Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Queen Susan Update

There will be no Queen Susan photo this week. The flowers are so much more photogenic, for one, and for another, not much has happened on her. I am now on Round 59 of the border - about 8 rounds done in one week. Pitiful, unless you consider that represents about 9 hours of knitting AND I've knit 4 Basic Mittens and have just the top decreases and thumb left on my proto-Advanced Mitten (due next month) . I also received two full bags of yarn for a sweater I'll be test-knitting (due in May) , and also some Master Knitter work to evaluate (due today, and more due Monday).

Queen Susan will probably be taking a nice vacation in my knitting stand. She'll get done, never fear. I figure two solid weeks of knitting will take care of the aforementioned projects, and then I can dive back into Round 59. Trust me, it's marked in highlighter tape. I won't forget where I am. Or where it is.

Other updates:
  • By the end of the day, my 3rd and 4th batches of Kombucha will be happily fermenting. It's yummy stuff!
  • There are 15 spears of asparagus growing in my garden. And it's March.
  • My husband mowed the yard yesterday.
  • My daughter and I (me driving) were rear-ended yesterday, too.
  • Homemade sauerkraut (with carrots, so it's not real sauerkraut, which is slimy and icky and totally awful ... or at least, it was that way the last time I tried it four decades ago) is for lunch
  • Filia has a new carbon fiber AFO. Once the other arrives, let the shoe-shopping begin!

For an understanding of the latter, you can go to this orthotics site and look at the Plastic Solid Ankle AFO, then the leftmost Prefabricated Carbon Fiber AFO. Consider which would be easier to get into a shoe. And which would work with anything other than sneakers. Then imagine you're a teen girl who has been wearing sneakers for the past 15 years.

Back to the knitting submission...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring is Springing

A good picture

Our Manchurian Bush Apricots (which, when we bought them, were supposed to mature to a height of 4-6 ft) are among the earliest bloomers in the spring. After the Grecian Windflowers, before the daffodils, and a week or so before the plums, we can count on at least a few minutes of gorgeous white flowers.

If it's a typical Minnesota spring, a few minutes later the gentle 40-mph breeze will denude the bushes of their petals while attempting to make a mock blizzard. There are a LOT of petals on our two bushes. While the breeze was absent, I decided to get a picture while the petals were still on the trees.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More Queen Susan

I am definitely out of my Queen Susan groove, so was surprised to see I've managed a whole 14 rows this week. Little odds and ends do add up, I suppose! And I'm beginning to think of this as travelling knitting. Scary, that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The First Day of Spring!

On the last day of March in the Snowy Year of Our Lord, 2011, I took a photo of mountain of snow generated by our neigbor's driveway clearing. We wondered if it would melt by Easter, or by June, or perhaps even ever.

This year is an entirely different kettle of fish. It appears I have a parsley plant, perhaps two, in the garden which survived over the winter. My oregano is showing new growth, as is the sage. The thyme isn't doing anything yet, nor is the rosemary -- but they are slower growers. I planted Swiss Chard in the garden and have some hopes of seeing wee little sprouts in a week or so. And on Sunday - which happened to be March 18th, 2012, I took some photographs.For our first exhibit, we have the absence of a mountain of snow.

Then we have the lovely willow tree, quite eager to begin leafing out.

And then we have tulips and, to the best of my knowledge, Grecian Windflowers. The latter have been volunteers in our yard over the past 16 years and have always been the first flowers of spring. (Or the last flowers of winter, if you go by their appearance this year) The sedum is up, the mint is plotting its assault upon the yard, and I've got some clippings from the plum tree in the window with the hopes that they will bloom later this week.

Whatever does the summer hold for us?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More Queen Susan ... with WORDS!

I fear that progress is about to come to a screeching halt. Who in their right mind volunteers to write an article and three mitten patterns, plus design and knit up two pairs of mittens, while working on a shawl of this gorgeousness? Yes, me.

And then who accepts a test-knitting job at the same time? Yes, me.

So, progress will likely slow down pretty seriously for a while. It was slowing down anyways ... switching from the center (where a good day was 20 rows), to the border (where a good day was 4 rounds) was a serious mental shift. I made it, however, and am enjoying the border very much -- switching from the 15-st repeat at the beginning to the 60-st repeat which will continue to the end actually made things seem to go faster. I could just sit and knit on this thing all day. But other work will be calling, once some yarn arrives.

I have surprised myself by deciding to purl all the even rounds, rather than fiddle around with techniques for garter-in-the-round-while-avoiding-purls. My purls rounds are wee bit looser than my knits, and the purl verision of a sk2p is not exactly thrilling, but I'm not finding the rounds frustrating. I just do them. And listen to my audiobooks.

Juggling 7 page of charts is a lot easier than I thought it would be. It's also comforting to realize that, out of the 24 pages of charts for the border, I finished the first 7 on Sunday and am on to the next 7!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012