Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week Finished......

I have been this close to the finish line all week literally and figuratively.  
I have almost fallen off the planet!
It has been a hard week to put it mildly. 
Good news and smiles among the tears, though:
I made a new friend-a real live one-she was knitting at the pain clinic doctor's waiting room also.
Of course, we talked but it went deeper than polite conversation
 and then she came to visit this week, too!
It was an oasis in the middle of this desert week!
Another highlight!  My neighbor, Millie, and I went shop hopping for the Florida Shop Hop to local and not so local quilt shops!  This year you receive a free block printed with a Florida light house or bridge.  It was a wonderful day!  We will be planning another shop hop in a few weeks.
I taped this pattern to the window for a light box so I could place my fabric over it and then glue the little applique pieces in place . 
Then I iron them nice and flat and it dries the glue so I can stitch with invisible thread.
Eight blocks almost complete 
They are all in their place but I need to sew them all around.
I am still enthralled with this quilt! 
On the knitting front, I have this man's sock done with the zig zag sock blank left over yarn.
I added a second color heel so that I would be sure I had enough of the other for a pair.
It is looking like I might have had enough but I didn't need the added stress of wondering the whole time I was knitting.  I listened to the yellow light in my head this time!
Look at this pineapple!
I grew it from a pineapple top so long ago (2 yrs to be exact)
We cut it off so the wildlife would not get it first! 
The good news is the plant has a whole new shoot to grow another one!
I can't wait to chow down on the fruit of my labor!
Here's to a new week on every level!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekend Highlights

After church yesterday we had a swim and then an ice cream cone for a treat
I sat down to enjoy it, Ella joined me and then Eli backed up and sat down-he is wanting to be social now and it was wonderful to savor! 
Saturday morning the guys took the kids outside to stack some wood-Cassandra and I took the opportunity, rare as it is, to do a quick sewing project.  We made a sport skirt with a cotton ribbed waistband.  We got it done just as Caleb knocked on our window to come out.... 
To see what he found at the bottom of the wood pile!
After a quick jump back, he and Bill assessed it, deemed it non-venomous and so he tried to catch it!
(Just for a good relocation!)
It was s5'3" long-a rat snake.  Great for killing rodents but also known as a chicken snake because it will empty nest boxes of eggs!
The kids did touch it finally but they were not glad to see this guy.
We watched it slither away into the woods!
(It was quite aggressive which surprised us.  It coiled, struck and shook its tail to prevent Caleb from catching it....pretty sneaky to mimic a rattler!)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Finish Line

I spun all of this yarn and it is 1.4 miles LONG!
I love this challenge to push myself to spin every day!
No, I am not sure what it will all be knit as
 but I will definitely find good projects through the year for each one!

           278 yds (254m) 2 ply fingering weight from 4.1 oz (116g) Gulf Native 
              375 yds (342.9m) 2 ply fingering weight from 5.6 oz (161g) Gulf Native 
                  517 yds (472.7m) 2 ply fingering weight from 8.4 oz (219g) Medium Wool 
     430 yds (393m) 2 ply fingering weight from 7.7 oz (237g) Dorset 
343 yds (313.6m) 2 ply sport weight from 4 oz (114g) Cormo 
        267 yds (244m) 2 ply fingering weight from 2 oz (56g) Silk Hankies 
                          228 yds (208m) 2 ply fingering weight from 3.9 oz (110g) unknown downy wool 
                        168 yds (153m) 2 ply fingering weight from 2.4 oz (68g) unknown downy wool 
TOTAL SPUN 2,606 YDS (2,382 M)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Hike

We decided to take a family hike (walk) at this park just minutes down the road from us. 
I was glad I was a bit behind so I could capture this family photo of Caleb and Cassandra with Eli and Ella under the mighty Live Oaks! 
There were so many patches of lichen!  It almost looked like patches of snow!
At ninety degrees, we knew that it wasn't really snow..... 
This was a picture perfect toadstool!
(There were so many things that sparked ideas for natural dyes for my wool!) 
After heating up on the walk, it was pool time! 
I worked on another skein of yarn for the TDF!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ideas and Hugs

Completed!  I had such fun with this quilt every step of the way.  I learned a lot when piecing the curves and points, and how to make the quilt float.  I am usually more subtle with the quilting thread but I went with the purple this time and just had fun! 
Speaking of fun, I  was reading an article about over-dyeing black and white fabric which made me think of this black and white t-shirt I had but rarely wore.
I dug it out and soaked it then rung it out and hung it in the bathtub.
Out with the t-shirt dyes and just let the colors drip down.  I squirted the top first, then the middle and the bottom last so the colors could drip and blend.  It will be worn a lot more now! 

I needed to card up some more wool for today's spin.
It is such a relaxing job to tease open the washed wool and feed it through the carder.
I always card my batts three times-each time peeling the batt into three sections to run it through the carder again and again.  The third time you really see a difference and it removes more debris and shorter pieces from the final batt.
I have a two ounce batt to spin today and one for tomorrow. 
But I interrupt this puttering to play with these weekend visitors!
Ella and I enjoyed making some brownies-this girl loves her chocolate!

Just a few Batts Left

I've plied two more bobbins of this unknown breed wool I was given.
I think I have enough to spin for the new few days as we wind down on this race. 
It is 3.9 oz of a downy breed of some kind because the skein is pretty soft and squishy.
238 yards added to the stash.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Water Adventure!

I finished the clam shell quilt!  Once I got started, I just didn't want to stop! 
It needs its binding which I will get to soon.
I loaded up the next quilt in the queue, the tumbler block. 
The boat called to us today.  It's been a long time since we took it out on our waterways .
I was thrilled that the lake was smooth as glass!
This means that it isn't a back breaking ride for me! 
It was just beautiful out for the ride;  the water was in the 90's and the air 100F-yes, it is hot out but on the boat, you make a nice breeze so you don't feel the heat so much! 
The water line is down about a foot from its usual depth.
We saw one gator on a log near shore and one in the middle of the St Johns but not any others.
I couldn't get a pic of either!  Sorry. 
We docked at the pier at Corky Bells' for lunch.
It was so hot outside, we opted for a break in the air conditioning!
Until next time, so long to our fav fine dining destination! 
The clouds were all low and ran on into the horizon-I'm sure we could see a hundred miles of clouds!
We came home and cooled off in the pool.  There were several of these newly hatched babies-he is barely 2" long!  
The cats were a bit too interested in them!
Run, lizard, run!
It was a good day to visit the hydro life!

Blanked Socks!

So this is what that zig zag sock blank knit up! 
It was a complete surprise but a pleasant one.  
Kinda makes you want to do another so you can see what happens if......

Stats:  KnitPicks Bare Sock Blank
Num 2 needles
64 stitches-Men's socks
toe-up socks

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Studio Savvy

Ta-Da!  Off the frame and machine bound.  Ready now to toss into the washer/dryer and added to the stash! 
In between storms and power outages, I worked out the next round for the medallion quilt.  This round will include fusible applique. 
I made a block for the United We Stand effort from Martelli.
I saw this on a blog friend's post and wanted to send one also.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

No Tears for this Hanky

It certainly wasn't a joyful spin but I have a skein of yarn for all the hard work and blisters! 
Of course, I learned at the end of the second bobbin that my previous way of prepping the silk hanky for spinning was not the best way to spin! 
Stretching each hanky out like this and then trying to further muscle it even finer as I was spinning it was causing the displeasure!
Instead, I found it best to just spin it right from the hanky shape using a long backward draw and skipping all the attenuating altogether! the finish line! 
So now I will hold onto this knowledge if I ever get the urge to buy 2 ounces of silk hankies for dyeing in the future! 
The skein has 267 yards of 2 ply yarn for a good future knit! 
Here is this year's haul so far-over a mile of yarn!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Uphill and Then Down

The hexagon quilt is zipping right along on the frame.  I have only 15" left to do!
I am loving the piecing on the Medallion quilt!  I really went ahead of schedule on this and didn't save it for each month like I thought but I am savoring each step and liking what I get! 
We stop by this surprise blueberry bush that sprang up in the midst of the crepe myrtle bush.
We have anxiously waited for the berries to ripen and get dark. 
Sad to say, this is a wild bush and it does NOT have sweet berries.
They are horribly bitter.
Such a disappointment.
The birds aren't even picking it clean. 
Speaking of disappointments, I am spinning some silk hankies that I had dyed several years ago.
I tried knitting right from this but didn't love the experience. 
I am remembering why I put this away!
I stick my finger in the middle of the silk square and pull it into a very long narrow strip and then further stretch (attenuate) it for spinning.
I have the blister to show for this work!
It is slow and tortuous work but I will get it finished this time.
The TDF is mountainous terrain this weekend so I am pushing myself to do something extraordinary to reflect this.  I will reward myself with some lovely wool when I am finished!


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...