Monday, January 19, 2015

Out and About

Common Threads met at Wasatch & Wool on Thursday.

It was inspiring, sitting with our knitting while surrounded by lovely yarns of all types. Margaux provided us with some delicious munchies.

Lynda wore the hat she just finished:


I wore my Sandy Beach Scarf, which took one skein of Manos del Uruguay Lace alpaca, silk and cashmere. (Yum!)


I finished my hat during the meeting. The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Maxima, 100% merino.


Then I swatched for my new cardigan, using the yarn I bought on my birthday. I'm calling it Brick because of the color. Here's the project page. The ladies at Common Threads helped me decide which pattern to use. This is the one I'm using.

I cut the bottom ribbing in half, because I'm so short-waisted, and I'm using a tighter gauge to get a size that will fit me the way I like.


My other choice of pattern was thisI probably will use Andes Del Campo for this second pattern. I have enough in "Brass Heather" to make it. Here's the project page for that, although I haven't started it yet.

I'm making good progress on the cardigan, now that I've settled on the pattern:


In the meantime, quilters, I'm playing around with these fabrics:


I'm starting to have more energy again, so I should be back to quilting soon. (I find quilting to take more energy than knitting.)

What's on my needles: Sandy Beach Scarf finished, then Wasatch Cap done. Now working on my Brick Cardigan.

What's on my Featherweight: Still put away in its case, but calling to me. ("Let me out! I want to play....")

What's on my loom: Some warp for another scarf, but still folded up.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Listening to The President's Pilot by Robert Gandt, a recent Daily Deal from Audible. Also reading And Only To Deceive by Tasha Alexander, not on the iPad for once but a paperback version I picked up at a rummage sale.

What's my app of the week: Sundance 2015, which should come in handy this week as I help patrons of the Sundance Film Festival get information and wait-list tickets.

What's in my wine glass: Big House Cardinal Zin Zinfandel 2012, 3 L Premium Wine Cask (basically a octagon box). Shockingly good!

What's my tip of the week: When piecing pieced strips, run them through the sewing machine with the seam allowance of the top strip toward the presser foot, if possible, so the seam will nest automatically.


If one side is bigger than the other, though, put the bigger side on the bottom, so the feed dogs will grab it and ease it in. (In the photo, you can see my little stack of sticky notes that guide the fabric through to the needle to give me that 1/4" seam allowance I need.


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, January 12, 2015

Back in the Saddle

I'm almost back to normal, and finally getting some knitting done. My Sandy Beach Scarf is coming along.


The orange stitch marker shows the halfway point in the length. The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Lace, alpaca, silk and cashmere.

Soren's hat is finished and in the mail to him. I used this easy pattern:


My Sock Ruler arrived:


Can't wait to try it out!

Things have been pretty quiet this past week (like Lake Wobegon?), but I got out with the pups on Saturday, so they could have a run on the street. I'm hoping to get my strength back, so I can get back to quilting, which takes more energy than knitting. The Sundance Film Festival starts soon, too, so I need to be ready for that.

In the meantime, this week's cuteness is a photo of Johan's first swim lesson:


What's on my needles: Making good progress on the Sandy Beach Scarf.

What's on my Featherweight: Still put away in its case.

What's on my loom: Some warp for another scarf, but still folded up.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Just finished Cousin Kate by Gergette Heyer from Audible, darker than her usual, reminiscent of Jane Eyre. Finished reading Dead Center by Danielle Girard, not really into anything new yet.

What's my app of the week: Netflix. When I was too weak to read, I was able to watch movies on my iPad.

What's in my wine glass: Redwood Creek Pinot Noir, a delightful new find.

What's my tip of the week: Dried onions and garlic come in handy if health or weather don't permit getting out to the store. Extra bananas can be sliced and frozen on a cookie sheet to save for when fresh food is hard to come by.


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, January 5, 2015

Goodbyes

This was the week we said goodbye to visiting grandkids.
When I took Soren and his family to the airport I learned that he didn't have a hat that fit, so I dug through my stash when I got back and found some Swish DK in "Dusk." I CO immediately.


I'm using this easy pattern.

On New Year's Eve I came down with a respiratory flu, and was too weak to feel like knitting. I'm on the mend now, and I'm happy to make it into the new year. Many of our appliances didn't.

Here's a list of the appliances or devices that stopped working or needed repair in 2014:

Electric bobbin winder (I broke the foot pedal, still waiting to get it fixed)
Yøtul Stove (just needed cleaning)
Both CO2 detectors (had to be replaced)
'98 Subaru Legacy station wagon (after $1000 in repairs, DH replaced it with a 2011 Impreza)
Gas stove (oven, needed new igniter)
1982 Maytag gas dryer (lint build-up only, good as new)
1982 Maytag washer (new pump, motor and wire connector, now good as new) 
Microwave (replaced)
MacBook (was running out of memory, like its owner, now running well)
Garbage disposal (still waiting on repair or replacement)
Space heater (probably going to recycling)

Here's something that never stopped running, though:

We said goodbye to the future soccer star and his sister, Miss Daphne, on Saturday morning, as they climbed into the car for the trip home.

To end up the week we had a power failure on Sunday afternoon that lasted 12 hours. Totally missed Downton Abbey. Fortunately, we are set up to deal with power outages. Our Jøtul stove downstairs can heat the whole house if we take it off thermostat and open the door to the downstairs. Then we have the wood-burning fireplace upstairs in our living room for additional heat. We have a gas stove, and can light the burners with a match if we have to. Candles, kerosene lamps, warm pups = cozy!

What's on my needles: Still the Sandy Beach scarf, no progress this week. Several inches on Soren's new hat, almost ready to start the decreases.

What's on my Featherweight: Put away in its case.

What's on my loom: Some warp for another scarf, but still folded up.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Dyeing Wishes by Molly MacRae from Audible. Reading Dead Center by Danielle Girard, a crime novel.

What's my app of the week: KSL Vortex weather app, which came in handy advising DD and DSIL on travel home.

What's in my wine glass: Gato Negro Malbec 2013, the last of the big bottle, a nice Argentinian wine.

What's my tip of the week: Sock knitters, here's a useful tool I just discovered. I'm going to order one.

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, December 29, 2014

Winding Down the Year

Christmas day at our house started out like this:
It execrated from there. In a word: Bedlam!
The day after Christmas is my birthday. Rather than go out to breakfast as we usually do, we ate at home and the ladies went out for pedicures. Miss Daphne got her first pedicure.
She got little flowers on her golden toes.
When we got done there, we walked a few doors down to Wasatch & Wool, where I received a surprise: a gift certificate from DS1 and DDIL1. I already had some spending money from DD and DSIL. I promptly blew my spending money and gift certificate on spinning fiber and yarn for a cardigan. Then we went to lunch across the street.
My birthday haul also included a knitting bag, "take-out lamb" and a book mark from my friend Joanie, and a finger pulse and O2 meter from DH. This last was needed because I never can find my own pulse at Silver Sneakers before the time is up on counting. The reddish yarn is a brick color. I was drawn to it somehow and had to have it.
DS2 and DDIL2 are leaving with Soren and Johan later today. I will miss them! At least we have DD and her family for a few more days.
As I write this, DH is out buying a new microwave for the kitchen. Our old one was great for 11 years, but died on my birthday. Fortunately, we had a small microwave in the utility room downstairs to reheat coffee or tea while busy down there. It's very basic, but made a good spare in this case. The kitchen microwave had a sensor and special settings for cooking potatoes and vegetables in general. It was also a lot bigger. We have had a lot of problems with appliances lately!
What's on my needles: About 4" of the Sandy Beach scarf. Family members are doing this as a teaching KAL led by DDIL2 for her mother and sister. I'm trying very hard not to CO the new cardigan until the scarf is done.

What's on my Featherweight: Put away in its case for now. I hope to finish DD's wedding quilt during 2015. I only started it five years ago.

What's on my loom: Still some warp for another scarf, but folded up to allow space for playing with the bear house.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Didn't get far with Dyeing Wishes by Molly MacRae from Audible because of family fun, but will get back to it soon. Finished Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel, from Book Bub on the iBook app. I haven't started a new book yet.

What's my app of the week: Zoo Train, a great app for preschoolers.

What's in my wine glass: Nathanson Creek Merlot, the big bottle with the frog on it. Frog for knitters who sometimes have to frog.

What's my tip of the week: Keep devices charged up during the winter, in case of a power outage.

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, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas Time...Again

Here's wishing you all peace on Earth.


Vintage Stitchers met on Thursday for the annual holiday potluck at Rebecca's. Barbara commented that we've been meeting now for ten years. A few members have stopped coming or moved away, but most of us still meet twice a month.

As usual, we had lots of show-and-tell. One was this goldfish baby quilt from Brenda, who was hoping to get some advice about borders. She's going with the yellow-gold color:


Barbara made this "Frozen" quilt for a granddaughter:


Here's Diane's latest Bertie block...


And the one she just finished:


Rebecca has been busy with redwork. She had this one quilted and is sewing on the binding:


Here's another one using the same fabrics:


Julie has finished this quilt top for her granddaughter. The pictures are panels. She appliquéd the hearts on:


Julie is ready for the binding on this quilt for her parents' 50th anniversary:


The photo in the center is of her parents. Their baby photos are in the upper corners and their high school photos are in the two lower corners. Other photos are of their children. Julie used a photo-transfer process to produce the photos on cloth.

Julie also made this hat...


And this one:

Park City Singers' three concerts took place during the week. In spite of the train wreck that was our "dress rehearsal," it went very well. 
This week's cuteness: Daphne and Zachy visiting Santa. No one cried this year!

We will see them this week, along with Soren and Johan. I'm not nearly ready, but plan on putting the parents to work if there is still something to be done when they get here.
I hope everyone has the best of holiday seasons!
What's on my needles: The Johan socks and Mr. F's clothes. Still hand-quilting my Spring Flowers quilt, again only a little progress this week. Just CO Sandy Beach scarf. Family members are doing this as a teaching KAL led by DDIL2 for her mother and sister.

What's on my Featherweight: Put away in its case, so I can use the space for wrapping presents.

What's on my loom: Still some warp for another scarf, but the loom is folded up to make room for Christmastime play.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Mostly my Christmas music playlist. Almost done with Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel, from Book Bub on the iBook app, which I'm really enjoying, in spite of not having much time to read. Maybe I should get the audiobook and see if the story is different when you listen to it.

What's my app of the week: I've been using The Recipe Box extensively while cooking for the holidays. No more digging around in miscellaneous sheets of paper and cards or looking things up in various cookbooks. Online recipes can be copied and pasted to the app, and keying in recipes from printed sources is easy. You can even use the photo that comes with the online recipe or take one of your finished dish. If anyone wants the recipe, just his the email icon. This week we will be using NORAD's Tracking Santa app. For some interesting background on how NORAD started tracking Santa, read this.

What's in my wine glass: Seven Hawks Vineyards Frontenac 2006. Different, but nice. From grapes grown along the Mississippi. (Seven Hawks is a Wisconsin winery. Goes great with cheese!)

What's my tip of the week: Baking this week? Tired of wasting a whole egg to put a glaze or egg wash on one loaf or pie! I keep powdered egg on hand for this purpose. A tiny bit in water, mixed with your pastry brush, is all you need.

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, December 15, 2014

Out With the New, in With the Old?

Woven scarf finished.
Done blocking and ready to wrap and give. (Watch after Christmas for photos of the gift items I made other than the rabbits. The kids don't read my blog yet, so I could show those.)
Part of this past week has been spent in organizing my fiber studio again, now that the weaving is finished (for now) and the loom can be folded up and moved against the wall to make room for family visits and space to play with the bear house.
You can see the pups' bed is right in front of the fire. Here's another view:
The pups, however, prefer the couch. That black blob on the couch is Rocky, wearing his new sweater.
Here's another view, showing the cleaned-up quilting area.
My Featherweight has been put away to make room for wrapping packages for the kids.
Speaking of the grandkids, three of whom are still in diapers, we have been concerned about our washer of late. It makes sort of a grinding noise just as the tub is ready to spin. The repairman who came to fix the dryer (just lint build-up inside the works) and the stove, thought the problem with the washer might be the motor. We were concerned about all the laundry we'll have to do, and we don't want the washer to go out when it's needed, so I called Maytag. The technician there thought it might be the pump. He indicated that this 32-yr.-old washer was the one the company was able to build its reputation on. "If you replace it you will be sorry, I promise!" he said. Seriously!
We made an appointment with our local repair company to replace the pump and possibly some belts. If it turns out we still need a new motor, it will still be cheaper than a new washer that would be expected to last at most ten years. The pumps are new, but a motor would have to be ordered from a department at Maytag called "Angel Parts." Presumably from machines that had gone to Heaven. Stay tuned.
Speaking of the pups, Sunny went in on Thursday to have a very large adenoma removed from her left hind leg. When they shaved the area, they found two more. They were all removed without resorting to general anesthesia, and Sunny didn't bat an eye. We hiked the Gorgoza bicycle trail the next day. I'll spare you the photo of the disgusting things (the adenomas are disgusting, not the pups), but the big one was making it impossible to groom her without nicking it, so it had to be done. Our vet takes good care of the pups. Maybe it's the home-baked bread I give him for Christmas every year...hmmm?
Thursday (while Sunny was under the knife) I went to Redstone Shopping Center to make an appointment for pedicures for the "ladies" for my birthday. (Miss Daphne is considered one of the ladies.) While we're getting pedicures and stopping by Park City's only local yarn shop, a few doors away, the dads and granddad will do something manly with the three boys. I made the appointment at California Nails and then stopped in at Wasatch & Wool. I couldn't resist. I had to pick up some goodies:
The yarn from Manos del Uruguay is probably going to be a winter hat. The yummy spinning fiber from Greenwood Fibers is for my spinning enjoyment during the "spin-in" on the Knitting Community from February 27-March 2nd.
Park City Singers will be over after Tuesday night's performance. we had our first performance last night. Tuesday I missed my iPhone when I got home from practice. My music bag had gone flying from the seat when I had to stop suddenly, so I assumed it was on the floor in front of the passenger seat. A search with the flashlight failed to reveal my phone. I was afraid I had left it at the church where we practice, but the "Find My iPhone" app said it was at my address. Since I couldn't find it with the flashlight, I had to wait until daylight to take the car out of the garage, and then call my number with my iPad. The phone, set on "vibrate" made a buzzing sound in the door pocket, not at the bottom of the pocket where I expected it, but in between the pages of a map higher up in the pocket. Whew!
The holiday letters and cards are all in the mail, headed to distant locations. And finally, Soren is as big as a Christmas tree:
And happy birthday to my number one son, Timo, born this day in 1967. What adventures we've had!
What's on my needles: The Johan socks and Mr. F's clothes. Still hand-quilting my Spring Flowers quilt, only a little progress this week. I've been busy, as you can see.
What's on my Featherweight: Put away in its case, so I can use the space for wrapping presents.
What's on my loom: Still some warp for another scarf, but the loom is folded up to make room for Christmastime play.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Still listening to Dyeing Wishes by Molly MacRae from Audible. Still reading Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel, from Book Bub on the iBook app.
What's my app of the week: The "Find My iPhone" app. I would probably have driven back to the church the next day if the app hadn't told me it was somewhere at my house.
What's in my wine glass: Charles Shaw Shiraz, one of the best of the "Two-buck Chucks."
What's my tip of the week: This photo says it all:
Thanks to my friend Jean for sharing this with us! She points out you can even keep one of these clips in your knitting bag. Or it can stay on the loose yarn when you're in between bowls. Happy knitting/quilting, everyone!
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, December 8, 2014

Finishing Up the Year

Rocky's Sheep Sweater is finished.


I used the same pattern as the one I made for him previously, only with a different stranded pattern, using this time the sheep motif from "The March of the Fibres." Here's the link to the Ravelry page for Rocky's new sweater.

Common Threads met on Thursday. Margareth had finished her hat, and she had some new books to show off.


Karan had finished this shawlette.


Lynda has been meeting with Ginny to paint together. Ginny has been doing a lot of painting lately, but Lynda hasn't painted for years. She's back on the groove, thanks to collaboration with Ginny. It goes to show how we inspire and learn from each other.


I brought my "Reflections of Butterflies in Lemonade" quilt for show-and-tell. Ellen and Lynda held it up for a photo.


Here's the label, printed on EQ Printables printable fabric sheets. (Thanks, Davidene!):


Janet brought her finished Plus Sign quilt.


Ellen and I went to Salt Lake City on Tuesday. We stopped at Elaine's Quilt Block, and I picked up some fabric I liked.


Then this came in the mail from Connecting Threads:


Park City Singers performed at Swiss Christmas in Midway on Saturday morning, and Janet and I rode together. We stopped in at Seasons of Home, which was just catty corner from the City Hall building, where the performance was held. I picked up some nice fabrics to go with the ones I got from Elaine's. They were having a big sale, too. Here are the three half-yard pieces and three fats I picked up on Saturday (on the left).


Gotta love sales! (Like I need more fabric.)


What's on my needles: The Johan socks and Mr. F's clothes. The new sweater for Rocky is finished and in use. Still hand-quilting my Spring Flowers quilt, two appliqué blocks done and a little more than 1/3 of the entire quilt finished.

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

What's on my loom: The scarf I started some time ago, but I'm making good progress, now that some other projects are finished. I plan on warping for some rag rugs after the holidays.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Jodi Taylor's A Symphony of Echos, the second volume of The Chronicles of St. Mary's. Now listening to Dyeing Wishes by Molly MacRae. Both of these were from Audible. Still reading Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel, from Book Bub on the iBook app.

What's my app of the week: The Music app. I made a nice playlist with Christmas music, which I can play through our stereo using my Satechi radio transmitter or through our little JBL portable speaker, which I can wear around the house, attached to a belt loop by the built-in cabiner.

What's in my wine glass: Nathanson Creek Merlot, the big bottle.

What's my tip of the week: A pedicure outing makes a nice activity if you're having ladies (young or old) to visit over the holidays.

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.