Wednesday, May 26, 2010

19th Century Stockings

I have finally decided to start working on a pair of stockings for myself. This is the swatch to help me determine needle size and gauge (the number of stitches per inch). The yarns weights and needle sizes that were available in the 1860's are significantly different from what is available today. With much help from fellow Ravelers and the Civil War Needleworkers on Yahoo, I have compared the historic yarns and needles with the modern and am ready to go. The yarn is Brown Sheep Nature Spun fingering (a sock weight yarn spun in Nebraska), a wonderful lady on Ravelry generously sent me two skeins to get started. Needle size is 000, for those of you non knitters that's roughly the size of malnourished toothpicks. Black is also not the greatest color for tiny stitches - it's impossible to see in any but the best light. I seriously doubt I will do two of these stockings, and will turn to white cotton for the final garments. This is my test run to work through the sizing, shaping and pattern instructions. Let's just say that historic patterns aren't the best at relating instructions. Besides, how did anyone wear wool stockings - these things would be terribly itchy, augghhhh!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mom O's visit

My mother in law was here last week and we had a wonderful visit! This was her fist visit to Vancouver and so we took her to as many sights as possible. She brought a traveling companion with her, tucked away in her suitcase. Flat Stanley enjoyed Vancouver so much during the 2010 Olympics that he wanted to make a return trip to see some of the things he missed. So here is Mom O and Flat Stanley at the Totem Poles in Stanley Park. (Flat Stanley is under the misguided impression that Stanley Park was named for him.)
For those of you that have never met Flat Stanley, his given name is Stanley Lambchop, a little boy whom a bookshelf fell on many years ago and completely flattened him. Now he is able to be mailed all over the world and is a tremendous spokesperson for children's literacy and community awareness. If you would like to hear more of Stanley's story you can find several books written about him by author Jeff Brown in your local library.
We took Mom O through downtown Vancouver, to Stanley Park, to Burnaby Mountain Park, Golden Ears Provincial Park, Robert Burnaby Park, and to Abounding Grace Baptist Church. We were certainly blessed with beautiful weather for the week that she was here and made for some wonderful pictures and great memories.

Monday, May 10, 2010

"To Top It All Off...."

After several months of working and waiting, I finally got my arbor finished this weekend! I love it, I can already imagine what it will be like with the roses and clematis scrambling over it.
It took three of us and two ladders to wrestle the cross pieces up and into place. I held one end while Jonathan nailed the other and Larry steadied the ladders. I think we even got it pretty level too. I am just amazed at how the garden has progressed in the past year. It is close to being finished, as close as a garden can ever come; mine will always be a work in progress and always changing. The birds seem to love the changes, the plants, the water and the food. We've had a pair of White Crowned Sparrows, a Golden Crowned Sparrow, Bushtits, Chickadees, and I've seen the Rufous Hummingbirds more often than ever before. The female was even picking aphids off one of my climbing roses. We still need, dirt, dirt, and more dirt to fill in the remainder of the beds. May long weekend is the frost free date for our area and the point when so many of our seedlings can be put outside for the year and they need a place to go. Jonathan has a spot ready for the broccoli where it can be covered with some floating row cover to keep out the moths and their caterpillars, the tomatoes are being hardened off, and the pumpkins and watermelon are about ready to go outside. Now to get to some weeding!