Monday, July 25, 2011

Park City Retreat!!

Well, all the planning (late this year for sure) is done, I am doing last minute work for my business and tomorrow will start packing up my stuff to take on Wednesday early, I hope.

No news on the garden front except I will have some grape tomatoes when I get back this weekend.  That will be so nice to finally have some fresh tomatoes.  I have eaten a couple of spicy yellow peppers and they were delicious.

I have been doing some dyeing yesterday and this morning and it's hard work for sure, but the results are fun.

It looks so murky and diabolical, doesn't it?  I didn't know the steam would show up.  This dyepot is gorgeous.  Burgundy, gold, green and navy.  yummy.

Just then, the camera decided that it didn't have enough breakfast to do more, so I had to change batteries.  But, and this is shocking, I am going to take it to retreat.  I have so many pictures of past retreats, I don't know who's pics I will be taking or of what, but it will be interesting.

So, more stuff to find and more stuff to get ready, ta until next week.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Yay!  Yellow!

I was thinking it looked yellow last night and am so pleased to see it this morning.  It's visible from the kitchen window so I can admire it until it fades.

I have been knitting.  And knitting.

 The shaping continues.  3 more inches to the armholes.  woohoo!  I did take a picture of the shawl/sweater but I guess it didn't work.  I have gone through the greens now and am heading back into purple.  Love it.  Picture soon.

I have had several orchids blooming this spring.  Here's a couple from my kitchen.

They are so happy looking.  :>)  I did have another striped moth orchid blooming but it just decided to drop about 5 blooms at once the other day.  

Kinda show and tell day.  The weather has been wonderful this week and then it got hot again today.  I did get most of my really heavy work done this spring.  Now I am down to weeding and putting in one more little garden addition.  I hope I can work on that tomorrow morning before it gets too warm.  

May I vent a little about the job hunt?  This week I sent out multiple resumes, some of them were for my favorite position, Document Control.  They almost all called me and asked for a short phone interview.  One of them called at 8:30 pm last night!  I find that more than a little odd.  I called right back and got the message machine and then no pick up twice more this morning.  The same thing happened the other day when a guy called and I tried to call him back several times like he had said to do.  Finally he emailed and said that the job had been filled.  This is more than frustrating.  They ask really mundane questions like is 8 to 5 five days a week ok?  I have my fingers crossed for one job that I think would be a perfect fit for me, but it's been a week since my in person interview and nothing.  Keep me in your thoughts.

I am thinking that most job hunters out there are getting as depressed as me.  It's hard not to feel that way.  sheesh. <I am mumbling bad things about GW Bush.>   Back to my knitting.....


Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Monday

I can say that because I don't have to get up and go to work.  :>)  I sure hope to have a job soon, the search is so very frustrating.

I was just out in the garden and got some more pics.

This lily was gorgeous last night.  It opened up and was so clear and the color was so nicely salmon.  Today though with the heat and looks like a few bugs, it's a little bit shabby.  There are lots more blooms though.

Looks like pink day.  Most of the flower pics today are pink!  This is a big bee balm plant.  The flowers are an interesting color, not purple but not pink either.

Hen and chicks.  Purple version.  These flowers are so long lasting and smell good!  I don't think I have ever smelled them before.  My mom had some of the green ones growing at the back of our house while I was growing up.

Goldenrods are just starting to bloom.  Love them and they are a great dyeplant!  I will have to wait until they start spreading though.  I can see that I need to get the lamb's ears under control.  They have spread too much.

This is Birdie and she is wondering what am I doing?  You can see her back feet ready to leap if something is going to jump out of the camera at her.  Yes, she has her very own chair to sit and catnap and dream every day.  She loves it out there until the sun starts hitting the chair.  She also has 3 catnip patches to lay in and munch.

It's clouding up and I am hoping for thunderstorms tonight.  Love them.  The louder the better.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Just a nice day

I don't have any new pics today.  I was hoping to get more bushes put in, but they were all out at Shopko.  Rats.  I will have to go to Lowes tomorrow and get a couple.  I am sad to not have those beautiful tall arborvitae, but will have a couple nonetheless.  Then the rest of the front yard will need to be spruced up.  I did get some weeding done in the roses a couple of days ago and also the front flower garden.  But, those wonderful yucca's will need to be done early in the morning when it's cooler.  Morning glory and grass and wild lettuce, oh my.

I do have a bit of that great black soil left in the bag that it was delivered in.  I will spread it into the roses and the rest around the arborvitae.  Then, to get the weeds out of the driveway cracks.  I do know that boiling water works quite well, but it's work too to run back and forth to the kitchen.  I think Round-up will be the thing tomorrow.

A friend Susan, mentioned that some stuff called "Over the Top" would kill grass.  I have been using Grass B Gon for the last few years when I can find it.  I had bought some stuff called Ornamec and looked at the label and guess what?  It says on the label that you can spray it "over the top" of almost anything and it will just kill the grass.  ha!  So, I had some anyway.  I do have a sprayer, so will get it out and dust it off and use that.

The mail just got here and I am finished on the computer for the day.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dye plants

The madder patch

I am kind of nervous walking around this patch.  The plants are very protective and have little needle like hairs all up and down the stems.  The stems are square like mint stems.  The blooms are tiny and not very pretty, but they give way to dark blue berries that also have dye in them.  The needles on the stems turn my skin itchy and red so I have to avoid them.  I guess the birds eat the berries because I have "extra" plants coming up everywhere.  

The madder plants are a very ancient red dyeplant, it's the roots that are the source of the red.  The plants grow in the Persian deserts and are very hardy, so were used for the gorgeous variegated reds in carpets.  When using the roots, the first dyebath is usually coral colored due to the yellows in the outside of the roots.  The roots can be peeled, but I am thinking that's a huge bother.  Usually the dyebath can be used many times and will yield the deep burgundy reds in an alkaline environment.

I have harvested the roots once but have never used them.  The roots right now are probably around 10 years old.  Commercially the 3 year roots are harvested.  They are dug when the tops have died back and that means early, early spring around here.  Hopefully, I can remember this year to get that done and have my fingers crossed for huge roots.

For over 10 years, I did/consulted use off,  the dyebaths at our annual Park City Spinners Retreat.  But, I gave that up so that I could actually retreat too with all my friends instead of working the whole weekend.  :>)  I have more time now to do the personal dyeing that I have wanted to do.  It's magic to get stuff out of your garden and dye fabric, fiber or whatever else is around that's white.  Not many things stay white at my house especially the fibers that I spin.

I have lawns to mow today, so the madder will be trimmed.  I will then don long sleeves and heavy gloves to pull the vines from my air conditioner and trim the plants that around in places that I don't really want them.

Knitting report:  I am moving right along on the navy blue sweater.  I don't know why this color turns up from my camera, I will have to spend more time in Photoshop to correct that.

This sweater has shaping around the waist and sides using the natural drawn in that working cables gives.  These cables don't require the use of cable needles, just a knitting technique.  The only problem I have had with them is remembering to do twists on the reverse side.  duh  There is a lot of grumbling and talking to myself going on when I am working that side.

The "red" lily is blooming today.  I don't know if the color will deepen or not.  I was hoping for red, but this dark salmon pink is nice.  I have some red ones in the front garden that need more sunlight, so will get them moved this fall.

Well, the garden calls...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The new bushes

I got 3 of them planted today.  2 more will be in the ground tomorrow morning.  I got such a great deal on them at Shopko I couldn't pass it up.  I had to level the ground a lot, the extra soil will be moved to the back yard to help level a yet to be built patio.

Also, I found some Salvia's blooming.  I love salvias, veronicas in all forms.  I have some silver leaved with purple flowers, common salvias, veronicas and some pink salvias.

And, finally I remembered my woad.  This fall, I will process them into a blue dye.  This dye has the same make-up as indigo.  It's not as strong, but gives gorgeous blues.

I tried for a few years to get some to start in my garden, but no luck.  Finally they just appeared either via bird poop or the wind.  I let one plant go to seed last summer and have this lovely crop of babies.  They are biennials so you have to grab them the first year before they shoot up the flower stalk and bloom the second year.

Tomorrow I will show another dye plant or two around the garden.  :>)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My flowers

The campion!

This rose is really more orangey, it's raining this morning.

The yucca bloomed overnight.  It's glorious today.  I have a whole row of them in my parking strip.

Beings it's raining, the lavender smells so spicy and strong.

I planted 30 lilies last fall.  I used to have them but they all died during the long, long drought that we have had here in the valley.  This is the first orange one to bloom.  Actually, I don't know how many of each color I have so it's been exciting to see what colors are showing up.  These are Asian lilies.

Gorgeous delicate pinks.

Whites were the first to bloom, then the pinks and now the darker colors.

I don't remember a summer like this one.  Late, cool spring and then monsoons so early.  So weird to have humidity like this!  

Well, back to my knitting for today.  This is a shawl sweater with crocheted edging made with Kauni yarn in color EA.  

And, planting 5 arborvitae to fill in the spots on my hedge to the east.  These are huge for me to plant, over 6 feet.  whew.  Just as soon as it stops raining anyway.

Monday, July 11, 2011

ah, yes, the blog

Well, my life continues on same, same.  Still looking for a job, collecting unemployment, knitting like a demon, spinning somewhat, sewing a LOT on applique and the two civil war reproduction quilts.  Oh, and a TON of gardening.

We have had such a nice cool spring and summer, I am always confused when I look outside and see a ton of flowers and wet ground.  We had 7 years of drought followed by a couple of "normal" years.  This year is delicious.

Pics.  Finally.  ha

 The first is the sweater that I am constructing using some of the natural dyed yarns that I dyed at the Park City Retreat over years of time.  I love this project and will get back to it soon.
 This is a new project from called Turn of the Glass.  Am loving it.

 Who is this guy?  Pocahantas' dad.  I have found her and him in my genealogy.  I am directly related to Nicketta who was her sister and his daughter.  She was married to Ray Lee Davis.
And, who is this fine Scot?  Well, I have traced my genealogy back 3 different lines to the Sutherland clan.   Am, verra, verra proud to be a member of this clan.  Now I will make it official by turning in all the paperwork to the Clan.

These were pretty random pics and notes, but that's me these days.  I won't promise to be blogging every day but am going to try.  It makes me happy and I am happy to read blogs of other friends and interesting people. I am going to carry my camera about with me as I travel and roam the garden.