Monday, December 27, 2010

High Fiber--Family and Friends...and Birthday

What a Christmas it has been! How wonderful to have family around you with it's accompanying chaos!

Daphne's BSJ is perfect; just big enough to be able to last for a while, but still small enough to wear now! The quilt was a big hit, too! They loved the colors and the label with the photo of their little family.

I received a really special present from DH: pretty much the contents of my KP wish list!

It included some IDP patterns (he got all of them from my list), which he printed and placed in plastic sheet protectors, all ready to use), the Balkan Booties kit and some Zephyr size 17 tips, which completes my set! Not shown is The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning by...Alden Amos! (It's on my bedside table.) If you can't find any of these items, let me know. There are too many to put a list with links here.

Before we opened presents, we went for a snowshoe. Can you find Daphne cozily sleeping?

DH is on the left, DD's family and DBIL on the right. The red heeler mix is Onslow, Rocky and Sunny's cousin by adoption. He belongs to DBIL and really enjoyed getting out in the snow. (They are both missing their pack leader.)

We had a nice Christmas dinner with salmon DH smoked on top of the stove, yams, broccoli, homemade bread from my bread machine but baked in the oven, salad and apple pie. We Skyped with DS2 and his SO early in the morning, as they are in Thailand right now. (BTW, they are engaged! Yippee!) In the evening, we Skyped with DS1.

As you may know, the 26th is my birthday. I had many wonderful internet well-wishes, and a wonderful day here. We went out to brunch at No Worries after church. I had some presents to open, including this bookmarker and st markers from a special friend who knows how much I'm into babies right now.

I got some other cards and presents from close friends. The photo below shows a sample.

I saved my new bag and spindle to open for my birthday. It will be my primary knitting bag, as soon as I get moved in and arrange my furniture. (It's huge!)

DH gave me the parts for a hackle, and a coupon for labor to put it together. Good deal!

DGD1 comes today. I will have more to report after she opens her presents!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

High Fiber--Fluffy and Cold

We got another blizzard, starting Saturday night. Here's what it looked like midday on Sunday:

This is the time of year to be concerned with those less fortunate. Do you carry a packet of nonperishable food in your car? You never know when you might come across someone in need. Our Squeeky has been stowing peanuts away for cold weather:

Still, Squeeky has us to feed him, the least we can do when he's so accurate predicting the weather for us. (If he makes multiple trips to our back upstairs deck for sunflower seeds and peanuts, we know a storm is coming!) We think Squeeky is either a Chickaree or an American Red Squirrel, which might be the same thing. He has been living here since about the time we got Rocky six years ago.

The snow brings opportunities for outdoor fun, though. Saturday we went snowshoeing. Here Rocky jumps to catch a snowball I threw for him.

It has been a busy week, though. I worked on Christmas presents all week. I finished the Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) for Daphne. (I've been using the pattern in Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Opinionated Knitter. Here's the front--

And the back. I started out with Knit Picks Stroll spinning fiber and dyed it with Koolaid. (Photos of the process were discussed in an earlier blog.) Then I made a worsted-weight three-ply to make a bigger version than I made before.

I lengthened the sleeves, which can start out turned up as cuffs. As she grows, they can be turned down. I also made a hood for it based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Tomten Jacket hood. It worked out great. I had never done grafting with garter st before, but her instructions made it easy. Easier, in fact, than Kitchener St. for the toe of a sock. Bet you can't see which row of sts is the grafting!

I haven't shown a picture of Daphne for a while, so here she is, seven months old. I will see her in just a few days! Her first Christmas will be here at our house!

Vintage Stitchers met on Thursday for its annual potluck lunch holiday party. Everyone had something to show. To see all the quilts and quilt tops we had for show and tell, check out my Quilt With Us page and my photos.

Besides the BSJ, I finished up the second and third felted bag. The one on the left will hold Oh Baby! Crochet, and the lucky recipient of the one on the right will get Knit & Wrap by Nathalie Mornu, which includes a pattern by our own Cheryl Waters and Anet Skillin.

There is also a learn to spin kit from Blue Moon Alpaca Ranch, to which I have added some of KP's Peruvian Wool spinning roving. Other knitted and quilted presents for friends and family may be seen in my previous blogs.

I just took the last of the pacapoo off my wheel. It's drying now, so I should be able to start DH's hat tomorrow! I still have presents to wrap and cleanup to do.

My app of the week is Jingle All the Way. I'm looking forward to showing this to Daphne, although she will be a little young for it right now. It includes the book, which is about a Husky pup who gets a home for Christmas. Kids can read the book themselves or have it read to them, make their own recording with a music background, put together puzzles and play a barking xylophone. You can get the stuffed toy to go with it or not. What a fun app! (It was free when I got mine, so even better!)

If you have kids with you Christmas Eve, check this out. You can track Santa's progress around the world!

Happy holidays, everyone! I'll see you before New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

High Fiber--Frantically Finishing and iPad Fanatic Fun

This week has been busy! (So what else is new?)

There are presents to wrap and send off, more knitting and quilting to do (some of which I can't show you) and other preparations to make. We took the time to dress up the pups and mug for the camera, though.

The annual get together for the National Olympic Committee Assistants assigned to German during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City was held Friday night. Here are the former NOC Assistants who attended this year.

Here's a present I finished this week:

It's the Irish Hiking Hat I started last week using Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes in Cranberry.

One project that kept me busy was the scarf for the charity my friend Tara has been involving some of us in.

This is for a knitting program sponsored by St. Anthony's in San Francisco, to provide presents for the homeless and people in need. I used Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Hollyberry.

I did some quilting I can't show you, but I promise I will post it when I can. Likewise some other knitting and spinning projects!

This will be an abbreviated post, but I have to share this wonderful video I found out about on Ravelry:

This is the North Point iBand performing using only iPads and iPhones. What a fun Christmas concert!

Well, I have to get back to work! See you next week!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

High Fiber--Elevating Knitting and Quilting to a Whole New Level!

The rush to finish projects is on! Here's the scarf just finished Saturday:

It's 100% alpaca, so should be nice and warm! It's for a family member who might see this, so I can't say, but I'll try to post a photo later on its new owner.

I have never made so many presents for friends and relatives as this year! I have another knitting/crochet bag partially done. Here's before felting:

...and here's after felting:

I'll post a photo when I have the lining in and the handles on. (I ordered the handles and am waiting for them to arrive.)

I have started another hat:

(If you noticed that I'm using two different needle tips, it's because I will have to go to two circs when I start decreasing. The needle I knit off with is the right size, and the
other is a size smaller. It works!)

My friend Julie has finished the machine quilting on the second quilt:

I still need to sew on the binding and label, and give it a good wash to make it pucker up.

The Baby Surprise Jacket is still waiting to be finished. I can do that when Daphne is here if I don't have time before.

The weather hasn't been very good for hiking or snowshoeing, so we have been walking on the street. Squeeky often appears on our back deck. He has been busy storing peanuts for bad
weather. Otherwise, no wildlife other than birds has turned up at our home lately.

Holy Cow! Was that a sale, or not! I hit both KP and CT for sale items, mostly for gifts. Thanks for helping me make a nicer holiday for my family members!

Tomorrow (Monday) the pups get groomed, and we will take photos for our holiday cards. That should be interesting!

My iPad app of the week: Zinio, provider of eMagazines, like Knitter's--

This is a free download and is great on the iPad! Or you can choose to subscribe. Just click the box of your choice. This is a BIG issue. I weighed the paper version (I have the subscription),
and then weighed my iPad. The magazine was only 2 oz lighter than my
iPad in its case, but the eMagazine didn't add anything to the weight of
the iPad. One nice thing is, I can print any patterns I want to use
(once I get a wireless printer, of course)! I was able to get Vegetarian Times as an eMag, too. I'm looking forward to seeing other eMagazines appear.

What's on my wheel: Still the pacapoo. Making progress, but slow.

What's on my spindles: The Ashford merino and silk and the Louet corriedale aqua.

What's on my iPod: A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters from Audible and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll from Librivox, podcasts Sticks and String, The Knit Wits, Cast On, Yarnspinner's Tales, The Spin Doctor, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, The iPad Podcast by Macs Future, Electric Sheep and looking forward to the next Knit Picks
Podcast, of course.

What's on my night stand: Color in Spinning by Deb Menz. I'm learning all the things I could have done, LOL!

What's on my frame: Still the hand-pieced quilt. It will get done, I promise!

Monday, November 29, 2010

High Fiber--Frolicking with Furry Friends....

Now that I have your attention...

That's Gabriella. You have seen her before if you have read a previous blog post. She's the orphaned baby alpaca my friend Linda has been raising with a bottle. You will see more of her later.

This past week was Thanksgiving, and I was finding many things to be thankful for. For one thing, one of my furry friends, DS2, and his DGF came for the holiday and left with their presents, since they will be in Thailand when we celebrate Christmas. (You will see in the photo below why I consider him furry.)

One of their presents was the "Churro Blanket on a Wall" quilt. I had to sew the binding on while they were here, because the quilting was finished earlier in the week by my friend and professional quilter, Julie, and I wanted them to take it with them when they left. It was a surprise for them, but early. It's also a housewarming present, since they are closing on the purchase of their new home this week.

I wanted to use natural light, so we took it out onto the front deck to get the photo. We had to wait for a lull in the snow flurries to do it, though. Here's a look at the back, which shows the exquisite quilting Julie did, with Saguaro cactus, some in-the-ditch quilting, some swirls and a big sun in the middle. Good job, Julie! They are thrilled with it, of course! (Feel free to zoom in on the quilting!)

The Baby Surprise Jacket is almost done. I added extensions to the sleeves so the jacket will fit longer. The sleeve on the left shows how it will look with the cuff turned up. I need to sew the seams closing the shoulders and sleeves, sew on the buttons, and it will be done.

(If anyone is interested in extending sleeves on a BSJ the way I did, I picked up 34 sts along the cuff edge and knit until there were 10 ridges.) You will see two sets of buttonholes. One is to be used as buttonholes and the other set for placement of the buttons.

Saturday we went snowshoeing above Empire Lodge with our furry canine friends. It was cold, windy and overcast, but the snow conditions were wonderful.

From left are DH, his brother, DS2 and his DGF. The dogs are Sunny, Onslo and Rocky. We tried to stay out of the wind as much as possible.

After a nice lunch at Squatters in Park City, we drove out to Peoa to visit my friend Linda and her alpacas. Here Linda and her DH, Mike, introduce one of her sweet alpacas to us.

One of the alpacas, Willow, produced the fiber for DS2's hat, which I spun and knit last year. (That's Gabriella in the background, but Willow was also there, admiring her handiwork!)

Mike and Linda have five babies in this year's crop. Here's the youngest, Amanda. She is the whitest color of the many different colors alpacas come in. Her fleece will be a bright white. I can't wait to see it!

Gabriella is thriving. She's down to three bottles a day. She is producing what looks like very high-quality fiber. Here's a closeup showing the hair all the way to the skin.

This final baby photo isn't of a furry friend, but I haven't included Daphne for a while, so here she is enjoying some carrots. Yum!

In other news, we enjoyed our first Skype calls this week, first audio only with my iPad, which was great, and then on Thanksgiving day with Daphne and her family with video! I showed Daphne and her parents the BSJ progress. We also had video with DS1 and his DW. She showed me the quilts she has been working on. I love Skype!

My favorite podcast of the week is The Knit Wits. (Note to self: Do not listen to this podcast too close to iPad while eating or drinking!)

Spinning: More pacapoo. I will be ready to ply soon!

Knitting: Another knitting bag for Christmas present for family member, BSJ bonnet, La Boheme cardi resting until presents are done.

Quilting: Waiting for machine quilting to be done on the Springtime Quilt, and then binding goes on.

App of the Week: Rather than give an iPad app of the week, I want to give two thumbs up to the new IOS 4.2, which I love! I now have all my apps arranged in folders on one page, where I can find them easily.

Happy Knitting/Quilting/Spinning, everyone! And happy Hanukkah everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

High Fiber--Finishing Projects!

Quilts, amazing quilts! My Vintage Stitchers group met at Brenda's right after she went to the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Brenda brought each of us a bag as a souvenier. Here, Rebecca shows hers off:

Several people (besides me) brought quilt tops to give to Julie for professional machine quilting. This is a batik top made by Barbara:

Carol made two tops that will go on the same quilt, so it will be reversible. Here's one side:

...and here's the other:

Brenda showed off her wonderful workroom and quilting machine:

...and we got to admire this applique project Carol is working on:

...and this one by Rebecca:

In knitting news, I'm almost done with the Baby Surprise Jacket. Thursday my Common Threads group took a field trip to Bountiful, UT, to visit the quilt shop, Quilter's Haven, and the yarn shop, Hemstitched Heirlooms. At the yarn shop, I found these wonderful buttons for the Baby Surprise Jacket:

I have been working on a felted knitting bag, and I found this great lining at Quilter's Haven:

I finished the bag today. Here's a glimpse of the lining with its pocket:

I used button thread to sew the handles on, and then covered the D-rings with brown sock yarn.

A lucky family member will receive this as a present:

One of the benefits of living at high elevation is snow, and visits from very big wildlife, like this moose cow, who has come to eat some salt off the road. Yum!

I also finished carding the rest of the pacapoo (alpaca/merino/poodle blend) to be used to make a hat for Christmas for DH, so he can "wear" his precious pups on the slopes and while blowing the snow in the driveway. I'm finishing up the last of the dark chocolate Corriedale now, and then I can start on spinning the rest of the pacapoo blend.

We are expecting three more days of snow, and all the resort workers are doing the happy dance. Family will be coming in for Thanksgiving, so this will be a busy week for me. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Let's all remember what we have to be grateful for! I know I have many things, some of which I discussed in this blog.

Remember, too, to keep some fiber in your day...every day!