Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and I didn't get a picture of the quilt layout.I completely ran out of time this morning and by the time I get home, it will be too dark to take a photo.

So we'll make this short and sweet: For the last couple of nights, I've been working on the Equatorial Nights cowl [Ravelry]. I haven't had the attention span to work on anything else!

WIP Roll Call
WIPs in Rotation:

  1. Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Row 3
  2. Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)
    Purse project: working on "witches," the center of the piece
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    no progress
  4. Toulouse handspun (spinning)  [Ravelry]
    Transferred to the wheel; spun about one third of the bump
  5. I'm Just Mad About Citron Quilt
    Still working on the block layout

  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
  7. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]

WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tour de Fleece 2014 recap...

...and a little update.

As I faced the last two days of the Tour, I decided to finish one more handspun. I knew that finishing Toulouse was not an option as I am spinning it very thin and it would take many hours to get to the plying stage.

Using the Tropical Fish 1 colorway, I made an art yarn. I split the bump into four strips and spun a thick-and-thin single. I plied the single with a teal rayon thread, and let a gold rayon thread autowrap it. It was a fun spin! Here is Tropical Fish Bulky:

Tropical Fish bulky handspun

and the close up:

Tropical Fish bulky handspun, close up

Started and finished 7/26/14;
Merino-silk (3.8 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
120.9 yds; bulky

After I finished the art yarn, I decided that my final Tour spinning would be to transfer Toulouse from the spindle to the wheel. This involved winding the single onto a temporary holder and then quickly loading it to a bobbin on the wheel. Once I successfully transferred the single, I spun a bit more to make sure I could match the very thin single. And that was the end of my Tour spinning!

My final tally for the Tour: 6 handspun yarns. Of the 6, one was a 2-ply, four were chain-plied, and one was an art yarn. This represents a total of 1,242.6 yards.

Tour de Fleece 2014

Left to right: Bejeweled, Plum Honey Light, Ember, Cinder, Renewal, and Tropical Fish. Toulouse is in progress on the spindle. All fiber is merino-silk from the Yarn Wench.

I spent the rest of my Sunday working on my latest quilt. I've made some progress and hope to have a photo for tomorrow's post.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Eye Candy Friday...

...that first week after vacation is always very long!

We have a few flowers in the garden. This plant has sprung up in our herb circle. The Husband says he didn't plant it, so we don't know what it is.

Yellow flowers

I did a little research and it looks like ragwort, but I'm not positive.

The dahlias have been going nuts in our backyard.

Purple dahlias

They seem to be thriving on the drip irrigation system while the tomatoes are just barely getting along.
Dahlia, close up

 The hibiscus in the courtyard are also very happy:

Hibiscus close-up

Up this weekend: The last day of Tour de Fleece is Sunday. And I'm so ready to spin something other than merino-silk! I'm still plugging away at the spindle spinning, but it takes so long to make any progress! Maybe I should just take one of the other merino-silk bumps and spin an art yarn.

After taking a few cycling classes at my new gym, I've decided that I like them a lot and I'm going to continue. With that in mind, I'm going to look for the Daughter's old cycling shoes that are somewhere in the house (read: in one of 10-12 boxes of her stuff). If I find them and they fit, I'll start using them for class. If they don't work, I'll probably invest in a pair of cycling shoes for myself.

(Wow. I never thought I'd get my own pair of cycling shoes!)

I want to spend a little time with the new quilt and decide if I want to add more blocks before sewing the top together.

A little sleep might be nice, too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WIP-it Wednesday, Tour de Fleece style... we wind down towards the finish on Sunday.

Now that I'm back to work, I have a lot less time to spin. I'm making slow progress on Toulouse [Ravelry]:

I might be able to get one more handspun completed over the weekend, but I'm not holding my breath!

WIP Roll Call
WIPs in Rotation:

  1. Equatorial Nights (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Barely started
  2. Ghouls, ghosts, and witches...oh, my! (cross stitch)
    Purse project: working on "witches," the center of the piece
  3. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    no progress
  4. Toulouse handspun (spinning)  [Ravelry]
    slow progress
  5. Unnamed Quilt (auditioning "I'm Just Mad About Citron")
    Citron and gray; currently working on the block layout

  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  6. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
  7. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]

WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back at work and Tour de Fleece update... into the workplace is always tough after a Craft-cation. It was really nice being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted. The next long vacation won't be until the end of the long to wait!

TdF Day 15, Stage 14 - Challenge day:
Before I started any crafting, I vacuumed the carpets and mopped the floors. Other than the floors, there was little to do in the way of housework, but I felt so much better having everything tidy.

My challenge for the day was finishing spinning the singles for Renewal. I spun it thinner than normal, so it took almost twice as long the finish. My knees were very sore by the end of the day, but I finished!

I spent a little time rearranging the squares for the new quilt, but after all that spinning I just wanted to prop my legs up and veg out.

TdF Day 16, Stage 15:
After a little grocery shopping, I chain-plied Renewal [Ravelry]. I was about 3/4ths done when the Husband returned from his vacation. After catching up with him, I finished plying.

Renewal handspun

and the close-up:

Renewal handspun, close-up

Started 7/17/14;
Finished 7/20/14;
Merino-silk (4.2 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
294.1 yds chain-ply, 14 WPI
TdF Day 17, Rest Day 2:
Whenever I go on vacation, the stuffed animals in my office do something to retaliate. One year, they all grew mustaches (you can still see some of them). Another year, they did gymnastics. When I arrived at work yesterday, they were having story time in the corner.

When the Cat's Away 1

Catbert is reading Kat Tails, a story about Tica and Sombra (our kitties).

When the Cat's Away 5

After work I met up with some friends and I started the Equatorial Nights. I cast-on and started the first row.

Technically, this was a rest day for Tour de Fleece. However, I had already taken my two rest days, so I did about 45 minutes on the spindle. I still haven't taken a picture of my spindle spinning. My plan is to do that tomorrow. We'll see whether that happens!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Eye Candy Friday...

...and my vacation is nearing the end. Sigh.

Today's Eye Candy is from my last Sunday walk.  A lovely pink flower in a neighbor's yard:

Pink flower in the morning

A sunflower across the street from the school:

Sunflower in the morning sun

An orange rose on the school grounds:

Orange roses

and a detail of the ocean mosaic on the school's wall:

Nimitz Elementary School mosaic detail #1

TdF Day 14, Stage 13:
I plied Cinder today.

Cinder handspun
and a close-up

Cinder handspun, close up
Started 7/16/14;
Finished 7/18/14;
Merino-silk (3.9 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
180.5 yds chain-ply; 11 WPI

I did a little spinning on the Renewal merino-silk that I started yesterday. I also sewed a few blocks for the quilt.

Up this weekend: more spinning, more quilting, a little laundry, and prepare for re-entry to the working world on  Monday. The Husband returns from his trip on Sunday, so I actually have to cook something other than steak and hamburger!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tour de Fleece report and a finished object...

...and I totally spaced on posting yesterday.  Guess you'll have to wait until next week for WIP roll call.

TdF Day 11, Rest Day:
I took the rest day. Instead of spinning, I finished reading The Lost Symbol, did a little shopping, and started a new quilt.

The new quilt uses citron and gray fabrics that I had gathered over the last couple of years. I spent some time going through my patterns and quilt books trying to find a quilt pattern for these fabrics. I just couldn't find anything that quite fit. So I decided to just wing it. I started with 8-inch squares of the feature fabrics and put them up on the quilt wall.  I'm going to stare at them for day and see if I get inspired on what to do with the accent fabrics.

TdF Day 12, Stage 11:
I decided to skip the gym and take a bike ride instead. It was nice being outside while it was still cool.

I started spinning Cinder, 3.9 oz of merino-silk from the Yarn Wench.

I attached a temporary hanger to my wall hanging and took a few pictures.

Stuck in Neutral wall hanging

and a close-up:

Stuck in Neutral wall hanging detail

Started 6/8/14
Finished 7/12/14
Warp: Alpaca-Merino-Silk from Amazing Yarns, 10 dpi;
Weft: Neutral-colored handspun yarns and loose fiber--alpaca, BFL, wool mix, yak, yak-silk, corriedale, camel, and Finn;
Embellishments: shell, wood, and carved beads attached with handspun thread;
Temporary bamboo hanger

TdF Day 13, Stage 12:
Finished spinning Cinder. I'll ply it tomorrow.

Cinder handspun singles

I started spinning Renewal, a 4.2 oz merino-silk from the Yarn Wench.

Renewal handspun, in progress

On the quilt front, I decided what to do with the accent fabrics and sewed a few blocks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tour de Fleece, Rest day...

...and I'm taking it. My right shoulder is feeling very tight today. I'm going to work on something that does not put my shoulder in the same position.

TdF Day 8 (Spin In):
I went to the Hallmark Ornament preview and bought my Star Trek ornaments. I'm now the proud owner of the USS Vengeance, Devil in the Dark (Pain!), and Lt. Sulu. I did not get the Orion slave girl (Vina) because the face was just awful. I'll tuck them all away until December.

I had a great time at Spin In. My brownies turned out OK (next time I'll plan ahead and have regular almonds on hand...sliced just did not work as well). I started spinning Bejeweled, another merino-silk from the Yarn Wench.

TdF Day 9:
I took an early morning walk with my camera and got some good pictures of the mosaic art piece at Nimitz elementary school, just around the corner from home. The school also has some beautiful roses and I took pictures of those as well.

I plied the Ember Indigo [Ravelry] singles from Day 7:

Ember Indigo handspun

and the close up:

Ember Indigo handspun, close up

Started 7/11/14;
Finished 7/13/14;
Merino-silk (3.9 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
258.7 2-ply, 12 WPI

I also finished spinning the Bejeweled singles.

TdF Day 10:
After an early morning cycling class, I tool a quick trip to OSH. I wanted to get a temporary hanger for the wall hanging [Ravelry] (pictures coming soon), check out some new flowers for the courtyard, and buy a succulent dish garden that I saw in an ad.

I plied the Bejeweled [Ravelry] singles and finished that handspun:

Bejeweled handspun

and the close-up:

Bejeweled handspun, close up
Started 7/12/14;
Finished 7/14/14;
Merino-silk (3.8 oz) from the Yarn Wench; 
184.25 yds chain-ply, 12 WPI

I finally got around to skeining, taking pictures, and measuring the Red Sunshine handspun that I finished at the end of June.

Red Sunshine handspun

and the close-up:

Red Sunshine handspun, close up

Started 6/14/14;
Finished 6/21/14;
Red merino-bamboo-nylon top from Twisted Sunshine;
126.6 yds chain-ply, 11 WPI

Friday, July 11, 2014

Eye Candy Friday, Day 2 of vacation...

...and it's going well.

Today's eye candy is an interesting speckled flower in our courtyard:

Speckled flower

and a flowering mint-like plant, maybe it's a salvia:

Tiny speckled flowers

Tour de Fleece, Day 6: I finished Plum Honey light [Ravelry].

Plum Honey Light handspun

and the close-up:

Plum Honey Light handspun, close up

Started 7/5/14;
Finished 7/10/14;
Merino-silk top (4.2 oz) from the Yarn Wench;
199.1 yds chain-ply, 11 WPI

Tour de Fleece, Day 7:  Spun the singles for Ember Indigo 2, a merino-silk (3.9 oz) from the Yarn Wench [Ravelry].

Ember Indigo 2 handspun singles

Up this weekend: Spin In tomorrow!  Normally, I make something Saturday morning, but I'm baking  brownies tonight. Tomorrow morning, I plan on going to the Hallmark Ornament preview. Gotta get the latest Star Trek ornament!

I also want to go to the garden store to see if I can find something to use as a hanger for my wall hanging. Ideally, I'd like  piece of driftwood, but I don't think I can find that around her. My second choice is a piece of bamboo or a branch. We'll see if I have any luck finding something.

The rest of the time, I'll spin while I finish up the laundry.

I love vacation!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

First day of vacation...

...and I'm already off track for Tour de Fleece. I had to take my rest day yesterday because there was no way I could stay awake long enough to spin, much less blog.

It was a long day, starting at 3:30 am when the Husband got up to finish packing his car to leave at 4am. I, of course, never got back to sleep. As long as I was awake, I decided to take the Wednesday morning cycling class at the gym, hoping that it would give me a burst of energy. It worked somewhat.  I finished up everything I was supposed to at work, but it meant that I didn't get home until 8pm. Dinner, a glass of wine, and an ice cream bar...I was done for the night!

I did manage to do a little spindle spinning on Monday and Tuesday, but not near as much as I wanted. I plan on plying the Plum Honey Light [Ravelry] if I can manage to drag myself away from the computer. I have a bunch of fiber to log into Ravelry (old stash that I finally photographed) after I massage the images.

OK...need to spin now!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Monday, Monday...

...yeah, I know I missed Eye Candy Friday.  Having a national holiday on a Friday means that I'm not working n the computer all day. I forgot to blog!

And I didn't post here all weekend because Tour de Fleece started Saturday and I'm busy posting to the team threads on Ravelry. This year, I'm moderating the Team Spinnity thread and I'm a member of Team Spinning Purls and Team Lendrum. Just a joiner at heart! :)

I'm spinning from my Yarn Wench stash. I have somewhere on the order of 20(!) Merino-Silk braids so I'm going to try to make a dent in that number.

Tour de Fleece, Day 1 and 2: Spun the singles of Plum Honey Light:

Plum Honey Light singles

I need to ply it, but I'm not sure whether I'll be able to get to that before Thursday. It's hard to spin after work as I'm pretty zonked. However, I start my Craft Stay-cation on Thursday. Number 1 on my craft list is spinning for Tour de Fleece.

In other news, I'm on the home stretch of the Stuck in Neutral wall hanging. When my knees needed a break from spinning, I worked on embellishing the wall hanging. I'm about 60% done with the warp thread wrapping and I think I'm done with the beads. I need to find something to use as a hanger...a branch, a round plant stake, something natural...

Thursday, July 03, 2014

June 2014 recap...

...word of the month: Scattered. I finished a couple of things and touched a bunch, but really couldn't get into anything.


  • 6/21 Red Sunshine handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino-bamboo-nylon top (4.0 oz) from Twisted Sunshine;
    specs TBD
  • 6/15 Natural Bulky handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Natural BFL mix (3.4 oz) from Royale Hare;
    2 skeins:  20 yds, core-spun and autowrapped with brown rayon thread; 10 yds single 
  • 6/10 Stealth knitting project
  • Books:
    1. Kiss Written in My Own Heart's Blood, Diana Gabaldon
    2. Yarn Over Murder, Maggie Sefton
    3. Plum Pudding Murder, Joanne Fluke
    4. Blood Faerie, India Drummond
    5. Our House in the Last World, Oscar Hijuelos
    6. Rose Harbor in Bloom, Debbie Macomber
  • 6/21 Deep Teal handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • 6/15 Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  • 6/8 Stuck in Neutral wall hanging (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • 6/8 Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
Worked on:
  • Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  • Love scissor fob by Shepherd's Bush (cross stitch)
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)

WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Hello, July... snuck right in there, didn't you?

It's WIP-it Wednesday, And it's a new month so I need to do a recap post. And, Tour de Fleece starts this weekend! Whoa... guess I better decide what I'm spinning RSN (Real Soon Now).

First the WIP. I became pretty obsessed with the Stuck in Neutral [Ravelry] wall hanging over the weekend. The only other project that got any play was my spinning WIP.

I finished the weaving portion of the wall hanging and now I'm just embellishing. I wanted to incorporate some beads made from natural materials, but it was too hard to do while weaving. I'm now going back to the areas where I want beads and adding them in. I spun a thin single from some leftover cream Corriedale and I'm using that to add the beads in the light areas. I split a length of 2-ply brown handspun to use in the darker areas.

So this is what it looks like at the moment:

Stuck in Neutral wall hanging, as of 7/2/14

and a couple of shots of the beads:

Carved wood bead in wall hanging


Mother of Pearl bead in wall hanging

You'll see an unwoven area in a couple of the pictures. I am wrapping 3 warp threads together in handspun Finn. I haven't gotten very far in this process because it's time-consuming. I might add beads to that section, too, but I haven't decided yet.

WIP Roll Call
WIPs in Rotation:

  1. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    no progress
  2. Stuck in Neutral wall hanging (weaving) [Ravelry]
    Off the loom and embellishing
  3. Stormy Affection (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Still working on the second (striped) section. Slow going...boring knitting
  4. Tuscon Twilight (needlepoint)
    no progress

  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Going Snow Global quilt (quilting)
  3. Halloween Phat Fiber samples (spinning) [Ravelry
  4. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)

WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and another week where I don't have a true WIP photo to show. However, here's a photo of the Apricot Orchid [ Ravelry ] fiber f...