F.O. and Eye Candy Friday...

...last one for July!

With the drought, it's harder and harder to find things to photograph in the backyard. Even with the drip irrigation system, some of our flowers are just drying up.

Our cilantro plant bolted and now we have some nice coriander seeds growing:

Coriander in progress

Our Asian Pear is doing OK:

Asian Pears

The Lion's Tail is blooming, just now as much as previous years:

Lion's Tail

And our crazy berry plants are setting blossoms again. They haven;t realized it's almost August:

Berry blossom

In the F.O. (Finished Object) category, here is Santa Fe #5:

Santa Fe #5, finished

Specs:
Started 5/25/15
Finished 7/25/15
Painted canvas by Tish Holland
DMC floss; DMC Medici wool; Kreinik metallics; Needle Necessities overdyed floss

I also finished the stitching for the Happy Wishes scissor fob:

Happy Wishes scissor fob

Specs:
Started 7/14/15
Stitching completed 7/30/15
Happy Wishes Fob kit from Shepherd's Bush

It's now joined the other items that need finishing. There are 2 other fobs to finish, so now I can do all of them assembly-line style.

Up this weekend: Saturday will be a big laundry day. I have all of the sheets and towels to do from our house guests in addition to our normal items.

While the laundry's going, I can cut the borders for the commission quilt and finish the top. I finally found a backing fabric that I liked and ordered it yesterday. When that arrives, I can sandwich this puppy and start the machine quilting.

I keep finding cross stitch projects where I've started a row or 2 and then put it aside. This used to happen because I'd start something while I was at a cross stitch festival during my down time and then never picked it back up when I got home. I found another one last night: A sheep scissor fob kit from Ewe and Eye and Friends. That will be the next small piece to work on.

I need to get back to the current mermaid, too. Never enough time in a week!
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...sorry, no Finished Object photos.  I ran out of time this morning!

With Tour de Fleece completed for this year, it's time to get back to my normal WIP rotation plan.

The primary thing I need to do is work on the commission quilt. To do that, I need to get my studio back in order--my work table/ironing surface is deconstructed and I can't easily get to the things I need to work on the quilt. Reality says that it won't happen until the weekend. After working all day, neither the Husband or I have the energy to haul the futon mattress back upstairs! In the meantime, I'll work on a cross stitch piece or my knitting.

WIPs:

Worked on:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on row 28 of 62
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
    Working on first copp on a KCL Woods spindle
  3. Happy Wishes Scissor Fob (cross stitch)
    Completed the front; working on the back
  4. Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    Need to cut the borders and sew them on. Still need to get the backing fabric.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  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)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Tour de Fleece 2015 Final Tally...

 ...and the last F.O. for the Tour.

Tour de Fleece, Last Day (7/26):
Squeezed in one last art yarn. This is Clear Skies, from a batt by the Yarn Wench:

Clear Skies handspun

and the close-up:

Clear Skies handspun, close up

Specs:
Started and finished 7/26/15;
Wild Card Bling Batt (4.3 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
55.8 yds, auto-plied with rayon thread; bulky

Tour de Fleece, Finale:

For the first time, I did not meet my goal of spinning every day. Life and house guests interrupted my normal TdF schedule. With my studio doubling as a guest room, my spinning wheel was in an inconvenient location. On Sunday, The Husband and the house guests went to San Francisco for the day so I was able to pull out the wheel and do one last bit of spinning.
  • Total output: 6 art yarns, 2 chain-ply, 1 2-ply, 1 WIP
  • Total fiber spun: 25.7 ounces
  • Total yardage: 941.85 yds.
Here's a collage of my TdF spinning:

Tour de Fleece 2015

In the midst of rearranging our house, having house guests, etc., I managed to do a little stitching. I finished Santa Fe #5 on Saturday and made excellent progress on the Happy Wishes scissor fob. Photos tomowrrow, if I get a chance.
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Eye Candy Friday and Tour de Fleece update...

...first, the update: No significant progress, at least for spinning. However, reorganizing at home is going well!

We are replacing our big tube TV with a gently-used flat-screen TV. While there is nothing wrong with the old TV, it's incredibly heavy. The Husband and I are both getting older and we figured we should replace the old one while we can still lift it!

The new TV had been wall-mounted in its previous home and we want to use it as a table-top TV. We found a universal stand at Amazon that works. Next, we will rearrange the living room so we can use the new TV.

The new TV has been leaning against my fabric wall in the studio. Once we can finally move it our of there, I can finish rearranging the studio to accommodate two of our four weekend guests. I hope it doesn't take too long to get things in place in both rooms!

On to the eye candy. Our garden is in one of those in between times: not a lot of new flowers blooming, but the vegetables are doing OK.

We have some small round tomatoes.

Tomatoes

and some odd looking ones (Anna Russian tomatoes):

Anna Russian tomatoes

Just so you don't miss the flowers, here's one from earlier in the year:


Up this weekend: My niece and her family arrive tomorrow. No specific plans at the moment...we'll see what they feel like doing. This is the last leg of their 2-week vacation so they might be pretty wiped out by now!

In addition to the rearranging of furniture, there are all the normal weekend chores to be done. Somewhere in there I want to fit in one more art yarn for Tour de Fleece, but I'm not holding my breath!
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WIP-it Wednesday and a Tour de Fleece update...

...spinning progress has slowed down.

We are trying to get our house in shape for my niece and her family.  They arrive Saturday so we are rearranging my studio as temporary sleeping quarters. My work table can be easily reconfigured to fit against the fabric bookcases because it is two small bookcases and a desktop. One of the reasons that I never permanently connected them was so I could move it by myself. That was a good plan!

Turning part of the studio into a guest room means that I can't easily access my spinning wheel. I'm spindle spinning for now.

Tour de Fleece, Day 17 (7/20) and Day 18 (7/21):
Spinning the singles for a 2.0 oz. batt from Purlescence Yarns. I received this batt as a prize for participating on Team Spinning Purls in 2013. It feels right to spin it during Tour de Fleece! This is Empress handspun [Ravelry] so far:

Empress handspun

I might not be able to finish this one by the end of the tour, but I'm going to try to squeeze in one more art yarn. We'll see!

WIPs:

Worked on:
  • Empress handspun [Ravelry]
    Working on first copp on a KCL Woods spindle
  • Santa Fe #5 (needlepoint)
    Completed 75% of the white background stitches
  • Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    Washed and pressed the border fabrics. Since I can't get to the sewing machine at the moment, it's on hold.
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Happy Wishes Scissor Fob (cross stitch)
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  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)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Tour de Fleece Report...

...and my vacation is over. Sigh. It was really nice being able to play all day!

Tour de Fleece, Day 13 (7/16):
Spun the singles for a 3.8 oz. Yarn Wench batt.

Tour de Fleece, Day 14 (7/17):
Plied the singles with rayon thread and sequins. This is Wild Nile handspun [Ravelry]:

Wild Nile handspun

and the close-up:

Wild Nile handspun

Specs:
Started 7/16/51;
Finished 7/17/2015;
Wild Card Bling Batt (3.8 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
215.9 yds, plied with rayon thread and green sequins; 12 WPI

Tour de Fleece, Day 15 (7/18):
Spun the singles for a 2.0 oz. Faerie Mountain batt.

Tour de Fleece, Day 16 (7/19):
Wound the singles into a plying ball and made a 2-ply yarn. This is Faerie Purple handspun:

Faerie Purple handspun

and the close-up:

Faerie Purple handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 7/18/15
Finished 7/19/15
Merino-Silk batt (2.0 oz) from Faerie Mountain
117.25 yds. 2-ply, 14 WPI

My spinning output will be considerably less now that I'm back to work. In addition, we have family coming for the weekend, so I don't know whether I'll have a chance to spin when they are here.  I didn't take the first rest day, so I think I'll use it for the weekend. I might do the same for the second rest day (Tuesday) as well. If I do that,  I won't feel as guilty for missing any spinning!
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Eye Candy Friday, blog and run...

...I ran out of day....too busy spinning!

Our Starla Red Pentas have been going nuts again:

Starla Red Pentas again

This hummingbird followed me around while I tried to find something to photograph:

Hummingbird in the apricot tree

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow...hooray!
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WIP-it Wednesday and Tour de Fleece update...

...still spinning along.

Tour de Fleece, Day 11 (7/14):
Spun the singles for yet another  Yarn Wench batt.

Tour de Fleece, Day 12 (7/15): Plied the singles with silver thread. This is Wild Shell handspun [Ravelry]:

Wild Shell handspun

and the close up:

Wild Shell handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 7/14/15;
Finished 7/15/15;
Wild Card Bling Batt (2.5 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
95 yds, thread-plied with metallic silver thread; 9 WPI

WIPs:

Worked on:

  • Happy Wishes Scissor Fob (cross stitch)
    Started 7/14, working on the front
  • Santa Fe #5 (needlepoint)
    Completed 60% of the white background stitches
  • Stealth Commission project (quilting)
    Squares are all sewn together; purchased the border fabric
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  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)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Tour de Fleece update...

...still making progress!

Tour de Fleece, Day 8 (7/11):
Spun an art yarn from a Yarn Wench batt. This is Rust Verde [Ravelry]:

Rust Verde handspun

and a close up:

Rust Verde handspun, close up

Specs:
Started and finished 7/11/15;
Wild Card Bling Batt (3.5 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
24.2 yds, thread-plied with copper poly threads; bulky weight

Tour de Fleece, Day 9 (7/12):
Spun the singles for a gradient batt from the Yarn Wench,

Tour de Fleece, Day 10 (Rest Day 7/13):
I decided to spin even though it was a rest day. I chain-plied the singles from yesterday. This is Gradient Violet [Ravelry]:

Gradient Violet handspun

and the close up:

Gradient Violet handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 7/12/15;
Finished 7/13/15;
Wild Card Bling Batt (3.1 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
102.4 yds, chain-plied; 10 WPI

I've really been enjoying my vacation. Being able to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted has been incredibly energizing. :)
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Eye Candy Friday and Tour de Fleece status...

...and it's F.O. Friday, too!

First, a little eye candy. Our spider lilies are blooming like crazy:

Spider lilies

Not much else to show you at this point as there is nothing new.

I forgot to show this ornament that I finished on 6/28:

Southwestern Angel ornament #3

This is my favorite of the 3 Southwestern angel ornaments, but I really dislike this fabric.

Last night, I finished stitching the Scaredy Sheep scissor fob:

Scaredy Sheep scissor fob
I've added it to the stack of finishing projects that I'll work on when I've made significant progress on the commission piece.

Tour de Fleece, Day 5:

I continued spinning the turquoise Crazy Batt [Ravelry] from Faerie Mountain on the spindle.

Tour de Fleece, Day 6:

I checked out my wheel to see what's wobbling. It looks like it's the hinge. The bushing it still seated so it's not the problem now. I cut a piece of that spongy shelf lining and put it between the folding components, taking care not to catch it in the hinge. Once I tightened the knob, the wheel stopped wobbling. Hooray!

I put the fast flyer on the wheel, transferred the spindle-spun singles to a bobbin, and spun the remaining fiber on the wheel.

Tour de Fleece, Day 7 (7/10):

I put the jumbo flyer on the wheel...still no wobble. Yay!  I plied the singles from yesterday and finally finished another Tour de Fleece yarn. This is Crazy Turquoise [Ravelry]:

Crazy Turquoise handspun

and the close up:

Crazy Turquoise handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 7/6/15
Finished 7/10/15
Crazy batt (2.0 oz) from Faerie Mountain
87.5 yds, worsted weight

It feels good to be back on track!
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June 2015 recap...

...finally.

Finished:
  • 6/7 Sochi handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Camel-Silk top (4.0 oz.) from Greenwood Fiberworks
    176.8 yds, 14 WPI
  • 6/20 Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Fiber samples from multiple vendors; Some singles, some two-ply, and some chain plied
    Yardage TBD, worsted weight
  • 6/27 Drake's Bay handspun [Ravelry]
    Merino-Bamboo top (4 oz) from Royale Hare
    168.4 yds. chain ply, 13 WPI
  • 6/28 Backstitching on some old cross stitch ornaments
  • Books:
    1. Breakwater, Shannon Mayer
    2. Recurve, Shannon Mayer
    3. Baltimore Blues, Laura Lippman
    4. Raintree: Inferno, Linda Howard
    5. Prey, Linda Howard
    6. After I'm Gone, Laura Lippman
    7. Purl Up and Die, Maggie Sefton
    8. Candy Cane Murder, Joanne Fluke
Started:
  • 6/1 Scaredy Sheep scissor fob (cross stitch)
  • 6/13 Drake's Bay [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  • Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 5/25 Santa Fe #5 (needlepoint) 
  • Scaredy Sheep Scissor Fob (cross stitch)
  • Stealth Commission project (quilting)
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  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)\
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

WIP-it Wednesday and Tour de Fleece Day 4...

...last day of work before craft-cation!

Tour de Fleece, Day 4:

I selected a medium-weight spindle and started spinning a turquoise Crazy Batt [Ravelry] from Faerie Mountain. It's the same batt I started spinning on the wheel before it collapsed. Here's last night's progress:

Crazy Turquoise singles

WIPs:
I finished the front of the Scaredy Sheep scissor fob and started stitching the back. It should go pretty quickly, so I can finish it while I'm on my vacation.

WIP Roll Call

Worked on:
  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on row 21
  2. Stealth Commission Project (quilting)
    I think I have the final layout...time to start sewing!
  3. Scaredy Sheep Scissor Fob (cross stitch)
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  • Santa Fe #5 (needlepoint)
  • Old Christmas ornaments
UFOs/Hibernation:
  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)
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.



Tour de Fleece report, days 1, 2, and 3...

...they can be summed up as Good, Good, and Arg!

Day 1=Good

Completed one handspun. This is Sunrise [Ravelry]:

Sunrise handspun

and the close-up:

Sunrise handspun, close up

Specs:
Started and Finished 7/4/2015;
Wild Card Bling Batt (2.5 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
104.2 yds, thread-plied with copper and gold threads; bulky weight

Day 2=Good

Completed another handspun. This is Lemon Lime [Ravelry]:

Lemon Lime handspun

and the close-up:

Lemon Lime handspun, close up

Specs:
Started and finished 7/5/2015;
Crazy batt (2 oz) from Faerie Mountain; 
139.6 yds, thread-plied with green and yellow threads; 10 WPI

Day 3=ARG!

I knew I wouldn't finish anything given that I had to work all day. I wanted to start the next one, figuring that I would probably finish it on my first day of vacation on Thursday.

I sat down at my wheel and noticed that it was wobbly. I tightened the bottom knob a bit and noticed that it didn't tighten at all then my wheel started folding up on me. The bushing was still on the knob's shaft...it had pulled out of the upright support! No! And it looked like it had a small piece of wood in the bushing's threads. ARG!!

Thank Bob for Ravelry!  I cruised the Lendrum group and found a couple of posts about the same issue. In one case, the person simply screwed the bushing back where it belonged and was able to continue spinning. In another case, the person had to use glue to keep the bushing in place.

I was able to screw the bushing back into the upright support and then unfolded the wheel and secured it with the knob. I spun for a few minutes, but now the wheel is wobbling.  I decided to step back and look at it again today. I'm hoping that switching back to the normal flyer will solve the wobble problem. I really don't want to spend TdF doing spindle spinning...

Keeping my fingers crossed!
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Eye Candy Friday, holiday style...

...AKA blog-and-run.

First off, eye candy. This is what it looked like when I got home on Wednesday:

Evening sky 7/1/2015

And the salvia in our courtyard is going strong:

Salvia

Up this weekend: Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow! I will be spinning as many batts as I can. They are already set aside so I'm ready to start.

Since I'll be spinning every day through 7/26, I took time today to work on some cross stitch pieces.I also looked at the commission piece and made a couple of changes.

Mostly, I just enjoyed having an extra day off. :)
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WIP-it Wednesday...

...and Happy July!

Here is the latest handspun I completed. This is Drake's Bay [Ravelry]:

Drake's Bay handspun

and the close up:

Drake's Bay handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 6/13/15
Finished 6/27/15
Merino-Bamboo top (4 oz) from Royale Hare
168.4 yds. chain ply, 13 WPI

Here's what Santa Fe #5 looks like now:

Santa Fe #5, as of 6/30/2015

So close to done! Maybe this weekend...

WIP Roll Call

Worked on:

  1. Beyond Antares, aka Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Working on row 21
  2. Stealth Commission Project (quilting)
    I think I have the final layout...time to start sewing!
  3. Santa Fe #5 (needlepoint)
    See above.
  4. Old Christmas ornaments
    Finishing the back stitching on some Southwestern ornaments I started many years ago
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  • Scardy Sheep Scissor Fob (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  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)
  5. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

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'...