Well, Hello There!… again…

It’s been a long time coming, this post. I’ve been distracted by a number of things, most especially the need to address a health crisis of my mom’s – she is 88, and we’ve come to a point where she just can’t live all alone in the home she loves, but where none of her kids are nearby.

Yeah, I suppose it could be argued that it’s partly our fault – we followed our lives to places hundreds, even thousands of miles away, but they are our lives, and that’s where they are. We’ve been suggesting strongly for several years that it would be great for Mom to live nearer to one of us, but y’know, ya can’t tell ’em anything. Wanted to have her close by before it became impossible for her to live alone…

Well, it came to that point at the end of October, and it took till just before Christmas to find her a place near me that would take her kitty, too. This group-home, residential-care-world is a whole new thing to me; amazing how many there are, amazing how regulated and yet still so different, amazing the range of abilities/disabilities/attitudes of the residents… I know for certain that I could never, ever run one, but I do have some opinions about the ones I’ve seen so far, which I’ll save for another day. Along with the story of transporting a 14-pound cat in an airline-approved carrier far better suited to a gerbil-sized pet. (He appears to have forgiven me.)

So Mom is here now, about 7 miles away instead of 800. There are definite advantages in this, but there are also some extra constraints on my ability to blog, to knit, to just contemplate projects, or my navel, or whatever… I wake up in the middle of the night and fret about things like when is the new supplemental medical insurance going to kick in, have we done the right thing, what if, how come… And still, it’s great to know that I’m going to take her to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit tomorrow – I’m going to find her a place to get a pedicure and take her there soon – we can take her out to dinner once a week – I can go with her to her medical appointments and be her advocate – there are things we can do now that she’s so close that we just can’t do when it means a 12-hour drive or getting on an airplane.

I just wish she’d stop saying she’s going home next month. But she’s determined… And ya can’t tell ’em anything.

On the knitting front, Christmas has come and gone. Photos of the things I made for Christmas:

A manly pose for some manly mitts...

A manly pose for some manly mitts for my nephew… (“Hulk LIKE puny human’s baby alpaca Aire mitts! SOFT!”) (I think Devyn is a natural hand model, don’t you?)

And the lovely feminine mitts for his lovely lady...

And the lovely mitts for my nephew’s lovely lady… And yes, the single stripe was intentional. Mostly.

Love this infinity scarf, and the niece who received it. Here modeled by my darling daughter.

Love this infinity scarf, and the niece who received it. Here modeled by my darling daughter.

Lovely blend of silk, merino, and cotton - fiddly to work with, but great drape. And it's very long for my lovely tall great-niece!

Lovely blend of silk, merino, and cotton – fiddly to work with, but great drape. And the scarf is very long for my lovely tall great-niece!

It's subtle - do you see it?

It’s kinda subtle – do you see it? There’s one on each end of the scarf. Grafting. Ick.

I do love knitting things for other people. I love the whole process of deciding what they might like, of making something especially for a certain person based on something about them. I love the feeling of thinking about them, of wishing happiness for them (maybe it’s even like a prayer) with every stitch. Especially for those who may have been having a rough time, I hope they somehow feel all the love that is knitted into their scarves, mitts, hats, etc. It’s my way of sending a hug, a pat on the back, an encouraging smile. I hope they “get it.”

The blue scarf’s subtle pattern is adapted from Knitty for Dr. Who’s dishcloth pattern. The other two scarves were my own creations – the infinity scarf did seem to take infinity to complete, but almost every knitting project has those moments – the mitts I love because hey, NO THUMBS! I also did some mittens for my mom in the baby alpaca Aire – so soft, so warm! But I forgot to take a photo… And I whipped out four pairs of (thumbed) mitts for my niece, her husband, son, and sister-in-law – also forgot to take photos, but they were remarkable mostly because they didn’t get them till January 21. For my great-niece, I made a slightly different pair, based on a character she uses in her animation:

Harley's giraffe mitts!

Harley’s giraffe mitts!

And for my cousin Karen, who has gone so far above and beyond for me and my mom and the rest of the family, I made a Hitchhiker that I hope perfectly matches her coloring and her suede jacket… Each stitch of this beauty (I’m pretty proud of this scarf, actually) represents a thank you and a blessing. And I’m not one to throw blessings around willy-nilly.

Sadly, there's no way to crop out my baby-blue camo pj's and still see the lovely 42 teeth...

Sadly, there’s no way to crop out my baby-blue camo pj’s and still see the lovely 42 teeth…

Finally, my niece who is an actor was in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” at Madison Square Garden this Christmas season (cool!!!). While I was doing mitts, I was inspired by her costume and made her these:

Mitts a la Trixie..

Mitts a la Trixie Who…

Currently, I’m working on my first pair of toe-up, two-at-a-time socks. Got them about halfway done and realized they were gonna be way too big for a human, and I also probably wouldn’t have enough yarn to get past turning the heel… Pulled them out and started over. Upside of that is that I think I really know the Judy Becker magic cast on now. Brilliant! Love the yarn, it’s the stuff I bought from Fishknits back at Lambtown (seems so long ago!) – the color is Forest Creek, Strong Heart 2-ply fingering weight.

Love self-striping yarn!

Love self-striping yarn! Love the YO-K2TOG little holes, too!

My daughter is coveting them, which makes me happy… and will probably eventually make her happy, too, when I give them to her. Because that’s what moms do.