"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Sunday, June 21, 2015

World Wide Knit in Public Day and a Few Loose Ends

Did you Knit in Public with the World last Saturday? Just in our small towns around my area, I heard of several gatherings in honor of World Wide Knit in Public Day, 2015. Our local yarn shop hosted several of us with sandwiches and we had planned to meet on our town's courthouse square. And I even called the newspaper, who sounded very interested. The forecast was promising.

But the forecast was wrong. We had a good deal of rain for most of the day. So we gathered in the LYS and had a fun time of knitting, eating, laughing, chatting and sharing projects. What did you do for the day?

(In case you don't know yet, next year's WWKIPD is scheduled for June 11, 2016. Mark your calendars and if you go here you can look around for the link to register yours - that way others can find your gathering. But you might have to wait a while - they are still talking about this year's world wide events. :^)

The project I worked on the day of WWKIPD, and for quite a few days before and after, is the same hoodie I made for my son and posted about here. It is called Yaquina Bay Cardigan. But this time it is not made with hand spun yarn and it is for me. The pattern comes with a man's hoodie version and a woman's "not-hoodie" version. But I'm making a woman's hoodie version. Clear?

I am using Cascade 220 Paint in the color Denim and look how it is knitting up. And notice all the loose ends - lots of yarn left attached for doing 3 needle bind offs on the shoulders and for seaming up the sides.

It is still a WIP, with just one sleeve left to knit, sewing the side seams and sleeves into the body and then putting on the hood. Oh, and the jacket zipper will need sewing in. I'll model it when it is finished.

But it will have to be put on hold. I'm taking a class starting this Tuesday to make this sweater. Can't tell you much about it yet but will be able to later. I think it is called Bandstand by Louisa Harding. I will be using Plymouth Yarn's Cottonation, in the color Marine - which is blue. Are you surprised? I am trying to get out of my color box. But it's really hard when, given a choice, I am automatically drawn to blue. ~sigh~

And for the last loose yarn, we just recently saw one of our step granddaughters wearing the Fair Isle hat I knitted for her at Christmas. (It's the one in the very middle of the picture:)

She wears it year round and it sits on her head like this - little differently than most of the hats are worn.

So cute, don't you think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mamas - Human and Feathered

Like many of you, I have struggled with American Robins who have tried to nest on my porch, both here and at our former home. They seem to like to be where we like to be but their nest building is not very tidy and as the "mud" they make dries out thoroughly it's always dropping off the nest onto our porch. And while they flit and flutter around looking for real estate, they leave lots of "white piles" all over the place. So for the last few springs that we've lived in our new house, we've had to "discourage" nest building on top to the downspout just where it turns and runs just under the eave at one end of our porch. They start checking the location and begin depositing dried "vegetable matter" (as spinners call it). That's when I get agitated and start taking long sticks and brooms to the small pile of potential safe chick havens. Then we find a box or large plastic bottle to stuff up in the ideal bird home location. This year it was a perfectly sized Thirty-One Bags box.
The white drips
may be hard to see
but you know what
it is!

So far that had solved the problem. Until this year. Normally, after the first encounter of the year, she moves along and finds an alternative location. Yesterday I was trying to vacuum up the pollen off the porch in preparation for a ladies' get-together back there when I was startled by a startled mama Robin. No one had sat in the porch swing for a few days and in the interim, she snuck back to our porch, built a nest and deposited 3 eggs, all unnoticed by us. Well, once the eggs are in, we don't really have the heart to tear it all down. And, man-o-man, are they beautiful eggs - all robin-egg blue. Oh, wait, of course they are.

Do you see her sitting there on top of her nest -
among fake leaves on a fake tree!

I'm assuming they like the nice, clean spaces that humans create because look what is just off our porch from which she could have chosen:

Sooooo, I am trying to ignore the mess she's making, trying to resist the urge to sit in the porch swing and I'm sneaking peeks when she flutters away at our appearance. Sneaking peeks with my camera in hand.

We were at the blue-topped
table and she is to the right of
the fake tree down in the corner.
Well, today was the day of our knitting get-together - with 6 of us mamas sitting out there, knitting, and talking and laughing - often loudly - and for much of the time, our little birdie mama was sitting on her nest. Quite amazing since I just discovered it yesterday and today she was suddenly inundated with noise. She must be trying to ignore our movements, ignore our noises and tolerate it all for the chance to raise her family behind the cover of a tree. Albeit, a FAKE tree. And to top it all, she deposited another egg.

So we'll watch the young family hatch and eat and beg and then fledge into our back yard. And then I'll clean up the leftovers.

I guess I'll just have to buy some more Thirty-One bags so I have another box to stuff in the space. Sounds reasonable to me.

Where we ate before moving to the porch.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Old-Fashioned (sort of) Quilting Bee

I have always resisted the urge to quilt. Oh, the delight of picking the pattern, matching fabrics, and then bringing home the purchases is most tempting. But I always get stuck on the learning process and the space issues with quilting. I invariably conclude the pros and cons with, "I don't want to take on another craft, and all that goes with it."

So, today when one of my knitting buddies made a "911" call to some of us to help out a friend, I said, "I don't think she wants my help, I've never quilted." Turns out it was a tied quilt and it was our friend's graduation gift to a granddaughter and she had today (Wednesday) until Friday to get it finished, with a break tonight for a quick trip to another grandchild's baseball game. She had it out on her antique quilting frame and was running out of time.

Total, she had the help of 3 of us and we got well over half the tying done in just one afternoon. Plus, we had a blast together, laughing, instructing, helping, and, of course, eating. The quilting host must have figured she better keep the troops full of food so we'd work better, so she heated up a wonderful casserole and served it with a "heap of fruit."

I could really see the benefit of the old-fashioned quilting bee in young U.S.A.. When families moved west where their homesteads were spread out, people didn't see others often. Women need the friendship of other women and when they could get together for a quilting bee, they were accomplishing the task of keeping their families warm, all the while sharing, laughing, probably sometimes crying, eating. And bonding. It was like that for us today. With the help of microwaves, indoor plumbing and cars to get us together quickly. We had a great time and I wouldn't be opposed to doing it again. 

But I'm still quite resolute about not taking on the hobby of quilting, despite how beautiful this tied quilt is.

P.S. I have some knitting projects to report. Next time.

UPDATE: The three of us helpers went back today, two days later, just before the quilter was to head out for the graduation, to see the final result - the finished quilt off the frame. It is glorious. Here's a photo: