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Showing posts from July, 2011

Hello, Friday...

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...how'd you get here so fast? Not that I'm complaining, but the week usually only flies by like this when I'm on vacation! That's what happens when I have a lot of work.

Today's eye candy comes from our garden and our neighbor's front yard. First, some Green Rellano chile peppers:


Next, the edge of a pineapple tomatillo flower and stem:


The center of a Sempervivum succulent in the backyard:


And, from our neighbor's front yard, fountain grass:



I like the fountain grass because it looks so soft and wispy.

Up this weekend: Maybe I'll warp the loom, or knit, or quilt, or...
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WIP-ed Wednesday...

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...after all of that spinning for Tour de Fleece and finishing the quilt, I'm finding it hard to transition back into knitting and needlepoint.

I have a few things in progress that I have barely (or haven't) touched this month:
Seaweed Cardigan [Ravelry] - the back piece is done and I'm working on the front pieces, two at a time. I've managed to knit a couple of rows, but that's it.The Beets Go On socks [Ravelry] - I frogged these and restarted them I only have about 3 rows knitted on the new cuffs.Tealing Groovy quilt [Flickr] - It's sandwiched and ready to machine quilt. That's as far as I've gotten.Turquoise Trail needlepoint [Flickr] - Haven't touched it all month. There just hasn't been time!Isonzo 8oz., spinning [Ravelry] - I started spinning this fiber at June's Spin-In. Haven't touched it since then.So last night when I had time to work on something, what did I do? I couldn't decide what to work on, so I played Zuma Blitz! Rea…

Tour de Fleece, c'est fini...

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...et moi aussi! My hands and shoulders are a bit sore, but I finished!

Here is the Silver Lake handspun that I plied yesterday, :


and the close-up:



Specs:
Started 7/19/11
Finished 7/24/11
Silver Lake Zen top (50% Merino, 25% Tussah silk, 25% Bamboo; 4oz) from Lisa Souza
269.8 yds, 12 WPI

Here's a collage of the handspun I finished for this year's tour:


Overall Tour de Fleece stats:
24.1 ounces spun5 chain-ply, 1 2-ply (the pink)1324.1 yds totalWPI are 10, 11, 12 (2), 13, & 14 We visited  a lagoon, a meadow, a redwood, a forest, an island, and a lake. After finishing the last yarn, I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself! Between Tour de Fleece and finishing the last quilt, it's been a busy month.  It must be time to start another pair of socks, or weave something, or...  Anyway, something other than spinning for a while!
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Tour de Fleece, days 19, 20, & 21 + Eye Candy Friday...

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...it's been a long, but productive week. I'll do Tour de Fleece first, and then Eye Candy.

Tour de Fleece days 19, 20 & 21: I had very little time to spin over the last 3 days. I managed to spin Silver Lake for an hour on Tuesday, 45 minutes on Wednesday, and about 30 minutes last night. The why of it follows with some sort-of Eye Candy..

The commissioned quilt I've been working on for so long hit the home stretch on Tuesday, I sewed the label on and did some final thread snipping. On Wednesday, I pressed it, took a lint brush to it, and wrapped it for delivery.

The quilt is the retirement gift we gave to our boss and friend last night at a dinner in her honor. Yes, another stealth project. Here are the preliminary pictures we took last night. I am going to arrange to borrow the quilt for a "real" photo session as soon as I can. Anyway, here's the front:



This is a rail fence quilt, with a narrow white-on-white border, and a wider blue border. Her is the …

Tour de Fleece, days 17 & 18...

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...heading towards the end.

Day 17: This was a rest day and boy, did I need it. I spent the time designing the quilt label for my commissioned quilt and then printing it.

Day 18: I started spinning Silver Lake, a Zen top from Lisa Souza:



It weighs 4 ounces and is 50% Merino, 25% Tussah silk, and 25% Bamboo. I only spent an hour on it because I needed to sew the label on the quilt. In looking at the picture, I need unwind the last yard or so of the single and re-do it. It's thicker than I want and too energized. That's tonight's task!

I had a 7:30am appointment for my car this morning, which meant skipping the gym and getting to work an hour earlier than normal. It's gonna be a long day!
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Tour de Fleece, days 14, 15, & 16...

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...my hands and shoulders are sore. It's a good thing that today is a rest day!

Day 14: I finished hand-sewing the quilt binding (yay!), but it didn't leave me much time for spinning. I did manage to finish the singles for Forest Afternoon and then crashed on the couch.

One thing that brightened my day was the arrival of my Pro-Verbial Fiber club installment. I'm not much of a pink person, but the combination of fibers and pattern are really intriguing.


Day 15: Originally, I had planned on plying Forest Afternoon, but a Hanks in the Hood batt (Bainbridge Island) was calling my name. I decided to spin it bulky and ply both yarns on Sunday, About an hour into spinning Bainbridge Island, I decided it was a good thing that I was spinning bulky--it would have taken me forever to spin it thin as I was fighting the fibers all the way. I spun the fiber on to two bobbins so I do a 2-ply.

Day 16: After my grocery run a and couple of chores, I put the plying head on the wheel and sta…

Eye Candy Friday and Tour de Fleece...

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...I had a good day yesterday. I ran one errand and then enjoyed a nice Starbucks latte with my breakfast.

I dove right into the quilt and got about half of the binding hand sewn before my fingertips gave out. At least I didn't prick myself this time!

Tour de Fleece, Day 12 and 13: I managed to spin for an hour on Wednesday night. Yesterday, I had hoped to finish the Forest Afternoon singles, but after hand sewing on the quilt, my hands could only take so much. I have spun about 3 of the 4 oz. in the bump. Here's what it looks like now:


I think I can finish the singles today. However the highest priority is the quilt, so keep your fingers crossed!

For today's Eye Candy Friday, we have an eggplant blossom:


...a ripening strawberry:


...and Asiatic lilies. They finally bloomed!



I first took pictures of these as spiky-leaved plants when we didn't know what they were. Now they are just gorgeous. I took so many pictures of these! I uploaded a couple more in Flickr, so tak…

Tour de Fleece, day 11...

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...and day 10 as well.

Day 10: I did not spin on Monday, as planned, but I did manage to knit a couple of rows on my sadly neglected sweater.

Day 11: Last night I managed to get another hour of spinning on the next handspun. This is Forest Afternoon, a Merino-Bamboo-Silk top from Miss Babs:


This represents about 2 hours of spinning. Like all of the Miss Babs fiber that I've spun, it's spinning like a dream! Tonight I'll spin a bit more, but I raelly won't make any significant progress until tomorrow.

I'm taking the next two days as what I used to call "Mental and Nervous" days...back when I worked for Aetna claims in another lifetime. My plan is to finish the commissioned quilt and then just spin my life away!

I can't wait!
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Tour de Fleece, day 9...

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...I finished another yarn. Yay!

Here is Armstrong Woods Redwood:


and the close-up:


Specs:
Started 7/6/11
Finished 7/10/11
Merino-Tencel (4 oz) from Royale Hare
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel
Yield: 269.8 yds chain-ply, 13 WPI

This yarn is has a few segments that are energized, but for the most part it's pretty balanced. I consciously slowed down when I was plying, which made the plying process take longer but resulted in a much better yarn.  The colors remind me more of watermelon than redwoods, though.

I started spinning a new one during the East Coast feed of True Blood. I can't watch TV and work on the quilt (at least at this stage), so I continued to spin until my show was over.

After dinner, I finished taking care of all the loose threads on the quilt back. Next, is hand-sewing the binding. I'm getting closer to the end of the quilt. I rally do like the way it looks!

Today is a rest day for Tour de France and Tour de Fleece. Usually, I spin during rest d…

Tour de Fleece, days 7 & 8...

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...I finished spinning the Armstrong Woods Redwood singles (a Merino-Tencel from Royale Hare).



I did most of the spinning at Spin-In and finished the last bit when I got home. Time to rest my hands! I'll ply this tomorrow.
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Tour de Fleece, day 6 and Eye Candy Friday...

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...first the short Tour de Fleece report: I spun for 60 minutes. The Husband got up at 3am to leave for Seattle and I couldn't get back to sleep. So I spent most of the day in a fog and nearly fell asleep at my desk!  After dinner, I recovered a bit and managed to get an hour of spinning done. I'll probably get the same amount done tonight, but Spin-In will get me back on track.

Today's Eye Candy is brought to you by the color Green, because that seems to be he color that attracted me most when I took these pictures!

Pimento pepper flower:


Morning dew on tomato leaves:


Green Amish Paste tomato:


Baby strawberries:


Asiatic lily bud:


Bougainvillea (well, you know purple will always catch my eye!):


Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow, so I need to make some sort of goodie to share. The weekend will be filled with spinning, spinning, and more spinning. I hope my knee holds up!

After looking at the garden this morning, I also need to pick a bunch of nectarines to save them from th…

Tour de Fleece, day 5...

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...I didn't get home from work until 7:45pm, so not a lot of spinning time.

This is what 90 minutes of spinning looks like:


This is a Merino-Tencel (4 oz) from Royale Hare; the color is Armstrong Woods Redwood. This one might take a few days to complete because of this pesky thing called work...you know that thing that I do to earn money so I can buy more fiber.

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June 2011 Recap...

...finally!

Finished:
6/13 Blue Whale Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]Books:
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins A Storm of Swords, George RR MartinA Feast for Crows, George RR MartinSpider Web, Earlene FowlerSeduction in Death,  J.D. RobbStarted:
nothingWorked on:
Commission quilt using the rail fence block, currently unnamedSeaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]Turquoise Trail by Laura J Perin (needlepoint)The Beets Go On socks (knitting) [Ravelry] - frogged them so I can start againWorks In Progress, did not work on:
Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)Jungle Songs quiltNatural 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] Tealing Groovy quilt  (quilting)UFOs:
Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)Peacock Majesty by…

Tour de Fleece, day 4...

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... for the next 3 weeks I'm going to show my Tour de Fleece progress/accomplishments in lieu of WIP-it Wednesdays.

I took my wheel to Craft Night and spun instead of working on my needlepoint. I debated whether to ply the Mountain Meadow singles or start something new. I decided that finishing a yarn was a good thing, so I opted to ply. This is an energized yarn (to say the least) and the colors are cool.

Here is the competed Mountain Meadow yarn:



and a close-up:



Specs:
Started 7/3/11
Finished 7/5/11
SW Merino-Alpaca top (4.1 oz) from Wolf Creek Wools;
Spun and Navajo-plied on a Lendrum DT folding wheel
Yield: 271 yds, 12 WPI

Tonight I plan on starting a Merino-Tencel (4 oz) from Royale Hare, called Armstrong Woods Redwood. Given that I don't have tons of time on work days, it might take me a few days to finish it.
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Tour de Fleece, days 1-3...

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...that's pretty much all I worked on this weekend. It was too hot to knit and way too hot to wrestle a quilt, although I did manage to out in a couple of hours last night.

Here's what I did for Tour de Fleece.

Day 1, 7/2
I spun all 4 ounces of Spring Lake Lagoon, a SW Merino-Tencel from Royale Hare.



Day 2, 7/3
Navajo-plied Spring Lake Lagoon (139.5 yds, 11 WPI)



and the close-up



I also started Mountain Meadow, a Merino-Alpaca blend from Wolf Creek Wools



Day 3, 7/4
Finished spinning Mountain Meadow. It's ready to ply.


Lately, I've been spinning Merino-Tencel, Merino-Bamboo, or Merino-Silk blends. The Merino-Alpaca blend was a nice change and I wish I had more of this to spin. In looking at my Tour de Fleece fiber, Mountain Meadow is the only one that is not blended with tencel, bamboo, or silk. I might have add "ocean" to my target of spinning fiber with forest, meadow and lake names if I want to spin something that doesn't have tencel, bamboo, or silk in it.

Welcoming July with an Eye Candy Friday...

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...I don't know about you, but I wasn't ready for June to be done yet! I guess I better get the recap together RSN.

We're starting to enjoy the bounty of our fruit trees.

Arctc Jay nectarine:


Double Delight nectarine:


Ripe plum, type unknown:


Santa Rosa plum:


The tomatoes are going a little slow this year because of our strange weather. I hope we get a decent crop!

In the flower area, we're waiting for some Asian lilies to bloom and they are taking their sweet time about it! The hydrangea, on the other hand, is blooming like crazy.



We're not the only ones enjoying them We found this little visitor in the blooms this morning:


And because no Eye Candy post would be complete without yet-another-unknown-flower (YAUF TM), here is a pretty little yellow flower:


Notice that the stamens are between the rows of petals.

Up this weekend: I want to make good progress on the hand-sewing part of my commissioned quilt. It's supposed to be a hot weekend...not a pleasant time…