Saturday, October 27, 2007

That's Better!

In case anyone out there was wondering or even worrying, Chez Engineer and its occupants were not really affected by the wildfires in Southern California. The house is well away from the fires and neither Mr. Engineer's nor my offices were in any danger. Mr. Engineer's office did have a voluntary evacuation one day so he came home early and worked from home. Given that there were two tollways on his normal route that were closed, he didn't mind beating some traffic. Young Man has had it the worst because he has been cooped up inside all day everyday for the entire week. Check that, Young Man's teachers have had it the worst. We do have friends who are still anxiously awaiting news of their home in Silverado Canyon. Still, today was a very good day. See those nice, fluffy clouds? Even better, do you see what is peeking through them? Yes, it is blue sky! We were starting to wonder when we would ever see blue again after all the haze. There were even a few (very few) raindrops that fell today. This was very good news indeed for the firefighters.

Meanwhile, I've been busy finishing things. Finished. I do love that word! It hasn't all been knitting, but then who ever said that this was going to be a knitting blog? Like Cara, I'm looking to redefine myself. Will the blog follow? Probably. Or maybe not.

First up is quilting. This is a project that a local quilt shop had hanging up for ages and I admired it every time I came in. Finally I took advantage of their birthday discount to buy the fabric. The fabric aged nicely until I finally cut out the squares. Then I agonized over layout. With some encouragement and ideas from friends, I finally put together the top and layered the sandwich. Um, then that aged for a long while. Last weekend I said that enough was enough and I quilted the entire thing. All that for a simple Around the World! It goes with nothing at all in the house, but I like it and I made it for me.

A funny thing happened on the way to the yarn shop the Friday before Rhinebeck. We have a lovely little shop that carries yarn and fabric! What a clever idea. I do wish that they carried a bit more yarn, but their choices are very nice. Still, nothing grabbed me that Friday. Instead, I found some funky fall fabrics and a pattern for a nifty tote bag. Before I knew it, I had all the makings for another project. Even better, I had the project finished by Sunday night!

Project: Bow Tucks Bag, from Quilts Illustrated
Fabric: Fall Back in Time by Moda
Notes: Easy and fun. Now I have another project bag!

Still more finished items came along that weekend. I know, I could save them up for several posts, but then you know that's not going to happen.

Project: Tidal Wave Socks from Tofutsies
Yarn: Tofutsies II 794
Needles: US1 dpns
Notes: Love the yarn, love the pattern, not so sure about the colorway. I had the first sock finished ages ago and then set it aside. I couldn't think of anything else to do with the yarn so I knit up the second sock. The socks are very comfortable so I see why people rave over this yarn. The colors just don't quite work off the skein for me.

Project: Everlasting Bagstopper from Knitty
Yarn: Allhemp 6
Needles: Whatever the pattern recommended
Notes: Great fun and easy to do. This is a gift for a friend and I do hope she enjoys it. The hemp was a little rough to work with, but it got softer as I worked with the yarn. I think it will work out well.

Project: February Sweater from EZ's Knitters' Almanac
Yarn: Fiesta Sweetie Pie DK (a very un-EZ yarn)
Needles: US5, I think
Notes: Great pattern!!!!! The yarn was a purchase early in my knitting career after seeing a really cute sweater made from it in a yarn shop. The problem is that it is 100% acrylic and it feels weird to knit! I have enough of it for another baby sweater, but will I be able to stand it? The final result is darling and the recipient's parents would probably not want to deal with wool. Still, it felt just wrong to knit an EZ pattern from acrylic yarn.

This was the project for this week (plus another that I can't post because someone reads this blog and would know what she is getting...):

Project: Koolhaas Hat from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts issue
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Needles: US6 and US8
Notes: Jared has outdone himself! I really like this hat. This is the smaller size and I have already cast on a second version to be made into the larger size. Both are for a friend and she can pick the one that fits her. Easy, but elegant.

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