Joyknits!

Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


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April showers …

in this case, can cause problems! Starting way too early this morning with a wake-up call from Toby because it was storming (time for his Thundershirt and Rescue Remedy!), it kept raining most of the day (almost 4″ in the gauge), and a pond that’s nearly overflowing. We’re usually lucky to have a foot or 2 in it! pond

At times like this, we’re very happy to be 200-300 ft higher than the highway, because the creek running next to it went over the road in at least a couple of places (pictures on Facebook), and it was even worse in a number of areas around the St. Louis region.

While I was over by the pond, I sneaked a peek into the bluebird house, and saw what looked like a blue tail sticking up on the left, but didn’t want to disturb her, so it’s not a very good photo.Β bluebird house

Meanwhile things are blooming, and I saw the first hummer of the season this morning, though only briefly.

Serviceberry (top); flowering quince (left); lilac (right).

Serviceberry (top); flowering quince (left); lilac (right).

I tried a recipe from Essential Pepin today; Red Snapper with Leeks, Mushrooms & Shallots – with a few substitutions, that is. The recipe said it was suitable for any firm-fleshed fish and I had a piece of flounder, green onions, dried shiitake mushrooms and 1 red sweet Italian pepper, so I sliced, diced and seasoned a bit, simmered everything but the fish in a cup of white wine, then put the fish on top of the sauce, simmered until the fish was just done, and the recipe’s definitely a keeper! dinnerTalk about getting out of one’s comfort zone! Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t crochet very much – my skills there are pretty minimal, but a friend asked for help with his Mom’s treasured afghan. She’s in a nursing home, and the afghan had been sent through the big washer. Unfortunately, some of the yarn in it was wool and didn’t tolerate that at all well.

Granny square: before.

Granny square: before.

It would be nice if it were possible to insert rows/rounds into crochet like you can with knitting, but as far as I can find out, crochet doesn’t work that way, so I ended up taking the square out, adding 2 rounds with new yarn, then recycling the original yarn for the last 2 rounds. She was very thrifty with her ends, so it wasn’t easy πŸ˜‰ Hope I don’t need to do it again!

Granny square: after

Granny square: after


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Running a little behind!

I meant to do a post yesterday, but somehow it just got away from me. I did, however, finish Cat’s Paws & Feathers, which is now on Ravelry. It was really fun to knit, but it sure fought back when it came to getting the color to come out in the photos!

Cat's Paws & Feathers.

Cat’s Paws & Feathers.

The swatch from the last post is turning into a sweater, and going faster than I expected. The back is done, and this is the first front.Β knitting As the sleeves will be somewhere between short and 3/4-length, I’m hoping to have it done fairly soon. I stopped by Hearthstone Knits in St. Louis last weekend, and found the perfect buttons for it too πŸ™‚

We’re still getting a wild mix of weather – after several very warm days and a big thunderstorm the other evening (but not nearly as bad as the 3 tornadoes that went north of us!), we have a frost warning for tonight, but it’s still looking more like spring all the time. The buds are getting bigger on the buckeye, and the hummers usually show up around the time they open.

Buckeye buds.

Buckeye buds.

Maple leaves.

Maple leaves.


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Busy weekend and beyond.

We had a lively Easter weekend β€” a total of 8 were here; our kids + friend, 4 of 6 grandkids and one of the girls’ friends joined us for dinner. We had a blast, but not many pictures got taken. It also hit nearly on my birthday, so I got flowers, cards and other goodies. The trick with flowers is keeping Amber from munching on them πŸ˜‰cards

flowersI’ve been yarn doodling again – I think this may just grow up to be a sweater soon. The part at the bottom is a little bit of a stitch pattern I didn’t like in this yarn, but the top part looks like a winner.

Swatch (Webs Valley Yarns; Southwick (52% Pima cotton/48% bamboo viscose).

Swatch (Webs Valley Yarns; Southwick (52% Pima cotton/48% bamboo viscose).

The amaryllis ended up with all 4 buds open, and what a display! amaryllis0402Toby’s been going after moles – unfortunately they mostly seem to be staying ahead of him and making a mess of the yard, but he’s having a great time trying. toby 2

There's dirt flying in this one!

There’s dirt flying in this one!

Trying to go in after it.

Trying to go in after it.

And a little more spring …

Forsythia.

Forsythia.

ferns

Love the little fern next to the quartz rock here.


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Still hoping for spring

After a quick but heavy hit of snow, it’s looking more like spring again, but we’re wondering if it will last this time. There were still patches of snow when I went to town this afternoon, though most of it’s gone. There are buds …

Clockwise from top left: hyacinth; lilac; red horse chestnut.

Clockwise from top left: hyacinth; lilac; red horse chestnut.

and little leaves …

Ferns.

Ferns.

Peonies.

Peonies.

and catkins …

Hop hornbeam tree.

Hop hornbeam tree.

The amaryllis seems to have stopped at about 24″ and turned out to have 4 buds πŸ™‚ Love the red!

Finally!

Finally!

Hope everyone has a happy holiday – we’ve got company coming, so I’ve been cooking and getting ready.


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Squirrel!

Overall, Toby’s not too bad about barking except occasionally when there are other dogs around, or a squirrel …

I'm serious about this!

I’m serious about this!

I know it’s up there … squirrel 1

and there was one, sitting in a crotch in the very thorny locust tree (ouch!), just above the top of the photo, but it didn’t stick around for a close-up! Good find Toby!

I keep forgetting to mention that I’ve added another pattern on Ravelry: this is Madelaine. I really enjoyed knitting it, and love wearing it! Madelaine

The amaryllis is still growing – just under 24″ today amaryllis 0321

and look – there’s color! bud 0321

I’m pretty sure it will be red when it opens, and it looks like there’s more than 1 bud in there πŸ™‚


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Something new!

Joyknits designs now has its own Facebook page for new patterns, published designs and whatever else seems appropriate. My thanks to everyone who’s read promo copy (which doesn’t come easily to me!) and offered encouragement!

Profile photo for Joyknits designs.

Profile photo for Joyknits designs.

And a small teaser of some coming attractions teaser

Our weather’s still on the roller coaster – on Tuesday we had snow, which Toby really enjoys. As cold as it looks, he wasn’t in a big hurry to come in. By the weekend, it’s supposed to be around 60, then rain.toby snow

Then inside today – only someone who lives with a camera-phobic pet will appreciate how hard this was to get; bribery WAS involved. πŸ˜‰

toby 2With the cooler temperatures and some really nice country-style ribs, I couldn’t resist making a big pot of pozole with the ribs, hominy, black beans, tomatoes and southwestern seasonings – yum! And it only gets better after a couple of days in the fridge.pozole 1pozole 2

And finally, an amaryllis update – there’s a lovely chubby bud coming up!

8Β½" and growing!

8Β½” and growing!


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Holiday and other things …

We had a great time visiting our daughters and families in Kansas City over Christmas, even though 2 storms caused some revisions at both ends of the trip. First there was snow and ice in KC on the way over, then snow at home when we were coming back – we managed to avoid the worst of both.

Christmas morning.

Christmas morning.

Daisy (dog) and Holly (spooky cat) ;)

Daisy (dog) and Holly (spooky cat)

Cat game!

Cat game!

We nearly made it back with no incidents when a deer ran in front of us about 10 miles from home – we were fine, though very startled, but neither the Outback (nor the deer) came out of it quite as well 😦 The front grille completely disappeared, the hood, 1 headlight, and the left fender took most of the impact, but the airbags didn’t go off. We feel very blessed to have come out of it so well! We called the insurance company this morning and the adjustor has already (!) called us back, so that’s in the works. Next step is to get an estimate, we hope on Wednesday.car 1

car 2The trip was fun, but it’s also good to be home. After I picked up the pets, Toby went out in the yard and just kept running lots of loops in the snow. Meanwhile we’re still sorting through all the mail πŸ˜‰

Bringing in all the mail!

Bringing in all the mail!

Happy New Year to all – hope you all have a great 2013!