Eye Candy Friday...

...and it's the last one for February. It's always a fast month, what with the Daughter's birthday, Valentine's Day, and Stitches West. And this year. we had the Winter Olympics thrown into the mix!

We are getting some much-needed rain, so I'm not going to complain about how few pictures I could take this morning.

Here's what it looked like when I left for the gym:

Rainy Morning 2/28/14

I managed to get a picture of some raindrops before they hit the birdbath:

Raindrops in the birdbath

And this is a new planter in our backyard...very appropriate for a wet day:

Flowering fish

Up this weekend: For the social engagement part of our weekend, we are having dinner with the Daughter and some friends.

Beyond that, I need to do some clean-up and do a serious grocery run. All of my normal household chores went by the wayside due to Stitches West. The Husband has been a trooper, but I need to get back on a normal schedule.

Craft-wise, I need to find homes for my new treasures and straighten out the studio. Then it's on to my WIPs. I want to finished the second weaving piece from class and them get back to beading the mermaid. I also have a stealth project or two to consider.

Other than dinner with the Daughter and grocery shopping, I plan to avoid being out in the rain. I'll just enjoy it from the comfort of home whenever possible!
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Stitches West 2014, final report...

...I'm a little behind in reporting, partially due to the fact that the ETC classes run through Monday and I had a bit of catch-up to do at work yesterday.

I skipped going to the Stitches West Market on Saturday because I wanted to pick up my new glasses. I wanted to have my new pair for the weaving class. Getting my glasses took way longer than it should have. Note to Lenscrafters: when I buy frames, don't put them back on the shelf! Seriously! Read the glasses order and notice that the frames are missing when you make the lenses! I had to wait for them to find the frames again and then wait while they put the lenses in. And let's just say that the Saturday crew is not nearly as attentive as the weekday crew...

Anyway, I ran a few errands after that and did some laundry. I packed up my loom and made sure I had everything I needed for class. I started taking pictured of my new stash. :)

Playing with Pick Up Sticks Class, Day 1:
I bought breakfast at Starbucks before getting to class. Needed that hit of caffeine!!  We spent the first day of class learning how to use pick up sticks with our rigid heddle looms and then worked on a sampler scarf. Many of us finished the sampler on the same day.  I took mine home, washed it, and did a simple fringe finish.

Weaving Class Sampler

and a closer look:

Weaving Class Sampler, closer view

I used Berocco Vintage DK yarn for both the warp and weft. The yarn was a little stretchy on the loom, but it worked fairly well.

I made one last pass through the market and bought some Cascade Heritage Silk yarn that I wanted to use for my Day 2 project. I didn't see anything else I wanted, so that was the end of my 2014 shopping experience.

I had hoped to finish a fourth hat for Halos of Hope, but there was no way I could have finished it by lunchtime. Class ran until 4:30 on Sunday and the market closed at 4pm. I'll just have to take the hat to Purlescence when it's done.

When I got home, I realized that I had bought two different yarns, one Cascade Heritage Silk and one Cascade Venezia. I'll use them, but not for the weaving project. I did a quick stash dive and found two shades of purple Cascade Heritage Silk and wound those for class.

Playing with Pick Up Sticks Class, Day 2:
Breakfast from Starbucks had worked so well the day before, so I repeated it!

We warped our looms for the second project and spent the day weaving it. Our instructor had laryngitis, so she had us come up to her table in small groups to go over the topics she wanted to cover.

All ETC students were provided lunch on Monday and it was excellent (and healthy!).  At the end of the day, we got to see what the other ETC classes learned and they got to see our completed projects.

I was incredibly tired by the end of Monday, but very happy. I didn't finish my second project, but I'm within a few inches of the end. I'll finish it up fairly quickly.

Stash Report:
I bought mostly fiber, with a few other things for good measure. LOL!  Here is this year's collage, minus the yarn I bought on the last day. (Still need pictures of those skeins.) Full size pictures are in my Flickr set called Stitches West 2014.



1. My badge; 2. Peacock Lite Zen top from Lisa Souza; 3. Flahriduh Zen top from Lisa Souza; 4. Elektra Silk-Merino top from Lisa Souza; 5. Sea Monster roving from Dragonfly Fibers; 6. Batt from Faerie Mountain; 7. Goat Rock Polworth-Silk from Royale Hare; 8. Natural BFL Mix and Silk top from Royale Hare; 9. Sweetwater Spring Merino-Tencel top from Royale Hare; 10. Alpaca fiber from Ranch of the Oaks; 11. Pixie yarn in Dragonberry from Dragonfly Fibers; 12. Twilight Glitter Roving from Greenwood Fiberworks; 13. Passion Fruit Camel-Silk top from Greenwood Fiberworks; 14. Vintage DK yarn in White and Magenta from Berocco; 15. Galaxy Alpaca-Silk from The Sassy Sheep; 16. Sochi Camel-Silk top from Greenwood Fiberworks; 17. Seaglass Camel-Silk top from Greenwood Fiberworks; 18. Fangtastic Sock Kit from Knitter's Brewing Company; 19. Baggu bags; 20. Espresso Better Buddy from Namaste; 21. Mermaid Lagoon top from Forbiddent Woolery; 22. Mug Mat weaving kit from The Buffalo Wool Company. Not shown: Cascade Heritage Silk in Teal; Cascade Heritage Silk in Black; Cascade Venezia in light teal.

I had a great time at Stitches West and look forward to spinning my new fibers and using my new things!
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Eye Candy Friday, Stitches-West style...

...my feet are a little tired, but my fibery-self is very happy.

First, let's do the eye candy. The roses are blooming in the front yard:

Rose in the morning

and the apricot tree is getting more and more blooms:

Apricot Blossom 1

Another:

Apricot Blossoms 2

Stitches West, Thursday: After picking up my badge,  I started knitting a hat while I waited for the Market Preview to start. I turned in the 3 hats I knit for Halos of Hope first thing. Then I started working down my list of items to buy the first night. Vendors frequently bring limited number of certain items, so if you don't get one the first night, you might not get one at all. I wanted a mug mat kit from Buffalo Wool, a vampire sock kit from Knitter's Brewing Co, and a couple of Alpaca-patterned Baggu bags from Mimi's.  Score on all of them!

After that I got fiber from some of my favorite vendors: Lisa Souza, Greenwood Fiberworks (mmmm, Camel-Silk), Royale Hare, and Ranch of the Oaks. I also got the yarn I needed for my weaving class.

Today I went back to the market to look at some of the booths that I missed and to finish up the passport game that a group of vendors was running. I got a few more bumps of fiber: Dragonfly Fibers, Sassy Sheep, Faerie Mountain Fibers, and Forbidden Woolery.

Up this weekend: I'll probably skip the market tomorrow. Saturday is usually a complete zoo--people everywhere--and I don't have anything specific that I need.  I'll start taking photos of my new treasures and get them loaded into Ravelry. I also need to prep my loom for the class that starts Sunday.

It's a 2-day weaving class with my favorite teacher, Deborah Jarchow. I'll do my last pass in the market at lunchtime on Sunday and that will be that.

I'm not sure whether I'll be able to finish another hat for Halos of Hope, but I'm going to try!
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WIP-it Wednesday, Stitches West Eve...

...and pretty much all of my WIPs are on hold. (I'm not excited or anything.)

My hands are really complaining about the combination of knitting and spinning that I've done for Ravellenics. I'm going to rest them another day and hope that I can cast on for the next hat on Thursday. I need to have something to work on while I'm contemplating my next purchases at the Market. :)

How about a WIPs roll call so we all know what I'm not working on right now? (LOL!)

WIPs in rotation:

  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
    Working on the center square
  2. Denim Alpaca-Merino (5.5 oz) from Ranch of the Oaks [Ravelry]
    About 75% done spinning the singles
  3. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
    Still working on the beading. The beaded swirls that flow off of her fins are very time-intensive.

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  3. Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  4. Rockefeller Moon shawl  [Ravelry

UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting) [Ravelry

WIPs To Be:
  • A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer.
    On hold until after Stitches West.
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me. 

Two for Tuesday...

...yeah, didn't think I'd do this two weeks in a row either!  I finished two more items for the Ravellenic Winter Games.

I spent a good part of my weekend working on these two projects. First off, another hat for Halos of Hope. This is Basic Chocolate Hat [Ravelry] entered in the Hat Halfpipe and Charity Curling events:

Basic Chocolate Hat

Specs:
Started 2/11/14;
Finished 2/17/14;
Pattern: Basic Hat from Lion Brand yarn;
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Chocolate
Made for Halos of Hope

I'm still working down my Stitches West 2011 fiber acquisitions. This is Amazonia handspun [Ravelry] entered in the Flying Camel Spin event:

Amazonia handspun

and the close-up:

Amazonia handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 2/13/14;
Finished 2/17/14;
Zen top (4oz) from Lisa Souza;
219.6 yds chain-ply; 15 WPI

I didn't get as much done on the Mermaid's beading, but I did manage to work on it for a couple of hours.

My hands hurt and my knees are sore from treadling, so I'm going to take a day or so off before I try for one more Ravellenic project. It will probably be another hat that I can work on during my down time at Stitches West.

I can't wait for Market Preview on Thursday. I still need to finish marking my map and decide which tote bag to take. I found my badge holder and it still had address labels in the back pocket, so I'm good there.

SO excited that it's almost here!!
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Finished Object Friday...

...just in time for the three-day weekend.

Here is Ancient Breeds Handspun [Ravelry]:

Ancient Breeds Handspun collage

Specs:
Started 2/8/14; Finished 2/13/14;
Ancient Breeds Sampler (5 oz of 5 fibers) from Tactile: A Fiber Arts Studio;
199 yards total;
Shetland: 37.2 yds chain-ply, 11 WPI;
Finn: 63.2 yds 2-ply, 13 WPI;
Icelandic: 31.6 yds, chain-ply, 11 WPI;
Gotland: 35.4 yds chain-ply, 11 WPI;
Norwegian: 31.6 yds 2-ply, 10 WPI

There was a heavy mist this morning that left lots of moisture on our plants. There were many drops hanging from the apricot tree:

Reflections in a drop

Lots of small drops on the plum blossoms:

Plum blossom 2

and tiny drops on the tiny flowers of this plant:

Tiny drops on tiny flowers

Up this weekend: My plan is to get some housework out of the way so i can concentrate on more Ravellenic projects. I was to continue making progress beading the mermaid...there are so many beads left to do.

The other thing I want to do is a little stash diving to see whether I have the yarn I need for my Stitches West ETC weaving class. It calls for worsted weight yarn, which I don't normally buy. However, there might be some hiding in there somewhere. My backup plan is to buy some at the market, but I'd rather not if I have some in-stash.

Other than that I plan on enjoying my time off!
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One for Thursday...

...which really should have been "One for Wednesday" but I didn't have enough time to post yesterday.

I finished another hat for Halos of Hope. This is Red No-Noro Hat [Ravelry] using the same pattern as the teal hat. I went up one needle size, making it a faster knit.


Red No-Noro Hat

and a view from the top:

Red No-Noro Hat, view from the top

Specs:
Started 2/9/14; Finished 2/11/14;
Pattern: Noro spiral one-skein hat by Manuèle Ducret;
Yarn: TLC Ultra Soft in Claret;

I've started a third hat using a very basic pattern  and Caron Simply Soft in chocolate brown.

I'm also working on spinning the last one-ounce bump in an Ancient Breeds fiber sampler. The sampler came with 5 bumps of fiber: Shetland, Finn, Icelandic, Gotland, and Norwegian. I can't remember which one I have left (Gotland?), but whatever it is, it has more VM that the others. I also found some short cut areas that don't spin easily.

All of the other projects are on hold while I make progress on my Ravellenic Winter Games entries. With the three-day weekend coming up, I'll have a little more time to spend on them.
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Two for Tuesday...

...two finished objects for the Ravellenic Winter Games! 

I finished the first hat for Halos of Hope. It is my entry in the WIPs Dancing event. This is Teal No-Noro Hat [Ravelry]:

Teal No-Noro Hat

Specs:
Started 2/2/14;
Finished 2/9/14;
Pattern: Noro spiral one-skein hat by Manuèle Ducret;
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda;
Made for Halos of Hope

The next is an entry in the Flying Camel Spin event. This is Creampuff handspun [Ravelry]:


Creampuff handspun

and the close up:

Creampuff handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 2/8/14;
Finished 2/10/14;
Camel-Llama-Silk top (1 oz) from Knitifacts;
2 ply from plying ball; 65.1 yds,  14 WPI


I started another hat for Halos of Hope on Sunday night. I'm about 75% done with it!


Onward!
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Eye candy Friday...

...and it's raining! Finally!! Everything around here is looking pretty parched.

Todays eye candy is some of the few flowers I found blooming today. These are all in the containers byt our front door:

Tiny purple flowers

Single pink flowers

Purple container flowers


Up this weekend: Now that the Olympics are here, we plan on watching some of the events. I'm also participating in the Ravellenic Winter Games on Ravelry, so I'll be knitting or spinning while I watch. I've entered the WIPs Dancing, Flying Camel Spin, and Charity Curling events.

Tomorrow is Spin-In and its time for my monthly "Ack! What am I going to take?!" attack. I guess I'll figure it out when I go to the store after work.

I'll start my first entry in the Flying Camel Spin events at Spin-In.  While I watch the opening ceremony tonight, I'll work on my  WIPs Dancing entry, a hat I have in progress for Halos of Hope. When I finish that hat, I hope to knit at least one more for Charity Curling.

It should be a busy craft weekend!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...time flies when you have client work!

My quick weekend report: I managed to get some housework done, including bringing the dreaded vacuum monster out of the closet. (The cats disappear very quickly when I do that!)  I worked on Anasazi, the mermaid, and some spinning!  And I started a hat for Halos of Hope on Monday!

Here is the current progress on Denim, an alpaca-merino top that I bought at last year's Stitches West. This is from Ranch of the Oaks in Lompoc, CA. I started this at the January Spin-In.

Denim Alpaca-Merino, as of 2/5/14

I finished beading the tail fins on the mermaid and I'm now beading the "legs" portion of the tail.

Mediterranean Mermaid, beading as of 1/5/14

WIPs Roll Call
WIPs in rotation:

  • Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  • Denim Alpaca-Merino (5.5 oz) from Ranch of the Oaks [Ravelry]
  • Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
  • Noro Hat for Halos of Hope
  • Rockefeller Moon shawl  [Ravelry

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  3. Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)

UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting) [Ravelry

WIPs To Be:
  • A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer.
    On hold until after Stitches West.
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me. 

January 2014 recap...

...and I can't believe January is already over!

Finished:

  • 1/29 Jack's Cousteau Hat  [Ravelry
  • 1/1 Cazadero Mist handspun [Ravelry]
    Merino-Bamboo (4oz) from Royale Hare
    160 yds. chain ply. 12 WPI
  • Books:
    1. Blindsided, Fern Michaels
    2. Race to Splendor, Ciji Ware
    3. Black Arts, Faith Hunter
    4. Fury of the Demon, Diana Rowland
    5. Iced, Karen Marie Moning
    6. Apple Turnover Murder, Joanne Fluke
    7. Key Lime Pie Murder, Joanne Fluke
Started:
  • 1/9 Rockefeller Moon shawl  [Ravelry
  • 1/11 Denim Alpaca-Merino (5.5 oz) from Ranch of the Oaks [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  • Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  • Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  3. Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)

UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting) [Ravelry

WIPs To Be:
  • A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer.
    On hold until after Stitches West.
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me. 

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 ...