Last Eye Candy Friday for May...

...for a short week, it's taken way too long to get to Friday!

Today's Eye Candy is brought to you by the Nimitz Neighborhood. My Sunday exercise is to walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes I walk at top speed and just get my 2 miles in as fast as possible. Other times I take my camera and walk at a slower pace so I can enjoy the flowers along the way.

The elementary school has lots of lovely rose bushes:

Pink roses in the morning sun

Some of our neighbors have beautiful roses, too. There are several of these rose bushes along this neighbor's front fence.

Rose cluster

This yard has salvia growing between some trees:

Salvia

Up this weekend: I need to get the living room back in order. Over the long weekend, the Husband decided to paint a wall that really needed it. It had been behind out tall bookshelves that we moved several years ago and we'd just never refreshed the wall.

We had to empty the buffet so we could move it out of the way and take down all of the hanging pictures. He patched and painted the wall on Monday. It looks great now, but we just haven't moved things back into place. This will be a great time to look at what's stored in the buffet and set aside some items for Goodwill.

I still have the urge to weave, so maybe I'll finally warp the loom for my wall hanging this weekend. Or start the next mermaid, or ...
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...while it's still not an actual WIP yet, here is a look at the next mermaid. This is Mermaid of the Pearls by Mirabilia:

Next mermaid in the queue

In the picture, you can see the materials--Star Sapphire linen (32 count), DMC floss, Kreinik metallics, Mill Hill Beads, beads--that I need to start it. The next step is to press the folds out of the fabric and put it on the stretcher bars. Then take a deep breath and just start.

With two more finishes last weekend, it's time to re-do the WIPs list.

 WIPs in Rotation:

  1. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    I have the floss, the beads, the treasures, and the fabric, I just need to start!
  2. Stealth project (knitting)
    It's a secret project for a friend
  3. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
    8 pattern repeats (in the first section) done
WIPs waiting for rotation:
  • Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
Queued:
  • Wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
    I've wound the warp yarn. Need to take the time to warp.

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 peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Finished Object Tuesday...

...I was very productive over the long weekend!

I finished the cross stitch piece called Hive:

Hive

Specs:
Started 11/16/13;
Finished 5/26/14
Hive Monthly Musing by Shepherd's Bush

I finished spinning Monarch [Ravelry], a merino-silk top from the Yarn Wench:

Monarch handspun

and the close up:

Monarch hanspun, close up

Specs:  
Started 5/10/14;
Finished 5/26/14;
Merino-silk top (4.1 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
214.3 yds chain-ply; 11 WPI

I also worked on a stealth knitting project. No details or pictures until it has been delivered to the recipient!

It was wonderful having an extra day to craft and just hand out with the kitties. They have decided that my spinning wheel cover is the best thing ever and used it for nap time:

Cat nap

Love those little fuzz balls!
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Eye Candy Friday leading into a long weekend...

...and I'm so ready for an extra day off! First, the eye candy.

The clouds last night were very interesting:

Evening clouds

We have dahlias blooming in the backyard:


Dahlia

New flower to our yard are black petunias that look purple or red in the sunlight:

Black petunias in the sun

and this Calandrinia spectabilis:

Calandrinia spectabilis

Up this weekend: Three lovely days of crafting!  I'm not sure exactly what I'll craft, but it will be fun!

Enjoy your weekend!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and I'm making progress on my Color Affection (Stormy Affection) shawl [Ravelry].

I've finished 8 of the first 13 pattern repeats. I'm having trouble getting a decent WIP picture at the moment (the gray appears to have a green tinge...), but here's a look at the yarn that I'm using:

Cascade 220 Fingering yarn

This is Cascade 220 fingering. So far, I like the pattern and it's still small enough to be a good take-along project.

WIPs in Rotation:
  1. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    I have the floss, the beads, the treasures, and the fabric, I just need to start!
  2. Monarch (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Spun about 1.3 of 4.1 ounces
  3. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
    8 pattern repeats (in the first section) done
WIPs waiting for rotation:
  1. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  2. 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.


Weekend report and a ..

...it was a productive weekend.

The vacuum monster and I took care of the rugs on Saturday. After a Target run for new sheets and towels, I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and organizing my DMC floss stash.

I was really supposed to be pulling the floss for the next mermaid, but that required going through everything. This time I used zip locks to organize the skeins by number group so it will be easier to look for colors next time. I really need to stop buying duplicate colors! I already have way too many skeins of certain colors (do I really need 6 skeins of Christmas red?).

As it turned out, I only needed to buy 3 additional skeins for the mermaid, meaning that I had 25 of the required 28 skeins in my stash. Cool!

On Sunday, I finished plying Bloomfield Blues. Here it is:

Bloomfield Blues handspun

and the close up:

Bloomfield Blues handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 4/26/14;
Finished 5/18/14;
Bloomfield Blues Alpaca-Silk top (4 oz) from Royal Hare;
437.4 yds 2-ply, 20 WPI

It's quite soft and just slightly energized. It might relax a bit after it's washed.

I'll continue spinning Monarch when I get  to the wheel.

No time for quilting or weaving this weekend. The floss project took entirely too long!
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Eye Candy Friday...

...thank goodness the weather is going back to normal for the weekend. It's been way too hot the last few days!

I have more flowers for today's eye candy. The following are recent additions to our garden.

Purple verbena:

Purple verbena

Walker's Low:

Walker's Low flowers

Naughty Nineties poppy:

Naughty Nineties Poppy 3

and borage:

Borage, another view


I have a few others, but I'll save them for next week. :)

Up this weekend: Nothing specific planned. I have several household chores to do that I've been putting off, and my normal weekly chores (laundry...).

I'm 24 rows into my Color Affection shawl [Ravelry] (named "Stormy Affection"). I'll continue knitting this project while I decide whether to start another mermaid or work on the other stitching projects in the WIP pile.

I should also ply the Bloomfield Blues singles. And it would be good to spin more of the Monarch merino-silk that I started last Saturday.

The loom and the sewing machine are calling me, too.

Not sure what's going to win, but it will be crafty!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...there are new WIPs and many old ones.  The old ones are still not calling my name and I continue to make new ones!

I didn't get a picture of the Monarch merino-silk that I'm spinning, but I did manage a shot of the Bloomfield Blues singles that are waiting to be plied:

Bloomfield Blues singles

I love the gentle color transitions in this handspun. It's one of the reasons I'm doing it as a two-ply.

I started a new shawl last night. It is in the very beginning stages...only 5 rows in. I am knitting Color Affection in shades of gray [Ravelry]. I'm hoping that this shawl goes better than my attempt at the Rockefeller shawl.

On to the WIP roll call...

WIPs in Rotation:

  1. Bloomfield Blues (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Ready to ply
  2. Monarch (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Spun about 1.3 of 4.1 ounces
  3. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
    5 rows done
WIPs waiting for rotation:
  1. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  2. 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. 

F.O. Tuesday...

...I'm cranking this month!

First,  little weekend report.

I spent some of my Saturday lacing the mermaid onto foam core and getting her into a frame. She looks pretty good:

Mediterranean Mermaid, framed

Saturday afternoon was Spin-In. Lots of good company, and munchies, too! I started spinning a merino-silk in Monarch butterfly colors.

On Sunday, I continued spinning the Bloomfield Blues alpaca-silk that I'd started the week before. I really love how soft this fiber feels! I finished spinning the singles. I'm letting them rest for a few days before I make a 2ply yarn out of it.

I tried very hard to finish knitting the Carbonized Zombie socks, but was not able to do so. I finished them last night, though! Thank goodness! Here they are:

Carbonized Zombie socks

Specs:
Started 10/6/13;
Finished 5/12/14;
Pattern: Zombie Socks by Sheryl Giles;
Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight in Carbon Dioxide

These will probably be the last socks that I knit for quite a while. I did not enjoy the process as much as I used to. I think it will have to be a very special pattern to entice me to knit socks again!

I've finished quite a few things this month, so I need to decide whether to start something new or keep charging through my WIPs.

Mermaid of the Pearls is calling my name though...she's been in my stash since 1997, waiting for me to feel brave enough to stitch her. The number of beads in this design was intimidating up until now.  I think I'm ready.
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it's still Eye Candy Friday...

....at least for four more hours!  Obviously, the day got away from me.

So this weekend is Mother's Day and the Daughter will be out of town. She hasn't missed very many Mother's Days and she feels bad that she is missing this one. She did send flowers though--a lovely tulip bouquet:

Mother's Day Tulips

and another view:

Mother's Day tulips

Some of the flowers are still confused. We had an amaryllis bloom this week:

Amaryllis, fully open

and another view:

Amaryllis, close up

We have a bunch of new flowers. This Blue Thimble flower is a nice addition:

Blue Thimble Flower

I'll post more pictures of the new flowers next week.
Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow! I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone.

Other than that, no specific plans. I'd be happy to spend the remaining weekend crafting away!

Happy Mother's Day!!
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WIP-it Wednesday and a Finished Object...

...because I just had to finish Anasazi last night!

Here is the completed project:

Anasazi

Specs:
Started 1/17/12
Finished 5/6/14
Pattern by Susan Portra; alternate colorway
Modifications:
  • Used variegated thread in the four corners instead of the manual color changes in the original instructions.
  • Replaced teal Neon Rays in the center medallion with purple rayon thread.
  • Reduced the amount of string art because I didn't like it.
I will get around to framing it at some point. I'm just happy that it's done and I don't have it hanging over my head!

After the two finishes (Anasazi and the mermaid), the WIPs list has shortened. For the moment, here's what it looks like.

WIPs in Rotation:
  1. Bloomfield Blues (spinning) [Ravelry]
  2. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]

WIPs waiting for rotation:
  1. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  2. Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)

IDJ (It's Dead, Jim)
  • Rockefeller Moon shawl  [Ravelry]
    I have decided that I really hate the wrap&turns and life is too short to knit something you hate. I give big props to those who have knit this shawl. It's beautiful shawl, but not for me. I'll use the yarn for a different shawl.

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. 

Finished Object Tuesday...

...I finished the mermaid!! Hooray!!

She needs pressing before I can lace her onto foam core (and I have to find the foam core). Here is a first look:

Mediterranean Mermaid, first look

Specs:

Mediterranean Mermaid
Originally started 11/6/2011; restarted 9/1/13;
Finished 5/3/14;
Pattern by Mirabilia
Modifications: Changed the odd blue highlights in her hair to shades of brown;  used round pearl beads instead of the Mill Hill creamy pearl beads

And I am almost finished with Anasazi!  I am doing the string art, which is the last step for this project. I will be so happy when this is done!

Anasazi, as of 5/5/14

I did manage to squeeze in a little bit of spinning. However, when I am so close to finishing a project, I become completely obsessed with it!

I hope that obsession continues when I finish Anasazi and turn my attention to the Carbonized Zombie socks. I have another inch to knit before I can start the toe decreases. I'm getting closer to a new pair of socks!
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Eye Candy Friday...

...and I'm looking forward to the weekend!

It's been very hot the last few days and I'm thankful that I work in an air conditioned office. For the most part the garden is surviving, but there are a couple of plants that are looking a little droopy. We're in an in-between state for some flowers. Some are done, like the daffodils and tulips, and others are almost ready to bloom, like our poppies. There are a few things in bloom:

Red verbena:

Red verbena

Scilla:

Scilla

The feijoa is going nuts again:

Feijoa blossoms

And one of our cherry trees is producing fruit:

Ripening cherry

I took a picture of some Cape Daisies, but I was not happy with the quality of the picture. However, after playing around with the Ribbet filters, I like how it looks with the impressionist filter applied:

Osteospermum impressions

Up this weekend:  I need to do a a little housework and some laundry. A lot will depend on how hot it gets. Some chores, like laundry and mopping the floor, are best avoided in the hat of the day.

If all goes well, I will finish beading the mermaid!  I might not be able to get her blocked and mounted if I don't have enough foam core in my stash.

Once I finish the mermaid, I'll swing back to the Anasazi needlepoint piece. I'd like to get this puppy done and out of my hair. At this point, "done" might be the only thing in its future. It ranks with the Seahorses needlepoint that I finished in 2008: I'm not happy with the outcome. Some of the color choices are jarring and it's been a PITA to stitch.

I'm about ready to IDJ (It's Dead, Jim) the Rockefeller Moon Shawl. I'm not happy with how it looks. The yarn is great and looks good in the pattern. I'm just not feeling it. It might be time to pull the plug.

I'm feeling the urge to weave again, so warping the loom might be a possibility. Maybe I'll  use the yarn from the Rockefeller shawl. Hmmm...
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April 2014 recap...

...lots of reading and spinning this month.

Finished:

  • 4/6 Belvedere Bird of Paradise handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Polworth-Silk top (4 oz) from Royale Hare;
    247.5 yds. chain-ply, 14 WPI
  • 4/6 Flock (knitting) [Ravelry]; set of 3 knitted birds
  • 4/13 Passion Fruit handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Camel-silk top (4oz) from Greenwood Fiberworks;
    214 yds chain-ply, 13 WPI
  • 4/19 Tribe (spinning) [Ravelry
    Wild Card Bling Batt by The Yarn Wench;
    46.5 yards, bulky
  • 4/26 Striped Inkle Strap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. Shadow Spell, Nora Roberts
    2. Severed (Starwalkers Serial), Lizzy Ford & Julia Crane
    3. Trapped (Starwalkers Serial), Lizzy Ford & Julia Crane
    4. Exiled (Starwalkers Serial), Lizzy Ford & Julia Crane
    5. A Woman of Substance, Barbara Taylor Bradford
    6. Hold the Dream, Barbara Taylor Bradford
    7. To Be The Best, Barbara Taylor Bradford
    8. Emma's Secret, Barbara Taylor Bradford
    9. Unexpected Blessings, Barbara Taylor Bradford
    10. Just Rewards, Barbara Taylor Bradford
    11. Breaking the Rules, Barbara Taylor Bradford
    12. Beloved, Bertrice Small
    13. Revealed (Starwalkers Serial), Lizzy Ford & Julia Crane
Started:
  • 4/2 Flock (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 4/5 Passion Fruit (spinning [Ravelry]
  • 4/19 Tribe (spinning) [Ravelry
  • 4/26 Bloomfield Blues (spinning) [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)
  4. 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. 

Happy May Day!

...Yes, it's May already!  April just whizzed by.

This week has gotten away from me. I seemed to have dreamed that I posted yesterday for WIP-It Wednesday. I thought about posting several times, even composed it in my head, and kept getting sidetracked. I also thought I would take a picture of the mermaid in progress and didn't do that either. And now I need to do a recap. 

Maybe May will be better!


Eye Candy Friday...

...and heading into full-on baking mode! With the time change and shorter days, I have more opportunities to take sunrise photos. Here'...