Friday, July 29, 2011

Foreign Friday

Cookie factory demonstration
April 1980

Baked items and ice cream in Japan had a unique taste because they were made with a sweet bean paste rather than just sugar. I never did acquire a taste for these confections.

Cookies were often packed in elaborate boxes and given as presentation gifts. These gift boxes of treats could be very expensive.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Flowers is a West Coast/Central Oddball baby blanket. I added pink geraniums to the blanket, using the purled ladder stitch. The first section represents daffodils.

Update: December 15, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hometown Stars

Hometown Stars is finished and ready to be sent to 
the Quilt of Valor coordinator for distribution.

Finished size 62 x 75 inches

I owe a big "Thank You" to Rose Ann L., the volunteer long-arm quilter,
and my sister, Marilyn for supplying the backing fabric. 
This quilt was a true group effort.

Hometown Stars was sent to Alycia C. in Colorado for distribution.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Susie's Summer Tree

Susie's Summer Tree
July block

The third seasonal tree is Susie's Summer Tree. The sky fabric for this block is much darker than that on the Summer house block.

Susie's Summer House and Summer Tree

Only one more tree block in this series. I am not sure what the final four seasonal blocks will be, so I'll patiently wait until September when they will be revealed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What's Up?

Rendezvous Balloon Rally
Riverton, WY
July 2011

 "Jack N D Box" was the only character balloon at the rally this year and
 was piloted by John Harlow from Springfield, MO.

The crowd was patient as Jack's arms, hair, nose, and even the toys, 
surrounding him were inflated. 

The local paper reported that Jack required a team of 10 people and as well as four times as many tanks of propane to fully inflate. Jack is a HUGE balloon, stretching 110 feet, twice as long as a regular balloon. He looked like Gulliver reclining on the field.

 Slowly, Jack began to rise. . .

 and rise. . .

 and rise. . .

until he was fully upright. 

Jack was impressive on the field; however, I can only imagine
 how he looked aloft since Jack remained on the ground the day I attended.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Foreign Friday

Newly married couple
Tokyo, Japan train station
April 1980

Family and friends gathered to wish a young couple well on their honeymoon. I assume the banner illustrates where they are headed on their trip. I am not sure why they were given the huge party hats.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Through the Roof

The heat has zapped my energy and left me about as worthless as this old, shed roof at my grandfather's farm.

I'm not complaining too much since this is the first warm weather of the summer, and before long, I will be grumbling about the cold. A climate with no extremes might be ideal, but it would also be boring.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Veggie Tales

Using the empty needles from Genius, I cast on and knit the first section of a new Oddball blanket. I've named this one Veggie Tales and the blanket sections will represent six characters from the popular children's cartoon.

The sections will be:

The French Peas (light green)
Jerry the Gourd (yellow)
Pa Grape (medium purple)
Bob the Tomato (medium red)
Laura the Carrot (orange)
Larry the Cucumber (medium green)

Update: December 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Brothers Grim

I think the young robin in the foreground is a female, but I couldn't resist labeling this photo "The Brothers Grim."

I made two trips to the front door before I spied these two juvenile robins sitting on the glider. It was the persistent chatter coming from the tree in the front yard that drew my attention to these youngsters.

They are learning to fly: the poor things hit the side house a couple of times after I took several photos. They should be thankful that the neighbor's cat is not out prowling today: others have not been so lucky.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Alma Mater

Alma Mater is probably the strangest Oddball Baby Blanket on which I have knit. I admit that some Oddball blankets cause me to wonder why knitters chose the particular colors for their sections; howeverthe person who started Alma Mater specifically wanted knitters to add the colors of their alma mater (high school or college).

Personally, I think this is not a very attractive blanket, and I doubt that much can be done to make it more appealing.

I chose to add the colors of my high school (red and white) because University of Wyoming gold and brown just didn't seem appropriate.

Alma Mater is a good example of a bad Oddball.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Foreign Friday

Kimono shop 
Nagasaki, Japan
April 1980

Aren't these fabrics gorgeous? A traditional, silk kimono is very expensive ($10,000 for just the kimono and the complete outfit can exceed $20,000). Many kimonos are custom made and are traditionally sewn by hand.

Some styles have long sleeves, like the one being admired by this customer. Other kimonos have shorter sleeves, like the one on the mannequin in the foreground.

Notice the overhead posters which show different styles of kimonos.

Kimonos in dark colors were mainly worn by older women. This design would have been at the bottom of the kimono.

I didn't purchase a kimono (too expensive), but I did acquire some used obis. I framed some of them and made throw pillows out of others. Recently my friend, Sheila gave me some beautiful, silk kimono scraps. I'm still trying to decide what to make with them. Thank you, Sheila for your generosity. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Each region of Oddball Knitters was challenged to create a red/white/black blanket called Genius. Why that particular name or colors were chosen for the blankets is beyond me. I knit the last section on the West Coast/Central Oddball blanket.

Genius was knit on size 6 needles and is 102 stitches wide. It will be sent to the next person who will add the border.

I am starting a new blanket for the group to circulate, using the now empty needles.

Update: July 30, 2011

Genius is finished.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pioneer Souls

Life's struggle on the prairie
East of Provo, SD
June 2011

I wonder what stories this tree could tell. Was it once a secret meeting place? Did children climb and play on its branches? Did it provide welcome shade to laborers in the surrounding fields?

The tenacity of the pioneers who settled on the prairie despite harsh weather and financial hardships is symbolized by the single, living branch on this gnarled tree.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wild and Crazy

No chance of these Crazy Zauberball socks matching. They are going to be wild and crazy, yet I love them and can't wait to wear them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sophie's Socks

Every time I see Sophie beneath the hutch, I smile: Sophie is on guard. Made of wool roving wrapped and lightly felted on a form, Sophie has a unique personality. She is rough around the edges, but soft and sturdy. When Sophie's tag fell off years ago and she looked forlorn, I tied a red ribbon around her neck. In a recent cleaning binge, I found Sophie's tag and was surprised that she and I have been together 24 years.

The finished Crazy Zauberball socks were on the floor waiting for their photo shoot when I noticed Sophie in the shadows and the rays of the sun on the floor which resulted in the photo of Sophie's Socks.

The socks are nearly identical which surprised me since I didn't attempt to match them. The yarn label said the socks would be fraternal.

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