Friday, December 31, 2010

I Am On Fire!

Simple Things is done - it took only 3 days!  It's a nice pattern, great for social knitting as you don't have to keep track of too much.  I'll make it again sometime - maybe out of handspun?

Brian and I went somewhere today we've been meaning to go for quite a while - the Oakland Zoo.  We've been to the San Francisco Zoo a few times but wanted to check this out - it's smaller, but you can get a little closer to the animals, which is nice.

This is a lousy picture but this tiger was asleep with his (her?) paws up in the air.  So cute - and a bit undignified. :)

The elephants were pretty funny.  These two were 'having words' - though it looked more like playing around than anything combative.  The plaque indicated that the one on the right was their 16-year-old male who is very playful and likes to get into trouble.  That's what you need - thousands of pounds of trouble.  We've got about 25 pounds of our Trouble and she's plenty, thanks!

And my favorite - I definitely have a thing for giraffes.  The one on the left is the 'grandma' - she's about 22.  Feeding time was listed at 11:30 this morning, but all that happened was a woman came out with some carrots - and most of the giraffes ignored her.  We got cold waiting for more excitement, so if there was a feeding frenzy, we missed it.  It was still nice to see them though.

There were plenty of other animals but those were the best pictures.  I didn't get any pictures from yesterday when we went up to the city, where we had roasted crab ( for lunch and then picked up some nice treats at Red Blossom Tea Company in Chinatown.  However, as we took the train, I did get going on a new project:

This is a garter-rib sock (Sensational Socks) out of Rabbitworks Fiber Studio's Toe Jam in the Revenge colorway.  This is the same yarn as the Simple Things shawlette, just a different color way, both purchased at Stitches West last year.

The sock is my mindless knitting - I also started my Great American Afghan:

This should keep me occupied for a good long time.  So I don't get frustrated with knitting this and only this for months to come, my plan is for every other project to be one of these squares.  Once this is done I have a gift to make and then a few UFOs to finish up.

Wow - blogging 2 days in a row.  Don't expect it to become a habit.   I just happened to have progress to report, an FO to show off and time to post about it.  Hope it all comes together like that again soon.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Well!  Now.   Where was I?  Anyone still out there?  My silence has probably lost me at least half my readership (which brings it down to about...3?).  Well if any of you are still out there...Hi!  How are you?  

Things have been fine here in no-blog-land.  Work has been insane (in a good way, most of the time) and I spent a few months at either the office or crashed at home and not a whole lot else.  But I'm back (kind of), socializing and knitting again after not having done much of either for a while.  Well comparatively 'not much' - I've still accomplished a bit:

First, a final report on Tour de Fleece (in which I actually exceeded my goals, thankyouverymuch):

I finished spinning the green Meriboo (Merino Bamboo) into a 2-ply lace weight:

I also spun up the Camel/Silk from Redfish Dyeworks.  It's a 3-ply dk weight.  I loved spinning it so much I may have to buy more of the same fiber so I can make a lace weight with it the next time.

Late in the summer, The Queen of Purple Yarn and I each raided our stash and spent a fun afternoon at her house playing with color.

My handspun Cormo from Tour de Fleece went from this:

To this:

I over-dyed some nice (but incredibly garish) Alpaca that I'd found at a yarn swap:

It's now a bit more 'me' (as in, I'm now willing to be seen near it):

And another 2 crazy-loud skeins from a different swap went from here:

to here (embiggen to really see the color):

Here are some more shots/results of that afternoon - it was a lot of fun - sunshine, friend, fiber (and a goofy dog) - what more could you want?

We also took a short vacation this summer to the Mendocino coast.  The dogs came with us (they deserve a vacation too!).

Brian showed Miele the ocean for the first time:

She did a good job being brave!

She and Trouble also explored the beach together:

And napped together at the end of each day.

(being on vacation is hard work).

It was also The Summer Of Giant Garden Produce:

That's one (elephant) garlic clove that's half the size of Miele's head.  A clove!

The figs that ate San Jose:

Got eaten by us.  Arugula, fresh figs, fresh mozzarella, a touch of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Try it!

And this:

Turned into one of these (the largest came in around 102 pounds - the smallest nearly 90, if I recall correctly):

And now we have a freezer full of pumpkin (and a whole one still left to cut up).

In spite of losing the mojo but good, there has been knitting:

During my least-productive time, a tea cozy requested by my husband, out of some of my first hand-spun:

This small thing took me nearly 2 months to complete.  Yeah, mojo-deficient.  Sad.

Fortunately, things picked up.  I knit my 2nd Girasole (out of Cascade EcoWook in Natural) in about 6 weeks:

This hat (Cascade 220 Superwash) took 2 days:

This is 'Snowflakes on Mulberries Hat' (worsted weight version) by Amy Klimt. Super easy, nice looking, and free - thanks Amy!

Yesterday I started this:

And a day later, I'm here:

I should be finished within a day or so.

Next in line:

This will become The Great American Afghan - it was requested because the new leather couch can be cold.  See how uncomfortable Miele is?

Trouble wants me to hurry up and knit it already.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Baaaack....

The Spinning Mojo - I think it's back.

Exhibit 1: Merino/Silk Laceweight in Chocolate Cherries, fiber from A Verb for Keeping Warm. 387 yards of 2-ply.

Next up: Cormo (spin-drafted by Morro Fleece Works); 745 yards 2-ply laceweight.

Fluffiest stuff I've spun, EVAR.

Up next: Meriboo (Merino/Bamboo)

And since I'll clearly exceed my original goal, I'll take a stab at this:

Camel/Silk from Red Fish Dyeworks, picked up at Stitches West 2009. Enough marinating in the stash; I'm dying to spin this.

However, today is the 12th and a day of rest for the Tour de Fleece. And I've worn a smooth spot on my finger from all the spinning. So, I'll pick it all up again tomorrow; I can't wait!

Miele needs her rest too.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Le Tour de Fleece

Today is the first day of the Tour de Fleece. For those of you know don't know what that means, it's a 3-week spinning journey; we spin every day from Saturday July 3rd through Sunday, July 25th. There are two days of rest: the 12th and 21st, and there is the day of (greatest) challenge, Thursday the 22nd.

I hear there's a little bicycle race fashioned after the Tour de Fleece; they ride their bikes somewhere in France on the same days we use our spinning wheels. Cute, non?

Last year, my theme was to finish up some spinning WIPs, and as the-job-that-is-now-fortunately-in-my-past started during the tour, I pretty much failed miserably at completing my goal. This year my theme is the unknown; fibers and fiber blends I haven't experienced before. Some are WIPs, some are new projects.

This is a Merino-Silk blend from A Verb For Keeping Warm that I bought at Stitches West this year (color way is Chocolate Cherries):

I've spun up about half and want to finish this ASAP.

I also have some gorgeous Cormo. Spinning all-white isn't that exciting but my intent is to dye it after I finish spinning it. I want a semi-solid but no barber-poling.

Behold the WooLee Winder Brian got me for my birthday! Love, love, love it already and I've only spent a few hours with it. I hope it's not considered an unfair advantage during the tour and I don't eventually get accused of doping by Floyd Landis.

Here's another fiber I have yet to experience - 'Meriboo' - a Merino/Bamboo blend, that's destined to become a fine two-ply laceweight.

I have some other things I'd like to spin up but we'll see if I get that far.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch....

I turned another year older on June 10th, and I think it was one of the nicest birthdays ever. No giant bash or anything but a lot of acknowledgment, a lot of good wishes, and lots of (3 guesses....) fiber.

Cashmere from Kathy

Some cash with which I've purchased these:

I also decided to try out some Polwarth from Crown Mountain Farms (The top one is Silk Road the other, Shadow on the Wall)

And this, the aforementioned WooLee Winder from Brian; something I've been dying to have for a while now. Pretty sweet, huh?

I've been busy with other things too: In spite of crazy amounts of overtime at work (it's all good), I've managed to knit a bit:

Continued progress on Madli's Scarf

On a quick business trip to Omaha last week I got a start on Flutter Scarf by Miriam Felton, using some silk/merino laceweight I had in stash (from Pigeonroof Studios).

Last, I recently finished this:

And felted it last night.

Another Booga Bag; this one is a late birthday present for the lovely Hannah (no blog so no link), in her colors. I love this pattern and it's great for using up project leftovers. One of these days I'll make one for myself.

In other wildly exciting news, we got rid of our old couch and got a new one:

I've always wanted a high-quality leather couch and it's nice not to feel a wood frame digging through the cushions. It has a slightly smaller footprint which opens up the room a bit, and the leather smells nice. But best of all,

The doggies like it.