Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shawl Progress

I started a new shawl a few weeks ago - think I've mentioned it already.  So I just wanted to show off my progress so far.  I'm on row 20 now.

I really like how the colors "pool", rather than striping, using crochet stitches.

I've not been overly excited about long self-striping color yarns used for crochet, so far.  I guess if you have the right pattern it looks good.  For instance, the striping on the long-wise stitched scarf I made for my sister worked out really well.

Monday, June 18, 2012

June Garden

Well, I have not had the opportunity to do as much in the garden this year as I'd like, especially with the foot surgery keeping me from doing things.  I'm pleased with how this bed is coming along.  I've moved and changed a few things, and I'm considering more changes.  I have a new veronica, the tall kind, in behind the lychnis.  The lychnis, that red flower you see on the right, is too big for its position and tends to fall over.  So it's getting moved to the new bed, and that blue veronica will get moved up so it's visible.

I got at least one big project started - the new garden area I chopped out of the weeds a few weeks ago, just before surgery.  So now I have the fun of finding things to put in it.  I dug up two more self-seeded things in other areas to move, as well as buying another plant, Weigela florida.  The local good nursery had a new variety of the variegated form for $35 in a 10-gal pot.  Uh, no.  So I hunted around and found the older variegated kind, weigela florida, in a 5 gal pot at a Home Depot, for $6.  Greenhurst definitely has more interesting/less common varieties of things - they had the particular rose I wanted for instance - but sometimes all you want is the good ol' regular stuff.  Of course I can't dig a hole for it right now, so it's waiting until hubby can help me get it planted.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I made a cake this morning for the T&G Board meeting at our house.  Used a box cake mix, Lemon, but added juice from a real lemon as part of the liquid, and substituted a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt for one of the eggs.  I made lemon pudding for the filling between the two layers and used lemon juice and zest in that.  Then I wanted a creamy frosting, so I tried substituting plain yogurt in the butter cream frosting recipe instead of the milk.  It turned out ok, but wasn't really the creamy taste I was looking for.  I'll have to experiment with that a bit.  Anyway, everyone said it turned out very nice, so that's good.

 I wish I'd thought of taking pictures of it before we ate half of it, but oh well.
Tomorrow night is the first T&G monthly summer party class.  We're not having regular classes until Sept 10th, but to keep people going we're doing a party night one Monday a month in June, July and August.  In the past we've continued classes into late June, then taken a complete break until late Sept.  So this is an experiment for us.  We're hoping we'll keep our newer dancers and our experienced folk more interested this way.  People bring easy finger foods and we do about six dances for fun, no teaching.

At the board meeting we decided to plan on performing at the Trailing of the Sheep in October 2013.  In 2013 they are focusing on Idaho's Scottish sheep-herding history, as opposed to the Basque, Polish, and other ethnic groups that came over to work sheep in Idaho's earliest days.  It's a big event that's been around a long time, and they have lots of good groups there - pipe bands, and professional folk dance troupes.  So if we commit to doing it, we have to prepare a much bigger show than we usually do.  At least five or more dances, plus our great kilt demo, and perhaps some Scottish Ladies Step dance.  We're hoping The Bru can play as well, for us and on their own, to give us little breaks.  With all of that we should be able to fill a decent amount of time.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Crochet Project

On Wednesday I started a new shawl.  I'm using Tosh Merino DK in the 'Cathedral' colorway.  I bought it at Happy Knits, Portland, OR, when hubby and I were on vacation in March.  Happy Knits has sooooo many Tosh yarns in all weights and most of the colors.  It was really hard to choose.  But this is a gorgeous, gorgeous yarn.  I couldn't wait to do something with it.

So I was thrilled to find the First Love shawlette pattern on Ravelry.  It's a small half-circle shape with bands of different lace stitches, and a very nice border.  I'm not sure how much of a shawl person I'm going to be.  I hope I can find ways to wear shawls that will make it worth all the time and effort they take.  When you find a beautiful yarn and a great pattern you want to at least get some wear out if the item, as well as show off your skills.  The picture above is my progress as of today.  I'm already on row 11, but of course each row gets longer and takes a little more time.

My friend Diane is making me a beautiful knitted shawl in Tosh Lace in the 'Tart' color - a tonal yarn in shades of deep red.  Another time where I found this amazing yarn and then had to look for a pattern that I thought would do it justice.  In this case the shawl is knitted lace, well beyond my ability.  So Diane kindly agreed to make it for me, in trade for me making her something.

I finished the crocheted cowl Diane chose earlier this week.  It's pinned out now, being blocked into shape.  I think it turned out well.  The pattern was well written and turned out the way I imagined - except that it's a bit smaller overall than it appears in the picture.  I hope it will work for Diane.  This is a picture of it before blocking.

Friday, June 8, 2012


I've been having trouble with my left foot since early this year.  At first it was just occasional pain under my second toe, but it didn't go away and became more and more constant. Around March it got so I couldn't dance on the balls of my feet for more than a few minutes in class.  So I went to a podiatrist.  After various tests, including an MRI, he figured out it was probably an injury to the plantar plate, that area under your foot at the base of your toes, where all the ligaments and tendons attach.  Evidently the tendons attached to my second toe were starting to degenerate.  In addition, the long bone inside my foot that's part of the second toe was too long.  So that bone was taking most of the impact when I danced.

On Wednesday this week I had surgery to hopefully correct these things.  He shortened the bone and repaired the tendons. This was the first time I've experienced a nerve block.  It worked great.  I had no pain at all until early this morning - sort of like walking on a block of wood.  It took at least 32 hours to wear off.  I have a walking boot, but I'm supposed to stay mostly off my foot until Sunday.  After that I can be a bit more mobile, but I'll be wearing the boot for six weeks.

I washed my hair in the bathroom sink today.  So I'm happy we replaced our bathroom faucet last month.  The new faucet spout is arched, with separate hot and cold taps.  So I can mix the water temperature and my head fits under the flow.  It would have been much harder with the old faucet hardware.

In other big news, I picked the first raspberries of the year today!  Just a few days ago they all looked pretty green.  It really feels like June when the raspberries start ripening.  Summer is here.