Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July Stitching

 I made the July deadline for the Patience block of the Sheep Virtues. I already have the August block done so I'm taking a break from it this month.

 Mr. Suffolk is also done. Mr. Jacob is next up but he's is being put on hold until September too. I'm a wee bit tired of sheepies.

 In August I will be putting some foliage in my little garden.

 And a few sails on my Tall Ship.

 I also hope to get to Spiral Chicken. She's been gathering dust thanks to the World Cup and the Tour. August will be all hers. She needs her beak and her comb.

 I finished another block for Dear Jane this month too.

It had to be appliqued down so it was the first one to have it's papers removed. It was scary.

I have two more blocks to finish and then I will be in Row C. I hope we get away from those curved pieces. I hate them.

Speaking of blocks, this is as far as I have gotten with the mini quilt. Picking out the awful free motion stitching on the Thangles quilt is using up my free sewing time and I'm just fine with that. Somehow ripping stuff out feels better than putting stuff together right now. It's the dog days. I hate August.

I also want to thank Kathy B and Karen for the lovely surprises that I found in the mailbox today. Those Christmas goodies were just what I needed to get over my hot weather funk and that shawl would be perfect for a box of orphan Knit Picks yarn I found during a fiber closet de-stash after the Tour. Details to follow.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Armchair Traveler

The Mister and I don't travel much but our kids sure do.

Here are a few pages from Middle Son and his Fiancee's trip to China over spring break. I saw him last week and he shared his little sketch journal with me.

I love the way he captures all the touristy things like queuing up to see Mao's body with anecdotes. Don't you love that guard?

They got to swim in the famous Water Cube from the Beijing Olympics.

Of course eating in foreign countries is always high on the list of memorable experiences. Some fancy....

....some not so fancy. I am not sure what he's selling but now I want a steamed dumpling.

They got to see pandas doing what they do best, up close and personal. Lots of them.

I think Son really captured the spirit of the country but the sketch I like the best is this one of the bikes. How does one begin to draw such a mass of tangles parts? I am so impressed.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Aux Champs-Elysees!

While the riders were racing around the Arc de Triomphe I was gathering up this year's projects for their final mug shot before packing them away.

 Earlier I had been cleaning out all the spinning bins and found this.

They are Cormo locks from one of my very first fleeces that I had started spinning ages ago.

Cormo is soft and lovely to spin but it is a bear to wash and comb. It's very delicate fiber.  I combed a bag of nests and put them away while watching the final stage.

 I didn't get much mileage this year but I did get a lot of variety. I've got an ounce of this Into the Whirled Polwarth in the Just Figs colorway.

 I've got just under an ounce each of Trinidad, my California Red fleece and a Merino from Puckerbrush Farms that I plied on the fly. The Merino was a disappointment since I thought I had so much more on that spindle. Boo me for giving up on it too soon. I should have stuck it out.

 I've got the whole 4 ounces of the Merino/Silk blend in the Boardwalk Lights colorway from Dragonfly Fibers. I admit this skein looks like holy hell. I can't spin silk blends worth beans. I need to stop buying them.

Speaking of silk blends, I am having the same trouble with this BFL/Silk blend. The silk parts shreds and clumps up on me. Even so, I am going on with it. I just have to keep telling myself it's a design feature and not a failure.

Finally, here is this year's project that deserves a place on the podium. It's 2 ounces of cotton and every inch of it was a slog. It is so fiddly. I plied it yesterday during the time trials and I almost lost my mind. It is not fun to work with and I doubt I would do it again but it's done. DONE.

Speaking of being done. It's all over and right now I couldn't be happier to pack it all away until next year. I've still got two wheels with projects and the drop spindles going but for the most part it's over. For the entire month of August I promise NO more fiber posts unless something really interesting happens but I am betting it won't. I am out of road.
A La Prochaine!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Running Out of Road

 I've reached the stage where the spindles are all rebelling.

 They are too full to spin anymore. They wobble.

 It's over. Today I will be winding them all off and wondering what I am going to do with all these singles.

I also have to thank Lucy for this wonderful bag of souvenirs from a special place in Kentucky. This looks like such a fun place to visit. You wouldn't know it but The Mister and I used to be regular travelers once upon a time. We drove to Mexico once for crying out loud. Then life became all about sick parents, sick pets and other roadblocks that kept us off the road for years. It's going to take baby steps for us to get back on that road again. Baby steps.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Dies and Squees.....

 Someone asked me a while back how the dies work with the stamp sets. It's pretty simple. After you stamp and color, you tape the die over the image while it's on a special cutting plate and then.......

 ....you run it through your cutting machine.

Out pops all your little critters and other do dads. This card is going to be for the fall giveaway and if you want to see it check back in on August 1st.

 Those dies are pretty cool and so is this watercolor set I found on Amazon on Prime Day. It wasn't actually on sale but I bought it anyway.

Look at that. It folds out like a color chart from the paint store. You should see all the cool fold out swatches people have made from this set-and you know how I love swatches. Squeee........

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Gloom and Doom

This had not been a great week. First, all the flooding over the weekend, then we had a power surge from a thunderstorm on Monday that killed my beloved Alexa. Thank goodness a new power cord fixed the problem yesterday. I can't live without my Echo.

 Then on Tuesday I was spinning along with the Tour when there was a loud boom that shook the house.

 For no good reason a giant tree had gone down in the backyard taking lots of little trees with it. What a mess.

It fell across the creek backing it up. The creek is also backed up near the house by all the debris the flooding created. I can just imagine all the mosquitoes that are being born out there. We are going to have to wade in to clean it out as soon as it's safe to go out-if it ever is again. We've been having storms all week.

To add insult to injury,  I was on the last bit of free motion quilting on Daddio's Thangles quilt when I realized I hated it. All of it. I made a real mess of it trying to be too fancy. I've been picking it all out all week. It serves me right.
I need a do over. This week has been awful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Rescue Mission

 The singles that were on my Turkish spindle were thicker than the ones I had on my other drop spindles so I pulled it off. The good thing about this type of spindle is that it winds the yarn into a center pull ball while you spin.

 I didn't have any trouble at all re-spinning it thinner onto another little Golding spindle. It's the one in the front. Now it all matches in thickness and twist. That's important since I am splicing it all together onto one big bobbin.

Since I still wanted to spin on that Turkish spindle I had to go do some stash diving. I didn't want anything I loved too much since this project probably won't see the light of day again until next July. For some reason I had a big bag of green hanks that I had collected over the years so green it is. This is some BFL/Silk in the Secret Garden colorway from Misty Mountain Farms.

 Now these singles can be anything they want to be, no expectations. That's always for the best-at least for me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Rest Day

 Since the riders were resting today, instead of getting up and spinning for a few hours I got up and knit. These socks had been on the needles too long. They needed to go.

I got another inch or two on the watermelon socks before chores began to pile up and my quiet morning was over.

I had planned on caking up this new sock yarn and getting it cast on before I ran out of me time. It's the skein I picked up at the farmer's market Friday night. It'll wait.

I wanted something beachy and when I saw that this colorway was Mermaid's Tail I had to have it. Speaking of beach, we had major flooding here yesterday once again. We were looking at videos last night on Facebook of people wading waist deep on the road that runs in front of the boardwalk.

 Even our own backyard creek was looking a bit scary for a while. Many roads were closed even today including our major highway. Of course The Mister had to go take a look. We got soaked as it is still raining. It was pretty wild.

The Bay was very angry. Look at that beach. This is the one that they just dredged. What a mess.