Friday, June 29, 2007

SUNSHINE I mentioned yesterday that I was feeling a bit blah about my knitting as of late. Then the mail brought this. I knew that Sundara was about to take a much needed vacation so I hadn't expected it so soon. Dear me. It's like liquid sunshine. I feel much more cheerful and am busy swatching away. I even purchased my first Rowan pattern on-line. It's actually rather non-rowan-esque which is what I like about it. When it is emailed to me I will share.
Seven skeins of superwash, worsted weight "Sunflower over Chamomile". Yarn diet be damned.

The photo of the swatch is a bit closer to the actual color of the yarn. It has subtle shifts in yellows and orangy-yellows. I am thrilled. (Thrilled!!) What to make, what to make. I'll have to take a good look at the Rowan pattern to see if it's suitable. If not, who knows.

Suzy the Enabler pointed out that for my needle storage holders my numbers wrap around rather than starting up from the back. I decided that it worked better for me this way. I'm still thinking of how to deal with my circulars and how to store the other odds and ends, stitch markers, rubber tips etc.

I have some RY classic cashsoft on order so I can make more mitered squares. In the meantime I've been going through the Mason*Dixon Knitting and looked at this (the inside of my front door with an odd little window)...

...and this. A very cool knitted curtain. I'm wondering if this can all come together and justify my buying some $20 a skein wet spun linen in lovely natural browns and greens. I am thinking of using a small manzanita branch as the curtain rod. Just thinking out loud here.

In our continuing attempts for world peace, a tidier house, and less dependence on foreign oil hubby has built a solar timer for the watering system in the lower garden. I have no idea how it works other than it does. Hubby is very clever.

I made soap yesterday. I make a type of complexion soap that doesn't dry my face out. It has lots of oils (hazelnut, olive, palm, coconut, wheat germ, sweet almond).

I made strawberry/mint/raspberry gelato. It is yummy. Soon the peaches will be ripe. Peach gelato. To.Die.For.

I made up a bouquet of roses, gladiolas and blanketflowers. It was a good day.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


The sound of my sewing machine whirling away. I have made another pair of capri. This time I got a little fancy and did piping along the pocket edges. My sewing room is still a bit of a mess but sections are becoming organized. Plastic tubs are my friend.

The main body fabric is a Laurel Birch design that I bought while in Phoenix earlier this year.

I seem to be at odds with most of my knitting projects at the moment. The Picovioli is being done with cotton (Debbi Bliss) which shows all my tension issues and is very depressing. I decided that just incorporating my first attempt at a chart right into the garment working backwards and in the round was not wise. Face it, it wasn't working AT.ALL. So I've cast on a swatch and am practicing. Shhhh.

I checked Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Workshop out from the library. By page 18 I went to Amazon and ordered myself a copy. I had already learned three important things. I've been listening to audio books from the library while I work. Overall I like this but have run into some issues with disks being damaged. Missing two of the three murders was not acceptable. I am also rereading my Harry Potter's to get ready for the movie and the very last book in the series.
I am trying a new way to organize my needles. That is to say, I'm trying (for the first time) to really get them in some semblance of order. I'm tired of rooting around looking for the second of a pair. So far I am liking things. I bought some brochure holders from Staples and had hubby mount them on the wall. I bought the numbers from Ben Franklin.


So I'm a day early. So sue me. Plums coming ripe.
Figs coming ripe. Oh yes please.
The first sunflower.

More Gloriosa daisies in situ. They look a bit like sunflowers. This plant is an amazing reseeder. They pop up everywhere.

Day lilies. I am lusting after more colors.

Friday, June 22, 2007


I went to knitnight with Sharon down in Roseville last Wed. I haven't been doing a lot of knitting lately. Mostly I've been gardening and sewing (along with the usual - laundry, cleaning, cooking, surfing the web). I'm determined to get the last of the weeds (okay, there is no way I am ever going to get ALL of the weeds...stop laughing) and then mulch. Last year I valiantly dug up weeds but never got the mulch down. I do NOT want to do this ever again. I've moved almost all my sewing paraphernalia out into the sun-room. There are a lot of bits and pieces and things like sorting take time. But! I have finished both the capri and the pants AND cut out a pair of shorts (more laughter - I'm tackling knit fabric which seems to have a mind of its own and that mind says... lets get all wavy and pulled out of shape) AND two more pairs of pants.

Sharon finished up a very cool swatch for a top I think in one of the latest Interweave Knit magazines. It's a very beautiful pattern and the swatch is lovely. I also scored some produce. I'm at a somewhat higher elevation than the Roseville/Sacramento area and therefore a little behind.
The weekend before Sharon came over and did the second and last coat of paint on her directors chairs.

She sewed some very cool new canvas seat and backs. If you look really hard you can see one of her cats between the back and the seat. Trust me. He's there.


Weeding. Watering. Mulching. Deadheading. All the things that a garden needs nearly nonstop. But it's worth it. Petunias in the late afternoon light.

A hydrangea called Alice and a yet still unidentified plant with pretty yellow flowers.The foliage on Alice turns a lovely bronze color in the fall.

Orange Crocosmia. I planted some yellow ones a few years back but they have never been seen. It can be a jungle out there.

A bouquet of blanketflowers and Gloriosa daisies (Rudbeckia).

Friday, June 15, 2007

IN HONOR OF This has been a sad and difficult week for three of my friends. Mia lost her beloved horse, Fuego. She saw him born in 1984 and was with him when he died. I worked with Mia some years back and noticed the many photos she kept at her desk of her many animals. A person after my own heart and a dear friend.

Kate lost Boo-Boo. Although "only a hamster" she was a beautiful little creature with an outsized personality and a love of music. Cute doesn't even come close.

Today The Empress Minnie passed from this planet. A tiny creature of incredible beauty and spirit I can feel the tears rising as I type. A joy for 15 years to my friends Randy and Suzy and to a fortunate handful of people she graced with her friendship. Farewell all. You are missed.

On much more mundane matters the frogs have all found good homes and the pool is being made ready for the overheated humans. Oh yes. Please.

Still no knitting though except for the buttonhole the shorts, which are really capri's, they are now done. The pants are "close". The next time I go into town I will spring for more cashsoft. I feel a need to miter.

Amararllis keep blooming. This one somehow managed to retain its tag so I'm pretty sure it's called "Ragtime". It's rather stunning.

Helenium, know by the common name of Sneezeweed.

And when you don't have a lot to say, say it in detail. Hollyhocks. Lots of them. Variety. As they reseed new types surface. This is only a selection - there are even more.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

DOG DAZE It's hot. It's 96F and we're all hot. The ac is gently humming - adding nickles, dimes and dollars to our electric bill. At least we don't have to deal with humidity. Not being a morning person and an insomniac I struggle with getting out early enough to walk the dog. The good news is that after worrying about Otis I took him to the vet where we discovered that despite a big growth spurt he hadn't gained any weight in six months....and his white blood cell count "was a little elevated". He wasn't really acting ill but he wasn't roaring around as usual. A month later he has gained a pound (can you say "would you like a treat sweetie?") and is back to his terrorist ways. The second blood test showed his white count to be normal.
Opie thinks the tile is a little bit cooler. The arrow points to a box of Christmas ornaments looking for a home now that it has been ousted from my new sewing room (see below). When we moved here six years ago I thought, "So much room!". Now I struggle to find storage space.

Mr. UPS brought me a box of plants today. I have developed a craze for euphorbias. Digging Dog is my mail order nursery of choice. Mr. UPS always gives Omar a doggie treat when he comes by. We like Mr. USP for a lot of reasons.
I used the massive amount of time my bottom was glued to the couch watching the French Open to get my current knitting projects back in order. I always think that the time in the RV is great knitting time but when I get back home and really look at what I've done I end up frogging. Best to restrict myself to simple projects like...mitered squares! I'm still crazy about them.
Most of my time recently has been spent sewing away on a pair of pants and a pair of shorts from the same pattern and material. I think I have the waistband finally sewn on for the shorts. As I was telling The Enabler, there are a lot of fiddly bits and I'm feeling a little whiny and wishing it was done.

Hubby has worked hard and build me an amazing sewing center. This photo does not do it justice. I'm now sorting, tossing, cleaning and otherwise trying to get the sun room space arranged so that I can continue to sew whenever the urge strikes me.

One thing that is non-sewing related that gets to stay is a much under used treadmill. Now that it is hot I might get back on it again. It's a rather cool treadmill in that the bed will tilt up to 50 degrees so you can simulate hiking up mountains. This is a good thing I am told.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Not a lot of knitting has been going on at Chez Earin's. Another miter square but now I'm out of one of the colors. Perhaps a trip to the yarn store in the near future. Various projects are strewn around the house giving me the evil eye as I wander past. Soon, I tell them, soon I'll pick you up and do a few rows. At the moment I am doing a lot of personal sewing. Two pairs of pants, well a pair of pants and a pair of shorts out of the same fabric and the same pattern. My Whooo! Hoooo! sewing center is ready for me to move in and sew away. All I need to do is clean up, organize my fabric stash and notions, move various pieces of furniture around to maximize the space and flow, get some decent lighting in and a fan and gosh, off I go. I'm taking it in stages but I hope to be out there soon. Hubby worked hard to get a new, efficient A/C unit put in so I can work out in the sun-room during the summer months. Photos when things are slightly less messy.


In the meantime I have lots of garden photos.

I love penstemons. There are 250 species and each and every one of them is gorgeous, easy to grow, requires little care or water and blooms forever. You whack them back about once a year and they spring back bushy and full of flowers. What not to love?

Coleus, some type of begonia and lamium. This is a close-up of pots on my front stairs. Except for the coleus which has to be replaced everything overwinters in the greenhouse and after a clean-up in the spring and a little fertilizer needs nothing more than water all season long.

My two fig trees are getting HUGE! The cats like to climb around the branches which are pretty springy and bend when the weight gets heavy enough. I like to stand inside sometimes and be overwhelmed by the total greenness of it all. It's like being a kid again and being up in a tree watching the world go by.

And lilies. Asiatic and Oriental. Though they are gorgeous I've never quite found the right spot for the ones that I have. My day lilies have their spot but these are almost too intense to blend in with the rest of the garden. Still, they be amazing. A couple have a wonderful scent. AllMostTooMuch.

A hydrangea of the Serrata type. It's really not that happy in its current spot - too dry and too many oak roots competing with it but I won't move it until it finishes blooming.

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