August 2003 Archives

I finished sewing Greg's blanket together and decided that it would be too small, even after I added a 2.5-inch border all around. So, I visited Mom last night with the blanket (and a take-out tub of Wor Won Ton soup - her favorite! - that Bill and I got for her when we had Chinese food at Chins Garden in Alameda last night) and Greg's sketch of what he wanted so we could plan the pattern for the additional 2 rows and 2 columns of squares (32 total!) that I'll add to the blanket. I want it to be big enough to use when lying on a couch or bed or reclining in a chair. A lap-size blanket won't work for that purpose. Mom got out a box of colored pencils and a pad of graph paper so I could sketch the blanket in its current state. Then we talked about and tried out several different design ideas for the extended corners. After about 1.5 hours or so, we finally agreed on a design that works well with the original pattern Greg created.

So, 32 more squares...a few more weeks...more yarn ends...the border...and it'll be done - probably by mid-to-late October...still before it gets cold in Virginia.

[Update August 31, 2003]

Hmmm, he doesn't want it bigger...he wants it lap-sized. So, I'll be adding the border soon...

I brought squares of Greg's reds-white-blues blanket to Doug's BBQ yesterday afternoon so I could continue to weave in yarn ends while we visited. I finished 24 squares in 5 hours at Doug's and 2 hours afterward at home yesterday evening. I had already completed the first 24 squares. I'm now ready for the next step: Connecting squares into rows. Then, the rows need to be sewn together, resulting yarn ends need to be woven in, and a border needs to be added. Whew! I estimate 32 hours already spend on the blanket... I love my boy!

Backyard garden

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(1, 2) From roses to wildflowers. (3, 4) Tall wildflower of a mysterious type (the "dreadlock" plant). (5) Much shorter wildflowers.

(1) Lagerfeld roses (front), Climbing America (back in shadow). (2) John F. Kennedy. (3) Lagerfeld. (4) Mister Lincoln. (5) Climbing America.

Ah, yes, the garden was beautiful yesterday! These are the roses that suffer from the while powdery mildew, however, so this morning I removed branches of mildewed leaves (along with all buds and opened flowers on those branches). There is much less color (green, brown only) but hopefully they will grow back even healthier.

Trying to remember to water in the morning is harder than doing it in the evening after work. It's taking some getting used to... I turned on the water yesterday and then came into the house to surf the Web a bit and, of course, got sucked in and forgot I was watering. So, both the front and back yards got plenty of water to last a week or so! Thank goodness soaker hoses don't output water as fast as a sprinkler.

[3:00pm April 29, 2006] Yes, here it is 3 years later and now I finally know what the dreadlock plant is! Scientific Name: Amaranthus caudatus; Common Name: Love-lies bleeding; Tassel flower.

Fun with yarn

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I have spent the past 3 hours 45 minutes sitting on the floor of the craft room, with a floor fan blowing directly on me, sipping Diet Dr. Pepper, and going through the 2 large bags of donated yarn I received earlier this week. I separated yarn by type and undid 2 very large knots of many different types and colors of yarn (that was actually fun - it requires a systematic approach and mindless patience).

Then, I pulled apart unfinished crochet and knit projects that were also stuffed into the bags, which was also fun until I got bogged down with pulling apart a poorly-assembled black-grass green-bright yellow granny square project (it may have been part of a vest of some sort) in which small pieces of black yarn had been tied together and the ends snipped close to the knots.

I didn't learn how to tie off yarn ends that way: The ends are supposed to be about 5-6 inches long and are supposed to be weaved back into the project so the snipped ends don't show and the stitches won't pull apart as the project is worn or used or washed.

So, while it wasn't fun anymore, it was challenging: Challenging to keep my patience and not throw the whole thing away. I'm not quite done yet pulling it apart...I'm moving into the living room to finish it while Bill watches the NASCAR race.

I finally finished making the 48 squares for Greg's reds-white-blues blanket. I'm making it a little bigger than lap size so he can use it to cover himself when laying on the couch or on his bed, but it won't be bed size. Last night, I laid out the squares in the pattern he had drawn so I could get a feel for how big it would be (I needed to decide whether or not to make another 2 rows and 2 columns if it wasn't big enough). I was impressed at how good it looked! It's going to be fun to see the finished product!

More yarn donations

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1 manila envelope and 2 large plastic garbage bags of yarn were donated today for me to make more lap blankets for convalescent home residents. Cool! It is a lot of fun to sift through the different colors and textures of yarn and figure out what goes with what and think about future lap blanket projects!

Bye bye green beans

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Having produced one large bowl and one handful of green beans in spite of continually being eaten by white flies, I pulled the green bean plants out of the ground Sunday afternoon. The leaves on the poor things were full of holes from the white flies and some of the plants had been trampled by the stray neighborhood cats who crawl under the fence between my neighbor's yard and ours.

So, while fresh green beans were yummy for 1.5 meals, they weren't quite worth the water used to help them grow. The white fly problem also bugged me (ha, ha). I'm not sure whether I'll try it again next year.

I can sew! Well, almost...

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(1) Kenmore sewing machine with Bubba relaxing by the window. (2) Front cover of the manual. (3) Back cover of the manual - note the date I circled in red.
After lunch with Mom yesterday, we went back to her place and dragged her sewing machine out of the back closet where it has been for the past 10 years, and...and...she showed me how to use it! Cool. She and I went to a quilt show at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton months ago and I've wanted to learn to quilt since then, but didn't know how to use a sewing machine. So, now I do...and it seems it may need some work since it worked for the first 30 minutes or so and then got tighter and tighter and the wheel wouldn't turn so the needle wouldn't move up and down anymore. Gonna have Bill take a look - maybe the belt (which is the original belt!) needs to be changed (after 40+ years, I wouldn't be surprised).

Mom bought the sewing machine for $49.00 after she and my father got married - which will be 43 years ago in February 2004 - so it's older than me! It's very heavy, stitches only in a straight line, uses a foot peddle and bobbins (do modern sewing machines use these?), and has a large wheel on the right side that you turn to start the needle moving as your foot presses on the peddle. The instruction booklet was printed November 1, 1960 (circled in red in the third photo above).


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(1) The 2 Coleus plants are doing very well! They're so pretty and healthy!

(2) The flowers I planted along the side of the lawn in the front yard are doing very well too!

Tall stalk of something

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(1, 2) I planted 3 packages of mixed wildflower seeds...I have no idea what kind of flowers these are, although I think the orange ones in the first photo are California Poppies (I haven't seen them in the daytime when they're open). I'm really curious to know what the tall flowering "dreadlock"-like stalk is. The fence is 6 feet high so this flower, err, plant is now about 4 feet tall.

(3) What's left of our green beans...note the holes in the leaves caused by all the white flies. There were enough green beans last Monday evening for a big bowl full and tonight there were a handful. I think the green bean plants have ended their season...

[3:00pm April 29, 2006] Yes, here it is 3 years later and now I finally know what the dreadlock plant is! Scientific Name: Amaranthus caudatus; Common Name: Love-lies bleeding; Tassel flower (see Wikipedia description).

White mold mildew on roses

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I returned from visiting Greg in Virginia Sunday evening and got my first look at the rose bushes and other plants yesterday evening. There's a thin white mold mildew (Mom's says it's mildew not mold) on the leaves of almost all the rose bushes in the backyard!

Question: Normally colored leaves that begin to crinkle, Patches of fuzzy white mold.

Powdery mildew is a very common rose fungus that takes hold when days are hot but nights are cool; when plants are too close for adequate fresh air circulation; or when roses are watered often at night. Water early in the day to allow rose leaves to dry thoroughly before nightfall. Consult the American Rose Society at for recommendations. []

Hmmm, articles to read about pruning roses.

Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2003 is the previous archive.

September 2003 is the next archive.

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Cat playing with strand of yarn.


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