Joyknits!

Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


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Garden and a little knitting

Lots of things in bloom now, with more to come. The peonies are right on time for Memorial Day. I’m wishing I’d put supports around them earlier, especially Festiva Maxima, which is so loaded it’s drooping badly, but it’s gorgeous!

Peony White Sands

Peony White Sands

Pink Peony

Pink Peony

Peony Festiva Maxima

Peony Festiva Maxima

I’ve made progress in the vegetable garden. There’s now a tomato plant next to each of the stakes but 1 – I’m still chasing a black/purple tomato plant for that spot. I had a Black Krim last year, but haven’t had any luck finding a plant this year. The asparagus (extreme right; planted last year) is doing nicely, and we should be able to pick more from it next year. There’s 1 row of okra in (blue tag, left) and a couple of rows of beans yet to plant – I get hungry just thinking about them πŸ˜‰garden0525

And here’s the gratuitous knitting picture – I finished a pair of socks in Lang JaWolle from stash (!); there’s another pair already on the needles. socks 0526Hope everyone has a lovely holiday!

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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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New socks & next socks

I finally remembered to photograph the most recently completed sock and the next pair I’ve started. Plain ribbed socks are still my go-to when I need take along knitting that doesn’t require much concentration and I sure enjoy wearing the results. I like that the ones I just started aren’t quite as assertively stripey!

Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton (41% cotton/29% SW wool/13% nylon/7% stretch); color #8323.

The next pair.

It’s really starting to look fall-ish around here – some things are already going dormant, and the cooler weather sure is nice.

Buckeye.

Ten years down the road – sometimes it doesn’t seem that long and sometimes it seems like forever …


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This ‘n that …

I used to have several of these hibiscus, including 1 whose flower was about the color of the center of this one. Over the years, this is the only plant left, but I’m so glad to see it come up each spring.

Hibiscus Disco Belle

Even closer.

And another of my Mom’s daylily hybrids – this one is called Prim, and it’s about the same size as the Stella d’Oro variety.

Daylily Prim

And I finished a pair of socks – the yarn* was a gift from a dear knitting friend and I’ll think of her whenever I wear these πŸ™‚

New socks.

*ETA: Pagewood Farm Denali in Meadow.


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Not sure if this qualifies …

as a Rube Goldberg arrangement or not, but that’s what I thought of when I put together something to raise the seedlings up closer to the lights πŸ˜‰

I raided the pantry for enough same-sized things to raise the trays up, then added the bread pans and cereal boxes when the cans weren’t enough.

L to R: Brandywine (red) tomatoes; Dagma's Perfection (yellow) tomatoes; rhubard chard.

At the rate these are sprouting I suspect we may have quite a few to share! The large tray has peat pellets with more chard, DH’s chili peppers, 6 more tomatoes and some Italian sweet peppers, plus a dozen more empty pellets. The next trick may be to keep them from becoming kitty snacks!

I finished the first pair of socks from the Dyeabolical yarn,

then promptly started another pair (for me!) with some yarn that was a gift from a good friend.

Meanwhile, we’re hoping that whatever made off with our spring weather will send it back!


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Sock progress

This pair of socks is coming along very quicklyβ€”I already have several inches of the 2nd cuff completed. I’m really enjoying the Dyeabolical sock yarn I got from Rachel at the Fiber Gathering last month.

Our weather’s still doing the roller coaster thing, but there are more signs of spring all the time πŸ™‚

(clockwise from upper left; snowdrops, daylily tips peeking out, and almost a daffodil)


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Socks ‘n stuff

I finished one pair of socks in the car on Saturday, or at least I almost finished them. Since I didn’t have a darning needle along to weave the toe, I did a 3-needle bind-off to hold the stitches, so I need to pick that out, finish the toe properly, and also work in the ends.

Once the needles were available, I couldn’t wait to start another sock, so I cast on while we were waiting for a table at Olive Garden – yes, we had to wait long enough that I had time not only to cast on, but to work several rounds of ribbing … I was really glad I’d put the yarn in my knitting bag!

I tried a new recipe today for Pork Chops with Apricot Brandy Sauce – it turned out very well, though I think I might add a bit more seasoning another time. Steamy Kitchen does a good job of step-by-step photos, too.


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Surprise!

There are a few plants under a light in the basement, and I’ve had a bad habit lately of forgetting that the poor things are down there. I was really surprised the other day when I went down for something else and found this (and there’s a 2nd bud stalk on it that’s just starting to show some color):

I mentioned that some stash enhancement happened on Saturday at the fiber gathering – here are the goodies I got from Rachel. The blues are the same colorway as the BFL top I’ve been spinning. She said Cindy & I picked the exact same BFL/silk top – I can’t wait to see what we each decide to do with it. πŸ™‚

Sock yarn

Blue-faced Leicester/tussah silk top

And the 2nd sock of my current pair is coming along nicely. I’d like to finish it so I can play with my new sock yarn, besides there seems to be a wearing-out epidemic happening in my sock supply!

Berroco Sock, color #1453.