Wednesday, November 30, 2011

last day of November…

…yes, it is a WIP-it Wednesday, but I can't show you my current WIP. It's a Christmas present for my buddy, Jane and has to stay under wraps. Instead, let me show you a finished project.

Here is the completed Zuni: 

Zuni needlepoint

Started: 11/8/2011
Finished: 11/27/11
Design by Susan Portra in an alternate colorway;

This will be the last project I finish for myself until after Christmas. (I'll finish yours, Jane!)

I promised myself not to buy any stash in December. As my last hurrahs so to speak, I purchased some yarn from Blue Moon to use my Sock Club discount that expires soon. And for Small Business Saturday, I purchased 4 skeins of yarn from Purlescence Yarns-2 skeins of Chunky Mochi and 2 skeins of Mini Mochi, both in Caramel Latte.

Chunky Mochi:

Caramel Latte Chunky Mochi

Mini Mochi:

Caramel Latte Mini Mochi
See why I couldn't resist them?

Obviously I spent my Saturday and Sunday shopping and stitching. After Thanksgiving and the day after, all I wanted to do was veg and I did!

Tomorrow is the beginning of the annual Christmas baking. That will consume most of my spare cycles. I still haven't finalized my cookie list, but I'm not too worried about it. The first thing on my list is to buy flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. Smart & Final, here I come!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Eye Candy Friday...

...we spent the day at a Christmas tree farm with friends. It was a beautiful day, just a little crisp on the shade. The sunshine was welcome, except for the fact that it was a little too bright to take pictures. Oh, well.

Instead, here are pictures of the pomegranates that we'll pick this weekend:

Ripe Pomegranates

and an individual:


Thanksgiving Day dinner was great. It was nice not being completely manic, trying to prepare the entire meal on Thursday. Except for the steamed green beans and the turkey, I made everything the day before. The yams went into the oven for the last half hour of the turkey roasting time, The stuffing and potatoes went in to the oven when the turkey came out, By the time we were ready to carve the turkey, everything else was ready.  The meal was tasty and the company was enjoyable. A good day all around.

Up this weekend: Finish putting away all of the plates and serving pieces that I used on Thanksgiving day. Everything was washed on Thursday, but because we were gone all day today, they are all stacked on the dining room table.

I need to decide which cookies I'm making this year, compile my ingredient list, and check out which stores have the best prices for flour, sugar, and butter.  I use at least 20 pounds of flour, 25 pounds of sugar,  6 pounds of butter, and 4 dozen eggs.  At that volume, I need to find good deals for ingredients!

Craft-wise, I need to work on the baby quilt now that I have the border fabric. And I need to get started on a couple of Christmas presents.

Mostly, I want to catch up on some sleep, if possible!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WIP-it Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve...

...I've only worked on the Zuni needlepoint. It's coming along:

Zuni, as of 11/23

Most of my WIPs today are food. I've already made the stuffing for tomorrow and prepped the yams so they are ready to bake. I've made two pumpkin pies and a cranberry crustless pie (althought I think it looks like a cake).  I've coated the turkey with a dry brine (sea salt and herbs, with a touch of lemon peel).

I have a little vegetable prep to do and then the clean up begins. My kitchen floor is in sad shape after all this cooking and needs a good mopping. I need to move a few (who am I kidding a LOT) of projects out of the living room. Then I need to use the vacuum monster and get the tablecloths out.

It sounds like a lot of stuff to do, but it's not nearly as bad as when I work all day Wednesday and have to do the same thing late at night!

OK, break's over! Back to it so I can finish up and really relax!

Happy Thankgiving!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

just another Eye Candy Friday...

...and this month is just whizzing by!

Today's eye candy is mostly from another one of my weekend walks. I'm really enjoying my early morning's so quiet and peaceful.

This morning's sunrise:

Sunrise, November 18

A pine cone (I think. It's not in our yard and I can't exactly knock on the owner's door to ask what it is):

Pine cone



A rose:


Pyracantha berries:


Up this weekend: All the cleaning that I didn't do last weekend! I'm cooking the Thanksgiving meal so I need to do the shopping for that (like the turkey!). I'm taking Wednesday off to have a little extra time for preparation.  I can go out early Wednesday to buy the produce and other perishables so they will be fresh.

If I manage to get any crafting done during the weekend, it will be a bonus!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

it's WIP-it Wednesday already…

…sigh. Tuesday has decided to be as difficult as Monday when it comes to blog posts. At least I have a WIP to report about.

Here is Zuni:
Zuni, as of 11/16/11

It's going very quickly. The designer used a different approach than on Hopi. Instead of filling in the center stitches first, she has you do the outside framework first and then move to the center. Using this method, it's much easier to keep track of center (the little dangling piece of floss in the picture) and to check stitch placement.

So far it's just the two color, but  the next stitches to do are teal Neon Rays ribbon in each of the corners. I couldn't face stitching them last night, so I continued with the red.

In other stitching news, I started the first stitches on the Mediterranean Mermaid. It's going to be a challenge because the design is landscape but my biggest stretcher bars are sized more for portrait designs. Also, it's not an easy project to transport. I'd like to work on it during craft night, but that might not be possible.

Stitching has my attention right now...who  knows when I'll get back to my other crafts!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eye Candy Friday finally...

...I'm so ready for the weekend!

Today's eye candy was a little challenging to get. The garden is in it's almost winter state...not a lot of flowers or interesting plants to photograph. The most interesting thing we have growing are brown chile peppers (not exactly photogenic) and pomegranates (I have lots of pomegranate pictures already).  So you get clouds!

This was Thursday morning at sunrise...

Cloudy November morning

...and this morning at sunrise, An hour later and it was raining.

November morning before the rain

Up this weekend: I haven't heard back so I'm going to assume that there is no Spin-In. That's OK, I need to start prepping the house for Thanksgiving. I need to do some serious dusting and get some of the creeping craft stuff back in my sewing room.

I want to migrate a few things back into the Daughter's room to free up a little floor space in my sewing room. She hasn't moved all of her stuff out yet, but enough where some reorganizing is possible.

Craft-wise, I'll continue to work on Zuni, the new needlepoint project. And I have the urge to start a cross stitch project....this one, to be specific:

Ingredients for a new project

I know. Another mermaid. Another year-long (at least!) project. Let's hope she doesn't sit in the stretcher bars as long as the last one did!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

it's Wednesday already...

...and it's been a strange week so far.  It's almost 6pm and this is the first time I've had a chance to post! Because it's so late, you get a random post.
  1. No knitting progress since Friday.
  2. But I signed up for the Cookie A Sock Club anyway (oops)
  3. I have a weaving project percolating in my brain...we'll see how long that takes to bubble to the surface. (Think charcoal gray, black, with some random red strands.)
  4. I am making a baby quilt for one of the Daughter's friends, so I went fabric shopping on Saturday.  Her colors are chocolate brown and pink. and I already had a panel I could use. I was looking for backing, border, and binding fabric. Love the backing fabric I bought, but I'm just OK with the the border/binding fabric. After I got home, I found some fabric online that I think I might like better, so I ordered it. The baby is not due for another month, so I'm not under a complete time crunch yet.
  5. I finished Hopi!  (see below for pictures and specs).
  6. I started Zuni, another design by Susan Portra. It's in the beginning stages, so it doesn't look like much yet:
Zuni, first stitches

Here is the completed Hopi:

Hopi, complete

and a close up of the center motif:

Hopi, center detail

Started: before 2008
Finished: 11/6/2011
Hopi, in the green colorway
Design by Susan Portra
Modifications: None

I really love how this turned out!

Back on Friday with some Eye Candy, I hope!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Eye-can't-believe-it's-November Candy Friday...

...and it's cold! I turned the furnace back on this morning because my hands were like ice!

Not much to photograph for Eye Candy Friday. I have one last picture from my walk 2 weeks ago. It't not the best picture so I used a few Picnik filters to at least make it more interesting:

And the only other picture I have is one of the cats:

Sombra (white paws) and Tica were cold, too, and didn't want to move. For once, they didn't stick their noses in the camera lens!

Up this weekend: Do a few housecleaning chores around the house...vacuuming and the like. I have a pile of junk mail to go through, recycle, and shred. I'll be glad when this elections stuff is done. Elections generate far too much paper!

Craft-wise, I need to stash dive for another Susan Portra project and to see how much pink and brown baby-suitable fabric I have. I want to make a simple baby quilt for one of the Daughter's friends and I think I might have at least half of the fabric I need.

I'll continue working on Hopi and see how far I get. And maybe I'l pick up my knitting again...maybe!

October 2011 Recap...

...I finished more than I thought.


  • 10/22 Bollywood Phat Fiber box samples (spinning) [Ravelry]  
  • 10/23 Lisbon handspun [Ravelry]
    Lisbon 1 Merino-silk top from The Yarn Wench;
    Spun and plied on Lendrum DT folding wheel;
    2-ply; 357.3 yards; Worsted weight
  • 10/12 Turquoise Trail by Laura J Perin (needlepoint)
  • 10/1 Tealing Groovy quilt  (quilting)
  • Books:
    1. 1225 Christmas Tree Lane, Debbie Macomber 
    2. Survivor in Death, JD Robb
    3. Origin in Death, JD Robb
    4. Memory in Death, JD Robb
    5. Deja Dead, Kathy Reichs
    6. Born in Death, JD Robb
    7. Innocent in Death, JD Robb
  • 10/8 Lisbon 1 (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 10/1 Nefertem Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • 10/1 Day of the Dead quilt (quilting)
Worked on:
  • Hopi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  • Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Isonzo Merino-Bamboo top (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]
  • Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • Jungle Songs quilt
  • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry]
  • Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry
IDJ (It's dead, Jim):
  • Stranded Hearts socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  1. Chasing Rainbows Heather--one Merino-Bombyx (2 oz) and one Merino wool (2 oz) (spinning)
  2. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  3. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

WIP-it Wednesday for 11/02...

...I'm trying to finish at least one thing this month before we get to the December Bake-In.

So far, the only project that has held my attention for more than a few minutes is the needlepoint project. Here is the current state of Hopi, a Susan Portra design:

Hopi needlepoint, as of 11/02/11

I really love this colorway!

The eyelets are a little challenging and I really need good lighting to do them.  I have 4 small ones left to do (inside the purple diamonds) and will wait until I have more than 2 brain cells to rub together! In the meantime, I'm working on the corner motifs.

I've found this piece to be so enjoyable, I'm going to do a little stash diving over the weekend to find any other Susan Portra designs I might have kitted and ready to start.  If not, I'll see which threads I need and get an order placed before I finish Hopi.

My knitting and quilting projects have taken a backseat to this piece—they are languishing in their various project bags waiting for their turns. I even missed participating in Socktoberfest this year! Maybe next year...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy November...

...hope everyone had a great Halloween!

I spent most of Saturday at the Daughter's apartment.  She had four deliveries scheduled from 11am until 5:15pm.  Unfortunately, I could not concentrate on my knitting and the bar stool (the only seating until her sofa was delivered in the afternoon) was not comfortable for even reading.  I ended up putting her bookcases together (the first delivery of the day) and cleaning out her ice maker just to occupy my time. 

I also spent time standing outside waiting for the delivery trucks so I could let them in the complex gate. Not a very restful way to spend the day, but all her deliveries made it and are in their proper place except for on last item that need assembly (did not have the energy for that!).  Her apartment is starting to look like a home! 

The last thing I did was make her bed with her new sheets and comforter, so it will be ready for her when she gets back from her trip. Yes, I'm a Mom!

Sunday was spent recovering from Saturday. I'm still trying to figure out where all my bruises came from as I really didn't move anything other than the bookcases and I certainly don't remember whacking myself on the's a mystery.

I ran a couple of errands and pretty much crashed in my chair the rest of the day. I worked on the Hopi needlepoint most of the time, although I did manage to get a row or two done on the Nefertem shawl.

Not much else to report...just a lot of work to do!  Back tomorrow with a WIP picture!

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...