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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Long Lomg Time Ago......

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”
- B.B. King

I was blessed to have two of the most dear, creative Grandmothers in the world, Lillian and Cordia. My Grandmother Lillian taught me to knit when I was 14. That pretty much means I have 36 years of experience. Years in which muscle memory took over and things became second nature. In 1980, I lived in a German farmhouse, in the tiny village of Turkheim Germany, on the third floor. A friend named Ursula, Ush for short, taught me to knit socks without a pattern. My first pair was the softest gray German yarn and I wore them until I must have looked like a pauper. Fast forward, quite a few years later (okay, you got me...almost three decades), to modern day South Dakota. I went to Urgent Care on Sunday to find I was a pretty sick woman. I have been on antibiotics and sleeping most of the time since. This was my falling down moment for the new sock pattern on the circular needles. Let's just say, the circulars and the new pattern have gone by the wayside for a little while until I feel well again and have more patience to try and retrain these hands. It must be an old dog-new tricks kind of thing. So....instead of showing you socks...how about I show you the shawl I have been working on for my Mother....Dad...don't show her this post. My Mother refuses to use the computer, so I think I am safe there. Her favorite color is blue. You will find the book the pattern came out of in a post further down. I am feeling much better and I am going back to work tomorrow! Watch out guys...

I have a wonderful friend out west. She hand dyes the most beautiful fabrics. She has a website now that I would love to share with you, Nette's Quilting Fabrics. I will be adding her name to my sidebar for favorite artisans. No one will ever appear there unless I have tried their things and I have to absolutely love them! Check her out and tell her I said hi....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hails & Farewells

A good goal is like a strenuous exercise - it makes you stretch.
Mary Kay Ash
I have never tried to knit socks with anything other than double pointed needles. I decided to stretch my limitations and learn something new. I purchased a book last weekend that seems to be all the rage in the sock knitting community, as a matter of fact, I am probably the last person to own it. Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn. It may take me the entire pair of socks to get the knack of knitting on a pair of circular needles, but I am stubborn and I shall succeed. Any suggestions that any of you have would be greatly appreciated! That beautiful blue hand dyed yarn you see in the picture is a work of art by my favorite gal, Qutecowgirl.
I have been out of the picture for a few days because my only son was home with his family on his way to his new base. He is in the military and I don't get to see him as often as I would like and my darling grandkids are growing at an unrecognizable rate. I am blessed with a wonderful daughter-in-law. I could not have chosen a better wife for my son myself. I was happy to take time off work to spend with all of them. I will really miss them until we can gt together again.
Thanks for stopping by and God bless.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March Socks

Why slap them on the wrist with feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer.
Katharine Hepburn

The socks for my sock club are done. March. Ta Da! Again, this yarn is a simple joy to knit up. The colors this time are splendid. Check it out before I get around to buying all her hand dyed.
And now....I was one lucky girl. I checked the sock blog on the 8th of March to see what my cohorts were making. As I scrolled down, I saw my name, in big black letters. I had won the February drawing for having my socks done and posted in time! This hand dyed yarn from Peru is a delight to the senses. I have never worked with DK yarn before, any suggestions?
And these lovelies were in the bag that came too. They are snag proof markers in purple, which is rapidly becoming my favorite color. Thank you, Zonda!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Surprise!!

Things which you do not hope happen more frequently than things which you do hope.
~Titus Maccius Plautus
Imagine my surprise when I opened the mailbox to find this gorgeous hand dyed yarn. The surprise was not so much the yarn itself, since I did order it from my favorite yarn person. The surprised was how quickly she got it to me. I just ordered this on Friday....late. By the way, if you like this yarn, you can find Qutecowgirl on the right hand side of my blog at anytime under favorite artisans. This yarn is even more richly colored than the photos allow. Just beautiful. There are more socks to be knitted in my future. There is a generous amount in each skein, too. Look at the beautiful stitch markers she sent me. And Dexter was dying to know what I was taking pictures of, that is his handsome mug in the right hand corner, where he is not allowed.
Midnight, in the socks I am knitting right now, was the first yarn I ever bought from her. I am very pleased with the way it is knitting up. It is just beautiful. I think she may be surprised on how this is turning out, too. I never know what to expect when I am looking at yarn in a skein. I just pick colors that I think are beautiful and let the pattern develop from there. My friend Penny is excited about them, too. She tried on the first one last Friday and it fits like a dream. I am thrilled.
Another treasure, fresh from the dishwasher, I bought at the flea market this last weekend. It is smaller than it looks here. I am thinking berry cobbler like my Grandma used to make.

Giveaway Alert!

Valerie over at the Pumpkin Patch Quilter has a giveaway going on. Stop in by Saturday, March 21st, and leave a comment! Her quilts are beautiful so take a peak even if you don't enter the competition.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sinday Moments

Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun.
— George Scialabba
Yesterday morning, we woke to a cold house and no power. What to do? Go to IHOP for breakfast and the flea market for fun and warmth. Of course, there are always treasures to be had, resisting them is part of the mandatory budget in action. Above is a beautiful set of bowls I picked up for just $2.00. Although they look hand thrown, I imagine they are massed produced, but they are beautiful none the less.
This wooden hook caught my eye and the price was well within the parameters of my budget. Another great addition to my collection. I also found a basket and a wonderful inexpensive gift for my Mother that will just thrill her when it shows up unexpectantly in the mail later this week. She lost her favorite Samta cookie cutter but my Granddaughter and I unearthed the same one at the bottom of another basket for only $1.00.
We returned home in the afternoon to a cold house and no power. After a call to the electric company, we found out that if we took a nap, the house should be warm by the time we woke up. Talk about a dream, lazy day of doing nothing but fun things. The house was indeed warm when we emerged from our cocoons.

This photo is just a reminder it is time to start on more felted sewing kits for my handmade Christmas gifts.
I was reading through my sock-a-month club to find I was the winner of a beautiful skein of hand dyed yarn for the month of February. I totally forgot they did drawings. I am beside myself with excitement!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reflections

Life can only be understood backwards, but it has to be lived forwards.
Søren Kierkegaard

Today after work, I stopped at my favorite thrift store and found the cheese dome with no wooden under tray for next to nothing. I found this beautiful plate with the vining leaves that serves the purpose perfectly, they go together like they were made for each other. You are looking at a nursery for some of my seedlings I will start soon.

My dear friend Penny had a death in her family this week. Her husband's twin perished in a house fire. He lived out of state, as does most of their family. I was lucky enough to be able take a day off work to go to his funeral yesterday. He was a Vietnam Veteran. It was an experience I want to share. What some of you may not know is that I am also a Veteran. As the service was coming to a close, the Military Color Guard came forward to re-drape the casket with the Flag. The Sergeant in Charge addressed the congregation. He let us know that by order of Congress, all veterans, even those in civilian clothes, are authorized to salute the casket. We all snapped to attention and smartly saluted. I will tell you now, there was not a dry eye in the crowd when the bugler played TAPS. I was standing behind his Mother, holding the handles of her wheelchair just moments before. Still standing at attention while they folded the Flag and delivered it to his Mother, I was close enough that I could hear the words he whispered to her and he made me cry again. It was definitely the most moving service I have ever been to. The National Guard did a fantastic job. Their job is not an easy one, but boy is it important to a lot of people.

While I was out of town, I did manage to stop by a quilt shop I had never been to before and I did enjoy looking through everything, touching fabric and talking to friendly people. I brought a small haul home with me that I can't wait to play with.

God Bless and thank you for stopping by.