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Showing posts from May, 2013

last Eye Candy Friday of the month...

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...how can it be nearly June?

I love this time of the year because the garden is just blooming. The berry bushes are continuing to produce wonderful blackberries, but too many for the Husband and I to eat fresh.  Over the long weekend we tried a refrigerator preserves recipe that turned out very well. If the berry bushes keep this up, I'll have to make another batch!

We now have several dahlias in the font and back yards. This one isn't completely open yet:


The bougainvillea in the courtyard is starting to come in:


A new addition to the courtyard is a foxglove. We haven't had very many of these in the yard before, but I really like them:


Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow, so I'll be baking in the morning. I'm keeping it simple and just making some lemon muffins. I'll jazz them up by sharing a small jar of the preserves.

Also this weekend, we need to start planning the menu for the anniversary party we are giving the Husband's parents on the 25th. We have a …

WIP-it Wednesday...

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...with pictures of the latest two WIPs.

Here is bobbin #1 of Zen 2, a merino-silk from Yarn Wench [Ravelry]:


And here is the shawl I started over the weekend [Ravelry]:


The other WIPs in rotation are:
The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry]. The shawl's name is a take off on the Game of Thrones quote, "The night is dark and full of terrors."
I have finished Chart C and am ready to start Chart D.Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)Spin-In Fiber sampler: continuing; waiting for next Spin-In. I'm not going to list the WIPs that are waiting for rotation or are in hibernation. There is no change to any of them since my last WIP post.

Just a few projects on my plate right now. :)
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Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...in which we discuss things that didn't go quite as planned.

First, let me say that I totally enjoyed having three days off in a row. It meant a lot more time for crafting and just hanging out at home.

I really wanted to start my new weaving project, so that was the first thing I attacked.

Item #1 that didn't go as planned:
I had already wound the yarn for my new piece, so I was ready to warp. I'm using Blue Heron Rayon Metallic and Cascade Venezia Sport for the warp and weft, adding some Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour in the weft.  I planned to warp the full width of the loom (20") and a length of 95".  I wanted the Venezia Sport to be random, so I warped that first.

After I warped the Blue Heron for a few inches, I realized that I wanted the Venezia Sport to stand out a bit more. So I carefully unwarped the Blue Heron--that took a while. I unwarped the Venezia Sport and rewarped to use more of the yarn. OK, not a disaster, but it took more time than I planned.

I …

Eye Candy Friday before the long weekend...

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...brought to you by the color Maroon.

A maroon dahlia:


and a close up:


Our first blackberry harvest of the season (they have some maroon in them):


and a single berry:


Up this weekend: It's a 3-day weekend! Yay!  I'm hoping for a better weekend than last (read: less family issues). Keep your fingers crossed for me!

The number one item on my list is to warp my loom for the bridal shower gift I'm making for a friend. I now have all of the yarn and an idea of what I want to do. I'm looking forward to weaving something again!

As for the rest, I want to audition a couple of dishes that I want to make for my in-laws' 60th anniversary party next month. We're keeping the party simple, but I think a couple of special dishes would be nice.

I want to serve a flavorful gazpacho, garnished with a few small shrimp, in individual cups. It gets pretty hot at their house in the summer, and a chilled soup would be refreshing. I'll have Tabasco sauce on the side for anyone w…

WIP-it Wednesday...

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...a new roll call because I finished all the handspun that was in the last roll call post.  I now have a new list of WIPs in active rotation.

WIPs Recently in Rotation (within the last month):
Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)Zen 2 handspun top, 4 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from Yarn Wench [Ravelry] Southern Skies shawl [Ravelry]. I'm auditioning names for the shawl. Here's what it looks like so far:

Ongoing:
 Spin-In Fiber sampler: continuing; waiting for next Spin-In.Waiting to be rotated in: 
Bridal Shower present (weaving)Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch--still can't find where I put this!)Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry] Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch)Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
Hibernating
Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry] Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry] WIPs To Be:
A wal…

Top-of-the-waves Tuesday...

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...the weekend was very scattered as the Husband was dealing with some family issues. Lots of phone calls and interrupts.

I made the most of my time by doing things like the laundry and grocery shopping. Sunday dinner was simple, a chili made in the crock pot and some cornbread. Neither of us felt much like doing anything complicated.

I did manage to finish the Royale handspun finally. Here it is:


and the close up:


Specs:
Started: 4/30/11;
Finished: 5/18/13;
60% Merino, 20% Yak, 20% silk top (2 oz) from A Verb For Keeping Warm;
Started on a spindle and finished on the wheel.
169.4 yds chain-ply, 18 WPI

I also plied the last Spin-In sampler singles, but I'm not very happy with the way it plied. Oh well...it will only make up a small part of the weaving I am planning.

I worked on the Anasazi needlepoint and finally finished a section that used Rachel, a tubular nylon thread from Caron Collection. It is a pain in the neck to stitch because it unravels so easily and it catches on t…

Eye Candy Friday...

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...well, that week didn't quite go as planned. I planned on posting on Wednesday with a WIP picture. Then I planned on posting on Thursday because I didn't on Wednesday. Now it's Friday afternoon and the end of the work week can't some too soon for me!

I should clarify that it was not the week from he!! or anything. It was just really busy with a variety of HR and organizational tasks.  It was just one of those weeks where you've been productive and you don;t know how it could be the end of the day already!

On to the eye candy. The feijoa as gone nuts...there will be a ton of fruit again this year:


We have a new hydrangea in the backyard and this little guy was sunning himself this morning:


We also have some new flowers in a hanging basket under the apricot tree. I'm not sure what these are, but they are pretty:


I took my Lacy in the Sky with Diamonds shawl to Spin-In for show-and-tell last weekend. Neo (the hosts' cat) loved my shawl:


Up this weekend: I wa…

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

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...it's been a busy few days, but good ones!

Saturday was Spin-In and I tried out a new chocolate cookie recipe. I've been craving chocolate for a while, and these cookies sounded good.  I found the recipe on Pinterest, which can sometimes be tricky. Thankfully, this recipe worked out even though I didn't do everything exactly.  You see, the recipe makes 12 giant cookies. I didn't want giant cookies...I wanted something more like 24. I read some of the comments from people who tried the recipe, but made smaller cookies. So I went for it.

I decided to make one batch of dough. The recipe called for 2-1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips (yes, that's a lot of chocolate chips). I wanted nuts in my cookies, so I cut the chips down to a scant 2 cups and added 1 cup of chopped, salted almonds. I divided the dough into 12 pieces just to see how big the original size would be. Holy Cookie, Batman! Those puppies were huge! The author really did mean giant!  Then I divided …

Eye Candy Friday...

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...and there's a busy weekend ahead, with Mother's Day on Sunday.

The Daughter is ahead of the game. My flowers arrived on Thursday and are gorgeous. Here's the entire arrangement:


a close up of the lilies:


and a close up of the irises:


Up this weekend: Spin-In on Saturday! We'll spin the next fiber in our fiber sampler and then work on our own spinning. I'm probably baking cookies for this one as they are the simplest to make.

On Sunday, The Daughter and I are spending part of the day together. Lunch and hiking will be involved! I also need to call my mother and make sure her flowers arrived.

When I'm not out and about, I'll finish plying the Pilgrim handspun. I'm 95% done with bobbin #1 and still have bobbin #2 to ply.

It feels good to get back to spinning and finishing yarns!
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WIP-it Wednesday and a late weekend report...

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...it's getting harder and harder to post on Mondays and Tuesdays.  At least I got the April recap posted yesterday.

Weekend report:

I finished spinning the Tribe camel-silk top. Here is the skein:


and a close-up:


Specs:
Started 3/16/13
Finished 5/5/13
50% silk 50% Camel top from Greenwood Fiberworks
238.2 yds chain ply; 15 WPI

I finished spinning the singles for the Pilgrim Merino-Tussah Silk top from AVFKW:


I started plying it Sunday night and haven't gotten back to it yet.

Also, I moved the Royale Merino-Yak-silk top from the spindle to the wheel. I'll finish spinning it on the wheel and then get it plied.

I took some time out to make a trip to Purlescence Yarns. I have a bridal shower gift to make and I wanted to look at some yarn for weaving. (Yes, I found some!)

WIPs:

I added a WIP to the rotation to replace the completed Tribe handspun. Here's the current state of my WIPs.

WIPs in Rotation 
Pilgrim handspun, from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry] - plying!Royale ha…

April 2013 recap...

...another month of knitting the Celestarium shawl, but it's done!.

Finished:
4/29 Lacy in the Sky with Diamonds, a Celestarium shawl (knitting)  [Ravelry]4/29 Caterwauling quilt for the cats (quilting) Books: Heartbreak Ranch, Fern MichaelsMr and Miss Anonymous, Fern MichaelsStarting Now, Debbie MacomberTwice Tempted, Jeaniene FrostBlood Trade, Faith HunterThe Search, Nora Roberts Didn't/couldn't finish Dearie (Julia Child bio), Bob Spitz (tedious amount of detail)Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner, Diana Gabaldon (not into the British spy thing)Started:
 Nothing
Worked on:
Tribe handspun, Camel-Silk top from Greenwood Fiberworks (spinning) [Ravelry]Pilgrim handspun,(Merino-Tussah Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm (spinning) [Ravelry] Royale handspun,  (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm (spinning) [Ravelry] Spin-In Fiber Sampler (This will take several months to complete as we are working on it together)
Works In Progress, did not work on:
Anasazi by Sus…

Eye Candy Friday...

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...and the first for May.  More color is appearing in the garden.

The tomato plants are starting to flower:


The remaining chive plants have also set flowers:


The feijoa tree is starting up:


...as is the Pomegranate:


We do have a new plant in the backyard, a sweet pea shrub:


Up this weekend: No specific plans at the moment. I'd like to get some spinning done. I have the Camel-silk that ready to ply. I have a couple of others in progress that I'd like to finish soon.

And then there's the loom that is calling my name...and the needlepoint...and...
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WIPs on Thursday...

...I didn't work on anything last night! Now that I've finished two big projects, I'm having a heck of a time picking which WIPs to work on!

At Tuesdays' Craft Night, I spun a bit more of the Camel-Silk top that I've been trying to finish for the last couple of months. It was the easiest thing to work on...it's on the wheel and in my studio.

Last night in lieu of spinning some more, I cruised through a few of my stitching WIPs. I decided that I didn't want to work on any of them!  I did decide to finally IDJ (It's Dead, Jim) the Violet Needleroll. I just can't get past the awful linen. I'll put away the part that's stitched for posterity.

To help pick out the WIPs for rotation, I think a WIP Roll Call is in order.

WIPs Recently in Rotation (within the last month):
Tribe handspun, Camel-Silk top from Greenwood Fiberworks [Ravelry]Pilgrim handspun, from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry]Royale handspun top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb …