Hello, September

Let’s start this month off right, with an image of unparalleled beauty, which I hope will sweeten your day.



That is the silliest tradition, to say that the first day of each month. But there it is.

Now that we have completed the proper rituals, here’s the REAL image of unparalled beauty to carry with you throughout the day:

This is Háifoss, Iceland:

Stitched Panorama

(photo from the collection of Habetrot on Ravelry; photographer’s name in the depths of my notes and thus not here, apologies, I’ll keep looking)

No, that isn’t one of my vacation pictures, although goodness knows, I wish it were. I keep hearing Iceland is one of the most gorgeous places on earth; if that photo is any fair representation, it really ought to be on my bucket list.

Except that I don’t have a bucket list. I just now realized that. No bucket list. It’s not that I don’t have things I would like to do, see, or experience; it’s that life has taken so many unexpected turns for me these past seven years that who has time to work out a bucket list? I’m too busy holding on for the Wilde Ride!


Remember the Sasquatch Pelt? Well, it’s all washed and dried now, both largish bags of it (not an inconsiderable feat given the outrageous humidity around these parts lately), and it turned out to be a lovely, shiny pelt with different sorts of fibres in it. This makes sense, given that it is a Double-Coated Shetland: It has the long outer fibres and the softer undercoat. I haven’t separated out the two, since the carded results are actually softer than I would have imagined, and the different colours and textures make for a nice effect.

I decided I wanted to see what five different spinners would do with a lightly carded mix of Sasquatch and silk:

Rowan batts jewel look

The spinners are Rosemary, Rachel, JJ, Enting, and Aubrey, just for the record. I told them this was an experiment to see what five different spinners, with very different styles of spinning, would do with the same unusual batts. I told them they could process the batts further if they wished (any way: combing, more carding, whatever), and spin it any way they wished. Results not given a deadline, because, what fun is that?  So if and when the spinners send me photos or status reports, I’ll pass the info on to you. Should be interesting.

Never, Ever, Say Never…No, I mean REALLY

I used to quilt. I used to quilt a lot, and I even managed to get one quilt shown at a conference gallery:

my little quilt

Sara’s Flying Triangles, hand-pieced and hand-quilted, completed Nov 1993, by me

The last quilt I did was the following year, methinks, and I finished only the top:

boo quilt


Literally FIVE SECONDS after I managed to take that shot, the same scene looked like this:

boo 5 sec later

And then….this:

MY chair...MINE

MY chair…MINE

Ahem. Yes, Master. Your Chair. I apologise for not remembering this fact.

This little Halloween quilt top is machine-pieced, and as you can see, is basically a log cabin/courthouse steps variant. I thought the use of colour in the blocks to form the design was very clever. (Pattern from: Holiday Happenings by Christal Carter.)

Just for grins, here’s the backing I chose:

backing boo

There’s also a fair bit of applique and embroidery involved. Funny how I keep saying I don’t like applique and I don’t like embroidery, but somehow a lot of my quilts end up with acres of both.

Boo's friend Spidey

Boo’s friend Spidey

Anyhow, somewhere after I finished that top, I swore off quilting. It’s a spendy hobby, it takes tons of time, and I was a busy knitting magazine editor who needed to be living every second of my life with either a red editing pen in hand or a knitting project clicking away. No More Quilting, said I. Everytime someone showed me an excellent quilt (I worked in a craft publishing house, for pete’s sake, there were photos of gorgeous quilts all over the place), I Just Said No.

Then, here at my little church, I helped hand-quilt the top of a lovely queen-sized king-sized quilt that my church is raffling off to help fund building repairs and so on.

The Auction Quilt, Christ Church, Bolton

The Auction Quilt, Christ Church, Bolton

I believe the top was pieced by the venerable Queen of Crafting, Dorothy Stewart, whose name is always spoken with a mixture of reverence, love, and awe at all the work this 90-year-old woman can do. Several of us helped with the actual quilting; I think, if memory serves, that the square I quilted is top row, second from left. I also did a bit of the fan block to its left.

P.S. Yes, there really will be a raffle for this quilt. If you are interested in buying raffle tickets, let me know. $2 each or 3 for $5, I can hold onto the stubs for you for the actual drawing (in November, you’ve got time), and I’ll work out a way for the money stuff to happen in a secure/trustworthy way. NO PRESSURE, but there’s the info just in case you fell in love with that quilt and would like a chance to win it for your very own house.

This, of course, was so much fun that I couldn’t help myself:

tulip quilt square

Quilt Software!

And then:

Beginning to work out the details of a Tulip Quilt

Beginning to work out the details of a Tulip Quilt

Why yes, I am doomed. What makes you ask? (The sewing machine dominating my worktable and the piles of fabric next to it means nothing. Nothing, I tell you. Mere props. No big deal. I can stop anytime I want to.)

Actually, I think this is good for me. I’d sort of come to a block in my knitting that I couldn’t quite work through; when I can’t knit, I often find that I am blocked in other creative endeavours: spinning, fibre prep, and, of course, writing.

It’s taken the entire month of August to get things shaken up enough so that I think the  blockage is slipping. I think the quilting helped–different media, different way of looking at colour and design, different parts of the brain engaged.

Sunflowers from the local Farmer's Market...I adore sunflowers!

Sunflowers from the local Farmer’s Market…I adore sunflowers!

I might even get a killer quilt out of it. And I have already started hand-quilting Mr. Boo, for which he is quite grateful. He was feeling a bit neglected, I think.

The Return of The Chispas–Small Sparks of Inspiration

  • Microsoft Excel. Say that phrase and gasps of dread and horror are heard throughout the land. But one man, a hero for our times, has found a way to turn the forces of evil to work for the Triumph of The Good: He makes Spreadsheet Art. And I’m not talking dopey cartoonish stuff. I’m talking museum-quality…oh, just go see for yourselves.
  • Sometimes it is really hard to grasp numbers and statistics, particularly when it comes to vanishing species and vanishing habitats. Mr. Shimuras has found a way through art to make these concepts concrete and vivid for all of us. (He’s also created a race of crayon meerkats, but perhaps that is beside the point. Or perhaps, it IS the point. You decide.)
  • I may have posted this deep sea mystery previously, but as there are updates, plus new videos of the little scamps caught in the act, I thought it needed a reprise.
  • And what would Chispas be without a cute animal photo…or three?


moose in pool

Somedays, you really should NEVER answer the doorbell. Cuz those sheep will try to sell you the fleece right off their backs.

dog looking thru window at sheep

This cat clearly knows something we do not. Or else, it is taking something we are not.

bopping danger kitty

And then, the Return of KittyZilla:

kitty godzilla

Finally, I wish you peaceful, compassionate arms to rest in.

buddha and kitty

Till next time. And I’m trying to queue up some posts for you so that it isn’t a month between Sandi Blog Sightings. Plus, whilst on holiday in Boston, I was cajolled by a certain tall camelid into buying some Giveaway Llama presents. So, there’s that to look forward to…right?

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Two toddler-age kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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13 Responses to Hello, September

  1. Anna Johnson says:

    love love love you pictures!!! Anna j.


  2. Donna says:

    Beautiful pictures as always. I will be in touch about that quilt! I may have a king sized bed but I still love it and want it 😉 So I must have chances 🙂


  3. Lovely quilts. I’d love to be part of the raffle. Can you let me know how to send $?


  4. Rachel says:

    Happy to see you posting Sandi. I knit and dabble in weaving, spinning and crochet. I do sewing stuff but mostly repairs to clothes which gets tiresome (especially when a favorite shirt of D1 manages through the year to lose each button). I have been stashing worn out clothes for refashioning or making into quilts or rugs. Hasn’t happened yet although I think I finally have enough to start.


  5. Suze says:

    Never heard of the Rabbit rabbit rabbit thing but Oh My – that waterfall! What a picture! what a place! I’ll go to Iceland with you! (I think they have good yarn there!)


  6. Holly says:

    You’ve been missed. Love your post, especially the cute animal pics. Have a good day


  7. knitwit56 says:

    How do you manage to find so many adorable animal pictures? (Besides your own adorable kitties, of course.)

    Quilting is one thing I’ve never really gotten into – maybe it’s too much like sewing (not my favorite activity) or maybe I’ve just never been able to unearth my sewing machine for long enough. I do appreciate a beautiful quilt though, and have several example of Amish quilts around.


  8. Anne says:

    Good to hear from you again, Sandi. Quilting is every bit as consuming as knitting, but I’ve managed to wrestle all my fabric into one large box. I enjoy quilting but I need knitting for sanity!
    Glad the creative juices are starting to flow.


  9. elaine in colorado says:

    Oh, so good to see your post in my inbox! I am way behind reading, trying to catch up. Quilting has evaded me, probably a good thing. Take care!


  10. Tamara says:

    I’m glad you discovered that ‘procrastination’ on another type of work is a way of getting something done in another way while the thing you wanted to get done bubbles in the background, moving it’s way forward unconsciously. Also, to get back to a hobby you once loved is wonderful just for it’s own sake.

    LOVE the pics–I’d see the excel artist before–I still can’t figure out how he did those incredible paintings. And the puffer fish circles??? How cool is that?

    and of course all the kitties, even Master with his Chair.

    Missed you!! Can’t wait for the next post!



  11. EagleKnits says:

    Glad to see you’re back! It will be fun to see what the spinners do with the Sasquatch and silk. The colors are lovely. I like your tulip quilt design; what quilt software did you use?


  12. Barbara says:

    So happy to see your blog in my inbox this morning! I was going to go to your website because I thought you’d lost my address and I’d missed your great missives.


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