Monday, March 20, 2017

Life in the Steekhouse

Vroni’s “Lavender Fields” sweater is done.

It can be worn as a pullover or as a cardigan. The yarn is Knit Picks Palette.

Friends on Ravelry were clamoring for the pattern, which encouraged me to get it ready for publication as a free download. I had a great test knitter who talked me into making an entire chart for the body and one for the sleeves. Another friend suggested Stitch Fiddle, a free program (unless you add some bells and whistles). I found it to be very helpful. I came up with this, which is pretty much the entire body with the center steek sts and armhole steek border sts marked.

You may remember that last week, I tried the larger, green, sweater on Carter, the My Sibling/My Pal doll, and Janet’s Molly, an American Girl doll. It was pretty tight on both of them. That led me to design a new version with a bigger body but pretty much otherwise the same. I’m making it in blues for Carter to model, and  eventually it will go to Zachary Jr., hopefully in time for DGS1’s birthday next month. Here are the colors I’m using:

In the meantime, Carter is modeling a sweater for Zachary Jr., also in blues, for another Debonair Designs KAL, this one for boy dolls. (No steeks involved in this one.)

With thicker yarn, it went pretty fast. It's Knit Picks Wool of the Andes sport yarn.

You also may remember that Dolly got her ears pierced. (Yes, I know! They’re just stick-on.) Gabi and Vroni decided they wanted some rhinestone ear studs, too.

Vroni's holding her hair up, so you can see the stud in her ear. Gabi has taken to wearing a ribbon in her hair to show off her ears. 

Thursday’s Common Threads was cancelled, not because of snow, but because the only two people (besides me) left in town were taking a quilting class that morning at one of the quilt shops in Salt Lake City. I should be able to make it to Vintage Stitchers this week and hope to be sewing binding on the Kaleidoscope quilt.

The big event in my personal life was receiving the results from genetic testing on my brother through's program. We had my brother tested is because my results would only show my mother’s ancestry, which I had already had done through National Geographic. My brother and I have the same parents (so I’m told and have no reason to doubt), so his ancestry is the same as mine.

Most of it was similar to my mother’s result, with some percentages going up or down a little bit. It was appropriate that I got the results on St. Paddy’s Day, because I found out that I’m...29% Irish! I treated myself to a Guinness, served in a German beer glass. (The "Budweiser" on the glass is no relation to the American brewery. This was a Czech brand available in Germany, and we bought the glass in Frankfurt when we were there years ago.) We had vegetarian chili for supper, appropriate, I think, for a multi-cultural family.

Here’s the bulk of my genetic background: 34% English, Scottish or Welsh; 29% Irish, 23% Western European (probably German, based on family lore), 5% Scandinavian (not including Finnish), then a total of 7% made up of Finnish/Russian, Eastern European, Italian/Greek and less than 1% from the Iberian Peninsula. No Asian, Polynesian or Native American. (DH is 6% Native American, so that will have to suffice. I’ve been calling him “Sitting Bull.” You can probably figure that one out.) They present it like this, and then you click on the various ethnic groups to get more information:

The most interesting revelation, however, was that I’m 2% Senegal African. Given that my family lived in the deep South during slave days and kept slaves, the ancestor from Senegal was almost certainly an African slave. How my family members who lived at that time managed to hide a mixed-race child in a fairly patrician Southern family is beyond me. I sense a story there. I’m guessing they hid the baby, who must have appeared white, in an otherwise white family. It had to be on my father’s side, because it didn’t show up in my original results with only my mother’s DNA. For a person raised in the deep South in the early 20th Century, my father was pretty open-minded, but I still think he would have been shocked to learn he was 4% “negro,” as he would have said. I’m wondering how many Caucasian southerners have African blood and don’t know it. It’s interesting to ponder.

The snow is melting in our neck of the woods. We needed to get the pups out on Saturday for a run on the trails, though. They need more than just the walk around the block. Sunday we had the opera and Monday we were supposed to get either rain or snow, so it was “now or never” on Saturday. 

As usual, Dusty ran about four times the distance we covered, but Rocky surprised us by running back and forth a bit, too. He’s been on thyroid medication for nearly a month. We sort of feel as if there is a difference in his energy level. He get rechecked at the vet’s later today.

DH talked me into substituting YakTrax for my snowshoes for our "hike." Bad mistake. They’re great for keeping you from slipping on ice, but they don’t prevent post-holing (where your foot breaks through the surface of the snow and your leg goes down a few inches or up to your knee). I need to hang a tag on my YakTrax in case I’m tempted to do that again: “Save these for when you take that last, long trip across the snow.”

What's on my needles: Zachary Jr.’s “Blue Horizon” sweater.

What's on my Featherweight:
 Binding for Kaleidoscope quilt while waiting for next batch of steeks for “Zachary’s Blue Horizon” sweater.

What's on my loom: I still haven’t started anything with the leftover warp. Maybe if I gave my loom a name, I’d feel guilty.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is covered up in the corner. I’m ashamed to be so neglectful.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Lies, Damned Lies, and History by Jodi Taylor. Now reading The Professor by Robert Bailey. On the Kindle app, I’m still reading Dying to Read, The Cate Kinkaid Files Book #1.

What's in my wine glass: Lindeman’s Cawarra Shiraz-Cabernet, 2014 vintage.

What's my tip of the week: Have scraps of yarn or thin strips of cloth too small to use? Put them out on the deck or the rail, especially if you have a birdfeeder. If it isn’t nesting season where you are (and you live in the Northern Hemisphere), it soon will be. Birds will be looking for nesting materials, and fluffy little bits are just the ticket.

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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