This is the Windblown Shadows quilt in progress. The “shadows” part of the name refers to the fact that every other block is the same — in mine, rose and green — and thus is like a shadow to the corresponding scrappy block. This does away with the solid squares usually created between the blocks in a Windblown Squares pattern, and gives more sense of movement — or at least that is the idea. You cannot tell what the overall effect will be from one completed strip of blocks.

One completed strip. Not much progress, though it is understandable since I am spending so much time lazing about. Also I have dog helpers. Dog helpers are not the key to speed in quilting. I feel sure that this will not surprise you.

Dog helpers are not the key to speed in any task, as a matter of fact. Here Toby is helping with number two daughter’s homework for her summer class. Said homework  was already late when I went to bed last night, and is now either turned in or really, really late, depending perhaps on how much help the dogs provided. I was certainly not able to provide any help at all. I am familiar with Dorian Mode, of course, and can list some songs in it, but can hardly be expected to know what actual notes are involved. And while I can hear when a modulation has taken place, that does not mean that I can see what the modulation was. I think number two daughter was asking not because she needed help or thought I could help, but just to point out my ignorance. At least I did not lie down on her notebook.

And here is Toby, not helping with anything, just being silly.

Number one daughter has a new dog at her place. We are encouraging her to make a xanga and put her dogs’ pictures up, because otherwise, we fear, we will never see those pictures and have to imagine the dogs from her descriptions, which was all very well before the advent of photography, wasn’t it? Same with her various places of residence. She has moved every few months since she got married, always to places where I have never been, and has yet to show me a single photo. She fears that her life is not interesting enough for a xanga, but we assure her that no one promises their xanga will be interesting to anyone else, and I know hers would be interesting to me.

However, as a member of the knitting blogs ring, I did promise to write about knitting, and I intend to fulfill that promise right now.

I never did find the missing skein of gray yarn for Hopkins, so at last I gave up and bought another. The problem about that is that the chances of my finding the same dye lot are slim. In fact, since I did not save the ball band (the paper around the yarn, on which is printed the dye lot number) and therefore did not even know what dye lot I wanted to match, the chances were virtually nil. When you switch dye lots, you are likely to come up with an obvious line where the colors have changed slightly. This is why, when you buy yarn, you are always advised to check the dye lot numbers on the band and buy enough of one dye lot for your entire project. Except that doesn’t help if you lose the last skein.

Elizabeth Zimmerman, who has a lot of good advice on running out of yarn — enough that you can’t help thinking she must have done it herself rather a lot — recommends knitting a couple of rows with the new yarn and then a couple with the old yarn, and so on for several inches. I have done just this, and you can see from the very dull picture I offer you here, that it works quite well. The heatheriness of the gray probably helped, too. But the upshot is that the sleeve of Hopkins is saved — at least so far.

The Sophie bag also continues, though I am mostly saving it for the camping trip. With any luck, I will complete the mathematically complex sleeve of Hopkins before we go, and do the very easy Sophie while camping. Sometimes, though, I’ve gotten involved with my reading and set Hopkins aside in favor of easy Sophie. Some knitters always keep an easy and a more challenging project in progress so that they can do this.

Number two son and I also mended the trebuchet, which has been invited to a class on the Middle Ages. Number two son fears that it has gotten warped, out in the weather, and will not have the precision aim it used to have. Ah, well. Precision is, for some of us, an unattainable goal.

Today, we may get around to those hats. Or not. Who knows what we might do? This is a vacation.