Monday, April 25, 2016

Spinning in the RAK

We had a spin-in this past week in The Frog Prince and his Knitting Community Orphans.


That was the first bobbin. I’m close to finishing the second one. I’ll try to remember to post a photo of the two together, plied when I reach that stage. The spinning fiber is Knit Picks Full Circle in "Fawn."
Life got in the way, as sometimes usually happens, so I didn’t get as much done as I had planned, especially because we were getting ready for the convention and the commute to it in Salt Lake City, as well as getting the dogs ready to be boarded at Camp Barkalot in Salt Lake City overnight.
I also spent a few hours this week selecting recipes from our "Rather Spin than Cook" thread on the Knitting Community, which is going away May 1st, and moving them to the new thread of the same name on The Frog Prince and his Knitting Community Orphans forum on Ravelry. Often there were photos included. (What's a recipe without a photo?) This new thread is for quick, easy recipes, to save you time not just for spinning, but for knitting, crocheting, quilting, weaving and dyeing.
Made some progress on the Vicenza Lace Shawl at the convention.


The yarn is Knit Picks Hawthorn in “Lovejoy.” Nice to work with. I think I might have some left over. Someone at the convention asked to take a photo of my new knitting bag, which contained my shawl project (Remember from last week, when I got RAK'd the first time?)


When we got home Friday, I found out that I had been “RAK’d” again.

Lucky me. What a surprise! I received some lovely Waimea Rooster, already an object of much admiration by me; spinning fiber (Merino/Tencel blend, the colorful one); some Teal Carded Targhee/Polypay and some Dark Teal Carded CVM/Romeldale: a coloring book and pencils; some lovely tea and some scissors I will never lose because they have a magnetic holder. Grapes! How appropriate (see above knitting bag)! Thank you, Christina Rowell/AlohaBlu!
I missed the quilt guild meeting because we had an impromptu soprano sectional for Beethoven’s Ninth, but here are a couple of quilts from long ago to show you quilters just to keep you reading my blog. This was an antique quilt my friend Tina Lewis restored, called Broken Dishes:


Here's another one, a Log Cabin:


I was hoping to be able to spin on the front deck during the week. I made a valiant effort, but when it was nice (60° in the sun) it was so breezy I was afraid I was going to lose my roving. 
DH said it was the front moving in. Front? What front? It was supposed to rain and then snow! Well, it did, and then was cold (48° max in the sun) through Sunday. Just when our daffodils were coming up. When we picked up the pups in Salt Lake City (about 2,000' lower elevation and much warmer), the person in charge at Camp Barkalot said that Rocky and Sunny had spent a lot of time outdoors, even standing in the rain. Spring! And then they had to come home...to winter.

What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt. Working on the the Vicenza Lace Shawl. Still have Aran sweater for Daphne Jr. and socks on needles.
What's on my Featherweight: Ready to start on Dolly’s Regency outfit when I get a chance.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Listing to the Beethoven’s Ninth choral practice recording is cutting into my audiobook time. I have downloaded a new audiobook, but I couldn't even tell you what it is. Still reading A Love That Never Tires by Allyson Jeleyne on the Kindle app. Good thing it never tires.
What's in my wine glass: Bohemian Highway Merlot. Described as a casual, free-flowing spirit. Sometimes I can manage that.
What's my tip of the week: Of course, you know to run the garbage disposal whenever you put something in it, but do you have family members who forget to do this? You know the type: they come in to make a sandwich, sweep bits of this and that off the counter and into the sink, and then walk off with their sandwich. (Crumbs in the sink are a giveaway.) If you don’t need to run the garbage disposal yourself in the process of meal preparation, it can sit there and take on a life of its own. You know what I mean. I run mine every morning as one of my morning chores. There’s always something in it.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bats, Beethoven and Booty

Now that I have your attention….not done with doll clothes. Here is Dolly wearing the jeans that are part of her western attire:

The hat and boots came from The Doll Clothes Store. The pattern for the jeans was from Pixie Faire, not as hard as I expected. The shirt was from The Best Doll Clothes Book. Here's a closeup from the front:


And from the back:


We met at Joanie’s on Thursday for Vintage Stitchers. We were a small group, but sometimes that’s nice. Janet was working on her Washington Park Shawl, which will be glorious when it’s done. She was wearing this lovely dropped-stitch cowl she made. She’s getting to be a fantastic knitter.


Joanie had started a new project and needed help. (Difficult yarn, stitch count off. Story short: we frogged it, and I started it over and got her back to where she was.) Joanie is a talented knitter. She had this fruit bat from Knit Your Own Zoo.
Here is the fruit bat awake:


…and asleep.

OK, we covered the bats. Now for the Beethoven. I’ve been practicing my part in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. We only sing the final movement after sitting and listening to all the earlier movements, but it’s a humdinger when we get to sing. Most of the soprano part is in the rafters, long and high.
As for the booty. (No, not that kind of booty.) I received this in the mail:

It was an unsolicited package from a friend in the new Ravelry group, The Frog Prince and his Knitting Community Orphans, as a “Random Act of Kindness,” or “RAK.” We filled out a survey of our likes and interests if we wanted to participate. When we feel the urge to do so, we can choose a subject from among those who filled out surveys and send them something we think they would like. I found this in my mailbox.
Knowing I love knitting AND red wine, she thought it prudent to include this pin on the bag.

If you have to get RAKed, this is the way to do it. Then the next day, this appeared at my door:

All kinds of goodies from Knit Picks. I CO the Vicenza Shawl with the Hawthorne “Lovejoy” that arrived in the box (shown at the bottom of the photo)…once I ascertained that I had enough for the project. Not much to show yet, but I think it’s going to be a fun knit. The pouch now holds my favorite knitting notions, including my new favorite scissors.
I’ve also been taking part in the Spin-in that started Saturday in the The Frog Prince and the Knitting Community Orphans group. Here’s what I have so far:


The fiber is Knit Picks Full Circle 100% wool roving in "Fawn." It will be a blanket someday, when I get my weaving studio back.
I also knit and felted a new iPhone pouch, something I’ve been meaning to do since I got my new iPhone, which is a little taller than the old one and thus a bit too big for the pouch I made before we left on our trip last summer. Here it is with the fabric I used to line it. I don't know if the colors are showing up as they are, but the magenta background is a perfect match. The lining fabric is Connecting Threads batik “Nebula-Ultraviolet.”


I decided that, now that I know how to post a pattern on Ravelry, I would polish this pattern up a bit and publish it, so…if you really want to make one just like mine, you can find the pattern here.
While I was at it, I knit a little purse for Gabi (until she has to give it up for Daphne Jr., when the birthday package gets shipped). That way I could felt them both at the same time and save water.



Just in case you think spring has arrived, we got lots of snow this past week. Most of the snow is now gone, but it’s still pretty cold out, but I woke up one morning to this.



What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt. Working on the Aran sweater for Daphne Jr. and socks. Just CO (I admit I have a problem) the Vicenza Lace Shawl
What's on my Featherweight: Ready to start on Dolly’s Regency outfit when I get a chance.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Still listening to Saint Odd by Dean Koontz. Listing to the Beethoven’s Ninth choral practice recording is cutting into my audiobook time. Reading A Love That Never Tires by Allyson Jeleyne on the Kindle app.
What's in my wine glass: Gato Negro Malbec, a red, of course. 2014 vintage. Drink it while it’s fresh. :-}
What's my tip of the week: White vinegar and salt will remove tarnish from copper and brass. Cheap fix.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Fond Farewell

Does anyone not know that the Knitting Community is closing? It's so sad, but there is life after the Knitting Community. You can find us over on Ravelry at The Frog Prince and his Knitting Community Orphans, a Ravelry group/forum. We have been transferring tips and tricks posted here to that location and have threads for most of the things we discussed here. We will be adding more. Many of you have found us there. (We're now almost up to 60 members!) If you haven't yet, please feel free to stop by and join us if you like.
I would like to extend an invitation to the Knit Picks Staff to come and join us there as well. We got to see you from time to time here, and the new "Community" won't be the same without you. I'll never forget my live visit to you in July, 2011, when I brought along my brand-new daughter-in-law. That visit made it possible for me to imagine you and where you work.


This will probably be my last blog post on this site, but you can continue to follow my blog on Blogspot and leave your comments with Mr. Frog Prince, in the "Peggy's Blog" thread. This week's blog post is up. If you're a quilter and visit Quilt With Us, you can find it there as well.
In May, 2008, I participated in Sock Wars III. I had never used the computer before for anything other than email and occasionally looking something up. The Sock Wars website was pretty primitive by today's standards, but I found I enjoyed comparing notes on knitting with others. I was killed off pretty quickly, the same day as my victim received her socks, and spent the rest of the competition chatting with other "dead" participants.
The earliest post of mine on this website that I could find was in June, 2008. I think someone must have mentioned the site to me. Before the end of the year, I had written my first blog post. By November, 2009, I was such a fixture in the site that I was picked, along with Cheryl (cherylbwaters) and Susan (Susan the Blue Lake Knitter), to be interviewed for the Knit Picks Podcast. (It's Podcast 122, Comfort While Knitting, still available on iTunes.) That was the beginning of almost daily PMs between the three of us, as we tried to guess what Kelley would ask us in the interviews.
I participated in the Speed-knitting contest in May, 2010 and came in third after Ruthmci and the first-place finisher, Cristi-Lael. 
The PMs between Cheryl, Susan and me (soon dubbed the "Fairy Godknitters" by Mrs. K), sometimes with others, especially Knit4Many, continued until Susan passed away in September, 2014. I still think of her almost every day. Cheryl and I still communicate frequently, often with Knit4Many, Wendy and others, but not quite as often without Susan. I think she was good at keeping the conversation going. Cherylbwaters, Knit4Many, Mrs. K, AngelKarhu, Wendy, cellogirl, KnitWhich, Buffy Joseph, Christina | AlohaBlu, EmilyVictoria, PickleSue, Beverly Roberts, typhoonyoon, Carol Meissner, cherubhmm, HavetomuchYarn, especially Blue lake knitter's daughter, and more have become special friends over the years. I'm still in touch with them.
This Community has changed my life for the better. Those changes won't go away because this social website is gone. 
I want to remind everyone that the Knit Picks website is NOT going away. All the yummy yarns, spinning fibers, notions, dyes, books and other fiber stuff we love will still be there. 
Please come see us on Ravelry. You'll be glad you did.


Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Adventures of Sisters in the Spirit

Dorothy Alexander and Gabrielle Tonner cordially invite you to attend the birthday party for their friend Daphne Jr.’s Uncle Zachary, who turns four on April 8, 2016.

Here are Dolly and Gabi, seeing how they look in their new aprons. I raided my quilting stash to find fabric to coordinate with their outfits. The pattern was here.
The website is closed, but the pattern is available until the domain runs out. It says that patterns from this website are available on Craftsy.


Dolly and Gabi have a lot of cooking to do.


I must confess, I thought they were looking at a cookbook, but it was actually a quilting book. Guess they were talking about their next quilting project while they were baking the cake.
With the food ready, it’s time for the girls to put the finishing touches on their party attire. (We’re wearing lots of purls; let’s wear our pearls!)


Was that the doorbell? Welcome to our party, everyone!

(They asked me to tell you that both dresses are based on this pattern. I knit them as written except that I eliminated all the seams except setting in the sleeves, one seam down the center back of the skirt and the shoulders on Dolly’s. Gabi’s was designed to have only the two shoulder seams. Can you tell I don’t care for sewing up?)
Here’s a recent photo of the young man they were honoring:


Happy birthday, Zachary!
Common Threads met this week. We had a small, but cozy group. We are sort of “Sisters of the Spirit.“ Georgette had fixed a real breakfast: french toast and fruit with yoghurt.


Karan had finished her Fair Isle scarf in Easter colors.


She told us she did the scarf because she wanted to try Fair Isle (good job, Karan) but didn't want to make something big, like a sweater. (Seriously, Karan?) Fair Isle in cotton isn't easy. The puckers are hard to block out, and she doesn't have puckers.
I worked on my "Sistine Chapel." Lynda was working on a sock. Kathleen is knitting the same scarf. (I think she only works on it during our Common Threads meetings. Georgette modeled the dress she bought for her son's wedding, so we could advise her about the length. (It was fine.) She's started another needlepoint project. I'll try to get a photo when she has more of it done.
Speaking of "sisters," The Frog Prince group on Ravelry is moving along. As I write this, we're up to nearly 60 members. We're opening discussions comparable to the KALs on the soon-to-end Knitting Community. I'm trying to add a few tips a day from the "Tips and Tricks for New Knitters" discussion in the Learn to Knit KAL. We will try to include tips for experienced knitters/crocheters/weavers/spinners as well as new knitters.

Well, maybe not "sisters" plural, but Rocky's sister, Sunny, is shown here getting her lunch during our first real hike of the season, at "The Living Room," a viewpoint overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. (Yes, we hiked up from Salt Lake.)



What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt. Working on the Aran sweater for Daphne Jr. and socks.
What's on my Featherweight: Finished aprons for the dolls, and jeans and a cowboy shirt for Dolly. Ready to start on the I-spy quilt for Johan.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished The Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd. Now listening to Saint Odd by Dean Koontz. Still reading A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson on the Kindle app.
What's in my wine glass: Corbett Canyon Merlot. Always a nice choice.
What's my tip of the week: Doll clothes are easier to make if you line the smaller pieces instead of making facings. You don't have to save fabric, after all. I learned this on the Red Riding Hood dirndl, and used it for the aprons.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Moving Along

I’m finally making progress on my “Delectable Pathways” quilt. (I’m calling it “Peggy’s Sistine Chapel.)


However, I took time out this week for a doll dress for Dolly for the April KAL, “Sisters,” in the Götz Doll group on Ravelry.

The project page on Ravelry is here.
The instructions were for knitting the dress parts in sections and sewing them together. Some of you knitters share my distaste for sewing up lots of extra seams, although doll clothes tend to have very small seams that go together quickly. I didn’t like the look of the side seams interrupting the pattern on the sides of the skirt, so for this project so I decided to have just one seam in the back. That led me to knitting part of the bodice (up to where it splits for the front opening and then the sleeve openings) in the round, as well as the sleeves. The only seams I ended up with was the back of the skirt, the two shoulder seams and setting in the sleeves. I need to make another one for the other “sister,” Gabi. I’m going to switch out the turquoise and green colors. (I’ve done the math, and I should have enough yarn.) This time, I’m going to try to work the skirt in the round and pick up the sleeves stitches to work down, rather than having that seam. That should take the seams down to just the shoulders. I didn't have any black yarn, so I used black sock yarn, held double.
We got more snow early in the week, but it’s almost all melted now.

Wednesday evening DH and I went out to dinner at Aristo’s Greek Restaurant in Salt Lake City, followed by a show at Pioneer Theater, “Cowgirls.” It was very entertaining, about six women who perform in a western bar. The three hired as a “cowgirl band” turned out to be classically trained, not “country.” They "made do." All of the characters evolve during the story. Fun, entertaining story and music.
The pups and I had a nice walk at a lower elevation on Saturday, and I didn’t even need a jacket. Spring is here...until the next snowstorm.
DGD1 did get the final paperwork signed and it’s official: She owns her own car. My car goes in today to have the interior cleaned and de-perfumed. No point in doing the outside until the winter weather is over. Just a regular carwash with the undercarriage sprayed clean will do for now.
Here’s an update on the new Ravelry group: "The Frog Prince and His Knitting Community Orphans:” We’re up to 42 members, as of the time I'm writing and scheduling this post, as more of our Knitting Community friends are finding us. It's so nice to have such a pleasant lily pad to land on.
There was no minigroup meeting this week because it was the fifth Thursday. Common Threads meets this week, though, so I should have some photos for next week’s blog.
Friday we went to the funeral for the husband of the amazing director of Park City Singers. He passed away just a few days after he performed in The Messiah Project on Palm Sunday evening. Most of us who participated in that performance came to sing two pieces from it, and our director, who is an amazing soprano, sang several songs of different origins. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was a very moving experience.

What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt and working on the second April “Sisters” KAL dress.
What's on my Featherweight: Making aprons for the dolls.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor and then A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd. Still reading A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson on the Kindle app.
What's in my wine glass: Lindeman’s Bin 50 Shiraz 2015. Fruity and nice.
What's my tip of the week: Although yarn comes in some general sizes, there are some variations within a category, so it’s a good idea to knit a gauge swatch before starting a project. (A pocket lining or sleeve makes a good swatch; doll clothes and socks can be their own swatch, as long as you check your gauge after you have a few inches done.) If you don’t have the yarn called for in the pattern, you can usually substitute a similar weight. Ravelry and YarnSub are good resources for making substitutions. In a pinch, you can hold two strands of some yarns together, as I did with the black yarn for the Sisters dirndl dress for Dolly. Two strands of fingering, sock or 4-ply equal one strand of sport; two strands of sport equal one strand of worsted and two strands of worsted equal one strand of bulky.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, March 28, 2016

New Life

Here’s Rebecca’s version of a wool appliqué design Julie recently finished.
This was a week to contemplate death, but also resurrection. I see some parallels to my life, even if on a smaller scale. True to our theme, Rebecca has added a butterfly, long considered a symbol of resurrection and new life because it “dies” as a caterpillar and emerges from a tomb in a new form.
Here’s Julie’s wool appliqué wall hanging based on the same design. You may recognize it, as I included it in a blog several weeks ago.

Rebecca also had finished this lovely cross stitch for her daughter’s new house (I believe).


Another project you might remember: Barbara’s appliqué quilt. Marilyn redrafted the block so they would come out the right size, and Barbara managed to get the pieces out of the fabric she had left.

She was not happy with the directions, so it’s just as well the pattern is out of print. If you wanted to make one like it, you would have to reverse-engineer it. It's a very nice design, thought, and lovely fabrics in the kit. Here are the border fabrics that came in the kit.

The pattern was Apricot Preserves by Ann Danzig’s Granny's Attic. If you remember, this kit was left to Barbara by a dear friend who passed away some time back. She had started the appliqué, so some of her work is in it. See how this quilt fits into the resurrection theme?
Brenda has been busy. She finished her Ribbon Quilt, but packed it away, as they are moving to a new (local) location. She was happy to send me this photo for my blog, though.


The pattern is from “Strip Your Stash.”
She also had been working on this quilt, pattern by Sweetwater and fabrics from the “Noteworthy” line.

After eating and having show-and-tell, we sat around and worked on various projects.

A minigroup is a good place to share ideas about how to do things. We all learn from each other.

I’ve been hand-quilting my Delectable Pathways (AKA “Peggy’s Sistine Chapel”) quilt. Just to jog your memory, here’s the finished quilt top on my design wall:

I hope to get it up on the wall over my stairs this spring, but don’t hold your breath. The final knitted doll outfit (for now) is finished. The pattern, sort of spun off from the simple "Everyday Play" dress I designed, is now available as a free download on Ravelry.


Some of you may be aware that our DGD1 moved in with us January 2015. She has been driving my car ever since, first to look for work and then to get to her job, putting a crimp in my independence, as DH and I have had to coordinate our use of his car. Thursday evening DGD and DH went to a Salt Lake City car dealership and they found her a nice, high-mileage, pre-owned Nissan. (Hers is the one in front, and she's paying for it.) So I finally get my car back.

I'm checking into getting my car detailed. It deserves it. Again, fitting the theme of new life. One step toward getting my fiber studio back. Not exactly new life, but it feels like it.
Finally, you may remember my lament from last week regarding the impending loss of the Knit Picks Knitting Community. I can announce (for those of you who don’t know yet) the grand opening of the Ravelry group: "The Frog Prince and His Knitting Community Orphans."
We already have more than 30 members, as of the time I'm writing and scheduling this post, and it has been great to “see” some of our Knitting Community friends who haven’t been as active lately in the Community. One of the nice things is, some orphans of the Knitting Community have also been active on Quilt With Us, and we can have a quilting thread in our Ravelry group, because our group is mostly knitting, etc.
What's on my needles: Remember the Trickle Brick socks? Also back to hand-quilting.
What's on my Featherweight: Still working on cleaning fiber studio.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Listening to No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor Also reading A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson on the Kindle app.
What's in my wine glass: Corbett Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon. I couldn’t find a vintage on the bottle, but it’s nice, and a good value.
What's my tip of the week: If you’re hand-quilting and get too many stitches loaded onto your needle, a hemostat comes in handy for pulling it through. Just be sure when you pull, you don’t twist your wrist--just pull out in the direction the needle is pointing, so you don’t break your needle.

 
Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.