White Out!

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White Out

We’re in the middle of a full blown blizzard – heavy blowing snow, so heavy that all I see from my windows is white. This weather is expected to last into tomorrow morning – there are actually two storms which have converged and are moving slowly across the region. I’m SO glad I made it home from Toronto last night because had I not managed to catch a flight yesterday in that narrow window of storm in Toronto (preventing take-off) and storm in Halifax (preventing landing) I’d be stuck in Toronto until at least Wednesday!

So this is a day to lay low and read, make soup, do laundry, and sew or knit or watch movies. Doesn’t matter what, just to snuggle up warmly and be a vegetable. Fingers crossed power will stay on.

Socks – Pair #???

Opal: Moments If Love

Finally a yarn with a detailed pattern. Much more enjoyable to work with.  Ran into an interesting problem – I finished the first sock, matched up the start for the second, but 15 or so rows in, the pattern was suddenly different. That will happen if there’s a yarn break when it’s being balled – there’s a knot and the pattern picks up further along. In this case, there was no knot – just about eight rows of pattern quite different than the rest and then the pattern picked up again. So needless to say, the pattern in the two socks doesn’t align. I guess they’re for someone who’s daring enough to wear unmatched/matched socks.

Grey-Yellow III

Damn!

Just finished the top borders only to see in the photo that I’ve switched out two blocks and have then in the wrong place. So gotta carefully unstitch that area, and reposition those two blocks – not today. Maybe tomorrow.

Top Finished

Top Finished

Other than that, I’m pleased with the finished top. The grey-black gradation has worked; the yellow doesn’t shift the way I was visualizing it but it’s still effective, more or less. I certainly can live with that. I’m pleased with the points integrated into the border – that worked out nicely.

So now to come up with something for the back. I have a lot of yellow/grey blocks left over – I’m going to have to play with them on the floor to see what I can come up with.

Here’s where the blocks are reversed so the greys are in the wrong place:

OK, I couldn’t stay away from the sewing – I fixed the blocks:


Then I went on to the back – remaining blocks – a spiral:

I’ll fill in around it with the backing fabric – this large 8 x 6 block will get positioned offset toward one of the quadrants.

This Crazy World

Last week was a crazy week in Washington. I got up this morning and checked my email (stupid thing to do) and immediately came across an item in “Medium” Trial Balloon for a Coup? that has left me depressed and fuming all at the same time!

It wasn’t the only article raising these concerns – there were two more in succession (What “Things Going Wrong” Can Look Like; The Immigration Ban Is A HeadFake, And We’re Falling For It) from people who are not “nut cases”. It looks like some Americans, responsible people, are beginning to realize Trump is doing exactly what he said he would and they’re trying to understand the pattern of edicts and figure out what they might mean. I don’t subscribe to “conspiracy” theories – as a former scientist I believe in data and facts. But these analyses today, as tentative as they are, are chilling. And if they’re true?

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Then there was David Brooks’ opinion piece in today’s New York Times – he’s always an interesting read (a right of center columnist with the New York Times).

“Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives or the hyperventilating media.”

He’s concerned with how the Republican congress and senate will step up or (likely) not when dealing with what Trump is doing.

There were several significant pieces in The New Yorker today as well:

I try limiting the amount of time I spend reading the news – I turn to sewing and bury myself in some creative work. But today, I feel such a sense of disquiet I can’t get down to the quilt in progress. Were I an American, I’d have already become an active volunteer with the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, a local group of the Climate Network – I’d have joined a protest group of some kind.

While I know the need to organize and resist is coming to Canada there isn’t the same intensity at the moment to make such a move. But the same issues are alive and well (if not yet flourishing) here at home. Haroon Siddiqui yesterday carefully describes his experience of being Muslim in Canada since 9/11. It’s not a pretty picture. The bigotry that justifies a lethal attack on a Quebec mosque over the weekend is simmering and we have Conservative leadership candidates doing their best to stir that pot!

I know it’s just a matter of time before I will have to find an outlet for expressing my dissent with Canada’s version of Trumpism and the kind of xenophobic, climate damaging, women bashing policies that will follow. I know I won’t be able to sit on the sidelines.

 

Grey & Yellow II

Here’s where I left off yesterday – with the darker, busier yellows in the center – too heavy, not enough gradation from center outward.

Where I left off Saturday

Where I left off Saturday

So I began playing some more. The first thing I did was add two more rows to the bottom. It just so happened I cut twice as many blocks (the size of charms – 5″ squares) of both the greys and the yellows than I needed so I had lots of squares to work with.

Next, I dug out an even lighter grey from the stash to use in the centre. I matched it up with some of the stronger yellows. Then worked my way through the other blocks swapping out those with the most detail in the pattern for more clearly yellow fabrics.

So here’s where I am today:

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Grey & Yellow – v. IV

The yellow is more uniform – I suppose I could have done this with just 7 shades of yellow fabric from a strong yellow to pale – just didn’t think of it! (The yellow gradient likely would have worked better – oh well, this will also be interesting once it’s completely sewn and quilted.)

I also think the inner very light grey “square/diamond” could use something as an accent – I tried a circle using the darkest grey fabric (neah…), next I found a flower on a dark grey background, fussy cut it and auditioned it (neah…), for the moment I’m placeholding with the golden circle with dots – but looking at the photo I think “circle” is probably the wrong shape – I still have one square left of that fabric – I think I’ll give that a try as soon as I have the top completely sewn together.

So far today I’ve managed to assemble the bottom border and five rows – hope to do the rest tomorrow.

Grey & Yellow


I’m playing with three ideas in this new quilt I began during the week. First, I felt like I wanted to work with yellow and grey. I went through my stash pulling out everything I had in those two shades (quite a lot, actually). Then went shopping for more yellow and one more grey.

Next, I decided to work with half-square triangles. I’d seen a picture of a quilt with the point elements offset into the border. An otherwise simple quilt suddenly became more interesting.
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Then, I’d seen another quilt where the colour of the blocks was graduated giving an ombre effect – in this quilt only the greys shift from light to dark, the yellows are of constant value.

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I wanted to shift both colours from light to dark:

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First Layout

The border here will be the dark grey embedding the yellow solidly against a dark background. I can also see from the photo I have to reposition (perhaps even swap out) some of the darker blocks with dots because they pull the eye from the overall movement in the quilt. Another thing I’m wondering is whether I shouldn’t pop a tiny bit of another colour (say a very strong orange) into some location or other – but perhaps if I’m careful repositioning the dots I might get the effect I’m after. I’ll have to play with the layout some more.

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Layout #2

Repositioning the darkest blocks with the dots has done it I think… although maybe I should gather the paler oranges together into the second or third ring – that will probably require I make new blocks – anyway, it’s time to get on with other things today. I’ll keep looking at this before stitching the blocks together…

Boring Socks IV

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Boring Sock IV

Thank goodness, this is the last of that lovely, but boring, yarn I bought last summer. The yarn had a great feel was nice to work with, but Oh! it was dull to knit with. Not much change in colour – the socks seemed to take forever.

As I was finishing this pair, I went shopping for some new brighter yarn – picked up five balls in one of my usual stops in town. Then last Friday one of the gals in the knitting group mentioned a yarn shop near the airport I hadn’t heard about so Monday afternoon I took a trip to have a look – knitter who decided to go into the yarn selling business – what a wonderful selection of sock yarns. Difficult to decide what to bring home.

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Assortment of New Bright Yarns

I bought another six balls…and immediately started on a new pair of socks – bright ones this time. They’ll seem to go much faster (probably takes about the same amount of time as the dull ones, but it feels like the socks grow more quickly because they’re continually changing).

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At Last A Bright Pair of Socks

Here is the new bright pair I’ve just started.