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March 2010
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May 2010

Sprössling Returns

Did you think poor Sprössling would ever return from the jungles of DeNile?  Now that I'm behaving well and, finally, keeping my head about me, Sprössling is growing nicely, however, a little more slowly than we'd both like.  Anne's pattern is well written and ALL problems have been of my own making.  Sprössling isn't very happy about that, but she'll survive and, hopefully, thrive!


For some unknown reason I started the right front, but knit the shaping for the left. How on earth? Ya, I know! AND, the armscye shaping was correct, IF it had truly been the right front.  But, the thing was, I knit the waist shaping in the wrong place, on the wrong side of the piece and, well...what the hell was I thinking?! (Yes, this is all confusing, how do you think I feel?)  Welcome to my brain!  Perhaps, the error was constant dropping of pattern pages, not marking the pattern well, taking too few notes, not keeping my head about me and, therefore, getting lost in jungle.


The error of gauge was also my own...yes, YET another error.  Instead of keeping the correct needle in my bag, it had been put away. PUT does one put away needed needles!?  One thing I'm very good at is making errors, multiple errors. Thank the knitting goddess Sprössling and I finally made our way back from the dark side.  We rode the waves and now we're moving into smooth waters.

The Soul Garden


This is the entry to the "Soul Garden", as the community garden has been named.  Above the gate it says "Soli deo Gloria" and the sign on the side says "Enjoy your stroll through the garden but please don't pick the produce. Thanks".   The garden is a beautiful place to walk. We also looking forward to the day we can take a picnic and enjoy the little gazebo.

Thefulllabyrinth Next to the gazebo the members built a labyrinth. The garden is a perfect place for meditation, whether mindful walking or sitting to listen to the quiet.  (Smith looks as if he's contemplating what he got himself into, but he's actually very excited.)


 The garden also has shared red raspberries, blackberry and gooseberry bushes!  Do any of you know if getting  up early and haulingass to the garden will the bushes be full of berries? I'd love a few for my morning cereal?

At the far end of the garden is an old (but still used) Scout cabin with a very cool river stone chimney. It's destined to be surrounded by gardens. 


Like another gardener we know, some members have a head start on sowing their gardens. This is one beautifully laid out garden full of future crops. We're a bit envious.

Gardener Smith

Smith may yet become a gardener, after edict from me, one which insisted he find a community garden. He is obviously hankering to grow veggies. For years we've seen people gardening in land behind the church, a Presbyterian church, across the street from our condo. Smith investigated and found it wasn't a church garden, but a community garden…with available land! He joined on the spot.


Smith spent the week planning, laying out his garden, figuring out what veggies he wanted to plant.  As you might guess, we spent the weekend shopping.  Some of our choices maybe getting a late start, but we'll give it a shot and learn as we go. Lettuce was planted in the carport box and herbs will be housed in the black pot (maybe a tomato, too).  Any harvest will be close at hand and we can easily take what we need for dinner. 


Smith spent most of yesterday planting his starts and tending his garden.  He planted broccoli, radishes, beets, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce and more.  Other plants will be added after the upcoming storm.


The community garden is amazing! They have their own tractor, tools, water, and compost (we'll contribute)and many shared gardens--herbs, asparagus, rhubarb and horseradish, fruit trees, and more gardens are planned.  More about this incredible find tomorrow.

Farmer Smith

Smith built a box in the carport (oh no, now what?!).
(Both planters sit on the edge and do not block our cars.)


AND, said he was going to plant a few (like 24!) different vegetables in both the box and the whiskey barrel. (yikes!) Farmer Smith he is not. Then, he scared me to death when he pronounced his in tensions to hang 12 tomato plants in Topsy Turvy's around the patio! (I thought I would die!)

Max came to the rescue and said "Not in my day spa, dude!!  Do you know how nice it is to have a black rock massage?"

Nice to know the black Zen Garden rocks are good for more than background for knitting photographs.

Spreading the News

After all the work it took to save my sanity, I decided to take a little break and tell you the news I've heard this week. Friends helping friends...if you will...

Anne's Wooly Wonka Shop is (finally) back in business with many gorgeous hand dyed yarns and fibers.  In the future Anne will also feature exclusive clubs and kits. My stash is going to grow, I can feel it now.

Jane is having contest to celebrate her first year of being cancer free (may she have dozens more)!  All you need to do is comment on her April 4th post (by April 28th, her birthday!) and for every comment received she'll give a donation to the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation

I hear tell that Kim is adding new spring colorways to her Woolen Rabbit shop. I know it's green, but I'm rather fond of Dandelion.


The boyz are handsome again! They now look more like princes than scruffy mutts.  (The look on their face's is brought to you by bribery.)


I'm not big fan of whimsy, but the mug on the left has been a constant companion for years. I love its sentiment ("Oh, I'm fine. Just fine. Perfectly fine. Really I'm fine. Fine.) and recently, as happens when you're not careful, the lip was chipped. The thought of having tea without Mary Engelbreit was unimaginable. The mug on the right is my new morning companion.  It says, "All Will Be Well".  Yes it will.

Perils of Margene (Part III)

Our heroine had been floating along on DeNile enjoying the day and listening to Sprössling's lovely call from farther up the river. Paddling was easy, the waters calm, the landscape serene. 

Margene decided it is time to start the second front (right left front) and she picked up her yarn, but couldn't find the right needle in her bag . At that moment, she came to the realization the first/right front HAD been knit on the wrong size needle!  The water moved along more quickly and seemed to grow a little rougher.

Finally, with the right size needle she was able to start the first few rows of the left front. The going was quite easy (it's hard to overcome DeNile). However, when Margene started the pattern, she had to look at the chart.  The river was now very bumpy and the sound of rushing water could be heard (rapids?!).  Margene realized she may be lost and, to make things worse, she was completely confused.


Did she start the right front from the right chart or the left (wrong) chart?  Was she right in starting the left front from the right (wrong?) chart or was it the left chart?  Is the chart correct, does she have the right chart for the river?  Is she right, wrong, left , up or down?? YIKES!  Round and round she went, caught up in the eddy of doubt!

Margene looked at the finished right/left front to see if the map of fabric could clear up her questions.  The (right...or is it left!?) front left her with even more questions. Had she started the waist shaping on the right side or the left side?  Is the shaping right or wrong? Is it left or wrong?  Is she up or is she down?  The river's speed grew, the eddy swirled and swirled, spinning her round and round!!  Beyond the eddy the water plugging out of view, and the roar of an enormous waterfall thundered in her ears!  Was she doomed? Was there a way to make it around the eddy and to the shore?  Will Margene plunge into the land of non-knitters?  What in the world is going on!? How will she be saved!?

Margene paddled and paddled, trying to keep her muscles strong, her mind on survival, and hoped with all her heart she could get through this horror.  From a distance she could hear her dear friend CherylS calling in an encouraging voice.  "Remember when I knit two backs for an intricate lace sweater?  Remember when I started a sweater at the V neck and had to take it out after 11 rows? Remember when...?", on and on she called.

Cheryl calls also reminded Margene she was not the only person to make multiple errors in her knitting.  She was not the only person who had confused charts and patterns, and was not the only person to knit the wrong (right/left) front of a sweater. Cheryl also reminded Margene that she had the wherewithal and strength to pull through the eddy and make it to shore. Other friends could be heard shouting their encouragement, too. "We know you can do it! You have the attitude needed to finish (and tame) Sprössling! You can make it to shore!"

The eddy was strong, but Margene worked with all her might.  She focused on friendship and how many nice sweaters she had knit in the past. Love of the process pulled her to shore like a magical rope and the path she needed to take unfolded before her.


Sprössling's chart became clear. She understood the pattern and the RIGHT front as it should be.  With the right size needle in hand, the right path opened and Margene was finally in her right mind.

A Quiet Place


Let's take a little break from our heroine's troubles and relax a little.  This time of year is a perfect time to sit on the patio and sip a cool drink.  Smith bought Adirondack* chairs in a pretty red.  I may not have a red umbrella, but I do have red chairs.


The patio is a nice place to knit, read, listen to birds, and just relax.  While relaxing you can put your head back and see the sky. The playful clouds always put on a good show.


The pansy garden is nearby and often the pups, Max and Moxie, are too.  They have been scruffy little boys, but they had a spa day and now we have two princes. Pictures later.

If only this perfect weather would go on for months on end. Time to enjoy the nice days of spring while we can!

This picture was taken on the grounds of the high school (which is just around the corner).

*They maybe plastic (and fake), but the chairs are made from recycled materials.

Perils of Margene (Part II)

Our Heroine had been enjoying the scenery while she slowly paddled down the river DeNile. The call of Sprössling had been strong and Margene was enticed by its beautiful design, complex pattern, and intriguing shape. 

Our heroine had started this leg of her adventure with confidence. But, as she paddled her way up the river, she heard gurgling cautionary voices. She did not stop, did not pull over the the shore to reassess or check her chart. On she went but, perhaps, with a little less confidence.

Suddenly a crocodile appeared and it had BIG teeth!!  "Dear little knitter", it said, "did you look at the fabric as you knit and think it might  be a little small?  Did you make sure you had the right needle in hand? Did you throw caution to the wind and go on despite misgivings?  Did you??!" 


Our heroine was chagrined but, when the crocodile opened his mouth, as if to chop her up and eat her, she started paddling for her life!  She paddled, took deep breaths, worked her muscles with all her might, and made it to safety.   Maybe she had made a mistake, but she could recover and go on!  Right?

She knew she had checked her gauge, had even asked friends if the front of Sprössling looked smaller than the back.  She had been reassured it looked fine and all would be well in the blocking.  Some of her doubt was abated and, with Sprössling's call loud, rich, and enchantingly beautiful,  Margene knew she had to keep the course. She knew the sweater would be wonderful when finished and she would make Margene lovely, too.


It had been quite an accomplishment to finished the back of Sprössling, plus, it seemed to be correct (wow!) and nice looking. The front piece (right front)  had been a struggle, but it also looked nice (if small). Blocking would was time to move on, time to continue up the river, and hope Sprössling would remain tame enough to stay the course.

Perils of Margene (Part l)

The intrepid knitter blithely creates her stitches one by one, taking no heed of the pitfalls and perils ahead (even though she knows this road can be bumpy). Margene sits smiling (it's actually a silly grin) and enjoys the process of her project. She dreams of the day this lovely sweater will be finished and she can wear it with pride.


The back has been finished for some time and the front (right front) is now off the needles. This happy knitter lays out her work for a triumphant picture. How happy the day! Both pieces look great, Margene is satisfied, and pleased, as the going has not been easy. A new feeling of dread comes over her. Has this knitter taken care to follow through with due diligence?  

De Nile is a huge and dangerous river for the knitter who does not take care, who simple cannot imagine something ELSE could go wrong. The sweater looks good, but is it?  Is there (more) trouble ahead? Is she doomed?