Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Concentration, or absenting myself from felicity (in Jean's words) while I start another round and adding an additional center panel to the Vogue lace shawl. That is what is needed: concentration.

The yarn is 100% organic linen from Quince & Co.  It feels fairly rough, being linen, and is smaller in circumference than I had envisioned, so the shawl will be smaller than the picture of the finished project shown on the published project sheet.  I am using a size larger needle to accommodate this difference in yarn size and hoping the yarn will soften after washing.  It is a bit like knitting with kite string at present.

If you are wondering what "organic linen" actually means, look here for an intense written presentation.  My take on what the organic blog says can be narrowed down to:
  • Lowest practical ecological impact
  • Fair Trade guidelines
That being said, on with knitting.  The Chart II repeat (middle) is now in process; it begins on row 49 and is repeated 15 times prior to adding the wings. I had difficulty in reading the chart, as it is different on the right and wrong sides, naturally, so I made a flip chart with index cards which made the changing charts easier to follow.  However, it took about 150 cards to make the chart. This is definitely my Magnum Opus of knitting.  And it may be the  last, God willing that I live long enough to finish the knit.

The center is beginning to look like hearts, and I wonder if this is because of the yarn.  Liking it thus far, but it requires concentration and cannot be successfully knit with the husband in the room providing side notes or asking questions, adding to the ambient noise of tv commentary.  However, it can be happily knit on while sitting alone and having an episode of "Pride and  Prejudice"spicing up the airwaves.  The husband will retreat to his den with the dogs when he hears Colin Firth.

It is cold here today, and I had to bring in all my seedlings last night because of the frost warnings.  Three more days of in and out with these little guys, and then the zinnias and cosmos

will be almost ready to go into their new raised bed.  More later on that project.  Three pots of marigolds are in the garage, and more pots of herbs are up by the back door that will have to go out again in the sun by 10 AM when the frost warning is lifted.  Three more days of this and then we should be free of frost.  One wonders at the efficacy of all this attention to planting when the local grocer provides plants already blooming.

Lastly, one new addition to the front porch: an urn with columbine and marigolds, reminding me of college colors:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Flowers on Fence

Looking through Pinterest and images on Wooden Fence Decorating provided imaginative mental fodder for painting flowers on our wooden fence.  It is rough cedar and does not provide a smooth painting surface. But it needed a bit of refreshing, to say the least.

A "Before Makeup" picture of our woebegone fence corner:

I would show a couple of neat ideas and pictures that others on various sites have shown that were pretty darn cute, but what with people now suing for damages by using others' photos, I'm leery to do so.  (See this story by Roni Loren about her lawsuit resulting in her having to pay thousands of dollars by using a Google image.  She talks also about "Fair Use" and copyright validation, and is well worth the read.)

So now I am not using pictures found on the internet, but will provide links in the future.

Back to the fence.

Acrylic paints in tube form and two cans of acrylic green spray paint were used. The husband snapped this photo of me working on some leaves.

Here is our NEW fence face.

This is on Pinterest at this link. You can see ideas of exterior art by typing in the search words "OUTDOOR ART" or "FENCE ART" on Pinterest and catch many pieces of outside decoration.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Spring Post

Noticing that time between posts is beginning to stretch out, I decided it was time to catch up with spring happenings here at the Urban Renewal Place, also known as the Center of the Universe.

There are Parties to attend:

More zinnia, marigold and cosmos seeds to be planted

Daffodils to enjoy 

Native wildflowers are starting to perk up after a long winter (columbines)

Lots of iris are blooming

And a fun wedding party attended on a beautiful April 12 Saturday:

 This is Verda, the bride, dancing with a guest; doesn't she look happy?

 Tables decorated with wildflowers and seed packets for favors, with burlap table cloths, a catered Mexican dinner, a three piece band, with denim being the dress of the day...fun!
Verda in her cute dress

Wedding cake with wildflowers atop

And Easter is less than a week away.  More to come!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Knotty Little Problem

Not really a problem so much as a frustration.  The arm stripes on the Delancey Cardigan do not match with one another. Likely the reason is that I was distracted and did an enormous number of short rows, about 20 too many, on the right sleeve.  But since the left sleeve is coming along nicely, I have canoodled over the problem enough to realize that I can simple cut a thread on the right sleeve cap after the appropriate number of short rows, create a provisional cast on, unravel enough grey to match the left side, and then when it counts/looks more or less right, graft that left sleeve together again. And toss that extra yarn.  Maybe.

For today, a completed pair of Teeny Tiny Mary Janes, courtesy of Knitsofacto.

Linking with Fiber Arts Friday.

Next week the husband will make bread (his blog is here and his bread recipes are here and here).  He has a bread with pumpkin added in that he wrote about here.  Gene has a great recipe for pita bread here.  He has Ciabatta Bread written out also!  His recipes (truly his own) are a blog post in themselves, but go take a look at his Grand Life Food & Cooking.

I'll stir up a crock pot of taco soup for our Lutheran Church and its weekly Lenten soup lunches after noon services and we will contribute bread and soup for the communicants.

The taco soup I like not only has the traditional tomatoes, beef, hominy, several beans, etc. but also adds some Ranch Dressing (dry) and lots of spices.  Maybe too spicy for the older crowd?   There are usually about 30 people who stay for lunch after the noon service, mostly retired codgers like ourselves.  (Last week we did have a few kids and parents there as well, probably because is was Spring Break for the school district.)

The wind has been blowing mightily and the leaves are everywhere.  Here is one last look at our back area from the porch.  I'll try my hand at painting a picture of the bare tree trunks with light and shadows.

Looking forward to next week's art show over the weekend at
George Callison will be the main judge.

What is on your agenda?