Friday, August 31, 2007

Eye can't-believe-it's-the-last-day-of-August Candy Friday...

...gee, where did that month go???

Finally finished my big work project yesterday. Yay! That took a lot of time and energy, leaving very little left over for crafty things. I haven't spun since the weekend and I only managed to knit a couple of rows on my socks. I really need this long weekend! So, let's catch-up a little...

Last day of August sky picture, just cuz:

August Sky
Here is the latest installment from the Rockin' Sock Club, called Flower Power. Lots of people have posted pictures of the full skein, so I've show you a close-up of the yarn and the emergency skein.

Flower Power yarn
Here's the first bobbin of the Blue Moon roving from Spunky Eclectic. You can see that it's thicker than my previous singles and I've purposely introduced a little thick-thin character to it. I split the roving in half and spun this bobbin in one chunk to get long spans of color. I'm spinning the second half in lengthwise strips to get shorter span of color. I think it will be really pretty when they are plied with Royal Blue thread.

Blue Moon, bobbin 1
And last but not least, my early birthday present from my bestest pal, Jane. (She's the recipient of the spinning kit I made earlier this year.) Anyway, she's been teasing me for weeks about her secret project, dropping hints that now make sense, but made absolutely no sense at the time. She named this "little" project Saheli, which means friend.

I picked up the package Monday and took it home. I was under strict orders not to open the contents, but I could open the shipping box and look inside...which I did. Hmmm, 3 wrapped packages and a card. On Wednesday, during our weekly IM session, she let me open my present.

First up, she gave me Yarn Harlot's At Knits End. I love this book!

Next was some scented votives with a glass holder are made the whole box smell heavenly.

And finally, Saheli...she is a fabulous, handmade niddy-noddy! Isn't she pretty??

Saheli, my new niddy-noddy!
Jane, with her wonderful husband's help, made it with her own little hands. The end pieces are cut from redwood, hand-sanded, and sealed to a very smooth finish.The core is painted gold, and as you can sort of see in the picture, there is a quote and my birthday on one side in gold letters; her name is on the other side (and something else that escapes me at the moment). It will be perfect for silks because it is so smooth! I wish my pictures turned out better so you can see how beautiful the wood looks. I'll try again this weekend when I'm not as rushed.

A perfect birthday present...thanks Jane and Gordon!! You're the best!

This is a four-day weekend for me—after the craziness of the last month, I decided that I needed an extra day off. Since my birthday is Tuesday, I just extended my weekend! LOL! My plan is to spin the whole day and just enjoy myself.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2007

no picture Monday...

...because I ran out of time this morning.

My weekend did not exactly go as planned. I took my car in for routine maintenance that turned out not to be so routine. Besides the tune-up, which is not cheap, replacing a light that was out, and fixing my non-functional data port (cigarette lighter port), they are replacing a bunch of things that are leaking and could lead to future problems with the fuel pump, So, they kept my car to finish working on it. Tonight, we get to pay lots of $$ to pick it up. Great...just what we needed.

I could show you a picture of the new Rockin' Sock club installment that I received, but...

I did manage to get a little knitting done, but not as much as I wanted. No point in showing you a picture of the Fawkes socks because they don't look significantly different from Friday. I'm just a slow knitter.

I started a new roving on the wheel, Blue Moon in Corriedale from
Spunky Eclectic. I'm spinning it a bit thicker, although not as thick as Mermaid. I filled one bobbin with half of the roving and started a second bobbin with the other half. My plan is to do two plies of the Blue Moon with 1 ply of a royal blue thread. It's telling me that it wants to be a scarf and I keep getting a "bead me" vibe, but I'm not quite sure if I'm up to that yet. We'll see.

I also spun a little of the Josie on the spindle. It's coming along really well, too.

That's it for a ton of work to finish, but will post pictures when I can!

Friday, August 24, 2007

TG Eye-Candy F again!

...I'll close this week with some chile pepper pictures from the Husband's garden.

Purple-black peppers...

Purple-black peppers
...and twisty green ones.

Green chile peppers
Also, here's an updated picture of the Fawkes socks. The colors aren't quite right, but very close! I love how these are turning out. I just wish I had more time to work on them.

Fawkes socks in progress
Up this weekend, tomorrow I take my car in for maintenance. I'll work on the Fawkes socks while I wait for the car to get done. Other than that, no other plans; I'll just take the rest of the weekend as it comes. A little cleaning, a little spinning, a little knitting, who knows what else!

Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I got plenty of nothin'... least nothing that I can show. I've been working on a project journal for my spinning and knitting. Showing you a picture of a book is not exactly thrilling!

I think I've mentioned before that I have an online database to track my projects. I created it several years ago using FileMaker Pro. It works very well for me and I've expanded it to include yarns and roving. However, you can't put samples of yarn or knitting in the database, so I need a separate project book for that.

I used my Michaels coupon to buy an artists Drawing Book that is 7x10 inches. It is wire-O bound and has 120 pages of 90-pound, acid free drawing paper. I really didn't want 120 pages, but I liked the size of the book and the 90-pound paper will hold up well. I may have to rebind it if it gets too bulky, but I can worry about that later.

I'm trying to decide whether to print label stock with the details I need for the spinning or knitting project. The plus is that I can export most of the data from the database and then just add to it. The negative is that it won't look as "crafty"; a handwritten journal looks so much nicer. Another decision I need to make is whether to include photos. I have them available on my website and some are on Flickr; I don't know if I should bother printing them.

One thing I have decided to use is self-adhesive CD-ROM or diskette envelopes. They will hold the yarn or fiber labels for a project. This way I won't have to glue them or staple them to the page, and I can take the labels out and look at them whenever I want.

Anyway, It will take a while for me to get this together, but it will be well worth it!

Monday, August 20, 2007

spinning and knitting...

...for most of the weekend. Totally ignored the house and just got crafty!

I started a new roving on the wheel:

Peacock, bobbin 1
This is "Peacock" in Corriedale from Spunky Eclectic. Lots of blues and greens, very pretty. The only drawback is that the color bleeds a little on my hands as I spin it. I hope that I can get most of the excess out when I wash it, otherwise I'll have to be careful how I use this yarn.

On the knitting front, I finished the cuff, knit the heel flap, turned the heel, and started the gusset on the Fawkes socks. I really like how they look. No pictures of those today; maybe later when I have the gusset finished.

This week I plan on working on the socks and doing some spindle spinning. I haven't touched the spindle in a couple of weeks, so it's time to get back to it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Eye Candy Friday, Summer style...

...brought to you by the Husband's garden.

Random Summer flowers.

Summer flowers
Grapes. Unfortunately some are splitting, but at least we got more ths year than last.

Grapes on the vine
And one very large tomato, around 1 pound (it's on a dinner plate to give you some idea of its size).

Large tomato
Up this weekend, more spinning and more sleep (I hope!). Have a good one!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

not much happening...

...still trying to catch up on sleep!

I did get back in to a more regular routine. I managed to get to both my Pilates class and my Yoga class this week. I can really feel it when I don't take my yoga class!

No additional spinning or knitting this week, but I did get a chance to look at the new fibers I ordered from Yarn Wench. I love her colors and I love the Falkland wool she uses. I can't seem to resist her stuff, but I need to hold off buying any more until I spin more of the fiber stash!

The latest colors I bought from her are Flamethrower 2, which I showed you last Friday, Plume Smoke 1, and Deep Night 2. Right now, pictures of these three are on her Spinning Fibers page as "sale pending" fibers. Eventually, they'll get moved to her Sold Spinning Fibers pages.

[Sigh] So much fiber to spin, so little time!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

yes, I live... project deliverables were turned in yesterday and I took the afternoon off! I tried to catch up on some sleep, but that didn't work, so I did a little knitting.

I worked on the second pattern repeat for the Fawkes socks. I really like the pattern, but it might show up better in a different yarn. However, I am determined to make this pair of socks, so I am not going to unravel these and switch to another pattern!

Fawkes socks cuffs
As for the weekend, I spent Saturday doing something I wanted to do: Spin! I finished spinning the Cali roving and plied it. It still needs its bath, but I liked the way it turned out. Its a little too energized right now and I'm hoping the bath will relax it a little.

Cali yarn
The dime shot:

Cali yarn close-up
Yarn Wench 100% Falkland top (3.9oz)
Color: Cali
Spun and plied on Lendrum Folding wheel
Yield: 242 yards Navajo plied
Weight: 14 WPI (average), between Sport and Fingering
(Well, at least I'm somewhat consistent. So far all my wheel-spun 3-ply yarns are about 14 WPI.)

I also spun more of the Merino-Silk roving. No new pictures of this one--I'm still on the first bobbin.

On Sunday, I worked. 'Nuff said.

I'm hoping that I'll get back to a more normal schedule now that the big push is done. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, August 10, 2007

quick Eye Candy Friday...'s what I wish I was working on instead of "work":

Flamethrower 2 roving
This is Flamethrower 2 by Yarn Wench (Falkland wool). My picture doesn't do it justice, but you can look here to see Yarn Wench's pictures of it.

OK, that's it. Back to work for me. Hope you have a great weekend! (I hope to have at least part of a weekend...)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I. Am. Job. least for now. We got a couple of days extension on the current project. This means I'm still working at warp speed, but I have a better hope of turning in something decent. Needless to say, nothing crafty is happening right now—my usual evening spinning/knitting time is now consumed with work.

To distract you from a lack of crafty pictures and content, have some tomatoes:

Heirloom tomatoes
I'll be back when I have more than half a brain cell...

Monday, August 06, 2007

a very quick weekend update...

...I have work deliverables due on Wednesday and need to completely concentrate on getting those done.

This weekend:
  • Went to the county fair on Sunday. It's a 15-20 minute drive each way. We left the house at 10:15am; we got home at 12:30pm. And, yes, we saw everything. It was a very pale imitation of what the Fair used to be. The most interesting things were the sheep and the display of weaving looms.

    The number of exhibitors were about half of normal; it was worse in home arts and horticulture. It was an expensive 1.75 hours (parking was $8!). Very disheartening.
  • Fawkes socks: I finished the first pattern repeat and started the second.

  • Montego Bay wrap: did four rows (one pattern repeat)

  • Spun a little more of the Josie on my spindle

  • Went to the grocery store

  • Worked several hours on the work deliverables.
That's it...more later in the week when I have time!

Friday, August 03, 2007

it's Eye Candy Friday...

...and all I have is a picture of tomatoes. At least they're interesting tomatoes:

green Zebra tomatoes
These are Zebra tomatoes. They are green on the inside and kind of a golden green on the outside when ripe. (There are other interesting-looking tomatoes in the Husband's garden, but they're usually all gone by the time I want to take a picture!)

In the craft arena, I've been knitting the Fawkes socks. I have completed the ribbing and started the first pattern repeat. Right now, it doesn't look like much and is not worth a picture.

Other than that, I haven't really had the energy to do much else. No spinning since the weekend and I haven't touched the Montego Bay wrap in a week.

What I really need is sleep...I still have the remnants of a sinus-plus-TMJ headache that I've been fighting since Monday. It doesn't make for restful nights!

On tap this weekend (besides sleep), a little spinning, a little knitting, and a trip to the county fair. They say that this might be the last year for the Santa Clara County Fair. I've been going to the Fair since before I can remember; if this is the last one, I want to make sure I see it!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

July 2007 recap...

...because I have nothing new right now!

  • Yarn Wench 100% Merino top (approx 2oz) in Lupines and Poppies
    Spun and plied on Lendrum Folding wheel
    Yield: 184 yards Navajo plied

    Weight: average 16 wpi
  • Spunky Eclectic South African Fine Wool roving (4oz) in Mermaid
    Spun and plied on Lendrum Folding wheel
    Plied with teal and gold rayon threads
    Yield: 167 yards, essentially a two-ply
    Weight: Bulky
  • Yarn Wench 100% Falkland top (3.7oz) in Apricot Cinder
    Spun and plied on Lendrum Folding wheel
    Yield: 272 yards Navajo plied
    Weight: 15-16 wpi
  • Chasing Rainbows 100% Merino top (2 oz) in Moonstone
    1/3 spun on Cascade Little Si spindle; 2/3 spun on Spindlewood square whorl mini
    Plied on Lendrum Folding wheel
    Yield: 211 yards, Navajo plied
    Weight: 16 wpi (average), Fingering
  • 12 12-oz jars and 10 1-pint jars of apricot preserves
  • 2 12-oz jars, 2 1-pint jars, and 1 quart jar of pickled green beans and carrots
In progress:
  • Knitting Montego Bay wrap in Walking on the Wild Tide yarn, using Montego Bay scarf pattern from Interweave Knits Summer issue
    (Started life as the Grasshopper socks from the Rockin' Sock Club. Morphed into Tide Walkers, which equaled lost of frogging and tons of frustration at the whole toe-up thing. Unraveled everything and started the Nereides pattern from MagKnits. The pattern worked, but the yarn didn't look good in it. So...)
  • Spinning 4+ oz of Yarn Wench 100% Falkland wool top in Cali; 1.5 bobbins so far
  • Spinning 4+ oz of Yarn Wench 100% Falkland wool top in Josie; 1 spindle-full so far
  • Fawkes socks in the Firebird yarn from Blue Moon's Rockin' Sock club
On Hiatus until I can face them again:In progress, but didn't work on:
  • Flip-top mittens (knitting)
  • Just Nan 2002 Christmas ornament (cross stitch)
  • Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  • Peekaboo mittens (knitting)
  • Queen Mermaid (cross stitch)
  • Sangria shawl (knitting)
  • Seahorses pillow (needlepoint)
  • Twinkletoes slippers (knitting)
  • Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
Yeah, I need to work on a few of those "In progress, but didn't work on" projects. I probably should designate one weekend to working on those. But, Sirena keeps calling me from the corner. I had no idea spinning would get such a hold on me!

Eye Candy Friday...

...and rolling into a long baking weekend. I'm completely loving the skies and clouds. 11/30/18: 12/5/18: Today was a co-w...