Monday, July 25, 2016

Tour de Fleece, Tour de Poodle….

The spinning for Tour de Fleece has been coming along. I’m well into the second bobbin of the lovely Waimea Rooster merino/Tencel fiber from AlohaBlu.

I also finished making the steeks for my “So-not-my-palette” cardigan. Here it is before I cut the steeks.

This shot shows how I trimmed the loose ends of yarn, rather than weaving them in, one of the advantages of steeks.

I picked up the sleeve stitches and started knitting the first sleeve, but I discovered a mistake in how I picked up the stitches, so off to the frog pond. With a new puppy in the house, the heat and the early sunrise, I haven’t been getting enough sleep, and the light wasn’t very good when I was picking them up, not to mention the distractions at Common Threads, where I was doing it. I got off by one vertical row of stitches on the last few inches of the front. Oh, well. I get to have the fun all over again! At least this time I know I’m doing it right.
Common Threads met on Thursday at Lynda’s. Margareth was working on this great shawl, the Homestead Shawl from Interweave Knits’ Gifts 2015 edition.

Janet was working on her Washington Park Shawl. She has started the border, which has some challenges, but I should be able to show off her finished shawl before too long.
Other people were working on socks, baby knitting and needlepoint.
Meanwhile in Puppy Land, Dusty continues to grow. Yesterday, at 12 weeks, he tipped the scales at 8.0 lbs. This shot shows Dusty on July 13th (left) and July 23rd (right), so you can see how much he has grown in that time. (Check out the height of the play yard fence.)

You can also see that his facial hair has grown (presumably all of his hair, but the facial hair really shows up). His “raccoon eyes” have become less pronounced. He goes for his first grooming (other than by the breeder) on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see what he looks like when I pick him up.
How has his nibs, The Dustball Dude managed this phenomenal growth? Of course, by eating, but also by sleeping a lot:

He also has been muscle-building by playing a lot with brother Rocky, whereby big brother just needs to stay still or move his head a bit. Sometimes he can even continue to nap:

Dusty has also had a couple of walks with the family:

And some water play. On Sunday, we threw a toy in that doesn't float. He hesitated, poked it with a paw a couple of times, and then went after it with his mouth. True to poodle form, the bubbles came out his nose as he retrieved it. Go, Dusty!

We finally figured out how to get Dusty to eat enough in the evening so he could get through the night.
The Little Dude had his puppy boosters on Tuesday, which means he’s less likely to get Parvo now. We are still being cautious, though, and cleaning the pups’ feet as well as our own with disinfectants after we have been out on the street, until he has his final puppy booster on August 16.
Because we have a trip coming up, and Dusty won’t have full immunity until 10 days after his next puppy shots, we decided to try to train him to use paper, which we can put down in the bathtub of our trailer, so his feet never have to touch the ground at rest stops (always a danger area, because dogs from all over use the area). We will only have Rocky’s feet to clean, and our shoes to slip off at the door to the trailer.
We have trained Dusty to go on demand, so it was easy to get him to go on paper once he was used to going on the ground outdoors. We just put him on the paper and said, "Make potty." (Now if we can just get him not to go anywhere else...but that will come.) He’s sleeping well at night, now that we have figured out that he just needed a big dinner in the evening.
We expect to be leaving on our trip east a week from today, but that’s flexible. I'm planning on delivering the "Seeing Stars" quilt to our daughter and SIL, and take some quilting books to DDIL1, but shhhhh! It's supposed to be a surprise. Dolly will go along, too, so Daphne can meet Daphne Jr.'s counterpart.
What's on my needles: The “So-not-my-palette Cardigan” steeks done. Still hand-quilting my Delectable Pathways quilt.
What's on my Featherweight: I used my machine for the steeks finished, and now my machine is put away again.
What's on my wheel: Still the Waimea Rooster Merino/Tencel from AlohaBlu, continuing to spin for the Tour de Fleece, making good progress on the second bobbin.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Thornwood House by Anna Romer, one of the best books I have ever listened to. It had everything: Adventure, suspense, mystery and romance coupled with interesting, very human characters, some Australian history, with beautiful language and a feast of the senses, with sights, sounds, smells and other sensations. Find out more here or here. I feel as if I had just visited Australia without the need of a plane ticket. Now listening to The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury, also from Audible. Still reading Remember This by Shae Buggs on the Kindle app on my iPad. 
What's in my wine glass: Lindemann’s Cawarra Shiraz-Cabernet 2014. Always a nice choice.
What's my tip of the week: Do you have hummingbird feeders? You don’t need to buy expensive feed for them. Boil water and mix it with sugar. Allow to cool at least until lukewarm. A ratio of 1 sugar to 4 water works. Use regular table sugar only (sucrose) from cane or beets. Never use honey or artificial sweeteners. Hummingbirds don’t need the vitamins nor especially the red dye in most commercial hummingbird feed.

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, July 18, 2016

Quilts and Other Fiber Adventures

Vintage Stitchers met at Rebecca’s on Thursday. Marilyn had made this sailboat quilt.

The back shows the quilting.

Brenda was making some towels for a friend who has Portugese Water Dogs.

She was also working on a kitty quilt using machine applique and embroidery.

Janet had made this great little project bag during the Stitching Society Group at Davidene’s.

Barbara inherited an old kit for this quilt designed by Anna for the original Whimsy Cottage.

She also made a 1600 quilt background for these flowers.

Rebecca and Barbara made these row-by-row quilt blocks that were part of a quilt shop hop project. The flowers are identical sets of precut pieces. The backgrounds are graduated fabrics cut apart and pieced back together.

Ellen has finished these hand-appliquéd house blocks from Home Sweet Home by Barb Adams and Alma Allen. (These blocks are from the book I got my mantle quilt from.)

Barbara had these fabrics for an Amish quilt for a long time. She repeated the same 16-patch block and used the leftover fabrics in the border and on the back.

Diane also did a repeat of one block for a completely different effect. This quilt has an antique look.

The backing fabric is a honeycomb with bees.

Carol had finished this sampler quilt, which she plans to drape over a chair.

Rebecca’s Pink Floyd has been quilted:

As well as the bunny.

Both are fused appliqué designs of Laura Heine. I spent the meeting hand-sewing the binding on Johan's I-spy quilt.
In other fiber news, my “So-not-my-palette” cardigan has grown by a couple of inches.

And the first bobbin of the “Waimea Rooster” singles is done for Tour de Fleece (TdF), with a start on the second.

I finished the hand-sewing for Johan’s I-spy quilt, and it's done.

The young man in question is in Mallorca with his parents, aunt and uncle, his brother and his cousin. Here he is shown here on the far left, sporting a new Spanish haircut, on his way to visit Ila Sa Dragonera, where there were lizards nowhere near the size of the Komodo Dragons we once saw, but still pretty cool. From left, Johan, Cousin Leo, Brother Soren and in the second row, Mom. (In the stern is an unidentified boat pilot.)

Of course, some of you are only reading this for an update on Dusty. We made it to Tuesday without mushroom incidents. Then he found the piece of mushroom I had thoughtlessly stupidly tossed back in the bushes on July 4th. It was dried up, but only half there. I couldn’t remember exactly how much of it was left from the incident the week before, so off to the vet’s office, where his stomach contents revealed no mushroom. That meant we didn't have to have him on a special diet for the next few days, because he hadn't ingested any toxins. I left the piece of mushroom with the vet, and she was going to see if she could identify it. She recommended that we get health insurance for Dusty, because she suspects he’s going to be a “very naughty boy.” Naughty, maybe, but stinkin' cute!

Now Dusty is only allowed in the backyard on his leash unless both human parents are present, one to throw the ball and one to guard the mushroom bush. This is speeding up his leash training. He and Rocky have been getting in some good play sessions, though, both with chasing the ball and pretend fighting.

Tuesday he gets his Parvo shot, and presumably can then begin taking actual walks on the street after it takes effect. In the meantime, nap times for the Little Dude and for me have been agonizingly short, as Rocky voices his concern every time a neighbor goes up and down the street in front of our house playing Pokémon GO. I’m afraid they are going to ask to come into my house soon!

What's on my needles: The “So-not-my-palette Cardigan” some progress made. Still hand-quilting my Delectable Pathways quilt.
What's on my Featherweight: Binding for Johan’s I-spy quilt is finished, and my machine put away…for now.
What's on my wheel: Still the Waimea Rooster Merino/Tencel from AlohaBlu, continuing to spin for the Tour de Fleece, now on the second bobbin.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished A Study in Sable by Mercedes Lackey and now reading Thornwood House by Anna Romer, both from Audible. Still reading Remember This by Shae Buggs on the Kindle app on my iPad. 
What's in my wine glass: Charles Shaw (aka Two-buck Chuck, or in this case, $2.99) Merlot, which is good and we have in good supply, thanks to our trip to Nevada.
What's my tip of the week: If you have a puppy who likes to chew (drawer pulls, slippers, etc.), get some Bitter Apple and spray it on anything you want to protect without having to watch all the time. Some pups don't care, but most won't chew because they don't like the taste. Fabric (like your jeans legs) may need more applications. If all else fails, order some chain mail from

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, July 11, 2016

Fiber Fun and Fiber Animals (If You Count Poodles)

I know you’re only reading this blog for this:

However, some other things happened this past week. I picked up Johan’s I-spy quilt. Here’s the front (there are a few fiber animals, but you have to look closely):

…and the back:

Just the binding to go, and I can send it off.
Common Threads met at Julie’s this week. Julie had completed a couple of cross-stich pieces. This is her Halloween Fairy.

This one is more for the current season.

She’s working on an afghan for her little place in southern Utah. It’s worked in strips. Here’s what she has done:

The pattern is from Building in Color by Michelle Hunter
Remember the animals from Little Cotton Rabbits several of us made? Julie has made a tree house for her granddaughters. They each can have a side for their animals to live in.

Susan showed us these towels she wove. 

There were three, but she had already given one to a friend. She used the same warp for all three, but just changed the weft. It makes me want to get back to weaving.
The spinning for Tour de Fleece (TdF) is coming along, though. I’m working my way through the AlohaBlu Waimea Rooster merino and Tencel. With a new little one under foot, it’s going very slowly, but he does take naps, and occasionally one of those will allow me to spin (or knit, or take a shower). Here’s a look at my progress:

And I have made some progress on my “So-not-my-palette” Cardigan. Every strip is just a little different, with the colors rearranged slightly. It's fun.

In other fiber fun, a Ravelry friend sent this crocheted dress for Lauren the Habitat Girl, the doll to be in the silent auction for Habitat for Humanity Park City’s Overall Ball in October.

It was fun for her (the crocheter), I know, but also nice of her to donate her time and creativity to make Lauren a nice new outfit to add to the wardrobe for the auction. 
So back to Mr. Adorable. Things are going well, since the incident a week ago, when the little dude apparently decided that eating a piece of mushroom would make him grow faster, à la Alice in Wonderland. Fortunately, I had been following him around, taking leaves, sticks and even rocks out of his mouth, so I immediately realized that he had tried to eat the mushroom. Part of it was missing. Most mushrooms are at least a little toxic to dogs, if not outright poisonous. We jumped in the car and raced down to Utah Veterinary Center (UVC), about 35-40 minutes away. They immediately induced vomiting, found there was indeed a small piece of mushroom in his stomach, then sent us home with some medication and special diet food for a couple of days, because even though they thought they got it in plenty of time, if any toxin had gone into his system, it could cause tummy problems. I needed a stiff drink when we got home, but it was only lunchtime. I wondered how the rest of the day would go.
The next day, Dusty had his regular puppy checkup with our new local vet, who had received a call with a full report from the UVC vet. The three parents (two-legged and four-legged) sat and waited for the results of the evaluation. He was pronounced healthy. No worms, of course, and an excellent bite (which we had already experienced)! He could start his heart worm medication when Rocky got his, and then shots on July 19th. After that, we could leave town if we want (we do).
Wednesday, I took the pups with me to the Farmers’ Market, where DH runs a voter-registration booth every summer. He had had minor surgery right before our trip to Nevada and wasn’t supposed to lift anything heavy with his left hand, so I needed to help him set up. Then I went with the pups to visit our groomer, so Dusty could get acquainted with her before he actually needs grooming. He is already used to being groomed, but she’s a new person to him. They got along great, of course.
Thursday I had Common Threads in the morning, an appointment for my annual check with my dermatologist followed by a trip to pick up Johan’s I-spy quilt from the quilt shop. Of course, Dusty couldn’t go along, so it was a guys’ bonding day. Everyone survived without me—a good sign.
Friday morning, Dusty decided he wanted to get up first at 3:20 AM, then again at 4:00. The first time he needed to potty, which he did nicely. The second time I’m not sure, but he did potty again and get a drink. Then he wanted to play. (Sigh!) As I finished my coffee, I noticed it was getting quiet. This is what I saw when I looked down.

Friday Dusty and I went to PetCo for a wire play yard, so I can sit out on the deck with the dogs and not have to worry about the little dude squeezing through the rail and falling to the ground, a drop of 8-12’ depending on where he went through. The last two puppies were born in August, and we picked them up in the late fall. By the time it was nice enough for us to use the deck, they were too big to fit under the rail and slide off or through the vertical posts and escape to danger. This is a new situation. We could have put chicken wire around the whole deck, but the wire "play yard" can go with us camping, too, and it was easier to set up. 
We also stopped in at The Barking Cat, to get another bully stick for Rocky (Dusty will probably chew on it a bit, but the big guy will undoubtedly polish it off) and one long beef trachea for both dogs, which DH had to saw in two, cheaper than buying two. (While I’m vegetarian by choice, I don’t enforce that with my dogs. Unlike cats, dogs can thrive on a vegetarian diet, because they can utilize vegetable protein, but finding good dog food from totally vegetarian sources is difficult. At least things like leather chews, tracheas, bully sticks, etc., are byproducts of meat consumption. The animal isn’t being killed just to get its hide or its trachea. Meat is a major source of the impurities, chemicals, etc., we consume in our diets, though, so I make sure the dogs’ food and chew toys come from sources as pure as possible. Our dogs love their veggies (“carrot” works better for Rocky than “come”), but they do get meat in their dog food.
Our boys play well together, but Rocky is in charge and gets first dibs on any toy or chewy. He doesn’t hog everything, though. When he wants what Dusty has, he brings another toy he thinks is just as good and put it down in front of Dusty before he takes Dusty’s toy away. The little dude switches to the new toy and seems just as happy, or it becomes a competitive game with it, which is also fun. There's lots of snarling and snapping, but they both enjoy it, and no one gets hurt.

It's nice to have a huge fenced wilderness, even if we have to watch for mushrooms and other inedible things growing, living, possibly dying, in among the bushes. The pups enjoy running together up and down the little trail we have. (This is the best I could do. They usually move so fast, they're just a blur.)

The new play yard is nice, with the deck ceiling fan going full blast to keep the biting deer flies away. Here are my three guys relaxing on the deck together.

Saturday: One more puppy anecdote. I’ve been taking both dogs together out to potty after breakfast. On Saturday, Rocky lifted his leg and Dusty went to get a closer look. (It's all about the technique, you know.) Peed-on puppy was the result. On his head and clear down his back. Well, it was time for a bath anyway, because Dusty smelled…well, dusty. Into a dishpan with nice warm water and baby shampoo, a thorough rinse and then into the play yard in the sun for some solar drying. Drying took about 15 minutes. (Notice he had the option of playing in the sun or in the shade; dogs should always have access to shade.) He mostly chose the sun until he was dry.

What was left was a nice fluffy puppy (after brushing). 

What's on my needles: Still hand-quilting the “Delectable Pathways” quilt. Back to working on the “So-not-my-palette Cardigan” with the car travel.
What's on my Featherweight: Binding for Johan’s I-spy quilt.
What's on my wheel: Still the Waimea Rooster Merino/Tencel from AlohaBlu, continuing to spin for the Tour de Fleece. 
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Reading A Study in Sable by Mercedes Lackey from Audible. Still reading Remember This by Shae Buggs on the Kindle app on my iPad. Franklin Habit’s blog. Always worth reading, but especially good this week:
What's in my wine glass: Charles Shaw (Two-buck Chuck) Merlot. Replenished supply, thanks to our trip to Nevada, where it’s actually $2.99. (In California it’s $1.99, thus the name.)
What's my tip of the week: When you pack for a trip, be sure you have enough yarn and the right needles or an alternate project before you get on the plane. It’s a little embarrassing to have the flight attendant announce that you need a size 3.5mm 24” circular needle, and does anyone have one you can borrow. (Just ask me how I know!) You don’t want to be at 35,000’ on a transatlantic flight with no knitting (or alternative project).

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.