Monday, August 29, 2016

Northern California Field Trip

I took a short trip up to Northern California for work and was able to hook up with a SSA agent I had worked with before and we renewed our relationship at the conference I just attended.  Since she lives in Sacramento, it was super convenient for her to drive so I didn't have to rent a car.

I arrived at the end of the day and had dinner with my parents at the Elephant Bar where we perused their new menu.  The place has changed hands and the menu selection was not as good.  They did bring back the lamb shanks but they didn't taste the same.  We indulged in dessert of the moon pie.
The next day started early in the morning and entailed a drive to the Bay.  I visited the Marin county civic center for a death certificate and it was wild.  It is a Frank Lloyd Wright design that was built after his death and the movie Gattaca was also filmed there.

I also visited the Oakland Federal Building to do a surprise inspection and sat out in the entry admiring the architecture.
The weather was cool and ranged between cloudy and sunny.  There was a hint of fall in the air.

Lunch was at Max's diner close by and the soup and sandwich combo was great with salmon chowder with big chunks of salmon and a half pastrami on rye with havarti cheese.
Also stopped by the cupcake place for a sample to take home.
The next day we ended up going in the opposite direction and headed up the hills.  We passed areas that looked like the plains as well as the northwest with pines.  At a really nice rest stop, I saw some cool information about the history of the area and great scenery.
Lunch consisted of wings and pizza in what use to be a bank building with the vault still visible.
Very productive trip even as short as it was.  Hung out with my parents for a few days in cool weather.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


I pulled another one of my languishing projects out of the bin and found that one of the skeins of yarn was all tangled up.  It is the nature of the way the ball was wound and I suspect because it is a single, it was more delicately balled up.

I pulled out my nostepinne which I have used super rarely and wound up that tangled mess.
After getting it started, I can made a center pull ball out of anything.  However, since one end of the yarn is already attached to the scarf, I will be pulling from the outside.
Here it is all finished and ready to go.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Merino Scarf Finished

Some concentrated weaving and I was able to finish for hand spun scarf.
I just wove blocks of weft continuously without multiple changes to take advantage of the gradient color of the natural fleece color.

It is super hard for me to estimate yarn usage and I was able to tell Jeri that she did not need to spin anymore yarn for me.  I actually had quite a bit left that I wound back into skeins.
Fringes twisted and fulled in the washing machine under the wool cycle.
Ready for prime time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Walking Bag for Andrea

I had previously made some dog walking bags with a cute pouch in the front for unrolling the poop bags and it works great with a small water bottle, phone, and keys.  The strap is long enough to cross the body and it is lightweight and easy to carry.

Andrea has one of these bags and walks ALOT.  Since she is in the desert, she carries a large water bottle and the depth of this little bag just doesn't cut it.

She asked for a deeper bag for summer walking so I searched for the original pattern and couldn't find it.  I pulled out some fabric that Val gave me and I estimated the size by measuring the bag I have.  It was all haphazard and then I set about piecing it all together with lining and pockets.

I had to refer to one of my craftsy classes - Bag Making Basics by Kristen Link and it was a good refresher.  There were some differences in construction, but I'm satisfied with the final project.  Here it is next to the original bag.
The new bag doesn't have the little opening on the front pocket but it is deep enough for her 10" bottle.
Pocket inside as well.
And the back.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Merino Scarf for the Steitzhof Farm

I had disclosed that Jeri and I bought almost all the fleeces from the Steitzhof farm this year at Black Sheep Gathering.

She washed up a bit and spun up some yarn and knit a beautiful shawl for Mr. Cool's mom.  I got the remainder to weave up a scarf for Mr. Cool's dad.

I pulled out the little balls and wound the warp up.
96 warp ends for a 2 1/2 yard scarf on an 8 dents per inch reed.

Mr. Cool, Cash, Tulip, and Luna with a little extra moorit color fleece to add some interest.

Bobbins are wound with all the yarn I have.
The Ashford table loom is being dressed and it is was a little fiddly and I lost the cross, but it wound out fine.  All tied on, fringe length measured out and weaving.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sushi Burritos

I got a notification from Yelp about restaurants in my area and this one popped up and looked interesting.

Andrea was visiting and we went there for a late dinner but it was too crowded so we took our food to go.  They have poke bowls and sushi burritos with bento boxes.

We ordered a burrito and a poke bowl to share.  Very fresh and tasty.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Margarita Napkins Started

I decided I couldn't wait anymore for the new reeds to arrive so I pulled out the 12 dpi reed from the 24" Ashford and got started.
First napkin on its way.  11 more to go.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Mere Finally

I posted about this project back in 2011.  I had spun the yarn and started knitting one of these Lord of the Rings themed patterns and even had the matching beads.

I finished all the knitting back early 2012 and did the most difficult part for me which was the grafting of the body to the lastly knit border (done in two separate pieces).  After the grafting, I pulled on the graft and I realized what a mistake that was.  The graft pulled out and I was left with only half of the border attached and all these loose stitches threatening to unravel.

Almost in tears, I quickly tried to insert needles into the open stitches hoping to salvage as much as I could.  I was so discouraged after such a long journey, the piece sat in a bag in the back of the closet for years.  I just couldn't face it any longer.

Fast forward to 2016 and my participation in the Stash Dash and I thought "Hmm, that is over 1,000 meters to be counted."  I pulled it out of time out and laid it out and pulled out the pattern yet again.  It was a very tedious process but I triumphed.  I made the graft super loose and also wove in the end a few places and left a super long tail just in case.  It will be washed and then maybe more weaving before cutting to make darn sure that graft will hold.
Close up of the beads.
Another 1,208 meters down.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

More Weaving

The second two scarves are off the loom.  These were done using the same silk as the previous attempt however, I used the 8 dpi reed this time with 2 epi in each slot.  I like the green warp quite a bit.
Very little loom waste yet again and I'm hoping the washed fabric will be looser.  Cutting and fringe work before the washer.

Next in the queue are the Margarita napkins.  A very long 10 yard warp so it took a bit of time winding on.  The thread is very thin so lots of tangling.
I should end up with 12 - 20" x 20" napkins.  I did have some loom waste at the beginning.
One of my colors was much shorter than the others.  I'm in the process of threading the heddles, but am waiting for the 12 dpi reed to arrive in the mail.  I"m hoping it comes by next week so the loom doesn't get lonely.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fringe Master

I gathered all my missing fringe projects and went to town.
All my fringes are done!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Hedgehogs Galore

I also got a bit a sewing done and have almost finished the hedgehog bag - all it needs is to have the zipper tabs sewn down.
Totally cute and I got a couple of packages from Val in the mail.

And Pandas!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Snowflake Scarf Challenge

Some more time spent weaving and I have found that this new loom cuts way down on the waste and I don't need quite as much extra warp as I have before.  The pattern calls for 25 repeats of the full pattern and a shortened version for the last bit.  Previously with my adaptations, I was able to get 30 repeats.  With the same warp length, I was able to do 39 repeats with the last bit added on.  I probably could have done quite a bit more, but I had a couple of warp threads break.
I used the great tip from Jane's workshop and the cones from the towel project that I saved.
This is the warp waste I ended up with as I just about run out on the shuttle as well.
Now to wash and twist fringe.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Training Break in Santa Ana

I attended a training conference in Santa Ana and it was super humid.  The conference was held at the Doubletree near the airport and there were plenty of eating places around.

The first night I took some newbies to Din Tai Fung for dumplings and a walk about at the mall.
BB-8 luggage at the Disney Store.  Cute but too small for my travels.
The hotel and surrounding buildings surrounded a cool pool with ducks.
Good networking and interesting topics.  Fun times.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Crafty Weekend

Since it was so hot, I stayed home and crafted while watching Gilmore Girls from the beginning in anticipation of the new series.

I first finished the Bifrost scarf.
While knitting this up, I had a chance to watch some of the second Thor movie - apropos.

I also spun up some of the polworth silk I had prepped for me hoping to make some room for Mr. Cool's fleece to arrive.
I made progress on the Snowflake scarf on the loom and then pulled out the napkin kit and wound the warp.
This is the order of the colors.
I also 99% finished up Val's sewing bag.  All that is left is tacking down the tabs on either side of the zipper and making the dumpling dish.
I also hemmed up a woven rug project while on the sewing machine.  It is ready for the washing machine for fulling.
Productive weekend.  I also pulled out some equipment and supplies and half heartedly organized some of it.  I need to really buckle down and finish up some in progress projects.