Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Prickly Plants

 We have several varieties of Century Plants in our yard.
These pictured are several feet high with broad leaves and very sharp tips!
 This one is also very tall with some of the ends curling which is a very pretty feature of this plant,
This one is variegated and very tall with many more of the leaves than the other two.
All are varieties of Agave plants and are a wonderful pop of  prickly in our gardens!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Stitching Going On

 Millie brought over her top that needs quilting. 
 These are ties a family member gave her to make a memory quilt from her dad.
 I also have the machine knitting going on again; 
 this time with a girls sweater like the boy ones I did already.
 One sleeve to go and then a bit of seaming is all that's left!
And here is a photo of my great niece wearing her sweater I knit her!
Doesn't her smile warm your heart?!

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Latrine Hat

 In the Autumn 2018 issue of SpinOff magazine, there is a very interesting article
 about a hat that was 'discovered' during the reconstruction in the hospital
 of Fort Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Canada.
When they uncovered the early 1700's hospital latrine they also uncovered this hat~
the conditions of the latrine were perfect for preserving this handspun and hand knit hat
 due to the use of lime .  One can only speculate on how the hat got there 
but they did solve the mystery of the pattern for this hat and it was included in the article!  
 Since I had recently dyed and spun wool very similar to the one used in the article, 
I thought it would be an interesting knit to try.
 The construction was unlike any hat I had made;  
the brim was purled in the round and then turned up to the right side of the hat to form the brim
--quite the opposite to how we knit them today!
 I was tempted to chuck all that purling and do it 'right'!  
 Then I remembered why I was knitting it and relaxed 
and allowed myself to be taught something new instead of doing it my usual old way.
Always a good frame of mind!
The hat has a very different shape from our beanies of today but once on, 
it takes the shape of the head very nicely (my DH was a willing guinea pig).
I have enough yarn left to make a hat using today's patterns which will make a good comparison!
Who knows where my creation will end up in 300 years!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

No Loafing

I saw a little color on one otf the loofahs so I picked it.
They peel so easily when you do so at this stage.
See all the seeds they carry?!
The loofah will dry out for a few days and then I will 
shake out the seeds to scatter out back. 
I did manage to complete the quilting
and I bound it, too!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Birds and Blooms

 I was desperate to find some backing to match so I could finish this top and I found a piece!
My neighbor, Millie, has finished a quilt that has been hanging over her head for quite a while 
and I know she will be bringing it soon for quilting. 
 Since hers is double this one's size, I wanted this out of the way first!
I am using a tried and true panto for this donation lap quilt.
I loaded it and did one row last night 
and I will be finishing it up today in another hour!
In a perfect world, I will also have the binding cut and sewn on today, too.
Throughout the month I have been enjoying my white Camellias.
The pinks and reds won't be out for another month yet 
but these two bushes are loaded with blooms!

Friday, October 26, 2018

New Cast ON!

 While the name is uninteresting, the new sweater cast on has gone smoothly
 and with much interest right from the onset!
I'm using a pima cotton/wool blend yarn from Webs
called Granville for this pullover sweater!
 Outside we have some interesting things going on, too!
My redbud tree is losing its leaves and the buds are coming on!
This is crazy because a redbud tree is like a dogwood tree or a forsythia bush
 in that it gets its flowers before it grows its leaves....not after!  
 The roselle flowers are just coming out!  No sweet smells but the bees seem to love them, too!
(another flower in the hibiscus family)
 The angel trumpet has produced a real beauty of a bloom!
These are quite large and showy but without an aroma to humans!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Aha! Another Sweater Finish!

 
 Invariance cardigan is off the needles and all the yarn ends are woven in
and all it needs is some buttons, 8 to be exact!  
I did have enough yarn to lengthen the sleeves from 3/4 to full 
but I decided that I will get more use out  of it like this in my climate.
Also, since this is knit of pima cotton/tencel, it is heavier than wool
so it does not need the extra weight.
 The back has just the V and not the X of the pattern but I like the extra detail like this much better.
There is a bit of reverse stockinette in the V area which is a nice detail on the back.

This was a good pattern with only one area with errata; 
 and no reference to correct it anywhere I could find!
It did not tell you how many stitches to pick up along the front bands
 as all the instructions say to pick up for the neck edge as their first sentence!  
I merely used the 3/4 rule (pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows)
 and the ribbed bands lay very flat 
and do not pull in the sweater fronts which is the goal!
I also used this rule for the neck edge for success there also.
This was a top down construction
 and except for having to haul it back and forth for the sleeves
which I improved by using the magic needle method
 so I could switch the sleeve forward and back
instead of having to move the whole sweater for each round!

STATS:
A KnitPicks pattern, Invariance
KnitPicks yarn, Shine (Pima Cotton/Tencel blend)
#4/5 needles

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

To Cuff or Not to Cuff

I have worked both sleeves to the 3/4 length per pattern
and will leave them on waste yarn 
so I can work the ribbing up the fronts and around the neck. 
 Then depending on how much yarn I have left, 
I will decide if I want to extend the sleeves to full length. 
 The sweater looks a bit like a marionette right now!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sweater Finish Details

 
 Isn't it a beauty?!
It is knit in a Merino Superwash, Webs, Valley Yarn DK, 11 balls on #6 needles.
I ordered another ball  more than the pattern listed because I knew I was going to lengthen it a bit in the body.  I added 2' and it sits just at my hip;  a very comfortable fit!
The sides are knit in garter stitch and the 2 knit stitches on the side make the sides lay flat instead of bow out the way garter can do.
It is a genius move!
The back is worked the same as the front which means the pattern is easy to read and apply.
There are short rows to make the back neck sit higher than the front and affords a good fit.

And now I am working the sleeves of Invariance.....round and round and round!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Flor de Jerez Finish

I loved every part of this sweater!
I used the yarn the pattern suggested which I rarely do but I am so glad this time I did.
This is just a teaser-I have to block the sweater and photograph it on the model!
Stats , etc , to come.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Saturday's Sewing

 The Starry Splendor leftovers are now in their own quilt top!
36" x 42"  
I would've loaded it onto the frame if I had a large enough piece for the backing!
Another day.
 I added another three blocks to the Summer Blooms.
I am wondering if I will break the large quilt the kit designed or break it up into lap sized quilts.
Either way, I will have to keep stitching these blocks for quite a while!
 Do you see what we spotted on a recent tour of the acreage?
Maybe a bit of a zoom in will help!
It is an indigo racer;  a young one , less than one half of his adult size, measuring only 3'.
It is non-poisonous and will hunt and eat several of its poisonous neighbors
so a nice one to spot on a hike!  
(Once you're heart rate drops back to normal after being startled by a snake!)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

What? She Still Sews?!

 I pulled out the bin with all of the scraps from the Starry Splendor quilt.
The pinwheel blocks are from the flying geese blocks 
and the four patches are from the left over fat quarters.  
The layout on the left are what I laid out first 
(the color arrangement isn't as important in this step as the kind of setting I find that works)
 but I found that they all kind of muddied out and didn't show their shapes!
I added the brown squares to see how that would work-I liked it, so I rearranged a bit-
 and liked the difference in the arrangement but it was too long and narrow!
 Oh, yes, I was feeling like I found what I needed 
and there were no blocks left over or lacking with this layout!!!  
Perfect, I think.
And then I added the borders and sure enough, I have the quilt top
 ready to stitch together another day! 
First I will rearrange the blocks so there are not clumps of colors and then sew the rows.
 (The other border goes on top but I couldn't reach up there!)
I tried something new on the knitting machine!
I only had a few glitches but I am getting quicker on the solution now!
And by the end of the day, I had a pair!
(100% wool DK yarn worked on the LK150)
In the kitchen, I used 10 persimmons
 and 1 fresh pineapple
to make 9 ars of jam.
Bill asks me to make some every year-
and since I am on a roll this year, I gave it a go.
I'm not sure of the outcome but he is happy with the results
and that is all that matters!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Fall's Progress

 I missed the peak color of this tree for a picture!  
It was golden last week-you will have to settle for this russet! 
 It is our only tree that colors and looses its leaves with the northern states!

Which is a perfect match to the Flor that is coming along nicely!
I have joined the sleeves to the body and started the yoke.
It takes a goodly amount of time to make a round but with each decrease round, 
I love 8 stitches!  
 If you look to the left way in the back, it is our line of citrus trees.  
 They are waiting for our crispy nights to come along so they will ripen!
These are Ruby Red Grapefruits-my personal favorites!
They will be ready in December and January-yippee!
 Another Fall harvest are the Loofah plants which Bill accidentally found out love to climb trees!
The blooms are pretty and they will just keep growing until the first frost stops them.
 Look carefully to see them throughout these trees-20' high on this tree!
 And this one.  The loofa will be ready to pick and dry and bleach in November;
Thanksgiving time works best.
 While we take the trip to our neighbors to care for her pets, Ethan likes to drive his own golf cart!
He 'leads' the way by speeding ahead and waiting for us to catch up!
And in case the other picture wasn't enough for you-
here is Mrs. Argiope (or orb weaver to her friends!) in a close-up!

Going in Circles!

 So, I thought I would try to convert this common dishcloth pattern to a machine knit one! And it worked! Now usually this is knit in...