Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spring has arrived

Since Thursday afternoon the weather here has been absolutely beautiful, which has been great for doing those outdoor chores that have been put off and put off due to the weather. It has been seeming that the nice weekends (not that we have had many of those) we have had plans not allowing us to do all that outdoor work.
Well this weekend we got massive amounts done.
  • We purchased and set up rain barrels from the region
  • Turned the compost, and spread the finished stuff on the garden
  • Removed a massive number of straggly shrubs
  • Received and accepted a quote to build a fence (more on this below)
  • Washed outdoor windows (well the ones I can reach without the massive ladder
  • Started weeding the garden
  • Raked the lawn
  • Got a sunburn (neck, arms, tops of the ears) - I didn't think the sun was that strong - I guess it had just been so long
  • Completely exhausted Keeper on a walk (he needed to lay down before we went in the house
  • ETA: I just fertilized the front lawn since they are calling for rain Mon afternoon.
What is left on the todo list:
  • Fertilize the lawn (needs to be done in two sections so Keeper doesn't walk on the fertilizer -we don't use Weed and Feed
  • Remove the old chain link fence
  • Remove the bottom branches of one of the trees
  • Weed the garden (there are lots of maple seedlings coming up)
Ali and I have been planning on fencing our backyard this summer since we moved in. We have been busy looking at fence styles and figuring out what we were going to build to put in. There are two big things we decided to have some one do for us. Pull out the old fence posts (they are cemented with an overkill amount of concrete by the looks of the tops of the holes), and dig and set the new poles. Digging and setting fence posts is not an easy job, the posts in this area must go down four feet to get below the frost line.
  • We priced out lumber, measured the perimeter of the yard.
  • Calculated amount of lumber and number of posts needed.
  • Called fencing contractors.
Found one fencing contractor who will build our fence for the same price as if we purchased the lumber, and paid someone to dig the holes. (No one would give us a phone estimate to remove the old posts - they needed to see them first completely understandable). After meeting this guy in person we have decided to use him to build our fence - he should be able to do it during the second week of May.

I am excited about having a fenced yarn - and was hoping to have it fenced by the end of May so this is working out great. I'll let you know who this magical fencing contractor is after the job is done.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Some random thoughts

I had this nice long post last night almost ready to post and blogger ate the thing - pisses me off. I'll try to recreate the post.

A couple of weeks ago our car started making a weird engine noise. We scheduled an appointment with the mechanic for this past Tuesday to have it looked at and fixed. On Sunday (Easter Sunday) we were at my parents for dinner then started to drive home on the backroads as we normally do. Well we heard a noise and something falling from the car. The battery light came on, "UH OH!", the engine began to over heat. SHIT! We knew there was a gas station about 5 km up ahead. We decided to limp there, so we could inspect the car with some lights, stopping often to let the engine cool down (I was glad for a change that it was cold for Easter). We arrived at the 24 hour service station - it was closed. Lets pause for a moment to consider that.
There was lights on around the building so we pulled up and checked under the hood. The coolant reservoir was still full. We called CAA and Dad. Dad confirmed what I thought when I saw a shiny pulley beside the engine - the fan belt was gone. CAA came and towed our car and Dad loaned us his truck for a couple of days until the pulley (it had seized) and belt could be replaced. Just a word of advice don't have your car brake down on Easter Sunday.

On Tuesday night Amy Singer came to the knitting guild to discuss her new book No Sheep for You. I learned a lot from Amy's talk about how to substitute fibres and how a yarn will behave when it is knitted up. Amy also talked about the different non animal fibre families: bast, seed, protein, synthetic, and extruded; how knowing how one fibre behaves in the family will give you ideas on how a related fibre will behave - think of linen and hemp both bast fibres. Extruded fibres are an expanding group and will be an interesting place I think to watch, this family includes yarn made from bamboo, soy, corn seaweed and MILK (yeah that last one was new for me as well). I think No sheep for you will be added to my library at some point.
Amy also had the trunk show there and I got to fondle the silk jacket/robe that Amy admits should be left in your will if you ever decide to make it. If you do make it - please will it to me. The wonderful sweater of Morrigan - an enticing knit (which I realize I am not that crazy to make) was beautiful and soft.

I have finished one entrelac sock. You could easily make a decent pair of socks from only two balls of koigu - just split them in half and knit until one runs out of yarn. My sock weighs 48 g and I have a 23 cm (9") heel to cuff measurement - I might have been able to squeeze one more pattern repeat out of the navy, I am not sure, but I decided to stop at this length due to the thickness of my calves and my dislike of overly long songs. I have worn the sock for a couple of steps and I don't think the pattern will bother me for a normal day's activities. However I wouldn't wear this sock for a massive hike - in those situations the little ridges might bother you. I am looking forward to finishing this pair of socks and adding them to my drawer. (My wool socks always seem to be in the laundry).
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Greyhound knits

So the day after Jenni suggested that I knit something with one of my other interests of mine. I received an email from one of the organizers of Hugs for Hounds put out a request for items for the silent auction at the event. You can see where this is going... I said I would knit something for the auction (it is in August).
Since greyhounds come in many sizes and colours I don't want to knit something for the dogs - I haven't even knit Keeper a sweater yet. So, I was thinking of something for the dog owners. Maybe a scarf with a silhouette of greys on the end. I did a quick search for greyhound charts and came up with some crochet items (still not enough to make me learn crochet). I emailed a couple of greyhound owners who knit, they don't know of any charts. So I will be making my own charts (which gives me some time to figure out what I am putting this picture on - not positive about the scarf idea) from the following silhouettes.