the cow jumped over the moon | category: wool yarn


the cow jumped over the moon

good things

Hello everyone:  I had to take a little break from some social media. And I'm back, with a few good things as of late:

Denise and I went to see Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Cleveland Museum of Art two Sundays ago.  It was absolutely fantastic. I never got to see his work in person back in the '80s.  Gosh he was (we were) so young then!

I stopped by the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse on the way - what a serene and sweet place:

A few years ago, I promised myself that I would either use up a bunch of fabric I have sitting around, or donate it. So I started my first scrap quilt.  I am going to make a few minor changes to the layout, and I am a bit nervous about sewing it - I am not at all precise so we'll see how it turns out. I also promised myself that I wouldn't buy any new fabric, and I did keep that promise.  All I bought was spray basting and batting.  Once it's done, I'll post the finished quilt.  It's quite small - only 9 - 5" blocks by 10 - 5" blocks - it (will hopefully) fit on a piece of fabric I have had for years that I'm using as backing:

Another thing I have wanted to learn for a long time was fair isle/color work/stranded knitting. So I am knitting this hat - the pattern is here and yarn by Candice at The Farmers Daughter Fibers who I happen to follow on Instagram. It's quite fun and I'm happy how it's turning out!  Since it's my first time, I am really twisting my yarn a lot so I'm knitting very slow. Between the quilt and the knitting, I am checking the news less often, which is good for my mental health. (I'm still making phone calls, writing letter, etc, though)

And last but not least!! Happy Valentine's Day (early) to us!! A darling new flock of chicks!!!  It's so good to have chicks again - been too long (I think it's been over two years since we have had chickens   Robert reminded me that it has been three and a half years since we have had chickens! Wow).  We named them (and this is not in the order of the photo) Bettie, Hettie, Lettie, Nettie -  and Myrtle!  (I cannot stop laughing when I say "...and Myrtle!").  Beware that I'll be boring the pants off of you all by posting lots of photos of them in upcoming blog entries :)

EDIT:  If you have never seen a baby chick fall over falling asleep - well, you have to!! When we first had chickens, and saw that happening, I thought the chick had died.  Now I am laughing all the time when I see them do it.  Ahhh good things :)

how to pass time while at the hospital

Robert had a heart catheterization (and a bunch of other tests) on Friday. To keep calm, I loaded up a bag full of stuff to do while I was waiting for him. I felt like I was 'mommy-ing' myself (remembering when I would pack up things to keep my son occupied when we were on a road trip or visiting). The bag included a book, my knitting (I'm knitting more caps for monks), and my old school Nintendo DS.

how to pass time while at the hospital

We arrived at 11:00 a.m. This is pretty much what I did while waiting and trying not to stress too much...
  • knitted - while he was in pre-op, I finished a cap but didn't cast on another because I wanted to...
  • play my DS, until I was called by the nurse to see Robert off to his heart cath and I went back to the waiting room and then I... 
  • started to read - until a smelly woman (I feel bad writing this out as I don't want to be mean or disrespectful) was sitting near me in the waiting room and I had to leave, so I...
  • walked the halls and tried to find a spot to get cell phone reception, and then I... 
  • walked the halls some more, and went into the bathroom, where I took out the scissors from my knitting bag and cut my bangs.
  • Going back to the waiting room, I was able to read and also play my DS for a bit more, but I was...
  • a little hungry so I went to the cafeteria and was surprised at how cheap everything was, so I purchased a brat with grilled onions and peppers, topped with mustard. They didn't have Coke Zero but they had the Pepsi (boo hiss) equivalent, so I had that instead, and while I was just finished eating...
  • the buzzer went off so I went to see how Robert was doing. Hospitals now give you those buzzers like they give you in chain restaurants, to tell you when your table is ready, or in this case when your loved one is out of surgery. 
He had a few more tests and we left the hospital around 4:30.  All the tests that had immediate results looked good. On Monday, we're going to see one of his doctors to hear about the other results, and on Tuesday he has a dental appointment for surgery clearance. Then they'll schedule his open heart/aortic value replacement surgery.

In other news, since I was able to extend both the bisque and glaze firings, this test bowl looks pretty good - only a few tiny tiny pinholes, and no blistering or pitting!

how to pass time while at the hospital

how to pass time while at the hospital

It's Super Bowl Sunday!! I'll probably be rooting for the Denver Broncos - mostly because I had a fondness for them back in the day. But honestly, we'll just enjoy watching the game and be happy with whichever team wins.

more monks' skull caps

I mentioned in this post in 2012 about how I knit skull caps for monks in the mountains in New Mexico yearly for the past several years.

Recently, I received an email from the New Mexico monastery, telling me about how another group of monks came to visit, and they admired the caps.  New Mexico monks wanted to know if I could make some for them as well.

I mentioned this on my LiveJournal page, and a pal from there donated money for the yarn!!! (I have been without a job for awhile, so money is quite tight in our household right now).  Now the New Mexico monks had offered to pay for the yarn, but monks are just as broke as we are - they do not get funding from the diocese, and live off the land, selling handmade goods (sound familiar?) and I didn't feel good asking for money from them. The LiveJournal pal who donated the money for the caps, I have never even met in real life! I am so very grateful for her generosity and thoughtfulness - thank you R!!!

more monks' skull caps
These are actually dark brown as this second monastery is a Carmelite one, and brown is the color of their robes.
The New Mexico monks wear  black caps and robes, as they are Benedictine.
Now I better get back to knitting as I would like to get these in the mail on Monday!

knitting ponytail hats

It has been cold, and we keep our heat pretty low in our home.

My hair is kind of long - actually the longest it has been in 20 years or so.  The joys of not having a real job - I don't have to worry too much about having a bad hair day!  But when I do worry about bad hair, even though only me, my husband and our animals would notice, it's nice to pull my hair into a ponytail.

Now I wear hats in the house all the time in the cold weather.  So I wanted a hat to wear that could accommodate a ponytail.  Checking out Ravelry, I found two patterns, and I made both versions, and I also made two of each  (the other set I will give to a friend).

One has buttons and one doesn't.  (click on the links for free patterns from Ravelry!)  I modified them both a little, adding stitches here, changing the decrease pattern there.

Here's the one with the buttons.  I used a worsted weight (though it felt thinner than a worsted) wool yarn:

knitting ponytail hats

Here's the button-less one.  I used inexpensive acrylic aran/bulky weight yarn:

knitting ponytail hats

I need to purchase some more of the acrylic yarn since I would like to make a few more of the non-buttoned ones to give to friends and family.

more hexipuffs!

I have decided to do this quilt in all wool, using  as many scraps/tiny left-over balls of yarn of various yarns weights.  While using worsted weight, using eight instead of ten stitches on each needle seems to work okay. I'm not too worried to make sure each hexipuff is exactly the same size, though they are quite close.

Here's how many I have done so far!

more hexipuffs!

monks' skull caps

I had a very dear friend who lived in New Mexico, and my son and I used to visit her as often as we could between 1995 or so and before she passed on a few years ago from cancer.

In Santa Fe, there is a little gift shop for the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert.  I would stop into that shop nearly every time we were in Santa Fe.

Then in 2006 there was a documentary/reality TV show about these monks.  I was mesmerized.  I was raised Catholic, and although I do not follow the Catholic faith anymore, I have deep respect and love for the nuns and priests I have met along the way.

So I contacted the Monastery and asked them, since they live in the mountains of New Mexico, if they needed hand-knit wool socks.  They said that they really would love wool skull caps, so I started knitting them every year.  Usually I send about 5-6 per autumn/winter season. Sometimes more, depending on what they need.   I made five this time around, but only photographed four!

monks' skull caps

The pattern I used is Missy Siers' "Skull Cap Knitting Pattern for Service Members".  I make the cap between 3-1/2 and 4 inches before I decrease.

hand-knitted wool socks

I must confess, I love wearing hand-knitted wool socks.  I actually love to wear any type of hand-knitted sock, but wool is my favorite, especially when the weather starts getting chilly.

Here are some of the socks I have been knitting lately.  They are plain and simple, no fancy lacework, just ribbing.  I have done more elaborate-type knitted socks (if you're on Ravelry, let me know), but for everyday type socks, I like plain old ribbed socks.

hand-knitted wool socks
I use two patterns that I  meld together.  The first is a pattern that is no longer available on-line which  is called "Dawn Brocco's One-Color Lopi Socks."    The second is the amazing Silver's Sock Class.   If you are a knitter and are a little scared to try to knit socks, hop on over to Silver's site.  Her tutorial is wonderful.  (Also, another site I love is  Amy's videos are so helpful, and she is a great teacher.  There is a terrific forum over there, too.)

These are top-down socks. Perhaps this winter I'll learn bottom-up socks.  Oh and I don't do magic loop - these are all knitted with double-pointed needles (aka dpns), continental-style. 
good thingshow to pass time while at the hospitalhat attack - knitted capsmore monks' skull capsknitting ponytail hats+ 100 hexipuffsmore hexipuffs!monks' skull capshand-knitted wool socks

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