April also saw my older son and daughter in law home for a visit over Easter. They got to relax and we got to spend time together as a family, something that happens too infrequently. Looking for ideas for their next visit has been fun in the few free minutes I have.
No sooner did they leave to go back home than my younger son moved home again and brought his daughter. Good thing he did it at the time he did as he was on the verge of being hospitalized with strep. Round the clock rest, antibiotics, and care were the order of the day. Having a baby in the house again has been a joy, good for a waistline, and just plain fun. Ok the floors could stand a mopping more often, but that is a small price to pay.
We've had quite a few trials and tribulations with my mother in law recently. As an aging woman, who is too stubborn for her own good, she brings some of her issues on herself but most are just results of aging. She is exceptionally lucky that she didn't break anything during her falls. Some of the issues we (as a family) have been able to rectify. Others will take some retraining.
My church's festival was in early June. Due to an elderly congregation, there are few to do the heavy lifting of the festival. There's more than one type of heavy lifting. We have a rehabilitation facility we can call for the literal heavy lifting. The heavy lifting of chairing the various festival parts is just falling by the wayside. Those who have done it for decades are mostly unable any longer. But for all that, this year's festival was a success. The other churches had good weather so I have high hopes they also had successful festivals.
Recently (ok 3 or 4 years ago), we found a muzzle loading faire. This is designed for those who do reenactments of the 1700s to mid 1800s. Some of the people build their own weapon. Some of the people make their own clothes and all the other accoutrements of the era. As this is a destination type event, some of the ladies decided to do a ladies in waiting group. Here the ladies and children learn the crafts of day to day living. Things like weaving, spinning, open fire cooking, and more esoteric like needlepoint and tatting and ice cream making without a churn are the order of the day. This year I taught foundation piecing and straw weaving. Always a fun activity. The straw weaving is like inkle loom weaving except larger scale and designed for kids.
Immediately after this was my knitting guild's retreat for summer. Sadly I didn't get to attend. My family experienced a loss. My husband's uncle died. It was not totally unexpected but still a devastation. Thankfully the retreat could go on without me.
Finally, I have figured out early what to do for my grandchildren for Christmas. This is a struggle most years. Each child will get a hand knit blanket. I was helped along by a good sale at my local Joann's. The sale was on Bernat Blanket yarn. That will help with the time element and the fact that I have 5 beautiful grandbabies (ok some are in elementary school). Each one will be different and individualized. The first one is center out. I'm on the 2nd ball. I have a gauge of 1.5 sts per inch and 2.5 rows per inch.
The basic pattern for a simple square blanket.
size 13 circular needles.
Cast on 8 stitches with a magic circle.
K 1 rd, pm after every 2nd st. Make the first corner where you start the round different.
* Kfb, k2, kfb, sl m. Rep from *
**K 1 rd.
*Kfb, to last st before marker, kfb, sl m. Rep from *.
Rep from ** until you reach the size desired or you run out of yarn. Bind off loosely.
Weave in ends. Sew fast with a needle and thread if you are using the same yarn as I am. The ends will worm through with use.