Monday, September 22, 2014

Farm Life Series: The Death of Two Owls

I'm going to spend time photographing my reality on the farm-I say my reality because somebody else's is not going to be anything like mine and some things are downright tragic out here. I got the idea from a friend who private messaged me on Facebook about how hard a mutual friends life is on her farm. I told him that it was good that she spoke the truth on the matter because so many just talk about aprons and eggs. At any rate I can't promise drama every day but today brought something about farm/country life home for me that I wanted to share-death.

Warning: Graphic but not bloody.
Garry found the two owls in our stock tank and their spines seem to have been broken. I was told that other night birds or birds of prey may have won a territory war but I cannot fathom how these twins both landed in the stock tank.

I was so saddened by this. I took the photos initially because I wanted to try to identify the type of owls and I have friends who might be able to enlighten me about the circumstances. I feel that it could of been a human being who did this just as easily as an eagle or a hawk.
Such beautiful creatures and one of my favorite birds. Infact there is a spiritual connection for me. We are unsure if these are full grown or baby owls. Since they are nocturnal they are invisible in the day time. I hadn't seen an owl since last winter when one got stuck in the loft of our tobacco shed and was banging against a window to get out. We hoped that as the sun set he would find the exit and since there were no remains in the shed, we know he did.

Owls are symbolic of life change and as such can be something that arouse fear in some cultures-death is the ultimate in change and most of us fear death. But change can come in more subtle ways. Today after all is the Fall Equinox or Mabon.
The belief that the exchange of light for darkness and the celebration around life/death/rebirth is fitting with the traditional believe of owl. I couldn't help but think about this pair as light/dark.

We buried them gently in a spot that I will try to plant something perennial.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

My work on Pinterest

About two months ago I was surprised to find that an image of mine was on Pinterest. I had once started a Palestinian food blog but then my camera broke nearly right away and so shut the blog down since food and photos are a pairing. Here is the image.
I am lucky in that the person who pinned this credited it to my blog. I don't know how I feel about this topic, I'm not putting up my art only to find it there and there was no way for anybody to ask my permission anyway since the blog was shut down. I figured it wasn't going to be a big deal since the blog is gone.

Well today I found another image of mine from that same blog. And its still not a big deal to me. Infact its flattering. Here is the second image.
This is muhammara (sp?) which is a red bell pepper dip. I have the recipe somewhere. Again the person credited the blog (maybe she is the same person as the first person) so I am not miffed.

I don't really "get" Pinterest. My daughter started an account for me because she saves things to her board that are really neat and she can easily share with me in this way. I have a couple of boards up myself but I am very careful to not get sucked in. If its anything its fun but I can see how it can be a time zapper.

Perusing it one day, I came across some wonderful knit designs which of course lead back to ravelry where I have been a member since 2008 or so. I wouldn't have found that designer if it were not for Pinterest. (I actually knew who she was before that but hadn't seen that body of work yet so I guess I would of stumbled on it eventually). So this makes me think that it could be useful but not that useful.

Still , I wonder if the point isn't actually just going over my head? Do you have a board on Pinterest? Do you want one? Why? Or why not?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2311 Page Views. Who are you all?

I'm cleaning up some of my blogs and noticed that this blog has had over 2000 page views. I know it wasn't me! lol. I also sometimes think that blogger tends to bloat page hits a little. I don't know for a fact but I have wondered this alot-is it to encourage those of us who don't market ourselves to keep blogging?
But lets just say the number is accurate…...
I do wonder who you all are. I have no idea when the last view was and honestly, I don't bother to keep track of these things in general but when the number is that high then I do wonder why nobody leaves comments?
To be fair this blog has been inactive for quite a while  but I do think I will wave that magic wand and activate it again. I have been distracted with things around here and have had little knitting to share but I have other things. Tried to have a departmentalized blog life-one for fiber arts, one for household permaculture and one to record my dreams.
This doesn't work out so well. I am going to work over here and keep the dream one going until I decide what I am going to do with it-I like recording dreams and talking about them but this kind of topic can take on a life of its own so it needs the space that a dedicated blog can give it.

Hmm… so what else? Still struggling with lots of stuff. Health, spirit, general life. Still acceptably healthy and cancer free. Still working on the farm. Still own the sweet Dalai Llama and his side kick Shiva.

Bare with me as I get back into the swing of this blog and if you are one of the 2311 page viewees- drop a line sometime, let me know who you are and if you have a blog too. I would love to read it. And I promise to comment.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dicey Bonnet Finish!

This was perhaps one of the funnest knits I have undertaken in a long time.  I looked forward to the end in a positive way-just simply wanting to wear it asap.
Given my recent bad luck with some of my knitting that was a true gift.
Pattern is by JenJoyce Designs (blog here) but also available via ravelry.

I am not sure if I stated my yarn choices or not already but there goes:
The gray is Knit Picks Pallet
The orange is an off the cone 100 percent virgin wool from my local yarn store
And the maroon is a merino which came in a skein but the store owner and I were having such a fun time talking about knitting that she forgot to pack the ball band for me after winding it.
Its lightly variegated which I like but I have to say that I think a hat like this would benefit from  a yarn with a stiffer hand.
However, I love love love it! I am going to make a couple more I think. Garry wants one. I think Jasmine will snatch this if I let her so I might as well make one for her.

Jen is a great designer and her pattern was flawless. We discussed the technicalities of one of the stitches which I had a hard time understanding at first because of a slight tendency towards A.D.D. I think but Jen talked me through it. It turned out I was misreading it.

I highly recommend this pattern!

My next project may or may not be a knit. I have ordered a harness loom kit and am anxious to get going on some weaving. I have a rigid heddle collecting dust and am still going back and forth regarding whether to sell it or not. If Jasmine doesn't want it I might just do that. I would hate to but I never liked the actual loom despite really enjoying weaving.

How are your craft journeys going?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Top Down Magic Fit Raglan-sleeves, hems

I believe that I had a moss stitch at the hem the last time I wrote about this project? Well I frogged that back because even though I had a good inch or more of the stitch the hem was rolling up and I knew this meant that I would become obsessed with it forever more. No thanks.  I ended up knitting a loose 2x2  rib along with adding another 2 or so inches  to the length. It was just too too short otherwise.

Next came the sleeves which I didn't photograph for the tutorial- basically, the instructions are clear enough. Lets start with picking up stitches and decreases and move on from that.

If you recall, a number of stitches were put aside for the sleeves while I continued to knit the body. These stitches go back onto needles.
Remember those extra stitches
To be picked up are the five (or whatever number you needed to add on in the underarm area) stitches. Place a marker at the beginning of the row and figure out how much you need to decrease:

 Instructions state simply that  a common method here is to decrease one stitch at the start and one at the end of the row after every inch. This worked fine for me as I wanted a short basic sleeve.

 On page 6 of the official instruction sheet, the formula for figuring out decreases is given as:
gauge x cuff circumference= cuff stitches
 Using my gauge swatch result:
5 x 12= 60 (stitches to remain on needle for the cuff and bind off)

Using a smaller needle, I knit a 1x1 rib so that it would draw tighter and then I bound off when I had the length I wanted. If you are reach the desired amount of stitches before you reach that length, then just keep knitting until you have that length with no more decreases.  Its a tight enough sleeve in my opinion but I have a bit of cushion on my upper arms. I suggest a google search for sleeve techniques for other techniques.

Next is the neckline.
Pick up the stitches and make sure to keep the shoulder area stitches even. I had 11 sleeve stitches originally (now the shoulder) so I made sure that each side had 11 stitches picked up.

I then knit the first row in 2x2 rib to match the bottom hem. I decreased 1 stitch at each side of the sleeve stitches on the next row (giving me 9 stitches in between the raglan seem) and commenced to knit the collar from there. I am not happy with this part at all and am busy trying to think about it. For me, its a question of styling not technique.
Once I decide on this part, it will be time to block the sweater and wear!  This is as far as I am taking the tutorial. I hope this series has helped to make the top down raglan technique clear to readers. It really is an easy knit-suitable for beginners in my opinion. I will always be available to answer questions on this topic but please remember to show me what you have knit if you take this on:)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Top-Down Sleeve: Sleeve Cap, Part 1 of 2

This is not at all to do with my raglan sweater but I wanted to post it here as its well done.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Knit Designer Gods Love Me

After my ordeal with that crazy shawl pattern that I was trying to knit for my ailing sister (she is well again but I am frogging the shawl) I was a little bit gun shy regarding buying more patterns from unknown designers. I still don't entirely fault the shawl designer since I have not actually communicated my dismay to her  but my nerves simply cannot handle another fail like that.

When I came across the Dicey Bonnet by Jen of JenJoyce designs though, I was highly tempted to take a chance! I like all of her work which can be bought via ravelry and on her blog.  She has a ravelry group with threads dedicated to each of the designs. I joined and she friended me-not just a nice gesture but an indication that she is active in her own group and designs.

Since I have been working on the raglan sweater , I put the thoughts aside though I had been wondering about my next project. I really really wanted to knit that bonnet and then there is the Pin Striped sweater that Jen also publishes……..sigh
Well yesterday,  Jen contacted me and offered me a free pattern of my choice! I squealed like a child inside. She simply wanted to extend a welcome and she also offered to help me through any tough spots of the pattern I chose (Dicey Bonnet of course!).

I am floored. Really Jen, if you are reading, I can't tell you how much it means to me.
I am ordering yarn today and I cannot wait to begin this project!
If you are on ravelry, then go check out Jens designs and join her group (JenJoyce Design) and the link to her really cool blog is above.
I will definitely write more once I get going on this!