Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Secret In The Sea Chest

Some people do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November. I had no plans to do this, but I'm starting to think that I will have my own theme this month: No Blog November. Two and a half weeks ago I gave myself a good cut on my finger and I've been unable to knit since then. Most of what I like to show off on the blog is knitting. The other thing I like to talk about are outings and trips, but with all the moving, that hasn't happened either. But there is a silver lining to this knitless cloud I am currently on: I have been motivated to work on projects that don't require my left index finger. Specifically, I've been meaning to refinish the inside of my big, black sea chest for a few years now. I found myself with some time and motivation. While stripping the deteriorating wallpaper that covered the inside, I came across newspaper that was stuffed into a large knothole. It looked so small all wadded up, but when I flattened it out, I was quite surprised to see how much there was.

Looking at the typefaces, I knew it was old. My guess was initially around the 1920s. The paper was in good shape despite the musty odor that had been in the trunk. Connor and I started reading it to figure out how old it really was. Based on the ads, we quickly determined that it was probably from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It also was probably published just after October 12th since that number appeared quite often. But figuring out the year was a little tougher because we only had the bottom of the paper. When we found this news story about Governor Mitchell from Florida, we were able to narrow down the year to somewhere between 1893-1897. Connor further surmised that it couldn't have been 1897 because Henry L. Mitchell was out of office by January of 1897 and our paper was from October.

A bit more reading finally helped us determine the year it was printed. Based on when the schooner Sea Foam had capsized we discovered that the paper was published in 1894.

I was impressed to discover that the trunk is at least 121 years old, if not older. Also, that it had moved around the country. I had bought the chest in Oregon and assumed it was originally from there. But if the paper was put in the chest in South Dakota, it had to have traveled over 1850mi/2970km before I purchased it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Glued Back Together

Mum informed me that I hadn't blogged for a whole week and that she was tired of checking and seeing nothing new. So Mum, this one is for you.

It's been really busy here at chez Bear Ears. Every time I feel like I'm getting close to being productive again, life takes a swing at Connor and I and I'm back to feeling unproductive pattern-wise. The most recent incident occurred this weekend. Sunday, Connor had a terrible cold, so I went out, did some errands, came back and made him a sandwich. Or at least I tried. I'm used to my parents' dull bread knives, not the sharp one we have. I held the bread at an inappropriate spot and poor sick Connor had to take me to Urgent Care. Thanks to his work's wonderful insurance, it didn't set us back much, but it is interfering with my knitting. I can knit, but it is slower. Also, I can't do color work for now. Want to guess what I had planned to knit this week...
No stitches. They just glued me back together.

I'm hoping that the finger incident is the last of a long line of things that have occurred. Last week we dealt with the internet going out twice. It is now resolved, but interfered with blogging and checking blogs. But the reason we encountered any internet problems at all was because we moved. We were in a wee studio apartment and now we are thankful to have a one bedroom. Although it wasn't the size that made us want to leave. I had some prevailing respiratory problems that we were unable to resolve while we were in the studio. But now that we have moved, everything has cleared up.

With more space to play with, Connor and I went to Ikea. While we were there, we saw one of their house displays showing how it is possible to live in 260 square feet. We walked in, curious about how Ikea would do that and then we looked at each other and whispered, "I think this is bigger than the studio we were living in." 
I now have a yarn nook next to one of the windows. It is glorious.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Socktober Knock Out

Whew, October passed by fast! I had all sorts knitting plans, but after dropping multiple stitches on the plain foot of the Sock Lover's Socks and a surprise move at the end of the month (we are in a much better living situation now), I'm just happy to have made it.

I can't believe all the silly mistakes I made while knitting these. They were all my fault. I don't think I will knit with Paton's Kroy in the charcoal color again, though. It was just impossible to see the stitches while I was knitting. The yarn itself is lovely. The color is lovely too, but it is just too dark for me.

Good thing these socks turned out well in the end. It makes all the time worth it.

With no socks on the needles, it was time to dig into the stash and see what I could find. A skein of Miss Bab's Yummy 2-ply in the Biker Chick color way caught my eye. I needed to knit something orange in the fall.

I did have some trouble deciding what pattern would suit this yarn the best. It's variegated and has high contrast, which looks enticing in a skein but can be difficult to match to a pattern. After hemming and hawing, I went ahead and started designing my own. And unlike the last design I just finished up, this one came together almost immediately. What a relief! It was getting a bit disheartening not having any of my knits behave themselves.
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