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Cheers to Connie

Connie_BirthdayCards_2014 There was one more birthday celebrated a week ago…..Connie’s. The table was full of knitters and gifts of flowers, jewelry, yarn. Oh….we ate had treats as well. Debra made a chocolate cake……she converted an almost flourless chocolate cake into GF (gluten-free) by substituting a GF flour……the cake, served with whipping cream, was delicious. This was accompanied with cheese and rice crackers brought by Jan. The cheese was so delicious I had to go out and buy some more. There was more….chocolate almonds (Karen H) and, of course, all accompanied with champagne. (I may have missed some food item.)

With all of this going on, we did find time to knit…..there is so much chatter and activity that one is best to work on simpler patterns in workshop.

Happy Birthday Connie…..her birthday is  actually April 20.

 

 

 

 

 

Carolyn  - CSU Sophomore

Carolyn – CSU Sophomore

There are those of you who may not know that my high school years (in Eastern Colorado) were “consumed” with my home economic classes…I had a tremendous teacher, Dorothy Smith, who recently celebrated her 101st birthday. She taught us much more than how to stitch a seam or how to boil water. Her tutelage prepared me for my years as a Home Ec major while I was at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins,Co.  At the end of my sophomore year I moved back to the Greater San Francisco Bay Area with the idea of moving near my California family and attending UC Davis, CA. I was enrolled for just a few weeks but got side-tracked with working and life. It was 15 years before I returned to college….by then the Home Ec world had changed dramatically. But my life-long interest in “that world” has stayed with me.

As my sister Betty and I have been sorting through our stash of things, I came upon this “treasure” that I created in my 2nd year of college….it was in safe keeping to make a “story board” for the steps involved in making a welted button-hole, a welted pocket, an eased sleeve cap  and an evenly curved collar edge. Just in case you are possessed to welt a buttonhole or a pocket, here are the visual steps. Now on to a shadow box.

 

 

More Celebrations

I was more than a beat or two off this past Friday…..blame it on a bad sleep night….I didn’t whip out the camera to capture the celebration of the birthday girls at Friday knitting. So…envision Cameron, Karen H, and Janie surrounded by gifts of flowers, jewelry, unique knitting gifts, cards, champagne and a table full of knitting friends. Wait…there were strawberries and chocolate-covered macaroons (gluten-free no less and  you wouldn’t have known if not mentioned). The Friday Birthday Girls….photos from the photo gallery!

More birthdays…..in our Saturday knitting group Katie was the “Birthday Queen.

And there were a couple  one more a few weeks ago……Karen K and Rachelle from Friday group.

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.

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?

 

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!

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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