Monday, October 24, 2011

Tied to My Great Grandmother's Apron Strings

I wear an apron often and have done so for years.  Time was, and this goes back hundreds (thousands?) of years, when most women wore one most of the time.  What a useful part of a wardrobe the apron is.  Not only does it protect the clothing underneath, it also provides a towel that is right at hand, and even a potholder in a pinch.  As a child and teenager, the aprons I wore were my mother's.  I remember that she would sew some every year for the "apron table" at our church bazaar and then buy one made by someone else from the same table.  There must be an economics lesson in there somewhere!

In 1968, my future husband gave me a hope chest - a beautiful cherry chest in which to store the linens I was beginning to collect for our life together.  When my grandmother, Memere, learned I had a hope chest she took me upstairs and opened her own hope chest.  Inside her cedar lined chest were linens that she had saved over the years, including an apron made by my great-grandmother, which she presented to me, the eldest grand-daughter.  It has been in my hope chest for the past 43 years and will be until my grand-daughter, Ruby, has a hope chest to put it in for her future.  It is made of a very thin organza, frilly, hand embroidered, and practically speaking, totally useless.  To me, it is priceless and one of my most precious possessions.

There are aprons for sale at The Quilted Purl.  Yesterday, a woman came in and as she was leaving, noticed the aprons.  She paused and then told me how her mother is now in an assisted living facility where they recently had a tea for the women residents.  The feature of the tea was a woman who came with an apron collection and told the story of each one.  The residents had been invited to bring their own aprons to the tea and had the opportunity to then share their own apron stories.

My thanks to this customer for making me remember my apron story.  How about you?  Something to share?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's a Small World After All

On November 1, The Quilted Purl will have been opened for five months.  As I have mentioned in past posts, one of the most interesting and rewarding aspects for me has been meeting the folks who come through the shop door and up the stairs.  In the past five months, I have met people from each of the continents shown above, except Antarctica.  Just yesterday two women from South Africa stopped by and bought a few fat quarters to bring home, and I also had the chance to chat with women from Florida, Alabama, British Columbia, and Germany.  The language of knitting and quilting is certainly international.  If there are any knitters or quilters on Antarctica, come on by - I'd love to meet you!

As much fun as it is to meet new folks, I was also able to meet with old friends.  A former teammate came by with her mother on Tuesday, to see the shop and visit over a cup of tea, giving me the gift of a very pleasant  afternoon.  Then today, a high school friend and his wife stopped by on the road from Massachusetts to California.  What a treat it was to reminesce about our hometown, high school days, and old friends.

On June 1, 2011, I never dreamed such interesting people would come into my life.  What a blessing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Going Out for Breakfast with the Family

Whole grain cereal, fruit, a cup of tea, and some whole grain bread.  That's my idea of a great breakfast and I have all the makings for it right at home.  So, breakfast would not be my choice for a meal out.  The rest of my family, however, loves to go to one of the many nearby restaurants for a "real" breakfast.  As I stepped out of my front door yesterday, I saw another family out for breakfast.  It must have been something of a progressive affair as they had already dined on all the vestiges of my summer petunias, moved next door for the main course, and then across the street to conclude breakfast with the "family!"

Friday, October 14, 2011

Crisp Fall Day

         My brother, an excellent writer and prolific blogger, has gently reminded me that I have not posted for quite a few days.  His blog at A Concord Pastor Comments, is my favorite!

         Were I to choose three "weather" words that delight me, they would have to be "crisp fall day," and we in Georgetown have recently been blessed with a few of them.  The other morning as I walked to the shop, the sun was shining brightly, the breeze teased with the idea of becoming a wind, and there was the thinnest layer of ice on the recently formed rain puddles.  It was too beautiful a morning to let go, so I grabbed my camera and snapped the picture above.  Good thing I did since by five o'clock that afternoon, the temp had dropped, the sun was gone, and our first snow flurries since June made a brief appearance.
        Since that spectacular morning, the weather has continued to remind us we live in the Rocky Mountains and it is October.  The winds blew so fiercely Wednesday morning that when I arrived at the shop, the sign was hanging on by one broken carabineer  and swinging wildly.  Which brings me to today.  Taking advantage of today's bright sunshine, I moved a chair outside the shop door and spent a pleasant afternoon finishing the binding of a wall hanging and knitting a hat.  Meanwhile, ten miles to the west it was opening day at Loveland Ski Area!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


       Over the weekend I had a delightful chat with a couple out to view the foliage who happened upon The Quilted Purl.  As we were talking, I mentioned how I have found knitters and quilters to be such friendly folks.  The woman agreed and put it in one word - givers.  How right she was!  So many of the people who have graced my shop are involved in some sort of charity work involving their craft and just about every knitter, crocheter, or quilter is creating for someone else's joy, most of the time.
       Then this morning, the word giver came back to me.  There are two young girls, Nancy and Marysol, who are taking lessons at the shop.  As soon as Marysol learned the basics of knitting, she asked me to help her as she designed and knitted a purse for her mother's birthday and is now working on a quilt for her dad.  Nancy has made pencil holders for friends and has even taught one of her friends how to sew.  At such a young age (10 and 11) both of these beginning crafters are showing that beautiful quality of so many experienced crafters- giver.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hat and Mittens

Making Mittens

We have been enjoying some beautiful aspen color for the last couple of weeks, but the temperature is starting to drop along with the golden leaves - time to make a hat and maybe some mittens with the leftover yarn!

I used Lonesome Stone Alpaca, but any 3-4 weight yarn will do.  Weight of yarn will naturally affect the gauge.
Size 4, 6, and 7 knitting needles (or again, needles that will get you the size you want).  I used circular for the hat, but you could make a seam if you want to use straight needles.


Cast on 56 stitches  size 6 needles.
K2, P2 ribbing for 7-8 rows.
Change to size 7 needles.
Stockinette stitch for the next 3-4 inches.
Row 1   *K5, K2tog (rep from *)
Row 2 and all even numbered rows: K if using circular, P if using straight needles.
Row 3  *K4, K2tog (rep from *)
Row 5  *K3, K2 tog (rep from *)
Row 7  *K2, K2 tog (rep from *)
Row 9  *K1, K2 tog (rep from *)
Row 11* K2 tog (rep from *)
Run a yarn needle through remaining stitches, pull tight, seam if needed, weave in ends

Thumbless Mittens

Cast on 23 stitches on size 4 needles.
Row 1   P1, K1 across
Row 2   K1, P1 across
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have 5 rows, ending after a Row1.
Change to size 6 needles and increase five stitches, evenly spaced (28 stitches).
Stockinette stitch for 6-7 rows.
On a purl row, purl 14, place a marker, purl to the end.
Row 1  K2, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to 3 before the marker, K2tog, K1, slip marker, K1, SL1, K1, PSSO, knit until four before end of row, K2tog, K2.
Row 2  Purl
Repeat these two rows until 16 stitches remain.
Last row - K2 tog across.
Draw yarn through remaining 8 stitches, pull tight, seam and weave ends.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thank You, Tea Time Quilting and Stitchery

Two weeks ago, a wonderful quilt and yarn shop in Breckenridge, Colorado closed the door for the last time as the four partners ended a successful eight years and entered the happy ranks of the newly retired.  Over the years, I have enjoyed stopping by there and like so many others, will miss those visits.  As the shop was closing, I was fortunate enough to get a few of the fixtures from Tea Time to use at The Quilted Purl: cubbies for yarn and a lovely antique sewing cabinet.  However, the most valuable "remnant" I have received has to be the wonderful group of quilters and knitters who have made their way from Breckenridge to Georgetown to welcome me to the world of quilt and yarn shops.  My thanks to them and to the gracious owners of Tea Time Quilting and Stitchery for sending them all my way.  My best wishes to each of you for a retirement that is everything you might hope it to be.  And for all you former "Tea Timers," know that when you come and go at The Quilted Purl, it will be to the ting-a-ling of the Tea Time Quilting and Stitchery shop bell!