Monday, April 28, 2014

Getting Out of Dodge

Another crazy week! However, the next week should be calmer. More on that later. The BSJ for BS2 is almost finished. 
Just the shoulder/sleeve seams and buttons to go. That won't take long, so I'm putting it off for a bit, since BS2 isn't due to put in an appearance until August.
In the meantime, I've been swatching for the Mary Tudor cardigan. The blue and he black aren't included in my planned colors. I just used them to get gauge.
However, my KP order came quickly. Here it is, the rest of the yarn I need, two Starmore books and a cable I've been needing.
Now that I know I can get the gauge I need to make the sweater small enough for me, I'm ready to start it. I've finished some UFOs, so I feel smugly justified in starting a new project.
Among the projects I've finished are the doll bed and bedding. I covered the bed bases with plastic shelf liner. Here's the bed, disassembled and ready to pack for shipping, along with the bedding and instructions for assembly.
The Green Tea Socks are finished. The second sock was almost entirely knit during the 15-minute trip to Silver Sneakers and back, which goes to show what you can get done in those few minutes here and there.
The quilt magazine I recently subscribed to, Missouri Star Block, arrived. 
This magazine is book quality, and a great value.
Besides all the fun of projects to work on and finish, I had an unpleasant procedure to get through, one that has a prep that isn't fun. Added to that unpleasantness was missing Vintage Stitchers this week. I would rather have been there. However, my gastroenterologist looks like a young Michael Douglas, and has a great "bedside manner." Not that I want to do it again soon....
After several weeks of being busier than usual, I'm ready for a nice vacation. Guess what? I get one! We're leaving tomorrow to go camping in southern Utah, first Moab for hiking with DH's brother, and then a couple of days at Capitol Reef National Park.
I've cooked up and frozen some nice dishes to thaw and heat up, so I don't have to cook too much, selected some DVDs we can watch on my MacBook, and picked out my projects to work on. I'm taking my Mary Tudor, and I hope to CO and. Get a few rows done. Also ready to take is my Delectable Pathways, which I want to finish soon. I'll throw in yarn and needles for more socks, in case I need something mindless and small. Also going along is my poodle cross-stitch project, representing Rocky and Sunny, which I stared a few days ago. I won't be bored! I wish I could take my wheel along, but we're still getting snow, so taking the trailer up to the house isn't an option, so everything will have to be schlepped by car to the trailer, with space at a premium, time.

What's on my needles: Swatch for Mary Tudor Cardigan, soon to CO.
What's on my Featherweight: Still waiting for Delectable Pathways to be ready to put together. 
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Lightning by Dean Koontz. Started The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen. Still watching "Stranded Colorwork, Basics and Beyond" from Craftsy.
What's my app of the week: Craftsy. I know I've promoted the Craftsy app before, but I have to talk about my recent experience. I updated the iOS on my iPhone this past week, and all of a sudden the video screen for the classes were tiny. I mean, TINY! There was no way to get rid of the comments at the bottom to make room for a bigger screen. I sent an email to the developer and got an immediate reply. The woman said they were aware that the new update had caused problems, and she would get back to me as soon as they had a fix. The next day I opened the Craftsy platform, and it was working again the way it was supposed to. Then in my inbox was an email from the developer's rep who had emailed me originally. Great service!
What's in my wine glass: Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot by Concha y Toro, Chile, the big bottle. Also Charles Shaw's Pinot Grigio. Both nice, but the Pinot Grigio is outstanding.
What's my tip of the week: A seam ripper, short knitting needle or awl is a great tool for guiding fabric past your sewing machine's presser foot.

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

New Beginnings

This week has been crazy! Besides trips to eye doctor, dentist and Apple store for a new iPad, I made a trip to Shepherd's Bush and Needlepoint Joint in Ogden with friends from Common Threads. 
Shepherd's Bush has an entry way full of projects.
The store itself is also full. One of the two women on the job there helped me figure out how to convert my poodle project pattern (say that three items fast) to the colors I wanted to use. I plan on making one black poodle and one brown one, facing each other, instead of the single apricot poodle in the design.

At Needlepoint Joint, I picked up some beads for the bolos on my Yei figures and some buttons for the latest Baby Surprise Jacket for BS2, due in August.

We had breakfast at the Spring Chicken in Morgan and lunch after shopping at the Union Grill at the train station in Ogden. It was Peggy and the four Jays: Julie, Jean, Joanie and Janet. Delightful day!

Common Threads met on Thursday. Julie brought her embroidery:
It was from a mystery embroidery class she took.
Margareth had finished her sweater and brought it to show.
I didn't finish any UFOs this week, unless you count adding he beads to the Yei Figures Bag (designed by Nicky Epstein). I went to Joanie's after Silver Sneakers on Friday. We went through her beads and selected some to use. She wouldn't take any money for the beads. She still has three Yei figures to finish, but now she has the beads picked out to use.
She had a nice selection, including some turquoise beads, so they made a nice necklace for each of the figures. I sewed them on on Saturday.

Soren's I-spy quilt is ready to go to Julie for quilting. I made a run down to Sandy, to Quilts, Etc., on Thursday afternoon to get backing and binding fabric for it. I found a nice farm landscape to use. The motifs are big, so I got extra fabric to match up the motifs.
The arrow shows the vertical seam where I pieced the backing. The yellow check is the binding fabric.

The new Baby Surprise Jacket is progressing.
As you can see, it moves along very fast.
It will be done soon. In case this is the first time you're reading about this project, I'm using two Crazy Zauberballs in fingering weight (kleiner Fuchs colorway), held together. I got the idea from one I had seen last summer in Knit on Pearl in Jackson, Wyoming. (It pays to stop in at yarn, quilt and other craft shops on your travels. You never know what you'll find!)
My old iPad and I said goodbye to each other on Wednesday, when it was erased and put in the mail to DD and her family. It's soul now resides in my new iPad Air. It has been a great four years. (Today would have been our fourth anniversary.) Now I'm looking forward to a few years with the new one, while my old friend entertains my grandkids.

What's on my needles: BSJ for BS2, Soren's little brother, moving along.

What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, another inch done.

What's on my Featherweight: Waiting for Delectable Pathways to be ready to put together.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished another novel by Georgette Heyer, Regency Buck, from Audible. Now I'm listening to Lightning by Dean Koontz, also from Audible. Still watching "Stranded Colorwork, Basics and Beyond" from Craftsy.

What's my app of the week: USPS Mobile, great for tracking packages, like my old iPad.

What's in my wine glass: Woodbridge Zinfandel 2012. Very nice!

What's my tip of the week: Precise cutting is the key to precise piecing. Instead of lining up your fabric with the lines on the cutting mat, line it up with the ruler, using an extra ruler for cutting. Be careful not to let the ruler slip while cutting. If you have two folds in your fabric, make sure they are even, and use the center fold as your guide for the ruler. A spray starch or sizing is good for making the fabric lie flat after pressing.

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Skies of Roswell

It's Like the Skies of Roswell! Except this is a different kind of UFO.
My Yei Figures Bag is finished except for adding the beads to the necklaces and bolos.
I decided to line it with some nice quilting fabric. The lining has some pockets for knitting or quilting supplies. 
The bag is big enough to hold a fairly large quilting or knitting project: 23" wide and 16" deep. (It's hanging on my front door in this photo.) This project was started in 2008, and I'm glad to have it done! This isn't the last of the UFOs. No, I have a nice supply!
The bedding for Daphne's dolly bunk beds isn't really a UFO, but it needed to get finished in time for her birthday next month. I finished one of the quilts during Vintage Stitchers this week and the other the next day. Here's one:
And the other:
I used '30s reproduction fabrics for the quilt tops, and some fabric my friend Ellen gave me for the backing. (It's cute fabric with little baby sleepers all over it.) Instead of batting, I used a layer of white flannel.
Some Peter Rabbit fabric left over from Daphne's baby quilt made great contour sheets, pillowcases and trim on the top sheets. I made the pillows out of the same ticking I used for the mattresses.
DH is going to help me recover the mattress boards, which are currently topped with a layer of foam and then some Con-Tact paper, which has become torn in places. I found some shelf liner that's more substantial and might last longer. It also looks like the kind of material that might be at the bottom of baby beds or play pens.
You might remember that I picked these dolly bunk beds up at the antique fair in Ogden. The whole thing comes apart for shipping, which is a good thing. This would be pretty expensive to ship set up. 
Vintage Stitchers met at Janet's this week. Joanie is almost finished with her James Bond baby sweater. She has promised to let me get a photo before she sends it off.
Carol was sewing the binding on her Planet Quilt:
I really like my minigroups, Vintage Stitchers (mostly quilting) and Common Threads (mostly knitting). The members of these groups are so excited about what they are doing, and they share this enthusiasm, but they also are learning different things, which they share with everyone, and their efforts are a real inspiration to all of us.
I bought some Palette yarn this week from a friend who was destashing, and in the batch of yarn was two of the colors I need for the for Mary Tudor cardigan. I was talking about the sweater at Vintage Stitchers, so Janet did some stash diving and came up with two other colors I needed, which she donated to me. She can come and "shop" in my stash of Palette any time she likes! Here's what I have now for the Mary Tudor:
Clockwise, from top right: Toffee, Brindle Heather (MC), Suede, Regal, Marine Heather, Blue Note Heather, Clematis Heather. I have more than one ball of several of these. The Regal is not as red as it appears in the photo. Not in photo and still to be purchased: Indigo Heather and Abyss Heather. (Waiting for the Abyss to come in before I place my order.)
Finally, having finished the Yei Figures bag, I allowed myself to CO for a new Baby Surprise Jacket  (BSJ) for Soren's baby brother, due in August. I'm using two Crazy Zauberballs (fingering weight) the way the BSJ I saw in Knit on Pearl in Jackson, Wyoming, was made.
I have the two balls in bowls to keep them from rolling around, but zip bags will work for travel.
Tuesday was Zachary's birthday, and we had a great Skype session with the family. His I-spy quilt had arrived, and and enjoyed setting his trains up on it. He has another big present coming.
Some of you may not think the dolly bunk beds and Zachary's birthday Skype session are enough cuteness, so here's a new photo of Soren:
They're growing up so fast!
Well, I don't see any more UFOs hovering over me, but then it's snowing again!

What's on my needles: BSJ for BS2, Soren's little brother. 
What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, no progress this week, but it should be warming up soon, so it will be nice to work downstairs. 
What's on my Featherweight: Back to the Delectable Pathways.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished another novel by Georgette Heyer, Sylvester, then read The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotsen. Now I'm listening to Regency Buck, another Georgette Heyer novel. (I seem to be on a Heyer binge lately.) All of these were from Audible. The Knit Wits Podcast is back, yaaaay! I'm watching "Stranded Colorwork, Basics and Beyond" from Craftsy.
What's my app of the week: The Podcast app. Now that my favorite podcast has returned.
What's in my wine glass: Concannon merlot 2011. The big bottle. It will last several days because we're still in Lent, and I've given up my second glass of wine for Lent. :-( 
But Lent will be over the end of the week. :-)
What's my tip of the week: When casting on a large number of stitches, I like to put a stitch marker every 20 sts, so I don't have to count over again from the beginning if I lose my place.

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

Monday, April 7, 2014

UFO Sightings

It's another week for UFOs. Janet's Sipalu Bag is finished!
Janet started this bag in 2008. She thinks of herself as a quilter, not a knitter, but she has the talent, learns new techniques quickly and has a great sense of color. She changed some of the colors for this bag, which she bought as a kit. On to her Dogwood Blossoms sweater!
My Yei Figures bag has come along a bit this week.
Common Threads met at my house this week, requiring some time spent with the H-word beforehand. It's always nice to get the house clean, though.
Bernadette is crocheting an afghan:
We have several crocheters in our group. It makes me want to do some more crocheting. Maybe another granny square afghan to bust my stash so I can buy more yarn.
Julie brought Zachary's I-spy quilt, which she machine-quilted for me. She wanted to get it to me in time for me to bind it and send it off for his birthday. Here's the front.
The back will be good for him to play with his trains and cars on. The quilt is on its way to the birthday boy. Zachary will be two on Tuesday.
I may not have enough of the backing fabric to use for backing for Soren's I-spy quilt, but if not, I'll find something just as fun. I finished piecing the top for it on Saturday.
As you can see, it's almost identical to Zachary's. Some of the I-spy patches are different.
You may remember the bunk beds I found at the antique fair for Daphne's dolls. I've been working on making bedding for them, so I can send them off in time for her birthday next month. So far, I've finished the mattresses and the blankets.
There are plans for sheets and quilts, then some repair on the base that supports each mattress. Foam rubber is covered with torn Con-Tact paper. I want to replace the Con-Tact paper, if I can find a suitable pattern.
In the meantime, I'm getting ideas for a quilt for Soren's baby brother, due in August. It's the Chinese "Year of the Horse." I'm looking for a cute horse image to use for designing an appliqué. I'm also ready to CO for another BSJ for the new baby. Even though he will have several BSJ hand-me-downs already from Soren, each child should have at least one knit just for him or her, I think.
The I-spy quilts and doll bedding don't count as UFOs, so I can't start a new knitting project or quilt until I finish one of the true UFOs in my pipeline. The Delectable Pathways definitely qualifies as a UFO, and I'm coming down the home stretch with that. I managed to get a few more leaves appliquéd on this week, and I keep reminding myself that this is the last panel. All the blocks are done, so when this panel is done, I can put the whole thing together and finish it. In the meantime, I have two quilts I'm hand-quilting, and they have been languishing, and another one partly pieced. There is also a Wedding-ring quilt partly pieced.
While finishing up my UFOs, I'm dreaming about the new projects I want to make. I have two kits and several patterns, all ready to go. One new one is the kit for CT's Lincoln's Log Cabin. And then there's the Clara's Journey quilt pattern.
These add to my collection of planned but unstarted projects, including the Treasure Chest quilt. The kit is in reds, blues and tans. There is also the Pine Burr quilt from McCall's Quilting, May/June 2012, only I plan on a different palette.
I have also picked out some Palette yarn for the Mary Tudor Cardigan in Alice Starmore's new Tudor Roses book. (Knitters, this book looks great on the coffee table!) I already have some of the yarn I need:
I'm going to use Palette in Brindle Heather (MC), Indigo Heather, Abyss Heather, Blue Note Heather, Toffee, Marine, Suede, Clematis Heather and Mulberry, listed in order of how much will be used. The photo shows what I already have on my stash. Missing from the photo are Abyss Heather, Indigo Heather, Toffee and Mulberry, and I will need more of the Brindle Heather and Marine Heather. 
I'm looking forward to seeing what I can finish this week. Stay tuned!
What's on my needles: The Yei Figures Bag, finishing up the embroidery and the duplicate stitch on the front. BSJ for BS2, Soren's little brother, due in August ready to CO. 
What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, no progress this week, but it's warming up, so it will be nice to work downstairs. 
What's on my Featherweight: Bedding for Daphne's dolly bunk beds. Mattresses and blankets done, sheets and two quilts still to go.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Mercedes Lackey's Arrows of the Queen was pretty good. I just finished The Girl in the Gatehouse, by Julie Klassen and have started another novel by Georgette Heyer, Sylvester. I'm watching "Stranded Colorwork, Basics and Beyond" from Craftsy.
What's my app of the week: KSL Weather, which I like better than the weather app that came with my iPhone. Our weather in Summit Park can vary a lot from that of Park City because of the difference in elevation and the location of the mountains. We have weather measuring equipment right here. KSL is a local TV station in Salt Lake City, but you can choose locations anywhere.
What's in my wine glass: Lelanau Cellars Autumn Harvest Premium Dry Red Table Wine, a Michigan wine. Dry and fruity. Surprising treat!
What's my tip of the week: When measuring for quilt borders, measure across the middle, vertically and horizontally, and cut the borders to that measurement, sewing one pair of borders on before measuring for the the other pair. Ease the fabric if needed when sewing them on. This usually ensures that your quilt will be square and doesn't resemble a potato chip, as the edges are more likely to be either larger or smaller than the middle of the quilt, and the edges may not match.
Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.