Thursday, May 17, 2007

Miter Report

Here's the current progress shot of my miter thing.
mitered square thing

I've been toying with the idea of a bag but I'm still just playing. Several very nice people have offered to send me some sock yarn leftovers. Thank you very much - this is the kindness of knitters part. I've also done two yarn swaps on Good Yarn Karma
Yarn for sock yarn leftovers.

I have people write to me in the comments section asking questions that I would reply to but I can't because I have no address. When you comment as annoymous I see no address to reply to. Really, it seems so rude not to answer you; I would if I could. In the top left hand corner of my blog, next to my picture, my email address is right there if you would like to get in touch with me without posting a comment.

The San Diego County Fair is coming up and I've been working on entries in the Spinning Division. They have a new catagory this year of Hand-dyed, Handspun. I started playing around with dry dyeing. Usually you soak your fleece before applying dye; as you have all ready figured out dry dyeing is where you apply the dye to dry fleece.
dry dye fleece
have to say the method is a mess since the dye doesn't soak in. I'm pleased with the end product.

here's a close up of the fingering weight 2-ply I spun from this dry-dyed merino superwash
dry dye closeup

I also played with dyeing a DK weight I spun
multi dye yarn

here's a close-up
multi dye closeup

which would you enter?

Changing the topic to cooking, have you seen the blog My Husband Cooks? Just for fun here's what my Husband made two nights ago

#2 Daughter gave him a wok for his Birthday and he's been stir-frying like a Pro ever since. This time he made a Cantonese Chicken and Mushroom Stir-fry.

And lastly a good picture of my little black cat, Sammie. (It's not easy photographing a black cat; The Photographer gets credit for this one.)

That's what's been going on here...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Picnic on Mother's Day

Several years in a row when ask what I wanted to do for either Mother's Day or my Birthday I've said, go on a Picnic. Finally, we went on a picnic and it was just as nice as I'd hoped. The weather cooperated and was sunny.

We were in Balboa Park, a very large city park right next to downtown. Now this family has a history of weird run-ins with nature; not the normal ants but somewhat unusual visitors. There was the breakfast cookout where we were swarmed with bees - no one got stung but who knew bees like the smell of bacon. We had bees again another time for lunch - different place and no bacon this time. Then there was the time in the mountains there were so many lady bugs we had to eat in the car or they would have been all over the food.

This current picnic was no different; this time it was squirrels. We set up chairs and a sunshade with no squirrels present but the minute we set the cooler on the table they were coming out of the trees. These were brave city squirrels, we couldn't fake them out just by moving toward them. We had to keep getting up and shooing them off. Very brave critters.

The Photographer kept himself busy with his camera...

Only thing that would have made the day any better would have been if #1 daughter had been there but she was on a flight home from Japan. It was fun to read her blog while she was gone and see what she was doing day to day. It was a 20 hour flight home! She got back that evening in time to call and wish me a Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, May 07, 2007

New Project plus Blooms in the Garden

It's been a quiet week in the neighborhood...

I've been reading WendyKnits Blog about her Mitered Square sweater; her method intrigued me so I pulled out some sockyarn leftovers

Leftover Sock Yarn

and made a few squares. Then, just a few more - OK, now I'm hooked.

Mitered Squares

I have no idea what I'm making but it's fun to see the different squares the same ball of self-patterning yarn will make. I LOVE that there will be no seams to sew; new squares are added by picking up and/or casting on stitches.

Mitered Square Closeup

Now the big problem is how to find more sock yarn leftovers. I've even been dipping into new skeins of sock yarn - there has to been enough extra to squeeze out one or two squares. (I'm aware I may live to regret this decision to use "pre-leftovers.")

Blue 2 Ply

The fiber used for this skein was an experiment in dyeing methods. Half was dyed in the grease in a kettle of soap with dye added. The other half was kettle dyed after it had been washed. I liked the slight streaky result from dyeing in the grease plus it saves several steps - always a plus.

I then carded the two batches together which was a good lesson in mixing on a drum carder.

Out in the garden; while replacing the fence Jim accidentally dug up my clematis that would grow into my climbing yellow rose so he bought a new one. Wish I knew how to make my flowers have as much color as they have when they come from the nursery.


My flowers will be that size but very faded.

The Epiphyliums are in full bloom. (I'm terrible about learning or remembering botanical or variatal names, please forgive me.) Here's a pink one with flowers 8 inches across in front of a clump of Spanish Moss. (I just read that this moss is also an Epiphylium; funny because I bought my first bit of it years ago at a Bromeliad Show. I just assumed it was in the Bromeliad family.)

edited: 5/19/07 Talked to a member of the local Bromeliad Society who told me that Spanish Moss is indeed a Bromeliad. It's an epiphyte not an Epiphylium but an Epiphylium is also an epiphyte. Epiphyte just means it can grow in the air with out roots in soil.

<span class=Epi and Spanish Moss" height="443" width="500">

We gave Annie a bath and her coat is always so fabulous those first few days.
<span class=Annies Back" height="375" width="500">

Here's a picture of her mane at her front shoulders. I love how it divides, hard to keep your hands out of her fur.

So that's what's been going on here.