Wednesday, October 30, 2013

last WIP-it Wednesday for October...

...can you believe Halloween is tomorrow?!  That month just whizzed on by!

With the recent completion of two projects, let's do a roll call and status of the current WIPs.

Status of the WIPs in rotation:

1. Mediterranean Mermaid (cross stitch)
By far, she has received the most attention in the last week. It was very satisfying to see her tail take shape. I have rotated the frame and have started working my way up her torso.& This is what she looks like now:

Mediterranean Mermaid, as of 10/30/13

2. The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry]: 
In the One-Step-Forward-Two-Steps-Back category: I finished edging repeat number 19 of 58 only to discover that I was off by one stitch. Must have been when I fell asleep in the middle of a row. No, I'm not bored with this project much. Sigh.

3. Carbonized Zombie socks [Ravelry]
I finished pattern repeat number 2 of 3.9 last night. After measuring the cuff at this point, I've decided that I will probably do only 2.9 pattern repeats and then start the heel flap. I like 5-inch cuffs on my socks and I think 2.9 repeats will be just short of 5 inches; 3.9 repeats would be too long.  In any case, they won't be finished for Socktoberfest. Oh, well. Here's what they look like now:

Carbonized Zombie Socks, as of 10/30

4. Love Scissor fob (cross stitch)
I stitched the word Love and am stitching pretty much everything I can until I only have the little people left to stitch. Then I'll just bite the bullet and stitch them.

Waiting to be rotated in:

  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint) - I've decided that to do about the gradient French knot sections. I'm going to fill them in with basketweave stitches using the gradient floss that was used in the center frame section and move on.
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry
  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
WIPs To Be:
  • A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

another finish and a little reorg...

...I have another month to finish up as many little things as I can before December.

In that light, I finished spinning the the Windsor Denim and Chocolate fiber from Royale Hare. I finished spinning the single on Saturday and chain-plied them on Sunday.

Windsor Denim and Chocolate handspun

and the close-up:

Windsor Denim and Chocolate handspun, close up

Started 9/14/2013; Finished 10/27/2013;
Merino-Tencel top (4 oz) from Royale Hare;
134 yds chain-plied, 12 WPI

I love the way this one turned out!  It is slightly energized, but I think that will come out when it's washed. Like most of my spinning, I don't wash handspun until I decide whether to weave with it.

I spent a lot of time stitching the mermaid over the weekend and my shoulders are killing me. Part of the problem is that my wonderful coral chair is perfect for spinning and knitting, but does not work well with my Gripit Legend stitching stand. I need a chair that allows the stand to slide forward more and the coral chair is not open in the front.

I've been debating about getting another chair for the studio since the beginning. I finally decided that my shoulders couldn't take much more abuse so I bought a chair last night. The chair I really wanted was no longer available at Cost Plus (that's what happens when you procrastinate!) so I headed over to Target and got this chair:

New studio chair

It goes well with the colors in the room and does not clash with the coral chair. I made room for the new chair and rearranged a bit. Here's what the area looks like now:

Studio chairs, take 1

It might not stay this way, but it will do for now.  I'm not completely satisfied with the basket thing between the chairs. It worked great for a single chair, but is a bit lacking for two chairs. Anyway, I tried out the setup last night and it worked pretty well. I need to tweak the position of the magnifier (the crookneck lamp in the pictures), but it's OK for now.

If only finding more time to craft was so easy to solve!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Eye Candy Friday...

...and not a moment too soon!

Given that I had an eye candy-heavy post on Tuesday withe PIQF pictures, I don't have much today. Here is one picture I didn't show you Tuesday. This is detail #2 from the Life at Water's Edge quilt:

Detail #2 of Life at Water's Edge quilt

Not exactly my typical flower picture, but it will do. :)

Up this weekend: Nothing specific planned. I have the typical chores and errands to do.  Of course there is a wealth of craft project s to choose from! 
  • I'd like to make more progress on the shawl. I am on #19 of 58 edging repeats. I'd like to get to the halfway point by the end of the weekend, but I'm not sure how realistic that is given my level of ennui with the border.
  • I want to finish stitching the Mediterranean Mermaid's tail. This is doable. Once I complete the tail, I can flip the frame and start working towards her face. Oh yeah, I have to decide what to do about those weird blue sections in her hair...
  • I want to sew a hanging trash bag for my car. I can't find one I like at the store, but I did find an online pattern for one. This is also a doable project, assuming I can decide on the fabric to use!
  • I want to finish the cuffs of the Carbonized Zombie socks. If I don't feel like knitting on the shawl, I can work on these.
Let's see how far I get!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

a finish for Thursday...

...and I am now officially in the Halloween spirit!  Here is Be A Witch:

Be A Witch cross stitch

Started 10/16/13;
Finished 10/23/13;
Pattern by Shepherd's Bush

The only modifications I made were to a thread color and a minor oopsie in the hat placement (it's one row higher up than the pattern specified...oh, well!)  I did not have the Crescent Colors for the moon so I substituted a Weeks Dye Works color.

One thing I want to change or beef up is the gray used for the details on the gravestone. The specified colors do not stand out enough on the gray background. You can barely see the word Boo, even in bright light. I'll probably leave it alone for now and work on something else.

The "something else" is the Carbonized Zombie socks [Ravelry]. I am working on the second pattern repeat on the cuff. It's a simple pattern that goes quickly. Of course, you have to actually knit it to make progress! LOL!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

and the WIPs keep crawling out of the woodwork...

...I don't know if I'll ever have a complete list of my WIPs. I keep finding them in the oddest places!

Case in point: I was looking for a project envelope so I could take my latest Halloween cross stitch to work on during my lunch hour.  Well, I found the envelope, but it had this in it:

Love Scissor Fob, in progress

Yup, another WIP.  This is the Love Fob by Shepherd's Bush.

I searched my project database to see when I started it and I could not find it. A little more research and I discovered that I had it listed as the Valentine scissor fob and I started it in July 2004. It must of been one of the last fobs I started before I lost my scissor fob mojo.  Anyway, the back is done and I need to work on the front.

So I thought I'd stitch on it for an hour on Sunday. And then I remembered why I put it aside. It has people on it. Shepherd's Bush people. SB people are somewhat squat, usually in profile, and very country-looking. I don't like stitching them as there are frequently confetti stitches. To add to that, the charm has gone missing. Boo...

Status of the remaining WIPs in rotation:
  1. Mediterranean Mermaid (cross stitch): Almost done stitching the tail!
  2. The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry]: Finished edging pattern repeat #16 of 58. At least it's a little progress!
  3. Be a Witch Monthly Musing (cross stitch): 85% done. I won't show another picture until it's done.
  4. Carbonized Zombie socks [Ravelry]: On hold for a moment while I finish up Be A Witch. Then I need to get serious if I want to finish these for Socktoberfest!
  5. Windsor Denim and Chocolate singles (spinning): 2/3rds spun
Waiting to be rotated in:

  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)- Technically it's still on hold, but I actually did a little work on it last week.
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry

  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
WIPs To Be:
  • A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.
 Yeah, I have enough to keep me occupied!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Weekend report...

...Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) and Spin-In in one day--it doesn't get much better than that!

I spent two and a half hours at PIQF and was blown away by many of the quilts.  It has to be said: I really don't like the more traditional quilt. While I appreciate the work that goes into each one and I can admire the techniques used, I just not a fan of Baltimore Album, Double Wedding Ring, or Flower Basket quilts. I prefer the more geometric, story-based, and art quilt styles. So I went through the entire show and did a little shopping in that two and a half hours.

So what caught my eye? Here are some examples; you can see more pictures in my PIQF set at Flickr.

Breakers by Sheena Norquay (Scotand): I was fascinated by the little bird feet in this panel.

Detail #2 of Breakers quilt

Blue Moon in the Milky Way by Karen Van Dargriff (Apple Valley, CA): Loved the stars!

Detail of Blue Moon in the Milky Way

Spirit by Georgia Pierce (Seattle, WA): Love the Pacific Northwest images and the quilting on this one.

Spirit quilt

Cosmos by Sandy L. Clark (Fresno, CA): Love the center with the crystals.

Detail of Cosmos

The Magical Mermaid's Castle by Claudia Pfeil: The most spectacular quilt of the show IMHO.

Magical Mermaid's Castle quilt

the back was amazing:

Back of Magical Mermaid's Castle

and here's one of the detail shots I took:

Detail #2 of Magical Mermaid's Castle

This quilter had another quilt in the show that was also gorgeous (Turtle Bay in my PIQF set). The entire show was inspiring!

After PIQF, I went home to get my wheel and headed off to Spin-In. I managed to finish another third of Windsor Denim and Chocolate [Ravelry], a merino-tencel from Royale Hare.

After I got home, it was making dinner and doing a little cross stitch. It was a very full craft day!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Eye Candy Friday at last...

...this week seemed unusually difficult for no particular reason. Some weeks are just like that and I'm glad this one is nearly over.

Today's eye candy is a bit sparse. There are nothing but pansies in our backyard and I'm tired of taking pictures of them When I got to the office this morning, I noticed a bunch of pink flowers growing in one of the planted areas. So today, you get a pink flower.

Another pink flower

They are quite pretty and I have no idea what they are!

Up this weekend: Pacific International Quilt Festival (PIQF) ends Sunday. Spin-In is scheduled for Sunday this month. I'm thinking of combining them into one day and do my normal Sunday errands on Saturday. That means dealing with crazy people and some out-of-control kids at the grocery store on Saturday, but PIQF only comes around once a year, right?

There are some logistics to figure out for Sunday. After PIQF, do I go home and pick up my wheel and goodies, and then go to Spin-In? Or do I just take everything with me and go to Spin-In directly from PIQF? The second choice means I need to make something that doesn't contain an ingredient that will melt in the car or take a cooler with me.

If that's the hardest decision I have to make all weekend, I can live with it!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and progress is slow, but at least it's progress!  Here's the WIP update.

In Rotation:

Mediterranean Mermaid cross stitch: I'm working on the tail fins.

Mediterranean Mermaid, as of 10/17/13

I know it seems a bit odd to have only the bottom half of her in progress, but there is a method to my madness. If you look at the pattern picture, you'll see that her hair has blue sections.  The blue seems a bit odd in the midst of that dark hair. Other stitchers have changed the blues for other colors and one even covered the blue stitches with beads (which is quite lovely).  I'm not sure what I want to do about her hair, so it's safer to work on the other sections while I decide.

The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry]: I just finished edging pattern repeat #13 of 58.  It doesn't look marginally different, so no picture. It's just taking forever to finish this...

Carbonized Zombie socks [Ravelry]: Working on the 2nd of 3.95 pattern repeats on the cuff. I'm enjoying this pattern and it makes for a nice take-along project.

Windsor Denim and Chocolate singles (spinning) - Started at September's Spin-In and have not touched it since. October Spin-In is this weekend, so it will get some play then.

Ready to join the rotation:
  • Be a Witch Monthly Musing - Got tired of waiting for the fabric, so I grabbed the fabric from the Hive monthly musing chart pack. Since I don't have plans to stitch Hive in the near future, the fabric can be put to good use now. When my fabric order finally arrives, I can use it for Hive.

Waiting to be rotated in:

  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)- Technically it's still on hold, but I actually did a little work on it last week.
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  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
WIPs To Be:
  • A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Finished objects... and run version.

Here is the Pretty in Pink handspun [Ravelry] I finished over a week ago:

Pretty in Pink handspun

and the close up:

Pretty in Pink handspun, close-up

Started: 9/14/13; Finished 10/5/13;
Pink Layered batt from Caliope's Fibre;
approx 50 yards, worsted weight

On Sunday, I finished another cross stitch piece. This is Bulb:

Bulb Monthly Musing Cross Stitch

Started 9/15/13;
Finished 10/13/13;
Pattern by Shepherd's Bush
I am trying to knit at least a few rows on the Southern Skies shawl every night.. Trying is the operative word. I actually knit an entire unit last night, but nothing the nigth before. I guess it will even out!

I haven't touched the socks in a couple of days, but I'll get some knitting time on them tonight at Craft Coffee. A couple of us get together at a local coffee shop and knit for about an hour and a half. The socks are a great project to work on as they don't take a lot of room.

Back tomorrow with a picture of the mermaid's progress.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Eye Candy Friday...

...and none too soon!  This week had some interesting work challenges that sapped a good chunk of my brain power. I'm looking forward to a little recharge this weekend.

Today's eye candy is all over the board.  First, yesterday's sunrise:

Sunrise 10/10/13

Next, a peek at a future project:

Mermaid Azure chart & supplies

Yes, the mermaid obsession continues!

And last, the latest installment of the Rockin' Sock Club (behind the spoiler):

RSC 2013 Spoiler

I like the yarn colors and I'm toying with making the hat. However, I need to finish Southern Skies before I start another knitting project!

Up this weekend: Absolutely no plans...yay! I do have some housework to do, but that happens every weekend, more or less. Last weekend it was less because of the baby shower and the fact that the vacuum monster croaked.

With two cats in the house, we must have a functioning vacuum monster! Our last one was a pet version, which we liked a lot, but it was developing issues with suction and then the brush broke. The Husband found another brand of per vacuum online and it was delivered a couple of days ago. I did a test vacuum of one area rug and so far it looks good!  I'll get the rest of the rugs this weekend.

Craft-wise, I need to fold the loose fabric and get it put away now that I have more comic book backers. I cleared out an additional compartment in my IKEA Expedit so I have a place to store them. I seriously need to make more quilts or bags at some point to use up more of this fabric!

I want to put in a couple of stitching hours on the latest mermaid and see if I can finish the Bulb cross stitch.

Maybe a little shopping...maybe not!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

WIP-it Wednesday, roll call...

...time to update the list since I finished something and started something new. :)

Recent Finish:
  •  10/5 Chain-plied Pretty in Pink (Pink Layered batt). Need to take pictures of the final yarn.

WIPs in Rotation:
  1. The Sky is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl [Ravelry] - 75% complete. I have completed 11 of 58 edging repeats. I'm a little bored with it at the moment.
  2. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (cross stitch) - I divided this chart into 4 sheets, each one contains about a 4th of the chart with some overlap. I have finished the center portion of the design (sheet #3). I'm prepping sheet #4 (the tail fins) by highlighting where the beads and treasures go. I opted to continue stitching the greens rather than start on the torso...I just love the way the metallics look!
  3. Bulb by Shepherd's Bush - about 30% complete (cross stitch) - I've finished B and U; L is about 50% done.
  4. Windsor Denim and Chocolate singles (spinning) - Started at September's Spin-In and have not touched it since. No pictures yet.
  5. Carbonized Zombie Socks  [Ravelry] - Working on the cuffs; starting row 12 of the first pattern repeat (3 total). I've already made one modification: the pattern called for 18 rows of ribbing and I did 10. I hate ribbing and 10 rows is plenty. (picture in yesterday's post)

Waiting to be rotated in:
  1. Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)- Technically it's still on hold, but I actually did a little work on it last week.
  2. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  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
WIPs To Be:
  1. A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer
  2. Halloween cross stitch piece - still waiting for the fabric

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Random Tuesday...

...because it's that kind of day.

  1. The baby quilt was well-received. It was nice to hear that she was hoping to get one of my quilts as a gift. I guess have a reputation to live up to!
  2. Sunday's baby shower was in Sacramento, a two-hour drive from home, a four-hour+ round trip. The Husband drove, which left me free to knit.
  3. The Southern Skies shawl is not a car project. I had visions of beads flying everywhere if we hit a bump in the road. I decided against taking it with me!
  4. On Saturday I did a little stash diving and found a Socks That Rock Lightweight yarn in the Carbon Dioxide colorway. It is shades of blue and gray that I though would make a nice pair of socks. I cast-on for Zombie Socks [Ravelry] and did a couple of rounds. This was my car project for Sunday.

    Carbonized Zombie Socks, in progress
  5. Sunday's sunset was spectacular. Unfortunately, I was in the car so I couldn't get really great pictures. Here's one that shows the colors even if it's not crystal clear.

    Sunset 10/6/13 #2
  6. I'm in love with the cross stitch mermaid. While the Kreinik metallics are a pain to stitch, they look really stunning. 

Friday, October 04, 2013

F.O. and Eye Candy Friday...

...two for the price of one First the eye candy.

The sky was interesting last Sunday:

Sunrise 9/29/13

The husband planted a bunch of flowers in the backyard after he removed the dying tomato plants. A yellow and orange flower of unknown variety:

Winding down

Blue pansy:

Blue pansy

Lavender pansy:

Lavender pansy

Purple pansy:

Purple pansy

The finished object is the Bunnies and Duckies and Bears, Oh My!  baby quilt:

First Look: Bunnies and Duckies and Bears, Oh My!

Started 9/15/2013
Finished 10/2/2013
Baby Pinups pattern and fabrics from Windham Fabrics
Changed out the yellow and white polka dot separators with white and pink polka dot fabric due to a panel cutting error.

This was a personal best for me in terms of completion time. The start date is the day I cut fabric and the end date is the day I finished embroidering the last animal name. I'm very happy with the way it turned out!

Up this weekend: Saturday's task will be to get the studio back in order and vacuum up all those stray bits of thread and fabric from the last two quilts.

I need to order more comic book backers so I can make mini-bolts out of the remaining fabric cuts. Of course, I'm out of room in my fabric storage area, so I need to think about how I can move one of the fabric drawers out to gain more space. That means finding a place to store the contents of said fabric drawer somewhere else. That could be an issue!

I need to press the baby quilt and wrap it up to take to the baby shower on Sunday. That will take a good portion of the day. If I have any "day" left, I'll do some cross stitching.

I'm still itching to start a pair of socks for Socktoberfest. Hmmm, maybe I'll stash dive after Saturday's cleanup and see what I have that is Halloween/Day of the Dead oriented....that will be a nice treat for cleaning up the studio!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

First October WIP-it Wednesday...

...and I'm in the home stretch of the second baby quilt!

Here's a quick look at one of the corners:

Almost done...

I'm embroidering the animal name to make it more visible. I have 9 more squares to embroider. After that, all I have to do it press it and wrap it up! Yay!

Everything else has been put on hold until the quilt is done. (Ok, I admit to sneaking in a little cross stitch on Sunday...)

When this one's done, I'm declaring a moratorium on quilting. I know I'll want to work on a Christmas quilt when we hit the holiday season, so it will be a short one.

I'm actually itching to knit a pair of socks. Gasp!  I know, it's been a while! It's Socktoberfest and I want to join in the fun!  Socks are so much more portable that the Southern Skies shawl.  I know, I know...I need to finish the shawl. 

Remind me never to knit two pi shawls one right after another again...'k?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

September 2013 recap...

...craft of the month was quilting.


  • 9/10 What Do You See in the Sea? baby quilt (quilting)
  • Books:
    1. Kiera's Moon , Lizzy Ford
    2. Buried in Buttercream , GA McKevett
    3. A Demon's Desire , Lizzy Ford
    4. Thankless in Death , JD Robb
    5. Murder Comes Unraveled, Very Ann Grace
    6. And Then You Dye, Monica Ferris
    7. Personal Demons, Stacia Kane
    8. Chimes at Midnight, Seanan McGuire
    9. Heart of Venom, Jennifer Estep
    10. Shadowfever, Karen Marie Moning
  • 9/14 Windsor Denim and Chocolate handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 9/14 Pretty in Pink handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 9/15 Bunnies and Duckies and Bears, Oh My! baby quilt (quilting)
  • 9/15 Bulb Monthly Musing by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
Worked on:
  • Anasazi by Susan Portra (needlepoint)
  • The Night is Purple and Full of Stars (Southern Skies) shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia, originally started 11/6/11; restarted 9/1/13 (cross stitch)

Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. Mediterranean Mermaid by Mirabilia (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

WIPs To Be:
  • A wall hanging (weaving) using the natural color handspun I did last summer

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...