Monday, January 28, 2013

High Fiber--Films and Friends

Ellen has been working on a Christmas quilt. 
She's using a kit she picked up after Christmas last year when we went shopping at one of the Salt Lake City quilt shops. It's Bloom Creek's "Holidays at Home." She has the center block almost done.
There are two smaller block designs in the strips surrounding the center block, with four of each design used. Here's one:
Here's another block, all four completed:
Ellen has one more block design to sew together. This block will be in the four corners. You can see more from Bloom Creek here.
Most of my time this week was spent working shifts at the Eccles Theater in Park City, the largest of the venues involved in the Sundance Film Festival. It's crazy, hectic work, usually followed by long periods of not too much to do while the films are playing. Here are some of my fellow volunteers hanging out in the lobby.
One of the best films I saw this year was "History of the Eagles, Part One." It's a documentary about the band "The Eagles." There is also a "Part Two," and both will be aired on Showtime in February. I didn't know much about the band before seeing the film, but I recognized their music. 
Toward the end of the festival I had the good fortune to be working as an usher during the showing of "Jobs," the film about Steve Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher. Reviews have been mixed, but I enjoyed it, and thought it followed the biography by Walter Isaacson fairly closely. I don't have a photo of Ashton Kutcher and the other cast and crew to show because we're not allowed to take photos of the "talent," and I was up in the balcony, so too far away to get good photos anyway. This film will be out in April.
In preparation for the arrival of my loom, I ordered Madelyn van der Hoogt's DVD on warping from KP. Here's a photo of my KP order:
The DVD is very interesting and informative. The first disc was easy to understand. The second went a little over my head. I have no doubt that it will make more sense after I've had some experience with the loom.
In spite of busy shifts at Sundance, I've made progress on DH's Christmas Waffle Cardi:
I'm on the second sleeve, and should have it finished soon. I put everything on waste yarn and tried it on DH. I've decided to work another inch on the body and the sleeves, based on his "fitting."
We got our disc with the photos my niece took of our Christmas together. Just had to share Daphne's response to her Bitty Twins. This was taken right after she opened the package:

Daphne had a lot of fun playing with her new friends. She named them "Dolly" and "Brother." (Thanks to Amanda Howse Photography, Seattle area, for some wonderful photos!)

What's on my needles: Christmas Waffle Cardigan, second sleeve.
What's on my wheel: Haven't had time to spin this week, due to Sundance, so no progress on the Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon" currently on my wheel.
What's on my iPad: Besides the podcasts I'm catching up on, I'm listening to Dean Koontz's 77 Shadow Street.
What's in my wine glass: Alice White Shiraz 2011. The big bottle. Good value.
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, January 21, 2013

High Fiber--New Forms of Fiber Fun

It has been a busy week! Soren's Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) is finished. Here's the front.
I'm using the instructions in Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Opinionated Knitter. The yarn is Comfy Worsted in Serrano and Maize. I can picture Soren on the beach this summer wearing this wrap. Here's the back:
The Sundance Film Festival is underway. On Tuesday, we picked up our down-filled uniforms, catalogs and ticket vouchers. There was a long line of volunteers waiting to check in. I was happy to stand in line. I had my knitting, and DH to hold my coat while I worked on his sweater.

My first shift was Saturday afternoon and evening. DH and I alternate shifts, so the pups have one of us home. It would be a problem to leave them for 10 hours, including travel time. We work inside the Eccles, which is the biggest venue. It's good that the jacket sleeves zip off, leaving a nice, down vest. I'll have more from the festival to show next week.

Common Threads met on Thursday at Lynda's. She introduced us to Chablis, her angora bunny. (Can you say, "fiber animal?")
 How do you do red-eye reduction on a photo of an animal with red eyes? Chablis lives indoors and uses a litter box. She gets along well with Lynda's two cats and her dog. She also has a run outdoors, so she can graze and soak up the sun safely. Lynda uses scissors to shear Chablis. She keeps the face cut short all the time, though, so the bunny can find her way around the house. Believe it or not, Chablis weighs practically nothing! That's all FIBER. (Talk about high fiber, LOL!)

Common Threads had a great turnout with a variety of project types. Jean, Julie and Georgette were working on knitting, cross-stitch and needlepoint projects.
Here's Georgette's needlepoint project. It's almost finished.
We have two new people: Susan and Lone (pronounced "Loan-a"). Here Georgette shows off a silk scarf Susan made. It was made using a technique where you wrap up a white silk scarf and silk ties, tie it up and boil it with water and vinegar. The dyes transfer from the silk ties to the silk scarf.
The effect is like a crazy quilt. Susan has agreed to teach everyone how to do this. Lone takes a closer look:

Here's another silk scarf by Susan. This one was made using rusty objects instead of silk ties. She says that, unlike the silk-tie method, you have to do this process outdoors. She tied the silk scarf around the rusty objects, sort of Shibori-like.

Joanie has been knitting a shawlette. It will be done soon.
The lace border is knit along with the body of the shawlette, rather than added afterward.

Lone is making fleece scarves and headbands to sell.

Susan made this versatile sweater vest.

This project can be worn in a variety of ways. (The scarf Susan is wearing is a Mobius, which she also made.)

Lynda has finished the sleeves for her Dogwood Blossoms:
Our group is going to get together on the 31st to work on our Dogwood Blossoms sweaters together. Most of the people in the group who are making this project haven't started yet. We will also have some other people from Common Threads there to cheer us on. I've put mine aside, so I'll be able to work on it at that meeting.

In the meantime, I'm working on DH's Christmas Waffle Cardi. I'm partway up the first sleeve. (You can see the beginning of it in the upper left-hand corner.) The red lines in the body are the waste yarn pocket setups.
I'm using Swish DK in "Lava Heather." It's a great color name for a retired geologist!

For the cuteness of the week, here's Soren at 6 months:
I think he looks a lot like those 8" collectible dolls made by Madame Alexander. I don't mind collecting this one!

What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms, Christmas Waffle Cardi. Waiting in the wings: Daphne's Bunny Suit. (More on that later.)
What's on my wheel: Still the Full Circle Roving in Pigeon.
What's on my iPad: Listening to Georgette Heyer's The Convenient Marriage from Audible. Also getting caught up on the Knit Picks Podcast.
What's my app of the week: WhiteNoise. (Lite version.) It comes in handy when DH is watching TV late at night. I especially like the "Extreme Rain Pouring." It sounds just like rain. However, I have to set it to turn off after several hours. If I wake up at 4:00 AM and hear it, I have to get up and go to the bathroom, not something I usually have to do!
What's in my wine glass: Panilonco Merlot Malbec Reserve 2011. Very nice.

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, January 14, 2013

High Fiber--Winter Projects

We were supposed to have Vintage Stitchers at my house last Thursday, but DH is still down with a bad cold, one we would rather not share with our friends. Barbara stepped in (she was my backup in case of snow) and hosted us at her house. Ellen is back in town and brought her Hibiscus quilt top to give to Julie for quilting.

Here they were holding up the top and the backing to see how much bigger the backing is to allow for the quilting process. Julie likes 4" extra in each direction, or 2" all around. She thinks this will work. The quilt top ends with the dark border all around, and the park hanging down at the bottom is the backing.

Janet brought another quilt top. She picked up these great fabrics at a sale on "Shop Small Saturday." It was a kit, but she didn't like the pattern. The fabrics alone were a bargain, though!

Barbara has finished a table runner top. She said the pattern was free, obtained long ago.

As I was arriving home after Vintage Stitchers, the snow hit. We ended up with about a foot from this latest storm.

I'm gathering fabrics from my stash and my new acquisitions to make a table topper for a table in my living room, but don't have anything to show yet. However, Soren's 1-yr. Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) is finished and blocking. As soon as it's dry, I will ship it off to him. The yarn is Comfy Worsted in "Serrano" and "Maize."

And DH's Christmas Waffle Cardi is coming along. If you're new to my blog, I purchased 20 skeins of Swish DK in "Lava Heather" on Cyber Monday to make him a sweater. He liked a design that had a waffle pattern. The gauge was a lot heavier, so I'm using Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Circular Seamless Raglan Sweater" pattern from The Opinionated Knitter (BSJ is also in this book), except that I'm working it back and forth. This pattern is actually easier worked back and forth instead of in the round. Here's how far I was as of Saturday night:

The red sts are waste yarn, put in place for the pockets. I'll take them out when I'm ready to make the pockets, pick them up with needles and work about an inch of ribbing on the bottom sts and a big flap for the pocket lining on the top sts. I'm working the back with both fronts attached. Here's a closeup of the pattern, so you can see why it's a "Christmas Waffle."

After the ribbing, the pattern is made by K across right side and P1, K1 across wrong side. I'm keeping three sts at each front edge in garter st.

In other news from my house, the pups often surprise me by knowing when Daddy is coming home. This was Friday: Daddy had been gone all afternoon. At 5:45, Sunny got a toy and began sitting on the back of the couch where she could see both the driveway and the front door. Occasionally she would wag her tail. At 6:00, Rocky suddenly noticed something and turned his head so he could see the door from where he was lying. Both dogs stared at the door until 6:20, when DH arrived home.

It's not like he always comes home at the same time. When I ask DH what time he left for home, Sunny's prediction is always close, sometimes later, but never before. Sometimes Rocky is the first to notice, but he's more subtle. Dogs are amazing!

Here's some adorableness for the week:
Soren letting his dad play with his new toy!

What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan (for me) and DH's Christmas Waffle Cardi for...DH!
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon." Hope to have some progress by next week.
What's on my iPad: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and catching up on Knit Picks and other podcasts.
What's my app of the week: KSL Weather Vortex. Temps were in single digits yesterday and are supposed to get up to the 20s today.
What's in my wine glass: Rex-Goliath "Free Range" Cabernet Sauvignon. Nice!

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.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

High Fiber--Ghosts of Christmas (and Birthday) Presents!

I was too sick to enjoy my birthday, but I'm enjoying it now. This was my big present from DH, for a big birthday (hint: it has a "0" in it).
This loom was made about 40 years ago for my friend Joanie by Tools of the Trade, Fair Haven, VT. The craftsman who made it was Arthur Weitzenfeld. It's a 45", which means it can make a piece that's 45" wide. The deal DH made with Joanie includes the bench, the warping board (on wall), all the attachments to allow for thicker or thiner yarn/thread and a pile of books. Now I just need to learn to weave, LOL! It's still at Joanie's until we can arrange to pick it up.

I netted a nice assortment of quilting fabrics for Christmas from DD and DSIL (the Kaffe Fassett fat quarters and the book) and birthday from DDIL2 and DS2, including some fats from Sharon's Attic in Hillsboro, OR, a nice walk from their house. I reviewed the shop in this blog post. Some of the fabrics were grab bags picked up at a craft sale. 
The boys' I-Spy quilts will include some of the fabrics. All of them will find their way into something fun.

DD gave me this shawl pin for my birthday. It's a cranberry, great for a Christmas birthday! Here it is nestled into my Rona Shawl made from Shimmer lace-weight yarn. It will work equally well with all my other shawls.
Common Threads met this week at Karan's. I was supposed to host, but the kids and DD were sick with colds, so Karan came to the rescue. Now DH and DSIL have come down with it. I think it must be the same cold I had a month ago, or I would be sick, too, after all the snotty kisses and nose-wipings for the kiddos.

We had our usual show-and-tell at the Common Threads meeting. Here's Jean's hat:
It's the Brier Toque from Weekend Hats by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.

Remember the quilt Karan made for her son's wedding? She had people who attended the wedding write little notes on fabric using archival permanent pen and incorporated them in the Irish Chain quilt.
She is now in the planning stages for a bed-size quilt in the same colors for the young couple. They are looking at patterns and various options.

Kay is back from her cruise. She got a lot of knitting done. Here's one panel for the afghan she's making for one of her neighbor's daughters.
As for me, I'm almost done with Soren's BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket)
I didn't have much time to knit with the kids here, but I got a lot done Sunday during the football game. This is the BSJ before seaming:
Folded into shape, it looks like this:
I found some square buttons for it at a local yarn shop. I think they echo the right-angled stripes nicely. The yarn is Comfy Worsted in Serrano and Maise. Making the jacket in worsted results in a 1-yr. size sweater.

The next project to be CO is DH's Christmas sweater, based on this cardigan. Unfortunately, I will have to rewrite the pattern to match the gauge for the Swish DK in Lava Heather I bought for the project.

As I reported last week, Zachary is walking! In spite of his cold and teething (notice the drool), he now can make 7-8 steps at a time before sitting down. Go Zachy!
Daphne had a special adventure at our house. When we lived in Indonesia, we picked up this great doll house made by a craftsman in Jakarta:
It's on casters, and the walls and roof open up to reveal the rooms inside. We decided to populate it with a bear family, so if we eventually had grandsons, they wouldn't be put off by the idea of playing with a "dollhouse." DGD1 enjoyed decorating it and making a quilt for the parent bears' bed. The house sat dormant for several years waiting for Daphne to get to be old enough to play with it.

I had to remove the flowers from the flower boxes, and all the dishes and accessories that were too small for her to play with at her age. It was still great fun to play with, though!
DD's birthday was January 3rd. We celebrated by babysitting the kids, so the parents could go to lunch alone together and do some shopping at the local outlet mall. January 5th was her husband's birthday, so we all went to No Worries for breakfast, usually the treat for my birthday, but pointless that day because I was sick and not eating.

Soren also turned six months old on January 5th. He and his parents have been back home for a week, so we didn't get to share it with him, but thank Heaven for Facebook..and Skype, of course!

He is enjoying some new foods, including avocado when this photo was taken.

Daphne, Zachary and their parents left yesterday to return home (by car), so we'll miss Zachy's 9-month birthday on January 8th, as well.

I'm missing wiping noses and getting snotty kisses. [Sigh!] The upside is, we get to enjoy our new bathroom and are back to sleeping in our own bed.

What's on my needles: Finishing up Soren's BSJ, ready to CO DH's new cardigan, Dogwood Blossoms still in progress.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon," now destined probably for weaving.
What's on my iPad: D. E. Stevenson's The House of the Deer from Audible.
What's my app of the week: Match Animals, another great app for preschoolers.
What's in my wine glass: Amberhill Secret Blend 2010. Very nice, and not too expensive.

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.