Saturday, September 18, 2010

Missing Mark still, after two years

It has been two years since Mark died - the 17th of September 2008 - and the pain seems to be undimmed. Perhaps the jab is less frequent, but certainly not less intense and it still brings me to tears.

I can't hear the song "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" without remembering singing it to Mark as he lay there unconscious - and the chorus is especially precious - and it was the last song I sang to him as he began to take his last breaths and before going to call in the rest of the family. I also sang "All to Jesus I Surrender" - and I pray that the combination of those songs broke through to his mind, his heart and that he did make a full surrender before deciding to let go to life. All his much-loved family was there, immediate family, daughters, even ex-wife. Roger had taken that day off - just couldn't take any more, and I know Mark would have understood that - they understood each other so well.

I talk to him often in my heart - I know he is asleep in the grave, but still, in my thoughts he is present and so I talk to him and I apologize to him for treating him with such disdain for so many years, leaving him to carry the burden of his addictions alone. I'm so sorry, Mark. I'm just so sorry.

...... Just had to take this break from knitting to let out some of my feelings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From ugly sweater to nice hats!

I had knitted a sweater from cotton for myself and didn't realize at the time that I should be using a smaller needle - and the top just didn't look good at all: (it IS pink, by the way!)

And I wore it one last time just to make sure - and finally decided to make it into something else - something that would be more useful! So, the sweater became this:

And then those balls became these - 8 hats for the cancer hospital plus a dish cloth and a small round something, perhaps a coaster?!

It was fun - and I hope they are useful!

Adventure with Dyeing

Wanted to try some dyeing - had some very discolored cotton yarn - bought simply because I felt sorry for it sitting on the shelf at the store for so long, I think. It was bulky. So I thought - why not take this yarn, knit it up into hats for the cancer hospital and then dye? One with tea, one with coffee. Here is how it began:
Had enough yarn for two hats:

One on left is coffee, one on right is tea. They were still wet. Not a lot of difference when they were dry. But it was fun!

Friday, July 16, 2010

3 shawls done!

Finished three shawls, two of the same pattern but vastly different yarn and one of another pattern, all from the beautiful lady at Prayer Shawl Ministries blog - she has so many lovely designs that she offers for free - and all in memory of someone special. These were done by way of being test knits. Used stash yarn - and unusual color of orange for two of them, but my friend Anne said in her parish bright colors are popular - so she is getting this.

I should be a better photographer!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Commute = little knitting

One big demerit for my new commute is that it has eliminated the majority of my commute knitting. Of course, on the upside, it also implies less time stuck in traffic. But I now take the same boat from home, get off around half way at Wat Chalaw, walk out to the small local road there (used to be the only road we had!) and wait for a song taew, which is a very Thai mode of transportation - a small pickup outfitted with a roof and two benches along the side for passengers. Unlucky people stand in the middle (hanging on to bars put there for the purpose) or hanging off the back end, not as dangerous as it sounds because they also build a bit of a platform on the back end. (I should take a picture - worth a thousand words, right?) Anyway, even at 5 a.m. the thing is tightly packed and absolutely no way to knit. I ride this to the end of its line, which is across the bridge to the Bangkok side of the Chaopraya River), wait some more, then take a regular (air con) bus to the office. Fifteen minutes, about, in not-too-badly-jammed traffic. So - max of 15 minutes to knit. Then on the way home I take that same bus to Nonthaburi market - which is a longer ride, giving me possibly a half hour of knitting - where I then take a different song taew that crosses a different bridge and lets me off at the main highway across from the area my house is located in.

I guess you could say there is a plus in the fact that the commute involves a LOT more walking - very far from bus stop to office and then another good distance from highway to house.

The distance is less, as the crow flies (or as the personal car drives) - but takes me just about exactly the same amount of time in the morning. Homeward bound is quite a bit faster.

Life in Bangkok - so much fun!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wash/Dish cloths

I've been in a dish/wash cloth mode since discovering a bunch of nice dish cloth cotton in my stash (plus buying more for $1 each at Michael's last trip to the US!) - made lots of neat round ones (oops, forgot the picture) - and wanted a change just in case other people got bored with them ... so remembered Mason-Dixon had one that was done in one piece, no sewing and not square, so copied it... made one as prescribed, but I like to use ALL the yarn and so I wanted to be able to adjust as I went along ... so I rewrote the Mason-Dixon wash cloth so that it was backwards (and called it the Backwards Mason Dixon washcloth) and it turned out nicely ... have done two now, one with YO and the other with Kfb increases. I think I like the YO better - lacier and will dry more easily.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Knitting was even affected by the violence - I found I could not pick up the needles. It is only just now that I'm able to knit again.

Lots of projects done before all that violence, however. And now for some reason I'm in a dishcloth mode and dug out all the dishcloth cotton yarn in my HUGE stash and have been working away at them. Found a lovely pattern for a circular one that I have been making lots of - can get two out of one ball of the yarn. Sent a bunch back to the US for Mom to put up for auction at the family reunion and I guess they brought $5 each, which is pretty good since they cost me about 50 cents to make, assuming two from each ball and I bought the balls for a buck each.

And have done a couple test knit shawls - prayer shawls- which I will send to Anne. One is in bright orange! And edged with brown and black because I ran out of orange (and there are three shades of orange too, actually). Doesn't look bad. Anne says they get a lot of people from different cultures that really like the bright colors. The second one in the same pattern is in cream, fuzzy, an old Super Yarn Mart yarn.

And found some really nice cotton here - a chenille type one that I'm making a neck warmer out of for Mandy, and some regular type thread that I'm not sure what I'll do with yet - originally thought string bag, now thinking more garment ....

And to add to all the turmoil, our company moved to the headquarters of the bank. Much stricter, emphasis is strictly looks, not function, for everything on our floor (i.e. a 'pantry' with refrigerator, microwave, hot/cold water machine - but no sink or running water, CEO's office with no sound proofing, wasted space all over the place). The move took place on the weekend they shut the center of Bangkok down - well, it was supposed to anyway - but our computers and everything were at the old office and we came to work at the new office .... Fortunately, the LAN was in and we could access the server at the old office, so once people brought in their own laptops, we could actually put out our usual work. It was a couple weeks before the stuff could be brought from the other office, which was right next to where all the red shirts were camped out. (Can't express how distressing it was to go to work every day by a roundabout route because the red shirts had piled tires and sharpened bamboo sticks across major intersections - it was just like entering a war zone and so sad. At least the route to the new office didn't go anywhere near the center of town so I didn't have to see all the arson - in fact, still haven't seen it.)

Enough catching up for now. How many years before my next entry, eh?

Sad Bangkok

Bangkok is going through a most difficult period and though on the surface things have calmed down, an explosion yesterday is convincing evidence that under the surface, things are still very hot and people are still very angry.

I feel so sad that the disadvantaged people from the country side are being taken advantage of by the red shirt leaders (and their ultimate leader, Thaksin). They deserve better. They deserve to get in on the good life too - but the struggle isn't like their leaders are portraying it but they believe the people who put food in their stomachs and clothes on their backs - how could it be otherwise?

The violence in Bangkok in April and May was such a huge departure for protests. Watching the news became so stressful that I had to stop - yet was drawn to it because "i had to know" - the scenes of violence with tires being trucked to places and set on fire, with the black shirts shooting at the soldiers and the soldiers shooting back. With the random violence from the heavy weapons shooting at random targets ... And then when the army finally stood firm and would not allow the red shirts to get resupplied - they gave up for ths particular time - but not before giving the signal for the burning of Bangkok - which they had given ample notice of in their speeches but which no one believed would really happen. But it did. It was to the point where I had to take some classical music into the bedroom and listen to it in order to get to sleep. So sad for Thailand.

So many different factions, really. Red shirts, black shirts, army that is divided against itself, police that are more for the red shirts than the government - and it isn't ended. I ache for Thailand. And it all appears to have come out of the hubris of ONE man who will NOT leave off his quest for regaining power.

Enough. Please.

Catching up - yet again

A lot has happened since my last entry - the death of Mark being the shadow over everything. Much of what I feel is included in the blog "Remembering Mark Hall" but since every entry goes to those who are 'following', I kind of feel restrained in what I can write. So here I am more free?

I cry inside for Mark so often, so full of regret for missed opportunities to return the love he showed me - but I was so cold and so hard. Tears still come so often, even nearly two years after he died. And if it is this bad for me - imagine how hard it is for Mom and Dad. It is to the point where Dad doesn't feel happy to get back to his beloved house in the woods, and that is so sad. Though he was absent from our lives so much during the past 30 years, until he came home to live, this is different.

Mark - I miss you more than I ever thought I would and wish I had told you and showed you more often that I did love you.