vamping it up...

...I've been on a vampire kick for a while now. I've read all of the Sookie Stackhouse books from Charlaine Harris and I've been reading vampire books from assorted authors. I've been considering whether its time to read the Lestat books from Anne Rice again (for the 5th or 6th time).

Anyway, when the Yarn Wench posted the Vampira colorway, I knew I had to get it! I started it last week and finished it this weekend. Here it is in the skein:

Vampira yarn

...and the dime shot:

Vampira yarn, close up

Specs:
Started 9/20/08
Finished 9/27/08
Falkland top from Yarn Wench in Vampira
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT wheel
Yield: 302.8 yds Navajo-plied
WPI: 17 (average)

It was a nice change to do a different colors since I've been spinning lots of purples, oranges, and blues.

I finished the cuff on the Monkey socks and started the heel flap. I decided to only do 5 pattern repeats instead of 6—I really prefer a shorter cuff. I love the way the pattern is turning out and the no-purl version is a fast knit. I'll post a picture on WIP-it Wednesday.

I signed up for Socktoberfest again...let's see if I can finish the Monkey socks plus another pair during October!

That's it for now....lots of work in my queue and it's gong to be crazy around here for a while!

this just in...

...the Rocking Sock Club installment arrived! Yay, Blue Moon!

Here's the link to the spoiler picture:



I love the pattern for these...we'll see how long I can hold out before casting these on!

last Eye Candy Friday for September...

..."Feed me, Seymour":

Feed me, Seymour

As seen on a neighbor's fig tree.

It's been a scattered week. I haven't been sleeping well, so I pretty much don't feel like doing anything during the day.

I've been working on the Monkey socks. Last night, I was into the 3rd of 6 pattern repeats, when I came up one stitch short for one of the socks. Since everything was fine at the end of the second repeat, the problem has to be within the last 3 rows. I started frogging back the one sock. Guess I shouldn't knit these while watching Grey's Anatomy!

We're in the home-stretch for tomatoes. The plant are beginning to look scraggly, but they are still producing. Here's one of the largest we harvested this year:

Tomato, 2008

Up this weekend, I want to finish spinning Vampira and get these Monkey socks back on track. I also want to revisit Dogasaurus—it's starting to be cold in the morning and I think my favorite Pomeranian needs his sweater!

WIP-it Wednesday...

...here is the first look at the new socks:

Little Monkey Foo Foo socks, in progress

The pattern is the No-Purl version of Cookie A's Monkey socks. I am doing them in Socks That Rock lightweight yarn, in the Little Bunny Foo Foo colorway.

I haven't touched the Sea Foam wrap in a few days, so nothing new on that front.

As for the Digital SLR camera, I decided it wasn't for me and returned it to my friend. It's a great camera and I got some great pictures with it. However, it doesn't fit my needs right now.

Not much else on the craft front. Yeah, I know, kind of boring...

So here...have some cat pictures! Presenting: Sombra (Queen of the Universe) and Tica (Ham Extraordinaire)

Sombra, Queen of the Universe

Here, let me be cute for you!

Look at me...

Monday melange...

...it's one of those days.

First off: A Big "Welcome to the world!" to my friend Jane's first grandchild. Little Miss K had to be encouraged to show her beautiful face, but she finally arrived Friday night. The little family is doing great and Jane is over the moon (of course!).

I started spinning Vampira, Falkland top from Yarn Wench. Here's the first bobbin in progress:

Vampira, bobbin #1

I knit a little on the Sea Foam wrap but quickly got bored of it.

I started a pair of No-Purl Monkey socks in "Little Bunny Foo Foo" (Socks That Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts). No picture yet as there's not much to see yet.

I only visited two shops in the shop hop—I just figured that I didn't need the temptation to buy at multiple stores (two was bad enough!)

At Full Thread Ahead, I bought the Marinella yarn for Hollis' one-skein capelet. I bought a yarn with purples and lavenders! (no surprise there!)

Marinella Yarn in purples

At Purlescence, I went a little more nutso. I bought some unscented Soak, a set of metal crochet hooks (to use these when I'm adding beads to my spinning or knitting), and some yarn:

Dream in Color Classy in Dusky Aurora:

"Dusky Aurora" Classy yarn

Dream in Color Smooshy in Lunar Zazzle:

"Lunar Zazzle" Smooshy yarn

Dream in Color Baby in November Muse:

"November Muse" yarn

No, I don't have any specific project in mind for any of them...I just loved the colors!

Last week I had ordered yarn from Loopy Ewe for a February Lady sweater. I'm finally going to try and knit a sweater for myself. Today, the yarn arrived. This is Cascade 220 Heathers yarn in Red Wine Heather:

Cascade 220 Heathers yarn

LOVE this color! Don't know when I'll start the sweater... since I seem to have startitis right now, who knows?!

I'm still test driving the Digital SLR camera, but I've pretty much decided that this is not the right camera for me. My hand tends to shake when I use a camera and the Image Stabilization in my little Canon helps with that problem. Unfortunately, the Nikon D50 DSLR does not have it. The DSLR also does not do well taking my sky pictures at least with its current lens. I don't want to spend a lot of money for a camera and then still spend more money to get a lens that does what I want it to.

Oh, well...the test was not a total loss. I now understand some of the features that I need if I ever decide to get a digital SLR camera.

I'm-glad-it's-almost-the-weekend Candy Friday

...I finished the Silk Waves Scarf last night! Here's Teddy, stylin' in his new scarf:

Silk Waves Scarf

Specs:
Finished 9/18
Yarn from Sweaterkits Silk Waves Capelet kit
Pattern from Wendy Knits, with one modification
Finished length, unblocked: 63 inches

I need to block this scarf to flatten out the edges a bit, but I'm at a loss as to where I could stretch it out to dry. The cats lay on top of everything and I know the scarf would be a great temptation. Have to think on this...

I am test-driving a digital SLR camera that a friend is selling. It's a Nikon D50. I just borrowed it this week, so I haven't had a chance to read the manual yet, but I did try just taking a few pictures on automatic this morning.

First up: Sombra, giving me that look again.

Taking pictures of me again?!

She really doesn't like me pointing a camera at her!

Next, a picture of some tiny white flowers (Gaura lindheimeri) in the front yard. I have taken at least 50 pictures of these with my little Canon—none have turned out. Here's my first attempt with the Nikon:

Tiny flower

Not perfect, but you can tell that it's a flower and not a white blob!

And Teddy's picture (up above) was taken with the Nikon. I have to read the instructions so I can see how to turn off the flash. I want to take a picture without the silk yarn reflecting back so much light.

Up this weekend, I'm going to play with the camera more and see how it does with fiber pictures. Also this weekend is the Peninsula-to-Pier LYS Shop Hop. I won't be going to all 19 shops, but I thought I'd check out a couple that I haven't been to yet.

Have a great weekend!

Wow, it's Wednesday...

...time flies when you're working hard! I finished my project and am gearing up for the next one. The new work project shouldn't be as intensive at the last one, so I have a little more room to breathe.


Nothing new to report on the knitting front. Because I'm working on scarves and wraps, their in progress pictures all look pretty much the same. The Silk Waves scarf [Ravelry] is at 51 inches now. When I first started this scarf, I was hoping for at least 50 inches; it looks like I'll probably get 60 inches out of the yarn. I'm just going to keep knitting on it until I run out!


No progress on the Sea Foam Wrap [Ravelry] since the last picture. I really want to finish Silk Waves this month; once it's done, I'll get back to Sea Foam.

So this won't be a picture-less post, here's the rogue cucumber that grew in the middle of our Hmong Cucumbers (see this post):

Rogue cucumber

Yeah, I know it looks like a squash. However, when the Husband cut into it, it was definitely a cucumber! Strange things growing out in the backyard...

Back on Eye Candy Friday!

Here's comes Monday again...

...work has lightened up a little, but I'm still not done with my project.

After finishing the baby cardigan on Saturday, I took a look at the projects in my queue. I couldn't decide which socks to start, so I started a wrap. This is the Sea Foam Scarf pattern from "Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea":

Sea Foam Wrap, in progress

Now, I have several scarfs, many of which I don't wear, so I really didn't want another one to hang on my door. I really wanted to make this a wrap. After reviewing other people's versions of this on Ravelry, I found one where the knitter used the same yarn, but cast on an extra 10 stitches for an additional pattern repeat. When she blocked it out, it made a nice sized wrap. That's what I wanted and I did the same thing.

You may notice that this pattern looks very similar to Mermaid's Morning Surf...you're right! The main difference is that Morning Surf uses 12 rows to complete each pattern; Sea Foam uses 8 rows. Somehow I find the 8 rows easier to track than the 12. Another difference is that the needle size for Morning Surf is smaller (5US) than Sea Foam (9US). These seemingly minor differences mean that I'm enjoying the knitting of Sea Foam more than Morning Surf. It's making me consider frogging Morning Surf and reknitting it with larger needles.

I also made some progress on the Silk Waves Scarf. It's now 46 inches long and I still have a bunch of yarn to use. But it's pretty and purple and very soft! I won't post any more pictures of this until it's done.

I feel the urge to knit another pair f socks...and now that I have not spun in 3 weeks, I'm getting the urge to work on my spinning WIPs. We'll see which one wins!

done!

...I finished the Tulips Baby Cardigan. It's very cute!

Tulips Baby Cardigan

Specs:
Finished 9/13/08
Pattern and Yarn by Dream In Color
Needles: size 7 and 5 US
[Ravelry]

That's all I've worked on today. I've been going through my projects and fiber stash trying to figure out what to do next. I realized that I had not posted pictures of the birthday present that I bought myself—I treated myself to a bunch of fiber from Yarn Wench.

Here's a collage:
Spinning Stash collage

Top:
Mourning Dove's Cousin 1 Merino-Silk, Moss Rose 1 Falkland, Grape Fizz 2 Merino-Silk
Bottom:
Grape Fizz 1 Merino-Silk, Apricot Cinder 1 Merino-Silk, Dragonfly Wings 2 Merino-Silk

I love the Apricot Cinder colorway; I now have it in three different fibers! And I can't seem to resist Yarn Wench's updates. I'm going to have to slow down, though...her stuff is wonderful and very reasonably priced, but I need to spin up some of the stash because I'm running out of room!

Off to figure out what to do next...

Eye Candy Friday, blog-and-run edition...

...on my way out to a client site where I'll be most of the day. This project is close to done, so I can relax soon.

Here's a picture of how I feel right now:

Bee in the lavender

... busy little bee, except that I'm not in a field of lavender!

If I get a chance, I'll post over the weekend. Have a good one!

hold, please...

...things are a little nutso right now. I hope everything will get back to normal (whatever that is) next week.

way too hot this weekend...

...Saturday was so hot, I didn't feel like doing much of anything!

Craft-wise, I only worked on the Tulips Baby Cardigan. I'm nearly done. I just need to decide whether to redo the i-cord edging on the fronts. It's very tight and I'm afraid it will not loosen up with blocking. I'll have to decide soon...

Tulips baby cardigan, almost there!

I finally put stuff away in my craft room. It turns out that the craft room is the coolest room in the house...I spent most of Saturday in there. It felt good to get things back in order.

Sunday was cooler (relatively speaking), so we ventured out to the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival. I felt sorry for the vendors--at 11:30 am they were already roasting in their booths. We only saw a couple of things that piqued our interest. One vendor was weaving and selling Zapotec rugs—I fell in love with the one woven will all natural-colored wools. The other vendor was Andaluzia Glass—the artist who makes the glass mermaids that I love.

The Husband picked a cucumber from the garden for his lunch. This is a Hmong cucumber:

Hmong Cucumber

We put a quarter in these for comparison; these cukes are large. They are so heavy that the Husband has is using my old pantyhose as slings to support them on the vines so they don't break off from the weight.

He also picked some melons. These are Crane melons:

Crane melons

That's pretty much it. It's going to be a busy week at work, so I don't know how much energy I'll have leftover for knitting...

Lots of Eye Candy for Friday...

...yesterday was quite nice. The Husband hand-delivered flowers for my birthday:

Birthday flowers

and another view...

Birthday flowers

And when I got home, my sister and her family had sent me a lovely arrangement.

Birthday bouquet

For my birthday present, the Husband bought me a Mission Fig tree, complete with figs!

Mission Fig tree

We both love figs, and I especially love the Mission figs, so this is a great addition to our garden.

The postal person brought a present from my friend Jane. Looks at the great gifts she sent!

Birthday goodies from Jane

She sent me some Merino pencil roving, Flat Feet sock yarn, an autographed copy of Debbie Macomber's book "Twenty Wishes," and some Debbie Macomber goodies! Jane attended a book signing a few weeks ago and thoughtfully got me the book and goodies! (what a pal!) The roving and Flat Feet yarn colors match nicely, so they are destined to be a set (socks and hat? socks and scarf?) Thanks, Jane!!

I received phone calls from the Daughter, my mother, and my ex-mother-in-law (!?). One of my brothers called, too, but I wasn't home from work yet... All in all it was a good birthday, even if I did have to work!

Up this weekend: I'm going to try to finish the Tulips Baby Cardigan. The heat wave is supposed to continue into the weekend, so I maybe knitting outside. I may knit outside anyway and enjoy the garden while I can. Sombra would like that...

Sombra in the garden...

Have a good one!

celebrating another trip around the sun...

...yeah, another year older. D@mn...I don't feel that old! As I get closer and closer to the next decade, my disbelief grows. Oh well, age is just a number, right?

I take comfort in the fact that I'm more physically active than some people my age and that I have a job that frequently requires that I learn something new. Keeping physically and mentally active helps keep me young!

Anyway, I have enough craft stash where I need to live a LONG life so I can use it all. That's my plan...live forever!


August 2008 recap...

...few more things done because of Ravelympics.

The Recap:

Finished:

  • 8/2 Midsummer Paradise socks
    Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock Lightweight in Midsummers Night
    Bird of Paradise sock pattern from the Petals Collection by Sundara Yarns
  • 8/9 Plumthorn yarn
    Pigeonroof Studios Wensleydale top (gift from Terry)
    Spun on spindle and wheel; plied on wheel
    Yield: 440 yards, 2-ply
    WIP: 16
  • 8/10 Foxglove baby socks (knitting)
  • 8/12 Saartje's Bootees (knitting)
  • 8/15 Plumcopper yarn
    Yarn Wench Merino-silk top (3.8oz)
    Spun and plied on Lendrum DT wheel
    Yield: two skeins Navajo-plied, 220.4 yds total
    WPI: 13 (average)
  • 8/16 Reef 1 yarn
    Yarn Wench Falkland top (4.1 oz)
    Spun and plied on a Lendrum DT wheel
    Two Falkland singles plied with Copper rayon thread
    Yield: 105.4 yds
    WPI: 8
  • 8/18 Deep Night 2 yarn
    Yarn Wench Falkland top (4.1 oz)
    Spun and Plied on Lendrum DT wheel
    Yield: 36.4 yds beaded; 145.7 yds not beaded; 182.1 yds total
    WIP: 13
  • 8/22 Apricot Orchid 2 yarn
    Yarn Wench Falkland top (4.5 oz)
    Spun and plied on Lendrum DT wheel
    Yield: 162.9yds Navajo-ply
  • 8/23 Plum Smoke 2 yarn
    Yarn Wench Falkland top (4.1 oz)
    Spun and plied on a Lendrum DT wheel
    Yield: 180.2 yds Navajo-ply
    WPI: 14
  • 8/23 Aster yarn
    Chasing Rainbows Merino-Tussah top (2.0 oz)
    Spun and plied on a Lendrum DT wheel
    Yield: 128.4 yds Navajo-ply
    WPI: 11
Worked on:
  • Morning Surf Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
Started:
  • 8/30 Tulips baby cardigan [Ravelry]
  • 8/23 Plum Smoke Falkand top from Yarn Wench (spinning)
  • 8/23 Aster Merino-Silk top from Chasing Rainbows (spinning)
  • 8/21 Apricot Orchid Falkand top from Yarn Wench (spinning)
  • 8/17 Deep Night Falkand top from Yarn Wench (spinning)
  • 8/16 Reef Falkand top from Yarn Wench (spinning)
  • 8/10 Plumcopper Merino-silk top from Yarn Wench (spinning)

Frogged/On Hiatus:
  • Black leg warmers in Caron Simply Soft yarn (knitting): Waiting for cold weather
  • Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting)

Works In Progress (did not work on):
  1. Spinning 4 oz of Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk roving in purple [Ravelry]
  2. Montego Bay wrap in Walking on the Wild Tide yarn, using Montego Bay scarf pattern from Interweave Knits Summer issue (knitting)
  3. Spinning 2 Chasing Rainbows rovings together in the Heather colorway: one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz)
  4. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

UFOs:
  1. Cascade Fixation anklets (knitting)
  2. Central Air socks (knitting)
  3. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Paint it Black quilt
  6. Flower Power quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  7. Jungle Songs quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  8. Queen Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch; still languishing in its stretcher bars)
  9. Sangria shawl (knitting)
  10. Twinkletoes slippers; just need to make one (knitting)

Happy September!

...technically, this is a holiday, but I'm working a few hours to keep my work project from getting too far behind. At least I can work at home and not have to go into the office...

My Silk Waves scarf is now 36 inches long and looks quite lovely. However, I am bored with how long it's taking to knit. So I decided to start a project that I wanted to do when I was knitting all those baby things and got burnt out on little sweaters.

I started the Tulips baby sweater [Ravelry] and have made great progress:

Tulip baby sweater, in progress

The pattern and yarn are from Dream in Color. So far I love the pattern and the yarn is wonderful to knit!

Other than that, I have just been relaxing, knowing that I was going to have to work today and the fact that my work week is going to be crazy. (I know, what's new?!)

Oh, yeah, I have to put a recap together for August. Hmmm, guess I'll have to work on that...

WIP-it Wednesday...

...pretend I'm posting this on a break during my cooking marathon. ;-) WIPs Roll Call Worked On: Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [ ...