Because I've been a total slacker, no craft pictures today. Instead another view of The Husband's tomato crop.
This plant is producing large tomatoes. The red one in the picture is about 3.5 inches across.
This plant is producing a lot of medium-sized tomatoes.
These two plants are only the tip of the iceberg...we have a ton of tomatoes on the vine and they are all (finally) ripening. I predict lots of tomato-mozzarella-basil salads!
Up this weekend: It's the Daughter's last couple of days at home before she goes back to school. I'm hoping to spend some time with her—this visit was far too short! I'd also like to finish at least one more [spinning, weaving, knitting] project before September. (Can you believe it's almost here?!)
This is Kayla, who you don't get to see very often. She hates having her picture taken, especially by me.
She is really cute and has a sweet face. Just stay away from those lightening-fast, needle-like claws! She'll wap you six times before you can blink!
I tried to get pictures of the other cats, too. Tica was hiding; Sombra batted the camera and gave me her "I'm annoyed" look.
In addition to 50 thousand tomatoes, The Husband is growing a variety of chile peppers. This Traca chile is in a planter at the front of the house:
I think he planted the purple peppers for me (purple is my signature color), but most of the chiles are far too hot for me to eat! At least they're pretty!
OK, back to work!
I spent most of Saturday cleaning and putting things away in my craft room. With the Daughter home, I had to move a couple of boxes out of her room and they of course landed in my craft room. In the process of cleaning, I rediscovered a lots of blocks for a quilt that I had envisioned about 3 years ago (maybe longer...). It was short about 8 blocks.
On Sunday, I decided to work on the quilt since I already had all of the pieces cut for the remaining blocks. One of the reasons that I could never finish this quilt top was that I was never happy with the layout of the blocks. I decided that I if I was ever going to finish this quilt, I had to stop being so picky!
I made the additional blocks and arranged them on my quilt wall. And rearranged them....and rearranged them...and... So much for not being picky (yes, I am a Virgo)! After rearranging them for the up-teenth time, my feet hurt from standing and staring at the blocks. It was time to do something else. This is where it's at right now:
(In looking at the picture, I know there are several blocks that must be swapped, but that's a task for another day.)
I worked on my latest shawl while I watched TV, waiting for True Blood to come on at 6pm. I love having the Eastern HBO channel because I don't have to wait as long to watch the episode. (Loved it, by the way!) The shawl is coming along and I estimate that I have about 30% left to weave.
I did manage to get a little knitting done, too. I'm working on the Fraggled Socks [Ravelry] and have about 20% left to do. No more pictures of these until I get them done!
Hello, my name is Marie and I'm a craftaholic...
and the requisite foot shot:
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock Lightweight
May 2009 Sock Club color: Pepe La Plume
Pattern: Eleanor [Ravelry] by Monkey Toes
And because it wouldn't be Eye Candy Friday without garden pictures, here's a shot of our fig tree:
It looks like we'll have quite a bit of fruit this year. Yay!
Some purple cayenne peppers:
...I love the color of these peppers, but they are probably too hot for me to eat!
Up this weekend: spend some time with the Daughter before she goes back to Baltimore. (Where did the summer go??) I need to attack my craft room because it's being overrun with fiber. (Must. Spin. More.) I need to come up with a better method of storage...the cloth drawer system I got at Target is not working for fiber (it works great for yarn, though). I'm going to knit when I can on one of the other pairs of socks in progress. Oh, yeah, and I have something on the loom to finish weaving.
That's enough to keep me out of trouble!
So instead of WIP pictures, I'll share a few pictures of other things. I may have mentioned that I have toys in my office. These are items I acquired over the years. In the beginning, it was toys from fast food places (when The Daughter was small). Fast food toys gave way to stuffed animals that I picked up at craft festivals, puzzles, magnetic things, Star Trek action figures, and souvenirs from vacation trips. They all have their places in my office...some on the bookshelves, a couple on my computers, and most on the "toy shelf." They make me smile and give me something other than manuals and computers to look at.
When I go on vacation, certain factions in the office encourage my toys to play while I'm gone (when the cat's away...). One time I came back to my Borg figure brandishing his weapon at one of the other toys. Another time, a couple of toys decided they wanted to sit on the window ledge. Last year, all the stuffed toys took piggy back rides.
However, this year was the capper: they all decided to grow mustaches!
They even conned The Husband's picture into growing one!
It's going to be hard to top that one next year, guys!
I spent Saturday doing some chores and then reading. I received the most recent book in Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series on Friday (Swallowing Darkness) and couldn't put it down until I finished it! There were many negative reviews about this book on Amazon and I understand why they reviewed it as they did. While it might not be the best book in the series, I still enjoyed it (obviously, since I finished it in a day!)
Note: If you're thinking of reading this series, be aware that it is fantasy (the fae, faeries, trolls, ...) and there are lots of very "explicit" scenes, if you get my drift.
Anyway, once I finished the book, there wasn't enough time to warp my loom, so I did a little knitting. I am now concentrating on finishing the Eleanor de Plume socks because they are closest to "done."
The Husband was gone on Sunday so I took the opportunity to mop the floors. (When he's home and working in the garden, he's in and out of the house all the time so there's no point in mopping.) After doing my grocery run, I had the rest of the day for weaving.
I warped the loom with a Dream In Color Baby yarn in Deep Seaflower. The weft is a Dream in Color Classy yarn in the same color. This will be another shawl, but I wanted to try out a couple of things.
First, I wanted to try out my new shuttle. This is my new Le Clerc slim boat shuttle. I love the feel of the wood and it slides very nicely.
Then I wanted to use a 3-1 lace pattern from the "Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom" book. After working with them for a bit, I decided neither one was working well.
I think the shuttle will work better when I get a stand for the loom. Right now, the loom is a little too tilted to use the shuttle easily. It slides through nicely and the yarn feeds well, it's just a little awkward.
As for the pattern, I think the weft is a little thick for it and the warp a little too stretchy. I left a pattern at the start of the shawl which I will repeat when I get to the end.
Here's what it looks like right now:
I'm going to pull out part of this and reweave it with a stick shuttle so it's more consistent. I'll put the boat shuttle aside until I get the stand or work on a narrower project (like a scarf or place mats).
On a side note...I noticed that of my five weaving projects, four have had blue in them. I think I need to branch out to another color. LOL! Any suggestions?
This geranium is in the front yard:
and I've been trying to get decent pictures of the star jasmine for years....this this the best so far (still not really happy with it, but at least it's not a white blob):
I can't begin to tell you how many plants there are called "Butterfly Bush." Here's the Buddleia version:
The tomatoes are started to ripen (Yay!). Here's one of the heirlooms:
The Husband picked some eggplant and chiles:
On the craft front, I have warped the loom with some practice yarn to test out some weaving patterns from the book "Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom" by Betty Linn Davenport. The patterns are pretty cool and easy to do. I like how the author has written the instructions; this book is a good addition to my growing weaving library.
Up this weekend: finish playing with the weaving patterns and warp the loom for another wrap...this time in Dream in Color yarn (Classy and Baby in "Deep Seaflower"). Maybe ply the Nocturne singles that have been resting for a week. Errands...cleaning...another full weekend!
As you can see, they are all at about the same state of progress. I did not include a picture of the 4th pair of socks, Stranded Hearts because they are on hiatus while I finish these 3 pairs.
Why is is taking me so long to finish?
- I am knitting them two at a time, so the picture represents 6 socks in progress.
- Eleanor de Plume has 12 rows in each pattern repeat. I am notorious for knitting long pattern repeats very slowly. (Bored, much?)
- The Under the Sea socks are my 3rd (4th? 5th?) attempt at toe-up socks (I guess my brain doesn't work very well for toe-up.) At least I finished the heels and the socks fit this time. Oh, and it has an 11 row pattern repeat.
- Fraggled Socks only have a 4 row pattern repeat, but each repeat is made up of 4 charts. And the first and last set of stitches on the needle have a different count depending on where you are in the pattern. (I don't have a lot of luck with that kind of pattern.)
- It's hard to finish something if you don't work on them very often—I haven't knit on any of these socks since the weekend!
The Spin In was great and I got a lot done. I started spinning Nocturne 2, a Falkland top from the Yarn Wench. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the top before I spun it...oh, well! By the time the weekend was over, I had finished spinning the singles and it's now ready to ply!
Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the top before I started spinning. You can;t really tell from these pictures, but the colors are dark blue, purple, and a touch of rose.
I finished plying Apricot Cinder and I think this will make a wonderful weft yarn for a woven scarf:
and the close-up:
Started: 6/20/09; Finished:8/08/09;
Merino-silk top from Yarn Wench;
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel;
Yield: 225 yds Navajo-ply; 13 WPI (These are estimates because I left the measurements at home!)
I also finished spinning and plying the Tropical Fish Falkland yarn:
and the close-up:
Started: 8/2/09; Finished:8/9/09;
Falkland top from Yarn Wench;
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel
Yield: 250 yds Navajo-ply; 15 WPI (These are estimates because I left the measurements at home!)
I love the way the colors flowed on this one. I'm not overly fond of the lime green, but it works with the rest of the colors. I'm not quite sure what this yarn will become. Maybe I'll spin the bump of Merino-silk Tropical Fish that I have and combine them into a woven something...
I did manage to knit a couple of rows on the Eleanor de Plume socks and on the Fraggled Socks. But I'm still not highly motivated to knit right now. I better finish these up soon before they end up in the UFO (unfinished objects) pile!
A is for Apple, crunchy and green.
The Husband picked 3 or 4 yesterday, but this is the last one on the tree. This year, the squirrels have taken most of them.
F is for Flowers, pretty and pink. Here's an inside view of a pink Magic Lily:
M is for Melon, small and sweet. The husband planted some new melons this year:
He told me the variety, but I didn't write it down—oops!
T is for Tomatoes, ripening very slowly.
Normally, by this time of the summer, we'd be inundated with tomatoes, but because of the cooler weather, most of the tomatoes are still green.
Up this weekend: it's all about the spinning. I'm going to a Spin In on Saturday. As Jane told me earlier in the week, Sirena (my wheel) is going on a play date. LOL! Also, I need to ply two yarns, because I finished spinning the Tropical Fish Falkland singles last night. In between, I'll fit in some chores and errands, and maybe I'll warp the loom for an experiment. I just received the book "Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom" and I want to try a couple of them.
Anyway, it looks like a crafty weekend!
As I reported earlier, I finished the singles for the Apricot Cinder Merino-silk top (from Yarn Wench) that I started in June. This is now ready to ply:
I finished bobbin 1 and started bobbin 2 of a Falkland top in Tropical Fish (also from Yarn Wench).
My goal is to finish spinning the second bobbin during the week so I can ply it this weekend. Maybe by then I'll be back in knitting mode...
That black pole? That's holding the bird feeder that we keep full of seed for the finches and other little birds that frequent our yard. I don't think that the hawk was looking for seed though! It was amazingly quiet in the neighborhood while that hawk was there...no tweeting or rustling of any kind! Now if we could only get the hawk to buzz the yard when the squirrels are stealing the tomatoes!
The picture isn't too bad considering that I took it through the kitchen window and I had to use the zoom to get closer. I did try to get a picture from the outside, but the hawk flew away before I could get a good line of sight.
I managed to get some knitting done on Saturday while I was doing the laundry. I spent some time on all three pairs of socks so they are all in about the same place. I really need to be done with these socks soon...never again will I have this many pairs on the needles!
Sunday was just a lazy day. Once I finally got rolling, I managed to get the grocery shopping done and put on a crockpot of chili for dinner. The rest of the day was spinning.
I finished spinning the Apricot-Cinder merino-silk singles that I started last month. I'm letting the twist set for a couple of says before I ply it. I started another bump of fiber, this time Falkland from (who else) the Yarn Wench. This one is called Tropical Fish. Here it is prepped for spinning:
The colors are cheerful and I love spinning Falkland! I'm almost done with the first bobbin and will take a picture of that for Wednesday.
Superfine Merino and Border Leicester lamb batts from Lisa Souza
Yield: 300 Navajo-ply
Merino-Bamboo, Scarlet O'Hara Roving by Yarn Love
Yield: 300 yds 2-ply
BFL top from Yarn Wench
Yield: 322 yds, Navajo-ply
Merino top from Yarn Wench
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel
Yield: 229.5 yards; 2 singles plied with Sulky Rayon thread
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