Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Monday, October 29, 2007

Starting To Move Again

I had the knitting class today with three students, all of whom needed very little help, so I spent the two hours mainly knitting, running in yarn ends, yakking & answering the occasional question. These are the latest five sets for the Veterans' Shelter - I made hat & scarves for four of them and the hat for the brown set to match the variegated crocheted scarf that Sharon made.

These bring the total sets that I have stored either here or at the other house until Gloria takes them to Detroit in December to 45. I have the scarf half done for a set in two strands of a camouflage and one of golden beige out of the coned yarn and about half a hat in an aran with black & brown flecks for yet another set. The latter is my carry-around project as carrying three large cones of yarn would be a little daunting.

I've also been working on wheelchair sized rag-tag lap robes, using up the left overs from the hats, scarves and other projects. I love the one above in the fall colors. The one below is in baby type pastels & white.

The next big project is sorting yarn & storing it in totes for the move - I'll have to take photos as I go along so I can "flash my stash" next time that me-me is going around.. {g}

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Where Does The Time Go??

It's been weeks since I posted here - the days seem to be flying and yet standing still at the same time.

We've been slowly getting things done at the other house in preparation of moving sometime before the snow flies. This week we finally decided on a new bed - a soft-sided waterbed with an oak frame, bookcase headboard and under the bed drawers which was delivered & set up on Friday. It got mostly filled today and we'll adjust the water level as needed. It's far easier to add water than to pump it back out.

We had basement shelves built today by a very talented carpenter. Two wooden shelves, twenty-four feet in length starting at 36" off the floor and 20" between that one and the top shelf. The concrete floor underneath will hold the heavy totes (probably filled with Mom's antique dishes) and room for another tote to be put on top of them underneath the middle shelf. That means over 90 feet of storage space!!!

I was joking with Sallee today that I might have to corner the market on totes in this area. When we moved to this house 22 years ago, I brought along two of the six-cubic foot wardrobe boxes plus a couple record boxes stuffed with yarn. It's going to be more this move! I have two bins & two printer paper boxes in here along with bunch of bags under the other desk and the KnitPicks yarn. Then in the living room, I have one large tote of my yarn, one 18 gallon tote of coned yarn that the top won't fit on, two under the bed boxes of additional K4 yarn plus various bags & baskets with yarn in them about half mine, half K4s; down in the family room, one large tote + a BIG bag of K4 yarn, a large tote of recycled wool, a large tote of acrylics & a smaller tote ditto, the last three mine; then in the crawl space several large boxes of yarn.. Not counting the skeins I picked up at garage sales this summer, last year I tallied up 662 ounces of my yarn - that's 41#s of yarn .. I call it my 401K(nit) retirement fund. I also have two large cupboards, a bookcase, three under the bed totes, and one 18 gallon tote filled with quilting fabric - my 401Q..

I spent the day at the other house sorting, tossing, setting aside for the Free Table at the Sr. Center and packing the things we're going to keep. We're combining furniture, treasures & junk from two households that have been occupied by four packrats. I inherited my packratitis honestly from both Mom & Dad.. {g}

Not much got done this last week because I was glued to the computer hoping for news from the California wildfires. Eldest DD & her family had to evacuate on Monday from their home in the San Bernardino Mountains and spent the week with SIL's parents in Costa Mesa. Some residents hid out in their homes on the mountain to avoid being sent "down the hill" and posted news of the fires 24 hours a day, transcribing scanner traffic so those who had left were able to obtain more news than provided by the networks which seemed to concentrate on the San Diego fires. DD's town was opened to residents on Saturday when the danger from the Grass Fire between Blue Jay & Running Springs decreased. Still, my SIL took this photo from their driveway looking east.

That's smoke, not clouds rising from the ridge leading to Dart Canyon. Fortunately, the firefighters were able to keep the fire from cresting into the canyon. If it had, that area didn't burn in the Olds Fire four years ago and is packed with dead trees (the pine bark beetle along with drought) and tinder that would have carried the destruction into town.

Our Cloths For Crisis group is rising to the occasion and we've found a church in Crestline that is willing to distribute the hand knit cotton washcloths that our C4C group has been stockpiling since after Katrina & Rita. I need to get a box to pack the 40+ cloths that I have stashed here.

When I haven't been on the computer or getting ready to move, I've continued to make hat & scarf sets for the Veterans' Shelter in Detroit and Rag-tag afghans for Seniors. I'll try to get some photos posted soon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Coming Up For Air

Once again, it's been a while since I posted, but things have been busy. Lots of lawyers, accountants, etc. meetings in settling Mom's estate and then starting to clean, sort, donate & recycle or toss the things that can't be donated over at the her house. We'll be moving there, hopefully before the snow flies, because once you're inside everything is on one floor unless you go to the basement. The way my poor knees have been complaining about stairs in this tri-level in the recent damp weather, one floor sounds awfully nice.

I have been doing a lot of knitting and crocheting. With the new TV season starting, I've had time over the past couple weeks to finish four new *small* rag-tags. These are 30x36" so they're suitable for use in a wheel chair.

As you can see, two are "planned" while the other two really aren't. My friend Marian from our K4 group brought in a large bag of small balls of yarn for me to use in rag-tags, so with each color change on the more colorful rag-tags, I pulled three balls of yarn from the bag and then used the one that blended best with what I'd already crocheted. I still have bags & boxes of yarn down in the family room, so I'll be crocheting a lot over this winter.

Which brings me to the hat & scarf sets I've been making for the homeless veterans' shelter in Detroit. Back in August, I mentioned the generous donation of the large cones of machine knitting yarn to our group. Here are four of the hat & scarf sets that I've completed. There are almost 30 in all but these four give a good example of the way that the yarns can combine to make very distinct sets. I'm working with three or four strands at a time and using a size 13 circular for the hat and a size P hook for the matching crocheted scarves.

Last Saturday I helped man (or woman) the Sr. Center booth at the annual Barn Daze here in Orion Township. We had hats, scarves and baby sets for sale from our group while the ceramic, china painting & quilting groups also had tables with their items. Barn Daze is a lot of fun for the kids, but there weren't too many people buying - not surprising given our local economy. Still it was a fun day with beautiful weather, lots of visiting, people watching and enticing odors from the Chili Challenge which was set up in the tents next to us. Fortunately, the unsold items can be donated so it's not a complete loss and we may have a pre-Christmas sale at the Center.

Acrylics Anon/a