Earlier this month I spent a couple of weeks with my parents in Florida. Life is pretty quiet where they live, especially during the summer when the heat and humidity keep people indoors for most of the day. It was a good time to work on some knitting and hand sewing projects.
Regular readers may remember that in January I purchased several different kinds of yarn as candidates for a Fair Isle sweater. I am making pillow covers instead of small swatches. In addition to knowing how each yarn will look made up as a sweater, I will have something useful, and reasonably attractive, for my efforts.
I finished this one while in Florida, using up almost all of five quarter skeins of Hill Country Weaver's incredibly soft Merino Alpaca. The yarn is a pleasure to work with and yields stitch definition that is well-suited to Fair Isle. But at $35 for a full skein it will be kind of pricy to make an entire sweater. I'll just have to see how the other options turn out.
For anyone interested in Fair Isle knitting, I highly recommend the Philosopher's Wool technique, which can be found here. Thanks to Lucy at Quilting with the Past for pointing it out to me two years ago. The strands are worked in as you go, resulting in a back without loose bits to get caught in fingernails or jewelry, and a smooth front that doesn't pucker.
I also made significant progress on my Westering Women quilt top. I've gotten all the sashing attached and the blocks sewn together and now just need to decide on a border. Maybe I can find something to temper the heavy dose of cheddar in the sashing.
Although I spent a lot of time indoors in Florida, I did get out enough to get a couple of shots of the local color. I spotted this little boat while walking around one morning in the nearby downtown, which is really an outdoor mall.
I enjoyed watching a pair of sandhill cranes that frequented my parents' backyard. Their red faces and orange eyes are rather dramatic.