Thursday, July 7, 2011

Where has the time gone????

 It's hard to believe that it's been well over a month since I have posted to my blog. Guess time really does just fly by when you are in the midst of a creative I have been. Guess it also means lots to share.  :<)

The first photo is of my latest pair of socks. They were knitted from a Shetland/Soy Silk blend. The yarn was hand-spun and hand-dyed by me. The wool is from my sheep, Carrie. I love working with her fiber!! It feels like silk and takes dyes beautifully. Plus she has a bit of black sprinkled throughout her medium gray fleece so that always adds a little something when you dye it. Couldn't be any happier with the way my socks turned out....especially as they are my first attempt at knitting lace socks. Yea!!

Now to change gears and talk about quilting for a bit. Been real busy there. The second picture is of my Beginning Baltimore blocks I have been working on (very old pattern by Fig Tree Quilts....for anyone who may be interested). Pictured are all of the completed blocks. They were all done on the machine using fusible web and a small zig-zag stitch (with matching thread). Again, another first for me. I had played with machine applique years ago, but never to this extent. I absolutely love the way the blocks came out and will definitely use this technique for future applique quilts. The blocks are now in a top and the top is finished....waiting to be sandwiched, quilted, and bound. PIctures of the finished quilt to come soon.....hopefully.  :<)

The last 3 pictures are of more completed blocks for my Sheep in the Willows quilt. I was going to post pictures of all the blocks I have finished so far, but decided to save the rest for when the quilt top is finished. I put the final stitches in block #10 this morning. Only two more blocks left to stitch up before I can finally put them into a top. I really love the way the blocks look....and, yes, I know I say that about every project I do....but it's true.  :<) Besides it's good to love the things you are working on. Means you will really enjoy them when they are done.  :<) I think I will actually be a little sad when I'm done with this quilt. It's become such a wonderful part of my day.

Changing gears again....back to spinning. Over the weekend I was lucky enough to finally be able to visit a particular alpaca farm. I've driven by it enough times and always admire the beautiful animals in the pastures. Finally, the open sign was on and I was able to visit (it's always closed whenever I'm in the area). Definitely not what I expected. You walk into the shop and it's like walking into a high end boutique. There are all these lovely garments everywhere....jackets, scarves, wraps, and such. At first I thought, "oh a weaver!!" and was really impressed by everything......until I started looking at tags and discovered that the garments are all brought in from South America (I believe it was). Of course that didn't make things any less pretty.....just a bit disappointed because I was thinking that the fiber came from all those beautiful suri alpacas out in the pasture. So I walked around looking at things and wondering if there was anything in the shop that came from the suri alpacas outside....until my youngest said, "mom, you gotta see the yarn room!" Yes, that did perk me up a bit. Perked me up even more when I saw a wallful of handspun yarn. Then I turned around....and there it was........suri alpaca roving!! And not just any suri alpaca roving, but suri alpaca cria roving.....AND from animals that were right outside. Yea!!! It was so hard trying to decide on what I wanted, but I did end up walking to the front of the shop with two beautiful bumps of roving....where I met the owner of the shop and of the suri alpacas. She told me the names of the alpaca that my roving came from.....which I can't remember because I was just so darn excited about the roving.  :<)

One bump is a lovely cream color that will be blended with moorit shetland and a bit of soy silk. The other bump was a mix of fiber from 3 different animals. It had a bit of light gray, medium brownish gray, and almost a black in it. Notice the word "had". That particular bump is in the process of being blended with black shetland and soy silk......and spun up. I'm carding it up as I spin it....something I only do when I'm really excited about a fiber. The fiber of both bumps is amazingly soft!! The yarn I'm currently spinning is incredibly soft as well. I'm planning on knitting socks from the finished yarn. Wonder if the finished socks will end up feeling like heaven on earth?  :<)

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