It's gray, dreary and chilly. I feel silly for complaining about the weather when I am safe, dry and have a roof over my head. But, (isn't there always a "but") this constant gray, lack of warmth and sun, and general wetness (we are not used to wet) has just about frayed my last nerve.
On the good side, while picking arugula and radishes Sunday afternoon, I found it exceptionally easy to weed. Just giving the weed a little push with the thumb, which releases the ground around it, and the whole plant comes right out, down to its tiniest root. I quite easily plucked a bucket full of various noxious weeds and actually found joy in the process. The real joy was our first taste of the garden, a delicious salad of arugula, radishes and chives (flowers and all).
My knitting has been monogamous as Curatio has been a cure for gloom. Kim's Pearl, in the New England Red colorway, has been sunshine on my needles. The bright and happy color has been just what I need and looping its soft strand around the needles has given me hours of pleasure. I've made many mistakes, silly, stupid mistakes which are too numerous to count. Tinking back, or frogging, has been a big part of the process but, I just keep plugging along, and Curatio will soon be finished. She is the sunshine of my life and perfect knitting for May's Project Spectrum (which doesn't mean I'll be knitting something in every color of PS).
Have a wonderful Holiday weekend, everyone! Here's hoping it will BE a summer kickoff for those of us in need of warmth.
No matter how many picures, or the setting of the camera, I have been unable to capture the true, the electric blue nature of this shawl. The photos do not show the blue and purple flashing against the electric turquoise, which all in all creates a neon like color.
Even though Hamamelis spent too many months on the needles it was not because she acted up, it was because I was distracted by other shawls, other needs, the desire to give to friends and family. Hamamelis was always considered mine, as giving her to someone else seemed the wrong thing to do. Once she was back in progress the knitting went smoothly and quickly. She entertained all along the way.
Wild Woman did a happy dance when I wrapped Hamamelis around her. A little electric blue, to brighten gray and rainy month, has been the right way to go.
Millie is one happy grrl among a bunch of happy chicks.
Their winter was as hard as ours but they still gave us daily eggs. The chickengrrls prefer to be fed fresh lettuce by hand and, while eating, they'll allow you to give them a pet. A winter of being cooped up has left them a little skittish, so I'm trying to spend more time petting and loving them.
The weekend was a mix of beautiful blue skies (lilacs!) and ferocious thunderstorms. Spring weather continues to be mixed up and unsettled. Between storms, and despite the cloudy days, we spent time planting and tending the garden. The chives are on the verge of popping their tops.
Last fall we planted garlic and it growing well, along with a variety of onions, though wind, rain, snow and hurricanos!
Knitting along on my brilliantly blue/purple shawl I realized the end was in sight! Unfortunately, it was the end of the skein...the END of the yarn! I do not have Susan’s powers, or prowess, of the skein because I don't pay close attention to the pattern/shawl/yarn ratio. I did not think to use a digital scale or calculate yardage. This grrl, meaning me, knits with total blind faith and that's why she gets into trouble. That's me...blinded by hubris. (This is my MO, as you know.)
The garter edge was nowhere near the needed 24 rows, let alone the lace border and bind off. How does this happen? Why am I so clueless? Seriously.
I am blithe...and unrepentant.
The ball winder was a big help, with about 10 rows of garter and 24 rows of pattern to rip (that is all the way back to the orange pin!). Happily, the swim in the frog pond turned out to be successful, as was getting the stitches back on the needle and then, tinking back one row. I am, once again, ready to start the edging.
Truly, I thought I had enough yardage, but everyone knits differently and it's up to the knitter to know, to pay attention, and do the calculations. I didn't even think about checking, and so, I will be making the small instead of the medium, which is just fine.
I remain unrepentant…it is the process.
The sewing up of a pair of pajama pants went much as my knitting does. I'll need to invest in a seam ripper if this sewing hobby decides to stick around. After getting the machine oiled, properly threaded, the bobbin wound, and cutting out two pattern pieces, (front and back), I sat down and started the process of seaming.
Sewing felt good, the seams went together quickly, but when I held up my finished project, it was impossible to make heads or tails of it. It was impossible to make legs or waist from it....seriously, what did I do? Slowly, carefully, I unpicked the seams, then laid the pieces on the floor to better see the problem. One by one (as the light bulb went on) I picked them up, and began anew, to sew a very easy pair of pants together. Apparently, my MO is to make everything harder than it is.
It didn't take long to hem the legs and thread twill tape for a drawstring, and while they're not what you'd call chic, they're not too shabby, either. Mission accomplished, a fancy, dancy pair of RED PJ pants for lounging around the house. Where's my martini!?
One day spring was in the air and we (all) sat on the patio to celebrate. A summer cocktail, happy dogs nearby, and red toenails dotted the scene. It was seventh heaven and much appreciated (that's to say, much needed!)!
We luxuriated in the warming air, the blue of the sky above, and the delight of being outdoors. But, we all know Mom Nature (aka Spring) to be a fickle heart-breaker. By sunrise the next morning, the blue had run off (with the spoon?) and left us with a landscape of black and white.
To make matters worse, by early afternoon it was raining cats and dogs (with no break for 24 hours!). The mountains need not one more snowflake and our lawns are as green as lawn can be, plus we may be growing moss where moss shouldn't be (and Utah's not know for its moss)! Please, Mz. Nature, please bring the sun you've promised us this weekend. We deserve it! Yes, we do!!
She's here, spring that is, she's finally here!...with her sky of extra-ly beautifully blue and the trees are greening, too.
While wending my way home from the grocery store (big involved intersections during rush hour, or any other time for that matter, must be avoided at all costs), I was rewarded with a view of this exuberantly pink tree. It fairly glimmered in the bright sunlight.
Rain is forecast for part of the weekend, but we hope for the best of Spring to stick around awhile.
PS Please visit Birdsongs blog and join her contest. She's starting a natural dye CSA and you can read all about it and help spread the word!
Hamamelis hogs all my attention, as her lace has unlocked its secrets and I can't seem to get enough. The last repeat is falling into place and will be followed by rows and rows of garter ridges, the simple elegance of which pleases me to no end.
A minor (as it turned out) catastrophe befell the yarn (fortunatly not the shawl), as a dog (who shall remain nameless), whilst in the midst of an panic attack, defiled the unsuspecting ball. I did not see the nasty creature dog leave my side, but alas, he stealthily cause havoc and hardened my heart. Thinking about the yarn in its abused state saddened me. I couldn't leave it in its state of disgrace and, of course, I could not knit with a tangled mass, and so, in the quiet hour(s) of the early evening, I carefully set to untangling.
As the knots and tangles slowly fell from my fingertips, I listened to American Gods by Neil Gaiman, a delightful distraction. I’d have to classify myself a fan as I've read, and loved, several of his books. Instead of a picture of my iPod, the picture shows my favorite summer book, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. I've read it before and, hopefully, by reading it again, summer (or at least spring) will make an appearance.
The minute Lolly posted a reprise Project Spectrum, I knew I was in. And now, it's MAY, time to celebrate the return of Spring with something Red! This time Project Spectrum will be stress free, totally into inspiration and fun...playing with color as the main attraction.
Like Vicki, I hope to do some dyeing, natural dyeing, perhaps and there will be photography, cooking, sewing, knitting and anything else that strikes my color fancy. This is the merry Month of RED and kick of Project Spectrum with a celebration, I pulled out my trusty sewing machine, circa 1970. (Is it an antique yet?)
She's stood me well all these years and, even though it took an epiphany to remember how to wind a bobbin, she's still working well (it's me I'm not sure of).
Finding needles for this little puppy, procuring fabric and pattern, washing and drying said fabric, took most of Saturday. All I really want, and what started this whole sewing thing, is a simple pair of pajama pants, no elastic in the waist, no pockets, just plain cotton pj pants with a tie.
...and my favorite pin cushion. Ready set....