Saturday, April 30, 2011

keys and doral

I just got back from a week away, we did Key West and Doral (Miami).

What a lovely break from the cold wet wind up here, and we enjoyed the hot, humid sunshine for 6 days.

I had never been to Key West before and did all the classic tourist things...

Watched the sunset over the Gulf...
and had a photo with the southernmost point marker....

We ate great food and wandered downtown....

and we played golf at the (only) golf course!....

All fun and laid back and a bit of cool, trendy, hippy casual lifestyle.
Then we tekked up to Miami and checked into the Doral Resort. Well this place was lush....

and prestigeous...

and BIG! Five golf courses, a huge spa, several pools with waterfalls and boardwalks and a waterslide, lots of restaurants and shops, all in an oasis in the middle of Miami, right by the airport.

I read my book by the pool while Rick watched the planes fly by (really low) every minute and a half!

While I was leaving the driving range one day, I saw a lady with clubs that seemed to have Wood Hoods on them... they were royal blue with black socks. If you were golfing April 27, 2011 at Doral and have those wood hoods I would love to hear from you! I wished I stopped then, but we were running to our tee time and I just spotted them as we were driving off! I never expected to see one of my patterns out in the real world in their natural habitat! What fun!

When we returned I had the pleasure of attending a wedding, the son of one of my knitting posse! It was on April 29, and was the "other" royal wedding held that day (my friend's son booked his FIRST!).

Here is a photo of most of the posse (a few absent that night), in our finest! We do clean up good.... :)

for any of you that follow my sewing blog, the royal blue dress and magenta (center) dress and mine (the tall gal), and the fushia jacket, were all sewn by me, and there are a couple of felted shawls.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Snow, Tiles and Photos

Our office has been under construction for the past few weeks. My Hubby (the Doc) has been installing the ceramic tile that replaces very old carpet. I have not been much help to him, except to move out furniture and stuff, and come back a day later and move it back and help him clean up. Since we are not closing the office, this has taken place over the weekend, and as far as he gets, that's it until the next weekend.

This weekend he finished the tiling and most of the grouting, but had to allow dry time overnight. We got up early and were at the office around 7am, to take this....

and this......

to this.....

and this....

So nice and fresh looking now, easy to clean, and modern. There is a bit more grouting left to do, but the brunt of the work is done... Way to go Doctor/Handyman!

And here is a photo of the shocking weather... snow in Niagara on April 18! We should be on the golf course, not watching this tired old white stuff again! Where do I send my letter of protest?

Here are the final photos of the latest nuno-felt jacket. It has small knitted squares and bits of handspun merino, on merino batting and adhered to silk gauze in a green print.

and the back....

there are also strips of silk gauze on the surface of the felt.

Knitting of the shrug continues at a fair clip, and should be ready to show soon.... :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Odds and Ends

I have been knitting boring stuff... socks and those squares for the coat. And I felt a bit lost again with the direction of my knitting. I usually have three or more projects in the queue, and can't wait to jump in (after meticulously finishing each and every project on the go currently?? -ha). This time nothing. I am tired of cold and rain and also tired of merino and other wools. I mostly don't like summer knits, they are too bulky even in a short sleeve, and I have endless shawls. So what to do?

I saw a cute shrug (not knitted) on TV, and thought it may be the answer to summer knitting, not too long on the back, open in the front, slight hint at sleeves, and can be worn over cute tank tops. So I sketched, and I swatched, and I cast on yesterday. Stay tuned, this could be nice.

Meanwhile I found this photo of an art exhibit by Ben Cuevas

I stared in amazement. A knitted skeleton. Nice job.

Check out how he used finer yarn and smaller needles for the small details like the teeth! Awesome!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hand spun, hand knit, hand felt

I have been spinning with the drop spindle, and have some loose yarn, and some small squares of stocking stitch that will be felted into the newest fabric for a new jacket.

Here are some of the small square pieces (10 stitches by 12 rows, with the ends left on - not sewn in)...

Here is the dry layout for the nuno felt fabric. Silk gauze weight in a tiny flower print is used for the backing, and layered on top is green batting, and indigo merino, and strips of silk gauze fabric, and the knitted squares and strands of hand spun yarn (in periwinkle). Seems very thick but once it is wet and rolled it will be a thin wool layer meshed into the silk. (I hope).

Here is the wet fabric after about 1.5 hour of rolling, then 20 minutes of hot - cold wash to shrink and wrinkle. Some of the knitted squares have lifted a bit at the edges, and I hope I will be able to needle felt them back in after it's dry. If not, I will sew them in place.

Here is a close up of a couple of squares that adhered really well.

This 2 yard piece will be enough to cut the back and one front. I need to do one more 2 yard piece to cut the second front and 2 sleeves.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Knitted Royals

Not too much knitting photos to show you today, I am finishing a pair of socks, and I have been doing some hand spinning on a drop spindle. The hand spun is a lovely periwinkle blue merino and will end up on my next nuno-felting jacket. I have this idea that if I knit small squares from the hand spun then felt it into the surface of the jacket, I may just love the effect. This remains to be seen in a few more days! In the meantime, you all may get as much of a chuckle as I did, when I found this.... It is a new knitting book, just in time for the Royal Wedding! Love the Queen in the background and the little Corgies. Too funny!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Birds and Fish

I have finished the green sweater and will post the pattern shortly, but for now you can have a sneak peak at the first photo.... I have been busy with sewing, but took a couple of hours to wet felt a novelty purse. It started with a drawing of a fish shape, then I laid bubble wrap over the drawing. I could see the outline through the wrap, and first laid down the contrast design for the outside of the fish, then laid three layers of pink merino fiber. I then sprayed it with soapy water.

After placing a fish shaped resist of bubble wrap over the wet fiber, I laid three more layers for the other side of the purse, wrapping the back side overhang onto the front side.

I finished with the same contrast details on this side of the fish, then more soapy water.

I covered the whole thing in bubble wrap and plastic, and rolled it with a pool noodle for about one hour (changing directions after each 15 minute session).

After the body was well felted (solid), I cut an opening from the back of the head to the start of the tail. I then could remove the bubble wrap resist. Before shrinking in hot water, I placed some pebbles under the body (three near the tail and one under each eye) and tied string around to hold in place. This makes a cool bubble bulge in the finished fabric that is permanent. The eye ones will make the eyes bulge (just like a lot of fish).

Hot water and cold water baths alternated about 6 times, shrink the fishy down to a thick solid felt. While this dried, I made a handle out of pink and blue roving, hot soapy water and rolling until firm. I also made blue fins with hand rubbing wet felting.

When all was dry, the handles were sewn on, and the fins placed and sewn. A pink zipper was sewn in the opening. I put eye buttons on the bobble eye spots. Cute.

And speaking of cute, meet the newest resident of our house. This is a Parrotlet. She is three months old, and loves to sit on fingers and shoulders and run up arms. She is almost as small as a finch, but behaves like a bigger parrot. Such fun...

Friday, April 1, 2011


The New Cardigan is almost done... looks great so far, right? It's an artsy photo of the pieces piled up carefully and placed on the floor in front of the window, the weak 7:30am daylight streaming through. The most observant of you will also notice the small birdseeds in the background, tossed there by my busy little finch who watches and tweets nearby. Yes, I need to vacuum.