almost human...

...if this darn cough would go away, I'd be OK! Man, this stuff was way yucky! Fever, chills, headaches, congestion, and coughing...just loads of fun.

I started to feel better Friday, but then the coughing kicked in. I been sleeping sitting up for the last few nights so I don't cough as much...it helps, but I still cough at night. I've developed a new appreciation for Jell-o and Fudgesicles—they both soothe the throat.

Most of the time, I was camped on the couch. The two cats kept me company, so I saw a lot of these:

Cat pads...

They didn't seem to mind the coughing too much, although Sombra would yell at me from time to time.

Once I started feeling better, I was able to knit again. I finally finished the Queen of Beads socks. Just in time, too, as the next club installment arrived today! Here they are:

Queen of Beads socks

...and another view:

Queen of Bead socks, another view

Specs:
Finished: 3/28/2009
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club, January 2009 installment

Socks That Rock Lightweight in "My Blue Heaven"

Needles: US 2 (2.75mm)
Size: Medium


I went outside to take some pictures of the socks...the sun felt so good! Of course, I can't take the camera outside without somebody being nosy:

Can I help?

I'm back to work today, trying to figure out where I left off. I'll take pictures of the new Rockin' Sock Club installment when I get a chance.

I'm alive, sort of...

...have to thank The Husband for sharing his cold with me. (Thanks, dear...)

I was out of commission most of yesterday—big time fever and chills. I even skipped the gym and Pilates, which I rarely do. I feel good enough today to come to work, but we'll see how long I last. I'm drinking a humongo Coldbuster from Jamba Juice (immunity booset, antioxident boost, and added vitamins) to let this cold know I mean business!

Anyway, sorry there are no pictures today. Not much to show since Monday.

under Sirena's spell...

...it was a spinning weekend. I didn't even touch my quilt or sewing at all!

First, I finished the first bobbin of Chocolate Covered Raspberries seawool from Creatively Dyed.

Chocolate-Covered Raspberries, bobbin 1

This represents a little under 4 ounces; I still have another 4 ounces to go.

Then I spun the second bobbin of Andromeda from The Yarn Wench:

Andromeda, bobbins 1 & 2

The second bobbin is a little darker than the first, so I may end up with a two-ply on this one just to even out the color.

And then, because I've been wanting to spin this ever since I bought it at Stitches West, here is some naturally dyed gray alpaca in Pomegranate from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio:

Pomegranate Alpaca yarn

It was a dream to spin! Here's the close-up:

Pomegranate Alpaca yarn, close up

Specs:
Started and finished 3/22/09
Naturally dyed gray alpaca (2 oz) in Pomegranate from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio
Spun and Navajo-plied on Lendrum DT wheel
Yield: 113 yards; 16 WPI

The color variations in this yarn are so subtle...it was a nice change from spinning fiber with long runs of color.

I did get a little knitting done on the socks...I finished the heel flaps. That's it, though. The spinning was way too fun!

Spring is sprung...

...for Eye Candy Friday. First, a freesia:

Red Freesia


...apricots in the making...

Apricots in the making...

...and some tiny white and blue flowers (name unknown).

Tiny flowers


It was foggy and cool when I took the pictures this morning, but it's mostly cleared up now. Looks like it will be a nice day!

Last night I finished the sock legs for the Queen of Bead socks and immediately started on the heel flaps. These socks are shaping up well. Gee, maybe I'll finish them before the month is out! The beads are growing on me...

Up this weekend, work on the socks, spin more of the Andromeda Merino-silk, and maybe do some sewing. Now that it is officially Spring, I feel like finishing my "Flower Power" quilt that I started a few years ago. The top is done; it just needs to be sandwiched and quilted. I also have a new idea for a spindle bag that I want to try...just need more hours in the day!

Wednesday is for sock WIPs...

...my Queen of Beads socks are coming right along.

Queen of Beads sock cuffs

I have about 7 rows left and then I can start the heel. Yay! I haven't quite decided where to stop using the beads. I guess it will depend on how annoyed I am with moving beads when I finish the heel.

I've been selling a few copies of my sock bag pattern after posting a picture of my Knitmare on Elm Street bag on one of the Ravelry forums. I'm happy that people are finding it useful! Since this is generating a little income, I decided to use it to treat myself to another Namaste bag. I've been dreaming of the eggplant Zuma bag every since I saw it online. Yarndogs had a teal Zuma bag at Stitches West that tempted me, but I decided on the Malibu bag instead. But the eggplant was calling my name!

Namaste Zuma bag in eggplant

I've been wanting a smaller bag to use when I don't need a lot of tools and maybe to double as a purse. This bag meets those needs. Here's what it looks like inside:

Namaste Zuma bag, inside

This bag holds a lot of things without looking stuffed. I'm very happy with this bag! Also, I had a gift certificate from Kaleidoscope Yarns that I hadn't used yet. It was enough to cover a Namaste Buddy case in eggplant to match this bag, so that's on its way.

I'm done buying bags for now. Between the new tote bag I made and the Namaste bags, I think I'm set for a long time! I'm going to go through my other bags and donate some to good homes. I'd also like to sell the navy/black Jordana Paige messenger bag that I bought a couple of years ago at Stitches West...I used it a few times, but it just didn't work for me.

OK, back to work now...

spinning the weekend away...

...that's pretty much what I did and it was great!

I had a wonderful time at the spin-in on Saturday! (Thanks, Mary!) I made some new friends and got a lot more spun than I normally do at home...it's so good to be with people who understand your addiction craft. Sirena made the transition from home to the spin-in location just fine. (OK, one minor user error...) I converted her cover to a drawstring bag by inserting cord into the hem area and adding a cordstop. This protected her from the dirt in the back of the Husband's car.

Even though I already had the Chocolate-Covered Raspberries seawool in progress, I decided to spin something new. I've had Andromeda in the queue since Ravelympics and it seemed like a good time to start it. Here's bobbin #1:

Andromeda, bobbin #1

I split the top width-wise into 8 pieces for longer color runs, and then separated it into two 2-ounce groups. I'll spin one bobbin of each 2-ounce group and ply it using the chain (Navajo) method. I finished the first bobbin yesterday afternoon.

When I finished the first bobbin of Andromeda, I went back to the seawool and spun more of that. I'm still working on the first bobbin of seawool, but I'm getting close to the end of it. It's still really pink...

When I wasn't spinning, I was knitting the Queen of Beads socks. (WIP picture on Wednesday.) I really love the way the pattern is turning out, except for those d@mn beads. Next time, I'll use the crochet hook method of adding beads no matter what the pattern says. Having to keep moving the beads down the yarn is annoying. I don't have that much craft time and I don't want to spend it moving beads!

I did not work on the sweater...I was having too much fun spinning!

Eye Candy Friday the 13th...

...the Daughter is home for a visit and the weather is supposed to be decent today. Sounds like a good one so far!

Today's eye candy is brought to you by our cherry tree. It has a bunch of blossoms...maybe this year it will bear fruit!

Cherry Blossom


Remember those snow pea blossoms from last month? Well, now we have actual snow peas:

Snow peas

They are so good!

Nothing significant to show on the WIP front yet. The Queen of Beads socks are coming along. I'm working on the pattern section of the leg and have placed some of the beads. I like the way the beads look, but what a PITA it is to keep sliding the beads-in-waiting down the yarn! And this yarn seems to get twisted up on itself a lot more...maybe it's the beads. At least the socks look good so far!

Up this weekend: I was invited to a spin-in...Sirena and I are going to spin with some new friends for a few hours. Up to now, my spinning has been a solitary activity, so it will be interesting to see how others spin. Sirena might go in a panic, though...I've never folded her up and taken her anywhere. Let's hope she behaves!

I also plan to do more knitting, maybe even work on the sweater (Now there's a concept!).

WIP-it Wednesday with an actual WIP...

...here's a picture of the cuffs for the Queen of Beads socks from the Blue Moon sock club:


Queen of Beads socks, cuffs


The brown yarn is a remnant of "Little Bunny Foo Foo" STR yarn that I used for the tubular cast-on. It will be removed when I finish the ribbing for the cuffs. Can't wait to see whether the cast-on holds! If I didn't do it right, I'll have to start over again.

I worked on the Argosy scarf at Knit Night on Monday. It's coming along nicely, just slowly.

That's about it for WIPs. I haven't touched my sweater in a while, so I need to pull that out and work on it.

Just not enough hours a day!

it's still Monday, right?

...boy did this day get away from me! I had a great weekend, though.
  • I finished my Moebius scarf:

    Moebius Scarf

    Finished 3/8/09
    From Cat Bordhi's class at Stitches West 2009
    Manos Silk Blend yarn
    Needle: US 8

  • I finished the Daughter's second Calorimetry:

    Calorimetry #3

    Finished 3/8/09
    Pattern on Knitty
    Charcoal, Lion Brand Jiffy yarn
    Needles: US 8

  • I started my Blue Moon Rockin' Sock club socks (no picture yet)

  • I received the first installment of the Loopy Ewe Sock club (picture behind the spoiler):

    Spoiler--Loopy Ewe Sock Club

    The yarn is beautiful and the pattern goes very well with it. The only problem is that it is a toe-up pattern, and we all know how well I do with those (say it with me: rip-it, rip-it, rip-it!!).

  • I took a few pictures in the garden:

    Hyacinth, close up

  • Chilled out with the kitties...well, Sombra chilled out:

    Cat nap


    Kayla just stared...

    Miss Kayla

  • I cleaned the Daughter's room so it's all ready for her to come home on Thursday (yay!)

I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting, but I want to get this posted! More when I can think straight!

not much to see here...

...it's been a busy week and I'm still recovering from the fiber fumes of Stitches West! The best I can offer you picture-wise is this pansy in one of our planter boxes:

Pansy

I did manage to start the Daughter's new Calorimetry in a Lion Brand gray acrylic yarn...it is very soft so she should like it. I wish she could wear at least a wool-acrylic blend because there are so many beautiful yarns out there (and in my stash!). Oh, well...

I also managed to knit a few rows on my Moebius scarf thingy. I really love the Manos yarn!

The only other personal thing I've worked on it my Knit2 Bag Pattern. Some people have expressed an interest in the pattern and I've actually sold a couple of them. I'm just happy that some one else thinks they are useful... My goal with this pattern was to show how to put it together, not to go into the bag-making business. Although, I have been thinking of making bag kits—packaging the fabric and notions that you need to make it along with the pattern. I don't know yet...it's a thought.

Up this weekend: finding a home for my Stitches purchases and getting the house in order. One of my brothers may be in town next week and I just want to be prepared. Plus the rain has really done a job on my floors and I need to get those mopped. In between, there will be a little knitting, a little spinning, and whatever catches my eye!

no WIPs today...

...just haven't made a lot pf progress on anything since Sunday. I really need to get serious here!

This morning when I went to the gym, there was a double rainbow. Of course, my camera was at home so I missed it! However, there was still one rainbow when I got home:

March rainbow

A very nice way to start the day!

We did a Stitches West show-and-tell at work this afternoon. Two of us went to Stitches, so we showed off our purchases. She bought yarn and I bought mostly fiber. It was really nice to be able to share Stitches experiences with someone who understood!

The Daughter has requested another Calorimetry so I need to make a trip to Jo Ann's for yarn. Most of my yarn stash is wool or other animal fiber, which she can't wear. Off to see if I can find a nice acrylic or cotton blend for her...

February 2009 Recap

...just a couple of days late.

Finished:

  • 2/21 Jaywalker socks in Blue Moon STR club color: Incredible Shrinking Violet (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 2/16 Purple Tote bag (Craft Bag Kwik Sew 3464 pattern) (sewing)
  • 2/15 Dragonfly Wings Merino-silk top by The Yarn Wench; 536+ yards of 2-ply; 15 WPI (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 2/01 Blue drawstring bag using a Happythings pattern (sewing)
  • 2/01 Soap: Butter Mint, Gardener's, and Creative Dreams
Worked on:
  • Argosy scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • February Lady Sweater (knitting) [Ravelry]
Started:
  • 2/28 Moebius Cowl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 2/22 Chocolate Covered Raspberries Seawool yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Black leg warmers in Caron Simply Soft yarn (knitting)
  2. Morning Surf Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]

UFOs:
  1. Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk 4 oz.roving in purple [Ravelry]
  2. Cascade Fixation anklets (knitting)
  3. Central Air socks (knitting)
  4. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  5. Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting) [Ravelry}
  6. Flower Power quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  7. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  8. Jungle Songs quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  9. Montego Bay wrap in Walking on the Wild Tide yarn, using Montego Bay scarf pattern from Interweave Knits Summer issue (knitting)
  10. Paint it Black quilt
  11. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  12. Queen Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch)
  13. Sangria shawl (knitting)
  14. Twinkletoes slippers; just need to make one (knitting)
  15. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

Stitches West 2009... [long]

...it was all about "new."

Spinning cotton on a charkhanew tool, new method, new fiber
While it was a very challenging for me, it was a good class. I liked exploring the tool and trying out a new method and fiber. I had been toying with the idea of getting a charkha, but after this class, I realized that I have to work on my long draw technique (because I have none now...) first. Here are my pathetic results from this class:

Spinning Cotton for Knitting class

Moebius knitting classnew cast-on method and new possibilities
I have been wanting to learn this technique ever since I bought Cat's book about Moebius Knitting several years ago. I could never get the hang of it by myself. The youTube video helped, but there's nothing like taking a class from Cat! It was great fun and my moebius cowl/scarf (don't know which it will turn out to be until I cast off—I just plunged on in and decided to love it no matter what!) is looking really good:

Moebius Knitting Class

(That's the Manos Silk Blend that I bought from the Purlescence booth.)

Stitches Market--exploring new fibers for spinning, new tools (like a loom!), and new bags
I only bought yarn at two places: Purlescence and Brooks Farm. I've already showed you the Manos yarn; here's the Mas Acero yarn I bought from Brooks Farm...it will be a sweater eventually:

Mas Acero yarn

I did buy the Namaste bag on Sunday...it was 20% off!! Hard to beat that deal. (Thanks, Yarndogs!) Here's my new Malibu bag:

Namaste Malibu bag

and the inside:

Namaste Malibu Bag, inside


I love this bag...the outside is SO smooth! Also got a Debra's Garden keychain:

Debra's Garden Key Chain


I saw a couple of demonstrations of an Ashford loom. It's appealing because it would use up a bunch of yarn that I've spun. However, while the price is reasonable, it's another craft that requires space and the time to practice it. Both of those are at a premium right now!

Everything else that I bought was spinning-related. I got a new, lightweight spindle for spinning cotton (Greensleeves Spindle 0.4 oz)...purpleheart and redwood burl woods:

Purpleheart and Redwood Burl Spindle

And fiber:

Stitches West Fiber Collage


Some blends: yak-merino, angora-merino, bamboo-wool, milk protein-seacell-wool, silk-merino, and superfine merino-Border Leicester lamb. And some new-to-me fibers: Romney, Cashmere, naturally dyed gray alpaca, black merino, cotton sliver, and a gorgeous set of wool batts from Lisa Souza. (go to my Flickr set to see individual pix.) All of the fiber is luscious and I want to spin it NOW!

Anyway, I think that will hold me for a while! (LOL!)

And I'm back...

...it was a great vacation in Arizona! We visited the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, the Sunset Crater area, Walnut Canyon, and several pueb...