24 days later

WOW!  It’s been over 3 weeks since I wrote.  Time does apparently fly when you’re having fun.  Or is it that it moves faster as you age?  Or is it just that there’s so much to DO that I forget to take the time to blog?

Either way, it’s been a while!

The chickens are doing well.  We’re getting 7 eggs a day consistently, which is more than we can use so I’ve started selling a few dozen a week.  The difference in fresh eggs is so amazing that I am convinced I’ll have chickens as long as I have the land to raise them on!

Our garden has been going crazy this year!  My new canning shelves are almost full, but I still haven’t put up any fruits, nor enough fruit juices, well besides the strawberry jam and strawberry sauce.  And as you can see I’ve got more potatoes to store today now that they’re dried off from digging (note to self get another storage basket):

Whoops!  I didn’t realize I left my sandals on the chair when I came in from mowing last night!  And it’s time now to re-till the ground, pull some of the plants in the garden, put up the fence to keep the critters out and plant my winter garden.  The winter garden here this year will be mostly greens, beets and peas.

On the knitting front I’ve finished one shawl:

Although I need to re-block it as I didn’t get it shaped quite right.  It’s supposed to be stretch into almost a half circle shape.  And I’ve almost finished a second shawl:

This one was a kit I purchased some time ago when I fell in love with the colors of the hand-dyed yarn in it.  I think I’m going to really like the shape of this one as well, it comes to more of an elongated point on the front edges.

On the quilting front I’m still working away at a few new patterns (to be shown at a later time), and I’ve done quite a bit of custom quilting this summer.  This is a sneak peak at the current customer quilt on the frame:

It’s taken much longer than I anticipated, due to the bending over neck issues and my lack of hydraulics on my machine table to raise it to height.  But it’s coming out pretty well and I’m hoping my customer will love it when it’s finished.

Of course part of what takes away blogging time is always the “normal” stuff….. you know the real job (husband’s company paperwork) and the required job (housework) and in the summer there’s the acre of land with all that weeding!  Who’s idea was it to put in so many flower gardens?  Oh yeah, that one was mine!  LOL

Oh and I’ve revamped part of my design room to allow for a little bit of painting:

And even allowed some time to play with a little bit of silk painting on stretched wire:

And lest you think that in all this I have neglected my spinning wheel, I assure you that I haven’t:

The jumbo bobbin is a silk/merino 2 ply that I struggled with a bit this summer.  It wasn’t the fiber, it was apparently me.  But I’ve gotten it done and moved onto a Merino/Alpaca blend that I carded myself and am now spinning with the lace flyer in the hopes of getting a fine enough 2 ply for another lacework shawl.

So, as you can see, time really does fly when you’re having fun…….and there’s so much to do that occasionally I tend to forget to blog.  Okay, maybe MORE than occasionally!!!  But I always try to make up for it……….even if that means it’s a super-long, photo heavy post!

Happy quilting, spinning, knitting, gardening, painting, or whatever else makes YOUR heart sing!

On the Needles — June 9, 2012

On the Needles was conceived by Judy L as a way to share and motivate each other to find time to knit.  Especially during those summer months when everything outdoor seems to take up so much of daily life.  Having the garden this year and now the chickens, I could fully understand the need for motivation to make time and am happy to be a part of this.  Not motivation to knit, but motivation to SCHEDULE some knitting TIME into the days.  The plan is to post what’s “On the Needles” every Friday, with a link to Judy L’s blog where you will find other knitters, crocheters, and spinners posting links to their blogs about what’s on their needles.

Hey, it’s a perfect way to share our knitting!  And it’s start coincides perfectly with this years WWKIP!  That’s World Wide Knit in Public Day, which is not exactly a day but spreads for a week.  Details about that are HERE.

So what’s on my needles this sunny Friday morning?  Well, I had to frog the socks I showed you last week.  The color, while pretty, was pooling once I got into the main body of the sock.  I’ll find something to use that yarn on, just not socks based on 64 stitches (my magic # on size 0 needles).  And as I still needed a pair of Plain Vanilla socks for the June YOSS socks (for the Ravelry YOSS group)  I pulled out some Knit Picks Felici in the Rainbow colorway and got started again.

As you can see, I’m using one of my favorite books.  Although this particular pair is “Plain Vanilla” (i.e. no fancy stitches) I love this book because it is full of stitch patterns and heel and toe choices for all sections of socks and you can mix and match the patterns you want.  Kind of like a gazillion choices in one place if you have the imagination to play!

And as I’m a spinner too, I’ve always got something on the wheel.  This week, and for the last couple weeks as it is summer which is less spinning time, I’ve been spinning up this pretty yarn:

Isn’t it pretty!!!!!  Hey it’s the dyer that makes the colorway of the fiber pretty to make pretty yarn and I can honestly say I’m in love with this one!  The fiber is from Fiber Optic Yarns in the Emily colorway and it’s a 50% Superwash Merino/50% Tencel blend, which makes it super soft and super shiny.  I’ve got two 4 ounce braids of this particular colorway, here I’m about 3/4 of the way through the first braid spinning as fine as I can.  My plan is to spin both braids and then Navajo Ply them to get a fingering weight yarn with consistent coloring to eventually knit into a shawl.  Navajo Plying is one of my Ravelry TDF challenges that I’m doing, but more about the TDF when it actually starts.

That’s what’s “on my needles” this Friday morning, what’s on yours?  Want to play along?  Blog about what’s on your needles and head over to Judy L’s blog and add a link to your blog.  Hey, we all want to see what everyone is working on or we wouldn’t blog or read blogs!!!!!

This, that and the other thing Part 2 (the inside stuff)

Moving along to the inside of the house, I stay busy these days here as well.  The longarm quilting business is coming along nicely and I’m back on track after my back issue a couple weeks ago temporarily derailed me.  There have been a lot of pantograph quilts coming through the line-up last month, not much in the way of custom work was on the schedule.  But the next quilt up is custom and freehand, so there should be some pretty pics from that end of indoor life soon.

For my own projects, I am in the process of re-doing the setting triangles around my applique block.  I followed the pattern directions (this is not one of my patterns, but another designer’s) as I read them; yet when I put the triangles on they appeared to be too small and were distorting the center block into a poofy mess.  So I took them off and have made a new set oversized, which I’ll trim down after application:

And this is a good reason to, on occasion, buy that fabric you love in a larger quantity than you think you’ll need.  The old triangles won’t be wasted, they’ll go back in the stash to be used for applique and smaller pieces, but if I hadn’t bought over a yard of this, I wouldn’t have been able to remake the triangles.

Also last week I purchased the threads I needed to complete the hand embroidery on this little art quilt:

And as the weather forecast for the next several days (through next Wednesday) has a higher chance of storms moving through, I may actually get the shadow leaves and flowers embroidered on!

Of course that’s dependent on NOT getting distracted by the new (to me) drum carder that arrived as well last week:


And there is always the knitting waiting to do.  Right now I have a sleeveless shell top in a feather and fan pattern on the needles with only about 7″ more of the back to complete it .  And I have the 2nd sock in a pair of variegated brown lace socks on the needle to be completed.  And in the queue waiting to be done are 3 new shawls and another shell in that same feather and fan pattern.  The first one is coming out a little warmer/fiber content in weight of yarn than the season I wanted it for, so I’m going to make another with a Llama/Cotton blend that is absolutely scrumptious!!!!!  But alas, I didn’t take pics of any of those projects in process.

 

Now, I’m going to get off this computer and do………………………………..

 

Oh who knows what there is so much awaiting me to be done!!!!!

 

Did I mention I love summertime and the longer daylight hours?