Saturday, October 31, 2015

All Hallows' Eve

Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.  Over the millennia the holiday transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.

Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots.[31][32] Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that "there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived".[33] Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end".[31]Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar and was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.[34][35] It was held on or about 31 October – 1 November and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year by the Brittonic Celts; for example Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain and Calan Gaeaf are mentioned in some of the earliest Irish and Welsh literature. The names have been used by historians to refer to Celtic Halloween customs up until the 19th century,[36] and are still the Gaelic and Welsh names for Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Faster I Go--The Behinder I Get!

Here is the October pattern for Knitted Lace Year Long Scarf--I haven't even knit August or September's pattern!  but, here is October and guess what?  In two days it will be November!  I'm so behind..............................................................................

#10: Cloverleaf Eyelet Cable Pattern (multiple of 5 + 2): 40 beads and 48 sts total
Row 1(RS): +P2, YO, SK2P, YO; rep from + to 2 sts from marker, P2.
Rows 2, 4, 6(WS): +K2, P3; rep from + to 2 sts from marker, K2.
Row 3: +P2, K1, YO, SSK; rep from + to 2 sts from marker, P2.
Row 5: +P2, K3; rep from + to 2 sts from marker, P2.
Repeat above six rows three times more (4 times total), then repeat Rows 1 and 2 again.
Knit five rows. On the next row, K3, sm, K20, K2TOG, K20, sm, K3. (47 sts total).
Row 1(RS): +P2, YO, (B)SK2P, YO; rep from + to 2 sts from marker, P2.
Rows 2, 4, 6(WS): +K2, P3; rep from + to 2 sts from marker, K2.
Row 3: +P2, K1, YO, SSK; rep from + to 2 sts from marker, P2.
Row 5: +P2, K3; rep from + to 2 sts from marker, P2.
Repeat above six rows twice more (4 times total), then repeat Rows 1 and 2 again.
Knit five rows. On the next row, K3, sm, K20, K2TOG, K20, sm, K3. (47 sts total).

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Love From The Past

I'm still struggling through Mother's paperwork, photos, books, and her deemed treasures.  There are many photos that I pause over and remember when; then there are those photos--I don't have any knowledge of who the person is--makes good sense to print on the back who, what, when!  But, that didn't happen on most of the photos.
Here's Grandmother Bailey at a young age--have no idea when this was taken.
Here she is in 1962--doesn't she look like a grandmother?!

Anyway, I came across two handwritten pages that my Grandmother Bailey (we called her Granny) had written. I had no grandfathers in my life so I loved my Granny double!  She had an interesting life--it would make a great movie.............................married at 12 (yes, age 12!) , birthed 8 babies, three died before the age of 2; her 35 yr old husband was crushed under a piano that was being moved with the aid of his youngest son.  In spite of her trails and tribulations, she lived to be 89. What a life!
Here is photo of her handwritten note and here's what it said:

The Seniors Lament
Just a line to say I'm living and not among the dead.
tho I'm getting more forgetful and mixed up in the head
For some reason can't remember when I stand at the foot of the stairs.
Should I go up for something?  or did I just come down from there?
And looking in the refrig so often, my mind is filled with doubt
Have I just put food away or have I come to take some out?
And there are times when it's dark out, with my night cap on my head
I don't know if I'm retiring or just getting out of bed.  
So if it's my time to write you, there's no need of getting sore,
I may think I have written and don't want to be a bore.
Bu, please, just remember I do love you and wish you were here
and now it's nearly mailing time, so I must say
good bye dear.
Now I stand beside the mailbox with a face very red.
Instead of mailing you my letter, 
I have opened it instead. 

When I have more time, I plan to scan all these old photos, try to figure out the year and maybe, the location so they can be saved for generations to come.
Love your grandmother and talk to her--get her life history!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Crochet Charts?

I am very familiar with knitting charts.  There are many software programs that will assist you in charting, but I wasn't aware that there are charts or software programs for crochet design.
I'm fascinated by Iilla Bjorn's Blog.  Although I don't do much crochet,
she has been inspiration to pick up the hook and try it again.
Iilla has this interesting blog post about charting for crochet design

Here is one of the charts

And the key to the design elements

Here is how it would look in yarn.  I love working with charts for my knitting so
now I can find charts for crochet and keep up with the work easily

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Two "Orphan" Quilts Come Home....................................

What a treat! Two of my 'orphan' block quilts come home from the quilter Judy M where they had resided all summer long.  But, it was worth the wait.  You may remember them from Spring posts
This is one of my favorites--and I used a house fabric for the backing--one small problem, you can't see the quilting pattern on the back.

I think I'll add wheels (even though Judy quilted wheels) to the train--otherwise, it looks as though they 
are riding on air!
The second orphan block quilt is more hodge podge blocks--but was fun
to play with.

some nice quilting features--some of these applique blocks
were from a block exchange about 15 years ago--so, it
pays to have aged blocks.

I used a plain backing fabric, so the quilting shows up perfectly!
Now, if only I had some more orphan blocks to work with...............

Monday, October 26, 2015

Who Was Fannie Farmer Anyway?

Another one of Mother's cookbooks was this one...........

but I wondered who was this Fannie Farmer anyway?  So, internet here we come..........................

Fannie Merritt Farmer (23 March 1857 – 15 January 1915) was an American culinary expert whose Boston Cooking-School Cook Book became a widely used culinary text.  Fannie Farmer was born on 23 March 1857 in Boston.  Although she was the oldest of four daughters, born in a family that highly valued education and that expected young Fannie to go to college, she suffered a paralytic stroke at the age of 16 while attending High School.  Fannie could not continue her formal academic education for several years, she was unable to walk and remained in her parents' care at home. During this time, Farmer took up cooking, eventually turning her mother's home into a boarding house that developed a reputation for the quality of the meals it served.
At the age of 30, Farmer, now walking (but with a substantial limp that never left her), enrolled in the Boston Cooking School.  Farmer trained at the school until 1889 during the height of the domestic science movement, learning what were then considered the most critical elements of the science, including nutrition and diet for the well, convalescent cookery, techniques of cleaning and sanitation, chemical analysis of food, techniques of cooking and baking, and household management. Farmer was considered one of the school's top students. She was then kept on as assistant to the director. In 1891, she took the position of school principal.

Fannie published her best-known work, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, in 1896. Her cookbook introduced the concept of using standardized measuring spoons and cups, as well as level measurement.  A follow-up to an earlier version called Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, published by Mary J. Lincoln in 1884, and some criticized her for using some of the recipes, the book under Farmer's direction eventually contained 1,850 recipes, from milk toast to Zigaras à la Russe. Farmer also included essays on housekeeping, cleaning, canning and drying fruits and vegetables, and nutritional information
The book's publisher (Little, Brown & Company) did not predict good sales and limited the first edition to 3,000 copies, published at the author's expense.[2] The book was so popular in America, so thorough, and so comprehensive that cooks would refer to later editions simply as the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and it is still available in print over 100 years later.
Farmer provided scientific explanations of the chemical processes that occur in food during cooking, and also helped to standardize the system of measurements used in cooking in the USA. Before the Cookbook's publication, other American recipes frequently called for amounts such as "a piece of butter the size of an egg" or "a teacup of milk." Farmer's systematic discussion of measurement — "A cupful is measured level ... A tablespoonful is measured level. A teaspoonful is measured level." — led to her being named "the mother of level measurements."
Farmer left the Boston Cooking School in 1902 and created Miss Farmer's School of Cookery.[1] She began by teaching gentlewomen and housewives the rudiments of plain and fancy cooking, but her interests eventually led her to develop a complete work of diet and nutrition for the ill, titled Food and Cookery for the Sick and Convalescent which contained thirty pages on diabetes. Farmer was invited to lecture at Harvard Medical School and began teaching convalescent diet and for the sick that she believed she would be remembered chiefly by her work in that field, as opposed to her work in household and fancy cookery. Farmer understood perhaps better than anyone else at the time the value of appearance, taste, and presentation of sickroom food to ill and wasted people with poor appetites; she ranked these qualities over cost and nutritional value in importance.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stitching a Christmas Wreath

I love to stitch--that's when I have time or should say when I take the time!  I'm just a little behind on finding this free stitching pattern from Elefantz's website.  There is still time to download the free patterns.  I'm thinking there are many ways this little wreath can be used--I've saved mine on her Craftsy page--free till October 31!
Such sweet stitching!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Falling Leaves

Oh, Yeah!  It's fall when I can work up a few dishcloths in the shape of fall leaves!
Here is an interesting pattern that makes use of that stash yarn

Here's a free pattern from Country Lane Quilts

and here is tutorial on one of my favorite fall patterns--the Maple leaves!
I have a couple quilts that feature this pattern--easy peazy to make and 
so colorful!
Happy Fall stitching!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Treadling the Treadle

Okay, it's about time I did some spinning!  It's relaxing--once I begin--it's just getting
into the rhythm of treadling that treadle.
I have this lovely silk/wool blend from Ewephoric Fibers that needs to be ready to finish up
my year long knitted lace scarf--
I will do singles and ply with another single spindle spun silk
So, let's begin!  I set up my I-Pad, set it to movie mode, find a comfy
chair and treadle.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"She Came To The Valley"

I shoved this book into one of the boxes with the old recipe books--
 remembered mother being so excited that a movie was being made in the Valley
and she and her sister were going to be extras--no pay though, just the experience of 
being in a movie.

I pulled the book out the other day and opened the first page.
There was a sweet note from the author of the book, dated August 18, 1977

and on all the other pre-pages, there were signatures from the actors (Scott Glenn and Dean Stockwell), other extras, directors and various sundry movie people!  

She certainly had a wonderful time being a part of Valley history.
I also remember that she and my aunt worked diligently  on their costumes--nothing in return
but a chance to be in the movie.
I can imagine that their days were filled with dust, hot temperatures, hours of just
sitting--all for the glory of being an extra

I found a photo of Mother (left) and Aunt Sue (right) all dolled up in
their handmade costumes.  I think of the filming time and can't believe
they wore those costumes during the heat of the summer--"She Came To The Valley"
was one of the highlights of mother's life.
I found a DVD copy of the movie recently, but I didn't watched it--
I sent it to Aunt Sue--maybe, she'll watch it with her grandkids
and they'll share some memories of mother and Aunt Sue in their big adventure!
For me, I think I'll read the book!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


No one was more surprised than I was with this find!
Why did she save this?

I remember these from 1960's when I was in nursing school--
kidney shaped

why this one was saved--well, pushed back in the closet, buried beneath towels--don't know!
Mother had been in the hospital many times and she always took home those plastic basins, but she didn't save those.
I couldn't find a date on the box
I looked for the basin on the internet but no luck--nothing like this one--
you can buy stainless steel basins.
Oh, well...............
what to do with it now??

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Things You Find

We are still on the road to find what Mother had stored in her closets......................
This has been interesting to say the least!
Pull out a few towels and then you reach in and find
Who ever in my family played this instrument?  I can only guess it was one of my
brothers, as I know I didn't!  Maybe, Mother played it--no reason to ask her, she doesn't remember
one day to the next.
Then you read Wikipedia description.......

The melodica, also known as the pianica, blow-organ, key-flute or key-ute, is a free-reed instrument similar to the melodion and harmonica. It has a musical keyboard on top, and is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Pressing a key opens a hole, allowing air to flow through a reed. The keyboard is usually two or three octaves long. Melodicas are small, light, and portable. They are popular in music education, especially in Asia.
The modern form of the instrument was invented by Hohner in the 1950s, though similar instruments have been known in Italy since the 19th century.
The melodica was first used as a serious musical instrument in the 1960s by composers such as Steve Reich, in his piece titled Melodica (1966) and jazz musician Phil Moore, Jr., on his 1969 Atlantic Records album Right On. Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal developed a technique consisting of singing while playing the melodica, resulting in a wide tonal and harmonic palette. It is associated with Jamaican dub and reggae musician Augustus Pablo who popularized it in the 1970s. 
Well, you have it!  Popular in the 1950-1970! The time period of our household!  Maybe, one of my brothers can clarify why Mother would save such a thing.
come back tomorrow to see what else we pulled out of mother's closets.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Generation Gap!

Yes, we are still working to distribute mother's household items.  I don't want to give away anything that can be used by one of our family members.  So, as we cleaned out shelves, pantry, drawers, I would take a photo and text family--"Do you want this?"

I found a whole stack of Corning Ware in the cabinet, so texted granddaughter--"Do you want some Corning Ware?"  Her text back was "What's Corning Ware?"  WHAT?  You don't know Corning Ware?  I was shocked!  Then I thought--she's only 25 why would she know Corning Ware?

Corning Ware has changed over the century--the sets are more colorful and the smart blue flowers have been removed--and yes, there was a snap on-off handle!  
Okay, another one of those generation gaps--but This Corning Ware set will be loved and used!
And No, she didn't want the Corning Ware!  

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mid-Century Cookbooks

Here is the stack of Better Homes and Garden cookbooks that were in Mother's pantry.  Mother wasn't the world's greatest cook to say the least!  She tried but after my father died in 1974, she was cooking for only one.  

I found only one handwritten recipe on a separate sheet--
"Babe's Italian Spaghetti"
Hmmm, wonder who Babe is or was?
I have been thumbing through all Mother's books since I've heard tales of seniors putting
money--so far, haven't found money, but this recipe could be considered 'golden'!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cooking From The Ages

It has been a long haul--we are cleaning up mother's house.  She is in Assisted Living facility and we know and she knows there is no way she can live alone.  There is so much "stuff" to sift through.  I stacked her cookbooks in one section of the house till I had more dedicated time to read through them.

Here was one of her books--of course, it is mid-century (don't you just love that word?!), printed in 1956--even though I lived that period of time, I don't ever remember this book.

On the first page, she printed this.........
so I turned to age 293

Have cooking habits changed since this book was printed?

I think I might try this recipe--sounds interesting.  IN fact, I might take these "mid-century" recipes and update them--that's when I start cooking again!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Let's Do a Dragon Wing Cowl!

The Knit Dragon Wing Cowl uses dropped stitches that are picked up and re-knit in bunches to create fun ridges, and simple increases to give it shape. This pattern looks more challenging than it is. The trick is to make sure you count, and to not drop the stitches until the pattern says to! This pattern was inspired by the way I draped the Dropped and Found scarf in one of the photos. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Contemporary Handweavers of Houston Annual Sale

The note says it all!  The best of CHH members work will be on display, just waiting for you! Check out the sale info here
Once again, more than 100 will be for sale, but remember they go fast, so don't wait until the last minute. There may not be any left. This year there's a limit of 20 per customer (Not that anyone ever bought 20, but you never know.) Handwoven and assembled by many members - Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Crocheters--Here's One For You!

Check out these nifty warm crocheted mittens!  Super Cool!
Designed by Busting Stitches
Happy hooking y'all!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Another SS Knit Chance

This pattern uses two colors of contrasting yarn, and is worked in a slip stitch mosaic pattern. This is a great technique to use multiple colors and is and easy way to play with color in your project. You only work with one color at a time!  I love FLG--Fingerless Gloves!  And October is a perfect time to begin working up this pattern.  I have tons of left over sock yarns--and this seems to be a good use for those.
 Want to join in?  The pattern is Apex, designed Snapper Knits--and of course, my favorite--a mystery!  The pattern is free for the month of October.  Wish I had a photo--but you know, it is a mystery!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Math? Who Needs Math?

Math?  Many a kid will ask me why they need math--well, it use to be hard for me to give them a logical answer because when I was their age, I was asking that question too!  But, now I can give the perfect answer!
You use math in every day life--and as a fiber artist, you certainly make good  use of your math skills--just wish I had studied harder in those younger years.
What many of these individuals fail to realize is that math is an integral part of design. In fact, concepts such as patterns,symmetry, positive and negative space, arrangement, and sequence that are so important to design all have a basis in mathematics.  Fractals are repeating geometric patterns that combine to form a whole. In nature, fractals make up leaves, snowflakes, geological structures, and ice crystals. You can even slice open an orange to see the repeating shape of the fluid filled pulp. These are also fractals.

I rather like to weave using this Fibonacci technique--Let's play a quick game. Take a look at the following sequence of numbers and try to determine which number comes next. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55...
If you guessed 89, you are absolutely correct. The pattern in these numbers is a Fibonacci sequence. Take a look at the numbers again. Each number after the sixteen is the sum of the two numbers prior to that. To begin a Fibonacci sequence, you just need to 'seed' the sequence with a starter number and then double that number to start the pattern.
Designers use fractals in everything from clothing design to website backgrounds. Zigzags and paisley are two examples of the ways in which fractals can make their way into design. Here is an example of fractals used for design purposes.  So, you do need MATH!  It can make lovely art pieces!

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Slip Stitch Stripey Free Sock Pattern

Here’s an easy and free sock pattern I worked up for daughter in law Cindee! These fun cuff down socks use the Tweed Rib Stitch Pattern to add a lively texture. The slipped stitches create fun little dashes and dots of color. This pattern would work well to break up unwanted pooling in variegated yarns. I love the effect with self striping yarns!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Welded Quilt?

Little Miss Shabby is hosting a free tutorial for this interesting quilt--Welded is the name!  Although set on point the pattern is easy to follow and will showcase any lovely fabrics you have.

This is the third in the series.  Check out another one of the free quilt tutorials and pattern.
Birchen Quilt

Friday, October 9, 2015

Today We Celebrate--------ME!

Today is my birthday!  But, I'm not telling you how old I am--Let's just say, I'm older than The President, Younger than Edgar Allen Poe-- I was a war baby!  Oh, chuckle all you want--but I was born before WWII ended.  The story goes that my dad, who was stationed in France, named me----I think somewhere along there--maybe nine months before, he had a leave!  Anyway, I'm a war baby!

So today, I'm celebrating me, myself and I!  There will be no big fanfares in the world!  No tooting horns!  Just a quiet time--celebrating the fact I'm here!

So, in honor of my birthday--please celebrate yourself!  Take the time to think about your life!
Then if you have a moment--silently, wish me a Happy Birth-Day!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Knitting Without Needles???

Can you believe--no needles?!  Well, why not? 
Kids have knit with their fingers for years.  Why not knit with your arms or fingers using chunky yarns.  This isn't a review of the book--haven't seen it, but just a concept that might work 
in a pitch if you don't have your knitting needles handy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Check This Out--Nick Cave's Sound Suits

Many moons ago, I was privileged to see and "hear" Nick Cave's magic exhibit!  At that time, I didn't have the foggiest idea that Nick would be the artist of the era..................Now, there is a stationery exhibit of his sound suits at the Cranbrook Art Museum.

If you have a chance to see this exciting exhibit--take it!  I'm happy I was able to see the Sound Suits; only wish I could see them up close.

Nick Cave is a prolific artist and dancer, famous for his sculptures called sound suits, which he often stages in public spectacle. The artist conceives some as fragile sculptural totems, and others as wearable performance suits designed for sound, mobility, and dance. Though influenced by a vibrant palette of African art, armor, found objects, fashion, and textile design, the origin of the sound suit is rooted in social critique. Cave first created a suit in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating in 1991, envisioning an emotional shield that protected one’s race or gender while still expressing individuality. As Cave’s artwork began to resonate with vast audiences, the artist saw the sound suits as powerful agents to capture the public imagination on a monumental scale. Cave’s artistic practice now advocates the vital importance of collective dreaming, which he actualizes through large-scale performances.