Monday, June 30, 2014

Wordless Monday! Hats Ahoy

Just showin' Call me Michelle who bagged the preppie pink and green hat.

Credit: Knitted Babes by Claire Garland.  Great patterns, easy to follow and fun to make.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hats for the Fourth

The Dollivers announce that Boud presents her compliments to the blogistas, but is unfortunately unable to write this blogpost on account of being obliged to knit up a storm.

We Hatless Dollivers, what it took to get us to this point, pleas, arguing, shouting, picketing.  Finally the outdoor picketing did it, fear of what the neighbors might think, you know, about sadly neglected Dollivers in need of summer hats.  Except for one, of course, but we're not talking about Blondie Firstborn.

We even had to scramble up the yarn, note our nice color choices, perfect for summer lying around, which happens to be our plan for the season.  This is not, as Boud bitterly commented, payback for bringing all those homeless bears into our house and our rocker, no, it's simple justice.  Hats for One, Hats for All, we say!

So since Boud pointed out we were  using her knitting needles for picket signs, we had to disband and let her get on with the casting on.  Four Hats Ready for the Fourth, we say.  You'll be lucky, Ds, she says.  Well, we'll see.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Biography of a stitcher/dressmaker

I made a great buy at the thriftie yesterday, after unloading a carload of items for other people (!) thinking I should be rewarded for that effort, cough, cough. Click to see better.

Two clear toolbox dealies full of stitchers' and dressmakers'  items, all the way from seam rippers to tailor's chalk, zippers, bias binding, many reels of thread, including silk, and darning thread (!) machine needles, handsewing needles of all kinds, huge to very tiny, pins, a collection of thimbles, elastic of all kinds, hemming iron-on stuff, an awl, tiny German made scissors, other small tools I have to figure out probably related to sewing machines.

And among them little items like a book of matches from 1955, an ancient ruler with an ad from a long defunct local company, and a Jewish prayer for travelers, in a tiny scroll inside a glass tube hung on a leather lace, I suppose to wear in transit. I will handle that with great reverence.  I'm guessing that these boxes are from an old lady's house, and I decided then and there to pass them on to good homes, including my own. 

So I sorted one toolbox, filled it with threads, machine spools, everything that was duplicated, all the zippers, ribbons, and so on, and put it on freecycle.  In less than an hour it was gone.  And a waiting list in case it ever happens again!  who said home stitching and sewing were defunct?  not around here, anyway, I'm happy to report.

It occurred to me that these boxes were a kind of biography of the owner, her faith, her general age group, her thriftiness, her skills, and her respect for the materials. No tangles, knots, all were clean if old, all the thread properly wound onto the bobbins. I bet she made underwear, since the fine silk twist was in peach and pink colors. Which would make her pretty skilled at her work.  I hope she knows, wherever she is, that her stuff continues to live.

A long time ago I did a series of drawings, biographies of friends as seen on their desks, all the touches that made them them, and it was surprising how much it revealed.  You could do the same for car trunks, too.  Amazing what shows up in there!  my own car has long been a traveling art studio, so there's no knowing what you'll find.  And when I lived in a smaller space with a fireplace and no storage for wood, my car trunk carried my supply about.  Useful for anchoring my light car on ice, and for keeping up my supply.

So here's another index to who we are, in our stitching supplies.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Solstice on the patio

Here's the patio on the summer solstice, replete (been reading Joyce) with plants growing in the ground, herbs in pots, houseplants, all kinds of items. 

 It's full of links and memories this year, couple of plants, the Norfolk Island Pine and the ivy rescued from Karen's house.  Then there are other plants from another neighbor with a plea to give them intensive care.  

The sansevieria is in fact the property of the former wife of a friend, who heard about my patio and shipped her plant several hours south via friend's truck, to go to camp here and recover from what looks like severe deprivation. 

The herbs are in part from my farmshare, and the gaillardia is growing in the ground, in front of some other yellow flower whose name escapes me.  The pink caladium is in a pot, property of a friend.

Even gardening can get people intensive.  Funny how that happens.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bloomsday 2014

Once again, dear blogistas, I draw your attention to the date and the month, and announce that I'm celebrating Bloomsday once again.

If you're unfamiliar with this literary event, go here and you'll find out what I'm banging on about.

This year my ceremony consisted of uploading Calibre to my new computer -- that's the site that enables you to transfer Gutenberg Program priceless books to your Kindle -- and proceeded to locate and upload Ulysses, the Joyce novel in question.  

The picture is of page one of said novel, the page nearly everyone has read even if they didn't get any further.  This being a dense, difficult and hysterically funny book, but a very long one.

So, since I don't have to hold a honking great tome in my hand, I will proceed to read this over the summer.  At least that's the plan. James Joyce would have been amazed, I expect.  About the Kindle, I mean.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Bear Garden

In the course of helping clear K's house, I kept on finding bears which the family were putting into the freecycle area, so I figured I had to rescue them.  And ended up with quite a crew, as you see.

I did a gangshot of them occupying the spare room bed, then three sections so you can see a bit better.  And there are two dogs which smuggled themselves in somehow. One barks when you squeeze him, too. They may join the Dolliver kennels.

Now here's the thing: I wondered about naming the bears, so they won't leave unless another home urgently needs a bear, but I'm told this is Not Done in the best bear circles.  You're supposed to wait till the  bear tells you his name.  I dunno, that might be a while.  

Anyway, take a look, blogistas, and if any name just jumps at you for a given bear, I'll take it that the bear made you do it, and we'll go from there.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Home and away

Before I set out for another stitching adventure, see here

I found a dear little toad on the path studying the landscape

 Always encouraging to see toads and frogs flourishing.

Monday, June 9, 2014


Ravelry, the fiber website I haunt, has a massive number of participants, and I just found out how to do a little keyboard dance to find out my own number, as in when I joined.

So I have a new ID:  Raveler #138470

Just sayin'.  This just came down a few days ago, and already there's a hierarchy developing, very good humored, about newbies and old timers!  well over a million now, and I'm more or less a middle timer.

Other newsflashes:  here's what went down yesterday.

A poignant note here:  the Artist in Residence tapestry, which the link shows at the final moments of its completion, was started three months ago.  In fact, just after I warped it up, we got the news of Karen's diagnosis, and I thought, well, I'd better be working than worrying, so I embarked on it anyway.  Saturday was her funeral.  Sunday I put the final stitches into the work.  So it seems to have bracketed the last part of her life.  She saw it in progress, came to the opening at which it was one of the exhibits.  I can dedicate this to her, aka this is all your doing, Karen! shaking fist heavenward. She would fall down laughing at that, actually.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Freecycling and the consolation of teddybears

The last few days for family and friends of Karen, have been a blur of organizing, my part of it being a frantic push to freecycle items from her very crowded house, her family having limited time to clear the place before their own lives have to be attended to.  

Here's just one sample of the many bags of items I selected, sorted, categorized, listed on freecycle, and with rapid exchanges of emails  arranged to pass on to freecyclers who were delighted to receive them.  There's a lot of admin. work behind freecycling, a little realized fact.


Tired from all the work, back a bit achy today, but it does feel better to be doing helpful things.  Many of the items are going, via a saintly freecycler,  to a very struggling Hispanic church group whose members can barely provide for their own basics despite working, so Karen would have been very much in favor of that gift, to give them high quality items, shoes and clothing, blankets, they can use right away.  And some very good toys for their kids, too.  She had nephews and nieces, and kept her house stocked with toys for their visits, so they're now in new little hands.

And I rescued a couple of struggling houseplants from her house and they're on my patio in intensive care right now.

Bittersweet.  It's all bittersweet.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

White Rabbits

Late May I walked the labyrinth for my friend who left us a couple of days ago, and for all of us.  You'll see the Tibetan prayer flags flying, rather low at the moment, since squirrels do acrobatics on them and you have to duck your head as you pass under the flags.

I found a little piece of mica on the path, and put it in the middle of the labyrinth, as a token.  You can see it bottom right on a piece of white rock.

And now, White Rabbits, for a new month. If anyone knows why we say that, let us know.  I've no idea.  Some people say rabbit, rabbit instead, but that's just wrong!