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June 2007 Archives

June 6, 2007

Finally

I'm back. May was a very, very strange month. But the reason for no posts is this: I decided recently that I needed a laptop if I was going to keep up with this blog thing in style. Because even though I have a fabulous desk and a new computer, the only place the desk fits is in a corner of the office, and I feel scrunched up sitting here, and I spend all day sitting at a computer at a desk, and it would just be so much nicer to write in the living room, from command central - my spot on the couch. So, turns out Captain America has a spare laptop hanging around. With a wireless access card that he used to connect to my little home network, Fabulous! That was three weeks ago. That bastard access card simply will not work. I'm about to take it to a big box store and pay them to wipe it and start all over. I've spent hours days in this scrunchy spot trying to make it work. I always think I know just enough to make something work - not this time. So uncle - I'm in the corner typing this post while I plot total domination of the laptop sitting next to me, feeling sorry for my non-wireless self.

I've been knitting - oh, I've been knitting. If only I was making something nice to wear. But I am challenging my brain and knitting up a ton of Cascade:

Swatches in the sun


I posed these five swatches on my tangled up clematis plants on a pretty spring afternoon. The Swatch That Ate My Brain is in there - I finished it on Saturday, May 12th at 12:10pm after a marathon morning of determination, sweat, and enough yarn this time. Right behind it followed the other four, along with a sixth that was still on the needles at photo shoot time, but is now complete. This is a LOT of Cascade - most of these swatches are almost big enough to be the front of a sweater for me, or a sleeve at least. Sorry I can't show you the cables - incredible patterns - but you'll have to see those in Melissa's next book.

I really took that photo so I could show you this:

mmmmmmm


This is why I grow clematis, why I'm obsessed with them really, and it's the color and type of the first one I saw back in 1991 or so that got me hooked. I've grown them in pots, and the wine-colored one is seven years old this year. But the purple one - oh - it makes my heart sing. It's rich, and it made it all the way to the top of the fence this year. My hope is to see it someday covering the pergola, especially now that I've chopped down the strange inherited rose bush that was sharing its black spot with all its neighbors. There might be a third vine in there, and if it turns out to be white, I'll be in heaven.

I got a delightful phone call in the middle of the day Saturday from my LYS. The one that does Knittapalooza and is hosting Annie Modesitt and Melissa Leapman next March. Linda was calling to tell me she had just heard from the owner, who was in Columbus at TNNA and had just finished two classes with Annie, who was called the shop to check in and to ask Linda to call me to say "thanks for suggesting Annie!" How fun! How lovely to get such a call - I grinned the rest of the day. And to know she connected with Annie - fantastic.

Since the weather finally caught up with the date, we've been back to our usual weekend Outer Banks routine - down in the morning, back home by 2pm for chores. Or a nap. We see the same sights, year after year, and we enjoy the drive. Memorial Day weekend found a festival going on at the home of Graaaaave Digger, the original monster truck. We always joke as we pass the beast and sometimes his truck friends that we'll have our picture made there for Christmas cards - we finally stopped - there were so MANY monster trucks, and it turns out, an RC car race. Pretty hysterical - CA has several RC cars that he tinkers with, so we watched a few runs, and then took fun photos when the dust got too thick. Monster Mutt - couldn't resist.

trucks


I've managed to even get some spinning in, but no photos. I navajo plied the pretty Kid stuff from the first Knitty spinning secret pal - I'm not so good at navajo plying. It's still on the bobbin - I'll probably have to put some more twist in to tidy up the bumps in the chain. I'm almost done with the first of the next of three bobbins of the brown wool for CA's vest - I hope I'll get to knitting that up in time for it to be a Christmas present.

Last, another excuse for a garden shot - this is the Lasvold Silky Tweed sweater of my own design (term used very loosely), posing with the morning glories getting ready to cover the inside of my backyard fence:

green things


I'm up to the armhole bind-off, and after ignoring it Monday night, I got on the floor with pencil, pretty notebook, measuring tape, and the sweater I'm copying last night, and worked out the details for the armhole shaping and neckline for the front. I think. I used to believe I was a very good note taker, until I attempted to make one of the hundreds of recipes from my pastry school days and realized that nope, I was not. Still not - it will be oh so much fun to see how I do at making another piece for the back that matches this front. I also continue to amaze myself with my utter incompetence when it comes to any kind of math - and I'm someone who enjoyed calculus in high school! But I chug along, in between cable swatches.

Phew - I did it. You know how, if you keep putting something off, it gets harder and harder to get it done? This post - over that hurdle.

June 13, 2007

Use it or lose it.

Vacation time, that is. I've just realized I have 40 hours to use or lose by the end of this month - wheee! I'm taking two four day weekends in a row, and then the last Friday to head back up to NIH - they're having me back to do the scan I bailed on last month. And this time, I WILL make it to StitchDC - I think now, after looking at a map, I was sooooo close last time, but my brain was so frazzled by the insane DC traffic that I gave up.

I'll also catch up on knitting for moi, since it's all swatches, all the time here lately. I have made some progress on my own green sweater - the first piece will be the back, and I'm to the shoulders with a slight design problem to solve. The back neck is higher than the shoulders - not your usual construction. Just have to draw a picture and figure it out.

I also pledge to spend some time with this damned blog design - I'm so frustrated with it and this obnoxious laptop glaring at me that I'll hopefully feel refreshed enough to tackle both on one of these long weekends.

Knitty's Spinning Secret Pal is in full swing - whee! My upstream match couldn't be more perfect and I have loads of fun ideas for her. My downstream has started me off with these silly guys, previously unknown to me:

SP friends

June 25, 2007

Now We're Cooking with Gas!

Or at least blogging from my corner of the couch, the place where all knitting and most other things happen in this house, because yes, I managed, finally, to get wireless! Zippity dooh dah. Here's how I did it: spent hours booting and rebooting and searching technical websites on the other computer over several weeks. Since about the second week of June I've taken a more desperate approach - avoiding the damned thing, and practically the whole room it was in altogether, with occasional delusions that if I just did that one thing, it would work, followed immediately with desperation and more avoidance. Until today, when I realized I could start with the lowest common denominator, the cheapest fix, and I bought a new adapter at Radio Shack (only because I was on a rare and stealth mission to the mall - no new summer purse, but a wireless card. I strongly dislike Radio Shacks, but I was desperate and braved the land of geeks.)

Anyway, $60 later, with absolutely no other pain whatsoever, here I am, in business on the couch. Yay me.

I have aboslutely nothing spectacular to talk about, and no fabulous new knitting to show you, so I took garden pictures. This is the clematis I hoped might be white:

2nd purple clematis


A second type of purple - just as great! The other has four-petaled flowers.And morning glories galore - the ever-reliable Grandpa Ott's, and several new colors from the mix I planted. Love these things - they grow fast and make me happy every single morning.

GO's morning glory


random gloy


random glory 2


And my favorite thing in my garden every summer, my biggest joy, and also the one that causes me the most trouble and heartache - the tomato. I have two plants left from the batch I started from seed this year. I've grown all kinds - grape, cherry, roma, heirloom, purchased plants - all of them. And all I ever want is a good, fat, juicy slicer for my tomato sandwiches. And that seems to be the very hardest thing to get. I skipped the relentless cherry/grape vines - they never stop and I have tomatoes coming out of my ears. Nothing fancy this year - I did Burpee Early Girls and Big Beefsteak I think, and I'm down to two of one or the other - not sure which anymore. Despite too many cool nights and some blossom drop:

TOMATOES!


With more to come - I think tomato blossoms are happy and beautiful:

Tomatoes to be


I'm obsessed with my garden - I dote, I admire, I encourage - so satisfying when it works.

I have a new dove pair on the porch - they spent most of this weekend deciding if it would work, building the pile of sticks that doves seem to prefer, and noodling around together up there. I don't think I wrote about the original mom, who was tending to her second set of eggs in the same spot. One morning in May, I was up at 4:30 and looked out the window to see her sleeping in the nest. I was knitting at 5AM when there was a horrible commotion and I ran to the window just in time to see the neighborhood alley cat making off with the mom dove. After he crashed the nest to the floor which crushed the eggs that were very near hatching. Awful. Horrible. I don't know why the universe decided I needed to see it all. I looked for her every time I went in or out for weeks. That event was the beginning of my apparently appointed role to bear witness to baby bird tragedies in the yard this spring - I found other unhatched and broken eggs and a baby who had probably fallen from the nest. I can only hope someday to know why I was chosen. So it's great that the doves are here - and I can now worry about them every time I come in and out.

I think the end is in sight with the cable swatches for Melissa Leapman - I believe I have the last two patterns in hand and one of them in process. When these are done, I will return to my little green tee. The design issue on the back has been rolling around and fermenting for a while and I think I know what I'll do to make it work, but my brain is a very dangerous place to keep this sort of thing, so I'm looking forward to pulling it out and getting to it.

Oh yeah - I've spun up a bobbin and a half more of the brown wool - not too exciting, but it's going swimmingly and I look forward to the day when CA wears it! I'm denying myself other spinning til I finish these three bobbins-full - that should give me close to 1,000 yards. I've found a rhythm with it and don't want to mess up by adding a different rhythm or fiber to the mix.

I've even made some inquiries around finding a way to make fiber my work... If you're reading and you're a yarn rep, I'd love to pick your brain!

June 28, 2007

Gift From the Gods

Poppy

My haphazard garden is finally producing some fanastic results. Granted, of the bag of "spring planted bulbs" that included poppies, ranunculus, plus several other bags of already forgotten different bulbs, I have ONE single poppy - but oh, what a poppy. Besides granting me the opportunity to croak "poooopppiiiiies, sleeeep my pretty, sleeeeeeEEP, it's my latest favorite color and the first time I've ever grown one successfully. Mmmmm. Lots of the bulbs came up, but have only green leaves - no flowers in sight.

Next to the bulbs though is my big patch of cosmos - I tried again this year to grow the pink and white mix that's never worked for me before, and it's working!

White Cosmo


The pink bud is opening today - wheeeee! The yellow ones that I had in the same spot last year have insisted they get their place again this year with a bunch of volunteers:

Yellow cosmo


which is one of the things I love most about cosmos - they never go away.

I'm still on swatches - I hope to be done by the end of next week - whee again.

This morning, when I barged onto my porch with three big white trashbags, mama dove, who was taking a break from her sticks and hanging out on my porch steps, let me walk right down behnd her with all those bags crashing around. She scooted off to the side, but seemed to know I meant no harm. Yup, I'm sure we made a conection this morning - we have an understanding now. I bet she knows my voice, since I greet her every time I use my front door. I can't get up high enough to see how many eggs I have to fiercly protect now... I'm conjuring up complicated barriers for that pesky cat.

Off to a crazy day of Board meetings followed by a drive up to DC to do the big MRI scan over tomorrow morning. I'm tired already!

About June 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Dawn's Dream in June 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

May 2007 is the previous archive.

July 2007 is the next archive.

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