Saturday, February 25, 2006

Garden and Photo Fever!

Seeds that I planted today...(remember you can double click on the photo to make it larger- that way you can see all the great detial)




Chives trying to get started in this cold weather and some hens and chicks that I am not sure will make it. They are a nice shade of red, which is not their normal color- they are normally green.


My sweet Lilac- starting to bud


Herbs (Crinkle Leaf Oregano, Lime Thyme and Spearmint) I bought today to go into my Ikea Planters I bought while in San Diego. They are going to live in the window of the laundry room next to the scented geranium I brought in last fall.


The Plum tree in the front yard- starting to bloom


Miles in the half of the garden I did manage to weed and get compost on


If you look close you might see the small hummingbird that came to check out what was going on. He is on the wire to the far right of the pine tree. Hummingbirds have a very distinct song. Once you hear it and know it's them you will never forget. I heard him and starting looking around and there he was on the wire above the yard.


Compost Compost Compost- need I say anything else


Miles Freezing- are we done yet- yes it looks good but it's cold and I don't think anything will grow?????


The end of the beginning... So I have the beets, peas, sweet peas, spinach and chard planted... that is what the little sticks show- there are even some rocks to mark the ends of the rows.


"It's not growing yet".... This is where I have the spicy and sweet salad mix. I scattered seeds in one- no order to it at all- and the second box I made 3 nice rows. Yet to see which method I like the best. Miles says "they both stink... lets go inside and have a treat."


So that was my Saturday... You might note that there is no mention of Knitting. I decided to end my Olympic career- yes it was short- shorter than Michelle Kwan's career. I didn't finish the socks. I will try again in 2010- maybe another pair of socks or who knows what level I will be at. I cannot believe I just typed 2010- I will be 40 years old... I think the end of the world as we know it will happen in 2010... I hope I feel fine....

Change...

I was upset to find that my favorite blog Portland Metblog has changed it's format. The post are all text with photos on the side and a few other fancy pull down menus. I think they have moved onto the Flickr Craze- Flickr is the new way to post photos.

The change is so drastic- now gone there is no way for you to see the old warm cozy blog to compare to the new rigid, cold blog. I wonder if there are others out there feeling the same way. I feel I have stumbled onto a different website- no all the same authors are there. It's not even April 1 so this is not a joke and it doesn't look like it's going to change back.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Count down to the Finish

I have heard rumors that other knitting olympians have finished their projects.... I am struggling, in the end I may not be one of them. I still have to finish the toe of one sock and complete a whole other sock- IN 3 DAYS... Note I am not knitting as I type.
I did finish something- my book club book. I needed to return it to the library today so I had to finish it!

I enjoy knitting socks but it's hard to complete one lovely sock and know that I have to go through the whole process again to have closure. It's almost to much. I cannot go around with one sock- I am tempted to move onto a new project- something from my Oneskein book- the one skein project is taunting me. Going back to me asking my cowork "are socks going to be challenging enough?" It's becoming a mental challenge more than a physical challenge. What happens if I get up Saturday morning go to jazzercise and then come home and start knitting and don't stop until I've finished my second sock? I might have to call for assistance... bring me food, bring me water- I mean mimosas, then wine, then water, bring me a darning needle and then finally bring me the gold. It might be bloody but it might be worth it- I need to ask myself do I want gold?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Gussets

So I was able to turn the heel- with that done it's not as hard as it seemed. It's odd because you leave stitches on your needle when turning around- you don't knit all the way to the end. Bascially you gradually decrease stitches through a process of k2tog and ssk. After turning the heel I realized the Gussets are a bit of a trick as well. The Gussets are where you connect your heel flap on both sides back to the 3rd needle that has been hanging out by itself and start knitting in the round again. I was able to finish the Gussets and get a good start on the foot. I have about 2 inches to go before I start doing the toe- the final stage of my sock. I only bought two skeins of yarn- one for each sock and I am almost out of one skein. I think the cable eats up a lot of yarn. I decided to make the toes a solid color and with a less expensive yarn. Wildfoote- Luxury Sock Yarn- made by Brown Sheep Company, Inc. Blue Flannel. This skien is large enough to do both my toes and probably two small socks.

With a small amount of knitting done today this is where I am at...






When buying my toe yarn I found the best little book in the world. Oneskein by Leigh Radford. 30 quick projects to knit and crochet. Lots of fun stuff. I could not resist. While standing in the yarn shop I tried to put all the patterns to memory realizing it's an impossible task I say heck just buy the book. Now as you see it sits on my new knitting bookshelf. Made from wine crates Josh brought home for me. I had originally wanted them for gardening and when I saw them I thought they would make a great little shelf. When I am in the mood to go yarn shopping I should just look at all the yarn I have and find something to make. This is not all the yarn I have.... The thing I am most excited about are felted bowls... picture below. If you were wondering about the crates for gardening. The You Grow Girl talk I went to- she suggested growing lettuce in them. Lettuce roots don't go that deep and it makes a nice space- it can be moved around to follow the sun and warmth. I need more...



felted bowls I want to make...



a couple websites I came across while looking for the bowls photo...
oneskein blog
Leigh Radford

need to stop... I have a lot of knitting and reading to do!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Turn Heel

A big turning point in the quest to finish one of my socks this weekend... this could make or break me. I have to turn the heel. It's probably the most important step in making a sock. I have mastered the leg and the heel flap- I now have to turn the heel. After this note I have to cruse the internet to find directions I can understand. I have turned a only a couple of heels in my day and it's not coming to me. It's not as scary or hard as the directions make it out to be, but still I am stumped.

Here is where I am at now.



this is what it looks like on...



and a lovely side view of my calf... moo- showing the heel flap



I hope to figure it out and may post more photos later. Wish me luck.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Save the Date-


Not really to do with knitting or gardening- just a little note to say Josh and I are getting married. We have been talking about it for a bit and decided to make it official this past weekend.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2006

Lots of great things will happen on that day. First day of Autumn (my favorite season), Rosh Hananah and the first day of Ramadan.

September 23 has always been in my head when I thought of getting married. It worked out nice that it falls on a Saturday this year.

2006 is the year of the dog and my Chinese sign is the Dog... It's going to be a good year.

We are excited and hope to get save the date info out in the mail soon.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Frosty



This is how it has been the past couple of mornings. I guess I am glad I haven't done much in the garden. All the warm weather was making me feel guilty for not gardening more. We might have some flurries tomorrow. The neighbor covered his Azaleas- he doesn't want to take a chance on loosing the blooms that have started to open.

I had a bit of an anxiety attach yesterday regarding my knitting project. I only have 3 inches done on my first sock. I am at the point where I start the cable. Knitting with thin yarn and small needles doesn't go that fast. I have this weekend free so I hope to get at least one sock done. The binding off ceremony is Sunday 2/26. I feel rushed to knit and also finish my bookclub book. It actually is an enjoyable book. Not like the past few we have read.

I was happy to find Burpee seeds at Target. Not sure if all Targets carry them?? I just grabbed some pea seeds and didn't realize they were Burpee seeds until I got home. I need to go back and spend a little more time, to see if they have some of the seeds I was looking at in the catalogue.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

What a day!

I realized after writing this morning that it was beautiful out and having spoke about the Hoyt Arboretum I decided Miles and I should go check it out. There wasn't as much going on as I thought. I think because it is a bit higher up bloom time is a few weeks behind. The Witch Hazel's -Hamamelis mollis- were in full bloom

as well as the Cornelian Cherry -Cornus Mas-


I tested out the self-portrait mode on Miles and I.


Right after this he saw a squirrel and about lost it.

This is my favorite tree at the Arboretum. I always have to check it out when I visit. If I ever have my own yard I would like to have a couple of them.


Here's Miles by it. I had to tell him there was something there so he would dig and stay by it long enough for me to take a photo.


Since the Winter Olympics take place mostly outside I had to get a round of knitting in while I was out. So far so good.



I would like to squeeze in a bit about the book signing but feel I have gone on long enough. I packed in a lot today. I think I will save the book signing info for another day. I am off to do a little knitting before bed.

I pledge...

The Knitting Olympics Athletes Pledge

I, a knitter of able hands and quick wits, to hereby swear that over the course of these Olympics I will uphold the highest standard of knitterly excellence.

I will be deft of hand and sure of pattern, I will overcome troubles of yarn overs and misplaced decreases. I will use the gifts of intelligence and persistence (as well as caffeine and chocolate) and I will execute my art to the highest form, carrying with me the hope for excellence known to every knitter.

I strive to win. To do my best, and to approach the needles with my own best effort in mind, without comparing myself to my fellow knitters, for they have challenges unique to them.

While I engage in this pursuit of excellence and my own personal, individual best, I also swear that I will continue to engage with my family in conversation, care for my pets, speak kindly with those who would ask me to do something other than knit, and above all, above every stitch thrown or picked, above every cable, every heel stitch, every change of colour, I swear this:

That I will remember that this is not the real Olympics, that I'm supposed to be having fun and that my happiness and self-worth ride not on my success....

but on my trying.

I was able to cast on Friday night after missing the official 2pm cast on time. I had asked a fellow knitter do you really think a pair of socks is going to be challenging enough? She said yes! Well after 3 times of trying to cast on- and feeling like I was going to break my size 1 needles- I will agree they are going to be a challenge. Size 1 needles are equal to very long toothpicks. We could have a knitter down if frustration and fatigue cause a needle to snap. I hope the local knitting stores are stocked up on size 1 needles.

Here is the official cast on photo



on a gardening note... It's Sunday and I have not made it out to the yard. I see from the bedroom window a small spot of Yellow... I think the daffodils have decided to make an appearance. The Forsythia in the front yard has a few flowers as well. This is a good time to bring branches of flowering shrubs inside and force them into bloom. To have best results make sure to take a hammer to the ends of the branch- basically hit the bottom a few times to break up the wood. That way water is able to get into the branch faster. A co-worker saw a display where they had taken a tall vase and placed apples in the bottom and had the shrub branches sticking out the top.

Driving around Portland yesterday I noticed cherries in bloom. I love the pink flowers against the dark bark. I might have to go up to Hoyt Aboretum with the camera and see what's in bloom.
There is rumor that we are going to have a frost this week. Maybe it's good I won't get my peas in... there's always next week.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Farmers Almanac

I was directed by You Grow Girl to look at the Farmers Almanac website to find the date of the last frost for my region. Well after spending some time on the website and registering myself- I now know the weather for my zip code and the tide table for the nearest coastal beach- I was able to find the date of the last frost.... April 3rd- so going with that I can plan all my planting dates. Also the site is able to tell me days I should and should not do things... like get a hair cut, plant underground veggies or above ground veggies, when to prune if I want something to flourish or not to flourish... so on and so on... I will have to leave a some stuff for you to find out about. Registration is free. I bought the calendar for a friend... I need to check in with her to see how she is enjoying it and if she finds it helpful. Oh if you are into E-cards they have some.

I also found out the growing season for my region is 217 days- Having learned this will help me when deciding which veggies to grow-
Having spent a bit more time with the Burpee guide I have made a short list of must haves.

You are going to think Grandma but last year I really took a liking to Marigolds... and they have a nice selection of white ones. 'French Vanilla' and 'Snowdrift'

Carrots- 'kaleidoscope'- 4 colors of carrots- bright red, sweet purple, mellow yellow and brilliant orange and 'Purple Dragon'

Pickling Cucumber- 'Pickalot'- one I like the name and two I love pickle cucumbers more than regular cucumbers.

Peppers- are a big tease. They look so pretty in the picture and I want to buy some but I never have any luck with peppers.

Swiss Chard- 'Bright Lights Mix'

and finally tomatoes- 'Fourth of July', part of the early bird hybrid- matures in 49 days and 'Patio Princess' 65-68 days but you can grow them in small pots.

Well that is my short list so far. I need to review and hopefully this weekend get to spend some time in my garden. We are having a major wind storm right now so who knows what kind of weather it's going to blow in.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Book Signing


You Grow Girl author- Gayla Trail will be in town this weekend.
Saturday she will be at Clackamas Community College for a Vegetable Gardening Symposium from 8am-4pm and then on Sunday Feb. 12, 2006
Book Signing & Seed-Starting Workshop
3:30-5pm
PISTILS Nursery
3811 N. Mississippi Ave. Portland, Oregon. (503) 288-4889
Learn the ins and outs of starting veggies and flowers from seed. Thrifty hints and tips for beginners, apartment dwellers and small space gardeners. I'll be signing books and answering gardening questions.
Admission is FREE!

The newsletter came today and I was able to download the seed starting plan--- basically you figure out the Date of the last frost and with a little addition and subtraction you can figure out the best time to start plants indoors and direct planting outside.
You should be thinking Peas... They are the first thing to go in the ground. No need to start them inside- they like a bit of cold so no worries if February gets cold. The key is to have them in the ground by Presidents day- which this year is 2/20- If you are concerned you can start them inside- place the seeds between wet paper towels and when the root emerges go ahead and plant them outside. Easy Easy- Sweet peas are a nice addition to your garden- not edible though they do provide a sweet smell.

My Burpee catalogue finally arrived yesterday. I ended my night taking a quick glance through it. Lots of fun stuff... I was able to spend a bit more time this morning with it while riding the bus to work. I will save my list of favorites for next time. I am going to catch a bit of the Grammy's.

Before I go- Our local paper did a bit on the Knitting Olympics- It was nice to see it- I read this weekend that there are more knitters involved than there are athletes in the Winter Olympics- you can send your photos into the paper and the top 3 will receive a gift certificate to a local yarn store. I need to correct myself- I thought the starting ceremonies were on Tuesday but actually it's Friday--- Think Gold.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Where's the heart??

The leg wamers have taken a turn for the worst. They have only just begun their short life as leg warmers only to morph into possibly a small bag or to loose the battle totally and get torn out and used for something else.



There was just to much Valentine's going on and I could not imagine them on my legs (warm or not). I do enjoy the color combo- maybe not stripped use the colors more in large blocks... More thought on this later.

I forgot to say that I did get a bit of gardening in yesterday. Between the rain showers I was able to plant some Primroses. They are the new neigbors to the bulbs that are slowly coming up in the background.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Pentax Optio 750Z

That is the camera I ended up purchasing. I was not impressed with the other camera I had in mind. The Pentax has a rechargable battery and the best option is I can rotate the LCD Monitor so I can see myself when taking self portraits. No more guessing If I have half my head cut off. It seems to have a lot to offer... Movies, alarm, 3D photos, and a microphone so I can hear my chipmunk voice describing what it is I am making a video of. Here is a sample of me using the self portrait feature... The pageboy caps I told you about earlier



the second hat- which I made while on vacation- I am not to sure about the color- It is a bit smaller than the first one- I am debating on them... should I keep both or part with one- but which one???



I finally used the GC I received for Christmas from Josh. I was going to use the GC to purchase the interchangeable needles. WELL they are still out of them... I think that is odd. I don't care any more because I found them some place else. I needed to get some yarn for my knitting olypmics project- I got two skeins of Koigu Wool- a fun blend of greens and blues- and the size 1 needles needed to make them- I am going to go with the socks- pattern to be found later. I figure use up the GC so I don't have to go back in there- I bought two skeins each of Lamb's Pride Bulky- Rosado Rose and Raspberry- I think I am going to do some mindless leg warmers- yes I said leg warmers- I am feeling a little 80's- I could get a perm but I figure this is less expensive and if I don't like them I can pull them out.

I just realized the lamb's pride yarn is spun and dyed by Brown Sheep Company, Inc Which is in Nebraska- 6 miles from Scottsbluff- Which makes you almost into Wyoming. A ways away from Lincoln.

It looks like I will be starting my socks on Tuesday night- I need to find out what time the starting ceremonies begin. The Olympics always reminds me of you Adele... I remember you being all excited about them when we were in High School. I hope you have time to watch them this year.