Sunday, October 31, 2010

Colors of October

The aloe is getting ready to take another growth spurt-see the few dried leaves around it...
The hibiscus continues to put out new blooms daily.
This window is framed in tropical beauty....roses, palm tree and bouganvillea.
Bill's winter garden.
A curse that excells in the Fall-sand burrs....
see what I mean!  You have to do a foot and sole check before you come in the house because they attach to your sneakers/flip flops most unwelcome!  (And painful!)
Oranges and grapefruit are getting large and inviting!
I don't know the name of these; there are lot's of them in the back wild part of the property.
The camphor trees are dropping some leaves and ripening their berries.
Along the north boundary of our yard, there grows the most beautiful moss.
It grows in several places along our worm fence line. 
Also neighbor to the moss is this lichen.  The drought doesn't seem to be bothering this plant.
Even here, in the best place in the world, there is ragweed.  The bees are happy with its presence...
Our Maple trees are acting like it is Autumn even if our temperatures do not.
The East Palatka Holly tree berries are ripening.  (The berries will be a welcome feast to the robins next month!)
I couldn't resist this additional shot of the lichens.
The Dogwood tree is just beginning to yellow.
The magnolia tree is magnificent-the bronze/green contrast would make a beautiful yarn...
I hope you enjoyed your visit to this Northeastern part of Florida!  Use this link to visit all the others who join in this monthly tour.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Colors of Ukraine; Roving to Yarn

 Have I mentioned how much fun it is to spin variegated roving!  The yellow/blue and white blended beautifully and while there was no green on the roving, they have given the impression of greens when plied.
 Just look at this yarn!  280 yards of sock weight Merino/silk blend.  It was such a pleasure to spin this.
The cats have suspiciously eyed this all day and finally this evening they decided it wasn't going to get them and they conquered it!  (Bill has been working on the ceiling fan for this room!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Got the Blues

 I dyed 100 grams of merino/silk roving from KnitPicks in blue and yellow.  I will be spinning this tomorrow!
The second mohair scarf if off the loom!  It has its very own look and I thoroughly enjoyed the process.
(  < 1 skein of warp, beige and <1 skein of the novelty blue/orange yarn; 4" x 72")

Pattern Available

Just ask in the comments and I will gladly email you the PDF for this pattern! 
Wouldn't this look great in pink for the breast cancer awareness ribbon (bow)!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A D(r)ip in October

 Bill got the system all hooked up for the pool's solar heating!
 He connected all the pipes and valves and flipped the switch!
 And sprung a leak!  The good news was the falling water was quite warm!  He tightened the joins in several places and the pool heated up to 83F so he got to swim this afternoon. ( I just sat and watched him while swishing my feet in the water.  I will have to build up my courage and stamina to enjoy the water again!)
 I finished the little neck scarf!  Very soft using Lion Brand sportweight yarn on #4 needles.  I will link a pattern tomorrow if anyone wants......the actual written pattern from Martha Stewart's Living magazine was way more complicated than it needed to be so I rewrote it for us!
 I got all my golden cloth cut up and some of it sewn up but I need the hardware to be able  to continue with the backpack construction!  I sewed up two halves of the fabric so it was wide enough for the pattern piece.  I fused heavy iron on interfacing before I did any cutting.  It worked very well!
 The lining is done and it will have to wait until I get to JoAnn's........
 PuffDaddy enjoyed a new screensaver-downloaded just for him!
 JD couldn't be bothered.  (Oh, to be so limber.............)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knitsters...

I had some knitting time with  friends this afternoon and we tried out a new pattern together.  Do you see the bag of pretzel M & M's?  Reward for conquering the hard parts of the pattern!  We work well with a carrot on the end of the stick!   We had all chosen some black yarn and remembered why you need a LOT of light to be able to see your stitches with black yarn!!!  We decided that the pattern will be used again but the yarn color will be changed!  I will show you the finished scarf soon.
It is good to share time with like-minded friends........

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feeling Sassy!

 Or should I say, sashy......as in all 30 are pressed and ready for the post! Yippee!
(I am way ahead of my deadline for these and that feels wonderful!)
                                                   
                                             Graduation sashes as modeled by my dressform!
 Yup, the stripes go horizontal when using the novelty yarn as weft instead of in the warp. Note to self-- Pretty but  I do like the vertical stripes better.
 I began spinning the Christmas-y roving.  I love working with multicolored roving!  This was only 100 grams-about 3 oz , and will probably be a pair of socks or mitts......
It looks like a Victorian's Christmas!  Since I pulled the roving in half after dyeing both halves the same (all in the folding ) the two singles met often and just made some fun interactions when they were off kilter.  I am pleasantly surprised by this yarn!

Monday, October 25, 2010

To Weave Again

 I finished the mohair scarf!  What a perfect accessory for this Autumn!
 This has the novelty mohair as warp and plain mohair for weft.
 I did not have any more of the orange novelty yarn for the second scarf but I did use the same mohair for warp this time and a different mohair for the weft.  I will see how this one turns out.  (I can see this will give me horizontal bits of color instead of vertical right away.........)
 I dyed some roving from KnitPicks; this is the superwash wool with nylon that will work up for socks.  I haven't spun anything but natural color in such a long time this will be fun.  (Oh, yeah, I did do the mystery wool but that was a batt and not roving.)  Candy canes anyone.........?
 I did reach my goal to turn all 30 sashes inside out today. 
This is a pic of the cats watching the PBS Nature show last night.  I caught the shot when there were no crows on the actual screen but that is what they were both trying to catch just seconds before I snapped this.  They were very entertaining watching and listening to the crows and even looked behind the tv to find them!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sewing and Weaving

 I pulled the plant fiber samples off the loom, serged the ends and took this picture then tossed it in the washer.
 I finished clue two of the mystery shawl.  This is about 12" now at the spine of this semi-circlular shawl.
 Next, I warped up some of the mohair I got in NY on the rigid heddle loom.  I placed the colored yarn on the warp and am using plain brown for the weft.  I think there is another skein of each of these so I can reverse it for the next scarf-just to see how it would change the outcome.
 This is a very slow weave, the term 'hairy' warp has a new meaning!  Each shot of the weft has to be laid in place and then the warp must be combed to convince it to let go of its neighbor so I can throw another weft thread.  (The use of the word throw is a misnomer because I am not going fast enough to call placing the weft thread a throw!)  While it might seam tedious, the project is satisfying.  This is a very soft yarn and it will make a very pretty scarf.  I haven't made a single scarf yet since I started weaving and so this is very pleasing on every level-color, texture, interest and mental involvement....
 When the cloth came out of the dryer, I could see that the use of different fibers produced an uneven shrinkage rate I hadn't forseen.  Since this cloth was going to be used for pillows, I just made them smaller than I originally planned but if I had wanted a tablerunner, I would have been sorely disappointed!  Live and learn.
 Three 12" pillows now reside on the couch!  I like the new way to display the yarn! 
 This afternoon, I was back in the sewing room making 30 satin graduation sashes for a college in NY.  This
is an annual sewing job for me.  Nyki helped me with the various steps, always checking my progress.  I cut them out and sewed them all today and will finish these on Monday trimming and turning them all right side out and on Tuesday, they will all need pressing so I can mail them out.
                                   
Bill was up on the roof today, installing his latest find from Craig's List; solar panels to heat the water for the pool.  He got 5 of the 7 panels installed before I called him in for dinner.  The nights have been cool (53F) which has cooled the pool down to around 73F, which means it is too cold for us to swim.  The days are still very comfortable at 88F so we will use the daytime sunshine to bring the temp up in the pool-hopefully to around 80F so we can swim again!  Well, that is the plan anyway!

Paper Piecing

 I used some leftover jelly roll strips and used them in to make these little blocks (6  1/2" )  .  They will be used to make anothe...