There was playing with new toys and learning to be a princess........
Thursday, December 26, 2013
There was playing with new toys and learning to be a princess........
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
His son, my Uncle, joined at the beginning of WWII and served throughout the war and then again for Korea. This year my dear, sweet Uncle left us after living over 90 years. It was sad to think of the last of this amazing group leaving us but what a great legacy they left.
My "part" of this legacy was Dad. He also joined at the beginning of WWII and again for Korea. He served on the same ship as my Uncle and ended up being brought home with my uncle where he met Mom and, well, you can figure out the rest.
There were other veteran's in the family - Dad's brother in law on the other side was also on the ship; my cousins served in Viet Nam; a cousin's husband was in the Navy reserve; Dad's father was in the Army. So many family members heard their nation's call and answered.
I'm proud of every one of them and I'm thrilled to know they helped us have a free country where we can rejoice on our freedoms or complain about anything and everything without fear of the government. We can decide what we want to become and try to attain it. We DO have the freedom to pursue happiness which isn't there for many people around the world. So, all the members of my family and everyone else's family - THANK YOU!!!!
Friday, November 1, 2013
As time passed the knitter found out she was supposed to hold the yarn in her left hand. She didn't want other crocheters to think she was doing it wrong so she tried to learn the "right way". It just didn't work. So, the knitter only crocheted in private, away from other people so they wouldn't see her and her wrong way. She made beautiful things. She even taught crocheting which worked well because she had to crochet so slow the right way her students could see exactly what they needed to do.
More time passed. One day the knitter met another right handed knitter who complained about not being able to learn how to crochet. The knitter got brave and told her about the way she crocheted. Intrigued, the other knitter asked for a lesson. There was joy in the other knitters heart because suddenly she could crochet. This made our knitter happy and a bit brave. She started to crochet in public occasionally and ended up teaching throwing knitters to crochet with their right hand - just like they knit. Many were happy and many finally learned how to crochet.
And they all lived happily ever after. But this isn't the end.
I've decided its time to admit I don't crochet the way the books tell you to crochet. I'm happy with my own method, others I've taught are happy to be finally crocheting and maybe by telling this silly little story I can let other throwers who can't crochet know that there is hope. Hold the yarn in your right hand just like you knit. Hold the project in your left hand. Give it a try.
Watch here and I'll try to get some pictures up to show you how I crochet.
Just a few samples of what crocheting the wrong way can make.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Top that off with some final bright greens and some late fall flowers and I have a pretty nice view from my windows.
Sunday, October 6, 2013
They seem to think by guarding my purse I can't leave because they've both figured out I pick up the purse before I head out the door and disappear. So, they came up with a plan during my last week off - one of them guarded the purse at all times.
and quilting and some knitting (no pictures of knitting).
Christmas placemat. Just a bunch of leftover material and this is what I came up with.
Wallhanging. I made this about 10 years ago. I made the top. I did buttonhole stitching around the flowers. I sandwiched the top, batting and back. I stitched around the houses and I put it away for 10 YEARS! Why do we do this?
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Since I don't have any pictures to share with you I thought I'd spent a little time talking about one of my favorite topics - researching on the web.
I love to go hunting through other people's blogs and websites to find pictures, inspiration and how to's for my current interest. Right now I'm back into quilting; so, many of the websites I've been hanging around are about quilting.
My favorite research tool is Bing.com. One of the things I like to do is type in something into Bing and click on the Image button. Try going over there and typing something like "Blue quilts". Suddenly you have many, many pictures of just blue quilts. If you find one you like, click on it to get a bigger image. At the bottom right of the bigger image window should be the link to the source and you can go over there to see the full blog post or shop website where the picture came from.
My latest search was Native American Quilts. Whenever I do a search on this I notice the Star of Bethlehem/Lone Star is a very popular quilt design. From what I understand when the missionaries first came to the different groups, they women taught quilting to the Native women and the star was popular because of its symbolism. I live in an area with Lakota and Ojibwe and I've noticed may of the quilts are the Star.
Through this searching I found an artist named Gwen Westerman. Her quilts often include the Star with a contemporary look. Search Gwen Westerman Quilts and take a look. I think you'll enjoy her work. Check out her quilt - Night Wind. I'm not going to link to it so you'll have to have a little fun and do some searching.
If you want to have a little fun - search "Tristan Quilt" and click on Images. This quilt was made in the 14th century and is quite an amaing quilt.
Maybe next post will have some pictures of what I've been working on lately. Stay tuned.
Monday, September 2, 2013
When I started machine knitting, I threw myself into it and within a few months I had the best machine on the market and was asked by one of the national instructors to take over a class for him out of town because he knew I had everything figured out and he needed to back out of teaching that weekend.
When I started crocheting, I bought all the hooks and ended up teaching at a friends shop after a year. Same happened with all my obsessions. But this time something happened.
I've been reading a lot about hexagons lately. Quilters become obsessed with them and take years to make them and ultimately a huge quilt. In the past (like maybe last year) I would have gone head first into buying a ton of fabric and hexagon templates and a fancy box to keep them in while sewing hexies and maybe even a new Ott lite with a magnifying glass to see the hexies better.
Last week I went on line and found a 1" hexagon template. I print out a limited amount. The I got some fabric scraps from a quilt I made for my cousin's little girl. The current game plan is to make SOME hexagons. Not a whole quilt. I'm going to make a small wall hanging with some hexagon flowers and maybe a hexagon sun. It will be bright and cheery and most important, small.I plan on using the hexagons like applique rather than a whole quilt of hexagons, we'll see... Maybe this will get the hexagon bug out of me without taking over my life. I'm hoping I've learned to control some of my obsessions cause my house can't take too many more!
A Fearless Young Woman
My other cousin's daughter (model for Jan's Shawl pattern) is in Africa for a few months for college. She is writing a blog about her experience. I haven't asked permission to post the blog so I won't but, I have to tell you about her. She is an amazing young woman who will change the world. She is absolutely fearless in her devotion to our God and living the life He wants her to live. Her blog is well written and lets me feel as though I am there experiencing the country with her. I hope she won't mind my putting just a small piece of her blog here. She wrote all about the small buses called trotros that she uses to get around. She wrote about the people she is meeting on the trotro in a way that gives me hope for the future. With people like my cousin's daughter coming into their own, the world be will a good place in the future.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
One topic we got on was past family homes. Our grandparent's house is for sale again and one cousin stopped by the pick up the sales information. We all studied it trying to figure out all the angles of the pictures. We had 2 basic problems.
1. The wide angle camera lens was used to causing the front door to be twice as wide as normal and other distortions. The dining room wasn't all that big but the picture made the table of 6 chairs look like you could seat 12 people.
2. The previous homeowner did a great deal of remodeling so things didn't look like we remembered.
We also tried to remember the other house addresses we would hear about as children. Internet to the rescue! I grabbed the US Census records for 1898 thru 1849 and wrote down the family addresses. Today I took a little trip and grabbed a few pictures. Some of the houses are gone and Grandpa's grocery store is gone but here's a couple pictures I found. I left the pictures bigger files so the family members can download if they want to.
Here's the history I found:
1898 - when our Grandpa Bill was a child he lived on Dupont. I've sent all the addresses to some of the cousins and if you're a family member and want the exact address for the places without pictures, let me know. This house is very obviously a newer home so I didn't take a picture.
1900 - he had moved but the address on the US Census is not legible. Note to anyone who ever does a Census - please write carefully so people can read it in the future!!
1905 - yet another house address (and another newer house). Seems Grandpa moved around a lot as a child!
1910 - Yep - new address for Grandpa. Meanwhile, Grandma's family lived in the house on Fremont that would stay in the family for many years. My parents rented from the Aunts during the first few years of their marriage before buying the house I now live in. The house looks like a new window was added to the front but otherwise it looks mostly original.
1920 - Grandma's parents moved to a new house in Robbinsdale but the Aunts still had the Fremont house. Meanwhile, Grandma and grandpa were married and lived in their first house. I forgot to head over to this address so - no picture.
1930 and 1940 Census show Grandma and Grandpa at the house we knew and spent so much time at as kids.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Jan's Shawl is knit with 1 skein each of 2 colors of fingering weight yarn. The sample was made in Arucania Ranco (376 yd/ skein). The main color used virtually all of the skein while the second color had about 20% left. Jan was a strong person, physically and mentally so I didn't want the shawl to be fussy. She also had her soft side so I added a simple lace edging. The shawl, like Jan, has some unexpected details - the center is a slight wedge which creates a softer edge to the tip.
Below is the description from the pattern's front page:
To purchase - click on this link Jan's Shawl
The link will take you to Ravelry's Store where you can purchase the pattern for $5.00 via Paypal.
As stated above - all profits will be donated to a fire fighter support group that Chaplin Matt will help choose.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
First, there was the big storm that knocked out by power for 4 days. Next, there was Jan's funeral and all the events that went along with that. The weekend after I got home found me with a massive tooth infection and basically out for the count.
Lucky for me, I had some leftover Vicodin from my foot surgery. And before you say anything, I know I shouldn't be taking it without doctor approval but, it was Friday night and I had a whole weekend of a boatload of pain to look forward to and I decided to carefully self medicate and get to a dentist first thing Monday morning. So, that weekend was take a pill - eat a little - sleep a lot - repeat.
That Monday morning my dentist got me in first thing and by the end of the day I had emergency root canal and more Vicodin and Antibiotics to make things better. It took 10 days to get my cheek/tooth under control and next up is a new crown for that tooth.
In between all this I've dealt with the hottest summer we've had in a long time and well, I'm ready for a little bit of nothing for a while.
This weekend will be a family gathering that is a celebration. No trauma, no diseased teeth, no anything bad - just family good times together. Maybe the last month of the summer will be better than the first part!
I'm hoping to get some pictures of the Jan Shawl this weekend and finish up the pattern to put it up for sale. When it's all ready, I'll write a post about it and let everyone know where it get it.
Just so you have a picture and something to look at - here's a project bag I made for a friend during a swap this summer. It's a small 8x8x8 lined cube with 3 loops and a handle. The handle fits thru the loops to close the top and make it a nice little bag to carry. The embroidery design on the front is from Embroidery Library but I didn't stitch the "Love to Knit" that was below the design.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Jan passed away a couple weeks ago from a job related cancer. That's a term you don't see too often unless you know someone in the fire department. You see, fire fighters work with smoke and asbestos and other toxins that increase their chances of getting cancer to way more than the regular people. They know this going in and take on the job anyway. If you look at the reasons firefighter pass they are almost always heart attacks or job related cancer. This is a fact I didn't know until recently.
My SIL was a Fire Captain for LA County. She was the 13th woman to become a fire fighter in LA County. She is the first female captain to pass while on active duty. She was in line to become a Battalion Chief. Jan was a force to be reckoned with. A strong woman who knew what her passion was and she went for it.
Last Saturday we all gathered to remember this remarkable person. The we being friends and family and what felt like the entire LA County fire department. It was a hot day and about 200 firefighters showed up with their trucks, rigs, cars, paramedic vehicles and more. There was a giant flag hanging from two ladder trucks over the street we drove in on. The department provided my brother and me with an official escort for the day so we didn't have to drive or worry about anything but showing up and being amazed at how much organization and care went into the memorial.
Chief Daryl Osby, fire chief of LA County, gave a talk about Jan and her service. He also had some personal words about her that showed he really knew her. There was an honor guard with bag pipes and it all ended with a flyby of 2 helicopters. Later we learned they held off heading out to a brush fire for one minutes so they could complete the flyby.
The LA Fire Department is amazing. The 2 chaplains (Matt and Rick) who spent time with us were great guys. The union rep from Local 1014, Andy, had everything so in control and did so with such care. The term family really does description the fire dept. By the day before the service Andy had already made sure Jan would be included in this year's service at the fire fighter memorial in Sacramento and was working on getting her included in the National memorial in Colorado for next year's service. Thanks everyone, you made a tough time easier to endure for my brother!
Through all this I was knitting. On the plane, at my brother's house and now at home. I've designed a shawl that is basic, strong and has some feminine accents to it. It reminds me of Jan. When I've completed the shawl it will be for sale as a PDF download. The proceeds will be going to a group to support firefighter families. I'm talking to Chaplain Matt about which specific group and will let everyone know when we decide the best one. He's checking around to see if there was a group Jan spoke of or worked with and that's what we will send the proceeds to. It seems so little but its what I can do to honor Jan and all the members of her department that give their lives to protect others.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
I'm also designing a shawl in honor of my sister-in-law. She's a Fire Captain (recently retired) with LA County. I was not aware of how many fire fighters end up suffering from various forms of cancer because of the work they do. It makes sense. You can't work around smoke and toxins and all the things fire break free from buildings without having some nasty effects. There is a group that supports the firefighters and their families and have been a great source of support with my sister-in-law because, she too ended up having to fight the cancer battle. When the shawl is done I will be writing it up and putting it on Ravelry for sale. It will be a small cost and all profits will be donated to the fire fighter support group. I'll give more details and pictures when everything is ready to go.