Friday, March 29, 2013

last Eye Candy Friday for March...

...and it's Easter weekend.  While I'm not a big fan of Easter, I love this time of the year because we have tulips in the garden!

Here's what I can see outside of my studio window. A pink tulip:

Pink tulip

and a few days later it looked like this:

Pink tulip, fully open

an orange tulip:

Orange tulip

and containers full of tulips and flowers:

Flowers in the courtyard

Up this weekend: I'd like to finish the cats' quilt. I'm about 50% done with the machine quilting, so I think that it's doable.

I will probably finish the last few rounds of the Celestarium shawl--I'm on round 150 of 157. I have a couple of more edgings to audition and I hope one of them will be the one.

I'd also like to get back to my spinning wheel! I have a wool sample to ply and I'm itching to get back to the Camel-Silk I started at the March Spin-In.

We have nothing special planned for Easter. There are just too many bad memories for me with this holiday. If the Daughter was in town, I might consider making a special dinner, but she's on vacation. It's just the husband and me, so we'll keep it we usually do.

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WIP-it Wednesday...

...yeah, I'm still here.

I did manage to get the cats' quilt top finished. I sandwiched and pin basted the quilt on Saturday and started the machine quilting on Sunday. I have to keep reminding myself that the quilt is for the cats and it does not need the same level of quilting detail that I'd do for my other quilts...r-i-i-i-i-ight.

I think the Celestarium shawl is finally getting to me. I am on round 144 of 157 (before edging)--the home stretch of the main shawl. I still haven't found an edging that I really love. And I'm ready to work on something else. There is no point in posting a picture at this point since it looks the same as last time.

I'm waiting for a couple of books that have edging patterns to see if I like any of those any better than the ones I've tried. I hope to pick one soon!

One the home front, the Husband fixed my bathroom sink so it is no longer leaking. Yay! I have almost moved everything back into the vanity. There are a few more items that I might decide to purge. If I haven't missed them in the week or so since the vanity has been out of commission, I probably don't need to keep them.

So this is not a picture-less post, here are blueberries-to-be, a WIP from our garden:


I hope we get more than a handful of blueberries this year!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Eye Candy Friday...

...looking forward to a nice weekend! (Who am I trying to kid? I'm looking forward to the weekend, nice or not!)

The garden continues to bloom as the weather gets nicer.  the superbells are doing well:

Lemon Slice superbells

and the freesias are popping up everywhere. Front yard:

Purple freesia


Red freesias

The nectarine tress have been going full force:

Nectarine blossoms

while the cherry tree was a little late to the party:

Cherry blossoms

Love in the Mist is an odd little flower that is in one of the planters on the shelf outside the kitchen window:

Love in the Mist flower

Up this weekend: We've had a little set back with the new faucet installed in my bathroom. It decided to leak from the highest connection point. The Husband will try to fix it tomorrow. If he can't get it to stop, it's time to call in a plumber.

I ordered some polka dot fabric for the cat quilt from I received it yesterday and I think I can finish the quilt (or get very close to finished) this weekend.

I've auditioned 4 different edgings for my Celestarium shawl [Ravelry], 3 of which I like. However, none of them stand out as the clear winner for the shawl. Sigh... If I was more familiar with lace, I would try designing one. I may still give it a shot if I don't like the last 2 I want to try.

There are several more edgings that are possible, but they all seem to be in the book "Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls" by Martha Waterman. I have ordered the book from Amazon marketplace last week. My book has been shipped,  but it might not get here until April 3rd. (Don't you love estimated delivery date ranges that are 2 weeks long?!)

In the meantime, I'll keep knitting away on the shawl. I am halfway through round 137 of 157...getting closer to having to pick and edging!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP-it Wednesday...

...Happy Spring!

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm auditioning edging for my Celestarium shawl. I added another pattern repeat to the sample last night, and I'm not in love with it. I think in a lighter weight yarn it would be fabulous, but I don't like the way the sock yarn looks in it. It's partially the yarn that I'm using for the sample. I really don't like the color combo. I think I'll do another repeat and then block it to see how it turns out. In the meantime, I'm on the lookout for another border, just in case.

I finished round 133 of 157, so only 24 more round to go before the edging! Woo hoo!  It's getting a little heavy to deal with at this point, but not too bad.  Here is what it looks like now:

Lacy in the Sky with Diamonds shawl, in progress

I have included a tape measure so you can see its approximate size. The pattern says it's 46-inches in diameter when complete. My shawl might not be that large, but I have no idea how it will block out. I'll just have to wait and see!

No other WIPs have been touched so far this week. I really need to at least look at them! LOL!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

top-of-the-waves Tuesday...

...not as busy as last week, thank goodness!

Spin-In on Saturday was productive. We were spinning the Jacob bump in our Spin-In sampler. I took some Corriedale fiber to share and someone else brought some BFL and South African wool to share. So now we have more samples to spin!  When I finished the singles for the Jacob fiber, I started a Camel-Silk top from Greenwood Fiberworks. It is a lovely, soft top and spins easily.

Sunday was taken up my errands, laundry, and cleaning. I did manage to research more lace edgings and found the bird's eye edging in a free shawl pattern. I printed it out and set it aside for after dinner. I managed to knit two rows on the shawl before I had to stop.

After dinner, I found some spare yarn in roughly the same weight as the shawl yarn. I started knitting the first border repeat and it became apparent that I was not able to follow the written instructions for the edging. Part of the problem is that one of the instructions wasn't completely clear. Another problem for me was that there was no chart. I find that I have the best success when I have both the written instructions and a chart.

On Monday, I searched for an edging chart on the Internet and finally found one. I started the sample again and this time it worked!  See:

Bird's Eye Lace Edging, audition

This is one pattern repeat: the pin at the bottom holds the point of the border and the pins at the top hold the section that will be joined with the shawl.  I need to do several more so I can see how the repeats fit together. I think this will work, but I'm waiting until I can see more of the pattern. (And, yes, this is not the best color for this edging, but


Friday, March 15, 2013

Eye Candy Friday...

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

I mentioned that the Husband bought flowers last weekend for the courtyard are I can see from my studio window.

Here are some red snapdragons:

Red snapdragons

an English Daisy:

English Daisy

and Bacopa:

Bacopa flowers

He also shared this picture of the cats enjoying themselves in the backyard:

Catnip Catnap

Tica has camped in the pot that contains catnip. Either Sombra is 'nipped out or is waiting for Tica to move. :)

Up this weekend: Spin-In tomorrow! I'm not sure what munchie to take as I'm feeling uninspired at the moment. Cupcakes are easy, but maybe I'll take some cheese and crackers. We'll see how I feel in the morning.

One thing I plan to do is to audition some borders for the shawl. But first, I need to learn how to do a knitted-on border!I'm sticking to free charts for now, but I have my eye on a couple of pi shawl patterns that I might have to buy is I can't fins a free one that I like.

A little clean up...a few errands...a walk on Sunday...and my weekend should be quite full!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WIP-it Wednesday, roll call...

...counting it out!

Active WIPs in the rotation:
  1. Lacy in the Sky with Diamonds (Celestarium) shawl [Ravelry]: 60% done
  2. Pilgrim handspun [Ravelry]: Moved from spindle to the wheel over the weekend; 50% done
  3. Spin-In Fiber sampler: continuing. This is a group spin, so it will take a few months.
  4. Caterwauling quilt: new to the list. This will replace the cats' bed quilt that is getting ragged. Here's a peek at the top so far:

    Caterwauling quilt, in process

Waiting to be rotated in: 
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  4. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  5. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch)
  6. Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm (spinning) [Ravelry
  7. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
Candidate for IDJ (It's Dead, Jim)
  • Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)
  1. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  2. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  4. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]
Yeah, they should keep me busy for a while!  :-)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top-of-the-waves Tuesday... which we talk about how not much has changed craft-wise since last Tuesday. However, we did get a few things done around the house that have been on out to-do lists.

The Husband and I took a trip to Orchard Supply on Saturday, He was going to get some more flowers for the courtyard (atrium) and I wanted to look at bathroom faucets. We ended up with a lot more than that!

For a long time now, I've been very unhappy with my bathroom sink fixture: it doesn't have a drain pop-up and the handle surfaces are so flat that they collect water. I found a single-handled faucet that I liked and will work well in my bathroom. The toilet paper holder also needed to be replaced and we found one that will work.

What else? We got a new garbage can for the kitchen, a one-step stool for our 12-year-old kitties to help them get up on the bed, a new long handled duster, and halogen light bulbs for the track lights in the living room. Oh, yeah, lots of flowers!

My studio is totally separate from the house and I can't hear the doorbell out there unless I have all the sliders open...not a good choice when it's cold or raining. We bought an extender for the door bell so I can hear it ring in the room now.

After getting all that stuff, we made an effort to get things installed. I asked J to delay the installation of the faucet until after craft night tonight.  I replaced the toiler paper holder and he wired in the doorbell extension. We replaced a burned out bulb in the track lights, which doesn't sound like a big deal unless you know that the track is 12-14 feet off the ground.  It means hauling out the extension ladder to chnage the bulbs.

Anyway, we got a lot of little tasks done that we've been putting off for a while. Yay!

One of the crafting tasks on my back burner was replacing the cats' quilt that is on our bed. I made it for my daughter when she was in elementary's showing its age and it's ready to be retired. I have two cat panels that I'm piecing together to make a top for the new quilt. I have some stash fabric that will work for the backing. I just need to find a decent border fabric in the stash.

I also got a little spinning done. I moved my Pilgrim spindle spinning [Ravelry] to the wheel and finished the first 2 ounces. Only 2 more to go!

I am working away on the Celestarium shawl...I'm on round 128 of 157, about 60% done. I really need to get serious about picking an edging.I have an idea rolling around in my involved dark blue beads that match the yarn and something spikey. We'll see if I can get reality to match my idea!

I am very close to either declaring the Violet Needleroll as IDJ (It's Dead, Jim) or using what's already stitched as a scissor fob.

Stay tuned...

Friday, March 08, 2013

T. G. Eye-candy F.'s been a busy week and Friday couldn't some too soon!  I had to research a whole bunch of HR topics this week to a a small amount of work done. It just goes that way sometimes.

At least you didn't miss much for WIP-it Wednesday as I am still knitting the Celestarium shawl. It doesn't look measurably different, but at least I've passed the 50% done mark.

Eye Candy is a little sparse as a result of my not having time to find something to photograph. I did manage to find a couple of things, though.

When I left the gym this morning, I saw these doves lined up on the roof enjoying the break in rain storms:

Morning line-up

When I got home, I found these tiny grape hyacinths  blooming in the front yard:

Grape Hyacinth

Up this weekend: Who knows!  I haven't been able to think much further ahead than the end of the work day.  I have a deadline next week and that's been my main focus. Once that's done, I hope to get back to normal activities.

Yeah, that will happen...

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

February 2013 recap...

...between Stitches West and my Celestarium Shawl, I didn't finish anything except books.


  • Books:
    1. In Their Footsteps/Thief of Hearts, Tess Gerritsen
    2. Presumed Guilty, Tess Gerritsen
    3. Keeper of the Bride, Tess Gerritsen
    4. The Inn at Rose Harbor, Debbie Maccomber
    5. The Ideal Man, Julie Garwood
    6. Gabriel's Angel, Nora Roberts
    7. House Rules, Chloe Neill
    8. Ever After, Kim Harrison

  • 2/23 Log Cabin Scarf,  Stitches West class (weaving)  [Ravelry]

Worked on:
  • Celestarium shawl [Ravelry]
  • Navajo Turquoise top from Yarn Wench (spinning)  [Ravelry]
  • Spin-In Fiber Sampler (This will take several months to complete as we are working on it together)

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Happy Pumpkin Scissor Fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  4. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  5. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch)
  6. Pilgrim top, 2 oz (Merino-Tussah Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm (spinning) [Ravelry]
  7. Royale top, 2 oz (Merino-Yak-Silk) top from A Verb for Keeping Warm (spinning) [Ravelry
  8. Sea Foam Wrap (knitting) [Ravelry]
  9. Violet Needle Roll (cross stitch)

  1. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  2. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  4. Seaweed Cardigan (knitting)  [Ravelry]

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Top-of-the-waves Tuesday... with some finished objects!

I finished (read: washed and trimmed the fringe) the Log Cabin Scarf I wove in my Stitches West class. Here it is being modeled by Borg, my office moose:

Log Cabin Scarf in teal and white 2

It will be a great scarf for the snow, but a little too warm for around here. It's an interesting technique and I'm hoping to translate it into a table runner at some point.

I also finished the merino top I've been spinning since the January Spin-In. This is Navajo Turquoise:

Navajo Turquoise handspun

and the close-up:

Navajo Turquoise handspun, close up

Started: 1/12/13;
Finished: 3/3/13;
Merino top from the Yarn Wench;
210.3 yds Chain ply, 14 WPI

I continue to make progress on the Celestarium shawl. I have just completed round 119 of 157. At this point, it's hard to tell how big it is as I can no longer stretch it out without popping it off of the needles. When I have completed the 157 rounds, I will make the decision about how wide to make the border. This shawl is very pretty now and I think a spiky border will really set it off.

Hmmm, I still need to post a recap...need to do that RSN (Real Soon Now).

Friday, March 01, 2013

Eye Candy Friday...

...Happy March!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm exhausted!  I still haven't caught up from the excitement of Stitches West and having people over on Tuesday.

In preparation for my studio visitors, the Husband planted a bunch of flowers in the containers outside of my studio windows. They are bright and cherry, and very welcome after the winter look of dead plants and bare trees.

He planted some marigolds:


And various colors of primroses:

Primroses Pink and white primroses

Blue primroses Red primroses

Up this weekend: We were thinking of going to the Monterey Aquarium, but I really need to rest up. I'm afraid that if we went this weekend, I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself for very long. Given how much it costs to get into the aquarium, I'd like to get maximum enjoyment for my $$. :)

I have a few chores to do, but after that I plan on spending time in the studio. I need to find homes for the new stash I acquired at Stitches. Now that I have the alpaca to warp my loom, I could also warp my loom and start planning how to weave the piece in my head.

Or maybe I'll spin...


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...