The Long Haul

Things are quiet here because DH and DS are off doing their camping with 168 other Pathfinders in Eastern Idaho near Yellowstone! Yesterday I talked to DH for a bit because they had excitement on Wednesday just getting to the campground. He was driving DFIL’s Expedition pulling a trailer full of suppulies for the weekend and while they got their safely (Thank you, Jesus), the alternator was all but dead and trying to kill a 1-year-old battery. Yesterday was spent heading to Idaho Falls where Napa Auto Parts had an alternator. Another blessing was that they were met at the campground by a Master Truck Mechanic who is a friend from Montana with his Pathfinder club and two other gentlemen from Idaho were along for the trip who were also mechanics. DFIL was kept apprised of everything and was even here at our home to take care of the costs over the phone so we didn’t have to play the great money transfer. Long story short = the alternator was changed out and as far as I know, all is good. WIth no cell service where they are, I won’t get to talk to him again until Sunday when they head home. All I can say is God answers prayers much better and well before we ask!

The “Long Haul” is actually probably more like my “On the Needles” report. Knitting has been going in spurts due to the very slowly healing right elbow. Most days it only hurts in the morning when I get up and for the first few hours of the day. Since I don’t wear a brace on it at night that may be why. However, when I wear the brace, if my arm swells any, I would get very little sleep from even more pain. During the day I find I am adjusting it every little bit. However, today is payday so I am going to see if I can get a different brace that just slips over the elbow and is more of a flexing fabric. DH had one when he broke his left elbow several years back, but it hasn’t been found.

So back to my knitting–my current project that is seeing any consistent progress is the Color Affection Shawl. The first two sections went fairly smoothly as I knew what colors I wanted to use and thought I knew what the third one was. Other than reviewing how to properly M1L and M1R, ripping back the project once or twice in the process, and making sure I didn’t fall asleep while counting, I knitted along happily adding stitches. The garter stitches were a nice mindless knit while my mind wandered to other projects and problems to solve. When it came time to start the third section, the third color was added after a careful review of how to complete Wraps and Turns. At this point I was more concerned with making these properly and counting how far to go on my short rows than how the third color would play with the other two. I was sure that all would be well because I had just dumped these colors for a sock pattern that I decided I didn’t like all that well, but not because of the colors.

Zipping happily along and picking up speed as the rhythm of the pattern sunk into my brain, I finished the first repeat and immediately ground to an abrupt halt! What was I thinking? Why wasn’t the third color playing nicer? Why did it come off so stark and harsh? Oh yeah, it helps when you knit a swatch to make sure your colors actually will play nicely together the way you envision them! Did I make a swatch? No! Why should I make a swatch when it was a shawl that just might be a smidge to big or to small? And the colors had been fine together in the abandoned sock. Why can’t they play nicely now?! The project was set aside in a time out while immediate contemplation of the problem of planning the senior year of DS’s homeschool curriculum took over. Yes, I don’t try to think about knitting problems when they are in time out. A back burner approach usually solves it.

Bible readings, Calculus lessons, Physics lessons, textbook ordering, German lessons, World Literature lessons, ordering a Government textbook, Economics lessons, and more easily shoved the knitting to the very back burner. Once in awhile I would see it in my bag and immediately turn my back! There was no time to solve the color issue and I just wasn’t in the mood. My mind was too full of making sure this is DS’s best year. Oh yeah, DH and I had to discuss his Senior Project options, too!

In the midst of all of this a coffee date with my BFF came up on the calendar! This is treasured time that always involves a knit or crochet project, coffee, and snacks. The temptation was to leave the shawl in time out and cast on another shawl that had been dug out and would use up some yarn, however it also provided the perfect opportunity to ask for her opinion. A quick dig through the stash–that is hopefully growing smaller–brought up a lighter shade of blue and a brighter peachy-melon to go with the darker blue. This time I started a separate swatch with the new color to compare and ask my BFF what she thought. As soon as I added the third color, I was pretty sure what she was going to say. Sure enough, she confirmed that the lighter blue definitely worked much better. So out came the beginning of part 3 and the lighter blue was added. This picture isn’t very good because it is all bunched up on the circular needle, but it will give you an idea. 20160812_135306

The original blue was more of a royal blue and just too dark for this combination. Now I am trying to get this section done. So far I have over 150 stitches in each “short row” and should have just under 400 stitches per row when this section is done. It is definitely a “long haul”.*

The cross stitch stocking is also a “long haul”. Some stitching was done this last week but not enough to be able to see a noticeable difference, so no picture yet. Perhaps some more will be done this weekend, but no promises. I would love to finish it this year, but only time will tell.


This watermelon is 5-6 inches long and the other one is 7-8 inches long. Both are about 4-5 inches in diameter.

Consuming a lot of my time right now is the garden. Thanks to a couple of watermelons on one vine, we have been watering every day. We are also picking a nice size bunch of green beans about once a week. The yellow squash has now produced 4 squashes and there are more on the vines. The mystery squash/pumpkin plans have fruits on them, but it is still unclear what they are. I hope that as they get bigger we will be able to determine what they are. I do know that we did not plant any pumpkins or butternut squash and that whatever these are, they have come up voluntarily. The tomatoes in the raised bed are still green and growing and the volunteer plants in the garden are growing and now have blossoms. The onion bulbs are growing larger, but other than great tops for the beets, I am not sure how big the bottoms are yet. The late corn is getting taller so we may still have more corn than just the 24 ears that DFIL brought over and I froze earlier in the week. And yes, I need to make a batch of blackberry jam, but may wait until it is cooler. The blackberries are frozen and will still make lovely jam.

It has been a busy summer that after next week will come to a close with school starting again. The garden will continue producing up until October depending on the weather, however other outdoor projects will be moved to ones that prepare things for winter. With warmer weather–low to mid-90s for the next five days, the garden should do very well as long as we water it. Time goes fast even when you are packing as much into every day as you can.

*PS The other shawl has not made it out of the project Ziploc yet, however it is all ready to go whenever this one is done.


About susanssnippets

I wear multiple hats: wife of 25+ years, mother, chauffeur/riding companion to DD22 and DS17, daughter/daughter-in-law, crafter, home engineer and too many others to list.
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2 Responses to The Long Haul

  1. Your shawl is looking good. lol. And so is the watermelon. I love watermelon, and am looking forward to fresh ones with summer coming in a few months. 🙂

  2. Thank you for the encouragement! I am anxious to see how it turns out however that will still be awhile as the rows grow longer and longer. It is great knitting for reading a book as the changes are only at the beginning and end with a wrap and turn in the middle. We have watermelons in the grocery stores but they don’t taste as good as home grown. Hopefully the two biggest will keep growing bigger.

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