Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Blast from the Past

Perhaps you may remember this photo of the boys, probably Christmas 1968, wearing their fisherman's sweaters which I had made them. I had seen the patterns in one of those women's magazines at the checkout counter of the grocers and thought they would be nice. I hadn't knit in at least five years, and certainly had never knit anything this complex. But, blessed with ignorance, I had no idea they were supposed to be difficult. And what luck that the patterns actually worked without reams of errata. So I just cabled and popcorned away. Of course I saved them, some of those things you want to keep for future generations. When I moved to Europe, I stored them in a cedar chest at my mother's house. My mother, being my mother, found them and gave them away to Goodwill or the Paralyzed Veterans or somesuch. How I wish I still had them. But at least there is this photo!

Going through some of the boxes of inherited photo chaos, I found these two old school photos. Ta-da! Documentation of another set of sweaters, the 70s this time.
Steven in his vest...
...and David in his. No idea where I found the pattern, but I'll lay a bet this yarn came from Woolworth's. We had moved to New Orleans and I don't believe there was even a yarn store there. Or if there was I never found it. We lived on Bourbon Street and rarely left the French Quarter. It was wool, and I remember thinking the variegation was interesting. Now I wasn't a serious knitter then, I just knit from time to time as the urge struck. Wish I had thought to document everything.

There was at least one more set I knit for them, very nice mixed greens with stripes. One was a turtleneck, and by the time I made them the boys had decided they would absolutely not wear T-necks. I don't believe a photo exists of those. Too bad.

Finally got through the Christmas knitting and gift making. These were a big (did I say huge?) project:
Beaded row counters, each one different. Doreen and I got together to make fifteen or so for our knitting group. As we did our shopping for all the elements (at least three stores, twice or three times), went through my bead stash (at least as extravagent as my yarn stash) and worked through the night until 6AM to find we had only finished five or six, we decided if we were selling them on Etsy, we would have to charge at least $200 each to break even. Suppose I'm not cut out for beading row markers for the general market. Several more sessions, plus making some for myself and for other giftees, I finally stashed the beads and baubles again yesterday. Now some of you still haven't received your packages, so please act surprised.

And what have we here?
Believe it or not, a white Christmas in Texas, the first one on record for this area. This photo was taken early in the day on Christmas Eve. We got quite a bit more, about 4 inches where I live. It was no trouble getting out to our Christmas Eve party. But by the time we left to go home, the temperatures had dropped dramatically and everything was frozen solid. Getting home was a definite drama. Being Christmas Eve, no one had gotten out to sand the bridges (inexcusable) and the driving was definitely hazardous. David was on call at the hospital that night and his car doesn't do well at all on ice. I worried all night about that. By Christmas day afternoon, the roads had cleared up a bit and the driving was less treacherous.

Wonder of wonders, it is snowing again today. And it's cold. Thank goodness there is not a photo of me at the moment. Already in PJs, I'm typing away wearing orange fingerless gloves and my full length hooded red parka. Cute, really, really cute!!! As soon as I finish, I'm going to attack some major closet re-organization and there are a lot of closets in need. Must take photos and show you next time. I'm drowning in "stuff" and a lot of it just has to go. And as a result of the snow which must have been blowing in the right direction to block the dish, no television tonight. We're just not getting a signal. Darn, I'll miss the 5 millionth discussion of how to get on an airplane with an underwear bomb!!!
I mentioned in the last post that I had scored some Buffalo Gold in Boerne for a shawl but didn't show a photo. This is it, with a lovely pattern. I can't wait to start on it, but MUST finish a couple of WIPs before I allow myself. Perhaps that 3/4 done Clapotis? Definitely the orchid colored socks. One of the four sweaters that are half to 90% done? Decisions, decisions.
Just to make you laugh, this is the still un-named Bad Boy cat in his usual lounging position. Notice the divan is white? Well actually natural cotton damask. Not for long I'm sure. Bad boy has single-handedly spotted all the carpets with his barfing, if not worse. Broken several items. We switched his dry food which has solved the barfing and worse problem, but the new food is staining his white ruff. I'm sure we'll eventually solve all these issues. In the meanwhile, he is just so funny he keeps us in giggles. And extremely affectionate.
Here is one of the Christmas presents, for the BF, the very tall BF so it is a very long scarf. The pattern is the scarf version of Hypoteneuse. I donated my Plain & Fancy charcoal yarn (bought for a shawl) to the project because it was just so perfect (must call to see if I can't get some more). And the BF, the most impossible man in the world to buy a present for, seemed to really love it. Scored with this one.
And here is Absorba the Ultimate Bathmat, made for Dr. Persnickety, another impossible man for presents. Think it took 30 skeins of cotton knitted 6 at a time. He LOVED it. Score number 2. And he would like another smaller one. Yay, birthday in 4 months. And...OMG...he indicated he might actually like a sweater. I'm immediately thinking some lovely fair-isle sort of project, with colors to go with his red hair. I do so love to actually have ideas for the future, if only I remember when the time comes.

Truthfully, I completely enjoyed knitting the log cabin pattern, just not in six strands of cotton. I must look into adaptations and variations of log cabin. It is very Zen. I'm not doing hand-knitted afghans because of cats and those pests called moths. So it has to be a sweater or a shawl. Must apply the Thinking Cap...or spend some extra hours on Ravelry.
And this is what I'm knitting on now. Perhaps you can't tell, but this is an eyelash scarf knitted with just the eyelash. A horror to knit on large needles. It was even hard to find the yarn. But this was a specific request to replace a scarf I made fifteen years ago (hated knitting it then, too) for my friend Liz in Ireland. One day it blew off her neck and away over the bogs, never to be seen again and she really, really wanted another one. Only love would get you through knitting like this. At least I'm two skeins into a three skein project.

Hope your holidays were merry and that a wonderful New Year awaits us all.


Ruby Girl said...

Nice photos of your knitting from when you children were younger. Wow snowing in Texas. I wish for a white christmas, would be something seeing as we are in our summer.

Bea said...

Your mom sounds as sentimental as my grandmother was. "Oh these don't fit anyone? Ok off they go where they might get some use."

The scarf came out really well. Wow the horrors of eyelash. At least you know it will be loved.

Deborah (aka Mt. Mom) said...

Yay -- gifts appreciated!! That's wonderful.

(Sorry to be so tardy in commenting -- just getting back to blog reading after home-focused holiday period.)


Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Adore the picture of Little Bad Boy in repose. And have you ever been busy with that giftwork! Being one of the hugely delighted recipients of some row counters here in Ireland, I can assure everybody that these are THE ultimate accessory for the modern Raveler!

Hugs from Ireland.

Dez Crawford said...

I haven't visited in awhile but I noted the variegatedyarn. If you were in New Orleans in 1968, that very yarn may indeed have come from Woolworth's on Magazine St.! I learned to knit as a kid in the '60s and made a scarf with what I'll bet was that exact yarn, bought at Woolworth's. Small world!