Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Middle of the Week

I stayed up late again to see this flower open....it isn't ready yet!
It is like waiting for a pregnant pet to give birth..... 
This morning I dug through the stash to find some fabrics to make this wall hanging.  I am dreadfully short on pretty greys!  I will be making a few alterations on the pattern so it will be a Sandhill Crane and not a Heron.  Sure, I can do anything;  I am a quilter! 
When the sun came out today after looking like it was going to rain all morning but didn't,  I laid the contents of the bag of fleece out on the sidewalk.
I have three different animal fleeces here.
The white is very coarse-maybe an older animal.
The dark grey is also very coarse but a few sections have some nice fiber.
The brown is the most promising;  it is some very promising fiber.
I will be carding up some and giving it a test spin.
For now, it is back in the bag waiting for me!
(the cats thoroughly enjoyed the inspection-sniffing and rolling and trying to steal some locks!  I had quite a time corralling them so I could do my own inspection!) 
I cast on Entrelac baby blanket number two for this year;  I am knitting this in acrylic yarn called Prism on number 7 needles.  I cast on 100 stitches and then work 10 entrelac squares across the row with side triangles at each side.  I learned how to knit backwards on this pattern so I don't have to turn the work!  A plus when the blanket grows in size!
I have a baby shower to attend in one month-can I get this done on time?!  The race is on! 
I caught Stormie inspecting this project-or maybe she is centering it for my picture!
She is normally very shy and runs when she sees a camera!  I tried to wait for her to look up to me because she is cross-eyed and is so sweet!  I got the other end instead....cats.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ADVENTURE!

Bill found a post on the Farm site for a 10lb bag of llama fiber.  A whole fleece. 
I gave a call and she said, yes, she still had it.  It needs to be sorted and combed and dehaired but the price was right so I am game!  Anyone have any experience prepping llama fleece?! 
After we picked up the fleece, we drove to St Augustine with several errands along the way.
I finished knitting this pair of mittens.  The pattern is not published yet so I have posted it in black//white to save the eye candy until later! 
Bill's on a roll;  h found a new restaurant, Cafe Atlantica, for us to try.  Very classy place, wonderful service all leading up to an amazing plate of Seafood Gnoocchi.  I am still on a culinary cloud 9!
We stopped for a gaze at the ocean and a few deep breaths of this salty sea air!
It was packed with surfers.  It is fun to watch! 
After taking care of all of the thread tails for the mittens, I swatched this new project.  I had to work out the gauge for the pattern because I am using my own hand spun Coopworth yarn and I need the hat to fit a human not some other! 
I am excited about the results!  The KAL doesn't begin to Thursday so now I have to put the brakes on my fingers until then! 
Talk about exciting...look what is going to do its blooming!  I am going out now to see-remember, it is a night blooming flower so I have to stay up to catch a view and sniff, the aroma is very heady!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Another Slow Saturday...

I am halfway through the quilting on this vintage quilt for Millie.
The motif  design is intricate but it covers 12" in a pantograph row so I make good progress each pass!
I got the next two sections of roving ready for spinning after a bit of quilting.
(Quilting is done standing up and I last only so long!)
This roving was a bit too dense, perhaps during the dyeing or packing or shipping so I had to tease open the length of the roving so the fibers would draft for spinning. 
You get to know your fiber when this step needs to be added;  it is a good way to learn the length of the fiber so you can give it a good consistent spin!  It is a good way to save a roving that might have become a bit felted during the processing. 
After spinning and plying, I wound the skein off the bobbin onto the winder.  You can see how the skein transitions from pastel to intense color!  The colors lined up almost perfectly except for a bit in the middle of the skein-funny how it works out!  All told, a very good spin. 

Doesn't this look wonderful!  I almost always pop my new skeins right into water for a good soak and then hang them to dry so they will be ready for use when I need them.
Now I have two skeins of 4 oz of BFL to knit!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Spinning but Not Dizzy!

I haven't done any spinning since my frenzy for the Tour de Fleece in July.
I won this *braid of BlueFacedLeicester from the Ravelry group, FiberPusherPodcast for spinning the most yarn. 
The colors are all over the place and so it is entertaining to spin as the colors feed through your fingers!
I separated the braid of roving into four parts; each gets its own bobbin and then two are plyed to make a skein.  I like short repeats like this so I can make a pair of mittens or a pair of socks; both items are a good choice for this kind of fiber. 
The bobbin looks so differently than I expected looking at the fiber in the braid;  part of why dyeing and spinning can be so creative and spontaneous! 
I now have 150 yards of fingering weight yarn!


*Here is  link to the artist's insight for this fiber's dyeing process!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Let's Take a Walk

I have some 'under-the-radar' knitting that I can't share and I did mending today which isn't really of much interest for the blog so instead, let's take a bit of a front yard tour:
Something has been eating this young bush, Angel's Trumpet, but they stopped long enough for me to enjoy this display!  The blooms are quite large but no aroma! 
There are fewer butterflies this year but this flower is still putting out quite a show in case!
(Firespike) 
These have really grown since last year;  while it is a climbing vine, we will keep it trimmed to a bush.
(Cape Honeysuckle)

Ahhh, my Hibiscus! 
And it is even beautiful when it is spent....... 
Weekly update on my Cereus bloom;  perhaps it will bloom on the full moon Sunday evening! 
The Flapjack Cactus!  Very happy with several babies that I can now transplant!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sailing! Sailing....

Well, boating to be more accurate but that doesn't sing as well!
Our boat has had something wrong with it for quite a while now (3 1/2 yrs) so it was with great joy that we hit the seas with it today!  We launched at the public dock in Crescent City onto Crescent Lake.  I was a little nervous for our test float but it started right up! 
It was beautiful out if a bit breezy which made the lake a bit choppy. 
We cruised to the northern end of the lake into Dunn's Creek.  It was so much smoother and we could enjoy the view! And enjoy the variety of birds...cormorants, egrets (in the tree here) and ospreys!
After Dunn's creek, we traveled up the St Johns River to our favorite restaurant with a  dock, Corky Bells!  After a delightful lunch, we took the same route in reverse. 
This is the bridge over Dunn's Creek-the clouds were trying to gather and the wind did increase. 
It is quite beautiful where you re-enter Crescent Lake. 
It can be hard to locate our dock on the way home but we found this water tank is a good landmark!
The waves on the way home were quite jarring........it was good to be on land after a great trip!
It will be nice to add this excursion to our regular schedule! 
The luxury mitts are finished!  
And on my hands!

My Silver Lining

I'm coming along with my fingerless mitts of cotton/silver luxury yarn*** from Feel Good Yarn Company.
The pattern (World's End Fingerless Gloves) is easy to knit quite quickly and the  yarn is nice flowing through my fingers!  Always a plus.

I should have them done tomorrow!  Then comes the big experiment of "wearing them"!

***I did wash the skein of yarn first;  there is a recommendation to knit this yarn with a needle size larger than you usually do to allow for shrinkage but I did not want to play Russian roulette with this expensive yarn.  I soaked the yarn with hot water for an hour and then line dried it.  The mitts will be hand wash and air dried in the future.  It stayed soft and springy so I am sure I will have no surprises with my finished mitts!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sharing a Birthday

We had a grandson in the house!
After quick hugs, he runs right into the 'toy' room and finds his trains.
(the neat thing is his father played with this train, too!) 
We had swimming and talking and laughing and eating..........it was a wonderful visit!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Get Cereus!

I have been watching my Cereus plant just hoping for a bud so I can stay home and see it bloom this time!  Yippee! 
I will check it every day so I won't miss it! 
I finished the dish cloth/hot pad done in double knitting.  It was ok to do, I did get more coordinated as I went along but now I am having second thoughts about making a hat with this technique.
I do like the look of this-it does remind me of double weaving!
We will see when I put this to use again. 
Millie brought over another quilt-she is making great progress putting all the vintage blocks she inherited, to good use!
I will quilt it with a daisy pantograph. 
We have a new rug in the tv room.  I like the name my daughter gave it-chocolate swirls!
It is so thick and cushiony!  (The old rug is moved to a room with less traffic.) 
And to match, a runner at the front door.
It's nice to have a great perker upper like this! 
Of course, all the cats had to come and sniff it out!  Nyki approved! 
I also received a 'new' toy.......a cell phone!  A smart phone!
I am still getting acquainted but it's not so different from my laptop or kindle so I am maneuvering pretty easily!
I sure appreciate the connection to my family and friends that technology gives me!

Spurts

                                The binding is on the Bowtie Quilt!                                    Five minutes here and there real...