Thursday, November 29, 2018

118 in 2018 photography

I've been too busy with I don't even know what!  So instead of trying to make up for October and November, here are some recent favorites from the 118 in 2018 photo list.

You can find the rest of my (as of yet, incomplete) set here: on Flickr.  

Did you accomplish what you meant to this month?  What will you accomplish before the year is up? 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

2018 garden diary

We built some new garden beds this year, and they turned out great.  Unfortunately, the soil in them still needs some fine-tuning.  It seems that the things started from seed did better than the plants we bought from nurseries, although the tomato we bought did fruit much earlier.  

a pointy little before-and-after filling in with growth: 

The basic Genovese basil was very nice, as always.  The fancy varieties did not have much (leaf) yield, and were essentially ornamental.  I'm not sure the bees or other pollinators even visited them.

new beds spring vs. late summer:

The sunflowers seem to be a messy problem, including attracting the squirrels, but I can't bring myself to banish them all when I know how much the bees and birds enjoy them.  

I had a computer episode early this month, and lost all my "apps," including the MS photo gallery I have been using for years.  Apparently it was no longer supported after January of 2017, and now I can't sift through them as easily as before.  Sigh.  I'm learning to reorganize and work around this change.  

So, lovely things we grew this year include marigolds, tomatoes of various sizes, sweet peppers, and tomatillos.  

And how did your garden grow??

Saturday, August 25, 2018

modular knitting

On the plus side, modular knitting gives one interesting options for colorwork and color blocking.  Sometimes the dye process can give the yarn its own commentary, like this changing of scales.

However, there are often many more ends to weave in.  This one is not too bad, but there's at least four ends on every row - 14 rows.  Still, interesting to try something new!

Details on my Ravelry page, if you are interested!!  Have you tried modular knitting?  Thumbs up or down??

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

summer of red shawls

This summer, I have knit at least four red shawls.  I'm not complaining!  Red is my favorite color.  Three I knitted in Windy Valley yarns, and since I knew they would make a lovely picture, I worked to get them all finished about the same time before sending any off to new owners.

The bottom one is in WV Suri Alpaca, a lace-weight yarn.  The yarn came back to me from a customer who wanted a poncho similar to one that I'd knitted for her before.  However, we decided the lighter weight of the yarn would not lend itself to the first stitch pattern.  I found Cold Mountain in my favorites, and we agreed that would be a better stitch choice.  

The middle shawl is another Jamie (I think I've knit about five of these for other people!)  It's in WV's Royal Blend - half qiviut, half silk.  

The top one is of my own design.  It's all done and photographed, but I haven't written up the pattern yet.  I want to have it done soon, before the next season, but I cringe at the next few steps in the process - finding test knitters, deciding where and how to sell the pattern.  It's the part of art that I do not like.  I get why artists need agents.

I also knitted Traigh by Kate Davies.  I was the first to finish it (on Ravelry) but alas! I have not posted finished pictures of it.  It's waiting to be blocked!  Perhaps more on that later.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

July ended, August begins

Today, I discussed with a friend how fast the summer goes, especially when trying to make sure the kids enjoy it.  Where does the time go?  It's the second summer in a row wherein I have spent much of the time with an unfinished project that I thought would "only take a week or so."  I've been repainting my shed, and facing the fact that I am indeed ten years older than the last time I painted it.  I can't remember if I painted with a roller or paintbrush originally, but this time I decided a paintbrush would keep the integrity of the original texture.  I can't do much more than a couple of hours at a time, and it needs three coats - one primer and then two color.  And the only part that really needed a fresh coat was the door! but I was tired of the old color.
Now I wish I had a picture for you, but maybe when I finish.  

In the meantime, I am still chipping away at family lineage.  My own family is quite large, laterally speaking, for the last several generations.  My husband's is quite small, with several members having only-child status.  This means not many people are looking for those grandmas and grandpas, and there are no great aunts to tell stories.  We went to search for a local grave, that we have been to before, but I had forgotten how desolate the cemetery is, considering the grave is from this century.  Even the field on the other side of the road seemed lonely. 

On the other hand, my garden has been full of lovely little songs in the morning.  Now I can identify finches and chickadees by their notes, and the humming bird, who loves to visit the red bee balm, by its whirring noise.  That bold little bird actually hovered about six inches from my cat's face!  Luckily, the cat was too stunned to do anything.  

I'm working on perfecting the scone.  A friend pointed me to this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website.  The friend had made the strawberry and pistachio variation for a tea party; oh man, delicious.  I have been making them with lemon zest.  Love!  Though to be honest, the strawberry jam overshadowed the lemon, so I like them much better plain.  
We built new garden beds this year, and getting the pH level right has proven to be more of a challenge than I expected.  I've taken for granted how well-adjusted our old beds had become.  However, we did have a nice little crop of beets - enough for a picture and one side dish.  
This morning, a little portrait shoot got me up and out early, and I spotted this little creature in the tall grasses.  So curious looking.  Not really curious about us, he quickly moved on.  
Many more lovely moments to come in August, to be sure.  I am knitting something interesting, a modular "scale" shawl for a client and friend.  I did not enjoy the pattern, which left some tricky steps to the imagination, but the yarn is proving to be a nice compliment to the design.  More on that later.  What will you be doing for the rest of the month?  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

yarn along a la Small Things

I've long admired the photography and sentiments on the blog, Small Things.  I never catch the 'yarn along' - until today.  I think it's Wednesdays! 

For a long day at the airport, I picked this book up again and read more than half; now I'm bound to finish.  It is Under One Roof:  Lessons I Learned...  by Barry Martin.  As I'm reading, I picture Albert Brooks as Barry.  I like to picture the characters I'm reading about; often they don't resemble the author's description (I later realize).  If I can't imagine how they look, I sometimes get stuck as my mind continues to sift through memories of people I've seen, trying to find them.  

I'm knitting a commissioned poncho from Windy Valley (what else) suri alpaca, in red.  It's my third red shawl this year, and none for me!  I'm modifying Cold Mountain, using only Chart A for this project.  After the first repeat, I had it memorized, so it has been singing along on the needles. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

spring garden blueberries

The blueberries are kind of our little secret.  Not a lot of people grow blueberries in Colorado, our soil's all wrong for it.  I read somewhere that they love peat, so we originally planted them in a trench filled with peat, and they've done well ever since.  Every spring, I love the dancing little bells of blueberry blossoms.  You can see where the flowers are missing, some of the blueberries are beginning.  

Saturday, March 31, 2018

things I'm doing when I forget to blog

These days, I am 
making new garden beds.  The old ones have been falling apart for a couple of years.  It has been nice to realize we've learned some things since the first time around.  We invested some tax refund money in better wood (cedar) and are making them taller, and closer together - we had quite a bit of wasted space between the last ones.  Tons of my garden pics here.  

cooking homemade pasta, but not as much as I'd like.

reading Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline.  I joined a book club, that my new-ish neighbor invited me to, in order to get to know her better.  She's usually out of town on book club night, so maybe I just need to invite her over for tea!  I picked this book up, then, off my stack, which was recommended by my oldest teenager.  If you like 80s pop culture, you'll enjoy it.  I want to finish it shortly so that I can take my kid to go see the movie in theaters, although we all know the book is better, right?!  

looking for the genealogy link that explains why I see my maiden name on Scottish websites.  So far, it's proving elusive, but I've learned so much about my ancestors this month!  

loving my family, all the pieces still alive.

admiring succulents like these.

rooting for the Rockies.

finishing the Oriental Koigu Jacket, and vowing to never make another.  

What do you have going on these days??  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

If it weren't for my camera, I might not leave the house.

We seemed to have a warm late-fall, leading into the holidays and through the new year.  I am happy to see the snow during the snow months; it gives me hope that the spring months with be springy, and the sunny months will grow lots of tomatoes.  

I look forward to March, and its green promises of St. Patrick's Day and the First Day of Spring.  In between now and then, I'm just knitting and reading and trying to achieve small victories, so that when April and May arrive, I will be ready for hours outside in the dirt!  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

still life & collections

I have been admiring the work of Luiz L. on Flickr, and decided I should do more still life.  What holds me back is that, while I have a lovely morning window, I don't have a surface or background that I find pleasing.  Not one nearby, or that would work for constant rearranging.  I love the warm tones of Luiz's table, and think perhaps this spring or summer I will have to build myself a little photo prop surface.  

In the meantime, I purchased a fancy piece of paper at my favorite art supply store, with the idea that I would use it for a "wallpaper" background.  A few days later, I collected a few items for a still life to experiment a bit.  Eventually switching to a stack of tea cups, I removed the flowers, books, etc.  In spite of the very busy patterns, I ended up with an image that I think has a good flow of shapes, lines and colors.  

I collect tea cups - although it's been a while since I've added to the collection.  I do love a good collection, and think I should seek out a few to photograph this spring.  Do you collect anything, or know of an unusual collection? 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

something beautiful

It's that time of year when I evaluate the past year, smile at good memories, and think on what I hope to change in the coming year.  
As much as ever, it seems I'm searching for a pleasing place to rest my eyes and mind.  For me, the winter days inside can sometimes be a challenge.  I thought I would post some pretty colors in case you also need a pleasing palette for pause.  
I am looking forward to sharing with you, soon, pictures of a revived project or two.  Till then, time for a nice cup of hot tea.