Thursday, May 30, 2013

End of May-Waiting on a BIG Storm!

It is the end of May.  It has not turned incredibly hot yet, and it is still storming.  After the big storm in Oklahoma, everyone is edgy around here.  We keep going to the windows and looking out.  Right now the big storms are in the south, and in Oklahoma around Tulsa.  The latter storms are supposed to be heading here.  SIGH!

I finished a skein of plain BFL and it is on the blocker right now.  I wanted to spin some yarn I can dye with indigo.  I am not going to make a dye pot until I have consistent weather.  This hot one day, cool the next, and lots of storms is not conducive to standing outside on the deck and dyeing.

I am having a terrible time with ticks this year.  And my hollyhocks have some kind of "rust" fungus going on.  According to the internet sites I looked at, I will have to dispose of the stalks and stems and debris around the sites this Fall.  Then next Spring I have to start spraying a fungicide early on.

Other than all that everything else is good here.  Aren't the flowers pretty?  I love this kind of iris the best.  The purple ones I found on the hillside and replanted them in the yard.  The yellow iris was given by a friend and this is it's third home.  The daylilies are getting buds, and they will be next.  I got them in the same spot as the iris.

I am trying out a new pattern, but I am not in love with the yarn.  I think after the scarf is finished I will overdye the whole thing if I don't like it.  We will wait and see.

So end of May.  Surely it will be hot and awful soon.  So far it is pleasant and humid.  I mowed the yard to get ready for the storms arriving.  All I have to do is sit and knit or sew.  Let it rain!

Enjoy the weekend.  Be safe and keep looking up.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Last Hurrah for Weather! I Hope!

It has been an incredible week of weather here in the mid-south.  Everyone knows that there was a HUGE tornado in Moore OK last Monday.  On Sunday there were 30 tornadoes from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa-straight up tornado alley.  Then the big one hit on Monday in Oklahoma.  That same group of storms sent 4 small tornadoes to our little corner of the world.  The closest to me was north of Siloam Springs, approximately 15-20 miles away.

Then Tuesday we had chilly weather and rain all day long.  We got approximately 6 inches of rain.  Then Wednesday it was hot and sunny and nice.  Thursday it was cloudy and coolish-around 60 degrees.  It was supposed to rain again, but never did.  I just got out and mowed the yard just in case it did and things grew more.  Then yesterday sunny and hot.

I got a surprise wellness-check from a young woman that I met at the Washington County Fair last Fall.  She was concerned that I was ill and unable to mow my yard.  I know that the untidiness of my flower beds is alarming, but really, I am able to mow most of my yard.  The bachelor buttons have taken over and have dominated the whole mess.  But as they fade away, the correopsis is blooming now, the verbena is starting to bloom, and the hollyhocks are putting on stalks of buds.  So eventually there will be other color. 

I did note that the bumblebees have been very, very happy during the last coupla weeks.  I read online that bees like the color blue.  Now how in the world can they tell the color blue?  I don't know about that.  But they are very happy out there in bachelor button land. 

Today I ventured into the midst to check out some other things, and I did see 3-4 honey bees.  That makes me very, very happy that they are there.  I was so worried with that disease that killed off so many would decimate my little population. 

I did see a really pretty ribbon snake the other day in the midst of plants.  That also makes me happy. 

Other than yard and weather, I have been busy finishing up my last skein of the pretty red wool/alpaca yarn.  I sit with Netflix and spin away.  I haven't wound the skein yet, but I am sure there is a lot of yardage in this one. 

I finished the little Selbu hat, and it is really pretty.  I like the subtle light gray and white combo.

I finished one of the Manly Socks, and have cast on for number two. 

I started a scarf in a simple lace pattern by Anne Hanson, but I am not in love with this one.  Something isn't right, but I am going to finish it.  I frogged the first pattern I attempted.  I don't think the yarn will hold up to another frogging.

I am decreasing on the shawl that I started early in the Spring.  I don't work on it much since I don't need it right now. 

I replanted two houseplants yesterday, and they will have to get over the shock of new housing. 

I have plans for an indigo vat, if and when the weather settles down.  I have to plan out what I am going to dye, and get all that ready.  I have plenty of tansy right now to do a dye bath, but I don't think I will right now.  Maybe I will do a solar dye bottle.  That might do me.

My neighbors' grandson is getting married today.  He is such a nice young man.  I hope they have a long and wonderful life together.

Nothing else of note.  It is just the time of year that is hardest.  The transition from late Spring into Summer.  Then the grumping begins of the heat and humidity, instead of the wet and cold.  Oh, well, such is life in Arkansas.

No plans for the summer have arisen.  I want to take a little trip, but nothing has come up for me.  I haven't really put any thoughts into it, but there is a little desire.  My biggest problem is I get all excited and want to do a trip, but the actually going is not a great desire.  It is the planning or anticipation that is fun.  Not the trip, for sure.

Well, have a safe and glorious Memorial Weekend.  Enjoy the lazy days.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's Warm Again!

5 years ago-neat and tidy and boring
 Today I was trying to weed and trim and it was awful.  The bachelor buttons are taking over the world!  I planted three redbuds that were tiny little twigs, and they are big now.  When I planted the small bed in-between the two sidewalks, I put shredded wood chips that were from the compost pile in Fayetteville.  Out of those wood chips, I have three more redbuds.  Why would anyone cut down a redbud in the first place, and secondly, why have the chips in the compost pile?
 My friend gave me two weigelias, and they are now quite large and doing well.  Aren't the flowers wonderful?

 This is a close-up of the bachelor buttons-see how thick they are!  The purple is my favorite color.
He likes the shade when he is helping with the gardening.

And we had snow in May in Arkansas!  It has been cold and wet and miserable.  This is so not like our normal weather.  With all the snow and rain we have had in the last few weeks, our county is no longer under drought!  I will get back to you in August on that one!

I have committed to doing another show in October in Greenwood, AR.  I think it is their first show.
I know the people organizing this one.  So it will be old friends and catching up.

I am spinning the most luscious yarn right now.  It is merino roving that is various colors of deep red with a tinge of black in there.  I am blending it with a tiny amount of deep, deep red alpaca that I got when I was in Taos.  It was such a small amount of fiber that I was waiting until I had the right stuff to blend with it.  It is perfect together, and it will be a great yarn when finished.

I am thinking of dyes I want to do.  I have enough tansy out there right now to do a dyebath.  I just can't do everything I want to do.

So lots of things to do right now.  I am knitting a pretty colorwork hat out of Shetland wool.  I am knitting a pair of plain socks.  I put the shawl aside for right now.  I just found a pattern for a lace scarf that I think would be wonderful in a gradient yarn.  I ordered some pretty lilac and gray gradient yarn from Webs, and that should be the perfect thing. 

My biggest problem right now is I want to be outside when it is warm and the sun is shining.  I need to mow the yard, but I am waiting until tomorrow.  I think we are in for more rain Thursday, so I think mowing tomorrow is better.

I guess there isn't too much news.  I have found that I spin more yarn if I am on Netflix.  So I will get busy with that instead of going back outside.  I get so excited when the sun comes out and it is hard to sit still in the house.

Enjoy the warmth and the sun!  I am.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

Today is May 1.  In Druidic cultures and other pagan cultures, it is considered beginnings of new life.  I know everyone has seen many silly movies showing the ritualistic mating stuff, but today is significant in other cultures.  When the Romans came along, they added flowers into the mix.  And everything gets very mixed up from this point on.

All I know is today is warm, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the roadrunner has been cooing, and all seems right in the world.

Of course, we are supposed to get a cold front in tomorrow that may bring a freeze.  Sigh!

But today is a marvelous day to just try to balance oneself with the world surrounding.

I did my show in Missouri last weekend.  I met some really marvelous people, and they were fun to be around.  It really wasn't as hard as I expected.  There was cold, drizzly rain all weekend, and the crowd was not as expected.  I think I did well considering it was 48 degrees and raining all day.

I was able to find the location fairly easily.  It was a long drive in the pouring rain on Friday.  At times it would have made sense to just pull over for a while, but when I am driving on the interstate, I don't. 

I didn't get tired until Sunday and Monday.  Yesterday I woke up thinking this is the day I am getting my life back into order.  I mowed and used the trimmer to tidy up the yard.  I think it is beginning to look like a jungle, but I like a blue jungle.  The bachelor buttons have taken over.  I am waiting to see if any of the other seeds I planted will make it or not.  They will have to struggle to overpower those other tall plants.

Surely the chickweed will die soon.  I cannot pull it all out, but surely it will die soon.

I got some pretty black-eyed susans from my friend CF last year.  They did well, and I tried to make sure they survived the drought.  This year they are going to multiply and be happy- I think.  They are making their green leaves right now, and I think I will have a good crop.  If they keep multiplying, I should have enough for dye.  Yeah!

Patty and Noodles are so happy to have their lives back to normal.  Monday Noodles just wanted to sit in my lap.  He is back to his precious self now, but for a while he was a bit needy.  Patty is still following me everywhere, and if I move she moves.  But that is fairly normal for her.  She got a nice haircut while I was away.  So she is set for the hotter weather.

I finished up the black bean yarn and I have it on the blocker drying.  It is a pretty gray color.  I will put a pic up next time.

I guess that catches me up to now.  I got some Paco-Vicuna fiber from my friend GK.  I can't wait to get into that!  There is only one ounce, but it is luscious.  It costs just about the same price for bison.
Both luxuries to have!

I also have been itching to get an indigo vat started.  I will have to wait until the threat of freeze is over.  I don't want to kill it right off. 

So until next time-have a good week.