Archive for March, 2014

Barbara Scott

Barbara Scott

It was just a month ago that we remembered Barbara Scott  …. she passed away on Feb 24. She and her husband Bob have been life long friends with Jean (of our knitting circle) and her husband Bob…..friends since college. I have “followed” Barbara through Jean. The memorial service was last Saturday…..I asked Jean how it went. Jean described a loving ceremony and celebration of Barbara’s life. With Jean’s permission…..

“It was a very touching service.  Church had to bring in extra chairs for the overflow crowd.  The minister, a woman knitter who had become a personal friend of Barbara’s, gave a lovely “sermon” entitled “A Stitch in Time” in which she referred to the strands that make up the fabric of our lives and spoke glowingly of Barbara’s love of knitting and teaching and sharing.  There was a nice reception afterwards at the church and her family had changed clothes so that everyone (husband, son, daughter-in-law, two grandchildren) was wearing a sweater knit by Barbara.  The walls were hung with her knit sweaters!

We then went back to the house and were able to visit with the family and old friends.  I’ve saved the program to give to you on Friday.  I keep thinking back to Saturday.  It really was a touching tribute to her active life.  Besides knitting, she was very active in her church, in water exercise programs, PEO, a prayer group, was class secretary for the class of 1958 at Cal, etc. etc.  The last musical selection played at her service was “Hail to California” and those of us who knew the words were able to sing!”

Indeed a lovely tribute to Barbara’s life.

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The latest Presto Chango baby sweater has “appeared” in the FMKG (Friday Morning Knitting Group). Merle just completed this lovely baby sweater, with the addition of the buttons! The sweater, designed by Valerie Wallis, was featured in April 2007 as a contest winner on Jimmy Beans Wool site.  Wouldn’t it be fun to make it with two or three “bib” panels with different designs. It would be a great way to learn new stitch patterns.

I know at least two others in our group knit this sweater awhile back…..Jan and Sarah! I was just reminded that this is Merle’s second Presto Chango.  Did anyone else in our group knit this?


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My nephew Sam turned 16 yesterday…..it seems just the other that he was a baby….and just the other day that I was 16!! As well as trying to remember the young people in our family’s birthdays, I am on a sewing mission. The last 6 weeks have seen an apron with the theme of hearts and cherries for niece Jade, an apron with a cowboy theme for nephew Carson, a Batman pillowcase (check out Skein Lane’s FB page) for nephew Daniel (a “just because gift” because he is such a Batman “geek”…hey I use to like Batman in college), and now a baseball theme pillowcase for Sam.  With my usual unpossessed self I am now thinking about all kinds of personalized themes for pillow cases and aprons. I am on the outlook for theme-related fabric…..I’ll know it when I see it!

Here is the latest re Sam’s 16th birthday. He is the youngest of “our” second generation. My 4-yr old nephew Carson is the youngest of “our” first generation. Our family certainly crosses a great age span in generations. Two more celebrations are coming up in May….stay tuned!

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It was a few weeks ago that I began talking about the Honey Cowl. Kimberly and PJ recently finished theirs….Laurel started hers and I started mine just a few weeks ago….a few days after a major finger injury (kind of like being pregnant with which child to remember dates). I decided to  knit my Honey Cowl version in Gold Dust yarn from Greenwood Fiberworks. As so often happens I make modifications to the patterns I choose to knit. In this case, I knew that I did not want a tight wrap around my neck (thank you PJ for reminding me that I don’t like anything close up on my neck…can’t believe I almost forgot). I also knew that I wanted a double wrap cowl. With that in mind, I cast on 320 stitches of that wonderful Gold Dust fingering weight yarn….think PJ cast on in the high 200’s…maybe 280 for her fingering weight yarn. I also knew that I wanted to use the Long Tail Cast-On as it has a ridge edge that most closely matches the P2tog Cast-Off that I wanted to use for  its greater flexibility of ease…..not taut a Cast-Off or chain look for me (or anyone) by golly! My other modification was the width….the pattern called for 11 inches before Cast-Off and I worked 7 inches.

I am very happy with the results!

Knitting Tip: For the Long Tail Cast-On,  I did not want to estimate/guess how much yarn to have for the long tail….320 stitches is a lot to cast on knowing you might just run short. Even with the rule of 3x’s the expected length of the cast on, it would be risky at best. So….my long tail came from the center of the ball and my working stitch yarn came from the outer side of the ball of yarn. Join the two yarns with a slip knot and then begin the long-tail cast on….one yarn over the thumb and one over the index finger.

Another Knitting Tip: In order for the  ridge of the P2tog cast off to blend into finished edge properly, I turned my work around and cast off going back from I just knit. It created the need for a little extra tidy work at the last couple stitche…but worth the effort.

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Last night I sent a message to Jan saying…..”I was a beat off and missed taking photo of your lovely work. Could you send me a photo?” She did and it is stunning. Thought I would include some of her previous knitting creativity.

To quote Jan from Facebook today……”Uh oh,  I have two new hobbies.   If only cooking and cleaning were as fascinating to me as glass and beading and wirework…” You can see her Facebook post here.

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It’s been more than a week since we celebrated yet another birthday in FMKG – our  Friday Morning Knitting Group.This time it was Karen K…we also celebrated new craft ideas as well as sharing our Stitches West experiences. Several of us swore, including me, that we would simply window shop…but I believe but all but one of the Stitches attendees came home with at least one more project to knit. I felt really successful because I only came home with one of the four projects that I coveted. How many would I have really coveted if I wasn’t working in MaggiKnits booth? I only spent about an hour on the market floor over 3 1/2 days. Ohhhh…..I did come home with another knit book – “The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook” by Melissa Leapman. One can never have enough books….right? I will share more about my projects and this wonderful knit book in another post. Now it’s back to FMKG.

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We found it!!

A baby on the horizon

The other day my sister Betty and I were going through some of her things….and much to my delight we came upon the baby quilt that I and my nieces made for the anticipated new baby to be born into this family in late Dec 1976/early 1977. Betty and I thought it got lost over the years….but there it was on her closet shelf. In 1976 I was thrilled that my sister and her husband were adding to their family of two girls. I wanted my nieces to be really engaged in this new event….I told them my plan.

“Let’s make a quilt for the baby. Draw your favorite pictures and we can embroider them. Every other square will be one of your designs offset with butterflies stitched/quilted on gingham squares.” The girls “signed” up and we were off to the drawing table. The oldest, Honara, was a budding artist and I had to reign her in a bit…..the cheerleader’s pom-pom was getting quite full and in truth I knew that I would be doing the bulk of the embroidery.

I loved stitching this quilt with my young nieces! Michael was born Jan 1977!

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Carson turned 4

It was just  two or three weeks ago that I sewed an apron for 10-yr old neice Jade….my sister quickly let me know that Carson soon turning 4 would also like an apron. We put our heads together about fabric choice…I found the cowboy boots materials. Then I was back at the sewing machine. The apron arrived on his birthday, Mar 3…..my sister sent me a video of Carson opening his gift and then modeling…..very sweet!! The next day my sister let me know that Carson had been wearing his apron all morning. His grandmother tells me he likes to cook scrambled eggs and pancakes!

I am on a “sewing roll” right now…have a couple more projects lined up.

The cowboy apron…..

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