Tuesday, January 15, 2019

For A Friend's Baby

A special friend is having a baby and a shower on January 26.  I had to wait until I was paid to buy the yarn and the pattern.  I didn't just fall in love with any pattern.  It had to be a set with a lovely figured pattern in Norwegian. That is not one of my languages.

I know my friend would love it.  I think I have a way figured out.  The same stitches are featured in a dress designed by the same person and it's offered in English!  I can compare the two.  There's also Google Translate and translation offered by DROPS. If I hadn't knit anything like this before, I wouldn't bother.  I had some success figuring out a Japanese pattern. 

I ordered the yarn from Webs which is in a nearby state.  I've gotten their yarn quickly before.  I wonder if I can really pull it off.  Sometimes I can be too ambitious.  I keep telling myself these are pieces for a tiny, little baby.  I had better start printing the patterns and translating them.

Pass Up LG Commercial Front-Load Washer

Tonight I decided to try the LG Commercial Washer with Inverter Direct Drive at my local laundry mat.  My favorite washers were being used.  I forgot about the older front-load washers.  I wish I hadn't.  It seems like the LG washers are only good if your clothes are basically clean anyway. Or possibly you have to fill it only half full. I did not pack my clothing in. It was not all full and the clothing was still loose.

Not all the cat puke was removed from my clothing (one shirt and a couple socks).  This is the first time in using laundry mats in recent memory that this happened. Some of the puke was nicely broken up and distributed on all the clothing.  I had to shake them out when I took them out of the machine. I never had to do that before. The cat puke stains on my jeans aren't gone either so I have to wash them over again.  The shirt I'll do by hand.  I saw there was some stray detritus left in the washer. There is something in me that makes me really not like taking my laundry out to wash, so having to wash something twice is very annoying.

If you're someone who's likely to have cat puke, dog puke, or kid puke on your clothing, and maybe just food stains in general, I don't think you want to use these machines.  I guess the future the engineers envisioned was entirely devoid of mess and bother, food, pets and babies.

Monday, November 12, 2018

C Diff Awareness Month

November is C Diff Awareness Month. My mother died from advanced dementia brought on by repeated relapses of clostridium difficile (c. diff).  C. diff is an antibiotic-resistant gastrointestinal infection that kills more people than HIV, AID, and drunk driving combined, yet people are not very aware of the danger they and their loved ones are in. 

Deaths from c. diff aren't reported in the media  I have a feeling if they were, we would be shocked. C. diff infections and related deaths in nursing homes, where our most vulnerable relatives are, are not reported to New York State government. At least in Massachusetts where Mom died, her death had to be reported to the state government, but it was not publicized (until now). If we are to protect our relatives and stop c. diff deaths, this has to change. C. diff infections and deaths must be reported and published. We need to know how well facilities are or are not controlling and eliminating c. diff infections and where not to let relatives go.

I miss my mother every day.  Last fall she was in the hospital every full moon from August to October, twice with a septic episode, once with a fever.   I've been reliving it emotionally, since I had to be strong last year.  It's been hard, especially since at work I have to help medical offices request procedures that allude to what my mother had or experienced.  I keep feeling like I have to get into the car and drive somewhere to visit Mom, but I can't anymore.  

I've never really enjoyed the winter holiday season and I'm not looking forward to it at all this year.  For years, my maternal relatives only paid attention to Mom and me when it suited them, maybe once every few years combined.  We only celebrated the holidays together by ourselves.  Now there is no one else.  Even my cats aren't getting along very well right now.  

Use antibiotics only when you really have to. Be careful of where your family members go for medical treatment or hospitalization.  Make sure all surfaces are cleaned.  Clean them yourself if you want and do it repeatedly.  Research the facility where s/he is.  I think how well they take care of the patient is also reflective of how well the facility is taken care of.  We need figures on patient infections and deaths from c. diff to be released to see how safe our relatives will be.  I tried very hard to get Mom out of the awful place she was in, but it was already too late.    For more information please visit the Peggy Lillis Foundation.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival 2018

I made myself go to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival 2018.  After losing my mother this past April, I haven't felt like doing anything until this came up.  Once I got there, I found two friends were there, too, and I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon with them.

I really didn't want to spend much money, but I found this yarn:

This is cormo fiber from Battenkill Fiber in Washington County, New York.  This is the softest cormo I have ever felt.  I fell in love with the colors somehow.  There is delicate shading that you can't quite see in the photo.  I think I was looking for something different from my usual colors of purple and turquoise.

I am one of those people who fall in love with colors the way they look in the skein.  I don't always like the appearance when it's knitted up.  It's the case with this colorway because of the dramatic contrast between the plum and the other colors.  I think if I knit using two skeins I may come up with something I like.  I'm determined to like it because I wasn't happy about the amount of money I spent on four skeins.  

I believe I can knit the Flying Feathers cardigan out of the yarn. I hope the pattern will look all right.

Flying Feathers

Escaping to Ravelry

It ended up a stressful week and I find visiting Ravelry this morning a restful escape.

First came the stress of finding the last parts of my Halloween outfit after working over-time Monday evening.  Finding my black skirt was the worst.  I did Tuesday morning, though, and cleaned it up Tuesday evening.  Many people dressed up for Halloween and it was great fun.  I think we all needed a chance to play and have some fun.  However, I was very tired the next day.  I worked more over-time.  At the end of the week with activities winding down, I started to miss my mother more.  Saturday I messed up a volunteer activity for work and injured my pride.  Then a gullible cousin with contrary political opinions to me began to argue with me after falling prey to fake news.  All that led to an emotional crash for a while.  I woke up with a migraine.

Ravelry is good for many things. Through messages I can catch up with friends.  I can find out about various knitting topics.  I can look up yarn products and shop for yarn and patterns.  I can learn about various non-knitting topics and get help that way.  Because of lack of time and energy to travel I enjoy finding patterns on Ravelry.

On the whole, after developing an allergy to artificial fragrance I don't do much shopping in stores anymore. I try to at least narrow down my choices on-line and then go to the store.  I found yarn and bead stores disturbed my allergies the least.  Unfortunately due to the economy we are losing both in my area.

A few of the projects I found today:

Flowers in the Rain Shawl

I love these next patterns.  I don't know if I'll ever get to knit them.

This is where genealogy and knitting meet up.  I have Scottish ancestry from both sides of the family, with fairly notable ancestors.  I've always been drawn to Scottish things, and so has my mother.  It turns out many images and designs that we liked were Scottish in origin.  Mom was lucky enough to visit Scotland.  I can barely afford to leave my state right now.

I find I'm looking at patterns now with my ancestry in mind.  Finding Scottish and Irish patterns is fairly easy.  I'm not sure if I can attempt the intricate Scandinavian patterns I've found.  I did find a couple, though:

Leafing Cowl / Løvspretthals


The designer is Norwegian.  On a local radio station they started a silly discussion about nose warmers. I thought the idea of a nose warmer was pretty silly anyway since cowls would work better and look much less silly.  Then I remembered I wanted to knit one for the same reason myself.  When I was looking for yarn to knit a gift, I found myself looking for yarn for this.  I'm trying not to spend money needlessly.  It didn't take much pondering of my stash to realize I had a yarn to try, Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush Paint.  The gauge worked up perfectly and the alpaca should be warmer than wool and help negate any wind.  I'm hoping to obtain the worsted bulky yarn in the same colorway to knit matching leg warmers and mitts.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Loss of A Lovely Woman

Juanita M. Winchell, 85, lost her long battle against the antibiotic-resistant gastrointestinal bacteria clostridium difficile on 4 April 2018. at Timberlyn East Nursing Home in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Juanita was a long-time resident of Columbia County, residing in Philmont and Hudson, N.Y. She most recently resided at Bethany Village in West Coxsackie, NY. She worked in several sewing mills in Columbia County. She retired from Sunoco Crellin Plastics in Chatham, N.Y. where she was a press attendant, head trainer, and member of the initial McDonald's product team, receiving an award at corporate headquarters for process improvement in 1998. She was a Girl Scout troop leader and participated in bowling teams in Hudson and in the Columbia Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Juanita also obtained training in reflexology, Reiki and furniture refurnishing. Decades ahead of business trends, Juanita attempted to establish a business sewing and selling reusable fabric shopping bags. After retirement, she earned her real estate license and worked for Barns and Farms Realty in its Germantown and Hudson offices. She adopted several cats from the Columbia-Greene Humane Society. She greatly appreciated her British Isles, colonial Dutch, and Native American ancestry. 

Juanita was born in Torrington, Conn., the daughter of Frederick E. Wilson and Mary M. Vandivier. She is predeceased by her parents; brothers Harvey, Sidney, Richard, Everett, Donald, Raymond Wilson; sisters Mildred Alstrup, Florence Davis, Dorothy Baccei, Nina Joyce Carrozzo; and her former husband Avery Winchell. Survivors include daughter Debra, sister Edna Westmoreland and many nieces and nephews. 

There will be a private funeral service at Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home in Torrington, Conn. Internment will be in Hillside Cemetery, Torrington, Conn. next to family members. Memorial services in West Coxsackie and Torrington will be held later this year. Contributions in Juanita's memory to the Peggy Lillis Foundation, 266 12th Street #6, Brooklyn, NY 11215 would be appreciated to help prevent further clostridium difficile deaths.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Knitting and Crying

Just over a month ago I lost my mother.  It seems like all I want to do now is knit.  I think it's the only time that I feel better.  The day after the funeral, I went to a local yarn shop and bought some yarn in greens and blues that made me feel better.  I've been knitting a heavy shawl with it to wear over jackets on chilly mornings.  When I stop knitting, I start thinking about my mother and start crying.  She was my only close family. It's hard to sleep at night.