Sunday, May 3, 2009

HONEY BEE COLLECT THE POLLEN

Olympus C-4000 4.0 mb  refined iPhoto/Mac

African Daisy host a pollen seeker.
The honey bee is alive and well, but their population is dwindling.  Pesticides can kill them dead and fast.

Monday, March 9, 2009

PDT Spring!




  Green is the color of spring.  We have had wonderful rains and sunshine and the garden is blooming and giving birth to yummy snap peas and snow peas. The snow peas will be in a stir fry dinner tonight, yummmm ginger root, onion, celery, thin cut cabbage, shredded Romaine lettuce, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, garlic, and creme sherry wine sautéed chicken, add in a couple tablespoons of oyster sauce stir and our heavenly nutritious dinner will be fast to our lips. Served on rice, you know.
Pictures from my little garden.
  The onions and garlic and been maturing and soon I will be able to harvest and cook with them. The elephant garlic, which I harvest last year is almost depleted.  The beets and carrots are trying to grow up and be big enough to harvest. The kale has been providing all winter.
Pictures from my little garden.
  The spring planting will have more garden space, in the area where my husband cut down a tree and Andy, a long used and valued neighbor boy, cleaned the area of it's roots.  A little mulch, a serving of cow manure, a good toss of the soil and in will go my tomato plants.
Now back to my knitting and I must check out Ravelry.com for more knitting ideas and free patterns. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

BLESSINGS OF TRUTH AND PROMISE

A girl friend sent me this link, it may be a blessing to you too.

Monday, July 28, 2008

twinkle's BIG Bulky Hat









The photo shows the pastels of the yarn.
My first hat that starts at the bottom-up and so far so good.  I found this book  authored by Wenlan Chia at the LYS and I loved it. The shop (Classy Knits) owner had the hat knitted up in white with blue bulky yarn and knitted on a size 17 circular needle.  It is different because of it's presence, "like I am here and it is obvious", I am already planning 3 more.  I saw on Ravelry.com that a knitter finished it in an hour.  Now I don't know if that is possible, but that would be great for me, because I am a slow knitter, then I could turn them out lickedy split.  I will get a pic of the finished hat.  Although this is an adult hat I think it could be a hat for either adult or tween child.  

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Another HAT


The Valary Hat in Cathy Carron's book HIP KNIT HATS.  Thinkin this needs to be done again in another color combo.

I THINK I LIKE THE BERET!


http://www.ravelry.com/people/DownAndKnitty




The model needs some sunshine

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The View from our Campsite

You can double click the pic and see the detail of the view.




The Hearst Castle is on the top of the mountain in the 1st pic.  My dogs love to run free on these narrow hiking paths, and since the State Rangers don't hike the paths, they were free to run beyond the point of my sight.  The view of the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, from of our campsite,  were spectacular.  As you can see the area is very dry.  Highway 1, along the coast, was shut down only 30 miles up the road, because of the Big Sur fires.  The Hiway opened the day before we went home.  Many lost their homes to the fire.  

San Simeon and Points North





The male Sea Lions were all along the beaches.  Some sparing, some lazing.  Queen our Golden Retriever went down this very steep cliff, when she had run ahead of me, because she was hot and wanted to get into the water.  It was a moment of panic for both of us, when she was unable to make it back up to the top.  She was off leash and I was imagining a rescue by the Rangers, and the ticket, and the lecture from my husband.  I hiked along the edge looking for a way for her to get up and she followed in the water and over the rocks and then back in the water, until she ran into a steep rock ridge that ran into the sea.  She turned around and swam back in the direction she came from. Oh, did I mention that it was high tide?  She was out of my view for about 100 feet. By the time I got back to the trail I could see she was struggling to climb the ledge.  I was praying and planning to lay on my belly and hang over the edge and grab her forequarters, but she weighs 100 pounds, and a vision of me going over the cliff stopped that thought.  Queen kept trying and finally she made it up and over.  I grabbed her collar and we hiked back to the truck.  Prayer works.  
We left 110+ degree weather and traveled to the Coast-Pacific, three hours from home, when we are pulling the trailer.  The weather was divine, but the on the last night I had to throw an extra blanket on me.   I am not complaining.  We met some very nice Canadians from Quebec and yes they spoke very little English, but my limited French helped in diagnosing one of their daughter's rash as being Poison Oak.  I gave them a bunch of zucchini and tomatoes from my garden.  They said it was too much, and I told them that all Americans are very generous and not to give it a thought.  Their plan is to spend all of their 5 week vacation on this side of the border, because the gasoline on the Canada side is more than $6.00/gallon. She doesn't knit.  I went to the LYS in Cambria.  They have the most gorgeous Mohair yarn, and no I didn't buy any.    

Grow Your Own












Before we left for the coast I picked all the ripe and near ripe produce from my garden.  When we came home I had to pick all that you see in these pics.  I washed and quick froze the little yellow and large red tomatoes and the jalapenos.  The yellow canning cucumber, while awfully large and yellow, instead of light green, was perfectly delicious and the texture-just fine.  I planted 3 zucchini plants and that was a mistake.  We never ate it before and now we are swearing off.  These will go to the Rescue Mission. I have given them to my neighbors and I think it is time for me to pull 2 of the plants out and replace them with more tomatoes.  I will have to give extra sun protection to them, because of the intense 100+ degree days, but I think that I can nurture them along.  We can pick tomatoes all the way up to the 2nd freeze.  Then the green tomatoes can be put up in a hot dog/steak/hamburger relish......mmmmmmgood.  

Friday, July 4, 2008

FAMILY HISTORY ~ My Ancestors fought against King George and his army helping to win our Independence Day.


I often consider my father's side of the family and their long ago commitment to being free to worship as they felt led, and their brave stand against the King of England, King George. Not all of his family warred against that Dictator, who wore the crown, who dictated that all our timber would go across the Atlantic for his purposes.  That task master who pronounced taxes so unreasonable that it caused a rebellious act of independence.  Those Bostonians were just saying no more taxes without representation, as they rolled the King's containers of tea into the bay,  and most of our countrymen responed with "NO" and "Hell NO".  I  thank King George for driving "we the people" to that breaking point.  Britons are still escaping to the USA.  Yes, they are our allies and I hope that never changes.
My father's family lived in "upstate" New York, and they were taking sides.  The debate and arguments were heated and those who sided with the King left and traveled to (now) Canada.      My father tells of how all communication was cut off.  The anger and resentment was stronger than the "ties" of family.  I am thankful to their stand and their fight.  It is a wonderful story of family history that I have passed on to my children and grandchildren.
We, as mothers and fathers need to know our history, the history of the American Revolution and even the sequence of events leading to the signing of our Independence Day Declaration.  Even if the chronological sequence is boring to us, we still need to know, because that info will give strength to our fiber and resolve to our demeanor.  Knowledge is a good thing, only when we all have it, not when just a few have it.  If only a few know the intimate details of our history,  they can manipulate it to suit their agenda, their purposes and we won't even realize the erosion that is undermining our earned promises of freedom, our independence and our Liberty. 
 At the dinner table teach your kids about the fight for Independence, tell them about the people who fought, and how they were just like you and me.  Tell them of how brave they were to stand up to the most powerful country in the world, in those times.  Help them to imagine the battlefield and the ages of those who fought and the weapons they used.  Tell them of the stealth they were able to employ.  Tell them that some of those long ago warriors had names like we have or our neighbors have.  Tell them of their faith in a just God, Who created them in His image and therefore we forbear.   
 Pray each day for God's Wisdom to know right from wrong, just from unjust, according to His teachings.

OLD GLORY STILL FLIES


The 4th of July.
The large flag draped the coffin of my Uncle Harold, who served in WW2 in the SouthPacific.  He was, oops,  is a Marine ("Once a Marine, always a Marine") and he survived the GuadalCanal invasion.  I have never met a Marine who could talk about those days, without choking up with tears rising in their eyes and some of them spilling over, as they began to relive those sad days.  It was easier not to talk about that day.  In those days men didn't boast or complain about the horror they witnessed.  He was a big man, standing 6'4", and he talked like a gangster, for you see, he was from New York, and this little girl idealized him.  He was my Uncle Harold.

Monday, June 30, 2008

FIRES that are North 5, 6 & 7 hour drives from HOME

We are South of the more than 1400 forest fires that were ignited by lighting, because of the dry hot weather that California has been experiencing.  We are 5, 6 and 7 hour drives from that region that is heavily forested among magnificant coastal mountains of the Las Padres National Forest, which advances along the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and owns the San Andrea's Fault Line and hooks to the East dividing the Southern End of the San Joaquin Valley, in Kern County, from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.  
We are encouraged to stay indoors away from the extremely polluted air that is giving many respiratory problems, some worst than others.
Our county has sent many firefighters to the stricken area, but they had to be called home, because we are now fighting our own fires in the mountain range that borders us on the East. Yes, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are on fire and our firemen are home to fight the flames of devastation.  
Our towering skyscrapers are Ancient Redwoods and 100+ year cedar and pines and they could become envolved and are in the fire's path and the homes and businesses of the mountains are threatened.  
We have to trust the Lord to protect the people and the animals and we pray for this daily.
Late this afternoon I saw a smear of blue sky just beyond the smoke which is backed up against the mountains of our Valley.
The people in the mid-west are suffering lost I can't pretend to imagine and they need our prayers too.  
Nature happens and God happens.  Let us have the peace that passes all understanding.  Thank you. 

Sunday, June 29, 2008

REMEMBER THE PROMISE

Knitted Afghan


Lion Brand Suede, Red Heart Mexicana, size 19 circular needle, st st with garter st at each end.
As promised, here are pictures of the knitted Afghan after frogging the crocheted version, which my hands couldn't execute without pain.  I was able to knit without without inhibiting discomfort.  This is going to be a warm, washable, comfortable and color coordinated afghan for my living room.
Take note of the way I was able to separate the skeins of yarn, keeping them from tangling.  The crocheted version was maddening, because the ball I  wound, with the three yarns, kept tangling.  Well, I got through that first ball, even though I spent the same amount of time untangling the mess as I did crocheting on it.  I decided what was needed was a better way to get those three strands to behave themselves.  Necessity is the mother of invention and after looking around I used three of those innumerable canvas bags we all acquire over the years.  I placed one skein in each and never had to stop and untangle my yarn.  I know that zip lock bags and some specialty commercial bags could be used, but, this will work just as well, and maybe even better, and it is "green".

Afghan

I began this Afghan with a size N hook, but my thumb joints couldn't tolerate the stress.  After crocheting for 27" I had to stop.  I frogged it and began over again using a Size 19 circular needle.  I didn't have a larger size, and my preference would have been to knit using a size 24 needle.
I will get a pic of the knitted one, soon.
My husband and I were on vacation when he saw an advertisement for the 99 cent store showing Lion Brand Suede yarn for 99 cents.  When we got back into town I went to the store and checked out the yarn. I hadn't used this yarn before, but the price was right.  Twenty skeins later I was driving home.  I am not crazy about the suede yarn, because it is so stretchy and very relaxed.  I knitted a pillow.  Then I put 2 strands of dif colored suede yarn with a strand of Red Heart Mexicana and I liked what I saw, so the new couch will have a new afghan in time for Winter.  

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Funky Monkey Anticipation

I am waiting for the Funky Monkey get it here  pattern to arrive via Snail Mail.  I have some ideas for it's cute appeal.  
More Funky Monkey here

Friday, June 27, 2008

Creations from the Garden

Everyday our garden gives up her bounty.  Today we picked another Zucchini........sigh, and we are able to pick Tomatoes and Jalapenos.  The Canning Cucumbers have been hiding and I found a competition sized one under a leaf from the zucchini plant.  I don't grow them for pickles, just to eat in our salads, and they are so much better than those great big green cucumbers.  Also, I planted a yellow tomato, but it turns out to be a smaller tear drop shaped fruit like the cherry tomato, but smaller. They are great in the salad.  I am going to find the larger yellow tomato plant,  they have a dif taste and they makes a marinara that has an enhanced wonderful flavor. My tomato plants are loaded with green fruit, and I thought they would all come off at the same time, but fortunately that isn't happening---yet.  I had a tomato sandwich for breakfast.............mmmmmm good.  Nothing like a home grown, vine ripened tomato.  The tomato we buy in the stores do not taste like tomatoes.  They really don't.  It is so easy to grow your own.  One bag of  cow manure turned over in the soil and then plant your tomato plant deep up to the largest leaves at the bottom of the plant, this is so additional roots will grow to support and get more of the cow manure nutrients into it's system.  Water. but don't over water, pinch back the tops when the bush is about 4.5 feet.  This will force growth into the production of tomatoes, otherwise you could end up with a lot of bush and fewer tomatoes. 

Swift and Ball Winder! is Wonderful!



This makes life a lot easier!
Sure is an interesting and uncomplicated
Swift - Skeiner .
I love this set-up and the more I use it the more I appreciate it's smooth and non-frustrating response to the skein of yarn.  Doesn't it look a little primitive? Information about it origin now eludes the search engine, so this will have to do, history of the Swift, . I would like to research the swift, but so far all I could find are lots of little blogs from knitters and sellers.  Textile history at the Smithsonian would be a good place to start my research.  We will see......

Take the Flower Quiz


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cotton Yarn and Cotton Blend Comparison of Texture


While cruising the Ravelry site, a community of knitters and crocheters,  I saw a darling baby bib that talented Designer Dehbiknits posted in her projects. As I studied the bib, with a thick strap, attached at one side, and fastened on the opposite side with a button and buttonhole connection I invisioned a halter top.  I don't have anymore babies in my life, all the grandkids are grown past the bib stage, six grandkids being girls, so when I looked at the bib, I  invisioned a halter top, with that  fashionable strap, which, for modesty's sake, would hold up the top. Not having a pattern, and being at a kindergarten level of learning and knowledge, in my knitting experience, I CO 149 st and used a seed stitch for the first 1", which is the bottom of the tube. I continued knitting, using a circular needle, in a st st.   

I wanted a 100% cotton yarn,  and decided that Red Heart Carefree Cotton, a blend of 51% cotton/49% acrylic (pink)would work best for a child.  I first knitted a swatch with Lion Brand Cottom Ease 50/50 blend (smoke lavender), and proceeded with the Red Heart (pink).  The seed stitch, using the Lion Brand, was not as "sharp" and pointy as with the Red Heart.  I also, did a swatch using Louisa Harding's Nautical Cotton 100% cotton (grape-magenta) and my preference would be this gorgeous yarn, but the price is almost double the Red Heart.  The cotton/acrylic blend would dry faster than the other, so this is the choice of this knitter for the top.  The Harding cotton will be saved for something I can wear. 

Check out this community of knitters and crocheters at  Ravelry

  

  

Markers-Turquoise and Pearls




How many of us have dabbled in bead work?  I know I have.  Years ago when traveling the Navajo  Nation and Wyoming and Colorado even Mammoth, Ca I saw beautiful jewelry made by creative and imaginative artisans.  My fingers began to get the "itch", I had to get my hands into the mechanical process of earring and necklace making.  Of course, as always, I had to have "it" all and I bought tools and beads, turquoise, semi precious stone beads and from QVC I bought a matching pearl necklace and bracelet set, just for the pearls.  Sterling silver wire and Sterling linked chain, gold filled and 10Kt gold wire, 14Kt gold wire, copper wire and the usual other wire used for jewelry making was in abundance in my "stash". I have long gotten jewerly making out of my system, but I never regretted buying all that "stuff" as I kept it organized and safe.  When my grandchildren came to visit they knew exactly where to get all the jewelry makings, and they would set it all up in the big table in the studio and, they would spend hours of creative bliss making wonderful necklaces, bracelets and some earrings.  Years later we had a family reunion and my new daughter-in-law joined in the creative experience too.  No, I have never regretted the money spent on all my supplies.  The memories of the days of purchase grew into more wonderful memories and their is so much more memory making that's waiting for another trip from the grandkids, so it also gives hope to the future.
Now I am back into knitting and trying to learn how to finesse  a stitch, follow a pattern, correctly determine the ply, knit a gauge and then apply it to my measurements and come up with a needed correct CO...............sigh
Well, I am not that crazy about my plastic stitch markers, they are too fat and seem to cause a gap between stitches and some of my beautiful gifted homemade markers are just too weighty and their length is cumbersome.  So in the middle of knitting a hat, knowing I needed a marker soon, I stopped the hat and made these markers and took the pics in less than an hour.  
The Tourquise beads, bought in Jackson, Wyoming, before they knew that they could have asked a whole lot more for them, was perfect for it's next life cycle.  The spring ring, yep, from the long ago manic purchases, can be used on needle size 4 and under.  The QVC pearls are still in abundance and they are on a smaller spring ring clasp for needle size 3 and under.  I will soon get larger spring ring clasp and soon I will have la petite markers that will fit on larger knitting needles.  They are light in weight and the small size are working out perfectly.  Now I get to worry about losing them one by one, as I have the cheaper plastic markers.  .........sigh 
If you want to make your own markers and you don't have the tools, you can use scissors to cut the wire (not the good scissors) and you can use tweezers or your fingers to twist the wire.  Just nip the wire left poking out with your scissors.  
I think a crocheted chain with some beads would works just as well, too.  In my jewerly cases I have many one of a kind 14Kt and sterling earrings that could work.  How about those darling cloisonné pierced earrings of cats by that artist Laurel (???)? I have a couple of them in one of a kind now.  They would make cute markers.  I have seen many markers on Ravelry a knitting and crochet community on the Internet.  You can become a member too, at no cost.  You will love it.
I have always been a do-it-yourself type, are you one too?


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sample Fingerless Checker & Striped Mitten

My daughter sent the variegated sock yarn to me, and I loved it's beauty, but wanted to do something different with it.  I added black sock yarn and started playing, but without a pattern I decided to think in 3's.  3's is a good rule of thumb, 2 is ho hum and unimaginative, but odd numbers give interest. Colors were added in the FairIsle (<----found here) knitting technique, 3 rows, 3 stitches changing to the black 3 st and then 3 st of variegated and so on for 3 rows.  I had to increase some stitches at the end of the first check row, and it shows, but this is going to be frogged, so onward I proceeded, 3 rows.  Next, 3  rows of the same checker, but used the variegated where black was in the last set.  Next, 3 rows of one color only and then 3 rows of the other color.  I was enjoying my creation and didn't realize I had gone beyond the thumb, so I knitted 2 more sets of strips.  Yes, I was having a very satisfying time.  
Where is the graph paper?   




Tuesday, June 17, 2008

First Magic Loop Socks

I learned much by following the 2 at a time Socks tutorial in Melissa Morgan-Oakes magic loop sock book (<----found here), and it is clever, this I have to admit, BUT I don't think I would want to knit a complicated or very involved pattern using the 
magic loop (<---found here) method.  We will see.
I can see many uses for the magic loop technique.  Mittens, sleeves are just a few of the possibilities.
I knitted these socks according to the lesson using two colors.  This helps to keep you "clear" which sock is which.  I switched up the toe and crocheted a lace edge to make them girlie. My granddaughter Tessa has them.  I am waiting on a pic of her in wearing them, then I can add that pic to my Ravelry project. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/downandknitty/2-at-a-time-socks-tutorial