Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hot Times

To celebrate the weekend, we all went out to dinner.

The restaurant made up a special menu just for us.

I guess it's okay that they left out an "e" in Bearly, as long as they didn't put it betweenm the r and the l! I guess the "t" went into the iced tea we were all drinking...

I can vouch for the excellence of the sausage lasagna.

Anne and Louise, testing out the fresh hot bread.

Sandy, taking pictures of everyone. I love to take pictures of people who are taking pictures.
I know, it's a sickness!
My fabrics, at least some of them. They are part of a new Bali Pop line, which is 40 precut 2.5"strips. We had a choice of 6 colorways.
Mine is Strawberry Fields. In this photo you can't see the luscious reds, but you'll get to see them later when I sew this up more.

The yellow is cheddar and sun Bali batiks. They are the "star" points.
Leah, Sandy, and Anne hard at work.
This is a pretty good view of the classroom.
Marion is wearing her hair bright purple these days. Yes, she belongs to the Red Hat Society.

No, I do not plan on joining her in the interesting hair color!

Some of the quilts on display at the shop.
There are more shop pictures on my Flickr page!

This is the Mystery Project. The pattern is called Cosmic Stars, and this particular quilt is done in the Mulberry colorway.
I'm not too crazy about the angle at which I took this picture, nor about the way the flash washes out the colors. I also have a bandaid on my index finger, which is doing creative things to my typing and is the reason I'm not going to go into a lot of detail here.

Perhaps tomorrow. We'll have show n' tell in the morning,. and hopefully I will be able to get pics of all the colorways for you. You know, so you can go to your favorite quilt shop and pester them to order a kit or two for you!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hot Steamy Arizona

I know, I know, the stereotype is that Arizona is a desert, especially around Phoenix, and that "it's a dry heat." Well, we managed to get here right after a thunderstorm, which has raised the ambient humidity to levels that, coupled with the 100+ degree heat, are sorta "sauna bath."

So here's a little something from the trip so far.

On the bus, I finished the pink hat. I will get Missy A to model it but in the meantime, Sandy obliged. It really is a cute hat...see pics of A in the green one, and substitute pink! The lighting was pretty bad... butyou can get the general idea!

Sandy and Anne were knitting on the bus. Several people told us they wished they had brought their knitting too!

Here's my fabric packets for the mystery quilt. One pack of Bali Pops in Strawberry Fields, and some Bali cheddar batik and sun batik. We could do some cutting tonight if we wanted to... but I'm really tired, so I'm going to finish this post and then get to bed.

I do think I'm going to like the combo, though. I am fighting with ET about how many of the Bali Pops we need to bring home with us.

My roommate is a sweetie. She brought me a packet of Moda squares, and a notepad with quilt designs. I feel like a p iker cause I didn't think to get her anything! One interesting thing is that she just got back from a business trip...which took her to Westover AFB, which happens to be about 1/2 mile from where I grew up! So we had a nice chat about Chicopee.

Another not-great picture taken from the bus window: a wind farm, outside of Palm Springs. Those things are kind of eerie when you see hundreds and hundreds of them marching over the hills...but what a great use of a renewable natural resource!

Okay, for tomorrow you can (hopefully) look forward to some more colorful quilty pics. The hotel has free wi-fi, yay, and so far it's been a really good place to stay. I'll let you know how the beds sleep...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hot Sunset

When there are storms hovering around, we tend to get rather spectacular sunsets. Yesterday, we didn't really have much chance at actual rain, just the heavy, oppressive feeling. And, of course, hotter than ever!

Having grown up in New England, I know from the heat/humidity combo which is now called the "Discomfort Index." In fact, as I'm typing this tonight, the temperature is 73 degrees and the humidity is 71%. That's Eastern weather, folks, and we are in the desert out here in the middle of a drought!

Of course I'm going to compound matters by heading a little east tomorrow--only as far as Goodyear, Arizona, though.

What's there, you may ask. Well, even though neither Google Maps nor Yahoo Maps can find it, Bearly Stitchin' is there. Since their move from Pasadena last year, the owners have gotten their shop up and running, and they're sponsoring another of their Mystery Quilt Weekends, this one geared to the California contingent. Chartered bus and hotel have been arranged, and we'll sew at the shop. We've been promised a/c in all the places, so I'm hopeful that I'll survive.

At least, I'm sure I'll have some good "hot" titles for the next few blog posts. Of course, I have no guarantee of internet access, although I am taking the laptop with me. I suppose I can always write the posts, then publish them when I return.

Can you tell I may have a stowaway? Hi-Hi seems to think that, if he fits in the suitcase, he can come.
Surprise! No kitties allowed. Chris and Jack have two dogs who usually have the run of the store, so that wouldn't make for a warm welcome for a furboy. Sorry, fella, but it's only for two nights, so try to be a big boy, okay??

One last cutie-pic. Little Miss has learned to pick up and eat Cheerios all by herself. I'd say she looks pretty happy about her new skill!

Goodnight for now. Hopefully, I will be able to post tomorrow, but if I don't you'll at least know where I am.

Send camels.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hot August Day

I seem to have forgotten to mention here that my father's birthday was last week--8-8 to be exact! Since he was born in 1917, this was his 91st.

He's still going strong! I haven't been back East to see him recently, but my brother keeps me updated.

So I'm sharing this photo of him with his first child (me) back when I was about Audrey's age.

And, since we do want equal time, here's one of my mother and I. She had these taken to send to my dad while he was overseas during WWII. He was in England for a year, then in France for two years. Since he's French/English bilingual, he was in great demand as a translator over there.

Funny thing, when the place was overrun with American GIs, no one minded if the one who spoke French did so with a strange American/Canuck accent!

He and his brothers all enlisted, and all four of them came home, which was rather amazing considering.

Dad was a pretty good ballplayer before the war, and after the guys came home, they reorganized the teams and played quite a bit. One of my childhood memories is of going to the playground to watch the Aldenville A's play.

They even went to the national championships (Four-A) in Youngstown, Ohio, three or four times, and won the national title at least once.

So, on this hot August night, I'm sitting here thinking of my dad, and how his athletic ability (which totally skipped me!) got passed down to my kids, and on down to the grandkids.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hot Chat

Time for a few more views of some interesting fabrics, don't you think?

These are some of the Halloween/Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos prints that have taken my fancy.

Here in SoCal, Halloween is practically a national holiday--I swear, the stores will begin decorating for it soon. Quilt shops, because of the longish lead time that it takes to make a complicated project, are exempt from my usual distaste for the commercial and retail rushing of the season. I mean, come on, who really needs to be thinking of Halloween in July (or August, for that matter) unless they are going to be spending hours cutting, sewing, cutting, sewing, quilting, etc??

Okay, okay, off the soapbox.

Anyway, I thought these were awfully cute. Not quite sure what they're destined for yet, though. Could be cute wall hangings/table toppers , or could make great bags.

I mean, come on, rock n' rolling skellies??

Or are they mariachi skellies? I can't tell exactly, since the sound track isn't coming through!

Yes, it is late.

Yes, I am tired.

Yes, I'm even a little punchy.

How could you tell?

Tonight's quilt class was a lot of fun.

We had several new projects in the works, but apparently my camera has eaten the photos I took of the fabrics!

So at least, here's Anne's work-in-progress, a Shoji quilt.
She's making a pair of quilts for a couple at her community, who have a strong feeling for Japan. This is not only a Japanese-themed design, she's used some lovely Japanese fabrics too.
Border and quilting yet to come. Hopefully, there will be an FO pic before too much longer!

And, finally, I'll share my new book with you. Indigo Knits, by Jane Gottlieb. Designs from the coast of Cornwall.
I actually spent most of a week in Cornwall, and I loved it. I'd go back in a heartbeat. (Well, let's face it, I'd go back to England and France at the drop of a hint! Oh, and the drop of a few dollars, too, but what's a few shekels among friends?)
Anyway, the designs are mostly quite nice, very tempting to knit, and done in "real denim" yarns. One of the things I love about this book is that they use not only the Rowan denim, but also elann's. Since I have a bucketload of elann's denim, in two or three colors (white and at least one of the blues), and it cost a lot less than Rowan's, I am set to make up the designs I like the best!
Of course, knitting with denim yarn is exactly like knitting with string, especially the cream-colored version. I mean, definitely package string. I had crocheted up some pillow tops for my mother-in-law once, granny squares out of ordinary string. She'd seen them in a magazine and loved them, so of course I made them for her! Even made the pillows to stitch them to--one red, one green.
Off to see how Michael Phelps is doing. Go Michael!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hot Spinner

Time to wind some yarn, and in the interest of full disclosure I am hereby presenting an "action shot" so you can see how I manage to keep the swift moving, while still keeping the bad ankle elevated.

I should take a picture of the position of my ankle when I'm writing this blog post. I'm on the desktop, so the leg is up on the top of the desk, right next to the keyboard. Not too graceful, but still elevated, ya know?

Does make it a little difficult to watch TV, though. Not impossible, and if the swift turns quickly enough, then it interferes less.

Little helper is keeping an eye on things for me. He doesn't try to catch the yarn as it flies by, thank goodness.

By the way, this is the Woodland Sea Silk for the Elvenwood Stole. I made a disheartening discovery yesterday: while I had 2 skeins of this yarn, in the same color, the pattern calls for 3.

Oh, yeah, I got a good deal on the second skein from Little Knits, because the color was discontinued and it was their last skein. So, where to find another one? Well, of course, off to Ravelry! I posted a note on the ISO Board (In Search Of) and within a very short time, I had a link to an online shop that still had it. In celebration of finding it, so quickly and painlessly I might add, I decided to treat myself to an Addi Lace needle to knit this on. Yeah, I know I just got a set of Knit Picks' Harmony tips, but I needed a smaller size. Just a little treat, ok?? Not ET going wild or anything.
Simon is still supervising the yarn winding.

Isn't that color glorious in the flash light? I think it's going to make a gorgeous stole--the color transitions are very subtle.

Okay, mom, time to put the camera away. I think I've been patient enough...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hot Projects

One of the fun things about working at New Moon is that they carry a whole line of Amy Butler patterns! I bought these two because I think they will make snazzy knitting bags, and snazzy knitting bags make great gifts for knitters! Not, of course, that I know any knitters who would like a bag with skellies on it. Oh, no. Not at all!

But, you know, just in case...

I haven't done much sewing at all in the last few years, but I'm really anxious to get back into it. I'll be starting with the Mystery Weekend coming up on Friday--I'm hoping that this will help to jump-start my sewing in a way that my class at Asilomar didn't. (Not that it was the class's fault, at all! It was very inspirational, and I will definitely be doing more with that project. It's just that it came at a really bad time for me, in a lot of ways!)

Then there's this project, which has not yet been photographed, although it's already in my Ravelry queue. It's one of my Ravelympics projects. Yeah, might be a good idea to wind that yarn and cast on, eh??

It's the Elvenwood Stole by Brenda Zuk of Needle Beetle. The yarn is Sea Silk in the Woodland colorway, and I really hope that two skeins are enough. Yes, I will read the pattern before I cast on--I did read it before, and it seems to me that it was going to be fine, but my memory isn't as good as I'd like it to be.

(Just checked. I think it's an uh-oh. I'll get back to you on this one! )