Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Month End Report


I participated in a webinar with knitcompanion and they opened up a club with four designers and I joined the club.  I can't wait to use technology to expand my crafting.

I also purchased a destash yarn winder that I was eyeing which makes larger cakes.  It was a good deal and I can't wait to use it.
I also attended the Texas retreat with Judith Mackenzie and came away with knowledge as well as goodies.


Knitting - Lots of knitting - finished my Hoaloha sweater; made significant progress on my Featherweight cardigan; started a pair of socks for Val; and started the Pretty Thing knit-a-long.

Spinning - Massive spinning at the Texas retreat.  

Weaving - Sold the 36" floor loom and pulled out my Ashford table loom.  Had to unweave to the start since I couldn't find the pattern and where I left off.  Here is the naked warp.  
Sewing - I also finished the March offering of the Block of the Month quilt.

Organizing and Purging

No progress here this month since I spent most of the month on the road.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hill Country Fiber Retreat

I was fortunate enough to attend a week long fiber retreat with Judith MacKenzie in Hunt, Texas learning to spin blended fibers for warmer climates.  The retreat exceeded my expectations and a major part of that was the people in attendance.  It is nice to be with people with the same fiber obsession.

Here is a summary of the week which included spinning, carding, dyeing, spindling, playing, chatting, and learning all kinds of nifty stuff.  
Judith allowed us all to choose a bump of polworth silk that she dyed from the rainbow.

I of course chose - 
She also gifted a skein of bison yarn to each participate which I dyed in a worker red bath as well as parts in an indigo bath.
I stuck to my goal of not buying any yarn, but I was lucky (since everyone won) to win some yarn.  Arrival prize included a skein of Madelinetosh Prairie in the Malachite color, a green mini crochet hook, and a mini Quileute reed/cedar basket.
I also made my monthly purchases here including two bumps of 80/10/10 Fine SW merino/cashmere/nylon blend in a green color which equaled a pound of fiber and another two bumps of 50/50 Merino/tencel - one in grey and the other in red for another pound of fiber from Alisha Goes Around.
From Lucky Cat Crafts, I also obtained 5 ounces of 55/28/17 Cashmere/muga silk/new zealand possum as well as 4 ounces of eri silk.  I thought I was done until Judith tempted me with possum and I had a get some of that as well for blending.
The goodbye prize consisted of 1772 yards of Wollmeise lace yarn in the color of the year which is green.  I am finally going to be in fashion.
The place is a bit remote and cell service was nonexistent and wifi could be had in the office which was a bit of a hike, but the scenery was beautiful and there was only one really hot day.

I also succumbed to Alisha's lotion, soap, and sugar scrubs as well as two of her pottery pieces.
It was sad to see everyone packing up to go home.  I don't miss the bugs nor sleeping on a twin bed but I had a blast.  I will have to contemplate next year.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weaving More Towels

Well, the 4 shaft floor loom is now at a new home.  I pulled out the 8 shaft table loom and set it up.  I had previously warped this loom and I really didn't have room to have all the projects out at the same time.  This loom has been folded up in the closet for a while.
I found that pattern of the towels that I wanted to weave.  I purchased the yarn to match the kitchen counters.
I had to un-weave about 20 rows since I don't remember where I left off.  The warp is now clean and ready to be woven.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spin Group for March

In between two trips, I was able to spend the day with my spin peeps.  I decided to take my new supported spindles to spin on and the fiber that I got from my trade with Jude.

I spent some time carding the fiber a bit more so they were more blended and I really like the color that I ended up with.
There are 3 ounces and I need to check with Jude to find out what all is in the batts.  I know there is some angora and it is super soft.

I spun a bit on my new pu yok style spindle.
I spent most of the day knitting.  I worked on my featherweight cardigan and that should be finished soon and I restarted the coriander hat in the original yarn I chose.
Of course, the food was delicious as usual.  Lentil salad, green salad, green beans in pastry, and irish soda bread rounded out by shortbread cookies.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Arizona Trip

Went to Arizona for a work trip and the weather was warm.  My sidekick learned to do some fieldwork, but most of our appointments were all over the State.

We were west, east, north and south.  Here are some of the scenery photos along the very long car rides.
The weather got to be super hot near the end of the week with the highs in the 90s.  It will be a hot summer in the southwest this year.
You can see the height of this cactus with the power line behind it.  This was taken at a pit stop on the 8 heading east.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

San Diego Zoo Visit

I was able to take my sidekick to the zoo during her visit.  It is her first time and I was surprised by the many changes since my last visit.  Awesome day with awesome weather.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Socks for Val

When I visited Val last, she decided she wanted a pair of socks.  We did not make it to the yarn store to hopefully return some yarn, so I dug around in my stash when I got home.

I'm making a generic pair with Cat Bordhi's sweet tomato heel.
This will become my travel project.  They should knit faster than a pair for me since her feet are smaller.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hoaloha - Clue #4

Well, the knitting is finished on this sweater.  
I decided on a long sleeve version and I'm happy to say that for the first time, the sweater is a great fit.
I now need to wash and block the sweater and then add the buttons.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


It has been forever since I have eaten at a Chili's.  We hit this place for lunch one day and they had a lighter side menu.  I chose the tilapia with mango salsa which purported to have 625 calories.
Hard to believe, but I figured I ate over 1000 calories with the chips and salsa before the food arrived.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


On our way back from Irvine, my sidekick and I stopped for lunch at Mission Viejo.  It was sort of rainy and we wanted a sit down place.

We hit the mall and walked around checking out the offerings and ended up at Riptide - a full-service japanese restaurant.  The interior was great with all kinds of sea-type decorations and waterfalls all over the place.

We ended up ordering the combo plate called wok style.  I had salmon teriyaki, noodles and a spicy tuna sushi roll.  
Food was good but the ambiance was great.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dood's at the Tin Can

On a search for the best burgers in San Diego, I saw great reviews for Dood's.  
My apprentice and I decided to try it for lunch one day and even with all the street construction, it was open and empty.

We ordered the special sliders and we each got two - mine were barbecue bacon and chipotle cheese.
 We shared an order of fries and each had a cactus cooler.
Good burgers and super cheap - total meal came to $12.

The place is really a hole-in-the-wall bar and has a pretty dark interior.  We saw a bunch of stacks of beer cans.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Knit Companion Pretty Thing

Last year sometime, I purchased an app called Knit Companion to help with keeping the paper at bay while knitting.

There have been some upgrades to the app and the creator decided to start a series of free live webinars to assist users with usage and tips and tricks.

Sally set up a two-part webinar with a corresponding knit-a-long for the Pretty Thing.  I signed up on the website and got an e-mail invitation to the specific webinar.

The part 1 webinar was great.  I watched on my laptop while having my iPad open to the app and following along.  To ask questions, I just had to type it out on the dialog box.

Super easy to use and a great platform for learning.

I was motivated and dug out a skein of quivut and silk in a light purple color and cast on right after the pattern set up.
I can't wait for the next installment in two weeks.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Portabella Pizza

I made a stop at the grocery store and saw some great looking Portabella mushrooms.  I picked up a couple and decided to make a pizza.

I baked the mushrooms cap side down with the stem removed at 375 degrees for 5 minutes and then took them out of the oven and added stone spicy stewed tomatoes, a bit of spicy sausage and shredded cheese.

I then put the mushrooms back in the oven and baked them for another 20 minutes.  My toaster oven was a bit hotter than I liked and the cheese totally crisped up instead a being gooey.
Very tasty and filling.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hoaloha Clue #3 Progress

When we last visited this sweater, I had limited the body length awaiting the next clue on the final look of the sweater.  Clue #3 arrived and I decided to go ahead and knit one more repeat of the button band and ended up with three buttons on the tab.

I placed the buttons I had purchased for this sweater on the knit to see the final result and really like the look of them.  Even though I now have one orphan button...
I also decided to knit a long sleeve sweater so I started in on the sleeve addition and it is moving along as well.

The end of this clue is to finish one sleeve before the next clue is released.  I will continue to plod along.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Restart on Coriander Hat

I previously posted about this hat pattern where I tried to use some deep stash yarn.  I love the yarn and it is super soft, but there was no definition to the cable pattern which make the whole point moot.

Also, when I got to the decreasing crown section, the stitches looked wonky.  I tried to unknit for a bit and just got frustrated so I ripped that sucker right out.

I then dug around my yarn cabinet and found a ball of yarn whence from I have no idea.  I'm not even sure I have a full skein since it had already been balled up.  The yarn is Cascade 220 in a bright blue color.

I started knitting the hat again and like the way the cables are looking.
Now I'm wondering if this is again a mistake since I might just run out of yarn before I can finish this hat.....I might have to dig around again to find some other yarn.

Maybe the third time is really the charm!

By the way, that cute sheep followed me home from Colorado.  Val culled him from the herd.