Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not-so-new knits

These have both been finished for a full year, and I've only now gotten around to blocking them and taking photos. Absurd, considering that I'm very happy with both!

Drawstring Chemise, by Connie Chang Chinchio
from Interweave Knits, Spring 2008
Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Dyed Cotton, 3 skeins "Squash"
US 1 & 2 needles
Rav link

A fun, quick knit. I only took so long to block it because I couldn't find a cheap white camisole to wear underneath it. But I finally found one, and wore the top out yesterday in Alexandria. No one even asked it I made it myself - yay!

I modified this to knit in the round, slipping the "seam" stitches. That ended up being a pretty little detail. I also modified stitch counts because I couldn't get gauge.

I completely love it, and have a feeling that there will be more of these in my future.

Then for something completely different:

Swallowtail Shawl, by Evelyn A. Clark
from Interweave Knits, Fall 2006

Fiddlesticks Knitting Zephyr, less than 1 skein "Blueberry"
US 2 needles

Rav link

Not a whole lot to say about this, other than that I'm smitten. I think I took close to 100 pictures of it. (Thank goodness for digital cameras!)

The Honeycomb Blanket has momentarily stalled - I'm trying to finish my Paper Crane in time for a trip to Florida in August. With 8.5 inches of the body finished, I'm feeling mildly optimistic... but wish me luck! ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pony pictures

Ryan has been awesome enough to take some pony pictures for me in the past:

He does a nice job, doesn't he?

Well, I've been making friends out at the barn, and so Ryan doesn't have to come out as often.

Addy has taken very well to working again. She has such a fantastic temperment - always ready and willing to do whatever I have planned for the day. I've really been enjoying lessons with our new instructor as well. Though I can only afford 2 lessons a month, I feel like we're progressing nicely. Christine constantly pushes us to try new things, operating on the philosophy that if you don't push the envelope, you won't move forward.

Well, we're off to Alexandria, VA for the afternoon. Tomorrow Christine rides at the PVDA Ride for Life show, and I'm going to get to really watch her ride for the first time. I'm excited! Pictures of that later...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Crazy garden

The front garden is finished for this year. I made it about halfway across the hill, but have run out of inspiration. That's probably a good thing, because when I get the bug next year, I'll actually still have somewhere to plant. ;)

Being the dork that I am, I have plotted the layout of my garden in a pdf. Eventually it will also include pruning and fertilizing schedules for each of the plants, but.. that's for some other rainy day. And I won't bore you with that here. Instead, pictures!

The inspiration for this plot was crazy cottage gardens. My color scheme was to be mainly lavender and white, with some yellow here and there. Big plusses for plants with a propensity for spreading rapidly, for attracting butterflies/bees, and with long blooming times.

What cottage garden would be complete without a happy little English Lavender ("Jean Davis")?

Added some Salvia ("May Night" and "Snow Hill"), as well as some wild Bergamot / Bee Balm.

Some creeping thyme precariously placed by the parking pad.. as well as some catmint ("Little Titch") that the neighborhood cats have joyfully destroyed. A bit of baby's breath underneath a silvery juniper. The yellow was taken care of by some tickseed ("Jethro Tull" - pictured in a previous post), and the MD state flower: black-eyed Susan. Neither is blooming at the moment, so no pictures of those...

Then my whole color scheme was destroyed with the addition of another variety of bee balm:

Yes, it really is HOT pink. And I love it. Who knew. I guess it will be a crazy cottage garden after all.

The walkway around the side of the house is quite a sight right now, with lilies blooming in our yard and the neighbor's.

They're far from my favorite color, but are kinda cool paired with the tiger's eye sumac that we planted last year. It's chartreuse. And pink. Wheeee!

For some reason the colors of my photos are different once they've been uploaded by blogger. :/ I tried to get the color on this plant correct, because it really is weird.. but they've thwarted that plan. Oh well.

Happy gardening!

Friday, June 19, 2009

New toy!

I got a new toy for my camera! A Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. Yay!

I'm going to have lots of fun with this, I think!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Keeping busy

Weeks have been flying by. Friday night brought PJ Harvey and John Parish to the Warner Theater in D.C. Amazing venue. Kick-ass concert. I've had a bit of a crush on PJ for the past 8 years or so. Now it's full-blown love. ;) Oh my.

Lots of knitting:

Boneyard Shawl, from Watch Stephen Knit
less than 2 skeins Garnstudio DROPS Silke-Tweed (droool!)
size 5 Knitpicks Options needles

*Love* this. Started and finished just in time to pack it away for the summer.

And some cute baby knits for co-worker Jackie's upcoming grandbaby:

Baby Surprise Jacket, by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Koigu KPM & KPPM mill ends
size 5 Knitpicks Options needles


And the as yet unfinished Honeycomb Stroller Blanket.

There hasn't been nearly as much hammock-ing as I'd hoped. We've had lots of rainy days. But the view, when we're able to get one, is great. Too bad I get blurry pictures because the hammock swings.... (Though this one is intentionally blurry. Why fight it?)

Tuck has been doing much window-hunting:

And now it's Hammock Time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekends outside

Gardens are way too much fun. I'm very happy to have a yard. My plants seem very happy to populate the yard. All is well.

I love how vigorously most of the plants came back in the spring, after withering away for the winter. The foxgloves are my favorites right now - I'm horrified to think that I almost tore them out because they were so wimpy last year! The rains we had took down my purple foxglove, but my white one is going strong with 8 wands of flowers.. one of which is at least 4 feet tall. It's stunning.

The weather has been perfect (in between the rainy days), so Ryan and I have spent a lot of time outside. Last weekend we took a spontaneous trip out to western Maryland, to ride the steam train and do some mild hiking. [He has more about the trip on his blog.]

We were surprised this weekend to find ourselves with a new deck. Ryan called on Wednesday to find out when construction might start, and a crew was out the next morning. The deck was finished by Friday afternoon, and a grill was set up on Saturday. So of course we had to celebrate.. twice...

All in all, life's been good. Exhausting, but good. I love spring.