Frog Bag

Look what I found at Barnes & Noble today* - Isn't that the perfect project bag? As an added bonus, look what's on the reverse - I love dragonflies.

The bag is made of heavy canvas so it should hold a lot of goodies. We tested it out to make sure - books, one of my favorite magazines (it's from the UK and very pricey in the States), and an early Father's Day gift for hubby. He's reading it on the couch as we speak, enjoying a hot, lazy SoCal afternoon.

*Got it for $8.95! with my discount card. I {heart} bargains.


On a Roll

"On a spin" might be more accurate. I finished spinning this 4 ounce batch of Corriedale (Judy's Novelty Wool, colorway 'Spring Fling') and plied it up last night. It's another 2-ply yarn, and exactly 400 yards. Love how this turned out. It's smooth and even (almost) all the way through. Now I just need to decide what to make with it. Suggestions?



Haven't done any spinning since last July - when the Tour de Fleece ended - but enabling showing Colleen got me back in the spinning mood. This is the last 2 ounces of some Merino wool Vickie gave me. 2-ply. 176 yards. Nice. And the 'it's been awhile' thing? I forgot to tie it together before I took it off the niddy-noddy. What a mess.

Saturday's guild program on overshot weaving got me excited about weaving again. And the latest issue of Pieceworks got me curious (again) about little Weave-It looms. It took me a little bit to figure out the warping but thanks to You-Tube I got it. This is 7 1/2 yards of fun. I'm still doing something wrong - I get an unwoven thread on 2 opposing sides when I take this off the loom - but I'm enjoying playing with it. Weave-its - the granny square of the weaving world.


Chalk Wars

Last Saturday, Marie came home from work with a big bucket of outdoor chalk and was immediately mobbed by kids - big and little. Everybody wanted in on the fun and our driveway was quickly turned into an artwalk.

left to right - Rachel, Payton, Gary, Samantha

The little girls really got into their work - especially on their clothes. I don't think we'll ever get all the chalk dust out of Leia's socks. But they sure had a good time. Thanks, Marie!
Payton "helps" Gary with his drawing


Scarf Day

Finished up two scarves that will be going to my favorite yarn shop on Tuesday. This lacy Tunisian scarf is made with Filatura di Crosa's 'Tempo Fancy'. It looks and feels like silk but is a blend of cotton and acrylic. Love the texture, the drape, the colors - basically love everything about it. I'd love to have a sweater made from this, if it was just a little less pricey.

This one is Wavelength, made with Noro 'Kureyon' sock yarn. Hated working with this yarn; it kept kinking and knotting back on itself, plus it's scratchy and rough. But the pattern really shows the famous Noro colors to perfection. And a long soak in warm water and hair condition did an amazing job of softening the finished scarf. My scarf is much shorter than the 8-foot original but more manageable and practical for So.Cal. weather.


Shawl, Shawl, Sweater

Lion Brand's 'Bridal Shawl' - my 6th shawl for '10 Shawls in 2010' - made with sport-weight Madelinetosh Pashmina, not the bulky-weight yarn called for in the original pattern. I used a little less than 2 full 360-yard skeins, so this is probably 680 or so yards. Pashmina is NICE; it gives the shawl a nice weight and elegant feel. Highly recommend this pattern and yarn. Y'all will like it, I promise. (link to LB pattern here) (link to shawl on Ravelry here)

I didn't make this, Ginny did - but it's all mine. We worked a swap and she knit me this February Lady sweater using Manos del Uraguay's yummy 'Silk Blend' yarn and abalone shell buttons that Susie gave me a while back. The pattern is available as a free download on Ravelry (here). Almost 9000 people have made this and the pattern has been translated into 7 languages besides English. Think this thing is just a little popular?? And with good reason - I *love* it. Thanks again, Ginny!

I didn't make this shawl either - Melinda did - but it's all mine too. This was another swap. I picked the pattern (Peace Shawl) and the yarn - Melinda had recycled it from a man's sweater she found at a thrift store. She held the yarn double for the top section, making it warmer around the shoulders, and then used a single strand for the bottom section, making it light and airy. Most Peace Shawls shown on Ravelry are small, dainty kerchief-like things. This one is a shawl. I've already worn this a bunch of times and I see it getting a lot of day-to-day use.

Love the flecks of color throughout the predominately brown yarn.


AddaNana and LeiaBodea

Addy and her family arrived last week for a quick 3-day visit.

Addy and her mommy. At 3, Addy's as tall as most 5-year-olds

We picked them up at LAX Friday morning and dropped them off again on Monday. Needless to say, we crammed as much into those 3 days as we possibly could. Friday was a pizza party - and I have no photos. Guess I was too busy having a great time. Hopefully Rachel got some that she'll share (hint, hint . . . )

On Saturday, the boys went on a half-day deep sea fishing excursion.
They swear they caught the 18 or so fish they brought home, that they weren't store-bought. Without photographic evidence though . . . .

While they were gone, we girls hung out at home. Leia and Addy were fascinated with each other.Whatever Addy did, Leia did. Addy wants to watch a movie on mom's iPhone? You can bet Leia will be right behind her. Addy turned our bay window into a stage and dance floor. She taught Leia and Payton (Gary's girlfriend's daughter) to do the 'slide, step' she'd learned in dance class. That quickly escalated into 'shake a booty' and general silliness. It was hilarious watching three little baby butts wiggling - and three little girls seeing how many handprints they could get on the front window.

Sunday I had to teach a crochet class while Dick, John and Rachel took Addy and Leia to a kid's trout fishing place in Agoura Hills. Addy caught two 13" rainbow trout, although one jumped off the hook before Dad could get a grasp on it. Fortunately, Leia decided this was the perfect time to enjoy one of her favorite activities. Had she been awake, she'd have kept PopPop on his toes, trying to keep her away from the water and hooks and every other thing that fascinated her.

Then we all joined up at the beach in Ventura for what Addy had been waiting not so patiently for - sand and sea.
The boys and their girls: John and Addy; Dick and Leia.

It was typical summer beach weather - foggy, cold and windy. The little girls couldn't have cared less. They were thrilled with their shovels, buckets of sand and water running over their toes. And when PopPop shared an apple pie with her? Leia was in heaven. The adults were ready to leave about five minutes into this adventure but the girls were having a blast. We lasted almost an hour before our noses turned to popsicles and we decamped down the road to our favorite seafood parlor.
Poor Leia was exhausted. She was asleep less than five minutes later.

All in all, a very nice - but much too short - weekend.

*Chris and Naia were at a baby shower in Sacramento, and Miles was with his dad. We missed them!


Back on Track

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted. Between the trip to Florida, setting up the craft room as a guest room and Addy's family's visit from Colorado, it seems like time has just flown by.

I have gotten a few things done. We put a bed in the craft room - where my Baby Wolf once stood - for John and Rachel to use when they come to visit. It will be packed up behind some cabinets in between trips so I can still use the loom. The cats are convinced this was done just for their benefit.

Finished my Bridal Shawl. Love, love, love the Madelinetosh Pashima yarn. The wool, silk and cashmere combo is so luscious to look at and to wear. I see lots more of this in my future.

This shawl was a trade I worked out with a friend. She made it with yarn recycled (held double for the top section) from a man's sweater she found in a thrift store. You can't see it in this photo, but there are flecks of various colors in the brown. Love how this turned out.