So close...

...and yet so far.  I am knitting the last 5 rows of the Nefertem Shawl, the last pattern row followed by 4 rows of garter stitch.

Nefertem Shawl, almost there

Then there's the crochet bind-off. Crochet. I don't crochet. No way can I finish this today even if I could work like a speed demon to knit the last 5 rows. I need all of my brain cells to attempt a crochet bind-off. [sigh]

Nothing else to show as the shawl is the only WIP I've worked on in the last week. One new WIP is adding all of my new stash into Ravelry. I took the pictures, but haven't updated Ravelry. Guess I should work on that!
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Stitches West post mortem...

...it was a great 3+ days. Lots of yummy yarn and fibers, and some interesting tools and knitting bags. My shoulders hurt from carrying a full tote bag and from weaving class, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

I'm not posting all of my pictures here, but you can see everything in my Stitches West 2012 Flickr set.

As I mentioned in another post, I bought a new Namaste bag in eggplant. Here is my new Monroe bag from the top:

Eggplant Monroe bag, from the top

Inside is my current knitting project, my camera bag, a Namaste Buddy case in eggplant, my iPad, my iPod, and a pattern printout. And there is still room for more!

Aside from my spiffy new bag, my favorite acquisitions were from KCL Woods. I got a 0.62 ounce spindle with two extra shafts:

KCL Mini Spindle

and a low-profile shuttle for my loom:

KCL low-profile shuttle

KCL has the most gorgeous things in wood!

For my fiber fix, I visited Lisa Souza, Miss Babs, A Verb for Keeping Warm, and Royale Hare, all vendors whose products I love. I also bought fiber from two new vendors:
  • Wonderland Dyeworks, an Etsy vendor. I love the depth of their colors. Here's a sample:

    Midnight Amethyst Merino-Silk top
  • Ranch of the Oaks, a ranch and mini-fiber mill in Lompoc, CA. I bought one of their Alpaca blend bags:

    Alpaca Blend top
I bought 2 skeins of Acero yarn from Brooks Farms, which might become either a woven project or a knitted shawl. I bought the pattern, yarn, and beads for the Celaeno Shawl by Romi from A Verb for Keeping Warm.

Celaeno Shawl and yarn

A copper shawl pin by Romi might have jumped into my bag, too. :)

I never made it to the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival in San Mateo, but there was at least one vendor at Stitches West that was selling sheep fabric:

Sheep Fabric

I plan to make a knitting bag out of the blue and black fabrics. The other fabric is a panel that will make a very cute baby quilt for someone.

And I didn't win any door prizes or the grand prize this year. Rats! Maybe next year...
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Eye Candy Friday, blog and run...

...I'm doing a quick post for Eye Candy Friday before I get myself together to go to Stitches West.

The tulips are going nuts with the nice weather:

Tulips

The buds on the nectarine tree have opened into full-fledged blossoms:

Double Delight Nectarine blossoms

The Blenheim apricot tree is in full bloom:

Blenheim apricot blossoms

And the weeping Santa Rosa plum tree is now setting leaves:

Weeping Santa Rosa Plum leaves

Last night's Stitches West Market Preview was great. There were a lot of good deals only for preview night and I took advantage of at least one of them. :)  I planned on getting a new Namaste bag and their preview discount and free gift was icing on the cake. (Yes, it's purple!)

I was a little disappointed that some vendors had less spinning fiber than last year. I planned on doing serious damage at Miss Babs, but the selection was limited. Don't get me wrong, I love her stuff and I did buy two bumps of fiber, but not nearly as much as I had planned.

I'll do a Stitches West post with pictures of my new pretties once I've had the chance to take pictures.

Just need one more cup of coffee to fortify myself...
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playing catch up...

...the last two weeks + 2 days have been hectic. The blog and a few other things have suffered.  But today marks the beginning of Stitches West and I have today and tomorrow off. Yay!

Even thought the first activity I attend isn't until 5pm tonight, I still like to take the whole day off. I get myself into the right mindset, gather the things I'll need for my class(es), and do a few chores (like laundry so I have something to wear!).

Since I missed WIP-it Wednesday yesterday, here's a short update:
  • I'm knitting the last 16 rows of the Nefertem Shawl. I really hate the "make 9 from 3" stitch in this shawl...very hard on the hands. I know I'll like the overall look, I just don't like the knitting part!
  •  I'm making progress on the Anasazi needlepoint. It's going slowly only because I don't work on it very often. It will make a nice complement to the last two pieces I did.
  • I kind of miss working on socks.  The yarn I received i the Rockin' Sock Club and the Cookie A Sock Club are really tempting. However, I need to resurrect the Peacock Pomatomus socks [Ravelry] and finish them before I can start a new pair. Really. I'll keep telling myself that and maybe it will come true!
 What's up for the next few days: Tonight is the Stitches West Market Preview for students. I'll go a little early to pick up my badge and check out where my class will be.

Friday is a shopping day at Stitches West. I'm also considering going to the Quilt, Craft &Sewing Festival in San Mateo. The only reason I might skip it is because you have to pay for parking in addition to admission...and it's a good 30-40 minutes to get there.

Saturday is class day. The Color and Weave Mini Tote Bag class is an all day class and I'm really looking forward to learning different color effects.

Sunday I'll do the final shopping pass and be there for the drawing at 1pm.

In between my various Stitches West activities, I'll take pictures of my new acquisition, get them uploaded to Ravelry,  and do some knitting or spinning.

Let the crafting begin!
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it's been a long week...

...thank goodness for Eye Candy Friday! 

This sunrise this morning was glowing:

Sunrise 2/17/2012

The plants and trees definitely has spring in mind. The apricot trees are blossoming:

Blenheim apricot blossoms

The tulips are emerging:
Yellow and red tulip

Here's another:

Yellow tulip

and the nectarine tree is starting to set buds:

Double Delight nectarine flower buds

Work has settled down to it's normal level of busy. (Yay!)  The first 3 days of the week were insane...I'm still waiting for  final piece to be processed so I can verify it, but that is small compared to what I did the rest of the week.

Up this weekend: It's a 3-day weekend!! We have Spin-In tomorrow, a great way to start the weekend. I need to give my wheel a little tune-up in the morning and make some sort of goodie to take.

I only work 2 days next week, because I'm taking Thursday and Friday off for Stitches West!  I want to spend some time this weekend going through the vendor list and marking up my map. I need to do some stash diving to find yarn suitable for the weaving class that my friend Loretta and I are taking on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to spending time communing with knitters, spinners, and weavers.

Speaking of knitting, look what arrived in the middle of work madness this week...the first installment of the Cookie A Sock Club. (Picture behind the spoiler.)

Cookie A Sock Club Badge

The color is one of my favorites. The sock patterns look interesting and challenging, and the cookie recipes look yummy! (and you know that I love a good cookie recipe!) 

Really looking forward to this long weekend...
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Happy Valentine's Day...

...that's all I have time for today.  Back when work settles down a little.

It's still Friday...

...this is the first chance I've had to get to the blog.  Too much going on at work this week!

For today's Eye Candy Friday, I have a few pictures from the garden. The plum tree has gone nuts with blossoms:

Plum blossoms in overdrive

The weeping Santa Rosa plum is starting to set blossoms:

Weeping Santa Rosa plum blossoms

and there are several interesting (and unknown) flowers are starting to emerge:

Tiny pink flowers

I think spring is my favorite season for photographs. I love taking pictures of flowers!

Up this weekend: Ply the Sedona Zen singles that I finished spinning last weekend. I want to go to the Hallmark store and get some Valentine's Day cards for my family. I also want to spend some time cruising the web site for the vendors attending Stitches West at the end of the month. I need to start mapping my strategy!

Oh, yeah...some sleep would be nice.
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well, hello, Wednesday...

...what did you do with Monday and Tuesday? Seriously, how did it get to be Wednesday, and 4pm?? Too many work distractions right now.

Here are two of my latest WIPs. First, Anasazi:

Anasazi, as of 2/7/12

And two bobbins of Sedona Zen singles:

Sedona Zen singles

I love the copper color of this yarn!  I might make it a two ply to get more yardage because I love it so much.

There is a third WIP, the Nefertem shawl, but I won't show that again until it's done.

That's it for now...back to work!
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Eye Candy Friday...

...it's still Friday. right? It's been a long week!

This morning's sunrise was pretty:

Sunrise 2/3/12

and things are starting to bloom. The flowering plum seems to be ready for spring:

Flowering plum blossom

A different kind of eye candy is the first installment of the Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  This year they are sending one sock pattern and one "other" pattern, so it should be fun. They started the year off right (as far as I'm concerned) and did my favorite color. Click the RSC picture to see the club package.


I totally love the yarn, but the patterns don't thrill me. I'll have to ask this yarn what it wants to become. :)

Up this weekend: Its' the Daughter's birthday tomorrow. We're actually going to celebrate on Sunday because she has plans tomorrow. There are a few chores I need to catch up on...my junk mail pile is taking over the world again and I need to do some serious shredding.

I'm not into sports so I won't be watching the Super Bowl. But game time is a perfect time to go shopping! Hmmm. I'll have to think on that...
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January 2012 recap...

...and Happy February! It's one of my favorite months: the Daughter's birthday, Valentine's Day, and Stitches West!

Finished:
  • 1/29 Lake Michigan yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
    top from Miss Babs; 232.6 yards, 12WPI
  • 1/28  Baby Blanket for Colin (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • 1/14 Locus Focus Soap (melt-and-pour soap in my new blend)
  • 1/13 Creative Dreams Soap (melt-and-pour soap in my own blend) 
  • 1/1 Jane's Mini Mochi Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. The Keepsake (re-read), Tess Gerritson
    2. Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men, Molly Harper
    3. Adam, Jacquelyn Frank
    4. Nice Girls Don't Live Forever, Molly Harper
    5. Seduce Me in Dreams, Jacquelyn Frank
    6. Yseult: A Tale of Love in the Age of King Arthur, Ruth Nestvold 
    7. Seduce Me in Flames, Jacquelyn Frank
    8. Darker After Midnight, Lara Adrian
Started:
  • 1/17 Anasazi by Susan Protra (needlepoint)
  • 1/15 Baby Blanket for Colin (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • 1/14 Sedona Zen (50% merino, 25% bamboo, 25% silk) by Lisa Souza (spinning) [Ravelry]

Worked on:
  • Nefertem Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Isonzo Merino-Bamboo top (spinning) [Ravelry]

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • 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)

Eye Candy Friday...

...and heading into full-on baking mode! With the time change and shorter days, I have more opportunities to take sunrise photos. Here'...