Friday, July 27, 2012

Of Coffee, Rain, & Spinning.

Having a snack while I blog. Coffee and cookies. Or biscuits, as they are referred to in the UK (and probably other places as well). 
 It is raining here. Hard. A good steady, pouring sort of rain. It is beating down on the metal roof and creating quite a cozy sound and feel in the house. We are having a bit of thunder and lightening as well. I do so love a good thunderstorm! We have needed rain desperately. I am not home this week, but thankfully it is raining at home as well. I was so glad to hear that. It will be interesting to see if anything looks different when I get back. When I left everything was parched dry, and brown as can be. Even the trees looked dry and thirsty.
 This week I finished spinning and plied both of these singles. Not together, they are separate skeins of yarn. 
 Here they are hanging to dry. A friend gave me some flip flops from Old Navy and I save the plastic piece that held them together. I thought it would work perfectly for drying yarn. And it did! Originally I set this yarn over the fence to dry. But the evening sun was low in the sky and soon moved, leaving the yarn in the shade. I ended up hanging the skeins from a branch in the mulberry tree. It worked like a dream. 

The completed yarn is a gorgeous 3-ply. I intend to keep this one for myself! It has such a nice feel to it. I love the way a three ply feels and knits up! I navajo plied my single to get this three ply yarn.
My lace design is coming along beautifully. It slowed a little since I have been gone this week. I am hoping to add an inch or two tonight when I am relaxing. It is such a fun pattern to work on, just enough lace to keep you occupied, but not such a complex pattern so that it makes your head hurt after staring at the chart for awhile. If my design progresses at all while I am here, I'll share another picture with you. For now, I shall close and go enjoy this lovely storm!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Beginning

 Just popping in with a little bit of knitting today. This past week I started on a new lace design. Here is a sneak peak! It is just in the beginning stages, and there is still a long ways to go. But most all of the technical details are worked out, and now I just have to knit until it is almost done. I am still not sure about the ending rows but hopefully it will all go smoothly and I won't have to tear anything out!

I am using Malabrigo Merino Lace and it is simply scrumptious to work with! This is my first time working with the Malabrigo lace and I am loving the way it knits up; the softness, the beautiful shades of the kettle-dyeing. It is such a unique yarn. I will be sure to show you more pictures as this design progresses. It is a pattern I hope to put up for sale on Ravelry sometime yet this summer or autumn. It depends on how swiftly I knit it up.
That is all for now. Take care and have a blessed day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Catching Up: Projects, Past and Present.

I don't think I ever shared photos of this shawl that I knit last year. This is the Lillia Hyrna Shawl from the Knitter's Book of Wool. Knit with my handspun Merino/Silk lace yarn. 
I spun a 978yd skein on my top whorl drop spindle and then set the completed skein aside for awhile until I decided what to make with it. My sister suggested this shawl, even though I had already made it. I had just enough yardage, and I absolutely LOVE it in the handspun yarn! It is so airy and delicate. 

Up close of the lace
A big thank you to my sister for taking these photos for me! We had a lovely photo shoot out in the woods.
Sund-dapples woods. 

High above, the hot summer sky.
Here are a few of my current in-progress and just finished spinning projects. 
I have been spinning up some samples of the merino roving that I dyed in May. I was planning on keeping most of it for my personal use, but now after some reflection I'll probably end up trying to sell it. That will be a first for me, I have always kept my handspun for my own use. It is such a luxury to knit with handspun!

I'm slowly working on spinning up my birthday fiber. It is a beautifully soft blend of Merino & Bamboo. I am spinning it super thin for a very fine lace-weight yarn. I am planning on making a shawl, though as of yet I have no idea what pattern I will use!

More merino roving being spun. 
What about you? What have you been working on this week, or this month? I would love to hear all about it! 

Have a blessed week, my friends! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Of An Early Morning Walk

This summer I have been walking early every morning. It is nice to exercise early on in the day. With the extreme heat we have been having, the early morning hours are usually comfortable, if not nice and cool. I have enjoyed these morning walks. I go at a brisk pace, and if I have company we chat. One day after my walk was done and the dew was still heavy over everything, I took out my camera to snap some photos for the blog.

The alpacas field, holes dug, poles buried, stakes pounded. Now it just needs the fencing and a gate. And rain, so the grass will grow.

Mulberry Tree. Due to lack of rain, and the birds eating constantly, we did not get a single berry for jam this year. I was disappointed, I enjoy making mulberry jam. Perhaps next year we'll have a bumper crop.

Grape Leaf
Queen Anne's Lace
Dew on the corn.
Catnip, just blooming.

My little flower patch from last year has produced some lovely perennials. I never got around to replanting it with annuals this year. The clay was just too hard to till and seed, by the time we had a good rain it was too late to plant anything. So far the perennials that have come up are Painted Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Sunflower, Alysium, and a couple flowers that I do not recognize.
Lord willing I can plant some more Zinnias next year. Maybe more perennials as well. We'll see how much space I have to work with! :)

Next up: Catching up on projects!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back In May....

 Today I found these photos, taken, edited and waiting for a blog post.....back in May! I completely forgot about/shuffled them away, in the busyness of life this summer. And it has been BUSY! I keep expecting things to slow down, but the calendar keeps filling up. There has been much fun, lots of hard work, a great deal of hot weather, and good memories everywhere. So here is a look at what our area looked like back at the end of May.....
 Look at the corn! It is about 4 or 5 inches tall in this picture. I measured it on July 4th (last Wednesday) and it was 6 and a half feet tall! That beat last years July fourth record by 6 inches!

 I do miss the view that we had back when the corn was short. Now we are fenced in by a rustling hedge of corn. 

 Our field didn't get mowed until late in May. We are currently working on fencing it in for the alpacas. When I was taking a walk down in the field I took some photos of the tall grasses in the evening light. I prefer the neatly mowed field, it is so much greener and tidier, but I must admit I miss seeing the tall grass rippling in the wind.

I'm away from home until this evening. If the lighting is still good, maybe I can take some pictures of my most recent spinning projects. Until next time, take care!