Friday, October 26, 2012

F.O. Friday...

...another WIP bites the dust!

Here is Tiffany:

Tiffany handspun

the close-up:

Tiffany handspun, close up

and some singles:

Tiffany handspun, singles
Started 3/17/12;
Finished 10/24/12;
Tiffany Wild Card Bling Batts (5.5oz) from the Yarn Wench;
147.0 yds chain-ply, 11 WPI;
26 yds single ply, 16 WPI

These batts contain merino wool,  hand-dyed Firestar nylon,  Romney lamb locks, and Cotswold locks. There were are matching Cotswold locks placed on the surface. I started spinning this fiber as singles using all of the components and discovered that I really didn't like spinning the locks and how they looked. I stopped spinning at 26 yards and wound off the singles. I started spinning the rest of the batts without the loose locks and much of the Romney locks. I liked the resulting singles much better!

I have cycled the Pomatomus Socks out of the rotation because I keep falling asleep in the middle of a row. Bored much? Ha!

Up this weekend: Some necessary housework...vacuuming is at the top of the list, followed by dusting. Since Thanksgiving will be at our house, we need to go through some of the things that are still lingering in the living room and dining area after the studio remodel....loose folders, some fabric scraps that might not be worth keeping, etc. Then I need to start getting this room in order so we can actually have company here.

Craft-wise, I need to continue quilting the Jungle Songs quilt. I'm at the fussy part of the process: quilting the outlines of the larger animals. I'm trying to decide whether to do free-motion quilting in the wide sashes. In some ways, it would help speed up the finishing of the quilt, but I've never done free motion quilting before. I'm a little scared that I might mess up this quilt!

I also need to look at my list of WIPs and pull the next one into rotation while the Pomatomus Socks take a break. Ive pretty much decided to IDJ (It's Dead, Jim) the Carousel Socks I started back in March.  They are the same 12 stitches row after row after row...another sock I fall asleep knitting.

I'm really itching to start a new project.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP-it Wednesday, blog and run... I've spent most of the day getting my glasses instead of working.

First I went to Kaiser for my post-cataract-surgery optometrist visit. I'm happy to report that my eye has recovered nicely from surgery and I've been cleared for contact lenses. However, the optometrist thinks that I might want to do surgery on my left eye within a few months as it's not good.

Since Kaiser could not make my glasses today, it was off to Lenscrafters. I hadn't planned on going back to them, but they are one of the few places around here that can make glasses quickly.  Quick is relative, however. It takes so long to get through their process and their computer system is very slow. And I had to convince them that I didn't want their super-duper lenses that work great, but can't be done in less than 5 days.   I haven't been able to see well for too long...I wanted the new glasses today!

My new glasses are awesome! I can read street signs again and I don't feel like I'm a danger on the road. LOL! They are progressives, but the  jury is still out as to whether they'll work while I'm on the computer. I can read with them, but the middle correction is a little challenging.

Anyway, WIP-wise, my active WIPs are the Recipe for Summer cross stitch piece, the Peacock Pomatomus socks, and the Jungle Songs quilt. I'm pretty bored with the first two, but I need to get them done so I can work on something else!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Studio update for Tuesday...

...I have rugs!  Home Depot turned out to be a winner. I found a rug I liked, they had all 3 sizes that I wanted in stock, and together they cost the same as the one 5'x8' I found online. Score!

The only thing left for me to do is hang some pictures.

Here are a few photos. There are more in my Flickr group.

My studio chair and the new rugs:

Studio chair and rugs

My work table:

Work table view

The sewing area:

Sewing area

It's almost ready for company!

Friday, October 19, 2012

it's finally Eye Candy Friday...

...this week seemed to have dragged! Maybe it's because I'm counting down the days until I can get a new prescription for my glasses. Or because every time I turn around there's something new I discover that I need to update.  At any rate, TGIF!

Today's eye candy comes from Pacific International Quilt Festival. I concentrated on detail pictures rather than whole quilt pictures. One reason was that it was hard to get whole quilt pictures with so many people milling about. Another reason is that I need a bit more practice!

First up, a quilt made by a friend and former co-worker, Radial Sonnet by Randa Mulford:

Radial Sonnet

a medallion close up:

Radial Sonnet, detail

and detail of one of the corner circles.

Radial Sonnet, corner detail

I loved this mermaid quilt, Mermaid Magic by Donna Blum:

Mermaid Magic

and face detail:

Mermaid Magic, face detail

I was intrigued by this quilt, The Dead Sea by Gisha Wogier from Israel:

The Dead Sea

and a water detail:

The Dead Sea, detail

There were many more that I won't include here. Go to my Flickr Set, PIQF to see more from this year and others from 2009 and 2011.

Up this weekend: I need to make a trip to Home Depot to see whether I can find a replacement light bulb for the pendant light that croaked a couple of weeks ago. Or I just may get a replacement pendant to match the other one in the studio.  I also want to look at rugs. While I don't expect to find my style there, it doesn't hurt to look while I'm there.

I'd love to finish machine-quilting the Jungle Songs quilt, but it might take me longer than I anticipate. I have a lot of fussy quilting in the larger squares and the middle panel. I won't know until I get in there.

Oh, yeah and some errands, some housework, some knitting, some...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIP-it Wednesday... promised, here is a picture of the Jungle Songs quilt in progress:

Jungle Songs quilt, in progress

I love the fabric, but I'm not wild about the quilt pattern. Some of the sashing is too narrow. The border fabrics have wavy lines making the sashing look crooked when it's not. The corner squares have no sashes at all and really need it. Because this was a kit, I was limited to the amount of fabric it contained. Had I started the quilt when the fabric was still available as yardage, I probably could have modified it, but, of course, this kit had marinated in my stash for a while. LOL!

At any rate, I just want to finish it and move on to the next WIP.

I'm also working on the Peacock Pomatomus socks. Now that I have them on separate sets of needles, things are going well. I did find an error on one cuff that I'm trying to decide whether to fix. Since the socks are for me, I'll probably leave it, but it offends my need to be perfect. HA!'s a good thing!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

another finished project...

...I'm on a roll!

On Saturday, I finished all of the cushions for the storage benches in my studio.  These benches flank my quilt wall.

Left bench:

Storage bench 1
Right bench:

Storage bench 2

I started with four 24x24x2-inch foam from Jo-Ann. My bench seats are 48x15, so I cut the foam down to 24x14x2. Then I glued them together to make two 48x14x2 cushions. I covered each cushion with two layers of batting and then made the cushion covers to fit. They have a Velcro closure so I can easily remove the covered to be cleaned.

I had these four leftover pieces of foam and I had leftover fabric, so I turned them into cushion backs for the benches. Because I was running out of fabric, I did not cover them in batting before making the covers, nor did I use Velcro closures. I just whip stitched them together.

I had to piece the covers for two of the benches with another color of the fabric. You can't see it in the pictures, but two of the cushions have a lighter panel on the back.

After finishing the benches, I basted the Jungle Songs quilt. (I'll show a WIP picture tomorrow.)

On Sunday, I went to Pacific International Quilt Festival. There were gorgeous quilts on display and I took several pictures. I'll post some for Eye Candy Friday. I did buy a little fabric and a couple of patterns.

My big score was a storage box for my Fasturn tool set. I bought these years ago and really hated the clamshell storage "container" that they came in--it kept popping open, dumping all the tubes on the floor. They now have a nice box that snaps closed. Love it!

After a quick trip to the grocery store, I spent the afternoon machine quilting Jungle Songs.  I''ve done about a third of the quilt, mostly stitch-in-the-ditch. The center panel and larger squares will take a lot of time to quilt, so I'm trying to get the simple stuff done first.

I feel really good about finishing things. Happy to be Workin' Down The WIPs [Ravelry]!

Friday, October 12, 2012

F.O. Friday...

...I have another Finished Object and not much eye candy.

The garden has very few flowers this time of the year. Many of the plants and trees are getting ready for winter, so things are looking a little scruffy out there.

We do have these succulents thriving in one corner:


I finally finished plying the Schoppel-Wolle singles. This is Plum Sauce:

Plum Sauce Handspun

and the close up:

Plum Sauce handspun, close up
Started ??
Finished 10/11/12
Plum Sauce top and pencil roving from Schoppel-Wolle (150g)
308.9 yds, 2-ply, 13WPI

The singles continued to break through the rest of the plying. I was quite relieved to be done with this yarn last night! When I get home today, it is going to the bottom of my storage bench for a time out!

I received two sock club installments this week. From the Cookie A Sock Club, I received a specially spun sock yarn by Green Mountain Spinnery. It's totally not my colors, so I'm not sure what I'll do with it:

Cookie A Sock Club Badge

I also received the Rockin' Sock Club installment for September. They had some technical difficulties and it was late in arriving. The patterns are color work, so there are two yarns included in the package. Again, not my colors, but one of them will make a nice warp! (Behind the spoiler pic)

Rockin' Sock Club 2012

Up this weekend: I plan on going to Pacific International Quilt Festival on Sunday. I have not plans to buy any fabric as we all know I have plenty!

I want to mop the floor in the studio so I can lay out the Jungle Songs quilt and sandwich it. Then I'll start machine quilting it. It's way past time that this quilt was finished.

I also need to go to Home Depot and get another pendant light for my studio. I had two, but my little blue pendant decided to croak. You'd think I could just replace the bulb, but it has a specialty bulb (flat with two pins) that I can't get out of the fixture. Given that the old pendant light is at least 5 years old, it might be time to replace it with a fixture that uses a halogen bulb, or at least a bulb I can change!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WIP-it Wednesday...

...I'm making some progress, but not as much as I'd like.

I'm nearly done plying the singles for some Schoppel-Wolle top that I bought at least a year ago (maybe 2010?). Some of it was pencil roving, which I usually like spinning because there is a lot less drafting. I don't know whether it was because I let it sit so long between spins or what, but I did not enjoy spinning this yarn. The pencil roving portion wasn't too bad, but the regular top fought me every step of the way.

Now that I'm plying, the regular top keeps breaking on me.  It's pretty, but it may end up at the bottom of a cabinet when I'm done so I don't have to look at it anymore!

Schoppel-Wolle Plum Sauce, in progress

I am making slow progress on the Pine Mountain "Recipe for Summer" cross stitch.  I just need to keep plowing through this one. I was very motivated when I started it at the beginning of summer. Now that it's autumn, I'm not nearly as motivated.  I'd rather be stitching something for Halloween!

My quilt and sewing WIPs will probably have  to wait until the weekend. I just don't have enough time after dinner to work on them during the week.

Last night I went to Craft Night and I intended to work on one of my knitting WIPs. I pulled out the Peacock Pomatomus socks [Ravelry]  that had been hibernating for many months. I love the yarn and I love the look of the pattern. 

As I reoriented myself in the pattern, I remembered why it was hibernating: you have to rearrange the needles after a complete pattern repeat. Normally, this is not a big deal, except that I like to knit two socks at a time on two circular needles. So an instruction that says: "Move first stitch from Needle 1 to Needle 3 by knitting the first stitch on Needle 1 through the back loop onto Needle 3" only works easily for one of the two socks.  I need to move one of the socks off to another set of needles to make progress on this project.

It's a good thing I had the cross stitch project with me to work on!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

top-of-the-waves Tuesday...

...AKA random Tuesday.

I finally took pictures of Blueberry Thrill shawl that I finished on the 30th:

Blueberry Thrill Shawl, close up

Finished spinning Chocolate Covered Raspberries on Sunday:

Chocolate-Covered Raspberries handspun #2
and the close up:
Chocolate-Covered Raspberries handspun #2, close up
Started 2/22/09
Finished skein #2 10/7/12
Seawool top by Creatively Dyed
217.75 yd, 13 WPI chain-plied

Finished spinning Isonzo on Sunday:

Isonzo handspun
and the close up:

Isonzo handspun. close up
Started 6/4/11
Finished 10/7/12
Wool/Bamboo/Seacell top from Creatively Dyed
#1 180.5 yds, 13 WPI
#2 178.7 yds, 14 WPI

I joined Janice's Workin' Down the WIPs group on Ravelry to help prod me into finishing more WIPs. I have so many across all my crafts that I really should complete or declare IDJ (It's Dead, Jim).

It feels so good to finish just need to control my craft attention-span (lack thereof) and start-itis problems!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Eye candy Friday...

...a little sparse today. I was hoping to show a picture of the finished Blueberry Thrill Shawl, but I didn't get a chance to take a picture.

A co-worker gave me a bouquet that contained a protea:

Protea, side view

I love protea because they are so primeval-looking. The bouquet also has some eucalyptus in it, which I also love.

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow!! I'm really looking forward to it. I'll bake some peanut butter cookies in the morning as my contribution. I haven't decided yet what to spin. I have the Isonzo [Ravelry] singles ready to ply and the Chocolate-Covered Raspberries [Ravelry] ready to ply. I also have a couple of tops that need the singles finished...Pilgrim [Ravelry], Natural Dyes [Ravelry], and Tiffany [Ravelry] come to mind

WIPs. I haz them. :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

WIP-it Wednesday... which there are actually WIP pictures!

Now that my eye is doing it's healing thing, I'm ready to attack a few projects that have fallen by the wayside.

The Recipe for Summer went into hibernation when I couldn't see well enough to stitch. I started working on it again at Craft Night last night.

Recipe for Summer, as of 10/2/12

Yeah, I know it's not summer anymore. However, this is a good project to get my hand back into stitching. When I've finished it, I can resurrect Anasazi (Susan Portra needlepoint) and seriously work on the Mediterranean Mermaid cross stitch by Mirabilia.

I'm looking forward to knitting again. Although I have to admit, none of my current WIPs are calling my name. Instead, I started a new shawl. LOL! This is Calaeno by Romi. I bought the pattern and yarn from A Verb For Keeping Warm at Stitches West this year.

Celaeno Shawl WIP

This project will cycle in and out of rotation as I work on some other WIPs.

I have a few spinning WIPs to finish up. No pictures of these yet:
  1. Second half of Isonzo by Creatively Dyed (originally 8oz) [Ravelry]
    I have spun the second bobbin of this fiber and it's ready to ply. I'm still trying to find the first bobbin in my stash somewhere. It is currently hiding. 
  2. Second half of Chocolate-Covered Raspberries by Creatively Dyed (originally 8oz) [Ravelry]
    I have about 1.5 ounces left of 4 ounces. The first half was spun and plied 3 years ago. It's time to put this puppy to bed!
  3. Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry]
    I've been spindle spinning this top. I think it's time to move it to the wheel so I can finish it.
  4. Heather by Chasing Rainbows - 2 oz Merino-Bombyx and 2oz Merino
    This has been exiled for at least 3 years. Time to put this one to bed, too!
As for the studio, the Husband is trying to finish up the last few vinyl tile fixes. I still need to find some area rugs for it and I'd love to have a hanging light over the work table. Unfortunately, the track lighting does not extend over my work table, so we'll need to be creative with the lighting.  At this point, a floor lamp sounds like a better option than the Husband's "I'll just remove this paneling and drill a hole for the light and install an electrical box for it."  Right. And I still do not have the switch changed out that he promised a month ago and the fan switch that I asked him to fix in July is still hanging out of the wall.

I'll use a floor lamp. :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

September 2012 recap... was a big reading month. That and spinning were pretty much the only things I could do this month.

  • 9/23 Lupines and Poppies (spinning) {Ravelry]
    100% Merino top, approx, 2.2 oz  from the Yarn Wench
    128.42 yds chain-ply, 12 WPI
  • 9/23 Black Alpaca-Silk (spinning) [Ravelry]
    80% Alpaca/20% Silk (4oz) by Ashland Bay;
    113.5 yards chain-ply, 12 WPI 
  • 9/23 Peacock (spinning) {Ravelry]
    100% Corriedale (4oz) by Spunky Eclectic;
    308.94 yds chain-ply, 17 WPI 
  • 9/30 Blueberry Thrill shawl (weaving) [Ravelry]
    Sorry, no final picture yet
  • Books:
    1. Have Stakes Will Travel, Faith Hunter
    2. My Mother Was Nuts, Penny Marshall
    3. The Perfect Christmas, Debbie Macomber
    4. Biting Cold, Chloe Neill
    5. Drink Deep, Chloe Neill
    6. Hard Bitten, Chloe Neill
    7. Twice Bitten, Chloe Neill
    8. Delusion in Death, JD Robb
    9. Archangel's Storm, Nalini Singh
    10. Last to Die, Tess Gerritsen
    11. Widow's Web, Jennifer Estep
  • 9/17 Lupines and Poppies (spinning) {Ravelry]
    (Second skein from this top)
  • 9/30 Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]

Worked on:
  • Chocolate-covered Raspberries seawool top, second half (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Carousel Socks  (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Isonzo Merino-Bamboo top (spinning) [Ravelry
  • Misc studio tasks

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  • Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  • Jungle Songs quilt
  • Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch)
  • Natural Dyes batts from Yarn Wench (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Oriental Dragonfly, Dimensions kit (embroidery)
  • Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Recipe for Summer by Pine Mountain Designs (cross stitch)
  • Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm [Ravelry
  • Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry
  • Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]

IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
  • 1Q84, Haruki Murakami: Did not/could not finish (reading)

  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)

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...