Friday, February 25, 2011

um, it's Eye Candy Friday already...

...I can't believe that I haven't posted since Monday! This week simply escaped me. First, let's do the eye candy.

Sunrise before the latest rain storms hit:

Sunrise before the storm

Potted hyacinth in the kitchen:


Santa Rosa Plum blossoms in between rain storms:

Santa Rosa Plum blossoms

With all of the Stitches West madness, I forgot to upload a picture of the Loopy Ewe club installment for February:

Spoiler--Loopy Ewe Sock Club

Love the yarn colors on this one! The patterns look interesting and the extra is just OK. Not a big fan of the bags, even though they are very useful.

Up this weekend: I need to get into gear with the large commission piece I'm making. I haven't done anything on it since before Stitches West. I need to ut thing away in the craft room so I can work on's a quilt and right now the craft room as a little bit of fiber in it LOL!  I'd like to finish spinning the yarn I started at the Spin-In earlier this month. And I'm getting very close to finishing the Mochaberry Bramble would be very cool ti finish them in February!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stitches West 2011 recap...

...great class...great shopping...great time!

I bought a lot of great fiber from my favorite SW vendors (Royale Hare, Miss Babs, Lisa Souza, Judy's Novelty Wool) and from a couple of new-to-me vendors (Sunshine YarnsA Verb for Keeping Warm). Like last year, I didn't concentrate on buying yarn, but I did buy enough to weave two wraps.

Thursday was my big shopping day, with additional purchases on Friday and Sunday. For the first time, I did not attend all four days of the market. I really didn't feel like fighting the Saturday crowds and since I'd already bought fiber, I wasn't in a crushing rush to get back to the market. I figured, if I didn't buy anything on Sunday, that was OK. I really wanted to be there for the prize drawing on Sunday, so I made that my goal. I didn't win, but I managed to buy something after all. LOL!

I was lured into the magic of Brooks Farm again. I have made one wrap out of their yarn that was a joy to weave and is gorgeous. Armed with the new knowledge I gained in my weaving class, I picked a variegated Mas-Acero yarn for warp and a more solid colored Acero for weft. At another booth, I found a similar colored yarn with silver from Piedmont Yarns that I'll add to the weft. I'm going to stash dive for additional warp yarns to jazz up the warp.

Mas Acero Yarn  NY8

Acero yarn, SW 4

Skyline Hand-dyed yarn

In addition to yarn shopping on Sunday, I made a few charitable donations. A few months ago, a friend asked me to design a lacey skullcap pattern for her to knit and then wear during her chemo sessions. I had the prototype hat (which were not her colors) and a black one, plus a garter-stitch pink-and-white cotton hat. I donated all three to the Halos of Hope charity. I know my friend will be pleased that her prototype hats will be used by others undergoing cancer treatment.

I stopped my the Mother Bear Project booth and bought one of their little bears. The proceeds go to help defer the mailing costs of the bears.

Mother Bear mini

Ali McGraw was at the market, autographing the Ali's Hat pattern, which helps the Wildlife Emergency Response Fund. I figured that I had missed it because the autograph session happened while I was in class on Friday. I was pleasantly surprised to find her signing patterns again on Sunday. I bought the pattern and the yarn, and then got her autograph. She was incredibly nice and made the experience very personal. Very cool...

Ali's Cap kit

I have now taken pictures of all my purchases. I've edited them, uploaded them to Flickr, and added them to my Ravelry stash. Whew! I have a couple of other additions to make, but I can deal with those later. 

It's back to work tomorrow...after my 5-day weekend, it will be hard to get back in the swing of things!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stitches West 2011 quick hits...

...I was bad, but it felt so good!

Stitches West 2011

I'm uploading individual pictures to Flickr (Stitches West 2011 group), but it may take a while.

My one class was great and I actually had a finished item. I took some pictures before washing. It's drying now and I hope it will full a bit.

Rigid Heddle Weaving Class Project

the close up...

Class project close up

Warped 78 inches long, 10 inches wide;
7.7 dpi; approx 8 ppi;
Warp yarns are a combination of silk, metallic, wool, and ribbon yarns;
Weft is a fingering wool

It was fun combining different yarns for the warp.

Anyway, I'm going to meet up with friends for the last day of the market tomorrow. I'm just going to cruise the market and look at the booths that I missed on Thursday. Since most of those are yarn booths, I don't expect that I'll buy anything else, but it will be fun to look!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

blog and run Wednesday...

...because I have a ton to do before I can get out of here today.  I've been so busy, I've been zonked at the end of the day.  I haven't been able to get my class materials together for Stitches West yet!  This is why I take Thursday clients always seem to come up with something they want by the end of Wednesday. At least I have most of tomorrow to get ready!

Blog posting will be sporadic (I know...what's new!), but I hope to get pictures of my Stitches West purchases uploaded as soon as I can. I'm on a more restricted budget this year...the economic downturn finally hit us. :-( However, I've severely cut back on my online purchases so I can spend some money at the market. I plan on buying from the local yarn stores who are at the market whenever possible!

I leave you with this picture to hold you velvet mini-cupcakes:

Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes

I used the Magnolia Bakery recipe. Many of the recipes that are marked Magnolia Bakery use vanilla frosting. I wanted cream cheese frosting, so I used this recipe. I added crushed red hots to the frosting because Sprinkles posted on Facebook that they were adding them for Valentine's sounded good to me!  Anyway, this makes a lot of mini cupcakes...I made 48, and I still had enough batter left over to make 20 full size cupcakes!

Those of you going to Stitches West, enjoy! Maybe I'll see you there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day...

...I was going to show you the cool, red velvet cupcakes I made yesterday for Spin-In. However, I'm at work and my camera is still in my knitting bag, at home! Camera fail!

Anyway, if you celebrate Valentine's Day, enjoy! Me, I hope to crack open a bottle of bubbly and share a toast with the Husband!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Eye Candy Friday again...

...and the weeks just keep whipping by!

The Husband recently replaced the plants in our front-of-the-house planters:

Yellow viola:
Yellow Viola

Orange viola:
Orange Viola

Purple Coral Pea
Purple Coral Pea

Up this weekend:
  • Spin-In on Sunday. Yay, spinning!! 
  • I need to start work on one of my commission quilt pieces. 
  • I still need to stash-dive for the yarn I need for my Stitches West class in one week!! 
Next week is a short work week, which means I'll be insane by the end of the day on Wednesday. But then it's a lovely two days off for Stitches West and the Holiday on Monday to recover from it.

I'm so looking forward to Stitches West!!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

why, yes I have been working on my WIPs...

...they just don't look marginally different than the last time I showed them to you!

  • Turquoise Trails (needlepoint) is progressing slowly.
  • My Tealing Groovy quilt has the most progress, with everything ready to baste.
  • I finally finished all the decreases for the Mochaberry Bramble socks. Now I'm working my way to the toes, see:

I finally took pictures of the Agate yarn that I finished over the weekend.

Agate Merino-Silk handspun

and the close-up:
Agate Merino-Silk handspun, close up

Started: 1/8/11
Finished: 2/5/11
Agate Merino-Silk top from the Yarn Wench
Spun and plied on Lendrum DT Folding wheel
223.3 yards, 2 ply
WPI 11

Not my best spinning job. I tried a different technique of splitting the top and I'm not happy with the results,. The problem was totally with the spinner not the dyer...the colors in this bump were so beautiful and the result is muddied.  Spin and learn...the next one will be better!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

January 2011 recap...

..."late" seems to be the operative word when it comes to recap posting.


  • 1/22 Tealing Groovy quilt top (quilting)
  • 1/23 Knit2 Bag for Blogiversary prize winner (sewing)
  • 1/23 4 sets of stitch markers for Blogiversary prize winners (beading)
  • 1/31 Red Marine Silk Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    Blackwork, Monica Ferris
    Deja Vu, Fern Michaels
    Cross Roads, Fern Michaels


Worked on:
  • Mochaberry Brambles (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Turquoise Trail by Laura J Perin (needlepoint)
  • Wisteria Angora-Merino top from Tactile (spinning) [Ravelry]

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • Hexagon socks (knitting) [Ravelry
  • Jungle Songs quilt, pieced backing
  • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning)  [Ravelry]
  • The Beets Go On (renamed, was My Heart Beets 4U) socks (knitting) [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. Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

Monday, February 07, 2011

the weekend went by really fast...

...maybe it's because my brain was still foggy from my cold, but Sunday night rolled around too soon for me.

My brain was so foggy that I forgot the unwritten rule about Super Bowl Sunday: Never go grocery shopping until after the game starts! If you go before, you'll be completely frustrated by the armchair quarterbacks buying all their drinks and snacks - they never go grocery shopping except on Superbowl Sunday. It's always fun trying to navigate the grocery store with all these clueless people blocking the aisles. [sigh]

Anyway, I'm sorry for the camera-fail today. I managed to get out of the house without taking a picture of the yarn I finished spinning on Saturday. Maybe it's because I was somewhat underwhelmed with the final product. I loved it in the bump; I'm just not happy with the way I spun and plied it.

After I mailed the last Blogiversary prize on Saturday, I went to a couple of quilt stores look at blue fabrics for one of the commission projects I'm doing. I found a few fabrics that will work, but not nearly as many as I was hoping for.  One thing that I bought was a panel from In the Beginning Fabrics from their Oceanica line. I fell in love with the mermaid square, but I also love the swan square and the octopus square. I may split these up rather than using the panel whole. I also bought the backing fabric for the Tealing Groovy quilt.

I spent a little time in my sewing room, mostly putting beads and fabric away from the Blogiversary prize-making sessions. I sewed together the backing fabric for the teal quilt, so that's ready to baste. Now I just need to find the time to do it!

I actually knitted on Sunday! I am determined to finish the Mochaberry Bramble socks, so I worked on those. I'm a couple of rows away from finishing the instep and then I can finally knit the foot. I love these socks, but they've been a long time in process!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Happy birthday to the Daughter!

...after the last couple of weeks that she's experienced, I want her day to be sunny, positive, and drama-free.

I'm slowly recovering from this cold, but still don't have enough energy to do any crafts.

So let's do a little I mentioned, I finished my latest weaving project at the end of January. Here are the pictures, finally:

Red Marine Silk Wrap

Red Marin Silk wrap, close up

Started 11/20/2010; Finished 1/30/2011
Warp and weft: "True Blood Red" Marine Silk from Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Warp: 12 epi
Weft: 10 ppi
Warped size: 19.75 x 93 inches
Finished size: TBD

I haven't measured the final wrap yet, but will do so this weekend when I can spread it out on the table. It's so soft!

I also received my Rockin' Sock Club installment (behind the spoiler picture).

The patterns look interesting and challenging, but I'm not sure whether I will do either one. I love the concept of socks in reverse colors, but neither of the patterns sings to me. I'm monitoring the BMFA Ravelry groups and have seen a few people who won't be using the patterns either. Maybe someone will come up with a brilliant alternative!

Up this weekend: My primary goal is to get well. I also need to mail one more package of stitch markers out...somehow I missed in the last week's mailing (sorry, Lauren!) and then the cold stole my life!

I have a yarn to finish spinning and a quilt to baste. I need to do some stash diving to see if I have enough yardage of the right weight yarn for my weaving class at Stitches West on the 18th. Plus there are a couple of commission pieces that I need to start planning. (Yes, Jane, one is your wall hanging.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

cold, cold, go away...

... don't bother coming back another day.

No WIP-it Wednesday today 'cuz I'm home with an icky cold.  I don't have the energy to take pictures and get them posted. The recap will have to wait, too/

Want this to go away now...

Eye Candy Friday...

...and I'm looking forward to the weekend! This week we harvested plums from one of our trees: Corncockles have sprouted up all o...