"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “knitting

I Found a Knitter in Salzburg

Eighteen pairs of socks to knit for the family for Christmas. Two months to go!

We communicated easily.  A fellow knitter.

I asked if I might photograph her and she agreed. I wish I’d taken more than one shot.

Thank you.  It was so fun to find her, knitting.  I’ll send her a copy.
Salzburg Knitter

Happy Place: Weekly Photo Challenge

Krista Stevens at WordPress challenged bloggers this week with this prompt “Have you ever felt like the world was being a bit too rowdy? Where things and people were pushing in, crowding out your quiet thoughts — the ones that need time and space to surface?”     Yes, Krista, yes. 

My number one Happy Place cuddling a grandchild in my arms, getting them to smile or the growing up grandchildren sitting next to me on the couch, reading a book or playing a game.  Laughing with grandchildren is the best.

And there’s the knitting I go to-another happy place- a form of meditation, the repetition-  but this post shows my kitchen where I can ward off winter chills (or autumn chills) and feel all is right in the world.  (Even if it’s not.)

——————————–resposted from original December 2011———————-

First Day of Winter Still Life in My Kitchen

Friends joined me for tea, even though they weren’t in Pittsburgh.

You can see out the kitchen back door window to the back porch and garage, the bare trees.  The shortest day of light.  Winter officially here.

Two dear friends in KY sent a shipment of fancy English muffins and the Fed Ex man delivered them Wednesday afternoon.  It seemed a good time to split one, toast it and spread some butter (with my Grandmother’s silver butter knife) and spoon some apricot preserves.

Went to fire up the kettle to brew tea but I’d burned the kettle dry on Monday so boiled a pot of water to make the tea. Pulled out the camera on the phone to capture the scene

Oranges were on sale 10 for $2 today and lately they were almost a dollar apiece.

A faithful  blog reader in Virgina, C, (and  best friend of a my good friend J in Omaha) made me the little quilted mug mat last year and it was  J who gave me the lidded butter dish another year.  The Botanic Garden mug matches my mother’s cereal bowls.

I was home alone but in the presence of friends and family remembered.  Finding the joy of winter.  My neighbor called to report a vibrant rainbow spotting and perhaps I could photograph it.  i went outside and it was still raining and saw the colored arch across the street.  I photographed it but it didn’t make the cut for posting but i appreciate when people see something and I come to mind. There was thunder and lightning, too.

Yes, that is a stack of woven potholders on the left counter top.

Pumpkin Patch on my Living Room Floor

It was my daughter Laura’s idea.  She called on Face Time and asked me what I was doing.  I showed her the little stack of different size pumpkins hats I knit this past week.

“Make a pumpkin patch with all the knitted pumpkin hats.” she said. “Stuff them with something to make them stand up.”  Good idea, Laura.

(I used a couple of large balls of yarn and some dishtowels.)

I was thinking about photographing outside in the grass but it is totally unfall-like with 85% humidity.

The morning sun was streaming in through the lace curtains onto the living room floor.

Not from every angle but the difference in lighting is remarkable.

My first full week of retirement, no back to school. It’s a transition.  And we’re moving from summer to fall, even though the heat is intense. Another transition.  I bought a snow shovel this week.

There’s still one hat on the needles. I’m knitting the last hat for my granddaughter Maura, who’s going to be 7 in November but said she’d wear one.  I already gave one away a few days ago.

My other neighbor, J said the first pumpkin hat I posted looked like a tomato!  I think these photos show the color of yarn as orange for sure. Two hats and the one for Maura are Superwash Merino wool and the others are Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Soft Non-Pilling Acrylic. Hopefully easy wash and dry for the moms.

The pattern was from Ravelry by Tara Thomsen in case you want to make some. Newborn to adult sizes.  That’s enough for me this season.









It’s Pumpkin (Hat Knitting) Season Again

I’m in the doghouse tonight for missing National Dog Day and my DIL sent a photo of Henry (the Airedale) and the new Airedale puppy, Josie coming home to their house next week. Her plan was I could make up for my omission of the family dogs on the blog today. Laura sent me a photo of Penny (the goldendoodle) on the couch looking glum cause I didn’t feature them on the blog for National Dog Day.  Who knew?  On to what I was planning to blog…..even thought it’s still August for a few more days.

People, including Fallon Tonight,  have tweeted and posted their opinions on the early reappearance of Pumpkin spice flavored drinks at that great big coffee chain.

I bemoaned the early August Halloween decorations in stores and just yesterday I saw bins of Candy Corn for sale. Ugh. Seems Summer barely had a chance.  But now I’m jumping in with knitting pumpkin hats.

Last year I knit five baby pumpkin hats.  You can only knit so fast.  This year I looked at the list of babies I know (including new grands) and thought I’d better get knitting. Asked for head circumference measurements. Turns out I can make one hat in a day (probably about 5 hours).  I did 3 loads of laundry and changed the bed, checked email periodically and watched a few of The Chef’s Table  documentaries while I knit.  And this time I’m making notes to remember what I did which unfortunately I did not do last year.

Could have saved a lot of time checking gauge if I had done so.

Cast on 70 stitches on bamboo needles and

cast on 80 stitches on the metal needles.  I still can’t decide which material I prefer.

Each has good points.(no pun intended)

I’m a relaxed knitter so had to go down a needle size from the recommendation on the pattern which was found on Ravelry.  Weighed the hat on the food scale and I should be able to make two more hats from one skein. (I  bought two skeins but that will be a lot of hats)  one skein of green is plenty and there will be leftover. The stem is I-cord stitch. I’m skipping the leaf for now.

The pattern in Punkin Head by Tara Thomsen available for free download.

Knit on size 5 circular needles (16") with worsted weight yarn

Knit on size 5 circular needles (16″) with worsted (4)weight yarn. Of course it looks much cuter with a baby wearing it! Stay tuned. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Enveloped


surrounded by family, cloaked in hugs ( or a homemade blanket), wrapped in love


Buying Buttons in New York City and Learning of Rumi

This is the story of my seeking special buttons for grandbaby knitting projects, (completed and on the needles) while visiting NYC over Spring break.

My sister guided me to the button store I’d found online.

Oh no, bad news.

We got to the address and there was paper covering the windows and the security grill was down-


I can’t tell you how disappointed I felt.

Fortunately,  a man on the sidewalk  saw us staring at the storefront in disbelief and he pointed to the place next door.

Lou Lou Buttons had moved just one number over, due to a malfunction of errant sprinklers and being flooded out. Lou Lou Buttons store Phew!

Turned out it was the store owner, Ross, who invited us into the button store. And I found so many interesting buttons. They are from all over the world, Japan, France…you name it!

He said every Broadway show and  opera production has come to his store to buy buttons for costumes.

I believe it! Some people replace every button on garments they purchase, to improve and upgrade the look.

Here are the buttons I bought

and here is the owner Ross, photographed by my sister Mary. I was in the photo but the image looks better with myself cropped out! IMG_8442     Lou Lou ButtonsI took this one with more buttons in the background to give you the idea of the inventory.

When I asked about the origin of the store name Lou Lou Buttons, turns out Lou Lou is like the Boogeyman, so when a child is called in from playing outside the mother might say, “Come in now, or Lou Lou’s going to get you.”

We heard Ross tell The story of the merchant to whom the parrot gave a message for the parrots of India on the occasion of his going (thither) to trade. by the Persian poet Rumi.  It’s here if you don’t know it. Be sure to scroll down for the translation in English.

It was a day when the universe rhymed- the button store still there (just one door to the lef) cute buttons for the baby sweaters and my sister and I were enthralled as we listened to the wonderful story by Rumi. 

It’s said he’s “the best selling poet in the United States.”

Buying buttons and hearing Ross tell Rumi’s story of the parrot was a New York City experience.

We left his store with a lot more than just buttons.

Mom, You Should Knit a Hat to Match Your Glasses

Okay Matthew. Good idea.
Here it is – thanks for the inspiration.

Sure beats my tired brown hat from last year.

And thanks to Molly for the Noro Kuryeon yarn and I used a double strand as the pattern called for bulky yarn.

This is the Handspun Ribbed Hat patternHandspun Ribbed Hat. I knit quite a few of these hats for Christmas with Rowan Undyed Chunky yarn, the color of the breed of sheep. Suffolk and Black Welsh.

(Adjustment– I knit it to 11″ so there is a nice length to fold up and it’s double over the ears ) and I use a size 9 circular needle 16″ length.


A Knitting Themed Tea Cozy and San Pasqual Patron Saint of Cooks

Returned to Pittsburgh this evening and a package of Christmas gifts from J in Omaha, awaited me.

She stitched a bright colored tea cozy to keep the tea warm as it steeps.

Love the colors and knitting theme as many of you know I’ve been knitting my way through the winter.

I need a patron saint in the kitchen and will put him in a prominent place in the morning.

Thanks J. What a fun surprise.




Here is granddaughter Anna sporting one of the cowls I knit everyone
for Christmas


Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth

Warmth is what we seek this time of year.

Warm Ups and Knitting at the Swim Meet Sunday

The day started at the Ohio State University McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

I got there close to 6:30 AM Sunday. The younger grandchildren were swimming in the morning and the two older were swimming in the afternoon.

All the rest of the family got home at 8:30 PM!.  I had to head back to Pittsburgh around 1 as snow was predicted and it’s best to drive in daylight.

There were so many swimmers in the pool at once. How they don’t bump into one another is amazing to me.

swim meet warm ups


Another Manos del Uruguay Merino Wool and Silk cowl knit up with horizontal ribbed cowl patternRibbed cowl pattern  from Knitty City.

Thanks Marlene for holding it up while I got an iPhone pic


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