Friday, July 22, 2011

The Willow

The flowers and lush vegetation of the Evergreen State will be missed, 
and especially the willow by the river in our mobile home park.

 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly . . . 
 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Psalm 1 1-3

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Prairie Poem

The Prairie Sky

There’s a magic charm in the prairie skies,
And it thrills my heart when I lift my eyes,
            And view the vast expanse.
When the road is rough, and the pathway long,
Then, awake, my soul, to the prairie song,
            And breathe the vast expanse.
Then, awake, my soul, to the prairie song,
            And breathe the vast expanse.

Oh, the woods are sweet and the forests fair,
But I love the feel of that country air,
            Where I can see the sky.
Though the vales are charming and the mountains grand,
Yet I love the lay of that prairie land,
            Where I can see the sky.
Yet I love the lay of that prairie land,
            Where I can see the sky.

Friday, July 15, 2011


   I am happy to make the official announcement: We are moving to North Dakota!   My husband loves the mountains, which is what brought us out west, but I am a prairie girl.

   One of my first poems was about the prairie. It came about this way:  My poetry teacher wrote a poem about the mountains.  I copied his meter and wrote one about the Northwoods.  Afterward I thought there should be one about the prairie, too.  This is the poem:

The Prairie

   I want the open prairie,
      Where I can see the sky,
I want to lie in knee-high grass,
      And watch the clouds roll by.
   I want the prairie freshness,
      The hearty prairie gales,
The breeze that blows o’er grassy seas,
      And fills my soul’s limp sails.

   I want the prairie evening;
      The sun there lays her head,
And fills the vast horizon
      With blasts of gold and red.
   I want the prairie morning,
      The bliss of sweetest calm,
The rosy tints that warm the soul,
      And soothe with heaven’s balm.

   Oh, for the wide, wide prairie,
      Oh, for the vast expanse,
Where miles and miles of God’s blue sky
      Are mine in one sweet glance;
   Where dreams rise up to touch the clouds,
      And fill the feathery dome;
Where heaven reaches down to earth,
      And crowns my prairie home.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Rag Bag

   When I started cutting strips of fabric from an old dress, I was thinking it was a variation on "t-shirt yarn," and I told my husband I was making yarn.  He wasn't impressed and told me flatly, "I have a hard time calling that yarn.  It's rags.  You are knitting with rags."  I couldn't really argue.  And here is the
Rag Bag.

   When I cut the strips from my dress, I messed up and ended up with lots of short pieces that had to be tied together.  I knit a garter stitch base with two strands on size 17 needles.  Then I knit around and around on the same needles but just one strand of fabric and using a 4 row YO pattern (YO, K2tog on first row.  SSK, YO on the third.  K the even rows.)  When I was nearly out of fabric strips, I cut up a white t-shirt using these clever instructions. (T Shirt Yarn) I knit until I ran out of that, then put in a couple more rows of dress fabric, decreasing one in four stitches on the second to last row.  Then I threaded a piece of hem from the dress through the loops. That's it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

An Experiment in Felting I-Cord

   It worked!  I didn't know if it would.  I wanted to put an I-cord design on a purse I am working on, but it seemed too risky, so I made a little phone pouch to try it out. Before sewing the pouch together, I pinned it to a phone book. (Those things are still good for something.)  I took some I-cord in a contrasting color and sewed a flower shape on to the pouch  using wool yarn.

I put a few yellow french knots in the center, but I was so anxious to find out the results of the experiment that I forgot to add a green stem.

I finished the pouch and sewed it together.

Then washed it in hot water, and pulled this out:

I'm pleased at how well it worked, despite the missing green.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Juanita Bay Park

   I've shown you the beautiful trail along the Sammamish River that is very near to our house.  Lee and I walk there often, but now that it is summer, it can be quite crowded, especially if the weather is nice.  We like to go once in a while to Juanita Bay, which is only a few miles away.  This park is at the site of an old golf course at the northern end of Lake Washington.  There is very little bike traffic, and it is far enough from the highway noise that you might almost think you were really in the woods.

It is delightful to watch these little guys run across the water on the lily pads.

For professional photos of the wildlife in this park, see Aaron Baggenstos, one of the fellows we have seen there with a large camera.