Monday, August 30, 2010

last two days of August...

...can you believe it?!  This month has just flown! Time moves at different speeds depending on how busy I am at work. It zooms at warp speed when I have work deliverables to finish! My big project is done now and I have smaller projects to deal with.

I didn't get as many chores done this weekend as I wanted, but I did manage to work on a few craft projects.

On Saturday, the Husband asked me to go with him to the Italian-American Family Festa in San Jose. His Dad met us there. We looked at the craft booths, checked out the prices ($30.00 for a crocheted baby hat seemed a bit much. I bought a nice, wide-brimmed, woven hat for myself for $10.00!), and had some lunch. The Husband was having some back problems so we didn't stay very long. Still, it was nice to be out in the sunshine for a while.

I wish I had brought my camera, though. There was an egret in the Guadalupe river and there were some interesting clouds in the sky. Oh, well...

Craft-wise, I spent some time frogging part of the center cross for Turquoise Trail. I was off by one stitch on one of the sides, which was throwing off the cross. (I need to get a better lamp in our living room because some of my stitching errors are due to the poor lighting in there.) I restitched the area and filled in the cross. I'm really happy with the way it is shaping up.

I knit a little on both pairs of socks. I'm still working on the cuffs for both, but the Mochaberry Brambles socks [Ravelry] are further along than The Beets Go On socks [Ravelry] (formerly known as the My Heart Beats 4U socks). I'm enjoying both patterns, but right now the needlepoint is grabbing most of my attention.

We had an enjoyable Spin-In at Margot's house on Sunday. Originally, we were going to meet at the Sunnyvale Art Cafe, but they're closed on Sunday. Instead, we went to Margot's, which happened to be up the block and around the corner from my house!  I worked on the second bobbin of the Ocean Merino-silk top from Redfish Dyeworks. I have less than an ounce left to spin and then I have to decide how to ply it.

In between all of this, I managed to get the laundry done, run a load of dishes, run to the grocery store, and do a little cleaning. Oh, yeah, and I cooked dinner last night!  We have an abundance of tomatoes and basil in the garden, so I made spaghetti with lightly sautéed tomatoes, basil, onions, and garlic in olive oil. I tossed it all with some freshly ground pepper and shredded Parmesan cheese. Yummy!

Oh and remember when I said my mom found some slides of my graduation at Hearst Castle? Here's one of our processional:

Graduation processional

I'm at the head of the line, crossing behind the guys in red.  Our processional came down the staircase from one of the guest houses. The Neptune Pool is to the left of the audience.

Back on Wednesday with some WIPs!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Eye Candy Friday, the catch-up version...

...because I missed last Friday! Today's Eye Candy is brought to you by the letters D and M.

Daisies... a baby one:

Daisy, beginning to bloom

a full-blown one:


and a close up:

Daisy, close up

Melon...a ripening one:


and tendrils:

Melon vine tendrils

Up this weekend: I want to sift through my paperback books and set aside a bunch to give away. I just have too many and they are starting to overrun the house!  We are having a Spin-In on Sunday, so I'll be able to get back to the wheel to finish the Ocean Merino-silk I started. Other than that, no big plans. A little cleaning, a little crafting...what more do I need?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

getting back to WIP-it Wednesdays...

...well, I'm going to try, anyway! It's not like I don't have anything in progress!

I've been suppressing my inner "Needle Loca" for a while. You've seen a lot of knitting, spinning, and weaving from me and very little in the way of sharp or tapestry needle crafts. I've been feeling the need to pick up a needle for a few weeks. Finishing the Flower Power quilt was one way I tried to feed that desire, but it wasn't quite right.

A spinning friend suggested having a regular craft night where we could work on whatever craft we wanted. Perfect! I decided to use the craft night to work on needlepoint or cross stitch pieces to appease the needle monster. We had our first one last night and this is what I worked on:

Turquoise Trail, in progress

This is Turquoise Trail by Laura J. Perin Designs. I started it Sunday night (8/22). I love counted canvas work and Laura always uses some interesting fibers. This design uses a lot of Rainbow Gallery threads—metallics, silks, silk ribbon—and pearl cotton. It's easy to lose your place when you have a lot of empty canvas, but the stitches themselves are simple. It is crucial to lay the foundation stitches properly because the rest of the stitches hang off of them.  The turquoise cross I'm working on is the last part of the foundation stitches for this piece.

The rest of my WIPs are being ignored for the moment. Between the needlepoint piece and my iPad, I just haven't given any cycles to my knitting and spinning. We're having a Spin-In on Sunday, so I'll at least get something done on the wheel!

Monday, August 23, 2010

fell under the spell of the coast...

...and the lack of readily available internet access! I could access my email on my iPhone, but there was no way I was going to try to do a regular blog post on it!

I took my time driving to Morro Bay, stopping along the way to take a few pictures. I knew I couldn't check into my hotel until 3pm, so there was no rush.

The open class reunion on Friday night was fun! It was great seeing people I knew from my years there. It was also cool meeting new people—people who had already graduated when I started HS, their spouses, and spouses of people I knew.

Saturday, I went to see my mom. We mostly hung out and talked, although we did manage to go out to lunch. Her favorite place is Chef Rick's, so we went there for lunch.The food is always good there.

Mom is in the process of going through our old slides and movies. She found some slides of my high school graduation and gave me the prints. When I get some time, I'll scan and upload them to Flickr. I'm so glad she found them because I have like one picture of our receiving line and she had several. There's also a great picture of my step-dad and me (well, he looks great, me not so good).

It was a short but good visit. I got back to Morro Bay in time to see this:

Sun setting behind Morro Rock

I actually got to see Morro Rock this time! It had been fogged in when we were there last year and it was fogged in when I arrived on Friday. What a treat!

I spent the evening reading on my iPad. I finished one book and started a new one. Love, love, love the iPad!!

I headed home early on Sunday so I catch up with the Daughter a little. On the way back on Highway 46, I got another picture of the Rock:

Morro Rock from Hiway 46

The Daughter left this afternoon. [sigh] We'll miss her, but she'll be back for her Stanford class reunion (10 years!) in October.

Back on Wednesday with a new WIP!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

better Thursday than never...

...because this week has gotten away from me!  Between the doctor's appointment on Monday and my day off tomorrow, I've had to cram a weeks worth of work in 3.5 days.

Anyway here is the picture I promised:

Ocean, bobbin #1

Thsi is a Merino-silk top from Redfish Dyeworks. It has a wonderful sheen and in general is a nice spin. I ran into a couple of problem areas, but the entire top is not like that. I'm going to wait until I spin the second bobbin to see whether it wants to be a 2-ply or 3-ply yarn.

Up this weekend: An open class reunion for my high school tomorrow night. That should be fun! Then I'm going to visit Mom on Saturday.  I'll come back as early as I can on Sunday, to get the last few hours in with the Daughter. She's heading back to school on Monday. [sigh]

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

my Tuesday posts are starting to get more common...

...mostly because Mondays have been a little busy.

The weekend report: I finally finished Flower Power! Yay!

Flower Power Quilt

Started: 2004
Top completed: May 2004
Finished: 8/14/2010
Pattern: Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Design
Machine quilted; made a matching pillow cover (not shown)

I'm still having problems taking pictures of quilts. The one place that I can hand them requires rearranging the furniture and the lighting isn't that great. I tried taking them outside, but I really don't have anyplace to hang the quilt. Oh, well!

I also finished spinning bobbin #1 of a beautiful merino-silk top from Redfish Dyeworks. It's gorgeous stuff! Pictures tomorrow for WIP-it Wednesday.

My friend, Loretta, and I went to Green Planet Yarn on Sunday. What a great store! There are lots of non-animal fiber yarns that are yummy, so I have some really good options if The Daughter wants me to knit or weave her something. They have a great selection of other yarns, too. The staff is very helpful and friendly. I bought 4 skeins of yarn, 2 for a woven scarf and 2 to use as inspiration for spinning thick-and-thin yarn.

So, I have this birthday coming up and it's a pretty big one. A big birthday requires a big present, right? Well, the Husband decided to see if he could get my present locally; he knew he could order it online. Well he came home with my present on Sunday:

My iPad! And I got to open it early, too!  I have now downloaded 6 books that I've been waiting to buy and am happily reading away. And I love reading at night...I don't need to turn on a light or have a booklight because it's backlit. I'm still exploring apps to download, so this will keep me occupied for a long time! Love it!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Eye Candy Friday...yay!

...Friday just couldn't get here fast enough for me!

From the garden, pineapple tomatillos:

Pineapple tomatillo, on the vine

and a couple of ripe ones:

Pineapple tomatillos

These are tiny, around the size of a grape! The Husband thought they were going to be like regular tomatillos and thought they weren't doing very well. From all I've read about them online, they are supposed to be this small and different from a green or purple tomatillo. I haven't tasted one, so I can't report on that yet.

Up this weekend: The Husband is off to the Jazz Festival on Saturday, so I'm going to take the opportunity to clean house. If we can arrange our schedules, a friend and I will make a field trip to Green Planet Yarn on Sunday.  I want to finish the Flower Power quilt and then work on whatever catches my fancy.

Early warning: I might miss a post on Monday because of a doctor's appointment and the fact that I will have to play catch-up the rest of the day. So don't be surprised if it's late or missing!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

is it Friday yet? brain is not quite with the program and I'm ready for the week to be done! I totally missed WIP-it Wednesday yesterday and didn't realize it until this morning. Maybe I just need to reboot my brain...

Not a lot to report, but here are some random bits:
  1. Finished burying all the threads for the Flower Power quilt.

    Because it's now a usable quilt, I could declare it "done" now. However, it doesn't have a label yet and I haven't finished its cover, so it's technically still a WIP.

  2. Finished the first lace pattern repeat for the Mochaberry Brambles socks.

    Each pattern repeat is 22 rows and I have 1.5 left to do. It's an easy pattern, but I have to be careful that I start with the correct stitch when I work the stitches on the second circular.  I've messed up a couple of time, but thankfully caught it quickly so I didn't have to frog very many stitches.

  3. Rockin' Sock Club socks are waiting for their turn. I'll get back to them soon.
  4. As we get closer to September, I feel the urge to do some cross stitch.

    Halloween had always been one of my favorite cross stitch topics and I have a few things that I'd like to stitch. On the other hand, Summer is another favorite cross stitch topic and I have a couple of Summer projects tucked away somewhere. (Not to mention a few mermaids that are ready to stitch. Hmmm....)

  5. I also feel the urge to go take pictures of something other than our garden.

    Don't get me wrong, there are lots of interesting things growing out there. I'd just like to take pictures of something different. I am going to Morro Bay in a week for a class reunion. Maybe I'll take a photo field trip while I'm there...
That's it for now!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ummmm, it's Tuesday...

...Monday just kind of whizzed by. I had a work project due yesterday and that required all of my concentration to get it done.  But it's out for review now and I can breathe a little.

My weekend report: It was mostly quilting with a little knitting thrown in.

I finished machine quilting Flower Power and added the binding. I am now burying all of the loose threads.  I discovered that taking care of the  loose threads as I go along really slowed down the process. Since I only do simple grid quilting on the Yellow Brick Road quilts, it's much faster for me to leave the tails dangling a bit and finish the machine quilting. I pull the top thread to the back of the quilt, trim both threads to 4 or 5 inches, and move on to the next part to quilt. I manage not to quilt over the loose thread about 95% of the time, so it works for me!  I need to add the ties to the quilt cover and find a quilt scrap to use for the label. Once the label is sewn on, I can declare it done. Only 6 years in the making! LOL!

I worked a little on the Rockin' Sock Club socks [Ravelry], but didn't touch the Mochabarry Brambles socks [Ravelry]. I really wasn't into  knitting, weaving, or spinning most of the time.

When I wasn't quilting, I was reading. I'm trying hard not to buy new books because I think I've killed enough trees for a while.  I'm borrowing books from a friend, which is introducing me to a bunch of new authors.  I'm reading lots of books about shifters, vampires, demons, and witches. Some are better than others, but since I'm only borrowing the books, I can afford it! If only I wasn't such a fast reader.

I've asked for an iPad for my birthday so I can download books to read. It will cut down on the number of books lying around the house and let me get a new book to read much more quickly. Plus, it's way cool! LOL!

This arrived Friday:

Loppy Ewe 4th Anniversary Kit

I ordered the Loopy Ewe 4th Anniversary Kit. The yarn is  Smooshy with Cashmere by Dream In Color and the color is .Joy in the Morning. The pattern is Argonauta Socks by Debbie O'Neill. And the cool Loopy Ewe tumbler is by Mary Hadley Pottery.  (Loopy is on the reverse side of the tumbler...I need to take a picture of that.)  Love the color of the yarn! It matches the teal quilt that I have in progress.  (BTW, that's the back of the Flower Power quilt behind the tumbler.)

Oh, and the Reflection Shawl is now in its new home in Portland, Ore. The Daughter gave it to a family friend who appreciated its charms and will take good care of it. Yay!

Friday, August 06, 2010

just another Eye Candy Friday...

...brought to you by our garden (big surprise!)

The husband continues to surprise me by adding odd flowers and plants to the garden. I never know what I'm going to find when I go out there!  This time, I found this flower in one of the hanging pots:

Bat-face Cuphea

This is called a Bat-face Cuphea (Cuphea llavea). It really does look like a bat! Odd flowers, but wonderful colors.

And I finally got a picture of the blocked Reflection Shawl:

Reflection Shawl, blocked

It's on its way to audition for a new owner tonight. If it doesn't find a new home, it's off to the dye bath!

Up this weekend: Catch up on some sleep. I haven't been sleeping well and I'm a little zonked. I'll continue working on the two pairs of socks when I can.  If it's not too hot, I think I'll hit the sewing machine and finish up the Flower Power quilt. It's about 50% quilted, so it's doable. A little reading, a little quilting, a little knitting...yeah, I think that will work for me. (Not sure if it will work for The Husband, though! LOL!)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

we now return you to our regularly scheduled sock knitting...

...hooray!  And Spoiler alert! I have a picture of my Rockin' Sock Club socks for July later in the post. You have been warned!

So, I cast-on for two pairs of socks on the last day of July. (I know...don't say it!)

But I have been wanting to knit the Blackberry Brambles socks by Irishgirlieknits [Ravelry] for a while and the Mochaberry Socks That Rock yarn was calling my name. I love this pattern!

Here's where I am so far:

Mochaberry Brambles socks, cuffs

Then the Rockin' Sock Club installment came with a cool pattern by Anne Hanson and I had to cast that on, too! However, I made myself do the ribbing for both patterns so they would be at the same stage before I allowed myself to start the patterning. I am alternating between the two socks and am pretty pleased that they are both on track. They both look very cool!

Here's the Sock Club sock:

My Heart Beets 4U socks, cuffs

I still have a merino-silk in progress on my wheel and I should get back to that very soon.

Hmmmm, and there are two quilts waiting, too. Somehow there is never enough time! LOL!

Monday, August 02, 2010

July 2010 recap

  • 7/4 Blue Hosta yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino Bamboo Tussah top (4oz) from Miss Babs;
    138 yards, two ply; WPI TBD (worsted, I think) 
  • 7/12 Seascape yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino-Tencel top (4oz) from Abstract Fibers
    236.4 yards, Navajo ply; 14 WPI
  • 7/15 Purple Merino-silk yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Angora Cottage (4oz);
    362.9 yards, Navajo-ply; 16 WPI
  • 7/20 Beach Foam yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
    3 batts from Liza Souza (3.2 oz )
    228.9 yards, Navajo-plied; 15 WPI
  • 7/21 Reflection Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 7/25 Lake Tahoe yarn (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Corriedale top (4oz) from Judy's Novelty Wool;
    130+ yards, Navajo-plied; WPI TDB, somewhere between worsted and bulky
    • 7/3 Hexagon socks (knitting) [Ravelry
    • 7/4 Seascape Merino-Tencel (spinning)
    • 7/15 Beach Foam batts (spinning) 
    • 7/24 Lake Tahoe Corriedale (spinning)
    • 7/31 My Heart Beets 4U socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
    • 7/31 Mochaberry Brambles (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Worked on:
    • Teal quilt
    Works In Progress, did not work on:
    • Flower Power quilt, basted and began machine quilting 
    • Jungle Songs quilt, pieced backing
    • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning)  [Ravelry]
    • 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]

    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...