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

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Of Socks 08 - Started

It's a little belated because I'm in the process of setting up the NEW COMPUTER, but this photo was taken at 12:34 a.m., Saturday, June 21st.

That's the very start of the toe at which point I gave up and went to bed. The sock is coming along - the toe & foot are done and I started the heel bed. I'm trying a variation of using slip 1, k1 on the right side rows of the heel bed and slip 1, purl across on the wrong side along with offsetting the slip stitches every 4th row. I'll try to get a photo when I get past the heel turn.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy Week

I've been trying to clear the decks for the beginning of the Summer of Socks 08 which starts in about 20 minutes.

First project - which is coming up short by about 12 rows - is an afghan for Beaumont Hospital which asked our K4 group to knit or crochet two full sized afghans and a number of smaller lap robes for which they've provided the yarn. This is the first of the full sized ones (50"x65") which I started on Monday during knitting class.

Second project, which did get finished, is the first pair of socks out of my Vinca sock yarn stash. I love them, but the yarn doesn't run quite true in color sequence even though I pulled out some of the second skein until I was where I thought the colors on the toe of the first sock started.

Details: Vinca super-wash sock yarn, size 2 Harmony DPs, and my toe-up sock pattern. They didn't get finished as fast as the pair I made before them but that was in part because I wanted to work slow so they'd last until SOS08 starts tonight at midnight. I used two circulars and a figure 8 cast on for the toe, worked a small rectangle and then picked up stitches and switched to DPs.

Here are my materials that I'll pick up about 11 minutes from now. Sadie decided that she wanted to help while I was arranging needles & yarn, so she got into the photo.

What's that I see in the front hallway??? A NEW COMPUTER!!! Actually, we got two of them and DH is in the process of getting his set up before he tackles mine. This one has a sound card so I'll be able to listen to knitting pod-casts (and the Grateful Dead) on line.. More later, it's time to cast on..

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Back Home Again

Caution - lots of photos in this post!

I flew back to Michigan from California on Wednesday, starting at about 7:30 California time at LAX as my son-in-law dropped me off on the way to work, and finally getting into Flint about 10:30 Michigan time. I think I'm still recovering from jet lag plus a low grade cold that I might have picked up on the plane.

Anyway, here's where I was - in the San Bernardino Mountains on Highway 18. The scenery was beautiful.

At this spot, they cut through a ridge, but as you can see below there are plenty of places where the roadway hangs on the side of the mountain and from below you're looking up at the underside of the section above you.

The shot below is from a turn-out and is looking down the mountain toward San Bernardino which on a clear day (this one wasn't) is laid out like a toy town below.

And this one is looking back the way we came. The first time I went out after my daughter's family moved "up the hill", she offered to bring a blindfold to the airport in case the drive was scary. I've never found it so but love the changing scenery and the rock formations.

Here, from another day, the fog at lower elevations only lets one see the mountain tops sticking through.

This is my favorite sign - the curve isn't quite that sharp but it does turn 180 degrees in the length of a van while climbing the side of the mountain in Crestline.

Because I didn't finish the red sweater for my grandson until after the weather had started to warm up, I waited and took it along. He was kind enough to model it and, as I planned, there's some room for growth - especially in the sleeves.

Granddaughter's sweater was also modeled. She tells me that she wore it a lot this last winter.

I didn't take any knitting along but Daughter had several skeins of yarn that she was planning on taking to Goodwill - I claimed them for our K4 group instead and used one to crochet a granny square vest for Grand-daughter.. I was her "show & tell" topic at school on Friday and she wanted me to bring along the partly finished vest. I started on the back just before class and continued working on it while fielding questions - most of them about knitting & crocheting {g}..

On Saturday we attended the Munchkins' track meet where Grand-daughter showed her heels to the competition in the relay & hurtles races and tied the 100 meter dash.

Grandson received the Student of the Month award for his classroom. His teacher was kind enough to slip his 3rd grade class into the K-1 assembly so I could be there for the presentation.

When I returned, I found that in my absence, my DH had continued to check garage sales for yarn for our K4 group and had scored a couple more large bags. Here's the back of the car on Thursday when we loaded it up to go to the Sr. Center. I counted while sorting the worsted weight yarn into the cupboards and there were over 100 skeins plus an extra large bag of baby & sport yarn that went to Pat that I didn't count. I think it worked out to about 10ยข a skein!

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Monday, June 09, 2008

California Dreaming

No photos this time because I didn't bring along the cables to hook the camera to my daughter's computer, but I'm in California - safe & sound - since last Tuesday. I helped Becky get the place "sale ready" and we've had three potential buyers come through already since the "For Sale" sign went up last Thursday. Please keep fingers crossed that a buyer will show up soon so Becky & the munchkins can head for Pennsylvania in three weeks with Bill as he goes there for his new job.

The weather is beautiful and I'll miss seeing the mountains when I visit them in PA. Their current home is in the San Bernardino mountains and the trip "up the hill" is spectatular. I took a lot of photos along the road & will post them when I get home. Back home in Michigan, the weather has been hot, humid & rather wild. Storms came through last night and knocked out power for thousands of people. It was worse on the west side of the state where five people were killed. Thankfully, our area was ok. I'm flying back on Wednesday so after I shake off the jet lag and get photos downloaded from the camera I'll try to post by the weekend.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

The Garden Is In!!

Hopefully, we've seen the last of the frosty nights until late fall because I put the garden in on Saturday.

First in were scarlet verbena in the front bed backed by six of eight basil plants. The hostas behind the basil have reached their full size so shouldn't interfere.

Here is the entire bed that's located below the kitchen window (unfortunately, all I can see from the window are the branches of the forsythia blowing back and forth). There's a pink clementis in the corner, a number of orange lilies, some beautiful dark red & bright yellow lilies, the hostas, a peace rose that Mom bought when I was still in elementary school, myrtle & violets besides the annuals that I put right in front. The myrtle & violets are invasive so more of them will be pulled as the summer progresses and the other plants need room.

This bed is in the back yard along the east side of the house and next to the compost pile. I put four grape tomato plants in on the left and there are two cells of zucchini toward the right (only one showing). The other plants are walking or Egyptian onions, a couple violets & lots of catnip for our feline babies.

This isn't a great picture, but it's the area we dug up this spring for garden space. I sort of stuffed the tomato plants in as there are 4 Better Boy, 4 Beefmasters, 4 more Grape, & 4 Early Girl in this space plus the two extra basil plants that didn't fit into the front bed.

Remember the perennial geranium that I posted a couple times earlier this spring when it was first coming up? It's now in bloom and will continue to blossom for most of the summer.

These iris which Mom brought from out on the farm are close by along the east side of the garage. They aren't anything special other than they bloomed out at the farm for as long as I can remember along the south & west foundations. Like the cabbage & 7 Sisters roses, they invoke lots of memories.

I turned the heel on the second Vinca #10 sock last night and started the K2, P2 ribbing for the leg. No knitting photos this time. Tomorrow morning at O'dark thirty, I get on a plane at the Flint airport heading for California and a visit with my daughters, son-in-law & grandchildren. Lots of stuff left to pack!!

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