WIP-it Wednesday and goodbye June...

...it seems like you just got here! I'd officially like to ask Time to slow down a bit on the weekends...I have lots I want to do (like sleep) and 48 hours for a weekend is not enough! Thank goodness we have a 3-day weekend coming up.

As promised, here is a picture of Turquoise Trail, as of last night:

Turquoise Trail, as of 6/28/11

I'm making steady, if somewhat slow, progress. Craft Nights have been a wonderful way to make sure I work on it for 2 hours each week. Of course, it's hard to see progress when I'm working basketweave stitches to fill the background. Look at the upper-left quadrant of the picture: see those two narrow sections with turquoise stitching in the background? Those stitches took me about  2.75 hours to do. It's a toss-up whether I dislike basketweave stitching or working with rayon ribbons more. They are both a chore!

Anyway, to make up for the lack of pictures yesterday, here is what our sky looked like this morning:

June morning, another view

This was taken just after sunrise. Most of these clouds were gone by 9am.

In looking back at my pictures, I noticed that I've cut back on the number of sky pictures I've been taking, It was not intentional, but a fallout being so focused on my day-to-day that I haven't taken the time to look up. There is something so peaceful about watching the clouds go by and I need some serenity right now.

Got to work on that...
.

random Tuesday....

...because I really don't have much else.
  1. Monday posts are getting harder and harder to do. Most of the day is gone by the time I can even think about posting. So I'm going to give myself a break and just post on Tuesday when Monday escapes me.

  2. I finished all of the machine sewing for the commissioned quilt. YAY! Now I just have to bury threads and do the hand-sewing on the binding. Oh, yeah, and come up with a label.  I really need to get this done soon even though I have 2 weeks before it goes to its new owner because...

  3. Tour de Fleece starts Saturday! After I finished the machine part of the quilt, I spent some time stash diving. Originally, I was going to spin anything with a Southwestern name, like Taos and Navajo Turquoise, but I haven't found Taos yet and I found only 2 other bumps of fiber with SW names. However, I have found a bunch of fiber with river, forest, and meadow names, so I've switched themes. I'm almost ready to go!
     
  4. I finished knitting the back of my Seaweed Cardigan  [Ravelry] and started working on the front pieces. I'm knitting both the right and left at the same time in the hope that my tension is the same for both.The sweater's looking a little narrow and drawn-in, so I hope blocking it will make it relax a bit.
  5. We picked all of the apricots this weekend. They were pretty ripe. The Husband made apricot nectar and froze it. Now we can pull a container out and enjoy it on a hot summer day.
My goal is to post a picture of Turquoise Trail tomorrow so you can see my progress for WIP-it Wednesday.
.

    last Eye Candy Friday for June...

    ...can't wait for this day to be over!

    First eye candy: some pretty little flowers called Society Garlic.

    Society Garlic

    Next, ripe Blenheim apricots:

    Ripe Blenheim Apricots

    and a close up:

    Cut Blenheim apricot

    These are so sweet and juicy!

    And finally, we have cherries from CJ Olson's stand, a fixture here in Sunnyvale CA.

    CJ Olson's Cherries

    We look forward to them every year. They are the best cherries ever!

    CJ Olson's Cherries, close up

    Up this weekend: Finish the border quilting for the commissioned quilt—I will not be derailed this time! I really need to work on something else!

    I'm working on the last inch of the sleeve for my Seaweed sweater back. I've discovered that I make much better progress when the pattern tells me how many pattern repeats or rows to knit. I really don't like knitting to "x" inches because I never get the same measurements twice!

    Anyway, if I finish the border quilting, I think I'll treat myself by warping my loom. I've been dreaming of weaving lately...
    .

    lack of inspiration this week...

    ...I haven't taken any pictures since last Friday. Nothing has really called out to me. I've taken pictures of almost everything in the garden and there is nothing new blooming. The Husband wants me to get new pictures of the dragon beans, but I haven't done that yet.

    I've been doing a little knitting, but can't seem to get more than a couple of rows knitted at a time.  I frogged The Beets Go On socks, but haven't restarted them.

    My needlepoint piece s coming along, but it's taking much longer to finish than I want it to. It's a complex design and even after 2 solid hours of stitching, it doesn't look like I've made any appreciable progress.

    I'm so ready to be done with the commissioned quilt, but I haven't had enough time to work on it. My weekend was taken up by house cleaning and company, so I didn't work on it. And  it's just too hot to wrestle a quilt through my sewing machine.

    I guess I'm going through another bout of craft ennui.
    .

    Finished Object/Eye Candy Friday again...

    ...first the finished object: Blue Whale Shawl!

    Blue Whale Shawl, blocked

    Specs:
    Started 3/13/11
    Finished 6/13/11
    Fiber and pattern from the ProVerbial Club by A Verb for Keeping Warm 
    Pattern: Blue Whale Shawl by Stephen West
    Yarn: 418.8 yds of handspun yarn;  4oz. BFL-Tussah Silk fiber in "The Whale's Migratory Tale." I knit the last inch in a commercial yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm, Floating (Alpca-Cashmere-Silk) in "Indigo Blue Sky"

    For Eye Candy Friday, we have squill...

    Squill 1

    nearly-ripe apricots...

    Blenheim apricots 2011

    and blueberries.

    Blueberries 2011

    The blueberries are pretty small, but they're still tasty! This bush has done well this year, once the Husband put it in our courtyard where it wasn't as visible to the birds!

    Up this weekend: in addition to Father's Day, we're celebrating my MIL's 80th birthday (it's today). We've invited them over for lunch on Sunday, which means I better clean the house!   It will be a simple lunch of BBQ steaks, fruit salad, bean salad, and some piquintos, with a special dessert.

    In between all of that, I want to make some progress on the commission quilt. I think I've solved a problem I encountered, so it's full steam ahead!
    .

    no-WIP Wednesday...

    ...mostly because I showed one on Monday.

    I have three WIPs that have been seeing action lately:
    • Seaweed Cardigan [Ravelry] - I posted a picture on Monday
    • Turquoise Trail (needlepoint) - This is my Craft Night project; no craft night this week, so no progress this week. However, I hve made progress since the last picture I posted, so I guess an updated photo is in order soon.
    • Commission quilt - Machine quilting the borders. I've been asked not to post any pictures of this until I deliver it. Sorry I can't show you how nice it's looking!
    I have a few other things in progress, but I have not spent any appreciable time on them. However, I have decided that I am frogging the Beets Go On socks [Ravelry]  and restarting them because of the breaks in both balls of yarn. (I still think it was Tica...hope she had a nice time chewing through both strands of yarn!)

    Sorry no pix today, buth there will be some on Friday!
    .

    Hello again...

    ...I'm still here. I've been a bad blogger lately. Maybe I just needed a break...

    Anyway, my nephew's graduation went well. It was hotter than I expected and as a result I got a little sunburned. It's at the itchy stage now and I'm trying hard not to scratch!

    Here are a few pictures from the graduation (sorry, the distance shots are fuzzy):

    Righetti HS Graduation

    Some contraband beach balls:
    Contraband beach balls at Righetti graduation

    Success!

    Righetti graduate!

    To celebrate, we had a barbecue at Mom's house. Zac grilled tri-tip on one of the barbecue rigs he made and it was superb! Mom made her famous potato salad, garlic bread, and piquinto beans . For dessert, Zac requested his favorite, coconut cream pie (yum!).

    Looking a lot more comfortable after the barbecue (note the tassel on the cowboy hat):

    Post grad party

    I drove back Friday afternoon and pretty much vegged all day Saturday. Well, not completely...I did manage to work on the sweater I'm knitting. Here's what the back looks like now:

    Seaweed Cardigan, as of 6/13


    I have about 5 more inches to knit before the neckline shaping and then I can start the front pieces. I hope I have enough yarn!

    On Sunday, I spent some time working on the commissioned quilt. I got some of the border sections re-pinned and started the machine quilting. It's slow going, but at least I made some progress.

    I also washed and blocked the Blue Whale shawl. I might not be able to post a final picture of it until the weekend, but at least I feel like it's truly done now!

    I hope to get back to a regular blogging schedule this week. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
    .

    another short work week...

    ...I'm off on Thursday and Friday to go to my nephew's high school graduation. It's an over-night trip and I'm flying solo on this one.  He lives by my Mom so I'll be able to spend some time with her.

    Spin-In was great, as always. I started a Merino-Bamboo-Seacell top from Creatively Dyed called Isonzo [Ravelry]. It's 8 ounces and will take some time to spin.

    I finished knitting the Blue Whale Shawl. It doesn't look like much right now. as it still needs blocking:

    Blue Whale Shawl, unblocked

    I ran out of handspun just before the seed stitch border. I used another yarn from A Verb For Keeping Warm in their Floating line, called Indigo Blue Sky. It's little lighter that the handspun, but I'm OK with it.

    I did not get much accomplished on the quilt, but there is a little progress. I need to re-pin the borders before I do the decorative border quilting. I'll need to fins a large space to do that...it's on hold until I can do that.

    Lots to do at work in the next three days, so I better get to it!
    .

    Eye Candy Friday for the beginning of June...

    ...today's Eye Candy is brought to you by the letters A, D, N, S, and T.

    Apricot (it's June...the Blenheims ripening!)

    Ripening Blenheim apricot

    Dogwood (taken on a muggy day in Ellicott City, MD)

    Dogwood blossoms

    Nectarine (they're ripening, too!)

    Ripening nectarine

    Spider Lilies (growing in a container by our front door)

    Group of spider lilies 2

    Spider Lily, close up

    Tigridia (n the same container as the lilies)

    Tigridia

    Tigridia, close up

    Also in the realm of eye candy is the latest Rockin' Sock Club installment (behind the spoiler picture):

    BMFA: We Will SOCK You

    Unlike the previous two packages, I like both the yarn and the patterns. One of these will definitely get made!

    Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow, which means I need to figure out what goodie I'm making to take with me. I also need to do a little stash diving to figure out what I'll spin. The main thing I need to work on is the commissioned quilt. I am quilting the borders now and I'd like to get that finished.  I have not spent as much time as I should on this project and need to make significant progress this weekend.

    Oh, and catching up on some sleep would be good!
    .

    May 2011 Recap...

    Finished:
    • 5/30  Iris Yak-Merino-Silk yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
      240 yds 2-ply
      15-16 WPI
    • 5/30  Wisteria Angora-Merino yarn from Tactile (spinning) [Ravelry]
      Spindle-spun, Navajo plied: 100.5 yds, 16 WPI
      Wheel-spun, Havajo-plied: 52 yds, 14 WPI
    • Books:
      1. Betrayal in Death, J.D. Robb
      2. A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2), George R.R. Martin
      3. A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice & Fire, #1), George R.R. Martin
      4. Judgment in Death, J.D. Robb
      5. Witness in Death , J.D. Robb
      6. 10th Anniversary, James Patterson
      7. Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, #11), Charlaine Harris
      8. Loyalty in Death,  J.D. Robb
    Started:
    • 5/21 Iris Yak-Merino-Silk top (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Worked on:
    • Blue Whale Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
    • Commission quilt using the rail fence block, currently unnamed
    • Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]
    • Tealing Groovy quilt  (quilting)
    • Turquoise Trail by Laura J Perin (needlepoint)
    Works In Progress, did not work on:
    • Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
    • Jungle Songs quilt
    • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning) [Ravelry]
    • Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry]
    • Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry
    • The Beets Go On (renamed, was My Heart Beets 4U) socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
    UFOs:
    1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
    2. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
    3. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
    4. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
    5. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
    .

    Hello, blog...

    ....(hello, hello.) How'd things go for you today?
    Did you miss me since I upped and walked away?

    Yeah, it's been a while. A week of vacation and then catching up with work after that kept me pretty busy.  But, I'm here, sort of...it might take me a bit to get back in the groove!

    We had a quick trip to Baltimore to see the Daughter graduate. The Convocation, where she was hooded, was a 3+ hour ceremony because every masters graduate (read: 700) had to go first. Then came the 104 doctorate students. I have to say, they did keep the speeches to a minimum, so most of the time was spent on the graduates. Technically, she's had her PhD since October, but now she's completely done.

    Our daughter, the Dr. in her Harry Potter-esque cap, gown, and hood:

    Hooded!

    We did a bit of celebrating while we were there and will probably have some sort of celebration on this coast eventually.

    I managed to get a little knitting done on the trip, but not enough that you can tell there is progress.  When we returned home, I decided that I wanted to finish something this month and concentrated on spinning.  I managed to finish two yarns.

    First, the Iris yak-merino yarn I started at May's Spin-In:

    Iris Yak-Mernio Yarn

    and the close-up:

    Iris Yak-Merino yarn, close up

    Specs:
    4 oz. Yak-Merino top from Abstract Fiber;
    Started 5/21/11;
    Finished 5/30/11;
    240 yds 2-ply, 15-16 WPI

    And the Wisteria Angora-Merino yarn that's been waiting for plying:

    Wisteria Angora-Merino yarn

    and the close-up:

    Wisteria Angora-Merino yarn, close up

    Specs:
    2 oz. Angora-Merino top from Tactile, A Fiber Arts Studio;
    Started: 5/7/09 on Spindlewood square spindle;
    Finished 5/30/11 on wheel;
    1 skein: 100.5 yds Navajo-plied, 16 WPI;
    1 skein: 52 yds Navajo-plied, 14 WPI

    Of the two, the Yak-Merino was more fun to spin. The angora blend is a little too soft for me and very sticky.  I had a lot of problems with semi-felting of the top after leaving it in a bag for too long, making the spinning a pain. I also had a lot of problems trying to ply it because the singles kept getting caught on the bobbin. It's loosely plied in some areas, but I'm just glad it's done. I'll know next time that Angora is not my favorite to spin!

    I'll post a recap as soon as I can. And I some pictures for an Eye Candy Friday tomorrow!
    .

    WIP-it Wednesday...

    ...and a photo of my new toy. A year or so ago, my Mom mentioned that she had an old Singer sewing machine. She said it wasn't very bi...