Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Robyn's Garden

The pole beans have sprouted.

The strawberries are going gonzo.

Even the three I bought for $0.60 each at Freddies are doing their thing.

The cosmos I started inside and transplanted out are budding...

... and the ones from seed are just spouting.

I think I "inherited" a California Poppy in the pot with the transplanted mum.  That or a carrot.

The Shasta Daisies are starting to bud out.

The nasturtiums are rock stars... at least the ones along the west side of the fence.  The south side ones are inching along.

The second batch of mums from the MG are in the ground and looking much better, after only half an hour (the roots were pretty pot-bound, MG - if you have more they should be planted asap).

Broccoli keeps getting more leaves.  I'm anxiously awaiting some actual floret spouts.

Remember last year when I couldn't get a carrot to save my life?  This year they're conquering the same bed.

This late May weather has been perfect for peas.

The new seeds from Territorial are getting unruly.  This might be the only time I've actually appreciated a holly tree.

I even have my first two pods. See one in the middle?

All of my tomatoes have survived.  One or two are a bit stunted, but....

Two of the ones I planted a month ago have flowers!

I just harvested a ton of lettuce, and the bed still looks full.  My second lettuce patch is filling in nicely as well.

And, just to prove you can teach an ORG new tricks...

The MG went snowshoeing!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Still growing (and knitting, too)

It's salad time at my house.  More and more radishes say "eat me" every day, and I have been able to do some thinning of the lettuce mix.  Between the thinnings and a couple leaves off of the romaine heads I had enough for a salad.  It's amazing how good fresh garden lettuce is.  Yum!

Inside the rest of my salad makings are getting bigger and better - the heirloom tomatoes are about right to start hardening off.

Much more appropriate sized tomatoes! However, one of the giant Sungold cherry tomatoes outside just developed some flowers.  Since it's a cherry, and surrounded by a wall o water, I think I'll leave it.  Fresh tomatoes in June!!! Woohoo!!

The peppers have been doing their thing as well and slowly putting on the millimeters.

I also have several (I think four? maybe five?) basil plants to round out the tomato sauce.  The thyme I started indoors is an inch or so tall, and I was pleased to see that the thyme outdoors is coming back from an attempted drowning over the winter.

It might be a little late, but I have flowers growing from seed as well.  The snapdragons from Fishback Farms are doing waaaaayyyyy better than expected, and should be hardened off and planted outside soon.

The flower seeds from ORG are struggling a bit - of the zinnia, poppy, and cosmo seeds planted in the flower strip, only the poppies appear to be coming up.  They're pretty thick, so I can hopefully move some around.  Not sure what went wrong with the other guys... too cold? Not enough water? The cosmos I started inside and transplanted appear to be doing alright, so I started more and they're already coming up.

Planted zinnias inside at the same time, so maybe I'll get lucky and get something out of them yet.

Last, but most certainly not least, the only flower seed I bought from the store is FINALLY doing something.

I bought Burpee Black eyed susan (Thunbergia) seeds at Flower World a few months ago.  I love them, but haven't grown them before.  They seemed fairly expensive, $2.30 for a packet of only 25 seeds, so when I did the germination test on the sweet peas from Fishback Farms (which are all growing along the fence, very very slowly), I tested the Thunbergia, too. None of them germinated.  Zero.  I planted several outside as well to see if that would do it, and still, none of them did anything.  Now that these three (out of four) sprouted, I'm guessing it was too cold for them.  Who knows, maybe when it gets warmer the ones outside will sprout... but I'm not holding my breath. 

Luckily, they say Thunbergia can be propagated by cuttings, so if any of these guys amount to anything, I can work on spreading the love around. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yummy yarns

I'd like to say that I decided to treat myself because I've been so good at knitting from stash and have finished a handful of projects using only "old" yarn.  That's not actually what happened. 

The man-friend declared he wanted octopus mittens.  In purple and gold.  They had to be warm, but not get "fuzzy" (like the alpaca hat I knit him).  Very demanding, eh?  So I took him to a yarn store where he bumbled around trying to find true husky colors in a bulky yarn that wouldn't get a 'fro after wearing them. Not a small task.  Finding the right shade of purple was difficult, then finding the right gold in the same kind of yarn was even harder.  But we ended up with something that I think will work.  Reynolds Lopi, 100% wool, in deep purple and gold.

And I made him buy it.  So while it's in my stash, I didn't use any money.  That doesn't count, right?

What does certainly count is the sweaters worth of yarn I just bought for myself.  But oh how wonderful the yarn is.  

I'm making this.  I want it.  From the first time I saw it, I thought "mine".  So I will try my hand again at knitting a sweater. This time with teeny tiny yarn and teeny tiny needles, and a pattern that doesn't really have any interest to it.   How very unlike the sweater that is sitting in my knitting basket that only has one sleeve left to go.  Wonder which one I'll finish first....

I'm going to use Canopy Fingering in Aloe and River Dolphin. What tasty yarn.  50% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, and 20% bamboo.  So squishy!

With any luck (and lots of time sitting in my car doing creel surveys this summer) I'll be able to wear it before the temp plummets back to the frigid 35 degree F of Seattle in winter.

Monday, May 7, 2012

knitting round up

It hasn't been stealth knitting, because I did most of the work for these projects in public.  But they have been sitting at home, stashed away, waiting to have the ends sewn in and to be blocked. 

I finished these in March, that's how far behind I am.

Pattern: Fetching, by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: Vanna's Choice, Dusty Purple
Needles: US 6 DPN

Stash busting: 119 yds, 70 g, 0.7 skeins.

This one was sitting in the stash waiting to be blocked. While I enjoy the pattern and the way it turned out, I had to block the crap out of it.  It just wasn't deep enough to be the slouch I wanted it to be.  Sure, I could have just added an extra stripe in there.... if I'd had enough purple left.  But I didn't. So there.

Pattern: East Fall Hat, by Kate Gagnon Osborn, in Knitscene Spring 2012
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool, lilac and charcoal
Needles: US Size 6, 16" circular
Stash busting: 210 yds, 100 g, 0.6 skeins charcoal, 0.4 skeins lilac

Cold Sheep Totals:
Yards: 15,424.4
Grams: 10,084.7
Skeins: 114.5
Finished Objects from Stash: 23
FOs in 2012: 5

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Red Bird

You may have noticed my new banner.  How could you miss it, it's so full of knitting and color and.... a stamp?!?!

Oh yes, a stamp. 

A beautiful stamp. 

A wonderful stamp.

A stamp designed specifically for me.

Ain't it great? A hugely talented friend of mine, Karly Siroky, is a graphic designer.  I commissioned my graphic and am totally impressed with what she came up with.  With very little direction she made a logo that exemplifies my brand.  Love it!

She also came up with the idea of a stamp.  It just blew my mind.  What a great idea! I'll be stamping all over the place.  Most notably, gift tags for knitted items with the fiber content and care instructions.  Brilliant!

Big shout out to Impress Rubber Stamps.  They have a tiny shop in the University Village that is chock-full of cute stuff.... and they also make custom stamps.  Extremely affordable.  My little 2x2 stamp was only $11 and I didn't have to pay shipping because I picked it up in the store.  I had it in about a week after placing my order.  Great to do business with and I will be using them for all my future stamping needs.  Which may be a lot due to the limitless possibilities of Red Bird!