Sunday, February 20, 2011

High Fiber--Sarak's Visit Part 1

Sarak was with us for Valentine's Day:

Sarak, for people who don't listen to The Knit Wits Podcast (, is an aborted attempt by Carin (the Knit) to make a Christmas stocking for an acquaintance. Carin eventually made the stocking using other yarn, but this little piece of knitting history is now on tour, and currently with me in Park City, UT. The name was supposed to be "Sarah," but looked like "Sarak," so the name stuck. No Vulcans involved!

Sarak went with us when we took the pups for a snowshoe outing.

On Saturday, Sarak went with Joanie and me to the Acorn Antique Fair in Ogden, UT.

We stopped in at The Needlepoint Joint in Ogden. I had a credit there I wanted to use. It was enough for two skeins of Regia sport weight self-striping sock yarn and a little more towards a third skein. I bought four, enough for two pairs of fingerless mitts for dialysis patients.

Joanie bought some organic wool from Picabo Lean Inc. in Idaho. It's $4 for 2 oz. 2-ply sport weight and is natural white (suitable for dyeing). They also have it on cones. The Needlepoint Joint is the only place this yarn can be purchased. Here's what it says on the label:
"This wool is the product of sheep descended from the original ewe bands on the historic Busterback Ranch founded in 1918. The ranch, named for the men and women who almost broke their backs in labor, is located in the scenic Sawtooth Valley of central Idaho. In summer, the sheep providing this wool graze on lush organic pastures at the BBarB Ranch in Picabo, Idaho. In winter, they eat hay from these same pastures. The wool was processed at Green Mountain Spinnery using vegetable oil based soap, yielding a high quality organic product that you will enjoy working with and using for years and years!"
We found it very clean (devoid of vegetable matter) and sweet-smelling. Sarak does not knit and has no bank account, so she didn't buy anything.

It was good we went on Saturday, because we had a blizzard on Sunday. Here's what the snow looked like coming off the roof:

I'm coming down the home stretch on the second Daisy Chain quilt. Here's what it looks like with more than half of the blocks pinned to my design wall:

I used the Elna I inherited from my DSIL to piece the strips, because it goes very fast, but switched back to my little Featherweight to put the pieced strips together into blocks. It's slower, but I can get the seams to come together more accurately. I'm going to add a white border, as with the first one, but then plan on a 1" border and more white outside of that.

I've been posting little tips and ideas for quilting on Connecting Threads Quilt With Us here. Check it out.

I have been listening to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from Librivox. I downloaded Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett from, so I will be starting that next.

On another note, my friend Buffy Joseph has joined Team in Training to prepare for bike riding a century (100 miles!)
in June around Lake Tahoe. The Team in Training program raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which works to cure blood cancers and to support patients and their families.
Check out Buffy's website here.

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.

Monday, February 14, 2011

High Fiber--Life Gets In the Way!

Real life got in the way of knitting and quilting this week, as sometimes happens.

Sunny and I needed to be recertified for Delta Society/Therapy Animals of Utah. We had to run through a series of tasks to see how we respond to things that might happen in a setting where we provide therapy. Actually, Sunny provides the therapy; I'm just the weight at the end of the leash. Well, I also keep the list of the rooms in the nursing home we need to visit, take Sunny out for her "break," and lift her into people's laps or onto beds as needed. And I act as chauffeur. Sunny doesn't drive.

Another earthshaking event this week was the crash of my iPad. Yikes! Dummy me, I hadn't synced since before Thanksgiving (where did the time go?) and I wasn't doing the powering off routine properly. If you're online a lot (I am) you should power off every couple of days. I thought that involved pressing both power buttons until the red slider appears and using the slider to turn it off. Actually, you're supposed to hold in only the power button on the edge to power off for this procedure, not both. I sometimes spend hours every day on the Knitting Community, Ravelry, Quilt With Us, Facebook and other websites. Supposedly I can pick up a lot of junk that way. Thanks to the nice people at Apple, I was able to restart, sync and replace most of what I had lost, but I will be careful from now on! I pledge to power down every two days and sync once a week (when I water the plants)!

Thursday Vintage Stitchers met. It's mostly a quilting group, but some of the members knit as well. Julie (the professional machine quilter) had made this cute giraffe for her granddaughter, who often attends meetings with Julie:

I had my Daisy Chain quilt top finished and ready to show off:

It's from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam &Nicky Lintot.

Carol had finished the basket applique quilt top:

In other news, I had signed up to take "Sarak" around Park City. Who, you may ask, is Sarak? Listeners of The Knit Wits podcast will probably remember the stocking Carin agreed to knit, but it didn't work out. She eventually managed to knit a reasonable Christmas stocking for her client, but the aborted effort has taken on a life of its own, making rounds of the world and having adventures. Sarak has arrived in Park City, at my invitation, accompanied by some goodies provided by the last person she visited, Knittermama76 (Ravelry name). This might be reminiscent of loading up the mummy with goodies for the trip to the hereafter, but believe me, these treats will be enjoyed in this me! No curses accompany my acquisition of them, either!

I will have more photos of my adventures with Sarak this week.

Instead of my app of the week, I'm going to share how I deal with photos and links in my blog and on the Knit Picks Knitting Community and Connecting Threads Quilt With Us. For the time being, the iPad has some compatibility problems with these websites. I can't type out the code, because it doesn't show up, so I took a photo:

I keep this on my iPad's yellow "Notes" notepad for copying and pasting into comments or to my blog.

I just finished listening to Audible's Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson and read by Frances McDormand, one of my favorite actresses. (Loved "Fargo," especially!) The book is a charming and funny story. On my Nook app is Debbie Macomber's Summer on Blossom Street, which includes some knitting, a nice addition to any novel.

The sewing machine I inherited from DSIL is humming along. I just needed to switch needles to get the tension right. It's an old-model Elna. It adjusts the tension automatically and works fine with the finer needle on quilting fabric. I have started a new quilt and am using the "new" machine, another
Daisy Chain with '30s fabrics, similar to the one above. I can put away my wonderful little Featherweight and save it for classes, which will leave me more work surface in my fiber studio. The shawl I'm working on is coming along, as is the spinning, and there are lots more things in the works to be reported on later.

I want to wish a special happy birthday to one of my special friends and fellow knitter, spinner, wine enthusiast and dog lover, Susan the Blue Lake Knitter, whose birthday is this Friday. Susan brightens my day in the Knitting Community. I lift my glass to many more to come, Susan! It's better to have birthdays than not!

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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, February 7, 2011

High Fiber--Packers, Parties and Pugs

Seems like every week around here is busy! The Gretel Cardi was finished and mailed off:

I chose some tagua nut buttons for it. The pattern is the "Natural Beauty for Baby" from Knit on Down. I made the sleeves a little longer so Daphne could still wear it when she's a little bigger. You can find this book here.

I cast on the "Highland Mist" shawl from Everyday Style Classic Knits for Women by Carol Rasmussen Noble. I'm using some white baby alpaca I spun last year during the Ravelympics. I'll try to have photos next week.

Saturday was my Daisy Chain quilting class. It's a fairly easy quilt, not something I needed a class for, but I signed up for it to help me get it done...sort of a deadline. Janet went with me.

Even though it's an easy quilt, the other students in the class were all experienced, so the class moved quickly. (That's Janet in the background, cutting strips.)

The classroom was lined with inspiring quilts that will be used in other classes.

I'm using '30s reproduction fabrics from my stash. Here are my segments C, B and A ready to be sewn together:

I barely made a dent in my '30s stash!

Here are the first two blocks on my display wall:

Sunday was the Superbowl party at a friend's house. I sat next to a Packer's fan. That was OK with me. Our DD lives in WI, and I have friends there. It was an exciting game. (That's DH in the front row, right, wearing his FI sleeveless cardi and hand-knit socks!)

I got a lot of knitting done, and the food was great. Of course, the commercials are fun. This was my favorite commercial:

For ultimate cuteness, though, check this out:

or this one with Fluffy:

If you look closely, you will see Daphne's Peter Rabbit quilt on the bottom of the playpen. (I guess you can tell I'm a besotted grandmother!)

I just finished reading Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Without Tears . It was an enjoyable read, if you like knitting.
On my iPod last week was David Baldacci's Split Second from
Audible. (Thanks to Kelley Petkun and David Reidy for turning me on to Audible. I have really been enjoying my subscription.) Now I'm listening to The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz. (I read it years ago. One of the advantages of a bad memory is you can read the same book again and not know how it comes out!)
On my wheel is still the Gaywool, but I'm making progress.

Will I finish the quilt top in time to give it to Julie on Thursday for quilting? Will I finish the shawl this month? Will I get snowed in and have to go on snowshoes to get groceries? These and other questions will be answered next week.

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.