I realize it’s been a long time (the end of March) since I last wrote a post for this blog, but there have been what I consider to be really good reasons. Yep, more than one thing has been happening to make this a year or two to remember. The details are matters that I prefer remain private, but I will relate enough to give my readers the general feel of events.
The downhill slide began when my husband’s employers put him on “stand by” status. What that meant was that not only did they not have to pay his salary, but he could not apply for unemployment benefits. Therefore, we were suddenly without an income of any kind, as I have not been gainfully employed for many years and am now disabled to the point of not being able to work outside the home. We managed to survive on our savings for a short time, but are now living on social security and a small military retirement income. Our total income has been cut down to less than a quarter of what it once was. Many people are going through similar situations so we know we are not alone. (No, knowing that doesn’t really help or make us feel any better. It’s just a fact.)
Then we decided to move from the outrageously expensive Northern Virginia area to a small town near Tampa, Florida. We not only have family here, but the overall cost of living is less. We decided to keep expenses down by having our kids help us move using two rental trucks. We originally thought that we could manage with just one truck, but actually needed two. The trip that should have taken no more than 14 hours, ended up taking 25 hours. My husband and I had expected to share the driving, but each ended up driving a separate vehicle: he drove one of the two rental trucks, our son drove the other truck, while I drove the car.
We also now know the devastation wrought by being the victims of fraud and identity theft. It is an experience I wish on no one. We have been very fortunate in that our financial institutions are familiar with the steps required, and that they act quickly to safeguard their patrons once a breach has been discovered. Other appropriate steps have also been taken, but recovery is going to be a very long process.
Okay, enough doom and gloom. Life goes on.
I forced myself to thin out my stash to make it easier to move, and while I haven’t been able to do any replenishing, I did discover a small yarn shop less than 10 minutes from our house. It’s called Brandon Yarn Boutique. The shop is small, but the owner is very friendly, knowledgeable, and carries a nice selection of reasonably priced yarns. I think I’m going to like shopping there
if and when funds permit.
I have found a few good uses for my leftover sock yarn.
I saw (on Pinterest, I think) where someone had done this to her own headphones and it struck me as an incredibly good idea. It’s so irritating to grab your headphones only to find them snarled into a knot. By covering the cords in knitted i-cord, the tangles are gone. I started at the plug end and worked my way up to each ear piece. The entire length took a surprisingly little amount of leftover sock yarn.
One thing I’ve always found to be a problem is the condensation that forms on the outside of cold glasses and cans in the summer. I dislike having wet hands (especially when knitting) and have an equal dislike for the rings left on the tables. These little quick-to-knit cozies nicely deal with both problems.
I knit these as I would the leg of a top down sock. To form the bottom, I knit 2 together across one row, knit one row plain, decreased around again, and bound off the remaining stitches. Quick and easy. The knitted fabric gives a secure grip when picking up the glass or can, and because they cover the edges of the bottom, there are no rings left on the furniture.
Yet another use for leftover sock yarn: a cell phone cozy knit from the bottom up to the flap. I found a leftover button to close the flap. Now I don’t have to worry about the face of my phone getting scratched when I toss it into my puse.
Since we arrived in Florida, I also finished knitting a pair of socks for my daughter (I’ll mail them off to her soon), and knit a pair of short socks for my husband.
Something I wasn’t expecting to find on our front door side window was this little guy:
A tiny tree frog. Apparently, they are quite common in Florida.
We also have a wide variety of small lizards and toads keeping our yard as bug-free as they possibly can. There’s even a family of armadillos outside our back fence that have discovered that our dogs aren’t about to allow them easy access to our yard. They were too busy scrambling back under the fence to pose for pictures.
I’m unfamiliar with Florida weather in general, so I’ve no idea how cool it gets here in the winter. Is it worth my time to knit a fingering weight wool cardigan? I’ll have to wait and see. A shawl might be a good idea now, however, for when the air conditioning is set too high for my comfort or a cool night breeze stirs up. I’ve got enough KnitPicks Palette on hand for that. I’m ready to have something besides socks on the needles.
What are you knitting today?