I finished my yarn!

...well, I finished the Ruby Merino-Silk yarn. Let's not mention the other yarn I was supposed to do for Ravelympics, or the woven shawl/table runner that isn't close to halfway done yet. I can only do what I can do, right?

So here it is:

Ruby Merino-Silk yarn
and the close-up:

Ruby Merino-Silk yarn, close up

Specs:
Started 2/14/10; 
Finished 2/24/10;
Ruby Silk Merino top from Lisa Souza;
Spun and Navajo-plied on Lendrum DT wheel;
290 yards; 
14 WPI

I have today and tomorrow off for Stitches West. Today is all about running errands, paying bills, getting my hair cut, and gathering my class stuff together. Tonight is the Stitches West Market Preview and I know I'll be too tired to get things together when I get back from that.

I need to make a list of things to look at and possibly buy at the Market. The interesting thing is that, unlike previous years, I don't have specific projects in mind. I really just want to look at yarns that would be good to use for warp on the loom and maybe some tools. I do want to look at Lisa Souza's spinning fibers because I really enjoyed spinning the two that I bought last year (the Ruby yarn above is one of those purchases).

I'll post pictures when I can! (off to find my Stitches West badge holder...)

Busy Monday + Comcast Internet problems = no post

...our Internet connection was down for over 4 hours yesterday. Not cool when the Husband works from home and can't get client things handled.

Dear Comcast...why does our cable TV connection work, but our Internet doesn't???

So the weekend report, a little late.

Spin-In was great and we had a big crowd...lots of spinning wheels! I caught myself lusting after the Ashford Joy wheel that several people were using. It is nice and portable. Don't get me wrong, I love Sirena, but she's not as portable as a Joy. Anyway, I finished one bobbin of the Ruby merino-silk at Spin-In. I finished the second bobbin last night and started plying, I want to finish this yarn so I can prep the wheel for my classes at Stitches West. My first class is all day Friday.

On Sunday, I worked on the new weaving piece and immediately ran into a problem. I wanted to use Brooks Bouquet to give it some character. However, I could not get to to work the way I have the piece warped. According to my research. Brooks Bouquet is generally worked right to left with the heddle in the "up" position. My up position has the weft starting on the left. I thought I'd work it anyway from the right, but the warp threads are not set up to get the wrapping right. Hmmmm, I'll have to remember that for next time. To keep the piece going, I reverted to Leno lace again...just more of it.

I'm not getting as much done for Ravelympics as I wanted to. I will definitely finish the Ruby yarn. I want to finish the woven piece so I can have completed at least one item in each of the events I've entered (WIPs Dancing, Labyrinth Weaving, Flying Camel Spin). I really wanted to spin more than one yarn, but I'm afraid Stitches is going to impact my productivity!

I'm taking Thursday and Friday off, so it's a short week. Given that our Internet connection is spotty and I'll be a little busy shopping (LOL!), my blog posts might be a bit erratic. I'll try to post pictures of my acquisitions as soon as I can, though!

Here's your token post picture:

My foot has to go somewhere...

I think Sombra was feeling a bit "crowded" and decided to put her foot on Tica's back. (It has to go somewhere, right? Better on the back than in your face!) Tica is not quite sure what to make of it, but she's warm and isn't complaining!

for a short week, it sure seemed long...

...maybe it's the trying to stay awake to watch the Olympics.  Note to NBC: Why the tape delay? We are in the same time zone as Vancouver...if we can't see the events live, could we at least see them a little earlier? Showing the Men's ice skating final after 10 pm is not cool. I fell asleep and missed most of it.

Anyway, today's Eye Candy is a plum blossom:

Plum blossoms with dew

Certain plants in our garden think the recent warm weather meant Spring. Wrong! Cooler weather and rain are supposed to be back to today. We'll see how the garden reacts to that!

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow!  I will continue spinning the Ruby Merino-Silk. I want to finish that yarn so I can move on to the next one. I also want to make some progress on the Red Shawl/Table runner that I am weaving.

I need to start gathering together the things I need for my Stitches West classes next week. I'm taking Getting the Most from a Painted Roving all day Friday and Spinning for Socks on Sunday morning. I'm taking my wheel to both classes, so I need to make sure that I have everything that I need and something to carry them in. 

Oh yeah, and errands, and maybe some housework, and...

WIP-it Wednesday, now with WIPs!

...I've been good about working on my projects while watching the Olympics, It's kind of cool to be spinning during the ice skating events....we're all going around in circles!

Here is the Ruby Merino-Silk I started spinning:

Ruby Merino-Silk, bobbin #1

I'm spinning this thin, potentially to be used as warp yarn. We'll see how strong it is when I'm done.

Warping the loom took me the good part of Monday to do. I'm using a 12.5 dpi reed, so more warp threads than I've used before. I also had a few problems with the second skein of the warp yarn...lots of knots and slubby places that I had to work around. I finally got it done. I didn't have the energy to do any actual weaving, but I did last night. I wove a few rows and then did the hem stitching. I stopped at a place where I will start the pattern (Brooks Bouquet, maybe).  Here's what it looks like right now:

Red Shawl, in progress

I'm going to try to swap between the two projects so I make make progress on both. However, I think that I'll probably finish spinning the merino-silk before I finish the weaving. Spin-In is Saturday and I'll get a lot of spinning done then!

I love extra days in the weekend!

...not that I sleep in or anything. I got up to go to the gym at the usual time. I worked out a little longer than normal, though, to make up for the Starbucks latte I bought afterwards. LOL!

The zucchini bread turned out great! I'd forgotten how many loaves the recipe made, so when I doubled it I ended up with 6 loaves! I took two to my friend, cut one for us, and froze the remaining three. I think my Spin-In friends will enjoy it next week.  

Last night while watching the Men's Mogul competition on TV, I finished my first Ravelympics [Ravelry] entry. Here are my Twinkletoes [Ravelry] slippers:
Twinkletoes slippers

Specs:
Started: 12/2006;
Finished: 2/14/2010;
Pattern: Twinkletoes by Chloe Sparkle from Knitty, Winter 2006;
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in Cork;
Needles: 6US
Ravelympics 2010 - WIPs Dancing

They turned out OK. I remembered why I hadn't finished this project. I hate wrap&turn short rows. Add a dark-colored yarn to the equation and you get a frustrated knitter. I had to frog the heel and redo it. I am still not happy with the short rows, but they are done. ( And yes, I know about Cat Bordhi's approach to w&t...I learned it in one of her classes. I don't like kntting it that way either. Just not a fan of w&t!)

It was too late in the evening to warp my loom, so instead I started spinning one of the red fiber bumps for my Flying Camel Spin entries. I started the Ruby Merino Silk from Lisa Souza. I'll show you what it looks like on Wednesday.

Today, I'm going to warp the loom for my next weaving project. I want to incorporate more texture into this project, but I don't know yet if I want the whole thing to be to have texture or just the ends. Off to check out the Betty Davenport book "Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom" to see what I can some up with. I have plenty of yarn so that's not an issue.

so Friday got away from me...

...between my work project and watching the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics. I managed to get a photo ready for Eye Candy Friday and got it posted to Facebook, but not here. Oh, well...here it is (finally!):

Tomatillo husks and seeds

The Husband found these when he was cleaning up the garden.  The last tomatillos on the bush completed dried out, leaving behind the husk with seeds inside. The one in the background didn't have any seeds, but the husk reminded me of a jellyfish. Very cool! I have a couple of other pictures that I'll upload to Flickr when I get a chance.

I stayed up as long as I could last night watching the Opening Ceremonies. Why couldn't run NBC these real-time for the West Coast? Seriously...I totally missed the torch lighting because it was after 11pm and I fell asleep. [annoying!]

Up this weekend: I'm baking zucchini bread for a friend who requested it, and to take to Spin-In next weekend. Might as well make a big batch!

Between all my normal chores and errands, I am working on my Ravelympics [Ravelry] entries. I started the second slipper for Twinkletoes [Ravelry]. I also want to warp my loom for my weaving entry. 

And it's a three day weekend...woo hoo!! An extra day to craft and maybe catch up on some sleep. Yay!

old WIP for Wednesday and last round of IDJ (for now)...

...I finally located the Cascade Fixation anklet WIP and got a picture of it:

Cascade Fixation anklets, in progress

The Cascade Fixation Ankle Socks pattern is free from Turtlegirl (scroll down to find it). It's an easy knit, so I don't know why I never finished them.

OK, ready for some IDJ (It's Dead, Jim)?  Here's the list as it stands today:
Keeping:
  1. Cascade Fixation anklets (knitting)
  2. Flower Power quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  3. Jungle Songs quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  4. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Twinkletoes slippers [Ravelry]
TBD:
  1. Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk 4 oz.roving in purple [Ravelry]
  2. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  3. Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting) [Ravelry}
  4. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  5. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  6. Sangria shawl (knitting)
  7. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
  9. Wisteria Angora-Merino top from Tactile (spinning) [Ravelry]

I'm still on the fence with the  Dogosaurus Rex sweater from the It's a Dog's Life booklet. I'm going to let that one sit for a bit.


As much as I love it, I think the next IDJ is Sangria Shawl:

Sangria Shawl, in process

Love the yarn. Love the pattern. Don't love me knitting a lace shawl. See that picture up there? That's the first attempt at this shawl. Shortly after the picture was taken, I discovered a fatal flaw around row 4. I unraveled and started again...twice. This shawl is not happening. Add another yarn to the weaving stash...IDJ!

And that is the end of IDJ for now. The remaining projects on the list (except for Dogosaurus Rex) are things I want to finish and just couldn't get to.  Also, I know there are some cross stitch WIPs hiding somewhere that aren't even on the list. When they surface, they'll get added to the list!
 

Yay! It's finished...

...Paint It Red quilt is done and hanging on my office wall!

Paint It Red quilt, complete

and the back:

Paint It Black quilt, the back

Specs:
Finished 2/7/2010
  • Cobblestone block pattern using a collection of red and black fabrics.
  • Pieced borders using the same fabrics.
  • Backing has Chinese and English words for peace, harmony, hope. good fortune, and several others.
  • The hanging sleeve is made of leftover border pieces. 
I love the way it looks and it really livens up my office. Happy dance!

As for my weekend, let's just say I was motivated to finish the quilt and didn't really work on anything else. I did do a little stash diving and found the things I need for Ravelympics: two red rovings for the Flying Camel Spin plus the warp and weft yarn for Labyrinth Weaving.

I also set aside a bunch of novelty (some eyelash, some tape/ribbon, some furry) and sock yarns (mostly Lion Brand Magic Stripes) to destash. Not quite sure what to do with the destash items yet...they could go to charity or I could gift them to someone who wants them. Any takers?

Eye Candy Friday for February...

...and TGIF!

On my way back from the gym this morning, I knew I had to take a picture of this sky.

Good Morning, Friday

The clouds shifted within minutes and you could no longer see the sun rising.

There are raindrops everywhere:

Raindrops on poppy leaves

Up this weekend: I want to finish the Paint It Red quilt and get that out of rotation. I need to stash dive for my Ravelympics projects (I didn't do that last weekend). If I still have time, I'll work on one of the UFOs that I'm keeping in rotation. Mostly, I want to finish something!

no WIPs today...

...and I will try to get the Herman's Hermits song "No Milk Today" out of my head.

No WIPs today, my mojo's gone away
The needles stand forlorn (at least they're not airborne!)
No WIPs today, it's become a common sight
And Muggles passing by don't understand my plight.

I could go on...

So, let's do another round of IDJ (It's Dead, Jim). Here's the latest UFO and WIP list.

Keeping:
  1. Cascade Fixation anklets (knitting)
  2. Flower Power quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  3. Jungle Songs quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  4. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Twinkletoes slippers [Ravelry]
TBD:
  1. Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk 4 oz.roving in purple [Ravelry]
  2. Black leg warmers in Caron Simply Soft yarn (knitting)
  3. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  4. Corrugator scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting) [Ravelry}
  6. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  7. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  8. Sangria shawl (knitting)
  9. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  10. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
  11. Wisteria Angora-Merino top from Tactile (spinning) [Ravelry]
I'm keeping the Cascade Fixation anklets on the list for now. I still haven't decided what to so about them. I'm also keeping Peacock Majesty because I just can't seem to give it up yet.

WIP: Peacock Majesty

It's a lovely piece that I'd like to finish one day. I'm just not that into samplers anymore.

I think the next thing to go IDJ are the black leg warmers. This is the Daughter's last year in Baltimore and I don't think I can finish these before the end of Winter. It's not an exciting knit, either. so, IDJ!

Next is the Corrugator scarf. It will go IDJ because the fabric is turning out too thick and I only started this scarf to have a "take-along" project. I haven't touched it in several months. Love the yarn colors though, so it will morf into something else. IDJ!

On the fence: Dogosaurus Rex sweater from the It's a Dog's Life booklet. It's cute and easy to knit, but I can't get the sizing right for the dog! It's either too big or too small. I'd need to revisit the sizing if I want to continue with this.

January 2010 Recap...

I had just a little bit of project ennui this month, but I did manage to finish a couple of UFOs.

Finished:
  • 1/31 Sonnet and Lute yarn (spinning) 
  • 1/23 Simpatico yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 1/15 Calorimetry #5 (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 1/14 The Queen Mermaid  by Mirabilia (cross stitch)
Started:
  • 1/06 Calorimetry 5
  • 1/09 Sonnet and Lute yarn
Worked on:
  • Paint It Red (quilting) 
  • Rusty Dahlia socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  2. Wisteria Angora-Merino top from Tactile (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Corrugator scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Twinkletoes slippers [Ravelry]
IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
  1. February Lady Sweater (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Morning Surf Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Central Air socks (knitting)
  4. Montego Bay wrap in Walking on the Wild Tide yarn
UFOs:
  1. Black leg warmers in Caron Simply Soft yarn (knitting)
  2. Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk 4 oz.roving in purple [Ravelry]
  3. Cascade Fixation anklets (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. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  10. Sangria shawl (knitting)
  11. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  12. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

Welcome, February, I think...

...I'm not sure that I was ready to let go of January just yet, but not much I can do about that!

The first week of February marks the end of our "holidays." They started in November with Thankgiving, followed by December with Christmas. Our anniversary is in January and the Daughter's birthday is in February. OK, maybe not holidays by other people's definitions, but certainly by ours! They are all special days and times. Anyway, on to the crafty stuff...

I managed to get some of the things done that I wanted to. I ran my errands...one of them was to get my ring cleaned. The Husband bought an extended plan for the ring, which means that I have to take it to be inspected and cleaned every six months. I wish Zales had a location at other than Valley Fair. I really hate going there, so I put it off as long as I can!

On the quilt front, I finished machine quilting the Paint It Red quilt! I'm in the process of burying all the thread ends so I can sew on the border. I need to come up with a label for this puppy, too. I did not make the quilt sandwich for Flower Power, because the machine quilting took longer than I thought.

I did a little stash diving for the yarn exchange at Purlescence Yarns. I took 18 skeins of yarn (I know, a mere drop in the bucket) and did not take any from the exchange. In consolation (LOL!), I bought a bump of fiber, the January Handwoven magazine, and two skeins of yarn for a woven scarf. It could have been worse, you know...

I finished plying the Sonnet and Lute yarn. Here it is:

Sonnet and Lute yarn

And the close-up

Sonnet and Lute yarn, close up

Specs:
Started 1/9/10;
Finished 1/31/10;
Sonnet and Lute Falkland top (4.0 oz) from The Yarn Wench;
Yield: 180.5 yards Navajo-plied;
12 WPI

And I finally got a picture of the Simpatico yarn:

Simpatico yarn

and the close-up

Simpatico yarn, close up

Specs:
Started 10/10/09;
Finished 1/23/10;
Simpatico 2 Falkland top (4.2oz) from The Yarn Wench
Yield: 227.3 yards Navajo-plied;
14 WPI

So at least I finished something this month!

And this just in, my Rocking Sock Club installment for January arrived at the office this morning!  This year, we get two patterns for each installment. Very cool! The colors this month are pretty and one of the patterns is calling my name...need to chant: finish UFOs; finish UFOs!

Picture behind the spoiler:


I'll  do a January recap when I get a chance.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and heading into full-on baking mode! With the time change and shorter days, I have more opportunities to take sunrise photos. Here'...