Monday, April 30, 2012

On the Sea with the C's

 We got to see Caleb and Cassandra for the day!  Of course, a boat ride was in order for this gorgeous day!
 So many gators to spot-small 6' ones and.......
 .........large 9' ones, too.  See him smile?!
 There were so many birds-this is an osprey skimming the water just ahead of us.
This was a flock of egrets over the St Johns River.
The creek was so calm and enjoyable to boat.....the lake was very choppy and not as pleasurable but it is always a good day out on the water!  We had a wonderful lunch at Corky Bells and ended the day with a swim and then a rousing game of Wahoo!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pioneer Settlement Spring Frolic

Bill and I were loaded up bright and early to head to the Spring Frolic in Barberville, Florida; about a half hour drive south of us.  I took along the Shetland I spun in St Augustine last month and started a shawl during our drive .
We set up and as usual , it was a flurry of people all day long.  We had a wonderful time and I had planned on more pictures but I didn't get too far from our little spot near the 1700's Quarters House!
Bill took this picture at the end of the day and we look like we are tired-we were! (This was at the end of a 7 hour day!)
I started the day demonstrating spinning with the Mindy fiber (merino and cat).  It spun like a dream but my lap was covered in cat fur when I was finished!  I had fluff everywhere!
(Note to self:  choose another fiber when you are going to be sitting outdoors and glistening a bit!  
Think tar and feather..........)
 Ahh, Merino was a much better choice of fiber-it behaved much better and I didn't look like I had wrestled a feline and lost!
I haven't spun Merino in a long time and forgot what a soft and springy yarn it makes! 
(175 yards of fingering weight)
Nyki was glad to have me home and helped me unpack.....well, until she took a nap instead.  
I went for a swim to cool and calm the tired muscles!

Here is a link from one of the local photographers, Gail Carson, for more pictures of last year's event.  I will post more pictures of  today later........ 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Preparation Day for Frolic

Today I spent some time blending this fiber-a batt of Merino and Mindy (cat undercoat) ........
then dyeing some roving , this is  Suffolk and Columbia lamb cross..........
...and packing it all up so I can go to the Pioneer Settlement Frolic and demonstrate fiber arts and spinning tomorrow!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quilting and Quilting

 My friend saw a picture of a quilt in a magazine and knew we could figure out how to make it....
 The interesting part is the size of the blocks-there are only 9 in this queen sized quilt-30" each!
Freezer paper, a yard stick and a lot of laughs got the job underway!  How nice to share time with a like-minded friend!  (Not to mention the gourmet lunch she served, too!)
 At home, I finished up the quilt on the frame-this is one of Millie's log cabin scrap quilts.
Very striking!  And now the frame is ready for another quilt.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Little Georgia Trip

 We packed pretty lightly for us and took a trip to Georgia for the week.  I got some knitting done on the way.
We savored a few days and then celebrated David's 10th birthday!
 He asked for a birthday brownie instead of a cake for now.......Bruce makes a killer brownie from scratch!
 After several days of enjoying each others company, Marsel left for a ladies retreat and I got some undivided kid time!  They had been given some wool at the sheep to shawl event they attended last week and saved it for our own event.  We washed the wool-dried it, picked it and then carded it.......
 They thought it was fun to see the piles of wool become clouds!
 We then did some dyeing with Easter egg dyes!
 After drying and another run through the carder, we had our spinnable fiber!
 Abigail took to it like she has been watching me her whole life.......oh, she has!  The recent therapy with her left hand has given her considerable improvement in fine motor skills!  She was a natural.
David had little trouble coordinating the many motions of treadling, drafting and braking to make yarn!

We had a wonderful visit as always and enjoyed an added bonus of eating Bruce's Chicago-style pizza, also from scratch!  We were spoiled!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Trip to Vero Beach

Off to an early start for our day visiting Bill's sister, Barb and husband, Doug in Vero Beach!
I got quite a bit of knitting done in our three hour trek.
The beach side restaurant where we had a lovely lunch-calzones and canolis!    
 The water was breathtakingly beautiful-really the turquoise shade it shows in the picture!
 Just a lovely light surf and lots of others who were enjoying the water, too.  We even spotted a manatee but it was too fleeting for a picture!
 The wind blown beach walkers!
We topped the beach visit off with an ice cream stop-hmmmm, mango sorbet was a perfect conclusion!

We went back to their house and had a couple of rousing games of cards and then the men did some landscaping jobs -we came home with some unwanted bushes and plants-the car was filled , in fact.  I had an unwanted visit from a spider and Bill got stung by a caterpillar-small price to pay, says he!  Ha!
Thanks for the lovely day, Barb and Doug!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More Spinning and Knitting

 The yarn on the bobbins has been plied , measured and washed!  What a joy to see it hanging to dry!
(Even if the drying rack is a bit lopsided!)
 700 yards of fingering weight alpaca-this stuff is SO soft!
 400 yards of fingering weight Shetland for a shawl-I dug through my patterns this morning for ideas.
 The third Philomena Cardigan is off the needles and ready for wearing!  The new lace pattern worked well .
 I dug through my left over balls of sock yarn to find two compatible yarns for a pair of socks...yup, found 'em!
 The ground orchid is loaded with these blooming balls......
...and the two day lilies are sending a new bloom every few days!  So much work and the bloom lasts for only one day.  Is it worth it?  Oh, yeah!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Just this Week

 I started the week with a visit from a friend who wanted to learn how to use acid dyes to color our fiber.  She raises alpaca so we had lots of that fiber to play with.  (This is my batch, it is from a fleece I had purchased from her in the Fall, Platinum Cloud.)
 After carding, the fiber is just too soft and delicious for words!
 I finished spinning the Shetland from that I started last weekend at the Spin-In.  (400 yards of fingering weight yarn destined for a shawl.)
 In the sewing room, I am making a new purse insert for myself from some vintage fabric.
 I have a new quilt on the frame, this on is from my neighbor for her grandson.
 The end of the week we were in St Augustine again for another foot doctor appt for Bill.
 I enjoyed watching the aerial antics of the pigeons; we used to have them in our barn in NY but do not see them where we now live.
 The tide was out and there were tons of Spring Break beach goers today.  Unfortunately, the midges were there, too, and we didn't stay long.
 The surfers were enjoying the 4' waves and the kids loved the tide pools.
 I have put up a new arrangement on our mantel.  This tree is from my Mom-I had bought it for her almost 40 years ago.  It has been in storage in her attic; she called my sister to dig it out and then gave it to my brother who drove down here for the wedding last month so the whole family got involved in bringing it to its new home!                                       
I am knitting away on the Philomena Cardigan........I substituted a new lace pattern for the bottom section and after one false start, having it working just fine.

       
 Bubba likes to be out all night ( he is neutered) and then takes over the good sleeping spots all day.
I used to keep pretties on the buffet but have left the center uncluttered so he can sprawl and not knock over anything!
 He does like the back of the couch , too, for a change of pace.
 PuffDaddy will nap wherever I am working, here, he is helping me while I spin.  It is interesting that he and Bubba stay indoors in the a/c when the temps climb outside while Bling, Nyki and JD stay out in the pool area most of the day and night!
 Speaking of the pool area-it is in full bloom in each corner-this is the day lily.
 ....the ground orchid,
 ....the African iris,
...the dew on the cactus roses.  We are spending a lot of time in this area , too!

Oh,My, Yes!

 Uh, huh, now we're talking!  This is so pleasurable to knit the lace pattern from the bottom of this shawl!    It takes a long t...