Here is July's completed, and no longer UFO object. Last year I started this top with a linen/silk yarn and fall fell upon me with only one inch of ribbing done. I threw it in the closet and picked up wools to start my winter knitting. This is a lovely garment and feels wonderful in this humid, hot weather. Thankfully, it wasn't abandoned for good.
Machu and Picchu love it when we let them out of their pasture and into the big field. They like to walk around the pond, chase ducks, geese, and guineas and roll and roll in the grass (they do that in their pasture). But it is more fun when they feel like they are doing something tricky. Sneaking apples and looking in on us on the sun room are fun when they get in the yard. Overall, they are very good boys. They don't try to escape to the fruit farm next door--at least they haven't yet. Keep your fingers crossed. We have a pretty good fence, so they shouldn't be able to roam, but you never know. On these hot summer days it is great to be down at the pond. I can't complain they produce lovely suri alpaca fiber. 7-10 pounds each per year. Below is a sweater made from their fiber. I started it in February when I got 36 lbs of yarn from a mill and finished it this month. (I got tired of spinning and Mack was tired of carding, although we have enough hand spun for a sweater.) The sweater took 2 pounds of yarn and is for Mack. He does all the heavy stuff like driving the trailer to take them to the vet, clipping their toe nails, and giving them their shots every 6 weeks to prevent meningeal (sp?) worms. He deserves a beautiful hand knit sweater made out of the boys fiber.
The first of the apples are ripe this week! Yellow transparent apples! My very favorite for applesauce. I have always loved them and they are virtually impossible to buy, at least I have never seen them. They are very soft and it would be impossible to ship them even when green. I like them for applesauce so much that we have a tree planted in the yard. We picked the last of them this morning, so I will be peeling apples and making sauce this weekend. The geese love them, too and we had to be careful not to let one drop to the ground, because they could get it faster than we could. They have been staking out the apple trees for the last couple of weeks. One boy has been out there day and night. He jumps up and grabs a branch to shake the tree every now and then and is ready if an apple hits the ground. They even tried to steal out of the bucket and there were 30 of them to the two of us. Today, they had to move the stakeout to a different tree. Ah gee!
Yep!! The June unfinished object is now a FINISHED OBJECT! Still on track with my New Year's resolution to finish one object a month. It is difficult--I have three projects I am working on at home on any day and I try to get to the UFO here in the store. Not Easy! AND there are so many projects I want to start. Beautiful yarns, beautiful patterns, lovely colors, fantastic textures! Below is the finished June object--shoved in the closet because I lost the pattern before I finished the sleeves. I put together my own idea for the sleeves and they seem to work.
Many of you know that Michelle Hunter and Skacel have come out with two new books, The Best of Knit Purl Hunter and Building With Lace. We love both of them. Many Knit Purl Hunter fans, including me, have made every project in the Best of Purl Hunter. In my case, I have made every pattern once, most twice and some even three or four times. I love them! The book allows me to throw out all the old directions and have even better copies of the patterns. As often as not, I will be making a project and not be able to fine a page--NO MORE!
But the real reason for this post is to talk about the Building With Lace book. I saw a sample stole Michelle had on display about a month ago and ever since I have hardly been able to wait for the book to come out. The anticipation has been incredible and finally the book is here. It came in yesterday and I have chosen my yarn and started my stole. I plan on having a class at the store on Thursday afternoons, if anyone is interested. So far, I have been very pleased with the results and as usual, Michelle has excellent instructions.
Yes, it is National Donut Day! But, no, we are not going to do a blog on donuts. Our last sewing class was doing a machine cross stitch of a donut, but today we are posting a picture of the May UFO completion. The yarn for this afghan has been sitting under my cutting table in my sewing room. I started it when I was doing some traveling and each strip was perfect for each trip. Then there was no more travel and it lay there forgotten until May. I finished the strips that weren't started and added the border. The afghan is made of Simplicity by HiKoo and the pattern is Michelle Hunter's Knitting in Color. This is the second afghan I have made using this pattern. I love it because I don't get too tired of any one pattern and it is a perfect size. As you can see, I haven't blocked the afghan yet, and it will probably look better and more even once that is done. I am looking forward to snuggling under it this winter while I eat a donut and watch TV.
BARK! BARK! BARK! Every few seconds Fred is barking and it is happening at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and so on. What is going on? I got up, went downstairs to look about and could see nothing. The next night the barking started again. Mack went out this time and let Fred out. Within seconds Fred had caught an opossum. Fred has a very soft mouth and didn't hurt it at all. Mack took the opossum out of the yard and turned it loose. The next night BARK! BARK! BARK! Clearly no one is learning and we are all sleep deprived. From now on Fred has to sleep in the house--no more sunporch. In the meantime guess what decided it needed to start investing at Edward Jones (our next door neighbor)? You got it! AN opossum in downtown Parkersburg! I saw his skinny tail rush by the window out of the corner of my eye. There he was next door! Poor thing! It was just a baby and so scared. Aren't its little pink nose and pink toes cute as can be? We called it SIPC O. Jones. We executed a catch and release and the baby was only too happy to rush off into the woods. I guess this is the week of the opossum.
This morning I walked outside onto our second story deck to see what the weather was like. It was incredibly beautiful: sun drenched while a warm gentle breeze smelling of roses with an undercurrent of honeysuckle wafted across like a wave washing everything with its perfume. The trees are in bloom and the view down to the pond was lovely, only bested by nights when a full moon shines down and reflects across the water. What a joy to be alive and able to enjoy the gifts each day brings us.
Unfortunately, the lovely aroma doesn't come from a beautiful rose garden, but from all the multiflora roses that hang about in our underbrush--a horrible thorny mess when trying to clean hedgerows, but as fragrant as anything when in full bloom. It just goes to show that even the most aggravating shrub can have a good side--at least that is true of multiflora roses. We do have a gorgeous rose, see picture, but its fragrance is overwhelmed and subsumed by the wild scent. We also have irises and peonies to inspire anyone who looks at them.
Several of us have been working on the April mystery knit along (KAL) with Skacel and Michelle Hunter. The project was a baby sweater: Adorable Ewe. Most of us have finished at least one sweater, several of us have done two, since they are so much fun and quick to make. The blue sweater was made by Amy Rodgers and I made the brown one. We have seen all sorts and all colors and every one is as cute as it can be.
This is what we see when we look out our windows: that is on lucky days when our neighbors peafowl are visiting. The top picture was our view out the dining room window at breakfast the other day. You can barely see our solar array behind the lovely tail feathers. The other picture is also of Peawee and his flock of girls. They are all lovely and standing begging at the back door. I have to confess that I feed them when they come calling.
In response to the comment on the last blog: the afghan was made using block patterns in The Great Cable Afghan published by XRX with Cotanani by Mirasol yarns.