Gardening

Miscellany… of the Horticultural Variety

Today, I’m missing my mom because I want to know what this is. So I’m in the market for a surrogate mom.  Can anybody tell me what this is?  They’re in my front garden beds and they’re beautiful and I love them and I want to know what to call them!

Most of the year, they just provide beautiful variegated foliage.  Then in late spring, they put out these beautiful clusters in all shades from lavender to almost white.  Again, I love them.

While on the subject of plants that I love-I LOVE HYDRANGEAS!  My Hydrangeas are so beautiful right now.

They’re fascinating to me.  The litmus paper of the horticultural world.  I’m always amazed at the different shades from yard to yard and plant to plant.  In fact, this year I’m amazed at the variation of shade I’m seeing in one plant.

The pristine clear blue.

The softest lavender.

The blush of dusky pink.

And finally, a cacophony of all the shades available to this beauty’s soft palette.  What’s blooming in your garden today?

Crochet

Three Color Tunisian

So the Craftsy journey continues, and I have to say, I liked the three color Tunisian soooo much better than the single color work.  I chose Catania Cotton (yes, shocking I know).

I love these colors!

The three color is easier because each different color strand highlights and accents the architecture of the stitches.  You don’t have to figure out where your “vertical bar” is because it’s color coded.  Very cool!

So I’m into my next Tunisian project.  Titled the “Multigarment”,  it’s a two-panel wrap that can be worn as a shawl, sweater, or poncho (love the peekaboo shoulders).  Not to be redundant, but also very cool.

Also very ambitious.  I’m branching waaayyyy out on this one.  I’m using Paton’s Grace-another mercerized cotton (practically identical to Catania-the waaayyy was sarcasm). I’m not sure that the photos do my palette justice.  I think it’s going to be pretty….if it ever gets completed.  Did I mention it’s very ambitious?

The blue is my “color pop”.  Hmmm…still thinking about it…love it in theory, though.

I’m off to stitch!

 

Chicken Mission

A Chicken Named Katniss

I had been growing increasingly concerned about Bella.  Something was off about her.  She was erratic and aggressive, and something just seemed off.  Then one day I noticed that she had tremendously large feet…In comparison I mean.

You see, Bella lives with Buffy and they’re about a month apart in age.  But Bella was growing fast.  Faster than any of the other pullets.  And her comb…it was so full and red comparatively.  (I know you guys know where this is going.)  So Saturday I googled pictures of four-month old gold-laced Wyandotte.  Sunday, I texted the breeder pics of my little friend….and Bella  officially became Bill.

Sunday afternoon, we took Bella, I mean Bill back from whence she, I mean he came.  Unfortunately the breeder had sold all of her Wyandotte and Partridge Rocks.  In fact the breeder had nothing in the same age bracket.  So I became the proud owner of a roughly 4 week old Rhode Island Red. You’ve got to roll with the punches, right?

Luckily, we just finished an expansion to our coop.  In fact Buffy and Bella..I mean Bill, had just moved in. Enter, the guinea pig cage.

Our new Rhode Island Red is now Buffy’s new roommate, but she’s still too little to roam within the coop.  She’ll be relegated to the guinea pig cage for a  week or two until everyone’s acclimated.

So of our six little darlings, five of them were named after Harry Potter characters. Bella was in fact Bellatrix LaStrange-the whacked out psychotic witch (which actually kind of worked for him).  So what did we name our new little Red?  Well, here’s a hint.  My girl has moved on from the Harry Potter series over the last few months.  We’ve moved on to The Hunger Games…

 

Crochet

Tunisian Times Two

Ta da! My first Tunisian Crochet projects-The (not so) Silk Spa Cloth (done in Catania Cotton).   First I crocheted the green, and although my Susan Bates was an H, I was crocheting too tightly. So I switched to the Boye which (somewhat irrationally) feels bigger to me.

I prefer the final product with the second washcloth (off white).  Looser, better feeling in your hand, and much easier to block.  And yes, I know that this would have all been predictive had I swatched for gauge.  But hey,  that’s not how I roll…anyway, practice makes perfect, right?

Next, I’m moving onto  three color Tunisian with the same pattern. Redundancy is ok when you’re learning.

What are you working on this weekend?

Crochet

Totally Tunisian

Two more tunisian stitches, and I’m still impressed with and enthusiastic about my Craftsy class!

It really has been enjoyable.  Jennifer gives clear instruction, and the ability to pause, rewind, and take notes timed to the video feed contributes to a pretty satisfying learning experience.

So here’s my Silk Spa Cloth (also known as Project #1) as of last night.

It’s a little mushed looking because it’s been quickly and furiously pressed in order to take the picture.  It originally looked like this.

I’m crocheting fairly tightly and the result is a stubborn curling, similar to knitting…

Not that I knit…

The wash cloth is made up of three different Tunisian stitches.  1) The Tunisian Simple Stitch 2) The Tunisian Knit Stitch and 3) The Tunisian Reverse Stitch.

And I hate to sound like a rube, but the Knit stitch really does look like knitting!  Very cool.

I finished the stitching tonight.  Now it’s time for lesson number three – how to bind off your work.  Don’t you love learning new things?

Crochet

Behold, Tunisian Simple Stitch!

Behold the the product of my first module from Jennifer Hansen’s Tunisian crochet class on Craftsy.  It’s called the Tunisian Simple Stitch.  It’s completed by front and back passes with your hook.  This picture was taken  after the “front pass” for simple stitch and you’ll note obvious similarities to knitting since all of our stitches are still on the hook.

Not that I knit.

I’m using Afghan crochet hooks that I picked up at an estate sale  a year or so ago.  I started with the Boye Cro Hook – size H.

And it just felt too thick for me.  My stitches seemed looser than what I was seeing in the video.  So I posted a question as to whether my using a decades old Afghan hook was the best plan.  I’ll get back to you on the response.  But in the meantime, you’ll note I switched from the blue Boye Cro Hook

To a lovely pink Susan Bates #8 of the same style.  Now you know and I know that the letter-to-number conversion means my #8 hook is also an H.  And yet, it’s visibly smaller.  (I know you can’t really tell in this picture, but trust me, it is)

Which just confirms that I’m a Bates girl (no offense to Boye).  The hook change seemed to bring my stitches more in sync with those from the video.

And speaking of the video, I’ve only completed the first lesson, but so far the learning methodology is solid.  Jennifer Hansen is very knowledgeable and she’s taking the time to cover the questions a newby has with the process-like pointing out where you’re likely to drop stitches at the end of the row.

The first project for the class is a Silk Spa Cloth-the ecru in the background of this pic

Predictably, I’m using Catania cotton instead of silk.  Jennifer recommended bamboo as a close 2nd choice for the silk.  I’m just not ready to use the pricier fibers while I’m learning.

Overall, so far so good with my new Craftsy geekery.  Onto Lesson number two!