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In Common Threads this week, we had a special meeting to view the video, "Learn to Love Needleturn" by Mary Sorensen

We gathered at our usual start time at Janet's to have a bite to eat before the meeting. We had eight people, in spite of our first real snowstorm, with accumulation on the roads (see photo, below). Some of our members are new to quilting. 

Here we are, watching the video. 

We started by watching a segment, then practicing what we learned, but we could see we weren't going to be able to finish in the time we had allotted, no surprise to me. I had wanted a full day, but some of our members who wanted to participate couldn't spare the time all at once. "Plan B" was to get everyone started, then watch the remaining segments. That way, we got through the 2-hr. video. Each person will be able to borrow the DVD to finish up at her own speed. Some people are going to work together, and some may end up buying their own copy. 

I continue to be amazed at how many tips and tricks there are to learn on the DVD. I've watched it several times, and I've learned something new each time, as I pick up on things that escaped me in earlier viewings, and that, in spite of having had the class in person with Mary Sorensen several years ago, which was wonderful. This is a great DVD, so worth the price! Mary's a good teacher, with a good sense of humor.

We finished up our meeting with a potluck lunch. It was a fun day. Ellen has to go home to Florida soon, but we have decided to work on our appliqué block together when she comes back next month. 

Update on the llama fleeces: Lynda and I prepared a little of the fiber, pulled out guard hairs and junk, washed it, ran it through our drum carder and spun it up, just to see if it was worth all the work. Lynda has knit up a swatch. I still need to do mine. Both of us found there was more dirt to wash out with the finished yarn. Here's a photo of my share of the llama, spun and plied:

I got 19 wraps-per-inch (WPI), 43 g and 56 yds. It's very soft, but I'm not sure about next to the skin; it might be a little itchy. We may have left a few of the guard hairs in. It took several hours just to get less than 100 g ready to spin, but I think it's worth the effort. Now if the weather will cooperate and give us a few days to get enough done to do something with. Here's a closeup.

We had a special get-together to be able to spend some time with an old friend who isn't available on Thursdays. Susan came and showed off her jacket.

She wove this from Tencel and Silk thread. She says the weaving was easy, but the sewing was a challenge.

Remember that winter storm I mentioned? I wasn't kidding. This is what greeted me Friday morning when I looked out our back windows. That's our hot tub under all that snow. I can't remember ever having "real" snow this early. Most of it has melted now.

We had new technical problems this week, related to iOS7. DH had a return of his username/password problem. Also, about the beginning of the week I lost Siri. (I was afraid she had been furloughed, although I thought she was a contractor, not a federal worker.) We had to stop by the Apple store anyway to help DH with his problem (finally resolved, I think), so I got an appointment with one of the cute geniuses at the Genius Bar. It turns out I had turned her off. (I have that effect on a lot of people.) I wonder where she went while she was gone?

Speaking of computers, this came in from the cold:

I didn't want a computer bug, so I showed him the door (window, actually). My laptop is a MacBook, but I didn't want to take a chance. 

What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms, Christmas Waffle inching along, and Green Tea socks with a few more pattern repeats finished.

What's on my loom: Hoping to warp soon for a scarf. (This week got away from me.)

What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Wolf," barely started.

What's on my Featherweight: Delectable pathways, appliqué panel #3, half of the stems done, but not very pretty yet, so no photo. I've been using my machine to hem pants, etc., but I may have to sew my Delectable Mountains blocks together, just to take a break from appliqué, knitting, spinning, etc.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Still listening to The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson-Burnett (author of Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden). Excellent book. The eBook The Hannover Square Affair by Ashley Gardner is on my iPad Nook app for bedtime reading. Listening to the Fiber Hooligan podcast and the Knit Picks podcast.

What's my app of the week: The Recipe Box. There are several apps for keeping your recipes, but this was one of the ones where you don't have to pay extra to get the iPad, iPhone and Mac version of the app. It's $3.99. You can copy and paste your favorite recipes and include a photo if you have one. It will help you make a shopping list. I'm transferring my recipes as I cook them. I especially like that it doesn't turn itself off while you're trying to cook. I've been viewing my recipes in Pages and always hate to have to touch my iPad screen with messy fingers. Note: A couple of weeks ago, I chose a flashlight app as my "app of the week." I've now deleted that flashlight app, because iOS 7 gives you a flashlight, and it can be accessed from the Control Center. One of the amazing new features!

What's in my wine glass: Glen Ellen House Concannon (Glen Ellen Reserve) Merlot, vintage 2011. As in, "You had me at Merlot." Nice wine with flavors of cherry and plum with a touch of spice. Think I'll have another glass....

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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Comment by Peggy Stuart on October 10, 2013 at 4:01pm

Somehow the link didn't work. Here's Mary's website:


The DVD is the first thing you see. You'll like the DVD! Her patterns are great, too.

Cute cowl and mitts! My yarn is nowhere near that thick. I don't know how to spin thicker yarn. If I want it thicker, I have to add more plies.

We started some minigroups for knitting, quilting, crochet and needlepoint. I have a few friends I spin with, and we have a great weavers' guild.

Comment by AnnetteJ on October 10, 2013 at 3:11pm

Hi Peggy:  Always great to read your blog.  Your friends are very interesting and do such fun things!  Where did you find the Mary Sorenson DVD?  Would you mind sending me the address?  As to those skeins of chunky yarn, here's something I found online this week that you might be interested in keeping for those 1 skein beauties we turn out as spinners.  I'm using a commercial yarn for mine and will give them as gifts to our GDs who are in their late 20s.  So here's the link:http://kmknits.blogspot.ca/2009/11/lake-street-cowl.html  Let me know what you think.  Sadly, our spinning group is slowly but surely falling apart at the seams.  I guess 22 years together, every week has just been too often.  Some of us are yearning for the day we meet for lunch and some knitting or spinning once a month.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on October 7, 2013 at 1:50pm

Mary, it was good I didn't have a mouthful of tea! It would have come out my nose!

Comment by Peggy Stuart on October 7, 2013 at 11:54am

Retirement, relatively good health and diet, 7-8 hrs of sleep most nights and a little ADD thrown in so I get bored if I'm not doing something interesting...I guess.

Comment by Jodi Cramer on October 7, 2013 at 10:16am

O she's at it again! How about some tips on how to keep going and going and going . . . like the Energizer bunny!?!

Comment by Peggy Stuart on October 7, 2013 at 9:18am

We're here to learn from each other, and not just quilting, I guess.

Comment by Pam/NY on October 7, 2013 at 9:12am

Thanks for the recipe tip...We have those pesky boxelders...

Comment by Peggy Stuart on October 7, 2013 at 9:10am

LOL! Funny, Bonnie! They protect alpacas, too, and they can be used as beasts of burden, especially in mountainous areas, like here. We've passed a convoy of llamas with people on horseback while hiking.

Barb, it's a boxelder bug. Our daughter lives in LaCrosse, so we often watch the weather in Wisconsin. I'd rather have early and lots of snow than tornadoes and hurricanes, and earthquakes aren't my favorite, either. Fortunately, those are all pretty rare here, although we have had tornadoes and earthquakes in our state.

Comment by Bonnie on October 7, 2013 at 8:53am

Your llama yarn is beautiful yarn, but I have always thought their main purpose in life is to look gorgeous as they protect the sheep in the field. 

Comment by Barb/WI on October 7, 2013 at 8:51am

That particular computer bug looks familiar!  That jacket looks fabulous.  I'd love to be able to feel the woven fabric.  It just sounds so soft and comfy.  The whole process with the llama yarn is fascinating.  Sounds very time consuming, but the end product is beautiful.  As for that snow storm?  I was happy to watching that whole system from a distance, on the tv!  I'm not ready for that.

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