Even though this will officially post on Friday, this is really my Thursday post cause it's not quite midnight here yet! And it's CRAZY LONG!!!
Whewwww. Can I take a breath?
I always yap about how busy busy busy I am but then I feel guilty because some of my busy time is spent knitting and spinning! How could I be soooo busy if I have time to knit and spin? It's my Sanity Saver y'all. Knitting is nice. And is very relaxing. However, spinning is my ultimate sanity saver.
Let's see what Laura has been up to? It's not all afghan squares around here. I'm making time for my Sanity Saver activities in addition to my Afghan Project Manager job and Mommy job. That's why I'm not posting at a reasonable hour. I did try to post earlier but things kept getting in the way. This afternoon during the babies nap I opened the afghan mail right away, made a few notes.... took tons of pictures, and then just as I was about to sit down and compose a post the telephone rang. It was Ruth from church - 92 years old. She had questions about the afghan project and was in the mood to chat. Who am I to put a blog post before the need to know Ruth better? So I chatted away the rest of the babies nap time with Ruth. Then tonight just as I was about to start a blog post Jeff called to say he was coming home. I looked around and said "oh no, I guess I should clean up a bit." It really makes me cranky to do house work when I'd rather be doing a blog post or knitting or spinning. *sigh* Thankfully the cleaning was done by the time he got home. And here I am now.
How about some pictures of what I've been knitting and spinning??
Hogwarts Sock Swap First up - progress shot of Hufflepuff socks in my own hand dyed yarn - dreamy merino/silk blend sock yarn. Delish. Just a few inches into the 2nd sock now but it's really a quick knit. The deadline for mailing isn't until early July so I'm good. I'll be including a few other goodies in the package as part of the swap - Hufflepuff House colored stitch markers (obviously yellow/black) and sock knitting needles. I need to check and see if there were any other requirements - I don't think so. I might make a little sock knitting tote in Hufflepuff colors to send along as well. It's AMAZING to see the socks and accessories and Harry Potter-esque detail that some people are putting into their packages!!! I haven't read the books so I don't know as much detail about the nature of the different houses and apparently MANY other details that the movies skip over. I sure hope my pal likes these socks! I'm using the RPM pattern from MagKnits.
Next up in the knitting category.... ohhh... I have really worried that maybe I shouldn't show this. It was a complete and utter series of moments that brought me to this place. WEAK MOMENTS. Weak Moment #1 was when I received two skeins of beautiful laceweight alpaca/silk from my sweet friend Carole. Just because she loves me. Isn't that so sweet?? The yarn was a pretty and bright pink red and yellow colorway called "Happy Dance". Surely Carole thought of me when she sent the yarn because I've been so completely overjoyed about the progress of Rebuilding Greensburg - Block by Block! Weak Moment #2 was when I thought I would love to cast on for something with this yarn immediately. I thought and thought about what to make! Then I looked at the yarn and wondered what I would look like covered with pink red and yellow. The idea scared me just a little bit. Socks, yes. A shawl.... not so sure. I also thought "maybe this is why Carole so generously sent me this yarn? Maybe she couldn't see herself covered with a pink and red and yellow shawl?" Hmmmm..... Weak Moment #3 involved some blue dye. And a lot more thinking. I soaked the yarn. My husband saw it and thought I had dyed some new yarn to sell and complimented the colorway! He was APPALLED when I told him I was considering overdyeing the yarn that Carole sent me. That didn't stop me. My daughter Katie was equally shocked when she heard of the plan. That didn't stop me. I forged on despite the guilt they tried to shroud me with because my curiosity as a yarn dyer could not be quelled.
After a hot bath with some Sapphire dye, Happy Dance is now more of a Waltz. And I like it. And it's becoming a laceweight Argosy Wrap. What do you think? Do you think Carole is actually reading or maybe just skimming for afghan info? We can only hope because I'm about to faint knowing that she's going to find out I overdyed the yarn she sent. The colors came out like plum, dark purple/violet, and various shades of green/teal.
I'm thinking this will be the Summer of the Shawl around the Bunny Hutch in my knitting life. Not only am I working on the above wrap, I have also joined up with the Spun Stitches Knitalong (couldn't resist - have you seen their BUTTONS?). The idea is to spin yarn enough for a shawl, and then knit said shawl. That's a whole HECK of a lot of yarn, huh? Especially when you're spinning with a spindle. But that's okay. Cause I'm making time for my Sanity Savers and this is a big one. Something that adds interest to the spinning is color and using good fiber. This project is combining both of those pleasures. I haven't made a final decision about the shawl pattern - still need to check some info on the pattern I'm thinking of. But here's a peek at the fiber and first skein of yarn.
The fiber was all gifted to me by friends. The left and center were birthday gifts from Kelly. I have the most of the purple wool on the left so the shawl will be mostly that color. The white wool on the right was sent by my dear friend Jan in Oklahoma. It's wool from her own sheep, Tootles. It's the softest sweetest stuff on Earth. And it drafts and spins like a DREAM. If this is what your reward is for keeping a sheep (coated), it's worth the effort. Thank you girls both so much for such beautiful fiber gifts - I'm thinking of you both so much as I spin and plan to make a shawl from the yarn. :)
Enough about this stuff. How about some afghan news??? If you're still with me, that is. Sorry for the crazy long posts lately!!
Daily Square Report:
Today we received nine more squares and yet another surprise in addition to the surprise I mentioned in Wednesday's post!!! The surprise of getting squares every day is nice but these extra surprises really knock my socks off!
First - yesterday's surprise! Florence of Manville, NJ emailed to let me know this was coming but I didn't really know what to expect. Florence sent an already completed crochet lap-ghan for some lucky family or individual in Greensburg!! Isn't that awesome!? And what a fun surprise it was to receive. Before their nap this afternoon I told the girls that I wanted to take their picture outside holding this blanket. They happily complied since that meant putting off nap time just a little longer. hehe
As I've already said, as soon as the babies went down for their nap I opened today's afghan mail, did my record keeping stuff (counting), and took a bunch of pictures. Today's surprise in the mail was from an anonymous knitter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This person sent three GORGEOUS hand knit winter hats and attached very nice notes to each one and sent me a note as well explaining how it came to be that she was sending them.
The twist happened in this story when the babies got up from their naps. I had planned on writing the blog post before they got up but then, you know.... phone call from 92yo Ruth and I ran out of time. I had put the green hat by the computer so I could remember what it said on the tag about how the people of Louisiana had been helped after Hurricane Katrina so she was happy to have the opportunity to help someone else in similar need.
I was in the bedroom changing Lila's diaper when Emeline found the hat and exclaimed, "WOW, a HAT!! This is a pretty hat!" She put the hat on and ran to the bedroom to show me that she was wearing it. I told her "Emeline, please take that off, it's not your hat." She said, "It's mine." You can imagine the
argument discussion that followed. The crying and upset was very dramatic but I somehow convinced her that she could not keep the hat. She then headed for the front door and INSISTED that I get the camera and take her picture wearing the hat on the front porch in the swing. She started out rather cheery.... but then I reminded her that it was not her hat and she had to let me have it back. I think her expression (and residual tears) says it all.
And the squares. Yesterday's 57 plus today's 9 mean we have received a total of 890 squares and still need 230 to reach our minimum goal. Hooray! In the comments on Wednesday's post Katherine suggested that I set a new goal just because it's so fun and motivating to have a goal! Well then. I guess we'll do that. I think I agree with her. I thought today about what might be a stretch... we have, oh... more than 45 days of knitting to go. We're very near to reaching our minimum goal of 20 afghans. I casually mentioned 2000 squares a few posts ago. So how about we double the goal to 40 afghans(!) and set it for 1120 x 2 = 2240 squares!? Think it's reachable?? Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe it's too high. Maybe it's too low?? I guess the days ahead will tell us. Honestly it's a mystery at this point and I LOVE watching it unfold before our eyes!
In a combined list, yesterday and today's squares came from the following people:
Joanne - Saginaw, MI (2nd package!)
Barbara - Papillion, NE (2nd package!)
Florence - Manville, NJ (squares + crochet lap-ghan!!)
Tracy - Greenwood, MO (2nd package!)
Juanita - El Dorado, KS
Laura - Dadeville, AL
Vicki & Carin - Algonia, IA (mother/daughter team!)
FB - Stafford, VA
Laura - Los Banos, CA
Connie - Santa Rosa, CA
Carrie - Brunswick, ME
Jean - Hollis Center, ME
Sharilyn - Fairport, NY
Mary - Chicago, IL
Anonymous - Baton Rouge, LA (3 awesomely squishy beautiful hats!)
Thank you ALL for your sending your squares and these other thoughtful items. Thank you ALL for your generous time spent knitting and crocheting and for sending thoughtful notes to the families who will receive the afghans.
I bumped into the lady at church this morning who is working hard searching to find just the right family for our church to "adopt" and help out with rebuilding in Greensburg. She was bursting at the seams with excitement about the news she had for Pastor Wade. Hopefully we'll have more information very soon about this family and we can find out if they have children (she didn't know), as well as other possible needs. She told me a little about her effort to find "just the right family" over the past month. It's difficult to imagine what someone goes through when a tragedy has happened such as this. She thought they had found just the right family and then the mother decided that she would not be staying in Greensburg and is buying a house in another community. It's still a very recent trauma that families are recovering from in many different ways. Emotional recovery is huge - especially for the family who decided to move away. They had young children (and one with special needs) who went through the terror of this tornado destroying their home and they are having a lot of difficulties with the limitations that the community holds for them at this time. Searching for just the right family to adopt is an emotional rollercoaster as well, because this woman from church is looking for someone to help and is hearing tragic stories and trying to offer hope to everyone she meets as she continues her search. Hopefully we've found just the right family now and will be ready to help move on to the next step of recovery for them. I'll let you know when I hear more about it.
Everybody TAKE CARE and have a beautiful Friday! I'll be posting the usual Eye Candy Friday and afghan report later in the day. XOXOX