Thursday, January 24, 2008

Knitting Projects

I finished some knitting projects for the kids, but it's taken awhile to get pictures. For me to have the camera handy (with charged batteries), and for them to appear wearing what I made for them requires the planets to line up just so.

Here's Allie wearing the sweater I began for her last January, and which I finished last fall. I blogged about beginning this project here. The pattern is "A Cardigan for Arwen" from the Winter 2006 issues of Interweave Knits. The yarn is Knit Picks "Wool of the Andes" in the iron ore color.
When I finished the sweater, I knitted Alex a vest from this old pattern book. He's a conservative dresser, and these 1967 patterns are classics.
I love using vintage patterns and generally putting vintage materials to use.

This picture of Alex in the vest is blurry, but he was smiling, so I couldn't resist. The vest is knit from Knit Picks "Telemark," in charcoal heather.
Here's a better shot of the sweater, and a serious shot of the boy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Political Aside

I live well off the beaten path. People who live here refer to this place as "behind the redwood curtain" because it is remote and tenuously connected to the outside world by a highway vulnerable to rock slides and by a small airport. The railroad track washed out at a critical juncture 10 years ago and has yet to be re-connected. It had been 40 years since a U.S. president had come to Humboldt County until yesterday.

Bill Clinton came through yesterday campaigning for Hilary. He spoke to a group of 400 people and my kids and I had seats in the second row. He spoke eloquently for an hour without notes about public service and about Hilary's record. He's a smart, dynamic speaker and a charismatic presence. I learned a lot about Hilary's accomplishments that I hadn't known before. He also talked about how her experience should be viewed as an asset and not as a stigma.

That's my friend Susan on the far right. She and Bill have matching hair color. I was two seats away.
Here's my friend Wurlig standing next to Bill.

My kids and I all shook hands with a U.S. president. It was inspiring to hear his message about the importance of leadership and service, and to hear some of Hilary's solutions to important issues confronting us as a nation.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Size Matters

I started piecing these blocks, which are from a Karen Stone pattern called "Mississippi Wheel of Fortune," published in the March/April 2003 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.

I started out using up some scraps, thinking I could make a lot of blocks before the scrap drawer was empty.

But then I thought about controlling the color palette, limiting it to clear bright colors. The scraps won't go quite as far if I do that.

The pattern is pretty easy. Parts are pieced, parts are paper pieced, and some sections are joined by applying rick-rack, turning the edge, then top-stitching it down.

Louie helped by pointing out his favorite scraps.
But he wanted to edit the pattern a bit. I retain the right to reject his suggestions.

I ended up with four blocks, and then sat down to really think about what's next. The pattern has dog tooth sashing strips that I like, but I started feeling like I was running out of enthusiasm for this project. I know I can stop at four blocks or make the commitment for nine or more.

I played with the idea of solid sashing and a border so I could finish up and move on. I pretty much rejected the idea of a large quilt for now.

Mrs. Mel had a great post on her blog Fibermania (see January 8th "Good Question...") about why she no longer makes large quilts, and her ideas really resonated with me.

I haven't decided what to do yet. In the meantime, these blocks are going to marinate in the WISP pile.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Playing with Dolls

I was walking into a thrift store when I spotted this perfect little wing chair for 5 dollars. I immediately thought of my Julia Child doll and of how she would like a chair to sit and rest her feet.

The doll standing next to the chair is one I picked up at the same thrift store a few months ago. (See, I had been mulling over this doll thing for awhile.) I thought she had a beautiful face, but she had a chipped foot and was dressed in an ugly polyester kimono. I brought her home and dressed her in an outfit I'd made years ago for my daughter's American Girl dolls. She's in line for a fashion makeover once I decide on a look.

So Julia is very cozy in her new chair. She gets tired standing at the stove all day wielding that heavy whisk. And yes, if you notice the back of the chair, she had already placed an order for her own food quilt.