I've gotten minimal response to my last post. (Thank you Syd for your comment.) I've decided to take a break from the blog for a month or so. Maybe when I come back, my blogging excitement will have returned. Take care everyone.
Washed and blocked. It was a hit at my Guild meeting Saturday. It's prettier in person. This picture doesn't do it justice.
I indulged my inner geek again. I just couldn't resist:
My extra change is safely stored in my new TARDIS bank. Being a geek is so much fun!
I'm considering ending my blog. My heart hasn't really been in it for a while now, as I'm sure you can probably tell. I'm officially taking a poll: do you want me to keep writing? Because if YOU aren't interested in reading any more, then what's the point? Let me know.
My red peppers are finally turning red. Finally! They've been green for so long I wasn't sure they'd ripen before it got cold.
The Sweet Chocolate peppers have almost caught up with the red peppers. I just hope they ripen before the end of summer. Today's 96F day should help, although it's supposed to be 63F on Friday. Just another week in Michigan. My garden needs more summer! I've still got tomatoes that the heat, too
That's all I've got. I haven't been sleeping too well on my new bed so I haven't had any energy in the evenings to do anything, like block a shawl. I'm determined to get to bed early tonight so, with that, I bid you "Good evening."
I spent Saturday morning working on getting rid of my old mattress and box springs. I decided I needed a new one and my sister had one only a few years old that needed a new home. I put an ad on Craig's List for a free mattress and box springs and, eventually, a couple arrived to take them away. A few hours later, my sister and BIL arrived with the "new" mattress, etc. The old mattress was a full/double and since we all thought the "new" one was as well, I bought sheets, mattress pad and memory foam mattress topper, all in a full-size. The "new" mattress is a queen. <sigh> After much ado, my sister, who plans on eventually buying a new full mattress for a guest room, agreed to take the stuff that's now too small and an agreement was made. The search is on once again for sheets, mattress pad and a queen-sized memory foam mattress topper, all on sale. Crap, I'm going to need a new blanket, too. <sigh> I'm sure it'll all work out, especially since I really needed a new blanket again anyway.
Speaking of blankets, or, in the case, quilts, I'm trying to come up with a pattern for a Halloween quilt. I already purchased some fabric for one
but I still need 2 or 3 more. A couple of solids, green definitely, and maybe another pattern. A trip to the quilt store is in my future.
When I wasn't moving mattresses around my condo, I was knitting. I just finished binding off my second Mendocino Shaped Shawl but it still needs the ends woven in and a wash and block.
While I was knitting, I was being supervised, in case you were wondering:
And while not a chaperone, Galen was with me the whole time:
This has to be one of the most relaxing weekends I've had in ages. I spent almost the entire weekend knitting. Saturday I went over to a friend's to continue her education in Doctor Who. While there, I knitted. See, I ordered some yarn that arrived on Friday. Two of my girlfriends thought I was nuts for even asking if it was okay to start a new project when I had so many other projects incomplete. "Of course!," was the response. However, when I looked for the needles I needed, I found that one of those previous projects were using them. What to do? Finish that project, of course.
I was on the last section of a shawl that's been sitting around since March. More than time to finish it, sew in the ends and block it:
Of course, I found out afterward that I had switched my size 9 and 10 needles in my needle binder. I was knitting this with size 10s instead of the size 9s I was supposed to be using. I could have started the new project on Friday since the 9s weren't actually in use. As a result, this shawl is a bit bigger than I thought it would be. Good!
The weather was perfect and beautiful today. I've had the windows and door open all day. There was even a nice breeze that dried the blocked shawl on the back porch.
The new shawl - Medocino Shaped Shawl - was started Sunday morning. This is my second time knitting this one but this time, I'm using the proscribed yarn: Crystal Palace "Mendocino" in the Violet Rainbow colorway.
I've already finished the first ball of yarn. I am a color whore so all that color makes me very happy. I love the gradual change in colors. This is going to be great to wear with jeans. The blue shawl is thin enough that it'll be a summer shawl but the Mendocino shawl will be nice and warm. Perfect Fall/Winter attire.
I've been feeling rather blue with summer and summer vacations being over but nothing perks me up like a new project made with beautiful yarn. Currently, I have 1 weaving project, 2 knitting projects, and 3 spinning projects that are in process right now and I'm pretty thrilled by that. There's not much that makes me as antsy as being between projects. What projects are you working on?
My girlfriend came over Saturday and we helped each outer warp our respective looms. This one is mine: a Kromski rigid heddle loom. This is only my second weaving project and I'm not that good at it yet. My edges are kind of all over the place but I've gotten some tips from my weaving friends and the edges are starting to look better.
The warp is commercial sock yarn. The weft (the back and forth yarn) is my handspun from a batt I bought at Maryland last year. If I recall correctly, it's Merino with some sparkle. Oh, it's going to be a scarf, BTW. It may become a Christmas present depending on how it turns out.
The classes were fun but not something I'd ever do again. Still, I made some fun scarves. Will they ever be worn? I have no idea.
And the two bandanas:
I'm not sure this one is done. I might take some rubber stamps and permanent ink to it. Maybe. What do you think?
I told myself I wasn't going to buy any fiber since I already have more then I'll spin before it felts itself. But then I went and bought a new drop spindle:
And since I had to play with my new spindle, I bought some fiber:
Clockwise from the top: 2 oz. 50/50 baby camel/Merino, 2 oz. 50/50 yak/silk, and 1.5 oz. brown cashmere. I orginally bought the silver yak/silk to spin on the spindle but then I found some 3/4 oz. batts that were pretty, fun and wouldn't take long to spin. So I bought one.
One of the red ones above and spun it into a little skein. Sorry, I didn't think to get a picture. When I took the skein back to to woman I bought it from, I ended up buying the green art batt. Then it occurred to me: how about a trade? She agreed and I traded the skein I'd just spun for two more of the red batts. She now has a sample skein to show how the batts spin up and I now have two more batts to play with. Everybody wins.
The one and only time I warped my rigid heddle loom, the warping peg cracked. My friends found someone selling them so I bought these:
I really only need the one on the right but if that one ever cracks, I can cut the one on the left in half and I'll have two more. Since they're made of red oak, I'm hoping that won't be necessary.
I really had a great time. The weather was perfect, my classes were fun as was the shopping. I learned a couple more constellations and that some of the apps for the iPad are way cooler than ones for the Nexus 7. Sheri has an app called Go Star Watch (I think) that is brilliant. All you do is point it at whatever sky body you want to identifiy and it'll tell you. It'll even tell you the starts and constellations on the other side of the planet. It uses GPS but doesn't need a phone/wifi connection. I deeply desire that app on my tablet but there isn't a comparable one. Darn!
The last couple of weeks have been rather eventful for me. Two weeks ago today was my birthday, spent with my sister. It was great! Last week was the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, Michigan. I had a great time. The weather was perfect: cool at night and not too warm during the day. I learned how to find Cygnus the Swan in the night sky and where to find Aquila the Eagle and Lyra the Lyre. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find them from now on.
The Festival was fun. I took two classes, New Batik and Advanced New Batik. They were fun and I enjoyed myself but I know it's something I won't do again. I'll have pictures of what I made later this week. This year was the first year I didn't enter any yarn in the skein contest. It's possible I may be over that particular phase. Next year will tell.
There were four of us in camp this year. My tent is the corner in the right side of the picture, Rhonda and Sheri shared the big tent in the middle and Pan stayed in her Scamp trailer (which is to the left out of the picture). We were relieved when Pam arrived with a screen tent (on the left side of the pic). Not only was there relief from any bugs but It had a 50+ UV protection on it.
I realized that while I like the idea of Freezer Bag meals, in practice, not so much. I have to, once again, reevaluate my meals and what I eat. There has to be a happy medium between a hot, cooked meal and not too much work. I have a year to figure it out.
Humphrey the Camel was at the Festival again this year. It's hard to tell from this picture, but Humphrey is huge! He's also sweet and he loves his "dad." The guy in the ball cap is "dad." He brought out some oat straw for us to feed to H. The oats made us very popular.
I'll have pictures of what I made in my classes and the great stuff I got later this week.
Things have been rather busy here in SE Michigan. Blueberries have been picked, and frozen, and turned into jam. My birthday was this week which was a great day spent with my sister. We ate yummy Indian food, I got a birthday cupcake and we watched The Wolverine at the theater. I've become obsessed with tie-dyeing again which, so far, has lead to this:
I've got another shirt in the dye bath right now. I find the process very exciting since you never know how each shirt is going to turn out until you take off the rubber bands/ties. Such potential!
My garden is plugging along slowly. I have tomatoes, green ones, but nothing ready to eat. I've harvested one zuchini and a handful of beans. The peppers are loaded but none are ready for eating yet... and we're running out of summer:
These are the red peppers. And these are the purple peppers:
I have no idea when the darn things are ripe because they start off purple. At least with the red ones it's obvious when they're ripe because they turn red. The big purple pepper has been there for weeks and is hard as a rock. I have to assume that means it's still "green." Can anyone give me some clarification on pepper ripeness? 'Cause I'm at a loss here. The Sweet Chocolate Peppers are finally blooming but I doubt there will be any ripe peppers this summer. I have no idea why they've been so slow to prosper. It's not just my gardening skills. I gave one to my BIL in Pennsylvania, who lives in one gardening zone warmer than here, and his didn't thrive either. Maybe a bad batch of seeds?
Next week is the Michigan Fiber Festival. I can't believe it's here already. As usual, I'm not ready. I still need to figure out lunches, prepare the fabric I'm bringing for the batik classes I'm taking and move all my camping stuff up from the basement. The vacation will be appreciated.
Oh, and for anyone in my age bracket, I had my annual mammogram today. If you haven't had your's yet this year, please talk to your doctor about scheduling one. We girls need to stick together. (Yeah, okay, that was sappy but the sentiment is sincere.)
All I've been doing the past week or so has been spinning silk hankies. Lots of silk hankies. This is the result. This is a 3-ply yarn that I will finally be able to use to continue knitting my silk shirt. After 4 ounces of silk hankies, I'm rather tired of spinning them. I really hope I have enough yarn to finish the shirt. I look forward to spinning other things.
My girlfriend and I picked blueberries this morning. The cold front that's been hanging over the midwest meant that it was a cold 50F this morning and we were bundled up in thick sweat jackets with the hoods up. I managed to pick a single bucket full before the cold of wet feet drove us back into the car and the heater. Kroger has 5 lbs. boxes of blueberries on sale so I supplemented my picking with some Michigan berries picked by someone else. Another friend and I have a date on Friday night to make some blueberry jam for her family. Before then, however, I'll be making some for myself. Well, to give away as presents this Christmas.
Speaking of jam, I'm also hoping to pick Concord grapes this September to make grape jelly, grape juice and possibly raisins. Hmm, I may have to take the following Monday off so I can get all the grapes processed and canned. I have to say, work seriously interferes with my play time.
Well, people, have a good week. It's time for bed.