Monday, July 29, 2019

Tour de Fleece 2019

Tour de Fleece 2019 finished up yesterday. I was pleased that I spun every day of the tour, but I didn't get as much spun as I had hoped.

I spun a total of 424g/1540m of yarn. The pink is a challenge yarn of five different fibres, and the grey is over half of a raw fleece that I had prepared for a sweater.

For sewing this week I made an anti-predation collar cover for our cat - it took about 10 minutes and half of the time was finding bright fabric (you can tell I didn't even get out the iron). My Mother first told me about these collars, it is to help keep the birds safe from the cat (I decided to make one on the morning she came home with two birds - one I made her let go, but the next one she got she wouldn't come near me) .
I followed this tutorial - link.

I used the serger to sew the collar, first I finished the raw edges of the opening and then stitched around the circles.

She doesn't seem to mind the cover - it just fits over her break-away collar (in the above photo she looks a bit lopsided because she lost one of her eyebrows)

I will make another one using a bit smaller circle, or maybe cutting away part of the circle because there seems to be too much fabric - it looks a bit like a clown collar. I haven't seen her get a bird but she does still catch rodents - which is good because that's her job.

Farm Photos -

There seems to be a female Teal duck living on the other pond, we are hoping she has a nest.

I am hoping that this is just a bad year for grasshoppers, because I have never seen anything like it (and it kind of freaks me out going into the garden). They seem to really congregate in certain areas of the garden, like these potatoes and beans-

There is also a potato beetle in the picture, but about 100 grasshoppers (I can still hear them when I look at this picture!).

Luckily the flower garden doesn't have too many grasshoppers, the annual poppies are blooming-

As well as these Speedwell - 

 All the best!♥︎

Monday, July 22, 2019

Ashton Top

I love sewing - it doesn't matter what I sew I am just happy to sit at my sewing machine. This past weekend I sewed myself an Ashton top (I mended some shorts too, still happy).

The pattern is from Helen's Closet (Ashton top pattern link). 
I made mine out of some quilting fabric that I was given a long time ago. This was to test the pattern, I am planning on making a dress using the same pattern (link to the inspiration dress I saw). I am really happy with how the top turned out. It is extremely comfortable to wear. The pattern is simple and so well explained. I made the long version with facing.

Renovations are still in full swing at our house. 

My husband had last week off and we replaced some of the exterior doors (the old ones were original and in rough shape), plus we replaced a window (the old one was relatively new but broken when we moved in). Every little bit that gets done makes our house feel more like our home.

With all the rain and heat we have had recently the vegetable garden is doing really well.

I froze some Swiss Chard to use in smoothies later. Just washed and dried, and vacuumed sealed. I read this somewhere online and it works really well, it is easy to break a piece off to add to a smoothie.

Random Photos-
flower bed with vegetable garden behind
Tiger Lilies at their peak

When the cat sits on the rocks around the yard she reminds me of the movie the Lion King - "Everything the light touches is our kingdom" - I am sure that is what she is thinking.

All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Some Finishes

I finished a few things this past week.
The Granny Stripe blanket made from leftover fingering weight handspun-

It is 26"x55", the perfect size for laying on my legs or putting around my shoulders. This is my second Granny Stripe blanket and once again I loved making it, I will miss this project. The pattern is free from Attic 24.

I crochet a little edge around this one for a change.

I also finished sewing a robe, from some fabric I was given.

The pattern is from this Japanese sewing magazine (vol 10).

These patterns are very easy to follow (no need to be able to read Japanese). I added pockets (the pattern from a different design in the magazine) and replaced the ties with buttons and a snap (my Mother had made one and didn't like the ties). If I was to make it again I would make the bodice a bit longer and add darts in the back.

Since it is Tour de Fleece time I finished a couple of skeins of yarn-

This is the blend of 5 fibres. I ended up with 440m, 106g of fingering weight yarn.

 This is the first skein of wool from the raw fleece I prepared. It is about a Dk weight.

We have had more rain this past week than we had had since the start of the year (we set records for the driest first 6 months of the year and than set a record for the most rainfall in one day, then had more rain days).

The garden (or the yard) hasn't had a chance to dry out, but it is growing really well.

The perennial garden has lots blooming,

This lily is one we brought from our old home.

Photos for around-

a walk in the woods
a twelve spotted skimmer dragonfly
our road on the other side of the highway-corn on one side and oats on the other
 All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Fibre Prep

Tour de Fleece (a yearly online spinning event held during Tour de France) started this weekend, and last week I prepared some fibre to spin.  One of the Ravelry groups that I belong to suggested a challenge to blend and spin 5 different fibres together.

I chose some linen, tussah silk, soy silk (that I had previously dyed pink), plus small amounts of sari silk and gold angelina.

I blended it two times on the drum carder.

Resulting in a batt that I dizzed to make it easier to spin - dizzing just pulls the fibres through a small hole, this one is a button.

I ended up with about 100g ready to spin.

Almost finished the first half.

Around the farm-

crop duster spraying the fields
wild roses at the edge of the road
the little nest now has 6 eggs
I learned how to mow with the tractor this week
The little nest is just to the right of the arm of the tractor in the above photo (the grass is longer because we mow around it). It doesn't seem the safest spot to make a nest, but it has been there for almost a month so far, the tiny bird is always on the nest and the number of eggs keeps growing. We are waiting to see when they hatch because the one large egg can't be her's - she is a small type of sparrow, and we think the large egg is a cowbird's egg.

Yesterday we had a big thunderstorm - the power was out for about 7 hours, but it was interesting to watch.
great clouds
lots of hail - super noisy in the sun room
All the best!♥︎

Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy Canada Day!

A few weeks ago I finished combing another raw fleece, and this week I dyed almost half of it (the other part was left natural).

I dyed most of it shades of grey and then small amounts different bright colours.

Using a drum carder I blended it all together.

Here the fibre is ready for spinning. I chose to divide the colours into two colour groups so that I could make a marled yarn (each of the plies will be a different colour).

I wanted to create yarn for a grey sweater with a bit of interest. I spun and knitted a small sample to see how the blend would work, and I am happy with how it turned out. Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday and this will be one of my spinning projects that I hope to finish during the tour.

These geese held up so much traffic when we went to the city.

yellow wildflowers by the pond
yellow wildflowers in the grass
All the best!♥︎♥︎♥︎
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