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Minnesota, United States

23.9.13

Back from Gilwell and onward to Iceland

Yesterday I returned from Gilwell (Wood Badge).  The weather was amazing!  I headed up to Stearns Scout Camp on Thursday afternoon.  My birthday was on Thursday, so Wednesday evening Jim and I went out to supper and then to Cold Stone Creamery for dessert and then bought a cake to share with Ben on Sunday.

Besides the nice weather on Saturday and Sunday (with just a bit of rain on Thursday and Friday) the course was a success!  The participants had a good time, finished writing their tickets, presented their projects and camped.  It was a pleasure to visit some of the patrol in their campsites for lunch and supper.  Sharing delicious food with old friends and new friends is always special.  The leaves are beginning to turn and there is just enough of a nip in the autumn air to wear a jacket.

As with any event such as Wood Badge, logistics and facilities have their challenges.  The participants are not aware of the near kitchen disasters of  putting meals out on time, blown fuses, large coffee pots that don't perk, and having to drive to another kitchen to use the large convection oven!  We Quartermasters managed just fine and worked together as a team to feed the hungry staff, participants, and guests.  Never a dull moment in the kitchen/s!

Looking from the front of Landes Training Center at the beautiful sunset

Colors from the sunset gave a pinkish cast to the wood.  Below the Wood
Badge sign is the course number.  Our motto is "Envision Scouting Service."

My new hiking boots were very comfortable through the long weekend!

The patrols entertained everyone at the campfire.

I started Oats (the cowl) when I drove over to Heritage Lodge to
use the convection oven for baking the brownies.

My bears visited the Bear Patrol's table every day--this was Saturday.  Smoky and Woody Bear were the last ones to visit on Sunday.

Home again.  Tired bears, laundry to do, and projects to finish...

I managed to knit a bit on Oats, an easy cowl from Tin Can Knits.  It is one of eight free patterns for new knitters.  The patterns from The Simple Collection posted thus far (they are being released over a six-month period) are simple and stylish.  I am making the short cowl.  Working on the Pine Bough Cowl has me not wanting to do another large cowl!  Also, there was enough time for me to work on the project for Spin-Off Magazine for the Spring 2014 issue.  My goal is to complete the project this week.  When I return from Iceland I can edit my article and send everything off to Interweave Press in Colorado.


The Oats cowl is coming along nicely.  I made the ribbed border just a little bigger than 1.5-inches, and need to have the piece 8.5-inches wide before adding more ribbing.
Later this week is the beginning of an adventure to Iceland.  I am going on a Stitchtopia knitting tour through Arena Travel and Rowan.  I cannot wait to see more of this lovely country than just as a stopover.  Time to charge the camera and get some knitting together!

15.9.13

Yorick looks good

Friday was a lovely day.  I had a meeting in White Bear Lake, so a stop at Sheepy Yarn Shop was in order.  It was meant to be, as I got a parking spot in front of the shop!
I finished Yorick on Saturday.  The project was quick to knit with worsted weight yarn and size US6/10mm needles.  My scarf came out just as I wanted, 60-inches long and 3.5-inches wide.  The fabric is not at all bulky and the size is perfect.  It looked more like a snake before fulling.  Fulling by hand was easy and controllable.  The scarf is worked in stockinette stitch and the edges curl toward the purl side.  After fulling, the slight curl becomes a neat edge on the backside of the scarf, which I like.  The weather is cooling down, so this will be a  nice accessory to wear when there is a chill in the air.
Fall is in the air--sweater weather almost here!

The facial features are created with shaped increases and decreases.

Yorick appears to look more
like a snake at this point.

Yorick is ready for his close-up.

12.9.13

Play Ball!

I was so excited yesterday when I noticed the 60 Quick Knits from America's Yarn Shops was in one of the boxes at the shop.  Immediately, I paged through it and found the baseball hats.  They look good!  Wow, that pattern for a Stitch and Pitch game was a winner!  The light was good in the classroom, so I took a few photos.

A sample copy of the book arrived in a box at the shop.

I had to leaf through and find my hats.

They look great!

...and here's the original Stitch and Pitch hat that I designed.  I am
happy I waited to release the pattern until the opportunity came
my way at Amazing Threads!

6.9.13

FO Friday

I whipped up another sample for the Pick a Halloween Project class.  This time it is a washcloth.  Plymouth Cleo was a good price point and choice for the project.  I usually prefer to work from a chart, but the written instructions for the Halloween Skull Dishcloth were clear and easy-to-follow.
I love Pixlr-O-Matic

The dishcloth is worked in garter stitch, YOs, skp, and k2tog--super easy!

4.9.13

Tangled again

The second time is a charm--I hope!  I am finally working on my vest again.  I called it Tangled because of the yarn-winding nightmare.  The steeks are holding as I picked up stitches for the front band.  Naturally I have to tink back a row, as the white stitches are offset.  I was watching the news this morning while knitting.  The tension is good and I'm carrying the white yarn in back to give the band the same look as the body of the sweater.
The red zig-zag stitching is how I reinforced the steeks. 

The front band in progress.  I have to take out the last row of stitches because the white stitches do not line up.  On closer inspection of the photo I see where I have double blue stitches.  

The never-ending Pine Bough Cowl is getting longer.  If this project was just for me I would make it long enough for a smaller cowl.  This behemoth is supposed to be 72-inches long!  The yarn is soft and has a nice hand, so the repetitive knitting is okay.  I will be happy to do some texture work after this project.
Fiddly to work, but the finished project will be gorgeous!

Jim and I went to the State Fair on Labor Day.  The weather was perfect, we ate our favorite foods, enjoyed the displays and walked about six miles!  It was the last day of the fair, so there were some bargains and good freebies.  Kemps had samples of three new flavors of ice cream--yum!  The Minne-apple dumpling with caramel was my favorite.
This must have been fun to paint.

The Great Minnesota Get-Together's mascot

Oddly cute squirrels in Heritage Village.  They look like the little stinkers in my yard.
It is fun to watch the little critters this time of year as they get ready for winter.

There are many wood sculptures around the grounds  I like this one.

I saw this TV and thought it would be a great frame.

Smokey Bear at the Minnesota DNR (Department of Natural Resources)!

My favorite shop in the International Bazaar, Global Mamas.
Last year I bought an Eli dress that I just love.  

3.9.13

Pumpkin for September and Drive a Tank

I just finished this little hat today.  There was leftover yarn from the Christmas Sock shop sample, so I made a white pumpkin hat.



Yesterday Ben and I went to Drive a Tank in Kasota.  It was fun and quite a different experience!  Part of the package was target shooting, which I have not done for years.  Firearms are not my cup of tea and I have a healthy fear of them.  We used a historic rapid-fire gun from Belgium that was in a WWII battle.  It worked well for being over 70 years old!  

Off to our adventure.

Lots of dust!  The driver is in the front getting some help from an employee.  The driver's passengers are standing up in back for a wild ride.
The Humvee.  I remember when these came out when we lived in Bad Windsheim.

Ben sits on the strap and holds on in the turret.

APC, armored personnel carrier, and our ride.  

My view from inside.  The turret spins around.  We sat all the way in the back.  It was important because it fishtails on the rough terrain.  I held on with two hands!

Close quarters!

The driver is in red and the guide in camo.

The driver of "Larry," a retired Marine got to crush a car for his 70th birthday.
His son is the passenger.  

A straight shot and that car was toast!

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At the range, this 1919 machine gun was very loud!

I have my target and my eyes and ears on before my turn to shoot.

Ben and I pose with "Larry."

More tanks in the shop area.

Learning history in the training session and riding in the vehicles, I thought about my father, a tanker in WWII in the South Pacific, my father-in-law, a railroader in Europe, and all those that have bravely served and are currently bravely serving our country.  Thank you all.