Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mid-Week

 I finished the central portion of the quilt for Millie and am on the home-stretch for the borders-they take a bit more work because I have to unpin and repin the quilt for each side but well worth the work to see the finish line just ahead!
 The sock is clipping right along-I turned the heel and have to decide what I am doing up the leg!
Outside, it has been perfect weather!  No humidity and mid 80's temperatures!   October is the month to visit someone in the South!
 The Turk's Cap Hibiscus is reaching maturity;  the blooms are now full size (about 3-4") and the bush is as tall as I am now!  So pretty.....
 The KnotWeed is almost done with its blooming-the butterflies have almost all left, too.
 Isn't this striking-about 8" tall and so brilliant.   It is good to walk through all the flowers and enjoy the texture, color and contrasts.
 What a pretty combination of colors!   Yarn inspiration here~  (Cassia, sage and pagoda flowers.)
 This will grow into a very tall and beautiful tree in a few years!
 And my first Camillia is in bloom!   The white bush is always weeks ahead of the others!
They are still looking like this!  These will burst into blooms next month.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Early Week...

 Our persimmons are ready for eating and Bill always wondered how they would be for jam.   We couldn't find a jam recipe exclusively for them so winged it on our own.  I supervised but Bill did all the work-I say I am retired from jam-duty and he wanted to learn!  Perfect. (in fact, he cleaned the kitchen afterwards, too!)
 He wanted me to tell you he had to down another big branch and this one fell exactly where it was supposed to!
I always enjoy it when I have done so much the quilt no longer reaches the floor!!!  Proof of progress!
 We went to visit my brother and sister-in-law.......what a perfect and encouraging visit!
 Bill and I toured the beach since we were so close before heading home.
 Another wonderful place to watch and let your lungs fill up with ocean air!
 All the dune daisies were enjoying the end of the day sunshine, too.
We drove home to a wonderful sunset.
I started a pair of socks on the way home and knit until it was too dark to check my work!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pleasing Pursuits

 I have been in an organize and throw out mood.   I took all the handspun yarn from this bookcase because Stormie keeps stealing it and tangling skeins.
 I pulled out a bunch (40) of mohair/acrylic blend skeins and bagged them up for quick sale when we have the community yard sale in a few weeks.  The basket on the left is holding cards of sample buttons from a men's wear factory 20 years ago!
 I arranged all my handspun yarn with the rest of the yarn in the empty spots.   Now I can see what I have and it is pretty for the eyes!
 I am not usually a procrastinator but this was one project I put off for almost a year!  It was a beloved hat and the wool got nibbled by a family pet and it needed a major repair.   I seam ripped it all apart, made patterns from the old and was able to save the rim and the lining.  Like most projects you put off, it wasn't as bad as I imagined and it went together pretty easily.  Sewing around the brim was challenging but I had gotten so far , I wasn't backing out then!
 Pretty jaunty, heh?!  Its owner is going to be surprised because I'm sure they think I forgot completely!  (When they gave it to me they said no hurry and save it if you can so I didn't miss any deadlines-I never procrastinate with one of those!)  FYI, I am not going to become a milliner.
After all the cleaning, organizing and mending......I needed a straight forward sewing project!
I cut up a medley of fat quarters on the Accuquilt, arranged them on the design wall, sewed them together, added borders and felt better about the world! 
I also cut out the backing and binding.   I have to wait to get the batting at JoAnn's!  And Millie's quilt is still hogging the frame space....

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Skeined!

 I finished plying last night-a nice full bobbin of Alpaca!  Alpaca Top - D-RV-13-0014
 I washed it right away and hung it to dry.  BTW, the skein winder is working wonderfully-no pain from using the niddy noddy is a wonderful way to end each skein!
 Curled up and ready for a label because...
 ...no matter how many times you think you will remember what a skein is and how much yarn is there----YOU DON'T!
And we have one sock done and another on the needles~

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Monday's Meanderings

 After doing the usual Monday morning chores, I dug out some angora fiber and experimented with different kinds of rolags/punis for spinning.  The fiber is so soft and light that it is a breeze to prepare.   The little pile in the back right is the waste fibers-little felted areas or short pieces.  
 The fiber is long at 3-4" and spins beautifully.   I am using my e-spinner set at a good clip with little draw in so that it is easy to control the slippery fiber.   It is so soft even on the bobbin!
 I did some exercise by spinning on the Traveler so I did some treadling also.   I am spinning some prepared Suri Alpaca top and it is spinning very nicely!   I have tried to prepare my own Suri twice and it was a huge misery so this was going to be my last attempt at spinning this fiber.   I am glad it is going well.  I hope to ply this later today so I can see how the yarn turns out.
 I did the mini skein of Banana Silk!   More of the yellow tones washed out after I had the skein plied but it is a pretty color-now what to do with such a little skein-probably a washcloth because it has the feel of linen.  (I hope it will soften up after each washing like linen does!)
 I played with the disappearing block again-using two colors instead of a neutral for the second layer cake square.   I am happy with the results!
 While I was playing inside, Bill decided to tackle this dead tree removal at dusk.
 He was cutting it down so the big branches wouldn't fall on his someday project, restoring this backhoe.  Oops!  It went right on top of it when the tree went down!
 This morning as he cut up the trunk and branches, he could see that it fell on the strongest part of the chassis and didn't damage it at all!  It looks better without the tree there now!
 Isn't this pretty?  It is looking down on top of the last pagoda bloom.
See?  It is a huge one at about 16" in height!  Off to the sewing room to work on Millie's quilt on the frame!  Have a good day!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Endings and Beginnings

 For as long as I can remember, Saturdays are for laundry and cleaning-a quick whip-through so you can go and play in the sewing room.   I can play anytime I want usually, but Saturdays still follow this schedule.   I would say some habits become very deeply ingrained!  After I whipped through this morning, I knew which project was calling me!  When in Georgia, I bought this rainbow fabric for the border for the disappearing pinwheel rainbow quilt.   I cut the strips on the lengthwise grain so keep the stripes just right-I think it is everything I wanted for the quilt!
 This was a case of 'miters only' for the border plans.   It worked out easily and now the quilt top joins the queue while I finish the quilt on the frame.
 This is the one I'm working on now;  the antique nine patches that Millie completed.   I am quilting it freehand with a variety of patterns to echo the borders and then highlight the smaller blocks.
 One nice part about the freehand work for quilts lately is that I can sit down while I do them.  I cannot stand for the hours required for doing the pantographs.  I will use them for smallers quilts as I can complete them in two hours instead of the 8-10 hours for a large quilt.  It is going to work out well and I hope to have it done in a week!
I used the two left over skeins of Hawthorne yarn for a new sock-I am using one row per each skein and carrying the strands up the side seam for an invisible exchange.   The interplay of colors is really making a very pretty sock!   I hope you like it Marsel-it's for you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

FO Friday

 I purchased some shelves from a 'going out of business' sale at a yarn shop....sad for them but I enjoyed organizing all my sock yarn here!  (Nyki has a habit of emptying the other shelves I have of their contents so she can snuggle in the cubby.....she has already emptied the one on the bottom all the way to the right twice today-I might leave it empty for her.  Maybe.)
 Another way to reduce the sock yarn stash, finish a pair of socks!  These are toe-up with a bit of cable up the leg.   It is knit from the KnitPicks Hawthorne line of sock yarn.
 I had a doctor's appointment in St. Augustine so we went to the newly renovated beach at their pier when I was finished!
 All of this sand-tons and tons were brought in to replace the beach erosion.
 This is the cement break wall and it used to drop off 15" to rocks and the previous beach level.  It is very nice to see the way they cared for the beach now.  (Here is a pic from there a bit over a year ago to compare)
 After the beach visit, we traveled a bit south to our second favorite restaurant, the South Beach Grill.  The weather is perfect in Florida right now.....
 I finished binding off the Georgia Geology Shawl!
 I soaked it and blocked it this morning.
 The detail doesn't show up as much as it did on the solid color yarn but the overall affect...
 is pretty spectacular!
I can't wait to wear it!  (Also knit from the Hawthorne line of sock yarn from KnitPicks!)