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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Current projects

I haven't made a lot of noticeable progress on anything lately, but I do have a couple of projects going. The first is the quilting on my basket quilt. The lines of thread you can see in the photo are just the basting, which I'm clipping as I cross it with my machine. I'm almost finished with the stabilizing quilting, which I'm doing with the walking foot, and then the quilt will have to be put away until I get back from Houston. 

The second project is barely begun. I have some new yarn for a shawl for myself. It's a gorgeous alpaca-silk blend in a very pale blush color, and it's heaven to touch! I've wound two of the hanks into balls so far, with the third still to go. I've been trying different techniques to wind the balls, so it's taking a bit longer than it might otherwise. ;) 

The last "project" is a much shorter-term thing, as I now have my Christmas fruitcakes in the oven. :) I know — many of you promptly thought "YUCK!" as soon as you read "fruitcakes". But good fruitcake is wonderful, and I not-so-modestly think mine is very good. It's certainly nothing like what you find in a tin on the grocery store shelf. :) There will be more holiday baking to come, but these days I'm cutting way back from what I used to make.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I haven't had much to blog about lately, but I did finish a couple of projects. One is a gift I can't post here, just in case the intended recipient happens upon my blog, but it's a little pin cushion for an exchange with an online group of quilters. :) The other is also a gift, but it's for someone who doesn't have a computer, so I'm pretty sure she won't see this before Christmas. ;) 

I found some scrumptious alpaca yarn — actually, a blend of 50% alpaca, 30% merino, and 20% bamboo — that's so soft it's almost like a cloud! I knitted it up on some very large needles to get a more open, lacy effect, and I think it turned out rather well for someone with very little experience like me. Unfortunately, I had no ideal place to photograph it, but I'll show you what I did manage to get. This first photo gives a better idea of the color, which is mostly off-white but with some interesting additions of tans, browns and even a bit of grey-blue.

This one will let you see that the shawl is big enough to wrap up in rather well, as I've spread it over the back of our loveseat. Since the leather on the loveseat is brown, the shawl's color doesn't come through as well here.

This was a fairly easy shawl to do; it was a free pattern (Opal) from Ravelry.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Revisiting my youth

When I was much younger, I did a bit of knitting. I really enjoyed it, but I didn't pursue it very far, since I was young and pretty broke most of the time. ;) Lately, though, I've been seeing more and more knitting online, and it's been very tempting to begin again. I resisted at first, but I've given in.

What spurred this change of heart? My sister gave me a fun scarf — all ruffles — in shades of grey and white, in August and I loved it; it will look wonderful with my red coat this winter. I found some similar yarn and made myself another, this time in royal blue, turquoise, and a sort of greyish olive. I finished it yesterday, and it was such fun to make that I'm going to make a shawl next! Here's the scarf:

It's about 38" long and very fluffy! It should be lots of fun to wear. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sad day

I've been using Macs for for almost 30 years now. I added iPods, an iPhone, and an iPad to the mix over the years. I simply can't imagine what the modern computing world would look like today if Steve Jobs hadn't had his vision. My condolences go to his family, his friends, his staff, and to all who — like me — have benefitted from his contributions. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Time flies ...

… even when you're not having so much fun. ;) My poor little dog injured her back seven weeks ago and has been on enforced rest (and a couple of meds) since then. She and I both are about to go stir crazy, since I feel so bad for her that I stay home with her most of the time these days. We had another visit with her vet today, and he wants to continue the rest for another one or two months. I was so sure she was going to be given a clean bill of health today! But the vet is being very conservative, since Bisou has had back problems before. I trust his judgement, but it's still disappointing. :S

On a more cheerful note, a friend of my husband's makes little plaques out of wood, and he made us this cute little cocker head! :)

I'm sorry that the color is a bit off; the wall behind the head is actually white, and the lightest part of the ears is almost white, but they both look pretty yellow in the photo.

To keep myself busy for the next several weeks and while I wait for my current quilt project to "jell", I'm thinking about learning to knit. That should be fun!