Monday, July 20, 2015

The Pleasure Was Mine

It was my pleasure and honor to work with this woman that has come into the knit shop from time to time recently. I've seen her but had not helped her before. Well, I did this weekend. What makes her special? She is 100 years old. You don't get to meet someone of that age every day. She has been trying to knit again after 40 years but she wants it to be perfect. She has trouble with her sight and hearing but who wouldn't at 100. But she can still work those fingers enough to work those needles.

She is making a scarf for her son. He brings her to the shop which is so cute. He wants her to enjoy her knitting and I think it is so nice to see that he takes the time out with his mom since it is not always the son that does that. He sits patiently with his kindle every time as we help her. She was doing the seed stitch but that back and forth between knits and purls was really too much. She kept ripping the scarf and starting all over. So after talking with her son I suggested that she use the seed stitch part (she had six rows)for the bottom border and knit (garter) until she had the length then finish with a top border of seed. She agreed and was happy to knit away.

We take so many things for granted in life. The simple fact of being able to knit or crochet becomes huge as I watched this woman with the desire to do more but was limited because of age related issues like clearer eye sight and a stronger ability to remember. It made me again appreciate more what I can do and how much I can do.

She had said that I was very encouraging. No she is the one that is encouraging. Because despite her age and limitations she refuses to give up. I hope I get to see her and work with he again. But for now the vision of this day will stick with me every time I pick up my needles and my eyes can see the stitches and my mind can let me learn more and my hands can function. She really made my day.

Just the ability of being able to do what I do is huge. Thank you for my lesson in appreciation. So if you are not that old and your hands can work some learn from this woman and use her as your encouragement if you find that you are getting in your own way.

So what have I been working on? Oh several projects.

I love fingerless mitts. In the office that I work at it is cold. In the winter I feel colder. I'm always wrapped up in one of my shawl wraps but also my fingerless mitts come in handy because I am typing all day and my hands get cold. I know these crochet fingerless mitts are designed with an open work but I thought they were cute so I made them anyway. They took no time at all since it is done using the V-stitch pattern.

My second project is a knit shawlette. It is done with garter stitch increasing as you go then an open work bottom border gives it that extra pizzazz. The yarn I am using is the Painted Desert and it is 100% Superwash Wool. I love how in this project the colors stripe so well. Not that I was looking for stripes. Unless you look up projects online that use this yarn you don't have an idea as to what it will do but I really like it. And it is soft.

I love shawls but don't have the time or sometimes the patience to work on a more intricate shawl. I don't always want to work with the charts even though I love all those shawl patterns that are out. I did start a couple of shawls a while back and they are still in the UFO pile in wait. The little wraps will have to do for now.

My third project that I am showing is a little crochet case let's say. I saw this pattern and loved it but I said, What do I need a case for?, I know, when I go to the bathroom at work instead of carrying my bag I could carry a small case for the things I need. And with this pattern I can use scrap yarns. I love to be able to find little projects that I can use my leftover yarns for and this was it.

I do have a few more projects but I will leave that for another day. All of these projects will be on my flickr once they are done. Enjoy what you do to the fullest.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Longwood Gardens

It has been a week already since my trip to Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. I would recommend that place for a day trip. What is so great about Longwood Gardens is that you can visit in each season and there is always something wonderful to discover. It is so tranquil and a great place to take a seat on a bench and knit or crochet.

So what is Longwood Gardens you might ask? As the name gives you a big hint it is a garden. It sits on 1,077 acres. The famous Pierre S. du Pont is the founder. It is an array of beautiful trees, plants and flowers of all kinds. It is usually known for its intricate fountain display. Some of the fountains were used for a special lights in different colors show with classical music on certain nights. The show was fantastic. But the fountains are being renovated so attention is drawn to the meticulous gardens, architectural displays and a beautiful conservatory.

For this trip my focus was on the lilly ponds. They just captured my attention because they were in full bloom. There were lots of dragon flies which are one of my favorite insects. I love their colors. When I was growing up I thought that they stung but found out they didn't and I became fascinated by them. The fascination was seeing the day flowers close and the night flowers open as the evening came.

Topiary Garden
Day Lilly Pad Flowers
Night Lilly Pad Flowers - I was able to see them close and open in the evening

Because the fountains are being renovated there was another show that was new for the evening. This was the opening day for the show. The name was Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience. I know when it comes to art everyone has their own opinion about it. Well, with this I kept saying, 'Beam me up Scotty'. it was the music that had me saying that. I felt an eerie feeling. Some of the show I liked and other parts of it I didn't. There is too much walking. The show was spread out across a certain part of the grounds. I walked around all afternoon to see the grounds and the wonderful Observatory so when it came to walking for the show it was too much.

It was a show of lights illuminating off of the trees. One of the parts I liked where they had the light illuminating off of the trees and it was by the water so it looked like waves of the sea and dolphins jumping out of the water and back in. That was neat to see. The other part I loved was at the topiary gardens and what they did with that. My opinion is just that and when you visit you will have your own opinion. All in all Longwood Gardens is a place to visit with all its beauty among the trees, flowers and I forgot about the birds you see and architectural designs. And I also can't forget their dining aea because the food is good. And when you think about it doesn't that just go so nice with our knitting and crochet. The wold of color and design.

If you are able to just visit and see for yourself that it is a piece of treasure for the Pennsylvania area.

Friday, July 3, 2015

My Vacation South

It has been almost two weeks since my trip to South Carolina. My aunt, cousin and I drove down to visit my youngest aunt who moved down there a year ago. My family is from South Carolina so there are other cousins to visit also.

It was, I would say, a biter/sweet trip. When we arrived that Wednesday we were hit with the news that a man went into a church and ended up killing 9 people. We were on vacation but it would not stop our hearts from feeling heavy sadness as we heard the details. It had confirmed the two hour conversations that I have had with friends and others that prejudice is still alive but just not so visible. And from time to time it really brings up its ugly head to remind us. So the whole time that we were there we went pass the church every other day because we went downtown to the market and a couple of restaurants. S we saw the media and an overwhelming array of flowers and notes to share their grief and sympathy to family, friends and the whole city as they grieved their loss. It is just another piece that shows how broke up this world is.

All in all we had a good time since we were with family. We took turns driving but my cousin did most of it. So you know what I was doing when I wasn't driving - knitting and crocheting. I actually was working on a couple of UFO's from the past and you can see those through my flikr on the left. My cousin warned me about how much I was bringing because she knows me. When I have that much time I bring papers I could go through and my projects. In fact, I would rather bring more of my papers and projects then clothes and other items. I just feel good when I could look back on my day and say that I took advantage of time. I relaxed a little but we were on the go too much to relax. But I tell you one thing, when we went to those popular places to eat there was always a wait time and a couple had a line out the door. The food was worth the wait. I love going to a place to eat and see a lot of people because that usually means the food is fresh and moving but also that the food is good. But who wants to just wait. I was busy with a project or something else to do. I could have sat in a corner somewhere and just work on my projects and I would have been good. I would have done that outside if the weather wasn't a high 98 to over 100 degrees.

Besides the few I posted on my flickr I finished this shawl which I really love because it is using short rows in a different way to make the shaping. You have middle stitches and on each end of the stitches you are decreasing taking one stitch from the middle stitches and one stitch from the stitches left on either end as you get to that side. They are worked in making that great round shape. This shawl will block out beautifully and then you can see the end result through my flickr. Of course I have those yarn ends to take care of. It is so soft. I used the Sirdar Snuggly - Babybamboo yarn, 80% Bamboo and 20% Wool.

I did get to a yarn shop. It was The Village Knittery, 102 Central Ave., Summerville, SC. It was a lovely shop and the women that works there was so nice. I talked with her for a while and then I made a contribution by buying some yarn for a project. How could I resist - LOL. So if you are around that area that is a shop you can visit because it is the closest one around.

I always enjoy the beauty of the clouds and water so as we passed I had to take a few pictures. It is one thing that looks peaceful and calm.