Category: Projects

Gerunds

Raise your hand if you know what a gerund is. Sue and Roberta don’t count—we talked about gerunds at dinner the other day.

I hear rumblings from the audience. Don’t you talk about gerunds at dinner? How about Second Law of Thermodynamics? No? Clearly we don’t eat with the same kind of people; but I digress.

Once I spent a year as a high school English teacher. The previous teacher had adorned the walls with posters illustrating parts of speech. Since I didn’t have any decorations of my own, I left them up.

On the first day, one student bopped into class, looked around and exclaimed, “Oh, no, I forgot what a gerund is.”

As I greeted the others with a cheery smile pasted on my face, I secretly cringed. What in the world was a gerund anyway? I looked it up the first chance I had and sighed with relief when I discovered it wouldn’t come up in class for a few weeks.

A gerund is the noun form of a verb formed by using the “ing” ending. For example, if the verb is “to ski,” the noun form is “skiing.” Jan skis every weekend. Skiing is Jan’s favorite sport.

If English is your primary language, you use gerunds all the time without needing to know this obscure word.

I have noticed a new trend—making a verb out of a noun. Like crater. The meteor cratered the ground. Then we transition to the gerund form. Scientists noticed many craterings in the area. I scratch my head. You could have just said “many craters.” That is part of what makes English such an exciting language, and since it is my language, I will continue to go with the flow.

All this is here for the purpose of letting me get used to my new tablet. The touch pad is very sensitive, and I need to avoid touching it while I type. I am trainable and I am learning. It is a great tablet, small and handy, and much easier for carrying around than my laptop. I can fit it in my purse. My husband got it for me the other weekend, and I am delighted with it so far.

I have finished another project off my DO list. My husband is now the proud owner of a pair of green kilt socks to match his vest. I have 14 projects left out of 22. I think I am doing quite well. How are you coming with your DO list?

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New Beginnings

The weather changed its mind and went from cold and grouchy to sunny and pleasant and so did my mood. The snow we got last weekend came with some raw temps, and I had to haul out my scarves, hats and mitts. I drew the line at the down parka—not going to wear that in April! I felt as dreary as the gray sky.

Tuesday was frustrating—two out of three family cars were out of service and my husband had to coordinate towing and repairs. My brain felt jangled and I couldn’t think straight. He suggested I walk the dog. What a good idea! A little exercise always helps, as well as the company of a frisky pup. I stepped out into the sunshine. What a blessing.

I didn’t need gloves or scarves. A cool breeze whisked away the jangled thoughts and I relaxed in the sun while Lexi did her business, then we were off. I let her lead and we had a very pleasant walk sniffing the good sniffs and enjoying the sights. Sometimes a little change is all you need to bring on a new outlook. The cars were repaired with a minimum of fuss and things are back to normal.

I started a new knitting project. It was fun to match up some yarn from the stash I got when a local store went out of business with a pattern for a short cape. It is just right for this weather, now I have to master the pattern.

It is one of those deceptively easy ones with a three stitch repeat, but the challenge came when I tried to work in increases. The first time around it looked awful and I had to admit after 16 rows I must have gone wrong somewhere. I pulled it all out and started over where the pattern began. The second time around it looked better, but not exactly like the picture. I kept going until I got the 16th row and discovered I had made a mistake. A mistake that looked great, in fact it actually matched the picture. Yay! So I frogged it again—back to the beginning of the pattern and went for the third attempt. So far, so good, we’ll see what happens when I get to the 16th row, but this time I have high hopes.

Maybe next time I should swatch the pattern to make sure know what it looks like on a straight piece before I put in the increases. What do you think?

Meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful day, even if it is gloomy where you live.

Finished Project

blouse

Yay, I finished my white blouse. This is a project from my DO list that I started last summer. It is not a difficult pattern and it shouldn’t have morphed into such an ongoing thing, but several things happened to it.

First of all it came out too big. I couldn’t fit it to myself, so I checked into getting or making a dress form. In the end I ordered one. It’s wonderful and it made fitting the blouse a breeze. I had the alterations all marked out, but I got sidetracked and it sat on my table for a while.

Enter the cat. She decided it was a great place to sleep. She bedded down on my nice linen blouse and mashed in lovely wrinkles. She shed on it and ground in the fur. She even barfed on it. Sheesh. It was now filthy.

Finally I got it sewed together enough so I could wash it. Pop—in the washer on warm with a bunch of spot cleaner and it came out nice and white again. If you have ever wondered why they used to make underwear and children’s clothes out of white linen, I can vouch for its practicality. It can be washed in hot water and stains will bleach right out. Hang it in the sun and let nature finish the job. This is workhouse material and it gets softer with wear. It is a shame it is relegated to the “luxury fabric” department.

Now it is done and wearable just in time for spring weather—bring it on!