Sunday, May 04, 2014

Here’s What Was Missing

Ha! I finally got the computer to speak to my camera card. So that means photos! Finally.

You might have to go back to yesterday’s post for clarification if you missed any of the details. Anyway, here’s the rayon/silk velvet (actually rayon pile on a silk backing) as I was cutting out my modified version of Katherine Tilton’s B5891 View C/D jacket:


You can see just how much of the yardage is left and how I had to squeeze the sleeve in so that there’s barely a seam allowance left at the armpits. The unused width on the right there is needed for the continuous collar/front bands of my modified jacket/cardigan. You can also see how the selvedges on this fabric are kind of wavy. Hopefully this won’t give me too hard of a time when sewing the bands. It may need a bit of easing to avoid a rippling seam. We’ll see. That piece is going to be treated with the devoré paste first though so who knows what it will look like after that plus a couple of dyebaths, rinsing, drying and ironing!

And here are my devoré samples from Thursday’s Spectrum session:


Not terribly exciting but I learned quite a lot from doing them – it’s harder than it seems like it ought to be! They were drying on my deck table in the sunshine when I snapped the pic so they’re a bit wrinkled and more transparent. Later I’m going to mordant them with alum acetate so they’ll be ready for a natural dye session with Spectrum next month. The actual jacket will be dyed in Procion MX and acid dyes though so I probably should do more samples before I tackle the real thing. I have some scraps still left to play with as well as my own bottle of Fiber Etch. This velvet fabric is stupid-expensive (at least from Maiwa where I got mine) and I don’t want to ruin it.

In other news, I finished another test knit for Sanjo Silk. Jo had knit one herself in the small size (before writing up the pattern!) and accidentally shrank it in the wash! Oops. So I knit her a large size and found a few errors in her pattern as written. Which was the whole point of the exercise, no? Really, aren’t they cute together? They kept making me smile until I turned them in to the shop.


The yarn is a yummy silk/wool blend from Italy and obviously not superwash! It did hold up well to the many frogging sessions it had to endure while I tried different cast-ons for the cuff and different interpretations of the eyelet check pattern. Personally, I think it would be better for shawls or even a fine-gauge sweater than socks. I’m much too hard on my handknit socks for something this nice. It’s also available in undyed as well as this rich red. Maybe it’s a good thing they’ve sold out of the black or I just might have been tempted!

So it’s still raining today because it’s still the weekend, of course. I had to leave the squashes and cucumbers under the lights because I didn’t want to get soaked putting them out in the greenhouse. If it was nicer today we’d be cleaning out the greenhouse and getting it ready to plant the tomatoes. After all, if they can stay in the greenhouse overnight in pots then they can be planted in there too, right? There’s some work to do first however – clearing it out, washing down the inside walls and adding compost and Sea Soil to the beds. It needs to be dry for a few days sometime too to enable an attempt to caulk the annoying leaks in the roof. One of the acrylic panels is cracked and pulling away and the previous repair isn’t doing anything useful. We’ve had this greenhouse for quite a few years now so some wear and tear is to be expected. It’s been great though especially now that we have automatic openers on the skylights. They open when the temperature gets too warm inside and close when it cools down. Saves a lot of fussing on our part. Also the shade cloth that goes on in June or July (depending on the weather) helps to keep it a few degrees cooler in summer than it would be otherwise. In winter we store the tomato cages, water garden, deck pots and Lazy Rosie, my potted rosemary bush inside. And I’m sure you noticed how I use it in spring to help harden off the seedlings until they can get into their permanent spots. It’s an all-year-round important part of my garden.

Gee, seems like all I can discuss lately is gardening, isn’t it? No, it’s not all I do! Honest. This is simply the time of year when it takes the most work to get everything cleaned up and off to a good start so it’s the most time-consuming. Later on almost all that’s needed is watering, harvesting and an occasional weeding. Both Thom and I really enjoy the work. Much more fun than going to a gym! And with something more to show for our efforts too. We have a system between us that works well. He takes care of compost, digging, mowing, the majority of pruning, some weeding and helping me tie things up. I do the seedlings, transplants, shaping the beds, fiddly weeding, deadheading and harvesting. We both water. And a little at a time the job gets done.

I’m very attached to my wee piece of land. Come to think of it, it’s attached to me too – under my fingernails! Heh!

Well nobody wanted to hear my May Day song and I forgot to wish everyone a happy Beltane, so now I’m trying to resist saying “May the fourth be with you” but obviously couldn’t help myself…

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