So I will start with the finish. To make me feel good. To remind myself that I do make nice, useful, comfortable things and not just waste hours crafting. Cause sometimes when I have to look at all those UFO's piling up I do get a bit down in the mouth with what time and money has gone into them. And that will probably never get done in my lifetime, at least by me.
So here is Gathered Pullover #2. Just to remind. The pattern is from Interweave Knits, available from their on line store for immediate PDF download. It is an easy pattern to work, although my version does have a few modifications made to suite me a bit better. The yarn is DK weight this time, and dyed with the liquid gleaned from soaking black beans before making soup. This took 2 skeins and their is a slight difference between them, despite being dyed together at the same time. I don't have a proven explanation for the difference. One is a more solid blue with tiny bits of a lighter blue. The second, which ended up being the sleeves and top of the sweater, has a lot more variation to it. And the lighter spots were a bit more green than blue. I would have been happy with both skeins being either version. So probably when I run out of frozen black beans, and need to do more, I will re-dye. My feeling is that I had too much fiber in the pot at once. The fiber tends to take up the dye fairly fast and maybe I did not get the yarn moved around fast enough to be even. The other idea is that when hung to dry, 2 of my 3 skeins had contact with my fiberglass shower wall. Maybe there was some sort of chemical reaction?? Who knows. But so far the blue has held up well under 2 washings and wearings, plus all the time that went by while the knitting was underway. So I feel pretty good about it's fastness. And of course, I can always re-dye if it fades!! So here are a few pics.
This next project has been going on for about a month. Previously referred to as "Secret Project" I am not sure why!! But this is my swirl shawl in progress. I have always loved this block and recently finally purchased the pattern. It is a JoJoLand pattern that I bought at a LYS. Every other quilt shop I saw this in was always out of the pattern when I asked to purchase it. The yarn is all fingering weight, sock yarn, dyed with natural materials. These were all the experiments that I did whilst I was new at the whole mother nature dyeing thing. Some of the materials were cochineal, black walnut, apple, marigold, lichen, dahlia, logwood, indigo, black bean, balloon flower, pecan, hibiscus, coffee, hollyhock, and dock. Well at least that is all I remember at this time!! The blocks are knit on to each other so no sewing together which I know would drive me crazy at the end. I am about 1/3 of the way thru and I know it will look a million times better once blocked. But it can not stay secret that long so here goes with the sneak peek!!
Next I do need to show you a few quick pics of the bedroom suite we finally ended up with. Found it on Craig's list for a song. It had been the guest room suite of a guy with a half million dollar house and had hardly ever been used. It is from a high end manufacturer and the only blemish on it is one we put in getting it in the house!! It came with a mattress and box spings that was worth more than we paid for the whole set. And boy is is comfy!! Pardon the the unmade bed. See the gray lump at the bottom?? When that lump is sleeping, the bed does not get made!!
And that leads me right into the last project. A quilt. For that bed. Nothing I have comes close to fitting in either size or style. I had a quilt started. With all brights and polkadots. But I laid those blocks out over the bed and boy did that not work. At all. So I rethought. One block I have always loved was Rolling Stone. I made 1 that is in my sampler wall quilt, hanging in the living room. And of course, my passion for civil war prints is pretty well indulged, so I had plenty of fabric to get started. That is, if I could find the box with all my civil war prints in it. The same said box also has my round robin blocks in it and I have seen it since we moved. But at this time, it is hiding somewhere. So I had to go buy a few new prints, none of which I like as well as what I have hanging around somewhere. But at least I could get started. I made these 2 blocks in just an hour or so. I didn't spend alot of time pinning or matching and they still came out just great. So maybe I can do something without my OCD slowing me down!! When the blocks were laid on the bed, in the room, they felt just like they belonged. So I just have a few hundred more blocks to whip up. Well, maybe just over a hundred. And this will get sent off for machine quilting, so it can go on the bed sometime before the next century begins.
Other than that, the garden's the only thing keeping us busy. I personally dug, with a shovel, a huge herb bed up by the back porch. It is at least 25 foot by 10 foot. Every shovel full of dirt held at least 1 big fat earthworm. And the dirt was so black and healthy looking. Better than the big garden a few yards away. I have not planted any herbs yet. It is still just a bit too cool. But it is ready. This year the bed will also hold all my salad veggies. So I just have to step out the door to pick a bowl of salad. I also put 4 blueberry plants in and hubby planted 6 muscadine vines. We will probably go pick up fruit trees over the next couple of weeks. We are hoping to buy them all locally but may not be able to find everything we want. So then we will go back to mail order. BTW-I ordered but have not received, 3 lilacs that supposedly handle warmer winters better and bloom well in the lower states. I can't wait til I can bury my nose into a bush full of amazing purple pannicles and breathe deep that amazing smell.