Eye-really-have-start-itis Candy Friday...

...because I started another pair of socks! But we'll get to that in a bit.

First, here is a picture of our hydrangeas in progress:

Hydrangea, in progress

There are a few flowers on the bush that are fully bloomed. They are all coming in pink this year; last year they were purple and pink. Something has changed in the soil, which has affected the color. At any rate, they are really interesting at this stage with the different shades of green and the pink just starting around the edges.

OK, on to the knitting. I started the Eleanor socks by Monkey Toes [Ravelry] with the BMFA club yarn for May 2009. I've finished the K1P1 cuffs and just started the pattern section:

Eleanor de Plume socks, cuffs

The yarn is looking a lot darker than I thought it was in the skein. It will be interesting to see how it works in the pattern.

Up this weekend: House cleaning! We feel the need to get things in order and get rid of some clutter. In between, I want to finish up the Lisa Sousa batts I've been spinning and, of course, knitting some socks!

WIP-it Wednesday, now with more socks...

...presenting: Fraggled Socks [Ravelry]:

Fraggled Socks, in progress

Yeah, I started another one! What can I say...I loved the pattern and the yarn from this month's Rockin' Sock Club. I wasn't sure how well the pattern would show up in the yarn because the yarn has so many wonderful shades of purple and gray—it would be a shame to hide them in the pattern.

I decided to make the pattern in another Socks That Rock Lightweight that I had in my stash...this is Turquoise. So far I love the combination!

As for the club yarn, I think I'm going to use Eleanor by Monkey Toes [Ravelry]. I've had the pattern in my queue for a while and I think it will work well. I tried a Sundara sock pattern that I had from my Petals Collection club, but like the Rockin' Sock Club pattern, it had too many elements that hid the beauty of the yarn.

Going into time out for a little bit are the Stranded Hearts Socks. I need to figure out which way to do the gusset. I tried the double-moss stitch version for a few rows and quickly got lost in the "purl the purls; knit the knits/purl the knits; knit the purls" instructions. I may make it easy on myself and just do the plain stockinette version.

At least with all these WIPs, I'm staying out of trouble! (LOL!)


today's color is...

...orange! Ok, not my favorite color, but I do love these two things.

First, a tiger lily:

Tiger Lily, up close

I've been trying to get a picture of this flower for a few days, but kept missing it.

The other is the blood orange yarn that I finished:

Blood Orange yarn

and the close up:

Blood Orange yarn, close up

Specs
Started 5/16/90
Finished 5/23/09
BFL top from Sakina Needles
Spun and Plied on Lendrum DT wheel
Yards: 225+ two ply
WPI: 12

I'm happy with the way this yarn turned out. I still need a bit more practice to get my two-ply yarns more even, but I am improving with each attempt, so it's all good.

OK, back to knitting and enjoying the rest of my holiday!

Oh, look what arrived yesterday...

...my Rockin' Sock Club installment!!




I absolutely adore this color!! It's so "me"! The pattern looks challenging and interesting. I don't know if I have the will power to keep from starting this right away! (HA!)

Hmmm, maybe one of my current sock WIPs will have to go on time-out...

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

...I have a work project that must be finished today, so not a lot of time to blog.

Today's picture is a cactus flower. This cactus produces lots of red flowers with thick stalks:

Cactus flower

Up this weekend: spinning, knitting, resting, and reading...oh, and maybe a few chores thrown in there somewhere. (LOL!)

For those who have Monday off for Memorial Day, enjoy the extra day to play!

not much to see here...

...just plugging away on the same projects!

I've finished the cuffs on the Stranded Hearts socks and have started the heel section. The more I work on this pattern, the more I love it!

I finally finished watching Slumdog Millionaire last night. I really enjoyed the movie, but I think I'll have to watch it again so I can see it without interuptions. And a bigger screen might help...those boxes with the English translations were really small on my TV.

I'm catching up on some sleep, but I'm still dragging. I'm really looking forward to the long weekend...maybe I'll be able to catch up then!

Obligatory sky picture:

May sky

running on empty...

...a little insomnia mixed with no electricity yesterday is not a great combination. I'm skipping Knit Night tonight so I can catch up a bit.

Except for the insomnia hangover on Saturday, it was a pretty good day. It was really hot, but I still managed to steam my floors and get a few things done. Then I spun this most of the day:

Blood Orange BFL top

Yeah, it's a new project. (told ya!) This is Blood Orange BFL top from Sakina Needles. I'm spinning a little thicker than I usually do, so I finished both bobbins...about 2 ounces of fiber on each.

Blood Orange BFL singles

I also finished bobbin #1 of Purr-ple and started bobbin #2. This one's a bit thinner:

Bobbin #1 Purr-ple

When my hands got tired of spinning, I did a few rows on the Stranded Hearts socks...

Stranded Hearts socks

...and a few rows on the Under the Sea sock.

Under the Sea socks

Sunday started as a normal day. I went to the grocery store for the week's supplies and planned on making this great hot-weather dinner—Mustard Chicken Waldorf Salad. We had a quick lunch and I starting spinning more of the Blood Orange top. I out in a DVD (Slumdog Millionaire) and was enjoying the movie and the spinning when the power went out. Arg! When it didn't come back right away, I moved my wheel outside and set up my iPod and speakers. I spun and enjoyed the music.

A couple of hours the power came back on and I moved back into the house to finish watching my movie. RIght at a crucial point, the power went out again! This time it stayed off for 12 hours. I spun as long as I could see well and then put the wheel away.

The husband broke out the battery powered lights and we read until it was time for bed...it was just too dark to knit (rats!). Oh, and dinner? it was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Because it was so hot, I didn't want to open the fridge and let out the cold air...I had just bought all those groceries and didn't want things to go bad. I decided to wait until tonight to make the salad.

I found it very hard to sleep because I kept expecting the power to come back on any minute. I had turned off every switch that was obviously on, but I couldn't everything. Sure enough, the TV in the bedroom blared on at 4:15 AM. But it didn't wake me...I was already awake. The cats, on the other hand, weren't thrilled!

Not exactly what I planned for the weekend!

you say to-may-to...

...I say to-mah-to:

Just a few tomato plants

The Husband's tomato seedlings are growing fast! While most people might plant two or three tomato plants, he plants like 30. I asked him why he plants so many and he implied it's because I buy him so many seeds. Well, I never said he had to plant them all!!

The garden is busy producing fruit, like little apricots:

Single green Blenheim apricot

and baby apples:

Little green gala apples

There are a few flowers that are still blooming. Here as a red nasturtium and a bud that are growing in one of our window boxes:

Red nasturtium bud and flower

On the craft front, I haven't done any spinning since Sunday. I've been pretty much consumed by the Under the Sea socks [Ravelry]. I have finished the toe and am working on the first pattern repeat. So far, so good...keep your fingers crossed that it continues to go well!

Up this weekend: steam the floors (go, little Shark, go!) and do some general cleanup. Then I can spin, quilt, knit, or do something crafty! A lot will depend on how hot the weather gets...quilting is not a lot of fun in the heat!

Have a good one!

word of the day: start-itis

...an uncontrollable need to start a new project even though I already have a multitude of WIPs. (see Yarn Harlot for the real definition)

I have it.

I started this last night:

Under the Sea socks, the beginning

These are the Under the Sea socks from the Loopy Ewe Sock Club installment for March. I had wound the yarn, but was waiting until I finished Roguish Roses (and we all know how well that went!). I was bored last night and started them anyway.

Originally, I wasn't even going to try this pattern because it's a toe-up pattern — my track record with toe-up is not pretty. However, I was talking to someone at Knit Night on Monday about toe-up socks and I thought I'd give it another try.

I also decided that since I received the second Loopy Ewe Sock Club installment (see below), I better get my act together because the Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock club installment will be right on its heels! (HA!)

Spoiler--Loopy Ewe Sock Club

OK, so maybe one start doesn't qualify as Start-itis, but there are many projects calling out from my various stashes that I'm must exercise a great deal of will power to ignore them. Just don't be surprised if I start one (or two or ??) more projects...

it was a nice weekend...

...even if it didn't go exactly as I planned it. I just kept getting side-tracked and it was mostly my own doing!

First off, since the Husband is busy re-tiling my shower, I've had to use his bathroom. I realized it needed a little freshening, so I bought new rugs and towels for it. The Husband replaced the shower head in there (Thank goodness--it was very weak!) and I did a deep clean. I had recently bought one of those Shark Floor Steamers (Thanks for the tip, Jane!) and it did a bang-up job on the tile floor. His bathroom looks so much nicer now!

While I had the steamer out, I did the kitchen, living room, and hall floors. I still need to do the Daughter's room and my sewing room, but I need to shift some stuff around first. Doing the floors and a general pickup, and the trip to Target, took up a good chunk of the weekend.

For Mother's Day, the Husband volunteered to do a barbecue lunch for his parents. He decided to do a tri-tip and make Santa Maria-style piquinto beans. Aside from answering a few questions and adding my 2-cents occasionally, he did it all himself—the shopping AND the cooking! We had lunch on their back deck and enjoyed the warm weather. I did a little knitting on the Stranded socks, but mostly just enjoyed the company.

When we got home, I spent a little time spinning on the wheel until my hand decided to act up. Then I worked on the February Lady Sweater for a few rows...I love the look of this sweater, but, I swear every few rows I do something stupid and come up short in one of the pattern rows! Then I had to tink all the way back to the place that I messed up. (and you know it's always towards the beginning of the row!) I've got the sweater back on track (again!) and put it away.


I pulled out the spindle and spun a bit more of the Angora-Merino fiber, but I'm finding the angora to be bit of a challenge...it's really soft and gets easily unspun. I get a lot of breakage, which drops the spindle on the floor. Thank goodness I'm going it over a carpeted surface! I have a full spindle now and need to move the cop to a holding bobbin.

That's pretty much it for the weekend. I talked to my mother on Sunday and talked to my kid a couple of times. The Daughter scored major points (not that she doesn't normally)...she mailed me a card, sent an e-card, and sent flowers! See, aren't they pretty:

Mother's Day bouquet

Pink rose

Yellow Lily

I can't wait for the summer when she'll be on this coast instead of so far away!

Eye Candy Friday already?

So how about some May flowers?

A pink butterfly bush (Guara lindheiri) flower:

Pink Butterfly Bush Flower
Plumbago (Leadwort) flowers:

Plumbago

and a pink bower vine flower:

Bower Vine flower

The garden is blooming away and it's very hard not to take pictures of all the flowers...you can only have so many pictures of the same flower before they all start looking the same!

I'm trying to make progress on the Stranded Hearts socks, but I'm finding it hard to concentrate on knitting. I managed to knit 3 rows on the socks before I got bored. Now that I've finished Argosy, I really wanted something different to work on.

I spent a little time last night putting away partially-used skeins of yarn and the needles from
the last few projects I finished. I looked at a few knitting patterns and at my WIPs, but nothing really grabbed me. I really wanted to do some spinning, but there wasn't enough time last night ot pull out the wheel and get things prepped.

Instead, I pulled out my trusty Spindlewood spindle and a 2-ounce bump of Angora-Merino that I bought from Tactile, A Fibert Arts Studio. It took me a few tries to get the feel of this angora blend, but it's going pretty well now:

Spinning Wisteria Angora-Merino top

The colors are soothing and the fiber is so soft! I'm going to enjoy this one!

Up this weekend: The Husband is in the middle of replacing the floor tile in my shower, and I'm hoping he finishes that this weekend. When he's done, I'll take the opportunity to do a deep clean in there before getting it back in order. And, of course, I had to do all of my standard errands and running around.

Then, there's the whole Mother's Day thing...need to make sure we get his mother's gift put together and get a card. That will be delivered to her on Sunday. Since my mother doesn't live close by, I placed an order with FTD to have flowers delivered today so she'll be able to enjoy them all weekend. And I look forward to hearing from my kid!

I'll fit some crafting time in there somewhere!


No longer a WIP...

...the Argosy scarf [Ravelry] is finally finished! OK, maybe it still needs to be blocked (details, details!).

Here is Bjorn trying to model it:

Argosy Scarf and Bjorn

It's 65 inches long, so it sort of overwhelms him! Here is is without Bjorn in the picture:

Argosy Scarf, before blocking

Specs:
Started
1/24/09

Finished
5/5/09

Pattern
:
Argosy by Vyvyan Neel
Yarn
: Noro Silk Garden Lite, color 2023

Needles: US 6


I love how the colors flowed on this scarf. Once it's blocked, the edges will look a lot crisper. I'm really happy with the way that his turned out!

Now I need to turn my attention to the Stranded Hearts socks [Ravelry]. The next installment of the Rockin' Sock club arrives at the end of this month and I want to be close to finished with these socks so I can start the club socks (assuming, of course, that I like the sock club pattern!).

spinning a yarn...

...doesn't always work the way you think it should. I thought that the Watermelon Rind yarn was going to look cool with one ply mostly green and the other mostly pink. So I was not happy when I got this:

Failed 2-ply Watermelon Rind yarn

It's OK, but not what I had in mind, The colors are muddied and although I spun the bobbins as randomly as I could, when I started to ply them, some of the greens plied together and some of the pinks plied together...Ha-rumpf!

As soon as I saw where this yarn was heading, I stopped plying. I decided that the best (and quickest) thing to do was to ply the two singles with a cream single. In my stash, I still had a large bump of Corriedale top from Woodland Woolworks (they generously gave me a large amount of "practice" fiber when I bought my wheel). I spun up about 3 ounces of the cream and let it sit overnight.

On Sunday, I tried plying the yarn again...success! I'm much happier with this yarn:

Watermelon Rind yarn

...and the close-up:

Watermelon Rind yarn, close up

Specs:
Started 4/22/09
Finished 5/3/09
Falkland top from the Yarn Wench plus 3 ounces Corriedale cream single
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel
Yield: 283.6 yards 3-ply; 2+ yards of two-ply; 2+ yds Navajo-ply
WPI: 16

There was a little bit left on the mostly pink bobbin, so I Navajo-plied it:

Watermelon Rind yarn, remainder

I like this, too, but it's not enough to make something.

While I was waiting for the cream Corriedale single to set, I started spinning the Lisa Sousa batts I bought at Stitches West this year. The color is called "Purr-ple" and it is gorgeous:

Purr-ple Merino-Border Leicester wool

This is the first time I've spun from a batt and it feels a little strange. But I'm totally enjoying the experience and the color is yummy!

While spinning took up the majority of my weekend, I did get a little knitting done. Argosy continues to progress. Here's what it looks like now:

Argosy Scarf, still in progress

It's about 50 inches long and I've used a little more than 1.5 skeins of yarn. Can't wait for this one to be done!

April 2009 Recap

Finished:

IDJ (It's Dead, Jim)

  • Roguish Roses Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]

Worked on:

  • Argosy scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • February Lady Sweater (knitting) [Ravelry]
Started:
  • 4/26 Stranded Hearts Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 4/20 Corrugator Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 4/11 Fuzzy Lamb (knitting)
  • 4/10 Roguish Roses Socks (knitting)

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)

a blossom for May Day...

...courtesy of a lone raspberry bush:

Raspberry blossom

We planted this bush years ago and I amazed it keeps growing back every year. Of course, being planted right next to the water faucet in the front yard might help!

I am knitting away on both the Argosy Scarf and the Stranded Hearts Socks. I work on the socks at lunchtime and work on the scarf at night while I watch TV. I'm making progress, it's just slow...

I still need to compile my April recap, so that will be posted separately.

Up this weekend: it's supposed to rain all weekend. Oh, darn...guess I have to stay inside! (LOL!) I will ply the Watermelon Rind singles to finish that yarn. I may try to do a little quilting, but we'll see how that goes.

I really just want to finish something!

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...