A place for me to share photos, trips and projects with my friends, mostly about knitting,kayaking, and quilting.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

We Have Been Busy

Me: another chemo cap for my friend's mother-in-law. Pattern is the Beehive Hat from Susan Esser, yarn is Blue Sky Cotton that I purchased at The Yarn Patch.

David: another step closer to his next spiraling star quilt, AND a beach towel changing robe for the river.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's Finished!

Yippee. It's not great quilting, but I did it and it's OK. I learned a lot (like curves and the walking foot aren't a good match and I should practice, practice with the free motion stuff; like remember to choose a CONTINUOUS quilting pattern).

I also got lucky. The sides are supposed to be the same length, but hey, this is a quilt. I was able to wing it successfully on the two sides where the quilting pattern didn't quite work out. And I managed the mitered corners with a minimum of effort.

Now to put this in the mail for Annabelle - and a Happy First Birthday to her (I'd post a photo but I don't have anything recent).

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Both for the kitty quilt

And the kitten integration. It's not obvious, but Terry is licking BC's head. It's been at least 20 years since I had any cats that were friendly enough to groom each other.

Back to the sewing machine.... Annabelle's birthday is Tuesday. The quilt is going to be late, but maybe not REALLY late! And she's only one - she won't notice.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Now What?

The kitty quilt top is finished. It's for Annabelle's first birthday at the end of this month. Now it needs to be quilted! Should I do it myself? Or should I take it to Maggie? It would be short notice for Maggie and I don't like to do that. I have a sewing machine that will handle the job. I have a nice cabinet with an extension that will help me. So why not do it myself? I'VE NEVER MACHINE QUILTED A QUILT!! I keep thinking it's time I start, since that's the big reason I bought the new Bernina last year. The other problem is that in order to use the nice cabinet, I have to move all the "stuff" that's in the way of my rolling it away from the wall. Hmmmm.... I'll be thinking about this one today.

In the meantime I'll be working on this. I have loved the fit of a T-shirt that Karol brought me from her travels last year. I saw this yarn, Plymouth Linen Isle, at The Yarn Patch. I've been wanting to try the "linen stitch." Boom - it all came together! I've designed (I hope) a top that should fit like that shirt, using the yarn and stitch pattern. And since I don't know for certain that I bought enough yarn, I need to get at least half way through the top quickly, so I can grab more while it's still in stock if I need it.

Terry is settling into a routine. She's slowly learning not to bite (in play - she's not vicious). Her right eye is still running some, and she's sneezing a bit. I remember when BC was new she had an upper respiratory infection that took forever to go away and didn't respond to meds. I think she just finally outgrew the thing! If Terry isn't better by her next vet visit for second round of shots, we may need to address this. But she's active and eats like a little pig, seems healthy. So I'm not too worried.

David found this growing by the roadside a couple of nights ago. Some kind of gourd. Anyone know what it is? The pumpkin patch down the road is escaping into the street. We'll have some pumpkins growing in the ditch before long!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Holding the Yarn

A fellow Fair Isle lister asked about how we hold our yarn when carrying with both hands. Here's how I do it.

Left hand:

I control the tension with my pinkie, by curling it toward my palm to stop the yarn from sliding, or loosening the curl to let it slide. This is exactly the same way I hold my yarn when I crochet, and since I crocheted before I knitted, this was a "gimme." If you crochet, try holding the yarn the same way and see if that works for you.

Right hand:

I control the tension by squeezing the pinkie against the 4th finger to stop the yarn from sliding.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Winning Them Over

This speaks for itself, right?

I finished the chemo cap this morning, finally. Rowan Calmer, a cotton/acrylic blend; Fiber Trends "School Colors" pattern. I didn't get much knitting done on the paddling trip to PA last week. Not even one sock completed!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tiny Terry

This is Terry, and she's come to live with us!

Terry was born into a feral colony that makes it's home near my friend Nancy's house in West Virginia. Nancy feeds the kitties, keeps track of who comes for which meals, and who the kittens' mommies are. Terry lost her mother VERY early, and decided that the food provider (Nancy) would have to substitute.

Unlike most feral cats, Terry bonded with her human friend. She is friendly, playful, and has an instant "on" button for her purr box the minute she's in contact with humans. In return for that trust, Nancy provided special petting and playtime when Terry showed up twice daily for her meals.

Over the time that Nancy has been feeding the cats, she's had 31 little feral friends. This past spring there were 19 coming for meals. Last week there were only 8! Some serious attrition, probably due to predators in the nearby woods (and it seems that another kitten has recently disappeared). Terry's mother was among the first to disappear this spring, and her sibilings followed, the last one just a week before I arrived for a visit and paddling trip.

Terry instantly won my heart with her playful affection and non-stop purring. I couldn't bear the thought of her becoming a meal for an owl or coyote. I've also been thinking that BC needs a playmate. So Terry came home with us on Sunday, and we're in the process of integrating her into the household.

BC is unaware that Terry will be a fun companion. Hissing seems to be the communication of the day. Still, she's intently interested in Terry when I allow her freedom to play upstairs, and possibly even a little afraid of the fearless kitten. The "big girls" (Summer and Baby Kitty) haven't been in the house when Terry was out and about (I'm keeping her separated and gradually getting everyone used to the new arrangement). So we shall see how long it takes for everyone to make the necessary accomodations.

In other developments, we found that our dehumidifier had quit working in our absence, giving mildew a chance to crop up in the basement - where I have most of my books, fabric and yarn!! So in addition to the planned and necessary housework, the recovery from 9 days away on a paddling trip, and integrating the kitten, I had some frantic cleanup going in the basement. We turned the AC on right away, and have purchased and installed a new dehumidifier. I'm back on track, and should be able to answer my e-mail and phone calls soon! I apologize to my friends that I am behind on that score. I wanted everyone to know about the new baby, though, so I blogged first.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Election Day and Yard Sale

Today was election day for us. It's the first time I've actually gone to the polls; David and I usually vote early at a county office. No line. I got to use the new machine (no clue why they asked me and not David, but I was happy - nice electronic machine). The ladies at the desk commented about there being more and more people in the district they don't know (including us). Wanted to know where we live - not the address, which means little. But who are our neighbors.

That done, we decided to yard sale it just a little - today is the official beginning of the 127 Yard Sale, which stretches along US Highway 127 from Kentucky into Alabama. David bought a couple of small cedar chests for the granddaughters. A couple of days ago I purchased this dressing table from Maggie (our quilting friend). A great deal. Not that I NEED it; but I used to have my mother's. Back when I was a teenager and didn't value good old furniture.

As you can see, Summer has made it "her" place in the bedroom. BC is contemplating mischief. She got caught, though.

In case you were wondering about my new favorite knitting needles (mentioned when I told you about The Yarn Patch), here they are. They're nicer than Crystal Palace and not quite as expensive. I now have dps in sizes 0-3. I bought a circular, too, but haven't had the opportunity to use it.

Today I've been working on a quilt for Annabelle's first birthday. Here's a sample block. I still need to do the little face, but my efforts at machine work there went to the frog pond. I think I may have to do them by hand. Or perhaps draw with a pigma pen.

Now I need to straighten up the sewing room mess and address the portable knitting. We're leaving in the morning for the second big paddling club outing of the summer: The Southern Invasion of Ohiopyle. I'll be back mid-month. I hope I'll have some generic socks and a chemo cap completed.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Yarn Patch

My new local yarn store! I'm so excited to have a store this nice within reach. Yes, I'm a big internet shopper, but having a real shop, where I can again feel yarn and commune with other knitters, is such a treat. Knit One, Stitch Too in Huntersville, my former LYS, was practically a home away from home. The Yarn Patch is that kind of place, located in the golf community of Fairfield Glade, near Crossville, TN.

Sheri Pitroski, the owner, is friendly and knowledgeable. She welcomes customers to just sit and knit. She's offering an array of classes, a great selection of yarns, and some fabulous bamboo needles that I've become a convert to.

While I can't just drop in any ole time like I could in NC (the LYS was 10 minutes from home there), I'm sure I'll be spending some quality time at The Yarn Patch. If you're traveling on I-40 in Tennessee, the shop is just a few miles north of Exit 322 - Peavine Rd. Stop in and enjoy if you get a chance!