Sunday, August 29, 2010

Conservatory of Flowers

Today I went, for the first time in 20 something years of living in San Francisco, to the Conservatory of Flowers.  There are still things here in the city and the Bay Area that I have not seen.  This is a place to visit in the winter when the Poinsettias will be in bloom.
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There were lots of people enjoying the weather outside, lots of families having fun. The Conservatory of Flowers is a large botanical greenhouse in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, constructed in 1878. It houses an important collection of exotic plants. It is the oldest building in Golden Gate Park and the oldest municipal wooden conservatory remaining in the United States. It is also one of the first municipal conservatories constructed in the country. For these distinctions and for its associated historical, architectural, and engineering merits, the Conservatory of Flowers is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historic Places, is a California Historical Landmark, and a San Francisco Designated Landmark.

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The Conservatory of Flowers is an elaborate Victorian greenhouse with a central dome rising nearly 60 feet (18 m) high and arch-shaped wings extending from it for an overall length of 240 feet (73 m). It sits atop a gentle slope overlooking Conservatory Valley. The structural members are articulated through one predominant form, a four-centered or Tudor arch.

Inside is a beautiful place full of flowers from the tropics of all kinds. This place is definitely amazing and you have to come and visit more than once.
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Before we went to the Dahlias outside we went to the potted plants area where some local students and artisans were playing with paint and canvas.

This what you see here is the Dahlias' Garden where you can find all kinds of Dahlias
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You will also find the busy bee working their wings off taking care of us.

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  I hope you enjoy the little vacation in photos, this was a perfect day, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Spinning to Dye

Spinning and Dyeing are lots of fun, specially if you are dyeing with Kool Aid.  The First Picture that you see is 100% silk roving turned into yarn and dyed with grape flavor Kool Aid. Even though is food coloring you need to be careful and wear a mask.  Kool Aid is not meant to be aspired lol!

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This other blend that you see above is a combination of silk and wool.  The silk is the shinny yarn ply.  The other ply was plain wool and it was red, so over dyeing it with the grape color was a no problem situation.
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Here you have a blend of 50/50 Camel - Silk, it was first dyed with some natural dye, but let me tell you that I did not like the way the carded this roving.  It did not look blended and it was not blended. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is a choice and one I am not going to be making in the future.  The fiber felt gummy and tacky to the hands as I was trying to spin.  I spun some on the spindles , then I spun the rest on the wheel.  I over dyed this with the grape kool aid and some of it turned dark brown and some has a purplish hue, deeper than before, but the yarn is not soft, maybe after I condition it with hair conditioner , it may change. Long story short it was a waste of my money, but I learned that whenever I see this kind of mixture that feels like this one did, not to buy at all.
This was mixture of blue Kool Aid ply with a white ply, regular wool, corriedale by the way.  I wanted to see how Lemonade yellow Kool Aid will over dye the blue and what would happen to the white.  No surprises there.  I really enjoy spinning and dyeing yarn and hope to teach it some day. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week.  Stay tune as I am almost ready to have my blue Kool Aid Yarn singles plied next day or so and when I get to set the twist, I will be over dyeing it with some yellow and orange kool aid, what will happen?  You will have to come back to see. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WIP and Some Spinning

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Is it time to jump and find a new Planet to live, I guess not right away.  In the meantime I will be doing some spionning and some knitting.  I have been practicing my wheel spinning and I have learned a lot by just doing.  Some peolpe do not get what spinning is all about.  Even though you can produce lots of yarn, you can never compete with a mill.  It is possible to make enough yarn for a sweater, just not that fast and then who is in a hurry.
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Here is a bit of a silk and wool blend. It is amazing how silk really spins and how you can tell when something has silk in the mix. I will say that I enjoy spinning silk, it is one of my favorite fibers to spin. I also like to spin wool, but I have not decided which breed is the best. I am hoping to spin one hour a day for this week, but I started Sunday and I have had some aha moments in which I have seen my spinning making big progress.
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I have seen how my spinning has changed and how my patience and hard work is paying. I have plenty of practice wool, there are more colors to come, I have some Alpaca to spin in the near future, but for the moment I am working slowly.
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Anyway I am also doing some knitting and crocheting , because I don't want to overdo my spinning, it is easy to just spin and forget everything else. I think that it is one of the most peaceful actions one can do to be at one with the world. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Three plies then two plies

The curious part about making this yarn is the end product.  Sometimes when you make yarn is so easy to make thin yarn almost like hair, but I try to test the plies to make sure they are sturdy and then go from there.  I got this Sampler from the MSKR 2010 because I enjoy spinning a lot and I want to practice as much as I can.  I ended up with the singles of home spun or drop spindle spun.  The gold was a bit thicker so I was not surprised that I ran out of it, but no problem, there will be two plies for a bit longer.  Once I measured the 3 ply I had 66 yards of 3 plies.
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I did not get scared when I ran out of the gold, because I broke the yarn and then there were two plies, so I continued for another 75 yards with two plies, until the red burgundy ended and then there was only one single.  This was no problem at all.  Wonder Mike prepared me for this, I was able to Navajo ply the blue and have some extra 3 plied yarn , that I use to hold the skeins together.  Spinning can become obsessive, well you can become obsessed with spinning, but I can tell you that I find it a wonderful craft.  I find my quiet center in the twirls of the spinning and the plying is more fun than I imagined. Thanks for stopping by!
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pear Tart A la Crafty Andy

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I make this once in a while and Today was a good day to make this Tart.  Simple really, two pears or so sliced thinly, over a custard filling.  Well it has  two eggs,  Neufchatel cheese  because is a soft  cheese The American version, which is what I use , not the French version, is  similar to cream cheese, is made from pasteurized milk and cream. American Neufchatel is slightly lower in calories than cream cheese and has slightly more moisture. Regular cream cheese can be substituted for Neufchatel cheese, especially in recipes for dips and spreads, with good results. You may notice a slightly different texture in cooked products. I honestly like baking with it, I added two eggs instead of one because this cheese is a bit different.  The crust is made of whole grain pastry flour with some extra fiber thrown in it, some butter and some cream cheese and a bit of splenda.  The Filling in itself gets a bit of splenda as well 1/4 th of a cup to 8 ounces of cream chese.  with a 1/2 tsp of  Ginger, two tablespoons of red wine you make a little sauce which you bathe your pear slices, and some almond extract as well.  Very easy to make and it is an Atkins approved dessert, I take the recipe from the book, but I do change some of the ingredients, one for sure is I like almond extract a lot, and ginger lol.  I feel almost normal, I have been very busy and no time for fun, baking is fun in my opinion, is as close to chemistry as I get without having to do some yarn dyeing. Thanks for stopping by.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wrap of Khan!

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
This is the garter stitch afgha-throw that I have been working on for Project Linus. It is very comfy to the touch and will make someone very happy. It was DK Weight instead of the usual worsted weight which meant twice as many stitches as usual. This is my own pattern and can be found here or on Ravelry for Free. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Interesting Yarns

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
Interesting yarns are interesting potentially for what can be make with them. Some of these yarns are hand spun, some are hand dyed. They all have a place in the world so don't let any yarn go to wast. There is absolutely almost nothing that can not be overdyed lol! I said almost, because there are some things that can't and some yarns that will lose their character if dyed. I am hoping to make something with some of it, maybe some sheep like this pattern below.You can find it on the following url  HERE.  Interesting yarns for for creative patterns.   I do have some more projects in the works, just not many pictures to share right now, maybe later on. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wrap of Khan WIP

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
This is my own pattern FOR FREE on Ravelry that you can download HERE. It is a Baby Bath wrap that may be used as a baby blanket. I am very excited as I am doing the double decreases now and on my way to make the other corner. This project is in 100 % acrylic. The variegated green with some purple is James C Brett Marble, DK and the purple and green is a Red Heart Soft Yarn worsted weight. The Red Heart is extra soft and it is more like a light worsted weight. Both yarns are fun to knit with and the way this throw is made , it will be very stretchy. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Carlito Left Front

Originally uploaded by Crafty Andy
I have finished part of the left front of Carlito Cardigan. The fabric is a lot more stretchy that it looks like. It will have a button band on the left hand of the picture. The right side is where the armhole is. I am making this cardigan on the Lion Brand Wool ease, perfect for the San Francisco Bay Area Weather. I have started the other side and will be working on it this week. I am also working on a new pair of socks in Fair Isle Style, not the best thing that I like to do, It will be my first pair of socks in this techique, so I will be very kind to myself, lol! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Plying with Spindles and More

I wanted to ply my yarn from the hanging spindles without having to put my spindles on a Kate or SHoe box. I am always looking around for items that can be used for other functions and here I found another use for Key rings. I am showing you how to ply with your spindles hanging from a key rings, then I leave for the defiant. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Little Skein that could

Today, for the first time, I was able to work with my Fast Flyer to make some fine yarn and to try my hand at cotton.  Let me tell you something about cotton  my friends, is a lot of work.  I can see how a Charka may be a better choice, but like everything you have to learn how to spin cotton with lots of patience.  I may try some other day using my spindle. I may just keep on trying until I get it , cotton has a very short drafting zone, and it requires a lot of work.  I did get to use my Fast Flyer to try some other spinning , I will have to practice some more and see what happens.

The yarn above was made using the fast flyer.  The fiber was dyed as roving and it was not done very well .  I cooked the fiber too long before I learned how to do it properly or rather better.  It is nice roving to practice drafting and also worked well with my hand cards as I did some color blending that was very nice, the rolag below is one of the blends of red and yellow.  The yellow-blue, the blue - red , were two ply.  The red -yellow by itself was Navajo plied, which means it gets 3 strands of yarn.  It was fun and it was practice.  I got a visit from my friend to spend some time spinning with me.  We talked and listened to music, had tea and some cookies.  This is it for today until next time, thanks for stopping by.

Almost two years without blogging August 2020

Life can be a bowl of strawberries when cheries are not available.   It has been almost two years since I have been in this blog.  I have s...