Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Zucchini and the Yellow Squash

The small balcony of our apartment is slowly turning into a mini-farm. All we need is some nice sheep.

While watching green onion and carrots grow, I thought it would be nice to have some squash. Hey, I heard they were easy to grow, and they make lots. I really like summer squash, so let's give it a go!

I got some seeds at Home Depot on 4/1
Planted them on 4/4
(note to self: don't plant ALL the seeds at once.)
The planter has tangerine seeds

Sprouting already! (4/8)

Cute leaves! (4/10)
Asher is way worried that we're going to have too much squash.
So we thinned it out to 4 each. (4/16)
Here we have zucchini
...and yellow squash.
more leaves (4/19)
Take note of the sneaky 5th one that appeared out of nowhere on top right.

Hmm this may be too crowded too...(4/25)
Growing still (4/28)

I also found a nifty way of recycling gallon milk jugs, so I'm growing one zucchini upside-down.
And a yellow squash on top.

If all goes well, we'll have squash by the end of May! Mmm!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feel Better, Jiccha.

My mom's dad (Jiccha in Yamagata dialect) has been in the hospital for several months. I heard that Japan's having a cold spring, so I thought it may be not too late for a knitted gift.

I was flushed, rushed, and stressed; inevitably I had a gauge disaster with this one: aaargh darn you Cascade 220 superwash!

So I took few deep breaths and cast on for this one which I finished:

Pattern:: First Time Tube Socks by Ann Budd
Size:Large (9" circ)
Yarn:Patons Classic Wool in Chestnut and Aran
Yardage:187yds Chestnut; 127yds Aran
Needle:US7 DPN
Mods:Made them stripes so I'd have enough yarn.

I hope you feel better, Jiccha.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


While working on my witterings hat, my #2 needle snapped in half. sigh.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Selfless month recap

March was my self-designated "selfless month" where I thought to knit for others. I was doing great until this happened:
I was disillusioned. Fortunately, I had misread the pattern and didn't decrease properly before the ribbed part. I reknitted it and now it is a completed shawl:

While I was disillusioned, I made some blanket squares for ME.

From top left: leftover bits with sample yarns from online store; handspun merino and black; black (Domy Heather); hand-dyed blue (Valley Franklin) x 2.

There was also a warm spell that convinced me to start a cotton tank top:

Pattern:: Shapely Tank by Joan McGowan-Michael
Yarn:Cascade Fixation Solid; maroon & spray dyed effects Arizona Sunset
Needle:US6 circ
Mods:Lots. First of all my gauge is 6 sts/inch and pattern calls for 5 sts/inch. I also wanted about a -4" (negative 4") ease, so I cast on 84 sts. I did the short rows on the bottom on both sides, then joined them in the round to avoid seams. I'm alternating solid and variegated every 4 rows to avoid awkward pooling in unwanted places. For shaping I decreased and increased 6 sts over 24 rows and tried it on every so often to make sure it fits. For the chest I doubled the short-row rows to compensate for the gauge difference. It seems to be working just fine.

I was really happy with everything until the edging. Way too floppy. How disillusioning. I'm aging it right now. While doing that I casted on another cotton stripey something for myself.

Pattern:: Witterings by Anna Bell
Yarn:Classic Elite Yarn Provence in purple and light green
Needle:US2 circ and DPN
Mods:None so far. I got gauge, and other than my wrist popping from tiny gauge it is going pretty well.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter Weekend!

My family came to visit! It was lots of fun and an intense weekend full of things to do. That's how we roll. Please enjoy the beautiful spring scenery of DC and random goofiness.

The welcome band.

This year we were so lucky to have warm weather and peak bloom on Easter Weekend! Yay!

We ran into our neighbors from NC at the Jefferson Memorial! What are the odds. It was really nice seeing them, and we need to go visit them once they move to Austin, TX!

We then had delicious Spanish tapas. Luckily we made reservations so we didn't have to wait at all!

Then drank some more.

Next morning I wake up to this. Mom, those are bobbins.
So I had to show them what was what.

Then off to DC again! ...hmm not sure if we were supposed to do that.
The National conservatory was full of beautiful flowers and exotic flora.

...and funny-looking humans.
Corn husk dolls.

This one took my breath away!

I love this color. Himalayan orchids, I think. I'm going to try dying my yarn like this color.

Then to the Smithsonian. Hello fairy armadillo. This species uses his butt to cover the hole he's hiding in. Some fairy.
Platypus cranium. I thought the nasal bone structure is so interesting!
This little mouse screams real loud.
Which one is the hippo again?
Giraffes like potato chips.
Deer with fangs. Why?
We must have a mask shot whenever possible.
It was a bit early, but I gave her the birthday goods. She looks a lot better in the hat than me.
She also wanted some knitted dishcloth (good girl). I also got her the best storybook ever,

It was lots of fun! Come visit again soon!