Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend Update

I didn't find the time to do much knitting over the weekend, but Tulips is slowly progressing. I'll take some pics for you soon, but at the moment, any pics would just show boring expanses of stocking stitch!

The Casa Blanca lilies are blooming and their scent fills the yard! They are such incredible flowers!

Although most of my gardens are filled with pink and blue flowers, I love to plant a few rows of gaudy colored annuals in the vegetable garden to break up all the greens of the vegetable plants. Here are the zinnias.

This garden pic isn't very clear at the scale I use on my blog, but you may be able to make out the zuke plants in the foreground, then the 4 o'clocks, zinnias and corn.

The dogs love this time of year when I have lots of oversized veggies for them. Last night, they each ate a zucchini, then Silas ate two cucumbers and they shared an entire corn cob! They get sooo excited about their veggies!

Jeff and I did a lot of biking over the weekend. Saturday, we tried out the East Bay Bike Path which follows an old rail bed from Bristol to Providence. It is very flat, so we were able to go 23.15 miles!! On Sunday, we didn't want to overdo it, so we did 16 miles also on the East Bay Path. It's fun to bike thru the towns and along the Bay where we saw hawks, herons, ducks, geese and swans. Here's a pic of my husband with the city of Providence in the background.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tulips, etc.

When I got to the end of the left front on the Tulips top, I realized it was going to come out longer than the back I had already done, so I had to frog a dozen rows or so and redo them with more frequent decreases for the neckline. I made notes of my changes, so I should be able to replicate them for the right front! Fingers crossed! If I make Tulips again, I will do the front pieces first and then I will be able to make the back the same length.

Jeff and I have been out biking five days in a row. Last night we did 13.87 miles! About half of that was off-pavement on the trails in the Great Swamp and the rest was on a paved bike path just a short ride from the swamp. We were both pretty wobbly at the end of the trip, but pleased to have made it so far!

We're enjoying zukes, cukes, beans and peppers from our garden now. I love this time of year when I can walk out to the garden and pick dinner just moments before cooking. The flavors are so wonderful! The dogs have been enjoying a few zukes too--they do like their greens ;-)

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Weekend

Saturday, Jeff and I went for our first bike trip on the new mountain bikes. We started at the Amtrak station in Kingston, RI, and went a little way along the South County Bike Path before turning off to head into the Great Swamp. The first part was solid gravel roadway, then it turned into old roads with two wheel ruts and we would ride along in a rut for the most part. In some areas it was overgrown with grass and vines were reaching into the paths and in other places the ruts were a bit washed out and we had to navigate the cobbles, so we got to try the new bikes out on a variety of terrain.

Sunday, we returned to the Great Swamp for another ride, but this time, halfway in, I had a puncture/flat tire! We had to walk out of the swamp, pushing the bikes. UGH! I didn't have a trail kit with me to try to mend it. I'd been planning to put one together this week! Well, we made it back to the truck and went to the bike shop for a new tube and trail kit supplies. Even after all that, we still wanted to finish the trail! So, we went back to the Swamp and made it around the entire loop. We even went down one of the extra trails to see the view of Worden Pond at the end.

Here's a pic of the Great Swamp from our ride on Saturday.

I didn't do much knitting this weekend, but I am still working on Tulips. The back is finished, but after I finished it and laid it out, I realized that you can detect where I changed one of the balls of yarn. The yarn I used was all the same lot number, but that one ball is definitely different than the others, now that I see it all knitted up. I will knit the front pieces and sleeves and then decide whether to frog it or not.

Over the weekend, I bought the latest issues of Simply Knitting and Knit Simple. I don't have immediate plans to make anything from them as my to do list is long enough at the moment, but they are fun to just look at. Here is a pic of some pretty Lorna's Lace I recently purchased for a future sock project. It's desert flowers.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another New Bike!

Yesterday, my husband's new bike arrived at the shop, so we picked it up and he rode around the yard when we got home. It's just like mine, except it's the men's version in silver.

We can't wait to ride on a trail, but the weather isn't cooperating at the moment!

I have less than 2 inches left to knit on the back of Tulips!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A New Project

Some big lightning storms moved across New England late last night, so I'm feeling really tired today. I worked on my knitting during the storm. Hopefully I didn't knit those stitches tighter than the rest due to my rattled nerves!

I've started working on the Tulips top from Knitscene, Fall 2006, using KnitPicks Elegance in cornflower as a substitute yarn. I started by making a couple of gauge swatches, but found that I could go with the needles recommended in the pattern, so that was easy! The only modification I've made is to add a couple of inches to the overall length. It's a boring photo, but here's a progress pic of the back. The back is rows (and rows...) of stocking stitch with no decreasing until the shoulders. It may not be exciting, but it's easy to knit it while watching television. I've had my TiVo record the Miss Marple mysteries shown on PBS on Friday nights. I love those! There's always at least one scene where Miss Marple is knitting or goes to a yarn shop.

I really love my new bike! It's been too hot to go on any bike trails yet (and we are still waiting to pick up my husband's bike when it comes into the shop), but I have been riding it around the yard for a little fun and exercise. Saffy wants to play with the bike and runs along beside me looking very smiley. Silas mainly does his own thing, but follows along occasionally.

Monday, July 17, 2006

New Bike!

I got a new mountain bike over the weekend! It's a women's style Diamondback Sorrento. My husband is going to get the men's Sorrento when it arrives at the bike shop later this week. We used to mountain bike together all the time, but stopped for quite awhile. We're excited about getting back into it! Jeff tried out my bike too and then held it for me, so I could take a pic.

Saffy likes the bike!

We stopped at the bookstore on the way home with my bike and got a trail guidebook (shown in the pic with my new owner's manual), so we can start planning bike trips.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Dogs Keeping Cool

Silas likes to lie down in the pool.

Saffy swirls her nose around in the water to make waves.

Yarn Mail

Yesterday, I had two packages of knitting things in the mail! I received my copy of Yarn magazine from Ozeyarn. This is the first copy I have seen of this magazine and I love it! My favorite patterns from it are the Bushwalker and Boudoir Bootie socks, the Silkroad Cables women's sweater, the Rugged Up Vest for men and the Tabby Paws wristwarmers. I will have to learn a new technique for at least one of these projects, the Italian cast on/off, but there are clear instructions with pictures, so I should be able to figure that out. The folks at Ozeyarn included several free shade cards with my order. I would like to order from them again. I wish I could knit as fast as I add new projects to my to do list! My KnitPicks order also arrived with my Elegance yarn in cornflower blue. I'm planning to use it to make the tulips top from Knitscene, Fall 2006. I have to start with a gauge swatch and will let you know how that goes.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Blue Cable Bag

Yay! I have fresh camera batteries. I made a second cable handbag (in blue) this week. I'm planning to make several of these and then do all the linings and handles at the same time. I think I'll give some away as Christmas or birthday gifts, but I'll definitely keep one for myself ;-)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Handbag Update, etc.

I managed to snap one pic of the cable handbag before the batteries died in my camera. The knitting part of it is done. Now, I have to get to a fabric store to pick out material for the lining. Also, I have to order some bamboo type handles for it!

Yesterday was hot and Saffy enjoyed wading in her doggie pool. Silas lays down in it, but he was too quick for me to get a pic.

Sometimes, I can't remember what I planted! I can't recall the name of these, but they are pretty! Any guesses?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Weekend Knitting

I finished the blue mittens on Sunday afternoon. They came out well, so I am going to give them away as a Christmas gift (to someone who doesn't see this blog!).

While watching Monarch of the Glen last night, I cast on and worked the first four rows of ribbing for a chunky, cable handbag. So far, so good!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Latest Good Read

This weekend, I read Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson:

It's a suspenseful, police procedural and I couldn't put it down! I've now read all the books in the Banks series. Having finished the latest, I'm having book withdrawal symptoms and am horrified that it could be a year or more until the next one in the series!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

July Garden Pics

There are lots of mid-summer blooms around the garden now.

Shasta Daisies:

Crazy Daisies:

Balloon Flower (short variety):

Yarrow summer pastels:

In the veggie garden, the zukes are starting to form, so we'll be overwhelmed by those before long :-) Here's a pic of the string beans, sorghum and sunflowers:


All you Knitting Kitty bloggers must be looking for more pics of my cat! Well, it's hard to get a good pic of my cat! He's sleeping in most of the pics I take and lately he's taken to sleeping in the cardboard recycling bin which doesn't make the most photogenic backdrop. Earlier, he was laying on his back under my office chair and I snapped this pic of him. He likes to have his big, fluffy tummy rubbed.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Online Shopping, etc.

The blue mitten I finished yesterday will have a mate soon. I am already past the thumb!

I ordered the latest issue of Yarn magazine today from ozeyarn. I'm looking forward to getting this as it will be the first time I've had a chance to see a copy in person.

I also ordered Knit Picks Elegance in cornflower. I am hoping this will be suitable for making 'Tulips', a top in the Fall 2006 Knitscene.

It's funny, I'd been daydreaming about trying to design a knitted bracelet lately, but look what's included in the latest Knitty: Perdita!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Right Hand Mitten Done!

I was industrious this afternoon and finished the right hand mitten! I even knitted a flower in the same yarn, but a different color, and attached it for decoration. Maybe I can begin on the matching mitten tonight!

Blue Mittens Progress

I haven't had a lot of time for knitting, but the mittens are taking shape. I took this pic just after I finished the right thumb. I'm quite pleased with how the join at the base of the thumb turned out. The twee vase is a trinket that my grandmother gave me last week. It has a little thatched cottage pictured on it and says "A bit of Old England".

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Little Shopping :-)

Today was a busy day of driving all over to do chores, but I made sure our route took us by a yarn store I'd never been to before. It's called Fabric Place and it was pretty great! They have several locations in New England. I can't believe I didn't go there sooner. I was able to get the needles I need for two upcoming projects. I only bought two balls of yarn as I didn't have a list with me of what I need, but I spotted a lot of yarns I'll go back for. One even looked like a good choice for knitting into a sweater for my husband.

I bought circular needles in sizes: 4.50mm/29in; 3.50mm/29in; 3.25mm/16 in; US13/16in; and a package of yarn bobs. (The shiny packaging and flash made it hard to get a good picture, but I'll post this one anyway.)

And, somehow, these two balls of Plymouth Yarn--Suri Merino went to the checkout counter with me. It feels soft and cozy and will probably make a lovely pair of mittens!

Saffy is doing a lot better. Keeping the 'hot spot' dry and clean seems to be clearing it up. She hasn't licked it at all tonight!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

I snapped this pic during a boat trip we took on Narragansett Bay. That's the big Newport Bridge in the background.

If you'd like to join a KAL for the Central Park Cabled Hoodie in Knitscene, this one will be starting in September: Confessions of a Misplaced Southern Belle. I plan to participate!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Feels like the Dog Days of Summer Already

This hot, muggy weather isn't good for dogs! Poor Saffy has developed a 'hot spot' on the underside of her paw, next to the pads. She wants to lick it constantly, so we are cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide and wrapping it. Last night, I used a little bandage, but today, we put a sock on her! She likes all the fuss over her, but is not thrilled about the sock! She doesn't try to chew it off, but she does flap her foot around which makes the sock slide down her leg. Silas has also helped her take it off a couple of times!

The hollyhocks are all blooming now and look so pretty.

I didn't have time for knitting over the weekend, but hope to do some today.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

In Memory of our Barn

This weekend is the 4th anniversary of the barn fire at my family home. Fortunately, no animals were hurt! However, it was a sad experience to lose this historic barn dating from 1865. The fire was started by a lightning strike.

I miss the old, horse drawn vehicles we had including the Victorian, child's sized buggy shown here. The pic is of me (as a child) driving my welsh pony, Andy. My cat, Gray Velvet, is on the seat beside me and that's Turner, the dog, posing in front of us.

I was lucky to have such rich experiences in my life and wish the barn had survived for future generations to enjoy.