Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Icelandic Sweater

Mom lives a couple blocks from a Goodwill store. We talked about going for a good browse, but time got away from us. On the last day of my visit, I stopped in for ten minutes on a walk to the drugstore. I didn't have enough time to do the store justice, but I ran my hand along the women's sweaters and this one jumped out at me.

It's handmade from what looks like traditional Lopi wool. It appeared to be brand new, never-been-worn. I couldn't believe it, and $4.99.

When I was checking out, the clerk was glazed over, bored perhaps. It was about 90 degrees that day and I quipped that I probably wouldn't be wearing this sweater any time soon. She murmured something and then actually looked at the sweater. "Wow!" When I told her it was 100% wool and handmade she actually seemed impressed.

It took up an amazing amount of space in my suitcase, but I didn't care. I feel I've found a treasure, one I would never find in Northern California where I live. When I got home, I gave it a luke-warm bath and the yarn softened and *bloomed* beautifully, validating my feeling that it was brand new, never-been-worn. I guess I've become something of an adoptive parent to orphaned wool sweaters.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Circular Sock Knitting Demo

When I was visiting my Mom in Massachusetts, we stopped at the New Hampshire Visitor's Center on our way to camp. We had a bite of lunch under the trees and then I went to the Visitor's Center for a drink of water.

While I was there I discovered a circular sock knitting group was demonstrating how their CSMs worked. I was so interested in the process, I forgot to take pictures, but here is a link to a YouTube that shows the method.

Barbara talked to us for 20 minutes and showed us how she works a sock. It was interesting to see something that takes me a couple of months to knit, cranked out in a few minutes.

As Mom and I drove away we talked about how helpful that machine would've been during WWII, or for a mother trying to create socks for her entire family. But we both felt we knitted socks on dpns or two circulars for the joy of the process.

Returning to Camp Wig

Mom and I had two days and two nights at the family cabin on Daniel's Pond.

While there, I was wonderfully 'in the moment', reading, eating, floating on the water, spending time in Mom's garden and I forgot to took pictures. I found these on my sister's FB page and from a visit 10 years ago.


I've been here maybe four times and the beauty and calm is a tonic. Two days was too short. I wanted more time among the pines and in Mom's garden.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mother and Dot

It's been five years since Mom and I have been together. That's the down side of living 3,000 miles apart.

When she was moving into the new apartment, I was recovering from my accident and couldn't travel.

I'd seen pictures of her new home, but it was wonderful to stay there and share so much; crafting, shopping, knitting, lunching out and all the things we both love to do.

It was fun to find out (again) how much we have in common; growing and drying herbs, cutting pictures from pretty greeting cards to reuse, choosing colors for a knitting project and recycle or repurposing just about anything and everything. I think maybe I got my love of upcycling from her. *grin* 

I didn't get a good picture of this little dresser in the entryway, but it's decoupaged with maps of New England. So cute and so clever

It was great to see you Mom. I hope it's not as long before we're together again.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


It's probably been 20 years since I canned fresh fruit...

but it seems it's up there with learning to ride a bike, you don't forget how.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pineapple Rule

Do you have projects that you keep coming back to? I just looked at my notes and the first time I tried this pineapple mini was in 2010. I got it out a second time in 2014 with only slightly better results. I recently tried again, but this time I actually bought the ruler. It's amazing how easy it really is, once I stopped fighting against buying yet another ruler. I know it's an oft repeated cliche', but the right tool for the job makes a difference.

Now all I need to do is figure out how to miniature-ize it. ;)

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Two and Four

With birthdays two years and two weeks apart, we celebrated Evan's and Cayson's fourth and second birthdays together. One big, BBQ, birthday bash, blow-out! The usual suspects were there...

The gift opening was a fun, noisy, crazy, free-for-all. These pictures portray such a calm view of the occasion. ;)

Bubble Meisters

These bubbles were such a blast! They formed slowly and floated lazily. We were at the end of a cul-de-sac and took over the street. Bubble block party!

Much better than a bounce house! The grown-ups had fun too.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Pocket Pants

I also had fun sewing matching pocket pants for the grandsons. The pocket starts at the hip and goes all the way to the cuff. I chose Peanuts character fabric because my son and his family live in Santa Rosa, home of the Charles Schulz museum.


Cayson had fun loading his pockets with small toys from the birthday party. Evan needed time to get used to the idea.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Gifting Around the Block Quilt

The day came and we attended our grandson's second birthday. There was lots of family, a professional bubble show and a stack of presents to open.

After the party was over and most of the guests had left, Uncle Hollin stretched out on the floor. Cayson brought him a pillow, then tried to spread his little knit blanket over him. We handed him the quilt instead and he spread it over his uncle, then climbed in next to him. Hollin's wife referred to the scene as uncle cuddles, but we thought he should be called Uncle Cuddles. Fun!


Sunday, July 05, 2015

Around the Block Quilt

Now that the birthday quilt has been gifted, I can blog about it.

The beginning of this quilt is here. I decided to make it square and add borders till it felt finished. I let each step suggest what the next one should be.

Auditioning lattice and border fabrics.

I cut similar fabrics for the pieced border and laid them out in what I call a 'planned random' sequence. I had my usual helper, of course.

The completed top.

I decided to quilt this one myself, so I experimented with free-motion swirls the width of the lattice and borders. I practiced with pencil and paper first to begin to fix the rhythm of the pattern in my mind.

Then I made a batting sandwich and practiced the free-motion on that, building muscle memory.

When I felt fairly confident of the pattern, I began quilting on the quilt. Using matching thread colors helped my confidence. If I wobbled, it wouldn't show as much.

It was difficult to get good pictures of this quilt. I miss being able to photograph quilts on the wall of the shed at the old house.

You can get an idea of the quilting from the back.