Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boneyard Shawl

I struggled with the red, top-down cardigan, ripping and reknitting six times. (!) Finally an experienced knitter-friend reviewed the pattern and told me it had several errors in it. Okay, time to regroup.

Enter the Boneyard Shawl. What an easy knit! And I love wearing it, so soft, so drappy. Knit from the same red merino wool; it's like having your blankie with you at work!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reelin' in the Years

This is a cameo from a family banquet, fall, 1986. It's fun to look back and remember the good times. We were 28 and our sons were 5 and 7. That's Frank's brother and sister-in-law on the left.

Frank was into photography even then, long before computers and the digital art he does now. He always did like me better without glasses!

Knitted Rag Rug

Last summer I visited the Lower Lake School house Museum with Rosy. As part of the kitchen display, circa 1890, I saw a large basket of cotton rag balls, strips of different colored fabric sewn end to end and wound into balls, sometimes 6" in size. They looked something like this.

What are these for? In the basket was a partially knit rag rug. (!) I was intrigued. I decided to see if I could reproduce the art.

I cut the strips 1 and 1/2" using my rotary cutter. The museum had a device mounted on the kitchen table with a hand crank that rotated a wheel against a metal platform. Could that have been their rotary cutter? I wish I'd taken a picture of the tool. There were strips of fabric there for you to experiment with. It didn't cut worth a rip!

I had noted the display used size 11 knitting needles, so I cast on, figuring how many stitches to the inch and multiplying to create a rug two feet wide. This is turning out to be a great stash buster project, I can't believe how much fabric is going into it! I'm clearing out fabric from the 80's, 90's and 00's. It's great!

What was once done out of necessity and thrift is now being done for the love of color and a refreshed fabric collection.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oh the Humiliation

Spunky is nonstop lively. As I noted in an earlier post, she's adorable - when she's asleep. Oh she has her moments, don't get me wrong, when I can pick her up and scritch her under the chin and she nuzzles me along the jaw and we have a happy owner and pet moment. Then she wants down and lets me know in no uncertain terms! Things pretty much have be to on her terms.

But she needed another flea bath, so imagine my surprise when she became completely subdued, like - maybe if I go completely docile this won't last long.

Cats look so indignant when they're wet.

Six months

Wasn't it nice of Nathan to leave his soft black sweater out for Spunky to nap on?

Three Rail Fence

The first grand baby is due this July, so Danielle came to sew and get the top together on the baby quilt!

Here's the top before borders. We drafted it in Electric Quilt to play with color options and liked this one.

But when we went to audition border fabrics, nothing on hand looked right. If we use the same blue in the border that's in the blocks, the design gets a little lost. We were done for the day and decided to schedule another sew day and possibly a trip to the LFS to review our choices.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Orange Marmalade

Maybe it was the study in orange that lead me to want to make orange marmalade. Surely I've never made it before, I've only recently decided I *like* marmalade. It always seemed too bitter to me. Or maybe it was the corner vendor I passed day after day on my way home from work, beseeching me to buy his 5 lb bags of oranges with his up raised arms full. I don't know. But I bought some, and I read up on how-to, and got the other ingredients and made a batch.

It was fun to try something new. I've made many, many kinds of jam in the past, so it wasn't that different. The most satisfying part of canning or jamming for me is the audible *pop* the jar makes as it vacuum seals. And it tastes good too!