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Showing posts from April, 2009

Bird's Eye View

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Yesterday, I checked on the little ones again. It appears that they are doing well. I am afraid the wreath will never be the same again, and if a good wash doesn't change its appearance once the babies have taken flight, it will be in the dumpster.

Within My Reach

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A cup of tea. On the needles, a knitting project or two, or possibly, three. A stack of knitted squares. Yarn waiting to be used. What more do I need?

Sweet & Sour

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I was a pinch knitter for the last section of Chocolate Covered Cherries, a West Coast Oddball Baby Blanket. This sweet blanket was knit on size 6 needles and is 90 stitches wide, so it is destined to be a preemie blanket. Preemie blankets for the West Coast Oddball Knitters are sent to Children's Hospital in Denver, CO Update: May 2, 2009 I started another preemie blanket on the empty needles. I named this one, Lemon Drop . Update: August 2, 2009 Lemon Drop is now ready for a border.

Answering the Call

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I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the military, and I simply melt at the sight of a man in a crisp dress uniform. So answering the call to knit for the troops was an easy decision. I read an article in the Winter 2008/2009 issue of knit simple about Operation Helmetliner . When I checked out the pattern , I knew that it was something that I could knit without any trouble. I used wool reclaimed from a thrift shop sweater. After I washed the wool last summer, I labeled it Silver Birchwood because the color is so intriguing. I think it makes a perfect helmet liner and neck gator. I have three more skeins of this yarn, and I plan to use all of it for this project. Earlier this week the Wyoming National Guard deployed nearly 800 guardsmen for duty overseas. The gators and helmet liners will be knit in their honor. If you have appropriate wool (color, weight, and yardage), please consider making at least one item for this cause.

Mystery of Life

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The babies have arrived! Of course, it is too early to see much in the nest, but the eggs have hatched and little fur balls are in their place. I am sure things are going to get busy and noisy in the nest soon.

Earth Day Knit-in

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Yesterday, a small group of knitters and recyclers met on Main Street for a Earth Day Knit-in. The woman who organized the gathering is an avid recycler and a talented artist. Two years ago, Kathi began rescuing clothing and turning them into works of art. She planned a recycling show for the community and challenged people to create something from the cast-offs. She gathered clothing and rented a storage unit; and then doled out the bounty to crafters. I cannot even imagine how many tons of clothing were kept from the landfill due to her efforts. For her recycling show, Kathi turned blue jeans into 3-D sculpture and tailored a covering for a collapsible gazebo out of blue jeans. She turned sweatshirts and T-shirts into tote bags. Kathi made a skirt entirely out of labels cut from garments and turned old clothing into stylish and modern garments. For today's Knit-in, Kathi brought a huge bin of 1 inch strips cut from T-shirts. As we sat in front of the ReStore (a place where

Summer Sky

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Since I was the last knitter on Neon Rainbow , I started a new Oddball Baby Blanket on the empty needles. This new blanket is named Summer Sky . Update: June 16, 2009

Over the Rainbow

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Yesterday, I received Neon Rainbow in the mail and added the purple (and last section) to this West Coast Oddball Baby Blanket. The finished blanket will now be sent to the next person, who will add a border. Neon Rainbow was knit entirely in garter stitch on size 8 needles. Every knitter used Caron Simply Soft Bright yarn for their section. Update: June 11, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

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Monday, April 20, 2009 Outside My Window. . . a beautiful day is in the making: clear blue sky, birds chattering in the trees, and a slight breeze flapping the flag. Last week's snow has melted, encouraging the world to come out of its winter slumber. I am thinking. . . of opening up the house today and letting in some fresh air. I am thankful... for a Monday morning at home. I switched shifts with another volunteer, so I will work this afternoon at the hospital. In the kitchen... an early lunch is in the works - leftovers (planned overs from last night's meal). I am wearing... casual clothes: a tee and some khaki pants I am creating... some knitted items for the troops: neck gators for now. I am planning... knit some helmet liners, in addition to the neck gators. The CitizensSAM site has more information. I am reading... Toxic Bachelors by Danielle Steel. I am praying... for my neighbor who is still hospitalized. I am hearing... the chattering of bi

Saturday Fun

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Is there a better way to spend a Saturday morning than playing with wool? Perhaps, but several Fiber Guild members gathered to make "wet felted" balls and prepared some dry balls to be felted in the washing machine for the Guild Christmas tree. First, roving was carded into batts. Aligning the wool fibers all in the same direction makes felting easier. The wool is carefully removed from the carding drum. Then a handful of odd bits of roving are then blanketed in the batt. For "wet felting" the balls were submerged in hot water and then dish soap was applied to the ball. The wool is then worked to allow the fibers to adhere to each other. We rubbed, rolled, dipped, rubbed, rolled, and dipped for about 15 minutes. Gradually the balls became more compact. Once they were the size that we wanted, the balls were rinsed in cold water until the water ran clear. The dry balls were prepared the same way, but they were placed in an old pair of nylons with knots b

Water, Water, Everywhere

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Please pray for the people living along the Red River in North Dakota. My sister, who lives in Fargo, ND, sent these photos today. These pictures, taken on April 15, 2009, are from the Northern part of the Red River Valley near the US and Canadian border. She said, "The river is starting to drop again for the second time. However, it will probably be 10 days to 2 weeks before we can get in the fields even at the research farm. Some farmers may not get in the fields at all." The landscape is so flat that flooding is inevitable, but the devastation is incredible. Large parts of small town/rural ND are being devastated by flood water. Please continue to include them in your prayers.

I Miss. . .

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Is it just me, or does it bother anyone else that people talk loudly and openly on cell phones about very private matters. It is nearly impossible to not eavesdrop on their conversations. I Miss. . . telephone booths - places where people actually went to talk privately. I wish I had taken photos of the phone booths that used to be scattered around my community. I Miss. . . pay telephones. Does everyone really have their own cell phone? Have you ever tried to find a pay telephone in your area? They are becoming more and more scarce. I know there is one in the hospital lobby, but frankly, that is the only place that I've actually seen one in my community. Even this phone is in an open area with only a box on the wall surrounding it, no privacy at all. Cell phones have given us freedom, but they have robbed us of our sense of privacy. Two phone booths at a rest area on Route 30 just outside Mansfield, Ohio photo by scottamus on Flikr

Welcome to My World

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Look what I woke up to this morning! About 5 inches of moisture-packed snow covers the ground, and it's still falling. I keep telling myself that the moisture is good, but any other positive thoughts are long gone. When is Spring ever going to get here?

Recycling Vintage Calendars

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Remember linen calendars? When I lived at home, my mother had at least one hanging in the kitchen, and over the years, she had quite a collection. What can be done with an outdated linen calendar? After I washed and ironed them, I turned them into tote bags for shopping or for crafts, using this technique on What's That Gonna Be? The bags are lined with some fabric from my stash, making them reversible. A lady in my knitting group gave me a large cotton tea towel from New Zealand several weeks ago. I made it into a bag with shoulder straps. She was delighted when I gave the bag to her Tuesday night. I rescued this souvenir towel at the garage sale earlier this month. It also has longer, shoulder straps. Some people may think I am crazy for ruining these vintage calendars, but at least now, they are out of storage and can be useful.

Best Laid Plans

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"The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often askew. . ." ~ "To A Mouse" by Robert Burns ~ Sometimes things just don't work out as they are planned. I wanted to make the beautiful Snowflake Star , but for some reason my finished product is a deformed mess. I was hoping to make this snowflake ornament for the Fiber Guild tree, but I am not going to try the pattern again. I did try the Fancy Yet Easy Ornament , and the result resembles the photo that was posted with the pattern. The pattern is no longer available online, but it was designed by Terry Liann Morris - SailingKnitter . As cute as it is, it doesn't look like a snowflake, so it will not be submitted for the Guild tree. The hunt for an easy, knitted snowflake pattern goes on.

On the Wing

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Update: four pale blue eggs with brown spots are now visible in the nest. I think it is a house finch nest, but I am not sure. Another type of bird was spotted in my yard yesterday, but this one came from my knitting needles. Fremont Fiber Guild members are decorating a seven foot tree for the local Festival of Trees in December, and the group decided to use red or gold decorations, created from wool and other natural fibers. Last summer, I reclaimed a vibrant, red sweater made of lambswool, and the yarn worked perfectly for this project. I experimented with various patterns, but many of them just didn't look right or were confusing to knit. I found a cute bird ornament by Mel on Slip Slip Knit . The tail was frogged twice before the directions made sense to me. I'll show this prototype to guild members at Knitting Group tonight. I know they will be pleased with the result and will request the pattern. I plan to make two birds for the tree and maybe one for myself.

Simple Woman's Daybook

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Monday, April 13, 2009 Outside My Window. . . the sky is gray and dreary. It was clear earlier, but now a spring storm is moving into the area. I only hope that the moisture will be in a more liquid form than the past weeks' storms. I am glad that the snow has melted, giving the lawns around town a much needed drink. My yard is beginning to turn from a drab beige to a fresh green. I am thinking. . . about my neighbor, as he is back in the hospital. I am thankful... for all the fresh produce and fruit featured in the grocery store. I purchased some asparagus and strawberries on Saturday. Nothing tastes more like Spring than asparagus. When I lived on the farm, every year I to hunt for wild asparagus along the ditch banks and in old farm yards. The location of these patches were a well guarded secret. I wonder if anyone has discovered my treasure and if they enjoy it as much as I did. On a plate in the kitchen... are the crumbs of my lunch - an egg salad sandwich, a fresh t

Happy Easter

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Alleluia, He is Risen! Flowering Grace by William Mangum

3 R's: read, rate, & recommend

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March's reading list was not as impressive as January and February, and as usual, I enjoyed some more than others. I highly recommend the books with four or five stars: they offer more than mere entertainment. The book I enjoyed the most during March was The Gingerbread Girl by Stephen King. This novella, published in 2008, was so unlike all of the other Stephen King books that I've read (nothing other worldly in the pages of this book). It is a good thriller. The bomb of the month was a "mystery" by Carol Higgins Clark , titled Zapped . When I picked up the book, I mistook the author for Mary Higgins Clark, which I later discovered is Carol's mother. Even though this is the eleventh book she has authored (it was published in 2008), she has a lot to learn to match her mother's skills. Carol Higgins Clark has co-authored four novels with her mother, Mary Higgins Clark. Five Stars Sundays at Tiffanys by James Patterson The Gingerbread Girl by Stephen

April Sampler Blocks

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April's blocks for my Sampler Quilt are finished. April blocks Capital T Baby Four-Patch March blocks Tudor Rose Mrs. Keller's Nine Patch February blocks All Hallows Old Maid's Puzzle I like how all of the blocks look together. With any luck, this may turn into an attractive quilt top.

At a Snail's Pace

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Honestly, I am working on the cropped cardigan, but for some reason it is not progressing very quickly. I haven't knit one stitch on it for over a week. I think once I get past the sleeves, I will become more motivated to finish.

Square Knitting

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A call went out for more squares in the All Crafts for Charity group, and I was happy to use more of the donated yarn. This type of knitting is easy to throw into a bag and take to doctor's appointments and other places when waiting is expected. I have a stack of squares ready to mail and two on the needles that I want to finish before I send the package. I am using size 8 needles, casting on 30 stitches, and knitting every row until I have a 7 inch square (28 ridges) for my gauge.

Off Limits

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Yesterday was beautiful - sunny and much warmer. I went out to remove the holiday wreath from the shed, but something caught my eye as I put my hands on each side. The wreath will stay where it is for now because I simply cannot remove it while the birds are nesting. Look closer. Do you see what I see? Two eggs are nestled in the small nest. This nest is strictly off limits for the Easter Egg Hunt.