well, hello Eye Candy Friday...

...it's been a week!  I've had a ton of work and very little time to breathe!  I did manage to take some eye candy pictures this morning.

The sunrise:
Sunrise 3/30/12

The fava beans are starting up again:

Fava bean blossoms

and the cherry tree went wild with blossoms:

Cherry Blossoms

A week ago, I bought myself a dozen tulips and kept them on my desk at work. Here's the last of them:

Tulip

Up this weekend: Our company holiday party is tomorrow. For the comfort food theme, I'm making pineapple upside down cake. I need to track down a couple of white elephant gifts to take, too.It should be a lot of fun. Most of our employees work from home or at client sites, so company parties are one of the few chances we get to see each other.

On Sunday, I'd love to do something crafty. It's been such a busy week that I've been late getting home every night and I haven't knit at all. I even skipped craft night on Tuesday because of work.

Sleep would be good, too!
.

Blog and run...

...because I'm working on a big client deadline. 

Yes, I know I missed Eye Candy Friday.  If you're a Facebook friend, you saw my pictures posted there. You can also see them in my Flickr photostream.

Gotta jet!
.

WIP-it and run...

...cuz this day got totally away from me!

Here are the two Muir Woods Moss bobbins, ready to ply:

Muir Woods Moss singles, ready to ply

I'm not sure when I'll be able to ply them. They might have to wait until the weekend.

I didn't have enough time today to take pictures of the Carousel socks, or anything else for that matter. By the time I get home, the light will be gone.

Oh, well...
.

a host of golden daffodils...

...if a "host" is two!

Daffodils

This is all that have bloomed so far, but we planted many more. I hope they all bloom!

Spin-In was great, as usual. I ended up making Pistachio-Lime Biscotti. I frosted half with white chocolate and left the other half plain. I hadn't tried this particular combination before and I liked how they turned out. As an added bonus, the Husband took most of the leftover biscotti to his running partner the next day. No biscotti staring me in the face is a good thing!

In honor of the day, I started spinning some Royale Hare top called Muir Woods Moss. It is shades of green that turned out to be a lot more neon vibrant than I expected. I spun 1 bobbin at Spin-In using about 2 ounces and spinning it just as it came out of the braid. I split the other two ounces into smaller strips and spun the second bobbin on Sunday. I'm going to make this a two-ply and hope that the plying will tone down the colors.

I started spinning the second bobbin of Occidental Orchids, also from Royale Hare. I didn't get very far into the bobbin, but at least I made the effort.

I'll post pictures on WIP-it Wednesday of the spinning and the current progress on the Carousel Socks.

Happy Spring!
.

Eye Candy Friday...

...so let's get right to it.

I have the greatest husband in the world. Seriously. This man goes out of his way to stock the garden with colorful plants and flowers just so I have something to photograph for Eye Candy Friday. How cool is that!

Here are pictures of some of the new things he's added in the last week. First up, pear tree blossoms:

Pear blossoms

I didn't even know he'd bought a pear tree until he asked me whether I'd taken a picture of it yet! And he knows I love pears... Heart him!

A gold pansy with very pronounced veins:

Pansy with dark veins

A pale yellow pansy with lavender edges:

Pansy with purple edges

Ranunculus:

Yellow Ranunculus

and Shooting Stars (nemesia cheiranthus)

Shooting Stars flowers


Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow!  I need to come up with something suitably green to make for St. Pat's day. I could always make scones and lime curd or zucchini bread, but neither choice is compelling at the moment.  Maybe something with pistachios...

Before I leave for Spin-In, I'll  get the corned beef into the crock pot to cook while I'm gone. This is the first time we're trying it in the crock pot, so we'll see how that works. Ever since I bought the new crock pot, we've been using it for many more meals. I love the oval shape, which allows us to put a whole piece of meat or chicken in the pot without having to cut it up to fit. Our round crock pot was a little too small.

When I'm not spinning, I'll continue to work on the Carousel Socks. I've finished the cuff on the first sock and am working on the heel opening. So far so good!
.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...this time a spinning WIP.

Last month I started spinning Occidental Orchids at Spin-In. I finished the first half of the bump:

Occidental Orchids, bobbin #1

but haven't touched the second half at all.  I guess I can finish spinning it at March's Spin-In on Saturday. I really should find something green to spin because Saturday is St. Patrick's Day. We'll see if I change my mind before then!
.

Rainy Tuesday...

...we really need the rain, but it made for a slow drive into work this morning.

I'd forgotten about the time change until Saturday night, so I spent a good deal of Sunday checking and re-checking the time. Sunday flew by so fast!  And then I couldn't get to sleep Sunday night. I was kind of a zombie yesterday.

Over the weekend, I started the Carousel socks using my beautiful skein of Wollmeise. I knit the first 9.5 inches as indicated in the pattern and started questioning my yarn choice. The Husband said it looked like something Tim Burton would create right about the time I was thinking that it looked like something out of "Beetlejuice."  It was not something I wanted in my socks.

Carousel Socks, attempt 1

Fail.

I really wanted to see how this sock construction was going to work. I looked in Ravelry to see what others had chosen for their socks to get some ideas. Then I did another stash dive. The Loopy Club gave me a second option.  One club installments was a skein of Paca-Peds H-T from The Alpaca Yarn Co. It comes with two parts: a variegated skein for the main part of the sock, and a smaller solid skein for the heels and toes. Perfect for this sock pattern!

I started the right sock again and am much happier with this color choice! The name of the color is Touch of Spring, which makes me smile.

Carousel Socks, attempt 2

Win! I love this pattern! It's easy to do and a good travel project.

I'll need to find a pattern for the Wollmeise that will properly show off its colors. This was just not the pattern for that. For now, it's back into the stash for it!
.

It's Eye Candy Friday...

...where the most important part is the word "Friday!" Yay!

Only one picture today as the garden is in an in between stage again. Some blossoms falling off and the trees are setting leaves and fruit buds.

Crab Apple Blossoms 2

I solved my dilemma of what project to start. I did a quick stash dive last night to see what I had and came up with a skein of Wollmeise sock yarn from one of the Club Loopy installments.

Wollmeise!

When I originally received the package, I immediately fell in love with the yarn. However, the club pattern didn't inspire me so I tucked it away. When I pulled it out of the stash, I immediately thought of the Carousel socks. I wound the yarn and started them...I can't wait to see how they shape up!

Up this weekend: I need to go to the library tomorrow and pick up my library card. I haven't had a library card since I stopped taking the Daughter to do research before she could drive herself...15+ years ago! Now that you can check-out eBooks, this will save me some money. For example, I love reading James Patterson books, but I don't want to own them. The library seems like a good solution, especially with the amount that I read.

Other than that, the only thing I want to do is work on the Carousel socks. I'm just a little obsessed with their unique construction...is it time to go home yet?
.

need-a-new-WIP Wednesday...

...and I still can't decide what to start.

Should I
  1. Start the Celaeno Shawl by Romi [Ravelry]. I bought the yarn, beads and pattern at Stitches West. The big question is whether I really want to knit a another shawl. I just finished a shawl...I don;t want to get "shawled" out.
  2. Start a pair of the Cookie A socks from the club yarn. I love the color of the yarn and both of the patterns. 
  3. Start the Carousel socks that I just saw in the new Knitty. The construction is  intriguing.
  4. Start Wingspan [Ravelry], another intriguing pattern, but also another shawl-like item.
  5. Start a quilt using some Citron Gray fabrics (by Michael Miller) I that I got at The Granary.
  6. Warp my loom and use some of my handspun to make a table runner.
  7. Add the double-heddle kit to my loom and learn how to warp the loom to use two heddle.
Or I could just finish one of my existing WIPs?
  1. Finish the Laurel Burch Jungle Songs quilt (see the pattern here). The top is finished, the back is ready, and I have the batting. I just need to put it together.
  2. Finish the Peacock Pomatomus socks [Ravelry]. They've been completely ignored for a few weeks.
  3. Finish spinning one or more of the handspun yarns  in process.
  4. Finally finish the Seaweed Cardigan [Ravelry
  5. Continue to work on Anasazi, the Susan Portra needlepoint project that I take to Craft Night
Hmmm...anything involving quilting will have to wait for the weekend as I don't have enough "day" left by the time I get home from work. That removes two projects from the list, but there are still 5 in the New category and 5 in the WIP category.

Decisions, decisions...
.

Monday already...

...and it's already more than half gone!

The weather over the weekend was beautiful. It was nice not to be wearing a sweater and go barefoot!

I did some of my chores and then concentrated on crafting. First off, I figured out the yardage and WPI for the Sedona handspun I finished in February.  Here are the pictures (finally).

Sedona Zen Handspun

and the close up:

Sedona Zen Handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 1/14/2012
Finished 2/12/2012
50% merino, 25% bamboo, 25% silk by Lisa Souza
346.2 yds, 2 ply, 15-16 WPI

After I finished the crochet bind-off for the Nefertem shawl, I washed and blocked it. Here it is still on the blocking board:

Nefertem Shawl, first look

and a close up:

Nefertem Shawl, close up

Specs:
Started 10/01/2011
Finished 3/4/2012
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Midnight Rendevous (sic)
Pattern: Nefertem Shawl by Kristen Kapur

Now that the shawl is done, I'm having a hard time deciding what to do next. There are just too many things in my queue!
.

Eye Candy Friday, first one in March...

...after a couple of rainy days, it looks like it will be a nice weekend. That should encourage more things to bloom in the garden! Here are a few things that I saw this morning.

An apricot blossom that fell into the grass:

Apricot blossom in the grass

 very fine spider webs in the sea lavender:

Spider web in the sea lavender

and Linaria reticulata, "Crown Jewels":

Linaria - Crown Jewels

Up this weekend: A lot of chores. I completely ignored my house during Stitches West and it needs some attention. Some of my Stitches West treasures are still in the living room and need to find homes.

My main craft goal is to finish the Nefertem Shawl. I started working on the crochet (ick) bind-off last night and am finding it very fiddly. The d@mn hook keeps falling out of the loop or catching on places it shouldn't. I think I'm going to go up a size because the stitches seem to be a bit tight. Could it be because my tension is a bit tight from the stress of it?? Right...there's a reason I don;t crochet and this bind off reminded me.

The other thing I'd like to do is finish the class project from the Color and Weave class.

Color and Weave Class Project

I want to redo the seaming to do a better job at matching the patterns and then finish off the top edges. I'm not sure what I'll use the bag for, but at least it will be done!
.

February 2012 recap...

...and not too late this time!

Finished:

  • 2/12 Sedona Zen handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    50% merino, 25% bamboo, 25% silk) by Lisa Souza; 200+ yards, 12WPI
    (I just realized that I hadn't documented the specs on this yarn yet or taken its final picture. Oops!)
  • Books:
    1. Mark of the Demon, Diana Rowland
    2. Dark Lover, JR Ward
    3. Blood of the Demon, Diana Rowland
    4. Secrets of the Demon, Diana Rowland
    5. Sins of the Demon, Diana Rowland
    6. Hunters of the Moon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
    7. Angel's Blood, Nalini Singh
    8. Archangel's Kiss, Nalini Singh 
    9. Celebrity in Death, JD Robb
Started:
  • 2/18 Cazadero Mist handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 2/25 Color and Weave Mini-tote Bag, Stitches West class (weaving) [Ravelry]

Worked on:
  • Anasazi by Susan Protra (needlepoint)
  • Nefertem Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]
  • Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • Isonzo Merino-Bamboo top (spinning) [Ravelry
  • 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)

Happy March and the 1,000th post...

...wow. One thousand posts! When I started the blog, I didn't think I had that much to post about.

The blog is my craft (and sometimes, life) journal. I no longer feel that I need to have many readers to make it a useful thing. It's useful for me. If others like to read about my projects and look at my pictures, that's an added bonus.

To my regular readers: Thanks for following me!
If you're an occasional or first time visitor: Thanks for stopping by!

Happy March!
March 1, 2012 sunrise

.

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...