bike trip

I have been very busy. Last weekend, we went camping in Wisconsin to bike the Sparta – Elroy trail. We had a great time. Paul rode 45 miles and I rode 26 miles, each a personal best. The tunnels were great. It was neat experience to go in them, a little eerie, and really unusual. So, life intervenes again. No new projects today.

finished scarf- July UFO

Since my last two finishes for June and May were decidedly lame, I am pleased to have finished July with gusto.  Since I began this scarf over two years ago, I am proud to complete it.  It is obviously a first knitting project, because the first quarter is so tight and wobbly.  I am pleased that the last three quarters of it is fairly regular.  I don’t know if I will knit again for a while but I feel like if I wanted to, I could.

Last bike update:

For those of you who have been following the bike trip, we had the sad news that one of the last two kids on the trip was injured.  He fell and hurt his knee.  He and the last biker will come back by bus or plane in the next few days.

the boy is back

Yesterday we got the best news.  The boy decided to come back from his trip early.  We found out in the morning, and then he called from Fargo (the farthest west he gets cell phone coverage east of Washington).  He got home shortly before I got home from work.  He is brown as a walnut with hair standing straight out and mostly in dreadlocks.   He’s in excellent shape.  It was so good to see him.  I almost started to cry.  We all missed him so much, and are so happy and blessed to have him back.  (Two boys remain in Montana to finish the trip so you can still send their moms some prayers.)

So it got me thinking about all those young men and women only a little older than my son who are serving our country.  How do their mothers do it?  I could barely hold it together when I didn’t hear from him daily in the fairly safe context of Washington, Idaho and Montana.  How do they do it when their child is a whole world away?  And in war?

Anyway, thanks for all your thoughts and prayers for him.  Thanks to all of you who listened to me obsess over and over about his safety (especially you, Mom).  My craziness is much more contained now and I promise to ask what you are up to if you call.

mittens- future projects

Look at these beautiful mittens! I am visiting my mom and she showed me these great mittens.  They are made from recycled sweaters, and fully lined with polar fleece.  What is interesting is they are three large parts so although the thumbs are shaped, they are not little tiny pieces.  I have a copy of the pattern, so I definitely will try these when I get home.

Here’s a picture of the lining of the green pair.  I already have quite a bit of fleece, and I think I have some wool sweaters that will make a beautiful outer shell.

Bike update

The boys have reached Glacier National Park and are doing some hiking and camping.  They are heading back on Sunday.

denim quilt full speed ahead

No, it’s not Cousin It.  It’s me with my circles sewn into pairs.  Wow, it feels great to be back in my studio after being sick, graduation and getting ready for graduation!  These are the circles I have so far.  When they were stacked up they were about six inches high.  My sister has cut some for me, too, so I will have even more.

Bike update

The boys were outside of Spokane, Washington yesterday.  They had a long day reaching a plateau and then had their first 100 mile day.  I have to say, I had my biggest stab of jealousy for them this last week.  They asked a farmer to camp in their orchard.  The farmer said, “Sure, and help yourself to cherries.”  I love cherries. I remember being 17 years old and picking, well really mostly eating, as many cherries as I could. Yum.

before and after bathroom – bike update

I just ran across a photo of my bathroom before we did these small renovations. Here it is:

You can see the crappy old string lights and the black painted medicine cabinet. 

Anyway, Paul and I went camping and we had a great time.  I would blog more about the chaos that is me going camping (some of you have seen it in person), but Paul said I couldn’t.  I will just say that is great to spend one on one time with my boy and reaquaint myself with his awesomeness without all the distractions of my regular life. By the way, if you ever need to think of a subject to talk to him about, ask him the difference between frogs and toads.  I thought they were the same thing until he told me about them this weekend. We got back last night just in time to get a phone call from Eliott.  It was the first time I had spoken to him in about five days because he was calling while I was at work, then Paul and I were gone.

They left Seattle on the sixth.  Darby ended up having a chip on his knee so he needed to rest.  He flew home.  He may come out when they get to Montana and ride the rest of the way back with the group.  On Friday, they stayed in Index.  Yesterday, they reached the summit of Steven’s Pass.  This is the most difficult mountain pass they need to go through so he was excited to reach the top.  He said people in cars were cheering them on. 

Here’s them leaving Washington.  More photos at!/dembikeboys.

a hole in the wall

Here’s the hole in the wall.   We had Larry, our friend and awesome carpenter, out our house to do some work.  Last winter we had a terrible ice dam and the roof was damaged.  Since we were replacing the roof, we also had a fan and some new electrical lights put in.  This is the hole he made to put the fan in.  There is actually solid wood  one inch thick behind the sheet rock. Our house is always filled with surprises.

Here’s the fan.  It really sucks the air right out.  After we take a shower the mirror doesn’t even steam up.

And here are the new lights.  They are on a switch.  The lights had  annoying little chains before.  I love the switch.  When we had the lights with the chain, we only had a choice of about three different fixtures, so it was exciting to pick new ones from all the choices.  About halfway through the repairs, Larry pulled out our medicine cabinet.  Since he had it out, we ran out and bought a new one.  We still have  a little paint touch ups to do, but the room looks so good!

Bike update

The boys spent the 4th in Seattle.  They took a bus tour called the dead man’s tour. He saw Jimi Hendrix’ grave and Kirk Cobain’s house.  His friend, Darby, had a knee injury so they took him to the hospital.

July ufo- bike update

So my July ufo is this knitted scarf.  Now I am a fairly proficient at crocheting, but knitting is something that I never quite got the hang of.  A couple of years ago when my sister, Becky, was visiting, we went to the mall together.  Becky sews, crochets and works with beads, but like me didn’t knit.  The mall was hosting a knitting event.   They gave us each a skein of yarn and knitting needles and we both learned to knit.  Every so often I get it out and work on it.  I plan to make it long enough to use as a scarf this month.  It will be a good project because I have a little bit of travelling in July and it is portable.  By the way, my sister lives in Minot, ND, and her house is very likely damaged from the flood.  If you have any spare prayers for her and her neighbors, I’m sure that they would appreciate it.

Bike update

We were excited to get this postcard from Eliott yesterday.  He was in Forks a few days ago.  Now, he is in Port Angeles.  They will be heading to Seattle for the Fourth.

They really enjoyed Lake Crescent.  They went kayaking and jumped off  a cliff into the lake.  He said it was really cold.  Here’s a picture of the lake from their twitter, @dembikeboys:

more denim quilt, bike trip update

Well, I did get into my sewing room for some actual sewing.  I finished a green t-shirt yesterday, and continued to put denim blocks together.  I decided to turn away from the charm rainbow idea and move to a muted color theme.  I find the muted colors work better with the denim.  This is one of the most rigid quilts I have made in a long time, and I am enjoying the challenge of it.

I also bought a shelf for my little jars of bead and buttons.  I have to give it a second coat of paint then hopefully I will get it up tomorrow.  I bought some hooks to put up for my tote bags.  Slowly the room is coming together. I am still in the process of bring up things from the basement and out of the garage.  My big discovery yesterday was my Pokemon cards which were tucked in the middle of  a suitcase packed with fabric.

Bike trip update:

The boys are also updating on twitter at @dembikeboys.  There are more photos there and also more frequent updates.  The photos that I posted today are from the twitter account.

My son and his friends arrived safely in Portland on Wednesday.  However, two of the bikes didn’t arrive.

But the bikes arrived Friday and the boys were on their way.  By Saturday they had crossed the Columbia River.

I am happy to see the helmets in this picture.  Not so much the giant trucks.

denim quilt

Thankfully, my commitment to writing here every Thursday and Sunday has got me out of my little anxiety funk.  My oldest boy began his epic bike trip on Monday.  He got on the bus and rode to Portland via Kansas City, Denver and Salt Lake City.  Anyway, he arrived in Portland yesterday.  He and three friends plan to bike back to Minnesota over the summer.  After a couple days of sort of sleeping at night,  I laid down in the afternoon and took a nap yesterday.  I got up refreshed and much less worried.  I knew I needed to get something ready for my post. I only really have the cathedral windows denim quilt out and ready to work on.  So I put together a few blocks.

It was easy to put together.  However, I realized that each circle needs to have the square drawn on.  I plan to do that while I watch tv. 

The back looks great, too.  I will have to try to be more intentional about the value of the circles.  I did get two circles that were very similar together on the other sample right next to each other. 

Here’s a sample of how it will look with the colored squares.  I love the way it looks.  Now I have some decisions to make.  I am thinking about what color thread to use to edge finish the denim part.

Anyway, I will continue to post updates on this blog about my son’s trip to help family follow his progress but I plan to bring this blog back to my primary purpose: documenting my work.  In the mean time, if you are driving on the highway and see some bikers please go slow and be careful.  My boy could be among them.