Sunday, June 26, 2005

I'm turnin' out the lights...

I love and appreciate how many of you very wonderful people come to visit my blog regularly. However...and this is the big however...I am about to delete this blog completely and swap over to the new one entirely. Please, please...if you want to continue to have me on your Bloglines, you need to go to the new blog and CLICK ON THE SUBSCRIBE BLOGLINES button for the new blog. There are two feeds...it doesn't matter which one you use.

Your job, dear knitting readers, should you choose to accept it, is to subscribe directly to the new blog and delete your subscription to this blog.

This blog will self destruct in four days. As of July 1st there will be no more Blogger account for this blog.

I'm hoping you'll follow me over to the new blog...I'll miss you if you don't...


Ciao....

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

There's a little CONTEST....

....on my new blog. ------------------------> To the contest...

Friday, June 17, 2005

I'm outta here...almost...

I've unpacked most of the boxes over at my new blog home. I'm looking into repainting some rooms and perhaps putting up a little wallpaper...maybe even contract for a new blog banner...Please stop on by and visit. I think that after I finish taking down the pictures and sweeping up over here at Blogger, I'm gonna sell the house...

Drop by for coffee and a little knit! Susie's new blog...


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

New site almost ready...

Oh my dearest blogland friends...my days of dual blogging are almost over. Finally, I've managed to learn enough about the web world to customize my new site. Please come visit me and start changing over your Bloglines subs (and any others you might subscribe with) to:

To Knit, Perchance To Dream...

I'm not sure how much longer I'll be leaving the Blogger account up for, so if I disappear, you'll all know where to find me...

Blessings,
Susie

Shawl we dance...?

So it was like 2:15am when I got finished (please do not ask what I was doing awake at that time. Neither shall we speak of the fact that Katy was there as well...) but finished I am. Ta da. I was at a Boy Scouts Committee meeting when I bound this baby off. Came home. Got a little dinner. Chatted for a bit. Congratulated myself on completing the shawl sooner than the day of the wedding (my usual M.O.) Realized that I had to fringe the danged thing...fringeing that would mean hours of bending awkwardly over the bed and pulling many pieces of assorted yarns through small holes. Yep. I sure love to fringe.

But I absolutely love the way a heavy fringe swings around. And this shawl is long...longer than mine, and I had more fringe-y stuff to use...so I got started around 11:30pm. Cut the yarn into appropriate lengths. Here's the setup...


No sooner had I begun the task when my able assistant showed up to lighten the work lay on the work so as to make things much easier for me. Thanks, Riley. There'll be a little extra in your food bowl on Friday...


And in the end (around 2:25am) out lovely spokes/shawl model gives us the picture on the finishedness.


Someone woke me up at 5:15am with a totally unwarranted phone call. Unable to sleep, I made coffee and took the shawl out to be photographed in natural light (and a soft drizzle. Great. God's doing my blocking now...thanks, Lord!) However, I wish this had turned out better. Even the outside light shot cannot convey the sparkle and fringe-ishness.


Shawl ala deck. The beauty shot.


And as if finishing the shawl wasn't enough, in beween knotting fringe I decided to show this silky combed top alpaca who's boss...and spun a whole bunch (I'm learning...)

I'll leave you with a picture of my favorite potted posies. I had quite a time trying to figure out what would work together from the motley assortment I purchased. I didn't want the traditional geraniums with spikes type of stuff. So here's something a little different...

Cosmos and wax begonias. I could start a trend, no?

Thanks for suffering through all this shawl strutting. There are so many accomplished knitters who casually pose their incredible gossamer lace works of art and pass them off as a little something they worked on while the kids took their piano lessons. Maybe so. For me, this shawl really is just a newbie thing; perhaps it'll be the gateway to greater, lacier things for me down the road. Thanks for letting me show off. I just love y'all!

Monday, June 13, 2005

So where's the knitting?

It's been hot and sticky (icky) and occasionally stormy, and because it's June, this is the Time To Get Things Planted in northern Michigan. As much as I love the beauty of the woods and enjoy my horticultural accomplishments, on days like these I wish only to be in front of the a/c, knitting away.

Before I show you what (pitifully little) knitting I've been working on, I have to post an update on the front of the yard where we have Moved Large Amounts Of Dirt and Spread Grass Seed in Copious Quantities (which has yet to sprout) and where now, there are Plants.

Note the presence of Plants. All the stuff on the ground around the plants is grass seed...


These are the Plants...Celosia and Hostas (when she was young, Katy used to call them 'hostages'. It stuck. I was very embarrassed when I said that in front of the Home Depot kid/clerk. He just looked at me weirdly.)


And more...the Vincas, also known as Periwinkle, which I'm hoping will spread. (It's supposed to.)


All this rain and icky weather makes me miserable, but it seems to have a dramatically different effect on the plant world...here's the lupine last pictured 4 days ago (see last post for photo):


So. The knitting. Well, in my defence, I have to call your attention to the fact that my current UFOs are ensconsed in my recent FOs...Branching Out (now at a remarkable 9 repeats) is residing in the Button Bag.


The Fiesta Yarns shawl which is for the Lady Who Is Doing The Music For Katy's Wedding (it's begining to sound like a title...or a mantra...) is currently hanging out in Sophie. In 5 more rows and the fringeing, this will be an FO, and not a moment too soon. The wedding is in like, 26 days...


And there is some new stuff. Here's a pattern I've been looking at for quite some time. In typical Susie fashion, I do not have the correct yarn (not even something in the near-same yardage) yet I am attempting this tank.


Remember this? It's Cascade's Fun, an inappropriately named yarn if I ever saw one. It's not actually plied, rather it's 4 strands that sort of pull along together...most of the time. Not easy to knit with. Naturally, I'm gonna give it a shot.


The first round of the lace. As Stephanie says, it always looks like a wadded up mess until the magic of the blocking. I hope this is true.


And finally, here is what I've been spending all my time on. I am still totally incompetent. I cannot draft and spin together. Draft. Spin. Draft. Figure out what I did wrong. Join. Spin. Read the instructions. Draft. Toss down in frustration. Spin. Draft...you get the picture. I simply cannot wait until our local fiber fests in August so I can have someone show me how to do this properly.

Even so, note the presence of just a few yards of single spun yarn. It took a reaaallllly long time. I was totally irritated and frustrated.

And I'm hooked.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Rain, rain...and the happy results...but first, a rant.

We live in the woods. (Did I mention that we closed on the 1.5 acres next to us on Saturday? If I did, forgive me. It just thrills me to know that no one can build within 270' of me on either side. Yay!) In our woods are small acreages which are own by...for lack of a better word...downstaters. These are people who come up during the summer to camp or fish or just get away from the city. This would certainly be okay save for the fact that these people are bent on burning down the woods (the place of my primary (and only) residence) by starting fires they have no control over. In fact, in the last 3 years we (my family, just neighbors, not volunteer firemen) have responded to 2 out-of-control fires wherein the firebug had no a) hose, b) bucket of water, or in one case, c) access to water to control said fire. Lunatics.

After a disturbing lack of snow this winter, and less rain this spring, we found ourselves short by over half of our annual accumulated snow/rain to date. And school's out. And the loonies are arriving in droves. This always makes me nervous because of their often cavalier attitudes. (I suppose it's easy to be cavalier when your own primary residence is not in jeopardy of torching.)

So it was with great delight that we welcomed the deluge yesterday afternoon. Beautiful rain, turning my brown grass greenish, making all the perennial beds smile (I'm sure of it!) and washing down the pine dust, leaving pools of yellow-ringed water everywhere. Dropping the temperature from an unseasonable 89 to 72F. Glorious. Or not.

And then the power went out. Four hours of 105% humidity. No coffee. No a/c. No computer.

Nick fired up the generator (you've gotta have one of these babies if you live out here) and I turned on a fan, made coffee, and settled in to knit, sweat, drink my coffee, sweat and wait for the power to, please, God, come back on. And sweat. Did I mention how well I handle heat and humidity?
I'm almost 52. Heck, I make my own heat and humidity.

Happy for the rain, displeased about this powerless turn of events. Grateful that no one could burn down the woods in the rainstorm. Sweaty and miserable. Dichotomy. I'm told that no one has ever died from perspiration. I would like to contest this.

So today I went outside to photograph God's bounty be completely eaten by huge mosquitoes and black flies while taking pictures. Herewith, the place I live and what's blooming in my garden: a short pictograph.

This is what you see when you pull into my driveway. This is where Katy and I moved the huge pile of dirt. There's lots of grass seed there now, and hopefully there will be grass soon. I have some annuals to plant out here and a few perennials as well...just waiting until it's cool enough to breathe outside again...

As you pull up the drive this is what you can see to your right (I didn't snap the left side...more of the same...)

...and further up the drive (293', more or less...)

...standing on the driveway apron looking back into the yard. We have much more woods than yard, though when we moved in 6.5 years ago there was a 20'x50' strip of grass in front...and nothing else but weeds, sand, and woods. Now we have a yard.


Can you see why it makes me crazy when people come up here and are careless with fire? Scary!

This is a closeup of the front bed in the picture directly above. It started out as annuals. I became a perennial convert quickly when I realized that they came back every year. (Duh! Some green thumb, eh? ) The strawberry bed is visible in both pictures too. Berries love
sand, so they're planted directly in the soil. Everything else has to be in a raised bed with imported dirt (real dirt...) and humus and manure. Quality stuff. This bed has monarda, foxglove, echinacea, heuchera (I don't remember everyone's formal name...) German Catchfly and Fleabane.


The bed directly across the front of the yard. The pretty blue flowers in the middle are Katy's Jacob's Ladder. I have aquilegia and lupine and dianthus, Spike Speedwell and yarrow in this bed too...


This bed is the newest and it's in the backyard. It gets lots more sun and I have not been really good about making sure the stuff I plant can take all that sun, ergo, I have repeatedly yanked frizzled, dried plant corpses and replanted something else in hopes of success. There's a lamium in here (pink), coreopsis, heuchera (white) and the thrift (see below.)There are also two huge daisy installations that come back each year in spite of the fact that the seed packet promised no more than one season.



I just figured out how to make pictures even smaller...this is cool...unless like me, you have to shove your glasses up on your forehead and press your nose up to the monitor to see them...

Lupine on the left, thrift on the right

Johnny jump-ups (violas) and the yellow lamium

One of six trees sporting hosta aprons, German catchfly

So now you sorta know where I live. Feel free to come visit.

My drop spindle arrived today and I am completely incompetent but totally enraptured.
Knitting content tomorrow...promise.