Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Holiday Inflation

Halloween yard decorations
October 2017
Large inflatable decorations are gaining popularity and can be seen in my neighborhood for nearly every holiday. This display was fun: the dragon's wings moved from front to back.

Some people only inflate the decorations at night, but in my opinion, the crumpled heaps look pretty pathetic during the day.

Are inflatable, holiday decorations popular in your area?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pat's Flags

Pat's Flags
61 x 72 inches
Quilt of Valor
The components of this Quilt of Valor came to me from Pat S. in Virginia in mid-October. Pat constructed all the blocks (paper-pieced) and for some reason the project stalled. She asked if I would be willing to accept her unfinished project (UFO).

The paper foundation for the blocks was very thick (almost the weight of interfacing), and I suspect that was the why the project became a UFO.

I knew the longarm volunteer would have difficulty with the thickness of the blocks, so I pondered the situation for a few days. I tried dissolving the paper without any luck.

The only solution I could think of was to trim the paper close to the sewing lines. I was relieved that I finished trimming all the blocks without nicking the fabric or snipping the sewing.

Once the bulk of the paper was off of the blocks, the quilt top came together easily and quickly.

Pat's Flags is QOV #123

Thank you, Pat for allowing me to turn your UFO into a Quilt of Valor.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Playhouse Dreams

backyard playhouse
Riverton, WY
September 2017

I often pass this adorable playhouse on my neighborhood walks, and it pulls me back to my childhood dream of having my own playhouse. How I would have loved this little house and would have spent countless hours in and around it.

Did you have a playhouse or a favorite place in your yard to play?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cowboy Joe Socks

women's size 10
October 2017
Ellen (The Ellen Report) sent me a surprise package filled with yarn. I knew immediately that the brown and gold yarn would soon become a pair of socks. I'm a University of Wyoming alum, and the bold brown and gold yarn was pleading to become Cowboy Joe socks.

I often caught myself humming the popular UW fight song as I knit. "He always sings raggy music to his cattle as he swings back and forward in his saddle on a horse . . ."
Cowboy Joe (a shetland pony)runs the field  with his handlers after each UW
Cowboy score. The tradition started in the 1950s and is still practiced today

Cowboy Joe socks

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Bee Stripe  #202)

Needles: US size 2

Stitch count: 
        64 stitches - ribbed cuff
        60 stitches - foot

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Colorado Fabrics

Colorado Fabrics
October 2017
Marilyn and I stopped at Colorado Fabrics and browsed the store. The building is huge, and the store is well stocked with luscious fabrics - wool, cotton, knit, woven, drapery, upholstery, brocade, tulle, satin, and much more.
a small segment of the wool selection
I loved all the wool inside the front door and spent a few minutes admiring the colors and patterns. I haven't seen this much wool yardage in decades.
cute woolen cottages
Wouldn't this make a cute throw for the sofa?
a large area of speciality fabrics - satins, brocades 

The center of the store housed the notions section - zippers, buttons, fasteners, webbing, thread, scissors, trims, etc.

One end of the building had a classroom with sewing machines and tables. Near the quilting fabric section was a room with two or three longarm quilting machines.

They do not have an online store, but one of the clerks said they will send small swatches of fabrics, if someone has a specific request.

If I were a serious seamstress or needed a specific fabric or notion, this store would be on my radar.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Changing Perspective

October 2017
This photo was taken from the ground looking up to the sky, and I love the change of perspective.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Thick & Thin Socks - revisited

Noro neutral socks
October 2017
I started knitting this pair before I went to Colorado (the cuffs, heel flaps, and gussets were finished), and I completed the foot and toe sections before the road trip to Durango. Even though the sock on the right looks larger, it is the same size as the sock on the left.

Knitting notes can be found here

Dee and Vera gave me the nudge I needed to revive my sock knitting mojo. Since beginning the  I ♥ Fall Knit-Along on October 1st, I've knit four pair of socks and have two more pair on the needles.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Changing Seasons

Autumn Quilt Block
October 2017
Most of the leaves fell from my Ash trees while I was in Colorado, and the young man who winterized my sprinkling system offered to rake the leaves (for free) because he wanted them for his dairy goats to munch. I gladly accepted his offer.

Saturday was a dreary and snowy day with no real accumulation because the ground is still warm, but soon that will change.

I love living in an area that has distinct seasons even though they do not always occur in a typical or predictable order.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Afghan Knitting Project

thirteen blocks for Afghan Knitting Project
October 2017
I learned about the Afghan Knitting Project to benefit families of students who are being sponsored by Project Amigo from Jeni V. (fiber guild member) and used wool scraps that another guild member (Katheryn E.) gave me for charity knitting.

The project accepts both 5 inch or 6 inch squares (knit or crochet). I chose to knit 5 inch squares from Katheryn's wool.

Some of the yarn that Ellen sent me will be used to knit more squares for the Afghan Knitting Project.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I ♥ Fall Knit-Along - revisited

I ♥ Fall Knit-Along socks
October 2017
I finished the second sock at Marilyn's house on a snowy Monday afternoon, and two days later snapped the photo on the leaves that dropped off after the storm.

Knitting notes can be found here, here, and here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Quilt of Valor UFO

blocks and fabric donated by Pat S.
October 2017
Pat S. from Virginia sent me a quilt UFO (unfinished object) that is destined to become a Quilt of Valor. The blocks are paper-pieced and all finished. Two rows are sashed and sewn, but I need to remove the paper from the back, add sashing to the rest of the blocks and add a border or two (Pat included extra yardage) to meet the QOV size requirements.

Thank you, Pat for allowing me to complete your project, which will bring comfort to a veteran.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Surprise Package

yarn from Ellen
October 2017
On Friday I picked up my accumulated mail at the post office and was surprised to find a package from Ellen (The Ellen Report). Tucked inside the box was a variety of worsted weight yarn (scraps and full skeins) and two skeins of sock yarn.

Ellen thought I could use the worsted weight yarn for charity knitting and included the sock weight as a special treat for me. The hank of brown and gold yarn (University of Wyoming colors) will be perfect for knitting a pair of Cowboy Joe socks! Knitting will commence very soon.

Ellen, thank you for sending a box filled with fiber goodies. Your kindness is beyond measure.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Knitting on the Road

I managed to do a lot of knitting on the road trip. The cuffs of the socks were knit on the way to Durango, the heel flaps and heel turns were knit at the motel in the evenings, and the foot on the trip back to my sister's house.

The weather was gorgeous on the trip, but we headed back a day early because snow was predicted and arrived on schedule.

Monday was a good day to stay inside . . .

in front of the fire . . .

fraternal twin socks
and finish knitting Marilyn's socks.

Match 100 socks finished

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Riding the Rails

narrow gauge train
Durango - Silverton line
October 2017
Last Friday,  my sister, my brother-in-law, and I boarded a narrow gauge, steam train for a forty-five mile trip from Durango, CO to Silverton, CO. The scenery was gorgeous.
The Brakeman warned the passengers at the beginning of the trip to be watchful of what was ahead as sometimes the rock walls were close to the train. We discovered that they were indeed close.
The train stopped twice on the way to Silverton to replenish the engine's water supply. 
old water tank 
Near the summit is a deep gorge (this photo does not begin to show the depth) and the track was mere inches away for the edge of the abyss.
Silverton, CO
The 45 mile ride from Durango to Silverton was nearly four hours. Some passengers opted to ride a bus back to Durango, but we purchased round-trip tickets on the train. We ate lunch in Silverton and reboarded the train for the four-hour ride back to Durango. It was a fun and memorable day on the vintage narrow gauge train.
Silverton, Colorado
October 2017

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