Friday, October 30, 2015

Spinning Friday: October 30, 2015

I did finish plying the 2 oz of  mixed BFL "Lagoon" from FatCatKnits.  Another skein of worsted weight 2-ply, with 119 yards.


So added to the current pile for this sweater I'm planning to knit, the stack currently looks like:


The current tentative plan is for a cardigan, and I'll use the natural dark brown for the ribbing and lower portion of the sleeves and body, striped with the 2 contrast colors that are sitting up on top, and then work the body in the variegated "Quest" colorway for the remainder. I still think I might be a bit short on yardage, but we'll see.

I then moved on to another spin.  This one is a gradient pack from Hilltop Cloud.  This is a blend of merino and shetland wool, and flax, that's a custom blend.  I have just under 5 oz to work with in this pack, which is in the colorway "Lake House".


It doesn't look like much since all the interesting color shifts are hidden, but I am done bobbin #1 of the singles:


I've started bobbin #2 and I'll be spinning the rest of the singles up this weekend with any luck!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday: October 28, 2015

This week, I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting:

  • The yarn for the next quick deadline project arrived yesterday, so that's wound and ready to cast on.  This will be my focus for the next few weeks, as I've got a November 20th deadline for the project.
  • I have been making good progress on the DK-weight sweater project in Wooly Wonka Fibers Aeslin DK, but that'll take a back-burner to the new deadline project for a while. 
Personal Projects:  Nothing on the knitting front, but I did get the border squares pieced and sewn onto the outside of the Bertie's Year block I'm working on.  You can see in the top corner, I've started the embroidery that'll outline the diagonal lines around the outside border.  


I'm taking my time working on this - just doing it in bits and bobs as I have some free time, but it's lovely to have a NON-deadline project to work on too!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Reading Challenge 2015: October 26, 2015

This week, I read Beloved.  I'm not sure I have much else to say here except I checked it off the list.  I didn't care for this book at all on several different levels.  It was creepy, oddly written (I had an immensely hard time getting it started - I was lost and confused for the first 3 chapters) and I'm still not sure what it's about.  If that was it's intent, then it scored an A+.  Would I recommend it to anyone?  No.  I didn't like it and it gave me nightmares.

The library didn't have a copy of The Last Unicorn, so I requested it via interlibrary loan - we'll see if I can get it before the end of the year!

I did order a 99-cent copy of Muse in print, which should be here this week to start, so I'll read that first.

I was happy to see our library had an audiobook copy I could borrow (plus an easy-to-use audiobook app to download) of Cinder, so I grabbed a copy of that and have been listening to it while I spin. Interesting premise (a retelling of Cinderella), but while it's a Young Adult category book, I don't think I'd want my 12 or 13-year-old reading it.  (References to the plague and the main character being used for biological experimentation.)  It's an entertaining read.... just not exactly what I was expecting here.

I have been working on my 2016 Challenge List.  I think I may fill in more things as I go this year (although I do have maybe a third of it planned out already), but try to utilize the library and free audiobooks for some of the topics, based on what our library has available.  I'll post topics for next year here next Monday, so if anyone wants to join in, they can see what's on the list so far!

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. FINISHED.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.  FINISHED.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.  FINISHED.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  FINISHED.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May. FINISHED.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.  FINISHED.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot. FINISHED.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. FINISHED.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller.  FINISHED.
27. a book you can finish in a day:  India Black by Carol Karr.  FINISHED.
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. FINISHED.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin. FINISHED.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser. FINISHED.
31. a book with bad reviews: The Last Unicorn.
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke. FINISHED.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.  FINISHED.
39. a book with a color in the title: Scarlet by A.C Gaughen.  FINISHED.
40. a book that made/makes you cry:  Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. FINISHED.
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.  FINISHED.
42. a graphic novel: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.  FINISHED.
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. FINISHED.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford. FINISHED.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende. FINISHED.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.  FINISHED
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker. FINISHED.
49. a play: The Odd Couple by Neil Simon.  FINISHED.
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison. FINISHED.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs. FINISHED.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes. FINISHED.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Spinning Friday: October 23, 2015

This week I've been spinning up a few small bits to add to my yardage for a sweater spin.

You might remember during the Tour de Fleece, I had spun up 8 oz of a hand-dyed variegated BFL and a dark coffee brown natural roving into a bouncy worsted weight yarn, but I don't think I have quite enough for a sweater, so I bought a handful of 2-oz braids of the same variegated BFL base from Ginny at FatCatKnits (who also dyed the original variegated BFL colorway) to get myself a little more yardage, figuring I can add some contrast color stripes to the mix.

This week, I spun up and plied 2 oz of "Sienna" into 122 yards of a 2-ply worsted weight.


And then I finished up the 2 oz of singles of "Lagoon", which I will try to get plied this weekend.


That will give me somewhere around a total of around 875 or so yards, and I have one other tonal-dye colorway I could also spin up from Ginny ("Toffee"), but I may see how far I get by casting on and knitting a bit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WIP Wednesday: October 21, 2015

Sekret Knitting:

  • I finished up the sample shawl for my #1 deadline project.  That's been TE'ed and my tester is on the last section, so it will be ready to forward on to the yarn company shortly.  Woot!
  • I am still working on my DK-weight lace and cable sweater sample in the meantime - that doesn't have a specific deadline, but I'm picking it up as I have time right now. 
  • I have another short deadline project that was accepted, but I'm currently waiting on yarn for that.  When it arrives, that'll bump to the top of the to-do list for a bit.
  • I have committed to going to Stitches West in February, so I've been brainstorming some kits and 2-skein-size patterns to take for that.  I have been really enjoying my new DK-weight superwash merino yarn, so I decided to start a 2-color, slip-stitch cowl with that, using 1 skein of a handpaint and 1 skein of a tonal dye.  It's knitting up fast!  (Here's a little sneak peek....)

I plan to have it worked up in a long, wrapable size, and a smaller single wrap version too.

Personal Knitting:  Nothing going on here - nor in my sewing this week.  I was a bit under the weather this past weekend, so I just worked on deadline knitting projects and a few swatches.  More to come as I'm solo this weekend - D and Lizzie are headed out for a camping trip up north for 3 days!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Reading Challenge 2015

This week I finished up the biography of Mary, Queen of Scots.  This is a toothy book - lots and lots of detail and footnotes - perfect for the history geek in me.  It's a bit of a slow read but very well researched with tons of references and specific historical documents footnoted, including the infamous "Casket Letters."  The hardest part for me was keeping all of the inter-relationships between the Scottish nobles straight and since various family members flipped sides frequently, I needed to keep some mental notes on who was which son, cousin or brother who was (or wasn't) loyal to the queen.  A well-written book and one I enjoyed putting on my thinking cap for.

I also zipped through Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas In Wales, which is really more of a long poem and one I read before, but delightful for a quick easy read.

I currently have the following left to read in the next couple of months:
a book with bad reviews: The Last Unicorn.
a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
a book set in the future: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
a graphic novel: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.

I plan to pick up Beloved at the library today (and possibly The Last Unicorn if it's in and available) and start that.

And I'm working on my to-read list for 2016!


WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. FINISHED.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.  FINISHED.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.  FINISHED.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  FINISHED.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May. FINISHED.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.  FINISHED.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot. FINISHED.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. FINISHED.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller.  FINISHED.
27. a book you can finish in a day:  India Black by Carol Karr.  FINISHED.
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. FINISHED.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin. FINISHED.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser. FINISHED.
31. a book with bad reviews: The Last Unicorn.
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke. FINISHED.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.  FINISHED.
39. a book with a color in the title: Scarlet by A.C Gaughen.  FINISHED.
40. a book that made/makes you cry:  Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. FINISHED.
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.  FINISHED.
42. a graphic novel: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.  FINISHED.
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. FINISHED.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford. FINISHED.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende. FINISHED.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.  FINISHED
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker. FINISHED.
49. a play: The Odd Couple by Neil Simon.  FINISHED.
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs. FINISHED.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes. FINISHED.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Spinning Friday: Sari Batts

I did get some spinning accomplished since my last Spinning Friday post.  I dug into the deep dark recesses of my stash bins and hauled out one of my oldest fibers, a set of two 2-oz batts from Enchanted Knoll, in the "Sari" colorway.  These are a blend of superwash merino, silk and sparkle, and a wee bit of loose silk threads.

I have the first 2 oz spun up and have started the second 2 oz of singles.



My plan is to spin this up into a fingering-weight 2-ply yarn, probably for a shawl since it has a lovely shine and drape with just a hint of sparkle to it.  We'll see how the weekend treats me (Saturday is forecast cool and rainy for a change, so maybe I'll be indoors a lot), and try to get the singles finished up on this project.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WIP Wednesday: October 14, 2015

Sekret Knitting:

  • I'm just about done the lace sample piece - I have probably another evening's worth of knitting on it and then it'll be done!  Today's plan is to finalize my draft, get that and charts sent off to my TE and my tester, and that one can get put to bed for a while. 
  • I did work a wee bit on the sweater piece while I was traveling to and from Austin, but only got a few rows of that one done, so I'll focus on that for a while until the yarn arrives for the next contract piece that I have on the deadline schedule.
Personal Knitting:  Nothing to report here.

Quilting Project(s):  For the Bertie project, I did get all the border pieces cut and sewn into patches - I need to sew those together and attach them to the main center square, which I'll probably work on this weekend - but not much to show in terms of pretty pictures.  More next week tho.... promise. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pattern Releases

I have a metric tonnage of catching up to do with pattern releases now that Free Spirit Knits has gone live, so I'm devoting a post solely to new designs today.  Grab a seat and some nice fall-themed beverage - I've got a bunch.

First up, my newest stand-alone release is my Mina Jacket, which is knit from the lovely Brigantia yarn from Spirit Trail Fibers.  This fitted jacket has a large cable panel up the back with integrated waist shaping, a relatively plain front with just a small cable at the front openings, and then a textured/cabled pattern for the set-in sleeves.  You can opt to make it with or without the front waist/bust shaping, but I like as a trim little layering piece for fall.  You can see this beauty in person in Jen's booth at Rhinebeck this year!



Next up are the currently released patterns from Free Spirit Knits, which is now available both via Amazon and via Interweave.  (Interweave's site has a downloadable ebook available, as well as the print version.  Links to both Amazon and Interweave sites in the individual pattern links to follow).

I just released the Saguaro Blossom Hat, knit from less than 200 yards of worsted weight yarn with a fun cabled pattern on the top reminiscent of the large night-blooming flowers of the saguaro cacti in Arizona.


Then there's the Three Sisters Shawl, knit with Lucent fingering weight from my friend, Kim at The Woolen Rabbit.  This is a great lace project to keep you occupied this fall.  Several fun lace stitch patterns for the body, and a knit-on cable and lace border.


If you are looking for a slightly smaller lace shawl, I've also got my Tres Flores Shawl available. This one is knit from 3 herby-green shades of Jamieson and Smith's jumperweight wool, but it would be lovely in a solid color, or even knit up with a gradient!


I've also released the pattern for the Petroglyph Socks, knit from the wonderfully soft and warm sock yarn blend from my friend, Terry, at Snowshoe Farm Alpacas in Vermont.  These are sized for both men and women, and would be a great project to start now and gift over the holidays.


Finally, my Aspens Cardigan, which is here just in time for fall leaf season in the mountains.  One of my favorites in the book, as well as the cover image, this fingering-weight project has leaf lace motifs in a large center panel on the back, as well as trimming the front bands and centered on the sleeves.  Knit from Brooklyn Tweed's Loft, it's a wonderful season-spanning wardrobe builder.


Whew!  That's a whole lotta knits to review at once.  More to come as I have another 12 patterns to release from The Book, as well as several more stand-alones to roll out in the next month!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WIP Wednesday: October 7, 2015

Here's what I'm working on this week:

Sekret Knitting:

  • Bumping up a lace project to the top of the list that has an early November deadline.  Nicely enough, it'll be the perfect travel project so that will go back and forth to Austin with me this weekend for the Austin Yarn Crawl.  I have started it and I'm just about done the first section. I'll get draft charts and text finished up today to take with me. 
  • Also still working on my next sweater for the shop.  This one will be good down-time knitting so I'll probably take it with me in case (I'm doutbful this will happen, but you never know) I have time to knit while I'm meeting and greeting at The Happy Ewe over the weekend (or more likely, I'm too brain dead to knit much lace).
Personal Knitting:  None on the go right now, but how about an update on my sewing project instead?  (And this may be an ongoing addition to WIP Wednesday since it is a WIP).

Sewing/Quilting:  This week, I got the rest of the fusible applique pieces sewn onto the quilt block and I finished up most of the embroidery details.  Once the sewn/patchwork border blocks are sewn on, I've got some snowflakes to add to the entire thing, but I need to do those once the border is applied.  So the next step on this piece is to get the border blocks sewn and then attached to this larger center block.  


Monday, October 5, 2015

Reading Challenge 2015

Busy, busy weekend here - I was in Taos for the sheep and wool festival on Saturday with a trunk show of my book pieces (Thank you to all who made the trip into town to visit!) - and that plus almost 4 hours of driving to and fro meant I was pretty brain dead Saturday p.m.  (And having gotten a flu shot on Thursday afternoon, I was a bit under the weather on Friday.)  So not a lot of reading time, although I have followed Mary's story long enough Scottish husband #1 (Darnley) has been killed off, Mary's been imprisoned at Loch Leven (which I've actually visited!) and subsequently escaped, and has moved past Scottish husband #2 (Bothwell).   Not a quick read, but I am very much enjoying it - and will continue on with it for this week as well. Edited to add: She was married for a short time to the heir to the French throne, Francis, but he died at 17.

I'm off to Austin for another trunk show this weekend in conjunction with their yarn crawl, so may have a bit of reading time in transit and in my hotel room in the evenings - if I finish up Mary, Queen of Scots, I will probably pick up Cinder next.  (I generally don't like to cart around hard copies of books when I travel, and I plan to get Beloved from the library, so will wait to start that one when I'm home next week.)

There are plans afoot for Reading Challenge 2016 as well.  If you are interested, the Goodreads group has picked 39 of the 52 weeks' topics and you can read about those here.  I believe I'm going to give this another go for 2016 - I have found a lot of books I wouldn't have read (and enjoyed) this year with this challenge and I think it was a good thing for me to pry myself out of my reading rut and expand my mind a bit!

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy. FINISHED.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. FINISHED.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.  FINISHED.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.  FINISHED.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  FINISHED.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May. FINISHED.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.  FINISHED.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot. FINISHED.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. FINISHED.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller.  FINISHED.
27. a book you can finish in a day:  India Black by Carol Karr.  FINISHED.
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. FINISHED.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin. FINISHED.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: The Last Unicorn.
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke. FINISHED.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.  FINISHED.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future: Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.  FINISHED.
39. a book with a color in the title: Scarlet by A.C Gaughen.  FINISHED.
40. a book that made/makes you cry:  Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. FINISHED.
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.  FINISHED.
42. a graphic novel: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira.  FINISHED.
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. FINISHED.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford. FINISHED.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende. FINISHED.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker. FINISHED.
49. a play: The Odd Couple by Neil Simon.  FINISHED.
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs. FINISHED.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes. FINISHED.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Spinning Friday: The Strawberry Thief

I signed up for 2 months of Hilltop Cloud's Time Traveler's Club - love that theme!  The August fiber was a lovely custom blend of merino and silk, with a theme of William Morris's popular print The Strawberry Thief.  The original roving looked like:


I had 200 grams to work with (I ordered a double dose) - and I knew I wanted to spin this fairly finely for a fingering weight yarn.  I finally finished this up this week and LOVE how it came out.


Yarn Specs:
Roving:  25% Corriedale/12.5% Mulberry Silk/62.5% Merino custom blend from Hilltop Cloud. August 2015 Time Traveller's Club fiber.
Ply:  2-ply.
Weight:  Fingering weight.
Yardage: 661 yards/6.6 oz.

I have no specific plans for this as of yet, but I'm definitely leaning towards a shawl since the drape is lovely and it's a great almost-solid/tweedy yarn.



Thursday, October 1, 2015

Some housekeeping, an update and (gasp!) some sewing

Do you follow the Celtic calendar at all?  I do to some extent and I like how the year ends at Halloween, moving into the darkness of the winter months as the new year, without waiting for January 1st.  In view of the "new year resolution" concept, I've got some housekeeping and other tidbits going on for this Thursday's post.

First off, many of you know that I work a lot - A LOT a lot - of hours between the dyeing I do for the shop and my clubs and shows and wholesale clients, and my design work, and this past year I've been doing photography and styling duties as half of the Stitch Definition team.  I also have continued to put in 28 hours a week at a day job - but I'm really happy to say that's coming to an end as of October 8th.   I put in my notice there and will work out my 2 weeks' worth of hours (which I've already made a dent in - today's the end of week 1).  I am sincerely hoping this will give me back some better balance of home/work/life in a way that doesn't have me tired and hoping for a nap pretty much all day long.   So a big thank-you to all of you who have, over the last several years, supported my yarn and fiber and design endeavors for finally helping me get to this place!

I'm hoping that will mean some more frequent shop updates and some more designs coming off the needles and to that end, while I will still certainly be posting things about knitting and designing here, I'm going to also plan on posting to the blog content section of the shop website with new releases and other business-related things.  I hope, if you enjoy reading about things here, you will also consider bookmarking that feed as well to keep on top of shop going-ons.

One of the things I would like to add back into my life is some sewing and in light of that, I've dug out a project I started under the radar a while back and haven't really made any progress on (see above - home/work/life) but I'm hoping that will change.  I cleaned off my sewing table, organized and put things into separate plastic bins so I can keep pieces straight, and decided I'd like to work a bit on the first month of Bertie's Year.  You can see all of the month's blocks here on Pinterest.

While I think I'd say this type of quilt isn't necessarily me, there's something about this little bird and his seasonal adventures that grabbed me - maybe it's because I can hear my Gram saying things about "little birds" in my head?  (She loved birds.  Loved having them outside her window and in her flower garden, and just adored their personalities.  Maybe that's the hook for me.)  At any rate, all the blocks are done with cotton flannel using a fusible web applique technique, which I hadn't done in this fashion before, but find I really like.

I've had the January block started and this week I fused on the little red hat and snowman's nose, which I'll get whip-stitched into place.  After that, there are a set of green leaves to add, and then the decorations of some embroidery and red buttons in place of holly berries.  I also plan to finish cutting the squares that form the triangular border if I have time.


I've been a bit on the fence about whether I wanted to do each block separately or put them all together as a larger wall-type square quilt, but I think I've settled on separate blocks, which I can then hang in 3 tiers together.  This will mean that I actually have something finished to show for my time and effort and I think having the smaller projects to finish will help me stay motivated to work on all the months.

Stitching Update: January 16, 2018

I rotated back to my Winter's Encounter project for the past 5 days and made some good progress on it. I managed to finish all of p...