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Monday, May 30, 2011


People often ask, why would I want to write a blog. My life isn't all that interesting, who'd read or be interested in what I have to say. Have you heard that? Bet you have.

If you look up the definition of a blog, you'll find lots of information, but, basically it's a combination of the word web and log. It's an interactive means of communication. The communications is on going, it is updated...it is not static like a webpage. Some people blog like they're writing a personal diary, other's are more topic focused, others full of passions and causes.

Webpages are written, updated once in awhile but are read only. There is no interaction between the writer of the blog and the reader of the blog. A blog has that interaction. You write something as a blogger, you want people to read it, you want people to comment on it, others may in fact even comment on the comments. That's the interaction. That's what makes a blog a blog, and not a one sided static and often stale webpage.

So, my question to all bloggers then is this. If the point is interaction, why then do people make the interaction difficult, time consuming, and delayed? If you want you blog to be read, and you want people to comment, why do you put up road blocks for them to do so? I know you've all seen a blog that requires you to join, before you comment. Often those are here's my thoughts in your face, controversial type topics. They want to be read, but don't really want to encourage you to counter, to correct in some cases. They really don't seem to want the dialogue--so what's the point? You've probably also seen where comments aren't even an option........when I hit blogs like this, I never join and try not to return back. I'm not one that wants to blindly read and not communicate back. I also don't want to give them the readership they so crave. Blogging is a give and go. We all want readership, so reciprocate I say...go read other blogs, do for them what you want them to do for you.

Comments, anyone who says they don't care if they get comments, they blog for themselves....nah, I don't buy that. They want comments, they want followers, they want to know they've been read...chances are them saying they don't care if they get comments is their way of saying....I'm not taking time to reciprocate your comments. I often will read, comment several times; and if that blogger doesn't do the same, I move on. Blogging by definition is interactive. Interactive is not one sided.

Continuing on, we write to be read, we know we've been read, if we receive comments. Invite them, don't discourage them with those silly, hard to read, time consuming numbers and letters. They're annoying, they sometimes don't work. And, do they really keep you from getting spam? No, your filter does that. Do the professional spammers still spam you when you use them? Yes, they do. Comments need to be approved, more annoyance. This again takes time, this limits interaction, this delays communication. If you use the captchas because you think it prevents spam, why then do you also need to approve the comments before it's published? Do you need to approve the comments so you only print those that agree with you? If so, aren't you also limiting the interaction? To my way of thinking, yes you are. You're building road blocks and discouraging people to comment. Information grows as people read a blog and make comments. So if you're the 4th or 5th person leaving a comment you often have the ability to pick up additional information/opinions and interact with those commentors as well as the original blogger; but if your comment has to be approved first, that doesn't happen until much later, if at all.

Visit the blogs of those that visit you, don't read them in a reader. Do for them what they did for you, take the time to visit. Reading in a reader doesn't give the blog traffic, the traffic you got when they visited you. Don't take the easy way out and click reply via email to a question they've asked. Visit them, comment back, give them the time they gave you; the traffic they gave your blog. Be a reciprocal blogger, be an interactive blogger.

Being an interactive blogger is fun, that's how we meet new interesting people.

This is my B post for the Z-A challenge

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Growing through Crochet

I can see it now, a ball of mint green yarn (possibly rug yarn from memory), and a red crochet hook. Boo-boo gave me this special ball of yarn and plastic crochet hook. Boo-boo, no..that wasn't her real name. I never knew her real name. She was a rolly polly person, as wide as she was tall. She, I think was Pam's Aunt. Ok, so now you wonder who the heck is Pam...ok, I'll start at the beginning.

I was young, grade school age, probably 7 or 8 from memory. Pam was my best friend, and she lived right next door. Boo-boo, I think was her Mother's Sister. She'd come to visit and sit and crochet, hour after hour after hour. I'm not sure she could move around well, as she was always in the rocking chair. She made dollies, lots of them. I was in awe of her making what appeared to be knots with this hook thingy. I'm sure I must have bugged her death, asking question..."what's this, why do you do that, what are you going to do next, why are you doing this...you get the picture. I remember sitting watching, staring. She probably wished this little girl would go home and leave her alone; but...one day she presented me with a ball of mint green yarn about the size of a softball and my very own red plastic crochet hook. She taught me to make a dollie. I'm sure it was..................."lovely!" Mom said so, and we all know, Mom's don't lie about such important things as kids accomplishments. lol

I think then I bugged Mom for yarn. Yarn was not in the family budget, but one day she bought me Red Heart Variegated Yarn...looked sorta Mexican, and in fact, I think I've seen this variegated since. A whole skein...all 4 oz. She bought or had (I don't remember) knitting needles. She taught me to knit and purl. I made a fabulous, stylish, and very trendy scarf. We called them half scarves in those days. They covered the ears and tied under the chin. I think she cast off for me, and she crocheted the edge and a tie. I wore that thing! Really, I wore it. I've not found any pictures in the family photo's to prove it, but I remember it.

So now, I know how to crochet and knit! A child prodigy really, all the neighbors said so.

A lady who lived several blocks-- away, within walking distance in those days anyway. Now days I'm sure people would hop in the car. Anyway, this lady, who's name I would love to know had a shop in her basement/cellar. I'm pretty sure there was an outside entrance and so, it being an older house was probably a cellar. I also remember the ceiling being really low. Somehow, I found out she had this shop. It was right next door to drug store. I'd go and look, lovingly touch and dream of making such things Some were knitting, most though I think were crocheted. She made those dolls with big dresses, afghans, baby layettes, coat hangers and so much more. I don't know how much stuff she sold in those days, but her basement cellar was a favorite place for me to go as a young girl. I think I managed to buy one or two items. Maybe she let me, cause I was there so much.

We moved away from that darling little town, and I never saw Boo-boo or the shop lady again.

Fast forward, I'm now married and hubby is going to school during the day and working full time in the evenings. I'm working full time first shift at the hospital. I had lots of alone time, I needed a hobby. I remembered back, went to the store, bought some yarn and a blue metal crochet hook size J, and one book. I struggled to get my hands right, looked at the picture..........this was long long before the internet, long before u-tube. I made an afghan after some doing. Nothing fancy, double crochet stripes, 3 colors for my Grandmother who needed a lift. They were colors that matched her furniture. I felt like I had accomplished something very special. If only Boo-boo and the shop lady could see me. I think they might like to have known, the little girl that pestered them so long ago, the little girl they took patience to teach..........remembered.

grandma's ghanI have this afghan now. Grandma is gone, Boo-boo, and I'm sure the shop lady is gone. Sadly, so is my Mother, who taught me to knit. But, I remember.

I remember this green, is about the same color as my first special ball of yarn. I've continued to grow, and so has my crochet.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are you Energized?

Energize, to give energy to, to activate or invigorate. That's the definition I found when I looked up the word. I knit and I crochet each and everyday; but I'm not the one that makes the most to donate, nor are my skills the best of those that donate to Bridge and Beyond.

Bridge and Beyond is a grassroots charity I started to aid the local homeless in Central Ohio. Through the help and generosity of many other knitters and crocheters, we've accomplished quite a bit over the last couple of years. My blog, Bridge and Beyond focuses on the need, documents the donations, and reaches out to attract others who can help.

I knit and crochet hats, scarves, mittens, slippers; and I assemble afghans from donated squares. But, I believe my biggest asset is that I Energize, Activate, and Invigorate others. Through my blog, my computer...I Energize others into action, and together through the help of many pairs of busy energized hands we make a difference.

*This is my E post for the Z-A challenge.
**Apologies if this post seems conceited, it's not my intent to sound self important; rather to draw attention to how we knitters and crocheters come together**

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Diagonal Buckeye

Geess...totally forgot I had this scarf in the works. Found it when I was moving things around in my office. I see I must have needed the size 10 needles for another project and even removed them. Thankfully, I left a note as to the size I was using on the card with the pattern; but...I didn't leave a note about where I was in the pattern. I may have to take this to my LYS to see if they can tell me where I am. I'm not good at looking at the stitch and seeing what I did last...that's a real problem. I can do that easily with crocheting, but not with knitting.

Dang it, why didn't I leave myself a note! I was making this around Christmas as part of a gift and it just didn't make it. Using Lion Brand Woolease, size 10 needles and am probably 1/4th done?

Any suggestions as to how to tell where I am in the project to keep my increase and decrease going correctly?

Flat Stanley

Flat StanleyDo you know me? I'm Flat Stanley here to tell you a little bit about me; you might or might not know. I'm a creation, a character out of a series of books brought to life by Jeff Brown. He first wrote about me in 1964, 47 years ago. I don't look that old though, do I?

Jeff Brown wrote a series of books about Stanley Lambchop. The story briefly told is a bulletin board with pictures fell during the night on Stanley, making him flat; but not dampening his spirit. He made the best of things. He still played with his brother, and went on adventures. Because he was flat he could be a kite and sore; or be slid under a door to play with friends. He in fact could go "everywhere". He could visit people by mail. He could be folded, put in an envelope and mailed around the globe, meet new people and have all kinds of adventures.

Some book titles by Jeff Brown: Flat Stanley, Stanley in Space, Stanley and the Magic Lamp, Invisible Stanley.

In 1995 in London, Ontario Canada his life was altered by Dale Hubert, an English Teacher. He got the idea, kids might enjoy and learn more about writing if they wrote letters about Flat Stanley and his adventures. So, a huge project began. Flat Stanley was mailed off to places around the world and returned to his original destination with letters about his travels. The kids learned alot from Stanley and the project spread through out the world in classrooms with kids of all ages.

Through Flat Stanley, students had writing assignments, learned geography and history. The project expands further when the internet becomes part of children's education. They are webpages, blogs, clubs and more filled with Flat Stanley fun. It's a project suitable for kids of all ages, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. It's a wonderful way for kids to stay engaged and learn during the summer months when they're not in school.

Here's 27 adventures Flat Stanley has to share with you. Though my Friday series of Fun with Flat Stanley is currently on hold; it will again become active, so please keep checking in. In June, Flat Stanley hopes to launch a new series, and a special contest for kids of all ages. Flat Stanley knows there are many ways to learn about math, art, music, history, geography and life. Join him.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mom's Iris

Iris up closeThough it didn't appear to be a very pretty start to the day, cold-dark-gray; this is what I saw looking out my window. Mom's Purple Iris's lining 3 fence rows. A few had opened yesterday; but apparently during the night and or early this am they burst forth with this magnificent color display. They were gorgeous. I looked out, then up and waved to Mom. I've had these Iris in my yard for a good many years, but the starts all came from her yard. So, everytime they bloom I am reminded of her. I put on a pair of shoes and went out before my first cup of coffee to get these pictures. You can see the dew still on the flowers. They have a lovely soft scent too.
Purple IrisHere's a cluster of them. They generally bloom a good while. Later, when it's less wet out, I'll cut some to bring indoors so I can enjoy them in and out. I've given lots of starts of these to others to enjoy as well. Aren't they beautiful!

*I post for Z-A challenge

Friday, May 20, 2011

Red Lace Finished...whew

red lace scarfRed lace if you wrap once,
red lace scarfbut long enough to wrap twice and then hang shorter (my method, dressier I think);
close up red lace scarfand a close up.

Red Lace finsihed, just in the nick of time, as it's needed for a party for this evening. I don't like deadlines, sorta takes some of the enjoyment away from working on a project. But, if my work schedule hadn't changed, it wouldn't have been a problem.

I'm happy with the way this turned out and hope the person for whom it's for is happy with it too. Next time I do something along this line, I think I may like to try and work it lengthwise for a little different look, though the idea of casting on that many stitches makes me groan. The longer rows also makes it harder if you get interrupted and have to put it down...still though I think I might like to see how that looks.

Have you ever done a drop stitch scarf lengthwise vs widthwise? If so, how many did you cast on and did you like the result?

Much to do today, so this is a shorter than normal post. Happy wkend all.

Jake in Review

Jake in OSU sweaterThis adorably little Toehead is Jake. He's sporting a knitted Ohio State Sweater I made for him several years back. The sleeves needed to be rolled up, my questimation on the rest was pretty good. Didn't have a pattern, used the basic rectangle approach and knitted this on my Bond.
mowing the yardJake here tromping through the grass with hubby. He loved to pretend he was mowing back in the day. Our plan is when he's old enough to really mow...show him the picture and convince him he still loves it. lol We keep the mower in the shed and we'd get it out and pretend we were mowing when he came to visit.

wrapped in a towelWarming up after pool time here.
drinking V-8Jake getting his veggies drinking V-8. He loved it, knew where I kept it in the fridge and would point and say 8?
exploring in the backyardExploring out in the yard with is binoculars.
blowing bubblesI always kept bubbles on hand which he enjoyed on our deck.
wheelbarrow rideNothing like a wheelbarrow ride through the backyard. I'd take a break in my yard work and he'd climb in.
infant phaseFirst summer, before he got all his curls.

This is my Jake in review picture post. He's various ages here. Hope you enjoy!
J post for the Z-A challenge.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Knitting Circle, by Ann Hood

I read this book poolside while vacationing in Aruba. I need to say I read it right after finishing, The Friday Night Knitting Club. Some of what I thought about both books is probably because I read one right after the other? They seemed very similar to me. Stories of women coming together to get through life by knitting. I liked and disliked parts of both books. Both had tragedies. I didn't look at the dates to see which book was written first; but...while reading this one, The Knitting Circle; I couldn't help but wonder if one was copying the idea from the other.

The premise of this book seemed to be when your life is falling apart, when you can't deal, when you can't socialize--you knit. That knitting in fact can "save" people. Both books have the people in trouble pulling away from people they know and love, from people who love them to find solace is knitting with what initially are strangers. Everyone experience grief differently, I just don't know if agree with the premise. I've seen lots of folks experience grief, differently; I've experienced it myself...but can't say I've witness this type of cooping. I'm not sure I found the book believeable. However, I've been fortunate enough not to experience what I believe to be the worst type of grief possible which is explored in the book.

I do recommend this book. I'm unsure if this is one I purchased at the airport some time back, or one my DD passed along to me. In retrospect, I think I'd like to recommend (which I didn't initially) The Friday Night Knitting Club. I think reading them back to back is not such a good idea and probably soured my initial opinion.

*Removing the word The...am using this am my K post for the Z-A Challenge

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Work in Progress Wed, AND L (z-a challenge)
red lace scarfRed happens to be a favorite color of a certain SIL who's soon to turn 60. Summer scarves need to be light, lacy, open and I think this will serve nicely for all those. I rarely get cold, but still like to wear a summer scarf now and again. When you out in the evening, sometimes the cold of the air conditioning on your neck really makes the arthritis there hurt. So, a nice decorative scarf not only helps that, but eliminates the need for a necklace, and can jazz up an outfit. The yarn is Feza Jewel. I'm using number 8 knitting needles and a double drop stitch to create the open lacy look. I love the look of the yarn, it has a shimmer which makes it a bit dressier I think.
close up red drop stitch scarfHolding this up in front of the window so you can see the lacy openness of it better. Though one truly can't hold a scarf still enough to get a good picture. It always moves. It's just under 3 inches wide.

This is my 4th start for this scarf. I had other yarn in Buckeye colors. I started 3 different times using it, changing needles to try and get it to work...after 3 tries with 2 different stitches and 3 different size needles...I put that yarn away and choose this instead. This is much softer also. The other I think would be scratchy against a neck in summer.

I think if I used this yarn again, I might like it worked lengthwise for a different lace look, but...then again casting on 200 or 250 stitches...maybe not.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nunnery, Sacred Heart of Mary

hill towards cemeteryLooking down the hill you see a cemetery. If you drove through or walked through this cemetery you'd see lots of Polish names. The red brick building on the left is "The Nunnery". My daughter lived there for 2 years. No, she's not a Nun. In 1925 Father Stanislaus Wikarski saw the need for a new Parish in Dundalk (Baltimore, Maryland) to administer to the every growing Polish population in the area. The area had been called Graceland Park Area. The population was growing due to workers needed for Bethlehem Steel, and large numbers of people working and living at Fort Holabird, a military installation.
ParishSuitable land was found and construction began in January of 1926. A school with 9 classrooms, housing for The Sisters, and Church were constructed. In June of 1927, Sisters from Pennsylvania arrived and school began with 5 students the following September. Above picture is the current Parish.
stain glass windowBy 1950, 600 pupils in 11 classrooms were being taught by The Sisters. In 1959 a new Convent was built. Through additional growth, more building was needed. In June of 1965 a new building housing 24 classrooms, a library, nurse facility, faculty work rooms, and offices was constructed. Enrollment stayed high throught the 50's, 60's, and 70's averaging 500-600 students. (above picture is one of the small but pretty stained glass windows in the chapel at The Nunery.)
dining roomIn 1980 Fort Holabird closed, and the decline in enrollment was noticed. Bethlehem steel closed, and futher loss in enrollment took place. By the 90's enrollment barely reached 300. Grade level classes were combined in an effort to save money. In 1999 The Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth left the school and closed the convent. This ended their long dedicated service to the community of 73 years. (large dining room in the convent/nunnery).
ChapelA program similar to Teach America called Operation Teach run by The Catholic Church serves many under privileged areas in Baltimore. In exchange for their education, teachers teach in need based areas for 2 years. They're paid a small stipend and live in community housing like this closed Convent/Nunnery. The teachers pay rent to The Parish. The birth of Catholic Education began in Baltimore, and so the tradition of educating the masses continues.

**This is my N post for Z-A Challenge**

Friday, May 13, 2011

Camo Cotton Cloth

blog badge
camo cotton clothNothing fancy about this 100% cotton camo washcloth, but I like it anyway. It's made using the basic corner to corner method starting with casting on 4. I used size 8 needles. I was hoping to get 2 cloths out of the one skein, but that's not going to happen. The variegated Sugar'n Cream is only 3 oz vs the 4 oz of the solid colors. I used 1.7 oz making this almost 11 inch square cloth and therefore only have 1.3 oz. left.

I cast on 4 as mentioned above, knitted 2 stitches before my yo (yarn over). The label suggested size 7 needles. So maybe if I make one a little smaller and use smaller needles I can get a 2nd cloth? I knit until I had 55 stitches before starting my decrease cause I wanted it sized for a man.

For fun I figured out how many rows and stitches. So, adding 54 + 54 =108 plus the middle row of 55 stitches =109 rows, but then you substract 8 (cause you cast on 4 and bind off with 4 stitches still on the needles), and you're back down to 101 rows. Funny, never really thought about this before, but a group of us were talking about how good it is to have a quick, fast project. Adding the stitches now that's a different story. Adding 4-5-6 etc until you get to 54, then multiplying that by 2 (2 halves), and adding 55 the middle row you get 3,987 stitches. That seems like a lot of stitches for a quick easy project doesn't it. I was surprised. Anyway...sometimes a person's mind wonders. This is probably more then anyone wants or needs to know about the knitting of a corner to corner cotton washcloth...but there you have it.

This will packaged with soap and other personal care items and donated to Bridge and Beyond next month, as 100% cotton will be our focus for the month of June.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Let me Quench your Thirst

2 martini'sNicely chilled Martini's anyone? The martini on the left is a Dirty Martini with Vodka and olives, and the martini on the right is Gin, a dry Gin Martini with a twist for hubby. He likes Bombay. My favorite Vodka is Rain, but that's not easy to come by. We can't get it here, so often instead I use Belvedere.
Lemon Drop MartiniThough sometimes I prefer a Lemon Drop Martini with a nice sugared rim. I make a good Martini if I do say so myself. We've gotten so were disappointed when we order one out, and find ourselves saying they're not as good as mine. lol You really need them to be ice cold, which in a busy bar is hard to do. I chill the glasses in the freezer and really shake the shaker which can give you very small little ice crystals...nice! Now that, quenches your thirst.

What type of Martini's do you like? Do you make them at home or order them out?

**This is my Q post Z-A challenge.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whoa Nellie, it's Wednesday

wi progress wednesday badgeWell, I've made lots of progress on my Poodle Blanket. Believe I've completed 4 sections since my last post and picture and am at the writing of this (scheduled ahead a wee bit), almost at the half way point. Hopefully, by the time you read this I will be on the decreasing half vs the add a stitch half. Somehow, mentally that always makes you feel you're closer then you really are. After all it takes the same amount of time to do the 2nd half as it does the first half...or does it? You do perhaps spend more time on the first half decided when and where to change colors which is less of an issue the 2nd half....though realistically this one isn't x number of rows and it's not precise. No need to do that really with the yarn. I named this one Poodle Blanket since my last post because the colors make me think of the 50's and poodle skirts. And black and white saddle shoes. It's made with 2 different skeins of JoAnn's Sensations Rainbow Boucle. This yarn is listed as a bulky yarn and that always surprises me as it's very light weight to work with. It suggests size 10 needles on the label, but I grabbed size 8. To me 8 is the average, the one you use the bulk of the time with knitted worsted which is what the yarn seems to me like. It might go faster though with size 10.
poodle blanketI've made no headway with the red scarf for The Red Scarf Project since last time. Since it's a long way off, I've laid it aside for awhile. Likewise, the pretty blue with the long 300 stitch cast on..I've not done anymore on it either.
butterfly clothInstead I decided to cast on this pretty yellow butterfly washcloth. I needed a little project to tote around and this seemed like a good idea. The problem I'm having is the cotton fiber does not slid nicely on my Denise Needles. I probably should have grab some old metal needles for this project. It's fine for the regular knitted rows, and or even the regular pearl rows; but the rows where you're purling a purl it seems very tight and hard to move and is hard on my hands.

Both the yellow washcloth and the pink poodle blanket will be donated to those in need at Faith Mission, through Bridge and Beyond.

I've asked several people in their blogs, but haven't yet received a reply...so will ask here. Does anyone know how to make those little graphs you see on people's blogs that show percentage done on any given project? I've wondered that many times and would like to add a couple here, I think. I've seen them on RAV. as well, but am more interested in posting those here on the blog. Please leave your instructions in the comments. That way, others who might be interested will also see them, and I won't delete them in emails or have to go sort through to find them. Thanks

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who is She, SANDY, that is?

me in Hilton Head
Sandy of Sandy's Space, who is she? Well yeah there's a little ditty of a profile on the blog, don't we all have that. (pretty typical picture of me, preparing pasta and wine at hand....I'm sure there's yarn laying somewhere too)

Well, Sandy's a 60 year old who sometimes feel 60 +, though is lucky enough to usually feel much younger. I don't get hung up on age, or birthdays, they're just numbers after all. Numbers don't mean much unless we place great importance on them.

I'm married and when June rolls round this year will be celebrating 39 years. Neither hubby or I have been married to anyone else. We met in high school, though we only had one date then. We were friends, lived on the same street even. He worked with my younger brother the summer after high school and that's when we started dating. Unlike kids today we didn't know and date each other for eons and eons before getting engaged; nor were we engaged for YEARS earning our millions, buying everything on our list before getting married. We dated about 9 months, got engaged in the fall and got married the very next June. We had a very small outdoor wedding. My Mother made my dress and the dress my SIL, Jan wore who was my maid of honor. Though I guess technically she was my matron of honor since she was married. We had one used car between us, and somehow managed. Hubby was working full time evenings, and went to school during the day, while I worked day shift at a local hospital. We were happy, don't think we cared our furniture didn't match, or wasn't new. Don't think we even realized we didn't have much. We were together and that's what mattered to us.

We were married a good long while before we had our one practical perfect daughter. We never vacationed without her, and in the early days we camped mostly because that was affordable, and because we like being outdoors. We hiked, cooked out, and enjoyed lots of family time. We had one TV, and later when she needed one for school 1 computer.

I love good wine, quiet time, pretty scenery, computer time, and naturally knitting and crochet time. I go no where without a project in hand. You never know if you'll have time to do a row or two. I learned to crochet and knit when I was very young. Mom taught me to knit and a lady next door taught me to crochet. I really didn't do anything with either craft until after I was married though.

I'm not an animal person. Many animals scare me. I've always assumed part of that came from being attacked by a large dog when I was a kid. Also, probably too the number of people I saw badly mauled when I worked for a plastic surgeon from their family pets didn't help. Though we had dogs when I was kid growing up, and hubby and I had 2 cats when we were younger.....so, we have had pets; but not now.

I love to travel, and almost always visit historic locations when we do travel. I love learning who was there before me. I enjoy doing genealogy, though due to library cut backs don't do as much of that as I used to. I like spending time in and photographing gravestones for the same reason, to learn history and genealogy. Most cemeteries are such peaceful pretty places, it's also a good place to walk.

I began this blog back in August of 2005, though blogged in other venues prior to that. Some of you might remember aol had blogs, though I couldn't get anyone to blog with me then. Everyone I knew that had aol was afraid to blog. I blogged for awhile on msn spaces and yahoo's 360; until both became irritating with things not working. That's when I found a home here on Blogspot. I didn't blog as much then as I do now, and have deleted all my earlier blog posts here. I now have 3 blogs here on blogspot, Traveling Suitcase, and Bridge and Beyond. Obviously Traveling Suitcase is a travel blog, Bridge and Beyond is dedicated to helping homeless through knitting and crocheting. And now, perhaps you know a little bit more about me, the lady called Sandy.

This is my S post, Z-A Challenge

Friday, May 06, 2011

Oddball Baby Blanket now a FO

FO Friday post

cupid oddball finishedCupid, the Oddball Baby Blanket is now complete and will soon be on it's way, traveling once again. It will be heading to Minnesota, and after being wash on it's way with many others to a hospital for babies in need. I blogged about this blanket, the process and the purpose for my WIPW HERE.
close up of the border for oddball blanketHere's a close up of the border which is comprised of a row of sc, followed by a row of dc cross stitches, followed by a row of shells made with 5 dc. I believe it does pull the blanket together a bit, not as much as I had hoped. I see the yellow (Xanthic), but the blue speaks aren't as visible as I would have liked. I like it better finished then when I began, but it's still not a favorite for me.

Items to work on: Afghan for Bridge and Beyond, Washcloth for Bridge and Beyond, Scarf for...maybe myself?, Scarf for Red Scarf Project, but have the urge to start something new....I'm seeing and hearing some yarn calling out to me. And, it's calling pretty loudly, so don't know if I'll be able to pretend I don't hear it much longer.

**Z-A V post is HERE
***U post is HERE

Thursday, May 05, 2011

So much more then a Washcloth

A washcloth, really...you're blogging about a washcloth? Yes, I am. The finished washcloth in pretty spring colors was a gift. I belong to Oddball, and in fact blogged about in yesterday, (scroll back for the post). As we send around our knitted blankets that benefit charity; we generally include (though it's optional) a little gift for the next person doing the knitting. I got this wonderful washcloth from Cheryl. Cheryl is a fellow Ohioan which is cool, and if you've not used a hand knit or crocheted cotton wash cloth, you really don't know what you're missing. They are fabulous.

Hand knitted or crochet washcloths are both new and old. They are new and or retro, because; they really are quite old. People used to make these all the time, and suddenly they've become popular again. People in the crafting communities have decided maybe Grandma knew what she was talking about after all. They're very nice on your skin. They can be made square or round, some folks like to use them in the shower and some in the kitchen. There are several brands of 100% cotton yarn, but probably the most common and widely known and used is Lily, the original Sugar'n Cream 100% Cotton made in Canada. The new larger skeins are normally 3 oz, and measure 150 yards.

If you like to use body wash, you truly only need a dab if you use one of these wonderful cotton washcloths.

The 2nd one pictured, The camo one that's on the needle, well... I decided after getting Cheryl's gift I hadn't made one in awhile and nabbed some camo cotton. I'll be making as many as I can from the one skein and all will be donated to Bridge and Beyond.
Bridge and Beyond is one of my other blogs that focuses on helping homeless and those in need. Please hop over, always love visitors. Homeless people live in the elements. Do you have any idea how good it feels to take a bath, a shower, to wash up? To do that with a hand knit or crocheted washcloth is something easy to do at our end; and very meaningful at the other end. Skin tired, cold, wrinkled from the elements deserves to be washed with a hand knit especially for you cloth. Hand made shows them someone does care. We knit and crochet to warm those in need through Bridge and Beyond.

A simple washcloth with a bar of soap, is so much more then a washcloth and soap.

**A-Z Challenge W post
****V post CLICK HERE

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Oddball, Xanthic ?

oddball cupid before borderThis baby blanket is knitted, each strip/section by a different knitter. The blanket travels as each person adds the section much like a progressive dinner moving about. This OddBall Baby Blanket has traveled through Washington, California, Hawaii, Wyoming, Minnesota and to Ohio. This group, Oddball Blankets is fun to belong to because of the variety. Some groups make baby blankets, others full size blankets, others pet blankets. Each travels in a prescribed geographic area. Though the group I belong to is several groups merged so our geographic area is quite large. Doing a section is a nice way to try a new stitch. The end result is heart warming in that all blankets go to charity. The other nice point of the group is using up your stash, using up your odds and ends. It doesn't take much yarn to knit a section. Blankets are all named and knitters are to choose colors appropriate for the theme. We sign up in fact for the blankets we want based on the yarn we have on hand and what goes with what.

This blanket is Titled "Cupid". When I signed up I thought, great I have lots of reds and pinks. Beyond that, it occurred to me people might use white or purple as well. I had plan A and plan B. I knit and crochet and so was added for the border patrol. Border Patrol people crocheted the edge. I had a great variegated laid aside with pinks and reds I thought would probably really tie into the theme and pull the blanket together. Later, I also noticed I had a 2nd variegated with pinks and purples...which is also romantic and "Cupid" like to me. Thus, I was ready with plan A and B. Looking at the blanket above with blue and yellow, neither of preconceived ideas were going to work. Searching through my rather large stash, I had nothing that pulled these colors together. Shopping trip! Normally I love shopping for yarn, but that sorta defeats one of the 3 things I like about the group.

border in the worksXanthic? Yes you're saying the word is in the title....what is it? According to Rgb scales #237 and #237/9, it's also listed on the Hex list as EDED09. I've read it described as the color of ripening lemons, and the color in eggs. When looking at a sample of the color, it seemed to me to have a tinge of green? Now, that could be due to my computer screen; but...that's my current take on it. See the yellow in the variegated above? And don't forget the 2 blue sections.
cupid in the worksHere then is my work in progress using Red Heart's Fiesta to try and pull some blue and some Xanthic into the border, hoping to pull this blanket together. The color is called Harvest #6332. Firstly let me say, I hate this yarn and do not recommend it. It's not wrapped well and separates easily when being crocheted (as bad as Caron's Simply Soft). It might be better knitted? Using a cross stitch here to add a little bit of a lace look to it...Cupid after all would be frilly, lacy, romantic. Or at least my idea of.

Check back on Friday for FO, hoping to get this done and in the mail. Thus far I have to say, it's not one of my favorite projects. I don't like yarn I'm using, and I'm not feeling the theme of Cupid.

**Z-A, Z post, badge in sidebar
***WIPW post, badge in sidebar

Y Post Here

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Yellow Memories Mom

Mom' s yellow shawlI knitted this yellow shawl for Mom's 80th birthday.

While you can't see her well, here she is unwrapping it.
Mom holding up her shawlYellow was her favorite color. As I type this blog post I am wearing this yellow shawl. I'm not sure she ever got the chance to wear it, except perhaps while watching TV at home. She got ill not too long after this happy day. Between several surgeries on her knee, being in rehab, falling and hitting her head, having back problems, prior to her emergency surgery which caused her a long 7 week hospital stay (mostly in ICU), and ultimately her death, she didn't get to wear this out. Air conditioning on her shoulders was bothersome and thus I thought this knitted shawl in her favorite color was just the ticket. She liked yellow because she said it was a happy color, the color of the sun and warmth. She often laughed and said happy people like yellow.

yellow crocheted sweaterThough this picture has faded over time, this is another yellow item I crafted for her. I crocheted this yellow sweater long ago for Mom as a Christmas Gift. She had small rounded shoulders and so a raglan sleeve style sweater made a nice fit for her. I loved this pattern. I remember being frustrated when I realized I was going to run short of the yellow yarn with the same dye lot. So I decided to do the red and white striping in the yoke area. I remember being truly excited my stripes can together so well. This was an awesome pattern. Sadly, I've lost this pattern and would dearly love to find it again. I remember the cover well. This sweater was in solid light mint greenish blue on the cover. The sweater was made with 2 ply sports yarn and the stitches were mostly good old double crochets with the ribbing being back stitch single crochets. Does anyone remember this pattern? Does anyone have it per chance? I've looked high and low at yarn stores to replace it. I don't think it's in print anymore. It was one of those leaflet types with about 6 patterns in it, not a book.

Mom in yellow DressYes Mom, LOVED yellow. And she wore it well. Some folks have trouble wearing yellow. This was taken at my youngest nephews rehearsal dinner. She so loved yellow she asked to be buried in this yellow dress. She worried a bit about that, saying yellow wasn't the color most folks wore at their funerals; but she loved yellow and wore it well. It's been just slightly over 2 years that we lost Mom, so I sit here wearing your yellow shawl remember you like this, with a smile on your face.

**I've added a tab across the top of my blog, as I continue my alphabetical memories of Mom**
***My Y post for May Z-A Challenge***

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Happy May 1st (Zinnias)

Zinnias a flower I used to plant often, as did my Mother. Wonder why I got out of the habit? Funny, as I think back so did she. Zinnias are annuals, though they do come in both seeds and plants; most often you see them in seed. Perhaps that's why we both changed our habits. Annuals require more work then perineals do. Seeds though cheaper require more work then seedlings/plants. We planted seeds back in the day. There are many varieties, many sizes, many colors and once they grow, quite easy to care for.

These make wonderful flower beds whether you choose a mix as above or all one color and all one variety. There are small shorter single varieties that make lovely edges, the larger double and giant flowers are great to cut. Zinnias will continue to flower after you cut and bring in doors. In addition, they will continue to bloom if you dead head regularly. They'll branch and be more bushy if you pinch them back. They attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds to you yard, as well as beneficial insects. Indoor bouquets do best if you cut the flower blossom before it's fully opened.

I live in planting zone 5, which means seeds could be sowed indoors as early as late in the month of March; or sowed outdoors in late April. Burpee suggest planting in full sun after the threat of frost is mostly past. Plant seeds 12 inches apart with 1/4 inch soil covering them. Water frequently keeping them moist during seedling stage. Generally you'll see your seedlings within 7-10 days, at which time you're suppose to thin them to 18-24 inches apart. I can't say I ever did that, and doubt Mom did either. Who wants to pull out a plant that's trying to grow? Not me.

I've not thought about these flowers in some time, and need to review my yard to see if there's a place I might like to plant them again. I do love to attract Butterflies.
And Happy Birthday Chuck, my oldest brother. Shall I pick a bunch of flowers for you?