Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Closer to Scarlett

The rhododendron is the closest this Miss Scarlett is going to get to scarlet....and the bush is pinky-purple ;-)

I finished up Contest Entry, Part Deux except for an accessory I need to purchase.

Right away, I cast on for Miss Scarlett, which I'm calling "Go Bananas, Miss Scarlett" since the Peace Fleece color is officially 'Banana'! Am using a #6 Addi lace 24" circular so as to not have drag with this 80% cotton yarn. I had hoped for more sun today to shoot the picture earlier, but these clouds are hanging on with great tenacity! (We know the sun will burn through those babies now that I wrote that!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Contest Entry, Part Deux

Contest Entry, Part the First, is finished and dressing on the back bed. It was so funny. Nikki the Cat waited anxiously for me to take it out of the sink, paced as I rolled it in a towel and stomped on it, then started throaty meows as I unrolled it and placed it on towels. He paced as I was arranging it. As it was just about to the blocking stage, he jumped up on the bed and laid down just on its edge. Every knit item that is dressed on that bed, he guards.

This morning we have a glimpse of Contest Entry, Part Deux in the yews by the front porch.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Walkabout Saturday

Instead of just a Saturday sky picture today, I did a walkabout of the yard.

It's such an abnormally lovely 71 degrees at 10:30 AM in late April. Yes, there is a strong storm front coming in that is giving us humidity and hazy blue, but so lovely I just had to share.

First up is the crabapple tree in her glory.

Next, we see the apple tree just barely beginning to blossom by the pond.

Look at the progress the lilacs have made in a week! From ripening budding leaves to almost open flowers!

And last, by the cellarway/side door we have everything from dandelions to a tulip, a columbine budded, grape hyacinths, crab grass, ground ivy and a sprig of fire bush. The (presumably only) fire bush I severely pruned from 8 feet down to 3 feet and transplanted two years ago only to have missed a piece of root that is now flourishing.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Oh, I just couldn't resist that title this morning!

It's cool but beautifully sunny on the way to the mid-70's.

Poor sock has been relaxing on the oak commode watching the Contest Entry grow. It's been almost a week since sock has been knit on but it really grew quickly after I'd posted the cast on/ribbing picture.

The peach tree we planted in the back yard last year came through the winter just fine. We're pleased to see it bloom this Spring. The cherry tree survived the winter, too. The first cherry we'd planted died its first summer and was replaced (by Stark Bros. nursery. They were really good about the whole transaction), so we're really pleased the young trees seem to be doing well. They are in a line with the 5 variety apple tree that has produced so overwhelmingly each year. It is just about ready to bloom.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Basking by the Hosta

In the beautiful mid-morning sunshine is some of the progress on the Mythical Beast Contest Entry. I realize that it looks nothing like its last picture, but it really is the same piece of knitting!

He (?) is enjoying company with one of the hostas. It is amazing how fast plants are growing right now. The hostas have grown two inches in the last two days and change colors as they unfurl. Soon they will spread their leaves until it looks like one solid hosta plant along an eight foot area and then produce spikes of lavender flowers the bees love.

This hosta is by the northeast side of the garage. I had divided a hosta that had not been doing well in its western exposure when we moved back here. All the divisions are enjoying their northeasterly orientation and spreading.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


What's better than a banana?

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, Color CW-620 "Banana", that's what!

Yesterday's mail brought a box from Yarn Elf's Workshop which included these six skeins of Cotton Fleece. Thank you, Yarn Elf! Such a wonderful Spring color! The plan is that it will be transformed into "Miss Scarlett", a top which was originally knit in scarlet handspun BFL, but not here! Miss Scarlett has wonderfully pouffy sleeve, but I plan on knitting them about 1/3 less pouffy. (After the all-consuming contest entry!)

The violets in the picture are volunteer. Violets grow as weeds around here, a highly propigating native species. When I was little we had a white one every year, but it hasn't re-emerged for many years, I was told. I keep looking for another one!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Yes. Engaged.

This part of the 2.75 Contest Entry has totally mesmerized my knitting this weekend.

When I first started it on #4 dpn's, it was curious. And, I was alternating it with the current sock.

Then a #5 24" circular took over. And took over it did. Knitting and knitting and knitting. Stitches became crunched as the YO's multiplied. A 29" #7 totally engrossed me yesterday. I haven't knit so much on any day for so long...

I could have started out and continued on 8's or 9's or even a 10 1/2. But I didn't.

Now, I'm nearing the end of my skein. After this sequence I have some decisions....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

OKC 13 years

It was thirteen years ago today that our consciousness changed.

Thank you, Linda and Jim, for taking us to the OKC Memorial in March.

We will never forget.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Joyous Eye Candy

As above average temperatures and sunshine abounds this week, my spirit and the Spring plants soar.

These are some jonquils we transplanted from up on the hill two years ago. And they are flanking...the beginning of my 2.75 contest entry. What it is, is a secret until July.

Just thought I'd claim it as cast on!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Good Plain Sock

A basic sock pattern (or recipe) is a Very Good Thing.

It's been very popular the last few years for people to design fancy lace sock patterns with handpainted sock yarn. They are pretty, but the pattern gets lost in the variegation IMHO.

The brown Trekking socks I've been (sometimes) knitting on are a basic pattern. But they're very Autumnal and just cause me to sleep right now, so they got put in the ZZZ department until I start thinking Fall once again, maybe August.

Here we see what I chose yesterday as a possibility for Spring/Summer knitting when I want a break from other projects.(Click to embiggen.) It's STR Firebird in lightweight, from my STR stash. I see poppies and peonies and daisies and weigelias.

This morning I placed the beginnings of my sock against "Aunt Joyce's Peony", a peony we got in a pot last July on our way to Retreat 2.75 from Russ' cousin Bruce's son Jeff in Michigan. Jeff was dividing the garden plants and this is part of the peony that was his grandmother Joyce's favorite (Russ' second cousin who he called "Aunt Joyce").

The sock pattern is from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book "Knitting Rules", pp. 131-151 which she entitles "A Good Plain Sock". On Ravelry she names it "Basic Sock Recipe."

I am using 12" Addi size 0 circular until I get to the heel.

Spring has Sprung!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Armenian Hat FO

Armenian knitting was so named by the designer Elsa Schiaparelli on those knitwear pieces she had knit by an Armenian knitter who had the color specks showing through, creating a tweedy appearance to the piece. Known pieces which have been released to public files are shown, the technique described and new designs are tendered in Meg Swansen and Joyce Williams' book Armenian Knitting.

This hat is based upon the Three Hat chapter of "AK". I have used the medium cast on numbers and the checkerboard pattern at the bottom that Meg used. The 'Knit' is from Joyce's Knit/Purl sweater.

The knit stitch design on the hat's other side (which I considered the back, but after trying it on, may be better used as the front), is also part of Joyce's same sweater. What a clever sweater it is! The front says 'knit' with the knit stitch, the back says purl with the purl stitch....and if you haven't seen pictures, you'll just have to see the arm and side seam areas! Everyone smiles and chatters when seeing it!

This last photo shows the linking of the knit and the stitch and even more of the Armenian technique.

I finished the hat late last night, dressed it this morning and the shots are taken with plastic grocery sacks stuffing it for blocking.

One Happy Fella

Unveiling of the cake occurred after last night's activity run.

Think DH was just a little pleased with his cake!

And the packet of Nasturtium seeds (wrapped in red plasric wrap so as to not contaminate the cake)? That's a little joke. He calls every flower a nasty-sturtium so I've been planting a packet of nasturtiums every year various places. He actually read the seed packet and discovered that the flowers are edible. I know he will want to try some in his salad now!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Birthday Boy

April 14, 1938 a good set of pipes was born in Holy Cross Hospital, Merrill, WI. The baby boy was the firstborn and so named a "Jr." as was so common then. But he was "Little Ral" to his family, and even now there are family members who will call him that.

Those pipes have enjoyed pipes on vehicles, on radio and television and in-house training films, and singing in church. ADOT even gave him a plaque for being "The Voice".

This shot is taken of Russ when he was recording a TV commercial (as a voiceover) at the AKLC studios in Arnold, PA last year.

Two years ago I took this picture of Russ and Tony Douglas at Tony's in Athens, TX. Each Spring when we go to TX to visit with Russ' daughter Beth, we stop in to see Tony and Mim Douglas. Russ got to know them when he worked in radio in Athens, TX. Tony is a fantastic country singer and fellow COC brother. It was through Tony's father that Russ joined the COC there in Athens. And, it was in Athens that Russ became "Russ" as a good radio name.

Russ wanted a new picture for a project he was working on and felt the silver belly Stetson would fit the bill. He doesn't wear his Stetsons all that much, but he does appreciate the ones he has.

And I appreciate my "Russelluphagus". He was so named when he and our first collie, Chess, were eating cookies and snuffling cookie crumbs and watching "Sesame Street" one afternoon in Willcox when there was nothing else on TV!

Happy Birthday, Honey! I love you.
XXXOOO Sweetums

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Dry Slot

After last night's scattered thunderstorms, we're in a 'dry slot' this morning... shortly to be followed by clouds and scattered showers through tomorrow.

The sky is beautifully clear at 50 this morning and the birds are happily creating their nests. A robin is recreating a nest on the back porch while a starling has taken over a nest spot between the gutter and wall of the garage.

Friday, April 11, 2008

It's Bobmas!

Today is Bobmas, the first anniversary of Ravelry's conception!

Casey took this picture of a sleepy Bob (the Ravelry household's pet and sometime inspiration) this morning to celebrate the event. Casey gave me his permission to post this picture here.

There will be traditions starting today to celebrate Bobmas...Casey suggested cupcakes!

In other news, Cami and her cell phone cover and the Marlenas are in flight to Arizona. Most hopefully they are not loaded into the cargo bay of a grounded American Airlines flight!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Springtime Calling

This morning we are enjoying warming sunshine and more daffodils opening...and...the knitted cell phone cover is finished!

Here the just-finished project has our cell phone in it and is propped very nearly where the Marlena Slippers were enjoying yesterday's photo shoot.

The 'Knitted Cell Phone Cover' is from a Red Heart leaflet and is knit using remaining yardage of Autumn Red Caron Simply Soft on #8 straights. The pattern is very easy and yet keeps this knitter's attention with a sweet little cable on the front and on the flap. It will be a good accompaniment to the Summer Camisole "Cami" and the Marlenas for YE's summer display.

More yardage remains...I'm sure it'll find another project.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Marlenas dancing

Good Morning!

Marlenas Slippers from a Red Heart leaflet and "Wildflower" Caron Felt-It roving/yarn are enjoying dancing in the sunlight by the hyacinths after a rough and tumble in the basement earlier.

The sunlight is to be short-lived this morning, so I really wanted to get some early Spring shots and have Marlenas in their best light. (Click to 'embiggen'!)

This was a very quick project, as they were started on April 6th and finished on the 8th. Actually, they can be knit up quicker than that. I knit them durn slowly....using #15 straights is not comfortable for this knitter who is used to no bigger than a #6 circular!

Marlenas will be twirling to Arizona for a summer display at the Yarn Elf Workshop (World Wide Hobbies)along with the Summer Camisole and the matching Knit Cell Phone Cover. Tonight's knitting will be back on the cell phone cover!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Standin' On The Corner

This morning I opened my email to find a picture from Yarn Elf! It was timed at 6:52 AM my time, which is 3:52 AM his time! That Elf never sleeps! {But then, we knew that about elves because they are (whispered) "magic".}

So, here we see Pools in the River in Bernat Natural Alpaca, color Persimmon, displayed on the corner of Haskell and Maley in Willcox, Arizona. (Stop in if you're traveling I-10 in Southeastern Arizona! It's right downtown by the stoplight!) With her are a hat in Bernat bamboo and a scarf knit by our most excellent fibery friend Yarn Vixen. Still to come are projects knit by Yarn Elf. Now I can hardly wait to see what Yarn Elf knits. He is such an amazing Yarn Elf!

Doesn't she look pretty?

I hope that the display will encourage customers and "wanderers" to purchase yarn and accessories from Yarn Elf. When I worked two doors down from YE, there were days I would just go in to World Wide Hobbies on my lunchbreak and stand back from all the yarn, just soaking in colors and color combinations. On those days, I was a "wanderer". It is so much easier to see the possibilities of a yarn when a sample knit is there for the touching!

Ooh, now where'd I leave that project last night....?

Monday, April 07, 2008

FO and Progress

Cami is finished! She enjoyed this morning's warm sunshine and the assistance of George the orange tabby cat from next door in the photoshoot!

Then, a matching knitted cell phone cover was started immediately. This is out of the remainder of the skein of Autumn Red Caron Simply Soft. I am pleased with the stitch definition.

(Click to 'embiggen' any photo.)

Finally, last night I started a felted slipper pattern from the web using Caron Felt-It, color Wildflowers. If this works....then the slippers will also be part of the Caron display later this summer at Yarn Elf's Workshop in Willcox.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday progress

Sunshine! Apple blossom buds!

Cami's almost finished! Her icord straps are knit and one is on. The little wave in the corner of the pond is a frog. He/she isn't friendly so won't let me save him/her since there isn't a lily pad to relax upon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cami Coming Along

Cami's not a curtain any more! Started is the bodice,then the garterstitch decrease and the bottom lace shown a few days ago.

And here she is in entirety with 14 inches of lace at bottom, then the other features.

I wanted to wait to show Cami until she looked like more than the curtain Russ thought she appeared to be to start with!

It's a pre-storm 61 degrees this morning...and that's no April Fool. The clouds are whipping from the South, creating darkness not helpful toward taking outdoor project photos.