Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chat for July 12

Babbling on about various things on my mind this afternoon.

I've been knitting and blogging less than usual because I've been spending more time enjoying the summer working outdoors.

It takes a bit of a twisted mind to enjoy digging out well established Lily of the Valley plants. That's my main project as the front yard transitions from a shade garden with stepping stones and no grass, to a sunny grassy area thanks to the county taking down all the huge trees in our right of way.

If you've never dug out Lily of the Valley, let me tell you it's not a quick and easy task. The runner root system goes about a foot down and the dirt needs to be sifted to get out most of the pieces.

To the left and back of the cart is what remains of a large old Rose of Sharon tree which needs to be dug out. My goal is an hour a day on the Lily of the Valley, a half hour a day on the stump digging, and at least five minutes to remind myself that it will get done eventually if I just keep at it.

Meanwhile, the weeds in other beds are flourishing and I'm thinking maybe some of the garden areas should be turned into grass. My gardening dreams have always been bigger than my back is strong.

There's enough Lily of the Valley in various places to last through the entire summer, but when I get bored with digging it there are always sticks to pick up. We had several severe wind storms earlier this summer and I've spent many hours picking up sticks.

Did anyone else get excited when they saw the gorgeous sock yarn on the cover of the July Knitpicks catalog? And then disappointed because it's not for sale?

The picture shows results we can supposedly achieve by dying undyed yarn. For myself, I doubt it. There's so much pretty yarn on the market I don't plan on giving it a try. But - if anybody is able to dye yarn like that center pair of socks, I might be interesting in buying some.

I found the missing sample skein of fingering weight bamboo mentioned here. It was in the laundry. Probably scooped up in a nearsighted spasm of tidiness.

I've learned from the Ravelry forums that my Continental style of knitting contributes to yarn splitting. Fine. There's plenty of lovely yarn that doesn't split and I'm not going to change my style of knitting.

That said, this yarn exceeded all splitting expectations. See that awful knot on the lower left corner? That didn't even happen while I was knitting. It happened while I was winding the sample skein. The plies split apart and tangled up around each other so that it was impossible to unknot the mess. I left it so I could show it here.

The yarn is very pretty and I'll be happy to admire any project knit with it while wondering how the knitter managed to tame this yarn.

Bamboo doesn't like me, and this little skein was no exception. It slide around on the needles and split. Being fingering weight, the splits were nasty to correct. On the other hand, they aren't very visible because the stitches are small.

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