Sunday, July 27, 2008

Holy Amazing Watermelon, Batman!

I don't want to spend too much time on this tonight because I'm tired and I haven't taken pictures of the knitting I've been up to. I've been working on a few different things but I'll save those for another post. For now I just want to show you all my first WATERMELON!!!

Isn't it beautiful! This picture was taken last Sunday, July 20th. I really wasn't sure we were going to get an actual WATERMELON from this plant so that's pretty darned exciting. It's about the size of a small egg in this picture and it seemed to appear overnight. Now, I figure watermelon probably grow pretty fast because they get kinda big. However, I had NO idea they would grow this fast. Check it out!

This is the watermelon this evening. Of course the vine decided to grow up the fence instead of along the ground. And of course when it finally decides to make a watermelon, it does so in the highest point of the vine. So, of course we had to figure out something to hold up this monstrosity since the little bunny guard fencing just wasn't going to do. A what better to come to the rescue than an old Cat Litter bucket. Hey, don't laugh, it's called recycling!
I'll work on a knitting update for the next post. Sorry! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh, Darn It!

There was a near tragedy in my house last night. A crisis I did not feel prepared to handle, but I was determined to muddle through. I finished the Sunflower Hat for my niece about a week ago and decided to add some little ties to it to help keep it on her head. So, I knit little ties that ended up being about 6" long and it wasn't until I really look at them finished that I realized they just would not do. They needed to be longer. Well, I figured I had enough yarn so I would just cut these off and knit new ones. I grabbed my little scissors and snipped twice guessed it. I snipped right through the yarn of the HAT instead of the straps. If you look below, you'll see the hole on the right hand side and the straps I cut off.

This just about broke my heart. I simply couldn't bear the idea of ripping this out and reknitting it. But I wasn't really sure what to do to infill such a large hole. Because, I don't do things part way, I cut TWICE and created a hole over about 6 sts over two rows. I've never fixed a hole before, but I was going to figure something out, dammit!So, I have a copy of Vickie Howell's new book, Knit Aid given to me by a friend and I decided to check and see if it had anything on fixing a hole. Nope. Darn it. While it's a cute little book, it didn't have what I needed. What I needed was something to tell me how to Darn. Wow. I've been listening to KnitMoreGirls Podcast and they've been talking about the merits of darning and I just wasn't sure it was something I would ever do. I mean, I know I want my knit socks to last as long as possible, but I haven't had any get holes yet and so the idea of darning anything was still rather daunting. However, I guess it's true what they say about having the proper motivation. I did not want to reknit this hat. I did want to have something to give my niece when I meet her for the first time. She arrives in about 4 days. Yep, I was gonna learn to darn.
Well, I ended up remembering on of the podcasts I listen to talked about darning and said basically you thread a needle and hand sew in the knit stitches. So, I thread the needle, duplicate stitched about two rows above the hole for the size of the hole plus one additional stitch on each side. Then I worked down the column of knit stitches making new stitches as I went. Then I stitched up the next row and so on and so on....I don't know if I did it "right," but I'd say it looks darn good (pun intended).Even the inside of the hat doesn't look horrible. There are a couple of tiny pieces sort of sticking out but I just couldn't figure out how to do it any better. The good part is, this is against her head so no one will see it.I'm pleased with my first darn attempt at darning. And I just might do it again, darn it.

Groucho would not move so he is a bonus feature for your viewing pleasure.

Oh, right. The Garden. Well, the watermelon continues to brown along the tendrils and has lots of new green growth in the center. I have no idea if we'll get anything from it but I'm hanging in to see what happens. However, things are looking good with the tomatoes. I am so ready for these to get nice and ripe so I can go to The Hill and get some good Mozzarella and fresh Basil, pull out the Paul Newman's Balsamic Vinaigrette and have me a yummy salad. I can NOT wait.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different...

I've decided to do something crazy. Something previously, nearly unheard of by mere mortal me. (I'm sure I dangled a participle or something on that silly sentence.) Anyway, back to something different. Are you ready? Are you sure...OK Here it is...I'm knitting a sweater. My first sweater. Now, that's not the big news. After all, I've spent a lot of time thinking about a sweater to make and what I would want to knit and such. The something different is beyond knitting a sweater. Because, really, I would venture millions of sweaters have been hand knit over the course of history. And each one of those sweaters was knit by a person like me, who at one time said "I think I'll knit a sweater." But the sweater isn't really the "new and different" thing. See, it's like this. I am like many other knitter's out there and I spend most of my time thinking about the next thing I going to knit partner, my mom, my brother, my niece, my friends and other family....well you get the picture. Or do you? Do you notice the missing person. ME! ME, dammit! Well, missing no more...
And now for something completely different...I'm knitting myself a sweater. And I can't think of a more deserving person. (I hope you are hearing the humor in my voice as you read this.) So, here's the story in highly shortened form. I want to knit a sweater. I'm too cheap to buy enough yarn for a sweater due to the fear of spending money I don't have to make a sweater that I might just completely screw up because I've never done this before. To the rescue, Big Lots and Webs. I was looking through the new Webs catalog and saw a pattern for the Deep Breath Sweater knit with a lace yarn. I had 6 skeins of Patons Lacette in my stash that I got cheap. Voila'. My first sweater is underway. Of course, I couldn't get gauge (I'm at 5 sts/in) so I've basically had to recalculate the entire pattern. However, I knit about 22 rows in the last two days and it's going swimmingly. And after all that build up I don't even have a picture. Well, trust me, it's gonna be awesome so check this space.
OK, time for some pictures and satisfaction. I finished the Alien Waves scarf. I love the way it turned out. It's about 6' long from the single skein of KnitPick's Gossamer. The pooling of the colors could not look any better!

It's really soft and squishy right now. I haven't blocked it yet and I'm a little nervous about it because I don't want to lose the squishyness. I do think it's pretty.So, the garden you ask. Well, I'm a little sad about the garden. First, I am a total novice at the vegetable garden thing, which probably shows. Well, I've got Aphids, which I've seen before and I can pretty well handle. The sad part is my watermelon plant. It has grown like a weed but now something is killing it. It's dying from the base out towards the extending tendrils. It looks like it might be some kind a virus spread by the Aphids, according to one website I found, but I couldn't find anything about how to make it better. So, it appears to be killing the whole plant and I don't hold much hope for watermelon this year. If anyone out there knows anything about growing these things, I'd take any advice.On the bright side, the tomatoes are coming along well. :)