Broomstick Lace memories

Dig out that old family album, the one from at least several decades ago (preferably pre-70s). See those family photos? Do you notice a common thread running through many of them?

Need a clue?

Cars! I was reminded a couple weeks ago that for some reason lots of people pictures shot outdoors were taken in front of the family car. I suspect it has to do with waiting until the last moment before rushing to find the cameras and snapping family pictures as the visiting relatives head for their car. It was brought to my attention that one doesn’t see many pictures with a family member posing in front of the car so, tongue in cheek I posed my daughter by my Ford Focus.

The real focus of the picture should be the vest.

I was too aggressive when wet blocking it. It shouldn’t hang quite that low on her. When I’d tried it on for size it seemed so short. I’ll have to reblock it for Aurora.

It was to be the Hourglass Jacket by Jennifer Hansen of Stitch Diva Studios. Broomstick Lace and crochet. I’d already missed the birthday deadline and I really wanted to wear it to the hook signing at Stitch Diva’s booth but the sleeves hadn’t been begun and I was looking at less than a skein of yarn left. The Debbie Bliss silk didn’t appreciate frogging. How do I know? Well now. The back was completed down to the bottom of the armholes and I was about to start on the two front sections. Though the pattern indicated that the material will generously grow lengthwise when blocking it just didn’t seem long enough. For the third time I studied and puzzled the instruction trying to figure out where I may have gone wrong. Ask me if I can read the difference between sc and dc. Apparently not. I don’t know how many times my eyes saw the dc but my brain read sc. For non-crocheters sc is single crochet which basically adds one loop of height, dc is double-crochet which would add two loops of height, tp is triple-crochet, three loops, which is what comprises the fitted waist section of the vest. (To add to the confusion of the above, this is the American way of deciphering stitches though in my opinion the British have it laid out correctly in terms of counting the loops.) Oh yes, my story. Carefully I gingerly tinked it all and started over. I won’t use DB silk again. If I’d paid attention to the skein of yarn when I bought itย  – it took all my mental efforts to figure out how many skeins I needed but eventually that figure proved wrong – I’d have seen the yarn is only singles, no plying to give it strength.

So, between having only one night in which to get it blocked and dried before the signing and possible lack of enough yarn to complete two sleeves I took the easy way out. Besides, vests are very handy to have when working in an office.

I really shouldn’t have worn it. It was made for my daughter. She’s 5’9″ and slender as a rail. I’m shy of 5’3 and more like a stout post. It hung really bad on me. Jennifer was gracious enough not to notice.

Jennifer! Yes! We finally met. She seemed like a dear young sister. It was wonderful to meet her. So full of zest and energy, all sparkle, intelligence, and creativity. I went up to the Portland Convention Center to The Knit and Crochet Guild Show three days in a row, first to deliver the hooks to Jennifer’s booth, then I took Jennifer’s hairpin lace workshop – if you ever get the chance to take a workshop from her, do so, and back there on Saturday with Ed to do the hook signing event. We ended up staying all afternoon and had a grand time.

I was delighted that Willow stopped by and said Hi.

Willow, who lives in California, was being recognized at the show for obtaining her “Master Knitter” certification. I wish we’d taken the opportunity to spend some time together. It was only later that I realized I should have left the booth for a long cup of coffee or tea and a good chat with Willow. We would have had lots to share.

After the show closed for the evening Jennifer, Ed and I headed for a Vietnamese restaurant. We feasted and talked the evening away. It was so good to spend real time together.

We’ve finally resolved our internet service provider woes by going with a satellite dish. After more than three weeks very very sporadic connection I made that call. In this age a quick, reliable internet is important to efficiently run the office end of Jenkins Woodworking without relying on a whimpy dial-up that cut off phone calls and takes ages to accomplish everything. Even four years ago operating on dial-up wasn’t as onerous. Think about how most websites now have lots of pictures, bells and whistles, the flasher the better. Motions, sounds and videos all take a heavy toll on loading time.

It took several days to iron out a few bugs and then a few more days before our techie friend came over to get the modem that talks to the satellite to also communicate through the router so I could use the laptop during my personal computer time. Yesterday morning we were slightly thrown for a loop shortly after booting up the computers when the internet connection slowed to a crawl before a last gasp. It wasn’t until I dashed through the raining dogs and cats downpour to get some produce to put up. While there I mentioned our nonworking connection and was informed that a copious amount of drenching, drown a cat in a moment – seriously I got soaked running the few steps from my car over to the tarp covered truck with corn ears covering the flatbed – rain will overwhelm the reception of any signals brave enough to make it through. And we live in western Oregon. sigh

There’s so much else to catch up on after a silence of almost a month. Now that I have access to the internet during personal time maybe I’ll make up for some lost time. After all, we did go to OFFF, I finished knitting another project, there’s spinning, and trying to put a bit of food by for the winter. One great thing about not being online in the early morning or evening is that it’s a wonderful time for productive fiberworking while listening to books on tape. After reading of Jo‘s visit to PEI I had to borrow the Anne of Green Gables set from the library to “read” again.


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

8 thoughts on “Broomstick Lace memories”

  1. Oh, I remember those photos, ‘here, stand up in front of the car’… that and all the photos of the little ones perched on the hoods :^), although I must say, a VW bus in back of your daughter would’ve looked fine also :^)
    The Hairpin Lace vest looks fabulous!
    What fun, the guild show, making good times.
    Congrats on the satellite but oh noooo re: what happens when it rains… is it only when you’re getting what we call here, a real toad strangler that the connection cuts out?

  2. It’s so nice to see you back! You’ve been missed – and I think the vest looks charming on you. :0)

    We finally got Liam into the specialist on Friday – he thinks it’s eczema bothering him. We’re using a special cream to clear him up, and now are trying to figure out what it is that’s triggering him. I’m just so relieved to see some healthy skin on his face, and see him smile again!

  3. Welcome back! I’ve missed reading your posts (although I did see that wonderful picture of you guys on Willow’s blog) ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds like you’ve been very busy, but in a good way, and you look so happy in those photos. Congratulations on getting satellite – I’ll keep my fingers crossed for brave, rain-defying signals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Yes, I have a few family photos in front of cars also. My mom also used to take our pictures in front of trees, so I have a lot of pictures with trees seemingly coming out of our heads. I really like the vest. I think it looks good on you and your daughter!

  5. Oh I’m glad I’m not the only one re-reading Anne of Green Gables! Currently enjoying House of Dreams – always my favourite.

    I used to love doing broomstick lace in earlier years – must get back to it.

    Hugs from Ireland

  6. broomstick lace !! ah memories , I too must get back to it one of these days . It looks great on you and am glad that you have managed to sort out your internet problems ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. The vest looks great on you both and with the confusion over the UK and US terms in crochet I’m surprised more people don’t get confused (or maybe they’re shy and don’t tell!)
    Looks like you had fun at the show! And congrats on the statlite link up – sounds very high tech and I hope it does the trick for you!

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