[gardening] Hold'n Heaven

This past weekend I went to a local daylily sale at Hold'n Heaven Daylilies. It was a colorful, lush oasis hidden away. The specimens here were wonderful, with features that I have never seen on daylilies before.

Daylily heaven. Visiting a local day lily sale. Sooooo pleased with the specimens I got! #daylily #gardening

#gardengoals. The walking paths were relaxing, there are lots of different perennials mixed into the 400+ different types of daylilies, there was a pig on a swing:

Swine swings safely sans summer sun.

Just a few of the interesting flowers I snapped a picture of:

More #daylilies at Hold'n Heaven.

#daylilies at Hold'n Heaven.

I bought six different cultivars (and asked a million different questions) and I am so pleased with how interesting they look. Here is Shores of Time, planted in the new lower flower bed:

New #daylily purchased yesterday, in the ground at home. It's called Shores of Time. #shoresoftime

Love love love love love! Can't wait to get pictures of all the rest!


[spinning] Tour de Fleece Finish Line

Aaaand, done:

My Tour de Fleece results: 28oz of fiber spun. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

28 oz total of fiber spun and plied and skeined and washed and ready to use. I wish I had done more but I am happy with how much I did do in three weeks.

Next up, Ravelympics. Oops, I mean Ravellenic Games. (It will never not annoy me that the IOC made Ravelry change the name.) The Rio Olympics starts August 5 and I'll be participating in as many of the Ravelry events as possible- and hopefully end up with items to enter into the fair in September.


[spinning] Tour de Fleece, plying and winding down

Gathered everything I've spun so far:

Spinning progress. With lavender. 💜 Tour ends Sunday, not sure if I should start something new. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude #spinning

Along with a little bundle of lavender. I started some lavender plants a few years ago from seed and they're doing well. I'll probably pick more bundles to dry and make little lavender sachets.

Tour de fleece ends Sunday and I'm just wrapping up plying those light bobbins in the middle. Unsure whether I should spin something quickly- just to get one more thing in.


[travel] Brimfield Flea Market

This past Saturday I took a solo shopping road trip. The destination was Brimfield, MA for the massive flea market, with a couple pit stops along the way.

First, I left the house at 8am to make it to Webs in Northampton, MA by 10 am. Did some light yarn shopping:

Just some light yarn shopping.

I only had about an hour, which was enough time to go through the closeout warehouse. Got some nice stuff and then took off for Brimfield. Met up with a couple friends there and browsed through a fraction of the vendors.

Brimfield Flea Market

Brimfield Flea Market

Brimfield Flea Market

Brimfield Flea Market

There was just so much stuff. So. Much. Stuff. I did see a great spinning wheel (walking wheel) for $95 but the wood wasn't in fantastic shape.

I ended up getting a small, creepy baby head planter and an air plant:

My two purchases from #Brimfield: creepy little baby head planter and an air plant. #tillandsia

After only a couple hours in the heat and sun, I was ready to go. Halfway home, I made one last pit stop to Putney. I got a couple discounted skeins of Mewesic at the Green Mountain Spinnery and ribs to bring home from Curtis' BBQ:

Pit stop at Curtis' to pick up riiiiiibs. #Vermont #CurtisBBQ #putney #imnotcookinginthisheat


[spinning] Tour de Fleece Mechanics

Here's the foggy-colored fleece I'm spinning now:

Ready to move on to the next thing to spin: Ashland Bay multi-colored merino top. Unsure of the colorway but it's foggy grey with hints of other colors. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

8oz of Ashland Bay merino that I bought at Rhinebeck years ago. The plan was to spin it thin, putting 4 oz on two bobbins each and then plying. I was using my still-unfamiliar-to-me Sonata and (as I posted last week) the yarn kept breaking. I found a solution in the Kromski board to reduce tension. After several mistakes, the modification was done:

One broken drill bit, two broken eye screws, one "oops" hole later and the modification to my spinning wheel to reduce tension is done. Also replaced the brake band jute with something smoother. It's spinning easier but the woolee winder stalls when I try

A broken drill bit, two eye screws broke as I was screwing them in, a hole that I wasn't able to use- but I did finally get one screw to work. I'm sure this will affect the resale value of my WooLee Winder. But it works- spinning thin on the Sonata is working now. Here's the route the yarn takes from fiber to bobbin- to the right to my eye hook, to the left to the fixed WW hoop, to the moving WW hoop.

Kromski Sonata WooLee Winder

This extra hook only needs to be used when spinning thin with the WW. I did two bobbins of thicker yarn a couple weeks ago and had no problems.

I also replaced the manky jute brake band with a smoother yarn. I find that when I start from a complete stop, I have to release all tension on the brake band and allow the flier to spin free. I think the main (larger) gear of the WW sticks. I've been oiling it, which seems to help a bit. Once the gear starts going, I can put some tension back in brake band and away I go.

I don't know, I'm still trying to sort out the mechanics of it all and get a flow or at least an understanding. This Tour de Fleece has been good for me to learn this wheel and feel comfortable with it.


[misc] Penny Monday

My little laundry helper:

Penny, helping me with laundry.

She helps by getting her fur all over the clean clothes.


[vermont] Dog Days of Summer

These are the dog days of summer all right. It's so hot and humid, I just want to lay down in a cold brook:

Secret brook. #Vermont

Still spinning. Didn't get to the Sontana modification last night- I fell down a rabbit hole of sad videos last night and it pretty ruined my chances of getting anything productive done. So tonight, I have a laundry list of chores to do. I'll start a pot of coffee as soon as I get home.


[gardening] Coleus and Begonia

I bought 6 packs of coleus and begonia in the late spring. I didn't put them into the ground, but added them to medium and large planters next to the driveway instead.

Planter of #coleus and #begonia.

Last year I had some coleus under the ninebark, but it didn't get enough sun. I had some begonias in the back by the deck but the leaves would get crispy brown. Here, they are in nearly full sun and they seem to be loving it.

Had a frustrating night spinning- I'm trying to spin lace weight on the Kromski Sonata with the WooLee winder but the tension from just the WW hook moving is too much and the yarn broke on me. 8 times. The 8th time (Dollar and I were watching a movie, the cats were on the couch), I was like, "God DAMN IT!" I moved the the couch and pressed my face into Penny's side as consolation. I searched the Kromski board on Ravelry this morning and found a possible modification (others had reported having take-up problems when using a Sonata with a WW). Will try it tonight.


[spinning] Tour de (brown) Fleece

Finished spinning up the brown singles on the Kromski Sonata. Moved on to another brown on my Ashford Joy:

Finished spinning that boring brown on the Kromski Sonata. Time to spin a different boring brown on the Ashford Joy. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

This is a fiber that I bought from Fantom Farm back at the 2009 VT Sheep and Wool. So it's been rolling around my stash for a while. It actually spun up quickly and I'm ready to ply and move on to the next thing to spin.

This Tour de Fleece has been pretty productive so far.


[misc] Murderface Monday

My side of the bed, after I got up Sunday morning:

My side of the bed after I get up.

This is essentially where they sleep every night, just move Murderface 10 inches to the left- he sleeps at my waist. Santana sleeps by my head Penny sleeps between my legs. They surround me because Dollar moves too much in his sleep.

We've been seriously talking about getting a king-size bed.


[gardening] What's blooming in Mid-July

After coming back from San Diego, I had to go around and see how all the plants were doing.

The lovely dark red dwarf asiatic lilies exploded:

After a week away, time to see what's blooming.

These daylilies just won't quit. I don't know the cultivar name but I bought them at Olallie Daylily Gardens a couple years ago. The have been so long lasting, blooming since late spring.

These day lilies were the first to bloom in late spring and they're still going strong.

Common orange daylilies. These are are from my co-worker:

Orange day lilies just started.

I love these for their height- they are so tall that you can still see them through the window when you're sitting on the couch in the living room. I have some growing wild down by the brook and dug some up last year to plop here and there. I put a little bit into the wild are just outside of the mowed lawn and it flowered this year:

Dug up orange lilies by brook last year and put them in random places in the wild areas just outside the mowed yard. Will have to do more, love finding these here and there and there and here.

I think I'm going to go dig up some more and plant them here and there.

My favorite flowers this year are definitely the delphinium:


So tall, so violet. This is a nice, thick clump that can support one another so I don't have to stake them.

#delphinium #vermont

Shasta daisies started blooming. The flowers of these are much larger than the wild oxeye daisies:

Shasta daisies starting to bloom.

Blanket flower:

Blanket flower makes up for all the rudbeckia eaten by woodchucks this year. #gaillardia #blanketflower

I said I was going to divide it this year but I didn't. I should- it would do so much better after being split into 5 or 6 pieces. The woodchucks nibbled it a bit.

My hosta corner is doing well:

#Hosta corner. #lamium in the front is looking a little... dead in the middle.

The lamium in the front is looking a little dead in the middle. I put it in last year. Not sure if I should divide it or what. A few of the small hostas are blooming now. 

Walked outside and went: "Whoa- I forgot I planted these!"

Whoa I forgot I planted these. #lilies #gardening

Yellow dwarf asiatic lilies. My asiatic collection is doing really well.

Astilbe over in the shade bed:

Fluffy #astilbe. #gardening

So pink and fluffy. 

My tiny little clematis:

My tiny #clematis. Planted last year, there was only one bloom. If it continues to grow at this rate, next year there should be... 800 flowers.

I put this in last year. I think it grew about 14 inches tall and there was one bloom. This year it's gone all the way up the 4 or 5 foot trellis with 10 blossoms. Who knows what it's going to look like next year if it keeps growing at this rate but I'm already envisioning a bigger/sturdier trellis.

Many of the sempervivium are flowering:

#sempervivium flowering.

The first balloom flower popped open in the shade bed yesterday:

Balloon flower. 🎈

Bee balm in the front yard, just barely started to get it's crazy bloom on:

The bee balm is only just starting to bloom at my house. 🐝

Something ate the heads off all the bee balm in the back yard. Sigh.

The wild black raspberries are ripening:

Last year, something beat me to all the ripe blackberries. Maybe this year I'll be able to collect enough to make something.

Something beat me to all the ripe berries last year and since these grow in and around the massive rock pile (read: woodchuck condos), I assume it's those little monsters. I found a large patch of blackberries on the other side of the lawn- maybe I'll be able to collect those instead, since they're higher off the ground.

I found this on the ground, in the shade bed:

I gotta invest in birdhouses. This is the second nest I've found on the ground this summer. ☹️

I gotta start putting up some bird houses. This is the 2nd nest I've found on the ground this summer. I assume they've fallen out of the trees after particularly bad weather.

Lastly, this guy (or gal):

Saw a painted turtle on the dirt road as we were coming home. #vermont #paintedturtle 🐢

Driving home from work, Dollar saw this on the side of our dirt road the bottom of our driveway. I stopped the car and we got out to check it out. It definitely wasn't like the snapping turtle we've seen in the past. It was smaller, smoother, more colorful.

I googled it at home and learned it was a painted turtle. Very common but this is the first time we had seen one. It was making it's way toward the brook, which eventually empties into the pond. Dollar picked it up and moved it out of the road, closer to the brook. After we drove away, we saw it continuing on it's journey.


[spinning] Tour de Fleece

Tour de Fleece runs concurrently with Tour de France. You spin every day that they ride. I haven't spun anything in a while, so this will be good practice.

I finally finished my first bobbin last night:

Day 5 of TdF and I finally finished a batt. Will let the singles rest and then chain-ply this weekend. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

It's a mystery batt- I'm not sure what the fiber content is but there's so much sparkle. I spun it lace-weight. I'll let it rest and then chain-ply this weekend. Will prob end up being DK-weight.

By the way, I'm trying to get one of the cats in each picture because I'm spinning on Team Catitude. Since Penny is the one who usually shadows me, she's ending up in most of the pictures.

I bought a used Kromski Sonata travel wheel earlier this summer. It was an excellent deal- came with lots of extra regular bobbins (which also work for upright Kromski Minstrel- bonus!) AND a WooLee winder and WooLee winder bobbins. I hadn't used it yet but I set it up, read the instructions and gave it a go.

New used wheel for the next spinning project. This Kromski Sonata uses scotch tension and I'm used to double-drive. Haha, and I don't have to you what THAT means, ammirite? #tdf #kromski #spinningwheel #teamcatitude

After an evening of spinning, I completed 50% of a wool/viscose fiber from Fantom Farm (purchased at VT Sheep and Wool some years ago). 

And just like that, one bobbin done. Spinning is so much more gratifying when you're not spinning lace weight. #tourdefleece #teamcatitude

I'm spinning much thicker. I'll do the other 50% on another bobbin tonight and ply them into a (probably) bulky weight yarn.

I wish I had lots of crazy, colorful batts and braids to spin but I generally reach for those first. Now, my fiber stash is lots of naturals and neutrals. Kind of boring to spin but it will be nice to get a decent portion of it spun up.


[travel] San Diego

Was in San Diego last week for a conference. It was a great week- lots to learn, lots of coworkers that I only get to see a couple times a year, lots to see and do. The only hard part is the long flight to get all the way over there.

Next stop, San Diego. 🌴

I joined Audible months ago so I have been downloading an unabridged book from A Song of Ice and Fire with each credit. I got through a decent chunk of A Game of Thrones during this flight but I couldn't be more relieved when we arrived.


Then it was a week of sun and palm trees.


La Jolla.

We went to a vendor party on the USS Midway one night. So cool to tour the aircraft carrier and check out all the decommissioned planes and helicopters.

Went to a map party on the USS Midway last night and had a quick tour. Definitely not as claustrophobia-inducing an the Russian submarine we toured last year.

There were so many different decommissioned planes and helicopters to touch and see up close. The bombs on these this plane all said "Inert". Whew!

The big event party was Thursday night at Balboa Park:

Party at Balboa.

It was good, just very very crowded. Went through the natural history museum quickly but spent most of my time at the fine art museum checking out a series of quilts on loan from the Boston Museum of Fine Art.

Quilts at San Diego Museum of Fine Art. Ahhh, so stunning. Got yelled at by a guard because I was looking at the stitch work a little too closely.

Log cabin quilt. 😍

Another gorgeous, historic quilt! 🌞

And another beautiful quilt. Most of the quilts were from 1860 - 1940. Many were Amish.

Makes me want to get into quilting. I've only made one very simple, very random, large square quilt. And I love it. My sister is giving me a sewing machine and now I want to start digging through old clothes for fabric I can recycle into a quilt.

And then it was time to leave:

Next stop: Boston. Original flight to JFK delayed because of weather. Would miss my connection to Burlington. They could reschedule for tomorrow, but F that. Flying to Logan instead and getting rental car. Someone remind me tomorrow that my car is still a

The flight back was a little crazy. My original flight to JFK was delayed and I was going to miss my connection to Burlington, so I took a flight to Boston instead and made a reservation for a rental car. It was the roughest plane ride I've ever had- I was all the way in the last row, so maybe it felt worse but I was trying not to get sick the entire time. Then more delays when we landed because of lightning- couldn't deplane, couldn't get bags, etc. The shuttle to the rental cars was literally overflowing with people and people were yelling at each other. I was so relieved to jump in a car and start driving home. I was in the front door by 2am. Then slept for 48 hours (after returning the rental car the next day to Burlington airport and retrieving my car).

All in all, a good trip. Looking forward to next year!