Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Can summer just go on, pleeease?

We had some magnificent summer skies this year. Many of them were accompanied by equally impressive rain storms, some with wind or hail. Fortunately we did not have any storm damage in our neighborhood. Not everyone has been that lucky and the heavy rains and resulting floods have continued that summer pattern into these early autumn days.

All the rain has led to an extended period of color in our gardens. Love this tree hydrangea!

I sat on the deck in the backyard and was amazed at how green and lush it can be on September 27. I know the snow will come so I am trying to enjoy the color now!

We will pick the first brussel sprouts of the season this week. I like to leave them in the garden for as long as I can bear. My dad always says they taste best after the first frost. But Mom told me that she roasted fresh brussel sprouts from their garden this weekend and now I don't think I can wait any longer.

They will be delicious. . . . . . .

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Feeling like Fall

We still have some wonderful color in the flower gardens. But the chill of autumn is definitely
in the air and the quality of the daylight has that crisp look to it. The days are much shorter already and as they pass, it will be dark soon after I get home from work. More time for indoor work as the daylight hours and the gardens all fade.

I didn't spin as much as I hoped this summer but this white wool was a joy to spin.It certainly pulled me back under the spell of the spinning wheel and I plan to keep spinning as the days get cooler and the nights longer.

I always try to estimate an even amount of wool spun onto each spindle when I am spinning a 2- ply yarn. I weighed these as I spun the singles in the hope of being as close as possible to equal yardage on each.

The plying is so rewarding. The singles are slightly over-spun so they appear tight and rather hard looking. As they are plied, the yarns open and soften because they are spun in the opposite direction to form the 2-ply yarn.

My kniddy-knoddy is just the right size to count the yardage with each pass as you wind the yarn off the spindle. I got around 480 yards of yarn from this batch of wool.

Wow, it is such a creamy, soft yarn. I thought I would be dyeing this, but I do love the white wool! It would make a great winter white hat or a warm vest or a long, soft scarf or. . . . . .

Decisions to be made . . . . . what fun!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Follow . . . . . look where this has led.

This stitched piece has been perfect for a summer project. It is small and I have worked on it at a very relaxed pace, usually only stitching for 10 to 15 minutes at a sitting.

I finished the checked border before adding the stitching in the main body of the piece was finished. This may feel a little "out of order" to more traditional stitchers or quilters but I needed the border to be done as some of the background "heart paths" overlapped and show on the border checks. I had to trust that I would still like the check border when it was done. And I do.

I also needed to decide if this little 4" square was complete. Looking at it now I think it is. I don't see more pieces added to it or any extended borders. I like what it is, as it is!

Working on "Follow", my little heart piece, has inevitably led to another one. Here is the first of what feels like many hearts in organza! The sketch is still too sketchy to share but it will take shape soon. I have a work tray of many gathered materials to insert in these and I like the transparency of the organza. So I am working on ideas to maintain that ethereal feel. A title has already presented itself for this piece but I will save that for later!

Remember . . . . . . always follow your heart.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back Home . . . . . . .

This title is appropriate in two ways. My mother just had foot surgery and I spent a whole week with her and my Dad in my childhood home in Oakland, NE. After a week with them, two of my sisters took over for a few days and then I have been back on two consecutive weekends. Mom is doing much better but it is a trial when you can't walk without using a walker and she has some pre-existing back and neck issues that limit her mobility at times. Now I am back to our home here in Minnesota and it feels so good.

In the course of these past three weeks it feels as if summer has slipped away. The flower gardens are winding down, mostly golds and yellows except for the wonderful little "Nearly Wild" pink roses in the front border. The feeling of time slipping away was with me during my time with mom and dad and made me so grateful to be able to be there with them. Like the summer days, each bit of time with them will be cherished. I feel so fortunate to still have them in my life.

I am trying to soak up as much of the remaining warm weather and to somehow keep it in reserve for the cold months that will surely come. The vegetable garden is waning, still a few zucchini to be harvested and the brussel sprouts that can stay in the garden until after the first frost. Every year we lament the end of the fresh veggies but celebrate how wonderful it was to have them even when we cursed the never-ending green beans to pick daily!

Enjoy the sun while you can and tell your parents how much you love them . . . . .