Monday, May 28, 2012

High Fiber--Packing To Go

The larger Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) for BS is done except for the hood (You will have to scroll down if you use the link).

Shoulder seams still need to be sewn, and there are no buttons yet, but that shouldn't take long. This one is made from Swish DK in Grain Heather and Cinnamon. (Cinnamon is no longer available. This color was left over from my EZ Nethergarments.) The DK version of the BSJ should fit 6-9 months, I believe, so not for a while yet. I hope to have this done before we leave to go to Oregon to meet BS in person.
The baby is due June 26, but we're planning on being there in time for the baby shower. That explains the title of this post. If the baby comes early, we will need to be ready to go. (BS isn't really his name. It stands for "Baby Stuart." The parents are saving the name for a surprise.)
We're taking the trailer, and this will be its first time out for the season, so there's a lot to be done. "Packing" includes food, easy things to heat up or throw together quickly. We had taken all the liquids out of the trailer, and this means we will have to restock on things like mouthwash and cleaners, besides food for the trip. 
I plan on taking the Dogwood Blossoms cardigan to work on, as well as the Fiji socks and some extra sock yarn, in case I run out of knitting. I want to take my wheel, too. It would be nice if I can get my current spinning project plied so it will be ready for something new. My Kromski Sonata folds up nicely and fits in its bag, so it will be easy to take.
The Sparkling Gemstones quilt is ready to go to Julie for quilting, and I plan on taking it to her before we leave town. You may remember the quilt when it was on my design wall:

I added a border. The backing and binding will be the same fabric as the border.

The pattern is from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam & Nicky Lintott. The quilt name is from the book. The fabrics are from my stash. If I were going to make this pattern again, I would simplify the piecing. The block borders/sashing don't need to have as many seams as they have, and simplifying them it would make putting the blocks together easier.
I've been waiting to get a photo of our Easter/Passover baby, Zachary, with his eyes open. He's very strong, and can hold his head up well already.

He slept so much in the beginning, I didn't think we would ever see what his eyes looked like! Daphne, on the other hand, is hard to catch with her eyes closed! Here's one, though! We all get sleepy when riding in the car, don't we?

I will definitely try to stay awake while on our trip, so I can make progress on some projects! But I may be in town for another week or so. Just need to be ready to go, just in case.
What's on my needles: Finishing up the BSJ, still the Dogwood Blossoms and Fiji Socks.
What's on my iPad: Celia's House by D. E. Stevenson from Audible.
What's my app of the week: AAA's TripTik, for the trip, of course!
What's in my wine glass: Long Lake Pinot Noir, 2009. Spicy!
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, May 21, 2012

High Fiber--Adventures in Colorado and Other Stuff

Progress on the Fiji sock!

I just returned from a weekend trip to Grand Junction, Colorado, to help register voters. It was about five hours each way, so there was lots of knitting time in the car. (It's amazing how much you can get done cooped up in the car.) The yarn is Knit Picks Glimmer in Fiji. The pattern is the "Scrolls" design under "Eight-stitch Patterns" in Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks. It's a fairly easy pattern, just YOs, SSKs and K2Togs. I'm using an "Eye of Partridge" heel.

The visit in Grand Junction was a lot of fun. My friend Liana and I stayed in the home of a nice lady who turned out to be a quilter. She was doing some square-foot gardening in her backyard and had a grape arbor that was decades old.

All day Saturday, we called on people who didn't vote in the last election. According to new Colorado law, they would not receive a ballot in the mail unless they re-registered. For the four of us in our car, this meant driving around looking for addresses. We received maps and well-organized materials before we set out, but finding your way around Grand Junction isn't very easy for people who don't live there! We found that out when we tried to find the home of our hostess. It was like Mr. Toad's wild ride, and the GPS wasn't much help! During the day, it was easier, but still challenging. This photo says it all, I think:

Who ever heard of streets with fractions? Actually, it makes sense, as we found out. The numbers are miles from the border. We never found out what the letters with fractions were for. And so many streets didn't go anywhere at all! We had great weather, though, great food and great companionship! Best of all, people seemed genuinely happy to be able to register to get their ballots in the mail. I hope I can go back again this summer.

Earlier in the week I got the dragon quilt back from Julie:

The binding is on, and it's ready to give to our new grandson when he arrives next month. Also in the works for him is a larger Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ):

I didn't take it to Colorado because I was trying to just take something small, because other people were sharing the car. I was sure I would have finished it, so needed another project. The sock took up almost no room. This BSJ doesn't need to be finished very soon. I'm using Swish DK and larger needles, so it should fit at 6-9 months, quite a bit bigger than the earlier one. One of the neat things about the pattern is that you can vary the size by changing the size of the yarn and needles.

We Skyped with Daphne on her birthday, and got to see Zachary with his eyes open. Here's a shot of the screen:

Stay tuned for more babies, knitting, quilting, travel and dogs. Have a happy week!

What's on my needles:Fiji sock, BSJ and Dogwood Blossoms
What's on my iPad: Just started Celia's House by D. E. Stevenson, one of my favorite authors. It's from Audible.
What's my app of the week:Flipboard. Great for news summaries on the go.
What's in my wine glass:Crane Lake Petit Sirah 2010. Very nice with a relaxing evening meal.

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

High Fiber--Happy Birthday, Daphne!

Today is Daphne's birthday! It's hard to believe it has already been two years!

Here's one of her new toys. It's a castle slide, just right for a little princess with an imagination and lots of energy. Baxter, the dog, enjoys watching her play on it, especially because it means she plays outdoors longer. Her little brother is thriving, and I hope to have more photos next week.
Also on the grandchild front, I finished the diaper bag for BS, the grandson we're still expecting. It's the Montana Eco Tote by Tahki Stacy Charles.

I used Knit Picks' Wool of the Andes Bulky in Porcini and Navy. I used Pellon interfacing to give it some body, and a colorful dinosaur fabric for lining and pockets.
The expected new baby is also getting a quilt, of course! Here are the fabrics I selected to go with the dragon appliqué I improvised from an image I found online.

All of the fabrics to the right of the dragon appliqué block are from Connecting Threads, where I found a great sale on batiks. The others were from my stash. Here's a closeup of the dragon's face:

I used reverse-appliqué on the eyes and nostrils. The irises were tricky. They are tiny circles, and it was difficult to get them round. It would have been much worse without my clip-on magnifiers!
Here's the dragon quilt top finished. Julie, of Mountaintop Quilting ( will quilt it for me.

The block design came from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. It's their "Log Cabin Hidden Stars." I used the blocks that worked to give a starburst effect around the dragon. I'm a fan of Anne MacCaffrey's Pern sci-fi/fantasy novels, which involve both dragons and stars, to it seemed fitting. The backing I found also has stars on it. I'll show that off when the quilt is done. I should mention that both BS and his daddy are from the year of the dragon, and Daddy is a big fan of dragons.
My quilting mini group, Vintage Stitchers, took place at Rebecca's last week. Rebecca had a bunch of fabric she wanted to get rid of. Julie sat down and organized the fabrics after the rest of us had gone through it. She used to own a quilt shop, so she loves to handle fabric.

Brenda brought her finished quilt top, which she embroidered by machine. This has been a long project, but it's beautiful!

During this meeting I CO another Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ, you will have to scroll down) for BS. I'm using KP's Swish DK, so it will be a little larger than the previous one I made for him. I also have some Comfy Worsted for a third BSJ, which will be larger yet.
The snow is finally gone at our elevation, but there is still some higher up. (I say "finally" not because it has lasted longer this year, but because our trip to Wisconsin and Indiana gave me a taste for spring, and it was difficult to come back to late winter and "mud season.") We had nice hikes on Monday with some friends and Saturday just the four of us. Here are my constant hiking buddies:

The tulips in our front yard bloomed just in time for Mothers' Day!

Speaking of Mother's Day, hope everyone had a great one!
What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms, Fiji socks and another BSJ for BS.
What's on my iPad: Finished A Single Thread by Marie Boswick and am now finishing Death Comes to Pemberly by P. D. James, both from Also reading The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, a free eBook in the iPad library. (If you want an audiobook, the free one is available from, read by Karen Savage.)
What's my app of the week: Pages, which I used to design the quilt top. I took a screen shot of the blocks from the book, which is on my iPad, cropped the individual blocks and then transferred them to a document in Pages. It worked great!
What's in my wine glass: Roccalta Sangiovese 2010. Great with the Italian no-boil lasagna recipe we're having tonight!

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

Monday, May 7, 2012

High Fiber--Done With Winter?

 Well, spring has finally arrived at my house. I should have tulip photos next week. In the meantime, I'm making progress on the dragon appliqué.

The body is almost finished. The nose is just resting on the appliqué. I have to sew it on and do the nostrils in reverse- appliqué, as I did for the eyes. Then the irises and the mouth, which will be done with embroidery. I picked a darker fabric for the tummy because I liked the speckles. I'll get Julie to quilt the grooves across the tummy. (Abs?)
My friend Janet has been busy.

This is just one of several T-shirt quilts she has made for graduating seniors in her life. She uses the "Turning Twenty" pattern. She just got back her Daisy Chain Quilt from Julie, who did the quilting. It's very different from the ones I did using '30s reproduction fabrics. Julie chose a more modern quilting design. (Are my knitters still with me?)

I've done some knitting this week, a few rnds on my Dogwood Blossoms sweater, a few pattern repeats on my Fiji socks and almost done with the diaper bag, but what I want to show you this week is a spinning-to-knitting project that involves a friend.

You may remember this yarn I spun from fiber from Greenwood Fiberworks. It was very nice to work with. The finished yarn was a gift to my friend Barbara. (One of several Barbaras who are friends of mine.) She is making socks out of the yarn.

She makes socks pretty much without a pattern most of the time. She just makes them. She can follow a pattern, though, but this yarn has its own pattern, so it's nice for st st.
On the baby front, Zachary will be a month old on Tuesday! Where has the time gone? Here is a fairly recent photo.

I keep hoping for a photo of him with his eyes open. His dog brother, Baxter, thinks this is normal, because he isn't walking yet, but I'm wondering if he will still need this much sleep when he's a teenager.
His sister, Daphne, is growing into a real little girl.

I'm about recovered from my visit there, but am missing the kiddos a lot! Daphne will have her second birthday in less than two weeks. Wish I could be there!
We've had snow several times since returning from Wisconsin and Indiana, but it doesn't stick. Maybe I'll have photos of the tulips for you next week.
What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms cardigan, Fiji socks, diaper bag.
What's on my iPad: A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick from Audible.
What's my app of the week: WeatherBug. Hoping no more snow for the season.
What's in my wine glass: Montevina Zinfandel 2006. Tasting...yep, it's a zin! (I wonder if I could be a zin Buddhist.)
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.