Saturday, December 29, 2012

Roll Call!

 It's that time of  year again. Christmas is over, and while I've still got all the decorations up and  the house is looking festive, I'm thinking ahead to the next stages. Besides, don't we all like to start a new new year with a clean slate and some sort of plan? Well, if you have the patience to wade through  this post, you can see what's percolating in my rather active brain. (Just because the body is achy and slowing down, doesn't mean the mind has to follow along, right?)

First of all,  I thought I'd start with my knitting projects. Tomorrow if it goes as planned, I'll get on to the quilty things...but for now, it was easy to round up the knits-in-progress. Here's my current crop, rustled out of their project bags and primped for photography!

First up, there are some little sweaters--okay, there are four of them. Because I have four "little" grandkids. They're all made from the same pattern, the Gramps Cardigan by Kate Oates. (I'm sorry I'm not linking to these here, but really, I'm just glad to be posting pictures. Honestly. There is more information on my Ravelry projects page here.)
 So here's Audrey's: pink. Very pink.
Abby's is lime green.

 Nate's is a darker, kind of Kelly green.  And Garrett's is blue. Not quite Dodger blue, but pretty close!
This is a basket of afghan squares in Silk Garden. Started quite a long time ago. I'm afraid to look it up to see. There are 110 of them.
The last of the Absolutely Fabulous throws, in Colinette yarns. I do want to finish this. The giant needles kind of hurt my hands, though.

 The third of the Lady Eleanor entrelac wraps. This one is probably the most colorful.. It certainly is the best traveled. The second one was finished and given to Caitlin for her mumbledy-birthday; the first one is very close to done, just languishing waiting for blocking. I'm kind of thinking that a crocheted edging--single crochet, nothing fance\y--would help these to lay a little flatter. The Rowan Tapestry yarn is luscious, t hough.

 And so is this Frog Creek Luxuriant, in the Herbivore colorway. The pattern is Trillian, one of the Hitchhiker series by Martina Behm. This is the second of these I've made, too, but in fingering/sock weight it's taking much longer. This was my France knitting this year. It isn't so much in need of "finishing" per se, since it's my go-to group and general KIP knitting.

Here's a problem child. This is Jordan, in Euroflax, left over from a group KAL a couple of years ago. Euroflax is linen, it's lovely stuff, but it's like knitting with string and it's very slippery. In fact, some of the stitches have slipped right off the needles, and I am very seriously considering frogging this and then either starting it over, or repurposing the yarn. It's a lot of knitting to frog...but it's also going to show if it's got errors in it. The jury is out.
This is a little hat project I started last June, when I was at Webs and needed something to work on. I'd finished the project I'd brought with me--when does THAT ever happen?--but Webs is such a delightful place to look for yarn and projects in! Hence the hat. The ribbed part is done and it's ready to start the lacy section, which is why it's stopped where it is.
 A kind of old  hoary project--the yarn is lovely, the pattern not too difficult, and it goes quickly. Really it does.
 Swallowtail Shawl. Two things about this one: the pattern is not working out right, and I can't seem to figure out where it's gone wrong. It's not a hard pattern although one does have to like working nupps! (Nupps are little imps of Satan, lovely to look at and tedious to work!) The second thing is that this is an awful lot of turquoise yarn, and I wonder if I (or anyone for that matter) wants to be draped in this much turquoise lace. The yarn is wonderful to knit with, though.
 Cedar Leaf Shawlette. Not technically a WIP yet because it isn't cast on, but it is wound and ready to go. Another Webs purchase.
 Flambe shawlette. So close to finished... so close! Working the attached border, which is only 16 stitches wide. I even knit backwards so I don't have to turn it every time I do a row. This one's close.
 There's a name for this pattern but I'm not sure what it is. The yarn is Kid Silk Night, which is regular Kid Silk Haze with sparkles in it. This is a knit-till-you-run-out-of yarn project and nearly done. Got stalled when it got warm.
 This one is old enough to shave by now. It's not hard, it's just... I dunno. It's very lavender. The pattern is Hanging Garden by Sivia Harding, it's well written and easy to follow. Really it is.
Color Affection. Yes, I jumped on this bandwagon. Three colors of Madelinetosh. I love the colors, I love the yarn. I'm not so crazy about miles and miles and miles of garter stitch, though I'm now at t he short-row section so I may be able to work on it without dozing off mid-row.
 Cast on twice, frogged, ready to start again. Shawl with beads. Silk yarn. Pretty straightforward pattern.
 More silk yarn. Just not feeling it. Decided to frog the lavender silk and redo it in the deep dark midnight blue-black.
 Puff, puff. This one is the Obi Shawl, which was the first Fickle Zen mystery KAL. I got this far and my printer gave up the ghost, so I couldn't print out the rest of the directions. (I have t hem printed now. This is a gorgeous yarn and a lovely pattern and I am eager to work on it! Then I can start the second Fickle Zen pattern...)
There is one more UFO I'm embarrassed to mention, and that's the Original Map Of The World Sweater. My OOPS cohorts have promised to force me to finish it this year. Yes, this year...2012. I think it has about an hour's work left on it, max. So it may get done.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go start the button bands on Abby's sweater. It would be nice to get one of them finished this year!!*

*I was going to do all 4 of them during November for NaKniSweMo, National Knit a Sweater Month, the knitters' version of NaNoWriMo. You can stop laughing any time now.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yo Gabba Gabba! Quilt

Made these blocks a little while ago, and tried to sew them together today. Well, I got this far... you'll have to check my Flickr page to see what derailed my sewing. But I'll bet you can guess...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Soup Day!

 My morning started out fairly early, with a couple of trays of Roma tomatoes going into the oven. Today was Soup Day, a sort of almost-annual tradition where the Daughters and I get together and spend the day cooking.
 Tomatoes roasted while I showered, dressed, and ingested some coffee...
and then mixed up a batch of cranberry-orange muffins. After all, t hey bake at the same temperature the oven had already reached for the  tomatoes--and by the way, don't those tomatoes look yummy?
 Tomatoes, muffins, and I made it over to Youngest Daughter's, where we were shortly joined by Middle Daughter and the boys. The cousins had a great time playing--they really enjoy spending time with each other. Here's G playing with trains, while A1 tries out the double-umbrella maneuver.
 The stove was pretty busy! That's cauliflower in the back, cooking for a cheddar/cauliflower soup; meat for the Taco Soup; those tomatoes have made it into the soup pot.
Aren't they looking tasty? The basil was freshly picked from the herb garden about 2 minutes before it went into the soup pot...
 Split pea soup simmering in the big crock pot--it spent all day in there till the peas disintegrated!
 The other crockpot held the taco-beef soup.
 Courtney, the organizer of this cookstravaganza, making sure the crocks are doing their thing.
 The cauliflower/cheddar soup, pureed and ready to put into containers. That's a second batch of taco-beef soup on the stove.
First soup ready to go... labeled for distribution. Caitlin thought it was very funny to call it "cali" soup since we're in, you guessed it, California.
 Tomato soup, taco soup, and California cauliflower soups, ready to go. And then the chicken-tortilla soup and the beef vegetable soups were done and ready to go out. Luckily, Courtney has an extra fridge in the garage, so this could all get a quick chill while we kept  cooking.
 Here's Caitlin, stirring the Roux That Wouldn't, for the clam chowder. The pot in the back has the potatoes, onions, celery and garlic simmering in clam broth; she's stirring up a roux with cream and half-and-half, which eventually did  thicken up so it could be mixed in with the potatoes. So good!
 Getting things ready for the last soup of the day, a loaded baked potato soup. This one was the hit of the Halloween party last year, so it was a natural to make.
 Here's Meighan stirring another Roux With Attitude--somehow, when it's got 12 cups of milk in it, it seems to take a while to thicken.
At the end of the day, we divvied up the containers--I think we used every available container, including a whole box of freezer baggies. I have soup in my freezer and fridge, as do all three daughters.

The irony of spending the day  making lots of hearty and delicious tummy- and soul-warming soups is that it was really really hot today. Figures! The kids didn't seem to mind playing inside, though, and they got lots of samples of what was cooking. Nate's big question: is it spicy?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Knitting with Marie

IMG_4665 by marie watterlond
IMG_4665, a photo by marie watterlond on Flickr.

... Seattle Marie, down for a visit, modeling her sweater. I like it, and I'd be inclined to knit one like it, if she can remember the name of the pattern.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Visitor from the North

 This week, we've got a visitor from Seattle here to knit and carouse with my knitting -and friends-groups! We had a mini-meetup today with Marie (formerly Azusa Marie, now Seattle Marie, the city designation is to distinguish her from Yours Truly, aka TC Marie), Annette and Mary. This is Marie with Annette's son, Jordan, who is nearly 2.
 A park is a perfect place to let a little boy run, and run he did! There's also a nifty sculpture in this park (Shelton Park in Claremont, FYI) and he paused for a moment...
just to see if he could fit his hands in the handprints. I should have taken more pictures of the sculpture--it has a neat vignette in the front, which I hadn't seen from this angle.
 We had another get-together with a different group of friends on Sunday. Here's Lynn taking a picture--of course I caught her just as her flash went off! Doug though it was very funny that I was taking a picture of his wife taking a picture. It's just what I do!
And one last shot of Marie and I with Mercene. Sort of triple trouble.
If you don't believe I take lots of pictures of people taking pictures--here's Anna, aka Woolie Mammoth, taking a picture of some of us in Santa Clara. We'd met up with some of our "fellow travelers" from the trip to France last month. Such fun to see them again!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Oct 12, 2012, 11:49 AM

Just one of the gorgeous quilts ai the Pacific International Quilt Festival! More later but for now you can check my Flickr pages for more pictures!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Other People's Stuff

 Just because this is my blog, doesn't mean I can't share what some of my friends are doing! These photos are from the Tuesday night quilt class, a bunch of really creative and amazingly productive quilters!

Meet Anne:
 She didn't want me to put her in the picture, but I told her I'd lose my Obnoxious Photographer badge if I didn't. This is a tree quilt that's come together after a somewhat scattershot existence. The backstory on this is that Anne, like many of us, has always had a lot more inspiration and ambition than actual time for quilting. (Right? Right!) But once she retired, she seemed to get a whole lot more energized. Yeah, I wouldn't have thought it possible, either. But, she sold her house and moved into a retirement community, and in between serving as program chairman, and then president of their residents' board, she started to organize her stash.
I can feel you cringing from here. She's turned out an incredible number of quilts since she moved--the community lifestyle suits her well, and she's even organized a quilting group among the residents.  She's been finding old UFOs and finishing them along the way. These blocks are a case in point. She said that almost every time she opened a box or bag, there were one or two of these blocks in it, some in more finished stages, others much less. Now, they are all together and with the addition of some side triangles, the quilt is nearing completion.
 I fully expect to see her quilting on this one by next week.

Here's another one of  her quilting efforts:
This little quilt has a long story behind it that you really don't want to hear about. (No, really you don't. Trust me on this!) I gave her the top--which has a twin--after I'd tried an unsuccessful effort to conjoin them. Not a good idea. Now she's got this one just about done, and she'll be quilting the other one soon. Turns out to be the right size for a lap quilt for a person who needs a wheelchair, or spends a lot of time in a chair--doesn't drag on the floor, but keeps the legs and lap nice and cozy. A win any way you look at it! (And two less UFOs in my stash, too!)

The next two pictures are of Louise's Rooty Tooty Fruity quilt--that's an adorable fruit print with all those pastel colors. Louise did this one from a Charlotte Angotti class--I love the way the colors go together!
The quilting design really complements the blocks:
 This is Nonie's quilt for her son. You really need to click on this one to see all the detail in it! Each one of those center squares is a different really cute print; the setting is simple but effective, and the colors are terrific.
The quilts you see in the background are class samples displayed in the classroom we're using, at New Moon Textiles. I love being able to teach there!

One last observation: today would have been my son Andy's 49th birthday. He shared his birthday with John Lennon, and was a huge Beatles/Lennon fan. Like John Lennon, he was taken from us way too soon.
So today was remembering my sweet boy and the wonderful man he grew up to be. His legacy lives on in his children, Kristin and Brian and their fantastic mom, Marian.

Andrew Robert Watterlond
Oct. 9, 1963--October 2, 2004