Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday's Garden

RAIN! That's what we had this week. The day started out party sunny, and since it had been into the 80s on Saturday, I expected more of the same. But no, around 11:30 am it began to rain, and it rained the whole day. And it was cold! So here's the best I could do yesterday.

Grey, dreary, puddles. Doesn't look like August is supposed to.

Even the birds were wet.

Buddy picks out the spot of sun on the carpet. He enjoyed the last "dog day" we had like this.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Down

My first medal in Ravelympics for WIP Wrestling. I entered my Spring Forward socks into this event, knowing I had to finish them for Summer of Socks. I came, I knit, I conquered. Yay, Mom!

Sunday's Garden

Today was warm and humid (slightly unusual for our neck of the woods) and there's not too much of interest in the garden today. In fact, some of it's looking a little wilted.

These chrysanthemums are looking mightly nice.

The driveway doesn't look as pretty as it does in the spring. A few of those plants need some water......

This yellow zucchini plant is going to town. Trying to catch the squashes before they get too big is a constant battle.

In other news, I finished my fourth pair of socks for Summer of Socks 08. I missed the deadline for the two-week period by a few hours, but I'm still happy. I've made four pairs since June 21st, and that's fast for me. Also, I'm not just knitting socks......

Here they are:

Yarn: SKNITches Limited Sock in the Cottage colorway
Needles: Size 0, two 24" circulars

I got this yarn when I was in the Simply Socks Yarn Co. sock club. When I was looking for a color that made me think "summer", I chose it. The four different colors look to me like flavors of ice cream; strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and mint. I had a good time working with this yarn, and like very much how it knit up. I didn't, however, like the pattern as much as most people who've used it. I managed to mess up the rows from time to time, but that was probably just me and my chart reading. It did go fast when I kept on track.

Back to Olympics on TV and Ravelympic knitting. See you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Red Scarf Project

It's time for the Red Scarf Project again. This worthy cause is a project of the Orphan Foundation of America and they aim to cover the necks of as many college-bound foster youth as they can. That's where we come in as knitters. It's simple: pick out some soft, red yarn, knit up a scarf (there are pattern suggestions and size guidelines on the OFA website linked above), and mail it in during September and October. Including a note or gift card with the scarf is appreciated but not mandatory. Donations to help with the project's mailing costs are also gratefully accepted.

The address to mail scarves is:

Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive
Sterling, VA 20166

I've made scarves the past two years and am about to choose my yarn and pattern for this year.

This one's a little dark, but you get the idea. I used Rowan Plaid in a combination of red and black.

This was made out of Cascade 220 superwash and came out nice, bright, and soft.

Don't know yet what this year's will be, but I know for sure there will be a scarf made. I encourage you to do the same. It doesn't take much time and it feels great.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday's Garden and Ravelympics!

Friday morning 8/8/08. 5:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time. The official start time of the 2008 Olympics. And the official start time for me of Ravelympics! As a dedicated member of Team Afghans for Afghans, I was out of bed and casting on for the sweater I'm making for the children's campaign. Okay, it was 9:00 AM, but the thought is what counts, right?

I've entered three projects in two events, sweatersprint and wip wrestling. I think I have a good chance of getting medals for all three, while finishing the socks and counting those in Summer of Socks. Goodness, what a lot of pressure.

I've been alternating between my projects, trying to use my time wisely. The sweater is from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. I'm making a child's bottom up, in- the-round, raglan pullover which I haven't attempted before. I'm adding some stripes, since I didn't have enough of any one color of wool and I think it looks pretty good so far.

Knitting in the round sure solves my uneven stockinette problems, since the purl rows are the ones that cause the trouble.

The socks I'm making are from and are the Spring Forward. I'm using SKNITches Limited Sock yarn in the Cottage colorway, which was one month's yarn from the SSYC's small dyer's club.
I'm also managing to get the pattern mixed up every so often, so it's not as easy for me as some other people have reported. It's my second try, having started it with too few stitches the first time and discovered it would be too tight.

The third project is the Tulip Baby Cardigan. I bought a kit for it at The Dancing Ewe in Ellensburg, and it's coming out pretty cute. They included Cascade 220 Superwash instead of Dream in Color yarn, but there were enough little balls to make the sweater, so it's working out fine.

There are a lot of ends to weave in, but I'll deal with that later.

Now for the garden update:
The impatiens are doing nicely this year, since we haven't had an excess of sunshine.

This little pod will get bigger and redder as summer ends. They are the fruit of the Pink Dogwoods we have (cornus kousa) along the driveway. They look very colorful and interesting as fall progresses.

The small pepper plants I bought on a whim are covered with peppers. They'll be pretty when they start to turn colors.

And here's the obligatory dahlia photo. I think this one is called Lemon Chiffon.

Back to the TV. The best thing about Ravelympics is that it gives meaning to all that time spent watching the games!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday's Garden

I know, I know, I live in the land of rain and clouds. That's why when I show you this week's garden photos, you probably won't believe another word I say.

Yes, that's a palm tree in my back yard. And those round things are part of a cactus plant. A cactus plant that is blooming most attractively right now. (At least you can see the big fir trees reflected in the window. That proves our northwest location, right?)

We have a place in the yard that faces south and is up against the white brick of the house, and obviously desert plants feel right at home there. (There are clouds and rain in the rest of the yard and city, in case you're thinking of moving here for the weather!)

In other parts of the garden today, things were white and yellow:Alert reader, R, (okay, she's my sister) sent some animal photos to diversify Buddy's domain. He wasn't terribly impressed.

Here's Mason:

And here's Chuck, another frequent visitor to her yard:

And just to let you know that I haven't forgotten the main point of this blog, here are the socks that I finished Friday, just in time to post for the third two-week period of Summer of Socks.

Pattern: Pillars of Fire
Yarn: Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash, Pillars of Fire colorway
Purchased from: The Loopy Ewe sock club

This was a fun, quick knit and turned out great! Happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Getting Ready to Race

It's time for Dishrag Tag: The Sequel! I know there are some of us who participated last year and were eagerly waiting for another go. Today's the day to sign up for the 2008 version. Sign ups will end in a week or at 300 people, so don't waste time. Sign up here ; maybe I'll see you on my team.

Last year I had the privilege of captaining the intrepid Cotton Commandoes as we strove for Dishrag glory. We strategized, we practiced, we knit fast, we mailed, but alas, we didn't win. As far as I can remember, we were 7th or 8th out of 25 teams, which isn't bad. The vagaries of the USPS slowed us down a bit, but what can you do?

The game was fun, I learned to knit dishcloths, and I met some great people. I still keep in contact through blog reading with two of my team members, Cathy-Cate (my apparently long-lost twin, who I'll soon be test-knitting for) and Sarah-Hope, an endlessly entertaining writer and animal lover.

So sign up and join in the fun!