Monday, September 30, 2013

Oddball Update

The Western Region Oddball Knitters have been busy. Below are the blankets that have been finished since June on which I had the honor to knit a section.


Light Me Up
started April 2013
Sunflower
started April 2013
Pink Lemonade
started September 2012
Circus
started February 2013
Deep Blue Sea
started March 2013
Hot Chocolate
started January 2013
Baby Sherbet
started March 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Early Snowfall

September 27, 2013
Contrast of Seasons
September 27,2013
Trees will be broken all over town. Thankfully, my three ash trees were trimmed last summer, so hopefully, the damage will be minimal.

September 27, 2013
This ash tree was trimmed last summer but was under stress, so it didn't surprise me to see the broken branches. Note the cable in the upper left of this photo. All of my trees are cabled to prevent large branches from splitting the tree in half.

Nothing to do now but hope for the best.

Here's the forecast.

Foreign Friday

Close-up of Festival float
Misawa, Japan
Autumn 1979

Each of the floats in the Festival parade offered multiple photo opportunities. Today's photo is the front the float featured in last week's Foreign Friday.

The building in the background with the large yellow sign is one that I visited frequently: the local Nikon dealer. I took all of my film there to be processed, and I even purchased a camera from the helpful and extremely knowledgeable staff.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Knitting Heaven

Scrap yarn hat
started September 21, 2013
Friday evening, I was given a bag of scrap wool by Katheryn. When I got home and looked in the bag, I couldn't resist casting on a charity hat.

Needle: size 8
Pattern: Simplest Cap of All
Yarn: assorted wool scraps and malabrigo (Rhodesian)

I always love how the stitch decreases spiral on the top of a hat
Most of the scrap wool was unmarked, but even before I saw the label on the rust yarn, I knew from the texture that it was malabrigo. Malabrigo is heavenly to knit: it glides over the needles and has a nice feel.

Scrap hat
finished September 22, 2013
Thank you, Katheryn for these and other luscious scraps that will be knit into items and given to charities.

While working with the Malabrigo, I was in knitting heaven.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Money Well Spent

source
Health and Science Center Dedication
Central Wyoming College
Riverton, WY
September 20, 2013
It was exciting to attend the dedication of the new $18 million building on the CWC campus on Friday and to take the guided tour through the various classrooms. Additional photos can be seen at the bottom the County 10 post

view from the control room of one of the nursing simulation lab

The mannequins are programmed to give nursing students simulated
hospital experiences. Four simulation labs are available in this area of
 the building. In another section is an eight-bed nursing education
 room that can also be used as an emergency hospital. 

This "patient" was being monitored by a nursing instructor. The
mannequin was blinking rapidly as we watched her care for him. 

This simulation lab had a mother who had just given birth. The nursing
student in the dark blue scrubs explains the "patient's" vitals to the
community members on the tour. The group on the right observes
 a nursing student caring for the newborn. 
The second floor of the building houses the nursing, CNA, and allied health programs, which can now accept more students than in previous years. The main floor houses, the biology, physics, chemistry, computer, and anatomy departments and classrooms.

The construction of 52, 342 square foot Health and Science Center was funded through a $11.5 million bond proposal passed by local voters in November 2010 and the Wyoming Legislature who approved $6.5 million in matching funds.

It was money well spent.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blended Scrap Socks - revisited

Blended Scrap Socks
started August 2013
finished September 2013
The first post about these socks was in August, and they hibernated longer than expected. I transferred the stitches to the Sock Rocket needles for a bit, but finished them on my trusty Knit Picks needles.

Details on the socks can be found on the first post - link given above.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bloggers' Lunch Date

Nancy, Bev, Brian
Jackson, WY
September 2013
Bev (This and That) and I have been reading each other's blogs for a couple of years and have corresponded through email. Bev and her husband winter in Arizona, and last year we threw around the idea of meeting somewhere on one of their trips. The stars aligned this year on their family outing to Yellowstone National Park.

Sue, Bev, Brian
Jackson, WY
September 2013
Emails flew back and forth with details, and we decided to meet in Jackson, WY for lunch. So last Tuesday, my friend Sue and I took a road trip to soak up the lovely scenery and to meet Bev and her husband at Bubba's Roadhouse.

Grand Tetons
Jackson, WY
September 2013
The drive over Togwotee Pass was beautiful in the morning, and we stopped at one of the scenic pull-outs to photograph the Tetons. The aspen in the area were just starting to turn yellow, and this week they should be a gorgeous gold.

Over lunch the conversation flowed smoothly, and we discovered many similarities in our lives.

Bev posted about our lunch and their Wyoming trip here.

Sadly, our visit had to come to an end, and Sue and I headed back over the Continental Divide. The sky opened up near the top of the Pass. Lighting popped and thunder rolled as we drove through a heavy rain and hail storm nearly all the way to Dubois. County 10 reported that nearly 16,500 lightning strikes were recorded in the area that day. The next day, Wyoming's first snow of the season was reported in Jackson, in Yellowstone National Park, and in the mountains around Dubois.

Update: September 25, 2013

One week later, this is the scene on Togwotee Pass where nine inches of snow has fallen. The road was closed most of the day because of a truck that jack-knifed and could not be easily righted. Typically, the first heavy storm of the year, hits the area in late October. I certainly hope this early storm is not a harbinger of a long and bitter winter.

source WYDOT webcam
September 25, 2013
11:54 AM
source WYDOT webcam
September 25, 2013
6:18 PM

Friday, September 20, 2013

Foreign Friday

Autumn Festival Float
Misawa, Japan
August 1979
The back of this float can be seen in this post. This is obviously a religious float, but I do not know enough about Japanese religions to give you any specifics about the images on this float although I believe the dominant figure is a buddha.

You can read more about the religions practiced in Japan here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Swap Scarf

Fall Swap Scarf
started September 9, 2013

I couldn't resist the siren calls of the Noro from KathyB's Fall Swap, and once cast on, it has been hard to resist.

Jared Flood's "pattern" is a 1x1 rib (cast on 39 sts on size 7 needles) and knit two rows of the rib with each skein. On the second row of each color, slip the first and last stitches in the row as if to purl. Those slipped stitches create the nicest edge that will resist rolling.

I am kicking myself for not selecting two brighter skeins to complement the ones I got from KathyB because then the stripes would not be as subtle. Despite that one regret, I am in love with this scarf.

Fair warning: this scarf can be expensive as Noro Silk Garden can be nearly $12 per skein, and the pattern requires four skeins. I was fortunate to receive two skeins in the swap and purchased the other two skeins at 20% off.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Squishy Mail

Loot from Bridget's 7th blogiversary

Recently, Bridget at The Ravell'd Sleave hosted a giveaway to celebrate her blog's 7th anniversary, and I was one of the seven winners. Check out what was in the squishy package I received last week: a great book, filled with wonderful ideas, tips, and patterns, two skeins of green Khroma (Baby Alpaca and Merino - total 200 yds), and Rowan's purelife Revive (recycled silk, cotton and viscose - total 274 yds).

I'm considering knitting a scarf from the Revive and a cowl, hat, or mitts from the Khroma. Any pattern suggestions?

Thank you, Bridget for these wonderful goodies, and Happy Blogiversary! Pop over and check out her blog.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sock Rockets - a review

I love to knit socks, and I'm always receptive to anything that will make that experience even better, so when I heard about a "new" needle (Sock Rockets) made by skacel, I ordered a pair from Jimmy Beans Wool.

The package insert states, "These Sock Rockets needles combine the sharper tip of the addi Turbo Lace needle with the slick nickel-plated coating of the classic Turbo needle - resulting in the perfect needle to make sock knitting faster and easier!"

The needles arrived soon after I ordered them (thanks, JBW for not disappointing), and I quickly transferred this sock onto the needles.
addi Turbo Sock Rockets
Two circulars method
Clearly you can see from the photo that the needles are long and are clumsy and awkward to use; however, the needles are not available in a 16 inch length - a huge mistake by skacel (addi), in my opinion. These needles fell short of the packet insert's statement that it is. . ."the perfect needle to make sock knitting faster and easier!"

The needles pictured are 24 inches long - the shortest length available. The tips are nice and very similar to my Knit Picks needles. The cables are very pliable and perfect for sock knitting although not as flexible as Knit Picks. The tip and cable join are extremely smooth, and this is where they clearly outshine Knit Picks.
addi Turbo Sock Rockets
Magic Loop method
Okay, I wanted to give the Sock Rockets the benefit of the doubt and tried the Magic Loop method with this sock. The kinky yarn slid like butter over the cable and tip joins, which was nice compared to the snags I was getting with the Knit Picks. The long needle tips were helpful when knitting with the Magic Loop, but I found the 24 inch cable a bit too short: the 32 inch would be better for Magic Loop, but I was not going to invest in another needle at this point. My impressions: too long for knitting socks with two circulars, and too short of the Magic Loop method.

Let's talk price: 
Knit Picks Options - fixed 16 inch circular needles $5.99 each
                               (to be fair, even the 24 inch is $5.99)
addi Turbo Sock Rockets - 24 inch  $13.50 at Jimmy Beans Wool
                               (to be fair, they are also available in a 32 inch length
                               which would work better for Magic Loop sock knitting)

After using these needles on two different socks, using two different methods of knitting, I would give them a "thumbs down" for my sock knitting. Hopefully, I will find another project that suits the length of these needles. If the Sock Rockets are ever available in a 16 inch length, I would purchase them in a heartbeat, but until then, I'll keep using my tried and true Knit Picks 16 inch Options.

Have you tried the Sock Rockets? What was your impression?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle Dandy
Western Region Oddball Baby Blanket
started August 2013
This patriotic blanket was probably one of the first blankets to be completed in less than an month. It travelled to six different knitters in Nebraska, Oregon, Ohio, Texas, Idaho, and Wyoming and was off the needles in less than 30 days. An amazing feat when you consider that some blankets take nearly a year to reach this stage.


Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (Red)
Needles: size 8
Stitch count: 126
Stitch used for my section: Mirror Triangles (8 stitch repeat)

Update: November 10, 2013



Friday, September 13, 2013

Foreign Friday

Robert D. Edgren High School
Cheerleaders

Misawa AFB
Misawa, Japan - September 1979
Typical kids doing typical things on a gorgeous Fall day. . .
Robert D. Edgren High School
Football
Misawa AFB
Misawa, Japan
September 1979
On the sidelines
Misawa AFB
Misawa, Japan
September 1979

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Flashback - School Days (revisited)

Marilyn, Nancy, Evelyn
first day of school
September 1958
Many families commemorate the first day of school by taking a photo. I recently found this image and realized it had been taken on the same day as the photo in this post.

I wonder if the "bibs" on my sister's outfits were removable. Note the buttons on the waistband. I'm sure Marilyn and Evelyn are wearing net petticoats to make their skirts flare ever so slightly. Their circular skirts would really swing while dancing the jitterbug!

Evelyn models the dress she made in Home Economics the previous year.
Note: Evelyn made the dress Nancy is wearing in the top photo from same
fabric as the dress shown here. I remember someone saying that
Evelyn and I wore the matching dresses in a school style show. 
Possibly because of the hair style and shoes, this shot of Evelyn's prom dress was taken on the same day.

The last photo was taken in the living room. The davenport (yes, we really called it that long before the terms "sofa" or "couch" were used) was an ugly maroon, the linoleum was green (carpeting was installed in the mid-60s), and the wallpaper stripes were two shades of grey - the flowers were a light pink/white and red. The flowered wallpaper was replaced with dark wood paneling on the south wall and beige wallpaper on the other three walls. The small frame hanging on the right is a photo of my brother John in his Army uniform.

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