Archive for August 2014

Homestead Hobbyist Fiber Review

I've been dyeing fiber for six months now, and I have enjoyed every last minute of it. Some of my favourites? Well, here's a photobomb:

Darkness on my new Polwarth/Yak/Mulberry Silk 50/25/25 custom blend


Deep Sea Squid on Yak/Silk 50/50


Golden Harvest on Baby Camel/Silk 50/50

Golden Harvest

Toxic Waste on Falkland

Toxic Waste

Midnight Garnet on Rambouillet

Midnight Garnet

Which turns into this when spun

Midnight Garnet

Japanese Maple in October on Merino

Japanese Maple In October

I've really been enjoying some of the yarn and knit/crocheted objects folks have shared in my Ravelry group, too. (You have to sign up/in for the link to work.)

And this week, Stephanie of the Hot Pink Socks Reviews blog is reviewing some of my hand-dyed fiber! I dyed a colourway called Silver Pops for her on Falkland wool and sent her two braids--one for her to play with, one for her to give away to her readers.

Silver Pops on Falkland

If you'd like to read Stephanie's review (part 1 of 2), head over to her blog. In both her review post and in her Ravelry group, you can enter the drawing to win one of the above braids! You just have to follow her blog or join her Ravelry group, and then leave a comment sharing what your favourite colourway I've dyed is. I'm encouraging folks to check out my sold items, not just the items for sale, since I dye mostly unique items and many of the sold items are quite stunning (if I do say so myself!).

It's interesting to see what folks say they like--I'm surprised that people like Toxic Waste (see above) as much as they do, because I think it's pretty daring for most folks (yellow seems to be a pretty intimidating colour, but I'm learning to love it!). If you have a Ravelry account or are willing to sign up for one, you can see how the above braid spun up and was turned into a cowl!

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Sinningia canescens In Bloom

Sinningia canescens

I started this plant from seed in, say, late 2011 or early 2012. I'm not entirely sure the start date--but I know they were still only small seedlings when I sold most of them at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gesneriad Show, Sale & Symposium in fall 2012.

I'm hoping it gets hairier as it ages, as that is one of the things that I like about this species. There's going to be some variation, of course, and this is only 2.5 years old at most, so it has plenty of time to put grow out its hair!

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Birthday Plant Grab

I go to the local Cactus & Succulent Society chapter's August plant sale every year to celebrate my birthday and buy some pretty wicked plants at dizzyingly low prices.

For example, this year, I nabbed 5 Gasteria species for a friend whose birthday is a few days before mine for about $10. The plants I picked up for myself were about $20 all told--and only because of a whopping $15 specimen of Deuterocohnia brevifolia. I only picked up four plants for myself (reasonable, right?).

Birthday plant grab

Spiky mound at top: Deuterocohnia brevifolia
Bottom right: Haworthia truncata
Bottom: Haworthia magnifica
Bottomish middle left: Ledebouria pauciflora

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Doritis Flowers

My horticulturalist friend stopped by a few weeks back with a gift of two Doritis in spike--one with pink and yellow flowers, one white and yellow flowers.

Doritis champorensis

They're the only orchids in the front yard this year. I love seeing them when my friend and I are chatting on the steps--he has to stop me from getting too wrapped up in the plants, though, or I'd completely lose track of our conversation.

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Amorphophallus pygmaeus 'Pewter Pan' In Bloom

I took this photo about a week ago. The tuber was delayed in breaking dormancy (could have been my fault) and was hidden among taller pots on the side wall out front, so I didn't really notice when the leaf finally came up. It's a short Amorphophallus just 6 inches tall, but it gets a nice dark leaf with a silvery look to it. When I noticed the leaf was growing I pulled it out--and found a flowerbud!

Amorphophallus pygmaeus 'Pewter Pan'

On Monday morning, I took this photo with my phone once the flower opened a bit.

If I get seed, I'm propagating like mad. I don't have other Amorphophallus in bloom right now, but maybe I'll get lucky?

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The New Yard

The beau and I moved to a new apartment last October. I don't believe I mentioned that. Surprisingly, most of my plants survived the winter indoors--I think it helped that I upgraded to T8 fluorescent fixtures and got a better case/misting system for the humidity-loving plants (although they are unhappy with me now). I've been really trying to cull the herd and focus on plants I can grow well and couldn't live without. I've been better about that, and about purchases--I make fewer purchases of plants I know won't work for me. It's taken a long time, but I'm starting to learn!

The new apartment is south-facing, so it gets more sun in some parts of the yard where I keep my plants. My landlord says she loves coming home and seeing these plants looking so great, so I'm happy they seem to like their new home.

I took these photos on a cloudy day last week, thus the poor lighting. Over the next little while, I'll share some snippets of what I'm growing from photos I took this past week. And hopefully after that, I'll have more new things to share (and the time to post them).

Front view

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