news from the wee town of orange

Well, hello there. How are you kind folks? Tired of winter yet? ::rolls eyes:: Here’s what it looks like outside my window as of five minutes ago…


Wiseheart Mountain

And out the back window…


That poor little mini-fir-tree out back. It looks like one of those fantasy winter trees you see in paintings with gnomes and hedgehogs and polka-dotted mushrooms. Only without the cute friendly forest critters and gnomes. Boooo.

Warning: More pictures than usual in this post. (12 plus a slideshow!) I will ‘splain anon.

Yesterday, it snowed about, oh, six? eight? inches. Big, quarter-sized flakes, with the winds making a blizzard out of everything, just for added fun. Heavy, wet snow, the kind that gives you a backache just looking at it. Melody was a hero and shoveled the driveway this morning, and of course it took sooo much longer than anticipated. There was no way I was going to get out of the house on time, and she just barely made it to her meeting at York U., with minutes to spare.

After last year’s relatively snowless winter, this one has been a very wintery blustery winter so far. We have had weeks of snow and grey skies, day after day after day, punctuated by the occasional day like Saturday: Brilliant blue skies, with the sunshine setting everything to sparkle. On these sunny days, I watch as the ice and snow make interesting sculptures on our deck.

Over the weekend, the Outside made lace with ice and snow:


A delicate ice window edged with lace

Down-railing a bit, there was an icy bridge rounding the corner:


One can see that poor St. Francis has been sporting a new winter look.


He looks like Bishop Francis with that hat so high

Note that the above pic was actually taken about 2-3 weeks ago, before the snow really got started. As of the other day, Francis was buried up to his Bible in white stuff.


Someone knit Francis a big foofy shawl.
Maybe it was done via arm knitting, using roving.
I understand that is trés stylin’ these days.
Nifty door screen special effects are on special today for readers of this blog!

The Suburban Plague

It was probably just as well I didn’t get out the door. I have The Creeping Crud, as my mom would say. Yeah. I’m sick, smitten with that horrible never-ending flu that is going around. (Did I get a flu shot when I ought to have gotten one? No. I mean, why should I? I’m only kinda-sorta really immuno-compromised, but I still have a handful of white blood cells around here somewhere. Don’t need no stinking flu shot.)

I seem to have a never-ending eye-roll going on here.

I woke up yesterday with no voice; today I have a voice but no energy to do much with it. That’s the worst part of this particular Flu Fu: It’s one of those that leaves you too fatigued to really focus on anything, but not fatigued enough to sleep all day. Grrrr. Arrrgh.

The last few weeks have been sort of sickly surreal around here. Melody came down with the Human Hairball-Hacking Horror (some mundanes call it “bronchitis”), and her weeks of constant coughing have kept both of us awake most nights. Sleep deprivation, let me tell you, is not good for the soul. Nor for the mental health of the household; we’ve been snipping at each other like scissors at times, bleary-eyed and exhausted. In light of this, we both have developed a new level of respect for OTC cough meds. Melody usually hates taking pills unless she HAS to; after a week or so of nights of endless coughing, she decided that the evils of multi-syllabic ingredients in her nighttime cough medicine were worth a few nights of actual REM sleep. Unfortunately, in her case, the “all-night” effects last a mere 4-5 hours, and then it’s pajama party time at 2:15 AM promptly every morning. Whee!

Good times.

Luckily there are many amusements to be had in the wee hours at Casa Wiseheart. There’s the nightly storms, for example. And the blizzard-making winds. And the after-dark special effects. The other night, the wind threw branches against the outside of my bedroom wall, and I went to peer out various windows only to find the yard (and the driveway) covered in glass:


shiny icy night

Needless to say, the only thing happening on that driveway might possibly be a nice game of ice hockey. (It’s not actual glass, of course. Half-inch thick ice, that’s all.)

As for more things on the list of Midnight Fun Activities… One can clean one’s sewing table, for example.


Who knew the top of my table was white?

One can also work on projects! Sometimes, I work on quilts: the quilt-in-progress above is this one:


I quilted for years Back in The Ago, before Interweave and the yarn arts stole my heart. Sometime within the past two years, I caught the quilting bug again, and now all hope of any free storage space in our home is lost forever. I have a yarn stash, a spinning fibre stash, a very small weaving thread-cone stash, a sensible (ahem) bead stash, and now, once again, I have a fabric stash.

Abandon hope, and all that.

I have not found my old quilt stash yet (something about unopened boxes in my basement?), and my new fabric stash is not yet (!) the sort that has a lot of leftover scraps and bits and bobs. A quilt like the Triangle Heart Quilt above requires either scrappy leftovers, or a good collection of fat quarters/eighths; when I decided to make this quilt, I had neither. (Melody, I can hear you laughing. Stop that. Trust me, mine is a TINY fabric stash. In comparison. No, really. No, no, don’t laugh LOUDER, you silly woman.)

So, last fall, off I went to Sew Sisters quilt shop in Toronto, and there on a table was the biggest basket of random fat eighths and fat quarters I could imagine. It took me an hour of scrounging (“there, wait, I think I see one at the very bottom…”), colour matching, consulting with the quilt shop ladies, and a fair measure of what I call Colour Humility: accepting that there was just no way I was going to be able to put together a colourway I was comfortable with (something having to do with, oh, say…purple, and perhaps green, and maybe even blue). I had to go with what was there, and what was there just happened to be close enough to the main pattern photo that I felt as though I had a prayer-and-a-half of the quilt not being a total eyesore.


Triangles for the Heart Quilt

I have never worked with coral before. Nor large amounts of yellow and gold. And ORANGE. There are ORANGE triangles in my quilt top. Coral, yellow, gold, and orange. And turquoise. And red. And olive green. Those, people, are the Seven Colours of the Apocalypse. (Run for your lives.)

Since I took that photo above, I have cut out allllllllll the triangles, and put them in piles according to which strip they belong in, in the proper order, even. I have sewn several more strips, but weirdly, I do not have a photo of any of that…because a few months later, I brought home two very enchanting kittens, who proceeded to hog ALL the camera time.


Tessa is so tiny!
She and Ben are 2-3 weeks apart in age. Or thereabouts.

However, I have managed to work on a few quilty and knitty things in the months since last March’s Great Kitten Takeover (Make Kittens Great Again!), as long as I accepted the fact that whatever I have in my hands is irresistible to small hunters-to-be.

Yes, I Still Knit

My friend Mardi went to Rhinebeck this last November, and brought me back a little prezzie: A lovely cake of Yak/Cormo yarn from the nice folks at Bijou Basin Ranch. (Careful, there. BBR has an evil inventory, you’ve been warned.)

This was so incredibly kind of her. You see, I was all packed and ready to go to Rhinebeck myself; at the last moment, I had to grit my teeth and admit to myself that in the ongoing argument between me and Pain as to who is boss around here, Pain was definitely winning that week; a long drive and a long weekend on my feet outside was probably the last thing I ought to be attempting. GRRRR ARRRRGH.

I have had to miss several festivals in the past two years due to this particular Grumpy-Maker aka Pain Sucks. I miss my fibre friends, and my lovely vendor pals, and, of course, the alpacas/sheep/paco-vicuńas/llama/dogs/critters. And all that lovely yarn and fluffy fluff. I thought of y’all the whole weekend, and sent you Fab Festival thoughts. (There’s always Next Time.)

However, the bright side: Courtesy of my wise friend, I now had 240 yds of blissful Yak+Cormo+Colours. I sifted through All The Patterns in an effort to come up with a Worthy Something. Nothing seemed right; in the end, I realized that the problem was not the yarn, but the LACK of yarn: I simply did not have enough yardage to knit a Worthy Thing. So, I did what any sensible knitter would do, and went online to see if I could find More Yarn. And guess what. The nice BBR folks not only had the same colour, they had a gorgeous coordinating gradient as well. Two “Add to Cart” clicks later, and look!

I made you a story slideshow because I am a total geek: (The slides are numbered 1–7. I can’t figure out how to tell it how to start with Slide One, so if you are starting in the middle, go ahead and click back to the beginning.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s going to be my first Clapotis! Hot pink at one end, moving to lavender, then darker lavender, then lighter lavender, to lavender grey, to nearly white at the other end.

Thank you, Mardi! (And take THAT, winter.)

Hm. WordPress says I have outdone myself this post, with over 1900 words. Well. It did take me two weeks to write all those words, given the Creeping Crud and all.

The sun just peeked out for a bit! These glimpses of sunshine have been blissful, and the house is soon dotted with furry chins like this one:


Ben happily sunning his chin.
The photo is fuzzy because Ben is fuzzy.
Sure it is. I stand by my alternative fact.

I have more knitting, quilting, crafty stories to tell, as usual. After all: You no doubt have questions, some of which might be:

  • Will Sandi ever finish that red cardigan?
  • What the heck does she DO every day, anyway?
  • Wasn’t there something about a duck quilt?
  • Has she finished ANYTHING lately? A sock? A swatch, even?
  • Why no posts for a whole month? 
  • Why so many pictures in this one post?
  • Where are the other kitties? We demand a Dusty photo!
  • And how is Zoë doing?
  • Does Tessa still have more toes than whiskers?
  • What is Tim snuggling with this time?

I know it’s all important to someone out there. My mom. Me. Stalkers. A reader or four.  👀  All the fun folks!  😉

So, there will be more stories to come. Thanks for sticking with me through the weeks of of no posts. Y’all are the best.  ❤️

1913 words
My, my.
(1916 now.)

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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8 Responses to news from the wee town of orange

  1. Lynne says:

    What a lovely Valentine you have gifted us! I enjoyed every word, picture, and thought in it. Thank you, and I hope the Crud moves along quickly. For both of you.


  2. Deb says:

    Hope you feel better soon. Good to hear from you and I love all the pictures.


  3. Jerri says:

    Sandi, so good to hear from you. I love your stories about the cold and the kittens but most especially the quilting and knitting. (Really hard to beat a picture of kittens, though!). I just started quilting again after a 15 year break. I am enjoying it along with the knitting. Keep writing and letting us know how your projects are coming along.


  4. elaine says:

    You didn’t get buried in snow!!! Yea!!! So good to see you pop up in my inbox 🙂 Sorry to hear you have the creepin’ crud though – total bummer. Do feel better soon! Love your quilting ~ you’re still an inspiration no matter what style of stitches you’re stitching! So keep writing! Kitties are adorable! More pix, please… And yes, I am still knitting 🙂 Take care!


  5. Molly Nichol says:


  6. Barbara says:

    Wonderful hearing from you! I think you guys need to invest in a snowblower – you do live in Canada after all!. AND I notice you’ve gone over to the other side of spelling – “colour” indeed! Lol! Can’t wait to see your finished projects. Feel better soon. Nothing like a walk amongst the snowbanks on the cold, crisp, blue-sky winter day. (says the Wisconsin native!)


  7. martha donley says:

    Too bad I can’t just magically transport the snowblower my husband is trying to sell up to you. We have had practically no snow to speak of her in southwest Ohio (near the Golden Lamb and Abbyland) Sending you gentle hugs to fend of pain.


  8. Kathy says:

    I am always so excited when I see your name pop into my inbox!! No matter if many or few pictures, finished or unfinished projects, I always enjoy your presentation and the humor you add to the mundane!! You are indeed a many faceted artist! Thank you


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