Friday, February 26, 2016

Eye Candy Friday...

...spring has arrived in our yard even though it's still February.

The Husband purchased a bunch of new flowers to replenish our hanging baskets in the backyard. I also asked for a basket for the courtyard so I can see pretty flowers from my studio windows.

The blueberries are blooming again:

Blueberry blossoms

We have some new pansies:

Purple pansies

These tiny blue flowers are lithodora:


He's planted several colors of primroses:

Pink primroses

New this year are some magenta bicolor senetti:

Magenta Bi-color Senetti

Up this weekend: I had plans to do a neighborhood camera walk, but my sprained ankle is not going to be happy walking a couple of miles. I'm having enough trouble just walking around the office and at home. It's improving, just not as fast as I'd like.

I am itching to start the weaving of my new piece! I have four bobbins wound and ready to go.

Sweet Heat [Ravelry] is ready to ply, but I'm not sure how much treadling my ankle will take. I'll play that one by ear.

Other than that, I'll probably spend a little time on some of my other projects and hope tht I make some visible progress.

Not happy about being sidelined with this ankle. I hope to be able to get back to the gym soon!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Waylaid and WIP-it Wednesday...

...where all of my plans to take photos this morning were sidetracked when I twisted my ankle as I stepped outside. At least it was after I went to the gym and cleaned up after the cats. :-(

So rather than take photos of the moon and my WIPs, I iced my ankle and elevated it. It hurts and is swollen, but I can walk on it and move it. It could be worse.

My ankles have been problematic my whole life. When I was a kid, it was not uncommon for me to be walking along with nothing in my way and twist an ankle and fall over.  It hasn't happened in a long time. This morning, I think I stepped on the edge of the doormat and that was enough to catch me off-balance.


**WIP Roll Call**

Worked on:

  • Citrus Hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Leaf Monthly Musing (cross stitch)
  • Mermaid's Tale (weaving) [Ravelry]
  • Sweet Heat handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  4. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Stitches West 2016 report... a nutshell: I saw lots of pretty things, bought some of them, and had a great time. The longer story below.

I didn't find any classes that called my name, so I signed up for the Opening Day Spotlight-Teachers Luncheon combo, and convinced my friend Loretta to do the same. I had never attended the spotlight or the luncheon, so it was something different to do. Plus, I still got into Market Preview that way. :-)

The big draw for us was that our weaving teacher and one of the former owners of our local yarn store were two of the panelists. The topic was "Working Fiber Arts into Your Wardrobe." We enjoyed hearing about the process each panelist used to create their garments. My favorite was the garment created by our weaving teacher, Deborah Jarchow. My least favorite was the felted garment, but I don't like felted things in general.

Lunch was fun, but very quick. I had never taken a class from any of the teachers who visited our table, so it was very interesting to hear about their classes. The class that sounded the most interesting was the intarsia (Anne-tarsia) class.

Market preview was a whirlwind. Usually, I buy the majority of my treasures at the Preview, but this year I spread it out. I made it a point to visit Greenwood Fiberworks, Ranch of the Oaks, Lisa Souza, and a new vendor (to me), Mosaic Moon. I bought something from each. I also visited some of the other vendors on my list, but didn't get anything else. 

Here's the Day 1 haul:

I had two hats that I knit for Halos of Hope, so I delivered those to Purlescence Yarns booth first. After looking Thursday's purchases, I decided that I needed to make another visit to Mosaic Moon. I really loved the two fibers I bought from them and wanted to look at more. Since I had already purchased fiber from my favorite vendors, I decided to concentrate on yarn vendors.

The night before, I'd seen some beautiful gradient bundles at A Hundred Ravens. I found one that I loved and picked a dark yarn in the same line...I found my next weaving project! I found a second weaving project at Dragonfly Fibers:  one teal variegated yarn and one coppery yarn. I also visited Williams Wool and Weavings for some great llama and sheep fabric.

When I got back from the market, I took photos of my new stash and uploaded things to Ravelry.  I cruised through the Facebook posts for Stitches West and noticed a new shawl pattern that was just released and really liked it a lot. Unfortunately, it looked like the limited edition yarn dyed for the pattern was probably sold out, but I decided to check it out on Saturday. 

Here's the Day 2 haul:

I had a short list for Saturday, made up of mostly small yarn vendors. I looked at Space Cadet yarns and bought a skein in their limited edition color for the show.

I headed to the Yarnover truck to check out the sample for the new shawl and to look at alternative colors for it. I got to talk to the dyer and she helped me pick a color that reminded me of the beach.

I also took my final swing through Greenwood Fiberworks booth and  couldn't resist getting a few more (!). I have a sneaky feeling that  I should spin nothing but Greenwood Fiberworks fiber for Tour de Fleece this year!

On the craft-side, I finished spinning the singles for Sweet Heat [Ravelry] that I started earlier in the month.

Here is the Day 3 haul:

After loading the latest purchases in Ravelry and uploading the photos to Flickr, I decided that I didn't need to go back for the final day. While it would have been great to see some of my knitting friends, I was itching to warp my loom with some of my new yarn.

Before I could do that, I needed to find homes for my new stash and straighten up the studio. I also needed to get the vacuum monster in there to clean up loose threads and fiber.

After that, I wound the yarn for my new weaving project, Mermaid's Tale [Ravelry]. I warped the loom with the gradient yarn bundle i bought at A Hundred Ravens and supplemented it with some leftover yardage of La Jolla yarn (by Baah!) in Brazilian Emerald.  As soon as I wind the bobbins with the weft yarn, I'm ready to start weaving.

No photos yet of the weaving project...maybe Wednesday!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Eye Candy Friday... style.

Today was my second day at Stitches West. So far, I've purchased some wonderful spinning filer and yarn for two weaving projects. I've managed to take photos and create stash entries in Ravelry for everything I've purchased so far. As a result, I'm a little tired and almost forgot about Eye Candy Friday.

I'll post a Stitches West when it's all done. On to the photos.

The nectarine blossoms opened in the last week:

Nectarine blossom

In the neighborhood, the almond trees are blooming:

Almond blossoms

And we have some cyclamen that are going strong:


Up this weekend: two more days of Stitches West! Hooray!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WIP-it Wednesday and Stitches West Eve...

...I am so ready to immerse myself in 4 days of fibery things!

I have my Stitches West stuff gathered and in one place. I need to stop at the grocery store to buy a few snacks and something for lunches. Tomorrow will be a full day, but so worth it!

The mini-cupcakes that I made for Spin-In.

Red velvet mini-cupcakes

I went back to my roots for spinning and started a Falkland top from Yarn Wench.  I managed to get 75% of the singles spun. I'll finish up the singles in the next week and then ply it.

I spent several hours fixing my Canto de Sirena shawl [Ravelry]. There were several issues and at first it seemed like I would have to pull out two rows to fix them. I really didn't want to do that as each row is 362 stitches and it takes me a long time to knit that many stitches. Fortunately, I read this post from the Yarn Harlot about fixing errors in lace projects. And, to top it off, she was working on the same pattern that I am. I used her method to correct my errors and although it took quite a long time to fix them, it was still less than it would have been if I'd pulled out the two rows and re-knit them. At any rate, the project is back on track.

Stay tuned for photos from Stitches West!

**WIP Roll Call**

Worked on:
  • Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Leaf Monthly Musing (cross stitch)
  • Sweet Heat handspun (spinning) [not in Ravelry yet]
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Empress handspun [Ravelry
  3. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Eye Candy Friday and a long weekend...

...I'm ready now, but have a couple more hours of work to get through.

Today's eye candy is all blossoms. The nectarine is starting to set blossoms:

Nectarine blossom-to-be

The apricot is a little further along:

First apricot blossoms of the season

and the Santa Rosa plum trees are going nuts:

Santa Rosa Plum blossoms on another tree

Santa Rosa Plum blossoms

Up this weekend: Spin In tomorrow!! I plan on making some red velvet mini-cupcakes to take.  I need to find something pink or red to spin to keep things in a Valentine's theme.

I'm going to spend a little time cleaning up around the house. We need some serious vacuum monster action in the living room. There are little bits and pieces that have accumulated on the tables that need to be put away.

I discovered a mistake with the Canto de Sirena shawl [Ravelry]. Given that it's in row 3 of the pattern repeat and I'm supposed to be working on row 5, I need to figure out the best and easiest way to fix  it.  A certain amount of brain power is required, so I'll tackle it Sunday or Monday morning.

I need to try on the Be My Baby for My Baby [Ravelry] project to determine if I really need to knit another 5 inches on the scarf portion. The garter stitch that I switched to has so much more give that I may not need to make it the length that the pattern specifies.

One thing that I must do this weekend is gather all of my Stitches West stuff together--map, badge holder, shopping bag, take-along project, and water bottle. That way on Wednesday night, all I need to do is fill the water bottle, add a couple of snacks, and I'm ready to go!

I'm really looking forward to next week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WIP-it Wednesday, some catch-up...

...and the countdown to Stitches West begins! It's one week away!

I finally took the time to go through the vendor list and identify the booths to stop at first. I marked up my Erin-of-the-map map (2-page PDF here) and transferred the markings to the PDF version. I've printed out 3 copies and I'm set to go on that front.

Over the weekend, I located my badge holder and started making a stack of things that go with me. I haven't quite decided which knitting project I'll take. I'd love to get some traction on Canto de Sirena [Ravelry], but it's not exactly a mindless project. I already have a couple of hats to donate to Halos of Hope, but maybe I should just work on another one for them.

I finished a cross stitch project over the weekend. This is Be Happy by Shepherd's Bush:

Be Happy cross stitch

Started 1/17/16
Completed 2/7/16
Nashville Market version by Shepherd’s Bush

This was a special design for one of the Nashville Needlework Markets a few years ago. I found out after I finished stitching it that the designer had issued this as regular chart and used a red colorway for the words that made them stand out from the rest of the design. Too late for me!

Also over the weekend, I pulled out a cross stitch sampler design that I started several years ago. It's nearly complete, but needs to be test-stitched on linen. I pulled some Weeks Dyeworks and Sampler Threads to use and searched through my linen stash to find a nice 28-count fabric.

It's a good thing I looked, because some of the linen on the bottom of the container had gotten wet during one of the rainstorms and it had rust and mildew spots. I don't use plastic storage containers for stash because of the smell they leave in the materials. Dampness is the one drawback of using canvas containers for storage. I lined the bottom of the linen container with some plastic bags. I hope that they won't make the materials too smelly.

**WIP Roll Call**

Worked on:
  • Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
Works In Progress, did not work on:
  1. Empress handspun [Ravelry]
  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:

  • A peacock or mermaid quilt for me.

Monday, February 08, 2016

January 2016 recap...

...not much in the finished object arena, but at least I finished something!

  • 1/3 Calypso handspun (spinning)  [Ravelry]
    Yak-Silk (4 oz.) from Greenwood Fiberworks
    Yardage and WPI TBD
  • 1/23 Sandpiper handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Sparkle top (Merino-Stellino, 4oz) from Greenwood Fiberworks;
    223.3 yds.; WPI TBD
  • Books:
    1. Raven, Skye Knizley
    2. Fresh Blood, Skye Knizley
    3. Ashen Rayne, Skye Knizley
    4. The Bourbon Kings, JR Ward
    5. Blood of the Lost, Shannon Mayer
    6. The Beekeeper's Ball, Susan Wiggs
    7. The Apple Orchard, Susan Wiggs
    8. The Charm School. Susan Wiggs
  • 1/9 Sandpiper handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]

IDJ (It's Dead, Jim):
  • Reading: Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Karen Russell
Works in Progress:
  1. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Calypso handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Empress handspun [Ravelry]

  1. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
  3. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  4. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  5. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)

Friday, February 05, 2016

Eye Candy Friday and F.O. Friday...

...obviously, I have not gotten back into the swing of regular posting. Maybe next week!

Today, I have baby strawberries:


Some lavender:


Flowering plum blossoms:

Flowering plum blossoms

Over a year ago, the Husband pulled out an old rosemary bush that we had in the font yard. It had gone woody and was not in good shape. It looks like it's decided to come back! It is setting a few flowers:

Rosemary flowers

I also have a couple of finished objects that I have not shown in the blog. This is Calypso  [Ravelry]:

Calypso handspun

and the close-up:

Calypso handspun, close up

Started 9/19/2015;
Finished 1/3/2016
Yak-Silk (4 oz.) from Greenwood Fiberworks
Yardage and WPI to follow (the yarn's at home; I'm at work)

This is Sandpiper [Ravelry]:

Sandpiper handspun

and the close-up:

Sandpiper handspun, close up

Started 1/9/2016;
Finished 1/23/2016;
Sparkle top (Merino-Stellino, 4oz) from Greenwood Fiberworks;
223.3 yds.; WPI TBD

Up this weekend: I need to take a serious look at the Stitches West vendors and prepare my shopping map. Like last year, I don't have specific projects in mind, other than it would be nice to buy some weaving yarns. Lord know, I really don't need anymore yarn, but it's always fun to look!

Since this last week has been busy, both at work and in my personal life, I'm looking forward to having some down time.

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...