Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Sky's the Limit

The Sky's the Limit
 Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started September 2012
Blanket knit on traveling needles in four-inch sections. Knit on size 9 needles and 130 stitches.

I used Mary Maxim Starlette (Royal Blue) and (White) to complement the first section and to give the blanket a "planned" look.

After my friend Cheryl adds the border, this blanket will have been completed by two knitters in Texas, two knitters in Oregon, one knitter in Canada, and one knitter and one crocheter in Wyoming. It's a well-travelled blanket.

I have the privilege of beginning and naming a new blanket with the empty needles.

Update: February 4, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Jackknifed semi
Togwotee Pass
May 1979
A jackknifed semi can bring traffic to a halt, especially on a slick mountain pass. I remember being glad the cattle hauler was empty because if it had been loaded, the process to clear the road would have been more involved and the delay much longer. Unexpected incidents like this are good reasons to always have a tank full of gas when driving in cold weather.

May 1979, I was traveling with a group from Wheatland, WY to a conference in Jackson, WY. That morning we left Wheatland's sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s and encountered snow and slick roads on Togwotee Pass. Wyoming's weather is notoriously unpredictable and can change quickly even in the summer. 

The road over Togwotee Pass was recently improved (widened, realigned, and resurfaced), but even with the improvements, a jackknifed truck would still bring traffic to a halt. Previous posts of Togwotee Pass can be found here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cotton Candy

Cotton Candy
started and finished January 2013
I am attempting to find the bottom of a yarn basket (without much success) by knitting baby blankets on large needles. Even after knitting three, double-stranded blankets, the skeins in the basket seem to be multiplying rather than diminishing.

Cotton Candy's specifics: 
  • Needle size 13, using double strands of yarn
  • Yarn - 1 skein Red Heart SuperSaver (Petal Pink) and 1 skein of mystery yarn (White)
  • Pattern - Encore Eight Hour Baby Blankets (EBB06) - Plymouth Yarn
  • 71 stitches
Tickled Pink was knit with the same pattern and Iced Lemonade, used a different pattern from the Eight Hour pattern book.

The following photo is for those who wanted to see the mobius I made from the Sky Scarf. 

Sky Scarf
photo by Cheryl, a knitting buddy
Because my back was facing the windows in the restaurant, the lighting in this photo is not the greatest, but the scarf is clearly visible.

I am very happy with my decision to turn this simple, garter-stitch project into a mobius and will definitely wear it more than a straight scarf. On recent cold days, I have appreciated the two layers of baby alpaca around my neck.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Flashback - Teamwork

Barney and Bill
taken in the 1940s
My Dad used horses for farming long before I was born or before he owned a tractor. I don't remember the team (Barney and Bill) in the photo above; maybe my oldest sister will leave a comment about her memories of this team. I do, however, remember a team called King and Queen. I can't find a photo of them anywhere, but I think one or both of them had a blaze face, and I recall both were black. I wish there was a photo of either team working in the field, but I can't find one.

A neighbor to the west of the farm, used their team for hauling wood into the late 60s. I recall the distinctive sound of the wagon and team as it made its way up the hill and past our house. The family heated their home with wood collected at the dump about three or four miles to the north.
Sally and Sam
Bull Mountain Ranch
(front of postcard)
February 1987
My nephew used two teams (both were Belgian) on the Bull Mountain Ranch to feed during the long winter. I recently found this postcard Dwight sent to me in 1987. In his darkroom, he developed the film and printed the photo on postcard paper.
(back of postcard)
Feb. 15, 1987  Who says you can't drive and take pictures at the
same time? See you soon, love Dwight
While I love technology (email and texts), I miss getting surprise notes in my mailbox from friends and family. These notes are historic time capsules - something an email or a text can never claim.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Iced Lemonade

Iced Lemonade
Needle size 13

Yarn - 2 skeins white and 2 skeins variegated mystery yarn, knit with double strands

Pattern - Encore Eight Hour Baby Blankets (EBB14) - Plymouth Yarn

72 stitches

It was fun to watch the variegated yarn make the argyle pattern. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

American Made

Longaberger flower planter
Filled with blooming plants, these large baskets
 line the streets of Dresden, OH, the site of the
Longaberger manufacturing plant. 
I purchased my first Longaberger basket in the early 90s, and if I looked hard enough, I could find the exact year because it is written on  the bottom of each basket. That information wasn't placed there by me, but by the weaver. Yes, these maple baskets are hand-woven and are Made in America. Marilyn and I visited Dresden, OH several years ago to tour the plant, so let me share some photos with you.

Disclaimer: I have nearly a hundred Longaberger baskets in all shapes and sizes in my house because I love them so much. (I was not paid to write this post, I am a satisfied customer.)
Each basket starts with a form.
Note that it is attached to the black frame in front of the weaver. 
Some of the baskets have colored bands woven into them.
Thousands of baskets were being made the day Marilyn and I visited.
As you can see the plant is HUGE and employes a lot of people.
This was just the weaving section. 
Pallets of baskets waiting to be inspected or for handles to be attached. 
A worker adds handles to a basket.
One of the final steps is staining. The company
has a traditional stain (shown in this photo) and
a darker stain. Sometimes baskets are offered
with a white-wash or other colors. 
Finished baskets awaiting shipment.
I use the baskets for holding trash, laundry, recycling, yarn, knitting projects, towels, beauty products, storing odd bits, and for decorating. Every room in my house has at least one Longaberger basket.
Longaberger Office Building
I can't find my photo (the photo above was found online), but even the company office is a shaped like a basket.

Not all of Longaberger's products are Made in America, but I know for a fact that their baskets are. I encourage you to support companies that manufacture products in America and put Americans to work.

Do you own any Longaberger baskets and are you as crazy about them as I am?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Back in Time

near Wheatland, WY
approximately 1975
Today it is easy to find spas that offer massages. In 1975, however, it was not trendy, and those who wanted a massage must have searched high and low.

The proprietor clearly thought the old tub on the pole added a touch of class to the establishment which offered "Scientific Swedish Massage."

Have you ever had a Swedish Massage?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tickled Pink

Tickled Pink

Needle size 13
Yarn - 4 skeins Bernat Giggles (Tickled Pink), knit with double strands
Pattern - Encore Eight Hour Baby Blankets (EBB06) - Plymouth Yarn
71 stitches

Friday, January 18, 2013

Foreign Friday

Rickshaw driver
December 1979
This rickshaw driver catches a cat-nap between customers. He probably had a late night, giving rides to tourists.

Riding in a rickshaw is a delight and a great way to see a city, especially at night. Here's a previous post on my experience.

I loved Singapore and would like to return someday.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms
started January 2013
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
Needle size 10.5
Bernat Giggles (Tickled Pink)
Stitch: Garter Steps

Update: May 9, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


started October 2012
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
Needle size 5
Yarn - Red Heart (Sparkling White)
Stitch - Purled Ladder

Update: March 23, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I've been staying inside a lot the last few days because it has been bitter cold. While some think the temperatures are perfect for recreating outside, I prefer to be warm; thus, I'm knitting, reading, and working on other crafts. Those who must work outside in the bitter temperatures have my admiration. I simply could not do it.

A list of the temperatures around Wyoming yesterday and last night can be seen here. Yesterday's high temperature in Riverton was -1 F and last night's low was -20 F. 

It's a safe bet that I wear hand-knit wool socks, cowls/scarves, hats, and mittens whenever I go out. My winter survival kit is in the trunk of my car, and the gas tank is always full. Like it or not, winter is here, and it's important to be prepared.

Do you have an emergency kit in your vehicle?

I hope the wind comes up today and blows this cold air out of the valley. If not, the bitter cold could hang in here for days.

Sky Scarf - OTN

Sky Scarf
started April 8, 2012
finished January 6, 2013
After 273 days, this project is off the needles. The original plan was to knit a full year of daily sky colors. I grew tired of keeping the scarf up to date, and it became a drudgery; thus, I have a short scarf.

Previous posts about this project can be found here.

Update: yesterday I added a twist, grafted the ends, and turned this short scarf into a mobius. I will definitely wear it more than a simple scarf. I'll post a photo soon.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started January 2013
Needle size 8
Caron Simply Soft (Cedar)
Box Stitch
106 stitches

Update: July 14, 2013

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