Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In Memorium

For the longest time as I grew up I believed that everyone has an "Uncle Bob". Robert is a fairly common name....and nearly all my friends had someone in their family who they referred to as their "Uncle Bob".

My Uncle Bob passed away yeseterday, Monday, April 28.

Even though it seemed everyone I knew had (or has) an Uncle Bob, mine was special because he was....well, mine.

This is a photo of me and him taken in 1969 when I was three years old and he was 21 or 22 yrs. old. He served in Vietnam in the U.S. Army.....I think this is a photo of him after graduating from boot camp, ready to deploy to the war in Vietnam. He was just a kid, as were so many who went. In this photo I can see that my cousin looks an awful lot like his dad.

My Uncle Bob loved cars. He built his own hot rod from the ground up. He liked to fish. He liked playing games. He liked going for rides. He took me to my first demolition derby at the Monona County Fairgrounds. I always pictured him as a sort of James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause type guy.

Once our family went camping with both my uncles and their families. I remember we went to a local amusement park for entertainment one day. Somehow my Uncle Bob talked me into going on the rollercoaster with him. It was great! Scary, but exhilerating! Then we went on a ride called "The Flying Bobs". The seats were shaped like bob sleds which went up and down slight hills as they went around and around.

Being the kid prone to car sickness, this was not the best choice. I managed to hold my own (and the contents of my stomach) out of sheer concentration and will power for part of the ride. But then they kicked the thing into reverse.

Not even Uncle Bob had been counting on that.

We all came off that ride sicker than dogs (whatever that means!) While I was nauseous and had to sit down, Uncle Bob was out for the count. He was green. I think he even threw up. He had to lay down on the ground, then in the back of our station wagon. I remember the rest of the day being pretty slow-paced. Even a game of horseshoes at the campground might have been too much.

He and my Aunt Pat started their family a bit later in life. They have one son, Jim who has a 2 year old and another on the way. My Uncle enjoyed being a dad and was thrilled about being a grandparent. (He always lit up when there were young ones around to tease.) He had that certain twinkle in his eye.

These past few years he had many health concerns. Some of it was diabetes. Some related perhaps to Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam. He had been on dialysis too.

He was only 60 years old.

We'll miss you Uncle Bob!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

No More Yarn!

Some people have little or no appreciation (and even less of a sense of humor) for yarn collections (a.k.a. "stash"). Some of these people may even live with me. Unfortunately they are also the ones who tend to pay the bills and balance the checkbook. Thus, this person may have some small sense of the "problem" (his word, not mine!) incubating (he may have said "overtaking") in the guestroom. (I may definitely have to go Yarn Harlot on him and start hiding it in the piano!)

I'm trying to be good about the "request" that a moratorium on yarn purchases be put in place in our household. Instead, I've recently managed to acquire some books *about* yarn. Surely that doesn't count, does it?

Of course I bought The Harlot's new book:

It's a delight, as are all Stephanie's books! (And, when reading at night after a long day at the computer, I get the chance to wear my new reading glasses! For a 42 year old who's always wanted glasses, this is actually fun, not a drag!)

I was also enticed by these:


I've read my way through *Knitalong* and it is a lovely book. The paper, the photography, the writing, the patterns....love, Love, LOVE it! I can tell I'm going to feel the same way about *Knitting For Peace.*

Do I dare tell you there are two more on their way from KnitPicks? An Elizabeth Zimmerman book along with a spinning/knitting handspun book.

Oh yeah, and one of their "sampler" kits of the new, summer yarns. (Hey, it came with five free patterns....how could I NOT order it??!!!)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

That's What Friends Are For

I have a group of women I knit with nearly every week. They have grown into friends. While we knit we share bits and pieces of our lives. Over time, from these bits and pieces begins to emerge a bigger picture....like a jigsaw puzzle. We begin to see and appreciate each other in new ways.

One of the ladies in my group wanted to knit socks. However, she was just about to leave for the winter to go to Texas where it was sunny and warm. Alas, sock knitting didn't quite happen.

When she returned she asked me if I would take her yarn and knit her socks.
What could I say? I LOVE knitting socks! She delivered two skeins: one Opal and the other with its label missing. She has tiny size 6 (and very narrow) feet. Here is the first pair completed.

She tried on the first one and it fit perfectly, so I made the second just like the first. This is the yarn that had no label.

The other pair I'm doing from the toe up just to give her a sense and feel for how the two construction methods differ.

Now the word is out......I suspect I might be coming into some more sock yarn to knit for others in the group!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Sweet Life

Happy First Birthday to my nephew!

I'm not sure how a whole year has gone by! He is the happiest child I've ever met with the biggest smile and a twinkle in both eyes.

Between him and his older sister (also a sweet, super smart and caring child!!), it's clear my brother and sis-in-law are doing a FABULOUS job parenting!