last Eye Candy Friday for June...

...wow, that month went by fast! Nothing like being busy to make time fly!

Today we have yet-another unknown flower from our garden:

View from the top

The tomatoes are ripening:

Ripening tomatoes

and the sky on Tuesday was pretty amazing:

Evening sky 6/25/13

Up this weekend: Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow! I have my fiber ready to go and the bobbins are empty, just waiting for me to start. Here's what I'm going to try to spin this tour:

Tour de Fleece 2013 entries

It seems like a lot, but some of these batts weight only one ounce. One thing I'd like to try is spinning at least one art yarn. I've never just let myself follow the fiber to see where it will take me. The Yarn Wench's batts are an interesting mix of fibers and textures...perfect for an art yarn. We'll see if I'm that brave!

When my knees need a rest from all that treadling, I'll work on the baby quilt, the woven shawl, or the Southern Skies shawl.

I can't wait to get started!
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WIP roll call, a couple of FOs, and TdF...

...yeah,  I missed WIP-it Wednesday. Clearly, I am not yet back in the blogging groove. Here's my latest list. As I gear up for Tour de Fleece, the list will change a bit.

WIPs Recently in Rotation (within the last month):

  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. A Taste of Honey shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]
  3. The Sky is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry]
  4. Baby quilt for one of my "kids" (quilting)
Ongoing:
  • Spin-In Fiber sampler: We've spun all of the sampler fibers, but we have a couple of donated bumps to spin
Waiting to be rotated in:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch--still can't find where I put this!)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  4. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch)

Hibernating
  1. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  2. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  4. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry
WIPs To Be:
  1. A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
  2. Baby present for our niece
In all of the party craziness, I forgot to report on 2 completed items! Here is the Zen 2 handspun [Ravelry]:

Zen 2 handspun

and a close up:

Zen 2 handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 5/11/13
Finished 6/15/13
Fiber: Zen 2 top, 4 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from Yarn Wench
249.4 yds chain-ply 12 WPI

I also repurposed a long-standing WIP into a finished object. This is the Sea Foam Cowl [Ravelry] as modeled by Teddy:

Sea Foam Cowl modeled by Teddy

Specs:
Started: 9/15/2008
Finished: 6/15/2013
Pattern: Sea Foam by Sheryl Thies from the book "Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea"
Yarn: Duet by Brooks Farm Yarn

This was supposed to be a shawl. I completely love the look of it and the yarn,  but really hated the process. I just couldn't face knitting any more YO/drop combinations!  I had enough on the needles to make a cowl, so...  Anyway, it's done and off of my list!

I'm just about ready for Tour de Fleece. I have my theme: I'm spinning all batts. I have joined my teams: Team Spinnity (our Spin-In group), Team Spinning Purls (Purlescence group), and Team Greenwood Fiberworks (a great Etsy vendor I discovered at Stitches West). I just need to clean and lubricate my wheel and I'm good to go!

So ready to do some serious spinning!
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Tuesday report...

...let's see if I can get back into the groove of blogging this week.

The anniversary party went very well. The Husband's parents enjoyed themselves and the food was a hit. We had about 45 guests, which was a little over what we expected but not a problem. In fact, we wished that people ate more because there was a lot more left over than there usually is at these functions.

We served two kinds of gazpacho with shrimp:

Gazpacho with shrimp

individual veggies and dips, with more veggies on the side:

Veggies and dip

artichoke frittata cut into two-bite pieces:

Artichoke Frittata

and individual 7-layer dips:

Individual 7-layer Dips

We also purchased a meat-and-cheese tray and a tray of tea sandwiches.  For dessert , the Daughter brought Sprinkles Cupcakes as my MIL didn't want a cake.

Anniversary Cupcakes

Needless to say, between the food preparation and keeping things running at the party, the Husband and I were wiped out by the end of Saturday. I was too tired to knit!

On Sunday, the Husband spent the day in the City with his sister and her husband, while I spent the day in my studio.

I wove about 6 inches of the shawl and wound 3 bobbins for the next weaving session. I started cutting the fabric for a baby quilt for a close family friend. I also knitted a few rows on the Southern Skies shawl.

I wish I could say that I took a nap, but that was not to be. I just can't seem to nap during the day. I think it's my body's way of telling me that there are too many things to do and I can't waste time sleeping.

I hate it when it's right...
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it's still Eye Candy Friday here...

...at least for another hour and a half.  It's been a busy week and a very busy day.

The picture this week are the flowers that the Husband bought an planted for his parents.

Dianthus

Purple Dianthus

a Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan

"Margarita" penstemon

Penstemon

Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy

Up this weekend: with the anniversary party this weekend, we're looking forward to seeing family and friends.  Crafts are on a back burner for now.

Off to bed for me...
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Eye Candy Friday...

...and it's been a busy day!

today we have plains coreopsis from out garden:

Plains coreopsis

a sunflower from a neighbor's garden:


Sunflower

some baby birds (in the courtyard at work)


Three baby birds



and a pink flower in a neighbor's yard:

Pink flower

Up this weekend:
  • Finalize the menu for the anniversary party we're giving.
  • Ply the Zen 2 handspun so I can declare it done!
  • Make some serious progress on the woven shawl.
  • Try not to be distracted by my Southern Skies shawl (that's going to be hard!).
Have a good one!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...yeah, I forgot to post on Monday and Tuesday. Sigh...

The weekend report: I tested two gazpacho recipes, one red and one green. We decided that they were both yummy, so we're going to make both of them for the party.  The other bonus was that it was an easy way for me to eat my vegetables without having to eat yet-another-salad. Three years of eating salads for lunch and dinner really made me hate salads! Gazpacho, on the other hands, is very easy to est.

I managed to finish spinning bobbin #2 of the Zen handspun. Now I just need to ply it.

I also worked on the woven shawl for a few hours.  "Worked" is a relative term. I wove about two inches using the 3 weft yarns I chose and really didn't like the way it looked. The plain white wool stood out too much and made the shawl look a bit plaid-y. I unwove everything back to before the first white wool pick just after the Leno insert. I do like the way the white wool looks in the center of the Leno, so I kept that. I'm now using the Blue Heron Rayon Metallic and the Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour yarns as the weft. I'm much happier with the way it looks!

By far, the WIP that's getting the most play is The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl. I have finished chart D and have knit 50% of the increase row (#101). I'm going up a needle size for the increases and chart E to make it slightly more open on that portion of the shawl. Here's what if looks like so far:

The Night is Purple and Full of Stars shawl, as of 6/12/13

I'm very happy with the color and its slight variations, although it's hard to photograph the shawl to show the true purple.

Onward!
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Eye Candy Friday...

...it's June!

The tomatillos are flowering...

Tomatillo flower

...and setting fruit.

Young tomatillo

The cosmos are blooming...

Cosmos
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..the marionberries are ready for picking...

Marionberries

...and the apricots are nearly ripe...

Blenheim apricots

We'll have to work hard to get any apricots this year. There aren't very many and the birds are already picking off the high ones.

Up this weekend: We are in the throes of planning a party for their 60th anniversary. The Husband is helping his parents get their yard in order and I'm planning the menu. This weekend, I need to print a few recipes and try them out. Gazpacho sounds really good right now...

I also need to pull out my serving platters and see whether we have enough. We're still a few weeks away, so we have plenty of time. It never hurts to be prepared!

We'll pick the ripe marionberries and I'll make a batch of preserves from them.

I need to spend some serious time weaving as I have not made much progress on the shawl. Knitting the Southern Skies has consumed me, just like Celestarium did. (Big surprise!)  I'd also like to get a little time on the wheel because Tour de Fleece is at the end of the month and I need to clear the decks!

Sunday evening, I will be in my studio at 6pm to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones. No interruptions will be tolerated!

I also have this on-going fantasy of sleeping in...yeah, that will happen.
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WIP-it Wednesday and a sock club installment...

...first let's do the sock club installment.

My Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club installment arrived today. I've been kind of "meh" about the club this year mostly because I still haven't found my sock mojo. (If you find it, will you please show it the way home? Thanks!)

I am mildly interested in the "other" pattern this time, but the sock pattern does not appeal to me. The yarn color is OK. I think it might make a nice woven scarf if I decide not to make the "other" pattern. Anyway, here's the package behind the spoiler:

RSC 2013 Spoiler

On to the WIPs!

I finally took a picture of Anasazi:

Anasazi, as of 6/5/13

It's coming along, but I'm not in love with the dark teal ribbon. I think it's the wrong shade to go with the rest of the colors. Either that or the purple Rachel (outside borders) is off. At this point, I'm not changing it -- to replace either section means that I would have to cut out the stitched items and destroy $5+ of fibers.

Here's a WIP recap:

WIPs Recently in Rotation (within the last month):
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. A Taste of Honey shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]
  3. The Sky is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry].
  4. Zen 2 handspun top, 4 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from Yarn Wench [Ravelry]
Ongoing:
  • Spin-In Fiber sampler: continuing; waiting for next Spin-In.
Waiting to be rotated in:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch--still can't find where I put this!)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  4. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch)
  5. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]

Hibernating
  1. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  2. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  4. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry
WIPs To Be:
  1. A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
  2. Baby presents for the next 2 kids in our circle
Onward!
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May 2013 Recap...

...another month, another recap.

Finished:
  • 5/18 Royale handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    60% Merino, 20% Yak, 20% silk top (2 oz) from A Verb For Keeping Warm;
    169.4 yds chain-ply, 18 WPI
  • 5/11 Pilgrim handspun  (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino-Tussah Silk 4 oz. from A Verb for Keeping Warm
    325.7yds, 17 WPI
  • 5/5 Tribe handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    50% silk 50% Camel top from Greenwood Fiberworks
    238.2 yds chain ply; 15 WPI
  • Books:
    1. 12th of Never, James Patterson
    2. Darkness Dawns, Dianne Duvall
    3. Dead Ever After, Charlaine Harris
    4. Night Reigns, Dianne Duvall
    5. Phantom Shadows, Dianne Duvall
    6. Dumping Billy, Olivia Goldsmith
    7. Marked, Elisabeth Naughton
    Didn't/couldn't finish
      • The Wolf Gift, Anne Rice (Could not get into it; really didn't care about the characters)
    Started:
    • 5/19 The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
    • 5/25 A Taste of Honey shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]

    Worked on:
    • Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
    • 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:
    1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
    2. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
    3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
    4. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch)
    5. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry

    IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
    • Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

    UFOs/Hibernation:
    1. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
    2. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
    3. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
    4. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry

    WIPs To Be:
    1. A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
    2. Baby presents for the next 2 kids in our circle

    Eye Candy Friday...

    ...and I'm almost ready to call it a week. Today's eye candy is brought to you by the colors orange and pink. The Lion's Tail ...