Friday, May 30, 2014

Time Travels

I took my first trip of the summer to attend my 40th high school reunion.  We had a pretty good turn out: almost 1/3 of the Immaculate Conception Academy class of 1974.  ICA is a girls' Catholic school in San Francisco, and it's one of 3 that survives of the 9 girls' Catholic high schools that were available in the city when I was a teen.  That's me, third from the left in the back row.

It was a fun event,  some people I recognized right off, and others I recognized after looking into their faces for a moment.  People's personalities were remarkably consistent.  There's an 18 year old inside us looking out, not matter how old we get.  I was impressed by the number of people who still have teens at home, as well as by the folks who are already grandmothers.

On the same trip I visited my parents, who live in a town (Lodi, California) with great thrift stores.  I got the linens in these  photos for less than $2.  The handkerchief on the top left is actually a set of 3 identical hankies. 

I also got this embroidered luncheon cloth, and a monogrammed tea towel, and a doily embroidered with crewel yarn (not shown).

On the last leg of my trip I got to visit my daughter Allie, now living in the Bay Area, 6 hours from home.  She's becoming a big city woman.   It was a sweet journey all the way around.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Some Baby Duds and an Interview

One of Michael's nephews is expecting a baby, so I knitted up these little things to include with a present we're sending.  The yarn is fingering weight sock yarn, so it's machine washable even though it's wool.  It's very satisfying to knit for little babies because the projects generally are pretty quick.  Once I turned the heel on the little socks, it was almost time to start the toe decreases.

I'm finishing up grading, and looking forward to the Summer and Fall, when I have a sabbatical.  I've got some writing projects lined up, but I also have a crazy quilt planned as well.  The subject of the quilt will be Mexican Jenny, the protagonist of the title poem of my book. 

I had a chance recently to talk about the book and about Jenny and quilts in an interview on the Letras Latinas blog.  The interviewer had some good questions about quilting and it's significance to Mexican Jenny's story and to my book.  Now that I've told Jenny's story in words, I want to tell it in fiber. 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Project Round-Up

Between gardening, grading papers, and recovering from yet another cold, I finished knitting Different Breeze, which after blocking measures 6 x 74 inches.  Knitting the long color changes was fun, and the scarf is very stylish.  The blocking opened up the stitches very nicely.  I haven't decided whether to wear this myself, or save it for a future gift.

I did a bit of work on my butterfly quilt.  I finished cutting the triangles, and I'm slowly sewing borders on the butterfly blocks. The unsewn pieces take up my whole design wall, which is a flat queen sheet.  I even had to move the sewing machine table away from the wall to lay out blocks behind it.  Sewn together it will be considerably smaller, so  I'm starting to think about what kind of border will look nice on this quilt

I was one butterfly block short, and instead of making one more--something I really didn't want to do, I dug up four small applique blocks I bought some time ago in a thrift store.  I think they've finally found their true calling in this quilt.

And I spent a quiet Saturday morning crocheting up this throw rug from t-shirt yarn (the light blue) and strips of old sheets (light blue and tan).  This was an improvisational project: a simple single crochet stitch, I just added enough extra stitches in the corners to keep it flat.  Of all the rugs I've made, I've found knit and crocheted ones to be the most durable, and they're machine wash and dry.  This one will probably go to my daughter, who mentioned she needs some small rugs for her apartment.

Not bad work for a busy time of year.  Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to summer vacation from work.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...