Saturday, August 30, 2014

Flit like a Butterfly.......

A friend cleaned out her fiber stash and admitted she hated spinning cotton and didn't want this staring at her anymore!  I am the proud new owner of 1 1/2 pounds of ginned cotton again( she gave me a ton a few years ago and saved this for herself...)  
I hope to hone my cotton spinning skills on this batch of fiber.  I practiced making punis this morning in preparation for spinning!  Very relaxing work.  (puni is pronounced poo-knee--
so punis is a bunch of these rolls!)
 I used to be very focused and work on one project until it was finished.  I flit now which drives me crazy on some level but I have to do it this way now.   I am trying to go with the flow.   I wonder if the meds I am on mess with my brain in this way.....  Anyway, after doing a bit of work with the cotton, I remembered a pretty magazine pic of a quilt and was sure it reminded me of fabric in the stash and sure enough, I found the leftover fabric from a quilt I had made Ella before she was born!
 I cut out the flowers with the Accuquilt and just used 6 1/2" squares for the two blocks instead of piecing one of them.    (Watch for GO! dies on sale at JoAnns because I got this one on sale 50% off!)  This tool sure makes a difference with the applique prep time!
I have all the blocks up on the design wall for admiring!   I will have to sew all the flowers down next before sewing the blocks together but that is a job for another day as I flit to another project!
I have wanted a peasant dress pattern like the one I made for Ella and Aria but in a larger size for Abigail.   I finally found one to download on Etsy!  Instant gratification!  It has sizes from 12 month to 12 years!  Perfect.   I traced off what I needed and cut it out from vintage prints in the stash!   Oh, it's time to flit again..........
I spun up the sample banana silk to get acquainted with the fiber.   It is very much like bamboo but  gratefully not as slick.   And so it is not too hard to work with.   I did spin it a bit too tightly so will remember it for the dyed fiber.  I was concerned with it drafting apart once plied but I ended up with a pretty stable yarn.
As the day wore on, I am again in the recliner with my knitting-not a bad place to land at all!
I found a long skinny chart that is part of an Irish knit pattern but fits perfectly in my strip series of socks!  It is engaging to wrap my head around a meaty pattern like this!  Once I got used to the symbols, it is a very intuitive pattern-perfect for sock knitting!

Friday, August 29, 2014

FO Friday

Yes, I am liking this series of the pattern-strip socks!  I am working out a new design strip for the next pair!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fleece Fever

 don't yo ulove it when you find something you have been searching for this case, a fleece from a Gulf Coast Native Sheep.  This breed was brought to Florida by the Spanish in the 1500's and it flourished despite the heat, humidity and insects.  A hardy breed!  (I ordered it from Shirley, at Westwinds Farm on Etsy, a farm in Michigan)
 The box arrived quickly and inside was this fleece in a nylon laundry bag.   I like the extra touch!
 I will enjoy every step of this process-the skirting has already been done so there is no waste on my part!  (and no waste in the fleece-literally!)
 The fleece is from a lamb, Rudy, from his first cutting so the fiber will be soft and next-to-the-skin wearable.
 I can't wait to get my hands on this fiber for carding and spinning.   (I will be dyeing it after spinning-maybe.)
 Well, as soon as I can get it away from Sketch, who is just as thrilled about its arrival as I am!
I didn't show her the bag opens up to this!  (About 3 1/2-4" locks)  And it smells wonderful!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


 I decided to add sleeves to the top to add a longer and more options to the wearing occasions!
 It worked and it was actually easier then doing the facing for the sleeveless version!  Since it is a short, short sleeve, it didn't take that much more material!  I like it when a plan works out!  This is working very quickly now on the serger - I can have it pinned, cut out and sewn in just over an hour!  I'm going to wear it today with a pair of black pants to the doctor's office-my social life is rich!
Progress on the Cereus bloom!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Arachnids and friends

 This spider that has turned up in our pool area is very easy to identify because of the web's zipper in the middle!   It is a case of calling attention to himself-good luck attracting a mate in here fella!  It is a cousin to the one out in the back yard area, this one a Yellow Orb Weaver while the bigger spider of the other day is the Golden Orb Weaver. (You might remember the golden cloth article woven from the fiber of the golden orb!) This one is only 3" in size.   He weathered the rain all day yesterday that were the results of Hurricane Cristobal.  (We were only given 1.3" of rain!)
 The Trumpet Vine is in full flower-the hummingbirds are loving them!  So am I!
 The butterflies are in full flight-we have hundreds of them again!  They are hard to get a picture because they do not hold still but this one was collecting some mineral from the driveway and I managed to capture several shots.
 He is a Spicebush Swallowtail.
 Of course, my little camera just couldn't capture the true iridescence of his colors!  But you get the idea!
And this little nub on the cactus leaf if another flower starting on the Dutchman's Pipe or Cereus, I like the common name of Queen of the Night!  I will be watching her for another midnight visit!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Armchair Central

 I woke up to a bad day yesterday for some reason.  The pain was just miserable all over.   Instead of fussing or staying in bed-a passing thought-I pulled out a list of projects I had squirreled away for just such a day as today!  It was a list of things I could begin right from this chair so I pulled the list and the projects and got to work!   I stick yarn and pattern in a big zip-loc bag and even if I change the plan-it gives me a place to start when I want a new knitting project!
 This is some special reserve from KnitPicks-it contains angora so is very soft!  I had bought two skeins last winter.
 I started in first on the Geology shawl-I will be dyeing this one after it is knit so that it will reflect the Florida layers of sand!
 Like most projects, it is going much more smoothly and quickly on the second knit!
I also pulled out the project bag with the yarn I received from BasicallyBenita and am knitting it up into a new  cardigan pattern from KayMeadors......  This provided good mental stimulation!
 Bill was looking for something and came across these tencel socks I had knit it several years ago.
 He had worn a hole in the heel in the same spot our daughter wears through!
I ripped out the sock from the top down and will reknit them-Bill said I was crazy but I wanted the challenge!   I just have to pick up the stitches and move ahead with the knitting-it is one way to solve the 'hole in the heel' problem!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stash Busting Saturday

 I have looked for a wrap dress for quite a while and finally found this pattern, Simplicity 1653.
 I used some material in the stash, a polyester knit blend in no shine black.  (I do not like shiny colors on me!)
 It fits comfortably, though I did have to experiment with the sizing AGAIN!  I cut it out larger and then made alterations as it was constructed!  Not for a novice sewist.
I will be wearing it today to a funeral.   I will certainly be buying more fabric to make a dress in olive green-my favorite clothing color!

Friday, August 22, 2014

FO Friday

 I made another one of these drapey tops in a larger size.  The first two I made I gave away but this one will finally get to stay in my closet!   It was made from stash fabric- a low sheen polyester knit.
I will wear it with dress pants when I go out on a date.....

Anyone notice how much pattern sizes have changed?!  On the previous tops, I cut this one out on the size 12 pattern line like I always have (even though I buy size 10 at the store) and it was WAY  too small.  I cut this out on the size 16 mark this time and it fits just right!  They should forget to print the numbers at all and just use  bust/ waist/ hip measurements!

(Simplicity 1716 pattern)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Going Bananas

 I purchased some fiber called Banana Silk and dyed it , well, banana color!  I think a pretty little scarf will result from this eventually!
 On the way out to take one of my daily excursions, I realized I've never photographed this flower Bill planted by the gopher turtle hole where he doesn't mow.  It is called a Candelabra Cassia and it stands almost 5' tall.
 The flowers are very pretty and you can see why this is named candelabra...
 This is the second grove of banana trees Bill has started.  Hoping to have fruit on them next year.
 Another member of the banana family-a Banana Spider!  I met her down a side path!  I did stop before I ran into her rather large and strong web!  She is a bane to lawn mowers because her web is so strong and sticky .  I tried to capture the color of the web-also a very bright yellow like her!  She is about 4" in size, non-poisonous but might cause a heart attack from the fright!
 You can see her elaborate web work-it covers a 6' by 4' area.
 When I took Bill back to see what I had discovered, we saw her with a yellow moth!  She had made a good job of cocooning him for a snack later on.
I am glad they do not like peoples.........!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eyelet Lattice Sock Pattern

The first sock is finished with this pretty KnitPicks Stroll Queen Anne Tonal yarn.  I used a free stitch pattern from NewStitchADay and used it to add a strip up the otherwise plain toe-up sock with a short row heel.  I am very pleased with the results and cast on the mate immediately!
If you are not a knitter, you will want to stop reading now!  For those who might like to perk up a plain pair of socks-read on!

The stitch pattern is easily memorized so no charts or having to mark your place.   You make three  yarn overs and the next time two-very easy to keep track of what you are doing!

Here is the pattern highlights if you want to try it yourself:

Judy's Magic cast on-12 stitches each needle (24 total) with a #2 circular needle

TOE-Increase to 30 stitches each needle.
Begin pattern insert over 12 stitches-round 1-k1, (p2, k1, ( k2tog, yo) 3x , k1, p2) knit  around.
                                                     round 2 k1, (p2, k8, p2) knit around.
                                                     round 3 k1, (p2, k2, (k2tog, yo) 2x, k2, p2) knit around.
                                                     round 4 repeat round 2
Measure the distance from your cast on to the place where you have increased to the 30 stitches.  Measure the length of your foot (or the recipient of the socks!)  , subtract the distance of the toe from this overall length and then subtract another 1/2" so the sock will have negative ease-this is how you will always have a sock that fits snugly and is not saggy!
Work a short row heel.  (check out YouTube for instructions here-I always work over 1/2 of the total sock stitches and decrease until the heel is the same as the toe-until I have only 12 stitches left just like on the cast on.)
The pattern continues up until you do the ribbing at the top in k1p1 in a length that is pleasing to you.  I generally work until the leg of the sock (folded on itself ) is the length of the foot to the toe and then I do ribbing until the two halves match.  Bind off with a needle that is at least an #8.  It might look a bit loose while you are doing the bind off, but when you stretch it to wear it, the ribbing edge looks great!

Reverse the pattern area to the other side of the front for the second sock so the patterning will go up the outside of each foot so you have a pair!   (For example, the beginning of round 1 will be K17 , pattern, and end with k1 , knit around)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cindy-1 MS - 0

 I haven't been able to walk all around our 11 acres in a long time.  Weakness, clumsiness, pain just kept me close to home and the front porch and flowers.  But look what Bill had delivered this afternoon!   I am mobile again!!!
 It has seats on the back for company and grandchildren and parents and friends.......!
 It has a roof for keeping the sun or rain from beating down on my head!
 Yes, I can see some very pleasant times ahead!  I feel like I did when I got my driver's license at 17!
This is the view you will have of me-taking off for a bit of outdoors!
I took a ride to our neighbors first, I've missed chatting with them and dropping in!
And then we took a ride around the property to see my banana grove again!
 I have 4 major bunches of bananas growing right now!
 One still has the flower on the end of the stalk which has 38 bananas growing on it!
 I heard this guy behind me while taking pics of the pond area-see him?
 He was keeping his eye on me as I was trying to get his picture!   He did not like that camera pointed in his direction!  (Red Shouldered Hawk)
 The Georgia Pampas Grass is just beautiful in the setting sun.
My big dead tree lost his height-I love dead trees for two reasons-they provide a good place for so many birds and they are also very visually pleasing to me!

It did me good to be out and about this early evening!  Thank you for the wheels, Bill!


The bird bath fountain sprung a leak so Bill fixed the leak and put a new sealant on it and I gave it a new paint job!  I had to let the pai...