Category Archives: Charity

Oh my aching tooth

I decided last night that I’m going to post more regularly, if only to keep a record of my days, so fair warning!

This morning O woke up with his face red and swelled up. A closer inspection showed tiny blisters all over his face, arms, legs, neck, back, etc. so the culprit was determined to be poison ivy. He and his friends spend a lot of time in the woods climbing trees and building forts, so it was only a matter of time before he ran into problems with this noxious plant. (We since found out the friend he was with actually had to go to the doctor today as his poison ivy was even worse.)  Poor O was in misery, so I gave him some allergy medication, then headed off to CVS downtown and dropped $40 on assorted creams, sprays, and washes. Once he applied them he felt much better, and after a couple hours, the swelling and redness had been reduced significantly. In the meantime, I stripped his bed of sheets, blankets and pillowcases and gave them a good long wash in hot water, and also did the same with the clothes he was wearing while he was in the woods. Although the oils in poison ivy don’t seem to bother my skin, I know repeated exposure can cause a reaction, so I made sure to use rubber gloves. That’s all I need, a new medical condition!

So … we had to cancel O’s hair appointment this afternoon, and instead he headed off to a friend’s house for a sleepover. I guess he was feeling well enough to go see Jurassic World with him tonight.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get a new crown on one of my back teeth. My dentist told me the old one needed to be replaced, even though it wasn’t bothering me. I grit my teeth (no pun), shelled out the $1200, and last week went in to get a temporary crown put on … and darn, wouldn’t you know it, but I’ve had a toothache almost every day since then. I’m hoping when the new crown goes on tomorrow that the pain will go away. Tooth pain makes me exceedingly cranky.

We’re planning a family reunion for July 11 up in Vermont that I’m very much looking forward to, along with a memorial service for my Aunt Pam, who passed away in January. I started a private Facebook group to keep everyone posted about times and gathering places, and wow … almost 40 family members have joined! I often hear people complain about family reunions, but I love them. Part of it is I like knowing that I belong to a tribe, but it also makes me feel connected to family who have passed away and who I loved very much. Those memories are precious, and I think it’s important to keep memories and stories alive, moreso as I age.

Crafting

I finished knitting a feather and fan baby bonnet last night/early this a.m. (I couldn’t sleep because of said tooth) and plan to give it to my knitting group friend K for her daughter’s Girl Scout project (sending knit caps and mittens to Syrian refugees). I knit one a couple weeks ago with a pink ribbon, so this one I’ll festoon with a blue.

Feather and fan bonnet

I’m between knitting projects, except for a pair of “vanilla” socks, and am itching to cast on for a sweater. I did some swatching last week for an Amy Herzog/Custom Fit sweater (“Charlie’s Cardigan“), but haven’t yet mustered the energy to do all my measurements. Plus, I’m still waiting to see if anyone from my Thursday a.m. knitting group wants to knit along with me. Now I’m toying with the idea of knitting Meg Swansen’s Garland Necklace Yoke sweater. I have a bunch of cream Paton’s wool, and was thinking a delft blue wool would look nice as a contrast.

Last night during my late owl web surfing on eBay, I ordered two vintage 1960s Reynolds knitting pattern books I’ve had my eye on for some time. When they come in, I’ll do a review.

As for sewing, there’s nothing to report. Still giving Melody a wide berth. My husband left a pair of chinos and two shirts for mending on the back of my chair. (I love to mend/fix/repair stuff … it’s in my frugal Yankee nature.) These tasks don’t seem so daunting so I’ll get on them after my dentist appointment tomorrow.

Speaking of mending … I noticed that Jean Miles had ordered a new book called Sequence Knitting, which sounded interesting. About five minutes later, I stumbled upon a comprehensive interview with the author, Cecelia Campochiaro, on Tom of Holland’s mending blog. I think this is the Universe telling me I need this book. Sixty dollars is a lot but I like how the author put her book together, with a lot of care and detail.

Knitting for Syria

The daughter of a friend of mine from my Thursday morning knitting group is embarking on a very worthwhile Gold Award Community Service Project for Girl Scouts, and when I learned about it, I volunteered to help spread the word … er, a month ago. (I apologize, K!)

But here I am, and here’s what she’s doing: it’s a charity knitting project called Warm Hands, where knitted items are sent over to Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey, and other countries. Along with the knitted item — which can be mittens, hats, sweaters, blankets, socks, whatever — she asks that you include a handwritten note of encouragement for the recipient. The items will be sent to a school on the border of Turkey and Syria, where they will be gifted to families in need.

More details about Jules and her inspiring work here and specific details on what she’s looking for here. I have already completed one hat and am hoping to get to a pair of mittens within the next week.

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In other news … what a month we’ve had around here! I’ve been running back and forth to Connecticut to care for an ailing family member, managing my son’s busy social schedule, and trying to keep up with all the pressing household tasks that need doing, especially now that spring is officially here and I’ve got that burning need to tidy my life up. My knitting time has been reduced drastically, although I have finished a couple projects that I just haven’t had time to photograph, and now that warm weather is here, I find myself heading to my sewing studio (a/k/a a corner of my husband’s home office). I’ve sewn four tailored shirts so far, and this week started a pair of (drumroll) JEANS. Like I’ve been preaching here for the last year or so, I want to sew clothes for the life I have now, not the life I wish I had, so jeans make total sense for me. Plus, wearing an awesome pair of well-fitting jeans makes me feel like a million bucks.

Making jeans...the fly front.

I’ve finished the hard part of the project — the fly front — as well as the front and back pockets, so all that’s left to do is seaming and topstitching. Unfortunately, my Viking 400 started suffering some internal distress while I was zig-zagging, so I packed it up yesterday and brought it to the sewing machine doctor for some TLC. I could have continued the project on one of my–ahem–four other machines, but decided instead to carefully pin all the seams together so I could try them on. The bad news? They were huge on me. The good news? They were huge on me. I’ve got a fair bit of work to do to get them to fit me just right.

The pattern I’m using is from Angela Kane’s members-only website. I’ve been a member of her site for a couple years, and for $5 per annum, it’s a real value. I’m also augmenting the instructions by watching Angela Wolf’s jean-making class on Craftsy, which I also highly recommend. Angela Kane doesn’t get into distressing the denim, so I’ve learned a lot of good stuff from Angela Wolf, who is the Distressing Diva.

If these jeans go well, I plan to make another pair … with a decidedly Anglophile twist. 😉