Monday, March 19, 2018


No, not the movie. My life.

Friday was a pretty day, so the pups and I did a hike on the firebreak road. I tried to get a photo of them running and finally settled for a video.

I've never put a video in my blog before. Hope it works.

Common Threads met at Karan's on Thursday. It snowed, and Georgette picked me up, so DH could stay in bed. He was clearing the drive when she brought me back.

There were just the three of us. Karan had finished this little wall quilt and had it on the wall already.

I worked on my reboot of the Coastal Skies. This is the third pattern I've used, and I think, as the saying goes, "third time's the charm." 

It's a fairly easy pattern. The first st is always slipped. The RS has YOs at the beginning and end of the two halves. The WS is just K all the stitches after the first slipped stitch. Almost mindless, so a good project for chit-chat. I decided to put a brightly colored marker at the beginning of the RS row, so I would remember which row I was on.

It snowed again Saturday. I finished Mandy's snow pants just in time for the snow.

The pants are a free cut-and-paste pattern from cataddict's project page. It's designed for American Girl dolls, but it worked OK for Mandy. They're a little baggy, but warmer that way, right? I skipped the short rows across the derrière as Mandy doesn't have much there.

It goes well with Mandy's Stavanger Cardigan. At least two people are planning on making this project, including a lady in New Zealand who wants to use the pattern to teach steeking to a friend.

A straight/A-line skirt has been designed by Lilli & Fleur Couture, and I did a practice test of the pattern.

My friend Andrea, who is the designer for the company, hopes to have the patterns ready soon. This one is slated to be a freebie. She will publish the skirt pattern with a link to my twinset pattern. I'll publish the twinset pattern with a link to the skirt pattern.

The packing is moving along slowly. Here's a small box almost filled with yardage and fat quarters.

I added more before DH taped it shut. It's a book box, the size chosen because it was going to hold only fabric. I have another pile of stuff to take to Savers. They even take old single socks and worn-out clothes. Things like that that they can't sell get ground up to make insulation.

Here's Miss Daphne's birthday doll, ready to ship to Wisconsin, although her birthday isn't until the middle of May. I'm trying to move out of the house as much stuff I don't need to get into before the move, so she's on her way, due to be delivered today. 

Included in the box: undies, PJs, rain coat and boots, sneakers, sweater, two T-shirts, leggings, slacks, sandals, shorts and capris with tops, and two dresses. The birthday is in May, but I want to be sure the doll is there in time. Katie 2015 will be sooooo glad to get out of her restraints, but at least she can admire her wardrobe while she travels. (I wonder if I should have put her glasses on her; the wardrobe is so close.) I've had her for about 10 months. She's a Götz Happy Kidz Katie from 2015, like my Mandy.

What's on my needles: Finally the Coastal Skies Shawl, using the Knockout Round pattern.

What's on my Featherweight: Easter dresses.

What's in my hoop: Spring Flowers appliqué quilt. Making progress.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is packed away.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Listening to Miss Tonks Turns to Crime by M. C. Beaton. Now listening to Russian Roulette by David Corn and Michael Isikoff. On my Kindle app is Miss Braithwait’s Secret by G. G. Vandagriff.

What's in my wine glass: Ha! Guinness for a change, and it's in a beer glass instead of a wine glass.

What's my tip of the week: I've mentioned dealing with onion peel before, but here's an addition. As I said, cut the onion in half from stem to stern, then trim the stem end and the stern end (actually, the end where new growth comes out). If the onion skin won't just pop off on its own, remove one thick layer, turn it inside out, and the skin should pop off. Slap the layer back on and start chopping.

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 or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, March 12, 2018

No Term Limits for These Chairs!

But first: Mandy's Stavanger (Norwegian) Cardigan is finished.

The pattern is available for free here. I frogged the front bands twice before I finally got a version Mandy and I liked.

It's designed to teach steeks with a different kind of front steek finish and an option for knitting both sleeves together separated by steeks, and then seaming them before sewing them in place in the armholes.

I used Knit Picks Palette in White, Marble Heather and Pimento. The sheep motif is from Northern Lace's March of the Fibres Sweater by Elizabeth Lovick and is used with her permission. (I have this pattern and plan to make it as a cardigan.)

In other knitting news, I did a test knit for a doll-sized messy bun hat. I think the designer plans to make it available to the public, and when that happens, I'll provide a link.

I used Knit Picks Comfy Worsted in Peony. It took 21g, which is about 46 yards. I wish I could say I picked it because of its excellent stitch definition (which it has), but it was nothing so logical. It was one of the few worsted-weight yarns not yet packed up for the upcoming move. The only things color-coordinated in Lotte's outfit are her hat and slippers, and they don't really match, nor do they go together by function. However, it was what she was wearing, and she's cute anyway.

Vintage Stitchers met at Marilyn's on Thursday. I was hand-quilting my Spring Flowers Quilt.  It's coming along.

As usual, most of the ladies were sewing bindings on. Carol was sewing the binding on this sampler. Her quilts are always fun.

Barbara had this beautiful quilt she made from precut 2 1/2" strips and 10" squares. She's had the fabric for a long time, she says.

Marilyn brought out a big bin of yarn she wanted to get rid of. I was good; I didn't even look. I had just dropped off a big load at Saver's, the thrift shop close to Marilyn, and it was fresh in my mind. I have saved out about two years' worth of yarn just to get me through the time until I can open my boxes again. I really shouldn't be adding to it.

When Vintage Stitchers was almost over, I received a text saying that the chairs were done. We had dropped them off at Wardell Upholstery in Salt Lake City to be reupholstered in leather. We had to take them down to Salt Lake one at a time, because our car wouldn't hold both of them at one time, so since I was already there, I went by to pick it up. Here's what I saw when I got there.

The man who actually did the work said that our pair of chairs were the first and last he would ever do. It was expensive, but these chairs (much more substantial than the ones sold by IKEA, which are nevertheless nice) were designed by the famous Finnish designer Alvar Aalto and sell for a lot more than it cost us. They are actually better than when we bought them, because the upholstery is all leather now, instead of only in the front and the tops of the arm pads. They are also more comfortable than I remember. Extra padding was addedI should have taken a before photo. The best I could find was this:

Our lovely daughter and our lovely DIL holding our adorable grandsons at Christmastime 2012. The photo doesn't show the shredded canvas upholstery behind the headrest, and the cracked leather doesn't really show up much, either, but it will give you an idea. I never liked the off-white, and I love the new caramel.

I'm currently knitting another cataddict pattern, this time for winter sports pants. (She doesn't publish the patterns as pdfs, but she has great patterns. You have to copy and paste to a document and print that.)

I'm thinking they will look good with Mandy's Stavanger Cardigan.

What's on my needles: Mandy's Winter Sports Pants.

What's on my Featherweight: Nothing right now.

What's in my hoop: Spring Flowers quilt.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: I gave up on The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf for now. I may go back to it later. I wasn't really in the mood for depressing, unhappy characters. Now listening to Miss Tonks Turns to Crime by M. C. Beaton. I really enjoy her books, and I have just discovered that she's a very prolific writer. My only complaint is that they tend to be short and they still cost just as much in credits. On my Kindle app I finished Miss Braithwait’s Secret by G. G. Vandagriff. It was an interesting story. I've listened to another of her novels and found that one to be better. It could be because I would rather listen than read. I haven't picked a new Kindle book yet.

What's in my wine glass: Terrain Vineyards Red Blend 2014. Excellent!

What's my tip of the week: When packing for a move, pack heavy items (like books or fabric) in smaller boxes so they won't be too heavy to lift. A few heavy items can go in the bottom of a larger box, if you fill it the rest of the way with something light, like down jackets or yarn. Be sure to write on the box with specifics about what is in the box.

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 or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Winter Drags On

Janet brought her completed block to Common Threads this week.

You may remember from last week, the blocks are from a free BOM from Buttermilk Basin. She was trying to use tissue paper as a guide for the embroidery, but she switched to Press 'n Seal on the advice of other people who are making this block, which has background fabric too thick to see through with the light box.

Karan has been learning how to do machine embroidery with cutwork.

The piece above was done using a wash-away product. The butterfly below is also cut away, but using a technique that leaves most of the fabric intact.

Here are some more of her projects using these techniques.

This tree is fun, and the ovals are cut to create little areas of pile. She said she actually liked it better before it was cut.

Janet is knitting the Mountain Cozy Cowl by Cathy Miller for a relative. The yarn is Juniper Moon Farm "Moonshine" worsted. She's getting close to finishing.

Ginny had finished her needlepoint picture of the three dogs. She plans to make a pillow. The ribbon she's holding up next to her project will outline the picture.

Now she's working on this interesting design. I think it looks like a doll's rug. Hmmmm....

Speaking of dolls, You may remember the shipment of goodies the Götz girls received not too long ago...the one with all the rain boots? There was also a package of Götz panties/knickers labeled with the days of the week. Mandy picked "Monday" because at first she thought it said "Mandy," but she loves them anyway. (The sulky face is because I told her to go put on some warmer clothes.)

We received another shipment, this time from Götz USA. Three pairs of shoes. This website doesn't have a huge selection, but they do have a few dolls, and the shoes are much more reasonable than the same ones on Amazon, the only other source in the USA that I know about. Mandy had been wanting the white Mary Janes with the flowers across the strap, and they were almost $45 with the shipping on Amazon, as opposed to $13 plus shipping at Götz USA. Because I was getting two more pairs of shoes, the shipping worked out to about $2/pair. If you order $40, the shipping is free.

I'm working on the front bands of my Norwegian cardigan pattern for Mandy. The body and sleeves are done. Here's the back.

The front is hard to photograph, because of the center front steek, which sticks up, making shadows. I'm putting the body aside for now, because I'm knitting the sleeves together in one piece with steeks between them, from the bottom up, rather than picking up the stitches around the armhole. The sheep motif is being used with permission from the designer, Elizabeth Lovick from Northern Lace. She had used it in her pattern March of the Fibres Sweater, which I also plan to knit.

We were expecting a major snowstorm over the weekend, so on Friday, while it was...well, not exactly nice, but not especially cold and windy, we took the pups to Run-A-Muk Dog Park. Rocky had a good run. Dusty ran and ran and ran, especially when he met up with other dogs that liked to run and play. DH and I had a nice hike.

What's on my needles: Mandy's Norwegian Cardigan.

What's on my Featherweight: Pants and skirts.

What's in my hoop: The Spring Flowers Quilt.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Listening to The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry. This was a good read, with a lot of dark humor, so added more titles by this author to my wish list at Audible. Then listened to La Danse de la Folie by Sherwood Smith. Now listening to The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf. On my Kindle app I'm still reading Miss Braithwait’s Secret by G. G. Vandagriff.

What's in my wine glass: Just finishing up the House Wine Original Red. Very acceptable.

What's my tip of the week: If you’re knitting a sweater, cowl or other garment in the round and want to try it on to see if it’s long enough (or wide enough), if you put half of the sts on another circular needle, it will be easier to try on.

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 or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Little of Everything

A visit to Davidene's Quilt Shop brought me face to face with this cute quilt.

It's Called "Sunny Side of the Street" and is by One Sister Designs. I was just back from Vintage Stitchers at Rebecca's on Thursday, where Janet had mentioned that she planned on making this quilt, which is available at Davidene's as a kit. Davidene is branching out into online selling. Currently her moose blocks are available in her online store, but she says if anyone needs anything, and she has it, she would be happy to send it out, if you just call or email (see link above).

I brought a couple of boxes of books to Rebecca's so my quilting friends who didn't make it to my house two weeks ago could go through them and see if they wanted any. DH had some business in Salt Lake City, so he dropped me off and picked me up, along with the books that were left. Rebecca gave me some books to drop off at Davidene's when I took mine. Davidene is always working on some charity project, and she will find a use for them.

We had a nice meeting at Rebecca's. Good company, good eats and inspiration are always a good combination.

Janet was working on this project from Buttermilk Basin:

The patterns are free, and there is a new one each month. For the next one, she is trying to use tissue paper to guide her embroidery.

Barbara had just finished this quilt top. She gave me permission to post it in my blog, but not openly on Facebook, because it's a surprise for someone. I think it's amazing, and this photo doesn't do it justice.

Every time we meet at Rebecca's, she has something new on display, usually a finished quilt. You may remember seeing this bunny quilt before quilting in a post of mine from June, 2016. The designer is Laura Heine.

The quilting doesn't exactly show up in the quilt, but the quilter made the bunny look very plump and cuddly.

Rebecca had been reorganizing her sewing room. I had to go have a look, so I could get ideas for after we move and I have to give up my huge fiber studio. Here is the sewing/cutting area:

Here's entertainment and storage:

More storage is in the closet, but she wouldn't let me show it with the doors open. She has more wire shelves and a small area for hanging clothes.

The sewing room isn't her guest room, but she can use it for guest overflow.
Here's her real guest room.

Every room has quilts on display. This was in the guest room.

Rebecca also does amazing embroidery and cross-stitch.

I was hand-quilting my Susan Branch Spring Flowers quilt, which you have seen. Making some progress. However, DH has been after me to take down the loom (as mentioned last week), so I spent some time this past week finishing the weaving to use up the warp that was on the loom. I made this bureau scarf. I may trim the fringe a bit. I need to try it on the dresser first to see how it looks.

It took most of the day Friday to take the loom apart into pieces small enough to move easily. The castle (main body) is still very heavy, so it will be one of the things we get help moving. Here it is, all dismantled and sitting against the wall.

As we took things apart--a two-"man" job--I took photos of the individual parts and made notes about the photos and what goes where.

Then I used the photos and my notes to write up what we will have to do to put it together on the other end. I ended up with a little document printed off to take with us when we move, but I also have the document saved in the cloud, in case we lose it.

I've been participating in the Ravellinic Games in the Frog Prince group on Ravelry. One of my "events" was to make little hats for the dolls that "live" with me. Vroni got the first one. The pattern is Deb Denair's Lace Newsboy Cap, but without the bill.

The next hat was for Mandy. This one was Deb's Shontae Slouchy, which I had reworked to knit in the round.

Then I made another for Lotte so I could test my pattern. I made both with worsted-weight, rather than the DK suggested in the pattern, but it worked out OK. Mandy thinks she looks like a snowboarder in her cap, and Lotte wants to be a ski jumper, although both would need helmets for either of these sports. These are for watching the others perform.

I had some loyalty points with My Doll Best Friend, so I used them (and some additional money) to buy some boots, slippers, shoes and underwear actually made for these dolls, who have longer, slimmer feet and smaller hips than most dolls in their size range. I also bought some tights and a windbreaker that came with boots that I really wanted.

We will be ready for rain when it comes. I just need to make some little raincoats and hats.

I made a little book out of the photos from Vroni's birthday, using the Apple Photo app, which has the option of making cards, calendars and books, similar to what Shutterfly does. There was no discount for multiple copies, so I ordered just one to see. It came on Thursday. It basically tells the story from the special blog post I made on her birthday, February 2nd.

I did change a few things to make it suitable for reading to children who don't know the characters and to get the type to fit in the text boxes provided in the program. Now I plan to send a copy to each grandchild and give a copy to Therapy Animals of Utah for their next silent auction.

I'm researching how to get a book published, so I can make another doll storybook as a fundraiser, hopefully for pediatric cancer.

I'm still going through things in my fiber studio sewing area, trying to figure out what to get rid of and what to keep. My new sewing room will be much smaller than the current one, but at least the loom will be housed elsewhere. Right now, we're thinking of a living-dining combination, with the dining area used for weaving.

What's on my needles: Nothing new, but some UFOs.

What's on my Featherweight: Doll clothes, when I get back to sewing.

What's on my loom: Empty, and put away until after we move.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is still awaiting her next task. Good thing she's patient.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Listening to Henrietta: The Daring Debutantes Series Book 1,  by M. C. Beaton. Then listened to Envious Casca: Inspector Hemingway Book 1 by Georgette Heber, always a great author. Then started The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry. On my Kindle app is still Miss Braithwait’s Secret by G. G. Vandagriff. Seems like a good story so far.

What's in my wine glass: Crane Lake Malbec 2014.

What's my tip of the week: Throw all junk mail and miscellaneous paper advertising into recycling as soon as you receive it. Look at it if you like, but don't put it aside to look at later. Papers have a way of piling up and taking over your living space. If you don't get rid of it, your children will have to. I know whereof I speak.

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 or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.