Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Sunday Wrap-up . . .

Warning!!  Long post - lots of photos.  :-)

Another busy week here, but I'm going to start with last weekend because - hello - knitting/fiber content  :-D

The Wrap-up - Part I

Tammy, Dana, Claudia, and Ellie descended on my house last weekend so that we could all go to YarnCon 2016.  It was a very fun weekend - but I was wiped out when everyone went home  :-D  This is the first time I've purchased yarn at a festival event in quite some time.  Here's the haul:

Draped over the top of the sunroom sofa, a very cool hand stitched cotton scarf in all my colors, a sock blank from Leading Men Fiber Arts.  On the sofa itself - some yarn and some fiber.  And over on the right - two project bags made by the lovely Claudia - she will soon be selling these on Etsy, if I'm not mistaken, and I will advise when her shop is up and running because the quality is excellent  :-)

Here are a few close ups of the yarns:

 I'm not generally keen on sock blanks - but this one was just too pretty to pass up.

 My friend, Dana, has started her own line of her handspun yarns.  They are available at her local yarn store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (I need to get the name for you).  This is 430 yards of BFL and nylon sparkle that she gifted me - she called it "All About African Violets."  :-)  I love it  :-)

This is a gradient from KnitCircus - the colorway is Warm Woolen Mittens

This is a skein of DK weight from The Cyborg's Craftroom.  Normally not my style at all, this has ALL my colors in it and it's gorgeous!

 Some superwash Merino Top from Carpool.

And a beautiful braid of Merino roving in a very generous 6 oz.

 Made especially for the Chicago show - this skein from Dragonfly Fibers is called Wrigleyville.  It's Djinni sock yarn.  I got it to make something - a hat or scarf for my cousin, S, the ultimate Cub Fan  :-)

And this is a skein of Grinning Gargoyle in the Black Spruce colorway.  Dana and I like to get one skein that both of us like and then we knit something with it.  We had a harder time deciding this show - but this was the winner.  I only wish the yardage was a little more generous as we were hoping to knit cabled socks with it - but it's only 375 yards.  We should have read the label  :-D

So, definitely some stash enhancement Chez A last weekend!

And . . . another WIP bites the dust!!

These are the Fly Away Home socks - #11 on The Big List.  They are going to my cousin ME  :-)

The Wrap-up - Part II

In other news of the week, I started PT for my shoulder on Wednesday.  I guess the official diagnosis is tendinitis of the rotator cuff with a degree of frozen shoulder (because I wasn't moving it enough because, of course, it HURT . . . ).  PT isn't very much fun, but I am very hopeful that I will be feeling better very soon.  It's a little challenging getting it all together - the PT place is across the street from my office, so I am using my lunch hour to go.  That means that I'm catching earlier trains on PT days.  I'll be in the groove soon, but I'm scrambling most mornings so far  :-D

Then, the Illinois African Violet Society had its annual show yesterday.  This was not a show that I had planned on being involved in this year because I missed the timeline for getting my plants on the pre-show schedule.  However, all manner of unforeseen events occurred and I ended up far more involved than planned.  Our show chair died unexpectedly earlier this year, leaving us scrambling in every area.  The show was small, and I did not have much competition and many of my Best in Class awards were because my plan was the only plant in the class, but I'm very happy with how my plants did.  Bloom count on everything is low, but the judges were kind.  I was on the judging panel - it's always a very good lesson for me when I'm forced to judge my own plants.  I've learned to be impartial and to really listen to the other two judges on the panel.

All the violets you are about to see are standards - I don't often grow minis and semis with the exception of semiminiature trailers. And again, the blossom count is low on everything because nothing was on the preshow schedule.

These are not the best photos because they were taken with my phone  :-D

Ace of Diamonds - Blue, Best in Class, 2nd Best Standard.  Hybridized by my friend, Kent Stork, this is going to be a dynamite plant in another year.

Cajun's McKenna Trail - Blue, Best in Class, Best Trailer.  Hybridized by my friend, Belinda Thibodeaux. I LOVE this plant.  It's a semiminiature trailer and it's in serious need of grooming and repotting, but it's a stunner and I'm very happy to be growing it.

Edge of Darkness - Blue, Best in Class, Helen Rhoades Memorial Award.  This was our project plant for this year's show.  That's the only reason I kept it as long as I did . . . beautiful blossom, but the symmetry on this plant would never shape up for me.  It did not come home from the show - I gave it away.

Jersey Snow Flakes - Blue, Best in Class, Best Standard, Runner up to Best in Show.  This was a star on my podcast and it was a star again yesterday.  Bloom count is very low.  I was very happy it did as well as it did.

 Optimara Michigan - Blue, Best in Class.  A perennial favorite and (IMHO ;-D) one of Optimara's best hybrids.

Petrocosmea kerrii - Blue, Best in Class.  I love this and it's been neglected.  Needs repotting in the worst way  :-D

Sansoucy' Coco - Blue, Best in Class. Another longtime favorite.  Very low bloom count.  In another year and with better and more consistent care on my part, this is going to be a stunner.

Streptocarpus Heartland's White Gold - Blue.  Hybridized by my friend, Dale Martens.  I am only growing two streps - they are both Dale's.  For anyone who watched my podcast, this is from the plant she gifted me a few years ago at the Illinois state show when she was a guest on the podcast.  This will be getting much larger in the next year.

Streptocarpus Texas Hot Chili - Blue, Best in Class, 2nd Best Other Gesneriad.  Again, hybridized by Dale Martens.  I never even wanted to grow streps until I saw this one back in Ventura days.  I can't tell you how many of this variety I killed before getting the hang of it.  There are three plants in this pot (acceptable for other gesneriads in an African violet show).

s. rupicola - Blue, Best in Class, Best Species, Best in Show.  This is my species rupicola.  I've won other awards with it before, but this is the first time I've taken Best in Show with it.  I wish this photo was better.  Again, if you watched the podcast, you saw me hiding behind this huge plant in one episode last year.  I love growing the species violets, but rupicola is the only one I've ever been really successful with.

You don't see the tricolor for Best in Show here nor the Helen Roades Memorial Award because their was a mixup in the ribbons - they will be coming soon  :-)

I'm back up to 20 varieties - I was lucky enough to come home with some leaves of Linda Darnel, a semiminiature trailer that I lost in my experiment with the Japanese method of trailer growing.  I'm very happy to have it back.  I also came home with leaves of Allegro Once in Awhile.  It's a semi, so I'll see how it goes.  Hopefully I'll have success with the leaves - I got them put down right away last night.

That's the wrap-up!


candy said...

Beautiful yarn, beautiful violets! Hope your shoulder therapy goes well.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on all the ribbons! Your plants are looking great! I miss your podcast and keeping up with all your plants. Even though the blossom count is low, the plants are healthy. I'm going through a nasty period with my AV's. Guess they don't like the cold basement! I had to put down a lot of leaves to re-start some plants.

And I love your haul of yarn. Kind of makes me want to start, or rather finish, a project. I admire your ability to accomplish so much on your needles. And I am most curious as to the name of your friend's yarn shop in Milwaukee. I thought I knew all the yarn shops around here, but her name is not familiar. Really love her "All About African Violets" yarn.

PT sounds like a challenge. They really put you through the paces, don't they? Hope that it makes a difference.

Janice H.

Michelle said...

Oh, that Edge of Darkness is breathtaking! I've never had an African violet, but I wish I'd been there to be its recipient. ;-) Lovely haul from the fiber show, and a huge congrats on all your wins at the violet show!

I had tendonitis in both shoulders, and got PT for both, but he focused more on the worst one . . . so I ended up with a frozen shoulder in the other! But PT and the exercises he gave me to do at home eventually fixed them both, and I continue sporadically with the exercises so it doesn't EVER happen again. It was very depressing not to be able to reach behind my back to fasten my bra; felt like an OLD LADY. :-/

A :-) said...

Candy - thank you!

A :-) said...

Janice - thank you :-) I've restarted plenty of crowns in my time - it happens. Hang in. Maybe the basement isn't ideal in your home. I'll check with Dana about where her yarn is available.

A :-) said...

Edge of Darkness is a gorgeous blossom - but it has the worst foliage . . . the foliage is just as important as the blossom in a show plant. This one only stayed on the stands this long because it was a project plant for 2016.

Yeah - I'm trying to do all the shoulder exercises on BOTH shoulders to guard against issues with the left one, too. Really happy to hear that both your shoulders are alright - at the moment I'm feeling like I'm never going to be OK. I know it's early days and I just have to calm myself down :-)