Wednesday, July 30, 2008

better late than never...'s been a busy day so far.

Not much new to report. I'm knitting away on the socks. I'm in the boring part—trying to get the foot long enough so I can start the toe decreases. [Sigh] I was hoping to finish these this month, but it looks like that might not happen.

I'm holding off on the Morning Surf scarf. I decided to participate in Ravelympics (that's a Ravelry link) and the scarf is one of four items I'm doing for WIPs Wrestling. I've also entered the Handspun Heptathalon and have identified one Seawool top to spin and want to do at least one other kind of fiber. (I know, I know...over-commit much!? )

Anyway, since I don't want to have a picture-less post, how about yesterday's sky?

July Sky

I took this about 7am, just as the sun was the way the clouds look!

Back on Friday!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tour de Fleece, c'est fini...

...and I finished a yarn! Yay! This is Plum Honey Light:

Plum Honey Light yarn

...and the dime shot:

Plum Honey Light yarn, close up

The Specs
Started 7/21
Completed: 7/27/08
Merino-Silk top from Yarn Wench
Color: Plum Honey Light 1
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT wheel, Navajo-plied
WPI: 12 (Worsted)

This was record time for me, but I was motivated to start and finish at least one yarn for the Tour. What it meant was that I didn't do any knitting until I'd stopped spinning for the day (my left knee can only handle treadling for a few hours).

I did manage to finish one pattern repeat on the Mermaid's Morning Surf Scarf an a few rows on the Midsummer Paradise socks. And a little housework, but really the whole weekend was spinning!

I'm going to swap back to knitting for a bit while I decide whether to finish the Plumthorn yarn on the wheel instead of by spindle. It's coming out very thin on the spindle and I like it. It's just that spinning thin on the spindle takes a long time! We'll see...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Eye Candy Friday...

...this has been an interesting (and short) week. Between transitioning from vacation-mode to work-mode, the fire at the Palo Alto dump (which put a lot of smoke in the air again and made my throat sore), trying to upload all our vacation pictures, general klutziness last night (broken bottle of wine and a broken bottle of fingernail polish), and trying catch up on Tour de Fleece, I've been a bit scattered.

Instead of the beach, let's go to the garden for part of today's Eye Candy Friday.

Here is a gorgeous flower that bloomed while we were gone:

Flower in the Sun

(No, I don't know what it is yet. The Husband may have told me, but, you know, mine like a sieve!)

The Thai Basil is looking pretty:
Thai Basil Flowers

And, of course, there are the peppers...

More Chile Peppers

and tomatoes.

Speckled Roman Tomatoes

And for some crafty eye candy, my first bobbin of Plum Honey Light:

Plum Honey Light 1, bobbin#1

I love how the colors change on this one. My goal is to finish this yarn for Tour de Fleece.

AND, I received my Rockin' Sock Club installment for July. Click this image to see the spoiler picture.

I love the patterns that cam with it. At first look, I'm not wilde about the yarn colors, but I think they might grown on me. Only time will tell!

I'll be spinning my little heart out this weekend for the last days of Tour de France/Fleece.Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

just realized it's Wednesday...

...and I forgot to take pictures this morning. Since I had Monday off, it's Tuesday for me!

I'm not knitting right now. I'm trying to spin as much as I can for Tour de Fleece. Monday night, I started spinning Plum Honey Light 1 from Yarn Wench; I continued spinning on it last night. It is a merino-silk in the colors of burgundy, peacock, and honey on a base of cream. I'm spinning it in thin strips to make the colors change more frequently. I haven't used this method before, so I'm not sure whether I'll like the results.

Slowly uploading the vacation pictures to Flickr. If I didn't edit them, they'd be up there already, but some need a little cropping. (Also, I don;t know why the Flickr badge for the Oregon pictures is a little odd. They mist have changed something in the code because I used to be able to have two badges without the extra text.)

In the interest of equal time, here is a picture of my brother's other dog, Vixen. Vixen hated me and made a big point not to get too close to me. Here she is at Gleneden Beach.

Vixen at the beach

I'm feeling a little scattered still (vacation withdrawal!). Hopefully, I'll get back on track soon!

Monday, July 21, 2008

finally finished something...

...for Tour de Fleece. Yay!

Yesterday I finished the second bobbin and plied Guerrilla Girl. I washed it this morning and it's drying now. Here's the pre-bath picture:

Guerrilla Girl Yarn
...and the dime shot:

Guerrilla Girl, close up

The Specs:
Finished 07/20/2008
Tempted Yarns merino-silk (4.0 oz) in Guerrilla Girl
Spun and plied on Lendrum Folding wheel
Navajo-ply, yield: 208 yds.
Weight: 12 WPI average

I haven't decided which roving to spin next...I need to stash dive and pick something.

Since I haven't posted any pictures of my two knitting WIPs, here are Midsummer Paradise socks:

Midsummer Paradise socks

I'm knitting the foot, which is a little monotonous, but I love the way they look.

Here is Mermaid's Morning Surf Scarf:

Mermaid's Morning Surf scarf, as of 7/20

I cast on 76 stitches, which in hind sight, is too many stitches. Had I known how long it would take me to knit this, I would have gone for a narrower scarf. I have knit 5 pattern repeats, with each pattern repeat being 12 rows. This is going to take a while...

I've started uploading the vacation pictures, but it's taking a long time to crop and edit them. Look for a Flickr badge in the right column that will link to the vacation pictures.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

it's good to be back home again...

... I've got a ton of laundry to finish and some clean-up to do, but it's nice to sleep in my own bed and not be in a car. The cats seemed to miss us, after they got over their "who are you?!" stage. I got some primo snuggle time in with them last night.

The husband was happy to see that the drip irrigation in the back yarn worked and that his tomato and pepper plants are thriving. Sadly the irrigation setup in our atrium failed and my gardenia plant is a crispy critter. Oh, well...

I did a little spinning last night before fatigue set in. After I run errands today, I'll do more spinning and start uploading our Oregon pictures to Flickr. I also want to take pictures of the ripe tomatoes and peppers before the Husband picks them.

Boy, am I glad I took Monday off, too! Lots to catch up on...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Eye Candy Friday, road-trip version...

...let's hear it for a better wi-fi connection!

Yesterday, we said good-bye to my brother and his wife and they headed back to Seattle. We left Lincoln City and headed south down the Oregon coast, heading to Gold Beach. We stopped several times along the way to take pictures and enjoy the scenery. The morning started off foggy and windy, warming up around noon.

Some of the places we stopped were: Depoe Bay, the Devil's Punch Bowl, Agate Beach (no agates!), the Devil's Churn, and Battle Rock at Port Orford. I have lots of pictures, but even with a good connection it will take me a while to get them uploaded. (I have, however, uploaded all the pictures of the new stash to Flickr and Ravelry...priorities! lol!) For now, here's a picture I took at Agate Beach:

Searocket at Agate Beach, OR

This is a searocket plant blooming in the wide expanse of this beach. There was a small group of these plants surrounded by nothing but sand.

During our travels, I managed to get the heels turned on the socks and I'm working on the gusset decreases. I didn't work on the Mermaid's Morning Surf scarf at all because of all the stopping we did—it's harder to keep track of that pattern and I didn't want to mess it up. The socks were perfect for a start/stop project. Still haven't been able to spin much...

We're taking our time going home, as there is no need to spend 15+ hours in the car to get there. I'm really enjoying the Oregon Coast and will have enough beach time to hold me for several weeks.

Not sure where we're heading today, but the sun is up and there is no fog...always a nice way to start the day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

supposed to be WIP-it Wednesday...

...but the connection here is weak and sporadic. I can't get all of my pictures edited and uploaded, so we'll have to be patient.

Yesterday, it was so cold that I wished I had brought the hat I knit earlier this year. There is a yarn store here in Lincoln City that I hadn't intended on visiting. However, my head was really cold so I decided to see whether they had a chunky yarn that I could use to knit a simple hat. It's only a half-mile from the hotel, so I walked over and checked out Nestucca Bay Yarns. They had a Plymouth Encore Chunky on sale, so I bought a couple of skeins. They also had their own hand-painted yarns, so I bought two skeins of that, too.

I whipped out a simple K2P2 ribbed hat last night. This morning, I was very thankful that I had it—the weather was cold and windy. It did warm up later, but it was still windy on the coast. Here's a beach shot by the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

Beach at Yaquina Head, Oregon

I have lots more pictures, but will upload those when I can.

As for the WIPs, I'm finally ready to do the heel flaps on my socks and the scarf is progresing. Sadly, I have not been able to get any spinning done since Sunday. Oh, well...I knew it would be tough to do on vacation...

Back on Friday with some eye candy. Hopefully the next place will have a better wireless network!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday is travel day...

...we drove from Seattle to the Oregon coast today. We are at Lincoln City for three days, exploring the area. It's a lot colder than we expected, but we'll have a good time anyway. My brother's dogs think that this is a great place to vacation--the beach is wide and fun to run on! Here's a quick picture I managed to get tonight.

Beach at Lincoln City, Oregon

A quick report on the Seattle-to-Portland ride: My brother and the Husband made great time and thoroughly enjoyed the two-day ride. Because they did so well, they arrived back in Seattle a couple of hours before I expected them.

While they were off doing their ride, I did my mini yarn crawl. And I kept it mini--only two stores. But, I picked the right two stores to visit. First I went to The Weaving Works. This store has a great selection of yarn, but it was the fiber that caught my eye. I bought some 1 ounce samples of bamboo fiber and seacell fiber. Not sure what I'll do with them, but the price was right... I also splurged and bought a Cougar spindle made by Cascade Spindle Company. It's light and spins very well.

The other store was Acorn Street Shop. This store had a ton of yarn, some spinning supplies, and some needlepoint supplies. They had a Tish needlepoint canvas that I hadn't seen before, but I just couldn't justify the cost (especially since I have several of her canvases in my stash). I bought three skeins of yarn and a little book called "Yoga for Knitters." I did manage to restrain myself! (LOL!)

I spent quite a bit of time with my other brother on Saturday afternoon and then again on Sunday when we went to brunch. In between my yarn store and brother visits, I managed to get some knitting done on the Midsummer Paradise socks and the Mermaid's Morning Surf scarf. I also spun another spindle full of the Plumthorn roving that I started last month.

Anyway, that's it for now. I hope to upload more pictures later in the week.

Friday, July 11, 2008

not your typical Eye Candy Friday...

...not many pictures to show yet. We arrived at my brother's late last night, after a 15.5 hour car ride. We chatted a few minutes and then crashed.

Today, we've been running around getting our riders ready for the Seattle-to-Portland ride that starts tomorrow morning. All I have is pictures of my brother's dogs. Here's one:

ur toys, i haz them

This is Bucko, with all of Vixen's toys. Bucko really didn't care about the toys, so we just kept piling them on to see if we got any reaction. Nope!

Since I'm not going on the ride, I'll have time to take some pictures after they leave. Tomorrow, I plan on going to Green Lake and doing a mini-yarn crawl. I'll also visit with my other brother who lives in the area.

I did get a little spindle spinning done this morning for Tour de Fleece. It doesn't quite make up for not spinning on Wednesday or Thursday, but I knew there would be a few days where it would be impossible to spin.

I got a lot of knitting done on the drive up—I worked on the Midsummer Paradise socks and cast-on the Morning Surf scarf. I'll get pictures of these when I can.

That's all for now...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

run, run, run as fast as I can...

...can't pack fast for vacation [man!]. I have some of my clothes in the suitcase (I wouldn't call them "packed" yet); my project bag is packed except for my spindle (gotta remember that!); my computer bag is almost packed (did I remember my iPod cable?). Trying to pack clothing for cooler weather as well as warm weather without taking the entire contents of my closet is a challenge!

Plus, I'm trying to spin daily for Tour de Fleece. Here's what I've done the last few days:

Guerrilla Girl, bobbin 1

That's about 2 ounces of the Guerrilla Girl roving on bobbin 1. I'm spinning it on two bobbins just in case I decide to do a two-ply instead of a Navajo 3-ply. I like the long color changes on this, but I'm not sure if I want to maintain them or let it barber-pole. Since I won't finish this until after vacation, I have time to think about it.

I'm not sure whether I'll be able to maintain a regular blog schedule while we're gone. The Mac is excellent at picking up wireless networks, but my older Mac didn't play well with the network at my brother's house. Maybe this new Mac will...

Anyway, I'll post when I can. Keep your fingers crossed that I get some good pictures of the Oregon coast!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Vacation count down...

...only 3 more days of work. We have 50 million things to get done before we leave on Thursday, like laundry and packing. Of course, all of my knitting stuff is ready to go!

One thing we had to do before we left was harvest the apricots. Now, a lot of them are still on the green side and given another week they'd be ready. However, we won't be here to pick them and I don't think our cat sitter (The Daughter) is much interested in harvesting a ton of apricots. Anyway, yesterday we picked all but the absolutely green apricots:

Blenheim apricot harvest, 2008

...and a close-up.

Blenheim apricot harvest

About half of these were pitted and frozen (that was a lot of work!). The rest are being given as gifts to friends; there are some that need another couple of days to be ripe. I also made an apricot crisp from the really ripe apricots.

Yesterday was the second day of Tour de Fleece. Because I'm spinning the purple Merino-silk so thinly, I couldn't face it after cutting all of those apricots! Instead I started the "Guerrilla Girl" roving from Tempted that I bought from the Loopy Ewe. I forgot to take a picture of the roving in its original braid, but here's a picture of it pre-drafted:

Guerrilla Girl Top, predrafted

And this is what I spun on Day 2:

Guerrilla Girl singles

The colors are very "Neapolitan ice cream" (my favorite!). I'm doing this one a little thicker than I usually spin, so it will be a challenge to keep it consistent.

For today's stage, I'll continue spinning on Guerrilla Girl, but I won't get more than a few minutes to spin. Too may things to do!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Day 1 of Tour de Fleece...

...and I met my goal of plying the Mermaid singles that have been resting for a week. Yay!

Here is the skein before its bath:

Mermaid handspun

and the dime shot:

Mermaid handspun, close up

Completed: 7/5/08
Yarn Wench Falkland Wool top (4.2 oz) in Mermaid 2
Spun on Lendrum DT Folding wheel
2-ply, yield: 394 yds.
Weight: 14 WPI average, Sport

I'll give it a bath tonight so it will be ready for me to take on vacation. I have the Morning Surf pattern printed and just need to figure out which size needles to use.

Tomorrow, I'll switch back to the Merino Silk that I've been spinning on-and-off since the last Tour de Fleece (lol!). I can't spend as much time on the wheel as I did today, but I'll get some spinning done!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Eye Candy Friday, stash edition... I didn't buy more yarn, but I did swap yarn with someone. A fellow Raveler liked one of the Sundara yarns I had in my stash and asked if I'd be willing to trade. Although I liked the yarn she wanted, I also knew that I wouldn't be knitting it any time soon (or maybe ever). Why not let it go to a new home where it would be more appreciated? So I traded her for this:

StonyCreek handspun

It is a StonyCreek Handspun yarn; the fiber was processed by Loop. It is 3 oz./144 yds. and it's a blend of alpaca, bamboo, silk, and glitz. As you can see, it's in my favorite color! Yummy!

Also this week, I won a prize in a contest! I donated the Claudia's MS Ride again this year. She gets lots of prize donations and you get one "ticket" for every $10 you donate. Since I never win anything, I donate mostly because it's one of the causes I support—winning something would just be icing.

So here's my icing:

Blue Terra Cotta Yarn

I won two skeins of Claudia Hand Painted fingering yarn in the Blue Terra Cotta colorway (more sock yarn!!). This yarn was donated by Sue at the Great Yarn Company. Thanks, Claudia and Sue!

Up this weekend, get my projects together to take on vacation and start packing the stuff I won't need during the next few days. It's going to be a very short week!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Back to our regular sock knitting...

...done with baby knitting for a while!

Last month, I cast on the first sock in the Bird of Paradise pattern (by Sundara Yarn), but I didn't get much farther than that. After taking a few days off from craftiness, I picked up the yarn again last night. I cast on the second sock and did two rows of the cuff pattern. OK, not a lot, but at least both socks are started, see:

Midsummer Paradise socks, cast on

This pattern came from Sundara's Petals Collection sock club. Unfortunately, the yarn was a little too bright for me, so I decided to use Midsummers Night Socks That Rock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I'm calling these socks Midsummer Paradise [Ravelry].

I thought about knitting this pattern one sock at a time, but I really do like have both socks done at the same time. No matter how carefully I take notes, the two socks are always slightly different if I do them one at time. I knit on the tight side, but it's even tighter if I'm stressed. At least the tension factor is the same on both socks when I do them two at a time!

I also like knitting the socks on two circulars; I tried the magic loop and while that worked fine, I'm happier with the two circs. I do use DPNs for the heels and them go back to the circulars for the toes. I've gotten pretty fast at moving back and forth between the two types of needles, so this is not a big deal.

For Mother's Day, I received the complete Knit Picks Harmony Options and Harmony DPN sets, plus a couple of extra circulars for sock knitting. These are my new favorite needles.

totally love the Harmony circulars and DPNs for sock knitting! They are pretty, smooth, and just feel good to knit with. Before I got my Harmony needles, Crystal Palace were my favorite DPNs. While the Harmony DPNs are now number one, the Crystal Palace needles are readily available locally, so I don't think I'll give them up just yet! However, I do need to figure out what to do with all those "other" needles that I have!

Anyway, I'm happy to be knitting socks again. These will go on vacation with me, as well the other knitting and spinning projects I'm taking.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

June 2008 Recap...'s recap time again! I managed to finish a couple of things. I suspect that July might be a light month as well since we'll be on vacation for part of it.

The Recap:


  • 6/21 "Tickled Pink"" Baby quilt
  • 6/29 Crossover Top by Debbie Bliss (knitting) [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  • Spinning Mermaid Falkland top from Yarn Wench (Finished the spinning; just need to ply it.) [Ravelry]
  • Spinning Plumthorn (Wesleyan) from Pigeonroof Studios [Ravelry]
  • Spinning 4 oz of Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk roving in purple [Ravelry]
  • 6/4 Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 6/15 "Tickled Pink"" Baby quilt
  • 6/16 Midsummer Paradise Socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
Frogged/On Hiatus:
  • Black leg warmers in Caron Simply Soft yarn (knitting): Waiting for cold weather
  • Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting)
Works In Progress (did not work on):
  1. Saartje's Bootees (knitting)
  2. Foxglove baby socks (knitting)
  3. Montego Bay wrap in Walking on the Wild Tide yarn, using Montego Bay scarf pattern from Interweave Knits Summer issue (knitting)
  4. Spinning 2 Chasing Rainbows rovings together in the Heather colorway: one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz)
  5. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
  1. Cascade Fixation anklets (knitting)
  2. Central Air socks (knitting)
  3. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Paint it Black quilt
  6. Flower Power quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  7. Jungle Songs quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  8. Queen Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch; still languishing in its stretcher bars)
  9. Sangria shawl (knitting)
  10. Twinkletoes slippers; just need to make one (knitting)
I worked on only one WIP this month, but that's one more than I worked on last month!

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and another week where I don't have a true WIP photo to show. However, here's a photo of the Apricot Orchid [ Ravelry ] fiber f...