Saturday, January 17, 2009

Knitting Break

I'm taking a break from knitting "Poinsettia" for my mom to do a little crocheting on this afghan that I had started over a year ago with some leftover yarn I had from another afghan I had finished. It's hard to see, but I attempted to get a good closeup shot of the blackberry stitch that is done with the variegated yarn. It gives a nice detail to the otherwise basic ripple pattern. This pattern is called "Springtime" (#4 on the back cover) from an "American School of Needlework" booklet that was published in 1978 that I had picked-up years ago at one of the Super Yarn Marts in the Los Angeles area. I loved that store. It was really the only place that had a great selection of yarn and patterns at that time. Our choices were more limited then; there were not all the great independent yarn shops or the craft stores that we have now and there was no internet. Boy, have things changed!

It has been in the 80s for the last week here in Southern California. It feels like spring. I was out picking up leaves from all the wind we had last week and replaced a lavender plant that died. My lilacs even have a few blooms on them which is amazing, since it's so early and my roses are doing great. I had cut them down in November, which was a little early (I usually prune them down around New Year's) because the leaves were looking so bad, but now they are doing great, save for the damn aphids that seem to show up every year. Ugh. I just keep wiping them off with my fingers while holding the hose and spraying them off. I don't use any type of pesticides in my garden and I was able to keep them pretty much at bay last year by doing this. I then put down some shredded western cedar in the planters around all the roses and plants, which besides looking really nice, says it repels pests (I'm not sure which ones - certainly not aphids!), helps keep the soil moist and keeps the weeks from sprouting up. The garden is coming along. My next project is to get the backyard fixed-up. I have my work cut out for me! Tomorrow I will be blocking my cousin's scarf so that I can give it to her this week for her birthday/belated Christmas gift!

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