Sunday, September 30, 2018


 I finished the seaming on the machine knit sweater and as I went to get a hanger to photograph it,
someone claimed it!
 It turned out just right and it was a good knit for this beginner.
I tried to  size it for a sweatshirt-like fit for this winter on  Ethan!
 I also  managed to knit one for Will and put cuffs and neck ribbing on before bed last night.
The ombre yarn by Red Heart turned out very nicely;  
they did a good job on transitioning the colors.  
This will really go well with his super blue eyes!

(I have succumbed to the strep the boys shared.....I was/am very low key to say the least.
I hope to put the ribbing on the bottom and seam it up today!)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Row, Row, Row Your Boat!

 There was more rain tonight resulting in this beautiful double rainbow!
 The 'lake' which has been created with all the rainfall is a boy's greatest delight!
Bill is rowing all over the lower portion of our property-the acres that have been flooded by the rising waters of the Lake Como.  The dirt pile in the background right behind Will's left ear, was one of their favorite places to play--has been out of reach for months and months!  This brought some joy and adventure to this area once again!
 Looking back toward our home, here is the banana grove-it, too, is under water but so far has not been killed by drowning!
In fact, there is a large bunch of bananas growing still!  
 Isn't it beautiful?  I do wonder how long the water will stay so high.  We are entering our dry season and so the water should recede without the rainfall to feed the flooding but who knows?
 This area used to be under water 80 years ago and the cycle of the weather just might bring it back to this geography once again!  It is still listed as a flood plain on our property survey. 
But for now, there are daily boat rides and much pirate talk among my sailors!

Friday, September 28, 2018

It's Ribbed!

 In the light of morning, the sweater sleeve I had started 
needed to be ripped out so I could use a larger needle! 
 The sleeve was too tight to be comfortable! 
 I ripped it back to the cuff and then reknit to the place where I had been-much better!
And then I kept on going-one 18" sleeve is now completed!
 Little guy was under the weather and didn't feel like his usual outside busy self 
so he fixed a 'ship' for himself and spent a lot of time at sea yesterday!
He said the name of his ship was the 'Pillow Ship'; 
 I was invited to sit in it with him but managed to convince him that next to him was good , too!
 I also managed to hand knit all the ribbing on the machine knit sweater pieces.  
I'm hoping to seam it up today!  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Up or Down; It's Sleeves!

 This morning, sun is rising behind me, the moon setting in front of me...
and the brilliance of the sun sets the moon aglow!
I finished the 2 1/2" of k2p2 rib for the hem of the Invariance sweater.
 And last night, I worked the sleeve cap ;  working from the sleeve cap down toward the cuff, 
fewer and fewer stitches until I am working on ribbing again!
While on the Flor de Jerez, I am starting this sweater with the sleeves;  increasing as I go upwards! 
 This color is much easier to work on at night than the dark, chocolatey brown!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Another Sweater!

As I near the sleeves for the cardigan, Invariance, I am presently knitting on, 
I have excitedly started this sweater!
I saw this sweater first on Araignee's blog and fell in love with the details on this pullover!
I'm knitting mine in a Dk  Valley yarn from Webs, a superwash, in the color copper.
It is screaming Fall to me and I hope to make fast work of this so that I will be able to wear it by Thanksgiving!
I am knitting almost 200 stitches of k2p2 at the bottom of the cardigan 
so being able to knit only 44 stitches of k1p1 for a sleeve cuff is a welcome diversion!
This is also easier to knit on since I don't have to haul the weight of the whole sweater.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Forward Ho!

 Mondays are pretty busy coming and going days so by the time I get done with the house cleaning,
there's not a lot of crafting time! 
 I did at least iron all the units I pieced last week and started setting them up for blocks-
now I can grab one and sew it together when I have 2 minutes!
Last night when I stitched the first larger block on the Starry Splendor, 
I found at the end of the stitching that the bobbin thread was causing loops on the back because it wasn't set right in the case!
I then spent 20 minutes un-sewing--by then I had used up my little window of stitching! 
Can you picture me under it trying to snip bobbin threads-
well, I was until it came to me to wind the quilt forward
 so I could then see the stitches on the top roller and not do aerobics to unstitch it! 
Here's a laugh for you-for a week, 
the cats have been sitting under this wreath/clock staring at it.
I thought they were all checking on the time but this morning while sitting alone at the dining room table during a quiet moment,
(how unusual!)
I heard scritching behind me.
When I realized it was up in the wreath, 
I saw a chameleon tale waving above the eucalyptus leave!
So that is where the little guy went when I tried to save him from a cat last week!
(We don't have trouble with our cats bringing us mice-
they bring us lizards!)
Bill says he must be happy leave him--
uh, no.
He goes, wreath and all!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Off to a New Week!

This is my view most mornings driving into the sunrise to deliver Will to school.
The second old foot stool has been upholstered to match the new furniture.
Next project in the family room is the window shade replacement!
(The hardware is all re-usable so it is not an expensive job!)
I don't have the fabric in the stash so it will mean a trip to the
fabric store....such a hardship!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Saturday Stacked Up Fine

 I made some progress on sewing the units for the new quilt. 
 I will make a bunch and then work out the color matching before I commit to some piecing.
 I packed up the newborn hats when I cleaned off the knitting machine table;
girl colors (6) on one side and boys' (8) on the other;
  I made three more to add to the count;  remember when all baby things were green or yellow?  
I will not take these to the hospital 
until Thanksgiving time so I can make quite a few more by then!
 I had to reload the Starry Splendor quilt since one orange cat kept laying on it
 and popping the pins until I took it off and left it off! 
 I began the quilt stitching;  I happily cruised through the top 12" in no time.
 The simple double e's on the light background border and an outline on the piano keys.
I like to finish the row and then right it down AND take a picture 
so I remember what I did by the time I get to the other end of the quilt!
 Before I turned out the light in the studio, I had to cover the quilt now so it is cat proof 
now that I have begun the actual stitching. 
 I am out of Contact paper which works great so this is better than nothing!
And last night I seamed up the hats-a very nice day all in all!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

By Hand

 Sadly, my first birdbath mosaic work developed a bunch of bubbles where the water seeped under the tile and lifted up several areas.  Nothing for it but pulling up the whole middle.
 I easily scraped up all of these tiles-the ones around the outside edge were fully adhered
 so I left them.  
I saved all the old tiles so I could pick the adhesive and grout off of them so I could reuse them! 
 It only took a bit over an hour to  clean them!
 Now to  get the tiles to fit back in place to be a similar design to the original! 
 This is a project for today unless it is too hot and humid again! 
 Since the second birdbath is holding up fine, I think I used too thick a layer of adhesive
 and too thin a layer of grout on the first one.
  Live and learn!!!  
It is too pretty to not try to fix it!
 Speaking of pretty, Ethan picked me this pretty ginger blossom;
Oh, I wish you could smell this!
It is a very beautiful, heady floral aroma!
 Also, I finished the front and back and did a three-needle-bind-off-by-machine to join the shoulders,
I then picked up stitches for the sleeves and knit them toward the cuff.
 Remember-the waste yarn (odd colored yarn on the edges) are to allow me to pick up the live stitches and then hand knit ribbing for the bottom edge and cuffs as soon as I stitch up the side seams!
Another project I hope to make good progress on today.
And yesterday in the studio, I pushed all my lovely bits of equipment to the end of the room 
to make room for the men to work to replace our air handler (in my room here) and the compressor (which is just outside this room) so we have air conditioning again! 
 It has turned my sauna-like home into an igloo once again-pure bliss!
Today I will be putting it all to rights and use the opportunity to reorganize!
It is so easy to sprawl the clutter and I like open and clean so much better!
A nice day looms ahead for me;  I hope yours will be a sweet Saturday, too!

Friday, September 21, 2018

A Story of Machine Knitting

 This is where I make those newborn hats.  
This is the operation center!
The yarn is being held in the golden bucket in the middle of the table
 and is fed through the tensioning rods before it is fed through the carriage ready to go!
First I have to pull the needles I use for the ribbing ;  
one on the front bed and the next on the back-every other needle across 94 needles.
 After the first pass of the carriage, a zig-zag row of yarn happens.
I place the comb (held in front of the machine bed here-
 and place it up between the two beds among the yarn meanders.
 This wire goes through the top of the combe teeth to lock the stitches onto the comb.
 Next is the time for weighting the comb-
 -there are holes on the bottom of the comb to hang these from. 
 This adds 2lbs to the comb-it is very heavy!
 Now the dials are adjusted and the knitting begins!
 I zip from one side to the other
 (well, it uses more muscle than I had thought so I am building up some good biceps!) 
 keeping track of the number of rows with the row counter which is tripped with each pass. 
 In this case, I knit 22 passes of ribbing which makes 11 rows of rib 
because one pass knits the back bed and the returning pass knits the front.  
After this I transfer all the front stitches onto the back bed, 
filling those unused needles between the ones back. 
 Now that the front bed is empty, it can drop out of the way to place little weights 
on the edge stitches so they stay anchored well. 
 I reset the row counter and knit 40 rows of stockinette stitching, 
the purl side faces me here. 
 On the 40th row, I remove one stitch and place it on the needle next to it to make a k2tog across, 
then I knit one final row. 
 Once the yarn tail is cut, I thread a darning needle and remove all the stitches from the needles.
  I remove the knitting from the machine, 
remove the wire from the comb which releases the stitches and then seam up the hat!
After I make a pom pom and sew it to the top, I add the hat to the pile. 
 One hour completes the hat,
I used a Cascade yarn , a blend of cotton and acrylic which made this a soft and cheerful hat!


The first Helical striped sock is finished--the yarn is from Webs, their Valley Yarns Huntington in Arctic and Chocolate colors.  Perfection...