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We went to Run-A-Muk Dog Park twice this past week.



Dusty really needs to run and play with other young dogs. It's good to see Rocky running, too. He doesn't run as fast as Dusty, but he seems comfortable galloping along the trail, so I guess his joints are holding up all right. We had several sunny days this past week, but we also had a lot of snow, mostly Thursday afternoon and evening.


Thursday morning Vintage Stitchers met at Diane's. She had asked us to bring 2" strips for the Adopt A Native Elder program. They use the strips to tie up fabric pieces for the aging Native Americans in the program. Several of us brought stacks of strips or folded fabric for one of the volunteers to cut. Volunteers meet a couple of times a week to put together packages of food and other necessities to take with them during their periodic food runs.



Diane had finished this afghan. Several of the ladies in the group have made this or are making it. The pattern is from the Building Blocks pattern by Michelle Hunter. She used Swish Worsted by Knit Picks.



Rebecca, our appliqué queen, is working on some of the last blocks to go into her current quilt. It's supposed to have 24 blocks, but she says she thinks 20 is enough. She uses a freezer-paper method.



Here's another one:



Marilyn had finished her Falling Charms quilt. She planned to drop it off at the quilter after the meeting.


Here's the back:


Barbara had made this microwave bowl holder. It's designed to hold a bowl you put into the microwave, so it won't be hot when you take it out, but she likes it for holding her sewing supplies.


Here's a look from the side:



I took my "Peggy's Sistine Chapel" to show my friends. They remember when I was looking for the fabrics for it. I worked on my ZickZack scarf at the meeting.


I have been sewing, though.  I had made a pleated skirt for Vroni before we left on our Christmas trip, but I wasn't very happy with how it looked from the back. Also, I had to alter it to fit the skinnier Götz dolls. I thought I would "tweak" the pattern, but ended up redesigning it, modeled here by Lotte.



The grey skirt on the left was the first one. The pattern had you sew the top/yoke to the pleated skirt section, then add the elastic and sew up the back. The top/yoke was supposed to be cut on the bias, but I didn't have enough fabric to do that.


For the remake, I used homespun, which I think looks a little like thin wool flannel and comes in nice plaids. I cut the top/yoke on the bias using my rotary cutter and ruler to the size I ended up with for my altered version of the skirt (3 1/2" X 12"). I cut the skirt section on the crosswise straight-of-grain, making it 1/4" longer, because these dolls are 1" taller than the American Girl doll the original pattern was designed for (3 3/4 X 35"). I finished the top/yoke section, elastic and all, including the back seam. Then I hemmed the skirt and sewed the back seam. When I made the pleats, I made the pleats using the lines in the plaid, starting by folding the seam inside where it wouldn't show. It doesn't matter how big the pleats are as long as they just touch on the wrong side. Then I pinned the two sections together, easing in any fullness and using lots of pins. After sewing the two pieces together, I topstitched the way I did in the first skirt. Here you can see the difference:



Theoretically, you can piece the skirt part, as long as you have an equal number of what I would call "pattern repeats" in the plaid, so the seams can be hidden in the folded back part of the pleat. You can also make the pleats larger or smaller, as long as they just touch in the wrong side. Of course, this will change the number of pleats.


I finished the pattern testing for "Lotte's Lotta Colors." I found some mistakes and issued a revision. I had long thought a self-striping or multicolored yarn would work for this project and simplify the knitting, something people who have never worked a Faire Isle project before would appreciate. I used Palette in Black (25g) for the ribbing and darker color and On Line Supersocke 100 Living Color (24g) for the lighter color (color #1051). By using a multicolored or self-striping yarn you lose control over where the colors appear, but I like the effect, and you only work with two yarns throughout, eliminating the cutting and adding of new yarns at the center front and at the end of round for the sleeves.


Here it is as a cardigan, worn over my Wonderland Turtle turtleneck:



And as a pullover:



For comparison, here is the same sweater knit with the traditional changing yarn colors at the center front every few rounds:


Definitely a more structured look.

Late Thursday night, Dusty was barking incessantly. I went out to see what he was barking at. There was a young man standing at our gate, and two more out in the street with a vehicle. The young man said they were on a ski trip from Minnesota and were staying at the house up the hill (the one we call the "nightly rental house"). He said that even with 4X4 they couldn't get up the hill to park in their driveway and wanted to know if they could park in our drive. (We have a driveway wide enough for three vehicles, but only a 2-car garage.) I gave him permission. The next morning, they were out early, shoveling away the berm from our driveway, something produced when the snowplow comes by. I think they were planning on staying for a week, but they had no more problems, as of this writing.


I'm always looking for easy recipes for classic vegetarian dishes. With a little research online, I made a few adaptations and came up with this version of Huevos Rancheros.



Per person:

1 corn tortilla
1/2 C refried beans
2 T canned green chiles
1/2 small cooked potato, shredded
1 egg
1/4 C shredded Cheddar or Mexican cheese

1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 green onion, chopped
Salsa to taste

Preheat oven to 350º
Line an ovenproof soup bowl with foil for each person. Spray inside with cooking spray. Place corn tortilla inside and top with beans, chiles and potato. Make a well in the center and break egg into it.
Bake for 25 min. 
Top with avocado, chopped green onion, and salsa.

(If you're serving this to someone who can't chew tough tortilla, you can cover it with foil for cooking.)

What's on my needles: ZickZack Scarf, about 1" further than last week.

What's on my Featherweight: Slacks for Götz dolls.

What's on my loom: Scarf to use up last of the warp.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is still awaiting her next task. 

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Dean Koontz’ Midnight. Now listening to Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens. Seems very good so far. I'm about halfway through. Someone at Vintage Stitchers recommended The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez. It was chosen as the book of the year by the libraries in Salt Lake City.

What's in my wine glass: Green Fin Red Table Wine, Vintage 2016. From organically grown grapes. Very, very nice!

What's my tip of the week: We shop for groceries at about four different stores. I made up a list of things we often buy at each store and saved it as a document in my word-processing program. I print off a copy and attach it to the fridge. We circle things as we find we need them and write in what isn't on the list. Then when one of us goes to the store, we just grab the list and go.

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 or dolls were harmed during the production of this blog post.

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Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 31, 2018 at 6:34pm

LOL! Consider them hors d'oeuvres, then. One per hors d'oeuvre, then. (Have the butler serve them on a large tray.)

Comment by Barbara Graham on January 31, 2018 at 6:11pm

You, and your group, have been very productive! The recipe sounds yummy but I had to laugh at the one per person. I would be fine with one but would need at least 3 for DH. The man has a hearty appetite and it doesn't seem to stick to him like it does to me.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 31, 2018 at 1:47pm

Thanks for the great tip, Ally!

Comment by Ally Bryant on January 31, 2018 at 1:45pm

Barb if you do make the bowls I expect you know that they have to be 100%cotton fabric and batting. Just a little note one of my friends found out the hard way, was her bowl had a Christmas theme and she tried out in microwave and it got burnt, because the Christmas fabric and a touch of gold on fabric. 

Comment by Barb/WI on January 31, 2018 at 12:09pm

Great post, again.  Love the dolls.  The bowls are on my "to-do" list.  I might just have to stop the current quilting project, and get them done.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 31, 2018 at 6:49am

Thanks, Irene! It's always good to know you're being entertained. I used to make my own clothes back when I was in high school. Back then you could save money by making your own. I've learned a lot by making these little dresses, skirts, blouses, shirts and pants for dolls, though. I'm on a budget, and I can have a lot of fun dressing dolls for a lot less money than making quilts. It takes me so long to hand-quilt a quilt, and I don't have the money to pay someone to machine quilt for more than a couple of quilts a year.

Comment by Irene Gallway on January 31, 2018 at 5:03am

Peggy great post again this week.  Since I don't knit I really appreciate the work others do.  Mum taught me to knit but it just wasn't my thing. And because I was a garment maker before I was introduced to quilting it thrills me to see the garments you make for the girls and boys.  Those skirts are adorable.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 30, 2018 at 8:51pm

I'll tell them you said so, LOL!

Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on January 30, 2018 at 3:01pm

Great show and tell as usual Peggy.  I really like the FairIsle sweater done with the self striping yarn - and that would be so much easier to do.  

Great applique work by your friend and of course, the doll clothes - best dressed dolls ever!

Comment by Peggy Stuart on January 29, 2018 at 1:28pm

Great idea, Janet!

Ally, it takes less patience to dress dolls than real children or especially adults. By the time you’re bored with the project, you’re done. I started it for my granddaughter, then the grandsons. Now I do it for fun. After I take photos, I usually give the clothes away to grandkids or for a doll that will go to charity, although I try to keep my "kids" decently dressed. (I find I feel cold if they aren’t dressed warmly.) My grands also play with the dolls when they come to visit. I’m trying very hard NOT to become a collector.

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