Friday, July 31, 2009
I've been posting Eye Candy Friday pictures for a couple of years now. It's getting harder and harder to find new and interesting things to photograph in my little world. I mean, I've taken pictures of every flower, vegetable, and fruit in our garden at every stage of growth; pictures of stuff in the neighborhood; pictures of the cats; pictures of my stash and projects; and 50,000 pictures of sky. I've run out of ideas. Got any suggestions?
So today you get a picture of the Loopy Ewe Anniversary kit that I received yesterday:
I love the shape and color of the cup; the yarn color is eerily similar to the Rockin' Sock Club installment for July.
I'm not sure what I'll do with the yarn...it could make an interesting woven scarf for someone who loves these colors. Hmmmm...
Up this weekend: other than the standard errands and some house cleaning, nothing really planned at this point. I still haven't found my knitting mojo, so maybe some spinning, or maybe not. I'm really suffering from craft ennui right now. Maybe I'll just read. I have 5 Laurell K Hamilton books in the queue. I wonder how many I can get through this weekend...
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Maybe it's time to start quilting again.
As promised, here are pictures of the finished Deep Blue Sea shawl, cleverly positioned so you don't see the places that really irk me:
and here's a close-up:
Warp: Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock Lightweight in Narikama; 10 epi
Weft: Handspun Seawool yarn (top from Creatively Dyed); 7-8 ppi
95"L x 18"W;
Loom: Ashford 20" Knitters Loom
I really want to love this shawl, but the best I can manage is "like." The colors are nice and I really enjoyed spinning the seawool, but the misbehaving warp really irritates me. The next weaving project should be better!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Here is my final finished yarn (I made the collage for the Ravelry Tour de Fleece group):
Some of the specs are in the collage, but are all of them:
Merino top from Yarn Wench in Sea Nymph 2
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel
2 singles plied with Sulky Rayon thread
Yield: 229.5 yards; 14 WPI
Maybe next year I'll get to spin more for the Tour...
I also finished weaving the Deep Blue Sea shawl. I haven't taken any pictures of it yet, so you'll have to wait until Wednesday. I have to say that I was not as thrilled with this shawl as I wanted to be. While I normally love Socks That Rock Lightweight yarn, I was not in love with the skeins I used for the warp. There were knots in both skeins, lots off unattractive over-spun sections, and one weak area that resulted in a frayed and split warp thread that I had to repair. The over-spun areas are not evident in the main weaving area, but were quite visible in the fringe even after I washed the shawl. I ended up using a twisted fringe technique to hide the over-spun strands.
Using a superwash yarn for the warp was a gamble and if I had used the weft yarn (100% Corriedale, not superwash) I originally planned to use, it would not have been an issue. However, I used a Seawool yarn that did not "full" very much after washing (not surprising given that I had washed the yarn after spinning, so it had probably fulled as much as it was going to already). The combination of these two yarns means that you can clearly see where I had to add new yarn. It's a good thing I made this for me...I could never give this to someone as a gift!
For the next woven item, I think I'm going to try cotton placemats or a cotton table runner. Or anything that's not superwash!
Friday, July 24, 2009
First, is the Sea Nymph yarn (Merino top from Yarn Wench) that I am spinning:
I love the colors, but I really don't like spinning Merino. For me, it's never as smooth a process as spinning other fibers. I much prefer Falkland or Merino blended with something.
Also, as promised, a picture of the July installment of the Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Click the spoiler picture to see it:
This picture shows the contents of the package except for the sticker, which went up on my wall at work. It says "No Coffee, No Workee"...yup, they somehow knew that it's all about the coffee for me! LOL!
Up this weekend: Finish spinning Sea Nymph. Since Tour de Fleece ends Sunday, I don't know whether I'll be able to crank out another yarn after that, but we'll see. I also want to finish weaving the shawl on the loom, and do what whatever else I can cram into the weekend!
Have a good one!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I am continuing to work on my new shawl. I've woven another 10 inches and it's looking pretty good.
Last night I started spinning another yarn for Tour de Fleece. I want to finish at least one more yarn before Tour de France is over. (One of these years, I'll actually spin every day of the Tour!) I started spinning Sea Nymph, a merino top by the Yarn Wench (who else?! LOL!). I'm trying an experiment with this one in that I am not pre-drafting. I've split the top length-wise into 8 pieces and will spin them onto two bobbins. I haven't quite decided whether it will be a two-ply or 3-ply yarn. (Or maybe I'll spin it with some ray0n thread. Hmmm...)
I still haven't had a chance to upload the reunion pictures yet. But I did get these two pictures up there. The reunion was held at the Fiscalini Ranch, the lovely home of a classmate and her husband. The sky and rolling hills are gorgeous so you know that I couldn't resist sky pictures! This was was taken around 6:30pm:
...about two hours later:
I do miss the open skies of the country...[sigh]
Back on Friday with some Blue Moon Fiber Arts eye candy and a WIP picture or two!
Monday, July 20, 2009
This morning I was in Morro Bay, all fogged in. I drove home to sunshine and warm temperatures. The cats really missed us and they've been whining all about how alone they were. LOL!
We had fun at the class reunion...it was great seeing classmates and reconnecting. I have several pictures to upload to Flickr over the next few days. We took a little side trip to my high school just to see how much it had changed. I realized how much I loved the area and being in a small town--the rolling hills, the ocean, and the fog were all things I missed. However, I wasn't very happy about having no cell reception and limited wireless connection. Yes, I am spoiled by living in Silicon Valley! HA!
I didn't do much craft-wise. However, when I got home, I started some laundry and picked up the loom to do a little weaving on the new shawl:
The warp is Socks That Rock Lightweight from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in "Narikama." The weft is one of my handspun--spun from Seawool top in Deep Blue Sea from Creatively Dyed. This is the third color I've tried with this warp and I think this one looks the best.
I want to get a little spinning in tonight so I can get back into the Tour de Fleece groove, but the weaving is calling me right now. Back on Wednesday!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I finished the Seafoam yarn:
...and the close up:
BFL top from Yarn Wench
Yield: 322 yds, Navajo-ply
I started and finished Shipwreck:
I spun this one a bit thicker and then did a two-ply. Here's the close-up:
Scarlet O'Hara Roving by Yarn Love (bought at Loopy Ewe
Yield: 300 yds 2-ply
Sorry the pictures are a bit off. I took them at night because I wanted to submit them to the daily prize drawing in the Tour de Fleece [Ravelry] group...the pictures must be posted by midnight and I didn't want to wait until today's drawing (I'm impatient that way! HA!).
Sirena has been quite happy spinning and plying for the last few days. I had neglected her badly when the loom (Circe) arrived. However, now the loom is calling, so I may warp her today.
As you can tell, I have quite a bit of my normal energy back. I went to the gym this morning and that felt great...I'd really missed it!
Now I'm off to do my errands and shopping before it gets too hot!
Monday, July 13, 2009
We had a BBQ yesterday and as usual we had more food than people. Some how I've never learned to cook for less than an army! At least the leftovers are good...London Broil, grill chicken, and corn on the cob.
I've been feeling a lot better the last couple of days. I think part of it is that I know I don't have any pressing deadlines to meet; the other is that I am now in week 3 of this thing and the healing is well underway.
I've been able to do a bit of spinning for Tour de Fleece and that makes me happy. Tomorrow, I'm going to warp my loom and that will also make me feel great.
The Husband survived the Seattle-to-Portland ride quite well. Now he's off for a little R&R. We'll meet up at the end of the week for my class reunion.
Since I have no WIP pictures yet, here are some garden pictures. First up, an eggplant blossom:
...and baby eggplants
...and a green tomato.
There are a lot of green tomatoes in the yard, but nothing is ready to eat yet. The yard is looking very lush right now and it's nice just to sit back there and enjoy the plants. Although, I have to say, the Husband did go a bit overboard with the tomato plants!
Friday, July 10, 2009
...because my crafting right now is hit-and-miss. Since I'm spending most of my vacation at home, I hope to catch up on my sleep and fit in as much crafting as I can handle. The Husband is off on his annual Seattle-to-Portland bike ride trip, so I'll have some "me" time after the Daughter's visit.
In addition to the socks I'm knitting, I'm working on a little spinning for Tour de Fleece..this in particular:
This is Seafoam (BFL) from The Yarn Wench (of course!). I'm normally not much of a "green" person, but I love this combination of colors.
Up this weekend: A visit from the Daughter and a BBQ for some of her friends, a few errands, and some spinning thrown in there for good measure.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
And just because I needed to be tempted by another pair of socks, look what arrived on Monday (behind the spoiler picture):
I love the color of this yarn and the extras are to die for! I'm so glad I was able to get into this sock club!
I have been spinning a little every day in honor of Tour de Fleece, but not on the wheel. I resurrected the angora-merino top that I started on the spindle several weeks ago and am filling the spindle for a second time. It's slow going because the angora is so soft and separates easily, and I'm still pretty wiped out at the end of the day. However, I am improving and that's a good thing!
Monday, July 06, 2009
The Husband was busy in the garden trying to get the drip irrigation set up so I don't have to do any watering while he's on his trip. He's trying to get other things ready, too.
The Daughter will be home for a visit this weekend, so it's time to unearth her room again. The spinning fiber has started migrating to her dresser, so I need to herd it back into my craft room!(HA!)
It took me a while, but I plied the Purr-ple yarn that I had ready to go:
Purr-ple batts from Lisa Souza, Superfine Merino and Border Leicester lamb
Spun and Plied on Lendrum DT wheel
Yards: 300 Navajo-ply
I worked on the Under the Sea socks when I felt like it. I finally got to the heel and turned it...after a few false starts, that is (so not in love with wrap-and-turn). I'm not completely happy with the heels, but they fit and I'm not frogging them again!
Oh, and I did make an Apricot Crisp with the last of the Blenheims...it was a nice after-dinner treat! I added a little extra ginger to the topping, which gave it a nice zing.
Friday, July 03, 2009
We're picking the last apricots this weekend. Between the heat and the squirrels, we've lost a lot apricots this year. This morning I watched a squirrel run over to the tree, pick a ripe apricot, and then climb to the top of the wall to enjoy it. At least he ate it all this time! We've been finding lots of half eaten apricots on the lawn.
The yellow snapdragons that were in the front planters have finally given up the ghost. I asked the Husband to plant new flowers with different colors...anything but yellow! He picked some very interesting flowers in pinks and purples:
Here are some individual pictures. An unknown purple-spired flower (he didn't leave a tag on it so I have no idea what it is):
...another salvia, this one is Marble Arch Mix:
...Dark Rose AngelMist (Angelonia):
...another penstemon, this time purple:
I'm thankful that we have a holiday from work today. The week was stressful in many dimensions and I need the extra time to recover. Mostly, I need to catch up on my sleep...just not sleeping well at all.
Craft-wise, I've managed a few rows of knitting, but nothing else. However, I have spent some quality time with the cats...they've been comforting little souls and there's nothing like having a purring kitty next to you when you're feeling low.
Up this weekend: pick the apricots and make an apricot crisp. Try to spin a few minutes a day for Tour de Fleece, which starts tomorrow when the Tour de France starts. Do some knitting. Mostly just rest and store up some energy for next week.
Happy 4th to all who celebrate it!
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Works In Progress, did not work on:
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Remember that I had the flu last Tuesday? Well, it was apparently the precursor to a small health problem I've developed...nothing earth-shattering or life-threatening, just something I need to deal with. It's small enough that I can still work full-time (maybe not as efficiently), but by the end of the work day, I'm pretty wiped out. The normal course for this thing is 3 to 5 weeks...
What this means to my crafts (and the gym, Pilates, and yoga classes) is that they are taking a back seat for the moment. Sadly, this means my goal to really make a dent in my spinning stash for Tour de Fleece will have to be revamped. Weaving and knitting will be when I feel like it. Mostly I'll be concentrating on getting me back to normal.
I'm going to try to keep posting on a regular basis. You just may get more garden and sky pictures than craft pictures!
...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...
I'm struggling a bit to get the new layout to do the things I want it to do (like make linkable buttons to my KALs in the side bar, us...
...in which there are no new photos of WIPs. Instead, here's a photo of my Abundant Earth Fiber dye kit: I bought this after Stitch...
...and a couple of photo updates. Here is the bobbin full of Mirabel [ Ravelry ] singles: And the current state of Mermaid of the Pea...