Swimming in Blankets

Once again an insane amount of time has passed since I last wrote. How does this happen? The water continues to flow under the bridge a couple of blocks away, fiber slips through my fingers, stitches and loops joining together, spindles handled and mailed. The minutes, days and months slip by.

In that time not one but two Mermaid Blankets were made. Seeing the first one made for 9 year old Feather, 4 year old Violet wanted one too. Not only are they cuddling in them during the evenings they take them to bed with them which made the making of them so worth the time.
#1 Mermaid Blanket crocheted for Feather. (I can’t find the picture that her mom posted on FB of her in it.)
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#2 Mermaid Blanket finished just in time for Violet’s 4th birthday.DSC02344

So much so that I offered to make the grandson a shark blanket. Unfortunately I ran out of yarn coming into the second fin and am still waiting for more to arrive.
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Since late last year our Grandson’s 2nd grade teacher has been giving students a poem every week which they have to read out loud so many times a day, to different people. As a result he calls at least twice a week to read us the poem of the week. Every time he calls now he asks if I’m working on his blanket. That yarn had better be in the mail tomorrow!

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Leap Year

It certainly feels as though the year is leap-frogging and skipping over the weeks.

We’re looking into the face of March, the month with several birthdays, the annual Irish gig, crunch time for organizing tax paperwork, yard work and getting a start in the garden.

Priorities and scheduling, landing on routines that are doable.

The Mermaid blanket I mentioned my granddaughter wanting? It took a long time to figure out what yarn to use. When it came I dug into my crochet hook bag only to discover that I had NO size Q hooks, or any other bigger ones. How was this even possible? My husband spent well over a decade making crochet hooks. Thousands of them. I have none that size? So much for being generous with those I had. Somehow I thought I had more on hand. Allison of Ageary Woodworks came to my rescue and made me a Q / 15.75mm hook. An email letting her know what I needed, along with payment arrangements was sent to her. Within a couple of weeks a hook was in the mail. Allison is the young woman whom Ed taught to make the hooks and needles eventually taking over that business from us.

The fin is finished, the body about half-way along. The pattern suggests it would take “approximately 2.5 – 5 hours to make depending on size, skill and speed.” Apparently I’m lacking skill and speed. The fin was ripped back at 3 times before I finally figured out I was reading the instructions wrong. (Completely my fault). The body of the blanket is coming along nicely but it’s still be ridiculously time-consuming considering I thought the entire thing would be done within a week. Easily. Ummmm, no.
DSC02121It will be soft and cuddly, and machine washable.

We’ve had a very mild winter with lots of sunshine interspersed with copious rain. Daffodils are blooming. The plum tree next to our bedroom is beginning to bud. Daphnes have been fragrancing the kitchen.

Last Friday Violet and I visited some lambs during a lovely outing where we got to feed and pet the sheep. Some of their processed wool even came home with me.

They crowded into the barn when we first arrived hoping for some handouts.
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Some of the ewes and their lambs in one pasture.
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Jan likes to raise crossbreeds of CVM, Romeldale and Merino mixes to get sheep with various colorings, a fine wool with good crimp, and a nice hand.
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December 2015

After finishing the handspun socks in November I set out to knit up a quick hat with the leftover yarn.
The beginning of a knook/crochet hat for my granddaughter.DSC01142
A couple rounds after taking this picture enthusiasm evaporated. It was frogged. Stitches were cast on with knitting needles stitches starting with an earflap.

About then granddaughter, Feather, informed me that she’d love, love, love a crocheted mermaid blanket. Grandson, Wes, wanted a crocheted shark blanket. Patterns were found, bought and printed. Reading the type and amounts of yarn necessary for two such beasts, er, blankets my heart sank. Acrylic yarn held double-stranded.

All knitting/crocheting/weaving mojo disappeared. The busy Advent season was suddenly less busy and time appeared for other activities:

The first Christmas letter in years was written and mailed to far-flung family.
A gingerbread train was decorated with Violet,DSC01310
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Christmas carols and tunes fiddled
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to a church full of people singing upstairs,DSC01353

eating and visiting downstairs.
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A tree was decorated,
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Presents were wrapped.
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Turtles of singles were plyed, soaked and hung to dry.

The clouds burned off Christmas morning giving us the first day of sunshine in 24 days, perfect for a cold Christmas day bicycle ride.
DSC01512All but a couple of the main paths were flooded by the 22 foot higher than normal Willamette River, the swift current racing across the path showing its power.
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Puzzles piecedDSC01542

Brisk walks taken with my neighbor. We were so grateful for sunshine after 24 consecutive days of rain which dumped a record amount of almost 16 inches rainfall in the month of December.
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Even with the seemingly endless days of rain December 2015 was a very good month.

Tomorrow I need to firmly settle back into the work saddle, pick up the reins and settle back into a good work routine.

Slogging away

Thank you for all the well wishes. I’m hoping in the morning I’ll be able to properly acknowledge them as each person’s comment makes my heart glow.

The bug has morphed into a full-blown cold. My nose is sore from blowing and hands rough from constant washing. A cough plagued my sleep last night. I’ll resort to cough syrup and throat lozenges tonight. Today’s anticipated bike ride in the afternoon sun at Minto-Brown Island Park was scrubbed in favor of staying inside.

Gracious, I didn’t even log into Facebook today.

Despite feeling rather miserable I managed to doggedly get work done. Photos were edited, marked and upload the spindles into the store for today & tomorrow’s scheduled appearances. All the recording and paperwork was completed for today’s sales. With tomorrow’s spindles already queued and scheduled I’m hoping that other than minding the store when the spindles go online and recording sales I’ll be able to get more rest tomorrow.

Here’s hoping for rest and to feel better soon. Aside from work and regular obligations, there’s music to practice for upcoming celebrations. I tried practicing for a bit today but simply did not have the energy for holding up the violin and working the bow. We have our first practice Sunday afternoon for the Dec 12th Christmas Sing-Along. You all are welcome to join us!

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Giving thanks

Despite feeling poorly with this sore throat, runny nose, and ringing ears, I’m very thankful that we’d settled on having a low-keyed Thanksgiving this year with just our daughter’s family coming for dinner. Several times during the morning preparations I dreamed of crawling into bed but kept managing to move from task to task.

I’m thankful that Ed helped in small ways which seemed big in the scheme of things. Aurora arrived a few minutes before the turkey was ready to come out of the oven, just in time to help with the last 20 minute round up of food. Clean up was manageable with her “lets-get-this-done” attitude and efficiency.

I’m thankful for the warmth of family, the blessing of good food, a place that we’ve called home for 28 years, relatively good health, and the abundant grace of God.

I’m hoping that I’ll have a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling much better tomorrow.

I’m thankful for a hot shower that is waiting and a comfortable, warm bed to sleep in tonight as the temps again drop into the 20’s F.

I’m so very grateful for the relative peace that we enjoy and earnestly pray for all those whose lives are torn apart by people wanting power and control. My heart goes out to those who don’t have a home to keep them warm and sheltered, with food at hand for nourishment and easily accessible water to quench their thirst. It is humbling to know that but for a different birth or circumstances I could be facing such hardships.

I’m thankful for all the friends worldwide who still read, and leave comments on this blog.

Thank you!
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Picture taken early one glorious morning a few weeks ago.

Day before Thanksgiving

Rolls and a pecan pie are cooling on the table. The list of dishes and a timetable for when each one needs to be started is clipped to the fridge. The turkey is about all thawed out and will be put into the oven early in the morning.

An unplanned trip to Salem to pick up a new lens for my glasses, necessitating an hour’s wait while they were fitted to my frames took a huge bite out of a carefully planned day. When Ed and I picked up our new glasses a couple weeks ago it wasn’t until we were driving home that I discovered the vision in my right eye wasn’t nearly as clear of that of the left eye. I took them back last week when we were in town and was told they probably wouldn’t be ready until after Thanksgiving.

Yesterday afternoon I had to take Ebo in to the vet to get checked and shots. Another unplanned excursion which we’d planned to take care of next week but he’s had the runs for several days. The vet gave him a dose of worm medication as well as his first vaccination and set us home with some probiotics to help his gut.

So, I’m not nearly as far along with editing spindle pictures and uploading them to the webstore to be scheduled for appearing on Friday and Saturday. That task was supposed to be finished by mid-afternoon today so I could concentrate on fixing Thanksgiving Dinner and then relaxing with family tomorrow. Now I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get to them. I know it’ll all work out in the long run.

For the most part I am feeling thankful for all our blessings, and I’m looking forward to having our daughter’s family come for dinner tomorrow.

Unfortunately by mid-afternoon my throat started tightening and now it’s developed into a full-blown sore throat, along with a very stuffy head.

Heading to bed now and hoping for a good night’s sleep that will have me waking up at 5am feeling much better.

I very thankful for the snow that’s been falling on the mountains! To the left is Mt St Helens, Mt Rainer is in the far distance towards the right.

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Zooming in across the miles for a closer glimpse of grand Mt Rainer in the glow of the early morning sun.
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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! If you live where it’s not observed,  it’s still good to be thankful!