Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Very Good Knitting Day

It's the perfect day for knitting and reading. A heavy, steady rain is falling over the entire region, a desperately needed rain. A deep soaking rain. Farmers (or ex-farmers) can wax eloquently on the beauty (or holy terror) of rain. It's the life-blood.

Much as I can look approvingly at the outside scene, I'm not going out into it except as necessary. I do need to dig the last of the carrots in the garden. Other than that, it's an inside day. And this week has been a knitting week, so how perfect is that?

These are some of the little hand warmers I've been making. The finished pair are of 3ply tussah silk that I spun 20 years ago for a show, and then stashed. Perhaps not the best choice for this project at first blush. However, I made a set from the fine, fluffy burgundy stuff in front and took them to work (my little corner of that world is very, very cold in the winter) and discovered that fine fluff is not compatible with my computer mouse. I'm still using them but made the other ones to take to work on Monday.

Meanwhile, daughter Rebecca wants a set so the one on my new bamboo needles (aren't they nice?) is for her (don't tell her; Becca, cover your eyes).

They're a nice get-back-into-knitting project ("Hmm, decrease.). I admit I had to take my first mitt to the mother-in-law's last weekend because I couldn't remember a technique or two. I am not a natural knitter. I'm great at crochet, needlepoint and weaving, adequate at sewing. My paternal grandmother was a great knitter who tried valiantly to teach me, was able to instill basic casting-on and tension control skills, but finally gave up as my super power then seemed to be dropping stitches.

When I had small babies at home, Oma (our neighbour lady, Erna Plontke, and the kids' adopted grandmother) taught me to knit on four needles to make tube socks. I made little tube socks from homespun, then shrunk them and they were perfect moccasin liners for the kids.

One day, maybe this winter, I will learn to turn a heel. Then Bryan will get his long-desired homespun, home-knit boot socks. He loves wool socks and has often looked at my fleeces and yarn stashes with covetousness.

Spoke to Becca the other night on the phone. Midterm exams and term papers are threatening to overwhelm her, but she'll be fine (once she stops hyperventilating). We've many of us been through it and come through the other side, albeit a bit battered and bruised at time. Moments like this remind me why I didn't want her to go to post-secondary school right out of high school. She wasn't ready for it and very likely would have dropped out. A few years of 'real' life taught her perseverance and fortitude.

Becca lives here....somewhere. Might have to make a quick and dirty road trip out there this winter. And this is a link to the program she's taking.

I stopped at Talkin' Donkey on the way home last night and picked up some used paperbacks. The tidy stack on the bedside table includes an Andrew Greeley mystery, a Richard Patterson detective story, the newest 'Jason Bourne' story, a fluffy Regency romance by Eloisa James and a great find - a new reprint of Grant MacEwan's classic 'Fifty Mighty Men.'

I was and am a great MacEwan fan. He was a famous western Canadian, farmer, politician and writer, a friend of my dad's uncles and an inspiration to me. As a teenager, I was a 4-H public speaking competitor and found the basis for my first winning speech in one of his books. When I graduated from Olds College, MacEwan was Alberta's Lieutenant Governor and presented our diplomas, a warm memory for me.

He wrote western Canadian history books and this one is a collection of stories about men who helped shaped the west, from the Black Robes (missionaries) to the cowboys, doctors, chiefs and everyone in between. He wrote a followup 'And Mighty Women, Too', which I have but I'd never found a copy of this one because it was long out of print. I love his writing style; my dad dislikes it intensely but is a big fan of Pierre Burton's stuff, which bores me intensely.

Neighbour Adrienne called early this morning: was I going to the chili cooking competition at the community hall tonight? I only knew about it from the sandwich board on the sidewalk when I went to get the mail on the way home last night.

"I made a pot of chili. Are you still alone? (her Ken is up in Edmonton, my Bryan in the Peace) Then you could be my date! Would you bring a salad?"

Of course. I'm thinking a Copper Penny salad, what with my supply of carrots. Or a Five Bean salad. I do like a good bean salad.

1 comment:

  1. Spending a rainy morning reading new blogs. Just wanted to let you know I stopped by.