Friday, August 29, 2008

A Tale of Two Shawls

Hi Nancy,
We spoke about the Swirl Shawl I had finished, and the website I got the pattern from (Knitting Pattern Central). Here's a picture of the shawl before blocking:

I should mention that the yarn is Dune from Trendsetter yarns, mohair and various manmade fibers, plus 6% metal!  It has greens and purple and turquoise colors; the color# is 102, called Grass and Sky, and it's not discontinued.  I just checked.  This pattern took 4 skeins equalling 360 yds.  Here is is blocked:

 And here is is being worn. (Why must we always put our hand on our hip?  I couldn't not do it when I was trying to take a decent picture.)

So I am pleased with how the shawl came out.  Yes, I could have gone a little longer, but the end of the fourth skein just seemed like the right place to stop.  I can throw both ends over the shoulder and have a capelet type of thing, or let both hang down and they ruffle gracefully, framing my luscious silk sheath. Heh heh - luscious - must be thinking of the Black Forest Cherry Torte I just had at the Black Forest Inn.

Okay, besides that, here is the shawl I bought at a rummage sale that I want to copy.

Look: it's two parallelograms in a chevron shape.  I know I've learned how to do this before but I can't remember, so I'm busily putting library books on hold (mostly the ones I already own in Montana) so I can remember if I'm right about the slanting decreases being the secret.  I love the shape and size of this little shawl.  Too bad it's made of a harsh-feeling yarn, and it is also falling apart.  I could use a brighter color.  But beyond that, it is a good little warmer-upper, and one that I can use gardening, or during tasks where I might not use another shawl I'd be afraid to snag or stain.  I like wearing shawls!

Meanwhile, now that I've finished a project, I'm ready for another, so I'm looking around.  But I think it might be the eyelet chevron shawl next.  Love, Mary

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Elizabeth Peters writes again

Hi Mary,
Just a quick note to let you know that a new E.P. book is out and she is again in Egypt. However this is the present day and the heroine is Vicki Bliss instead of Amelia. While reading her website last year I came across some interesting hints that she was going to link her two most popular protagonists in a new book. This, I assume, is it. There were hints that maybe someone might be a descendant of the Emersons. Hmmmmm. We shall have to wait and see.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It must be all those Amelia Peabody books...

...because suddenly Mom has an arm wrapped up like a mummy's.  Yes, we've been indulging ourselves by reading Elizabeth Peters' awesome series together.  I get'em from the Hennepin County Library in book form for me, and cassettes for Mom.  If they don't have the cassettes, we get it from the National Library for the Blind.
But I digress.  I was talking of Mom's mummy arm.  She fell, and has a hairline fracture on her left wrist, and the world's largest bruise on her left thigh.  She's doing ok. 

The worst part of the ordeal was going in to the ER at 10:30 pm and waiting for nearly FOUR HOURS to be seen by a doctor.  We ended up getting home at quarter to 7 in the morning.  Meanwhile, it took 6 (six), yes SIX (6) people to get enough blood out of Mom for a particular test. 

The three of us (Mom, Dad, and me) spent the time telling stories, laughing at the absurdity of it all, in a depressed stupor, in anger, or napping (Dad was best at this, of course).  Then we'd start over again.  We pulled an entire shift in Methodist Hospital, but they won't be paying us.
Some things I learned:

Mom's first job was in a dime store for 22 and one-half cents an hour.  She worked Saturdays only and made enough to go see the serials (cost a nickel).  They  really did leave the heroine tied up on the railroad tracks and you had to wait a whole week to see what happened.

I can still stay awake all night, but I don't want to.

Dad appears to be able to fall asleep whenever he wants, but his legs do too.

Mom and Dad go through a LOT of kleenex.  Now you know what to get them for Christmas.

Mom thinks the ER waiting room should have someone who will "lead us in song."  This activity was declined by the attendent.

Mom and Dad either never saw, or don't remember, Charlie Chaplin and the dance of the rolls on the forks.  Some people might remember this as a Johnny Depp scene in Benny and Joon:
I probably learned lots of other stuff that I was too tired to retain.  I'm definitely going to bed early tonight!  In fact, I might (yawn) need a nap right now. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pizza and Ginger Ale Floats

That's what we had for dinner on Tuesday night.  We added home made pesto and fresh tomatoes to the sausage pizza.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Operation Migration Quilt

Hi Mary,

Yesterday I took the quilt top I am making for Operation Migration to the long-arm quilter. I have chosen and cut the backing, the binding and selected the thread color to quilt it. She promises to have it done for me by the first of September so I can get the binding on and have it finished for the Necedah Crane Fest the third weekend of September.

I am really happy with this one. This is the first one I have tried to put up more than just a One-Block Wonder style quilt. In this one I have designed an Ultralight in flight and 18 cranes flying behind it. It was sort of hard to arrange the cranes. I could easily have put them in line one after the other but that wouldn't have looked 'right'. So I guess this is a Crane 'rodeo'. Perhaps just after lift off on a fall day in Tennessee (maybe) with the Cranes fighting to get up to the wing and into position for the flight.

I chose eighteen cranes for the lost 2006 cranes. This is also sort of a memorial quilt for the lost 2006 cranes. They are still flying in my heart and so they are flying now in my quilt. I put the lightest hexagons in the middle where the triangle cranes are positioned so they are flying in the light.

Although it makes me sad to remember them, I am proud of the quilt and the meaning it has for me.
This is the first Operation Migration Quilt I made. It was raffled off at the Crane Fest in 2006. It was won by Heather Ray. And I remember watching her write her name on raffle ticket after raffle ticket so I am sure she bought more than anyone else that day. I saw Joe Duff slip her some money for tickets. I wonder if she shares it with him?
This is last years Raffle Quilt. It didn't get raffled off until 2008 and I would have to look back to see how long it took the Cranes to get down to Florida. Late January I think. Anyway we had a lo-ong time to sell the tickets last year instead of just the one day of the CraneFest. I was happy to learn that Deke Clarke who is one of the original pilots for OM won that quilt. He didn't even buy a ticket either. His 'better half' bought them and put his name on them because she "never wins a thing".
I expect my family to get together and buy a ton of tickets this year cause I really don't want to let the quilt go. But, just like the OM people every year, I guess I will have to let it fly free. That is the reason we do all the work.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mom told me to.

   That title...I'm sure I said those words thousands of time when I was a child, and I'm trying to figure out the grammatically correct way to say it..."Mom told me to do so?"  Well, I'm sure my seven-year-old lips would never have uttered that sentence.  
   At any rate, Mom told me to take a picture of the freezer after I defrosted and cleaned it, so I did.
   There are four boxes of Girl Scout cookies that we will never eat, along with a pound or so of sliced ham topped with an inch of frost, two pizzas whose boxes were ripped when they were torn from the ice, innumerable bags and other containers of basil (how old - when was the last time Dad grew basil?), a variety of bread products, ancient and much-defrosted veggie burgers, and a few things I declined to investigate.  
    Unfortunately, the second bag didn't make it into the garbage before the truck came, so I'll be cautious when I open the garbage can until next Monday.  Maybe it won't be too bad - it's raining today instead of being hot.  Love you, Mary

Monday, August 11, 2008

Riding Bike in Minneapolis

Jon and E have taken me on bike rides around Minneapolis for the last two Sundays.  I love it!  But since I didn't bring my camera, I used Flickr to illustrate this post.  The first Sunday, we rode around the west side of Lake Calhoun
(picture by danamongo2007)

then took a hairpin turn to ride under the Lake Street Bridge that goes over the canal between Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.  If you keep going right, then you end up at the crossroads of the Midtown Greenway, the rails-to-trails bike trail that goes through the center of the metropolitan area all the way to the Mississippi. 
                                         (photo by Micah Taylor)
           So we rode all the way to the Mississippi!

We ate at MooseandSadies (we bike to eat, my new motto), took a  look at the new 35W bridge, poked around at Mill Ruins Park, rode over the Stone Arch Bridge, and then got on the Light Rail with our bikes and took it to Minnehaha Park. 

                             (photo by s_sgore)

We had a look at the Falls - I have vague memories of being here with the entire family, and Jeni walking under the falls.  I'm not sure they'd be too happy if you did that today....

                                    (photo by Tim Engstrom)

And then we rode home on the Grand Rounds bike path.  Pretty good day.
This week we rode from Lake Harriet to Minnehaha and then farther (I can't remember the trail name), over the Mendota Bridge (that was cool, but the cars were NOISY) into Saint Paul.  We went over another cool bridge, what was it's name? and anyway, ended up at Cafe Latte for lunch (felt like brunch since I had a little breakfast.)  We wanted to go home the easiest way since one of our party had a sore leg.  I just followed the group and we ended up on the Greenway again.  This last ride was 34 miles, and I had a happy butt when I got off my bike.

I promise to bring my camera next time!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Morning Glories and other flowers

Morning Glories have always been my favorite flower. This morning there were 8 of them on my gate. I took many pictures. Here are the best ones. This is an old variety called (I think) Grandpa Ott's Morning Glory. It is a yummy purpley blue.
I grew them from seed I saved from last year. I put them out late in May and two days later we had a fairly hard freeze. Only a few of the little plants lived through it even though I went out and covered them up. One, out in the garden on the east fence, is blooming and these by the gate.
I will have seeds to save again for next year. By the way speaking of saving seeds. I am getting lots of little poppy seed sized seeds from these little pink flowers. Jim got them out of a mix. Does anyone have any idea what they are?
You can see a little bit of dried up seed pods on the right side of the picture. Look for the little brown tubes just about in the middle of the right side. They are about 12 inches high.
I would show you a picture I took of my hard small green tomatoes but I am embarassed after seeing the Fatty Tomato on Fatty Kitty's website yesterday.
That was too much tomato and I am jealous (small hard green jealousy) and hungry for a home grown tomato. How are Jon's potatoes doing?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jim in the Garden

He still has to have his earphones on though.
He has to listen to the Radio in case something happens you know.
I was out taking flower photos and he couldn't stand it, he had to come out too.
Besides Jim the garden had its second Monarch of the season, two hummingbirds, Baltimore (Northern) and Orchard Orioles, American Goldfinch, House Wrens, Downy Woodpeckers, Morning Doves, Chipping Sparrow and a female Rose-Breasted Grosebeak.
That I recall.
Yesterday a huge hawk came and sat on our split rail fence in the back yard. It was an immature and probably a Red-tailed just on the odds, but I don't really know for sure. I am not a hawk birder. Alton was fascinated.
Have you eaten the monster tomato yet? My mouth waters just thinking about it.