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!

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