Saturday, October 31, 2009

Extreme Knitting

Here is something interesting from this site about extreme knitting:
Rachel John, Extreme Textiles, broke records by knitting with a 1000 strands simultaneously! This video shows the set up of the event and the event itself. This event took place at the Southhill Park Unravel Textiles exhibition in October 2006.

It is a challenge for all of us to take the waste products that our society produces and to put it to good use. This video was made in order to stimulate that process.
Go here to see the video.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fiber Artist Diedre Scherer

Deidre Scherer is the talented fiber artist who is perhaps most often associated with the poem "When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple" by Jenny Joseph.  Her picture of a contemplative older woman created in fabrics and threads has been in my study for the past three decades, alongside the poem by Nadir Stair that begins ... If I had my life to live over....

This same replica of the picture (copied at the bottom of the post) is framed and matted in reds and cream colors and is just to the right of my computer.  It always give me pause for thought when my gaze falls on it.

This is another favorite created by Scherer, and is one of her pieces in a collection (15" x 13" in fabric and thread) from this site of nine fabric works:

The Last Year, a series of nine fabric works by Vermont artist Deidre Scherer, portrays the final year in the life of an elderly woman. With immense compassion and respect, Scherer chronicles the woman's journey toward death, from the onset of her decline, through brief reprieves of renewed strength, and finally, to acceptance and release.
Combining the techniques of layering, piecing and machine sewing, Scherer builds a rich surface of images that have contours, highlights and shadows. Her unique approach to fabric and thread medium serves to tell the story narratively, and gives the figure a three-dimensional quality.
Each work depicts a visually compelling moment, while raising universal and social issues that surround the processes of aging, dying and grieving.
 This site gives the poem copied below, along with Diedre Scherer's picture, again created in fabric and thread:

I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another,instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.
Nadine Stair, 85 years old.
As for me, I am trying to eat all the green bananas that life gives me.  And you?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scrabble Again

See the word "M-U-T-I-L-A-T-E" up in the right hand corner of the Scrabble board in the above picture?

That was my coup de grace in a winning game with opponent Wesley Slocum in Calgary on October 23.  The word spread across two triple tile scores and used all 7 letters on my rack, and the play counted for 149 points.  That play truly won the game for me as Wesley had a 120 point lead on me prior to that coup de grace play.  Wesley was a nice guy about the good word find and even took a picure of me with the board to bring home to Colorado!

A highlight of the week was going to the Saskatoon Berry Farm west of Calgary for lunch and a look-around.  The saskatoon berry cobbler was a favorite dessert and is local to the area.  Yum.

Thanks, Darlene, for your hospitality and to the Calgary Scrabble Club for hosting the 14th Annual Western Canadian Scrabble Championship last week in Alberta.  A great time was had by all 95 participants in four divisions of tournament play.

Monday, October 19, 2009

14th Western Canadian Scrabble Champtionship

Off to Calgary this morning: the beautiful land of Alberta.  Playing Scrabble.  See you in a week.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Emergen-C and the Flu

If you are feeling ... headachey and a touch of the sore throat...there's a number you can call...don't be afraid...
picture courtesy of RogueSun

Well, you can't call, but you can buy a product called Emergen-C or its generic equivalent.  My SIL stirs up a glass of the fizzy mixture in water a couple of times of day when she feels the need for a Vitamin C boost.

Here is a great review of the product where the reviewer says, in part:
... so I began the regimen: One Emergen-C at 5 am. Another once I woke up (again) at 8. Another when I got to work, two more after lunch. In all, I think I must have had six or seven packets of that goodness yesterday—probably not a dosage you want to subject your body to every day, but these were trying times.
It is now not quite 5 AM, and I have downed one dose of the Walgreen variety in cranberry flavor, am on my second cup of coffee, and actually feeling better than I did yesterday at this time before the wonder product was in my system.  (Yesterday I drank three of the packets with the recommended 6 oz of water and begged off obligations; in other words, so I could lie around and do nothing.)

Who knows, with 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C (1,667% of your recommended daily allowance) in each packet, maybe there is something to it.  It can't hurt.  And water is certainly good for you.

Drop Scarf with Beads

This clapotis scarf finished off with dimensions of 61" x 6.5" and was decorated with 8 mm seed beads along the diagonal lines created by the dropped stitches.   The beads are glass, and in colors ranging from lavender to cobalt blue with various hues of lighter and darker blues interspersed.  They beads were sewn with one strand of Knit Picks Shimmer yarn, a combination of 30% silk and 70% baby alpaca wool.   Don't let a little wool in the fiber fool you, it is as soft as a baby's bottom.  This same yarn was used in the scarf construction.  Although it is lace weight, I held two strands together to construct the scarf; so it ended up more of a fingering weight.

The beads added a touch of more design into the scarf, and although they were tedious to apply, the look was worth the extra effort,  IMHO.

There was no ready model for the scarf, so an outside tree trunk accommodated the scarf for photographic purposes.

Here is a picture of the clapotis scarf half way through:

Combining beading and knitting was a first attempt at gilding the lily.  The pattern for the scarf is free and available here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Selling a Mink in these Economic Times

Say, wish me luck in trying to sell my mink (female) full length coat at a consignment shop in Calgary, CA next week.  I'm going up for the 14th Western Canadian Scrabble Championship and to visit a friend who also will compete in the games.

Back to this non-politically correct issue of the mink coat.  Groan.  Yes, women (and a few guys) do still wear fur.  But this coat has had very little wear since its purchase 15 years ago, and it is high time for it to have a new home.  Of course, I want to make big bucks off it!

This site gave good information about trying to sell a used fur coat. It said, in short:
Still wearing big hair and eighties power suits? Well why not? They're only 15 years old! How much money do you think you could get for those suits on the resale market today? If they had major designer labels, they might be worth something. If not, by now either you've tossed them out, hidden them in the back of your closet (the shame) or altered them (somewhere I envision a secret tailor's landfill, where they've sent all those discarded shoulder pads). When you pay thousands of dollars for a fur, and want to sell it, it's not that simple. And it's really not funny.
Sigh. So that is where I am.  Like an avid ...good..over zealous ..stupid   average consumer who purchased a coat that I actually did use quite a bit in a different clime and time in my life when that coat got good use, now it is past its prime and worn maybe once a year. 

Let's say that is me in the picture below (it is not). The coat is the same, though.

With original invoice and appraisal in hand (home insurance rider policies requires that, ya know), we'll see if it sells.  I'm curious how much it will bring.  My guess is that I'll pocket maybe a hundred bucks after commission.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Colorado National Monument

Saturday was a spectacular fall day in Grand Junction and was excellent timing for a trip to the Colorado National Monument, "a unit of the national park system, is a spectacular area of twenty-thousand acres of steep-walled red rock canyons located in western Colorado, near the city of Grand Junction, on the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau. The Colorado National Monument attracts approximately 500,000 visits per year."

One of the Western Colorado's biggest outdoor highlights  is definitely ... the Colorado National Monument.
Here sheer-walled canyons, towering red sandstone monoliths and beautiful valleys host a myriad of wild animals and adventures for everyone in the family. Spectacular plateaus and canyons fill the park, where the land has been preserved as it was for thousands of years. A visitor center four miles up from the West entrance offers camping information and more.
There are 100 National Monuments in the United States.
... canyons, monoliths, colorful formations, bighorn sheep, soaring eagles and a spectacular road reflect the environment and history of plateau-and-canyon country.

Friend Kathy and I had a fun time taking in the scenery.

Only a 20 minute drive from our house, this day trip was a definite breath of fresh air.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Decorations - Quilted Centerpieces

Underneath the pumpkins and candles in the centerpiece below is a quilted fall fabric piece given to us several years ago by our Famous Family Quilter Pat McCarroll. Pat has won many awards for her quilting art at the Texas State Fair, and at local quilt guild shows in and around Dallas, Texas.

Pat has also shown one of her quilts at the annual International Quilt Festival  always held in Houston.

Thanks again for that pretty, seasonal and hand made item, Pat. And congratulations on your latest recognitions for quilting arts in Sulphur Springs, TX this month.

And another table topper:

Final cosmos showing their colors in the evening dusk:

Monday, October 5, 2009

St. Francis of Assisi: Blessing of the Animals

Sunday was a special day for all our animal companions as it was the day of  the Blessing of the Animals, a tradition set aside to honor St. Francis of Assisi.  This Blessing of the Animals was given in recognition of God's love for all creatures, and acknowledging that humans are helped by animals.
Oct. 4 is the day set aside to honor St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). St. Francis had a great love for all of God's creatures, and for many years a blessing of animals has been held on his feast day. The appreciation of animals is part of celebrating the creative love that God has bestowed on the world. Blessing the animal companions honors how God touches humans through each creature.

St. Francis is not the only saint who loved animals. In drawings found in medieval manuscripts, there are images of early animal blessings performed by St. Anthony the Abbott (also known as St. Anthony of Egypt), who lived in the third century. The first formal church-organized animal blessings were held in Rome in the early 20th century...

Yesterday, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Grand Junction, there was a special service to bless the animals.

Click on links below if you want to learn more about how our Therapy Dog Libby goes about her day, and information about Therapy Dog International:.

Libby's Work Day (a video)

A recent communication from Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado relayed the need for additional dogs for use with their patients.  Contact Judy in Grand Junction at 970-241-2212 for further information if you would like to offer your dog and yourself as hospice dog team volunteers.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Socks Knit Inside-Out on Bottom of Foot

A few weeks ago, while listening to the Knit Picks Podcast, guest Sandra McAlister talked about knitting the bottom part of socks inside out, creating the purl stitch on the outside of the sock.  This means that the knit part of the fabric on the bottom of the foot eliminates the "knobbiness" of the purl stitch closest to the skin.

Several people even commented on the show notes that this technique would be great for a person with diabetes and those ever present foot ulcers common to diabetics.  Sandra knits socks in this manner because she is a long distance walker, and blisters are less likely to occur when walking long distances if the sock is smooth where it touches the bottom of the foot.

What a great idea, huh?  So I made the second sock of THE PERFECT FIT Socks by Becca in this manner.  Here is how the heel and bottom of the feet look with the purl side to the outside:

As soon as these socks are dry and off the sock blockers, I'll be anxious to see if there is a noticeable difference in foot comfort while walking.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Newsboy Cap with Brim to Knit

This newsboy cap is next on my needles.

The pattern can be found (free) here.

What color?  Reddish?