Sunday, February 18, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I'm so glad I finally got my ITEIII partner's tote started. This morning I added the second color and I'm pleased with how its coming along. It took knitting a few rounds of the pattern to understand why some of the stitches are slipped, but now I can see it and its all coming together nicely.
We had a dinner guest last night which meant I didn't get to knit after dinner as I usually do. I tried to knit a bit before going to bed but didn't have the energy left for it. Today is cold and we have the gas logs glowing and my chair pulled up right beside the hearth, my Otto lamp beside the chair, and a blanket to go across my knees. I will get some knitting done today.
I've been knitting on a vest and it's almost complete, another couple of hours work and I can put it in the mail. I frogged the decrease rows on the sweater back and have to go back and knit that in again, still a couple of hours of steady knitting would wrap it up. It will be a sensible, comfortable vest to keep my elder sister warm.
I'm forcing a sprig of our Weeping Cherry Tree into bloom. Actually it was a broken branch that I couldn't bear to see thrown away so I brought it in to see if I could revive it. I don't know how long it had been broken but it had some buds on the stem and was still hanging onto the limb by a few tiny thread of bark. I made a fresh cut, then smashed the cut and placed it in a clear bottle of water and set it in the sun room. This was about three weeks or so ago and now that little twig of a branch has filled out with fresh green leaves. I hope to have it bloom soon and will try to remember to make a photo of it for posting.
I remember a few years ago 'Flowering Branches' was the title of the March horticulture exhibit for my garden club. My club meets the 1st Tuesday night of the month so its still cold in our area, but I was determined to have a fresh Flowering Branch to exhibit that night. Since the flowering quince was about the earliest thing to bloom in my garden I begin watching it closely in late January. As soon as I saw a peak of a bud I begin scrutinizing the branching to find one that would make a perfect specimen. I cut the branch early and prepared it for forcing. A week before our meeting the branch was still setting in the bottle looking ready to pop but not making any effort to do so. I decided I had to take action if I was going to have an exhibit, and I was determined I would have 'the one' exhibit in the 'Flowering Branch' category that night. I took the branch upstairs to the guest bathroom and set it on the vanity, pulled and fasten the blinds at the top of the window and turned the thermostat up. I left the vanity light on all night every night and turned the bottle every morning so a different side would absorb the days sun. If it was cloudy, I left the light on. On the 1st Tuesday night of March, I was the only member that proudly displayed a 'Flowering Branch' . Wad it worth all that babying? You Bet!
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I finished the hat I started last week and have enjoyed wearing it already. I was a bit disappointed in how it turned out. I used the same pattern, colors, and yarn as the one I made for my niece a few weeks back, but, I decided to use a smaller needle and knit it a couple of rows shorter. My mistake. The colors didn't distribute as nicely on the smaller needle and I would have enjoyed having the extra rows since I used the smaller needle. Its still a nice hat and comfortable on my bald head.
It is still cold in VA, 14 degrees here again this morning. What a cold February we are having although we've not had snow and sun has been beautiful. The Meadow Larks have been to visit every day and it is such a delight to watch them out on the lawn walking around in their gray/brown suits, bright yellow shirts (breast) and black bow-ties. Last year was the first time I'd ever seen a live Meadow Lark and it’s a treat to have them come and visit. The Eastern Bluebird is another frequent visitor at our house and we sometimes see as many as six, three pairs, at one time. They love to sit in the crepe myrtles (which have to be removed) along the drive or on the fence out back. I think the Eastern Bluebird is the most beautiful color of blue in the world. We put out seed and suet for the birds so we have a variety of other species to visit the feeders. We will continue to feed them continuously throughout the winter and spring until there is plenty of food on the plants. In the summer we usually cut their feeding down and feed the humming birds instead. In the late fall when food becomes in short supply we begin putting out seeds once again.
By the end of this month I expect to see bare-rooted plants in the feed and seed stores and summer bulbs in the nurseries and building supply stores. I will become impatient with winter and want to purchase plants right away, knowing full well they can't be planted for a couple more months. I will start some seed in the sunroom in early March and have them be ready to transplant in the garden by the time of our last frost. Snow is in the forecast for next week – I'm ready for spring.
Monday, February 5, 2007
I am anxious now to get the tote exchange bag made and mailed. I'm ready to go back to knitting on my Crayon Box Jacket designed by Chris Bylsma. I started it last year but somehow couldn't stay with it. For one thing I was knitting my husband a cardigan and wanted to get it finished before winter. I did and it turned out beautiful but a bit large. Of course he lost about twenty pounds after I started knitting it which didn't help. I blocked it to gauge perfectly but I should take it apart, block it again and re-seam the whole thing so it will fit nicely. I used Jamison' s Shetland Wool for knitting the sweater so I have enough invested in it to justify taking time to resize it.
To warm you up a little, have a look at our Iris garden in full bloom last spring.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Thursday, February 1, 2007
I was so hoping to hear from my upstream partner today, however I have not. I checked back with my favorite on-line yarn company to see if they had received another shipment of the yarn someone wringled out of my basket yesterday, no luck there either. Perhaps I'll have the energy to run into the villiage today and see what the LYS has to offer. I'm anxious to get started, but lordy the thought of going to my LYS is frighting, I never come out with just what I go for. Still, I haven't been in this year and there is lots of new stock I understand from reading the blog. There is always loads of fun going on at our LYS and they have been so wonderful to me, keeping in touch and sending me a knitting project while I've been ill.
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