Thursday, November 20, 2008

Miscellaneous Thursday

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my starling trapping post. I believe that's the most comments I've ever gotten since I started blogging and I certainly enjoyed reading what you all had to say on this subject.

I've been busy this week working on some of the things on my "Projects to Be Completed by the End of November" list. I finished this prayer shawl last Sunday. This is one of my "Pay It Forward" projects. I hope to get it shipped off to the recipient this weekend.

Here are some "chemo caps" I knitted for Cari at the Undomestic blog.
I originally thought I was going to use some soft cashmere/merino blend yarn and then when I read the care instructions on the ball band label it said that hand washing was required. I don't know about you, but my handwashable wool items tend to just pile up in the laundry room before I get around to handwashing them. I figured if Cari wasn't feeling well the last thing she probably wants to do is handwashing her hats and if someone's coming in to help her with chores, they won't have to worry about them either. The brown hat on top is a machine washable wool/acrylic blend and the 2 hats on the bottom are 100% machine wash & dry acrylic (Soft Yarn by Red Heart). I have never used this yarn before and I loved knitting with it. I also loved trying out these 3 new patterns from Knitting Pattern Central.

I ordered some new knitting pattern books last week from Amazon and they arrived on Monday. I'll save these projects for January (after I get my Christmas projects finished up).

Fortunately, these knitting patterns have been fairly simple (good for multi-tasking), so I've also been watching The West. I really like all of the Ken Burns documentaries and The West is no exception. I tried getting it from NetFlix, but was only able to receive Part 1, so I checked with my local library and once again, they came to my rescue and were able to get Parts 2-9 for me on an interlibrary loan. Because these are a 7-day loan, I've been watching a couple parts each evening. Tonight after supper I'm heading back to the library to return Parts 5 & 6 and pick up Part 7 (which arrived yesterday at the library) and then I hope to finish watching the last 3 parts before Saturday.
Have any of you watched this series? What did you think of it? I'm learning a lot of things about the events that settled the West and changed the United States forever, but I have to say there are also a lot of things revealed in these stories that make me less than proud to be an American--especially in regards to how the Native Americans were dealt with.


Mama Pea said...

I enjoy so much seeing your knitted projects. Everything looks so perfect! How you manage to get so much done is a mystery to me. Loved the shawl colors. The "chemo caps" look like they are sooo soft. Your kind, caring and giving personality shines through the pages of your blog. Bless you!

Chicken Mama said...

I could really go into a diatribe about(me) being an "American" . . . in relation to Native Americans. I've always wondered HOW one group decides that they're "better" than another. 'Dances with Wolves' is one of my favorite movies, but I always feel HORRIBLE after watching it. Horribly GUILTY, that is (to be an "advantaged white" person). Blech. Our ancestors were terrible. Probably only as a result of ignorance, but terrible all the same.

Onto a MUCH lighter subject . . . hmmmm, that's a BEAUTIFUL "burnt-orange" with "natural colors" shawl you've made! ;) I LOVE the hats, too! The brown braided one, then the blue, then the delicate white. Purty!

Marsha said...

What a wonderful thing making those hats for Cari. I am sure she will appreciate the warmth they will hold for her as she continues her treatment.

KGMom said...

Wow--you are one fast knitter. Everything looks wonderful. And I am glad to have the link for knitting patterns.
What is the specific name of the first hat--the white one?
The family joke here is that while I knit blankets, I take years and years to do so. No, really.
I am working on my daughter's graduation blanket right now, and she has finished her master's degree. Did I mention--graduation was supposed to be from high school. . .then from college. So I need to keep it moving.

Susan Gets Native said...

I love all of your stuff, Ruthie.
I just broke out the cutie mittens again, the ones you made for me last year! It's COOOOLD here.

*hearing the snickers of all the Minnesoootans who think we are all sissies*

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Mama Pea. I've pretty much done nothing but knitting this week (and a little laundry and cleaning), but those buckets of apples are still sitting in the garage and the bathtub still needs scrubbing.....sigh

Yes Chicken Mama, you've voiced exactly what I'm referring to.
Glad you like the knitting! :-)

Hi Marsha,
Cari told me in an e-mail she would appreciate the hats (until her hair starts growing back)--especially now that it's gotten cold. They ARE warm--I had to try them on (for sizing purposes!)

Hi Donna,
I really like knitting hats--an evening or two and I'm all done! The white hat is called "Georgian Lace Cap" and it's also available as a free download from
I have some "older" projects still lurking in my closets too (that scarf I started 3 years ago is on my November completion list). Blankets are nice this time of year because they keep you warm while you're working on them.

Hi Susan,
I'm glad you're still using those mitts. I have a pair at work that I've been wearing since October.
(those are shivers you're hearing--not snickers!)

Beth said...

You are an amazing fast knitter. I'm glad you show us what you make, it is inspiring. I am taking a knitting class and trying to get my fingers comfortable with the action--I'm not to the point of watching a miniseries while knitting yet but I have gotten to the point where I'm not crying while I knit.

Shellmo said...

The scarf and the hats are beautiful - and I love the intricate patterns on those hats too!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Beth,
Congratulations on tackling a knitting class. I've been reduced to tears on some projects too, but I'm glad to hear you've gotten past that stage! Keep Stitchin'

Thanks Shelley. It looks intricate, but really just a series of yarn over & knit 2 together. Lace knitting is a lot easier than people think--just a matter of following a graph and counting.

Dana and Daisy said...

your prayer shawl looks vaguely familiar! lol!

my old blog...

RuthieJ said...

Hi Dana,
Thanks for the link--yes, that looks like the exact same yarn. This shawl was in the huge gift of yarn and projects my friend Don gave me last summer. I've made prayer shawls before, but never used the "standard pattern" till this one. I like the way the yarn stripes and it's really nice and soft after washing it.

Anonymous said...

The prayer shawl is sooo pretty. I thought that blue cap is so nice I liked the edge. Cari can color co-ordinate her hats to what she is wearing for the day, sure beats white and black. Now you know how Dad feels with his skin head, he wears his hats even in the evening, while watching TV or reading and over nite, too, ever since he had cancer. That hair will never come back.


troutbirder said...

Burns brought the Civil War to life for me and pretty much everything he has done since is very well done. Well you did ask for opinions. The knitting part is way beyond my expertise though I did like the stocking caps my mom made for me those many years ago!

Jayne said...

I loved the Burns series on the Civil War too, and I am sure these were just as good.

Love the "chemo caps" Ruthie!

Mel said...

Hi Ruthie,
Your knitting projects are always great, specially when you make them with a purpose.
You've got a great heart, and I have great proof of that.

nina said...

The number of things you are able to accomplish amazes me, Ruthie.
The chemo caps are one project I know will be greatly appreciated. They look so pretty!

April said...

Lovely knitting projects, Ruthie. Beautiful colors in the prayer shawl! I'm a big fan of Knitting Pattern Central, too. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my woodpecker post awhile ago.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Mom. My head gets awful cold in the winter also and I've got hair!

Hi Troutbirder,
I watched the Civil War series (courtesy of the library) a few years ago too.....learned many new things but still get a tear in my eye every time I hear "Ashoken Farewell."

Hi Jayne,
"The West" was a good series--especially if you're a history buff, but pretty intense in some sections.

Thanks Mel--I enjoy sharing my talents and yarn with others who can use a little extra warmth in their lives.

Thanks Nina, I enjoyed making these hats and they will be good patterns to make for holiday gifts too.

Thanks April. The yarn in that prayer shawl is Homespun (Lion Brand). They have lots of nice color combinations and it knits up as a lovely soft and warm shawl too.

Mary said...

I'd like to sit and watch how quickly your knit a hat. They're so pretty for a chemo patient!

You have a huge heart, Ruthie.

jan m said...

You have a wonderful talent. The scarf and caps are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Ruth maybe you can make a prayer shawl, for the birds in that tree, they can all huddle under it and keep warm LOL.

Undomestic said...

The hats are beautiful. How kind you are!!!!!!!!

Red said...

The prayer shawl has such lovely colors. And the caps you knitted for Cari are beautiful. She'll look stunning in them for sure... and so thoughtful too with realizing machine washing is easier :)

I haven't seen The West series, but I did see parts of the Civil War series he did. Perhaps it'll be on the History Channel one day. It's not a pretty history that got us where we are today. We can really only move ahead and not go back to those ways - or similar ways. We must remember, there are no races except for the human race.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Mary. Those were some really nice hat patterns & I've got a couple more going for an upcoming local fundraiser too.

Thanks Jan

Sorry Mom--the birds are on their own (although I will leave some yarn scraps outside for their nest building next spring!)

Thanks Cari--now I just have to get them packaged and mailed to you....hopefully tonight!!

Hi Red,
If you like history, I know you would enjoy this series--there's quite a lot about California.

Angela's Kitchen said...

From a friend of Cari's: thank you for the kindness you showed to her. It is still really chilly here and she wears the caps all the time. And they are super cute on her!

It was so nice of you! Thought you may like to know they are well used. They are a lovely gift.