Tag Archives: Nostalgia

Stitch Pattern Week 11 & The Goofy Hat That Lead to Entrelac Knitting


It’s that time again friends and neighbors! GG has left me with yet another cryptic knitting pattern to decipher for your viewing pleasure. So with no further adieu, Stitch Pattern Week 11 – The Diagonal Rib Stitch!

Diagonal Rib-Darkened.

Diagonal Rib-Darkened.

The past few weeks I have knitted with white yarn, which has been hard to translate on film – hard for me at least – so this week I went back to my Sea Glass colors and rocked out a very pretty dishcloth. Unfortunately, this is also hard to see as well, but it gave me the opportunity to play with some filters to see if I could improve it. Now you get to be the judge.

So GG – What pain is in store for me this week? Be gentle, it’s already been pretty rough!

* * The Diagonal Rib Stitch * *

. . . . – The Diagonal Rib Stitch (Once again no pattern name, but I found it on Stitchopedia on my  iPad of all places).

-k2p2 – Row 1: *K2, P2; rep from * till end (Okay, not to shabby so far, feeling a bit cocky!).

-again – Row 2: Rep. row 1 (Still feeling pretty good about myself).

k1p2k2 then p2k1 – Row 3: K1, *P2, K2; rep. from * till last 3 stitches, end P2, K1 (Come on now, I frogged this twice before I figured out my stitches should be leaning. Give a great-granddaughter a break here!).

-p1k2p2 then k2p1 – Row 4: P1, *K2, P2; rep. from * till last 3 stitches, end K2, P1 (At least with row 3 figured out this didn’t hurt that much).

-p2k2 – Row 5: *P2, K2; rep. from * till end (Smooth sailing, maybe I deserve a cookie!).

-again – Row 6: Rep. Row 5 (Alright damn it, I am going to go get that cookie!).

-43over (I shouldn’t have gotten my cookie so soon….so sad. This is where the stitch dictionary came in handy. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Thank Heavens for the Internet!)

Row 7: Rep. row 4.

Row 8: Rep. row 3.

A simple repeat of these 8 rows really did created a fun, visually interesting dishcloth. The sea glass colors really helped it pop and I recommend this pattern to anyone of any skill level just for something new to try.

 ♥ * * * * * * * * * * * *  ♥

  – The Hat That Turned To A New Skill –

So last week I went on a bit of a hat spree, first with the OSU Buckeye Hats and then with another, less successful attempt. The pattern came from Holiday Knits, a book I have rather enjoyed up to this point, which made the disappointment all the more acute. I will take full responsibility for NOT swatching this project, the yarn I was using was the same weight, but a very different (much cheaper) fiber. So the soft, fluffy goodness that this hat was supposed to encompass turned into an ultra long, ultra heavy, super goofy looking disappointment.

As you can plainly see, this thing is HEAVY! I took pictures of both my husband and I wearing it, but I am just a little shy of showing off that embarrassment. Either way, I know come winter I will wear this hat – I cannot stand to think of it going to waste – but I’ve learned to embrace my goofiness.

Anywho, this lead to another problem – what to do with the leftover yarn? There wasn’t enough to make a scarf but too much for just one normal size hat (e.g. a hat not made for giants) so I had to find something else productive to use it for. This is when I logged on to my Craftsy account and realized that I still hadn’t taken the Entrelac Knitting Class. Common sense would say that if there was yarn to spare that had already turned out poorly, why not try to make something constructive out of this experience.

I am almost done with the class and it has been awesome! The teacher is fun and easy to follow, the directions are clear and simple, and there is the added benefit of getting to see how to knit without turning your work. This really appeals to me because you don’t just use your right hand, you used your left as well. If I could learn how to do this it would take a phenomenal amount of strain of my bad hand (in theory) and if not I get to gloat that I learned how to do something new. Gloat may be the wrong word, but you get the point. I’m not done yet but I will leave you with a picture collage (oh how I love collages) just so you can see where I am so far.

Entrelac Process So Far

Entrelac Process So Far

I think that’s it for me tonight, but as always I would like to end with a question. So, friends and neighbors, is there a new skill you wish to acquire or are currently learning? I didn’t even know you could knit with both needles till yesterday so I am intrigued!

Stitch Pattern Week 10 – A Misbehaving Hand & WIPs & Photos for Fun…Oh My!


I feel as if I have been quite neglectful of my blog here recently. Since the little setback with my hand I’ve lost a bit of my knitting confidence, afraid that I’ll make a mistake on something simple and feel utterly lost on how to proceed. Luckily I did this weeks stitch pattern on the 12th, so here it is friends and neighbors – The Chevron Stitch!

The Chevron Stitch

The Chevron Stitch

I’ve gotta tell you, GG really gave it to me when I found this pattern. She called it the Triangles Stitch (no help there) and the instructions….I thought I would rather curl up and die than try to figure this out. Once I figured it out, which admittedly took way to much time, I was on a roll. It is a simple, dimensional and textural stitch, and now that I know what is going on I think I want to try to work with it in another way.

*Please forgive me in advance if there are any errors in my typing, I am going at this using the hunt and peck method to avoid straining my hand. I am normally a decent editor, but after a while I get tired of finding all these stupid mistakes caused by my misbehaving appendage.

 * * So GG, What Torture Awaits Us This Week? * * 

My notebook on how to discern crazy.

My notebook on how to discern crazy.

r1 k1 p7k1 – Row 1: K1; *P7, K1; rep. from * till end (okay, not to bad so far, she even gave me a space between row and pattern. I doesn’t last but hey!, I will take what I can get)

r2 p1 k7p1 way – Row 2: P1; *K7, P1; rep from * till end of row (what does way mean? all they way? way to go? I am way laughing at you? I think it’s the latter.)

3 k2 p5k3 –  Row 3: K2; *P5, K3; rep. from * till last rep., P5, K2. (We’ve given up the niceties of putting “r” in front of the row, I am sensing a deterioration! Not to mention that the last repeats of the rows are not as written, I am filling in the gaps here.) 

4 p2k5p3 – Row 4: P2; *K5, P3; rep from * till last rep.. K5, P2. (Okay, now we’ve almost given up on spaces. Luckily the pattern was obviously starting to take shape, so an intuitive leap wasn’t that far)

5 k3p3x5 – Row 5: K3; *P3, K5; rep from * till last rep., P3, K3 (I am sure the “x” was a “k” at some point or another, or maybe she just got tired of writing down the letter “k”? Your guess is as good as mine.

6p3k3p5 – Row 6: P3; *K3, P5; rep. from * till last rep., K3, P3 (All right, GG is getting really, really tired of writing this pattern. Even her handwriting is starting to take a nosedive, she just wants to knit people!)

7k4p1k7 – Row 7: K4; *P1, K7; rep. from * till last rep., P1, K4 (Almost there, hang strong!)

8p417 – Row 8: P4 *K1, P7; rep. from *till last rep., K1, P4 (While I am sure she understood this jumble of numbers (and if you think about it, it does follow a pattern) but how on earth could she share this with anyone?)

* * THIS IS ABOUT TO GET REALLY FUNNY, PREPARE YOURSELVES * *

R9 to16. work beg sets backwards. (Umm…SERIOUSLY! This was how that pattern ended, with a cryptic instruction so insane the CIA couldn’t crack it. Thank goodness for the internet.)

  • Row 9: Rep. Row 2.
  • Row 10: Rep. Row 1.
  • Row 11: Rep Row 4.
  • Row 12: Rep. Row 3.
  • Row 13: Rep. Row 6
  • Row 14: Rep. Row 5
  • Row 15: Rep. Row 8
  • Row 16: Rep. Row 7

* * WIP it Baby, WIP it All Night…ALL NIGHT! * * 

There was no WIP Wednesday this week due to my hand, but here is a run down of what’s currently on my needles.

  1. The Fault in Our Stars Scarf
  2. Baby Blanket
  3. A Duo of OSU Buckeye Hats (I cannot wait to finish these!)
  4. Knitted Necklace (certain to be a disaster but I can handle 3 stitches at a time.)
  5. Magical Thinking Scarf (I really need to think about where I put it, I can’t find it!)

* * Photos For Fun * * 

I may not be knitting all that I would like to, but that hasn’t kept me away from taking photos and playing with filters. These are some truly bad photos I admit, my hands are shaky and my positioning is for crap. This will not deter me however, I love taking a walk and just snapping away. Enjoy!

So here we are friends and neighbors, at the end of a labor of love post. I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve seen and read. As always insight in welcome and I hope to hear from you soon!

Stitch Pattern Week 8 – Dreams & Fears


Well friends and neighbors, it’s that time again! Let’s see what GG could work out for us this week. I humbly present to you Stitch Pattern Week 8- The Daisy Stitch.

Hello Daisy

Hello Daisy

If you follow this blog, you’ll recognize the daisy stitch from the Hinagiku Hat that was posted a few days ago. I liked the pattern so much – and found it in GG’s patterns – that I went out and bought some ridiculously (for me) expensive pure eco cotton and made bath mitts! The green was so fresh and vibrant that is screamed spring at me, and knitting it was like going back to an old friend. Knitted in the round, the daisy stitch twisted and turned as if on its on accord. It was made to be big enough to fit comfortably over your hand so you can scrub till your heart’s content. I’m kinda in love…. 😉

********        ********

Wanna see GG’s written Pattern? No worries, it will be anxiously waiting for you at the bottom of the page.

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-Dreams-

This week I opened an Etsy store, made a Facebook Fan Page, and barely managed to keep my head on my shoulders. It has always been a dream of mine to open a little shop full of handmade goodies. I never had dreams of making loads of money, not that it wouldn’t be a good thing, but of having things I created put to use in other people’s homes. These items are near and dear to my heart, everything made with love and care but also with the memories of generations of knitters behind it. My GG’s dish cloths are still in use today and she passed on almost 20 years ago, but every time I pull one of her dish cloths out I think of her. The wonder of turning a strand of yarn into something purposeful and beautiful is still remarkable to me. I always wanted to share that with people.

-Fears-

The downside to trying to bring your dreams into the light is that there is that looming sense of dread that you will be a complete and utter failure. Take for example the expensive Etsy kit I bought. I loved it when I saw it, the designer did an amazing job and did exactly what I asked for. But I don’t like it. It doesn’t resonate as something I thought my store was about and now there is that shadow of doubt hanging over my head.

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The panic monster in my mind has been screaming at me the past two days, it has invaded every thought and every action with its annoying chatter.

Me: This is a good start.

Panic Monster: Not good enough.

Me: This is really well made, took a while but still something I would use or give as a present.

Panic Monster: Took too long, could be better. SHOULD be better.

Me: So the Blog following and Facebook pages will take a while to grow, that’s how it should be.

Panic Monster: Nobody is going to bother with your sill websites, they look like crap!

Me: So what if   I haven’t gotten a blogging award, it’s only been eight weeks! Time  and patience and keep working hard, it’s the way things are done when done correctly!

Panic Monster: Never gonna happen, duh! You suck, your writing since college has gone down the tube and nobody gives a crap for a sub-par arthritic knitter. Don’t quit your day job loser.

This is pretty much how it has been going in my overly anxious mind. My OCD and panic monster are chopping at the bit to remind me that, guess what? there are things you CANNOT DO! Oh well live and learn and then get a big bat to smash the panic monster to bits and pieces.

There are so many wonderful, award-winning blogs that have introduced me to the talent and creativity that is out there. How could I possibly compete with that? Some have views in the six digit category and some have hundreds (if not thousands) of followers. So yes, it is intimidating to put yourself out there. I am just going to have to remind myself (and my panic monster) that I love what I am doing. Worse comes to worst and I never sell a thing and no one ever reads my blog again, I will have gifts for the next ten years to give and I will always love writing.

GG, Papaw, my husband and Max would be proud.

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GG’s Stitch Pattern vs. The Real Deal

-The Daisy Stitch-

(No cast on number…hmm….good start GG. Good start!)

odd k – Rows 1 and 3 (RS): K (Good, Good.)

r2 k1,p3together,ya,p3together –Row 2: K1 *p3 tog and don’t drop them off the needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; rep from * (At first I really thought that I was going to end up with no stitches left on my needles until I visited my Hinagiku Hat pattern and figured this out. Thank goodness for the internet)

r4 kpk-p3together,ya,p3tog -Row 4: K1, p1, k1 *p3 tog and don’t drop them off the needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; rep from *, end p1, k1 (Again, thank you ol’ in-tra-net (my grandfather loved to say this just to bug the living he!! out of me) you’ve saved me loads of frogging. As for you GG, I wish you were her so I could take you to town for this!)

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Well my ramblings have gone on far too long, I hope you enjoyed what you’ve seen or read, and thank you for visiting. To pose a question; Where did you get the inspiration/ know-how to make all of your blogs look so lovely? so functional? so…inviting? You’re all inspirations to bloggers at any level!

 

Stitch Pattern Week 5 – Better Late Than Never


Boy howdy I am late on getting this posted, I hope that my tardiness can be excused. I, like the rest of the country, was attached at the hip to any news media I could get my hands on, watching in baffled dismay at the horrific events of this past week. But with my mind set at ease, or as much at ease as it can be knowing that monsters are real, it is time to get back to it.

So I present this weeks stitch pattern!

Open Pillar Work Stitch Pattern - Week 5.

Open Pillar Work Stitch Pattern – Week 5.

Side Bar: Gotta love photo editing by the way. With Photoshop’s magic it refined the details of the stitches themselves, fixed the color saturation, eliminated unwanted shadows and made a fancy schmancy border.!

As per-usual I had to consult a few stitch dictionaries to find out what this patterns true name was – Pillar Open Work was my winner – because my dear great grandmother called it lazy cables. This pattern was just a continuation of two repeating rows but making it was stupid simple and the result was very pretty. Had I to do it again (and I probably will) I think I will go down a needles size though. So, with no further adieu, here is my great grandmothers scrawl vs. the “correct” way to read this pattern.

-51sts across n – Cast on 51 sts. 

-5 kp across – Knit 5 rows K1,P1 across for seed st. pattern (and yes, I thought kp was some funky knitting term that surpassed my years of knowledge, all 10 of them vs. her 70).

-pt. r1 right; k then yarn towards heart down, sl, 2k, left over right by 2, rep till 1, k – Row 1: (RS) K1 *yo, sl.1, K2, peso the two knit sts. over: rep From * to last st., K1  (Come ON GG, really? How did you follow this pattern! Well….she seemed to have no trouble. I rescind my judgement).

-r2 p – Row 2: (WS) P. (Thank the Lord above! A notation that required absolutely no cursing!)

-fin as b – Knit 4 Rows in K1,P1 Seed St. Bind off in Same Fashion (Again, no cursing! Finally a break that resulted in absolutely NO FROGGING!)

I am going to go ahead and call it a day with this post. I ranted and raved my last two and the lack of readers gave me the distinct notion that maybe I should stick to what I am good at. Not that I care, the people who did read gave amazing feedback and I don’t write to get people to read my blog, that is just a fantastic bonus. I write because you think harder when you write, or at least more specifically and the act is therapeutic. Hopefully given time the caliber of my writing will improve to include a wider audience. If not…well, I still love what I am  doing so f$*k it. 🙂

Sleep well, I will be here knitting all the while.

A Suiting Memorial for my Grandfather & the Best Dirty Joke. Ever.


I hope to draw you into the the diatribe that is the rest of this post by giving you perhaps the Best Dirty Joke. Ever. In my mind, it is always in capitals, perhaps on a marquee surrounded by big flashing lights and hoards of people gripping their sides and crying tears of utter contentment.

Enjoy.

      The Hallmark Company was going to hire a person to write verses for their new line of greeting cards. The Executives were interviewing two people who had applied for the job. One was a Harvard graduate; the other one was a man from Eastern Kentucky

One of the Hallmark Executives gave the two applicants their directions: STAND AND RECITE A VERSE THAT CONTAINS THE WORD “TIMBUKTU” .

The Harvard man jumped up and said he would go first. He said:

              Far across the dessert sands

Camels traveled in caravans.

One by one, two by two,

Destination Timbuktu.

Well, the Hallmark people clapped and cheered and said that was really good for such short notice.

Then the man from eastern Kentucky stood. He pulled up his pants high about his waist and said:

Well. Up in the woods Tim and I went.

We Found three whores and a BIIIG old tent.

Them bein’ three and us being two,

I bucked one, and Tim bucked two.

-Unknown Original Source

This was above and beyond my grandfather’s favorite joke to tell. I cannot think of a family member that does not carry a copy of this in their wallets, have it hanging in their lockers or can recite it from memory on cue.

William Gayle Sovine 1934-2011

William Gayle Sovine & Mary Rose Sovine. 1954

My grandfather, my Papaw, passed away two years ago today. I vaguely remember being shattered by this memory last year. It was a hard year after he passed and knowing that he had missed a whole year with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren left me feeling emotionally hallowed out. This year, I am able to focus more on the memories that I cherish. These memories of experiences with perhaps the greatest man I have ever known, at least until I met my husband, have shaped me into the person that I am today.

My grandparents love story is epic; I suppose everyone says that and I would undoubtedly believe every word they said, but for me the love story of these two people seems to transcend even the most romantic books ever written. Being an avid reader, I can attest to this fact without pause.

Honestly, at the moment I am a little at a loss of what to write, there are so many things that I want to share; things about my grandparents and their epic love story, a self made man that came from nothing, a correspondence with Norman Rockwell’s that spanned years, a community figure that relished telling excessively dirty jokes and the ever present rock that this family leaned on. It could go on for hours and hours, days and days, and still I would not be satisfied that I had covered all that I wanted to.

Instead, I want to show grief, if you will allow me to do so. This excerpt was written the night he died two years:

      There should be a sense of relief, in the front of my mind I know that this is what he would have wanted. He went with grace and dignity even after 6 months of fighting something that was so obviously killing him. The tumors could be felt beneath the skin, the oxygen tank was ever present and I believe he was ready to let go in the end. To be done with the act of dying.

The last night I spent with him, dozing on the couch next to that awful hospital bed that invade my grandparents home was a perfect example of the ornery goofball I had always known

“Rachel….Rachel…Rachel…FOLK” he hollered from the bed.

“Ok, Ok I’m up, I’m up! What’s going on?” I said with sleep still heavy in my voice.

“Oh nothing, you just looked so peaceful I thought I would wake you up” he said with      that wry grin in his voice.

After that his breathing went down to about three breaths a minute, but he hung on for another full 24 hours. He was a tenor his entire life and the doctor explained that he was breathing so deep from his diaphragm that he was still getting enough oxygen to survive. God he had a beautiful voice, we have been playing his recordings for days or our sake more than is I suppose. A small comfort for a situation that is anything but.

Plans for the funeral are already completed, now all there is to do is survive the next few days and lay him to rest.

*(Please forgive poor grammar, incorrect puncuation and ranting. It was a long day)*

I thought the act of burying him and knowing that is suffering had ended would bring closure to the whole situation. I worked in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Ohio State University to pay for school and have seen hundreds of people die. In all by 3 cases, it was always a blessing rather than a curse.

Didn’t really work out that way.

I missed him more than I thought possible and lingered with this feeling that was always present, something that gets stuck in your teeth and try as you might you keep noticing it’s presence.

The following excerpt was written last year:

      There is a weight, I can feel it in my chest and in my mind even a year later. I have actively avoided going to see the gravesite, so much so I sat in the car in ninety degree weather just to not take that walk of the hill to see where he rest. The picture in my head is that of his coffin being lowered, Trevor and I were the only ones that could stand with my grandmother as this happened while the others fled to safer distances where they would not have to watch. I envy them.

How is this so impossible still? Memories, songs, sights, smells. I feel like since the end of March I have been consumed by my memories and none of them are good. I want to remember the good things but all I remember is the end. How unpalatable it is to perseverate on the memories that cause pain when there was 24 years of damn near magic where his life was concerned. He would hate this; he would hate that any of us are suffering and he would hate that the memories we seem to be left with are the unsavory ones.

The worst part about this is that HE is the one I would call on advice on how to handle the damning situation. The cycle of anger and grief, well, it sucks. Throw out eloquence Rachel it just sucks the root. The scariest thing about all this is the hopefully irrational fear that I will never remember anything good. Six months of doing his hospice care is what I remember, where is the rest?

He would absolutely hate this.

William Gayle Sovine 1934-2011

William Gayle Sovine 1934-2011

I am not ashamed of these feelings or the fact that I am writing so bluntly about them. When loss takes over, we can easily lose ourselves in it. I sure as hell did. But over the last year the seas have calmed, the clouds have cleared and when I speak about him all I feel is a privilege to know that I am more like him than anyone in the family. He is always with me because he is so much a part of my personality and so much of my history. Today, two years after we carried him from the hospice bed to the ambulance (health care providers, of which my family is full, would not allow anyone else to transport him) all I feel is the warmth of memories.

Kuddos to you if you got this far, I hope you have because seeing in black and white that grief passes is something that is so near and dear to me. So, to a wonderful man that gave me my sense of humor, my drive to work hard and my ability to be an uncanny smartass.

He would absolutely love this.

Gone but Never Forgotten

Gone but Never Forgotten

The Fabric of History Stitches Together (Oh yeah, that was reaching!)


It has been almost 2 years since I lost my grandfather, will be 2 years on April 9th. He was my biggest fan, my own personal cheering section and biggest supporter in shenanigan I got myself into.  When I start missing him I tend to get a little maudlin and go searching for traces of him throughout my home. So every year since his passing my nostalgia leads me to go through the plethora of photographs that he took throughout his life. This year I started to notice a theme that I hadn’t noticed before.

1972

On the Left, my great grandmother Sovine (GG).
On the Right, my great grandmother Guthrie (Mom Mom).
Behind: The knitted blanket made for my grandparent’s wedding in 1954.
Picture taken in 1972.

My great grandmother GG was my grandfather’s mother and the knitter in the family, and as it turns out her knitting is peppered all over these photographs. These range over the course of 42 years with over 5,000 total photographs all told and her knitting has become my new version of Where’s Waldo. 

Traveling to California

In the far right hand corner a blanket that started in West Virginia has traveled through osmosis to California with my Great Uncle Jim and his family.
Taken 1978.

What amazes me is how much interaction there is with her things, especially her blankets. Blankets were always her specialty and they are everywhere! So many of her things are in different states, with different families, snuggling with generations of people and they are all still around today. The appreciation for something not only well made but made with love is evident. Just look how happy my grandma (Mimi) looks after Thanksgiving!

Image

My Mimi fast asleep wrapped in a GG blanket.
Thanksgiving 1984.

I love sharing these photographs, they show without a doubt that no matter what you’ve made or who you made it for, it can last forever. These blankets are still in relatively good condition, but their image in pictures will last forever. We take pictures of the blips in time we want always remember, and even though she and my grandfather are gone, they’ll continue to represent themselves in the pictures we take.

It honors me everyday to be knitting with her needles and creating my own little pieces of history.

Image

My GG in 1956.