Monday, September 26, 2011

High Fiber—Travel and UFOs.

On blog day last week (aka "Talk Like a Pirate Day" and DH's birthday), we were driving home from Mesquite, Nevada, where we overnighted on our way back from San Diego. I spent the day riding shotgun and working on my TAU (Therapy Animals of Utah) Socks, the perfect color to go with my uniform shirt, which I wear when Sunny and I visit the nursing home. I finished the socks after we got home.

We had a great time in San Diego, where we had gone for a party for everyone turning 70 in DH's high-school class. (Point Loma, '59.) Everyone looked pretty good for their ages, especially DH! A band that has been together since high school performed.

DH won one of their CDs for having the birthday closest to the party.

On the way home from San Diego, we stopped for a quick visit with DGD1, and to give her the quilt I made for her new college apartment.

The quilt was a big hit! DH really knows how to display a quilt. (A big thank-you to my friend Julie of Mountaintop Quilting for the beautiful quilting job!)

After I finished the socks, I got back to the Bees' Knees cardigan. I finished the knitting on the sleeves and steeked them, then blocked the body and sleeves. (Steeking is cutting the knitting according to plan, not accidentally!)

The design involves working the two sleeves in the round together, and then cutting them apart. This way you're always on the front of your work, which is more fun and easier. Besides, the sleeves have stripes, which will make a jog if you knit them in the round individually. Doing them this way allows you to match the stripes when you sew up the underarm sleeves. (Unfortunately, you have to do some sewing with this method.) While the pieces were drying, I pulled out an old UFO (UnFinished Object), my Yei Figures Bag.

The bag was designed by Nicky Epstein. The yarn is Jamieson's DK. You probably can't tell, but the background is "Dark Navy." There are two reasons this project has been languishing since 2008.
The first problem is doing duplicate stitch on very dark yarn. (Duplicate stitch is where you embroider over the stitches with a different color, forming new stitches on top of the old ones, so it looks more or less knitted-in.) I keep making mistakes because of the difficulty seeing the stitches and being able to count them. I have solved this problem somewhat by working in the bright sunlight with clip-on magnifiers on top of my bifocals. I can also use an Ott Lite if the direct sunlight isn't available as long as I also have some light from outdoors.
The second problem is I didn't get enough yarn. I've had to go back repeatedly for more yarn and finally had to substitute a similar needlepoint yarn for some of the duplicate stitch. If I had this to do over, I would have knitted in the pattern (intarsia). It would have been so much easier! I will finish it, though. (Stay tuned.) The bag will be felted when it's done.

Saturday DH and I took the pups to Toll Canyon for a hike. The leaves are turning, and it was beautiful!

We made it to the "Fairy Tree" which is our usual turnaround point.

People leave things at this shrine to the fairies. It's always fun to see what's new! Why are the pups so attentive? One word: carrots!

Check with me next week to see how much I have finished on The Bees Knees cardigan.

What's on my needles: Bees's Knees, coming down the home stretch, and the Yei Figures Bag.
What's on my wheel: My wheel is currently empty. I need to card some Shetland wool with some nylon for socks for Christmas presents first.
What's on my iPad: Listening to D. E. Stevenson's Miss Buncle Married from Audible. (I love this author. She wrote novels about characters living in England during the '30s and '40s. You feel as if you were living there/then, too!) Also listening to Beethoven's "Fidelio," and looking forward to seeing the opera performed in person soon at The Capitol Theater in SLC.
What's my app of the week: Geo Walk, a geography/history/science app from the makers of Star Walk.
What's in my wine glass: Dr. Jebediah Drinkwell's Meritage 2010.

Note: This blog post was produced 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, September 12, 2011

High Fiber—Finishing Projects!

This was a week for finishing things. While waiting for the dentist, I finished this sock and took a picture of it on the waiting room floor:

I told them they had kept me waiting so long, I finished a sock. Fortunately, they all have a sense of humor. The yarn is KP's Stroll Lullaby Hand-Painted. I'm using a pattern of K2, P2 one rnd, K all sts in second rnd. These two rnds are repeated to make the pattern. This pattern breaks up the color a bit and reduces pooling (places where there are globs of all the same color). I'm ready to turn the heel of the second sock now.

I'm almost done with the little bee pattern on the sleeves of Daphne's Bees' Knees Cardi. I need to have it finished by mid October, so I can deliver it to her in person when we visit.

I also CO a dish cloth in Dishie Pomegranite. The first one is finished and the second one is about half done. It will be done by the time you read this. I can make three of these out of a ball of Dishie. 

One thing I have learned about dishcloths: Don't use a color like beige that can look dirty even before you use it. Very unappetizing! This red should always look good, though, and it goes with my kitchen!

Speaking of red, Julie (Mountaintop Quilting, finished the machine quilting on DGD1's quilt. Here it is on her long-arm quilting machine:

As soon as I got it back, I put the binding on and washed it in hot water. I had tested the fabric ahead of time to see if it would run, but I threw in three Color Catchers®, just in case, because I wasn't sure if the Chinese red backing fabric would run. The color-magnet sheets did turn pink, so it was probably good I used them. Nothing ran on the quilt though.

To show off the quilting, I laid out the quilt on the dining room table when the sun was shining in. Here's a closeup.

The fabrics for the top are all batiks from Connecting Threads. A fairly complete list of the actual fabrics used in the top is in my blog post from two weeks ago.

Here's what it looks like on a bed:

Here's a look at the binding and backing. (I took lots of photos of this quilt, because I'm giving this one up soon!)

As I write this, the label fabric is drying. I soak white quilting fabric in Bubble Jet Set 2000. When it's dry, I iron it to the shiny side of freezer paper, then cut it to 8 1/2 x 11". DH will print it for me using his printer.

We expect to be leaving Thursday to drive to San Diego for DH's high school's party for everyone who is turning 70 this year. Next week's blog may be nonexistent. However, I'm planning a blog post to explain how I add photos to comments, blog posts and PMs on the Ning websites using my iPad, so readers from Knit Picks Knitting Community and Connecting Threads Quilt With Us who are posting from mobile devices will know how to do it. Maybe that will run instead of my usual blog post.

What's on my needles: Dishcloth (probably #3 by now), Bees' Knees Cardi and Lullaby Sock 2.
What's on my wheel: Plying the sapphire blue merino singles.
What's on my iPad: Beethoven's opera, Fidelio; Alexander McCall Smith's Morality for Beautiful Girls; various podcasts.
What's my app of the week: Geo Walk, a geography app from the makers of Star Walk. If you hurry it's free through September 16th.
What's in my wine glass: Crane Lake's Zinfandel 2008, one of my favorites!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the iPad. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, not even my MacBook, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, September 5, 2011

High Fiber--Happy Labor Day!

DGD1's Quilt is finished and the backing purchased. Off to my long-arm friend, Julie (Julie Thorum, Mountaintop Quilting,



Julie showed up at Common Threads on Thursday at my house. She brought Ellen's pineapple quilt, quilting done:



Here's the back, showing the quilting.



Julie also quilted Janet's African whole-cloth quilt. The fabric for the top was purchased by Janet's daughter during a service trip to Africa.



And here's the back, showing the African-themed pantograph:



Not much knitting getting done, what with the pressure to finish the batik quilt for DGD1, but I have managed to do a little spinning in the evenings.

Progress on spinning the PA sapphire blue merino: bobbin #3 almost done. I picked this up at Twisted in Portland, so it's a souvenir of my visit there for Sock Summit.


A couple of months ago, I picked up a little supported spindle at the garage sale of a friend. It was supposed to rest in a bowl while spinning, but the bowl was missing. I had been looking for a replacement bowl. Well, my friend found the bowl, and Sunday she brought it to me, along with the diz that went with it. I should have put something in the photo for scale, but the spindle without the bowl is 5 1/4" high, just to give you an idea.



All three were made by Rod Stevens of Woodchuck Products, Taos, NM. (He doesn't have a website.) On the bottom it has the initials R.D.S., the artist, I assume, and "Bubinga." I found out that it's the name of the wood. We thought it was teak, which it resembles. Bubinga is an African luxury wood, often used in archer's bows, and harps and other musical instruments.

There were also the letters "WP" on the bottom of the bowl, I assume for Woodchuck Products. The diz has a tiny, tiny hole. I will have to use my tiniest crochet hook to get the fiber through it. It should give me a very fine strand of predrafted fiber for spinning. (Thanks go to Goatboy on Ravelry for identifying the spindle, and to Pickle Peg for posting it there.)

I hope to get some knitting done this week. I'll let you know. In the meantime, if you work, have ever worked, hope to get a job soon or are pregnant, happy Labor Day!

What's on my needles: Still the Bees Knees Cardi and the Lullaby socks.

What's on my wheel: PA hand-dyed Merino, bobbin #3.

What's on my iPad: Finished Deliver Us From Evil. Trying to decide what to listen to next.

What's my app of the week: World Clock, so I can keep track of when my UK friends are sleeping.

What's in my wine glass: A nice Barbera from Montevina Winery in Amador County, CA, 2008.

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