Friday, January 2, 2015


It's been so cold here this past week that we've started leaving the heat on overnight.  And being thankful for the furnace!  This morning around 6 a.m. the thermometer (at the nearby weather station, as per surpriseweatherbug) stood at 29.9ºF.  We watched it dip down, down, down to bottom out at 28.5ºF.  That's cold!

Last year we left here on the 7th of December, and at that time were still able to sit out on the patio in the late afternoon and enjoy a cold drink while reading library books.  So when I packed some clothes for this time here I didn't even think of including some sweaters or sweatshirts.  I do have some jackets to layer for the trip home (planned for early February), but never thought I'd need warm clothing for this "depth of winter."  Well, we can't really complain.  The high predicted for today is 52ºF, and that's not too shabby.  In the meantime, turn up the thermostat and pile on the layers.

Yesterday I finished the lap quilt (42" x 52") that I cut out last week Wednesday.
It's backed with a blue flannel print and bound with a red cotton binding.  I machine quilted in a moderate sized meander stitch and had an incredible amount of trouble with the upper thread shredding and breaking.  I tried all the traditional fixes, rethreading, changing the needle, using different thread, etc. multiple times and the problem never went away.  I finally just soldiered on, cutting the thread and restarting after each break.  I have no idea what caused it, and had no trouble with thread breakage when sewing on the binding.

The next quilt is already cut out: a vivid print fabric that more or less had built-in stripes.  I've cut 3", 2-1/2", 2", 1-1/2" and 1" strips and plan to make a bargello quilt, taking advantage of the printed stripes to take place of sewing all separate strips together.

The bit of knitting beside the quilt is the second sock of the "Skew" pair that I had trouble with earlier.  I did some research on "Skew" in Ravelry and now understand the pattern much better than I did when knitting the first pair, made a few years ago.  I remember being puzzled throughout the pattern the first time through.  Now I have a clear understanding of what's going on in the very unusual sock pattern.  A careful reading and following of each instruction helped to clear up the confusion.

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