Monday, July 30, 2012

High Fiber--2012 Ravellenic Games Inspire Mitts Production

We barely got the clothes washed from our trip when it was time for the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games.

(The U.S. Olympic Committee complained about the name, so Ravelry had to change it.)
I'm "competing" for Team Mitts of Steal. For those of you who don't know about this charitable organization, we make fingerless mitts for dialysis patients who suffer from cold hands (Steal Syndrome) during dialysis. There is a Mitts of Steal group on Ravelry, and we're participating in the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games as a team.
It has been a busy weekend, so I've made only limited progress. The multi-colored mitts are to show you how they look with the thumbs. They aren't part of the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games because I made them earlier. I'm using stash yarn and the pattern "Midnight Sky Mitts" by Becky Bair. I'm using worsted-weight yarn, which is equivalent to the two strands of sport-weight called for in the pattern. It's easy to adjust to make different sizes. The thumb is easy to do. You knit the thumb sts in waste yarn and take out the waste yarn later, pick up the sts and knit the thumb.
The Sparkling Gemstones quilt is finally finished. You quilters may remember that it was quilted, and then I had to go off and leave it in June. The binding is now on, and it has been washed and is in use. It has wool batting, which should make it nice and snuggly this winter.

The pattern is from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. It was an easy pattern to sew, but next time I would save the background strips to sew on after the four-patches were assembled, to avoid the extra seam, which complicated assembly of the top. My friend Julie Thorum of Mountaintop Quilting (, 435-647-9818) did the quilting. Great job, as usual! 
Brenda brought this great quilt top to Vintage Stitchers:

This group continues to inspire me with their creative use of colors, piecing and appliqué!
My friend Joanie is cleaning out her spinning and weaving materials and equipment. She sold me these fantastic hand cards for $5. Lucky me! I have a drum carder, but there are times when it's nice to have hand cards, and using them will always remind me of her.

It was hard to decide which grandbaby photo to include in my blog this week, and then this one of Soren became available. Too hard to resist!

We had a Skype visit with Daphne and Zachary Sunday afternoon. Both of them are developing at an astounding rate. I've forgotten how fast it goes. Zachary really knows his Daddy, and laughs and grins at him. Daphne enjoys showing him how his toys work. It's fun to see them together.
What's on my needles: New projects "Mitts of Steal."
What's on my iPad: Listening to The Political Brain by Drew Westen from Audible. I like to throw in some nonfiction from time to time. Fascinating!
What's my app of the week: London 2012 Live Extra: news and live video from the Ravelympics Olympics!
What's in my wine glass: Block Red Wine wine in a box. Surprisingly good!
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.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

High Fiber—Home Again and Looking Forward to Fiber Fun!

While some of you were reading my blog post for last week, DH, the pups and I were exploring the Oregon coast from Seaside to Florence.

We camped near the ocean at Nehalem Bay, Newport and Florence, one night each. It was great to see the ocean again, and Rocky and Sunny enjoyed being outdoors, even on the end of a leash. From Florence, we went inland to Suttle Lake and stayed in the Blue Bay Campground, where we camped last year. Our AC in the truck had gone out, so we were a little warm while driving.

Once we hiked away from the campground on the trail that goes around the lake, it was possible to let the pups run along the trail and swim after sticks in the water. Rocky demonstrates his one-ended technique for carrying the retrieved stick.

Alpha-dog Sunny, not to be outdone, demonstrates her (superior) technique.
From there, we headed across Central Oregon with plans to stay a little further East of where we actually ended up. Our progress was delayed by a blowout on US Hwy 20, between Bend and Burns. It was a little tricky maneuvering over the shoulder and down into the ditch to get out of the road, but we made it safely. Fortunately, our dumb phones had a roaming signal, and we were able to reach AAA to get help, because our truck's jack wasn't strong enough to lift the truck with the trailer attached, and our attempts to lift the trailer off it were unsuccessful.

It took about two hours to get the tire changed and get back on the road. We were fortunate to have the trailer to stay in, which, while warm, at least kept us out of the hot sun. We spent that night in Burns at a small RV campground with full hookups and AC in the trailer.
The next day was even hotter. I sat in the back with the pups, so I could fan them and spray them with water to keep cool. I enjoyed the spray bottle myself, too. We stopped at Glenns Ferry, where we stopped on our way through Idaho at the beginning of our trip. We had full hookups there, too, and were allowed to park on the grass because we were only going to stay the night. We enjoyed dinner at the Carmela Vinyard and Winery, while the pups relaxed in our cool trailer.
Before leaving Glenns Ferry, we discovered that the driver's-side window wouldn't stay up without a little duct tape. Time for the truck to visit the shop!

During the trip, I attempted to participate in Ravelry's Tour de Fleece, a spinning activity that coincides with the Tour de France each year. My goal was to finish spinning 8 oz of Targhee from Mountain Colors in the colorway "Crazy Woman." I set a fairly easy goal, knowing the arrival of our second grandson and the associated trip would be a distraction. I had really hoped to spin every day, but I missed out on that goal during the few days surrounding Soren's birth.

I finished two bobbins of singles during the Tour de Fleece, though, and was able to ply them yesterday, the last day of the event.

The yarn still needs to be washed. It will be fun to figure out what to do with it. 

My Kromski Sonata, Stanzi, is too big to fit in the truck, so it wasn't possible to spin while we were actually traveling. During that time I worked on the Fiji socks and the Dogwood Blossoms cardigan except when it was too hot to hold the yarn in my hands. Here's progress on the body of the sweater:

We're missing our new grandson Soren a lot, but he is thriving, and we're grateful for that. As you can see, both of our new grandsons know how to relax. Here's Soren:

And here's Zachary:

They will be coming to our house along with Zachary's sister, Daphne, and their parents for the Christmas holidays. It should be interesting!
In quilting news, I hope to put the binding on the Sparkling Gemstones quilt this week. Stay tuned!

What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms, Fiji Socks.
What's on my wheel: Empty, now that the Targhee is done, but next will probably be Full Circle Roving, color as yet undetermined.
What's on my iPad: We finished Dean Koontz's Watchers from Audible after arriving home. Also listening to The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer from Audible, and reading El Dorado by Baroness Emmuska Orczy in iBooks, continuing the Scarlet Pimpernel series.
What's my app of the week: Colorful Aquarium Lite. We enjoyed the Fireplace app during our time on the cool, rainy coast of Oregon, but when we moved inland, an aquarium full of tropical fish was delightful.
What's in my wine glass: Finishing off the Charles Shaw (Two-buck Chuck) Merlot from Trader Joe's. The best-valued line of wines we know of. 
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook with assistance from the iPad. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, July 16, 2012

High Fiber--Goodbye Baby Soren, Hello Oregon Highways!

New baby Soren's arrival put a crimp in my Tour de Fleece spinning. Here's where I was at the beginning of the TdF:
Here's where I was with my spinning when Soren was born:
This is what I have now. I'm nearly done with the first bump (of two) of Mountain Colors Targhee in "Crazy Woman." Not much spinning getting done, though.
I've spent a lot of time holding baby Soren, cooking and doing laundry, so the new parents can sleep. It has all been enjoyable!
Just to show what Soren has been up to, here is a recent photo of him at eight days old.
Is that cute, or what? He has already had several outings, including a visit to Chatterbox Coffee, where I got to hold him while everyone worked on a crossword puzzle.
I was hoping to have his Jasper Diamond Hoodie finished before leaving on Sunday, but as of the time I'm writing this, this is what I had done. Maybe I finished it. 
I won't have internet on Monday when this gets posted, so I had to write the blog early. I'll let you know next week whether I finished it before leaving town. There is mostly just the sewing up and the buttons to sew on.
The pattern is from Kristen Rengren's Vintage Baby Knits. The yarn is KP's Stroll Sport in Stream Heather. This is one of my favorite yarns for baby knitting. You never need to worry that it might end up in the dryer. It will be OK.
Now we're heading down the Oregon coast for a few days R&R before heading home. I'll read any comments when I have Internet.
What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms cardigan for me, Fiji Socks.
What's on my wheel: Still the Targhee from Mountain Colors.
What's on my iPad: Listening to KP Podcasts, Dean Koontz's Watchers from Audible
What's my lesson of the month: If you want to get a baby with lots of hair on his head, make him lots of warm hats before he's born!
What's in my wine glass: Still enjoying Trader Joe's "Two-buck Chuck" Charles Shaw, this time in Merlot. Soon we will be out of reach of Trader Joe's, so we're enjoying the best wine buy we know while we can.

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, July 9, 2012

High Fiber--BS Arrives at Last!

You might as well skip this blog post if you don't like baby pictures!

BS finally arrived, and we learned that his name is Soren Hendrick Stuart. They wanted something Scandinavian to balance off the Scottish surname, I guess. Soren is the Swedish version of Thor, God of Thunder. This baby is mostly Norwegian/Finnish/Swedish, with a little Anglo-Saxon and some other stuff thrown in.

Here he is meeting his daddy for the first time. ("So this is the voice behind Goodnight Moon and all my favorite Dr. Seuss stories!")

Everyone is impressed with his fine head of hair. Baby Soren has a "faux hawk." You can see it better in this photo:
We thought he would be born on July 4th, which would have been a nice match to Zachary, our Easter baby and other grandson, but he actually arrived at 12:54 on July 5th, which was his great-grandfather's birthday. DH's father would have been thrilled to have the first grandchild who will carry on his Stuart name arrive on his birthday! (Those things mattered to him.) Here's DH with his second grandson to arrive within three months.
Our younger son, Soren's daddy, has been reading to him for nine months already. (If I had known Soren was trying to see the book, I would have held him up more.)
Soren got off to an exciting start, including some concerns that landed him in NICU for a short time. Soon he was back with the rest of his family, though, and ready to go home the next day. Life had become...well, ho hum!
More adventures of Soren...and maybe some knitting and next week's blog. Stay tuned! For my quilting friends, I'll try to get a photo of Soren with his Dragon Quilt for next week's blog post.

What's on my needles: Finishing up the Jasper Diamond Hoodie. It should go fast, now that the excitement is over
What's on my wheel: Still the Mountain Colors Targhee in "Crazy Woman." It should go faster now, too.
What's on my iPad: Same as last week.
What's my app of the week: Handy Convert. We used it to calculate how much weight Soren had lost since birth. His birth weight was in lbs and oz and his weight in NICU was in Kilos. Turns out, he didn't lose too much.
What's in my wine glass:Panilonco Chardonnay Viognier 2011. Very nice! Whites are usually my second choice, but this one is like a very dry Riesling.
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, July 2, 2012

High Fiber--Waiting for Stork. Again! Still! Part III

I can't believe this baby is nearly a week overdue! Well, surely something will happen this week.
I'm not sitting idle, though. I'm working on this little cardigan for BS while we're waiting for him to decide to appear. It's the Jasper Diamond Hoodie from Vintage Baby Knits by Kristen Rengren. (Links in my last week's post.) The yarn is Stroll Sport in Stream Heather. I have one sleeve about half done. It looks pretty much like the body. Same diamonds and seed st border.
Since I can't show you a photo of the new baby yet, here's a recent photo of Zachary enjoying his train quilt.

Daphne likes to get out her farm animals and play in the center of Zachary's quilt. She's getting to be a big girl. She can sit on a chair like a big person to eat her meals. 

Zachary will be needing the high chair. We're missing them both, but will soon have another grand baby to fuss over. Waiting patiently....
In the meantime, we're enjoying being in an area that has nice dog parks. This one is just a short drive away from the house.

Rocky and Sunny made some new friends, human and canine.
The Tour de France started Saturday, which means my spinning wheel has now seen some action with the Mountain Colors Targhee in "Crazy Woman." This was Saturday's spinning.

I have more than twice that much on the bobbin now, now that Sunday's spinning has been finished.
Surely BS will arrive before my next blog post. I will note it in a comment when that happens.

What's on my needles: Not counting the UFO's and hibernating projects, the above-mentioned Jasper Diamond Hoodie.
What's on my wheel: The Mountain colors Targhee in "Crazy Woman."
What's on my iPad: Listening to Knit Picks Podcast and the Padcast Podcast.
What's my app of the week: DogGoes Dog Parks App.
What's in my wine glass: Flying Heart Cellars red 2011, which we found at Trader Joe's. The "Fearless Flyer" describes it as "a big red blend (Merlot, P.S., Zin, Syrah, Cab Sauv & Cab Franc) with a not-so-common addition that may surprise you--Chardonnay." We found it a little sweet for our taste, probably because of the Chardonnay, but we found it quite nice served chilled.
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.