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Showing posts from January, 2012

ending the month with 2 F.O.s...

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...it was an interesting month, craft-wise. After the flurry at Christmas, it took me a while to get into the crafting mind-set. Must have been tired, or something. :)

Here is the baby blanket that I finished in time for the baby shower on Saturday:


and a closer look:

Specs:
Baby Blanket for Colin (soon-to-be son of our nephew and his wife)
Started 1/15/12;
Finished 1/28/12;
10-dpi; 10 epi;
Warped to 106 inches and cut in half. Sewed the two pieces together to make a blanket about 36 x 45 inches.
Edges bound in satin blanket binding.

There are a few things that I'd do differently next time.
Allow more time to plan and finish the project. Doing the final bit of sewing at 11am when I had to leave for the baby shower at 12:30 was not enough!Mark a cut guide on the warp before winding it up so I can weave a gap at the approximate middle. If I had planned better (see #1 above) I would have done this and made my life a lot easier when it came time to cut the piece in two. Seriously consider…

Eye Candy Friday, sort of...

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...it was too foggy this morning to get decent pictures of anything outside.

I did find the Husband's mini-greenhouse. The tomato seedlings are popping up:


I'm looking forward to lots of yummy tomatoes in the spring and summer.

I realized that I hadn't posted a picture of the January installment of the Proverbial Club from A Verb for Keeping Warm. Here is the Merino-Cashmere fiber in Old Growth:



It's an indigo-dyed fiber and has some subtle color changes that are not evident in the picture. I'm looking forward to spinning this one to see how the color changes translate in the finished yarn.

Up this weekend: I need to finish the baby blanket because the baby shower is tomorrow afternoon(!). I finished the weaving portion and washed it this morning. It should be dry when I get home tonight so I can cut the fabric and assemble it. I'm going to use white satin blanket binding to finish it off. I love the way the fabric turned out, but I don't love the way I set…

Happy Anniversary to us!

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...it's a little anti-climatic after our weekend away, but I couldn't let the day escape without mentioning it.  LOL!  We agreed that we didn't need to go out to dinner again tonight, but we might just toast the day. :)

WIP-wise, I am madly weaving on the baby shawl I started last week.  I took it to Craft Night last night and wove about 15 inches.  No pictures yet.

Over the weekend, I did a little knitting on the Nefertem shawl while the Husband was out running errands. Here's the current state of the shawl:


I have 8 rows left before I start the lace edging.

That's it for now!
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Missing the ocean already...

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...Sunday already seems so long ago.

The Husband and I had a great weekend despite the pouring rain on Friday and Sunday. We stayed at the Half Moon Bay Inn in downtown. It's a 15-room inn above a bustling Italian restaurant. The restaurant was a little noisy at times, but their live guitar music was an unexpected bonus.

The inn was 2 doors down from Fengari., the yarn store I wanted to visit. I had seen Fengari at a couple of shows (at least one Stitches West) and hadn't ever been to the store. Since we couldn't do much on Friday because of the rain, I took to opportunity to cruise the store. They have a lot of specialty yarns (ribbon yarns, eyelash yarns, etc.) as well as merino, alpaca, etc. Yes, I bought souvenir yarn:


This is Chunky Mochi in Neptune Rainbow. I loved the hat I knit for Jane so much that I bought this yarn to make my own.

Friday night, we ate at the restaurant below the inn, It's Italia. What a treat to just walk down the stairs and go one door ove…

And the winner is...

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...Julie!

Congratulations! Your yarn will be wending its way to you within the next week.  Thanks to everyone who commented!

On to Eye Candy Friday...
Here is an entry in the subcategory "Eye Candy is in the eye of the beholder."


My new camera arrived!  Specs: 14.1 mega pixel, 12x optical zoom, macro down to 0.4 inches (!!), and a bunch of other features I have yet to explore. It arrived yesterday at work, so I haven't spent much time with it.  This weekend, though...

Up this weekend: We are taking a long weekend and going to Half Moon Bay to celebrate our anniversary a few days early. It's supposed to rain, but we don't really care!. I haven't been to the ocean in a year and sorely need it. I hope there will be some photo opportunities so I can put the new camera through its paces.

Can't wait...
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Contest: Last day to enter!

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...post a comment on the contest post to enter. Midnight PST is the cut-off time. I'll post the winner on Friday, 1/20. Good luck!

For WIP-it Wednesday, here's a collection of the three latest WIPs.

Sedona is a Merino-Bamboo-Tussah Silk by Lisa Souza. Here is bobbin #1:


At Tuesday Craft Night, I started Anasazi by Susan Portra. Right now it looks a lot like Zuni and Hopi, but that will change once I start adding other elements.


And finally, a peek at the baby blanket I'm weaving.


The warp is a combination of  Snuggly Wuggly Baby Sport by Loops & Threads in Raindrops, Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby Shine in White, and another unknown white yarn from my stash. The weft is Snuggly Wuggly Baby Sport by Loops & Threads in PeeWee Prints. I've warped it to 20x107 inches and plan on cutting it in half to make the blanket.

I'll be back on Friday to announce the contest winner!
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Hey, look! It's a Monday post! (and a contest reminder)

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...how unusual!

I had a wonderfully crafty weekend and it felt so good! A little spinning, a little soap making, a little weaving...it was all good.

It started Friday night. I decided to make an artichoke frittata to take to Spin-In. It's a pretty easy dish to make and it's better if you make it the day before.

While the frittata was baking, I found my soap recipes and gathered the ingredients to make a batch of Creative Dreams soap. This soap is based on an herbal blend used in a dream pillow for promoting creativity.  I had enough calendula petals to make one batch, but I really need to get more. I asked the Husband to plant more calendulas this season so I can dry them for my soap.

On Saturday, I realized that I wasn't quite ready to be done with soap yet. Earlier in the week, I had found an aromatherapy blend recipe for promoting focus and concentration. I decided to see whether I could turn that blend into a soap. Making soap is a little like being a mad scientist (n…

Eye Candy Friday and a contest reminder...

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...I'm so glad it's Friday!

Winter is not presenting any appealing garden pictures to take. You can only take so many pictures of dead leaves and paperwhite narcissus. I gave the Husband several packs of flower seeds and bulbs for Christmas. Eventually these will produce flowers to photograph.

This week's eye candy is a picture I took a few weeks back.


I 'm fascinated with these flowers. Their petal arrangement is interesting and the colors are bright and happy.

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow...yay! I need to figure out what munchies to take and which fiber I want to spin.

I also want to start the next needlepoint project. I received my Nordic Needle order yesterday, much sooner than I expected. I now have everything I need for Anasazi. I'm also toying with the idea of making some M&P soap. I haven't made any in months and I think I'd like to make a batch to use in my bathroom.

It should be a nice, crafty weekend!


Contest Reminder!! Don't forget a…

WIP-it Wednesday and a contest reminder...

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...as promised, here are the Lask Michigan singles I finished over the weekend:


I'll probably chain-ply them just to get it finished quicker. I love Miss Babs' colors and will make her booth one of the first I visit at Stitches West 2012.

I have no specific plans for this yarn yet, but have been toying with the idea of creating a woven piece that shows the different colors in water. Too many ideas and not enough time!

Contest Reminder!! Don't forget about my 6th Blogiversary contest! Comment on this post to enter. The winner will be drawn on Friday, 1/20/12.

The prize: Two (2) skeins of Juniper yarn by Alchemy Yarns of Transformation in Autumn Ecstasy. This was a club color for the Loopy Ewe Sock Club. It is SW Merino, fingering weight.


Good luck!
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Queue-itis comes before Startitis...

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...and I have it.

Over the weekend, I reviewed the potential and queued needlepoint/counted canvas projects in my stash. Of course, I wasn't content with just reviewing them, I started pulling threads for them....that's right, them. I found myself kitting and adding several more needlepoint projects to the queue.

While gathering the threads for the various designs, I realized that I don't have all of the fibers necessary for any of the designs I want to do. That order to Nordic Needle for Anasazi that I made last week> It was just to tip of the iceberg.

I wanted to start St. Charles by Susan Portra, but I'm missing several fibers, include one metallic braid. The missing floss is easy to remedy, but the missing metallic might be a challenge. Either I find a reasonable substitute locally or I place another Nordic Needle order.  Here's what I do have:


Next in the line is Tuzigoot, also by Susan Portra. This one doesn't appeal to me as much because of the curve…

F.O. Friday after all...

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...thanks to the USPS who delivered the rest of Jane's gift today. Hooray!

Here is the scarf that matches Jane's hat:

Specs:
Started 12/10/11 (and restarted multiple times...)
Finished 1/1/12
Pattern: I used the pattern rows from Noro Spiral One-skein Hat by Manuèle Ducret to knit a tube that matches the hat.
Yarn: Mini Mochi in Caramel Latte, doubled
          The fringe is leftover Chunky Mochi from the hat

This is a double thickness scarf, knit as a tube. I cast on 40 on 4 DPNs and joined the ends. I knit 4 setup rows and then knit the pattern rows as directed. I basically just kept knitting the pattern rows until I was nearly out of yarn. I knit 3 rows and cast off. I steam=pressed it flat and added the fringe. I decided to knot the ends of the fringe because the Mochi yarn tends to return to its original fiber form (read: falls apart).

The reason I had so much trouble with it in the beginning was because I was trying to knit it with a single strand. The Mini Mochi was no…

First Eye Candy Friday of the year...

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...and I don't have a lot to show.

The garden is still in winter-mode (read: lots of dead leaves and bare branches). The only flowers blooming are paperwhite narcissus, which I recently used in an Eye Candy Friday post. This is as good as it gets for today:


I could make this a Finished Object Friday—I've already finished a project in 2012 (yay!)—but I can't show it to you until Jane receives it.

Up this weekend: Finish deconstructing Christmas. I'm going to try and get pictures of the Star Trek Tree before I take it down, but I'm not holding my breath that they will turn out. Over the years, I've tried to get a decent picture of the tree, but I can't ever get the lighting right.

I want to go through my queued needlepoint projects and see which one is ready to start, if any. I did send in an order to Nordic Needle for the threads I need for Anasazi (the next in the series with Hopi and Zuni), but that might take a while to get. I don't expect to see anyt…

It's my 6th Blogiversary (can you say, contest?)

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...wow, it's been six years.

In the last year there have been a few changes, some personal (nothing earth-shattering), some work (lots more responsibility), and some craft-related.  While I won't get into the personal stuff (because it is, after all, personal), here are the changes that affect how and when I blog:
More work responsibilities mean that I find myself at the end of the day with no blog post and still a lot of work to do. My MWF posts sometimes turn into TuWF or even ThF. I used to fit my blog posts into the cracks while I was waiting for document builds, but now HR takes any available time. (I'm purposely taking time out right now so I can this this post up today.)My craft attention is cycling back to my roots: I completed 3 needlepoint projects in 2011. Stitchery is the hobby that started it all and counted canvas work is my current favorite. And I hear the next cross stitch mermaid calling my name.

What this means to the blog is that it's a lot less about …

2011 End of the Year Recap

Those not on Ravelry can see pictures of these items in my Flickr photostream and sets: Knitting, Spinning, Quilting/Sewing, Needlework, and Weaving.

Short Story: I read a lot. I baked more and finished more sewing and stitching projects than last year. I knitted, wove, and spun a little less.

Finished:

Christmas Baking, etc.
489 biscotti; 798 cookies8 pounds of chocolate (fudge and chocolate bark)15 lbs of flavored nuts18 mini-fruitcakes; 14 pumpkin bread mini-loavesKnitting
Jane's Chunky Mochi Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]Mysterious Waters shawl (knitting) [Ravelry] Blue Whale Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]Mochaberry Brambles socks [Ravelry]Quilting/Sewing/Beading
Tealing Groovy quiltRhapsody in Blue and Purple quilt [Flickr]Jane's Sunflower Wall HangingKnit2 Bag for Blogiversary prize winner 4 sets of stitch markers for Blogiversary prize winners (beading)Spinning
Bollywood Phat Fiber box samples [Ravelry] Lisbon from The Yarn Wench; 357.3 yards, 2-ply; worsted weight [Ravelry] Spring …

December 2011 Recap...

...where baking produced most of the FOs this month.

Finished:
12/8 Jane's Chunky Mochi Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]Baking
Biscotti (7 kinds): 489Cookies (11 kinds): 798Pumpkin bread: 12 mini-bundt cake, plus 2 mini-loavesFruitcakes: 12 mini-bundt cake, plus 6 mini-loavesMarbled peppermint bark: 3 lbsRocky Road bark: 1.5 lbsPistachio-cranberry bark: 1.5 lbsMacadamia Lime Fudge: 1 lbGrand Marnier Orange fudge: 1 lbAmaretto Nuts: 6 lbsGrand Marnier Nuts: 6 lbsChile-Lime Nuts: 3 lbsBooks: Fantasy in Death, JD RobbThreadbare, Monica FerrisKindred in Death, JD RobbThe Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg LarssonStarted:
12/9 Christmas present #2 (that's all the detail you get)
Worked on:
Nefertem Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
Isonzo Merino-Bamboo top (spinning) [Ravelry] Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)Jungle Songs quiltNatural Dyes batts fro…

Hi ho, hi ho...

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...it's back to work I go.  And I jumped in with both feet! When you know there's a project waiting for you to start,  you can't quite make a slow re-entry.

I spent yesterday looking through my queued projects trying to figure out if I had all of the threads for the next needlepoint picture I want to do. And the answer is: not quite.  I need to check my floss stash to see if I already have some of the colors and I need to send an order for some specialty threads.In the meantime, I'll be working on one of my knitting WIPs.

I can finally show you the part of Jane's gift I sent out with the cookies last week. Here is Jane's Chunky Mochi Hat:


and the view from the top:

Specs:
Started 11/27/11;
Finished 12/8/11;
Pattern: Noro spiral one-skein hat by Manuèle Ducret;
Yarn: Chunky Mochi in Caramel Latte

I think it turned out pretty well. The pattern was pretty easy. However, it is written in free-form style, so it took a bit of getting used to. The yarn was a bit of…

Happy New Year...

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...welcome 2012!

The first sunrise of the year:

I didn't quite finish the rest of my stealth Christmas present in 2011, but I did finish it today. I need to press it and get it shipped out. I'll post pictures when it is in it's new home.

Now to figure out what to do next...
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