Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quilty, very quilty

I'ave also been working steadily on a folded fabric quilt to hang in my office. We have all pretty bare walls, and some color would be good.

Most of the work is done, actually. It's down to the tedium, appliqueing down all of the flower petals. You can see on the right that I have 3 of the 8 flower blocks completely finished (button centers and all). Each block takes approximately 45 minutes to do all the petals plus the 5 buttons. Really at this point it comes down to stamina. I can usually get two done at a sitting, then I need a break.

Fuzzy, very fuzzy

The yarn for Hodge is done, and I'm just waiting to hear from him and get an address for where to send them. I really hit the peak of softness on these yarns. The purple is especially squishy, and for reasons I haven't figured out, even though they appear to have the same approximate yarn dimensions and such, the blue one has less yardage. Oh well. A total of 3.5 ounces each skein, and 130-140 yards each. appx 608 ypp, so aran-bulky weight, which is about what I was going for. This will make a very nice warm hat for him!

For myself, I've finally mustered up the courage to spin the tri-color alpaca I bought at SAFF. Oh my this is heavenly to spin. I actually keep forcing myself to stop just so I can enjoy this for longer. There are a few bits of chaff and tiny flecks of straw, but the preparation is so light that I'm usually able to simply blow on the roving and have the chaff fall out.

I'm working towards an even 2-ply fingering to lace weight yarn, and I'm planning on making a super-soft against the skin cowl for myself. Probably Abby from Knitty.

I started with just under 4 ounces, and split it in half weight wise, and am spinning the singles onto separate bobbins. Then I'll ply. Cross your fingers that they end up being the same length. If they aren't I don't know what I'll do. I've had success with short lengths of essentially andean plying leftover ends. I'll attach the remaining single to the wheel, walk the remaining bit out and then fold it back on itself. If it's close, I'll do that. If it's nowhere near close, I'll probably try to ply the remaining little bit into 2-ply off of my ball winder. maybe I'll try to reserve that mini-skein for petting purposes!

More snow pictures

Everything does look so pretty when it's covered in a layer of snow. It's best if you don't have to go out in it, but that's really not that difficult in this state. Everything shuts down, sometimes even with the THREAT of snow!

Our house looks very white gigngerbreadey in the snow

The streetwas not quite Currier and Ives, but it was pretty

We got to watch our rain chain transform into the coolest icicle ever.

Which only got neater when it started to melt. Unfortunately, the videos I took of it melting don't show up very well, but the water was running mostly on the inside of the icicle, rather than the outside. No idea why, but it looked awesome

Friday, January 30, 2009

Just batty

After the snow, there was plenty of time for crafting, and I have been totally loving on the drum carder Jeff got me for my birthday. So much so I keep forgetting to take pictures of things before I spin them, but at least I remembered with this one!

This batt is destined to become a mixed worsted/woolen style spun single, worsted to aran weight. It's for a friend who currently lives in AZ, and who got yarn from me previously, ran out, went to a box store to find something similar, and decided mine is too nice!

It's mostly Punta wool from Brown Sheep, with about 5% baby alpaca mixed in. My that baby alpaca is nice. It adds a nice hand to the spinning, is super soft and warm, and will hopefully make finishing his hat very nice for him! The companion batt to this is already spun up. It has the same base colors, but replace orange with purple. He has an orange/purple theme to his Ren Faire costume. Hopefully when I see him this fall I'll have a chance to get a photo of the finished product!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I've been waiting. . .

. . .over eight years to do this.

While the temperature was great, right around freezing, the snow unfortunately was perfect for snowmen, snowballs, and snowforts, but poor for skiing. Still, I did get some good schusshing in before the treads got caked with snow.

It's looking like this snow is going to stay here for a day or so, but I doubt the skiing potential is going to improve.

Still. Totally worth it.

My little snowbunny

I think she likes it!

This is probably only the second or third time Callay has seen snow. This morning her tracks showed the efficiency of a greyhound on a mission. Out the door, to the fence, pee, back through the doggy door. I wanted to see if I could get her to do some running. She had fun! But as you can see, at the end she literally bolts for the doggy door. We then warmed up inside, I wiped down her coat and her paws, and she's curled up contentedly on her bed in the office.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Too cute!

I just got a picture of my adorable niece Ally in the Piggle I'd made for her. What a sweetie!

Looks like the top is a little bit long, and she'll need to wear her pigtails a little lower to make it really work, but it looks like we have a winner!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wow Wowio!

A bit ago, I included the wowio widget at the bottom of the page, just out of curiousity for how many people read my blog, what they read, and where they come from. I see a lot of people from knitty and ravelry (Hi friends!) I see people who came to my blog directly, rather than from a link (Welcome, and I hope you enjoy it. If I'm on your list of bookmarked pages, I'm honored!) , and I see people who have come here from Google (welcome to you as well). One had googled bruised heel in google images and of course the broken fat pad from my blackbelt test came up.

Just today I noticed someone from Milverton, Canada who followed a google link and was reading one of the posts from when Callay (my greyhound) had her lipoma removed. To the reader from Milverton, Canada, I hope your greyhound is doing okay. If you have any questions about what mine went through that weren't answered in the blog posts, or if you just want to talk, please comment!

Also, I followed the link back and discovered that if you google for Lipomas in Greyhounds, my blog is the #1 google hit!

I feel like such a dork for being excited about that.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fun times behind, fun times ahead!

The birthday party Jeff arranged for me was a blast. It was just what I was wanting; a relaxing evening with my friends. We had a few drinks, ate some tasty grilled ribs, and our friends brought yummy side dishes to go with ribs, and we had some nice snacks to tide us over and go with the beers to drink while we were waiting on the grill. The ribs are Jeff's family tradition at large parties and he did a great job with them. Good times, good friends.

I mentioned earlier, I recently have been bitten by the quilting bug (Thanks, Mom!)

Of course, with birthdays comes the opportunity to purchase treats for myself with some birthday money (Thanks Mom Kass!)

Oddly enough, more than half of this is actually going towards making stuff for someone else, but I still get all the fun of making it! Muhahaha!

First up I got three "charm packs" by Moda. The fabric line this comes from is called Bistro, and it has all sorts of coffee and latte themed things. On anyone can quilt she made a lovely table topper quilt using two of these charm packs. I wanted an extra one just in case, although I'll likely make mine the same size or smaller, to go diagonally on my rectangular coffee table that I don't want to cover up so much as protect and decorate. The swirly brown fabric under the 5"squares is going to be the border, and I'll probably use unbleached muslin for the back. While we were at Joanne's, Mom found some beautiful Debbie Mumm fabric in the discount pile, and when we were at the cutting table, when her lady was done with it, I asked her to place that right on top of the pile my gal was working from! There were only 2.5 yards left, and it only came to like $3.50 for the rest of the bolt. No idea whatsoever what I'll do with it, but with that quantity, I can totally use it for a quilt back.

Next up is fabric that's going to be an ABC-123 quilt for my new nephew. More details on that to come :)Now we come to the red batik fabrics. I have a rather ambitious project in mind for these. I've been facinated with fabric folding, which is a marriage of origami and quilting. There is a pattern in the fabric folding book which consists of some 150 folded roses (with their folded centers) appliqued into place to resemble topiaries teeming with roses. And yes. I want to make this. I'll just start collecting red batiks, cutting squares, folding them, and do it whenever. I'm going to work on the background, the pots and the window at the same time, and applique the roses whenever it suits me. One of those ongoing projects that any progress is fun and fulfilling.

So that's all for now. I have an Amazon Giftcard to spend, and I'm looking at a few more very nice quilt books, or maybe a spinning book!