Monday, November 30, 2015

Fox Paws

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

North Pole Bound

My Quidditch project for match 4 is a selection of ice floes... but only one is the real portkey.
Now they must hibernate until they are sent off as holiday gifts (with soap) next month.

In other news I have been making soap like crazy in anticipation of a little show this weekend.  I am super excited and hope it goes well.  

Knitting on Fox Paws continues and I started a little scarf as well.  It may be cutting it close to finish the whole thing by the 30th but the pattern is simple enough that I can work on it in little chunks of time here and there.

The last baby bird is coming up on 6 months old (where does the time go?) and is clearly a male.  Yellow face, whistling, displaying feathers and stalking around are all little dude behaviours.  I moved him in with his older sister (Peaseblossom) and he is getting used to more attention.  Just need a nice Shakespearian name for him.   His sisters are named for fairies in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as is his "uncle" Robin Goodfellow.  Oberon is too fancy.  Bottom is too silly even for me.  I'm sure something will make itself apparent.  His dad is Hamlet... perhaps Horatio will fit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Autumn Glow

I am happy to announce the Bosc Pear shawl is complete & has been submitted for my Order of the Phoenix mission.

The setting sun gave me warm light... perhaps a little too warm.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

This Week in Pictures

Cat Face Coaster


Fox Paws - 50 % mark

Handspun cotton washcloth

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Clean as a Whistle

It is the beginning of soap season here at the Picky household and with soap comes washcloth knititng.  I finished two already this week and they are headed to new homes soon.  Happily they make excellent packing material around the soap.

Other knitting is still going well.  I cast off the CeCe sewater Saturday.  All that is left is sewing down the neckband and adding a button and it is complete. The Bosc Pear shawl is still nearly done (it has been on pause while I've been catching up on other things).  Fox Paws is at the half way mark but I have less than half the time left so I need to keep my nose to the grindstone with that. The repeats are getting much smoother - only one day of kniting per repeat instead of 4 days.  And I have a stack of new snowflakes ready for photographing.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Just a quickie tonight - 4 new snowflakes are complete. I got smart this term and am completing each unit separately. Then later I will rip back the last row & join them to the blob.  Gotta max out my points for Ravenclaw to win the House Cup back.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Cat-ching Up

I am still sifting through completed items that I haven't posted yet and today's pick is this cute catface coaster.  I was a tad short on yarn so the second one is a circle but they are both performing well as coasters.

In other news it is Friday, I have a gin & tonic and am ready to start the weekend.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


A few weeks ago a lace blouse was featured on the Ravelry front page.  I immediately snagged the pattern and grabbed a cone of cotton warp.  These particular snowflakes are a good size, a nice pattern and easy to join as I go.
I'm not sure it it will end up as a blouse, shawl or curtains but I am having a grand time making the motifs.

Monday, October 05, 2015


 I've had this yarn in the stash for a few years now (2007?); it's a nice gold with rose & green sections.  It reminds me of the black hills gold colors that were all the rage when I was younger.  Finally I get to enjoy it.
One skein became one very shiny cowl.  It's a bit too big as I added 2 repeats to make up for using a different yarn & needle size than the pattern, but I can always squash it inside a jacket collar.
Pattern is Waverly Weekend Cowl and knit up - as promised - in a weekend. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Oh, Baby

Presented for your review: the first baby thing I have ever made & given to the happy parent.  A quick project and fluffy (if small) lap blanket.  The pattern is the "corner start" blanket and after a few moments of skepticism it was surprisingly simple to work.

The yarn was free and when I was done with the border I had maybe 3" left.  A crafting success if ever I had one.

In other news, today was the second day of the Vista Fiber Fair (held at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum). Some of the vendors bailed out because of the rain but the hardy souls who remained were much appreciated.  I brought home only one skein (on clearance!) and one pattern so I call that a win.  Even better was seeing old friends and sharing the event with a new friend.  Everyone should experience the joy of the AGSEM.

After we were done there it was time for a taco lunch in Oceanside & visit to my friend's rental place.  I got in a respectable amount of work on my Bosc Pear shawl.  I may need to take a break tomorrow to rest my fingers.

Saturday, October 03, 2015


I have been crafting away here at Chez Picky.  My best friend finally fell down the crafting rabbit hole so I have been crocheting a lot as we were having the first lessons. Then I remembered I love crocheting and my friend is a good "finisher" so she is pushing me along to get some UFOs out of the storage bins.

The steampunk blanket is coming along at last.  All the little squares have been done for some time.  Now I am connecting the nine-blocks.  Then the six of those will be made into a little lap blanket.
Green square

Silver square
The yarn is Loopy Ewe Solid Series, Steampunk sampler plus a lot of brown to balance.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Tour de Fleece 2015

It's that time again!  

Tour de Fleece 2015: goal of spinning one spindle per day. First batch of fiber is 100 gr natural colored cotton in white, light brown, med brown, mauve and green, 20 gr each.

It took 3 lengths of sliver to fill the spindle (about 12" each)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Partially Armed

Progress continues:

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Sweater Weather

Action shot!
Not quite this orange in person - more brown.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Sweet Charleston Tea

Today was cast on day!  Sadly I do not have an in-progress shot, but I will give you a teaser of the yarn. It is positively scrumptious.

In other news, new cockatiel chick is still pipping along. No nestmates yet.  The second baby from the spring clutch (now a teeny bopper) has found a new home and will be delivered Saturday. I have a lot of intensive handling to do between now & then.  And flight training.

Last but not least, I remembered to vote today after work.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

So Many Songs About Rainbows

And one whole finished project.

From this...

To this...

To this!

And then:

One more:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Month End Wrap Up

Is it that time again?

The "moody hose" are complete. I  finished before the last musher so 'won' the Iknitarod, but only by about 3 hours.  That last Sunday I knit for about 7 hours straight and put 6 inches on the sock.

Friday, March 13, 2015

On the Trail

The knitting continues...

Sunday, March 08, 2015


I was making great progress on the CeCe sweater (2 sleeves done, ready to join to the body) but it is on pause for a few days because it is time for the Iknitarod!

Yesterday was the ceremonial start and I cast on for Moody Hose with some yarn from last year's yarn crawl. So far, so good.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Marching On

Wellll I meant to blog every day last month but seem to have gotten off track.  A quick recap:

The baby birds are doing well.  They are both normal grays, but left baby has cute spangles on her (?) feathers and right baby does not.  They aren't pearls, they are just spangles and I have no idea why some of the chicks get them and some do not.  She also has a lot more bright yellow on her face.  They are both becoming sweet and trusting. They weren't perching yesterday, but it will be soon.
babies, 2/28/2015
On the 7th the Yarnover Truck came around and I picked up some scrumptious yarn.  This will be Fox Paws, a wrap that is all the rage.  I love that Brick color so much and built the project around it.  The Aubergine is pretty amazing as well.
Yarn for Fox Paws
Janet came out from LA to see the truck & we had lunch and beer as well.  She brought a box of spinning fiber & yarn from someone who is moving and deleting her stash.  I am keeping a little of the yarn and all the fiber, there is some really good stuff in there.

 I did some plying of finished yarns; here is 409 yards of 3 ply Polwarth.  It is very soft and squishy and matches well with the green from last month.
Handspun- Bradford Pear Leaf
 This is 2 ply Corriedale. I tried to do a "fractal" spin by first splitting the roving in half and then splitting the other half in two.  I haven't decided how I feel about it yet or what project it should go to.  419 yards in this one.
Handspun - Scarab
I also met Ruth for lunch on Valentine's Day (mmm Marie Callendar's), went to the Dickens festival the next weekend and then got my new Diablo 3 seasonal character to 70.  Love my monk!  Also took a basket of yarn from the destash to donate to the No Idle Hands group, happily it all got taken by the end of the day.  I've gotten back into audiobooks and am slacking with the housecleaning, but am trying not to backslide too much.  Just today I did laundry, a ton of dishes and also started lasagna in the slow cooker.

Ah, one last thing: I finally finished my Catkin on Friday. Just need to wash and block.  Also restarted CeCe today.  All these UFOs... taking a month off from HCKC group has allowed me to finish existing things.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Shop. Drink. Play.

Had a really great day today.

I finshed "Old Man's War" already, it was a fast, fun read. There were a few iffy sections of man-splaining but mostly it was satisfying.  I wasn't too sure about the premise, but the author fleshed out an interesting story with believable details.   I think I will order the sequels from the library.

Next on the agenda was visiting the Yarnover Truck and smooshing all the beautiful yarns. It's never come this close to my town before and it was parked literally right down the street. I made sure I did my part to support small business.

A friend came out from LA to visit (and pat yarn) and we had a great burger lunch and then an acceptable beer tasting at The Packinghouse.  It wasn't as good as Wickes on the other side of town, but it was close.  They will be the beer purveyors at The Dickens Festival in two weeks, what a small world.

A box of yarn and fiber joined my stash; an acquaintence was getting rid of all her craft stuff and a ton of books.  It should keep me busy well into next year.  I am not one to look the gift of free wool in the mouth, and anyway, there will be plenty of leftovers to share with the No Idles.

Last stop of the day was a gaming date; my WoW mojo has been missing lately but playing with someone else is really fun.  I need to either whip my guild into shape or go shopping for a chattier one.

Now it is bedtime... and by the way the little cockatiel chicks are still doing well.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Nice Recovery

All night and morning I turned the problem at work over in my mind.  I was all set to confront the person, but then the problem was slightly less bad and it wasn't worth the possible increase in bullying.  Will continue to hold steady but I have some speeches prepared if I have to engage.  One has lepers.

On the way home I went to the library, discovered my special request had arrived (Old Man's War) and also rented a video ("Dancing at Lughnasa").  I have been enjoying being part of a book club even if it is only on the knitting forum.  Friday is library day - if it is there, I should use it.  Made a trip to the grocery store next; I want to make crock pot lasagna this week.  It might be wierd but it should be edible.  Last adventure was to Kohl's to spend a $10 gift card.  I didn't really have a plan but ended up with some cutting boards (bamboo, set of 3) that I can put to good use.  The only one at home is a pull out from the cupboard and is likely original along with that 40's contact paper.  Finally I can have a dedicated soap board!

Galen is helping type the blog today - he is laying across my arms as I try to type.  It's pretty annoying... he must be thoroughly recovered from his dental surgery two weeks ago.  I know he is sure a bottomless pit as far as kibble is concerned.

Baby cockatiels are hale & hearty, covered in yellow fluff and sporting crops full to bursting.  I think they might just make it.

Put in a good row on Catkin today at lunch, the end is near at last.  Unfortunately this is one of the fiddliest parts of the pattern, which is saying something as this is one of the most difficult patterns I've worked in some time... possibly ever.

Thursday, February 05, 2015


I'm not having a great evening - irritated and upset about something at work and haven't been able to shake it off. But I had cookies for dinner and the pets are fed & have clean quarters so that is something.

Blasting things in D3 also helped; time to show my wizard some love before season 2 starts next week.  I bet I can get her to 70 in no time.

And I picked up a pro tip the hard way today: if you bring your knitting for entertainment, be sure to bring your pattern as well.

Baby cockatiels are still doing well although the one that was pipping in the egg yesterday seems to have died.  It's not been a successful year yet for chicks... fingers crossed these 2 little guys make it. One of the ladies at work is in line for a baby.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Wonderful Wednesday

Well, that was a good evening. First order of business was visiting a friend on the way home. She's taking some time to care for a family member and I miss her at the office.  Flowers & coffee cake saved the day. It was still light out at 5pm when I left and for a good while after... it is nice to have warm, bright afternoons again.

Decided tonight would be a fine night to visit with the birdies. Found two 4-5 day old cockatiels in the nestbox and an egg with a hole making pipping noises. I hope the 3rd one makes it and is not too far behind the others in development.  Fed the family some warm mixed veggies, cleaned all the cages, then sat down with some Star Wars and my dutch double drive wheel and attempted to get it moving.

After much fiddling, it is running and spinning was achieved. It still needs some work: dusting & cleaning the wood, finding a better drive band and figuring out how to either shim the legs or attach rubber feet (or both). I have to put it on blocks to use it as the nadir of the footman is lower that floor level. It's pretty frustrating, but I am glad I stuck with it and I am sure more practice will help.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Burst of Energy

It was relatively quiet at work today so I scampered off early.  I think I may have actually hit every single thing on my to do list.

  • lunch
  • catboxes
  • finish library book
  • return library book
  • order book club book
  • drop off book donation
  • laundry
  • pick up cat food from vet
  • fix the knitting issue with Catkin
  • buy drain cleaner and milk
  • clear drain
  • spin yarn 90 min
  • feed cats
... and it's only quarter to 8pm.  I still have to pay the rent but I really think I did a great job. 

Funny story: the kitten likes to leap from the top of the parrot cage to the bed and then bounce sideways to the floor instead of the 4 foot drop straight down.  Today she lept... and banked off my back as I was leaning down.  Kitty went flying, poor dear. 

No one is in the cat bed by the bookshelf tonight, they must have called a musical cat beds truce.  

Monday, February 02, 2015

Musical Cat Beds

Continues apace...
I came home, did some tidying, played some Daymare Town while trying to figure out how to occupy myself this evening, and whammo it is nearly bedtime.   Hmmm, my library book is due tomorrow, I guess I could finish it.

My home life is really orderly, peaceful, quiet and boring... and I like it that way.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Blessed Imbolc

Today we welcome back the light.  I took a few moments to stage a simple altar: candle, incense, a white stone and a blue stone.  Had a nice cleansing shower and am ready for the runup to spring.

In other news, the cats have been making great use of the catbeds and appreciating the freshly tidied bookshelf.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Musical Interlude

... in which I propose that "Beggin for Thread" by Banks

is not only closely related to "The Jeweller's Hands" by the Arctic Monkeys

in style, but also that the narratives of the songs answer each other.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Spin of the Knitter

polwarth 3 ply
I've been spinning my fingers to the bone lately with some lovely stuff - organic polwarth dyed by Corgi Hill Farm.  Very easy to spin and lucious color to boot.  Above is 399 yards of 3 ply at about 12-14 w.p.i. / 5 oz.

The plan is to use the green and the red / orange / green in a sweater together.  If I spin fast maybe I can knit it up during the Iknitarod in March.  Two weeks for a sweater may be pushing it.

In other news, 16 year old Galen is going in for a dental tomorrow.  He passed his blood test but I am still a little worried for him making it through OK.  He helped me change the sheets tonight and is snuggled up on the bed right now... I'll go in soon to read and snuggle him thoroughly.
mommy's little helper
you called?

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Nippy New Year's

So very cold today.  The cats were snuggling in all manner of unlikely combinations. Here Galen & Gussie have taken over my desk chair.  I made the mistake of leaving to take the dog for a walk.