Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Crayons

Another Oddball Baby Blanket arrived this week for me to add a section. I chose Harris Tweed Rib for my stitch and used Caron Simply Soft Grape.

The blanket was started in Connecticut by Gail, traveled to Angela in Texas, and then on to me. I calculated that the blanket traveled over 2,000 miles to reach me in Wyoming and will travel many more before it is finished. From my house, it journeyed to see Mary in Illinois.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Off of the Frames

Today was the final day for the twining class. We met to weave in the loose ends, and to remove the finished rugs from the frames.

Show & Tell is always an exciting time. Everyone admired the color choices and designs created.

This rug featured a variety of novelty, quilting fabrics that the artist used to decrease her stash. Once the rug was finished it was impossible to detect the Halloween and Christmas fabrics. This twiner has a goal to make one rug a month for Christmas gifts.

Fabrics in this rug had been used to make curtains several years ago. The rug was made to coordinate with the artist's kitchen. She plans to make more rugs for herself and for gifts.

This will not be the only rug this artist makes. She took notes and measurements on how to improve the rug frame. She shared photos of her two cats enjoying this rug in her home.

The lady who twined this beauty is planning to make a red, white, and blue rug for her daughter.

Made from sheets, this rug will find its home in the owner's camper.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Remember Alfred?

Do you remember Alfred E. Neuman?

I couldn't help but think of my teenage years when I stumbled across an old copy of Mad Magazine.

When I was in high school reading Mad Magazine was considered being rebellious, and my mother did not understand my desire to read such "trash." If she saw the magazines, games, and movies that teens are exposed to today, she would be aghast, but I think she would quickly realize that I was not as rebellious as she thought I was.

I wonder how time will affect my perception of today's youth. Perhaps, they are not as rebellious as I think they are.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Surprise

It seems strange to celebrate Easter a week after St. Patrick's Day; however, the early Easter has prompted me to post a second pillow top this month.

In addition to the Easter pillow panel, I can now reveal the surprise that I made for Brenda who accepted my Pay It Forward Challenge. The tote bag is made out of Martha Stewart kitchen towels, found at Kmart. The bright, bandana colors are fun and hint that warmer weather will soon be here.

If you want to make one of these reversal tote bags, check out the tutorial on What Is That Going To Be? blog.

Brenda's bag reverses from bright pink to turquoise and is big enough for a quick trip to the grocery store or to take a knitting project on a road trip.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby Boom

The local hospital has had a baby boom of sorts and put out the call for more hats for the newborns, so I have been knitting hats like crazy. I asked a friend if she could help, and she knit gave me some hats this week. Hers are the hats with pom poms. She did some duplicate stitch on three of them for Easter babies.

I am using size 6 (Addi Turbo 12" circular) needles and scrap baby (fingering) yarn. The pattern is from Lion Brand, and I am casting on 60 stitches. The hat is just the right size for a newborn. I will continue making the hats until the nursery has a sizable stash.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Strengthening My Heart & Lungs

My doctor told me in late February that I could stop using supplemental oxygen and enroll in a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program. So, last Monday, I started the program at a local hospital. The goal is for the program to increase my endurance, to condition my body, and to strengthen my lungs.

I crawl out of bed at 5:45 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to drive 30 miles to the hospital. The rehab room is a buzz when I walk in about 7:10 AM. The nurse takes my blood pressure and checks my oxygen saturation level before I start exercising on the available equipment. I usually begin with the treadmill. When I walk as much as I can at the prescribed pace and incline, I stop, and the nurse records my blood pressure and oxygen levels. She records this information for each machine that I use and each exercise that I complete.

I enjoy using the stationary bike at the hospital because the fan cools me as I pedal. My recumbent bike at home has an advantage over the one in the rehab room because it provides more support for my back; however, my home bike does not allow me to exercise my arms while I pedal. I definitely prefer the bikes to the treadmill since inclines are difficult for me to manage.

I use a resistance band at home, but the rehab room has hand weights as well as a machine similar to a stationary bike, but it is for arms. I had no idea how little upper body strength that I had until I began using that machine.

It is too early to determine if the program is working, but I enjoyed the first week. I am optimist that I will be able to meet all the goals that my doctor set for me.

Construction Zone

By the signs in my yard, Spring is coming. The birds are singing in the trees and bushes and creating a flurry of activity as they gather materials to build their nests.

Last year a group of common sparrows built a nests under the deck, and yesterday, I noticed that they are putting an extension on the old nest. Usually, I remove the old nest in the Fall because I always thought birds would not reuse a nest. Now I am curious if this nest and its addition will be used.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Local Boy On the Silver Screen

Having taught in a small Wyoming school (at its peak, an enrollment of 180 students in grades 9 -12), I don't often have the opportunity to say, "I knew him when. . ." or "I had the privilege to have him in one of my classes." Yet, this former student is the exception.

I remember the buzz that went through the community when Matt (as I know him) modeled for a catalog. The buzz increased to a roar when he starred in the series "Party of Five" and progressed to the hit series, "Lost." I have been watching Matthew Fox's career with great interest, and I admit that I am proud of his accomplishments.

Last week a friend and I went to Matt's latest movie, "Vantage Point." I was not disappointed. The film is not a typical suspense film and requires the viewer to evaluate the surroundings and the events as they appear. These events are shown from numerous "vantage points" during the film and soon the pieces fall into place. I found the film to be fresh and well written although reviews on the net are mixed. I don't really care what others think of the film because I liked it. Matt played his character well.

I am proud of the young man who sat in my classroom and who represents his community and values well.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Twining Class

Ten individuals enrolled in the Twined Rug class, and our first meeting was today.

Everyone got their frame loaded and three rows of twining started at each end.

I am hopeful that when we meet again on March 29th that their rugs will be finished.

The best book that I have found that explains the process is Twined Rag Rugs by Bobbie Irwin. The book is out of print, but new copies may be purchased from the author for $19.95 plus shipping. She will autograph any book purchased directly from her. Ms. Irwin can be reached at

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Oddball Knitting

Neon Fun arrived in yesterday's mail, and I could not resist working on it. I grabbed the Caron Simply Soft (grape) yarn that I had purchased for this project and began. It is fun!

According to the small notepad that accompanies the blanket, it has been to knitters in three states (North Carolina, Texas, and Wyoming). The last knitter will add edging to the entire blanket and then it will be donated to a children's hospital in Missouri. The notepad with all of the knitter's comments will also be given to the parents.

I found the Oddball Knitting for Charity group on KnittingHelp and joined both the Oddball Baby Blankets and Oddball Shawl groups. The guidelines are easy, and it takes a minimal amount of yarn and effort to help.

To see some of the blankets in progress and those that are finished check out the Oddball Baby Blanket blog

Here is how Neon Fun looks finished.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

March Pillow Talk

This year is flying by so quickly, but I continue to work towards my goals of knitting items for myself and charity. With those goals in mind, I packed four skeins of sock yarn in my suitcase when I flew to Denver for a doctor's appointment. I packed my needles in my checked bags because I like to use metal needles, and I didn't want to chance having TSA confiscate them. I stayed at my sister's home and found some nice blocks of time to knit. My sister is on a bowling league, so I sat near the lanes and worked on my socks. It seems that knitting in public is a magnet; people always approached me to see what I was making, and a lengthy conversation ensued. At the end of my two week visit: four pair of socks and another sweater for the Guidepost project were finished.

The sock yarn was Lorna's Laces (Mother Lode), Austermann Step (Blue/Gray/Charcoal), Trekking XXL (#184 - Green/Navy), and Lorna's Laces (Gold Hill).
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