Monday, April 21, 2014

Patterns of Life

Sometimes I am sad.  Sometimes I am okay.  Sometimes I am happy.  I don't know what regulates all that.  I know that Patty and Noodles are happy most of the time that I am home and on our regular schedules.  Schedules are important to them. 

Today when I woke Patty was smacking her mouth getting her mouth wet after drooling all night.  Noodles was yelling.  I was dreaming a sad dream about my friend that died in January.  So up we go, out the door into the rain, potty time completed for the two of them, and then BREAKFAST!  Food is very important to them.

It is so strange since Noodles can come and go as he wishes with the cat door.  Every night and every day he goes for the first walk with us and the last walk at night.  The rest of the time is his own imaginary free time, until 3 pm.  That's dinner time for the two of them.  Of course, they have to beg for shares of my dinner, but please do not go over the 3 pm time for them.

I also now have wild birds in the mix of schedules.  I cleaned the sugar water for the hummingbirds as scheduled.  I threw out more ground seeds and filled the big feeder.  I have one woodpecker that will "talk" to me if there isn't enough seed.

So I made a promise over the weekend that I will get the sleeve going on my stranded sweater.  It has languished long enough.  I made a commitment to myself to finish this before the heat is on.  Yesterday was a struggle.  I picked up and knitted 131 stitches around the sleeve hole. I counted at least six times, and I got six different numbers.  I finally put a stick in between stitches once 50 was counted twice.  That worked.  I was able to do the first row fine, but the second row had to be completely unknitted.  Sigh!  I finally got the second row finished.  But somehow now the third row is not working.  Double Sigh!

So today after everyone was fed and watered and I finished my emails, I said out loud to myself," Today we are going to get this set up finished and the sleeve moving along."  Here I sit typing instead of sitting in my knitting chair and knitting.

I notice that I have a lot of bumblebees.  I haven't seen as many honeybees as usual.  Some of my etnobotany friends say that is good.  The honeybees are invaders of the bumblebee territory anyway.

Oh, well.

I am turning the heel on the second sock that is commissioned.  I am so over socks right now.  I did decide that my easy-peasy summer project is going to be a barn raising afghan.  It is knitted in squares.  I am using Noro Taiyo sock yarn.  I like the two colorways I chose.  It is begun in the center, and for some reason it took three tries to get the stupid circle to close.  I am real close to done on the first one.

I finally remembered that seeds have to be in the ground by Good Friday!  I remembered on Good Friday.  I know that is not a real rule, but it was my grandmother's rule.  So I seeded some perennials and some sunflowers.  I never get a good crop, but the few sunflowers I get are loved by the finches, chickadees, and nuthatches.  I did plant some dye flowers, but I think my seed was old.  We will see.

Today is a nice soft rain day.  It was going good for a while, but has stopped momentarily.  I think we still need rain.  It hasn't been a bad April, but this is usually a rain month for us.  Weather is so unpredictable any more.  No patterns to follow.

So keep on knitting through the frustrations and keep on trying.  My new motto.  See ya next time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Almost Spring!

This year the weather has been so unpredictable.  With the never-ending winter, any sunshine is welcome.  April is traditionally the month of severe storms, and lots of rain.  We have had some storminess, but a good amount of rain.  Last year we had snow for the first time ever in May. 

So I have company coming over the weekend.  My cousin is making his annual visit and we always go to Grove, OK to visit his family property that he and his sister own.  Once we roll into town, I stop at the big convenient store by the WalMart and get a drink and to go to the bathroom. 

Then we head to the cemetery to visit his family there.  I love to drive around cemeteries.  I know it is a Southern 'thing', but I love to read headstones.  I found one some years ago in the Grove cemetery that I loved.  The woman has not died yet, but her stone is a double one with her husbands.  His side has his pertinent information, but the most interesting thing is the carving of wood tools.  Her side has a shuttle.  I think this is a grand way to be remembered.  A woodworker and a weaver-side-by-side through eternity.

I am stuck on the fancy sweater.  It has a complex way to add on the sleeves, and I am not sure I understand it.  I asked my friend CJE to read it, and I think we both concluded the same solution.  I am just not sure it is the right solution. 

I have finished one of the red socks that a friend wants me to make.  I also started a scarf with some handspun yarn that I am doing in a chevron pattern.  It isn't fancy.  I wanted to do a cable pattern, but had some difficulty following the chart.  I started over with a lacy pattern, but I kept losing stitches.  After these two failures, I cast on the garter stitch chevron pattern in my head.  It isn't fancy, but it is textural.

I walked into my sewing room this morning, and it felt sad.  I have ignored my sewing for way too long.  I have to finish the two quilts I have started.  I don't think I have procrastinated so long before on these projects.  I usually like to sew in the summer and it will be here sooner than I think.

I have also been dyeing two summer dresses with the Steep and Store method of India Flint.  I took one out of the jar last weekend and it looks good.  I have to make some darts and modifications to the top.  I am sorta in the mood to embellish it some with some embroidery.  The other one is still steeping.  It is always a surprise when one dyes this way. 

Two years ago I tried compost dyeing.  I left compost, fabric, iron bits, and leaves in my iron pot on the deck.  I did not remove anything until the winter was over.  I like some of the fabric a lot.  I am having fun with all this stuff anyway.  It is a more ecological way to dye, but it takes a lot longer to do than the traditional heat and serve method.

My girlfriend CF says her first sentinel hummingbird has arrived.  Whew!  My other birds will not like it if I take down any of their feeders.  I remember last year I waited until a week after she saw her scout, and that water I put up soured.  I think it is more like two weeks after her report that I start getting the early arrivals here. 

The rebuds are blooming finally.  The forsythia is on the last few days of its bloom.  Leaves are sprouting all over that.  The weigeilia is leafing out.  The red buckeyes have huge leaves and flowers are coming on.  The hollyhocks are about a foot high.  They need to be sprayed soon.  The daffodils are done.  I always leave the green shoots for a long time to give the bulbs time to feed.  The bachelor buttons are popping up all over the yard. So all signs of early Spring.

I am hopefully on the final editing of my book.  I am so sick of these stories.  I have learned that I have to read everything very, very, very carefully.  The editor misses some things.  I will be happy to be done and on to printing.

So I am feeling guilty.  I need to clean the house a little bit today.  I will start by washing dishes and sweeping the floor.  That helps. 

Have a good week.  Don't put sweaters away yet.