Monday, August 14, 2017

Revisiting the Sweat Shop

Rebecca is at it again.

Vintage Stitchers met at Janet's on Thursday, and Rebecca had this pillow for show-and-tell. She colored the image with crayons, and then heat-set the image. Finally, she embroidered it. She found the image here.

Rebecca and Brenda are also working on a free design from Crabapple Hill Studio using the same technique. 

Rebecca said she will teach us how to do this process. It should be interesting.

Carol had made this baby quilt:

The back is almost as interesting.

Marilyn was finishing up this interesting quilt.

This was the back, a good use for the large bird print.

Barbara had this one to show from Jelly Roll Jambalaya Quilts by Jean Ann Wright. It's a nice break from the 1600 quilts she has made.

I love the fabric she used for the border and the backing.

The knitters were busy, too. Diane had brought this shawl for show-and-tell.

...and Janet was working on this shawl, a mystery KAL with a designer she likes.

She picked from her stash of Knit Picks Palette for this project. Janet was also finishing this  cross-stitch to commemorate her anniversary. She's almost done, or at least coming down the home stretch.

The Habitat for Humanity sweat shop was busy. Dolly is standing in for the Habitat girl, but Carter is wearing his own overalls. The Habitat kids will wear overalls to the Overall Ball September 22nd where they will be part of a silent auction, along with their wardrobes. The overalls pattern was The Oh My Gosh Overalls pattern by QTPie from Pixie Faire.

I love the detailing on the overalls, and the pattern design and instructions made it fairly easy to do. Here's the back.

There is a loop to hold a hammer (right below Carter's thumb).

On the other side, there's a special pocket for a screwdriver.

I also made Carter a surfing outfit: trunks and a shirt.

We don't do a lot of surfing here in the mountains of Utah, but he can pretend, and his hat, the Summer Camp Bucket Hat by Matilda's Closet, also from Pixie Faire, can be used for any outdoor activity, like hiking.

Carter still needs a couple more shirts and more pants, so I'm not done yet. Until I get the Habitat girl, I don't know which outfits she'll be taking from my growing girl collection. I'll need to try them on and see which ones to add to the wardrobe of donated knitted and sewn clothes. I added a few items to the assortment last week, though. I finished the green (Palette "Macaw") French Back-to-school Cardigan, modeled here by Vroni.

I also made two new dresses. Here are Mandy and Vroni modeling them for us.

The pattern is Simplicity 1484 (with easy modifications) for both. I'm making another Gracie Cardigan in Palette "Cyan" to go with the dress Mandy is wearing.

You might notice Mandy's new reading glasses. They're from American Girl.

The house exterior has a new coat of paint and the portico has fresh stain. We paid a neighbor, who is a house painter, to do those jobs. DH painted the mailbox. We're going through our "stuff" to see what we can dispose of. MS is coming to pick up on Saturday. 

Dusty had his annual checkup and shots on Wednesday. We've been busy, but somehow we managed to find time to hike with the doggies. I had just finished taking this photo when DH threw the toy and hit me in the face. (An accident, he says.)

That's what I get for looking at the photo I just took.

Retraction: I misunderstood about Johan's time in the cockpit during the family's return flight. It was while the plane was on the ground. Everyone can relax now.

What's on my needles: The Gracie Cardigan in Palette "Cyan" for Mandy.

What's on my Featherweight: Still clothes for the Habitat for Humanity dolls.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi has been busy with the Woodland Woolworks, Carlton, OR. Merino Combed Top Multicolor, 4 oz, Mojave Heather. I should have something to show next week. 

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. Then listened to Lord Grenville’s Choice by G. G. Vandagriff. Now listening to another Rachel Abbot mystery, Stranger Child. On the Kindle app, still reading Undeniable by Laura Stapleton.

What's in my wine glass: Corbett Canyon Merlot in the big bottle. Very nice, good value. I must tip the wine steward. (As soon as he stops throwing things.)

What's my tip of the week: If you have one of those magnetic pin dishes, you can use it to find pins and needles you drop on the floor. Just empty it, turn it upside down and wave it over the area where you think you might have dropped the pin or needle. As an alternative, I often wait until DH walks through in bare feet. He always finds them.

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.

Continental-style Knitting, How I Do It

Someone was asking me about Continental (picking) vs English (throwing) styles, wanting to learn Continental. I thought it might be good to post these photos of how I do it. (Keep in mind that there are as many ways to hold/tension the yarn in the left hand as there are knitters who "pick.")

I wrap the yarn around my left hand this way:

Then I give a slight tug to the end coming out from my hand and leading to my yarn supply.

Now I'm ready to knit. Using the right needle, I reach through the stitch and grap the yarn between the stitch and my forefinger.

When I have the yarn, I pull it through and off the needle.

Purling is a little awkward until you get used to it. First you have to move the yarn to the front of your work, easily accomplished with just a movement of the needle tips.

Then you reach through the stitch from behind.

With the working yarn above the needle, bring the needle tip up and over the yarn...

 ...and then through the stitch.

Then pull the stitch off the needle.

Just as knitting English style took practice when you first learned, Continental-style knitting takes time.

How about the rest of you Continental knitters? How do you hold and tension the yarn?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Same Old, Same Old.

Unlike at Lake Wobegon, it was not a quiet week at our place. Monday was spent washing all the sheets, towels and quilts we use in the trailer and giving it a good cleaning. Tuesday I CO another doll cardigan as we took the trailer back to its resting place.

It's the same French Back-to-school Cardigan I've been making. I think this one may go to our granddaughter's new Christmas doll, Katie, or her Daphne Jr. We'll see.

Wednesday the pups went to the groomer. They still have their summer haircut, but they're still pretty cute, so I was going to take a photo, but it hasn't happened yet.

Thursday we had Common Threads at Ellen's daughter's house. It was a nice group, with four of us working on quilting and two knitters. We had some fresh fruit, some pumpkin chocolate-chip dessert bread, and some Finnish pulla (a cardamom bread). I took my "Delectable Pathways" (my "Sistine Chapel) quilt to work on. I have another panel almost finished hand-quilting.

Ellen keeps her Home Sweet Home appliqué project here at her daughter's house, so she always has something to work on when she's visiting her daughter, who is a flight attendant. 

She had just added the squirrel. 

I bought the book back in 2007 to make this quilt to fit over my mantle. I just used three of the blocks and added a braid for a border, instead of the swags, to make it a size that would fit.

When I finished with the blocks, I gave the book and my templates to Ellen. She has been working on the blocks for her own quilt ever since. 

We're having our next-door neighbor paint the outside of our house, and he was getting ready to start when I got home from Ellen's. They were pressure-washing the house, and they started painting on Friday.

Most of my crafting time this week went toward providing Carter and the Habitat girl with wardrobes, mostly for Carter, as some volunteers on Ravelry provided me with some great wardrobe items for the girl. Dolly modeled the PJs for me, although she wondered why she needed a shower and to put on PJs in the middle of the afternoon.

Dolly needed a stand, because her head was so heavy with the towel.

Carter's PJs required some green buttons, as the translucent white buttons I originally sewed on didn't show up. He woke up early on Friday Morning to find his buttons has turned green. Appropriate, since he's "My Pal for Going Green" from My Sibling/My Pal Doll Company. I decided that, since the buttons are simply decorative as it's the Velcro that keeps the shirt closed, they should show up.

No one can survive winter here in Park City without good winter clothes, so each of the Habitat kids needs a jacket. Dolly was my model for the girl's jacket.

I altered the pattern a bit for Carter, because the A-line design is really better suited for girls, and Carter is longer-waisted,  so he needed a bit of extra length.

This last photo is just to show that all that hair will fit into the hood of his jacket.

I hope to have two pairs of overall to show by next week, and maybe a fleece hat and scarf for each.

What's on my needles: Another doll cardigan. Almost finished hand-quilting a panel of my "Sistine Chapel."

What's on my Featherweight: Still clothes for the Habitat for Humanity dolls, ready to start the overalls.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi has been busy. I'm almost done spinning the fiber I picked out for Tour de Fleece, but not ready to ply.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Apart at the Seams, the next book in the Cobbled Court Quilts. Then listened to Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. Now reading The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz. On the Kindle app, still reading Undeniable by Laura Stapleton. I get only a few pages read every night before falling asleep.

What's in my wine glass: Wine.

What's my tip of the week: Having trouble threading your sewing machine because you can’t see the eye or the thread? Hold a piece of paper behind the needle. It makes it possible to see what you’re doing. This assumes, of course, that you can see and that you don’t have an automatic needle threader.

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, July 31, 2017

Extreme Family Team-Building

Camping trips to the Uintas are usually low-drama, because we don't have to travel far from our home to reach beautiful campgrounds close to lakes for swimming and trails for hiking. This adventure was a little different.

It all started the night before we planned to leave, which was Saturday, July 22nd. Everyone had arrived to spend the night at our house. Late that night, we discovered our furnace/water-heater room was flooded.* We had 10 people in the house, including four children. We planned to leave Sunday about noon to get a campsite as other campers left after a weekend or week of camping. We knew our destination was without water and had only an outhouse, so we all planned to bathe or shower in the house that night, reserving our trailer water supply for a quick Navy shower about midweek.

After they determined that the leak was coming from the water heater, the men attempted to shut off the intake valve to the unit. It wouldn't work. Our only alternative was to shut off the water to the entire house. So not only did we not get hot showers, we didn't cold ones, either. Each of our three toilets had only one flush. We decided to use our trailer as an outhouse except for emergencies, and to flush when we were able.

Of course, few plumbers work on Saturday night. We decided nothing would be hurt by waiting until we got back to get the plumber to come, so we sent the two young families off with their kids to select campsites at Cobblerest, while we attempted to reach a plumber and schedule an appointment for Friday, our planned return date. (We would have no cell coverage up in the mountains.)

The kids were able to find two campsites side-by-side with access to the brook and away from the road.

They set up their tents on each side of the picnic table we would use for meals, so they could hear the kids if they woke up while the adults were still up in the evening, and they parked a car in the adjacent campsite to reserve it for our trailer. We arrived while they were still setting up.

On Monday we went to Washington Lake. We found a nice place away from other people, so the pups could run free, chase the ball, go into the water and generally do what water dogs like to do.

I had worried a bit that the dogs would have issues with being manhandled by our youngest grandson, who is three...and good at it! However, the pups endured a variety of tortures at his hands without complaint. Dusty, in fact, seemed to enjoy the rough treatment, as well as the opportunities to run, hike and swim afforded by camping.

Tuesday morning I had planned to cook a hot breakfast, so I set my alarm for 6:00. While I was working in our little galley, I glanced out the window to find a doe happily munching on the grass and bushes. I grabbed my phone to get some photos. She saw me watching her, but seemed unconcerned. She approached the trailer coming within inches of my window. I put my phone down, so I wouldn't scare her. She craned her neck to peer in at me. We just stared into each other's eyes for a few minutes, and then she turned and returned to her breakfast. I had the sense that she knew I wouldn't hurt her and was enjoying the connection.

Later that day, we went to the Provo River Falls. We had a look at the falls from several different angles, following the little trails in each direction for a good view. The boys took turns holding an extra leash on one of the dogs, a trick I learned from training with Therapy Animals of Utah. We stopped to have a snack.

(He looks so innocent, doesn't he? Did I say he's good at being three?) I took a group photo.

The following day we took a picnic to Trial Lake. We found a secluded part of the trail around the lake, where the kids and pups could swim. Our 3-yr.-old grandson threw his brother's hat into the lake and had to retrieve it. Our son found a unique way to help him get to it.

The dogs had a good time chasing sticks the kids threw into the water. Dusty, in his zeal, actually got in deep water and discovered he could swim.

We had saved the highest destination for last, to give the lowlanders a chance to become accustomed to the elevation, so on Thursday we went to Mirror Lake, which is about 10,400' high. We found a picnic table where we could eat and then swim or splash in the water. After lunch we hiked the trail that goes around the lake, stopping at the signs that described the plants, animals, habitats and biomes present along the shores of the lake.

I noticed a man fishing and imagined offering to teach him to knit. "I could never learn to knit," he would say. "I just don't have the patience." (From my favorite cartoon in Franklin Habit's It Itches.) It amazed me that people could just sit there and stare at the water for hours, waiting for a fish to bite.

For part of this hike, we could see Bald Mountain. DH and I have been to the top of Bald Mountain, but it isn't a good hike with kids or adults who aren't used to the high elevation up to 12,000'. (I've always wondered if we would hear Mussorgsky's music if we spent the night up there.)

There was a lot to do in the campsite, too. When we still had power*, we could go around taking photos. The kids could use their Leap Pads and iPads while I cooked.

A campsite is a great place to read. All our grandkids enjoy books, and some of the time one of the parents read to them.

Sometimes the two older kids read on their own, either outdoors or in the tent.

Or an older one would read to the younger ones.

When we ran out of water* in the trailer in spite of our efforts to conserve, the brook was handy for bathing...nekkid (which was how the kids swam).

We set up the hummingbird feeder we keep in the trailer, and it didn't take the little birds long to find it. (She's hard to see. Look at about 9:00 for her. Theres another one right below, but he/she is just a blur.)

We had our own sweet goodies, including S'mores made with vegan marshmallows, thanks to DD.

There were lots of other things to do, such as taking advantage of a handy tree stump to practice your dance moves.

The two grandkids who had come by car had brought their dolls, Zachary Jr. and Daphne Jr., with them. Baby Ann was added to their family at our house and would return to Wisconsin with them. I brought Dolly along, thinking I might need her to help with the size for another doll sweater after I finished one for Baby Ann. The dolls appeared to have a good time camping as well.

Dolly's one big adventure was when the 3-yr.-old (did I mention he was good at being three?) threw her across the main room in the trailer. Fortunately, Dolly nailed her landing and was unhurt. (What a trooper!) The kids had a good time with the dolls.

I didn't get as much knitting done as I usually do when we go camping. The only thing I finished was Baby Ann's cardigan, based on the free Gracie Cardigan pattern from My Doll Best Friend. I made it with long sleeves, because Baby Ann just has vinyl hands, so generally just wears a long-sleeved dress. Otherwise, I just knit it as-written. I finished it on Saturday night, as Baby Ann was supposed* to be leaving with her family the next day, heading directly to Wisconsin from Cobblerest by way of the Mirror Lake Highway.

Our DDIL finally got to see her moose. This one popped up very close to where I saw my doe. The white arrow points to the bull's rack; the yellow one shows you where his face is. I didn't want to get too close, because moose can be very dangerous if they feel threatened. This one seemed unconcerned.

There were also two (at least) rabbits that put in an appearance from time to time: a large one, possibly a hare, and a small bunny. We don't know if they were the same two individuals or if there were several identical individuals from each species.

*If you haven't noticed the asterisks already, here's a by-no-means exhaustive list of our more important misfortunes by the end of the trip:

The generator stopped working, so we couldn't charge the batteries
Our battery backup for charging devices (including our phone cameras!) ran out of power
The trailer water tank (for washing and flushing) ran dry
We discovered there was no sugar (DSIL had to use hummingbird feed in his coffee)
The outhouses were stinky
It rained sometime during each day and every night
Rocky threw up on our bed
One of the boys wet his sleeping bag two nights in a row
One of the boys developed croup and needed to go to urgent care
One of the boys fell and gave himself a fat lip; there were tears
Our daughter-in-law misplaced her cell phone
Our daughter's family car wouldn't start (major complication, as they were planning on going home from directly from Cobblerest.)
I misplaced my trailer and truck keys

On the bright side, we managed to figure out how to deal with each issue and had a great time. No one was attacked by a bear. The kids didn't set fire to the campground. The trailer roof didn't leak when it rained. The generator can be fixed. The kids had no permanent damage. The cell phone and keys were found. The new water heater and new shut-off valve were installed on Friday afternoon. The car just needed a new battery, which meant the family's departure was only delayed one day. DH and I each have a Golden Age Passport, and we were able to get a significant discount on the week of camping.

Even though there were some tense moments while we jointly worked out how to deal with various "changes in plans," such as how to get nine people, four of whom required car seats, and two dogs back to town in two cars, we had a lot of laughs, good food, exercise and great family time. (I loved the snotty kisses!)

Everyone made it home safely, and the 3-yr.-old got to help fly the plane IN THE COCKPIT from SLC to Seattle.

We found packets of sugar in one of the lockers as we were cleaning the trailer.