Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter's Arrival

The first snowblowers of the season were heard Saturday morning.
Vintage Stitchers met on Thursday at Diane's. Carol brought her Kaffe Fassett quilt, ready for border:
Carol make the blocks for this quilt some time ago, a BOM, but she didn't like that the blocks were so plain, so she jazzed them up.
On the back, the quilter used dark thread in the sashing and borders.
Rebecca had made this embroidered pillow:
...and this red work quilt top.
Brenda had two quilt tops finished. First, this one:
...and then if you can't sleep at night, you can read your quilt.
Barbara bought this Christmas quilt kit at a Whimsy Cottage quilt shop long ago when it was in Heber City.
I can't show you my knitting/crocheting project, because it's a secret, but here's an example of a previous project, also counting as this week's cuteness: Johan wearing the owl hat I made for his brother more than two years ago:
Here's the link to Ravelry page for the project.
What's on my needles: The Johan socks and Mr. F's clothes, plus a small project I can't show you yet. Still hand-quilting my Spring Flowers quilt, working on the second of four appliqué blocks.
What's on my Featherweight: Silently waiting for the next sewing project.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: The Line by J. Horn from Audible. Still reading Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel, from Book Bub.
What's my app of the week: KSL Weather, for up-to-date weather anywhere there's a weather station.
What's in my wine glass: The big box, Block Red Shiraz. It says, "Bottled April 29, 2014, so it's really fresh! Actually, it's pretty good.
What's my tip of the week: If you want to know if you have enough yarn to make another of the same project you've just made from the same yarn, weigh the finished project and then weight the leftover yarn. If your yarn weighs as much or more than your project, you will have enough.
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, November 10, 2014

Hare-brained Scheme

It might have been a hare-brained scheme to make four bunnies, but I finished the third boy bunny, this one for Johan.


Here's what he looks like without his little kimono. He's wearing garter-stitch booties and soaker, actually knitted as part of the legs and body.


I made the girl bunny a sweater using the same pattern as the baby kimono, the Ballerina Wrap Cardigan. out of the same Stroll fingering yarn as I used in the dress and tights.


All of the yarn used came from scraps left over from other projects. In fact, the only yarn I bought was the white for the baby bunny and the Cascade Ultra Pima for the boys' outfits and the baby's kimono, so it was an inexpensive project. Now that I have finished knitting the bunnies, there's a KAL for making any of the Little Cotton Rabbits projects for holiday gifts, but you had to CO and finish between November 8, and December 25th. Too late for me, but I'll be happy to watch from the sidelines.

After finishing the last bunny, I got back to hand-quilting my Spring Flowers quilt.


I have the second of the four appliqué blocks partly quilted. I'm quilting around all the appliqué motifs and quilting inside each of the diamond shapes as well as in the ditch on the diamonds. The background will have diagonal quilting lines from corner to corner, except for the strips of partial LeMoyne stars heading in the N-S-E-W directions, where the quilting goes orthogonally (horizontal and vertical) from the center to the border. I finished that quilting first, so I don't make a mistake and accidentally quilt on the diagonal where it's supposed to be horizontal or vertical, if that makes sense.

Common Threads met this week at Margareth's.


Evidence of Margareth's weaving were found everywhere. She showed us some new projects, but I can't show them, because she plans on entering them in a show. After the show, I'll bless you with a small, mini-Margareth-weavings show. That will be in January. However, Karan was willing to show off her shawl.


Margareth was working on a hat, made from two strands of yarn held together:


Lynda had finished this baby sweater, similar to another one she made earlier. Here's the front:


Here's the back. I like the sheep in the middle, watching where Baby has been.


She used the fiber from her angora bunny for the sheep.
In other news this week, the oven in our gas stove went out, so we had the appliance repair man come and fix it and have a look at our dryer. The problem with the stove was the igniter, which he replaced. The dryer just had some lint clogging the inside, and it worked fine after he removed it. Now the clothes dry much faster, and the dial advances as it should. I mentioned the sound the washer makes, and he thought it sounded like the motor is getting ready to go out. I hope it doesn't go out while all the babies are here for Christmas! (We bought our Maytag washer and dryer in 1982.)

The Wisconsin grandkids had a visit from their other grandparents over Halloween. Here's Zachary giving his fork a little help, photo courtesy of Bubbye.

We're into the second week of the time change, and I'm still waiting for my "extra hour of sleep." Sunny and I are waking up an hour too early every morning. [Sigh!]
Special Note: If you don't read the text of my blog posts, you may have the impression that I'm some kind of super woman. Most, of the projects shown in my blog are produced by friends. Of course, if you don't read my blog text, you won't be reading this.
What's on my needles: The Johan socks and Mr. F's clothes. Back to hand-quilting my Spring Flowers quilt, working on the second of four appliqué blocks.

What's on my Featherweight: Silently waiting for the next sewing project.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Reading The Long Way Home by Karen McQuestion, which was one of Audible's Daily Deals. Good story, and it makes ghosts and psychic abilities seem everyday. I would like to read other books by the same author. Still reading Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel, from Book Bub.

What's my app of the week: Craftsy...again! They recently gave me a choice of any class not in my primary category. (I could only choose one, so I picked knitting, since there was more for me to learn, I thought.) I picked Peggy Martin's "Quick-Strip Paper Piecing." Then they had a surprise sale! I picked up Stacey Trock's "Amigurumi: Woodland Animals," thinking I would improve my crochet skills and maybe use up some scraps making toys for the grands. The only thing I don't like is, when they have a sale, they give me a notification, which shows up on my phone and my iPad, in addition to the email they send. If I read it one place, it still stays on each device until I delete it from that device.

What's in my wine glass: Blackstone Mendoza Malbec 2011, coincidentally the same vintage as DH's "new" Impreza. The fate of his old 1998 Legacy Wagon is still undetermined. However, I'm certain the Malbec has a better bouquet and flavor, although the finish on the Impreza is pretty nice.

What's my tip of the week: If you need to slice vegetables that are rounded, like carrots, radishes, zucchini, etc., and you're in a hurry, slice them lengthwise first. They they will lie flat while you quickly slice them. Of course, this only works if you're happy  with half-moon shapes.

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, November 3, 2014

The Last Bunny...by a Hare.

I finished the second boy bunny, this one for Soren.


He and Zachy's bunny have the same attire, although the bunnies look very different, so we won't get them mixed up at Christmas. Daphne's bunny is wearing Mary Janes, actually knitted as her feet. The two boy bunnies get Nikes (also knitted as their feet), in honor of Soren and Johan's mother, who works for the company:

Like the undies, this is a departure from the pattern instructions from Little Cotton Rabbits, which have them bare except for the clothes that come off.

I've made a good start on Johan's Baby Boy Bunny. The head is done.

I don't know if you can tell, but this bunny has blue eyes, like most human babies. I thought about giving him pink eyes, like real white bunnies, but decided this was cuter. This bunny will be wearing a soaker and booties, knitted as part of the body and feet, along with a baby sweater, which will be removable. Watch for him (finished, with any luck) next week.

There was no stitching group this week, because it was a fifth Thursday, but Joanie and I went to Ogden for the antique fair on Saturday. I didn't find anything to buy at the fair, but found some sock yarn at The Needlepoint Joint, where we always stop when we make these trips. I've been wanting socks to match my new turtleneck, and this yarn will be perfect!


We also finally got our first snow of the season on Sunday, but very late for the first snow. Usually it comes in September. At least I have a nice cozy nest for curling up with my knitting or quilting.

We turned our clocks back Saturday night. I think it's a dumb idea, but we're stuck with it. I will be tired and hungry for the next three weeks until I adjust, although I've been trying to stay up later and eat later, to prepare. No one asked me.

But to end on a positive note, here's some cuteness for this week:

What's on my needles: Johan's Baby Boy Bunny. Also still the Johan socks (for me) and Mr. F's clothes. My quilting needles are still working on the hand-quilting of my Spring Flowers quilt.

What's on my Featherweight: Crystal Stars is still with the quilter for custom quilting when she finishes the Reflections quilt.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Just One Damn Thing After Another, the first volume of Jodi Taylor's "The Chronicles of St. Mary's." Then I listened to Strange Highways by Dean Koontz, and now Last Wool and Testament by Molly MacRae, another of Audible's "Daily Deals" recently, as was the Jodi Taylor book. Koontz has been a favorite for years, but now I have two more authors I've discovered through Audible's "Daily Deal," each the first of a series. Just finished with Cheryl Bradshaw's I Have a Secret, from Book Bub and starting Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel, also from Book Bub.

What's my app of the week: Goodreads. When I see the Daily Deal from Audible each day, or a book from Book Bub that isn't free, and it sounds interesting, I go to the Goodreads app and look it up to see what others have to say about it.

What's in my wine glass: Woodbridge Zinfandel 2013, a nice value.

What's my tip of the week: When you have to measure a liquid for a recipe that also calls for a solid that's harder to measure, such as butter or yogurt, use a measuring cup large enough for both, put the liquid in first to the correct measurement, then add the solid until it reaches the level of the two added together. Say you want to measure a half cup of butter and a cup of milk. Fill the measuring cup to the 1 C mark, then add the butter until the total reaches the 1 1/2 C mark. This only works, of course, if they two ingredients are added at the same time.

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, October 27, 2014

Bunnies Multiply!

The girl bunny is finished, although I have plans for a sweater to go over her sun dress



Girl bunny went with me to Vintage Stitchers, where she met Julie's fox and elephant. They became fast friends.



Julie made their arms and legs longer than it called for in the pattern, an easy alteration.

She also brought these "ugly" socks she made for a relative who wanted ugly socks. I think they're pretty striking.



Marilyn showed us this great towel she machine-embroidered:



Rebecca finished this exquisite fairy in costume just in time for Halloween:



She also pieced this Christmas quilt from a Jelly Roll she bought a year ago.



Barbara was working on this great Halloween quilt:



Janet had finished this great comfort quilt top:



I took my Spring Flowers quilt to work on, but most of my crafting time this week was devoted to the bunnies. Joanie and I stopped by Blazing Needles in SLC on Friday after I took her to see her surgeon. They were having a knit group, and I showed off the bunnies, which one person recognized as Little Cotton Rabbits. We talked about whether they were difficult or not (not). It was fun to see what they were working on, and Joanie discovered a pattern she loved: a sweater with built-in cowl.

I finished the boy bunny, all but the clothes, on Friday night.



Saturday, the power went off, so blocking his shirt took some time. Boy bunny was patient, though, while I heated the old cast-iron iron on the gas fireplace and used it with a damp cloth.



It took longer to dry than normal, because the iron wasn't really hot enough, but soon he was dressed and ready to go out.

He watched his first World Series game.



I followed the pattern except for giving him some undies (tidy whiteys) and some lace-up Nikes. I had to do a leg transplant, because I had made a mistake on the number of rows on one foot, and it ended up smaller than the other. So I just made another. Good practice!
The bunnies are from Little Cotton Rabbits, and the designer, Julie Williams, has just come out with a new design: a mouse, available as a boy or a girl.

On to bunny number three! Happy Halloween, everyone!



(Pirate bunny by Heidijan, http://www.ravelry.com/projects/heidijan/boy-bunny-with-a-piebald-patch)

What's on my needles: The second boy bunny. I still have the Johan socks and Mr. F's clothes to work on. I've decided my Mr. F. will be a birthday present, which gives me more time to finish his clothes. My quilting needles are still working on the hand-quilting of my Spring Flowers quilt.

What's on my Featherweight: Crystal Stars has gone off to the quilter for custom quilting when she finishes the Reflections quilt.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Victoria Holt's The Shadow of the Lynx. Then I listened to Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor, one of the most entertaining reads (or listens) I've had this year. It's the first volume of "The Chronicles of St. Mary's." Adventure, suspense, mystery, history, romance and lots of humor. I want to read them all! Still reading Cheryl Bradshaw's I Have a Secret, from Book Bub.

What's my app of the week: iBooks, where I store my great patterns from Ravelry and elsewhere.

What's in my wine glass: Crane Lake Malbec 2013, one of our favorites.

What's my tip of the week: Keep your phone and other devices charged up as much as you can. You never know when you lose access to power for charging. However, we have a emergency power source (a portable jump-starter) called "Instant Power" that we can charge up and then have ready to charge devices or start the car if the battery dies. We mostly use it for camping, but sometimes a construction company severs a power line and 2200 households are suddenly camping.

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, October 20, 2014

Ready for Halloween

Common Threads met at Ginny's. Julie is almost done with her Girl Fox from Little Cotton Rabbits:

She has also finished the head of the elephant.

I started my first project from this designer (the Girl Bunny) on Friday. The feet/shoes were challenging, but I've made good progress:


Our local quilt guild met Thursday night. Here's a top for a little girl:


And a quilt based on a video game:


This is Halloween penny rug table runner:


And so is this:

Halloween is the predominant theme:


And this, which is the same pattern as my friend Barbara's quilt from last week's blog. It's interesting to see how personal changes influence how the finished quilt looks:


This table runner is available as a kit/class:


Next month we're going to learn about Hawaiian quilts and how to make a block like this:


Soren took his I-spy quilt to school to share:


It's time for some baby cuteness, so here's Johan wearing his own BSJ, the one made just for him:


I've made progress on the Spring Flowers quilt, but it doesn't look much different from last week.

We had some excitement last night. Upon returning home after a fantastic presentation of Madame Butterfly in Salt Lake City, with Yunah Lee in the title role and Eric Fennell as Pinkerton, we discovered two (TWO!) CO alarms beeping. Beeping as in the batteries were dead, but after changing the batteries, they still beeped. We opened the windows, put the pups in the car (it was hard to get them in from the backyard, whither they had fled as soon as we got home, happy to escape the horrible beeping) and ran out to Walmart for some new alarms to test whether both of the CO alarms had died simultaneously. DH got some new batteries, too, in case our spare batteries were just bad. Upon returning home, the pups and I sat in the car while His Nibs braved the air (and potential further beeps) in the house and tried new batteries in the old alarms. They still beeped, so he tried the first of the two new detectors. It tested OK and didn't beep, so he took it to the areas of the house where the old detectors had been. Still no beeps, so he cranked up the other one. Also no beep. It appears that the CO detectors we installed in 2006 (manufactured in 2006 and 2007) both died within hours of each other...or maybe simultaneously, only the pups know for sure, and they aren't talking. I'm not sure I really want to know what they would have to say about what they endured while we were enjoying the opera.

What's on my needles: The Girl Bunny and Mr. F.'s clothes. I still have the Johan socks to work on. My quilting needles are still working on the hand-quilting of my Spring Flowers quilt.

What's on my Featherweight: The backing for the Crystal Stars quilt is done, and the quilt is ready to pass off to the quilter when she finishes the Reflections quilt.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Listening to Victoria Holt's The Shadow of the Lynx. Creepy! Finished reading Joseph Lallo's The Book of Deacon from Book Bub and now reading Cheryl Bradshaw's I Have a Secret, also from Book Bub.

What's my app of the week: Voice Memos. When I took Joanie to the doctor, I recorded the interview. It came in handy later, when her daughter wanted to know which medication the doctor wanted to discontinue. I just emailed the recording to her.

What's in my wine glass: The Little Penguin Shiraz 2013. Nothing like letting it age. Very nice!

What's my tip of the week: Be ready to change the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms when you move your clock back on November 1. Seriously. Do this!

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