Saturday, March 8, 2014

Creative News

It's been warm and sunny here so it's been a fine time to do some gardening. Putting around my flowerbeds is a great start to my day. I love seeing my flowers coming up in the spring, especially the daffodils. Their sunny faces add a ray of sunshine to my day when I see them.

Last weekend I decided to paint some Lincoln wool roving from a lovely, soft fleece that I bought years ago. I don't know if you've ever worked with Lincoln wool, but it has a nice sheen to it that reminds me of mohair. I've never used Lincoln for knitting socks before so this will be an experiment to see how it holds up under wear. I pulled out a bag of fluffy Lincoln wool that I had run through my wool picker and then run through my drum carder. I decided to paint the dyes on using foam brushes, adding various colors until the roving looked like this:


I decided to ply that with undyed BFL that I spun on one of my top whorl spindles. I have one ball done, so I thought that I'd start knitting the socks this afternoon while sitting in my garden enjoying the sunshine.


I like to have an accent yarn for the toe and heel, so while the Lincoln was in the microwave heat setting the dyes, I painted various blue, plum and turquoise dyes on some other roving that I had on hand.

 Last night I plied this combination on one of my top whorl spindles that Marshall created for me:


I've found over the past few years that the Smooshy Merino sock yarn that I love so much doesn't hold up very well like the other sock yarns that I've knit with. The yarn feels wonderful, but the heels/toes of my socks are already wearing out :-( Maybe the Lincoln wool will be a suitable substitute-only time will tell. I usually knit a simple rib sock that I like to wear with my boots or my Birkenstock sandals.

I just finished some BFL socks where I played with color in plying. I started out with dyeing a portion of my BFL a medium orange, then I dyed a similar amount of wool a soft yellow. I plied those together on my Matchless wheel at a ratio of 11:1. I just finished the bind off last night and have the socks on my feet this morning :-)


The toe/heel was dyed using a cherry drink mix, then I plied that soft red with the orange to produce this yarn:

I wanted to play with that combination once more, so I dyed another batch of wool orange, soft red, and yellow. Then I plied that with black to create these hiking socks:

I was out walking my canine friends along the Boise River the other day and came across several trees filled with bird nests.


After walking my buddies, I decided to go fishing so I tried a new fishing spot that I had noticed while out walking. It was a lovely day to be out on the river. I didn't land that huge trout, but hey, there's always next time ;-)

On the quilting side of things, I'm on to sewing the inner circles on the Dresden blocks, so I'm one step closer to the finish on that quilt. I signed up to do another fabric postcard swap that Sheila is organizing, so I've been dreaming about what spring postcard I want to create. One day this past week I stopped by my favorite quilt shop, The Quilt Crossing, just to browse. Well, I wanted some bright batiks to continue making hexies for the curtain project for my kitchen and dining room valances. I love to just wander in the store, looking at the new fabrics and samples. I had a stack of batiks in my arms until I saw one of the sample quilts that they had on display and it drew me back. It was a simple, classic nine patch quilt designed by Waltzing with Bears. The pattern is called Pam's Nine Patch Garden and it has flower embroidery in the open blocks that appealed to me. I haven't done any embroidery like that in so long and I haven't made a nine patch quilt in quite some time either. So I walked out of the store with the pattern and some wonderful fabrics to make the quilt with nary a bright batik in the pile. That's okay. I know I'll be back to look at those batiks. Or something else....


I'm off to paint an old birdhouse that I found at the thrift store. And then maybe a nice cycling trip along the Boise River!
Have a great day,
Judy

14 comments:

Blackberry Lane said...

Hi Judy, You have been busy and I love your new socks and the colors you are creating.

Nice that you can enjoy being outdoors now.

Have a great day.

Birgit Olann said...

Dear Judy,
I like the orange socks with mixed colours very much. I never tryed to knit socks with my own handspun yarn, because I´m afraid it wont last for long. ´Mayby I have to try it.
Best wishes, Birgit

Linda Coleman said...

Hi Judy. Looks like you are well back to your usual energetic self. Great colours in that wool. I started a pair of socks but am struggling with the four needles and might just have to change to a circular one to see if that will be easier. Great view of the river.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Your fluffy coloured wool and pretty yarns are always wonderful to see. You must have the best sock collection!! Your garden and walk along the river sounds beautiful, especially with all those signs of spring everywhere.

Jennifer said...

Love the pics by the river, and the nests - what is the bird? Your yarns and socks are really fun colours!

Theresa said...

Certainly lots of creativity going on in your world! Love that 9 patch. Can't wait to see what you came out with for it. The socks look oh so toasty and pretty.

Sheila said...

Lovely read Judy , you always amaze me with your wool creations ,you are the queen of socks ! I just bet they are super warm and comfortable too . I love nine patch quilts so will be watching to see your newest creation .

Rogata Owca said...

Hi Judy, You have been very busy lately. I like the colorued yarns and socks with mixed colours very much, my Mom knitted very similar for me as I was a child. I knit socks long ago but not with with my own handspun yarn. Very lovely weather You have. Spring is coming very quickly. I have never seen so many birds nests on one tree.
Best wishes and good week

CATHY DANIEL said...

Love the socks, Judy. And am glad you're getting back to the quilting and getting on with the Dresdens! Thanks so much for giving me a plug in your last post! xCathy

Annette Schultz said...

such a talent to spin your own yarn as well as dyeing it too.
those socks look all warm and cozy.
I also want to let you know that your post card should be arriving any time now
hope you like it
in stitches

KB Design said...

Hallo Judy
Da hast du wieder so schöne Fasern gefärbt zum Spinnen. Schade, dass deine handgesponnenen Socken so schnell Löcher bekommen. Mein Mann und ich mögen diese wirklich sehr. Vielleicht ein Tipp von mir: Ich verspinne nur Wolle mit einem Anteil Polyamid von 20 - 30% für Socken. Gerade heute ist ein neues Sockengarn fertig geworden, es ist jetzt am trocknen und wird dann verstrickt.
Ein schönes Bild vom Fluss.... da warten doch die Fische auf dich!

Liebe Grüsse und viele sonnige Frühlingstage wünscht dir

Brigitte

Lin said...

Hello Judy. Love the socks and your beautiful wools. The nine patch looks good - I am definitely hooked on hand embroidery at the moment. xx

Lin said...

PS - I see you too are getting a card from Annette - mine has arrived and it is gorgeous! xx

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

Wow, you've been busy. I love the socks and yarn you are spinning. Can't wait to see the quilt from the pattern. It's still too cold here for me to be outside. I wonder if spring is ever going to come to GA.