Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Archive for the ‘Yard/Garden’ Category

Autumn Approaches and Kilt Hose are Done!

Posted by mtmom on October 7, 2010

First, the knitting:

the cuff on his favorite pair

cuff on new pair

I am pleased.

I very much hope that Robert will be pleased as well.

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Fall is definitely coming to the Colorado Plateau.

We expect our first overnight freeze of the season tonight.

The sumac has gone through it’s colors, and is getting rather bare.

14 September

21 September

1 October

3 October

7 October

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But the locust is just beginning to change.

7 October

Meanwhile, inside, the geranium and cactus are happily putting out buds and new “leaves”, respectively.

And this morning, we have the first snow on the Peaks!

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Cuffs Continue, Plus Swatching

Posted by mtmom on September 26, 2010

I had worked 3 crossings of the cables on Robert’s forest green hose, when I decided to rip back — the garter ribbing seemed too long; I wanted to begin the cables sooner.  I also made another change going forward.  Can you see what it is (besides the left-twist vs right-twist)?  I had at first been pretty much copying his old favorite hose (left photo); second photo shows newer version of cuff.

Cuff on old favorite

Cuff on new pair, 2nd version

Besides knitting, other things have been keeping me busy this past week.

One is a kind of swatching, I guess you could say.

color selection #7

We’re painting the house!  It’s been 10 years, so it’s definitely time.  My 10-year-old DD and I have been painting samples of colors onto the walls, in big enough patches to be able to screen out the already-color that’s all around the “swatch”.  This is the current pick:  “hurricane” by Frazee; medium-value base (vs white or dark) with pigment RGB numbers 171, 158, and 147.  Sort of a storm-cloud color. . . .  Trim will be coordinating off-white.  Roof is being replaced as well — we lost lots of tiles in this winter’s heavy snows.  I need to pick between charcoal, dark grey-brown, and medium gray.

Other swatches on the needles — Sunday “off” is fun for playing and planning and considering, since I’m not focusing on production.

Gingham

"College" yarn

I’m thinking I don’t have the right combination of colors in the gingham swatch.  The green is solid, but the yellow/green/orange/pink is variegated.  I plan to try a blue solid next. . . .

The blue/black/white speckled yarn I’ve had in my stash for several years.  I had been planning to make a sweater with it, but I recently saw a shrug pattern that interests me, and this yarn may work for that.  That’s why I’m trying mistake-stitch rib at the top of the swatch. . . .

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Meanwhile, the seasons advance.  We have a few flowers remaining.

Tall hybrid phlox

(Nice, large photos follow!)

Echinacea with bumblebee

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My Yard, as Autumn Approaches

Posted by mtmom on September 21, 2010

Not much knitting news.  Progressing on charity scarf and hat, and on Robert’s forest heather kilt hose — just the cuffs remain — yay!  And I’ve had 2 possible deadlines evaporate, relieving a sense of impending overwhelm:  CastOn did not accept my article proposal, and Sock Madness has more patterns than they’ll need for this year already — relief!  (Eventhough both things would have been good. . . .)

I want to talk about the signs of the changing season here at 7000 feet in Flagstaff.

A time of seeds

Thistle-down. Goldfinches line their nest with it.

Dandelion. Gotta admit, they're pretty.

Mexican Hat? Maroon and yellow petals, and cone of seeds afterwards.

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And a time of colors (the sumac always turns first, then, next month, the aspens!)

Sumac, 14 September

Sumac, 18 September

Sumac, 21 September

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DK Hose are Done!

Posted by mtmom on August 30, 2010

Just ends to tuck in. Tomorrow is drop-off day for the County Fair.  I have these hose, the ruffle-edged child’s hat, the practice-chanter sleeve, the orange hat with Bavarian twisted-stitches, and the neck-warmer with stranded designs (made during Knitters’ Olympics) to enter.  That makes 5, so I should get a one-day free pass to the Fair.

Meanwhile, in the yard. . . .

And so, it begins. Autumn is near.

Echinacea

The phlox smells lovely. We have white, pink, and purple.

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Kilt Hose: 1 Pair Progressing, 3 more in the Wings

Posted by mtmom on August 1, 2010

That’s a lot to keep in my head, but I’m managing not to feel overwhelmed. . . at least, most of the time.  🙂

Forest Green Heather Wool-Ease for Robert Watt

Let’s see. . . .  There’s Robert’s 2nd pair on the needles currently, . . . then his 3rd pair brewing in my imagination, which will probably be a recreation of Eric’s pair (knit by Elsie W, Stuart’s Scottish mum back home, who encourages me to “take over the knitting” as it “seems to be a dying art” over there), . . . then his 1st pair awaiting new cuffs or else frogging, . . . and in the midst somewhere we have repairs to Aaron’s argyle hose and some design work for him as well.  Actions on these fronts this past week included lots of online and live shopping for appropriate yarns for Aaron’s hose idea and Robert’s 3rd pair, online correspondence with Elsie W in Scotland, and knitting on Robert’s Wool-Ease pair with the seed-stitch ribs.

I’ve progressed a few inches since this photo.  Both socks are now between 4 and 5 inches past the completion of the heel (marked with little pins), and I’ve begun the calf-shaping section.  I plan to increase more slowly in the lower portions, and more quickly in the upper sections of the leg.  For guidelines, I’m looking to Lady Veronica Gainsord’s Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings (Schoolhouse Press, 1995), Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts’ Simple Socks:  Plain and Fancy (Nomad Press, 2001), and Wendy Johnson’s Socks from the Toe Up (Potter Craft, 2009).

Outdoors, we are having LOTS of rain and pleasantly moderate temperatures.

Back yard Thistle -- pretty blooms, but VERY prickly

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If you had to evacuate, what would you take?

Posted by mtmom on June 20, 2010

We didn’t have to . . . this time.  But friends of ours did.  Saturday afternoon, the Hardy fire was meters from their house, which sits on 5 acres, and they had to leave.  W. family loaded up dogs, horses, and goats into trailers; found people to take the dogs — the entire Humane Society facility had to be evacuated as well — and headed out to his work, where the animals would stay in their trailers overnight.  Orville has a small aviation business:  charters flights and fuels aircraft at the airport.  He spent the evening fueling up planes that would go out and fight to protect his own house!  Eldest daughter Emily told each pilot:  “You’re our heroes!”  Soonest they’ll be able to return is Sunday evening or Monday.

Why do I know about this?  Because Flagstaff Home Educators was holding their 3rd annual Ball *in their hangar* last evening.  Other families brought formal dresses for each of the girls to wear.

Here’s today’s newspaper story about the Hardy fire from Arizona Daily Sun.

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Oh, my.  Closer to home today.  I’m starting a list!  Here’s images and footage my dd’s and I took from in front of our house of the new Shultz Fire.


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Almost. . . !

Posted by mtmom on April 9, 2010

Daffodils on the west side of the house, Thurs afternoon

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Snow on Snow on Snow

Posted by mtmom on January 21, 2010

Three storms in one week!  10.5″ + 9″ + 2 or more feet of snow; currently chest-high in our yard.  And now the snow has turned to rain — ugh!  Gonna compact the snow, making it too heavy to shovel, gonna freeze on the roads and walks, and gonna flood down at lower elevations (like Sedona, Oak Creek, even down to Phoenix). Thought I’d try to give you a bit of the flavor of it through images.  Witness the gradual burying of our gas grill!  (“Before” shots are above the “after” shots from similar vantage points.)

sun after storm #1 - back yard

sun after storm #2 - driveway and front yard (north)

Storm 2 - front yard (south)

Storm 3 - back yard

Storm 3 - Jim shoveling driveway

Storm 3 - front yard (south)

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Christmas Cactus blooms!

Posted by mtmom on January 19, 2010

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Kollage Milk Yarn

Posted by mtmom on January 1, 2010

But first, some homey weather pix.

The icicles and the bits of “ice dam” connected to them have been sliding down from the roof.  The one in front of that window looks to be almost as thick as my arm and reaches down past waist-high.

And it looks like my Christmas Cactus (which my botanist neighbor says is actually a Thanksgiving Cactus, because of its pointy leaf-tips) will bloom soon!

Maybe we should dub it a “New Year’s Cactus”!

Knitting-wise, I’ve finished a cap.

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Most of the yarn came from a collection of multi-stranded mystery-yarns I received as a gift a few years back.  This one started as a ball of black, white, and red (2 shades) yarns combined into one.  When the first ball ran out, I took a ball of just the red and black, and added a strand of off-white from my stash.  When that too ran out, leaving only the 2 red shades, I added some of the charcoal I’ve been using lately and another, thinner, off-white.  That made the lower portion blacker than the earlier-worked upper portion.  But I think it works!

On to the new yarn from Kollage.

Stockinette Gauge Swatch

This is the yarn that Cast On asked me to use to make up a cap for their summer 2010 issue; called “1/2 N 1/2” (say “half & half”).  It’s 50% milk and 50% wool.  The yarn looks like a thick fingering-weight, but the label suggest a DK-weight gauge of 22 stitches in 4 inches.   Here’s my first swatch, searching for the gauge to suit the project best (holes indicate needle size: 4, 5, and 6).

The size 4 needles yielded a nice, even, firm-but-not-stiff fabric, at almost 7 stitches/inch.

Size 5 was a bit uneven.

Size 6 (4 mm), though, gave a nice texture that was looser and more drapey than that on the 4’s.  About 6 stitches/inch, and fewer rows/inch than the 5’s.  I decided to go with this fabric, and not go on to try 7’s.

Smocking Stitch and Stockinette on 4 mm needles

Here’s a swatch with both smocking and stockinette stitches.

I tried out 2 different methods of bundling the stitches and chose the 2nd.

Also tried out different transitions from the smocking to the plain knitting; chose 2nd from left.

From these 2 swatches I calculated gauges, and ideal stretch-factors, and calculated my cast on.

I made an error the first time, but the second one will, I think, be the one to go with.

More as developments warrant!  Stay tuned!

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