Friday, June 30, 2017

Eye Candy Friday...

...leading up to a long weekend! Hurray!

I only have one thing for eye candy this week. These care canna lilies that are blooming in the back yard:

Canna Lilies

I'm hoping to get some photos of tomatoes, but either the squirrels or the rats are getting them before we do. They've already eaten all of our apricots. Boo!

Up this weekend: Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow! I've joined Team Spin-Off for this tour and look forward to meeting new spinners through this group.

I am spinning all Yarn Wench fiber, hoping to make a dent in the stash. I have 159 unspun items tagged as Yarn Wench in my database. I need to make a serious effort to reduce this number! When I was only buying Yarn Wench fiber, the number didn't seem to bad, but there are so many cool fibers from other vendors.

The most I've ever done for Tour de Fleece was in 2013 when I spun 16 art yarns. In the last 3 years I've managed to spin 9 yarns, mostly chain-plied. I'll try to increase my volume this year. 

Anyway, I'll be spinning for almost the entire month of July. When my knees need a rest, I'll work on some of my other projects. We'll see how much I get done in 4.5 days!
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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a couple of spinning photos.

I have two handspuns ready to ply. This is Robin's Egg [Ravelry]:

Robin's Egg singles

and this is Rivendell [Ravelry]:

Rivendell singles

Both are from Greenwood Fiberworks. My goal is to get one of them plied on Friday, and start Tour de Fleece with the other on Saturday. I'd rather have them both plied and out of the way before the Tour, but there simply isn't enough time, nor will my knees allow that much spinning in an afternoon.

My Tour de Fleece plan is to spin completely from my Yarn Wench stash. I'll need to take "before" photos for many of them as they are not in my Ravelry notebook. Many were purchased before I joined Ravelry, and I didn't add fiber to my notebook until I was ready to spin it. Now I add it as soon as I receive it!

WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
    Cut out approx. 20 feature fabrics; auditioning the names: "Look Through My Window" and "She Came in Through the Attic Window". The first speaks more towards the theme of the quilt, while the second has that odd sense of humor that the Husband and I enjoy (as in the "Lacy in the Sky with Diamonds" shawl [Ravelry]).
  • Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Section 2: finished the 4th contrast color and working on the separating section before contrast color #5.
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    Nearly finished the back fin and working on more of the tail
  • St. Charles (needlepoint)
    Added another set of separators
  • Spring 9-Patch (cross stitch)
    Finished the main stitching of the center square (row 1, square 2)
Works In Progress, Did Not Work On:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Phat Fiber box, Indian Wedding (spinning) [Ravelry]
  3. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]  
  4. Rivendell handspin (spinning) [Ravelry]
  5. Robin's Egg handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  6. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  7. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. All That Glitters Christmas quilt (quilting)
  2. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  4. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Finishing work
  7. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  9. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and a progress photo (finally) of the current mermaid cross stitch.

First, a little bit about this mermaid pattern. Before I [re]learned how to knit and before I ever dreamed of spinning and weaving, I did a lot of cross stitch and needlepoint. The most complicated thing I'd done was modify and stitch a Christmas stocking for the Daughter. (You can see a photo here.)

I think it was in the rec.crafts.needlework USENET group that I learned about Mirabilia's first mermaid design, Mermaid of the Pearls, shortly after it was released in January 1997. I fell in love with the pattern and bought it. When I looked at it, I was completely intimidated by the number of pearls and treasures that it needed - I really didn't want to mess it up! I filed it away, thinking that I needed to tackle a less complex pattern first.

Mirabilia's next mermaid was Waiting for Ships in 2/28/1998, followed by Deepest Love 1/26/1999. I bought the patterns and the supplies for both of them. I decided that Deepest Love had the fewest beads and treasures and was a good introduction to Mirabilia's mermaid patterns. I finished it in September 1999.

I looked at Mermaid of the Pearls and decided that I wasn't ready for it. I did Waiting for Ships instead, followed by Queen Mermaid and Mediterranean Mermaid. I didn't feel ready for Mermaid of the Pearls until June of 2014 - 17 years later! I stitched a little bit, but got distracted by Tour de Fleece in July and other projects.

Fast forward to 2017: Mirabilia has designed 19 mermaids (18 of which you can find on her website) and I own many of the patterns. I'm behind!

I resurrected Mermaid of the Pearls last month and I'm determined to finish her this time. This what she looks like as of Sunday:

Mermaid of the Pearls, as of 6/26/17

This is most of her back fin (pink), some seaweed (lighter greens), and the beginning of her tail (metallic green). She is in my rotation for the upcoming long weekend, so I should get more of her tail stitched.

So this last weekend was mostly cross stitch. When my arms and shoulders got tired of stitching, I swapped over to cutting out feature fabrics for my quilt. I also worked a bit on the St. Charles needlepoint piece.
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Eye Candy Friday...

...and I'm almost ready to call it a week.

Today's eye candy is brought to you by the colors orange and pink. The Lion's Tail is blooming:

Lion's Tail

and the Oriental Lilies have appeared:

Oriental lily

Unfortunately, the heat wave has claimed several plants and the squirrels have absconded with the apricots. These two flowers and the green tomatoes on the vine were the only new things in the garden.

Up this weekend: Make progress on my quilt and work on some of my other projects.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WIP-it Wednesday...

...with a couple of progress photos.

This is the current state of St. Charles. In real life, it's a bit more purple.

St. Charles, as of 6/21/17

And the current state of the Charred Teal Shawl [Ravelry]:

Charred Teal Shawl, as of 6/21/17

WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
    Located fabric for a couple of key squares, ordered additional fabric, and still auditioning names.
  • Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Section 2: finished the 3rd contrast color and working on the separating section before contrast color #4.
  • Phat Fiber box, Indian Wedding (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Spun and plied 4 samples.
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    Still working on the back fin.
  • Rivendell handspin (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Finished spinning the singles; letting it rest before plying.
  • Spring 9-Patch (cross stitch)
    Finished the center section (square 2, row 2); started on the center square in row 1.
Works In Progress, Did Not Work On:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]  
  3. Robin's Egg handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
  4. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  5. St. Charles (needlepoint)
  6. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. All That Glitters Christmas quilt (quilting)
  2. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  4. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Finishing work
  7. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  9. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and I haven't melted yet!

It was so hot this weekend! Fortunately, my studio stays relatively cool until about 2:30 or 3:00 pm. While it's not cool enough to machine quilt (read: wrestle a quilt through the sewing machine), I can do many other things until it gets unbearable hot.
  • Quilting: I found the fabrics that I had purchased for my personal quilt. Two fabrics are particularly important: the John Deere tractor fabric and the Hereford cattle fabric. My father drove a John Deere tractor when he was foreman of a ranch in Gilroy. It was a beef cattle ranch that ran Hereford cattle. These fabrics represent a precious time of my life.

    With them, I found the monster movie fabric I wanted to use and several others. I now have a bunch of fabrics to cut!
  • Cross Stitch: The Mermaid of the Pearls project is coming along. I got a little list in some of the pink fin areas, but I'm back on track. I was very happy that I didn't have to restitch anything!
  • Cross Stitch: I finished the center square of the Spring 9-Patch pillow (Pine Mountain). I'm now working on the basket square.
  • Spinning
    • I finished spinning the singles for Rivendell [Ravelry]. It's now resting with Robin's Egg [Ravelry] until I'm ready for a plying session.
    • I have 4 Phat Fiber boxes in the stash. Since it was too hot to spin a large bump of fiber, I started spinning the Indian Wedding box from August 2016. It's not the oldest box I have, but I'd need to do a deep stash dive to find the oldest one (Ancient Egypt from October 2014).
  • Knitting: The Charred Teal Shawl [Ravelry] is progressing, It's my go-to knitting fro Craft Coffee on Mondays. I added the 3rd contrast color for section 2 last night and I'm working on another main color separator.
  • No work on the needlepoint or weaving projects. 
Sunday was Father's Day and the Daughter took us out to dinner at a Peruvian restaurant. The restaurant's AC was working, but couldn't quite keep up with the heat and the number of people who were dining. Even though it wasn't AC-cold, it was pleasant. The food was good, our server was helpful, and of course the company was the best!
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Friday, June 16, 2017

Eye Candy Friday...

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

Just a couple of photos today. I started taking two back-to-back classes at the gym on Fridays. While that's better for my health, by the time I get back home, the sun is way too bright in the backyard and I don't have enough time to take them anyway. The sooner I get to work, the sooner I can leave!

This is a scarlet runner bean in the backyard:

Scarlet Runner Bean

and a clarkia concinna called Pink Ribbons:

Pink Ribbons

Up this weekend: The same-old-same-old...chores and crafts.

We plan on going out  to dinner to celebrate Father's Day with the Husband. Although he's technically the Daughter's step-father, he's been her dad-at-home since she was 3. And I couldn't ask for a better father for my kid!
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and I forgot to take photos of the stuff in progress. Rats!

WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Attic Windows quilt for me (quilting)
    Cutting out feature fabrics and auditioning names.
  • Charred Teal Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
    Back on track, working on section 2
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    Extending the back fin
  • Rivendell handspin (spinning) [Ravelry]
  • Robin's Egg handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Finished spinning the singles; letting it rest before plying
  • Spring 9-Patch (cross stitch)
    Started the center section
  • St. Charles (needlepoint)
    Finished the outside border; working on the area borders in the main section
Works In Progress:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]  
  3. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  4. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. All That Glitters Christmas quilt (quilting)
  2. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  4. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Finishing work
  7. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  9. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report.

I know it seems odd to do a weekend report on Tuesday, but Ive discovered that blogging on Mondays is very hard to do. There are so many other things that have to happen on Monday.
  • Quilting: I started pulling feature fabrics for my attic windows quilt. It's been so long since I started collecting fabrics for it that I have cleverly filed some of them in places not yet discovered. Sigh. I know I bought some fabric to represent the ranch we lived in and other items. I need to do a serious stash dive to find them.

    In the meantime, I started cutting out the fabrics that I did locate and have about 10 ready to sew into blocks.
  • Cross Stitch: I spent a few hours on Mermaid of the Pearls, but not as much as last weekend. I'm avoiding the metallic braid for now. I'll get back to that this weekend.
     
    I needed something mindless to work on when I got tired of the metallics in the needlepoint piece, so I started a small Pine Mountain pillow kit called Spring 9-Patch.
  • Needlepoint: I continue to make progress on St. Charles. I finished the purple highlights in the border and started stitching some of the area borders in the center motif. And of course, these borders are in metallic!
  • Spinning
    • I finished spinning the singles for Robin's Egg [Ravelry]. I'm letting it rest before I chain-ply it.
    • I started spinning Rivendell [Ravelry], a glitter roving from Greenwood Fiberworks. I spun about a third of the 4 ounces in the bump.
  • Knitting: I finished the recovery knitting and added a new contrast color at Craft Coffee last night. I'm working away on the next main color section.
  • Still no weaving, mostly because other things were calling my name! 
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Friday, June 09, 2017

Eye Candy Friday...

...is it time to go home yet?

We have hollyhocks growing in the garden:

Hollyhocks

and Mega Monkey flowers:

Mega Monkey Flower

It rained a bit yesterday and this morning so everything is covered with a light layer of raindrops. These tomato flowers looked very cool with all the little drops:

Flowering tomato plant

And the Lucky Lantern abutilon had a few drops:

Abutilon

Our berry harvest is out of control:

Berries!

While I love the berry galettes that the Husband has been baking, I'm afraid my waistline can't handle too many more!

Up this weekend: Some household chores and then crafting. I'll continue rotating through the crafts, keeping needlepoint and knitting as the TV crafts and working on the others during the day.

I also want to choose the block size for my attic windows quilt so I can start cutting out the feature squares. I'd like to see some progress on this quilt soon!
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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

WIP-it Wednesday...

...sorry, not photos today. I ran out of time this morning!

WIPs Roll Call

Worked On:
  • Charred Teal Shawl [Ravelry]
    Ripped out most of section 2 and restarted with the right contrast color.
  • Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch)
    Working on the back fin and the back part of the tail
  • Robin's Egg handspun [Ravelry]
    Spun about 1 ounce of a 4 ounce bump
  • St. Charles (needlepoint)
    Working on the highlights for the outside border.
Works In Progress:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]  
  3. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  4. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. All That Glitters Christmas quilt (quilting)
  2. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  4. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Finishing work
  7. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  9. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • An attic windows quilt for me.
    Purchased the window sash fabric.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...and the weekend report. It was a "do as many crafts as possible" weekend!
  • General: I fussed around with my sewing machine and I think I got it back to sewing properly. I'm going to test it on another small project this coming weekend. If it whacks out again, I'll take it to the shop.
  • Quilting: As I mentioned, I'm going to make an attic windows quilt for myself. I decided that I need to get the frame fabric before I started cutting anything. I also need to look up the specs I used for the daughter's attic windows quilt that I made for her college graduations (17 years ago!!).

    I visited my two local shops (The Granary and Eddie's Quilting Bee), looking for either teal or purple fabrics with some sort of textural pattern. I found a light and a dark purple from the same fabric line at Eddie's.
  • Cross Stitch: I put in several hours on Mermaid of the Pearls. I am still working on her back fin and have now started on the back part of her tail. And I remembered how much I disliked stitching with metallic braid on linen fabric...and there's a bunch of it in this pattern. Sigh.
  • Needlepoint: I worked on St. Charles for a couple of hours. I finished the outside border in blue perle cotton. Next are the purple highlights in the border.
  • Spinning: I started spinning Robin's Egg [Ravelry], a camel-silk from Greenwood Fiberworks that I bought at Stitches West last year. I've spun about 1 ounce of the 4 ounces in the bump. I love working with this camel-silk!
  • Knitting: In the Two-Steps-Forward-One-Step-Back category, I picked up the Charred Teal Shawl to work on while I watched the finale of White Princess. I discovered that I had used the wrong colors for the last two contrasting color section. The good part is each contrasting color is only used for 2 rows. The bad news is that there are 12 gray rows separating each.

    I frogged down to where the first contrasting color started and used the correct color this time. I managed to recover half of the work I pulled out. At last night's Craft Coffee, I added the second contrasting color and made it almost all the way back to where I started. It's a good thing that there are no complicated stitches, otherwise I'd be really frustrated!
  • No weaving this weekend. I'll get back to that soon!
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Friday, June 02, 2017

Eye Candy Friday...

...June is busting out all over! (Cue the singers and dancers from Carousel...)

Black and Bloom salvia

Black and bloom salvia

Tuberous begonia
Tuberous begonia

Hydrangea
Hydrangeas

Pink German Catchfly

Pink German Catchfly

Up this weekend: There are some new flowers in the garden that I need to photograph. After that it's chores, followed by all manner of crafting!
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Thursday, June 01, 2017

May 2017 recap...

...on time for a change!

Finished:
  • 5/29 Dragonfly Wings project bag (sewing)
  • 5/27 Tiger Lily handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino-Stellina top (4 oz.) from Greenwood Fiberworks (Stitches West 2016)
    270 yds 2-ply, 15 WPI 
  • 5/21 Sunset handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino-Bamboo-Silk top (4 oz.) from Greenwood Fiberworks (Stitches West 2017)
    215.9 yds 2-ply, 15 WPI
  • 5/7 Puget Sound handspun (spinning) [Ravelry]
    Merino-Tencel top (4 oz.) from Greenwood Fiberworks
    314.5 yds 2-ply, 16 WPI
  • 5/4 Teal It To The Bees hat (knitting) [Ravelry]
  • Books:
    1. Blade Bound, Chloe Neill
    2. Snared, Jennifer Estep
    3. 16th Seduction, James Patterson
    4. Cold Reign, Faith Hunter
    5. Banana Cream Pie Murder, Joanne Fluke
    6. Before We Kiss, Susan Mallery
    7. The Substitute Millionaire, Susan Mallery
    8. The Hundredth Queen, Emily R King
Started:
  • 5/6 Charred Teal Shawl [Ravelry]
  • 5/29 Dragonfly Wings project bag (sewing)
Works In Progress:
  1. 4-shaft sampler (weaving) [Ravelry]
  2. Mermaid of the Pearls (cross stitch) 
  3. Mother of Dragons shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]  
  4. Rosewood Wrap (weaving) [Ravelry]
  5. St. Charles (needlepoint)
  6. Valley of the Heart's Delight sampler design (cross stitch)
UFOs/Hibernation:
  1. All That Glitters Christmas quilt (quilting)
  2. Be My Baby for My Baby (knitting) [Ravelry]
  3. Bear Paw pottery (needlepoint)
  4. Canto de Sirena shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  5. Celaeno Shawl (knitting) [Ravelry]
  6. Finishing work
  7. Peacock Pomatomus socks (knitting) [Ravelry]
  8. Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  9. Tucson Twilight (needlepoint)
WIPs To Be:
  • An attic windows quilt for me.
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Top-of-the-Waves Tuesday...

...it's been a week. The Husband continues to deal with his father's estate and taking care of his mother's situation. Any one...