Friday, June 28, 2013

Helen Sends Greetings From Here, There, and Everywhere

Bill and I caught up with Helen at Katie Downs Tavern and Eatery in Tacoma, Washington, where we spent some time sitting out on the waterfront deck together. 

As you know, Helen and Fred are now living in Reno, Nevada. As far as I can remember, and I hope I get this right, Helen has traveled lately to Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania for family visits and for her high school reunion. When we saw her in Tacoma in mid-June, she was spending time with her son's family and enjoying her grandchildren. She and Fred are now on the road again, back in Maine for a visit with more family and friends. 

But that's not all the traveling this summer - Helen is off to London in a month or two to do some exploring with her sister and brother-in-law. You know, I don't believe we talked much about knitting at all!

She shared this very special photo of a much younger Helen and Fred. Please forgive the quality of the image; it is a photo of a snapshot, taken outside with resulting reflections. But it's certainly a wonderful peak into the past!

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Closet Full of Prayer Shawls

A lot of people 
have spent a lot of time 
making prayer shawls for those who will need them

New shawls crowd the shelves
of the knitting room closet
Waiting for the moment
when someone needs a warm hug
and comfort

from a shawl
stitched together with love and prayers

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Clair Makes Sweaters for Knit for Kids

Take a simple pattern and add some color.
Try some new stitches and the variations are endless!

I first heard about the Knit for Kids organization at the Candia, New Hampshire Town Meeting in March 2006. I was inspired to start knitting little sweaters for needy kids and, as you will see, over the next five years I knit a lot of them! It wasn't a big chore, and it wasn't difficult knitting to do. I just knit those little sweaters whenever I had a moment, then knit more of them when I retired and we moved to New Mexico. To my great surprise, I ended up knitting over 100 of them. 

I learned all kinds of techniques as I went along. I added different patterns and colors and almost all the sweaters were completely unique. It was a great way to try out new knitting ideas. You can download the basic pattern here

If you would like to see photos of many of the sweaters, the links are below. Please check out Knit for Kids, which is now part of the World Vision organization. All the information you need to get started is right there on the website. You might find that you love the idea of making sweaters for children you'll never meet!  

~Clair Z.

The Final Batch (bringing the grand total to 110)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Clair Sends Greetings from Washington State

Dawn arrives along the Columbia River

This is the view from the little patio of our hotel room in Richland, Washington. Bill did a great job researching and choosing places to stay. Below are pictures of our room at the historic Weatherford Hotel (est. 1897) in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Here is what I've learned on our trip so far: Everyone else but us has lots of water. And everyone else moves way, way faster!

~Clair Z.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cathy Finishes an Afghan For a Friend

The squares for this afghan were made by a friend's mother. Cathy put them together so that the friend would have this wonderful memorial afghan.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Patsy and Marilyn's Pattern for a Baby Blanket

Cast on 136 st. Knit desired rows for border.

Row 1: K 6 st, put in marker, knit across to last 6 st, put in marker, K 6 st.

Row 2: K6, *P3, K1* to marker, K6

Row 3: K6, Knit across, K6

Row 4: Repeat Row 2

Row 5 and 6: K6, Knit across, K6

Continue to desired length, then knit a border. Bind off.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Some Very Special News from Mary-Claire


Molly KayLynn born at 2:03pm, today 6-6-13
6lbs 5oz, 19 inches
Mother, baby and all of us are doing fine.

Helen's Baby Blanket Pattern with Marilyn's Variations

This is the blanket pattern that Helen gave to Marilyn. I have put Marilyn's changes in parentheses.

Baby Blanket

Size 8 circular needle (29 inch)
Lion Brand Pound of Love, or Caron Pound 

Cast on 137 stitches. Use a band of 10 (7) sts on each side, using seed st.: K1, P1, etc. Knit over purl and purl over knit. 10 (7) sts each side for seed stitch, 117 sts. for pattern in the center. 

Knit 15 rows (fewer for Marilyn's version; see Marilyn's note, below) of band in seed st, then continue as follows...

Row 1: Knit 10 (7) sts in seed st. for band. *Kl, YO, K2 tog* across to last 10 (7) sts and finish in seed stitch. 

Row 2: Knit 10 (7) sts in seed st. *K1, YO, K2 tog* across to last 10 (7) sts and finish in seed st  (same as Row 1)

Row 3: Knit 10 (7) sts in seed st. Knit across to last 10 (7) sts, and finish in seed st.

Row 4: Knit 10 (7) sts in seed st. Purl across to last 10 (7) sts and finish in seed st. 

Repeat these four rows to desired length and finish the last 15 rows (see note) in seed st. 

Marilyn notes: I changed the band to suit myself from 10 to 7. Also less rows in the beginning [and end].

Monday, June 3, 2013

Diane's Fruit-Topped Cream Pie

Diane topped her version of the pie with fruit.
It was beautiful, as you can see, and so delicious!

There is a charming story that goes along with this pie recipe, which appeared in the Ladies' Home Journal. See The Pie That Made My Dad Propose.

Marquis Old-Fashioned Cream Pie
12 graham crackers, broken
2 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups cold milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Fresh berries 
1. For crust: Heat oven to 350F. In a food processor blend graham crackers and sugar until finely ground. Add butter and pulse until combined. Reserve 1/4 cup crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 7 min. Cool while preparing filling.
2. For filling: In a 3-qt saucepan, whisk together sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Add milk and egg yolks and whisk to combine. Heat mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture begins to bubble and cook 1 min more. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nutmeg, and butter; place over an ice bath to cool slightly before pouring into baked crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 5 hr or overnight. Sprinkle with reserved graham cracker crumbs. Serve cold with berries. Serves 6.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Karen Sends Greetings from Wisconsin

Karen's parents' back yard

The photo says it all.