Eye Candy Friday...

...and we're rapidly running out of January.

From my neighborhood walk two weeks ago, a purple daisy:

Purple daisy

and a sweet pea bush:

Sweet pea bush

From our anniversary last weekend, Miramar beach at Half Moon Bay:

Miramar Beach at Half Moon Bay

And there is much celebrating! Both of our cars are back from the shop earlier than expected. Hooray!! Of course, I no longer feel comfortable parking my car in the driveway, at least until we've caught one or two rodents in the traps we've set. I just want to wrap my car in a big rat-proof bubble.

Up this weekend: Other than some household chores and my regular errands, I have no specific plans. I'm not a sports fan and I particularly dislike football, so I am not watching the Super Bowl.

I have a host of projects I can work on including:
  • Making a label and burying the threads for the I'm Just Mad About Citron quilt. If I get really motivated, I could probably finish this tomorrow.
  • More knitting on Be My Baby [Ravelry]. This one will take a while. Ive given up trying to finish it by the Daughter's birthday on Wednesday. She'd fine with that since the weather has been so warm lately.
  • Chain ply the Walking on the Sun singles [Ravelry]. If I don't get motivated to finish the quilt, I can ply this and have a finished project for January.
I've been fighting start-itis for several days. Maybe if I finish something tomorrow, I can reward myself with a new project! ;-)
.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...yeah, we kinda skipped over Monday and Tuesday.

It's been a challenging few days for us. I mentioned about the Husband's car and the chewed wires in Friday's post. When I got home that night, I had him show me where he found the rats nesting in his engine. We both have Honda Fits, so it would look the same in my car. My car is 15 months old, so everything still looks new. My engine was clean and there were no indication of nesting activity.

On Saturday, the Husband spent a lot of time cleaning up dead leaves, sweeping the concrete, and trimming bushes. In the afternoon, he wanted to run an errand and was going to use my car. "Was" being the operative word. My car made the same noise his did when he started it. When we opened the hood the d@mn rats had gotten into my car!! ARG!!

This time we knew the procedure and called our insurance right away. They couldn't tow my car until Monday! They did authorize a rental car, but the local place was already closed and would not be open on Sunday. The only rental car places open would either close in 15 minutes (no way to get there that fast)  or were at the airport. Can you say "surcharges?" Not wanting to take a chance on fees that wouldn't be covered by the insurance, we opted to wait until Sunday morning.

We set snap traps all over the place in our garden, under the car, and in the courtyard. We're pretty sure they are not in the house or the studio.

Our biggest concern was getting a rental car for Sunday. We had made brunch reservations in Half Moon Bay to celebrate our anniversary and we wanted to keep them!  It all worked out and we had a wonderful brunch by the ocean. The weather was perfect and the company better.

In between all the critter stuff, I managed to get the binding sewn on the quilt. The machine part is done now. I need to deal with the loose threads and make a label.

I attempted to restart the linen stitch portion of the Be My Baby project [Ravelry]. I was not happy with how it looked. I was having a major tension problem going from size 10.5 to 17 and going from the round to the flat. I frogged it back to the lifeline again. This time I knitted two transition rows and then started the linen stitch....much better! It might not be exactly what the designer intended, but it was less crazy-making for me. This is what it looks like now:

Be My Baby scarf-shrug, as of 1/27/15

WIP Roll Call

WIPs in Rotation:

  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Restarted on the scarf portion for the third time
  2. I'm Just Mad About Citron Quilt (quilting)
    Binding is done. Need to bury the threads and make a label.
  3. Walking on the Sun [Ravelry]
    Time to ply!
Works in Progress:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  4. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
UFOs:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)

Eye Candy Friday...

...and it's almost the weekend!

As promised, here are some of the photos I took during last week's Sunday walk. 

Some sweet alyssum:

Sweet Alyssum

Rosemary that is blooming:

Rosemary

and a pale pink rose:

Pink Rose

Up this weekend: we are down to one car due to some wiring damage in the Husband's car. Apparently some rats set up house in his car engine (ewww!) and chewed some very expensive wires. The good news is that it's covered under our comprehensive auto insurance. The bad news is that he won't get his car back until after Tuesday.

One thing we'll do this weekend is make sure that anything that looks remotely like food for rats or raccoons (birdseed, cat food) is either trashed or moved into metal containers. I suspect we'll do a little cleanup of the leaves in the courtyard to discourage nesting in there. I need to double-check my studio and make sure there is no evidence of invasion.  I keep cedar blocks, scented soaps, and other scented items in the containers that hold my yarn and fiber. I don't think they like the scents, but it doesn't hurt to check.

Oh, and yes I said raccoons up there. On Tuesday night, a raccoon got stuck in our courtyard and couldn't get out--it's tough climbing an 8-foot wall when you are a large animal and the trees are flimsy. He finally figured out how to climb up the sturdier of the two trees and grab a light fixture to pull himself out. It's a little unnerving when the raccoon stares at you through a sliding glass door. Here's a picture of him trying to figure out how to get into my studio and the tree and light fixture he climbed to escape.

This is not a cat

Craft-wise, I want to recover from the two-steps-back portion on Be My Baby [Ravelry]. I also want to work on the quilt and get closer to done.

The most important part of this weekend, though, is that the Husband and I will celebrate our 34/29 anniversary on Sunday. We've been together 34 years and married for 29...where did the time go?? We're not sure what we're doing yet, but some champagne will be involved!
.


WIP-it Wednesday...

...in which we have one-step-forward and two-steps-back versions.

First, I'll show you the singles for Walking on the Sun handspun [Ravelry]:

Walking on the Sun handspun, singles

This is a very happy and bright colorway. For a change, I spun this from end to end; I did not split the top at all. This should make for some nice long color runs.

In the one-step-forward version, I started working on the linen stitch scarf portion of Be My Baby. I was struggling switching to size US 17 needles (from US 10.5). Aside from the needle size difference, my size 17 circulars were Susan Bates, which are all plastic. The yarn simply would not move on the plastic and it was painful to get a row done.

At lunchtime, I went across the street to Jo-Ann and bought the Boye version of US 17 that are made from aluminum. They are much better than the plastic ones.

In the two-steps-back version, I knit about 8 rows of the linen stitch for Be My Baby and realized that I was inconsistently knitting through the back loop (KBL) for the knit stitches. This pattern specifies a regular knit stitch in row 1 of the linen stitch pattern.  I had gotten so used to doing KBL for the twisted rib sleeve that my brain defaulted to KBL. If I was doing KBL consistently, I might be able to ignore it, but no... Thank goodness I put in a lifeline in the last row of the sleeve! I frogged the linen stitch rows and will now attempt to do the linen stitch as written.

[Sigh]

WIP Roll Call

WIPs in Rotation:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on the scarf portion
  2. I'm Just Mad About Citron Quilt (quilting)
    Machine quilting is done, Need to bury the threads, sew on the binding, and make a label.
  3. Walking on the Sun [Ravelry]
    Time to ply!
Works in Progress:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  4. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
UFOs:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.
  1. I finished spinning the singles for Walking on the Sun [Ravelry] that I started at Spin-In last week.
     
  2. The sewing machine place called early Saturday afternoon to say that my machine was fixed! Hooray!
     
  3. After I picked up my sewing machine, I made a quick run to Michael's to buy more sewing machine needles.
     
  4. On Sunday morning, I took my new camera out for a walk. There were a lot more things blooming than I expected. I was out about an hour, taking pictures of whatever caught my eye. I'll post some of them on Friday.
     
  5. After my walk, I ran a few errands and then came home to sew. Happy dance!
     
  6. I finished machine quilting I'm Just Mad About Citron. I'm debating whether to trim and bury all the threads before binding it, or just go ahead and put the binding on. The advantage to doing the binding now is that once I've finished burying and trimming the loose threads, the quilt is done. Hmmm, not quite done...I still need to make a label. Rats! I forgot about that.
     
  7. In between the spinning and quilting, I made excellent progress on the Be My Baby project. I finished the first sleeve Sunday night. Yesterday at lunchtime, I made a gauge swatch for the scarf portion in the thicker yarn I planned to use. And it was way too thick. The fabric was stiff, not drapey.

    On to Plan B: I'm going to continue to knit with the 2 strands of worsted yarn that I used for the sleeve, but switch to the larger size needle (US 17) that the pattern specifies. I'm going to knit a few rows and see how wide the scarf portion is to determine whether to increase the width of the scarf portion to the pattern-specified 40 stitches. We'll see how it goes!
.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and hooray for the weekend!

Today's eye candy is brought to you by the color red. On the light end, we have a pink petunia:

Pink petunia

Red strawberry leaves:

Red strawberry leaves

and an abutilon in Lucky Lantern Red:

Abutilon in the morning sun

Up this weekend:  Since my sewing machine won't be fixed yet, I can't quilt. I'll have to pull out some of the stitching projects and make progress on those.

I'm pretty close to finishing the first sleeve of Be My Baby [Ravelry]. I should be able to finish that and transition over to the scarf portion of the project. I might have to fiddle a bit with it to make sure that I knit the proper width for the scarf portion.

I hope to do a camera walk on Sunday so I can explore some of my new camera's features. The only thing that might prevent my walk is if the weather is too cold. It's been freezing at work and I'd really like to warm up a bit.

Mostly, I just want to spend some quality time at home when I'm not sick!
.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...in the Workin' Down the WIPs group on Ravelry, we're calling 2015 the Year of the Finish.

 I have a few projects I'd like to finish this year. There are a few that might even go IDJ (It's Dead, Jim).

Before I get into the WIPs list, here's the project that is currently in play. This is Be My Baby for My Baby [Ravelry]:

Be My Baby scarf-shrug, in progress

This is the first sleeve of this shrug-scarf  garment. You can kind of see the thumb hole in the front. The picture was taken on Friday and the sleeve is longer now. I'm within a couple of inches of switching over to the scarf section.

Update on my sewing machine: The guys who works on Pfaff machines only works on Mondays, so they are keeping my machine until then. Sigh...this means I won't be able to sew this weekend either. So it's either knitting or stitching for me.0

WIP Roll Call

WIPs in Rotation:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on the first sleeve

Works in Progress:
  1. Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)
  2. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. I'm Just Mad About Citron Quilt (quilting)
  4. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)

UFOs:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)

Top-of-the-waves Tuesday...

...also known as the weekend report.

  1. The Husband and I finally got the Christmas tree out of the house. After mopping and vacuuming up pine needles, we put the living room back in order. 
     
  2. I spent Friday and Saturday nights packing up the remaining Christmas ornaments.
     
  3. We had a last minute change of venue for Spin-In, but it was all good. It felt good to get back to spinning again!  I took some of the remaining Christmas cookies and biscotti as my contribution. I was happy to share them plus get them out of my house!
     
  4. I spent Sunday morning putting all of the Christmas boxes away in our loft storage cabinet. It was like a giant puzzle trying to fit the boxes back into the cabinet.
     
    I realized that the oldest ornament storage container would not longer fit into the cabinet. 40+ years ago, I started storing our ornament collection in a wicker picnic basket. At the time, it was the perfect size and the wicker provided some protection for the more delicate items. Fast forward: the basket is falling apart and we have tons more ornaments that we store in banker's boxes. It was time to let the basket go. I moved the contents to a new banker's box that fit into the cabinet.
     
  5. The Daughter just returned from a 10-day trip to New York and asked us to come have a late Sunday lunch with her. We drove to Oakland and had a wonderful time catching up over a delicious pho lunch.
     
  6. Between putting the ornaments in the storage cabinet and meeting the Daughter for lunch, I figured I had time to do a little quilting. The I'm Just Mad About Citron quilt only has 4 more squares to machine quilt and I thought I could finish them before we left. Best laid plans...

    I was about 2 minutes into the quilting when my machine would not sew any further. The needle wouldn't go up or down at all. A bobbin thread got caught in the wrong area of the mechanism. Normally, that's not a big deal: You cut the threads so you can remove the item you're sewing. Then you remove the bobbin case and clear out the offending thread(s). I did all of this, but now the mechanism is off and the needle is coming down on a metal piece. ARG!!

    The Husband is taking my sewing machine to the repair place today. I hope they don't need to keep it too long. :(
.

Eye Candy Friday...

...almost the weekend!  I'm feeling so much better and I'm looking forward to actually working on some craft projects.

Today's eye candy is mostly from work because our garden is very bare right now.

This morning's sky around 7:20am:

Early morning sky 1/9/15

White polyanthus at the front door of our office complex.

White polyanthus

Yes, they are dirty, mostly because the gardeners' leaf blowers kick up a lot of particles.

A pink polyanthus:

Deep pink polyanthus

and a pink and white polyanthus:

Pink and white polyanthus

Up this weekend: Spin In tomorrow...hooray!  I haven't done any spinning since I finished Sweetwater Spring [Ravelry] in November. My wheel has probably forgotten all about me.

The biggest thing we want to accomplish this weekend is to get the Christmas tree out of the house and put the living room back in order. I still have all of the Star Trek ornaments to put away, as well as most of the ornaments from the main tree. I can do that while I watch a movie (or two) on TV.

I'd really like to finish the machine quilting of I'm Just Mad About Citron so I can put the binding on and finish this puppy!

And if I want to finish Be My Baby For My Baby for the Daughter's birthday in February, I better get cracking!
.

2014 End of the Year Recap...

...mostly spinning and knitting projects. For the first time in a long time, I didn't complete any quilting or sewing projects. I need to work on that for 2015!

(If you are not on Ravelry, you can see pictures of these items in my Flickr photostream and sets: Knitting, Spinning, Quilting/Sewing, Needlework, and Weaving. )


Finished:
Christmas Baking, etc.
  • Bark and fudge: 13.75 pounds
  • Biscotti: 747
  • Breads and fruitcakes: 22 mini-loaves and 15 medium loaves 
  • Cookies: 805
  • Spicy nuts: 1.75 pounds
  • Sugared nuts: 12.9 pounds
Knitting
  1. Alcea Cowl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Basic Chocolate Hat [Ravelry]
  3. Carbonized Zombie Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Flock (knitting) [Ravelry]; set of 3 knitted birds
  5. Jack's Cousteau Hat  [Ravelry]
  6. Lacy Blue Hat [Ravelry]
  7. Loopy Mittens (knitting)  [Ravelry]
  8. Red No-Noro Hat [Ravelry]
  9. Sparkly Boot Toppers (knitting) [Ravelry]
  10. Stealth knitting square for a collaborative gift
  11. Teal No-Noro Hat [Ravelry]
  12. Wurm Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
Quilting/Sewing/Beading/Other
  • None completed
Reading
  • Read 104 books (list at the end of the post)
Spinning
  1. Amazonia from Lisa Souza; 219.6 yds chain-ply; 15 WPI [Ravelry]
  2. Ancient Breeds Sampler from Tactile: A Fiber Arts Studio; 5 skeins, 199 yards total; 10-13 WPI range Ravelry]
  3. Bejeweled from the Yarn Wench;  184.25 yds chain-ply, 12 WPI [Ravelry]
  4. Belvedere Bird of Paradise from Royale Hare; 247.5 yds. chain-ply, 14 WPI [Ravelry]
  5. Bloomfield Blues from Royal Hare; 437.4 yds 2-ply, 20 WPI [Ravelry]
  6. Cazadero Mist from Royale Hare; 160 yds. chain ply. 12 WPI [Ravelry]
  7. Cinder from the Yarn Wench; 180.5 yds chain-ply; 11 WPI [Ravelry]
  8. Creampuff from Knitifacts; 2 ply from plying ball; 65.1 yds, 14 WPI [Ravelry]
  9. Deep Teal Dream from Wonderland Dyeworks; 294.1 yds. chain-plied, 14 WPI [Ravelry]
  10. Denim from Ranch of the Oaks; 275.4 yds. chain-ply; 11 WPI [Ravelry]
  11. Ember Indigo from the Yarn Wench; 258.7 2-ply, 12 WPI [Ravelry]
  12. Holly Berries from Wonderland Dyeworks; 219.6 yds chain-ply, 11 WPI  [Ravelry]
  13. Monarch from the Yarn Wench; 214.3 yds chain-ply; 11 WPI [Ravelry]
  14. Natural from Royale Hare; 2 skeins:  20 yds, core-spun and autowrapped; 10 yds single  [Ravelry]
  15. Passion Fruit from Greenwood Fiberworks; 214 yds chain-ply, 13 WPI [Ravelry]
  16. Plum Honey light from the Yarn Wench;199.1 yds chain-ply, 11 WPI  [Ravelry]
  17. Red Sunshine from Twisted Sunshine; 126.6 yds, 11 WPI [Ravelry]
  18. Renewal from the Yarn Wench; 294.1 yds chain-ply, 14 WPI [Ravelry]
  19. Rose of Sharon from Miss Babs; 318.25 2-ply, 14 WPI [Ravelry]
  20. Seaglass from Greenwood Fiberworks; 230.7 yds. chain-ply, 14 WPI [Ravelry]
  21. Stormy Waters from Schafenfreude Fibers; 120.9 yd chain-ply, 13 WPI [Ravelry]
  22. Sweetwater Spring from Royale Hare; 160.1 yd chain-ply, WPI TBD [Ravelry
  23. Toulouse handspun  from the Yarn Wench; 379.7 yds chain-ply, 16 WPI [Ravelry]
  24. Tribe from The Yarn Wench; 46.5 yards, bulky [Ravelry
  25. Tropical Fish from the Yarn Wench; 120.9 yds thread-plied and autowrapped; bulky [Ravelry]
  26. Twilight from Greenwood Fiberworks; 178.7 yds chain-py; 10 WPI [Ravelry]
  27. Violets in the Grass from Miss Babs; 279.2 yds. chain ply; 13 WPI [Ravelry]
Stitching
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. Hive by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  3. Sunny Summer, Happy Garden pillow--AKA: stealth project (cross stitch)
  4. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch) 
Weaving
  1. Stitches West Class Project: Lace Scarf [Ravelry]
  2. Stitches West Class Sampler [Ravelry
  3. Striped Inkle Strap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  4. Stuck in Neutral wall hanging (weaving) [Ravelry
Other Crafts
  • None completed

IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
Reading
  • Conquistadora, Esmeralda Santiago
  • Inamorata, Megan Chance
Crafts
  • Rockefeller Moon shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Seaweed Cardigan (knitting) [Ravelry
  • Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]

Works in Progress:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  4. I'm Just Mad About Citron Quilt (quilting)
  5. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  6. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)

UFOs:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)

Reading (Too long to put under Finished):
  1. A Shift in Water, Patricia Eddy
  2. A Woman of Substance, Barbara Taylor Bradford
  3. Apple Turnover Murder, Joanne Fluke
  4. Archangel's Shadow, Nalini Singh
  5. Art Forger, The, Barbara Shapiro
  6. Bed of Roses, Nora Roberts
  7. Beloved, Bertrice Small
  8. Black Arts, Faith Hunter
  9. Black Widow, Jennifer Estep
  10. Blind Salvage, Shannon Mayer
  11. Blindsided, Fern Michaels
  12. Blood and Bite, Laken Cane
  13. Blood Faerie, India Drummond
  14. Blood Games, Chloe Neill
  15. Blood Magick, Nora Roberts
  16. Blossom Street Brides, Debbie Macomber
  17. Breaking the Rules, Barbara Taylor Bradford
  18. Broken Soul, Faith Hunter
  19. Carnal Innocence, Nora Roberts
  20. Cherry Cheesecake Murder, Joanne Fluke
  21. Chestnut Street, Maeve Binchy
  22. Chicano, Richard Vasquez
  23. Clean Sweep, Ilona Andrews
  24. Collector, The, Nora Roberts
  25. Concealed in Death, JD Robb
  26. Countdown, Fern Michaels
  27. Dark Waters, Shannon Mayer
  28. Drowning Spool, The, Monica Ferris
  29. Emma's Secret, Barbara Taylor Bradford
  30. Escaped, Lizzy Ford
  31. Exiled (Starwalkers Serial), Lizzy Ford & Julia Crane
  32. Festive in Death, JD Robb
  33. Forged, Jacquelyn Frank
  34. Forsaken, Jacquelyn Frank
  35. Fury of the Demon, Diana Rowland
  36. Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage, Hugh Brewster
  37. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  38. Happily Ever After, Nora Roberts
  39. Heartsong, Debbie Macomber
  40. Hold the Dream, Barbara Taylor Bradford
  41. Home, a Memoir of my Early Years, Julie Andrews
  42. How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back, Diana Rowland
  43. Iced, Karen Marie Moning
  44. Immune, Shannon Mayer
  45. Invisible, James Patterson
  46. Just Rewards, Barbara Taylor Bradford
  47. Kadin, The, Bertrice Small
  48. Key Lime Pie Murder, Joanne Fluke
  49. Kiss and Tell, Fern Michaels
  50. Last Boyfriend, The, Nora Roberts
  51. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder, Joanne Fluke
  52. Lost Symbol, The, Dan Brown
  53. Magic Breaks, Ilona Andrews
  54. New Regime, Laken Cane
  55. Night Broken, Patricia Briggs
  56. NYPD Red 2, James Patterson
  57. NYPD Red, James Patterson
  58. Obsidian Wings, Laken Cane
  59. Our House in the Last World, Oscar Hijuelos
  60. Perfect Hope, The, Nora Roberts
  61. Plum Pudding Murder, Joanne Fluke
  62. Poison Promise, Jennifer Estep
  63. Priceless, Shannon Mayer
  64. Private #1 Suspect, James Patterson
  65. Private Games, James Patterson
  66. Private London, James Patterson
  67. Private, James Patterson
  68. Race to Splendor, Ciji Ware
  69. Rain Girl, Gabi Kreslehner
  70. Raising Innocence, Shannon Mayer
  71. Red Velvet Cupcake Murder, Joanne Fluke
  72. Revealed (Starwalkers Serial), Lizzy Ford & Julia Crane
  73. Ripper, Isabel Allende
  74. Rose Harbor in Bloom, Debbie Macomber
  75. Savour the Moment, Nora Roberts
  76. Severed (Starwalkers Serial), Lizzy Ford & Julia Crane
  77. Shadow Spell, Nora Roberts
  78. Shadowed Threads, Shannon Mayer
  79. Shiv Crew, Laken Cane
  80. Strange Trouble, Laken Cane
  81. Take Down, Fern Michaels
  82. Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen, Judith Newton
  83. This Time Together, Carol Burnett
  84. To Be The Best, Barbara Taylor Bradford
  85. Tracker, Shannon Mayer
  86. Trapped (Starwalkers Serial), Lizzy Ford & Julia Crane
  87. Tuesday's Child, Fern Michaels
  88. Undead Pool, The, Kim Harrison
  89. Unexpected Blessings, Barbara Taylor Bradford
  90. Unlucky 13, James Patterson
  91. Up from the Grave, Jeaniene Frost
  92. Upside Down, Fern Michaels
  93. Veiled Threat, Shannon Mayer
  94. Video Kill, Joanne Fluke
  95. Vision in White, Nora Roberts
  96. Whole Enchilada, The, Diane Mott Davidson
  97. Wild Things, Chloe Neill
  98. Winter Long, The, Seanan McGuire
  99. Winter Sea, The, Susana Kearsley
  100. Witch With No Name, The, Kim Harrison
  101. Wounded, Shannon Mayer
  102. Written in My Own Heart's Blood, Diana Gabaldon
  103. Yarn Over Murder, Maggie Sefton
  104. Yes, Chef, Marcus Sameulsson

December 2014 recap...

...in which there was a lot of baking, some illness,  and not much else. I also did not read nearly as much as I usually do.

Finished:
  • 12/29 Sunny Summer, Happy Garden pillow (AKA: stealth project)
  • 12/31 Loopy Mittens (knitting)  [Ravelry]
  • Christmas baking:
    • Bark and fudge: 13.75 pounds
    • Biscotti: 747
    • Breads and fruitcakes: 22 mini-loaves and 15 medium loaves 
    • Cookies: 805
    • Spicy nuts: 1.75 pounds
    • Sugared nuts: 12.9 pounds
  • Books:
    1. Obsidian Wings, Laken Cane
    2. New Regime, Laken Cane
    3. Black Widow, Jennifer Estep
    4. Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage, Hugh Brewster
Started:
  • 12/24 Chunky Cowl (knitting) [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)
  • Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • I'm Just Mad About Citron Quilt (quilting)
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  • Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Happy Blogiversary to me!

...today the blog is 9 years old. Wow! This is the longest I've ever kept a project (or any other kind of) journal.

My blogging in 2014 was even more inconsistent than the previous year. I still documented my project progress, but just not as much. I'll have to check when I finish my year-end recap, but I think that I didn't have very many large projects this year, which means that my attention was scattered among little projects. If I have too many things to choose from, none of them get enough cycles, including the blog.

I decided not to run a Blogiversary Contest this year because there were so few entries the last two years. If you were looking for one, sorry! Anyway, I'm happy to hit this milestone. I hope to get re-energized this year and blog a bit more consistently.

I didn't work on my quilt over the weekend as I just wasn't feeling well enough. I managed to rally a bit yesterday and started deconstructing Christmas. I got quite a bit of the decorations packed away, but the tree is still in the house. Neither the Husband or I were feeling up to moving the furniture and getting the tree outside. Maybe in a couple of days. 

I have the first finished object for 2015: Chunky Cowl [Ravelry].

Chunky Cowl

Specs:
Started 12/24/2014;
Finished 1/2/2015;
Pattern: Claire's Outland(er)ish Cowl by Nick Nick;
Yarn:  Bernat Softee Chunky Solids in Linen

I started this project because I wanted something easy to work on while we were at my in-laws on Christmas day. As it turned out, it was a good project to work on while I was sick...if I fell asleep in the middle of a row, it was easy to figure out where I left off. I'm not completely happy with the Kitchenered join, but I can live with it.

I still need to do my December and end-of-the-year recaps, but I think that will have to wait until tomorrow.
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Welcoming 2015 with Eye Candy Friday...

...a limited selection today.

Sunrise 1/1/2015:

Sunrise, New Year's Day 2015

A succulent dish garden in our courtyard:

Succulent dish garden 1
Poinsettia:

Poinsettia

Blue poppy:

Blue poppy

We got this plant a year ago and thought it was dead. In the last few weeks, it's added leaves and some of them are starting to turn red.

On the last day of the year, I finished the Loopy Mittens [Ravelry] for my Loopy Academy assignment...just under the wire and I uploaded a picture before midnight.

Loopy mittens, first look

Specs:
Started 11/3/14;
Finished 12/31/14;
Loopy Academy;
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy in Lost in Plum;
Pattern: Handy Mittens by Elizabeth Denne

Up this weekend: I succumbed to the Husband's plague and I'm sick again. It sucks to be sick on the last few days of my vacation.

I hope to feel well enough to work on my quilt over the weekend. I also need to start deconstructing Christmas. Oh and an end-of-the year recap.

For now, I'm on the couch, coughing and trying to shake this fever. Ugh!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...pretend I'm posting this on a break during my cooking marathon. ;-) WIPs Roll Call Worked On: Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [ ...