Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Spins, Too

I spun the second skein of bfl done by the pool today, very pleasant to sit and spin and then swim when I got too warm!  The birds are very busy in the feeder right outside the pool area and are very relaxing entertainment!
In fact, I got these two skeins of superwash done by 9 in the evening!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Spin a Little More

 I started spinning the lighter color way of bfl fiber-one skein down and the second skein I took out to the pool patio to spin.
 The temperature was very tropical and just a light breeze-very relaxing.
 Nyki tries my lap but doesn't like the double treadle action of my knees and settles down next to my chair.
 I finished the second bobbin, and got it plied while relaxing to a book on my Zen.
 The skein is so soft, all 180 yards of it!
 My bottle brush tree is beginning to bloom!  The color is stunning and the bloom itself is very interesting.
JD enjoyed my company, too, but she remains elusive when the camera comes out-it doesn't help that Nyki chases her away from me if I show any attention to her!  A very nice afternoon.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Catch up the Blog

Caleb came for a visit and we had rain threatening but made it out for our boat ride and water skiing without a drop!
I started a different kind of knitting project, it is a scarf made from 'yarn' which is 1/2" strip of Tyvek paper-very easy pattern and a decorative scarf results!
Isn't it fun?  Any fun yarn would work for this pattern-I will be trying some more; especially some hand spun.
I loaded the smaller corduroy quilt on the frame-this one doesn't have batting, instead I backed it with some polar fleece to make a comfy quilt.  It is going well.
I dyed two sets of Blue Faced Leicester roving, 4oz each for spinning some sock yarn.
I like to divide the roving into four strips so I can spin each section, ply two together, and then repeat for the other ball so each sock will have its own skein.  This way , I don't have to rewind to divide the one big skein in half for each sock-it works for me...
One skein is done, working on the second!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Regular Activities

 While Bill tackled the mowing,
 I headed into the sewing room!  I made a journal cover for my daughter in law.
 Then finished quilting the first corduroy quilt!  I sewed the binding on by hand with lots of feline assistance!
Finished dimensions are 60" wide and 78" long.  (If you look to the bottom left corner, you can see one block got in upside down and the nap of the corduroy makes it look like a different color-I noticed it while quilting but left it for my humility square!)
 The quilting on this is a whimsical dragonfly in variegated thread done in an allover pantograph.
 I did layer this with batting and backed it with flannel; a larger 100 topstitch needle sewed through all the layers just fine.  It will be a comforting , snuggly quilt this winter!
I came close to ripping this shawl out without blocking but waited for my angst to cool off! 
 The hump and odd shape did block out and it must hold its shape after blocking to be acceptable but I am pleasantly pleased with the results!  The beading on the edge pattern adds a nice weight to the overall drape of this shawl-100g hand spun peruvian wool from KnitPicks roving, beads #6 from JoAnns, my own dye formula from Jacquard powder dyes, 60" wide and 30" long at point.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pruning Party

Today was the day for pruning all the palm trees-there are 18 large ones and a few young ones in our yard!
Bill uses his pole saw to cut the old growth from the tree and I collect the fallen palm boughs.
Some of them needed a more drastic trim, since we haven't done any pruning for two years.
 It not only looks better, but in this drought it gives the trees less draw on their resources.
We have quite a few date palms in the front yard, they have ferns growing up their sides.  The squirrels got all the dates before they were even ripe this year!
 These two trees in the backyard were only 6 feet tall 4 years ago-now they have doubled that!
A perfect place for the bench, note that it is in the shade-a much needed break in our 100F heat!
 Bill  needed a boost to reach this tree's branches-I put him in the John Deere tractor bucket and raised him up-use your imagination, because there was no way to get a picture of this!
We took a break for lunch and a swim and then right back at the job!
 The trees look so tidy after their haircuts!
 The small trees are trimmed to encourage upward growth-this one will be twice its height in just a few years!
 We had a visitor while trimming....a gopher turtle who would not let me get a picture of his face so
Bill  picked him up-he wasn't very happy about it!
After another swim, we trimmed the cat's tree fort to a more manageable size and then cleaned the pool decking.  What a great and exhausting day!

Ups and Downs

 Our mailbox was fatally wounded by a wayward vehicle so we had to replace the box and the post-which was snapped off at ground level!  We had fun building a new mailbox and this time we set it farther back from the road hoping it will reduce the mailbox vandals and crazy drivers!
 I finished the shawl a few days ago but I am not happy with it.  My experience tells me that the hump in the top will not stay blocked out-it is a result of poor design.  I am tempted to just rip it out without blocking but I am waiting to see if cooler thoughts prevail.
 This was a great summer read-a friend of Marsel's loaned it to me when we were there  recently-see if your local library has them.  I couldn't identify with the family dynamics, we are better at voicing ourselves, but the author has a tremendous grasp of human nature and she creates a very realistic set of circumstances that is both endearing and believable!  Go find these books for yourself-there is still time for a good summer (or winter-Lynne) read!
 Last of the corduroy blocks went up on the design wall.  I leave it it for a few days (weeks or months even) to see how the layout  works for me.
This morning I immediately knew what this needed-can you see the difference?  I am pretty sure this will be the final layout.  I have to finish the quilt on the frame but for now-on to yard work while the temps are under a hundred and it has the morning cool out there!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday's Slow Minutes

 I finished the child's washcloth and it was fun to knit but the pattern is really hard to see.
 Can you guess what this is....?  How about the three little pigs.  I won't be making any more.
 I did load up the corduroy quilt on the frame.  I have flannel for the backing and did end up using batting to layer it.  I like the weight of the full quilt and also the fact that the batting hides the seam allowances from showing too much when there is no batting.
 I am quilting it with a whimsical dragonfly panto.  The layers are not too thick for the topstitch needle but the thread is breaking because it will not feed off the spool right.  I have tried turning it over and putting a mesh netting on it but it is still being a stinker.
 On the spinning front, I spun up the Fiber Binder Club's selection for this month-Lincoln fiber in such a rich dark black!  I have never spun this kind before but it did remind me of Jacob fleece which I have spun.
 40 Yards of fingering weight yarn for this little skein.
 My info sheet for this month.......
And I used about half of the skein to knit up a swatch-I did this for each of the fibers I have spun so far; a really nice way to see how the yarn turns out.  I have made all the swatches on number 5 needles across 20 stitches so I can compare them.  I make a separate page for all the swatches.  This Binder is really shaping up for a great fiber reference!


I couldn't wait to sample a bit of the newly carded wool by using my favorite drop spindle.  Since it had been a few years since I used ...