Monday, August 26, 2013

Small, Beautiful World!

On Wednesday, Karan and I went to Joanie's to help her with her paper-pieced pine-tree blocks.

She has such an aesthetically pleasing work space! Here's what it looked like when we arrived:

It's a lovely spot to sit and knit, quilt or work on cross stitch. (This is where my loom used to be.)

Karan used to teach quilting, and paper-piecing was one of her specialties. She was more than willing to help Joanie with her block. Joanie had designed it, based on a pillow she had had for years. I drafted the paper foundation for her, but it really helped to have Karan teach her how. (When I tried to teach Joanie, it was like the partially sighted leading the blind!) You may remember her block.

When we finished at lunch time, we had three blocks finished. I made one, and Karan worked with Joanie to sew the other. I learned a lot, too, and was able to ask questions as I worked. The quilt will have 12 blocks, three across and four down, with sashing and borders, a wall hanging.

Vintage Stitchers met on Thursday at Julie's.  Julie had finished her Butterfly Quilt:

Vintage Stitchers is primarily a quilting group, but most of us knit, and some people were working on knitting projects. Joanie brought her third Mother Bear bear:

Rebecca has been working on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ). She was at the point where you pick up the stitches along the sides of the "flap" that hangs down, to make the buttonhole/button band strip. She wasn't sure how to do it, so she went to an LYS for help. (They charge $5 for help with a project.) What she was told was basically to go to YouTube and watch the video. She still wasn't happy with how it looked, and ripped it out several times. She brought her BSJ to Vintage Stitchers to get help. I showed her how I pick up the sts, basically sliding the left needle through the garter st loops that hang out, then using the right needle to pick up and K the sts. She caught on very quickly, and finished the one side and then did the other side with no help from me. Here's how her BSJ is progressing...coming down the home stretch!

This is a fun project, and her yarn really made it special.

Speaking of the BSJ and the yarn making it special, remember when I was on vacation, and I stopped in Jackson, Wyoming, at the LYS Knit on Pearl? They had a BSJ made from a Zauberball Crazy. Unique!

Remember the lovely young woman who waited on me at the store?

At Vintage Stitchers, Diane told me that her step-DIL works at Knit on Pearl. I showed her this photo, and she said, "Yep, that's Cindy!" Small World!

I got a little bit done on my appliqué at Vintage Stitchers. It progresses slowly, but it progresses.

The Waffle Sweater is moving along finally:

This is a unique pattern. It has Tunisian knitting in horizontal striped between stripes of a lacy traveling stitch. Fun, but still manly. It's a pullover, but I'm thinking about steeking it and making it into a cardigan. The pattern is the Men's Texture-striped Raglan by Jon Gilliam. The yarn is Swish DK in Lava.

And I managed to get the warp on the loom for some more placemats.

Warp and weft are Dishie in Fiesta Red, Conch, Clementine, Creme Brûlée and Swan.

The weather has cooled off. The leaves are changing, but it isn't going to be a very pretty autumn this year, except for the rose hips. The nights aren't cold enough, and it has been too dry. The leaves seem to be just turning brown. However we did get some rain the last few days, which meant some walking in the rain:

On the grandchild front, Daphne visited her new school this week. She's starting out at the university level. (The preschool at University of Wisconsin.) That's Zachary, getting something from under the table. He'll go to school there, too, someday.

What's on my needles: Waffle Sweater and Dogwood Blossoms.
What's on my loom: Warped for warm colorway placemats.
What's on my Featherweight: Helping Joanie with her paper-pieced pine-tree blocks.
What's on my wheel: Still the Full Circle Roving in Caramel, bobbin #2. Making progress, but slowly. Too many other things going on.
What's on my iPad/iPhone (books): Just finished Dean Koontz's The Face of Fear and Craig Johnson's Death Without Company, both from Audible. Now listening to Comfort Food, one of the Friday Night Knitting Club novels by Kate Jacobs, this one from the library through the OverDrive app. Also reading the eBook Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber, one of the Blossom Street novels, also from the library by way of OverDrive.
What's my app of the week: The Wooly app for Ravelry. You can't post in the forums with it, but you can manage your projects, queue, stash, etc. It imports all your info and photos automatically from Ravelry as soon as you give it permission, so you don't have to do that.
What's in my wine glass: Domino Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 vintage. Very nice.

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

Monday, August 19, 2013

Close Calls

As always after a trip, there's lots of laundry and cleaning to do. I managed to make some progress on my appliqué project, though.
There was a lot of laundry to do when we got back, especially with the extra towels for the kids. Our ancient Maytag washer has taken to only liking to run one load within several hours. The motor heats up if I do the back-to-back, so I was doing laundry almost all week, one or two loads a day.
Wednesday, Ellen and I took Joanie to Salt Lake City to get her hair done and run some errands. Common Threads met at my house on Thursday. Joanie's making her third Mother Bear bear:
The one with the tutu "netted" her a personal note from Mother Bear. I was upset with her that she sent it off before I could get a photo of the finished bear. She promises not to do that again. I will get a photo of this one before she sends it off. Carol (from Vintage Stitchers) is also working on her second bear. She isn't really a knitter, but she's really enjoying it, and catching on to how to knit one.

Joanie also made a needle-felted bear as a present for a friend. Here's the front:
(The photo isn't blurry; the bear is just fuzzy.)
Here's a view of the bear from the back, showing off his tail:
Margareth is working on a petitpoint piece:
I think it might be a Grandma Moses work, but I'm not sure. It looks like her style.
I finished the "Fenway Pahk Sox." Now if my team can get into the World Series, I'll have something special to wear while I watch.
The yarn is Fortissima Socka 6-fach, color 2210, dye lot 35611. Pattern “Embossed Stitch” from Charlene Schurch’s More Sensational Knitted Socks. I picked the pattern because it looks like little diamonds. I used eye-of-partridge heel, my favorite.
Thinking about the World Series and seeing Margareth's petitpoint scene reminded me that it's getting close to the end of the summer. The leaves are starting to change, as usual toward the end of August up here at 7200', but the big surprise is how beautiful the rose hips look:
I may actually be able to make some rose hip jam this year!
We had several exciting events this week. The first one was the arrival of Soren's first tooth...then his second one. He may have a full set of choppers by next week! Another item of excitement was not so happy: our wildfire. Fortunately, it never got near us, but a number of very nice homes were destroyed. Then yesterday we discovered a leak in the drain pipe under our sink. It apparently has been leaking for some time, and could have damaged the subfloor. (We didn't do this on purpose to protect ourselves from wildfires.)
I also got a sneak peek at the projects from a new knitting book: Wrapped In Color: Stranded Knitting in the 21st Century by Deborah Tomasello. The projects look really interesting!

What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms, finishing up, and have been swatching for the Waffle sweater, now ready to CO.
What's on my loom: Haven't warped yet. I'm still trying to find out if we can move it to my fiber studio, but probably not. Look for Christmas gifts to be on it soon.
What's on my Featherweight: Still working on the second panel of hand appliqué, but my machine is waiting to finish the Delectable Mountains block panels. Also will be helping Joanie piece her pine tree quilt this week.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle "Fawn." Second bobbin, for a woven blanket.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Enjoyed Mercedes Lackey's Reserved for the Cat from I'm happy to have discovered this author. Still listening to The Mists of Avalon by Marion Bradley, Book Two. Also just finished Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear, from the library via the OverDrive app. Now I'm Listening to The Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer, another one from
What's my app of the week: At Bat Lite, for keeping track of my team's progress.
What's in my wine glass: Cocannon Cabernet Sauvignon. Unique in a good way.

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

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back from Wyoming.

Important things about Wyoming:
Yes, there are buffalo (bison, a great fiber animal). It's The Equality State, the first to give women the right to vote and the first to have a woman governor. We lived there when we were young, and our first child was born there.
It's also the home of Knit on Pearl. It isn't on Pearl anymore, but on Gill Ave. in Jackson, Wyoming. They specialize in whatever the owners/employees find interesting currently. They had a BSJ made from a Zauberball. It was really cute! 
I picked up a Zauberball and some Addis, just in case. (The join in one of my 2.75 mm circs was pulling out.)
After leaving Jackson, we drove up to the Bighorn Mountains and found our campsite at Sibley Lake. No hookups, but it was beautiful!
There were sites with electricity across the road, but it wasn't nearly as pretty. Also, we needed space for two tents. Yes, we had two tents, but we were far from too tense!
Daphne brought her family to visit. They arrived a few hours after we did on Thursday. They had one of the tents.
Daphne was the big girl of the outfit. She enjoyed playing "Zoo Train" on my iPad for a few minutes each day. She got to be very good at it, but there were lots of other things to do outside! We also got to enjoy the new canopy, which we got to put over the picnic table. It has mesh sides in case of bugs, but they weren't too bad, so we didn't use them.
On Saturday, the other family arrived. I was happy I had picked up books at the library. (In case of the feared rain, but the weather was mostly nice.)
The books were put to good use, though. Soren, who doesn't walk yet, has always sat patiently and enjoyed being read to. Zachary (with the curly hair) walked early, but is just now learning to sit still to be read to. How different they are! Of course, Daphne enjoyed the books, too, and Sunny enjoyed listening to the voices of people she loves.
We did some hiking.
Zachary started out riding in the baby carrier, but by the end of the camping trip, he was walking most of the way during our walks.
Of course, Daphne is a great hiker now! She especially enjoyed using the extra leash, so she could help guide Sunny.
The pups enjoyed some time off-leash where they were allowed.
The last night before we left, DD and her family took down their tent and slept in the trailer with us. It was a crazy night. First, we thought we smelled something unpleasant...sort of sulfurous. Coming from the black water holding tank? wasn't as strong in the bathroom. From the running generator? wasn't as strong outside. Suddenly I recognized the smell: gas!!! A quick inspection of the stove indicated that two of the burners were on but not lit. Yikes! We opened every window and door, and quickly aired out the trailer. We didn't see it happen, but we're pretty sure Zachary was the culprit. He must have turned the knobs, and of course, they don't light unless you turn the special lighting knob. I took the knobs off the stove until we felt certain he couldn't turn the burners on again. That was act 1.
Act 2 involved some middle-of-the-night crankiness on Zachary's part, which woke up his parents and sister. There was a lot of writhing and gnashing of teeth before everyone was settled down again and quiet.
Act 3 was the killer: DH's Tracfone and my old cell phone both started beeping every 15 minutes or so. Mine was a failing battery. DH's phone was receiving a text message with an offer of a great deal on more minutes...and inevitably...more late-night interruptions.
All the adults hit the coffee pot first thing on waking up the next morning.
After breaking camp, saying good-bye to the kids and moving on, we drove back the way we came.
On the way into Thermopolis, this sign caught my eye: Lucy's Sheep Camp.

It was just outside town. They weren't open the day we were there, but they have an Etsy shop. (More sources of yummy spinning fiber and yarn, hee-hee!)
We found a whisky distillery, Wyoming Whiskey, outside Thermopolis, and unlike Lucy's, they were there and open. They make a nice bourbon whisky using locally grown grains. I didn't think I would like bourbon, but it was very nice, so we bought a bottle.
We had a couple of tires on the trailer changed in Thermopolis and then moved on, stopping in Lyman for the last night. We gave the trailer a cleaning while we had the slide-out out and power for the little electric vacuum.
Note to self for next family camping trip:
1. Use paper plates. If you want to protect the environment, you need a lot more plates and a bigger holding tank for the dishwater!
2. Don't take enough food for the 7th Fleet. Babies don't eat much.
3. Don't forget to take the dog crate and suggest protective custody for the pups when there are two toddlers running around. (They appreciated it, especially Sunny. Good thing we had it!)
4. Frozen bread dough worked out great! It takes up less space, thaws nicely during the day and tastes great freshly baked!
5. Take a project to work on that's light-colored. Nothing is worse than being stuck with nothing to work on after the kiddos are in bed and the light is dim. Maybe I should have taken my wheel after all!
I worked on my appliqué a little bit, but it was hard to do in the truck because the ride wasn't very smooth, and when we didn't have hookups, our lighting was limited. (I need good light for appliqué!) However, I finished two projects: Daphne's Bunny Suit:
The pattern is from Better Living Collections Kids' Knits and Crochet published by J.B. Fairfax Pty Ltd, Sydney. The yarn is Swish DK in "Squirrel" and "Lava." The cuffs have been turned up because it's slightly too big for was finished in August, too warm to wear now. I had to finish it to avoid having to put it in the mail, and it was fun to have her try it on.
Also finished the Lantana Socks:
The pattern is from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks, the "Waterfall Rib" pattern. The yarn is KP's old Essential Sock Yarn in "Lantana," from my stash. 
My plan after finishing the socks was to swatch for DH's new Waffle Sweater, which I did, whereupon I discovered that my needles were too big to get gauge, and I needed a US size four, the only size I didn't have with me. (My fault: I thought I had all the sizes in the set I grabbed.) Plan B: I CO for my Fenway Pahk Sox with red Fortissima Socka 6-fach, color 2210, dye lot 35611. The pattern is the "Embossed Stitch" from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks. I picked the pattern because it looks like little diamonds. (Get it? Baseball diamond?) I'm hoping the Red Sox will get into the World Series. The yarn is sport weight, so it's going fast.

I've been wondering if we'll still be finding Cheerios (Zachary's first three-syllable word) in the trailer when we get it out again in the spring. Maybe, unless the mice get into the trailer. But I think I'd rather find Cheerios than mousie poopies.

What's on my needles: Fenway Pahk Sox, back to finish up Dogwood Blossoms and CO Waffle sweater, as soon as I'm satisfied with gauge.
What's on my loom: Ready for next project...placemats or more rugs, or a scarf?
What's on my Featherweight: Still working on the second panel of hand appliqué, but my machine is waiting to finish the Delectable Mountains block panels.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle "Fawn." I didn't take my wheel, so I'm still where I was with the spinning for a woven blanket.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Where do I start? DH and I listened to A Cold Dish by Craig Johnson while driving (Thank you, cherylbwaters for the recommendation! From the library, but downloaded to my Mac and then to the iPhone.) It's a mystery and takes place in the Bighorn Mountains, so appropriate for this trip. The humor was unexpected but delightful, and the story was spellbinding. DH is a Tony Hillerman fan, and Johnson's writing and topic of choice are similar, so he enjoyed it especially. During the time we were alone, I listened to Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson on OverDrive from the library. Not his usual, but very intriguing and a good listen. Then I listened to the second book of The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley from I'm finding it easier to follow when I don't try to listen straight through. Now I'm listening to Mercedes Lackey's Reserved for the Cat from I'm happy to have discovered this author.
What's my app of the week: Zoo Train. Educational and absorbing...if you're three.
What's in my wine glass: Redwood Creek Pinot Noir 2011. Or the Wyoming Whiskey bourbon...whatever!

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dressing Ashley

I’m away on vacation, and in the place of my usual blog, I’ve decided to give you a special treat.
When our 20-year-old granddaughter was little and we had just come back from living in Indonesia, I bought an Ashley doll and dressed her up to give to our granddaughter for Christmas.
I had a lot of fun dressing Ashley and then taking her picture in various settings. She had to have some dressy clothes, and of course, a nice coat for going out in cool weather.
Here Ashley is showing you where we lived before coming back to the US. She's wearing a knit pullover and a pleated wool skirt.
We were living in Houston at the time I made these outfits, so of course, Ashley needed some clothes for hot weather!
As you can see, blue is Ashley's favorite color for her dresses.
A T-shirt with a sunflower on it is great for playing outdoors.
Our old Indonesian kitty stepped in to show how tall Ashley is. Kasih was on the smaller side for a cat. Here she's watching Ashley cook.
A sweatshirt is good for when it's chilly.
Or a whole sweat suit:
Overalls for gardening...
Of course, a raincoat is mandatory!
When playtime is over, it's time to go to bed...with your knitting, of course!
Then it's time for lights out and snuggling in bed with your teddy bear.
I hope everyone is having a great summer and keeping cool! Check next week for another special blog! When I post again on August 12th, I should have lots of interesting photos of projects and vacation activities.