Chalks and Startitis

I just read in The Yarn Harlot this week that she suffers from startitis as I do. Terri and I went to Gourmet Yarn yesterday to spend the afternoon knitting and visiting. I had the Nina Shawl and a washcloth to work on but that just wasn’t enough. Shelly has been tempting me to knit for the CIC kids and the idea formed in my head that a sweater for a child in Russia would serve two purposes: one for me to cut my teeth on a sweater!!! and two for some child to have something to keep him/her warm during the freezing cold. So here we are, to the left is the picture of the front of a boatneck sweater in navy with red stripes, barely started! I love the look of tweed and this is 100% superwash wool. CIC requests at least 70% wool. The navy had some slubs of red in it so I thought the red tweed would be the appropriate color for stripes. The yarn is Smart and in DK weight. The pattern calls for size 5 or 6 needles and wouldn’t you know it, after swatching I have to use 7 and 8’s. ;-( Size 8’s are almost like telephone poles to me. Although the up side is the knitting goes faster.


Terri was telling me yesterday about her class at SNU. This past week they had to bring a momento that meant something to them. I was thinking of that this morning and immediately thought I would have taken a box of conversation hearts. Seven years ago today, I lost my Daddy. He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in March of 1999 and died in September of 1999. Looking back, the spot on his lungs showed up a few years before he was diagnosed. But because it was contained and showed no growth and since he was a former smoker, the doctors just made him have lung x-ray’s every six months to keep watch. No diagnosis at that point. Once he was diagnosed, the doctors wanted to blame it on smoking even though he quit 25 years before his death. He was a career Southwestern Bell employee and in his early years had handled asbestos coated telephone lines long before they knew how dangerous that was. He was very fortunate that it didn’t show up for 36 years after exposure. In most cases it shows up 20-30 years after. I believe it was the asbestos that caused the fibrosis. Anyway, I look alot like him as I have his round face,his pale skin, his true blue eyes and his upturned nose. He had a good sense of humor and he was never mean to anyone. He had a soft spot for animals and as you probably already know I took that and “perfected” it a bit. lol Daddy was a freckled red head. His mother died when he was two so his grandmother and aunt raised the sibling group. Since he was the baby, my great aunt doted on him. She was the other bread winner in the extended family group (in addition to my grandfather). The lived in Cleveland, Oklahoma but she worked in Tulsa. She often went to Tulsa to shop too. She’d always ask the kids if they needed anything as she was going to “the Brown Dunkin” in Tulsa. My dad would say “Aunt Katherine, would you please buy me some freckle cream?” She’d smile and tell him he should be proud of his freckles as they were the marks left on him when the angels kissed him. I get my storytelling affinity from my daddy also. He always had some interesting stories to tell and of course, as small kids we’d beg him to tell us things about his childhood. He’s the one who when I asked how he came up with my name told this story: He claimed the Kay was for Kaye Star who he thought was a great singer. And when I asked where my middle name came from he told me this story. He was in the car driving to the hospital to pick me and my mother up to bring us home. On the way he saw this bum laying in the ditch. He stopped to give the guy a ride. He started talking with the bum and learned his name was Lee. He decided that was a good name only I needed the girl’s spelling of Lea. That was just a joke but that was my dad. Always teasing. When we grew up and left the house, Daddy started buying us candy for Valentine’s Day. It started out as a card and box of conversation hearts, which we called Chalks. My sister and I didn’t like chalks but Daddy did and that was his signature gift to us. I finally convinced him after years of boxes of chalks that he needed to put the “lates” on the chalks…..choc-o-late. And he then started giving us the signature box of chalks plus the 4 piece box of Russell Stovers. lol It took me awhile but I started saving those boxes of chalks. I probably have 7-10 boxes stashed in different places. The one in the picture is the only one I could lay hands on today. It just seemed right to post a picture of his signature Valentine’s gift today. I know he’s in heaven, getting to know the mother he never knew and playing Yahtzee with his sister and listening to her squeal when she rolls seven of a kind, talking with his dad and oldest brother and hugging the aunt who was like a mother to him.

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4 Comments »

  1. What sweet memories of your daddy! I’ve never heard the term “chalks” before. And I really like the yarn you’ve chosen for the sweater.

  2. 2
    Carolyn Says:

    What wonderful memories! I lost my Mom back in 1990, so I can identify. Knitting actually reminds me of her. She was so in awe of things I knitted and although I tried and tried to convince her she could do it, she steadfastly claimed that she would rather sit and watch me knit & purl while she crocheted and raveled…better known these days as frogging! She, like your Dad, was a sweet spirited person and loved to tell stories. Thanks for your post…it made me think of her!

  3. Kay, I had a great trip with you today…and I hope you don’t mind that your birthday present was a little late. : )

    Your story of the *chalks* brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure you’re right….your Dad is having a great time in heaven with his loved ones.

  4. 4
    Terri Says:

    I think we are all Daddy’s girl.


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