Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yarn from Pagewood Farm

After a disappointing trip to the fabric store (Sold out of what I wanted? I needed more!), it was easy to find something I liked at the yarn shop a couple of blocks away. It's about time for me to switch gears and make a pair of socks. I wound this beauty into two balls of equal weight and now need to dig around in my books and Ravelry faves to choose a pattern. I haven't had knitting on my mind for some time, but it is always there, lurking below the surface.

The color is called Camo? Wouldn't Butterbeer be a prettier name? I suppose no one wants greenish hair, but it reminds me of the lovely locks on a high end blonde fresh from the salon, all streaks of sunlit color...

This was the only skein I liked in the whole store. I have been craving some Madeline Tosh sock yarn for awhile but have failed to find any locally and haven't managed to put in an order online. Last winter (I hate to admit it), I discovered a moth problem in parts of our house so I have been reluctant to buy a bunch of expensive moth food until I was sure the little buggers had moved on. Gone or not, it is time to knit again.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sheep Dog Trials

Standing next to me, under dripping trees, a woman with a dog explained the course. "You start with 100 points and are allowed nine minutes," she said. We could see four sheep, up on a knoll in the distance, out of sight of the dog and handler at the post. The dog was sent down the left side of the field, running full speed, in a sweeping arc. "That is the outrun," she said. "You want the dog to stay wide and come up on the sheep from behind. When contact is made between sheep and dog, it is called the lift." 

She spoke clearly, using her technical terms as specialists do, but soon I understood how points were being lost down in the grass. The fetch, the drive, the pen and the shed all followed the lift.  There was a square, wire pen below us, three sets of gates and a flagged circle in the pasture marked out where the dog was tasked with splitting off two of the ewes. There would be a different layout tomorrow.

Her dog was at her feet, alert and obedient. A four year old, this is his first year in the open class and he is doing well. He was a novice last year.

She showed me her whistle and crook. We sat for awhile under an awning, out of the rain and then wandered down, through the mud, to see the standings posted on a bulletin board. The leader had 89 points but it was early; they had started at 7:00 and with sixty or seventy dogs slated to compete, it was looking like it would be a twelve hour day.
The whistle is made of Corian.
Another dog.

And a donkey. Just for fun. Those dogs are so serious.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quilt Binding

When I go to Gretchen's house to drop off a quilt, there is always a lot to look at. She is a longarm quilter and her own projects and the quilts she is working on are spread around her studio space like a gallery show. The one on the machine was so pretty. It was nicely pieced, had great colors and Gretchen had made it even better with her perfectly patterned stitching. It even had the binding attached... and it came to me, slowly. "You can sew the binding on, too?" 

Yes, please! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Best Freshman

Ray received two awards at the recent high school Band Banquet:


 We are so proud. He does have very nice hair.

Stats for the baby book: 
6 feet tall, 145 pounds

Friday, June 15, 2012

Reluctant Gardener

Year by year, I gain a little ground in the garden. I have no real drive to grow things; the best I can hope for, it seems, is a feeble urge in the spring time to do what is necessary to keep from being overtaken by weeds.


I don't consider myself a real gardener as I don't actually "garden". I do yard work. I weed. Sometimes I pull stuff out and put other stuff in. Maybe I am just a fair weather gardener or a gardener with a bad attitude. Maybe a half-baked gardener? Yard boy?

Every year, I vacillate between hopeful enthusiasm and disappointed resignation. Magazines and seed catalogs display lush images of lavish flower beds, rich with color, and bountiful rows of plump, shiny vegetables, and I get lured into believing that it might be possible to create that here. But, really, I am too lazy and cheap and too easily confused by my failures. I also give up quickly. Once the seeds are in and the new plants settled into their spots, I expect them to thrive and then produce. Give me flowers! Berries! Fruit! Food! Instead, the bunnies and deer and slugs sneak in and interfere with the bountiful harvest I have imagined. There are insects, there is wind, the soil pH is too high or too low, and who really knows how much to water and when to fertilize. Not me.

Smallest tomato ever!

I could keep learning about it all and I could build a animal proof fence to protect the vegetable beds (see above - cheap and lazy) but really, I am shooting for a yard that takes care of itself. The poppies have taken hold in the spot for poppies and there is progress in the raspberry patch. Sedums do well (eventually) and I like to grow beets and tomatoes. I will embrace my own procrastination and admit (reluctantly) that my so-so yard and my good enough garden is really just fine.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Family Fishing

fish sitka gary 2012
Captain Gary

Dave's brother organized a family fishing trip to Alaska. We didn't go but we are having fresh King salmon for dinner tonight. Yum!

Bud and Carolyn


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rose Star Half Blocks

These blocks were rushed - I wasn't really feeling the love when choosing the fabrics and combining the colors. "Let's just get this blasted quilt finished!" But impatience comes and goes and now I am happy again, just plugging away on it, step by step.

There was also some small difficulty in picturing the construction of the block sliced in half. Visual people are always helped by a diagram - I'm glad to have a jar of colored pencils around and a copy feature on the home printer.  

Monday, June 04, 2012

Progress and Tedium

The blocks are all connected now but I am getting a little tired of this project. Six half blocks are needed for the sides and they are coming together all right; there just isn't any great enthusiasm at the moment. 

It is time to put it aside for a bit but I want the side blocks assembled and attached first. A good stopping point sometimes makes a difference in picking something back up again. 

And who knows? I may feel like pushing on through after all.