Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Scrappy Ritzy Crackers

Scrappy Ritzy Crackers
56 x 63 inches
Prayers and Squares Quilt
The blocks for this quilt were finished in late June but weren't sewn together until last week. It was made with a mixture of 5 inch square from the Prayers and Squares group and my own scrap bins.

If you look closely, you'll see some interesting fabric: an old, red pickup, bowlers, rodeo cowboys, daffodils, flags, and even shamrocks.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Closer and Closer . . .

Garter stitch scarf
July 2019
The ball of yarn is shrinking, so the garter stitch scarf will soon be finished. I plan to graft the two ends together to create an infinity scarf. It's been an enjoyable project for watching TV, for visiting with friends, and for sitting on the patio.

I like the colors of the yarn. Even though it's technically sock yarn, I would never knit socks with it, as the yarn has very little twist, is inconsistent in thickness, and tends to split.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Transforming Junk into Art

Up close, these items appear to be randomly placed, but step back and suddenly their placement makes sense. 

horse sculpture
by Terry Jones
Southlands Shopping Center
Aurora, CO
July 2019
Photos of the artist's other work can be seen here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Circular Zings - a review

Pink Zing Socks
July 2019
This is the first pair of socks that I've knit with the circular Zing needles and what follows is my impression and review of the product.

     lightweight - aluminum
     reasonably priced
     flexible cables
     slim needle points
     color-coded needles for easy size recognition

     lightweight - it took some time to get used to knitting with the needles
     finish is not smooth so stitches tend to grip
     needle color will affect the yarn color that I will use with the Zings
     needle/cable join is more of a crimp than a smooth join

I love metal needles because they are durable and rarely break. Although the Zings are metal, their  aluminum construction is significantly lighter than my other metal needles. It took me a while to adapt to the lightness; however, it did not affect the tension of my knitting. I liked the Zings, but the crimp between the needle and the cable was not a smooth as I like; yet it was smooth enough that my yarn did not snag at the connection.

Overall impression: Even though I like the Zings, I still favor my Knit Picks Options set.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Getting the Boot

Blue Skies Over Cheyenne
painted boot
Cheyenne Regional Airport terminal
Cheyenne, WY
July 2019
Last week, I had an appointment in Cheyenne and stopped by the airport to get a photo of "the boot" that's on display. Several Wyoming communities use fiberglass objects (bison, horses, bears, etc.),  painted by local artists. as a fund-raiser. The boots in Cheyenne are large (eight foot tall and eight foot from toe to heel) and are placed at various sites around town. More information can be found here.

The Boot at the airport is decorated with various military planes (F.E. Warren AFB is located in Cheyenne).
close-up of the various planes
painted on the Boot

Monday, July 22, 2019

Sparkler Stripe Socks

Sparkler Stripe close-up
One of my goals was to finish the patriotic socks by the end of July. The yarn was fun to knit and the stripes kept me motivated. In the end, I have nearly identical socks - the toes are slightly different. 

Sparkler Stripe socks
July 2019
Pattern: Ribbed cuff/leg socks - 64 stitches

Needles: US size 2

Yarn: Sparkler Stripe - Artistic Yarn by Abi (purchased at my LYS but also available online - lots of fun, self-striping yarn)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lazy Days of Summer

Fourth of July knitting
Grand Lake, CO
July 2019
knitting socks in the recliner
learning how to play cribbage
Marilyn put a cribbage board in the game bag she took Grand Lake. While there, her son Dwight taught us how to play. I can't begin to count the number of games we played over the weekend, and when we returned to Denver, I played even more games with Brenda. I think it's fair to say that we all enjoyed learning and playing cribbage.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dwight's "Kitchen"

Justin W., Harold and Dwight M.
Grand Lake, CO
July 2019
The house we rented had a "cadillac" fire pit, and my nephew Dwight used it to prepare special meals and treats in his Dutch ovens. We also gathered there in the evening to enjoy s'mores.

Want to see one of his creations?
a giant cinnamon roll in a Dutch oven
before baking
half with nuts and half without nuts
a giant cinnamon roll in a Dutch oven
after baking
Stephanie W. adds icing to the cinnamon roll
baked in the Dutch oven
giant cinnamon roll ready for slicing
Dwight planned all the menus for our stay. Dwight, his wife and daughter prepared nearly all the meals.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Family Time

Zeke W.
Grand Lake, CO
July 2019
I returned home on Friday after spending two weeks in Colorado with family. We (my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, niece-in-law, great-niece and her husband and her son) rented a home in Grand Lake, CO for the Fourth of July weekend and had a great time. The little one kept us entertained.

The house was lovely, and we saw several deer, a bull moose, a cow elk with her calf all from the deck/yard around the house.

When we returned to the Denver area, I stayed with my niece for several days. We played cards, did some crafting, and caught up on each other's lives.

I treasure spending time with family.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Catching the Beat

Native American drummers
Riverton, WY
June 2019
Early June, a friend joined me on a trip to Riverton to pick up Memorial Day flowers. Carol moved to Laramie from Missouri a couple of years ago and had never been to central Wyoming. I took her to as many places as I could on our two-day journey. We went to the large book store at Sweetwater Station, to Sinks Canyon, to the Eagle Bronze Foundry, to Fort Washakie, to the trading post, and several other places.

Carol wanted to see parts of the reservation and some dancing. We stayed at the casino, and luckily, the summer weekly dancing was being hosted by the casino. We were fortunate to catch the first night of the dancing.
beaded shawl
June 2019
This lady's shawl was beaded and simply gorgeous.  

fancy shawl dancer
June 2019 
hoop dancer
June 2019
I was thrilled that my favorite dancer, a highly skilled hoop dancer, was on the program. She moves so fast that it is a challenge to get photographs. If you ever have the opportunity to see a hoop dance, make sure that you go. It's beautiful and quite unique. 

welcoming the audience for the last dance
June 2019
At the end of the evening, the various dancers, invited the audience to join them for a circle dance.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Back in Time - Toys with Wheels

Marilyn and Evelyn
approximately 1949 or 1950
The baby buggy was a favorite play thing for my sisters, for me, and for my nieces and nephews. It was a dark navy vinyl and folded for storage. By the time, I used it for my dolls, the sun shade was split on the top. I don't know if the buggy was ever used for toting a baby, but it held many dolls and teddy bears and kittens over the years.

I remember two tricycles on the farm: one was red and white and the other a rusty red. They tallied a lot of miles between the barn and the house. The red and white tricycle had a platform between the back wheels, and it was possible to catch a ride by standing on the platform.

Did you have a baby buggy or tricycle?

Monday, July 8, 2019

Topsy Turvy Reading

When I was teaching, my students would often sit at a table beside my desk and discuss their essays with me. I grew quite adept to reading upside down. Once in a while, it still comes in handy.

Is this a skill that you've developed?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Dawn's Early Light. . .

image from County 10
by Mike Clingman
U.S.A. National Anthem
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

I'm Baffled . . .

. . . with my yarn winder! I've used a swift and a yarn winder for several years, and have enjoyed the neat and tidy yarn cakes the winder produced.  However, about two years ago, my reliable winder started skipping and creating large loops of yarn on the top and bottom of the cake. At first it was peculiar, but I was still able to knit from the cake without any problems.

Then the loops became more frequent and larger, and knitting from them was nearly impossible as the bottom loops would ultimately pull through to the top and become twisted with the top loops. I thought it was the yarn winder (it was old) so I ordered a new winder - the problem continues.

It doesn't matter how fast or slow I turn the crank to wind the yarn. It doesn't matter how high or low, I hold the yarn as it comes into the winder. The loops result no matter what I do.

Now, I'm baffled as to the cause and the solution. Has anyone else had this problem? Have you found a solution?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Open Range

Wind River Range
June 2019
Early June, I returned to Fremont County for a short visit and stopped on Beaver Rim for a panoramic view of the Wind River Range. I definitely miss these mountains.

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