and we're off and running...

...as in running behind, that is. And it's only Monday!

I have a project due today and I had to take time out to take the Daughter to the airport.  If I get a chance, I might get an update done later today.



Oh, and I have no idea why my header image has disappeared. I have to figure that out, too.

later...

today's Eye Candy Friday is brought to you by...

...Spring!

Cherry Blossoms

And the birds singing in the trees...

Bird in the cherry tree

...and the flowers blooming.

Chile Pepper Flower

Up this weekend: Finish the pattern I'm designing and finish knitting the prototype. I need to work on the scarf I'm weaving. And spinning up the rest of the Faux-ro yarn would be nice.

But my number one priority is catching up on some sleep. Or, maybe, just getting some quality sleep! Now if I could just convince the cats that I need sleep...

apparently, this week is for random postings...

...as in, I post when I get a chance.  So far, I've missed Monday and WIP-it Wednesday. Who knows what will happen for Eye Candy Friday!

In keeping with the randomness of the week, some random thoughts:
  1. Designing a knitting pattern is way hard!

    I have always appreciated people who design, but after this week, my appreciation knows no bounds. I don't know how they do it, pattern after pattern. Designers: I'm not worthy!

  2. Cats are tattletales.

    Tica has been a real brat lately--she walks up to Sombra, whacks her one, and then runs away. Sombra tells me all about it and complains...loudly. Plus, Sombra has been trying to tell me something for days.

    Sorry, I don' t speak Whine.

  3. I miss my Moka Java coffee from Trader Joe's.

    And I want it back, now! I have not found anything else I like nearly as well. Of course, that hasn't stopped me from drinking coffee! (You really don't want to be around me if I haven't had coffee...trust me.)

  4.  I have a bad case of CADD (Craft Attention Deficit Disorder).

    I flit from one craft to another. My attention is completely drawn by the task of the moment, to the detriment of everything else. When I get bored (and I do!), I move on to the next craft.

  5. There must be a term for people who do multiple crafts.

    Multi-craftal?
    Crazy?

  6. I am the worst correspondent ever...

    ...mostly because I get caught up in whatever I'm working on. (See #4 above.) If I owe you an email, I'll send one eventually.

    Honest!
Anyway, there you go. A post...sort of....yay?
(LOL!)
 

Tuesday, it's the new Monday, right?

...yeah, I didn't think that would fly. Had to try it, though! LOL!

Monday got completely away from me. Between work and researching a personal project, time just slipped away. My personal project is designing a knit item for a friend of the family...the request came from the Daughter and I have to give it a decent try. See, it's a knitting design project and I'm not a [knit] designer. I'm an implementer. This project is way more than I am comfortable with, but I'm trying! If things go well, I'll post the results here.

Over the weekend, I finished the Midnite Lava Flow yarn. I really love how this came out:

Midnite Lava Flow yarn

Specs:
Started: 3/6/10; Finished: 3/21/10;
Merino-Wensleydale-Firestar batts from Lisa Souza;
total weight approx. 4.8 oz.
Spun and Navajo-plied on Lendrum DT wheel;
342 yards; WPI tbd

I think it will look great as a scarf.

At Spin-In, I started spinning Blue Lake Lily, a merino-bamboo top from Royale Hare:

Blue Lake Lily single, bobbin #1

I am using the Faux-ro (Fake Noro) technique that we learned in Janel Laidman's class, Getting the most from a Painted Roving. I am spinning it on two bobbins and will make a two-ply yarn out of it. I have no idea what I will use the yarn for, I just wanted to try the technique and this roving seemed like the perfect colors for it.

I did not work on the woven scarf at all, as the new design project is taking precedence. It's a little too warm for scarves right now, so I think I have some time before I cycle back to the weaving.

This week is a challenge, time-wise, so we'll see how much time I can carve out for crafts!

it's feeling a lot like spring around here...

...the sun is out, weather is nice, and things are blooming all over.

Five Spot bud

This is a Five Spot bud from another new plant that the Husband has added to the garden. I'm still trying to get a decent picture of an open flower, but they are so small that it is hard to get the right angle on the photo. Plus they are mostly white and I don't have a good track record with white flowers!

I'm glad we're moving into spring—maybe the sunshine will motivate me to do something. I've been suffering from craft ennui the last few weeks, which accounts for the fact that I haven't knit anything in quite a while. And the scarf that I am weaving for a friend? Technically, it should have been a breeze to finish, but I can't seem to get motivated to work on it. The only thing that has seen any substantial action is my spinning wheel, and even that hasn't been a lot.

This winter has made me want to hibernate more than usual.(Hibernate = veg-out) Mostly, I just curled up with a book or watched TV. Maybe it was a natural reaction to doing so much at work and so many personal projects. I guess my body decided I needed a time-out and made me take one! But, I'm ready to get back into my normal operating mode. There are so many things I want to do and there are new techniques I want to try.

Up this weekend: I have Spin-In tomorrow and need to make some sort of munchie to take. I haven't decided whether I will use Spin-In to finish plying the Midnite Lava Flow yarn or start something new. (Something new sounds good right now.)

I have a few chores to do around the house, but I need to spend some quality weaving time on the scarf. 

Maybe I'll actually go outside...

well, that day got away from me...

...I'm still trying to figure out where it went!

I'm having trouble adjusting to the time change and have not had the energy to work on WIPs. I have done a little spindle spinning. but that's aout it!

As promised, here's a picture of the bouclé scarf that I am weaving:

Boucle Scarf, in progress

My friend picked the yarn and I am using it for both the warp and the weft. It is variegated...when I warped it, a light area fell in the center. Bouclé yarn is very forgiving, a plus for the edges! The biggest drawback will be the fact that the yarn unravels. This won't be a good thing for the fringe, but I have already warned my friend of the problem.

That's all I have for now...geez, it's after 6PM already. Almost time to go home!

best laid plans...

...well, I thought I knew what I was going to do this weekend, but things changed a little

First off, I didn't finish straightening up the Daughter's room, although I did get a few things cleared out of there. I still need to move the stitchery stand and a couple of things on the floor. Al least, some progress was made and she can now sleep in there!

I did not touch the craft room. I still need some serious floor space in there, but  it's just going to have to wait.

I did manage to get the loom warped for my friend's scarf and I have started weaving it. It's turning out nicely, but I find I get a little tired of the bouclé yarn sticking together and have to stop.

I had hoped to finish the Midnite Lava Flow yarn, but not quite. I finished spinning bobbin #2 and started plying it. I have about half of the first bobbin plied and still have to ply the second bobbin. I didn't realize how thin I was spinning it, so the plying will take a while. It's a good thing I decided to Navajo-ply it. Two-ply would take forever!

One thing I hadn't planned on doing was going through some old papers. Like many people, we have boxes of "stuff" that we've accumulated over the years. Because we don't have a garage, ours lives in an off-site storage facility. The Husband was taking a few things to storage ad I suggested that he bring back a few boxes for me to look through. 

Well, when we opened one, it was old bedding that had seen better days...not even good enough for Goodwill! So that's trash. We found an old printer and a bunch of unknown cables that will go to the recycling center when we get a chance. There's a box of school papers that the Daughter can go through when she gets home. 

The real gem/bear is the box of taxes and paperwork from 1977, 1978, and the early 80s. Now on the surface, it seems like I should just shred it and be done with it. But, 1977-1980 were when I was still with my ex and the Daughter was born in 1978. Also, my ex did all of the bookkeeping and pretty much kept it all to himself--I had no involvement in our finances mostly not through my choice. I wanted to go through it to make sure there weren't things that would be important.

Most of it was shredding, but I found a few items that I wanted to keep. I found the lifetime guarantee and the paperwork for the insulation we installed in the house in 1972. Gee, you think that would have been filed with the other house papers... I found my OB bills and the hospital bills for when the Daughter was born.  One thing I found that would have been incredibly useful when the Daughter was in school was the dates of her immunizations. I knew I had it somewhere...how it ended up in the tax folder, I'll never understand!

Anyway, I shredded about two large garbage bags full of paper and I haven't made much of a dent in the box. It's amazing how much room shredded checks take up!

No crafts to show today, but look what we found in the garden over the weekend....fava beans!

Fava Bean

They still have a lot of growing to do, but they are looking good so far! 

Let's hear it for Eye Candy Friday...

...actually, let's just hear it for Friday, cuz it's been a lo-o-o-o-ng week!

As predicted, it started raining again today. Here's what the sky looked like this morning before the rain clouds completely rolled in:

Morning, before the rain

I managed to get a few garden pictures, too. The garden is starting to come alive...freesias are popping up all over the place. Here are some pink buds:

Freesia Buds

And one that has already bloomed:

Pink Freesia

I discovered that the Husband had purchased a new plant for the garden. We both like succulents, so this Zwartkop will be a nice addition:

Zwartkop (AKA Black Rose)

I'm hoping that the forecast is accurate and we get some sun back tomorrow.

Up this weekend: I need to pick up the Daughter's room and make it habitable. She'll be here for a short visit next week and it might be nice if she can use the bed. I don't think she'll appreciate the loom stand, needlework stand, and boxes that are currently in the way!

I plan on finishing the Midnite Lava Flow yarn...I'm anxious to see it plied. I need to warp the loom for the scarf that I'm making for a friend. In between, I'll work on getting my craft room back in order. I am cycling out some baskets that I'm using for storage because they are not straight-sided and they take up too much room. I'd really like to get more floor space in there and that might mean purging a few things, (Oh, no! LOL!)

And we get to Spring Forward on Sunday...as far as the cats are concerned, it's about time! They have been getting up an hour earlier for a while. Anyway, have a good one!

WIP-it Wednesday, better late than never...

...busier than I like to be at work.

While I wait for some files to upload, I'll give you a quick look at my latest WIP. This is bobbin #1 of Midnite Lava Flow:

Midnite Lava Flow, bobbin #1


This is 90% Superfine merino, 5% Wensleydale, and 5% Firestar. The sparkly bits make it  fun to spin. I love the bursts of flame I get periodically. I haven't decided whether it should be a two or three-ply yet. And I have no idea what I'll make from it. It's just pretty and I wanted to spin it!

Sorry this is short, but I gotta earn money for fiber! Back on Friday...

busy weekend, busy week...

...I have a work project this week that is time-critical, so I'm going to be working aas fast as I can to get it done.

I got a lot accomplished over the weekend. I did some household chores, including the vacuuming and mopping. I almost found the living room in the process, but not quite. I discovered that I need to get the craft room in order first so I have somewhere to move the stuff from the living room! Guess that will have to wait until next weekend!

Most of the time I spent spinning a fiber that's been calling my name since I bought it at Stitches West: Here's what the Fiber looks like:

Midnight Lava Flow batts

This is Midnite Lava Flow...I'll show you the WIP picture on Wednesday. It's turning out beautifully!

While I didn't really need to go shopping again, a friend gave me a gift certificate to Purlescence Yarns. You know I had to check it out, right? LOL!  Here's what I got with my certificate:

Black N Teal alpaca-silk top

This is Alpaca-Silk top from Abstract Fibers. The color is Green N Black. It is so soft you just want to keep petting it!

For Ravelympics, I had pre-ordered the Medal of Honor pin and that arrived today. It is so cute with Bob the mascot wearing his winter hat!

Ravelympics 2010 Medal Of Glory!

This will go on my Stitches badge holder so I don't lose it.

I also received my first 2010 Loopy Ewe Sock Club installment. The yarn is is my colors and we have a choice of two patterns to use it with. The extras are also gorgeous! You have see it behind the spoiler picture:

Spoiler--Loopy Ewe Sock Club

OK, back to work for me!

Sunshine came softly through my window today...

...in other words: no rain this morning. Yay! It's overcast now, so the sunshine was nice while it lasted.

With hints of spring here and there in the garden, guess what your Eye Candy is today? How about some blueberry flowers?

Blueberry flowers

or nectarine blossoms...

Nectarine Blossom

or apricot buds...

Budding Blenheim Apricot

We really needed the rain, but I'm ready for nicer weather!

Up this weekend: Find my living room! I need to do some serious cleaning...there are dribs and drabs of craft stuff all over the place and I need to put them away. Vacuuming would be good and I'd love to mop the floors. It's not supposed to rain, so I'm hopeful that I can get them done.  My craft room is currently in a state of chaos, so I'd love to put it back together. The last couple of weeks have been craft-centric and the house has suffered.


If I get my chores done, I'll start a new weaving project. A friend has asked for a woven scarf and supplied the yarn. I just need to do a quick calculation and then warp the loom. It should be a quick weave, but we'll see!

February 2010 Recap...

...finally!

Finished:
  • 2/7 Paint It Red (quilting) 
  • 2/14 Twinkletoes slippers (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 2/24 Ruby Silk Merino top from Lisa Souza [Ravelry]
    290 yards; 14 WPI
  • 2/28 True Blood Shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]
Started:
  • 2/14 Ruby Silk Merino yarn
  • 2/15 True Blood Shawl
Worked on:
  • Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk 4 oz.roving in purple [Ravelry]
  • Cascade Fixation anklets (knitting)
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Flower Power quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  2. Jungle Songs quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  4. Rusty Dahlia socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
  1. Black leg warmers in Caron Simply Soft yarn (knitting)
  2. Corrugator scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Sangria shawl (knitting)
UFOs:
  1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  2. Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting) [Ravelry}
  3. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  4. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  5. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
  7. Wisteria Angora-Merino top from Tactile (spinning) [Ravelry]

WIP-It Wednesday, and an unexpected IDJ...

...I sure didn't see it coming! 

My take-along project for Stitches West was the Cascade Fixation Anklet [Ravelry]that is one of the unfinished objects that I kept from last month's IDJ purge.  Well, after knitting on them for a bit, I decided that I really didn't like them. Plus, because I was knitting them one at a time, I still had to do a second one. Not having fun with them...not liking them....Buh-Bye! IDJ (It's Dead, Jim)!

I feel so much better now! LOL!

One WIP that I enjoyed getting back to was this:

Merino-silk, in progress

I started this merino-silk for Tour de Fleece 2007. At the time, it was a stretch for me because I'd never spun anything with silk before. Fast-forward three years...I now have several merino-silk yarns under my belt, so this one is not as challenging. It's an enjoyable spin by spindle, and even better on the wheel. I love the color, which has a little more blue than the picture.

I will be slowly adding my new fiber acquisitions to Ravelry, but our intermittent Internet connection at home is preventing me from getting much done. I am now tracking the down times and when I have at least 10 days worth, I will contact Comcast with the stats if the Husband doesn't do it first. It's hard to complain when you don't have specific data other than being annoyed that it's down yet again...

we now return you to your regularly scheduled blog posts...

...between Stitches West and Ravelympics, it's been a blur these last few days! It's hard to know where to start.

Thursday evening: I went to the convention center and pictured up my badge. I checked out where my classes would be held and then just waited for the Market to open for the preview at 5pm. I had a set of vendors I wanted to see so I had my map all marked up. Then I ran into a friend from the gym and that plan went out the window! "L" has a different way of shopping that I do (she's of the "oh, look, pretty!" school of shopping, while I am very methodical), so we went at her pace...we were all over the place! Of course, that didn't stop me from buying stuff...LOL! I bought mostly fiber although I did buy a shawl's worth of yarn from Brooks Farm. I saw a few things I wanted to come back and check out, but after 2.5 hours, I was done in.

Friday: I took an all day spinning class, "Getting the Most from a Handpainted Roving," taught by Janel Laidman. This was a great class! I'm glad I took Sirena instead of a spindle because there was a lot of spinning in the class and I wouldn't have been able to keep up without the wheel. Here's what I did in the class (check out the notes on the picture in Flickr):

Class Samples

After class, I put Sirena in my car and went to the Market. Since I was by myself this time, I could shop at my own pace. I bought more fiber and a few interesting things like this Lantern Moon Knit Out Box:

Lantern Moon box

I love the iridescent fabric...it's a gorgeous box for controlling your yarn. I checked out some spindles and portable spinning wheels.

Saturday: I didn't have a class and I wanted to work on my Ravelympics weaving entry, so I decided not to go to the Market. I took pictures of my purchases, uploaded, and did a quick edit. Then I worked on the woven shawl. I got it to a point where I thought I might have a chance of finishing before the cutoff time of 11:59pm Sunday night.

Sunday: I took a half-day spinning class, "Spinning for Socks," also taught by Janel Laidman. After my experience in the previous class, there was no question that my wheel would go with me!  It was another great class...the best part was getting  over the fear of spinning on the fastest setting on my wheel!  Here's what I did in class (this one has notes, too):

Spinning for Socks Class Samples

After class, I went for a final trip in the Market. My goal was to check out a few fiber booths that I couldn't get into on Fiday because of the crowds. I bought some fiber from Royale Hare that would work well with on of the color techniques I learned in the all-day class. I also bought some yummy merino-bamboo roving from Miss Babs. After that, I was pooped and went home. 

I took pictures of the new acquisitions and uploaded them to Flickr. If you want to see what I bought, go check out my Stitches West 2010 Flickr set.

Then. the rest of the day was spent sprinting to finish my woven shawl for Ravelympics. And I did it! I finished around 10:05pm and uploaded it to the Finish Line group on Ravelry.  Here it is:

Red Handspun Shawl

(Sorry, this was the best picture I could get last night.)

Specs:
Warp: Plum Mountain Colors Bearfoot, 12.5 epi
Weft: Burning Bush handspun (spun from Louet roving), 6 ppi
Warped size: 19.75 x 93 inches
Finished size: 18.75 x 80 inches (includes 12 inches fringe)

It was back to work for me this morning and I'm feeling a little tired, but very happy with what I accomplished! It will take me a couple of days to get back into the swing of "real life," but it was worth it!

I'll post my February recap when I can.

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...