Sunday, 8 November 2015

mum’s blankets

Yes, I'm still here though I probably don't have many followers or readers left!

My life is full of crafting -- there are quilts to make and knitted blankets to complete.

Most of you would know that my mum, who has dementia, came to live with us in March. She can still remember how to do garter stitch but not how to cast on, cast off, change colour, count rows, or fix any problems that may arise during knitting (like dropped or split stitches). Therefore I have to do all those things for her. Consequently my days are filled with the usual household chores and attending to her needs for food, drink and entertainment (largely knitting) while also trying to make some quilts myself (more about that in another post but don't' hold your breath!) 

Afternoons, when WM is home from work, are filled with gardening (oh, you want to hear about that too, do you? Again, don't hold your breath). We are slowly turning what used to be a jungle into a cottage garden on one side of the house and a native garden on the other side -- closer to the bush. Gardening is both our shared time and our therapy time. 

Evenings, after dinner, are mostly spent in front of the television with WM and mum, while joining together the strips that mum knits,. Man! she can turn them out faster than I can turn them into blankets! I had to stop knitting borders in short rows of six to ten stitches, all that turning of a heavy blanket was slowing me down too much so I had to teach myself how to make mitred corners so I could knit the borders long-wise. None of those blankets are in these pictures – you’ll have to wait for the next time I write about blankets to see those!
In this post (written in July, I can hardly believe it), I showed you the first of mum's two blankets. The first was knitted in squares which I had to sew together (Never again, I like hand-sewing but joining squares that are not square is painful!) The second blanket was made of strips that went crosswise on the blanket.

The third blanket was also knitted crosswise but this one, unlike the previous, was knitted in cool colours in left over yarns from other projects.
mum's blanket #3   

By the time we got to the fourth blanket, I pushed it a little harder and managed to get longer strips – but not quite long enough to make a full length blanket so, no only did I have to knit the strips together, I also had to knit other strips on each end to get the blanket to a reasonable length.
mum's blanket #4

By now, mum was on a roll with the knitting and seemed to be progressing quite comfortably with longer strips so I had her knit strips that are fifty stitches wide by 300 garter ridges long (in 8ply/DK acrylic – wool would be too heavy on metal straight needles; she doesn’t understand how to use circulars which she used to handle quite easily). And thus we have blankets #5 and #6.  (I know, they look like the same blanket but they’re not; they are, however, made from the same yarns).
mum's blanket #5mum's blanket #6

Blanket #7 is on the floor on one side of my knitting chair. Blanket #8 is on the table between my chair and WM’s chair. Blanket #9 is in progress but we’re back to crosswise strips. I bought a different brand of yarn and, although it is still ostensibly 8ply acrylic, it is much thicker and harsher to work with than the yarn in the previous three blankets. Thinking of the weight on mum’s wrists on those stiff metal straight needles, I have reverted to crosswise strips; of which five are needed – strips #3 and #4 are on the needles at the moment (she always has two strips in progress so she can be knitting one while she waits for me to deal with the other).
 
As you can see, there is no time for my own personal knitting. I have knitted one sock in eight months – yes, one sock; not one pair, one sock!
 
But it’s still knitting and some (unknown) people will be blessed by the blankets which WM works to buy the yarn and mum and I craft in a joint project.
 
See you sometime with my works in progress! And in the meantime, may your stitching bring you joy.















18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. The blankets are turning out well which makes mum happy!

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  2. They are lovely and at least you can share this with her while she has the ability - be sure to keep one for yourself.

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    1. Thank you! That's a great idea, Sharon. To be honest, I never even thought of it but I guess I would regret it later!

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  3. Hi Lynne,
    Your days are certainily busy but it's lovely your mum can still pick
    up the knitting needles and go for it. I hear you about the garden. I have
    just come back inside from attacking our pool area that looked just like a
    jungle. We are putting a new liner and replacing sides of our pool, so there is
    heaps of stuff all over the place........plus......the weeds. We're getting there.
    The blankets look gorgeous. Happing knitting you two girls.
    Cheers, Anita.

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    1. House and garden can take a lot of time, can't they? We're having trouble with the salt water chlorinator on our swimming pool so it keeps going green. The current week of rain isn't helping the pool but it's great for the garden!

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  4. Lynne it's lovely to hear from you again. I'm so pleased your mum can still work on the blankets as it will be keeping her mind active and slowing the progression of the dementia. The blankets you are making between you are lovely and will be much appreciated but as Sharon said above do be sure to keep one for yourself. Your are doing a fantastic job but do try to get a little time each day for you, even if it's very short. Love and hugs.

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    1. Thank you so much for your concern for my welfare and lovely comment on the blankets. The knitting causes quite a bit of stress for both of us but it's better than having her sit and stare out the window (or read the same book over and over again). Keeping one for myself is a really great idea -- one I had no thought of but would probably regret later! I do have time for me -- we share my sewing room but I get to sew for hours with only occasional interruptions for food (five 'meals' a day) and dealing with knitting issues. Gardening with WM is great time for us and occasionally WM takes mum out for a walk so I can have about ten to fifteen minutes to myself. I go to sewing class for three hours on Monday morning; my wonderful MIL sits with my mother during that time. And, of course, I usually make time to read my Bible and pray at the beginning of each day.

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  5. I think you are wonderful. I would love to think my own daughter would be so good to me if I ever needed her help.

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    1. Thank you. I'm finding it a bit of a struggle so comments like yours mean a lot!

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  6. I love your mom's blankets :)

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    1. Thank you, Diane. Having heard your take on knitted blankets, I know that is high praise!

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  7. Your days and hands are full, so it is understandable why your projects like socks got put aside. All the blankets by your Mom and You are great......love is shared in many ways. Would love to see photos of your garden changes and projects......when time allows. Have thought of you often and prayer of peace and strength will continue.

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  8. Thanks for your lovely comment.

    All my knitting projects have been put aside,not just socks! I am teaching a workshop in two weeks; I will just have to put the blankets aside so that I can concentrate on preparing for that. With summer doing up, I don't know how many more blankets I can finish. It's true I say "never too hot to knit" but that doesn't mean I want to knit blankets in hot weather! 😉

    WM and I have been quite lax in taking before and after shots of the garden. It's too late for the "before" shots but there's plenty of opportunities for the "after"! Hopefully there'll be a post about the garden soon.

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  9. I can't say how nice it is to hear from you !!!!!!! The blankets are wonderful: somewhere your mom still remembers how her hands work and it is so good for her! You are carrying for her as God would have you.

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  10. Thank you -- I don't feel like I'm doing it well but I'm doing it as well as I'm able at this stage of my life!

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  11. It's good to see a post from you. At least your mother can keep her hands busy and enjoys the knitting. It's good too that it all can go towards a good cause and isn't wasted effort.

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    1. Thanks, Kate. It actually creates a bit more work for me -- I don't get any of my own knitting projects done but it makes her happy so it's worth it.

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