Friday, March 18, 2016

This and That

First off, I'd like to say that in the last post I mentioned that the entralac scarf structure was not very "giving".  Well, that is not true!  It is very pliable.  I think it would make good socks or hats as it isn't firm at all.  I don't know what I was doing that day, but it wasn't feeling my work!!!  Also related to the last post--the socks.  They are finished, given away and are said to fit perfectly.  I love when that happens.

Happy spring socks

We had our "winter" picnic which was so much fun, even though the weather was definitely more like spring at almost 60 degrees!   Afterwards we went for a lovely walk in the woods.  The dogs thought it was great and Rosa got her first close up look at a flowing brook.  I was wondering if she would like water. 

Rosa exploring the brook

She thought it was wonderful.

I am working on my scarf, and also the pair of socks for myself.  Neither of these are very taxing so I am casting around for a more challenging project.  Now that the folk's house has sold I have a lot more free time on my hands.  It will take some getting used to.  Especially Sunday afternoons, as we have gone over there on almost every one for the last 25 years.  I think I will warp the loom for a few small rugs to jump start the creative juices. 

The weather has been very warm and rainy.  The bees were out and about, but as there is nothing really blooming yet we decided to feed them.  They get a sugar water jar on their hive that they have access to.  The chickens are also out and about.  One of the younger two spent yesterday making a very sad sound the entire day, non stop.  Occasionally Miss Buffington, the older hen, would answer her.  I was sure that this was a death sound and fully expected to find her demised this morning.   She wasn't!  Today she is acting totally normal.  I did find blood in one of the overnight droppings,  whether that was hers or not I will never know.  What her problem was, I will never know!  It didn't stop her from laying an egg.  One of the reasons I was hoping for a recovery is that she and her sister are the only egg layers right now, and I would hate to be down to one laying hen.  I'll keep an eye on her today, but so far she looks perfectly normal.  Chickens!


All recovered

Don't get excited about the green grass.  That is a picture from last summer.  It is still pretty brown around here.  There are clumps of spring bulbs starting to pop out only it is supposed to get pretty cold again this weekend, so I hope they don't emerge too much!

Now I am going to get out the Easter decorations.  I am looking forward to that Sunday as both girls and their families are going to join their aunts and uncles at their  Nain's house.   And we all know who I am going to be happy to see--my beautiful grand daughters, especially that cutie--Miss T!

Love this baby!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Learning

It seems to me that learning a new thing is good for the brain.  I like to learn about things and how to do things and what things are and what is the name of that bird/flower/whatever?  Stories, songs, poems---all these things keep me going.  Last Wednesday at the Village Yarn Shop, I learned a knitting technique called "entrelac".  According to what I can discover, the word entrelac comes from the French meaning "to interlace".  The fabric constructed with this method resembles woven strips, although in reality the material is one piece.  I had played with entrelac many years ago and decided I hated it and would never do it as it was all about picking up stitches.  Not my thing.  However, when this class was offered I decided it was time to revisit the technique to see what I found so unappealing. 

Entrelac knitting

Turns out that, with the right kind of yarn and a little encouragement, it's FUN!  The yarn makes a huge difference.  I am using the yarn Gina made by Plymouth Yarn.  This is a scarf pattern which I think is a great way to get used to the rhythm of the structure as I knit.  The method can be used for anything, from hats to socks, but attention has to be paid to the fact that there is no "give" to the fabric.  It is hard for me to think that socks knit in entrelac would be comfortable.  I think hats would have to be exactly fitting.   The scarf feels rather sturdy right now but I have great confidence in the softening factor of washing and blocking when finished.   Which probably won't take me long as it is a slightly addicting sort of knit.  Watching the colors change and seeing the blocks form is quite intriguing.

Hoping it will fit all her hair!

I did find time to finish Alice's hat.  The lining is very nice.  Probably not necessary only she will be up near the Canadian border the next time we have winter and will be glad of an extra layer around her ears when the north wind starts howling.

Socks for someone with small feet

The socks are coming along nicely.  They are just straight knitting, nothing fancy.  Used the basic pattern and construction from Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  Her methodology appeals to me for some reason and I find that I turn to her book often when I do socks.

The non winter continues.  Although the ground is still frozen and a layer of ice lurks under the mud, spring is trying to force its way in.  The birds sing like winter is over, the sugar makers are boiling and the temperatures stay above freezing during the day.  Nonetheless, we are having our winter picnic this weekend in Cropseyville where we hope to find at least one pile of snow in the woods.  The menu will be the same as always--brats, beer and s'mores.  Well, except for some who will not have beer.  Let's hope it doesn't rain!

Last year's picnic


This year we will have a new member at our picnic.  Little Miss T is changing and growing so fast.  Can't wait to see her again.  I wonder if her Mommy and Daddy will let her have a s'more? 

With great Aunt Katy