Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and a couple of finishes.

Over the weekend, I got quite a bit done on the mermaid. The new glasses work well with my magnifier and I was able to get back to my normal cross stitching speed. I am in the home stretch of the beading. I am beading the final swish of light blue beads that extends from the vase she is holding to her tail. So close!!

On Saturday, I started spinning Bloomfield Blues, an alpaca-silk top from Royale Hare that I bought at Stitches West 2012. I am spinning this on the thin side with the intent of doing a 2-ply. We'll see if I actually do that or end up doing chain ply like I always do. Lol!

I mentioned that I had spun an art yarn the weekend before. I finally took some pictures. Here is Tribe handspun:

Tribe handspun

and a close-up:

Tribe handspun, close up

Specs:
Started and finished 4/19/14;
Wild Card Bling Batt by The Yarn Wench;
Corespun on Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet yarn (#3) in copper;
Autowrapped with beige rayon thread;
46.5 yards, bulky

And I finally finished the inkle strap I've been weaving since 2012! Yay!

Striped Inkle Strap

Specs: 
Started 12/27/12;
Finished 4/26/14;
Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet thread (Size 3) in blue, copper, and black;
Approx 60 inches long

Good progress all around!
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Rainy Eye Candy Friday...

...which means no new pictures this morning.  However, I do have a bunch from our Lake Merritt walk last weekend.

Goslings:

Lake Merritt goslings


Heron

Lake Merritt heron

Red hot poker lily (kniphofia):

Lake Merritt flowers

Red horse-chestnut

Lake Merritt flowers

Up this weekend: Absolutely nothing planned at the moment!  A few chores, a little crafting...not much else. The current weather forecast is chance of rain on Saturday and possible showers on Sunday. I think I'll just stay put!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and while I have plenty of WIPs, I don't have progress on any of them since Sunday.

What I can show you is the batt that became an art yarn over the weekend. This is Tribe, a Wild Card Bling Batt from the Yarn Wench.

Tribe Wild Card Bling Batt

According to the seller's description, it is 4.3 oz. and contains:Falkland wool top, kid mohair, BL BFL wool locks, sari silk, nylon firestar, cotton batik fabric strips, sari silk ribbon, silk chiffon sari ribbon, alpaca.

Here's the latest WIP Roll Call.

WIPs in rotation

  1. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Went down a needle size and I'm happier with the fit. About 75% done.
  2. Inkle strap training project (weaving) [Ravelry]
    I'm about 75% done with the strap.
  3. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
    Finished beading the swirls from the back fins. Next is the torso and hands.
  4. Rockefeller Moon shawl  [Ravelry]
    I'm at the "2 steps forward, 3 steps backward" stage. Still not loving the wrap-and-turn. I'll be knitting along just fine and then look back at what I've finished. The W&Ts are very obvious and I rip out what I've just knit. [sigh]
    I'm going to try an alternate method that a friend sent me. If that doesn't work, I might have to consider knitting something else with this yarn.

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  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)

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...

...it's been that kind of a day.

Saturday was spent doing laundry and some other chores. I make another art yarn from a Yarn Wench Bling Batt. It's resting for a few days before I wash it. I also finished the beading on the mermaid's top fins. Next I'll work on the beading on the torso and head--still a long way to go!

Our Sunday with the Daughter was wonderful. She lives relatively close to Lake Merritt in Oakland and frequently runs there. I'd never been there, so we decided to walk around the lake.  It was a 5 mile walk all together...3 miles around the lake and a 2-mile round trip to her place. It's a lot more walking than I'm used to, but it was nice.

Lots of people were out enjoying the good weather and their Easter picnics. We grabbed a late lunch at Whole Foods and sat by the lake to eat.

In the last couple of days, I've managed to knit a few rows on the socks. I'm getting closer to the end!

I finally got my new glasses yesterday and I can read with them! Hooray! I'm hoping that I can make faster progress on the mermaid now.

Onward!
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Eye Candy Friday already...

...the week went by very quickly!

The tulips continue to bloom in various containers in both the courtyard and backyard. This yellow and red one bloomed yesterday:

Yellow and red ruffled tulip

and a closer view:

Ruffled tulip petals

The hydrangea is starting to bloom:

Hydrangeas beginning to bloom

It's pink at the moment. We'll see is it stays that way.

Hydrangeas

And the pomegranate blooms are now morphing into fruit.  It looks like we'll have another good crop this year despite the dry conditions.

Pomegranate beginnings

Up this weekend: We're going to spend some time with the Daughter on Sunday.  She has a rare Sunday off, so it will be nice for her to do something relaxing. We have no specific plans, we'll just see where the whim takes us.

Other than that, it will be business as usual: chores, grocery shopping, etc.

On the craft front, I'll continue to work on the socks. I finally decided to go down a needle-size to see if it helped. And it does. I've knit a few rows with the smaller needles and I already can tell that the foot will fit much better. Maybe I can actually finish them!

I resurrected the Rockefeller Moon shawl [Ravelry] last night and knit (and tinked) for about an hour. We'll see how long it hold my attention.
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WIP-it Wednesday, with a FO thrown in...

...another finished yarn!

This is Passion Fruit, a camel-silk from Greenwood Fiberworks:


Passion Fruit handspun


and a close up:

Passion Fruit handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 4/5/14;
Finished 4/13/14;
Camel-silk top (4oz) from Greenwood Fiberworks;
214 yds chain-ply, 13 WPI

It's a little under-spun in some places, partially due to the fact that I can't see well enough through these glasses. I might run it through again to even it out, or maybe not. Since it's not for a specific project, I could just let it sit until I decide to used it for something.

With the finish, let's look at the WIPs list.

WIPs in rotation

  1. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Still thinking about what to do with these: make them for someone  else, or go down a needle size and see whether they fit me
  2. Inkle strap training project (weaving) [Ravelry]
    I'm about 50% done with the strap. Making good progress!
  3. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
    Finished beading the swirls from the front fins; working on the swirls from the back fins

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  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)

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

...all together now: UGH!!
  1. I finished and filed our taxes. To completely get them out of my hair, I wrote out our payment to the Feds and ran it to the Post Office last night. No way was I going to deal with USPS today! Apparently, other people had the same idea, because there were a lot of people at the Post Office at 9:45pm. Anyway, they are done.
     
  2. The vacuum monster and I had a good time on Saturday. I realized that I hadn't cleaned the filter since we got this vacuum. I removed the filter and washed it...it took over 24 hours to dry, but it was worth it. The vacuum should work a bit better now.
     
  3. I finished spinning the Camel-Silk I started at Spin-In earlier in the month. As soon as I get a chance, I'll post some pictures.
     
  4. I spent 3 or 4 hours beading the mermaid. I'm a little frustrated because I can't see see as well as I could. Some progress is better than nothing, but I can't wait for my new glasses!
     
  5. I'm still ignoring the socks, debating whether to just finish them and give them away as I mentioned in an earlier post. Or if I should go down a needle size so the foot fits better and keep them. I'm only 6 rows past the last gusset decrease, so a smaller needle size might work. What to do...
     
  6. I'm on the last day of eye drops for my cataract surgery...hooray!
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Eye Candy and F.O Friday...

...in which we have some flowers and pictures of the stealth project that arrived at its new home yesterday.

During my walk around the neighborhood last Sunday, I found these blossoms:

Blossom in the morning sun
and this wonderful red and white striped rose:

Red and white striped rose
The tulips are still going strong in the courtyard:

Pink and orange tulip
and the bearded irises are blooming:

Peach bearded iris
and close up look:

Bearded iris, close up
The birthday present I sent to my friend Jane was a special book I found at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Gift Shop about Big Sur, the sparkly boot toppers I made [Ravelry], and this little flock [Ravelry]:

Flock of knitted birds

Specs:
Started 4/2/14
Finished 4/6/14
Pattern: Bluebird of Happiness by Sara Elizabeth Kellner
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft one in teal and two in blue

I made a bluebird and a teal bird for Jane and a bluebird for her granddaughter. While the birds were a fast knit, I'm not altogether pleased with the triple wrap-and-turns required for the head. They were a PITA to pick up!

Up this weekend: Finish our taxes. We're almost there, just a few more things to enter. My goal is to get them filed on Saturday, but we'll see how that goes!

I have a date with the vacuum monster as we need to do some serious cleanup. Now that the weather is nicer, the doors are open during the day and all sorts of dirt and leaves are either tracked in or blown in.  We won't mention the fur that the cats continually contribute to the rugs.

Craft-wise, I want to spend a few hours on the mermaid to continue making progress. I might have to restrict myself to the daylight hours until I get my new glasses. They are in the hands of Lenscrafters and will take about a week to finish.

I have a yarn I need to finish spinning and there is always knitting.

The Carbonized Zombie socks are in a time-out. I tried them on last night and for the first time ever (since I started knitting socks), they are too big! I've had a few occasions where the socks have been snug, but never too big. Lord knows, I don't want to rip them back! I may just finish them and see if they fit my sister.

I hope this doesn't make my sock mojo go away again...
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Random Thursday...

...how did it get to be Thursday?

  1. I finally got the birthday package mailed on Tuesday. While it didn't arrive in time for her birthday yesterday, the flowers I sent made up for it!
     
  2. I have my new glasses prescription in-hand. I'm off to Lenscrafters as lunchtime to order my new lenses. The good news is that there is no change in my right eye, so they just need to make the left lenses!
     
  3. Now that the weather is cooperating, I'm riding my bike to the gym again. It feels good to get a little more exercise, but boy are my muscles sore!
     
  4. I'm knitting socks again. I'm trying to finish the Carbonized Zombie Socks [Ravelry]. I have finished the gusset and I'm now knitting the foot. Getting closer to the end!
     
  5. I haven't worked on anything else this week. I'm trying to do as much as I can on the socks until the weekend. Then it's back to to spinning and the mermaid.
Not much, but it's all I have!
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Finishes on Tuesday...

...one that I can show you now.  This is the Belvedere Bird of Paradise handspun [Ravelry] that I finished on Sunday:

Belvedere Bird of Paradise handspun

and the close up:

Belvedere Bird of Paradise handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 3/23/14;
Finished 4/6/14;
Polworth-Silk top (4 oz) from Royale Hare;
247.5 yds. chain-ply, 14 WPI

The other is a gift that I'll post when it gets to the recipient, hopefully this week.

Spin-In was great as usual. I started one of my Greenwood Fiberworks Camel-silk tops. I love the way the camel-silk feels! I've spun a little over half of the 4 oz. bump. I'll probably finish that this weekend.

Tomorrow, I'll get my new prescription for my glasses. It will take several days for the new lenses to be made, so I hope that I'll have my new glasses next week sometime.
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Eye Candy Friday...

...brought to you by the letter P.

Pink foxglove:

Foxglove with raindrops

Pink unknown flower (in a neigbor's yard)

Raindrops on flower petals

Purple pepino blossom:

Pepino blossom

Purple pansy:

Purple pansy with raindrops

Up this weekend: Spin In on Saturday! I haven't figured out what I'm taking yet, but it needs to be able to sit in my car for an hour as I have a 1pm appointment at my new gym.  They want to do an evaluation of my fitness goals (read: see if they can sell me more services). Since the gym's not open yet, I could probably put this off a bit longer, but I've already put them off 2 months. Maybe this will get them to stop calling me to set things up.

On Sunday, I need to finish up a birthday present and get it ready for mailing on Monday. That should take up the rest of the weekend. I don't have a lot to do to finish it, I just need to do it!
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March 2014 recap...

...I had my second cataract surgery this month, which is why there was a lot of spinning. Stitching and knitting will be a little more difficult until I can get a new eyeglasses prescription. One more week!

Finished:
  • 3/9 Denim handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Alpaca-Merino top (5.5 oz) from Ranch of the Oaks;
    275.4 yds. chain-ply; 11 WPI
  • 3/14  Twilight handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Glitter roving (4oz) from Greenwood Fiberworks;
    178.7 yds chain-py; 10 WPI
  • 3/22 Violets in the Grass (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino-Bamboo-Tussah Silk (4oz) top from Miss Babs;
    279.2 yds. chain ply; 13 WPI
  • 3/24 Sparkly Boot Toppers (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. The Perfect Hope, Nora Roberts
    2. The Last Boyfriend, Nora Roberts
    3. Clean Sweep, Ilona Andrews
    4. Forsaken, Jacquelyn Frank
    5. Night Broken, Patricia Briggs
    6. The Whole Enchilada, Diane Mott Davidson
    7. Carnal Innocence, Nora Roberts
    8. The Undead Pool, Kim Harrison
Started:
  • 3/3 Sparkly Boot Toppers (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 3/8 Twilight (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 3/15 Violets in the Grass (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 3/23 Belvedere Bird of Paradise (spinning) [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Inkle strap training project (weaving) [Ravelry]
  4. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
  5. Rockefeller Moon shawl  [Ravelry

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  2. Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (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.

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)

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

WIP-it Wednesday...

...in which I have one WIP picture. I kind of forgot it was Wednesday and left the house without taking any pictures.

I do have have one WIP picture of some stealth knitting. I started a project-that-shall-not-be-named at lunchtime. It doesn't look like much, but this is probably the only shot you'll see until it arrives at its new home:

Stealth knitting

I'm using some leftover yarn to create it as it doesn't nee much yardage.

There has been little activity on some hibernating projects. Here's the latest WIP roll call.

WIPs in Rotation:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
    Added more rows to the center square.
  2. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
    No work this week, but they are simply waiting their turn.
  3. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
    No work this week, but it will get some play this weekend
  4. Stealth project (knitting)
    Just started it
  5. Belvedere Bird of Paradise handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Singles are done; need to ply
  6. Inkle strap training project (weaving) [Ravelry]
    Somehow this fell off of the WIP list. I actually worked on it over the weekend. I'm just going to finish the strap in its current configuration so I can rewarp the inkle for something else.

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  2. Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  3. 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)

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

Happy April...

...the months are just flying by! And it's already Tuesday...

Quick weekend report: We had a nice visit with the Daughter who stayed with us Friday night. We love having her here!

The party on Saturday turned out very well. The food was great, the company better.  My trifle was tasty and most of it was gone by the time I left the party. (There are food pictures in this Flickr set.)

Here's a view of the top:

Tardis Trifle, top view

and a view of the layers:

Tardis Trifle

I used a little Grand Marnier in the assembly, just enough to give it a little extra something. The only component I didn't make were the berries...Mother Nature made those! Next time I need to remember that I need to make all of the components the day before, except for the cake, which I should make 2 days before so it dries a bit more. The cake tends to disintegrate when it's too fresh.

I spent Sunday finishing the Belvedere Bird of Paradise singles I started the week before. I am now ready to ply them.

A short, but good weekend!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a photo of my new toy. A year or so ago, my Mom mentioned that she had an old Singer sewing machine. She said it wasn't very bi...