Monday, November 28, 2011

High Fiber—Finishing WIPs and UFOs

This week I'm frantically finishing up some projects that have to be done for Christmas or before. Remember Rocky's sweater, started last week?

 I wanted him to have a nice one for the Christmas season to replace the old acrylic sweater he had been wearing around the house in the winter. This was a quick knit, using Swish worsted in "Hollyberry." You can find the yarn here. The pattern is Biscuits and Bones Dog Coat, a free pattern I found on Ravelry. It's from Patons.

I needed to make a knitted gift for a special person in my life, so I CO the Elis Cowl. It was a quick knit and fun to do.

It involves Indian cross stitch. The pattern is available on Ravelry.

I'm using the yarn I spun from the turquoise merino I bought at Twisted in Portland last summer. This is the best photo I have of the actual fiber.

The fiber is from Pico Accuardi Dyeworks

Having finished that, I picked up the Prayer Cardi  and made some progress.

If you missed the story, it's the sweater started by my DSIL, who passed away a year ago in October. Before she died, she gave it to me and asked me to finish it for her husband, who is my DH's brother, so it's a very special UFO. She had the back done and had started the two fronts. We (DBIL and I) couldn't find the rest of the yarn, which came from a little shop on Inish Mor, in Ireland, so I ordered some similar yarn for the sleeves, hoping the effect would be taken for a "design feature." Then the yarn turned up. I finished the fronts and one sleeve. Then the sweater was on hold while I waited for a sweater of his to use as a guide for sleeve length and body width. He brought me one this week, and I was able to finish the first sleeve. I'm past the ribbing and into the pattern on e second sleeve. Then there's sewing up and the front band to do. It should be finished in time for Christmas, which is my goal.

My Daisy Chain quilt is waiting to have the binding put on. I'm dying to see it on the bed!

It has been a great week. Besides finally finishing some projects, I learned that Miss Daphne's sibling will be a boy, so I will need to knit some boy things. For you Miss Daphne fans, here's a new photo of her:

And DDIL1 got a 94% on her final in her tax preparation class. Looks like a job for her soon!

What's on my needles: The Prayer Cardi. 
What's on my iPad: Anne McCaffrey's The Skies of Pern, from probably my favorite sci-fi series.
What's my app of the week: Sticks and String. It's a direct link to David Reidy's website and the Sticks and String podcast. (He's back, BTW.)
What's in my wine glass: Vola 2009 Sangiovese. This isn't my favorite variety of red wine, but Vola makes a nice one.

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Helping Those in Need

It's Thanksgiving time, and I'm feeling grateful for the roof over my head and food on my table. Not everyone is so lucky. When I drive to Salt Lake City, I often run into people with signs that say, "Homeless. Please help."
People have told me that they are reluctant to give money to these people, because they are concerned that it won't be used for food. My main concern about giving money is that they might have to buy food at a fast food restaurant or convenience store, where they won't get much for their money.
Here's what I do instead: I keep a bag of nonperishable food in my car, just in case I run into someone who is homeless.

I include a can opener, canned food, packaged food (like granola bars), napkins, etc. Nice to add are antibacterial wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, "Space Blanket" (to keep warm, available at Walmart), a list of soup kitchens and anything else you would want if you were living on the streets.
I try to make the food more or less a balanced diet; including vegetables, fruit, a starch and a source of protein (beans or tuna). A small piece of candy is nice to include. I save samples of cereal or other packaged food to put in the bag.
I gave one of these packets away in Wisconsin during a visit there. The man who received it saw my license plate and said, "Thank you, Utah!" Other responses have been amazed expressions, looks of wonder and effusive thanks.
I've never had a homeless person seem disappointed to get one of these, and if your car breaks down in a deserted area, at least you won't starve. If you like this idea, please share it with others. That's what I'm doing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

High Fiber—Thankful for Furry Friends, Freezing Flakes and Fiber Fun

We got more snow Friday night, so Saturday was great for snowshoeing. 

Here are my favorite snowshoeing companions: DH, Rocky (wearing black) and Sunny (in brown).

Sunny  was busy collecting snowballs on the trail, which she showed off after she got into the car.

Snowshoeing was a nice way to finish out the week.

Most of the week was spent frantically trying to finish the kilt hose for DH. I took the finished socks to Common Threads on Thursday. I'll try to get a photo of the socks on DH, maybe with his kilt.

Lynda had the beginning of her Dogwood Blossoms  sweater with her, a few inches of both sleeves. I can hardly wait to start mine! The number of people from Common Threads who are planning to start this sweater and work on it as a group is now at six, with Karan still contemplating making it. We plan on starting after Christmas, probably meeting once a week, but Lynda will have a head start.

Karan had taken a weaving class and showed off her progress.

Joanie and Georgette were both working on very unusual scarves. I'll try to get photos of their scarves next time. Julie brought me the finished Daisy Chain quilt, which she had quilted for me. Julie has a professional quilting business (Mountaintop Quilting, and will ship.

The quilt still needs binding and label, and I'll have to wash it. This was my first quilt with wool batting. It will be interesting to find out how it looks when washed and dried, and also how warm it is.

Kay was back with the group, working on a crocheted bag:

I spent the session starting Rocky's "Biscuits and Bones" sweater:

The square holes are where the little sleeves will go. Rocky's manly chest is 21", not represented in the pattern sizes, so I went down a needle size and am following the 24" instructions. I did a gauge swatch, and it should fit OK. I have a few inches to go before the shaping for the part that goes over his little rear end. It should be done before Thanksgiving. The free pattern is available from Patons through Ravelry here. I'm using Swish Worsted in "Hollyberry" from Knit Picks. I have plans to make one for Sunny, but she has more flesh on her bones, and she rarely gets cold, so there's no hurry. I picked the same yarn for hers, but in "Lotus," sort of a deep bluish pink.

Especially with the early snow and cold, I'm feeling very thankful for the roof over my head, the food on my table, my fiber activities and the creatures in my life: dogs, wild animals and people, including all of you reading this. Happy Thanksgiving! And happy birthday today to my "Thanksgiving turkey," DS2!

What's on my needles: Rocky's "Biscuits and Bones" sweater. 
What's on my iPad: Just finished Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It's an interesting story. Now I've started Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords,  Mark Kelly and Jeffrey Zaslow from Audible.
What's my app of the week: I have to highlight the Audible app again. Now it will play the audiobooks you have ripped in iTunes, with the same features: bookmarks, advance or rewind 30 sec. at a touch. Nice!
What's in my wine glass: ViƱa San Esteban Reserve Malbec 2010. Special!

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

High Fiber—Early Snows.

Official winter is still 38 days away, but we have it already. I have to console myself with memories of fall colors, like this custom-dyed fiber:

It's called "Autumn in Park City." The fiber was dyed by AlohaBlu inspired by a photo I took of local fall colors. You can find her Etsy shop here.

The photo that inspired the colors is in my September 26th blog

Here's what we have instead:

The usual neighbors have been out. (This was after a previous storm.)

Before the storm came, I got to Vintage Stitchers, where Julie brought back a quilt to Barbara, all quilted. It's the pinwheel quilt.

Barbara had another one to hand over for quilting.

I've been getting some knitting done:

It's the kilt hose for DH from the class I took at Sock Summit taught by Mary Scott Huff called "Kilt by Association." I didn't really have the right needles with me, so I ended up frogging the little bit I did in class and CO again. During our recent trip, I got lots of knitting done, but couldn't try them on the recipient, who was driving when I got to the point where I thought it was time to start the heel. I put that one aside and CO another one. Now I'm doing the first foot. In the photo you can see the sock on the right with the heel flap almost done and the lace edge turned down. The other sock shows the lace edge turned up, revealing the ribbing where the garter goes.

The iPad had problems again. This time I talked with a senior advisor, who decided it was because the backup was corrupted. We chose to sync without using the backup, and loaded the categories of data (photos, apps, audio, video, etc.) manually. It worked, and the iPad has been working great for several days now.

I missed church this week because of the snow.
It continued all morning and into the afternoon, so it was a good idea to stay home. Getting out of my neighborhood is the hardest, but a lot of other drivers aren't ready for winter. At least I'm not hearing the skiers complain that we aren't going to get enough snow in time for the ski areas to open. It's why we live here!

For the Daphne fan club:

I have been thinking about my blog lately. It seems a lot like a photo diary. It's fun to go back a couple of years and check out what I was up to then.

What's on my needles: Kilt hose, Prayer Cardi.
What's on my iPad: Just finished D. E. Stevenson's The Two Mrs. Abbotts and have started Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Also happy to listen to The Knit Wits Podcast again. Have a listen. The interview with Poppa Button was hilarious!
What's my app of the week: This week I'm really happy for my Photogene for iPad app. Photogene2 for iPhone just came out, and it brings the iPhone version up to the capabilities of the iPad version and improves the usability with the small screen. I've had the benefits of the improved version for some time.
What's in my wine glass: Flip Flop Pinot Noir 2010. Very nice! (And I won't flip-flop on that opinion!)

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

Monday, November 7, 2011

High Fiber—Family Visits and Home Again.

We made it home safely, just missing a big snowstorm. We left behind happy memories, including time with family and meeting Knitting Community friend Beth in Kokomo.

And getting to see Daphne in some of the things I knit for her, including the gold socks:

The day after arriving home, I left DH with the unpacking and went to Common Threads. There I got to see Lynda's cardigan, almost finished. She used City Tweed HW  in "Denim."

The meeting was at Julie's, and while we were there, Anna's new quilt arrived for Julie to quilt. It's from from City Quilts by Cherri House

Friday I went to the Apple store to get the tech person to help me straighten out my iPad, which was having massive failures of a variety of kinds. He was able to put it right, so when I left, I was a happy camper.

Saturday, Joanie and I braved more snow storms to go to the Acorn Antique Fair in Ogden. We made it out of the storm, but after breakfast in Morgan, we ran into stopped traffic on Highway 84 due to an accident. We were stopped for an hour. Good thing we had brought our knitting!

We saw lots of great stuff at the antique fair. I came across this corner decorated with quilts. The one in the middle is a cross-stitch piece.

We found this Norwegian sweater among the smocked dresses. I would rather do my own knitting, but we had to admire it!

I only bought a couple of things, but my big purchase was this chair for Daphne:

I'll take it to her when I go back in April for the arrival of the new baby. We have the little table DH used when he was a little boy and our kids used later. This chair should be about right. Daphne will be moving out of the nursery to have her own room, so this should come in handy.

What's on my needles: The kilt socks are progressing. The first one is about ready for the heel, and I CO for the second one during the trip.
What's on my iPad: Finished All Creatures Great and Small and started The Two Mrs. Abbotts by D. E. Stevenson, the last in the Miss Buncle trilogy. In the car we listened to David Baldacci's The Whole Truth and Dean Koontz's Relentless. Good books, all!
What's my app of the week: I have to give it to KSL's Weather app by Vortex. We were able to use it to keep track of the big storm, so we knew it was safe to leave Grand Island, NE, where we spent the night on Tuesday.
What's in my wine glass: Fish Eye Shiraz 2009. We have this one frequently. Nice!

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