Monday, May 31, 2010

"lazy, I want to be lazy...

..I want to be out in the sun with no work to be done." (Thanks, Irving!)

Yeah, it's been a pretty laid-back weekend for me. I've done some of the things I wanted to and ignored others.

I finished one book (The Good, The Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison) and started another (Stealing Kathryn by Jacqueline Frank)

I finished the Iris yarn:

Iris Merino-Bamboo Yarn

...and the close-up:

Iris Merino-Bamboo yarn, close up

Started: 5/14/10;
Finished: 5/29/10;
Merino-Bamboo top (4 oz.), Miss Babs Hand Dyed Fiber Goods;
Spun and Navajo-plied on Lendrum DT wheel;
284.8 yards, 14 WPI

Started another knitting project because I couldn't face the socks:

Reflection Shawl

This is the Reflection Shawl pattern from the May installment of the Loopy Ewe Sock Club. The yarn is also from the May installment,  Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Socks yarn in Daffodil. The yarn has way too much dark yellow in it for me,  but the yarn itself is great. If I can finish this shawl and it looks OK, it will probably go to a new home where the yellow is appreciated!

I did manage to knit one (!) row on the socks, but that's it. given that today is the last day of May, it looks like I won't finish them this month. Oh, well...

Oh, and I signed up for a couple of sock classes in July! They are both on 7/3 and will be held at Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale.  They are: "What Makes a Winning Sock?" and "The Hexagon Socks" from the cover of Think Outside the SOX. Yay!

OK, I'm off to go be lazy again. It's going to be a busy [short] week at work, so I'm going to own that "lazy" for now!

Friday, May 28, 2010

"Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection...

...the lovers, the dreamers, and me."

Evening Rainbow

As I was driving home last night, this rainbow was in front of me all the way. I tried not to rush (don't need any traffic tickets, thank you!), hoping it would still be there when I got home. It was a lot fainter on one side, but still dark enough that I could get a picture. It wasn't until I took the pictures off of the camera that I noticed the second faint rainbow on the left. Score!

The clouds were pretty amazing, too. Here's what they looked like directly opposite the rainbow:

Evening clouds

Up this weekend: Tonight we are going to dinner with friends. We are going to the Gilroy Elks for Rib Night. Yummy!

I have the Iris yarn to ply and a quilt to baste. And then there are those darn socks!

Oh well, at least it's a three-day weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I really do have a WIP...'s just not that exciting. Here is the current state of the Rusty Dahlia socks [Ravelry]:

Rusty Dahlia Socks, as of 5/25

See, not that exciting, especially when you consider that I've been working on these socks since October! They've pretty much killed my will to knit. Maybe it's because the yarn is tone-on-tone, but I just don't feel motivated to knit them. However, the yarn is perfect for showing off the pattern, which is why I haven't designated them IDJ.

There are so many other things that are calling my name right now: spinning...I have another scarf to weave...I'm behind on both of my sock get the picture. The problem is if I start anything else I will never finish these socks! Just ask the Stranded Hearts socks [Ravelry] that have been on hiatus since last August!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday already...

...weekends are going by too fast!

Well, I didn't get all of the floors done, but I did manage to vacuum and mop the kitchen floor. At least some of it got done!

I also didn't get anything accomplished on the quilt. Sirena wove her magic and I ended up spinning a good part of the weekend. I finished the second bobbin of the Lily merino-bamboo top. It's now resting until I'm ready to ply it.

One task that caught my attention (and I hadn't planned on doing) was going through my closet and weeding out clothes I haven't worn in at least six months.  The Husband had some things he wanted to get rid of, too. Between the two of us, we came up with three large garbage bags full of clothes and shoes to donate. And the Husband took them to Goodwill right away, so they are out of the house, too! Yay!

The weather was overcast for a good part of the weekend, but I did manage to get outside for a bit and see what's new in the garden. I requested Swiss chard this year and it's coming along:

Red chard leaf

This is a red chard, quite different from the variety my mom used to cook.

In the continuing effort to document the Danish Flag poppies, here is a full blown flower:

Danish Flag poppy, fully opened

You can see the white cross on the inside, which is where it got its name.

The Rusty Dahlia socks continue at their slow pace. I have about 2.5 inches to go before I can start the toe. Man, these are taking forever! I seriously considered starting a new toy, but I'm afraid these socks will never get done if I start knitting something else. I really want to finish these by the end of the month!

Friday, May 21, 2010

yes, something has changed...

...I was getting a little tired of the old look and decided to checkout Blogger's new Template Designer. I've been wanting to change the look for a while, but didn't like the options in their set of standard templates. This is still a look in progress as I play with the widgets and audition background images (and try to figure out how to make it so there is no tiling). Don't be surprised if the background changes!

Eye Candy Friday today is all flowers. First, an Aztec Lily, from the front:

Red Aztec Lily #1

...from the side:

Red Aztec Lily #2

Poppy, just emerging:

Emerging poppy

Iris Merino-bamboo, bobbin #1:

Iris Merino-Bamboo, bobbin #1

I made remarkable progress on the Rusty Dahlia Socks last night, which is kind of amazing because they've been putting me to sleep and I watched the 2-hour season finale of Grey's Anatomy (WOW! Was that intense!). I fixed an error from the day before and finished one complete pattern repeat.

Up this weekend: If it doesn't rain, I'd love to do my floors and get some dusting done. As for crafts, I never managed to bring the quilt into the office to baste, so maybe I'll just grit my teeth and do it at home on a clean floor! I'd like to finish spinning the Iris Merino-Bamboo. and get it plied, but we'll see how much time I have!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

hmmmm, Wednesday kind of crept up on me...

...mostly because I've been distracted my having to reload the world on my work PC. [sigh] 

Nothing is ever easy with Windows.  I run Norton Anti-Virus, A-squared Anti-Malware, keep up with my Windows updates, run backups daily, shut down and unplug my PC from the internet, and don't use the Web unless I absolutely have to on the machine. I try and be very careful what I put on it...and I still got some sort of virus/trojan that rendered my machine almost useless. ACK!!

At least I was able to back up my data before I had to reformat. I don't think I lost anything vital. I just have to reinstall all of my applications! This could take a while!

Give me a Mac any day...if the later versions of FrameMaker ran on my Mac, I'd be happy as a clam!

Anyway, this is supposed to be WIP-it Wednesday and as you well know, I'm in a rut with these socks. I really want to be done with them! They will be cool when finished, although I may not want to look at them again for a few months! They are all I've been working on this week. It never bodes well when all I can knit is one or two rows before I get bored. I don't even want to take a picture of them.

It's definitely time to start something else. Maybe another toy...they go very fast and are instant gratification. Off to find my PDF copy of Fuzzy Knits from Fuzzy Mitten...

Monday, May 17, 2010

it was a nice weekend...

... and I enjoyed being crafty!

As I mentioned Friday, I decided to get rid of my cross stitch magazines. I never look at them and I'm not stitching as much any more. I had a brainstorm on Sunday and contacted the local chapter of the Embroiderer's Guild to see whether they wanted them. I also asked them if they knew of any charitable organizations who might be interested in a bunch of kits and charts.  I'd rather give this stuff to someone who could use them!

I spent most of Saturday spinning, knitting, and reading. The Husband went on a bike ride in the morning, so I had the house to myself again and just reveled in the quiet. The cats hung out with me in the living room. They didn't seem to mind that I didn't pull out the vacuum monster. LOL!

I started spinning this:

Iris Merino Bamboo top

It's Merino-Bamboo from Miss Babs Hand-dyed Yarns & Fibers. It spins up nicely and I'm really enjoying it. So far I've spun about 2 of the 4 ounces. 

I am working away on the socks, but I'm getting really bored with them. The pattern looks great, but I'm finding it rather trying. I think it's because it uses combinations of k1tbl (knit 1 through the back loop) and purl. I'm slow at purling and slow at k1tbl. At least I'm now on the foot and I only have to nit through the back loop on the pattern side; the back is, thankfully, stockinette...gotta love nothing but knit stitches!

I did manage to free up my ironing board so I could press the top and backing for my Flower Power quilt. It's ready to sandwich...I just didn't feel like crawling on the floor to pin it. Maybe I'll bring it into the office and pin it here. We have two 8 foot folding tables that we use for meetings that is perfect for pin basting...much better to do this standing than sitting on the floor!

I've been working my way through the book "Dead Witch Walking" by Kim Harrison. She's a new author for me and I'm having a little difficulty getting into her rhythm.  I'm also reading "Hannah's List," a new book by Debbie Macomber that I picked up at Target on Sunday.  

I don't think I mentioned it here, but I joined, mostly to keep track of what I've read and what I've purchased. I read so much that it's sometimes hard too know just by title whether I've read a book or not. I'm hoping that by using this site, I'll avoid buying duplicate books! I joined the site April 17th and so far I have identified 583 books that I have read. I've finished 9 books since then. (I know, seriously geeky wanting to track this!)

Back on Wednesday with some WIPs!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Can you believe it? It's Eye Candy Friday...

...and I actually have eye candy!

I've mentioned that the Husband likes to grow interesting things in the garden. Well, this year it was fava beans (see the previous post for pictures) and poppies. 

The poppy plant has been growing for a while and just plain looked weird. It has finally started to bloom and the first flower is beautiful.  Here's a series of pictures.

The plant is is in a pot and I can look at the poppy eye-to-eye (I'm 5'3").

Danish Flag Poppy plant

The bloom is gorgeous from all angles...

Danish Flag Poppy

Danish Flag Poppy, from below

Inside a Danish Flag Poppy

There are several buds on this plant and I'm sure it will look spectacular when all of the flowers bloom!

Up this weekend: Because I worked last Saturday and several long days this week, my boss gave me today off as a comp day. Yay! I plan on doing some crafty things and enjoying a little quiet time while the Husband is at work. There are a couple of chores I'm doing  because they are easier to do when no one else is here (like completely stripping the bed down to the mattress and washing everything...blankets, quilt, mattress liner, etc.). 

I have already gone through all of my cross stitch magazines and have decided to get rid of the majority of them.  Know anyone who wants several years worth of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts (many from the 90's), The Needleworker, and Stitcher's World? I'll give them a good deal! Otherwise, they are getting recycled.

Maybe I'll do a little quilting, a little knitting, or a little spinning. Who knows?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

random Wednesday...

...with "normal" in my sights. This post is more pictures than's about all I can handle between doc builds!

  • Mother's Day Flowers

    Mother's Day Flowers

  • Mother's Day cupcakes from the Daughter...Mmmmm, Sprinkles!

    Mother's Day Sprinkles

  • Fava beans from our yard

    Fava Beans

    Shelled Fava Beans

  • Loopy Ewe Sock Club installment for May (behind the spoiler picture)

    Spoiler--Loopy Ewe Sock Club

  • WIP status: I've been working on the Rusty Dahlia socks. I have turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches. I'm now working my way through the decreases. They may be socks soon!
That's it for today...someday I'll actually write more than a list!

Monday, May 10, 2010

not quite back to normal yet...

...too much work to do in too little time.

The short hits:
  • The memorial went as well as can be expected. The service was nice and it was good seeing some people I hadn't seen since the ex and I split up.
  • Worked most of Saturday to make up for the time missed on Friday and to try to get a jump on the project (well, it was worth a try anyway...)
  • Mother's Day was wonderful. The Daughter made breakfast and gave me a Mom Box of Sprinkles cupcakes (yum!)

    I had a few hours to myself while the Husband took her to the airport and then went to visit his mom.
That's it for now. Pictures when I get a chance to breathe...

Friday, May 07, 2010

No Eye Candy today...

... I have to leave work early today to go to the memorial for my daughter's Grandfather (my ex-father-in-law). I have a ton of work to do before I leave, so something had to give...sorry! 

If I get a chance, I'll post over the weekend. Otherwise, we'll return to normal (such as that is!) on Monday.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cinco de Mayo..., it's not Mexican Independence Day (that's September 16). It "commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín." (Go to the wiki to read more.)

What is most interesting is that it's not a big holiday in Mexico. My Mom (first generation Mexican-American/native Californian) and her family never celebrated it, but maybe it's because grandma was from Guadalajara. When I was growing up we never celebrated it. (Nor did we celebrate Mexican Independence Day...just not something we did.)

In the US, the "holiday" has become the Mexican St. Patrick's Day, another excuse to drink and party (but with better food. LOL!) Some people get a little touchy about the day, but I say just go with it. At least it's a day where Mexicans are [somewhat] honored rather than reviled.

So tonight I will raise my Corona with lime and toast my ancestors who claimed victory in Battle of Puebla. 

¡Viva México!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

April 2010 Recap...

...such as it is.

  • 4/21, Blue Lake Lily yarn (spinning)
    Merino-Bamboo top (4 oz) from Royale Hare;
    139.6 yards, 13 WPI [Ravelry]
  • 4/19 Bouclé scarf (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • 4/24 Green Crazy Batt from Faerie Mountain Fibers [Ravelry]
Worked on:
  • Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk 4 oz.roving in purple [Ravelry]
  • Rusty Dahlia socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Flower Power quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  2. Jungle Songs quilt; top finished, need to sandwich and quilt (quilting)
  3. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
  • 4/1 2001 Saturn SC2 :-)
  1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  2. Dogosaurus Rex sweater (knitting) [Ravelry}
  3. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  4. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  7. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
  8. Wisteria Angora-Merino top from Tactile (spinning) [Ravelry]

Monday, May 03, 2010

Yay, it's May...

...I'm hoping that we've gotten past most of the wet weather. I'm ready for warmer temperatures! 

My weekend didn't quite go as planned...I had another one of my marathon headaches. It started on Friday and lasted until Sunday afternoon. This one was sinus-centered with a lot of TMJ pain thrown in for good measure. No amount of aspirin, caffeine, or compresses (hot or cold) managed to make a dent in it. I wasn't about to throw dust into the mix, so the shelves went undusted. Laundry, on the other hand, was doable.

I managed to concentrate long enough to get the green yarn plied.  And, boy, am I glad that's done! I am not happy with this yarn at all. It wasn't an easy spin and the plying was a pain.  After a little thought, I came up with a name. Here is "It's Easy Being Green" (mostly because this yarn turned out a whole lot greener than I expected):

It's Easy Being Green yarn

and the close-up:

It's Easy Being Green yarn, close up

Started 4/24/10;
Finished 5/1/10;
Green Crazy Batt (2 oz) from Faerie Mountain Fibers;
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT Folding wheel;
78.2 yards, 12 WPI, Navajo ply

Since my concentration was shot most of the weekend, I did some reading, watched a couple of DVDs,  and tried to get a little knitting done. I am declaring the cuffs done on the Rusty Dahlia socks and will start on the heels today...finally! The cuffs aren't as long as the pattern calls for, but I tried them on and they are long enough for me.

This will be a busy week at work, so I'm not sure whether I'll get anything new started. We'll just have to see how the week plays out!

I haven't forgotten the April recap...just need to get it put together.

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...