Eye'm-so-glad-it's Candy Friday...

...I finished and delivered my client report, and I'm so ready for the weekend!

Today's eye candy is brought to you by the color orange. Some orange superbells:

Orange superbells

Some peach superbells:

Peach superbells

And the last of the Blenheim apricots for the season:

Last apricots of the season

And for a little color, a collection of superbells:

Superbells

Up this weekend: I get to go checkout my new gym. I signed up for this place in March and they are finally opening. I'm not too sure about switching gyms, but I have a month and a half left on my old membership. I hope to figure out what I'm gong to do by then!

I have a couple of ideas for embellishing the wall hanging. I need to play around with it a bit to see if I'll like the additions.

I need to get back to some of my other projects, too. I'm just not feeling the knitting right now, so I might put that on the back burner for a while.

What I really need to do is sleep...I might have to wait until vacation for that. The Husband has been leaving early to ride his bicycle, getting his training in for Seattle-to-Portland. I can't complain because he is training (unlike some years when he didn't train!), but a little extra sleep would be nice!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...totally spaced on Monday and Tuesday this week. I'm writing a client report and it's using up all of my spare cycles.

It was a very productive Spin-In. I finished spinning and plying Red Sunshine [Ravelry]. I just need to skein it, calculate the yardage, and determine the WPI.

Red Sunshine handspun, ready to skein

I started spinning Deep Teal Dream [Ravelry], a merino silk from Wonderland Dyeworks.

Deep Teal Dream, in progress

Work continues on the wall hanging. I've just finished a section that uses a bunch of gray handspun and some unspun fiber.

Stuck in Neutral wall hanging, as of 6/22/14

I've done no work on the mermaid and a minimal amount on the needlepoint piece. I've totally ignored the Stormy Affection shawl for the last week.

Current WIP roll call looks like this...

WIPs in Rotation:
  1. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    no progress
  2. Stuck in Neutral wall hanging (weaving) [Ravelry]
    weaving in progress
  3. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Still working on the second (striped) section.
  4. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
    Finished the main diamond and started stitching the section dividers.

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.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and not a moment too soon. This has been a really long week!

I only have one eye candy picture today. The Asiatic lilies are starting to bloom in the backyard:

Asiatic Lily


We have a wealth of apricots, far too many for just us. The blackberries decided to ripen at the same time, too. Neither one of us has the energy to can the fruit at this point. And while they are delicious in pies and pastry, our waistlines certainly don't need that many sweets! We've given away a bunch...I can only hope that we can give away more.

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow! I'll use up some of those apricots by taking a dessert with me. LOL!

We haven't planned on much else. I think I'd just like to chill out for a bit. We'll see if that happens...
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...in which I added another WIP to the list.  I blame it all on start-itis and a small attention span.

I finally got a picture of Sunday's finished handspun. Here is Natural Bulky handspun [Ravelry]:

Natural Bulky handspun

Specs:
Started and finished: 6/15/14;
Natural BFL mix (3.4 oz) from Royale Hare;
Spun two skeins. This one is about 20 yds, core-spun and autowrapped with brown rayon thread. The other is still on the bobbin.

I also took pictures of the red handspun in progress:

Red Sunshine handspun, as of 6/15/14

and the wall hanging's progress:

Stuck in Neutral wall hanging, as of 6/15/14

Current WIP roll call looks like this...

WIPs in Rotation:

  1. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    Barely started stitching
  2. Red Sunshine handspun [Ravelry]
  3. Stuck in Neutral wall hanging (weaving) [Ravelry]
    weaving in progress
  4. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Still working on the second (striped) section.
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
    Redid the purple and it's still slipping all over. I'm over it; I'm going to just keep stitching.

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.
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random Tuesday...

...which could have been a Finished Object Tuesday if I'd gotten my act together.

Over the weekend, I wound some of my handspun yarn on to bobbins and shuttles. As I looked at the colors, I felt like I needed a bit more on the light end of the spectrum and something a bit thicker.

I did a little stash dive and found a Royale Hare BFL-mix braid [Ravelry] that I bought at this year's Stitches West. I started to spin it thick, intending on plying it, but I wasn't happy with the way it looked.  I pulled out some cream-colored crochet cotton and some brown rayon thread and swapped over to a core-spun and autowrapped single. Much better!

So much better that I immediately wound it on a stick shuttle and started weaving with it. I didn't care that I hadn't let it set for a day or that it started to unravel a bit. The idea was to give the wall hanging a bit of texture and it worked.

In my stash dive, I found a Chameleon Colorworks fiber sampler that contains 1/2 ounce each of Angora; Tussah Silk; Cotton Sliver; Alpaca; Camel; Yak; Optima; and a blend of 80's Merino, cultivated silk, and angora. I'm using bits of the alpaca, camel, and yak to add spots of texture in the piece.

I'm not sure whether I'll like the overall piece, bu tit will certainly be different than anything else I've done!

I had craft attention span problem for most of the weekend. I could not stick with one project for very long. The weekend looked a lot like this:
  1. Wind some fiber onto bobbins.
  2. Start spinning a red merino-bamboo-nylon top from Twisted Sunshine
  3. Stash dive for natural color fiber
  4. Start stitching the mermaid
  5. Work on Tuscon Twilight needlepoint
  6. Knit a couple of rows on Stormy Affection 
  7. Read
  8. Spin more of the red fiber
  9. Start spinning the Royal Hare fiber for plying
  10. Swap over to corespun
  11. Wind more fiber onto bobbins and stick shuttles
  12. Weave a little bit of the wall hanging
  13. Spin more of the red fiber
  14. Knit a couple more rows on Stormy Affection
  15. Read
Worked on a lot; did not accomplish a lot on any one project.   Sometimes, that's how it goes...
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Eye Candy Friday...

...it's time for me to get our there and take more pictures. I'm running out of cached photos.

Here are some pictures from a Sunday walk:

A yellow lily with water beads (from the sprinklers):

After the sprinklers

A jacaranda tree:

Jacaranda

and two unknown pink flowers at sunrise:

Pink flowers at sunrise

Up this weekend: The Husband will be spending a good portion of Father's Day with his father, which means that I'll have some time to myself.  He and the Daughter will get together on a later date to celebrate Father's Day. I'll have to check whether he wants me to make a special dinner for him.

Other than that, I have plenty of projects to choose from. I learned about a new weaving technique that I can use to add texture to the wall hanging.

Maybe I'll start the mermaid this weekend...
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WIP-it Wednesday, first looks...

...here are the two projects I started on Sunday.

This is the beginning diamond of Tuscon Twilight:

Tuscon Twilight beginnings

 Here's the current state of the Stuck in Neutral wall hanging:

Stuck in Neutral wall hanging as of 6/8/14

I used polka dot fabric strips left over from a quilt as warp separators. It's silly and it makes me smile! As I weave, I'm trying very hard not to be too Virgo about the selvages and where the colors flow. Like spinning art yarn, I have to constantly remind myself to let it go and let it be. This is a definite challenge piece for me!

I finished the stealth knitting project last night..hurray! Now I can go back to working on my Stormy Affection shawl.

WIPs Roll Call below.

WIPs in Rotation:

  1. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    Need to start stitching
  2. Stuck in Neutral wall hanging (weaving) [Ravelry]
    weaving in progress
  3. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Completed the first section; working on the second (striped) section.
  4. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
    Need to redo the purple; I don't like how it's slipping all over.

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 did a little spinning over the weekend.

This is Natural 3 handspun:

Natural 3 handspun

and the close-up:

Natural 3 handspun, close up

Specs:
Started and finished 6/7/14;
Natural 3 Matt Batt (2.7 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
63.3 yds. single, bulky

My original intent was to use this in my woven wall hanging, but now I'm no sure about the colors. It has a lot of brown in, more than I think the piece can handle. Plus there is a fair amount of VM in it, some of which is disintegrating and turning into dust. These singles definitely need a good wash before being used in any project.

I started my wall hanging on Sunday and immediately ran into an issue. There are so many yarns to use in the project that I don't have enough stick shuttles to handle them. I'll have to wind them onto bobbins and swap them in and out of my boat shuttles. I did order a couple of poke shuttles to try with it--that should help.

I also started the Tuscon Twilight needlepoint project on Sunday. I am stitching a large diamond from which the rest of the stitching is oriented. So far, so good!

I made excellent progress on the stealth knitting project. I finished knitting the rows last night and buried most of the ends. I should be able to finish it tonight.

The only thing that I didn't work on was the mermaid. I'm a little hesitant to start, but then I've felt that way about all f the mermaids I've stitched. There's just something daunting about that big piece of 32-count linen! I'll get over it as soon as I put in the first stitches.
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Eye Candy Friday...

...it's June!! That means I have roughly a month until Tour de Fleece and my staycation! Yay!

Today's eye candy celebrates my favorite time of the year: the Blenheim apricots are ripening. They are a little early this year due to the drought.

The tree looked like this on Monday:

Blenheim apricots, 6/2/14

By Wednesday, those apricots were ready to eat. Today, I picked these:

2nd Blenheim apricot harvest 6/6/14

and this is what they look like from the inside:

Blenheim apricot 2014

In addition the apricots, the backyard is sprouting dahlias all over the place. Here's a dahlia-to-be from Monday:

Dahlia, almost ready

and this is what it looked like today:

Another dahlia

I didn't get any pictures of the, but the blackberries are also ripening. The Husband is checking out recipes on how to make the most of them.

Up this weekend: I'd like to finish hanging the pictures above the buffet. The Husband hung the large piece of artwork in the center and now I need to hand my needlepoint pictures around it.

I want to finish the stealth knitting project so I can hand it off next week. I don't know if it's me or the yarn, but this has been a pain to knit. I have frogged it 3 times now and I'm not doing it again. I hope I'm close to gauge because I don't want to knit it yet again.

I have two projects that I'd love to start: the mermaid and the woven wall hanging. I also founf some fiber that would be perfect for the wall hanging, so I could spin that. Then there's the needlepoint project to start.

Hmmm...we'll see which one grabs my attention!
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May 2014 recap...

...I finished a few things!

Finished:
  • 5/26 Monarch handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino-silk top (4.1 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
    214.3 yds chain-ply; 11 WPI
  • 5/26 Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • 5/18 Bloomfield Blues handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Alpaca-Silk top (4 oz) from Royal Hare;
    437.4 yds 2-ply, 20 WPI
  • 5/12  Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 5/6 Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  • 5/3 Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia
  • Books:
    1. Blossom Street Brides, Debbie Macomber
    2. The Kadin, Bertrice Small
    3. Unlucky 13, James Patterson
    4. Private, James Patterson
    5. Tuesday's Child, Fern Michaels
    6. Chestnut Street, Maeve Binchy
    7. Ripper, Isabel Allende
    8. Home, a Memoir of my Early Years, Julie Andrews
Started:
  • 5/10 Monarch handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 5/13 Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 5/19 Stealth project (knitting)
Worked on:
  • Finished what I worked on! 

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
Queued:
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    I have the floss, the beads, the treasures, and the fabric, I just need to start
  • Stuck in Neutral wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer.
    I've wound the warp yarn.
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...

....this is becoming a habit!

Over the weekend, I finished stitching an older cross stitch WIP. This is the Love Scissor Fob:

Love Scissor Fob, finished

Specs:
Started 7/2004;
Finished 6/1/14;
Love scissor fob kit by Shepherd's Bush;

The biggest roadblock for completing this fob were the cutesie people in the original design. I decided that I would never finish it if I had to stitch those people, so I replaced them with extra hearts.

Granted, I haven't sewn it together yet, but I'm declaring it done. I do all of my finishing at one time, that way I can do it as an assembly line. I need a couple more completed items before I do the next finishing run.

It was a productive weekend. In addition to finishing this fob, I worked on the stealth knitting project. I was unhappy with how it was looking, so I frogged it and started again. I hope that the second time around is better.

I prepped a couple of other projects:
  • I pressed the fabric for the mermaid, marked the center and placed the fabric on the stretcher bars, It's ready to start!
  • I searched the stash for the next needlepoint project. I found a Laura J. Perin design for which I had all of the threads and the necessary piece of canvas. Yes!  The next needlepoint project is Tucson Twilight at the bottom of this page on Laura's site).
  • I warped my Knitters Loom with an Alpaca-Merino-Silk from Amazing Yarns. I warped the entire 450 yarns using a 10dpi reed. This is for the wall hanging I'll weave using my natural colored handspun.
I put the buffet back in order. I cleaned out the two junk drawers--one now holds only batteries of all sizes and the other holds scissors, tape, and pens/pencils. We put aside 8 dinner plates and 8 dessert plates for Goodwill. I still have a few stray items that need new homes, but that new home might be the circular file or recycling.

We still have to rehang the pictures, clock, and calender, but I hesitate to put holes in the newly finished wall!

The Husband bit the bullet and brought it the extension ladder and we replaced the 2 light bulbs that were out in the living room's track lighting. These lights are 14 feet or so from the floor and it's quite a production to replace them! It's much brighter in there now!

Yes, we are doing spring cleaning a little late. LOL!

Happy June!
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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'...