Monday, May 28, 2012

Don't call me chrys

We are the mums, we are the mums, we are the we are the we are the mums

This is this year's chrysanthemum lineup. I maybe went a little overboard?

I haven't ever much grown mums before, except those full-of-flowers ones you see at the grocery store in Autumn. The good members of the National Chrysanthemum Society, Oregon Chapter, assured me that they were easy to grow and care for. And I now have a 6-page closely-spaced handout on just how easy.

A few years ago I saw this pretty thing on display at the Japanese garden, and it hasn't ever quite left my head. I'm not growing for exhibition or anything, I just want pretty flowers.

Frances would like you to know that she's prettier than any of those plants, so Pay Attention to HER.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Be my begonia

I'm beginning to sense a theme here. I didn't realize I was so predictable.

This is the pretty little begonia I got last weekend, because I couldn't find but one, not-so-good picture of begonias of years past. If you turn it over, it's got a surprise:
Strawberry-colored underleaves!

We've just ended a run of 2(!) weeks of sunny weather, which is a bit of an anomaly for May. It's been lovely. I missed the sun. The tayberries approve.
Last year they didn't fruit until the 4th of July. Hopefully the weather won't turn suddenly soggy and rain them out. They are a cross between raspberries & blackberries, and they really do taste like both at the same time.

I really have come to accept that I'm not much of a gardener; I seem to like having a garden more than I do tending it. But every year these guys have come up, and do pretty well, even with my semi-neglect. (This year I did manage to fertilize them and put some compost/mulch around them. Maybe they'll taste better?)

Work has finally calmed down some. Huzzah.

The house is painted. It is So. Very. Green. I am still getting used to it, and wondering if I ever will. I chose a darker, slightly brighter green for the foundation, and that was definitely a mistake. It pushes it into the crazy-green category over from merely a-lot-of-green. Give me a few weeks and I'll probably repaint it grey. I'll post pictures later, when I don't start at the sight of it.

Hello commuter socks!

Some old Opal that I got from Michelle. Despite the simplicity they were a fun knit because of the patterning, although I messed around with the sizing a lot. I think I ripped out the first toe about 4 times.

Double-0-DPN (1.75 mm), started with 88, ribbed at the top, then stockinette the rest of the way, gradually decreasing down to 72 at the ankle.

Regular old heel-stitch heel flap, although I always make it a little deeper than 2x the width stitch count, and pick up a few more stitches on the side. I also messed with feathering the gusset decreases near the end - started with every other row, then moved to every 3rd and later every 4th row. I'm not sure it made any difference.

Tiger (socks) in the (backyard) veldt.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

With Anemones like these

Wow, do I have a lot of plant pictures. I like the frilly foliage on the new bud almost as much as I like the flowers.

There's also apple blossoms, 3 weeks past now.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

First of the Strawberries

At this rate, I might make 12 whole posts this year.
I hit the farmer's market today. Although they actually ran it over the winter this year (semimonthly), which was nice because I could get my apple fix from local orchards.

But unless you are really into potatoes, onions, and hardy greens (mmm kale), there's not a lot of choice. May is usually slim pickings too, but it's been a warm late spring. And the strawberries are early! Not to mention the asparagus and the onions. I know, I love you California, but the first local strawberries are like a big red flag of summer waving in the not-raining-constantly breeze.

The coffee is not exactly local, but the Oregon coffee grower's association isn't having a lot of success yet.

Work just exploded in the last couple weeks. I'm very grateful that I have this weekend off. Everyone's exhausted. Let's just say that last Wednesday I was telling the Love Monkey that last week was taking too long.

It is also crazy land at home as: 1) we just got a new fence, about 3 weeks ago. The old one was falling down. Who's the mayor of ProcrastiNation?
2) we're getting the house painted. My back, knees, and lungs all voted for hiring someone professional to do this and I regret nothing. It's lovely weather, and amazingly it's been clement all week long. But right now all the windows are wrapped up in plastic, and the outside looks like it has lesions everywhere patched with primer. Then there was the whole what-colors-to-pick dance.

What was carefully edited out of that picture above is just how full of crap the backyard is. Anyway, it all adds up to me spending the day knitting on the couch. Hey, I did some laundry. I'm not entirely useless.

I'm so looking forward to the backyard not being a huge mess, and not worrying whether the color we picked will be good or not (once it's on, it's not like I can do anything about it). On a bad day about a month ago I ordered some chrysanthemums. $3.50 for a little bit of happiness doesn't seem so high? They will be arriving in the next couple weeks. We'll see how it goes. The anemone at least is still alive.
Divide & anemonize