Friday, October 31, 2008

Eye Candy Friday for Halloween...

...I have a small Halloween tableau on top of our entertainment unit. This is from the graveyard:

Happy Halloween!

We don't do much more than that for Halloween. I buy candy for the few trick-or-treaters that come by, but that's about it.

When our daughter was younger, we'd get into the whole costume thing and go to Halloween parties. After several years of making costumes, I got a little burned out. You see, I could never justify spending buying a cheap costume from the store...they were so tacky and I knew I could do better. Yes, I spent more money on the fabric and it took time to make them, but it was worth it to see the look on my daughter's face.

When she was very small, I made her the requisite bunny and black cat outfits. Later she wanted Wonder Woman, so that was pretty easy. As she got older, she wanted costumes that were a little more involved.

One year, she wanted to be a dinosaur. I found a pattern for a stegosaurus, so:

Stegosaurus Costume

(yeah, the spikes were a whole lot of fun!)

The year that the "Gremlins" movie came out, she fell in love with Gizmo. Another trip to the fabric store and a long session with the sewing machine and we had:

Gizmo the Gremlin costume

That was a fun year for all of us...the Husband was Billy Idol (he shaved off his mustache and sprayed his hair blond!) and I was Cyndi Lauper in a pink prom dress and my hair in crazy colors. However, I had bits of Gizmo fur everywhere for a while.

There were a couple of more normal costumes in between, but then the Daughter wanted to be the Pink Panther. The pattern I found called for pink fur (oh, boy!). It turned out pretty well:

Pink Panther costume

The sewing machine was busy that year, because I also made Robin Hood and Maid Marian costumes for us. (Somewhere the pictures have gone astray.) But after the Pink Panther costume, I vowed never again to sew fur! It was everywhere! Dust bunnies were pink for several months....that stuff got into every little space!

As it turns out, that was the last costume I made for the Daughter. After that, she wanted to do her own.
I sort of miss making the Halloween costumes. It was always fun to watch them come together. And I definitely enjoyed the challenge. What I don't miss is the frenzy that accompanied it—the late nights, the adjustments that had to be made after the fitting, and the "oh, cr@p! the sewing machine's not working!"

Now I just enjoy the pictures from the Daughter's Halloween parties and get a chuckle out of her costumes. She is definitely creative. (last year she was a News Flash...I won't even try to describe that!)

Anyway, enjoy the little spooks and goblins tonight!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

another yarn finished... time I decide to spin 8 ounces of one color, remind me how long it takes to ply it! Here is Deep Blue Sea (I need to retake these pictures in better light):

Deep Blue Sea yarn

...and the close-up:

Deep Blue Sea yarn, close up
Started: 10/12/08
Finished: 10/28/08
Seawool top from Creatively Dyed in Deep Blue Sea
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel
Yield: 391 yards traditional 3-ply at 14WPI; 14 yards Navajo-plied at 13WPI

Whew! I'm going to go back to knitting for a bit. I'll hold off starting the Pumpkin Spice roving for a few days to give my hands a break!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday arrived all too soon... least I managed to get a few things done that I wanted.

The biggest job was getting all of my fiber put away. OMG! I have a whole lot more fiber than I's time to call a moratorium on buying fiber (and yarn, too for that matter). Must.Stop.Looking.At.Yarn.Wench's.Site!

I did not get my sewing machine into the shop. I got involved in spinning the rest of the seawool top and didn't leave the house on Saturday. I finished spinning the singles and started plying the yarn. I'm doing a traditional 3-ply this time:

Deep Blue Sea yarn

I'm about 2/3rds into the plying, so I should be able to finish it up this week. When I finish that, I think I'll spin up the Pumpkin Spice Falkland top that I bought from Yarn Wench. The colors are wonderfully autumn:

Pumpkin Spice Falkland top

Saturday night, the husband and I watched "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." While I watched, I worked on my February Lady sweater—it's a simple enough pattern that I can work on it while watching a movie.

February Lady Sweater, in progress

I need to move it to circulars with a longer cableyou can see that it's longer than the circular and I don't want to lose any stitches.

I continued to play with the camera. As you can see from the fiber picture above, it does pretty well with it. However, I ned to play with the lighting a bit more because some of the fiber pictures showed too many shadows.

I love this camera for macro pictures, though. Here's a still life that the Husband composed:

Still life with peppers

Here's a closeup of the Toga Striped eggplants:

Toga Striped Eggplants

And one of the cross-cut Black Pearl chile pepper:

Inside a Black Pearl Chile

I need a bit more practice, but I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

If it's Eye Candy Friday...

...then the weekend is not far away!! First, the pictures.

The roses are still going strong.


This one has a lot of morning dew collected in its petals:

Morning Dew

I tried taking pictures of the cats this morning, but neither was cooperating. Seems they wanted to sleep or something!

Still not a lot of knitting progress, although I did work on the February Lady Sweater [Ravelry]last night while I was watching Grey's Anatomy. This is going to be a long knit for me.

Up this weekend: I need to put my frustration behind me and get back to the socks. I also want to finish spinning Deep Blue Sea so I can start something else on the wheel.

I need to unearth my sewing room. It's currently smothered under a layer of spinning fiber—must stop ordering from Yarn Wench because I'm running out of room! I'm going to try to get my sewing machine in for a tune-up. I have some sewing to do and it would be nice if my machine was nice and clean!

I don't know if we'll have time, but I'd love to go somewhere like the woods or the beach and take some pictures.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

just another no WIP Wednesday...

...any progress shots from today would pretty much look like the last ones I took. The only project that shows any significant change is the doggie sweater and it doesn't look like a sweater yet. I'm at a standstill with it until I can try it on the dog.

Another reason that things aren't progressing is that I'm feeling frustrated. I really wanted to do the mystery socks the way they were intended and I'm irked at myself for not being able to follow the pattern.

I've also been side-tracked by a different kind of project. See if you can guess.

Just a Shell

Nasturtium leaf

No, not Picnik's cool tools (although they are always fun to play with).

White Trumpet flower

Blue Hill Salvia

Taking even more pictures of flowers? No...

Ripe chile peppers

Can you say 10 Megapixels? Yup!! Can't wait to try this puppy on fiber! And sky pictures., and the cats, and...

Monday, October 20, 2008

resigning myself to de-feet...

...the Socktoberfest mystery socks are happening as written. After getting two (of 12) pattern repeats done, they just weren't looking like the pictures. I frogged then a couple of times and carefully counted and reknit them...they still looked sucky. I hate when the pattern gets the best of me! I do fine with most sock patterns, but every once in a while, a pattern just doesn't work for me. (Hydrangea socks, anyone?) This was one of them...

Aince I love the look of the offset ribbing from clue one, I decided to frog back to the end of the last ribbing repeat and just continue with that until I get to the heel. A least they will have part of the mystery!

I had much better luck with spinning. I finished the second bobbin of Deep Blue Sea. It looks like I get third bobbin out of the remaining fiber. It's looking really good:

Deep Blue Sea, 2 bobbins full

This will become a three ply yarn...I just haven't decided whether I will do a traditional 3-ply or a Navajo-ply.

Things are winding down in the backyard. The few remaining tomato plants look bedraggled, but they are still trying to grow fruit. We do have some chile peppers that are getting ripe:

More chile peppers

I think these are Black Pearl peppers. They turn bright red when they are ripe and the Husband says they are very hot.

The nasturtiums are going strong...I'll have to pick some for a salad before they are all gone.

Orange Nasturtium

I went to Pacific International Quilt festival on Sunday. In additional to looking at all the wonderful quilts on exhibit, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to buy. And, I didn't find it! Rats! Now I'll have to look online. I can't tell you what it is as it's part of my secret project. I did buy a fat quarter pack of Christmas fabric and a Dia de los Muertos pattern, but that's pretty much it. (I know, I know, I restrained myself big-time!)

I still need to get my sewing machine in for its tune-up and I better do it soon, so I can start working on my Holiday projects!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Eye'm-Glad-It's-Eye Candy Friday! work project is done and delivered, so now I can relax a little until my next project starts! It's pretty much consumed all of my energy for the last couple of weeks.

Today's Eye Candy is sky (you know I love sky pictures!)...


...and more sky:

October clouds

...and how about my latest Yarn Wench acquisitions:

Yarn Wench collage

The colors are fabulous, aren't they? I love her stuff!!

I am making slow progress on the TTL Mystery sock [Ravelry]. I have finished Clue #1 and am working on Clue #2. I'm doing the simpler version of this sock because I didn't feel like doing cables. Now I'm wondering whether that was the right choice! I have had to frog and redo clue#2 on one sock twice now. I keep coming up short one stitch...ARG!

Right now, I have one sock on two circs and one on DPNs while I fix the problem. So here's one; the other looks almost the same!

TTL Mystery Sock, Clue 1

I haven't worked on any other knitting...just not enough energy right now.

Up this weekend: Pacific International Quilt Festival. I'll probably go on Sunday, just because there might be fewer people then. I have a couple of things I want, fabric-wise, but I'm really going just to see the quilts.

I want to spin more of the Deep Blue Sea seawool. I don't think I'll be able to finish it this weekend, but I should get quite a bit of it done.

Sleep would be good, too...

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

blog and run again... the home stretch of a work project that's due today. I'll be back for Eye Candy Friday tomorrow!

Monday, October 13, 2008

weekends are for crafting...

...I did a little knitting, a little spinning, and some fabric shopping.

I started spinning the Deep Blue Sea seawool top that I showed you on Friday. I wasn't sure whether start it because it is 8 ounces of top and it might take me a while to finish (most of the top I spin is in 4 ounce bundles). However, the colors won out and I spun one bobbin full:

Deep Blue Sea, bobbin 1

Even though I have a sweater, a wrap, and a doggie sweater already in play, I cast on for the TTL Mystery Socks for Socktoberfest. I'm using the Incredible Shrinking Violet Socks That Rock yarn from the Blue Moon Rockin' Sock Club:

TTL Mystery Socks, in progress

I'm doing the simpler (non-cable) version of the mystery sock just so I won't get frustrated...I haven't done cables in a while and I have never really been that good with them.

On Saturday, I decided to head off to the fabric store and check out the Halloween fabrics. I probably should have waited a week for Pacific International Quilt festival, but I wanted to see them now. And there are some secret projects to consider... Anyway, I did buy a couple of yards of fabric, but haven't done anything with them yet.

Before I start another sewing or quilting projects, I need to get my sewing machine tuned up. I keep putting it off, but I need to do it soon! My poor little Pfaff is feeling neglected.

Work has lightened up a little, so I'm not feeling quite so crunched (which make for a much happier me!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Primrose Lane...

...well, primroses for Eye Candy Friday.


(I used Picnik's new mirrored frame for the picture above.) The Husband is planting new flowers to replace the ones that are dying. The primroses are waiting to be planted.

Pink Primroses

One of the new plants he's added is Sea Lavender:

Sea Lavender

I'd never heard of this one, but I love the color of these tiny flowers.

Up this weekend: Sirena is calling my name. The main reason is this Seawool top from Creatively Dyed (purchased from Loopy Ewe):

Seawool in Deep Blue Sea

The color is Deep Blue Sea. Hmmmm...Sirena...sea... I think it's time for some spinning!

I'll also continue to knit on my sweater, . I'm making slow progress, but I knew it was going to be a long knit. Since it's Socktober and I'm in Socktoberfest, I'll probably cast on another pair of socks!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

If it's Wednesday, it's WIPs!

...quick post, still lots of work!

As I mentioned, I resurrected the Dogosaurus sweater. Here's my progress (sorry for the fuzzy picture, but the color is good):

Dogosaurus, take 2

On the February Lady Sweater, I reviewed the buttonhole procedure and managed to do the first one:

February Lady Sweater, in progress

Like my makers? They are plastic ponytail bands—very flexible and easy to work with. I am mentally preparing myself to redo this section if I don't like the way the button holes look together. Since it's my first adult-sized sweater, I want to make sure it looks good!

That's it for to work, work, work!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

another finished pair of socks...

...presenting Little Monkey Foo Foo socks:

Little Monkey Foo Foo socks, complete

Trying them on:

Little Monkey Foo Foo socks

Started 9/20/08
Finished 10/6/08
Socks That Rock Lightweight yarn by Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Color: Little Bunny Foo Foo
Pattern: Monkey socks by Cookie A; no-purl version
Needles: 2.75mm and 3.0mm

The color makes me smile and they are very comfy!

Monday, October 06, 2008

I got sunshine on a cloudy day...

...after the rain.

Saturday Sky

It was nice to have some rain, but we needed so much more. I stayed at home on Saturday and did some knitting. Sunday is my normal errand day and I did manage to do a few things around the house, and more knitting.

Knitting, however, was my main activity.
  • Monkey socks: Finished the feet and am doing the toe decreases. (Yay!) [Ravelry]
  • Dogasaurus sweater for Papi: Restarted this project. I finished the neck ribbing and am working towards the leg openings. [Ravelry]
  • February Lady Sweater: Wound the yarn and cast-on! I haven't made a lot of progress yet as I have to remind myself how to do buttonholes. :-) [Ravelry]
I did not get any spinning done because I realized that the Monkey socks were close and I wanted to finish them up. Maybe I'll spin next weekend...

It's going to be another busy week at work. I have a couple of projects due next Monday and I have to haul @$$ to get them done on time!

Friday, October 03, 2008

H-eye-biscus Candy Friday...

Our hibiscus plant is blooming just in time for Autumn!

Emerging Hibiscus

This picture wasn't as clear as I'd like, but the reflection in the window was cool. I applied the Panography-ish effect in Picnick to get this image:

Reflections on a Hibiscus

Not much else going on. I have so much work, I don't know what to work on! I'm mentally wiped out by the time I get home.

It's a good thing that my knitting project is socks...I can pretty much do those on auto-pilot! I have finished the decreases and am now working towards the toes. This has been a very enjoyable knit so I know why people think this pattern is addictive!

Up this weekend, deciding which projects to do for Christmas. I won't plan too many things at this point so I can have extra time for those add-on projects that always turn up. But, it's time to start teasing Jane with secret projects, so I need to pick something out!

I also want to do a little spinning....whether by wheel or by spindle, I don't know yet.

Anyway, have a good one!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

September 2008 recap...

The Recap:


  • 9/27/08 Vampira yarn [Ravelry]
    Yarn Wench Falkland top (4.3 oz)
    Spun and plied on Lendrum DT wheel
    Yield: 302.8 yds Navajo-plied
    WPI: 17 (average)
  • 9/18 Silk Waves Scarf [Ravelry]
  • 9/13 Tulips Baby Cardigan [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  • Morning Surf Scarf (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 9/15 Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 9/20 Vampira1 Falkland top from Yarn Wench (spinning)
  • 9/20 No-purl Monkey socks in STR Little Bunny Foo Foo (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. Spinning 4 oz of Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk roving in purple [Ravelry]
  2. Montego Bay wrap in Walking on the Wild Tide yarn, using Montego Bay scarf pattern from Interweave Knits Summer issue (knitting)
  3. Spinning 2 Chasing Rainbows rovings together in the Heather colorway: one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz)
  4. 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)

Happy October!

...some October sky for you.

October Sky 2008

For WIP-it Wednesday, a look at the Monkey socks.

Little Monkey Foo Foo socks, WIP

I've turned the heels and am working on the decreases towards the foot. I haven't really worked on anything else, so that's pretty much it.

I annoyed Sombra again last night...but she was too cute, hanging out with Teddy on the couch.

Sombra: Again with the camera?

I'll put the recap in a separate posting. Gotta jet—tons of work to do!

Not-quite Eye Candy Friday...

...we've experienced a week of poor air quality due to the fires north of us. So many people (and animals) have lost their homes, some...