rainy days/boosting productivity

greetings to all on this cold, wet weekend in southern california!
it is a whopping 45° here (38° by the time i'm in bed) and i'm bundled up in layers trying to stay warm. i look like the stay-puft marshmellow man. you know you like that visual.

i knew the good weather wasn't going to last too long. it is in fact still winter! even when it was sunny for the past couple of weeks, it was still nice and chilly outside. one of the nice things about the rain (besides not having to water the plants outside, the free car rinse, and the good sleep it gives you) is how it makes it so much more inviting to cuddle up with a nice hot cuppa and a great book (or book of word puzzles!) and/or jump into a project that you have been putting off.

***quick side bar: i'm finally attempting a "format" on this blog. hopefully it will be a little easier to read and follow. mostly, it should keep me a little more focused as all i'll have to do is just plug in my updates. no this isn't going to make my posts shorter! *side eye*

so, onto the first new section...
week[end] wrap-up/finished object(s):

retro rib socks - 1 complete!
holy bat wings, a sock! 

retro rib socks - 1 complete!
awkward foot shot. no pain, no gain!

and i'm on my way with the second sock! i will not be plagued by the dreaded "second sock syndrome" that so many sock knitters discuss ad naseum on many o' online forums. i'm currently 1/2 way through the cuff of the second sock; great dvr catch-up project! for the record, the color of the sock is closer to the top picture. you know i don't know how to use my camera ;)

current projects:
broken down by hobby. how clever ;)

on the needles...
check the side bar!

still plugging along on my first sweater, the panelled effect lady's jumper from a stitch in time, knitting and crochet patterns, 1920-1949 vol. 1. this book is now available on amazon us (don't know when this happened!) but i got mine on amazon uk because i couldn't wait. imagine where i'd be on this sweater if i waited! *gasp* so i'm on the last repeat on the sweater (for real this time) before i start decreasing to make the top portion of the sweater (including the neckline). once the top portion is done, then i'll just have the sleeves to knit up and then seam it all together! can't wait to see that finish line.

other items that are still in rotation: second pair of socks, slouchy hat, jr's xmas hat, and knitted donuts for a friend :) i rotate heavily because some of these projects hurt my hands a little more than others. ok... partly. some of the projects are absolutely mind-numbing to say the least, so having at least 3-5 projects in progress at all times is a must to keep the sanity things fresh!

on/off the spinning wheel:
yay! an update. below, the evolution of fiber in 4 shots.

from this...

Merino/Yak/Bombyx Silk

Merino/Yak/Bombyx Silk - Unravelled

Merino/Yak/Bombyx Silk - Fiber/Yarn Detail

to this!!!

Blarney Yarns: Finished singles

blarney yarns: 60% merino/20% silk/20% yak

the above fiber is from blarney yarn in the colorway "chianti". each bobbin came out to 1.1 oz which I don't understand at all (considering I started out with 2 oz of fiber?!), but it is what it is. what, was I shedding or something while I was spinning? did i end up grabbing some dog hair? i'm just not understanding that, sorry. anyway, both bobbins have "rested" and are ready to ply together. 

This roving was a total dream to spin. I really, really, really enjoyed how smooth it was in my hands and how easy it was to draft. very nicely dyed with subtle shades of maroon, chocolate brown and creamy beige and very nicely prepared. the silky beige parts were the best - drafted like buttah!

on the sewing machine:
as i mentioned, rainy days have the ability to revive old projects. so as i was digging through the sewing graveyard (the basket that sits next to my machine where i bury works temporarily on hold) i managed to pull out 2 projects and got inspired to start a new one. the 2 old projects are jackets for the dogs that were already prepped and ready to go. i guess my eyes got crossed with all the instructions, so i instantly lost interest. but, the time is perfect on these little jackets. all the cool dogs at the dog park are sporting their winter attire and i will not allow my dogs to be shown up! what kind of pet parent would i be?! the coats will be made out of a soft mystery fabric that has a tiny houndstooth pattern on it (how appropriate) and will have a cream faux sherpa lining. there is also a little patch pocket on back of the jacket; perfect size to stick in a couple poop bags! i hope to have photos of this soon to share. finished photos, that is ;)

odds & ends:
stash enhancement (aka more of the good clutter)...

sweetgeorgia yarns/fibre club/february

sweetgeorgia yarns/fibre club/february
isn't this lovely?

my valentine's day surprise. well, there were a few v-day surprises, but the timing of my first shipment from the february sweetgeorgia yarns fibre club could not be more perfect! this is my first year EVER doing a fiber club, but I was really in love with all the beautiful colors that I've seen produced by sweetgeorgia. check out the site and feel free to drool. one of the main reasons i decided to sign up for a fibre club was to try new fiber and try interesting colorways that i would probably never pick out on my own. the colorway above is a great example. for those that know me, you know i don't wear the above colors. until now! ;) i think it's a great, fun way to introduce a little more color into my wardrobe. my hope is that i can get enough yardage to make a pair of socks out of this. come on, baby steps... ;)

the above fibery goodness is 75% bluefaced leicester and 25% tussah silk in the colorway "sticky jam" which is described as "bruised berries and purple grapes." and now, i'm officially hungry (again).

over the weekend, i acquired two new sock yarns...
the hubby took me on an impromptu yarn crawl :) this is why i got married. he's so thoughtful. anyway, we visited 3 shops in a record 2 hrs (including travel time) and also visited a very charming garden that was in the area. i took a gazillion photos of our visit, so feel free to check the blog and leave a comment. there is also an accompanying flickr photoset for the garden with a few more descriptions.

madelinetosh/tosh sock in "maple leaf"
madelinetosh sock in "maple leaf"

malabrigo/sock in "candombe"
malabrigo sock in "candombe"

i already have a project in mind for the madelinetosh yarn, but i told myself i can't start it until i finish that second sock! i'll give you a hint though... the pattern is from the book knitting vintage socks by nancy bush!

and last, but certainly not least (although i nearly spaced on this), i scooped up on thing!

Corgi Hill Farm - Merino/Bombyx Silk
 corgi hill farm merino/bombyx silk!!!

this is my color right here! these photos do not do these colors justice, trust. this is 50% merino and 50% bombyx silk (not a typo). this colorways is called "gin fizz" and it's a mix of turquoise blues which blend into peridot greens. and it's a 50/50 blend! i don't know if i'll be able to handle it! gorgeous colors per usual, i've come to expect nothing less from corgi hill farm. this is probably close to my 5th purchase from this vendor... excellent service, fast and free domestic shipping (love!), beautiful, saturated colorways, free samples (love!!), and candies with each purchase (love!!!). damn i love me some good freebies! seriously, i love when a business kicks the customers down with the extra love, it makes supporting them that much easier. it's nice to feel appreciated :) the shop is here! please don't give me too much competition.

i'm really wanting this to be a shawl in 2-ply... i'm saving this for after i spin up the sweetgeorgia. discipline!

what i love this week/who's inspiring me/helpful links:
this is the last section which is going to be dedicated to sharing links to websites/blogs, flickr photos, books i'm using, youtube tutorials, really anything that i found helpful during the week (or from the past). i'm learning a lot with each project, especially with my knitting and spinning since i'm new to both. a little over 2 yrs on the knitting and 7 months on the spinning. the learning never ends. and as always, i'm so glad to share and pass along any information that i've found helpful! sharing is caring, right? :D

since i'm already in this blog over an hour now (and this chair is killing me softly), i'm going to cut my losses, and hook you up with links on the next post. but for now, i have some dvr and socks to catch up on! until next time!

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