WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a finished object!

I finished the Citrus Hat [Ravelry] last night! Here is the lovely Blanca modeling the hat:

Citrus Hat, another view

and another view:

Citrus Hat

Specs:
Started 2/18/16;
Finished 3/29/16;
Pattern: Citrus Hat by Laura Treadway;
Yarn: Red Heart Soft Touch Solids in Lavender
Made for Halos of Hope

I finished tying the fringe for Mermaid's Tale [Ravelry]! The only thing left to do is give it a press and take photos. I'm declaring it done as of today. I'll post photos as soon as I take them.

With two projects completed, I need to take a look at the remaining WIPs and UFOs to see whether any projects should be promoted to the rotation or declared IDJ (It's Dead, Jim).

*WIPs roll call*

Worked on:
  • Costa del Mar (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  3. Linda's Dream mandala (canvaswork)
    Old WIP from 1996 Cross Stitch Festival class
  4. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.

Pink tulip at Fremont High School
  • I finished the weaving portion of Mermaid's Tale [Ravelry]. I hemmed the end and took it off of the loom. I gave it a bath on Sunday and it should be dry by now. I need to bury the ends and decide how to handle the fringe. The shawl/wrap is pretty light-weight, so I'm leaning towards just knotting the fringe instead of braiding it. My goal is to finish it by the end of the month (which is rapidly approaching!).
  • I started knitting the decrease section of the Citrus Hat [Ravelry]. I didn't get as far as I wanted, but it's still progress. I'm hoping to finish it this month, but...
  • The Daughter came by on Saturday and I worked on Costa del Mar (knitting) [Ravelry] while we chatted. As it turned out, that was a mistake because I was enjoying our visit too much and wasn't paying close enough attention to the increase rows. I had to rip out 3 rows because my stitch count was off by one. Sigh. 
  • On Sunday, I took a camera walk. A camera walk is a lot less intense than a fitness walk and a much better option as my first walk since hurting my ankle. I walked to the Daughter's old high school and took about 400 photos of the tulips planted along the front walkways (see above).
    I took some additional photos on my way home.  My ankle was a little sore afterwards, but I think it was more from stretching the muscles a bit more than usual.
  • I did not do any spinning because I didn't want to push my ankle after my Sunday walk. I think the next thing to spin is art yarn, which won't take as long to complete as my regular spins do.
I need to process more of the photos from my camera walk, expect to see more as I complete them!
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Eye Candy Friday...

...it's been a week! I'm so ready to go home and enjoy and adult beverage!

Spring is all over the garden now. The anemones have been blooming for a few weeks:

Blue anemone

The rannunculus are starting. We have yellow and orange ones:

Yellow and orange ranunculus


and pink ones:

Pink rannunculus

And the roses are starting up. These orange roses are in our backyard:

Orange roses

Up this weekend: I have no idea. We haven't done anything for Easter in many years, not since the Daughter left home.

I would like to walk over to her old high school tomorrow. Every year, they plant tulips along the front walkways and they are beautiful!  I'd love to get some photos before they are all gone.

Of course, there are plenty of crafts to keep me busy (LOL). We'll see what catches my fancy!
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Well, hello Thursday...

...I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the week, not to mention Eye Candy Friday last week.  I can blame it mostly on a work project that keeps me heads-down.  I've surfaced for now, so let's play catch-up.

Eye Candy Friday:
Spring is everywhere in the garden. The irises are starting to bloom:

Iris-to-be

Weekend report:
  • Worked on Mermaid's Tale (weaving) [Ravelry
  • Looked through my queued needlework projects and found a canvaswork piece that is nearly finished. I had totally forgotten about it! It's time to add that to the rotation.
  • Officially put Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry] into hibernation. I'll put it back in rotation when I'm ready to face it again.
  • I cast on the Castra shawl. I bought the pattern and yarn at Stitches West this year. I named my project Costa del Mar [Ravelry] because the yarn reminds me of the coast.
  • I tried spinning on Sunday and it worked. I had to take lots of breaks so I wouldn't overdo the hurt ankle, but I successfully plied Sweet Heat [Ravelry]. Hurray!
  • I finally got a somewhat decent photo of the Leaf cross stitch that I finished the week before.
Here is Sweet Heat:

Sweet Heat handspun

and the close up:

Sweet Heat handspun, close up

Specs:
Started 2/13/16
Finished 3/20/16
Falkland top (4.1 oz) from the Yarn Wench
234.5 yds. chain-plied; 13 WPI

This is Leaf:

Leaf cross stitch

Specs:
Started 2/8/16
Finished 3/13/16
Monthly musing by Shepherd’s Bush

Monday's Craft Coffee:
I continued to work on the Citrus Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]. I have about half an inch left to knit before I can start the decreases. I should be able to finish it this month. Another hurray!

And finally, the latest WIPs roll call:

Worked on:
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  3. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...I was too busy to blog yesterday because of a work project, so you get a weekend report and a WIPs report combined in one.

Saturday was Spin-In. I took two knitting projects with me: Canto de Sirena shawl [Ravelry] and Citrus Hat [Ravelry]. The shawl and I are going to have serious words. I was off n the pattern again! This makes the third time I've had to tink back a section and reknit it. I redid the bad section and started knitting again...and it was still off by one! Arg!  I marked where the error occurred and out it aside to work on at home. Thank goodness i brought the second project.

I think the main reason I'm having so many problems with this shawl is that there are many yarn-overs at the beginning or end of a pattern repeat, right where you want to place stitch markers. The yarn-over slips under the marker and you have to be very diligent about making sure that the yarn-over is on the correct side of the marker. There are 362 stitches per row. There are 22 pattern repeats in every row and I seem to always mess up on repeat number 5 or 6.

I need to rethink this project. I love the yarn and love the look of the finished piece, but it might be time for it to hibernate for a bit.

On Sunday, I finished the Leaf cross stitch project. I took a few photos with my phone, but none of them turned out well. I'll take some new ones and post the finished project later.

I also managed to spend a little time weaving on both Saturday and Sunday. A mostly-good craft weekend. I really miss spinning, though!

**WIP Roll Call**

Worked on:

  • Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Citrus Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Mermaid's Tale (weaving) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  3. Sweet Heat handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  4. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Rainy Eye Candy Friday...

...I got totally soaked this morning! My shoes and socks have finally dried out, however the cuffs of my slacks are still a little damp. At least my hair didn't too wet.

Yesterday's sunrise was pretty spectacular:

Sunrise 3/10/16

It's great to see raindrops on the plants:

Raindrop magnification

The nasturtiums are going wild with all of the rain:

Nasturtiums

And the cherry tree has set its blossoms and is already losing some of the petals:

More cherry blossoms

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow! I need to decide which project to take with me. I might just stick to either knitting or cross stitch. I think I'll skip the spindle spinning. I can't wait for my ankle to feel better!

For snacks, I decided to just bring crackers and cheese this time--green cheese in honor of St. Patrick's Day next week.

One disadvantage of all of the rain is that it's kind of pointless to mop the floors. They'll just get junked up again. However, there a few other chores to do that aren't affected by the rain, like laundry.

Or I could just craft all weekend! LOL!
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Can we just pretend it's still Wednesday?

...I totally spaced on WIP-it Wednesday yesterday. I'll just post it today, 'K?

First, here's a photo of the in-progress Citrus Hat [Ravelry]:

Citrus Hat ribbing

I finished the ribbing and I'm now knitting the main part of the hat.

I haven't worked on it yet this week. My goal is to get a few rows knit tonight while I watch Face Off.

**WIP Roll Call**

Worked on:
  • Leaf Monthly Musing (cross stitch)
  • Mermaid's Tale (weaving) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Citrus Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  5. Sweet Heat handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  6. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.
  • I got about half of the sewing completed for my co-worker's project. I'm taking it slow because the minky fabric is so slippery. I don't want to accidentally sew the wrong things together. I should get the rest of it done this coming weekend.
  • I looked at the Citrus Hat [Ravelry] project and didn't actually work on it. Maybe tonight.
  • I wove several inches on the Mermaid's Tale wrap [Ravelry]. My ankle isn't happy with where I have to place it to work on this project.  I didn't get as much done as I wanted before I needed to change positions.
  • I did quite a bit of work on the Leaf Monthly Musing cross stitch. Between the weekend's stitching and last night's during Craft Coffee, I'm almost done. I need to fix one missed stitch, press it, and sew on the buttons. I should be able to finish it before the weekend.
  • Based on how unhappy my ankle was with weaving, I decided not to attempt plying or spinning yet. I really need both feet to be functioning close to normal. That means I'll need to either spindle spin or knit for Spin-In this Saturday. I'm bummed because spinning is my go-to craft on the weekends.
  • Reading is going slowly this month. I'm reading the latest book in a series that I liked up until this installment. I'm just not feeling it. Fortunately, it's a library book and I haven't wasted any money on it, just time that could have been spent reading something enjoyable.

Eye Candy Friday...

...I almost forgot!

The lavender is coming back after it tooled like it totally died with the drought conditions:

Lavender

The crabapple tree is blooming:

Crabapple tree in bloom
And we have freesias blooming in the front yard:

Purple freesias

and the back yard:

Red freesia

Up this weekend: I have a project to do for a co-worker. It's all pinned. I just need to sew some simple straight lines. Then I want to work on Mermaid's Tale [Ravelry].

My ankle continues to improve. Last night I soaked my ankle in an Epsom salts bath and boy what a difference that made! For the first time since I injured it, I slept through the night. I was able to handle a lot more resistance in cycling today because it felt better. Of course, after a day of sitting at work today, the ankle is sore. I'll soak it again tonight. So looking forward to getting back to spinning yarn!

 Once my ankle can handle walking all day, the Husband and I want to take a day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I hope I can do that soon, as I seriously need some ocean time!
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February 2016 recap...

...if shopping counted, I would have completed a lot of things this month!

Finished:
  • 2/7 Be Happy by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • Books:
    1. The Horsemaster's Daughter, Susan Wiggs
    2. Halfway to Heaven, Susan Wiggs
    3. Brotherhood in Death, JD Robb
    4. Ghost Gifts, Laura Spinella
    5. Reflections, Seanan McGuire
    6. Bitter Bite, Jennifer Estep
Started:
  • 2/18 Citrus Hat for Halos of Hope [Ravelry]
  • 2/21 Mermaid's Tale [Ravelry]
  • 2/8 Leaf Monthly Musing by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
Works In Progress:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  4. Sweet Heat handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  5. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a first look at the weaving for Mermaid's Tale [Ravelry].

Mermaid's Tale, in process

I like the way the colors flow, with just a pop of color from the variegated Brazilian Emerald yarn. The only issue is that because the cotton weft yarn is thin, it moves too easily if I look at it cross-eyed. I want to keep this wrap on the light and air-y side, so I just have to be careful.

I still can't spin on this ankle, so spinning is on the back burner.

**WIP Roll Call**

Worked on:
  • Citrus Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Leaf Monthly Musing (cross stitch)
  • Mermaid's Tale (weaving) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  4. Sweet Heat handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  5. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Happy March!

...let's start with a little randomness, shall we?
  • My sprained ankle is improving. I've been icing it twice a day and elevating it when possible. It was driving me nuts not being able to walk normally, but I'm gradually getting there.
  • Yesterday, I decided that I didn't want to skip going to the gym for too long...I don't want to get out of the habit! Monday's cycling class incorporates arm weights and is not as intense as my other cycling classes. It worked out pretty well--the cycling shoes helped keep my ankle stable and it felt good to get some exercise!
  • Today I tried my yoga class. Downward dog and regular plank were difficult, so I modified them to work with my injured ankle. I was able to do some of the other poses with a little extra padding under my ankle or by doing the level-1 version of the pose. Yay!
  • A co-worker asked me to add some stabilization to a minky throw that she purchased. The manufacturer basically sewed the top and bottom together and then top-stitched around the perimeter, about 2-inches in. Since it's minky (read: slippery) and large, the front slides away from the back and turns into a puddle of fabric.

    I'll add some parallel lines of stitching that will keep the front and back together and make it more useful as a throw.
  • While I watched the Oscars, I worked on my latest Halos of Hope hat [Ravelry]. It's an easy pattern and works well as a TV project.
  • Mermaid's Tale [Ravelry]: Iachos yarn in Raven’s Wing didn’t work as the weft. The color was too dark and just didn’t show off the gradient colors the way I wanted.

    The good news is that it only took 4 picks to figure this out. After checking my stash, I found a cone of Lunatic Fringe Yarns 10/2 Mercerized Cotton in a slightly darker blue that the blue range of the gradient. It’s thinner than the yarn, but I like the way it’s working with the colors. I was able to make a little progress.

    Here's what the warped loom looked like before I started weaving:
Warp for Mermaid's Tale

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Eye Candy Friday...

...and I'm so ready for the weekend! As I mentioned in an earlier post, my camera and I took a walk last Sunday to test out its featur...