Monday, June 29, 2009

6.29 Red lilies

Red Carpet Lily

Not Red Carpet Lily

They're both nice lilies, just not the same.

We have deer here, but by the time the lilies are up and vulnerable, the woods are green and attractive. You notice all of my lily pictures are at the front of the house. The garden at the back of the house is surrounded by a low fence which any deer would laugh at except that it smells like Dog inside (and often has a noisy pesky dog inside). Not quite attractive enough to come into the yard, except in the winter with lots of snow covering everything. Two years ago they pruned my weeping willow, pinched off all the ends of my red twig dogwood (both of which are outside the fence) and just about killed several of the neighbor's arbor vitae hedge which he had just put in.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

6.27 Blooms and irritations

The lily forest has started blooming - the Asiatics, as expected are first. The ones to the left, just starting, are the red carpet lilies. The ones in the center are the "ones that were sold to me as red carpet lilies, but aren't". This year the differences are even more apparent; not only are the blooms more orange and more broadly shaped, the plants are almost half again as tall as the red carpets.
I don't dislike the plants for themselves, but for the fact that they don't make the nice border all the way across that I originally envisioned. (I don't dislike them enough to rip them out and start over, but just enough that I will whine about it each year when they get to this point.)
In the back you can see that the Tango lilies in front of the window have just started blooming - the orange ones are always first.

My crankiness level is way up since I started breaking out with poison ivy on my face yesterday. I'm not a happy camper, just itchy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

6.26 backyard toad

I've been tackling the garden in the backyard. One would think this garden would be farther forward than the rest, but the rest of the gardens are essentially raised beds with trucked in sifted garden soil. The back garden began as an oval around the two trees which subsequently died due to trauma to the roots from having heavy equipment moved around. The idea had been to plant shade lovers here and suddenly there was no shade. Of the things planted at that time (not much) only the bleeding hearts kept going.

I put two dwarf apple trees in and have plans for a crab apple at the opposite end of the garden. The ground is full of river pebbles and very difficult to amend. Mostly I'm piling mulch on every year in the hopes of building up an organic layer.

Of the bulbs I put in, only the grape hyacinths have been really happy. The sunflowers that volunteer around the birdfeeder always do well. The blue flags have taken over their corner of the world, and the tulips I planted last fall all came up - we'll see if they do so again. That still leaves me with a bunch of space. Some dianthus are going in this year. We'll see if they sow seed.

I also have a friend who seems to have decided this garden is acceptable. Anyone know where to get a toad home?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

6.24 autumn yarn

This is how the first braid of autumn fiber came out. It's a three ply and I really like it. The silk gives it that glow that turns into twinkles under the light of the flash. I'll try again when it isn't wet and I can put it under natural lighting.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

6.23 Cloverleaf Farms Autumn

Cloverleaf Farms does lovely colorways. This is the merino/silk 80/20. I picked up two of these braids two Septembers ago and promptly put them somewhere "safe". You know how that goes - "safe" turns into "unfindable". I had put them away because I was working on something else at the time, and ran across them again when prepping for visitors. This time I was almost done with the current project and carefully left them where I could lay my hands on them. This is the second one; the first one is hanging in the laundry waiting to finish drip drying.

S finished his last test yesterday morning and is sleeping in this morning. (It's 11 - soon I'll have to say he's sleeping in this afternoon!). K is at her last exams - Spanish and Math today, both Regent's. She's walking down with her friends to the local greenware place for their traditional "last day of exams" paintfest, and then finishing up with a sleepover. Sleepovers at someone else's house are wonderful in my opinion.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

6.20 Magic sock pattern

It's been pouring rain all day. Sean played a game of soccer this morning at the tournament and came home looking like a drowned rat, water dripping from every surface, and chilled. We had time to warm him and dry his clothes before he's gone again to his evening game. This morning was 4-1 in their favor.

I've been spending time this afternoon looking through some Workbaskets I picked up last year at the rummage sale and haven't really had time to look at. I randomly started with the ones from 1956-57, which are heavy on the crochet and light on the knitting. Some lace edgings, a very few sweaters. The sweaters are done in sock-or-sport-wool on #1-3 needles depending on the pattern. A far cry from what a modern craft magazine would think they should offer for the random sweater pattern.

In the December '57 issue, they offer a Classic Sock pattern, and I found the beginning interesting: "This knitted sock pattern is simple and easy to make. Use wool sock yarn or nylon and a set of four needles - the size depends upon the kind of yarn used. These directions are for size 9-10. Larger or smaller sizes may be made by adding or subtracting inches in length between heel and toe. To begin, cast on 60 stitches..."

No adjustments are apparently ever necessary in girth or according to the kind of yarn. Magic socks!

Friday, June 19, 2009

6.19 Cake contest

Just when I think I'm going to have time to get on with things, I come down with a summer cold. This isn't one of the full blown congested head sorethroat cough that won't end, but it is annoying and somewhat exhausting.

K and S are working their way through finals - K had one today and S had two. S took his second one at the high school as it's one of his accelerated classes that gives him high school credit and comes with a Regent's to boot. He got to take the high school bus home when it was done so he was home half hour early. is having a cake decorating contest, where the decorations are to be based on a t-shirt design. I particularly like last year's winner, but of course I'm a sucker for sheep-on-the-hillside.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

6.11 Telling it like it is...

We finished up with the knitted squares at the middle school yesterday. The counselor sponsoring the knitting provided ice cream bars and soda for a small party in the cafeteria where we could admire the results - about 50 squares. Pictures have been promised.

The sixth grade teacher also provided us with a bunch of thank you notes written by her class. We split them up and each took half, intended to swap them today (which did happen, but I haven't had a chance to read the second half yet). They were charming little notes, addressed to "the knitting fairies".

One of the boys was an engaging high energy guy, who declared after the second stitch that it was too hard, he couldn't possibly; he then declared after the first row, this is easy, this is so simple; and after the second day he declared that it was boring. I offered to teach him another stitch besides just garter stitch and he stared at me with big eyes - you mean there's more? Ummm, yes, there's as much more as you want.

His note, in part, said "I'm going to keep knitting this summer. It will be a good thing to do when I get grounded or when I'm really bored."

I'm sure it will be.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

6.10 lily forest


The lilies in the front bed are really coming into their own this year. The timing is such that at the moment, the front bed is green and pale yellow. The lilies are making a miniature forest, punctuated by the golden barberry and blocked at the left by the yellow flags. Purely serendipitously, the yellow of the flags is exactly the same as the yellow of the barberry.

Which makes it all the more annoying that I've realized that the yellow flag (iris pseudocorus) is not the same as the blue flag (iris versicolor) in the back. Whereas the blue flag is a native, the yellow flag is an import and, more to the point, is an invasive weed in wetlands. I really ought to take it out and replace it with something else. Grump.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

6.9 Let me explain...

No it will take too long - let me sum up.

My thesis was acceptable - I got an A in the class.
I graduated. Final GPA 3.916.
The job search continues.
I had my birthday.
I cleaned house (relatively). Let's say I got rid of some of the worst of the piles. We could find the guest bed.
Relatives arrived.
S had a recital. It went very well.
S had a soccer game. It went well. (2-0 their favor).
K had a recital. It went very well.
Some of the relatives left.
The computer crashed (blue screen of death).
The computer was revived but has been somewhat out of commission as all the connections had been removed. We're slowly getting everything, like camera connections, put back.
S had another soccer game. This one didn't go so well. We could be charitable and say the other team is simply very physical in their play. Their sidelines weren't swearing at our players this year - that was a step in the right direction. No one was ejected this year. Progress indeed. (0-1 not in their favor).

Pictures may follow if I can get the camera to talk to the computer again.