Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It rains a lot in Maryland

First of all, thank you to Creative Crocheter. She once again identified one of the plants growing in my yard.

Like I was saying. It rains a lot in Maryland. At least compared to Chicago. It rains here at all times of the year, often for hours or days at a time. In fact, it's raining now, and will be for four more days. All the rain here has several effects for homeowners.

The nice thing the rain does for us is cause lots of things to grow outdoors. There's more stuff popping up now, like this weed in my yard. Right now the property is covered in strawberries. But they're the wild kind that don't taste like anything. Believe me, I ate them. At least they're pretty.

The peas are pea-ing.
And the roses are making an early show.
The other thing that all this rain does is back up into basements. We woke up to that this morning. The water probably came out of the sump pump pit, and if it did we're covered. But today we're working really hard to make sure things (like mold) don't start growing indoors, too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Proving that I do things other than knitting

It being summer and all, we figured that we needed some sort of window treatments in the bedroom. You know, it cuts back on sleeping time to have daylight streaming into the room before 6am. So off to the fabric store E and I went.

I told E I could do it, even if I'd never made any type of curtain before. He picked the fabric, a striped blue silk dupioni; I picked the design. After working forever to get the hardware properly installed, there is a working Roman shade on one of the two bedroom windows.
Perhaps I'll even make the second one before the days start getting shorter.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More beauty this week

Nothing really new popped up for a little while, so I didn't stretch things here by taking pictures of wilting flowers. But today there are some nice things to show around the new house.

Last weekend, the Amazing E planted me a new garden. We decided on what will eventually be an informal perennial garden based on one my grandma had, plus some other things that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. This weekend the plants are staring to take root. This project will probably go on for a year or two more, but we have a start now. There is a pretty dark red flower that smells good; I don't remember the name. He also planted a butterfly bush, yarrow, a coneflower, and some flowering thyme and other low lying plants. Eventually, I would like some black eye susans, more coneflowers, and astilbe. Planting in the back yard turned out to be a challenge because a previous owner had an above ground pool back there. There's at least a foot of sand in the back yard, so we have to put soil wherever we plant.

There was also another azalea that bloomed. This one is a really nice pink.Then there is the mystery purple flower. I'm pretty sure these are from a bulb patch on the side of the house.
Lastly, an iris bloomed this week. Some others are making buds. I can't wait to see what they look like.
I also have an update on the mystery coral colored flowers. Those of you who guessed flowering quince must be right. This week it has little fruit on it.

There ought to be more soon; E and I are looking forward to it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Masterpiece

I'm jumping ahead of myself a little, but I can't resist. Rock Creek Yarn's silk spinner only gets about 300 grams of this yarn to me per week, but I've been saving it up and dying it for the Sedalia Fiber Festival this weekend. It's the previously mentions Silk Lace yarn. Now I've got 8 one hundred gram skeins for the show. There would have been more, but the Cherry Blossom Festival Sale was wildly successful for this yarn. Thanks for that.

I have to say something. I love this yarn. Really. For lace yarn, it's very strong. And soft. And shiny. Pretty soon a picture of an in progress project will show up here. But I've been working lately at dyeing up this super special yarn, and I'm in love. Take a peek at an "unofficial" picture taken just now with my iphone.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

FO: +3 Red Socks of Doom

I'm actually quite pleased with these socks. They fit great, they're pretty, and the yarn feels really nice. If you recall, I started these socks back on November 30, 2007 in a fit of nerves over my wedding. It was the next day, so what did I do? Cast on socks of course. Since then, they've moved with me three times, gotten lost several times, and have had their needles repurposed more than once. Why +3 Red Socks of Doom? The beautiful lace killed my hands.

These socks were made according to Cookie A's Hedera pattern, which is available free on Knitty. They were knitted on size 1.5 DPN's out of Mountian Colors Bearfoot Yarn in a varigated red. I will be knitting socks from this yarn again someday.

Very pretty. Very dangerous.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


They're Pantaloonies. They're made of sock yarn. Um. I don't think I have anything else to say.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Name that yarn!

So I've been dying this yarn mostly in Cherry Blossom for a while now. Until this time, it's only been available from my silk spinner in very small quantities. But now he's sending me several pounds. It's super pretty and the customers love it. Right now, it's just named Silk Lace. This is a lace weight yarn. It's 100% mulberry silk with great sheen and drape. The yarn is 2/20 count, that's two very thin plies spun together. I put it up in skeins of at least 100 grams, over 1000 yards. The best thing about it is that it's really strong, so you don't have to worry about breaking it when pulling out points on a fancy shawl.

But I don't know what to call it, and it's so fancy it needs a fancy name. Any ideas?

Friday, May 01, 2009

What's poppin up in the yard this week? May 1 edition

We bought a house that had previously been owned by a gardener. Signs around the property, like built in flower boxes, raised beds, an insulated shed, and hanging basket hooks everywhere, pointed to this. Talking to the neighbors confirmed it. There's stuff growing everywhere. In fact, we feel like we really have to spend this year watching what comes up before we think about what we might like to do with the yard. It's really full of stuff, and new things are coming up all the time.

I didn't have the foresight to start doing this a month ago, so we've missed the mountains of jonquils that came up about the time we moved in. Then we had a dwarf crabapple tree and an ornamental cherry tree bloom. For a while we had a bush in the front yard with little yellow flowers. E was smart enough to name it; I was not smart enough to remember. Last week the tulips made a brief showing. It's too bad tulips bloom for about three minutes before the petals fall off.

It seems that people in the DC area have an obsession with blooming trees and shrubs. There are magnolias, dogwoods, azaleas, and of course cherry trees blooming everywhere. I can't remember anything on this level going on in Chicago.

This week we have more flowering shrubs and trees.

The weird looking bushes in random places turned out to be azeleas. It's a good thing I didn't dig them up.
Then there's this little tree next to the house. Turns out to be a cute dogwood.
Lastly, this is a crazy flowering tree in the back of the back yard. Don't know what it is, but it has flowers.

Bat Shawl!

Okay. I'm not sure there is such a pattern. But I did knit the Icarus Shawl. It was a jump-on-the-bandwagon thing. Some of the other kids were doing it, so I did too.

This project was started on January 22 and finished on April, 16. I really wanted to do it all in one go and wear it to my friend's wedding in Chicago. It was finished on time, but it wasn't done in one go. I got bitten by the quilting bug and put the knitting down for an entire month.

The yarn is an awesome fawn colored laceweight made from silk and yak from Skaska Designs.