Saturday, August 21, 2010

Time for a Celebration!

I had a wonderful day today. I spent it with my youngest sister, Kristine, at her home. I also had a momentous occasion while I was there. I completed the Yggdrasil blanket that I've been working on for Valerie, Amol and Sam as their house-warming gift. We paused a moment and cheered as I knitted the last stitch.
I think I spent nearly a half-hour trying to tie the last knot in a way that it would be securely finished off. That half-hour seemed a bit longer, as Kristine and I were both hungry for lunch and planning to eat as soon as that little knot was done. As it turned out, I finally called it quits for awhile and we had lunch. And a very delicious lunch it was - grilled portabella mushrooms stuffed with mozzarella cheese (seasoned with garlic and oregano,) toasted bagels with seasoned cream cheese and topped with fresh sliced tomato, and Kristine fixed a salad with blueberries. It was a lunch fit for the beautiful day we were having. I did manage to successfully tie off that little knot after lunch. So, with no more ado, here are some photos of the completed blanket. 
Here's a shot of (nearly) the entire blanket. Kristine helped me spread it out on her bed. We fitted her with a safety harness and suspended her from the ceiling fan so she could get a good shot of the whole thing. I would have done it but you know my fear of heights...
 This next shot is a close up of the border detail:
 The blanket is large - about 6' x 6' so this last photo puts it in perspective with me standing to the side of the bed. Hi Val! Hi Amol! Hi Sam! Hi Elmo! I hope you like it :-) It's been a long but fun project, especially since I was making it for you. Thank you for all your help and encouragement, Kristine! And for the great photo work, too.
The yarn really is all one color - grass green - but the light hitting the different types of stitches adds a nice shading effect, don't you think?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This Weather is (REALLY!) for the Birds

I heard on the radio news report that our local weather is about one month ahead of schedule and has been, ever since our late-arriving spring kicked in. Normally, early August is hot, hot and then showers move in very late in August during the last few days of the month. I remember late August, 1993 when I first moved here. The days were pleasant and then we'd have showers around 5pm, just like clockwork. By 7pm the sun had dried the deck and we were in for a great evening. Not only is our weather about a month ahead of schedule but it's also providing more rain than usual. We've been having thunderstorms on a regular basis and days filled with rain, then sun, then rain, then sun, then more rain. I got a photo of this flock of birds in my neighbor's tree on Thursday during one of the breaks in the nearly day-long rain. I'm not sure what type they are but it's not a bird that frequents my feeders.

If you recognize this bird, let me know so I can look it up in my bird book and see what it looks like when captured by a real photographer!

My tomatoes are protected by the house - enough that they don't benefit from the frequent rains. I've had to start watering them more in the past week because they're really using up the old H20 in their efforts to grow the 'maters to maturity. I hope the "month ahead" on weather doesn't do them in before they've been able to give their best. They're doing a good job. Here's the current status of some of the tomatoes. (I feel like a mom posting photos of her little one.)

These are photos from just four of the nine plants. Even Junior, the plant who thought to die right after the transplanting, then decided to dig in and grow a couple weeks later (after I'd given it up for dead for at least a week) now has it's first blossom. The other four plants also have tomatoes and I can't wait to see the Howard German tomato. I currently have only two green ones. The larger is just a wee bit over 1" long. Here's what they'll look like in a few weeks:

I still haven't done any sewing on the serger or done any further work on the Tuscan quilt. I've been knitting every spare moment on the Yggdrasil blanket. I turned the corner today so that I'm working the border on the 4th side. Let's see... there are 16 rows to a set of pattern and 23 repeats of the pattern set; then 42 rows on the last corner, so I only have 410 more rows to finish. Yay!! :-(  It's been an interesting project but, I must say, this final border has been boring.

I did make a batch of strawberry ice cream this evening. Here's the bowl I'm enjoying while updating this post. So yummy, made from the fresh cream from the farm and delicious strawberries I found at the market yesterday.

It's only soft-serve consistency right now but I couldn't wait for it to get hard. Besides, I prefer my ice cream on the soft side anyway.