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Showing posts from December, 2020

Welcoming 2021 with Hope

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I'm looking forward to the day when I can get the vaccine.  Do you plan to get vaccinated?

Open Range

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photo taken by Chuck Hofrock Wagon Hound Road If you've never travelled in the West, you probably do not see any humor in the photo. " Open Range " is an area where cattle and sometimes horses are free to roam the rangeland, regardless of land ownership. The areas are usually marked with signs, to caution drivers to watch for animals on the road.  When someone placed an old range under this sign in Converse County, the sign takes on a more literal meaning of the phrase "open range."  While the photo is funny, it is illegal to dispose of old appliances in places like this. 

Last Call for Knitting

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final pair of socks for 2020 It took me two months to finish this pair of socks, so I'm sure this will be the last pair knit in 2020. I did not attempt to match the socks, but was thrilled to see that they decided to be identical twins on their own. Yarn specifics can be found by clicking on the link above.  I still have the Silver Lining Hat and a long neglected scarf on the needles, but I doubt either will be finished before the new year.  Sunday morning, I snapped the photo of these socks atop a skiff of snow on the sidewalk. Winter cold has settled into the region, but not a lot of snow. Most of what has fallen has melted or blown into Nebraska. Snow this time of year is most beneficial in the mountains. The best snowfall is usually in the Spring (March and April) when the white stuff is heavy and full of moisture.

Down for the Count

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fifteen empty thread spools  and four empty thread cones December 2020 I was able to do a variety of sewing in 2020, and thanks to weekly FaceTime calls, my sewing machine was humming most of the year. These empty spools/cones allowed me to make nearly twenty-four Quilts of Valor and twelve presentation cases, one hundred face masks , one personal quilt ( Pinwheel Puzzle ), one hospice quilt ( Bricks and Stepping Stones ), and two days of sewing during a community sew day .  As 2020 comes to a close, it's time to wind some bobbins, oil the machine, and change the needle because I think 2021 is going to be another good year to sew. 

Peace on Earth

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Nothing is Secure

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Thirty Years Later . . .

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painted by Brenda M. 2020 I mentioned that my niece, Brenda has been painting during our weekly FaceTime calls, and some of you have asked what she paints. This cute bear arrived in my mailbox this week. Brenda and her Mom host an annual cookie and ornament exchange, and they decided last year that 2020 would be the final party. That was long before COVID-19 decided to descend on the world. They thought thirty years was a good stopping point.  Every guest at the exchange receives a gift from Marilyn and Brenda, and this year it was doorstoppers. My BIL cut wood bear forms, and Brenda began painting the 30 bear doorstoppers in March. I requested stars on my bear's pajamas. Isn't he adorable?  Brenda added a note on the back of each of the bears. I keep telling her to sign her work, but she rarely does.  cover of the invitation December 2020 The invitation for this year's gathering featured nearly all of the gifts the guests received over the years. Some time, Marilyn made th

Half Pi Shawl

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Half Pi Shawl (Camping) blocked and posing in a snow bank 28 x 60 inches December 2020 The Half Pi Shawl came to life after Lori at Cowgirl Yarn finished her blocking magic. The snowbank shows off the lace well. December 2020 I'm thrilled with the results! Pattern :  EZ 100th Anniversary Pi Shawl: Camping (half circle version) Needles : US size 8 Yarn : Heritage 150 Sock Yarn (Cascade Yarn)  Color: 5631            I used one and a half skeins (225 grams - 738 yards) Blocking : Cowgirl Yarn (Laramie, WY)  Six different EZ 100th Anniversary shawls (3 full-circle and 3 half-circle) are available. They are: EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Gull Wings EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Hearts EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Camping EZ 100th Anniversary Camping Half-Circle EZ 100th Anniversary Gull Wings Half-Circle EZ 100th Anniversary Hearts Half-Circle

American Pride

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American Pride 59 x 66 inches Quilt of Valor #194 American Pride is the twenty-third Quilt of Valor made in 2020: that's one short of my goal of completing two QOV every month. It may be possible to make one more this month, but honestly, I'm a bit weary of working with red, white, and blue fabrics.  The flag panel in the center of this quilt came from Jean F. in her generous donation . I've used a lot of Jean's fabric, panels, and patterns since July. Thank you, Jean for making another QOV possible.  I adapted a Villa Rosa design ( Pride ) for this quilt. The flag panel I used was not as large as the one in the original pattern, so I widen the blue strips at the top and bottom of the quilt. I also widened all of the side strips to meet the QOV width requirements. 

Is Bigger Better?

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large reindeer yard decoration near Parker, CO December 2020 Seriously, I don't understand why anyone would want a huge reindeer in their front yard, especially one that can be seen directly out of a second story window!

Puzzling Time

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challenging metallic puzzle December 2020 One of my friends called on Saturday afternoon and mentioned she had a puzzle that she was unable to assemble and asked if I wanted to try. She brought it over on Sunday morning.  I have never worked on a metallic puzzle before, and it was indeed a challenge. I could only work on it in natural daylight because of the reflective pieces. It was difficult to see much without getting right up next to the pieces.  After assembling the border, I found an area that was distinct (the teal section in front of the elephant) and then the elephant outline. From there, I focused on the rest of the elephant which you can see by the unused pieces is mostly pink.  This puzzle provided me with a challenge even though it is only 500 pieces.  I discovered it was easier to work with natural light coming at an angle rather than overhead lighting that caused the pieces to shine and reflect the light.  It's a beautiful and unusual puzzle - one that I would never

Christmas Village

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North Pole village December 2020 Marilyn and Brenda have been collecting houses and accessories for the North Pole village (Department 56) for years. Many of the houses were purchased at clearance sales. This year, my brother-in-law created a new styrofoam base for the display.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to see the display in person, but it looks fabulous in the photos that he shared. The display captures some of the magic of Santa's hometown.  Do you have a collection of Christmas items?

Silver Lining - update

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progress on Silver Lining hat December 2020 Now that I am nearly finished with the first section of the hat pattern, it is clear that my worries about being large enough for an adult head were unnecessary. I did change needle sizes after finishing the decreases: the crown was knit with size 2 needles, and the rest of the hat was knit with size 4 needles.  I have about an inch or two to knit before starting the "silver lining." This has been a great mindless knit project. 

Back in Time - Check It Out

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Libraries have changed drastically in a few decades:         •  card catalogs have disappeared         •  digital self-check out         •  digital library cards Can you think of any other changes?  Personally, I miss using the old card catalog. I enjoyed flipping through the cards. When I was in high school, I helped the librarian type cards for new books or books that had been donated.  The old checkout cards were fun. I'd often pull them out and see the names of those who had previously read the book(s). Now, I suppose it would be considered an invasion of personal privacy. 

Under My Needle - Friendship Stars

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friendship stars and sashing December 2020 Another Quilt of Valor is in the works, using a "new" Villa Rose pattern that I like. The fabric is cut, the stars are made and sashed, and the panel has been trimmed to size. I've been working on this project during the weekly FaceTime calls with my sister, Marilyn, and two nieces, Brenda and Becky. 

A Helping Hand

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mural behind the Downtown Clinic Laramie, WY This mural is tucked in the alley between Second and Third Streets and on a side wall of the Downtown Health Clinic. It's really hard to photograph the entire mural because of a community garden next to the building.  writing on the mural's "cast" The cast extends beyond the garden and. as typical of any cast, has been signed. It is fun to read the names and study the drawings on the cast. community garden at the Downtown Clinic In the courtyard, opposite the mural, is another section of the community garden and another painted mural - a blooming vine. 

Knitting a Silver Lining

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beginning of a scrap sock yarn hat December 2020 It's time to focus on reducing the scrap, sock yarn in my stash. I didn't think I'd been knitting that many socks, but the small balls of yarn are beginning to fill the plastic zip bag. I'm alternating yarn (using the helical stripe method) and using a pattern I saved several years ago.  It will be a very warm hat because it's actually two hats in one. The pattern is Silver Lining Hat by Kirsten Hipsky. Right now, it doesn't look like much and doesn't look like it will fit an adult head, but my gauge is spot-on, so hopefully, it will stretch. 

Can You Relate?

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A Stitch in Time

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a little repair needed Only one of the double churndash blocks required some TLC before it could be used in the quilt. Since the blocks were made from a variety of fabrics, I was not concerned about finding something that would match. A quick glance in my string bin revealed a piece of white on white fabric that would work well for the repair.  The seam ripper was put into action, and in no time the piece that was too short was replaced and pressed.  repair completed