Tuesday, March 19, 2013

As I drive the AT

Chrissy Cleo meows as I drive the byways, the backroads, and the white-knuckle roads up into the Appalachian Mountains day in and day out. In my mind I can see her flashing eyes, but I am afraid that there is nothing that I can do. I forgot her threads so she simply won't get done this trip. Hopefully when I get back I will get her finished and off to the finishers before this coming Christmas. In fact, to simplify matters I took her off the frame - yes, I said off, and her eyes really sent messages - rolled her up and placed her in a tube. This is "for your own protection" - remember your mom saying that to you? - and will mail her back to the DIL's place to keep safe and clean. Traveling open like she was in the car left her in a bad position of getting her threads caught and pulled, dirt on her and all manner of happenings. Out of sight, but not out of mind.

While I was gathering small projects to bring with us to Mexico and then on the 6 month odyssey, I found a Santa pillow project that had been tucked in the suitcase from Panama. Perfect as it is tedious with many a colour here, a color there, and a multitude of colors that just aren't what one would expect. Obviously, not a favorite but an UFO is an UFO and it would be nice to get it finished and out of the suitcase of UFO's. I do a little, put it down, do a little, out it aside, all in the evenings after the days events or as in the case of Mexico, while riding on the bus long distances.

Supporting my husband on the AT means doing a lot of driving. It is too cold at this time for camping close to the trail so we drive distances to find a hotel and park for a few days before moving on. This means that, as I don't know exactly how long it will take hime to hike a certain area, I often sit for longish periods of time in the car. I also wait for a period of time after I drop him off to make sure he has everything that he needs, hasn't misjudged the trail of the weather. I pass my time by hiking/geocaching or needlework.

 A baseball ornament

Not having Chrissy CLeo to work on, I started another project that I brought out of the UFO pile: Golden Christmas Crackers. I had the stretcher bars with me so I eagerly got started. A few stitches at a time will add up over a few days to a finished #1 out of a total of 10 (1/10). I am finding that there are certain fibers that I don't really like working with but when finished, they do look so good. So here I will have to temper my feelings and open my mind to using something that I don't initially like.

A rainy day, no a downpour day, gave me the opportunity to drive a good distance to the closest LNS that I could find. Here I was able to replenish supplies to finish stitching the baseball project, find a new project that I have been lusting over for months, Broom Parking, and found a new fiber that will work into what I am about to start, Father Frost. I was unable to get the stretcher bars needed for Broom Parking so will have to order them and have them sent out, or maybe I will find another LNS close by. Will post photos here in a few days.

Today another day of snow/rain and a day for catching up on my blogging as well as doing some basic stitching on my new project, Father Frost.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A new Adventure ...

A new adventure both in travel and in sewing but not necessarily in needlework. Living in a tent/hostel/hotel - can one adequately lay out and sew? We shall see in the upcoming days and weeks.

After 3 1/2 days on the road, one cracked windshield, and 1384.3 miles, we are at the beginning of this epic journey for Danny. He is starting in a small place called Boiling Springs, PA and we are staying a couple of days in an inn that gives thru-hikers (Danny) a really good deal: a $140 room for $40. They hold mystery weekends here so just might have to attend Saturday night.

After the first surprise, a cracked windshield, another reared it's ugly head. I am so disgusted with myself and angry and hurt and .... I left all the threads for Chrissy Cleo back in the RV. I can't believe that I did that. Here I was so looking forward to sitting and finishing her up quickly. I couldn't think of any solution except mailing her back to the DILs place to hold for our return. When Danny came in from his first day of hiking, he had a solution -  ask the owner of the storage units to go in and retrieve the threads and then mail them to a retrieval point 10 days down the road. hmmmmm not a bad idea at that!

And so we finish our first day of our epic journey down and up the Appalachian Trail ...

"The Sewing Mama" and "Idigo"

On the road again ...

... This time we are headed across country to the start of my husband's journey of a lifetime, hiking the Appalachian Trail. I am going to be supporting him in the car so that he only has to carry a daypack while hiking. This means that we will basically live out of the car for the next 6 months, overnighting in a tent, a hostel, or hotel, depending on availability. Follow our escapades through Danny's eyes at:
http://travelinduo.blogspot.com/p/slack-hiking-appalachian-trail.html and through my eyes at:

The question that I have been receiving, asked with pitying eyes, is "What are you going to do for all that time?" I had decided that I was going to finish Chrissy Cleo, work on the Christmas tablecloth and do some quilting. I also wanted to do some extra classroom work to enhance my future application with Peace Corps. So I happily added these things to the packing list with the hopes that I would be able to get them all in the car.

Several days later, we started to pack: we have a Honda CRV which will have to carry all our camping equipment, clothing, Appalachian Trail paraphernalia, cameras, computers, book to read, and then my crafting stuff. As you can see, it was quite a chore.

all of this --->             

into this --->  

became this --->

We did it, but with revisions on my part.

Quilting: I have a small dolly quilt that is a quilt-as-I-go to be finished. I am also carrying a quilt that needs a binding added to it. This is a relatively small one so doesn't take much space but is a little heavier than a fleece would be. Guess we can use it if we need to also. Then a pattern for another for my GD, at her request. Alas, there was no room for my wonderful Miss Betsy Janome 6600P. I was able to put in a rinky-dink child's Kenmore that straight stitches and zigzags and is as noisy as all get out. Still it will work for flimsy making. The cutting board/ironing pad unit fits in the spare tire well and the iron in a small corner by the tire well. Can't you just see me set up and sewing on a picnic table, tent in the background, cooking a stew or something for the incoming hiker and his cronies that he picks up along the trail????

Chrissy Cleo: I am so excited about the prospect of finishing her up first. She sat patiently waiting in the car as we packed:
...but her eyes had a twinkle of mischief in them that I had never seen before - almost a snicker. It didn't make any sense as she had never traveled before. So I merrily continued to pack and gingerly laid her on top, in the back, inside a protective bag just before we closed up the hatch. I won't be getting her off to the finisher however as Miss Cleo will remain home in the RV.

I also included a new project that has been languishing in the UFO closet - a baseball ornament for the grandsons. This will be an easy, quick stitch and I will make 2 of them = 2 grandsons who play ball. hmmm the granddaughter also plays softball, guess that means 3 ornaments.

The Christmas tablecloth is one that only gets worked on in the car. It will probably take me a month of Sundays to finish but that is okay. I am cross stitching it on smaller fabric than what was included in the  kit which makes it a little slower going. AM almost finished the first of 6 segments (round table cloth pattern).

Packed up and ready to go, we first had a stop in Longview to pick up a missing parcel and we are off ...