Monday, May 7, 2012

Strands and Blooms

How do you know it is May?  All the prickly pear cactus are in bloom!
 I was not up to my usual self with this shawl because it gave me fits for some reason...,  I thought I had the center stitch figured out and then when I got to the lace part realized it had critical alerts!  Nothing to do but rip it all out and try again.
 The fourth time was the charm!  Amazing what can happen when you read the stitch key correctly!
I am knitting this from the Shetland wool I spun-very soft ans springy!
 A new quilt is on the frame; my neighbor, Millie, has taught her daughter how to quilt!  I'd say she got the lesson for there are now three quilts in the queue!
 Since we moved here 5 years ago, I have faithfully watered and waited for this African Violet to bloom.
It finally put out its blossom and there are several more buds waiting to follow!  I did nothing differently but it just got over its snit from moving , I guess!
 I finished the Mindy yarn.........this is the yarn plied back on itself and
 since I lost the white spots in the spinning and wanted more white in the yarn I  decided to ply some to mohair.......It is soft and springy but not on the list of experiments to repeat.  The mohair takes over too much and the yarn loses the cat fiber feel.
 I applied some newly acquired spinning info for spinning some puppy undercoat from a friend.  I have previously drum carded the pet fiber with wool before spinning but this worked wonderfully when spun like I would for cashmere (another short fiber) so that is is straight dog undercoat.  The 'doggy' smell is washed away with a good soak in shampoo water and it is now incredibly soft and aromatic!  I am going to be repeating this technique on some more Mindy fiber to have some 100% cat yarn!
 The high temps we have been enjoying lately speeds up the dyeing and drying times-this is some Suffolk and Columbia lamb roving that will be hitting a spinning wheel this week!  I dyed it with long repeats so that it will be a shawl when it is yarn.......
And the heat has helped in another area-my Indigo plants are growing!!!  I planted 50 seeds and have 46 plants growing-a pretty good return!  They are about 2" tall right now and when they are nearer to 4" I will be replanting them.


  1. Is the shawl pink or purple and yellow or green -- I can't tell which values on my computer!

    Funny to see Mindy spun up into a skein of yarn! We will get busy with another batch of fur for you.

    So glad that your violet is blooming and that your indigo is cooperating! Success is such a nice thing when it comes to much more rewarding than duds!

  2. The dyed wool reminds me of such pretty sea colors! I was your quilting a little side business?

  3. Ah, spring! I wish! Actually, it is a beautiful autumn day here but the nights are already cold - I think winter is coming early!

    I have never seen prickly pear in bloom. They are considered "noxious weeds" here in NSW and are being eradicated.

    I look forward to seeing the yarn you spin form that roving.

    If that's is Millie's daughter's first quilt it is very impressive. Please congratulate the teacher and the student for me!

  4. I guess 4 times charm in this case, eh?

    You are growing indigo?? Cool!!! Are you going to actually use them for a vat?

    One of my spambot words is ondeloom - it knows I want to be "on the loom."

  5. The mindy yarn is gorgeous! Did you dye it that color or is that natural?

  6. Totally understand having violets in a snit--they do NOT like to move. :) Some of mine actually didn't survive moving. :( Glad you have blooms returning. :)


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