Wednesday, September 29, 2010

no-WIP Wednesday...

...because you really don't need to see my incomplete socks, incomplete needlepoint, and incomplete scissor fob again. Trust me, they don't look significantly different from the last time I showed them to you.

I have actually worked on the needlepoint project this week. After I received the turquoise silk I ordered weeks ago, I immediately completed the turquoise borders. Big sigh of relief that I finally could finish them!

The last few days have been so hot that knitting has just not been appealing. (Vegging out on the couch, watching TV, and drinking Diet Pepsi has been much more appealing...)

Usually when it's this hot, there are no clouds in the sky. Seeing these was a pleasant surprise yesterday evening:

September Sunset

I really need to get back into my knitting. The next Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock club installment will be arriving soon, and I know it will be tempting to cast on. I don't want to have more than two pairs of socks on the needles, so I better finish something real soon now!

At least someone has been industrious in the heat. Here's what I saw this morning when I got to work:

Web work

The courtyard in our office complex has several huge redwood trees and a lot of smaller trees. This spider was very industrious, and from the looks of the rips in the web, very successful. The spider was sitting in the middle of the web in the morning sun—it was pretty big and easy to see. When I went out at lunch-time, the web was gone.

Just no appreciation for a spinner's work...

Monday, September 27, 2010

really not enjoying the heat...'s the end of September. I'd like Fall now. 'K? Thnx!

I did manage to make some headway to head off the dust bunnies, although not as much as I wanted. We don't have air conditioning in our house, so doing chores during the day is not pleasant. It was 90F on both Saturday and Sunday. Too hot to vacuum! I managed to get some dusting done and finished the laundry before it got too bad.

When it's that hot, knitting isn't really appealing. I managed to get one row knit on the Mochaberry Brambles socks but didn't want to do much more than that. I tired doing some cross stitch, but the needle got very sticky from the heat. Since I can't wash this piece because of the overdyed floss, I gave that up pretty quickly.

The only thing that kept my attention was spinning. I know, it sounds like it would be hot playing with fiber, but the chunks I'm spinning with are small enough where they didn't make the heat worse. I was able to spin 4 ounces of a merino-bamboo top that I bought from Royale Hare at Stitches West.

Arch Rock Evening, ready to ply

It has a lot of gray and black in it, which gives it a lot of contrast. I might make this one a two-ply, but I'll let it rest a bit before I decide.

I've been trying out some core spinning techniques, but haven't been happy with the results. My yarn is way over-spun and would be impossible to work with.  I found this video showing "core-less" core spinning and I decided to see whether that made any difference.

It's a pretty cool technique, but I still have too much twist in the yarn. Guess I need to practice more!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Eye Candy Friday and not a minute too soon...

...cuz it's been a week. And it wasn't because of work, either. Work was pretty steady, but I wasn't.   I'm been plagued with headaches and ocular migraines this week. That coupled with poor sleep has made this a very long week.

Today's Eye Candy is tomatoes from our garden:

You say tomatoes...

These beauties were picked this morning. I have some fresh mozzarella in the refrigerator that is just waiting for some nice tomatoes to make a salad!

Up this weekend:  some cleaning up. There are a few chores that I have totally been ignoring. I need to address them before they form a dust bunny army and attack!  Other than that, no specific plans. With my headaches, I haven't felt much like knitting or stitching so nothing is calling my name right now. [Sigh] I hope this malaise goes away soon...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blame it on Michael's...

...or Safeway, or any one of the stores that have been selling Halloween stuff for at least a week: I'm working on a Halloween project.

Happy Pumpkin scissor fob, in progress

It's another scissor fob! It's not like I haven't already made 11 of these, but there is something appealing about these little things. They are a relatively quick stitch, which makes it hard for me to get bored with it before it's done. This kit is by Shepherd's Bush. I love their designs and their kits are really good.  I was sad when they stopped including the scissors in their fob kits., but I'm sure it got too costly to continue.

I haven't worked on Turquoise Trail this week.  I'm at the stage where I need to put it on a stand and have good lighting and magnification before I work on it. I just haven't had the energy to set it up to stitch!  One good thing: I finally received confirmation that my order of the turquoise silk is on it's way. Maybe I'll feel more motivated to finish this when I have all of the fiber I need.

I can dream, can't I? (LOL!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday again...

...and it's the 20th. This month is just going too fast!

It was a lazy weekend. I did a few household chores (very few!) and ran a couple of errands. I made the mistake of going to the quilt store to buy a couple of patterns that I wanted and ended up buying some fabric for them. Oops!  I bought the Pockets To Go pattern and the Cash and Carry pattern from Atkinson Designs. They are really cute and look like they might be a quick sew.

I finally picked up my Mochaberry Brambles socks again. I'm still not done with the cuff, but I only have 9 more rows to go! Can't wait to do something other than the cuff!

I spent a little time working on Turquoise Trail, but I actually spent more time prepping the Neon Rays ribbon than I did stitching. The Neon Rays ribbon had some pretty severe folds from being wrapped around its card for so long, I dampened it and wrapped it around an empty TP roll and let it dry. It's a lot better now!

I made a half-hearted attempt to clean up my craft room. It looks like fiber exploded in there! I got a few things put away, but I am seriously out of room in there. I need a bigger space.

As I mentioned on Friday, the one thing we wanted to do this weekend was make the reservations for our trip to see the Daughter. After a little consultation with the Daughter and several websites later, we have our trip all planned and purchased. Yay for us! Now I just need to find a housesitter...

My biggest accomplishments of the weekend were making the trip reservations, doing laundry, and making soup for dinner last night,  Woo's really exciting around here!

Friday, September 17, 2010

catch-up Friday...

...this week just whizzed by! After a small lull on Tuesday, more work came surging back on Wednesday morning. I finally have a few minutes to catch my breath!

Here's the picture I never got a chance to upload and post for WIP-it Wednesday:

Turquoise Trail, as of 9/17/10

It's coming along. I'm still waiting for my order of turquoise silk. I hope it gets here soon!

On to Eye Candy Friday. First up, a Mardi Gras rose from the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden:

Mardi Gras rose

A huge tomato from the garden:

Huge orange tomato

And remember that melon picture I showed you at the end of August? Here it is, all grown up and ready to eat:

Miniature honeydew melon

This is a miniature honeydew of some unknown variety.

Up this weekend: I haven't had enough time to make any plans! About the only thing I know for sure that we have to do is make plane and hotel reservations to go the Baltimore next month. The Daughter finished her dissertation and we're going to attend the part of her defense that is public.  It's been a lot of hard work for her and we are so proud that she finished this monumental piece of writing!

That's it....that's all I've got. Have a good one!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

and here we are at the end of Tuesday...

...there was no Monday post and there for a while, it seemed like there might not be a Tuesday one either. The last few days have been busy ones...lots of work tasks completed, which is a good thing. It just means that I don't have a lot of time to edit pictures and do a blog post!

The weekend was fun and full of activities.

On Saturday, the Husband went to the Mountain View Art & Wine festival with his dad, while I cleaned the house a bit and baked some cookies. I took the cookies to Spin-In in the afternoon. Because the hostess lives a block away, I put my wheel on its rolly cart and walked to her house. I finished the second bobbin of the Ocean Merino-Silk yarn and prepped the next thing to spin.

On Sunday, the Husband and I went to the Mountain View Art & Wine festival together. Yes, he went twice. The Mountain View festival is huge and his Dad can't walk that much. So the Husband always goes with me the next day because I like to see everything! I usually don't buy anything, but I get lots of ideas for my own crafty projects. This time, I bought a couple of pairs of earring from the East-West Bookstore...everything was 10% off so I couldn't resist.

After a few errands, I settled in to ply the Ocean yarn and watch the season finale of True Blood. (Love me some Eric Northman!) Here's the finished yarn:

Ocean Merino-Silk yarn

and a close-up:

Ocean Merino-Silk yarn, close up

Started: 7/25/10;
Finished: 9/12/10;
Merino-silk top from Redfish Dyeworks;
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel;
Yield: 232.6 yards, Navajo plied;
WPI: est. 12

It a bit "energized" and still needs a bath. Not sure what I'll make out of this one!

On Monday, my Loopy Ewe Sock Club installment arrived. The patterns look interesting; the yarn color is OK (a little too Autumn for me, but not too bad), but the extras are fabulous: a jar of Foot Créme in Peppermint by Soak and a tin of Lotion Bar in Vanilla Mint by Lavasea. Both are nicely scented and not overpowering. The Foot Créme is absolutely heavenly! I will buy more of this! Anyway, there's a picture behind the spoiler:

Spoiler--Loopy Ewe Sock Club

I attempted to take pictures of my wonderful Birthday Box, but I am not doing it justice. I'll keep trying, because you must see how beautiful it is!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eye Candy Friday, Rose Garden edition... are a few pictures that I took at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden

The Husband and I don't really have a song. We have a movie and a rose, both by the same name: All That Jazz.

All That Jazz rose in the sun

All That Jazz rose

I loved Rainbow Sorbet because each bush had flowers in varying shades of this:

Rainbow Sorbet rose in the sun

Rainbow Sorbet rose

The Husband's tomato plants continue to produce interesting varieties, like this striped Roma:

Red Striped Roma Tomatoes

We included these tomatoes in our last Fresh Tomato-Basil-Mozzarella salad and they were quite tasty.

Once piece of Eye Candy that I can't show you yet is the Birthday Box I received from my friend, Jane, and her husband, Gordon. They crafted(!) a beautiful cedar box for my birthday and then filled it with goodies, too numerous to list here. The box is gorgeous and the cedar scent is heavenly!! One of the things they included in the box was a bag of cotton bolls that Jane picked! They are very clean and white...I just need to read up on how to prep cotton for spinning. How cool is that!

Anyway, when I get a chance, I'll take pictures of my special box. Thanks, Jane and Gordon—you are incredible!

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow! I'm looking forward to finishing the Ocean Merino-Silk that I've been spinning for far too long. We'll probably go the the Mountain View Art & Wine festival sometime this weekend. This is our favorite festival...lots of vendors and lots of good food.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

forgot to take a WIP picture...

...the holiday on Monday has thrown me off a bit!

I'm still working away on the needlepoint. I'm waiting for my order of turquoise silk so I can complete the divider lines, but I have enough section lines done that I can work on some of the fill-in stitches.  I tried to work on some of the ribbon fill-in, but then I remembered why I don't like Neon Rays...what a pain to get it to lay flat! I'll have to do these sections when I have lots of patience!

I haven't worked on anything poor socks are being neglected!

So this is not a picture-less post, here's a shot of the rose that came with the orchid plant that the Husband gave me for my birthday:

Striped Rose

I have no idea what this rose is...the florist didn't include that information. It's a pretty rose and you don't often see striped ones in florist arrangements.

Back on Friday with some eye candy from the Rose Garden!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day laziness...

...I started with great plans to clean up around here. I got the vacuuming, laundry, and dishes done...and that's as far as I got!  It got too warm to do much more.

I had a great day on my birthday. It was sunny and warm...a great day to go to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden and the Rosicrucian Museum. I took about 300 pictures, which is a lot for me. I'm slowing sifting through them, trying to find the best ones to upload to Flickr.

There were so many roses blooming! Here is a picture that gives you an idea about the number blooms there were:

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden

As I suspected, the pictures I took on the museum grounds weren't as good. My camera just doesn't do as well with landscape pictures. That plus the fact that we go to the museum at mid-day when the sun was very bright made it difficult to get good shots. I got a few though. Here's one of the fountain in front of the temple:

Rosicrucian Temple and fountain

After the museum, we stopped at one of our favorite places, the Falafel Drive-in, for a late lunch. We got the special (large falafel and a banana shake) and some pita chips to go. We were pretty pooped at that point and decided to relax at home. We decided that dinner out could wait for another day.

We ended the day with take-out from Country Gourmet and two little cakes from Pamplemousse Patisserie. A perfect end to a perfect day.

Yesterday was errand day and then a little needlepoint. I am making good progress, but I'm running out of the turquoise silk used for one of the divider lines. I've ordered some and hope it arrives soon!

OK, back to being lazy...

Friday, September 03, 2010

Eye Candy Friday, September 3...

...getting ready fro the long weekend!

Instead of showing you yet another picture of tomatoes, peppers, and other things from the garden, how about going back to the coast?

View from Highway 1

I stopped between Cambria and Cayucos on Highway 1 and took a few pictures. While my little camera does a great job with macro photos, it doesn't do as well with landscape pictures. I really wanted to capture the fog hanging out in the ocean, waiting to roll in. The camera could not capture what I was seeing...oh, well. I guess I'll just have to keep trying.

Up this weekend: Well, tomorrow's the birthday (Dun dun DUN!). I'm hoping to distract myself with a photo trip to the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden and the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. Both have undergone some renovation and it's been a while since I've been to either one.  A friend has been to the museum recently and took some great pictures of the grounds. I'd like to see what kind of macro photo I can take.

Other than that....a few chores, a few crafts, playing with the kitties...I'm sure I can find something to occupy three days!

Have a good one!

August 2010 Recap...

...I guess it would help to press Publish! Not a lot finished this month...I was sucked into the vortex called "iPad."

  • 8/14 Flower Power Quilt (quilting)
  • 8/22 Turquoise Trail by Laura J Perin (needlepoint)
Worked on:
  • Tealing Groovy quilt
  • The Beets Go On (renamed, was My Heart Beets 4U) socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Mochaberry Brambles (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Ocean Merino-Silk from Redfish Dyeworks; started 7/25 (spinning) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Hexagon socks (knitting) [Ravelry
  • 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]

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

WIP-it Wednesday...

...OMG, it's September! I admit to wanting to delay September as long as possible. It's my birthday month, and I'm hitting a pretty big milestone in a few days. Of all my milestone birthdays, this is the one that is kicking the !$@% out of me. Ugh!

Anyway, thanks to our newly established Craft Night, I'm humming away on my needlepoint project. Here's where it is after last night:

Turquoise Trail, as of 9/1/10

The center motif is done and I'm now working the dividing lines and the outside borders. The borders are kind of boring, so I don't have a lot of that done yet. I'm trying to layout the reddish-brown dividers so I can work the turquoise divider square. I think I'm going to run out of the turquoise thread, and I'd like to know that soon so I can order some more.

As I mentioned last time, I've been working on the Mochaberry Brambles socks. Here's what they look like:

Mochaberry Brambles, cuffs in progress

I have completed 1.5 pattern repeats; there are a total of 2.5 pattern repeats in the cuff. I love how they are turning out!

No other WIPs to report on...the needlepoint has been my primary focus!

I'll post an August recap when I get a minute...

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...