Sunday, February 28, 2010

A deadline missed in aid of syrup

Ravelympics, the knitting community's contribution to the Olympic madness, ends tonight with the closing ceremonies in Vancouver. I, however, will not have achieved the goal I set, a finished pair of socks. I daresay both heels will have been successfully turned, but the toe of the second sock is beyond my reach in the next few hours. Here's why...

Syrup season has arrived. My dad taps a few trees in my Grandmother's woods. (Few being a relative term when it takes an average of 40 gallons of sap to make one of syrup) We all went out to help today. The weather was beautiful for it, not too cold in the woods, but cold enough that only the tractor broke through the snow into the mud.

Dad tapped the trees and we hung the buckets and placed the lids. Kate drew pictures in the snow, kicked ice into the mud puddles and the dogs ran around sniffing deer poo and bothering each other. Everyone had a wonderful time.

Kate demonstrated her usual level of patience in waiting for the sap to run, but lucky for her, she didn't have long to wait today. There were a few times that the sap dripped on the snow before we could get a bucket under it.

Dad mostly does things the old fashioned way with his syrup, but we have a few modern conventions:

These bags are much easier to find in the woods than the buckets and there's less clean up, as the bags are not used year to year, but we discovered when we had to assemble them in the snow today that we much prefer the buckets anyway. Despite that, I suppose there's no stopping progress; here's the gentleman farmer in the midst of his syrup industry...

So the sap's arising and the socks are not finished. A shame since they are for dad and he could use a pair of wool socks in his boots right now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A big weekend

This weekend we turned four years old. I realize it's a little irritating that I always refer to it as we when it's my daughter's birthday, but honestly, it feels like a family achievement. It took all of us to make it to four, and it's gonna take all of us to make it to five. Bug's big gift was a bike, seen here.

My parents got her the magnifying glass she asked for:

She's still learning that it goes close to the object of interest, not your eye. She had a great party. Everyone had fun and I ordered pizza, wings and the cake, so no kitchen disaster to clean up. Yay me.
Her party was on Valentine's day and she and her daddy went out on Saturday and bought flowers, chocolate and cards for me and her grandmothers and great-grandmother who attended the party. Talk about shock. He has not gotten me flowers in years. It was really wonderful.

Check that out. Yarn at Christmas, flowers at valentine's day. Am I being buttered up for something?
And finally, the crowning achievement of the weekend, drum roll please:

I have knit a sock! I entered this pair of unfinished socks in Ravelympics, meaning I promised to begin working on them again during the opening ceremonies in Vancouver and finish the pair by the closing ceremonies. My experience with socks has been a bit rocky. These were pulled off the needles and jammed in a bag after the last attempt at a heel. Unfortunately, due to party prep, I could not begin my Ravelympics experience with the rest of the competitors on Friday night, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, I sat down on Sunday night and watched the whole ceremony online, as well as some mogul skiing and cross country. The result...I turned my first heel listening to K D Lang. One sock down, one to go.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Updates

Kate's garden is a success. Is there anything better than this sight in snowy February?

I managed to finish another baby sweater before the baby's grand entrance, although it was a close thing due to a button and a snap. The button is from a jar of antique buttons given to me by a friend. The baby's gender will be surprise to all, so I hope the color is neutral enough. I have decided that this lucky baby will also benefit from the white whale. The pattern is a really great seamless one from Knitting Daily.

The Block-A-Month Afghan continues apace. I have finished two alternative blocks. I hope to do one of these each month as well as the block of the month, so to end up with 24 blocks in December rather than 12, and have a bigger afghan.
Squares cloth, which is actually a dishcloth pattern. Expect some more of those, they are perfect blocks for afghans.

And Flickering Flames which I believe will look much better once blocked.

The ravelympics project is on hold for now. My personal torch will not be lit until after the 4th birthday party scheduled for tomorrow. Also yet to be blogged....the hubby's unbelievable Valentine's day gifts. He's in the running for prince of a guy.