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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

The SIL shawl has 3 more rows before it is completed. 3! I know I shouldn’t show how giddy I am at being so close to calling it complete, the gods of knitting don’t like that sort of thing, but I can’t help it; there is so little good news around. The amount of work needed to complete the 3 rows will probably take 3 nights of knitting, but after working on it so long 3 nights seem like almost nothing. I must stop this crowing or the gods will put some really difficult road blocks in front of me and the darn thing will take 3 weeks and not 3 days. Is it possible it could be packed up and in the mail before 24 November? Be calm my rapidly beating heart. Or am I having a heart attack just thinking of the end of this shawl?

When I realized I was coming to the end of the shawl I briefly panicked wondering what I would knit next. But I have a cowl and fingerless mitts I’d like to complete before winter is over so I think I will concentrate on that for a bit. Then there are socks that I started for Big Foot aka The Skipper, but I am rethinking the design. I also have the massive Shetland Shawl to do, but I have to bounce some questions off of you guys first before I start that.

I also have the Anastasia baby sweater pattern to write up. I started doing that in earnest yesterday. Instead of figuring out all the numbers for all the sizes as I created the sweater as I usually do, I decided to try what I thought would be a simpler method. I knitted and recorded all the numbers for one size within the pattern. The “simpler” way will never be done again. I am finding it more time consuming than if I had figured everything out as I went. The only thing saving me from madness is that I made two schematics: one detailing all the sizes the other all the stitches and rows. At least the schematics give me a starting point for all the other sizes. The great thing about grading a pattern is that I literally close myself off from all media while I am doing it. Not hearing, seeing or reading the news is a massive plus right now.

In other interesting news, we have a female fox hanging around the house at night. Last night she was on the patio, much to Yarn Rascal’s dismay. She is beautiful and looks healthy but it is unusual for foxes to come as close to the house as she does. I am going to have to encourage her to stay her distance by shooing her when she is that close. It’s fine when they turn and go, not so great when they decide to stay their ground. Speaking of which, for the time being I have lost the battle of the yard with the big buck. When he doesn’t want to move, he doesn’t move. Rather cheeky of him, but his testosterone is high this time of year and it affects his common sense. He is majestic looking when he is being obstinate and since there is no hunting allowed on our land, I know he’s safe here. SO all in all I’d rather have him around than end up a trophy on someone’s wall.

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All Is Normal

Things are moving along.

Hank, the Great Blue Heron, is back in our pond. The heron statutes I thought were deterrents are no longer working. I hate to think I might have to go the alligator route. Percy, the osprey is also back. I am constantly picking up the fish parts he discards. As if this weren’t enough, two new players have emerged. A young buck that seems to think the area belongs to him. He stomps, snorts and rushes at me to claim his ground. It’s rutting time and bucks get a little crazy. I explained to him that if he continues in this manner he’s going to be chasing his teeth down the hill after I smack them out of his mouth. I can’t have him being aggressive when I am walking Yarn Rascal, though I must say whenever he sees Yarn Rascal he doesn’t charge. This leads me to believe this is the buck that as a baby, repeatedly played and touched noses with Yarn Rascal.

The second newcomer who wants to claim territory is a coyote. This is not good and I keep him moving whenever I see him. I’ve looked up coyote deterrents on Google and it seems that mountain lion urine is the suggested method. I have a few thoughts on this. How does one safely get urine from a mountain lion? Here kitty, kitty, urinate in the bottle just isn’t the right approach. On the other hand, luring a mountain lion onto your property so it can freely relieve itself doesn’t seem the correct approach either.

Nevertheless, the internet has tons of mountain lion urine for sale. We have 2 acres to cover, that’s a lot of mountain lion urine. Of course, how does one know if the mountain lion urine purchased is true mountain lion urine? Again, how does one acquire mountain lion urine and live to tell about it much less sell it in large quantities?

All this might lead you to think not much knitting is getting done. Untrue. The SIL shawl is about 30 long rows from being complete and I have designed a new baby sweater and hat set which I am tentatively calling Anastasia. I need to grade the outfit and then I’ll photograph it and look for test knitters.

In the meantime, the Shetland wool for my next project has arrived, much to Yarn Rascal’s delight. True Shetland wool is Yarn Rascal’s most favorite. I haven’t unpacked the wool yet because it would not be safe from Yarn Rascal. Instead I have hung the package from the ceiling of the yarn vault, sort of like a piƱata, but high enough that Yarn Rascal can’t get it in his nightly forays into the vault. Still, he knows that it is there and he spends his evenings trying to reach it.

In summation, everything here is progressing normally.

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Neuropathy problems are top of the menu today, thanks to my cancer medication. Hands, feet, legs all feeling the weirdness while I do my best to ignore it and push on.

I am steadily working on the sample knit for a designer. It’s the knit she couldn’t finish because of an allergic reaction to the yarn. US size 7 needles and moss stitch finally took it’s toll last night on my hands. The tendons in both are wonderfully hurting today in addition to the neuropathy symptoms. I think the tendonitis is from trying to match front piece’s row gauge to the back piece the designer knit. The garment has pleats. The two fronts need to match the back in length with the same number of rows to a) match the length of all pleats, and b) make the sewing of the pieces less of a horror show. In trying to get the row gauge to match I think I’m holding my needles too tight and hence the tendonitis. I am also not used to working with such large needles. I usually knit fingering weight yarn and use anywhere from a US size 1 to 3 needle. The US size 7 seems bulky to me.

I am also trying to make my moss stitch look like her moss stitch so it’s not obvious two different knitters worked on the garment. Yes, I’ve said it before, knitting is like a signature, it differs from one person to the next. Moss stitch is one of those stitch patterns that shows this difference. My moss stitch is tighter than hers. When I loosen it up, it becomes too loose. I’m in the Goldilocks dilemma of trying to create the “just right” tension. Hence, the tendonitis. I am manipulating the needles in a way that is not typical for me.

As I’ve said, I am doing all that I can to get the same row gauge so the sewing up part doesn’t become a nightmare. However, I have already had to change the number of rows where decreases occur because the piece would be too long if I went with decreases as written. So tonight’s excitement is taking the finished back, holding it alongside the left front and matching up each row to see how close I am.

In the meanwhile, the infernal computer is blinking red to alert me that something needs to be done about something. I thought I solved the issue last night, but obviously the computer doesn’t agree. At the moment, I can’t even study the photo software in peace with the red exclamation mark on the screen. The red exclamation mark jangles my nerves the same way a radioactive material sign would. I have come to terms with the fact that I may never truly feel comfortable with this computer.

On the nature front, Hank the Heron is here for the duration. Heron’s don’t migrate, unfortunately. I was standing by the pond the other hot and humid day and Hank landed a few feet away from me. He had the audacity to walk up to and step into the pond with me standing there. What can I do with such a brazen bird? We stare at each other. I told him when he eats every last frog and fish in the pond, don’t look to me to restock.

The deer are making out like bandits this season. Nearby apple farmers have bumper crops and we just have bags and bags full of free apples to feed to them. These are apples that would be rejected by stores as not being perfect. They may be a bit bruised or malformed but they are perfectly good to eat. It is amazing the amount of good food the food industry throws away.

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Go, little brook, and wish to all
Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it,
A living river by the door,
A nightingale in the sycamore!

Robert Louis Stevenson Envoy

The two fronts of the baby sweater are done and I will block the back along with them today. I hope to start at least one sleeve today. I am reworking the numbers regarding length and width. The stitch count of the border pattern and eyelet pattern has to agree with the width requirements. To work it out I need a block of quiet time where all my attention can be given to finding the solution to the problem. The obstacle to this is the Yarn Rascal. He is feeling much better and is up to his old tricks along with some new ones he must have cogitated on while staying quiet during his recuperation. The cone is off his little head and the house and all its nooks and crannies is his oyster once again.

I am also getting close to needing the second skein of yarn for the sweater set. I bought two and hid the other one so the Yarn Rascal wouldn’t get it. The problem? I don’t remember where I hid it. But let me take one issue at a time today.

Outside we are in high summer. Everything is drying up and browning nicely, especially the grass. We had nothing but rain from March to early June. Now not a drop.

The deer are eating the pears from the pear tree.

bambi deer

This is good. Nutrients and water are what they need. The pear tree is unusually full of fruit this year. And it is all for the deer.

pear tree

A handful of sunflowers have made an appearance. I love sunflowers in a vegetable garden.

sunflower

sunflower 2

Many more should be on the way. The birds love the seeds.

Surprisingly all the hot weather has not caused our lettuce to bolt.

lettuce

Our zucchini is doing its amazonian thing. Each day we pick zucchini and the next day there’s more. We are inundated with zucchini. We use it in salads. I make bread with it which I store in the freezer for eating during the winter.

squash

The Yarn Rascal has just dashed by with a skein of yarn. However, it is not the particular skein I am searching for, I can tell by the flash of color it’s not. Maybe I’ll slip out to our local library for some quiet time and leave the little one to daddy.

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