Sunday, June 14, 2015

Birds and Flowers


Not sure if you can tell, but that video is of 5, count them, 5 bald eagles flying above our house.  The eagles who live up the hill from us took their 3 babies on their first flight, and I came home from work just in time to watch them soaring in a group.  Well, the parents were soaring.  The 3 babies were flapping awkwardly and almost running into each other.  The parents soared in a tight circle over them calling out encouragement.  After a bit (I think it was the dad), one parent left and the 4 continued on towards the lake.  Or perhaps it was the mom who left, "I need a break, Dear.  It's your turn to parent."  Anyway, I have not seen them since that day, but I have been crazy busy.

I have finished the first of my cabled socks for my Herbology OWL.  I designed the socks myself.  The requirement of the OWL (Ordinary Wizarding Level - an 8 - 10 week project) is that the main design feature be cables.  I used an open cable pattern that repeats all over the socks.

I knit them toe-up and 2-at-a-time on size 0 needles.  The yarn is YOTH Little Brother in Oak.  I bought the yarn when the founder of YOTH spoke at the Eastside Knitters Guild last year.  I am not sure you can get that exact color anymore, they were selling some of their "test" colors as the indie dyer was just starting out, and still experimenting.  It is a cashmere/merino blend, and super soft.

The heel is my favorite construction for toe-up socks.  I knit the foot until about 3 inches to the end of my heel, then I knit a "sole flap."  On the sole side of the sock I knit on the right side and purled back on the wrong side slipping the first stitch of each row until I had 3 inches.  Then I did a bit of a short row heel turn.  I picked up the sides of the flap, and knit in pattern across the instep doing my decreases along the heel.
The heel gusset pulls the sock in tight to your ankle.  And, you can knit in pattern on the back side of the leg right from picking up the flap.  They are a bit tight to get on over the heel, but fit great.
The second pair of cabled socks that I am knitting (I am making 3 pairs) for my OWL is Bex by CookieA.  These are deadly cables.  By that I mean that these cables are killing me.  There are some days that I can only knit one row.  I have to super concentrate, use bright lights, etc.  I've been coming home late from work for various reasons these last few weeks, and these socks are NOT something that are good to knit when tired.
Here they are through the heel turns.  I think the term "Heavily Cabled" can definitely be applied.  I am using a size 1 needle since cables tend to pull in, and I definitely want to wear these.  The yarn is Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors.  I'm pretty sure I bought it at Madrona either last year or the year before when I thought I needed yellow sock yarn.  Since organizing my stash, and discovering I have like 7 skeins of yellow, I'm pretty sure I did NOT need yellow, but at least I bought some gorgeous yarn.

Not sure if you can see from the above photo, but the pattern continues partway down the heel flaps with the slipped-stitch heel pattern kind of growing as the cables end.  Here is a close up:
Anyway, I am now just about through the gussets.  They are going a bit faster now that I don't have to cable both sides.

There is no way to write this without sounding like an idiot, or anyway making my cats sound like idiots, but we have a really mean Robin in our yard.
Robins have built a nest right under our deck, and they are terrorizing our cats, Beena and Muffin.  Poor Beena!  Those of you who have been to my house know how tiny she is.
We were eating dinner on the deck last week, we have had such gorgeous weather, and Beena was hovering by the french door to the deck, but wouldn't come outside.  Usually, she is all over the deck, running on the railing, running the length of the deck to go in through the door to our bedroom, etc.  But, she wouldn't come out.  I got her to come outside for a scratch, and before she could go 2 feet, a Robin appeared out of nowhere, and buzzed her!  She ran back inside as fast as she could.  Even Muffin (who is huge)
is afraid to go out on the deck.  Muffin will go out the side door and the front door, however.  Beena won't go out at all.  And, she LOVES to run around the yard.  Occasionally, late at night (when the mean Robin is asleep), Beena will go out our bedroom door, and jump onto the deck railing, but she stays right by the door in case she has to run back inside quickly.

I have become obsessed with hummingbirds.  We have one, or perhaps a pair, who occasionally stop by our yard.  I want them to come here ALL THE TIME.  So I went to the Wild Bird store and bought a fancy hummingbird feeder, and made up some sugar water (following the store's directions) for our birds.


No birds.

I asked my friend, Dawn, what I was doing wrong.  She said that hummingbirds like red flowers.  So I hit the nursery and got RED flowers to add to our hanging baskets on the front deck (that's where the feeder is.)
Still no hummingbirds!

Then, on Friday, I looked outside on the back deck, and saw a hummingbird heading toward one of the hanging baskets back there.  THE REALLY MEAN ROBIN ATTACKED and chased the hummingbird away.

See what I mean?  That Robin is really mean.

Our Black Bart Irises are all gone now, but I just had to show you a photo of the mutant ones.  First, this is what these gorgeous giant flowers normally look like:
They are so big and heavy that they weigh down their stems and make the front path almost unwalkable for a few weeks.
Then, about 2 years ago, we started getting these occasional mutant blooms.
This year, the mutant blooms morphed into a lighter purple blossom.

Still really pretty.

enjoying flowers and birds, even yarn ones, but feeling sad for my pathetic cats.

No comments:

Post a Comment