Sunday, June 25, 2006

What's this?

We had a visitor today!
Yertle stopped by for a peek at my garden.

For the last several years my outside gardening efforts have been grim. Lots of excuses really.
I blamed it on the weather when spring was too wet or too cold to get started before June.

Or the old tiller that I couldn't start by myself and was hard to control when it would start.

Or insects destroyed what they could and drought got the rest. And WEEDS. They had a way of taking over by the end of July no matter how diligently I started out at the beginning of the season.

But this year is different. RAISED BEDS!! Some of them were built deep enough to act as a cold frame and grow things by late April under glass, using recycled windows. So while some in Maine had to start their gardens over in June because of the rainy season that seems to have settled in this year, we were eating fresh spinach and carrot tops are a foot tall.

And bragging how high the peas were - even though I hate peas! Who knew garden peas make such pretty flowers, by the way? Planning on eating pods, but I'm still not eating yucky peas.

Starting last October I began to dig 4 X 6 foot holes in the lawn - 3 feet deep. It's a side lawn that's never really used, but mowed so the place doesn't go back to weeds. I sifted all of the dirt so no rocks bigger than a marble went back in and built all of the boxes myself. Has the look of an 11 plot cemetery going on that must look strange to low flying aircraft! When Tom asked what was planted in "this one" I suggested it was my other husband. He's been keeping the rows mowed real well for me. :)

Learned from a few mistakes how to make it better next year. And the bird boxes in the middle of the garden may not have been the smartest idea but they were there before I started.
A family of swallows are still renting the box above. I call her Grace.

And the family of CHICKADEES that were in the other one have flown away. I never knew chickadees built nest in a bird box until I saw it for my own eyes.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge #3: Poetry

Poetic License...YIKES!
Steph: know that you've inherited NOTHING poetically speaking from your mom!

Ran into a bit of a Roadblock with gauge so have added a few more lines.
Soon we'll be seeing double. 2 pair in progress now meant another pair of DPN's needed.

(working title has changed :)
Ode to Lace Socks
What evil is afoot?

Searching the web, keyword: Knitting
At Stitches of Violet, a sock pattern most befitting.
A novice knitter wonders if it's wise to enter the race
Last minute email sent: "Please may I join your Amazing Lace?"

The local yarn shop was having quite a sale
Fifty percent off had us back without fail.
Yes, for Old Shale 2-Yarn Socks I have newfound affections
Third Pair now underway without use of directions!

Lace cuffs knit in Hot Tamale the labels proclaim
To give as a gift, whom should I name?
"What were they thinking?" might be wondered in vain
Do all of those colors belong together in one skein?


Every pattern warns on the very first page
Please, take time to CHECK YOUR GAUGE!
Second Sock Syndrome will NOT be allowed
That I cast-on both right away left me feeling so proud.

My sock never saw the need to give gauge much of a thought
Until it was discovered it's mate was from a skein in the wrong Dye Lot.
How best to fix this I had to figure
Why is first sock almost half an inch bigger?

Make another pair just like the first
Hope no one was listening to hear what I cursed!
Perhaps it was Sabotage, I consider for a moment?
No, turns out gauge is our most worthy opponent.


Lace shawls & stoles of the experienced Knitter
Win most of the Amazing Lace Judges' attention - no need to be bitter! :)
Lace socks we cry, deserve some respect: almost works of art?
Next, perhaps Pomatomus ... as soon as I learn to read the chart!

Always remember - there's not so much to fear
Not nearly as frightening as it first may appear.
At times a little like juggling three balls at the circus
Lace is really just knitting these holes on purpose.

Forgive me Dr. Seuss... And most especially: Marguerite!
I don't even know when to leave "well enough alone", do I?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

X-tremely Satisfied

Two pair of Amazing Lace socks in 24 days!

One of Second Socks stayed up way past our bedtime attending the annual Town Meeting so we could vote NO on a new 2-million dollar town office complex. X-tremely annoying small town politics have caused us to send a Letter to the Editor. It remains to be seen if we'll be published but X-tremely Satisfying hitting SEND just the same.

X-tremely Dangerous mixing knitting & politics?

Second Pair were completed on a Father's Day trout fishing adventure on Pleasant River. X-tremely Bumpy roads of rural Maine make for interesting knitting experience.

Honey, pull over so I can pick up 3 lost stitches!

One of Second Pair suffered an X-tremely Unfortunate loss of needle as it was pulled from a pocket of a totebag at the beginning of the 6 hour board meeting it was forced to endure. As a new Lifetime Member of Pine Tree Quilters Guild we felt duty bound to drive 3 hours round trip in order to get there.

X-treme Stash Busting happening here. Amazing Socks deserve more respect!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Amazing Lace: Project 1 complete.

Old Shale 2-Yarn socks are complete!

Amazing Lace Novice finishes first project in under 2 weeks.
(Is the crowd roaring? There should be roaring!)

The task was not without it's roadblocks.

This novice Knitter decided to use a sock pattern designed for 2 circular needles.
The team chose to ask designer for a few directions and it was willingly given!!
Any misinterpretation that may have occurred is through no fault of the designer.

Some panic ensued when it was discovered a stitch had been dropped and ran away for 6 or 7 rows.
The CROCHET HOOK has been named Most Valuable Player.

Two socks were knit at nearly the same time, causing some whining among our sock team mates: Which sock their Knitter loved best?

Right sock whispered, "She's a freakin' liberal...she loves you left socks more."
Knitting is allowing us to ignore politics for a while.
Inner Peace!

Both socks complained of a possible violation of the rules.
This is supposed to be a Summer Adventure!
We're supposed to be taken places. FUN. Exciting. We never got past the patio table and that only lasted 10 minutes because bug season has arrived with a vengeance. When reminded of a certain solo trip to Home Depot for 8 eight foot 2X4's Knitter had to admit no stitches from that adventure made it back alive.
(See previous post with a photo of a pile of string under one of her Letter People...Q is NOT for quitter!) Plus knitting bucket stayed in the jeep and no camera was taken - so it's like it never even happened...isn't it?

Recent Ziggy cartoon reads: YOU ARE HERE * That's ALL you need to know for now! Our new Team motto?

My birthday plant lives! And the X-Men are finished. There are still 26 letters in the alphabet.

X-treme Update here.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Why has all forward momentum of my Amazing Lace socks been halted by the letter Y. And X.

This is why!

Just when I wonder why I'm doing this for the 2nd year in a row: Thank-You notes arrive from one of the Kindergarten classes, practicing sentences and sounding out words on their own. One of my favorites reads: "Dear Mrs. Walton, I love the letter F because it is so Soft and Pereshis. Love Maddie"

Precious! :)

Why, after successfully finishing the LACE section of my Amazing Lace socks, is the Eye of Partridge heel kicking my butt?

Seen here, stitches are off the needle (first of 5 times between the 2 socks!) because the Eye of Partridge didn't look any different to me than just plain knitting.

Even though pattern was faithfully followed and when held to the light, little waffle holes could be seen.

15 rows ripped (again & again) of 32 stitches: Slip 1* Slip, Knit* across; Slip 1, purl back (all Purl rows) ; Slip 1, Knit 1 across. Repeat these 4 fours. WHY is that so difficult?

WHY can't I count and Knit, Slip at the same time? Why did I discover I had purled 2 together occassionally on the way back, for no good reason? Answer: Knit 1, slip 1 pairs slide together really close and with size 1 needles & thin yarn they look like one stitch.

Especially if you knit in the dark.