Friday, September 19, 2014

Foreign Friday

Rural barn
Misawa, Japan
Autumn 1980
On weekends, I put on my walking boots, grabbed my camera and wandered around the countryside. Sometimes, I went alone; other times, with friends. I saw more of the "real" Japan than those who stayed on the highways and in town. I found beauty in the raw images of rural Japan.

Note: that is corn drying under the eave of the barn.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Garter Rib Blanket

Garter Rib Baby Blanket

Pattern: Garter Rib Blanket (Ravelry link to free pattern)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (Soft Pink)

Needles: Size 8

Stitch count: 126

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Humbug Bags' Giveaway

Oilcloth Humbug bags
I was recently invited to sew with a group that meets at the Lander library each month, so last week, I loaded my sewing machine and supplies and drove to Lander. The project for September was Humbug bags. The bag was inspired by an English sweet, called a humbug.

I'd seen the bags before, but had never made one. I completed a small bag from the supplies I took to the sew-in as well as bought some kits for larger bags from Mary, the group's coordinator.

Some of the bags were made as gifts, and the ones pictured above are my gifts to four lucky readers.

The bags are approximately 12 inches long and are constructed with oilcloth. They are a good size for knitting or other crafts as well as a ditty bag for travel.

If you want to be included in the drawing for a bag, tell me in your comment which one appeals to you. The winners will be posted on Monday, September 22, 2014, so you have until noon on Sunday to enter the drawing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back in Time - Summer Helpers

Rich S., Dwight M., Rosa S. Brenda M.
approx. 1978
My nephew and niece from Denver came to the farm and worked for Grandma Rosie for several summers. They milked cows, fed calves, cleaned the barn, fixed meals, mowed the yard, irrigated, worked in the field, and fed cows.

Dwight and his cousin Bruce (from Fargo, ND) slept in a camper near the house and next to the irrigation ditch. Brenda and her cousin Becky (from Fargo, ND) slept in the house.

Some evenings we played Spoons and Nertz, card games that can be quite competitive.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivational Marker

September 2014
I use a simple Bulldog clip to help me see my progress when twining. I move the clip to the bottom of the last row and twine from that point. The photo shows that I've added about an inch since I last moved the clip. An inch may not seem like a lot, but it sometimes can take 30 minutes or more to twine an inch.

When knitting, I often attach a removable stitch marker so I can see my progress. These clips and markers keep me motivated on seemingly endless projects.

What tricks do you use on projects for motivation?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Foreign Friday

Our tour guide demonstrates how latex is harvested from a rubber tree
December 22, 1979
The notes from my travel journal state, "The rubber tree plantation was the last stop today. A British commander smuggled 22 seeds from Brazil and only 9 seedlings sprouted and were then planted in Singapore. Singapore became the rubber capital for some time. The American company, Goodyear, discovered vulcanization and rubber tires thus caught on."

Up until this tour, I had no idea where rubber originated.

Latex from a rubber tree
Rubber Tree Plantation
December 22, 1979
Other notes from my journal: "Gas in Singapore -  $2.30 a gallon. The government encourages car pooling in the morning and taxes cars for having less than four people inside. The cars on the streets are less than ten years old because older cars are taxed double."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Autumn Afternoons

Twining on the deck
September 2014
Temperatures have been in a state of flux the last few weeks as Autumn creeps down the mountainside. It can be 80 F one day and 50 F the next. I usually start the day with the house closed and fling open the windows and doors by mid-day. I added a down comforter to my bed about a month ago, and in another month, I'll probably start using the flannel sheets.

Recently, I've been trying to twine outside as much as I can. The lint and strings can be easily swept off the deck, and I can enjoy the gentle breezes. All too soon, it will be too chilly to twine or to knit outside.

How do you like to spend Autumn afternoons?

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