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June 7th, 2010

08:43 pm - The garden -- Junuary
The weather around here has been, shall we say, not exactly spring/summer-like. It seems like it's been raining and 55 for weeks, which doesn't make for much progress in the garden.

But, here's what's been going on for the end of Mayvember and the beginning of Junuary.Collapse )


May 20th, 2010

09:40 pm - garden: planted so far
I've already said that I'm not planting anything in the ground for the first year, but that was actually a lie. It's always been my dream to have raspberries in my garden. Growing up, I used to beg my parents for raspberry bushes, but they always had some excuse about Boston, too cold, blah, wrong soil, blah blah. Anyway, now I've got my own garden (in a more temperate climate), and I want raspberries, dammit! So, on April 18th I dug up the sunniest bed (which didn't appear to have any promising perennials in it anyway) and planted 2 Saanich red raspberry plants and 1 black satin thornless blackberry. (Everyone in the Northwest thinks I'm crazy for planting blackberries on purpose. But, I try to explain that these are not Himalayan Blackberries, the noxious weed that takes over everything.)

Black Satin Blackberries Saanich Red Raspberries
Blackberries and raspberries, right after planting

and, a month later: Some day soon I'll have raspberries

At the same time, I planted three containers of herbs: flat leaf parsley, curly parsley, dill, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and chives.
The herb garden

Tomatoes and basil had to wait until the weather got a bit warmer. So, on May 9th, I planted the starts I acquired at the Seattle Tilth sale.

Four kinds of tomatoes: Green Grape (yellow/green cherry tomato, 65 days), Peacevine (red cherry tomato, 78 days), Sweet Million (red cherry tomato, 65-75 days), and Lime Green Salad (green full-size tomato, but small, 58 (!!) days)
Four kinds of tomatoes

and Genovese basil, and two kinds of lavender (English and something else I'll have to look up):
basil and lavender

An note on the cages: I'm so excited about the the brightly colored tomato and berry cages. I found them at the Ace Hardware in Edmonds, WA. I have no idea if other Ace's sell them, but I haven't noticed them anywhere else.

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May 18th, 2010

09:30 pm - catching up the garden
I bought my house in late September, so I pretty much had all winter to pretend the garden wasn't there and concentrate on getting the indoors in order.

But, since it's already May, this little journal does have some catching up to do.

The highlights by monthCollapse )

Next I'll catalog what I've planted in recent weeks and map out some plans for the summer.

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04:34 pm - not dead
Well now, been awhile, hasn't it? I maybe have gotten a bit distracted by some of the other pretty sites out there, but when it comes down to it, it's hard to tell stories in 140 characters or less. And I miss telling stories; whether or not anyone's listening.

Actually, what primarily brings me back is that I need a place to track my garden. (Garden, what garden? More on that later). As tempting as it is to go buy a beautiful moleskin and new pen for a garden journal, I really need more of a photojournal, and a notebook isn't going to cut it for that. I need a place where I can write down minutiae, post a picture or two and forget about it until I need to refer to it in a year's time. I’m sorry to say it took far longer than it should for me to remember LJ. So, now that Ravelry has become the space where I track knitting, and Facebook has taken over where I write silly things for my entire high school class to read (ugh), LJ has reemerged triumphant as the place to track my garden.

What have I been doing for the past year-plus?

Well, I bought a house:
The House

I adopted a couple of cats, Otto and Ulysses:
Otto's new favorite spot Ulysses picks out his playlist

I've been knitting like crazy for a dozen babies:

(By the way, if you're pregnant and not already on my list, congratulations, but I don't want to know about it.)

And with the house comes...a garden, and hence the need for a garden journal. I've decided for the first year I'm not going to make a whole lot of changes, and just document what perennials appear. There's already been a wave of tulips, and the rhododendrons are blooming in sequence. Otherwise, there's a whole bunch of things that I don't know what they are, but intend to find out! (If you know of any good gardening/ID resources, please let me know!)

So, I'm hoping to be more active in this space – posting pictures of what's growing (or isn't), and generally tracking what I'm doing so that I won't repeat any mistakes next year! Stay tuned.
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December 12th, 2008

06:29 pm - For Little Megan
Once upon a time, at a small college in Maine, I sat down to eat lunch with drivingon9, and was introduced to a girl with an eyebrow ring, furiously writing in Greek. This was lexophile. We'd become friends, and eventually share an apartment for a couple years after graduation.

Fast-forward ten years or so, and lexophile is visiting Seattle. She mentions this fantastic person she knows named crankyisgood, who she thinks I'd like. Yeah, she was right.

So naturally, when lexophile announced that she's expecting a Little Lexophile, crankyisgood and I got to work:

A baby moderne blanket from Mason-Dixon knitting, knit up in RYC Cashsoft. It's basically a baby version of the one I made. Thanks to teamwork, it was a pretty quick knit, and it's so soft and cozy.

Good luck Megan, and I hope Lexobaby enjoys the blankie!

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November 17th, 2008

10:05 pm - shiny
In my personal attempt at stimulating the economy, I bought myself a new MacBook. (While I have a laptop that works perfectly well, if a little slowly, I need an Intel-based Mac that can run Windows too -- that way I can telecommute when I feel like it, and I can download audiobooks directly from the library.)

I picked it up today at Fedex, and it is beautiful. My old Mac was pretty, but this one is so sleek, so shiny. And, thanks to some fantastic migration software, I'm up and running already, with all my files, all my software, everything that was on the old machine. (In fact, almost too much came over -- cookies, passwords, wallpaper, everything. I was hoping to start fresh in a few areas.) The new clicky trackpad is taking some getting used to, but I don't hate it like I was afraid I might.

Now I have to make the XP/Vista decision (everyone at work says XP), and figure out how running two operating systems on one machine really works.

Oh, and of course there's the task of naming the machine -- always the most important part of buying a new computer.

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September 22nd, 2008

04:00 pm
There are so many things Tivo does brilliantly, that sometimes I get a little blinded to the faults. But then I try to upgrade to a new, better Tivo that I'm sure will change my life, and the reality of things becomes clear.

Goddammit Tivo, perhaps I want to keep the some of the recordings I had on the old box. (How could I possibly delete the Colbert Report episode where Amy Sedaris does her tumbling routine? Sure it's two years old, and I know I could almost definitely find it on YouTube, but that's not the point, it's a brilliant episode) If you're a Windows-user you can download software for free and copy the files over to your computer. But a Mac-user? No, sorry. You have to buy special software for $70. Dammit.

Once I resigned myself to losing my old recordings (and it was a little freeing to just let them go. If I really really need to see those Doctor Who episodes again, I can get them on DVD. And it really shouldn't be a problem catching Project Runway reruns, considering they have marathons every other week), I was ready to switch out the machines. HD here I come! Wait, stop, Tivo claims my account is past due and I can't do anything until I fix it. Huh? I have it on autobill to by credit card, how could it be past due? Apparently, the Tivo folks don't build any float time into their billing cycle. They charge the credit card the day the payment's due (even if that happens to be a Sunday). The time between then and when the credit card company acknowledges the charge? Past due. So if it's Sunday afternoon and I'm looking to swap out a machine, I can't do anything unless I tell them to charge the card again, which is so not going to happen. I know one day's delay isn't the end of the world, and it looks like the payment went through this morning, so at least I can move forward, but come on Tivo, that's a pretty idiotic billing system.

Of course, I'm sure if you ask me tomorrow (or whenever I've switched everything over), Tivo will be all puppies and sunshine again in my eyes.

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August 24th, 2008

09:31 pm - The Quilt
It may have caused minor injury, but my second quilt ever is done! It's a Drunkard's Path pattern, which is one of the few traditional Amish patterns I can ever see myself sewing. (It was always my favorite of the squares my mom made when she was making a sampler quilt. She never did quite finish it, but then again she was insanely doing everything by hand. No machine, not even a rotary cutter. The six blocks she did finish became very nice pillows though.)

Drunkard's Path quilt

I bought the fabric in October 2007, but it took me a fair amount of time to actually start cutting it up. Back in February I mocked up the pattern in Photoshop, but probably didn't start working on it in earnest until March or April. (And you'll notice I didn't end up going with any of the three Photoshopped options.)

Things I learned:
1. Curves are not to be taken lightly. You need to give curves the full respect they are due. Do not mock the curve.

2. Don't always trust a book. (This was a very hard lesson to learn.) If something isn't working, it's entirely possible the stencil in the book is wrong. If the options are between either a book or a ruler being wrong, it's probably the book.

3. The pink erasable marking pen from Clover is a thing of genius.

4. Quilting gloves and audiobooks on the ipod are essential for machine quilting. (The machine's too loud to hear the stereo adequately.)

5. I'm in complete awe of anyone that can quilt with a regular free-motion foot. But I feel no need to compete with them, because I have a BSR foot, the greatest thing ever.

The finished size is 72 x 84, which fits very nicely on my bed. I tested it out last night, and I can give it full marks for sleeping. (I used 100% cotton batting, so it's not quite warm enough to use on it's own. But with a second blanket, it's perfect for Seattle summers.)

More pictures behind the cutCollapse )

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August 19th, 2008

06:15 pm
I sewed the binding onto the quilt I've been working on for months. Perhaps I shouldn't have done it in one sitting, since I've apparently crippled myself in the process. My left shoulder and elbow are both really angry at me right now. Dang.

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July 27th, 2008

10:12 pm - All it needs is a wedding
Fifty days after casting on for the wedding stole, it's done! (Vacations are very handy for finishing things up, no?)


I finished it with 3 weeks and 16 grams of yarn to spare. (Whew!) All blocked out, it comes to 71 inches by 29 inches. This is bigger than the original plan (I was aiming for 60x26), but better.

I hope Daphne likes it!

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