Thursday, January 31, 2013

Month End Report for January

Well it is the end of the first month and here is my progress on my goals.


I was tempted right off the batt on the first day of the year when Craftsy e-mailed me about the new Block of the Month quilt class which is free.  However, the class could be bundled with the fabric to make the quilt.  I actually put it in my cart along with the backing fabric and walked away from my computer.

After watching the Rose parade and spinning for my new sweater, I did not look again until the next day and lucky for me the quilt fabric kits were all sold out.  I was able to dodge that bullet.  It would have been very sad if I could not have lasted one day into the new year.

I did get the class and decided to use the fabrics that I already have in the house so it will be a scrappy quilt with left overs from various other projects that I have worked on.

I also did some virtual shopping as I saw this pattern for a sweater that I was interested in knitting - Pecan Crush by Carol Feller.  The yarn recommended for the pattern is Madeline Tosh Pashmina which I have some skeins but not enough for the sweater.  I scoped out some shops and even added the yarn to my cart, but in the end I resisted as I have two Carol Feller sweaters in the works right now and I need to finish those before starting another one of her sweaters.

I also avoided the Interweave sale on books, magazines, and media products.  There are some super good deals there, but I had to rationalize that I have a bunch of their stuff and haven't utilized most of it.  I have to repeat to myself - "there will be other sales."

I made my payment on the balance for the March spinning retreat in Texas that I committed to last year.


Knitting - I was able to finish knitting the Soar socks as I posted here.  I also finished and sent off the commission knitting I undertook at the end of last year.  Other works in progress include the Lily shawl, the Featherweight cardigan, and the celtic cable sweater.

Spinning - I finished spinning both the color and the solid portions of my new handspun sweater project.  

Weaving - No weaving took place this month, but I have a buyer for my 36" floor loom.  As soon as the towels are off the loom, I will contact the buyers to come and pick it up so they can start on their new weaving adventure.

Sewing - I decided to try to keep pace with the above mentioned Block of the Month quilt and finished the January project.

Organizing and Purging

Alas, no organizing or purging happened this month.

But I did work out most days of the month.  No weight has been lost this month.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dinner at Jacks

While I was traveling around the Bay Area, I was able to meet up with my cousin for dinner.  She took me to Jacks in Pleasant Hill.

It was busy for a weeknight and we waited a while for a table.

I ordered the tutto mare.
Angie had the spaghetti and meatballs (which are giant).
Bill had the fish and chips which also tempted me as well.
Good food and great company.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Handspun Yarn for Less is More Sweater

I had discussed this awesome sweater in Knitty and had pulled out fiber for spinning the yarn.

I last posted that I finished both the singles for the colored part as well as the solid part.

I was able to ply both singles together and was able to get all of the yarn on two bobbins on my Hansencrafts mSpinner.  I have never filled the bobbins to capacity before.

Here are the photos from the spinner.
I ended up with two gigantic skeins of yarn and I love the color variation of them.  I hope the colors will not be too concentrated in the knitting of the sweater.
This is all I had left of 16 ounces of spinning.
Yarn needs to be washed and then the sweater will be ready to knit.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lily's Shawl

In the way back, I purchased this knit kit from Just Our Yarn.  It sat in the cupboard for quite a long time and when I rearranged some stuff, I pulled it out.

I started it up sometime in September 2011 and after working a few repeats of the pattern, it went into knitting bag and languished sight unseen.

A little while back, I was reading a blog - I don't remember which one and heard about this cool tool from a store in Berkley called Lacis.

I ordered the Verna Beadle Needle .75mm for this project and restarted it at the end of last year.
It has a small hook part on one end to hook onto the yarn.
A curved tip for loading beads on the other end.
And I bought the plastic case for it as well for transportation and storage.

I am making some progress as the lace repeats are not too taxing and I have 12 of the 32 repeats finished.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Projects in the Queue

I received an e-mail from the Loopy Ewe regarding a giftable kits club.  The premise is that a kit would contain yarn and a pattern which once could knit and gift to someone else.

There was a glitch so when I received the e-mail and went online to look at the description, all the spots were sold out.  This was a good thing for my 2013 goal of not buying yarn.

I then got the idea of why not putting together my own kits to make stuff.  I would go through my stash of yarn and then look at my pattern queue on Ravelry and put together projects to knit.

I was able to put two kits together.

I have this cotton and rayon yarn that I could make the Shift of Focus sweater.
And I have this superwash merino - Malabrigo Rios in the purple mystery color that I could make the For Good Hat.
Of course I need to finish some of my projects on the needles before I can tackle these in the queue but it was fun to cull through and put my own kits together.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pepper's Enemy

Bailey was carrying on one morning by rushing outside and along the fence.  He makes quite a racket even without vocalization.

When I went outside to see what he was in a huff about, this is what I saw.
This coyote was about 2 feet away from our fence line and he ran away when I approached the fence.  Bailey has probably 25 pounds on him, but he is a scaredy cat so he did nothing to scare it away.

Pepper was inside taking a nap and missed the entire episode.

I think this guy is looking for food as my neighbor stated that over the holidays some of the kids decided to throw pumpkin pie over the fence.  He is probably checking back to prior food sites to see if there was anything there.

Monday, January 21, 2013

January Spin Group

Had a great day spinning with my peeps.  I took the rest of my fiber for the Less is More sweater and got all the singles spun up.
We also did show and tell and I saw a bunch of great stuff people are doing.

Lori of Capistrano Fiber Arts brought some fiber to share.  She is so generous to let us have bumps of colors in luxury fiber.  Suzanne was too excited.
I got these three bumps of fiber that are lush.
Lunch was as usual great.  We had a vegetable soup.
Arugula salad with goat cheese and pine nuts, green beans with hazelnuts, focaccia bread, cream cheese and blueberry compote and my sweet potato chocolate chip cookies.
Margie defied her bobbin by forcing it to hold more that the maximum amount of yarn as she was plying, but she was triumphant.
Now my yarn is ready to ply and it was a great day sharing stories and having yummy food. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Celtic Cable Sweater

Also known as the Portulaca sweater which I had swatched for back in August of last year.

This sweater is designed by Carol Feller and is the main topic of the Craftsy class - Celtic cables.

The cable pattern for the sweater is pretty complicated but the video instruction is pretty easy to follow.  I had to create my own spreadsheet with the row numbers as well as the cable charts to keep track of what I am doing.

I have the bottom ribbing done and am working up the sweater with the cable pattern.  It is pretty easy to differentiate with stitch markers in between each cable.
It will take me quite a long time to finish this sweater.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


As you can see at the top of my blog, I am a supporter of pet adoptions and have a standing e-mail notification on Aussie Cattle Dogs within 30 miles of my location.

I got this picture with such a sweet face that I had to go look him up.
This is Iago and he is a puppy that needs a home.  I am so tempted since he looks so much like my sweet Pepper girl.
He even sits like she use to before getting arthritis in her hips.
He is available from the The Barking Lot.  I'm going to keep checking up on him.

2.7.2013 - I happy to say this boy got adopted!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Supported Spindle Holder

I have been putting my supported spindles in a box with all of them laying down.  I read a post on Ravelry recommending a test tube holder so I went searching for one that work work.  I found this one from Lake Charles Manufacturing.

I found this one which fits all of my russian spindles.
All the spots are taken so I cannot buy anymore russian spindles.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Commissioned Scarf Finished

I posted about this commissioned knitting project last month and am happy to announce that it is finished.

Final length of the scarf - 80"
Close up view of the heart cables.
The yarn was pretty good to work with and after washing in the wool cycle and just drying flat, it was a pretty finished project.

It is off to its new owner who I hope will love it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January Block of the Month

I signed up for Craftsy's Block of the Month quilt for 2013 and decided to make this quilt from fabric stash leftovers from other quilts.

Here is the first block - 6" log cabins.
Pepper likes to be in the craft room while I'm sewing and she fits herself in her tiny bed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Soar Socks are Done

I had previously posted about SOAR 2012 and the great time at Lake Tahoe.

One of the homework assignments was to spin and knit something with the SOAR colorway fiber from Abstract Fibers.

I spun up the fiber into a 3-ply fingering yarn and started knitting the Socks on a Plane pattern.

The socks are done and they are super soft and comfortable.  I started the ribbing when I figured the socks were the length I preferred and just kept knitting the ribbing until I was almost out of yarn.

Here is what I had left of the yarn.
Here are the socks.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Flu - The Scare

There has been a big push by the news media for everyone to get a flu shot.  Looking at the nationwide map the past week or so, all you could see were the states covered in red as it moves across from east to west.

I have had only one flu shot in my life and I chalk it up to not having much exposure.  I pretty much avoid crowds, have no contact with children, and work by myself most of the time.

However, I am taking on a new trainee and will be on the road and in the air for the next few months so I decided to take some preventative measures and get a shot.

I called around and decided to go to a store as opposed to a doctor's office where there are sick people hanging around the waiting room.  My recollection of my last shot was not so good as I felt pretty sick after getting it.  I am assured by people in the "know" that I cannot get the flu from the shot and they told me that it was probably being around sick people when I got my first one.

This time, I decided to go to the CVS around the corner and there were no sick people waiting around.  The pharmacist was a cool dude and the shot did hurt a bit while it was going in.  He stated I might have some aches and muscle fatigue but I could take some ibuprofen for it if necessary.  Even with my high deductible health plan, I was able to get the shot for free.

Fingers crossed that the flu will pass me by.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Baby, It's Cold!

Alright I'm going to sound like a whiner as a native Californian and calling San Diego home, but man we have had a cold front come in.

Although there is no snow or even clouds in the sky - during the day I look at bright sunny days with high temperatures in the 60s, but man the nights have been frigid!

It has even gotten down into the 40s which is arctic here.  The heater is on, the shades are drawn, multiple blankets are on the bed and I'm now sleeping with a hat.

Which brings me to night caps - I am currently wearing my alpaca swirl hat which is super soft and not binding.
I seem to recall seeing some olde timey pictures with night caps that are more cone shaped.  I have some qiviut yarn in the deep stash and might be perfect for another night cap.  Off to research...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Red Door in Mission Hills

We had our last supperclub meet up with Kim before she leaves us for the cold East Coast.  We met for brunch at the Red Door in Mission Hills.

Lovely little place with live music even on a Sunday morning.  We were lucky to get parking right in front but I can tell the parking in this neighborhood would be a challenge in the evenings.

I ordered the Croissant Sandwich swapping out for the spicy chicken sausage which was a bit dry.  I forgot to request that my egg be fried hard and the yolk ran a bit.
Kim made up her own breakfast plate with biscuits, spicy chicken sausage and scrambled eggs.
Janet rounded everything out with a sticky bun, some extra crispy bacon and a fruit cup.
Lovely last meal until Kim hopefully returns to us in San Diego.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Homemade Wonton Soup

I had homemade wonton soup for lunch one day with some baby bok choy.  It has been a while since I had these from scratch.
Super meaty with pork and shrimp.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Moqua Soup

When I was young, my parents use to make this soup with a squash that they grew out in the back yard.  I really liked it since it was sweet with some raw egg dropped while the soup was cooking so it had a great swirl.

While my parents were visiting, we talked about food quite a bit and I brought up this memory.

At 99 Ranch Market, which has been recently remodeled, the squash was on sale.
We also got two dozen eggs for $1.99 at the SF Market so we had this soup for dinner one night.
It was a good as I remember.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Less is More Sweater

In the new issue of Knitty, I saw a sweater made from handspun yarn in 4 ounce increments.  I too fell into the buying 4 ounces of fiber when the colors caught my eye not thinking about what I would make with the fiber.

When I saw this sweater pattern - Less is More, I decided that I would cull my stash and see what I could do.

I dug out these two braids of fiber with the same vibrant green color - one with purple and the other with pink.
I spun up the singles and ended up with 4 bobbins of each of the colors.
I then went through the closet and tried to find another 8 ounces of a coordinating fiber to ply with these vibrant colors and knit the sweater.

I found in the deep stash, this merino/silk blend in the color pewter.  I spun up a sample and decided that it would be a muting color palate with the bright colors.
Now I need to spin up the pewter.