Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday drive

It has been just too lovely a day not to go for a drive.

Temperatures are record-tying mid-80's and the trees are just gorgeous.

This beautiful cranberry-fuschia tree is along Longfellow Street in Vandergrift. One of the very best things Vandergrift has ever done is to plant flowering trees along the streets. The Magnolias bloomed early and are just about petal-free. But now some fruit trees are blooming. Our apple tree is filled as is our young cherry tree. The peach tree shown last year with a sock, hasn't started to bloom yet.

The pastoral scene is along Melwood Road.

Friday, April 24, 2009

First 80 Degree Day

this year!


Monday, April 20, 2009

A week already?

It's hard to believe it's been a week since the last blog post!

Last week was DH's Spring break. After Tuesday, I decided that since it was Spring Break and we were running all over the place on errands and appointments (and buying a new clothes dryer) with the regular schedule of life being totally skewed, I'd take the rest of Spring Break and work on RTB a break to the MHK I research I'd been working on some every day.

During last week I was able to finish the first half of Round-the-Bend (RTB). The second half was then immediately begun. Here, just a few minutes ago, I was able to take a picture between rain showers of the second side of RTB.

And look at those cinnamon ferns! We had a beautiful 73 degree day and now this rain with a high in the 50's today. Tree leaves, plants and flowers are bursting out all over! And, look! The RTB colors fit right in with the fern on this rainy day. This grey day, too, will pass as the weather prognosticators are predicting near 80 and sunshine this upcoming weekend.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Finally, on Easter,

I finished the laptop cover!

After two weeks, I would guess it's dry now. Handspun wool does take longer than it seems it would because wool holds moisture content long after it seems to be dry. This is handspun single ply Romney wool. There's a gentle glow inherent to the Romney that yields peace to the spinner and the project created.

The picture shows the laptop enclosed in its cover. (Click to embiggen!)

To finish the cover, I seamed the edges, inserted the (already created old, soft, folded pillowcase) lining I had created, secured the bone button found at Joann's Fabrics in Lower Burrell, and placed two hook and loop tape sections on the side flaps. I'm not real happy with the hook and loop tape. Even though I had lengthened the flap about an inch over the pattern, it really could have been longer. I knit an I-cord loop for the button closure.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

RTB continues

Yesterday morning the Round-The-Bend had reached this point.

I spread her out beneath some daffodils on the pond's edge.

At this point, RTB was just turning the last bend. Throughout yesterday, that bend was traveled as was the shoulder 'seamed' and the sleeve grafted.

I just could not stop here before working on another project;so, the second sleeve, and therefore second half, of the RTB has begun. RTB will not suffer SSS, Second Sleeve Syndrome. I am going to work on my MHK I a bit and that persistent Fire Sock, but RTB definitely has my attention now.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


is how I feel this morning, awakening to this.

The daffodils aren't too happy, either.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Care packages are just the best!

Wouldja (sic) jes (sic) look at this?

This was what arrived on the front porch by the front door on Friday!

Six skeins of Paton's Rumor yarn, colorway "Spanish Heather"!

It's made in Turkey and finished in Canada. (What does that mean? It's what the label 'says'....) Made of 84% alpaca, 15% alpaca and 1% polyester, this should make up into a really warm vest or maybe vest and hat and scarf, or all kinds of possibilities!

And, yes, the "Piecework" magazine was in the box, too.

That's some kind of Yarn Elf, I tell you!

Thank-you, kind sir.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Just beginning

the TKGA Master Handknitter Level I, I've taken to doing some prep work.
These swatches I'm calling mini-swatches. They aren't the size for Swatch I at all. I've knit them for three reasons, choosing yarn and choosing needle size plus improving on edge stitches. The Basics, Basics, Basics swatches were all knit with Lion Brand FISHERMEN'S WOOL and Boye #8 circular. The problem with the swatches were that they had absolutely no body out of the bath and onto the blocking towel. Plus, there was an occasional slub or knot in the yarn.

This is the third mini-swatch which is Lion Brand FISHERMEN'S WOOL, Boye circular #7.

Here is Swatch #2 with Cascade 220 in Natural, Boye circular #7.

The final swatch is Cascade 220 in Natural, Boye circular #9.

All together, they look like this while blocking.

I also tried 16", #8 straights, all frogged.

The edge stitches may not be looked at closely, but I was uncomfortable with how mine had started to appear. I had to discover why it seemed they were twisted as they were. It appears the weight of the needles either by the end of the straights or the weight of the yarn on the one end of the circular needle was causing the strangeness.

After the blocking and the swatches drying overnight, they were ready to be checked for gauge. Yesterday I measured and ran the calculations. The swatches appear to me to be of good gauge for my purposes (but I have been wrong before). They do not match the ball bands.

Speaking of ball bands, the Lion Brand says it is made in China. Cascade 220 does not have a country other than it is Peruvian Highland Wool, which could be anything.

I'd appreciate comments on the various swatches as to one that looks best.

Yesterday wsas also the day to check the cabinet downstairs where I have some books and magazines stored. There's a blocking report due in Level I along with other reports in the other levels. I got out one book and several magazines, starting notes for the blocking report last night.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Yard update

is here, as promised!

The 'volunteer' honeysuckle that is wrapped into the rose bush because the honeysuckle emerged from a root that remained from a honeysuckle taken out decades ago is leafing well. The rose bush is coming along, too.

I really don't know what this wildflower is. Any ideas? It reminds me of pepper weed that was so prevalent out west; I can't bear to dig it out since it's the first spring flower along with the dandylion. It's mixed into sections of this side lawn.

A white daffodil with pale yellow center has survived the Winter and is gradually lifting skyward to soak in yesterday's 70 degrees.

Isn't it a glorious sky? Not a cloud. And, look at those apple tree leaves and flower buds.

White daffodils with medium yellow centers and hyacinths are doing particularly well this year.

I took all these pictures yesterday, knowing today's rain would be arriving overnight. It's 56 degrees...warmer than many places to our west. This front is bringing cold, freezes in the South and possible snow (only flurries, I hope)here. A wind advisory is posted for the rest of today.

Coming up: Level I mini-swatches and today's arrival of a Yarn Elf care package!!!