Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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The Excitement Builds

I did the coolest thing this week. Really, the COOLEST!

I met my new (first) grandson, Woody. And I had so! much! fun!

We all met at the hospital where #1 Son and #1 DIL will be delivering. #1 DIL’s mom and dad as well as her Doctor Sister were there. They’re such interesting people, I was very entertained while we waited. And waited.

And finally, we got to go into the room with all the equipment. It’s been a long time since I had babies, and in those days, it was unusual to have an ultrasound. They were available, but most people only had one if there was the possibility of a problem. Or if your doc owned his own machine, and he needed to pay for it. *grin*

But these days, they’re regular as clockwork.

There were two chairs in the room, and since I have a play hip, I was offered one, but I turned it down. I couldn’t sit. I was too excited! Meeting my grandbaby here! :D

I’m sure everybody has been through one of these. I’ve even been through one, but this was the first one I’d been part of where we were looking for something as fantastic as a baby. And guess what?

woody

Here’s Woody!

Isn’t he adorable? Okay, it reminds me of an x-ray, but he’s on his way! He weighs about 12 ounces right now and is about the length of a banana.

The technician couldn’t get his profile, because he kept looking at the camera. (The boy is just like his daddy! Never wants to miss a thing.)

While we were there, I couldn’t help remembering, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven . . .

And the best part: Your eyes saw my unformed body;” Psalm 139. Our eyes saw him, too! :)

Of course, “How precious are your thought about my grandbaby, oh Lord! How vast the sum of them! You love him even more than all his parents and grandparents combined.” ;)

Naturally, I came right home and knitted hard. I’m making him a giraffe.

capThe beginning stages.

melonWhere I am now. (Looks kind of like a squash, gone wild.)

giraffe

 This is the picture in the book. Hopefully, it’ll be ready by the time he’s ready to play with it. LOL.

When I got to the stuffing part, I thought, “Oh, those plastic beads might weigh too much for the little guy.” So I stuffed without beads, but it looked as if I was going to make a misshapen Big Bird instead of a giraffe, so I unstuffed and added plastic beads.

Did you know plastic beads can make their way out through knitting, no matter how tightly knit it is? Okay, I’m not that tight a knitter, but they kept falling out. So I shoved a plastic bag in there and filled it with the beads. The stuffing is on top, and he’d have to work really hard to get to the bag, so I don’t think it’ll hurt him. Or the giraffe.

BTW: When we went for the ultrasound, both #1 son and DIL were wearing converse tennis shoes. Next on my knitting list: Knitted baby high tops. Red ones. :)

3899764262_172334eabaThe boy has gotta have something to walk home from the hospital in! :)

We’ll see if I can get everything finished in time.

“And He took Woody in his arms, placed His hands on him and blessed him.” Mark 10:16–a grandmommy’s version.

Since I’m like the last one of my friends who has kiddos to get grandbabies, I need your advice. What did (do) you do to get ready for them? Knit? Quilt? Pray?

Please share!


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Inside Signs

Was this past weekend not the most beautiful two days you’ve ever seen in your life? Okay, if not THE most beautiful, they were among the top five, weren’t they?

The temps were perfect, what leaves are left after this drought are just starting to change, the grass isn’t growing quite as fast (although it might if we had a little rain) and I think I’ve come alive again. Or maybe I just woke up after a long summer’s nap.

How do I know? The signs. No, not outside signs like air temp and grass color. The inside me signs, such as–

  • I finally got the total revamp of my office good and started. No kidding. After all this time of piddling, I’ve got Gimme Bags stacked as high as an elephant’s eye. (Need one?) And a few books I’m never going to read stacked up to give away. AND I’m clearing a path to move the thingy behind my desk to the west wall of my office where the bed used to be. I’ll dig out the desk and move it next.
  • I watched a cooking show and actually had the energy to want to make what the woman there was whipping up. No, I didn’t make it. (Duh.) I just had the energy to want to. :)

(Isn’t it funny how TV chefs never need recipes? Or to measure/chop or work hard? Or have trouble thinking of something for supper? Or have something flop? Must be magic in the camera. But I digress.)

  • I saw a picture of bread someone else had baked, and I wanted to make it, too. (The energy to want to. See?)
  • Ordered a book on baking bread. (More energy resurge. Get ready world. I don’t work in front of cameras.)
  • I started looking for and finding a few trees that were changing colors as we drove to Stillwater. (One of my favorite fall things is autumn foliage.)
  • I had the urge to start exercising–walking, riding my bike, something. NO. I didn’t exercise. I just had the–stop asking that. Okay?
  • I’m knitting. (Yep. Really knitting. Not just thinking about it.) Okay, I’m only knitting a bunny for now (I’m planning to make her one of those cute gathered net skirts all the babies are wearing in pictures) but hey. Keeps me out of trouble in the evenings. :)

Front half of the bunny and the legs of the back half. Imagine the ears, nose and mouth. Oh, and tail pom-pom. :)

Looks like she’s shopping, doesn’t she? “Hm. I kind of like these pants. Wonder if there’s enough tail room.”

That might be another sign of fall–my weird sense of humor.

How about you? What are your inside signs that the seasons are a-changin’?

China's-puppy


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Loving the Weekend

How was your weekend?

Mine was FANTASTIC!

First, it rained. Lovely, wonderful, glorious, beautiful rain. And not just a little drizzle. We had 2 2/10 inches in our rain gauge. One of the women I go to church with said she got 1.61 inches. When I commented on how precise she was, she said she had a digital rain gauge. (I want one!)

We celebrated #1 DIL’s birthday yesterday. I have to tell you, my kiddos are the best when it comes to picking wives, and #1 did a bang up job. His wife has great relatives that I just enjoy the heck out of.

Her parents, sibs, and the woman she made my Shirt Tail Relative are all people who just tickle the soup out of me. We didn’t get to see her fam this weekend, but I did have a little time to play with her pupper.

Yesterday, Queen Sophia had on a designer mini-skirt. DIL told me the name of the designer (something to do with Guns and Roses) but I don’t remember the name. It’s funny, but this sweet doggie has a better wardrobe than I do! LOL.

#1 son charcoaled yummy burgers for us. DIL prepared wonderful dips which, while they were actually purchased at Sam’s she tested to find the best ones and put in beautiful bowls. They were delicious! We finished with a cake from Merritt’s Bakery.

Ooooh, yum!

We said goodbye to Stony-the-super-youth-minister and his family yesterday. That was a heart breaker, I can tell you. As I mentioned before, he’s been here for 18 years and he’ll be sorely missed. The church was full of people who didn’t want to miss his last sunday with us.

As a going away gift, the church gave Stony and Dana an interest-bearing account to be used anyway they want, but which (hopefully) can be used someday as a down payment on their first house. And a Past Preach came to say goodbye, too, although the YM will actually be living closer to where the Past Preach is living now. I loved the few moments I had with Sherry, the PP’s beautiful and talented wife! Sadly, I didn’t get to speak to her DIL who was part of #1’s wedding.

The rest of my weekend, I spent taking an online knitting class at Craftsy called, KNITS THAT FIT. I’d have named it Fit Your Knits, since that’s what we’re learning to do, but they didn’t ask me. (Go figure.)

Here’s why I took the class–I tried on my Shalom Sweater that I knitted last year. (Might have been the year before.) And I found that I must have had someone else in mind when I made it. Someone like, oh, I don’t know, the Jolly Green Giant, maybe?  :(

   You can find the pattern here.

That’s what it’s supposed to look like. Because I didn’t swatch, didn’t check the sizes and did the equivilant of putting on a blindfold and throwing a dart (sizewise) I ended up with a sweater that would fit the Hulk.

It hasn’t been blocked yet, so it will look better, but it’s still huge. And since I absolutely refuse to unravel it and start all over, I might just add buttons and turn it into a double-breasted robe. :)

Anyway, I’m taking the Craftsy class to keep that from happening again. I hope! LOL. Now if I can just get brave enough to actually write down my measurements. *sigh*

Tell me, how did you spend your weekend?


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Snitting. Again. Ü

I’m a snitter. (Sit+knit=Snit. Right?) I might have  mentioned that a time or two in the past. (Cough.) The thing is, though, I’m a winter snitter. I love to knit with wool during cold weather.

Once in a while, I like to have a project to work on in the summer, too. So the other day while I was in T-Town, I decided to buy yarn to knit a prayer shawl.

I love the idea of knitting prayer shawls for people. In my imagination (which is often so vivid, it gets me into trouble) I can see people I’ve been praying for and with, wrapping up in these shawls as they go to the Lord in prayer.

But when I got to Loops (my favorite knitting store) and started looking through the yarn, even acrylic was too hot for this break-into-a-sweat-at-the-drop-of-a-hat woman to use.

Continue reading


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Snit Fever

Running late today, but I wanted to share the progress I’ve made on my Meret Beret.

Remember late last summer (or early last fall) I showed you this–That was near the beginning of what I hoped would one day look like this–

That’s not mine. You can tell because the color is wrong and it’s darn near perfect. Mine won’t be. :) This is a picture I found online to show me what it might look like someday. Well, I’m not there yet. Here’s where I am today.

 And here–

In case you’re wondering, that’s my Bible it’s lying on. (I just finished my Bible study for this morning.) And my Bible is lying on my GMC chart for the book I’m currently working on.

I’m such a neat person. Not.

The beret isn’t that complicated, so why am I so slow? Besides time restraints (I hate that excuse, but there you go.) I Christmassed and knitting a cat scarf. (Except for sewing on the head, it’s finished. Yay!) And a pair of fingerless gloves.

While I found the above pictures, I found a couple of other things I finished this year. I just have to share.

This great little scarf (I still need to block it, I guess, because I haven’t worn it.) and my chicken. I call her Shake a Tail Feather.

I learned to knit when I was in junior high. For some reason, I really wanted to learn, even though no one around me knitted at all. Maybe it was seeing Aunt Sally here on a Christmas visit one year, knit throws for her family. Or it could have been seeing people knit on TV and in movies.

Anyway, I bought a book and “taught” myself. It’s really hard to learn to knit (especially casting on) from a book. While the pictures and arrows look as if they’re going one direction, they’re really meant to be going another way altogether. But I persevered.

I discovered how useful knitting was in high school when I was in a one-act play called the Legacy. It was a period piece, set in the 1800’s. I used knitting as busy work during the play.

By the time we quit doing the play for competition, my square I was knitting was really lopsided, because when I’d pick up my knitting to work, I just started knitting. I didn’t look to see whether I had it forward or backward. :)

I wish now I’d kept it. :)

I’ve taken several classes and found I love knitting along side other people. One of my favorite things about knitting is teaching others. Some pick it up so easily, you’d think they’d learned it somewhere before.

For others, it’s not quite as easy.

Now Omega (kid #6 in the Spess family line up) was determined to learn. She’s in a wheelchair, her hands don’t work as easily as they once did and she can’t drive herself to go to the yarn store, but she was bound she would learn how. So I taught her, and she caught on so quickly I felt as if I’d been a really  slooooow learner.

She even knitted one of the Christmas presents she gave away this year. How cool is that?

This isn’t the best picture of Omega I could find, but I usually try not to capture her wheelchair, because it’s not who she is. I wanted you to be able to see it today.

I wanted to warn you, when Omega decides she’s going to do something, look out!

No telling what she’ll be doing next.


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Kitty Snitting

Can you guess what I’m snitting (sitting and knitting) these days?

It’s a Christmas gift for DIL#1. Last Christmas. :) I showed it to her on the big day and let her try it on. We decided it needed another foot of body before it’d be finished.

Now it’s about 8 feet long. :) Oy.

It has four legs.

It has a tail.

Yes, it has several danglies that need to be woven in. (That’ll make it warmer.)

Did you guess a cat scarf? Ding! Ding! Ding! You’re right.

I saw a scarf similar to this on Pinterest (DIL might have posted it.)

and I thought, I need to knit that for my cat loving DIL. (She gives hers adorable names like Ralphy and Gozer.)

She loves cats so much, she gave hers a room of their own with a private exit to an outdoor room where they’re safe.

Okay, my scarf is a little wide, but DIL loves fat cats. And I hate ripping out and starting all over, so it’s going to be a fat cat. She can fold the poor kitty in half when she wears him. It’ll be warmer.

Now all I lack is a head. I’m hoping to give him green eyes. Oh! And maybe whiskers!!!


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Snitting For a Friend

 
Illustration from "Vivilore: The Pathway ...

Image via Wikipedia

We have a little problem at work. Some of us are hot much of the time.   The rest, well, they aren’t. (We’re not discussing age here. Or weight. So just don’t do there. All right?)

So one day, Mendy says, “Can you knit fingerless gloves?”

Can I? :) (Is there an emoticon that looks like an eyebrow wiggle?)

Ask an ice cream addict if they can eat a gallon of the cold stuff.

Ask a carnavore if he wants a T-Bone.

Ask a fish if he wants to go for a swim.

What do you do if you were asked to do something you enjoy to pieces?

Oh, yeah, baby! I’m there!!!

I didn’t have a pattern, but I’d just seen a pair made on TV (Knitty Gritty) that morning. I cast on twenty-five stitches, long tail.

Here’s what it looks like.

Then I started my favorite kind of knitting. If you’re a knitter, you know what I’m talking about. The kind where you knit going one way and pearl going the other. Never have to count. Rarely have to rip.

Mindless knitting. Zombie knitting. TV knitting. No remembering to wrap or count or knit two together. Just working away. Whatever you want to call it, I love doing it.

So I’m knitting away with this delicious yarn, watching TV and I finish one. Oops. Well, that was fast. 

Then, Saturday afternoon we watched two (2!) football games (I’m not the worlds biggest football fan unless I have nephews playing) so I knit, knit, knit.

And guess what? (You ready for this?)

I finished! In just two days, I knitted two fingerless gloves. :)

What do you mean it’s only two little squares? Are you saying anybody could knit them in two days?

Actually, it’s two RECTANGLES. Not squares. But it’s true, anybody could have knit them who wanted to. But there’s something else I do when I knit for someone.

I pray for them as I work.

If I put a tag on things I knit for other people (I don’t) it would say, “A PRAYER FOR YOU IN EVERY STITCH.” But I don’t sew in tags. I can barely make the recs into tubes to slip over her hands. I have no idea how I would attach tags.

  If I had it to do over, I’d buy an elastic yarn to make them. (Maybe.) I might even sew on a little bling when I got finished.

And I’ll definitely take a class to learn how to put things together. (Close the seam.) 

But my friend was thrilled with them, so I’m thrilled.

In case you’re wondering, I did teach her how to knit, but with two little boys, she doesn’t have time.

(I’m not sure she watches football at all.)

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