Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Knitting Them Safely Home

We had a happy family celebration on Sunday of this Memorial Day weekend. Our son-in-law was ordained as a pastor and then he baptized his youngest son. Friends, family, and extended family gathered with the congregation to celebrate both milestones and then we had a family potluck lunch. This morning I am savoring the weekend and the joy of being together.

Yesterday everyone packed up and headed for home or out for a small vacation. Late spring weather on the Great Plains alternates between balmy sunshine and fierce thunderstorms. This month storms with hail, lightning strikes, and funnel clouds have been particularly severe. Last night I kept an eye on storms rolling across the Plains as Patrick's brother flew to Utah and our son to Texas. At the same time our daughter and her family drove west down I-80 to his seminary graduation in Denver.

What's a knitter to do besides knit? I worked on a Christmas stocking for the newest little grandson. Last week in a quiet moment, I had located the Christmas stocking pattern, charted the baby's name, and retrieved the bag of stocking yarn. In the 1950's, my aunt knit the same intarsia stockings for myself and three siblings, and her five children. Later she knit them for her children's spouses and grandchildren. She shared the pattern so I could knit stockings for my husband, two children, a niece, and son-in-law. Now I'm making them for my grandchildren.

Intarsia knitting is messy. Only a knitter could see this tangle and believe it can turn into a Christmas stocking. Paying attention and a little faith are required. As I watched radar and waited for text messages last night, I worked on this stocking. Late in the evening, everyone arrived safely at their destinations. I felt like I had knit them home.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Granola: The Next Generation

When I was a graduate student in the mid 1970's, my fiancé and I stood in line for over an hour to eat at a local health food restaurant. The waitresses wore tie dyed t-shirts, denim skirts, and birkenstocks. Pots of ivy, asparagus fern, and philodendron hung in front of windows. We ordered green salads, quiche, or sandwiches of sprouts and turkey between dark rustic breads. Friends and I traded recipes for granola made from oatmeal, wheat germ and a large amount of vegetable oil. Then not liking cold cereal for breakfast and lacking imagination, I stopped making granola and went on to bagels. I thought bagels were healthier than doughnuts but I did slather them with cream cheese and jelly.

Fast forward to 2016 Mother's Day. My husband and I spent the afternoon and ate dinner with my daughter and her family. Playing hot wheels and helping the five year old cast a fishing line off the deck was lively fun. Kate brought me a small container of home made granola. Her recipe, although still high in calories, has more nutritional value than my older version. It calls for more variety grains, nuts, seeds with less oil. She used refined coconut oil (better nutritional value than vegetable oil) and flavored the mixture with honey, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. During the week, I sprinkled this improved version over yogurt and added a little to my trail mix of roasted unsalted nuts and raisins. Yesterday I made a big batch and divided it into containers for freezing. All of this makes me smile. Here I am making the next generation of granola.

As for knitting, I am almost finished with cotton washcloths for awhile. I used most of the bubble gum pink yarn so it is no longer taking up space in the storage bins. I tried other patterns for the pink yarn before discovering the pattern, All Washed Up. It is easy to memorize and less boring than others. Two sections remain to be knitted on the rose colored shawl and I need to knit a foot to finish this pair of socks. Nothing like knitting to get a husband through a knee replacement/revision surgery. He is post-surgery two weeks today and doing well. The jury is out on how many degrees the new knee will bend into flexion. We are hopeful he will have better range of motion by the end of physical therapy. As we knitters say, "Keep calm and knit on." In the meantime, a little granola is a nice snack.

Vanilla Latte Socks Yarn: Regia, Arnie and Carlos