Friday, July 30, 2010

Eye Candy Friday, now with more pictures...

...because I've been stingy the last few weeks!

First up, a petunia:

Melon-colored petunia

and another one:

Pink Petunia

A view into our back yard and the wall of tomato plants:

Wall of tomato plants

...and some ripening tomatoes:

Ripening tomatoes

And now for the fibery portion of this post! The Loopy Ewe had some new sock yarn for sale this week and I just had to get some. It arrived in today's mail.

Flying Saucer sock yarn

This is from Schoppel Wolle (Skakel) and it's Flying Saucer yarn (#2113 - Vision in Pink), designed for knitting two socks at a time. Right up my alley! I love that it's on a spool rather than in a skein. No winding!

I think I may have found a home for the Reflection Shawl in its current glorious colors. (Yay!) It's not for sure yet, but I'll let you know.

And this also arrived today...the Rockin' Sock Club installment for July (behind the spoiler picture):

Love, love, love the STR club color, but not so much the color of the extra Sock Candy yarn. We all got different colors of the Sock Candy, so I'm going to see whether someone on Ravelry wants to trade. The patterns both look interesting, so I may have found my next project!

Up this weekend: well, your guess is as good as mine! I have no specific planes other than my normal errands. Who knows what will call my name this weekend?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

unWIP-it Wednesday...

...I'm at a project standstill at the moment.  Since finishing the Reflection shawl and the spinning for Tour de Fleece, I have been unable to decide what I should do next.

I'm going to hold off on knitting any more shawls for now, but there are several sock patterns that I'm interested in. I just need to stash-dive for the yarn. Hmmmm...can't really do that at night because I need daylight to evaluate the colors.

Then I have the in-progress hexagon socks. I'm trying to decide whether to finish them in the current yarn or use what I have as a swatch and start the "real" pair in a color that is not quite as busy. The colors aren't bad, I'd just prefer something more subtle.

Hexagon socks, cuff in progress

I have a beautiful  Merino-silk in shades of blue on the wheel. Gorgeous as it is, it is not calling my name right now.

I could warp the loom for my next project, if I knew what that was!

Trying to quilt during the week doesn't work. I'm usually too tired to deal with my sewing machine.

Yeah, I've temporarily lost my crafting mojo. Hope it doesn't stay away too long!

Monday, July 26, 2010

a fine finish for Tour de Fleece...

...we had an end-of-the-Tour Spin-In yesterday. Great company, great food, and lots of spinning. Thanks for hosting, Spinnity!

I spun the singles for this yarn on Saturday and plied them at Spin-In. The corriedale top is from Judy's Novelty Wool in the Lake Tahoe colorway.

Lake Tahoe yarn

and the close-up:

Lake Tahoe yarn, close up

Started 7/24
Finished 7/25
Corriedale top (4oz) from Judy's Novelty Wool
130+ yards, Navajo-plied
WPI TDB, somewhere between worsted and bulky

I'm not washing this one until after I've woven it into something.

I finished 4 yarns for this tour, one of which has been a WIP since 2007. I'm quite pleased with my output, especially considering how much I had to do at work. Here's a collage of my Tour de Fleece accomplishments:

Tour de Fleece 2010

One other thing I managed to do this weekend was block the Reflection Shawl. Even after blocking, this shawlette is simply too small for me—it's more of a triangular scarf. I have to admit that it does look very nice blocked. I need to survey my friends and family to see who loves yellow. If I have no takers, it's destined for the dye pot!

Now that I have the shawl done, I can start a new project. Weaving or knitting? I haven't decided yet. Maybe I should go back to the sewing machine and finish a quilt...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

my lost blogging week...

...too much work + not enough brain power leftover at the end of the day, with a side of  Comcast Internet flakiness  = no blogs for a week. Yeah, I'm glad that week's over!

So, Tour de Fleece got put on the back burner for a few days. Before work took over my brain, I managed to finish another yarn. Here is Beach Foam:

Beach Foam yarn

and the close up:

Beach Foam yarn, close up

Started 7/15/10
Finished 7/20/10
3 batts from Liza Souza in Beach Foam, 3.2 oz
(90% Superfine Merino, 8% Tencel, 2% Firestar);
228.9 yards, Navajo-plied;
15 WPI

I also finished knitting the Reflection Shawl (I still need to block it):

Reflection Shawl, unblocked

Finished knitting on 7/21;
Pattern by Ruth Greenwald;
Yarn from Loopy Ewe Sock Club, Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Sock yarn in Daffodil
Needles: 4 US
Modifications: added 3 more rows: 1 row = *K2 YO* K2; 2 rows = knit all stitches

But that's pretty much it. I haven't been able to even think about starting something else until today. I'd like to do a bit more spinning or start  new pair of socks, but we'll see. At minimum, I'll block the shawl today. (See, you didn't miss much because I didn't do much!)

Tomorrow, our spinning group is getting together to celebrate the end of Tour de Fleece and to show off what we've done.  That will put a nice cap on the Tour.

Oh, and in the middle of the madness, look what arrived from the Loopy Ewe...this month's Sock Club installment (behind the spoiler picture)!

Spoiler--Loopy Ewe Sock Club

The goodies are even more amazing this month. Kind of makes up for the fact that I don't like one of the patterns and the other is just OK. You can't please everyone all of the time, so that's just the way it is with sock clubs. I'm sure I can find a new home for the pattern I don't like, if I want to de-stash it.

I hope to say on blog-track next week. Here's an Eye Candy picture to hold you until then:

Lily, up close and personal

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finished Object Friday...

...I finished the purple merino-silk yarn.

Purple Merino-Silk yarn

and the close-up:

Purple Merino-silk yarn, close up

Started: 7/2007 (Tour de Fleece);
Finished: 7/15/10;
Merino-silk top from Angora Cottage;
362.9 yards, Navajo-ply;
16 WPI

I'm very happy to get this one's been hanging around far too long!

Up this weekend: more spinning a Tour de Fleece continues. I have a few errands to run, but pretty much I plan on spending my time on crafts and relaxing, Next week is going to be a long one, so I want to start off being rested.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WIP-it Wednesday, blog and run...

...still way busier than I want to be. At least I'm taking a coupe of days off!

I have managed to spin every day of Tour de Fleece, including Monday's rest day. I'm making up for the light spinning days while I was at Mom's.

I finished the Sea Scape yarn:

Sea Scape yarn

and the close-up:

Sea Scape yarn, close up

Started 7/4
Finished 7/12
Merino-Tencel top (4oz) from Abstract Fibers
236.4 yards, Navajo ply
14 WPI

I started Navajo-plying the Purple Merino-silk:

Plying the purple Merino-silk

I am almost finished plying bobbin #1 and will then move on to the second (and last) bobbin.

That's pretty  much all I've been working brain is too tired by the end of the day to even think about knitting!

Oh, and a big shout-out to my nephew Zac: Happy 18th Birthday!! (Wow, have the years flown...)

Monday, July 12, 2010

missed Eye Candy Friday... Internet connection at Mom's and all the wireless networks in the neighborhood were secure. It's just to big a pain to do a blog post from the iPhone, so I just didn't bother!

We had a good time celebrating Mom's birthday. She decided to celebrate with 2 cakes and 3 kinds of ice cream... we all pretty much OD'd on sugar! One cake was lemon with white chocolate curls on top and the other was a carrot cake. Both cakes had almond-meringue crusts (!?) on the bottom, making them way sweeter and crunchy than any cake I've ever had. Frankly, I don't see the need for the crust...they really didn't add anything to the cakes.  I took pictures of the cakes, but they are on my computer at home. I'll post them when I get a chance.

Here is one picture from the trip:

Late afternoon, Santa Maria CA

This was Saturday. The clouds started building up in the afternoon and my nightfall, it was completely overcast. During the night there were thunderstorms.

This was my first trip by myself in the Honda Fit. The Husband drove to Tahoe, so I couldn't tell how well it handled hills. I was pleasantly surprised how well it did and the gas mileage was good. I got 37.3 MPG both directions.

I managed to spin every day to keep up with Tour de Fleece. I have now finished spinning the singles for the Sea Scape yarn and the singles for the purple Merino-Silk. They are resting before I ply them. Next, I think I'll spin the Beach Foam batts from Lisa Souza. I'm going to use my fast flyer to spin these. I'm a little scared, but it's my challenge goal to use the fast flyer, so...

I also got a little knitting done. I'm almost finished with the second row of hexagons for the Hexagon socks. This is a perfect project top work on when you're watching TV or chatting with someone. I love that sense of accomplishment when you finish a hexagon and see the row taking shape!

This is a short week for me. I'm taking Thursday and Friday off. Thursday's eye appointment will eat up most of the day, but I'm looking forward to a craft day on Friday!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

quick WIP-It Wednesday...

...still way busier than I want to be!

Tour de Fleece update: So far I've managed to spin every day. Yay! Last night I finished the first bobbin of the Sea Scape yarn and started the second bobbin. No picture today because it pretty much looks like the last one.

The Reflection Shawl is taking a short time-out. I have unraveled back to the row with the dropped stitch. Now I'm trying to psych myself up to tink back one row to get to my starting point. I think I managed to make the error on the next to the last RS row in the pattern section, which is good news. I might get this thing finished this month...

I continued to work on the Hexagon socks. I have finished the first "ring" of hexagons and started casting on a hexagon for the second ring. Here's what it looks like so far:

Hexagon socks in progress

Yes, they are bright! While they are a little busy, the color changes really help to see where to pick up the stitches. If I finish this pair, I'll have to find some one who doesn't mind the bright colors and give them away. I have a more subtle color yarn to use for my own pair. LOL!

I'm traveling to Mom's on Friday, so there might not be an Eye-Candy Friday. A lot depends on whether I can find an internet connection there. I can do a blog post from my iPhone, but I'm not going to try and upload a picture that way!

June 2010 recap...


  • 6/5 Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning)  [Ravelry]
  • 6/12 Teal quilt
  • 6/19 Blue Hosta Merino-Bamboo-Tussah top (spinning0 [Ravelry]

Worked on:
  • Reflection Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Flower Power quilt, basted and began machine quilting 
  • Jungle Songs quilt, pieced backing
  • Angora Cottage 70% Merino and 30% Silk 4 oz.roving in purple (spinning) [Ravelry]

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]

  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, July 05, 2010

it was a fast weekend...

... I'm at work, waiting for a compile to finish.  While I wait, I'll give you a little report.

First off, the sock classes on Saturday were fabulous. In the first class,  I learned a new cast-on and a new bind-off, and I think I finally understand the wrap-and-turn thingy for short rows. It's still not my favorite thing to knit, but it doesn't seem  as daunting. The second class was learning how to knit the hexagon socks on the cover of Think Outside the Sox. These little hexagons are addicting! The classes were limited to 12 people, which is a nice size class.

On the Tour de Fleece front, I took my spindle with me on Saturday and spun a little between classes:

Tour de Fleece, day 1

On Sunday, I plied the Blue Hosta yarn:

Blue Hosta yarn

and the close-up:
Blue Hosta yarn, close-up

Started 6/19/10;
Finished 7/4/10;
Merino Bamboo Tussah top from Miss Babs;
138 yards, two ply;
WPI TBD (worsted, I think)

Then I started a Merino-Tencel from Abstract Fibers, called Sea Scape:

Tour de Fleece, day 2

I'm spinning this on the fastest whorl of my standard flyer. I'm working my way up to the fast flyer...not quite ready for it yet!

OK, my compile's done...back to work!

Friday, July 02, 2010

it's still Friday, right...

...too much work makes me lose track of time! It's going well (I think), but there's still a lot to do.

I had hoped to show you a completed shawl today, but no luck there. I was almost done last night and then I discovered a major error 5 or 6 rows back. ARG!!! I think I dropped a stitch (like maybe when I fell asleep in the middle of knitting a couple of nights ago) and it ran. At least it stopped before it got too far. [Sigh] I need to rip back to the error and get it back on track.

So instead, you get eye candy from the garden. First up, dragon beans:

Dragon Beans

I think these look more like leopard beans, but they're cool. Here's another one:

Dragon Bean, up close

And new addition to the "It came from the garden" set is this cucumber:

Little cucumber

I don't think I've ever seen a cucumber black hairs before...ewww!

Up this weekend: I have the two Sandi Rosner sock classes tomorrow. I'm going to get my knitting bag together tonight. I'm really looking forward to doing socks again!

Tomorrow also marks the beginning of Tour de Fleece! I joined two teams this time: Team Spinnity [Ravelry] and Team Lendrum [Ravelry] .The first thing I want to do is ply the Blue Hosta yarn and get that finished. Then I'm going to play with the fast flyer that came with my wheel. I have never used it, so my challenge is to use it to spin at least 4 ounces of fiber.

The other goal is to spin every day of the Tour de France. That's a goal that I've had trouble meeting every tour, mostly because vacation usually interferes. This time it might be work that interferes...I'm going to give it a good try, though!

I'll upload a June recap (such as it is) when I can.

Happy 4th of July to all who celebrate it! 

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...