Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Big Sigh

Yesterday’s lovely sunshine was just a teaser because today it’s dark and cold again with a chance of rain. Or maybe sun. Who knows? I sure don’t. The farmers (and me) are worrying bigtime because the spring crops are not ripening. No local strawberries yet. (Sniff!) My peas are as tall as I am but they don’t even have any flowers on them yet. Usually I’d be eating them by now. Everything is way behind where it should be this at this time. Except maybe my monster tomato plants. Though they haven’t set any fruit yet so maybe the cold is affecting them as well. Although they’re in the greenhouse it still gets down to 10 (50 F.) or 11 C. in there at night because it’s not heated. At least my rhododendrons are coming out more-or-less on time. This one is my favourite colour though it never has very many blooms:

I finished the Ocean Blues Socks this morning and they are currently drying on the bathroom counter from their soapy bath. It sure makes a big difference in how the knitting looks and feels when it has a nice warm wash with shampoo (one I don’t like to use on my hair since I found a better one). The stitches even out and lie nice and flat and the knitted cloth relaxes and softens nicely. A steaming can do some of this transformation but washing is much better. Even if it does take considerably longer to dry especially when I can’t put it out on a table on my deck to let the air circulate around it to dry faster. I’m currently working again on the A-Maizing socks in a hope of finishing them too some time this century. I’m nearly to the heel flaps on both socks.

I also cast on last evening for the Girl’s Eyelet Cardigan free pattern from Lion Brand’s website by Sarah Hoadley. It’s really cute and I’m trying to use up the pink Smart yarn (that I bought for the Unmentionables but then changed my mind). However the Smart is finer, DK weight, when the pattern calls for Cotton-Ease at worsted weight so it’s not really working. I got 19 sts to 4” instead of 17 sts on one size smaller needles (4.5mm) than the pattern calls for (5mm) and I can’t go up any further because it’s already too loose for the yarn. I also need the largest size 4 which at my incorrect gauge didn’t have enough ease for the quickly growing Princess Pink. I frogged the part of the back that I knitted last night and will now re-think this. I haven’t managed to find anything else in the correct weight and similar colour plus be the all-importantly machine washable. And I like this little cardigan a lot. Maybe I can re-jig the pattern?

Next I need to dye some sock yarn. Purple was the requested colour for Milord Son-in-Law which is a bit of a surprise from his normally conservative self. Since I also have to make a pair for my sis-in-law and she also loves purple, I might as well do both of them at once. His yarn needs to be nearly solid and I’ll be using a dk grey/lt grey/white marled Phildar Preface yarn as the base. It’s a 70% superwash wool/30% nylon yarn made in Turkey. Hers can be more variegated and I thought I’d use the Knit Picks Bare. It seems very soft for 75% superwash wool/25% nylon. I’ve never knit with either of these before so we’ll see how it goes. Nothing ventured and all that.

So I haven’t started with the finishing on the Circus Blanket yet. I got carried away yesterday afternoon in the warm sunshine and worked in the garden instead. I got a bit more weeding done and everything got another nice drink of fish fertilizer. This time I seem to have been more careful because I don’t smell so badly of eau d’dead fishies. Here’s an interesting article on fish fertilizer just in case you’re interested.

My new next-door neighbours are building a replacement fence between our property and theirs. We’re going to pay half for the materials but we’ll let Jeff and his dad do all the work. Makes sense since we have more money than time and energy these days. We still have to fix our falling-over fence on the other side! I really think William the Contractor should have done the fence before he sold the house for nearly 2 million smackeroos, doncha think? I kind of feel sorry for poor Jeff building the fence himself on top of the monster mortgage he must have. Not sure I really like quality of the job they’re doing with the vertical louvers and all but really they could have slapped up a 7 foot blank wall so I’m not complaining. At least some light gets through the louvers and it’s only 5 feet high. That’s just a little more than the original ugly green chain link fence. We’re also going to have to put something along the bottom edge when they’re done because their yard has been built up some above ours to level it with the laneway. Meanwhile we’re trying to keep the bindweed and buttercups at bay from their side and they’re stuck with our mint, blackberries and bamboo creeping over.

We’re getting several quotes on roofing the house this week. It’s about time! I was worried that it would start leaking last winter because it’s in such bad shape but luckily it didn’t. Yet. It needs to be taken right down to the rafters before a new roof can be applied so it’s going to be messy. And expensive. Sigh. And then we need to paint (or preferably have somebody else paint) the eves and underneath the roof’s overhang. The garage gets in on the act too by also needing roofing and painting. Owning a house means never-ending work, doesn’t it? I’ve noticed that the longer you live in the same house, chances are you’ll have to do everything more than once. Or many times. This is our second roofing job but last time we didn’t need to strip it down. So what makes me think it needs re-roofing?

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