I finished these pretty socks some weeks ago, but never got around to posting them. They were knit with Cherry Tree Hill yarn and no.1 needles. I love Cherry tree hill yarns. They are soft and cushy, an perhaps not the best for socks. But, they feel great on the feet.
Here they are:
I've been doing quite a bit of spindle spinning, since my wheel is making all sorts of squeaking sounds. I don't know where the rubber washers are to put on it!
I've accomplished quite a bit this month. Here's what I've been doing:
This fiber is bfl/silk simple that accompanied my new Jenkins Lark Turkish spindle (not pictured. I enjoyed spinning it up.
This is merino/viscose yarn that was spun from pencil roving given to me a few years ago by Gayle, an online friend. I dyed it up, and spun it. This yarn took me forever! But,it was worth it since I got 1064 yds of two ply super laceweight yarn. There is a picture of the early stages of spinning in an earlier post.
This is Cotswold lamb fiber that I dyed myself. The staple length of fiber is long and shiny! I'm enjoying spinning this up, and it definitely is coming out thin.
This fiber is Shetland fleece that I combed on pet combs and spun on popsicle stick spindles. The spindle with the short arms is made by Sheree, an online friend. She first made the smaller one, and when I inquired about it, she sent one to me to try out. I loved it so much that I made the one with the longer arms. Then I purchased the small spalted birch turkish spindle from Enid Ashcroft in the UK. I have a new love for the turkish spindles, and am really pleased with the fact that when spinning is completed, there is a ball that can be plyed up right away. This is unlike other spindles where the fiber has to be removed and then made into a ball for plying (or not). Anyway, these popsicle stick spindles are amazing and cheap to make!
I've been very busy and too tired to post anything lately. But, I have been keeping up on the crafting as much as I can. I have finally finished spinning and plying up this merino/viscose fiber! It was a joy to spin, but a pain to ply as it spun up much finer than I had originally anticipated. However, I am very pleased with how it turned out and am thoroughly spent now that it's finished. :)
I can't believe the entire summer has passed by so quickly! It seemed extremely short this year, and I worked very long hours through it all. I'm home for a few days and decided to do an update.
The garden has kept me busy this summer. I put a lot of time and effort into producing food for my family and I must say that I didn't do too badly at all! I only experienced two failures - canteloupe and cucumbers. They didn't survive, but everything else did very well.
The bell peppers and hot peppers, that I planted from seed,are finally ready for harvesting. The tomatoes, kale and collard greens have been the steadiest producers.
I did a lot of experimenting just to see if things would grow and I was happily surprised. For instance, I took four red beans and planted them in a pot. They germinated and grew quickly. Of course with only four seeds planted, I didn't get many beans but I got a few which I will save for replanting next year.
My cotton plants are growing nicely, both in the ground and in pots. One set of cotton plants in pots are heavy with bolls yet to open. The other pot of black leaf cotton has produced three bolls, two of which have popped open to expose the beautiful fiber inside!
Here's what I've been up to lately. Working hard in my backyard garden! I've been planting in containers and in the ground. I've got lots of things growing - carrots, beets, peppers, tomatoes, cotton, eggplant,collards, kale, parsley, cilantro, kabocha squash, crookneck squash, two varieties of thyme,three varieties of mint, baby lettuce greens, two varieties of basil, grapes, blueberries, beans and snap peas! And, I'll be adding more stuff as the season progresses, so that I'll have fall crops.
My 8 year old daughter harvested her garlic that she planted in October of last year. That was fun.
I forgot to post about these socks before. These are knee high socks that were knit from my handspun rambouillet yarn (from natural colored fleece). Rambouillet is my favorite wool, and this gray color is absolutely fabulous. I love the natural variation in color, which goes from light to dark gray. These will keep my legs nice and toasty in the winter!
I'm been quite busy with work lately. I try not to let work consume my entire life. So, I've been gardening.
I started a little garden in my backyard last year, just using the soil that was there to kind of see if it would produce anything. I did grow a few vegetables. This year, I planted again. But, this time I added composted manure to the soil. Boy, has that improved the soil quality and the plant growth! The plants seemed to take off immediately after the addition of compost.
I've also been learning a lot of tips and tricks to growing various fruits and vegetables, how to improve soil quality, plant yields, etc. via youtube.com. I love youtube for this reason. Next year, my garden will be even better!
I have some things planted in the ground as well as in containers this time. I notice now that something is biting holes in the leaves of the plants, but thanks to youtube.com, I've found a natural solution (garlic tea with some cayenne in a spray bottle). I'll be trying that out really soon.
I've already harvested some mint, lettuce greens and some cilantro today. A little something about mint...I planted a tiny piece that someone had given me two summers ago. When I planted it, it looked like it was dying. But, I just left it alone and it grew to a nice size. Last year it was nice and we had mint tea all spring and summer. This year, the plant has completely taken over a pretty good sized patch of land. It has grown like wildfire, and even though I keep cutting it back, it just keeps growing. It has already started poking into the next patch of vegetables. Mint is a weed! It grows and grows and will take over everything. It will be interesting to see how far it ends up. I will have to keep a close eye on my other plants and hope they don't get pushed out of the garden!
I get a really good feeling when I'm in the backyard gardening. I feel very connected to the earth and to nature. I'm proud and amazed that I can grow food to feed my family. I am certainly looking forward to a good harvest.
Here are a few photos I'd like to share.
I hadn't intended spend so much time away from blogging, but life got in the way. I have a few days rest now, so I'm back on track with my fiber projects. Here are some things I've been working on lately. I seem to have fiber ADD so I'm jumping back and forth between multiple projects. Here are my current spinning projects:
Spanish Peacock Russian with chocolate baby Alpaca, White Angora and Bombyx Silk! Buttah Baby!
Viking Santa spindle with the softest alpaca
Takhli spindle with Cashmere
Donut whorl and chopstick spindle with merino/viscose hand dyed by moi