Friday, May 30, 2008

Sock Eye Candy

...and I don't mean salmon!

Seriously, I wanted to get back to this sock that has been waiting patiently for my return since April 29th when Miss Scarlett was cast on. (Click to embiggen, as always.) That heel needed to be turned so I can pick it up for 'mindless knitting' moments instead of my next project which may go on the needles tonight. No, not sayin' what it is till it's happening.

Sock is STR lightweight, knits like a dream on 0's for me.

Sock #1 is posing on the spirea bush which blooms once a year and often gets rained out. Should it get rained upon, the flowers are gone. There are many years when it does not get to bloom. Tonight there are to be thunderstorms, so this afternoon's bright sun and temps headed upward toward the much-desired 80's, seemed most appropriate for the bush's blog-glory.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Going Bananas (Miss Scarlett)

A month to the day...Miss Scarlett is an FO!

OK, I admit she's not quite an FO...she has a few more ends to weave in and she needs to be dressed.

Russ took this shot this morning after breakfast...I have to time my photo shoots around my camera guy's schedule during the school year.

The (K)nitty Gritty:

Pattern -- Miss Scarlett
By -- Just Call Me Ruby
Available on Ravelry
4.0 and 6.0 Addi Turbo circular needles
Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (20% merino and 80% cotton)
Size -- Medium
Started April 29, 2008
Finished May 29, 2008

Yes, I do plan on wearing it at 2.75 this summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Linda! Thank you! Yes, we do all need a little Boom (as in Fiesta Baby Boom, color Sedona) in our lives.

Baby Boom Sedona is pictured above an original painting by my friend Peta-Anne, named the "Red Rocks of Sedona" that was a going away present when we left Arizona for Pennsylvania.


No SSS here!

That's right! No SSS here!

In this case SSS means "Second Sleeve Syndrome"! SSS can also stand for Second Sock Syndrome -- both of which indicate that if the second item isn't cast on simultaneously or immediately after the first one, then dreading doing it all over again tends to put the whole item into the WIP (Work In Progress) then quickly into the hibernation stack. (As always, click on photo to embiggen/show detail!)

"Go Bananas, Miss Scarlett" was cast on April 29th, and the goal has been to have her finished by May 29th. There are 6 more rows on this sleeve, so there is a good possibility she could be done as early as tomorrow. Here's hoping!

The lilacs in the blue antique vase were brought to me yesterday by Chris and fellow driver Dan who came over to join the Memorial Day celebration hotdog grilling. Chris' Japanese lilac tree produced them. The leaves and flowers are smaller than the lilacs we are familiar with and are stronger perfumed... took these almost no time to perfume the entire house. Chris said that there is a saying that if you find a five petaled lilac flower, you should pick and eat it for good luck!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Eye Candy Friday is being presented to you by the letter "J" for sunshiney Joy!

Copper snail is happily absorbing sunshine so he can glow tonight!

Lobedia and parsley spread their roots in this hanging basket originally purchased at Wal-Mart in Thatcher, Arizona.

And here is today's lovely blue sky. It is just awesome to see this after the last 14 of 15 days brought us rain sometime during each day.

Yarn Elf update as of yesterday...he is to be released from the hospital within the next couple days but the doctor and staff are deciding where he will be to convalesce.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Healing for Yarn Elf

Remember this picture of Yarn Elf from Christmastime? (It's the only picture I have of him on the computer.)

A good friend of Yarn Elf's convinced him to go to the local hospital yesterday about his swollen leg. Last night he was transferred to a Tucson hospital and had surgery about midnight. Word is that he's not in too much pain, thanks to the medications.

Please say good, kind, healing words for Yarn Elf. He's a very special fella.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Missy Monday

This rotten weather is about to take everyone's sanity, even though we get peeks of sunshine. It's past the middle of May with an average high of 71 and it's 48 right now with a gusty breeze still in the neighborhood.

What the wind did overnight was to bring down a couple small branches plus this monster. This is a blooming branch from the choke cherry right over the fence. Just for comparison's sake, the small cherry tree near it is 4 feet tall.

With happier news, another Missy is pictured here to the left, "Go Bananas, Miss(y) Scarlett" is on sleeve #1. It is within a couple rows of decreasing for the sleeve cap. I'm knitting the sleeve on a #6 16" Addi circular.

The ribbing on the cuff matches the ribbing on the bottom of the body. From then on, it's round and round we go....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Strangely changing Saturday Sky

Clear skies all through the night after more rain yesterday.

Then came a cloud finger in the early morning dropping a trace of rain.

And now this beautiful sky.

But the prognosticators tell us thunderstorms approach about the noon hour on already spongey soil.

We want...we need 70+ temperatures and lots of sunshine. The average high is 71. We might see 64 today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Creating Fiber

Better get those planted!

When we went to the open air nursery, buying the hanging baskets, we also bought other plants. I had planted the lobedia and the parsley. Tomato plants, lettuce and marigolds were still on the porch.

There was a developing problem. After 5 days of sun (at which point the ground was just becoming nicely tillable), we had 3" rain. Then one day of sun yesterday followed by blue skies at dawn this morning. By breakfast the clouds were gathering. By itself this isn't a problem. The problem is the forecast rain/storms today through (whenever....) Russ re-tilled a couple garden rows and I planted the starts. Then he re-tilled a few more garden rows to cut down on the thousands of 'weedlings' sprouting.

While I was planting, Russ took the wheelbarrow and loaded a pile of yard stuff I'd had in the side yard. Then while he was re-tilling, I pruned a native blackberry bush and a few 10 foot canes of the rose bush that were growing over a barberry. Poor barberry didn't make it through the winter well so will be removed one of these days. Russ is thrilled -- he hates that bush! It reaches out and scratches him while he's mowing if he isn't very careful. (Yes, it could be a jumping cholla cactus with its predictably drawing blood.)

In the wake of predicted showers each day through next Tuesday according to the weather radio report just broadcast, the need to think of happy things is strong.

Let's dream of knitting camp!

Pictured here are the four name tags I've made for camp in the past. Three were made for Camp 1 and the faux fair isle for Camp 2 and onward! They are posed on the knitting tote with Elizabeth Zimmermann's most famous quotation.

And so I will Kniton2!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Scarlett Surrounded

Sun has returned for today with a twenty degree rise in temperature, i.e., to normal/average.

First, the azalea is starting to open. It has done well all these years on the north-facing house wall.

Miss Scarlett is spread out on the top of the azalea, enjoying a flower of her namesake part of the country, the South. Her back is finished, awaiting the front and neckline. The front bodice area has begun.

Under the lilacs, just to the east of the azalea, are volunteer ferns. They began coming up as one little fern a few years ago. I am pleased to see they are spreading.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wisteria Plus on Saturday

Just at noon the cloud deck ended with glorious blue skies overhead. However, you won't see the true blue in these photos, just the end of the clouds with our first sun of the day.

This is the weekend of the wisteria blooming. All Spring, Summer and Fall I spend time cutting, pulling, whacking back the wisteria from the other side of the state fence. Wisteria will strangle and kill trees. But I do let it bloom first. This first picture is of a wisteria cluster in our yard, hanging over the state fence. (Click any to embiggen!)

It's really amazing how the wisteria "shinnies up" trees and then beautifies the atmosphere. Flower clusters are sweet smelling and even burning the fast-growing tendrils produces a sweet, fruity odor. (One of those things like kudzu which is beautiful when blooming but deadly to its host.)

One of the few wonders of the area between us and the 4 way (Rt. 56) is the volunteer trees. Here is our volunteer buckeye in bloom and producing fruit.

Lastly... see, I was able to find the fuchsia, indeed!

"Go Bananas, Miss Scarlett" is just about ready for the front/back split...just a couple more rows. I am getting so antsy to start the Latvian mitten KAL over at Schoolhouse Press that I can hardly stand it. The pattern is intriguing and the conversation on the KAL group is really good. It's as if we're sitting in Lizbeth Upitis' living room or on her porch.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Just a glorious May day

This Spring has been the most perfect one here in Southwestern Pennsyltucky I have ever experienced!

The lilacs we've been watching are in full bloom and fragrance. Just waking up in the morning to real lilac wafting through the window is so wonderful and invigorating! There's a smile on my face immediately!

The rhododendron is also in full flower. I'd shown it just starting to bloom with the beginnings of "Go Bananas, Miss Scarlett" about a week ago. Both have been blooming since then. Miss Scarlett is heading toward the armholes, about 20 more rows to the needle split. This rhododendron was planted in the mid-1960's. Although it hasn't grown dramatically like some varieties, it has been faithful, blooming for each Mother's Day.

Yews on the northwest wall of the front porch, next to the rhododendron, are also 'candling', getting their fresh foliage. I have my knitting notebook there because...Miss Scarlett is the last project in this journal! Oh, the other WIP's are in there, too. But the next project started will be in the journal I've been waiting to use, the journal Schoolhouse Press put out last year. It is set up differently than this one with tips and knitters graph paper and needle sizes plus other good things that the current journal doesn't have.

I noticed late afternoon yesterday that some of the wisteria is just beginning to bloom. The azalea has full flower buds as well. We're planning a trip to the month-long open air nursery this afternoon where I hope to find my fuchsia hanging basket for the hummingbirds!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Honeysuckle rose

It had been planned for a week. Janie had called wanting to know if I wanted to come with her to the Three Sisters Spring festival near Freeport. We were waiting to hear how the developing weather would effect our traveling since the front had brought such devastation to areas of the Midwest. Luckily, although we had some rain and wind, during the festival time it was just a sometime drizzle.

Janie found some 'primitive' goodies that go with her family room decor. I found this English Baby Tears that fits right into the kitchen window right now. As the sun shifts more toward its summer positioning, I'll move it to another window.

Then this morning I cut lots of rhubarb for several families at church. I needed to finish the rhubarb I had cut for us earlier in the week and the strawberries Russ had gotten near Uniontown last Saturday; so I baked another strawberry rhubarb crumble for dessert the next couple days.

I didn't knit any at all last night! I did look through the latest "Interweave Knits" that has Franklin's most excellent article on Meg Swansen's Schoolhouse Press in its 50th anniversary year.

"Go Bananas, Miss Scarlett" is coming right along, though. Just one more 4 row repeat and I'll be ready for 10 rows of 1x1 ribbing. (As always, click any photo to embiggen!)

She's pictured in the honeysuckle and wild rose bushes on the side of the house.

Five years ago I'd seen a rose bush peeping through up on the hill before Russ had mowed the first time of the season. I dug it up and transplanted it to this southwest corner of the house, which is always the hottest side. As it turns out, the rose bush wants to take over the neighborhood. It's in a great place for it to be shading the house! Then last year, I discovered that a root from the honeysuckle bush that had long been thought to have been removed decades ago, was just waiting to re-emerge. I have left them intertwine. The birds love to get into the bushes and the honeysuckle brings the hummingbirds.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Some cheer to start this month and to see that May Day isn't just military parades... Beltane, the Gaelic name for the month of May, begins the season of Light in one Celtic calendar. Celebrating light and growth has been seen as human necessity as has been continued through human history.

Wikipedia has intriguing directions of study upon this subject, just look up Beltane and click the links provided in the article.

In elementary school we'd play 'ring around the rosey'(from another historical holiday but we didn't know that)and would have crowns of flowers. One year we did have a Maypole!

My father used to make me dandelion crowns. One type of crabgrass here grows very tall (as shown in the post the other day), making for wonderful whistles. Sometimes my father, grandfather and I would sit on a bank, whistling away as a 'crabgrass band' while my mother would smile but think that activity was not a ladylike divergence. For me, it was worth 10,000 scratchy, lacy pink crinolines. A Victorian lady I am not.