Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fort Rock Homestead Museum {Part 3}

I'm kind of running out of things to say about these wonderful old quilts, except for the fact that I absolutely love them. 

Wouldn't you love to see one of these old kitchens in action? They have to have been more cluttered in real life, because there would have been food in there too and not just a couple of random jars and containers of spices. I really want to know how these women got things done.

My favorite part of this museum is that you're free to wander through the houses and buildings. There are no ropes across the doors or pieces of clear plexiglass to squint through. You're in the rooms and free to walk around and get a close look at everything.

I still like the faded Dresden plates best, but this one is gorgeous!

I couldn't tell if this embroidery was crayon tinted or not. Could it have been watercolors?

Not my favorite image, but I like the idea of it. Being the only one not asleep is one of my favorite things.

This is absolutely the last of the pictures from the homestead museum. You can find the rest in part one, and part two.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Is it September Yet?

I'm getting impatient, waiting for September 1st and the next Super Scary Sock pattern. It's a weird sort of limbo because I might not like the pattern, which means I'll be waiting for September 11... So what am I supposed to do until then? I didn't want to cast on something  complicated, because if I put that down when the new pattern comes out, odds are slim that I'll pick it back up. The socks I had planned to cast on are in a colorway that seems to be on the supply list...and I want to save the plain stockinette pair I'm already working on for math assignment knitting. 

So last night after I stuck dinner into the oven to bake, I cast on these. By the time I headed to bed at a little before midnight, I was most of the way through the short row heel. It's the Lazy Lace socks again, this time with a lace element that I found in another pattern.

One of my blog readers had a question about knitting a pair of socks from 50 gram skeins:

When you buy two small skeins of yarn for one
pair of socks, do you make one sock from each skein? 
Or do you make one, then use the rest of the skein to begin
the second sock before opening the second skein? 
Perhaps it depends on the yarn, whether it stripes or is
plain or ombré.

When I'm using two skeins of sock yarn I use one for the first sock, then cast on the second sock from the other skein. There are a couple of reasons for that. If I'm using self-striping yarn with a long repeat, I'd rather not worry about what's going to happen with the colors  when I rejoin the yarn at a random point. That was a problem with my second pair of Express Lane socks, except it was a knot in the middle of my skein that created the problem.

Sometimes the two skeins just look different, even if they're the same dye lot. My worst example of that was the Catnip Socks. It was obvious from the beginning that one skein was darker, so I used it for contrasting toes and heels. There have been other pairs where the difference was more subtle and I didn't see the problem until I was halfway through the second sock. Changing yarn mid-sock would have made the problem a lot more noticeable.  

Using one skein for each sock also means that I won't run out of yarn when I least want to, like in the middle of a heel or bit of lace. The leftovers will be, more or less, divided equally when I want to use them later for contrasting heels or toes on another pair.  It won't be perfect, because the yardage per skein can vary a bit, but it's always been close enough for me to work with it. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Having a Roof Will Make Things Easier

The magnifying sheet from the Dollar Tree helps a lot too, especially when I'm trying to see if I've already done white or light yellow half cross stitches on a white background. 

That little bit of roofline gives me a great landmark to confirm that I'm doing my bits of sky where they belong. At this point, I'm more than a quarter of the way through the project and I'm getting excited about what's going to come next. There are some great choices sitting my stash, and more hidden up in the sewing room, and sooooo many gorgeous kits that I keep seeing on Instagram and reminding myself I don't need.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Settling in Again and Deciding What's Next

Lately, it seems like I've been doing nothing but knitting. The difference is that it's not stress knitting this time, it's "I've got some time to sit here with needles in my hands" knitting. Which is much more enjoyable. The stress knitting of the past couple of years has been relaxing, but this is fun.

I've got to clear off my sewing machine and get back to piecing. The Janome still isn't fixed. I talked to a local repair shop, but haven't had the time to take it up there. Or, to be more honest, the willpower. I can go weeks without plugging the machine in, but not having the option? That sounds like torture. And what if the problem can't be fixed?  (I know the answer, I just don't want to deal with learning new tricks right now.)

I can't free motion quilt, but I can piece. And I can do zippers. The other machines don't have zipper feet....or at least I don't think they do.

I've got fabric and supplies for a bunch of bags, but I'm leaning towards waiting until Bag It starts on September 18.

There's a quilt along that I was looking forward to, but I can't for the life of me remember which blog it was on or the name of it. Anyone recognize a quilt along that involves curved piecing and several layer cakes? I'm sure I followed the blog on both Facebook and Bloglovin, so it's got to pop up in my feed sooner or later, right?

And the charity group starts meeting again in September. I've got a couple of quilts going with their fabric, so I need to get to work on those. It's hard to get motivated to add a border when it won't be needed for another three months. But now the clock is ticking.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

{Thrift Shop Temptations} Come Look at Craft Supplies With Me!

The plan was to do a "Come Thrift With Me" video, but my aging smartphone refused to cooperate. It's a shame because it was the perfect store on the perfect  day, with lots of stuff in the craft section to show you and talk about. We'll have to make do with still pictures.

First, there's this --

I am crazily in love with this vintage crewel kit. Never mind the fat that I've never tried crewel. I'll figure it out. It's so perfectly vintage without having any of the elements that I don't like. And it's a greenhouse. I love greenhouses. And no one else started and then abandoned it. There's not a needle rusting in the fabric. Better yet, it was only a dollar. Next to it was an equally old Irish Blessing needlework kit by the same company for twelve bucks. I don't understand the pricing methods of thrift shops.

I also don't understand this little bag full of cats. They're about the size of a cookie cutter, with white fabric on one side and different calico prints on the other, with zig-zag stitching just inside the raw edges, and a layer of batting between. (Maybe they were made from that prequilted fabric?)

Not intended for applique, because the pretty fabric is on the back and the faces are on the plain what are they? There were probably a couple dozen in there but I didn't investigate too closely. Priced at ten dollars, there was no risk of them coming home to my house.

My best guess is that they were some sort of doll. My sister and I played with paper dolls cut out of department store catalogs, so I can see some little girl with a big community of flat fabric cats. If you know what they really are, please let me know.

My youngest son found, and was horrified by, this doll. She blinks and that's weird. I explained that that's how dolls work, but he's not convinced. My biggest question was whether she had friends there with her, because it seems like these little gals travel in packs. She was alone and she's going to hang out on the shelf in my sewing room while I figure out how awful it would be to make her a new dress. (I've been on a quest for a poorly dressed one to play with, but the ones I found last weekend at a barn sale were so grimy and sad that I couldn't bring myself to rescue them.)

This bag of scraps was on the table outside the front door for fifty cents. It's mostly Christmas scraps and solids, but I figure it was worth buying just to us the big solid pieces and the tiny dotted pieces to line zipper bags.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Convoluted Clues

It's time for the Super Sock Scarefest! I've knit several pairs from previous years and made it through the first pattern of last year before life got in the way. 

Pattern: Convoluted Clues 
Yarn: Drops Fabel  

This time the "preshow pattern" is Convoluted Clues, inspired by the movie Zodiac. I've never seen it and thought I'd watch it on Netflix, but the knitting went quicker than I expected.

There are rows of twisted stitches going up the leg, with different charts for the front and back. That's not something I've done before.  And I don't I've ever done toe up socks with a gusset and heel flat. I definitely haven't done this style of heel.

The socks fit,  they were a fun challenge, and -- probably most shockingly -- the twisted stitches and blue stripes of the yarn show up in pictures. I can't wait to see what they've got in store for us next. Do I cast on something new to work on for the next few days while I wait for another scary pattern?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {8/25/17}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Fort Rock Homestead Museum {Part 2}

Here are more of the quilts and embroidery from our trip to the Fort Rock Homestead Museum...

This one is my absolute favorite quilt of the day, because age has made it so subtle. Doesn't it look like it's just one color of fabric?

But nope, those are faded feed sacks in those Dresden plates. I love the low volume effect that time has given this one.

And here's a reminder that our great grandmas were doing fun little things many years before Pinterest. I'll just bet my Grandma Walters would have done something like this in her sod house.

This quilt looked like it was pieced from worn out clothing.

I love that this museum shows how people would have used their quilts by displaying quilts that people did use. All of these are worn and torn and threadbare and I think this is the best possible place for them to be if they're not with their original families.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

{Yarn and Books} Super Scary Sock Fest and Some New Thrillers

After completely failing at Sock Madness this spring, I've got higher hopes for Super Scary Sockfest. The pregame pattern is out and this is all stuff I can do! 

It's the first time I've done a toe up sock with a gusset and heel flap...I think. It's absolutely the first time I've done a heel like this one. But I did it and now I'm working my way through the twisted stitches on the leg.

There's still time to sign up over on Ravelry if you want to join us in knitting socks inspired by scary movies. It's a competition, but you can knit at your own pace and pick which of the patterns you want to do, unlike some of  the other competitive sock knitting events.

99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

The intertwined stories of two missing girls kept me guessing, but there were too many different voices telling the tale. Three adult women, and a missing girl, and the man who took her... I managed to keep them all straight, but it was like watching the story unfold from a distance.  This is one of those books that makes you work to piece together exactly what's going on.

Lies She Told by Kate Holahan

There are two thrillers unfolding here, the one that Liza Jones is writing to meet a deadline and the one that she is living. Both stories kept me turning pages to see what would become of the characters. Chapters alternate between the fictional author's life and the book she's writing, but it was always clear which of the two stories I was reading and I didn't come close to figuring it all out.

Disclosure -- I was provided with an advance review copies by the publishers. All opinions are my own. This post is linked to Crazy Mom Quilts , Wrap up Friday iknead2knit, and  Frontier Dreams  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

At the "Big Ass Manly Sale"

The signs for the Big Ass Many Sale looked like they'd been written by a woman. My husband and I both had the same thought, but we were out for a drive and it seemed like it was worth a little detour.

Most of the stuff spread out on the grass looked appropriately manly...although I know a lot of female bloggers who would have snapped it up...

The ladder would have been tempting if we didn't have one just like it in the barn already.

So what does a woman buy at a sale like that?

A water bath canner that may or may not leak, and vintage crayons. (I'm on a quest for a Prussian Blue crayon and couldn't remember what year they were discontinued because it's not my project.) I wasn't looking for the vintage coloring books, not really, but the answer when I asked what he wanted for the crayons was "They're yours!" and then he dug out the old coloring books from a box under the table and threw those in too. I'll find a use for 'em. Or find someone who had a use for 'em.

Hubby bought some mysterious metal things, and I bought a wooden ironing board for five bucks. It was in great shape and my daughter only has a rickety metal one. (Cosplayers, unlike the rest of us, actually iron their clothing.)

And my husband bought the bike from the first picture. I didn't ask questions, because I was bringing home ancient coloring books and he wasn't complaining about that.

By the way, if you convince your husband that wooden ironing boards are hard to come by outside of antique malls, that apparently means you'll find a second one a day later, also at a pretty decent price. We left that one for someone else to find and love.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Knitting Socks While Waiting for the Eclipse...

I thought I'd be knitting away on this pair the whole time I was counting down to the eclipse. Instead, I finished them seven days after casting on. That's not a problem -- I immediately cast on another pair of "eclipsey" socks to keep me busy. 

Pattern: Lazy Lace Socks (modified) 
Yarn: Knitpicks Hawthorne, Burnside

It was  the perfect combination of great yarn, a great pattern, and plenty of time to sit and knit. That lace panel that runs up the side of each sock was just fiddly enough to make me happy. The pattern is easy to memorize and easier to read just by looking at the row. So I could put down the socks at any point, even in the middle of a round, without struggling to figure out where I'd left off.

I'll absolutely be knitting this pattern again, and looking for more stockinette socks with a pretty decorative bit running up the foot and leg.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Waiting in the Path of the Eclipse

Are you in the path of the eclipse? Are you happy about this once in a lifetime experience?

I was excited about the eclipse when I first heard about it a couple of years back. There was another total eclipse here back in 1979 and they kept kids home from school so that we wouldn't blind ourselves. My husband says he saw it and that it was no big deal.

I want to see an eclipse, darnit!

Our backyard is in the path of totality. We've all got our eclipse glasses. The boys and I went and listened to lectures at the public library about how to safely view and photograph the big event. (Don't expect blog pictures from me because the methods for doing it without frying the camera are all way beyond my skill level.)

I'm still a little excited about the minute of total darkness. What I'm exhausted by are the rumors and predictions of doom and gloom. I've heard that the interstate would be closed during the eclipse...and that it won't. I've heard that the highway to Sisters would be closed...then that that was just a rumor...but now there's a fire and some of the mountain passes are closed.

That's the view of the fire we had when we were driving home on Tuesday afternoon,
 through one of those passes that's now closed. 

I really feel for the people who invested a lot of time and money into getting here for the eclipse. And the people who've been evacuated from their homes -- where are they going to go while the area is so crowded with tourists?

I'm still hearing that we're going to run out of gas and groceries...and that's the least of the doom and gloom they're predicting. Honestly, it's Y2K all over again.

Hubby and I drove over towards the coast for lunch on Friday and were entertained by the signs. $25 eclipse parking... $125 to spend the night in a restaurant parking lot. The local mall is renting RV sites in their parking lot... That part is entertaining, but I'll be glad when the whole thing is over.

Is there eclipse drama in your corner of the world?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Clothing the Boys

I just made a discovery that changed my life for the better.

If you've read my blog before, you know that I have active young boys who love to play outside and who are very hard on my quilts. I'm sure you can imagine what they do to their clothes.

For years, I've been hearing stories of these moms who buy quality clothes on ebay or at the consignment shops and then resell them for the same amount once they're outgrown. I can't keep my own clothes that nice for six months or a year, let alone my children's clothes! (I'm also absolutely terrible at packing away outgrown clothes and then pulling back out at the right time.)  Clothes are the last thing I want to lose sleep over and pretty close to the last thing my sons care about.

We pick up stuff at the thrift shops when we can, but there isn't a lot out there in their age range. My theory is that I'm not the only one whose boys destroy their clothes before outgrowing them. My daughter, on the other hand, found all of the cute clothes all the time, for dirt cheap. She still does.

The other problem is that, new or used,  everything has a character on it. Thank God for Minecraft and Five Nights at Freddy's and zombies because my boys who don't care about clothes do have very strong opinions about Batman or Minions or whatever else is exciting everyone but them right now.

Now on to my fabulous discovery...

Did you know that the Dollar Tree sells t-shirts? 

They sell t-shirts that will fit my younger sons. For a dollar. Last month I went through and picked up half a dozen...and then tucked them away for those days when we're going out and need something that isn't ripped or stained or stretched out of shape. I'm using the Dollar Tree shirts as their "good" shirts. This means they can wear the shirts they like every day and when we go out to an event we don't have to worry about offending someone with zombie or video game themed shirts. Or getting a favorite shirt stolen from the locker room at Swim N Gym, which happened a couple of months ago. Shoes and pants and underwear and glasses are easier (even if they're more expensive) to replace than that favorite shirt from our last vacation.

As long as the shirts fit and are a decent color, the boys are happy. I've got the idea that we could try freezer or bleach stenciling on them, but that hasn't happened yet. And they might as well wear them until I get around to it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {8/18/17}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Grey/Brown Mix Socks

Not the most creative name, huh? Maybe I should call them "The Socks That Went Swimming and Bowling a Lot"?  But that won't work either, because I hope the next pair is going to be out and about with me just as much. 

Drops Fabel 547, Grey/Brown Mix

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Getting Ready for New Projects

It always looks prettier in the skein, doesn't it? But if I don't wind the yarn into balls, I'll never have socks, so it'll have to go through this awkward middle stage.

Two days after taking that picture, I'm thinking the awkward stage won't last long...

Looking at everyone else's pretty yarn pictures sometimes makes me suspect that I'm the only knitter out there who doesn't use a ball winder. I bought one years ago, when Knit Picks came out with their own line of knitting accessories. The swift gets used now and then, depending on what brands of yarn I'm knitting with and whether it even comes in skeins that need to be wound. I think I've used the ball winder twice.

I just don't get the love for center-pull cakes of yarn. There are probably some skills I'm missing that would have made mine turn out better, but wrapping it into balls works just fine and doesn't require making room in my sewing corner for another piece of equipment.

How about you -- do you use a ball winder?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Fort Rock Homestead Museum {Part 1}

Last week, the family took a road trip to the Fort Rock Homestead Museum in Central Oregon and I fell in love with every antique quilt in the place. 

I love reading about the era, and I definitely love reading about the quilts, but I never ever would have made it as a homesteader. Just listening to the wind whistle through the walls of these little houses was intimidating enough for me.

This kitchen confirmed my fears that I've messed up my children. One wanted to know why there was so much new stuff in a museum. I guess when Great Grandma owned an antique mall and Mom loves the thrift shops, the line between "new" and "old" gets really blurred.

Every one one of the five houses had embroidery and quilts to drool over. There wasn't a lot of information given about the houses and their contents so I'm guessing this was all donated to the historical society by different sources, and that a lot of  the quilts are, although old, newer than the houses themselves.

Can you imagine what that view must have been like in winter? The house has been moved to its current location, but I'm guessing the desert outside was pretty much the same.

I really wanted to see what was inside of that sewing machine case. The top seems way too short for any machine I've ever seen and the pedal is definitely different... Anyone know what one of these looks like inside?

Even the doctor's office had a frayed quilt on the bed.

I'm going to split this into two posts  because there are so many pictures.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Lack of Landmarks

The hardest thing about this project, other than the "large" chart that isn't large, is that there aren't landmarks to help me keep track of where I am. With the houses I used to stitch, there were windows and walls and spots that let me say "Yes, this is where I'm supposed to be." Even the landscapes had tree branches here and there.

So far this project has given me nothing but clouds and -- finally -- a bit of the horizon. I can't begin to tell you how much that blue line helped me out once I reached it.

On Monday, a reader commented about how I mark my cloth before stitching. Those are grid lines basted every ten stitches to match the lines on the printed chart. Before someone taught me how to do those lines, I messed up and abandoned more projects than I want to admit. Look at cross-stitching pictures on instagram and you'll find much prettier ways to do it.

The lines make it easier to match where I am on my fabric to where I am on the chart and even if they don't always keep me from making mistakes, they help me fix them. On this part of this project, I'm more likely to add an extra stitch of peach than to do a bunch of unstitching to make that spot yellow.

When I'm done, I'll just snip the grid lines and pull them loose. The fist few times I was terrified that they'd be stuck there forever, but I've never had a problem removing them.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sock Yarn Sampler #4

I couldn't narrow it down to six skeins this time, so I wound up with ten. That's after trimming my choices down...

Every three months or so, I've been going through my yarn stash and putting together a sampler of what I think I'll be knitting until it's time to do it again. For the previous samplers, I've tried to include a mix of long buried stash along with the new stuff, but when I was paring down my choices I wound up with mostly newer stuff. And that's okay. I used up some really old stash from the last samplers and it'll all balance out in the end. Or not.

Here's the before and after of sampler #3. Two more inches of ribbing and I'll have that seventh pair finished. For someone who wasn't trying to finish all of the yarn in the case, I sure came close to actually accomplishing it.

 Right now, my biggest problem is that I want to cast on with absolutely everything right this second.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Not as Soothing as Promised...

For a while now, I've been tempted by the pretty adult coloring books. The only thing holding me back was that I've already got so many other ways to keep my hands busy...and when I did have a day when coloring sounded more fun than the knitting or embroidery or quilting, I couldn't decide on a pattern.

Joanna Campbell Slan  has started a coloring club over on Facebook, so I printed out her first choice and borrowed the colored pencils I bought for Leif last Christmas and played around a bit.

It wold be more fun if I didn't have the voice of my middle school social studies teacher echoing in my head. We spent what seems like it was an entire year coloring world maps and were graded on whether all of the pencil strokes went in the same direction. Just WHY?  There must've also been some tests that involved putting the right names on the right countries, but its her lectures about neatness that stuck with me. Having those maps now would be interesting. I wonder how many borders and country names have changed since the early 80s.

I definitely prefer embroidery and knitting, but I'll keep the coloring books I bought at the discount store for days when I want something else to play with.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {8/11/17}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.


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