Monday, February 20, 2017

Altered States

Last week I started working on a doll sweater pattern to help people learn how to make steeks using a small project.

Most of us are intimidated by steeks until we make something using this technique. Cutting up a project you've worked on for months can be pretty scary if you've never done it before. A sweater for a doll or teddy bear is the perfect starting point, and the dolls and teddy bears appreciate it, too.

The colors were inspired by my "So-not-my-palette Cardigan." I'm calling Dolly's sweater the "My-palette-after-all Sweater." "My-palette-after-all" because the color combination has grown on me, and "Sweater" because it can be a cardigan or a pullover. (Dolls are difficult to dress if the clothes are made the same as for humans, so a "pullover" normally buttons down the back.)

As you can see, the body is done with one sleeve attached. The bead in the middle of the buttonhole band is an example of what I'll be using for buttons. I started with Dolly because she is closer to the size of an American Girl Doll than the other two "girls." With luck, I'll have possible adjustments for slimmer dolls in the 18" range.

When you make a steeked sweater, you knit a tube in the round up to the armholes (with extra stitches in the center front for a steek if you're making a cardigan) and then add additional extra stitches for steeks where the armholes will be. Sometimes there is shaping for the armholes or front neck, depending on the type of sleeves and neck. In this case, I just worked the sweater up to the neck, which would be cut later. (Not as scary as it sounds, because I made two rows of machine stitching inside the seam allowance every place I was going to cut.)

I ended up having to make the section from the bottom of the armhole to the shoulder longer than I had planned, so when Dolly had her first fitting, (after the armhole steeks were cut) it looked more like a dress than a sweater. This also made it a little tight around the tummy and backside...not what I had planned. Dolly was nice about it and said it was OK, but I knew she wouldn't wear it like that.


Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve. I removed one round of stitches between the first gold band and the black/magenta band, taking out the top round of stitches in the gold band, keeping the black/magenta band intact. Then I picked up the bottom round of stitches from the black/magenta band, and worked new ribbing down in reverse.

I decided to cut the center front steek and work the neck and front bands before doing the sleeves, so it would be easier to try on as I went. I bound off the shoulders and sewed fronts to backs, then made machine stitches over the new stitches.

Next, I made two rows of machine-stitching down the front just inside the steek on each side, moving to one side the loose ends of yarn that came from where I changed colors as I knit the sweater. I had made knots every time I had two ends close enough together to tie together without making a pucker. Those knots came in handy when I was ready to cut. 

After the machine-stitching was done, I turned the sweater body inside-out.


I got out my nice, sharp scissors and snipped off the loose ends. (After you anchor each piece of yarn with machine stitching, it won't come loose.)


Next I turned the piece right-side out again, put a rotary-cutting ruler between the layers, so I wouldn't accidentally cut the floats on the other side. (Always use protection.) Then I could cut right up the middle. You can see the center of the steek, because there is a jog where the new round starts. (If you make a pullover instead of a cardigan, you will put the beginning-of-round under one arm, possibly using some fancy tricks to make it look jogless. In that case, you won't have any steek stitches, unless you choose to make a seam at the underarm instead. But we aren't doing that.)


I sewed a couple of rows of machine-stitching within the seam allowance for the neck, to give it a slightly scooped shape. (You can make this as big or as small as you like, or for a boat-neck sweater, you can just finish off the top of the body without cutting anything.) Then I trimmed the area outside the stitching. From the front, I picked up the stitches for the neck ribbing and worked it in K2, P2 ribbing. Next, I picked up the stitches down one side of the front and made a button band, repeating the same thing for the buttonhole band (with buttonholes, of course). You can refer to the first photo where Dolly is wearing the work-in-progress, to see what the neck and front ribbing looks like.

All was going well, so I picked up the stitches for the sleeves, working the motifs in reverse order from the order used for the body, this time from the top down, and making knots as I did for the body, and ending with a few rounds of ribbing.


This time, I was careful to tighten the knots securely before trimming, because there is nothing to cut away. Here's the inside of the first sleeve, looking at where the rounds join.


Of course, you can weave in all those ends on the inside of the sleeve, maybe not a bad idea, since whoever wears it will move around in it.

If you take a look again at the first photo (where Dolly is still posing so patiently), you can see the steek still at the top of her right arm, while the other arm is encased in a finished sleeve. She should be able to wear the sweater this week. I still have the second sleeve to do and some finishing inside, just to make things tidy. Virtually no ends to weave in, though. They're all cut away.

I actually started the sweater on the Saturday before I wrote my last blog post, but neglected to change the "What's on my needles" comment. Oops! This project is taking a little longer because of my errors in design. First I thought I was getting 9 sts/in when I really was getting 8, making it too big. I worked the extra stitches into the steek. I ended cutting all that off anyway, but that took time I won't need to spend with the next version of this sweater.

Meanwhile the "girls" had a great Valentine's day. They spent six hours watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. After a nutritious lunch of soup and sandwiches, they indulged in some popcorn and chocolates.


On Thursday, Common Threads met at Karan's. Margareth finished this quilt as we enjoyed each other's company, and Karan popped it into the washer. (We're a full-service stitching group.) It looked lovely when it came out of the dryer. Margareth machine-quilted it herself. She's turning into quite a quilter. Here it is before it went into the washer.


Karan has been working on some red work for a quilt and finished a purse that she has decided will be a project bag, as it's bigger than she had planned on.

We've been getting more snow. During a break in the weather, the pups had some fun playing in the backyard.


The crummy weather does lend itself to some other activities, though, like a cuddle on the couch.




What's on my needles: The second sleeve on the “My-palette-after-all” sweater for Dolly.

What's on my Featherweight: Steeks for the “My-palette-after-all” sweater.

What's on my loom: I haven’t started anything with the leftover warp from the Multi Scarf. I’m thinking about what to make.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is still ready to go with more Full Circle spinning fiber. Maybe this week.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Listening to the choruses we’ll be singing from The Messiah for the performance April 9th. Finished Pets on the Couch (nonfiction) by DVM Nicholas Dodman. It was extremely interesting, entertaining and informative. I learned a lot. Now I’m listening to The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, a continuation of The Queen of the Tearling. On the Kindle app, I’m reading Dying to Read, The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1.

What's in my wine glass: Black Box Mendoza Argentina Malbec 2015. All mine!

What's my tip of the week: If you’re knitting a solid-color sweater from the top down and want to add ribbing, you can just start the ribbing when you’re ready. However, if you change color for the ribbing, the color from the previous row/round will visit the front with the first row/round of purl bumps. I started K2, P2 ribbing on the black round on purpose, so you could see what happens. The arrow points to the black purl bumps showing in the ribbing.



You can avoid this problem by working 1 round of all knit in the ribbing color using the ribbing needles before you start the ribbing. It will leave you with a clean-looking boundary for the ribbing.



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, February 13, 2017

Quilts!

I finally got to a Vintage Stitchers meeting!


You have already seen quilt tops and UFOs from Barbara's friend who passed away. The one above is a duplicate of one Barbara has already made (I think with different fabrics), so she was looking for a good home for it. It's machine-pieced and hand-appliquéd. The fabrics are mostly from the same Robyn Pandolph line I had used to make this quilt for DDIL1 a couple of years ago.


Since she's a quilter, and it coordinates with the other one, I thought DDIL1 might like to have it to quilt.

Barbara also has this one from her late friend. She will be taking it to be quilted. With luck (and fewer blizzards), you'll get to see it finished.


Speaking of Barbara's finished quilts, you may remember this one as a finished top.


Carol was putting the binding on this quilt, a BOM on the theme "Nursery Rhymes" made with '30s reproduction fabrics.


Marilyn had finished this machine-embroidered Christmas quilt.


Janet had helped a friend new to quilting make this T-shirt quilt. This is the friend's second quilt. (You can only see part of it, but there is a very large pope in the upper left-hand corner, doing a thumbs up.)


Barbara had just picked up this cross-stitch of hers from the framer. It will go on the wall to represent summer.


After Vintage Stitchers, I stopped by Davidene's to drop off my Kaleidoscope quilt for quilting and select some backing for it.


This is the top I made using the Kaleidoscope line from Connecting Threads. It was inspired by the line of fabrics on the back of the catalog. It has been finished for a long time, but I haven't had the money to get it quilted.

Speaking of quilting, I made some progress on my "Sistine Chapel" quilt. The Delectable Mountain blocks alone one side are half done.

My Impari Shawlette is done. I wore it on Sunday with my yellow turtleneck and navy cardigan and slacks.


We finally had a break in the weather, so I got outdoors to get a photo of Vroni in her new sweater and hat in real snow. She had the hat on, but the girls were throwing snowballs, and she got hit in the kitty ear. (There was a lot of giggling.)


I decided to make a steeked Fair Isle sweater for one of the dolls using the leftovers from my "So-not-my-palette Cardigan." I'm hoping it will fit Dolly. We'll see. I actually have three in my head, with different structure and different colors. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Valentine's Day is almost upon us, so I snapped this photo of the "girls" sharing their Valentine chocolates with Vroni. (They've been telling her that chocolates aren't fattening if they are given to you by someone who loves you.)


I'm not sure she's buying it.


What's on my needles: Still the Impari Shawlette. The March of the Fibres is still waiting in the wings. Still hand-quilting my “Sistine Chapel,” working on the first border.

What's on my Featherweight: Still waiting for a new assignment.


What's on my loom: Still the leftover warp from the Multi Scarf. I still don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet..

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is set up again with more Full Circle spinning fiber, but feeling lonely.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Footsteps in the Dark, a mystery by Georgette Heyer. Then I listened to The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz. I had listed to it on CD from the library years ago, but I found it refreshingly pertinent to today’s world, even though it was set in the ‘90s. Now I’m listening to Pets on the Couch (nonfiction) by DVM Nicholas Dodman. He’s a behaviorist, and much of what he has learned over the years has human applications. On the Kindle app, I gave up on The Housewife Assassin’s Deadly Dossier by Josie Brown. I had a hard time finding the plot in among all the sex. I haven’t really decided what to read next.

What's in my wine glass: Glen Ellen Reserve California Merlot, 2014 vintage. Very nice.

What's my tip of the week: When picking out quilt backing for a quilt that has lots of plain white or other very light background, be sure your backing won’t “visit” the front when you’re done. A fabric that’s printed on the right side but almost white on the wrong side will work well, or another light color. Place the backing wrong-side-up on a table or counter, and put your quilt top over it in a single layer. If you can’t see the backing with no batting in it, you won’t see it after it’s quilted. If you can see it, try with a bit of batting between the layers.



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, February 6, 2017

Welcoming Vroni.

This is Vroni



More about Vroni later. The big project this week was the scarf that has been on my loom for nearly two years. The warp has been on the loom much longer. I used it to make a beige waffle-weave scarf for DS2, which I gave to him Christmas 2014. I changed the tie-up to weave a twill, then the loom was damaged. (I won't go into how that happened, but it took nearly 18 months to get it fixed.) If you've been reading my blog the last few weeks, you've seen renewed progress on it. Now it's done and ready to send to DD.



The edges aren't exactly straight. It was a little difficult with the odds and ends of yarn I was using, some of it hand-spun, but also I have been out of practice. I really need a temple (not a place to go to pray for more skill, but a device to keep the edges even).

I made some progress on the Impari Shawlette. It's a good project to take if you go out to eat or to a meeting. Or watching football, perhaps (more about that later). I would have finished more of it, and more of my "Sistine Chapel" quilt, except that I had a blessed event...of sorts.

As you may remember, Hannah went to live with Daphne, Daphne Jr. and the other Wisconsin dolls. Hannah is a Götz doll with a vinyl body, which is slimmer than the cloth-bodied Madame Alexander play dolls and American Girl dolls. She is even slimmer than the Tonner play dolls, which also have a vinyl body rather than cloth. Since Dolly (Madame Alexander) and Gabi (Tonner) are too plus-size to make good models for my sewing and knitting for Hannah, I was without a model in the correct size after Hannah's departure. So...I needed another Götz doll. My plan was to purchase a Vroni after Christmas, thinking the prices would go down. They didn't. They went up, and as you can see from the link, they are out-of-stock. Every place I had located one in the past was sold out. I was resigned to waiting, months perhaps.

Enter my hero, a doll owner in the Ravelry Götz Doll Lovers group, who had decided to clear out all but one of his dolls to make room for more yarn stash. He offered seven of his dolls for good prices, some of them in the lovely smocked dresses he had made for them. When I saw Vroni was among them, I snapped her up, because I knew that the seller kept his dolls in immaculate condition.

Vroni started her journey to me on Tuesday and arrived in the middle of a blizzard on Thursday. She hadn't seen snow for a long time, and never so much at once.


She made friends right away with Dolly and Gabi, who took this selfie of the three of them together.


Vroni arrived with only the lovely dress, a full slip and panties. After just making sweaters and hats for Gabi and Dolly to keep myself from feeling cold whenever I looked at them, I found myself with another almost skimpily clad doll standing around my fiber studio. Of course I needed to make her a sweater and hat as well. People had been talking about the free Kitty Cat sweater and hat pattern available from My Doll Best Friend. It looked like a fun and fairly quick knit, so I downloaded the pattern and picked a color to go with the smocking design, because of Vroni's limited wardrobe.



I knew I could use Palette (fingering weight) held double to get the thickness I needed for the pattern, and I had Semolina in my stash, so I CO. I found the denser knitting yielded by the 3.00mm needles hard to work on, but I was able to get gauge, and the sweater was soon done.



The sweater makes a good top to go with the jeggings I ordered for her back before Christmas. (You may remember that I ordered four pairs, two for Gabi and Dolly, another pair for Hannah, and this one.)



I wanted to save her gingham ribbons to go with her dress, so I got out some yellow ribbon and threaded it through her braids using a yarn needle.


Then I started on the hat. The pattern calls for larger needles for the hat, so it went quickly and easily.


The neckline is a little large for warmth, so she needs a scarf before she can go outdoors. I can make one easily from fleece, using the pattern I've used before for warm hats and scarves.

Monday we went snowshoeing, because the weather was nice for a couple of days. 


Dusty must have covered three times the distance the rest of us did.


No Worries is open again in its new location. DH and I went there on Tuesday for breakfast and then took the pups for a walk along the bicycle trail at nearby Gorgoza Park.


One nice thing about Dusty is he brings the ball back. Rocky just runs to the ball and points at it, or picks it up and "throws" it at Dusty.

I met Joanie at No Worries on Thursday. With all the snow and other stuff going on, Common Threads couldn't get a host. Ana brought her. It was fun to see her again, and we got some knitting done. The owner/manager is a friend of hers, and she knows all the wait staff. This was her first meal at the new location.

We've had more snow than I can remember ever in the mountains of Utah. Excess snow, followed by slight melting--not enough to get the snow to slide off the roof--worked together to create a dangerous situation for our house. We started getting cracks in the walls. DH spent several hours on each of three days up on the roof with rappelling gear to dig up and remove snow. The last day he worked up there was Sunday, coming in just in time to watch the Super Bowl game. That's when he discovered that the TV, which had worked earlier in the day, no longer had reception. Something must have happened to it while he was throwing snow and ice off the roof. We ended up having to watch the game on my iPad. We used the JBL Clip speaker for better sound. Whew!


What's on my needles: Still the Impari Shawlette. The March of the Fibres is still waiting in the wings. Still hand-quilting my “Sistine Chapel,” working on the first border.

What's on my Featherweight:
 Still waiting for a new assignment.

What's on my loom: The leftover warp from the Multi Scarf. I don’t know how much I have, so I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet..

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is still set up with Full Circle spinning fiber but no progress again this week.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: (Besides the Super Bowl game.) Finished The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. It was a good story. Then I listened to Frey by Melissa Wright. There was more violence for the amount of plot than I usually like, but the story was OK. Now I’m listening to Footsteps in the Dark, a mystery by Georgette Heyer. I’ve listened to it before, but it has been a long time. On the Kindle app, I finished Anna and Her Daughters by D. E. Stevenson. Now I’m reading The Housewife Assassin’s Deadly Dossier by Josie Brown. Not really into it yet.

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

What's my tip of the week: Natural peanut butter will not need stirring before using if you put it in the refrigerator within a few hours of grinding. If you buy the kind in the jar, and the oil has already risen to the top, you can turn the jar upside down for a few hours (or days), and sometimes the oil will go back into the ground peanuts in its attempt to return to the top, in this case the bottom of the jar. If it does that, put it into the refrigerator before the oil starts collecting at the bottom of the jar.



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 30, 2017

It Beats a Hamster Wheel!

I managed to get some weaving done this week.


My priority this past week was to work on the scarf on my loom and the hand-quilting on my "Sistine Chapel" (Delectable Pathways) quilt. I made some progress on both. The scarf (a Christmas 2016 present for DD) is at 62", so it should be easy to finish. I'm using various shades of blue, purple, green and beige with some ribbon yarn worked in with some of my handspun beige/green/brown. (You can just see some of the ribbon yarn hanging down at the bottom of the photo.)

The hand-quilting on the center panel and the Delectable Mountain blocks of my Sistine Chapel quilt was done when the week started. I managed to complete the second panel of the three during the week.


I still need to quilt the Delectable Mountain blocks on the outside, and then finish the third panel and the Delectable Mountain blocks on that side. Then I'll be ready to put on the binding and a sleeve for hanging over our stairway on the wall.

DDIL2 and I are doing a private knit-along (KAL) with the Impari Shawlette using Twisted Owl Worsted in Penny Slot. A trip to Salt Lake City to attend a production of The Man of La Mancha provided an opportunity for some knitting in the car and during intermission.


The sun came out on Saturday, and I finally got a photo of Dolly in the snow (and sun) in her new Polarscape sweater.



I will need to make some clothes for Hannah for Daphne's birthday, so I need to acquire a Hannah-sized doll. Fortunately for me, someone on Ravelry is divesting himself of all of his dolls except one. The one I've been wanting is among those he's selling. It's the Götz Vroni. He made the hand-smocked dress she's wearing.


I won't get her until late March, but plenty of time for making clothes for Daphne's birthday in May. I know she's in good condition, and I'm saving a bit of money by getting her used, so it's a good deal for me.

It was a crazy week in our lives. After attending the Women's March in Park City on Saturday of last week, leaving the dogs in DH's care, we had another march on Monday in downtown Salt Lake City to the Utah Capitol building, which is a magnificent structure built more than 100 years ago. We used Facebook to put together carpools. One lady who lives in Heber City offered to drive. She had a van big enough for seven people, but her 4-yr.-old daughter had to come with us. DH and I sat in the back. (That's my DG, Charlie, the dark hat right above the right-hand pink hat.)


We were having a blizzard, but we still had 10,000+ people marching. It was exciting to be part of something that big. 


We managed to get everyone inside the building, which was three-stories high, with balconies on each level. The building stretches in two directions, and this is just the view from the ground floor (where we were) toward the stairs where the speakers were.



The building stretches in the other direction (behind me) for the same distance. The lady next to me was wearing an American flag hijab. When one of the speakers talked about caring about everyone, regardless of their religion, she and I looked at each other and then we hugged.

Tuesday the pups went to Marcia, our groomer. They came home looking cuter than ever.



But for extreme cuteness, there's nothing to beat our youngest grandson, Johan.


Here he is, pretending to be asleep. You can tell he's pretending by the smart on his face. Two of my quilts are in the photo. He's lying under a flannel quilt that has an old woolen Navy for "batting." My FIL had five of these woolen blankets left over from WWII. I made four quilts using cotton flannel. The quilts are tied. You can just see another quilt I quilted when we lived in Indonesia sticking up in the center right of the photo. Somehow, quilt and family always end up together.

The Man of La Mancha was wonderful. It was put on by Utah Opera. They had planned to have a production of a new opera in January 2017, but toward the end of last year (I think) they realized that opera wasn't going to be ready in time, so they substituted this musical. We have seen the show three times before, in Los Angeles and in Salt Lake City, but this was the best production so far. After the curtain calls, there was an encore, and they put the words to "To Dream an Impossible Dream" on the screen usually used for translations during the operas. We were invited to sing along with them. I looked around while we were singing and saw a lot of tears. It was very inspirational.

What's on my needles: The Impari Shawlette. The March of the Fibres is still waiting in the wings.

What's on my Featherweight: Still waiting for a new assignment.

What's on my loom: The Multi Scarf for DD, up to 62" now.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is set up again with more Full Circle spinning fiber, no progress again this week.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished All the Winters After by Seré Prince Halverson. Very good book. It was poetic, literary, yet still exciting and intriguing. Then I listened to The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden. It was good, too, a sweet story about family conflict and misunderstandings. Now listening to The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. Seems good so far, similar in style to Debbie Macomber and Marie Bostwick. The last four books I've listened to have been Audible Deals of the Day, very worthwhile listens for not too much more than a cup of coffee at Starbuck's each. On the Kindle app, I finished Mistletoe at Moonglow by Deborah Garn. Now I'm reading Anna and Her Daughters by D. E. Stevenson, one of my favorite authors. I read it years ago and remembered I liked it but couldn't remember much more than what the characters were like. I'm really enjoying rereading it.

What's in my wine glass: Crane Lake Malbec, always a nice choice..

What's my tip of the week: When hand-quilting, you don't need to make a knot when you're out of thread. Just feed the needle back up through the stitches you just made, moving the needle between the stitches from one side of the row of stitches to the other. If you need do, you can gently push the needle, eye-end first, part way back out through the fabric, rotate the needle and push it back through the batting in a new direction. If the quilt get stretched sometime, you don't have to worry about a knot popping through to the surface.


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 23, 2017

Can I Take a Nap?

Common Threads met at Janet's on Thursday.



Janet was sewing the binding on Joanie's pine tree quilt. This is a wall hanging we (Joanie's friends who quilt) helped Joanie make, using a very simple paper-pieced design. The concept and the fabric choices were Joanie's, and she made one of the blocks. We had a work party at her house and helped her. Julie donated the batting and the machine-quilting services, and Janet, as I've said, is sewing on the binding. 

Margareth has turned into an accomplished quilter. She has just finished this queen-size quilt top for the bed in her cabin. She put a lot of herself into the design. (If you look closely, you can see a bear cub in the tree next to the moose, who looks concerned about the activities of the beaver.)



Her first quilt is all done but finishing the binding. This was a log-cabin pattern, to which she added bear appliqués. It will go on the wall of her cabin.



Susan, one of our part-time members, showed up with this lovely scarf.



She also brought this shawlette. The edges fall in a delicate spiral.



The Women's March on Saturday had a Park City location. This was complicated because, as you can see, the Sundance Film Festival had begun. It took us an hour to reach the staging area by car. (Georgette's DH drove us.) It was only 13 miles, but it took us an hour because of the snow and traffic. About double the number of people turned up as were expected, and authorities estimate that there were 8,000+ people in the march, not counting the festival goers who didn't participate (some did) or the skiers. 



Our "plan" was to take the bus back to Quarry Village, the last bus stop, where Lynda had left her car. The buses covering the route we needed to take couldn't get back to the transit center a block off Main St., and buses were unable to turn around in the transit center because of all the people. We were unable to board any buses for a while, because they were full. We had to walk to the Deer Valley bus stop and wait for a bus to take us out of the area to a place where we could catch the bus we needed. The next bus that came was going off duty for his lunch break, and the one after that didn't go where we needed to go, but we took it anyway, because it got us closer. Rather than wait at the next bus stop for another hour, we walked about half a mile to the bus stop where we could catch the correct bus. There was another 45-minute wait before we finally boarded the bus that went to Quarry Village. There were no seats, and it was a real crush, but eventually enough people got off so we were able to find seats. When we arrived at Quarry Village, we were exhausted and hungry, so we decided to go to Billy Blanco's for lunch.

When I got home, I crashed on the couch and took a nap with the pups. We've been having a lot of snow lately. When we had one day with a few hours of sun in the middle of the week, I took the pups out for a romp. (The snow is deeper than it looks. The pups don't sink in very far.)



Dusty and Rocky have become good pals. Rocky loves is little brother so much he actually is willing to accept some kisses. (I think it's why they're called "French" poodles.)



My fiber fun this week was to finish dressing Gabi and Dolly. After I gave away most of their clothes, leaving them with only summer attire, I found I couldn't look at them without feeling cold. Debonair Designs is having a Polarscape KAL (Knit Along) featuring her newest pattern, and it seemed a good time to join in on a fun project and make the girls look warmer.

I CO Gabi's sweater a week ago Saturday, so I would have something small to take along when we went to the theater that afternoon. After I finished the sweater and hat, using Knit Picks Palette in "white" held double, I took Gabi out to get photos in the real snow.



The pattern is designed for Götz dolls, which are slimmer than American Girl dolls. Gabi is closer to their size, so it worked out well for her as written. Dolly is almost the same size as most of the American Girl dolls, though. When I tried the sweater and hat on Dolly, it would close in the back, but the button band stretched out, and the sweater and hat both looked tight. I wanted to try working the sleeves in the round anyway, so I went up a needle size for both ribbing and body knitting to get a looser knit and produce a bigger sweater. I worked the sleeves in the round using two circular needles.

Using larger size needles makes the fabric longer as well as wider, so, to keep the sleeves from being too long, I stopped the sleeves one pattern repeat (one cable) short for the BO for the underarm. I described my modifications on the Ravelry page for the project. It was snowing yesterday when I finished the hat. I'll try to get photos out in the backyard when the sun comes out again, hopefully in a day or two.


I worked Dolly's hat in the round with two circular needles. It required a bit of though, because I had to reverse the stitches in the instructions every other round, not just K to P and vice versa, but also working backwards on those rounds from how the pattern was written. It worked out well, though. Gabi's hat has no pompom, but I improvised one for Dolly's hat. It's nice to have the girls hang out in my fiber studio without feeling cold every time I see them.



I'm ready to CO for the Impari Shawlette using the yarn DDIL2 gave me for birthday (Twisted Owl Superwash Merino Worsted). She and I are going to knit these as a KAL. I may get back to my Trickle Brick Socks, but I also have plans to start the March of the Fibres sweater for DH.

My priority this coming week will be to work on the scarf on my loom and the hand-quilting on my "Sistine Chapel" (Delectable Pathways) quilt.

What's on my needles: The Trickle Brick Socks, and just CO the Impari Shawlette. The March of the Fibres is waiting in the wings.

What's on my Featherweight: Still waiting for a new assignment.

What's on my loom: No progress on the scarf for DD this week, but I went to the loom and admired my progress a few times. 

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is set up again with more Full Circle spinning fiber, no progress this week.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, a very interesting story. I think I have another series of stories to listen to. Now listening to All the Winters After by Seré Prince Halverson. Very interesting so far. On the Kindle app, I'm reading Mistletoe at Moonglow by Deborah Garn. A cozy story in the tradition of Debbie Macomber and Marie Bostwick. Nice for bedtime.

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

What's my tip of the week: When taking photos of quilting or textured knitting (such as Aran, cables, etc.), don't use a flash, diffused or reflected light or other light source from the same direction as the camera. Placing the quilt or knitted item with a light source from the side creates slight shadows that emphasize the quilting or the texture of the stitches.



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.