[gardening] Sempervivium and sedum

Sedum spurium 'Tricolor' sprawling:

Sprawling succulent coming out of dormancy. Sedum spurium tricolor.

I added a few of these last year. Glad to see they wintered fine. Propagation sounds easy (as with practically all sedum I've read about)- break off a piece in the summer and stick it in the ground. Will try propagating several pieces.

Basic sempervivium, still winter red:

Sempervivium. Hens and chicks.

Will wait until this summer when the stem connecting the chick to the hen (stolon) withers before picking them all apart and putting them in new places.

These are the smallest hens and chicks that I have:

Tiny sempervivium. Hens and chicks.

The largest one in the picture is just smaller than a dime. These seems to propagate profusely, though. If I make a miniature garden in a container (which I would like to do this year), these would be great to add.


[knitting] Mad About the Gals

I finished Sock Madness Round #4 socks in record time:

Beaded socks

Pattern is "Mad About the Gals". I would definitely knit this again- in a solid color with beads going all the way down to the ankles. And then enter those socks into the Tunbridge Fair this fall. 


[misc] Murderface Monday


Still the sweetest cat in the universe. I try to give him real meat whenever appropriate (pieces of cooked chicken, hamburger, pork when not spiced with anything other than a bit of salt) and then he does cartwheels/backflips all over the house. It gets him so active and playful- I love seeing it.


[vermont] Snow. Still.

I thought this was the last of the snow in the back yard:

Last spot of snow. #goodriddance Okay plants, it's safe to come out now.

But then I saw a pile at the bottom of the driveway, from where the plow repeatedly pushed snow. So, sigh- there is still some but it's all mostly gone. After some seriously wonderful weather last weekend, the high today is going to be 48 and this weekend is meant to be in the low 50s. Ugh. We're still having some hard frosts in the morning.

This weekend is set to be pretty boring- getting the winter tires off the car, cleaning the house, finishing the socks. Which is okay by me.


[knitting] Mad About the Gals - Progress

Round 4 of Sock Madness:

Socks with beads. 🐝🐝? Beads! #sockmadness9

Not too shabby for four days- the pattern is working up quickly for me. I should knit with beads more often- I really like it. Thank goodness for my DyakCraft DPNs. Pointiest of points. Makes the cables and fiddly k3tog (by k1 yo k1 into the same three stitches) a breeze. 


[gardening] Spring things

Crocuses are still the only things blooming at the moment:


But I couldn't resist picking up some orange tulips and purple hyacinths:

Teeny green things

A few of the irises that I received from a friend are coming up behind the tulips. And delphiniums that I started from seed last year. I'm religiously spraying things with repellent to keep the woodchuck from eating everything.

I cleaned up the flower beds and planted a ton of gladiolus bulbs. Seeds that were started indoors were brought outside yesterday to enjoy the sunny weather. Rain is forecast for much of the rest of the week, so that should keep me inside and knitting away on the next round of Sock Madness socks.


[knitting] Longing for Spring (aka Mud Season)

With only one spot left open on my Sock Madness team to make it to the next round, I sat down to finished my Round 3 socks as soon as I stepping in the house yesterday afternoon:

Longing for Spring

I only had a bit of the leg and cuff to do on the 2nd sock, so it didn't take very long. I put the socks onto the blockers, took a picture and emailed off the info (misidentifying my team as Team Friggers- I'm on Team Froggers). I made the last spot! Happy but immediately filled with directionless ennui, I decided to celebrate with vodka drinks. Next time I'll celebrate by working on my filler projects- they don't give me a hangover.


[misc] Penny Thursday

When you get so hot that you have to throw a leg out from under the covers:


I'm resisting the urge to post pictures every day of a new crocus bloom or a new blade of grass or buds on one of the new trees I planted last year or some of the seeds I started indoors last weekend already germinating... Well, I probably will post some of those pictures. I can't help it, it's so nice to be outside and see what's growing. 


[gardening] First crocus bloom

So far so good:

First crocus bloom. Stinky deer repellant spray seems to keep the woodchuck away.

Looks like lovely dew on the flower but it's stinky deer repellent that seems to be keeping the woodchuck away. It smells like garlic and rotten eggs and butt. I made the mistake of standing downwind when I was spraying one area. 

Most of the snow is gone- the flower beds are reappearing and in dire need of tidying. I'm daydreaming of all the new perennials I want to add this year. 


[crochet] Moroccan Midnight

I started a new filler project last week:

Moroccan Midnight

It will be a long infinity scarf. I have some skeins of Cascade Yarns' Casablanca which has long color repeats like Noro. I was thinking about something mitered but the color lengths are so long, the squares would end up being quite large. I found a pattern called Moroccan Midnight, which I felt apropos given the name of the yarn.

The pattern was a bit of a struggle. I had to watch several videos on how to do the Moroccan Tile Stitch. The yarn combo looks nice but the cone of brown tweed I'm using is a bit rough and thin- I'm hoping it's spinning oil from the mill and that the yarn will bloom when I wash it.

Anyway, I'll get back to it once I finish the most recent pair of Sock Madness socks.


[vermont] Officially over winter

I've been pretty chill this winter- enjoying it and not complaining about the horrible sustained frigid temperatures. But after yesterday, I want the snow to go. It was over 60 degrees yesterday! And sunny! And over 60 degrees! It's so nice to just sit outside again. Even when it still looks like this in the front yard:

Front yard

And like this in the back yard:


I wanted to get some last pictures of the snow before it's all gone. It's going to be pretty warm this week and I hope it all melts.

I started poking around the gardens, to see what's reappearing. The sempervivium in the rock garden are showing through the remaining ice:



And crocuses are starting to poke up on the lawn:


I was so pleased to see many new shoots appearing. Last spring they were eaten by one of the woodchucks so they never bloomed. As soon as I saw these, I went around spraying them with stinky deer/rabbit repellent. Who knows if it will work on the woodchuck I've seen this year. I've scared him off a couple times already but he's already eaten some of my young lavender shrubs.

Finally, a swarm of Canadian Geese flew due north over the house:

Canadian Geese

I'm finally ready to call winter over-with. 


[crochet] Sophie's Universe: Two

Welllllll, the crocheted blanket has entered the realm of 1970's fugly:

Sophies Universe

My color palette is limited and I'm only using single-ply worsted-weight yarns from my stash. So far, this is only through Round 3. I'll get back to this project after I finish the Sock Madness socks I'm working on.


[vermont] Winter Forever

Winter forever. At least I can still do donuts in my backyard.

One last (I hope) snow storm and spin on the snowmobile around the backyard before temps really rise this weekend and early next week. I'm ready for the snow to go. I want to start seeing green things.


[cooking] Crackers

Last night I took a King Arthur Flour class with my mom and sister. The classroom:

Cracker Class at King Arthur Flour

I love Cheez-Its and I was so happy we got to make better, homemade, spicy cheese crackers.

Cracker class at @kingarthurflour last night. We made spicy cheddar and flax seed crackers.

These crackers were the bomb. We also made crispy flax seed crackers that were very good. I'm ready to make more crackers at home. It seems easy to bring a large amount of dough together in a mixer and then portion it out and freeze. Then defrost/roll/bake for instant crackers whenever.

I am signed up for one more class next month: Bagels and Bialys. Can't wait- these classes are so good. 


[knitting] Char

Annnd another handspun pompom hat.

Handspun PomPom Hat

Fiber is from August 2010 Pigeonroof Studio club delivery. Corriedale in "Char" colorway.


And the original fiber:

Fiber Club from Pigeonroof Studios

Specs for the next round of Sock Madness have been released, so I'm sure that's all I will be working on for a while...


[crochet] Sophie's Universe: One

Started a new project:

Sophie's Universe Crochet-along

Pattern is Sophie's Universe. The above picture show all the rounds for Part 1 (and the first round of Part 2). I can't even describe how well written the pattern is- with step-by-step photo tutorials, links on how to do specific stitches, photos of different color combinations. And it's all free! 

I'm using mystery/leftover single-ply leftovers. I'm hoping to complete it through Part 4 to finish with a small, square blanket for the cats. But who knows- I might have to keep going. Or start another for me.


[knitting] Mostaza Hat

And my filler-knitting hat is complete:

Handspun Hat

Love love love this hat. Cast on 96, k2p2 for eight inches, switch to stockinette for five inches, decrease rapidly, add pompom. I used every inch of the original skein to make this hat. Every inch. That never happens. The deep fold-over brim and the pompom ate up lots of yarn. 

I'm so pleased with the hat- the fit is great- I've cast on for another with more handspun.


[misc] Penny Wednesday

When my sister was over this past weekend, she said, "Penny's eyebrow whiskers are funny." I asked what was so funny about them and she said, "She has two that stick straight up."

Penny has two eyebrow whiskers that stick straight up. 🐜 #catsofinstagram #antennas #catbug

Well huh. I never noticed before but it's the only thing I can see when I look at her now. I mentioned it to Dollar later and he was like, "What?" He never noticed either but now refers to them as her 'devil horns'.