Saturday, January 29, 2011

High Fiber--High on Sundance, Quilting and Knitting

What a busy week! My Vintage Stitchers group met right in the middle of Sundance!

More on quilting later. It has been a busy week at Sundance. Here are some fellow volunteers taking a quick break between films.

Sundance volunteers at break time

We had a little excitement on Sunday, while I was at the opera. There was a demonstration by a handful of people from the Westboro Baptist Church against the film, "Red State," which was playing at the Eccles Theater, which is part of Park City High School. (They have been making headlines lately by picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and are known for their hatred of gays and some other groups.) They were met by an estimated 200 high school students protesting their protest, shown here in a photo taken by a friend and fellow volunteer:


No one was hurt, although some of the students and other supporters who joined them were rowdy. As for star sightings, I have seen many familiar faces, including William H. Macy and Ray Liotta. I have seen several other films I have enjoyed, but my new favorite is Salvation Boulevard. I'm sure it will be available in theaters and Netflix. It stars Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Marissa Tomei and Ed Harris. It's very funny, but gives you a lot to think about. It's one I think I would like to own.

I got some time to work on the Gretel Cardi for Daphne. I started this last week and had time to work on it during my shift Monday, when I was a ticket-taker, and again Friday, when I got to guard a door. (My other shifts were all in the theater as an usher.) Here's a progress photo for the cardi:

The cardi is the Natural Beauty for Baby from Knit On Down  published by The House of White Birches using Knit Picks' Swish Worsted   in Delft Heather, machine-washable and dryable, good for baby apparel.

Vintage Stitchers met on Thursday, and, as usual, there were some interesting items for show-and-tell. Rebecca changed the border from what was used in the pattern:

The pattern is from Simple Graces  by Kim Diehl.

Diane is on her sixth block from Hop To It!   by Edyta Sitar. (It was the book I got my bunny block from that I used in Daphne's quilt.)

Barbara brought some quilt tops her sister made, so Julie can quilt them. Here's one:

Here's another, first the top:

The the backing, also spectacular! (The sister lives in Texas.)

The sister sent them to Barbara so Julie could quilt them for her. You can send quilting directly to Julie. You can contact her at

Janet started this quilt years ago. A UFO finished! (Well, all but the quilting and binding.)

Here's another she started long ago:

Remember this quilt of Diane's from two weeks ago? The quilting is done!

Barbara got back some finished projects, too. Here's the car seat cover, all quilted. Julie had to work around the ties:

And the quilt for the same baby:

We haven't had a gratuitous baby photo, so here is Daphne, waiting for her Gretel
Cardi to be finished:

cutie pie

She is starting to crawl now, but the photo of her in action just shows her cute butt instead of her cute face.

Stay tuned for more adventures of the fearless knitter/spinner/quilter and fan of films from the rarified air high above Park City!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the iPad. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

High Fiber--Fans, Films, Fortune and...Fiber

Ta-da! The La Boheme Cardi is done! Here's the back:

...and the front:

This is my first adult-size sweater using fiber I dyed and spun myself. I Navajo-plied the spun Corriedale and knit the cardi in the round using EZ's percentage system, with a steek. I adapted a friend's Scandinavian yoke pattern chart, so there would only be two colors per round.

The dark chocolate and white are natural; the blue, orange and taupe were dyed as fiber using Koolaid and a little black food coloring.

For details on how I did the dyeing, go here.



I decided to put on an afterthought pocket. It's easy to do, and you can be sure of placement when you wait until the sweater is done.

Part of the body was knit during a performance of La Boheme, thus the name. What I learned from this project: button bands with the steek facing turned under will lie flatter than when the steek edges are enclosed in a faced band. Also, you can't use a wooly board for every sweater, just for the sweaters without sleeves or the ones with sleeves that go straight out from the armholes. Yoke or raglan sweaters tend to have arms that hang down a bit, so on a wooly board, the shoulders would bunch up.

I decided to weave in all the floats, so my fingers wouldn't accidentally catch in them when putting on the cardigan.

In spinning news, I took my KP drop spindle to my volunteer job at Sundance Film festival. There wasn't much time to work on it, but I was just standing around for a few minutes before the audience was allowed in, and that was when I whipped out my drop spindle. Also, I got some wheel spinning done. Here's what I have on my Sonata:

It's Gaywool Merino/Silk, 85% Merino, 15% silk, in "Wallaby," singles, shown on WooLee Winder bobbin for Kromski Sonata. (I showed the fiber in last week's blog post.)

Daphne is getting a new cardigan:

With the La Boheme finished, I could CO the "Natural Beauty for Baby" from Knit on Down using KP's Swish Worsted in Delft Heather. I'm calling it the Gretel Cardi because I worked on it during the performance of the opera "Hansel and Gretel" by Humperdinck.

Speaking of the opera, one of the regulars who always sits close to us brought her daughter, who watched me knit. The daughter asked me where I bought my yarn, complaining that every place she looked was too expensive. She has done quite a bit of knitting and didn't feel she needed help from an LYS. I took the ball band off my KP Swish yarn and gave it to her. She also got to feel the yarn, which she found wonderfully soft.

There's not much quilting news this week. Last time I took my quilting to my volunteer job at Sundance I had Matt Dillon and his friends standing there watching me hand piece. The wanted to know what I was doing, and then why! They were very nice, but knitting is self-explanatory and more portable than a bed-size quilt. However, I have signed up to take a couple of quilt classes using Jelly Rolls, one in early February and the other in early March.

Stars spotted so far this Festival: Danny Glover, Stanley Tucci, Julia Ormand, Paul Rudd and a few others. So far, my favorite film has been "My Idiot Brother," starring Paul Rudd. Not his usual fare, I can tell you, but very entertaining!

What's on my iPad iPod: Alexander McCall Smith's Tears of the Giraffe from Audible. Also numerous podcasts, including the Knit Wits.
What's on my primitive iPod iPod: Jane Austen's Persuasion from Librivox, which I haven't listened to for a while.

Until next week, happy knitting, quilting, spinning and film watching!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

High Fiber--Foto Folio for Fabulous Fiber Fun

I had to start with this photo:

Diane's Drunkard's path

This photo was too beautiful not to lead with! It was from my Vintage Stitchers' meeting on Thursday at Diane's. This is her Drunkard's Path quilt, which she made using the applique method. I love the still life on the table! More about Vintage Stitchers later. (They have been busy ladies!)
In the meantime, my little spinning group met Friday afternoon. Here's what I've started spinning:

It's Gaywool Merino/Silk, 85% Merino, 15% silk, in "Wallaby."
Here's Linda spinning her alpaca on her Kromski spinning wheel. I think it's the Minstrel. She has a jumbo flyer for it, and she uses it primarily for plying.

Linda showed us the progress on a giant shawl she is making using fiber from all the alpacas she has ever owned.

Before we left, we had to go out to see the alpacas. Gabriella the orphan is doing great. Here are two other babies:

That was Amanda on the left, with one of the boys. Here she is with her mother and Mike--a family portrait!

One reason we went out to see the alpacas was to see their new gray boy. He's a show animal!

So here are the photos from Vintage Stitchers I promised. First, Barbara's house applique which she is doing at a local quilt shop as a block of the month.

Barbara is also expecting a new grandson, so she has pieced a baby quilt. Here's the top:

...and the backing:

She has also made a car seat cover:

Rebecca is working on a new applique project. This one is from "Simple Graces" by Kim Diehl. (I'm afraid to try to put in a link, because I don't want to lose what I've done so far. This is my first time to do my blog on the iPad, which was not possible before. There are no icons for photos, links, etc., so I have do type out the code. However, you can find the book on Connecting Threads, and it's featured in the latest catalog on page 26, where you can see the one Rebecca is working on.)

Julie, our machine quilter, has made a wedding quilt for her nephew and his new bride. They helped pick out the fabrics. She used paper piecing to make the stars. She has finished the quilting and is sewing on the binding.

Janet has been working on another charity quilt. This one will go to someone who has a terminal disease. This is the same collection of fabrics she has used for several other charity quilts. When she goes to make a charity quilt, there seems to be just as much left as the last time. Sort of a neverending stash of fabrics!

I have finished the knitting on my La Boheme Cardi, with nothing left to do but the steek and front bands.

This photo was taken while I was working on the neck ribbing. You can see the steek sts at the center front, where the pattern goes into alternating 1 st of each color. This is where I will cut.
While I was decreasing for the neck, I remembered this tip. If the number of st you need to decrease doesn't give you an even number of sts between dec's (in my case, between three and four sts) you can take as many st markers as you need decreases and distribute them as evenly as possible.

That's it for this week. Next week I'll be in the middle of the Sundance Film Festival. I'll try to check in, though, but my blog may not happen.

Monday, January 10, 2011

High Fiber--Sewing Surprise and Knitting with My Handspun

This week I finally put the sleeves and body of my La Boheme Cardigan together and started on the yoke pattern:

Here's a detail of the design, which I adapted from my friend Marianne's pattern. (You may remember Marianne from the photo I posted of the pullover that she converted to a cardigan by making a steek. She has since made another cardigan out of a Dale of Norway pullover.

I called this project "La Boheme" because I took it when we went to see that opera and knitted on the body throughout the performance. On circular needles, it was just straight knit, which is easy to do in the dark. The yarn is Corriedale. The dark brown is a natural color, and The blue was part of what I dyed back in March, 2009, using Koolaid.

I did the spinning during the Tour de Fleece 2010, and here's what I got:

Not shown in this photo is the dark chocolate I was using for the body and sleeves, and the white Corriedale left undyed, which will also be part of the pattern. This is really the first time I have completely improvised a sweater pattern from scratch. Providing some help are Knitting in the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson and Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Opinionated Knitter.

In other knitting news, I thought you would get a kick out of seeing DH wearing his new Pacapoo hat:

Here's how I did it. It's the Irish Hiking Hat, but in bulky, which required some adjustment to the number of sts, and faster decreasing on the top.

Life in Park City has turned to skiing. Since I'm not a skier (scared of speed, scared of heights, so what's the point?), ski season means DH will be gone a good part of the day during nice weather, which means more time to knit and quilt for me! I get to participate in the parties, though. Here's a scene from yesterday's apr├Ęs-ski at Marianne and Frank's:

In the background, you can see my DBIL (left) talking with DH (right). They are brothers.

In quilting news I had a big sewing surprise. As you may know, my DSIL passed away in early October. (She was the DW of my DBIL in the photo above.) Before she died, she gave him instructions for disbursal of her possessions, including a number of hand-made sweaters, her stash of yarn, fabrics and knitting and quilting supplies. Among the items was her sewing machine, a Elna Supermatic from the 1960s, complete with cabinet. I will post a photo when I have it happily ensconced in my fiber studio. It will be a tight fit because the top of the cabinet opens out to both sides, but I think it will work. My little Featherweight really needs some professional assistance, which it hasn't had in 10 years, so this will allow me to get that done while I continue to work on the Double Wedding Ring quilt, which has been languishing due to thumb pain, thumb surgeries and then other quilting. Needless to say, this new addition to the fiber studio has precipitated a lot of upheaval, while we move stuff around in the house! It's a good process, though, and allows us to dispense with some stuff we were just too lazy to go through. The two boxes of yarn and fiber still haven't been put away, and you don't want to see my fiber studio right now! It looks like a fiber bomb went off in there! Yikes! Some of the stash found its way home with DDIL2B, DD and DGD1, as it should. DD also ended up with the cardi DSIL made with City Tweed HW in Romance, which she was working on during a camping trip in August 2009. She also took one of the extra balls of the yarn to make a scarf to go with it. There's still a lot of new stuff in my fiber studio, though. I'll post about my progress in straightening out this mess!

On my iPod: What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz. Plus all the usual podcasts.

My iPad app of the week: The free flashlight you get just by turning it on. (We had another power outage!)

On my wheel: Gaywool Merino/Silk (85/15) in Wallaby. Photos later.

Quilting: Back to the DWR, when I get settled!

Current reading: Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Coming Soon to My Mailbox: A big KP order, including yarn for sweaters for Daphne and Rocky Dog!

In my bank account: Not much! Our snow blower died, and we had to buy a new one. Good thing for gift certificates!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

High Fiber--Farewell and Back to Normal

Miss Daphne and her family are on their way home.

You will see in the photo the felted diaper bag in use, Karen's new felted bag she got for Christmas lying in a bin, Daphne in her BSJ. David isn't wearing his scarf in the photo. Here it is in use:

We had a wonderful visit with both granddaughters, shown here, using my iPad to check their Facebook pages and email:

I got some Daphne time, too. She really likes to be held and cuddled. Here I am with her, keeping her happy so her mom can have a rest.

We will see them again in July for the wedding of their uncle. The tree has been put away and all the baby stuff that stays here has been collapsed ready for storage. As soon as all the boxes of wrapping paper and ribbon are stored away, we will be back to normal. Whatever that is!

I got one more knitting project done during the holidays. We went out for a sushi lunch and then to a movie, and somehow my purple knitted hat got lost. Hand knit, but just acrylic, and I had had it a long time, so it wasn't a big deal, but I needed a hand-knit cap to wear! I had the yarn--Andean Silk in cranberry--and so I CO right away. I finished it last night.

It's the Claudia Hat by MJKim. It's so much warmer than my old acrylic hat! I also got a few more inches done on the second sleeve of my La Boheme Cardi. Soon I can join the sleeves and body and start on the yoke. That's the fun part!

I missed out on one of my New Year's Resolutions for last year: Learning how to knit backwards. Well, it moves forward to this year. Last year was one of the busiest of my life, and this year promises to be busy too, with DGD1's graduation from HS, the wedding and Sock Summit! I have lots of spinning, knitting and quilting projects planned or in progress, though, so it should be a fun year!

Happy New Year, everyone! Happy knitting, quilting, spinning and crocheting!