29 July 2022

Friday Fabulous

28 July 2022

Jarred

I haven't wanted to do any dyeing for a while now because I haven't used up the yarn and thread I've already dyed. But summer is solar-dyeing season, and I needed space in my freezer that had been devoted to future avocado pits dye projects.

So, I ordered another half dozen hanks of bare Felici. Just love the softness of this yarn!!! And it takes up the dye so beautifully!

While I waited for the yarn to arrive, I put the frozen avocado pits in my thrift store blender on the porch and made four more jars of dye, which sat in the sun for a few weeks, solar brewing.

When the new yarn arrived, I prepared the first hank for dyeing and stuck it in fresh dye.

I also had a hank of crochet thread I'd already solar-dyed with avocado pits, but it had been a third or fourth dip. I try to soak up every single drop of tint I can get befoe I discard the ammonia-soaked avocado pit mush into the flower garden. (Helps keep critters away from the flowers, and turns hydrangeas, delphiniums and larkspur bluer.) This particular hank of crochet thread didn't take up much color; there probably wasn't much pigment left! I decided to overdye the pale sandstone thread and stuck it in the jar with the yarn because I already have enough pale avocado crochet thread. I'd really like to have more deep, dark rich browns and reds for the motif project I've been working on for more than three years.

My best avocado pit dyeing results have been when I let the dye (in airtight glass jars) sit in the sun for six or seven months. Dye with barely a couple of months of sun hadn't produced much hue on the fiber when I was forced to take it out of the plastic pretzel jar... One of Smokey the Bear's relatives made a surprise late-night visit and rolled the jar all over the backyard trying to get it open, presumably because the bruin couldn't tell from the smell this wasn't healthy eatin'.

Sorry I have no photos other than the puncture wounds in the jar's lid! I wonder if the bear knows how lucky he was that he couldn't get into the ammonia-laced dye?

Back into a glass jar with more fresh avocado pit dye the yarn went. I'll let it sit for a while again before I check the color, which I hope will be darker.

The thread is almost exactly what I was hoping for, though, so I'm going to go ahead and wind it into a ball so it can commiserate with the rest of the avocado-dyed crochet thread stash before they get transformed into motif magic!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts.

26 July 2022

Shingles

Yes, we were vaccinated nearly a year ago, and no, we do not have any symptoms. We do, however, have new shingles on our old roof, and oh, are they pretty!

We've had drive-by companies hammering us to let them replace our roof for about three or four years now. We've had a few good hail storms, and our home is celebrating its vicenary anniversary this year. Fun word, right??? Did you catch the name of my snowflake yesterday???

Our roof didn't quite have enough damage. Until after last December's windstorms. Particularly the one that decimated an entire community about 70 miles north of our home.

That particular windstorm sounded like a train repeatedly hitting up against the side of our house. I thought I shot a movie of our shingles flapping in the wind, but I guess I got only stills. Seven businesses and 1,084 homes were lost in the Marshall fire. We got to keep our home, and for that, I am extremely grateful. But our roof was toast.

The whole process of getting a new roof has taken several months, with the insurance company and the contractor duking it out, plus the homeowner's association's approval process. We changed the color to match other yellow homes in our neighborhood, and the time it took to approve an approved color made us wonder if we'd accidentally checked off that we were building a skyscraper or putting in a petting zoo.


the original roof

It looked like we might get a pink roof when the materials were delivered!

Lizard had warned me I would need to wear earplugs while working from home on installation day. This was my first new roof ever. And boy, did Lizard ever get it right! I ended up apologizing to the neighbors for the early morning wake-up pounding. And we supplied much-appreciated ice cold water, Gatorade and Pepsi for the crew, who literally cooked atop our roof trying to beat the 95 degrees the thermometer hit just half an hour after they finished.

Oh, and our leaky and damaged gutter got replaced, too. We got rain for the first time in three months the next day. And the basement didn't flood!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!! And, now I can finish the rest of the rockwork below the downspout.

Now, it's done, and it feels like a whole new house. Who knew a new roof could make us feel like we bought a new home!

25 July 2022

Snowflake Monday

It's difficult right now to find time to crochet because I'm still fighting to get my blog back on my domain. More than two weeks now!!! Wednesday will be Day 20.

When my web host upgraded/updated whatever it changed back on July 7, something on the server end didn't convert my Blogger blog properly. My blog instantly disappeared. I've been communicating with web host techs ever since, and they've been making DNS changes for me (because I don't know how to do that) and promising me my blog will be back online "in 48 hours" after it propogates. Each conversation I've initiated (because my blog still was not visible after 48 (or more) hours, the techs have asked why I changed DNS settings. I haven't changed a thing. Again, I don't know how!

Somehow, changes keep reverting back to whatever they were that caused this. I wondered if my blog had been hacked. I eventually lost access to my email, too, and then my main website went down. Then, one of the techs scared the daylights out of me when he said I have no content at all on my blog. (He did not have access to my Blogger account, and he didn't know I am not using WordPress.)

I suggested to the fifth tech I spoke with (who wanted me to run a 48+-hour backup from waybackmachine.org, which archives only my most popular posts) that we totally disconnect my blog from my paid domain, then start over in 24 hours, linking my blog to my domain like it's a first-time transfer. I noted that I would need help because I knew only how to unlink Blogger from snowcatcher.net, which is my paid domain. No problem, he said. Disconnect away. I did. And I was tempted (by all the heartache this whole mess has caused) to leave Snowcatcher disconnected from my domaine, forfeiting the money I've paid to keep the domain and keep it secure until next April.

My blog was accessible again! Via a different link, but at least it was up and running again! Then Sisters of the Snowflake began informing me my most popular posts are being blocked by various security software... which is why I bought a secure domain in the first place. Well, plus, I wanted my own website with my own name.

Here are the links, working and not, I hope might help. PLEASE SAVE THEM!!! My private domain is www.snowcatcher.net. My main website (where my snowflake directory resides) is www.snowcatcherphotos.com. In case my blog disappears again, most of my most popular posts (mostly snowflake patterns) are available at waybackmachine.org. When I disconnect from my domain (which I plan to do only if these problems persist), my blog should be visible again within 48 hours at www.snowcatcher.blogspot.com. While my blog is not visible, I am mirroring my posts to www.snowcaught.blogspot.com. I don't plan to keep posting at both places because I just don't have time. But I won't shut down the mirror site, and when I have time, I will try to copy snowflake patterns to that location.

However, Snowcaught will not be connected to a private domain, so that link could potentially trigger security filters. It does exactly that every single time I post a snowcaught.net snowflake pattern link to our Sisters of the Snowflake group on Facebook. (Oh, and I am no real fan of Facebook, but FB *sometimes* is a convenient place for widely scattered people with like interests to gather and discuss topics such as website outages and bot censorship. I'm in several quilt groups on there, and scrolling through quilt masterpieces can calm even the most frustrating moments!)

If and when I get hooked back up to www.snowcatcher.net, blogspot links SHOULD still work. They should redirect without much of a hiccup. The blogspot link should be good no matter what in the future. But, there's a reason I'm not an IT tech. And, we all know my crystal ball has not been functional for quite some time now.

Day 20 of no domain access gives me a tiny little bit of inspiration in naming today's snowflake. It was inspired by the hexagon quilt block in my block-a-day hexi calendar by Katja Marek. I didn't actually start the snowflake until July 21. I kept both my perpetual quilt block calendars on July 20 until I could make both of them. One as a snowflake, and the other as a block in my nephew's quilt. I guess I'm kind of stuck in time, not only trying to get my blog back on the web, but also trying to create July 20-inspired projects!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 3 inches from point to point Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Vicenary Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr in ring, [ch 6, 3 tr in ring] 2 times; ch 3, 1 tr in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 to form 3rd ch 6 tip of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 tr and ch 1), over post of tr directly below work [1 tr, ch 1] 2 times, [ch 1, 1 sc in middle tr of next 3/tr group, ch 1, in next ch 6 tip work [[1 tr, ch 1]] 3 times, ch 2, in same ch 6 tip work [[1 tr, ch 1]] 3 times] 2 times; ch 1, 1 sc in middle tr of next 3/tr group, ch 1, in next ch 6 tip work [[1 tr, ch 1]] 3 times; 1 dc in 4th ch of starting ch 5 to form 3rd ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 3: 3 sc over post of dc directly below, [3 hdc in next ch 1 sp, 3 dc in next ch 1 sp, 3 tr in next ch 1 sp, ch 3, 3 tr in next ch 1 sp, 3 dc in next ch 1 sp, 3 hdc in next ch 1 sp, 3 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 sc in same ch 3 sp] 3 times, omitting last 3 sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends. If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

21 July 2022

Blocked

I was hoping to finish piecing all the blocks for Matthew's quilt by now so I could perhaps finish quilting it this weekend. The eighth block is nearly done, and the ninth block hopefully will be done by Friday.

Progress is being made, but not as fast as I'd like.

I had originally planned to make 12 blocks, borrowing three from another calendar pattern, because I'm sort of a 3x4 girl. But I've now run out of the darkest color from the Stonehenge iron ore fat quarter, and I had to piece the dark blocks for the sixth, seventh and eighth blocks because I didn't have any pieces big enough. The ninth block will be lucky to get a tiny triangle of the darkest color.

As a result, I am now reconsidering the 3x4 layout. I may go with the nine blocks in the pattern and just try to come up with a fancy sashing to make the quilt top big enough for a young man. I've been using up small leftovers from Lizard's 11th and 9th quilts (six years ago!!!), which feels super rewarding, but those remnants are almost gone now, too.

Matthew's birthday is in September, and I'm feeling confident I will have it to him on time this year. But I'm not sure I'm going to have a WIP finish this month. I'm doing my best, but just not at warp speed this time around.

Linking up with Alycia Quilts.

19 July 2022

Terrible Tuesday

I'm not sure why I'm still trying, but I continue to try to get my Snowcatcher blog back up and running. Snowcaught just isn't filling the gaping hole. The continuing battle with my web host is not going well; I've lost access to the email address I set up through the web host, thinking it would be my forever email address. I've lost total faith in my web host, and I likely will have to change. Which probably means a new email address, too. Darn it.

I haven't thrown in the towel yet.

Hopefully these screen shots illustrate just a tiny sample of the heartache this extremly uncomfortable outage has caused.

And how all this makes me feel...

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