Monday, January 4, 2016

The Power, Light and Heat

We’ve had very cold temps, hovering around 0°. Squeekers found some sun to warm up in on the back deck.
Sunny’s flat screen had good reception until it got dark. (It’s mostly bird and squirrel shows, but she enjoys them.)
We’re set up for cold temps, but the evening of New Year’s Day the power went off.

It was already dark. Stuff for dinner was in a.) the gas oven, which doesn’t work without power, b.) the electric oven, which, obviously, doesn't work without power and c.) the microwave oven that doesn’t…well, you get the picture. Of course, the TV went off during the Rose Bowl game. (Did Stanford win?) DH had to trim the oil lamps by candlelight. With no power, we had no heat for the house other than the gas stove downstairs and the fireplace in the living room. I had washed the tablecloth and set the table with the good dishes, but we weren’t going to be able to eat in there, because it was already getting cold when we were ready. The bright side: the bread was already baked (I use the bread machine to mix the dough and bake in the oven) and sitting on the cooling rack. The salad was made, and the salad dressing and the butter were already out on the table, so we didn’t have to open the fridge. The stuff in the ovens was close enough to being done that we could just leave the doors closed for a bit. We just had to wait until the power came back on to heat up the asparagus in the microwave. It made a nice dessert. Dinner turned out OK, even if we couldn’t really see what we were eating. I tried to knit by candlelight, but gave up and settled down with my iPad and the book I was reading on it.

I had finished the “Dolly Does Dinner” outfit for Dolly. Here it is with the bolero. I think Miss Daphne and Dolly's counterpart, Daphne Jr., will enjoy it when it arrives for her birthday in May.

I was ready to start on two new outfits, using the patterns “Crossover Cardigan Set” for "Dolly's Out for Shopping" and “Girly Tank Top Set” for "Dolly's Valentine Set" both from Ravelry designer Jacqueline Gibb using this yummy stuff I picked up at Wasatch & Wool on Wednesday. (The ribbon came from Michael’s, where I stopped before going on to the yarn store.)

The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in White, Ultra Marine, Yellow and Butter and Frog Tree Ewetopia with the romantic color name “1251.”

I’m participating in a KAL (knit along) on Ravelry in the American Girl Knitters group. We have to make a project between January 1st and 31st that has a heart and/or kiss somewhere on it (for Valentine’s Day). It has to be either a sweater and hat, or a dress, and it can be knitted, crocheted or hand-woven. We can use any colors we want. We get a free hat pattern if we finish, and all qualifying finishers will be included in a drawing. On top of that, several designers in the group have offered special deals on their patterns. I wanted to start something, but had to wait for January 1st to start the Valentine outfit, so I CO the houndstooth skirt from the other outfit (which doesn't meet the qualifications for the KAL). It was done the next day, a quick and fun knit, especially if you pay attention to the pattern instructions. On Friday, when it was legal, I CO the "Skinny Rib Top" from the other pattern, which fortunately also goes well with the houndstooth skirt. Dolly really wanted to get out of her party clothes. Here they are together.

We also ordered Dolly and Daphne Jr. "wig brushes," which have metal tines or spokes set in a rubber base, recommended for both American Girl and Madame Alexander Dolls, which is what Dolly and Daphne Jr. are.

What's on my needles:  The “Dolly’s Valentine Set” and “Dolly’s Out for Shopping” outfits for Dolly, working on the second skirt. Still the Trickle Socks, of course.

What's on my Featherweight: Still waiting on the last two blocks of the Kaleidoscope Quilt, as well as some underwear and other stuff for Dolly.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished An Irish Country Village by Patrick Taylor, then started The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley, both from Audible. Finished reading The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer on the Nook app, then started the The Other Harlow Girl by Lynn Messina on the Kindle app.

What's in my wine glass: Nathanson Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, the one with the frog on the label because I ended up having to frog the houndstooth skirt a couple of times because I misread a couple of lines in the pattern. (Not the designer’s fault. It was very clear.)

What's my tip of the week: If you live where the power goes off in the winter, it’s really good to have an alternative form of heat. Keep flashlights with fresh batteries, candles and matches and possibly oil lamps. More important, know where all this stuff is so you can find it by the light of your phone. Speaking of phone, keep it and other devices charged. It’s a good idea to have a backup power source. Ours has a plug like a car cigarette lighter that we can plug our charger cords into. You can also use it to start your car if the battery is dead. It’s a good idea to be prepared for power outages no matter where you live. Tornados, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes can all leave you without power. Be prepared.

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.

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