Here's the part that has me flummoxed. Upon recieving this award, said Kreativ Blogger is to name the one the award is recieved from (check), then pass the award on to eight others.
See. That's 24. I guess not really cubed...that would be 512...but it might as well be, because these blogger awarders? They have used up alot of those I would be awarding to! (Not even close to being checked!)
What to do? If I wait any longer thinking who to award this to, I may have to come up with 48. Some may have mile long reader lists. I do not.
So I point you in the direction of my sidebar, to 'Some That I Link'. There are some real Kreativ Bloggers over there.
And if any of you would like to grab this little award, feel free!
All these goings-on about the SisterProject, and thinking about a suggested memoir assignment from there, and the ‘D is for Dearest Sister’ post…well, it’s got me swimming in the pool, as it were.
Dearest Sister and I are not the only siblings in the family. There are the ‘big kids’, older siblings with at least a decade’s separation, and Wisest Sister is the eldest of them. Deeply Missed Sister came two years after, and in many ways was to Wisest what Dearest is to me. In many ways, and in special ways, but not quite the same.
See. They had a younger brother. And they were raised with Daddy. Daddy died when Dearest and I were barely potty trained, and Only Brother was pretty much out of the house by the time we were in school. Makes a difference, I think. Actually I know. Their upbringing was different in many ways to do with family structure, the times when they were raised, and family finances.
Wisest Sister is that, wise in many ways, and very, very talented. She has learned/inherited/adopted many of our mother’s sewing talents and skills, and has for many years been the go-to person for such things. She taught me all I know about having a real fabric stash…and shared with me the line about ‘who has the most stash when they die, wins’.
Wisest, Only, Momma, Deeply Missed, Dearest, and Ironneedles
At least, I remember it that way. I have found that is what sisters are mostly for. To correct the remembering. Wisest has commented to me that when Deeply Missed Sister passed, she felt she had lost half her memories. Dearest corrects me often when I am wrong. Or so she says.
Back to the stash… Dearest Sister may be giving Wisest a run for her money now, with her vintage fabric collection. I do believe that my yarn stash beats both, though, and nobody in the family has fleece….so yeah….I win there! And that would bring me to the next point…do ya’ think we are competitive much? I would like to believe in only a friendly, loving, and sisterly way.
And that's Grandbebe Girl!
Wisest Sister also reads. She loves mysteries, and lately asked me if I had heard of the Maggie Sefton series, which takes place in a yarn shop. Why, yes, I have. The author has based the yarn shop on one of MY local yarn shops, the one where I have taken my spinning and sock and French knitting classes, and she is often there (during their semi-annual sales!) to sign her books. (When I related this conversation with the manager of the yarn shop, she told me to tell Wisest that one of the characters is based on me!) Now I would buy the set, and get them all autographed for Wisest, but she is also an avid user of the library. It’s how she has read all of the Yarn Harlot’s, and all of Ms. Sefton’s books. And I thought buying through the used book sale was thrifty!
Because of our father’s vocation, the ‘early’ family lived in several states, and Wisest went to something like 14 different schools before her senior year. When Daddy took a job that would settle the family down up north, she had to stay back and finish school in our hometown of Greensburg, or risk not graduating. This was not the first time the family was split for one reason or another. Sometimes, when Daddy’s job called for a move, we all just couldn’t go, like when Momma was 8 months pregnant with Dearest Sister. I am pretty sure these times were looked on as an adventure, and yet I feel there was another side to it, too.
She took us to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm!
I have always felt that when it came to ‘the big kids’ that the sun rose and set in us ‘little girls’. Well mostly. Only Brother loves to tell how he had it made until the arrival of me. (Poor fellow, dethroned at ten, by a little pink bundle!) The feeling was mutual. How us little girls idolized the big kids. And their friends. So grown up and glamorous!
Want to know how glamorous? Wisest and Deeply Missed were airline stewardesses for TWA! Before there was a politically correct term for it! When there were weight nazis to keep them down to size! Back in the day, when little girls from a little rural town in Kansas only had mothers, teachers, or nurses for role models, this was heady stuff. It was all I wanted to be when I grew up. Maybe still!
Wisest Sister is still looking out for me. Posting comments which encourage me, sending me ALL her Elizabeth Zimmerman (she knew about EZ! So smart!) books in a package stuffed with cotton yarn, or coupons to JoAnns with a brief note.
Thanks for everything you've taught us, all the places you've taken us, all the hugs and all the love, all the acceptance.
We have had some great weather this week, with temps in the mid-60's. Now tomorrow and the weekend will be more typical for late February and early March, but my point is that the warmer days are just around the corner. I am not getting out in the yard yet. I know myself that well, but I am beginning to get ready to get excited about the prospect of the growing season.
How's that for some caveat?
Today, six years ago, Wonderful Guy gave me an engagement ring. He picked it out on his own...well, with Best Dog Ever's help...and gave it to me over dinner. Taking the relationship to the next level had been discussed in generic terms. The ring was a surprise. Also perfect.
Wonderful Guy has suggested we go out for a bite to eat tonight. I asked if I was going to get another ring...
Probably not. We are going where we have coupons now. Ach! So far we have fallen from the romantic days of yore.
In other news, Wonderful Guy and Only Step Son are heading south to visit his mother and sister on Saturday for a few days. I will be on my own. What ever shall I do with all my time?
Well, I will tell you.
There are two fibery types events on Saturday, a Fun Fiber Festival, then an Alpaca Extravaganza. I intend to take in both.
I will spend sometime on some papercrafting. There are birthdays coming up that require cardage.
I will quilt like a demon, having completed roughly four of 25 blocks/sashing already, and...
...as God as my witness, I will knit 'til the acres of garter stitch are plowed...I mean, done...well, that probably won't happen. Upon realistic consideration, there is too much there to do considering how long it has been taking for each skein. BUT I am on my last two skeins of Patons, and have only four more of Cascade 220, and one of those will go around as 'binding'. So yeah, closing in on the finish line. Also, if I knit all that up in four days, well, I can spell tendinitis.
I spun (as on Betsy, the flying Lendrum) on Sunday for the first time in about five months with a group of Ravelry spinners. I really needed something else to do beside quilting and knitting garter stitch. It was fuh-uhn! I broke out of the baby alpaca, too, and worked on some dyed merino I bought at the wool market last summer. Speaking of which, Estes Park Wool Market, June 13-14, with classes on June 11-12. So exciting! Fleeces! And all sorts of fleece growing critters! (Baaaaa ram ewe!)
I have started on two small knitting projects, just to give myself a bit of a break from the MLCB, as beautiful and interesting as it is. And it is, just...big...and ginourmous...and so much garter stitch. One is a little bow tie thingy I am KAL-ing with the Sister Project Group on Ravelry. I am using some of the first hanspun I ever made. Not perfect spinning, not perfect yarn, but still workable. Good practice for me, not having to be perfect. Good thing, because I hardly ever am! The other is going to use up some of my cotton yarn scraps. I am going to knit me up some Easter Eggs! Stay tuned for those puppies!
Wonderful Guy and I have A Morning Routine which involves Coffee.
I brought to the marriage the idea, nay, the requirement! of three minute coffee in the morning. Yes, we have one of of those on demand coffee makers, that keeps the water hot. We are on our third, the one I had croaked, and the replacement being replaced about three months ago. There is a philosophy that Wonderful Guy has tried to bend me to, that of 'timed brew'. 'Timed brew' reads to me as 'earlier alarm'. I would wake as soon as I smelled the coffee.
And then I would have to wait longer than my allowed three minutes for my first cup.
So back to the Morning Routine as it played out this morning. Coffee is brewing, and our mugs are at the ready, mine empty...ready for coffee straight up and black, his with sweetener and creamer...the flavored liquid kind one refrigerates.
Wonderful Guy starts to empty the dishwasher while the coffee brews. See. Isn't he the thoughtful one? And, of course, I am not going to let him do it by himself. I collect the coffee mugs, carrying them to the counter under the cabinets where they live, above the coffee pot, and stow them away.
Coffee done, I decant the steaming elixir to the carafe, and start to pour our mugs.
Hmmm....where's his? I ask 'didn't I see you had a mug ready for coffee?' He replies affirmatively.
Hmmm...where did it go...I open the cabinet...I reach for a mug...and look inside.
The first one I grabbed was coffee ready, with Splenda and creamer.
Thank goodness we don't store our mugs upside down.
She is my best and favorite sidekick. Always has been. Always will be.
We are a team, first uniting against the world who would separate us in Sunday School classes and other age related divisions, than against our Mother through our teenage years, and now we are just a team in whatever we do, be it convincing the children that of course we know best, or making quilts and knitting dishclothes.
She has an Isetta!
Our children have warned their friends about us, 'that for no reason, my mom and her sister might start laughing for no reason. They just do that.' And of course, we did just that...started laughing hilariously. The daughters like to blame the laughing on wine. Silly impertinent young misses...we don't need no stinkin' wine!
Maybe just a little...
From her I have total and complete acceptance, and even admiration, which astonishes and astounds me, and causes me to seriously wonder about her sanity. But on the flip side, she has mine. Her accomplishments far outweigh mine, trust me. Hardwon, and fought for, all of them, and on her own, too.
About our accomplishments, we have a running joke between us about our degrees, both recieved after our children were born and in school themselves. I have a degree in chemistry, but with a French minor. The many language hours tossed me into the Arts program, therefore, I have a BA in Chemistry. She earned her degree in Human Resource something-or-other, a BS. So we kid...I am the artiste, and she, the scientist. My art is all about copying what others create. Her science is all about burning holes in vintage fabric to see what it is made of!
We have older siblings, separated in age from them by a decade. In our 50's, with grey hair, and we are still 'the little girls'. We share the same gene pool, the same background, and the same sense of humor.
Between us, we have one complete memory of what went on back in our childhood, I do believe. We both love gardening and handcrafting, even if our personal emphasis are different. We love good deals, but I am the bigger pinch penny.
I truly think she is the wiser one. But I still look younger!
p.s. Of necessity, none of these photos were taken by me!
p.p.s Dearest Sister's blog, Just-A-Mere, can be found here.
And still not much time for the activities I love to do. How can my life be such a conundrum?
Time for using fun words, though! Today's Page-A-Day Word was scaramouch 1: a cowardly buffoon 2: a rascal or scamp.
"I had to relate the tale of a previous manager that was a real scaramouch at a recent job interview."
See. Used correctly in a sentence before the day is out!
Hopefully, I will soon be able to elaborate more on what I am awaiting patiently. Or maybe not so patiently.
I had fun with the knitterly people last evening that came to knit and eat cookies at my house. There were many stitches knit, and much laughter around my kitchen table. I didn't have to frog. I don't know about others.
Tonight I am off to another type of meeting. No knitting allowed. Or quilting either. Visigoths.
In lieu of more bloggerly substance, I offer this for your consideration...The Sister Project. I have had lots of fun reading the blog 'She Said, She Said', and how the whole caboodle came about. I personally look forward to spending more time flutzing about their place. I think they are some ladies with some mad writing skilz.
Wonderful Guy treated me to Valentine's roses and we had a great meal out on Friday. Saturday we ran errands and stuff. Sunday we headed to the mountains. And today we finished up taxes along with more errands. Including a walk in the sunshine and 55 degree weather, with Best Dog Ever.
So there were questions about the on-going projects.
And where there are questions, I feel the need to answer!
Q:I just want to know how you got two ginoumous projects going at the same time? And both with a million stitches? A:Uh...necessity...and crazy obsessiveness.
Q:Is that from a pattern? Or are you making it up as you go along? A:Both. Mason-Dixon Knitting are responsible for the nugget of craziness, but I have not followed either their colors or pattern.
Q:I love it, is it for my b-day? A:No. It is not! (Silly Daughter....)
Q: how large will it be?? A: Right now, it is about 47 inches square, and it will grow until the yarn is used. I hope it will be another 12-18 inches more on each side. Maybe I hope that. That's a heck of a lot more knitting.
Thanks for all the positive comments. Gosh. You all are so kind!
And tomorrow it is back to work for this one. I am looking forward to having knitters over tomorrow night.
Phoebe....presenting the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket!I am not sure, but she may be disapproving. That look...what does it mean?
Oh, isn't she the perky little kittie girl, in the middle of everything?
Undulating waves of garter stitch.
It was nice to have on one's lap on cold nights while working on the never ending project.
More undulating wave of grain...I mean....garter stitch...
The MLCB has been relegated to a travel project, as the GB II quilt is now the project of evenings by the fire. No easy task that, as a travel project. MLCB has outgrown my knitting bag and is now being carted around in a shopping bag.
P.S. Thanks for all the wonderful comments on the quilting efforts of Dearest Sister and myself. I have had my questions as this one came together. It was not a slamdunk like the redwork quilt. However, I am liking the finished effect very much. The plan is to quilt about one quarter inch inside the pieced seam of each and every piece. Yep, about a bazillion stitches! But I am up to the task, and on the job. It suffices as a good break from the acreage of the never ending garter stitch, and that a break from the finger needling of the quilting.
Phoebe was back at the Vet on Tuesday. Seems she is more an old lady kittie than we knew. She now gets 1/4 tsp. Miralax twice daily with a bit of chicken broth on her food. The Cat Who Would Be Queen is bent. So today she got some broth sans Miralax.
Hmph. Didn't even have to stop to pick any up.
I have been working feverishly on the quilt top for Grandbebe Two, and have it mostly pieced. I plan on purchasing batting this weekend at the president's day sale at the local JoAnns. Which will mean a trip to Lowe's. Wonderful Guy says 'every trip to JoAnn's warrants a trip to LoweAnn's'. Silly fellow. I play along.
Anyway. Progress. I am looking forward to the quilting. Mostly because it will mean I won't be knitting the acreage of garter stitch which is the MLCB, which may never end. It's saving grace is how absolutely beautiful it is. I promise (yes, promise!) photos of both before the weekend is out.
Thanks, all, for hanging around and reading. There has been stuff cluttering up the horizon lately. Events happening all over to people I love and care about, employment issues dragging on my self-esteem and an uncertain future in a more uncertain economy, sick kitties, and a snowy backyard with 2 1/2 months more of winter.
It has been a good time to practice my gratitudes. And grateful I am for the lessons I am learning right now, whatever they are, for wherever they are taking me. That's where I want to go, because I know that when these lessons are learned, I will be ... better.
When I was a freshman in college, five of us traveled home for a weekend early in the fall semester.
I was all about my high school boyfriend at the time. I would soon be all about another boyfriend, and that was the way I was. Guys, fun, playing around, doing what I needed to do to make passable grades with the least amount of effort, to allow for more time for guys, fun, and playing around.
On the way back to school, very close to our destination, leaning up over the front seat (it was not a time of seat belt wearing), I spoke to the driver sotto voce. ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to pretend to run out of gas and freak out the other two girls?’ Immediately he played along, letting up on the accelerator.
And the other two girls responded so appropriately. Cries of dismay were forthcoming. The dark rural highway became so much more forbidding. The freshman curfew was suddenly looming. What was going to happen to us?
Nothing for it but to pull over, and start walking to what seemed a likely farmhouse nearby, which the five of us did, down a dirt road. And not far after starting, the driver, his buddy (who was in on it), and myself, turned and ran back to the car. See! Fun and games!
We made it back to the car just before the other two girls, barely, and they hopped, laughing, on the trunk. The driver pulled out from the shoulder, not really very fast, as I remember it.
But as the driver started up, and pulled out, one lost her grip, and slipped off. She fell onto the asphalt, and hit her head.
The car was stopped and we ran back to help her up, but something was wrong. She was unconscious and this was our first sign that she was injured. Somehow a law enforcement officer was there and I don’t remember how (this was before cell phones). Perhaps he just happened by, but he put her in the backseat of his vehicle and took her to hospital. She was conscious now, so maybe she wasn’t in such a bad way.
We followed to the hospital, and I was very chagrined, as it did seem my fun idea had taken a rather dismal turn. It was obvious we were going to be in serious trouble, and it had been my idea.
Once at the hospital, we learned she had been taken into surgery. Her parents had been called, and were on their way from where we had just spent the weekend. She had hit her head very, very hard on the pavement, suffering a terrible brain trauma, and she died shortly before her parents arrived early the next morning, if I am remembering right.
I was not a close friend to her, or to the two fellows, having just met them for the ride home. I had been, in years past, a very good friend to the other girl. There were four 18 year olds in this tragedy, and I think I was the only one mostly concerned about the trouble I was going to be in. The lives, the real feelings, the depth of the heartbreak, none of that was going on in my little sphere. It just didn’t occur to me. I didn’t know any better. I really honestly was just that … self-serving.
I kept mostly to myself through the aftermath, not seeking out any with whom I might share feelings, or might help me find those feelings. Hell, I didn’t even know at this point in my life what honest feelings were. I was so, so clueless. My stupid, ‘fun’ idea resulted in a girl’s death, a set of parents living without a daughter, and three other rather more mature freshman having to grow up and live with the memories of that night. And I am so, so sorry.
I have signed up for the above titled knitting class at Lambspun. The description follows… “…work on any project of your choice. Listen to French music; learn basic French conversation and knitting terms in French.”
This is appealing to me. I have some French classes behind me, but really only know enough to order ‘le vin blanc, s’il vous plait’, which is all one really needs. Really.
I will take my lunch for three Mondays for this experience, Lambspun being just a hop, skip, and a jump from my place of employment. I haven’t yet decided on my project of choice. I suppose it shouldn’t be something tres difficile, n’est-ce pas? I could always just continue away with the MLCB...garter stitching away....and away....and away....
The thing is, with the class, one recieves 20% class supplies. This is my chance to buy yarn for ANYTHING at 20% off. I should just buy some sock yarn, if nothing else.
There was an effort made to interest me in the book 'French Girl Knits: Innovative Techniques, Romantic Details, and Feminine Designs' by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes, but I declined. Not really my style, and not why I am taking la classe.
I am all about the atmosphere...the ambiance...the air!
I started to piece the quilt for Grandbebe Two last night. Remember my plan? After putting together a couple of blocks, I was not satisfied. Too busy, too cluttered, too something. Needed...less....patternage, more solid, less....just less.
I was saving some solid green for some in between pieces, but they were sacrificed. The in between pieces will be something else. I also found some bleached feed sack fabric from Grandbebe Girl's quilt to help with the 'more plain and less pattern', too.
Then I ditched the idea of the 'three bar' squares, and went back to the plain old nine-patch. Sometimes simple is better.
That was confirmed with the first nine patch I pieced this morning. So much better. Soon I had five pieced. Then eight.
All 13 are done now. What can I say....I was on a roll. Here is a shot of a few squares placed sort of according to plan. There will be in between strips and squares, but this gives a broad idea of what's going on. I thought while sewing that I will probably quilt with green thread. At least that is my thinking now.
Next, I will cut the in between pieces, trim Dearest Sister embroidered squares, and sew the top together. Dearest Sister has twelve embroidered squares and I have thirteen ninepatches, each nine by nine. Thgis is not a crib quilt, but more of a twin sized.
Piecing by machine, quilting by hand. Not sure what the back will look like just yet. I have one piece of fabric, but I believe it will have to be supplemented. That will mean finding the vintage colors to do so.
Various events and circumstances have led to me being in touch one way or another with several old friends.
I have mostly made good efforts to keep in touch with people, but life sometimes just gets in the way. When opportunity presents itself, usually I try to re-establish contact. That’s a little intimidating for me. Okay, very intimidating for me. I mean, what if these people don’t remember me? A very likely possibility as I see myself as not being particularly noticeable. Or worse yet, what if they remember me? Again, another scary possibility, as I remember how I was when I was younger.
There is a reason, after all, I spent many of the last seven or eight years in intense self-reflection and self-examination, working a 12-step program, making amends, and figuring out why I do the things I do. One of the things I do is operate from a place of fear of rejection. And I sure do like for people to think highly of me. That’s a precarious place to walk when striking up old contacts.
But still I do. And because of all the self-growthy work I have wreaked upon myself, it has been more rewarding. I am more able to let it go if it doesn’t fly. Mostly.
So anyway. All these blasts from the past. I am talking way back. Grade school and junior high way back, and college, too. It’s a cause for reflection, desired or not.
There are specific remembrances that are pretty sweet. And not brought by me, interestingly enough, but I remember (usually) when names, places, and doings are brought up. I find that other’s memories of time spent with me wasn’t completely horrific.
There is some comfort in that. I am not kidding, either. My mind works that way.
With the renewing of friendships comes questions of ‘how did you get where you now doing what you are doing?’
Where am I? What am I doing? And how did I end up here? And how do I express that? Hopefully without bile, because I am finally, and truly, grateful for the heartbreaking turn that I was forced to take that got me to look at myself. And got me to change things. And I would never have done that without getting dumped. At least I don’t think so.
I am at a place in my life where I can enjoy these friends on a level I could not before…so caught up in my distresses of emotional fear and needs. So there is redemption, too, in all of this.
Of February! Already! A month of 28 days, and five already spent. Only 23 left, and that's barely three weeks.
Then we will be into March and March is almost SPRING!
I spent cutting pieces on the quilt for Grandbebe Two the last couple of evenings, and plan to do a bit more tonight.
To see what the plans are for Grandbebe Trois, see this post at Dearest Sister's blog. I feel she has great, nay, exquisite! design and plans. I am sure all who read will agree.
So anyhoo. The cutting progresses. The piecing won't take so long, I don't believe, as the amazing powers of the Rocketeer, a.k.a. the Singing Singer, will make short shift of that little task! I may just have to sit back and let the amazing machine (completely made in America, don't you know!) work it's wonders.
Then comes the quilting. I must tell Wonderful Guy a trip to JoAnn's is required for thread.
And there is still the backing question before any of that is necessary.
Well. I just won't think about that today. I'll think about that tomorrow. Because tomorrow...tomorrow is another day!
I had one idea for this one. There is a wonderful stone Catholic Church on my way to work that I have often thought warrants a photo. See. Two C's...and on the hour...it plays carillon chimes! Two more! But I am not one to pull over and take such a shot on my way to work...or stop on my way home. At least not yet.
Then I thought about a photo-essay on 'camaraderie' with shots through the years of myself and Dearest Sister, Precious Niece and Youngest Daughter, and the Three Sibs themselves.
Then Inspiration (yes, with a capital I) struck.
Or better put, a rather large C bore into my brain her wishes.
C is for the Cat Who Would Be Queen.
The Cat who made me go outside last night barefooted to catch her lest she spend the night out in the cold amongst the hungry wild things. Like I would get any sleep with that sort of guilt going on.
The Cat who sleeps at the foot of the bed, on my side, right where my feet go, if/when I choose to stretch out, at which time she will just roll a bit over, then roll right back. Giving me chance to change my mind, as it were.
The Cat Who Would Be Queen came to live with Lovely Step-Daughter when she was a mere wisp of a girl. Lovely Step-Daughter is out of college and living on her own Way Out West now...and the Cat...
...She is blocking. And I must say, the blocking action with our new steamer was pretty schweeeet indeedy!
So for those interested...
and bird's eye... (let it be it known there are no birds in this room...being the boudoir of the Cat Who Would Be Queen, whilst she dost not rest with moi....and she does like to sleep upon items that are being blocked, pins and all.)
giving a good view of the entrelac effect..I know, I know...not all the little pieces are picture perfect, but then again, neither am I...
Artsy view...which I do feel makes the effect all smooshy and softee lookin'!
(And the MLCB is my abbreviation for Mason-Dixon's Moderne Log Cabin Blanket.)
...with the knitting part, at least, and by the end of the first month.
My first big de-stashing project of the year was the entrelac 'something', which turned into a shawl. I used up most of 12 balls of the Tesoro bought on sale at JoAnn's.
And now they are gone! (Mostly. I have partials balls of two colors left.)
And I know entrelac in theory and practice!
And I have a wunnerful, woolish shawl with which to wrap around me while sitting in my chair in front of the fire at night.
Just as soon as 40 gazillion ends are woven in...a good way to while away super bowl time, I do believe...there will be a photo.
The MLCB is about 30% complete, and will mark the second big de-stashing effort. I am stoked with accomplishment. I must remember that I have other projects calling my name, also.
Oh, grand-mere...bebe quilts need your attention....oh yoohoo... Grandmere...Great Aunt Viva aka Dearest Sister is whupping your accomplishment up one side and down the other!
I was able to knit a bit on the MLCB while we were traveling about the countryside this weekend. Down to Boulder we did go to pick up my new bobbins for Betsy the Flying Lendrum. And Maggie, while writing up my ticket, also wrote in my Start Spinning book. She told me to spin the yarn of my dreams! Yes, I have been ordered by Maggie to find quviut fiber for spinning, and cashmere, and maybe some paco vicuna, too. I am pretty sure that is what she meant.
I am off to weave ends...or knit garter stitch...or cut quilt pieces...