Monday, June 09, 2008


It was a busy weekend, especially on Saturday. I spent a goodly amount of time squatting in the veggie garden weeding the pathways. Oh, that is so satisfying! If somewhat hard on the old body. It’s rather tricky plucking out only the weeds and leaving the volunteer flowers and the moss and thyme groundcovers alone. So why is it that stuff usually grows best where you don’t want it? I’ll probably move most of the flowers off the path eventually and onto the edges of the beds. I’ve decided that most of the gazillions of feverfew are going into the compost, much as I love the chartreuse colour of the leaves and the pretty chamomile-like flowers. They attract black aphids though and reseed themselves too profusely. One single plant was brought into my garden years ago from my MIL’s and that was it. I’d like it better if my migraines were helped by it, but I must be one of those for whom it doesn’t work. And it tastes really strong and rather vile when you try to take the fresh version rather than the commercial one in capsules. I can smell it on my hands for hours after weeding it.

Another pretty flower that is driving me nuts with in its millions is alstroemeria (Peruvian lily). It is all over our property front to back and I’ve been vigourously pulling it out from among my hostas and my rhubarb. It’s even growing in the deeply shaded gravel between our house and next store. It’s supposedly hard to start but difficult to get rid of and I totally agree. For the time it blooms though (late June through July) it’s a glorious orange-yellow mass. Right now our cold wet weather has slowed it down so it’s not even budding yet but I’ll take a photo when it’s in full bloom.

Right now my gardening efforts are slowed by the rain we’ve been having on and off. As T-Man says, we live in “Lottecam” because it’s been raining in the day time and starts to clear up by the evening. (If you don’t get the reference, it’s from the musical Camelot where it reputedly never rains till after sundown.) It was quite pleasant this morning but now it’s raining again. It’s quite chilly too, much lower than seasonal norms. And I was hoping for a good growing year. Sigh. That warm sunshine we see every once in awhile is just teasing us for how nice it could be. But isn’t. Remind me of this when I start complaining about heat later on, ok?

Yesterday only 3 of our little Ravelry group met at the usual coffee house. It was a very pleasant time though and I tried to get their opinion on what to do about the Red Fields Shawl. That’s my version of the free Zetor Scarf pattern in some vintage mohair (I think) that was in my stash. The yarn is a lovely bright red and the right size for lace knitting, blocks nicely and holds its shape and everything, but it’s awfully scratchy for something that will be touching my neck or chin. I was knitting on it on Saturday, finishing the first repeat of the pattern, and decided that I wasn't sure I liked it but I needed a couple of other opinions first. Like me, they thought the lace looked lovely and the colour was great but it doesn’t really soften up much after washing. However, I’m holding off frogging right away. I think I’ll try beginning again with my madder-dyed handspun moorit wool first and see whether I like that better before I waste the effort I put in so far. The handspun yarn was left over from my Icelandic shawl since I spun enough for a whole shawl and it has 9 colours in it in total so there’s about 800 yards left. I’m not sure of the type of sheep this stuff came from. Merino perhaps? It’s not super-soft but it doesn’t seem like Shetland either. Dunno but it’s much softer than the mohair and is a pretty red-brown. (Yes, I like brown. And I have a lot of clothing that it will coordinate with.) So later I’ll cast on and see what it looks like in Zetor’s pattern of tractor tire tracks. Then I’ll decide whether or not to frog the red version.

In other news, I’m almost finished the Big Secret Project. I’ve started putting weaving and kumihimo projects on Ravelry. Why not? It’s not exactly set up to do this properly but I just don’t fill in the inappropriate spaces in the form and put more info in the notes section. The drafts go in as a JPEG in the photo area. At least I can keep track of the projects and their dates and stuff. One thing I could do that I haven’t yet is put the weaving yarn in the stash. It’s a bit awkward since very little (if any) of it is included in Ravelry’s yarn database. But still possible. It would be a lot of work to put all of it in though! Yikes. Photo shoots and all. I don’t even have all my knitting yarn in there. And probably never will. I’ve only been entering the newer stuff as it comes in.

There are already groups for weavers and kumihimo enthusiasts on Ravelry. Of course! I’ve kind of been avoiding posting because most of the members are newbies and I’d be driven nuts answering newbie-type questions. I don’t really mind that but I don’t have time right now. Might drop in every once in awhile though. Just to see what’s going on.

Otherwise I’m at the heel flaps on the Ocean Blues Socks and nearly at the same place on the A-Maizing Socks. I’m really not liking working with the splittiness of the Maizy yarn and my frustration with it is growing. The resulting fabric feels really nice though so I’m persisting albeit slowly. It should help that there’s only pattern on the instep and not the sole so that’s only half the annoyance to come when I get there. Meanwhile I have to do a fancy heel flap because I like the look of the one Criminy Jickets came up with for his Ridges and Ribs Socks pattern (here if you aren’t on Ravelry). All I changed from the pattern was reducing the stitch count to 64 from 72 to fit me better and shortening the cuff to 6”. The rest is going to be the same as the pattern which is quite attractive.

Well, I’d better go finish the laundry, make the bed and finish up the BSP. The wedding is this coming Saturday! Do I time it close or what?


Laura said...

am really enjoying looking at your blog and your diversity of talents. Damselfly makes such sense!
i'm drlaura, "sock guru" for crystal palace yarns, and i was going to write to give you some advice on the super-soft but splitty issue w/ Maizy and some say Panda Cotton.
thing is you already may know what i have to say! we had a choice at the mill of very soft and loosely spun, or a harder spin, and less soft. so you can see our dilemma.
frankly, i consider these yarns to be in the "advanced" category - in that one needs to learn to work with them - just as any fibre has it's own unique properties. i swatch a bit to become accustomed, and after doing that, i don't have ANY = ZERO splitting issues, nor do our testers. we did give a sample to a "renowned" designer and she too commented on the slight "learning curve" for the yarn - initial splittiness until she became more familiar with how to handle the yarn [i like very sharply pointed needles].

but by now, with your expertise, you've long figured this out and shared w/ others, so i'm just bugging you... speaking of which, i loved your own hippie-daze wedding pic - how wonderful! and the lovely lettuce - and i learned from you about garlic scapes! going out to see if i have any now. likely too late, but my purple potatoes and red flesh potatoes have blossoms and we've already gotten one yukon.
tomatoes are just coming on and the apricot tree is loaded.

blessings, :L
CPYsocksandmore and my own blog Siriusknitting for which i am now inspired to go get garden pics!!

Louisa said...

Thanks so much for your kind comments on this here bloggy-thing, drlaura! And the Maizy really isn't that bad, it's just the twisted slip stitch pattern I'm using that magnifies the problem so much. I think it might cause a bit of trouble in any of a number of different yarns. I'll be getting seriously back to those socks soon because I want to get. them. off. my. needles!