Summertime with Fran

Summer is connected to warm days and sunny adventures in my memory — peaceful times spent with friends and often alone in quiet places thinking about the complexities of life. Of course what was complex about the life of a 7-year-old in the summer? It was all bare feet, playing in the woods, riding bikes with friends till someone’s mother told us all to go home for supper. There were cookies and lemonade with “gramma” and “grampa,” swimming in the creek. Oh how precious our childhoods were but it isn’t until we are older and don’t have time for those summer activities of old that we truly appreciate those carefree summers.

July 4th in our country neighborhood is like a war zone with fireworks. Being in the country and close to the Indian Reservation Fire Works Stands, the city restrictions on the big noise makers is not enforced. We chose to make a mountain trip to celebrate and that always delights me because I get to work on one of my projects while hubby drives. We loaded the car with pop, food, friend Ada and her dog Riley and headed to the beautiful mountains.

It was not hard to decided which project I would take on this trip as I had started a lacey scarf while in California at Clover headquarters a week ago working with the team to plan our next 6 months and look at 2012.  I have trouble focusing on patterns and graphs because of  a “lazy eye” so I was pleased to find this pattern which has a simple repeat. The pattern is an Orenburg Honeycomb Lace Scarf and is in the May/June issue of Piecework Magazine, one of my favorites.

Mt Rainier, 1400 ft tall

Traveling companion, Ada, Riley is asleep in her lap ... on his back!

Riley, smiling for the camera.

Orenburg Honeycomb Lace Scarf - May/June issue of Piecework magazine

If you don’t know the history of the Orenburg lace shawls, do some research and see the beautiful work these ladies have done.  I am working my scarf with Pagewood Farm’s  lace-weight, Crayon.  I love the way the colors mix together to remind you of a box of crayons. Remember how exciting it was as a kid to get a new box of crayons and a new coloring book.  Ahhhhhh, the simple pleasures!

Pagewood Farm's "Crayons" lace-weight yarn with my scarf

If any of you have tricks for staying on target with
patterns and graphs PLEASE SHARE WITH ME.
I also found a
beautiful knit doily that I want to make and am finding kitting lace is not as easy or as quick as crocheting lace. My hat is off to all of you who have mastered the lace knitting process. I am determined to master this skill and will continue to knit and rip out and knit and rip out until I am only knitting and ripping out is a thing of the past. If it means private lessons then so be it … I will sacrifice my 20 free minutes a week to lessons. I know there must be a technique to this and once that is figured out and the rhythm established, look out family, everyone will be getting knitted doilies.

While working with the knitted lace I am so appreciative of Clover’s excellent selection of 7″ and 5″ straight knitting needle possibilities. I work a lot of lace on the 5″ needles for lace edgings. I put one of Clover’s Petit Point Protectors ( #3141) on  one end and away I go without the extra, unneeded length getting in my way.

Working some of the scarves I have used the 9″ circulars and it is sooooo easy to handle them … especially on an airplane, which I seem to spend a lot of my life on, because you can’t drop a needle and have to finish the flight without knitting tools. Those airplane magazines will get you just so far into a trip!

Takumi Combo Set

When I use the 9″ circulars I always use the Petit Point Protectors when I am not working with the piece to keep the stitches from coming off the needles. I am finding I need the smaller double points and smaller sized 9″ circulars to compliment my Takumi Combo Set of  Interchangable Circular Knitting Needles and I am set to go.  All needs are taken care of with the interchangable set because of the differing lengths of cords … pure heaven!

Summer also is a time of  celebrations, and for our family there have been two college graduations, one high school graduation, three birthdays and the biggie …the wedding of our grandaughter, Cynthia, in August. Wow! I made her veil and am working on a crocheted table cloth which at this stage in the game is half a table cloth.  She may get a picture of the finished product … or we could call it a long table runner!

I hope your summer is filled with fun, memory-making activities with friends, family and those you love, AND, of course, several needlework projects.  I would love to hear about your projects and see pictures to share with our readers, so get busy and send me some pictures of your awesome work so we can all be inspired.

If you have any topics you would like addressed, send me a note and I will gladly find information or answers for you.

Enjoy the summer days and keep stitching!

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