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Showing posts from May, 2011

Into the Mountains

My map of Colorado is finally turning green as I head into the mountains.
I'm not done with the yellow yet.  There are two more big and complicated yellow counties.  It will be easier to stitch around them and then fill them in.

With each county that gets filled in the map gets more interesting.  It's almost like looking out the window of a plane at the plains below.
I'm enjoying working with the greens.  I've even gotten to stitch a wee bit of purple.
My goal is one county a day.  I managed that for over a week.  Then I got a headache and broke the cycle.  So, I've started over again today.  How many days will I make it this time?

Crochet is Everywhere

Since I've started to learn to crochet, I've started seeing it everywhere I look.
Crocheted edgings on blouses, crochet books on the "new books" shelf at the library, posts on other blogs and at the antique store.
At the antique store I was drawn to a pile of doilies that I usually would not have paid attention to.  This one caught my eye.  At first it was the delicate outer "leaves" with the picots.

It reminds me of paper snowflakes.  I don't usually associate crochet with such airy designs.
That contrasted strangely with the chunky rectangles in the middle.  It was only $1 so I had to bring it home with me.  What a bargain!  I don't know if I'll every be able to crochet anything like this.
When I got it home I realized that if you don't look at the rectangles but in the negative space between them there is a star.  Ingenious!  That's one of the most clever design elements that I've seen in a long time.

Learning to Crochet

I've been slowly plugging away at the scarf I started last November.  It's complete except for an edging.
My plan was to knit an edging but the thought of picking up all those stitches along the edge was frightening.  I also don't think I have the correct needles.
Then I saw a scarf with a crocheted edge and I had a solution.  Except, I never learned to crochet.  How hard can it be?  I've seen a video of the worlds fastest crocheter.  Couldn't be easier.
Actually, it is difficult.  You have to hold the yarn, the needle, your work, keep the tension correct and pull the yarn through without catching.  That's at least 5 things.  At first I could only master on or two at a time.  I was able to get help from a friend with lots of hints that aren't written down anywhere. 
Now I'm up to only worrying about tension and catching the yarn.  I can even do several inches at a time without a glitch.  Slowly, I'm making my way around the scarf.
The last time I was k…

Quilt Washing

Enough multitasking.  I worked on the quilt binding until it was all done.
Next step is to toss the quilt into the washer.  To me, a quilt is not a quilt until it has been washed - the fabric wrinkles around the quilting resulting in that "old quilt" texture that I love to touch.

No matter how many quilts I wash it is always a stressful occasion.  I still expect it to come out in multiple pieces with the quilting undone and the colors all run together.  However, that hasn't happened yet.
I stated out hand washing them in the bathtub.  I did that once and it's too much work.  The washing machine is much simpler.  I use the gentle cycle and a very mild liquid detergent.

This is what happens if you try to take a picture without a flash.
Next it is moved to the dryer on low for about 20 minutes to get most of the moisture out.  Then it goes onto the clothes line or over the ironing board in bad weather.

Here is the finished quilt.  It is "Threads of Tradition" and is…

Wild Rose be Gone

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote about wild roses and chives.
The wild rose in my container garden had turned into a weed, taking over the whole thing.  This year I decided to tackle the problem before it got any bigger.  The wild rose didn't go kicking and screaming but it did inflict wounds with its mini thorns.  The roots went deep into the bottom of the barrel.

I added some new compost to the barrel, some of the old chives and new violas.  That's all I dare plant now as frosts are still likely.  Later I'll add some herbs or flower seeds and make the garden look more like a garden.

And I still have more chives to plant and give away.  Alas, the rose did not survive the operation.

Distracted by Blossoms

Spring is here! In town the crab apples are blooming.  I brough a camera along on my lunchtime walk and captured the pretty blossoms.

The evenings are warmer and lighter and I'm finding more to work on than stitching.  Still, I'm alternating between too many projects making slow projects on each one.
The blossoms reminded me of another project that I've added back to the rotation. 

I started this over the winter and put it aside to work on Christmas ornaments.  They are meant to be wild roses but they look very similar to the apple blossoms.  At the time I couldn't decide whether to stitch white flowers or pink flowers, so I tried it both ways. 
After seeing the glorious apple blossoms this spring, I've decided that both colorways are correct and I'm more anxious to finish this and my quilt and my scarf and the State of Colorado.  Eventually they will get done.