Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mendocino Headlands

We took a day-trip to the coast. We live closer now, so it's easy to pick up and go.

Blue Eyed Grass

Indian Paintbrush

Pacific Coast Irises

Friday, May 22, 2015

Time for a New Lunch Bag

It really was time for a new lunch bag. The last one had served me for 6 years. (!) The instructions for making a lined, semi-waterproof lunch bag can be found here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Garden Fresh Italian Parsley

I was harvesting the parsley every week, but I had so much at the house, I just stopped. Then it turned into a bush so I cut it all back. It yielded over a pound. I like parsley, but yikes that's a lot!

I decided to puree it in the blender and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Perfect sized portions for when I make soup. This is half the bunch blended with a little chicken broth to thin. Man is the flavor concentrated!

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Dawn on Lake Emily

This is the water reservior a half-mile from our house.

Photo by Frank Roberts

Friday, May 08, 2015

Knitted Headband

Ever keep coming back to a project, trying to get it right or closer to what you had in mind?

I tried this headband last fall (two years ago! I just checked my notes) using dk weight on sz. 4 needles. 

But it was turning out much too wide and I couldn't really see the lace pattern.

I recently tried again with sock wt. on sz. 3. I had completed a couple of lace tops in between, so working the lace pattern was easier for me to understand. It was better in the sock yarn, but I wanted it to be narrower than it was turning out. Ripped it again. It's still on the 'to-do' list though. I want to find a softer yarn. And understand the lace repeat enough to make it a little narrower. I guess I rarely leave a pattern alone, always gotta tweak it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Not All Things Work Out

I reclaimed cashmere yarn from a sweater that was so kitten soft, even though the color was pale, pale green, I just had to do something with it.

I decided to over dye it with some Paas green tablets. I thought it would make it a darker green and I could use it for fingerless mitts or perhaps a cowl.

I dyed it in a mixing bowl, then dried it in the oven on a low temp. I wanted to set the color.

But the Paas green was too bright, with a lot of yellow in it. It would've been perfect for an Easter egg, but it wasn't a color I would use for knitwear. I offered it to a knitting friend and she was pleased to have it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Slipper Socks

I've wanted to make these slipper socks for months. Once the lace shawl was finished I cast on. These are going to be for my four-year old grandson on his birthday. Primary colors seemed like a good choice. Once I finished knitting the instep I thought it would be fun to have a two-tone rib. I experimented with corrugated ribbing, working the knit stitches in red and the purl stitches in blue, but there was NO stretch; not a good thing in ribbing on a slipper sock.

Then I experimented with Brioche knitting. Great technique! Loved the look! And it was really stretchy, which is a characteristic of Brioche. But for the life of me I couldn't find instructions on how to work it in the round. So in the end I settled for solid blue.

ETA: He thought they were fun, but the cast off was too tight to be able to slip them on without a struggle. On my next visit he sat next to me in the recliner completely absorbed in watching, while I undid the cast off and reworked it with a stretchy cast off. Success! He pulled them on himself, danced a jig and said excitedly, "I love these slippers Grandma. You're the bestest, most fun, nicest girl!"

Note: Later that evening he was charging around on the hard wood floors, slipped and landed hard. Crying, he ripped the slippers off, flung them and said, "I HATE these slippers!" I said, "Hey E., I have a thought. Maybe that's way they're called slippers." He was not amused.

Sunday, May 03, 2015


May Block of the Month was Buckeye Beauty.

I had it confused with Jewel Box, which is what you get with four of these set together.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Denim Car Quilt

I've often said I'm going to make a picnic/car quilt, but then the quilt turns out too nice, and I don't want to put it on the ground. Then I saw this tutorial on my friend's FB page and I decided to make a denim quilt.

I was able to get a *stack* of large sized men's jeans from the church rummage sale for a song. Here's my little helper photo bombing again.

I cut 120 - 4 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles following the grain of the fabric.

I didn't plan it, but I ended up with lots of different shades of blue.

... always has to be right in the middle of things...

I started out on my Janome, but four layers of denim was too much for it. I got out my heavy duty Singer Slant-o-matic and it churned over those seams with ease. The right tool for the job.

The denim really wanted to fray, so I spent a lot of time reinforcing the seams. I top-stitched all the short seams with white, jeans weight thread and all the long seams with medium gray, all purpose thread.

I also added a few labels from my favorite brands.

I backed it with dress-weight cotton and tacked it from the front at all the intersections with an egg shaped pattern stitch on my Janome. Love it! It's heavy and durable and feels like my favorite pair of blue jeans.

New Word

When you need a way to express something there aren't words for, create one.