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27 October 2016

And Then THIS Happened .....

I had intended to write a long, newsy post this week, with lots of awesome photos and stuff.  That was the plan, anyway.  But, as dear old Robert Burns once observed, "The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley."  My week has definitely gone "agley".  Everything was going swimmingly .... and then, THIS happened:


Yes, that's our car.  Yes, it's burned.  The man stopped by the laundry to pick up his shirts, and when he turned and looked out the shop door, the car was on fire.  Having been a volunteer firefighter in his younger days, he ran out of the shop (leaving the shirts), jumped into the car, and rolled it backward, away from the building, before the mounting flames could ignite the shop's awning.

Sigh.

It was quite a bit of excitement, I'm told.  Himself, with a borrowed fire extinguisher and the help of a policeman (wielding his own fire extinguisher), had most of the fire contained before the fire department arrived on scene.  The firefighters gave it a good hosing, and pronounced it "toast".  The passenger compartment was spared; but all the expensive and fiddly bits in the engine compartment are ruined, as well as a number of seals, gaskets, and other mysterious parts that connect the exhaust to the engine.  The grill melted.  The paint on the hood (bonnet) and front fenders (wings, for my UK friends) blistered.  The hood lining is gone.  The protective sun tinting at the top of the windshield is crazed, also from the heat.

 

So, we're temporarily driving a Chevrolet "muscle car" that belonged to our son-in-law's late father.  It rumbles like a thunder demon (I'm told it's supposed to sound that way), but it saves us the trouble of a rental.  I always say, I have the best sons-in-law!  Not only did Will ride to the rescue, but he's loaned us a set of wheels.  And now, we have the joy (for the man) and/or pain (for me) of finding a new car -- one that's new to us, anyway.

The weather also sent "agley" my plans for photographing my most recent projects.  After a few days of idyllic fall weather, all sunshine and soft breezes and reasonable temperatures, today dawned dark, windy, and rainy.  So, instead of the usual photos that I try to artfully arrange against a natural background, this week's projects are photographed in the porch armchair.  Not as lovely, but hopefully you'll find the projects cute!

Last week, I showed you this set, now complete with dress and hat:

Photobomb courtesy of Steve the Cat.

I've gone on quite a rampage with the Baby Dress pattern by Diane Soucy for Knitting Pure and Simple, and now have two more to share.  The first one ...


 ...was inspired by a button I bought a few years ago from the Tessa Ann shop on Etsy.  I intended to use these buttons for a cardigan project, but I never could get the curved front edges of the cardi finished to my satisfaction.  So that turned into an UFO (UnFinished Object) in one of my many canvas bags; and the buttons lay, unused, in my button box.  The yarn is Swish DK by Knit Picks in Carnation, with the candy stripes worked in Serrano and White.  The hat pattern is "Gnome Hat" by Ravelry user Skruddevutt, and is available for free.  Just scroll down past the Swedish directions to get to the English part, unless, of course, you read Swedish.  I tweaked the pattern a bit, to add the button at the top.  And the "candy stripe" colorwork?  I made it up as I went along -- it seems to work!

The second set ...


... is for my friend Mindy's granddaughter, due in February.  Now what could be more appropriate for a February baby than hearts!  The dress pattern and hat pattern are the same as the first set shown above.  The yarn is Swish DK in Rouge and White.  The heart patterns came from one of my old, out-of-print SandnesGarn books, Till Fjells #0411.  If you like doing Norwegian-motif colorwork, I really recommend you pick up the old SandnesGarn books, if you have the opportunity.  They're a treasure trove of designs.  The button for this dress came from JoAnn Fabrics (in fact, the man brought it home the day the car burned).

I should mention that I put all three sets through the washer (delicate cycle, cold wash/cold rinse) and the dryer (delicate cycle, very low heat) to fluff them up a bit.  Yes, they've lost a bit of their crispness, but they look oh-so-warm and fuzzy now.  Cuddly, even.

The only thing left to do before sending them out to the little ones for whom they're destined, is to add some tulle to the wrong side of the work.  It protects little fingers and toes from getting caught in the "floats" (carried yarn strands) at the back of the colorwork.  It's not something I do for hats, nor for garments made for older children and adults; but it's hard enough to get a little one dressed -- rather akin to dressing an octopus -- without having to deal with the frustration of tiny fingers or tiny toes tangled in bits of yarn.  I'm hoping to get a bit of a video, to show you how I do this.  Maybe next week!

And that, dear friend, is all I have to share at the moment.  There's another project on my needles, something warm for a friend's great-nephew, and there's at least one more waiting in the wings to be cast on.  Thanks for stopping by today! Hopefully, life around here will get back to normal (well, as normal as it ever gets!) and I can go on a good photography romp around the neighborhood this weekend.  As always, you're welcome to share this post with anyone who might enjoy it, and you can follow me on Facebook, Ravelry, and Instagram.  (I'm also on Pinterest, but I'm so rubbish at updating that account!)  I'll see you next week!

PS.  DOES ANYONE HAVE FRIENDS OR FAMILY IN NORWAY?  I'm trying to get a brand-new SandnesGarn book (Baby Ull #1618) that just came out, but it isn't available here (and may never be -- it's written in Norwegian and SG has no plans at this time to translate it).  Having exhausted all options to purchase it directly, I'm now on the lookout for someone in Norway willing to take my money, buy the book and send it to me.  Let me know!

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