and after the damp cold spring and long snowy winter that is a wonderful thing. It will require practically daily dusting to remove the pollen that is coming in with the fresh air from all of the surfaces in the house but it is worth it. Summer officially starts in 5 days but in my mind as soon as I can leave the windows open summer is here. I love this time of year – well, lets be honest I love every time of year. I love all of the seasons for different reasons but that is a topic for another day. Today is about how everything looks bright and fresh and happy outside right now. I love the poppies and the irises, I love that the peonies will be blooming shortly. I love the blue skies and the big puffy clouds.
This past Sunday was fathers day. I had a nice phone conversation with my father. Chuck got 5 very nice phone calls from the “kids”. It was a sunny day and the weather was beautiful. We had a nice quite day.
I have gotten a lot done the past few days. I am working on a new quilt – it will be a gift but I am pretty sure the recipient will not see is here. I got the pattern from the Missouri Star Quilting website. If you are looking for a new pattern you might want to check out this website – there are a lot of fun easy patterns. This is a picture of the blocks on my design wall – this is not the final layout just a peak at the finished blocks. I will move these around a lot before I decide on the finished quilt. It is so much easier to use a design wall than it is to crawl around on the floor.
I have also been spinning again. I purchased some wonderful fiber from Weston Hill Farm – www.westonhillfarm.com – but I haven’t really started to spin that yet. It is so beautiful that I want to practice some more before I spin it. I have been spinning some fiber that I purchased at the Common Ground Fair last September. It is such a relaxing craft. I really enjoy it and I will have lots of wonderful yarn to knit when we hit the next season that I love.
I also finished a penny rug this week. I have it sitting on top of my Treadle Sewing machine. I will probably not leave it there forever because the sun will fade it too much, but I like it there for now.
I am hoping that the weather stays nice so that my veggie garden does well. We are trying something new this year. We have black poly with straw over it covering the garden this year. Our hope is that this will cut down on weeds, hold the heat in the ground for the plants and help everything grow a little faster and bigger. I will let you know how it works.
Garden and Pool
I hope you have a nice day and that you are able to enjoy the sunshine.
The weather is beautiful today – the next few days we have 80 degrees predicted and then rain. So I would rather be outside walking on the beach than working. But alas I need to work to continue with my creative habits. As I have mentioned before I purchased a spinning wheel. Oh the fun I am having!! I have worked with 4 different rovings since I brought my machine home. It is really amazing to see the difference in the yarns that I am spinning. I do see some improvement.
I plied 2 strands of spun yarn to have a thicker yarn. The fiber that I was spinning had lots of variations in the color. I am really please with the results of the yarn – the variation in color reminds me of the ocean.
while still in the process of being spun
This is the yarn after I spun the 2 strands together. Pretty cool don’t you think. I think this will be knitted into a Christmas present for someone who will remain nameless.
– the last of my fiber to be spun until the end of next week
So I will finish up this fiber that you see above and then I will dive into my quilting. I am going to promise myself that I will work on my quilting at least 2 hours every night. The way that I am talking it sounds like a punishment – it of course is not – I love to quilt and to make quilts but I am like a kid with an attention deficit problem – I keep flitting from project to project. Lots of fun flitting!!!
So my spinning is part of my distraction – the nice weather is part of my distraction – the desire to cook (because of the cooler weather) is part of the distraction. But as you can see by the photo at the top of the page there are quilts to be finished. 1 is a baby quilt, 2 are Christmas quilts that I have been working on for years, one is a mystery that needs to be marked for quilting and then quilted. Plus I have many other projects on my shelves waiting for my attention. I also have not mentioned the unfinished sweaters that are in the bags by my couch. Far too much to do and far too little time for it. There needs to be more time in the day, if only I didn’t need to sleep I would be getting much more done.
Remember to let your creativity shine – it is fun and rewarding.
I have wanted a spinning wheel for about 25 years. I go to county fairs and I always go to the sheep barn and the Wool Nooks and watch the spinners spin. I have been looking for second hand spinning wheel for years with no luck.
I have finally decided to bite the bullet and go buy one. I purchased a Louet S10 double treadle. I bought it from a wonderful yarn and equipment shop in Bath, Maine called Halcyon Yarn. It is a shop that is full of amazing yarn, fiber, equipment for knitting, spinning and weaving. I could spend hours just browsing through this shop.
I brought home this box…
Then, like a little kid on Christmas I opened it and started to assemble it.
It was quite easy to assemble it…it came with a bag of fiber so I started to spin as soon as I could. It looks very easy but it does take practice. I have some yarn spun as you can see here,
I will be spinning a lot in the next few days. It is very relaxing and so far it is as wonderful as I thought it would be. The potential for spinning beautiful yarn is huge. I don’t expect fabulous things at first but with practice I will figure this new skill out and enjoy it immensely. I need another hobby right???
Sometimes we have to be bold and just do it! That is the way that I feel about my new wheel. Maybe if I had a bucket list I would be able to check it off of the list. I know that it is a dream come true and something that I have been contemplating for many years. I will have fun, I will knit something fun with my handspun yarn and someone I love will receive it as a gift. Life is good!
One of my favorite things to knit is socks. They are small and compact and easy to take any where. They are perfect for car rides and when you are waiting. I made these socks for Mari – she is someone who appreciates hand made things. Mari makes beautiful flowers out of clay. It is very difficult to tell that they are not real.
It seems like I have been working on these socks forever. There are several steps to knitting socks, you knit along happy as a clam and then you need to do something that requires concentration. This is the point where I very often put the project down and pick up something mindless. Something that requires no thought just muscle memories that I developed when I was 8 or 9 when I first started to knit.
I am a self taught knitter. Don’t get me wrong, along the knitting journey I have had many friends who have taught me different techniques and ways of finishing but usually when I knit I am alone and I have to figure out how to get to the next step. I have a wonderful library of knitting books. Two that come to mind are “Knitting in Plain English” by Maggie Righetti and “Stitch ‘n Bitch” by Debbie Stoller. There are many others but at this point they are probably in a knitting bag with an unfinished project and there are far to many of those for me to track down.
Another new resource for learning to knit is Craftsy.com. This is a website that is full of wonderful videos that teach you almost anything “Craftsy” that you might want to learn. There is usually a small fee for the class but you can refer back to the video and also send questions to the instructor. I have found this to be a very valuable asset when learning a new technique.
Who would think that you can end up with a pair of socks when you start with this. Don’t start with a pair of socks, start with something easy like a scarf. Find a yarn shop near you and they will be a constant source help. LYS (local yarn shops) are always willing to help their customers with a project that was purchased at their shops. Let your creative side out – you will be amazed at what you can create and what a wonderful sense of satisfaction you will have when you complete something.