a new and improved WIP...

...presenting, Stranded Hearts socks [Ravelry]:

Stranded Hearts socks, in progress

Well, I'm not very far with them yet, but I already like the pattern a whole lot more than the other one!

Last night I decided to give the socks a rest for a bit and work on one of my scarves. I pulled out Argosy [Ravelry] and put a good hour into it. I've finished the first skein of yarn and started knitting from the second one. I love the way the scarf is looking, but I find that the K2tog and SSK rows in this yarn are hard on the hands—it doesn't have a lot of give.

The other scarf getting some attention is the Corrugator Scarf [Ravelry]. I'm working on that at Knit Night because the pattern is simple and it's easy to figure out where I am when I get distracted by conversations!

I know I need to get back to my other WIPs, but there's only so much time in a day!

the fault, dear Roguish, is not in our yarn...

...but in our knitter.

Rogiush Roses, top ramen-style

Roguish Roses...frogged forever. Well, not the picot hem because that turned out well.

Cuffs for Show-off Stranded Socks

But life is too short to knit something you don't like and isn't fun. This was a frustrating pattern for me and I just hated the way the socks looked! I'd rather spend my knitting time making something I'll love. I know, I know...I should push through this and conquer this pattern. However, I don't have that much crafting time and there are so many other things that I'd love to do! So, Roguish Roses are marked IDJ (It's dead, Jim). The picot cuffs will be the basis for a new pair of socks because I do love the Bleeding Hearts colorway. I'm thinking the Show-Off Stranded Socks might be nice...

Aside from the failed socks, I actually had a decent weekend. The husband spent Saturday biking and gardening, leaving me to have plenty of time to spin.

I spun all of the Watermelon Rind Falkland top into two bobbins--one mostly melon and one mostly green. I'll spin them into a two-ply yarn after they've had a chance to sit for a few days.


Watermelon Rind singles

And I finally plied the Andromeda singles that have been waiting for a month. I decided to go ahead and do a Navajo-ply and let the colors fall where they liked.

Andromeda yarn

And the close-up:

Andromeda Yarn, close up

Specs:
Started: 3/14/09
Finished: 4/26/09
Merino-silk top from the Yarn Wench
Yield: 237+yards, Navajo-plied
WPI: 14

It was great to get back to the wheel...I missed it! And it was a nice change from the frustration of the Rogue Roses pattern!


eye candy Friday, brought to you by...

...the Husband! He's been busy...he keeps the garden growing and I have plenty of things to photograph. This is the current state of his seedlings:

Seedlings

Yeah, he has just a few of them!

Our cherry tree is finally setting cherries...well, make that one cherry so far:

It's a cherry!

And the apple tree is in various stages of blossoming:

Apple Blossom white

And, of course, we have flowers. Here are nasturtiums...

Yellow Nasturtium

Orange Nasturtium

penstemon...

Penstemon in the morning

and alstromeria.

Alstromeria

I just love flowers...as if you couldn't tell!

Up this weekend: continue knitting my Rogue Rose socks. Both socks are finally to the same point so I can start knitting them two at a time. I want to get some spinning in...I still have the Andromeda singles to ply and I have pre-drafted the Watermelon Rind top and it's ready to spin! Oh, yeah...do a few mundane things like vacuum, clean the kitchen, and go grocery shopping.! HA!

WIP is whipping me...

...I tell ya, this Rogue Roses pattern is way more of a challenge than I wanted! It finally occurred to me why I was having such a problem with this pattern: it travels around the leg. I always have problems with patterns that travel (Hydrangea socks [Ravelry], anyone?). I have no idea why...

I have frogged Sock B again and I've restarted the pattern repeats. This time its looking OK. Sock A is temporarily on hold until I can get Sock B to the same point, and then I'll go back to knitting them both at the same time. Here's what Sock A looks like right now:

Rogue Roses, still in progress

What I'd rather be doing instead of frogging these socks over and over again is spinning. And I want to spin this:

Watermelon Rind 1 (wool top)


This is Watermelon Rind 1 Falkland top from the Yarn Wench. I love the combination of colors and it really does remind me of watermelon. I really want to see what I can do with this one!

I have been playing a little bit in Picnik again. Here's a sky picture from Tuesday that I modified using the HDR-ish effect (
You can see the original photo in Flickr):

April Morning, adjusted

Back on Friday with some sort of eye candy...

so A.DOR.A.BLE!

...I love the way the little lamb turned out!

Fuzzy Lamb collage

(larger individual pictures in my Flickr photostream.)

I spent a good deal of Saturday finishing the lamb. It took me four attempts at a different dress pattern before I gave up and used the same one I used for the Siamese kitties. I was having gauge issues and decided I didn't need to fuss with that...this lamb needed to be done!

Since the lamb is for a one-year-old, I embroidered the eyes and sewed the dress onto the lamb, avoiding all buttons. I knotted all ends and used the quilter's trick of burying the knots on the inside of the work. I really wanted a longer needle, but I couldn't find my doll-maker's needles anywhere. (I have cleverly organized them into oblivion!)

I wish I could tell you whether the birthday girl liked the lamb, but the gifts weren't opened at the party...there were a lot of guests and a lot of gifts. It would have taken forever. :-)

By the time we got home after the party on Sunday, it was 5pm. Not a lot of time to start anything new, so I worked on Rogue Roses.

Let me tell you, this pattern is really starting to annoy me. I finally got sock A back on course, and did a couple of rows on both socks and then noticed that sock B was having issues. The right edging before the rose panel was not forming correctly—something had gone wonky somewhere along the way. Rats!! I had to pull out several rows and tried again...still not right! ARG!! I ended up pulling everything out up to the picot hem and starting the pattern again. The edge is still not right..so the sock is on a timeout right now. Between that and my rosebuds not looking anything remotely like buds, this pattern is making me nuts. It knits up quickly, so that is one saving grace, but if I have to pull rows out again, the pattern may take a permanent vacation!

Sadly, no spinning this weekend and I am itching to get back to the wheel!

Random flowers are starting to bloom in the front yard. I have no idea what this is, but it's pretty:

Pollen on white

And this lone iris has bloomed, with the promise of a couple more to follow:

Iris

View of the interior:
Inside the Iris

At least these flowers aren't as much trouble as my Rogue Roses!

not-much-of-an-Eye Candy Friday...

...this would be more of an anti-Eye Candy Friday. Look at what happened last night:

Broken KnitPicks Harmony needle

These are my size 5 (US) Harmony straight needles. This happened right in the middle of knitting the Fuzzy Lamb's head. Fortunately, I had another size 5 needle so I could finish it, but the broken tip made me sad. Now I get to call KnitPicks about getting a replacement. Rats!

On the plus side, I did finish knitting all of the Fuzzy Lamb components and did most of the seaming.

Fuzzy Lamb, ready to put together

That's the tail off to the left...it's just too cute! I need to stuff the lamb, close everything up, and attach everything. I also need to finish knitting the dress. I'm using a lavender yarn that is very soft and washable:

Peter Pan yarn

I've started the dress using the pattern instructions, which has you knit the front and back separately and then seam them together. I think I'm going to start over and knit it in the round, Seaming is not my favorite thing to do!

Up this weekend: Finish the Lamb in time for the birthday luncheon on Sunday. I thought it was Saturday and was very happy to learn that it was Sunday...I can finish this little lamb without being rushed! I also want to get my Rogue Roses socks back on track. Who knows, maybe I'll attack that plying I ignored last weekend!

Have a good one!

WIP-it Wednesday, tax day version...

...finished all our taxes and e-Filed everything. Yay!!

I'm been dividing my knitting time between the Fuzzy Lamb toy [Ravelry] and my Rogue Roses socks. The toy is progressing nicely...the pattern is well-written and it's an easy knit. I finished the two arms and will knit the head and ears tonight.

Fuzzy Lamb, still in progress

You can see from this picture that the yarn has some sheen to it as well as a little fuzziness—it is very soft! Now I have to decide which dress to knit for this little gem.

The Rogue Roses socks [Ravelry] are not progressing quite as nicely. Sock B is OK, but I ended up having to frog all the way back to the hem on Sock A. Somewhere I lost a stitch and I couldn't see where I dropped it. It was in one of the pattern panels because my stitch count was off by one (which is interesting because I have been carefully counting the panel stitches...who know what happened). Anyway, I spent time last night getting Sock A to a place where I could start the leg pattern again. Maybe this time the rosebuds will look better.

The pattern itself is pretty descriptive, which I love. It contains both the charts and the written instructions for the leg and foot patterns. While I know how to use the charts, my brain processes written descriptions much better. The only down-side with a descriptive pattern is that it is several pages long...it just doesn't fit easily in my sock bag! I've photocopied it and cobbled together smaller pages that do fit. Not a big problem, just a little challenging!

it was a knitting weekend...

...my back was bugging me, so I decided to forgo the spinning. That plus I decided to make a present for the birthday party we're going to next weekend. We've been invited to the celebration of a friend's daughter who is turning one.

Since I was late in deciding to knit something, I wanted to knit something quick and fun. I can't think of anything more fun to knit than another stuffed animal! I chose Fuzzy Mitten's pattern called Fuzzy Lamb. It is adorable! I'm using Bernat's Bamboo Natural Blends yarn because it's soft and washable. Here it is so far:

Fuzzy Lamb, in progress


I wish the tan was a little darker, but I still think it will be cute. The yarn is a little annoying in the same way Lion Brand Homespun is...for lack of a better description, it "bunches." The fiber is spun around a thread that has very little give. As you knit, the fiber starts gathering or bunching around the thread and you get these lumps that you have to move down the yarn. Then when you cut the yarn to end the piece, the bunches unravel and you get sections of unusable fiber. PITA, but the knitted pieces are very soft.

I also worked on my Rogue Roses socks. I finished the picot cuffs and started on the first pattern repeat. Not loving my "rosebuds"...I've redone them so many times that I've lost count. I finally decided to just move on to the rest of the pattern.

Roguish Rose socks, in progress

I am very glad I'm making these in a yarn color that I love, though. Otherwise, I'd totally throw them across the room!

On Easter Sunday, I made brunch for The Husband and I: Eggs Benedict and Mimosas. Yummy!! Sunday was my last hurrah before going back on South Beach. I have been totally bad (read: eating wheat, which is my nemesis!) and need to get back to healthy eating. So today, it's back to salads (yuck) and lots of vegetables (yay!).

it's finally Friday...

...it's been a long week! I still have a little congestion and cough from my cold. It just won't seem to go away. At least the coughing is only happening a few times a day.

This morning when I went out to my car there was a wondrously sweet fragrance in the air. Our grapefruit tree is blossoming and the scent is intoxicating.

Grapefruit Blossom

It had stopped raining for a bit, so you could see raindrops on all of the leaves.

Raindrops

More raindrops

Not to be outdone, the tangerine tree is also blossoming.

Tangerine Blossoms

So beautiful after the rain...

One Raindrop

On the craft front, I wound the yarn for my Rogue Roses socks from the March installment of the BMFA Rockin' Sock Club. After winding the yarn, I realized that the Bleeding Hearts color matches one of our roses! Guess that's why the color appealed to me! LOL! Anyway, I'll start these socks today.

Up this weekend: finish off the taxes and eFile them. That will be a relief! I know I'll do something crafty, but who knows what will appeal to me! I have some singles that need to be plied, a ton of fiber that needs to be spun, a quilt top that needs to become a quilt, and just a few knitting projects...choices, choices!!

Birthday Shout-Out to Jane!

...it's today!

Happy Birthday, Jane!


Go to her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday! Have some cake in her honor!

Love ya, Jane! (Your present has shipped, so I'm hoping it will be there soon!)

nearly-WIP Wednesday...

...because I haven't exactly started the project yet, but at least I've picked out the yarn!

I'm going to make the Rockin' Sock Club pattern "Rogue Roses." As I mentioned in an earlier post, the club color (Gertrude Skein) was just too old-fashioned looking for my taste. I do want to try the pattern, though, so I went stash-diving and found Socks That Rock Lightweight yarn in Bleeding Hearts and Mustang Sally. I decided on Bleeding Hearts:

Bleeding Hearts yarn

I think that this will show off the pattern and still have some interesting color changes. I need to wind it and divide it into two balls tonight so I can start. I'm still not sure what to do with Gertrude Skein...

I've been working on the Argosy Scarf on and off all week. I'd probably be done with it if I'd stop making mistakes! As it is, I'v only knit 1 of the two skeins of yarn for this project. It feels like I've been at this point for weeks.

That's all I've got. I have been enjoying the little bits of rain...it's not nearly enough to keep us from the dreaded water rationing this summer. The skies have been gorgeous, though.

Stormy Weather


Anyway, back on Friday with some eye candy!

where did the weekend go?

...between the company party and taxes, the weekend just flew by!

The party was Saturday evening, which meant that a good part of my Saturday "day" was spent cooking the two dishes that were my contribution to the potluck. I made an Artichoke Frittata appetizer and a Rice-Zucchini-Green Chile casserole side-dish. I've made both of these recipes before and they always turn out great!

The party was held at the boss' home in Los Altos Hills...they have a great party house and one of the best views around:

View from Los Altos Hills

It's so nice to see the trees and the foothills from their front yard, unobstructed by other houses, light poles, etc. Anyway, the potluck was wonderful and we had a fun time.

Sunday was spent sorting through the tax materials and doing the first pass of the returns. Thank goodness for TurboTax! It would be too painful to do this by hand!

I managed to squeak in a couple of rows on my scarf, but that's was it for crafty things.

I know, kind of a sparse post. Now that I have the majority of the tax stuff done, I'll be able to get back into craft mode.

I'll leave you with a "creative" photo. I took a picture of the moon when we were at the party on Saturday. I used Picnik's Hypnotic tool and modified the picture to come up with this:


April Moon Dance

You can see the original photo in my Flickr photostream.

April Eye Candy Friday...

...how about some nice spring flowers?

Yellow snapdragons:

Yellow Snapdragons

...close-up:

Snapdragon, bee's-eye view

The California Poppies are growing like weeds right now:

California Poppies

And our lavender is happily setting lots of buds. I'm going to try drying these again (haven't been successful at getting a decent amount of dried lavender yet).

Lavender in the morning sun


I'm feeling better with every passing day. Last night was the first time I've slept through the night without waking up coughing. However, the cough is far from being gone...my ribs are very sore from all of it.

Up this weekend: I need to get serious about the tax returns (ours and the Daughter's). Tomorrow, we are having our company holiday party, so I need to cook something for that. Other than that, I have made no other plans...a lot depends on how long it takes me to get through the tax stuff!

March 2009 Recap

Finished:

  • 3/30/09 Chocolate Covered Raspberries Seawool (4oz) from Creatively Dyed (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 3/28/09 Queen of Beads socks; Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club, Jan 09 (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 3/22/09 Pomegranate yarn; Naturally dyed gray alpaca (2 oz) from Tactile, a Fiber Arts Studio (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 3/8/09 Purple Moebius Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 3/8/09 Charcoal Calorimetry (knitting) [Ravelry]

Worked on:
  • Argosy scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • February Lady Sweater (knitting) [Ravelry]
Started:
  • 3/5 Gray Calorimetry (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 3/14 Andromeda from Yarn Wench (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 3/22 Pomegranate yarn; Naturally dyed gray alpaca (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)

no-WIP Wednesday again...

...just haven't the time or energy to make any progress this week.

One thing that I did over the weekend that I haven't reported: I plied bobbin #1 of Chocolate Covered Raspberries. I'm not sure when I'll be able to spin the remaining 4 ounces of this fiber, so I decided to go ahead and ply what I had:

Chocolate Covered Raspberries yarn

...and the close-up:

Chocolate Covered Cherries, close up

Specs:
Started 2/22/09
Finished 3/30/09

Seawool (approx 4 ounces) from Creatively Dyed
Spun and Navajo-plied on Lendrum DT wheel
Yield: 188 yards; 13 WPI

At some point I'll post a recap for March...

As promised, I took pictures of the new installment for the Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.



I have to say, this is not my favorite of the club colors. I love bright, jewel tones and this color is a little old fashioned for me. The pattern is somewhat interesting, but not really my style as I tend more to geometrics. I really want to love the pattern because it's by the Yarn Harlot. I may try the pattern in one of my other Socks That Rock colors.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not upset. This is my 4th year in the club, so I know there will be a color or pattern or two that won't sing to me. And that's OK, because I know that the color or pattern will sing to others who don't share my tastes. Overall, it makes the experience worth it!

Eye Candy...

...on a Saturday. After  processing the photos and uploading them to Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram, I forgot about the blog. Oops! The y...