Monday, October 29, 2012

High Fiber--Progress on All Fronts

We've had some progress on all fronts here. First, we finally got our first snowfall of the season. This was my back yard:
The resorts are happy. Now if it will stay cold enough, maybe they can keep some of it to form the base they will add to when they make snow. (All of our local ski areas made it into the top 10 ski resorts this year.)
The cold weather, even temporary, is hard on our wildlife. Not that Squeeky is wild. He depends on his "welfare check" to get him through times when food is hard to find. We have watched him put some aside, though, just in case. His favorite handout is peanuts, which come pre-packaged in squirrel take-out boxes.

We were glad to have our bathroom remodel progressed to the stage where we don't have to worry about ventilation or being warm enough to dry out the materials. The tilework is almost done. The grout still has to go in (today), but you can get an idea of how it will look.
The floor of the shower is pebbles, so we will get a nice foot massage while we shower. The old shower stall was smaller than the shower in our little trailer, so this is an improvement.
The political campaigns will be done soon, too. I'll be glad to be free again to knit, quilt and spin! (Once I get the house cleaned up, though.) I completed my mail-in ballot on Friday. Rocky made sure I filled it out properly. 

If you haven't voted yet, be sure to do so, regardless of the candidates you support. The important thing is to inform yourself and vote!
You may have noticed Rocky's sweater. I finished it for him nearly a year ago, and he has been enjoying it tremendously! It's great that it can go through the washer and dryer and still look nice when it's done.

The pattern is Biscuits and Bones by Patons. The yarn is Knit Picks' Swish Worsted in "Hollyberry."
Progress has also been made on my Dogwood Blossoms cardigan:

In case you're seeing this project for the first time, I made some changes to the sweater. I threw out one color and added several others. I also changed the design to drop-shoulder. You can read what I did here.
The grandkids are coming for the Christmas holidays, so I will be cleaning up and getting ready. Both grandsons are expecting to see moose! Here's Soren's request, received Saturday:
Then Zachary seconded the motion on Sunday:
We're ordering salt licks!
Everyone who's in Sandy's wake, please stay safe!
What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon."
What's on my iPad: Just finished Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz, from Audible. Great book, as usual!
What's in my wine glass: Charles Shaw (Two-buck Chuck) Shiraz. One of our favorites!

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

Monday, October 22, 2012

High Fiber--Talented Friends and Craftsmen

Common Threads met at Julie's on Thursday. Julie had this Halloween quilt on the wall:
The blocks were pieced, but the "appliqué" squares are cheater cloth. (For non-quilters, cheater cloth is cloth printed to look like pieced or appliquéd fabric.) Jean made one just like this, her first quilt! She backed it with Minky fabric (sort of a plush fabric, good for backing quilts for babies, young people and pretty much anyone else).

You may remember Karan's wedding quilt blocks from a couple of weeks ago. She has finished piecing the quilt and has it ready for machine quilting.
Julie also showed off one of her Crazy hearts quilts. She and some friends made these for couples getting married. The couple gets to pick the colors. She says the men cut, and the women (and some of the men) sew the blocks together. This one has some raw-edge machine-appliquéd hearts added.
Julie has a long-arm quilting machine, which she uses to machine-quilt her own quilts and those of others for hire. It takes up most of what would have been the living room in her home.
Common Threads members also knit. Jean's making a sock-yarn blanket. I'll show her progress in a year or two. (Actually, she stays with one project at a time, so she tends to get things done.)
Speaking of getting things done, Lynda was making socks using a self-striping yarn she liked but a sock pattern she realized wasn't any fun to knit. She had the first sock almost done, when she frogged (ripped out) the entire thing and started over with a new pattern for some simple, fast socks. She's wearing these now!
I've been making some progress on my Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan. I've finished the Dogwood Blossoms motif and am working my way toward the shoulder. In this photo, you can see the completed row of flowers, and the armscye steek stitches slightly right of center. There's another armscye steek on the other side. This is where I will cut the fabric and insert a sleeve.
I should mention again that I have changed out a few of the colors and changed the pattern to drop-shoulder, which is more suited to my figure. Thanks go to Elizabeth Zimmermann and her books, as well as the Knit Picks Knitting Community, for giving me the skills to make adjustments to knitting patterns!
In the meantime, the tile installer has been working on the bathrooms. The powder room floor is finished, and he has this much of the shower stall done. Quilters will appreciate the extra effort of placing the tiles (blocks) on point. 
You can just see two of the square holes that will contain Kokopelli-themed decorative tiles. Next week we should have a photo of the finished shower stall. We should get the floor tiles in this week, too. The heating wires are already installed and covered with cement, ready to have the tiles on top.

Last week I showed Soren in his Jasper Diamond Hoodie, and although it was a cute photo, you can see the sweater better in this photo:
The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll sport in "Stream Heather." My experience has shown that items made from this yarn come out of the washer and dryer in excellent condition, something new mothers appreciate!
I don't want to overwhelm you with adorableness, but there will be more coming. Stay tuned!

What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms, progress described above.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon." There probably won't be much progress until after the election, due to phone-banking and canvassing trips.
What's on my iPad: Still Dean Koontz's Odd Apocalypse. Interesting story, as usual!
What's in my wine glass: Concha y Toro Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2011. The big bottle. It will last a couple of days, but tasty!

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

Monday, October 15, 2012

High Fiber--Sampling Cross-stitch

We had a rare treat at Vintage Stitchers this week:
Carol picked up this great cross-stitch sampler in a silent auction. It's worked on evenweave. What a lot of work must have gone into it! Here's a closeup:
Lucky Carol! We were all drooling over it. Coincidentally, Barbara was working on a cross-stitch of her own. It's a Christmas stocking, but she's going to frame it instead of making it into a stocking.
The two cross-stitch projects reminded me of some I have. This one was made by my mother when I was 1 1/2 years old:
My brother was four and had just entered his wild stage. I don't know how she managed to do this with two of us! That may explain why there's a mistake in it, though. Can you find it?
When she gave it to me it had a big stain in the lower right-hand corner. You can just see a little of the stain left. I tried washing it, but it didn't take out the stain. Then I tried soaking it in water with a little bleach, checking it every five minutes. The stain came out (mostly) and the floss didn't fade. I don't recommend this with today's floss, however. They use more environmentally friendly dyes now, and they aren't as stable under this kind of treatment. At least test it first.
I enjoy an occasional cross-stitch project, too. This one went with me to Ireland on our hiking trip in 2005.
It was a great project to work on because each row was challenging at the beginning, then got easier, was fun to do for a while. Just as the row started to get boring, it was over. It sort of reminds me of my current knitting project, my version of the Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan. Here's a photo of my progress, showing a little bit of the design that goes around the chest.
To the upper right you can see the armscye steek area. I bound off 18 sts, then cast on an equal number on the next round. You can do fewer, but that pulls it in, and I wanted it to look better while I was working on it. You can also just put the sts on waste yarn instead of binding them off. I'm also starting the V-neck decreases at the front steek. I hope to have more progress to show you next week. I'm feeling the urge to finish it, now that the weather is turning colder.
If you're making this pattern yourself, I should point out that besides making the cardigan version, I'm making drop-shoulders rather than the cap sleeves and rounded armscyes. Drop-shoulder sweaters look better on my shape, so it was a design decision. You can see more of this project in previous blog posts.
The bathroom remodel is coming along. They start the tile work today. We have spent the last few days painting. We were amazed how much paint it took.
Bathrooms and closets have a lot of surfaces! (Looks like someone needs a new sweater!)
In the meantime, six-month-old Zachary is crawling! And he's starting to enjoy vegetables. Here's a photo of him, as promised last week:
How much longer will my Dogwood Blossoms take? The bathroom remodel? Stay tuned!
What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms, of course.
What's on my wheel: Still the Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon."
What's on my iPad: Still Dean Koontz's Odd Apocalypse.

What's in my wine glass: Nathanson Creek Merlot--perfect for knitters; it has a froggy on the label!
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook. Photos were prepared 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, October 8, 2012

High Fiber--Busy Days and Nights

My head is still spinning from the week's activities! However, I had lots of time to work on the Dogwood Blossoms cardigan:
In the center at the top, you can see where I bound off for the armholes and cast on sts for the steek (look for the green st marker). The front "opening" (another steek) is to the right. If you're new to my blog, I should tell you that both sleeves are done, so I'm sort of coming down the home stretch. I'm hoping to get to wear it this winter!
On the bathroom remodeling front, the sheetrock has gone in and we're texturing the walls today! We will be doing the painting ourselves, probably on Wednesday. We have the color picked out. The photo shows the master-bath section of the remodel. The doorway leads to the new closet hall, which used to be just a closet. We used to joke that we were visiting Narnia when we went into the master bath. Also in the photo, to the left of the doorway, is the vanity/sink area, which will have two medicine cabinets. You can see the space for one of them. The dark area to the right is the wall of the shower, which is backlit, so hard to see.
It's getting fun now, because we're starting to see what it will look like finished!
With the construction, we haven't been able to run the upstairs furnace, so it's a little chilly. DH has been chopping wood for the fireplace, which has been in use for the past couple of nights. We're sleeping in the downstairs guest room, though, and it's toasty there.
If you're wondering why I had so much knitting time in spite of a busy week, I made another trip to Colorado to register voters and canvass. We took my car this time, but I conned my passengers into taking turns driving, so I only had to drive a couple of hours out of the entire 12-hr. round trip!
This was the most fun of all the trips (five so far)! We always have great hosts to stay with, but this time we got a couple who have had a B&B. They treated us like paying guests! What fun we had with them! We also encountered some delightful people while canvassing, as usual. It's interesting as well to see the variety of neighborhoods in Grand Junction. 
In one of the neighborhoods we spotted this sign in front of a church. Love it!
I did have to miss church, because we drove back on Sunday.
Other interesting events of the week included the appearance of this guy in our neighborhood on Thursday:
He apparently wasn't interested in least not with us!

I think he might have been looking for this lady friend, a single mother with twins:

On the baby front (and I know how some of you love the baby front), Soren turned three months old on Friday!
And Zachary is six months old today! He's crawling now, so I predict Mom will be losing weight in the coming months. Happy six-months birthday, Zachary! (I'll try to have a photo of him next week.)

What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms, but looking toward more baby projects in time for Christmas.
What's on my wheel: Still the languishing Full Circle Roving in "Pidgeon." I found a new spinning buddy while phone banking, though, so I may be meeting with some spinners soon, which will get me to spin up the rest of the fiber. I'm so close!)
What's on my iPad: Still Dean Koontz's Odd Apocalypse. I'm looking forward to being able to just listen to the rest of it soon!
What's in my wine glass: Fisheye Shiraz 2010, in the big bottle. I think I deserve a couple of glasses after this busy week!

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, October 1, 2012

High Fiber--Vintage, Volts and Votes!

This week was Vintage Stitchers. We met at Rebecca's.

Rebecca is our appliqué queen, as you can see from this quilt mounted on her living room wall. It's from Kim Diehl's book, Simple Graces.

She is putting the binding on her embroidery quilt:

Julie did a great job quilting it, as usual. Here's a closeup of one of the embroidered blocks:

I guess it's safe to say that Rebecca is also an embroidery queen!

Brenda has been busy working on her applique quilt. This is from Edyta Sitar's book, Hop To It! You may recognize the bunny block, which I used in Daphne's baby quilt.

Vintage Stitchers is always an inspiration! It can also be very "vintage." Not only are some of us getting up there in years, but among us we have a variety of vintage quilts, including this one of Rebecca's:

It's clearly from the '30s, as you can tell by looking at the fabrics and construction. Rebecca is going to try to replicate it using appliqué instead of piecing. It's always fun to see a quilt that's older than our oldest members!

Before my busy weekend started, I took a photo of my progress on the Dogwood Blossoms Cardi:

I put the body on two circs to try it on. It will fit perfectly! I think the point in the pattern where the sleeves ended will be about right for the armholes. I'm actually about 1/2" further along than in this photo. I got lots of knitting done on Friday afternoon during the long car trip to Colorado. More about that in a bit.

On the construction front, our electrical system is complete except for the fixtures (outlets, switches and lights). Here Brian, our sparky (construction parlance for "electrician"), discusses outlet placement with DH. We're getting outlets put inside the cabinets of the vanity for electric toothbrush, shaver and hair dryer, so they can be kept out of view.

I accidentally startled Brian when I started taking photos. He didn't see me with the camera and thought when the flash went off that something had shorted out. Good thing he doesn't have a heart condition! From then on, I was sure to notify him when I was going to take a photo. Yikes! Nothing worse than a dead sparky!

If you read last week's blog post, you'll know that we had been concerned about the big pipes going right through the middle of what is supposed to be open space in our bathroom. Tom says, "No problem!" The plumber (or as cherylbwaters says, our "drain surgeon") will be here today to fix up the drains and supply pipes for water in the sinks, shower and toilets. He'll also adios the vent pipes in the middle of the master bath and find new routes for them. The insulation will go in next, and then the sheetrock.

Here you can see where our vanity will be. The rectangles are where the medicine cabinets are going to go. To the left in the photo, you can see through the "walls" to the broom closet, which will be in the powder room, and the hanging closet in the new hallway leading to the master bath.

It has been a busy weekend! I spent part of the weekend registering voters in Grand Junction, Colorado. Here's fellow Park City volunteer Joyce, ready to hit the neighborhoods:

The 5 1/2-hr. drive down allowed me to get a lot of knitting done. We stayed overnight in the home of a Grand Junction campaign supporter. Saturday morning, volunteers fed us a nice breakfast before we went out to canvass and register voters. We were going to the homes of people who had put in a change of address with the post office but had not yet registered. The trip back Saturday night was in the dark, so no knitting possible. I nodded off. I got to bed at 2:00 AM.

Everyone be sure to register and vote! If you have moved, you will need to re-register. In some states you are dropped from the mail-in ballot rolls if you didn't vote in the last election. Volunteer for your favorite candidates, too, if you have time. It's fun! Phone bank is at my house Tuesday evening, if you have time to drop in. It's interesting, working around the construction these days! We have a functional bathroom downstairs, but there's a "Honey Bucket" outside, just in case.

On the baby front, Zachary and Daphne have had colds. They're on the mend now, but here's a photo of one of the invalids:
Soren is learning to roll over, and Zachary is learning to rock back and forth in preparation for crawling. Who knows? Next week's blog may have new reports on both! Check this spot next Monday!
What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms Cardi, moving along.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Pidgeon," not moving along. Too much stuff going on!
What's on my iPad: Still Dean Koontz's Odd Apocalypse. I'm looking forward to getting back to it!
What's in my wine glass: Alice White Shiraz vintage 2011. Always nice! (I don't tell you about the bad wines, do I?)

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