Monday, June 27, 2016

Quilting and Doll Clothes

Quilts! Vintage Stitchers met this week at Marilyn’s.

Brenda showed us this great quilt in pastels. It’s “Good Night, Irene,” from Missouri Star’s Block, Spring 2015. Marilyn made the same quilt in her usual bright palette.

Rebecca showed us some examples of a fusible appliqué style developed by Laura Heine (see link below), first this bunny… 

…and then this flamingo, which she calls “Pink Floyd:”

It took hours and hours just to cut out the pieces to make up the flamingo. The pattern is by Laura Heine at Fiberworks

Marilyn’s had finished this machine appliqué. The raw edges are covered with satin stitch.

Brenda had machine-embroidered this dish towel with a recipe for meat loaf.

I spent the meeting working on this version of my “Everyday Play” dress, my own pattern, which is available on Ravelry as a free download. I used a sock yarn Rebecca had given me. I think it’s Paton’s Stretch, now discontinued, but I couldn’t figure out the colorway. 

As you may remember from last week’s blog post, someone from Habitat for Humanity has asked me to clothe a doll (which she purchased) for the silent auction to be held at Habitat’s Overall Ball in October. I enjoy making doll clothes, so I saw this as a way to have some fun and contribute to a worthy organization at the same time. Of course, she wanted the doll to wear some…overalls.

Here’s a closeup of the top-stitching:

The pattern is a hybrid I developed from the Liberty Jane’s Boot Cut Jeans pattern and the bib from McCall’s 2506 Crafts pattern, which I’ve had since DGD1 was little in the late ‘90s. The T-shirt was from a free online pattern I had found here

I used a cotton jersey for the T-shirt and the skirt shown with this jacket.

The skirt and jacket were both from the McCall’s pattern. The jacket called for self-lining, but I thought that would be too thick, so I used a quilting fabric to line it with. To avoid having raw edges on the inside, I made two “jackets,” one out of the fleece outer fabric, and one out of the lining. Then I sewed them, right-sides together, along one side of the bottom, up the front, around the hood and down the other side, then back along the bottom, leaving an opening large enough to turn the whole thing right-side out. I stuck the sleeve lining through the sleeves and sewed the bottom shut by hand, then top-stitched the whole thing. The photo above was taken before I got the zipper for it on Thursday and sewed it in. The zipper was too long, so I cut it off at the top, stitching satin stitch over the teeth at the very top after I sewed it in place. Here it is with the zipper:

From Fancywork and Fashion’s Best Doll Clothes Book by Joan Hinds and Jean Becker, I got the pattern for shorts and a top. 

The shorts are corderoy, very simple. The top was supposed to be self-lined, but since I was using two different fabrics (quilting scraps), it ended up reversible. With the Velcro fastening in back, it looks the same and closes the same either side out. Here it is with the other side out.

The skirt was a rectangle of quilting fabric I had, with the eyelet trim attached and elastic at the waist. No pattern needed. Of course, no self-respecting doll would sleep in her clothes, so here’s her nightie:

Of course, Lauren needed some lingerie. The panties were made from the cuff of a girls’ lace-trimmed sock. I used the foot of the sock for the camisole, adding the lace and ribbon.

Remember the sisters dresses I knitted for Dolly and Gabi? 

Gabi’s dress and apron went off to Daphne Jr. and since Daphne Jr. doesn’t need two almost-identical dresses, Dolly kept hers. When Lauren came to live with us, Dolly decided to give the dress to her. Lauren looks great in it. 

Summer is here (until the next snowfall, at least). We decided we should get some hiking in before we have Dusty in tow, so we hiked Toll Canyon up to the Fairy Tree. It was 3.6 miles, mostly in the shade, with plenty of water along the way for Rocky.

Next week: Dusty! We pick him up on Friday.

What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt. No progress on the “So-not-my-palette Cardigan” this week while I made doll clothes.
What's on my Featherweight: Put away after finishing the doll clothes.
What's on my wheel: Still the Waimea Rooster Merino/Tencel from AlohaBlu, no progress this week.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to The Selection by Kiera Cass. It’s clearly unfinished, so you have to buy the next book. It was interesting, but I’m not sure I want to get the rest of the series. Now listening to Woof by Spencer Quinn from Audible, actually a book for pre-teen kids, but told from a dog’s point of view, which makes it a fun listen. Still reading Remember This by Shae Buggs on the Kindle app on my iPad.
What's in my wine glass: Nathanson Creek Merlot. The big bottle.
What's my tip of the week: My kitchen isn’t huge, but it takes more than a few steps from one end to the other. I use my kitchen shears a lot, so I keep an extra pair in another drawer at the other end of the kitchen.

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, June 20, 2016

Doing for Others

I've made some progress on the "So-not-my-palette Cardigan." 

The palette is starting to grow on me. (The Palette yarn has been growing on me ever since I first encountered it.) The arrow points to the armhole steek stitches, so you can see I have at least a couple of inches of steek stitches done. The front opening steek is to the left in the photo.

In the meantime, I've also started the "Everyday Play" dress for the Modern Girl Lauren doll for the silent auction at the Habitat for Humanity's annual Overall Ball.

I've also started sewing the overalls, which I'm making out of denim. I'm using the jeans pattern I used for Daphne Jr.'s jeans and adding a bib. I want to get all the doll sewing done before Dusty comes to live with us, so I don't have to lock him up in his crate just so I can keep him out of trouble while I sew.

Speaking of Dusty, we're starting to get ready for him. I picked up a new toothbrush for Rocky, because his old one was wearing out. It's a human baby toothbrush for up to two years, and we use it with peanut flavored doggy toothpaste, which can be swallowed. Yum! Rocky uses a blue toothbrush. Sunny's was pink. I tried to find a baby toothbrush in a color  other than pink for Dusty, but the best I could do with this:

It's pink, blue and yellow, but I don't think Dusty will mind. It's a Winnie-the-Pooh toothbrush, and it has a picture of Piglet on it. We plan on starting with plain water in the beginning. Dusty won't really need his baby teeth cleaned; it's just so he gets used to having his teeth brushed as part of his routine. (Only the outside edges of a dog's teeth need cleaning, so we hold the muzzle closed, stick the toothbrush between the lips, and brush. No tongue to get in the way. I learned this from the vet.) I've found that it's a struggle to brush a dog's teeth once a week, as recommended, but if it's done at bedtime every night, it becomes part of their routine. In this case, more is better, right?

Common Threads met at Karan's on Thursday. Joanie brought her bat, which you've already seen, and this hedgehog.

She has taught Ana, her caregiver, to knit. Ana was already an accomplished crocheter, so she took to it right away. This is going to be a poncho for her mother.

Margareth has been making sweaters for her new grandson. Here's another one finished.

Remember this shawl Karan made? 

She located the pattern for me. It's Color Affection by Veera Välimäki.

I spent a couple of hours with Joanie on Friday afternoon. I started the dress for Lauren, while Joanie worked on an afghan square with bobbles. While I was showing her how to make the bobbles, we discovered that she had missed a line in the instructions saying to start with row 2 of the pattern, so she and I went to the frog pond. (When all else fails, read the directions.)

Saturday I went with people from Therapy Animals of Utah to Camp Hobé, a camp for kids whose lives are impacted by cancer. It gives them a little time as normal kids. It's located in Tooele, Utah, about an hour's drive west of Salt Lake City. I went "unleashed," my participation intended to honor Sunny, our registered therapy dog. I was there to drive, to help and to take photos. My favorite photo was this one of a child's reaction to being kissed by a dog, in this case, Joanna's cockapoo Smokey.

A visit to Camp Hobé was the only time Sunny had "professional" interaction with children, and she always enjoyed it. I was a little sad to be there without her, but it made me happy to be able to do something in her honor. Our DIL2 made a donation to Camp Hobé in Sunny's memory. If you're looking for a worthwhile charity to support, click on the link above. Also, you can "Like" their Facebook page here:

What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt. Progress on the “So-not-my-palette Cardigan,” Lauren's "Everyday Play" dress and overalls for Lauren.
What's on my Featherweight: Started on doll clothes for Lauren.
What's on my wheel: Still the Waimea Rooster Merino/Tencel from AlohaBlu, now working on the big “cheese wheel” 8oz braid of roving.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Terry Brooks’  The Sword of Shannara. Then I listened to Diet Cults by Matt Fitzgerald. Very interesting. Then listened to The Selection by Kiera Cass. Now I'm on What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris. All of these were from Audible. Still reading Remember This by Shae Buggs on the Kindle app on my iPad.
What's in my wine glass: Nathanson Creek Merlot.
What's my tip of the week: When you're hand-quilting, if you have trouble making a knot you can pop through to the inside when you've finished with the thread and need to rethread your needle, put the needle through the batting after the last stitch and work it past the last few stitches, first on one side and then on the other. After about an inch, cut your thread and use the tip of your quilting needle to reach through the batting and swish the cut end of the thread back down into the batting.

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, June 13, 2016

'Round and 'Round

I found time to knit this week. 

I have about 2” to go before I have to start the armhole steeks on my “So-not-my-palette Cardigan.” It’s fun playing with the colors, and the palette is growing on me. The pattern for the construction is the “Palette Fair Isle Cardigan” by Kathleen Taylor, but I’m using motif patterns from Alice Starmore’s book, Charts for Color Knitting. I’m using some single 50g balls of yarn as accents and was worried about having enough yarn to do what I want, so I weighed the ball after I used each color to work several rounds. I divided the amount used by the number of rounds worked in that color. All of the rounds seemed to use less than 1g, so I will use that as a guide as I knit. All of the yarn is Knit Picks Palette.
Common Threads met at my house (since I can only host when it’s unlikely to snow). Janet just needs the pompom for this hat:

She's using one of the Noro yarns. I'll try to get the name of the pattern next time. It's almost as colorful as my cardigan, only the yarn does all the colorwork.
Someone from Habitat for Humanity has asked me to dress this doll:
She is Lauren from Modern Girls, sold at Michael’s. The patterns for clothes for 18” dolls should fit her with little trouble, but we will be doing "fittings." The person from Habitat also bought a trunk to hold her and her clothes. They want her to have some overalls for the Overall Ball, but the rest is my decision. I’ll Probably make her one or more of my knitted patterns. Of course, she will need a nightie or PJs and a jacket or coat.
Pollen took over my world for a good part of the week. By Wednesday, when we got home from the Farmers' Market after working our shift registering voters, I could hardly stand to be around Rocky, because his coat was full of dust and pollen from visiting the back yard wilderness and lying in the shade under the back of the car at the Farmers' Market. He went right into the sink for a bath, and stood in the solar dog dryer until he was dry enough to come back inside.
For a couple of days after his bath, I didn't let him play in our "forest." To do his business, we took him out to the road on the leash and kept him out of bushes. Saturday it rained hard, taking most of the pollen with it, so he can go out in the back again.
Sunday DH and I participated in a “renewal of vows” celebration at church. One couple had decided to do it and then they opened it up to any other couples who wanted to participate. We had wonderful music (with the addition of some “pro” singers) and coffee hour was catered. The best part was that DH surprised me by wearing his wedding. When he had surgery, they made him take it off, and he couldn't get it back on. Sunday it fit. It must be a sign.
For this week’s cuteness, here are Soren and Johan getting in touch with their Scandinavian roots by checking out the Finnish flag at the Scandinavian Festival. They get Finnish from our side and Swedish and Norwegian from the other side.
Dusty is six weeks old as of Sunday. We will be driving to Nevada in three weeks to pick him up. Here's what he looks like now:

What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt. Progress on the “So-not-my-palette Cardigan.”
What's on my Featherweight: Ready for more doll clothes.
What's on my wheel: Still the Waimea Rooster Merino/Tencel from AlohaBlu, but now started on the big “cheese wheel” 8oz braid of roving.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Still listening to Terry Brooks’  The Sword of Shannara. It’s a long one, but keeps me interested. Still reading Remember This by Shae Buggs on the Kindle app on my iPad.
What's in my wine glass: Gato Negro Malbec. The big bottle. 2015 vintage. (Wine in our cellar never spoils with time.
What's my tip of the week: For between washings, a dog (or cat) can be wiped down with a damp cloth after brushing to remove dust and pollen. Nature's Miracle makes a Dander Remover & Body Deodorizer that works well. You can spray it directly on your pet and rub into the fur/hair, or you can spray it onto a cloth and wipe your pet down. Poodles don't have dander and don't usually have a bad smell, even a long time after a bath, but they do pick up pollen and dust, and a product like this seems to help. You can get it at pet stores and online. There are other brands that do the same thing.

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, June 6, 2016

Adventures in Color

This week saw some progress in spinning the Waimea Rooster Merino and black Tencel roving from AlohaBlu.

I’m loving the colors in the singles. Sometimes my bobbin looks gold, then it’s blue, then a purplish pink. Never boring.
I’m getting ready for Tour de Fleece, which starts July 2nd to coincide with the Tour de France. (While they’re spinning bicycle wheels, we’ll be spinning fiber.) The Knitting Community Orphans will have a team on Ravelry. We’re focusing on AlohaBlu fiber in this first participation, and she has designed the special colorways for us: “The Frog Prince” and “Knitting Community Orphans,” both based on the photos from our Ravelry group. You can participate with any fiber, but a bunch of us will be using AlohaBlu fiber. It should be fun.
Common Threads met at my houseon Thursday. Karan brought this lovely shawl for show and tell:

Everyone was knitting. It was a companionable meeting, as they usually are.
I had planned on spinning, since we met at my house and I was expecting a small turnout at first, but at the last minute several other people were able to join us. It would have been a bit crowded with my wheel out in the room, so I worked on the ribbing for my “So-not-my-palette Cardigan.” Since then I have made more progress and am into the colorwork section.

I'm using this pattern by Kathleen Taylor for sizing and shaping directions, but with colorwork patterns chosen from Alice Starmore's book, Charts for Color Knitting.
The next band of pattern will be bright green and a very dark green. I can hardly wait to start on it. After that will come a band of several shades of gold.
Speaking of colors, we thought the puppy we were considering was going to be blue. Last Sunday, we decided we liked one of the boys better than the other and made our pick. We shot the breeder an email to let her know we would take him, if he was still available. She emailed back saying that she had just finished grooming all four pups in the litter. Oops! The guy we picked is going to be silver instead of blue. Did we care? Actually, that’s better. He will still be a color that doesn’t show the dirt from the trail so much, but he will be easier to see in dim light as we get older. Here’s a link to poodle colors. (Scroll down to find silver.) Silver, blue and black all come into the world black. The puppies that won’t remain black have some white hairs among the black hairs between the pads on their feet. As the pup grows up, he will lighten until he reaches his designated color. They call this “clearing.” In miniatures (like ours) it can take a couple of years to “clear.” In standards the change happens even more slowly. The hair on the feet and face are the first to show the lighter color. At four weeks, there should have been some lightening in his face for a blue, but it was quite a bit more than should have been the case, thus the surprise. Here’s our little guy after grooming a week ago.

His blue siblings have much darker faces.
We are officially the owners of half of this pup. I’m not sure whether the half we own is the intake half or the output half, but we don’t have to look after him yet, so it doesn’t really matter. We have named him Dusty. We plan on picking him up July 1st.
The decision-making process has been an adventure. First, we had to decide how soon to add another dog to the family, then pick the right one. We consulted a pet psychic to help answer these questions. She told us Sunny still hangs out with Rocky, so he doesn’t miss her, but he misses her warm body. He was OK with waiting to get another dog until later on…at first. We were looking at a litter of four that had the two “blue” boys and one blue girl. Rocky did not want the white boy in the litter, because he was “bossy.” The breeder confirmed that the white boy was the first born and was the alpha. Rocky liked the girl first, but by the time we found that out, she was taken. We thought he just wanted a girl and had made up our minds to wait for the next litter, but then the pet psychic said Rocky had contacted her and had decided he liked the two boys, too. She asked us if we were drawn to either of the boys more than the other, which we were. Although they looked identical in the photo, we both liked the one on the right better.
While I was waiting to hear from the breeder whether that boy was still available, Rocky started pulling on my pants leg and dancing in a circle. He was clearly excited and trying to tell me something. Then my iPad went “ding,” indicating I had an email. It was from the breeder, telling me the boy we preferred was still available, but he was going to be silver. Rocky seemed to be telling me, “We’re getting a puppy!” 
Speaking of Rocky…and colors…he is a lovely basic black. Here’s a photo of him right after his grooming appointment on Monday.

For an older dog (11+ years), he's still pretty dark. 
We have been doing some walks and hikes, because the weather has warmed up and is nice. (It’s about time!) It could still snow, but that becomes less likely every day.

What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt. Working on the “So-not-my-palette Cardigan.”
What's on my Featherweight: Still waiting for the next project.
What's on my wheel: Still the Waimea Rooster Merino/Tencel from AlohaBlu.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Split Second by David Baldacci. It was interesting, typical Baldacci. Now listening to Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara. It’s a long one, but is interesting so far. Reading Remember This by Shae Buggs on the Kindle app on my iPad.
What's in my wine glass: Glenn Ellen 2014 Merlot in the big bottle. It has been one of those weeks.
What's my tip of the week: If you’re knitting a pullover or steeked (cut open after knitting) sweater on circular needles and want to try it on, just put half of the stitches on another circular needle. Then it can be slipped over the intended recipient’s head to check for size. If you change needle size from the ribbing to the body, you can do this without any extra work. Just stop working the first row with the larger size when you reach the halfway point.

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.