Tuesday, November 29, 2011


If you're in the U.S., I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was as nice as ours. (and if you're not, I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too.)  Four days in a row off work are always welcome.  Above is my sister's seasonal pumpkin display. Pretty cool, huh?
 (left to right, brother, brother-in-law and husband)
I didn't get any before shots of the feast. This is an aftermath shot, after dinner and after chocolate.  The brother makes the chocolate (and the bread, garden vegetables, and the mac-n-cheese) part of the feast.  (Sister hosted and made the turkey, gravy, potatoes and I contributed a green salad and mom's cranberry-orange relish.) This year it was chocolate pudding pie, chocolate coated peanut butter fudge and "turtles." (carmel with pecans enrobed in dark chocolate)
(In England they have pudding after a meal; we have chocolate.)
A close-up of chocolaty goodness.
In our family chocolate is a food group.
Brother and sister-in-law showing off their new hats.  The red one is a masterpiece of cables and seaming (doesn't show off well here) that she's designed to teach an assortment of techniques at a local shop. The green hat was felted (both needle and wet) in a class at Esther's Place.  More felted hats are in the plan.
Here's a front view of the hats
(note the cool knit sweaters she's wearing--I love the buttons on the cardigan)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Last weekend we went to Sand Ridge Nature Center for the 39th celebration of "Settlers' Day." 
I remember the first Settlers' Days!  Below are a friend, the brother-in-law, hubby and my sister.  The friend an my sister were among the first "settlers" as Girl Scouts.
It's always a wonderful day. The reenactors are always very knowledgeable and interesting--it's like time traveling to "meet" Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers, Native Americans, voyageurs, and craftspeople. They cook turkeys over the fire each year, too. It always smells great.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday replete with all of the things you are most thankful for.
For me it will be family as we gather at my sisters' home.
Back next week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I think I got it...

I recentlyposted my struggles with trying to remember how to do the above crochet sample (darker blue). I'd be okay at first and then it would go off track. Last week I brought the sample and wonky trial to our weekly lunch-time knit and crochet gathering and one of the other participants said she had the exact same trouble with "star" stitch. Aha! a name! 
A brief Google and I found a two-part tutorial on star stitch (Part 1) by Crochet Geek. Written instructions are here.  So I watched the videos, took some notes, saw some places I was going wrong and went home and made the above sample.  By this time I'd stitched and ripped this end of the yarn many many times so I just cut it off when the two rows were done and straight.
And I began a star-stitch scarf.  So far it's almost straight. This is not a holiday gift so no rush.

Friday, November 18, 2011

wooly things

In the odd monents when I'm not working on gifts I'm fiddling around with some knitting and crochet. The royal blue crochet sample above was a stitch taught to me by my niece (the sample is upside down, with the bottom at the top). Then I let a few weeks go by after getting home before trying it again, so of course I can't remember all of the steps.  It's a two row repeat. I can do one repeat and it looks okay, but subsequent rows get wider, have more "flowers" and just don't behave.

 Every once in a while I rip out the turquoise sample and start over and try it again. Since I made the sample photographed here, I've tried four or five times and it's gotten better but still, after one repeat it all goes wonky.  If I can get it to work, I think it'll be a scarf. For now, I'm enjoying playing.
This is another preemie cap, this time the smallest size for the teeniest baby.  Since I now have a big one (full-term size) and this tiny one, I've begun a third, midsized hat.  They go quickly.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Santa's workshop

Santa's workshop is up and running at home--which means that although I've been very busy, I don't have a lot that I can post here. All are still works in progress (and even if they were done, they need to stay secret for another month or so). All I can offer are some glimpses. (sorry the top one is so blurry--I think I got too close with the camera.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We have a large board up in our main floor lounge this week asking everyone to post their dream. The board will go around campus between now and Martin Luther King Day next year when the dreams will be shared. There is an interesting selection of dreams posted now--in a variety of languages and clearly from a varied group of people--young and old, student and not.
This display really got me thinking as I read the comments (which is probably the point!). Some have a world view and others are very personal. All seem to say that the poster wishes to be the best person they can be.
I began to wonder what my dream is.
I have lots of dreams; it's the picking just one dream that's hard.
So I picked my biggest dream:
I dream that one day we'll live in a world where every person has the opportunity
to achieve their full potential. 
What's your dream?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No crewel this week, but a couple of knit finishes

I made this leaf shawlette for a gift.
As much as I could get into the photo with it flat.
A preemie cap for charity.
I'm still making ornaments. Front and back.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Our street is golden and scarlet

A leaf posie I made for hubby from leaves I collected on our street Sunday morning.
Taken on my walk on Sunday.
Across the street--signs of the first mild frost (normally we'd have had several hard frosts by now!)
And in front of our house, our intrepid flower keeps putting out more buds.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crewel Friday

It's coming along...
I stitched late into the night on Sunday.  The long and short shading took a long time to do. In the middle of it, I took a break from the dull color and stitched the sprig on the right.

I'm going to take a break next week.  I'm going to be out of touch for a couple days--no big deal, a routine colonoscopy, and I hope to get some stitching done while at off work, but this is a busy time in a busy week so I may not get a chance to visit with you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gladys Windsor Fry

I posted about her book, Embroidery and Needlework, last spring and a friend spotted it recently and asked me if I knew anything about the author, Gladys Windsor Fry. I didn't and Internet searching didn't turn anything up either. I hoped she might be in the book Early Twentieth-Century Needlework Techniques, but she wasn't. So I drew a blank.

The searching led me to another book of hers, Working Designs for Embroidery, and I bought it. It arrived in the mail last week.

This is a bookof drawings for needlework designs and is, in some ways, a companion to her
Embroidery and Needlework book--some of the designs illustrated in the book are included as drawings in the designs book.
The book is indexed by types of needlework and provides the page numbers for designs suitable for that technique.
There are a few illustrations, several showing the design above stitched with different techniques.
While I'm now more curious than ever about who Ms Fry was, I'll have to settle for enjoying her interesting designs...unless you know something about her. If you do, please share it with us!