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

...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:

Woven Baby Blanket

and a closer look:
Woven Baby Blanket, 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.
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Seriously consider some other method of binding, or at least figure out a better way to apply the satin blanket binding. What a P.I.T.A. it was! It was the main reason it took me so long to finish on Saturday morning.
The other finished object is the Lake Michigan yarn I started at Spin-In in December:

Lake Michigan handspun

and the close-up

Lake Michigan handspun, close up

Specs:
Lake Michigan Handspun
Started 12/3/11;
Finished 1/29/12;
Merino/Bamboo/Silk top from Miss Babs
232.6 yards Navajo-plied, 12WPI

I love the fiber from Miss Babs and plan on getting more at Stitches West. Can't wait for that!
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Eye Candy Friday, sort of...

...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:

Tomato seedlings

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:

Old Growth Merino-Cashmere top


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 such a tight deadline for it. Poor planning on my part!

After that's finished, I think I'll swap over to spinning. I have Lake Michigan to ply and the second bobbin of Sedona to spin. I'd like to at least finish one of the yarns. We'll see how far I get!
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Happy Anniversary to us!

...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:

Nefertem Shawl, as of 1/25/12

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

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

...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:

Neptune Rainbow Chunky Mochi

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 over to get to the restaurant. The food was really good, but the dessert was spectacular--a deconstructed lemon meringue tart: two crispy cookies on one end of a rectangular plate, a swath of lemon and a swath of caramel leading to light, fluffy meringue at the other end. I wish that I had taken a picture of it! The only picture I took that night was of my Blood Orange Bellini:

Blood Orange Bellini

Saturday was gorgeous and we spent quite a while at the ocean. We walked up and down Montara Beach:

Receding wave

and then walked the bluff trail at Fitzgerald State Reserve.

View from the bluff trail

There are more pictures in this Flickr set.

We had dinner at La Costanera, which serves contemporary Peruvian food. It was fabulous! In addition to entree-size portions, they offer small plates, so you can do the tapas thing if you want. We ordered 5 small plates plus dessert and they were all yummy. My favorite was shrimp in a tamarind sauce served with a sweet potato puree. The dessert was Flan de Quinoa served with a fresh strawberry and caramel sauce. The quinoa was mostly in a sauce that reminded me of a thin tapioca. Incredibly good!

It was raining again when we woke up on Sunday, so we gathered up our things and headed home. It was a very relaxing weekend and we both needed it so much. All in all, a great way to celebrate our anniversary!
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And the winner is...

...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 little red camera...

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!

...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:

Sedona, 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.

Anasazi, day 1

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

Baby blanket on loom

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)

...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 (not a "witch stirring her cauldron," which is what one friend called me): adding drops of essential oil to melted soap, stirring, and checking the scent for the right balance.  I'm pretty happy with the end result. I'm calling this soap Locus Focus:

Locus Focus Soap


I took one of each soap to Spin-In as a birthday gift for the hostess.  Spin-In was great, as usual. I started a new fiber, a Mernio-Bamboo-Tussah Silk blend called Sedona from Lisa Souza. I spun nearly 2 ounces, making good progress on the 4 ounce bump.  There were quite a few people there, making it a very lively afternoon.

On my way home, I saw this gorgeous sunset:

Sunset 1/14/12

All in all, a very good day!

I've been wanting to warp my loom for a new project, but I hadn't quite decided what to do yet.  At Spin-In, my friend Janice showed us a beautiful piece that she wove. My loom can't handle the patterns and width that her loom can (some day I'll get a bigger loom!), but I can weave an extra long piece to cut in half and make a small throw or blanket. Hmmmm. I need a baby present for someone...how about a baby blanket? Perfect!

I added a trip to Michael's to my list of Sunday errands and bought some yarn for warp and weft. I got part way through the warping process and had to stop because my shoulders were bothering me. I need to tie all of the warp threads on the front of the loom. I can probably finish that tonight and get weaving!


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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Eye Candy Friday and a contest reminder...

...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.

Young Collerette Dahlia

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 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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WIP-it Wednesday and a contest reminder...

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

Lake Michigan singles

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...

...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:

Gathering colors for St. Charles

Next in the line is Tuzigoot, also by Susan Portra. This one doesn't appeal to me as much because of the curves, but I have most of the special fibers and just need to get floss. Of course, Michael's was completely out of the colors I needed. I'm checking at JoAnn's today.

Gathering colors for Tuzigoot

I do have all of the colors for some other designs in the queue , but they are not calling my name. Either the colors are not appealing or the design is not interesting enough.

Anyway, my needlepoint queue has grown to about 12 projects, which is in addition to the weaving queue, the knitting queue, the spinning queue,... Let's hear it for queue-itis!

I spent most of Saturday putting away all of the Christmas stuff. before I took it down, I managed to get an OK picture of the Star Trek tree. This tree is taller than me and is on the staircase landing, so it's a bit difficult to get it all in one picture.

Star Trek Christmas Tree

Here's a shot of the Borg cube ornament, one of my favorites:

Borg Cube Christmas Ornament

When you press its button, it says "We are the Borg. Enjoy your Holidays. Resistance is futile." Love it!

Because I didn't have a needlepoint project that was ready to start, I decided that spinning might be the thing. On Sunday I finished spinning the singles for Lake Michigan by Miss Babs. I started this at the December Spin-In and haven't touched it since. I'll post pictures of this tomorrow.
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F.O. Friday after all...

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

Here is the scarf that matches Jane's hat:
Scarf for Jane

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 not cooperating. It is like knitting with thin roving...it came apart and it was easy to lose my place. Once I doubled it, it worked fine.

The challenge was trying to match up the color runs. There are a couple of places where I was not able to match the colors without wasting a great deal of yarn. Since I could not get any more of this color locally and I didn't have tome to order it online, I made do.

At any rate, I do like how it turned out and using the leftover Chunky Mochi for the fringe was a great idea.

Glad you like it, Jane!
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First Eye Candy Friday of the year...

...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:

Winter leaves

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 anything from them for at least two weeks and I can't wait that long to start my next project. The wait is worth it, though. Nordic Needle is one-stop shopping for the Rainbow Gallery, Anchor, and Caron threads that I need.

Beyond that, we'll see what catches my fancy!


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

...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:
  1. 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.)
  2. 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 knitting and spinning than in previous years. It doesn't mean that I love these any less than before, it just means that my craft-time is divided into a few more slices.
While I never was much on hand-written journals, I find my online blog serves the same purpose. It is a useful gauge of my interests and energy-level. And I like being able to go back and search for information about things I've worked on.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Now, how about a little Contest?

Leave a comment on this post by Midnight PST, Wednesday 1/18/12.

(No, multiple comments will not give you multiple entries!)

I'll do the random number thing and post the winner on Friday, 1/20/12.

The prize:

Autumn Ecstasy yarn

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.

That's the contest. Good luck!!
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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.
  1. 489 biscotti; 798 cookies
  2. 8 pounds of chocolate (fudge and chocolate bark)
  3. 15 lbs of flavored nuts
  4. 18 mini-fruitcakes; 14 pumpkin bread mini-loaves
Knitting
  1. Jane's Chunky Mochi Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mysterious Waters shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Blue Whale Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Mochaberry Brambles socks [Ravelry]
Quilting/Sewing/Beading
  1. Tealing Groovy quilt
  2. Rhapsody in Blue and Purple quilt [Flickr]
  3. Jane's Sunflower Wall Hanging
  4. Knit2 Bag for Blogiversary prize winner
  5. 4 sets of stitch markers for Blogiversary prize winners (beading)
Spinning
  1. Bollywood Phat Fiber box samples [Ravelry]
  2. Lisbon from The Yarn Wench; 357.3 yards, 2-ply; worsted weight [Ravelry]
  3. Spring Lake Lagoon from Royale Hare; 139.5 yds chain-ply; 11 WPI [Ravelry]
  4. Mountain Meadow from Wolf Creek Wools; 271 yds; 12 WPI [Ravelry]
  5. Armstrong Woods Redwood from Royale Hare; 269.8 yds chain-ply; 13 WPI avg [Ravelry]
  6. Bainbridge Island from KnitPicks; 135.8 yds 2-ply; 10 WPI [Ravelry]
  7. Forest Afternoon from Miss Babs; 238.2 yds, chain-ply; 14 WPI [Ravelry]
  8. Silver Lake from Lisa Souza; 269.8 yds chain-ply;, 12 WPI [Ravelry]
  9. Iris Yak-Merino-Silk from Miss Babs; 240 yds 2-ply chain-ply ; 15-16 WPI [Ravelry]
  10. Wisteria Angora-Merino yarn from Tactile; Spindle-spun, chain-ply: 100.5 yds, 16 WPI ; Wheel-spun, chain-ply: 52 yds, 14 WPI [Ravelry]
  11. Sebastopol Raspberry Farm from Royale Hare; 208.4 yds 2-ply; 12 WPI [Ravelry]
  12. Freestone Fireworks from Royale Hare; 154.5 yds chain-ly; 13 WPI [Ravelry]
  13. Plum Creative from Creatively Dyed Yarn; 143.3 yards, chain-plied; WPI 12 [Ravelry]
  14. Agate from the Yarn Wench; 223.3 yards, 2 ply; WPI 11 [Ravelry]
Stitching
  1. Turquoise Trail by Laura J Perin
  2. Hopi by Susan Portra
  3. Zuni by Susan Portra
Weaving
  1. Mas y Mas shawl [Ravelry]
  2. Scarf, in Rigid Heddle Weaving class [Ravelry]
  3. Red Marine Silk Wrap  [Ravelry]
IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
  1. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. The Beets Go On socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Hexagon socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works in Progress:
  1. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  2. Isonzo Merino-Bamboo top (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. Jungle Songs quilt
  4. Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning) [Ravelry]
  5. Nefertem Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  7. Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry]
  8. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry
  9. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]
UFOs:
  1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one  Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  2. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  3. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
Reading (Too long to put under Finished):
  1. 10th Anniversary, James Patterson
  2. 1105 Yakima Street, Debbie Macomber
  3. 1225 Christmas Tree Lane, Debbie Macomber
  4. A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2), George R.R. Martin
  5. A Dance with Dragons, George RR Martin
  6. A Feast for Crows, George RR Martin
  7. A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice & Fire, #1), George R.R. Martin
  8. A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
  9. A Storm of Swords, George RR Martin
  10. A Turn in the Road, Debbie Macomber
  11. All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  12. Betrayal in Death, J.D. Robb
  13. Blackwork, Monica Ferris
  14. Born in Death, JD Robb
  15. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
  16. Ceremony in Death, JD Robb
  17. Conspiracy in Death, JD Robb
  18. Creation in Death, JD Robb
  19. Cross Roads, Fern Michaels
  20. Crunch Time, Diane Mott Davidson
  21. Damian's Assassin, Lizzy Ford
  22. Damian's Oracle, Lizzy Ford
  23. Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, #11), Charlaine Harris
  24. Deja Dead, Kathy Reichs
  25. Deja Vu, Fern Michaels
  26. Divided in Death, JD Robb
  27. Fantasy in Death, JD Robb
  28. Forgotten Past, Michael Hake
  29. Halfway to the Grave, Jeaniene Frost
  30. Holiday in Death, JD Robb
  31. Home Free, Fern Michaels
  32. How to Knit a Heart Back Home, Rachel Herron
  33. How to Knit a Love Song, Rachel Herron
  34. Imitation in Death, JD Robb
  35. Immortal in Death, JD Robb
  36. Innocent in Death, JD Robb
  37. Judgment in Death, J.D. Robb
  38. Kindred in Death, JD Robb
  39. Loyalty in Death, J.D. Robb
  40. Memory in Death, JD Robb
  41. Mercy Thompson, Homecoming, Patricia Briggs
  42. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins
  43. New York to Dallas, JD Robb
  44. Origin in Death, JD Robb
  45. Pale Demon, Kim Harrison
  46. Portrait in Death, JD Robb
  47. Promises in Death, JD Robb
  48. Purity in Death, JD Robb
  49. Rapture in Death, JD Robb
  50. Reunion in Death, JD Robb
  51. River Marked, Patricia Briggs
  52. Salvation in Death, JD Robb
  53. Seduction in Death, J.D. Robb
  54. Sins of My Brother, Michael Hake
  55. Spider Web, Earlene Fowler
  56. Strangers in Death, JD Robb
  57. Survivor in Death, JD Robb
  58. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larsson
  59. The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson
  60. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
  61. The Help, Kathryn Stockett
  62. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
  63. The Silent Girl, Tess Gerritsen
  64. The Wedding Quilt, Jennifer Chiaverini
  65. Threadbare, Monica Ferris
  66. Unraveled, Maggie Sefton
  67. Vengeance in Death, JD Robb
  68. Visions in Death, JD Robb
  69. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
  70. Witness in Death, J.D. Robb
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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): 489
    • Cookies (11 kinds): 798
    • Pumpkin bread: 12 mini-bundt cake, plus 2 mini-loaves
    • Fruitcakes: 12 mini-bundt cake, plus 6 mini-loaves
    • Marbled peppermint bark: 3 lbs
    • Rocky Road bark: 1.5 lbs
    • Pistachio-cranberry bark: 1.5 lbs
    • Macadamia Lime Fudge: 1 lb
    • Grand Marnier Orange fudge: 1 lb
    • Amaretto Nuts: 6 lbs
    • Grand Marnier Nuts: 6 lbs
    • Chile-Lime Nuts: 3 lbs
  • Books:
    1. Fantasy in Death, JD Robb
    2. Threadbare, Monica Ferris
    3. Kindred in Death, JD Robb
    4. The Girl Who Played with Fire, Stieg Larsson
    5. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larsson
Started:
  • 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 quilt
  • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry]
  • Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry

UFOs:
  1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  2. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  3. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
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Hi ho, hi ho...

...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:

Hat for Jane

and the view from the top:
Hat for Jane, 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 a challenge as it's a single and really easy to accidentally split it. However. I really like to effect of the color changes so it was well worth it!

I need to get my recaps done. That will probably take the place of a WIP-it Wednesday this week.

And my Blogiversary is on the 5th. I've been blogging for nearly 6 years!  I need to decide whether to hold a  contest. I have in the past, but I typically do not get a lot of entrants. Need to think on this more...
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Happy New Year...

...welcome 2012!

The first sunrise of the year:
Sunrise, 1/1/12

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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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...