Wednesday, November 30, 2011

holiday knitting delay

Cats and yarn.  I usually knit at my kitchen table.  My cats (we have 4), mostly do not bother me when I'm knitting.  Sasha, the youngest at five, has decided that evenings are best spent in my lap.  This never happens if I'm reading the paper.  Or if I'm eating dinner, or if I'm painting at that table.  It only happens if I have needles and yarn in my hands.  She then feels compelled to gradually get as close as she can.  She may try to go for the yarn, but mostly just wants to stop me from knitting.  Or so it seems.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's alive!

Unseasonably cool weather has orchids popping in our back yard.  This cattleya hasn't had a bloom since we bought it at an orchid show 5 or 6 years ago.  What did we do right this year? 
From orchids
We're still learning.  Maybe it's the weather.  All of our orchids live outside.  We live in central Florida. It's a good place to grow orchids.  Lc. Evirett Dirkson is the name of this purple beauty and its scent is as beautiful as it's appearance.  We may have been a bit more steady with the fertilizer this year.  I try to remember the 'weakly/weekly' rule.  That means to dilute your orchid fertilizer by 1/4th and water once a week with it. 

Orchids can be found on every continent on Earth with the exception of Antarctica.  There is at least one that will thrive where you live.  Contact a local nursery/florist and ask for native orchids.  You just have to try not to kill it :-)  Generally, no direct sunlight, and don't overwater! Overwatering kills most gift orchid plants.  
From orchids
This is our ever-blooming valentine orchid.  I gave it to Wayne on 2/14/2011.  It looks like it will still be in bloom through Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder

Where the hell did the last month go?  I've been busy knitting 'stealth projects', as Wendy says on her blog.  I recently purchased Wendy Knits Lace and discovered that I don't yet have enough needles.  I have several sets of interchangeable circular needles, addi clicks and knitpicks options as well as dpns and straights.  I look to the interchangeables to do most everything, but there is a reason they are not normally used for small things like hats and cowls.  I think that needs a remedy.  The needles on interchangeable sets are longish to account for the joining hardware for the cables. When a 16 inch circular needle is called for, that includes the length of the needles, not just the cable.  I've got to purchase a 16 inch circular in every freaking size now, because I have Wendy's book.  And I want to knit everything in it, especially Elizabeth's Cowl.

Hey, KnitPicks, why don't you come up with a small interchangeable set?

In the meantime, I want to share my son David's new hobby.  He's been making pens with his lathe.  Most of these pictured are made from the little blocks of wood used as spacers in cigar boxes.  They have wonderful weight and balance.  I really like writing with them.
From Blogger Pictures

The Amazon Lily that my friend Tom gave me is blooming for the first time.
From Blogger Pictures
The bulbophyllum Marv Reagan is going nuts with blooms.
From Blogger Pictures
And...the Valentine's Day Phalaenopsis (Chlan Xen Lady) is still blooming with no sign of letting up. 
From Blogger Pictures
That's an orchid that has been blooming now for almost 9 months.  I'm thinking of contacting Guinness.  I could us a case of stout.