Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More babies to come

Several women at church are expecting babies this year. The first is due in April. It's a boy, and I've finished a blanket for him and am now knitting some bibs for him.

The next baby will be due in June, and it will be a surprise! So I started crocheting a blanket for that baby. The center of the blanket is white, but the border - I haven't decided what color(s) to use yet. Maybe yellow? Possibly green? Perhaps a combination of blue and yellow or green, yellow, and blue?

After that, a girl baby should arrive in July.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Socks for Dad

Our extended family did not exchange Christmas gifts this year, but after Christmas I asked both of my parents to look through my sock yarn and chose some for me to knit each of them two pairs of socks.

I've knit socks for Mom before (5 pairs), but never any for my dad. I decided to start Dad's socks first, because his feet are long and I knew it would take me some time to churn out even one pair for him.

Last night I watched 1 1/2 "Batman" movies with Steve and Aric and thought I might finish the first sock... but I did not. I am at the toe, however, so perhaps tonight I'll finish it off and cast on for the second sock of the pair.

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Another dog

This little spaniel mix dog has been a frequent visitor to our house for the past month or two. About a week ago, however, he quit leaving and started staying overnight. I have to confess that several days into the week I gave him a tiny bit of dog food. I felt so sorry for him - no food for three days! Steve said to me, "Laura, don't feed that dog again. If you do, we'll never get rid of it." I agreed.

The dog stayed. I took the dog to the home of some people whose dog played with this dog, thinking it would then find its way home. Twenty-four hours later he was back at our house, muddy, wet, and happy.

Yesterday after church as we all ate lunch Steve again stressed to me the importance of NOT feeding the dog. He knows I am weak. He said we'll never get the dog to go back to its own home if I continue to feed it. I said, "Yes, dear. I'm sorry for feeding the dog and I won't do it again."

Aric spoke up and asked everyone who had NEVER fed the dog to raise their hands. Of the eight family members at the table, not one raised a hand. EVERYONE HAS BEEN FEEDING THE DOG! Including Steve.

Perhaps the dog will go home this week. If not, Steve says we'll need to take the dog to our vet and have him checked over. We've put out the word that we've found someone's dog and we'd like to return him to his owner. I guess if no one claims him, he's already claimed us.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Moderne Log Cabin, block 8

I am on garter stitch row 44 of block 8. Only 22 more to go with the gray, then I begin the final two blocks, which have to be made together as they're joined by knitting intarsia.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book meme

From Anne of PalmTree Pundit, a book meme:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read (films don't count).
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) If you play along, please leave a comment so I can check out your list.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 1984 - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (have read all the comedies, a couple of the histories, some of the tragedies, and most of the sonnets)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

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Baby Blanket

Finished one baby blanket for a baby boy due in early April. Now I started crocheting another one for a baby due in June - don't know the gender yet, but I have a baby blanket already completed that will do for a girl.

Last Sunday the mother of the baby girl that received a crocheted blanket I made showed me her sweet daughter all wrapped up in that blanket. Amazing how a blanket is just a blanket, but a blanket with a baby in it is a happy sight!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Memory of Old Jack

I read The Memory of Old Jack by Wendell Berry very slowly. This was not my favorite of Berry's fiction. In fact, I think it rates at the very bottom. (My favorites thus far have been Jayber Crow and Andy Catlett: Early Travels.) Still, I'm glad I read it.

This novel is about Jack Beechum, Mat Feltner's uncle. It is a series of stories from Jack's past, interposed with his current life as a very old man whose health and mental condition are faltering. Jack isn't a very noble character, nor is he one who has a very active cerebral life. He is a man of action, a man of work, not a man of thought. His entire life reflects it - all the good and all the bad. I think I didn't like him much because many of his actions were selfish, petty, or greedy, yet he did not seem remorseful about what he did, rather that his actions that hurt others ended up hurting him in ways he did not anticipate. That may not be what Berry intended for the reader to think, but I really found Old Jack's life pathetic. I did feel pain for him in the end, but was relieved when his story was over.

Worth reading? Yes. Will I re-read it? No.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Socks and socks

Janet's socks are done and ready to mail tomorrow. Now I have a pair for Dad on the needles.

I also have a pair that my friend is working on. Since last August, her health has not been good and she was in the hospital for a few days. At that time she said to me, "If I die, you have to finish the socks I'm working on so they can be given to my children. " I told her to get well and we'd knit the socks together.

Her health hasn't really recovered since then, but she's no longer in the hospital. Now she's in a long-term health-care facility within walking distance from me, so I usually see her several times a week. Last week one of her children got one of the pairs of socks in progress from her house and gave them to me to bring when I visit her. I always take knitting of my own to work on, and once or twice my friend has asked to knit a bit on my work. She seems to enjoy it and I'm happy to see her with yarn and needles in her hands again. Yesterday I took her sock knitting to her and she held it, but did not wish to knit. When I got ready to leave, she asked me to take it with me, and bring it again the next time I came to see her. In the meantime, she asked if I'd knit some on it.

So I'll knit maybe one round each day and we'll see how it goes.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hats for Pat

Pat liked the blue striped cap I made for her. She said it is comfortable and does not ride up when she wears it. She said all of her family gave it a thumbs-up in appearance, too.

So when she asked if I'd mind making her two more caps, one in black and one in brown, I was delighted.

Silly Sarah and Joan tried them on to check the fit.

The pattern is Lion Brand's "Chemo Cap" and I followed the pattern exactly using Lion Brand Microspun yarn and Lion Brand Fun Fur on size 13 double-pointed needles. Each hat took about 2 hours to knit.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Flapjacks - not the pancake kind

On Saturday I made Jane Brocket's recipe for flapjacks from her book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity.

Amazing that something so simple could be so rich and sweet. The recipe called for golden syrup which is not easy to find in the USA, but because it is made from cane syrup I went to Piggly Wiggly and looked for any syrup that had cane syrup as one of the top ingredients.

Alaga syrup looked like it would work well and it's a syrup I grew up using.

The result was delicious. I could easily become addicted.