getting back to normal is the dream...

...that's not going to happen for a while.

We're dealing with some family issues, both on my side of the family and on the ex's side of the family. Aging is not pretty and with it comes the inevitable. The inevitable has happened for one family member and another is close.

The Husband and I are fine, though. We're helping the Daughter and other relatives cope.

So posting might be a bit sporadic for a couple of weeks. (I know: what's new?!)

I'll have some crafting time in there somewhere. I think I can continue to make [slow] progress on my projects. That's all I can hope for at this point.
.

just another Eye Candy Friday...

...so ready for the weekend! So let's play a little Eye Candy Catch-up, shall we?

The reunion last Saturday was held at my Aunt Margaret's home in Hollister. Her home is on a corer and her yard is pretty big. She has a large garden of cacti and succulents, some of which are fairly old.

Not sure what this plant is, but it attracted a lot of bees:

Bee in the garden

The cactus flowers were very interesting with the random green sprouts:

Another cactus flower view

Some of the barrel cacti were huge and alien-like:

Barrel Cactus center

with cool ridges.

Ribs of a barrel cactus

On Monday night, there were spectacular cloud formations and a nearly full moon. Here is a picture of the moonrise:

Moonrise 8/19/13

That night we had a huge storm....lots of thunder, lightning, and heavy rain.

Up this weekend: I need to work on the baby quilt and get it as close to done as possible. One of the issues I'm having is that some of the squares contain a random scattering of animals, making outline quilting difficult and time-consuming. Since I don't do free-motion quilting very well and this is a gift, I really don't want to do it here. I'm going to explore some of my built-in embroidery stitches and see if I can find a suitable one to use.

 I want to finish the rounds on the Southern Skies shawl. I'm an doing the edging set-up rounds now and have 3 more to do. Then, it's hurry up and wait for the amethyst magatama drop beads (like these only darker) that I ordered to use on the tips of the edging. They are supposed to arrive next week.  I can't start the edging until then.

It's not like I don't have anything else to work on. ;)
.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...ignore the fact that I didn't post on Monday or Tuesday, 'k?  At least I have an excuse for Monday. It's called: Internet problems. It's hard to post when you have no connectivity!

It's about time for a WIP roll call, so here we go.

WIPs in Rotation:

  1. The Sky is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry] - I'm 70% done; working on round 154 of 158 charted rows. I have ordered some magatama beads for the edging so I might have to put that on hold until I receive them. However, I'm hoping that I've timed this right and I get the beads by the time I can start on the edging. We'll see!
  2. What Do You See in the Sea? quilt  (quilting) - No progress in 2 weeks. Still need to finish the machine quilting and bind it.
  3. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint) - I've decided to just finish it. At this point about about 50% done and the thought of redoing that section makes me twitchy.
  4. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch) - just needs finishing!
  5. Lamb (cross stitch) - when I was filing away the latest mermaid pattern and bead pack, I found another stitching WIP (they're everywhere!). I have no idea why I put it away. This is Lamb by  Shepherd's Bush. I also found a several more Shepherd's Bush chart packs in this series (buttons, chart, and fabric)...they might make good take-along projects.
Shepherd's Bush Lamb, in progress

Waiting to be rotated in:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. 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 - I have a plan and will rotate this in when I finish the other baby quilt.

hello Friday...

...it's been a week.  I still have a cough, but I feel fine. Gotta love those summer colds. :(

No pictures today as I had nothing new to photograph (read: nothing I haven't already taken 50 million pictures of).

Up this weekend: One of my maternal aunts is giving a family reunion and we are going tomorrow (at least for a while). I might have mentioned these are 4-day affairs...I'm lucky I work. Otherwise I'd have to be there a lot more than Saturday!

I really need more sleep more than anything, but my mom expects me to be there. It's 60 miles from here and in a part of the valley that's usually a lot hotter than home. The camera is going with me and I hope to get some family pictures. Hmmm, I wonder if I can work on the Southern Skies shawl in the car.

Sunday will be my day to catch up with things at home and rest.

Yeah, that will work.
.

on the up-swing...

...I'm feeling a lot better and am now back to working full days. I missed WIP-It Wednesday yesterday.  I hope to get back to a regular blog schedule soon!

Before I got sick, I did manage to get a little machine quilting done on the baby quilt, so at least I made a little progress.

I did a little clean up around the studio to pick up the stray yarn orts from the shawl finishing and put away a the beads and pearls I'd pulled out when doing the fringe. Guess what?! I found the Happy Pumpkin scissor fob WIP that I lost several months ago. Score!

When I'd had enough of quilting, I sat down and worked on the fob. As it turned out, I didn't have much to stitch on the front and the back went very quickly. I started this puppy in 2009 and tried to work on it in 2010 when my eyes started going bad. I had to stop when it got too hard to see the linen threads.

Anyway,  the stitching is done now...yay!


Happy Pumpkin scissor fob as of 8/15/13

I need to trim the fabric and stitch it into a fob before I can declare it a finished object.

So close...
.

best laid plans...

...were waylaid by a summer cold. 

I started feeling bad on Saturday and by Sunday afternoon,  the cold had hit full-force.  It's in my chest and throat...and I feel like some one has kicked me in the ribs.

I'm still getting some cycles of fever, so I'm not working full days.

Maybe tomorrow.
.


Eye Candy Friday...

...given that the garden is mostly ripening tomatoes, I wasn't sure whether I'd find anything to photograph today. However, there were a few things.

A ripening apple that the squirrels somehow missed:

Ripening apple

A nasturtium:


Nasturtium

and a flower on our strawberry plants:

Strawberry flower

Up this weekend: I don't plan on going anywhere except the grocery store! After last weekend's revelries that took us away from home most of the time, I need to do a little housekeeping. My floors need some serious cleaning and the house needs to be straightened up.

When that's done,  I can swing over to the next project to complete.  I plan on spending quality time with the baby quilt and finish the machine quilting. If I'm lucking I might be able to bind it, but that would be a bonus. There's lots of tricking quilting to do and it might take me most of the weekend. However, if it gets too hot, all bets are off!

I am now working on round 139 of 158 of the Southern Skies shawl. I'll work on it in between laundry and working on the quilt.

I also want to take a few minutes and decide what to do about Anasazi, the needlepoint project I have in rotation. Do I just finish it or cut out the Neon Rays ribbon and replace it with another color?

Decisions, decisions...
.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...in which I have very little to show.

However, I did take an updated picture of the Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl.

The Night is Purple and Full of Stars, as of 8/6/13

I'm on round 134 of 158. Only 24 more rounds until the edging. Since each round takes me 30-45 minutes, I have a few more hours going around and round.

It is the only thing I've worked on this week because it's somewhat portable.

It;s not a WIP, but I have a new thing to share. I received my Rockin' Sock Club installment for July. Click to spoiler pictures to see the package.

RSC 2013 Spoiler


I like the yarn color, but I'm not in love with the shawl pattern. The sock pattern looks interesting and I might attempt it if I ever find my sock mojo again. [sigh]

I have that let-down feeling that you get when you go from super-productive to not-so productive. I sure hope I pick up momentum this weekend!
.

and, I'm back...

...and wishing I had a a couple of more weekend days.

It was a whirlwind of a wedding weekend. The wedding was wonderful! We visited with some family members we haven't seen in quite a while and met some of the bride's family and friends.

At the pre-wedding get-together on Friday, I gave the shawl to the bride. She loves it! She wore it during the wedding reception and wore it again during the post-wedding lunch.

Reception speech

The newlyweds are beekeepers and urban farmers. The yarn I selected has shades of white and tan, with gold metallic highlights. It reminded me of honey, so the shawl is named: A Taste of Honey.

A Taste of Honey shawl

I wanted to honor their bees, so I added a bee charm to one end of the shawl:

A Taste of Honey Shawl, bee detail

The yarn is pretty lightweight. I tied beads to the fringe to weigh it down a bit and keep it from flying around. It added another layer of sparkle.

A Taste of Honey Shawl, fringe

Specs:
Started 5/25/13;
Finished 7/29/13;
Warp: Blue Heron Rayon Metallic (80%) in Polar Bear and Cascade Venezia Sport (20%) in white;
Weft:  Blue Heron Rayon Metallic in Polar Bear, Cascade Venezia Sport in white, and Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour in white;
Warped 20" W x 95" L;
Finished size approx 18.75" wide x 68" length; 10 epi, 10 ppi;
The fringe is hand-knotted with Czech crystal silver-lined beads. In the center of each end are pearl and gold accents, and one Sparkle Bee charm (Just Nan).

 We're tired, but it's a happy tired. Congrats to Adam and Therese!
.

July 2013 recap...

...and Happy August. I thought I'd better get the recap posted while I had a minute. July was Tour de Fleece month, which meant lots of spinning! It was also the month for learning new spinning techniques: core-spinning, auto-wrapping, and spinning Cotswold locks.

Finished:
  • 7/1 Blue Fortune handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Mostly Blue Wheel of Fortune batt (1 oz) from Purlescence Yarns;
    Chain-plied with beads;
    37.2 yds, 10 WPI
  • 7/4 Red Fortune handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Red-Gold Wheel of Fortune batt (1 oz) from Purlescence Yarns;
    Plied with gold Sulky thread
    102.3 yds 13 WPI
  • 7/4 Earth handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Red and Brown Wheel of Fortune batt (1 oz) from Purlescence Yarns;
    Chain-ply 46.5 yds 11 WPI
  • 7/4 Purple Fortune (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Purple Wheel of Fortune batt (1 oz) from Purlescence Yarns;
    Plied with beads and sequins strung on variegated quilting thread;
    100.5 yds 13 WPI
  •  7/7 Cream V handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Cream V batt (2 oz) from Faerie Mountain Fibers;
    Plied with Madeira Glamour in white and Madeira silver thread;
    96.7 yds 13 WPI 
  •  7/7 Monet handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Multicolor batt (1 oz) from Greenwood Fiberworks;
    Chain ply
    68.9 yds 13 WPI
  • 7/12 Witches Tresses handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Witches Tresses batts (4.3 oz) from Shooting Yarn
    singles plied with green thread;
    214.1 yds 10 WPI 
  • 7/14 Crazy Purple handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Purple Crazy batt (2 oz) from Tanglebella Fibers singles plied with purple rayon thread;
    119.1 yds 10 WPI 
  • 7/14 Get Back Red-Black handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Red-Black Crazy batt (2 oz) from Faerie Mountain Fibers
    singles plied with YLI red metallic cord;
    74.4 yds 9 WPI 
  •  7/17 Black Peacock handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Black Peacock Tweed Wild Card Bling batt (3.6 oz) from Yarn Wench;
    core-spun single auto-wrapped with silver metallic thread
    37.2 yds bulky
  • 7/16 Glimmer 1 handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Glimmer Wild Card Bling batt (2 oz) from Yarn Wench;
    core-spun single plied with variegated blue rayon thread, 20.5 yds bulky; 
  • 7/16 Glimmer 2 handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Glimmer Wild Card Bling batt (2 oz) from Yarn Wench;
    Core-spun single, 24.2 yds, bulky   
  • 7/17 Glimmer Locks handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Cotswold locks from Glimmer Wild Card Bling batt (2 oz) from Yarn Wench;
    core-spun single auto-wrapped with variegated aqua rayon thread;
    9.3 yds bulky;  
  • 7/18 Crashing Surf handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Crashing Surf  Wild Card Bling batt (3.2 oz) from Yarn Wench;
    core-spun single plied with green and white variegated thread;
    31.6 yds bulky
  • 7/20 Wild and Natural handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Natural Dyes Wild Card #5018 (3.7 oz) from Yarn Wench;
    2-ply from a yarn cake; 
    93 yds, 11 WPI
  • 7/21 Carnaval handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Wild Card 4931 batt (4.2 oz) from Yarn Wench;
    Core-spun, auto-wrapped with variegated rayon thread;
    74.4 yds , bulky  
  • 7/30 A Taste of Honey woven shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. Dark Summer, Lizzy Ford
    2. Autumn Storm, Lizzy Ford
    3. Winter Fire, Lizzy Ford
    4. Deidre's Death, Lizzy Ford
    5. Darkyn's Mate, Lizzy Ford
    6. My Life as a White Trash Zombie, Diana Rowland
    7. Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues, Diana Rowland
    8. White Trash Zombie Apocalypse, Diana Rowland
    9. Transition: The Story of How I became a Man, Chaz Bono
    10. Second Honeymoon, James Patterson
    11. Chasing Fire, Nora Roberts
    12. Dance Upon the Air, Nora Roberts
Started:
  • 7/2 Red Fortune handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/2 Purple Fortune (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/3 Earth handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/5 Monet handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/6 Cream V handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/9 Witches Tresses handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/13 Crazy Purple handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/13 Get Back Red-Black handspun (spinning) [Ravelry
  • 7/16 Glimmer 1 handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]   
  • 7/16 Glimmer 2 handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]   
  • 7/17 Black Peacock handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/17 Glimmer Locks handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/18 Crashing Surf handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/19 Wild and Natural handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 7/21 Carnaval handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]

Worked on:
  • The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • What Do You See in the Sea? quilt (quilting)

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  4. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  5. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (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
  5. Spin-In Fiber Sampler -- a few extra bumps to spin that were not part of the sample. I might declare this done and move on.

WIPs To Be:
  1. A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
  2. Baby present for our niece


WIP-it Wednesday...

...pretend I'm posting this on a break during my cooking marathon. ;-) WIPs Roll Call Worked On: Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [ ...