Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tree Tour

Following in the footsteps of both DC & LC, I am happy to display my (fake) tree with (real?) ornaments:

The pinecone bird
The elf/sprites
The camel

The dragon (no stealing these last 2 when you feed the cats, IP & LC)
The gnomes
Yay tree!

Finished objects!

Yea! I finished the Christmas stocking for little RZK! I'm happy with it, and R's mom is too, so it's successful (so long as it doesn't fall apart, which I don't think it will). I bought quite a lot of little decorative notions, and then used relatively just a few of them. The bird (top branch, right side) is my favorite.
And, I made three felted bowls, from the "One Skein" book. Following a comment from splindarella on the One Skein Knit-Along, I used Patons SWS (soy/wool blend) doubled and added 3 ridges of garter at the top to keep them from rolling. The SWS has a nice silky feel to it. I'm least happy with the pink bowl, I think I cast on too loosely on that one, thus the flared lip. The dark blue is for me to keep, the pink & light blue are for KS's nieces.

As of yesterday, Dec 23, the house is now fairly well Christmassed up. I gave in & bought a small fake tree. It's really an ornament display device, because I couldn't think of where to fit a tree in our small living room, but was really missing having the ornaments out.

The quilted wallhanging tree, while nice, did not quite do it. Though the presents on the chair below the wallhanging blended in nicely. (Note example on this wallhanging of why we shouldn't blindly follow directions. The base of the red bow on the "package" in the lower right-hand corner doesn't match up with the red ribbon underneath. It's even more noticable in person. Ideally, I suppose this quilt would be hung up at least 20 ft away, so that I wouldn't notice the flaw so much).

Monday, December 18, 2006

Post script to Friday

So... Our knit group stands at: one pure evil, one twisted, and two angelic.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Long suspected...

Despite the knitting, despite liking fuzzy bunnies...

Thanks to Enchanting Juno, I came across this handy little quiz & found what I've suspected. Only question is - I came out Pure Evil, Enchanting Juno came out Evil - does anyone come out anything other than Evil?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Post Script to Western PA, Part II

One more item of interest on the Austin disaster:
While the town was downstream of the dam, in the valley, the brothel was uphill, within site of the dam. The madam was one of the first to realize that the dam was breaking & she became a local hero for getting the word out that the dam was breaking & saving some lives at least.
And another bit on industrial disasters:
I'm currently reading Devra Davis' "When Smoke Ran Like Water." Davis' interest in environmental pollution started when she found out that her childhood home, Donora, PA, had been the site of a severely underreported environmental disaster in 1948. The town had a steelworks & zinc smelting facility, both of which let off a lot of smoke. In the fall of 1948, an air inversion trapped fog and the smoke in the valley for several days, killing about 20 people immediately, and causing health damage to countless others over the following years. Similar incidents happened mid-20th-century in Belgium & England. Apparently, the same conditions are occurring now in China (NPR, Morning Edition).
And, back on the crafty track, I'm just about 1/2 done with the leafy scarf - yea! Right wrist is crampy & somewhat painful - ouch!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Western PA, Part II

More views of our trip to PA, including this KS-approved photo along the Alleghany River. This man of mystery, by the way, has requested a sweater. He found a photo of a Norwegian black metal band with a guy in a sweater. It's gray, has a wide neck & ribbing at the bottom edges, and is purl-side out. We picked out some yarn at Ithaca's Homespun Boutique (great yarn store, with fabric too, but apparently no website). But it will have to wait until after Christmas to start it. This was the rail trail along the Alleghany River. At the parking area, there was a sign warning "Hunters wear orange. So should you." There were other people on the trail without orange on, so we set off & walked south a mile or so. Until we heard the first few gunshots. Then we headed back to the parking lot.

On the way back to Binghamton, we stopped by Austin, PA, site of the Austin Dam. This dam was built by a lumber company. The company hired an engineer to design the dam, but his design was going to cost too much, so they didn't make the dam quite so thick, or seat it quite so deeply. In 1911, it broke. The town was downstream of the dam, with huge piles of logs for the lumber company in between. The lumber company had argued that at least if the dam broke, the piles of logs would slow down the water. Instead, the town got a rush of logs & water. The disaster was a major impetus for Pennsylvania to pass legal requirements on dam engineering. What I really like about the Austin dam is how it's still standing right there, apparently just how it was at the end of the day on September 30, 1911, an unplanned monument.

Now, must get back to working on the "backyard leaves" scarf from "Scarf Style."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Trip to Western PA

Western PA, a land of bright greens (at least in the summer) and the occassional orange creek.
KS & I went out to Clarion for Thanksgiving, and took a day trip into lands to the east, including Oil City. Oil City is not far from Titusville, where oil was first drilled in North America (was oil drilled earlier on another continent? I don't really know). This photo is from one of the bridges in Oil City. The main downtown area seemed to be over there, at the base of the hill. It's on a point where Oil Creek joins the great Alleghany River - wonder if there've been any archaeological investigations there?I know nothing of Oil City, though it's my official birthplace. My family never lived there, it was just where the hospital was. We passed by this interesting kind of grotto. From the small bit of time I spent in the Southwest, I feel this structure is lacking a lot of saint statues.
After the grotto, we stopped at Mystic Pig Cycles (disappointingly, no website) in Reno, PA. This stop was to continue KS's investigations of motorcycles. But Mystic Pig specializes in Harley's, which are quite pricey.
Finally, we ended up on a rail-trail along the Alleghany River. Unlike our local rail-trail, this one apparently extends for miles, connects towns, and runs along a beautiful river rather than running in back of stores and a parkway.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Finished quilt duo

Ah, the comforts of home... It is the Fire Ox, in his natural habitat. While he's afraid of sinks and wouldn't be caught dead in one, he loves to lounge, tree-sloth-like, on the chair arm.
And, now the finished baby quilts that seemed never-ending back in November. But the cats protected them from harm.
This one was commissioned, with a green & yellow color scheme to work around. I liked it better with the orange & purple in as well. The center squares of each block are not pieced, but are from a cute kiddie fabric that actually matched the shade of green required. The squares have giraffes, hippos, lions, tigers & a creature I kept thinking of as a donkey until EG suggested, "Maybe it's a zebra?" And indeed, it has stripes.
The second one is more the color scheme I tend towards on my own (which would, evidently, be as many colors as possible). This one is for DVP's 2nd child, a boy born last summer.

It has a great number of small squares of fabrics with creatures. Many were left over from earlier kids' quilts. I'm very happy with this one.