Saturday, June 27, 2009

Knitting for comfort

After the shock of our friend's accident wore off a bit I decided to knit a shawl for her. A couple of years ago I purchased some gorgeous Ceallach Dyes yarn from Full Thread Ahead at Stitches West with intentions of knitting a shawl for my daughter, but she informed me she really wasn't a shawl person and that I shouldn't put all that work into something she'd likely not wear. So that lovely yarn has been in my stash just waiting to tell me what it wanted to be. It wanted to be Julia's Shawl from Alison Jepson Hyde's book Wrapped in Comfort - Knitted lace shawls. It's about 2/3 done.

Last night I knit until 4:30 am, I just couldn't put it down. Both the yarn and the pattern are such a pleasure that I've found it so enjoyable to work on it's hard to put down. Meanwhile, Bernice is improving just a little each day, but she's still got a very long road to recovery ahead of her.

Is this little sheep from a fairy tale? I recently picked him up at a thrift store for just a few cents and couldn't resist him. He's about four inches long and made of unglazed porcelain.
Today I received a surprise in the mail . . . hand cranked socks from my friend Kathleen. She has machines that you crank by hand to make socks. The fun part is she only did the foot of them and I get to design and knit the cuffs. They're made of KnitPicks Essential in Glacial. The strange thing is I just ordered the same yarn, and I'm thrilled that I can now make a scarf or glove to match!
One of my next projects will be the Curve of Pursuit blanket for my granddaughter in red and black. First I need to finish the baby cocoon and scarf I've got started. While searching my stash for the yarn for Bernice's shawl I came a cross a box of lace weight yarns I bought from KnitPicks a while back, so to break up the blanket knitting I'll use some of it for either another shawl or scarf. Tonight I'm taking a break from knitting as my shoulder is complaining due to my marathon knitting last night.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Blogs and more blogs

How much time do you spend reading blogs? An hour a day? More than two hours a day? Time always seems to be in short supply for me, so I'm very sporadic about both reading blogs and writing in my own. This week I rediscovered Henya's blog where she not only shares her own patterns but she also has a contest right now. I enjoy the many subjects she covers as well as her style of writing.

Our neighborhood is a mix of families who've lived here for many years, raised their kids and are now enjoying grandchildren, along with a few young families. Our good friend and neighbors, Joe and Bernice, who live across the street from us and have since their daughters were young had left last Thursday to attend their granddaughter's high school graduation with plans to return on Sunday. They drove up to Sacramento where they joined with their youngest daughter and her hubby who planned to drive the rest of the way to Eureka. They were so proud of their granddaughter's accomplishments and were excited about the trip. Sunday, their daughter and son-in-law had dropped them back at their vehicle at the hotel in Sacramento and the kids headed to their home and the parents headed back here. About 20 minutes on the road Joe had some as yet unknown medical emergency which caused a single vehicle accident which took his life. When we learned of it on Monday we were in shock, and even the re-telling of the story as we related it to our neighbors who would want to know it just didn't seem possible. Bernice was critically injured, and has had to have at least two surgeries that we've heard of. While she continues to improve a bit each day, she's expected to be in the critical care unit for another couple of weeks or so. If you're a praying person would you please say a prayer for her?

On Saturday my friend Penni and I are going to an epiphyllum sale. We've each agreed we plan to buy only one or two plants, but once we get there I'm not so sure we'll be able to stick to our good intentions! I'm hoping to find a couple of varieties with small blooms. I am taking many of the Christmas Cactus that I foolishly thought I couldn't live without last winter to share with other growers. Of course, I wish I could say generosity is my only motive, but the truth is that space is my biggest motive . . . or lack of it. I have so many epies that they are outgrowing the area I have as they get larger. Saying Penni has about three times as many as I do might make me feel better for a nano-second, but then I'd have to admit that she also has a potting house and a very large patio with beams overhead to hang her plants from, while the ceiling of my sunroom won't support hanging plants. It will be fun to go together and see what we can find!

Tonight I finished the first half of a lace scarf that is knit from the bottom up in two pieces, and when I weighed what was done and the yarn I have left, I'm afraid I may end up short. I'm using Rowan Kid Silk in a pretty green, but I doubt if I can match it as I've had it for quite some time. I'll have to knit faster to get to the end and see if there's enough to finish . . . think it will help?

The sandman is calling and I'd better get to bed and sleep while I can as it's supposed to be very warm tomorrow and I don't sleep well when I'm too warm.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Unexpected bloom

A few weeks ago while caring for my many plants I reached down to get a small pot from under the potting bench when I noticed that the Amaryllis plant I'd set there with intentions of throwing it away because it refused to bloom for me after the first year I got it about three years ago. It had a bud stem about 5 inches high. I gave it a drink of water and left it where it was. A few days later I discovered the stem had grown so tall the bud was hiding under the top of the potting bench. I brought it out and a few days later it rewarded me with this gorgeous bloom. It had two buds, but one was knocked off by either the wind or the cat.

Today I had to destroy one of my favorite plants which had become virused. It was a very large plant, and had recently bloomed with four beautiful large blooms. Unfortunately the virus can spread to other plants, and rather than chance losing all of my collection I chose to get rid of it.

Today was World Wide Knit In Public day, but I didn't find time to participate, though I do knit in public on a regular basis. There are several items on my knitting needles, a cocoon for our new granddaughter who is due to be born in September, a couple of scarves, and a pair of socks. I've been trying to give each of these items a little attention, but the socks have received the least attention. Perhaps I'll go grab them and do a few rows.