Eye Candy Friday...

...and am I ready for the weekend, even the abbreviated one I'll have.

First the photos. Some lemon blossoms:

Lemon blossoms

Orange rose:

Orange rose


Asian pear blossoms:


Asian pear blossom

and yesterday's sunrise:


Sunrise 3/27/14

Up this weekend: Our company party is tomorrow night, so I need to do a little baking. Our theme this year is "Tardis in the Tearoom: Doctor Who visits Downton Abbey." I am making a blueberry trifle. I don't have a bowl shaped like a tardis, so the blueberries will just have to stand in for the tardis. It also helps that the company color is blue. ;-)

I need to bake the sponge cake, make the pastry creme, whip the whipping cream, and potentially make lemon curd.  The curd will come off the table if I run out of time; I'm considering skipping the alcohol as well. I have a combination of fresh and frozen blueberries, plus some frozen blackberries to add a little more berry-ness to the mix. I'm not that fond of blueberries, so the addition of the blackberries is for me.

The plan is to do the assembly in the morning so the trifle flavors will meld.  Then I have to figure out what to wear and find a white elephant gift.

The trifle and laundry will use up my Saturday, so Sunday will be my one day to play in the craft room.
That will just have to do...
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WIP-it Wednesday round-up...

...now that I've finished a couple of things, it's time to reset the WIP list. Sorry, no pictures today because nothing looks substantially different.

WIPs in rotation:

  1. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
    I actually knit a few rows on these socks last night. I'm working on the gusset decreases and have lots of rows to knit to finish this part of the socks. After that it's the feet and the toes, and then I'm done. I might not have found my sock mojo again, but at least I'm not avoiding them anymore!
  2. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
    Still working on the beading. I'm finishing up the beaded swirls that flow from her front fins. Next are the swirls off of her back fins...at least there aren't as many. However, the swirls that flow off of the urn she's holding will be a P.I.T.A.
  3. Rockefeller Moon shawl  [Ravelry
    I'm back to knitting the 32 wedges that compose the top portion of the shawl. I'm still not completely happy with the wrap-and-turn short rows, but at this point, I'm not messing with it anymore.

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
    Working on the center square. Need to pick this up again. I'm about 75% done with it.
  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)

IDJ (It's Dead, Jim)
  • Seaweed Cardigan (knitting) [Ravelry]
    It's just not to be. This is the second attempt at a sweater with this yarn (Cascade 220 in a nice heathered red). It's not going to fit and I'm totally bored with it.

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



Top-of-the-waves Tuesday...

...because it's already 6pm.

Facebook changed their UI yet again.  Way to go! Give us less space for posts and photos in the newsfeed and more room for the crap on the right. Thank goodness for Fluff Busting Purity! I can block it from view. I'd just like to have the space back in the center column so I don't have to scroll all the time!

Flickr changed their UI yet again. They are using the same model as Facebook: Let's give the users less space for the important stuff! Let's make the users click A LOT to find what they need. Let's make it hard to read by using white, unbolded text on a black background! And I pay for this?!  Rethinking that decision...and I'm definitely not recommending Flickr to anyone anymore!

I tried stitching on the mermaid over the weekend. For the most part, I was successful. The hardest part is not being able to focus down far enough to thread a fine needle with rayon thread. It takes me a few attempts, but I eventually get it. I hope my new glasses will solve that problem...only 2 more weeks!

I finished spinning Violets in the Grass [Ravelry]:

Violets in the Grass handspun

And the close up:

Violets in the Grass handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 3/15;
Finished 3/22;
Merino-Bamboo-Tussah Silk (4oz) top from Miss Babs;
279.2 yds. chain ply; 13 WPI

I also finished the Sparkly Boot Toppers [Ravelry]:

Sparkly Boot Toppers

Specs: 
Started 3/3/14;
Finished 3/24/14;
Pattern: The Hurricane - The Boot Cuffs by Codi Booher;
Yarn: Red Heart Boutique Midnight in Misty

I'm back to knitting the Rockefeller shawl until I decide whether to start something new. I also have a pair of socks to finish. Hmmmm.
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Catching up with Eye Candy Friday...

...more photos, less talk. :)

From a walk around the neighborhood: Wisteria

Wisteria

Cape Mallow:

Pink Cape Mallow

Fortnight Lily:

Fortnight Lily

Single-petaled rose:

Single-petaled rose

From our yard:  Cherry blossom with a moth

Moth and cherry blossoms

Pink ruffled tulip:

Pink ruffled tulip 4

and a more detailed view:

Pink ruffled tulip, petal detail

Flowers in a container:

Flowers in a container

And topping it all off with yesterday's sunrise:

Sunrise with bird, 3/20/14

Up this weekend:  I also need to do whatever cleaning I couldn't do last week because of my post-op instructions. (It's really nice to be able to bend over and pick things up, instead of doing a deep knee bend and groping around the floor trying to find what I dropped!) And I'll cram in as much crafting as I can.

Looking forward to the weekend!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...while not a lot is happening on the WIP front, I do have a couple that I haven't posted.

These are Sparkly Boot Toppers [Ravelry]:

Sparkly Boot Toppers

The yarn is Red Heart Boutique Midnight that I found at Michaels. It's the first time I've used it and I figured boot toppers were a small enough project to see how the colors flow, etc.   So far it's OK. We'll see how I like the finished product.

As I mentioned in the last post, I started spinning Violets in the Grass [Ravelry] over the weekend  Here are the singles, ready to ply:

Violets in the Grass singles

I'll be interested to see what it looks like when I chain-ply it.

Here's the updated list of WIPs.

WIPs in rotation:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
    Working on the center square
  2. 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.
  3. Sparkly Boot Toppers [Ravelry]
  4. Violets in the Grass (4oz) from Miss Babs [Ravelry]
    Ready to ply

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.
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me. 

Yes, I'm here...

...everything went well and I can see well enough to not wear my glasses for computer work! I have to restrict my activities for another two days (no lifting anything more than 10-15 lbs, no bending over further than my waist) , but then I can get back to normal.

I haven't attempted to do any stitching, but I am able to spin without any problems. I can also knit as lit's not too intricate. One I get my new glasses in 3.5 weeks, it will be much better! Until then, I'll be limiting the amount I drive at night, just to be on the safe side. I can see fine during the day, but night-time driving might be a challenge.

I spun most of the weekend. I finished the project I started as Spin-In. This is Twilight [Ravelry]:

Twilight handspun

and a close up:

Twilight handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 3/8/14;
Finished 3/14/14;
Glitter roving (4oz) from Greenwood Fiberworks;
178.7 yds chain-py; 10 WPI

It nice and springy even before being washed.

After I finished Twilight, I started the next one. I'm spinning Violets in the Grass, a Merino-Bamboo-Tussah Silk blend from Miss Babs that I bought at Stitches West in 2012.  I finished the singles yesterday and need to ply. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to start that tonight or not.

 Onward!
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Top-of-the-waves Tuesday...

...I probably won't be posting again until Friday, if then. A lot depends on how I'm feeling by then.

I worked on the mermaid over the weekend. I scared myself, thinking I'd lost some of the Mill Hill Treasures for her. After a lot of searching, I finally found the bead packet. Whew! I really didn't want to order another packet because it would take too long to get here.

At Spin-In, I started spinning a Sparkle Roving from Greenwood Fiberworks [Ravelry]. I bought it at Stitches West 2014. I spun about 2 ounces

I've been working on a stealth project. Enough said...

I finished spinning something I started at January's Spin-In. This is Denim:

Denim handspun

and a close-up:

Denim handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 1/11/14;
Finished 3/9/14;
Alpaca-Merino top (5.5 oz) from Ranch of the Oaks;
275.4 yds. chain-ply; 11 WPI

Nothing else has received any play. I hope to get back to a rotation schedule within the next couple of weeks.

I'm going to try not to freak out as much with this surgery as I did the last. Still, no one really wants to have surgery, do they?

See you on the flip side.
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Eye Candy Friday...

...and so ready for the weekend!

Today's eye candy is from the courtyard of our office complex. Things are blooming there faster than they are at home.

Pink flowers

The bush lilies started blooming this week:

Orange bush lily 2
and a closer look:

Orange bush lily 1

Up this weekend:  Spin In tomorrow! Yay!  I'm going to spin some of the new fiber I bought at Stitches West. I decided not to bake anything this time. Instead, I'm taking some Irish/St. Patrick's Day cheese and crackers. I bought a great pesto gouda (green) and an Irish cheddar with porter. I've had the pesto gouda before and it's yummy. The cheddar will be an experiment.  :-)

I need to get some chores done, but I'm really just planning for a laid-back weekend. I'm looking forward to spinning with my crew and then working on the mermaid as much as I can.

Next week will start a challenging four weeks starting with cataract surgery on Wednesday. They make you wait 4 weeks before they'll give you a new glasses prescription. Until then,  I won't be able to see clearly or be able to work on the mermaid.  However, I can spin...I'll be doing a lot of that!
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WIP-it Wednesday, sort of...

***Somehow this did not get posted on Wednesday like it should have...posting it now***

...I just posted my recap and it lists all of my WIPs and UFOs, so I'm not repeating them in this post.

Instead, how about a couple of completed objects? I listed them on the recap, but I haven't posted any pictures yet.

I finished hat #4 for Halos of Hope. I will drop if off at Purlescence Yarns for delivery. This is Lacy Blue Hat [Ravelry] (it's a little more blue IRL).

Lacy Blue Hat

Specs:
Started 2/20/14;
Finished 2/25/14;
Pattern: Lace-Edged Women's Hat by Julie Hentz;
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in blue;
For Halos of Hope

Here is the second class project for the "Playing with Pcik Up Sticks" class (Deborah Jarchow) I took at Stitches West ETC.

Weaving Class: Lacy Scarf 2

and a closer look:

Weaving Class: Lacy Scarf 1

Specs:
Lacy Scarf
Started 2/24/14; Finished 3/2/14;
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk in dark purple and purple
Warp: Length 80 inches, 10 dpi, 68 ends
Weft: 10 ppi
Finished: 48" long x 6" wide (did not use all of the warp length)

If I had it to do over, I would have made the weave a bit tighter. Even though I was close to the desired 10ppi, I would have been happier if it was closer to 8 ppi.  It just feels a little loose to me.

I have started another stealth project that can't yet reveal, but it's coming along nicely.
 

February 2014 recap...

...a short, but busy month!

Finished:
  • 2/9 Teal No-Noro Hat [Ravelry]
  • 2/10 Creampuff handspun [Ravelry]
    Camel-Llama-Silk top (1 oz) from Knitifacts;
    2 ply from plying ball; 65.1 yds, 14 WPI
  • 2/11 Red No-Noro Hat [Ravelry]
  • 2/13 Ancient Breeds Handspun [Ravelry]
    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
  • 2/17 Basic Chocolate Hat [Ravelry]
  • 2/17 Amazonia handspun [Ravelry]
    Zen top (4oz) from Lisa Souza;
    219.6 yds chain-ply; 15 WPI
  • 2/23 Stitches West Class Sampler [Ravelry
  • 2/25 Lacy Blue Hat [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. Up from the Grave, Jeaniene Frost
    2. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder, Joanne Fluke
    3. Cherry Cheesecake Murder, Joanne Fluke
    4. The Drowning Spool, Monica Ferris
    5. Wild Things, Chloe Neill
    6. Vision in White, Nora Roberts
    7. Bed of Roses, Nora Roberts
    8. Savour the Moment, Nora Roberts
    9. Concealed in Death, JD Robb
    10. Happily Ever After, Nora Roberts
    11. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Started:
  • 2/24 Weaving class project: Lace Scarf [Ravelry]
  • 2/23 Stitches West Class Sampler [Ravelry]
  • 2/20 Lacy Blue Hat [Ravelry]
  • 2/13 Amazonia handspun [Ravelry]
  • 2/11 Basic Chocolate Hat [Ravelry]
  • 2/9 Red No-Noro Hat [Ravelry]
  • 2/8 Ancient Breeds Handspun [Ravelry]:
  • 2/8 Creampuff handspun [Ravelry]
  • 2/2 Teal No-Noro Hat [Ravelry]:
Worked on:
  • 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)

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  4. 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. 

And I'm back...

...it was a great vacation in Arizona! We visited the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, the Sunset Crater area, Walnut Canyon, and several pueb...