Monday, May 29, 2006

Hot

Seeing as how Memorial Day IS the unofficial start of summer, I guess this heatwave is not completely unexpected. However, and I'm sure this has been mentioned before, summer is so my least favorite time of year. I hate the heat. I awoke with nasty dizzy spells which I'm sure were brought on by this weather. My hair is frizzy and my face is sticky. Yuck. How many days till fall?

Meanwhile, spring cleaning continues here in Peacecatville. I hate house cleaning. (Actually, I've only met 2 people, ever, who actually admit to liking to house clean, but I'm assuming they are some sort of genetic mutants and we won't be talking about them.) Still, in addition to the weekly spruce up, the house does get a good
thorough cleaning at least once a year and right now, I'm in the midst of it. This weekend I finished up the curtains, blinds and windows, I still have one new curtain to make, but with the mercury sitting at 92, it's way too hot to work in my sewing room. All that's left is stripping and waxing the kitchen & laundry room floors. Unless I decide to paint...but that's still up in the air.

Today I worked in the garden. Hubby and I went to the flea market yesterday and I picked up these lovely Coral Bells.


It's sort of hard to see the flowers in this picture, the ones on the right are sort of drooping. Hoping they perk up once they get established. The lady we bought them from said they are good for attracting hummingbirds. That would be delightful, but I've never seen a hummingbird in this area. We'll keep our fingers crossed.








Here's one of the cucumbers today I put in today. Hoping the cages will provide enough support and will keep the plants pretty vertical. My garden is pretty small so I try to maximize space when I can.

The last time we planted cucumbers we grew them up a little trellis I had. It wasn't quite big enough, but it did seem to keep the plant healthier and the cucumber much nicer than when they sprawl all over the place.





Look at this little fella I found hiding among the tomatoes. His mommy was fussing up a storm the whole time I was working.












My newly retired mom and I hit the sale at JoAnn's today. I wasn't planning to buy anything, but you know how that goes...


Ann & Kay's book has me itchin' to make dishcloths (that and the enormous number of paper towels I've gone through cleaning, time for some reusable cleaning supplies!) Conveniently enough, dishcloth cotton was on a super sale ($1.49/super-size ball!!) Buttons for the 3 Seasons Cardi which is in limbo until the heat passes, but the buttons were so cool, and also 50% off! Muslin for a duvet. But as I washed and hung it out to dry, I got to thinking this sure doesn't look like enough fabric. Sure enough, I only bought half what I needed. Damn. Knew I should have done the math on a calculator and not in my head! Thankfully, I found several yards of muslin left from my fabric dyeing experiments a few years ago and should be able to muddle through. Once it cools off, of course.

For now, I'm off to try to find a cool spot in front of the fan. Since no knitting will be going on in this heat, I think I'll start on Blossom Street.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Monthly post?!

Blogging is becoming more and more part time for me of late. So much going on, I just don't seem to have the energy to sit down and write.

I've been spending a lot of time cleaning out my basement getting
stuff together for our big yard sale. We had the sale yesterday to coincide with the town's spring craft fair, thinking this might give us more traffic. We had pretty good weather, although there was a cold air blowing most of the morning. Mostly it ended up being a nice opportunity to sit and visit with my sister. We did manage to sell a good bit of stuff, but ended up carting a good many boxes off to goodwill. I only sold 2 bars of the handmade soap. This really didn't disappoint me too much, though. It's getting too warm for me to want to mess with making more and this leaves me with a good supply to last until fall.

I went a little nuts lately with the knitting books...
Knitting Rules is Stephanie's best book yet. If you haven't read the others (and why not?!) by all means, get this one and read it. She has much the same "you can do it" attitude that Elizabeth Zimmermann always put forth in her books. Rather than specific patterns, she gives you recipes and the tools to work out how to knit basic things like scarves, hats, socks and such. Plus there's plenty of her familiar with sprinkled throughout. I'm currently reading Mason Dixon (hence the removal of the cover so as not to get it all scuffed up). Everyone RAVES about this book and I must say, so far I'm really enjoying it too. I've checked out their blog occasionally in the past, but it hadn't been one of my regular reads. It's becoming a regular stop for me now, though. Same with Wendy Knits. I would stop by her blog every know and then to see what Lucy was up to and ogle at Wendy's phenomenal (and prolific) collection of knitting. I picked up her book along with Mason Dixon, but have only briefly glanced at it. The last book was a find at a local book sale a few weeks ago. I have no clue what it's about, just saw it was a novel with knitting for $.50 and had to snatch it up. I do think it's a sequel to Knit One, Kill Two, so I may have to find and read a copy of that first.

I've been doing tons of knitting. Despite this...
I sat down to knit one night, after a long hard day and picked up my knitting to find Stuart had chewed the ends off of my Brittany Birch needles. Yeah, the little beast is fine, no splinters or anything...this was hubby's first concern. Although I was concerned for the cat too, once I was sure he was ok, I had to tape the ends up so I could finish the row I had stopped in the middle of. Not fun, but it worked. Thankfully, I had a US 11 circular needle I could use and now have this...
The right front of the 3 Seasons cardi is now done. I reckon that makes it close to half finished. I've got the left side past the ribbing. But I've been spreading my knitting time around plenty.

I purchased 2 skeins of cotton chenille from Numei
, navy and amethyst. It doesn't look like much in the skein, although the colors are beautiful. And knitting it is much like any cotton, stiff in my opinion. But the resulting face cloths are such a treat. Once washed, they are soft and fluffy. I'm using this pattern from Crystal Palace. Although, I wasn't crazy about the eyelets formed by the yarnovers. After the first cloth I switched to using a kf&b increase and am much happier with the result. I think I would also like them to be a little bigger, maybe go up to 50 or even 60 stitches instead of 44.

I'm back on a shawl kick again. I've pulled the landscape shawl out of limbo and have been happily knitting away on it. I so adore the Knit Pick Elegance yarn. Whenever I knit with it, I get the urge to never knit with anything but this yarn forever. There is now some urgency for me to get this shawl finished now that this is on it's way. Fiddlesticks Country Silk in Marrakesh. I hope it's as delightful as most everyone seems to describe it. I haven't decided on a pattern yet, but it will be a shawl for sure.

The koolaid sock is still tucked away in a drawer. I feel pretty bad about it. I mean, I can't even say its SSS (second sock syndrome). Is there a such thing as HWTFSS (half-way through first sock syndrome)? Several people have asked how it's going. Unfortunately, it's just not "going" at all. It's not the sock's fault. It's really a nice sock and it's not hard knitting. I'm just really enjoying these other things at the moment. That and I'm not up to those little needles. It will get done sooner or later, but not in the near future.

That's all for now. Plenty more to tell you all about, but it's getting late. I'll try to get back to posting more regularly. See you all soon!