Saturday, March 27, 2010

♫ Lemon Tree Sprout ♫

Look what I have started to grow this spring !! Does it look like a lemon tree?

Hopefully it will in a few months. I got seeds from a relative's actual lemon tree, so the seeds never saw refrigeration. I enjoyed some lemon water, then decided to see what I could do with the seeds. After the seeds soaked in water for a few days, I put them in some soil and kept it very moist. It has taken a few weeks, but look what has come up ! There is a second sprout coming up too.

Last year I experimented with growing a sweet potato. This year I'll share my adventures with a little lemon tree.

Monday, March 15, 2010

༺ Socks ༻

This posting is all about sock yarns and my experiences with them. I'm just starting out knitting socks and have a healthy curiosity about all the yarns available to make them. Which yarns work best with which needle sizes? Will I be able to make thicker boot socks that hold up over time? Will shoe socks be too scratchy? How in the world will I learn to knit with size #0 needles?

If you have sock yarn experiences you'd like to share, please feel free to leave comments so that the readers will have a ton of good information to use in their journey into sock knitting.

Vanna's Choice Yarn:

Color, Weight and Material: Oatmeal, #3 Worsted Weight, 92% Acrylic 8% Rayon
Needles: Two #5 Circular Needles
Knitting Ease: Excellent, didn't split, glided easily, no knots or problems with the yarn
Laundry: Machine wash, holding up very well
Comfort: Excellent. I use this pair as 'sleeper socks' to keep my feet warm at night. They are cushy and very comfortable.
Recommendation: Use it !

Lion Brand Wool Ease Yarn:

Color, Weight and Material: Blue Heather, #3 Worsted Weight, 80% Acrylic 20% Wool
Needles: Two #2 Circular Needles
Knitting Ease: Good, had some drag to it, no knots or problems with the yarn. My fingers are sensitive to wool, so I needed to use a lot of hand lotion to keep my skin smooth.
Laundry: Machine wash, holding up very well, getting softer over time
Comfort: Excellent. Husband socks, no complaints. He wears them in work boots and reports they are comfortable.
Recommendation: Use it !

Red Heart Heart and Sole, with Aloe:

Color, Weight and Material: Mellow Stripe, #1 Super fine, 70% Wool, 30% Nylon
Needles: Two #1 Circular Needles
Knitting Ease: Pretty good. It was smooth and didn't irritate my skin. It seemed like the yarn got thinner in places. I would like to try using #0 needles in the future.
Laundry: Have not washed yet, will update after more information available
Comfort: These socks are proving to be popular. My MIL told me she wears them and enjoys them a lot.
Recommendation: Use it !

On my needle now: I plan to make another pair of socks from Red Heart. These last pair turned out a bit too large for me, so I'm going to reduce the foot measurement and try again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

✈ Bees Waking Up ✈

Today I decided it was warm enough to venture into the garden to see what tasks I could get done. I had plenty of dried marigold plants to pull up, and saw long rows of moist soil to turn. While puttering around, I noticed that I was not alone. Our bees are active again, having lived through their first winter in our two backyard hives. It was a joint exploration of the garden for all of us.

bee hive
Once I did some garden clean up and inspection, I wondered over to see what was happening at the bee hives. One hive has always been more active than the other, and this year it looks like the same pattern will hold true. As always, the bees were friendly, but they did seem like they were on a mission to gather some food while the sun was keeping us warm today. Here are a few pictures I took, showing the bees getting ready for a long and productive summer.