Monday, November 28, 2011

Leaves of Grass

Garden Inspiration

I learned to knit from my mother when I was, perhaps, 10 yrs old. After a 35 year hiatus, I tried it again and I'm having great fun! Last year I jumped right in and knit up some little tops for myself and my niece; created some fun berets, a scarf, a shawl/wrap and a couple of cardigans; just finished off a lovely alpaca and wool shawl for a cousin of mine. Every project is different and brings with it another challenge and learning opportunity.

OK, so you're probably asking yourself... that's all very well and good, but what has this to do with gardening?
AHA... my new project and first lace object: A beautiful round shawl called Leaves Of Grass created by the very talented Jared Flood for Brooklyn Tweed.
What a gorgeous representation of nature!

The wool I am using (Brooklyn Tweed's Loft)  is 100% American, grown in Wyoming and then spun in an historic mill in New Hampshire.

Here are some pictures of the finished object taken from the pattern:

And here is a picture of the beginnings of my Leaves shawl:

I'm feeling very inspired, and can't wait to complete it. I would love to present this as a christmas gift this year to a very gifted gardener and talented knitter:
my dearest mother.

hmmmm... I've got one month. Time to shut off the computer and sit down to the needles and lace chart!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Foggy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I woke up this morning to two border collies rolling around on the bed in between my husband and I, insisting on giving us cuddles and wet kisses. They are the silliest and sweetest dogs I've ever met.
Plopped out of bed, put on my slippers and shuffled to open the window blinds. WOW! Glaring bright white!!!... blink, blink, blink.
It was so foggy, I could barely see beyond our back fence. Well, heck, I could barely see! Felt my way downstairs, made some coffee, then took some pics of the back yard. I probably should've been up earlier to catch it at daybreak... maybe tomorrow!?

OK, I'm awake now.
Time for another cup of coffee, and then to begin preparations for our first turkey-less Thanksgiving. I'd be happy with just a pile of mashed potatoes and gravy (mushroom, of course) on my plate... but in addition to that and sweet potatoes and green beans, we're going to give this a try. I've been very pleased with their other products, and this, frankly, sounds delicious. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 
I hope you all have a deliciously satisfying meal, are as thankful for your friends and family as I am, and get out in the garden today and enjoy the beauty of nature!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Backyard Bears

Well, ok, maybe not a bear with black fur and big sharp teeth, but a "bear" none the less. It's called a water bear, or more correctly, a tardigrade.

Today started out quite frosty and chilly, but warmed into such a lovely day, my son and I decided to take the dogs for a walk in the greenbelt behind our house. While out and about, we brought some empty beakers to fill with pond water which we could study under our microscope when we got home.

To my delight, in that drop of water I found one of my absolute favorite animals... the tardigrade. These little critters (less than 1mm in size) actually look like bears: they have a lumbering gate, sharp claws on their feet (however, unlike a fluffy black bear, the tardigrade has eight feet), have eyes, skin, and muscles. Amazingly, tardigrades can survive -200C temps, boiling water, the vacuum of space, lack of oxygen, lack of water, freezing and thawing, x-ray radiation. In fact, tardigrades have been launched into space on a rocket and the space shuttle, and became the first animals to survive exposure to space. 

If you have a chance, and access to a decent microscope, why not go bear hunting in your backyard!

For more info: