Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Boomerang

It has been a great trip, and soon we will be starting on the return trip, which won't take as long. The trip from Utah to Indiana by way of Montana, South Dakota and Wisconsin was like going from A to B by way of C. Our trip home beginning Friday morning will be from B back to A, so we shouldn't take as long. It has been a great trip. The best part was the engagement of our DD (Karen) to one of the greatest guys we know (David). Seeing them happy together is a delight. Here's what they look like together:



This was taken aboard the La Crosse Queen, during the short cruise we all took together up the Mississippi River. That was a fun trip. We saw turtles sunning themselves and a bald eagle sitting in a tree, among other things. It was fun spending time with DD Karen during our time in Wisconsin.



The cute old guy standing behind Karen in this photo is my DH, Charlie. If the two of them look Finnish, there's good reason. DH's mother came from Finland. Rocky and Sunny had a good time meeting David's dog, Baxter, and Karen's kitty, Fluffy. Mum and Dad enjoyed the visit to a couple of wineries, including one that uses apples along with the grapes for a unique wine. The visit at the winery was really interesting, too. The old fellow who makes the wine and runs the winery was very interesting. We saw some cute old towns in that part of Wisconsin.
While I was there, I got some knitting done. Oooo, I'm getting close on the Kristi socks. Sock #2 is almost half done. Here's how far I got:



We made it from Wisconsin to Indiana in one day. We found a KOA really close to Mishawaka with full hookups, big trees, a great doggie playground with wooden log play equipment just for dogs and other great amenities. Rocky and Sunny met their ? (niece and nephew?), our DS the elder's and DIL's two Westies, Coco and Odie. Today we took them to the regular dog park, where they got to run, run, run!



The human in the photo is our DS the elder, Tim. We were surprised to see that he had shaved the top of his head. He inherited the semi-baldness from my father, that left him with about eight hairs to comb over. It was a surprise, but I think it was a good solution to the problem of what to do with those eight hairs!
After we wore out the dogs at the dog park, we took them home to Tim and Patty's and left them in their individual crates, so we could go to Shipshewana, which is an Amish community. There we had lunch and wandered around, checking out the sights, which included a number of horse and buggy combinations. Here are Tim and Patty at lunch:



Patty is an avid quilter, so we looked for quilting fabrics and inspiration. I picked up a set of John Flynn templates and instructions for making a double wedding ring quilt. I wonder who gets that? The quilt, I mean. Patty found lots of inspiration:



We had dinner at Tim and Patty's this evening, and Rocky and Sunny got to play with Coco and Odie again, and pester the cat, Thomas. Tomorrow, I get to cook for them. Tim has to work, so we will go to see the store where he is manager, and then play with the dogs and knit or talk quilting until supper time. In the evening, Tim is going to try to clean my computer and see if it helps with the overheating problem. We bought the DVD of Coraline, our DS the younger's film (well, he worked on it anyway), which they haven't seen yet. I'm hoping to get the Kristi socks finished during the trip back. If I have internet along the way, I will try to post. --P

Monday, July 20, 2009

Great News!

Hello, friends! I'm posting from Hardin, MT, where we have a nice little spot in a KOA with full hookups! I'll get to an update on my current knitting, along with what I've been up to, but first my good news! [Drumroll, please.]
Our daughter is engaged! We found out yesterday. Not fully unexpected, but still wonderful news.The best news is that our prospective SIL is a wonderful guy, and he proposed in a way that was really sweet and unexpected. She deserves a great guy. (She's kissed a lot of frogs, and not because she's spent much time at the frog pond, although she is a knitter.) They have been engaged since Tuesday, and we didn't find out until Sunday, because we had no signal on our phone where we were camping out in the boonies.
Speaking of our trip, here's a photo of our hotel:


It was in a little town a few miles south of Wise River, MT. They even have an LYS. Here's a photo of it:


The only trouble was the nosy neighbors and the mosquitos. Here's one of the nosy neighbors:


Actually, that was a ghost town. The nosy neighbors were marmots. The LYS had no yarn, and we didn't stay in the hotel, as attractive as it was. Here's where we actually stayed. The dog is our dogs' cousin, Onslow. He's adopted, so he doesn't look anything like our poodles.


We just left our BIL and SIL in Missoula yesterday. They were taking a bicycle trip, and we're heading eastward to see our newly-engaged DD (trip already planned before we got the news), and DS the elder. I'll try to check in if I can get internet.
What's on my needles: Lots and lots! However, most significant are: my Kristi socks! One down, one to go (less one inch already done), and the shell to go with my CLC, which is about 2" now. I love how the Shimmer Sunkissed looks knitted in st st double stranded! Here's my first Kristi:

Here's another view:



I'll try to check in when we have internet. It may not be until Wisconsin, but it all depends. In the meantime, everyone buy the DVD of Coraline today! (Available July 21st, today!) Our DS the younger helped make it, and it's a great film! Not that I'm biased or anything!
Well, I have to plan a wedding quilt! -P

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Missing Spinning

As you read this, I am on the road, hopefully knitting in the back seat with Sunny, or enjoying the outdoors with the whole family. IF I didn't take my spinning wheel (my lovely, adorable, efficient and user-friendly Kromski Sonata), I am missing spinning very much. My thoughts drift back to my last spinning meeting at Linda's:



As you can see, it was a nice day. Sunny and pleasantly warm. Lynda is spinning yummy merino wool on her Majacraft wheel. (I don't know the name of the model.) Here's another view:



This was the day Linda (shown in the next photo on the right, not to be confused with Lynda, left) decided to try everyone's wheels. She has a Louet, a very basic model, and it has been difficult for her to spin with. It has very few adjustments you can make, but leaves all adjustments up to the spinner to accommodate for the kind of fiber and the type of yarn desired. She's looking for a new wheel, either a different model Louet or a different brand, so she's getting ideas from all her spinning buddies.



Linda is processing the fiber from her alpacas. You probably saw the shearing a few weeks back (see my blog "Shear Terror").
My lovely Sonata can be seen on the far left, sporting its new WooLee Winder, which has made life so much simpler for me. I'm almost done with my Coopworth hand-dyed roving. I'm thinking of making the Landscape Shawl with it, but I may change my mind. After I finish with it, I want to start on the fiber I dyed using Kool Aid and food coloring. I think it would make a nice sweater, using white and natural brown to compliment the colors from the dying process: dusty blue, burnt orange and taupe. All of it is Corriedale, and it's all in batts except for the natural brown. As much as I love vacations, if I can't take my wheel, I will actually be looking forward to coming home, so I can spin. I also plan on (shhhh!) making some hand-spun yarn for some dear friends for Christmas.
What's on my needles? Well, definitely, the Kristi sock! At the time I was writing this, I had about an inch to go before the toe shaping on the first sock. I will CO for the second right away, because this sock is so much fun. I'm also taking my Cable Net sock started last year, although it takes a lot of concentration, and I may not be able to get much done, with all the distractions of travel. My Sipalu Bag just needs the top border, and my current purse is driving me nuts! (It takes two hands to close.) I definitely will be working on it on the trip. I also have the Grazing Sheep Bag to CO and maybe finish, if I get rolling (other than rolling in the truck). Finally, I plan on casting on for the shell to go with my CLC. I wound the lovely Shimmer yarn in Sunkissed yesterday, so it's all ready to go. It will be simple, almost mindless knitting in the round up to the armholes, with a little bit of ribbing in the middle of the front. Easy to work on when something distracting is going on. I packed some new sock yarn, just in case I'm not in the mood for one of these projects. No quilting this trip. My right thumb hurts when I quilt, so it isn't worth taking the bed-size quilt, which is my current quilting project. I work on it from time to time, but can't do it for more than an hour.
Where am I going, you ask? First, we're going up to Montana for a few days with DH's brother and our SIL, who also have a trailer. Then we head eastward, through South Dakota, with the goal of reaching Onalaska, Wisconsin, where DD lives. After a visit there, we'll move on to Mishawaka, Indiana, to visit DS the elder. (DS the younger lives in Portland.) We hope to see some sights along the way, do some hiking and have fun with the dogs.
I'll be taking lots of photos, of course! I hope to be able to log on from DD's or DS's homes, but we'll see. Don't worry about me if you don't hear from me for several weeks, though. All of you will be in my thoughts. Happy knitting! --Peggy

Monday, July 6, 2009

Catching Up...


I've been working with my new camera, taking photos of my completed quilts. It's fun to see the quilts show up so much like real life. Here's what my bedroom looks like right now. The quilt on the bed is a replica of the quilt that was on my bed when I was growing up in Jamaica Plain, MA.
At least, it's close to what I remember the quilt to look like. I didn't learn until years later that the fabrics were from the '30s, so the fabrics at least were already a few years old at the time.


I hand-appliqued the wagon wheels and blanket stitched around each one. I hand-quilted the quilt.








At the foot of the bed is another replica quilt. It's a copy of a quilt a friend found in a thrift store. She paid $19 for it and was afraid they were going to pursue her out of the store, saying it was a mistake. I had goose bumps when she pulled it out of the bag at our quilt guild meeting! She let me take photos, and after some research, I discovered that the orange color was "tango," a '40s color, which I was able to reproduce after some research. I also hand quilted this one.



In the living room, I have the quilts already on display among the photos on my page: the log-cabin quilt and the quilts for the two dogs. In addition, there is an applique quilt I made in 2007, using three blocks from the house quilt in the book Home Sweet Home. I have forgotten the name of the author and gave the book to a friend to use, so I can't refer to it, but it was a fun project.


I picked the three blocks I liked best, used the colors in my living room with black fabrics for background. I hand-appliqued and hand-quilted it, but I used the machine to sew the blocks together and piece the border. I used a braid border, rather than the swag that's in the book, because the swag would have made it too big to fit over my mantle.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finished Objects! Well, Amost...

There is a finish to our objects. Projects end, either because we throw them in the trash or because we come to some other kind of conclusion, such as a successful completion. During our quilting/knitting minigroup (aka "Common Threads"), my friend Kay finished the afghan she was making for a friend. Here is Kay (right) holding up her afghan. My friend Joanie (of the "Sheepish Ladies") is on the left. Hooray for a finished object, even if it wasn't one of mine! (I tried to get her to leave it with me. It goes with my couch perfectly! It doesn't really show up, but it's burgundy.)



In the meantime, I've been busy as well. I have found time during the day to not only do my thumb, wrist and hand exercises with putty and weights, do a little spinning, but also to knit. I've made progress on my Kristi sock (down to about half of the foot), but reached a milestone (not a millstone--this is too much fun!) on my CLC! I have attached the sleeves and am ready to do the raglan shaping. Here's what it looks like. I had to put it on three circs, so I could take the photo and then count the number of sts (right on!) before continuing.



I will be doing the rest on two circs. I think it will be easier than trying to fit it all on one needle and having to ML when it gets too small.

I didn't get much done on my Nonna...well, I didn't work on it at all, truth be told. I didn't take it with me on our trip to San Diego for DH's 50th high school reunion. I will get back to it soon. What a fun project!

My current quilting project couldn't go along on the trip, either. Here's hoping I can get some time to work on it.

My Corriedale roving in a deep chocolate came while I was out of town. I think it will be perfect with my Kool Aid and food coloring dyed Corriedale and the white Corriedale, all of which I ran through the drum carder. I don't think I need to run the brown through the drum carder. It's ready to spin. As soon as I get done with the Coopworth hand dyed, I'll get started on the Corriedale for a yoked, neck-down sweater. The brown with finish the sleeves and body after the yoke is done.