Monday, September 25, 2006


Afghan. The word sounds intimidating, almost as frightening as “sweater”. I am an in-the-moment kinda gal. I don’t tend to be especially patient and this shows through in my knitting. I like to knit things that I can finish quickly. I do not want to spend a large amount of time on any one project. The idea of a full-sized baby blanket practically sends me into a panic attack. Can you imagine spending an entire week or two of knitting time working on one project? Perish the thought.

But what do you give someone who has a terminal illness?

For Mothers’ Day I did not know what to get my mom. I ended up having the girls make her a stepping-stone from a kit I purchased at Michael’s. While the girls and I worked on the project in the back of my mind I thought of the day I would get it back. I wished that I didn’t have to be so aware that such a day would come.

Just before Christmas last year my mom was diagnosed with systemic sclerosis (or scleroderma), which had triggered pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable lung disease. It is fatal. Always.

Another aspect of the systemic sclerosis is raynaud's syndrome. Mom is always cold. I had in mind that I would like to knit an afghan for her birthday, as intimidating as they are. Mom and I share a favorite color: green. I knew the blanket must be green. I found a free pattern (pdf) that I liked online. The pattern is knit with a cable running the length of each of the eight strips that make up the afghan. The yarn I chose to use was Caron Simply Soft in two shades of green along with a raspberry and bone. Each color would have two strips.

I spent not just a few weeks knitting this one project, but an entire summer. I finished the final strip late last night. I did knit other things from time to time, for a change of pace and because I have knitter’s ADD. I can’t have just one set of needles busy at any given moment. The afghan though, was the project in my bag. It was the one that went everywhere with me.

Many hours were passed knitting in the car to and from Southeastern Utah. It went to the library many times, to the children’s museum, to riding lessons, gymnastics, once to a political meeting but most often to church. There was something comforting about working on my mom’s blanket while listening to a teaching of the Word of God.

The eight row, repeating pattern is now burned into my brain. In the beginning I counted every row. Then I went on to only counting every cable twist. Eventually I just knit until it looked like I was close to the end of the strip and counted. I only over-knit once!

I will miss having Mom’s afghan with me, but at the same time I dread the day I'll get it back. While at gymnastics this evening I glanced into my bag and saw the bamboo size 10.5 shorts that I purchased specifically for this project. There they both sat, unemployed. It made me feel a twinge of sadness. Finishing the strips is one step closer to finishing the blanket, which is one step closer to giving it to her, which is one step closer to saying good-bye to her. I sighed and went back to work on another dishcloth.

The pictures above: first, the finished eight strips; second, the final order for the strips - this one was suggested by my husband with a little help from my daughter (it was the fourth one tried); third, the stitch pattern

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Yum - peaches! Saturday we went to a wedding in a small town about a half an hour north of us. This little town is known for their peaches and actually host an annual event called "Peach Days". We decided to buy half a bushel while up there. Oh. My. They are absolutely the tastiest peaches I have ever eaten! I will be going back up there on Tuesday to get more to bottle and make jam.

This bowl of milk and peaches was my dinner tonight. Inspired by Mama Bear's yummy end of summer fruit pictures, I decided to immortalize my evening meal today. Unlike Mama Bear I don't peel my peaches as the furry skins have never bothered me. Call me crazy.

If this keeps up I may consider changing my blog to "anteat" ...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

C is for Cookie

If I made them with half as much butter, does that mean I get to eat twice as many cookies?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

more with the dishcloths

Kinda feels like I fell off the blogging face of the earth. We had some seriously annoying internet problems for a while. We still have trouble from time to time, but nothing like it was so I won't complain.

I have been knitting though, and I guess that is what's important, huh? I've finished a bunch of our Christmas gift dishcloths. All of the patterns I have been using are from The Dishcloth Boutique. I may try some more patterns in the near future, but the three I've made are Textured Slip Stitch, Grandmother's Favorite, and my latest favorite: a modified version of Chinese Waves. I have a Chinese Waves cloth on needles right now. I like the variegated greens of this yarn. When I'm finished I will give this one to my sister. Over the weekend I did another in the rainbow yarn (I think it's actual name is Fiesta, but I'm not sure) for another sister. We were all out of town together for the weekend so I was knitting everyone dishcloths. I still have a lot of cotton that can be knit into dishcloths. I don't know that I will get it all done by Christmas or not. My favorite is the multi-colored variegated cone. The yellow variegated cone has the beginnings of a cloth my nine-year-old is knitting. The other colors I've enjoyed knitting include, fiesta, the green variegated, and white. I wouldn't have ever considered that the color of yarn would have an effect on how I felt about the knitting, but it does.

Other knitting I've been working on includes a burial gown and a preemie blanket, both for LucyBug. Also, there is a light at the end of afghan the tunnel. I am nearly finished with the seventh strip, and the pattern calls for eight. I may do one or two more, as it turned out I accidentally knit it a bit longer than it was supposed to be. We shall see how it goes.