Showing posts from January, 2014

Finished Object Friday...

Image second finished object of the year!  I finished the Husband's Jacques Cousteau hat [Ravelry] Wednesday night. Here's what it looks like:

and from the top:

Started 12/31/13;
Finished 1/29/14;
Pattern: Jacques Cousteau Hat by Lalla Pohjanpalo;
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Navy

He's happy with it and wore it this morning. Yay! I plan on making a couple of hats for Halos of Hope, but I think I'll wait a couple of days before starting them. After knitting on the Cousteau hat for most of last weekend, I want to work on a different kind of knitting for a bit.

Up this weekend: I need to catch up with some of the chores that we missed last weekend. I seriously need to vacuum before the cat hair takes over the world!

I have a little clean up to do in the studio, too.  There are stray knitting needles and skeins of yarn that need to be put away. I need to vacuum in there, too, but it's mostly stray threads and fiber.

After that, I plan on working on the mermai…

WIP-it Wednesday, and a little catch-up...

...I'm a little tired and a little behind on the blog, but we had a great weekend.

As I mentioned, the Husband and I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Saturday.  The first thing we did was go outside to the Great Tide Pool area and take a deep breath. I love the sea air! There were several otters and porpoises in the distance. I used my camera to zoom in on a group of otters and got an OK picture of them.

My primary reason for going to the aquarium was to finally see the jellyfish exhibit. This is a popular exhibit and it was sometimes difficult to get pictures because of all the other people. However, I did manage to get a few good shots.

Whenever we OD'd on people, we went back out to the Great Tide Pool area. This sea gull decided to hang out and people watch.

We like the shore bird area as well.

We had lunch at Cannery Row and went back for round two at the aquarium to see the sand dollars and anything else we missed.

We had an anniversary dinner at Domenico's On T…

Eye Candy Friday...

...and I can't wait for it to the weekend!  (I know...what's new!)

Our plum tree has started to bloom.

It hasn't figured out yet that it's only January. With all of our nice weather, the plants are very confused. I wish that it would rain because we really need it. It is so dry around here.

Up this weekend:   Our 33/28 anniversary is tomorrow and we are going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  This will give me the ocean time that I sorely need. I want to see the jellyfish and check out the new-to-me exhibits. The Cousteau hat is the perfect car tip project. I've knit 5 of the 10 inches I need before starting the decreases.

Really looking forward to tomorrow!

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and there are several things in play.

As promised, here's a look at the current state of Anasazi:

Not my favorite color combination, but it's still infinitely better than Vegas (AKA: the Pink Nightmare).

I have knit about 4 inches of the 10 inches that I need for the Cousteau hat.

I have restarted the Rockefeller shawl and the Cat Bordhi method of hiding the wraps for W&T is working. Halleluja!

Mediterranean Mermaid: the beading has begun! I found a few thread options at Jo-Ann's yesterday. I found a slightly thicker invisible thread, a light gray silk, a pale blue rayon, and a pale green rayon. The pale green matches the fabric very well and is easier to work with than the invisible thread. Here's what the tail looks like so far:

It's going to be a long slog...this picture represents about 3.5 hours worth of beading.

In stash news, I received a couple of club shipments this month. First is the December 2013 installment of the Rockin' Whorl Club from Bl…

And the Socks That Rock Lightweight prize goes to...

....sciencejock! You win the skein of Socks That Rock Lightweight in Fleur de couleur. Send me email (marie_novicki at and let me know whether you've changed your address since last year. I'll send it out as soon as I can. Congrats!!

The quick weekend report: I finished the back-stitching on the mermaid and started the beading; I worked on Anasazi (needlepoint), which has been languishing in the UFO stack; and I decided that the Japanese short row technique didn't work for me either.

The longer report...

The Mediterranean Mermaid is in the home stretch! I finished the back-stitching on Saturday--the crown was a P.I.T.A. and I had to rip it out twice. I hope that it will show up better after I've added the beads. I gave the project a bath, ironed out most of the wrinkles, and hung it to dry overnight. Here's what she looked like just before the bath:

I started beading her tail on Sunday. The pattern calls for invisible thread for the beads that are not di…

Eye Candy Friday and a contest reminder...

...and I have no new pictures to show today. The yard is pretty bleak right now and now with a drought emergency declared, it might continue to be that way.

I feel the need for ocean, so I'm recycling some pictures we took in Carmel and Monterey in 2008.

This is the beach at Carmel:

and a lone gull:

Up this weekend: No specific plans for me. The Husband has a day trip planned for Saturday, so I'll be in my studio all day. I'm making great progress on the mermaid and I want to keep up the momentum.

I'll also continue to work on the hat an the new shawl. Because the hat is pretty mindless knitting, I've discovered that I can knit and read at the same time. Yes! I won't get as bored this way and make a dent in those 7.75 inches that I need to knit.

Given that I really need ocean right now, maybe I try to convince the Husband to take a day trip for our anniversary next weekend. Monterey isn't that far away...

Leave a comment on my 1/6/14 post

WIP-it Wednesday...

Image which I unveil the latest WIP, the Rockefeller shawl. Here's what I've knit so far:

I need to knit 31 of wedges to make the top portion of the shawl. Each wedge calls for 3 wrap-and-turns...ugh! I'm trying the Japanese short row method for the next couple of wedges to see whether I like they way they look. I've done one so far and it's a little better than W&T, but a bit fiddly.

WIP Roll Call
WIPs in rotation:

Mediterranean Mermaid (cross stitch):
Working on the back stitching.Jacques Cousteau hat for the Husband [Ravelry]
Knitted 2.25 of 10 inchesRockefeller Moon shawl  [Ravelry]
Working on the top sectionWaiting to be rotated in:
Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint) Carbonized Zombie socks [Ravelry]Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry] Hive cross stitch Love Scissor fob (cross stitch) Hibernating:
Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry] Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross…

random Tuesday and a contest reminder...

Image's just that kind of a day.
1. I hate wrap-and-turn short rows. They never look right. There are tons of short rows in the Rockefeller shawl [Ravelry] so I have many opportunities to swear at wrap-and-turn.  I tried the YO method of short rows, which didn't work because I'm using two distinct colors--the wrong color shows up in inconvenient places.  At Craft Coffee last night, a knitter recommended trying the safety pin method for short rows. I'll give that a shot and see if it works.
2. The Cousteau hat looks great, but it's really boring! I have knit 2.25 inches of K3 P2...only 7.75 inches to go!

3. I finished the cross stitching portion of the mermaid! Hooray!  I started the back-stitching after taking this picture last night:

4. Stitches West is in 5 weeks (give or take a day)! Really looking forward to my weaving class!

Leave a comment on my 1/6/14 post by Midnight PST, Monday 1/20/14.

We'll draw the winner's name out of a hat on …

Eye Candy Friday...

...and thank goodness this week is over. The week after my 2-week Christmas vacation is always the world's longest week!

This morning's sunrise was more pastel than normal.

What was really interesting is that it was relatively clear at my house, but extremely foggy less than 2 miles away.

I started a new project last night, the Rockefeller shawl by Stephen West [Ravelry]. As I explained to the Husband, the Cousteau hat [Ravelry] I'm making for him will look great when it's done, but knitting it is kind of boring (K3 P2 for 9 inches!!). I'll swap between it and the Rockefeller shawl.

Up this weekend: Spin-In is tomorrow...yay!  I had to miss December's and I really looking forward to seeing everyone again. I think I'm going to spin a Ranch of the Oaks purchase from Stitches West 2013. I just need to find it in the stash.

Other than that, no major plans. There's still plenty of stitching to do on the mermaid and there are many  other UFOs to choose from!


WIP-it Wednesday...

...only one WIP picture to show, but I do have pictures of the finished shawl!

I started a second hat for the Husband, the Jacques Cousteau hat [Ravelry] by Lalla Pohjanpalo. I haven't gotten very far, but it looks like it will fit his head.

I haven't taken a recent picture of the mermaid, but I have finished her hair (HURRAY!). I need to finish her arms and the vase that she is holding.  The next step will be to do the back-stitching.  I'm getting closer to the beading!

None of the other WIPs have received any play in the last month.

Now for the shawl pictures. I have not been successful taking a picture of the whole shawl, but I do have the following pictures.

Me and the Shawl:

The edging:

A detail shot of the edging:

A slice view of the shawl

Started 5/19/13;
Finished 12/31/13;
Pattern: Southern Skies by Audrey Nicklin; edging is a modified version of Jared Floods' Leaves of Grass border;
Yarn: Colinette Jitterburg in Velvet Bilberry;
Stars: Silver-lined cry…

2013 End of the Year Recap...

Those not on Ravelry can see pictures of these items in my Flickr photostream and sets: Knitting, Spinning, Quilting/Sewing, Needlework, and Weaving.

Short Story: It was the year of the pi shawl. I knit two (!) in one year...and vowed never to do that again! It was also the year I learned how to spin art yarn.


Christmas Baking, etc.
661 biscotti; 815 cookies9 pounds of chocolate (fudge and chocolate bark) -- this is an estimate, I think it might be closer to 12 pounds, but I need to do some calculations15 lbs of flavored nuts30 mini-loaves and 10 medium loaves of fruitcake,  pumpkin bread, and lemon bread Knitting
Have a Mini-Pookie Christmas ornaments [Ravelry]Lacy in the Sky with Diamonds, a Celestarium shawl  [Ravelry]Make Mine Charcoal hat [Ravelry]Sea Foam Cowl [Ravelry] The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl (knitting) [RavelryQuilting/Sewing/Beading/Other
Caterwauling quilt for the cats What Do You See in the Sea? baby quilt Bunnies and Duckies and …

Happy Blogiversary to me...

...OK, one day late!

I started this blog January 5, 2006 as a way to track my projects and share them with friends and anyone else who was interested. I would have never guessed that I would still be at it 8 years later. My blogging has been a bit more sporadic in the last year and a half due to life and work getting in the way. But I'm going to keep at it because it is the best way to gauge how well or how poorly a particular project is progressing. It's interesting to go back and see where the problems were and how much I have progressed since then.

In honor of my Blogiversary, how about a little Contest? Leave a comment on this post by Midnight PST, Monday 1/20/14.

I'll do the random number thing and post the winner on Tuesday, 1/21/14.

The prize: 1 skein of Socks That Rock Lightweight in Fleur de couleur:

This was the club yarn for the May 2013 installment of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club. (The mini-skein is not included.)

Good Luck!

I still need to p…

first Eye Candy Friday of 2014...

...brought to you by the two floral gifts I received last week. A poinsettia from one of my Daughter's friends:

A miniature Parade Rose from my sister-in-law:

and another view:

Also Eye-Candy-worthy was this morning's sunrise:

I spent Wednesday afternoon blocking the shawl. It took several hours of crawling on the floor, measuring and pinning it to the blocking mats. Despite having purchased extra puzzle mats and pins, I didn't have quite enough of either. I still ended up having to put a quilt beneath the mats to pin out the points. It's not a perfect blocking job, but it's the best I can do for now. Pictures when I can face unpinning it!

I spent yesterday deconstructing Christmas and returning the living room furniture to its normal configuration. It took all day, but it was worth it. I'd rather have one very full day that having it spread out over several days. The tree is outside, waiting for next week's garbage day. The only thing I didn't do was …

December 2013 recap...

12/26 Make Mine Charcoal hat [Ravelry]12/26 Have a Mini-Pookie Christmas ornaments [Ravelry]12/31 The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]  Christmas baking:Bark and fudge: 9 poundsBiscotti: 661Breads and fruitcakes: 30 mini-loaves and 10 medium loaves Cookies: 815Spicy nuts: 3 pounds Sugared nuts: 12 pounds Books: Birthright, Nora RobertsKicking It, Faith HunterKept, Shawntelle MadisonCoveted, Shawntelle MadisonThe Spider, Jennifer EstepStarted:
12/31 Jack's Cousteau Hat  [Ravelry]Worked on:
Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]Cazadero Mist (4 oz) from Royale Hare [Ravelry]Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
Works In Progress, did not work on:
Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry] Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)

First day of 2014 and it's WIP-it Wednesday...

...Here is the first sunrise of the year:

Last night's dinner was a collection of pre-made hors d'oeuvres that I just had to bake in the oven.  Very simple, but very filling. We toasted the new year with champagne and fresh raspberries. We texted the Daughter who is in LA for the Rose Bowl and watched the fireworks on TV for a bit. It was a laid-back celebration, just the kind we like.

The Last Finishes of the 2013:

I finished knitting The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (aka Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry] around 5:30pm. I knew there was no way I could block it last night, but I'm declaring it done anyway.  I'll block it today. Here it is in its unblocked state:

Started: 5/18/13
Finished: 12/31/13
Pattern: Southern Skies by Audrey Nicklin
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Bilberry, 4 skeins
Mods: Used a modification of the edging from Leaves of Grass shawl

Have a Mini-Pookies Christmas ornaments [Ravelry] was the stealth Christmas present for my friend: