Monday, June 29, 2015

Packing It In

I've been trying to finish projects I'll need for the trip we're taking next week, like the Navy iPad Tote Bag. 



I've put a small hole in the side, right below the top stripe, to plug in my earbuds, so I can walk around with my iPad while I'm listening to music or an audiobook. I added lining to this one. It has pockets for the power cord and plug, and the earbuds can go in there when not in use. The logo is needle-felted.

For the lining, I used a fat quarter from my stash. I cut it big enough to allow for a seam all the way around, then cut the leftover piece so the edges were even, to make the pocket. I sewed the pocket, right-sides together, all the way around leaving a small opening to turn the pocket right-side out. Then I sewed it to the larger piece, about where I wanted it,l eaving the top open. I added another seam vertically down the middle,not divide the pocket in two. Next I sewed the lining, right-sides together, leaving the top edge and a few inches of one seam open, then pressed the seams and the open edge folded over. I started sewing the lining in by hand right where the hole was, to make sure the hole wasn't obstructed, then continued around the top, using an appliqué stitch and leaving a little bit of the top edge exposed.



My pattern is here.

I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Navy and Bare, along with some of the Wool of the Andes Worsted in Blue Ink I had left over from the iPhone cozy, but held double.

The weather has been nice here: sunny, 80° and perfect for dyeing using the sun-tea method. I did some dyeing, and you will be able to read about it in my July 13 post. However, the lace-weight yarn I dyed with Kool-Aid and food coloring called to me, and I succumbed to temptation. (Who wouldn't have?) I CO another lace shawl, this time Enzian, another free Ravelry download.



You'll be happy to know I finished a few rows before pouring myself a glass of wine. The shawl is moving along nicely. I've named it The Coral Reef, because of the color. (On my monitor, the top photo seems a more realistic color. The photo below is a little too pink.)


I'm also still working on Shaina's Busy Bee Throw from Knit Picks' The Well Made Home pattern collection. I'm using the City Tweed DK in a variety of colors. It's very portable. I can keep the hook and a ball of yarn in my purse, and I have a couple of hours of fun if I need it.


I got a little more done on my Spring Flowers quilt. Here's an old photo of it just to refresh your memory.


And a few more inches on the Multi Scrap Scarf.

Now that it's warm enough, the pups have been swimming.


It's finally warm here in the mountains of Utah—just in time for us to go on vacation.


What's on my needles: The Coral Reef Shawl and the Fair Isle Flower Socks.

What's in my hoop: Hand-quilting my Spring Flowers quilt.

What's on my wheel: Still Full Circle spinning fiber in "Pigeon." No progress there.

What's on my loom: Still the Multi Scrap scarf, 36".

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Just finished listening to The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen from the library using the Overdrive app. It was an interesting mixture of strange and everyday. Definitely worth a read. Now I'm listening to Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, also from the library on the Overdrive app. Finished reading Death by Cashmere in iBooks and haven't picked a new eBook yet. Also Ann Budd's Sock Knitting Master Class on Kindle.

What's in my wine glass: Frontera Concha Y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, the big bottle. Nice!

What's my tip of the week: Need a bobbin winder for weaving? A power drill holding a regular wooden pencil works great. My plastic bobbins fit snugly on the pencil, so when I turn on the drill, I can wind the bobbin easily. The wooden bobbins also fit, but not as easily. A dowel can be used in place of a pencil; see what fits your bobbins.

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, June 22, 2015

Fits and Starts

The Echo Flowers Shawl is finished and in use:


Here's a closeup of the edge detail:


The yarn is Bare 100% Merino Lace Weight yarn from Knit Picks, now called "Bare Shadow." I had tons of it left over from Daphne's Gown, made for her naming ceremony, now five years ago. I bought way too much. This only used one hank of the lace-weight yarn. I'm probably going to dye what's left different colors using KoolAid and the Sun-tea method.

The pattern is "Echo Flower Shawl" by Jenny Johnson Johnen. It was a free pattern on Ravelry.

I had a major case of startitis this week. First I made a new iPhone cozy for my iPhone, using Wool of the Andes Worsted in Blue Ink.

The other one has been wearing out at the corners, so I decided to line this one. I had the fabric left over from the quilt I made for Rocky when he was a pup.


It felted nicely, and when it was dry, I needle-felted the Apple logo on one side with wool roving and then inserted the lining. (I have a stencil I made by tracing the Apple decal that comes with all Apple devices.) Complete instructions for knitting and felting the iPhone cozy are in my notes on the Ravelry page for this project. The lining is just fabric slightly bigger folded over than the iPhone, sewn right-sides together with the bottom corners rounded and the top open. Then I folded the top edge over toward the wrong side and inserted the lining into the felted cozy, catching the edges with a matching thread. (I used an appliqué stitch, but whipstitch would do.)

Then I started Shaina's Busy Bee Throw, using the City Tweed DK I had originally planned for another project that turned out to be very tedious. (And did I mention boring?) This one is fun, and it goes really fast, as crochet often does.


I have more yarn coming for edging the hexagons in Obsidian, a deep charcoal. I hope I have enough of the City Tweed DK in the colors. The pattern is designed for HW, so this throw will probably be slightly thinner and smaller.

Well onto the Busy Bee, I decided I needed a new iPad tote. I CO with Wool of the Andes Bulky in Navy. I'm also using WotA Bulky in Bare and some WotA Worsted in Blue Ink held double, which I had left over from my iPhone cozy. I will be lining the iPad Tote as well.


Common Threads met at Karan's this week. Karan is expecting her first grandchild. She has finished the mobile:


The instructions are available to buy as a Ravelry download.
Karan also made this cute sweater using self-striping sock yarn and bought some cute baby clothes to go with it. The baby is due next month, and they already know it's a girl.


Besides being Fathers' Day, Sunday was also the Summer Solstice. This was my view at 5:00 AM, when the light woke me:


We've been taking advantage of the warm days to hike. On Saturday we hiked on the trails in our neighborhood. There were lots of lovely windflowers, and their scent was everywhere, mingling with the scent of the fir trees.


Because I've been busy with fiber fun, this past week, I've also listened to some audiobooks, including my first WhisperSync novel, Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina. I get free eBooks through Book Bub, usually from Amazon (Kindle), and sometimes they are available with WhisperSync, which allows you to read for a while and listen for a while, but you can listen from start to finish if you want. It's a regular audiobook. If WhisperSync is available for the book you have bought, you can add the audio for a small charge. If the book was free, and the WhisperSync is $1.99, you get the eBook and the audiobook for $1.99. A regularly priced book with WhisperSync may be more than the audiobook from Audible, so if you only want the audiobook, check there before you buy. This week I learned that you can access WhisperSync audiobooks through your Audible app if you combine your Audible account with your Amazon account. I needed some hand-holding from an Audible techie for that, but it wasn't difficult. However, my listening stats disappeared. They are trying to get them back for me, but I recommend you write down what they are before you combine your two accounts, just in case.

What's on my needles: Navy iPad Tote Bag and the Fair Isle Flower Socks 
What's on my Featherweight: Lining for the iPad Tote
What's on my wheel: Still Full Circle spinning fiber in "Pigeon." No progress there.
What's on my loom: Still the Multi Scrap scarf, 32". No progress there, either.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina, a book in a new genre for me: Steampunk. Still reading Death by Cashmere in iBooks and Ann Budd's Sock Knitting Master Class on Kindle.
What's in my wine glass: Charles Shaw Chardonnay, chilled, for a nice summer change.
What's my tip of the week: Felting (or fulling) a knitted item can be accomplished in a top-loading washing machine. I like to put the item into a zippered pillowcase, zipped up with the zipper tab fastened to the pillowcase with a safety pin. I throw in a pair of worn-out jeans to add agitation and wash in hot water with a little laundry detergent, followed by a cold rinse. 

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, June 15, 2015

Cranking Away

This week I had my First Ladies Class at Davidene's. We made the Eleanor Roosevelt Block:


The book is Eleanor Burns' Tales of First Ladies. I love the fabrics Davidene picked for this project, and the designs in the book as well, but I'm not crazy about the piecing methods. Here's why: It's a pain if you don't have her rulers, and it's really fiddly unless you do a lot of the same block over and over, so you don't have to keep looking at the book. If you do get this book and make the quilt or any of the blocks from the book, though, follow her directions exactly if you do at all. An experienced quilter could figure out how to make these blocks with templates, strip piecing, etc., but if you make the quilt her way, you need to do exactly what she says. If you do that, the blocks will turn out great.

The last section of the Echo Flowers Shawl, the Edge Chart, is going well. I found the nupps starting with the Border Chart and continuing into the Edge Chart, to be challenging at first. The first ones were a little wonky, but they got better with practice. I am making them on a crochet hook (loosely) and bringing the working yarn through the loops as I finish. Here it is with the Border pattern finished.


Here's a closeup of the knitting moving into the Edge Chart as of Sunday evening:


(The yarn is Bare 100% Merino Lace Weight yarn from Knit Picks. The pattern is "Echo Flower Shawl" by Jenny Johnson Johnen.)

Vintage Stitchers met at Julie's this week. Carol brought this quilt, which I think was a kit from Keepsake Quilting, but I'm not sure, and she added sashing, which has become her signature style, it seems.


Janet has made some progress on her Bertie blocks.




Saturday was International Knit In Public Day. I was a delegate to the Utah State Democratic Convention, which met in Park City on Saturday, so I took my shawl to work on. There were hundreds of people there, so it was indeed "in public." (Yes, there are Democrats in Utah. We mostly hide in caves and only come out on election day.)

My Multi Scrap Scarf is going slowly. In fact, it's hibernating. Im still at 32". I won't be needing it this summer, so there's no rush. I really want to get my shawl finished, so I can take it on the trip this summer, and I need to make a new tote for my iPhone, as my old one is wearing out. I think the new one will be lined, for strength.


What's on my needles: Echo Flowers Shawl and the Fair Isle Flower Socks. Still ready to CO the "March of the Fibres" cardi when I get a chance, maybe after I finish the shawl.

What's on my Featherweight: One more pieced block to go from First Ladies. I will miss the appliqué class next month, but will make the final pieced block in August.

What's on my wheel: Still Full Circle spinning fiber in "Pigeon." No progress there.

What's on my loom: Still the Multi Scrap scarf, 32".

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen, my favorite of hers so far. Then I listened to Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey from Audible, read by Juliet Stevenson. If you aren't accustomed to 19th Century language, reading one of Austen's novels can be a little difficult. Try an audiobook first. This is the best reading of it I have listened to, well worth the price of buying it. I've read the book many times and listened to it as an audiobook, but I've never laughed so hard. Austen really makes fun of the gothic novels of her era and the affectations of many of the young people in society. Still reading Death by Cashmere in iBooks and Ann Budd's Sock Knitting Master Class on Kindle.

What's in my wine glass: Liberty Creek Pinot Noir. The big bottle. Very nice.

What's my tip of the week: Let the dryer run for 15-20 minutes and then remove shirts and dresses that might normally need ironing. Hang them up on coat hangers to finish drying. They will need little or no ironing. Pants dry faster if you use two hangers; one for each leg.

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, June 8, 2015

Giving in to Temptation

I couldn't keep from casting on the "Echo Flower Shawl."


I thought it might actually be useful this summer. I'm using Bare 100% Merino Lace Weight yarn from Knit Picks, and putting beads in where the pattern has twisted sts. It's going fast, partly because I'm finding it very entertaining.

The pattern is "Echo Flower Shawl" by Jenny Johnson Johnen. The yarn is left over from Daphne's Lace Christening Gown. (I really overestimated the amount I needed for that project!) There's a KAL for the project already on the Knitting Community.
Soon I hope to start the Busy Bee Throw, a pattern just issued by Knit Picks. It's a Granny-square-type crochet throw designed by our own Shaina Scott, EdwardRad on the Knitting Community and YumiYarns on Ravelry. If a KAL (CAL?) doesn't appear soon, I plan on starting one. I'll be using City Tweed DK, which will make the hive "cells" a little smaller, but it should be a great use for the yarn.

On Saturday the Mary Megs Atwater Weavers Guild stopped to see my fiber studio as part of a "Park City Tour" to see how we were set up for weaving and other fiber fun. One of the ladies took photos of my bench. She's going to ask her DH to make her one like it. From my house, they went on to Karan's and then to Margareth's, where they had lunch.


My Multi Scrap Scarf is going well. I'm up to 32".


Part of the week was very nice. By Wednesday the ground had dried out enough to hike on the trails above our house. Friday it started to rain again. At least we got good hikes in on Wednesday and Thursday.

I promise some quilting next week!

What's on my needles: Echo Flowers Shawl and the Fair Isle Flower Socks. Ready to CO the "March of the Fibres" cardi when I get a chance. I planned on doing the CO this week, but got sidetracked (again).

What's on my Featherweight: Ready to start next month's blocks from First Ladies. Another class meeting this week.

What's on my wheel: Still Full Circle spinning fiber in "Pigeon." No progress there.

What's on my loom: Still the Multi Scrap scarf, but up to 32".

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson and then The Void by J. d. Horn, both from Audible. Now I'm reading The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen. Still reading Death by Cashmere in iBooks. Also Ann Budd's Sock Knitting Master Class on Kindle.

What's in my wine glass: Lindeman's Cawarra Shiraz-Cabernet 2014. The big bottle.

What's my tip of the week: When traveling with a project that requires beads, putting the beads on a strip of masking tape or painters' tape will keep them from rolling away. They can still be picked up from the tape easily with the crochet hook or 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.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring Fever

Vintage Stichers met at my house this week, so I could get my turn in while there was little chance of snow and soon after my spring cleaning.



As always, they had some quilts in various stages of completion to show off. Carol took the Easy Bake pattern and added sashing.

Brenda made this Radio Way quilt for a relative injured in an accident.



Janet is working on this Bertie's Spring appliqué.







Barbara has done the preparation for this block for Kim McLean's Flower Pots from Glorious Color.



I finished my Kai-Mei Socks. The pattern is easier than it looks. I discovered the easiest way to P the four dropped YO strands was to come up under all four with the right needle wyif, put that needle through the sl st from he back, and then P them together. It's a well-written pattern, from Sock Innovation by Cookie A. The yarn is Stroll in "navy."


I may have mentioned this before, but I had bought the first printing of Cookie A's book, and there were a lot of errata. I found the corrections on the publisher's website, printed them all off, and stored them in the book. I was planning on having the book spiral-bound with an envelope bound in the book for the errata pages to take with me on our trip this summer, when I plan on knitting socks. Then I found this Kindle edition, with all the corrections, for not much more than the spiral-binding would have cost. The best part is, it doesn't add any weight to my iPad, which I was planning on taking with me anyway.

I moved on to my Snow Crystals Socks and quickly finished the first sock.



To get the beads into your knitting, you take the stitch off the needle and pull it up through the bead. Then you put the stitch back on the needle and knit it. I didn't have a crochet hook small enough to go through the hole in the bead; even my size 11 was too big, so I used a threaded needle. I put the needle through the bead, then through the stitch and back through the bead in the direction it came out. Then pulled on the needle and thread, pulling the stitch through the bead. (There are no beads on the foot. Ouch!)

The second sock went fast. I wore them on Sunday:


You may have to zoom in to see the beads, but they show up in the sunlight, like the sun shining on snow.
The Multi-scrap Scarf is coming along. Here it is with 30" completed:

The series of rain storms has finally stopped, and the weather has warmed up a bit. It has been good for walking the pups, and on Saturday, we took a hike in Toll Canyon.





What's on my needles: The Snow Crystals Socks are finished. CO another pair of socks. Ready to CO the "March of the Fibres" cardi when I get a chance. Maybe this week. I'm also working on another pair of socks, because I needed to visit my friend Joanie on Sunday and needed something to work on there.

What's on my Featherweight: Ready to start next month's blocks from First Ladies.

What's on my wheel: Still Full Circle spinning fiber in "Pigeon." No progress there.

What's on my loom: Still the Multi Scrap scarf, 30" completed.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished The Back Road by Rachel Abbott. Then read Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen, a "Daily Deal" from Audible. Then listened to A Murderous Yarn by Monica Ferris from the library on the Overdrive app. Now listening to Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson from Audible. Reading Death by Cashmere in iBooks.

What's in my wine glass: Lindeman's Cawarra Shiraz-Cabernet 2014. The big bottle.

What's my tip of the week: On socks, or other projects that require regular decreases until a certain stitch count, I always hate to keep counting sts, so I put a st marker at the point where the decreases have to stop. In the photo, I needed 32 sts, divided over two needles, so I just counted 16 sts and put a marker. You have to move the marker for the last two decreases, but I just take the it out, make the dec and put it back again. This works for sweaters or other projects as well.



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, May 25, 2015

Heddles and Puddles

Well, I'm finally, finally, back to weaving. On Tuesday I rethreaded the heddles on my floor loom, using the warp that was already on the loom left over from a previous project.


I had to change the tie-up, too, to weave what I wanted, but it was easier than I thought it would be. I'm using various scraps of yarn and some hand-spun that wasn't up to knitting standards to make a scarf using a 2X2 twill. I had a yarn that was basically a skinny thread with periodic ribbons, which I'm adding in from time to time for some interest. (I can't imagine knitting with the stuff!)

The weaving goes fast, and I prefer to do it when DGD1 isn't watching TV in my fiber studio, and she's off work right now, so I got some knitting done this week as well. Ta-da! The Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks for DH are finished.


I also made some progress on the Kai-Mei socks.

When you work on more than one project at a time, sometimes several things get finished all in the same week. It's really fun to see stuff come together.

Common Threads met at my house on Thursday. I was able to clean quickly after the spring cleaning I did before our company arrived a couple of weeks ago. Almost everyone was knitting.

Thursday evening was the Park City Quilt Guild meeting at Davidene's. We had a demonstration of a method for making small circles for appliqué. Of course, we also had a nice show-and-tell.

This quilt was made by members of Silver Queen Quilters (the previous local quilt guild, now defunct) to commemorate the 2002 Winter Olympics. There are paper-pieced houses that are representative of the houses in Old Town. The children in snow suits appliquéd around the outside border represent all the different countries that participated. (I made some of the children in snow suits.) Of course, our beautiful mountains are depicted. Carol, a fellow member of the Silver Queen Quilt Guild at the time, has had custody of it since it was last displayed. She's trying to find a new site for it. Davidene has offered to display it until a more public location is found.



Among other show-and-tell was this appliqué quilt top, ready to go to the quilter. I especially love the acorn house.



This quilt looks as if it could have been made a couple of centuries ago, except that it's in such great condition.



Jill had some circles left over from a previous quilt, so she made this. (She still has some circles.)



Jill and her sister, Lynn, made this quilt together. The seam allowances were...interesting. That's the hardest part about making a quilt together with other people. They managed to overcome the problem, though, and the result was great!


We have been getting a lot of rain lately, so it has been difficult to get the pups out for a walk or a hike, but we've managed, thanks to our weather apps. Saturday, for instance, we saw it was mostly likely not going to be raining until at least 3:00 PM, so we did a walk around the block before that. Sunny is usually off-leash on our street, because cars are sparse and she comes reliably to the side when I tell her. She has had a muscle strain caused by an awkward exit from the tub after her bath, but she has recovered well and was feeling well enough to chase a running Vizsla. This dog is as fast as a greyhound, so I was impressed. (I wonder what she planned to do with him if she caught him.) I've never seen her move so fast. Rocky and I were headed in the opposite direction, though, so she turned around and ran back to Rocky and me when I called her.

Here's some cuteness for this week:


I can't believe these beautiful creatures are my grandchildren! It's so nice to see them enjoying the out-of-doors at the park. At least it isn't rain, rain, rain, where they live.


What's on my needles: The Kai-Mei socks, working down the foot of the second sock. Still planning to CO the "March of the Fibres" cardi when I get a chance. Also planning to CO the Snow Crystals Socks.

What's on my Featherweight: Ready to start next month's blocks from First Ladies.

What's on my wheel: Still Full Circle spinning fiber in "Pigeon." No progress there.

What's on my loom: The Multi Scrap scarf.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Madensky Square by Eva Ibbotson from Audible. Then listened to Our Lady of Pain, a mystery by M. C. Beaton using the nom de plume of Marion Chesney. Now listening to The Back Road by Rachel Abbott, also from Audible. Reading Death by Cashmere by Sally Goldenbaum in iBooks. 

What's in my wine glass: Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot by Concha y Toro of Chile, 2013.
What's my tip of the week: If you're making socks with a pattern section that has rounds where the number of stitches in the pattern decrease or increase, when you count your stitches to see where you are, you can start by using the base number of stitches in the pattern section and then count all the other stitches. This is most common in lace patterns. For instance, the Kai-Mei socks have a lace panel. The number of stitches starts and ends up as 15, but the stitch count varies. I start with 15 sts., then count all the other stitches in the round to find out how many stitches I have.


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, May 18, 2015

Spinning My Wheel or Spinning My Wheels?

My mother had an expression she used when she felt like she had worked all day and hadn't accomplished anything. She said she felt as if she were spinning her wheels (and not the kind of wheels that produce yarn. That's how my week has been.


However, I did get some work done on my First Ladies Quilt. The class at Davidene's was on Wednesday. I had missed the class in April because we were in Moab, and I wanted to have that lesson's blocks done before the next class, which was on Wednesday. Tuesday I cut out the pieces for both classes' blocks. (We make two of the same block each time, so it was a total of four blocks.) Then I pieced the blocks from the class I missed. Wednesday the pups went to the groomer and I had the next class. Some ladies were having a quilt retreat near us, and a bunch of them came in for a shopping spree. I was already pretty well along on my blocks when they arrived, so I didn't mind when my teacher left me to ring up their purchases. Some of them noticed that I was using the Bloc-Loc ruler (see below) to square up my quarter-square triangles and started asking about it. I did a little demo, showing them how to use it for half-square triangle units (for which it was designed) and quarter-square triangle units (for which it works just as well). Two of the ladies bought the ruler from Davidene's.

Thursday I had my annual eye exam. Everything is fine, and I don't need new glasses, but I couldn't do anything much for the rest of the day because my eyes were dilated. I knew that would be the case, so I had dinner ready/planned for, and I had DGD1 drive me there, wait for me and drive me home.

Friday the pups went to the vet for their annual exam and shots. Like their "parents," DH and me, they are in good shape for their ages. Our vet is happy with them, and their only health issues are minor and under control.

I had planned to rethread the heddles on my loom and get it set up to weave, but while I had it folded up next to the wall, one of the bolts became bent. I couldn't fix it by myself or get it out to replace it. I had to wait for DH to help me. He worked on Saturday, when I was trying to fix it, and Sunday we had the opera (Stravinsky's "The Rake's Progress," excellent), but he managed to get it unbent after we got home.

I managed to make some progress on my socks, though. Both the second Diagonal Cross-Rib sock (for DH; it really is bigger than it looks) and the second Kai-Mei sock are coming along.

Two more pattern repeats on DH's socks before starting the heel, and about an inch of the 3X3 ribbing on my socks before the heel.

For this week's cuteness, here are the two younger grandsons having their first trip to the farmers' market for the year, and Johan's first trip in the wagon.

I hope to have more time to work on my fun stuff this week, including "spinning my wheel."

What's on my needles: The Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks for DH, second sock moving along. Ready to CO his "March of the Fibres" cardi when I get a chance. (It didn't happen this week.) Also the Kai-Mei socks, progress on second sock.

What's on my Featherweight: Ready to start next month's blocks from First Ladies.

What's on my wheel: Still Full Circle spinning fiber in "Pigeon." No progress there.

What's on my loom: Dust! But I hope to get it up and running this week, now that the problem has (maybe) been fixed.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished A Hidden Witch by Debra Geary from Audible. Now listening to Madensky Square by Eva Ibbotson, also from Audible. Just finished reading Lady Fiasco by Kathleen Baldwin on the Kindle app. Entertaining story. NowI want to read the rest of this author's books. Now I'm reading Charming the Duke by Holly Bush. I like the story (mostly), but the typos keep interfering with my involvement. It's as if they used spell check or autocorrect, but no one proofread the book. Things like "woman" when they mean "women," and short words left out of sentences. Publishers: Please hire proofreaders!

What's in my wine glass: Lindeman's Cawarra Shiraz-Cabernet 2014. The big bottle, which I needed after a week of spinning my wheels.

What's my tip of the week: The Bloc-Loc ruler is a great quilting notion. It was a little more expensive than most rulers its size, but I suspect that's because of the added expense of making the groove that runs diagonally from one corner to the other. This groove is wide enough to fit over the seam allowance on a half-square triangle (HST), from the seam line to 1/4" away. Here's how the ruler works: You place the diagonal of the ruler on the seam. If he seam is pressed to the right, the groove will be to the right of the diagonal. If it goes to the left, you turn the Bloc-Loc ruler around so the width of the groove is to the left. You have to make sure the lines indicating the size you want your finished HST to be are all on top of fabric, not outside the fabric. Then you cut the two edges on each side of the corner. Next, you turn the ruler and the square around, line up the groove on the seam line, adjust so the lines indicating the size you want are right along the edges you have just cut, and then trim the other two edges. (If I have a bunch to trim, I stack them with the seam allowance all going the same way, trim the top edges of each one, then turn around the stack of HSTs and the ruler and trim the other edges.)


Note that in the photo, the arrow indicates the diagonal seam with he seam allowance pressed to the left.

This ruler does two things: First, it helps you find the exact location of the the seam before you trim, and second, the ruler stays put as you trim, because it can't slide around on the seam the way a flat ruler would tend to do, so you don't have to put as much pressure on the ruler.

To use it to trim quarter-square triangles (QSTs), turn the unit so the vertical seam allowance and the groove are on the same side, as with HSTs. Then adjust the position of the ruler so the horizontal seam meets the line that indicates the size you want your finished unit to be on each side. (In the photos below, the ruler is set to trim to 4".)


The arrow points to the 4" mark on one side of the horizontal seam. You will need to adjust the ruler so the other 4" mark is in the right position on the other end of the horizontal seam. (There's some distortion in this closeup due to the thickness of the ruler, but you will want the 4" line to come out right at the ends of the horizontal seam.)


When you have the ruler in position, trim the top two edges, rotate the unit 180° and make sure your finished size lines up before cutting again. (You may have to turn the ruler around for the second cut, depending on which side the seam allowance is on after you rotate your block.)

(Note: I don't receive any kind of remuneration for advocating this product.)


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.