Monday, March 30, 2009

grooowing; plants, sleeves, tangent side stories

The hydrangea plants that I ordered arrived today!  They didn't look anything like that picture there though.  These were some bare root, dormant little twigs that ship more easily from the nursery in TN.  They looked a little more like ... 
Yeah.  Forgive me if I am a little skeptical about their survivability.

I managed to put quite a few rows on my Gathered Pullover sleeves.  [Side Note: Yes, that's a plural because I am knitting both of them at the same time!  It was very exciting at first, but after some 8" the novelty has tempered.  I am able to do this because of the power of superglue.  Remember the bellyaching about the knitpicks needle that wouldn't screw together properly?  I made it fit.  In a permanent manner.  So when knitpicks sent me the replacement (a harmony wood set, but I don't know why.  I had the nickel plated to begin with.  oh well.) I now had two sets of circs and figured, why not?  Also, the harmony needle came unattached from its metal fitting, so more superglue was employed and all is well.]

Also, the  house is still standing after the windstorm, and no additional plants were harmed.  We didn't end up in Oz either.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Woah! It's windy out there!

I thought March was supposed to go out like a lamb, what the heck is going on here?!  This is like an ornery lamb that's quick on its feet and does not want to be sheared and will fight you every step of the way.  I'm harkening back to an episode of MarthaStewartLiving where they tried to make her shear a sheep, but the sheep had other ideas (namely knocking martha over without a fragment of fleece to show for it).  [End of extended analogy and use of sheep imagery]  

Seriously though, I've seen some high desert winds before, but not for weeks-on-end and not so violent!  We have a lot of mature trees and I'm beginning to worry about them losing branches or toppling into the dining room totally uninvited and without a hostess gift.

Bottom line, if the house blows down, or I end up clear in Oz, I won't be surprised.

This has hampered my pending "look at my garden isn't is pretty" post because I had to cover all of the plants with pots to try and protect them.  Also, I put in a whole bunch of Freesias in the backyard (the shaded, well watered part) and it promptly blew over.  Frown.  They had already bloomed for the year, but maybe they'll survive and bloom properly for us next year.  Or do they bloom continuously until their blooming season is over?  I didn't do proper research on these guys.

The pine cones from the giant tree in the front yard keep dropping on the roof and pitter-pattering all the way down the shingles.  That should be real peaceful for sleeping.  SIGH, is it summer yet?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Blog!

My blog turns a year old today!  
My knitting has improved a whole lot in that time:  I'm faster, more confident, and have a whole bunch of new skills.  The blogging has probably gotten better too, though maybe less frequent.  I'll make a blogiversary resolution to blog better (not necessarily more, or more often, just to always do the best that I can).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gathered Pullover: Progress is being made

   These have been some busy weeks around here, what with Spring and all.  Now that the weather is nice, all of the outdoor chores that were neglected during the winter are demanding to be done (right now!).  I work and work and work, yet the list just keeps getting longer!  It's a race to get everything done before it becomes unbearably hot here.  It's actually the same exact time each year; exactly one week before I finish.  So I end up with heatstroke and a sunburn from standing on the garage roof, painting the trim in 110 degree weather.  Good times.
I will write up a post about the more fun/interesting house projects soon.  Like my garden!  [Side Note: It has 1 brandywine tomato plant in it.  I bought it from the nursery.  All of my seedlings died.  No big surprise here.  I just wish I knew WHY!  They never made it past the 'first two leaves' stage.  I avoided fungal rot at the base of the plants this year though.  That's progress!]
My gathered pullover has an entire body, eagerly awaiting sleeves.  The fabric is lightweight and has enough drape along with really defined stitches.  I think the larger needles (US 7) really help this pattern live up to its potential. 
Here's a close-up view of the ribbed, cabled, gathered area on the front of the sweater.  It's like an island of intricacy sitting in a sea of stockinette.  It was a very welcome change after nearly a foot of knitting a straight tube!

Alas, I don't think I'll finish this in time to wear it this spring.  We've already had a few 80 degree days.  There's always the office though, kept at a crisp 68 degrees during the hotter months.  That sounds like light sweater weather to me.

I'm going to have to adjust my knitting calendar so that I'm a season ahead from now on.  Note to Self: Begin spring things immediately after Christmas.  Begin fall things in July.  Begin winter things by September.  That ought to do it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My bubble wrap sweater is coming along pretty well (if you don't count
the time I had to rip back 20 rows because I didn't read the
directions thoroughly). This sure has some unusual construction
methods that I've never done before. Short-row shoulders? Hmm. I can
tell already that I'm going to love this little sweater to fuzzy bits,
as soon as I finish it that is...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I can haz ball band dish cloth?

Yes, I can. This is actually the second one I've made already and I
think I can squeeze one more out of the leftover Sugar-n-cream cotton
Edit:  It didn't occur to me that people would want to know where to get the pattern.  This lovely creation came from the Mason-Dixon Knitting gals book and can be found online here: Ballband Dishcloth.  It's the 'official' one too.  Don't be put off by the simplicity.  It turns out great!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hey,What Ever Happened To ...

Remember those curtains I posted about a while ago? They didn't work out.

There were marks all over them that needed washing (I was willing to overlook this as long as they came clean). So, they went through a gentle wash cycle, on cold, as per their instructions, but the problem areas remained and they got a little Spray-N-Wash and OxyClean in the water. The marks were gone, but after letting them air dry and ironing them ... they shrank! So much that they no longer fit in the intended area. Unacceptable!

Grumble*lousy curtains*Grumble. So they got a one-way ticket back to the store for being defective, deceptive little buggars. I haven't found a replacement yet, so my desk area is still unusable at peak afternoon times. Sigh.

It isn't that I mind toting the laptop around or working while sitting, ok laying, on my bed. It's a little too comfortable though so I tend to do more "napping" than "working". There's also supposedly an associative problem that can crop up if you start to associate 'bed' with 'work' and it leads to insomnia. I wonder if they've studied the reverse effect of associating 'work' with 'naptime' and discovered a well-rested, though underachieving population. ;-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


These are my tiny tomato plant seedlings! The reaction I had when these little guys sprouted up over night was akin to the reaction Tom Hanks' character in Castaway had when he finally made fire. "I have made plants, from tiny lifeless seeds in a packet. I have made plants!" As you can tell, I am not much of a green thumb. Truth be told, I've never planted anything and had it live. (Herbology, D for Dreadful, sigh.) We'll see how this goes, but I'm looking forward to some heirloom Brandywine tomatoes circa 1885.
This is my Gathered Pullover. The color is a bit off, but trust me, it's a light blue with hints of purple-e-ness. Yup. 6" of knitted tube. Ok, moving on ...
[Side Note: My nifty new Options circular needle, via knitpicks, is having a problem. The one side won't tighten up. It's doing it on both ends, and on another cable as well. I called knitpicks to see if I might be doing something wrong and they are sending me new interchangeable heads! Now that's customer service! Meanwhile, my knitting sort of catches in that space, which is cumbersome and also rather annoying, so that sweater is in timeout until the new needles arrive.]

Here we have my bubble wrap. It's actually called the Soap Bubble Wrap, but bubble wrap sounds more fun to me. Bubble wrap also = entertainment, who knew? Try the Manic Mode, you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's been a long time hasn't it

Jeez, February just got away from me there! Unfortunately, there have been recent posts that never posted. I tried to use the email/remote posting thing to add some fun internet content and commentary (and knitting and stuff too), but it appears that nothing has actually made its way onto the blog. :-P Drat! Outsmarted by technology again!