Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bag with Crocheted Hexagons

Loosely based on this pattern for making a shopping bag, and borrowing from this pattern on Ravelry for a hexagon blanket, a new project bag was born.

See the toy ferret and bunny rabbit?  Those belong to The Amazing Therapy Dog Libby, but I actually plan on filling it with a sweater project and swapping yarn for the toys.  Its strap is a knitted icord, and the bag itself is two pieces of coordinating fabrics sewn back to back, folded in half, and seamed together.

Several weeks ago, I was making hexagons from sock yarn, but did not have enough sock yarn scraps to make an actual blanket.   Instead of chucking the project, I used the 20 multi-colored hexagons as decoration for the bag front.  Bling was added in the form of buttons and charms.

The little sheep buttons in the middle of a couple of hexagons make me smile.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Going to Ireland in Two Days!

Sixty-four travelers from the western slope of Colorado will be visiting Ireland next week, and I will be on the tour bus, too.  We will arrive in Dublin on October 25 and coach over to Adare, about and hour and a half west of Dublin by coach.  Here is where we will be staying -- the Adare Castle in Limerick, Ireland:

Photos of Adare Castle, County Limerick
This photo of Adare Castle is courtesy of TripAdvisor

This site says:
The castle was probably begun in the 1190s and initially comprised a large square tower and an enclosing D-shaped fosse, together with a hall block to the south in an outer ward.
Villas surround the 650 acre castle property, each with three bedrooms to a villa.  Our group will share these modern villas with all the comforts of a 5 star hotel.  There is a posh restaurant inside the castle, a clubhouse and bar. Golfing is one of the highlights of Ireland, and this property contains the Adare Golf Club championship golf course commissioned by the Earl of Dunraven in the 1890's, but Linda and I will likely be searching for yarn in the little town of Adare during our "off hours."

We will make day trips, and Linda and I will extend our stay for three days, ending our journey in Dublin.   We will be there on Halloween night, staying at the Wynn Hotel in the Temple Bar area, which is apparently a real party place.

Day trips include visiting the cliffs of Moehr;

and a visit to a woolen mill!!

Also included on the docket is a trip to Kilkenny and Bunratty with a medieval-style dinner in the Bunratty Castle in the evening.

Then there is Dingle, and  a tour of the Dingle Peninsula on the way to the Blasket Island Center. Dingle was the setting for the movie "Ryan's Daughter" and is a market town and fishing port.

And of course we are going to Blarney and the Blarney Castle where the magic stone gives the gift of eloquence.  I don't think that we'll be allowed to kiss that stone because of new sanitary regulations.  But here is a picture of me kissing it in 2005, when it was still allowed:

(at Blarney Castle, Nancy with guide in 2005)

Kissing that old stone was not for the faint of heart, so my Scrabble buddy Darlene took this picture because she had no desire to stand in the line, kiss that stone, or get that mythical gift of the gab.

Enough for now, but more pictures upon our return from this trip sponsored by Chamber Discoveries.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Excerpted from the book "Peace Like a River"

by Leif Enger:
When I was born to Helen and Jeremiah Land, in 1951, my lungs refused to kick in. 
My father wasn't in the delivery room or even in the building; the halls of Wilson Hospital were close and short, and Dad had gone out to pace in the damp September wind. He was praying, rounding the block for the fifth time, when the air quickened.  He opened his eyes and discovered he was running - sprinting across the grass toward the door. 
"How'd you know?" I adored this story, made him tell it all the time. 
"God told me you were in trouble." 
"Out loud? Did you hear Him?" 
"Nope, not out loud. But He made me run, Reuben. I guess I figured it out on the way."
I had, in fact, been delivered some minutes before. My mother was dazed, propped against soggy pillows, unable to comprehend what Dr. Animas Nokes was telling her.

"He still isn't breathing, Mrs. Land."

"Give him to me!"

To this day I'm glad Dr. Nokes did not hand me over on demand. Tired as my mother was, who knows when she would've noticed? Instead he laid me down and rubbed me hard with a towel.. He pounded my back; he rolled me over and massaged my chest. He breathed air into my mouth and nose -- my chest rose, fell with a raspy whine, stayed fallen. Years later Dr. Nokes would tell my brother Davy that my delivery still disturbed his sleep. He's never seen a child with such swampy lungs. 
When Dad skidded into the room, Dr Nokes was sitting on the side of the bed holding my mother's hand. She was wailing -- I picture her as an old woman here, which is funny, since I was never to see her as one --and old Nokes was attempting to ease her grief. It was unavoidable, he was saying; nothing could be done; perhaps it was for the best. 
I was lying uncovered on a metal table across the room. 
Dad lifted me gently. I was very clean from all that rubbing, and I was gray and beginning to cool. A little clay boy is what I was. 
"Breathe," Dad said. 
I lay in his arms. 
Dr Nokes said "Jeremiah, it has been twelve minutes." 
"Breathe!" The picture I see is of Dad, brown hair short and wild, giving this order as if he expected noting but odedience. 
Dr. Nokes approached him. "Jeremiah. There would be brain damage now. His lungs can't fill." 
Dad leaned down, laid me back on the table, took off his jacket and wrapped me in it -- a black canvas jacket with a quilted lining, I have it still. He left my face uncovered. 
"Sometimes," said Dr. Nokes, "there is something unworkable in one of the organs. A ventricle that won't pump correctly. A liver that poisons the blood." Dr. Nokes was a kindly and reasonable man. "Lungs that can't expand to take in air. In these cases," said Dr. Nokes, "we must trust in the Almighty to do what is best."  At which Dad stepped across and smote Dr. Nokes with a right hand, so that the doctor went down and lay on his side with his pupils unfocused. As Mother cried out, Dad turned back to me, a clay child wrapped in a canvas coat, and said in a normal voice, "Reuben Land, in the name of the living God I am telling you to breathe."
... excerpted not only from Leif Enger's book PEACE LIKE A RIVER, but also from the book AT THE STILL POINT: A LITERARY GUIDE TO PRAYER IN ORDINARY TIME by Sarah Arthur

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just returned from church where this video was shared after the benediction:

Yup, I'm a Lutheran.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another Finished Shawl

The knit-along with Paula at Knitting Pipeline is going great guns.  Here is my finished Shaelyn Shawl that finished out at 26" x 54".  I called it the Colorado Wine Shawl because the yarns are the colors of grape leaves, merlot grapes and green grapes in many shades of green and aquamarine.

Five repeats of the lace were completed.  Two different skeins of yarn were used; the dark green has some cashmere in soft.

113 people have posted on Ravelry over the past two weeks about this shawl, with almost 1,000 people worldwide having knit up and documented this pattern on Ravelry.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't Forget to Eat Your Spiders

How cool is this.

Actually, the spiders are plastic rings.  You can read how to make the jello ring here where Brett Bara blogs.  That is her picture, by the way.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rainbow Cake At a Family Picnic

The husband's brother, his daughter and grandson came for a visit. Granny hosted a family party.  You can tell from the pictures that the kids had their pictures taken several times over and had good times.

It was just the right occasion to have a rainbow cake that Cakity on Blogger first featured.

This is her colorful cake:

  Using two white cake mixes, four round pans, three cans of prepared white frosting and food dyes in four colors along with one tsp. vinegar for each dye batch, I came up with this cake, sprinkles courtesy of Michael's.  

The kids liked it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Breast Cancer Update on Julie

Just an update on Julie to say she will have three tumors removed from her left breast next week.

After several months chemotherapy, the tumors have shrunk enough to facilitate their removal. The largest is one inch, and the smallest is 1/6 of an inch.  A mastectomy is not a viable option for her due to complications from VA shunt tubing that goes to her heart

Then following surgery, Julie will go back on chemotherapy for an undetermined length of time.

She and her husband face many trials, with cancer being the most recent hurdle to wheel through.

From a fellow blogger comes this motivational sign.
  (If you go to her website, you can download the slogan in various formats.)

For sure, Julie and Jack are examples for accomplishing hard things.

Your prayers for her well being are appreciated.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stained Glass Blanket

Crocheting hexagons from left over sock yarn has become my new comfort needle art project.  No need to think, just watching the magic come out of my crochet hook, almost like "creating lace in the air", like my SIL Charlotte once said.  These are the hexagons I've made thus far:

After a gadzillion of these are made, they will all be put together in one color jewel toned yarn that will hold all the little hexagons together from an independent yarn dyer (maybe from Sweet Clement on Etsy).  I'm thinking of getting this color BFL yarn:

Another blogger friend, Kepanie, showed her blanket on her blog, found here.  She always has beautiful photography, so please visit her site and tell her I sent you!  Here are Kepanie's hexagons:

An here are a few hexagons made by pennywenny:

If you like video podcast about knitting, don't miss Sheila and Wendy's Knit1HeartToo show.

There are many patterns where crocheted hexagons are detailed.  If you click on the "R project button" below, it will take you to Jessie's pattern.

From Crochetaboutdotcom, here is an easy way to crochet a hexagon:
Starting Chain: Chain 6. Join with a slip stitch in the first chain, to form a ring. 
Rnd 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in ring, (ch 3, 3 dc in ring) 5 times, ch 3, sl st in top of beginning ch-3 of this round. 
Rnd 2: sl st in ea of next 2 dc, sl st in ch-3 sp, ch 3 (counts as first dc), (dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same ch-3 sp, * ch 2, skip next 3 dc, (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in next ch-3 sp **, repeat the directions between * and ** 4 more times, then ch 2, skip next 3 dc, sl st in beginning ch-3 of this rnd. End off. Weave in ends.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Aspen Leaves Turn Gold in Colorado

Our Sunday afternoon in the nearby Colorado high country is displayed via YouTube.  Weather in the national park yesterday was in the low 60F temperatures, the sun was bright, the foliage brilliant in yellows, golds and rusts.  Just a few blue-grey thunderclouds foretold that rain was on the horizon.  (I hope you will enjoy the scenery and music as much as I did while producing this short video.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Knit Along with Podcaster Paula

One of my favorite podcasters, Paula, who hosts the Knitting Pipeline, is starting a knit a long (KAL) today.  I'm in.  Here is the Shaelyn pattern that several dozens (?) of us will be knitting simultaneously:

And here are two yarns I will be using; the main color is a madelintosh pashima in the colorway of "Manor" and the variegated color is from Farmhouse Yarns in a sock weight called "Grapes on the Vine".

The darker color will be used on the lace panels, while the "Grapes on the Vine" will be the solid stripes.  With a KAL, there will be lots of people to help if any of us get pestered by the pattern details.

If this sounds fun, join us here and enjoy some bagpiper music, too.

PS: 907 people on Ravelry have knit this pattern with gorgeous results.  You can view most of them here.