them in their fields in the dark of night harvesting. They must be attuned to the weather and the perfect timing to take in a crop.

What is harvested near you? Knitting tomorrow……….

As the Bo Grows

This little Bo kitty is growing! She needs to grow in to her leash before Zach takes her out. She is a cat that LOVES to ride on his shoulders. So the leash is for that kind of an outing. He has a courtyard to practice in and he will be so careful. She’s so darling. The photo below is from a trip he took with friends last weekend to the Mexico Guatemalan border. Look at that water! I am so blessed that he is among wonderful friends. He told this kayaking mother about the kayaking after the trip.

Knitting has come to a screeching halt as we have been turning the clover over . You grow the clover, let it bloom, cut it back and then dig it up and turn it over. It is a huge source of nitrogen. So, we have been digging it up and putting it around our young trees. They are the ones that really need good soil. These are trees we have planted since we moved here and took dead trees down. These are not forest trees.

They are two willow trees, 3 pines, and 3 evergreens. Trees are expensive as you know. SO when we plant them we really want them to take off. Our neighbors also gave us some poplars and they are supposed to shoot up fast.

Next week, we may put some more clover in the woods.

So evenings are spent not knitting. But that is all going to change tomorrow !I have my lace shawl/scarf ready to go. And I plan to knit full steam.

My state, Wisconsin, is in a bad way with COVID. Green Bay’s big hospital is nearly at 100% capacity. They are talking about building a hospital, because so many more people are testing positive and becoming sick . We are being so so careful.

Last night’s debate was so disturbing . I did like how Dr. Jill and Joe Biden hugged warmly after the event. They also thanked the moderator. I will be looking for more postcards. I have to keep helping in any way I can.

What’ s up by you? What is helping you manage? One thing that helped me this month was, to work on those postcards and put up signs. Knitting helps. The whirlpool helps.

A Doll Of Significance ,Thanks To Interweave

© Gabrielle Vézina has a beautiful doll pattern for sale on Ravelry.

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I don’t know about you, but I loved dolls when I was a child . I was nine and asked my mom if I was too old to ask for a doll for Christmas. She said of course not. I had Barbie dolls and that whole crowd. The dolls I loved , however, were baby dolls. When they came out of their box, they had the best smelling baby plastic skin. They found a way to make it smell like baby powder.

I love some history, but not all. I was not looking for the Interweave article on a wooden doll and the clothes she wore, the other night. Yet, there it was. (by the way: Above is a home in Lake Geneva , where Mary Todd Lincoln stayed.)
So when I came across, the podcast, audio, of Revisiting the Donner Party, I had to listen to it.

It is not long and it is speculation , with education, about how one little girl in the Donner/Reed wagon train, was given a doll by her dying grandmother. About how this doll, may have helped her survive. The Interweave information is interesting and weaves, pun intended, the story of the Reed child and her doll.

I’m kind of a Donner Party junkie . I find the story , the twists and turns, the horrible luck and fate filled decisions to be spell binding. I cannot imagine their pain, their hunger and their mindset. The mindset, that you know, led to , you know….

I knitted the entire time I listened to the story. Then I looked for a wagon photo I knew I had taken on vacation. I took the photo below in Utah. What a bumpy ride that had to be. I learned that the Reed family had a lavish Wagon. It had leather seats. It had a 70 plus year old grandma with Tuberculosis, or so it is surmised, who also had her doll from her childhood. There were many , many toys for the children . One beloved child had her own pony and rode around the group as they traveled .

When things went bad, after the group made some awful choices and went through the desert, nearly all of the 70 head of cattle they brought with them died from dehydration. Grandma died somewhere along the way and she gave her granddaughter the wooden doll.

So if you want to hear the story told by the Interweave team, you won’t be disappointed. It is well told and helps us understand how a toy, was perhaps the reason one little girl stayed alive. She stayed alive after her grandma died, her father was banished from the group, and her mom left her and took two of her other children to safety.

I don’t understand how if granny had TB or Consumption, no one else caught the very contagious disease. Perhaps she HAD it at one point, and it damaged her lungs. But , I don’t see how she could have had active TB and not give it to anyone else in the big party. But , that’s just me and I can read more on that situation.

It of course, reminded me of the contagion of COVID. I would not be taking any wagon ride with my granny if she had COVID. I certainly would not be exposing 80 plus people to her . There are some similarities here. I hope that I can knit a doll for someone before Christmas. I’ve knitted Teddy Bears. I bet I can knit a doll. I bet there is a little boy or girl out there who would love to have a doll, to hold, to talk to and to keep when they are not feeling well.

I’m sure I can find a doll group on Ravelry. A charity that takes knitted dolls . I’ll be putting that on my 2020 to do list. Did a toy mean something very special to you? My mother, had a doll , at all times with her in the nursing home as she lived through Alzheimers. She talked to her. She told me she was a “wild little thing”. She asked where her bottle was sometimes. I’d tell her it is in the fridge mom. That doll served a purpose I cannot being to express. I wish I had it.

It is Math Class. Take your seats

Famous lurker Karen , who can knit circles around me, was admiring my striped mitts. She says she cannot get this effect. So I began to formulate a few numbers and a plan .

I decided, ahem, Math was never my strong suit, to figure this out for her.

SO:

#1 Karen could buy the exact same yarn . (Studio sock from Neighbor Hood Fiber Company.)

#2 If she can knit stockinette in the round at 6 its/inch and 9rows per inch, she SHOULD get the stripes I got.

#3 Still with me? Of course, she has to cast on 48 stitches for this to work as well. So She could cast on 48 stitches for a fingerless mitt, a mitten, Baby leggings….or a very small kitten tube sweater…..

#4 To be even more certain Karen could get the same stripes in her knitting, I got out the tape measure. Measure twice cut once. Nah. You don’t cut at all really.

I measured the inches between color changes in my yarn . IT changed every 162 inches or so.

Picture me making Fireman help me with the measuring and Fezzik whacking away at the yarn. I do things for my friends.

So am I right? If Karen buys the same yarn, knits at the same gauge and measures her color changes before she knits, she should get the same stripes.

OH! Karen asked, how do I know how long the color changes are when it is in the skein? YOU GOT ME. But, I know she has stashed yarn that is wound up and she can see if any of them have a similar color dyes that measure 162 inches per change.

Get that tape measure out Karen and let us know how often your colors change. That’s your homework.

I Don’t see any flaws in my logic. I needed a big diversion the day Karen asked me how I got such nice stripes. This was fun to figure out and I wanted to share it with you.

Okay, any other questions? Kim?
“are you using Striped Yarn when you Knit with the Knitters Hunk? Because My gauge might vary then…”

Answer: yes Kim. And on a side note. I don’t approve of John Stamos’ Geico commercial that includes him knitting a scarf. You get extra credit if you know why the commercial is inaccurate. You get DOUBLE extra points if your mate knew there was something wrong with it to, even If they weren’t sure exactly why.

“Yes, Nancy?” “In Wyoming, our schools had very strong Math curriculums. You need math when you sew as many quilts as I do! This was easy. But, my question is, what if I dye my own yarn? How do I make sure my color changes are the same size.

Me: Nancy , my answer would be a complete crap shoot. But If anyone out there can help Nancy, please do so and share with the rest of us.

Excuse me……Meredith…Teresa (whispering to each other) ……do you have something to share with the rest of the class?

Teresa: “Yes I do! Meredith and I would like to know why you left out crochet in this lesson? You always are talking knitting. “

ME: Well , Ladies if you would like to explain this to the rest of us so that crochet will stripe nicely, I will give you time next class to teach us. Thank you. Let’s stop the chit chat please.

(JK. I had to poke some fuN)

,

Lots to Cover this Week

There was some texting between #1 Lurker Karen and I this weekend. While we watched our Cubbies win the DIVISION! , we laughed at ourselves. I spent the better part of last week lost in pattern land and not knitting much of anything. Karen, was somewhat the same. She said, Let’s face it. I have at least 5 projects within arms reach. She said, maybe we can be content with our starts and , perhaps there is a life lesson in there. Karen, you always have a calm way of looking at yarn…

See the start above? Well, it is was returned to the shelf for now. But, I did take stock and found another unfinished shawl, and a sock start that could be salvaged. Seems I didn’t like the third color I added and just gave it up. I have another sunflower sock to knit and another mitt. But, what am I knitting?

The Little Angle Lace scarf from the Koigu paintbox book. Seems I cast on 290 stitches the other night and then put it away. Seems I didn’t want to purl that much. Well, today I decided to give her a go. You know , If I don’t have to switch from purl to knit, it is not that different from straight knit stitches in terms of my speed.

We are going to have some wild topics this week. I know things are undoubtedly wild enough , but my strategy for this week is distractions. Want to know some topics I’ll share with you?
1. Interweave has a podcast I had to listen to. If COVID weren’t bad enough, and it is, they did a story on the Donner party last year. Now there’s a sorry group of people with horrible luck and little they could do about it. Yet, some survived. We’ll explore the young children on the trip and what they held dear.

2. I am going to take my fermented bananas and feed the trees with it. Right now the mix of banana and brown sugar looks pretty wicked in the tight lidded tupperware. It is supposed to be great for gardens. But, what will it smell like when I open it? I hope it smells sweet, but that I can accomplish this some sunset when they crazed pollinators are bedded down for the night. Thus far I remain unscathed.

3. Karen had me thinking about why my mitts took to striping so nicely. I did some Math. Seriously, I did the math. I think we have a fairly fool proof method for her getting the same striping pattern instead of those strange pops of staggered changes that happen sometimes with yarns that supposedly stripe and yet don’t.

4. If you aren’t concerned enough about COVID, we now have a brain eating waterborne amoeba that took a darling child’s life this weekend. THat’s it. Bottled water for me. And a story about a strange person taking water samples at our lake jus two days ago….

5. Oh, and one other topic: we will explore the touch factor and how ordering yarn on line, makes for a calculated risk. If I haven’t used the yarn before , how will I know if it is soft enough for me? We’ll talk.

In the mean time happy Monday. The end of September nears, and we are doing okay. WE are. Some of you have lost loved ones to COvid, and you are the sufferers. Many of you are afraid of the disease, as I am. Yet, we are cutting through the beast with the only machete we have…….we will get through this. Whether meditation, ,knocking down decks, canning jams or just sending a postcard, keep connecting. As someone said early on:
distance must not mean disconnect.

This is how you cheat on Blogging

First, I have to tell you that we are still feeding the hummingbirds. It is glorious out at almost 11 pm on the porch. 70s and windy like crazy. I love to hear the leaves rattle when I sleep with the windows open. And I shall , soon. It seems Late to have them around, but I am so glad they are.

I finally finished SOMETHING. I can see mistakes, but these are for me. I need two fingers to work with my Apple Watch. So I made the mitts extra long and created a thumb and first finger hole. I will clean up the sites of those openings. Not today. I was thrilled the Cubs Won their Division tonight. Baseball has made me quite happy during COvid.

Okay, so I have been reading your blogs of course. I don’t know where the time is going, however. So here is how one cheats:

*Teresa’s husband is back in the house! Cheers for all! We are so glad he is healthy again.

*Sprites hoping to garden and bike this weekend. At this point Sprite, Im working on a bed that was weeds and trying to cover it with hot ash. This is how we do a controlled burn. Yesterday. Today the winds are too high for such a thing.

*Cindy, Delighted Hands, ripped her entire shawl back and started over. I love you. I have ripped so much in the last few days. Kindred souls. Just Rip her out!

*Deb is making a wooly squirrel. HE is adorable . Deb do these become rugs? Hangings?

*What I’m up to today : They are deciding what to do with a little vacation time: I’d pick making the jam , myself. Removing a deck is another of their options. Yikes . That one would not be happening. But what satisfaction if you do it!

*Kim asked what I would eat if I could go anyplace without a COVID worry with me:she says catfish or cheeseburger. I say CATTLEMANS in Oklahoma for the best filet of my life , for the 3rd time in my life.

*Allissa at HeadKnits made a list. One of the things she regrets is being uptight with her firstborn. Ha! We all were! I swear the only ones who were not, were the sweet teen moms, who I sent home with their baby on the” L” . The didn’t have a worry. IT was like they had a doll. I was so uptight with Al. I knew way too much. But I tell her, she asked to be my first. So there.

Tomorrow , is going to be here soon. IF I didnt mention you tonight, I’ll catch you another time.

G

nite

Scatterbrained

I’m as mixed up as a skien of yarn on a winder. I cannot seem to settle on anything for knitting. This has been going on for over a week. My knitting must be more important to my well being than I thought.

I have all this wonderful yarn from Regina. I see all the things you are creating, and all I have is a half knitted fingerless glove. I am truly unsettled when I am between projects. I get a runner’s high (well I’ve never had a runners high but I’m guessing it feels like a knitter’s high) when I am into my next project, and committed.

So, I wound some yarn this morning. My swift is toast. And my toaster is toast. Seriously, it went in the trash just now. The toaster, not the swift. This gorgeous painted yarn is from Regina. I’m thinking of knitting the Little Angel Lace scarf. 4 rows to repeat. Cast on 290 stitches. THere’s the rub.

I will do what I always do and go to your blogs for inspiration.

In the meantime I will appreciate this gorgeous Wisconsin day in the 70s with warm lake water. This means Paddling. If it weren’t for camper I’d never have done so much this summer.

And while my vegetable garden failed, my buckthorn removal did not! There is now a native plant called BONESET blooming in my woods! They are beautiful. Some echinacea from Regina took there too. I need to keep the woods that are in my care strong.

If you want to suggest a shawl to me it can’t be garter based, it can’t have a hard chart, and it has to be beautiful.

Tiny Needles

Thanks to everyone who played Q and A yesterday. I loved that one of you wanted to carry a bag on a stick so you told your mom you were running away to the backyard.. Great imagination. And speaking of, Zach told me one of his students , who is very young, was being very imaginative during class. When Al was little, we watched a lot of Sesame street, and they had just introduced a woman who could use sign language.

So we were sitting at the table, and I asked Allison a question, and she signed back . (incorrectly but signed) I said, “Al what are you doing? and she said, “Im doing sign language, mom!” And then I had to guess what she wanted to say. Dinner was the bewitching time for all of us anyhow, so while cute, I remember thinking, oh just eat!

I think understanding comedy is really important for kids. Zach’s favorite books were The Far Side and other comics. I’m told Comedy is a high level type of comprehension. So if you are home schooling, I suggest you read comics. Family Circus ? Family Circle is not too hard to follow, for starts. Or Dennis the Menace.

Look at me, not a teacher, doling out advice. I apologize to the teachers.

Okay, for knitting. The above photo is the start of the shawl I cannot get out of my head. It took me about 7 starts last night to focus and get to this point. Thou Shalt Not Laugh at thy blog pals efforts. IT is the SHORT BEACH SHAWL pattern.

I think i want to go to here. All set up for you. Ready to roast some marshmallows. Bucket list…..

I have to go paddle now. We have 5 days of great weather ahead of us. I cannot waste a day . Even though my shoulder is sore and my fingers tingle, I have all of Nov and December and beyond to get it back in shape.

My Cubs are in the play offs! Wheeeeee. That season went fast…..

Have a good day. I hope you are surprised by something new and wonderful. I