Saturday, March 23, 2013

Catching Up on Things

I haven't posted pictures of projects for a while. There's been knitting and quilting but no pictures. Time to catch up. Nothing is finished but progress has been made.

First up - Precious Metals Scarf.
I started this one Feb last year out of Happy Hands Hand Dyed Yarn - fingering weight. I pull this project out every once in a while and lately I decided it's about 70% done so I should get a bit more serious about finishing it. The yarn is soft and much prettier than the pictures show.

Where I was at last time I posted this project.

Precious Metals Scarf today - about 70% done
Ten Stitch Afghan  Jan.1, 2011 I decided to take my leftover worsted weight yarn and make an afghan. It gets pulled out for knit night whenever I don't have something I can work on that's easier enough to sit and chat while knitting. It's currently large enough to be a lapghan but I'll keep going until its nice and big and cozy warm. After all - this is Minnesota and we need our warm afghans!
Ten Stitch Afghan March 2011
Afghan today
Garter Rib Sock.  This one hasn't been posted before. I always have to have a sock going just in case I need to throw a project in my purse to have for waiting room and other public down times. This one is Opal Cotton. No pattern - just my generic sock I make when I want something simple to work on.

The Giving Quilt.  I posted this one a few weeks ago. Back then it was a lot of fabric and a few blocks. The pattern is a free download on Jennifer Chiaverini's web site. It's going to Project Linus so I wanted bright fun colors. The border fabric is Teddy Bears, Bunnies, and Elephants while the background is pale yellow and blue and pink blocks.
Right now the quilt is pieced together except for the outside border. When I set it out on the dining room table to take a picture my quilt inspector appeared as if by magic to make sure all the seams are straight and that the quilt will be just prefect for a little girl.
Meanwhile, Chief likes to sit on the arm of the recliner and get cuddles. This is the face of one happy kitty!
So, no finished projects at the moment but old projects have been worked on and kitties have bee cuddled and played with. All in all life around here is good...... if only spring would figure out how to get here!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

And the Big News is....

Godson is back from his vacation and I saw him this evening so the big news is official. Godson is now engaged to the sweetest girl. They are the cutest couple (of course, I'm not bias at all!) They went on a short vacation to Arizona and the Grand Canyon. They walked down one of the trails and halfway up he stopped at a little private ledge area and proposed to her. Is that romantic or what!

So now, we've got a fall or spring wedding. He's pushing for fall but, as I told him, his job is now to say " Yes dear, I think that would be wonderful." He agrees so I think they'll be good. ;-)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wish I could tell you the big news!

This is my best friend's family a "few" years ago. The boys have grown up a little bit - they're now in their 30's. Laurie passed in 2004 and their Dad has lived out East since well before then. That left the boys on their own since their early 20s. They've done a remarkable job cause Laurie and their Dad were/are really great parents.

Why do I put a picture of the Boys up today? Cause the younger one - the one in front is my godson. There's something happening this weekend that will change his life a lot. Something exciting and I'm really hoping it goes well. I love these boys as if they were my own and I can't wait to hear everything went as planned and I can tell you all.

Sadly, last night they also lost their grandpa. Laurie's Dad lost his fight with cancer and is now at peace. He lived over 90 years incredibly active and healthy and will be missed by us all.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Goodbye old friend

My life flashed before my eyes on the way home from work tonight. I drove past the house and headed over to get some gas before the car ran out and I was stunned.

Suddenly I remembered my first kiss (Kevin in the AV room); the time I was a patrol captain and one of the 1st graders grabbed my hand and dug in his fingers (I still have faint scars from that); being on stage for a PTA program about what we learned in German; being on the competition girl's volleyball team; meeting my best friend forever for the first time. So many memories. All leaping to mind as I tried to absorb what I was seeing. Sometime this past week someone (without my permission!) torn down my elementary school. The place I walked to for 6 years. The place of so many wonderful memories.

Cavanagh Elementary School - you will be missed!

Part of Cavanagh before demolition

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Giving Quilt

I read a lot. I read at lunch and I listen to audio books when driving to and from work. I love books. The latest books I'm reading involve a little old lady hunting for a killer while hiding from a mini-mafia (Ivy Malone series) and the latest book in the Jennifer Chiaverini Elm Creek Quilt series. This book has the latest group of quilters spending a week at the Elm Creek Quilt Camp creating quilts for Project Linus. Jennifer Chiaverini was kind enough to write up the quilt the campers make and put the pattern on her web site.

At the same time I was looking for something to get me quilting again. I have too many ideas and keep staring at all the fat quarters and yardage of fabric in my stash. Sometimes making a decision is harder than the actual quilting. So, I decided I'd make the Giving Quilt.

Yesterday I headed over to the Mill Ends Fabric store near my house and grabbed 4 fabrics for the quilt - a border, a background and 2 block colors.

Last night I cut up the fabric to get ready and sewed the long strips. The strips were cut into 2 1/2" lengths and added to the background rectangles.

These squares were added to the bigger square and these rectangles were sewn together to create the final block square. It's called the Resolution Square block in the book but I couldn't find it as a block mentioned anywhere else. Whatever - I like it and it's sewing together quickly.

Once I'm done with the 32 squares they will be sewn together on point and create (what I hope is) a fun quilt for some child who gets it from Project Linus.

If you want to sew one for Project Linus, check out their website to find a chapter near you or a quilt shop you can drop off finished quilts.

In the meantime, while I sew today (and a little knitting) the boys are busy doing their Sunday projects.

Chief is adding a fresh layer of fur to his favorite chair and

Bert is doing quality control to be sure the pillow in the guest bedroom are good and soft.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Norwegians, Reindeer people and Amish

This past week a friend and I headed a few hours south and landed in the small town of Decorah, Iowa. Decorah is known for a couple things - it's the home of Luther College and it's the home of the Vesterheim Museum. The Vesterheim was our goal. It is a Norwegian-American Museum with a great collection of textiles and rosemaling among other items.

One of the current exhibits is about the Sami Reindeer people.Living at the Artic they created clothing for warmth but also for beauty.

The weaving looms were made from wood that was available and were not fancy like the ones we can purchase today but - they knew how to make beauty from these rough wood looms.
Their costumes were colorful and most of the ones we saw were combinations of red, blue and white.

They also used a great deal of leather, as you would expect. Again, beautiful decorations were added to their items.

The pouch and shoes are reindeer hide and fur. One thing my friend and I wondered about was the elf-like shoes. Why the little curved toes? This seemed a bit odd to us but we soon discovered the Sami were (are) a clever people. The curve is so they can hook their shoes onto the straps on their skis. Well, at least that mystery was solved!

The mittens look similar to the ones we see in the Scandinavian knitting books but these are the real deal. They are (if I right) from the mid 1800s. The cuff uses the braiding we use today and the design is created with stranded work possibly worked like intarsia. I only wish I could have taken them out of the glass case and checked the inside!


After the Sami collection we headed over the the regular displays. Unfortunately, flash photography isn't allowed so many of my pictures are pretty dark. Here's a few of my pictures that you can actually see what the items are:

 There were a few looms, all handmade. Stories of what people would pack into their trucks included bringing a spinning wheel but looms would be made with local wood once the family settled in.

There was so much textile work with more types than you could imagine. The crochet cabinet was light enough to get a picture.

Beautiful pieces that remind me of Irish crochet but, I don't know the exact name of this type crochet.

The knitting cabinet (one of them) had more knitting from the 1800s including a pair of fancy socks which I'm guessing were for church and special events.
The wool is very fine and the lace design is one I hadn't seen before. I tried to get a good close up but, no luck. However, the closeup does get the heel so you can see they were in flat and seamed together with the seam on the back of the heel. I don't think that would be very comfortable but then again, my feet don't like any seams, anywhere.
Wish more pictures would have turned out but no flash makes it tough. In the textile area they also have many types of embroidery, cross stitch, needlework, tatting, a beautiful darning sampler, and so much more. There's also rosemaling and other decorative painting, woodwork, full size boats, metalwork. The story of immigrants coming to the area.
It's a museum well worth the time if you are ever in the northeast part of Iowa. On the same street as the museum is a yarn shop and a quilt shop along with several other small shops to browse through.
Also, just north of Decorah in Minnesota is the Harmony area which is home to an Amish community. We did not do any tours of that area but while driving through we had many buggy sightings and had to slow down while passing a few on the highway. We also spotted a few barn quilts. All in all it was a great over night get away.