Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hold on to your seats

As promised, here is a parade of FOs. Please forgive the terrible quality of the photos- cloudy day, no model, and lack of photo editing. :) Also, hats look goofy on bear heads.

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Sockhead hat from BohoKnits in MadTosh sockyarn in colorway Twain. This is the most recent of the knits to fly off of my needles. It is the second of three sockheads I'm knitting *love the pattern!

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Sockhead the second - I want candy Merino.Tensel from Yarn Pirate. And now, a random assortment of projects that I cannot remember when I finished. I'm guessing these were all knit in 2010, but I could be wrong. It was really a year of shawls. I'm still on the shawl crack. I just took a month or so to knit hats.

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This is the boneyard shawl by westknits knit out of a mustard colored cotton I got in a swap. The color is wonky here because of the clouds.

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This is the honey cowl from MadTosh (kinda gotta thing for them *swoon* ) knit in some purple yarn I got when the Opelika yarn shop closed. I kind of made it into a mobius cowl. Of course it was on purpose, why would you ask that? lol [edited to fix the link and the pattern attribute...doh!]

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This is a close up of a shawl I knit out of some more handspun. There are many of these knocking around the right now. :D

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This is one of my faves. I knit it out of more handspun (loving the handspun this last year). It started as a scarf, but I ran out of yarn, so I just sewed the ends to make an infinity scarf, but it will also fit over me like a caplet. I knit 2 more of these for friends right after this, but I don't remember getting pics of the. Oops.

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This is my first ever project out of Socks that Rock lightweight. The color is moss agate. The pattern is Stitch DC Infinity Scarf. I knit this at NWP in Orlando last Nov. Loved the project. It knit up pretty too. :D Ok. I think that is enough fiber in your diet for today. Whew. I have a few more in my flickr stream if you want to check them out. Knitters can go to my Rav page for more knitterly details. :D

Lack of Knitting Content

On a whim, I flipped back through the last year or so of posts, and man, I haven't posted any actual knitting on here in AGES! We're gonna have to fix that. Keep your eyes peeled today.tomorrow for actual knitting content! :D

Monday, March 28, 2011

Things I Know

This "morning", I rolled out of bed at 1pm before D woke up, and I decided to make him biscuits. He had purchased the sausage and the buttermilk for me last week, but I never got around to doing it. More important things to do like knitting and spinning got in the way. But not this morning. This morning, I decided to do it. And I did. But sitting here just now, enjoying the spoils of my labor, I started thinking about blogging them. That's when it hit me: I have no idea how much of each thing you need for these. I have no idea. I know what it looks like when it's right, but I couldn't tell you a measurement to save my life. I just know. And it was this train of thought that brought me here today. What do we know just because we grew up where we did? I know how to make those biscuits because I saw my mama make them 1000000000000000 times in my life time.

I know that you get a stainless mixing bowl, heap self-rising flour in the center until there is a little mountain, stick your finger into the top of the mountain to make a well (shorter the mountain, wider the well), and then pour veg oil in until it fills the well and runs around the side just enough. Then you add enough buttermilk to make it dough (it took half a quart today). That's all there is to it. Oh, and mix it with your hands no matter how icky it feels. Something about using a regular spoon messes with them.

Mama once made these to make extra money and sold them two to a wax paper envelope at her work. She mixed in bacon chunks or sausage crumbles along with shredded cheese. I like the sausage ones best, so that's what I mixed in this morning. I did have to call and ask Mama what temp to bake them at, but that is a tiny detail that always gets lost. Maybe I really do remember, but I want to talk to Mama when I make them. I'm not sure, but it is the one thing I can never remember.

So this morning, I toast to your health with a biscuit that I just know how to make because. I can't remember her standing me in a chair and telling me the steps, but somehow, I got it all the same. I want to say these are her grandmama's biscuits too, so I'm keeping the tradition of just knowing stuff alive. What do you just know?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quilting to heal

Funnily enough, this post came today when I am thinking of crafting for family after T's death. Dad got me a bunch of T's cowboy/flannel shirts, and I was planning to make Mema and Dad a quilt from them. Now I have new inspiration after the post on WhipUp. I was only going to use fabric from the back cut into squares, but now I wonder what it would look like if I used the front with the pearl buttons or the back shoulders with the cowboy details and piping. I hope that my little crafty project can bring me some comfort and that the finished projects can bring comfort to a family who lost before they were ready.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Little Things

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Thursday before last, the world went sideways for us at the Random Stitches house. We got an early morning call that D's uncle had been beaten by some unknown party and didn't look like he was going to make it. I had to go on in to work before any more details could come to light, but I was really upset. D's uncle (T) was one of the sweetest men I've ever met, and I cried all the way to work trying to figure out what in the world could have made someone mad enough to beat him to death. I managed to zombie through my day since I only had to suck it up and teach 2 classes as the other 2 were (thankfully) testing. We went straight down to the hometown that night to be there when everything started the next day, but T was already gone, and the story was known by this point.

The facts as known at this point: T tried to stop an argument between an 18 yo neighbor boy and his mother (the boy was on the attacking side in this whole drama). Words were exchanged, the boy tried to push T, and T wrapped him up in a bear hug. The two fell to the ground, and T being a late middle age man was not the first to regain his feet. Mr. 18 yo was. Mr. 18 went to kicking on T's face and head, and that's that.

T was brain dead at the hospital, and some of his organs were harvested for donation. I hope that some good comes from this horrible tragedy, and someone lives, sees, breathes better after T's ultimate good deed.

So that was Thursday.

Friday dawned, and because T lived in a poor neighborhood/town, the family had to clean out the house as soon as they could. D and his family went down there to try and get things boxed to move to a storage shed until things settle down. When they went through his truck on Saturday, they found a number of things stashed in the console of the truck. Now to understand this next bit, follow me back a year or two.

I have travelled a lot in the past few years for part of my job, and on one of these random trips across the country, I sent T a postcard. When I saw him again, he was as proud as a new papa about that postcard. Since he liked it, I started sending him a postcard from all of the little trips I would take on the weekends and on business. I loved sending him a card because I knew he would like it.

Flash back to the present and the clean out of the truck.

In the console, along with pictures of D's dad and step mom, D's Mema, and D was the stack of postcards I'd sent from all over the place. He kept them in his truck, right next to him, so that he could keep them safe and so that nothing would happen to them. These were the things he cared most about in life. A few faded pictures and some dog eared postcards.

When I sent those cards, I just sent them to make him smile. I thought he would like them enough to read them, but I never had any idea what they would mean to him. I can't tell this story without crying each time. There is a Jack Johnson song that has lyrics that now make me cry:

There's no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard,
no song that I could sing
but I can try for your heart,
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things,
like a shoebox of photographs,
with sepia tone loving,
love is the answer
at least for most of the questions in my heart,
like why are we here? and where do we go?
and how come it's so hard?
It's not always easy,
and sometimes life can be deceiving,
I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together.


The first lines now make me bawl like a baby. His memorial service was last Saturday, and I counted everything in the church I could see to try and keep myself from crying. The preacher didn't know T, but I was preaching the eulogy in my own head. I keep thinking about those post cards now. They play on my mind all day and night. Those simple little cards sent with little thought or effort meant more to him than I ever knew. It just brought me back to the awe that I have for simple things. Doing simple, good things for people and the impact that those actions could have makes me think about the life I live every day. Mema hot on to me last year at Thanksgiving because I was sending T postcards and not her. I do not regret a single one I've sent now. I'm so happy I sent those to T because they meant so much to him.


So the whole point of this blog post is to think about those small things we could do for people every day that take little time, effort, or money to do. I challenge you and me to do them. Hold the door. Call your grandma. Wave at the strange fellow on the sidewalk. Make someone's day.