Hanging out in the woods

Blk_cardy The Last Eyelet Cardy. It is my fourth.  I don’t need to make any more and besides, I am out of Cotton-ease.  Perhaps it’s appropriate that the last one is black.  Dont’ get me wrong, it’s a great pattern, and a very comfortable sweater, why else would I make 4 of them.  But I’m done.  I actually do have a little bit of Cotton-ease left – enough to do Bob.  I’ll make it for spring. 

If you look closely you can spy a pesky hazard orange spot on the tree in the background of the photo, that’s what it is.  It’s a dead tree with hazard orange paint on it.  I don’t know why it’s dead, I have lost several trees in the last couple of years.  It could be drought, it could be an infestation or a virus.  I am hoping it isn’t Oak Wilt, a similar fate befell millions of elm trees and Central Texas has seen many of it’s oaks devastated in recent years.  Sometimes trees just die.  I do live in the woods.  I mark the dead trees(with orange paint) in the Ducks2fall before all the healthy trees lose their leaves.  That way I know which ones are dead when the weather is better for cutting them down.  I really don’t like to get the chainsaw out when it’s in the upper 90′s.  I cut the dead ones for firewood.  I don’t cut all the dead ones.  If I think the dead tree might offer good habitat for wildlife, I let it stand, or fall or lay where it is.  This particular tree isn’t very big or old and isn’t a good candidate for wildlife, AND it’s the perfect size for wood burning and for us to carry in the house without help.

I have several dead or dying trees that are old and big and have great big old holes in them where I just know that owls and black-bellied whistling ducks nest so I don’t touch those guys.  I also have brush piles dotting my 4 1/2 acres.  The brush piles also provide habitat for wildlife. 

That orange spot of paint reminds me that I need to cut that tree down.  We could use the firewood, in case it gets cold again before April.  It could still happen.

Spring!

Japonica Well, at least in the church parking lot where I found this Flowering quince.  I love this shrub, it’s one of the earliest bloomers here and it’s such gorgeous color in these dreary, waning days of winter.  It won’t be long before the fruit trees bud and the wildflowers are up.  Hopefully bluebirds will benesting too, though it has been my experience that they only return to my box every other spring.

I’m still learning to use this new camera, it has a lot of features my last one did not.

I finally chose the yarn for my Sockapaloooza pal which was entirely Sockyarnby accident as I had thought I would use something I already had, but then I ran across an Etsy vendor, Monsoon Wind and found the perfect skein and there was only one left!  It arrived yesterday, which was superfast shipping and I think it’s beautiful yarn.  I have not decided what pattern to use yet, I will need to look through my patterns or just break down and buy the newest Nancy Bush book.  It really ought be be a pattern that shows off the colors well, perhaps one of the chevron patterns like Broadripples or Jaywalker. 

Olympic knitting continues with one completed Eyelet cardi which is blocked and waiting for decent daylight for it’s close-up.  I finished knitting and blocking all the pieces of the cropped cabled cardi but I wasn’t pleased with the blocking results.  Does anyone have experience or advice for blocking Wool-ease?  I wonder if it can take steam, I just pinned and spritzed it with distilled water, like I do a lot of my delicate knits or cables.  This stuff still wants to curl.  Also, I am not happy with the finished dimensions.  This could be due to my complete disregard for swatching when I am using the called-for yarn on any pattern.  This thing is much bigger than it should be.  I will stitch half together and then decide it it will be ripped for something else, it’s not like I don’t have other patterns for wool-ease chunky, but I really liked this one, though not enough to knit it again.  I guess cheap yarn makes me fickle.  Finishing events continue through the evenings, though the medal outlook is beginning to appear dim.  Stay tuned.

The Joy of Randomness

Random Happy Random Button Day to all!  Thanks to Abby for the lovely button and for coming up with this wonderful holiday to displace a holiday frought with all kinds of commercialism and dissappointment. 

Yarn_prize Yesterday a package arrived in the mail (please excuse the photo, my camera is seeing the dying of the light, it shouldn’t be long now).  I won a little contest on Bliss’ wblog.  Go check out her new puppies, I came up with the name she chose for the poodle, Remy, yeah and for that, I got a prize, how cool is that?  Beautiful yarn!  I never find great colors at the local shop, this is such a treat.  Thank you again, Bliss!

I watched the Olympics last night and oh man, who knew Pair Skating could be so exciting?  I want to know who else besides b=me cried when the Chinese team skated and won the Silver?  I dare you to tell me you didn’t.  It was so amazing to see her fall like that and then complete such a breathtaking routine.  Whew, oh and I watched the women’s Skateboarding too.  I got so caught up in the competition, that I may have to rip several inches of my black cardi as I wasn’t really paying attention and mismeasured the eyelet row location.

The Best headline I saw all day yesterday was from a Sydney paper:

Cheney Hunts Quail, Everyone Else Ducks

“C” is for…

Cousins July 18th, 2005, Abby’s uncle Jon (Tom’s brother) married Jeong-Eun in Seoul, South Korea.  She has a daughter, then 8 years old.  They finally got to visit last week and Abby got to meet her new cousin, Xena, now 9.  She wouldn’t let Xena out of her sight for over a week, she was so excited to have her visit.  We were all excited to have them visit and welcome them into the family.  So in honor of the expansion of the family…

"C" is for Cousins.

In hot knitting news, my friend and fellow knitblogger from Houston, Christine, is Podcasting at PointySticks.org.  She’s a natural and I look for her to do great things in the future.  Christine and I met last year at SXSW when she recognized the clapotis I was wearing.  It’s a really small knitting world out there and I am really going to miss her this year at SXSW since she can’t make it.  How about the Bloggies, Christine, you know the Harlot is nominated and I’ll bet she has no one to accept the award for her.  Think about it.  You can stay with me.

About the time I think that memes are a phenomenom of the casual blogger/Livejournalist and not to be indulged in by serious web professionals, I run across one of my hero sites to find out, to my delighted amusement, that not only had Jeffrey Zeldman been memed, and complied, but he tagged Eric Meyer (other hero).  Okay so maybe I need a category for this blog for stuff so geeky that only certain knitters will get it if they also happen to work in webdom.  Come to think of it I never did create categories for the blog because I wasn’t organized or clever enough to handle it at the time I set this whole thing in motion. 

I have decided to heed the wise advice offered by Margene to use the Knitting Olympics to finish all the things I have on needles.  They will include:

  • 3 pair of gift socks (only one has been started of each pair)
  • the Black Eyelet Cardy (the sleeves and about 4inches of body have been completed)
  • the cropped cabled cardy from the Fall 2005 Vogue Knitting – fronts and part of back finished.
  • Square Play Shell(knitters Summer 2004) this could get tricky since I have only knit aobut 11 squares so far.

So, finishing up all these items may be too much for me to handle, I may have to extend my time limit to the end of February.  Anybody making odds on this event?

Knitting Leftovers

G_strap_1Mitts_3 Actually these are items finished last year for Holiday gifts that didn’t get photographed.  Lighting was poor in December and these wer last minute gifts for Kandis and Rob.  They finally sent me pictures.  Rob’s Noro Kureyon guitar strap and Kandis’ Cascade 220 Quatro lacy fingerless mitts.    They were two of my favorite gifts to knit last year – quick and fun and great yarn.  I found the pattern for the mitts online and inspiration for the strap which I reworked circularly.

K_mitts_1G_strap_close_2 I’m still working on the black Eyelet Cardy and haven’t swatched yet for the FLAK.  I am beginning to wonder if I should’nt just use the yarn to make another Twist, since everyone else has already done the back.  And I don’t see how I can manage an Olypic event as much as I want to participate.  I may have to just spend February finishing all the random knits on the needles.  Somehow that doesn’t sound as much fun as casting on for a new project.

“B” is for …

Precious little knitting has been accomplished.  Family from Vermont and Korea have descended on the house.  With all the excitement of meeting new famliy members and feeding a small army, chaos has ruled our house for almost a week.  In additon to not knitting, I have fallen behind in blogging stuff; I still haven’t swatched for FLAK and I haven’t posted "B" in the ABC-along and I got to thinking, what the heck am I going to do when we get down to XYZ if I can’t come up with something that starts with a B?  For crying out loud.  I had no idea my life was so alphabetically-challenged.  And then I was taken to my first Korean Restaurant.  I have eaten Korean cooking before, but I didn’t know what any of it was called so I couldn’t go into a Korean restaurant and confidently order anything.  All that has changed now.  I love Korean food, and have decided to learn to order and perhaps even make some of it.  If you like hot, spicey food, and haven’t tried this stuff, well, you must.  I loved the spicy beef soup, the kimchi, the red pepper paste dip for the fried pork, the spicy soy bean sprouts and the tofu, yum!  Bulgogi But everybody at the table loved the star of the night: Bulgogi, marinated, barbequed beef cooked right at the table.  So, knitting friends,

"B" is for Bulgogi

So, tonight I prepare my lasagna for the masses, my personal specialty.  Actually, it was prepared last night, so all we have to do tonight is bake it. 

I am knitting a bit on my black Eyelet Cardy and wondering if we will ever have a winter this year, but since Phil saw his shadow, guess I won’t put the sweaters up yet, right?