Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Finished Object, or Two...

Success! This is almost my first sweater. When DS was five years old (when dinosaurs ruled the earth), I made a little raglan sweater for him, that turned out wonderfully well. He wore it till it wore out. And now, I've made one for myself, only a few decades later! Loved the pattern, loved the yarn, love the fact that it fits! And here's the first completed Monkey Sock. The second one is underway, but as I need to keep track of the pattern rows, this one will be a knit-at-home sock. I've also started a pair of socks to knit on the go, in a self-striping, almost-Fair Isle yarn, that's turning out to be really beautiful. Pics soon.
This cold, clear morning deserved a photo, and can you believe the gorgeous protea on the right? I think this is a South African native seems to be thriving in the frost. The morning this was taken it was minus 3 degrees C. (about 28 degrees F. for your Northern Hemisphere types), so it's pretty impressive that this plant looks so good.
As you see, the cats weren't deterred by the cold, and they had a fine time prowling the yard.
Check out the frost in the foreground of this'll note that Chloe has wisely decided to stay under the leafless tree, where there's plenty of sunshine and the frost has gone!
So, this is the week we hope to have approval of our house remodel plans from the local Council. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

No Ark Yet

So, the rain has stopped, though we've had more than 13 inches (332 mm) of rain in the last two weeks. It was clear this morning, with this stunning sunrise, though extremely windy and cold...2 degrees C., or 34 F....Brrrrrrr! Ross did a wonderful clear-out of the spillway, so the dam hasn't overflowed again. This morning it was so windy we nearly had whitecaps!

The cats are absolutely loving being inside. Last night both the big grey fellows were on the bed with Ross, till I booted them out. They spend their nights in the bathroom, to avoid those incidents of World War III on the bed at 2AM! Wonder if Feliway would help them. I actually think it's too much testosterone, even though both brothers have been fixed, long since. The other five, comprised of three females and two males, get along much better and are able to spend the night peacefully in the laundry. The two fat old ladies rarely leave their little cupboard nests and seem happy as clams in there.

And here's where I am with the sweater/jumper. Just a few more inches on the sleeves, and I can block this baby and wear it. I'm really loving the color.

I succumbed to the apparently worldwide urge to make a pair of Monkey socks (designed by Cookie A. and pattern available free at This is Knit Picks Memories yarn in Red Hat color, though the overall tone is much more purple than the blue of this photo. A very fun pattern, I must say.
Also finished the red pair of socks, using Colinette Jitterbug in Fire color, using Nancy Bush's Oak Leaf pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks, but the red color is so intense I haven't been able to get a photo that looks anything like correct.

Meanwhile, we're finishing interviewing potential builders and checking out references. This is turning out to be a much more expensive project than we had envisioned, but at this point we aren't ready to retrench to less extensive modifications. Will keep you posted. Our neighbors, who only come here once a month or so, are kindly agreeing to rent us their house during the time we need to be out of ours...isn't that terrific?

So, that's the news of the day from here. Still no quilting, but getting to a much better mental/emotional place.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rain, Rain Everywhere...

As you can see, our dam is overflowing this morning. We're hoping the downhill side of the dam will hold, otherwise there's going to be a big flood of water cascading down our hill!
Here's DH trudging out to attempt to improve the capacity of our hero!
We couldn't leave the cats in their little chicken coop and yard because it's just not weatherproof at all. You can actually see through the mortar holding the bricks together in places, and the roof is a joke. It was freezing, wet and mucky out there, and I wasn't sleeping for worrying about the cats. So, yesterday we moved them into the laundry in the house: During the day, those who want to venture outside have a staging area on this little porch outside the kitchen. As you can see, it isn't weather-proof either. Fortunately the house has remained dry, may THAT continue to be so!

And here are the three fat ladies settled into the cupboard in the laundry room. They rarely venture out, preferring to sleep away the storm in comfort. Their four siblings are in and out, being more adventurous, but all come inside to sleep for the night. You can barely see Cassie in her donut on the top shelf, but Spike (on the left) and Chloe (on the right) were more willing to be photogenic. As for me, you'll find me on the sofa, snuggled up under a blanket, with either my computer on my lap or the second of the red socks, nearing completion. I think we'll venture out this afternoon, though...I'm so sick of my own cooking I could scream...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What's Up With Dianne, Anyway?

Well, I've been among the missing for far too long...again...and no excuses, either. Just feeling a bit down and overloaded, as we now face the prospect of moving out of this house (that we only moved into last October) so we can begin the renovation project. I just can't seem to get myself in gear. No energy, no motivation to get myself going. It's hard to think of all that's necessary to bring this project to fruition: choosing a zillion things like stoves, fridges, bathtubs, shower surrounds, tiles, colors, flooring, etc. ad nauseum, when you don't know which suppliers are good, what brands to choose, where the showrooms are. Sigh. I know it's silly, because it will all be worth it when we're finished, but I just can't seem to get into it this time around.

We've built two houses before this project, and loved doing them both. I think once we finally get going I'll get my house mojo going again, but for now I feel a bit paralyzed.

And so, no quilting for the moment. It's winter here now and quite cold, and my quilting studio is unheated and uninviting. Plus my enthusiasm for pink, blue and cream hasn't returned yet. So, I've been working on small projects like these socks:

And this sweater:

Keeps me busy and engaged, and they are fun things to work on and not overwhelming, like everything else seems to be at the moment.

And guess what? Our neighbors, who are moving, are letting us care for several of their horses for awhile, until they get themselves settled and organized. So, here's Minnie, on the left, a lovely young horse with a sweet, loving disposition, then Naadia, the white horse in the middle, and Tyler, the black gelding on the right. Naadia and Tyler are rather elderly, both just lovely horses. I think we'll enjoy their visit with us.

Also thought you'd enjoy these visitors to our lower paddock yesterday morning. I guess now that the steers are gone, they feel comfortable grazing a bit closer to our house.

So. That's the news of the day from me. Sorry to be such a lame blogger of late. I hope to be better soon, but no promises at the moment. I'm reading everybody else's posts and loving them. Thanks for being there, guys!