Sunday, January 4, 2009

Accomplishments of 2008

My one charitable donation this year was to "Knit One, Save One", caps for preemies and babies in countries less fortunate that our own. Left to right (top row) - Knit Picks Sport Shine cap crocheted by Liz Power (Scotland), fancy knit cap for a boy and fancy knit cupcake cap for a girl by the talented Mrs. Carol Olstad (NJ). Left to right (bottom row) - simply acrylic ruffle cap for girl and Knit Picks Sport Shine cap for boy crocheted both crocheted by me. Thanks everyone - we did some good in 2008, let's do it again in 2009.

January 2008: An Araucania cotton half glove for mom's arthritic hands.

January 2008: Following a second knee surgery, I was home with time on my hands. I'd never crocheted mittens, tried to follow the pattern and found I couldn't. So I reverse engineered them and came up with these. Made from a faux mohair, they are a bit too big, but it was the point of the mittens and not the actual fit of them which mattered. Washing them in hot water will solve everything.

Summer 2008: Bored with a simple single color baby blanket for my baby baskets, I created this afghan. An accidental mixing of geometric shapes. It is made from Lion Brand New Cotton Ease - 50% cotton/50% Acrylic and 100% machine washable and dryable. A new mother's joy.

Here are some more of Karen's Crocheted Creations that made me proud this year:

The lovely Mrs. Laura Crane in a violet mohair scarf (Ruffles will be added for the spring). It is made from a mohair blend which is very light and gives it a look of gossamer.

Alpaca scarf and hat made specifically for Shamika's mom as a Christmas present - doesn't she look happy? This is made from Elsebeth Lavold Chunky AL alpaca.

My first baby sweater - didn't think I could do it - and it accidentally has no seams. This was made for Shamika & Ron Burden's first son Cam'Ron, born November 2008. Its made out of Araucania cotton.

July 2008: Ruffle scarf made from SouthWest Trading Company Soy.

My last project for 2008 was for myself. I first purchased the Classic Elite Nikki yarn (100% wool) in Greenport, NY on a wine tasting weekend with friends. While it rained the first night we were there, I nursed a swollen knee and crocheted myself a hat. I fell in love with the yarn but was unable to find it for six months. Then I found out that Classic Elite renamed it Desert, made it softer/fuzzier. This hat will match ALL of my coats/jackets for the winter/spring. And I have enough yarn left to make a small scarf, thinking of a matching Victoria collar with buttons. Hmmm...

A moment of Impishness over New Year's Weekend. I had just finished winding a ball of black wool and these were the ties around the hank. Felix was sleeping so peacefully, I was able to wrap him like a Christmas present. I was later told he flung the tie off his tail, ripped one off his foot and struggled with the other til mom intervened.

So for 2009, I would like to branch out my crocheting, learn some new stitches, make a serious dent in my "stash", STOP buying yarn (yeah right, that's gonna happen!!) and simply enjoy myself. Along the way I want to learn to knit, but I'm having too much fun crocheting right now to stop.

Sidebar .. Pause for Reflection

Maxx and his littermate, the late great Bogey (on the right). Maxx had been very lonely for the past 5.5 years without his brother Bogey who died suddenly the day that Lance Armstrong won his 3rd (?) straight Tour de France victory. I didn't know how heavily he mourned until we brought the Odd Couple - Felix & Oscar - into the apartment.

Maxx was renamed, Mac Daddy, because his paternal instincts kicked in immediately (well in about a day). Felix & Oscar follow Maxx everywhere, like he is their beacon. It's pretty funny.
A couple of days ago, I got this shot. Kinda creepy because for a split second I didn't know who was Maxx and who was Felix - hard to believe Felix is only 7 months old.
Maxx no longer howls in the apartment all night long. He no longer wakes us up 4 times a night. He sleeps pretty much til 3 or 4a, then wants his snack and goes back to sleep. We (mom & I) are not falling into this pattern with the Odd Couple. Maxx is fed separately and the kittens are left to wonder what is going on. Even if Maxx lives to be 20, I will not be awakened by Felix or Oscar in the middle of the night.
Other posthumous notations here are:
Sebastian, the feral Turkish Van from Texas, now living in Lincolnton, NC with his bipeds The Paris Family. I used to cat sit for him when they lived in Hoboken.

Nova on the left was rescued when she was 3 days old by my mom. Our downstairs neighbors at the time heard that a neighborhood cat gave birth to kittens under the house and as cat haters, they call the Humane Society to come get them. Of course, the buffoons frightened the mother cat away, so these kittens would likely have died. Nova had a brother, mom could only get 2 before the animal control officer threatened her. Nova and her brother were bottle fed by my mom and nursed into kittendom by her and my late cat Topie. At 8 wks I adopted out Nova's brother to a family with an autistic boy. When he was given the cat, the boy came out of his protective shell and started talking. We gave Nova to my friend Liz something like 13 years ago? Anyway, Liz lives in Scotland now, so Nova's a traveller. The cat on her right is Clara, adopted from a shelter in NJ, Liz was convinced the kitten was male and named him Clarence. Upon a visit to the vet for neutering, she was told she had to spay Clarence, because he was a "she". So now her name is Clara.
I love stories like these. Got any to share?
Happy New Year!!