Monday, May 12, 2008

Miles of knitting


It's about 1,000 miles round trip to the Bay Area, and as I drove only half of those, I got 500 miles of knitting done. This means that the body of the Star shawl is finished, and the edging (after a few false starts) is almost halfway done! It's funny how the 800 some-odd rows of edging feel so very much faster than the 200 some-odd rows of the body...
Looking good, eh?
That gives you a sense of how far I've come, I think. Maybe it's really about 1/3 of the edging completed, but that's not half bad, given that I started in the car on Sunday morning, and stopped somewhere just south of Coalinga.

Older Daughter also knitted on this trip. Her first FO:
We call it "Bag". It's her own design, up to and including the making-up (I don't know that I'd put any small valuables in there, but otherwise, she did quite nicely for a first-time seamer). How proud am I?

Our visits with Grandmom were wonderful. We'd gotten the news the day before we left that she'd had a couple of what appeared to be mini-strokes, and we were expecting that things would be pretty bad when we got there, but she appears to have made a good recovery, and we had some lovely conversations. Rick's dad had also sent her a nifty gadget that has earphones for her, and a microphone for us to talk into. It appears to direct and magnify speech better than her hearing aid does, and she was able to actually hear the girls telling her things and to respond to them for the first time in ages. Younger Daughter told Grandmom about the iguana on Virgin Gorda, and Grandmom understood almost all of it; I think that's honestly the first time that's happened, and Grandmom's hearing loss was already pretty advanced by the time Kivrin could talk, and high-pitched children's voices are the hardest for her to hear and process. It was a great moment (yes, I did get a bit teary-eyed).

We drove home (accidentally) across the Golden Gate bridge (Rick saw "south" and headed, much like a horse at the end of the day, for home, temporarily forgetting that crossing the bay on the Richmond/San Rafael bridge, as we usually do, involves a momentary northward detour from Corte Madera). We decided to make lemonade of it, and took the girls by Grandmom's old house in the Marina, and showed them the Marina green, where we used to take them (especially Older Daughter) for long walks with Grandmom before we moved. It was nice to give them a sense of just how integral a part of our lives Grandmom has been, and how much Rick and I miss the easy visits that living near her made possible. I know that Older Daughter remembers some of that, but we moved before Younger Daughter was old enough.

We also had some time to hike in the open space behind Rick's aunt and uncle's house. We saw wild turkeys; who knew they could fly so high into trees? (A good tail wind and a downhill slope seem to help.) Here's one of the few pictures from the weekend, of a turkey chick in a tree.
Can you see it there? They blend in quite nicely, but their coloration is astonishingly subtle and beautiful when viewed close to. The girls also got to play "princess of the world" (apparently I got the title of "queen of the world" as it was mother's day) on the rocks at the crest of the hill.
We also saw my parents, who kindly made the drive from Sacramento on Saturday so that they could see Grandmom, and so that I could take mom out for Mother's day (how nice was that? shouldn't I be doing the driving on mother's day?). The girls were happy to see them, and we had a nice visit, and even got to go to a bookstore together (always a favorite family activity)(more about my bookstore acquisitions another time). We also managed to get everyone (my parents, Rick's aunt and uncle and cousin and her husband) together for coffee, which was good fun. We used to all get together a lot when we lived up there, as we'd have birthday and holiday dinners at our house and both families came, but they all see less of each other now, so it was a nice mini-reunion.

Thanks so much to everyone for your kind words about Grandmom, and for all of the understanding things you all said about how important it is to take this time to visit her -- you are so right! I was away from email most of the weekend, so I'm woefully behind, but I appreciated everything each of you said.

I have one technical advice question from any Mac users out there who might be willing to help out. (I don't know very many here.) I load my pictures into iPhoto, and lately it's been doing a funny thing. I boot up the program, and all the pictures show momentarily, and then random and sporadic pictures disappear and are replaced by empty spots encircled by a dashed gray line, and I can't get the pictures to show again, nor can I upload them, say, on blogger or email. Has anyone had this happen? Any advice would be appreciated, because there are some good pictures missing (and this goes back through my whole archive, not just recent pictures). In this interests of giving all of the information, I used to (because I'm a luddite and a bit slow when it comes to technology) tell the program to import everything from my camera, but not to copy duplicates. Now I just tell it to import the latest photos; could that have anything to do with it?

Happy Monday, everyone!


Alwen said...

Just to be completely irreverent: in the second photo, the way Star is bunched in the middle, it looks so much like a T. rex that I have to remember to show my son after school!

KnitNana said...

What a great shawl it is...bought my pattern over the weekend! Can't wait to start, but there's so much OTN now, I should probably finish something first.
So glad you had a GOOD visit!

lesbianhousewyfe said...

Sounds like you had a great time with Grandmom. She made me remember my grandmother who had ministrokes too, which eventually caused severe aphasia and immobility. Even then, though, she had a way of getting her point across. My best memory of her during that time was only a story. At the nursing home, one of the ladies used to pick on her a bit, and one day at the lunch table, the lady spilled her tea all over Grandmother's lunch. So, Grandmother wheeled her wheelchair back from the table and circled around to the lady's position, grabbed the woman's walker and took off down the hall. Apparently, the orderlies laughed so hard that the woman didn't get her walker back for quite a while.
Just a funny little memory I thought you might enjoy.
Glad your mother's day was so wonderful!

M-H said...

About the iphoto issue - this is a weird one. Can you find the original photos? Maybe you should check if they're still there - they're usually in the folder called pictures, in another folder called iphoto library. Maybe they've been accidentally deleted from there? If you hold the control button and mouse click on the blank space (that's the equivalent of left-clicking in Windows), what happens? Also, you may need to upgrade your iphoto - go to system preferences and run the software update program.

The other advice I have is to google, say, 'blank spaces iphoto', and you will find some suggestions that may help. Geek forums are a great source of help with software.

Willow said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend all around. Coffee, traveling, knitting, visiting, reminiscing.

The shawl looks great.

Hang in there. The end of the semester is in sight!

Rachel said...

I am glad you had a wonderful weekend, your description of your weekend made me miss my family in Israel!

Can't wait to see your Star in all its glory :)

Anne said...

Queen of the world. Sounds good to me.

twinsetellen said...

The shawl is really a looker. And I'm so glad the trip was good. I love the photo of the princesses of the hill.

m-h has good advice. I've had ipod issues and have gotten lots of good leads through the internet. Here is one I found with "missing images iphoto".

I can't wait to see the shawl blocked, so finish those last 400 rows, please!

Carrie K said...

A great weekend for all concerned! Sightseeing, knitting, visiting, hiking, telling stories. visiting old stomping grounds, it just sounds wonderful.

And the book acquistions were:? I know, I know. You said later.

EGunn said...

What a wonderful weekend! I'm so glad you had such a good time with the family!

Bea said...

The shawl looks really wonderful. Your daughters bag is great too!! What a fabulous start. I love the picture on the rocks.

Meema said...

I [heart] Bag! I've always have a soft spot for first projects, and the fact that it's an original creation doubles the knitter cred. Congrats to your daughter (and to you for increasing our ranks)!

Ronni said...

Just checking to see if you got your iPhoto problem sorted out. If you still need help with it feel free to e-mail me ("raspberry gmail com" fill in the gaps) and I will see what I can do.