Joyknits!

Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


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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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To repot or not …

suddenly was no longer a question when I tried to move the amaryllis the other day. The old plastic pot practically exploded in my hands, unfortunately bumping the tips when it fell, but I hope it will recover.

Before.

Before.

in its new pot.

In its new pot.

It’s a pleasant change today not to have all the winter storm watches/warnings blaring from the media. While it’s important for people to be warned, I do think they go way overboard, and then there are always those who go out in it anyway, and have to be rescued … never mind, I won’t go there.

Yesterday was quite different – we had this on the TV (we’re in one of the pink areas) and ended up with mostly sleet, some snow and fortunately relatively little freezing rain …radarand outdoors around noon noon 0221then about an hour and a half later 0221_130I was very glad I’d gotten out to fill the feeders the day before this all hit πŸ™‚

We stayed inside and enjoyed leftover sauerbraten, cabbage (would have fixed red cabbage which would have been more colorful, but I only had green on hand) and potato pancakes. It’s a good thing that I like ginger snaps – they’re used to thicken the gravy, but you only need 6-8 per batch, and they only seem to come in 12-oz packages … sauerbraten


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

We’re not doing a whole lot for the day, but I did embellish his dessert this noon – it’s the best I could do with a Reddi-Whip can on a small dish, and it IS chocolate underneath πŸ˜‰ dessert

This week I was the delighted beneficiary of Margene’s Month of Letters – her lovely note reminds me just how nice it is to receive something handwritten, an area in which I’m woefully deficient. While we do have some signs of spring outside, I’ll enjoy these flowers in here by the computer. Thanks, Margene!

Paperwhites card.

Paperwhites card.

Right now we’re on the up-side of the temperature roller coaster (supposed to change very soon), so I looked around outside. Due to a couple of pretty heavy rains, there’s actually water in the pond (bluebird house in the foreground, where a pair raised 2 or 3 broods last year) … pondcatkins on the hop hornbeam tree …

Hornbeam catkins.

Hornbeam catkins.

and snowdrops over close to the house – I really must plant more of these!

Snowdrops.

Snowdrops.


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Trying to catch up …

and it seems like one of those the faster I go, the behinder I get deals. Does that happen to everyone?

The car is back, it looks wonderful, and they completely cleaned the inside too!!! I was almost as pleased by that as by having it fixed πŸ˜‰

It's back :)

It’s back!

I also finished a pair of socks for a friend – the yarn is Rachel’s Dyeabolical sock (color: Themyscira) – love that the heels are fraternal twins. They were a big hit!

Dyeabolical socks!

Dyeabolical socks!

I was in the mood for stir fry the other day, so we had a nice big batch of Ma Po’s Tofu – of course now I’m out of tofu, so will have to get more.

Yum!

Yum!

The critters continue to be great entertainment – this new box has gotten a lot of attention from both cats, though Amber seems to be more interested that Maggie. The fact that it’s probably bison-scented may come into that.

New cat toy.

New cat toy.

The weather’s been a real roller coaster, from highs around freezing or below (more normal) all the way up to around 70 (definitely not normal). We’ve had a little bit of snow, more rain, a few storms, and I think there’s more of the same likely in the next week.

I’ve gotten out to trim bushes and see what’s coming up when it’s been nice; found this great little nest (about 3″ across) over near the mail box.Β  nest 1 nest 2Does anyone know what kind of bird builds like this?

ETA: I think it’s most likely an American Goldfinch’s nestΒ – size and location seem to fit, and we have plenty of them around!


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After the rain

We had a real downpour while we were in town this afternoon (and I dropped the sleeve I’m knitting, but fortunately the wool didn’t mind). It was still raining a bit when we got home, but after we brought things inside, the sky turned a very unusual color toward the west:

And there was a wonderful view to the east, which lasted for several minutes.

Double rainbow.


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Signs of Fall!

There are starting to be red “mittens” on the ground, a sure sign of fall. After such a dry year, I wondered if we’d have any fall color at all, but at least the sassafras tree is putting on a show. The cooler weather has also revved Toby up — he was running big loops in the yard.

I’ve also been doing some baking — the plums looked so good at the store that I ended up making a plum cobbler; it has a biscuit-type topping sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The only change I’d make would be to use about double the amount of plums; 2Β½-3 lbs instead of 1Β½ lbs, which was a bit skimpy.

There was a lovely sky the other evening, not exactly fall-like, but definitely out of the ordinary!